Feb 12, 2011 Lee commented on Hello, I Am Fat.
@430: 431 comments now, and you're hardly the only person to miss the primary points of Lindy's excellent piece here: 1) The fact that you aren't attracted to fat people doesn't make it right for you to publicly harass them; 2) America's epidemiological issues are not Lindy's personal responsibility, and 3) Under no circumstances does shame "help" a fat person who actually does want to be thin.

Of course, by the same logic, I should probably realize that shaming you for being stupid won't really help you. Sorry.
Jan 22, 2011 Lee commented on Lezzbook.com Is the Premier Site for Lesbian Everything.
I'm not terribly offended by the "no men" rule here, and I agree with Beth that most straight dudes with honest intentions wouldn't even be interested in joining lezzbook in the first place. But as a reader of The Stranger, I feel entitled, perhaps unjustly, to find it stupid.

I mean, let's face it: unless we're looking between people's legs or decoding their DNA, our definitions of gender or sex are going to be loose at best, tortured at worst (see #37). The premise they begin with doesn't eliminate ANYONE who is a potential harasser or troll on the site. It just defines precisely what fibs they have to tell to get in the door.

Anyway, I agree that a dating site for lesbians that is free of the "hey baby, you're only a lesbo cuz you haven't had a real man" idiots is a great idea... but banning people who admit they are men is a terrible way of creating a safe space for those women. Having a robust moderation system that is capable of identifying offenders and quickly banning them would be far more useful. As another commenter said, ban behavior, not people. And that could include, I think, any men looking for dates... but just banning men period opens you up to the sorts of accusations running through these comments.
Jan 12, 2011 Lee commented on What Some Seattle Cops Think the Problem Is.
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are both guarantees against prior restraint. The idea that public employees can say whatever the fuck they want to without getting any reaction from their employer is nonsense.
Oct 29, 2010 Lee commented on The Beauty of Mammals.
I love mammaries.
Oct 26, 2010 Lee commented on Neal Pollack Discusses My Very Negative Book Review.
Lindy's mean reviews are so much better. I trust Paul that the book isn't worth the bother, but the review was so damn short that it just looked like cherry-picking some examples of stupidity.

The knockout would've required a couple more good punches.
Oct 20, 2010 Lee commented on Our Farce Advocate.
No, he doesn't have to use the DOJ to defend the existing law's constitutionality, but he's doing that for a damn good reason. Obama has won support for a repeal from top military brass, and part of the price of that support is that the military wants to be able to implement changes in such a way as to minimize disruptions, particularly given that we're in two wars right now. The Pentagon is studying how to deal with the changes required, and the White House is not only trying to be deferentail to the separation of powers in the three-branch government we have here, but to the logistical needs of the military.

Yes, Obama could, as commander-in-chief, order a change in policy. But there is valid concern that a sudden change in policy would cause problems, and if Obama's hastiness allows an opportunity for others to pin those problems on him, they most certainly won't pass that up.

But yes, he should really stop playing for the checkmate and just start seeing how many pawns he can capture early in the game. That worked great for Bush.
Oct 19, 2010 Lee commented on I Spit on Your Squad Car.
I think the "spit sock" site you link to does a pretty excellent job of explaining why the officer felt threatened by someone whose medical history is unknown spitting blood on him. Most likely, the officer did not feel as though the suspect was going to break out of the cuffs and snap the officer's neck. More likely, he was concerned about the threat of communicable diseases.

You really are pretty fucking stupid, Matt.
Oct 17, 2010 Lee commented on Crow, I prefer medium rare.
@2: The Chicago sports media works the other way around. They will pick the other team unless there's no way they can win.
Oct 15, 2010 Lee commented on Why The Stranger Is Wrong About Everything.
@323: What services do these folks get from their county government? How about the state? What federal programs affect its inhabitants? Like most southern states, Georgia gets more in federal expenditures than it pays out in federal taxes.

I'll buy the idea that a small town might be able to privatize its police department and the sky won't necessarily fall. And yes, in some cases private charter schools (which, ahem, use public grants to operate, but nevermind) are much more efficient than some of the more decrepit public school districts.

Efficiency is not the point. Popularity isn't always the issue either. What government provides that private industry cannot is an accountability that is egalitarian, in principle. A democratic state is beholden to the poor and the subsistence workers just as much as it is to those who can buy private castles and security guards. That's what the anti-statists hate about it, I guess, because it provides for these people by cutting into the security guard budget of the wealthy. Or the freedom to live in fear of highwaymen, I suppose. Nonetheless, we have managed to create a society in which the wealthy have access to riches and luxuries far beyond the wildest dreams of millennia of feudal lords. The idea that our society's tax policies stifle the dreams of the innovators and entrepreneurs just seems absurd. The wealthy benefit SO MUCH more from the social programs that prevent unrest and create consumers than they ever would from an anarchy in which their private militias were battling the hordes of beggars.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Oct 15, 2010 Lee commented on Why The Stranger Is Wrong About Everything.
This "institutionalized violence" stuff...

Yes, folks, we see the violence inherent in the system. What the realists understand, however, and what the anarchists don't, is that all order and peace is accomplished via the threat of violence. Force is at the heart of all human relationships, and anarchists simply have never even postulated a society which is untainted by the idea that the group with the most potential to exercise force will dominate those with less potential force.

No, all the anarchists do is propose a society that does away with one particular solution to the problem of the violence at the heart of human relationships. It's like saying that juries don't always reach the right conclusion, so let's get rid of the judicial system and see what happens.

The democratic state IS violent at its heart, but only because it is an intelligent and relatively successful historical attempt at managing the much more unruly violence that accompanies human relationships in general. Democracy spreads not only the responsibility for violence, but the benefits of being able to exercise force against those who would disrupt your life and livelihood.

Again, the lack of historical examples of this idealized stateless co-op is telling: as a point of fact, no such entity could survive without the sponsorship or protection of a powerful state. The point being: survival itself requires the threat of violence and force. There is no point in human history where the request to be left in peace to do one's own thing replaces the power to enforce that request against the will of those who do not wish to honor it.