Re: Son of a millworker!

1

You're tempted to say a lot of things without knowing the facts of the case.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:34 AM
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I'm tempted to say that, whether the allegation is true or not, choosing to expose it now, when Edwards is out of the Presidential race and his wife is suffering from a terminal illness is just tacky. But, yeah, National Enquirer -- not exactly where I turn for "the facts."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:38 AM
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I'm sorry, are we really paying attention to a story at the behest of a pundit who blows goats?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:39 AM
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I'm assuming Edwards is guilty of banging the lady with the awesome WTF?! look on her face. Sadly, the Enquirer seems to have taken the WTF?! picture down, or I'd link to it.

Cheating on your cancer stricken wife is scummy, but if he is indeed the father of the WTF?!-lady's baby, then he damn well ought to be checking in with the kid from time to time, sick wife or no.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:43 AM
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In other news, I understand that Laura Bush is about to divorce George over his week-long benders and Bill is dumping Hillary for Britney Spears.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:46 AM
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The real story here is Elizabeth's child by Elvis.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:48 AM
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It's bizarre that the great silence surrounding this story has spread to blogs, too; granted, the only political blogs I read are Yglesias, TPM and here (hah), but this post is still the first I've read to mention it. I'd think at least Yglesias would be making the case that it doesn't matter and shooting down this false hypocrisy argument, especially considering how hard he pushed the Vitter story.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:49 AM
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Here we go:WTF?!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:50 AM
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Yeah, I'm not taking anything just on the Enquirer's word but, assuming for the sake of argument that they've got a legit story, Bazelon is full of it:

The purported hubris is staggering, and we're better off knowing about it.

There's nothing staggeringly hubristic about somebody having an extramarital affair. Christ almighty, is it not by now obvious that it is the most common, mundane, and pedestrian of personal shortcomings? I can only make sense of her statement if she's referring to having an additional child, but not knowing whether he had any say in the matter or not, even that becomes outrage for the sake of being outraged and little else.

I only care about politician's extramarital shenanigans if they spend their time banging the family values podium. Accordingly, neither Edwards' alleged or McCain's confirmed dalliances strike me as particularly interesting or important.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:51 AM
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Via Gawker, why the National Enquirer should actually be trusted. The money quote is the Times declaring during the OJ trial that the magazine "stands heads and shoulders above [any other publication] for aggressiveness and accuracy."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:54 AM
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Apo, I took her to mean that it's hubristic to think that one will get away with it while or shortly after running for President. It's not affairs in general that demonstrate hubris.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:55 AM
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In other political news, via Mr. Quiggin, South Africans are horrible at naming their human rights campaigns. Naming conventions demand that their organization should of course be called "Who Wants to Lovemore Matombo?"


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:56 AM
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Another apo comment: you were a big pro-Edwards guy back in the day. Do you cop to a little bit of the "oh crap, I hope this isn't true" response, or are you genuinely indifferent?

(I can see two different ways of being pissed: the Clintonesque "how could you be so careless as to endanger our shared goals" and the more personal "that poor woman" reaction.)


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 10:58 AM
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Jesus, I've pretty much managed to ignore this story; all I know is that there *is* a story, but not the details (when, who, blah blah).

That said, my take is, who gives a shit, one, and two, no, it's not assholish to cheat, even on your cancer-stricken wife. Perhaps especially on your cancer-stricken wife: being the partner of someone who is dying of cancer has to be an extremely stressful situation. And yes, god knows that the poor person dying of cancer does not need the added emotional stress of finding out that their partner is cheating/has cheated, but you really can hardly blame someone who's supporting someone through a terminal illness for not being a fucking saint.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:01 AM
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it's hubristic to think that one will get away with it while or shortly after running for President

More, or less hubristic than sitting in judgment of other people's lives, as if things like affairs were purely rational decisions of expediency and timing? "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, it just isn't politically wise of me to fall in love/have a hard-on right now." Has that ever worked for you?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:03 AM
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Weren't we you just talking about Madonna and Rodriguez? Edwards is a celebrity, and that has its costs & benefits. The only way to get elected to national office anymore is to become a celebrity. How do I feel about celebrity culture, public & private lives? Damfino. It has always been thus. Parnell & poor Ireland.

I would vote for him anyway, except apparently he is too vain to even use a gimme cap & sunglasses, let alone a false beard and wig.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:08 AM
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for not being a fucking saint.

Actually, the cheating spouse is even closer to being a fucking saint.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:11 AM
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Do I care, do I judge? Sometimes.

Spitzer was an idiot. Sometimes it matters, and I guess I'd like to know.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:12 AM
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are you genuinely indifferent

Genuinely indifferent (I would have have an oh crap reaction if he were the nominee, but he isn't), just as I was with Bill Clinton and am with McCain. I don't mean to upset anybody that's recently engaged/married, but affairs are mind-numbingly common and will happen in most marriages, given enough time. Once people come to grips with that and return it to the realm of nobody's business except the people involved, we'll be a saner country.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:13 AM
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no, it's not assholish to cheat, even on your cancer-stricken wife.... [B]eing the partner of someone who is dying of cancer has to be an extremely stressful situation [and] you really can hardly blame someone who's supporting someone through a terminal illness for not being a fucking saint

I agree that it's completely understandable for someone to "fall from grace" under that kind of stress, but it doesn't mean cheating wouldn't be assholish. It's still completely assholish to cheat on someone who is dying when/if* you know that the cheating is going to cause your dying partner a tremendous amount of emotional pain -- even if we can see that, under similar pressures, most of us would give in to one assholish impulse or another because we're not saints.

