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America isn’t easy: balancing competing moral claims in advanced citizenship societies

down-the-drain-300x231

America isn’t easy

Building and sustaining a diverse community is not easy.

What should we celebrate?

Celebrate: to perform (a sacrament or ceremony) publicly and with appropriate rites; to honor by solemn ceremonies and refraining from ordinary business; to hold up or play for public notice.

What should we tolerate?

Tolerate: to endure or resist the action of without grave or lasting injury; to suffer to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction.

What should we not tolerate?

Freedom of Speech: speech as a celebratory, tolerable, or non-tolerable moral action

The right to free speech celebrates the toleration of alternative views and the expression of those views.

“Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write” – Voltaire (potential misattribution)

The right to free speech, however, does not create an obvious corresponding duty – at least, linguistically it does not. American free speech law creates no duty to listen, no duty to repeat, no duty to comprehend; it only creates a duty not to silence a speaker in the majority of situations. But the “duty” not to silence is cumbersome, and it is much clearer to legislate a right to free expression for the speaker rather than finding a way to create a duty not to silence others

.

The benefit of celebrating toleration is educationally obvious.

A liberal education depends upon—presupposes—unfettered thought, inquiry, and expression.1 This is necessary not only for the production of knowledge but also for the preparation of citizens in a diverse democracy. A vital campus is one where ideas meet, mix, conflict, engage, and emerge changed by the interaction. But genuine dialogue is a difficult, even fragile, human endeavor. It entails both speaking and listening, articulating one’s views and earnestly considering those of others. Campus communities need both to protect the rights of all members to think and speak freely and to foster the conditions that make dialogue possible

.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

What is not obvious, however, is the place in the grey area where either that which should not be tolerated enters or where that which should be tolerated is barred from entry.

Further, the difficulty of seeking balance necessarily places those who are generally in close alignment, at stark departure points on drivingly emotive questions concerning what conduct transcends the bounds where tolerance should be upheld. In other words, small differences of opinion are dramatically magnified when they sit on either side of the fulcrum of a significant moral issue.

Such situations are inflamed even more when the discussion involves competing primary moral claims concerning intolerable conduct by more than one party in a multiparty situation? For example, imagine that the perpetrator of a heinous crime might have been denied a fair trial by agents of the state. To what extent is someone who defends the perpetrator’s right to a fair trial guilty of supporting committing crimes against the victim or potential victims and to what extent are those who support the victim’s right to justice guilty of supporting misconduct by agents of the state that deny the perpetrator’s right to a fair trial and the right to a fair trial in general?

Given such cases where justice and injustice have more than one face, what duties to listen and understand do we owe each other and where is the point where the duty to understand is superseded by the duty to reject what should not be tolerated?

Balance in the Blogosphere

Blogs are not nations and do not have a responsibility to cater to competing worldviews to the extent that they do not adopt the mantle of doing so. Blogs are free to practise worldview exclusivity.

Exclusivity, however, tends to require adherence to a code of conduct among the included. Questions of conduct, specifically those that relate to what should be celebrated, tolerated, and not tolerated, appear to be the driving forces behind the siginficant fluctuations in readership, contributorship, and authorship that are occurring throughout the blogosphere as blogs decline, ascend, emerge and submerge.

Given this state of flux in the blogosphere, what duties to listen and understand do the included owe to each other and where is the point where the duty to understand is superseded by the duty to banish what and who should not be tolerated?

What do you think?

This is an open thread for civil tongues,

Grima-Wormtongue-lord-of-the-rings-3073520-800-600

which means he is banished!

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95 Responses

  1. What bothered me about the Polanski discussion was that anyone who believed, for whatever reason, that is not in the state’s or this country’s best interest to have Polanski extradited and tried so that he can rot in jail was immediately branded as a rapist coddler, a believer that artists deserve special privileges, an out-of-touch Hollywood elitist, and the reason why middle America doesn’t respect liberals (jeez, I never knew my opinion carried such weight).

