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I visited John Aravosis’s fine blog (Americablog) earlier today (linked from one of his tweets) to read a letter he wrote to Amnesty International regarding a statement by Noel Kututwa, according to the letter, Amnesty International’s director for South Africa. Director Kututwa made a statement (quoted in Aravosis’s blog posting) condemning Ugandan ‘policy’ regarding gays, in which he apparently referred to sexual orientation as ‘a question of the right of an individual to choose how they want to live their lives.'

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Aravosis took exception to the statement as being dangerous, since it referred to something no one ‘chooses’ as a choice. I do agree, without reservation. I do not believe that Director Kututwa intended to be so ‘off’ with his comments. I view them as ignorant more than malicious, not to excuse or dismiss them. I believe Amnesty International cares a great deal about the specific anti-gay human rights injustices happening in Uganda. But describing sexual orientation as a ‘choice’ isn’t helpful.

What Aravosis did not address is why it is so dangerous and damaging. What do the world-wide forces arrayed against gays try to do with this ‘choice’ argument? In order to ‘blame’ gays for being gay, it’s necessary to ‘believe’ that a choice is involved, a circumstance of culpability. You can’t play the politics of blame unless you have some proficiency in the management of relative culpability. Similarly, the idea that gays ‘choose’ their sexual orientation means that heteros can be credited, in relative terms, for their 'choice.' Bullshit, indeed! But it’s out there, and it’s a fight every minute of every day.

On some level, they MUST know (mustn’t they?!) that they themselves did not CHOOSE to be hetero? I know I never made a choice. It is what it is. I know just as clearly that I deserve no ‘credit’ for a choice I never made. I think they HAVE to believe it.

Many years ago I read of that concept in one of Carlos Castaneda’s books on Don Juan (It was in Tales of Power, appearing first page of first chapter of Part Two, the chapter entitled: Having to Believe, p.105 of my copy). I think it is why they have such a tenuous relationship with science, as well, and with so many political concepts. They HAVE to believe Obama is the boogeyman. That tax breaks for the wealthy create jobs. That polls are wrong. That there is a liberal bias in the media. I feel sorry for them about this, but it sure would be easier if the practice didn’t cause so much harm, to so many. And, yes, for me, culpability does attach to that. Very egregious culpability indeed.

On to tonight's comments, brilliantly formatted and compiled by brillig! (Please tip and applaud!)



Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From Dave in Northridge:
Burned distills the meaning of Wendy Wink's wonderful diary about simplifying Christmas and smacks Fox News in the face in the process.

Richard Myers' diary about the latest racist activities of right wing radio produced this gem from detroitmechworks and this excellent graphic from JekyllnHyde.

From Samer:
Warning: drink coffee or other beverages while reading this post by homo neurotic at your own risk.  
From Chrislove:
In my diary about the Ruth Institute's concern about gays taking over college dorms, Vita Brevis made me LOL with this comment, in which the Ruth Institute's worst fears are confirmed. Snowmen and ornaments and snowflakes, ERMAHGERD!
From Diana in NoVa:
Priceless, most seasonal comment from lotac!
From semiot:
Nominating this comment from MargaretPOA as a Top Comment! (Ed. note: That entire thread is full of great comments!)
From BeninSC:
There are never enough pootie comments on Daily Kos! But swampyankee is on the case!


