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Aug 16 Corydon commented on Catholic Priest: We Can Reach Out to Gay People by Comparing Gay Sex to Shoving a Bagel in Your Ear.
But Catholics locked Jews in walled ghettos for centuries, so it would be poetic justice to see Father Riccardo and Bill Donohue and Brian Brown locked up in a walled ghetto.


So this statement is a little problematic. The relationship between Christians and Jews in the Middle Ages is a rather complex one. But, in general, the expulsions and persecutions were not instigated by the Church hierarchy.

Expulsions of Jews were generally instigated by the secular authorities. For instance, in England, Jews were extended royal protection in exchange for heavy taxation. They were able to pay that heavy taxation because they had a monopoly on lending money at interest (typically around 40-50% per year) due to a prohibition on usury by the Catholic Church. And the people who owed money to the moneylenders tended to be the landed aristocracy. A couple of the clauses in Magna Carta specifically try to regulate debts owed to Jews. Once the Jewish community became less useful to the Crown (often because others found ways around the usury prohibition), it became politically expedient to expel Jews (who were mistrusted by the commoners for superstitious reasons and hated by the nobility for economic reasons), which Edward I did in 1290 (they were not legally permitted to return until 1657).

On the other hand, outright mob violence against Jews generally arose from the blood libels (accusations of murder of Christian children for ritual reasons, desecration of the Host, etc.) which periodically arose and spread among commoners, and generally represent the typical superstition and fear of "the other" that is a common feature of human nature, compounded by anti-Pharisaical passages that appear throughout the New Testament. These were usually fairly localized events, but a particularly grisly episode happened as part of the First Crusade in 1095-6, when Jewish communities in several German cities were massacred.

But it should be noted that the Church hierarchy generally sought to protect the Jewish communities that it could. The archbishops of Cologne and Speyer in Germany did their best to protect the Jews in their cities. The first walled ghettos went up there not to imprison Jews but to protect them. And Jews themselves generally embraced the ghetto because typically, within its walls, they were given wide latitude to govern themselves. Not to mention that if there had been extensive commingling between Christians and Jews, it's very likely Judaism itself would have been assimilated out of existence; Jews policed the boundaries between the two communities just as assiduously (if not more so) than Christians did. And still, in some cases, do.

It's also true that the Catholic clergy bent over backwards during the Second Crusade to ensure that a similar attack did not happen again. For instance, Bernard of Clairvaux, the founder of the Cistercians, preached extensively in Germany to prevent a repeat.

That's not to say there weren't problems as well. The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 asked secular authorities to force Jews (and Muslims) to wear special clothing distinguishing them from Christians (the forerunners of the patches that Jews had to wear in Germany in the Nazi period). This was to prevent accidental commingling...another attempt to police boundaries between the two communities. And while forced conversion was explicitly prohibited, Christian authorities could bring a lot of pressure to bear. This often took the form of forced disputations, where Jews were obliged to defend their beliefs against Christians. But conversion was always available as an option for Jewish communities that would otherwise be expelled. It was this choice of "convert or leave" that led to the rather fascinating experience of crypto-Judaism, especially in Spain following the expulsion of 1492, and the subsequent reaction against that in the form of the Inquisition.

It's actually a rather interesting history, and not anywhere near as one sided as is commonly thought.
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Jul 27 Corydon commented on Why We're Not Talking About Bernie vs. Hillary: A Dialogue with Dan Savage and Rich Smith.
But [Clinton] didn’t have to be pulled. Her speeches on income inequality, immigration, Wall Street, LGBT rights—she’s basically saying everything that the left wanted to hear.


Here's the problem with that, and the reason Sanders is doing as well as he is:

Nobody thinks Clinton actually means a word of it. Especially on economic issues.

Both primary races are interesting for one reason: both parties have populist insurgent candidates. Trump may be a joke, but he's against the TPP and his hamfisted assaults on immigration appeal to working class men who (correctly) believe that elitists are pushing for more immigration in order to drive down wages.