    To me, that behavior reminded me of nothing so much as the behavior of Obots last year who branded anyone who criticized Obama as a racist. I can’t stand that kind of mob mentality, and I should have known better than to comment on the Polanski posts at all.

    I’ll never know what confounded said that went beyond the pale. But I do know that other people, whose comments I greatly enjoyed, have left this site after having comments deleted that were most definitely not beyond the pale. Those who run TC have every right to moderate this site as they please, but to me this doesn’t feel like the same site that I so grew to love last year and most of this year.

    • It’s ironic that you should raise this issue considering that we cut you some slack after your flagrant abuse of our commenting policy in the past.

      If we wanted everyone to know what “confounded” had to say we would not have deleted his comments and banned him. But since you obviously won’t let the issue drop until you get your way I hope you’ll forgive us for finding the suggestion that we lower the age of consent in the US to thirteen to be beyond the pale.

      Are you happy now?

      • Oops, I did a reply that probably said to much of what was said. Please let it drop by the wayside.

      • BTW – Since we are not in the habit of leaving objectionable comments in place after banning the person who made them, don’t be so sure that what got them banned was “most definitely not beyond the pale.”

        The quickest route to the exit here is to insult a moderator or administrator. One of the privileges of being being on staff is you don’t have to take shit from anyone. If you don’t like the way we do business I encourage you to start your own blog and show us how to do it better. WordPress blogs are free.

        I look forward to seeing how well you deal with the rudeness and obnoxiousness of visitors to your place.

      • Very much beyond the pale!

      • The French government has dropped their support for Polanski. Since people in Sarkozy’s admin have become more familiar with the case, they now say he should face justice.

        Or the French people put a lot of pressure on said government 😉

        • RB,

          The French do a good job of letting their government know what they think of its performance.

          s

        • Polanski deserve to be in prison for this!

          no amount of money should be enough to buy his way out of this.

          PERVERT!

          If it was left up to me, I’d say…..Skin the freak alive….but that’s just me!

      • I fell asleep early yesterday–it was my first round on my new chemo drugs, so I didn’t stick around for this whole exchange.

        Myiq, can you tell me how I flagrantly abused the commenting policy in the past?

        Btw, I could write you offline about the deleted comment instance I was alluding to if you want to discuss this private–I don’t want to air this issue poblicly any more than you do.

        • Inky,

          I’m sorry you felt attacked on the thread. I disagree with you vehemently on the extradition but I recognize that you have a right to a different opinion.

          Reactions to different events don’t need to be universal and all of us should try harder to understand where another viewpoint might come from.

      • Btw, Myiq

        • Inky- the whole of confounded’s comments are back up on the thread-I think you should read them, to see what happened.

          (he starts at 3.23pm Sept 29)

        • Inky- the whole of conf’s comments are back up on the thread-I think you should read them, to see what happened.

          (he starts at 3.23pm Sept 29)

          • Thanks, laurie.

            I hope to see you elsewhere on the internet. I’ve always very much enjoyed your comments. It looks like I’ve worn out my welcome around here, so I probably won’t be back.

          • Inky, you’re not in moderation and you’re not delegated automatically to the spam filter, that should let you know you’re welcome here.

            We’ve had a few rough days here with an incredible amount of issues surrounding, but not limited to, the Polanski case. It’s really difficult to moderate threads when there is a lot of emotion. I always try to remove comments that are insulting to individuals without ‘censuring’ people’s ideas and it’s a really tough balancing act. Each moderator has a different level of tolerance and we try to self-police our own threads for the most part. Some times, if it’s been a bad day, more people will get caught up in moderation than usual. Sometimes we do place a trigger word in moderation, other times will put a person in moderation as a cool down sort’ve process until we’re sure something isn’t going to get bigger. It’s really not an easy call, so I hope you can be understanding of the process and people involved. I hate have to spam a comment, personally. It’s my least favorite thing to do here.