Top Mojo for yesterday, November 23rd, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
  1) Scary stuff by davidkc — 144
  2) I took a look at their website. It is interesting by blue jersey mom — 138
  3) Even the concept of a trained geologist by ER Doc — 137
  4) On unionizing by Fleet — 100
  5) Agreed. My oldest son works on ancient DNA. by blue jersey mom — 94
  6) I love your reports. How exciting to see OLB by Lorikeet — 93
  7) Around eight years ago by tethys — 89
  8) I guess I better not admit to not having been by jpmassar — 89
  9) It's not naivete.  It's jealous reactionism by Troubadour — 83
10) What a beautiful story! by chantedor — 82
11) Unexpected as well... we "open sourced" the by noise of rain — 78
12) This is precisely the reason to donate to by Kansas Born — 77
13) stuff is sometimes better than $ by marzook — 77
14) What was he thinking? by joanneleon — 70
15) Taliban cadre. Elections not really their plan. by cskendrick — 66
16) Please Tavis and West were silent under Clinton. by LaurenMonica — 64
17) Patrick Henry must be spinning in his grave by Shockwave — 61
18) They teach the Grand Canyon was created by by dopper0189 — 59
19) It's more the rhetoric I dont like by jj32 — 59
20) I'm sure it's just that I'm tired and still by Jack K — 58
21) They can't ignore us forever by Giles Goat Boy — 57
22) They are con men if they know they are lying by Louise — 57
23) Reminds me of three days ago by Vetwife — 55
24) That is a pretty martial response to you, by noise of rain — 52
25) Copts and Journalist Union by whizdom — 51
26) I know that. I just find it interesting that by blue jersey mom — 50
27) ditto by SingerInTheChoir — 50
28) Ironic since geology actually was first "natural by OHdog — 48
29) Thanks, teacherken by navajo — 47
30) Their counter-arguments by RockyMtnLib — 47
31) My patience for emoprogressives by Mark Mywurtz — 47


Top Pictures for yesterday, November 23rd.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!
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Comment Preferences

  •  One point about 'having to believe ...' (36+ / 0-)

    In some ways it is an exceptionally weak 'debate' position. Of course, conservatives very carefully tie just about all of their beliefs into a 'faith' structure, by which I mean a dynamic beyond questioning, where they don't even let it be questioned by others, much less themselves.

    But the time comes when they have to stand on a stage and make an argument the people will consider and react to. And if they can't make the case then, to those who don't start out sharing their entire belief system, they lose elections.

    And, I have found, even the most defensive of conservatives hate having a light shone on their grave weaknesses. In politics, a good offense is always preferable to any defense. But if one "HAS" to believe something, one is in a very weak spot. If someone is there to shine that light on it.

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

    by BeninSC on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:59:15 PM PST

  •  Oh, and thank you for visiting tonight! (22+ / 0-)

    ::smile::

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

    by BeninSC on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:59:34 PM PST

  •  His statement about "choice" (5+ / 0-)

    might work in that location .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:06:27 PM PST

    •  I am not sure what you mean, indy. (3+ / 0-)

      Are you talking about a Uganda-specific circumstance?

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

      by BeninSC on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:34:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe it depends on (4+ / 0-)

      what one is "choosing" -- I know I didn't make a choice to be heterosexual, but I did make a choice who to love (my spouse) and marry. I have a friend who is a polyamorous bisexual; she's chosen to love many people with the understanding and acceptance of her spouse. There are other people who choose never to marry yet do not remain celibate.

      To many people, my "lifestyle" would be the only one socially and morally acceptable -- I tend to believe that whatever works, as long as all parties are consenting adults, is just fine.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:15:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just for reference, here is the quotation to which (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gizmo59, Melanie in IA

        Aravosis was responding. I copied it from his citation, but he did link to CNN, which is where he obtained the quotation (and it is, in fact, there, as cited).

        “We are outraged,” said Noel Kututwa, the rights group’s director for southern Africa. “This goes beyond the principle of nondiscrimination. It goes against the principle of privacy of individuals. And sexual orientation is really a question of the right of an individual to choose how they want to live their lives.”

        "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

        by BeninSC on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:23:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a sense, he's right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BeninSC, gizmo59

          in that you make a choice whether to live a lie (denying your inner nature) or whether to embrace your life and be true to yourself and the world. That applies whether you're talking about sexual orientation or staying in a miserable marriage "for the kids" or for religious or social reasons.

          (Funny story about the latter point -- my niece, a 4th grade teacher, told me that it seems that most of the parents divorce when their kids hit 4th grade. She thought maybe she was snakebit but found out from other teachers it happens to them as well -- maybe parents figure by that age the kids can handle it better.)

          "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

          by Cali Scribe on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:37:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ignorance IS dangerous (9+ / 0-)

    In John Aravosis's defense, I think he thinks all the readers of the gay section of Americablog know why it's dangerous, since I also think his readers are not the great heterogenous mass we are here at DKos.  I also think, Ben, that you're absolutely correct to be annoyed with him for the omission, and your explanation of why that is is pitch perfect.

