It’s Gonna Be a Hell of a Year

The New York Child Victims Act, which creates a one year window for litigation of child sex abuse claims that were previously barred by New York State law, just went into effect. The law was long blocked by Republicans in the Senate, in support of the biggest bunch of child molesters around, but now that Democrats are in charge, things have changed:

The one-year litigation window for past claims now barred by the statute of limitations has been the sticking point, with large private institutions such as the Catholic Church warning that it could cause catastrophic financial harm to any organization that cares for children. A similar law in California, passed in 2002, resulted in Catholic dioceses there paying $1.2 billion in settlements.

The church dropped its opposition to the act last week, however, when the act was revised to treat public and private schools and entities the same. In a joint statement on the bill’s passage, the state’s Catholic bishops said they “pray that the passage of the Child Victims Act brings some measure of healing to all survivors.”

If I were the praying kind, I’d pray that New York tops California’s $1.2 billion number.

I wonder if someone will ever be able to write a comprehensive history of the molestation of children, with a focus on the infiltration of institutions by molesters and the role of their silent enablers. The Catholic Church would occupy volumes, but they’re just one example. There’s the rich and powerful guys clubs – Epstein and the British Parliament are two examples. And, apparently the Boy Scouts were worse than already reported. In each of these cases, some non-molesters must have known and tolerated the molesters. What were their motives? How did they justify it to themselves? To me, that’s the most interesting part of this awful slice of human behavior.






213 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    The church dropped its opposition to the act last week, however, when the act was revised to treat public and private schools and entities the same.

    In a small bit of fairness, I don’t know why they should be different.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    MattF says:

    I imagine that it takes a while for someone in an organization to rise to a level where what’s going on becomes apparent. And, I imagine, that the first impulse would be to get out ASAP– the realization that, otherwise, you will be dealing with psychopathic behavior for the forseeable future, would be grim.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Obvious Russian Troll says:

    There’s a whole range of ways that predators get away with this shit.

    Some people don’t notice the signs.

    Some people see the signs but are in denial about it. “That can’t be what it looks like.”

    Some people see it for what it is but are afraid to do anything about it because the predator is in a position of power.

    Some people just don’t care as long as they get what they want.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    TomatoQueen says:

    The surrounding culture enables and even encourages the predator. Examples: youth football in the UK, the BBC and certain beloved entertainers; any given fundamentalist sect/cult/denomination, the most flagrant recent example being FLDS, and there are others; Alabama.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    lee says:

    I wonder if someone will ever be able to write a comprehensive history of the molestation of children….

    I would not wish that task on my worst enemy.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    boatboy_srq says:

    @lee: Dunno. That could be a remarkable MA project.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Baud: I’m sure they are comforting themselves with the presumption that godless heathen public schools will be so very much worse.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    RepubAnon says:

    I expect many folks either refuse to believe the evidence, or are more worried about reputational harm to the organization (thus threatening their paycheck) than they care about the victims.

    Same thing for sexual harassment by “rainmakers” – the more money a harasser brings in, the less inclined management is to take the appropriate actions.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    J R in WV says:

    It looks to me like any group, organization, institution, with rigid patriarchal leadership is totally vulnerable once a single pathological individual rises into leadership. Especially when those leaders are pretty much immune from criticism, as in priests.

    Regarding the Boy Scouts… just think of the nomenclature: The Scout Master is in charge of the scouts. That is one heck of a naming convention for the guy in charge of the kids. Same with boarding schools, Head Master… and at least in some cases, the Head Master was expected to beat the heck out of kids, for any reason or no reason.

    I’m not surprised to find as much abuse in the BSA as in the Catholic Church, and more recently we find it in many other churches with rigid hierarchies of leadership. No Mega-church pastor is going to admit he failed in the careful selection of his “youth ministers”, or any other failure for that matter. He’s GOD’s manager here on earth, nearly as perfect as Jesus was, right?!!

    So now there are hundreds of child abuse cases in the Southern Baptist convention, yet another org with rigid patriarchal leadership. Shocked, I am, not.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    @lee:

    I wonder if someone will ever be able to write a comprehensive history of the molestation of children….

    I would not wish that task on my worst enemy.

    A decent person wouldn’t be able to handle it. It will send them to very dark places.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Another Scott says:

    OT: Fudzilla on the McCain collision:

    […]

    However, the National Transportation Safety Board released an accident report from a 2017 collision, which cites touchscreen controls as a factor in an accident on August 21st, 2017, the USS John S. McCain collided with the Alnic MC, a Liberian oil tanker, off the coast of Singapore.

    Crew members tried to split throttle and steering control between consoles, but lost control of the ship, putting it into the path of the tanker. The crash killed ten sailors and injured 48 aboard the McCain.

    The report says that while fatigue and lack of training played a role in the accident, the design of the ship’s control console was also a contributing factor. Located in the middle of the McCain’s bridge, the Ship’s Control Console (SCC) features a pair of touchscreens on both the Helm and Lee Helm stations, through which the crew could steer and propel the ship.

    The ship’s, touchscreen controls and procedures were overly complicated.

    Investigators found that the crew had placed it in “backup manual mode”, which removed computer-assisted help because it allowed for “more direct form of communication between steering and the SSC”.

    That setting meant that any crew member at another station could take over steering operations, and when the crew tried to regain control of the ship from multiple stations, control “shifted from the lee helm to aft steering, to the helm, and back to aft steering”.

    Mechanical throttles are generally preferred because “they provide both immediate and tactile feedback to the operator”. The report notes that had mechanical controls been present, the helmsmen would have likely been alerted that there was an issue early on and recommends that the Navy better adhere to better design standards.

    After the incident, the Navy conducted fleet-wide surveys to ask them if they thought touchscreens were “super, cool, and gaming changing”. What they found was most navy crews thought that they made simple working systems more complex.

    Rear Admiral Bill Galinis, the Programme Executive Officer for Ships, personnel indicated that they would prefer mechanical controls. Speaking before a recent Navy symposium, he described the controls as falling under the “‘just because you can does not mean you should’ category”, and that ship systems were only too complicated. He also noted that they’re looking into the design of other ships to see if they can bring some system commonalities between different ship classes.

    “The Navy will begin to replace the controls in the summer of 2020 “

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    zhena gogolia says:

    Since the topic is Monsters, here’s Moscow the other day. This is our future if Drumpf gets reelected:

    https://twitter.com/KevinRothrock/status/1160203132669968386

    ReplyReply
  13. 13

    In each of these cases, some non-molesters must have known and tolerated the molesters. What were their motives? How did they justify it to themselves? To me, that’s the most interesting part of this awful slice of human behavior.

    The number one motivation is to protect the institution the abusers represent. Rather than take the hit to their reputation from admitting they harbored a molester, the organization tries to hush it up by handling it internally. That’s where mandatory reporting laws come into play. They’re supposed to change the organizational calculus so that the organization will suffer a legal rather than just reputational penalty if they try to hush things up.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    It shouldn’t be treated differently. There’s a whole set of allegations coming out now against evangelical churches. It’s interesting because they aren’t “schools”. The children are home schooled but they coordinate closely with the various pastors and that’s where the abuse occurred.

    I do think there should be some corrections issued by the people who framed this a Catholic problem and attributed it to various rules and structures that church follows. It’s much, much bigger than that. The worst case of systemic child abuse I have ever read occurred at a Texas juvenile facility. It was so bad the federal government intervened, under Obama. There was another that was nearly as bad, in Illinois.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    My husband’s family is Catholic, and we were recently discussing the fundraising impact of the pedophilia scandal on the local church back in hubby’s hometown (Upstate New York) with some relatives who are active in the congregation. According to their account, the parish laity is using the power of the purse to force changes and accountability. (It was topical again due to some recent incident that I hadn’t heard about; IIRC, it wasn’t a new pedophilia incident but revelations that the parish was funding a retreat for defrocked pedophiles.)

    Okay, good, I was thinking — don’t just mindlessly hand over your money but make sure you know where it’s going. But I was also thinking that if my religious institution had been revealed as a pedophile protection racket decades ago, I would have found a new spiritual home. I’m not religious at all and never have been as an adult, so I readily admit I don’t understand the role faith communities play in people’s lives. It amazes me that there aren’t tumbleweeds blowing through every church after what we already know. They (the good people, not the creeps) must be getting something out of it that is completely invisible to me.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    I wonder if someone will ever be able to write a comprehensive history of the molestation of children

    Up through the early 1900s, it wasn’t considered an issue much less a crime. So now all anyone’s got to do is write the history of the last 100 years – and the part I’d find interesting is what exactly changed in society for it became to be viewed as a crime.

    (my guess, and it is only a guess, is that that view started changing about the time that our views on child labor were changing, but I so easily could be dead wrong about that.)

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @Betty Cracker: If your local church is your community life, or at least is a large fraction of your community life, leaving that community is a big and difficult step to take. I can understand why “try to hold the leaders accountable but preserve the community” is an attractive approach to many people.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Wapiti says:

    @dmsilev: This. It impacts your kid’s circle of friends, your friends, your spouse’s friends. It’s hard for some to walk away from the support they have built up.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    @dmsilev:

    Agree. For most people, abandoning the things that are valuable to them is a last step, and even then, many won’t be able to bring themselves to take it.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20

    @Betty Cracker:

    Okay, good, I was thinking — don’t just mindlessly hand over your money but make sure you know where it’s going. But I was also thinking that if my religious institution had been revealed as a pedophile protection racket decades ago, I would have found a new spiritual home. I’m not religious at all and never have been as an adult, so I readily admit I don’t understand the role faith communities play in people’s lives. It amazes me that there aren’t tumbleweeds blowing through every church after what we already know. They (the good people, not the creeps) must be getting something out of it that is completely invisible to me.

    I guess I fully understand the decision to run away, but there are good reasons to stay and fight to try to reform the church rather than abandoning it for another one:

    1) Who’s to say the new church won’t be just as bad as the old one? As Kay points out, this is by no means restricted to the Catholic Church; many other churches suffer from the exact same set of problems. It may be better to be part of a church that has already recognized that it has a problem and started to work on reform than one that is still in denial.

    2) Think about the people who are still in denial and aren’t abandoning the church that failed them. By going to another church rather than staying to reform it, you’re abandoning those people to suffer from the abuse you’re running from.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    M31 says:

    it could cause catastrophic financial harm to any organization that cares for children

    uh, Catholic Church, I think you mispelled ‘any organization that systematically covers up the rape of untold numbers of children and takes actions to make sure it happens again and again’

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    wormtown says:

    @dmsilev: I agree. There also may be strong family connections. For us older folks, there were many with relations that spent generations in a parish; weddings, baptisms, funerals. Many have funded items in the church (windows, etc) in memory of someone in the family. The upper hierarchy understands this connection very well; and fully takes advantage of it. But I think it dies with us boomers.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    Nicole says:

    @Roger Moore: Fascinating; that’s the same set of excuses given by a lot of Republicans as to why they stay in the party and keep voting Republican.

    Mind you, that’s as much a comment on the fact that a lot of Republicans have confused their political party with their religion as anything else.

    But I myself would suggest one try to keep in mind the sunk cost fallacy when dealing with organizations that cover up abuse of children.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Jager says:

    One of the Catholic kids I played hockey with, went on a church-sponsored camping trip to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. A dozen 10-12 year boys, one of the fathers and 2 Priests. One of the Priests made the rounds at night until he found a boy frightened enough to comply. My buddy came home and told his mother about what happened, she slapped his face and said, “Don’t you ever talk about Father XYZ like that again.”
    He didn’t tell me about it until we were 50 years old.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    ThresherK says:

    The New York Child Victims Act, which creates a one year window for litigation of child sex abuse claims…

    Okay, show of hands: Who else thought this was about Epstein?

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    JanieM says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    a new spiritual home

    In addition to various replies to Betty’s comment, it’s not just community, although that’s important.

    It’s also that people value that spiritual home. I was raised Catholic and left organized religion when I left home at 18. Many years later I went to a conference on Gregory Bateson at a school run by Benedictine nuns in Minnesota. In light of whatever scandalous or misogynistic thing the church was in the news for at the time (early 80s) (not pedophile scandals yet), I asked one of the nuns why she was still Catholic. She said, “It’s my church too.” I.e., it didn’t belong to the pope and the male hierarchy, and she wasn’t going to be driven away by them, instead she was going to try to reclaim it from them. Two of my high school friends are nuns who feel the same way……

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    JAFD says:

    The bibliography for that study should include Gordon Rattray Taylor’s _Sex in History_, where he theorized that in patriarchal cultures, male homosexuality is ‘the great unforgivable sin’, while in matriarchal cultures incest (and sexual exploitation of children) is that sin. He also talked about periods of transitioen from one to the other, and whether we were going thru one.
    That scholar would also have to read thru the collected ‘comic monologues’ of Lenny Bruce, note what early 1950’s audiences thought was ‘edgy’ humor. Some of it – eg ‘The Button’ – you may find revolting.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    JAFD says:

    The bibliography for that study should include Gordon Rattray Taylor’s _Sex in History_, where he theorized that in patriarchal cultures, male homosexuality is ‘the great unforgivable sin’, while in matriarchal cultures incest (and sexual exploitation of children) is that sin. He also talked about periods of transitioen from one to the other, and whether we were going thru one.
    That scholar would also have to read thru the collected ‘comic monologues’ of Lenny Bruce, note what early 1950’s audiences thought was ‘edgy’ humor. Some of it – eg ‘The Button’ – you may find revolting.

