Morning Ed: World {2017.03.30.Th}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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123 Responses

  1. InMD says:

    I guess I’m cool with these Texas folks doing this as long as we can all be in agreement not to care/justify it when a Texan is inevitably killed by a Palestinian. If they want to intervene on behalf of armed religious fanatics colonizing foreign territory and get caught in the crossfire of locals protecting themselves, well that’s the risk they take, right?Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    The deaf culture issue is undoubtedly real, but strikes me as being concerned about the culture of icemen in the age of refrigeration.

    It’s one thing to recognize a human culture is disappearing (or in danger of doing so) because human society is advancing, and to be concerned about the impacts or to mourn it’s passing.

    It’s something else to try and demand people disadvantage themselves in order to keep the culture alive.

    PS if you have to label it as cultural genocide, when no one is being killed, you have given up the game.Report

    • notme in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Imagine those awful parents who want their their kids to have the “privilege” of hearing.Report

    • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Labeling it ‘cultural genocide’ is ridiculous and seems to be part of the academic trend of using terminology which is both outrageous and detached from the meaning of the words themselves. It’s almost like people are afraid to analyze an argument on its own merits.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      The term might be extreme but I think the issue is because older generations of deaf people were excluded from mainstream life and often cruelly so. They needed to develop their own culture and this creates a feeling of defiance. Fuck you if you don’t want me. I can understand how this doesn’t feel welcoming to deaf people but like another form of treating them as inferior.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Any group that builds up a sub-culture because of exclusion from mainstream society is going to have members angry as the subculture disappears because of mainstream acceptance.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        As I said, the concern is probably valid. My real objection is toward using a term that implies an animus that doesn’t really exist.

        Our response should be along the lines of “how can we ease the passing of this culture?” A response of “we must preserve this culture because it is unique/special/etc.” can only begin to be justified if the decline of the culture is part of an active prejudicial campaign. That would be a hard sell in regards to the deaf community.

        And seriously, crap like “cultural genocide” with no supporting evidence just pisses me off.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Is it a culture though? It’s an identity, sure. They have their own language, but no art or poetry associated with it. It’s a language (I could be wrong here) like Fortran is a language. There are common experiences among deaf people, but does that constitute a culture?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

            My “X is a social construct!” klaxon is going off.

            Have we yet hammered out what the difference is between an identity and a culture?Report

            • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’ve never seen a good definition of culture. It seems to have an artistic element and a social element. (Now there are two more easy terms to define: art and society!) My first pass is that identity is strictly social, but culture also implies creative output.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Pinky says:

                Actually, I’ve never seen a good definition of identity.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Marchmaine says:

                I’ve never seen a good definition of “Jazz.”

                Words don’t work in simple ways.Report

              • veronicad in reply to veronica d says:

                More on this, I don’t think you’ll get anywhere trying to define “culture,” nor “identity.” This seems like an intellectual dead end.

                I don’t think there is a transgender “culture.” There are too few of us. We don’t always have much in common. Moreover, we don’t have enough social currency to build much.

                At least, that was true in the past. It might be changing.

                By contrast, there certainly was a gay culture. If we want to define it, I guess it had something to do with show tunes and boutique shops and the party circuit.

                But then not really. A culture is never something you can define or circumscribe. It is too complex for that. Each culture is a thing in which you participate, or you do not participate. It is understood through experience. If you stand outside and try to find its contours, you will know nothing.

                So many people cannot accept that their capacity to understand might be limited by experience. This is a strange thing to believe.

                In math, I can give an analytical definition of most terms. I can tell you exactly what a K-algebra is. Likewise in science, I can say what is carbon and what is not carbon. Culture is different. If you expect culture to be like science, you are impoverishing your own ability to grasp. Do not do that.

                There are things that, to know, you must live. You are limited.

                There is currently no transgender culture. However, I am part of a scene.

                I cannot fully quantify the difference between a culture and a scene, although exploring the difference is fruitful. Most of my friends are trans, but not all of them. Tonight I’m going to a goth/industrial dance party. There will be other trans people there, probably, but maybe not. That isn’t the point. A scene, like a culture, has no firm boundaries. It’s a pattern in social space, but it is not a rigid pattern.

                If you are part of my scene, that means you know people I know, and you are invested in our shared space.

                You cannot define a culture or a scene, you can only participate.

