Important Poll to Determine the Respectability of our Readership


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

Related Post Roulette

152 Responses

  1. Pat Cahalan says:

    That got an honest-to-goodness belly laugh.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    “No, the temperature is what God wants it to be, not what Man wants it to be.”Report

  3. Jason Kuznicki says:

    I tip my hat to you, Will.Report

    • Heidegger in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      Uh-oh Jason, I guess I’ve really stepped into it this time! Didn’t know where you received your Ph.D. and I’m guessing from your response it MUST have been, from good ole Johns Hopkins. Whoaa. A very, very fine institution of higher learning–tops in so many fields–music, medicine, arts and sciences, engineering–they’re simply the best. And now I better really watch my tongue, when talking about JHU–all in good fun, though–hope you take no offense at my jocular perspective of this great school-just a little, mild, tongue-in-cheek fun. I only hope that, as a Pole, you were exposed to lots and lots of music by your country’s greatest native son, Frederic Chopin. No one has ever rocked the piano world more than this great genius. I shudder to think of how diminished and diluted the experience of life would be without the gorgeous music of Chopin. Thanks Chopin–the world loves you, forever!Report

  4. Freddie says:

    So we’re all onboard with the fact that a non-trivial number of movement conservatives believe in neither AGW or evolution, right?Report

  5. Kyle Cupp says:

    What’s anthropogenic mean?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Kyle Cupp says:

      “Anthro” is a slang term for anthropomorphism, that is to say, giving human traits to animals.

      “Pogs” were a flash-in-the-pan craze in the 90’s. You’d stack up a bunch of little cardboard circles and hit them with a “slammer” and all of the ones that were face up (or face down) became points (and the hardcore pogsters played for pogs).

      “Enic” is a British investment company ultimately controlled and owned by Joseph Lewis.

      So “anthroprogenic” means, pretty much, Furries who are into finance and schoolyard games.Report

    • Heidegger in reply to Kyle Cupp says:

      I think it refers to humans having sex with primates, chimps specifically, without a proper marriage license. I’m pretty sure inter species sex is allowed as long as proper marriage vows have exchanged. And only a handful of churches will recognize the validity of such a union. There are sites on the Internet that specialize in wedding gowns for primates–some very handsome tuxedos for the males and quite beautiful white gowns for the females. I have no idea what the legal status is for same-sex interspecie marriage between humans and chimps. Likely, will end up in the Supreme Court along with its human counterpart. San Francisco Mayor Newsom has pledged to make San Francisco an example of gay tolerance and gay marriage rights, regardless of the species desiring to be wed. There has even been talk that the Mayor will perform a raucous inter specie group wedding at Golden Gate Park.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Heidegger says:


        It’s so easy to get all het up against the progressives but then an Evangelical shows up and completely makes you feel stupid for not spending more time railing against the Evangelicals.

        Heidegger, you have just pretty much mocked some of the folks I hold dearest on this website in a particularly cruel fashion and, worse than that, it wasn’t even particularly funny and, worse than that, you did so in such a way that solidified the prejudices of everybody prejudiced against Evangelicals (especially me).

        Read Luke again.

        Pay special attention to the parable of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan.

        Act more like the Father.
        Act more like the Samaritan.

        As it stands, you’re acting like yet another whited sepulchre.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

          Isaac Asimov (who was a dedicated atheist) wrote a lovely essay pointing out that we miss a lot of the parable’s meaning. To us, “Samaritan” is merely an ancient-sounding name. To first-century Jews, Samaritans were people who tried to practice Judaism and got it all wrong. This is, of course, far worse than merely being pagan like the Greeks and Romans were. Think Sunni and Shiite, or Maoist and Trotskyist, .or, worst of all, Real Republican and RINO. If there had been Keith Olbermann back then, a Samaritan would have been the worst person in the world every single night.

          So, to really understand it, when you hear “Good Samaritan”, you need to think “I’m a Palin fan and he’s a good gay illegal alien who’s in favor of gun control”.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            This whole “at least we’re not like *THOSE* people” thing is covered by Jesus.