    (Not sure if FYWP ate first posting of this, am repeating it, apologies if it’s duplicate.)

    ReplyReply
  29. 29

    @Nicole:
    There’s a big difference between a political party and a church, though I’m not sure how that balances out in the big picture:

    1) It’s possible to remain part of a political party in an attempt to steer it back on course but still vote for the other party’s candidate if your own party nominates somebody manifestly wrong for the office. There’s no real equivalent for being a church member; remaining part of the church means you’re stuck with their clergy.

    2) You can largely protect yourself from the bad effects of the clergy in your church being abusers by moving to another church (assuming the new church isn’t also overrun by abusers), but you can’t isolate yourself the same way from a political party being run by evil people, because they can still get elected without your vote.

    3) It’s easier to tell whether a political party has been taken over by crazies than to tell if a church has been taken over by abusers.

    As I said, I’m not sure how this balances out. In general, though, I think it’s honorable to remain part of a political party that’s sliding into insanity in an attempt to keep it sane, so long as you’re willing to vote against your party in the election if it nominates somebody crazy.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30

    @Roger Moore: I agree with you, when you leave you cede the ground to those with more retrograde tendencies, so they are the only ones who end up speaking in the name of your religion/culture etc.
    Plus I can never understand people like Rod Dreher who changes his religious denomination more often than I change my hair style.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Matt says:

    with large private institutions such as the Catholic Church warning that it could cause catastrophic financial harm to any organization that cares for children

    Shorter papists: “It would cause catastrophic financial harm if people we molested can sue us again – we covered those up fair and square!”

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @Jager:

    Oh, that’s sad. Sometimes there are whistleblowers and it doesn’t matter. We have a high school track coach who is on trial right now for gross sexual imposition with minors. The trial has brought out the fact there were parent and student complaints going back to 2007. One was written- a 3 page letter from a mother who pulled her daughter out of track. It’s a big school and it’s a regional force in athletics. They just kept renewing his contract. It didn’t change until they got a new superintendent who acted immediately. 10 years it went on- 07 to 17. There will be additional charges because of this trial, but they have to GO TO TRIAL. That’s key.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    patrick II says:

    Republican congressmen who were wrestling Coaches should also be investigated.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Barbara says:

    @ThresherK: Not me. This legislation has been proposed nearly every year for the better part of two decades. If the Church had not been so determined to defeat it, the fallout from lawsuits alleging abuse from long ago would now be mostly in the rear view window. More recent abuse claims, of course, would still be brought.

    With regard to the incidence of abuse, I don’t think we will ever know for certain which of various types of institutions are or were the worst. What bedevils the Catholic Church is that it has top down control over priests — where they are assigned, whether they can continue serving as priests, what is told to churches where they are assigned to serve. At every turn, it exercised that control in a way that ignored harm to children and showed loyalty to individual priests. Public school districts don’t show the same kind of loyalty to teachers with credible abuse allegations, and they don’t have any control over where someone ends up. The biggest problem for all organizations — even those that want to do the right thing — is when victims are unwilling to see complaints through to law enforcement (and that unwillingness can be due to the way they are treated by the organization itself, so it is often justified by minimize continuing harm to themselves). If something doesn’t become a matter of public record, schools typically cannot tell prospective employers about abuse allegations that never led to an arrest or conviction. I am not sure there is any way to get around this.

    ETA: Given Kay’s comment, public schools are less likely to show loyalty to teachers. Two of my high school teachers were fired because of improper relationships with minors, and that was — gulp — more than 40 years ago.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Barbara:

    I think that’s true, but these contracts are a little different. They’re not teacher-coaches. They’re coaches. They work on “supplemental” contracts that are renewed every year, or not. This person kept getting renewed, and no one knows why, but they didn’t accept a plea to a lesser charge so we got a trial. That’s where it comes out. If you want to get the ancillary people and get some idea of who knew what you have to go to trial. The adversarial process doesn’t work if everyone is making deals in rooms. These “settlements” have become a way to bury the facts. It’s just chicken shit. Go all the way. Let’s see where the chips fall.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @wormtown: That describes my husband’s family — their grandfather was an immigrant stone cutter whose work is in the church, etc. There are generational ties and community and spiritual aspects involved, and I understand that, though obviously not fully, or I wouldn’t be so surprised by its resilience in the face of this endless parade of horrors.

    PS: I did not mean to imply in any way that Protestant churches are better. I was raised in part by evangelicals and fled that as a teen. They’re every bit as bad, IMO, though the lack of an overarching hierarchy shields them somewhat.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Nicole says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think it’s honorable to remain part of a political party that’s sliding into insanity in an attempt to keep it sane, so long as you’re willing to vote against your party

    And there’s the rub with current GOP members. I have family members who desperately wanted to tell me, in November of 2016, that they didn’t vote for Trump; they voted 3rd party. BUT- they refuse to accept that, for all intents and purposes, they did vote for Trump. Because their identity as “Republicans” outweighs identity as Americans.

    In their case, I don’t think it’s even sunk cost fallacy; I think it’s 30 years of FOX News selling “Us vs Them.”

    I have more sympathy, actually, for church members wrestling with revelations their organization enabled abuse than I do voters who cling to party identity regardless of what the party stands for.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Jager says:

    @Kay:

    He’s a tough guy, Army Medic in Vietnam, retired Battalion Chief of EMTs in a major city Fire Department. He told me that the incident with his mom opened a division between them that never healed. His mother (and grandmother, too) was a piece of work. She had divorced his dad when he was 2 and constantly told him stories about what a shit his dad was. He tracked down his dad when he was 40 years old, asked his dad why he never tried to contact him over the years. His dad said, “I did, I sent you birthday and Christmas presents (his mom rewrapped and gave them to him under her name) I called and your grandmother and mother would never let me talk to you.” After he “met” his dad again, they had a great and warm relationship for 25 years. Christ, outside of his wife and kids, I was the first person to hear his story, we were sitting on the deck of the Moorings Restuarant in Newport, RI, drinking beer and eating oysters when he brought it up out of nowhere, 50-year man with tears running down his face.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Barbara:

    I think the various evangelical churches were harder to get because they’re fragmented and in one of the cases the children didn’t go “to school”. What happened was they became adults and started exploring their experience and they found people in power they had in common. They started online “recovery” groups and the same names kept coming up. They’re sad to read because many of them remain evangelical Christians, so they’re incredibly deferential to the pastor(s), even in this context. It has to be hard, to break ranks like that. It’s your whole life.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Their entire lives, Kay. So unbelievably sad :(

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Jager:

    Oh, boy. That is hard. I had a high school friend who was getting counseling for being sexually abused. She never told me but she asked me to go with her to one session. So I went and I believe the counselor thought I knew because she addressed it directly. I was completely blindsided by it. I did not know what to do. But after that I knew and we could talk about it after I processed it and regained some semblance of composure. I still think about that- how she managed to tell me. She could not do it herself. Which is fine. My two minutes of absolute panic at realizing and then worrying about my own reaction- that it be correct- is okay. That’s how she had to do it.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    justawriter says:

    The church will have my thoughts and prayers as they are hauling all their holy trinkets down to the nearest Cash4Gold to pay off all their accumulated sins.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jager:

    deck of the Moorings Restuarant in Newport, RI

    Can confirm that that’s a nice place.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    jonas says:

    Bit of advice to reporters and investigators: start with the most sex- and homophobic institutions and work up from there. Catholic Church? Check. Boy Scouts (largely a youth service of the LDS church in many states)? Check. Other low-hanging fruit include Hasidic yeshivas, and Southern Baptist and other fundamentalist/evangelical youth groups — any outfit where 1. sex (particularly homosexuality) is taboo, 2. deference to (male) authority is paramount, and 3. people speaking out are threatened with ostracism from a tight-knit community. Check off those three boxes and you’ve found kids at high risk. Not that abuse never happens in secular/public institutions, but it’s a lot more likely to be exposed and the perpetrators dealt with than in these closed communities.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So when does the Catholic Church finally admit that the book City of God does nothing but create perverts?

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    cain says:

    Speaking of New York – Epstein’s case was taken over by the FBI, this isn’t the same fucking office in New York that started whole shit with Hillary and her emails right? Because that’s the second time this wing nut division of the FBI has fucked things up. Why do we trust this office at all?

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Kay: it’s asking a lot of the victims to have to relive these events years/decades later. Defense counsel will make their testimony a living hell – discovery in these cases is bad enough ( I work on damages in law suits)

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Chris Fisher says:

    “The organization must be protected at all costs. We cannot allow these men’s actions to imperil our vital mission. You surely don’t want to see the valuable work that we do here damaged by the public knowledge of what happened to you, do you? Think of the Lord. He wants you to forgive. We will handle his punishment. You can trust us.”

    That’s how people enable this shit.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @cain:

    this isn’t the same fucking office in New York that started whole shit with Hillary and her emails right? Because that’s the second time this wing nut division of the FBI has fucked things up. Why do we trust this office at all?

    Beats me. They’re captured. In the tank for Dear Leader. I hope they’re not still mad that black people complained about getting shot by police for no reason, and therefore they punished us by throwing a presidential election to their handpicked douchebag. How dare anyone question these public servants. Heads will roll. Our heads, not theirs.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    A Ghost To Most says:

    The Boy Scouts were too busy weeding out atheists to get around to the pedophiles.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    smintheus says:

    I don’t believe for a second that nobody in the past realized what was going on. I got out of the boys scouts at age 11 because I realized they were corrupt and I feared a few of the men who were involved. I also knew that certain priests, coaches, and others who involved themselves with kids were to be avoided. At my high school, flirting between teachers and students was right out in the open and it seemed clear to me that some had sexual relations. There’s even a ‘jocular’ photo in my yearbook of a student sitting on the lap of a teacher; the same teacher once tried to bed me. Our HS gym teacher used to keep the gym door and a wall of windows into the boys’ locker room open permanently so that the girls would be willing to come over and be chatted up by him. When I put together a proposal to start a HS soccer team, a middle school teacher I didn’t know offered to coach it for free; others said he was notorious for hitting on boys.

    Every adult appeared to look the other way at all of this. There’s no question they were pretending not to know that there were predators. Because their behavior wrt sexual predation was the same as wrt bullying. The same people routinely pretended never to see or understand any aspect of bullying, even when attacks occurred right in front of them. I had become completely cynical about adults’ integrity by the age of 10, just from watching them fail to take action about any wrongdoing.

    Basically we grew up in Bullshit Nation. Everybody agreed without question that everybody else agreed it was easier to pretend not to know.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Mandalay says:

    In each of these cases, some non-molesters must have known and tolerated the molesters. What were their motives? How did they justify it to themselves?

    Molesters don’t just groom their victims; they carefully groom those around them as well.

    There is a recent case in England which is very illuminating on how a youth soccer coach, Bob Higgins, got away with abusing many young victims over a long period:

    Dr John Beer, the head of Southampton Social Services at the time, said he received several replies from parents criticising him for impugning Higgins’s good character.

    “That is the standard way that we learn that paedophiles operated,” he said.

    The safest way for them is to groom parents and figures who have status in the community, so if the young person made any allegations they were likely to be disbelieved.”

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    I wonder what the victims would say about that, though. The Epstein victims kept trying to get to a court. The settlements come along with protections for the other actors. None of this ever sees the light of day and that matters.

    The criminal cases are not captioned “victim name v perp”. They’re captioned “The US, or The State of NY, or The People”. The offense is against all of us. That would seem to be important conceptually for the victims- that we’re all on the state side. That it isn’t “16 year old girl v Epstein”. We’re not putting that all on her. It’s The United States v Epstein, which is ACTUALLY the concept behind it. Was making the victims an actual near-party wise? Wouldn’t keeping it as the public is the harmed party be better for victims? It’s us. Not just them.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54

    @J R in WV:

    with rigid patriarchal leadership

    Unfortunately, men are not alone in this. Institutional molestation is something like 80% women committing the crime. Rather than a leadership determined to cover up their actions, they benefit from an entire society that takes it for granted that rape is a crime men commit, and commit whenever possible, and that teenage boys always want sex and cannot be victims. Humans abuse power to get what they want. Humans want sex. It’s sick. Most of our major institutions are strongly male dominated, so that’s where you see systems built up to protect rapists.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    Barbara says:

    @Jager: A friend of mine explained how his adoptive father (the only father he ever knew) sexually abused him, his sister and their third adopted sibling, but not his biological children, when they were young. That his mother must have known. His father was a Protestant minister in a large local Protestant church. I was so stunned I didn’t even know what to say. His sister committed suicide. His father was never made to account for any of it so far as I know.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @RepubAnon:

    I expect many folks either refuse to believe the evidence, or are more worried about reputational harm to the organization (thus threatening their paycheck) than they care about the victims.

