Society is Coarser But Better

Yes, pop culture is crude, but who gives an F-word? By virtually every measure, we’re a safer, nicer, kinder country.

This story first appeared at Time.com on October 9, 2013. Read the original here.

“I am glad that I’m not raising kids today,” Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia recently told New York magazine. Though known for Torquemada-like inquisitions of lawyers during oral arguments and brutally lapidary prose in his written opinions, the 77-year-old jurist practically gets the vapors when engaging today’s popular culture. “One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners. You can’t go to a movie—or watch a television show for that matter—without hearing the constant use of the F-word—including, you know, ladies using it…. My goodness!”

Scalia has at least one unlikely high-profile ally: Pop singer Annie Lennox, who took to Facebook to denounce contemporary music videos, which she says are nothing more than “highly styled pornography.” And for what’s it worth, Gallup finds that 72 percent of Americans are convinced that “moral values” are getting worse.

I don’t know anyone who would seriously challenge the idea that America has become a far cruder society over the last 10, 20, or 30 years. There’s probably more sex, violence, and salty language in the opening credits of Keeping Up with the Kardashians than there was on all of prime-time TV when Scalia joined the Supreme Court in 1986.

But really, who gives an…F-word? We may well be an increasingly ill-mannered society, one that’s soaking in violent video games, instantly available online porn, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo like our mothers used to soak in Palmolive liquid. But we’re also one in which youth violence, sex, and drug use are all trending down. If that means putting up with, you know, ladies cursing and other examples of unambiguously crass behavior, it seems a terrifically small price to pay.

Which isn’t to scant the vast cultural distance we’ve traveled since 1986. Back then, the hypersexualized chanteuse of the moment was Madonna, who had followed up 1984’s scandalous hit “Like a Virgin” with the relatively chaste “Papa Don’t Preach,” a paen to unplanned pregnancy widely interpreted as an anti-abortion statement. Today, we’re struggling to make sense of Miley Cyrus’s relentless display of skankitude, from her tongue-wagging, foam-finger-fondling twerking at MTV’s Video Music Awards to her scantily clad hosting of Saturday Night Live to her unapologetically frank (if misinformed) discussion of elder sex with Today’s Matt Lauer.

So Scalia is right that we’re coarser, but he’s wrong to suggest that if  “you portray [bad behavior] a lot, the society’s going to become that way.” Despite recurrent and unbelievable media scares to the contrary, children – whom we assume to be the most impressionable among us – aren’t acting up as a result of the culture they consume.

Violent crime arrest rates for males between the ages of 10 and 24 are less than half of what they were in 1995 (for females, they’ve declined by 40 percentage points over the same time). Between 1988 and 2010 (the latest year for which data are available), the percentage of never-married males between the ages of 15 and 19 who reported ever having had sex dropped from 60 percent to 42 percent. For females in the same age group, the rate declined from 51 percent to 43 percent. High schoolers are less likely to be bullied than they used to be, and they’re less likely to smoke too. When it comes to drinking or smoking pot on a regular basis, the trends are small to begin with and generally flat over the past dozen years.

Justice Scalia – and many others, I’m sure – are glad that their child-raising days are behind them. As the father of two boys who grew up watching Hannah Montana years before Miley Cyrus transformed into her current stage of life, I can understand the trepidation. But my goodness! When you look away from what the kids today are consuming and focus instead on what they are doing – or, more precisely, what they are not doing – there’s every reason to be optimistic about their future. And the larger society’s too.

This story first appeared at Time.com on October 9, 2013. Read the original here.

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Can reason, when it reposts a story, post the original comments? I think ive seen them do it.

  • Sevo||

    Summer re-runs? I thought the new shows had already begun.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And for what’s it worth, Gallup finds that 72 percent of Americans are convinced that “moral values” are getting worse.

    I think things are getting more moral wrt social norms. Slowly, we are getting away from people forcing their puritanical will upon the rest of us. We are getting rid of blue laws and tearing down time honoured prohibitions against victimless crimes.

    Feature not a bug.

    The only thing that's immoral is the infringement of the rights of another.

  • Hyperion||

    The only thing that's immoral is the infringement of the rights of another.

    Except when it's for your own good.

    /the proglodytes

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Exactly. Retarded, primitive concepts of morals and manners are being phased out in favor of more practical versions. Hopefully.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Except if the state takes most of your money, that freedom isn't all that great.

  • mtrueman||

    I'm not sure morality and coarseness are related. Coarseness seems rather to do with the erosion of privacy, and the willingness to do or say in public what was once only done in private.

    As privacy erodes, coarseness inevitably increases. Morality doesn't enter the picture.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Society achieved maximum coarseness with the advent of Cinemax. Honestly, I haven't been shocked by anything in the culture since 2000. Janet Jackson/Nipplegate just annoyed me.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Janet Jackson wasn't a scandal in the first place. It was one hard to see nipple on an unattractive woman/Michael Jackson's alternate ego.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Come one--Janet was smoking hot at one time:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i9Mba9keHA

  • Paul.||

    New: Society is Coarser But Better

    But broker, less free and more regulated. Is Tony actually right?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, I suspect a connection, not with tony but between personal and political irresponsibity.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    We're just substituting a different system of values. People haven't really changed. They still want everybody to conform to their system of morals, whether or not that system condemns pornography or political incorrectness.

  • R C Dean||

    But we’re also one in which youth violence, sex, and drug use are all trending down. If that means putting up with, you know, ladies cursing and other examples of unambiguously crass behavior, it seems a terrifically small price to pay.

    There seems to be an implication that you can't have one without the other, and perhaps even that violence, etc. are down because of the coarsening of society.

    I'm not buying it. I can't see how a decline in public behavior and baseline respect shown for our fellows contributes in any way to a reduction of sex, drugs, and violence.

    Column fail.

  • Winston||

    Column fail.

    Nick Gillespie's cultural commentary is always shitty. He's an unfunny old man who thinks he's hip who writes the most superficial nonsense possible.

  • Winston||

    Part of the reason (drink!) why Nick is such an awful writer is due to his belief that things are getting better and this is evidence that some libertarian era is on its way. So he has to twist everything in order to prove that thesis.

  • SIV||

    FONZIE WITH AIDS

  • Hyperion||

    Reason writers do seem to have a less cynical and pessimistic attitude than a majority of commenters here.

    I'm somewhere in between myself, I guess I'm more of a realist but glass half full person. I don't expect the country to suddenly go Libertarian, but the movement is growing, and when some of these old senile establishment asshats like Boehner, Reid, Pelosi, McCain and their ilk are out of congress, I expect the GOP to get more libertarian and even for the Dems to start improving on civil rights(but not financial freedom).

    Also, I think the attacks here on Nick are a little over the top. I think he's on our side, so not sure why such attacks are necessary. He does write some good stuff, even if he's more optimistic than you think he should be. Yeah, he's made some silly predictions, like thinking that Rubio or Christie might be libertarian leaning, but still he doesn't deserve the scorn that he often gets around here.

  • ||

    I think he's on our side, so not sure why such attacks are necessary.

    KULTUR WAR is why.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I think you forgot KAUKTALE PARTEEZ!@one!1.

  • cavalier973||

    That's Koch-tale parties.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Its supposed to motivate him, stupid.

  • Hyperion||

    Some good constructive criticism of a particular article, sure. Personal attacks, you're the worst fucking writer ever! Meh, I don't see that working to motivate most people.

  • Winston||

    I never said that he was "worst fucking writer ever." And how is saying he's a bad writer a "personal attack"?

  • Hyperion||

    That reply was to DRAS, not you.

  • Winston||

    I think he's on our side, so not sure why such attacks are necessary.

    I think he's a bad writer and horribly unfunny and lame when he considers himself to be cool and funny?

    Also you remember that Dave Weigel used to be "on our side"? So are Chapman and Payne for that matter.

  • Hyperion||

    I think that Nick is a libertarian and I'm not expecting him to go proglodyte at any moment, but we all have our own opinions.

