Comments

  1. dianne says

    OK, can the NRA be laughed out of politics now?

    Not yet. Give it another 5 or 6 massacres of children. (The Onion article was optimistic.)

  2. dianne says

    @499: Especially since we know that having armed civilians around has always been so successful in stopping massacres. Why they’ve stopped…zero.

  3. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    John @489:
    Until such time as he can consistently demonstrate that he is no longer a hateful xenophobic bigot, I am happy if he stays quiet. He still doesn’t understand why people call him a bigot, and that is a barrier to any true change. His whiny denials are quite tiresome. If I could killfile him, I would.

  4. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I didn’t realize the West had a set of values that were so super fantastic AND were specific to them. Is the rest of the world a bunch of decadent, immoral heathens?

  5. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I didn’t realize the West had a set of values that were so super fantastic AND were specific to them. Is the rest of the world a bunch of decadent, immoral heathens?

    Why do you think that Europe spent centuries colonizing the rest of the world and sent missionaries to convert the heathens. The rest of the world spent thousands of years dying out without Western hlp.

  6. says

    @ Tony

    Is the rest of the world a bunch of decadent, immoral heathens?

    Hehe. I, for one, am!

    NRA have really shot their wad.

    I have found the religious institutions’ response to the recent school shootings profoundly offensive. They are going flat out to hijack people’s misery for their own ends.

    *spits*

  7. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Retry that.

    I didn’t realize the West had a set of values that were so super fantastic AND were specific to them. Is the rest of the world a bunch of decadent, immoral heathens?

    Why do you think that Europe spent centuries colonizing the rest of the world and sent missionaries to convert the heathens. The rest of the world spent thousands of years dying out without “Western” help.

  8. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Janine: funny in a “dishonest, incapable of vetting information” kind of way? John Lott is a dishonest fuck. Quote him as a source and you have no credibility.

  9. md says

    Do you have evidence he’s lying? Do you have a superior, more comprehensive analysis you could link to that I should read? Im serious, this isn’t a topic Ive read about extensively.

    So far you have name calling. Im not interested in your emotions on the topic. More facts are another matter.

  10. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    md,

    John Lott is a proven and admitted liar:

    As part of the dispute surrounding the missing survey, Lott created and used “Mary Rosh” as a fake persona to defend his own works on Usenet and elsewhere. After investigative work by blogger Julian Sanchez, Lott admitted to use of the Rosh persona. Sanchez also pointed out that Lott, posing as Rosh, not only praised his own academic writing, but also called himself “the best professor I ever had”.

  11. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    md,

    Since Lott is a proven and admitted liar, in connection with this very issue, his article is worthless, since we have no reason whatever to trust that it is an honest analysis.

  12. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    md:
    So instead of verifying the truth of what Lott said, you swallowed it whole without question? Why? Did it confirm your beliefs?

  13. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    I see that my prediction that the NRA’s solution would be MOAR GUNZ NAOW has been vindicated. Not a difficult one, I admit.

  14. md says

    Sockpuppeting. A definite no-no. Bad for the reputation and if you’ve got the facts marshaled for your argument, why bother?

    So lets cut Lott out of the discussion and focus on those charts he links to, and their sources. All lies also?

  15. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    And while we are at it, what is so wrong with ‘name calling’? That is said as if it is a bad thing. Lott is a liar.

  16. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Why don’t you learn to cross reference? Do the work on your own. It’s clear you know how to search with google. Now refine your search.

  17. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Sorry, md, but it is really fucking hard to take him seriously when his discredited book is the fucking header of his blog.

    And his talking about gun control laws for cities in the US is meaningless because one does not have to go far to get a hold of guns out side of city limits.

    Municipal laws are not the same as federal laws.

  18. md says

    Janine,

    Is it your proposal that we disarm every American of every gun? I think that would reduce gun violence.

    The state of Connecticut had in place an Assault Weapons ban identical to the Federal law that expired. Lanza’s guns were all purchased legally.

    Nancy Lanza, however, made some extremely poor choices. Seems she thought he was dangerous, yet left her guns in the house anyway.

  19. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Nancy Lanza, however, made some extremely poor choices. Seems she thought he was dangerous, yet left her guns in the house anyway.

    And this is an argument for assault rifles for the public?

  20. md says

    Janine,

    I havent argued either way. Merely observing that the Federal laws many are called for being renewed were in effect at the state level in CT, and did not stop this crime.

  21. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I havent argued either way.

    Yet you site John R Lott and have tried to hand wave his dishonesty.

    You have a funny way of stating you have not argued either way.

    Plus, you have a record here.

  22. md says

    I cited the U.K. home office, which I got from the Lott blog. Does reprinting U.K. home office statistics on his blog render them false?

    Yes, im extremely skeptical the gun control policies proposed will do much of anything, and posing my questions and reservations.

    According to the FBI, Rifles, not just ‘assault’ rifles, are used in 3% of murders in the U.S.

    So when Assault Rifles are banned, and gun crime drops a blip, or doesn’t, will you rest, or try and shift the Overton window to shotguns and handguns?

  23. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    md@521,

    Just try thinking for a minute.
    1) The 1997 law was aimed primarily at preventing repetitions of the Dunblane massacre, where a legally held handgun was used in a mass-murder. Such mass-murders have never made up more than a small part of the overall homicide rate in the UK.
    2) For that matter, most homicides in the UK have never been carried out with guns, so the overall homicide rate is a very poor measure of whether the gun control law has had an effect.
    3) Why would you expect a gun control law to have an immediate effect? Most gun crime in the UK is carried out with illegally obtained weapons, either stolen, or illegally imported. The 1997 Act could be expected to make it harder to obtain stolen guns over a period of months to years, but would not have an effect on illegally imported guns. (I’m not going to claim that the fall a few years after the 1997 Act is a consequence of it, but that would be as valid as claiming that the rise in its immediate aftermath was such a consequence.)

    You see, Lott’s dishonesty need not consist of simple lies. Much more likely is the cherry-picking of evidence and the ignoring of context. we know he’s a liar, so merely looking at the charts he uses is not going to tell you anything.

  24. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    md:
    Any reduction in firearm related injuries and homicides is a good thing. Given that it is unrealistic to expect a ban on civilian firearm ownership in this country (a measure I support), any laws that reduce the prevalence of military grade weapons, or increases the safety regulations is beneficial. Owning a gun-despite any interpretation of the 2nd Amendment-is a luxury, IMHO. It is not a right in the sense of human rights. It is not ‘life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, oh and moar GUNZZZ’.

  25. md says

    —Any reduction in firearm related injuries and homicides is a good thing. Given that it is unrealistic to expect a ban on civilian firearm ownership in this country (a measure I support), any laws that reduce the prevalence of military grade weapons, or increases the safety regulations is beneficial.

    Though you shift from reducing injuries and homicides as your bar to reducing the prevalence of military grade weapons, (is a law that reduces military grade weapons but does not reduce firearm related injury or homicide beneficial? How?) I appreciate the honesty regarding really wanting to disarm the civilian populace. I expect most supporters of the assault rifle ban really feel the same way. Nice to see it in writing.

    Why do you say its unrealistic, though? Old amendments can be trumped by the new, or failing that, ignored. Your side has a good crisis to parlay. Dare to dream.

  26. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    md:
    I can see where my lack of clarity is confusing. Given the money the NRA has, it will take time to convince the general populace that guns are not a necessity. As well, informing the populace has been made difficult because of the NRAs actions to prevent in depth published research on gun violence. I think a series of gradual steps will be necessary to effect change. Given the type of automatic weaponry Lanza had, banning their sale to civilians is a step in the right direction, but not the only or last step. At this point in time, I believe there is enough support to ban the sales of these type of weapons, but not enough to go further. Baby steps.

  27. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    md:
    Also, we live in a society that glamorizes guns. It is unrealistic for anyone to expect the majority of Americans to back any measure to ban firearms at this point in time. Let’s start with the worst of these killing machines and work from there. Dreaming is great, but at some point one has to wake up.

  28. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    And yet the arms one can get now are more powerful and can fire more rounds then what was available in 1934.

  29. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Let me make some corrections then. I was clearly mistaken. The Bushmaster SEMI-automatic assault rifle (that I wrongly conflated with an automatic weapon) that Lanza used (Police said Lanza used the Bushmaster rifle against most of the victims*) which was purchased legally by his mother is a weapon that no one in the civilian population needs to possess (setting aside the idea that *anyone* needs to possess any sort of firearm).
    Given that we aren’t at a point in our culture where the American population will back a comprehensive ban on all firearms, a good place to start is with semi-automatic weapons and military grade ones. Then we can work our way down to shotguns and handguns (eventually? hopefully?).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Lanza#Perpetrator

  30. cm's changeable moniker says

    md:

    I cited the U.K. home office, which I got from the Lott blog. Does reprinting U.K. home office statistics on his blog render them false?

