He is lighting fires. He is turning people against people. He is misstating the facts of what’s happening domestically, what’s happening with Muslims.
—  Andrea Mitchell, commenting on Donald Trump, the fascist ‘human dumpster fire’.

Things I’ve learned about dealing with someone with dementia and/or  memory issues. 

1.  Smile and answer the question like it’s the first time they’ve asked. Even if it’s the fourteenth or fortieth. 

2.  Erase the phrase “Don’t you remember?” or any reiteration of it from your vocabulary. 

3.  Unless it’s causing a problem, don’t correct any fabrication or misstatement of facts. They are filling in the blanks with false memories and they think it’s true.  Telling them the truth, no matter how logical or rational you are, will only upset them further. 

4.  Listen for intention not the words they say. They may call you by a different name, mix up the days of the week, or conflate three people into one, but asking if you want egg salad for dinner is what they want to know. Answer that and let the rest go. 

5.  Sometimes they just want someone to say “I love you.”  When they tell a story or complain or get frustrated, you don’t always have to solve it. In fact, jumping in and solving it makes them feel inadequate and useless. Give them a hug and tell them you care instead. 

6.  Give them things to do. Sitting around thinking about all the things they don’t remember only heightens depression and anxiety.  Let them wash the dishes and don’t mention if they put them away in the wrong places. Let them make egg salad and then eat some of it. 

7.  You have to be willing to change too.  Just because you’ve always put the cans in alphabetical order doesn’t mean you have to get angry and storm about when they put them up randomly. 

8.  There’s often a method to their forgetting. My mother calls me Linda all the time; that’s her sister, the one everyone says I look like. I just accept it and answer to that name because when she looks at me she doesn’t know if she’s seeing her daughter or her sister. 


While trust could be given, accountants still tend to validate things. Just in auditing, it’s essential to have a professional skepticism. (Professional skepticism is an attitude that includes a questioning mind, being alert to conditions which may indicate possible misstatement due to error or fraud, and a critical assessment of audit evidence.) If you are planning to lie, just make sure you have the evidence to corroborate your statement. CPAs are good in finding the truth. So if you want to date a CPA, just don’t lie. It doesn’t work.

CPAs practice the full disclosure principle. The full disclosure principle states that you should include in an entity’s financial statements all information that would affect a reader’s understanding of those statements. Surely,It will eventually bug you if CPAs keep on questioning your whereabouts such as:

“Why did it take 7 minutes before you replied?”

“Who’s that girl in the photo?”

“Please give me the list of names of your company tonight”. 

The interpretation of this principle is highly judgmental, since the amount of information that can be shared is unlimited. To avoid such conflicts or misunderstanding, you should both set a standard of materiality as to what information that must be shared to each other. If you don’t want this kind of hassle, just don’t date a CPA.

Your date is under a strict budget. Everything is already calculated. If you are a just-spend-if-that-makes-you-happy kind of person, then just don’t date a CPA. CPAs always go with what’s in the budget. CPAs may spoil your excitement.

The Matching Principle. The matching principle states that each expense item related to revenue earned must be recorded in the same accounting period as the revenue it helped to earn. Or simply, an expense must matched with related revenue. CPAs tend to seek compliment or appreciation of the things they have put in a relationship such as time, effort and money. An effort should be rewarded by compliment, a kiss or a warm hug. Just don’t neglect their efforts. If you can’t match their efforts, then just don’t date one.

Keep reading

(I wrote out this reasonably thoughtful reply to peetasallhehasleft‘s post, and then Tumblr ate it, and I just don’t have the spirit to go back and re-think those thoughts. So here’s what you get instead, and I’m sorry. It’s lame.)

But at the least what I’m saying is timely. 

Gale is no more a villain than Einstein was a villain or Oppenheimer was a villain or Truman was a villain or Tibbets was a villain. Even though the first man proposed E=mc2, the second invented the atomic bomb with his team of scientists, the third was ultimately responsible for the drop of the bomb on Hiroshima as President of the US, and the fourth man flew the Enola Gay and who therefore physically dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, murdering anywhere from 90,000-170,000 people. None of these men were villains. No one man was a villain. 