*"If" b/c it is also conceivable that, under similar circumstances it seems easy enough for me to imagine a couple discussing the possibility of new relationships.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:14 AM
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no, it's not assholish to cheat, even on your cancer-stricken wife

At best, I think you could say that we don't know to what extent he's cheating. It may be, as happens in other marriages, that they've come to an understanding, given her circumstances, etc. But I think the reasonable default assumption is that cheating on your cancer stricken wife--like serving your cancer stricken wife with divorce papers as she's in the hospital--is dickish. If it's not, I'm not sure what, short of criminality, is dickish.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:15 AM
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Spitzer was an idiot.

Spitzer spent a fair amount of time and effort prosecuting prostitution, right? That makes his a somewhat different game for me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:15 AM
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t doesn't mean cheating wouldn't be assholish

Sure, but there's all sorts of assholishness that goes on in every marriage. Generally, most of it is a function of "being married is really damn hard, even in the best marriages, and people are weak." Very little of it is ever a reflection of a person's qualifications for employment and I have no idea how Bazelon or anybody else not directly involved is better off knowing it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:19 AM
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cheating on your cancer stricken wife--like serving your cancer stricken wife with divorce papers as she's in the hospital

The differences here would be (1) presumably the cheater doesn't intend to tell his wife about it, whereas the divorcer obviously does; (2) it's quite possible to cheat sexually and still be very much emotionally tied to and supportive of the person on whom you are cheating; less so with divorce, methinks; (3) *certainly* it's possible to cheat and stay financially responsible for someone who is extremely ill (not an insignificant consideration); again, not so much with divorce; (4) it should be fairly easy to empathize with someone being emotionally needy while playing the support role; it's less easy to empathize with someone deciding that their emotional needs justify telling the person they're supposed to be supporting "sorry, I'm outta here."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:21 AM
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10: Jack Shafer is an idiot. His love of tabloids is based entirely on a desire to justify reveling in right-wing gossip while earning another Slate-style contrarian merit badge, and his defense of them comes down to "some of their stories have turned out to be accurate, and they rely on sketchy sources more than they make stuff up out of whole cloth." This is not a solid reason to rely on newspaper tabloids as a source of reliable journalism, unless you're the kind of person - like Shaker and Mickey Kaus - who likes to wash your gossip down with a bit of head-in-ass punditry.

I can guarantee you that the New York Times and the Washington Post have been investigating the Edwards love child rumors since the Enquirer started floating them months ago, and if there's truth to this we'll hear about it from an actual news source. I don't have all that much love for Edwards, but I respect him enough to not scold and tut-tut him over a story that's so far only surfaced in a bullshit gossip rag.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:21 AM
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"Oh, I'm terribly sorry, it just isn't politically wise of me to fall in love/have a hard-on right now." Has that ever worked for you?

Not exactly that, but close. If it's possible to avoid the person and create distractions for yourself then all that's really needed is a bit of self control.

If it's someone you have to see on a regular basis and regularly have to spend time alone with it's more of a challenge, I imagine, but thankfully that's never come up for me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:22 AM
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22:Every case is different. If this makes Edwards practically impossible to nominate for VP or name to a cabinet post, then I guess I care, and I guess I'm pissed.

And maybe it would be nice if it didn't matter, but sometimes cheating can lead to really messy and nasty divorces, and a sitting cabinet member could become ineffective or a liability under those circumstances.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:25 AM
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when/if* you know that the cheating is going to cause your dying partner a tremendous amount of emotional pain

But that's the thing. I'm assuming that "cheating" explicitly means that the cheater is *lying* to the partner--in other words, trying to *avoid* causing that person emotional pain.

Yes, there's a risk of being found out, and obviously the presumption most people operate with is that you shouldn't run that risk because the consequences (to the person who is being cheated on) would be too painful. But clearly the cheater *doesn't* know that what they're doing is going to cause pain; they merely know that it *could*, and presumably do what they can to avoid that happening.

And yes, maybe someone in Edwards' position "should" have realized that not being found out wasn't an option. Still, though, we're capable of great rationalizations, especially when (as I'm imagining) we're in a great deal of emotional pain.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:25 AM
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it's not assholish to cheat,

Of course it is, B. It's always assholish to cheat which I'd define broadly doing whatever without your spouses knowledge or consent, where there is an implicit or explicit understanding between you that you won't do it. It's hardly the end of the world, but it's always assholish. As you note, those sort of extenuating circumstances make it perhaps even more understandable, but that's a different thing.

And as apo notes, into every marriage some assholishness must fall, after all we're talking about human beings.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:26 AM
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Sure, but there's all sorts of assholishness that goes on in every marriage.

Preaching to the choir, Apo. Preaching to the choir.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:27 AM
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26: Have you had that "self-control" while you were in the midst of a major life crisis?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:28 AM
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Very little of it is ever a reflection of a person's qualifications for employment and I have no idea how Bazelon or anybody else not directly involved is better off knowing it.

Agree entirely. Though, in EE's case--because I really, really like her--I'd probably say dealer's choice as to whether the American public as a whole should spend any time trashing her husband.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:29 AM
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29: Okay. Amend to "it's not *especially* assholish." It's just garden-variety assholishness. Everyone lies to a partner at some point about something.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:30 AM
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I don't get why the NE would even consider it a story worth pursuing. Aren't there more interesting celebrities out there? Do they honestly think he's a contender for high office? If he is, do they think a Senator is going to be seen holding up the NE in a confirmation hearing?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:32 AM
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26: Have you had that "self-control" while you were in the midst of a major life crisis?

Who cares? "I wouldn't have beat the shit out of my kid--that's wrong--but I'd just lost my job, I'd been drinking, my mother's dying, etc." There are always reasons of vulnerability available when a person does a bad thing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:32 AM
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Yeah, give the guy a break: his wife's dying!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:33 AM
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33: Fair enough. And more on topic, I'd say that in general Americans and American politicians in particular, spend far too much time thinking about what's going on in other peoples bedrooms than can possibly be healthy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:34 AM
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35: Beating a child actually physically harms someone. Cheating doesnt.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:34 AM
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Beating a child actually physically harms someone. Cheating doesnt.

