Reason Morning Links: Impeachment Hearings for Sanford, Massacre in the Phillipines, Banks Told To Pay Up

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  1. NYTimes: We Won’t Publish “Statements that Were Never Intended for the Public Eye.”
    With the release of hundreds of emails by scientists advocates of global warming showing obvious and entirely inappropriate collusion by the authors — including attempts to suppress dissent, to punish journals that publish peer-reviewed studies casting doubt on global warming, and to manipulate data to bolster their own arguments — even the New York Times is forced to concede that “the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists.” But apparently the paper’s environmental blog, Dot Earth, is taking a pass on publishing any of the documents and emails that are now circulating. Andrew Revkin, the author of that blog, writes,

    The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.

    This is the position of the New York Times when given the chance to publish sensitive information that might hinder the liberal agenda. ..

    1. Didn’t the NYT release the CIA strategy about having cell and satellite numbers?

      Of course, that could have been tinfoil hat counter maneuvers.

      1. I guess the famous release of the Pentagon Papers was just a figment of everyone’s imagination.

    2. Yeah, I saw this too. At what point did the NYT become a joke? Was it always this bad, and I just didn’t notice it in the ’80s?

      1. It seems like the MSM got more liberal when the fairness doctrine disappeared. Maybe it was a response to the rise of conservative MSM outlets and radio.

        Would make an interesting study either way, proving or disproving.

        1. Here’s how it works in NY. The NY Times covers the blue, while the NY Post covers the red. Both are fairly parisan rags.

          Attorney, I’d say it was about the time that heros and villians started applying to news organizations.

        2. No, they were always this bad.

          Remember, Duranty got a Pulitzer for telling us all what a wonderful worker’s utopia Stalin had created.

          1. They’ve always had people of the left and right on their staff. So you can nitpick.

    3. Huh. I guess somebody else will do the news then.

    4. Holy liberal hypocrisies, Batman! This is why I’ve never read the (paper version of the) Times and probably never will. If they refuse report these facts (which implicate one of their own reports in these cover ups), I guess I’m going to have to go and watch Fox News. Hope they go under that much more quickly ’cause of things like this.

    5. The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.

      Like the Pentagon papers?

  2. One in four U.S. homeowners under water on mortgage.

    How many taxpayers are “under water” on gov’t services?

    Fed asks nine banks to submit plans on how they’ll repay TARP money.

    When will congress ask the Fed to submit plans on how it will “repay” the taxpayer?

    “Grubs again. Grumble, grumble.”

  3. JL, did you expect anything less from the NY Times?

  4. Britain opens inquiry into Iraq war.

    Like anything will come of that.

    1. It’s as newsworthy as “Mid-East Peace Talks Break Down”

      1. Epic win!

  5. One in four U.S. homeowners under water on mortgage.

    How many are under water simply because the value of their house has dropped in response to market conditions? How many are upside-down because they took a loan they couldn’t possibly repay? How many don’t repay because they are hoping for a lil bit-o-stimulus to bail em out? Why am I even worrying myself over this?

  6. It’s as newsworthy as “Mid-East Peace Talks Break Down”

    Would you rather live in a Mideast peace talk, or in Gaza?

    1. Easy, the talks. I imagine they are very well done, like a bah mitzvah catered by Phantom’s Muchentuchen.

  7. One in four U.S. homeowners under water on mortgage.

    This would have never happened if there was a Democrat in the White House.

    What we need is something like a universal educational system that will teach every American basic math skills, so they won’t end up without an education as these people did.

    1. JW, I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic.

      However, rather than a “universal education system”, would you support a requirement that any mortgage applicant demonstrate “basic math skills” as a condition for approval?

      1. Racist,Sexist

      2. Yes, Rich, I am.

        Basic math skills would something along the lines of “net income > monthly mortgage payment + monthly bills?” If you don’t possess those basic skills and insist on engaging multi-hundred thousand dollar transactions, you are basically hanging a big “SCREW ME” sign on your chest. Watch me not care.

        As to fools rushing in where angels fear to invest, no amount of public education will help that.