War was the villain. It always is. It is filthy and reprehensible, and it makes monsters of men. The people who suffer the most are those with the least to gain from it. It’s not the President Snows or Alma Coins who suffer. It’s the Prims. The Peetas. The Katnisses. The Finnicks. And even the Gales. It’s those who try to help. Who try to save their loved ones. Who follow orders. Who fight on the front lines. Who try to stay alive, at any cost. 

This doesn’t absolve any man of his actions in war… it’s just reminding everyone of who the real enemy is. I’m speculating, but I think SC would want us to know this… as someone whose father fought in Vietnam and whose war is stocked with its own atrocities. 

I’m not apologizing for Gale or making excuses for his actions. I think that SC fulfilled the character arc she promised us in the first book, the same way she fulfilled Katniss’ (who didn’t want to contribute anything good to an ugly world) and Peeta’s (who didn’t want an ugly world to take away his goodness). Gale asks Katniss, when she is faced with killing children in the arena,”How different can it be, really?” and, horribly and tragically, he gets his answer. He learns, too late, what Katniss and Peeta learned in the 74th Games: to murder innocent people costs everything you are. He is our cautionary tale and is as necessary to the story as oxygen is to fire.  

He didn’t ask for forgiveness. How could he? Can you expect someone to forgive you when you know you can never forgive yourself? Can you place that obligation on someone to respond in any way that isn’t filled with disgust and loathing- to try to make them look at you when you have just destroyed them? I personally couldn’t, and yes, everyone is different. But not everyone who can’t bear to ask forgiveness is a villain, either. They’re just weak.  

I think dialogue and discussion and differing opinions are essential, and I think SC would be proud that we’re talking about this. Especially today. The bomb on Hiroshima was dropped 70 years ago, on Aug 6, 1945. 

titania522: thanks for tagging me on the original thread!

Ladies and Gentlemen, We are proud to present our next Rifftrax Live offering, SHARKNADO.

Please join us as we celebrate this gem of independent filmmaking, and with it the vision, the heart, the very soul of the cinema. 

I’m kidding of course, it’s a big dumb TV movie that makes absolutely no sense save the common understanding that it features an entire nado filled with sharks.

Starring Tara Reid, who made the move from tabloid sexpot to confused grandma in a remarkably short period of time, and the sexy, leggy John Heard, who the kids just love. Ian Ziering rounds out the cast, and adds extra aggravation by pronouncing his name EYE-ann, and by being somebody about whom I should know but don’t. 

I guarantee a LOT of surprises at this show, but I’ll limit my guarantee to 2.5 surprises, and let the lawyers handle any misstatement I might have made about surprise guarantees. 

 So please join us Thursday, July 10th, and we will in turn promise you a screen full of digital sharks fallng from the sky and we three making jokes about them.  


Hillary made it a point to misstate a lot of Bernie's policies

Bernie had to do a lot of clarification. Hillary should stick to her accomplishments and end the ‘Bernie disinformation tour’. My two cents.


By Matt D. Wilson

Back in July, representatives for Islamic State, the jihadist group sometimes referred to as ISIS, or ISIL, publicly called for the death of Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, the creator of The 99, a Muslim comic about 99 young heroes who reflect the 99 attributes ascribed to Allah in the Quran.

In a column published in the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National, al-Mutawa explained that the calls for his death originated from a fatwa that was issued based on “false accusations and misstatements” from an “ambulance chaser.”



Thank you to @kartoshinki, queeniceland, stomei97, and gwen-chan for sending these in and correcting me on some of the instruments I misstated :D (I really am bad at telling certain instruments apart, more than I originally thought!)

Sources for the instruments are below ^^ If anyone else has any more characters that they know of or other corrections, go right ahead and send them in!