    You didn’t cite UKHO, you cited Lott misrepresenting UKHO data. He talks about the 1997 “handgun ban”, but it didn’t “ban” handguns in any meaningful sense. As of the 1968 Act, handguns required a firearms certificate (FAC) from the police which the police were extremely unlikely to give out. They were effectively banned by police policy. The 1997 Act just enshrined this in law. (Semi-automatics had been banned outright in 1988.)

    Are you referring to this? Yes, it contradicts the U.K. home office. Who is correct?

    Comprehension fail. Lott’s graph is “Homicide rate per …”. The second one is “Rate of Gun Homicide …”. They’re both accurate, but Lott is misrepresenting the stats: gun homicides (which stayed roughly flat) are a tiny fraction of the total (which went up, mostly due to gangs and drug turf wars). And given handgun ownership was 0.1% of the population pre-1997, you can’t even claim a realistic deterrent effect.

    Lott’s bullshitting and you’re defending it. If you value intellectual integrity, you might not want to do that.

  31. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    You want to criminalize shotguns? – ChasCPeterson

    Speaking for myself, no, just private possession* of shotguns! Unless you can show a real need to possess one for your livelihood – and I’m not convinced anyone can. Farmers are usually named as needing them to kill “vermin”, but I doubt they are actually an effective means of protecting crops. As far as I can see, every gun is at best an accident waiting to happen.

    * I mean, in the home or whatever – if you really want to own one that’s kept in a secure location at a shooting club, OK.

  32. md says

    —Farmers are usually named as needing them to kill “vermin”, but I doubt they are actually an effective means of protecting crops.

    Try Cows, or specifically cows legs. Think Groundhogs and the holes they dig.

    From very minor experience, a 30-06 with a scope is much better. Have to get too close with a shotgun and they see you coming and duck into their underground lair, which also doubles as a cow leg-breaker.

  33. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Chas:
    Other than owning and keeping firearms at a shooting range, I am for banning civilians owning guns. Perhaps I would feel different if gun violence weren’t so prevalent, but that is not the case. Why? Do you think anyone neefs to own a shotgun?

  34. says

    We have two rifles in the house, for hunting purposes. They’re both unloaded, in hard shell cases and stored in the root cellar. Neither one of us would have a problem storing them at a secure location. Not a big deal, really.

  35. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    But, but, but…Caine! You could be one of the good guys with guns and stop those bad guys.

  36. ChasCPeterson says

    Duck, goose, pheasant, grouse, quail, turkey, rabbit, and squirrel hunters use shotguns. (They’re also generally speaking much better choices for home protection than handguns.)

  37. says

    Janine:

    But, but, but…Caine! You could be one of the good guys with guns and stop those bad guys.

    Uh huh. I’m pretty sure my ability to take out a quail isn’t much qualification to be a hero.

    ;D

  38. says

    Chas:

    Duck, goose, pheasant, grouse, quail, turkey, rabbit, and squirrel hunters use shotguns.

    Yeah, so what? You can’t just go hunting whenever you want. There’s a season for each quarry, licenses need to be acquired, regulations met, all that. Picking up your guns at a secure location would hardly be a big fucking deal.

    (They’re also generally speaking much better choices for home protection than handguns.)

    The fuck they are. If they are stored properly, it would take to long to get to them, get to the ammo and load them. They’re also just as likely to be used against the owner and they are a prime target for thievery, which is hardly a good thing.

  39. Ichthyic says

    just getting back to this now; got delayed due to much dental work yesterday.

    I think rather than wading through details, I will just throw this at StevoR, and say:

    “take the answers you gave me, and measure them against what this article has to say about what is going on over there”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/12/20/kara-d20.html

    and also recall(?) that the CIA did in fact sponsor a fake vaccination program back when they were trying to finalize plans to kill Bin Laden in Pakistan, and the Pakistani government was NOT notified. they were rightly quite pissed, and the current pashtun/taliban groups are using that as a basis for their current attacks on the UN vaccination program.

    again, nothing to do with Islam.

  40. says

    @ cm’s

    Thanks.

    @ Ichthyic

    again, nothing to do with Islam.

    We can also add to the argument that Bin Laden et al are (‘were’ in his case) operating outside of the bounds of Islam with their vigilante actions:

    … no school of traditional Islam allows the targeting of civilians. An insurrectionist who kills non-combatants is guilty of baghy, “armed transgression”, a capital offence in Islamic law. A jihad can be proclaimed only by a properly constituted state; anything else is pure vigilantism.

    The above by Tim Winter:

    Link to above article.

  41. keresthanatos says

    Folks, most gun control arguments are moot. Google “printed guns”.
    If that is not enouge for nightmares, try searching for home made armed drones.

  42. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    @552:
    Neither 3D guns, nor home made drones are a nationwide epidemic. Gun violence is. Please do not minimize the extent to which gun violence negatively impacts people in the USA by making unequal comparisons (if/when 3D guns and home made drones become problems of the same caliber as gun violence, then the comparison is valid).

  43. Amphiox says

    And those printed guns don’t work. Using readily available commercial 3D printers, the “gun” that results shatters from the recoil force of repeated use after only a few discharges. Furthermore, the “printed” gun is not the whole gun, but just several (in most case just one) part. The other parts you still have to buy and assemble yourself.

  44. Amphiox says

    Here’s something interesting:

    http://www.ehow.com/about_5478768_law-samurai-swords.html

    The salient tidbit:

    The U.S. Constitution protects the rights of citizens to bear arms, and swords fall into that category, so no federal laws restrict citizens from owning Samurai swords in the United States. However, the states are concerned with public safety and Samurai swords fall into the category of deadly weapons that are restricted. Every state has so-called knife laws that forbid carrying blades larger than pocket knives, and many states ban the carrying of blades over a certain length, usually 3 to 5 inches.

    In other words, knives (covered under the Second Amendment just as guns) are more tightly controlled and regulated in the US than guns are.

  45. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    More to the point, even if printed guns were a significant problem, they would just be a subset of the larger culture of gun violence.

  46. keresthanatos says

    Tony, exactly, make all the laws you want, in the US i see almost all of them gamed, just how much can you get away with before you get caught. P.S. loved the pun in 533.

  47. John Morales says

    Hey Tony, you’ve been on fire on the Shermer feminism thread. Sort of stuff that should have people putting you down for a Molly.

    Also, your correction of me there was correct.

    (I’d have noted that there, but I figure you have no need for public acknowledgement so I’ve done it here)

  48. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Even when I argued for gun possession, I had the good sense not to cite John Lott.

    +++++

    Especially since we know that having armed civilians around has always been so successful in stopping massacres. Why they’ve stopped…zero.

    That is probably not true.

    +++++
    Tony,

    Picture a handgun. Get as clear an image as possible in your mind. Then mouseover this text.

  49. keresthanatos says

    I am not trolling, I am seriously disturbed by what is happening here. I have the flu and I have been up for two days now, sitting in my little chair rocking back and fourth.
    I have watched pundit after pundit, political leaders, religious leaders, all the usual suspects, trotting out their old tired horses, with a tear in their eye, and a tremor in their voices saying think of the children. Mass hysteria on all sides being played by the players. All for power, all for show. The idiot president of the NRA did not have the sense, or decency to keep his mouth shut, even out of respect. I have serious issues that do not respond well to traditional meds. This is pushing me really close. John, I am glad you showed up here, as I really value your options. How do we change this stupid hyper competitive dysfunctional society before it becomes the death of us all?

  50. John Morales says

    keresthanatos,

    John, I am glad you showed up here, as I really value your options.

    Is it me to whom you refer?

  51. John Morales says

    keresthanatos,

    How do we change this stupid hyper competitive dysfunctional society before it becomes the death of us all?

    I don’t know.

    Sorry. :(

    I have serious issues that do not respond well to traditional meds. This is pushing me really close.

    If venting about it helps you any, please do, but please hang in there and keep having your say whenever the issue comes up — be another voice for reason.

  52. keresthanatos says

    reason is leaving me at the moment. The mark of a man is …the mark of a human is forethought and controll, The mark of an animal is reflex and instinct. The problem is not the tool, the problem is the weilder. If it would save one life, if it would spare the world pain, I would proudly put my name on the list of crazies, ( I can use that fucking word because I am! sub clinical god i still hope psychotic), I would ware an arm band, a flashing light, what ever it took…..and those who wouldn’t , well… I would be happy to hunt them down and kill them!!!!! After all you have to minimize harm. Even from my prespective I see this.

  53. keresthanatos says

    You ask me to wait to see what the current adminastration proposes. The action can not come from above. The preposals and solutions by politicians will be a meaningless comprimize to preserve the status quo. If they really cared, they would have already done something about it. As in years ago. The change has to start with us.

  54. strange gods before me ॐ says

    crazies, ( I can use that fucking word because I am!

    Nope. Bad logic. You can’t call someone else “a crazy” without engaging in ableism. Your error is the same as that of a gay man using homophobic slurs to hurt other gay men. That’s still a homophobic action, and what you are doing here is similarly morally wrong.

    I would be happy to hunt them down and kill them!!!!!

    Macho bullshit is not okay here. Quit it.

