Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Monday Open Thread

by Jerome a Paris Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:33:33 AM EST

Thread Away A Labor Day


Display:
You beat me to it!  Day full of meetings, it's passing fast though.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:35:01 AM EST
Ugg, I've got to start writing a cv. I haven't written one in over a decade and can't really remember how it's done anymore. I need a job, I just don't want one.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:40:58 AM EST
Ugghh is right!, but I have a suggestion:  

Get a really supportive person to sit with you --and your favorite beer-- at the computer, to let you procrastinate a while and then brainstorm a cv of any sort.  Even if it is copying your last one.  Next, you take a break to laugh and rant, before you try to polish it ... a little.

Then you give yourself a big treat, (rinse and repeat for several days).

Another way is to first, find a motivating job offer that will inspire a cv out of you.  (;

Ooops!  Forgot the essential question:  What do I want to do when I grow up?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, really supportive person ??? Errr, {blank}. Copy my last one ??? No copy of that exists.

I'll wing it..eventually.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can wait until we meet, I can help you to draft a CV. I've done it many times for friends and others...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be very grateful. I'll still have to do one in the next day or so but if you would critique it for me when we meet that'd be fabulous as i'm pretty sure I won't get a job that quickly.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:36:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ps I'm sending you an email

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that gustav is calming down and the Katrina replay seems to have been avoided, will the repugs get on with partying or are they gonna use the excuse to try to avoid the spotlight ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:42:15 AM EST
Looks like we really dodged a bullet here.  Western Cuba damaged the storm quite a bit, and it never fully recovered over the warmer areas of the Gulf.  By the time the eye wall started becoming more defined there, it hit the cooler area near the Louisiana shore.

Very good.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I discovered this Cuban blogger with good links

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cuba damaged the storm? You can't be accused of an anthropocentric view :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:09:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its a self-reproducing dynamic system, mate, and Cuba sure as shit damaged it.

Land does hella damage to a cyclonic tropic storm.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:31:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt the Republicans will get around to holding their convention until October!  Two more storms are headed that way!

By the way, Pinar del Rio got whacked in Cuba.  Here is a local online newspaper with copious photos.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have no doubts about the cancellation.  As Jon Stewart said to Amy Goodman in an interview, "The Republicans are going to give every effort to foster the ILLUSION that they are concerned", or something there-abouts.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... been canceled, only the coverage of the parties.

Party On (Yglesias)

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:34:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Received by email (and sorry for the US-centric nature of this content):


American Rights at Work launched today a $5 million TV ad campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act.  (...) You can see the ad, featuring a portly CEO on a see saw, here:

AP piece on the ad campaign
Write up on our site
Press release

Second, a bunch of folks are participating in the Take Back Labor Day blogswarm, which you can read more about here

 

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:50:03 AM EST
Good ad.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:52:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have never been involved in unions; will need to do some homework.  Why is forming a union such a big deal.  I understand the benefits from the workers' point of view; what's the impediment(s) that this law(s) is trying to combat?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Numerous and legion.

When a group of employees get together to form a union in the US, the first thing they do is pass around membership cards the the other employees at the company/employing unit, and try to get people to sign on.  If they can get a majority of the employees to sign the cards positively, then they can take the cards to the employer and demand an election.

You see, having the statement of intent is not enough.  They then have to pass an election, again with 50% of the employees voting.

When is the election?  The employer gets to determine that.  There is a government body, the National Labor Relations Board, that exists to arbitrate such disputes, but one can imagine how impartial it is under Bush.

The election system is a huge problem, because the employer is free to bombard its workers with anti-union propaganda at all times of the day, whereas union supporters can only canvass during break times.  Further, it's common practice for the union activists (and like any political activity, forming a union is usually driven by a few dedicated individuals giving shape to a mass of unformed discontent) to be harassed, transferred, reassigned, or fired for spurious reasons - whatever it takes to keep them from agitating for the union.  Employers regularly will hold mandatory propaganda sessions to convince their employees of the evils of unions - meetings at which the pro-union forces cannot speak, but meetings which they nonetheless must attend.

After all this, there is the election.  Various vote-suppression and vote-rigging techniques are quite common, as it is the employer who runs the election and counts the ballots.

Then, if the union wins, the employer can challenge the vote in a variety of ways, ultimately taking it to the NLRB.  This process can take quite a while, time the employer still can use to oust the union activists.

Once the election victory has been certified, the union is properly established, and it's time for collective bargaining for a new employment contract.  This begins when the employer decides it begins.  It lasts as long as the employer decides it should last.  Usually, it takes strikes to get a contract, even one that was no different from what was had beforehand.  Because, unless the union can get a first contract that actually means something, it's still weak.  If the union fails at this stage, it usually fails forever.

In case of a union victory, it then has the privelige of re-negotiating the contract every two or three years.  While these are always opportunities for the union to improve the contract, they are also opportunities for the employer to crush the union - again, if the union can't get a contract, or discontent with the harassment brought on by union activities grows strong enough, it's always possible for the employer to push to de-certify the union, forcing another election, under the same terms as before.

by Zwackus on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:14:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely shocking. I have been asked to diary union-employer partnership working (which has a good record in the UK) which I will do as soon as I have a free evening. Thanks for the detail you've given here.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feel free to email me for more details.  I still have friends in the labor movement in the US, professional organizers and whatnot, and would be happy to electronically introduce you if you'd like.
by Zwackus on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, I may well do when I get to writing the diary.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Artists Turn Industrial Fuel Into Works of Art | Culture & Lifestyle | Deutsche Welle | 01.09.2008
The industrial areas of Germany, France and Poland have all been fueled by one thing: coal. Now a group of international artists are using the fuel to spark dialogue.

The Hansa Coking Plant is just six kilometers (3.7 miles) north of the industrial German city of Dortmund. Shuttered for over 16 years, the site was once the country's largest coke producer.

 

In 1997 the site was taken over by the Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Monuments. Today the buildings stand as they did at the height of production, only now the hulking machines are silent and coke no longer pours forth.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:55:49 AM EST
Interesting, I have never heard of musical coal before.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not far away is World Heritage Site Zeche Zollverein, a vast former coal mine complex now turned into one of the leading Kultur stations in Europe.  It includes an innovative business community as well.  (Clicking brings you to Englisch.)

Friends of mine run the technical stage at PACT Zollverein, the leading choreography workshop in Europe.  The main stage seats only 350 max, but it's large enough for a La Scala production.  Leading dance tours often begin here, as the same production which goes to Paris Opera House can work here.

As you can see from the photos, this building was where the miners changed and were taken down into the mines, and showered after each shift; many hundreds together.  Now Pina Bausch dances there.

(Aside:  i know my life has taken some weird turns, but this building houses the memories of one of the weirdest.  Mischa Baryshnikov began his last tour ((with White Oak)) there, and i was added to the stage crew because of my relatively good Englisch.  During the first rehearsal, i was asked to perform a choreographed set change with Mischa and the dancers.  I wish there were photos of light-footed me onstage, clad in stangehand black, dancing the props away... with Baryshnikov!!!)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the links.

And I wish too, that there would have been pictures of your light-footed act. :-D I mean Baryshnikov.......wow!

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fran, it was thrilling to watch such a great in his final "formal" performances.  Two rehearsals and four evening shows.

Here's a helicopter tour of the site.  Now all of the old coal mine buildings are filled with arts, culture orgs and innovative businesses.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:27:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's all about the news from the Gulf Coast here.  Navy Son is home on leave.  He was supposed to report to a tech school near Biloxi, MS tomorrow, but has been told to stand by on leave til further notice.  It's a very mixed blessing.  While we watch the tragedy unfolding in the Gulf, we get to enjoy the guilty pleasure of a few extra days of his company.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:56:21 AM EST
UK politics is almost interesting all of a sudden.

Brown gets advised that people are sick of his miserable face, so he disappears for a month.

Which gives Cameron, the opposition leader, the chance to grandstand in Tblisi as the champion of poor little Georgia. Which meant that David Milliband, supposedly as foreign Secretary, but actually as Pretender-to-the-Throne had to trump him by fetching up in the Ukraine and saying how he was the champion of poor little Ukraine.

Who could ever have suspected that so many prominent british politcians carried flames in their heart for oppressed people of Eastern europe of whom we previously knew little and cared less ?

Then Darling of the Treasury gives a candid interview (apparently he's not very good at these) wherein he enters Stage Left on fire and shouting "We're all doomed". People suspect this may not go down well in the markets where confidence is all, especially when The Gordo has been saying how the fundamentals of the British economy are sound and everything will be tickety-boo for hard-working families being lifted out of poverty (or something).

So The Gordo is in a pickle. He's got a major policy launch (re-launch ?) coming up to try to pretend that he's going to do anything different from the indecisive dithering Blairism that's upset everybody so far. Then he's got a party conference where I can guarantee you that the only topic of conversation will be who replaces him and when. And will be made highly entertaining by the jockeying and politicking of various factions, all of whom will publicly support The Gord in the glare of the cameras and privately be sticking voodoo pins in be-suited dolls by night.

And then...and then...there's the glenrothes by-election which will surely be another loss like glasgow East. No date yet but typically Brown will ensure that all of the disquiet will keep rumbling till Xmas at least.

If only there was anybody credible to replace him. They'll all be disasters cos clueless apparatchiks are all that NuLabs left them with.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:01:11 AM EST
Might be a better version - 'The Big One', the Spanish Christmas Lottery.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NBC just confirmed that Bristol Palin, the daughter, is pregnant.

Let the circus begin.

I know Republican family values are a crock of shit, and maybe this could spark a conversation about the idiotic idea of abstinence-only education, but I really do wish the country would just leave this poor girl alone, just as I wish we could've had our small moment of outrage over John Edwards's stupidity in his decision to run, and then left the Edwards family alone.  She's going to have more to deal with than someone her age should already.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:15:21 PM EST
Hillary is pissed:

ST. PAUL -- Advisers to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Sunday that Senator John McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate would lead to a greater role for Mrs. Clinton as she campaigned this fall on behalf of her former rival, Senator Barack Obama.

Mrs. Clinton's friends said she was galled that Ms. Palin might try to capitalize on a movement that Mrs. Clinton, of New York, built among women in the primaries. And Democrats used strong words on Sunday to rebut the notion: Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said that women would not be "seduced" by the Republican ticket, and Guy Cecil, the former political director of Mrs. Clinton's campaign, said it was "insulting" for Republicans to compare Ms. Palin to Mrs. Clinton.

Nevertheless, Clinton advisers said they expected that a bloc of her female supporters would give Mr. McCain a second look because of Ms. Palin, and that Mrs. Clinton was probably Mr. Obama's best weapon in response. But asked if the Palin pick would lead to a new political marriage between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, a senior Clinton adviser, Ann Lewis, said: "Not a political marriage. She is not on the ticket. Senator Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate. Hillary will do what she can to help."