        1. Wrt /sarc, whew. I agree with your assessment. Call me an elitist, but I just can not understand that level of ignorance. “High interest? Me, too!”

    2. No no no, you’re going about this all wrong. What we need is a Contracts Czar, who will review the terms of every contract and make sure the consumer is not being taken advantage of.

      1. In all seriousness certainly the consumer is at a disadvantage with these contracts in that the other party usually deals with these contracts as a career. If we truly want agreements to be as voluntary as possible, rather than “a-ha, I tricked you stupid!” then some kind of help for consumers might be a good idea.

        1. I think this is the difference between right wing libertarians and someone really concerned with liberty and freedom. Often the right wing libertarian really just wants to see all those stupid people who are inferior to him “get what’s coming to them” and hates any person, organization or program that might keep that from happening. They will of course never “get what’s coming to them” because they are Randian Super-men…

          1. Perhaps people that are too stupid to read a contract on their own should like hire a laywer to read the contract for them.

            1. And if they don’t they should pay, and pay “real good”, eh kinnath?

              1. And if they don’t they should pay, and pay “real good”, eh kinnath?

                Yes.

            2. kinnath
              I bet my car keys that you currently are a party to a contract you do not fully understand (mortgage, rent, cell phone, insurance). You’ve just lucked out so far.

              1. Basic risk management — college educated engineer that reads every page of every contract that I sign. So far I have not felt the need to hire an attorney.

                Although, I recognize that 90% of the population should do so for big things like home mortgages.

                I cannot understand the mentality that agrees to cough up 4 or 5 hundred bucks to the agency that performs the title search but won’t pay an equivalent amount to hire a representative to review the final mortgage.

                1. Totally agree. I have little college education. And yet, I sit down and read in entirety any contract I put my name on, and ask questions if I don’t know. If I can’t figure it out, I need to either a.) not sign it or b.) hire someone who does it. c.) ask for clarification in the contract.

                  Really not that fucking hard.

                  1. does, not does it. Damn you coke addled Freud!

              2. I’m with kinnath, up to a point. I used to read all the contracts I signed. Then I married a contracts attorney. Screw it, let her read that shit. It’s what she does, and as near as I can tell, she’s pretty damn good at it.

            3. Despite my IQ (or maybe because of it), I brought my own lawyer to my first housing purchase. I was 28, buying a condo, knew nothing about real estate or mortgages, and it was a FSBO. Best $500 I ever spent. The bank didnt understand why I wasnt using their guy. Simple, I wanted someone who represented ME.

          2. I think this is the difference between right wing libertarians and someone really concerned with liberty and freedom. Often the right wing libertarian really just wants to see all those stupid people who are inferior to him “get what’s coming to them” and hates any person, organization or program that might keep that from happening. They will of course never “get what’s coming to them” because they are Randian Super-men…

            No. What libertarians realize is that, however much of a problem uneven bargaining power may be, any regulatory attempt to remedy it will almost certainly make things worse, given human fallibility.

        2. The ability to read and the common sense notion of “too good to be true, probably is” covers most of us. Let’s be honest. Lots of people probably knew it would be very tight but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to live in a nicer place than they could afford.

          Don’t take this sentiment to mean I absolve the banks of any responsibility. It is shared, but you make it sound like it’s all predatory.

        3. Ummm….why the fuck do you think there are 20000 sheets of paper in a mortgage contract?

          Its because the government decided that the consumer needed help. Every one of those sheets clarifies something. A mortgage contract really only needs to be 2-3 pages. That fact that I had to sign or initial 900000 different places can only be the result of government “help”.

          1. same goes for credit card contracts… most of the stuff in that packet is mandated by the government

        4. Are you actually proposing the government solve asymmetric information?

          Have you taken a look at accounting, the governments holy grail of a solution to asymmetric information and how well that has worked out?

          Hell the Cosimo de’ Medici solved this problem over 800 years ago. And he did it by getting around a governmental dictatorship called the church.

          1. no clue where the “the” came from in that second to last sentence.

        5. Is it really that hard to look at the interest rate, and the mortgage payments now and in the future, and say, “Gee, we can’t fucking afford this?”

