Jun 8, 2015
commented on NYT Writes Up Matthew Vines and His Campaign to Get Evangelicals to Stop Being Such Huge Assholes
I'm not aware of any evidence that Mr. Vines is trying to change public policy. He's trying to change a religious culture, which is much, much more difficult.
I respect where he comes from and what he's trying to do (because I came from the same place). But I also think that when wrestling with religion, generally, and will evangelical Christianity, specifically, you have to get to a point where you choose to either defer to your own moral intuition, empathy, and reason, or to an external authority (the Bible, the Church, etc.) You cannot do both.
And I don't think he's there yet. But I suspect he will be.
Feb 10, 2015
commented on Does Jeb Bush's Chief Technology Officer Still Believe Women Are "Sluts?"
I'm just one data point, but here's where I am on the whole "how much we should judge a person on what they posted on the Internet when they were X years old" thing: when I was in graduate school (i.e., right out of college) c. 2002 I had a blog that I published under my real and full name. I wrote about mostly current events and politics, and other things that interested me. I was pretty strident in my commentary, frequently profane in my phrasing. I also posted some things in jest that taken out of context by someone who didn't know me might be seen as unflattering, or at least reflecting poor judgement. (For example, I think I once said about Bush's DEA administrator that I wouldn't piss on her if she were on fire.) Anyway, flash forward a few years and I realize I'm going to be on the job market, so I take the blog down and send it down the memory hole as best I can (and also quit using my real name on the Internet).
Now...if someone were to dig up the old blog (which someone with enough info and determination could certainly do) and were to confront me with it: honestly, I'd be ok with it. There are certainly things I might feel differently about now, or simply wouldn't phrase the way I would have in my early 20's, but fundamentally I don't think I ever wrote anything that was hateful. Critical (of specific people in power, of ideas, and of the people who hold said ideas) certainly, but not hateful. Not bigoted. Not misogynistic. Not homophobic, racist, etc., etc....because I'm not (and never was) any of those things.
My point being, I don't think this guy can really say that. You don't find these "jokes" funny unless you actually have a problem with women, on some level.
Jan 16, 2015
commented on RockCreek's Problematic "Hip-Hop Brunch" Menu
Serious question: do we have any black people sounding off here in addition to Mr. Mizell?
I ask because I don't feel I'm in a position to gauge how offensive this is, being a white dude and all. And while my gut says if you have to wonder, don't go there, I also wonder if presuming offense is not itself a bit patronizing?
Aug 25, 2014
commented on Hillary Clinton Ignores Questions About Ferguson
Alden, your last sentence is an admission that a Clinton administration would be functionally indistinguishable from a Republican one on foreign policy, which is both the most important thing a president does and on which he or she possesses nearly unlimited power to fuck up.