Mrs. Clinton's advisers said they expected that in light of the Palin selection, she would focus her efforts especially on working women -- middle- and working-class, married and single -- in swing states where she ran strong, like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The last thing the Republicans should've done is given Hillary and Bill a reason to come out swinging.  They just gave it to them.

Welcome back, Hillary.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it was stupid Obama camp who offered up the female vote to McCain.

I say this without having read any blog commentary on the Joe Biden choice (yet), so I don't know how it went down in Orangeland and what strategies were analysed behind it. I thought Sebelius would have been the best choice from the offer.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:07:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He didn't offer up female voters.  The group most inclined to approve of Palin were males.  Females gave her overwhelmingly negative views, especially on the issues and the question of whether she was prepared for the presidency.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:16:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden, for the record, receives pretty high ratings, especially from women, and older women most of all.

Remember, Biden authored the Violence Against Women Act and killed the Robert Bork nomination to the Supreme Court (which might very well have saved Roe).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:21:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Believe it when I see it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the big ta-do about the pregnant daughter?  Is McCain the father?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding...There are inevitably political implications to this.  This is not going to play well with a big chunk of the fundamentalists, especially older ones.  Obama may be black, and that might scare the old folks, but they're going to judge Palin as a mother for this.

The Dems had better stay the hell away from the kid.  The most I want to hear out of Obama and Biden and our surrogates is a calm discussion of the failures of abstinence-only education in a few days.

The ultrafundies -- that is, the real fundies, not the ones who'll make excuses -- will come out and say that this is proof of why women should not work, which will obviously piss off working women at the GOP.

McCain's people say he knew.  No chance in Hell I'll believe that.  This is why you vet people.  We all know the bad parts of Biden's past.  McCain didn't know shit about Palin.

I'm 50/50 on whether or not she's still going to be in the race by the end of the week.

A certain portion of the fundie base is completely unprincipled and will make excuses for her on the issue of moral values.  I think that chunk is a majority of the fundies, actually.  But if he kicks her off the ticket, they'll be furious, and McCain will still have those other groups pissed.  That might be what keeps Palin on the ticket.

Why should Obama bother selling judgment when McCain does it for him?  Hell, save the donations and send them to the Gulf Coast.  If they don't need'em down there, send'em to the other party committees.  McCain is Obama's best surrogate at this point.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:11:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I'm 50/50 on whether or not she's still going to be in the race by the end of the week.

Com'on, let's get serious here.  Can you imagine the zoo that would ensue if he dumped Palin?  No way, Jose.  She'd have to be accused of murdering kittens or something.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't think you're appreciating how potentially bad this is for McCain.  Now that Gustav has shot his wad, this will be a big story.  Like I said, especially among older folks, this could be incredibly damaging to McCain and Palin.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:28:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once again, what's the big deal on the pregnancy?  Is she 11 years old or something?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turn it around.  Imagine the Winger feeding frenzy if one of Obama's kids was unwed and preggers.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh well, shit, of course.  I mean, this unwed mother stuff is what "those black folk" is all about but this is good, white religious people.  Maybe an immaculate conception; GOD HAS SENT US A MESSAGE !!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:51:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this mean because the wingers would do it, we have to do it too.

Sorry people, but isn't this girl already enough punished, without becoming the laughing stock of the entire world.

I really feel sorry for her, she is the victim in the end, not the parents. She is being sacrifieced on the altar of politics - probably without having any choice. Sorry this kind of discussion leaves a really bad taste with me.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I absolutely believe the kid should be left alone.  But the parents should not, because there's an issue of policy staring us right in the face here.  And it is not a small issue.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:02:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Palin offers enough material to go after, without having to use the daughter, who's live is already difficult enough.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:04:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The daughter needs to be pushed aside to have a serious discussion about how we deal with kids and sex.  That this is now hanging over the McCain campaign is not unimportant or irrelevant, because these people have tried to force a lack of education for teenagers down our throats as part of their effort to impose a theocracy.  It's not unreasonable to point out that Palin is obviously out to lunch.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry mother.  (Hanging my head.  No smile.)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that anybody with any compassion would try to avoid making a direct comment about Bristol Palin. some of the conversation here and at dKos is already flirting with the issue somebody noted yesterday

I think where Palin will help McCain with women is to give GOP women a reason to vote for the ticket (women generally have been unhappier with Bush than men). But more than that it gives the Dems one more chance to show off that sexist strain of fauxgressivism that we all enjoyed so much during the primary. All ready there are sexist comments being made left and right by Democratic operatives, bloggers and commenters. I don't think it will drive Democratic women to vote for McCain, but it could make it harder to vote for Obama. Not that I'm not going to love watching comments at Kos that say things like Palin's nomination shows that McCain wants to screw our "cuntry" (which at one point had 80+ positive ratings so it's not some lone troll) or all the jokes on the word "mate" or having Palin, who has every bit as impressive a life story as Obama even if she is wrong on everything, reduced to being a beauty queen.

A brilliant pick not because she's going to win over all those Hillary voters but because she gives the Dems an opportunity to remind women that not everyone who hates us has a (R) after their name.

But then again, you have to note that it would be a wonderful world if unmarried mothers weren't stigmatized in the first place. and that young teenagers were properly educated into how to avoid getting pregnant so that they are able to achieve adulthood and consider where they want their lives to go without already having the decision made for them in a moment of fumbling ignorance a few years previously.

Bristol Palin is facing these situations, not because of the failings of liberals but because of the vicious, dogmatic and ignorant prejudices of people like her very own mother. A situation she wishes to befall thousands of other women if she gets the chance to wreak havoc on contraceptive and abortion services across america. Bristol Palin should vanish from the airwaves immdeiately, but her mother should not be allowed to draw a "Cone of Silence" over the consequences for american women that will arise from her attitudes.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:14:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the real point: Bristol Palin and potentially thousands upon thousands of other girls are the victims of ignorance peddled by the likes of Sarah Palin.  That's expressing it too harshly for a political campaign, but that is the fundamental issue.

We're right about sex ed.  They're wrong.  We're trying to protect kids.  They're killing them and ruining their lives with religious bullshit.  Period.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:20:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but you can adress many of these things without needing the daughters drama.

You can go after the mother for being pro-life. I mean she has this fifth child that has down's syndrom. She CHOSE to keep it, this means she had a CHOICE because of the liberal abortion laws.

Attack her on family values. She again CHOSE to have this child with special needs. She knew it would have special needs and she CHOSE to have it anyway. But what is she doing. Instead of giving this baby with special needs the loving and caring presence of a mother, she prefers to pursue a career, now even as VP which will be very time consuming. So where is this baby with special needs right now? Who is taking care of it? Is she a lousy mother? And remember she had a CHOICE!!!

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:29:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, the fact that she is a hero, because she chose to have the baby, despite she could have aborted it by law, is something you want to attack her on? The fact that she is perhaps the only non-hypocrat in the republican establishment is your attack line???

By the way - this is not specifically to Fran, but for quite a number of comments in this thread - I think there are lots of insults in the comments. I don't know how anybody here can complain about fox news, with such assholism as displayed by many of your comments. Decency is not exactly the strength of the internet. But I start to understand actually, why so many republicans seem to lack empathy - the democrats killed it.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No the focus is on Choice - she had a choice - she is not a hero, but she had the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.

A right the fundies want to take away from women, but she had it! this has nothing to do with being a hero.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:49:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know I am old enough to remember how it was, when abortions were illegal or only for the very rich. There was a lot of suffering - and Palin profited from the women fighting for the right to choose and not having to go for illegal and often damaging if not deadly procedures.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How has she profited?

And your insistence, that she chose to have a babay with Down syndrome can easily be interpreted as seeing people with a handicap as less live worthy than healthy ones.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, 'fundies' like me want to take this right away from her.
Interstingly, that's a position, which in Germany is hold by the constitutional court, namely that abortion is against the law, is a fundamentalist postion in your book. That is part of what I'm talking about. That being 'pro-life' is already enough to be counted as fundamentalist, instead of just a different opinion on an important issue.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know Martin, being pro-choice does not mean forcing anyone to have an abortion. Reality is, there will be abortions, whatever the law is. it always has been that way and my guess is, it will stay that way. Even with contraception, which are not a 100% effective, there are pregnancies. Do we want to go back to the time where women in desparet sitations are going back to have back room abortion, which are medically unsafe.

I am personally against abortion if possible, but it is not onto me to decide for others and thus I believe that there should be a choice without criminalisation of the women. because in the end it is primarily the women who suffer in most cases, not the men.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reality is, there will be abortions, whatever the law is. it always has been that way and my guess is, it will stay that way.
There will always be more severe crimes, too. This isn't a reason to accept it, simply you can't prevent it completely. The question is, if some effect is possible, and even if just the spreading the idea, that abortion is not good, would nowadays be a success. While nobody is forcing somebody to do an abortion, there is put quite some pressure from e.g. parents or peers on women to abort, if they are in a difficult situation. Quite a few women suffer mentaly from an abortion, into which they were talked.

without criminalisation of the women
One doesn't have to criminalise women, but physicians, who do abortions, or people dealing with medical drugs.

I know I can't convince you or anybody else already so strongly decided 'pro-choice'. But my comment was about the treatment of people who are 'pro-live'. Ruling about abortion is in any case ruling about very high valued rights. Is there really not a big difference in being 'pro-live' and being 'pro-war' or 'pro-torture' or against universal health care or 'pro-destruction of the planet'? If you read this thread and through ET, it seems like it.

For that matter, the treatment of creationists on ET is as well a bit hyped - and I say this as somebody living from the curiosity of people for the early universe.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Choice is not a crime! It's a responsible decision.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there's pressure both ways, there's mental repercussions both ways. The women I've known who have had abortions had no regrets. For an interesting stat - in the university where I did my undergrad degree there had not been a single student who gave birth to a child for over a dozen years at the time I was there. This in a fifty percent female university with plenty of sexual activity and all the recklessness of horny young adults on their own for the first time.

If I were this child's parent I'd have encouraged her to have an abortion while simultaneously trying to make sure she understood that if she chose to keep it, she'd get my full support. That's presumably the sort of pressure you're talking about. But what are parents, friends, etc. supposed to do - refuse to talk about it, offer no advice?

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:34:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I appreciate that you would have promised full support as a parent, but this unfortunately is not always the case.

I don't think the pressure is equally on both sides. Maybe in Poland it is that way, maybe in the US, but in Germany I'm pretty sure it isn't. And of course it depends on the milieu. In the small catholic village, things are different than in the city.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:58:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the city's anonymity is liberating.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:14:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your comment is about the treatment of people who are pro-life?  The ones who are trying to remove the choice of what happens to a woman's own body from her?  The same ones who treat people who are pro-choice appallingly at times?

I utterly defend a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body.  This is not equivalent to recklessly having abortions as though it doesn't matter, nor is it forcing abortions on anybody.  In my eyes it is a breach of my human rights to take that choice away from me.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using the wording "pro-life" is fundamentalism. It's such a weasel word, implying that any other position is against life, and therefore absurd.