            Indeed, he lays his take on that particular attitude down. He lays it down *FLAT*.Report

          • Matty in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            I don’t know about getting all the meaning but I was certainly taught as a child at my mothers church that one of the major points of that story was that Samaritans were despised. I don’t think it would even work as a parable if we didn’t recognise that the person who helped was the one the original audience would have had least sympathy for.Report

            • Will H. in reply to Matty says:

              The Parable of the Mustard Seed has much the same twist.
              Mustard is a weed that they chopped out of the fields whenever they saw it.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Will H. says:

                The Parable of the Mustard Seed is a joke by Jesus. Mustard doesn’t grow into a mighty tree, nor do the birds of heaven nest in its branches. He was making fun of the Scribes and Pharisees who were constantly nattering on about how Israel was like a mighty cedar of Lebanon, etc.Report

        • Heidegger in reply to Jaybird says:

          Well Jaybird, all I can say is, I had absolutely no idea my words were cruel and hurtful. None at all. Nor do I have any idea who was hurt by them. But if you say so, that’s good enough for me. It’s interesting that my very little innocent satire about same-sex marriage between chimps or between chimps and humans is so upsetting to you. Hey, where’s all that humor? I don’t seem to recall you taking any kind of umbrage against the scantily clad speedo thonged Gay Pride marchers barging into that ongoing Catholic Mass demanding Holy Communion. No, that was cool, funny, cute–guerrilla theatreish. “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” A mantra for the ages. If I had known my words were causing such distress and hurt, I would have left the League of Ordinary Gentlemen a long time ago. Oh well, better late than never my friend. I’ve enjoyed our dialogues very much–you’re quite clever and funny. Good luck. Auf wiedersehen, and my sincere best wishes to you and all the characters at the League–it’s been much fun and always enlightening. HReport

          • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Heidegger says:

            Oh boy, a flounce. I wonder how long this one will last?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Heidegger says:

            I’m not telling you to leave, Heidegger.

            I’m telling you to be kinder.

            If, in response to being told to be kind you say “the only way I can be kind is to not say anything” well, that’s between you and whatever God you happen to worship.

            I think that if you read Luke again and meditate on what Jesus said before you write a post, it’ll suffice.Report

            • Robert Cheeks in reply to Jaybird says:

              I love the H-man, but he is just a bit sensitive. I do hope he bounces back.
              BTW, is it VERBOTEN to cricize the radicalism of the contemporary homosexual movement? I was wondering if I’m required to kiss up to the agenda in much the same manner we’re required to continue to worship at the alter of the old civil rights movement? It’s almost as if they don’t want to recognize success because it negates the classification of an ‘oppressed’ class or something?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                BTW, is it VERBOTEN to cricize the radicalism of the contemporary homosexual movement?

                I wouldn’t think so. If you wanted to point out that The Onion nailed it when they ran their article “Gay Pride Parade Sets Back Mainstream Gay Acceptance 50 Years” or similar, I don’t think that anyone would have a problem with that. Most of the arguments in that vein would be fine, I’d think.

                The problem that I had is the comparison of gay people who wanted to marry each other and make a lifetime together with someone wanting to marry an animal.

                And I think we’d all agree that there is a (some would say “radical”) difference between that and criticizing the radicalism of the contemporary homosexual movement.

                Now if you wanted to argue that two dudes wanting to get married and live in a ranch house with two cats, a modest art collection, and a stereo system that constantly plays Crosby, Stills, and Nash is somehow “radical”, I’d say that we may find a discussion of the nature of “radical” to be a lot more fruitful.Report

              • RTod in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yeah, a radical gay couple would be way more into Radiohead.Report

              • Boegiboe in reply to RTod says:

                We listen to Radiohead while Jason tries to learn Crobsy, Stills & Nash on the guitar.Report

              • RTod in reply to Boegiboe says:

                Ah, a mixed marriage.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Were you around for the old Civil Rights Movement? Ah, the pleasures of age, recalling the halcyon days of William F Buckley urging the repeal of the Fifth Amendment and opining blithely on the superiority of the White Race.

                Now, of course, butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. Naught of him hath changed but hath suffered a sea change / Into something rich and strange.Report

  6. mac says:

    Answer: Yes.

    I think you are taking DougJ’s comment a little too personally. I understood his post as saying the LoOG and OTB as reasonable conservative blogs (or having reasonable conservative posters.)