  55. keresthanatos says

    I must think carefully about the next subject I am going to broach. It is uncomfortable, unpleasant, unethical and down right dangerous. It will require the best minds to implement, the most fair to safeguard, and the very lives of myself and many others like me so that the rest of you can live in peace and prosperity. I really need to think long and hard on how to say this so I don’t endanger others needlessly.

    Thank you for taking time to listen to me.
    Howard M. Gray

  56. John Morales says

    keresthanatos, whilst epiphanies can happen at any time, ideas that come to one while exhausted from sickness and lack of sleep and when one is down in the dumps perhaps should be reconsidered at a more propitious time.

  57. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Howard,

    and the very lives of myself and many others like me so that the rest of you can live in peace and prosperity.

    You are incorrect. Taking your and others’ lives would not constitute peace and prosperity as far as we are concerned. Many of us have loved ones who experience psychotic symptoms. Some of us personally have experienced such symptoms. No one here sees the elimination of people as part of a desireable goal.

    Please speak to a therapist soon. You are talking yourself into illogical and inaccurate conclusions.

  58. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    John:
    Thank you good sir.
    ****

    SGBM:
    Will try that later on my laptop. Cell phone won’t cut it.

  59. XA-26483 says

    *Moved from http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/21/an-experiment-why-do-you-despise-feminism/comment-page-2/#comment-519054

    I can’t offer any arguments against feminism (probably because I self-identify as one), but I’ll try my best to illustrate my concerns with the approach many here seem to be taking to it. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way.

    Before I start, I have to ask anyone reading this to please try and give me the benefit of the doubt. This is going to be a somewhat long post, and I (being human) am almost certain to get at least one thing wrong. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot and should be dismissed. Even in the extremely unlikely case that I’m somehow right about everything I say here, you’re almost inevitably going to disagree with me on a least one point; that doesn’t mean we have to hate each other’s guts. I may even say something that looks disingenuous to you. That doesn’t mean I’m a liar or a troll; going to all this trouble just to piss people off when I could just copy-paste some MRA asshattery would be ridiculous.

    The fact that I felt the need to include that last paragraph should give some insight into what I’m taking issue with. I’ll use the first post I ever made here to illustrate:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/a-metaobservation-on-misogyny/comment-page-1/#comment-506821

    This was the first post I ever made on this blog; I had been reading Pharyngula for…. forever on my phone’s RSS feed and thus hadn’t bothered with the comments for quite some time. I took issue with a single aspect of Chris’s argument, seeing it as somewhat hypocritical, and thought that some constructive criticism might be appreciated.

    Needless to say, I was wrong. Right out the gate I was accused of being a misogynist troll, and my post (whose most offensive word was “ridiculous”) was given a warning while replies calling me an idiot, liar, or “fuckwit” went unmoderated. Once that label had been applied, it seemed that no amount of politeness, candor or levity could remove it. All this was in spite of the “three comments” rule, which basically asks that new commenters be treated in the exact opposite manner that I was. After a few rounds, Chris stepped in and said “your attempts to make this thread all about you end now. Final warning.”

    Seeing as making the thread all about me had never even crossed my mind, I wasn’t sure how to take that. The most obvious interpretation was that Chris thought that I was referencing myself too much in my comments, but I honestly didn’t think he would be thoughtless enough to threaten someone for using the words “I” and “me” too much in responses to what were almost entirely attacks on his character, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and asked him to clarify. He didn’t, he instead ignored me, and then later referenced my question as “a marvel of clueless trolldom”. Chris, if you’re reading this, I hope that wasn’t representative of your behavior.

    There is no justification for the kind of absolute contempt I was treated with. I wouldn’t be surprised if others resorted to trolling as retribution for being handled in such a cynical and flagrantly unfair manner. Instead, I just withdrew myself from the situation, and this is my first post since.

    This “with us or against us” attitude is stifling growth and productivity, and is almost certainly responsible for a good chunk of the ire FtB draws. There seems to be a common view here that any argument advanced in favor of feminism is automatically above criticism, reason be damned. The merits of an idea have no bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea. If you drive away everyone who’s willing to think critically about your cause, you’ll be left with nothing but sycophants and the intellectual integrity of your movement will crumble.

    There needs to be two major changes in the thinking here. First, you need to keep in mind that sexism, like religion, is endemic to our society, and grilled into us from birth from almost every possible angle. Most people are going to be anti-feminist simply because of the environment they live in; they are misguided, not “cockroaches”. Most of us would never have been able to escape the shackles of faith without some outside help, and the same goes for sexism. Imagine if you were a religious person, and every atheist you talked to simply dismissed you as asinine or morally repugnant, without ever explaining to you why you were wrong; you would probably just decide that atheists were assholes and double down on your beliefs. I know many here are quick to dismiss the importance of tone, but this is about more than that; it’s about substance and fairness. There is nothing more infuriating to a well-meaning person than to be disregarded as unworthy, especially when they are implied to be dishonest. People are complex and capable of change; determining their worth by holding them all to a litmus test which they are culturally inclined to fail is just as exclusionary as the bigotries we combat every day.

    Second, the taboo on criticizing any aspect of feminism has to go. We are all human, we all make mistakes and feminism is a human endeavor, subject to all the fallacies and biases of any other worthy cause. As skeptics, we have to remember to hold nothing sacred, to strive against the very idea of the sacred. If you’re having a gut reaction against this suggestion, you may want to reexamine your dedication to critical thought. That same kind of unquestioning faith and self-righteous furor is what causes christianity to continuously fragment into ever smaller sects. If we are unwilling to find the flaws in our own thinking, you can bet our ideological opponents will.

    Like I said at the beginning, I’m only human, and don’t purport to have a monopoly on the truth, so any substantive criticisms of my post are welcome. In fact, if anyone has any advice on improving my ability to communicate here, I’ll be happy to hear them. Also, if you happen to agree with anything I’ve said, please let me know; only receiving negative feedback is really depressing.

    On the other hand, I’ll be ignoring the (seemingly inevitable) cheeky quips and base insults; make them if it makes you feel better, I really don’t care. I’m sure some will just see this as a long whine about how I was mistreated, and in part it is, but that doesn’t preclude it from making valid points. I’m also going to disregard responses which contain attacks on my character; trying to defend my motivations to someone who’s already made up their mind about me is a transparent waste of time, especially on the internet. Who someone is behind the keyboard is ultimately unknowable, give me the benefit of the doubt, let the arguments stand on their own merits, and I will do the same. If you scan someone’s comments looking for reasons to be distrustful, you’ll be sure to find them.

  60. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Yes, my reluctance to have this discussion in the Thunderdome is proof that I’m a liar.

    XA-26483 wrote this over on the Experiment thread.

    No, the fact that you have, repeatedly, claimed to have been reading ‘forever’ and yet have never heard of Thunderdome, despite some major angst among the Pharyngula regulars provides evidence that you are lying.

  61. Ogvorbis: useless says

    And I see that I should have refreshed. Sorry, XA. I now know that in my first comment to you I broke the rules as to how I should respond to you.

  62. chigau (違う) says

    XA-26483
    Which part of this

    All right, this is ridiculous. I do not apologize for misogyny in any way, but if PZ’s post was meant to be a “memorial service”, then he misappropriated it himself when he chose to end it with an extremely inflammatory statement.
    To complain about other people commenting in response to what PZ said because they shifted attention away from the memory of the victims is incredibly hypocritical.
    I really expected better of a blog I’ve been reading for years.

    link
    was “constructive criticism”?

  63. cm's changeable moniker says

    I’ll use the first post I ever made here to illustrate:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/a-metaobservation-on-misogyny/comment-page-1/#comment-506821

    This was the first post I ever made on this blog; I had been reading Pharyngula for…. forever on my phone’s RSS feed and thus hadn’t bothered with the comments for quite some time. I took issue with a single aspect of Chris’s argument, seeing it as somewhat hypocritical, and thought that some constructive criticism might be appreciated.

    Needless to say, I was wrong. Right out the gate I was accused of being a misogynist troll, and my post (whose most offensive word was “ridiculous”) was given a warning while replies calling me an idiot, liar, or “fuckwit” went unmoderated.

    The showjumping bunnies video was awesome, though, wasn’t it?

    Look, you got stomped for being–by your own admission–wrong. You seem to be upset that the people who insulted you for being wrong didn’t get stomped for rudeness.

    It’s simple: if you’re wrong, people will be rude to you. This is not a “nice” blog. This is a rude blog that aims for rightness, not niceness.

    Try to understand that, re-read the thread in question, and if you still feel upset, feel free to ask more questions here.

    [Please note, in passing, that at no point in this comment have I been rude to or about you.]

  64. David Marjanović says

    Crossposted from the feminism thread:

    People, XA-26483 has explicitly said that they used to not read the comments, because they were reading only the RSS feed of Pharyngula on a phone. It’s not hypocritical of them to behave like an obvious n00b.