                I think is a culture differs from a scene in that it spans time and geography. Being part of my scene means being trans, and a nerd, and in Boston, and in 2017, and into maybe goth or punk or whatever, etc. Maybe you just like anime. The boundaries of a scene are fluid. Would we want them otherwise?

                My identity is an entirely different thing.

                I’m a weirdo. I like math. I like black metal. I like fighting. I like kissing girls.

                I’m also transgender. That is, for me, an identity.

                This is outside my control. I didn’t choose to make transness an identity. The world chose. 40% of America hates me. They consider me subhuman. Another 40% likes me, but in the way they like a zoo animal. I am a curiosity, an icon, a token.

                That is an identity.

                It is said that cis people cannot understand being trans, that white people cannot understand being black. I don’t know. Is that true?

                When someone expects me to define identity versus culture, well maybe they lack the capacity to understand. I can try to explain, but either your mind can wrap around these issues or your mind cannot.

                What happens inside your mind is inside your mind, not mine.

                I know the difference between an identity and a culture.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      I both see your point, and note that not a few deaf people would find your remarks hostile. They seriously advance the notion that they are not impaired in any way, and that their way of “flourishing” is completely equal and valid. To be clear, they feel they have gained more than they have lost, not that there is no loss.

      This discussion reminds me of a novella by John Varley named “The Persistence of Vision”. It’s available as a pdf online. I recommend it.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay says:


        I’m really not trying to come across as hostile to the deaf community. They have just as much right to exist as anyone. What I oppose is the idea that just because X exists, we must ensure that X exists, even if X is vanishing by way of natural attrition.

        What’s worse is the idea held by some that because there is a deaf community/culture, and the members of that community feel that they are capable of flourishing in an equal and valid sense, that it is a bad thing if parents of a newly deaf person wish to employ medical intervention to restore their child’s hearing.

        Yes, the human condition is improved by having a community wherein deaf people can flourish and participate in society. But the human condition is even further improved by not having people develop without one of their primary means of interacting with their environment because we can fix that problem early on.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      PS if you have to label it as cultural genocide, when no one is being killed, you have given up the game.

      I agree that it’s probably overwrought and a misuse of the term to call this “cultural genocide”.

      But it can absolutely be correct to call something “cultural genocide” when people are not being killed. That’s the very thing the distinguishes cultural genocide from the other, non-cultural, kind – it’s the project to extinguish a culture without killing its individual members.

      For example, cultural genocide is exactly the correct term for the goals of Canada’s aboriginal residential schools. (These were subject of a recently completed truth and reconciliation commission. They were horrible places where nightmarish sexual, physical, and emotional abuse took place, on top of their fundamentally abusive goal).

      The point was to extinguish a culture, without killing its people – by breaking the transmission of that culture from elders to children. Children were forcibly (but non-murderously) removed from their homes, incarcerated in residential schools, punished for speaking their native languages, practicing their own religions, or transmitting any traditional knowledge.

      The so-called Sixties Scoop had similar goals – aboriginal children were abducted from their homes and sent out for adoption to white parents, on the pretext that the birth homes were “abusive”. The “abuse” in these cases were mostly “teaching children their culture,” but this was not disclosed to the adoptive parents.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to dragonfrog says:

        A better term for that is ‘ethnocide’.

        Genocide – the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

        ETA: Just for the sake of argument, at what point is ethnocide justified? If there is a culture that encourages sexual abuse, or things like female genital mutilation, and that act is a core part of the culture, is removing it a good thing?

        Note I’m not trying to say native american populations, in the US or Canada, were culturally abusive to their young, I know a lot of the tribal problems were a direct result of government policies meant to prevent tribal nations from flourishing.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Bending a culture is far, far preferable to breaking it. If the scotch irish can get over their “beating wives to death” issue, and the (at least the reformed) jews can get over their incest issues, and the palestinians can get ove rtheir genital mutilation issues (um, they’re working on it, or at least they were…)… the list does go on, and it’s not nice none of it, really.Report

        • dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          Ethnocide might be a better term, but it is not the term of art. Awkward or not, the term “cultural genocide” has that meaning, and that meaning goes by that term.