          • Thanks Dak,

            It looks like, one way or another, I’m going to have a to a break of this site, if not perminently, at least for a while. I just took a look at the previous Polanski thread and read where a commenter named Pie Hole claimed to have doubted that I was ever actaully raped. I just can’t stop crying. I really don’t think I belong her anymore.

          • Inky, I agree with Dak-you haven’t been banned or anything. You’re obviously part of the community here.

            If you start to criticize moderators, especially at tense times, you can expect them to retort. That’s normal.

          • Inky go to Dak’s latest post and see where g-cat was picking at pie hole.

            Then you should tell him what you think of him.

            Blogs are blogs.

          • Eek laurie – I ended up sincerely apologizing twice.

            Inky – Whatever happens I wish you luck. Someone said that thread opened up a sewer and they were right. For me it was a sewer I fell into as 5 year old and the journey to understanding seems to never end. But that is just my opinion.

          • Thanks G-cat,

            I guess you are right about the journey for understanding never coming to an end. My central reason for not wanting to see Polanski extradited had to do with respecting Geiner’s wishes and the underrated commodity that is mercy towards others–I would have felt differently if I felt that Polanski had gotten off scott-free for his reprehensible act, but he didn’t–aside from the time in psychiatric observation that he already spent, his reputation has been damaged ever since. Also, it took place 32 years ago and both he and Geiner have since married and had children of their own, who certainly won’t benefit by a rehashing of this sordid incident. But my opinion is neither here nor there.

            I’m just not sure that I belong in a community that so relishes its unanimity of opinion on matters such as the Polanski affair. Also, I don’t feel I have ever been forgiven by certain moderators here for a blowout I had here months ago, on a day when probably I shouldn’t have been commenting at all, as I was upset about my cancer diagnosis.

            I truly wish you all the best as well.

          • g-cat-I meant Inky should ask Pie Hole for a sincere apology-twice if necessary 😉

            I hope that sewer you fell into as a five year old wasn’t what is implied by the thread.

          • laurie – Thanks for getting back to me. My comprehension seems to be out of whack today.

            My own experiences are all too common and in some ways like a bad Victorian novel. In a novel I would have been consumptive instead arthritic, an orphan and a governess gone bad who ended up in the poor house:)

      • Btw, myiq, I can’t believe that you would hold a grudge against me for “concern trolling” and asking for Pip’s email address when, as I apologized for on the day it happened, I upset about my cancer diagnosis and misdirecting my anxiety in some nitpicky criticisms. And when I asked for Pip’s address, it was because you had closed the comments section to that thread and she had expressed concern for my health. I wanted to maintain my friendship with Pips, which I have, so at least something good has come out of the time I’ve spent here, even if you and at least one other FPer consider me a flagrant abuser of commenting policy.

        I won’t be bothering this website any more with my comments.

    • That was a good example of where things are their hardest. confounded went to a very bad place eventually. As the argument got more heated, some pretty bad attitudes and opinions came out including that a non virgin by definition can’t be raped and we should all chill because the 13 year old may have liked the sex, etc. And some other similarly horrible things.

      When that sort of thing is happening in a thread, everyone gets very tense and on guard. Then otherwise passable arguments and questions are less tolerated.

      On top of that, some subjects are very close to home and are hot button issues. Rape is definitely one of those. There are very classic arguments made to destroy a rape victim that when used in discussions tend to have very strong reactions. Understandably.

    • Inky all of Confounded’s comments are back up there-take a look and judge for yourself.

  2. First are just the communication issues:

    Communication through text alone can be quite tricky. Emoticons help a bit, but often it’s easy to miss something subtle and even the main intent. On top of that often in the heat of the moment people will post without taking a pause and an editing pass. I do that all the time which can be seen by grammatical mistakes for example. So given that, some leeway and multiple chances to clarify and re-think and even dance a bit is always a nice thing. That’s the sort of general give a little room for getting to the point. Of course the ability of a poster to edit their own comments would be a nice addition (WP has a plug-in for that). Of course that’s the easy bit.