    XA-26483, here’s an example of you needing to learn, young padawan:

    Imagine you walk into a bar, and as you go to sit down, a song comes on that you don’t like. You say something to the effect of “not this song again”, at which time half of the other patrons tackle you and proceed to pummel you brutally. You see a cop sitting across the room, and call out to him for help. He gets up, walks over, says “that was my favorite song, jerk”, and whacks you with his nightstick. Before they toss you on the sidewalk, they inform you that you’ll have to apologize for insulting their musical tastes before you’ll be allowed back.

    1) Insults aren’t comparable to violence.
    2) There’s a strong tradition here of distinguishing what people say from how they say it, and to ignore the latter. Complaints of “you’ve insulted me” are highly likely to be met with “duh, you deserved it, what’s your point?”.

    Addendum: as has been pointed out, civility is not considered a value here. People will be as rude to you as they feel like at the moment. Some never feel like it, and always express themselves in carefully crafted diplomatic phrases; some always feel like it, and always express themselves in carefully crafted snarky insults; some change their expressions with their moods, influenced – or not – by how fuckwitted you appear to them at the moment. :-) Live with it.

  65. cm's changeable moniker says

    *oooooohhhhhh* Thanks, Caine. Apparently I read too literally to interpret!

    That’s my career interpreting Chaucer buggered, then …

  66. John Morales says

    XA-26483:

    I can’t offer any arguments against feminism (probably because I self-identify as one), but I’ll try my best to illustrate my concerns with the approach many here seem to be taking to it.

    But it’s not just feminism; the approach taken here applies to all topics, including (but not limited to) creationism, atheism, social justice, environmentalism and science.

    Before I start, I have to ask anyone reading this to please try and give me the benefit of the doubt.

    See, here’s the thing. You had already started; this locution only makes sense if you use it at the very beginning of your comment. This is an indication of sloppy thinking or carelessness, and so you have already begun to erode any “benefit of the doubt” that accrues as an unknown.

    This is going to be a somewhat long post, and I (being human) am almost certain to get at least one thing wrong. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot and should be dismissed.

    See, when you go out of your way to remind people you are human, you are already employing condescension and setting up a rhetorical frame. Then you follow it with a trite truism, as if it were worth noting.

    (A little more erosion of “benefit of the doubt” has just occurred)

    Even in the extremely unlikely case that I’m somehow right about everything I say here, you’re almost inevitably going to disagree with me on a least one point; that doesn’t mean we have to hate each other’s guts.

    <sigh>

    Wow, glad you told me that when I disagree with someone on at least one point I don’t have to hate their guts, and they don’t have to hate mine!

    (A little more erosion of “benefit of the doubt” has just occurred)

    I may even say something that looks disingenuous to you. That doesn’t mean I’m a liar or a troll; going to all this trouble just to piss people off when I could just copy-paste some MRA asshattery would be ridiculous.

    (Such pre-emptive defensiveness!)

    It may not necessarily mean it, but it sure points in that direction, and many liars and trolls are indeed ridiculous.

    The fact that I felt the need to include that last paragraph should give some insight into what I’m taking issue with.

    It also gives insight into your attitude and approach.

    I’ll use the first post I ever made here to illustrate:
    [...]
    I took issue with a single aspect of Chris’s argument, seeing it as somewhat hypocritical, and thought that some constructive criticism might be appreciated.

    <takes a look>

    All right, this is ridiculous. I do not apologize for misogyny in any way, but if PZ’s post was meant to be a “memorial service”, then he misappropriated it himself when he chose to end it with an extremely inflammatory statement.

    That’s what you call “constructive criticism”? Hm.

    Needless to say, I was wrong. Right out the gate I was accused of being a misogynist troll, and my post (whose most offensive word was “ridiculous”) was given a warning while replies calling me an idiot, liar, or “fuckwit” went unmoderated.

    Guess you didn’t appreciate the return “constructive criticism”.

    Once that label had been applied, it seemed that no amount of politeness, candor or levity could remove it. All this was in spite of the “three comments” rule, which basically asks that new commenters be treated in the exact opposite manner that I was. After a few rounds, Chris stepped in and said “your attempts to make this thread all about you end now. Final warning.”

    Perhaps instead of politeness, candor or levity, you should have tried acknowledgement, retraction and apology instead of defensiveness. :)

    Seeing as making the thread all about me had never even crossed my mind, I wasn’t sure how to take that. The most obvious interpretation was that Chris thought that I was referencing myself too much in my comments, but I honestly didn’t think he would be thoughtless enough to threaten someone for using the words “I” and “me” too much in responses to what were almost entirely attacks on his character, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and asked him to clarify.

    Ask yourself this: was the topic at hand your comment and your justification for it, or something else? Were any of your subsequent comments about the topic at hand, or about you and your comments and their reception?

    He didn’t, he instead ignored me, and then later referenced my question as “a marvel of clueless trolldom”. Chris, if you’re reading this, I hope that wasn’t representative of your behavior.

    It got the thread back on topic; you think that was a bad thing?

    There is no justification for the kind of absolute contempt I was treated with. I wouldn’t be surprised if others resorted to trolling as retribution for being handled in such a cynical and flagrantly unfair manner. Instead, I just withdrew myself from the situation, and this is my first post since.

    Leaving aside that the justification was presented at the time (so it certainly exists), you think you deserve credit for not resorting to to trolling as retribution for what you perceive as being handled cynically and in a flagrantly unfair manner?

    This “with us or against us” attitude is stifling growth and productivity, and is almost certainly responsible for a good chunk of the ire FtB draws.

    This is your mistake: there was no such attitude exhibited in your example post other than in the case of your derailing the thread; what there was consisted of criticism of you and the post owner stepping in to ensure comments remained somewhat on-topic.

    (It follows that what was not there cannot be responsible for anything)

    There seems to be a common view here that any argument advanced in favor of feminism is automatically above criticism, reason be damned.

    It may seem so to you, but I assure you there’s plenty of argumentation between proponents of feminism; since you have claimed you hadn’t read comments here for a long time until your first post, it follows your sample base can hardly be sufficient to make such a determination.

    [1] The merits of an idea have no bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea. If you drive away everyone who’s willing to think critically about your cause, you’ll be left with nothing but sycophants and the intellectual integrity of your movement will crumble.

    1. ‘Need not have’, not ‘don’t have’.

    (When trying to pontificate pedantically, it’s best to get it right)

    2. So, you claim that if Pharyngula (one blog in the FTB network) drove away everyone who’s willing to think critically about its cause, the intellectual integrity of its movement will crumble?

    (What happened to “The merits of an idea have no bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea.”? ;) )

    Ack! I’ve gotten roughly half-way through your comment, and already I am bored with responding to it — not to mention in danger of getting RSI.

  67. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    John:

    Ack! I’ve gotten roughly half-way through your comment, and already I am bored with responding to it

    That surprises me. I figured you would love ripping that entire whiny rant apart.

  68. says

    Tony:

    I figured you would love ripping that entire whiny rant apart.

    Those whiny rants get mighty boring after you’ve seen a countless number of them, all saying the same thing.

  69. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    XA:

    I took issue with a single aspect of Chris’s argument, seeing it as somewhat hypocritical, and thought that some constructive criticism might be appreciated.

    Is this:

    All right, this is ridiculous. I do not apologize for misogyny in any way, but if PZ’s post was meant to be a “memorial service”, then he misappropriated it himself when he chose to end it with an extremely inflammatory statement.

    To complain about other people commenting in response to what PZ said because they shifted attention away from the memory of the victims is incredibly hypocritical.

    I really expected better of a blog I’ve been reading for years.

    your idea of constructive criticism?

    PZ said this:

    I remember following the events of that day intently, horrified that there are people who will kill women simply because they are women. And these anonymous monsters on the internet who shriek affrontedly about women and feminists and moan that any feminist allies are ‘manginas’ — to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.

    in closing.
    There is nothing inflammatory about it. Marc Lepine hated women. There are-unfortunately-many men out there who feel the same way he does. They help contribute to a culture of toxicity where women are treated horribly. Some of them may not go out killing women like Lepine did, but they have helped build and develop Lepine’s horrible views. He may have acted alone, but he was influenced by anti women opinions. He didn’t form his views in a vacuum. The MRAs of the world are complicit in the deaths of those women; every bit as much as he was.
    That you disagree with PZ’s conclusion shows you don’t know much about the so-called Men’s Rights Movement. Nor how to give constructive criticism.

  70. John Morales says

    BTW, here is XA-26483′s opportunity to make the thread all about them, yet what I see is conspicuously absence.

    <pout>

  71. says

    John:

    BTW, here is XA-26483′s opportunity to make the thread all about them, yet what I see is conspicuously absence.

    It’s no fun in an open thread. XA’s particular talent is derailing to make a thread about about XA-26483.

  72. vaiyt says

    For people who wondered where I came from.

    I found Pharyngula back in the Scienceblogs Era, following a chain of links about skepticism. I started posting back then (after a good deal of lurking), but it wasn’t long before my login stopped working and I was reduced to a lurker again. Guess I made too little of an impression back then.

