Re: After a hard day making rich and powerful people angry, I like to relax by hiring a prostitute

1

Yeah, I've been racking my brain about this for the last hour. It's just insanely stupid. You've got to think that Spitzer has been hiring prostitutes for a while, because the decision to do it for the first time while Governor of fucking New York is just too insane to imagine.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:20 PM
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I still kinda believe this is a ratfuck.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:21 PM
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A long time ago I had a friend who got married and then learned that her spouse had a long standing habit of hiring prostitutes as a way of dealing with stress (or something). Sad to think of what it is to be subject to compulsion like that, in a way.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:23 PM
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The day before Valentine's? Someone's got issues.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:25 PM
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3. Labs, you knew Jackie Bouvier? Wow.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:25 PM
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Hm, isn't February 13th "Mistress's Valentine's"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:26 PM
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My social circle is diverse, OFE.

The punchline of the Spitzer case is that it's really the English Courtesan.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:26 PM
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There's a Kids in the Hall sketch about a politician who's about to lose an election bemoaning his fate to the prostitute he's hired and I remember thinking the humor was in the ridiculousness of the situation because surely governors aren't that stupid. That is so completely idiotic.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:26 PM
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When you have Joe Bruno as a political enemy, it would seem totally worthwhile to avoid sex altogether for 4 years if that's what it took to deny him this kind of satisfaction.

What a goddam stupid bastard. I was pissed about the cops thing, now I just want this embarrassing jackass out of office.


Posted by: iancgdi | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:28 PM
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Stuff like this makes me wonder--does *everybody* cheat? Is the notion of marital fidelity just completely pie-in-the-sky?


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:28 PM
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10 - Really? Isn't it well known that politicians are particularly likely to cheat?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:29 PM
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This story has to have been timed to break the day after The Wire ended. They're letting us know who Carcetti was really based on.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:30 PM
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$5,500 per hour sounds like pretty good money. But maybe there's a lot of overhead and insurance and stuff.


Posted by: ed | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:30 PM
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According to The Smoking Gun, the prostitution ring accepted gift certificates. I can think of more than a few people who might've slipped Elliot a little poison package.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:31 PM
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You know, I don't really care if politicians cheat. It's stupid because it will make them look bad because Americans care about cheating, so there's that. But if you're going to sleep with someone other than your wife/husband, you would do well not to violate federal laws in doing so.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:31 PM
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$5500 per hour? Damn!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:32 PM
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Especially if you've built your reputation on busting white-collar crime.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:32 PM
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rumor is that Spitzer is going to resign. Interesting contrast with David Vitter. Does that speak more to the difference b/w the Democratic and Republican parties, or between NY and LA?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:32 PM
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16 --> 17


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:33 PM
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rumor is that Spitzer is going to resign.

Doesn't look like it. NYT indicates he gave a statement, "committed to regaining public trust," didn't resign. Good. I think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:34 PM
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$5500 per hour? Damn!

$22000 for just one go is a helluva lot!

(*someone* had to make that joke)


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:34 PM
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Bah, I still haven't seen the underlying story. All the media outlets are referencing the NYT story, and bugmenot is failing today.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:34 PM
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Jesus, the guy has three teenage daughters. What a fucker.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:35 PM
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$5500 per hour?

Wow. Only if she had, like, 30 goddamn vaginas.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:36 PM
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$5500 per hour?

It's $500 for the sex, $5000 for the moral absolution.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:37 PM
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25. they specialize in clergy? they should probably get some kind of tax rebate for that.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:38 PM
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20. resign rumor here


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:39 PM
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20. resign rumor here


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:40 PM
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bugmenot is failing today.

Yeah, what's up with that?

More to the point, why does the NYT still make us resort to such measures?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:41 PM
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$5500 per hour?

Maybe for a movie or rock star or celebrity.

This is why Clinton should stay in. You never can tell. Or with male politicians, maybe you can.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:41 PM
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But as far as I can tell, it is only Fox that is reporting he is resigning and only Fox that is reporting he has been indicted by the southern district court. At least that I can see. Greta van Sustern claims to be holding copy of the indictment, but the Times isn't even reporting it, so maybe it is like McCarthy's list of State Department communists?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:41 PM
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Refused to answer questions about political future.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:42 PM
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What a fucker.
Indeed, that would seem to be the problem.
This doesn't speak well to his budget management skills- you'd think he could get it for free like most other pols.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:45 PM
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People. If you are yourself rich and powerful, and quite used to being able to get things your way, then the idea of paying someone to fuck you, knowing that (1) she's going to go away afterwards, and you don't have to worry about courting her or having her make a big public fuss about your relationship; (2) because her job is *illegal* and after all, she's just a whore, she's not someone who is likely to create Problems for you; (3) because you're paying her damn good money, any motivation she might have to act like an independent person and, oh, sell her story to the Enquirer is effectively taken care of

is a pretty attractive proposition. I mean, shit, this is like asking why people are so stupid that they cheat on their diets or something. It's got nothing to do with brains or the lack thereof.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:45 PM
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you'd think he could get it for free like most other pols.

There is no "free" at that level of public life.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:46 PM
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As NRBQ so eloquently said, "Ain't no free."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:46 PM
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34 is the least convincing comment ever, B.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:46 PM
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Persons who want to read the article, but want not to be bugged, can log in with user/pass unfogged/unfogged, a clergyman born in 1902 who works in biotech and makes less than $25k per annum. Favorite book? Being and Time, of course.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:48 PM
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5000 for the moral absolution.

No; for the belief that she's gonna keep her trap shut.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:48 PM
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34 is, of course, correct, but still. It's still stupid. But bitch explains why if you were going to cheat, it would actually be smarter to sleep with a prostitute than with someone doing it of her own free will.

It's a tradeoff, of course. With a prostitute, it's less likely that you'll get caught, but if you do get caught, the consequences are much worse.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:48 PM
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she's gonna keep her trap shut

Worst hooker ever.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:49 PM
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37: Hey, don't be convinced, but they all seem to be hiring prostitutes. I'm reality based, here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:49 PM
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If more guys when choosing careers thought about the difference in the ease and availability of prostitutes between public service and private employment, women would run the country.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:50 PM
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41: Ogged reveals that, like male politicians, he thinks of prostitutes as "enter only"; the concept that anything might ever "exit" is beyond him.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:50 PM
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The moral absolution angle is a good one, though. If I remember The Power and the Glory correctly, even a priest who's personally mired in sin can perform his offices. This suggests that priests looking to pick up a little scratch on the side could hire themselves out as prostitutes, and then offer absolution to their clients right then and there for a reasonable extra fee.

Just think how much the Church's coffers could be enriched once they admit female priests to the fold!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:51 PM
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If all politicians and prostitutes were rational actors in a free market then this sort of confidentiality could be priced into et cetera, et cetera.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:51 PM
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the concept that anything might ever "exit"

And it is revealed that Spitzer is a coprophile.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:51 PM
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he thinks of prostitutes as "enter only"; the concept that anything might ever "exit" is beyond him.

So you're saying that ogged's not into scat?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:51 PM
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w-lfs-n may have been more correct, but I was faster.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:53 PM
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Squirters are deprecated.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:53 PM
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if you do get caught

I'm prety sure that if you reach a certain level of political power, experience has taught you that you don't get caught.

47, 48: Is it not true that the perfect woman is silent and odorless?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:54 PM
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Gennifer Flowers wasn't a pro. Nor Monica Lewinsky. Nor the various Newt Gingrinch ladies. Or even the Arnold Swartsenegger ladies, willing or otherwise. Sure, there's that Lousisiana Republican Congressman, Barney Frank, and Dick Morris, but, I'd really say that the public officials tend to get themselves into scandals much often with amateurs.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:54 PM
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This story has to have been timed to break the day after The Wire ended. They're letting us know who Carcetti was really based on.

Since he was indicted as a result of a federal wire-tap, I'm convinced McNulty's in the other room trying very hard not to be fucked by someone.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:55 PM
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the perfect woman is silent and odorless

Hmm, I had always heard 3 feet tall, toothless, and with a flat head to put your beer on.

I'll go ban myself now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:55 PM
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Worst hooker ever.

I think he got caught on the phone. Don't these guys normally have body men that "officially" hire the prostitutes for themselves?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:56 PM
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The Times story says:


"The wiretap recording, made during an investigation of a prostitution ring called Emperors Club VIP, captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

"The governor learned that he had been implicated in the prostitution probe when a federal official contacted his staff last Friday, according to the person briefed on the case." ...
"Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, which are generally seen as state crimes. But the Mann Act, passed by Congress in 1910 to address prostitution, human trafficking and what was viewed at the time as immorality in general, makes it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution. The four defendants charged in the case unsealed last week were all charged with that crime, along with several others."

They're charging him with a violation of the Mann Act? Roll over Chuck Berry.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:57 PM
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odorless

!!

Today, I fished out from below the sink an old bottle of Eau de Dior.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:57 PM
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52- But in all the pol/amateur scandals listed, the pol survived. Your evidence supports 40.
53- Fuck your spoilers.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:57 PM
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An archived version of the Emperors Club VIP web site shows that the page was designed by an outfit known as "Working Girl Web Designs".

I wonder why they got busted up now rather than four years ago?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:58 PM
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there is, after all, as Diogenes pointed out, an easy cure for sexual desire

Didn't Diogenes whack off in the agora? Does FL really mean to suggest that openly wanking in the capitol would represent more rational decision-making?