    I went to training on that. I am pretty sure that the impetus was a large settlement combined with increased insurance costs.
    At some point the best stewardship of the organization means confronting and stopping the molesters, rather than covering up the abuse.

    How long it takes to reach that point is the key.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: City of God has been around for a while, as has Confessions, which is more fun. I don’t see the Catholic Church ever admitting anything in its dogma, its doctrine, its history, its practices, from beginning to end that has anything to do with causation. All they’ve done is say oops you got us, and well that one thing we did that time didn’t work so erm. The structural flaws are there for all to see, but yet are to be denied, as is still the case with the orthodox, the fundies, and the cults. The trouble with a structural flaw is that it can bring the house down on people who have nothing else, ie shunning.
    Shunning is an incredibly evil and effective tool, especially among women and girls. Think about it. It’s a threat that can rise up against anyone anywhere. If you have no education, no personal resources, no family support, and you report sin done against you, you know from the outset that you risk your family life, your future, as well as having a place to live and something to eat, and salvation if that’s one of your tenets (for some it’s the only important thing). Where will you go? What will you do? For the naïve, lack of support out there in the world is more than enough to enforce silence.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Kay: I don’t know the answer to that. The cases I work on are civil not criminal. In many of them the perpetrator has already pled guilty or been convicted and defense counsel still go after them with both barrels. I agree that it’s important that justice be seen to be done and that these people don’t just get slapped on the wrist but it takes a lot of courage for victims to testify in cases like these

    ReplyReply
  59. 59

    If you haven’t seen “Spotlight,” I recommend it. I watched it for free on Amazon Prime. It’s about the Catholic church scandal in Boston.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Kay says:

    From Barr’s remarks: “I was appalled – indeed, the entire Department was – and frankly angry, to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner. “

    Donald Trump’s hack lawyer speaks! Apparently the only time he shows up for work is to protect his boss from some huge fuck up.
    We should pass the hat and hire a real attorney general. This low quality hire isn’t working yet he remains in place in his no-show job. The absolute dregs of available employees, that’s the Trump Administration. Every last one of them is an incompetent hack.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Jager says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Uh huh. Ever have their Portuguese Mussels?

    ReplyReply
  62. 62

    @Kay:

    This low quality hire isn’t working

    I would like that to be true. The more he ghosts his job rather than actively working against justice, the better.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    tokyokie says:

    If my experience with Boy Scouts is typical, and I figure it probably is, most adults’ involvement with Scouting lasts only as long as their kids are participating. My guess is the ones who are a danger are those who stay involved despite having no children, or at least none still participating with the troop. (And yes, one of my troop’s assistant scout masters fit that description, and I have long wondered about him.)

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    I think we have become fundamentally confused about the role of the victims, and I’m not sure it has helped them. It’s difficult for all victims of crime to testify but they must, because that’s how our system works. This is a crime. They are not responsible for being a victim of a crime any more than someone robbed and assaulted on the street is responsible. By putting them in this category we are telling them we don’t want to hear it, that is makes us uncomfortable, that there is shame attached to it.

    The case of the movie producer who was accused shocked me, because so many people defended him by saying “the victims don’t want him punished”. They’re not the harmed party. We all are. That’s why the cases are “The People Versus Rapist” not “Mary Smith versus rapist”. We’ve set this up so she’s alone. That’s wrong. It’s literally incorrect and what does it say to her?

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    Jager says:

    @Barbara:

    When we were kids, he always said, “My dad ran off and abandoned us.” He believed in his mother’s story for years.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Institutional molestation is something like 80% women committing the crime.

    Got a link to a source for that stat?

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    cain says:

    @Mandalay:
    Social engineering your environment is real and effective. I unconsciously do this all the time where I work and around me. You work the ropes, friendly and throw out a vibe. It captures them. Luckily, I don’t have that kind of proclivity to molest anyone. But I can understand how that works.

    (I social engineer my environment because I have anxiety issues, so it’s a defensive measure on my part as not to create triggers)

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    sherparick says:

    @Kay: See the Dr. Nasser scandal at Michigan State and U.S.A. Gymnastics. Nasser did his abuse under the cover of a “medical procedure” and such was his “authority” as a doctor, he sometimes did in the presence of parents. I believe the first complaints started in the 1990s, but he was still going strong at MSU until 2016. A reminder, “there is a Club” and if you are in it, the other Club members feel the duty of the mutual protection racket to protect you and “assume no member of the Club” would do such terrible thing, and if he or she did, it must be a terrible lapse from an otherwise exemplary life. At least during my lifetime (a lifetime approaching the 3 score and 10), America’s elite has been running away for accountability, of adopting the “Conservative Principle” as perceived by Frank Wilhoit, made on the blog “Crooked Timber:” “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” Trump by the way is this principle personified. The law protects, but does not bind him. The law protects others so long as they are “nice” to him. Hence his affection for Kim Jong and Putin, who have been “nice” to him and his distaste for American allies who have not been so “nice.”

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Mandalay says:

    Any snowflakes here who loudly and proudly refuse to click NYT links, but happily pay to see Quentin Tarantino movies might consider revising their priorities:

    An unearthed clip from a Howard Stern interview answers those questions, illustrating exactly how Tarantino thought about sexual misconduct in 2003. In the audio, Stern asks Tarantino about “this director who raped a 13-year-old.” Tarantino goes on to passionately defend Polanski, saying, “He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape… he had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violent, throwing them down—it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.” Later on, he insisted that, “She wanted to have it and dated the guy.” Even when pressed on some of the details of the incident—like Polanski giving the 13-year-old girl in question “booze and pills” before raping her—Tarantino concluded, “Look, she was down with this.”

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:

    “the victims don’t want him punished”. They’re not the harmed party. We all are. That’s why the cases are “The People Versus Rapist” not “Mary Smith versus rapist”

    That’s why defense attorneys don’t call them victims, but “complaining witnesses.”. It’s the prosecutors who work so hard to make it victim(s) against defendant. They want it to be a grudge match. The community often gets list is that effort.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    cain says:

    @Kay:
    It would not surprise me if they were involved. The entire office should have their Trumpster folks weeded out. But since we’re pretty much just going to get more Trumpers in all parts of govt we are going to be spending a long time removing them over the years. Luckily they are all old grifters.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72

    @Betty Cracker:
    I saw it a year or two ago. It was included in FBI statistics about abduction I was examining for another reason. I can’t find it now, and if that means you don’t trust the number that’s perfectly understandable.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Mandalay says:

    @cain:

    You work the ropes, friendly and throw out a vibe. It captures them.

    I can believe that. I can’t think of anyone I know who appears to like me that I dislike. But of course they may actually think I am an asshole, and they are only nice to me because they truly like Ms. Mandalay, or because they are nice to everyone, or….

    The actual reason doesn’t matter. It’s very hard not to like (and support) someone who likes you. The molesting youth soccer coach certainly knew that.

    And of course the victims themselves endure a completely different view of their molester: threats of false accusations being made by an adult against a child, false promises, guilt, fear and shame.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74

    @jonas:

    1. sex (particularly homosexuality) is taboo, 2. deference to (male) authority is paramount, and 3. people speaking out are threatened with ostracism from a tight-knit community.

    I would add sports as another area to look at. It certainly meets criterion 2), usually meets 3), and particularly with regard to homosexuality generally meets 1). And surprise, surprise, there are plenty of examples of sexual abuse in sports.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    bluehill says:

    @Kay: Barr sounds like he’s serious about continuing the investigation and I actually find that concerning. Would not be surprised if any DoJ investigation only looks at dems.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    Tata says:

    @smintheus: When I was teenager in the late seventies, two friends and I were standing in a high school hallway. One said, with an edge in her voice and referring to the other friend, “…and her dad fucks her every night.”

    “I’m so sorry,” I said and we changed the subject, because we all knew no one would do anything to stop him. Yes, we also knew teachers were sleeping with students. Everyone knew.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77

    @Mandalay:

    Molesters don’t just groom their victims; they carefully groom those around them as well.

    And, of course, they seek out positions that give them unquestioned power over the people they want to molest, ETA: which gives them a head start on both.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    Big boys and their toys.
    Whatever is cool is OK, it doesn’t have to be better or easier or safer, just cool.
    My rate in the navy was in charge of the controls, the electrical part that told operators what they were doing and what was actually happening. They were over designed, for safety and things worked well. But the ocean is a mistress that allows no errors and will bite you badly whenever you decide that you are smarter or better than it. As does most anything having to do with the military. What ever you expect will likely be wrong, whatever lab you test in will have something missing. A better way to think of it is that there are no guarantied second chances. If something can go wrong it will. If something can go wrong at the worst time, it will. And something can always go wrong.
    Planning for the best is always the worst answer to any issue that involves people and their stuff.
    Guns fit into this category easily.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Just curious about it because the number is awfully high. On the other hand, most of the work of caring for children falls on women, so…

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    Barbara says:

    @Mandalay: I am not a Tarantino fan because I just hate gratuitous violence and more than anyone he has tried to make it acceptable almost as an art form. Polanski has experienced a lot of misfortune in his life, but what he did to this girl was absolutely disgusting and it was rape, no doubt about it. Even if she had been over 18, given the use of drugs and alcohol to subdue her it might have given rise to criminal charges (though a woman in Hollywood would be loath to bring such charges). A lot of other people defended Roman Polanski using approximately the same reasoning. However, when I hear a man go all in on this kind of argument I naturally wonder whether he is making a defense of his own conduct. Not that I think that Tarantino did anything quite so awful as giving a 13 year old drugs and alcohol and then making her have anal sex when he couldn’t be sure she wasn’t at a fertile point in her cycle, but, you know, I wonder if maybe he had sex with a 17 year old actress sometime during his career.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Anotherlurker says:

    @Mandalay: Grooming is a tried and true technique used by pedophiles. When I was in catholic school, 2 of the priests used it effectively to single out and pursue targeted kids. All while being close friends with many parents in the parish.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82

    @catclub:

    At some point the best stewardship of the organization means confronting and stopping the molesters, rather than covering up the abuse.

    I think what happens in a lot of cases is that the institution tries to split the difference. They think they can protect both the kids and their reputation by moving the molesters away from potential victims but not revealing what’s happening to the public. It’s easy to fool yourself into believing this is a wise middle ground, but in practice the molesters know how to take advantage to keep finding victims.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    LanceThruster says:

    Why is it that acknowledging conspiracies is tolerated primarily when it doesn’t involve one of your own sacred cows?

    Re: Epstein, why is theorizing he was killed by foul play considered valid, but that his death may have been faked is a bridge too far?

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    smintheus says:

    @Tata: Wow, that’s disturbing. But you’re right, no adults were likely to do anything. I never bothered to tell anybody that a teacher had tried to seduce me, for the same reason.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @LanceThruster:
    Do you have reason to suspect Epstein’s death was indeed faked? If so, do share.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Jager says:

    @Anotherlurker:

    Knew a guy in New York who groomed his neighbor’s 12-year-old daughter for 2 years and then started having sex with her. It went on until she left for college. He was in his mid 30’s at the time. We only heard about it from the guy’s wife after she divorced him. I don’t know if she told the girl’s parents or not.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    They (the good people, not the creeps) must be getting something out of it that is completely invisible to me.

    I don’t think it’s invisible to them, it’s just that the are convinced that there is something better and this is the only way to get there. I think we are actually changing the ways of the world and that is always going to be a difficult thing to do.
    Try to think back a couple thousand years about what life would be like, even for those on the top of the heap. Monty Python really got it in their movies. The world was violent, it was shitty just living. Food wasn’t always available or even eatable. Disease, injuries, hell childbirth was deadly. How long has it been that medicine has had any real answers at all? How long have we had a food industry that was even half-assed forced to not kill us? How long have we had any vaccinations for widespread deadly disease? But we’ve always known how to kill for food, how to kill each other. We are only learning how not to do these things and it will be a few years before we make the same progress that we’ve done in the last 6 or 7 decades. And religion has endured for centuries as an answer to all that was wrong, that there is a better life just waiting for us after this one. The rapture has been foretold how many times over the last couple thousand years, and always is just a few days, months, years down the road. Religion isn’t a con, it’s supposed to be salvation from this shitty life. But we are figuring out how to make this shitty life a bit less so, a bit better and that removes the fallacy that religion will make up for this life. Not everyone is on the same page.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @LanceThruster: The more people you need to involve in a conspiracy, the less likely secrecy is to hold. There’s probably a mathematical law governing that. Getting somebody into a position to kill Epstein would not take many people. Smuggling him out of MCC while substituting another body that the medical examiner could cut up would take an awful lot more people, arguably an unmanageable number..