- Admin England

Keep reading

…Brian Williams was, of course, one of the many mass media spinners, not only for the invasion of Iraq, but later catastrophic interventions in Libya and elsewhere. This suspension story, the falsehood told by Brian Williams, is the kind of story that the mass corporate media absolutely love, because it’s about an individual personality, it’s not about structural power; it’s about a personal flaw or a misstatement or deception or lie, if you will, but not about constant streams of lies coming from institutions such as NBC News and many others that have billions of dollars of capital behind them. And I think it’s important for us to remember that Brian Williams has run afoul of his fabulations, his lie that was told repeatedly to puff himself up in the context of glorifying the very kind of militarism that he was part of promoting in the first place. And if you look at his career—as of, unfortunately, many of his colleagues—we have to understand, or I think it’s important for us to understand, that the real tragedies, the real transgressions against truth, are virtually never challenged, almost never challenged, by those folks’ colleagues. And I would just sum it up this way: The Wall Street Journal front page yesterday described what Williams had done as telling a false war story, but in fact Williams and his colleagues are in the business of telling false war stories every day to, in effect, justify U.S. military interventions.

Seems people are still thinking Jonghyun responded to GD but yesterday’s BNR was pre-recorded


[Netizen Comments] Article: “SHINee and EXO can’t compose their own songs? … GD’s clueless statement”

Top Rated:

1. [+760, -39] GD needs to retain his humility. The truth is that the public doesn’t all like Big Bang songs, so the fact that he made a misstatement like this is downright thoughtless. Was that reply the best he could do? Tsk tsk. I’m part of the public too, but when it comes to talent and character, SHINee definitely seems better to me?

2. [+669, -25] Thank you for this article~~ Really, SHINee is actively participating in writing and composing~ And Exo’s only been around as a group for 3 years… Most people know they’re working hard on writing and composing but I guess some people still aren’t aware~

3. [+642, -29] GD’s statement yesterday has dumbfoundingly revealed what grand delusions he really has about himself. It’s like he lives in his own little world. The reporter’s write up is refreshing.

4. [+589, -31] GD’s self-love is stabbing the sky ㅋ

5. [+561, -26] Seems like GD’s comment is saying the songs he’s composed appeal so much to the public that they get used as title tracks, but honestly this isn’t quite right either because even Jonghyun released a solo album full of songs that he wrote and composed, and he gives songs to other singers too. And Exo is trending toward writing and composing more and more actively, so it’s true that what GD said is worthy of misunderstanding.

6. [+233, -10] Excuse me but, SHINee’s Jonghyun not only makes songs for his own group, but also makes songs for other singers?

7. [+224, -5] Whatever the case, it’s obvious that this interview will become a shameful memory in (GD’s) history..

8. [+221, -5] As a Seo Taiji maniac, the way I see it is that Big Bang, Exo, SHINee, etc. are all popular and have passed through a difficult systematic process to get to where they currently are now. But GD’s comment yesterday feels like he’s pointing fingers at SM’s system. I’m not sure if GD is indeed a “great” artist, but it’s true that he’s a “hot” artist. But among Seo Taiji’s songs, the songwriting and composing is credited to only three characters: “Seo Tai Ji.” But Big Bang’s songwriting and composing are GD + Teddy + TOP + other producers, etc. and it’s impossible to tell who created what part. Is it possible to see these as only GD’s songs? I think SM artists, who assimilate songs written by great producers really well, are talented singers too.

9. [+215, -7] Seems like GD doesn’t listen to his juniors’ songs at all ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ What’s worse is that SHINee and Exo’s latest albums, that they promoted at the same time, contain self-composed songs…

10. [+173, -3] Then.. can we also agree that actors can only assimilate a role as their own when they write their own script?? I guess actors…should also write drama and movie scripts their own selves~~* Wouldn’t it also be a skill to be able to assimilate someone else’s script or song superbly??

11. [+175, -7] GD’s comment wasn’t intended to mean what the reporter’s headline suggests. But it’s wrong to respond to a question that asks about the distinguishing factors between the groups by saying, “We create our songs ourselves, and the public likes that”; then what becomes of the songs written and composed by SHINee and Exo? They’ve also created songs that the public likes, the same as Big Bang.