    I came for the fun posts about pseudoscience and skepticism, and stayed for the comments. As I stated in the other thread, I’m tired of etiquette being valued over ethics. The experience of finally finding a place where I don’t need to put on a straw vulcan mask while talking to the hateful, the bigoted, the dishonest and the ignorant is fucking liberating.

    Never change <3

  73. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Caine:
    You amaze me.
    You have the memory of…ummmm…someone with a good memory. :)

  74. says

    Tony:

    You have the memory of…ummmm…someone with a good memory. :)

    Well, most of the time. It’s most certainly not perfect. I remember people I find interesting, so I remember lots and lots of people here. :D

  75. XA-26483 says

    And I see that I should have refreshed. Sorry, XA. I now know that in my first comment to you I broke the rules as to how I should respond to you.

    Thank you, and I apologize if I’ve been rude or combative toward you in any way.

    Which part of this …. was “constructive criticism”?

    While I don’t think it justified the backlash I received, I’ll admit that I worded it more harshly than I should have. I do still stand by my original point; that’s not to say that I couldn’t be swayed, the discussion just never really seemed to address it.

    The showjumping bunnies video was awesome, though, wasn’t it?

    ….. yes, I can’t deny it.

    It’s simple: if you’re wrong, people will be rude to you. This is not a “nice” blog. This is a rude blog that aims for rightness, not niceness.

    The emotions roused by such hateful language seem to get in the way of rational discussion. I think I could have tolerated it if my point were actually being addressed, but it seemed like the goal of most of the comments was not to respond to what I said, but to attack me as a person, often by misinterpreting my statements in a rather obvious manner.

    Try to understand that, re-read the thread in question, and if you still feel upset, feel free to ask more questions here.

    [Please note, in passing, that at no point in this comment have I been rude to or about you.]

    Correct you are, and I am very grateful for your consideration.

    People, XA-26483 has explicitly said that they used to not read the comments, because they were reading only the RSS feed of Pharyngula on a phone. It’s not hypocritical of them to behave like an obvious n00b.

    A comment n00b I certainly am, and I thank you for your patience with me.

    I’m a guy, by the way (English really needs some gender-neutral singular pronouns…. then again, “you” was once strictly plural….. ah, the absurdities of language).

    1) Insults aren’t comparable to violence.

    True, that was a bit of hyperbolic metaphor to represent how I felt my mistakes were not comparable to the response I received. That, of course, is the primary weakness of analogy; they convey “feeling” rather well, but almost inevitably break down under scrutiny. Perhaps it’s best not to use them with a critical audience.

    2) There’s a strong tradition here of distinguishing what people say from how they say it, and to ignore the latter. Complaints of “you’ve insulted me” are highly likely to be met with “duh, you deserved it, what’s your point?”.

    Addendum: as has been pointed out, civility is not considered a value here. People will be as rude to you as they feel like at the moment. Some never feel like it, and always express themselves in carefully crafted diplomatic phrases; some always feel like it, and always express themselves in carefully crafted snarky insults; some change their expressions with their moods, influenced – or not – by how fuckwitted you appear to them at the moment. :-) Live with it.

    I see. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to stay out of the Thunderdome; I pictured it as a kind of maelstrom of hatefulness and brutality, though the responses so far have been…. really encouraging.

    I try to avoid insults and personal attacks because I think they’re almost always off-topic, but “turn the other cheek” isn’t exactly my motto. Do you think ignoring uncivil comments will suffice, or should I just take my discussions elsewhere?

    But it’s not just feminism; the approach taken here applies to all topics, including (but not limited to) creationism, atheism, social justice, environmentalism and science.

    If that’s true then the issue is more serious than I thought.

    See, here’s the thing. You had already started; this locution only makes sense if you use it at the very beginning of your comment. This is an indication of sloppy thinking or carelessness, and so you have already begun to erode any “benefit of the doubt” that accrues as an unknown.

    I wasn’t cut any slack last time, my rhetoric was more desperation than anything.

    Guess you didn’t appreciate the return “constructive criticism”.

    My comment addressed a point that was actually in the post, the responses to it (for the most part) did not.

    Perhaps instead of politeness, candor or levity, you should have tried acknowledgement, retraction and apology instead of defensiveness. :)

    If someone had at least attempted to demonstrate that I was wrong, I might have done so. What I saw amounted to “you suck, therefore you’re wrong”. Telling me that I’m a bad person because of imagined slights isn’t going to coax a withdrawal from me. If my point actually was wrong, I’d very much like to know why, and I’ll be happy to apologize.

    Ask yourself this: was the topic at hand your comment and your justification for it, or something else? Were any of your subsequent comments about the topic at hand, or about you and your comments and their reception?

    The personal attacks were what pushed the thread off-topic, I can’t respond to non-existent critiques.

    It got the thread back on topic; you think that was a bad thing?

    The ends don’t always justify the means; the thread direction could have been corrected by rebuking the people who were actually derailing it, instead of chasing off the target of their ire.

    Leaving aside that the justification was presented at the time (so it certainly exists), you think you deserve credit for not resorting to to trolling as retribution for what you perceive as being handled cynically and in a flagrantly unfair manner?

    No, but it seems likely that said handling is responsible, at least in part, for some of the trolling that does occur here.

    It may seem so to you, but I assure you there’s plenty of argumentation between proponents of feminism; since you have claimed you hadn’t read comments here for a long time until your first post, it follows your sample base can hardly be sufficient to make such a determination.

    That’s a fair point. I’m basing my hypothesis on the hysterical response to what I thought of as a relatively innocuous comment. I know the burden of proof isn’t on you, but if you could link me a good example of someone disagreeing with part of a feminism-related post and not being flamed, it would ease my concerns greatly.

    1. ‘Need not have’, not ‘don’t have’.

    ?

    So, you claim that if Pharyngula (one blog in the FTB network) drove away everyone who’s willing to think critically about its cause, the intellectual integrity of its movement will crumble?

    I was referring to Pharyngula’s part in the feminist movement, though my wording could have been clearer.

    (What happened to “The merits of an idea have no bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea.”? ;) )

    They still don’t, but the merits of your argument certainly impact the appeal of your idea. Simply being right isn’t enough.

    There is nothing inflammatory about it. Marc Lepine hated women. There are-unfortunately-many men out there who feel the same way he does. They help contribute to a culture of toxicity where women are treated horribly. Some of them may not go out killing women like Lepine did, but they have helped build and develop Lepine’s horrible views. He may have acted alone, but he was influenced by anti women opinions. He didn’t form his views in a vacuum. The MRAs of the world are complicit in the deaths of those women; every bit as much as he was.

    They are complicit, but not to the extent Lepine was. PZ seemed to be implying that were it not for the consequences, they would all kill just as Marc Lepine did. Talking crap and pulling a trigger are two different things. Hell, I hate juggalos, but I would never consider murdering one, even if there would be no repercussions for me.

    BTW, here is XA-26483′s opportunity to make the thread all about them, yet what I see is conspicuously absence.

    Friend’s birthday party, sorry.

  76. John Morales says

    XA-26483:

    The merits of an idea have no bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea.

    ‘Need not have’, not ‘don’t have’.

    ?

    Do you hold that it is not possible for the merits of an idea to have bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea?

  77. says

    Nepenthe:

    Clearly that was addressed to myself. Because I am in the wrong thread.

    Sleeping now.

    It happens. Usually when it happens to me, it’s because of having so many tabs open. Have a sweet sleep.

  78. Beatrice says

    Overly long comments made by people admitting they have read only a handful of comments here, full of preemptive justifications and finger wagging are so much fun.

    John, I’m not surprised you couldn’t be bothered to tear apart the whole monster comment, but I would have enjoyed reading that.

  79. John Morales says

    Gnumann elsewhere:

    If you really want to discuss theocracies (and why the UK definitely is one) take it over to the thunderdome.

    The UK is a constitutional monarchy, O ignoramus.

    (Vatican State is an example of a theocracy)

  80. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    The UK is a constitutional monarchy, O ignoramus.

    (Vatican State is an example of a theocracy)

    So, by the same reasoning the DDR was a democracy?

    If you analyse a governance system solely by the emic view, you’re only reinforcing existing power-structures, not doing a honest analysis.

    The Church of England is a real religious institution you know. And it happen to be tied to the governance of the UK. The power of the Winsors is largely passive, but there is both power and political agency. If not by anything else, so by displacement. The only reason we don’t describe the UK (and the other similar European monarchies) as a theocracy is tradition. And I happen not to subscribe to traditions that reinforce religious influence for some strange reason.

  81. Matt Penfold says

    The Church of England is a real religious institution you know. And it happen to be tied to the governance of the UK. The power of the Winsors is largely passive, but there is both power and political agency. If not by anything else, so by displacement. The only reason we don’t describe the UK (and the other similar European monarchies) as a theocracy is tradition. And I happen not to subscribe to traditions that reinforce religious influence for some strange reason.