When you're sporting a package like most of the guys here, it can.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:36 AM
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38 It's not your garden-variety bullshitting your partner either though, as it does involve putting them at risk (however small) without consent or knowledge.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:37 AM
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38: Are you kidding? Fine: make it virulent, constant criticism of the child. Harm is harm.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:37 AM
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And now I am off to go visit my dying and lonely aunt with MS in the nursing home. Which I havent done for months. And imho, my not having visited her is *way* more assholish than cheating.

If and when I end up dying slowly, what Id want is emotional support. If the person providing that support finds support for *their* emotional pain with someone else, thats much less of an issue than whether or not theyre there for me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:38 AM
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What if you were cheating on your spouse with the child?

Food for thought.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:38 AM
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I don't get why the NE would even consider it a story worth pursuing.

There were rumors of this story back when he was a candidate; I imagine this is a case of being too close to a story to let it drop, even when it's too late.

As for Shafer's rep, well—

Shafer thinks universal healthcare, the signature issue of John Edwards' campaign for the Presidency, is anti-libertarian satanism.

Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:39 AM
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Don't cheat on your aunt, B. She'll find out you're visiting other lonely dying people with MS, and hate you for it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:39 AM
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do they think a Senator is going to be seen holding up the NE in a confirmation hearing?

Edwards for Labor? Maybe. Or just a hold. Or some other excuse.

Ahhhh, I don't care. I just know the world we live in, and paparazzi are part of it. Why pick on Edwards? I presume NE knows what sells.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:39 AM
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Let's not have the infidelity discussion again, but 'cheating doesn't physically harm someone' sort of misses the point.* It doesn't have to, but by and large most people who are cheated on will feel hurt, not say 'I am fond of a jug!'

*Assuming the person doing the cheating doesn't pass on an STD.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:39 AM
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41: Tim, children are far more emotionally dependent than adults, even adults who are dying of cancer.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:40 AM
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Let's not have the infidelity discussion again

Agreed, because everybody just ends up thinking B and I are assholes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:41 AM
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47: Of course it emotionally harms the person being cheated on. But part of the point has to be what the cheater is getting out of it; its not as though most people deliberately go out of their way to upset their partners just for the hell of it.

Okay, now I really am out of here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:42 AM
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31: Yes, but I'm a bit of an oddball in that regard. My response to crisis is to become absurdly calm and focused, to the point of almost fetishizing self control. I suspect that if pushed hard enough I'd snap in some horrible fashion.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:43 AM
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And imho, my not having visited her is *way* more assholish than cheating.

This isn't crazy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:44 AM
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49: I don't think you and B are assholes. I don't count, of course, 'cause everybody already thinks I'm an asshole.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:44 AM
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Assholes, unite! We have nothing to lose but our stains!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:45 AM
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49: I guess I think of you and B as having different positions. I take B to be saying that cheating on your spouse isn't wrong, or is less wrong than, for example, not visiting a lonely aunt for a while. I take you to be ordering the harms differently, with cheating being more prominent, but insisting that it happens a lot and doesn't tell us that much about what necessarily must happen next, or tell us much about the cheater's virtues in other areas of life. (That is, I don't see you getting bent out of shape about not visiting a lonely aunt, either.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:46 AM
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Well, now that that's done, let's make this the thread about how the other thread is whack.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:48 AM
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55: Any bright-line approach is stupid. Everything like this is highly contextual, and you don't get to evaluate the harm done, the other person does.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:49 AM
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56: I love the other thread, and I would never want to hurt it, but it just isn't meeting my needs anymore.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:49 AM
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Di, you asshole, the other thread has teh cancer!

As does Bob Novak, by the way.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:51 AM
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Threads about redheads are a challenge, but worth it; it's just that sometimes one needs another outlet.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:52 AM
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Di, you asshole, the other thread has teh cancer!

As do most threads, eventually.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:52 AM
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Everything like this is highly contextual, and you don't get to evaluate the harm done, the other person does.

We're talking the general case. Abstraction to some norm is baked into the cake of this discussion. For all I know, EE is a monster, the other woman needed Edwards's magic semen to survive, and this is just another instance Edwards's giving nature.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:53 AM
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62: I'm asserting that there is no sensible bright-line approach to the harm in infidelity, by it's nature.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:54 AM
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63: Either I don't know what you mean or I disagree. Where would you assert that it's not the case that "there is no sensible bright-line approach to the harm"? Is this a percentage thing?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:57 AM
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I don't think we're worse of with regards to whether there's a bright line in the case of infidelity than we are in the case of other non-physical harms. There's always exceptions and circumstances to consider.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:58 AM
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I was for Edwards. I am happy he isn't the nominee. A love child is the kind of thing that would sink a candidacy.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 11:58 AM
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As does Bob Novak, by the way.

I thought they removed his conscience in hopes of slowing the spread years ago but it turns out that was elective surgery.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:00 PM
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64: I mean that there is sufficient variability in the population that any bright line falls afoul of perfectly reasonable cases. In other words, the general argument has little value.

65: I mostly agree, which is why I find general arguments of little value in many cases. I'd say that in some cases, there is much more agreement/similarity , so such arguments become more useful.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:05 PM
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67: They were having a `compassionate conservative 2 for 1 sale' on the surgery at the time, iirc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:06 PM
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Is there any evidence between the Enquirer here?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:08 PM
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70, while incomprehensible, is fascinating.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:12 PM
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69: Actually it was a "1 for 2" sale in which they charged double the normal fee to make sure he was someone whose net worth demonstrated that he was worthy of getting it in the first place.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:13 PM
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That was bad, even by my standards. I think my software needs an upgrade.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:14 PM
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She's an analytic philosopher, Sifu. "Evidence between X" has a technical meaning. You wouldn't understand.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:14 PM
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: I mostly agree, which is why I find general arguments of little value in many cases.