Other comments:

[+159, -5] Seems like since fans keep upholding him as an “artist, not an idol,” he thinks of himself as a special artist who isn’t an idol.. Is he also dissing his fellow team members who don’t write songs.. ㅋㅋ

[+158, -5] I feel better seeing this articleㅠ Although I’m a SHINee fan, I also liked Big Bang. But I think if Jonghyun saw this news, the comment would make him feel like all the products of his worries and efforts until now have been in vain. Of course, even if GD didn’t intend it that way, I don’t think it was right to respond in such an irresponsible and immodest way in his position as a senior. I’m disappointed in GD ㅡㅡ

[+135, -5] He says he’s not interested in whatever you do in Korea because he’s a globetrotting world-class superstar~ And let’s have a listen to those title tracks you claim to have written yourself, look at this guy talking like he wrote them all by himself when he worked together with Teddy

[+104, -1] If he’d at least given a response that asserted that he makes his own kind of music, regardless of SHINee and Exo, I wouldn’t have cared. It’s true that he writes music and is popular, but. It’s indisputable that it wasn’t a good response to a question that asked about what differentiates them. There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.

[+76, -2] Ahyoo, this kid is good at being silent when it comes to explaining plagiarism or thoughtless actions, but he never misses out on boasting about how he makes his own music when all his hits are collaborations ㅋ

[+67, -3] While you were doing drugs at the very least SHINee Exo were probably practicing for their future

[+56, -2] Anyway the clearest thing from this incident is that GD’s lost the public’s trust and goodwill

[+44, -0] Why does he think singers have to create their own songs to be recognized (as being talented)..? A lot of talented singers aren’t able to self-compose their songs.. Singers are people who sing, not people who create songs.. Although it would be even better if you could sing and write your own songs.. shouldn’t it not matter if you can’t? I don’t think it’s right to show off your talent or ability just because of the fact that your songs are self-composed..


Trump’s Week of Errors, Exaggerations and Flat-out Falsehoods

POLITICO Magazine subjected the GOP front-runner to our fact-checking process. This is the result.

By Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf

Donald Trump says he is a truthful man. “Maybe truthful to a fault,” he boasted last week at a North Carolina rally where one of his supporters sucker punched a protester.

But truthful he is not.

With the GOP front-runner scooping up delegates in a march toward the Republican nomination, POLITICO subjected a week’s worth of his words to our magazine’s fact-checking process. We chronicled 4.6 hours of stump speeches and press conferences, from a rally in Concord, N.C., on Monday to a rally on Friday in St. Louis.

The result: more than five dozen statements deemed mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or simply false – the kind of stuff that would have been stripped from one of our stories, or made the whole thing worthy of the spike. It equates to roughly one misstatement every five minutes on average.

Read more here

U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds
The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.

The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money.

The new report focused on the Army’s General Fund, the bigger of its two main accounts, with assets of $282.6 billion in 2015. The Army lost or didn’t keep required data, and much of the data it had was inaccurate, the IG said.

“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.

The significance of the accounting problem goes beyond mere concern for balancing books, Spinney said. Both presidential candidates have called for increasing defense spending amid current global tension.

An accurate accounting could reveal deeper problems in how the Defense Department spends its money. Its 2016 budget is $573 billion, more than half of the annual budget appropriated by Congress.

The Army account’s errors will likely carry consequences for the entire Defense Department.

Congress set a September 30, 2017 deadline for the department to be prepared to undergo an audit. The Army accounting problems raise doubts about whether it can meet the deadline – a black mark for Defense, as every other federal agency undergoes an audit annually.

For years, the Inspector General – the Defense Department’s official auditor – has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”

In an e-mailed statement, a spokesman said the Army “remains committed to asserting audit readiness” by the deadline and is taking steps to root out the problems.