Sanders is essentially running an appeal to very similar voters. His campaign is an attempt to unify the working class around a labor-oriented agenda, essentially a throwback to the Roosevelt years. This was the coalition that had Democrats (including conservative Southerners) running the country from the '30s to the '70s.

In the '60s and '70s, Democratic politics changed. Labor was no longer the primary focus. Rather racial, cultural and sexual issues came to the forefront of the agenda. The Clintons are the avatars of this change. On economic issues, they are Republicans-Lite: pro free trade, pro deregulation, pro Wall Street (which has rewarded them handsomely). They distinguish themselves on the cultural issues: pro choice, pro gay rights (recall the first Clinton "misstep" in 1993 was over whether openly gay people could serve in the armed forces). There have been some nods to traditionally labor-oriented issues, most notably Hillary's failed health care reform, but essentially, they believe in the status quo economically.

Which begs an interesting question: working class people have historically tended to be quite socially conservative. Indeed, this split between economic and cultural interests is a big factor in why the Democrats lost their iron grip on the federal government in the latter part of the last century. Forced to choose between their economic and social interests, they chose the latter.

It's possible that this could be changing. Working class people, like all Americans, are less religious now than they were 40 years ago. And so there may be more of an opportunity now and in the future for economic populists to succeed than in the past.

But one thing's for sure: should that successful populist candidate ever arise, she will not be named Hillary Clinton.
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Jul 21 Corydon commented on Staff at Iowa Hotel Call Cops on Trans Women for Crime of Being Trans Women.
@13 Wait, what abuse? I read the Register article and nothing was said about anything that strikes me as abuse. Certainly no violence was reported or threatened. From my understanding of the story (and I may be wrong), Taylor seems to have lied about her legal identity right off the bat.

It says nothing about whether or not Taylor gave consent for her purse to be searched, but a cop would probably spin probable cause out of the lie and Taylor's demeanor at the scene (whether or not that would stand up in court would be for a judge to decide).

Finally, they ran a check on her and her failure to comply with her sentence in her prior case popped up (though that's probably non-extraditable as a misdemeanor).

In short, I see nothing at all here that's outside of the bounds of normal police procedure. The search may be a bit questionable depending on consent, and they probably would have just let her go if the Illinois offense was the only thing that came up.

Contrary to Slog doctrine, being transgendered does not automatically make you a saint, or exempt you from following the law. I'm all for holding cops accountable when they do cross the line, but it's hard to see how that happened in this case.

Unless, of course, you reflexively think "COPS Я BAD! HURR! DURR!" Then you might.
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Jul 21 Corydon commented on Staff at Iowa Hotel Call Cops on Trans Women for Crime of Being Trans Women.
@7 My takeaway from the story is that if you have a prescription for your medications, don't have any outstanding court issues, and don't lie to the cops, you probably won't run into any legal problems.

Sure, the hotel staff were kinda dickish, but who knows? Maybe the hotel has had trouble with prostitution before. When you travel with dogs and you're on a budget, you stay in a lot of Motel 6es. I've been in one or two where the prostitution and drug traffic were out of control and it's not a pleasant experience.

Contrary to @9, there are worse things you can run into in a hotel than discrimination.
Jun 17 Corydon commented on Council Committee Passes Land Use Bill that Is Literally Making People Cry.
Fun fact (that comes up when you spend your time in college doing medieval studies):

A clerestory is the part of a Gothic cathedral's wall that is closest to the ceiling. It's basically that massive sheet of stained glass hanging between each of the buttresses over your heads, and plays a major role in not just admitting tons of natural light into the church but also transforming the space with floods of color. These curtains of stained glass were enabled by the invention of the flying buttress, which basically pushed the supporting structure of the cathedral outside of the walls. It was a major innovation in architecture, and allowed us to reach the limits of what stone structures can handle.

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sgparry/35…
Jun 11 Corydon commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Monogamous Commitments vs. Monogamous Ultimatums.
You know, I read this question and the thought that strikes me is how focused each partner in this relationship is on his or her own needs and desires. It seems to me that the truly happy and successful relationships, each partner has considered it much more important to take into account the needs and desires of the other rather than him or herself.