  • Winston||

    I find it odd you "think" a former editor of this magazine is a libertarian. That implies you're not sure? Or am I misinterpreting you?

    Also I find the cries of "cocktail parties" overly defensive considering this magazine used to employ Dave Weigel.

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, I think that Nick is a libertarian. How can I be sure about anyone else other than myself?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Whoa, now. I decide who's on my side.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    What Hyp said!

    God, I'm sick of this cosmo/paleo asshattery. It's counterproductive and petty.

  • Virginian||

    Especially considering how people don't fit into neat categories.

    I'm a 2nd Amendment diehard/anarchist/craft beer loving/deer in the front yard/scifi nerd/survivalist/atheist/sexual deviant/sports fan/amateur writer. So where do I fit into the cosmo/paleo thing?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Wherever you CHOOSE, or so I thought was the point.

    Some folks are gonna be at various points on the continuum, but if your pro-liberty and adhere to the NAP, you're generally a net plus.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I tried to make a joke about virginian party of one but the squirrels may have eaten it.

  • SIV||

    Paleo

    Unless you run around saying "Their SkyDaddy tells them Budweiser is good beer!" and "Ron Paul is a racist"

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Reason writers do seem to have a less cynical and pessimistic attitude than a majority of commenters here.

    How you can say this after their Romney=Obama campaign last year is beyond me. Telling people to vote for Gary Johnson because we're screwed either way was the height of pessimism.

    They are "optimistic" about the slightest hint of leftists being open to libertarianism (eg Nick's odd fascination with Bill Maher), while the likes of Ron and Rand Paul get frequent "remember, he's not a libertarian" articles once in a while.

  • Virginian||

    Except you could make the case that Romney and Obama were far too similar to justify a tactical vote.

    Oh, and I don't think Ron Paul is a libertarian. I think he's a federalist and a constitutionalist, and while those things often lend themselves to libertarianism, they are not intrinsically libertarian.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I agree about the distinction between federalism/constitutionalism and libertarianism, but still. RonP is the closest you can get to a dogmatic libertarian without being totally unelectable.

    RP is actually probably more dogmatically libertarian than I am, given that I've made several more compromises with reality than he has.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    How you can say this after their Romney=Obama campaign last year is beyond me.

    Because Romney was Obama lite.

    Marginally better but don't kid yourself that he is a small government guy or believes in free markets - let alone that he's a libertarian.

  • Paul.||

    Marginally better but don't kid yourself that he is a small government guy or believes in free markets - let alone that he's a libertarian.

    He was so demonstrably far from libertarian that voting for him would have gotten us nothing in the way of libertarianism.

    I voted for Gary Johnson, bitch.

  • Paul.||

    (eg Nick's odd fascination with Bill Maher

    I think Maher is fascinated with Gillespie.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "I can't see how a decline in public behavior and baseline respect shown for our fellows contributes in any way to a reduction of sex, drugs, and violence."

    Differentiate "a decline" from a simple change in the stupid things people used to worry about.

    Anyway, things being 'normal' might result in people being less likely to do those things in order to feel like an individual/rebel/whatever.

  • mtrueman||

    "Differentiate "a decline" from a simple change in the stupid things people used to worry about."

    People used to worry more about preserving their modesty, and keeping what belongs in the private sphere private. I'm not sure that people do what they do today to feel like individuals, rebels, etc. I think it's more they want to be seen as individuals, rebels etc: trying to grab the spotlight of public attention. As I mentioned before, I think the erosion of privacy is what this is all (or mostly) about.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I'm not buying it. I can't see how a decline in public behavior and baseline respect shown for our fellows contributes in any way to a reduction of sex, drugs, and violence.

    The possibility exists that the manifestation of aggression on a smaller scale e.g. cursing someone out, acts as a safety valve that releases pressure and alleviates the need to do something "bigger".

  • General Butt Naked||

    I've thought that as well.

    That is, that all of the violent content and coarse internet behavior allow us to vent that people in the past couldn't. We're therefore less violent than our predecessors.

    That, and our extremely cushy lifestyles make violence counterproductive.

  • Winston||

    That, and our extremely cushy lifestyles make violence counterproductive.

    What about cops then?

    Also how much of the extreme cushness is part of government intervention?

  • Virginian||

    Look, I satiate my violence urge with a little boxing gym and a lot of First Person Shooters.

    Cops beat up on "skells" and "scumbags". Same thing, right?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It probably helps that you're not up to your neck in human filth 45 hours a week, Virginian. You have the option of being in situations you want to be in; cops don't.

  • Virginian||

    They can quit, can't they?

    I have nothing but respect for those who can be civilized in the face of barbarism, and nothing but contempt for those who fail the test. We are all responsible for our actions.

    Violence is easy. Very very easy. We don't pay cops for the violence, we pay them for the control. If we wanted an out of control mob, we could get that for free.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I have nothing but respect for those who can be civilized in the face of barbarism, and nothing but contempt for those who fail the test.

    Easy to say for someone who's not forced to take it.

    And while I'm sure you're eminently in demand for employment, that's not true for most people. Quitting their job would be a disaster.

  • Virginian||

    Easy to say for someone who's not forced to take it.

    And while I'm sure you're eminently in demand for employment, that's not true for most people.

    No one is forced to be a cop.

  • Irish||

    It probably helps that you're not up to your neck in human filth 45 hours a week, Virginian

    This is the dumbest thing I've ever read. What percentage of cops spend 45 hours a week up to their necks in human filth? There aren't that many particularly violent or dangerous places in this country, and pretending that every cop is working the beat in inner city Detroit does not make it so.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There aren't that many particularly violent or dangerous places in this country

    As the Head and Shoulders know-it-alls say... EXACTLY.

  • Ted S.||

    This is the dumbest thing I've ever read. What percentage of cops spend 45 hours a week up to their necks in human filth?

    Considering that they're spending that time with other cops, I'd say 100%.

  • cavalier973||

    They hang around other cops, don't they?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    K hate to go Godwin on you...actually id love to. Haman filth sounds like something a national socialist would say when hes trying to justify his murderous impulses.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Wow, haman filth is an interesting misspelling. Is it Purim already?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Ed, if criminals and Jews were the same kind of category, that would have been an excellent zinger.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think the comparison is between jews and the human beings who surround the police 45 hours a week. They cant all be criminals, and of course a main reason criminals are criminals is they dehumizd their victims.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, the criminals who don't bother dehumanizing their victims are even more scary. Dehumanization is a sign that the nerve endings of compassion and morality are still present.

    That said, I've always wondered about the common policy in sheriff's offices and large city police depts. of having rookies work as jail guards before they're set loose on patrol. My understanding is that the original reasoning was twofold: (1) because it's a shitty, soul-destroying job that no cops wanted to do, and (2) so they could test out the new guy's commitment and ability in a controlled environment.

    Now, I think it's having a perverse consequence: a lot of cops take the attitudes and techniques of an effective prison guard out into their work on patrol.

  • ||

    "Let's me and you go for a ride, Otis!"

  • General Butt Naked||

    What about cops then?

    No matter the mores or morals of the time there will always be violent sociopaths addicted to power.

    Also how much of the extreme cushyness is part of government intervention?

    We've got cushy lives despite our government not because of it.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    How so?

  • Paul.||

    The possibility exists that the manifestation of aggression on a smaller scale e.g. cursing someone out, acts as a safety valve that releases pressure and alleviates the need to do something "bigger".

    Nah... some of the most violent places in the world aren't exactly prim, polite victorian societies.

    I'm not convinced that there's anything even close to a 1:1 relationship between a coarser society and a less violent one. I'm not really convinced there's any correlation at all, even a tenuous one.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I can't see how a decline in public behavior and baseline respect shown for our fellows contributes in any way to a reduction of sex, drugs, and violence.

    Whoa whoa whoa. Who said anything about a decline in public behavior and respect? I don't see how Miley Idaho's transformation into sluttiness portends such a thing.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't think that's the right way to look at it.