Say you are against choice and want to impose the unwanted pregnancy. There are even some arguments for it. But that has nothing to do with being "pro-life".

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:43:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't invented the term "pro-live". I have taken it from other ET discussions, where most people are "pro-choice". In German of course I say, I'm against the right to abort - and the other people say, they are for the right to abort. It is not my fault, that so many here use this token expressions, but why shouldn't I use them then, too.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:01:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Pro-life" originates in the US debates about abortion, as a way of framing. It is used here because it has become common in the English language...

Pro-life vs. pro-choice are the two frames of the US debate.

By saying you're anti-choice you're adopting the opposition's frame. But people here are reacting to pro-life by saying they won't debate in that frame.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:04:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are all (mostly) pro-life - nobody I know is happy about abortion. It is a practical solution, not a moral solution. And the medical and mental condition of the mother is paramount. I think most of us at ET would agree.

Where we might disagree, is in our attitudes to human-caused death, whether it's eating meat, putting down unwanted or suffering pets, or going to war in defence. Not to mention all the ways of dying on the road, at work etc in accidents - especially if they are caused by negligence.

Regarding Palin, I find it hard to accept pro-life and hunting as a combination, especially when pro-life is promoted as having religious origins. All god's creatures etc....

I find all sorts of conflicts in my own behaviour: I'll swat a mosquito, a wasp or a moth, but gingerly rescue any bee or butterfly that wanders in to my house. I still eat meat - even having filmed in abattoirs. I have never hunted, but I know countryside Finns who do and I respect their choice, though I don't agree with it. Hunting is strictly controlled in Finland - moose for instance are 'culled' ie in the hunting season permits are issued up to a certain number nationwide.

Death brings out the complicated moral skeins of all our lives.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:26:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm happy about abortion. I don't consider aborting a tragic decision, or whatever else people like to call it. It's availability is a crucial, great, happy, wonderful tool of female control of their own fates. Sure, it is better when contraception is used and works properly and you don't need the inconvenience of a medical intervention. Abortion is to contraception like a getting a filling is to brushing your teeth. It's much nicer to keep up with good dental hygiene and not have your teeth drilled, but if it happens, it is hardly a disaster, and not a difficult dilema over which you agonize. So, abortion is like dental work, which I don't enjoy getting, but am sure glad exist if I should need it.

And for the foetus, and 'life': The removal from the human body of a small cluster of cells that would otherwise parasitically suckle life from that body for 9 months before it ruptures alien-like form the female nether-regions is hardly tragic, or problematic, or difficult, or anything else. I don't cry when my body on a monthly basis expels the unfertilized ovum along with the uterine wall. Why would I feel much different about a fertilized lump of cells, or a fish-like thing with gills swimming in amniotic fluid being removed? It is not a person. It does not have a developed sense of self, and no stake in its own life. And it most certainly has no right to claim my body for its nurishment.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:47:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I do know someone.

As I said - the physical and mental health of the women is paramount. It is your body - you do what you like with it. Same for me - as long as it doesn't impact on the health of someone else.

Thanks for sharing your view. I cannot share what it is like to be a woman,  but your view makes sense to me.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:58:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This diary discusses the framing of the abortion debate.  It's not that 'your' choice of phrase is being criticised but the 'right's' narrative - the use of 'pro-life' to define their stance is a clever one because it implictly assumes that somebody who is not pro-life is therefore pro-death.

When I call myself pro-choice, it means pro-choice, not pro-abortion.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The treatment of creationists is a bit hyped"? Do explain.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:50:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For that matter, the treatment of creationists on ET is as well a bit hyped - and I say this as somebody living from the curiosity of people for the early universe.

The treatment of creationists on ET is mild and mellow. And the treatment of creationists in general is incomparably nice, above-board, honest and honourable compared to the way creationists treat honest, hard-working scientists.

If you want an example, you can start with the result of a five-second Google search.

The fact that creationists are routinely ridiculed and showered with contempt is a result of their insistence on shoving their early-19th-century theology down everybody's throat. I think that you'll find that most here (and elsewhere) fully support the right of consenting adult creationists to engage, in the privacy of their homes and churches, in whatever intellectual and religious practises they desire.

But attempting to teach patent bullshit to other people's children and then filing baseless lawsuits in order to get special treatment and/or harass political opponents tends to get under said political opponents' skins. Rather quickly.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 03:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know much about your sentiments here, so nothing I say is aimed at you personally, but is intended as a wider comment about much of the so-called "pro-life" stance.

Yes, it generally is associated with a fundamentalist religious views. This is because in the USA it is almost entirely associated with a fundamentalist religious view. We might argue that John McCain, who is 100% against abortion and contraception, is not a fundamentalist religionist, but even tho' that makes him an exception amongst "pro-lifers", he's certainly a strong believer in some form of christianity.

Now, I personally don't like to call them "pro-lifers", which is why I put them in quotes, because coupled with a strong belief in the sanctity of life before birth is a strangely callous indifference to life after birth. Most of them are also militarists who are strongly in favour of capital punishment and the ownership of guns. Not exactly pro-life in many of the senses I understand the term. If these religionists were strongly in favour of Jesus' actual message in the gospels I might give them more credence, but fundamentalism seems to edit compassion and forgiveness out and stick to the Old Testament vengeance and wrath.

Then we have the problem that nobody is actually pro-abortion. Not really. It's a ghastly procedure with genuine risks to the health and future reproductive well-being of the mother. Nobody in their right mind is pro-abortion. I'll repeat that : Nobody in their right mind is pro-abortion. Abortion is a failure of education and health care.

All children, once they get anywhere near being interested in sex (which in the UK can be as young as 8 !!) should be educated into what sex is about. Not just having sex, but what it's for, how a loving relationship occurs and why. And especially why they shouldn't venture into one too early. And yes, they should be taught about condoms and contraception and the day-after emergency contraception (which is NOT an abortificant). It is notable that in countries where sex education is comprehensive, open and honest, they have the lowest incidences of teenage preganncies. It's countries like the UK and the US which remain totally messed up about sex where it remains problematically high.

And finally, when fundamentalists are against contraception as well, then we are entering into the freedom of choice for women about how they live their lives. It comes down to whether or not we feel women should be treated as living incubators with the "on/off" switch located in the state legislature. Anti-choicers are all about humanizing embryos, but somehow, they have no problem dehumanizing women in the process. If women are free to act in this world, then they must have a choice about being pregnant beyond not having sex. Unless of course they're willing to hold men to the same account. Not likely judging by the number of scandals we hear about. And so when they feel that sexual maturity for women equals their enslavement to motherhood, then they're saying they have a problem with women that's way bigger than we can deal with here.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've actually met devout Catholics who are strongly 'pro-life' but otherwise 'left' - anti capital punishment, for progressive socio-economic policies, anti-war, etc. They're not all that rare.
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then there's this big gap where when it comes to women they're down with the authoritarian control. Being kinda good, but then again, not giving a rats about the well-being of 50% of humanity seems a bit lacking in the honesty department.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:55:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the Big Lie about pro-life. Some people are pro-life because they're squeamish about abortion. Others are 'pro-life' because - as I said in a different post - they're more interested in controlling women.

It's pure Darwinism - wanting to make sure that you have as many off-spring as possible.

A pro-choice culture limits abortion naturally. When it's one choice among others, it's going to be one of the less popular options. While I disagree with Helen because some women do make a point of being casual about abortion they're not in a majority.

A pro-life culture increases the risk to everyone. Without choice, you're stuck with a child you may not want, may not be equipped to parent maturely, and may even have been forced into.

This is great news if you're a man, because you can be sure that women will carry your offspring to term and most likely be mother afterwards.

But the end result of a culture with those values is brood-slavery for women, and insitutionalised sexual abuse. A fundamentalist cult was raided a few months ago, and that's exactly the life style they'd created for themselves.

Specific pro-lifers may be appalled by that possibility, but even so - that's the direction their view pushes the Overton window.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an insoluble dispute. Frankly, I'm surprised it isn't causing nastier repercussions in various societies. If you genuinely believe a fetus is a human being we're talking about first degree murder for hire on a massive scale. If you don't, banning abortion is akin to a rather extreme state sponsored rape on a massive scale. I think the saving grace here is that the largest group is basically in a mushy middle - they don't see fetuses as human beings, but they also don't quite see them as just a collection of cells in a woman's body.
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:55:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is Pro-Human Rights, Women Included, so 'just a different opinion´ coming from the male side who will never have to choose and with no other insight available, is anti-human rights.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:25:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is very disingenious to forbid somebody an opinion just because he is male. But for the matter:
I'm sure I know of more women, thet are pro-live than men.
In the catholic students group in Karlsruhe, where quite some are cliche greens, with respect to most other aspects of live, including of course critisising the church for not letting women be priests and for discrimination of homosexuals, the pro-live stance seemed to me still dominating (with ~50% women).
Of course my more active and selfdetermined grandmother, my mother, the girlfriend of my brother are all pro-live. All were at university. Both my mother and my brother's girlfriend working.

So I'm not allowed to share the opinion of these women?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i hear you martin.

one of my first and only diaries on dkos, years ago, was about this terrible issue.

it was maryscott who slapped me into understanding better.

the problem is that both positions are morally untenable, in the real world, and one must open one's eyes to the company extremists on both sides keep, to help see the bigger picture.

to start with, it is obscene how mens' sexual education is so poor, since we are much more responsible for creating 'unwanted' babies than women are, since mens' sexuality is more persuasive, invasive and with less regard for the longterm consequences than womens' is..

so it is equally obscene that men should rule in laws that convict women to choicelessness, unless there was some other alternative, some utopian solution that would guarantee a baby born to parents too young, unsupported, and inexperienced to be good at it.

and there isn't....reality check!

the facts speak for themselves, for the moral high ground one gains from taking a pure, anti-abortion position, one allies oneself with the baddest authoritarian, warmongering, religiously ignorant, bossy, nosy sons of bitches who ever got too big for their historical boots.

by reluctantly conceding one's own rational loathing of abortion, or on a deeper level, the grief that a society can be so uptight and in denial about sex, that they do not educate their kids intelligently about this trickiest of areas, and their kids act out accordingly, one is allied with those who are actually doing something to create a greener, more intelligent world, where sex will be treated with the respect it deserves, with full disclosure of the facts of life as early as a child seeks to know about them.

it is the sick shame projected together with a judgmental moralism that creates the cognitive dissonance, that then creates naive, undereducated kids, who act out.

so until we create a much better world for all of us, but especially children, i have decided it behooves us men to remain in humble silence as to what we think women should do with their bodies, even if it's our sperm that ìs co-creating the situation.

sex and desire are never going to conveniently wait to arrive only to adults truly conscious, generous and psychologically mature enough to handle raising children in today's worrying world.

society is so atomised by industrialism that instead of a matter for tribal celebration when young adults, as it was for millennia, conceived, now we throw up our hands in horror, clutch our pearls, when this happens, unless the parents have 'good jobs' etc, which increasingly is happening to folks in their mid thirties.

biologically the hormonal system is never so active as at the age of 14-15. we have created a world where young adults are looking at waiting another 15 years of work, waiting, abstinence and/or condoms before their elders clap their hands and smile on the happy couple.

it is reminiscent of the surreal cognitive gap in america between drinking age and the supposed 'maturity' needed to join the armed forces and kill people to order...is it surprising people go nuts with this kind of hypocritical bullshit from those entrusted with preparing them for the world?

there is no good answer politically for the abortion issue, just crap or crappier.

when every child really is welcome, and will be raised by a whole 'village', replete with loving understanding, then we won't even need to discuss this unsolvable problem.

till then, we men who are mortified by the act of abortion should be even more mortified by the context women must live in, pregnant or not, that is created by men, who have resisted any female emancipation historically, then i just feel it's arrogant for men to push their beliefs about this issue into the political arena.

especially as if we controlled ourselves better, women wouldn't have this problem!

sorry for the semi-coherent ramble... logically you are right, but the world is not so linear.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dear melo,
I'm afraid I have to comment on quite some points. Scanning over your diary titles, unfortunately I couldn't identify the one you are talking about.