    Good to see you here tonight as well.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:08:02 PM PST

  •  Great diary, Ben (11+ / 0-)

    I've interacted with people who firmly believe homosexuality is a choice, and I've asked them, "So, at what point did you try men [I use slightly more colorful language :p] and decide it wasn't for you?" Of course, they didn't choose to be heterosexual...but somehow, that contradiction doesn't stop them from holding onto their bizarre belief that a certain subset of people are able to turn gay as if sexual orientation is like a light switch.

    In other news, I've been grading papers all afternoon...and apparently, over 60 percent of my students so far have no problem whatsoever with Cherokee removal. This is after they watched a movie all about the Trail of Tears.

    Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

    by Chrislove on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:12:23 PM PST

  •  The choice argument is losing merit everyday (10+ / 0-)

    and is rapidly headed to the dustbin. Even the vehemently knock-kneed Catholic church has conceded this pathetic argument. Now they maintain that we must live a life of chastity and obedience to the church. Sort of like indoctrination taking the vow of purity retroactively at birth.

  •  Forgive me. I'm watching football with one eye (9+ / 0-)

    So I might not be as quick to reply to everyone as I usually am for  this session of Top Comments.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:28:11 PM PST

  •  If people would just consider... (6+ / 0-)

    that nobody CHOOSES who they love. You can't have it both ways, having gay lesbian and bisexual folks choosing to be that way while straight people are born that way.

    I hate hypocrisy and double standards, and that's what it boils down to. Hatred, fear, ignorance and hypocrisy.

    "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

    by brillig on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:37:30 PM PST

  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gizmo59

    I have not read the post so really can't comment (and know the essay is not even close to the most time consuming and painful part of putting one of these together, so feel kinda small commenting anyway).  But I have always really really hated the Ann Landers "it's not a choice" argument for gay rights as human rights.  There are many kinds and levels of choice, and saying that we should have human rights because of biology is historically ill-considered and kind of cowardly, as though -- if we had chosen to be who we are, instead of hammered into it by an indifferent universe -- then people would be justified in denying us jobs, housing, or our lives.  Mileage really varies on this, but there are very few issues where arguing biological determinism has turned out well.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:37:59 PM PST

    •  This pains me (5+ / 0-)

      I know, essentialism vs social construction, and anyone who takes an essentialist position is being weak-minded. What exactly do you think feminism is based on if not an essentialist position (or "biological determinism" if you want)?

      Second, when they say "choice" what they mean is "you choose to perform the sexual acts" that go along with being gay or Lesbian.  Well, sure, I could be celibate but whatever for? To make someone whose beliefs I'm supposed to respect even as he or she is trying to deny me basic civil rights happy? I don't think so.

      -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:46:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry it pains you (0+ / 0-)

        This isn't the forum to discuss this (my fault), but you are trivializing my position right out the gate (to applause).  

        My feminism is of the bumper sticker variety in many ways -- the radical notion that women are human beings.

         I don't have to respect their beliefs in the slightest to hold my position.  I respect your statement -- "I could chose to..." much more.  But you do not choose celibacy, because sexuality and touch and everything that goes with it are basic to our humanity and something you want in your life (though being mostly celibate myself these days, I am projecting, here).  I want to live in a society where people defend choices that they don't like, provided those choices do not harm others.  I want to be part of a movement that has the guts to say that, even if it is more politically effective to say "it's not a choice".  Partly it is, partly it isn't, but ick.  What if it was?  

        A lot of this comes out of all the years I've watched trans people try to find ways to say how this group is "real" or that group is "real" but that group over there -- they're just playing, they aren't real.  It springs from the most unimaginable cruelty and pain, this desire to have a reason, any reason, which makes one OK, that makes it not our fault.  The thing is, we're never going to be OK to them.  And there are many things in the range of human experience which are good, positive and beautiful which are expressed through complicated mixtures of choice and biology and trope.  

        Mileage varies.  My position is likely grotesque and unpopular all around.