Yeah, I think we just disagree about this, which I take to be about, in part, the value of norms.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:17 PM
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the value of norms

Rockwell, Podhoretz, Schwarzkopf, Mailer... I'd say the value varies pretty widely.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:22 PM
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75: Ok, but note the `many'. I happen to think that infidelity is one of those where the variability by relationship is very high. Selection bias and all that, of course. For other situations, we'd probably agree.

In the case of things like this it's additionally tricky because you have cultural factors which complicate things as well. Many people value the appearance of conformance to cultural norms, even if the don't much value the norms.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:25 PM
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Even more damaging to Edwards' candidacy would be a hate-child, i.e., the product of a "hate fuck." In fact, perhaps it will come out that Edwards' first dalliance with this woman occurred when a hate-filled shouting match suddenly became an incredibly intense sexual encounter tinged with desperation.

Pregnancies are much more common in such situations, since neither partner is likely to have condoms on hand while alone with someone they hate.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:33 PM
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76: Norman or Lew? And Schwarzkopf? You just hate the troops, don't you?

I think we're talking about two slightly different things, perhaps. There are things that are rightly considered to be widely agreed upon by and important to most people, and there are things other people want to be widely agreed upon by and important to most people. Aren't you, by implication, talking about the latter?

77: Could be true of infidelity. I don't think it is, but I can see that it seems more plausibly an area in which there is too much variation than in other areas. I'd have to think about that a bit.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:33 PM
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78: Maybe it would be better. In that case, the sex might be characterized as Edwards reaching out, trying to bridge a gap.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:36 PM
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Assholes, unite! We have nothing to lose but our stains!

Skidmarks, gather up ye defenses! You are about to go to war to defend your very existence.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:39 PM
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Edwards reaching out, trying to bridge a gap.

Ah, the good old hearts and minds asses campaign.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:40 PM
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81: we shall fight them with the bleaches! We shall fight them at the landing strip! We shall never surrender!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:42 PM
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Norman or Lew?

We're discussing the value of Norms. You do the math.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:44 PM
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82->81 also, naturally.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:44 PM
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George L.

Duh.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:46 PM
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84: You clever bastard.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:46 PM
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Skidmarks

Racing stripes. Possibly a regional usage.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:47 PM
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||

[boggling]

I just can't believe that when ever I discuss health care plans with students, the *first* thing they want to talk about is whether the government should pay for health care for illegal immigrants. They've seen my presentation on the state of health care in the US. They know which factors are driving up costs and which ones aren't. They have their own stories of health care woes to tell. Yet they immediately turn to the illegal immigrants. "My employer won't give me health insurance, and I make too much money to qualify for any government program, and I am outraged at the idea that an illegal might get free health care!"

[/boggling]

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Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 12:56 PM
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89: People's sense of humanity goes right out the window when it comes to illegal immigrants. (here's the original story)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:08 PM
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90: I really wish I could say "unbelievable".


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:11 PM
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There's a lot of belief that you can get free government health care as an illegal immigrants, and as near as I can tell it's completely conflated with the fact that you can go to an emergency room and get treated.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:12 PM
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Thing is, I didn't mention immigration at all. It didn't occur to me that this might be a relevant issue. But it is the first thing some people think of.

Does any know good sources of information regarding immigrants and health care?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:13 PM
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The important thing isn't what's wrong or how to fix it, it's whose fault it is.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:15 PM
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Lou Dobbs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:21 PM
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"Thing is, I didn't mention immigration at all. It didn't occur to me that this might be a relevant issue. But it is the first thing some people think of."

This is partly tactics. If you oppose something you bring up its least sympathetic aspects when arguing against it. So for example you get anti-abortion people talking about late term abortions and pro-abortion people talking about abortions for women who have been raped.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:25 PM
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doesn't Lou Dobbs want them treated so they don't spread their leprosy?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:27 PM
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I think one step toward fixing it would be to somehow stop Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, and the rest of CNN's objective news sources from being mandatorily broadcast for 24 hours a day on every television in every airport in the country.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:29 PM
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98: get to work!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:31 PM
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97: Oh, hey, Katherine:

I remembered how you wanted to volunteer with the Obama campaign specifically regarding some work on the Guantanamo detainees policy. If you're still interested (and I understand if, post-FISA, you're not exactly keen), could you send me an email at my pomopolymath geemail address? I may have found a connection for you.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:34 PM
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Good luck with that-- hospital financing is really complicated. I don't know how to begin talking with people convinced that there's someone to blame-- the older people I know who feel this way clearly feel really strongly that fault lies with either blacks or foreigners, but understand that they can't admit to this.

If you're in Ohio, cratered factory towns that have sprouted an immigrant district are going to have a bunch of problems whose proximal cause is newcomers. Minimizing those problems will not get the longer-established inhabitants, full of regional pride, to listen. Maybe a history lesson, pointing out that people used to fear the Irish race, and explicitly saying that it's a mistake to look for someone to blame.

Here's a sourced cite to ER admissions per capita by state-- AK, WV, and DC win, AZ and NM are plenty low on the list, so there's the indirect statement that border states are not worst off.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:50 PM
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Have you had that "self-control" while you were in the midst of a major life crisis?