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    It’s an excellent movie. The part I watched over and over, was the scene where they talked with the guy who had done the ‘ stats’ on Church abusers and told them, when they contacted him, that their number of abusing priests was far too low. The looks on their cynical faces. They had seen it all – or so, they thought. You could tell that the guy blew their minds.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    LanceThruster says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Comparison of the head shown on the gurney and Epstein alive seem to have marked differences with the nose and ears. Reminds me a little some of the vids released purportedly of Osama bin Laden. Head to head matchups showed two different people. News outlets will run endless pieces on the controversy of the blue dress phenomenon, and will discuss Epstein through their own particular partisan lens (the bad guy is always the other side), but won’t mention Epstein’s Israel/Mossad connections, and the possible ramifications that entails.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    This is the flip side of the general attitude that men have sexual agency while women don’t. When a grown man abuses a teenage girl, we tend to treat him as the sexual aggressor and her as the passive target. There are occasional cases where people treat her as a slut who would do it with anyone, but in general we accept that the man initiated the relationship. The only reason people don’t see it as problematic is if they’re assholes who think it’s OK in general for grown men to have sex with girls. But when a grown woman abuses a teenage boy, we’re a lot more likely to assume that he was a willing and eager participant. Even people who would be outraged if the genders were reversed are prone to give it a wink and a nod and talk about him living every teenaged boy’s dream.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    Mandalay says:

    The creativity of a molester:

    The court heard how Higgins, who had recently claimed to have become a Christian, baptised boys in his bath at home.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Barbara says:

    @Tata: @smintheus: I know that conditions vary throughout school districts, but I am serious when I say that when I was in high school — late 70s — two male teachers were fired summarily because they had relationships with female students outside of school. One of the students was over 18, but still a student.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Like the unmanageable number of people involved in the crimes in the first place? Particularly those high up in the circles of power? Look at the amount of odd coincidences involved in unmasking the royals. All the intelligence services could vet the large number of pedos connected there, no? Like Jimmy what’s his name. Plus, investigations are quashed outright or ended because key evidence goes missing.

    As Conan Doyle observed, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever is left however improbable should be your focus.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Donald Trump’s hack lawyer speaks! Apparently the only time he shows up for work is to protect his boss from some huge fuck up.

    Suicide…my Black behind……

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Amir Khalid says:

    @LanceThruster:
    Seem to have?

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
  98. 98
    Chyron HR says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I realize that acknowledging basic logic is tolerated only when it doesn’t involve one of your own sacred cows, but shouldn’t somebody try explaining to Bernie that the actual reason he lost the Democratic primary last time is because he hates Democrats?

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kay: One of Billy Graham’s grandsons is a lawyer who worked for yrs for the FL atty gen department on child abuse cases. He now runs an organization which investigates protestant/Evangelical churches/schools etc.

    They were called in to investigate Bob Joned U handling of abuse cases. They were fired just before they were to deliver the report.

    This lawyer/grandson said the abuse situation in Evangelical churches was worse than that in the Catholic church.

    A few yrs ago the bloggers at thewartburgwatch.com had several post on him and his work.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Mandalay says:

    @Barbara:

    two male teachers were fired summarily because they had relationships with female students outside of school

    Times have changed. Last month a female teacher in Arizona got 20 years for having a sexual relationship with a 13 year old boy.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101

    @Roger Moore: @Kay: @Chris Fisher: You three, and others, have nailed down a good chunk of the reason why I’m philosophically anarchist. Institutions are hardwired to protect themselves, which means they’re hardwired to protect their own. Doesn’t matter whether they’re governments, corporations, or nonprofits; before too long, they become defensive about their own existence, and one of their primary purposes becomes self-sustainability.

    I’ve gone into detail before about Harvey Weinstein as a case study in this as well. Rape culture and misogyny certainly played a large part in why he got away with his crimes for so long, but another part of the reason he was able to do so is because he possessed significant power and was able to retaliate against those who reported, or attempted to report, his crimes. So numerous people who should have known better did nothing, and he was able to get away with his crimes for much longer than he would have if he’d been some nobody with no power over anyone else.

    You will never flatten hierarchies completely: some, such as teacher/student, parent/child, and so on, are necessary and maybe overall beneficial to the functioning of a free society. However, there are numerous others, most notably boss/worker, that are completely unnecessary and, to my view, destructive overall. Even the necessary hierarchies I’ve just outlined should be subject to significant degrees of scrutiny, as they too are susceptible to abuse and at least teacher positions may be magnets for abusers – and are likely to become more so if society lowers the number of unnecessary hierarchies. So New York’s new laws seem like a good step in this direction.

    But I contend that reducing the prevalence of society’s hierarchies overall is another necessary step in this direction. Despite the reputation of “anarchy” as meaning “without a government”, my primary focus is not actually on reducing the role of government in society right now; the correct etymology is “without rulers”, and many of the most influential rulers in society right now are corporate (see, again, Weinstein) or nonprofits (the Catholic Church, as others have brought up, is a perfect example).

    This is one reason I support numerous cases of governmental socialism over the short term, despite one of my eventual goals being the elimination of government wholesale. However, that could be considered my last goal, per se (which means, I suppose, that a person could also call me a libertarian communist in some respects, even though I don’t really even use the term communist to describe myself). Adam has noted before that people are likelier to support major changes such as revolutions when they’re relatively well off than they are when they’re desperate.

    So that’s where I’m at. Improve things by reducing people’s control over each other’s lives (which naturally implies improving the wellbeing of the working class). This is more or less summed up in Frank Wilhoit’s summation of anti-conservatism: The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone. If the law is an impartial arbiter, it must apply to everyone equally, and if it applies to everyone equally, then logically, it follows that no one must have control over anyone else’s life – that’s the only way for the law to both bind everyone and protect everyone.

    The other major fix I’d propose is to increase the role of nongovernmental charities in private life, but preferably the non-hierarchical ones like Occupy Sandy. Occupy Sandy hasn’t been in the news much lately, but at one point even the Fuck the Fucking New York Times acknowledged that it had been doing more efficient and more effective work than many longer-running charities, because its decentralised structure made it possible to render aid rapidly with the aid of social media and various other new technologies.

    This, to me, is a vision of the way a utopian future could look: people identify a problem and just solve it without wondering about who’s going to get compensated for it. If people just support each other when they have problems, compensation might actually become a moot point. It’s unimaginable to us right now, but the way we behave after major disasters indicates that human nature is to some extent malleable, and we can become surprisingly benevolent towards each other if the circumstances require it. (Further reading on this point: A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit; the anthropologist David Graeber has also written about how many primitive human societies featured gift economies, though some of his conclusions are apparently disputed.) It’s just that society trains us not to display this side of ourselves; instead, our species’ violence often comes out.

    I would posit that some of this has arisen as a result of our particular spin on humanism, that almost anything is justifiable if it is said to benefit “humanity”. The definition of “humanity”, first off, is quite malleable, and secondly, it excludes nature, as though we are separate from the natural world, which is obviously not the case. A result of this has been to turn our species’ violence against nature, and we have seen over the past few hundred years what the end result of this has been: the devastation of our natural environment at a pace that, we are now learning, has far outstripped what even most scientists expected it to have been. Media critics such as Noam Chomsky (a fellow anarchist and a major influence on my thought, though I haven’t read him as much lately) have been warning that this has been a possible outcome of our destruction of natural resources for decades, to no avail.

    So I feel as though we need to revise our whole conception of the world. The idea of hierarchy needs to go, and this starts with the hierarchy of humanity over the natural world and goes all the way down from there. The idea of humans controlling other humans is fundamentally toxic. There are a few cases where it’s necessary to keep those without consciences away from the rest of everyone else, for the good of everyone else – and that almost certainly includes all the paedophiles in the Catholic Church and elsewhere. There are numerous proposals for how an anarchist society might handle law enforcement, and I’ve already written enough, so I’ll abstain from following this thread further. However, apart from those few cases, the only necessary hierarchies in society are based on knowledge, such as the roles I outlined above (you might also add trainer/trainee for work positions if you don’t feel that simply falls under teacher/student), and even those roles should be scrutinised for potential abuses.

    Do I expect to live to see this? No. Do I expect society to ever truly run this way? Also no. Is it still a goal worth working towards? I would contend yes. It’s possible some folks will feel my proposals take things too far, which is fine – however, I would contend that the Overton window is pushed so far in the direction of authoritarianism and right-wing economics that the mere existence of proposals such as mine helps to push the balance of society back in the right direction, and thus their existence is still a net good for society.

    Is this sufficient to fix the sexual abuses in society? Unfortunately, no. But as others in this comment chain have observed, a lot of abusers have been able to get away with their abuses because of their positions of authority, from sports to religion to education. Indeed, the very nature of positions of authority means that abusers seem unusually drawn to them. So the unnecessary ones should simply be eliminated as much as possible and the necessary ones heavily scrutinised – the whole nature of the system should become as transparent as possible.

    This still will not be sufficient: society’s attitudes towards survivors, towards women, towards children, towards queer people, and numerous others needs to change, too. To some extent, I somewhat doubt you will ever fully eliminate sexual abuse in society, simply because some portion of people will always be sociopaths and will always completely disregard the wishes of others. But we can make it much easier for victims to come forward and to get justice for their crimes, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to reduce the ability of their abusers to retaliate against them as much as we can. The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone.

    …as an aside, I’ve turned 36. I’m starting to feel old a little bit; I was able to run for president last year (not that I would have), and now I’m no longer in advertisers’ key demographic! Feels a bit surreal.

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    LanceThruster says:

    At first it looked like the ears were way off, but that could be differences in lighting. I’ve seen side by side shots that look entirely different, and those where it is less pronounced, but still not a perfect match regardless. Also, the body shown has a rounded nose, where pics of him alive show a straight one.

    Sure would be nice for those concerned to spirit him away to see if he had evidence setup with a dead man’s switch. Kind of a Gitmo for those that threaten the powerful. There’s unconfirmed reports that Barr made a secret visit prior to his death being announced.

    Wouldn’t it be rich if Clinton connections were uncovered, but Trump ones buried? The feeling I get from many in here would be that if someone like a Julian Assange exposed Clinton crimes, the cry would be tu couque? It does a disservice to all the victims to insist that veracity is denied regarding those on their team.

    These sort of crimes are truly bipartisan. Might be some of the few instances the perps are willing to work together.

    As far as would we ever know, I feel it would be like that Godfather scene with Sen. Geary where he changed his vote on approving a casino because of that whole dead hooker cover up Michael Corleone help facilitate.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @jonas:

    Bit of advice to reporters and investigators: start with the most sex- and homophobic institutions and work up from there.

    Republican National Committee.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    Heads will roll. Our heads, not theirs.

    I object.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LanceThruster: At last, you get to the point. I wondered how long it would take.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV: Use of the term master in schools isn’t anywhere near as nefariousness as you seem to suggest. In medieval universities, the advanced degree offered was either masters or a doctorate. The name of the degree didn’t matter at the time; they were both effectively a license to teach. The masters at a school were the teachers. A headmaster was the teacher in charge.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chyron HR:

    One of the things that came out later but was certainly addressed in the Wikileaks emails was shaping the narrative in the press. Ed Schultz was ordered by the head guy for MSNBC *not* to cover Bernie’s announcing his run. Got let go because of it (much like how Phil Donahue and Jesse Ventura were not allowed to give an anti-war perspective on Iraq).

    Maybe this doesn’t trouble you. But Bernie was running in the Democratic primary and was appealing to voters on issues that have now been incorporated by many in the current field. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz stepped down for having her thumb on the scale, yet was still rewarded with a plum position in the Clinton campaign. She had her own shenanigans with her run against Tim Canova, and that one election lady (Brenda?) illegally destroyed ballots. I’ve been here long enough to know if it were Bush/Cheney pulling this crap, you’d all be rightfully suspicious and outraged, but one of your own and you turn a blind eye.

    *Just* like what you’re all complaining about as far as those turning a blind eye to pedos in their midst.

    More of the same dynamic.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    LanceThruster says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    When you get gang tackled and/or banned as often as I have here, you tend to put the points out there you want to make as best you can.

    I try to address each and every person who replies, and still get a wrath of shit for it. You may not like it, or disagree, but I don’t run from *any* of you.