The spokesman downplayed the significance of the improper changes, which he said net out to $62.4 billion. “Though there is a high number of adjustments, we believe the financial statement information is more accurate than implied in this report,” he said…

Some employees of the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), which handles a wide range of Defense Department accounting services, referred sardonically to preparation of the Army’s year-end statements as “the grand plug,” Armstrong said. “Plug” is accounting jargon for inserting made-up numbers.

At first glance adjustments totaling trillions may seem impossible. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. Making changes to one account also require making changes to multiple levels of sub-accounts, however. That created a domino effect where, essentially, falsifications kept falling down the line. In many instances this daisy-chain was repeated multiple times for the same accounting item.

The IG report also blamed DFAS, saying it too made unjustified changes to numbers. For example, two DFAS computer systems showed different values of supplies for missiles and ammunition, the report noted – but rather than solving the disparity, DFAS personnel inserted a false “correction” to make the numbers match.

DFAS also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system. Faulty computer programming and employees’ inability to detect the flaw were at fault, the IG said.

DFAS is studying the report “and has no comment at this time,” a spokesman said.

US Army committed $6.5 trillion in accounting fraud in one year

In June, the Defense Department’s Inspector General released a report on the US Army’s accounting, revealing that the Army had invented $6.5 trillion in “improper adjustments” ($2.8T in one quarter!) to make its books appear balanced though it could not account for where the funds had gone.

The army had “simply made up” many of the figures, and lacked receipts or invoices to account for the missing money. This is part of a wider pattern of financial fraud dating to at least 2013, when a Reuters investigation revealed widespread falsification in Army accounts. Army accounting is so fanciful that the Inspector General’s reports always carry the disclaimer that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”



Spider-Man #8.

Okay, I’m a sucker for scenes like this hand-holding here. It’s a good moment where out three musketeers (yes, I’m sticking to that nickname) trying to comfort each other in the face of how trauma-inducting level of STUPID Bendis War is.

This issue has sooo many problems. From the starters, Bendis ignores continuity to write people how he wants. He still seems to think Sam never fought anything above a street level thug and certainly not Hulk(with whom he indeed fought). But that’s Bendis, he only cares about his own continuity. Like how Jessica Jones was hired to spy on Miles and found out his secret identity. It never happened to her before. Except the very first story with her, where she was in the same situation with Captain America. It was written by you, Bendis, how did you forget that?!

Tony Stark is a colossal asshole in this book. He goes to rant how Bruce Banner made one misstate that created the Hulk. I guess SAVING SOMEONE’S LIFE is a mistake in Tony’s book. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen! That or Bendis forgot it’s not Ultimate Universe, where his origin is different. Then right after Banner’s death Stark tries to rally everyone against Carol, coming with some crazy conspiracy theories how she put Clint Barton there and told him to shoot. Such a sensitive approach, asshole! Jesus, never before I wanted to punch Stark so much in my life. And this is from a guy who writes his own comics series, no wonder it doesn’t sell as much as Marvel wants it!

And Miles grandma just crossed the line with hiring Jessica to spy on him I mean for the fuck’s sake, that’s just violation of privacy and quite frankly, shows an incredible lack of trust. Jessica’s advice for Miles to stop doing what makes his family worried is just missing the point. If his grandmother went so far to prove he is up to no good, then NOTHING he will ever do will make her think otherwise. I know that kind of people, you can climb to the top but they will still bring up every single smallest mistake you ever made to guilt-trip you into shutting up and doing what they say. This might have struck too close to home for me, but this whole ordeal is a sign of controlling behavior! His grandmother looks to me like a friggin abuser!

Oh and the dialogue is so cringeworthy and full of exposition dump, that even Sam has enough of it at one point. And art can get equally lazy, at one point the artist just copied the same face on two panels.

That being said, there are some good moments here. Like this above. Like conversation between Miles and Luke Cage and how Luke brings up what Sam Wilson things about Miles (that he has long way to go, but can be one of the greatest heroes in the world. Or how Luke pointed out that yes, it is important that Spider-Man is a kid of color. Good contrast to all the crap Bendis was pulling about how it doesn’t matter in the early issues.