I'm not aware about the quality of men's sexual education, especially at the lower educational end, which probably is most relevant. However, I can't accept the collectivism, to say men are "more persuasive, invasive and with less regard for the longterm consequences than womens' is.". Yes, in average they are, but with wide variations. So, if sexual behaviour is at the core of the argument, there is no reason, not to look on the credibility of each one's individual's live.

the facts speak for themselves, for the moral high ground one gains from taking a pure, anti-abortion position, one allies oneself with the baddest authoritarian, warmongering, religiously ignorant, bossy, nosy sons of bitches who ever got too big for their historical boots.
I don't understand completely to what you hint? The NAZIs, who by the way had an euthanasia program, which today sometimes is cited, when our special responsibility for disabled (e.g. not abort them) is called, were the first to implement major environmental protection laws in Germany. Does this make todays environmentalists to fascists?
Or are you talking about the Republicans of today? Then, to distance oneself from them, there are about a thousand issues, why using one of the less evil ones, to go into a political discussion, which necessarily ends up little nuanced, but completely polemic? If you talking about the GOP, as if I would have argued, it would be reasonable to vote them, just because they are right on this one issue, while they are wrong on all others. Obama by the way gets it, and has announced he would fire anybody in his campaign speculating about Sarah Palin's family live - the way ThatBritGuy, Metatone, and gk are doing.

by reluctantly conceding one's own rational loathing of abortion, or on a deeper level, the grief that a society can be so uptight and in denial about sex, that they do not educate their kids intelligently about this trickiest of areas, and their kids act out accordingly, one is allied with those who are actually doing something to create a greener, more intelligent world, where sex will be treated with the respect it deserves, with full disclosure of the facts of life as early as a child seeks to know about them.
How is the society in denial about sex? I think (in Germany) there was never a better informed youth than today. If education is bad, wouldn't that be the thing to change?
And does one have to buy everything what is considered by this group do-gooders? Don't you realise, that you are advocating totalitarism, when you either have to buy the full package, or you are part of the evil crowd, which can't be taken seriously at all? I have always said, I'm conservative, because the democratic acceptable and respectable political views are left of mine. If you are a democrat (not in the party sense, but in the sense of rule of the people), I think you have to accept some other opinions.

it is the sick shame projected together with a judgmental moralism that creates the cognitive dissonance, that then creates naive, undereducated kids, who act out.
As I said before, I'm 'created' by pro-live parents. I was the best in my 100 people high school age-group at the only private school in my hometown, and one of the fasted getting my physics diploma at one of the most respected universities in Germany.
My impression, as well from having watched a few times afternoon talkshows, is, that being pro-choicers are much more irresponsible than pro-livers, who actually know, that their actions have consequences.

Then you are talking about reality. This reality is made by people, who reality that way. Somebody had a sign like we matter more then pens and pounds. Yes, it seems the reality is often, that pens and pounds matter more. But that is a decision, done by humans, and humans could change it, if they would want to.

Then you are talking about historical load, men discriminating women. Your argument is simply rubbish. I have as many female as male ancients. How does it make boys a culprit and girls a victim, when their father is misbehaving towards their mother? Your argument is not just flawed, it is really really bad! With such arguments today, the extreme discrimination against boys in school is justified.

My selfcontrol is fine, I'm virgin. And if men shouldn't be in the discussion, men shouldn't be in the discussion. My original comment was about mistreating Sarah Palin. If men should not be in the discussion, to place the comment as a response to Fran's was wrong, but I guess some of the comments, I did target with my response do come from males.
So please take one of the 100 000 other issues, you could take to attack her, but stop using her family live for that. It might even be counterproductive, because people might vote for her in defiance of the mistreatment (which probably is one reason for the reaction of Obama). Even as no GOP voter will read this site, it is a matter of decency (which I'm confident, that it is as well a reason for Obama's reaction).

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 08:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin, I agree with you that men have a right to say what they think about this issue (obviously, since I've  been doing just that). However, if your surprised at the hostility, please remember what I wrote earlier about how from a pro-choice perspective forcing women to carry their pregnancies to term is the equivalent of a rather gruesome rape.

In general the one thing I sometimes disagree with certain feminists on is that men don't get a say on abortion on a personal level. It's a major life decision that affects both people in a relationship and it seems to be natural to me that the man would have an opinion. If I were to find out that a serious girlfriend had had an abortion without talking about it with me, I'd be extremely upset - far more so than, say, at a bit of casual cheating. On the other hand, in the end it's the woman's decision, in the same way that a decision to take a job in another location or for radically different hours or pay is. That would impact me, but I don't get a veto. This isn't 'fair', but it's also not 'fair' that women are the ones who  have to go through pregnancy.

As for what you say about pro-life vs. pro-choice people - ummh... My college and grad school experiences have been in environments which are both quite competitive and overwhelmingly pro-choice (at least ninety percent). I've definitely not observed that.

I also think you are confusing the life choices of many pro-choice people with a desire to impose them on others. But actually we don't want to force people to have abortions any more than we want to force them to go through with pregnancies - it's up to you. Same goes for sexual choices - those are up to you. All we want is to be able to make our own decisions on all such matters without government coercion.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
As I said before, I'm 'created' by pro-live parents. I was the best in my 100 people high school age-group at the only private school in my hometown, and one of the fasted getting my physics diploma at one of the most respected universities in Germany.
My impression, as well from having watched a few times afternoon talkshows, is, that being pro-choicers are much more irresponsible than pro-livers, who actually know, that their actions have consequences.

Your physics may be exceptional, but perhaps a little more logic could be useful in that argument.

There is - in most of the world - zero correlation between being pro- or anti-choice and academic ability.

As for the rest - statistics don't agree with your impression.

In fact this is exactly why we're having this argument. Fundies in the US lead far less moral lives, by the their own standards, than liberals do. Fundies are more likely to be in prison, more likely to have substance abuse issues, more likely to commit sex crimes and generally less likely to behave like rational adults - especially not rational adults with an understanding of consequences.

In fact this is the one of the keystones of the progressive movement - to educate conservatives about consequences.

Specifically it's to educate conservatives about the despicable social fallout of abstinence programs, of the disastrous consequences of militarism, of the carnage created by a culture of ownership without responsibility, and above all of the consequences of pretending that personal actions based on 'because I say so' or 'because an authority figure said so' don't work nearly as well for anyone as personal actions based on rational forethought and empathy.

If Sarah Palin is in the middle of the crossfire, it's because everything in her life dramatises these issues. And the last thing anyone wants - and by anyone I mean conservatives and progressives equally - is someone in charge of the biggest war machine in history who doesn't understand how to assess consequences realistically.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:46:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You conflate American statistics and my purely German experience.
Melo said, that creates the cognitive dissonance, that then creates naive, undereducated kids, who act out.

If being pro-live would be the source for that, it should apply in every society. But the reality is the other way around. Dumb people follow some form of explicit or implicit authority, and in the US it happens to be, that this authorities, which are used to replace own thinking, are pro-live.

And I would be perfectly happy with an non-interventionist not understanding how to assess consequences person in charge of the biggest war machine in history, while some warmonger, who understands how to assess consequences, but doesn't care about human lives in general, would be really troubling. Actually I doubt the assessment of the consequences of a significant military action is seriously possible.

If you need to use Palin's personal family story, in which I can't see anything bad, to portray Palin's incompetence as president, then you haven't much. Luckily Obama is better than that. Actually his attitude has impressed me so much in the last days, that I have a new signiture:

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:14:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
use Palin's personal family story, in which I can't see anything bad, to portray Palin's incompetence as president

You don't get it, do you? It's all about Abstinence-Only Sex Education which the US has been pushing on the rest of the world.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush announced his Five-Year Global HIV/AIDS Strategy. Also known as The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the plan committed the U.S. to provide $15 billion over five years towards AIDS relief in 15 countries in Africa and the Caribbean, and in Vietnam. About 20 percent of the funding, or $3 billion over five years, was allocated for prevention. The program required that, starting in fiscal year 2006, one-third of prevention funding be earmarked specifically for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Global AIDS prevention advocates have criticized the funding restriction, and in 2006 a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) also criticized the earmark, outlined the challenges that the funding restriction posed to countries hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic, and urged Congress to reconsider how this funding should be spent. A Congressionally authorized three-year evaluation of PEPFAR by the non-partisan Institute of Medicine in 2007 also criticized the earmark. In preparation for PEPFAR's reauthorization, bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress that would drop the earmark
As a Conservative, Catholic German do you agree that Abstinence-Only is the best Sex Education?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not fully sure what Abstinence-Only, really means as sex education. Seems to me not very, uhmm, educated.

However, Palin's daughter hasn't HIV, she has a baby. What the hell is wrong with that? Babys are good. Planned or unplanned, a baby is always good.
You can bring up the inefficiency of Abstinence-Only education to fight AIDS, you can ridicule the American obsession with sex references and education any time. But it is not decent, to do that with using existing babys.
You imply that this baby is a problem. It isn't. It's just a baby.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:59:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not fully sure what Abstinence-Only, really means as sex education. Seems to me not very, uhmm, educated.

However, Palin's daughter hasn't HIV, she has a baby. What the hell is wrong with that? Babys are good. Planned or unplanned, a baby is always good.

Supposedly Abstinence-Only sex education is the way to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancies without resort to contraception. Unwanted teenage pregnacies being a likely cause of abortion, which is also to be prevented.

Or so the theory goes.

The Palins provide a poster case for the failure of Abstinence-only sex education to prevent unplanned teenage pregnancy.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:03:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Palins provide a poster case for the failure of Abstinence-only sex education to prevent unplanned teenage pregnancy.

Well, but they don't provide a poster case for the negative consequences on live quality an unplanned baby can have.