To be fair, it seems like the writer is doing quite a bit right: supporting his partner through law school, trying to discuss things openly and reach a good consensus (although we only have his perspective here).

But, you know, I'm kind of suspicious of claims that "I can't be monogamous!" Well, yes, you can. Depending on the circumstances, it might be easy or difficult. Most of us go through periods of enforced chastity at some point in our lives (due to work, incarceration, military service, lack of interested partners, whatever). Some people actively choose a chaste life, often for religious reasons, but sometimes because they'd rather put all that sexual energy into something else. These situations may not be easy to bear (as this guy's situation isn't easy for him to bear), but then, life isn't supposed to be easy.

So it seems reasonable for him to decide if he really loves this woman, not just because she gives him a hardon, but the kind of love that draws him to sacrifice deeply for her. What is he willing to give up for this relationship? (What is she?) If the foundation of mutual self-sacrifice, of true love, isn't being laid now, then what future is there for this couple? What will happen when the going really gets rough?
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Nov 20, 2014 Corydon commented on The Co-Founder of the Human Rights Campaign—Terry Bean—Has Been Arrested for Allegedly Fucking a 15-Year-Old Boy.
So this is kind of an extreme example of a variety of gay relationship that's always bothered me.



Bean is 66 years old. His ex is 25. The victim here is 15. Doesn't anyone see a problem with someone getting into an intimate relationship with multiple people young enough to be his grandchildren? Isn't there something innately creepy, or at the very least very imbalanced and unhealthy about such an age disparity?



It's fairly common to see gay men advertising for sexual relationships based on fantasy incest between fathers and sons. Is that healthy? Does that reflect a desire for a mature relationship?



Obviously, this is a pattern that's ingrained in human nature; ancient Greek male sexual relationships were explicitly structured around the love of older men for younger youths. But that was also explicitly an unequal relationship (and not just sexually). Is that kind of inequality acceptable to us? Would we accept that sort of inequality between a husband and wife?
Oct 16, 2014 Corydon commented on Black Man Doing Time Is Now as Natural as Sunshine.
Interesting post, but perhaps your assumptions are a bit skewed.

I happen to hang out with a lot of people who are working class white men. Many of them are either addicts/alcoholics or in recovery. The overwhelming majority of them have had similar experiences with the criminal justice system. They will discuss their prison or jail time with you in exactly the same matter-of-fact way.

Now, I have no idea what kind of economic background this guy has (although if he was working for the Navy, it's more than possible that he's working class too). And you don't mention if he ever got deeply involved with drugs or alcohol, although the implication of talking about your wild days and hanging with a band suggest that it's at least a reasonable possibility.

So why are we leaping to race as the Rosetta Stone for all that is wrong with the criminal justice system? Is it not just as likely that this situation is a result of discrimination on the basis of economic class? Or a result of the misguided War on Drugs? Aren't either (or both) of those scenarios at least a reasonable alternative explanation?
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Aug 4, 2014 Corydon commented on There Has to Be a Better Way to Say "Really, Really Gay".
@11 Your point is well taken, but there's another, more basic reason for have gay resorts (and gayborhoods too for that matter): I like being around other gay guys.

Which isn't to say I don't like hanging out with my straight friends. But it's really really cool having a space to ourselves (one reason I'm not typically drawn to gay bars the attract a lot of straight women).
Jul 5, 2014 Corydon commented on The Saturday Morning News.
Re: the NSA

At this point, I'm convinced that we all have a positive patriotic duty to take the steps necessary to protect our privacy as well as we can.

As I reasonably well-informed layman who's not qualified to do the actual legwork of coming up with the code to do this sort of thing, I still think there are good, prudent and simple steps everyone can take.

Installing and using TOR is one such step. I'd also suggest looking into more secure email services (remember, if you're getting it for free on the Internet, then YOU are the product). Consider other steps available here: https://pack.resetthenet.org/

To help even more, consider running a Tor relay (more info here: https://www.eff.org/torchallenge/ )

And if you can donate money, the EFF is a good candidate. https://supporters.eff.org/donate

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