    Here's the right way to look at it:

    The only reason - the ONLY reason - to object to so-called "coarsening" of society is if that coarsening will manifest itself in social pathologies down the road.

    "You can't curse in front of the kids or show tits to the kids, because if you do, they'll all grow up to be murderin' rapists who listen to Johnny Cash records."

    But if the statistics for the various social pathologies that are supposed to arise from those horrible, terrible curse words and exposed breasts are actually going down, that proves there is no connection between "coarsening" and social pathology.

    Gillespie doesn't have to prove that me telling you to fuck off at the drop of a hat makes society better. He just has to prove that it doesn't make it worse.

    Even if he's arguing causation, at least he has correlation on his side - which the petty Victorians among us can't claim to have, any more. They used to assume correlation was on their side, and everyone nodded along. Now correlation is on Nick's side. Naturally correlation doesn't prove causation...but the guy who starts the argument with correlation on his side generally is at an advantage.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    More succinctly: correlation doesn't imply causation, but lack of correlation does imply lack of causation.

  • Fluffy||

    Yes.

    That comes up a lot in threads, these days.

    I think we need an acronym or quick tag for it.

  • Bobarian||

    FYTY?

  • Paul.||

    Gillespie doesn't have to prove that me telling you to fuck off at the drop of a hat makes society better. He just has to prove that it doesn't make it worse.

    Yarp.

  • Boisfeuras||

    We may well be an increasingly ill-mannered society ... But we’re also one in which youth violence, sex, and drug use are all trending down. If that means putting up with, you know, ladies cursing and other examples of unambiguously crass behavior, it seems a terrifically small price to pay.

    Nick was doing fine, until that last line. As you suggest, he should have simply argued against correlation, i.e. that a "coarser" society has not coincided with an increase in the listed social ills. That suggests they are not correlated, at least not strongly.

    Arguing they do not correlate at all is another thing entirely, and one that would be very hard to prove. It is obvious that there are many factors that contribute to violence, drug use, etc., and it is very much a matter of dispute as to what those factors are, and which are the strongest.

  • mtrueman||

    " that a "coarser" society has not coincided with an increase in the listed social ills."

    I think it has though. Just not the society ills like violence and crime that all here want to focus on. Pervasive surveillance and pervasive self surveillance is the sign of our times, and I believe this is directly related to growing coarseness or immodesty - the whittling away of what we once kept for our private lives, we ourselves push into the public sphere.

    I think this talk of coarseness being a pressure valve or it's a kind or slippery slope to violence is completely off base.

  • mtrueman||

    "Gillespie doesn't have to prove that me telling you to fuck off at the drop of a hat makes society better. He just has to prove that it doesn't make it worse."

    Do you feel that everyone telling everyone else to fuck off at the drop of a hat makes society better or worse? I'm not asking you to prove anything, just your gut reaction.

  • Wizard4169||

    Well, ya know, except where the incidence of sex, drugs and violence has actually declined, despite the wild pop-culture depictions. Just because you see something on TV, that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with its prevalence in real life.

    I remember reading about a study that found a negative correlation between porn and rape, ie., areas where porn was tightly restricted had higher incidences of rape, while areas where porn was readily available had a lower incidence of actual rape. Personally, I'm not sure this is cause and effect; I suspect both are effects of a single cause. Societies that tolerate porn (generally) tend to be more supportive of individual rights, which would include the right of women to NOT be raped.

    Never confuse the depiction of popular culture with the reality.

  • mtrueman||

    "I'm not buying it. I can't see how a decline in public behavior and baseline respect shown for our fellows contributes in any way to a reduction of sex, drugs, and violence."

    Good point. The author implies this, I'm not in the least convinced. I'm not sure children are better off today than in the past. They seem more managed, controlled and less free today than at any other point in the past I can imagine.

  • Lyle||

    Coarser is Adrian Petersen's two year old being beaten to death because the daddy isn't married to the mommy.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Sure, okay. Whatever.

  • Irish||

    Coarser is a black man being lynched because he whistled at a white woman. Coarser is Ida Craddock committing suicide after being imprisoned for mailing a sexually explicit marriage manual to paying customers.

    Seriously, when Gillespie posted this earlier, I was on record as saying it's a dumb article that doesn't take into account many of the valid intellectual reasons to be opposed to a society where people use 'fuck' as a crutch so they don't have to effectively explain their views.

    This comment is far dumber than anything in the article though, and I think Gillespie's point about crime being down is a valid one, even if it's also beside the point when it comes to 'the coarsening of society.'

  • Winston||

    There's are the bit about how much of the "coarsening of society" is due to the state and what would happen to society if there was less or no state?

  • Lyle||

    So basically the break down of families isn't a bad thing to you?

    And I have to amend my blame of Petersen. The woman never told him about his child and just moved off to do her own thing.

    Liberty!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Plenty of 2 year olds got beat to death by daddies who were married to their mommies, back in the good old days you're seemingly pining for. Lots of pregnant mommies got "redneck abortions" provided by their husbands' fists, too.

  • Lyle||

    Yeah, but this kid is probably alive if she doesn't run off away from Petersen.

    Petersen isn't going to beat the child to death.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So you're arguing that women should marry Adrian Peterson, or at least not allow their children to be alone with men other than Adrian Peterson?

    It sounded like you were arguing that she should have married the guy she was with now.

  • Lyle||

    She should have told him she was pregnant with his kid and they should have done the right thing, or he should have taken the kid.

    He couldn't do that though cause she just had the kid and did her thing. Now the kid is dead.

  • Wizard4169||

    Maybe they should have done the "right thing", but how likely is that? I'll agree that that is the ideal solution, but it just didn't always happen in reality.

    I was the son of a single mother in a rural, conservative area back when that wasn't too popular. Forty years later, I don't even know the NAME of my sire (I refuse to call him a father. He had precisely ZERO to do with my upbringing AFAIK, so fuck him in the ear, sideways.)to this day. My mother did the best she could have for me, regardless of circumstances. I respect and honor her for that, but I recognize the damage done.

  • Irish||

    So basically the break down of families isn't a bad thing to you?

    Are you purposefully dense or is missing the point your super power?

    My point was that you're using one instance as evidence of how 'the coarsening' of society is resulting in horrible awful murders. Well, I used examples to show that horrible murders, suicides and oppression were hallmarks of our pre-coarsened times.

    If you're going to try to argue that our world has become an amoral hell, then I think you should probably consider all of the horrible things that happened back when men were men, women were women, and they could all be thrown in jail by Anthony Comstock.

  • Lyle||

    It's an anecdote. I'm not making any kind of greater argument. That's what you're doing.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Slightly offtopic Lyle but if the breakdown of family (and I assume, low birthrate) IS important to you I suggest you checkout the men's rights movement if you haven't already. Specifically avoiceformen website & blogtalkradio site.
    They have very good arguments about what's happening right now with low birth rates/why men aren't marrying; they even take a serious, objective view of the Japanese herbivore movement.
    Also there's a guy on The Voice of Europe in blogtalkradio that loves to make fun of the EU and progressives/socialists.

  • Lyle||

    I'm aware of some of this. I'll check out the Voice of Europe though.

  • ||

    Specifically avoiceformen

    Um, how about no

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Wait a minute, aren't you the one who cheers when our Hellfires incinerate Muslim women and children?

    Kind of a perverted moralism to condemn sins of weakness and applaud sins of violence.

  • Lyle||

    I don't actually, but people project that on to me. Just like you're doing. Oh, to argue with people in bad faith. That win hearts and minds over to the libertarian cause.

  • Lyle||

    will

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Antonin Scalia can kiss my hairy ass.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Webber on Pole, finally beating Vettel this season. Can he get one last win?

  • ||

    Sounds like someone needs a Brazilian wax.

    /suddenly shifts to Late P Brooks and points.

  • SIV||

    Where's the Conor Friedersdorf fanbois? He has two columns up on how the Teabaggers are threatening the full faith and credit of the US because Obama is a Black Man.