And now you are using the girl, Bristol Palin, not Sarah Palin, for a political purpose. You portray a major decision of her live as a failing. Whatever you think about this case being poster case for whatever, this is simply bad style. Sure, what you are doing may be common, on, uhmm, fox news... Nothing else I'm saying. Is that the way politics is discussed in Spain or UK? Would be disappointed to hear that.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An unplanned pregnancy cannot be a major decision.

I didn't say anything negative about the decision to carry the pregnancy to term.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:00:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She has made a lot of decisions.
She made the decision to have sex, even when, as you seem to imply, abstinance was her major strategy to not get pregnant.
She made the decision, not to abort, probably pretty consistent with her views, however, some people might have chosen to do something else.
She will make the decision not to give her daughter free for adoption (Steve Jobs, e.g. was adopted right away of the bed where he was born).


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:12:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She made the decision to have sex, even when, as you seem to imply, abstinance was her major strategy to not get pregnant.

No, abstinence is the strategy advocated by her mother.

Which is the strategy being criticised here.

You could claim that the daughter is just a rebellious teenager and the mother's strategy is still the best, if you really wanted.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say anything negative about the decision to carry the pregnancy to term.
No, but you use this girl to portray what you see as failing. Recently I read Helmuth Kohl's sons were insulted or even beaten up in school by other children, because of political decisions, made by their father.

The abuse of family members, especially of children, of political opponents for political gain is something, which I condemn. And it is not something which is excusable by say people from the other party are doing this, too.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:16:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's pretty hard to criticize education policies without considering the effects they have on children. At one point, you have to say, "look, this policy has this effect on children, as exemplified by this and that case".

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:21:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you can't use anonymised examples, such as "I have met a girl...", "Statistically teenage pregnancies in this milieu/region...", "In other countries with a more extensive sexual education..."

No, you have to pick one explicit, underaged girl, who is not asked, if she wants to be picked by you as an example.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:28:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anonymised examples don't exist in the US press. Nor even in US Law where laws are often named after kids.

Also, it is the mother who is being criticised, showing her methods didn't produce what she's claiming to achieve ; I don't give a damn about her daughter, beyond wishing her happiness. I hope she was informed enough about the consequences of sex. And that the shotgun wedding isn't due to her mother's decision to run for VP.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:42:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anonymised examples don't exist in the US press. Nor even in US Law where laws are often named after kids.

Frankly, I think this insane. Maybe they do it for easier fact checking possibilities, but it is insane.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:52:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It happens because the politicians use prominent media cases of missing blonde girls to push legislation through.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:56:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with that one.

Another point : I think it makes Palin look even worse, that she accepted McCain's proposition, knowing the kind of scrutiny it would put on her family, and what it would do to her kid daughter.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 12:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
You conflate American statistics and my purely German experience.

You don't have a purely German experience. You have a European experience where the authoritarian Catholic church collided with secular social democracy in a series of battles which lasted centuries, and eventually social democracy won - at least for the moment.

In other countries - especially in Africa - that battle is still being fought, and the results are as predicted. I.e. lives are laid waste to, and the consequences are even more horrific than they are in the US.

Martin:

Dumb people follow some form of explicit or implicit authority, and in the US it happens to be, that this authorities, which are used to replace own thinking, are pro-live.

Pro-life authorities in the rest of the world aren't known for encouraging independent thought.

Can you name a pro-life organisation anywhere in the world which supports original scientific and philosophical enquiry and doesn't operate from a 'Because I said so' moral foundation?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 01:14:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a European experience where the authoritarian Catholic church collided with secular social democracy in a series of battles which lasted centuries, and eventually social democracy won - at least for the moment.

Quibble here but that's not completely true in areas where Catholics weren't the majority. Witness the rather different nature of the Catholic political movement in Bavaria and the Rhineland during the Kaiserreich and Weimar.

by MarekNYC on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 01:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should be more clear in your first part, what exactly you are talking about. In general history of Europe, the catholic church and social democracy are just two of quite a number of players.

Of course the only pro-live organisations I'm aware of, the churches in Germany, do support original scientific and philosophical enquiry in nearly every fields.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 02:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is the diary, from 2005, to which i refer:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/4/2/145254/8466/826/103935

i just reread it, and still feel the same way.

Martin:

However, I can't accept the collectivism, to say men are "more persuasive, invasive and with less regard for the longterm consequences than womens' is.".
 

i don't like using generalisms, (generally!) but in thic case feel it appropriate. not too many woman-on-man rapes!

Martin:

Or are you talking about the Republicans of today?

yes.

Martin:

If you talking about the GOP, as if I would have argued, it would be reasonable to vote them, just because they are right on this one issue,

if there ever was a poster-reason for how absolutist thinking was a bridge to nowhere-in-the-real-world.

your logic would hold water IF unborn foetus cells and their fate added up to be more big-picture critical than global warming, police state mentalities and the rest of the sorry list of bullshit values proposed as desirable and appropriate for society.

as it is, i think a society that eschewed abortion would be a wonderful thing, and i try to align my actions to be conducive to that future, but to make a litmus test out of it is an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

Martin:

How is the society in denial about sex? I think (in Germany) there was never a better informed youth than today. If education is bad, wouldn't that be the thing to change?

let me count the ways!

you are correct about germany, however. even nazis dug sex! i was happily stunned with how open german talk shows are about sexual issues of all stripes, and even how attractive most of the girls who advertised for company in the local dusseldorf newspaper were.

a german friend, told me it's because most german men are gay or married, and there's therefore a shortage of available hetero males, lol! her tongue may have been in her cheek, i dunno..

the contrast with prissy old england could not have been more shocking-

Martin:

And does one have to buy everything what is considered by this group do-gooders? Don't you realise, that you are advocating totalitarism, when you either have to buy the full package, or you are part of the evil crowd, which can't be taken seriously at all? I have always said, I'm conservative, because the democratic acceptable and respectable political views are left of mine. If you are a democrat (not in the party sense, but in the sense of rule of the people), I think you have to accept some other opinions.

hello...you've taken my point and pointed it back at me, lol! i do accept other opinions, including the one that statistically shows how the most irresponsible sexual behaviour of all stems from clueless teenagers who've been fed soapy lies, or worse, nothing at all truthful, objective or relevant about this issue, the most central to all our lives.

absolute moralism in the face of uncomfortable reality always creates the opposite effect than intended...jokes about the preacher's daughter have been around for ever.

i do accept others' opinions, especially when it's about others' bodies, and ask the same in return.

quite simple.

Martin:

Then you are talking about historical load, men discriminating women. Your argument is simply rubbish. I have as many female as male ancients. How does it make boys a culprit and girls a victim, when their father is misbehaving towards their mother? Your argument is not just flawed, it is really really bad! With such arguments today, the extreme discrimination against boys in school is justified.

wha??? you've totally lost me here...

Martin:

So please take one of the 100 000 other issues, you could take to attack her, but stop using her family live for that.

well, i didn't, if you care to reread the threads, i attacked the hypocrisy and double standards that are the so-frequent fruit of this particular form of moral blinkeredness.

the repubs are brushing aside the story, saying 'they're getting married, so it's ok for her to be pregnant...'.

i find that funny, and sad. i hope some parents learn from this, that's all.

thanks for your detailed reply.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:18:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
since mens' sexuality is more persuasive, invasive and with less regard for the longterm consequences than womens' is..

I'd agree that's probably true as a general rule in the society we live in, but I'm also pretty certain it's socially constructed - i.e. society shapes men to be more sexually aggressive, and women to be less so. Having gone to a pretty non-sexist college, and when there finding myself hanging out in an even more egalitarian environment, I can attest that women are quite capable of aggressive sexuality. In the parties I hung out at, that even included some reverse 'girls gone wild' stuff like encouraging guys to flash or egging on straight men to kiss each other. And of course most did - to appear 'cool' and to impress that hot brunette over there - the same reasons women do it. Nor are women immune to saying, oh who cares about that lack of condoms when intoxicated on desire with a possible but not necessary extra assist from ethanol. And like men, some women will even try to pressure men into sex.

  To sum up, I'm not at all convinced that an egalitarian society if and when it ever comes about, will be that much more responsible about sex.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MarekNYC:
I'd agree that's probably true as a general rule in the society we live in, but I'm also pretty certain it's socially constructed - i.e. society shapes men to be more sexually aggressive, and women to be less so.

that would make a very interesting discussion, i think.

i take your anthropological point, some cultures give more power to women, and they seem quite happy with the arrangement.

however the horny drunk mobs of ibiza, that come from england, are an example, like most porn, of womens' identity being subsumed to mens' fantasies.

not a pretty sight...

pre-feminist, if you will.

MarekNYC:

And like men, some women will even try to pressure men into sex.

i think men use love to get sex, women use sex to get love, the pressure goes both ways.

MarekNYC:

To sum up, I'm not at all convinced that an egalitarian society if and when it ever comes about, will be that much more responsible about sex.

why not?

just because of the sexual behaviour that is the result of the unegailitarian setup we have now?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:39:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i think men use love to get sex, women use sex to get love

I've always been dubious of this point of view, as it leans towards conservative views of the role of Men and Women.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i believe it, because both can be right and happy about it.

if they give each other what they want, that is.

of course nothing is absolutely true. exceptions abound, thank the fsm-

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An interesting thing to pick up on there.

How many myths do we still unconsciously keep replicating because they are so ingrained in the way societal gender roles are viewed, despite the progress that has been made in liberating women from the most conservative of structures in some places?

We still fall foul of using one myth to argue back against another however hard we try to use actual evidence and stats as much as possible.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:01:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if you push it further it goes along to the argument that Men are more promiscuous than Women that is often bandied about.

the question that follows on from that is If men are Then who are they promiscuous with?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:06:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one example.

I find anthropological points of view interesting but I do also wonder how relevant they are in some cases.  Maybe melo can offer his view on that.

For example in the stone age in order to survive, women needed to be baby machines and men had to go off sowing their seed and hunting for food.  But we don't have those kind of constraints on our society now so how useful is it to try to say 'well men do this and women do that because of our basic primal instincts'?

Any individual's potential role in society has altered drastically over the 100 years let alone the last 1000.  In seeking equality for all, I just don't find it helpful when myths about capabilities and desires of one group vs another get thrown about.  

When I use stats to represent proportions eg women are still proportionally more likely to bear the burden of being the primary carer for children or disabled/elderly relatives.  This is partly because womens still get paid less than men (proportionally) hence if a decision has to be made about who goes part time or leaves work, the one with the lower salary and prospects is going to have to take that on, again, more likely to be a woman.  There's statistical evidence for that and it is useful to use when arguing around the need for change and for certain types of interventions to address inequality.  