David Bowie and “problematic”

There is a post – which I am not linking to – going around saying basically “David Bowie was a pedophile, fuck him.”  This post contains both a serious misstatement of fact and an incomplete analysis of a person.

The misstatement of fact: Lori Mattix, the woman who remembers losing her virginity to Bowie, was over fifteen, not under fourteen.  She describes it as completely consensual; she comments that “ I saw David many times after that, for the next 10 years, and it was always great.”.  She was happy then and she’s happy now.   That is at a different place on the sliding scale than “I was in early puberty or earlier, I felt forced, and it changed my life in a bad way.”   

Pedophilia is not a clear wall between “yes it was” and “no it wasn’t”.  There’s a complicated scale between “obviously wrong” and “somewhat skeevy”.   In my mind, “15, consenting, and still happy about it” isn’t pedophilia in the way that “13, forced into it, and regretting it or scarred by it.”  Your mileage may vary.

The incomplete analysis  If you weren’t there in the 1970s, you probably have no idea how radical Bowie was.   He was wearing a dress in public – on a freaking album cover, see above – and saying he slept with guys.  By contrast, other contemporary gay and bi stars, very obviously Freddie Mercury, dropped hints but never said it out loud.   If you look at, say, the Guardian stream, or the multiple editorial remembrances,  there are enormous numbers of people saying that  Bowie gave them the courage to be some kind of gender-bending , sexuality-bending, and just plain different.  

Life is more complicated than good guys and bad guys.  John Lennon was a wife-beater and an enormous cultural influence.   David Bowie slept with at least one underage girl and made it possible for thousands of people to be out and queer.  He also wrote and performed some awesome songs and turned in some superb acting performances.  You have to weigh these yourself and decide what matters to you.

There is a meme I see a lot in progressive circles. The meme goes like this.

“Idea: a reality show where gay marriage opponents have to live under 100% biblical laws for six months so they can show us how awesome it is.”

The meme is credited in the version I have seen most recently to Molly Manglewood of Alternet, but I have seen variations on the theme posted in all sorts of places in different words.

I hate this meme.

I stated in an earlier post that I hate it for about seven discrete reasons but that’s a slight misstatement because really all the reasons are tied together pretty fundamentally.

Here they are.

- If you’ve followed me for any length of time or heard me talk about this before, you’ve already all heard the one I often raise first, a little defensively. The trope presumes that no one would be so far out and ridiculous as to actually keep the laws of the Old Testament in particular, because that would somehow be far too burdensome and ridiculous for anyone in the modern world to deal with. That patently isn’t true because Orthodox Jews exist. I know from my own experience and the experience of many of my friends and family members that there are people who live full and modern lives while keeping the dietary laws, the Sabbath, the imperative not to mix wool and linen in clothing, any supposedly “wacky” thing you can find in the Old Testament (or as we call it, the Torah), as well as any number of laws in the commentaries that I would argue are even more onerous, such as the laws of family purity. The argument implies that the people I know to exist and thrive cannot really be existing and thriving. It’s deeply Christian-centric in a way that I think really ridicules Jews. Ok, that’s obvious to me at least, but now it’s out of the way.

- The argument, as a result, completely fails to address homophobia within Jewish communities, which, as a bisexual Jew who lost my faith partly as a result of my anger at the biblical and consequent community attitudes to gender and sexuality well before I was willing to acknowledge my bisexuality as a real thing, is kind of a big deal to me.

- it presumes that homophobic religious people are hypocrites and it does that from a place of real and dramatic ignorance of scripture and doctrine. I know some people who like the meme like it because that has been their experience in the religious communities in which they were raised, but it still bothers me for a few reasons:

- it implies that religious homophobia stems from idiocy and a lack of contemplation basically, and proceeds to try to effect change on that basis. I understand the impulse to take that attitude but I think it’s naive, unrealistic, arrogant and strategically completely defeatist. When is the last time you ever convinced anyone of anything by insulting their intelligence and telling them that if only they were clever and farsighted like you they would agree with you? And haven’t you known otherwise intelligent people who surprised and even disgusted you with their positions on matters? Wasn’t there usually more to it, something slightly more complex and profound than “they were dumb I guess, despite all evidence to the contrary”?