  • Hyperion||

    If you want a taste of even more fabulous journalism, check out the new post by Joan Walsh at Salon, which attempts to portray Nancy Pelosi as some sort of national hero for her latest incoherent babbling. It's simply hysterical.

  • Hyperion||

    Also, she gets eviscerated in the comments, as usual. I doubt that she ever reads them. But when the majority of Salon readers are telling you how stupid you are, you have to be truly dumber than most anyone on the planet.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Do you guys have something against links?

    Conor

    Freids... whatever

  • General Butt Naked||

  • Hyperion||

    I have completed my quota of links for the week. And thanklessly at that, not a single h/t. It's your turn.

  • General Butt Naked||

    No problem.

    Though the conor fre...fuck it articles weren't that bad. One was just a bunch of Limbaugh quotes where he says that republicans may have held back on criticizing obama because of his race. And the other was about the public's perception of the tea party regarding the shutdown.

  • Hyperion||

    There are a couple of other really stupid articles I saw this morning, but I don't feel like looking for the links. But another Salon article was declaring the GOP as totally gone after the next midterm. Sure some establishment Repubs are going down ( a good thing ), but to suggest that the GOP will cease to exist because of this shut down? Salon writers are seriously deluded.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Salon writers are seriously deluded.

    It's one of the job requirements, I think.

  • B.P.||

    Agreed gbn. Do not enter the comments on the second one though. A special guest appearance by Lonewacko, and some guy talking about how Soviet Union, Maoist China, etc., bore no relationship to socialism.

  • Irish||

    A special guest appearance by Lonewacko, and some guy talking about how Soviet Union, Maoist China, etc., bore no relationship to socialism.

    Lonewacko spends an awful lot of time appearing in random comment threads. It seems like every week someone posts an article here in which Lonewacko appears to rant about immigrants or whatever.

  • General Butt Naked||

    He's so crazy about immigrants and religiously dedicated to spreading the word of their harming America that I think he's actually a bit nuts. It's such an obsessive thing with him.

    I'm just glad he's not posting here anymore.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Hmmm... American makes Lonewacko look like William F. Buckley.

  • Ted S.||

    One was just a bunch of Limbaugh quotes where he says that republicans may have held back on criticizing obama because of his race.

    I don't see how this is controversial at all, considering how many white liberals won't say anything bad about Obama for fear of being called racist.

  • Ted S.||

    by Joan Walsh at Salon,

    Um, I'd like to keep my lunch down.

  • Raven Nation||

  • MJGreen||

    Holy shit. Chris Matthews is the reasonable one in that discussion. How embarrassing.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The look on Mathews face says "Holy shit these fuckers are crazy."

  • SIV||

    Miley Ray Cyrus degrades midget by forcing her into a stuffed bear costume

    She wields her unequal power advantage of looks, wealth, fame,talent and longer arms and legs to oppress the "little people":

    'The money was great and I would have gotten a free trip to Las Vegas,' she admitted. 'My computer had recently broken and my car needed (and still needs) multiple repairs. I could have fixed a lot of that with the Miley money. So, I sent in my audition tape.'

    But it was only after she was accepted for the job that she realized she was going to be put into a bear costume.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    What a monster, offering her money to wear a costume.

  • Hyperion||

    What? No midget tossing? I thought that midgets were for tossing?

    A bear suit? Lame!

    This Miley chick is the lamest shock entertainer, ever.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

  • Ice Nine||

    We can only hope that this poor thing does not have to witness the orgy of degradation that will soon be upon us.

  • SIV||

  • SIV||

    Coarsening of the Culture:

    Damn, they don't make Hollywood Hot Chicks like they used to.

  • Ice Nine||

    Seems the trannies are pretty much the same, though.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Jesus christ that's bad.

    I'd look better in that dress and that ain't sayin much at all.

  • Hyperion||

    If one has a desire to watch teevee to see hot women, I highly recommend Globo TV.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Joss whedon shows are pretty good for that as well.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    globotv.globo.com

  • Hyperion||

    Not sure what the name of the show wife and I were watching last night, but my gawd! Burlesque, omg, wow. I don't have words...

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Find out, damn you!

  • Hyperion||

    I'll try to post the name in another thread when I find out...

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The collapse of fatherhood, all the bastards running around these days and how everyone I guess is just cool with it, is where modern society is lacking compared to thirty years ago. Scalia says he would not want to raise children these days; but too many fathers these days don't bother at all. And we will reap what we sow with such low human investment in our children.

  • Hyperion||

    Statism actually encourages dissolution of the traditional family. The more the political elite class can divide us, the easier for them to get more and more control over us.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Statism actually encourages dissolution of the traditional family.

    Yup. It's a vicious cycle.

    The state gives financial incentives for fucked up behavior...

    More people, unsurprisingly, engage in said behavior...

    The behavior becomes normalized and more people vote for incentivizing bad behavior...

    The state gives financial incentives for fucked up behavior...

    One day you wake up and half the damn population is on welfare.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Yawn, more "government is the source of all evil" rhetoric.

    The state doesn't have to give people financial incentives to fuck around and not get married; biology takes care of that. And the cosmotarians are the ones who've been cheering the erosion of societal distaste for premarital sex.

  • Irish||

    Yawn, more "government is the source of all evil" rhetoric.

    That's not at all what he said, Tulpa. Here's a pretty important section from his post:

    The state gives financial incentives for fucked up behavior...

    More people, unsurprisingly, engage in said behavior...

    He's not saying people didn't do these things before, just that the creation of bad incentives by government policy has made the problem worse. He isn't saying that government is the source of all evil, just that it frequently exacerbates evil by incentivizing bad behavior.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    He's not saying people didn't do these things before, just that the creation of bad incentives by government policy has made the problem worse.

    I know. That's still wrong. Which govt policy rewards fucking around and not getting married?

  • Virginian||

    If you give more free shit to single mothers then to married women, you will get more single mothers over time.

    If low income couples with children got more free money then single parents, then you'd see more intact families.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Married women get free shit from their husbands, while mothers on welfare have to at least attempt to find work.

  • Virginian||

    Married women do not get free shit from their husbands. Married women exchange companionship, support functions, sex, etc. in return for other support.

    Not to mention, someone who is married may be leaching off her husband, but as long as I'm not her husband, that's not my problem.

    Welfare leeches take my money, and that pisses me off a lot more than idle housewives.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Lovely view of marriage as a maid/whore arrangement.

    That aside, single mothers still have to do the support functions you're talking about.

  • Virginian||

    Single mothers have to give emotional support, counseling, stress relief, etc. to a husband? Really?

    And again, the issue is where the money comes from. I do not care that Michael Jackson built himself an amusement park. It's his money. But I get quite angry when "poor" "destitute" single mothers use my money to finance a life of relative leisure.

  • Fluffy||

    Which govt policy rewards fucking around and not getting married?

    Prior to the welfare state, people stayed in family economic units that were very unpleasant to be in because if they didn't stay in them, they would live in the fucking gutter.

    That was true for wives, and for the elderly.

    Now we have a welfare state, and we have vast numbers of single mothers and vast numbers of elderly people who live alone.

    We don't have to pass any moral judgment on those things whatsoever to know whether or not they're the result of state action. They obviously are.

    The state didn't create the desire to fuck around and not get married. It just made it economically possible.

    If there was no welfare state, you might still get the fucking around, but the abortion clinics would run night and day.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Regardless of welfare, quality of life ('wealth') has improved a lot since the '70s and prior- so more people are able to comfortably live independently of other people who piss them off.

    Children will be fine as long as their upbringing isn't full of chaos. Who really gives a shit about "traditional families".

  • Virginian||

    Well I do think it is important to have, for lack of a better word, a strong "male" figure and a nurturing "female" type active in a child's life, particularly when it comes to boys.

    It's not a coincidence that so many criminals never knew their father or were mistreated by him.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    But it is a coincidence that many normal people never knew their father?

