7 things @ 11 o’clock (8.23)

1. Here’s a round-up of a few of the more thoughtful responses to Thabiti Anyabwile’s Gospel Coalition post in which he urges Christians to find other people repulsive.

2. You’re not allowed to kill civilians.

3.Evangelicals take to Illinois airwaves to promote immigration reform.” Two things on this story. First, this is good to see — a sign of hope against the dimming prospects of reform, and a sign of hope against the dimming prospects of American evangelicalism.

Second, this is a local-angle rewrite of the Associated Press story by Francine Knowles of the Chicago Sun Times. That AP story on this ad campaign has been run by dozens of newspapers all over the country, but almost none of them bothered to localize it — even to check to see if these ads would be running in their area. That used to be routine, standard practice for every AP wire story running in the local paper: Find the local angle, move it up, add some local quotes for context. Newsrooms used to have enough staff to do that. Now they don’t have enough staff and now they only rarely do that. That’s a big loss.

4. CACI International, the disgraced defense contractors who helped to make Abu Ghraib prison just as bad post-Saddam Hussein as it was during the tyrant’s reign, just figured out a way to be even worse people than they already were. Torturers are indefensible. Torturers who later sue those they tortured would seem to require the kind of punishments that only someone like John of Patmos could dream up for them. (Yes, fine — alleged torturers who later sue those they allegedly tortured in those alleged pictures we all allegedly saw.)

5. RIP Elmore Leonard. Here’s the obituary from his hometown paper. Without Leonard around, we have to turn to real life to find the kinds of characters he gave us in an astonishing 45 novels. Consider, for example, Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury — who seems to have walked out of the pages of one of those books. And here’s the subplot unfolding in the background of that story.

6. I’ll give you my ironic contradictions when you pry them from my cold, dead hands:

The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself.

7. Why “the event unfortunately known as the Big Bang” should really be called the “Everywhere Stretch.”

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  • aunursa

    #2: Not true.

    You are allowed to kill civilians. You’re not allowed to target civilians.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Under what cirucmstances would you go to the family of a civilian you killed and said “What we did to your loved one was a good thing.”?

  • aunursa

    I didn’t say it was a good thing. Not everything that is necessary or legal is good.

  • Guest

    While being personally opposed to violence in (almost) all circumstances, I feel the second sentence here is pretty much essential for any sort of reasonable ethics whatsoever. Our world does not always offer us right choices, sometimes only choices between evils of various degrees.

  • Alix

    …I’m not sure I quite agree. From my perspective, if something is truly necessary, it is morally correct (“good”). Of course, that’s highly situational and doesn’t easily lead to more broadly applicable standards.

    That’s a bit different from choosing between bad options, IMO.

  • Guest

    I’m afraid I will just have to echo you and say I can’t agree. From my perspective there are some things (killing another person. for example) that are simply wrong. I don’t think it is ever right to kill another human being, in some circumstances it may be necessary, but I don’t think that can make it right. I think recognizing it as a wrong even while allowing for it in a specific case allows us to both do what is necessary and not lose sight of a proper moral regard for human life.

    Further I believe it serves to helps us strive for a better world, where such decisions are never necessary, rather than allowing us to get bogged down in the eternal and ever escalating cycle of violence. Violence always comes with the price of enforcing the status quo of Power as the reigning principle of our world. Therefore, I believe, violence must be employed only in extremely rare cases to correct an intolerable injustice that cannot be approached any other way, and that the rest of the time we must strive to collectively institute a new principle of Love and Equality. Regarding our necessary evils as remaining evil, however necessary, should help keep that in sight.

    And looking back over all of that, I’m just hoping it makes any sense.

  • Alix

    It makes sense! And yeah, we’re operating on some different fundamental principles, so we’re never going to agree, I think. XD Which is fine – that’s what makes discussions fun.

    For my part, I find I can’t separate actual real-world circumstances from morality. Like, killing someone might not be the absolute best solution in a perfect world, but given a specific set of circumstances and constraints, it might be necessary, and therefore it is the right response in that situation.

    That’s not to say that killing someone, or other destructive options, should be the first choice, but that if other options are infeasible, it makes no sense to me to still call it immoral.

    In my view, we work towards a better world by working towards creating circumstances where destructive, harmful actions aren’t necessary or, even better, are strongly contraindicated themselves (i.e. doing them will make things worse). But I doubt we’ll ever be able to fully eradicate all circumstances where usually-bad options become necessary, and so in those circumstances I don’t think it helps to condemn them as immoral or wrong – they’re the right response for that situation.

    This is why, for example, I don’t consider cannibalism in survival situations a moral wrong, to use an extreme example. Or why I don’t consider infanticide in extreme hardship situations, where feeding an extra child really will cause extreme harm, morally wrong.

    Shorter me: idealism and concepts of perfect objective general morality have their place, in the sense of helping us set objectives for making the world a better place where more positive options are available. But I can’t shake my situational pragmatism – it’s an imperfect world, and we have to navigate that as best we can, and we have enough on our plate without adding unnecessary moral stigmas to necessary acts*.

    *I actually think that sometimes, universal moral prohibitions cause harm. Going back to murder: if one is in a situation where it’s literally kill or be killed, adding social stigma to one of the options adds an unnecessarily harmful restraint.

    …I’m not sure I’m explaining any of this well. XD

  • Guest

    You are explaining it fine. I think I am just comfortable making a distinction between “This act is a moral wrong in a way that should give you pause when considering it.” and “You are a morally bad person for committing that act even though it was your best (least bad) option.” I think I can hold the first without holding the second.

  • Alix

    …I wonder if we’re drawing the same kind of distinction and just phrasing it differently, actually. I fully cop to having a knee-jerk antipathy to “wrong,” “bad,” and most especially “evil” in discussions of morality.

    For me, I’d break it down as “in an ideal world, this option would not ever/rarely be valid” and “in an extreme situation, this becomes a necessary/right act.”

  • Alix

    I guess a shorter way to phrase my view is: strive for the ideal, but accept the reality.

  • Guest

    I think it is very likely that our actual positions are actually not that far apart (certainly closer than it appeared at first). Having been raised in a legalistic and fundamentalist form of Christianity, I certainly can sympathize with discomfort toward that sort of language, but for me personally, the language has been redeemed somewhat by my conversion to a more progressive sort of Christianity which uses that sort of language to support Justice and condemn practices which harm others.

  • Guest

    Very sloppy sentence construction on my part there. actual and actually that close together. Oh, for want of an edit button.

  • Alix

    I think my other objection, especially to “evil,” is that it’s a real good way of erasing nuance.

    So and so is evil, so we don’t have to understand em. E just is evil. Not like us good folk, that sort of thing.

    And people aren’t evil in their own heads, y’know? I might disagree 100% on the rightness of their positions/actions, whatever, and I may even find them horrific, cruel, stupid, whatever, but I can’t just brand them “evil” as if that means anything more than a value judgment on my part.

    …I’m not explaining that well. And I need to stop ending sequences with “whatever.” XD I guess I’m trying to say that if I want to understand why someone does something (which is, imo, the first step to getting them to stop) I need to actually look at things from their perspective, not just write them off.

  • Guest

    I don’t see much there that I disagree with. The last thing I want to do is erase nuance. I mean part of where I am coming from is the idea that ethics are complicated.

    I’m also using the language of right and wrong in relation to actions, not the people who do them. Right now I am approaching ethics less from a viewpoint of “How to I determine rather I (or someone else) have done the right thing or wrong thing?” (much less am I a good or bad person) and more from a viewpoint of “How can I use these principles to help me evaluate actions in the moment and choose between them?”

  • Alix

    I guess to me those words are so charged that they’ve become kind of useless? I mean, I still use the right/wrong action phrasing a lot, because I’m imprecise like that, but it gets really confusing really fast when talking about morality, mostly because of the many connotations of “right.”

    That’s why I prefer useful/useless, harmful/harmless, constructive/destructive, necessary/unnecessary, justified/unjustified, and so on. It helps pin down more clearly what shade of right/wrong something is – is it wrong because it’s wasteful? Hurtful? Right because it’s kind? Because it’s more useful? That sort of thing.

  • MarkTemporis

    There are persistent myths about the government knowing ahead of time about an event and choosing to allow it to happen to give them an advantage later. (Pearl Harbor, that English village I can’t remember right now, see also Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon).

    Any of those situations might fit the bill. I actually live in Hawaii, and could understand sacrificing the U.S. position here for a greater purpose. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with it, as I accept no greater good than my own existence ;-) but understand it.

  • Katie

    Coventry. In the case of Coventry, there is good evidence that Churchill did know *something* prior to the bombing, the only questions are about what and when. In the case of Pearl Harbor, the US got legitimately blindsided. Roosevelt did think that *something* was going to happen to give him a casus belli, but its pretty clear he was expecting an event similar to the sinking of the Lusitania.

  • MarkTemporis

    Thanks! That name was driving me mad today!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, confidential War Department telegrams insisted the USA keep a defensive posture and let the Japanese make the first dumb mistake of the war. They just didn’t know what it would be.

  • alfgifu

    Rather late, I know, but I’d just like to point out that Coventry is (and was) a city, not a village.

    A small city, certainly, but the scale is significant in context – the dilemma would have been different if it were only a village.

  • Alix

    Why does a civilian have more of a right to live than a member of the military? Why is it worse to kill one and not the other?

    …This is all getting at why I think the only truly justified wars are defensive ones, by the by.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I would say it is because a military person has chosen to accept the risk that he or she may be killed. Civilians didn’t exercise that choice.

  • Alix

    I guess? I mean, I see the distinction. I’m just not really sure it’s a good one, in a broad sense.

    If someone’s actively attacking you, if killing them is the best solution, fine. But I don’t know that just going off to war to kill a bunch of people who’ve accepted the risk of death is really all that justifiable.

    …Studying military history turned me from a very “eh” sort of person on this stuff into a near-pacifist. (Which somewhat amused my professors, actually; one of them told me that after putting up with me for four classes, I didn’t even need to sign my name anymore because whenever he saw a post that started with “these people went to war for stupid reasons” he knew it was by me. XD)

    I do think there are times war is justifiable/necessary – defensive wars, basically. But arguing over the morals of offensive wars just strikes me as, I dunno, kind of pointless because the war itself is already (almost always) unjustifiable. IDK.

  • Guest

    That’s not necessarily true though. There are drafts (Not right now, in America, but it is still an important consideration ethically) and man other less formal ways that people end up in the military outside of what I am comfortable calling free choice.

  • Alix

    …I’m reading a bunch of military treatises from various cultures and times, and one of them includes the stellar advice that the king should institute a mandatory conscription of all able males, and that the king need not worry that the people will resent this because war is an honorable pursuit for men and only “effeminacy” would stop the conscripts from being profusely grateful for the opportunity.

    That is the only time I’ve actually thrown one of these treatises across the room, so far.

    Edited because I somehow forgot to type five words in the middle of a sentence. (And today I don’t even have the excuse of being tired. XD)

  • Guest

    Wow…that is…just terrible on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start.

  • Alix

    …Yeah, me neither. I just sort of boggled and then had a cathartic paper-meets-wall moment.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    So if you carpet bomb an entire city to kill one target, you’re technically morally impervious because you weren’t specifically intending to kill the entire city’s population, they just happened to be there?

  • aunursa


    Many factors go into a determination of whether a particular attack is justified. The military value of the target, the number of civilians, the ratio of civilians to military, the likelihood of hitting the target, the likelihood of collateral damage, the likely amount of collateral damage, alternate methods of removing the target, etc.

  • Guest

    Again, this is strange, as I am more or less a pacifist, but I have to back aunursa up here. It is pretty much impossible to have a functional ethic of war, beyond just “don’t”, without appealing to the sort of considerations he is talking about.

  • Alix

    …Depends on the value of the target. That’s cold, but that’s also war. War is not nice, which is why I don’t actually think it’s possible to fully reconcile war and morality except through a necessary/unnecessary dynamic, and it’s also why I think war should be much more of a last resort than people currently treat it.

    That kind of judgment call is also why I am very glad I’m only a military historian, not actually a member of the military.

  • Carstonio

    That’s just a variation on intent being magic.

  • Oswald Carnes

    I’m allowed to kill civilians? Thanks! I didn’t know that! I’ll be sure to aim at cops first.

  • FearlessSon

    Anursa actually has a point, but it could use a little more articulation:

    Civilian casualties in war time are considered inevitable and unfortunate, if not directly because of fighting but also because of other secondary effects of the war such as forced displacement, cut off access to food and medicine, etc. And yes, sometimes civilians take collateral damage from things like bombs. The ethics here are utilitarian, considering it the price of doing war and only justified when the cause for the war itself is regarded by the international community as more important than the potential lost lives, a “just war” if you will.

    However, targeting civilians specifically during a time of war is a violation of the laws and standards of war and doing so will be considered a war crime in many international tribunals. For example, the Hague Regulations of Land Warfare of 1907 states “the attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.” Or the Hague Draft Rules of Air Warfare of 1922-1923 which state “air bombardment is legitimate only when directed against a military objective.” Or the recent Rome Statute of 2002 which holds “intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population” to be illegal.

    However, not every power which violates this is punished for it, sadly.

  • MikeJ

    The big bang only got that name because a militant atheist thought the very idea of a starting point to the universe implied a creator, so he tried to make fun of the idea. He was more interested in scoring points in a religious debate than in looking at the actual evidence.

    This is the story I always think of when I think of evangelical atheists.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    Sir Fred Hoyle was a militant atheist? That would have been news to, well, Fred Hoyle.


    He rejected evolution and called it the Big Bang because he was a proponent of the Solid State theory and wanted to mock astronomers who proposed a dynamic and changing universe.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Steady State. But yes.

    Hey, guess who still makes fun of the Big Bang theory, now that it’s well established and supported by evidence? Hint: not “evangelical atheists”. And yet, I don’t lump all evangelical Christians into the same mold as Ken Ham. Funny, that.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    Steady State. But yes.

    Dammit. I apparently went into electronics mode for a moment there.

  • The_L1985

    “Solid State” is still a bit less off than “Solid Snake,” which is what I misread your post as saying for a moment. :)

  • Mark Z.

    God isn’t dead, he’s just hiding in a cardboard box until the alert dies down?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Or he might just be waiting to pop a revival pill. </mgs3>

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam


  • Anton_Mates

    Hoyle was an atheist, though not a particularly evangelical or “militant” one AFAIK. He was plenty opinionated on lots of other topics, though.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Forgive the off topicness, but I’m massively happy/excited and need to share.

    After an extremely long year, Dear Boyfriend and I will finally be getting a visit in midSeptember. He bought the plane ticket a couple hours ago.

    I am excited beyond words. ^-^

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Congratulations! I’m planning a trip to Nebraska to meet a friend I’ve known for over a decade, myself! (Anyone planning to attend NebrasKon, that’s my plan while I’m there…)

  • The_L1985

    Yay!! Spending time with someone you love is always a good thing. Hugs!

  • Hilary

    I hope you two have a totally wonder time!!!!!

  • Jake

    One thing which occurs to me, reading all those theological responses to Anyabwile’s rant is that his approach is basically a retrogression to traditional Judaic values, which is kind of entertaining to see Christians do (contrary to what conservative coalition-builders claim, “Judeo-Christian” values are not a thing, and this issue is a fairly conspicuous example of it).

    To lay things out explicitly, I’m Jewish — from a Reform tradition, but pretty conversant in the Torah law — and, if I had to put the law as presented in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers* in a nutshell, other than the basic social-justice precepts, it basically boils down to “don’t do the things which certain Semites of between 3000 and 3500 years ago found disgusting”. This doesn’t accord exactly with our current squick values (for instance, I think they were a lot more OK with the idea of spraying animal blood all over the place as part of their sacrifices), but there’s enough there that hasn’t changed to give you the general gist. Skin diseases, corpses, and mildewy houses? Totally gross. Involuntary bodily excreta, like menses and nocturnal emissions? Ew! Bugs and crustaceans (which are basically big aquatic bugs)? You should know better than to put that in your mouth! Weird non-mainstream sex, like with relatives or with members of your own sex? Yick! This has mellowed somewhat with the Pharisaic and later empahsis on interpretive rather than literal obedience to Torah law, but for a very long time, and persisting into the origins of Christianity, it seems like the core of Jewish culture was cultivating an exquisite gag reflex, as it were (both the Sadduccees and Essenes were of this school), and this seems like it was at the core of a great deal of the early conflict between Judaism and the early Church.

    So taken in a historical context, the “it’s disgusting and thus evil” view seems a very odd one for a self-professed Christian to take, because really, Christianity was supposed to specifically supplant that viewpoint.

    * I don’t include Genesis because it doesn’t really have much in the way of laws; I don’t include Deuteronomy because it promotes a specific agenda of cultural cohesion and makes foreignness a bigger deal than repulsiveness.

  • Hilary

    Thanks for this, from a fellow Reform Jew. I’ve often read stuff on these blogs and shook my head in sad disbelief at a certain range of Christianity that seems determined to regress to the tribal Hebrews of ~3-3.5 thousand years ago. I don’t think even our most wacko black hat fundamentalists are trying to be literal Israelites or tribal Hebrews, no matter how much they pray for a return to temple sacrifices.

  • auroramere

    I don’t think the prohibition against cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk falls under either basic social justice (“basic”?) or grossness. It’s a prohibition against doing something needlessly cruel, either in fact or in contemplation.

    As for the gag reflex with respect to skin diseases, corpses, emissions, and houses looking leprous or infected with fungi, most of those are reasonable sanitary precautions. The penalty for incurring uncleanliness was usually, “Spend a night away from other people, wash up, and if it’s stopped, come on home.”

    I’m not Orthodox Jewish anymore, but I’m kind of testy about Christians and atheists laughing it up over those wacky laws in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Jews did spend over a millennium interpreting the law, working to reconcile it with the promptings of conscience, kindness, and common sense. Non-Jews sometimes talk as if Judaism had stopped evolving in the 1st Century of the Common Era when Christianity began, like those people who ask why there are still apes if humans evolved from them.

  • Alix

    On the goat: there’s at least some circumstantial evidence that it’s a prohibition on a style of pagan sacrifice.

    I’m kind of testy about Christians and atheists laughing it up over those wacky laws in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.

    I wonder what people a few thousand years from now will think about some of our laws…

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    We won’t have to wait that long. We have laws against carrying watermelons across the road, letting donkeys sleep in bathtubs and harassing Bigfoot.

  • Alix

    …I have a whole collection of silly laws in one of the boxes I just packed in the moving van. XD My favorite one, mostly ’cause it’s one my family actually had to deal with*, is that until really recently it was illegal to vote in Virginia if one was a party to a duel.

    *Unfortunately, my family history with that law is boring – Grandma had to ask that of people she was helping register to vote.

  • Turcano

    One day I’m going to get that filthy animal!

  • auroramere

    There are certainly lots of other prohibitions on various non-Jewish religious rituals, so I can believe that was the origin. But as I was saying, rabbinical Judaism interpreted it as an injunction against callous cruelty, like the prohibition against taking the eggs from a nest while the mother bird is present. Of course, they also decided that since it was a repeated commandment, it should be expanded to the point where I can’t sprinkle Parmesan on my roast chicken, so I’m not saying I understand everything the rabbis came up with.

    And yes, I’m sure people a few thousand years from now will think some of our laws are wacky, or heinous. What bothers me is the assumption that observant Jews are living two thousand years in the past, using literally interpreted, antique, barbaric laws everyone else has evolved beyond. Judaism did not come to a halt in 33 CE.

  • Alix

    What bothers me is the assumption that observant Jews are living two thousand years in the past

    Yeah, that’s certainly extremely problematic. :/ I mean, it’s not like there isn’t an extensive body of Jewish writing on this stuff down through the ages, and as you keep pointing out, it’s not like there aren’t modern Jews one could, say, talk to – so there’s really no excuse for that kind of assumption.

  • FearlessSon

    Yeah, that’s certainly extremely problematic. :/ I mean, it’s not like there isn’t an extensive body of Jewish writing on this stuff down through the ages, and as you keep pointing out, it’s not like there aren’t modern Jews one could, say, talk to – so there’s really no excuse for that kind of assumption.

    Keep in mind, we are talking about a group of people who, despite having access to schools, libraries, and the internet, will often repeat assertions that are simply untrue with no knowledge of what they are asserting about. “Condoms are porous,” “abortion causes breast cancer,” “the female body has ways of shutting that right down,” etc.

    There is a very clear preference for sticking their head in the sand, then continuing to yell the same things over and over into the echo-chamber of their head-hole.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Point in fact, Judaism outlawed a lot of use of the death penalty during the first century, yet a lot of fundamentalist Christians seem to have completely missed that fact and call for “Biblical” punishments for Biblical sins, suggesting that first century Jews manage to be more advanced than twenty-first century Christians of certain flavor.

  • FearlessSon

    My girlfriend, a Reform Jew herself (by conversion,) likes to explain the old rules as being essentially “things that make more members of the tribe.” For the most part it was sanitation stuff, things done by observation and guesswork to keep things like communicable disease spread down, along with laws to help reinforce tribal identification (such that the tribe does not become too culturally assimilated into other tribes.) The law against mixed fabrics or the prohibition on pagan-style sacrifices are a few of the things from the later reasoning.

  • ReverendRef

    #6: But the NRA is compiling this list for a very good reason — they want to be able to locate all the good and honorable and Constitution-defending Americans.

    If they don’t have that list, how will they know where those people live when the U.N. comes to take their guns away?

    It’s all very proper and totally trustworthy. Really.

  • Lori

    Crum, then 48 years old, called Police Officer John Meddings who showed up a short time later at the bar with a police cruiser and Scott Estepp. Crum asked Meddings to drive to a local park where Crum and the 19 year old woman had sex in the backseat while Meddings and Estepp blared the radio to drown out the noise.

    What is wrong with these people? Set aside for the moment that this was almost certainly rape. The undisputed aspects of the incident are completely gross and a clear abuse of office and Crum was still elected Sheriff after this happened. Everyone knew he was the sort of person who calls his on duty officers to come and create his own little version of a rolling no-tell motel and that he had sex in the back seat while they were sitting in the front. I just can’t wrap my head around that. It’s not clear from the story, but I assume that the police who determined that the sex was consensual worked for Crum and were coworkers of the guys who sat in the front seat while their boss had sex in the back. Yeah, that’s convincing. Who in the world voted for this guy?

  • Fusina

    Took oldest child to her college yesterday. Have had two homesick phone calls so far. Thankfully, one of her good friends is also at the college, and in the same dorm even. Suggested that she should go hang out with her friend for a while.

    Six more days before she is most likely going to be adjusted…

  • ReverendRef

    Hope that works out for you all.

  • Fusina

    Thanks. I have been whinging here and on facebook–mostly here. I have to be upbeat–although if I am still getting phone calls from a sad little person a week from now, I might just get snarky. Yes, she is away from home for the first time in her life, but no, it will not kill her. And she will adjust, and it will amaze her just how small and tight her home gets between now and then. (err, that is if I am really lucky.)

  • banancat

    You’ll have a fun time next summer when she moves back home after having 9 months of freedom.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    4. CACI International, the disgraced defense
    contractors who helped to make Abu Ghraib prison just as bad post-Saddam
    Hussein as it was during the tyrant’s reign, just figured out a way to be even worse people than they already were.

    You know who else repurposed internment camps and prisons and didn’t even bother changing the names? The Soviet Union.

    They kept Sachsenhausen open until 1950, for example (that said, it was ‘repurposed’ for people the Soviets decided were politically unreliable)

    Some of the things the USSR got up to are NOT MEANT TO BE A TEMPLATE, CACI.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628
  • themunck

    That actually sounds like something Fred could’ve written.*
    * Never again would themunck speak so highly of human blogging.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    Wowwwwwwww thank you!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I think of something a little smaller when I think of the gag reflex argument.


    To say that I don’t like olives is an understatement. Their flavor is absolutely intolerable to me — not even a matter of “these taste weird” or “I don’t like the flavor;” the merest fragment of an olive in a dish taints it with a disgusting aftertaste that causes every subsequent bite to make me shudder in revulsion. Not only can I not stand the flavor of olives, I can’t even begin to comprehend how anyone else can. The idea that some people actually like the flavor is literally incomprehensible to me. As far as I’m concerned, olives are so disgusting that I wouldn’t weep for an instant if they disappeared from the market forever (at least in that form; olive oil is a different story).

    But I know other people do like them. I can’t imagine how, or why, but I know this to be true. That’s just something I’m going to have to learn to live with.

    Er, with which to live.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    UP WITH WHICH YOU SHALL PUT. </old joke> :P

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hey all!

    Remember how Michigan’s emergency financial guy was busy getting ready to dismember Detroit’s assets for substantial personal gain?

    Suck eggs, asshole.

    A judge blocked the bankruptcy filing and declared it, and the Emergency Manager position, Unconstitutional. :D

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    So, juries are supposed to be totally sequestered, right? It seems not the ones who adjudicated the Zimmerman trial.

    I wonder if this would be enough to get the Zimmerman verdict thrown out.

    But hey, keep telling y’alls selves this was a just and righteous airtight exercise in the fairness of the judicial process.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I am not sure there is a just way to get an acquittal thrown out. Why don’t you just lynch him? You seem to think that vengeance against that asshole murderer is worth throwing out our legal system.

    (And yes. It was a just verdict. The injustice isn’t that they acquitted a man in a case where the evidence wasn’t good enough. The injustice is that they’d have wrongfully convicted a black defendant on the same evidence)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    No, I think that judicial due process was insufficiently followed in such a way as to ensure the integrity of the verdict.

    If there had been a conviction, and something like this turned up?

    All the racist right-wing asshole forums would collectively be having a nuclear explosion the size of Jupiter.

  • Madhabmatics

    yo the injustice was that a guy got away with killing someone based on the color of his skin being scary. The injustice is not some theoretical alternative

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross


    It does not matter that we’re all absolutely convinced that George Zimmerman was a racist douchenozzle who was itching for a fight who murdered an innocent kid because of the color of his skin.

    You still have to prove it according the the standards of the law. They couldn’t. Given what we know of the circumstances, I doubt it even could be proven.

    “Well sure the evidence isn’t great, but come on, obviously he did it, what other explanation could there be?” is practically the textbook definition of ignoring due process.

  • Madhabmatics

    “You still have to prove it according the the standards of the law. They couldn’t. Given what we know of the circumstances, I doubt it even could be proven.”

    This is the problem, Ross. When you make it so that any shooting can be handwaved away as “maybe that black kid was a secret mixed martial arts fighting master” it leads to situations where people can kill people of color without consequences.

    Like if we go by your logic, every person that lynched a civil rights worker and got off was also a Just Decision. Gotta have that law fetish, it’s Blind and Just after all.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    So if we go by your logic, if we don’t know the details of what happened, we should just err on the side of making sure the state gets its pound of flesh?

  • Michael Pullmann

    I’m with Calvin; it should be called the Enormous Space Kablooie.