- it implies that religious people don’t know their own texts better than snide atheists. First, I admit that I’m biased about this, as a Jew, since education about matters of Torah and the commandments is a huge component of my relationship with my culture and history and is so frequently a huge part of Jewish faith. I admit that sometimes certain religious groups do not encourage such study, leading to the presumed ignorance and the presumed supreme knowledge of people who pass the meme around. Often, though, this is emphatically not the case, and one example of when this is not the case is the trope itself. Unlike Judaism, Christianity does not demand adherence to a whole host of the laws of the Torah/Old Testament - it’s one of the formative aspects of Christianity. Someone can be a deeply faithful person who strives for Christian values and not keep many of the commandments of the Old Testament. A lot of the people who pass the meme around don’t know that, and I think if you’re going to engage people in debate about something that is deeply central to their moral and spiritual lives you should probably bother to do enough research to know that before accusing THEM of ignorance or of skating over biblical principles. There are great biblical arguments to have in a Christian framework about whether homosexuality was ever actually condemned by Jesus and whether the Leviticus statement should even be considered applicable. Have those instead; engage genuinely with biblical scholarship if you care what religious people think, which I feel you should. Similarly I see a lot of people saying things like “oh well everyone would just be stoned immediately if they tried to live according to the bible because that’s how people were punished” and I cannot speak for Christianity here but Judaism actually has addressed that - there are no courts of sufficient Jewish authority to give those punishments out anymore and additionally we have a religious obligation to follow the laws of the land and not wildly administer killings. There is a perception that religious people do not think about or tackle the challenges of living piously in the modern world. They often do.

- It implies that the main problem with religiously based homophobia is hypocrisy, and that if you are consistent you can be as hateful of queerness as you like. What do you say to someone who kept all the biblical laws in this hypothetical reality show and, far from finding them burdensome, found the whole experience fascinating and moving? Are they now given license by this meme to keep on keeping on with their belief that queerness is an abomination? Have they passed the test?

- What do we say to the genuinely pious? This is a huge issue I think we shy away from tackling - when you’re arguing with a religious person who wants to be good and kind and loving but also wants to live by their faith’s commandments, you are facing an argument where you are asking someone to betray themselves, to pit some of their values against others and make them choose. To decide that a part of your religion is false is to fundamentally change your life; a lot of ex-religious people understand that but a lot of people who pass that meme around have never been religious, have never understood what they are asking of a religious person when they ask them to reject something their faith demands they believe. We’re talking loss of moral centre, loss of family and community … it’s huge. You need an argument that is cognisant of that, not an argument that presumes they were never that attached to most of their faith in the first place.

- deep down it suggests that the main problem with keeping biblical law is that it is too hard, that the main problem with repressing queer desire is that it is too hard. That buys into the idea that the acceptance of queer people and queer sex and love is about buying into a culture of easy fixes, laziness, licentiousness, lack of personal responsibility, lack of discipline and childishness. Paying your taxes is hard. Being constantly mindful of consent is hard. Treating your fellow human with kindness and respect is often very hard indeed. The argument that you shouldn’t do something because it is hard or because other things asked of you by the same source that issued the directive are hard does not address the central problem of homophobia or of the characterisation of queer sex as an abomination. The central problem is not that it is too hard not to be queer. It is that that isn’t a fair thing to ask, that it harms people, that people should have the right to autonomy when harm is not being done … We won’t even get into it because there are heaps of arguments expressed possibly billions of times. The “it’s too hard” argument buys into myths about queerness that are already way too popular in religious circles and does no justice to the centre of the problem of repressing and punishing queerness.

“Today I have more comments on another subject near and dear to people of my general age and political persuasion: Bernie Sanders. 