Posted by: RobDP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:58 PM
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58.2: For serious?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:59 PM
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They're charging him with a violation of the Mann Act?

Holee shit. I wonder who the other poor schmucks are to have gotten roped into this mess.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:59 PM
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I think he got caught on the phone. Don't these guys normally have body men that "officially" hire the prostitutes for themselves?

Exactly. He should have had someone from his crew do the hiring for him.

I'm training w-lfs-n to do this job for me.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:59 PM
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If only I could satisfy my hunger by rubbing my belly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:59 PM
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Fuck your spoilers.

That was a spoiler?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 1:59 PM
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60: as an appendix: who would be the most wankworthy elected official? State or federal, I suppose.


Posted by: RobDP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:00 PM
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Some of us don't have HBO or on demand and watch The Wire via Netflix. As far as I know Carcetti is basking in the glow of his victory and Namond is living happily with Bunny.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:01 PM
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57: Okay, bad odors, then. You know what I meant.

52: Which just gets back to the entitlement thing: these guys don't think they're going to get caught. Probably they have the sound evidence of past experience supporting that belief. The guys who are smart enough to realize they might get caught are the ones who hire hookers.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:01 PM
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67: OK, nothing on The Wire on non-Wire threads? (I'm a DVD guy, too.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:02 PM
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$5,500 per hour sounds like pretty good money

Damn! I could pay the mortgage and have more time to spend with my kid...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:02 PM
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I cannot believe that Spitzer hired a prostitute from a company that has its own web site. That's just unreal.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:02 PM
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58.2: For serious?

Apparently, the rule is you can never make any comment about any television show ever, even when the episode in question is nearly four years old.

Although I suppose I am counter-spoiling the series finale, since SP now knows McNulty won't be in another room trying not to get fucked.

In other counter-spoilers news, Brad Pitt doesn't eat a carrot in the series finale.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:03 PM
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56: But I don't think Spitzer is one of the 4 defendants -- especially since it says they were revealed last week. He's Client #9 -- but the story doesn't say he is one of the 4 defendants.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:04 PM
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Working Girls Web Design has a kind of uninspiring portfolio.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:04 PM
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71: I just can't believe he made the call. Unless it was exclusive in some fashion, he was always "Client No. 9," and someone else made the call.

He should have just gone with a CL personal.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:05 PM
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70: No you couldn't. You'd have to spend nearly that on hair, nails, depilatories, clothing, tooth whitening, makeup, facials, nylons, shoes, blah blah. Plus you'd be jetting off to DC at a moment's notice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:05 PM
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Atrios reports that Fox reports that Spitzer will resign at 7pm.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:05 PM
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Why doesn't someone set up a discreet place something like a geisha house, where there's no fee for service but everyone knows what's supposed to happen? The old playboy club was almost that, I think.

Maybe something liek that does exist, and we never read about it because it's successful. I wouldn't know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:06 PM
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76: Okay fine, back to the legal briefs.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:06 PM
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76: Depends how many hours you work, I assume (hope, I guess, though their decision, etc.) it's relatively few at those prices.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:07 PM
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I heard that this is related to that picture of Guiliani in drag.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:07 PM
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75: seriously. I mean, the web page all but says "prostitution ring." This is sort of like that West Wing episode where the President calls the Butterball Hotline for help with his turkey, only different.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:09 PM
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Hillary arranged this to step on Obama's likely victory in MS.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:09 PM
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Bill arranged this so that HRC would be the only candidate for the foreseeable future.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:10 PM
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78: What's in it for the laydeez?

80: I don't think you can earn those prices if you're not available on demand.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:11 PM
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These are the 4 defendants. If Spitzer has actually been indicted, no one but Fox is reporting it.

According to the office of the United States attorney in Manhattan, Mark Brener, 62, of New Jersey, was the leader of the ring, but delegated day-to-day business responsibilities to Cecil Suwal, 23, also of New Jersey. The office said that Ms. Suwal controlled the bank accounts, took applications from prospective prostitutes and oversaw two booking agents, identified by the authorities as Temeka Rachelle Lewis, 32, of Brooklyn, and Tanya Hollander, 36, of Rhinebeck, N.Y.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:11 PM
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78: I think that's how a lot of "massage parlors" work. I don't know enough about the law to know just where those places violate it, but they get busted from time to time.

About halfway through graduate school, a new grad student asked me how to tell real vs. police-placed ads for escorts. I was sort of flattered that he'd trust me but also sort of creeped out that he thought I would know.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:12 PM
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85.2: I don't really know enough about (a) prostitution, or (b) how this ring worked, but I assume you can control time demands by raising price. How many people can really afford $5500 for an hour for anything, let alone illegal sex?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:13 PM
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I was sort of flattered that he'd trust me but also sort of creeped out that he thought I would know.

Male escorts? Maybe he was hinting....


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:15 PM
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How many people can really afford $5500 for an hour for anything, let alone illegal sex?

The same number of people who have received envelopes containing pictures of them with hookers?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:16 PM
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Now hold on, people, hold on, we're jumping to conclusions here. All we know is Spitzer hired a prostitute. We don't know what he hired her for. For all we know he was looking for a tennis partner, or a fourth in bridge, or a fill-in for the part of Laurey in an impromptu production of Oklahoma!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:16 PM
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88: Not only that, but if one is charging $5500/hr then one has an avid enough fan base to work with one on the scheduling.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:16 PM
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Maybe I wasn't joking (TPM):

It's worth pointing out that this will prevent Obama's aggressive speech today pushing back on the Clintons' veep chatter from dominating the news, which it surely would have otherwise.
Both MSNBC and CNN were running big with Obama's speech, but they abruptly cut away to Spitzer, and all the news coverage will be relentlessly focused on him for who knows how long. Indeed, the Spitzer story will temporarily freeze the presidential race.

However, Spitzer was also a Hillary superdelegate, subtract 1 from her column.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:17 PM
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Also, what do "kept women" cost out at per month? It can't come to $5500/day, let alone /hour, can it? At a minimum, I think we have reason to worry about Gov. Spitzer's fiscal discipline.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:18 PM
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How many people can really afford $5500 for an hour for anything, let alone illegal sex?
At least 9, apparently.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:19 PM
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91: Stras is right -- he was probably hiring her to paint his house!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:21 PM
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#86. You're right. So Spitzer was caught in the net of an unrelated federal investigation of a prostitution ring? The Times story isn't a model of sparkling clarity.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:22 PM
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There are a fair number of people in the world who can budget several hundred thousand a year for sex. The rich are not like us. $5500/hr. seems high, though.

Remember, girls, once fees, expenses and overhead are deducted, you'll be lucky to clear a pitiful $1500 / hr.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:23 PM
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The Lt. Gov. has also endorsed Clinton.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:24 PM
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Actually, the phone transcripts in the indictment do contain the direct assertion that Client-9 wanted sex and his friend "Kristen" knew it. Also, the tidbit that Client-9 is known for wanting girls "to do things that, like, you might not think were safe..."

Re: 47.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:24 PM
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So New York is going to have a blind, black governor.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:24 PM
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97: It's weird, right? Because now TPM, etc, are reporting that the US Atty's involved with the case are all from the Public Corruption bureau, which generally involves itself when elected officials are up to no good. Frankly, I don't see how the clients don't get indicted -- How does this work, Lawyers? -- but maybe a phone call isn't enough evidence, and they need to catch you getting fucked. Hmm.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:25 PM
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The Lt. Gov. is already a superdelegate by virtue of his DNC membership.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:26 PM
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"to do things that, like, you might not think were safe..."

Sweet Jesus. I hope Marv Albert is involved somehow.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:26 PM
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104: Nice.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:27 PM
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Looking at the complaint [.pdf] -- starting around paragraph 73, but mostly in paragraph 81 -- all I can say is this: I didn't know hiring a prostitute was such a complicated affair.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:27 PM
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Also, the tidbit that Client-9 is known for wanting girls "to do things that, like, you might not think were safe..."

Oh, man. A freak, and he's not even a Republican!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:27 PM
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101: No shit. That's got to be a first.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:27 PM
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104: we need a Marv Albert "YES!" to compliment the McEnroe mp3.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:28 PM
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Spitzer for three!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:29 PM
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Oh, man. A freak, and he's not even a Republican!

Do you think Dems are more or less forgiving on this score? I can't decide if I think it would be better if he resigned or not.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:29 PM
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Part of me says, "David Vitter didn't resign, so why should Spitzer! Nahnahnah!" But, good gravy, I don't know. If he's indicted he is certainly gone. And if the prostitute(s) he hired are going to jail (are they?), then, truly, fuck him.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:32 PM
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Gift certificates? Really?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:32 PM
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108 to 107.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:32 PM
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we need a Marv Albert "YES!" to compliment the McEnroe mp3

You look for that, I'll look for "delivers the facial."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:33 PM
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things that, like, you might not think were safe

Maybe he likes teh buttsex.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:34 PM
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And if the prostitute(s) he hired are going to jail (are they?), then, truly, fuck him.

