7 things at 11 o’clock (6.21)

1. Jamie Malanowski says the United States of America should not have US Army bases named after people who declared war against the United States of America and took the battlefield against the US Army.

Good point. A while ago someone told me that slavery was “only part” of why the Civil War was fought. Now I’m trying to imagine the job interview where you explain that kidnapping, rape and torture are “only part” of your résumé. When slavery is any part of the agenda, it really doesn’t much matter if it’s the only part, does it?

2. Andrew Hackman on collapsing the transcendent into the immanent. (Hackman doesn’t use that phrase, but Richard Beck does, and says, “I’m very happy with this move.” I am too. So was the author of 1 John, ad nauseum.)

3. Emergency contraception is finally available over the counter. So is soy sauce. The big difference here is that soy sauce carries actual health risks.

4. I am shocked — shocked! — that good Christian people would lie about Planned Parenthood.

5. This is how you request a song at a concert. And here’s a music video from long before anyone talked about music videos. If (far less than) One Million Moms had been around when this came out, they’d have called for a boycott of Scopitone.

6. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska just became the third Republican senator to go on record in support of marriage equality. That’s big news. Or, I suppose actually, it’s not big news — but the fact that this news wasn’t greeted as big news, but with a kind of collective nod and shrug is itself a kind of big news. Her statement, titled “The Pursuit of Happiness — Without Government Interference,” might convince other Red-state Republicans that they can join her without the sky falling on their heads.

7. I have long held that the New Hampshire House of Representatives is too damn big. Tiny New Hampshire has 400 representatives elected from 204 legislative districts, and it turns out you can’t fill that many seats without letting in a bunch of unqualified, embarrassing whackjobs and goofballs. But even by the standards of the Granite State, it seems Rep. Stella Tremblay, R-Auburn, is too far out there. After continually pushing her theory that the Boston Marathon bombing was a government-sponsored false-flag operation, Tremblay was rebuked by a vote of the full House and resigned from the legislature.

“I just connect the dots,” said the unrepentantly dotty Tremblay. “Apparently, it is very dangerous to seek truth, or ask questions.”

Kudos to N.H. Republican Chair Jennifer Horn for responding unambiguously: “Representative Tremblay was unfit for public office and not welcome in our party. We are glad to see her go.” I know that’s partly just damage-control, but if the national party were willing to be that direct with the Gohmerts and Burgesses and Duncans and Franks (Frankses?) now dragging it down, it might be in better shape.

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  • banancat

    I’ll add further to my previous comment but I don’t want to make it a wall of text.

    I’m solidly middle class now, even upper middle class. I have complained about my job before and have legitimate complaints, but overall I’m doing pretty well for someone my age (28). Well enough in fact that I can get serious about saving money for a down payment on a house. However, I am currently making less than I should/could be making, and a career move would go a long way toward my goal of home ownership, especially because I have other things to save for, such as a car inevitably (when my current, paid-off one dies), and medical expenses for my aging cat.

    All my friends in one of my D&D groups make significantly less than I do, about half of what I make. I try not to bring it up but I mentioned a job interview and one guy persisted on the topic. I tried to just simply explain that while I make enough to cover my expenses, I would like to save for my goals since it’s feasible. And he got exasperated and said I shouldn’t have bought my Legos that are my hobby. The total price of Legos over the past 2-3 years is maybe $600. It’s significant, but only about 2.5% of what I need to save. If I were spending that amount frequently, it would impede my goal. But it’s the only major thing I have splurged on so it’s really not enough to decide one way or another if I meet my goal. At most, it might delay my goal by a month or two.

    Later we chipped in for pizza and I didn’t have any change like I usually do, so I just put $9 more in the fund than my share required. And again he commented that that’s why I can’t buy a house right now. Because of $9. Maybe it would make sense if he was implying this was a trend with me, but it’s really not. Saving in $9 increments won’t help me buy a house.

    I’ve budgeted my money and there are plenty of little ways I could cut back. But in the scheme of things, even making all of those little cuts would allow me to afford a house about 1.5 months sooner. When we’re dealing with tens of thousands of dollars, that occasional purchase of furniture or convenience foods just doesn’t factor in significantly. The heart of the problem is that many jobs simply don’t pay enough to cover living expenses, and there’s just no way to penny-pinch yourself out of that.