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:59:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I haven't read it in Ann Landers ... (7+ / 0-)

      And all I can do is speak from my experience, but I know it to be true, regardless of how 'convenient' it may be in debate terms. I never chose to be hetero. I never chose to find women attractive. I don't know if it was biologically 'determined,' I just know it has a validity for me way beyond rationality or mere choice. And while I have never experienced it on someone else's behalf, I think the reality of love works about the same for everyone. We see the 'one' and we just know. We are 'drawn.' And we're not drawing ourselves.

      Or maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying?

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

      by BeninSC on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:53:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A little (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BeninSC

        I think there is truth in the argument you make here and above.  But also...what things to persecuted minorities tell themselves?  They find a special reason why they should not be persecuted, framed in the language of their oppressors.  This has always seemed to me one of ours.  

        But it is an old argument (my cheap Landers shot aside) and should not be dismissed quite as casually as I did, above.  I'm sure it has deep resonance for many.  I still think it carves out an epistemological space where well, gays are OK because they can't help it, but now that we've found the 10 gay genes, and the test came back positive honey...I don't think the church would mind...

        Being queer is an OK way to be no matter how the Kinsey scale has wired you, is where I'm coming from.  Whether you have heaps of choice in the matter or only a little.  

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:04:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I may get in trouble (8+ / 0-)

    for saying this, as Cynthia Nixon did, but here goes.  I know I did not choose to be gay, and really, until recently, one would have to question the sanity of anyone who would choose to be gay and hence risk rejection from family, friends and church, loss of employment and housing, etc.

    However, I can't speak for everyone.  There is a great deal of diversity in the human species, and there may be a few who really and truly capable of choosing their sexual orientation.  There, I said it.  Note that the existence of such individuals does not obliterate the existence of the large majority of LGBT people who have no such choice.

    The argument that individuals can choose their sexual orientation doesn't change anything!  There is still no reason to persecute (or prosecute) those who pursue sexual relations with other persons of the same gender!  From a human rights standpoint, the reason for a person's sexual orientation is irrelevant.  As long as that pursuit doesn't hurt anyone, that person ought to be free in his/her pursuits, and, furthermore, ought not be denied any of the full spectrum of human rights.

    I know that those pushing for LGBT rights emphasize how the sexual orientation of LGBT persons was never the individual's choice, and that this presents the honest religious moralist (a potential enemy to such rights) with a dilemma:  if LGBT people did not choose their orientations, then God must have made them that way, and God surely did not create such people with evil intent.  The honest religious moralist must then consider the possibility that LGBT people really are made in God's image, too, and are thus deserving of the same rights as anyone else.  

    However, in the fear that we might lose the argument with such a persuadable person, we stomp on anyone who offers a contrary opinion, even when it is offered as personal experience (just as Cynthia Nixon's was).  Because I am not Nixon, I can't say that what she said was inaccurate.  I have to take what she said at face value, unlike others, who dumped on her.  And, ultimately, it shouldn't make any difference with regard to LGBT rights!

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:12:06 PM PST

    •  I want to thank you for participating such (7+ / 0-)

      quality insights to the discussion, gizmo. I can't imagine you getting in trouble for that, certainly not with me! Your comment, along with csk's added just tremendous depth to the conversation, as far as I am concerned, even if most of the commenters had left the diary by that time. They mean a great deal to me. Quality engagement with the topic carries much more weight for me than diary and comment 'recs' do. So, thank you!

      You wrote:

      I know I did not choose to be gay, and really, until recently, one would have to question the sanity of anyone who would choose to be gay and hence risk rejection from family, friends and church, loss of employment and housing, etc.
      That reminds me of an incident in the Untouchables where Costner tells Connery that he's a treasury agent, upon which Connery turns his back on him. Costner chastises him saying he just turned his back on an armed man. Connery said, but you're a treasury officer. Costner said I just told you that, as if he could have been anything. So Connery said, who would claim to be that, who was not?!

      In my book there is nothing whatsoever wrong with being gay. But I recognize that there are aspects of it, in the current culture, which carry a great deal of adversity, as you described. But it is also true that everyone is going to encounter adversity. If our lives seem to lack it, we'll find a way to draw it in, as it is the path to personal growth and evolution.