Sorry to dig this up, but give me a *break*!
His wife is dying. One can imagine that she is probably in a lot of pain, both emotionally and physically. She did more for him in his campaign than he did for himself. If he can't keep his dick in his pants and support this woman who has been through so much with him for the remainder of her life, than he is an asshole. Not a little asshole. A big, fat, hairy, smelly one that deserves to be wiped. He sucks. He has the rest of his life to screw other women, have children out of wedlock, and get therapy for his "major life crisis."

This attitude that people fuck up and cut the guy some slack is way too indulgent for me. Sometimes people need to act like grown ups and suck it up.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 1:57 PM
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This attitude that people fuck up and cut the guy some slack is way too indulgent for me.

My attitude is that what goes on in the Edwards' (or your) marriage really isn't any of my business, and that we're all basing our opinions on little to no established facts in this specific case.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:05 PM
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Oh god, I'm in LaGuardia and can't escape the TV voices freaking out about how McCain just had a mole removed. I suppose it's slightly less repulsive than hearing Edwards rumors.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:09 PM
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...we're all basing our opinions on little to no established facts...

On the internets? uninformed speculation and a rush to judgment? surely you jest.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:10 PM
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freaking out about how McCain just had a mole removed

Back in his day they didn't cotton to this newfangled "gerbil" business. It was a mole up your ass or nothin'.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:11 PM
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Snark aside, I'm with fleur.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:12 PM
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My attitude is that what goes on in the Edwards' (or your) marriage really isn't any of my business, and that we're all basing our opinions on little to no established facts in this specific case.

I agree with Apo.

1. Whenever a situation that I have first-hand knowledge about makes it in a paper, the paper has given an inaccurate portrayal of the situation.

2. I do not have any knowledge about their relationship that would qualify me to make a judgment call about their marriage. Marriage is far to complicated for me to judge someone else's marriage from far away. There are too many facts that could change one's perception of these allegations.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:15 PM
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1. Whenever a situation that I have first-hand knowledge about makes it in a paper, the paper has given an inaccurate portrayal of the situation.

Yes indeedy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:15 PM
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Marriage is far to complicated for me to judge someone else's marriage from far away.

My experience (and I'm sure I've said it here before, but google is failing me) is that, even up close, it's impossible to really understand what's happening in any marriage besides your own.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:20 PM
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it's impossible to really understand what's happening in any marriage besides your own

Given what I've seen in a number of boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, and how I've seen some marriages break up (my friends haven't gone through the big marriage wave yet), I'm not particularly inclined to credit people with even knowing what's happening in their own marriage half the time.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:23 PM
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I agree with Fleur as to my attitude towards most cheating-on-your-wife-who-has-cancer situations in real life among people I know, but getting publicly indignant on behalf of someone I've never met & who I'd guess would prefer that the press & public at large shut up about this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't know the details, I don't know the people involved, this sort of thing is pretty normal human behavior & does not seem to correlate at all to public servants doing a decent job in office...so: meh. And that's if it's true.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:24 PM
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105: "the internets" s/b "Unfogged."


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:24 PM
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111 cont.: Though surely they know half of what's going on in their marriage most of the time.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:24 PM
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I agree with Fleur about the situation as described, regardless of the actual truth about Edwards.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:28 PM
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110: Near as I can tell, it's impossible to know what's happening inside one's own too. Until it's over, that is.

That said, if J.E. couldn't think of a better place to meet/skulk than the Beverly Hills Hilton it's a good thing he's not a candidate for anything beyond annoying DMV functionary.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:29 PM
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I'm still at the doubting veracity stage of this. Edwards has already been vetted and scoped out about as thoroughly as it gets; so after 2004, he suddenly gets a case of the stupids?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:31 PM
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Though surely they know half of what's going on in their marriage most of the time.

Only if they're far more introspective than seems usual.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:31 PM
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Cala, one thing that fascinates me here is the tension between (a) he's too smart to do anything so dumb and (b) the line of argument in (a) is almost never right.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:33 PM
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Yeah. I get that. But this is just like, hmm, I know, I'll crusade for poverty while running for President, and oops, my dick, it just does this.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:35 PM
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John Edwards's dick is a dick.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:36 PM
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119: Otherwise smart people can be remarkably self-destructive at times. The shy of that is perhaps best left fot the therapist...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:36 PM
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117: Me too, although in my case there's probably enough wishful thinking mixed in (I find both the Edwardses very likable, which makes me hope it's not true) that my judgment is affected. I don't have any sense at all of how reliable the Enquirer is -- obviously lots of what they publish is crap, unless we're treating it as gospel that Laura's leaving George because he's started drinking again. But I'm mostly not forming an opinion until some other news source claims to have confirmed it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:36 PM
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And 119 is absolutely true -- there's no way to rely on someone to be too sensible or too smart to be having an affair regardless of the circumstances.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:38 PM
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But this is just like, hmm, I know, I'll crusade for poverty while running for President, and oops, my dick, it just does this.

This pretty much describes all the major male Democratic politicians, except Carter, whose dick did that in his heart.

But I'm tired of judging people's marriages from media reports. Lets switch to judging people's parenting! I don't think they should give that Britney custody of her kids. It's clear she's a trainwreck.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:40 PM
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Sifu, it's just a frackin penis.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:40 PM
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I really dont think that sexual desire, love, or any of the other emotions along that spectrum are really under the complete control of rational thought, even for very smart people like us and Edwards.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:41 PM
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Rob, Britney's made a lot of progress. I hate that Sam Lufti and that photographer guy are trying to get back in her life, though. What she needs is a philosophical adviser to keep her safe.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:41 PM
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Otherwise smart people can be remarkably self-destructive at times.

No shit. Not to mention the fact that otherwise smart people can be remarkably stupid at times :-)

Intelligence is not a lumped parameter, and it's easily derailed, especially by ego and self interest.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:41 PM
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whose dick did that in his heart.