          Yes, by all means, we need to have a government agency protecting individuals from their own desire to spend more money than they can afford on a house.

          /snark

          1. It is when you are operating on the assumptions generated by the last 10 years of relative prosperity. It’s stupid, but a lot of people fell into the trap. Again.

          2. Well, to be fair, with an ARM the interest rate and mortgage payments aren’t written on the contract in black and white for you to easily compare with your expected earnings.

            1. No, but a best case/worst case scenario for what your interest rate may be and how that would affect your mortgage payment and your cash flow isn’t very difficult. But people in the business of selling mortgages are not intersted in scareing customers away.

      2. What we need is a Contracts Czar, who will review the terms of every contract

        IANAL (or a Contracts Czar). However, I wish I had a nickel for every mistake/self-contradiction/oddity I have called out on contracts, only to have the *lawyers* present say something like “Gee, I never noticed that” or “I don’t know” or “That’s probably OK”. They tend to get huffy when I insist all parties initial my corrections.

        The only “protection” with complex contracts is ensuring that no one has a vested interest in collapsing the deal.

        1. Huffy is good.

    1. For some reason feministing.com is now blocked from my work computer. 🙁

      What did he write?

      1. Highlights:

        Dear Professor Foxy –

        I am, when I’m not feeling verbose, a gay trans man, just starting transition. … It has taken me even longer to realize that, actually, I rather like my vagina, and I don’t want any of the genital surgeries that are available to trans men.

        My problem comes in identifying as a gay man with a vagina. …I tend to be attracted to the more stereotypically gay men.

        I feel like the men I’m trying to date are men who’ve never seen a vagina before. … I’m more than willing to strap it on, but I would prefer a partner who’s not going to ignore my vagina. Sometimes it needs to be properly fucked.

        …how do I find out if a guy will not be repulsed by girly bits while still treating me like the fabulous man I am? … If we do somehow manage to make our way to the bedroom, is there a Beginner’s Guide to Pussies, or Straight Sex for the Gay Man pamphlet I can give him? … I’d still really like to know if there exist gay men who can appreciate female plumbing.

        With Hope,
        -Reclaiming HIS Cunt

        1. And they printed it! Hilarious coup, Warty. It’s like the Sokal hoax.

    2. OMFG! I am assuming that the letter was the zenith of spooftastic trollery. Every troll that has ever tried to spooge a thread should be required to read it many many times to see what they are striving for.

      MY God, Warty. That is a work of art. Bravo/a I say. Bravo/a!

    3. “I have a perfectly good self-lubricating hole. Lots of guys appreciate that.”

      Now *that* is a good pick-up line.

      1. I’d still really like to know if there exist gay men who can appreciate female plumbing.

        Gay gynecologists?

        1. fucking threaded comments owns me again. It’s like watching a chimp do calculus.

    4. I only wish that I had enough talent to write something so brilliant. No, you guys know how much I suck at writing coherent word things.

      1. Don’t be shy, Warty! That’s freaking brilliant work. That letter’s obviously a fiction. No person could really find themselves in that odd a situation, right? Right?

  8. SF, I should have known better than to click on that.

  9. James, SugarFree links generally go one of two ways: either they don’t work due to HTML errors, or they are horrifying. There is precious little middle ground.

    1. It’s Russian Roulette with madness bullets.

      1. Are madness bullets the Indian cartoon bullets from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? That’s what I imagine them to be.

    1. Wasn’t that last months headline?

    2. A heads-up, just for you H&R readers.

      My decision is that more study and deliberation are required.