No, I think that's right. But I guess I just assume it's like (what I assume) the drug war is like: guppies and buyers get thrown back; real attention is focused on big dealers. But who knows?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:34 PM
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If only Spitzer were mayor... then we could get "From way downtown... BANG!" into the mix.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:35 PM
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116: Some people believe emotional vulnerability is also unsafe; maybe it's that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:36 PM
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||

From the Onion's interview with David Simon, who apparently doesn't share the Times's opinion of bloggers:

If you're saying that there needed to be scenes of the Internet interacting with journalism and bringing down journalism, I will now write you a scene: Interior, garden apartment anywhere. A white male, mid-30s, sits at a laptop computer in his underwear, linking to a Baltimore Sun story. He then scratches his left testicle until satisfied and continues to type commentary about that story onto his blog. Cut to drug corner, and on to the next scene.

|>


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:36 PM
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Plenty of those on the internets.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:36 PM
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A freak, and he's not even a Republican!

hahaha that is fabulous.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:37 PM
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I know I'm way behind, but: Labs, are you drunk? 34 is the truest thing B has ever said.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:40 PM
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from the indictment: '5 foot 5, 105 pounds'

Whoa. He likes them skinny.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:41 PM
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Of course he has to resign. He made his reputation by, amongst other things, prosecuting prostitution rings. There's no way he can recover from this.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:44 PM
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A couple of other tidbits from elsewhere in the complaint (not related to Client-9):
5.j. A potential prostitute declines to work with them because a friend had to have sex with a client twice in an hour.
5.v. Client complaint that one of the prostitutes was "more sex than sexy".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:47 PM
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120: And I was planning on naming all of my children, going forward, David Simon. Not any more. No sir.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:47 PM
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127: He showed up on Yglesias's blog, and was complimentary. I think he was talking about "those other blogs."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:48 PM
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Marv Albert is now my email alert. At least some good has come of this tragedy.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:49 PM
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There's no way he can recover from this.

Never bet against American pharmaceuticals.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:49 PM
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125: I suspect pretty much all successful politicians have an unnaturally high ability to compartmentalize, along with the one to bullshit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:50 PM
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To ask a stupid question, why do you have to resign for hiring a hooker but not for, say, wiretapping all the residents of an entire city? Is it because illegal orders of such a broad scope require hundreds of people to carry out, whereas it's easy to point at a single john?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:52 PM
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, why do you have to resign for hiring a hooker

I don't know that you do. Vitter didn't. There must be other examples, but I can't think of them.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:54 PM
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Its either resign or be introduced to the penile system.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:57 PM
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132, 133- see 125.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:58 PM
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why do you have to resign for hiring a hooker but not for, say, wiretapping all the residents of an entire city?

Because politics in America is fucked up and cartoon like.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 2:59 PM
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He prosecuted prostitutes as a state attorney! Man.

A regular affair would have been a lot safer. Giuliani certainly had no problem with it, even when it went public.

I wonder if his wife will be more or less likely to forgive him for this than a non-professional affair.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:00 PM
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135: I don't know that people care about the hypocrisy. This is a bit like "Should Rush go to jail for doing drugs if he previously insisted that other drug addicts should be jailed?" I think it would depend on Spitzer's popularity with his voters prior to the prostitution information coming to light.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:00 PM
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At least Spitzer didn't use Craigslist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:05 PM
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"Up to $5,500 an hour" (TPM).

Presumably there was also the regular low cheese-only-no-toppings rate, as well as discount specials, twofers, happy hours, factory seconds, past-use-by-date, and so on.

"Hi! My name is Mercedes, and I'm your budget girl for tonight!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:06 PM
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At least Spitzer didn't use Craigslist.

He probably would have been better off.

We should open a betting pool on what Obama's downfall vice of choice will be if he's elected.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:09 PM
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I think it would depend on Spitzer's popularity with his voters prior to...

His approval rating was in the 30s. He went into office promising to clean up Albany and---crucially---breaking the deadlock between the governor and the city and between the governor and the state congress. Then he and Bruno entered into trench warfare. Not a lot has been delivered on. If Spitzer was going to use public money to shadow Bruno and out him as corrupt to break his hold over the State Senate, he should have at least delivered a killing blow while he was at it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:11 PM
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140: From the complaint:

"LEWIS told Client-9 that his balance was $2,721.41, and that if he wanted to do an additional "1500" or even "2000" it would be better."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:13 PM
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Spitzer is so Carcetti.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:13 PM
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It's got nothing to do with brains or the lack thereof.

Okay, but arranging this shit by phone? THERE is your brains issue.

He made his reputation by, amongst other things, prosecuting prostitution rings.

Maybe they weren't giving fair value or something?


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:14 PM
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138: Eh, there's a difference between Rush saying drug users should go to jail and Spitzer actually putting members of prostitution rings in jail. I don't think that hiring expensive prostitutes is particularly morally problematic on its own; certainly less so than having an affair with an intern in your office; but doing so as a former prosecutor is pretty messed up.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:14 PM
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I'm kind of sad because I'm betting this will effectively kill all the Moynihan Station plans. That would have been cool.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:15 PM
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138- If Limbaugh had put those people in jail as a prosecutor, he'd be in the same position, I think.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:15 PM
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From the complaint, it sounds like his unsafe request was just no condoms. Booooring.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:18 PM
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An expensive prostitution ring? Why can't we ever have an original sex scandal? [Crosses fingers, mumbling "Come on, Hitler porn!"]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:18 PM
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150: the GOP is more creative on that front, it's true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:19 PM
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149.---Christ, that makes me mad.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:20 PM
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his unsafe request

I thought we'd established that the unsafe request was hiring prostitutes over the phone while being an anti-corruption governor of New York.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:20 PM
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Christ, that makes me mad.

I'm just reading between the lines, but I think that's what's going on.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:21 PM
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149: Booooring.

But extra dickish.

(Ahem. Consider all low-hanging fruit always already picked.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:21 PM
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Why can't we ever have an original sex scandal?

This is why we need Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate! His favorite technique for winning elections is to have his opponent go down in flames as the result of a nasty sex scandal, like the time it turned out Jim Ryan was making Seven of Nine go to sex clubs so he could show her off. Vote Obama!


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:25 PM
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[Crosses fingers, mumbling "Come on, Hitler porn!"]


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:25 PM
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156: "Jack" Ryan, I think? Also, that was kind of unpleasant at the time and remains so. I guess I'm an old stick in the mud, but I think a fellow ought to show off his lovely wife the old-fashioned way: by buying her so much stuff her individuality is smothered in luxury.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:27 PM
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Seven of Nine is apparently capitalizing nicely in a NSFW way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:32 PM
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Obama's downfall vice of choice will be if he's elected.

Gluttony.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:33 PM
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The nude on that page looks fake, Emerson. You should probably have someone more hip to the ways of the internet vet these things for you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:36 PM
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158: yes. Maybe there's a Jim Ryun that I'm confusing him with? There was also the primary opponent who also had some unsavory stuff in his divorce papers come to light.

I wonder if the Keating Five thing will be able to be deployed against McCain, as it seems like we're heading into something that will make the S&L bailout look trivial by comparison.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:36 PM
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[pause]

So I got a call about doing a bit of testimony in front of a state legislature on the east coast. And I'm talking to the guy (a staffer, I guess) about the issue and I google him and there's his campaign contribution data since 2000 blah blah blah, courtesy of several websites, including geolocating ones that put a little elephant icon over a google map of his house. I guess those databases are pretty widely used.

[resume]


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:36 PM
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It's a Dutch site, apparently. However, the use of Jeri Ryan's name as the title of the site indicates that she must not be hip about lawsuits. It's on the first page that Google picks up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 3:40 PM
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137: Given that his sexual preferences may be regarded as 'unsafe', perhaps his wife approves of his contracting out this type of work?


Posted by: mpowell | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 4:13 PM
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They're talking to one of his biographers and she seems flabbergasted. Says she always knew him as a good family man, straight arrow, interviewed all his ex-girlfriends and they all had great things to say about him, etc.

Just goes to show: men and sex.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 4:17 PM
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No, PGD. Just you, Ryan, and Spitzer. And Craig. And maybe a few others.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 4:36 PM
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Spitzer's not really in a position to play the "but that was before I found Jesus!" card...What's tomorrow's NY Post headline? I like "Eliot Didn't Phone Home".


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 4:45 PM
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Speaking of promulgating scandal, when are we "they" going to start spreading rumours that McCain is the Manchurian candidate? 'Conditioned in the prisons of communist China, a time bomb waiting to go off...'


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 4:59 PM
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"Eliot Didn't Phone Home".

"She Was An (Illegal) Alien."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:04 PM
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and speaking of the "crimes that aren't career enders" category, McCain apparently said on 60 minutes that waterboarding is torture & the U.S. has tortured prisoners. Why does it not even occur to a reporter to ask him how he feels about the Bush endorsement given that he thinks Bush has authorized the torture of prisoners?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:04 PM
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140: I would have thought twofers would have cost more, actually.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:10 PM
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Spitzer's not really in a position to play the "but that was before I found Jesus!" card...

But that would be so, so awesome.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:22 PM
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"We had no interest at all in the prostitution ring until the thing with Spitzer led us to learn about it," said one Justice Department official.

That answers my question in 59. And, presumably, JM's in 2. Sort of. Is the Justice Department so interested in the financial transactions of every state's governor?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:29 PM
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Just the Democratic ones!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:30 PM
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Yeah, doesn't "I found jesus"! sound much more convincing when one didn't have the jesus beforehand?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 5:46 PM
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It's interesting that Spitzer lacked the common sense of the street kids on The Wire: You don't discuss illegal business on a telephone.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 6:03 PM
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Just the Democratic ones!

His bank reported a suspicious transaction (as they are obliged by law to do).

That said, I'm sure Bradley Schlozman is kicking himself that he wasn't around to prosecute this one.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 6:12 PM
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This wasn't about sex, though. It's about ego. He was going to have to confront Congress the next day and to be on the top of his game he had to reassure himself of his potency. "Kristen" was his reassurance mechanism. $1500/hr for two hours was cheap, really.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 6:34 PM
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When I first saw the "some things that might not be safe" comment, as I was getting caught up on this thread, I *knew* it had to mean "no condoms."