      And I couldn't agree more with your point about 'stomping' on anyone who offers a contrary opinion. That's never appropriate.

      I really appreciate your comment, gizmo. Thank you.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

      by BeninSC on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:57:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  hey all (6+ / 0-)

    I've been missing this community a lot over Thanksgiving.  It's been an unusually busy one for me.  I spent Thanksgiving back where I was living for a week and a half.  Got to see some cousins I didn't see while I was there.  Super cool.

    Friday we drove up to St. Davids where I am right now.  I thought I was going to avoid Black Friday but no avail.  My sister had to stop at the last mall before the crossing border.  I think there were more Ontario plates than NY plates.  Anyway we leave around 9am EST Sunday.  Of course we will be stopping again at the mall so my sister can return clothes that don't fit.  Ridiculous.  

    I must end each and every day with a dose of a regularly scheduled Top Comments. A regularly scheduled Top Comments diary is a must for developing the calmness I need to get the required eight hours of sleep. - cohenzee

    by cohenzee on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:13:50 PM PST

    •  I am sorry it took me so long to get back to the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cohenzee, BlueJessamine

      diary, cohenzee ... it has been a most unusual Sunday!

      Glad your travels have been rewarding and adventurous, and thank you for taking the time to stop in! I hope your travels conclude safely!

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

      by BeninSC on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:59:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Top Comments, Top Shmomments. (5+ / 0-)

    I hate you all you top commenters. And you know why? Here's why: Because I've been on the TC list, like, maybe once ... and I've written, like eleventy million fucking comments here ... (well, a little over 11,000, actually) ... and sometime Thursday evening I posted a comment that got, like 99 fucking recs ... but it was like one of those amazing movies, like Brazil that misses out on the oscars, because it comes out too late for anyone to fucking notice it in time for the oscars, after the director gets in a royal pissing match with the studio over the final cut, or something ... so anyway, like, it didn't have enough recs yet to make yesterday's TC list, but was published too early to make today's, so it's just like i never even wrote the fucking thing, i should've just clicked to cancel the entry and had another swig of my beer.

    ninety-nine fucking recs ... that's, like, two orders of magnitude -- or if you prefer, 2(log10) -- higher than the number of recs most of my comments get, and that's counting the courtesy recs from the diarists, which, well-intentioned though they may be, i don't really count.

    so that's it, i am sodone with top comments. from now on, i'm hanging out with fair-to-middling comments, which never judge me, not like you elitist bastards.

    oh, and by the way, of course it's a choice: you either choose to be who you are, or you choose to be who somebody else with a big weird emotional problem wants you to be. see? a choice! i figured that out, and i didn't even read the damned diary -- i just saw a couple of the not-top-comments about it here in the comments thread about top comments.

    oh, one more thing -- is there any pumpkin pie left?

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:26:04 PM PST

    •  Too late too make nice, BeninSC (4+ / 0-)

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:32:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, UR. I did not intend to make nice. (5+ / 0-)

        That isn't my responsibility. Treating others with respect is.

        As is taking sincere criticism seriously. Regarding your highly rec'd comment, I have no idea how it missed the top mojo lists. Back in the days of Daily Kos 3, each night's diarist compiled two versions of top mojo her or himself, using searches any of us could conduct, with the searches customizable by time. In that scenario, I would be in a position to answer much more clearly what happened with your comment. As it stands now, the search is not customizable, not by time, not by content.

        The compilation is very graciously done by mik, using an ultra-limited algorithm that took weeks and weeks to figure out when dK4 went live. To my knowledge, no one else (not even jotter) has managed to find anything to match it.

        The most difficult thing ABOUT dK4 for Top Commenteers is the inability to conduct more sophisticated, time-attenuated searches. We have asked for it with the development team on a number of occasions, but their plates are full with far more important issues. So, it is what it is.

        That said, the search that we DO have is a pure algorithm. It cannot be tweaked, and no one whose kos-handle appears in the list is discriminated against (or favored!) by Top Comments in ANY way. It's the best we have, and we're happy to have it, flaws and shortcomings and all.

