Deliriously excellent »« Responsibility is not just a word

It’s a good day to not have any heroes

You’re way ahead of me — you don’t even have that word in your vocabulary any more.

Brian Dunning of Skeptoid & Shermer’s stable of skeptics has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for fraud. It seems like a light sentence for skimming off a million dollars or so.

That wasn’t surprising. I guess this isn’t surprising, either. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the replacement fourth horse-person of atheism, gave an interview in which she revealed her lack of humanist ideals.

Who do you admire?

"I admire my husband, of course. In terms of political leadership, I admire Henry Kissinger, and this is relevant now because I ask myself, what if we had Kissinger as the secretary of state today instead of John Kerry, what would all this look like, what would he do? I think he would advise on a more comprehensive level. He has a very interesting and incisive view of what American power is, and what it can achieve if implemented well.

"On an intellectual level I admire professor Bernard Lewis. I really admire Benjamin Netanyahu."

Why?

"Because he is under so much pressure, from so many sources, and yet he does what is best for the people of Israel, he does his duty. I really think he should get the Nobel Peace Prize. In a fair world he would get it."

Well, I guess if Kissinger can get a Nobel prize for this:

bombing_map_2

I guess it’s intellectually consistent to also believe that Netanyahu deserves one for this:

gazabombing

You’ll have to excuse me, though, if I scratch both mass murderers, as well as the person who admires them, from my list of admirable people.

Comments

  1. dogfightwithdogma says

    No doubt that Dunning received what was due him. But I question the apparent guilt-by-association mention of Shermer in this post about this incident. Whatever Shermer is or may be guilty of, guilt-by-association tactics are a shameful and disreputable means of criticizing a person.

  2. unclefrogy says

    I was aware of the descriptions of the Gaza as very densely populated even when the news tends mostly down play that fact and follows the Israeli line so I went to Google satellite to look with my own eyes
    human shields my ass!
    uncle frogy

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Did Kruger turn state’s evidence, or has his trial just not come up yet?

  4. nontrad says

    guilt-by-association tactics are a shameful and disreputable means of criticizing a person.

    Cries of “guilt-by-association” are rapidly joining “political correctness” as the most trite ways of shutting down criticism. If a prominent member of a community or authority figure heavily promotes someone who turns out to be bad news, there’s nothing inappropriate in pointing that out. Actual guilt-by-association would require someone to have said that Shermer was guilty of fraud along with Dunning, which, you might notice, no one has.

  5. says

    “On an intellectual level I admire professor Bernard Lewis. I really admire Benjamin Netanyahu.”

    Why?

    “Because he is under so much pressure, from so many sources, and yet he does what is best for the people of Israel, he does his duty. I really think he should get the Nobel Peace Prize. In a fair world he would get it.”

    This is appalling. He’s killing innocent men, women, and children and he should get the Nobel Peace Prize? The fuck?! The man isn’t promoting peace. He’s engaged in war. And he’s doing so indiscriminately. ‘Best for the people of Israel’ is debatable, and what about the Palestinians? I guess it’s too much to expect Netanyahu to treat them like human beings and y’know stop killing them.

  6. rossthompson says

    I wonder if Dunning will be cancelling everyone’s subscriptions to Skeptoid for the next 15 months. He’s been more active than usual in asking for donations recently, so there’s probably quite a few people signed up who will be quite shocked to find that the content they were financing has disappeared.

    Or will he be podcasting from inside his cell?

  7. epikt says

    Did Kruger turn state’s evidence, or has his trial just not come up yet?

    Trial’s already over. See, he was absolutely certain he was competent to serve as his own attorney, and he’s just begun serving the first of nineteen consecutive life sentences.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    The husband whom she admires, btw, is one Niall Ferguson, an historian and Harvard University professor widely considered as a blatant apologist for imperialism.

  9. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    If Henry Kissinger is the standard, then Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t bombed nearly enough civilians to garner a Nobel.

  10. anteprepro says

    rossthompson: Apparently, carjacking involves ejecting someone from the car whereas just stealing the car is taking a car that was unattended. Also, robbery is stealing plus threats/intimidation.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    G Pierce… @ # 10: … “Shermer’s stable of skeptics” …?

    Do a search for “Michael Shermer” (right under the list of all FtB bloggers in the sidebbar on this page) for the background as to why his local reputation is so low.

    Short version: Michael Shermer edits a magazine called Skeptic, organ of The Skeptics Society. When a periodical regularly features a core group of writers, they often get called the “stable” of that publication &/or its editor.

  12. addicted44 says

    There is a pretty vocal corner of atheism (Sam Harris and the like) which aren’t just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim.

    They aren’t simply against the religion, but against all the people who happen to follow that religion, and disregard them as less than human.

    Ali seems to fall squarely in that bracket.

  13. says

    Apparently, carjacking involves ejecting someone from the car whereas just stealing the car is taking a car that was unattended. Also, robbery is stealing plus threats/intimidation.

    There’s a similar distinction between burglary and robbery. If no one was home when your stuff gets stolen, your house wasn’t robbed, it was burgled.

  14. qwints says

    Dunning’s fraud was getting credit for e-bay referrals he didn’t actually make through “cookie stuffing”, and he got more time than a guy who made a lot more from it than he did, Shawn Hogan ($28 million, 5 months).

  15. Jonathan Houser says

    Well it is good to know who belongs in the good list, and who belongs on the list of bad guys. I’ll update mine accordingly. We’re all keeping the same list right? I just want to make sure my list is correct.

  16. nomadiq says

    This is appalling. Even if you agree with Netanyahu (I don’t see how you could, but if you do) how can anyone describe his actions as promoting peace? How up-side-down do you have to be??? I disagree and argue against Islam like I do any other religion. I acknowledge that a lot of violence is being committed by Muslims in this world. But none of this – NONE! – can justify what has been happening in Gaza. How could anyone describe this as promoting peace? How cold must your heart be for people who have done nothing to you?

    How, for want of a better word, racist do you have to be?

  17. says

    Jonathan:

    I’ll update mine accordingly. We’re all keeping the same list right? I just want to make sure my list is correct.

    I think we’re having our monthly Hivemind meeting in a few weeks. That’s when we’ll all synchronize our opinions.

    (I wonder if our detractors actually believe that)

  18. qwints says

    @anteprepo, Dunning didn’t steal anything, he tricked E-Bay into paying him something they didn’t owe him. The maximum sentence for doing that in the way he did (wire fraud) is 20 years. Like the overwhelming majority of convicted criminals not subject to three strikes laws, he didn’t get anywhere close to the maximum sentence. It’s also a crime of moral turpitude, which will have significant consequences for him for the rest of his life.

    In most common law jurisdictions,

    theft – taking someone else’s stuff
    robbery – theft by force
    burglary – unlawful entry into a dwelling at night to commit a crime
    stealing – not the name of an offense

  19. pick says

    Dunning should have gotten 15 month, just for defrauding his skeptical audience.

    At 15
    “There is a pretty vocal corner of atheism (Sam Harris and the like) which aren’t just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim.”

    Yes to this. Their atheism is largely a cover for their hatred of muslims and apparent favor of jews. Jerry Coyne is this way as well. They’re all in favor of apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Israel.
    She admires him, but Netanyahu creeps me out. You can see the blood on his teeth.

    These people should not associate with atheism.

  20. laurentweppe says

    There is a pretty vocal corner of atheism (Sam Harris and the like) which aren’t just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim.

    Let’s be more blunt: there’s a corner atheism whose members identify wholly and solely with the most corrupt fraction of western upper-class: like their models, they don’t give a flying fuck about Islam, they just identify Muslims as plebeian metics who must be forcefully kept in their place at the bottom of the food chain.

  21. twas brillig (stevem) says

    [to sidetrack...sorry;-( ]
    Is this Dunning (Brian) related to the “famous” Dunning (David) (half of Dunning-Kruger)?
    A simple case of “wire-fraud” is unrelated to the DK Syndrome, … or was he using the name recognition to weasel his way into defrauding eBay? The DK Syndrome has been my favorite “armchair diagnosis”, but this case may make me ‘hesitant’ to use it anymore. I know, armchair* is bad behavior, but I got so little, I must be more knowledgeable than everybody ^_^

  22. burgundy says

    I am open to the suggestion that in a fair world Netanyahu would get the Peace Prize, because in a fair world there would not be a slaughter in Gaza. In a fair world, he would not be instituting these policies. In a fair world, I wouldn’t see a woman at a rally with the sign ‘My sister and her kids were killed in Gaza at home.’ (In a fair world there wouldn’t have been a rally.) Who knows what the man would be like in a fair world?

    And as for heroes – you’ll have a hard time convincing me that Dr Parker is not a hero, or at the very least heroic.

  23. loreo says

    “Israel is investing everything it has into life on earth. Hamas is investing everything it has into life after death.”

    It’s just that simple?

    It seems that Ali needs to learn the lesson of a few posts ago, that everything is the way it is because of how it got that way. Religions cannot be separated from their history and broader culture. She’s ignoring the history of colonialism and racism here in favor of simple anti-Muslim beliefs. Religion here might channel the despair and anger of Palestinians, but the despair and anger come from deprivation and imprisonment. And Palestine isn’t Hamas! Most people killed by Israel are just poor brown folks who aren’t affiliated with anybody more than their own families! Always, always it’s poor brown people who die first and in greatest numbers when superpowers flex their muscles!

    And for fucks sake Israelis killed four kids playing football on the beach how in the fuck is that “investing in life”?

    God damnit this is like the US Air Force bombing Compton because some Crip set started shooting at a house party.

  24. says

    qwints:

    burglary – unlawful entry into a dwelling at night to commit a crime

    Specifically at night? Is there a different term for unlawful entry into a dwelling during daylight hours?

  25. Matrim says

    @Tony, 30

    In some jurisdictions, yes. If the break in occurs during the day it’s a different offense. This isn’t universal, of course, it can vary from county to county or state to state.

  26. says

    #17 Pierce R. Butler. I think understand now (and I’m all too familiar with Michael Shermer and his ways). The sentence means, “of Skeptoid and the kinds of people who like Shermer” as a modifier of Dunning, i.e. he has the same supporters as the Shermer crowd. Hope that’s right.

    As far as guilt by association, I see association with Shermer as worse than association with Dunning anyway. If I were forced to have a dinner alone with or attend a party with one of the two I’d pick the latter. (and I met and had conversations with both in 2010 and I think even then before what I know now, I would have chosen the same.)

  27. says

    Dunning didn’t steal anything, he tricked E-Bay into paying him something they didn’t owe him.

    (wtf?)

    Come on now. You’re making it sound like he did something BAD.
    He borrowed the money without permission and with no intention of paying it back. That’s all.

    (didn’t steal anything? seriously, wtf?)

  28. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I don’t know about any jurisdiction where qwints might be (unless it’s Canada), but

    burglary: to enter or remain unlawfully with intent to commit a crime

    would be a much better legal definition of burglary in Canada (note C-46, s321 & s348; there is not an offense titled “burglary”), and, I believe, the Commonwealth nations.

    Note “or remain” and the lack of any time period.

    If used colloquially, the illegal act intended should be theft, and the nighttime requirement is a fair connotation.

  29. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Oh, yeah. For the “better legal definition” (again, not precise which would have to come directly from statute) in what a lawyer might mean when using burglary in Canada or the Commonwealth, also note the lack of “dwelling” which in Canada and most places is an enhancement factor rather than a fundamental element of “burglary”.

  30. rossthompson says

    I posted a comment on the latest Skeptoid episode letting people now that content might be a little sparse for the next year or so, and it’s somehow mysteriously vanished. I wonder how that happened…

  31. hexidecima says

    poor humans. they seem to always be quite the same, no matter what they believe in.

  32. pacal says

    Niall Ferguson is one of the large number of “Old Fogy” English Historians who deeply regret the passing of the British Empire, In fact in Nial’s book The Pity of War he deeply regrets that the allied powers won the First World War, because if evil / thoughtless, (his opinion), British politicians had not intervened Germany would have won the war quickly and established a German dominated continent that would of course, (Yes Niall actually believes this), allowed the British empire to survive and it would have survived to the present day. Niall blames any German excesses during the First World War on the crime of the British intervening on behalf of Belgium. By intervening on behalf of Belgium these British politicians were responsible for the carnage of the First World War, The Rise of Communism in Russia, Stalin and his atrocities, Hitler and his atrocities and of course the Second World War. All because they deprived Germany of its rightful victory in World War One. Of course the responsibility of Germany’s leaders for any of this seems to be from Nial’s pojnt of view minimal.

    As for Kissinger. Lets ask some East Timorese. I am sure they will tell Mrs. Ali all about that lovely meeting in 1975 in which Kissinger and then President Ford met with the Indonesian dictator Soeharto and gave him the green light to invade East Timor which he did within ours after Kissinger and Ford leaving Indonesia. What followed for the East Timorese was 24 years of brutal repression and what amounted to at times of genocide. I could also mention the birth of Bangladesh or how about Cyprus or perhaps Chile.

  33. madscientist says

    Another Kissinger policy which I love and is part of the religion of the US government is the “don’t talk to anyone you don’t like” policy. We can see how well it’s worked with Iran, Cuba, Russia … well it didn’t work so well with Russia since that rule is only fairly recently being applied to Russia. On top of that the Russians kept breaking the rule by doing horrible things such as offering a unilateral reduction in nuclear armaments and then asking US delegates “how do you want to respond to that?” Naturally the Grand O’l Tea Party responded with “no way you commies, we don’t want any of that commie talk about nuclear arms control, we’ve got a god-given right to bear nuclear arms you know.”

    As for Dunning, he sure wailed about how he’d been wronged but I see that every single time a crook is caught red-handed (why they imagine they can get away with it when they’r caught in the act is anyone’s guess) so I suspended judgement pending the outcome of the investigations and trial since I knew nothing of the case. Now that he’s a convicted fraud I’m happy to call him a fraud.

    It’s probably been 10 years since I subscribed to “Skeptic Magazine” and for many years only Don Prothero has posted decent articles on the website (though many of his posts, especially recently, have been ads for his books). Stick a fork in it – Shermer needs a new shtick.

  34. c. p.norris says

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been publicly toeing the National Review line for many, many years now. This should not be a surprise.

  35. Al Dente says

    pacal @38

    Business Insider thinks that Ferguson should stick with history because he makes a fool of himself when he tries to be an economist. He also made a homophobic remark about John Meynard Keynes:

    Basically, he was trying to cleverly equate Keynes’ famous line “in the long run we’re all dead” to a mentality which doesn’t care about the future, due to lack of offspring. Of course, that Keynes line is taken out of context, and Keynes clearly thought about the long term, and beyond that it’s just straight up offensive to say that being gay is incompatible with long-term thinking.

  36. Nick Gotts says

    pacal@38,

    While sharing your general view of Ferguson and his fantasies of German-British harmony, Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers and The Russian Origins of the First World War by Sean Mcmeekin do make a good case that more of the responsibility for WWI lies with the Entente powers, including Britain, than with the Central Powers – principally Germany – as the conventional narrative has it. The German leadership was irresponsible, and the invasion of Belgium criminal, but it was Serbia, Russia and France which had aims that could only be achieved in the context of a general European war – Serbian expansion and the destruction of Austria-Hungary, control of the Straits, and the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine respectively; and the British government failed to restrain them, in part because a European war was seen as preferable to the army mutiny that threatened over Irish Home Rule. Austria-Hungary and Germany did want to punish Serbia for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife which they believed – correctly – was planned in Belgrade; but wanted to avoid a general war.

  37. funknjunk says

    @ 33 – Jafafa – come on, man, it’s just ideas. They’re just floating in the air. Like those electrons flowing across the internets. If those electrons help put a million bucks in his bank account, what is wrong with that? It’s not like he took a big bag with $$ signs clearly printed on the outside, telling everyone he was, you know, stealing.

