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Theodore Gorath 1
To be fair to Mr. Mehlman, I think you were pretty eager to stretch his meaning to "civil rights cause homicides."

The real question is, what was it that those three other commentors said that earned them a brown star?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
treacle 2
That's bullshit. Everyone knows that the worldwide reduction in pirates caused global warming. All praise his noodley appendages.

And yeah, Ken's a real star witness... er... whiteness.
Posted by treacle on December 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 3
"post hack ergo helicopter"


You forgot: cleavage causes earthquakes.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 18, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 4
What's next? Fracking causes earthquakes?
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on December 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 5
I've always wondered what caused Phil Collins.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
But on the upside, disco caused the internet!
Posted by YoungBS on December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Fucking Phil Collins.
Posted by el ganador on December 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM · Report this
TVDinner 8
I'll surrender my suffrage if it means I won't have to hear another Phil Collins song for the rest of my life.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Hernandez 9
I am forever grateful to the brave women who fought for the right to vote, so that today I may blast No Jacket Required at full volume, on repeat, whenever I damn well please.
Posted by Hernandez on December 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
ryanayr 10
In Mr. Mehlman's defense, he is an idiot.
Posted by ryanayr on December 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Holy crap, Ken Mehlman. You got called out. By name!

I'm not even sure the guy deserves it, at least to these lengths. I imagine The Stranger should be happy to have their regulars. But whatever.
Posted by floater on December 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
treacle 12
@1, It wasn't really a stretch at all, he pretty much says it straight up.
Posted by treacle on December 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 14
Oh c'mon. Mehlman isn't even the fifth dumbest currently posting slog commenter.

(Yes, everyone, that's your cue to put together your personal top-5 lists. No fair putting Zifferelli in all five slots, tempting though it may be.)
Posted by Doctor Memory on December 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
blip 15
Civil rights don't cause homicides, they increase them. Along with welfare benefits that make it possible for single mothers to raise their terror-children so one day they may kill us all in shooting sprees, rather than drowning them in bathtubs because they are too expensive to feed, as is my understanding of how these problems were worked out in the 50s.
Posted by blip on December 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 16
@14. That IS a good end of the year parlor game.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on December 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
In a way, he is right.

In the old days they'd lynch someone and it was never reported. At all.

Once civil rights existed, it was recorded as a crime, which they then did nothing about, until the feds forced them to.

Hate crimes against gays used to not be reported at all. Police roustings, etc.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
venomlash 18
Cancer causes cell phones.
Posted by venomlash on December 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 19
#5: Will in Seattle. Evidence: too much to even begin to pick out a favorite; just click on any thread basically ever.

#4: Ziffy. "I believe I have interesting opinions." 'nuff said. Would probably score higher except that he hides out on the "I, Anon" threads exclusively.

#3. The anonobot. Possibly the most undeserved use of the royal 'we' in human history.

#2. StrangersWeakestTroll. Like a dog who keeps crawling back to you after you kick it, only funny instead of pathetic.

Posted by Doctor Memory on December 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Puty 20
Mehlman's point is that the gun nuts hate America's freedoms. Obviously.
Posted by Puty on December 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 21
@19 Very good, but there must be a way to fit Bailo ("Looky! I'm firstest again!") in that list somehow.

And the Slog posts containing only one (sometimes two) comment each from both Bailo and Useless Will and no-one else are sad and pathetic, and should just be removed.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on December 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 22
The point of many of those fp's is to get you guys to start talking, instead of sitting there like lumps, stuffing your faces with Top Pot donuts.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 23
@19, 21 - This is the best game. How about You Gotta Be Kidding Me? When was KittenKoder? That one was a real gem of trollery.
Posted by MacCrocodile on December 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Never let the truth get in the way of telling a good BS story, Ken. Violence rates and even gun violence have been falling for a long time, see…
Posted by WockaWocka on December 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
The problem with calling out this despicable troll is that they have appropriated the name of a real person, and you're effectively rewarding their efforts to associate the (already disreputable) name of that real person with the utterly disgusting bile they're propounding.
Posted by Warren Terra on December 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 26
Shoulda gone Top Ten, Doc, so you wouldn't have to leave off Lew Siffer or blasts from the (please, sweet chaos, please) past like SeattleBleurgh or LovesChoad.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
McGee 27
Well nobody said Mehlman was dumb. Just that he's a shit.
Posted by McGee on December 18, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
US homicide rate per 100,000 in 1960: 5.1
US homicide rate per 100,000 in 2011: 4.7