  10. SugarFree, I curse you with the hatred of a thousand exploding suns.

  11. Supernovae feel hatred, Warty?

    1. Also with the hatred of a thousand exploiting nuns.

  12. Yes, if they are feeling fabulous enough.

  13. It’s interesting the Fed is pushing so hard for repayment. Forcing the banks to repay quickly doesn’t seem like a great idea. What assets do banks have to generate income? They have significant real estate assets due to foreclosure (not the highest in history but they are up there), they also have excess reserves currently earning interest @ the Fed, and they have fees. The Fed offers just enough interest and keeps rates low enough to keep the reserves in the form of reserves (banks are also gun shy to some degree), Congress is leveling the barrel of the legislative gun at fees, and banks don’t want to sell homes at a loss. If the banks start loaning excess funds we all better buy a wheel barrow to take our wallet shopping, cause it’s gonna take a shit ton of cash to buy a pack of gum. Generating fee income risks even more backlash from Congress and the public. Selling homes floods the market and drives the values of homes down making even more people upside down and increasing the risk of defaults. (nothing to lose principle) I can only assume the Fed wants repayment to remove reserves, but the risks associated with even a slight shift in the home sales or loaned reserves could be ugly.

    Looks like shoveling money into failing banks and saving your buddies might be a little more complicated than intentionally envisioned.

  14. One wonders, if people are rational self interested utility maximizers as we are often told by libertarian classical economists not needing any third party protection [because they would never do something ruinous], then why would so many of them (on both sides of the transaction) enter into such stupid deals? Could it be that people are actually quite irrational and short sighted about risks and regulation might be necessary?

    1. If you actually put the sort of protection in place to keep bad mortgages from happening (i.e. the government tears your financial apart enough to determine if you really could afford that house), a whole lot of non-white people would never be able to have a house.

      And that would somehow be the fault of libertarians as well.

    2. That’s a bit of a strawman – the debate is not that not that individuals are utility maximizers, it’s that in aggregate, there is a better equilibrium acheived through the multiple decisions of mulitple actors than by the decisions of a central body (or more precisely by a central body constraining the decisions made in some way)

      Now, this is definitely debatable, and as a somewhat elitist schmuck, I’ll say there *is* a case for constraining some decisions because of power imbalances and the fact that most people are morons.

      But we should be clear what the choices and tradeoffs we’re making here.

    3. Right. Because the government regulators would never be irrational and short sighted about risks.

      Fannie Mae.

      Freddie Mac.

      I’ll pass on having government agents deciding on whether I should be allowed to purchase a house that I’ve decided I want and can afford, because some other people actually made a decision that in retrospect turned out badly and of course the government could have and should have intervened to stop such voluntary transactions.

      1. Shorter reply: obviously, if we have even more government regulators, no bad mortgages will ever occur again.

        Because if you just get enough government interference, nothing bad will ever happen to anyone.

    4. One wonders, if people are rational self interested utility maximizers as we are often told by libertarian classical economists

      I think most economist start here, the rational person, not just the Austrian or Chicago economist, even the almighty Keynes starts with a rational individual. Most also agree that the appearance of a lack of rationality is due to things not directly related to rationality. Such as a lack of information, or a false understanding or logic. You can even argue a lack of understanding of long run impacts.

      Our recent (not) Nobel Prize winning economists shoots your tragedy of the commons idea in the ass along with the ruinous individual models. Adding a fair amount of strength to the rational individual idea.

      1. Per the bad contracts and mortgage/derivative contracts. People operated on the assumption the worst would not happen. Nothing irrational about that. Do you think a meteor is going to hit the Earth today? The started from the same point and held that decision constant until it was too late. A mistake, lack of information, lack of understanding probability (the 100 year flood every 100 years fallacy) or just plain greed. None of which imply an irrational decision. They were doing what they thought was best at the time, they just made a huge fucking mistake, to say the least.

    5. One wonders, if people are rational self interested utility maximizers as we are often told by libertarian classical economists not needing any third party protection [because they would never do something ruinous], then why would so many of them (on both sides of the transaction) enter into such stupid deals? Could it be that people are actually quite irrational and short sighted about risks and regulation might be necessary?

      People do not need third-party protection from themselves.

      If it is okay for the government to forbid people from taking out a mortgage for their own good, then it is okay for the government to forbid people from having anal sex for their own good.

    6. Nothing says rational=not stupid. Rational maximizers simply don’t knowingly act against their on utility. Bubbles are an excellent example of how rational actions in the face of a lack of information can produce odd results – if you think the bubble will continue to grow, it’s rational to hold the asset, if you think it will pop shorty, then it’s rational to sell. So, whether the bubble pops soon or not is a function of what fraction of the population guesses it’s going to pop soon(something that’s not even theoretically knowable before hand).