    England is not the same as the UK. And neither Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland have established churches. The latter two never have, and in the case of Wales the church was disestablished in the 1920s, so hardly a new development.

  82. John Morales says

    Gnumann:

    So, by the same reasoning the DDR was a democracy?

    No; by the same reasoning it was a Marxist–Leninist socialist state.

    If you analyse a governance system solely by the emic view, you’re only reinforcing existing power-structures, not doing a honest analysis.

    If you dispute the plain and obvious truth, you’re in denial.

    Government of the United Kingdom

    The Church of England is a real religious institution you know. And it happen to be tied to the governance of the UK.

    The Church of England does not pass law, Parliament does.

    The only reason we don’t describe the UK (and the other similar European monarchies) as a theocracy is tradition.

    Bullshit. The real reason we don’t describe the UK (and the other similar European monarchies) as a theocracy is because they aren’t.

    (Don’t trust Wikipedia? Try any other source :) )

  83. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    England is not the same as the UK. And neither Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland have established churches. The latter two never have, and in the case of Wales the church was disestablished in the 1920s, so hardly a new development.

    The head of state function is still tied to the Church of England though, even in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I’m not sure this is enough to sway my view of UK as a theocracy, but it’s certainly more relevant than John Morales’ objection.

  84. John Morales says

    The head of state in Australia is also the Queen of England, so by your quaint notion Australia is also a theocracy.

    (Heh — she’s also the sovereign of Canada — yet another theocracy!)

  85. John Morales says

    I note Denmark, Iceland and Norway all have established Churches (state religions).

    (Theocracies, all!)

  86. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    John Morales

    If you dispute the plain and obvious truth, you’re in denial.

    I’ve yet to hear and substantive arguments why some states with a church head of state are theocracies, while others are not. Except of course the fact that the persons defining “theocracy” belongs to one group, not the other.

    The Church of England does not pass law, Parliament does.

    Actually, all laws require the assent of the monarch, which also is the head of CoE. In principle the same system as in Iran (except the Iranian system is by committee). In practice it’s not the same of course, but that’s more a matter of political practicalities than the principle of the system.

    I note Denmark, Iceland and Norway all have established Churches (state religions).

    (Theocracies, all!)

    Yes, at least up unto recently. I’m not up to date on the process in Sweden, but I think at least they’ve managed a more successful separation of church and state than Norway and Denmark. Some also claim this has been the result of the process undergoing in Norway, personally I disagree (but there’s certainly a case for a discussion whether there has been a separation or not).

  87. Rodney Nelson says

    Since XA-26483 complained that nobody was addressing his main whine about PZ, I’ll try to explain why his whine is baseless. He says in #558:

    They [MRAs] are complicit, but not to the extent Lepine was. PZ seemed to be implying that were it not for the consequences, they would all kill just as Marc Lepine did. Talking crap and pulling a trigger are two different things. Hell, I hate juggalos, but I would never consider murdering one, even if there would be no repercussions for me.

    Most MRAs don’t kill women. A smaller number don’t abuse women. An even small number don’t rape women. What MRAs have in common is their support and attempted perpetuation of a social climate which tells people like Lepine that killing, abuse and rape are acceptable behavior. Lepine had convinced himself that killing women was justified. He didn’t come to that attitude in a vacuum. If someone is continuously told, implicitly and explicitly, by society that bitches ain’t shit then he’s going to believe that bitches ain’t shit.

    PZ did not say that MRAs would kill women if they could get away with it (after all, if women are dead who is going to give them sex and make sammiches?). He did say that they contribute to a culture which designates women as “other,” “lesser,” and “subhuman.” MRAs tell us all that women are things rather than people. Murder is killing people. Slaughterhouses are legitimate, legal businesses specializing in killing “things.” If women are things then killing them can be legitimate and legal, not murder.

  88. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    XA:
    The current feminism thread, where you initially posted has many examples of people criticising feminism-not very well mind you-without being flamed.

    More to the point, for me, seeing women mistreated…hearing rape stories…seeing the sexual harassment…being aware of the gender inequalities pisses the off to no end. I feel no need to play nice with people who are treating women as less than human.
    That is how I, a male feels.
    Try to imagine how much more enraged women feel. They have so much shit to deal with day in, day out.
    So maybe instead of complaining about being flamed, you should take a hard look at WHY you’re being flamed.

  89. blar says

    John Morales:

    Ack! I’ve gotten roughly half-way through your comment, and already I am bored with responding to it — not to mention in danger of getting RSI.

    It seems that you ran out of enthusiasm just as you got to the meat. You did a good job of highlighting why we can disregard the actual point that XA was making while studiously avoiding the point itself. The points that you hit were the dross where XA was prepping himself for failure and when I read his post I skipped past all that to get to the meat. When he was diverted to the Thunderdome I was looking forward to seeing an actual reply from the sharpest and meanest of the horde.

    Ive seen your work before, and I was disappointed that you only challenged his approach and not the point itself. How would you have finished it up? Was it boredom that stopped you from proceeding, or did he have a point that you could not assail?

  90. XA-26483 says

    Do you hold that it is not possible for the merits of an idea to have bearing on the merits of an argument for that idea?

    You can’t have a good argument for a bad idea, but can certainly have a bad argument for a good idea. What I should have said is that the merits of an argument cannot determined based on the merits of the idea it advances. Each argument needs to be examined critically no matter how valid its conclusions are.

    PZ did not say that MRAs would kill women if they could get away with it (after all, if women are dead who is going to give them sex and make sammiches?).

    PZ said ” to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.”

    That certainly seems to imply that they would like to do what he did, they’re just hiding it. Whether that was his intent or not, don’t you think it would be easy to read it that way? I never said he was strictly wrong (due in part to the openness of the statement to interpretation), I just said it was inflammatory and not in line with the “remembrance” tone Chris alluded to.

    If I said something along the lines of “Islam is full of shit” at a memorial for victims of a Muslim extremist, I would fully expect the topic to drift away from honoring the victims. That’s not to say Islam isn’t full of shit, it is.

    The current feminism thread, where you initially posted has many examples of people criticising feminism-not very well mind you-without being flamed.

    PZ specifically asked for that, possibly in response to the same issue I’m raising.

    I feel no need to play nice with people who are treating women as less than human.

    That’s my point, criticizing an argument for feminism is not the equivalent of advocating misogyny, but it often gets treated as such. The fact that you would seek to justify the response to my original comment by saying you “feel no need to play nice with people who are treating women as less than human” illustrates precisely the “with us or against us” attitude I speak of. When you lump together someone like me with loathsome misogynists you’re making a serious error.

  91. blar says

    chigau,

    I should clarify that this isn’t particularly meaty, just that its more meaty than his preamble which had zero nutritional value.

    … Most people are going to be anti-feminist simply because of the environment they live in; they are misguided, not “cockroaches”. Most of us would never have been able to escape the shackles of faith without some outside help, and the same goes for sexism. … There is nothing more infuriating to a well-meaning person than to be disregarded as unworthy, especially when they are implied to be dishonest. People are complex and capable of change; determining their worth by holding them all to a litmus test which they are culturally inclined to fail is just as exclusionary as the bigotries we combat every day.

    This point right here, is one I have seen made time and again with different words. I have yet to see a response that satisfies me (!), and it seems that that overall consensus here is: “in order to protect those who suffer at the hands of JAQers, we have no problem with assuming you are a dick as standard.” Is this the optimal approach? Perhaps I have misrepresented the true consensus…

    Second, the taboo on criticizing any aspect of feminism has to go. blahblahblah

    In fact, the idea that someone can waltz on in and criticise something that they only have a passing understanding of is laughable. Unfortunately, this often cannot be summed up in one line, so the JAQer and Honest Enquirer will both cause time consuming frustration with their misunderstanding of words and semantic quibbles. There isn’t actually a taboo in place, but it seems like there is because no-one has the energy to talk about the same goddamn thing that has been spoken about a million times before. Maybe thats why John didn’t bother?

    Its easy to show that his approach was verbose and flawed, but his approach doesn’t invalidate his point.

  92. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    XA-numbers:

    If I said something along the lines of “Islam is full of shit” at a memorial for victims of a Muslim extremist, I would fully expect the topic to drift away from honoring the victims. That’s not to say Islam isn’t full of shit, it is.

    Wow – you’re really good at false equvalence, aren’t you?

    Islam isn’t comparable with MRAs. Islam/Muslim is a broad label, often not acquired by choice of the labeled (my English vocabulary in this area is limited, but I hope my point comes across). A lot of Muslims has no more in common with a Muslim extremist than I have in common with Timothy McWeight.

    If you want to compare, MRAs are more like the NRA and their behaviour in the recent school shooting(not quite, the groups that deserve the label MRA fully are worse than the NRA). And if somebody said “the NRA are full of shit” at a memorial, some might disagree, a lot more would agree (and the statement has a certain degree of factuality). MRA are actively antifeminist by definition (at least in the strict sense). Which brings us to:

    That’s my point, criticizing an argument for feminism is not the equivalent of advocating misogyny, but it often gets treated as such. The fact that you would seek to justify the response to my original comment by saying you “feel no need to play nice with people who are treating women as less than human” illustrates precisely the “with us or against us” attitude I speak of. When you lump together someone like me with loathsome misogynists you’re making a serious error.