    Then he generalized witth a test of necessary (but not sufficient) measure of reasonableness. (And of course this is patronizing to LoOG and OTB, because they are necessarily and sufficiently reasonable!)Report

    • Ken in reply to mac says:

      I don’t see anything suggesting Will is taking DougJ’s post “a little too personally.” I think Will is addressing it with a light bit of ridicule, which is about what it deserves.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to mac says:

      The problem is that the League is far from being a wholly conservative blog.

      We’re a mixed group here. A significant back-channel discussion in the last few months has concerned how to recruit more left-liberals as League authors. The current main authors all agreed that this would be a good idea.

      To look at the League and say, “okay, here are some reasonable conservatives” is like looking at NPR listeners and saying “okay, here are some reasonable vegans.” Some are, some aren’t.Report

    • RTod in reply to mac says:

      “I think you are taking DougJ’s comment a little too personally.”

      I think Will’s poll is funny and clever to stand on its own merit, without looking for backdoor motivation.Report

  7. Robert Cheeks says:

    I’m picking No. 4, the one about the Kenyan-Marxist plan to put Americans outta work. And, man is that plan working. Thanks Barry! Vote Democrat, live in poverty.Report

  8. jakecollins says:

    Evidently TLoOG finds this a laugh riot. And yet as DougJ points out, the majority of both Republicans and their representatives believe in neither AGW nor evolution.
    I suppose the libertarians will be in stitches as millions subsistence farmers slowly stave to death from drought; as Pacific Islanders find their homelands swamped, etc.
    And people wonder why libertarians are suspected of being sociopathic? Isn’t AGW the funniest thing since the Irish Potato Famine? 🙂 🙂 🙂Report

    • Jaybird in reply to jakecollins says:

      The Irish Potato Famine was caused by Statism, dude.

      I know, I know. “It’s just that the wrong people were in charge.”

      Could be worse. You could have said “since the Ukrainian famine”.Report

      • jakecollins in reply to Jaybird says:

        I know that. It was meant as an ironic commentary on the contemporary defenders of “liberalism.” The intellectuals who founded “The Economist” were first and foremost disturbed by the humanitarian implications of “statism.”
        Now their supposed intellectual heirs make fun of the coming catastrophes that will dwarf the Irish Potato Famine in scope.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to jakecollins says:

          If only the right people were in charge.Report

          • jakecollins in reply to Jaybird says:

            Yeah… the “right people”… Like FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, and Nixon… who presided over the creation of the most prosperous middle class in history through “statism.”
            Nobody is arguing Stalinism will solve AGW… the Soviets cared less than most about the environment.
            But DougJ’s arrow still should sting to the right-wing quick. Even amongst free marketeers who believe in AGW, their answer is much the same as the refrain they offer to the those denied health care: “Let them eat cake!”Report

            • Jaybird in reply to jakecollins says:

              I don’t have the strength.

              This deserves 1000 words or so to tackle the issue of “statism” vs. “the rest of the industrialized world was rubble” issues, “dead guys don’t compete with alive guys for jobs” issues, differences between health care and health care coverage issues, monarchy issues, and brioche issues.

              And given that the majority of the essay will be ignored in favor of quibbling with one sentence at either the very beginning or the very end of the essay (if it’s engaged with at all), I think it can wait until tomorrow.Report

              • jakecollins in reply to Jaybird says:

                We can bracket the whole discussion of the role of labor unions, the welfare state, etc. in building the middle class.
                But free marketeers should grant that carbon pricing needs to be inputted into the price of goods (as noted socialist left-winger Hayek recommended).
                The fact that this point is controversial is a sad commentary on the current state of what counts as right-wing thought.Report

              • James K in reply to jakecollins says:

                I’m a free marketer and I’m on board with this logic. My opposition to negotiating an international carbon tax is that I think that the negotiations are doomed to failure and political capital should be spent on alternatives.Report

              • Pat Cahalan in reply to James K says:

                I’m morbidly anticipating the coming wars, myself.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to jakecollins says:

      I find AGW a serious problem, one serious enough to shift me away from my default position of saying no to taxes.