  38. toska says

    Because he is under so much pressure, from so many sources, and yet he does what is best for the people of Israel, he does his duty.

    Assuming it is true that “he does what is best for the people of Israel” (A point that is highly debatable), when does doing what’s best for you and yours at the detriment of others become morally wrong rather than admirable? The entire history of imperialism can be read as doing what is best for one’s own country. But it hurt a lot of people. It’s still hurting them today. Does Hirsi Ali excuse imperialists and their actions throughout history?
    addicted44

    There is a pretty vocal corner of atheism (Sam Harris and the like) which aren’t just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim.

    Years ago, I saw her give a friendly interview on a far right wing talk show. An atheist only receives a friendly welcome on those programs if they are their to bash atheists, or if they’re anti-Muslim. She definitely fell into the latter category, unfortunately.

  39. vaiyt says

    There is a pretty vocal corner of atheism (Sam Harris and the like) which aren’t just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim.

    Or rather, anti-generic-concept-of-Muslim-as-brown-faced-evil-cypher.

  40. says

    Hirsi Ali is a typical right-wing warmonger. I’m surprised she went with Netanyahu and not one of our homegrown war criminals, like Dick Cheney. Her personal story is compelling, but she holds some truly despicable views.

    I’ve been thinking for some time now about appending the atheist slogan “No gods, no masters” to “No gods, no masters, no heroes.”

  41. dogfightwithdogma says

    Nontrad @6

    Cries of “guilt-by-association” are rapidly joining “political correctness” as the most trite ways of shutting down criticism.

    An opinion I don’t share and think is just so much bullshit. I am not trying to shut down anyone. Fact is, I couldn’t do so no matter how much I might try, which I most certainly am not attempting to do. Posting comments on here isn’t going to succeed in shutting down anyone, no matter what they may say. My criticism was legitimate. You are simply trying to rationalize your rejection of that criticism.

    If a prominent member of a community or authority figure heavily promotes someone who turns out to be bad news, there’s nothing inappropriate in pointing that out.

    This is a perfect example of rationalization. It’s not working. The reference to Shermer in the context it was presented in the OP does not clearly indicate that Shermer’s name was mentioned to point out that Shermer was a promoter of Dunning. Furthermore, Shermer’s frequent promotion of Dunning in the skeptic’s community is entirely irrelevant to the story about Dunning’s criminal behavior. Even Rebecca Watson in the story to which PZ linked didn’t mention Shermer in her post about Dunning’s crimimal behavior. Now why do you suppose that is? Most likely because it is completely irrelevant.

  42. dogfightwithdogma says

    Nontrad @6

    Actual guilt-by-association would require someone to have said that Shermer was guilty of fraud along with Dunning, which, you might notice, no one has.

    Perhaps I used the wrong term. Perhaps what I should have said, and is what I meant by the use of the phrase guilt-by-associaiton, is that mentioning Shermer in this context is an unacceptable smear tactic. Shermer has things to answer for. There certainly are alleged behaviors for which he must answer and has rightly been criticized. But taking pot shots like this is shameful and should not be tolerated. We don’t even know if Shermer knew about Dunning’s criminal behavior. And for that reason there is no justifiable reason to link Shermer to Dunning simply because he promoted him within the skeptic’s community. It’s a cheap tactic.

  43. dogfightwithdogma says

    G. Pierece @32

    As far as guilt by association, I see association with Shermer as worse than association with Dunning anyway.

    Perhaps so, but associating one with the other in the way done here still is unjustified. If the story had been about a crime committed by Shermer instead of Dunning, it would be just as much a smear tactic to mention Dunning in talking about Shermer’s criminal behavior unless Dunning knew about it, you clearly established he knew about, and/or he was in someway complicit in the behavior. None of these criteria are met in this instance. The story is about Dunning’s criminal behavior. Shermer’s friendship with Dunning, and his promotion of him in the skeptic’s community is entirely irrelevant, unless you can establish that Shermer knew about the behavior, and/or was involved in it. Otherwise it is just the use of a cheap smear tactic.

  44. pacal says

    Nick Gotts no. 42.

    The two books you mentioned are little more than regurgitations of “revisionistic” scholarship that goes back more than 70 years. It is ho-hum. That two modern writers are pushing this pablum c. 70 years after it was first proposed is amusing. The two books in question are simply not proposing anything new in the slightest.

  45. says

    @dogfightwithdogma #49:

    Perhaps so, but associating one with the other in the way done here still is unjustified.

    Dunning writes for SkepticBlog, the blog of Shermer’s Skeptic magazine. Shermer also contributes to said blog. Dunning was also an executive producer for The Skeptologists, the Shermer-starring skepticism-centered TV show that (at this point, mercifully) never got past the pilot stage.

  46. dogfightwithdogma says

    Nothing you said Tom Foss alters my statement that the use of Shermer’s name in this particular instance in this context is unjustified. None of the associations you mentioned establishes that Shermer knew of Dunnings criminal behavior, or that he was in any way involved with it. In the case we are discussing here Shermer’s association with Dunning is irrelevant to the story of Dunning’s criminal behavior and the announcement about his sentence for that criminal behavior. It is, I repeat, in this instance a a cheap smear tactic.

  47. herooja . says

    So no mention of Mandela , Gandhi, MLK or Harvey Milk.She is definitely a neocon and must have a dark view of the world, her and her buddies Harris and Maher can now count Ben Shapiro, Bill Kristol, Hannity and Mark Levine as sharing the same ideals when it comes to Netanyahu

  48. says

    So, was mentioning that he was the guy behind skeptoid also a sliming tactic? I gave general background on who Dunning is, because a lot of people won’t know who he is.

    Pointing out Dunning’s tow main claims to fame, outside of his fraud conviction, is called providing context.

  49. says

    Is it similarly irrelevant, then, to mention Skeptoid? The connection with Shermer, highlighting the multiple projects on which Shermer and Dunning collaborate rather than enumerating them, is in the same phrase as Dunning’s other major project and claim to fame. It’s relevant in that it points out why readers might be familiar with Dunning.

    That said, it’s also relevant to the larger concern about the issues in the skeptic community as a whole–the lack of moral and ethical standards, the refusal to police our own, the lack of consequences for bad behavior, and the good ol’ boys network. Dunning pled guilty to wire fraud four months ago, after a case going back to 2011. At no point in all that did Shermer see fit to remove Dunning as a listed contributor or make any statement about his crimes, except to say that he wouldn’t be writing articles there until after sentencing. We keep hearing about how false allegations can ruin people’s lives and reputations in this community–a community that we’re told represents the intersection of science and consumer protection–and yet guilty pleas don’t result in anything more than “stop posting here for awhile so we can save face.” Some consequence, when Skeptoid.com ranks higher on Alexa than the whole Skeptic Magazine website.

    Post-plea, some skeptical sites labeled Dunning a hero, and most just avoided talking about the issue completely. Post-allegations, sizable numbers of skeptics have rallied to support those accused of harassment, rape, gross mismanagement, and on and on. Dunning’s crimes fit into a larger context of prominent skeptics behaving badly without facing any negative consequence from the skeptical community.

    Contrasting the guy who got caught and will actually serve jail time, with his pal who didn’t and won’t? When the community rallied around both in shockingly similar ways? Yeah, I think that’s a little relevant.

  50. says

    Its pretty easy to get your mind around the idea that god doesn’t exist, some other stuff is a lot harder, but you gotta start somewhere

  51. says

    wait… Sleptoid is the ACTUAL name?
    It’s not a snarky joke? (Skeptoid: skeptic-like, along the lines of CNN’s factoid: fact-like, or asteroid: star-like)

    For real?
    Wow.

  52. qwints says

    @CripDyke, the dwelling and night clauses are old parts of the common law definition:

    Blackstone’s Commentary on the Laws, Book IV, Chapter 16

    THE definition of a burglar, as given us by sir Edward Cokes , is, “he that by night breaketh and entreth into a mansionhouse, with intent to commit a felony.” In this definition there are four things to be considerd; the time, the place, the manner, and the intent.

    My jurisdiction’s definition of Burglary, Tex. Penal code 30.02, is quite similar to Canada’s Breaking and Entering, and also similar in showing signs of the old common law definition. Hence both say a residence (habitation/dwelling house) or any other place. Also, Canada has life in prison for burglary? That’s almost as crazy as Texas allowing lethal force in defense of property against burglars at night. Tex. Penal Code 9.42

  53. anteprepro says

    Burglary according to California law has nothing to do with whether or it is night or day.

    http://www.shouselaw.com/burglary.html

    Penal Code 459 PC defines “burglary” as “entering a

    room,
    structure, or
    locked vehicle
    with the intent to commit a felony (or a petty theft) once inside.”1

    Burglary is often referred to as “breaking and entering.” But prosecutors can charge you with this offense even if there is no forced entry of a room or structure.2 Only auto burglary requires an actual break-in.

  54. nontrad says

    @47, dogfightwithdogma

    I’m not sure why, but you seem to be struggling with two separate but straightforward issues. First, for your ludicrous “smear” assertion to even make sense, it would have to be the case that the sentence about Shermer in the OP was intended to convey information about Shermer, when it was clearly there to provide context on Dunning. Secondly, even had it been intended to say something about Shermer instead of Dunning, it’s beyond asinine to claim that it’s an inappropriate smear to point out that a controversial high-profile figure has been promoting someone who turned out to be a criminal. As I said above, it’s only guilt-by-association if you’re trying to use the association to prove that someone is guilty of something they aren’t by virtue of their connection to someone who is guilty of it. Using this to point out, say, Shermer’s poor judgement wouldn’t be guilt by association, it would be evidence.

    Oh, and if you’re going to try to dismiss criticism of your claims as “rationalization,” you should at least try to make up something for me to be rationalizing away, and some remotely plausible reason for me to be doing so. Claiming that I’m “rationalizing my rejection of that criticism” suggests that not only did you not understand my (simple and straightforward) point, but that you don’t know what rationalization means.

  55. selfmade says

    How’s second pic is indiscriminate?

    How about this and that ?
    It’s a major hospital in Gaza Strip… and a rocket launcher site.

    In Netanyahu’s situation, when terrorists use human shield to fire rockets on innocent people, he’s quite precise in his actions.

  56. says

    In Netanyahu’s situation, when terrorists use human shield to fire rockets on innocent people, he’s quite precise in his actions.

    …and what about when he’s killing children on a beach?

  57. nontrad says

    @61, selfmade,

    Even if the human shield canard were completely accurate, every time the IDF cited it, how do you manage to work out the moral logic that endangering innocent people by using them as human shields is more evil than the act of intentionally blowing up innocent people to get at the bad people hiding behind them?

    Oh, and go fuck yourself.

  58. says

    selfmade:

    How’s second pic is indiscriminate?

    You seriously can’t fathom how bombing such an area is bound to injure or kill everyone in that area? Do you honestly think Netanyahu was absolutely certain that every square inch of that bombed area was free of innocents, and that only terrorists were killed?
    Thirding the request for you to go fuck yourself.

  59. toska says

    Selfmade,

    In Netanyahu’s situation, when terrorists use human shield to fire rockets on innocent people, he’s quite precise in his actions.

    Terrorists using human shields…… Ok. So let’s say a terroristic cult is in a firefight with law enforcement. They retreat to their compound, and each combatant grabs innocent children from the compound to use as a human shield. Are the law enforcement officers justified to open fire and kill every child in order to take out the dangerous adults? Should their commanding officer and the media say “they did what was necessary” or “they were quite precise in their actions”? If not, why is it ok for the Israeli military to bomb innocent civilian targets (30% of victims are children) in order to supposedly take out Hamas rockets (Rockets that have not been proven to exist at the schools, hospitals, and beaches that have been bombed recently)?

  60. says

    Oh god. I really don’t want to be that asshole but… #25:

    She admires him, but Netanyahu creeps me out. You can see the blood on his teeth.

    I know exactly what you meant. I really do. I know you meant no bigotry whatsoever by it and I actually agree completely with what you’re trying to say.

    But I feel like there are better ways to say it without accidentally recalling Blood Libel. It’d be one thing if Netanyahu wasn’t Jewish, and I know, again, about the context. So please believe me that I’m not calling you out for bigotry, especially because I agree with you. Just… please… be a bit more careful here. There’s enough assholes trying to silence pro-Palestinian views by screaming “ANTI-SEMITISM!” Be careful not to give them ammo, especially when you don’t actually mean it that way. I know it sucks having to watch speech, but think about the kind of lobby we’re dealing with, here.

    If one of the pro-Israel lobby people saw that, I promise you, based on that one comment alone, this entire blog would be bashed as anti-Semitic. So I’m just saying… think a little more about what you’re saying and what you want to say.

    Thanks.

    And now, so as to even things out a bit…

    selfmade… go take a look at Gaza. Seriously. Go to Google Maps and just look at Gaza.

    The human shields schtick is a myth. There’s nowhere for Gazaans to go. Literally nowhere. They are not “human shields” by force. They are there because they have nowhere else to go. It’s that fucking simple.

  61. Nick Gotts says

    pacal@50,

    I see you have no actual arguments against what Clark and Mcmeekin are saying. I raised specific points, you did not.

  62. Nick Gotts says

    Chimera’s definition of “sanctimony” (#68): objecting to the mass killing of civilians.

  63. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @qwints:

    Hmm. Hadn’t seen the Blackstone bit. Of course, I conceded that in non-legal parlance a home was certainly implied as the target and there was a strong (but not necessary) connotation of nighttime. But it’s interesting that that was, in fact, considered an element of the crime at one point.

    As for penalties in the CCC, well, there are some that are decidedly lesser than their US counterparts, but very often the CCC provides for relatively high penalties, but the legal and political regime permits much more sentencing discretion, so you nonetheless get shorter median and mean sentences. This might not hold up for literally every offense with a US counterpart, but the trust in judicial discretion is much greater up here, so long maximum sentences for, e.g., aggravated breaking and entering, aren’t seen as inherently (facially) problematic.

    Obviously none of that puts an end to the inevitable arguments about whether a sentence was too harsh or lenient when it comes to high profile cases, but still Parliament is content to leave more power to the judges and transfer less to the CAO than would be true in the US.

    thanks for the Blackstone quote.

  64. unclefrogy says

    the policies that were put forth by Henry K. at the behest of the POTUS that won him acclaim and the war he was a major adviser on accomplished what exactly did it accomplish I do not remember?
    I think the IDF would still cry foul and complain if the “terrorists ” would stand out in an open field away from everyone so they could be shot at by jet fighter-bombers and tanks.
    uncle frogy

  65. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ qwints

    Dunning didn’t steal anything, he tricked E-Bay into paying him something they didn’t owe him.

    Are you kidding me? Does the phrase “distinction without a difference” mean anything to you? Maybe it’s not technically considered theft in legal terms but he still ended up with money in his bank account that didn’t belong to him.

  66. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    chimera @ 68

    This blog is pickled in sanctimony.

    Hooray for vague, contextless criticisms. Your concern is noted.

  67. says

    Without additional context, I have no idea what your point is with this comment.

    ++lurk mode: off++

    Jerry Coyne posted a big defense of Dawkins’ dopey “Rape X/ Rape Y” tweet and the Thunderfoot/ FTBullies crowd have dumped all of their resentments there in the 350-and-growing comments. I assume he wandered in from the links there.

    ++lurk mode: on++

  68. laurentweppe says

    Even if the human shield canard were completely accurate, every time the IDF cited it, how do you manage to work out the moral logic that endangering innocent people by using them as human shields is more evil than the act of intentionally blowing up innocent people to get at the bad people hiding behind them?