          Maybe not surprising that I’ve heard it and you maybe hadn’t – it’s getting a lot of discussion in Canada now due to the TRC’s report and various church, government, and quasi-government organizations’ trying to implement its recommendations.Report

    • North in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Simple practical fact: if the future of the community depends on parents electing to leave their children deaf when their is an alternative available that community is doomed unless all the deaf members of that community start engineering ways to have deaf kids. See also the downs syndrome community.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

        I assume you talking about a future genomic cure for Downs? Because the current “cure” for Downs for the purposes of this sub-thread seems to satisfy our working definition of genocide.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

          Hmmm. I think North’s point is that in the normal course of events a “deaf community culture” isn’t sustainable (since deaf parents will likely have not-deaf kids) unless those parents chose to engage in genetic engineering. Would refraining from impairing your child’s hearing constitute cultural genocide in that scenario? Only in a very strained understanding of the term, seems to me.

          So your point about Downs culture makes me curious about what you mean since there isn’t a Downs culture equivalent to a Deaf culture (or an Australian aboriginal culture, of course, etc and so on) especially so in light of Oscar’s original comment about this stuff:

          It’s something else to try and demand people disadvantage themselves in order to keep the culture alive.

          If responding to THAT claim is the guiding principle in your argument, then there’s a big difference between refraining from keeping a culture alive for its own sake and actively trying to destroy it. I mean, is there actually a Downs culture embraced by individuals with Downs Syndrome (and not their parents) such that those individuals would advocate having more instances of Downs in the populace to preserve the “culture”? What would that argument even look like other than bare assertion?Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

            Or, to take a different tack on this: was there ever, or could there be, a polio culture which thought the polio vaccine constituted cultural genocide?Report

        • fillyjonk in reply to Marchmaine says:

          I wanted to bring that issue up, but I also didn’t want to. So I’m glad someone did….the whole idea of Iceland (I think it was) being proud of “eliminating” Downs by selective abortion…Report

  3. Marchmaine says:

    Australia is, of course, real. I know this because I’m in Australia right now, in an office with 30 or so other people who are also in Australia.

    Says a guy on the internet.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    Nazi fashion: The author has a point but I rolled my eyes at the term “biopolitic” But a lot of extreme political movements have always known about the power of aesthetics and these have translated into sexual counter culture at times. Tom of Finland made a career of drawing homoerotic porn of SS looking men along with leather clad bikers. Hugo Boss designed the original SS uniforms.

    Australia: When did the word prank become interchangeable with conspiracy theory? Or is the distinction irrelevant because of recent developments?

    White Women and American Nationalism: White people generally vote GOP. Romney won the white women vote as well. I will beat my dead horse again but the GOP is becoming the party of white ethno-nationalism. There happen to be enough white or whitish people who vote Democratic to combine with minorities to make the party viable. However, Trump’s low approval ratings show the novelty in his admin is burning fast.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Prank became interchangeable with conspiracy theory slightly after governmental agents decided that pranksters with spy skills could be very useful…Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Is there an ethnic group that doesn’t have a “(Party) is the party of the (ethnic group)” statement that is true for them?

      Let’s define that as a gap bigger than 60/40 in the voting.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

        The next step in Identity Politics is to make the faction(s) portable… then the bidding wars can begin.Report

      • J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

        There’s a difference between a party that pushes general policies that X, Y, Z ethnic group(s) prefer, for whatever reason, and a party that champions only the interests of one ethnic group.

        For instance, imagine that there were a party in the USA that pushed for policies aimed at reducing poverty. Those ethnic groups that happen to be poorer than the median would gravitatite towards that party. But that party, even if it captures a supermajority of voters from Ethnic Group X is not directing policies in favor of group X and against group Y.

        However, a party that fought for/against policies based on the impact they have in different ethnic groups would be a different thingReport

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The Communists seem to have not understood erotic aesthetics like the Fascists did. They always had a weird relationship to sexuality with dual libertine and puritanical instincts though.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “The Communists seem to have not understood erotic aesthetics like the Fascists did. ”

        While there are fetishes that map to “there is no central authority, we are all mindless creatures responding to stimuli”, they’re a lot less common than “leather-clad dominatrix orders you around”.Report

  5. notme says:

    Seattle Files Lawsuit Over ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Funding Threat

    Let the games begin!!Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    Contrary to the article’s title, it’s not really ‘ trade deal’ between Texas and Israel settlers, because such a thing is unconstitutional (under the foreign commerce clause and powers prohibited to the states). What it is the usual mayor/governor junket (done by politicians of both parties) to sell products and services made by companies located in politician’s the locality/state to the government and/or people the politician is visiting.Report

  7. DensityDuck says:

    Hey, remember that thing where it turned out that a bunch of the Jewish community-center and synagogue threats were fakes called in by some guy trying to get his ex-girlfriend in trouble? And we heard “yeah but not ALL of them, so it’s STILL important to recognize how Trump has caused a massive upswing in public acceptance and display of bigoted sentiment!”

