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Walters and Goldberg: It’s Okay to say “retarded”

In GP comments, we’ve seen the occasional mini-kerfuffle over someone’s references to the mentally handicapped: whether they were hurtful, or whether the critics (those claiming hurt) were just playing mind games, etc.

In that light, it’s interesting to note that beloved lefties Bill Maher, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters all agree that it’s perfectly OK for a comedian to mock Sarah Palin’s Down Syndrome child as “retarded”:

Maher mocked Palin’s special needs son by referring to him as “retarded” during a June 8 Las Vegas show…

Walters, who grew up with a special needs sister, said on June 17 on The View that she did not think Maher was “mean-spirited” when he referred to Palin’s son as “retarded.” Walters speculated that Maher did not know the word could be hurtful…even Walters’s in-studio audience was not buying this defense and was left silent…

Goldberg lamely tried to assist Walters, saying “we, society took the word ‘retarded’ and made it into something derogatory…When I was a kid, it wasn’t derogatory…” Video here.

I regret that I couldn’t find the exact original quote of Maher’s, but Walters and Goldberg clearly wanted to speak out in Maher’s favor: the camera flashed to an old family photo of Walters’ as she spoke, which means that Walters’ remarks were planned.

So, what’s the official standard? Is it still baaaaad to refer to anybody (whether mentally challenged or not) as “retarded” – with an exception for Republicans perhaps, or Sarah Palin’s children? On what grounds?

Lefties, please don’t try to say “Oh who cares, it’s only Bill Maher” – because it isn’t, now: it’s also Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters.

Rationalizing restrictions on free speech

Can you imagine an article like this appearing when Bush was president?  No, back then it was considered “patriotic” for the press to disclose classified information,  even when the information was incorrect or false, so the idea of the press reflecting on the Bush administration’s “struggles” with issues of free expression was unthinkable.  But when Obama wants to stomp on press freedoms for any reason, the press decides to be “reflective” and “philosophical” about the issue.  Craven rationalizations for restricting press freedoms under Obama are to be expected.  I particularly like this reader’s comment which I saw when I originally read the article:  “You are surprised Obama is stepping on the 1st Amendment? He tried to stomp on the 2nd Amendment for over a year now! The only Amendment this Administration seems to think is important is the 5th Amendment so they can hide behind it.”

And don’t think for a moment that it’s just the Obama administration.  No, it’s pretty widespread throughout the Democrat party.  Consider Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) thoughts about whether or not free speech ought to apply to bloggers:

Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Senator Dick Durbin whether Barack Obama’s promise to have Eric Holder look into cases of abuse that he personally approved represents a conflict of interest, but Durbin dodges that question and talks instead about the shield law proposed repeatedly over the last few years as the appropriate Congressional response to the scandal.  However, Durbin asks what exactly “freedom of the press” means in 2013, and wonders aloud whether it would include bloggers, Twitter users, and the rest of the Internet media [Video at the link].
Of course this sort of thing has a long history on college campuses, where different species of activists–the core of the Democrats’ left wing constituency–always want to restrict free speech.  Not surprisingly, Facebook is also being pressured to restrict freedom of speech among its users.
Facebook on Tuesday acknowledged that its systems to identify and remove hate speech had not worked effectively, as it faced pressure from feminist groups that want the site to ban pages that glorify violence against women.
The activists, who sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Facebook’s advertisers and elicited more than 60,000 posts on Twitter, also prompted Nissan and more than a dozen smaller companies to say that they would withdraw advertising from the site.
In a blog post, Facebook said its “systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate.” The company said it would review how it dealt with such content, update training for its employees, increase accountability — including requiring that users use their real identities when creating content — and establish more direct lines of communication with women’s groups and other entities.
Never fear, though, misandry and hatred of conservatives will still remain in fashion.

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — 05.22.13 Edition

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:07 pm - May 23, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels — Ides of May 2013 Nominations

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:47 pm - May 16, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels — May 9th Nominations (2013 Edition)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:36 am - May 9, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels–1st Winners of May 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:00 pm - May 8, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Winners

Once again, a plea for civility in the comments

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:35 am - May 8, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse

I don’t often check the comments, so have to come to rely on readers’ e-mails to learn what is going on in this or that thread.  While I do occasionally hear of a substantive (or otherwise interesting) exchange, more often than not, I learn of one commenter responding to another not with arguments but with insults.

If another’s argument is ludicrous, there is no need to engage in innuendo, just tear it apart point by point, without addressing the motivations of the commenter or making allegations about his (or her) personal life.  Just last night, a concerned reader (with a political philosophy pretty close to my own) alerted me about some particularly nasty threads.  With permission, I quote from this individual’s e-mail:

Social-issue threads are sometimes a hundred or more comments long.  This is not because substantive debate is going on, but because they’re being hijacked by one or two loons.  They tend to be laced with profanity and crude sexual innuendo.  I can only imagine what straight conservatives who check out GP think.  If we don’t want them to think gay conservatives have filthy minds, they’ll nonetheless get that notion if they read those threads. . . .