      I find DougJ’s post to have been sheer intellectual bullying. Such things are fully worth laughing at, because they aren’t worth squat for anything else.Report

    • MFarmer in reply to jakecollins says:

      Actually, I’d describe most people here at LoOG as liberals, not conservatives or libertarians. But what is this viciousness towad libertarians all about? It’s perplexing.Report

    • RTod in reply to jakecollins says:

      I think, Jake, that the problem some of us have with the BJ post (and your comment here) is that it is lazy.

      I’ve said this before here, but I know a lot of conservatives and libertarians and none of them are creationists, and almost none are ACW deniers. Similarly, I know a lot of Dems and progressives and none of them think that profit is inherently evil and that the State should own all of your property. That kind of tribal group think about what the other side is all about is great for a blog – hey, it gets hits, and allows your followers to feel validated without having to bother grappling with the complex issues that vex us. Plus, it attracts wingnut trolls who help reinforce the whole “the-real-enemy-in-my-neighbor” kind of thinking, making the asinine comments seem even more true. (Added bonus!)

      A thing about the League that I don’t see a lot of other places is that people here do – for the most part – hash these things out. It’s not a series of tribal yes-men posts. (Just ask E.D., with his recent thread of posts detailing his struggles with where he fits in in the vast array of political tribes.)

      That being said, I’d welcome you to stick around, roll up your sleeves and join the on-going conversation. Just don’t assume we are all cardboard caricatures.Report

      • Will in reply to RTod says:

        This is exactly right. Couldn’t have said it better myself.Report

        • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Will says:

          Agreed. One of the most striking differences between the League and Balloon Juice is that here I’m free to discuss without joining a tribe, necessarily.

          Over there, everyone must be part of a tribe, and they’ve picked the Republicans for me. I find this surpassingly odd, as the last time I voted for a Republican was in 1996, in a primary election.

          How do I really vote these days? I generally vote Libertarian or else refrain from voting; a ballot from me tends to have a lot of blank spaces on it.Report

  9. Mike Schilling says:

    It was over the weekend, but seems to have stopped the last few days.Report

  10. E.D. Kain says:

    Best poll ever, Will.Report

  11. Ija says:

    What’s the matter? Too chicken to run a straight YES/NO poll out of fear of what it might reveal about your readership? Maybe it turns out your readership is not very “reasonable” at all. I dare you, run a straight YES/NO poll on this and the evolution question.

    But of course, you guys would never have the guts to do it. Better to snark and crack wise, right?Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    Ija broke the code!Report

  13. Burt Likko says:

    ** golf clap **

    Well played, sir.Report

  14. Jason Kuznicki says:

    As a constructive suggestion, let’s hold a Science Week at the League.

    We did a Beer Week. Surely science merits just as much. I’d be happy to write about my favorite science book of all time, or science in the Enlightenment, or what I learned by reading The Origin of Species. I might even be able to talk Boegiboe (a NASA engineer) into guest posting.


  15. Jaybird says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

    In arguments with progressives, pretty much everything is a moral discussion.

    It isn’t enough to agree with the proposition P. You must agree to the proposition P for the right litany of reasons… and if you don’t, you’re as immoral as those who disagree with the proposition P outright. You can even live as if you believed that proposition P was true and be immoral without the proper litany.

    If you have the proper litany, however, you can live however you wish.

    Just be able to recite it when called upon by your betters.Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

      Um, I’m a Progressive, as it happens. I don’t see progress as a particularly moral enterprise. Progressives are engaged in an interesting philosophical enterprise, more akin to engineering than theology.

      Let Proposition P be supported by an enumeration of data and axioms, all of which can be questioned. Let’s take gay marriage as a case in point. Napoleon instituted civil marriage and civil divorce across his domain, saying adultery can happen on any couch. It’s a concept that stuck.

      My church will not perform gay marriages. They also won’t marry a Muslim to a Christian. It’s a religious ceremony, nobody says they have to do so. But whose definition of marriage matters? My own marriage was held up for a few minutes until my best man could produce the civil marriage certificate.