    Turns out that the rest of them were done by a 19-year-old Israeli Jew hacker with a brain tumor that makes him insane.

    And, my god, the whole story sounds like something from a William Gibson novel…Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Wow, that is odd. I guess no matter who was making bomb threats, it wasn’t going to be someone of above-average mental stability.

      Also, Nimrod Vax is an awesome name.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to DensityDuck says:

      But if people I don’t like weren’t thinking such awful things, then people wearing tinfoil hats wouldn’t be receiving those radio transmissions.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to PD Shaw says:

        @pd-shaw @inmd

        The problem here is that I think we are dealing with massive amounts of distrust among lots of groups for a variety of reasons.

        1. Minority groups from Jews to Blacks to Hispanics to Muslims to LGBT people and others have experienced huge amounts of discrimination in various Western cultures for centuries to decades. This discrimination went from social and economic exclusion to individual hate crimes (Dylann Roof, the recent murder in Manhattan) quasi-approved state violence (Progroms and Lynchings) to official State Violence.

        2. Feelings about what and what are not discriminatory actions and statements are often gut feelings and can be very subjective among people. I don’t expect non-Jews to know the ins and out of Jewish dietary laws. Can I expect a basic level of tact on not calling a yarmulke, “a little hat?” or questions about “Where is your little hat?”

        3. There is still a lot of hay that can be made from trying to pass or passing discriminatory laws like HB2 in North Carolina or Trump’s anti-Immigrant and anti-Mexican campaign rhetoric.

        4. The lack of trust issue seems to turn this into a huge game of gotcha where one false accusation can just increase the burdens on the minority group. There are probably ways of discussing the fact that an Israeli teenager did this that are more suited for conflict reduction but this current discussion is not one of those.

        The initial post could have been something like “It turns out that the awful fake bomb threats to JCCs were done by an Israeli pranker/troll. Anti-Semitism and hate crimes are still a serious thing, it is horrible that this malcontent decided to prank his co-religionists and cause so much terror and doubt.”

        Instead we have a conversation about how this seemingly proves anti-Semitism and possibly other hatreds are not real with implications that there is no such thing as a hate crime.

        The UVA story is awful but there is still a huge problem with rape and sexual assault on campus.

        Bad actors are a problem but the existence of bad actors should not be used to dismiss concerns of bigotry and hate crimes and sexual assault. Yet DD and Damon are being rather antagonistic about the whole thing.

        Suppose we found out that half the bomb threats and vandalism were done with malicious intent from anti-Semites and the other half were caused by weather conditions and/or the Israeli teenager. Does the action of the Israeli teenager and the weather conditions negate the other actions?Report

        • notme in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          No, the fakes don’t negate the real stuff. I’d like the left not to assume from the get go it’s all real and acknowledge when it isn’t. Now they just let the news updates pass by without notice.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to notme says:

            Notme is quite right here.

            If you don’t want the falsification of an account to matter so much, don’t use that account as Exhibit A. If some of these stories had been approached with more caution, and if skepticism towards these sorts of events being what they appear were met with less hostility, I’d be a lot less sympathetic to the victory laps.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

              @will-truman @notme

              Here is the thing. Minorities under this scenario are still being judged as members of the group instead of as individuals.

              Did I make comments about these bomb threats and alleged vandalisms? Yeah I did and that is on me. I can’t control how other Jews react or how the media reports it though or how Jewish organizations report it. There was a time when people were saying that the JCCs should just ignore the bomb threats. The problem with that advice is that JCCs have day programs for seniors and very young children. Luckily they were all just fake but no one wants to be the person who dismisses a bomb threat as a prank and then it turns out not to be one.

              This is why minorities often feel like they are fighting with both hands tied behind their back. We get collectively blamed for when a member of the group reacts in a hyperbolic manner and/or does something bad and/or stereotypical.