    Having civil arguments is tricky in the best of circumstances. When face to face, people tend to get all sorts of non verbal queues when they are crossing a line and can back off. Of course often people don’t and big fights break out. Through text of course matters are worse. But I think as above, giving people opportunity to clarify, etc. helps.

    Next is the level of disagreement and where topics lead:

    If someone is arguing something that is out of the realm of the community, then it’s hard to see how that commenter fits in and can stay. For example, last night we had someone arguing that pedophilia is OK and that non virgins by definition can’t be raped. That attitude doesn’t play well in the TC community and is not welcome. That person was given many opportunities to argue points and clarify. But the further the argument went and the more heated, the more came out from that person about what they really thought about things.

    More subtle differences are trickier of course. We can have very different opinions about things. The trick here is to have civil arguments and agree to disagree. That can be hard even among friends. Sometimes a little intervention is needed to cool off. For example, there are a lot of different approaches to policies even from a liberal point of view. We can argue and disagree. If we are open and the amount of coffee intake is just right, we can even learn and figure out some new approaches. But sometimes we just have to stop and go to our corners and talk about something else.

    I think the roll of moderators here is to watch those things and to help cool things off if someone is being rude. That’s in the best situations. And then of course if something really nasty is going on, then their job is to force someone into their corner for a while. And in very extreme cases, ban them.

    Bottom line is that blogs should be about civil discourse and about community. And a blog defines the parameters of that community. People outside that community can be welcome to comment and make arguments of course.

    OK, enough blathering on…

  3. Here’s an easy metric. If a commenter is allowed to stay and say the things they say and that would cause the majority of regulars to leave, then that is not a good addition to the community. Not always democratic or even necessarily allowing for enough differing opinions, but perhaps practical. That sort of approach may not lead to really open heated arguments. And it could lead to an echo chamber of done to strictly. So you have to tread carefully to be sure.

    • DT,

      I expect practical and thoughtful deliberation from people who enjoyed the 5th Element. You are confirming my bias.

      s

  4. Another Obama error. I wonder if Michelle and Oprah will be willing to chip in a few of their millions to help clean up Chicago if they succeed in bringing the Olympics there (despite a majority of Chicagoans oppose bringing the Olympics to Chicago if it costs the taxpayers).

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/09/30-4

    The Obamas, former Chicago residents, should be standing with their city. Instead, we have the sight of Barack, Michelle, and Oprah trying to outmuscle Pele and Brazil for a place at the Olympic trough. The question is why. Maybe Obama wants the Olympic fairy dust enjoyed by Ronald Reagan at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles or Bill Clinton at the 1996 games in Atlanta. Or perhaps he is returning favor to the developers and other sundry connected people in the Windy City who will make out like bandits once the smoke has cleared. But his intentions are clear: he wants the glitz, glamour, and prestige of the games and he wants it for the Daley machine. What the people of Chicago want doesn’t seem to compute.

    But we shouldn’t be surprised at this point that Obama is tin-eared to the concerns of Chicago residents. As Paul Krugman wrote Sept. 20 on the banker bonuses, “the administration has suffered more than it seems to realize from the perception that it’s giving taxpayers’ hard-earned money away to Wall Street.” Shoveling taxpayers’ money into the Olympic maw is no better, especially in these tough times.

    • It was all so familiar from show to show.

      • I don’t know of anyone here in Chicago that want this “monstrosity!”

        We all know what’s going to happen….the rich will get richer and we will end up footing the bill for their grand party!

    • As I said, follow the money.

  5. The hardest thing to deal with in a thread of comments is when something really bad happens. Like last night. Then everyone is really tense and on edge. In that context, someone wondering in and asking a question or bringing up an issue that otherwise might be tolerable might just get an earful. Ha, maybe we need a homeland security alert color code so commenters know they may be stepping into a heated battle.