      If some people want to conflate religious and civil marriage and others among us wish to point out, however tediously, the reasons why this is not sound thinking, this is not a litany of faith. It’s a simple extension of civil rights for every citizen, like voting rights or getting a driver’s license.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

        The point being that if you support same-sex marriage because you think cohabitation is immoral, you’ll be seen as reprehensible, because “cohabitation is not immoral” is a tenet of Progressive ideology.Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Let’s get some vocabulary straight here.

          Morality is me not doing something because it’s wrong.
          Ethics is you telling me not do do it because it’s wrong.

          It’s a free country. Adultery might be grounds for divorce, it’s not a crime. I remain genially convinced it’s unwise, for various reasons, to indulge in that vice: it never leads anywhere good. It never does in any of the stories, from King Arthur to Fatal Attraction.

          But gosh, why should anyone get up in arms about a civil marriage? This is a country where folks get married in shopping malls, wearing Elvis costumes. I can think of any number of more-pressing issues than gay marriage. Hell, why should they be denied the exquisite pleasures of adultery, divorce, custody proceedings and alimony?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      Huh? Most progressives are totally amoral, living as we do outside real America with real small-town values, not caring about all the moral hazard we’re constantly inflicting on the econosphere, and emptying the pockets of the unwilling to pay for our public libraries.Report

  16. Matthew Schmitz says:

    God bless the League and her sense of humor.Report

  17. So much for intelligent dialogue.Report

  18. Tim Kowal says:

    I enjoyed following this comment thread. It, and the original Balloon Juice poll, inspired me to write a separate post on the subject, which you can find in the Trackback below, if interested.Report

    • tom van dyke in reply to Tim Kowal says:

      Mr. Kowal, good post at the trackback. Many of us have strong opinions on “scientific” questions although we’re unqualified to evaluate the evidence.

      I also liked Jaybird’s comment and meant to remark on it:

      It isn’t enough to agree with the proposition P. You must agree to the proposition P for the right litany of reasons… and if you don’t, you’re as immoral as those who disagree with the proposition P outright. You can even live as if you believed that proposition P was true and be immoral without the proper litany.

      This is straight out of the wonderfully wise Adam Smith’s other book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. We assign our approbation to motives, not actions.

      There were many who blanched when Bono gave Dubya props for his project against AIDS in Africa. Unthinkable!

      [Yes, yes, the usual ankle-biting.

      “Failing.” Of course. But even the highly partisan Michelle Goldberg is obliged to admit that Dubya saved lives.

      “There are remarkable stories of those once wasted and desiccated now restored to life. It may very well be true to say that PEPFAR is the best thing that George W. Bush has ever done. But that’s not saying very much at all.”

      Uh huh. Adam Smith knew his humans, I’ll tellya.]Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Tim Kowal says:

      Tim, somewhere here long, long ago, I posted about exactly this topic- I was sort of poking fun at a poll that showed that X percent of the populace “believe” in the global warming theory, while Y percent “do not believe” in the global warming theory, basically pointing out that the vast majority of us do not have the scientific background to actually assess the theory, much less believe or disbelieve. I do think it’s possible for the small percentage who do know to explain these things to we laymen, but even there, I tend to think the best opinion I can give is that I find one theory more plausible or convicning than another.Report

      • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Rufus F. says:

        I’ve read several books about evolutionary theory, and they seem convincing enough to me. This is not always the case, mind you: I’ve read several books about relativity, and I admit I don’t find myself convinced about a lot of it. Whereas I believe that evolution is correct, I’m pretty much taking relativity on faith.

        Given that (1) any mainstream biologist will tell you that evolution is central to modern biology and (2) introductions for the layman are readily available, the case for rational ignorance here seems thin.

        As to global warming, I haven’t read as much, but what I have read seems to indicate that, yes, the planet really is heating up. How bad will it get? That’s one of the scarier questions around these days, but also one where I’m not quite ready to stake my reputation.Report

        • Will H. in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

          The phrase “Ă©lan vital” was coined by Henri Bergson (a Nobel Prize winner) in his opposition to Darwinism.
          There is, and always has been, issues with evolutionary theory; such as not being able to verify specific instances of things halfway between one species and another.
          It’s likely that there always will be issues with evolutionary theory, such as lack of predictive assessment.
          Yes/No is a false dichotomy.
          It is more prudent to accept with some degree of skepticism.Report