  • Defense of North’s policy on disobedient adults who live with their parents? Devil’s advocate. In this thread? Own position.

  • arcseconds

    You must be a thrill at birthdays, wedding anniversaries, new year’s eve parties, centenaries, ‘going platinum’ parties, Christmas, thanksgiving, Eid-el-Fitr, &c. &c. …

    Is there something non-arbitrary about days, when you’re picking them out over years?

    I think you’d better stick to talking in terms of planck time, hadn’t you?

    (there is a considerable difference to lasting 100 years rather than 1, obviously, or selling a million copies rather than a few thousand, but I guess as there’s no non-arbitrary point to celebrate this, it’d had best go unmentioned to avoid making you grumpy…)

  • Alix

    Thinking more on this: I think you come off as too terse? Like, you throw out statements or “citation needed” with no elaboration, and it makes it really hard to actually get a handle on what you’re saying. :/ At least for me.

    …Heh. I think I’ve just explained my habit of wall-o-texting, right there.

  • arcseconds

    So, of your 3000 comments, which one is the best, do you think? :)

  • I consider elaboration of points I make in my comments which I don’t do to be superfluous unless someone asks me to elaborate.

  • Alix

    I will try to keep that in mind. :)

  • Alix

    Also, hobbies are actually kind of important to our sense of self/mental health/etc. I mean, I am currently unemployed, living off my savings, and I spend some of that money on painting. Why? Because I’ll go fucking nuts if I don’t.

    It’s like being human is a privilege to some people, one that only comes with great wealth.

  • It also places the burden of the war on the North, when the South was the aggressor.

    -I don’t think so. While the South did fire first, I don’t see how the use of the term “conquest” implies the South didn’t fire first. The sum of the Union attacks on the Confederacy throughout the war was certainly disproportionate to the Confederacy’s attack on Ft. Sumter.

  • Alix

    Well, except it’s not like Sumter was the only battle the Confederates initiated, either.

    I suspect we’ll have to just disagree about “conquest,” since to me it definitely has connotations of being the aggressor, and usually connotations of being an unprovoked aggressor at that. I can’t think of a better term off the top of my head, but conquest just doesn’t quite fit for me.

  • MarkTemporis

    Not defending slavery, an institution that by definition dehumanizes others, would be nice start.

    IOW, they were slavers, screw them, it’s a good thing all their stuff was burned to ashes.

  • I have never defended slavery. I do not support your second sentence in some cases as I do not support ex post facto laws.

  • Lee B.

    Ha, now it’s switched to ELIZA. I haven’t seen that one in years.

    Try Buttbot, it at least has some comedy value.

  • Alix

    I do not support your second sentence in some cases as I do not support ex post facto laws.


  • Alix

    (Third reply, woot!) This was niggling at me, so I reread my old paper. I did mention the Confederate Constitution in there, when I was dismantling the “states’ rights” canard, but apparently that still doesn’t mean slavery was the major cause of the war.

    …I honestly don’t know how much clearer it can get. :/

  • I’m serious. Also, I don’t like dehumanization.

  • A law making it legal to burn the property of antebellum slavers would be an ex post facto law.

  • Alix

    If the law was written after the burning to retroactively justify it, yes. But where in his comment did MarkTemporis mention laws? There are more forms of “right” than whether or not something’s legal.

    Also, “in some cases” was confusing me, too.

  • Just naming one older than a couple of days with my terrible short-term memory would be a challenge. I do remember a post in the LCMS thread that made me very mushy though, where I realized that that I had grown so attached to the community that anything which happened to members of it had personal significance to me. It probably seems silly, but that’s kind of a thing for me.

  • Elaborating on EH’s reply, since I don’t think you were around for the occasion: That’s in reference to Gary North’s policy that we should return to stoning people to death with community executions ala Deuteronomy, a policy which includes disobedient children.

    EH defended that.

    Of course, after EH made a recent post asserting that it was all right with letting people die needless, preventable deaths if they were incapable of fulfilling their slave obligations to their corporate owners, none of us are particularly surprised when EH says something which implies it doesn’t care about people.

    This is why I advocate ignoring the troll.

  • EH defended that.

    -No, I didn’t. I simply gave some reasons for it. The existence of reasons for a policy does not alone make a policy worth supporting.

    slave obligations

    -Nope. In capitalist societies, there are no slaves.
    Also, why do you continue to dehumanize me by referring to me as “it”?