              I sometimes see my friends who are non-Jewish minority members and think they are reacting to something in a hyperbolic manner but I don’t know how much prejudice they have experienced as individuals and then I can remember Dylann Roof was arrested calmly and there are thirteen year old black kids who get killed for having waterguns. So maybe things deserve more emotions.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          That’s a lengthy response to my quip. Here’s how I see it:

          1. Hate crimes as reported by the FBI have long shown high levels of anti-Jewish incidents, disproportionate to the number of Jews in the U.S.

          2. It has not been much of a story because there was no political angle until the media, flatfooted and stunned by Trump’s victory, began looking for stories that expressed how they now saw the world.

          3. For example, post 9/11 media stories about anti-Muslim incidents could be coupled with a political objective in mind, even though anti-Jewish hate crime rates were higher.

          4. Anti-Jewish crimes appear to originate from multiple sources that don’t readily lend themselves to grand theories suitable for media coverage. One of the most significant increases in Anti-Jewish incidents was in 2009 (the Gaza War), which suggest anti-Zionism is a significant source.

          5. About half of hate crimes are committed by whites, meaning that hate crimes are disproportionately committed by non-whites.

          6. I’ve been outside that particular Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri. Based upon location, I’d give equal odds that the culprits were students from Wash U., African-Americans from North County (think Ferguson), or white trash from South County. I don’t see any winners in finding out which losers are responsible for this one; they should see jail time.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to PD Shaw says:

            Does raping the everliving shit out of native american women count as a hate crime? Did this change recently?

            I’m asking because we ought to take rural hate crimes seriously…Report

        • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I just don’t buy this. When we abandon reason and evidence for feelings and truthiness we all lose. People who continuously attach their credibility to dubious claims only have themselves to blame when they’re no longer taken seriously.Report

    • InMD in reply to DensityDuck says:

      There was a piece written by Richard Blow a couple years ago about the Rolling Stone UVA hoax where he talked about bias confirmation in media reporting. Sometimes I think public debate would be greatly improved if everyone was required to read the substance of that essay prior to viewing or discussing any other piece of writing not clearly marked as fiction.Report

    • aaron david in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Yeah, but DD, it “started a dialog” as Katie Couric would say.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to DensityDuck says:

      There is still the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries which was almost certainly not done by someone from Israel.

      There are going to be pranksters and false positives but this does not negate the existence of hate crimes and should not be used to do so. This is the problem often faced by minority communities. One prank or false accusation story and the whole issue of hate crimes and bigotry gets thrown out the window.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Damon says:

          This is one cemetery but there were others.Report

          • Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            I’m not disputing that.

            What I’m saying is that the timeline is as follows:

            1) Fascist Trump people damaged Jewish cemeteries and called in threats.
            2) Some wackjob black dude was responsible for some of the threats
            3) Some wackjob Jewish dude was responsible for some of the threats
            4) Some of the “damage” was really neglect.

            So, who’s doing the math to subtract the total “solved” in 2-4 and netting out how much is REAL vandalism? Because it seems like every couple of weeks there’s news that’s whittling down that top line. That’s the number that’s important, especially if we whittle down 250 claims to find, oh say 2, or legit. That drives a whole different conversation than 249 of the 250 claims were legit and were done by wackjob Trump supporters.Report

            • Kimmi in reply to Damon says:

              Frankly, I’m not sure I give a damn. I think the whole idea that Trump causes racism and bigotry is IDIOTIC.

              I’ve had boots on the ground in detroit (got the pics to prove it) — couldn’t take a few steps without someone recruiting for some sort of racist militia. And that was YEARS ago.

              Tea Party wasn’t that long ago, and I do remember the idiot who decided to shoot people under the cover of the Confederate flag.

              I also remember the guy who took out a Unitarian Church.

              And the MULTIPLE people who thought “hunting blacks” was a legit Thing To Do (the first that I recall was under Obama, so no, not recent).Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Damon says:

              Shorter Damon: “I hear ya Saul, these kinda threats are absolutely reprehensible in our society. I’m relieved to find out, and I’m sure you are as well, that such a large majority of them weren’t motivated by bigotry resulting in real violence.”Report

              • Damon in reply to Stillwater says:


                Concur, but that wasn’t really my point. My point is that it’s always X in the media. Then, assuming you’re paying attention, the real facts dribble out, and it’s rarely what was initially reported. Frankly, it’s tiresome, and anyone who’s posting on this forum is intelligent enough to know this is the case. Everyone needs to take things like this with a big ass grain of salt. And it also plays into the convo I had recently here with V about “whining”Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Damon says:

                No, honey, it’s not. Verifiable faked death threats don’t generally come out in the public eye, because the people generally faking death threats are the people receiving the death threats.