    • DT,

      I’ve noted the same phenomenon. Timing is an aspect of context.

      s

    • Some people forget we’re here for all of it. We try to take turns but someone has to be around 24/7/365

      We use to have trolls show up in the middle of the night and drop really putrid comments in old threads. They would say things I don’t even want to think about let alone repeat. That’s why threads close automatically now after two days.

      • myiq,

        Good point.

        Further, spending that time hones one’s instincts. It’s why you spammed the IED troll I responded to, and we know where that response lead. The slag against RD for writing about her children and family, instead of strictly politics, should have cued me.

        s

        • Although moderators and administrators can take action on their own when necessary, we usually consult with each other before banning anyone permanently.

          But inappropriate comments get zapped forthwith.

  6. This Polanski thing has opened up a sewer as far as I’m concerned. The partisan rancor has somehow empowered people to speak the unspeakable all in the apparent name of opposing any type of opposition.

    I have never felt so grossed out and and disturbed and I can’t help but think the whole spite wars and hate-spewing public displays are stirring it up.

    Either that or we’ve been on full moon for months.

  7. Most of us started moderating last year during the election. There was so much similarity in the comments we got from a lot of Obot trolls (and there were definitely a lot of them) that it was obvious they were working off a script.

    Sometimes they would attack in waves and try to overwhelm us. We don’t see that kind of stuff anymore.

    • If somebody new showed up and said “help me understand . . .” you knew right away it was a troll.

    • myiq,

      I saw it here and elsewhere. Some had shifts and we’d say hello and good-bye like the Looney-Tunes sheepdog and wolf.

      s

    • Ah yes…the $7.00/hr. shifters. Good times…

      • SoD,

        Apart from the fact that it created jobs, does the outcome of their work negate its value?

        s

    • Someone should do a write up of paid organized trolling and how it worked (or didn’t), especially from the 2008 experience what effect it can have. Even more, how it worked on sites where they shifted over to be pro Obama. For those of course there may have also been direct influences to the main bloggers themselves.

      • One of the most obvious indications of how astroturfed Obamanation is was the nomination of Sarah Palin.

        There was stunned silence on the Obot blogs for nearly an hour after the announcment because Axelrove expected someone like Pawlenty to be named and had prepped for that.

        They had to figure out the official talking points on Sarah and send them out. Suddenly, about an hour after the announcement all of Obamanation was singing in unison again.

        • Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s funny, in a sad pathetic sort of way.

          Of course the Axelrove power at any cost is soft of understandable, disgusting, amoral and evil, but understandable. But what’s the deal with the armies of zombies who sold their soul for a few bucks or even for nothing. That’s really sad.

  8. Shocker! ABC publishes an fairly complete and accurate account of how Roman Polanski drugged, raped and sodomized a 13 year old child.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/roman-polanski/story?id=8705958

    • The Houston testimony was a bit sickening. When you look at the picture of the child, she looks 13, but Houston says she thought she could have been maybe 25. Come on. You know, the whole thing makes it seem like that was perfectly normal, acceptable behavior in hollywood. And that they all knew that was happening and it was an everyday occurrence among a lot of hollywood elite. Like it’s a meat market and everyone is feasting at the trough of little children.

      I don’t think the petitioners are doing themselves any favors by the looks of those comments with the article either.

      • Anjelica said the victim seemed “sullen”

        Ya think? She had just been drugged, raped and sodomized!

        I’d be in a bad mood too

      • “You know, the whole thing makes it seem like that was perfectly normal, acceptable behavior in hollywood. ”

        It is perfectly normal, acceptable behavior in Hollywood. And has been for ages. Why do so many child stars crash and burn?
        Why are sex and drugs so ubiquitous among the elites in film, tv, music, art?
        Why is lalaland always on the cover of the tabloids?

        Every now and then Hollywood puts on a thin veneer of respectability and environmentalism is in or animal shelters or anti-war flicks, the Prius —but there is that background noise of money, sex, drugs, celebrity privilege. I almost feel sorry for a Whoopie or a Debbie Winger—they really do not see how far they are removed from what most thinking people think about abuse.