    Poverty is the #1 correlated variable to criminality. Nothing else comes close.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So then hunter gatherer tribes should have the most crime.

  • Rabban||

    Didn't bastardom track pretty close to poverty? Just saying.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Which govt policy rewards fucking around and not getting married?

    Someone hasn't witnessed very many family law courts.

  • Virginian||

    Except the state has taken away the financial pitfalls of such behavior. Worst case scenario for a woman who gets knocked up is to be handed an EBT card, Section 8 housing, and free daycare from the age of five on.

    The State created the epidemic of unwed mothers by removing the consequences to risky behavior.

  • Irish||

    Stop it with your 'the state is the root of all evil' rhetoric, Virginian!

    Pointing out the basic fact that the dissolution of African American families skyrocketed after the Great Society was created just makes you one of those damned Cosmos, apparently.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Worst case scenario for a woman who gets knocked up is to be handed an EBT card, Section 8 housing, and free daycare from the age of five on.

    That's an excellent description of how the system worked back in the 70s and 80s, but I think you may have a distorted view of how the post-1996 welfare system works.

  • Virginian||

    Pretty sure it's still operating just like that.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well you're wrong.

  • Virginian||

    Wait, you really believe in Clinton's great reform?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I don't have the luxury of denying reality like some others, so yes, I believe the welfare reform act is still law.

  • Virginian||

    I don't have the luxury of denying reality like some others, so yes, I believe the welfare reform act is still law.

    Welfare reform was the lie of the 90s, and healthcare reform is the lie of the 00s.

  • Fluffy||

    The benefit time limits applied only to cash assistance, not Section 8 and not SNAP.

    And most of the states have a range of bogus "extension criteria" they can use to make sure nobody hits the cash assistance time limit, either.

    And the limits provide more than enough time to concoct an SSDI claim for either yourself or one of your children, in any event.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    SSDI is one of the lesser-known Great Engine of Fraud. People have no idea how staggeringly high the bullshit goes with SSDi claimants.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And SSDI has nothing to do with marriage.

  • Fluffy||

    Tulpa, it's really very simple:

    The Family gets a lot of good press and a lot of Hallmark cards written about it, but for many people it's incredibly unpleasant.

    All the horrible stuff that the characters in Brave World World attribute to the Family? All true.

    The Family exists to the extent that it's economically necessary. Every society that creates escape routes from the Family sees a stampede to those exit routes.

    It doesn't matter if it's the medieval monastery system or the welfare state.

    If there's any combination of benefits available that will let people escape their families, a not insignificant number of people will choose that. They will choose to scrape by in Section 8 Housing and lie to doctors about a kid's developmental disorder if that's what they're got to do.

    Don't want that to happen? Then it has to be impossible. IMPOSSIBLE.

    Unable to make it impossible, and you just want to contain the damage? Find a way to pay people in intact family units more.

    Because the rate of premarital and extramarital sex is not what went up in the 60's and 70's and later. What went up is the number of people who figured out that they could flee their families and not starve.

  • Virginian||

    ^What Fluffy said.

    In VA a single mom with two kids gets 900 per month on her EBT.

    Add in Section 8. In Richmond VA if you make less then 38,000 a year you are eligible for Section 8. I make about half that, and yet I manage to make rent without any help.

    So please spare me the nonsense that welfare is somehow stingy.

  • John Galt||

    Adolf Clinton was a great reformer alright.

  • SIV||

    No, you're wrong.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Apparently the GOPers who railed against BO's attempt to grant waivers for TANF last year are wrong too. Welfare reform never existed! We've all been duped.

  • SIV||

    Worst case scenario for a woman who gets knocked up is to be handed an EBT card, Section 8 housing, and free daycare from the age of five on.

    The original comment doesn't mention AFDC or TANF so why don't you move those goalposts right up your ass?

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    No-fault divorce & Misandry in the family courts is a major source of fatherlessness, not premarital sex.

  • Whahappan?||

    I don't think people are blaming gov't for a rise in premarital sex, only single motherhood, which it is pretty hard to argue that various gov't programs don't incentivise. You may not agree that this is a bad thing, or perhaps you believe this is better than earlier incentives to be married, or at least in a stable relationship before having kids, but to deny that gov't encourages single motherhood is delusional.

  • Wizard4169||

    No, the state doesn't have to give incentives for effed-up behavior, but when they do, it's serious business. "Pre-marital sex" ain't the same thing as failing to take responsibility for ones' behavior. Sex always means something, and sometimes it means taking care of the results.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I don't disagree with that one bit; but in context of this article advocating modern society is coarser but better, the parental miss needs mentioning.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I blame Jerry Springer, and to a lesser extent his wife, Judge Judy.

  • Hyperion||

    Judge Judy is his wife? Holy fucking Beejeebus! That is one fugly woman! *barf*

  • Nazdrakke||

    It all really started with ol' Grampa Wapner.

  • John Galt||

    "...it's a conundrum, wrapped in an enigma ...wrapped in pastry, wrapped in a lie." - Mr Weebl

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Who is the real John McAfee? He's the man who went on the run after his neighbour was found dead, face-up, with a bullet in his head. He's the man who jump-started the multibillion-dollar anti-virus industry. And now he thinks he can make you invisible on the internet.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I saw an interview with him and it sounds like he's designing a real life Fakeblock.

  • General Butt Naked||

    He's a crazy motherfucker. We need more eccentric m(b)illionaires.

  • John Galt||

    I'm already imbisibal.

    Now, you see me..

    *blink*

    Now you don't.

  • SIV||

    Wake up those lazy cosmotarian fucks at 24/7

    EBT CARD SHUTDOWN

    Not sure how widely the dole has been cut off.
    This is not a hoax or a drill. I'm off to the grocery store for some fun!
    Camera? Check! Sidearm? Check!

  • Irish||

    Between this, Obamacare's exchanges, and hardware at an NSA center literally exploding, I feel like the government should probably hire some more talented IT guys.

  • Hyperion||


    I feel like the government should probably hire some more talented IT guys.

    They're all libertarians.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    That made my day sunnier.

  • SIV||

    Appears to be spreading nationwide.

    Do news search for EBT SNAP and "food stamps"

    Mississippi, Michigan, PA...

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I suspect Wal-Mart's profits would probably be cut in half if SNAP ever ended.

  • ||

    She is unemployed and has a 10-year-old disableddaughter.

    “It’s disappointing and frustrating and one more hurdle to jump over in order to provide for my daughter and myself,” she said.

    I do not think the word means what she think it means ...

  • SIV||

    bestest libertarian christmas ever!

  • Winston||

    Are you referring to that Gillespie Christmas article? What shit. Every Oceanian had a telescreen in their home so I guess they were freer than ever.

  • Calidissident||

    I think he's referring to what he linked to above. But of course with you, everything has to be about Gillespie all the time.

  • Virginian||

    OK so I watched Pacific Rim last night. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.

  • Habeas Dorkus||

    We are not "coarser" as a nation to begin with.
    We are just more public about it now, with the explosion of instantly digestible and available media. All our cantankerous, pornographic, violent and otherwise base thoughts, once squirreled away in the province of private interaction, are now simply THERE.
    Facebook has bludgeoned my innocence about the fair-mindedness of people, in almost every respect. People I thought, my whole life, were conscientious, critical thinkers have exposed themselves as bigoted, mean partisans.
    It was there all along. Now it's simply THERE there.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Given the infinite memory of the internet, politicians in ten, twenty years are going to have lots and lots of 'gotchas' digging up digital skeletons on each other.

    Can you imagine what twenty-year old Barry Obama would be scribbling on HuffPost were it available in his day? The tweets? The Facebook shit? Or Michelle Bachman with the same chance at digital immortalization?

    Fucking yikes.

  • Sevo||

    "Can you imagine what twenty-year old Barry Obama would be scribbling on HuffPost were it available in his day?"