    You choose the ban hammer as often as the pie filter for the most part.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LanceThruster: What the fuck are you babbling about? I’ve banned exactly ONE person the entire six years or so I’ve been posting at this joint, and it wasn’t your silly, trifling ass. And I never use the pie filter.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    @LanceThruster:

    As far as would we ever know, I feel it would be like that Godfather scene with Sen. Geary where he changed his vote on approving a casino because of that whole dead hooker cover up Michael Corleone help facilitate.

    I really don’t care about the Epstein mess. Trump killed him or had him killed. Let’s move on.

    I didn’t care for this scene in Godfather 2. One of the few missteps in a great film. It simply repeated an idea from the first film and ramped it up more than necessary.

    ETA. On the main topic here, I just hope some people can get some justice.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Matt says:

    @Ruckus:

    Religion isn’t a con, it’s supposed to be salvation from this shitty life.

    You’ve got that the wrong way around: it *is* a con, and the salvation is the McGuffin.

    It’s been around for thousands of years because it’s an EFFECTIVE con; look at something like Notre Dame to see how effective it can be at telling people “ignore your suffering now and pay to cover this church in gold while your children starve!”

    We’re rapidly approaching a decision point: either we discard religion and deal with reality, or we embrace religion and die from climate change. I’m not positive about our chances.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    LanceThruster says:

    I’ve spoken with John on Facebook PM, about it being frustrating to see all the smack talk that goes on *after* I’ve been prevented from commenting any further on a particular thread. The word I used was “gutless.”

    I also told him that I like coming hete, not to troll, but that I find it helps me sharpen my own arguments putting them forth in the arena of ideas in front of what I consider some very sharp people.

    He said I get booted for being an insufferable asshole, though others her at least acknowledge I have not broken the rules of the blog. While that may be true, there’s as much Bernie Derangement Syndrome in play as there is Clinton Derangement Syndrome by others.

    My prediction she would crash and burn prior to Nov 2016 is no different from those who predicted Epstein would die in prison.

    I think if Bernie gets the nomination, many of you would jettison your “Blue no matter who” mantra because it might truly expose just how epically wrong you were regarding 2016.

    In an earlier thread I could no longer comment in, it was said Bernie was tanking in Iowa, but it is my understanding, he had the largest rally in Iowa history (and that’s not Trump “bigly” numbers but verifiable).

    I think will Bernie as the nominee (provided he’s not cheated again), and in his trouncing of Cheetolini, will help races all down the ballot.

    You may see if differently, but then many of you made the “hold your nose” argument for Clinton while at the same time gushing about her “electability.”

    Biden would be more of the same.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt:

    We’re rapidly approaching a decision point: either we discard religion and deal with reality, or we embrace religion and die from climate change

    I wasn’t expecting that connection. I mean, I’m God’s little atheist, but I don’t think that religion is the main culprit keeping us from dealing with climate change.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    LanceThruster says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I was participating in a thread earlier, and then could no longer post.

    Didn’t single out you specifically, so cool your jets.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    but I don’t think that religion is the main culprit keeping us from dealing with climate change.

    Most of the powerful people in opposition are white conservative Christians.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    LanceThruster says:

    @Brachiator:

    The machinations of DC is on topic. I feel AIPAC uses both the stick and carrot. I feel many pols have practices that make them vulnerable to blackmail. I have no idea if some of Denny Hastert’s actions involved that, but I have no doubt if someone did have dirt on him, that it would be used to their advantage. Certainly attempts would be made.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Betty Cracker: It DID take him awhile to get around to “But we know the Clinton’s secretly did it, and you’re all hypocrites if a known liar and russian tool like Assange revealed it and you wanted to disregard it. You’re the REAL monsters!”

    A slow burn, I guess.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    trnc says:

    The one-year litigation window for past claims now barred by the statute of limitations has been the sticking point, with large private institutions such as the Catholic Church warning that it could cause catastrophic financial harm to any organization that cares for children.

    No, Father, it could cause catastrophic financial harm to any organization that apparently does NOT care for children.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Barbara: I will accept there is a huge difference between statutory rape and sexual assault. But then we got see how Hollywood defines “consent” with Harvey Weinstein so you ask me Polanski is a rapist, the most brutal terms.

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Most of the powerful people in opposition are white conservative Christians.

    Matt’s argument seems to be that all religion is the root of some evil, as well as an obstacle in dealing with climate change. I think this is a bit overstated.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    Aziz, light! says:

    @LanceThruster: Delusion is a helluva drug.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @LanceThruster: Maintaining a conspiracy of more-or-less-equally guilty people is probably a lot easier than maintaining a conspiracy of random employees of various governmental agencies. All it takes is one janitor or someone who just happens to be in the right place at the right time to witness something in which they have no vested interest, and you’re toast. It would take a *lot* of random people to stay in line to get a fake dead guy out of MCC, through the coroner’s office and off to no-extradition-land. And killing all the witnesses only happens in the movies.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Barbara says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: The girl Polanski raped testified that she told him no more than once but was drunk and drugged and not capable of resisting when he refused to stop. The hardest thing about continuing the prosecution without harming her was that even at 13, she had already had sex with at least one other person. She did not wait to complain. She told her mother immediately what happened and police were called. I read the entire grand jury transcript. I hate it when people opine without having delved deep into the awfulness of what they would like to excuse or overlook.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124

    @TenguPhule:

    Most of the powerful people in opposition are white conservative Christians.

    Yes, but the great majority of those belong to a specific cult that was created to validate racism. Needless to say, that flourished in America. Most of their less religious allies are angry that liberals try to help women and minorities. Most non-evangelical religions, including branches of Christianity, are pro-environment, although at varying levels. The American Catholic Church leadership is out of sync with both most of its followers and the rest of the world’s Catholicism on this. Like everything else in America, racism is the actual reason we can’t have nice things.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LanceThruster: You* should really stop blowing goats.

    *Even though I typed “you” in a response to your comment, you shouldn’t assume I’m suggesting you performed fellatio on a barnyard animal. Cool yer jets, man.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    LanceThruster says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    You misrepresent my postion if you think I’m in the blame the Clintons camp. I think both sides (yes, that term) making the case that it must have been the side they hate is part of the problem. This threatened any number of the elite. For the record, Clinton’s, “I never flew with Epstein to have sex with hot young women,” Dershowitz’s, “I kept my underwear on,” and Trump’s, “I barely know the guy,” all ring hollow to me. That Maxwell madame lady was at Chelsea’s wedding after Epstein had already been convicted, if I’m not mistaken. Lots of comics talked about Cosby’s practices being an open secret. Is it so unreasonable to think the same about Epstein and his circle?

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    trnc says:

    @Mandalay:

    Any snowflakes here who loudly and proudly refuse to click NYT links, but happily pay to see Quentin Tarantino movies might consider revising their priorities:

    An unearthed clip from a Howard Stern interview answers those questions, illustrating exactly how Tarantino thought about sexual misconduct in 2003. In the audio, Stern asks Tarantino about “this director who raped a 13-year-old.” Tarantino goes on to passionately defend Polanski, saying, “He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape… he had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violent, throwing them down—it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.” Later on, he insisted that, “She wanted to have it and dated the guy.” Even when pressed on some of the details of the incident—like Polanski giving the 13-year-old girl in question “booze and pills” before raping her—Tarantino concluded, “Look, she was down with this.”

    Sadly, I saw his latest movie without knowing this, but I regretted seeing the movie anyway because it sucked. At any rate, RP’s victim apparently testified that she did not consent, so Quentin is disregarding her testimony. Also, I would point out to Quentin that if you have to ask the girl’s mother’s permission to do a photoshoot, that girl’s consent to sex wouldn’t really mean anything even if she had given it.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    LanceThruster says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    “You” as in the BJ collective, but my error if my wording was not clear. My intent was not to single you out. I never know where it comes from. All I ever see is the people calling for it, or people I think are mods threatening it.

    When I first complained to John about an earlier ban, he said it wasn’t him, he released my account, and said if it happened again, to just create a new handle. I declined. Like I said, I’ll go toe to toe with any of you. When I’m shown to be in error on any given point, I learn something.

    Can’t say the same for many of you.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @LanceThruster: Regarding the Clintons and Epstein? Yeah, actually.

    Bill’s never been hinted at having any kind of relations (let alone even a preference) for underage women. Likewise, given the absolutely bonkers amount of shit that gets slung at them, even ONE credible accusation against Bill re: Epstein would go a long way here. Clinton has also been investigated by practically every Republican and media organization in existence for over 30 years – if there was anything, they’d have found it by now.

    Are there some Democrats that were involved with Epstein? Sure. Cy Vance for one. But it’s super telling that you go straight to the Clintons AGAIN, just like you do in every thread.

    This is very much at odds with Cosby, and the fact that you think it DOES really says more about your character than anything else.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt: Using the term papist is usually a bit of a tell.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Kay says:

    @LanceThruster:

    (provided he’s not cheated again)

    Oh, God. Always withholding the opportunity to assert that he was “cheated” instead of losing the primary.

    Literally no other candidate in the Dem field does this. Only Bernie. Why is he special? Why is it impossible for Bernie to lose a primary? He’s done it before! Just get it over with. Admit it’s Bernie or Bust. You won’t do that because you want to keep the leverage of pretending to consider any non-Bernie who wins the primary, but why should you have leverage? You’re not voting for anyone but Bernie anyway.

    I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll admit Clinton lost the general (I already have) when and if Bernie supporters admit Bernie lost the primary.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    LanceThruster says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    If Jason Bourne movies have taught me anything (and they have lol), where there’s a will, there’s a way. So many damn anomalies. Epstein sharing a cell, failed “suicide” attempt, taken off suicide watch list, overworked guard(s), security camera malfunction… etc., etc., etc. News coverage speaks of some things as fact without any confirmation, and also limiting their speculation to within what would seem an approved spectrum. In court, a witness shown to be lying about one thing usually creates a reason not to believe many of their other assertions. The people/institutions who fucked up protecting Epstein are largely the same ones running the investigation. I was less that reassured listening to Barr insist he and his department would get to the bottom of things.

    Expect a patsy to be thrown under the bus. I do.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    Kay says:

    There are about 20 candidates in the D primary. What if all of those candidates insisted the only way they could lose the primary is if they are “cheated”?

    Like Bernie Sanders and his supporters do? And will do again. Odd how there’s only one candidate who relies on this escape hatch to explain a loss.

    ReplyReply
  134. 134

    @TenguPhule: I mean, yes, but the problem is “conservative”, not “Christian”, unless you think these folks aren’t Christians. And that’s the same sort of No True Scotsman argument that right-wing “Christians” like to use against left-wing Christians.

    I think it’s worth throwing the tactic against them, by the way. I consistently use scare quotes for both these words because the people they are usually used to describe are really neither Christian nor particularly conservative, at least not in a form either Jesus Christ or Edmund Burke would have recognised. Frank Wilhoit’s widely cited definition of conservatism certainly applies to them, but Burke’s form was quite a bit different in that it also involved a scepticism of change and of ideology itself.

    A large part of the reason Burke developed his line of thinking was that he was appalled at the excesses of the Reign of Terror on principle. If the modern right were to be appalled at the Reign of Terror or the French Revolution more generally, it would mainly be because some of their casualties were former aristocrats. (And some, such as Marie Antoinette, certainly did not deserve their fate; despite her reputation, Antoinette almost certainly never actually said “Let them eat cake” and was in fact quite charitable.)

    As a fellow atheist/agnostic who has actually read the New Testament, modern right-wing “Christians” also have nothing to do with the actual teachings of Jesus Christ, either. This is the actual Jesus, from Matthew 25 (KJV), at one of his more fire-and-brimstone moments:

    31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    The sign I linked is, of course, a paraphrase of this passage. This, to me, is the essence of actual Christianity: salvation is attained through helping the sick, the poor, the hungry, the disabled, and others unable to care for themselves. I’m not entirely sure I care for the idea of an “everlasting fire”, even for the likes of Dump, but even if we allow that such a thing were to exist in the afterlife, these folks have completely missed the message of Christ, as they have so much else.

    I propose that we stop allowing them to even claim the mantles of Christianity and conservatism for themselves, hence my consistent usage of scare quotes for both these terms in these contexts. Although I am not a Burkean conservative, I think Burke’s philosophy has much to offer the world; and although I am not a Christian, I think Jesus’ philosophy also has much to offer the world. I disagree on many points of both philosophies, but I am sick of seeing them misrepresented in modern American society. (Wilhoitian conservatism, on the other hand, just needs to be completely defeated.)

    (…also, an alternative is to call these right-wing “Christians” goats, which is one of the gravest insults you can call a True Believer in Christianity. However, this is an esoteric usage that outsiders won’t understand without further explanation, though I suppose if we’re doing this online, we can just link the passage from Matthew 25.)

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    Kay says:

    @LanceThruster:

    And Lance? You attacked Clinton for not conceding immediately. You attributed this to her arrogance and lack of planning.