    I’m not sure what you mean here. Given a reasonably stringet definition of “feminism” “criticising and argument for feminism” might entail misogyny. This of course depends on whether the critique is “that argument isn’t valid (which is fine, provided you are correct) or the critique is “feminism is wrong”. The latter is misogyny under all circumstances (except a deviant definition of feminism of course, but you should avoid those(and they are most often based in misogyny, so what difference does it make).

    Jumping into these discussions places a certain onus on you to actually understand the discussion and the language which is employed. If you haven’t done your homework you will get yelled at. This is an unfortunate effect from too many dishonest participants, feigning ignorance to further their despicable agendas.

  93. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Blar:

    This point right here, is one I have seen made time and again with different words. I have yet to see a response that satisfies me (!), and it seems that that overall consensus here is: “in order to protect those who suffer at the hands of JAQers, we have no problem with assuming you are a dick as standard.” Is this the optimal approach? Perhaps I have misrepresented the true consensus…

    Given the prevalence of dishonest interlocutors of various stripes, and given people are people with limited time, patience and temper – have you got a realistic alternative approach?

    And please don’t use words for sexual organs as an insult.

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    in order to protect those who suffer at the hands of JAQers, we have no problem with assuming you are a dick as standard.” Is this the optimal approach?

    Gee, project much? The problem is with concern trolls, who are all over the place, and by far outnumber honest questioners. They ask seemingly innocent questions instead of saying what they think with evidence. They are tiresome JAQers, and our patience for that odious technique is small. Some honest folk may get caught in the crossfire, but the presumption of guilt saves time, as it is usually true.

    Again, if you have a better method of sifting the honest from the dishonest is a rapid time frame, show us how to do it. Don’t just complain, which does nothing to solve the problem.

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s my point, criticizing an argument for feminism is not the equivalent of advocating misogyny, but it often gets treated as such.

    There are two things you are missing. First, OPINION is not an evidenced argument, which is what PZ asked for. He doesn’t give a shit about your OPINION per se (which is what you seem to imply), but the factual evidence used to make up your OPINION. So, where are your links to the factual evidence, say from the academic literature, to support your OPINION. I see lots of opinion and attitude, and a non-surprising shortness of evidence.

    The second is that your OPINION has to be taken seriously. Nobody has to do that. Until you supply evidence to back it up, *POOF* it can be dismissed as fuckwittery.

  96. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s my point, criticizing an argument for feminism is not the equivalent of advocating misogyny, but it often gets treated as such.

    Dang, forgot the answer the quote. When you essentially dismiss half the population by saying they can be treated unequally in an inferior manner, how is that not misogyny? Think about that.

  97. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    XA-:
    Before we go any further, are you clear on the definition of feminism and misogyny?

     

    Btw, your original comment was not a complaint about feminism. It was a complaint about PZ lumping all anti feminists together. Given that you have put more thought into his comment here, do you see how flawed your initial knee jerk reaction was (which, incidentally, I SHARED. Scroll through that thread to somewhere in the first 10 comments. I made the same mistake you are still committing. Thing is, when it was pointed out and I engaged my brain, I quickly corrected myself and apologized)

  98. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    blar:
    I think one of the reasons for the Feminist Link Roundup in the sidebar is to provide a handy resource for n00bs. That way discussions do not get bogged down in repetitive 101 level explanations.

  99. Beatrice says

    Tony,

    I think one of the reasons for the Feminist Link Roundup in the sidebar is to provide a handy resource for n00bs. That way discussions do not get bogged down in repetitive 101 level explanations.

    But I want my questions answered right now and I want someone to take time and care to explain everything to me because I say so! *stomps foot*

  100. blar says

    Gnumann+

    I do not. This is one of the reasons why I am interested in reading opinions on the topic. Perhaps the problem has already been resolved and has a common name which I am unaware of, but it seems unsatisfactory to knowingly settle for an approach which yields false positives and alienates honest query (which is not presented in a suitable deferent way).

    Thanks for asking nicely. I am careful about the contextual use of sex organ insults and tend to only use them when thats what fits. I didn’t feel like “ass” really covered it given that in this case the third person that I am paraphrasing is tired, dismissing a male condesplainer, and aiming to return the offense with offense. Also, I figured that this being an unmoderated thread, there would be less likelihood of anyone taking umbrage.

    Thats it for tonight.

  101. blar says

    Tony,

    Maybe just one quick one. FAQs are great, and its important that they are there for people who do have the dignity to go there, but in my experience in various jobs Joe Public likes to think that his unique query cannot possibly have been thought of by anyone else, and so they phone up and waste my time anyway. “Oh yeah, I saw that there was an FAQ, but I didn’t read it. I prefer to speak to a person”

    This is discourteous, yet predictable. FAQs work, but only for the courteous. When you have an FAQ regarding courteous behaviour it is to be expected that the discourteous will not read it.

    Really going now.

  102. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    blar:
    Although the Dome isn’t heavily moderated, the community still frowns upon any gendered slurs. ‘Asshole’ or ‘douchebag’ would both have been good substitutions.

  103. says

    blar:

    I am careful about the contextual use of sex organ insults and tend to only use them when thats what fits. I didn’t feel like “ass” really covered it

    The use of gendered insults is not acceptable in this community. Your intent is not magic. Not everyone has a penis, so it does not get used as an insult. Not everyone has a vagina, so it does not get used as an insult. On the other hand, everyone has an ass…get the picture?

  104. Beatrice says

    Well, your job, blar, is to answer Joe Public’s stupid questions. If Joe Public goes on a private blog, gets in the middle of a discussion about feminism and expects everyone to halt and answer whatever stupid questions he has- it’s not our job to answer and we don’t owe him the courtesy of being polite to him.

  105. says

    Gnumann, I remember reading some time ago about a country’s move to secularism and it seems that the move into secularism is much faster and much easier when a country has an official church/religion. It’s one of the reasons things are so fucked up in the U.S. – we’re supposed to be secular, with no official church/religion and what happened is we have pockets of religious fanaticism all over the place with waaaay too much religion in our government.

    When it comes to a casual use of theocracy, it’s more applicable to ‘merica than the UK by far.

  106. says

    Jackiepaper, I don’t have the slightest idea of what’s going on now, but Laden doesn’t have a good history when it comes to Justin. That said, I don’t follow Laden or Justin, so I don’t know who has done what in this current situation.

    I also don’t twit tweet, facebook or any of that other stuff. I’m terminally clueless in that regard.

  107. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    jackiepaper:
    I haven’t kept up with anything at Rock Beyond Belief. I just read that post and saw your comment, but I don’t have the context to understand your criticism of him. Now you mention he can’t get lower. Do you have a link or something so that I can understand where you’re coming from?

     
    (I hope you do not take this as me defending him. I do not know enough to defend or condemn him.)

  108. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Gnumann, I remember reading some time ago about a country’s move to secularism and it seems that the move into secularism is much faster and much easier when a country has an official church/religion. It’s one of the reasons things are so fucked up in the U.S. – we’re supposed to be secular, with no official church/religion and what happened is we have pockets of religious fanaticism all over the place with waaaay too much religion in our government.

    When it comes to a casual use of theocracy, it’s more applicable to ‘merica than the UK by far.

    Can we agree that the US is closer to a functional theocracy (in political practice) while parts of Europe is a theocracy in principle (though not currently in political practice)?

    The reason I get off on this is that (in my view) the current status of the religion-mingled European monarchies is a state of consensus rather than hard constitutional rules. And consensus is more volatile than constitution. Given the current climate of islamophobia and (otherwise) a lot of political apathy there could easily be a restitution of power to the heads of state. Some persons (Prince Haakon of Norway to name one) are actively working towards a greater political role of the royal families. When you add the link to religion which is very real (for instance, his father recently intervened in constitutional reform to ensure the link between the royal family and the church was preserved).

    The religious right (and the political oppression of non-believers) is far more strong in the US. In Europe it’s more a hindrance for further advancement (so far, but it might become more scary).

  109. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Blair:

    I do not. This is one of the reasons why I am interested in reading opinions on the topic. Perhaps the problem has already been resolved and has a common name which I am unaware of, but it seems unsatisfactory to knowingly settle for an approach which yields false positives and alienates honest query (which is not presented in a suitable deferent way).

    If the infection is severe enough, and there is no good alternative, it might be necessary to accept false positives. Especially if the cure is not too severe.

    In the future, you might want to hold off asking these question if you’re unable to formulate an alternative. At least if you don’t want to come off as JAQ’ING.

    Imagine you are lifting something you barely can hold up. What would you rather have somebody do?
    1: Come up to you, ask “are you really lifting that right? Should you even be lifting that?
    2: Come up to and ask – can I help you with that?