Violent crime rate is indeed higher but I would wager a fair amount of that could be chalked up to better reporting/record keeping.
Posted by Rhizome on December 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 29
@21: the problem with Bailo in this context is that he has moments of lucidity. Certainly some individual posts of his can damn near shatter the stupidometer, but you have to rank these things based on the mean and the distribution, and Bailo's passing attacks of sanity keep from being a top seed.''

@26: I'm restricting this to currently posting members. Lifetime achievement awards are a different list.
Posted by Doctor Memory on December 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
--MC 30
I have to jump to the defense here, and say that Phil Collins singing "Supper's Ready" on Genesis' 'Seconds Out' album is the greatest version of this song ever.
Posted by --MC on December 18, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
danewood 31
C'mon, Dom. Everyone knows that pirates caused global warming. DUH!…
Posted by danewood on December 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
schmacky 33
Call me an asshole, but I fail to see the problem with the comment. It may be factually incorrect, and if so I invite someone to post a disproving statistic. But his point, I think, is that social upheaval, while often for the greater good and progress of the body politic overall, sometimes occurs via an uptick in real human cost, occasionally in the form of atrocities.

If real, substantial gun control comes about because of the terrible events in Newtown, for instance, those 26 people who lost their lives become progressive heroes a hundred years from now.
Posted by schmacky on December 18, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 34
ASSHOLE! Happy now?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 18, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Dougsf 35
@22 - Posting on Slog, sitting there like a lump, and stuffing one's face with doughnuts are not mutually exclusive, and I can prove it.
Posted by Dougsf on December 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
Purocuyu 36
@33: In order to show that it was incorrect, I propose the statistic that shows that mass killings were at their height in or around 1929.
But frankly, there needs to be a causation between the two things, we can't just say, these two things happened and I will present that one caused the other and it's your job to prove me wrong.
Posted by Purocuyu on December 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
blip 37
@33, I'm not going to call you an asshole, but his point *is* factually inaccurate, as others have noted, because violent crime in the US has been dropping since the 1990s (File:Violent_Crime_Rates_in_the_United_States.svg">…). If one were to generalize his point, as you did, to say that every policy carries with it unintended consequences, then yeah, sure, that is generally always true. But he did not make a general point, he made a very specific point – one that, again, is based on statistics that do not exist – that civil rights and single moms have yielded an increase in violent crime. Did I mention this is demonstrably false, and also maybe just a little offensive?
Posted by blip on December 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
blip 38
@37, what the fuck happened with that link?

Posted by blip on December 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Posted by blip on December 18, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Dougsf 40
I mean really, if you look at the overall trend: both sea levels and gun violence have been rising steadily since the birth of Christ. The data couldn't be more plain.
Posted by Dougsf on December 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
originalcinner 41
If there's more sea, why are there less pirates? Overfishing?
Posted by originalcinner on December 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
treacle 42
@33, There are SO MANY possible pathways and details that have lead to a world where mentally unstable people think it's a good idea to get a high-powered weapon and shoot a lot of people, and then actually get a high-powered weapon and shoot a lot of innocent people.