    Tell me- how long did it take Bernie Sanders to admit he lost the primary? He STILL hasn’t fucking done it. He planted this bullshit asterick by his loss because his giant fucking ego wouldn’t allow to tell him his screaming fans he lost.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    And killing all the witnesses only happens in the movies.

    Unfortunately we have a whole bunch of people running around in the federal government who think movies are real.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    Kay says:

    If the Democrat wins in 2020 there will be two people screaming “rigged!”

    Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Oh, and possibly Tulsi Gabbard. She may start screaming that in September. Obviously she’s entitled to be in the top five, but for the Establishment/Deep State/Demonrat Party.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    LanceThruster says:

    @Kay:

    I have no doubt Bernie will only lose the nom if cheated *again*. The cheating was run like an embezzlement operation. Steal from the till, loading dock, forged checks, fake employees, petty cash, accounting errors, etc.

    Let me ask you this. If Clinton truly felt it was the strength of her ideas and platform, why wouldn’t she take every opportunity to get that message in front of the public in debates against Bernie? She wanted more when running against Obama.

    Instead, Team Hillary uses maneuvers like coaches do when running out the clock. That may be fine for sportsball, but shouldn’t picking the future leader of the nation operate differently? Bernie tackles any challengers, and goes directly into the lion’s den on a regular basis. Clinton would actually lose support the more she campaigned, even in her Senate victory.

    Campaigns consider any number of factors in choosing a VP running mate, but too many of those here ignored the warning signs with Clinton, whether the electorate’s perception of her was fair or not. In the general, she polled a virtual tie with Trump. Bernie had him beat by 5-10 points.

    I hope the Democratic Establishment listens this time, or they’re in for a rude awakening yet again. From my perspective, it seems they’d rather lose with a corporate centrist, than win with a true progressive.

    We shall see.

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    NY Robbin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    “But when a grown woman abuses a teenage boy, we’re a lot more likely to assume that he was a willing and eager participant. Even people who would be outraged if the genders were reversed are prone to give it a wink and a nod and talk about him living every teenaged boy’s dream.”

    The flashbacks from Bob Fosse’s childhood working with strippers in Fosse/Verdon really highlight that. Even Fosse couldn’t admit he was victimized.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    LanceThruster says:

    @Kay:

    Have you seen some of the BS the MSM has already thrown at Gabbard?

    And how about Harris’, “I’m top tier so I won’t lower myself to give a shit about responding to her.” What sort of pathetic, deluded bullshit is that?!?

    Fuck no, I won’t vote for Harris. She’s the fucking reason fucking Steve Mnuchin is Treasurer and not in the grey bar hotel for fuck’s sake.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    Kay says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I have no doubt Bernie will only lose the nom if cheated *again*

    Well, then what’s the point, Lance? Your only role is to berate these people every day because Clinton lost and in your imaginary counterfactual Bernie won not just the primary but also the general?

    It’s a fucking fantasy. How can anyone argue with it? Thanks for the heads up, though. Good to know Bernie Sanders will once again be insisting he lost because it’s rigged. You don’t want supporters. You want to take hostages. Issue threats. Fuck that. The nasty little authoritarians on the Left are not a good replacement for the nasty little authoritarians on the Right.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @LanceThruster: Man, if only some actual evidence of this incredibly wide ranging conspiracy involving thousands of people had any evidence or even any former conspirators speaking out. That would really be something.

    Instead, we have literal dumps of internal communications where someone suggests they dont like Bernie and the people in charge lay into them for any suggestion that the DNC put their thumb on the scale.

    Likewise, this whole “Bernie is being cheated AGAIN” thing is incredibly stupid. He’s in third nationally at best. And doing significantly worse in every state than he did in 2016. The answer here is not “look, it’s another giant hidden conspiracy that has no supporting evidence!” it’s “Bernie isnt that popular and people like his opponents more.” Just like they did.

    Also, your other points are seriously weak sauce. You’re trying to say that Hillary cheated by… being strategic in the debates? Man, it’s great that this is literally the worst thing that anyone could ever do and the Republican candidate would have been much nicer.

    If anything, when John called you an unsufferable asshole he was being nice. Should a tacked another 5 or so adjectives onto that one.

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    Miss Bianca says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    my guess, and it is only a guess, is that that view started changing about the time that our views on child labor were changing, but I so easily could be dead wrong about that

    It would certainly be a hypothesis to start from. I read a quote somewhere that children came to be seen in Western industrialized societies as “economically worthless but emotionally priceless.” In other words, there came a time in our history, probably around the time that child labor laws began to be passed – which was also, I think, around the time that immunization rates, and other public health crusades like sanitation, family planning, etc. all came into play as well – when children’s value in the family structure became primarily emotional, rather than from their economic and dynastic potential.

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    David Evans says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Most of the powerful people in opposition are white conservative Christians.

    That’s because most of the powerful people in the US are white conservative Christians. China, a state which regards all religions with suspicion, is emitting more CO2 than any other country.

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    LanceThruster says:

    @Kay:

    Clinton took her campaign right up to the end against Obama. Superdelates in one state that Bernie won every single county in voted for Clinton. You guys sure throw a lot of hate against a guy that actually campaigned for her. I was hoping he’d take Jill Stein’s offer to head the Green Party ticket, but understand why he didn’t. That was epic on Stein’s part. I also love Dr. Cornel West for not compromising his own values to support Hillary. Not all heroes wear capes.

    Trump’s on you guys. I don’t hate saying I told you so, sooo… I told you so!

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: God, I don’t know how you can stand it! The actual voting in the nomination process has not even begun and the “Bernie Wuz Robbed!” crowd are already preparing to lose. Gosh, do you think the polls are rigged? I’ll laugh if he wins a few primaries but loses the caucus states and they run around screaming that caucuses are against democracy. This is why I drink a lot more now than I used to.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    LanceThruster says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    Why did Donna Brazille feel the need to slip Hillary debate questions? Why didn’t Clinton refuse and come clean?

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Barbara: It has to be a performance art piece. This amount of entitlement, delusion and wide-eyed dickishness is kind of amazing.

    I’m particularly impressed with his “I love Cornel West and Stein for sabotaging Hillary during the general” after several pages of repeated whines about how we’re all directly to blame for Trump. And then he follows it up immediately with another “Trump is on you guys”.

    It’s so stupid and self-owning it’s kind of like watching Trump talk, plus or minus some spittle. Less racism, though. At least he’s got that going for him.

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    Kay says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Of course you won’t. You’re voting for Bernie Sanders. You already told us that. Because he cannot lose unless he’s cheated. Cannot.

    If Bernie Sanders wants to beat Joe Biden why doesn’t he DO THAT instead of making up preemptive excuses for losing?

    If he’s so fucking great he should beat Biden in a walk. Unless the Demonrats stop him! With their secret plots where they order AA voters to vote for Clinton, um, Biden, um, Harris. You’re really going to play this same tired excuse again? Why is Bernie Sanders the only candidate in US history who cannot lose fairly? I mean, Jesus Christ. This is megalomania. Why is he such a weakling that he surrounds himself with people who traffic in this aggrieved resentment every time anyone brings up that he’s LOST support since his last race?

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    LanceThruster says:

    @Barbara:

    Not saying that at all. But some of the same skeevy things that happened before are happening again. Steve Kornacki was analyzing poll results saying that Bernie was down, when they’re own goddamn numbers on the screen showed no such thing. WTF is that?!? If a few dopey memes in a Russian FB ad buys can swing the public’s perception, what about a mainstream news outlet trying to shape the narrative with outright lies?

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @LanceThruster: Why did Brazile tell Hillary’s campaign there would be a question about Flint’s water supply at the Flint conference and that there would be a question about her capital punishment policy, to which her adviser literally replied “We know that’ll be asked because our answer is weak and we’re working on it”? Because both of those were obvious questions and it’s not even known that Hillary actually knew about them herself?

    It’s like telling someone that there’s going to be a test on swimming during your lifeguard certification. Uh oh, better report your source for cheating! The ENTIRE race was clearly thrown by it.

    Try again. Take your head out of your ass first, though.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    TenguPhule says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Have you seen some of the BS the MSM has already thrown at Gabbard?

    Dude, Tulsi lives here (and by here I mean a couple islands away, but still in the same state) and she’s not wanted except by the authoritarian fringe. She only ran as a Democrat because Republicans have been hunted into near extinction here.

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Since it’s now 2019 and more details of Polanski’s crime are available, I would be interested in asking Tarantino that same question today and see if his answer is the same. 15 years is a pretty long time to assume that someone’s views have not changed.

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @LanceThruster: Citation needed. If this is the thing I think it is, it’s as full of shit as you are. Thanks!

    Bonus points for categorizing broad, years long russian intelligence operations as “a few dopey memes”, too. Oh look, you’re a russian apologist too… who also avoids the fact that the Russian were also actively working to get Bernie elected. Huh.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155

    @MisterForkbeard: I already pied the moron (I got enough of his shtick at LGM to last me a lifetime during the 2016 cycle), but what he doesn’t appear to understand is that this sort of behaviour on his part isn’t actually helping Sanders’ cause, and it’s probably a reason Warren is now consistently polling above him. (Another part, of course, is that Warren is simply a much better candidate: she’s more accomplished politically, has better instincts, has far more substance to her proposals, and is a much more effective communicator.)

    Of course, that’s assuming dudebro is a Sanders supporter and isn’t just a paid Russian troll. I’m not gonna throw that accusation against everyone I disagree with – I’ve had plenty of disagreements over various issues throughout the years here with folks like Omnes, Brachiator, eemom, and others, but I’d never accuse them of being paid trolls, because they seem like they’re disagreeing in good faith. When there’s a pattern of bad faith argumentation, and a commenter only shows up to political blogs during election seasons to derail threads into arguments about Sanders, though, you have to wonder. The guy’s comments almost read like a parody of a Sanders dead-ender at times.

    At some point, you have to conclude there’s no benefit to discussing things with commenters who never engage in good faith and just move on. I wish sites would be more aggressive about using the banhammer in such cases, but since that’s not happening here, I can improve my experience of the place by just using the pie filter. (I do wish you could set an option to see replies without having to click each one, though. Those are sometimes entertaining!)

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    LanceThruster says:

    @Kay:

    No excuses to make, not yet at least. Not a single vote has been cast. But people are wise to the shenanigans that were denied last time. Even the shit the DNC pulled at the nominating convention showed the level they’d sink to. Little has changed

    Joe Biden’s support is a mile wide and an inch deep. And he’s doing plenty to self destruct. I like that my candidate relies on the contributions of the voters themselves, and not corporate donations. Tulsi too. I love that she stepped down from the DNC upon seeing the bullshit they were pulling. You see the nastigram they wrote her after that?

    Essentially, “You’ll never work in this town again!!” Fuck that, and fuck them. With rusty farm implements.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    LanceThruster says:

    @TenguPhule:

    She’s hated for calling out warmingering and US imperialism. A good number of the Dem centrists running should run as Republicans.

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @David Evans:

    China, a state which regards all religions with suspicion, is emitting more CO2 than any other country.

    Anyone with a functional bullshit-o-meter should be suspicious of religion.

    China is actively working to clean up their act. The US, not so much.

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne: She was 13 FFS. The relevant details were known at the time. The interviewer specifically asked whether he thought feeding her drugs and alcohol made the situation different from your “innocent” statutory rape scenario (which, in my view, is not a 30+ year old man having sex with a 13 year old but is more like a 19 year old boy having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend). Nope, nope, nope, it mattered not one bit according to QT. Even Whoopi Goldberg, who said it wasn’t “rape rape” allowed that it was nonetheless wrong.

    ReplyReply
  160. 160
    Yutsano says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): There is one other point regarding Warren that also needs mentioning. She’s just so much WARMER than Sanders. She’s not angry, jabbing fingers, wild white hair unkempt. She’s pushing envelopes but doing it from a position where she’s actually on the inside. It’s little wonder she’s doing better than him.

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Barbara: Polanski was 43 when he raped Samantha Geimer.

    ReplyReply
  162. 162
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I can’t believe you’re even bothering to give a reasoned response to an irrational dipshit. He’s not worth the compliment of rational opposition.

    ReplyReply
  163. 163
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Yeah, I getcha. Most of the time I just ignore this chucklehead, but sometimes his arguments are just so persistently stupid that I feel obliged to step in. I don’t really know why – he’s sort of the definition of bad faith argumentation.

    I don’t pie people on general principle, though perhaps I should.

    ReplyReply
  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Clinton took her campaign right up to the end against Obama.

    [citation needed]

    But I sure look forward to you telling us all to ignore our lying eyes when it came to Bernie’s behavior at the 2016 DNC. He wasn’t really sulking! He totally didn’t encourage “his” delegates to boo and heckle every speaker who wasn’t him! It was all faked by the DNC!