    No doubt they'd be horrible, but his current behavior is equally horrible, and the majority gives him a pass.
    So, yes, there will be more evidence of mendacity. And, yes, the Obots of the future will shout BUUUUUUUUUUUUSH! And whoever replaces Obo will get the same pass.
    Free shit wins out.

  • Ted S.||

    Maybe if there's that much stupid around it will immunize people from political attacks? Kind of like the way kids used to have more resistance to stuff because they were playing in the dirt all the time?

  • Rhywun||

    politicians in ten, twenty years are going to have lots and lots of 'gotchas' digging up digital skeletons on each other

    It will be amusing, but like today's skeletons, they will have absolutely no effect on who gets elected.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    This.

    Another big trend has been the compartmentalization of vice. I seriously doubt that anyone complaining about Miley Cyrus' supine gyrations actually watched the MTV Music Awards... whereas the Rolling Stones' lyrics and Elvis' hips were foisted upon anyone watching TV at the time, because Ed Sullivan was the only game in town.

    Another case in point: back in the 70s/early 80s, if you wanted to see nude women or fake sex, the only socially acceptable way to do it was to go to the movies. Hence, tons of otherwise mainstream movies from that era have nudity and semi-graphic sex that just sort of shows up out of nowhere, to appeal to that desire.

    But with cable and PPV arriving in the 80s, and of course the Internet porn juggernaut in the late 90s -- both of which moralists decried as the end of civilization -- mainstream video entertainment has gotten much much cleaner wrt. nudity and graphic sex. The explosion of pure porn has paradoxically made soft porn unprofitable.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The explosion of pure porn has paradoxically made soft porn unprofitable.

    Quite a few of the mainstream cable shows feature what would be considered Skinemax-worthy material 20 years ago. The only difference is bigger budgets for better writers, actors, and scenery.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    We are not "coarser" as a nation to begin with.
    We are just more public about it now,

    Yeah, I can think of a number of ways that America was 'coarser' (whatever the fuck that means) when I was in my 20s. A few that come to mind right away.

    1) Every movie had a gratuitous boobie scene - now hardly any do.

    2) We used to have 3-4 drinks at lunchtime - everyone did it. Now doing so would get you fired.

    3) People smoked cigs every-fucking-where. In their offices, while waiting on tables, tellers at the bank etc.

    4) Blue collar workplaces had soft core porn pinups all over the walls.

    5) Openly sexist talk and behavior was commonplace and accepted. Including things like smacking the ass of some female that you barely knew.

    6) Racist jokes were commonplace, as were people throwing around the N-word. I can't remember the last time I heard anyone use it derisively.

  • Rhywun||

    Agree with all of that, but only regarding adult behavior. Kid behavior seems much "coarser" than I remember - and I'm only 44. At least where I live - NYC - I see kids every day, in public, completely un-self-consciously throwing around language that would have been unthinkable in my day...

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I thought the same thing 20+ years ago.

    Which reminds me that peak degeneracy was reach in the early-mid nineties.

    That when Nine Inch Nails Closer was a hit an you could hear it played pretty much everywhere in public.

    And the movie Kids was being shot. So the wild kids meme was at least a couple of years old at that point.

  • Habeas Dorkus||

    And Nick Gillespie?
    I respect you, but how is society "better" today than 30 years past?
    The whole reason that Reason exists, I assume, is not to festoon our society with praise, but to stand in front of the State Tank that is increasingly posturing to mow freedom down.
    Less rape but more red tape?
    Fewer shootings but more spyings?
    Decrease in violence but an explosion in debt, cheap money and statism?
    Again, tell me how society is "better."

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Again, tell me how society is "better."

    This here internet doohickey is pretty cool and socially empowering.

    Just say'in.

  • Kill all the economists||

    Society and technological advancement are hardly the same thing. It's entirely arguable that technological advancement has mitigated the effects of societal decay. That doesn't mean the decay is not occurring.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I knew some retard was going to say this.

  • Winston||

    Well the Nazis and the Soviets had TV, which their predecessors didn't have. North Korea has TV and the internet something which Korea did not have when they ruled by Japan.

  • Almanian!||

    The Nazis had TV? Like, 1936-ish to 1945 Nazis?

    Cool story, bro.

  • Ted S.||

    There were experimental television broadcasts of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

  • Winston||

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I don't think you can lay that at the feet of scantily-clad, pottymouthed ex-teen idols.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    No, but I can thank the inter tubes for MSNBC with their wisdom and incisive headlines like this:

    A disabled adult child can mean an uncertain future for parents.

    WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN!? Thanks inter tubes!

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    I don't know about 30 years ago, but 40-50 years ago, and, 80 years ago, yes. Have people forgotten how incredibly statist/ultra-pc the hippy era was? Richard Dawkins was once considered a monster for writing The Selfish Gene, the Blank Slate theory was taken seriously even in academic circles, the movie A Clockwork Orange was both a possible look into the future and a toned-down documentary about how homosexuals & transsexuals were treated, and the phrase "better red than dead" actually had some meaning; communism was seen as semi-valid. Don't even get me started on the 1930s.
    Then again, back in those days governments at least knew how to balance budgets.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Also the concept of the speed limit was created in the 1950s as an attempt to get people to save gas in anticipation of the oncoming mass oil shortage which experts throughout time always seem to warn us about. Road safety was never even an issue.
    How more fucked up Nanny State can you get than that? Think about it, speed limits across the world exist because some do-gooder wanted to help the environment. How many people today know this, or even know that no speed limit roads have less accidents?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The first speeding ticket was issued in 1899.

    You're probably thinking of the 55 MPH speed limit on rural roads and limited access highways. Speed limits on other roads are at least ostensibly about safety.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Speed limits are a restriction on the freedom of travel, and a violation of property rights. Public right of ways are common law property of everyone (not the government).

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Property of everyone is property of no one -- see the Tragedy of the Commons.

    Roads may technically be the property of the people, but to prevent TTOTC, they are managed by the government.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So if I want some asphalt, I am free to dig it out of the street?

  • Whahappan?||

    The 55mph speed limit was implemented in 1975 as a response to the oil shortages. Yes, other speed limits are "ostensibly" about safety.

  • Zeb||

    Some things are better. Some things are worse. I think it is worth noting the good things every now and then.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Again, tell me how society is "better."

    Less violent crime.

    More mobility of all sorts.

    More consumer choice of all types.

    Better entertainment options.

    Better food.

    Longer life expectancy.

  • Habeas Dorkus||

    Yes, VG, capitalism marches on. But it has never had more governmental oppressors in the last 30 years.

    And you can let me know all about "consumer choice" when Obamacare goes into full effect.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

  • Virginian||

    Some people seem surprised by this, I'm not.

    It is an interesting question, because unlike Romney, the Cooch could possibly be a net positive from a libertarian standpoint, even if he isn't anywhere close to ideal.

    How do you quantify libertarian enough? How do you decide if a candidate is worth holding your nose for?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, I voted for Romney so I'm probably not the person to ask.

    This was in response to Reason's love affair with Bob Sarvis.

  • Virginian||

    Hey I like Sarvis too. If it was my turn to pick the governor, it would be Sarvis. But that's not how it works.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I'd pick Aldon Smith to be my governor, actually.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Actually, Virginian, that is how it works. Why would you vote for someone you don't want to be Governor?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Because you view the vote as an exercise of power, rather than a statement of personal belief.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    that makes no sense. but I'm certainly willing to listen to you try to explain it.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    First question, Tulpa: under this rubric, is there any reason to ever vote for a Libertarian candidate?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Sure. If a third party candidate (L or otherwise) has a chance of winning or clinching some lesser benefit (like guaranteed ballot access in the next election).

    I know that under your other name you started quibbling about what "has a chance" or "viability" means, so I'll preempt that line of argument by reminding you that Johnson supporters were tweaking Romney supporters on election night despite Romney getting 48 times as many votes. So clearly they knew that victory was not on the menu.

    If you want me to consider voting L, hit the pavement and get Libertarians up to 30% or so in the polls.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So, in order to vote for Libertarians, other people have to vote for them first. This sophistic quicksand is the root of all political problems: you're so terrified (Blue/Red) is going to win that you lack the courage to vote for anything other than (Blue/Red).