We could point to Reagan's closing of mental institutions and dumping the mentally ill on the streets, # we could point to stupid pointless wars (Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq) producing mentally damaged vets who get shite for after-care, # we could point to the general misogyny in the US culture that drives the divorce rate via domestic violence and women attempting to escape said domestic violence, # we could point to batshit Xtian fundamentalist fuckwits who vigorously keep contraception out of the hands of teenagers who need it most - thereby forcing up the unwanted children population and single mother population, # we could point to the selfish, greedy forces exacerbating financial inequality making it harder and harder to even *have* a family, let alone a healthy and stable one, # then there is the "drug war" and cointelpro that brought crack to the inner cities as a method to suppress the black cultural revolution and their attempts to help themselves, # the bizarre and massive increase in the prison population that cycles nearly 2/3rds of black men through the incarceration circuit, # the deprecation of the food supply, making shitty empty calorie foods the norm instead of the exception, # the rise of psych drugs and pharma pressure to prescribe them - even to children-, of which we cannot possibly know the long-term effects, # the fact that humans only started living in cities above 1million population in about 1850; and now 150 years later we live in cities of 8-25 million, a total aberration from all of human history, # the fact that TRADITIONAL families were large stable units consisting of at least 3 generations, and have now been reduced to a bizarre "nuclear" family, which is inherently unstable. ...and I could go on.

ANY and ALL of these could be implicated in the "rise of social mayhem" as one of our trolls inelegantly put it... (although, yes, violent crime has actually gone down) ...but Mr. MEH-lman decides to attempt calling out the 1960s cultural revolution as -bizarrely- the cause of mass shootings. It's on him to prove. Hitchen's Razor: That which is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

You might as well blame the fucking Inquisition, or the social revolutions of 1848, or the conquest of the USA by White MANifest Destiny mentality, or the Xtian concept that the Earth is ours to brutalize, or the economic imperative to rape the Earth of natural resources and then pollute it as payment. I mean seriously, if you're going to "blame the 60s", where do you stop? Original Sin?

No, the issues we are facing in this situation are: #1. Adequate mental health care for anyone needing it, #2. Supporting loving stable families in WHATEVER configuration they can form, and #3. Banning guns from cities. Oh, and #4. Communities based on inclusion, rather than isolation.
Posted by treacle on December 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
rob! 43
@blip, the html parser chokes on colons, or something. You can use a URL shortener:

or just link the image itself.…
Posted by rob! on December 18, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
@42 Is the answer. (With a passing, winking nod to Douglas Adams.)
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 18, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
blip 45
Ah, thank you, rob! I should have known it was the colon. It's *always* the colon.
Posted by blip on December 18, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
<3s Jelly Bean 46
Where's the fucking thumbs up for #42... a fantastic post.
Posted by <3s Jelly Bean on December 18, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
kim in portland 47
Well said, Treacle @ 42.
Posted by kim in portland on December 18, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
seandr 48
Ken's right that liberty (e.g, the right to own firearms) often comes at the cost of security, but he's, um, misapplied that principle.
Posted by seandr on December 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 49
Funny that the thread about the brown star comment of the day generates the gold star comment of the day (@42). Nice one, treacle.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Rotten666 50
Hitchen's razor. Great rant, Treacle.
Posted by Rotten666 on December 18, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 51
@42 is always the answer.

Overfishing by pirates is the question.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 18, 2012 at 5:36 PM · Report this
NotSean 52
@30 Indeed.

Our world would be better if we replaced the 2nd Amendment with the requirement of every citizen to own no leas than one Phil Collins album.

There's good and bad
And mum and dad
And everyone's happy to be here.

Posted by NotSean on December 18, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Another theory, which I think more likely, is that the great crime wave was caused by the mass lead poisoning of urban children as a result of leaded gas fumes spewing out of the many, many cars streaming through postwar American cities. Crime started falling right about when the children born after the phaseout of leaded gas reached adolescence. Remember, lead doesn't just make you stupid, it cuts into your impulse control.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on December 18, 2012 at 6:40 PM · Report this
seandr 54
Actually, everything bad in the last half century is the fault of
1) elimination of many strains from natural human bacterial biomes
2) increasing age of fathers at time of conception

Posted by seandr on December 18, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 55
Ken Mehlman does have an amazing talent for pulling facts and statistics out of his ass. If only he could pull his head out.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on December 18, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 56
It's statistically shown that a seasonal increase in the consumption of ice-cream happens at times when incidence of violent crime and rape is high. We shouldn't pretend that our eating of frozen desserts hasn't come at a price.
Posted by Michael of the Green on December 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM · Report this
seatackled 57

I'd prefer him to stick it 8 feet further in.
Posted by seatackled on December 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
Not sure how I got lumped in with MisterG and Cato. First of all, I haven't even commented on Newtown. And second, just because I think you write stupid shit, Dom, doesn't automatically make me some right-winger. I'm anything but.