I don't find it useful to say things like, 'women prefer to be homemakers' because that is a myth even if some women do prefer to be.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For example in the stone age in order to survive, women needed to be baby machines and men had to go off sowing their seed and hunting for food.
Really? How do you know?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I don't!  I'm just picking up on things I have been taught to believe are true. Maybe it is a myth and maybe not.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's definitely a myth. Whether it has any basis in reality or was created/evolved to justify a division of work on grounds of "naturalness" - one of the great idiocies is to equate "natural" with "normative" - or not is the question.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:29:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure that in one of the boxes I've got a report that says that even in a relatively primitive society, survival rates are increased by reducing the number of children a woman has, down to a point where the societies numbers are roughly in balance.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Evolutionary psychology controversy
"Just-So Stories"

Critics assert that many hypotheses put forward to explain the adaptive nature of human behavioural traits are "Just-so stories"; neat adaptive explanations for the evolution of given traits that do not rest on any evidence beyond their own internal logic. They allege that evolutionary psychology can predict many, or even all, behaviours for a given situation, including contradictory ones. Therefore many human behaviours will always fit some hypotheses.[citation needed]

For example, kin selection predicts that humans will be altruistic toward relatives in proportion to their relatedness, while reciprocal altruism predicts that we will be altruistic toward people from whom we can expect altruism in the future (but not strangers). A story of any complexity can be constructed to fit any behaviour, but, critics assert, nothing distinguishes one story from another experimentally.[citation needed]

Defenders of evolutionary psychology suggest that the term "just so story" is a derogatory way of describing alternative hypotheses which need empirical evaluation. Furthermore there is no known scientific mechanism which can explain human behaviour besides natural selection.

Leda Cosmides noted in an interview:

"Those who have a professional knowledge of evolutionary biology know that it is not possible to cook up after the fact explanations of just any trait. There are important constraints on evolutionary explanation. More to the point, every decent evolutionary explanation has testable predictions about the design of the trait. For example, the hypothesis that pregnancy sickness is a byproduct of prenatal hormones predicts different patterns of food aversions than the hypothesis that it is an adaptation that evolved to protect the fetus from pathogens and plant toxins in food at the point in embryogenesis when the fetus is most vulnerable - during the first trimester. Evolutionary hypotheses - whether generated to discover a new trait or to explain one that is already known - carry predictions about the nature of that trait. The alternative - having no hypothesis about adaptive function - carries no predictions whatsoever. So which is the more constrained and sober scientific approach?"

In his review article Discovery and Confirmation in Evolutionary Psychology (in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology) Edouard Machery concludes:

"Evolutionary psychology remains a very controversial approach in psychology, maybe because skeptics sometimes have little first-hand knowledge of this field, maybe because the research done by evolutionary psychologists is of uneven quality. However, there is little reason to endorse a principled skepticism toward evolutionary psychology: Although clearly fallible, the discovery heuristics and the strategies of confirmation used by evolutionary psychologists are on a firm grounding."


Another great field in which 'just so' stories feature prominently is economics (and as with ev. psych, it's the popularised version and the consequent received ideas that do most of the damage, not necessarily the research done in academic institutions).
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:40:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just saw there's a new(ish) book out subtitled "Why Economics explains nearly everything", which might as well be "Why Economics has a just-so story for nearly everything".

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:18:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The natural vs the social debate is interesting. As you point out we assume that we know what our 'natural' state/role as a man or as a woman is based on myth or dodgy evidence - which is then frequently perpetuated without any critical analysis.  Yet 'moral' judgements are made and enforced based on this.

The norms of society in the UK will differ to other countries, societies and cultures elsewhere in the world.  Is there actually a common 'natural' state for all men and all women?  

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:51:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there actually a common 'natural' state for all men and all women?

yup. but live that out and you'll end up in jail, pronto...

semi-snark

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:34:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there actually a common 'natural' state for all men and all women?
What does "natural" mean in this context?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stripped of all culture, which is clearly a "natural" state for human beings...

The philosophical non-starters we inherit from the likes of Rousseau...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:37:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rousseau and just about evey other political philosopher in the Early Modern period... (wiki)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's part of a broader affliction among philosophers to look for an original starting point upon which to formulate principles. These turn out to be fictions, or thought experiments. And as thought experiments in ethics go, the state of nature is a piss-poor one.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:56:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently bloggers are also afflicted.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:57:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The lot of them.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeeaaah. Rah!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:23:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you strip humans of culture?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:45:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from exposure to reality TV, of course.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taking a cue from InWales, maybe a reality TV show on a desert island would produce a state of nature...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question. IMO unpossible.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly, it would be an impossible thing to try to define yet the word 'natural' is used so often with the meaning implicitly assumed and yet never discussed.

The closest I could try to articulate would be how would male and female roles fall into place were a small community/tribe to find themselves living together - no 'cultural' structures or rituals or roles currently established...  My first thought there is that it would largely be determined by the environment they were living in and thus would vary.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a small community/tribe to find themselves living together - no 'cultural' structures or rituals or roles currently established...

And none carried over from whatever communities these people come from...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:53:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps like Celebrity Love Island.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean Celebrity Love Island participants carry over no culture from their societies of origin?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are 'celebrities'.  I didn't think they lived in the real world anyway.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, so from the Celebrity subculture which they share (and the rest of us are force-fed through the daily media we consume).

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:41:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Contain large sets of human rules (like 'winning')
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even without that, participants are not lobotomised, and they share a language and a broader cultural background.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Environment - economics in the wide sense really - constrains culture in the long run but it doesn't determine it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:56:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whereas culture may well be said to exercise, to some extent, a determining effect on environment/"economics in the wide sense".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:27:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feedback loops...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:38:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
roles fall into place were a small community/tribe to find themselves living together - no 'cultural' structures or rituals or roles currently established...

Cue in Lord of the Flies.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:01:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the first thing that came to my mind too. But well, that's just one vision, an imaginary experiment, of how humans would behave, or worse, how young teenagers would isolated from their environment. (and how much of their environment would they bring to the island to start with?)

But on a very pessimistic days, I'd say LotF wouldn't be that far from the truth...

by Nomad on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:07:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just as imaginary as Hobbes', or Locke's, or Rousseau's, or Hume's state of nature

And as fictional as reality TV.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:09:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well it's funny how much more the children smile more and the old (the ones who make it) age with more dignity in the third world.

must be the poverty...

i remember hearing that in europe in the middle ages, once a year the whole village would meet by night and bonk their hearts out in the dark with whomever.

mixing up the old gene pool...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think people in the third world don't have culture?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:56:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
course they do, one that took millennia to knit, unlike our shiny new throwaway one...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:30:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Western™ culture didn't take millennia to kit?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
colman and migeru in telepathic harmony...

i'm looking at the unravelled skeins around our feet.

on the bright side, i see a new global culture forming too, woven from the many threads that survive commodification.

pop over to sven's musical diary for evidence of that...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:04:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i just picked up on the nuance/spelling slip!

yup that's our main contribution.... better KIT

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:08:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ours took millennia to knit as well.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:37:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, i know.

then we traded it in for the truman show.

'madmen' is the new 'sopranos'. i was happy to see that obama relaxes to it on the campaign plane.

anyone want to learn through drama how the truman show took over western media culture in the sixties could do worse than check it out.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:01:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're romanticising other cultures, which are generally also pretty crappy. 80% of everything is shit.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, remind me at what point "our" culture was so bloody great? 1800s? 1930s? 1950s?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:26:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought the consensus was no later than 8000 BC?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:31:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, our culture produced artifacts that still command global respect.

lately not so much.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whereas other cultures have been churning out global-respect-commanding artifacts at an alarming rate, lately.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ok, ok, i really set myself up for that one!

i guess the chinese olympics...

<dux>

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:48:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the Chinese do Western™ culture better than The West™?

Not that that would be too surprising...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:50:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
actually we still produce music and movies that command respect...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:43:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have a source for that statistic?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:26:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, though I'm being a bit conservative.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:28:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes it's true, maybe 90+%!

the virtue of other cultures is they're not ours, which of course can lead to romanticisation, of which i have been guilty, but no more, no more...

not since i found ET, lol!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:42:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The natural vs the social debate is interesting.

Except in the case of social creatures (such as humans) in which the social is part of the natural.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why it is an interesting debate because the 'natural' and 'social' really aren't possible to separate out completely. But to what extent do they overlap (and how) and what is the impact of that?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:05:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it doesn't make the debate interesting, it makes it specious as it is not either-or.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:06:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My subjective opinion is that it is an interesting debate.  I'm not just discussing this in the context of gender roles but more widely.  

How much of how we behave, live, work and so on is defined by social norms and expectations and upbringing and how much is driven by say genetics or personality?  It is an interesting debate to have because depending on whether you believe the 'natural' (whatever that is) or the 'social' is more influential then your view on how to tackle social problems will vary.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:22:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
whether you believe the 'natural' (whatever that is) or the 'social' is more influential

And it is not whether - or, is the point.


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:26:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I'm the only person here who can remotely comment on that. and I think this thread is full enough as it is.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll seed a diary on it if you like?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:52:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually it kinda feeds into some thoughts I was having about a diary I need to write. Give me a day and if I haven't posted anything, remind me. Probably later this pm tho'.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, you always say how no-one's around, when they come out the woodwork, it's too much.

my new kitty says hi, btw!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:20:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has been a inteersting discussion, but once ET starts going to thin columns and then double-width pages, conversations become very difficult to follow.

Plus the page refresh takes ages.

I tend to duck out at that point.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:39:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could try setting your comment preferences to minimal or dynamic minimal after a certain number of comments.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:53:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks, now it's my turn...

get a catmac!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:12:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congrats on getting the cat. long overdue.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
say wha?

are the only debates that interest you reducible to binary terms?

funny, i find that's exactly what makes these types of discussion so fascinating, and they generate so many comments, too.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:19:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The categories are undefined and probably undefinable, and the debate is stated in binary terms (nature vs nurture) not by me.

So, yes, I don't find it interesting but not for the reasons you imagine.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i have a vivid imagination, but not that vivid!

it is now clearer to me why you find it uninteresting.

perhaps because you don't anticipate any novel viewpoints to emerge here?

luckily it is interesting some of us... a hoary argument for sure, but it's the journey, not the arrival.

meaning we may never know, but the conversations it enables are revealing, because it's obviously something many great minds have bent to understand, and some here have reflected quite deeply thereupon, to judge by the interest and comments.

horses for courses...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe melo can offer his view on that.

how can i refuse?

i love to study others' cultural mores, and am always curious as to how maybe our own have possibly some very fundamental assumptions wrong.

but if you want to try and live cross-culturally, there's a high price to pay.  so groupthink is a big part of how we form our own opinions.

more info...more choice.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:30:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, from my observations, lesbian couples are more sexually faithful, while male gay couples more understanding about occasional infidelities.

doesn't prove a thing, natch...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 07:22:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dont really have enough data to say wether thats right or wrong. although the most promiscuous person I know is a gay man. I've not noticed any of he lesbians I know being any more comitted than heterosexual couples

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 08:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how do we tell which ones are myths? My rule of thumb is to assume they all are. I mean, it seems pretty clear there are differences in tendency between the genders - the variation in hormones makes that inevitable - I'm guessing that the variation is probably smaller than environmental effects.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:08:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See my response to ceebs. There is anthropological and physiological evidence to back up some myths - or perhaps the evidence is misinterpreted to create the myths.  I query how relevant it is to use certain types of evidence and how much weight should be given if it is used.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more meaningless dualism, hiding all the nasty details of individual variation under a nice neat little classification that bears no useful relation to reality.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:02:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the horny drunk mobs of ibiza, that come from england

Why does England have to export its horny drunk mobs? (I'm also thinking about the Praguestag nights, etc)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:04:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
because they've been tut-tutted into repression at home, that's why.

too much rain'll do that. i'm sure many of them would prefer not to go all the way to spain to feel ok about their 'animal spirits'!

where else than britain (and russia) do more people drink with oblivion as sole destination?

in spain they get to bonk before they fall over in a stupor, and don't have to face mum over breakfast the morning after. for the price of a ryan air ticket!

got to have some ecstatic moments before getting back to the office grind...

the perils of too much 'proper', i reckon.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 09:29:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The cost and quality of the British beer, perhaps?