That can't be healthy. Or easily accomplished.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:41 PM
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Emotions aren't, but sex is an action. (Uh. Laydeez.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:42 PM
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131: Yes, it is. And yet even people who take abstinence pledges and marriage vows frequently end up breaking their promises.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:43 PM
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125: I get that. Plenty do, but it tends to be indiscretions that they'd either gotten away with when they were less famous, and they get cocky, or an old indiscretion that comes back to haunt them.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:44 PM
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I don't have any sense at all of how reliable the Enquirer

I think "very" on stuff like this.

You know, if people were honest, they'd take a moment to thank the Republicans for impeaching Bill Clinton. If they hadn't, Edwards would probably have impregnated two women during the campaign.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:44 PM
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The way Britney's been gaining weight, shouldn't the judge take her kids from her for their own protection? I read that children of fat mothers are 72% more likely to [something bad, slipped my mind].


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:45 PM
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I think emotions are actions. Being aware of this is an important step toward controlling them. If you are mad, that is something you are *doing*, even if you aren't manifesting it, and even if you can't quite stop yourself yet.

I don't know if this fits with any philosophical action theory. It just strikes me as correct.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:46 PM
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131: Sex is an action, but it's an action driven by emotions. Getting swept up in overwhelming emotion can sometimes derail the parts of the brain that otherwise guide reasoned decision-making.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:46 PM
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132: I'm not really sure what you mean here.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:47 PM
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Yet there are controlled men like Gandhi who don't even have sex with their own wives.

Carnal desires, folks, carnal desires.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:47 PM
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The idea that reasoned decision making somehow ever takes precedence over (a) emotion and (b) learned response is questionable. If it does, it does so occasionally and with great difficulty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:48 PM
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I actually don't know anything about Britney's parenting, although I've been meaning to take a crash course in it so I can pitch *Britney Spears and Philosophy* to Blackwell. (The gimmick would be that they whole thing is laid out like a tabloid.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:49 PM
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140: I was going to act that. Or, maybe, do the neuro guys think we can separate the process out like that, into "emotion" and "reason"?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:50 PM
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I agree with Rob. A guy who argues that is Rom Harre, in "Social Being" or "Personal Being". For example, if someone gets angry, they're saying they have a right to get angry, and in most cases they feel that they hope that they'll be able to act upon their anger. A case in point is criminals. They can be angry and self-righteous when they speak of their victims.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:51 PM
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Is it possible that a thread about sex becomes a thread about neuroscience? Please, no. Not the Libet experiments again.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:51 PM
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don't even have sex with their own wives

I know plenty of people who don't have sex with their spouses.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:51 PM
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I was going to act that

Could you do it as interpretive dance instead?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:52 PM
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Britney Spears' Guide to Semiconductor Physics


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:53 PM
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144: sex primarily happens in the brain, Labs. Here, let me put together some PowerPoint.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:53 PM
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140: It might be questionable, but we generally accept that people have some control over their emotions and desires in other instances, even when it's something they really want. ('I couldn't help it, even though she said no, I was just swept away' isn't an argument that flies, generally.) So I guess what I find unbelievable is not that Edwards gave into his desires, but that given that having sex with someone else is generally under a bit of conscious control, why it's only after a presidential run that this thing happened/is coming out.

Also, the man looks like a Ken doll.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:54 PM
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140: Indeed, a friend was lecturing/advising/sharing the lessons of cognitive behavioral theory this weekend. There were 5 dimensions to how we react to thing -- mood, though, behavior and two other things (one of which might have been memories?). So, your mood might be "horny," your thoughts might be "s/he is the only one who loves/understands/will put up with me," and your behavior "sex!" You need to make a change on one of the dimensions to change the destructive patterns, and I think the cognitive approach is that you work on challenging the thoughts so the rest follows.

Anyway, it made perfect sense when she said it, but that was a few beers in, so...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:54 PM
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As I understand, they already know how to implant electrodes in your brain to keep you in a permanent state of orgasm. But the porn monopolists bought up the patent.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:55 PM
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142: as far as I gather, there are parts of the brain which generally deal with reasoned decision making, but the changes in neurochemical makeup that we think of as "emotion" per se really drive the activation patterns at a fairly fundamental level. So really, all thinking and actions are emotional in a sense, it's just that some have more abstract reasoning behind them.

I don't know what exact relevance this has to Edwards's penis, though (the Edwinis?).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:56 PM
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Here, let me put together some PowerPoint.

Bow-chicka-bow-wow!

Which reminds me of a good joke, but that only really works when said out loud, with the proper delivery. I'm sure y'all can figure it out.

What are the two sexiest barnyard animals?
Brown chicken, brown cow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 2:56 PM
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138, I meant what DK said in 137, more or less.

I think 136 is dangerously wrong.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:01 PM
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So I guess what I find unbelievable is not that Edwards gave into his desires, but that given that having sex with someone else is generally under a bit of conscious control, why it's only after a presidential run that this thing happened/is coming out.

Well, the life of a legitimate presidential primary candidate is going to get more attention than the life of some random senator. And the life of a possible vice presidential candidate is probably going to get even more attention than that. And I think this is the same story that was tossed around a bit late last year to much derision...

It also makes sense for the Enquirer to temporarily shelve the story when Edwards dropped out of the primary, and pull it out either a) when they got more information or b) when his name got kicked around as a potential VP.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:03 PM
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think that 154b is dangerously wrong.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:16 PM
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153 - no, I cannot figure it out. Is there some sort of pantomime thing that goes along with it?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:17 PM
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157: Silly Emerson, Apo is saying he likes to poop on animals.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:19 PM
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1. Whenever a situation that I have first-hand knowledge about makes it in a paper, the paper has given an inaccurate portrayal of the situation.