      • “You know, the whole thing makes it seem like that was perfectly normal, acceptable behavior in hollywood.”

        It is.
        Think about it—-child stars, starlets—-money, sex, drugs, fame.
        Just connect the dots.

  9. Tonight’s episode of The National Parks documentary is on. Yay!

  10. TalkHypocrisy:

    Not at all (none / 0) (#195)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 04:57:02 PM EST
    It was a one sided proceeding at which Polanski and his lawyer were not represented and the testimony was not subjected to cross examination. An indictment is only an accusation. It is not evidence. It may or may not be what happened and it certainly can’t be said to be what happened.

    I’m not hosting a discussion on the allegations, so don’t bother, take it elsewhere. This is about what happened after the charges were filed.
    ________________________________________________
    Comments now closed here (none / 0) (#210)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 05:47:15 PM EST
    Comments automatically close at 200.

    Right before the thread closed, someone posted the link to the state’s answer to Polanski’s motion to dismiss. Since the first 7 pages of it recount grand jury testimony never proven in court, which Polanski and his lawyer did not have the opportunity to cross-examine, and charges to which Polanski never pleaded guilty or admitted, I am not hosting it here. You can read the legal arguments in the answer which begin on page 7 here.

    I’ll write more on this case where there are new devolopments. The self-serving sudden recanting by DA Wells is not a new development worthy of a post in my view.

    Discussing a movie made about Polanski? No problem. Discussing his motion to dismiss based heavily on the movie? You betcha! Discuss rumors and hearsay evidence in support of Polanski? Damn right!

    Discuss sworn testimony of the 13 year old girl that Polanski drugged, raped and sodomized? No fucking way!

    • I wonder how she can breath with her head stuck so far up hollywood’s ass.

      • She’s been getting a lot of static over there. She’s going to be up late tonight deleting comments. I just read most of them.

        • It’s really sad but good in the long run to see some of these people expose themselves for the creatures they really are. I never thought that a lot of people would defend Polanski and his actions. but I was just too naive.

          I’m amazed at Debra Winger who can go on and on about how unfair Hollywood is to older women, she is right about that, and claim to be such an activist for feminist causes, then she turns around and defends this child rapist. The hypocrisy boggles the mind.

        • How she can treat Polanski like he’s a victim in all of this? He was able to make millions, win an Oscar, sleep with many other beautiful young women, have a family, and get the majority of people in Hollywood to support him to this day. And she acts like he’s been sentenced to exile for the last three decades or that he has any chance of ever getting a sentence that fits his crime. She won’t discuss the allegations. She nor BTD thinks it is worthy to discuss violence against women and children on their legal justice blog. I’ve really been disgusted with Jeralyn’s actions on her blog since Polanski was arrested. I already had a bad opinion of her and her participation in the misogyny during last year’s election but this is beyond the pale.

          • DeV,

            Jeralyn might be right.

            Polanski is guilty of statuatory rape. Polanski plead guilty.

            The ugliness of Polanski’s act does not relieve the people from the burden of giving him a fair trial.

            Is Polanski a victim? If the judge is guilty of judicial misconduct, then to some extent Polanski did not receive a fair trial. If Polanski did not receive a fair trial, then he is a victim.

            I am not a lawyer and I am unable to judge the merits of the case claiming judicial misconduct. It appears to be an open question because there are lawyers taking sides on the issue based on their interpretations of the merits of the case.

            Jeralyn is treating Polanski as a victim because she believes he is a victim of judicial misconduct. Jeralyn might be right.

            Even if Jeralyn is right, it does not change the facts of his crime or the need for him to pay for his crime.

            s

    • Sigh. Looks like I’ll never enjoy watching a movie again…

      The full list of Polanski defenders in Hollywood. The list is being continually updated.

      http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/39618660.html

  11. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in New York that Polanski’s extradition from Switzerland to California to face sentencing on the 1977 sex crime charge was a matter for judges, not diplomats, to handle.

    Thank goodness, Hillary isn’t going to help Polanski out.