I mean, come on, the man's a Democrat. If he wanted to wear diapers or have sex with kids, he wouldn't need to hide or apologize for it.

what Obama's downfall vice of choice will be if he's elected.

Sneaking cigarettes. Michelle will almost catch him, he'll toss a still-smouldering butt behind a curtain, and some white house office or other will catch fire.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:11 PM
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Re. brains and talking about this on the phone, I don't think you guys are getting my point about the massive sense of entitlement and probable long history of "not getting caught" doing career-ending things that's got to be part of the back story to anyone in high office. If you think about the embarrassing things that supposedly end people's careers, *any* of us would "get caught" doing something that would make us unelectable; the fact that these people largely manage to avoid it (probably b/c of their money) makes them feel invincible.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:24 PM
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OT: Are Howard and Ben related?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:28 PM
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One of those PostSecret cards shows a very thin young woman, with the caption: "I learned how to be a bulimic by watching documentaries on eating disorders." It occurs to me that Spitzer may have learned about these prostitution rings by prosecuting them. I mean, yes, of course, everyone knows this stuff is out there. But it takes something more than just money, I think, to become familiar with (and I guess more or less comfortable with) the way these things work.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:33 PM
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I'm with Dr. B on this one. Spitzer was a prosecutor for a long time. Are we supposed to believe that he never suborned any perjury?

Also, re: 117: the drug war is like: guppies and buyers get thrown back; real attention is focused on big dealers.

SCMT, are you serious? The rich white people get thrown back, the real attention is focused on poor people of color. In some ways, it's not unlike what happens with prostitution -- the street prostitute who basically works for her highs gets busted and beaten on a regular basis, her pimp gets shaken down and probably ends up with a couple of bullets in him and the johns get their cars taken away and have to do restorative justice or spend a weekend in jail or whatever. What happens to rich prostitutes and panderers? Occasionally they serve some time, but then they come out of it with a book deal. Mostly, they seem to operate wholly without fear of arrest or even much opprobrium. As much as this is about gender (and patriarchy), the class and race aspects are pretty prominent as well.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:37 PM
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181: I think it's a massive sense of entitlement, in combination with the ego reassurance thing jim mentions in 179.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:39 PM
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Am I an asshole for having just argued with a (rather enthusiastic!!!!!) person who occasionally emails/messages me that the Spitzer prostitution scandal ought to be a non issue? She was Terribly Outraged!, initially about the "power corrupts" thing, but later the argument was that I must think these girls were asking for it if I think that prostitution is okay but, say, pedophilia wouldn't be.

So yeah. My question to you here assembled: am I inclined to not give a shit about Spitzer merely because he's a Dem?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:46 PM
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Yeah, these things are usually structured so that several dominoes have to fall before the top guy can be touched. Whenever the police need to look like they're doing something they bust a little guy.

Sometimes a little fish will go free in return for info or testimony, though, or maybe so that he can lead the cops to a big guy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:48 PM
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186: Yes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:50 PM
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So yeah. My question to you here assembled: am I inclined to not give a shit about Spitzer merely because he's a Dem?

I think most of enjoy Republican sex scandals for the schaudenfreude, not because we think they did anything morally wrong. So, believing this is no big deal seems consistent.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:51 PM
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: am I inclined to not give a shit about Spitzer merely because he's a Dem?

No, because it is so high end. If prostitution is OK absent the particular abuses of women we associate with actual practice, this seems like a situation in which those particular abuses might be least likely to exist.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:52 PM
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am I inclined to not give a shit about Spitzer merely because he's a Dem?

This is rhetorical, right?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:52 PM
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He's also not your governor? And you don't work in any of the fields on which he's had such an impact.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:54 PM
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If prostitution is OK absent the particular abuses of women we associate with actual practice, this seems like a situation in which those particular abuses might be least likely to exist.

You've been here for the previous sex-work threads. I *know* you have.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:54 PM
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189: The shadenfreude, yes, but also it actually *does* piss me off when they do it because they make such assholes out of themselves on Family Values grounds the rest of the time.

I think I might have been more inclined to consider my Emphatic friend's argument had she not started out with the "have we no minimum standards of behavior?!?" argument, which led me to think that it wasn't so much the "hiring prostitutes demonstrates that Spitzer is not a feminist" argument (which, granted) as it was the "omg scandal!" argument. That plus we didn't get to the Are You Saying Those Women Asked For It?!? accusation until afer we'd passed through her claiming that she had NEVER broken any law, that politicians should never break laws, etc.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:59 PM
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His previous prosecution of prostitution rings seems like it adds schadenfreude where it might not have existed otherwise.

My personal reaction is more to wonder what he was getting that his wife wasn't GGG for.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 7:59 PM
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My personal reaction is more to wonder what he was getting that his wife wasn't GGG for.

I kind of assume that the hooker was someone he could be mean to. But who knows.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:04 PM
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I'll confess to mainly being interested in what his fetish is.

I'm guessing he likes to be choked.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:06 PM
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196: Really? I'm inclined to assume that a guy who has no problem hiring hookers probably isn't excessively inhibited about being mean to his wife.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:08 PM
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186: I get a little suspicious whenever someone just throws around pedophilia, because pedophilia to me (as to most people) is a sui generis level of depravity. This person's argument isn't as spurious as the claim that homosexuality is part of a slippery slope to pedophilia, but it's still wrong in my opinion -- almost troublingly so.

As for me, I've never been "outraged" by prostitution scandals in either party. Perhaps that speaks poorly of me. At the same time, though, the kind of high-end place that would be servicing a politician is going to have to be more or less an open secret, and any time there are selectively enforced (because unenforcable) laws, there is definitely room for abuse. (See racial profiling with speeding, for instance.) I assume that visiting prostitutes is endemic among powerful men. That some particular powerful man gets caught doing it at some particular time is not all that noteworthy or revelatory.

All I can say is that any politician ought to know better and at least be careful. For instance: putting yourself in a position where your own voice can be caught on tape? Come the fuck on!


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:08 PM
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My personal reaction is more to wonder what he was getting that his wife wasn't GGG for.

I'm guessing "sex on the side," which his wife can't really provide.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:09 PM
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Spitzer is clearly a bad boy who needs to be punished.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:10 PM
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My personal reaction is more to wonder what he was getting that his wife wasn't GGG for.

What, people only cheat because their partners won't do Certain Things? Please.

I assume that visiting prostitutes is endemic among powerful men. That some particular powerful man gets caught doing it at some particular time is not all that noteworthy or revelatory.

That was kind of my argument, too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:11 PM
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200 gets it right.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:12 PM
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193: he's going to be here for this one, that's for sure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:16 PM
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You've been here for the previous sex-work threads. I *know* you have.

Fair point. I so don't want to re-hear that conversation. I'm happy with putting Spitzer to sleep for his sins if we can avoid that.

That was kind of my argument, too.

I'd think cheating is endemic among powerful men; I'm not sure about prostitution.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:17 PM
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cheating endemic among powerful men?

How about endemic among adult males and females?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:19 PM
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So, everything else aside, if he actually wasn't wearing condoms?

Wow, what an asshole!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:21 PM
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He's not my governor, I feel at most mildly positive about his policies to date, and yet I'm kind of repelled by this. I think it's partly because it seems both hurtful and stupid. Hurtful to himself and his family (and I would say that even if not a politican, but the PR certainly adds to it), and stupid beyond belief for a governor who needs to be a powerful force with the legislature, not a political liability.


In other news, I registered as a Democrat today. It's really hard to let go of the no-party-affiliation part of my self-image, I'm realizing. I consoled myself by telling my grandfather that I was switching back as soon as the primary is over.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:21 PM
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206: Sure. But what are the stats? I'd be surprised if there were more than 5% of powerful men who didn't cheat.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:22 PM
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consoled myself by telling my grandfather that I was switching back as soon as the primary is over.

By then it'll be too late.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:24 PM
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207, see 180.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:25 PM
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5%!!! I would be surprised. You really think that 95% of men who had the power and money and opportunity would cheat?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:26 PM
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By then it'll be too late.

Don't think I don't know that. Democratic party junk mail, phone calls, and effluvia until the end of time. Bah. This guy better be worth it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:27 PM
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I dont know, Bitch. Maybe more upper middle class people cheat? I dont have anything but a guess.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:27 PM
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I would vaguely figure that cheating is a little like Hollywood people and getting married. Stars get married a lot not beause they're any different from the rest of us, personality-wise, but because they have the financial resources and social circle that enable them to pull off a "once-in-a-lifetime" event several times in a lifetime. Richer people are more likely to cheat because the circumstances of their lives are more likely to be set up to enable it (multiple households, enough money that the spouse might not know where it was all going, etc.).

I dunno. I'm not very attached to this hypothesis and could easily be talked out of it.

Also, time horizons matter. "Ever cheated on a partner in your entire life" has got to be a way bigger number than "Ever committed adultery."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:34 PM
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If prostitution is OK absent the particular abuses of women we associate with actual practice,

I guess I'm a bit curious what you mean here by "OK." Do you mean something like, 'Not nearly the gross outrage against morality that it has been traditionally held to be, in terms of both of legal codes and social conventions'? Or do you mean something like, 'So socially and morally neutral, if not downright positive in its orientation, that I would not hesitate to visit my local high school on Career Day and recommend prostitution as a viable career path'? Or perhaps something in between? Or maybe something else completely different?...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:37 PM
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'So socially and morally neutral, if not downright positive in its orientation, that I would not hesitate to visit my local high school on Career Day and recommend prostitution as a viable career path'?

