Open Thread

A Rich Disaster

Artist - Pat Bagley

In other news, President Obama made it very clear today that he will not negotiate on the national debt limit when he said "I will not play that game."

Also -- the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled today that two new anti-abortion restrictions are unconstitutional, effectively blocking their implementation.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I apologize in advance for this.

    My brain hurts after this conversation. I know, I know, I promised to stay away from there. I’m referring in particular to the sub-thread at the bottom started by “las Novios.”

    If I ever do this again, I give everyone here permission to track me down, confiscate my computer and slap me silly.

    • muselet

      Wow. You are incredibly patient. (For all I know, you were hurling objects around the room and kicking the cat in between posting comments. I prefer to believe you weren’t.)

      ‘Las Novios’ (my long-ago high-school Spanish tells me this is a basic grammatical error, and someone else can make the “same gender” joke that’s all teed up and waiting to be made)—and, for that matter, ‘mommyinvermont’—seem utterly clueless about the difference between their prejudices, the law and the Constitution. Not to mention history. And biology.

      I’d have been screaming obscene insults after one or maybe two rounds with such buffoons.

      Oh, and always remember, you gave us permission.


      • GrafZeppelin127

        I wonder if las Novios realizes that I backed him into an indefensible position.

        Two things he said that struck me as really mean and/or sick: (1) That “any relationship between two people” that lacks the potential to produce children “has no meaning”; and (2) that “choosing parenthood is no less a service to the country than serving in the military.”

        Really? Americans have kids in order to serve the state? Does anyone know anyone who did that?

        What’s incredible to me, inter alia, is how many times I had to point out, “This is a free country.” It’s rather amazing how few people actually understand what that means. The phrase “liberty and justice for all” is so apropos; denying civil rights to a whole class of people, for no reason except to maintain the subjective belief that the privileged class is “special,” is neither liberty nor justice, for anyone.

        • muselet

          Given that person’s (I’m feeling generous this morning) obliviousness, I’d say las Novios thinks s/he mopped the floor with you. There was a distinct tone of “so there!” to a lot of the comments.

          Over the years, I’ve hung out with a sufficient cross-section of humanity to realize that a goodly percentage of us are outliers in one way or another: if it’s not sexual orientation, then it’s religious or political affiliation, or it’s gender or it’s skin color or it’s disability or it’s hair color (ask a “ginger”—pronounced with two hard Gs, incidentally—in the UK or Australia what life’s like) or it’s something else equally trivial (humans may be crap at a lot of things, but we’re really, really good at finding differences among ourselves). I’d be very surprised if las Novios weren’t an outlier in at least one way, and I’d be equally surprised if s/he didn’t complain bitterly about facing discrimination because of it.

          Yet here’s this person actively advocating for discrimination—something which does not, alas, make her/him an outlier.

          You’ll never change las Novios’s mind (again, I’m feeling generous). All you can do is hope that you reached someone else reading the comments thread.

          And I’m with mrbrink in applauding your efforts (just don’t make those efforts so often that you drive yourself crazy).


          • GrafZeppelin127

            I’ve always felt, when I get involved in these discussions, that I’m doing it for the benefit of the reader, not the knucklehead I’m “debating.”

            It’s when I start to take it personally and make it about the knucklehead that it gets depressing.

    • mrbrink

      Do it for all those impressionable minds out there, Graffy!

      People read those conversations. People learn from them. They can learn how to discriminate against others with just the right-sounding words, or they can learn to challenge the right-sounding words that are used to discriminate.

      I, for one, applaud your efforts.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Thanks, mrbrink. That’s why I do it, really; I hope someone will read it, learn about the issue, learn how to talk about it intelligently, recognize the points of contention, logical fallacies, holes, contradictions, etc. I can’t help it. I’m a teacher and a lawyer; it’s just what I do.

        What happened here is that I backed the guy into a corner and he had to reveal his true, baser nature; he had to admit to things that a lot of people don’t want to admit to. He made it very clear that in his view:

        1. “Any relationship between two people” that lacks the potential for procreation “has no meaning,” “no validity,” and no value.

        2. Having children is an act performed in service to the state.

        3. Civil rights are “special benefits” that should be reserved only for certain preferred categories of people, as a reward for having desirable human characteristics.

        The conversation was fun for a while but the more I thought about it the more disturbed I got by where this person was inevitably going. Once he admitted that there was no direct, objective correlation between exclusivity and procreation, his entire argument collapsed. That’s where I decided to end it. I hope he doesn’t respond again, because I’m not going back to that thread.

  • muselet

    Your moment of inanity for tonight.


    And finally, your moment of sanity for tonight.


  • agrazingmoose

    I wonder what Obama has up his sleeve to prevent the Rs from threatening the debt limit. Can anyone help me on this?

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      I think he’s calling their bluff.
      Republicans don’t learn very well. In their GOP bubble, they don’t think people noticed that they were solely responsible for America’s credit downgrade last time they pulled these stupid shenanigans. Afterall, we are talking about day today management of the nation’s business and just paying bills already on the credit card, but fox viewers don’t even understand this concept. The GOP knows their base is stupid enough to buy the argument that republicans are cutting spending, but fortunately the rest of us elected a smart leader and he isn’t seeking re-election.
      If these rightwing fools try this nonsense a second time, they will learn the hard way.