  110. says

    Gnumann:

    Given the current climate of islamophobia and (otherwise) a lot of political apathy there could easily be a restitution of power to the heads of state. Some persons (Prince Haakon of Norway to name one) are actively working towards a greater political role of the royal families. When you add the link to religion which is very real (for instance, his father recently intervened in constitutional reform to ensure the link between the royal family and the church was preserved).

    This is territory of which I don’t know enough to even begin sounding intelligent. I’ll try to get some reading in today.

  111. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Caine:

    This is territory of which I don’t know enough to even begin sounding intelligent. I’ll try to get some reading in today.

    About those processes? Sources, especially in English are few and far between. I would need some substantial time just to find the relevant Norwegian ones. And even with the Norwegian ones, the implications are rarely openly discussed (due to the combination of a royalistic public and a populistic press). Haakons wife’s recent foray into a political hell-hole is readily available, though that one I for one think is more about idiocy than a political agenda (I might be wrong though):

    clicky

    The islamophobia and current economic-crisis-climate are not so hard to find. Unfortunately.

  112. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    To be fair, I think regressive tribalism is happening all over the damn place. Islam is a convenient excuse for all manner of people.

    Aye, I prefer “racism” or “xenophobia” instead of “islamophobia” tbh, but it leads to long-winded semantic discussions that’s a bore. Though I long for a new(non-emic, the emic terms are totally out of the equation) term since the phone omen has only the vaguest connection to Islam, and “phobia” does cover it (phobics are afraid, not nessecarly rabid haters).

  113. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    So I am sure everyone remembers JOACHIM the troll. Over at Dispatches, Ed Brayton has mentioned he is having open heart surgery on xmas day. While he said donations are unnecessary, he has given options to assist him if people desire. What does the troll say?-

    Gawd Damn, I am sick of the well known atheist getting handouts while the rest of us make do.

    Call Obama.

    He has plenty of Obama Money.

    He will take care of you.

    Pissed me the fuck off he did.

  114. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Gnumann, I remember reading some time ago about a country’s move to secularism and it seems that the move into secularism is much faster and much easier when a country has an official church/religion. – Caine

    I haven’t seen any evidence that this is so. I’ve come across the claim in the writings of Rodney Stark, an evangelical Christian sociologist of religion, who refers to it as the “supply side” theory of why the USA is more religious than western Europe, and I find it odd that so many American atheists seem to buy into it. Stark claims that because the USA has no state religion, religious denominations compete more, and so produce a superior product – so it’s a special case of “free market” ideology. But France, which has not had a state religion, and indeed has had state-supported secularism at least since 1871 (start of the 3rd Republic), with a brief interlude during the Vichy regime, is one of the least religious countries in Europe. Australia and New Zealand also lack official religion, and are pretty unreligious.

    phobics are afraid, not nessecarly rabid haters – Gnumann

    This is the etymological fallacy: that you can tell what a word means now, or ought to mean, from its original derivation.

  115. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Nick Gotts:

    This is the etymological fallacy: that you can tell what a word means now, or ought to mean, from its original derivation

    Nevertheless, I would prefer if words that are currently in use to describe mental illness (and common mental quirks that’s not crossed the threshold for illness) wasn’t used for rabid haters. I don’t mean that in a normative sense. I don’t think ill of people who use the term “islamophobia” – as I said I use it myself. I just long for a commonly understood term that doesn’t demonise real phobics and doesn’t whitewash the haters.

  116. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Tony:

    Pissed me the fuck off he did.

    Me too, but I didn’t feel the thread was an appropriate place for troll-roast, so I didn’t respond directly. It took several ounces of self-control though (and I usually measure that in grammes). My comments about social security might be a wee bit passive-aggressive though.

  117. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Gnumann,

    I see your point. I rather lazily responded without checking back for the context.

  118. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Nick:
    No worries. I’m commenting while semi-high on pork belly and ginger homebrew, so I’m probably not too lucid.

  119. cm's changeable moniker says

    pork belly and ginger homebrew

    Do they really ferment that well? Enquiring minds want to know.

  120. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    The pork belly is not fermented. That’s more of a happy-high than a high-high. (There’s some family recipes for fermented sausage though, but you don’t want to cook that indoors in the wintertime, so that’s for summer).

    The home brew is a family recipe. Basically the traditional moonshine mash with added lemon and ginger. Actually far better than it sounds (but the after-fermenting in you stomach is slightly annoying).

  121. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Something tells me I ought to practice Oxford commas a bit more…

  122. cm's changeable moniker says

    Teehee. I’m an Oxford comma person, myself. But I know there are those here who disagree.

    *looks shiftiliy around; suspects Silinopolotsiswhatisface*

  123. Rodney Nelson says

    XA-bunch of numbers #621

    PZ did not say that MRAs would kill women if they could get away with it (after all, if women are dead who is going to give them sex and make sammiches?).

    PZ said ” to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.”

    That certainly seems to imply that they would like to do what he did, they’re just hiding it. Whether that was his intent or not, don’t you think it would be easy to read it that way? I never said he was strictly wrong (due in part to the openness of the statement to interpretation), I just said it was inflammatory and not in line with the “remembrance” tone Chris alluded to.

    Thinking about it, you’re right. There are MRAs who would imitate Lepine if they thought they could get away with it and PZ was correctly pointing these people out. However, how is that inflammatory? There are men who think women should die “just because” and we have to do something about these people. Changing the sexist culture would go a long way to doing so and would be a fitting legacy to Lepine’s victims.

    So your minor point about PZ calling MRAs wanna-be Lepines is correct. Your major point, that PZ making that statement is intemperate, is wrong. It’s not inflammatory, it’s a call to stop toxic and potentially murderous behavior, quite in line with Chris’s remembrance tone.

  124. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Look up “International Marc Lépine Day” if you have any questions about the fact that some MRAs would love to follow his example.

  125. vaiyt says

    I believe PZ’s statement was rightfully inflammatory. It was meant to shock the rank-and-file of MRAdom into realising that their cavalier attitude about toxic misogyny gives tacit approval to the Marc Lépines among them.

  126. carlie says

    It was meant to shock the rank-and-file of MRAdom into realising that their cavalier attitude about toxic misogyny gives tacit approval to the Marc Lépines among them.

    The sad thing is that those same people often completely agree that moderate Christians give cover to the extremist fundamentalists. They just can’t transfer that understanding to anything they’re a part of.

  127. ChasCPeterson says

    Well, thanks for sharing, Caine. In the future I’ll be more careful to only post shit you care about in the open threads.

  128. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I did not see where Caine said that you should only post shit she cares about.

    Oh, wait, you are just being passive-aggressive about Caine saying what she thought about that.

  129. says

    Chas:

    Well, thanks for sharing, Caine. In the future I’ll be more careful to only post shit you care about in the open threads.

    Jesus Christ, would you get down off that grudge you’re hanging on? My remark was about Giordana, not you.

  130. John Morales says

    Gnumann:

    Can we agree that the US is closer to a functional theocracy (in political practice) while parts of Europe is a theocracy in principle (though not currently in political practice)?

    If this is what you meant: Can we agree that the US is closer to a functional theocracy (in political practice) than those parts of Europe which are a theocracy in principle (though not currently in political practice)?, then yes.

    Can we agree that the UK is not a theocracy, under any normal use of that term?

  131. Gnumann+, something borrowed, something gnu... says

    Can we agree that the UK is not a theocracy, under any normal use of that term?

    It depends. We can agree that the UK is not commonly referred to as a theocracy.

  132. ChasCPeterson says

    No grudge, just straight-up reaction.
    I post X*.
    Caine’s entire comment: I am not interested in X.
    What’s the point of a comment like that?
    I’m certain that nobody would like it if I started identifying all the shit that you-all talk about that I don’t find interesting.

    *(in this case, merely a funny picture of Giordana pulling a rockstar face)

  133. John Morales says

    Chas:

    Caine’s entire comment: I am not interested in X.
    What’s the point of a comment like that?

    About as much as the point to a comment like “I find X interesting.”

  134. John Morales says

    Gnumann, Google says ‘no’ to you in the first two hits. :)

    First hit: “Why is the claim “Britain remains a theocracy” false?”.

    Second hit: Wikipedia (to which I have twice linked):

    Theocracy should be distinguished from other, secular, forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held “By the Grace of God”.

    Third hit supports you, though: “In UK, theocracy on the march | The American Conservative”.

    (Congratulations!)
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com

  135. Gnumann+, something borrowed, something gnu... says

    Read further on.

    As we can agree on it’s not common usage, you can hardly rely on the first hits, can you?

  136. John Morales says

    Gnumann, try putting “Bigfoot is real” into the search engine, and see the first hits. :)

    (It’s easier to ‘prove’ that Bigfoot is real than it is to provethe UK is a theocracy, by your method. What does that tell you?)

    Care to define what you think is the meaning of the term ‘theocracy’?

  137. Gnumann+, something borrowed, something gnu... says

    John: Perhaps I was a bit too brief, my 679 was a comment towards your claim that I was the first to call the UK a theocracy. Nothing else.