I've done it before, and I'll do it again. Once I get this dang ankle bracelet off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:39 PM
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212: Sure. Not because "men with the power money and opportunity would"--which seems to imply that this is a statement about men--but because I think that people with that kind of power, money, and opportunity, tend to feel pretty entitled to shit. In other words, it's about the social status.

I think (straight) women in those kinds of positions are less likely to cheat, but mostly because the relative social power positions of women and men are different--I'd be surprised if there were many powerful women who were willing to take that kind of risk, essentially putting the safety of their careers and status in the hands of a strange man. I think women are much more inclined to feel that they have Something to Lose if their marriage falls apart than men are.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:39 PM
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Stars get married a lot not beause they're any different from the rest of us, personality-wise, but because they have the financial resources and social circle that enable them to pull off a "once-in-a-lifetime" event several times in a lifetime. it provides them with life-sustaining publicity to indulge in sham marriage after sham marriage.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:40 PM
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One of the interesting things here is that it does not seem to be one of those things where it was an open secret among those in the know, or prior records of suspicious/risky behavior (unlike Vitter). Someone I know (and whom I trust) with a lot of political contacts in Albany says that he has heard of no one who had an inkling. (Does not preclude it being known among a very tight inner circle.)

The one odd aspect of the bank reporting the "suspicious" money transfer is that the sums and such are really quite middling for a governor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:42 PM
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Tweety, next time we have a thread where somebody drags up that dreadful violinist/kidney analogy, promise you'll bring up the movie-star/publicity example instead.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:43 PM
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Aren't banks legally required to report anything over $10K or something like that?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:44 PM
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Violinist/kidney analogy? Huh?

If a concert violinist were to wake up in a tub full of ice, missing a kidney, the crime is greater than it would be if they weren't a violinist, because the world would be deprived for a time of the beauty they create with their music? And therefore prostitution should be legal?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:45 PM
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218.--Ok, I understand better what you're saying. I still think it's too broad a brush, but I'm going to get off these here internets and settle down with a book.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:46 PM
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I'd be surprised if there were many powerful women who were willing to take that kind of risk, essentially putting the safety of their careers and status in the hands of a strange man.

Which powerful men seem to do all the time in the reverse position. It's a social difference, sure -- you can't separate social and biological -- but one way or another it seems veldt-related.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:49 PM
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224: It probably is too broad a brush. But I have a reputation to maintain.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:49 PM
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223: Right, you've got it.

(I meant the stupid abortion debate example, where you're supposed to imagine that you wake up from a coma or something and you're in a hospital bed, hooked up to another person, a world-class violinist, and providing them with some kind of life-sustaining support. The question is whether you have a moral duty to hang out in the hospital bed for the next X months until they get their transplant or whatever it is. The analogy is supposed to make you think about what people are asking of a one-month-pregnant woman if you say "but just carry the baby to term and then you can give it up for adoption!".)

My dislike for this analogy may have led me to summarize it unfairly.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:50 PM
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222: Yes, there are lower thresholds if there is "suspicion" of criminal activity.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires all financial institutions to file currency transaction reports (CTRs) in accordance with the Department of the Treasury's implementing regulations (31 CFR Part 103). These regulations require a financial institution to file a CTR whenever a currency transaction exceeds $10,000. If a currency transaction exceeds $10,000 and is suspicious, the institution must file both a CTR (reporting the currency transaction) and a suspicious activity report (reporting the suspicious or criminal aspects of the transaction). If a currency transaction equals or is below $10,000 and is suspicious, the institution should only file a suspicious activity report

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:53 PM
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Witt, can you explain to me why that analogy is so offensive? The philosophers on the site seem to disdain it, but I've always thought it does what it's trying to do rather neatly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:53 PM
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That's the ticking time bomb of violinist analogies. You're hooked up... how?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 8:58 PM
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228: so banks are spying on everybody, all the time? Interesting. What about credit card companies?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:00 PM
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I'm not a philosopher, and I hate that kind of artificial example. Others are cool with them.

I hate it because, WTF with the famous violinist? It should just be a generic somebody. Second, it's so hokey and implausible that there's no value-added; why philosophers think that it's easier to think about hokey, unreal examples than real examples. Last, pregnancy isn't a mysterious science-fiction surprise, but a normal event.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:02 PM
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There's a table of criticisms here, along with replies to them.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:03 PM
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why that analogy is so offensive

I should clarify that I am only speaking for myself. I don't know anyone in non-Unfogged-land who has ever objected to it (of course, most of them haven't heard of it). And I'm not a philosopher.

Things I dislike about it:
- It's clumsy. I am a very literal person. This example is so belabored, and so far removed from anything that happens in real life, that it seems ridiculous. Thinking something is ridiculous is a good way to get people thinking you don't have a "real" way to justify your policy belief, and therefore must resort to tortured analogies.

- It's confusing. A fetus (or an embryo) is really not treated as a born person in almost any American law or policy, nor by many Americans. In the hands of a seasoned discussion facilitator, this fact could make the violinist analogy illustrate just that point -- that it's absurd to act as if a fetus is identical to an adult human. Unfortunately, this analogy is often used in debate rather than discussion and by debaters rather than facilitators.

- It's morally and spiritually quagmire-ish. A lot of pro-choice folks have a conscious belief or an unarticulated instinct that there is a meaningful emotional bond between biological parent (especially mother) and child, even when that child is a whisper of an idea that is not yet, in any meaningful sense, a "child." There is no such belief among most folks about connections between two adult strangers. To make the violinist analogy work, you have to squash that emotional sense that there is or may be a special connection between parent and child.

- It's insulting. I know, I know, it's a thought exercise. It's meant to get people thinking in a different way, meant to get them past that leap of imagination that makes it somehow impossible for a 19-year-old man to imagine himself as a pregnant woman. Still and all. I have more faith in my fellow humans -- male or female -- than to think that condescending to them is going to help create a thoughtful, fact-based consensus on an explosive policy issue.

Holy smokes, that got long. Hopefully no one else is still reading this thread.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:06 PM
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231: Does not look like it .. but here is the verbiage:

All financial institutions operating in the United States, including insured banks, savings associations, savings association service corporations, credit unions, bank holding companies, nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies, Edge and Agreement corporations, and U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, are re- quired to make this report following the discovery of [list of conditions]

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:06 PM
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232: what if you were carrying a miniature violinist in your womb, their dulcet tones faintly audible to those who press their ears to your belly. Don't you have a duty to bring that musician, and their instrument, into the world, so they might be slightly-less-muted?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:07 PM
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218

"I think (straight) women in those kinds of positions are less likely to cheat, but mostly because the relative social power positions of women and men are different--I'd be surprised if there were many powerful women who were willing to take that kind of risk, essentially putting the safety of their careers and status in the hands of a strange man. I think women are much more inclined to feel that they have Something to Lose if their marriage falls apart than men are."

According to this powerful women are more like to have affairs than powerful men. Although this might just reflect more opportunity.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:08 PM
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Pwned by everybody. But I was more verbose!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:09 PM
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I'd be surprised if there were many powerful women who were willing to take that kind of risk,

I think you would surprised. Will probably knows this better than anybody, but cheating is incredibly common and it always takes (at least) two. Women may be more selective and careful about it, but I don't believe for a second that it's rare.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:10 PM
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What about credit card companies?

Are you kidding? I've gotten at least half-dozen phone calls from my credit card company due to "unusual activity" on my account. Spend too much, on unusual items, go to a new city, whatever. They're ALWAYS watching patterns.

Sometimes it's convenient. Twice they've called me about things that turned out to be frauds in progress.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:11 PM
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229: I object to that analogy because it both relies upon and seeks to further legitimize a certain kind of naive but not innocent adolescently-Ayn-Randish notion of "autonomy" that has nothing to do with, and nothing good to say about, the kinds of intersubjective interdependence that actually define and characterize our relation to one another as we strive to become social and moral agents in an actual (but not completely amoral) world. Uh, not that anyone asked me, of course...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:11 PM
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be surprised


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:12 PM
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How's the new Charles Taylor going?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:12 PM
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Hey MC, can I interest you in checking your email?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:12 PM
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With the violinist analogies, it really depends on the violin. Like, if it's a Stradivarius or something, then you have a duty to protect it.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:14 PM
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Also, yeah. What Mary Catherine said.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:16 PM
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I agree that it doesn't have to be a violinist, and when I use examples of that type I always just say "someone."

This example is so belabored, and so far removed from anything that happens in real life, that it seems ridiculous.

But that's because pregnancy is rather a unique condition. How are you to get people past their sexist idea that Women Have Special Responsibilities, or past the theoretical position of If I Were Pregnant, I'd Just Give it Up for Adoption? It's basically an experience for which there *is* no analogy.

it's absurd to act as if a fetus is identical to an adult human

Sure, but that argument works for the pro-choice side, not the pro-life side; if you wouldn't be willing to argue that there should be a legal obligation to give blood/be hooked up to a person who needed your body, *given* that adult humans have legal rights, then it's kind of nuts to argue that there's a legal obligation to do so for a fetus, no?

To make the violinist analogy work, you have to squash that emotional sense that there is or may be a special connection between parent and child.

That, of course, is entirely the point.