      The knowledge problem impacts both regulators and private actors – when the fed had a chance to pull back the money suppy to limit the bubble but didn’t because they were making the same mistakes about whether it would pop and what would happen if it did as the people buying houses at the time. Futhe, giving regulators authority also introduces the incentive problem that what is in their best interest personally may not be the same as the objective of the regulation. If you assume omniscient, benevolent regulators, you can get above realistic market outcomes, but if you assume omniscient market actors, regulation won’t improve outcomes.

    7. Could it be that people are actually quite irrational and short sighted about risks != regulation might be necessary?

  15. MNG, not only are people irrational, some of the irrational people are third party protectors who don’t know what they are doing with first party money any more than the first party. Having someone take care of you doesn’t make you responsible. If you are irresponsible, you will waste your money on hookers and coke instead of a McMansion. Leave people to their own devices and let the smart survive. It’s the only way that is fair to the rest of us that are not irresponsible.

    1. Lack of understanding or trust is not irrational. It’s a mistake.

      Maybe someone values the short run utility of a blow job and a high more than a McMansion. I know a certain individual with a half empty large house who prefers to spend their money on traveling. Is that irrational? (drugs and addictions are a bad way to argue irrationality since they present their own problems)

  16. Britain opens inquiry into Iraq war.
    Like anything will come of that.

    Oh, I don’t know. tony Blair could lose his job.

    …what?

  17. MNG, your faith in the ability of people who are, by your own account, irrational and shortsighted about risks, to regulate millions of transactions that they know nothing about is quite touching.

    One might almost think you weren’t aware of the fact that the most catastrophic instance of irrationality and short-sightedness about risk occurred in a market that is quite heavily overseen and regulated (that would be the Wall Street banking and securities industry), and that the man in charge of regulating and overseeing during the catastrophic failure is none other than Timothy Geithner.

  18. MNG, would you rather have the ability to learn from your mistakes, or live in Gaza?

  19. MNG, for a long time, the standard was “don’t buy a house that costs more than 2.5x your annual salary”. Now, you could probably push that up to 3x, especially if you’re a careful spender. This was not secret information. If people want to be greedy and take risks, so be it. If that doesn’t work out, let them fucking pay for it.

    I bought some Dell call options in 2001. I don’t think I have to tell you how that worked out. I didn’t go around whining that other people should have to shoulder the burden of my speculation and pay for my mistakes.

    How the fuck are we supposed to “regulate” away irrationality and short-sightedness? The way to teach people to be rational and to look long term is to let them pay for their own mistakes.

  20. To echo RC’s point, this is the same douchebag who doesn’t understand his own taxes, or is a lying liar who lies. Either way, I trust me more than him to do anything that involves me.

  21. Stupidity has a will of its own.

    You could bust a mortgage contract all the way to a picture menu, and stupid people will still make stupid choices. And when there are no consequences for doing something stupid, you insure that a dozen more stupidities will pop up.

    People who went in to mortgage contracts knowing that it would require a best case scenario ad infinitum to make it work are so stupid no amount of regulation would help them, short of IQ testing for loans.

  22. …the man in charge of regulating and overseeing during the catastrophic failure is none other than Timothy Geithner.

    That’s like have Beelzebub do your baptism.

  23. [16+] Brittany said:
    Another great response, Professor Foxy.
    This part in particular made me nod:
    “It doesn’t help that even straight men seem to regard vulvas as some sort of great squelchy mystery, and periods as the most disgusting things ever.”
    I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve met can’t even name parts of the vagina and don’t know what a clitoris is, or bother to use foreplay, and then bitch about how the female orgasm is some sort of myth that women make up to control men.
    I’d like to also say that it’s sad that in this day and age that people from all ends of the spectrum still have to worry about personal safety when speaking about their own bodies, sexual identity, or sexual orientation. Hell, even being a certain religion or color or even gender can get you killed or otherwise harmed physically or attacked verbally.
    This world’s so hateful sometimes.

    Whoever wrote that is a magnificent hoaxter as well.