I wanted to respond to the individual who wrote the topmost email in this note. The reader ultimately misstates the nature of Clinton’s appeal while ignoring that her apparent positives—steadiness, competence, a legislative record to run on, realism, pragmatism, political and bureaucratic mastery, etc—are actual aspects of Sanders’ legislative accomplishments.”

“The argument I’m not buying, and never will, is the “she’ll by gosh get things done” canard. This is a problematic argument for two reasons.

First, where is the evidence for this? In her favor, she was an adequate secretary of state (though if statecraft was measured by the number of miles traveled, Ben Franklin would look like a rank amateur) and she did great work in the Sisyphean task of starting to rebuild our foreign policy credibility after the Bush years.

However, she failed to anticipate, moderate, or meaningfully exploit the extent to which the Arab Spring allowed radical Islamists to seize power across the region, which will continue to have repercussions for decades. This relates to her earlier failure to anticipate the absolute fiasco that the Iraq War would become, her non-apologies for supporting that disastrous quagmire, and her “bomb first” tendencies (e.g. Syria) that contrast sharply with Obama’s more measured, level-headed, and reasonable approach to intervention.

The whole Benghazi thing, while technically and legally not her fault, was nevertheless her responsibility. Her ineptitude in managing the scandal, her tendency towards unreasonable secrecy and paranoia in the name of operational security, and her series of half-assed excuses for the events that led to the deaths seriously calls into question her judgment. And it makes me shudder to think of watching cable news for 4-8 years of a hypothetical Clinton presidency. (Think things are weird and bad now? How quickly we forget the ‘90s … ).

And on domestic matters? Again, I see no real evidence for Clinton’s apparent bureaucratic mastery or skills at agenda-advancing knife fighting. … She sure gets into a lot of fights with people, I’ll give her that. But name me one serious, real accomplishment that Clinton made as a senator or as first lady of either the USA or Arkansas. Can anyone? [CB note: If a Clinton supporter would like to respond to that question in some detail, please email me.]”

“If the arguments for Clinton are accomplishment, bipartisan cooperation and the ability to advance legislation under less than optimal conditions and bureaucratic/executive experience, suffice it to say that Sanders, who has held an elected office of one sort or another since 1981—longer than I’ve been alive—has it in spades. As evidence, look to his legislative record, or to his long history of working—against apparently immovable conservative opposition—to craft and enact legislation.

Not only that, but in many of these cases, his opposition is often won over and becomes an ally! This has been thoroughly documented not only in the New York Times (“As Mayor, Bernie Sanders Was More Pragmatist Than Socialist”), National Journal (“Bernie Sanders Is a Loud and Stubborn. Republicans Like Him Anyway.”), the Boston Globe(“Bernie Sanders Is Cold as Ice”) and even here in The Atlantic(“Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Mayor”).

So your reader is using distorted, emotional and unsupported arguments in a way that not only misrepresent the apparent and very hypothetical effectiveness of a President Clinton but also ignores  the very real political effectiveness of Sanders throughout his career.

This is not to say that a Sanders presidency would necessarily be transformational, that a Clinton presidency wouldn’t or that Sanders is an ideal candidate. I will admit to supporting him, and as I mentioned, I interned for him in college. But to be perfectly fair, my first job out of college was as an organizer on Clinton’s 2008 campaign. I like them both a lot and will vote for whomever makes it out of the primary with no (okay, a few) reservations. So don’t mistake this for an unconsidered screed from some overheated “berniebro.”

But to take as granted the argument that Clinton is de facto “the adult” in the race, with the resume, the accomplishments, the skills and the dead-eyed, depressing Kissingerian realism to succeed as president ignores two fundamental things: there’s no real proof for this argument unless your media consumption is 100 percent inside the Beltway pablum; and the traits that your reader is mistakenly attributing to Clinton are actually demonstrated to a large extent by Sanders’ actual list of accomplishments.”

What If Bernie Sanders is the Democrats’ Best Bet?