I really don't find the analogy condescending at all, and I really have found it difficult-to-impossible to get a lot of people to be willing to grant a pregnant woman the same kinds of rights that they believe themselves entitled to; you just keep getting stuck on the "but she *chose* to have sex" or the "she has a *responsibility* to the fetus" claims--which are beside the point, where the question of rights is concerned. I've never found any way to get past that (obviously, "you're a 19 year old man who will never *be* pregnant" isn't going to work) that's better than the "hooked up to another person" argument.

My biggest problem with it is that it gets blocked by the "chose to have sex" claim, at which point I usually say, okay, so the bottom line, then, is that "choosing" to have sex is the issue, not the life of the baby, no?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:18 PM
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243 is good. How is a fetus a moral agent?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:18 PM
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"... you just keep getting stuck on the "but she *chose* to have sex" or the "she has a *responsibility* to the fetus" claims--which are beside the point, where the question of rights is concerned. ..."

Is it besides the point? There is generally no duty to rescue somebody but as I understand the law once you intervene you may become obligated.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:23 PM
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My biggest problem with it is that it gets blocked by the "chose to have sex" claim, at which point I usually say, okay, so the bottom line, then, is that "choosing" to have sex is the issue, not the life of the baby, no?

That's exactly right. It is perfectly consistent to argue that abortion should be legal only in those cases where the woman did not choose to have sex (i.e., rape) and hence, did not willingly assume the risk of pregnancy that goes along with it. By way of analogy, in common law, if you invite a guest onto your property and he gets hurt by some hazard there, your liability is greater than it would be if the injured party were trespassing.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:25 PM
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239: Oh, of course I believe that women cheat. Hello??? I'm just saying I rather doubt that women in high political office, at the present moment in history, do so quite as often as men in high political office do.

241: Huh? The problem is that folks are all too willing to saddle women with "intersubjective interdependence" when it comes to children, despite the fact that we do not believe in having the law *require* us to behave as "social and moral agents". The law is about prohibiting us from doing bad, not requiring us to do good. That's the entire point of the violinist analogy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:26 PM
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is there a conflict between saying that one can freely choose to have sex, but in doing so you assume the risk of getting into a situation where you may no longer have choice?

I don't see one.

I also don't believe an early fetus is a human being with the right to life, but if it was a violinist I'd feel differently.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:27 PM
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it's absurd to act as if a fetus is identical to an adult human

In the original context, IIRC (it's been a while), Thompson is trying to show that *even if* one concedes that the fetus has moral standing equal to a fully developed human being, abortion is still morally permissible. I don't know if Thompson states this, but I imagine that she makes the person you're connected to a famous violinist in part because it's a standard trope of the anti-abortion movement that the aborted fetus could be the next Shakespeare, or Mozart, or whatever.

My biggest problem with it is that it gets blocked by the "chose to have sex" claim

That's what the people-seeds are for!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:27 PM
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248: Charles Taylor disambiguation alert! Thank you. (I was trying to understand why Emerson was dragging a Liberian dictator into the discussion.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:27 PM
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250: It is perfectly consistent (if obnoxious). My point is that if people are making that argument, then they should have the intellectual honesty to admit that their issue is judging women for chosing to have sex, rather than preserving the life of the fetus.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:28 PM
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A unique actual, familiar, real experience which can only be compared to imaginary experiences may be strange, but for me, thinking up imaginary experiences to compare it to is not helpful, especially when they're ludicrous and hokey.

I guess that the fact that women have uteruses and men don't makes women's lives different than men's, and men should have to think about that, but the example detracts. Especially the goddamn tuba player.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:28 PM
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252: The conflict is that arguing that people "freely choose" to have sex is pretty stupid. It's like arguing that people "freely choose" to eat.

People may choose *what* or *when* to eat, and who with, but they are generally going to eat sooner or later.

And please spare me the "but you have to eat in order to survive; you don't *have* to have sex" nonsense.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:30 PM
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Yeah I mean, maybe I'm rejecting this analogy because it's never been necessary for me to imagine being hooked up to an imaginary violinist via imaginary medical procedures to imagine pregnancy as something a woman should have control over?

Also, I totally like fat chicks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:31 PM
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Catholic philosopher by day, brutal Liberian dictator by night.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:31 PM
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257: B I feel like maybe you're just defending Spitzer because he's a democrat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:32 PM
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It is perfectly consistent to argue that abortion should be legal only in those cases where the woman did not choose to have sex (i.e., rape) and hence, did not willingly assume the risk of pregnancy that goes along with it.

Perfect example of what is frustrating about thought experiments. They're thought experiments. In the right hands, in a controlled environment with ground rules and a thoughtful facilitator and a good-faith class, they can be useful.

But in any other context, some of us are going to leap immediately to the real-world ramifications. I read GB's statement above and I leap instantly to the prospect of a world in which a board of experts is entitled to grill me about whether or not I consented to engage in intimate activities, with the threat of prosecution and shame hanging over the head of my partner if I want to get an abortion.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:32 PM
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It's not nonsense, B, you slut.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:32 PM
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Ok, talking about the jjt example is banned.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:32 PM
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Also, I totally like fat chicks.

Especially the ones who play violin.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:35 PM
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For the record: generally I'm 100% on board with the "let's talk about what actually happens in the real world, rather than some ridiculous hypothetical" thing.

In this particular case, the problem is that the "other side" relies so heavily on hypotheticals about what Other People Should Do, that you need some way to get them to get past the ease with which we're conditioned to think of Mommies as abstractions and empathize with the woman who doesn't want to be pregnant. I just haven't come up with a better way to do it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:35 PM
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Are there no anuses? Do women not have mouths? Do these women never ask themselves why the good Lord designed them with a whole array of erotic options, including some which do not risk pregnancy?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:35 PM
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but they are generally going to eat sooner or later.

Does it really help to take the argument so far? The two really aren't comparable. Lots of people have been celibate and died virgins, but the only people who have died without eating are infants. And the people you are arguing you with are reasonaby likely to be very familiar with people who are truly celibate.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:37 PM
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Not a board of experts, Witt. Just Gaijin, B, and me. We're all here, so get started.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:38 PM
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Ile don't be so quick to write off the Breatharian movement.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:38 PM
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But that's because pregnancy is rather a unique condition.

Except that it's not. Sure, it's "unique," and probably not capable of being fully captured by, or even halfway assmilated by, any theory that presupposes the not-capable-of-pregnancy unencumbered male self as the default moral agent. But in terms of, well, you know, actual human beings as they are actually situated in this our world (and I hope those actual human beings can actually aspire to be moral....), the expectation, and probable eventual experience of, pregnancy should probably be seen more as the rule than the exception (if we're actually including women in our moral theorizing, I mean). To define pregnancy as "unique" or "exceptional" is to almost completely accept the male as default-universal, I think.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:38 PM
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261: See, leaping to that scenario is acceptable to me in terms of the argument. GB's statement *is* consistent, and what you're imagining is a reasonable outcome of such legislation. Therefore ......

263: Labs, if you'd ever bothered to tell me what's wrong with it, I wouldn't *have* to ask these questions.......


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:38 PM
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263: FL is master of teh Schematism!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:39 PM
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we do not believe in having the law *require* us to behave as "social and moral agents"

I think what MC meant by her communitarian hand-waving was that we're moral/social agents as a function of our inhabiting a social world, where we orient our activities by some ultimate, "moral," criteria or other. It's not really an imperative except in a very general, meta-ethical sense.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:39 PM
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I always get stuck going through the whole orchestra on an instrument-by-instrument basis. What about the tenth-chair second violin in the Boise Symphony? I say, thumbs down.

But let's don't drag triangle and cymbal players into this. There's really no such thing; percussionists have to be able to use both. And while these instruments seem simple, whenever they're played, the way they rise up out of the mix makes them very important -- for good and for evil. A mistimed cymbal or triangle wreaks havoc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:40 PM
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Terrific, Walt, I have your back in the meat-eater discussion and this is how you repay me? Fie! Watch and see me name names now!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:40 PM
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273 was me. Never mind, anyway, since she's here again and can explain herself.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:40 PM
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The conflict is that arguing that people "freely choose" to have sex is pretty stupid. It's like arguing that people "freely choose" to eat.

That's pretty much the "people seeds" argument.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:41 PM
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Lots of people have been celibate and died virgins

I *said* please don't even bring that up. Sure, some people have died virgins. Nonetheless, I think that everyone in this room at this time recognizes that abstinence only education does not work.

270: Absolutely agreed. But again, the concept of rights as its currently treated in law *does* accept the male as default universal; that's why people think that "should abortion be legal?" is a question that makes sense in the first place.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:41 PM
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277: Then there's the whole eating your seed corn problem.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:42 PM
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I think what MC meant by her communitarian hand-waving

I only wave my hands because of the ankle bracelets on my feet.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:42 PM
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And at least two of us immediately brought it up, just because of what you said. Nonny-nonny, B.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:42 PM
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Okay, so you're in a coma, and when you wake up you're in a hospital bed. Next to you is a delicious veal calf, that in only three months will be able to run free and eat grass until it dies of old age and is consumed by a loving fraternity of welcoming friends. The doctors tell you the veal calf is sharing your liver, and if you get out of bed, you will die, because they took out your liver so a bunch of farm animals could eat it.

See?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:43 PM
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I'm sorry, I really did not mean to start the abortion argument.

Let us just rest with my saying that I remain unsatisfied with the complaints about the "hooking you up to some random sick person" hypothetical.