    I know that under your other name you started quibbling about what "has a chance" or "viability" means, so I'll preempt that line of argument by reminding you that Johnson supporters were tweaking Romney supporters on election night despite Romney getting 48 times as many votes. So clearly they knew that victory was not on the menu.

    Victory was not on Romney's menu either, so your point is not well taken.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So, in order to vote for Libertarians, other people have to vote for them first.

    No, other people have to be WILLING to vote for them first.

    Victory was not on Romney's menu either, so your point is not well taken.

    It was clear the numbers were not favorable in the days before the election, but there's no comparison with Johnson's situation. There was a higher probability of a mile-wide asteroid impact on Jan 20, 2013 than a Gary Johnson inauguration.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Tulpa, your choice of criteria are entirely arbitrary and unreasoned. Frankly, you've developed a bar so high that you'll never have to live up to it, which I suspect is the point.

  • Virginian||

    Actually, Virginian, that is how it works. Why would you vote for someone you don't want to be Governor?

    Dude, I get where you're coming from, really I do. And maybe one day we'll have a runoff style election where people can vote for who they want in the first round and only have to compromise later. But with the way the system is, it will either be Scumbag Terry or the Cooch.

    I mean the chances that my vote will be the deciding vote are low, so you could argue voting is pointless in general, but that's a whole other argument.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You say you get where I am coming from, but you're going to go ahead and vote Republican anyway, so I don't think you actually get where I'm coming from.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Black and white thinking doesn't make friends, Randian.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Look, maybe it's the fact that I learned a lesson faster than you did, Tulpa. Voting third party is like having a baby: there's never an "ideal time" to do it, and if you keep finding reasons to put it off, you'll never get around to doing it at all.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Except for the fact that after doing it you don't have a baby, or anything else to show for it. To use reproductive analogies, voting third party is more like masturbation.

    And the larger point is, you HAVEN'T learned that people can understand your position and still disagree with you. While Virginian is being cool about it, your statement at 5:04 is arrogant and abrasive.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    And the larger point is, you HAVEN'T learned that people can understand your position and still disagree with you. While Virginian is being cool about it, your statement at 5:04 is arrogant and abrasive.

    Virginian can speak for himself. You don't need to try to be his boyfriend. I know Virginian's being cool about it, and I wasn't being abrasive.

    Except for the fact that after doing it you don't have a baby, or anything else to show for it. To use reproductive analogies, voting third party is more like masturbation.

    The same can be said in voting for Romney.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The same can be said in voting for Romney.

    Except I wasn't sure if Romney would win or not at the time. It was like sex with a marginally plump woman who couldn't remember if she took her birth control pill or not.

  • Virginian||

    I have not decided if I'm voting or not. Shithead Concern Troll asserted that I am some kind of Cooch supporter, but Shithead Concern Troll is as his name is. Do not be like Shithead Concern Troll.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I would urge you to vote Libertarian.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You really should try being a cooch supporter. It's fun.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Tulpa, I am going to try to appeal to your higher intellect here. You may fancy yourself a libertarian (hence the last "L" in your affiliation parenthetical, right?), but if you vote for and campaign for and voice support for Republicans, you know what you are? A REPUBLICAN. I had this same conversation with a mirror version of you (not Bo Cara, someone else) wherein she basically says, "Well, Republicans are just so downright evil that I can't vote Libertarian right now!" You know what that makes her? A DEMOCRAT.

    If you're not going to support libertarians and libertarian candidates and libertarian causes, you AREN'T libertarian.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    More simplistic thinking from NK, and confusion about party labels. Democrat and Republican aren't political philosophies, they're slots on the ballot. They're orthogonal to political philosophy.

    Was everyone who voted for Ron Paul a Republican?
    Was everyone who voted for Gary Johnson a Libertarian?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So, who's more libertarian, Ken Cucinnelli or Robert Sarvis?

    If you're always supporting Republicans, Tulpa, you are a Republican. We are what we repeatedly do. You don't' support libertarian candidates, you support Republican ones.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If you're always supporting Republicans, Tulpa, you are a Republican. We are what we repeatedly do.

    There go the goalposts.

    The main mistake you're making here is to identify voting for someone with embracing their political philosophy.

    If the presidential race in 2016 were Rand Paul (R) vs. Martin O'Malley (D) vs. "random dogmatic libertarian with no chance to win" (L), would you vote L?

  • Virginian||

    Cooches that need support are no fun. I prefer a high, tight, smooth cooch.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Speaking of setting the bar impossibly high...

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yes, asking you to support libertarians over Republicans is a bar that's really high for a self-professed libertarian.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That was in response to Virginian's description of his "preferences", not in response to you, NK.

  • Ted S.||

    It's too bad we don't have the sort of preferential voting system that Australia does, so voters could pick Sarvis first, and then if he finishes third, pick whichever of the two shitheads they want second.

    Of course, we don't want Australia's system of mndatory presence at the voting station.

  • EJ Raines||

  • SIV||

    Cosmos,by strict definition, hate Ron Paul because of the newsletters.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I don't think they hate Ron Paul, they just regard him as a fake libertarian, or try to ride his coattails like Gary Johnson's pathetic attempt at a campaign.

    And while I've mostly forgiven him due to understanding how desperate the situation for libertarians was in the late 80s and early 90s, he does have to make amends for the newsletters AFAIAC.

  • Kill all the economists||

    I don't think they hate Ron Paul, they just regard him as a fake libertarian

    Heh.. pot, kettle....

  • Calidissident||

    I wasn't aware Ron Paul was the Supreme Arbiter of Libertarianism. And I say this as someone who voted for him in the primaries and has defended him several times on this board. Ron Paul didn't endorse Romney last year, that obviously had no effect on you.

    Bottom line is I'm not voting for someone (I don't live in Virginia anyways, but hypothetically) who would ban sodomy if the SCOTUS would let him. I don't ask for a 100% purity score, but that's a pretty big fail on the libertarian purity test.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It's kind of odd to consider hypotheticals about Cuccinelli, when SCOTUS will be perfectly happy letting McAuliffe do all the terrible things on his agenda.

  • Calidissident||

    Did I say I would vote for McAuliffe?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Suppose you're a state AG of *either* party. You get a call from a man and his wife, and their daughter. It seems that some perv asked the daughter, when she was a 17 year old, to suck his dick. Then the perv called the police and said the 17 y/o daughter had tried to sexually assault him - an accusation he later admitted in court was false (duh!).

    Then the guy gets convicted for soliciting sodomy and receives a prison sentence. The Virginia courts uphold the conviction on the grounds that the US Supreme Court's *Lawrence* decision applies only to sex between adults, not sexual propositions to minors.

    Then a federal appeals court, by a 2-1 vote, orders the perv released from prison based on the *Lawrence* decision, despite the reasoned objections of the Viginia courts, and in the face of a Congressional statute that federal courts must respect the state courts' reasonable application of US Supreme Court precedent. And bear in mind that the *Lawrence* decision applies only to adult-on-adult sex, not creeps propositioning minors.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So the parents of the girl ask what you can do to keep the perv in prison. And you file a legal motion to do precisely that, making the points I've mentioned - that the *Lawrence* decision only applies to sex *among adults,* not to propositioning minors to commit sodomy, and in any case, a federal appeals court can't overrule the state courts' good-faith interpretations of US Supreme Court precedent without a very good reason, which is not present here.

    Then some imbeciles start spreading the word that you want to lock up adults for committing sodomy in private - though your position is that *adults* have every right to do this *with each other,* but not to proposition minors.

    Wouldn't you conclude that your opponents are either a few bricks shy of a load, or politically motivated to distort the facts?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Cuccinelli agrees with the dissenting judge, Albert Diaz, who was appointed to the 4th Circuit *by President Obama* in 2009, who argued for deference to the Virginia Court of Appeals." [emphasis added]

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/g.....e-n1558109

  • Calidissident||

    1) VA doesn't need multiple laws to cover statutory rape or rape. If a girl is underage or coerced into sex, which hole the penis went into shouldn't be relevant.