                (You can tell who these people are (when 4chan isn’t doxxing them to prove that they did it to themselves), because it benefits them tremendously to have death threats against them).

                SJWs have a real tendency to lie about stuff.Report

              • InMD in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think your suggestion is the best way to handle these discussions but I do get Damon’s frustrations. If we’re going to roll our eyes at conservatives latching onto every wild-eyed story about Muslims or illegal aliens that falls apart under scrutiny we need to hold liberal voices to the same standard.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to InMD says:

                I don’t know about that InMD. The last time I engaged in a discussion about these issues I said the same thing as I did up there and everyone accused me of (partisanly??) de-politicizing the more important meta-political issue: that judgments regarding JCC bomb threats needed to be shelved till more evidence about who the perpetrators were came in. It was only THEN that a judgment on the actual threats could be rendered.

                Add: Which is f***ed up.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                Or more to your point:

                The sequence of events seems to me to have gone like this:

                1. JCCs receive bomb threats.
                2. Expression of worries from Jewish communities and liberals in general, including accusing rightwingers for these actions.
                3. Silence from the right. Nothing. Nada. Not a word of remorse or sympathy.
                4. More outrage from liberals and Jewish communities re: having received over 100 bomb threats.
                5. Silence from the right about the threats until evidence revealed itself that a dude made 8 threats because he was a jilted lover. Game over.

                And now you and I are hashing out, politely of course, who did what to who and when.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Stillwater says:

                Not precisely silence from the right as a whole, but the President of the United States, probably the most prominent right-wing leader on Earth, reacted in bizarre and dismissive ways about this, instead of giving the absolute bog-standard incredibly easy answer that any President can make easily, and should make as part of their job when asked.Report

              • notme in reply to pillsy says:

                I guess you don’t count the first topic of Trumps speech to congress. Also, Pence went to see some of the cemetaries.Report

              • pillsy in reply to notme says:

                Yeah, I’m really glad the frigging President was able to bat .500 against the biggest, fattest, easiest softball pitches in politics.Report

              • notme in reply to pillsy says:

                Let me personally apologize on Trump’s behalf that he didn’t speak up soon enough or more forcefully about this important issue.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                Trump wasn’t especially fast to speak up, but he spoke up well before the first culprit was identified.

                I’ll have to go back and find it, but there was a conversation here that went like this:

                A: More Jewish threats and the president says nothing.
                B: Here’s the president saying something.
                A: Talk is cheap. He has the government at his disposal. What’s he doing?
                B: Here’s Sessions saying they’re investigating.
                A: Well. Still. And Jesus Christ look Trump just said it might be a false flag.

                ETA Here it is.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                Actually the first thing was Spicer saying the President condemns it strongly, and I’m not just being facetious when I say that means it can’t be trusted.

                Indeed, it came almost two weeks after Trump made some (at best) bizarre comments about anti-semitism when he was asked about it at his press conference with Netanyahu. His Electoral College victory was really on point there.

                Trump and his staff have repeatedly made a hash of really easy questions about hate crimes, about anti-semitism, and about racism. This started as far back as the primaries. He doesn’t get a whole lot of credit for occasionally not making a hash of something this basic.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                As you say, Trump himself made some comments prior to Spicer, on the 14th or so and then again on the 21st. How much credit should we give him? Don’t know, but enough to render “Trump was silent” or “Trump never condemned” incorrect.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                I never said he was silent.

                I said his comments were bizarre and dismissive, which they were, both his first set (really, electoral college) and his false flag comments. It’s also part of a pattern with him–it took him two tries to manage to condemn a couple of his supporters beating up a Latino guy in Boston during the primaries, for one example.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                My original comment wasn’t directed at yours.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                Oh sorry. I misread the threading.Report

              • InMD in reply to Stillwater says:

                I guess I don’t see what’s fucked up about urging calm and waiting for evidence? I think I’m missing your point (not trying to be flip at all).