281: That's because you're all being intellectually dishonest about whether or not you really believe that abstinence is a reasonable response to the "if you choose to have sex, accept the consequences" argument.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:44 PM
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for the record my take on the jjt argument is that the vln example is merely intended to show that abortion is not impermissible because of the fetus's right to life. If the fetus's rtl ruled out abortion the vln rtl would rule out the disconnect. It does not; hence the f's rtl doesn't rule out abortion.

Does the pregnnt woman have an obligation to the fetus because she knowingly engaged in actions that risk producing dependent life? No, says jjt, via the people seed argument. which is pretty unconvincing. She should have cited b's uncontrollable libido instead.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:46 PM
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284.1: That's the only thing I would ever claim that example is useful for. I don't know quite what the "people seed" argument is, but my argument for uncontrollable libido is, basically, "look at history, dummy. Plus, have you ever had sex? Do you ever hope to? Then shut up."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:48 PM
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You hinted at hot, juicy gossip, Witt. I would betray America, democracy, and the Enlightenment project if it would lead to hot juicy gossip.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:48 PM
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also, b, you owe me .3 billable hours. $5500/hr.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:48 PM
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Maybe one of the music experts here can answer this one: When you see an orchestra play, sometimes there's a guy in the back who does nothing except strike a triangle or something once every so often. Meanwhile, the violinists, etc., are playing their hearts out.

My question is, what kind of person becomes Triangle Guy? Someone who loves music, but never learned to play anything?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:48 PM
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283.3: but, but we all agree!

284: what does "jjt" mean in this context? What, for that matter, does the "people seed" argument mean?

Hash it out, people!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:49 PM
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you're all being intellectually dishonest about whether or not you that some people really believe that abstinence is a reasonable response for other people.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:49 PM
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What are "jjt" "vln" "rtl" and "pregnnt"? Philosophy is so technical ("thnca").


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:50 PM
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282: I don't think this makes a compelling case for abortion rights. Especially with vegetarians, who seem irrationally sensitive to the plight of veal calves.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:50 PM
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I can only assume that Labs is drunk, and posting from a Blackberry. Let us all learn from his example.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:51 PM
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285

"281: That's because you're all being intellectually dishonest about whether or not you really believe that abstinence is a reasonable response to the "if you choose to have sex, accept the consequences" argument."

But that's the exact same argument you give to men complaining about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of child support for an unwanted child.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:52 PM
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288: During modern pieces, Triangle Guy becomes Crazy Marimba Dude and earns his keep.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:52 PM
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What are "jjt" "vln" "rtl" and "pregnnt"

It's helpful when trolls preemptively disemvowel themselves, I think.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:53 PM
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Abstinence, masturbation, bestiality, necrophilia, sodomy, and various forms of vegetable-love. There's a whole array of options. B is unimaginative.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:53 PM
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I'm on a fucking iPod and you complain about typos. Goddamn you all.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:53 PM
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OT: The jokes write themselves, motherfucker.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:55 PM
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Hey I comment from an iPod all the time and I don't make typos. Guess that's because I'm in the private sector!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:55 PM
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jjt is Judith jarvis thomson, the author of the example. Vln is the standard abbreviation for 'violin.' rtl means 'right to life.' I'm making the spitzer face at you all right now.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:56 PM
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iPods have internet now?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:57 PM
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299: Rijke Fogger!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:57 PM
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302: some of them, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:58 PM
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sifu, you're a tool and your iPod done me wrong.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:58 PM
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290: It's precisely the "for other people" part that I'm trying to get folks to fess up to.

294: But that's the exact same argument you give to men complaining about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of child support for an unwanted child.

It is? I defy you to find one instance where I have ever made such an argument about that particular piece of trollish bullshit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 9:59 PM
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287: Come and collect, big boy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:01 PM
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305: you need directions to vowels?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:01 PM
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can I complain about how daylight savings time has made me a complete insomniac? Thanks.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:03 PM
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Only if I can respond by admitting that I completely didn't start thinking about dinner until Mr. B. pointed out that it was PK's bedtime.

At which point I made the kid a sandwich.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:05 PM
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Me too, actually: I took a weird early nap and now here I am, with you lovely people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:05 PM
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311 to 310. Kid is swimming in sandwiches.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:06 PM
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Insomnia. It is bad enough anyway. But these 1st few months of DST are tough. I sleep with the blinds partway open so the morning sun has some chance to wake me.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:07 PM
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I hope you made him a better one than I did. Also, would you mind doing the bedtime reading ritual as soon as he's in his jammies? Kthx.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:07 PM
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288 --> 274.

The triangle player is a general percussionist. In something like Bartok's "Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion", he'd be working his ass off and having the time of his life.

Symphony players, except strings, often have very boring parts, often involving a hundred measures of silence for every ten measures of music, and often they have parts filling chords which no one in the audience will notice, except for people who play that same instrument.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:08 PM
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314: sure; does he like Juggs Jr.?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:08 PM
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Jesus, B. My kids have been in bed for hours.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:09 PM
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You care about your kids, Apo. Or your wife does, at least.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:12 PM
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316: Well, he likes breasts just fine.

317: Yeah, well, presumably you didn't come home and announce that you were going to go take a bath, abandoning your wife to deal with the bedtime crap all on her own, now, did you? Well then.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:14 PM
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But that's the exact same argument you give to men complaining about paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of child support for an unwanted child.

I'm sorry, James, but if you're going to rely upon some dubious nouveau 'men's rights' position that speaks to the fundamentally amoral (if not immoral) nihilism of our age while pretending to be at least halfway moral and morally 'traditional', then I'm going to have to tell you how and why you are basically and fundamentally full of so much shit.

You don't buy a ticket if you don't want to play, if you know what I mean. Shorter version: Keep your trews buttoned up. If you know what I mean, and I think that you do...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:16 PM
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#315: Here it is. Sounds like something by Danny Elfman.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:19 PM
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I'm sorry, James, but if you're going to rely upon some dubious nouveau 'men's rights' position that speaks to the fundamentally amoral (if not immoral) nihilism of our age while pretending to be at least halfway moral and morally 'traditional', then I'm going to have to tell you how and why you are basically and fundamentally full of so much shit.

Yay! Do it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:19 PM
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I'm sorry, James, but if you're going to rely upon some dubious nouveau 'men's rights' position that speaks to the fundamentally amoral (if not immoral) nihilism of our age while pretending to be at least halfway moral and morally 'traditional', then I'm going to have to tell you how and why you are basically and fundamentally full of so much shit.

Translation: "James, you're right."


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:19 PM
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I defy you to find one instance where I have ever made such an argument about that particular piece of trollish bullshit.

trollish bullshit or uncomfortably close analogy? Hmmmm...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:24 PM
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323: You have to distinguish between pregnant and post-birth. I don't think anyone says a woman can skip out on child care payments if she decides to skip.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:25 PM
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325: this is sort of abstruse because as I read it the earlier discussion was about precisely whether you could justify abortion rights based purely on sexual freedom, *without* introducing the question of whether the fetus and the infant had a different moral status.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:29 PM
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322: Probably, but that's sort of like saying that Louis Armstrong sounds like Wynton Marsalis.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:29 PM
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94: About the same as renting a 1 bedroom apt.
http://dealbreaker.com/2008/03/writeoffs_030708.php


In other news, Eliot Spitzer Vows To Crack Down On Excess Prostitute Pay.


Posted by: Econolicious aka anonymous D. | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:32 PM
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327: "yay, do it!" is saying Louis Armstrong sounds like Wynton Marsalis? I'll be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:34 PM
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Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake is asking whether there's something fishy about this. That seems very possible to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:35 PM
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330: yep. Sounds like a ratfuck all the way, as said above, although obviously he was, in fact, sleeping with the prostitutes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:36 PM
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This thread is too contentious. Let's talk about Linda Hirshman.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:39 PM
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330: I just now read that, and those are interesting questions.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:39 PM
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332 was I.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:42 PM
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333: aw, well, of course it's politically motivated. It makes me sad that I have no doubts on that score.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:44 PM
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So fucked up. You know, when you combine computer technology with the structure of law put in place for the war on drugs and war on terror, there are real possibilities for a super-Hoover figure to emerge. Somebody who has blackmail material on everybody.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:47 PM
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Karl Rove, you mean.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 10:51 PM
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306

"It is? I defy you to find one instance where I have ever made such an argument about that particular piece of trollish bullshit."

I thought I remembered you (bitchphd) making some such argument but I can't find it so I withdraw any implication that "you" refers to bitchphd in particular.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 11:28 PM
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trollish bullshit or uncomfortably close analogy?

Trollish bullshit.

338: You're damn right you can't find it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 11:46 PM
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Furthermore, the fact that some people do make such a stupid response to that kind of trollish bullshit does not mean that the nonsense argument that women should just not have sex if they don't wanna get pregnant (the sluts) is not, itself, bullshit.

Since you, James, claim to be such a freaking genius, I'm sure you can figure out (1) why that is; (2) why the two situations are not actually parallel; and (3) what the actual intelligent answer to the "poor me I have to pay child support and it's not fair!!" is.

If not, you can come down off your fucking high horse (PGD also) and bloody well ask rather than imputing nonsense to your betters.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-10-08 11:55 PM
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More! More! I want more!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 12:03 AM
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335: aw, well, of course it's politically motivated. It makes me sad that I have no doubts on that score.