Most of Southern Sweden exports its drunken mobs to Copenhagen for pretty much those reasons. As for why the mobs are horny as well as drunken, I think the horny is just along for the ride whenever drunken mobs get together...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:14:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think men use love to get sex, women use sex to get love, the pressure goes both ways.

Both do both. Men are just as much prey to the delusion that if only I can get her to sleep with me she'll want me on other levels as well. The social sexual stereotyping that I see on the other side is the belief that a single guy who has no moral problems with casual sex will always want it.

however the horny drunk mobs of ibiza, that come from england, are an example, like most porn, of womens' identity being subsumed to mens' fantasies.

I think that's only partly true - i.e. what that is is also women playing the 'be popular' game, and just doing what it takes to get laid. The college crowd I was in was really not that sort of frat boy type one. And god knows getting straight guys to kiss each other really isn't part of a broader social stereotype of straight male fantasies. That was even more true fifteen years ago.

why not?

just because of the sexual behaviour that is the result of the unegailitarian setup we have now?

What I was specifically referring to is the way desire crowds out responsibility once people start fooling around. And I don't see women being less prone to that than men. You start out thinking, well, we can fool around and do all sorts of stuff that doesn't require condoms. A little while later...

The one absolute difference I've seen is in the use of violence and physical coercion to get sex. Women don't seem to do that. How much of that is to do with strength differences I don't know. That difference is also what keeps the more extreme examples of women pressuring guys into sex that I've known about from being rape or sexual assault.

On a semi related note, I've also known more women than men who are genuinely into serious open relationships, as opposed to simply selfishly into cheating. (The difference is honesty and a complete lack of sexual jealousy.)

by MarekNYC on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Men are just as much prey to the delusion that if only I can get her to sleep with me she'll want me on other levels as well.

or: if i can get her to sleep with me it means there's something she sees in me to love...

I've also known more women than men who are genuinely into serious open relationships

straight and/or gay?

great reply, marek, very nice...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 12:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm speaking of straight people.
by MarekNYC on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 12:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So I'm not allowed to share the opinion of these women?

no you're not! the rules clearly state that any difference of opinion here will be severely punished.

how dare you have your own opinion that is not politically correct!

please sign up for ET re-education camp.

/ snarkarola

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:00:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying the man is just a sperm donor and has no say either way on whether his pregnant partner has an abortion?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:16:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well men don't have much role in raising children, so why should they have a say in anything to do with them? Mind you, I don't think the father should be able to either force or stop an abortion: however a woman who chooses to have a child against the father's will shouldn't be able to claim support from him thereafter. That's going to be another popular opinion, isn't it?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So at waht point pre-birth can the father withdraw consent and leave the mother without support? and when you've decided that why that point and not any other?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somewhere before the deadline for deciding to have an abortion.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:56:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That could be used to put a great deal of unfair pressure on the woman.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:11:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In what way unfair?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:15:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could argue it is unfair for a man to get a monetary benefit (pay for a cheap abortion to save future child support) by having a woman undergo a traumatic medical procedure when she would rather have the child.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Entrapment does happen. Germaine Greer had an interesting book out in the 80s about historical sexual habits which were based on deliberately getting pregnant so that a man would be forced to marry and provide support.

The issue of consent becomes as fuzzy as it occasionally does in rape cases. It's easy to be clear at the extremes, but it can get very fuzzy in the middle, especially if either or both people change their minds about what happened after the event.

That's not going to be a popular idea either, I suppose.

Maybe condom packets could come with pre-printed indemnity contracts which could be signed and exchanged in the presence of a lawyer before the condoms are used?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 10:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Ideal World(TM), where men and women have equal rights de facto and not merely de jure, as well as equal pay, equal opportunity, equal wossname, etc., I might agree in principle (noting, however, that there is a case to be made for providing some form of government support to single parents in such cases to avoid abortions due to purely economic concerns).

But until that happy day, I say the fight for gender equality has bigger fish to fry than the rather meagre support money being that the non-parenting parent pays to the parenting one (who are usually, although not universally, male and female, respectively).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excuse me ??? I don't know about dKos, but nobody in this thread has directly attacked Bristol Palin, least of all Fran to whom yours was  reply.

I would never criticize any girl who chooses to have a child in such circumstances, although I might wish that she had been better informed of her options in life. However, it is hard to escape the irony of seeing somebody who campaigns for sexual ignorance watching her own daughter's future options close down on her as a result of her sentiments.

My heart goes out to Bristol, and I wish nothing but the best ofr her and her child. I especially hope I never hear of her again as this would mean her privacy is repsected.

But my heart is cold, closed and hardened on a mother who visits this, not only on her own daughter who is probably insulated by a loving family from some of the grimmer consequences of this decision, but wishes to do the same for all american women, irrespective of rape or even the survuval of the mother. Pure evil

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there are lots of insults in the comments. I don't know how anybody here can complain about fox news, with such assholism as displayed by many of your comments. Decency is not exactly the strength of the internet. But I start to understand actually, why so many republicans seem to lack empathy - the democrats killed it.

Cause generally happens before effect. If you read up a bit on the last half-century of US political history, you'll find that the repugs were consistently quite a bit nastier than the dems quite a bit earlier.

By one admittedly very crude metric, consider the number of political murders targeting progressives vs. the number targeting wingnuts. On the progressive side, we have MLK, JFK, a few of JFK's family, Malcom X and a couple of other people I've forgotten. Against the repugs and wingnuts, we have one (failed) assassination of Reagan. So tell me again who dragged US politics into the gutter.

Now, "he started it" is not a particularly good excuse and I'm not a big fan of exitus acta probat, but there is a class war going on here and the democrats are slightly less traitorous than the repugs. As such, I find it really, really hard to muster any sympathy for a republican operative. Whether Palin Jr. is in that category is something I do not have enough information about her to decide, but the mother sure as Hell is.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 03:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This 'cause and effect' is in this case an explaination, not a justification. I wouldn't have a civilised discussion with somebody who is aggresivly supporting Bush. It is only the otherwise rather intelligent, sometimes even wise discussion here on ET, which led me to the opinion, we could do better than tit for tat. The EU was created after ~1000 years of enemyship and lots of wars beween Germany and France. Would we had found Europe, if we were in the same situation as our leaders back then?

Why do the Republicans still have a base? Or better, why is the Republican base still producing politicians who favour Bush-like policy, when Bush's policies are a 99% failure?
I don't see an answer, other than the polarisation fortified by this tit for tat, which wouldn't be deeply anti-american. I had already, unfortunately inconclusive, discussion about possible reasons, but everything I supposed, was dismissed, which leaves it unexplained, why nearly 60 million Americans voted for Bush in 2004, or why Obama (who has reacted very good so far to anything related with Palin) is leading with only 8-10% in the polls - and not 30-40%.


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This 'cause and effect' is in this case an explaination, not a justification.

It's neither, it's a counterpoint. You claimed, in the block I quoted, that repug nastiness is caused by dem nastiness. Which would put the effect - repug nastiness - before the cause - dem nastiness. Being a physicist by training, I'm sure you appreciate that effect coming before cause is a rather serious problem for a model that attempts to describe reality :-P

As for Bush's base, recall that Bush's handlers own the press and that there is no effective opposition to the Bush regime's policies. It's like asking why people would still vote for Tory Bliar the second time around, despite his administration being a miserable failure, and then blaming it on the tone of his critics on the left. It's a non sequitour.

Also, recall that the people of Rome never rebelled, as long as the bread and circus scheme kept working. For that matter, I wouldn't have as big a problem with bread and circus if everyone could have it (I would still have a problem with it because it's paternalistic, but that's another issue). But the bread and circus provided to Europeans and Americans is bought by a continued rape of the rest of the world (or at least of the parts of it that don't have nukes...). Just as Rome's bread and circus was financed by raping the provinces.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which would put the effect - repug nastiness - before the cause - dem nastiness.

I had more a mean field theory (reference is the one dimensional Ising model) in mind. You have your magnetic dipoles, and of course due to their thermal energy from time to time they flip, but due to the net magnetic field, caused by all the other magnetic dipoles, they stay much longer in the direction of the B field - and cause thereby on average a contribution to this B field keeping the other dipoles aligned.
For sue this, lets say piece of iron, was somewhere in the past magnetised externally. But the cause, that the iron remains magnetised is the reaction to all the other dipoles.

For explaining Tony Blair, I have actually another model, this time from economics. The situation is different, because Blair was already in the party, which was assumed to be better at those things you name a failure. Essentially people hadn't a real alternative at the ballot box - and turnout as well as labour's share of the vote were miserable, only order 15% of all possible voters did cast a vote for Blair, on this level Ahmadineshad of Iran can claim the same democratic legitimicy as Blair. In the US, there was a realistic alternative, which could be expected to be better, however little good this better might be assessed.

However, the model I wanted to lay out:
You have a beach, homogeniously populated, with two ice sellers, the rightwinger C and the leftwinger S. Where do they place themselves. To get about half of all people who do want to get an ice, both are somewhat close to the center, but there is some space between them, as they want to distinguish from each other.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-S-+-+-+-+-+-+-C-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

The elections are essentially decided by the people living between the two ice sellers.
So now comes Blair, and declares NewLabour (and Schroeder, declaring "Die Neue Mitte"). And they move the S somewhat to the right. So they will get all the vote left of them, which is more than before. If they are lucky, the rightwingers are going to keep some distance between themselves and the leftwingers, and move a bit right, too.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-S-+-+-+-C-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

That election is a save win, if not too many people on the left of the beach now say, if the ice seller is so far away, then they are not at all going to buy an ice. Sometimes of course unforeseen things happen, e.g. that a 3rd ice seller says, OK, now I have enough people there on the left side of the beach to open another shop.

-+-L-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-S-+-+-+-C-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

This is of course what happend to Schroeder and the SPD in Germany. But with a proportional representation election system and a party, which was already a major party in eastern Germany, it is much easier to that, than in a majority voting system, with no such party in place (assessing greens and liberals for several reasons standing at a different beach)

And yes, we in Europe might get bread and circus, but in the US I'm not sure, if they haven't somehow managed, to make only circus, but no bread.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:58:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aye, but the catch is that the guy with the external magnet is still cranking up the field...