        It is within your rights to feel however you wish about the Top Comments team and community, but whatever you may think, TC is not elitist, and it is not discriminatory, and the Top Mojo list isn't 'personal' in any way. Those are just the facts, and you are free to believe anything you wish about them, and act on those beliefs as you wish.

        In my book, it isn't at all as if you never wrote your very well received comment. And congratulations on it, and on the attention it received outside Top Comments. For those wishing to view the comment, it may be found here.

        Finally, if there is pumpkin pie left, no one has told me. And, if there is some left, and no one told me, I hate them, too!

        "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

        by BeninSC on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:15:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, it wasn't actually sincere criticism. (5+ / 0-)

          It was an extended joke rant, not a heartfelt expression of resentment. Thus, the ridiculous remark about hanging out with the "fair-to-middling" comments, or that I might as well not have written it at all. (If that were the case, none of my other 11,000 comments would have been worth writing, which would make me rather a slow learner.)

          As to how my comment was "snubbed" by the algorithm, I never doubted how that happened -- the comment was posted in one day, but received most of its recs after the TC filter ran, many of them the next day even, so, just as with my example of Brazil, it missed its opportunity to be in the spotlight.

          No bigs. Sorry to make you feel bad. The whole thing was supposed to be on the level of an old man shaking his fist at a cloud.

          (P.S., the remark about "too late to make nice" was in response to your reccing my comment. it, too, was a joke.)

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:11:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nomandates, cohenzee, Melanie in IA

            Yes, I knew you were referring to my 'rec,' as, to that point, I had made no other response.

            I am not offended, UR. Truly! And I don't feel bad. I do wish for the days when we could conduct the searches ourselves. Maybe that capability will return someday!

            Best wishes to you tonight!

            "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

            by BeninSC on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:25:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You just need to be so fucking brilliant (4+ / 0-)

      so as to get nominated. Waaaaaaay more honourable than a stupid rec count!

      </giggle>

      Psst! Meet me at the Electoral College campus. The baggers will never find it!

      by lotac on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:48:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Choose, and perish" - the old setup line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeninSC

    from the comedy "Ghostbusters" isn't so funny when the choice being framed is choice of orientation (i.e, choice of gender, height, parents) and the legislated consequence of said choice is death.

  •  On the nature/nurture topic of the persecuted (7+ / 0-)

    Innate traits have never been a motive for greater tolerance, among constituencies that were highly motivated to remove their local universe of people who inconvenience or irritate them.

    The problem with polarizing choices is they seem to circle back every so often. Dr. King's comment on the arc of history bending toward progress is quite lovely.

    The local minima in that arc, the ones that get people hurt or dead, aren't very lovely at all. And some of those downturns are downright ghastly and ghastly on a mass scale.

    We're seeing topics of all kinds take a sharp reactionary turn in this country, nay, even this entire world.

    I have my thoughts on the structure of why but it doesn't help how to deal with the adherents of a generalized view that democratic, spiritual, civil, economic and scientific outcomes are only cool if they help conservatism...and in a climate where so few of them do so the lesson learned by our reactionary brethren is that those things  must not have been so hot after all.

    Which is why we face a movement that despises democracy but not autocracy, faith but not theocracy, entrepreneurship but not cronyship, science but not salesmanship and civilization but not neobarbarism most of all.

    That arc of progress itself is now illegitimate to our political opposition.

    They want the old order. They want a reboot. They see the world as either changing into something they do not like or staying the same - which is even worse to them, for it is a world that expects coexistence of differences. It is a world made in America's image... and many of our fellow Americans cannot effing stand it.

    They want out. They want us out. The want the world as-is turned out, kicked out and have the joint to themselves.

    And they'll never stop. They'll have to be stopped...and left unstopped they'll hurt themselves. And they fear that terribly.

    That's why they have to lash out, to harm, to strike at others.

    And gays have always been easy marks for starting such activities. In a society where homosexuality is coequal with heterosexuality, it's harder to get the jackboots on. And reactionaries just aren't with that.

    They want to kick out. Lash out. Civil societies aren't with that. Thus, the jackboot set's not with civil society, not with tolerance, and definitely not with the notion that some things you just can't change and you might as well live with them.