Nobody with any sense is going to keep commenting on a blog when they’re treated that way. I have better things to do with my time, and as many former commenters have simply gone away, it’s evident that they do, too. GP has become an important source of information for many people. I hate to see this happen.

Look, I know that life is not easy.  And we each face our own challenges.  Sometimes in the face of frustration as we struggle with setbacks, we need, well, we feel that we need to vent.  A lot of people seem to do that in the political sphere, projecting their personal demons onto their ideological adversaries. (more…)

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — May Day 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:00 pm - May 2, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

“The Internet home for the American gay conservative”

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 5:35 pm - April 26, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse,Gay Leftist Lickspittles

That title, as the eagle-eyed will notice, is the GayPatriot blog’s tagline.

In my years of participating in GP threads, I’ve noticed that some who are opposed to the blog or its usual viewpoint, may be excessively fond of the “consistency game”, demanding that anyone who would criticize them must first meet some standard of consistency that has been issued by themselves.

It’s a cute game. They declare the standards and they appoint themselves the judges – which means they can’t be criticized in the thread, because they will never judge their critic as having been consistent enough, and will always change the subject back to their critic’s alleged inconsistency.

I called it “cute”, because little kids do it to their parents (or try to). But the game’s effects, and likely its intent, are destructive.

What I’m really talking about here is Alinsky Rule 4, as heliotrope and NDT have pointed out to me before. Played skillfully enough, it can strangle a thread, destroying any useful process of conversation. (more…)

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — Late April 2013 Edition

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:20 pm - April 25, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — 04.18.13 Edition

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:00 pm - April 18, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — Iron Lady Memorial Edition

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:27 pm - April 11, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

(more…)

Happy Birthday, GayPatriotWest!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:45 pm - April 8, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging

Today is Dan’s birthday. I promised I wouldn’t disclose what age he has reached. It wouldn’t be Southern.

Have a great day, my friend!

-Bruce

Watcher of Weasels — Nominations March 21 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:43 pm - March 21, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Of Chapter Twelve & the Basque Language

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:40 pm - March 19, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Random Thoughts,Writing

It seems that on one day for each of the past six or seven weeks, I have become convinced that I will return to my old dissertation return and start blogging more. I’ll scribble some notes, as I did yesterday, for a few blog posts, save a few links and consider a few titles.

But, then, I’ll find as soon as I start writing, the words that come out are not those for the blog, but from the novel. I’ve been sensing for a couple months now that I’ll have to devote even more time to the book than I have since I started writing seriously in December — and realized that this weekend when I, having committed to sharing Chapter Twelve with a friend who was coming over at 3:30 Sunday afternoon, devoted nearly every minute of my free time to editing that chapter, wanting to get it right even as I knew I’d have to revise it yet again when I finish the first draft of the book.

And starting tonight, I expect to begin my studies of the Basque language, given its similarities to Old Dwarvish. In short, I am just not finding the time to blog as I had hoped I would. I am beginning to wonder if this is more draining than writing a dissertation because it involves more creative energy. And if it takes more out of me when I dip into my own memory to pull out images and ideas which have been simmering there since even before I began graduate school. I made my first stab at writing this six months before I submitted my application.

It’s not so much that I’ve forgotten about politics, but perhaps that I recognize that politics is not the be-all and the end-all. It is not the reason for living, but for creating an environment where we can live freely and in (relative) harmony with our fellows.

Watcher of Weasels Ides* of March Nominations 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:24 pm - March 14, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels–First Nominations of March 2013

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:45 pm - March 7, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

Watcher of Weasels Nominations — 02.21.13 Edition

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:38 pm - February 21, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Submissions

To the true conservative, politics is of secondary importance

I had thought that once I found my stride writing this novel, I would start blogging once again, perhaps not at the pace I did during the election, but at least more often than once every blue moon.

And yet, finding my stride (again) as a writer of fiction has changed me in ways that I had not even anticipated when I started writing.  I find that certain things, don’t bother me as once as they used to.  I take them more in stride.

Except when I feel the bite of bad government policies, I don’t feel the same rage at the arrogance of the liberal elites as I normally do, those who would dictate to us how we run our own lives.

Perhaps this is because for those of a truly conservative disposition, politics is not the primary focus of our lives.  By and large, we don’t see it as a source of meaning.  We find meanings in other endeavors.  We understand that government should serve, as Mr. Jefferson understood, to protect certain inalienable rights.

We often regret that we have to get involved in the messy business of politics to block policies which infringe upon our liberties and our ability to pursue happiness.

More on this anon.  Perhaps.

Meatless Monday & The Great Steak Dinner Bet Payoff
Monday, Feb 25 in Glendale, CA

Dan did a post a few days ago, but I wanted to re-invite our friends in the Los Angeles area to join me and him for “Meatless Monday” by enjoying a hearty steak dinner at Outback Steakhouse in Glendale, Calif. The official event invite is here on Facebook.

And since I’m also new Vice Chair of GOProud, I’ll be talking about our new efforts at chapter development and outreach.

For those not familiar with “The Great Steak Dinner Bet,” here’s the video from CPAC 2010.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)