    ReplyReply
  165. 165
    J R in WV says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    @J R in WV:

    with rigid patriarchal leadership

    Unfortunately, men are not alone in this. Institutional molestation is something like 80% women committing the crime…

    Educational post — I didn’t know this. But we do see women teachers being convicted of abuse of young boys now, so …

    Also, I meant rigid heirarchical — though most of the religious cults (LDS, Hasidim, Catholics, BSA, etc.) are totally patriarchal…

    ETA fix html

    ReplyReply
  166. 166
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: In general, I think it’s unfair when people blame candidates for the behavior of their most obnoxious supporters. Harris has some super-obnoxious boosters on Twitter who gratuitously slam other candidates, but it’s easy not to blame Harris for their counterproductive behavior because SHE doesn’t act like that. Sanders hired some of the worst crybabies from 2016 to work for his current campaign. Presumably, he did that knowing he’d have to increase his number of primary voters to win the primary. Weird that it doesn’t seem to be working out for him!

    ReplyReply
  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    Not all of that information (other than her age) was easily accessible in 2003. I would be genuinely interested to know if Tarantino’s views have changed in the last 15 years, particularly since his mentor Harvey Weinstein was exposed.

    It just seems weird to take a guy over the coals for something he said 15 years ago without asking him if he’s changed his mind since then.

    And, yes, I have read as much of the original victim’s statement as I could bear. It was goddamned RAPE rape, not “just” statutory rape, even in the 1970s.

    ReplyReply
  168. 168
    Mnemosyne says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    It is somewhat intriguing that he shows up to disrupt a thread about possible institutional pedophilia just when we’re discussing specific institutions, isn’t it? 🤔

    ReplyReply
  169. 169
    J R in WV says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Re: Epstein, why is theorizing he was killed by foul play considered valid, but that his death may have been faked is a bridge too far?

    Because there’s an autopsy, and I suspect the coroner will be doing DNA samples. How many members do you think are in on the conspiracy? Everyone in law enforcement? Little slender grey aliens helping?

    ReplyReply
  170. 170
  171. 171
  172. 172
    Citizen Alan says:

    @LanceThruster:

    You love saying “I told you so.” I imagine you right now jerking off like a bonobo chimp while you type “I told you so.” Cretins like you are why I literally pray for the death of Bernie Sanders.

    ReplyReply
  173. 173
    J R in WV says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I think will Bernie as the nominee (provided he’s not cheated again), and in his trouncing of Cheetolini, will help races all down the ballot.

    How did Bernie get cheated? By millions of people refusing to vote for him>? Now he’s forth in a long list, and sinking fast, which is as it should be. He isn’t a Democrat, is proud not to be a Democrat, and should never be a Democratic nominee for anything, because he isn’t a Democrat..

    Also because he’s the left wing Russian tool, just like Donald is the right wing Russian tool.

    ReplyReply
  174. 174

    @Mnemosyne: Quite telling, for sure. It’s as though he has a specific purpose for being here…

    I hadn’t really addressed the Tarantino subthread yet, so now I think I will. His comments were obviously really, really bad, but I think not merely have more facts about Polanski become widely known, but society’s attitudes towards sexual assault have, for the most part, improved substantially. This is not to say that we don’t still have a tremendous problem with rape culture in this society – we obviously do. I’ve already mentioned that several times in this exact comment thread, and as far as we’ve gone, we still need to go dozens of times further. But nonetheless, society has made tremendous leaps in awareness just in the last few years.

    Spoiler warning for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill for the rest of this post.

    You can say a lot of things about Tarantino’s films, but one thing they absolutely do not glorify is rape. Rapists, in fact, are the only criminals who, to my awareness, never escape some form of justice or retribution in his films. Pulp Fiction was relatively ahead of time in depicting the rape of Marsellus Wallace by other men as a completely heinous crime, not playing it for any sort of humour or titillation. When the Bride is raped during her coma, the heinousness of this is also not downplayed in the slightest, and if memory serves, the first thing she does is take retribution upon those responsible. (I think it may be literally the first thing – I think she may literally take revenge upon someone raping her right after she wakes up. The others, to my recollection, are subject to her vengeance soon afterwards.)

    So there’s quite a cognitive dissonance at work in Tarantino’s answer. According to TV Tropes, he’s already apologised for it and recanted it in the wake of #MeToo, though I wasn’t able to find a link. It’s not as if this is the only thing he’s had to apologise for in the current era, either; he’s also had to apologise to Uma Thurman over the dangerous driving scene he pressured her to film in Kill Bill that caused her to sustain some fairly significant injuries, not to mention his prior association with the Weinstein Company.

    I don’t think we should downplay the significance of any of those shortcomings on his fault, but neither should we necessarily overstate them. Thurman, for her part, seems to have accepted his apology, and there’s no evidence that he, personally, is a sexual abuser. The evidence from his films suggests quite the reverse, that he loathes sexual abuse. This is not to say that he is anywhere close to a faultless human being, and we shouldn’t engage in any sort of hero worship because he’s made some superb, groundbreaking films. On the whole, I think the whole concept of hero worship is faulty, anyhow. Indeed, I suspect there may be a fair deal of hero worship involved in Tarantino’s answer that may have inclined him to downplay Polanski’s crimes, so we certainly shouldn’t get caught in the same trap with Tarantino himself.

    I also think it may be something of a misreading to say that Tarantino’s films glorify violence. We should not fall into the trap of thinking that because a work of fiction depicts a certain action, it is necessarily glorifying that action. Kill Bill may be a tale of revenge, but it also depicts quite clearly how quickly vengeance can become cyclical: the Bride kills Vernita in front of her daughter Nikki (without realising that Nikki was there), and she herself admits that someday Nikki will probably want revenge against her. Tarantino actually toyed with the idea of making a sequel film around this concept, but ultimately dropped it.

    Similarly, the violence in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is so severe that it ends up being at first cringeworthy, then ultimately becomes comedic (if you have a taste for black comedy, anyhow). But to some extent, it can be read as an indictment of the audience: “You didn’t want to see Sharon Tate get murdered; you wanted to see vengeance against the Manson Family. Well, here’s what that vengeance might actually look like. What does it say about film audiences that they find this sort of thing entertaining?” I’m not sure that this was necessarily Tarantino’s intention, but his movies are often as much about movies as they are about the real world (Inglourious Basterds, which I still haven’t seen, is often taken to be the best example of this). His scripts are complex and often open to multiple interpretations.

    One interpretation of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that I wish I’d read before I watched it is that it is a commentary on stochastic terrorism, how a particularly virulent leader may inspire followers to acts of violence without participating in acts of violence themselves. Manson, who doesn’t actually have a single line of dialogue in the film, stands in as a silent analogue to the current president*. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but if so, the similarities are striking and the timing of the film’s release seems particularly appropriate.

    I think it’s fine if people’s stomachs are too weak for Tarantino’s films. I can only take them because the violence usually becomes so over-the-top that it’s obvious I’m watching a movie. Most films are unrealistic in their depiction of violence in that it is largely bloodless; Tarantino usually takes this to the opposite extreme. I suspect this is deliberate.

    However, it should also be noted that many of Tarantino’s films are also very talky and don’t actually have much violence. I can recall only three scenes in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that feature any violence that isn’t being staged for the purpose of a film or TV shoot. Of these scenes, only two features blood and only the ending features killing. (There is, I should note, one further flashback that implies that a particular lead character may be a murderer, but it does not actually depict any violence, and the film never actually clarifies whether he actually is one.) The rest of the scenes are mostly shots of people talking, eating, watching movies, doing everyday chores, living their lives. This is actually not terribly unusual for Tarantino; many of his films are not particularly violent until the last few scenes.

    But that’s not for everyone, and that’s fine. Tarantino is a flawed, arguably deeply flawed, human being, and his films are sometimes also critically problematic and open to several interpretations. Some critics have read Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to be outright reactionary; others have read it the exact opposite way, as a lament for the transmogrification of the relative innocence and idealism of the early hippie movement into something much darker; others have read it as a study of stochastic terrorism, as I’ve already alluded to; and there are numerous other interpretations of the film, as there are for all his others. I wouldn’t really expect (or want) it any other way.

    I personally do not regret seeing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and I enjoyed it. It’s not his best film, but I found it to be a very good one. But everyone has to make their own mind up about what they will tolerate from creators, and obviously my enjoyment of a creative work doesn’t mean others should necessarily enjoy it. I won’t see works involving Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, or others responsible for similar crimes until they kick the bucket (which actually leaves me in the somewhat ethically questionable position of somewhat anticipating Polanski’s death so I can finally watch Chinatown without feeling any qualms about doing so, but I’ve learned to live with this; at the same time, I probably won’t ever be able to watch another work involving Cosby again). Others may have higher standards, and that’s fine.

    I do think, however, that it’s still worth noting that Tarantino’s mind has probably changed on this particular topic since he made those comments about Polanski fifteen (or however many) years ago, and he has apparently apologised for them. Doesn’t justify him making comments like that, but I must admit that I made comments that were probably just as clueless in defence of Julian Assange once upon a time, which I now regret both because of the person they were defending and because of what I said in his defence, and probably for other reasons as well. Many (not all, but many) of us learn and grow, and I don’t think it’s necessarily fair for us to be defined by our worst comments. That doesn’t mean those comments should be erased, but most of us are going to have stuff in our past that we’re embarrassed by, and I don’t think those mistakes should define us forever.

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  175. 175
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @LanceThruster: Yep, it’s bullshit. Obvious bullshit, no less. This is the offending section you’re complaining about.

    “Elizabeth Warren, she’s been running second place, she is running second place on the Democratic side. She leads Trump by 5 points.” Then Kornacki shows the person who is actually in second place and says, “Bernie Sanders, he leads by 7 points.”

    Warren WAS running in second place on the Democratic primary. She’s also doing worse than Bernie Sanders against Trump in the General polls. This is obviously what Kornacki is saying, and is also LITERALLY what he says – you have to go out of your way to read it differently. The fact that you deliberately read this wrong is exhibit #3 billion in how awful you are at this trolling thing.

    @LanceThruster: Oops! Look, you’re incredibly wrong again! Your article proves Mmemosyne’s point and disproves your own. To wit:

    1) Hillary waited until Obama had all the delegates needed and conceded on June 7th, 3 days after this article. Keep in mind she actually had a much better case for waiting that long than Bernie did – unlike Bernie v Clinton, Hillary actually had more popular votes at that point than Obama.

    2) She conceded a full 2 1/2 months before the convention, which was in late August. She also spent that time working to heal any hurt feelings before the convention. Bernie officially lost the delegate race in early June and then refused to concede until literally at the convention 6 weeks later, but not before trying to steal super delegates through a process that he himself called rigged over the previous months.

    You’re SUPER bad at this. You’re just making Bernie look even worse than he already did.

    ReplyReply
  176. 176
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @J R in WV: I think Bernie is technically in 3rd in most national popular vote polls, though that actually doesn’t mean much in terms of delegate count where I think he’ll still be behind Harris (in 4th) if the votes were held today.

    Otherwise, you’re right on target. This guy is really terrible at his job.

    ReplyReply
  177. 177
    LanceThruster says:

    @J R in WV:

    These same institutions couldn’t keep a high risk/high value prisoner alive. We live in a world of sophisticated high tech surveillance, but the camera malfunctioned. Happens with cop body cams at key moments as well, oddly enough.

    So yeah, I’m doubtful of a lot I’m told. Bin Laden was dumped in the ocean “as per “Muslim” custom” we were told too.

    I once saw a talk by Daniel Sheehan after Iran Contra was exposed. He said investigative reporters got a lot right, but were hammered as not credible on the 20% or so that they got wrong. It wasn’t until Eugene Hausenfus was shot down that the details came out. Sheehan also predicted the rise of China as an economic powerhouse then (he was asked about Germany and Japan’s domination).

    Government entities keep secrets. Pathologist Michael Baden is slated to be part of the autopsy. Maybe his death (and cause) can be confirmed. But the government also rounded up 9/11 Pentagon security camers footage while only choosing to release a short blurry clip. Stuff that supposedly could and should be put to rest, and yet that’s the best they vould do?

    Cui bono?

    ReplyReply
  178. 178
    TenguPhule says:

    @LanceThruster:

    She’s hated for calling out warmingering and US imperialism.

    No, she’s hated because she’s a shill for Syria & Russia. Noun, Verb, National Guard is not a peacemaker.

    ReplyReply
  179. 179

    @J R in WV:

    Everyone in law enforcement?

    I’m sure the New York FBI field office will be covering for the Clintons. //

    ReplyReply
  180. 180
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TenguPhule: He’s onto 9/11 Truthism and “What did we really do with Bin Laden” now. It’s like he couldn’t be more of a caricature if he tried. Which is (of course) what he’s trying for. :)

    ReplyReply
  181. 181
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s Bernie’s MO. I mean that personally. He personally is afraid to take responsibility for his very aggressive campaigns.