    Because at the heart of it all... they can't live with themselves as they are. They're very upset that the world turns out to be uncontrollable... by themselves. And they want someone to pay for their self-perceived inadequacies. Such people would rather die than change. And fearing death, they'd rather kill than die.

    And there's a crust of such people in every culture, in every era.

    And right now they're ginning up to genocide of homosexuals in Africa, on the American reactionary dime.

    •  This deservedly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, BeninSC, hazey

      was submitted by BeninSC to Top Comments.

    •  Okay finally! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, hazey

      I am able to get back to your remarkable comment! (Perhaps the most rewarding comment I've ever received in one of my diaries.)

      Too many insights, is my primary criticism. But I'll try to go down the list ...

      The problem with polarizing choices is they seem to circle back every so often.
      Are the ‘choices’ polarizing? Or the reactions to those choices (or non-choices)? I think first and foremost of Henri Tajfel, who wrote extensively on in-group/out-group dynamics, and how members of ‘in-groups’ often exhibit loyalty to the in-group by expressing hostility to the out-group. Much as Rudolph experienced for his red nose. For heteros, gays may be perceived as an out-group. I don’t think so. I think they are our brothers and sisters and cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews ... human beings through and through, and precious as the day is long. But, I am not interested in trying to glean some political advantage by promoting a polarization to play on loyalties of a petty, easily manipulated in-group.
      Dr. King's comment on the arc of history bending toward progress is quite lovely.

      The local minima in that arc, the ones that get people hurt or dead, aren't very lovely at all. And some of those downturns are downright ghastly and ghastly on a mass scale.

      No, those are not lovely, csk. Wow. Well stated.
      I have my thoughts on the structure of why but it doesn't help how to deal with the adherents of a generalized view ...
      Yes, I do think we disagree here, in part because of one of my greatest criticisms of conservatives. They look at everything with a single-minded purpose of finding opportunity for political advantage. They care nothing for understanding.

      In contrast, I think understanding is the very lifeblood of political progressivism. Understanding what it is like to be sick and hungry on the street, understanding the helplessness one feels at the realization that a loved one cannot be helped because of no health insurance, understanding what discrimination and hatred FEEL like, when one is their target. Or, conversely, understanding the pleasure of helping someone who will never know who you are or what you’ve done, for no personal gain, just for the sake of paying it forward, of loving because it is RIGHT to love, because that takes us ALL forward on our paths of becoming ...

      But even politically, understanding the deeper elements of the hatred and discrimination can provide political advantage in its own right. Understanding their positions and motivations better than they do canNOT be a bad thing, because we have the advantage. We can proceed in strategic ways they won’t be able to counter precisely because they don’t understand where we’re coming from or what we’re trying to accomplish. The world will be better for THEM, too, if and when we realize progress. I engaged tonight with the why because I think understanding has value beyond understanding for the sake of understanding.

      Which is why we face a movement that despises democracy but not autocracy, faith but not theocracy, entrepreneurship but not cronyship, science but not salesmanship and civilization but not neobarbarism most of all.
      I wish I had written that. I really envy you your great ability with words, my friend. Just awesome!
      They want the old order. They want a reboot. They see the world as either changing into something they do not like or staying the same - which is even worse to them, for it is a world that expects coexistence of differences. It is a world made in America's image... and many of our fellow Americans cannot effing stand it.

      They want out. They want us out. The want the world as-is turned out, kicked out and have the joint to themselves.
      And they'll never stop. They'll have to be stopped...and left unstopped they'll hurt themselves. And they fear that terribly.

      Just double wow. Yes, they wish to secede. If at first they don’t secede, try, try again. But sometimes the arc of history proceeds toward reality. And I couldn’t agree more that they would be well-served by that. WILL be well-served by that, is my hope. For them and for us, as our world will change, too, and we can move on to more worthy challenges.

      No, they can’t live with themselves. So much of the ugliness they perceive is mirrored back to them. I am very sorry for them about that. I’d love to see much more dialogue on Daily Kos about ways to address this very challenge. I know you have fine ideas about it, as do so many of our sisters and brothers here.

      Best wishes to you, my friend. And thank you.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.25, -8.82

      by BeninSC on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:08:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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