    In any case, that's not even what I'm talking about. I'm talking about these comments:

    "'My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. ... They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.'"

    He's almost explicitly stating that homosexual acts should be illegal. WTF do you think the "natural law" part of his comments means? And that's not at all a fringe position among conservative Republicans. Polling has consistently indicated that even today, about half of national Republicans want such acts to be illegal. The only reasons many conservative politicians who think it should be illegal don't bring it up are 1) The SCOTUS ruled such laws illegal 10 years ago (which is apparently ancient history) and 2) Overwhelming oppisition to such laws by moderates, as well as about half of conservatives, would doom their political career. But don't pretend like the view is in any way some fringe, 1% minority opinion among people like Cuccinelli.

  • Teaganl||

    Since I started fre+lancing I've been bringing in $90 bucks/h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop. The best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them... You can do it too. Start here for more work detail go to home tab

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  • TheZeitgeist||

    WOW! TELL ME MORE!

  • Winston||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I didnt know guidos were that articulate.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    SoCon Nannies Scold TV Vulgarity, Misunderstand Markets

    If it’s there, there must be a demand for it, right?

    How many times have you heard that, or similar arguments, offered as justification for the purely gratuitous flesh parade that is network and cable television today? “They’re just providing what the market wants!” “If people didn’t watch, it wouldn’t be there!”

    Baloney.

    he ratings tell the story. What do viewers want? Duck Dynasty, apparently – which attracts upward of 13 million viewers in any given week without recourse to sleazy sex scenes, salty language, or brutal violence. Or how about the Mark Burnett-produced mini-series The Bible , which debuted to the largest cable television audience ever. Game of Thrones (5.4 million), Breaking Bad (6.4 million, on average), and Dexter (2.8 million) may appeal to the TV critics and Hollywood Insiders, but that’s not where the viewers are.

    http://w2.parentstv.org/blog/i.....tiousness/

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Pixar is an empire built on smut.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Which goes to my point about compartmentalization above.

    Mass market entertainment in 2013 is squeaky clean, not despite, but because there is so much smut and violence-porn out there. That tranny porn is not a #1 ratings show on TV doesn't mean there isn't a market for it.

  • Calidissident||

    So I suppose the millions of viewers of the shows he's criticizing don't count? If something's not #1 in its market, it doesn't count as demand?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's demand, but it's a fraction of what Duck Dynasty and The Bible pulled in. I think that's the main point.

    That said, there's always been a demand for family-centered entertainment, regardless of the era. The most popular show in the 80s was the Cosby Show, and the Nielsens were loaded with these kinds of series (Family Ties, Wonder Years, Full House). The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and the TGIF lineup in the 90s. Modern Family, The Middle, and Duck Dynasty today.

    The narcissistic Chuck Lorre crap-fests might be popular, but they're also outliers, relatively speaking.

  • Teaganl||

    Since I started fre+lancing I've been bringing in $90 bucks/h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop. The best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them... You can do it too. Start here for more work detail go to home tab ---------- w­w­w.j­o­b­s­7­2.c­o­m

  • Teaganl||

    Since I started fre+lancing I've been bringing in $90 bucks/h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop. The best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them... You can do it too. Start here for more work detail go to home tab ---------- w­w­w.j­o­b­s­7­2.c­o­m

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Free malware!? Tell me more!

  • John Galt||

    Shut up already and take my money!

  • SIV||

    EBT riot report: Stores were eerily empty. Signs on doors but not at the registers. Either everything was spent at the first of the month or word went out on the Obamaphones or they just shrugged and used cash/credit/debit.

  • Kill all the economists||

    Apparently not everyone agrees that society is getting better. But I'm not surprised to see this article. I suspect for most cosmotarians, a society that is coarser is by definition one that is better.

    "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions"
    - G.K. Chesterton

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    you link to your own blog and then drop gratuitous insults? Way to be convincing, broham.

  • EJ Raines||

  • TheZeitgeist||

    An echo chamber of one is just no fun.

  • carminahultgren||

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  • TheZeitgeist||

    I like my malware phishing BOLD!

  • Russell||

    Hopeful ? Not with vulgarians like Scalia and Sotomayor grooming understudies for SCOTUS.

  • JohnKiley||

    Good manners is the grease that makes the machine of society run smoothly. In more civilized cultures, use of profanity is mitigation for killing someone. Use of profanity and references to sex acts is a sign of societial degredation. Everyone should avoid using these inappropriate comments when communicating with others. We should care about how we, as a culture, are communicating with one another. The way we a treating each other is alarming.

  • Calidissident||

    "In more civilized cultures, use of profanity is mitigation for killing someone."

    What?

    "Use of profanity and references to sex acts is a sign of societial degredation"

    God forbid someone make reference to arguably the most natural act human beings can engage in

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm-a go all Kathy Young on your asses.

    Numero uno, I don't think a civilized country needs to make the use of profanity a mitigating factor in murder cases.

    Numero two-o, there are plenty of natural human acts you don't want to bandy about in public. The details of excretion, urination, copulation, mastication, etc. need not be shouted out loud in public, and, yes, people who do so can be stigmatized as vulgar.

  • SForza||

    One of the major mistakes people make is that they think manners are only the expression of happy ideas. There’s a whole range of behavior that can be expressed in a mannerly way. That’s what civilization is all about — doing it in a mannerly and not an antagonistic way. One of the places we went wrong was the naturalistic, Rousseauean movement of the Sixties in which people said, ”Why can’t you just say what’s on your mind?” In civilization there have to be some restraints. If we followed every impulse, we’d be killing one another.

  • ||

    Two words for you all:

    Fuck. You!

    Good night.

  • JeremyR||

    It's the substitution of vulgarity for creativity that is the real problem with society.

    When was the last time a new form of music was made? At best, we have new genres of EDM, but that itself is 35 years old. The two other innovations, rap and punk have been so thoroughly homogenized and commercialized they are the musical equivalent of muzak these days.

    Also, look at comic books. They used to be for children and the mentally challenged. Now they are mainstream, accepted as "art". Yet they are extremely superficial, a handful of poorly written words and some drawings. Are they entertainment? Sure, I loved Groo as a kid, it was funny at times. But compare that to its source material, it's really quite lacking. Yet comics have become source material for people today. They can't read books

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well that depends on how strict you are in your definition of "new" in regard to music. A music theorist could convincingly argue that there haven't been any new forms of music since jazz and blues in the 1920s. Rock-n-roll uses the jazz scale pretty religiously, with a few exceptions like Thorougood using the blues scale.

    And then there's the famous Pachelbel's Rant if you want the POV of a REAL music purist.

  • thorax232||

    I think TV is just a dying medium and the only people left watching it are the types that enjoy what's on it...

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  • juliajuli314||

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  • Sam M||

    The culture is more coarse? Not so long ago we had Bugs Bunny in blackface, Jackie Gleason yucking it up about domestic violence and a good portion of the population got blasted in the face with a water cannon and attacked by German shephards for walking into a diner and ordering a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Today, your teenage daughter might see someone humping a foam finger.

    This equals "more coarse"?

  • Jon Lester||

    Media consolidation has more to do with why Miley Cyrus has a career than a coarsening of the culture. The days of regional hits played on locally-owned radio are effectively over.

  • HenryC||

    Safety is vastly overrated. Kindness is in the eye of the beholder. Is it kindness to give people your excess so they don't bother you? I think not. Kindness comes from individual interactions and I see less of that. What I see is strictly enforce PC interactions with little meaning or freedom.

  • Rosemary||

    So, Nick, are you saying that society is coarser, except that it's not? And if coarser leads to a better society, why do you have some trepidation about it for your sons? If you want your sons to be responsible citizens, shouldn't you teach them to be as coarse as possible? Please clarify in another commentary.

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