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95 Responses

  1. Wow RD, those photos are almost too much. You nail it in 6 words.

    I just want to issue a general apology to all Confluence moderators who had to sift through comments supposedly from me that were apparently crazed and offensive.

    I just found out about the namestealer a few minutes ago and I feel terrible that any of the bloggers here would think for a minute that I might post offensive or aggressive comments here.

    I love you guys. Read you every day. Of course we dont all agree with each other on every last thing, but I think of RD and everyone here as friends. I would NEVER post anything hurtful or rude, or crazy (no matter what my stalker friends would like you to believe).

    Thank you as always for being a resource and an oasis in the blogosphere.


  2. Wow. Very powerful.

  3. Only a rhetorical question:

    What is the common denominator?

    • Inhumanity

      • thank you.

        • but more importantly, and to myiq’s point yesterday, hateful rhetoric fueled (and continues to fuel) the justifications of the perpetrators of this inhumanity.

          • I don’t know about whether it is all hateful or whether it starts out as hate. I’m inclined to believe it has to do with the desire to have power, to exercise it over others, to make them do what you want them to do. It only gets hateful when your target starts to act like a human being and resists. It’s also easier to do what you want with them when you don’t have to see them as real people.
            The hate comes after the power.

          • Yes, but to get others who are not in possession of the “power” to carry out those acts you need to create the psychological justifications — thus the hateful rhetoric.

            The people carrying out the acts in the pictures above are not the powerful individuals that created the cultural messages that justified in their minds what they were doing.

          • I’m not saying that hate isn’t used to fuel the bad behavior. But I think the source of the problem is the desire for power.

          • The desire for power, in turn, is part of our nature as social animals. Those who have more power have more and better feeding and mating opportunities, and so are more likely to spread their genes.

            The reason human beings do evil things is that, sometimes in the amoral and pitiless natural environment in which we evolved, evil works.

            This is why I now reject the idea that the good and loving God had anything, even indirectly, to do with the origins and operations of this hell known as life in the natural Universe.

            I am coming to think the Gnostics were right, except that there is no Demiurge. There is the good and loving God, who did not create this Universe, and there is the Universe, which has no creator. The Universe contains life and mind, but is itself a mindless, lifeless thing. It is amoral, because having no mind, it cannot choose to nurture the life within it. Our capacity for evil behavior is an essential adaptation to survival in an amoral, pitiless, stingy natural environment.

            That, I think, is one of the reasons the Deity forgives our sins–S/He knows it would be unreasonable to expect better of us. 😦

          • I’m not saying that hate isn’t used to fuel the bad behavior. But I think the source of the problem is the desire for power.

            I’m actually trying to distinguish the emotion of “hate” from the tool of hateful rhetoric. Rhetoric is a mechanism to promote cultural legitimizing myths. To spur people to engage in acts of inhumanity, they must be programmed to either view the other as less than human or create the perception that the other is somehow dangerous to their existence. Thus hateful rhetoric is used to convey these messages.

            You’re right in that at the top of the heap, the socially dominant do not necessarily *hate* the victim, but they see them as an impediment to their dominance (i.e., power).

            I tend not to use “power” as a defining term because it is a complex idea. Everyone and every group has their own unique source of power, but only a few achieve social dominance.

      • Ditto.

    • Hate.

    • Crimes against humanity.

    • SoD,

      It’s “one of these things is not like the other.”

      In the first three photos, the crime is named.

      In the last photo, no crime is named. No crime is named because the actions undertaken in the photo fall under the purview of culture and culture is treated as sacrosanct. I imagine that we could see no end of photos from myriad cultures, including North American, that make RD’s point.


      • agreed, but each is fueled by hate and hateful rhetoric and the other thing that is “not like the other” is that in the 4th example, as you point out, it is accepted as part of the culture.

        • SoD,

          Is it fueled by hate? Did Romans hate their slaves? Did nobles hate their serfs? Do male members of orthodox religions that narrowly define women’s rights and roles hate their wives?

          For the most part, I think not. Obviously, the dominus or domina could come to hate a subordinate, but hate would not be the reason for the subordination, except at some root originary level. Rather, is it not the case that they saw them as suited for a subordinate role and saw themselves as deserving of a more privileged status? Is it not this banal form of evil manifest in the lack of empathy for the other that is in evidence in the photos?


          • I’m speaking about the pictures and the acts they illustrate. Those are/were fueled by hateful rhetoric.

          • Dominance and paternalism are a different discussion from what I was pointing out.

          • I LOVE this. What a fascinating distinction! Definitely food for thought. If you consider oppression and privilege as arising from essentialist assumptions about inherent traits and capabilities (which then define roles around these traits), then dominance makes much more sense. As an existentialist, I believe that existence precedes essence, and as such, I believe that all of these dominance hierarchies are based on faulty reasoning, not to mention being appallingly deterministic.

        • Fair enough. Everything that is not ex nihilo has its’ source.