                I feel like my life has turned into a mirror image of the moral panic that went on in the conservative ecosystem for much of Obama’s first term. I don’t like it.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

                I guess I don’t see what’s fucked up about urging calm and waiting for evidence? I think I’m missing your point (not trying to be flip at all).

                Because the urging of calm has come alongside a lot of dismissiveness and offensive behavior from the President and his staff, including extensive use of anti-semitic dogwhistles.

                They simultaneously make incidents up out of whole cloth [1] and distort others beyond all recognition in obscene ways [2] while demanding calm when it’s Jews, or black people, or Latinos, or Muslims in the crosshairs, when they respond at all or don’t just curl up into a weird defensive crouch.

                That’s really a very bad thing, and seeing right-wingers hold random liberals on the ‘net being held to infinitely higher standards then the President seriously rankles.

                I mean, unlike the Bowling Green Massacre, the JCC threats and cemetery vandalism actually happened. And Spicer, Trump et al. have been just as recalcitrant in the face of clear hate crimes, so the idea that they were somehow waiting for evidence is very unpersuasive.

                [2] Using the mosque shooting in Quebec, which was perpetrated by a Trump support against Muslims as a justification for the Muslim ban!Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                I’m still not really connecting these dots. If you want me to say Trump is a buffoon who lies and references events that did not occur or characterizes events that did occur in extremely misleading ways I will (and I agree that he does). The fact that he does these things does not justify others doing it or jumping to extreme conclusions, facts (or lack thereof) be damned. I don’t see anything controversial about that.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

                It doesn’t justify doing so, but it mitigates it and makes the criticisms from the right considerably harder to treat with anything but contempt.

                1. It really contributes to people’s sense of anxiety and fear over these things to hear them coming from the President, making quiet reflection more difficult.

                2. IMO, makes the underlying inference you’re complaining about considerably somewhat more reasonable, even if it’s wrong. He really is egging people on to do this sort of thing, even if any particular hate crime doesn’t involve someone taking him up on the offer.[1]

                3. His response in and of itself was pretty despicable, and part of a completely despicable and long-running pattern.

                4. Seeing pro-Trump and anti-anti-Trump people (not that you’re either) be so much more critical of the reaction to the real JCC attacks than they were of any of Trump’s much worse overreactions is pretty ridiculous.

                [1] If nobody had ever taken him up on the offer, that would be a very strong refutation of this point. Alas, it is also quite counter-factual.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “One prank or false accusation story and the whole issue of hate crimes and bigotry gets thrown out the window.”

        Except that, as I (facetiously but accurately) mentioned, the claim wasn’t “oh there’s a couple of jerks out there”, it was “THIS IS AMERICA NOW, THIS IS WHAT TRUMP HAS DONE”. And these stories of vandalism and threats were used to justify sweeping claims about the value of engaging Trump supporters in conversation, because, hey, what’s the use in talking to RACIST BIGOT JEW-HATERS, right?Report

        • Kimmi in reply to DensityDuck says:

          I’m still pissed at the hillary supporters who stole my microwave (and the truck it was on).

          Seriously, if people don’t understand — they aren’t going to get it. Racism, Bigotry, all of that? It’s always there.

          SPLC isn’t lying about all the different hate groups they’ve got up there.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Besides, this all assumes that all these yokels are hiding under rocks, not actively raping and hurting people. And that the reason for that was Obama not Trump.

          Which is fucking ridiculous.

          I know people who put a good deal of effort into keeping bastards like this from getting militant. They’re damn good at their job. It’s insulting to not even think that they might exist.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Jew is not an adjective, using it as one makes you look like a lout and an oaf.
      Please refrain.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Kimmi says:

        Except that he…actually is a Jew…:confused:Report

        • Kimmi in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Yes. Calling him an Israeli Jew is perfectly fine. That’s using the word as a noun. Calling him a Jewish hacker is also fine, or an Israeli Jewish Hacker.

          This may sound persnikety as all hell, but I’ll remind you that the Republican PR flunkies decided that using “Democrat” as an adjective was a “winning stategy.” I don’t generally see Jew used as an adjective when the person posting isn’t an anti-Semite (which is not to say that I think you are, of course, just that it makes you sound like one).Report

  8. notme says:

    EU boss Jean-Claude Juncker this afternoon issued a jaw-dropping threat to the United States, saying he could campaign to break up the country in revenge for Donald Trump’s supportive comments about Brexit.