In fact, I think the gun nuts should have to tell the parents of those 20 kids -- face to face -- that the right to fire off a hundred bullets without reloading trumps the parents' right to see their kids live beyond first grade.
Posted by bigyaz on December 18, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
Why are we all taking a whack at Mehlman? It's like Slog turned into Lord of the Flies.
Posted by floater on December 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 60
Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 19, 2012 at 4:58 AM · Report this
@42 Crime in America is down in the last 20 years, thanks to an aging population and an incredibly punitive (and incredibly expensive) criminal justice system. In the 1950s crime was so low that we were closing prisons due to a lack of convicts to keep in them. So why was that? You might point to the economic prosperity of the '50s as the reason why, at that time, we had safe streets w/ out a record setting prison population. However, the late 1960s was also a period of economic prosperity and LBJ'S Great Society programs were providing unprecedented levels of assistance to the poor. If you will refer to the chart @24 linked to you will see that the mid to late 1960s was the time when violent crime in general and murder in particular went up the most. Why do you think that happened?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 19, 2012 at 7:25 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 62
61, Your feelings don't equate to facts and statistics. The increase in crime at that time has much more to do with the increase of illegal drug use, not an increase in civil rights. Hate crimes against minorities carried out in a campaign against civil rights increased, but the civil rights in and of themselves had nothing to do with it. Have you not had any American History in your schooling?
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on December 19, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
@62 I've taught college level American History classes. This discussion reminds me of something then Attorney General Ramsey Clark said in the wake of the 1967 riots in Newark, New Jersey. He said that every civilization since the beginning of time has depended on poor people being willing to accept that it is their lot in life to be poor, and that poor Americans couldn't seem to do that. Can you see how the civil rights movement might have made poor people in general and poor minorities in particular less inclined to accept their place in the social hierarchy? I'm not arguing that the civil rights movement or the women's rights movement or the gay rights movement were bad, mind you. However, I think they made for a less orderly and less safe society.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
sirkowski 64
@63 You're a shitty history teacher.
Posted by sirkowski on December 19, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
@64 Maybe that's why I quit that job.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 66
I strongly dislike The Stranger's decision to lead a campaign of mockery against someone who, misguided as they may be, at least engages in honest debate most of the time.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on December 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
treacle 67
@63 - KM: I would strongly encourage you to read "Debt: The First 5,000 Years" ... there is some very, very interesting anthropological detail regarding how money and debt works in society, and in particular how the post-WWII period - in the face of strong labor unions - a "deal" was struck whereby if labor increased productivity, they would get a cut of the profits. This allowed Detroit car workers to own their own home and raise a family.

Unfortunately, everyone wants in on this deal, and capitalism can't provide it. One can see the civil rights movements of the 60s quite directly as various marginalized groups standing up and saying "hey, that's a good deal, we want it too" ... and really, why shouldn't anyone be able to support their family on an honest days wages?.

But, since capitalism is really based on exploitation and not freely offered labor, it can't support that deal for everyone, and society had to turn around --notably in the 80s - Reagan and Thatcher-- and ensure that everyone knew the deal was off.

And now today we have these nice charts showing that productivity has continued to increase at quite a remarkable rate... yet wages are stagnant and dropping.