I think the ice cream stand is a good analogy, though.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 3rd, 2008 at 03:26:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush won in '04 for a number of reasons and here are some of them:

Unseating a sitting President is the hardest political task in the US

10 million more Evangelicals voted in '04 versus '00

Kerry ran a lousy campaign

Lingering nationalism from 9/11

Voter fraud and repression in Ohio

Bush received the highest percentage of Latino vote in GOP history (45%)

Kerry was a lousy campaigner

The GOP constructed a superb GOTV organization and ran it skillfully

The GOP constructed a superb anti-Kerry propaganda campaign and ran it skillfully

The full affect of Bush's policies hadn't become so stark

The Iraq War still had (bare) majority support

The GOP managed to cobble their Center-Right to Right coalition together one more time -- hopefully the last time

Also it is worth pointing-out Kerry received the highest number of votes for a losing presidential bid ever.  He would have swamped Bush '00 by 9 million votes.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:39:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that the VP spouse is sort of forcibly unemployed, there shouldn't be a shortage of parental care time.
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:57:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To elaborate, there's no shortage of people in high powered jobs with small children, why is this different?
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:17:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit you got a point there. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus Palin and her husband are probably wealthy enough to support a family of 7, special needs or not.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:10:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

You know, the past couple of days have provided proof to me that, if there is a God, he/she/it has a vicious sense of humor.  In fact, I'm almost convinced that Bill Maher is God, because this reads like a Bill Maher standup routine.

Between the Republicans rushing to take political advantage of a storm that turned out to be not a big deal, and Sarah Palin, major winger and abstinence-only advocate, revealing that her teenage daughter did precisely what we on the Left know kids do when they don't get the education -- I mean, really, you can't buy writing like this.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, it's parody-defying, for sure.

just heard a good one-liner on this:

'good thing she's in the NRA, since it'll be a shotgun wedding'

heh

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:46:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, I'm almost convinced that Bill Maher is God, because this reads like a Bill Maher standup routine.

LOL
i just saw bill mayer last night on leno, (a rerun from aug 28), and yes bill maher is definitely divinely inspired.

no-one gets to be that fu++ing funny without help from upstaire!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that then would have been more a sign of racism than family values.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, i think your analysis is correct. Stay well away from this except, and then only if you have to, about abstinence-only education.

The dems can only gain from this, but not if they are seen taking advantage. I agree that McCain has gone for a total naif and will get burnt and burnt again as this backwoods hick keeps embarrassing him. Any bets that an older wiser head comes to chaperone her around ? I'm sure the Borg Lord Cheney could assimilate her "advise" her.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It continues to be a bad week to be McCain.

But I don't think the pregnancy will be negative for the 'values voters.' Firstly they think women are baby machines, and the wedlock thing (what kind of a word is 'wedlock' anyway?) is always optional, as long as appearances are preserved.

Which they will be here - the shotgun is ready and the cake is being baked. (As it were.)

But more than that it shows that Palin can be compassionate and forgiving of an all-too-human lapse, which will cement the love in the family and make everyone stronger.

Or some other bucket of Hallmark of that sort.

None of this is bad. It's only liberals who believe that family values are about families and values, when really they're just a redneck excuse to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

Remember - abstinence is better than sex, but getting pregnant is better than any form of contraception.

It's what women were made for, and god totally approves. And at 17 - well, that's actually kind of wholesome and sweet.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
17 is kinda young, but the big deal is, she's not married?  If that causes a big stir, holy crap!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:38:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Palin's spokesman didn't know Bristol was pregnant.  No way in Hell McCain knew now.

But, no, hear me on this: Among middle-aged fundies, this is not damaging.  Among older fundies, the Republican ticket just turned itself into a billboard for all that is wrong with America.  Now they compare that to the Obama family, which America is now in love with, and what do they think?

Key differences there.  The unprincipled fundies are a larger group, but the principled ones are not insignificant.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:40:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is Labor Day and I'm not certain about TV scheduling.  Be interested to see how Olbermann eventually covers this story, assuming he does.

Old fundies simmering in a good way ... what an odd concept.  Leaves a strange taste in the mouth.  Will have to let it sit, pop some corn, and watch.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:46:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Among middle-aged fundies, this is not damaging.

As Altemeyer teaches us, authoritarians don't do logic or consistency.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd echo TBG on this, but add, the lefty blogosphere got totally played. The speculation about the Down's syndrome kid raised the ante just in time for this announcement to be a relative relief for the values voters.

Throw in the shotgun wedding and it's back on the trail for the Palin VP.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It strikes me as a bit too convenient. The story I saw says she is 5 months pregnant, i.e., just long enough so that it is physiologically impossible for her to be the mother of the first kid, but short enough so that we won't find out if the "5 months" is the truth until after the election. Is there any reason to believe anything the McCain camp says? Of course, if they planted the internet story, they may have intentionally left the possibility I describe open as well.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ya know, I admit the speculation is very tempting, but not only does it not go anywhere, whatever the answer it doesn't prove anything cos she is not running for office; her mother is. I think this young teenager should be allowed to get on with her life without everybody talking and pointing fingers.  

I, for one will not mention her name again. I'd like to hope others will do the same

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's not like there aren't plenty of other scandals around Palin.

And there's more where that came from.

Purely politically, Palin comes across as one of those control freak middle managers who turn up, stir things up with a dose of pointless drama, suck up to the higher ups, and are terminally useless at getting anything productive done.

I'm guessing it's going to be another bad week for McCain.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if McCain can survive a really bad week, especially since this is convention week.  He needs a bump out of that.  Or at the very least he needs to drag Obama down.  The consensus is now universal: Obama is in the very high 40s and may be headed into the fifties, while McCain's numbers are incredibly volatile and only getting into the mid-40s in Rasmussen's Likely Voter model.

He needs a good week.

If he has to throw Palin under the bus, he may well be dead.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:45:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Palin has just hired a lawyer in Troopergate.

This is an absolute disaster for McCain.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, but popcorn sales for democrats are gonna be through the roof this week as they settle down to truly enjoy the republican conflagration.

Palin, truly Sarah is funnier than Michael.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:55:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think if I were the Reps, I'd be nervous.  With the Ron Paul people in town looking to rip up the GOP convention, and all the shit about Palin, this could be very, very bad.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:02:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhhhhhhh Helen.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:33:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He needs a bump you say.
A pregnancy bump?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:49:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And her address to the Alaska Independence Party. They claim that she was an AIP member, before she became mayor.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just out of interest, what is the difference between the AIP who wish to secede from the USA and those who fly the confederate flag, who celebrate those who seceeded previously and evidently still venerate values that are legally anti-american ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:28:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, one could have good reasons not to want to be part of the U.S without being a pro-slavery racist. In practice, though, there always does seem to be a significant overlap between the two.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's always the Vermont independentists...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:05:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ones who fly the Confederate flag at least know that the fight is over.  The South is part of the Union.  The AIP still hopes to secede.

Again, Palin is insane.  The evidence is mounting.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:50:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Again, Palin is insane.  The evidence is mounting.

God, I love this place!  LOL!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:37:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Alaska Independence Party has put a link to her address on its front page - right above a link to the Pravda article about them (I wonder why Pravda is so interested...)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 02:28:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's another important point: Obama has, so far, successfully framed the election as being about the question of which candidate understands voters' problems.  On that, 63% of voters say Obama gets it.  Only 41% say McCain does, while 48% say he does not.

Obama played under the radar with his statewide ads and built a national message without us seeing it.  McCain has to somehow counter that.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 05:17:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally a voice of sanity...: she is not running for office; her mother is. I think this young teenager should be allowed to get on with her life

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:04:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember - abstinence is better than sex

It is?

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:51:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, good. i won't feel so bad then.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet it's all a setup. I think McCain wants Rice as VP, but her reputation is not conservative enough for the party. By "selecting" Palin, whose only qualification is her conservative position, and then by having the Democrats expose her many shortcomings, McCain will be able to accept her upcoming "resignation" and safely select Rice as a running mate.
by asdf on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:17:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's plausible.

I'm not sure it's convincing, because it implies rational forward planning and strategic thinking.

It's also way too smart for either Rove or McCain to think of on their own. And I'm not sure it would work. A resignation would destroy Palin, and I think even Republicans would wonder about that.

But it's true - Rice could be much more convincing as a choice if she's parachuted in in this generous way than if she arrived on the ticket with a traditional announcement.

The problem for McCain would be that having lost some of the saner mainstream Rs with Palin's announcement, he'd lose everyone else with Palin's resignation.

Either way, there's a strong smell of burnt toast coming from the campaign. Once he drops under 40, which is looking likely in the next few weeks, it's going to be over.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.  Not gonna happen.  Rice has followed Powell's lead, almost quietly hinting at a position of "Oh, fuck it, just let Obama win" for a while now.  We all know Powell's likely going to endorse Obama eventually, in an effort to save what little reputation he has left.

If he drops under 40 consistently, it's over.  That would put Obama above 50.  There'd be no way around it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 07:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"It's also way too smart for either Rove or McCain to think of on their own."

You must not subscribe to the theory that Rove is the man behind the Republican curtain, running everything!

by asdf on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 07:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He is.  He's just not that smart.  Rove had 9/11 to do all the work for him.  I've said it many times: Rove just isn't that bright.  He's great with distractions, but once the distractions wear out, he's an empty suit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 07:10:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is just so beautiful.  Wolf Blitzer and John King are tearing into the Republicans on CNN.

When McCain loses the Clinton Concern Trolls and Israel-Firsters at CNN, it's truly become embarrassing.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 07:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More evidence that abstinence-only education works.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 04:55:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope the gringos are having six kittens over this!

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:17:02 PM EST
Sorry to disappoint but I don't care.

:-þ

:-D

It's their oil; they can do whatever they want with it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now THAT'S a refreshing attitude!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:23:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope that attitude spreads far and wide in the USA Inc. halls of power.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 07:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they can do whatever they want with it.

And lets hope it stays that way.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 07:52:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greetings from Bangalore, the internet runs quite speedy, but not for free... so I'll be back on in a day or two.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:43:49 PM EST
Hey, have a great time! Guess it is quite hot where you are right now.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:20:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have fun and stay safe!

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 02:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it still(?) monsoon time there?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ken Campbell, mad theatrical improviser and sci-fi fan dies.

Never well-known but deeply respected. He'll be missed

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 01:59:03 PM EST
Wow, he staged Illuminatus!  Thanks for this (sad) news, Helen.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 04:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This place is a powder keg today.  Is it always like this?  I normally don't pay attention (follow) the threads.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 03:16:40 PM EST
It's not usual to be sure, but not unknown. Measured against our average firestorm, this one has been unusually well mannered.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 05:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So 5 days after I move house the government cancells stamp duty....

Our seller was 8 1/2 months pregnant so we couldn't delay

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAgh!

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 at 06:01:21 AM EST


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