Christ, yes. Ugh.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:22 PM
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158, 157: Not me. I don't get it, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:22 PM
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I don't get apo's joke so I'm going to make him tell it to me this weekend at an alumni thing (assuming he's there).


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:23 PM
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156: People can control how they *express* their emotions, including the extent to whether they indulge them or repress them. But they can't control having emotions, what with that whole having-an-endocrine-system-and-a-brain thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:23 PM
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Wow, John, I could have sworn you wrote 157. Weird.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:24 PM
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157 is me.

Also, both 136 and 156 are correct. Emotions are actions similar to flinching - you can learn some measure of control, but not absolute control at all times and in all circumstances. Abandoning all attempts at control as doomed is abdication of personal responsibility, but assuming you (and especially others) can achieve complete control and maintain it is dangerously stupid.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:28 PM
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Oh lord, people. Read "brown chicken, brown cow" with the same intonation as you would read "bow-chicka-wow-wow." See? Funny!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:30 PM
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OT:

I know that this is sexist, but the time to make a Monica Goodling women-in-prison movie is now. Not after she goes to prison, if she ever does.

Scarlett Johansson will be the lead, of course. A few gruff old lesbians with tattoos, one with a heart of gold. Some heavy-metal / punk lesbians, also with tattoos. Some black hiphop lesbians. And Natalie Portman to be her real love interest.

"Her Bible fell from her trembling hands...."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:30 PM
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Wait, everyone was kidding about not getting the joke, right?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:31 PM
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Even though I'm a big fan of Edwards as a politician, I'm with Fleur in 102 (and I'm not just saying that because she could castrate me in my sleep if she wanted to).

That said, like Cala, I doubt the veracity of the rumours, so any cognitive dissonance is postponed until such time as a reputable source confirms them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:33 PM
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I don't see any rabbit, FL, just a duck.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:34 PM
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This may be too serious, but people I've known who were adamant that impulses were uncontrollable were often pre-authorizing their next slip, and besides thinking that impulses were uncontrollable, basically thought that they were sacred.

My sainted Aunt Elizabeth felt differently, of course.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:37 PM
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167 No, not joking. I feel no shame about not getting it, because it sucks donkey balls. Which I suppose is sort of in keeping with the theme.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:37 PM
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Controlling impulses, by which you mean controlling one's reaction to impulses, is not impossible; controlling *emotions* is. And telling people who are mad that this is somehow their "choice" is almost as awful as telling people with cancer that they brought it on themselves through negative thinking or some shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:38 PM
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And Natalie Portman to be her real love interest.

"The Natalie Portman character was a composite of Karl Rove and that Kyle guy who was like Karl Rove but younger and stupider. We thought we did a pretty good job with the costume and the makeup."


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:43 PM
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171: Labs assumes has his level of exposure to seventies porn. I don't know why.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:44 PM
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It's not a choice. People are angry if they feel justified and if they feel that they have power to do something about it. If they're right that they're justified and if they're indeed able to do something about it, being angry works and is right. If they're right and can't do anything, being angry is terribly frustrating and they eventually go on with their life, often traumatized. I was especially thinking of people who controlled others with anger and threats, e.g. bullies and thugs. They have ways of making themselves angry before they fuck someone up.

Besides suppressing emotions or impulses, you can just let them go.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:45 PM
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B., we all agree that emotions are hard to control, so blaming them for their emotions is often bad. But "hard" is not "impossible."

In general, Americans overestimate how much control they have over their actions, and underestimate how much control they have over their emotions.

This happens because people want "what is in your control" to line up neatly with "what other people can force you to use responsibly."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:46 PM
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I feel no shame about sincerely not getting it because I... well, because I tend to have trouble mustering the energy required to feel shame.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:46 PM
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That said, like Cala, I doubt the veracity of the rumours, so any cognitive dissonance is postponed until such time as a reputable source confirms them.

If you're not taking the Enquirer's word on sex, I'm not sure whose word you would take. Didn't they break a lot of stuff on Clinton-Lewinsky? And the J. Jackson love child thing?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:47 PM
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I'm unashamed to ask someone to explain the joke in simple language.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:48 PM
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Right, I agree with most of the second half of that. Except that I think that anger isn't a question of "right" or "wrong", though obviously what one does about it is.

And yes, I suppose it is true that one can learn how to react to things without getting angry, by reinterpreting them or whatever. But I still don't think that's "controlling emotion." I mean, if anything, making oneself angry as a means to being an asshole is controlling emotion.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:49 PM
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179: That's because in your neck of the woods, the brown cow really is the sexiest animal for pretty straightforward reasons.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:50 PM
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Also, I get the joke. You people are weird.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:51 PM
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I get it now that I've got the guiding rhyme but prior to that point I was kind of trying out various intonations in my head and going nowhere.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:55 PM
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Also, I get the joke. You people are weird humorless. And a little more so every day.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:59 PM
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Being angry is a claim to being right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:59 PM
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Besides suppressing emotions or impulses, you can just let them go.

Sure, as simple as that, like letting go of the string on a helium-filled balloon!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 4:01 PM
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Di is such a quick learner.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 4:02 PM
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Controlling impulses, by which you mean controlling one's reaction to impulses, is not impossible; controlling *emotions* is
i think it's opposite, an impulse is too short to realize it and try to suppress or otherwise prevent ot, so it just happens
while emotions one can feel longer time and modify according to the changing environment


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 4:06 PM
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it


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 4:07 PM
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On Edwards- the story is that he had a connection with the girl with the WTF look on her face and the relationship did not become physical for quite some time. Very normal for people working on the PTA fundraiser, not allowed in someone with Presidential ambitions. AS for the NE, I think it was a Gary Hart thing for them. They knew, he knew they knew, but he challenged them to prove it.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 4:07 PM
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184: I know! And if I'm the only one who gets the joke, this place is really in trouble.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 4:38 PM
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And if I'm the only one who gets the joke, this place is really in trouble.