  • Also, I think the motives of the reacting side do matter. They were to restore control of the entirety of the South, not just recapture Ft. Sumter. They did not include freeing slaves until 1863.

  • Alix

    In capitalist societies, there are no slaves.

    *blink* Really? So the plantation economy wasn’t capitalist? I have to admit, I’m never 100% certain of the boundaries of different economic systems, but it doesn’t seem to me that capitalism precludes slavery.

    I simply gave some reasons for it.

    Honestly? If you gave reasons in the same terse style you usually use, I can see why people think you were supporting it. It is impossible to tell when you’re simply playing devil’s advocate – you give zero clues. If you don’t actually support what you’re arguing for, you might want to actually say that, in an effort to prevent misunderstandings.

  • Alix

    All true, but in a discussion of the causes for the war, I still feel like that’s a bit of a non sequitur. The North would never have gone to war if the South hadn’t forced the issue.

    If the question I had been answering were dealing more with the different strategic goals of the two combatants, that would have been different.

  • So the plantation economy wasn’t capitalist

    -I do not consider it capitalist. It depended on very little capital, but relied on forced labor, which is often associated with ancient (and modern) socialist or partly socialist states such as Inca Peru, Old Kingdom Egypt, and Communist China. While the plantation economy did have the characteristic of private ownership of slaves, thus making it partially compatible with the capitalistic economy of the North, slavery is not usually characteristic of capitalist economies.

  • Alix

    …Huh. I’m genuinely curious – can you point me towards any sources for that?

    It does seem to me, though, that extreme capitalism relies on forced labor. Witness the turn of the last century.

    I have, honest to god, never heard anyone describe the Incas or O.K. Egypt as socialist. I also wonder where feudalism fits into this – is that also somewhat socialist, in your view, or a different system?

  • Lee B.

    That’s exactly what I would expect a barely–Turing-capable bot to write.

    Enopoletus, this is Worker speaking. Question. Evaluate. Why does the porridge bird lay his egg in the air?

  • Alix

    Erm, look, I can understand disliking EH and even wanting him to go away, but can we cut out the insinuations that he’s* not a real person?

    Sorry, but this is starting to cross the line into bullying, and it’s making me deeply uncomfortable.

    *If I used the wrong pronoun, EH, let me know.

  • That’s the one! Amazing the difference one sentence can make to proper understanding.

  • Lee B.

    OK, I’ll stop. I’m of the opinion that counter-bullying internet trolls is good fun, but I know not everyone agrees. I don’t want any innocent bystanders to get hurt.

  • Alix

    Thank you.

  • Alix, you haven’t been around for a lot of what EH has said. He doesn’t argue in good faith, at all. I suggest going over Fred’s posts from the past couple months that have lots and lots of comments, and looking for what EH says.

    This community has lots of new posters lately, and it seems every single one falls into the trap of defending EH. Considering how many times he’s said he wishes people
    like me (disabled and unable to work) would just die already, and how much energy he gets other people to waste on him generally, I think “fuck off” is quite kind.

  • You don’t like dehumanization when it’s applied to you, but you’re perfectly happy to say that people should die if they don’t have enough money.

    I repeat: fuck off.

  • Alix

    I’ve been here (= Slacktivist) since before the move to patheos, actually. I just never commented until recently. (I’m a chronic lurker.)

    I’m not defending him. I’m also not saying you were wrong to tell him to fuck off, necessarily. (Notice I didn’t ask you to knock it off, and I never told you your comment to him was inappropriate.) What crossed the line, for me, were the people saying he wasn’t even human, just some “it”.

    Like I said, I can understand disliking him, wanting him gone, being angry with him, whatever. But dehumanization crosses a major line, for me.

  • tatortotcassie

    My understanding was that the key cause of the Civil War was in fact slavery, but the states said that they were seceding because of “states rights” (presumably “states rights” was the favorite dog whistle of the time. Rather like “urban voters” is today.)

  • “States rights” is still a favorite dog whistle, and not by coincidence, it’s often used by people who are perfectly fine with the thought of bringing back slavery.

  • Acknowledged, regret that it bothers you, but no compliance forthcoming. When EH demonstrates something resembling human tendencies, I’ll reconsider my position. Until then, you’ve delved straight into the territory of “it’s better to be a complete monster than to call someone a complete monster.”