      • At other points in history, each of those named crimes could have come under the heading of “culture.” They were so ingrained that it was only in the 20th century that they were recognized as the abominations they are.

        Looks like hatred of women will have to wait until sometime in the 21st for similar recognition.

      • I thought the point was that it is only treated as culture because it is being done to women. Am I missing your point?

        • BB,

          Your touch of my point is as with a pin.


          • Does that mean you meant what I said? I hope so, because I thought you meant culture was an excuse for the practice. But I couldn’t believe you did.

          • Dr. BB,

            My point is that the act is not being named and condemned for what it is because it is being protected by the defenders of cultural arbitrarism. In the “culture” photos thus presented, women have been violated.

            I am a working class social democrat. It might not be academically proper, but I think it reasonable to use eye for an eye force to stop people who would try to stop girls from being able to go to school, for example.


      • Then was slavery sacrosanct? It was part of the culture.

        • BB,

          My second point is that a reprehensible act can have causes that do not involve hate. An immediate example is an horrific act conducted by a sociopath.


    • Hatred. And greed.

    • Superiority.
      The conviction of the Power That Be, that they are superior to those they (have others) torture, maim, or kill. And with the help of their – often inflammatory – rhetoric, their conviction trickles down through the ranks, all the way down to “the people”. Who then for the most part execute the torturing, the maiming, the killing.

      Hitler felt superior to Jews. And with his words he convinced people to share this view.

      I’m not knowledgable enough about the origin of ra¢ism in the US, but surely white supremacist politicians felt superior to blacks, and with their words inflamed others.

      Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfelt felt superior to Iraquis. With words they …

      The Iranian priesthood feels superior to women. And with words (from the Koran) they …
      (But they also maim and kill men who break “the law”!)

      [Obama on the other hand is much too cautious to use words to inflame whatever conviction he wants to inflame. He shows his contempt through his acts. And then leaves it to others to put words to it. That’s what I find so repulsive about Obama: The worldwide cult of adoration that surrounds him: the followers! Who seem to be willing to both interpret and execute whatever they believe he wants them to.]

      • And sort of complementing the 4 pictures RD posted, you could also show pictures of the gloating/jubilant/exstatic/adoring etc. “commoners”, who either worship the leaders or participate in the atrocities.

  4. I just want to say we all encounter many kinds of isms in our lives so I went to look up some of them. I came across this site and was astounded that sexism didn’t make their list. It must be a man’s site. http://phrontistery.info/isms.html
    We all have within us the capacity for good and evil, but somethings are ingrained in us when we are little and we spend our lives undoing those isms that we are taught in our youth. I remember two distinct things when I was a child that had no real meaning at the time, one had to do with what we called macadamia nuts and the other was the eanie, meanie, minie mo thing. I used terms that are vile an disgusting and didn’t even know what they meant. My parents were good people. I don’t know why we said the things we did as kids. We lived in a rural white community. It’s only been as an adult that I’ve thought about these little rhymes and jingles we said as kids. This is why it is so important for us to stop the sexist remarks made by the likes of David Letterman. If we hear things enough they just become like every day, meaningless events when they really do have meaning and they really do hurt people. I’m 54 years old and I know that we have to work from the bottom up. We have to teach our children to respect each other and themselves. Words do matter just as these images do speak a thousand words.

    • “… we have to work from the bottom up.”

      So true Silent Kate and so important. But much harder than the “trickle down” effect from e.g. the media, or other people in/of power.

  5. What is the common denominator?
    Fundamental human nature. It is in all of us and it did happen here and can happen again if we aren’t always on guard.

  6. I’m an atheist but there’s no doubt that hell exists … right here on earth.

  7. WOW — photos are worth thousands of words.

    I also picture the women who were burned at the stake after being tortured during the dark ages. THAT was a powerful message to women which endures to the present.

  8. Letterman formally apologized the Palins.

    • Other than the crap on the air, you mean?

    • Pressure works

    • Wow! I have to go read that.

    • Did they get a lemon tree?

    • I totally believe it happened but my husband doesn’t. Linky?

      • I found one:


      • Letterman apologizes again….

        Mr. Letterman opened the desk portion of his show with the apology in which he said he wanted to say he was sorry to “to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke.”

        • From the link:

          “One advertiser, Embassy Suites Hotels, sent word to Ms. Palin’s supporters that they had ceased advertising on CBS’s website and did not want to be associated in any way with Mr. Letterman’s comments.

          • Great, the boycotting campaign worked! That is great news!

          • Thank goodness! Words, do matter, as they serve to dehumanize a person, and once you dehumanize them…well the photos are very clear as to what happens.

            We Must Divest From Misogyny.

            Our Very Lives Depend On It!

          • One small step forward for womankind //////////
            Now we keep going to wipe out acceptance of such bad behavior and actions.



          • Olive Tree (?), the restaurant chain also pulled their advertising.

            So, how sincere was the apology, and was it for the Palin’s or to appease the advertisers. I even read those ridiculous women of the View yesterday sided with Palin, but haven’t seen a clip. They tore her to shreds, as always, on the 11th (that one, I’ve seen the clip).

            When the apology comes from pressure, it’s darn difficult to believe the remorse is for anything other than the fallout causing unpleasant things for the person who could not see the error in their actions/words.

            Imus apologized long before the pressure forced him against the wall, and he STILL got fired. I remain convinced Letterman needs to be made an example of so SNL, and the other late night comedians are more careful not to promote the sexism in elections to come.

        • YAY!

        • Thanks. We must have found it at the same time.

          Yet another mischaracterization by the media.

          Letterman only apologized once. That first non-apology was a joke.

          I love the comments on that article. One holier-than thou doofus stated that the Obama’s NEVER exploit their children. Yeah right, only in an Obots wet dream they don’t.

    • Whoa!

    • http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/letterman-apologizes-again-to-governor-palin-and-her-family/?hp

      Just shows ya that no one is watching his show. He did the apology on air last night.

      Hats off to Murphy (pumapac), Hillbuzz and The New Agenda for not letting up. It worked!

      • In moderation.


      • It’s Monday here, he’s not on on Sunday. 🙂 it’ll air tonight.

      • Actually, the show where he apologized hasn’t aired yet….He records the show at dinnertime eastern time.

      • And, don’t forget FireDavidLetterman.com, TeamSarah.org, and many other groups who pulled together thousands of people to put on the pressure.

        I hope the rally still takes place today.

        Did anyone see the vile post Jeralyn put up on TL. Her jealous hatred for the very attractive, smart and successful Sarah Palin lives on.

    • That’s great. The minimum required. But does he get why people were actually upset? Or does he just see the polls and the advertisers leaving?

      • I doubt he gets it. Over at RD there’s a link to a Post article about this that mentions Conan just told an inappropriate joke about Jewish women. None of them get it. I think I saw Letterman’s ratings were actually helped by this, too. We can only hope that if they haven’t learned a damn thing, maybe at least the aggravation involved in dealing with the controversy will make them think twice next time.

      • A Big Shout Out to HillBuzz Boyz and everyone else that put the numbers/addresses on their blogs, in SUPPORT OF ALL WOMEN!

    • This is wonderful news! Thank you to all the folks across the political spectrum who came together to take a stand against the hateful cr@p this jerk tried to pass off as humor.

      • aaaarrrrrgggghhhh! Apparently these two jerks didn’t get the memo

        Ed Shultz and Donnie Deusch blaming Sarah Palin for the Letterman comments

        • o geez… little eddie scheizkopf and donnie butt douche have something of importance to add… heh Letterman apologized toolz, so shaddap willya??? 😉

          can’t help it


        • You would have to send them a truck load of memos, for them to get a clue that a message had even arrived. 😦

        • I really tried, but I could not listen to them. I often wonder if I would have seen through them if I had not learned my lesson about the Democrats. I was so naive then, it sometimes scares me.

    • appology not accepted. it’s a lame attempt to stop the protest tommorrow. Sarah requested a pubic appology to all women. I have not received my appology yet. they must have my address. I sent enough complaints. FCC too.
      in an interview with Hannity (another misogynist pig) the misogynist pig Al Sharpton says Letterman’s comment was not a civil rights violation & racism trumps sexism.
      haven’t we heard that one before?

  9. OT, but Holy sh*t! Tweeter has just postponed their planned maintenance for tonight in order to leave lines of communication open for Iranians.

    • Double Yay! And a big shout out to the ‘Wimmin Folk’ in Iran for putting on the line and going out and chanting “We Want Freedom”.
      Yay! I hope they get their Freedom soon!

  10. You changed the culture picture in the few minutes I’ve been here.

  11. I don’t see any picture anymore.

  12. I see it in my Google Reader.



  13. It displays on the front page but, I don’t see it on the “comments” view.

    I’ll look into it.

  14. ….no more isms….

  15. Those pictures are too much, RD. I have to look away. 😦

  16. RD, your post captured perfectly something that has really been bothering me since B0 made the speech in Cairo. The section about women was so weak and so patronizing. I kept thinking, this is the best he can do? Doesn’t he realize that women are being raped, stoned, disfigured, mutilated, and murdered around the world and that these practices are supported by patriarchal structures in Muslim communities?

    B0 talks about everything, even things about which is knowledge base is minimal, so why isn’t he talking about the real dangers confronting Muslim women on a daily basis–not to mention women in the U.S. “Because it’s culture.” We are supposed to shut up and take it. All of us, all the time, because how the men like it. Call it culture and let them do whatever they want to women. I am sick of it.

    Thank-you for capturing the hypocrisy of the isms so perfectly.

  17. Looking at these, in this way?

    Perfectly done.

    What has the world come to?


    ps: saw this this am:

  18. How about photo credits for those who don’t instantly recognize which news broadcast those four photos came from?

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