  24. And when there are no consequences for doing something stupid, you insure that a dozen more stupidities will pop up.

    Actually, this is very rational. Everyone has a certain risk level that they can tolerate…if you eliminate risk, then risk has to be added somewhere else. Think in terms of Sharpe ratios.

    Think in terms of stock. The mix of investments determines your risk ratio. Of one of your investments suddenly becomes less risky (government backing, for example), then you have to shift the rest of your portfolio to more risky investments to get back up to your acceptable risk level.

    Same goes for housing purchases. There are things that could happen to me that would cause me to get foreclosed upon. It would take a series of very traumatic events, but it could happen. Im very low risk in my house right now (over 50% equity). However, I have been riskier in the past and others are willing to walk a finer line than I. If you make their mortgage safer, that just means they will buy more house, or buy a luxury car they probably cant afford, or buy a rental property or something to get back up their tolerable risk level.

  25. This world’s so hateful sometimes.

    *lower lip trembles*

  26. Yesterday, when Doctor Paul was on CNBC talking about the Fed, one of the CNBC guys was complaining about how greater transparency would “stigmatize” troubled banks which had to borrow from the Fed.

    If there is a likelihood that your recklessness will be exposed, and result in a run on your bank, maybe it will constrain your recklessness.

  27. After reading all the comments so far on the upside-down mortgges I think my earlier question now becomes relevent. How many of the mortgges are consideredd under water due to the home being worth less in the current market. Somebody bought a home 3 years ago for 150k and it is valued at 120k now. They are now under water on their loan. Has that made the payment change? Are they still making the payment? Upside down doesn’t mean they are defaulting. It just means that the home is now valued in the market for less than the loan value right? Are these numbers being misused to get even more govt control of the banking industry?

    The only real negative I can figure out from such a devaluation is for the people that are serial re-financers. The ones that are getting a fourth on the house to help with the rest of the household’s finances.

    1. A couple of things to think about:

      (1) If your house is underwater, you are welded to it. You can’t sell it. The only way to get out of it is to default and give possession to the bank. Which also means you won’t be buying a home in the foreseeable future.

      (2) People who are underwater are more likely to default because they’re not losing any equity.

    2. Being underwater is only a problem if the owner needs to sell right now.

      It’s a major pain in the ass if you can’t sell to move someplace to take a new job.

      It’s a disaster if you can’t make your payments and you can’t sell to clear your mortgage. But most of the people in this category were playing Russian Roulette in a bubble market. I don’t have much sympathy for them.

    3. I agree being upside down doesn’t effect the current situation all things equal. But I do think it increase the chance of default as soon as things start to go south. One equal thing slips and the payments start to look like Sisyphean task. It’s not too hard to walk away when something appears hopeless. So, no effect right now, but it’s like standing on the edge of a cliff hoping a strong wind won’t come.

  28. Anybody who believes the realtor asshole who says, “This property will NEVER be worth less than it is today!” gets no sympathy from me.

    1. The Schiller graph was out in 06. No one in their right mind can look at that graph and not see a major fucking problem. (expletive needed)

      I’d have to agree with the lack of sympathy.

      1. One of my neighbors in close to losing his house. He was a serial flipper that found himselve in a house he couldn’t really afford while building an even bigger house that was going to be paid for by selling the house we was living in.

        He who lives by the sword . . . .

  29. That is an excellent point, brotherben; there is a huge difference between people who are “underwater” in terms of current market price (but still making payments) and people who thought they could sell out (at a profit) before the terms of the loan reset.

    1. Classic definition of a speculative asset bubble.

      Buy it not for what it is worth, but for what you can sell it for later. Regardless of underlying economic fundamentals. (kind of like the equity market today)

  30. In Other News

    Wheels fall off Saab sale.

  31. Congradulations, Warty! They finally published your letter!

    You are a bad person, Sugarfree.

    Bad

    bad

    BAD.

    1. I guess you just don’t care if he can find a fabulous gay man who will appreciate his vagina.

  32. I have a gay friend who said he had nightmares about finding the perfect guy – and then finding out Mr. Perfect was going in for sexual re-assignment surgery.