  12. Speaking of TalkHypocrisy, J’s head may explode along with a few others in Left Blogistan when this makes the rounds.

    Palin ‘grateful’ for top spot

    Two days after the release date of Sarah Palin’s book was announced, it’s already become the top seller at both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

    snip

    A publishing industry source told POLITICO that they “cannot remember a non-fiction book taking off like this in the pre-order market. It became number one only a couple of hours after nothing more than a date announcement. It is truly unprecedented.”

    Much of the 400-page book is based on journals Palin kept during her vice-presidential run.

    • May Sarah’s book be good. I would like to see her get some marks on her enemies.

    • I really don’t have the budget for hardbound books anymore but I am seriously considering saving up for this.

  13. Has anyone read HR3438 introduced by Darrell Issa, R-CA? If you are not covered by Social Security, you would be able to enroll in the federal employees’ health care program and your premiums would be fully tax deductible.

    Pretty simple and, if you could work a subsidy schedule up, it would do no harm at least. Seems like it might beat those 1000 page wonders.

  14. I have been looking at some right wing blogs recently, and what they have been talking about a lot is the way the liberal media have been defending ACORN and not covering the fact that the ACORN workers seemingly had no problem with the idea of importing 13 year old Hondurans (?) to work in a brothel. Then just recently the same people are defending Roman Polanski regarding his raping a 13 year old girl. I know that this blog and many other PUMA type blogs have been indignant about the defending of Polanski, but I can’t help noticing that liberals have just handed the Republicans a huge hammer (the idea that we have no morals or ethics) to hit us with.

  15. Wow—the Edwards soap opera just gets stranger and stranger…

    Sex, scorn and videotape

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27755.html

  16. Has anyone read HR3438 introduced by Darrell Issa, R-CA? If you are not covered by Social Security, you would be able to enroll in the federal employees’ health care program and your premiums would be fully tax deductible.
    **********
    FEHB, as I understand it, is basically an insurance exchange that is able to negotiate somewhat more favorable rates. For a Fed employee, the employer picks up ~76% of the premium of the plan that you select. Even with means tested tax rebates, it is unlikely that a person or family who can’t afford insurance now could afford basically 100% – a small tax rebate of a FEHB plan. A tax deduction isn’t worth much to the people who don’t have enough income to pay taxes.

    The bottom line, no matter how the politicians try to stir the sh*t, is that the Insurance companies such off 35% of the health care dollars and Americans pay double for drugs. Right now of the $2.3 trillion/year for health care, 60% come from taxes, 20% from employer and 20% out of pocket.

    Obama has sold the American people down the river to save that 20% employer contribution and to increase the revenue stream for the health care industry.

    • When I think of Darrell Issa, I think of the Gray Davis recall that Issa funded with his own millions before being double-crossed by the Califonia GOP in favor of the Governator. The man can do little to redeem himself in my eyes.

      Not that Gray Davis was doing a bangup job, but CA governors are not as powerful as some in other states; the legislature is where the real power is.

      • that recall made me so made that after I voted NO for the recall, I voted for Larry Flint just to drive the GOP crazy. Just watching some republican faces when I told them who I voted for was priceless.
        Hey he is a good business man.

        WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

        PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  17. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Has-the-liberal-moment-come-and-gone-62842512.html

    Interesting article. Did the liberals blow the chance to make the country better with their actions? It seems the good ideas got lost in the crowd of bad ideas put in practice.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  18. OT
    http://www.aconservativelesbian.com/2009/09/29/acorn-to-partner-with-roman-polanski-on-daycare-center-chain/

    This is sick but it is funny.

    the guy should either go to jail or be castrated no more excuses for a child rapist

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • excellent comment from a reader of the previous article:

      Sometimes saying things twice makes them better.

      It worked for Duran Duran. And Couscous.

      Not Whoopi though. She’s a doosh-doosh.

  19. Here an interview with girl/woman from a couple of years ago.

    “It is too long but never too late to serve justice. ”

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