Absolutely. As more details have come out in the NYT of exactly how he even came under scrutiny, it is clear that this is another case of Selective Monitoring and Enforcement 101.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 5:34 AM
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336: PGD, I wrote Josh Marshall yesterday to guarantee that the NSA's enhanced collection activities (the ones detailed in the WSJ here) have been used for partisan ends. Is Spitzer the first to fall? Was Siegelman? How many others are out there?

If the program wasn't used for partisan advantage by the sitting government, it will be the first time that has happened in the history of domestic spying. In fact, I'd be more than willing to bet that it was used to settle personal scores of one type or another. But I'll guarantee that someone somewhere used the program to help Republicans, and that it only grew from there. Like torture, like having people disappeared, once you start using the intelligence apparatus to help your party, it's hard to ever stop, and it's hard to ever think about giving up power peacefully.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 6:02 AM
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To start with, I believe in women's right to abortion. I also believe in men paying child support. If there were some reasonable way of asking the father-to-be in the first trimester whether he had any desire to be a father or not, and his response could be legally verified and it could be verified that he had made no such promises to the mother-to-be before having sex with her, I might think differently. Such cases would be rare, however.

But I want to ask bitch this: does the choice to have sex operate differently in considering the issue of abortion versus the issue of child care payments? My personal view is that they operate similarly, but as long as the state is unwilling to provide appropriate levels of supports for single-mothers, then the burden of child support does not fall on the father (who else would it fall on?). The difference with abortion is that the fetus is not a child and that pregnancy is more of a burden than child support. But getting an abortion is different than the violinist example, b/c pregnancy is a known possible consequence for having sex.


Posted by: mpowell | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 11:29 AM
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At least Spitzer had the moral sense to hire a stranger for sex instead of sleeping with his best friend's wife or his wife's best friend. If more husbands hired prostitutes instead of having affairs, there'd be less pain in the world.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 11:41 AM
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This thing gets stranger and stranger (not directly related to Spitzer):

In a Feb. 2 conversation, two of Brener's co-defendants talked about the problem finding ''enough variety'' of prostitutes in Miami. They agreed not to advertise in South Florida until they had enough escorts to send to clients. Also on Feb. 2, a client in Miami asked the company to send him four women for four hours. Brener and co-defendant Temeka Rachelle Lewis realized they only had two prostitutes available in Miami. They discussed flying in an escort from New York, but the last-minute airfares were too expensive, according to the federal complaint
What a weird conversation to end up having, both within the "company," and with the client.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 12:10 PM
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10: Not everybody cheats (the media sure does sensationalize it though) but the definition of a marriage is changing. Gone are the days of June and Ward Cleaver. Now its a morph btw the Simpson's and Desperate Housewives.


Posted by: me | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 1:40 PM
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Don't be naïve, me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 1:42 PM
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347: I doubt more people cheat now than they used to. More people talk about it, people are a bit more open to it, and less likely to feel it's the end of the world perhaps. There are perhaps more marriages with explicit permission for extra-marital sex.

The days of June and Ward Cleaver never actually existed, of course.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 1:46 PM
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At least Spitzer had the moral sense to hire a stranger for sex instead of sleeping with his best friend's wife or his wife's best friend. If more husbands hired prostitutes instead of having affairs, there'd be less pain in the world.

Good point.

I feel about 1% as disappointed in Spitzer as I did at Gavin Newsom.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 1:53 PM
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349.1: God, that's depressing, outside of the explicit permission scenario. Certainly more people talk about it, but I suspect that there's a lot of cock-joke related bluster over the impact of its actual occurrence than might actually be the case.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 1:54 PM
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The difference with abortion is that the fetus is not a child and that pregnancy is more of a burden than child support.

The difference is actually that support is paid to the child, not to the mother. Neither the mother nor the father gets to decide to withhold support from the child with a 'paper abortion', because it's not about them at this point, it's about ensuring the child is supported. (Also keep in mind that the other half of the couple is actually raising the child.)

The mother is in the position, before there's a legal person involved, to have an abortion because of the unique resource commitment a pregnancy entails. But it's all tied up in the legal status of the fetus vs. the status of the infant, what we owe them, and the idea that it's a *more* moral/family/traditional to shun that responsibility over some half-assed whinging that you didn't have the choice to abort is risible.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 1:59 PM
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The problem with the example discussed above is that it assumes violinists have a right to life.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 2:05 PM
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Also, I hate the violinist argument and think everyone involved should be fed Health Pebbles until they explode.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 2:07 PM
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Naive, hardly. Delusional, yes.


Posted by: me | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 2:10 PM
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Neither the mother nor the father gets to decide to withhold support from the child with a 'paper abortion', because it's not about them at this point, it's about ensuring the child is supported.

You're dodging the entire question. The kid needs support, but why should *they* (the people who had sex to produce the kid) pay support, as opposed to some other social insurance arrangement. It's possible to imagine many, including collective communal responsibility through taxes.

(Also keep in mind that the other half of the couple is actually raising the child.)

If either or both parents accept parental responsibility, then they could be made to pay. (Although society could still it instead that if we decided that was appropriate). But that's not the question.

The mother is in the position, before there's a legal person involved, to have an abortion because of the unique resource commitment a pregnancy entails.

If you want to base it solely around the physical invasiveness of pregnancy (vs. the forced labor involved in financial support) then that works.

But it's all tied up in the legal status of the fetus vs. the status of the infant

That would work too. But what we've been talking about throughout is whether the right to abortion is justified *regardless* of the fetus/child distinction. Because simply engaging in sex should not tie you to a difficult responsibility such as childbearing. Shearer stirred the pot by pointing out that some of the same logic might apply to child support. Which I haven't seen disproven yet.

what we owe them

why is the "we" here the couple having sex and not society as a whole?

andthe idea that it's a *more* moral/family/traditional to shun that responsibility over some half-assed whinging that you didn't have the choice to abort is risible.

I think a lot of people do believe that any man who would complain about this is just a half-assed whinger and shouldn't be listened to. But that's hardly an argument.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 2:50 PM
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What's the difference between a trampoline and a violinist?

You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.


Posted by: Zippy | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 2:53 PM
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Just to make it clear with 356: the question of who should support single mothers is totally separable from the question of whether and how generously they should be supported. The "father pays/deadbeat dad" system is actually pretty regressive and punitive compared to setting a good social floor for income support and having everybody chip in through taxes. Under the father pays system, support is tied to fathers income rather than need, poor single fathers don't have enough income to start a new family and in the worst case get tossed in jail. This is actually a pretty significant social problem, as discussed in the NY Times article reprint below:

http://www.ejfi.org/family/family-30.htm

But for some reason it doesn't get the same press that the problems faced by poor mothers do. I guess my betters don't have time to think about such things.

On average, the current system benefits upper-income males who are careful about birth control. They come out way ahead under the current system as compared to a more progressive taxation-based one where they had to pay into a collective pot to effectively support other peoples kids.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 3:15 PM
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Re: 356, if I remember correctly -- forgive the lack of a link -- B's preference is for just what you're suggesting, a general social safety net that would make child support payments for fathers unnecessary. But given the lack of political will for that sort of this thing in this country, both for a safety net in a general sense and more specifically for mothers to be financially independent of their children's' fathers, it would never happen. And the current system, while very flawed, is far better than nothing at all.

She can speak for herself, and maybe she or someone else will be able to find a link to what I vaguely remember here, but since she is apparently away from a computer or something, I figured I might as well.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 3:16 PM
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If you want to base it solely around the physical invasiveness of pregnancy (vs. the forced labor involved in financial support) then that works.

That's really how I justify the right. Whether someone's individual motivation is to not want to have to support a kid is a whole different story. We just have to distinguish motivations from justifications. The motivation can be any number of things; the justification is about who gets to control a medical decision.

And hey, if the choice is between 'imagine a new form of social responsibility in which children all receive support through communal taxes from the state' and the system we have now, that's fine. But the argument is usually framed as keeping the current arrangement, where the child's parents/guardians should be responsible for her support, but allowing men to walk out on the grounds that she didn't have an abortion.

But that's hardly an argument.

I gave the argument, too; you responded to it, so you can't have missed it. And I didn't say that the argument of the half-assed whinger shouldn't be listened to, but that it should be laughed at, because it's not an argument. Laughing isn't an argument, true, but it's a reasonable response to something that claims the historical, moral high ground while arguing for abandoning a child out of spite towards an ex-partner.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 3:19 PM
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Also, I think that while a communal safety net might lead to better results, I'd be willing to bet that MRA-types who are all up in arms over having to pay child support to their own kids aren't going to be on board with a tax that makes them pay child support for everyone's kids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 3:25 PM
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This thread needs pastry.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 3:40 PM
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After thinking about it more, I am really having a hard time mustering any sympathy for Spitzer on the grounds that his enemies used the power of law enforcement to score political points. He pretty much made his entire career on such tactics. Live by the sword...


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 3:55 PM
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eh, if you're looking at it from the individual and not the policy perspective, I definitely agree that under our current quite messed-up system the father has a moral duty to the kid (I might get sort of mens-rights in rare cases like it's not really your kid, you got totally hoodwinked and deceived over birth control, etc., but that's quite unusual I think).

But I believe that because I think the baby is a person who needs to be supported and no one but the parents is likely to step up. So there's a moral duty. If I really thought the fetus was a person, I'd be against abortion rights too. This whole argument started over the violinist case, where the whole issue is that you can accept the fetus is a person and still be totally pro-choice. Shearer I think correctly said that the same logic would apply to supporting a kid, and I think he has a point.

But except for B we've all agreed that the violinist example is annoying anyway. So die, thread, die!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-11-08 4:38 PM
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