Maybe that is part of why the 60s saw crime rates go up? Maybe its also because the mentally damaged soldiers coming back from the European theatre were emotionally abusive to their children, who then grew up pissed off? Perhaps there are reasons of which neither you nor I are aware.
Posted by treacle on December 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
treacle 68
@63 - One other thing: How does "increased violent crime in the 60s" have anything to do with mentally unstable 20y'olds in 2012 shooting anyone?
Posted by treacle on December 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 69
63, Your claim of being a history teacher is highly suspect given how often you post innaccurate, apocryphal, and revisionist accounts of history. Although you put on an act of being a reasonable, thinking man, you're one of the most intellectually dishonest people on slog. Once again, you present your skewed personal perceptions as fact with absolutely nothing based in reality to back it up.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on December 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
treacle 70
I would like to make one last comment: Creating communities of inclusion relies in large part on people giving gifts to one another. Anthropologists know that gifting is the social glue of culture. Want a better society? Gift more gifts.
Posted by treacle on December 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 71
@66 - Thank you. I've been trying to think of how to put that sentiment succinctly. Ken's thinking is occasionally-to-frequently facile, but I think there's an honest question in there, and a posit that deserves some consideration.

That said, @63, I think that suggesting Civil Rights or the questioning of traditional and/or religious values "made for a less orderly and less safe society" is a fairly shallow reading (which may be why I ask artists, rather than historians, mathematicians, and other bean-counters the important questions). The nearest equivalent I can think of is those who blame the misbehavior on modern youth on the fact that the belt and the switch have gone out of fashion. Yes, failing to adequately beat the rebellion out of your children might contribute to behavior problems if you replace corporal punishment with nothing at all; that doesn't mean either that corporal punishment is preferable to its absence OR that the absence of corporal punishment is why we have gang activity and school shootings.

Likewise, I think reasonable people can suggest that some or all of our social ills can be attributed to spiritual dysfunction or difficulty in establishing or agreeing upon principles of social cohesion without suggesting that belief in a particular (empirically unverifiable) myth regarding an anthropomorphic deity or adherence to a narrow set of standards regarding the makeup of the family is necessary (or even desirable) to address those ills. In that sense, I can take your point in part while still rejecting it in bulk, and insist that nothing short of a rebuke of Huckabee's thesis in its entirety is in order.
Posted by thelyamhound on December 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
treacle 72
@71 - Hear hear! Well said.
Posted by treacle on December 19, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
@66 I'm OK with being mocked. I kind of expect it from this crowd.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 19, 2012 at 9:52 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 74
@73 - That seems a little petty and disingenuous when you haven't even taken time to address those who've actually taken some pains to both defend your integrity and challenge your thesis.
Posted by thelyamhound on December 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
persimmon 75
Does anybody miss Loveschild? That was the troll du jour back when I first started slogging around, and I guess you never forget your first.
Posted by persimmon on December 20, 2012 at 9:23 PM · Report this
lolorhone 76
And PJ Harvey caused Tracy Bonham. And Tori Amos caused Vanessa Carlton. And Lauryn Hill caused Kreyshawn. And Nina Simone caused hipsters in skinny jeans who claim to love music by old black people while smoking French cigarettes. There's always a price, so true, so true...
Posted by lolorhone on December 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM · Report this
In that case, why is it that when crimes happen, I hear with disturbing frequency, "Oh, s/he was such a nice Christian who went to Church!" ?
Posted by MemeGene on December 21, 2012 at 8:07 AM · Report this
Bonefish 78
69: Well he could have worked at Liberty "University" or at any other of those right-wing think-tanks disguised as universities. It's not like they require accuracy or real credentials. They're just collections of sociopaths talking about their feelings.
Posted by Bonefish on December 21, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 79
@73- The crowd can do it's thing. I dislike the staff acting like this is middle school and they are running a clique.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on December 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 80
@75 i admit , i kinda miss her/it..
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on December 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 81
@75 i admit i kinda miss her/it..
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on December 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
I don't deliberately keep a mental profile of every SLOG commenter whose handle I (eventually) recognize, but I'm puzzled as to why Dominic called out Cato the Younger Younger. Enlighten me. Did this comment -- Nothing about Obama offering up cuts to Social Security in the name of balancing the budget? -- hit a little too close to home?
Posted by PCM on December 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this

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