    Simple: he doesn’t: the “human shield” is simply the israeli government latest soundbite used because their hasbara specialists told them that “We’re merely weeding out arabic subhumans” and “They were Hamas voters/future Hamas voters anyway” made it too obvious that the israeli ruling-class was dominated by sociopaths and that it would be wiser to display faked concern toward the civilian population.
    Alas, these PR specialists have so far failed to explain their psychopathic bosses that the “They‘re forcing us to kill Their children” canard doesn’t work.

    ***

    each combatant grabs innocent children from the compound to use as a human shield. Are the law enforcement officers justified to open fire and kill every child in order to take out the dangerous adults?

    It depends: are the children’s parents Rich and White?
    /sarcasm

  69. dogfightwithdogma says

    So, was mentioning that he was the guy behind skeptoid also a sliming tactic?

    Of course not, and it is disingenuous of you to suggest that my comment may have implied this. Dunning’s background is legitimate territory given that he is the subject of the story. But the story is not about Shermer, as much as you seem to want to make him a part of this story.

    I gave general background on who Dunning is, because a lot of people won’t know who he is.

    I find it curious that you think linking Shermer to him is necessary background for those who might not know him. Ophelia Benson and Rebecca Watson did not think it necessary in their posts about this story. Why do you? Furthermore, why do you assume that more than a handful of your readers won’t know who Brian Dunning is? Seems to me that the readers of this blog are quite well informed when it comes to who are the well-known names in skepticism, atheism, freethought, etc. I’d be surprised if any of your readers did not know of him before reading this post.

    Pointing out Dunning’s tow main claims to fame, outside of his fraud conviction, is called providing context.

    Nothing wrong with providing context. Certainly pointing out that Dunning is the host of Skeptoid is appropriate context. But I am not buying the notion that linking Shermer to Dunning is necessary context. Given the history between you and Shermer, it would have been better to leave any mention of him in this context out of the post. Doing so would not have affected your efforts at providing context. And it would also have avoided the appearance of petty attempts at sliming a person. A person should be slimed only for their own misdeeds, not for the deeds of others unless they were actually complicit in those deeds. I just think mentioning Shermer was beneath you PZ. Doing things of this sort don’t just reflect on the image of the target of the tactic, but also reflects poorly on the person who uses such tactics.

  70. Forbidden Snowflake says

    dogfightwithdogma:
    Has it occurred to you that readers who are less informed about skeptic semi-celebrities maybe don’t comment as much about them? Or that commenters are a small percentage of readers in general?

    Signed: someone with a very vague idea of who Dunning is.

  71. says

    This is simply a bizarre and persistent misreading of intent, and it doesn’t seem to matter to you that I have clearly spelled out what my intent was. You seem to think you know better what my motives are than I do.

    The explanation is really simple. I never listened to Skeptoid. All of my exposure to Dunning came through his posts on Shermer’s skepticblog. I cited how I knew him.

    Clearly, though, that won’t matter in the least to you, and you’ll continue to insist you know the True Reason.

  72. says

    #76, williamgeorge:

    That thread is amusing. Lots of people who announce they don’t read Pharyngula then reciting known “facts” about PZ Myers while deploring irrational people who attack others in comment threads.

  73. pentatomid says

    dogfightwithdogma, @79

    I’m a longtime reader of Pharyngula. I used to comment on afairly regular basis as well, though I rarely have the time to participate in the comments anymore these days. I also had no idea who this Dunning person was, so yes the context provided was usefull to me and probably to host of other people as well.

  74. dogfightwithdogma says

    Tom Foss @55

    Is it similarly irrelevant, then, to mention Skeptoid?

    Of course not. You even thinking that I think this based on my comment seems to indicate a distortion in your mind of my comments. Had I thought mentioning Dunning’s association with Skeptoid to be irrelevant I would have said so in clear language, just as I did regarding the linking of Shermer’s name to Dunning in this particular context. I obviously did not.

    The connection with Shermer, highlighting the multiple projects on which Shermer and Dunning collaborate rather than enumerating them, is in the same phrase as Dunning’s other major project and claim to fame. It’s relevant in that it points out why readers might be familiar with Dunning.

    Then why not mention Dunning’s similar affiliations and collaborations with others in the Skeptics community? Are Steven Novella, Brian Dalton, Donald Prothero, and the other’s who contribute to the Skeptics.com blog not also equally worthy of specific mention? I don’t accept the claim that part of Dunning’s fame to claim within the skeptic’s community is his collaborations with Shermer. I would also be surprised if any reader of this blog did not recognize the identity of Dunning after mentioning that he is the host of Skeptoid, without any reference to Shermer.

    That said, it’s also relevant to the larger concern about the issues in the skeptic community as a whole–the lack of moral and ethical standards, …

    Obviously you think this a concern, and I don’t doubt that many others here do as well, but it is not a concern of mine. Why? Because I don’t accept that there is a “lack of moral and ethical standards” in the skeptics community as a whole. There certainly are particular members of the community, some quite prominent, whose ethics and morals are questionable and of concern. But I don’t accept the view that this constitutes a crisis or a problem within the larger skeptic community.

    the refusal to police our own,…

    What would constitute policing our own? What would satisfy your demand for policing our own? I am not persuaded that this “policing” is not taking place.

    I agree that Shermer should have done more than he did.

    I am not familiar with the response of the skeptic’s community in general after Dunning’s guilty plea. So I can’t comment on it. But I will make some time to research it. Perhaps you’d be thoughtful enough to provide a few links to sites where Dunning was portrayed as a hero and/or to sites where I can read about the “sizable numbers of skeptics” who have rallied to support those accused of harassment, rape, gross mismanagement, and on and on.”

    Contrasting the guy who got caught and will actually serve jail time, with his pal who didn’t and won’t?

    You are saying that Shermer did not get caught for some criminal behavior for which he should have been punished? I am not clear what you mean by not getting caught, since clearly most, if not all, of the skeptic’s community is aware of the charges of rape and harassment that have been leveled against Shermer by many members of the skeptic’s community. I think that this constitutes getting caught, though not in the legal sense of having been arrested. But then no one to my knowledge has reported him to law enforcement, nor have formal charges been brought against him. Now I am not saying that such charges should not have been filed. I am in no position to make such a judgement. But until someone actually acts to have criminal charges filed against him no legal punishment is possible. That is not the fault of the skeptic’s community.

  75. dogfightwithdogma says

    This is simply a bizarre and persistent misreading of intent, and it doesn’t seem to matter to you that I have clearly spelled out what my intent was.

    No PZ you did not clearly spell out what was your intent until this most recent reply to my comments. Now that you have, I will back away from my statement about your intent and I apologize for misreading your intend.

    You seem to think you know better what my motives are than I do.

    I was simply going on what I knew. You and Shermer have a history of crossing swords so to speak. Your original reference did not have the clarity you seem to think it did. Thus I ended up making some incorrect assumptions. For those I apologize.

    The explanation is really simple. I never listened to Skeptoid. All of my exposure to Dunning came through his posts on Shermer’s skepticblog. I cited how I knew him.

    How was I suppose to know that you had never listened to any Skeptoid episodes? Was I suppose assume that you never listened to any Skeptoid episodes or that that you had never even heard of Skeptoid? Was I suppose to know that your exposure to Dunning came solely through his affiliation with Shermer’s skepticblog? None of this was obvious to me from your original reference to Shermer in the OP. It was not clear that this reference was intended to indicate how you knew him. In fact, in your first response to my first comment you said you mentioned Shermer to provide context to your readers. You said nothing about mentioning him as a means of indicating to the reader how it is that you knew about Dunning. I apologize for my misunderstanding, but I don’t think that my misunderstanding was entirely due to a communication failure on my part alone.

    Clearly, though, that won’t matter in the least to you, and you’ll continue to insist you know the True Reason.

    Clearly you are wrong.

  76. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ dogfightwithdogma

    What.
    Do.
    You.
    Want?

    You don’t believe anybody here never heard of Dunning? I never heard of Dunning before now. I don’t listen to skeptic podcasts or read any Capital S Skeptic blogs/forums/etc.; I really don’t have, and have never had, much of a shit to give about movement skepticism. I discovered the Four Horsemen on Youtube, which led me to Pharyngula/FTB and I’ve been here since because, in my opinion, fighting inequality is much more important and interesting than patting myself on the back for not believing in gods and the Loch Ness monster.

    If someone had described this Dunning dude as “the guy from Skeptoid”? That means exactly nothing to me. In fact, when I saw the term “Skeptoid” in the title of Ophelia’s post on the subject, I thought it was a snarky name for someone who thinks skepticism involves doubting fucking everything except what you already believe. But, if you describe him as “one of Shermer’s stable of skeptics”? That has meaning to me. Shermer, I’ve heard of; runs a popular skeptics magazine and writes books.

    Steven Novella, Brian Dalton, Donald Prothero, and the other’s who contribute to the Skeptics.com blog not also equally worthy of specific mention?

    I’ve never heard of these people either (except Brian Dalton maybe? He’s the Mr. Deity guy, right?), so, no from my perspective, they’re not equally worthy of specific mention if “worthy of specific mention” is defined as being someone well-known enough to actually be informative to someone like me who gives no fucks about movement skepticism.

    TL;DR: get off your damn hobby horse.

  77. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Was I suppose assume that you never listened to any Skeptoid episodes or that that you had never even heard of Skeptoid? Was I suppose to know that your exposure to Dunning came solely through his affiliation with Shermer’s skepticblog? None of this was obvious to me from your original reference to Shermer in the OP.

    Lol. So what you’re saying is that you actually knew fuck all about the situation or what PZ’s intent could possibly be and so reached the conclusion that it was a grand conspiracy to tar Shermer with the same brush as Dunning. *eyeroll*

  78. dogfightwithdogma says

    @87

    So what you’re saying is that you actually knew fuck all about the situation or what PZ’s intent could possibly be and so reached the conclusion that it was a grand conspiracy to tar Shermer with the same brush as Dunning.

    No. I am saying that I drew some conclusions based on the knowledge I did have and the fact that the reference to Shermer did not clearly indicate PZ’s intent, and that I did not think mentioning Shermer was necessary to provide context about Dunning. Since he explained it much more clearly in his most recent reply to me I have apologized for the assumptions I made and the misread that followed from it. I never said anything about a conspiracy. Is your use of the word an attempt on your part to portray me as some kind of conspiracy nut; someone who sees conspiracies lurking around every corner? I no more think PZ’s remark was part of a conspiracy than do you. Are you saying I must be prone to conspiracy thinking because I dare to come to this blog and criticize PZ? If so, then I must ask, who now is completely misreading things?

  79. groo says

    Sam Harris doesn’t hate muslim people. Muslims are the big victims of radical Islam (womem in particular). But i can understand why someome can dislike a person for their ideology. I hate Nazism And an don’ t particularly like Nazis. Islam can be very nasty. And this thread is an example of why you don’t like Harris or Ali for their ideas. It’s humam.

  80. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    No. I am saying that I drew some conclusions based on the knowledge I did have and the fact that the reference to Shermer did not clearly indicate PZ’s intent…

    Bolding mine.
    So, you drew conclusions based on a lack of information. Which is exactly what I said.

    Is your use of the word an attempt on your part to portray me as some kind of conspiracy nut; someone who sees conspiracies lurking around every corner? Are you saying I must be prone to conspiracy thinking because I dare to come to this blog and criticize PZ? If so, then I must ask, who now is completely misreading things?

    You object to my use of the word “conspiracy” and follow it up with a series of logical leaps that would earn you a gold medal at the Olympics. Immediately after having to apologize to someone else for making similarly unwarranted assumptions from a similar lack of information.

  81. says

    I’d not the first fucking clue who Dunning is, for the same reason as articulated above: skepticism has nothing to do with my interests. I don’t read about it, and frankly only even know Shermer for his assholery, not his ‘work’.

    Hirsi Ali is a nasty piece of work, bog-standard racist eliminationist type, who’s only not reviled for her fascism because her particular idea of who’s subhuman fits the current fashion. It’s just a shame she has to shit all over atheism’s reputation to express her bloodlust.

  82. Rob Grigjanis says

    groo @89: Here‘s one (of many) reasons I don’t like Hirsi Ali;

    despite claiming a continuing affinity with the left, Hirsi Ali decries the welfare state and associates it directly with the Islamic ‘menace’ facing the West. “What we see in Europe,” she says, “because of the welfare state, is government pretending to provide all sorts of services they shouldn’t be providing.” When asked why American Muslims appear to be better integrated than their European brethren, she replied: “America doesn’t really have a welfare system. Mohammed Bouyeri had all day long to plot the murder of Theo van Gogh. American Muslims have to get a job.”

    See, if you don’t keep Muslims busy trying to feed their families, they’ll automatically turn to plotting murder and mayhem.

  83. dogfightwithdogma says

    @90

    You object to my use of the word “conspiracy” and follow it up with a series of logical leaps that would earn you a gold medal at the Olympics. Immediately after having to apologize to someone else for making similarly unwarranted assumptions from a similar lack of information.

    Now you are mischaracterizing my intent. I asked questions. I did not accuse. You may think the questions are meant to be accusatory, but then that is you comprehension failure, not mine. I asked questions to find out why you chose to use the word conspiracy in your comment.

    Nothing I had said earlier should have given cause to characterize what I was saying as accusing PZ of a conspiracy. First of all, who would he be conspiring with? It is because I made the mistake of making assumptions with PZ that I asked you questions rather than making declarative statements. The questions remain unanswered. I don’t know why you decided to characterize my remarks as indicative of me charging PZ with any kind of conspiracy. Here is your chance to answer those questions. Without answers I will be left then to make assumptions.

  84. groo says

    Rob,
    , i don’t get your analogy. hamas, is financed by rich people that don’ t care about the palestinians. hamas doesn’ t care about the people either.

    they are wicked. But i’m not saying i agree with the attacks.

    All i say is people dislike people for the beliefs rhey hold.

  85. dogfightwithdogma says

    @86

    I stand corrected. There are some here who did not know who Dunning is.

    TL;DR: get off your damn hobby horse.

    I don’t ride nor sit astride hobby horses. Furthermore, it’s not my problem if you can’t bother to read all of a person’s comments in response to those made by another commenter.

  86. laurentweppe says

    See, if you don’t keep Muslims busy trying to feed their families, they’ll automatically turn to plotting murder and mayhem.

    Hirsi Ali’s claims also carry the “they’re a shiftless lot” canard that wealthy right-winger repeat sometimes in public and ad nauseam behind closed doors. I find this claim about european Muslims particularly aggravating because the first and second generations of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries were instrumental in both the expansion of post WWII infrastructure and rebuilding of the industry in countries like France (immigrants from the Maghreb), Germany (turkish immigrants), or Britain (from Pakistan)… Western Europe Own its prosperity to muslim immigrants, yet we see the lazy heirs of decadent dynasties and their lackeys pretending that the very people who allowed their wealth to endure are inherently slothful while doing everything they can to trap the immigrants’ descendants in underclass’ ghettos.

  87. unclefrogy says

    @98
    you know that sounds very familiar to me now where have I seen that before?
    uncle frogy

  88. says

    @Groo

    Here’s a hint, I don’t believe one cares about the people as victims of Islam while they also gleefully propose racial profiling, oppression and killing said victims.

    Burning the village to save the village

  89. pick says

    Hey Nate #67
    I said,
    “She admires him, but Netanyahu creeps me out. You can see the blood on his teeth.”
    You said,
    “Oh god. I really don’t want to be that asshole but… #25:
    I know exactly what you meant. I really do. I know you meant no bigotry whatsoever by it and I actually agree completely with what you’re trying to say.
    But I feel like there are better ways to say it without accidentally recalling Blood Libel. …….
    There’s enough assholes trying to silence pro-Palestinian views by screaming “ANTI-SEMITISM!” Be careful not to give them ammo, especially when you don’t actually mean it that way.
    If one of the pro-Israel lobby people saw that, I promise you, based on that one comment alone, this entire blog would be bashed as anti-Semitic.”

    Well, I meant to say what I said, Netanyahu is creepy, sinister, and ghoulish. He’s got blood on his hands and his teeth. I don’t even know what a blood libel is. I must have just stumbled into that one. Do jews have a reputation for drinking blood as part of their religious nonsense that they are sensitive about?
    I don’t think there is anything to be done to escape the anti-semitism charge. All critics of Israel are anti-semites, unless one is a jew, in which case one is a self-hating jew. They use the holocaust as a one size fits all rationalization to commit similar atrocities against others while pretending to occupy moral high ground. Very Orwellian. Since the ’30’s, Zionists have committed offenses and terrorists acts, one after another, first against the British and then the Arabs and Palestinans but came out pretending they acted in self defense each time. Just like today.
    They plan and prepare, seize on pretext and plant false flags to justify striking first, invading, seizing property. In 1948, as many as 700,000 Palestinans were driven from their homes in fear of terrorism and not allowed to return. The Zionists are deceitful and treacherous even to their allies and financers, US. See the USS Liberty incident.

  90. toska says

    @pick #101,
    While the anti-semitism charge gets thrown around in this debate too liberally sometimes, blood libel comes from anti-semitic roots. You can google for more information, but it was basically the claim that Jewish people would kidnap Christian children and drink their blood, and it was used to demonize Jewish people. I’d suggest not using that particular imagery again, even if the intent is not connected to prejudice.

  91. says

    @Groo

    “Sam Harris doesn’t hate muslims”

    “I disagree because this stances are in-congruent with caring about their welfare”

    Yeah I’m totally off track.

    I don’t even know what a blood libel is. I must have just stumbled into that one. Do jews have a reputation for drinking blood as part of their religious nonsense that they are sensitive about?

    blood libel is the once common belief that Jews kidnapped and cannibalized Christian children and was used for centuries as part of justification for pogoms and the like. So yes implying Jews have blood on their mouths/lips/etc will trigger red flags. Please remember that despite Israel being insane the Jewish identified have historically been a fairly oppressed and defamed demographic.

  92. says

    Dunning didn’t steal anything, he tricked E-Bay into paying him something they didn’t owe him.

    Part of the scam involved stuffing cookies in a way that meant that Dunning would get referral bonuses from other peoples’ referrals. I.e. Dunning got the bonus instead of the people who really should have received it.

    Sounds pretty much like stealing to me. Not only from eBay, but also from the people who really earned the money.

  93. says

    @Dogfightwithdogma #84

    Of course not. You even thinking that I think this based on my comment seems to indicate a distortion in your mind of my comments.

    So it’s a bad thing to have a “distortion in your mind” about someone else’s comments? Who’da thunk it?

    Then why not mention Dunning’s similar affiliations and collaborations with others in the Skeptics community? Are Steven Novella, Brian Dalton, Donald Prothero, and the other’s who contribute to the Skeptics.com blog not also equally worthy of specific mention?

    No, because Steven Novella, Brian Dalton, Donald Prothero, and the others who contribute to Skepticblog do not also own Skepticblog. If Dunning were a regular contributor to Neurologica or Science-Based Medicine, or if he were a major contributor to Mr. Deity, then yes, it would be relevant to mention those things.

    I don’t accept the claim that part of Dunning’s fame to claim within the skeptic’s community is his collaborations with Shermer.

    And yet PZ provided his own evidence to substantiate that.

    Obviously you think this a concern, and I don’t doubt that many others here do as well, but it is not a concern of mine. Why? Because I don’t accept that there is a “lack of moral and ethical standards” in the skeptics community as a whole. There certainly are particular members of the community, some quite prominent, whose ethics and morals are questionable and of concern. But I don’t accept the view that this constitutes a crisis or a problem within the larger skeptic community.

    Then either you lack empathy or haven’t been paying attention. There are quite a lot of skeptics who seem to be just fine with all manner of criminal behavior, incompetence, immaturity, and bigotry, as long as it doesn’t impede their ability to make fun of woo-woos. If you don’t see that as an issue, then it suggests to me that your priorities are all kinds of fucked up.

    What would constitute policing our own? What would satisfy your demand for policing our own? I am not persuaded that this “policing” is not taking place.

    How many blogs commented on Dunning’s indictment when it happened? How many on his guilty plea? The four or so blogs I’ve seen mentioning his sentencing are the largest set of posts to take any kind of negative stance on Dunning’s crimes. Back in April of last year, when news of his plea broke, the numbers of posts saying fraud was bad were about equal to the number bemoaning and wailing the fall from grace of a skeptical hero. I haven’t seen such posts in this most recent situation, which suggests that the hero-worship wing of the skeptical community has returned to their previous radio silence on the matter.

    But besides that, we’ve seen every attempt to enact positive change in the skeptical and atheist communities resisted by loud and vocal groups. We’ve seen people with histories of incompetence and criminal behavior remain in positions of power with no risk of losing them. We’ve seen large numbers rally to the defense of heroes accused of heinous behavior. We’ve seen people put forth not insubstantial sums of money to send harassers to conferences so they can continue their harassment. Every time issues of social justice is brought up in these communities, it’s met with derision and bigotry, and so when the biggest names make regular statements deriding social justice or espousing bigoted beliefs, it doesn’t result in any kind of actual backlash. It just emboldens the assholes.

    I am not familiar with the response of the skeptic’s community in general after Dunning’s guilty plea. So I can’t comment on it. But I will make some time to research it. Perhaps you’d be thoughtful enough to provide a few links to sites where Dunning was portrayed as a hero and/or to sites where I can read about the “sizable numbers of skeptics” who have rallied to support those accused of harassment, rape, gross mismanagement, and on and on.”

    “I haven’t been paying attention for the last several years, so please take the time to educate me.”

    Here’s the complete (as far as I know) roundup of skeptic blog posts about Brian Dunning’s guilty plea back in April 2013:
    The Skeptical Abyss: A skeptical tragedy
    Doubtful News: Nothing can erase the good you’ve done, Brian Dunning
    Pharyngula: Skeptoid slapped down
    Socratic Gadfly: #BrianDunning — guilty; and not a “sad day”
    Towards a Free Society: On Brian Dunning and the relevance of moral failings”
    Dubito Ergo Sum: A follow-up

    Three negative, two sickeningly positive, and one waffling. I wonder if we’d find the same mix if we looked up posts about Kevin Trudeau or Kent Hovind’s convictions.

    As to the rest, just spend some time on FTB and Skepchick reading up on DJ Grothe, Shermer, Ben Radford, Pappa, DrBuzz0, Penn Jillette, Justin Vacula, Richard Dawkins, and on and on.

    You are saying that Shermer did not get caught for some criminal behavior for which he should have been punished? I am not clear what you mean by not getting caught, since clearly most, if not all, of the skeptic’s community is aware of the charges of rape and harassment that have been leveled against Shermer by many members of the skeptic’s community. I think that this constitutes getting caught, though not in the legal sense of having been arrested. But then no one to my knowledge has reported him to law enforcement, nor have formal charges been brought against him. Now I am not saying that such charges should not have been filed. I am in no position to make such a judgement. But until someone actually acts to have criminal charges filed against him no legal punishment is possible. That is not the fault of the skeptic’s community.

    “You’re saying Shermer didn’t get caught for criminal behavior and wasn’t punished? Sure, he wasn’t caught and hasn’t been punished, but that’s not the fault of skeptics!”

    No, what’s the fault of skeptics is that large numbers of them refuse to entertain the notion that famous men can still be criminals. What’s the fault of skeptics is the creation of an environment where victims are blamed and scrutinized and abused, while perpetrators are given a free pass. What’s the fault of skeptics is that a community which recognizes the problem of SLAPP suits and abuse of libel statutes contributed over $8,000 to a legal offense fund for a rich man to pursue just such a suit. What’s the fault of skeptics is that his behavior was known to conference organizers and other speakers for years before it was finally made public. What’s the fault of skeptics is continuing to invite him to conferences even when it meant taking out additional insurance to cover fallout from his behavior.

    That Shermer hasn’t faced legal punishment is an indictment of a broken legal system where rape accusations rarely lead to any jail time for anyone. That Shermer hasn’t faced any noticeable loss of status or standing in the community is a scathing indictment of that community.

  94. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Please remember that despite Israel being insane committing evil acts …

    FTFY

    otherwise good show on calling out the “Only Christian babies are kosher for passover, and only if slaughtered under supervision of a rabbi in a special ritual” myth.

  95. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @dogfightwithdogma

    Now you are mischaracterizing my intent. I asked questions.

    Have you stopped beating your wife? What?! It’s just a question!!

  96. says

    he tricked E-Bay into paying him something they didn’t owe him

    So he was running a homeopathic business?

  97. groo says

    Ing,

    Sam harris is a rationalist and a moral consequentialist. I don’t believe he hates nobody. He makes calculations. If there’s a terrorist threat, where should we look first. I don’t have to say it and i bet the answer just pops in your head. And only then you make an effort to reject it.

  98. says

    Yes Groo I’m sorry i clearly lack either the courage or intellect to embrace useless racial profiling, torture and nuclear first strike.

    You’re argument is basically that from authority. He cannot hate because he is a rationalist. Akin to me saying that there’s no way I just fell on my ass because I’m an iceskater.

  99. says

    @Crip Dyke

    You must be mistaken. I am a rationalist and moral person ergo I could not have made a language mistaken and usen poor wording. This logically cannot be

  100. says

    I don’t believe he hates nobody.

    So what? He is still a bigot.

    He makes calculations. If there’s a terrorist threat, where should we look first. I don’t have to say it and i bet the answer just pops in your head. And only then you make an effort to reject it.

    In the US? Groups in the far-right movement. They commit, and tries to commit, many more terrorist acts on US soil than any other category of people.

  101. says

    williamgeorge:

    Jerry Coyne posted a big defense of Dawkins’ dopey “Rape X/ Rape Y” tweet and the Thunderfoot/ FTBullies crowd have dumped all of their resentments there in the 350-and-growing comments. I assume he wandered in from the links there.

    As Seven of Mine noted, chimera isn’t new here. Also, I’m almost certain you’re using the wrong pronoun there (it’s not a good idea to assume the gender of a commenter; if you don’t know a person’s gender, I would suggest using a gender neutral pronoun).

  102. groo says

    Ing,
    Oh, the nuclear first strike idea again.
    Sigh. ..

    And what argument from authority did i use?

  103. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @groo, #109, speaking of Harris:

    I don’t believe he hates nobody.

    Good. Then I think you, Ing, and I are on complete agreement on this point.

    Sam Harris, however, would say,

    As a moral consequentialist, I don’t have any fucking idea why you would bother trying to defend me from charges of hatred. It doesn’t matter what the fuck I believe. Are my choices, including my choices to speak and the choices I make in creating the content of that speech and the methods and extent of distribution of my words, have ill effects?

    If so, I am guilty of moral turpitude and if you really want to defend me, you should stop harping on in some lawyerly way about whether I have hate in my heart and start talking about moral consequences. Otherwise, you’re clearly not in my corner anyway and are buying into a framework other than consequentialism, which, I argue, must necessarily be a less moral system, which, I argue, must necessarily lead to a less moral society to the extent that society follows that less moral system, which, you being a member of society, it is doing every time you allow that lesser moral system to guide you, which, I argue, is an act of moral turpitude by definition because of its consequences, Groo.

  104. says

    groo:

    Sam Harris doesn’t hate muslim people.

    I don’t know Sam Harris personally. What I know of him is solely what I’ve read online. When I read that he supports racial profiling of Muslims at airports to reduce the possibility of a repeat of 9/11, I realized that he has bigoted views of Muslims. He is not treating Muslims with the respect he would accord other groups. He thinks Muslims are a monolithic entity that are all the same. He is treating all Muslims as if they’re potential terrorists.
    Is that saying “I hate Muslims”. No, not in as many words. The effect of his words, however, is indistinguishable from “I hate Muslims”.
    It’s similar to the homophobic politicians in the US. Many of them say “I don’t hate gay people, I have nothing against them”, yet they enact legislation that has a negative impact on the lives of gay people. This legislation brings direct, and measurable harm to the lives of gay people. The words of these politicians may not be “I hate gay people”, but by their actions, they show animus towards gay people.
    It’s the same thing for Sam Harris.

  105. says

    As an aside, I’d actually sincerely hope Harris is bigoted because the alternative that he is dispassionately ethically incompetent and lazy or cynical and exploitative of populist bias is far scarier for a “thought leader”

  106. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony!, #120:

    The effect of his words, however, is indistinguishable from “I hate Muslims”.

    But that would make you a moral consequentialist! How dare you judge Sam Harris using consequentialist ethics when Harris has clearly stated that the theory of morality *he* believes is the only reasonable basis for judgement is a consequentialist one.

    What kind of double standard are you trying to impose?

  107. says

    groo @96:

    they are wicked. But i’m not saying i agree with the attacks.

    Netanyahu is engaged in killing people. He’s ordered the deaths of innocent children, women, and men. He’s wicked too, right?

    @102:

    Ing,
    We’re talking about diferent things.

    No you’re not. Ing explained why he thinks Sam Harris is an Islamophobe. You don’t understand where he’s coming from, which is why you think the two of you are discussing different things. You’ve some history of Sam Harris’ bigotry to go read up on. Please do so before you make further claims that he doesn’t hate Muslims.

    @109:

    Sam harris is a rationalist and a moral consequentialist. I don’t believe he hates nobody. He makes calculations. If there’s a terrorist threat, where should we look first. I don’t have to say it and i bet the answer just pops in your head. And only then you make an effort to reject it.

    It’s great that you believe this.
    Really.
    But is your belief backed by evidence?
    My belief that Sam Harris is an Islamophobic asshole is based on his own words, i.e. evidence. As I said earlier, no, he hasn’t literally said “I hate Muslims”, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s advocating for measures that are no different than if he’d said “I hate Muslims, here’s what I propose”.

    @116:

    by the wat Ing, if a terrorist threat happens what pops in tour mind first?

    I live in the US. As far as I know, there has been only one major domestic attack by a terrorist Islamic group-the September 11 attacks.
    When I look to terrorism in the US, I’m far more fearful of the racist militias (or the people that share in those beliefs) or right wing, fundamentalist white guys running around this country committing acts of terror than I am from an Islamist terror group.
    So when I think of a terrorist attack, Islamic groups (not Muslims, as you’re intimating) are not the top of my worries. Why are they at the top of yours?
    ****

    Pick @101:

    Well, I meant to say what I said, Netanyahu is creepy, sinister, and ghoulish. He’s got blood on his hands and his teeth. I don’t even know what a blood libel is.

    Nate has advised you that you’re stepping into a potentially racially charged quagmire. If you don’t know what ‘blood libel’ is, you could look it up (I didn’t either, so I went and looked it up):

    Blood libel (also blood accusation)[1][2] is an accusation[3][4][5] that Jews kidnapped and murdered the children of Christians to use their blood as part of their religious rituals during Jewish holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—have been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]
    Blood libels typically say that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover, although this element was allegedly absent in the earliest cases that claimed (the contemporary) Jews reenacted the crucifixion. The accusations often assert that the blood of children of Christians is especially coveted, and, historically, blood libel claims have been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr, a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise.
    (source)

    All critics of Israel are anti-semites, unless one is a jew, in which case one is a self-hating jew.

    I think Netanyahu is wrong to engage in indiscriminate warfare. How does this criticism make me anti-Semitic?

    They use the holocaust as a one size fits all rationalization to commit similar atrocities against others while pretending to occupy moral high ground.

    I find it…interesting…that you’re characterizing all Jews with this sweeping generalization. What was that about anti-Semitism?

  108. says

    groo:

    ok, so you would probably profile red necks

    For Fucks Sake, read what was actually said:

    In the US? Groups in the far-right movement. They commit, and tries to commit, many more terrorist acts on US soil than any other category of people.

    Groups in the far-right movement =/= rednecks.

    Here, for your education: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/publications/terror-from-the-right

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified over 100 incidents of domestic terror plots, conspiracies, and racist rampages since the Oklahoma City bombing. All these incidents have been committed by right wing terrorist groups or individuals here in the United States. It is irrational and unjustified for people in the US to be so fucking fearful of an attack from Islamic terrorists. You should be far more worried about domestic terror attacks from far right fundamentalists. Based on the information, they’ve caused a great deal more terror in the US than Islamic extremists.
    Now, unless you’ve something non Islamophobic to add, please get thee gone.

  109. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    by the wat Ing, if a terrorist threat happens what pops in tour mind first?

    That, despite my disagreement with some past excesses and some past tactics, in the complicated, frustrating, sometimes downright-evil world of today, the human race needs a single country willing to stand up and, even in the face of criticism from the lily-livered, be the Global Grammar Nazis.

  110. says

    ok, so you would probably profile red necks

    No, why would I do that? As Tony! explained, rednecks doesn’t equalize far-right groups.

    I would not profile anybody, but instead keep an eye on certain types of behavior, such as people attempting to buy fully automatic weapons, large quantities of bullets, explosives or similar tell-tale signs of potential problems.

  111. nontrad says

    I don’t know what it is about these people, but the bigot sector of the skeptic movement engages in some of the most absurd magical thinking I’ve ever seen. So because Sam Harris says he’s a “rationalist,” he’s magically immune from the social and political contexts in which he operates? He becomes a logic-machine, devoid of any passion or agenda? Despite the overwhelming evidence that he’s a run-of-the-mill Islamophobe, a promoter of an ideology that is popular enough to maintain entire media enterprises?

    Although I lied. I do know what it is about the bigot sector of the skeptic movement. It’s that they’re bigots, and like all bigots, they only care about consistency or logic so far as those serve their bigotry. Wrapping it up in the trappings of secularism, atheism, skepticism, freethought, or science doesn’t erase the fundamental core they share with their comrades in the religious bigotry biz.

  112. dogfightwithdogma says

    @107
    @107 Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    I don’t beat my wife. Never have.

    You are still wrong in your attempt to read the intent of my questions. I did not ask that kind of question: the kind of question where if you answer yes or no you are still guilty of something. Answer yes to the questions I asked and you are admitting you used the word conspiracy to portray me in a certain way. Answer no to my questions and you are simply saying you were not attempting to paint me as some kind of conspiracy thinker. So, here we area again: answer the questions. Or explain why you used the word conspiracy in your comment. Explain how you arrived at the conclusion that I was accusing PZ of a conspiracy of some kind? Or if that is not what you intended by use of the word conspiracy then explain what was your intent? Because frankly I fail to understand how in your mind conspiracy was the right word to use to describe my misunderstanding of PZ’s intent.

  113. unclefrogy says

    what “americans” fear with regards to terrorism and what is reported in the news of what actually happens and what “we” fear is highly none objective.
    the majority of white people who are americans as reported on do not fear the racist because they are not a race they are white so they do not see anything that happens to “them” as having any meaning for themselves.
    that is the way it is covered if it is covered at all.
    Blowing up a women’s health clinic does not register as having any danger for them (white men, christians and good women).
    it is of interest only as much as an auto wreck on the interstate is
    uncle frogy

  114. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Sorry if you didn’t, groo, but I think that most people got that I was satirizing something other than spelling and grammar: those were merely the media.

  115. says

    groo:

    Ok, thanks. but i don’ t mind the mistakes if the message goes through.

    While I’ve been able to parse your messages, there’s a larger point to be made here. In discourse, we seek to communicate our thoughts and ideas in such a way that the listener will understand-or so we hope. As misunderstandings happen in communication, it behooves us all-if we hope to be understood properly-to minimize the potential for misunderstanding. I mention this (I hope I’ve done this gently-that’s my intent) in the hopes that you’ll understand that eliminating, or reducing any mistakes might make your comments that much easier to understand.

  116. pick says

    @125

    I was being facetious saying that any critic of Israel is an anti-semite or if jewish, self hating.
    In other words, any critic gets labeled whether they say the “wrong” thing or not. Thanks for looking up “blood libel” for me. That’s disgusting of course but I have to wonder where this weird claim of jews drinking blood of christians came from? All I was trying to say is that Netanyahu looks like the racist cold blooded killer that he is. Not anyone I would admire.

    When I said, “They use the holocaust as a one size fits all rationalization to commit similar atrocities against others while pretending to occupy moral high ground.”

    You said, ” you’re characterizing all Jews with this sweeping generalization. What was that about anti-Semitism?”
    No I’m not. I was careful to refer to Zionists who use their religion to justify terrorism just like some muslims.
    See what I mean. You can’t tell the truth about Israel, about Zionism and the religious state without being labeled antisemitic. I am very aware that the vast majority of jewish people are not Zionists and many are anti-Zionists. Just as most muslims are not al-queda or taliban. In many ways religion doesn’t have that much to do with the Zionist invasion and occupation of Palestine. It’s just a long term land grab with ethnic cleansing.

  117. says

    Pick:

    No I’m not. I was careful to refer to Zionists who use their religion to justify terrorism just like some muslims.
    See what I mean. You can’t tell the truth about Israel, about Zionism and the religious state without being labeled antisemitic. I am very aware that the vast majority of jewish people are not Zionists and many are anti-Zionists. Just as most muslims are not al-queda or taliban. In many ways religion doesn’t have that much to do with the Zionist invasion and occupation of Palestine. It’s just a long term land grab with ethnic cleansing.

    I don’t think you were as careful as you thought. You didn’t qualify that you were talking about Zionists until after you made the comment about how “they use the Holocaust…”. Was I to know you were speaking of Zionists before you mentioned that’s who you were referring to?

    Well, I meant to say what I said, Netanyahu is creepy, sinister, and ghoulish. He’s got blood on his hands and his teeth. I don’t even know what a blood libel is. I must have just stumbled into that one. Do jews have a reputation for drinking blood as part of their religious nonsense that they are sensitive about?
    I don’t think there is anything to be done to escape the anti-semitism charge. All critics of Israel are anti-semites, unless one is a jew, in which case one is a self-hating jew. They use the holocaust as a one size fits all rationalization to commit similar atrocities against others while pretending to occupy moral high ground. Very Orwellian. Since the ’30′s, Zionists have committed offenses and terrorists acts, one after another, first against the British and then the Arabs and Palestinans but came out pretending they acted in self defense each time. Just like today.

  118. laurentweppe says

    In the US? Groups in the far-right movement. They commit, and tries to commit, many more terrorist acts on US soil than any other category of people.

    Same thing in Europe: while people keep babbling about how Muslims are supposed to be specifically more dangerous than everyone else, Separatist terrorism* is waaaaaaaay more frequent than islamist terrorism (167 attacks in 2012 against 6) and that’s not even taking into account the many terrorist deeds of white supremacists (arsons, physical assaults, campaigns of intimidation etc..) which are not recorded as terrorist acts: for instance: Greece as a recorded number of zero act of right-wing terrorism despite all the acts of violence done by Golden Dawn thugs.

    On can hardly call “rationalists” people who so clearly love to wallow in cultural determinism.

    .

    *And Separatist terrorism skew heavily toward the far-right: even groups which started staunchly on the left like ETA or IRA tend to devolve into ethnicist thugs in the long term.

    ***

    Groups in the far-right movement =/= rednecks

    Ha yes: the canard that far-right extremists can only be white trash frothing at the mouth, and that therefore anyone who can sound somewhat educated are by their very being incapable of turning into fascists. This essentialist bullshit is so often professed by the educated and/or falling on the right side of the median income that it’s disgraceful.

  119. says

    This post didn’t go through earlier, I suspect because of links. I’m trying again, links removed, and apologize for any double-posting that occurs.

    @Dogfightwithdogma #84

    Of course not. You even thinking that I think this based on my comment seems to indicate a distortion in your mind of my comments.

    So it’s a bad thing to have a “distortion in your mind” about someone else’s comments? Who’da thunk it?

    Then why not mention Dunning’s similar affiliations and collaborations with others in the Skeptics community? Are Steven Novella, Brian Dalton, Donald Prothero, and the other’s who contribute to the Skeptics.com blog not also equally worthy of specific mention?

    No, because Steven Novella, Brian Dalton, Donald Prothero, and the others who contribute to Skepticblog do not also own Skepticblog. If Dunning were a regular contributor to Neurologica or Science-Based Medicine, or if he were a major contributor to Mr. Deity, then yes, it would be relevant to mention those things.

    I don’t accept the claim that part of Dunning’s fame to claim within the skeptic’s community is his collaborations with Shermer.

    And yet PZ provided his own evidence to substantiate that.

    Obviously you think this a concern, and I don’t doubt that many others here do as well, but it is not a concern of mine. Why? Because I don’t accept that there is a “lack of moral and ethical standards” in the skeptics community as a whole. There certainly are particular members of the community, some quite prominent, whose ethics and morals are questionable and of concern. But I don’t accept the view that this constitutes a crisis or a problem within the larger skeptic community.

    Then either you lack empathy or haven’t been paying attention. There are quite a lot of skeptics who seem to be just fine with all manner of criminal behavior, incompetence, immaturity, and bigotry, as long as it doesn’t impede their ability to make fun of woo-woos. If you don’t see that as an issue, then it suggests to me that your priorities are all kinds of fucked up.

    What would constitute policing our own? What would satisfy your demand for policing our own? I am not persuaded that this “policing” is not taking place.

    How many blogs commented on Dunning’s indictment when it happened? How many on his guilty plea? The four or so blogs I’ve seen mentioning his sentencing are the largest set of posts to take any kind of negative stance on Dunning’s crimes. Back in April of last year, when news of his plea broke, the numbers of posts saying fraud was bad were about equal to the number bemoaning and wailing the fall from grace of a skeptical hero. I haven’t seen such posts in this most recent situation, which suggests that the hero-worship wing of the skeptical community has returned to their previous radio silence on the matter.

    But besides that, we’ve seen every attempt to enact positive change in the skeptical and atheist communities resisted by loud and vocal groups. We’ve seen people with histories of incompetence and criminal behavior remain in positions of power with no risk of losing them. We’ve seen large numbers rally to the defense of heroes accused of heinous behavior. We’ve seen people put forth not insubstantial sums of money to send harassers to conferences so they can continue their harassment. Every time issues of social justice is brought up in these communities, it’s met with derision and bigotry, and so when the biggest names make regular statements deriding social justice or espousing bigoted beliefs, it doesn’t result in any kind of actual backlash. It just emboldens the assholes.

    I am not familiar with the response of the skeptic’s community in general after Dunning’s guilty plea. So I can’t comment on it. But I will make some time to research it. Perhaps you’d be thoughtful enough to provide a few links to sites where Dunning was portrayed as a hero and/or to sites where I can read about the “sizable numbers of skeptics” who have rallied to support those accused of harassment, rape, gross mismanagement, and on and on.”

    “I haven’t been paying attention for the last several years, so please take the time to educate me.”

    Here’s the complete (as far as I know) roundup of skeptic blog posts about Brian Dunning’s guilty plea back in April 2013 (links removed, but easily Googled):
    The Skeptical Abyss: A skeptical tragedy
    Doubtful News: Nothing can erase the good you’ve done, Brian Dunning
    Pharyngula: Skeptoid slapped down
    Socratic Gadfly: #BrianDunning — guilty; and not a “sad day”
    Towards a Free Society: On Brian Dunning and the relevance of moral failings”
    Dubito Ergo Sum: A follow-up

    Three negative, two sickeningly positive, and one waffling. I wonder if we’d find the same mix if we looked up posts about Kevin Trudeau or Kent Hovind’s convictions.

    As to the rest, just spend some time on FTB and Skepchick reading up on DJ Grothe, Shermer, Ben Radford, Pappa, DrBuzz0, Penn Jillette, Justin Vacula, Richard Dawkins, and on and on.

    You are saying that Shermer did not get caught for some criminal behavior for which he should have been punished? I am not clear what you mean by not getting caught, since clearly most, if not all, of the skeptic’s community is aware of the charges of rape and harassment that have been leveled against Shermer by many members of the skeptic’s community. I think that this constitutes getting caught, though not in the legal sense of having been arrested. But then no one to my knowledge has reported him to law enforcement, nor have formal charges been brought against him. Now I am not saying that such charges should not have been filed. I am in no position to make such a judgement. But until someone actually acts to have criminal charges filed against him no legal punishment is possible. That is not the fault of the skeptic’s community.

    “You’re saying Shermer didn’t get caught for criminal behavior and wasn’t punished? Sure, he wasn’t caught and hasn’t been punished, but that’s not the fault of skeptics!”

    No, what’s the fault of skeptics is that large numbers of them refuse to entertain the notion that famous men can still be criminals. What’s the fault of skeptics is the creation of an environment where victims are blamed and scrutinized and abused, while perpetrators are given a free pass. What’s the fault of skeptics is that a community which recognizes the problem of SLAPP suits and abuse of libel statutes contributed over $8,000 to a legal offense fund for a rich man to pursue just such a suit. What’s the fault of skeptics is that his behavior was known to conference organizers and other speakers for years before it was finally made public. What’s the fault of skeptics is continuing to invite him to conferences even when it meant taking out additional insurance to cover fallout from his behavior.

    That Shermer hasn’t faced legal punishment is an indictment of a broken legal system where rape accusations rarely lead to any jail time for anyone. That Shermer hasn’t faced any noticeable loss of status or standing in the community is a scathing indictment of that community.

  120. pick says

    “I don’t think you were as careful as you thought. You didn’t qualify that you were talking about Zionists until after you made the comment about how “they use the Holocaust…”. Was I to know you were speaking of Zionists before you mentioned that’s who you were referring to?”

    Ok, but why is it that we have to constantly play this shell game? To Zionist, Jewism and Zionism are the same. The idea of Israel being a secular, democratic, but Jewish State is just a contradiction in terms. And it doesn’t matter whether “jewishness” is defined religiously or ethnically or both. It’s a contradiction that really can’t stand. And it’s a smokescreen because it’s never really been that way.

  121. anteprepro says

    pick

    To Zionist, Jewism and Zionism are the same.

    “Jewism”? Seriously?

    The idea of Israel being a secular, democratic, but Jewish State is just a contradiction in terms.

    Not really. Having a religious government does not bar it from being democrat. And by “Jewish State” it could mean that government itself should be consistent with religious rules and standards, or whether it is just a description of the population of that State. There is an active debate about just what being a “Jewish” state entails, and, despite your dismissal, I am betting that “whether Jewishness is defined religiously or ethnically or both” is probably actually a major point in that.

    And it’s a smokescreen because it’s never really been that way.

    Forgive me for not taking your word on that.

  122. rossthompson says

    I have to wonder where this weird claim of jews drinking blood of christians came from?

    From Christians who wanted to demonize Jews so they would feel less guilty about murdering them.

  123. says

    @145: And, taking their goods and property, always a nice side benefit of demonizing Jews and good old-fashioned pogroms. Plus, burning people was kind of a hobby for Christians, and a Jew made a nice change from a demonic Protestant/Catholic (choose one or both).

  124. ck says

    @146,

    Don’t forget that it was always a good way to deflect suspicion away from yourself or a close family member when a child went “mysteriously missing”.

  125. says

    @147, ck, indeed. The Blood Libel: the “gift” that keeps on giving. :/

    Sadly, it’s also not far in the past; I’ve known Jewish friends who’ve heard it within my lifetime (48 years next week). Doesn’t change anything about Israel’s moral culpability for the outrageous war crimes they’ve been committing, but it’s definitely better to avoid the tropes that play into this and its hideous history. Netanyahu has plenty to be criticised over without it.

  126. dogfightwithdogma says

    Then either you lack empathy or haven’t been paying attention.

    Neither of which is true. But it won’t stop you from drawing inaccurate conclusions.

    “I haven’t been paying attention for the last several years, so please take the time to educate me.”

    First, thanks for the references. As for the remark above am I reading this correctly: This is an attempt to being condescending or mocking? If so, you felt this necessary?

  127. anteprepro says

    dogfightwithdogma

    As for the remark above am I reading this correctly: This is an attempt to being condescending or mocking? If so, you felt this necessary?

    1. Are you new?
    2. I don’t think you have the right to play victim, complaining about “condescension”, considering the huffy and long-winded complaints you’ve filled this thread with thus far.

  128. pick says

    I have to wonder where this weird claim of jews drinking blood of christians came from?

    From Christians who wanted to demonize Jews so they would feel less guilty about murdering them.

    @145 I get that but what was it or is it in Jews that christians were responding to? And why make up that particular ghoulish story of all the ghoulish stories that could be made up? I get that the religions hate each other but I don’t think that it’s one sided.

  129. says

    @dogfightwithdogma:

    Neither of which is true. But it won’t stop you from drawing inaccurate conclusions.

    No, given your admitted ignorance of Dunning’s post-plea lionization and your request for information about well-known incidents in the skeptical community, I think I’m spot-on.

    As for the remark above am I reading this correctly: This is an attempt to being condescending or mocking? If so, you felt this necessary?

    Yes, I did, because it speaks to a common attitude of entitlement. You barge in and make pronouncements, telling PZ that he doesn’t know what his own intentions were in writing his opening sentence to the original post, and then reveal quite quickly that you don’t have nearly enough information to be constructively participating in this conversation, let alone to be making absolute declarations. Most reasonable people would say “whoops, I guess I need to learn a bit more about the topic” and bow out, but you figure “in for a penny, in for a pound,” and continue right on, requesting that other people spoonfeed you the basic prerequisite knowledge that you can’t be bothered to look up yourself, even as you bluster about condescension and other people reading unintended things into your comments, the latter part without so much as a hint of irony.

    I’ll be glad to tutor you in Skeptic History 103: Elevatorgate and Beyond, but my rate is US$30/hour. Or, instead of wearing your “I’m not convinced there’s a problem” badge like it’s a mark of honor rather than ignorance, you could do the legwork yourself. No one here is obligated to give you a free education.

  130. anteprepro says

    pick:

    I get that but what was it or is it in Jews that christians were responding to? And why make up that particular ghoulish story of all the ghoulish stories that could be made up? I get that the religions hate each other but I don’t think that it’s one sided.

    Well here’s a further explanation. As for your “don’t think that it’s one sided”, that’s fanciful idealistic bullshit. The powerful religions try to exploit and wittle down weaker, minority religions. That is how it works.

    From Wikipedia

    Professor Israel Jacob Yuval of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem published an article in 1993 that argues that blood libel may have originated in the 12th century from Christian views of Jewish behavior during the First Crusade. Some Jews committed suicide and killed their own children rather than be subjected to forced conversions. Yuval investigated Christian reports of these events and found that they were greatly distorted with claims that if Jews could kill their own children they could also kill the children of Christians. Yuval rejects the blood libel story as a fantasy of some Christians which could not contain any elements of truth because of the precarious nature of the Jewish minority’s existence in Christian Europe.[12][13]……In England in 1144 Jews of Norwich were accused of ritual murder after a boy, William of Norwich, was found dead with stab wounds in the woods. William’s hagiographer, Thomas of Monmouth, claimed that every year there is an international council of Jews at which they choose the country in which a child will be killed during Easter, because (he claimed) of a Jewish prophecy that states that the killing of a Christian child each year will ensure that the Jews will be restored to the Holy Land. In 1144 England was chosen, and the leaders of the Jewish community delegated the Jews of Norwich to perform the killing. They then abducted and crucified William.[17] The legend was turned into a cult, with William acquiring the status of martyr and pilgrims bringing offerings to the local church.[18] This was followed by similar accusations in Gloucester (1168), Bury St Edmunds (1181) and Bristol (1183). In 1189, the Jewish deputation attending the coronation of Richard the Lionheart was attacked by the crowd. Massacres of Jews at London and York soon followed. In 1190 on March 16, 150 Jews were attacked in York and then massacred when they took refuge in the royal castle, where Clifford’s Tower now stands, with some committing suicide rather than being taken by the mob.[19]

    It was a very malevolent and very political urban legend. Or, basically, religion in action.

  131. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Yuval rejects the blood libel story as a fantasy of some Christians which could not contain any elements of truth…

    Well, that’s not exactly correct. Jews exist. And apparently Christians are too stupid to figure out how to have children.

    But as for the rest? Sadly for those who wish to believe the Blood Libel, but I’ve had matzah. I’ve eaten harotset sandwiches for god’s sake, and even horseradish couldn’t hide their lousy flavor, but neither could their lousy, bland flavor hide pretty much even the most mild savor. Speaking as one who had bloody noses more than once as a kid, I can confidently say that if matzah had blood in it, any kind at all, I’d know about it.

    Jews. Do. Not. Eat. Christian. Babies.

  132. pick says

    Antepro and Crip Dyke,

    I stand corrected. Thanks to Crip Dyke and Antepro for the education. Sincerely.

    I truly have to thank my “lucky stars” that I was born free and ignorant of all of this. Born in ’53 in Oklahoma, my dad was catholic and my mom protestant methodist. They had agreed to let their children, (4 boys), to choose their own. The religions canceled out and as a kid, I was more fond of science fiction. I thought the Catholics were especially weird, (they did the mass in latin), and I skipped out on my first catechism.
    Jews may not eat xtian babies, truly a disgusting thought, but Israel and the Zionists has been into genocide and ethic cleansing from the beginning ~1930.

  133. Anri says

    groo @109 (& 116 also):

    Sam harris is a rationalist and a moral consequentialist. I don’t believe he hates nobody. He makes calculations. If there’s a terrorist threat, where should we look first. I don’t have to say it and i bet the answer just pops in your head. And only then you make an effort to reject it.

    So, which do you consider the superior opinion, a knee-jerk reaction, or one arrived at after some serious thought?
    And, as a follow-up question, what do you think your choice might say about preferring a rationalist approach to problems?

    Take your time, think it out.
    Or, you know, don’t.

  134. Nick Gotts says

    Sam harris is a rationalist and a moral consequentialist. I don’t believe he hates nobody. – groo

    I don’t believe he hates nobody either. Who he hates is made quite clear by his “I’m not saying we should torture/nuke Muslims, but…” pieces.

  135. Nick Gotts says

    I have to wonder where this weird claim of jews drinking blood of christians came from? – pick

    Why exactly do you “have to wonder” that? Do you “have to wonder” where the homophobic trope that homosexuality and pedophilia are the same came from? Do you feel the same compulsion with regard to the stories of Gypsies* stealing babies?

    *I use this term because it’s the one used by the Gypsy Council in the UK.

  136. doublereed says

    Pick

    I get that but what was it or is it in Jews that christians were responding to? And why make up that particular ghoulish story of all the ghoulish stories that could be made up? I get that the religions hate each other but I don’t think that it’s one sided.

    Holy crap dude. Are you for real? You do know that the Holocaust is not the first time in Europe that Jews were hated and round up, right? The Spanish Inquisition was several centuries earlier. And there are plenty of more minor examples throughout European history. Of course it was that one-sided.

    Jesus, do you think that the Kurds were just begging to be gassed by Hussein? Those Japanese Americans definitely needed to be interned in WWII?

    Seriously, what the fuck, man. That’s something I expect to hear on a site like Stormfront.

  137. pick says

    Well doublereed, I think you misunderstand my question. You seem to think that I want to blame victims. If that were true then I would be pro Israel, which I’m not. Turn it around. Are you saying the xtians are just hateful people and hatred of jews and others comes naturally to them across generations? Is it really one sided with Jewish people always playing the victim? From my research, I just don’t see the Zionists as victims, but as aggressive colonialists with a bent towards genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Palestinian Arabs didn’t cause the holocaust and neither were they responsible for the other problems Jewish people seem to have with others.

    I think that the Jewish religion, perhaps more so than others, is based primarily on the exclusion of others and it is this exclusion that forms the basis of antipathy.

  138. says

    So…you’re saying that Judaism is worse than the others, and you claim to have no inkling of the history of anti-Semitism, and that you accidentally stumbled onto the image of one of the worst calumnies ever leveled against the Jewish people, one which has led to thousands, arguably millions, of deaths, without any knowledge of its history?

    Is anyone else getting a whiff of troll here?

  139. toska says

    pick #160,

    You seem to think that I want to blame victims.

    When you say there must be two sides to this, you are essentially saying, “The Jewish people must have done something to deserve discrimination.” That is blaming the victims. I don’t know why you can’t understand that the historical European anti-Semitism was wrong and baseless, and that doesn’t have any bearing on whether Israel’s current actions are immoral. I’m with CaitieCat. You smell like a troll who is not as ignorant to anti-Semitic tropes as you pretend you are.

    Are you saying the xtians are just hateful people and hatred of jews and others comes naturally to them across generations?

    No, bigotry against an ethnic group is not genetic. But Christian-dominant cultures have a history of often extreme anti-Semitism. Christians who are not hateful try to break that tradition.

  140. Esteleth is Groot says

    Jebus.

    For over a thousand years, Jews were one of the most oppressed minorities in Europe. It was pretty bad the shit they were forced to endure – everything from flat-out bans on living in certain areas (do you know the etymology of the word “ghetto”? It’s a reference to the part of town were, by law, Jewish people were compelled to live. Many times ghettos were not nice places and had very poor infrastructure) to bans on what types of jobs they could have, sumptuary laws (these are laws that concerned what types of clothing and clothing-labels they had to wear/not wear), and laws that basically forbade them from testifying in court, joining the military, and doing a thousand other things that ordinary citizens were allowed.

    Are you seriously completely ignorant of this?

    One of the things that shows up in a lot of Holocaust-era stories was the relative slowness of some people (Jewish and otherwise) to recognize that the Holocaust was different from what had gone on before. In many, many cases, it took until 1945 and the concerted efforts of the Allies to advertise just what they found in the camps for this myth to be exploded – many intelligent, otherwise decently informed people honestly believed that the public anti-Semitic crap (the propaganda, the forced wearing of Stars of David, the laws prohibiting Jewish people from having certain jobs, the confinement of Jews to the ghettos, etc etc etc) was (1) normal and (2) the extent of what was going on. They believed it was normal because the early parts of the 20th century were, by and large, the only time in post-Roman European history that these practices weren’t the norm. This belief wasn’t limited to the people in Germany, Poland, etc – this was believed by the Allies! Dig up some time accounts of Allied soldiers who liberated the camps. Their shock is pretty stark. Yes, it was realized that something was going on, but just what wasn’t understood fully.

    You are right that the Holocaust and centuries of European anti-Semitism weren’t the fault of the modern Palestinians. But that legacy is what the Israelis came from. They are, as a result, a bit trigger-happy, jumpy, and quick to read a lot into relatively mild criticism – because in other times, failure to recognize the danger signs was deadly. I read an analysis that posited that Israeli society has, effectively, society-wide PTSD. This makes a certain amount of sense – it doesn’t justify by any means the conduct of the government, but it does explain it somewhat.

  141. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @me:
    I previously wrote:

    And apparently Christians are too stupid to figure out how to have children.

    Arrgh. What I really meant was:

    And apparently Christians are NOT too stupid to figure out how to have children.

    Kind of changes the meaning. Sorry for the slip everyone.

    As for pick, it’s okay to be ignorant, but really: if you discover that there’s really all this background about which you haven’t had any education, perhaps it’s time to spend a couple of days thinking about whether you actually have an educated opinion to add to this thread.

    I got nothin to add to a bunch of physicists talking about neutron flux in carbon cycle stars. Nor to a bunch of librarians talking about frustrating aspects of the Library of Congress filing system. It’s no shame. It turns out I’m also woefully ignorant of Finnish grammar, save that it probably has at least a little in common with Ugric grammar, whatever Ugric is.

    Add a comment somewhere when you encounter a topic on which you are well informed, and maybe skip the rest of this thread.

  142. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Groot:

    I read an analysis that posited that Israeli society has, effectively, society-wide PTSD. This makes a certain amount of sense – it doesn’t justify by any means the conduct of the government, but it does explain it somewhat.

    Oh, hell yeah. I haven’t been, but my old rabbi was living there 1/3rd time while doing graduate work. I have other friends and acquaintances that spent a lot of time there. It’s quite obvious that hyper vigilance, the tendency to interpret ambiguous things that, statistically, are most likely to be harmless as immediate threats, how almost any random conversation can suddenly be turned into a conversation about violence to Jews ,esp but not only the Shoah, all that is very much a societal expression of something that parallels individual PTSD psychology quite closely. It’s not uncommon among people that I know (lefties in anti-violence circles) to talk about the peace process as needing to include overt anti-PTSD measures for Israeli society as a whole.

  143. rossthompson says

    Well doublereed, I think you misunderstand my question. You seem to think that I want to blame victims. If that were true then I would be pro Israel, which I’m not. Turn it around. Are you saying the xtians are just hateful people and hatred of jews and others comes naturally to them across generations?

    When Christians are the dominant religion in a region, and effectively control the government, they oppress and victimise non-Christians.

    When Jews are the dominant religion in a region, and effectively control the government, they oppress and victimise non-Jews.

    When Muslims are the dominant religion in a region, and effectively control the government, they oppress and victimise non-Muslims.

    Keep reading that, until you can figure out what the pattern is. (Hint: It’s not “Jews”)

  144. pick says

    I’m not trolling, I think I’m just asking questions. I think that those who are very close to religion may have a hard time understanding those of us with little or no religious upbringing.
    My experience is that this is true especially of Jewish people. I admit that I don’t understand Judaism the religion which also claims to be a State as well as a culture as well as a race. Why should I know what “blood libel” means? Not my religion, not my culture. I’m criticizing the Israeli’s for what they are doing today in near real time to a people who are innocent. The level of duplicity is just extraordinary.
    I was just characterizing Israel and Netanyahu for being creepy and bloodthirsty for what they have done in Gaza. Had I said that Hamas was bloodthirsty for the elimination of Israel or of Jews, then I would be given a pass.
    It appears that one cannot criticize even the most heinous acts of Israel and Zionism without religion and religious history being immediately imposed and used as justification. I think that the people who commit these acts, whatever you call them), consistently use their history as a pass to do the same or worse to others. A study of the history since 1930 shows the Zionists – Europeans who imposed themselves on the area with brutal military force – as being largely responsible for their current negative position with respect to their Arab neighbors. Definitely the bully in the neighborhood.

    One more time. I understand that Israel and Zionism are not synonymous with Judaism, either the religion, the culture or population of those who identify as such.

  145. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    pick

    Why should I know what “blood libel” means? Not my religion, not my culture.

    Now you know.

    You don’t have to be ashamed of ignorance, but it definitely isn’t something to be proud of. Or something you would want to preserve.

  146. toska says

    pick,

    Why should I know what “blood libel” means?

    It’s understandable that you did not know what blood libel means. I believe another person on this thread said they hadn’t heard of it before either. But when people tried to educate you about it, you seemed to be engaging in some apologetics about figuring out what Jews did to deserve this. It comes off as questionable, at best. My advice to you is that if someone tells you that a particular trope or phrase is culturally connected to prejudice, and then provides you with an explanation about what the term means, you should probably try to learn a little bit more about that prejudice before continuing. No matter your intent, a lot of your comments on this thread sound anti-Semitic. If you don’t want to come off that way, you should study the topic more and learn to discuss it in a way that is not harmful to entire ethnic groups.