    I told him I had a similar nightmare – except that I found that person post-op.

    1. You have nightmares about Dr. Girlfriend?

      1. “I heard from a reliable source that she has a surgically-implanted baboon uterus.”

        1. “Look, she is all woman. I have explored every supple inch of her and have found nothing but nectar”

    2. Srsly fucked up read.

      James replied to trooper6.livejournal.com

      I’m a heterosexual cis male, and I don’t want to have sex with someone who has a penis, no matter whether that person is a cis man or a pre-op trans woman. For that matter, in all honesty I really don’t want to be romantically involved with a post-op trans woman. I don’t think that not wanting to be romantically involved with a trans woman makes me transphobic anymore than not wanting to be romantically involved with a man makes me homophobic or a misandrist. I fully support equal rights and I fully support hate crime laws, but my orientation is such that I don’t want to be romantically involved with men or trans women.

      Emily replied to James :

      That’s not a sexual orientation.

      Saying you don’t want to be involved with trans women but you’re OK with being involved with cis women is like saying your “sexual orientation” is that you’re only attracted to white people.

      Maybe you will only end up dating white people. But that sure as hell isn’t a sexual orientation. If it’s anything, it’s some slight racial bias. And if you refuse to date trans women, that’s transphobia.

      1. SugarFree, you “you’d” the link.

        1. I’ve tried three times. The server won’t let me post the link.

          Search “Having Sex While Stealth is Not Sexual Assault” on feministing if you want to read the whole train-wreck.

      2. lulz. But you you’d the link, SugarFree.

        1. Dammit Penguin!

          1. Ha ha! as consolation, Art, you get this, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

            1. Yo, thanks. I should probably mention that I’m a big fan of Miike and I’ve watched about 6 of his films. Not Miike, but when it comes to odd Japanese film, I have to recommend Big Man Japan a.k.a Dainipponjin.

              1. I named my cat Takashi in his honor.

                1. Now that’s cool.

            2. Art – you really should get Netflix. It has a wealth of really interesting movies, stuff that’s really hard to find. Go to the library for the Hollywood crap, and keep a cheap Netflix account for the harder to find stuff.

              SF, I was mainly giving you a hard time. Your summation was plenty. Also, I hope you didn’t de-claw your cat. A cat named after Miike should be ripping apart birds, mice, etc.

              1. Yeah, I keep thinking about Netflix and never pulling the trigger because I fill up all my time anyway. Embarrassingly bougie of me, but if I want them, I just buy them region free. And we have a college town video store here that’s pretty good about buying them.

                Takashi has his claws, but is the sweetest Maine Coon ever and totally without any instinct that would keep him alive outside. In fact, he runs from open doors.

                Here he is in an ironic lolcat.

                (And to any wag in the audience… yes, I posted a picture of my cat. Don’t like it? Meet me behind the special ed trailers at 3:30.)

  33. db – You don’t?

    1. They’re dreams BP, but I can’t really call them nightmares

  34. There was that time she turned me into a caterpillar, but it was soooooo worth it.

  35. Because if you just get enough government interference, nothing bad will ever happen to anyone.

    It’s not “interference” silly; it’s “guidance”.

    “I’m from the government; I’m here to help you.”

  36. And if you refuse to date trans women, that’s transphobia.

    “Yer Fuckin-A right, I am!”

    *puffs out chest*

  37. “I heard from a reliable source that she has a surgically-implanted baboon uterus.”

    “Well, okay, but… shouldn’t they have put it someplace besides on her neck

  38. Hey, the NYT admits that Reason (and Radley) exists…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/us/24crime.html

  39. No matter how many times I read it, the prefix cis- never fails to disgust me.

    1. God forbid you use a word like “normal.”

      1. [Dorm dinning hall discussion flashback]

        That’s a normative argument!!!!

        [/Dorm dinning hall discussion flashback]

        1. Words hurt like fists! Like fists!

  40. “””As part of the settlement, D.C. police assigned to demonstrations and officers from partner agencies will receive enhanced training, Ms. Verheyden-Hilliard said. “””

    Yet, for some reason I think it will exclude a lesson on the 1st amendment.

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