Uh, hello...? I even explained the very funny joke!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 5:14 PM
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Yeah, but you're completely humorless about Stras's mother.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 5:21 PM
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True. Maybe I should just take that "humorless" title off your hands now...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 5:28 PM
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Humor can only be restored by apo linking to his youtube performance of the joke, with appropriate hip motion. Or three "Hail Mary"s and two "Our Father"s.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 5:28 PM
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185: Being angry is a claim to being right.

Being angry isn't a claim to anything. (It's not a propositional attitude. But I doubt you meant to say it was.) It is, though, often accompanied by a belief that one is right; at least I can't quickly think of a counter-example. So, interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 5:47 PM
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"... It is, though, often accompanied by a belief that one is right; at least I can't quickly think of a counter-example. ..."

You can be angry at yourself for making a mistake.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 6:30 PM
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getting publicly indignant on behalf of someone I've never met & who I'd guess would prefer that the press & public at large shut up about this doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
If I can't get publicly indignant on unfogged, then there is no hope for me. I guess I'm just an indignant kind of gal. Having said that, my posting was a reaction to the attitude that his behavior is within the realm of understandable given the stress he is under- I am not claiming that the NE is correct in its "reporting" or that I believe the story to be true. If it is, he is, in my book, an unmitigated asshole.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 6:50 PM
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Anger is a claim to being right and to having been wronged. If you're not right and haven't been wronged, your anger is unjustified. If you're angry at the wrong person, or if you're blaming someone else for something that's not their fault, especially if it's your own fault, you're making a false claim.

Being angry at a chair or a rock, for example, is stupid, because chairs and rocks can't be wrong and can't be blamed.

If someone's wrongly angry, you can humor them out of friendship or for therapeutic reasons, but they're making a false claim and you can't support them or you multiply their mistake.

If someone's angry at a vague target, like society or the world or women or Iran or Asian-Americans, they're making a kind of accusation which is normally false.

I'm angry at analytic philosophy and neo-classical economics, for example. If I'm not right, it's stupid of me to be angry.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:01 PM
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If you're not right and haven't been wronged, your anger is unjustified.

Right. To the extent that one thinks one's anger is justified, one is making a claim (if only to oneself): My anger is justified. One can, however, feel anger that one knows is unjustified, irrational, what have you. It's still anger despite the absence of the stronger claim that one is right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:14 PM
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John, your claims would be more plausible if they were cleaned up a bit. First, you say anger is a claim...when it would be much more plausible to say that anger includes or is partly constituted by a claim. Because "the claim" [this language is misleading, I think; more on this in a second] and the emotion are modally distinct, they cannot be identical. That is, you can make the claim with or without feeling angry. Second, it's not clear what "a claim" is-- I think you mean a particular attitude toward a proposition. It seems like you mean belief, because you talk about "making a false claim." But belief is a bad candidate because people can be angry while rejecting the relevant proposition. They see themselves as irrationally angry, yes, but they are still angry. (Generalized argument: emotions can co-exist with disbelief in the relevant propositions; hence the propositional attitude involved is not belief, but something else.)


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:22 PM
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The generalized argument seems analogous to the epistemological argument from illusion.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:26 PM
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Oh, if anyone wants to experience the emotion of anger for some introspective psychology, this might do it. Latest insane conspiracy theory: when someone stole Obama's prayer from the Wailing Wall and leaked it to a newspaper, it was really a plot by Obama's campaign.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:28 PM
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How do you mean, Ben?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:29 PM
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That is, from the fact that I can be angry and disbelieve "the relevant proposition", we should not conclude that in the case in which I am angry and do not take myself to be irrational (I "accept" the relevant proposition, in whatever form that acceptance might be), the acceptance can't amount to belief, since we need some attitude that can be present in all occurrences of anger; in particular, we could reject the "since" clause. When I accept it, I accept it believingly; when I reject it, maybe I disbelieve it, but then, the case is different in other ways too, so why not?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:30 PM
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I mean like: you can have a visual experience without believing that things really correspond to that experience in the world, because you know that you could be/are under an illusion, so you posit something that's common to both veridical and nonveridical visual experiences (the visual species of sense data might be a popular choice here).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:31 PM
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205: not sure I follow this. The emotion is the same emotion in cases where I believe that p and when I disbelieve that p, right?

The canonical example is fear: I fear Fido even though I believe he is old and harmless (and disbelieving that he is dangerous); I also fear Cujo believing that he is dangerous. If the belief that the thing is dangerous is a constituent of the emotion, we couldn't have the same emotion in both cases, and that's odd.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:36 PM
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Everything I know is in Rom Harre.

When people are angry, they normally feel that they have been wronged and are in the right. Someone who is irrationally angry and recognizes it will normally be embarrassed (e.g., being angry at a chair). In some cases, they might still feel that their anger is legitimate, even though they can't express it (e.g., an abused wife who's been indoctrinated in submission).

Someone who habitually gets angry without a valid claim (recognized by others) either is borderline mentally ill, or someone who uses his anger as a warrant for bullying people.

But anger isn't this pure senseless emotion coming from nowhere. It's within a context of justification. And in general, helpless people do not express or develop anger until they feel that they can act on it. It's there, the justification is there, but the power isn't.

The phrase "impotent anger", fairly common in some form in fiction, expresses that. Impotent anger will kill you if you don't drop it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 7:36 PM
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i think angry means helplessness with or without realizing, recognizing it
if one can control the situation, feeling, emotion, self, there is no anger, just excitement
one becomes angry when things get out of control


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 8:52 PM
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