    I cheered when Clinton called it out. He had been attacking her as corrupt for a solid fucking year but he wouldn’t say it to her face in a debate, and she knew that. He wouldn’t even look at her. They’re weak and they’re whiners. Gabbard is already claiming she was robbed.

    ReplyReply
  182. 182
    J R in WV says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    @LanceThruster:

    You love saying “I told you so.” I imagine you right now jerking off like a bonobo chimp while you type “I told you so.” Cretins like you are why I literally pray for the death of Bernie Sanders.

    Ooh, no, don’t think about LanceThruster’s sex life, don’t do it.

    I just want Bernie to go away, far away, and stay there. No praying, no death necessary, just go away. Also Lance… just go away.

    Lance… has these fantasies about being banned, no longer able to comment on this important thread or the other. This never actually happens to him, because he’s always back the next day.

    No more than Bernie, Soviet mole that he is, is ever going to win an election outside Vermont.

    ETA tiny typo

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    LanceThruster says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    How can you “steal” a superdelegate if their very reason for being does not require them to vote as their state did? I don’t remember Clinton claiming there were vote irregularities in her race against Obama.

    I do remember when exit polling showed discrepancies beyond the range considered an indication of potential fraud being perpetrated, the networks stopped doing exit polls.

    ReplyReply
  184. 184

    @Kay: I can think of someone else I find myself reminded of here:

    “I do whine because I want to win, and I’m not happy about not winning, and I am a whiner, and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

    I don’t think I even need to identify who said that by now, do I?

    @Yutsano: …missed this earlier, but yeah, this is a good point. Her style is just… better.

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  185. 185
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne: One of the links led to an article on Tarantino’s reaction to the Weinstein revelations. It didn’t mention whether he had updated his views on Polanski. I don’t remember when the grand jury transcripts became available, which included the actual testimony from the victim. But still, she was 13 when it happened and everyone knows that. IMHO, the rest is just details.

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    Kay says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Governors will be dropping out soon, former House members, some Senators. All of those people will accept that they lost.

    Except Bernie Sanders and his new sidekick, Gabbard. They are so special, so unique, so fundamentally and naturally Leaders that the only way they can lose is if a shadowy cabal dupes the unwashed masses into NOT supporting them.

    ReplyReply
  187. 187
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: Gabbard isn’t going to be in the next debate and for most of these candidates, the debate is the only oxygen they have.

    ReplyReply
  188. 188
    Kay says:

    @LanceThruster:

    It is amusing to me that the people who transcribe every betrayal of Hillary Clinton and now Joe Biden and also Kamala Harris into STONE to be hauled out again and again happily give Gabbard a complete fucking pass on her past opposition to civil rights.

    She’s a fraud. She created a brand new identity for this primary. It isn’t even subtle. It’s ham-handed marketing.

    ReplyReply
  189. 189
    Brachiator says:

    So, is Monday “Every Comment An Essay” Day?

    ETA. Some of the comments are very interesting, but still…

    ReplyReply
  190. 190

    @Kay: Oh my, I’ve been duped by the shadowy cabal.

    ReplyReply
  191. 191

    @Brachiator:

    So, is Monday “Every Comment An Essay” Day?

    Yes.

    ReplyReply
  192. 192

    @Brachiator: That’s just me, I think. I got started writing, and sometimes it’s very difficult for me to stop once I get started, especially if it’s a topic I know a lot about, and it was just coincidental that there were several in this thread. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d written 7,000 words or more here. I wanted to relax a bit since today was my birthday, and it seems what relaxes me right now is writing.

    Anyway… th…anks? I think?

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  193. 193
    Yutsano says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Hap Day of Birf! By all means relax good human!

    ReplyReply
  194. 194

    @Barbara: I agree he should’ve known better just because of her age, but there’s a good chance he now agrees with that, too. He certainly agrees he was completely wrong. I went to look up his apology, and he’s stated:

    “I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on The Howard Stern Show speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her. Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski. When Howard brought up Polanski, I incorrectly played devil’s advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative. I didn’t take Ms. Geimer’s feelings into consideration and for that I am truly sorry. So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect. I am sorry Samantha.”

    One of the stronger apologies I’ve seen in recent years; he unambiguously admits he was being an insensitive asshole and was simply wrong, and that Polanski raped Geimer. YMMV, I suppose, but it’s clear he no longer believes what he said, and it’s possible he never entirely did and was just being a gadfly. Howard Stern certainly seems to have had a talent for bringing out the worst in people – though incidentally, he seems sincerely repentant for a lot of his past, too, but that’s a topic for another day.

    @Yutsano: Thanks!

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  195. 195
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Thank you for pointing out Gabbard’s horrible civil rights record. Actively trying to strip LGBTQ rights as an adult lawmaker in the 21st century is disqualifying.

    ReplyReply
  196. 196
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): According to Geimer, Tarantino also called her personally to apologize, and she seems to have appreciated that.

    ReplyReply
  197. 197
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @LanceThruster: Please. Bernie spent about 8 months decrying superdelegates as an anti-democratic powergrab, and then once he’d completely lost both the popular vote AND the delegate count he reversed himself public and by his own definition engaged in a legal but corrupt power grab designed to reverse the decision the actual voters. So either he was lying about rigging (uh oh!) or was trying to rig it himself. Whoops. That sounds an awful lot like a cheater to me.

    The fun thing is that you decide to only contest one single thing of what I say, ignore the rest but do such a feeble job that your candidate comes out looking worse literally every time.

    And then you chide us about being unwilling to admit we’re wrong. The mind, it boggles.

    ReplyReply
  198. 198
    Barbara says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I am glad he apologized. A lot of people joined him in making excuses for Polanski, he is by no means the only one. I still don’t like his movies!

    ReplyReply
  199. 199

    @Barbara: Yeah, that’s fine. They’re certainly not for everyone!

    @Gin & Tonic: That’s good to know as well; thanks for pointing it out.

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  200. 200
    Mandalay says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    One of the stronger apologies I’ve seen in recent years; he unambiguously admits he was being an insensitive asshole and was simply wrong

    I respectfully disagree. That was not an apology at all:
    – First, Tarantino only “apologized” fifteen years after his original remarks because the victim had spoken publicly earlier that week. Tarantino wasn’t unburdening his soul; his PR team were doing damage control.
    – Tarantino tries to diminish the power of what he said by calling them “my cavalier remarks“, but they were not “cavalier” at all. They were a passionate defense of Polanski.
    – Tarantino claims he “incorrectly played devil’s advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative“, but that’s complete bullshit. His comments were very carefully worded to insist that Polanski did not commit rape.
    – Tarantino’s comment that “I didn’t take Ms. Geimer’s feelings into consideration” is a bit like Mrs. Lincoln complaining she didn’t like the play. What Tarantino did not say was that an adult male raping a 13 year old girl is evil, wrong, and it is a crime, and Polanski should have gone to prison.

    I don’t buy Tarantino’s story that he was being a controversial devil’s advocate for a moment; he was vigorously defending Polanski. But even if you swallow that BS, surely you have to ask yourself why Tarantino never voluntarily recanted his remarks over a fifteen year period if he really did see the light. Like many others in positions of power, the only reason Tarantino said anything was because he was being held accountable for what he had done.

    ReplyReply
  201. 201
    Brachiator says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    I wanted to relax a bit since today was my birthday, and it seems what relaxes me right now is writing.

    Most people just have a slice of cake or, if they are John Cole, maybe can a thousand peaches.

    Happy birthday to you.

    ReplyReply
  202. 202

    @Brachiator: Thanks!

    @Mandalay: I mean, Tarantino also said he was wrong and that Polanski raped her and that it was a crime. That’s literally part of the quoted text. Is his apology perfect? No. But your characterisation of his words is not accurate. It is simply not true that Tarantino “did not say” that Polanski’s actions were criminal – he explicitly called them “the crime that was committed against her”, and two sentences later, said “Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski.” Unless you think those two sentences are referring to different events, or are going to quibble because he didn’t state them in the same sentence, he did in fact refer to Polanski’s actions as criminal.

    As I said, Tarantino’s apology isn’t perfect, but he at least admits in no uncertain terms that he was wrong, which is far better than any of the standard not-pologies you’ll get from (insert right-wing asshole here). And, more importantly, Geimer seems OK with it. We don’t know what he said to her privately but it’s possible he went into much greater depth in their conversation.

    Ceterum censeo factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    ReplyReply
  203. 203
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LanceThruster:

    But the government also rounded up 9/11 Pentagon security camers footage while only choosing to release a short blurry clip. Stuff that supposedly could and should be put to rest, and yet that’s the best they vould do?

    If people hadn’t written LT off before now, this should do it.

    ReplyReply
  204. 204
    2liberal says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Institutional molestation is something like 80% women committing the crime.

    can you please provide a link for this?

    ReplyReply
  205. 205
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Tarantino said this:

    I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on The Howard Stern Show speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her.

    That right there is an apology. The rest is expanding on it. Ms Geimer apparently accepted the apology. The fact that you don’t seem inclined to recognize it suggests to me that you don’t believe that there is an adequate apology. Then again, it’s not your place to decide.

    ReplyReply
  206. 206
    Mandalay says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    And, more importantly, Geimer seems OK with it.

    Geimer had forgiven Polanski years earlier, so that was not even an issue at the time Tarantino issued his carefully timed “apology”. Again, Tarantino only issued that statement/apology after fifteen years because of Geimer’s remarks earlier that week.

    We shall have to agree to disagree.

    ReplyReply
  207. 207
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    But still, she was 13 when it happened and everyone knows that. IMHO, the rest is just details.

    I don’t disagree with you at all but, culturally, there has been a big shift even in the past 15 years. Statutory rape used to get much more of a wink and a nod, even with very young teenagers, and it was pretty common for rock stars and other famous men to brag about their young “conquests.” That’s why Polanski’s defenders claimed that what he did wasn’t so bad because his victim consented right up until the transcripts were finally made public and the truth came out. And some of them still try to claim it despite the evidence.

    Now we see grown men pursuing teenage girls as heinous and gross, but it’s been a cultural swing. I think that Almost Famous would play very differently today given that Penny Lane and her fellow groupies are all supposed to be about 16 years old.

    ReplyReply
  208. 208
    Richard Guhl says:

    No institution is exempt from sexual misbehavior. In my own denomination, the United Church of Christ, ordained clergy, in order to maintain standing, must participate in a one-day boundaries workshop every three years. In addition, there are requirements to attend workshops on racism and on culture difference, which may deal with issues of gender, aging or disability. On top of that, we must engage in a community of practice, a monthly meeting of clergy, which aims at learning and mutual accountability.
    All of these requirements were instituted in response to instances of clergy misconduct, usually affairs stemming from counseling situations.
    In addition, we are encouraged to attend workshops on recognizing and dealing with cases of abuse.

    ReplyReply
  209. 209
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    But even if you swallow that BS, surely you have to ask yourself why Tarantino never voluntarily recanted his remarks over a fifteen year period if he really did see the light.

    Probably because he forgot about them — along with everyone else — once the radio show was done that day. Most people don’t make random apologies for things they said on the radio years ago. They apologize when someone points out that they said a crappy thing years ago.

    ReplyReply
  210. 210
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Sometimes an irrational dipshit can be turned into a rational dipshit. Not often and it seldom seems worth the effort but you never know when that light bulb will get brighter than the dead of midnight on a cloudy day with the shades drawn tight. I do agree that in this case it’s probably not worth the effort, and it’s typing so not even a lot of calories spent.

    ReplyReply
  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    We live and we make mistakes. For all the right and wrong reasons. But we make them. If we have the humanity to try to learn and be better we can. Not everyone has that concept and many never will. But life is about existing and learning and trying to be better. If we are trying and we are lucky we will learn and understand why we made the mistakes and why we need to change. I could probably name a number of famous people who were shit and never got any better. And I’m sure some of everyone’s list would cross over. But humans are flawed, no matter how hard we do or don’t try not to be. Sometimes because we don’t see the behavior as bad, sometimes because we don’t care and sometimes because at the end of the day some are just shit in a skin suit.

    ReplyReply
  212. 212
    janesays says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I think if Bernie gets the nomination, many of you would jettison your “Blue no matter who” mantra because it might truly expose just how epically wrong you were regarding 2016.

    Bernie’s not going to be the nominee, so it’s a moot point.

    He’s not even going to win New Hampshire.

    ReplyReply
  213. 213
    janesays says:

    @LanceThruster: Yes… we’ll see Bernie not winning the nomination. Among other reasons, at least in part because a not-insubstantial chunk of the Democratic base absolutely loathes the guy, and he’s not going to be able to overcome that obstacle, especially when he’s competing against a significantly larger field than was the case in 2016. He doesn’t get to run as the anti-Hillary again, which was the only reason he was even competitive in 2016.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *