Blogs and disgusting comments and advertising

Club Troppo and Lavartus Prodeo have withdrawn from the Domain group of blogs because of Graham Young’s comment moderation policy at  Online Opinion. All this came about because of comments to (and supporting) a post by Bill Muhlenberg under the heading Dismantling a Homosexual Marriage Myth.

Some of the comments are highly unpleasant. It’s hard to disagree with Ken Parish’s words (at least the first sentence) in his letter to Graham

Many of the comments are hate speech of an almost indescribably virulent kind and conceivably even unlawful in some jurisdictions.  Moreover, emotive, vindictive comment threads generate an atmosphere inimical to clear and effective communication and have a polarising effect on participants.

Graham, has right from the start of OLO, made it clear that OLO is a forum allowing a wide spectrum of ideas. Some time back, Clive Hamilton, who had been contributing announced that he would not do so any more because OLO is publish climate change sceptic pieces. Hamilton:

On Line Opinion claims it is just pursuing “balance” in the space it gives to climate change scepticism. But, as a number of journalists and authors have pointed out, “balance” means bias in the case of the climate change debate because by giving a “balance” of views On Line Opinion is communicating to its readers that there is a legitimate debate among scientists about the weight of scientific evidence on global warming.

Although Hamilton said OLO had been “captured by climate change denialists” it seems his objection was to any AGW-sceptical articles being published.

Ken Parish (Club Troppo) and Mark Bahnisch (Larvatus Prodeo)  set out their reasons in letters to Graham. Both explain that they cannot continue to be associated with a blog with a comments policy like that followed by OLO.  You might call it the 2 Corinthians 6:14 justification for severing a relationship.

But there is more to it. Advertisers (following, it seems, complaints from gay activists) withdrew their advertising from the Domain. No explanation was given. I think that casts CT’s and LP’s  actions in a different light.

Let’s change the facts – let’s say the offending comments were equally strongly worded attacks on the role of the banks in the GFC. And let’s say the banks withdrew advertising as a result. My guess is that CT and LP would be outraged at the banks trying to control what is said on a blog. They would tell the banks where they can put their advertising dollars.

Instead, Mark says –  Graham should  negotiate with the aggrieved advertisers and agency in a commercial fashion. We feel other modes of conflict resolution might have better secured continued financial health for both OLO and blogs associated with it for advertising purposes.

Can you imagine LP, or any other blog or indeed any mainstream media doing that on any other issue? “Let’s have a chat, BP. I am sure we can sort out this little misunderstanding about our reporting on the unfortunate events in the Gulf”.

Incidentally, from my business experience, I’d be fairly sure that the advertisers did not make a considered decision to pull out, based on the issue,  but rather decided that,  for a few thousand dollars of experimental advertising, it was not worth any fuss. I doubt they would be interested in talking about it.

I can understand any blog not wanting to be publicly associated with another blog that publishes hateful comments. But the only association between the members of Domain was to sell advertising. There was no masthead or branding linking them. Few readers would know of the association.

So we have to conclude that it was the loss of advertising that sent CT and LP off.

If I am right, it is a very unfortunate precedent for the blogging world.  To be at all influenced by what advertisers think is disastrous for the medium.

I’d prefer Clive Hamilton’s reasons.

Disclosure of interest

1. I have made donations to OLO.

2. I believe that gay relationships that resemble marriage should be recognised as if they are marriages, though I would not go to war over whether they should be called “marriage”. No correspondence will be entered into on this point.

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188 Responses to Blogs and disgusting comments and advertising

  1. daddy dave says:

    points.

    1. if you have advertising, you are vulnerable to pressure groups and activists.

    2. According to OLO, the complaint and subsequent controversy didn’t centre on “comments” (plural) but a single comment which claimed that homosexuality is a perversion.

    3. CL quoted the comment in full in a comment thread at this site. What does that mean? Will the same activists now go after the employers of Catallaxy authors?

    4. most blogs don’t delete “offensive” comments unless they are potentially defamatory to individuals (and therefore likely to incur a lawsuit) or otherwise illegal in some way. Instead, what usually happens is that other commenters pile on and disagree, and/or the blog owners themselves voice their disagreement. The commenter typically gets banned.
    In fact, blogs that are too heavy-handed with their comments moderation are spoken of with scorn and contempt.

    5. if you start deleting comments willy-nilly, you end up in a walled garden where every comment is merely a reflection of your own views.

  2. dover_beach says:

    If that comment was the principal cause of this dispute it is fantastical.

  3. Fran Barlow says:

    Club Troppo and Larvardis {Larvatus} Prodeo …

    As I understand it, the problem that LP had was that OLO failed to carry out its own moderation policy, which was, at least notionally, part of the consideration of the advertisers for advertising in the first place. Had they carried out this policy no issue would have arisen.

    I see no analogy to be had with attitudes to banking policy expressed on any site. The laws on vilification are clear and OLO’s policy was ostensibly in place to give effect to them. It’s OK according to the law to vilify bank policy and bankers.

    One might add that whatever the attitude of LP to this matter, there is no compelling right to advertising revenue. That ought to be obvious in a place like this. People can decide what they want to say but they must accept the lawful consequences of their speech acts.

  4. Ken Nielsen says:

    “if you have advertising, you are vulnerable to pressure groups and activists.”
    Only if you let them influence you dd.
    Contrary to popular belief the MSM do keep a separation between editorial and advertising and on the rare occasions an advertiser tries to influence content he is told, often rudely, to go way.
    There are exceptions – travel sections are notorious for running content of advertisers.

  5. Ken Nielsen says:

    Fran – OLO might have failed to follow its own moderation policy and LP and anyone can point that out. But what’s that to do with anyone else?
    “Of course there is no right to advertising revenue.”
    Who said there was?”
    Do you accept that advertising was the reason LP pulled out? The letter says so. That’s my problem with the thing, not whether Graham was right or wrong to allow the comment to stand.

  6. daddy dave says:

    The laws on vilification are clear

    Is that comment a violation of the law? I’m genuinely curious.

  7. Ken Nielsen says:

    “The laws on vilification are clear
    Is that comment a violation of the law? I’m genuinely curious.”

    Let’s assume it was dd. It does not change anything in my post.
    If LP and CT had just quoted 2 Corinthians 6:14 and not mentioned advertising I’d have no problem.

  8. dover_beach says:

    Me too, dd. In what way is that comment vilification?

  9. paul walter says:

    Am astonished that someone as intelligent as Fran Barlow could have written that, as well.
    Shame.

  10. Jc says:

    Paul,

    Dude, leave Fran alone. We have her under our wing at the moment and she undergoing an intense program as a trainee libertarian. Your cajoling isn’t helping our efforts one bit.

    We hope to have her off the production, into the paint shop and out on the sales floor over the next few weeks, so encouragement is the order of play here.

    She’s been informed that she is not to talk to any other lefty, especially green supporter over the critical 1 week period while she neutralize the brainwashing.

    Wish her and us luck.

  11. Jc says:

    Oops

    While we neutralize the brainwashing.

  12. C.L. says:

    Moreover, emotive, vindictive comment threads generate an atmosphere inimical to clear and effective communication and have a polarising effect on participants.

    As I discovered at Troppo with Nick Gruen presiding.

    “I don’t know much about Catholicism, but read ‘Hitler’s Pope’ a year or so ago…”

    Later, he replaced one of my comments with one of his own, ran interference for one of the most notorious and widely banned lunatics in the blogosphere (who implied I was a child molester), falsely accused me of ‘defamation’ and shut down the thread like a whining girl.

    I felt compelled to destroy Fred’s thesis – which was easily done – but then had to reply to a pile-on of anti-Catholic fanaticism (all approved by Nick the ringmaster).

    Ken Parish chickened out of proceedings – notwithstanding Gruen’s vilification of “wacky” Catholicism and Nazi popes.

    Ken’s OLO melodramatics:

    I re-read the offending comment thread last night and was literally physically sickened as a result.

    Bullshit, Ken. You probably ate a kilo of bad prawns.

    But that’s Troppo: it’s not vilification they oppose but vilification of the wrong people.

  13. John H. says:

    We have her under our wing at the moment and she undergoing an intense program as a trainee libertarian.

    I’m delighted Fran is visiting. However she is far too balanced to become a libertarian. 🙂

  14. Fran Barlow says:

    I sometimes self-describe as a libertarian, albeit of left-of-centre disposition. Until the early 1980s, I wasn’t aware that there was any other kind.

  15. Fran Barlow says:

    Daddy Dave asked:

    Is that comment a violation of the law? I’m genuinely curious

    Which comment?

  16. dover_beach says:

    Fran, the one link to in point 3 in this thread’s first comment by dd.

  17. John H. says:

    albeit of left-of-centre disposition.

    Oh you’re in big trouble now, only a few weeks ago there was a huge rant about the absurdity of being a left wing libertarian.

  18. Fran Barlow says:

    Ken Nielsen asked:

    Do you accept that advertising was the reason LP pulled out? The letter says so.

    I regard that as a misreading of LP‘s position. The second paragraph sets out the decisive reason for LP‘s withdrawal from Domain. The subsequent paragraph are merely ancillary observations about the manner in which Mr Young conducted his affairs and their impact on LP. In essence they are saying by that Mr Young’s conduct caused them loss rather than reasoning from there to their decision. I presume that had the presenting matter been of a different character — an objection not on moderation practice and IASG guidelines but on a substantive political matter — then LP‘s position would have been different.

    AIUI LP gets very little income from arrangement and could no doubt these days appeal successfully to its supporters for funds were they to need any.

  19. Fran Barlow says:

    Oh you’re in big trouble now, only a few weeks ago there was a huge rant about the absurdity of being a left wing libertarian.

    After I found out, 30 years ago, that there were people self-describing as capitalist libertarians/anarchists, I thought that ludicrous. The descriptors seemed to me to be inherently contradictory.

  20. John H. says:

    After I found out, 30 years ago, that there were people self-describing as capitalist libertarians/anarchists, I thought that ludicrous. The descriptors seemed to me to be inherently contradictory.

    Just how deep do you want to dig that hole? 😀

    BTW, I am not a libertarian.

  21. Ken Nielsen says:

    You might be right, Fran, though I don’t think so.
    But rather than you and me argue about what LP meant, I’d like to hear Mark and Ken say that the loss of advertising had nothing at all to do with their decisions to sever connection with the Domain.

    And we can presume all we like about how different LP’s position would have been had the facts been different. They weren’t so it’s irrelevant.

    I don’t know understand the relevance of your last sentence. Sounds a bit like “And anyway, I didn’t really want to play in your useless cricket team…”

  22. Fran Barlow says:

    Fran, the one link to in point 3 in this thread’s first comment by dd

    The comment might or might not fit the description of vilification — that is something that would need to be tested by processes that aren’t capable of being undertaken here. My point was that everyone knows that one cannot publish in ways likely to incite hatred towards people on, inter alia the grounds of sexual preference. One implication of the claim that someone’s homosexual proclivities are “unnatural” is that the person is to that extent, sub-human and therefore relatively ill-deserving of the protections of the law. It could be foundational to extra-legal harrassment.

    Australia is not Rwanda or Uganda of course, but these examples serve as a cautionary tale. Not all speech is simply speech. Some of it can be criminal in character — an incitement to criminal and tortious acts, even if the protagonists may be ill-defined.

  23. dover_beach says:

    Certainly, ‘capitalist’-anarchists would be inherently contradictory, but not ‘capitalist’-libertarian. BTW, how would you classify Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia (1972)?

  24. Fran Barlow says:

    Just how deep do you want to dig that hole?

    I always dig holes to the depths necessary to achieve useful purposes. 😉

  25. John H. says:

    One implication of the claim that someone’s homosexual proclivities are “unnatural” is that the person is to that extent

    “Unnatural is a nonsense accusation if only because “natural” is a hopeless ambiguous concept. There is clear evidence of homosexual behavior in animals. Anyways, it was the fault of those bloody Greeks, “they invented gayness”(line from “Father Ted”).

  26. dover_beach says:

    My point was that everyone knows that one cannot publish in ways likely to incite hatred towards people on, inter alia the grounds of sexual preference. One implication of the claim that someone’s homosexual proclivities are “unnatural” is that the person is to that extent, sub-human and therefore relatively ill-deserving of the protections of the law.

    I find it difficult to accept that referring to certain conduct as ‘unnatural’ or ‘perverse’ is incitement towards hatred. If this were true than vegans that argue that “meat is murder” are similarly engaging in a form of incitement. Much more needs to be said for it to be considered incitement.

  27. dover_beach says:

    “Unnatural is a nonsense accusation if only because “natural” is a hopeless ambiguous concept.

    In one sense, JohnH, you are correct, but natural lawyers employ it in a specific sense, which, for instance, is unaffected by the appearance of, say, homosexual unions in animals.

  28. Fran Barlow says:

    BTW, how would you classify Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia (1972)?

    Quibble: Wasn’t it written later than that? 1975?

    Anyhow, I hadn’t come across it until the early 1980s but at the time it seemed a curious work, albeit an honest attempt to sketch a capitalist utopia. It seemed certain to me that whatever Nozick’s telos, the means to such an end would necessarily be repressive and at odds with ‘minarchic’ and still less what I took/take to be libertarian principles.

  29. Fran Barlow says:

    DB said:

    If this were true than vegans that argue that “meat is murder” are similarly engaging in a form of incitement.

    That’s arguable, although meat eaters are not specified in the anti-vilification laws. Moreover, and perhaps more significantly, there is no tradition of meat eaters being harassed or discriminated against in employment provision, or in other legal dealing. There are no disparaging terms for those who consume non-human meat. (Contrast this with the word “cannibal” for those who do consume human meat).

    So whatever one may say about meat means murder claims by vegans, the case against such claims being incitement to criminal or tortious violation of the rights of meat eaters is far weaker.

  30. John H. says:

    DB,

    What is the specific sense in which “natural lawyers” employ the term.

  31. Fran Barlow says:

    Ken said:

    I don’t know understand the relevance of your last sentence. Sounds a bit like “And anyway, I didn’t really want to play in your useless cricket team…”

    It simply made the point that as advertising revenue is not a deal-breaker for the LP‘s existence, it’s unlikely to have been a predisposing factor in their attitude to the Domain.

  32. Ken Nielsen says:

    Then why did Mark make such a big point of it in his letter?

    might have better secured continued financial health for both OLO and blogs associated with it for advertising purposes.

    Sounds to me like “you’ve messed it up, Graham, and that’s costing us money”

    But anyway, as I said I’d be happy to accept assurances from Ken and Mark that advertising had absolutely nothing to do with their decisions.

  33. Peter Patton says:

    Many of the comments are hate speech of an almost indescribably virulent kind and conceivably even unlawful in some jurisdictions. Moreover, emotive, vindictive comment threads generate an atmosphere inimical to clear and effective communication and have a polarising effect on participants

    What a drama queenish way to speak of Antony Loewenstein and his running canines of anti-Jooism

  34. paul walter says:

    You can keep her, Jc.
    The whole point of the thing is that there was no incitement, therefore no hate speech, just a bit of ventilating.

  35. C.L. says:

    Mmm. That’s interesting. The infamous LP thread wherein commenters called Noel Pearson a “coconut,” an “Uncle Tom,” a “cane toad” and a “tame blackfella” has been disappeared.

  36. Fran Barlow says:

    What a drama queenish way to speak of Antony Loewenstein and his running canines of anti-Jooism

    On the strength of that I checked out a part of said to be focused on Israel: Mr Loewenstein’s blog …

    I scanned the page and happily (or is it regrettably?) I found no negative references to Jews-as-humans at all, and he did publish the following:

    I once was a liberal Zionist, but now I see myself as a religious American Jew in solidarity with justice for the Palestinian people. Israel’s security and our liberation as Jews are both tied to justice for the Palestinians.

    and for another perspective, an outraged letter from someone accusing him of beating the bushes for a new European-driven anti-Jewish pogrom.

    The fight is on & the enemy doesn’t distinguish between Israeli Jews or the wider Jewish community. The hate is deep set & rising. The western community is feeling duped about a decade long conflict & is looking for someone to blame. When europeans are dissatisfied with anything they will turn to the old punching bag- dem evil kid killin jude!! Their snarling like hungry rabid dogs & when the catalyst arrives, they will come hunting for us- regardless of political affiliation. You can bow & scrap at the mobs feet as much as you like but don’t ask for our help when they kick you in the teeth. Your on your own. I do not waste my words on blind hate groups & I will no longer waste my time on you- he who is simply known as ‘Antony’

    to which Loewenstein responded:

    I receive these kinds of messages many times every week. Usually anonymous (the bravery is staggering) and often from Jews. Feel the faux paranoia and victimhood. Zionism has deformed my people {my emphasis}

  37. FDB says:

    You’ve made that exact claim before CL. Word for word, if I’m not mistaken.

    It was pointed out to you then that the whole of May and June 2007 was lost in a virtual fire.

    How long till you trot this one out again?

  38. paul walter says:

    Fran, I take it all back. You can come home, now.

  39. C.L. says:

    A fire!

    I forgot.

    Let the record show that Mark Bahnisch and friends let a thread float happily in the blogosphere containing KKK-style language against Noel Pearson and it only disappeared by accident, not pentitential design.

    Which is even worse.

  40. C.L. says:

    It’s interesting that this precious kerfuffle should have arisen in the context of an essay on gay ‘marriage.’ To date, this subject has only caused violence to occur in California. Prop 8 opponents (that is, supporters of gay ‘marriage’) were responsible for hate-crimes against Mormons, racist vilification of blacks and generalised attacks on persons and property.

  41. Sinclair Davidson says:

    No it wasn’t. It is preserved at the National Library.
    Here in fact.

  42. Fran Barlow says:

    Oops … I just realised my composition above was poor:

    So whatever one may say about meat means murder claims by vegans, the case against for such claims being incitement to criminal or tortious violation of the rights of meat eaters is far weaker

    Since I’m self-editing anyway:

    On the strength of that I checked out a part of {the website} said to be focused on Israel

  43. FDB says:

    CL – you are an impossibly silly man. I’ve explained at length how and why you’re wrong about this.

    Three times now you’ve (uncharacteristically, I’ll grant) been beaten thoroughly on this point, then brought it up a few months later as if your Black Knight routine had never occurred. As if you weren’t left last time with no arms or legs, raving in a glade about your invincibility.

    Do you think nobody notices?

    Now you claim a faulty memory. Sorry, that doesn’t wash. You’ve got a dossier of every comment you’ve ever made, linked with every response that ever stuck in your craw, so don’t come the raw prawn with me.

    Just back away again, muttering about the KKK – there’s a good chap.

  44. it only disappeared by accident, not pentitential design.

    CL;

    In all seriousness, some of the relevant monthly files have never been importable from the old blog. Am I included in the conspiracy?

  45. paul walter says:

    “Self editing”.
    Isn’t this the whole problem in the first place? Or am I confusing this with (self) censorship, after the post Shier ABC?

  46. paul walter says:

    Actually, just at LP and some of the threads relative to the issue seem to have disappeared, unless I’ve pushed wrong buttons?

  47. paul walter says:

    A “cane toad”?
    That mighthave been me, for all the regard I can muster for someone who sells out his own constituency.

  48. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Follow the link I posted above – the post is at the National Library. I’m in the process of taking screen shots. look for Hunny bunny’s comment at 4.35pm on June 20 2007.

  49. Paul;

    They’ve just scrolled off the front page. Check the archive.

  50. Jc says:

    FDB

    I recall reading the Pearson is a coconut sludge. If you suggest CL or anyone else that read it is incorrect then please explain and don’t think everyone has read your screeds. Or perhaps it’s just a hail mary pass to save the site you disturbingly associate with some embarrassment.

    Out with fella.

  51. paul walter says:

    Yes mate, Am interested in a recheck. I know some there are gay and fed up with being persecuted or hounded. I’m just fed up with being bounced for the errors of others, as a consequence of that injured sensibility.

  52. Jarrah says:

    “Follow the link I posted above – the post is at the National Library. I’m in the process of taking screen shots.”

    I had a quick look too. A search for ‘coconut’ brings up one guy being abusive and several commenters saying it’s offensive and racist. A search for ‘Uncle Tom’ brings up one commenter (different from the first) being abusive and several commenters saying it’s offensive and racist.

    There is no result for “tame blackfella” or “cane toad”.

  53. Jc says:

    Paul,

    Who exactly is hounding them to be fed up? I find it a little hard to believe that gays these days are “hounded”.

  54. Sinclair Davidson says:

    See Kim at 2am on 21 June.

  55. Fran Barlow says:

    Having reviewed the copy of the thread at the link posted by Sinclair, I’m of the view that “Frank Calabrese“‘s commentary (which included, a little later, a term worse than any of those cited above) ought not to have been allowed to stand.

    I don’t accept that it was an adequate defence that other folk had effectively opened the door to such terms by prior usage. Almost all vilifying terms fit this description.

    Had I been moderating, I’d have excised the offending terms (not cane toad though) and drawn everyone’s attention to the house rules.

  56. Jarrah says:

    “See Kim at 2am on 21 June.”

    Yes? I don’t see anything ‘KKK’-like at all.

    Also, given what gets said on Catallaxy, I don’t think we can throw stones.

  57. paul walter says:

    Yes Jacques, found it. Not much impressed by the mobbing of Jennifer wilson by Fine and co, but then what else would you expect?
    That’s why I can’t be bothered with them any more.

  58. FDB says:

    CL’s previous attack on THAT thread was on the basis that it was just the same as Bolt questioning the racial identity of people because they LOOK white. Which is of course the polar opposite of criticising the actions or words of someone who is clearly not white as being “white” in character, because it doesn’t fit some predestined mould for how Blacks should think or act or speak. Both could be offensive to black people, and I for one find the latter much more so. This is the point where the Black Knight was left mumbling about victory last time (back in September, here).

    In any case, I’m pretty sure nobody said anything about lynching Pearson, burning crosses or wearing silly hats, so the KKK reference is pure horseshit. In other words, vintage CL.

  59. Jc says:

    Jarrah:

    No one made any suggestion that it was more than one comment, as though one comment isn’t enough. That’s not identical to but quite similar to the circumstances they stopped their relationship with Young.

    Futhermore the most offensive fucking thing I’ve ever read or rather heard about (and then read it, as I avoid going there) at LP was Leftie Kim suggesting that ripping out part of young Muslim girl’s private parts was a social more that ought to be tolerated and we should opine. He’s an idea, how about she try it out and let know us how that works for her.

    Stop playing defense and acting out on Keyzar Trad impersonations as it’s off putting and dishonest.

  60. FDB says:

    “Futhermore the most offensive fucking thing I’ve ever read or rather heard about (and then read it, as I avoid going there) at LP was Leftie Kim suggesting that ripping out part of young Muslim girl’s private parts was a social more that ought to be tolerated and we should opine.”

    Heard through the famously accurate CL filter, eh?

    I reckon you know better JC.

  61. Jarrah says:

    “I’d have excised the offending terms (not cane toad though)”

    AFAICT, it’s not used even once. Another CL ‘exagerration’.

  62. Jc says:

    “Also, given what gets said on Catallaxy, I don’t think we can throw stones.”

    Lie what exactly references to duck bottom. As I said one time the referee is out of the game on this one after the disgusting ways left-wingers would attack Howard and his appearance.

    Here’s the thing. If you or other lefties don’t want to see escalation then don’t start it as you invariblely end up in tears.

  63. Jc says:

    I know better in terms of what FDB? That her comment is truly fucking disguesting and about as degenerate as there’s ever been published on an Australian blog? Really?

    I’ll it all back if she goes through the procedure without an anesthetic and tells us it was a wonderful experience otherwise my comment holds.

    Tolerating and her case tacitly supporting female mutilation is degenerate. Nothing else would describe it better.

  64. Ken Nielsen says:

    “I don’t think we can throw stones.”
    Yes Jarrah, we have all sinned. The internet is that kind of place.

    Which is why I think it’s a pity that anyone should say to another blog “you’ve gone too far this time…” You’ve offended the advertisers.

  65. dover_beach says:

    Fran:
    the means to such an end would necessarily be repressive and at odds with ‘minarchic’ and still less what I took/take to be libertarian principles.

    I don’t think Nozick sketches a program for a ‘capitalist’ utopia so there are no means to describe as necessarily repressive.

    Moreover, and perhaps more significantly, there is no tradition of meat eaters being harassed or discriminated against in employment provision, or in other legal dealing. There are no disparaging terms for those who consume non-human meat.

    Yes, I think that this is a good point, but my problem is that disapproving of conduct in such terms should not amount to vilification. If vegans, however, supplemented that statement with “meat-eaters must die”, or “meat-eaters are dogs” then the absence of a tradition of abuse would be neither here nor there.

    JohnH:

    What is the specific sense in which “natural lawyers” employ the term.

    Here is a good start. I know of no easy way of doing it briefly.

  66. C.L. says:

    FDB, you’re the one who has made an idiot of himself – trying to run an absurd interference on behalf of your LP buddies. The key point is that a Larvatus Prodeo thread existed (and was happily left in tact for a long time) that featured KKK-style language against disobedient Aborigine Noel Pearson. He was described as a “coconut,” an “Uncle Tom,” a “cane toad” and a “tame blackfella.”

    Nobody was censored, deleted or even reprimanded.

    You say it was lost in a ‘fire’.

    Great.

    Not really relevant here.

    And your boilerplate Birdian ‘CL is a lying liar’ routine is getting a smidgen old. Your defence of LP on this is moronic and laughable.

    And everybody knows it.

  67. Fran Barlow says:

    Jarrah

    Admittedly, I didn’t check for “cane toad”. I merely assumed someone said it on CL’s recommendation. It seems not to be there.

  68. Fran Barlow says:

    He was described as a “coconut,” an “Uncle Tom,” a “cane toad” and a “tame blackfella.”

    The last two strings seem not to exist at the link Sinclair offered.

  69. Jarrah says:

    “He was described as a “coconut,” an “Uncle Tom,” a “cane toad” and a “tame blackfella.”…your boilerplate Birdian ‘CL is a lying liar’ routine”

    Except the last two weren’t said. Unless the typo was so bad a search isn’t turning them up. Perhaps you’re thinking of another thread. That, or you’re a lying liar 😉

  70. C.L. says:

    There is no result for “tame blackfella” or “cane toad”.

    Apologies. There is a second LP thread on the much hated Noel Pearson – this one not lost in a ‘fire’ – and it is there that he is (still) described as a cane toad and a tame blackfella.

  71. FDB says:

    “Not really relevant here.”

    It was quite relevant to your insinuation, reheated shamelessly as if you hadn’t been corrected before, that it was deleted.

    Your claims of “running interference” are likewise simply ridiculous, as I have made clear that I find the LP comments in question highly inappropriate and offensive to Aborigines generally and Pearson in particular.

    Unfortunately, you can’t see past your tribalism anough to acknowledge that we agree on this point, and have to use it as a stick to beat me with – somehow or other, even if it makes no sense whatsoever.

    As I said, you are a silly, silly man.

  72. Jarrah says:

    For the record, I found the aforementioned LP comments far more nasty than the OLO comment that apparently caused the whole kerfuffle. The bigot was wrong, but he wasn’t hateful.

  73. Fran Barlow says:

    my problem is that disapproving of conduct in such terms should not amount to vilification. If vegans, however, supplemented that statement with “meat-eaters must die”, or “meat-eaters are dogs” then the absence of a tradition of abuse would be neither here nor there.

    In this latter case, incitement to criminal acts that the words entialed would be nearly unambiguous*, and in the event that someone uttering or endorsing these sentiments acted in ways consistent with causing injury, one could indeed cite the claims as probative.

    * context would be important — e.g. a satirical performance would not count.

    I don’t think Nozick sketches a program for a ‘capitalist’ utopia so there are no means to describe as necessarily repressive.

    It has been a while since I’ve looked at it, so I’ll have to fish out a copy to respond usefully here.

  74. Ken Nielsen says:

    Sinc – do you think we should edit this out?

    “As I said, you are a silly, silly man.”
    Perhaps over the line?

  75. C.L. says:

    It was quite relevant to your insinuation, reheated shamelessly as if you hadn’t been corrected before, that it was deleted.

    Two things, FDB.

    First, it seems you’re right.

    It wasn’t deleted.

    Thanks.

    Second, I’m not inclined to believe ‘corrections’ made by you in relation to Larvatus Prodeo.

    Finally, I’ve taken screen shots of ‘Cane Toad’ and ‘tame blackfella’ just in case there’s another ‘fire.’

  76. daddy dave says:

    neither the LP nor OLO threads should have been censored/excised, or whatever.
    Comment threads are designed as a forum for discussion by readers. By definition they do not necessarily represent the views of the authors. If comments on comment threads are supposed to always represent the views of the blog owners, then there is literally no point in having them.

  77. Fran Barlow says:

    On the broader question of vilification laws though I should say that I am generally unsympathetic. It bseems to me that if someone’s acts constitute incitement to criminal or tortious acts, then one alrfeady has a sufficient cause in law to proceed against them in relation to the specific crime said to have been incited.

    One might want to define more precisely the application and scope of mens rea in such circumstances yet it seems to me that is a far less swingeing project than an anti-vilification law. The law is an unwieldy instrument for getting people to play nicely with others.

    This is not the same as laws covering public broadcasting. It is reasonable, gioven the riole of the state in adhering to promoting EEO, anti-Discrimination laws, Human Rights etc to require of broadcasters that they not infringe the standing of or encourage animus towards people on the basis of biological sex, sexual preference or identity, ostensible ethnicity, disability etc … In part this flows from the inherent difficulty of showing connection between publicly broadcast statements and private acts of individuals. The high evidentiary bar for connectednes imposes upon public broadcasters greater restraints than exist between persons in a small group speaking amongst themselves and since the state must licence broadcasters, it is implicated if the broadcasters subvert compliance with such public policy.

  78. Ken Nielsen says:

    By the way, does anyone know The Witmark Demos from the Dylan Bootleg Series?
    The man is undoubtedly the greatest musical genius of the twentieth century.

  79. dover_beach says:

    In this latter case, incitement to criminal acts that the words entialed would be nearly unambiguous*, and in the event that someone uttering or endorsing these sentiments acted in ways consistent with causing injury, one could indeed cite the claims as probative.

    Yes, true of the first statement but not of the second. The other thing here is that the original comment described the activity, i.e. the conduct as, both explicitly and implicitly, perverse, unnatural, and unhealthy rather than the persons themselves. If we’re not permitted to describe certain forms of conduct in morally disapproving ways then moral discourse will be severely limited.

  80. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Finally, I’ve taken screen shots of ‘Cane Toad’ and ‘tame blackfella’ just in case there’s another ‘fire.’

    Not necessary – I have posted them.

  81. Tal says:

    Oh Dear Sinc you will start a war.
    Joe,CL it feels like the old days are coming back

  82. Fran Barlow says:

    DB said:

    The other thing here is that the original comment described the activity, i.e. the conduct as, both explicitly and implicitly, perverse, unnatural, and unhealthy rather than the persons themselves.

    I’d say it was in the grey area. It moived seamless between the conduct and claims about what ‘certain lgbt’s want of their perversion’ and went on to characterise as non-naturual the standing of these marriages and to insist in effect that parties to such arrangements were, abetted by the law of the land, determined to be engaged in some sort of morally intolerable and perverted fraud.

    So while the syntax may create a doubt, a person of at least average erudition and conversance with English could well infer that the remarks went to the character of the persons in question. As I said though, this would need to be tested in court and with due regard for context.

  83. Jc says:

    Dads,

    it’s a little more complicated than you suggest for LP than say ONO. ONO has a pretty open comments policy. Lavatory doesn’t and they’re quite severe with what they allow on the site as their deletions and banning is pretty well known. So I’m not sure you can say the owners didn’t tacitly agree with the stuff said against Pearson. That’s not that apparent and in way it’s more damning than it would be for ONO for that reason.

  84. Michael Fisk says:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that the powers-that-be at LP were cheering those comments.

  85. John H. says:

    The other thing here is that the original comment described the activity, i.e. the conduct as, both explicitly and implicitly, perverse, unnatural, and unhealthy rather than the persons themselves.

    Yeah, someone stole my wallet but that says nothing about the person. It does allow for the person to be put in jail. Person is behavior, there is no Other.

  86. Jc says:

    Hit Tal. lol. Yea it’s like the old times.

    The one site I found that was disturbing was TIm Dunlop’s. That was a hate site in all its elegance. The things that used to be said there were amazing. Mostly I was about Howard. Man they used to hate every breath Howard took. Nothing about his appearance was ever sacred.

    And then he got a gig for a time with the dreaded Newslimited.

  87. Tal says:

    Road to Surfdom,oh yeah that was a doozey

  88. Jc says:

    I think though that this whole thing is about partisanship. There’s no point in disguising ideological views and in a lot of ways it would be better if people are simply upfront about it.

    ONO had the wrong business plan, that’s all.

  89. daddy dave says:

    Comment at Club Troppo: Christians are dangerous.
    Religious vilification?
    (note: I’m shit-stirring here…)
    (the context is that they’re dangerous because they oppose abortion and that might cause over-population).

  90. daddy dave says:

    ONO had the wrong business plan, that’s all.

    Sure did. We know that in order to succeed, political and social commentary blogs need to have a broad-brush position. Fence-sitting doesn’t work in the blog world.

  91. dover_beach says:

    It moived seamless between the conduct and claims about what ‘certain lgbt’s want of their perversion’ and went on to characterise as non-naturual the standing of these marriages and to insist in effect that parties to such arrangements were, abetted by the law of the land, determined to be engaged in some sort of morally intolerable and perverted fraud.

    I don’t see that as a problem; from their point of view the association of marriage in these circumstances is unnatural. Should they be denied the possibility of communicating such a conclusion?

    So while the syntax may create a doubt, a person of at least average erudition and conversance with English could well infer that the remarks went to the character of the persons in question.

    Conduct always does go to the character of the person, but to described the act as perverse with whatever implications this may have on their character is not to describe them as by nature perverse. As I said in the sentence that follows the above quote, moral discourse cannot help but describe certain conduct in morally disapproving ways so I cannot see how this would not severely limit moral discourse.

  92. John H. says:

    Christians are dangerous.

    Not as dangerous as a crazed libertarian with nanobots. (line from the movie “Bitchslap).

    I’m taking the piss.

  93. Michael Fisk says:

    It’s always easy to pick a far-left hater, JC – they’re the ones who insist they are “non-partisan” or “non-ideological”.

  94. daddy dave says:

    You’ve made that exact claim before CL. Word for word, if I’m not mistaken

    except that this time he started a blog war.

  95. Tal says:

    Daddy CL has the elephants this time

  96. FDB says:

    “Second, I’m not inclined to believe ‘corrections’ made by you in relation to Larvatus Prodeo.”

    Even when they’re correct? Even when you’ve been corrected on the precise same point previously?

    Why am I not surprised? That should read as a shocking indictment of a man with zero capacity for rational thought… and yet I’m so used to it, it barely registers.

  97. TJW says:

    I agree with CL that there is a double-standard at play by some when it comes to the Bill Muhlenberg comments thread – that double-standard being a failure to express concern with similarly illogical (and harmful) claims involving Catholics. I stopped visiting Club Troppo, LP (and Graham’s personal blog) for this specific reason. It’s therefore difficult for me to accept that either of their decisions was based primarily upon principle.

    Having to accept the existence of such comments threads (anti-Catholic, anti-gay and whatever else) I think that the Muhlenberg thread contained adequate and convincing responses to the more extreme claims of the anti-gay commenters.

    The article itself, though unconvincing, has been, in my view, misrepresented by most other blogs including Skeptic Lawyer. It’s a bad argument but was wrongly characterised as claiming that marriage has always adhered to the strict Christian norm.

  98. Jc says:

    Can I repeat Ken Lovell’s conspiracy theory. I usually do every six months or so because it was possibly the most “timely” thread I’ve seen for while.

    If you recall the UK bombings there was one attack in London and subsequently there was the Scottish airport attack. Both bombings were orchestrated by imbeciles as the bomb in London never went off and the idiots burned themselves to a cinder in Scotland with a faulty bomb.

    During the intervals between the london and scottish attacks Kenny ran a thread with the view that the Brown government had set the London bomb in order to garner sympathy for the Iraqi war. No soon than he ran with the thread Scottland became news.

    And Kenny had the audacity to delete my comment sugegsting he was the biggest idiot in the world at that point in time.

  99. paul walter says:

    Ive had bones to pick with Kim at LP,meself, but cL’s misrepresentation of her attitudes to FMG are bit absurd, even for here.

  100. Sinclair Davidson says:

    That discussion is on another post lost to ‘fire’. It is here.

  101. C.L. says:

    Kim said she opposed ‘loud denunciations’ of female genital mutilation. Which was an incredible thing to say.

    Not a misrepresentation. A fact.

  102. Michael Fisk says:

    I did like Kim’s interesting slip about a black woman who opposes (and was a victim of) Female Genital Mutilation:

    Her view on Islam is too much coloured by her own experience

  103. Tal says:

    Michael that thread was vey uncomfortable to say the least

  104. Jarrah says:

    “Kim said she opposed ‘loud denunciations’ of female genital mutilation.”

    Because she felt that would slow the eradication of the practice. Why is that an ‘incredible’ opinion?

  105. sdfc says:

    CL

    Thanks for wasting my time and linking to Tim Blair.

  106. Jc says:

    Ketze
    Are you on some illicit drug use binge as you’re really a coupla planets away from earth at the moment.

  107. Jc says:

    Sdfc

    The blair link showed exactly what she said.

  108. sdfc says:

    I don’t want Blair’s link JC. I want the source.

    As someone who was once banned from his blog, Blair is a dickhead I don’t trust him to put a comment in context.

    Anyway what’s this I keep reading about a gas boom in the US?

  109. Michael Fisk says:

    Obviously, great moral evils need to be denounced with a controlled rage, and always have been.
    Kim provided no reason whatsoever to believe that loud denunciations of female genital mutilation would slow its eradication. She simply asserted that (“it would seem to me”) without trying to provide a justification, probably because there is none. If Kim has any evidence that denunciations of perceived evils do not “work” in Arab or African cultures (where denouncing Israel, very loudly, is a national sport), then she hasn’t even begun to show why that might be the case.

    Given the glaring above omissions, we have to suspect that the real reason Kim doesn’t want to “loudly” denounce female genital mutilation is not that she genuinely wishes to speed its eradiction, but that she doesn’t want to be forced to condemn a phenomenon that might play to the advantage of her political enemies, even if it means massive harm to the objects of her alleged concern (e.g. non-white women). She doesn’t want to admit that some cultures are simply more barbaric than others, so the best tack is to ignore barbarism wherever it occurs and let the victims bear the brunt of it.

  110. Michael Fisk says:

    As someone who was once banned from his blog, Blair is a dickhead I don’t trust him to put a comment in context.

    I take it that you are accusing Blair of misrepresenting Kim’s position? If that is your intent, why not say so openly? If not, then we will have to exclude that comment from being any contribution to this thread.

  111. sdfc says:

    That last comment is not on topic.

    So we don’t derail teh thread maybe your answer (if there is one) should be on the open thread.

  112. sdfc says:

    I don”t know if he is Michael. I’m just saying I don’t trust him.

    It’s not that difficult surely.

  113. Jc says:

    Why were you banned, because of your advocacy od Keynesian ratbaggery?

  114. Jarrah says:

    “so the best tack is to ignore barbarism wherever it occurs”

    She never suggests such a thing. In fact:

    I would strongly urge those who wish to see FGM disappear as a source of horror and trauma for girls and women to give financial support to this organisation. I continue to believe, and agree with Matthew Yglesias and Samhita at Feministing, that this is the most practical and effective way of working to eliminate the scourge of FGM. I believe that Ali does useful work in highlighting the horrific realities of FGM, as I said on the original thread, but I believe that the best step that can be taken to work against it is to give support to those who are best placed to do so where it occurs, not to politicise the issue.

  115. Michael Fisk says:

    Here is Martin Luther King’s contemptuous response to a bunch of “white moderates” (much like Kim of LP) who suggested that he shouldn’t loudly denounce segregation, and that he was an extremist for doing so.

    You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

    This is quite a telling statement. Kim denounces opponents of FGM much more readily and often than she denounces the practitioners themselves..

  116. FDB says:

    Why not start another post on this other long-festering, obsessive vendetta of CL’s against LP, Sinclair?

    I’m sure it’ll go down a treat.

  117. Jarrah says:

    “As someone who was once banned from his blog”

    Join the club. But was it Blair, or his (at the time) admin Andrea? She banned me because I disagreed with her. I hadn’t been abusive, or trolling, or libellous, or vilifying, or derailing. Just rational. It bugged the shit out of her 🙂

  118. Michael Fisk says:

    I believe that Ali does useful work in highlighting the horrific realities of FGM, as I said on the original thread, but I believe that the best step that can be taken to work against it is to give support to those who are best placed to do so where it occurs, not to politicise the issue.

    WTF is this supposed to mean? Obviously, when a great injustice exists, calling for its eradication (as per Dr King) requires the politicisation of the issue. First you must identify the problem. Then you must identify who is standing in the way of you solving the problem. Finally, you must push these peopel out of the way and solve it. Politicisation is unavoidable.

    Once again, Kim and her supporters have spent more time opposing the opponents of FGM on political grounds or making excuses for their incredibly lame position (which would have been denounced witheringly by Dr King) than they have actually spent…opposing FGM.

    This is, in essence, a sign of objective support for FGM, just as “white moderates” (whom Dr King addressed in his letter) were objective supporters of segregation.

  119. Jarrah says:

    Different context, Fisk. Demonstrations by members of the culture under critique, influencing law-makers in a democratic country, are a different fish kettle.

  120. Michael Fisk says:

    I don”t know if he is Michael. I’m just saying I don’t trust him.

    Did Tim Blair misrepresent Kim or did he not?

  121. sdfc says:

    Monetary economics JC is probably a more apt term JC.

    As we know you are more Keynesian in some respects that me.

  122. FDB says:

    “Kim denounces opponents of FGM much more readily and often than she denounces the practitioners themselves..”

    Presumably you have evidence of some kind for this outrageous assertion?

  123. sdfc says:

    I don’t know Michael. Link to the source and I will tell you.

  124. Michael Fisk says:

    Demonstrations by members of the culture under critique, influencing law-makers in a democratic country, are a different fish kettle.

    The Birmingham demonstrations were attended both by activists and also by people directly affected by segregation. Ali is agitating against a phenemenon of which she herself has been a victim. In BOTH instances, the audience is the middle class of an advanced liberal democracy. There is no distinction to be made between the two – injustices are being opposed, loudly, by their victims and “white moderates” are looking the other way.

    I understand that you aren’t hugely keen on denunciations of FGM, including by the victims, such as Ali, themselves, but I’m afraid they will continue in spite of the attempts by “white moderates” to run interference for the other side.

    Get used to it.

  125. Jarrah says:

    “I understand that you aren’t hugely keen on denunciations of FGM, including by the victims, such as Ali, themselves”

    Apparently you understand very little. I didn’t say I agreed with Kim, only that I didn’t find her reasoning “incredible”. And that I thought your MLK analogy useless.

  126. FDB says:

    Fisk – Kim’s comments were relating to ‘loud denunciations’ of Islam itself, on the basis of FGM. If you read them in context that much is quite clear.

    Perhaps you never did?

  127. C.L. says:

    Thanks for wasting my time and linking to Tim Blair.

    Thanks for the ad hom, sdfc.

    Very convincing.

  128. sdfc says:

    What ad hom CL/ Link to the comment. Not a second hand account from a dickhead.

  129. FDB says:

    If anyone wants to read the whole original post, Sinclair has already linked to it.

    It’s here.

    Please explain how and why you disagree with her argument, if you still do, and secondly what relation it bears to the straw-version maliciously and mendaciously peddled by Blair and parrotted ad nauseam by CL for the last few years.

  130. Jc says:

    The keyzar Trad defense is appearing more often then normal this evening as keyze plays interference for lavatory.

    Apparently you understand very little

  131. C.L. says:

    …long-festering, obsessive vendetta of CL’s against LP…

    The post mentioned LP and its policy on vilification in thread discussions. If FDB, the world’s most opinionated bongo virtuoso, can’t see the relevance of the coconut affair, there’s nothing we can do to amp him up to a keyboardist’s level of intelligence.

    And the only ‘long-festering, obsessive vendetta’ on show here today has been FDB’s clinically compulsive preoccupation with me.

  132. sdfc says:

    That link isn’t working FDB. Ya lefty.

  133. C.L. says:

    CL…

    A new, fresh contribution from FDB.

    What ad hom… [Blair] a dickhead.

    LOL.

  134. sdfc says:

    No link then CL?

  135. FDB says:

    Right click and open in new tab works, while just clicking doesn’t for some reason.

  136. C.L. says:

    Here’s what you do, SDFC. You click Blair’s link and then click his link to LP.

    Can you do that, you clueless oaf?

  137. FDB says:

    In any case sfdc, I’m sure Sinclair will start a new post soon about this long-dead LP thread.

    Sinkers?

    *crickets*

    Why not?

  138. Michael Fisk says:

    Kim says that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a tool of “privileged white men” and that she is an abetter of Islamophobes (if not, an Islamophobe herself).

    (a) She’s actually not really allowed to speak for herself, and her voice isn’t afforded equality with those of others, but rather she becomes some sort of token which the aforesaid bunch of privileged white men exchange for credibility;

    (b) Hirsi Ali and her champions do not *just* oppose FGM on the basis of human rights, but suddenly spiral this upwards to a frenzy of denunciation and condemn – all directed at Teh Evil Islam. It’s no great surprise that discussion of the issue, and indeed her prominence in much public debate, was contingent, it now seems, on a general climate of febrile Islamophobia.

    This is certainly a more thoroughly denunciation than anything she has offered of Female Genital Mutilation. Kim goes on to advocate the provincialist position that:

    More generally, I made the point over and over again that it is not culturally relativist to say that such practices as FGM are best opposed by those opposed to them where they prevail, and in arguments which are leveraged off prevalent modes of discourse in such communities, rather than through the application of a liberal universalist sledgehammer.

    There goes the anti-slavery movement, as well as the successful campaign to force the Ottomans to reform the “dhimmi” system.

  139. sdfc says:

    I clicked a couple of links CL. He linked to himself. You boring git.

    How many links do I have to click?

    Tried that FDB. Still didn’t work.

  140. Michael Fisk says:

    Fisk – Kim’s comments were relating to ‘loud denunciations’ of Islam itself, on the basis of FGM. If you read them in context that much is quite clear.

    No they weren’t – she was refering specifically to loud denunciations of Female Genital Mutilation:

    It would also be useful to know more about what sorts of methods those working against the practice in Australia are using. It would seem to me counterproductive to have loud denunciations of it – the key thing should be to convince people it is wrong.

  141. sdfc says:

    I really don’t care at the end of the day FDB. I don’t put too much stock in other’s opinions.

    I’m pretty sure I’m about to be called in to watch a movie with the missus. I feel like a kid when the street lights have just come on.

  142. FDB says:

    I dunno sdfc – maybe a browser issue? here is the url in text form:

    http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/56373/20071119-0002/larvatusprodeo.net/2007/05/30/more-bones-to-pick/index.html#comments

    Maybe try c&p into your address bar?

  143. FDB says:

    LOL streetlights.

    Okay, I hope it’s not a romantic comedy at least.

  144. sdfc says:

    Still doesn’t work FDB. Maybe I’m just incompetent.

  145. sdfc says:

    No FDB. Robin Hood with Russel Crowe.

    Mindless crap. Just what I need.

  146. FDB says:

    Awesome. Rusty in tights, shouting.

    And who plays Marion in that one again? Blanchette? Enjoy your brain holiday.

  147. Michael Fisk says:

    One more point I should add: Kim’s only half-decent argument is that female genital mutilation is not an exclusively Islamic practice. This is true, and I agree that Islam should not be denounced for FGM specifically, but rather for advocating violence against women and non-believers generally.

    The Koran says that you are allowed to “beat” or “scourge” your wife for “disobedience” – those who would run interference for Islam on this clearly do not, deep down, have a big problem with the incitement of violence against women. Otherwise they would denounce it loudly.

  148. THR says:

    The Koran says that you are allowed to “beat” or “scourge” your wife for “disobedience” – those who would run interference for Islam on this clearly do not, deep down, have a big problem with the incitement of violence against women.

    The Bible enjoins believers to stone to death any woman raped in a city or town.

  149. sdfc says:

    Gotta be better than Kevin Costner FDB.

  150. sdfc says:

    Michael the Koran was written in 600 or something. The Old Testament also has some pretty fucked ideas.

    We’ve all moved on.

  151. FDB says:

    Only some of us sdfc, only some.

  152. sdfc says:

    Absolutely FDB but you can’t tar a whole religion just because of some dickheads.

  153. . says:

    THR,

    All will be answered in the Brick Testament.

    This “God/Moses/Muhammad is a murdering loon” schtick doesn’t work for me.

    First of all, the narrative used in Christianity is that the old testament laws moderated older Canaanite/Israeli customary law. Then Jesus got all hippy and preached and all that.

    Let’s say there’s a God and one of the religions is right. There’s nothing stopping genuine scripture being tainted with loony views.

    Take Ayn Rand for example. Capitalism the Unknown Ideal is a seriously good book. Lefties should read it because it is pragmatic and perhaps useful in defrocking their “gods” and being more selective with regulation.

    But look at her as a person – no objectivist who thinks for themselves would agree with her pained philosophical rejection of homosexuality.

    She simply couldn’t move on from what had been ingrained in her at the time, even if she thought she came up with a purely objective humanist philosophy.

    Nothing stopping even the pure word of God being tainted by the educated classes back then.

    I give all religions a pass, but obviously the loons still pushing this stuff don’t get the whole rant I just made.

    It’s a silly argument theologically unless you demand that we are all born into the afterlife anyway.

  154. Michael Fisk says:

    Michael the Koran was written in 600 or something. The Old Testament also has some pretty fucked ideas.

    We’ve all moved on.

    No, we haven’t “all” moved on. About 300 million people in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Nigeria advocate the stoning of adulterers and the execution of apostates (this is a rough calculation based on the latest Pew survey showing vast support for these punishments among Muslims in those countries). So long as this rubbish continues to be defended as the “last, unalterable word of God”, there will always be massive, systematic violence against women, gays and religious dissidents.

    Which means that you cannot support women’s rights without either denouncing Islam itself, or calling on Muslims to change their beliefs in the same hypocritical fashion that Christians did after the Enlightenment (God only really meant all the nice stuff, not the nasty stuff, honest!).

  155. Michael Fisk says:

    Absolutely FDB but you can’t tar a whole religion just because of some dickheads.

    No, you can’t tar a whole religion just because of the statements of…the founder of that religion!

    Heavens, no.

  156. THR says:

    This “God/Moses/Muhammad is a murdering loon” schtick doesn’t work for me.

    Well, we agree on this at least, dot. I can’t stand the New Athiest schtick of Dawkins and co.

  157. FDB says:

    “Absolutely FDB but you can’t tar a whole religion just because of some dickheads.”

    Oh Lord no, may his name be praised. I wasn’t referring to Islam, but antediluvian* religious bullshit generally, which still has many uncritical adherents.

    *The atheists’ “flood” being the Enlightenment, of course.

  158. JC wrote:

    The one site I found that was disturbing was TIm Dunlop’s. That was a hate site in all its elegance. The things that used to be said there were amazing. Mostly I was about Howard. Man they used to hate every breath Howard took. Nothing about his appearance was ever sacred.

    I agree.

    My criticism of Catallaxy is that, in comments regarding Labor identities, it has simply become a mirror image of that sort of commentary.

    Two wrongs not making a right does not seem to be a big feature of libertarian thinking, however.

  159. Jarrah says:

    “Which means that you cannot support women’s rights without either denouncing Islam itself”

    Without denouncing those parts of Islam that violate women’s rights, you mean. A religion is not defined by one facet.

  160. . says:

    Steve,

    You are really talking ignorantly.

    We used to slam the shit out of Howard here. (Highest taxing PM, anti civil liberties, botched workplace reform, no tax cuts, prolifigate waste, anti gun nutter, weak argument about CAD for years, weak rant about the ALP budget 11 years after the fact, not stepping down, purposively botching the republic debate, anti porn, paternalistic, ridiculous anti oil company crusade whilst not dropping excise tax, general criticism of the Iraq war, not buying the F-22, milking the Collins class botch without really fixing it or giving it strategic capabilities, appealing to xenophobia if not racism with refugees, compromising on the GST, not cutting income taxes, wasting the surpluses and not cutting taxes, further complicated and made more damaging welfare/interaction with the tax system…that’s off the top of my head and not searching old threads).

    He is simply not the PM anymore.

    Also, we think that Rudd and Gillard are possibly worse than Whitlam.

    I have very little faith in the front bench and leadership – let alone the machine men. Why would you let Pilbersek and Wong run amok when you’ve got Shorten, Mar’n Ferguson and Combet?

    If it is a gender thing it is because the women have not had to compete with the quota system. I don’t really like Sophie Mirabella but she could probably whip each of the Labour chicks.

    “Two wrongs not making a right does not seem to be a big feature of libertarian thinking, however.”

    That’s an ignorant slur Steve, you ought to educate yourself.

  161. Michael Fisk says:

    Well, we agree on this at least, dot. I can’t stand the New Athiest schtick of Dawkins and co.

    I think Dawkins goes way overboard, dare I say counterproductively so, in his ridicule of religious believers, but when he focuses on the flatly immoral teachings of religion itself, he is in fine form.

    Dawkins cited an excellent survey of Israeli school-children where two different groups of students were shown the same quote from the Bible (calling for the dispossession and mass murder of non-Israelites), except the control group of students were told the quote came not from Joshua, but from a Chinese general. 2/3 of the students gave total approval of Joshua’s statement, but only 7% approved of the Chinese general’s identical calls for murder.

    His point was that we clearly don’t need to derive “morality” from “religion” and indeed the two are often diametrically opposed.

  162. Michael Fisk says:

    Without denouncing those parts of Islam that violate women’s rights, you mean. A religion is not defined by one facet.

    Of course – I’m not denouncing whirling dervishes, Ramadan, or foot-bathing here.

  163. C.L. says:

    On the question of the prudence of ‘loud denunciations,’ the case of the Giffords shooting is a remarkable case in point. Lefties screeched like Jimmy Barnes passing a kidney stone blaming Sarah Palin for the actions of leftist nutball Jared Loughner. But when it comes to mutilating girls’ genitals, softly-softly is apparently the way to go.

  164. FDB says:

    “Of course – I’m not denouncing whirling dervishes, Ramadan, or foot-bathing here.”

    Oh, okay.

    So you agree with Kim then.

  165. Jc says:

    I disagree Steve. See what Dot said. This site was always pretty harsh when the libs screwed up and when they continue to screw up.

    The big difference also is that generally speaking if someone here has a go at lab they also explain why and its done in a fairly sophisticated way.

    Have you noticed the detailed debates about fiscal policy, monetary policy, the ETS or a carbon tax (better at least).

    How about the long debates on fiscal/ monetary policy we have with SDFC.?

    Perhaps you don’t understand them.

    There are good reasons to dislike this government and they are articulated well and often.

    Lastly I don’t anyone hates the people in the government. A lot of us think they are totally incompetent.

    Big difference than calling Howard a ugly so and so and leaving it there.

    You of course don’t seem to get any of the debates or discussions going on.

  166. Michael Fisk says:

    So you agree with Kim then.

    My modus operandi could hardly be more different to Kim’s. Firsty, I loudly condemn FGM, whereas Kim doesn’t. Secondly, I hold Koranic verses responsible for inciting violence against women, which (to my knowledge) Kim never has.

    Thirdly, on an area of possible overlap, while I do not generally see good reason to denounce entire religions per se (many religious customs are innocuous), I nevertheless can see a few steps ahead, and that it may also be unavoidable. The following exchange could sum up the problem:

    Secularist: Whilst I have no problem with most Islamic customs and am prepared to accept that Mohammad may well have been a genuine reformer in the 7th Century, there are a number of verses in the Koran that are utterly barbaric and that no decent person should heed today.

    Cleric: I’m sorry, but you cannot pick and choose. This entire book is the unalterable, perfect and timeless word of God. You cannot pick and choose just because some parts of the religion are unpalatable to you.

    Secularist: In that case, the religion itself is the problem, as you have denied both yourself and I the option of moral discretion.

    Cleric: Islamophobe!

    The second step in the Secularist’s chain of reasoning is unavoidable to any intellectually honest person.

  167. Boris says:

    Everyone:

    I have been seldom seen on Catallaxy because I got addicted to contributing (in small ways) to artcles on Wikiepdia. Blogs are hot air and any contributions made, especially in the form of comments, are completely and permanently forgotten in a matter hours if not minutes. On Wikipeida the efficiency leaves a lot to be desired, and sure there is a lot of hot air as well, but at the end of the day we build something that may be useful for many readers.

    Unlike blogs which have very liberal rules, on wikipedia rules are quite strict and rather strictly enforced. Of course the purposes are completely different, so there is no comparison. But there are some behavioural rules that can be adopted in other media. For example, people that are found to have engaged in useless and disruptive trade of insults can be banned from interacting with one another. Interaction bans are very effective in putting out the flames and focusing on contructive work. I wonder if we could do it to FDB vs CL?

  168. FDB says:

    “Firsty, I loudly condemn FGM”

    Oh yeah? Who’s listening?

    As to your claim of a monolithic Islam which must be dismantled to stamp out FGM, I posit the extreme rarity of FGM within Muslim communities, and the existence of it without.

    Just as Kim said in the post.

  169. Michael Fisk says:

    Of course, there is always the option of dissimulation, and such an exchange might extend from the previous one as follows:

    Cleric (in response to the previous point about barbaric verses): You cannot take this stuff literally from the Koran as you must know the context – which you might be able to glean from the Hadith if you have the patience – first. Also, you have to read the Koran in Arabic, because God’s word can only be truly understood in that language.

    Secularist: Right, so the perfect and timeless word of God is thus concealed from about 95% of the world’s population AND 75% of nominal Muslims, on account of their non-fluency in Arabic. Shouldn’t God have proofed his own work a little more carefully? And why should I be called on to “respect” something that is deliberately obscured?

    Cleric: Islamophobe!

  170. Myrddin Seren says:

    Boris

    Interaction bans ?

    This is better than ‘South Park’ reruns at times !

    Why would you want to rain on the parades of the Catallaxy ‘Kyles’ and ‘Cartmans’ ?

  171. Michael Fisk says:

    As to your claim of a monolithic Islam which must be dismantled to stamp out FGM, I posit the extreme rarity of FGM within Muslim communities, and the existence of it without.

    Where did I make any claim that Islam was “monolithic”? Nor have I said that Islam needs to be dismantled in order to stamp out FGM (in fact, I have explicitly stated that FGM is NOT exclusively practiced by Muslims).

    You will need to provide something other than red herrings in this exchange. We have much higher standards of logic over here than do the LP crowd.

  172. Boris says:

    “One might want to define more precisely the application and scope of mens rea in such circumstances yet it seems to me that is a far less swingeing project than an anti-vilification law. The law is an unwieldy instrument for getting people to play nicely with others.

    Fran, I thought Jc was joking but it seems that you are very close to libertarian positions on many key issues.

    I also think anti-vilification laws are wrong but anti-incitement laws need strengthening. It should be ok to paint ant-islamic or anti-semitic cartoon but not to call for violence (even implicitly).

    It is not easy to draw a line but courts are capable.

  173. FDB says:

    Boris – I have already done it to myself with Bird and JC (less stringently in the latter case as there’s somewhat less of a problem), and just tonight resolved to do the same with CL. The lack of a technological ban leaves open the possibility of civil discussion, and thereby reconciliation (or redemption if you will). So I’d prefer that. Who knows, the Rolling Stones might come up and we might have a few civil words.

    To be frank though, it’s not just me who gets into these unedifying slanging matches with CL, as I’m sure you know. It’s an actual pathology on his part, and one I am going to walk away from. Tillman does a better job of staying banal and sarcastically aloof anyway, and Steve covers the honestly/earnestly dismayed angle. All that’s really left for me is to be some sort of snarky style guide, which let’s face it is pretty tedious and we can all do without.

  174. C.L. says:

    Rarity within, existence without. On that ‘posited’ thesis, we shouldn’t loudly condemn child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church either.

    Strange, that’s not exactly the policy of the critics – who could accurately be described as ‘extremely noisy’.

    I disagree. Provided we also condemn child sexual abuse in all the denominations (in which it is to be found with equal prevalence), we should loudly condemn it.

    Lefties want to give Islam a break, though.

    Odd.

  175. FDB says:

    “Where did I make any claim that Islam was “monolithic”?”

    Er… okay then.

    What are your little potted hypothetical conversations supposed to mean?

  176. FDB says:

    “we shouldn’t loudly condemn child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church either”

    Yes we should.

    Just not the Church per se on that basis, as regularly does occur and to which you object strongly, right?

  177. C.L. says:

    FDB, nobody is buying your bizarre and dishonest apologia for today’s stalking. I demonstrated that LP is hopelessly hypocritical on this issue and you didn’t like it. Why? Because you’re an LP loyalist and an intellectual coward. What to do? Post tens of comments about me when you knew very well that I was right. This abusive ad homming is your stock-in-trade. As for style, you can’t post a hyperlink and earlier in the week you seemed to be posting in Swahili. For the more detailed analysis of your many inadequacies, I usually leave that to JC. So I regularly take pity on you by charitably out-sourcing the mockery.

    When you came in here early in 2009 or 2010 telling us your life was a mess, I reached out to you (with others) and resolved to build on your expression of gratitude by regularising what interactions we had. I tried. The girlfriend, the foot, movies, bands – the whole works. But you just couldn’t help yourself. Before long, you returned to your obsessive abuse of me like Lassie to her vomit. I think you’re a bully and like all bullies you only ‘like’ people who agree with you.

  178. Michael Fisk says:

    I also think anti-vilification laws are wrong but anti-incitement laws need strengthening. It should be ok to paint ant-islamic or anti-semitic cartoon but not to call for violence (even implicitly).

    I agree entirely. There is no reason why anyone should be allowed to incite violence against innocent people. I would happily endorse this principle up to, and including, a restriction on preaching of religious verses that call for violence.

    What are your little potted hypothetical conversations supposed to mean?

    I was simply pointing out the two most common ways that theists and their apologists deal with criticism from non-theists – there is nothing in any of my comments that has claimed that Islam is “monolithic”, a leftist distraction that is often brought up in lieu of actually dealing with the fact that the Koran incites violence against women and non-believers.

  179. FDB says:

    CL – I concede.

    I tried my best, but you are the bigger dickhead.

    That will be all for the foreseeable.

  180. Boris says:

    I should add that on Wikipedia interaction bans are not technically enforceable. But anyone violating them runs a risk of being technically blocked from contributing – for a period from a few hours to indefinitely.

    Interaction ban is one in a series of sanctions that restrict certain editors from editing particular sets of articles on particular topics, discussion pages etc. None of these is technically enforceable, but violators risk blocks from the entire project.

    I think there are no technical ways to block a user from editing part of Wikipedia. It is all or nothing.

  181. C.L. says:

    You tried to hatefully derail the thread by making it about me (as usual) and, unfortunately for everyone, you succeeded.

  182. Boris says:

    “I would happily endorse this principle up to, and including, a restriction on preaching of religious verses that call for violence.”

    I guess there is a difference between reciting verses that called for violence 500 years ago and those that imply violence today. I suppose you don’t think those Israeli children would be criminally responsible even if it wasn’t a test and they were adults?

  183. Michael Fisk says:

    No, because the OT verse in question related to a tribe of people who no longer exist, so there is no possibility of incitement. Sadly, here is one of Allah’s latest pronouncements on inter-faith relations:

    Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

  184. Boris says:

    Sure, but I think the context in which the verse is recited and how it is interpreted is important.

  185. Michael Fisk says:

    Iraq’s new Khomeinist regime is banning alcohol service in clubs:

    Dozens of Iraqi writers and poets took to the streets of Baghdad Friday to protest at the closure of social clubs that serve alcohol in the capital, arguing that it harkened back to Saddam-era repression.

    Holding up placards with the phrases “Freedom first” and “Baghdad will not be Kandahar,” they staged a demonstration near the Iraqi Writers’ Union (IWU) building in al-Wattanabi in the city centre.

    “We don’t need a Khomeini state or a Taliban state in Iraq,” said IWU chief Fadhel Samer, referring to Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the Afghan Islamist group respectively.

    Your tax dollars at work – installing sharia governments in the Middle East.

  186. Mikey Bear, who is Greg Storer’s partner, left the following reply to my question: why not go the anti discrimination path? (before I knew the Victorian legislation):

    “Why must they go to via an anti-discrimination path? That’s ludicrous. A letter to the advertisers proved far simpler, effective and expedient.”

    So does this mean we can look forward to a blogosphere with content determined by global corporations, that being the simplest, most effective and expedient form of protest?

    What is interesting is that a couple of the most rabid commentators in the msm, like Bolt, attract vile comments, and no advertisers seem to give a stuff.

  187. Peter Patton says:

    Lefty Kim was much viler about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, than FGM per se. LK has a thing about uppity brown people, particularly sheilahs.

  188. Peter Patton says:

    Join the club. But was it Blair, or his (at the time) admin Andrea? She banned me because I disagreed with her. I hadn’t been abusive, or trolling, or libellous, or vilifying, or derailing. Just rational. It bugged the shit out of her

    There is a distinct gender pattern in this sort of behavior. Men tend towards concerns over legal implications, women over being shown to be wrong, or even accused, or even suggesting they might be a little ill/mis-informed.

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