  • Alix

    Until then, you’ve delved straight into the territory of “it’s better to be a complete monster than to call someone a complete monster.”

    I’d disagree with that. What I was calling out wasn’t people just calling him not-human, but harassing him about it. It’s the harassment I have a problem with.

    I understand y’all don’t see it that way. Fine, that’s your right. But it left a bad taste in my mouth, and I felt I had to say something.

    Notice I never called anyone out for just insulting him.

  • Alix

    The follow-up question that’s always worth asking is “Which rights, exactly?”

    As the Confederates themselves said, the states’ rights to own slaves.

  • P J Evans

    It’s even better than that: ‘Light-Horse Harry’ was the father of Robert E.

  • FearlessSon

    No, not a dog whistle. A dog whistle has to be subtle. This was explicit. When the states that formed the Confederacy declared their independence, it was literally their “right” to own slaves that they cited in their declaration as the deciding issue.

    Hard to be more overt than saying that the “natural state” of the black man is one of service to whites.

  • How about “reconquista”?

    It seems like your position comes down to “I really want ‘conquest’ to be a bad thing, so I don’t like calling what the north did a conquest because then it would be a bad thing.””

    The South deserved conquering.

  • Alix

    It’s not “I really want conquest to be a bad thing,” it’s that I’ve usually heard “conquest” only used in the context of aggression into another land. It also generally, at least how I’ve seen it used, has a connotation of invading and taking over a land not one’s own, which is decidedly not how the federal government saw the South.

    I never said conquest was objectively a bad thing, or that the North would be bad if it were conquest. (I’m honestly confused as to where you got that from what I wrote.) I said I didn’t think the word fit. Apparently, everyone else disagrees.

    Shorter me: I don’t have a moral objection to the word “conquest,” here; I just don’t feel like it fits the progression of events.

  • J_Enigma32

    Are you kidding? Ever heard of “wage slave?”

    And that’s before we get into sweat shops, modern day plantations, banana republics, and others. Slavery still exists, man, and modern hypercapitalism is the driving thing behind that.

  • J_Enigma32

    Uh, first off, Socialism – learn what it means. Socialism is when the government steps in and controls some of the means of production. Second of all, communism – learn what it is. It’s a collection of different collectivist philosophies that range from Stalinism (Red Fascism) the Libertarian Socialism to Anarcho-Communism and Anarcho-Syndicalism. Which communist philosophy were you lumping this under?

    Second, the plantations were the perfect example of capitalism, you fool. They were a privately owned business (the plantation owner) who made a product that he then sold to another industry for a profit. The only thing he didn’t do was pay his workers, but hey, who needs to? Even today, being paid minimum wage basically says “I’d pay you even less than this, but I can’t get away with it.” Businesses are always looking for ways to scam their employees, and they are more than okay using slaves. As they prove all the damn time.

  • Arresi

    There was an element of, “Your high school teachers didn’t tell you the whole story; college is where you learn REAL history!” . . .

    So, was he implying some sort of absurd conspiracy to keep students from hearing the truth or was he boasting about teaching remedial high school?

  • Arresi

    Ah, based on comments, I’d happily trade you for a couple of my actual classmates, if you want to pretend.

  • Jamoche

    I heard someone try to excuse her by saying she’s 66 and grew up in the South. So? My grandmother is 90 and also grew up in the South, and I’ve never heard her use language like that.

  • themunck

    “Is there something non-arbitrary about days, when you’re picking them out over years?”

    Nope, I arbitrarily picked a unit of time for the example. I would not begrudge you considering me a hypocrite for that, mostly since I probably am.

    “there is a considerable difference to lasting 100 years rather than 1, obviously, or selling a million copies rather than a few thousand, but I guess as there’s no non-arbitrary point to celebrate this, it’d had best go unmentioned to avoid making you grumpy…”

    Huh? I’m am sorry if I came across as grumpy. It was not my intention.

    “You must be a thrill at birthdays, wedding anniversaries, new year’s eve parties, centenaries, ‘going platinum’ parties, Christmas, thanksgiving, Eid-el-Fitr, &c. &c. …”

    Yeah, you caught me, I’m not good with with parties. Although I will point that based on his response below, Sam doesn’t really seem to mind, and in the end, isn’t that what matters, since it’s him we’re celebrating? :P