  147. says

    pick:
    Further to toska’s #169, do you understand how some of your comments may read as anti-Semitic? Don’t look at them in terms of what your intent was, look at them in terms of complete strangers reading your comments and having no idea what your intent was.

    Here’s an example of what I mean:
    Over at Dispatches, I’ve read a few commenters who make claims about homophobic US politicians being secretly in the closet. This is problematic to me bc it suggests that one of the big sources of homophobia and oppression of gay people is from gay people themselves. It removes responsibility for homophobia from the bigots who spew their hate and does so based on the thinnest of reasons: the small number of bigots who have turned out to be gay. In the political landscape of the US, there are innumerable gay bashers and bigots. There is no proof that Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann or Ann Coulter are really gay. From what we can tell, they appear to be heterosexual (also, we know that homosexuals don’t make up a huge percent of the US population, so our numbers won’t be anywhere close to the amount of heterosexuals in the country). So it makes no sense to make the comment that a homophobic bigot is secretly gay. When that comment is made, whether or not the speaker intends it or not the effect on listeners (like myself) is
    “Oh, you’re blaming the oppression and discrimination of gay people on *us*, rather than on the people who are actually saying and doing these things.”
    That’s doubly problematic bc then it falls on the gay community to end homophobia!
    Can you see how someone’s intent in a comment might not be reflected accurately in the comment itself?
    Can you see that others have no clue what the intent behind a comment is, and that they only have the words to go by and must use reasoning and logic to come to an understanding of what an individual may mean?

    If you can understand that, please apply that logic to your words in this thread. Whether you intended to or not, some of your words have come across as anti-Semitic. People have called you out on that. A good response would be to perhaps stop commenting and reflect on what people have said, maybe educating yourself a bit more on anti-Semitism in the process.

  148. says

    Jafafa Hots @170:
    I can see it now. A tee shirt that reads (across the top): “I’m not trolling”.
    Across the bottom it reads: “I’m just JAQing”. Maybe with a not so subtle arrow pointing down.

  149. pick says

    It’s easy to tell people they are trolls or to call them ignorant. I really don’t know what trolling even means in this context except that some on this forum don’t like my support of Palestine and so you go out of your way to be offended and justify calling me names. I really apologize if anyone really thought that I was hurling some ancient, disgusting epithet at them by suggesting that Netanyahu looked creepy and bloodthirsty. You won’t believe this but I was thinking he would make a great vampire, with his looks that is.

    So it’s really impossible to criticize Israel without being labeled an anti-semite. I think that when you call everybody that, it ceases to mean much. And of course any other conversation is gone and the person who got labeled is supposed to be alienated.

    Maybe I can put my question another way. What is it about others, xtians and muslims, than makes them so hateful, especially of jews. And why is it ok to call xtians and muslims hateful?
    Another question. I think it is possible to quit being a xtian or a muslim or just about any other religion. To be true apostate, with no connection to the faith or the history of the faith, complete rejection. Is the same true for jews? If not why? As I understand it, both the Arabs and the Jews are Semites with no real racial difference between them. Is that correct?

    It may help to explain that my wife and I have friends in Gaza. We met them when they were attending graduate school here in the US. We have been in sporadic email contact with them during this catastrophe.
    I could copy some of Hani’s emails. He’s been able to charge his iphone with a motorcycle battery. What can I say? Some of his family are dead, their home is gone, their neighborhood is gone. They just don’t understand why they are so hated.
    I apologize again if I’m expressing my own emotions poorly. I can’t believe the world just watches this happen.

  150. Esteleth is Groot says

    It is not impossible to criticize Israel without engaging in anti-Semitism. You’re just doing a rather crappy job of it.

    And yes, it is 100% possible to stop practicing Judaism. But have zero connection to the history? If you think it’s possible to live in the US (I’m presuming you’re American?) and not be swimming in a profoundly Christian-flavored culture (for example: what holidays do you automatically get off work?) and be influenced by this, you’re deluded.

  151. says

    LOL, believe me, in no way is your criticism of Israel an issue. Majority opinion here leans that way pretty strongly, particularly in the present context. It is, however, unusual at least to find someone completely lacking in knowledge of one of the longest-running and bloodiest bigotries around, while ‘just asking questions’ which just happen to stumble onto an image closely associated with that particular bigotry.

    Parsimonious answer: is likely troll, playing disingenuous games to see how many FtBers theycan lure into being anti-Semitic. Maybe you aren’t, but I’m not feeling bad about raising the question. Not sure yet whether I’m buying it.

  152. says

    pick:

    So it’s really impossible to criticize Israel without being labeled an anti-semite.

    If you still persist in this belief then you’re not paying attention. I condemn the actions of Benjamin Netanyahu. He is ordering the slaughter of innocent people. It’s not anti-Semitic to oppose indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.

  153. toska says

    pick,

    I really don’t know what trolling even means in this context except that some on this forum don’t like my support of Palestine and so you go out of your way to be offended and justify calling me names.

    I’ll tell you what kind of trolling you are suspected of (at least by me; I don’t speak for anyone else). It seems like you are making anti-Semitic comments and then feigning ignorance when called out on it, so you can make more anti-Semitic comments “without meaning to” or as “just asking questions” when you know full well what you are saying. The reason I think this is because people have politely tried to educate you multiple times, and you still persist with your “I can’t criticize Irsael without being called an anti-Semite” line, which not one single person has said. Also, when people say that your words seem anti-Semitic, the way to correct this is not to say that you wonder what the Jews did to deserve this stereotype or make comments about how you think Jews are the worst/most exclusionary out of the Abrahamic faiths. Maybe my perception is incorrect, but you should realize that multiple people are reading you this way.

  154. says

    Daz: please use the linked form* to choose the colour and finish of your shiny new Internetz, and we will deliver it within six to eight weeks (void where legible).

    * The form is not linked. It is a joke. Please remain calm.

  155. pick says

    Gee CatieCat, Now I think you’re being ridiculously paranoid to continue to insist that I deliberately but covertly invoked some bizarre myth that you hold, or don’t hold, just to offend you. I also think you are being disingenuous to continue to insist on being offended by such a stupid thing. I think that it’s self centered to assume that everyone knows everything about your religion just as you do. Other people in other cultures have their persecutions and histories and trails of tears. It’s a big planet with a lot of people and you have no idea who you writing to. If you did you’d realize how ridiculous you sound. Trust me, I’m probably ignorant of all of your religion, especially the bizarre parts.

    toska, thanks for the tone of your responses to me. I don’t know that I’ve been called an antisemite explicitly but the implication is certainly there in the complaints and in the “education”. Apparently some questions are so incredibly offensive that they should not be asked. I guess the only answer to why the jewish people have been tormented so by the other religions is somewhere lost in the religious history of which I am also largely ignorant. I know that you think that I’m just blaming the victim but that’s just not true. I’m just asking what it was about their religious differences that created so much enmity. It still seems to me that Judaism the religion and Israel the state brook no criticism. It seems that we can’t talk about today’s world and today’s human catastrophes without being drawn into an unfortunate past.

    I’ve heard Israel, the Jewish State called an “ethnocracy”. (Max Blumenthal) I don’t think that this is something that can stand with a population that is more than half Arab. Today’s Israel is demographically challenged. The Jewish State cannot stand with a predominantly non-jewish population. The Zionists saw this problem in 1948 and ethnically cleansed the UN partitioned land along with 30 % more.
    As many as 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes never to return after being terrorized by the Haganah, the Irgun and the Lehi.
    The Israelis today actively change archeological digs to favor the ancient existence of Judaism and hide the existence of others in the same area. They are planning Jewish theme parks in Jeruselem where the history is changed, like the “creation museum”. During this latest invasion of Gaza, Israelis have parked lawn chairs in the hills so they could watch the “fireworks”. What can you say about such a people or is that just another antisemetic question. I think that people scream anti semetism out of cognitive dissonance over their own guilty association with these extraordinarily hideous acts.

  156. says

    pick

    I have no idea how you’ve managed to get through something even as basic as a high-school history course without knowing something of the historic persecution of the Jews. They’ve been expelled from half the bloody countries in Europe at one time or another and actively persecuted in most by both secular and Christian authorities, not to mention that some being virtually forced into money-lending laid the foundation for much of modern banking.

    Your seeming lack of education in this matter is yours to fix. Stop whining and go learn something.

  157. toska says

    pick,

    I don’t know that I’ve been called an antisemite explicitly but the implication is certainly there in the complaints

    I may be wrong, but I think this statement is in response to my #180 where I said this:

    you still persist with your “I can’t criticize Israel without being called an anti-Semite” line, which not one single person has said.

    I didn’t mean that no one has implied that your comments (or even your intent) are anti-Semitic. What I meant is that no one has said that you cannot rightfully criticize Israel. I believe most people on this thread feel that their actions in Gaza are reprehensible, and people have every right to be upset about it. But trying to link this to the Jewish ethnicity or their historical oppression is not helpful. When discussing this conflict, there is no reason to bring out old tropes that were used to justify oppression and mass killing of Jews in the not-so-distant past.

  158. says

    pick:
    Have you even read my comment upthread? I attempted to explain why your words are coming across to some as anti-Semitic, despite your intent. Intent is not magic. You ought to be careful of what you say and how you say it. Even then, you could accidentally offend people. If that happens, acknowledging that you caused offense is a good start-and that happens by saying “I’m sorry” of “I apologize”, not “I’m sorry if I offended someone”.
    Try looking through the eyes of others.
    Also, please don’t pull out the tone card.

  159. says

    pick:

    Apparently some questions are so incredibly offensive that they should not be asked.

    This is false.
    Your questions could be answered if you would do the research yourself. You cannot expect others to educate you. If you want to participate in a conversation on a topic, it behooves you to ensure you have a degree of knowledge on the subject.
    Please note that my tone is still currently civil, though I’m rapidly losing any desire to continue.

  160. says

    toska:

    When discussing this conflict, there is no reason to bring out old tropes that were used to justify oppression and mass killing of Jews in the not-so-distant past.

    To add to this: If you use tropes that anti-Semitic tropes and are unaware of their nature, but are then corrected, you ought to apologize and perhaps stop attempting to participate in the conversation until you have a better working knowledge of what you’re talking about.

  161. toska says

    Tony!

    If you use tropes that anti-Semitic tropes and are unaware of their nature, but are then corrected, you ought to apologize and perhaps stop attempting to participate in the conversation until you have a better working knowledge of what you’re talking about.

    Exactly. Down to the heart of the issue. No one was unreasonable with the first corrections. But the doubling down and dragging the thread down is a problem.

  162. pick says

    Correction;
    I think I need to correct “west Bank” with “Golan Heights”

    toska, how did I “double down”? I think you’re being ridiculous and taking the thread away from the op, do you admire Netanyahu? I guess so. Why else divert the conversation about what’s happening today into some bizarre religious nonsense. So much for the so called atheists I guess. You might take a look at Max Blumenthal and Miko Peled’s twitter feed of course they are just self hating jews but you might listen up anyway.

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal
    https://twitter.com/mikopeled

  163. Ichthyic says

    I think that the Jewish religion, perhaps more so than others, is based primarily on the exclusion of others and it is this exclusion that forms the basis of antipathy.

    you’re on the right track, but not more than any other religion.

    what you’ve stumbled onto is the base that maintains all organized religion imo:

    Authoritarianism.

    now you can further your “researches” here:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

  164. Ichthyic says

    how did I “double down”?

    seriously? someone actually needs to walk you through it, again?

    wow.

  165. Ichthyic says

    So much for the so called atheists I guess.

    O.o

    *spittake*

    what’s there left to say when someone says something like this?

  166. laurentweppe says

    I read an analysis that posited that Israeli society has, effectively, society-wide PTSD.

    A PTSD which has been remorselessly exploited by fraudulent peddlers of demagoguery whose favored policies are not only killing Palestinians but also, quite literally, starving israeli citizens

  167. pick says

    Yes, I read The Authoritarians some time ago. I agree with the perspective.
    Yeah, seriously. you need to explain yourself in civil and rational terms. wow!

    I think we’re just dimensioning the size of the blind spot in your perspective. I don’t think I “doubled down”. I just think some of us are stuck in a self centered and self righteous religious perspective that they can’t lose. They scream antisemetic at the drop of a hat and then use it to filter realities, and justify atrocities.
    Did you know about the bombing of the King David Hotel? That was a terrorist action by the Zionists against the British in 1946, before the State of Israel even existed.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing
    Do you know about the Deir Yassin massacre, an event caused by the Irgun and the Haganah that caused hundreds of thousands of native Palestinians to flee their homes never to be allowed to return? The Irgun was incorporated into the Haganah which in turn became the IDF.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

    Have you ever read this letter from King Abdullah of Jordan, written to Americans and published in “The American Magazine” only 6 months before the Zionist invasion of Palestine in 1948.
    http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/kabd_eng.html

  168. pick says

    What’s going on in Israel today? It’s become what seems to me to be a weird amalgam of Warsaw, (where the resistance dug tunnels under the wall), Apartheid SA, and Jim Crow USA where hangings and segregation were de rigueur.

    How about this?

    therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12201

    And this?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html

    How about this?
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=943354109070&id=42903951&set=a.943342018300.1073741832.42903951&source=56&ref=bookmark

    And this? Sexy Knesset member calls for genocide and the killing of Palestinian children…”snakes”
    electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-lawmakers-call-genocide-palestinians-gets-thousands-facebook-likes

    Here’s a modern take on racism.
    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/07/25/israel-is-trying-to-make-genocide-sexy/?utm_source=crowdignite.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=crowdignite.com

    I think this should be an award winning photo.
    https://twitter.com/AFP/status/496971492530221056

    And this
    maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=718417

    And this
    electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/israeli-army-summarily-executed-fleeing-civilians-southern-gaza
    Of course Noam Chomsky, along with Norman Finklestein is just another self hating jew. And Democracy Now is just a leftist antisemetic rag.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/7/a_hideous_atrocity_noam_chomsky_on

    Shit, I coud do this all day long.
    I don’t think I’m the one in need of “education”. So much for the atheists when it comes to rational and objective analysis of religious pretensions or recognizing the real history behind current events.
    I’m sure your will all refuse to follow my links or deal with any evidence in dissonance with your own preconceived beliefs. You’ll just continue to demonize me for caring more about facts and evidence then your crude religious and cultural mythologies and motivations. Get over it.

  169. says

    Dude, that’s just rude.

    Pass the dutchie, man. You can’t bogart whatever stuff you’re smoking. Don’t hold out on us, bro.

    You’re not actually reading what anyone is writing, are you? You’re just sort of skimming them for words to get mad about, and then reacting to the words, regardless of their context? You do know that when people put words into specific orders alongside other words, that those words influence each other’s meanings? So when someone says “Israel criticism is not a bad thing”, you can’t just ignore the word “not” and then get pissed at people for what you think you read?

    NO ONE HERE IS DEFENDING ISRAEL. Would it be better if I used smaller words?

    Yeeps. Better trolls, please, PZed. Bring some good ones back fae Scotland.

  170. pick says

    “I read an analysis that posited that Israeli society has, effectively, society-wide PTSD.”

    That’s a great, brand new rationalization for genocide. A kind of not guilty by reason of insanity defense. It should catch on with the IDF. Think how wonderful it will be for the IDF soldier who will be able to avoid the non useful Nuremberg defense, (just following orders), by claiming PTSD.

  171. pick says

    “NO ONE HERE IS DEFENDING ISRAEL. ”
    Gee CatieCat, I think your religious and cultural bias is pretty apparent. After all you’re Jewish, right? You must carry a lot of cognitive dissonance with you over current events. You call me ignorant and a troll but I think the same of you. Not interested in real conversations involving facts and evidence, just name calling and faux outrage over bullshit distinctions.

    Hey PZ, please get us some better trolls then these hypersensitive, uninformed and poorly expressed faux atheist, religious apologists like Catie with the otherwise stupid name. See, I can do it too.

    I guess you’re just interested in attacking anti semetic straw men and defending your preconceived beliefs rather than paying attention to what’s happening today or to the op. I don’t think I’m the one that diverted the discussion into religious nonsense for stupid reasons.

  172. says

    It’s “Caitie”, not “Catie”; my friends may mess with my name. You are not among them.

    I didn’t insult your name, I insulted your intelligence. I insulted your reading ability. I insulted your reasoning ability.

    It would appear I was correct in doing so, as you so generously continue to prove.

    Also – so not Jewish. Milk-fed whiter-shade-of-pale blue-eyed English girl, me, raised atheist from birth. But please, do rant on, I’ve no doubt that others are finding you as entertainingly silly as I am, with your wildness at the idea that people might find your convenient ignorance a little implausible. It’s totally giving the impression that you’re a clear-thinking, sober-minded individual, promise.

    Nightnight, now! Don’t let the giant orange-and-purple spacebugs bite, and remember, the quantum flux generator handle takes three and an eighth turns to the right before activating the oscillating polarity beam. I don’t suppose I need to tell you what happens if it’s three and a quarter turns, amirite? Heh heh.

  173. Ichthyic says

    Pick is entirely disconnected from reality.

    you say blue, he thinks you said red.

    why bother?

  174. rq says

    I guess all that stuff about us condemning Israel’s actions was just us defending Israel and admiring Netanyahu. I think pick is in the wrong thread. Or reality. Or dimension.

  175. rossthompson says

    Various commentators: “Dude, if you’re going to attack Israel for their policies in Gaza, maybe don’t invoke the idea that they literally eat babies, kay? Oh, and pointedly pondering what they might have done to make people think they ate babies is not cool.”

    Pick: “So you all want to fellate Netenyahu while he murders and literally eats Palestinian babies, huh? How come you all love Isreal so much?”

    Yeah, if you’re not a troll, I’m amazed you’re smart enough to turn your computer on.

  176. says

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    To everyone here… I’m so sorry I started this.

    To pick…

    What the actual fuck, dude? How the fuck can you think that anyone in this thread is defending Israel?

    I can only speak for myself, but…

    You brought up Max Blumenthal. I follow him on Twitter, and I’m currently listening to the unabridged audiobook of “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”. It’s killing me. It’s making me hate myself for ever being pro-Israel. You brought up Democracy Now. I’ve been watching and listening to Democracy Now for over a year. I also enjoy Citizen Radio and Radio Dispatch. I watch Al Jazeera, too. And I’m a huge fan of Noam Chomsky.

    You want to talk about the USS Liberty? Richard Carrier wrote a whole post about it this past week. It’s here on Freethought Blogs. Go search for it. I have the memorial page open in my browser right fucking now, as well as the Chicago Tribune story about the 2007 declassifying documents proving that what Israel committed was a war crime against the US, and that the US knew it and helped cover it up.

    I never said you couldn’t criticize Israel. In fact, I fucking agreed with you. Benjamin Netanyahu is a raging bigot and war-monger and war criminal. What Israel is doing is fucking disgusting and needs to be stopped. The situation in Gaza is so fucking terrible I quite literally blame Israel and the Blockade for Hamas.

    Read PZ’s OP. Read others here. You will find that pro-Israel propagandists are not around these parts.

    My background is indeed Jewish. Very much so, seeing as my own dad is Jewish clergy. Yet I’m a proud atheist and anti-theist. I should say that I was also almost fanatically pro-Israel until the most recent attack on Gaza, which has forced me to research the history of this Israel/Palestine crisis and rethink my own positions, which are quite rapidly turning towards more pro-Palestinian views.

    Wanna know about anti-Jewish bigotry? The Jew are the ones blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That’s the reason for the historical anti-Jewish bigotry around the world (ignoring the question of whether or not any Jesus Christ ever even existed, which I actually rather doubt). We Jews are the original scapegoat. Blood Libel? That’s not based on anything in Jewish history of tradition. Christians used to claim, back during the days of the Spanish Inquisition and before, that Jews kidnapped Jewish children and drank their blood. This was rekindled by the Nazis. Jews have no ritual (like Catholic Communion, for example) that would insinuate drinking blood.

    What everyone’s been trying to tell you is that you should avoid anti-Jewish bigotry when criticizing Israel. Israel and Jews are not the same. Zionists and Jews are not the same. When you recall Blood Libel, however, you suggest that you are indeed making that conflation, no matter how much you claim that you aren’t.

  177. anteprepro says

    Daz

    Knows about the relatively obscure bombing of the King David hotel. Doesn’t, apparently, know anything about, for instance, the Spanish Inquisition. Odd.

    Also odd that he apparently had no idea about anti-semitism being a thing and needed to be spoon-fed a description of what “blood libel” was in a manner that was hard to distinguish from pick just simply trying to be Troo Skeptical about the existence of such a thing. Fucking wanker.

  178. pick says

    Thanks Nate for a thoughtful post, free of name calling and trolling.

    “What everyone’s been trying to tell you is that you should avoid anti-Jewish bigotry when criticizing Israel. Israel and Jews are not the same. Zionists and Jews are not the same. When you recall Blood Libel, however, you suggest that you are indeed making that conflation, no matter how much you claim that you aren’t.”

    This is unbelievable. I did not “recall blood libel”. You did! I just said that I not only don’t “admire” Netanyahu, I think he’s blood thirsty. I think he and the Jewish State and much of the population of Isratel are focused on genocide of the Palestinan people. That’s what I meant by it and you and everyone else on this thread who is attacking me knows it. This is the kind of attack, (blood libel), I only expect from religious fruitcakes.

    You’re accusing someone entirely innocent of some very bizarre things and you refuse to have your perception corrected. I think that you’re just demonizing me because you don’t like my opinion and you suffer from cognitive dissonance over your support of Israel.

    You don’t like having your words twisted or your views misrepresented and neither do I. What you’ve accused me of is too weird for words. I can’t believe that Jewish people carry all this baggage around so that they can project it onto others. I speak up in defense of Palestine and suddenly I’m a Nazi.

    If you are not religious, then I don’t know why you would be offended by a trivial and stupid religiously inspired myth anyway. I don’t think you or the other are actually offended. I agree that this discussion is more about global politics than religion, so why bring religion into it?

    “We Jews are the original scapegoat.”
    It’s the year 2014, get over it. You can’t use this as a justification for genocide or to rationalize the oppression of another innocent people. And this is what is being done by those who diverted this thread from the OP by mere mention of something that reminded them of an irrelevant, ancient piece of inflammatory religious nonsense. I think that this is self centered and just another means of exclusion. The whole point of the Jewish State is ethnic exclusion and separation. I recall that Miko Peled said in one of his talks that there is actually a hebrew word for it. You would know better than I.

    The world is a big place and other people have also suffered for their beliefs and ethnicity. It’s definitely time for the Israelis to stop playing the innocent victim card. In the modern world, secular people like myself are over it. It’s very self centered to insist that everyone around you be especially careful to be aware of and honor bizarre and obscure religious sensitives. Remember when PZ got in trouble for stealing the biscuit? And he stole it intentionally.

    antepro likes to put words in my mouth and then do some baseless name calling. This and the behavior exhibited by Catie are good examples of proper trolling and demonizing.

    I never claimed to know nothing of jewish persecution in the past. I do pay attention to history that is relevant to the present and that’s why I know about the King David Hotel bombing which I brought up to show that the Jewish State was founded on terrorism, even of the British. Again political history before the birth of Zionism around 1930 is just irrelevant to the consequences of the Zionist invasion of Palestine in 1947.
    It doesn’t seem reasonable that the religion does not influence extremist politics, but it doesn’t have to to judge them by their behavior. Just as with terrorism and Islam. Certainly all muslims are not terrorists despite what their holy books or Sam Harris say. And of course all jews are not racist Zionists.
    But on both cases, enough are to create real problems for the rest of us. I think maybe religion has already ruined everything in our future and we just don’t know it.

  179. says

    pick

    “We Jews are the original scapegoat.”
    It’s the year 2014, get over it.

    Do. Not. Do. This.

    You obviously have no fucking clue, as has been pointed out multiple times in this thread, about the (ongoing, I might add) history of the persecution and demonisation of Jews.

    At this point, I strongly suggest you shut the fuck up and go do some reading.

  180. says

    pick:

    Why else divert the conversation about what’s happening today into some bizarre religious nonsense. So much for the so called atheists I guess.

    You’ve been told that you’re engaging in tropes of anti-Semitism. You’ve been told why. You’ve been asked to educate yourself to avoid making further mistakes. You’ve continued to refuse to do so.
    We have not diverted the conversation, we’ve been calling you out on the words you say. That happens in this blog.
    People don’t get a free pass if they make homophobic statements.
    If someone insults another person with a sexist slur, they get called out.
    If someone engages in ableism, they get called out.
    We do not tolerate bigotry, whether intentional or unintentional on this blog. It is not causing thread drift to rake you over the coals for what you’ve said. Either deal with that or depart.

    Oh, and this has nothing to do with being an atheist.

  181. rossthompson says

    Certainly all muslims are not terrorists despite what their holy books [...] say

    Wow, is there any religion you’re not prepared to resort to cheap stereotypes to demonise? “No, I’m not claiming that all Muslims are terrorists; I’m just claiming that the Quran demands that they murder non-Muslims in order to be rewarded in heaven!”

    Just for the record, that’s pretty much the opposite of what the Quran says on the subject. It’s about as accurate as claiming that Christians are obligated to kill heathens based on Numbers 33:50-52.

  182. says

    pick:

    I think you’re being ridiculous and taking the thread away from the op, do you admire Netanyahu?

    You suck at mind reading. Don’t try to be a psychic. Unless someone uses the words “I admire Netanyahu” (or similar words to that effect), you cannot reasonably accuse them of supporting him. Multiple people have condemned his actions in this thread. If you’re uncertain as to what feelings someone has on him, ask that person. Don’t insinuate, based on absolutely no evidence that a person supports a warmonger like Netanyahu.

    @198:

    I think we’re just dimensioning the size of the blind spot in your perspective. I don’t think I “doubled down”. I just think some of us are stuck in a self centered and self righteous religious perspective that they can’t lose. They scream antisemetic at the drop of a hat and then use it to filter realities, and justify atrocities.

    And now you’re stuck in the denial phase of doubling down. Despite advice from myself and others to check your words and listen to what people are telling you, you continue to insist that you’re right and everyone else is wrong. Hint: when multiple people say that you’re engaging in anti-Semitic tropes, it’s a good idea to listen to what they’re saying. You’re not always right.

    (yes, I know this is probably lost on pick as they have not been responding to my quite reasonable and tone-attentive posts for a while now, but lurkers might benefit)

    You’ll just continue to demonize me for caring more about facts and evidence then your crude religious and cultural mythologies and motivations. Get over it.

    Now you’re just uttering nonsense.
    “Crude religious and cultural mythologies”?
    No one in this thread has claimed-yes that includes CaitieCat whom you seem to think is Jewish based on the wild thoughts running through your head which bear no resemblance to reality-to be religious or to support any mythology. Yet you seem to think criticism of your words means that someone is Jewish?
    And you have the audacity to call us out for not being rational. Buddy, rational has been slapping you across the face for a while now in this thread, and you still don’t recognize it.

    ****
    CaitieCat:

    Would it be better if I used smaller words?

    At this point, probably.
    And to completely justify your comment @200, the following makes it clear that pick isn’t reading what people are writing (or at least not comprehending the words):
    pick @201:

    That’s a great, brand new rationalization for genocide. A kind of not guilty by reason of insanity defense. It should catch on with the IDF. Think how wonderful it will be for the IDF soldier who will be able to avoid the non useful Nuremberg defense, (just following orders), by claiming PTSD.

    Which was a response to Esteleth @164:

    I read an analysis that posited that Israeli society has, effectively, society-wide PTSD. This makes a certain amount of sense – it doesn’t justify by any means the conduct of the government, but it does explain it somewhat.

    Gosh, when you read the words that Esteleth wrote, you can easily see that they don’t rationalize genocide. Reading comprehension, pick. You’re not doing it well.

    ****

    Nate @209:

    What everyone’s been trying to tell you is that you should avoid anti-Jewish bigotry when criticizing Israel. Israel and Jews are not the same.

    In addition, people have been telling pick that if you unintentionally engage in anti-Jewish bigotry-people do engage in unintentional bigotry-and you get called out on it, own up to it. Accept that you said something wrong and apologize. But nooooooo, pick can’t apologize. Xe refuses to see that xe was wrong, and instead doubles down (while claiming to not know how xe was doubling down).

    ****
    pick @213:

    Thanks Nate for a thoughtful post, free of name calling and trolling.

    That’s it. Gloves are off.
    Fuck you with your tone trolling you fucking insensitive whining asshole.

  183. says

    pick:

    It’s the year 2014, get over it. You can’t use this as a justification for genocide or to rationalize the oppression of another innocent people. And this is what is being done by those who diverted this thread from the OP by mere mention of something that reminded them of an irrelevant, ancient piece of inflammatory religious nonsense.

    Point out where someone has done this you fucking liar.

  184. says

    pick:
    How fucking dare you tell Jewish people to “get over it”?!* There is still a wealth of anti-Jewish bigotry going on in the world. Yeah, it happens. A lot. If you weren’t so blind to what’s going on in the world you’d see that. But you’ve got your head stuffed so far up your goddamned ass, all the while whining about tone, that you can’t see how bigoted you’re being.
    You don’t get to fucking tell oppressed people to “get over it.”
    What’s next? Are you going to tell gay people to “get over it” because some states in the US allow same sex marriage?
    Are you going to tell women that because they can vote in the US, that they should “get over it” when they criticize the glass ceiling?

    What other gems of compressed shit are you going to dole out to us? What other bigotry suffused puke are you going to fling in this thread? Please let me know, because usually one form of bigotry is accompanied by others.

    *This would be one of those rare times when I actually am upset. Shaking right now actually.

  185. says

    A quote someone left on another thread seems apropos:

    Harlan Ellison — ‘You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.’

    Pick, you have been informed of your ignorance. Failure to educate yourself in light of that information makes you wilfully ignorant; which is both inexcusable and intellectually dishonest.

  186. rq says

    pick
    You did not say Netanyahu is blood-thirsty, you said he had ‘blood on his teeth’, a pretty specific description and an interesting choice of words – since ‘blood on his hands’ would have been a more obvious choice, and just as accurate. Excusing that with comparing him to a vampire, after having the blood libel implications spelled out, is just weak.

  187. says

    rq:

    Excusing that with comparing him to a vampire, after having the blood libel implications spelled out, is just weak.

    I think it’s clear by now that pick doesn’t give two shits whether xe says anything that is bigoted.

  188. Ichthyic says

    don’t bother Nate.

    like I said, you say “blue”, Pick responds as if you said “red”.

    It’s a trolls game, or he’s utterly delusional.

    either way, no point in continuing.

    I’m even tempted to put something praising Netenyahoo just for anti-troll lulz. But frankly, it isn’t even worth the effort to troll the troll.

  189. thomaspaine says

    I strongly disagree with Ayaan on both topics. But I don’t read her for her views on Kissinger or Palestine. A bizarre position on one issue does not automatically discredit her writings on her primary topic of concern. Sometimes I think many readers of Freethought blogs expect uniformity of thought among atheists on all political topics and then get disappointed when a member of the club doesn’t tow the party line. There is no party line and that’s a good thing.

  190. Nick Gotts says

    Sometimes I think

    But not very often, as the rest of your comment demonstrates. Where is your evidence that readers of FtB “expect uniformity of thought among atheists on all political topics”, rather than objecting to the defence – and in this case, actual <I.praise – of systemic oppression and violence whoever is defending them?

Leave a Reply