Monday, May 16, 2011

The Pig Men Cometh

"The pig-man! I saw a pig-man! He was just lying there and then he woke up. He looked up at me and made this horrible sound, eeeeaaaahhh, eeeeaaaahhh." -- Kramer.

" I wish there were pigmen. You get a few of these pigmen walking around and suddenly I'm looking a whole lot better. Then if somebody wants to fix me up at least they could say, 'Hey at least he's no pig-man!'"  -- George Costanza.

Well, George, you are in luck.  We are flush with pig-men these days.  Let's start with just two examples who will make even George Costanza and Seinfeld look like sensitive, post-feminist kinds of guys.

We'll get the newest one out of the way first. In what has got to be the oxymoron of the century, Socialist Banker Monsieur Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund  was busted for allegedly attacking a chambermaid in a posh $3000 dollar a night hotel. NYC cops actually dragged him off his cushy Air France first class seat and hauled him in.  Of course, there is always the possibility that he was set up, Eliot Spitzer-style, but the fact that Milord fled the scene without even taking his cell phone does not bode well.  Of course, the story is plastered all over the front page of The New York Times, which usually doesn't do tawdry unless it's elite tawdry.  Remember the Brooke Astor elder abuse case?  When the rich and famous commit crimes, or are victims of them, that gets the front page treatment. But the dozen prostitute corpses dumped on Long Island? Not so much.

What was pretty hilarious is that the Dominique story came out at the exact same time as Maureen Dowd's column on corsets, cleavage and fishnets.  She chronicled the new TV season, which is heavy on retro sexist treatment of women. Sad to say, it seems we are looking backwards. Women are again fair game.

And then there is our own homegrown pig-man, John Ensign of Nevada, who finally quit the Senate when even the Senate couldn't cover for him any more.  The Department of Justice has known for over a year now what he was up to, but didn't prosecute him.  I suppose that it's all part of Barack Obama's Grand Plan of Always Looking Ahead and Winning the Future.... never looking back, or in this case, even sideways.  As an added bonus, there is now a third pig-man in the mix -- Senator Tom Coburn of the C Street Coven or Cabal or whatever right-wing front group lives and operates in that rent and tax-free den of religious iniquity.  Coburn was the alleged go-between in the payoff to Ensign's mistress (victim?) and her husband. Since Tom Coburn is the pig-man who held up the National Women's Museum and many other bills out of pure spite last year, I would love to see his rump in a grinder. It would absolutely distract me from all the other distractions.

Here is the full report in case it's raining where you live and you have an hour to spare.  It is sleazy and quite dramatic, even containing an intro with the cast of characters.  It seems it was much, much worse than your ordinary affair. The woman apparently was coerced into it by Ensign. My only question is what took so long for accountability to come into play.


John in Lafayette said...

Having lived in Nevada for 19 years (moved away last August) I can tell you the Ensign matter is so sleazy it defies the imagination. The woman with whom he was having the affair was the wife of his best friend; she was also Ensign's wife's best friend.

Ensign was living at the C Street house when the lid was blown off of this. Coburn helped Ensign try and keep the whole thing on the QT. My favorite moment was when Coburn, a physician, refused to talk about what he knew because, he said, it would violate Ensign's doctor/patient confidentiality.

Coburn is a gynecologist.

After the lid was blown off, Ensign's parents paid nearly $100,000 of hush money to the Douglas Hampton and his wife. Ensign's father, by the way, is the former CEO of Mandalay Resorts, a large Las Vegas gaming concern. Bet you didn't know the casinos had their own senator.

Ensign then arranged for a lobbying job for Douglas Hampton, in violation of federal laws regarding moving from government work into lobbying. Very sleazy indeed.

Saying Ensign is a pig man is grossly insulting to pigs.

For the best reporting on the whole tawdry episode, see Jon Ralston's work in the Las Vegas Sun ( He has been consistently outstanding in covering this.

Draft Spitzer said...

$100K in hush money? God, please send me an Ensign... Seriously:
Can someone Tell me how debasing yourself before a sleazy politician is more brutal than debasing yourself for low wages at a Fortune 500 company. I've only done the latter, but let's face it, from hardworking secretaries to pharma "reps" to et cetera, most Americans are already whores - just to survive.

As for DSK, having lived in France as a young woman, I'd tend to side with the maid. The level of sexual harassment in Paris was incroyable.

OTOH, it's too easy to eliminate political competition through sexual allegations.

Leaving the cell phone in the room is not uncommon, and may exonerate him, as he asked for it before landing in Paris. And the Sofitel owner is rumored to be close with Sarkozy. As for the 3K room, with DSK's stature and flyer mileage, it was probably an upgrade, and he was there on personal, not IMF, business, so he was paying. Not that I wish to defend DSK....

The Greeks, as you might imagine, are indulging in a healthy serving of Schadenfreude. So are, no doubt, we Americans, since DSK was threatening to switch to a different reserve currency recently. That's right, folks. Threaten our dollar? End up in a NYC prison.

Draft Spitzer said...

Sorry, I meant "in an NYC jail."

The IMF alternate just named... il est americain, non?

JUDE said...

The IMF the REASON for all the demonstrations throughout the world - INSISTING on their Structural Adjustment Programs/ eliminating all safety net/ social programs ---education, medical, and drastically cutting wages.Sound familiar - the IMF (small blurb in news) threatened US months ago!!!

They have been the ruination of MANY a country. It is criminal that people here haven't a clue as to this criminality. Too lazy - indifferent? If Kahn was STUPID enough (known as the great Seducer in France) to ATTACK a hotel maid - duh - he was STUPID enough to leave his phone behind in the rush. It NEVER occurred to him --always treated with deference etc that police would grab HIM off the plane.

What goes around comes around --HIM demanding AUSTERITY on impoverished people (to feed bankers greed) registered at a 3000.00 per NIGHT room. Depraved PIG .

Draft Spitzer said...

So much for nuance, Jude.

Like the IMF or not (I think we're all fairly critical of the institution) was DSK actually "threatening" the US, or merely questioning the sagacity of maintaining the dollar as a reserve currency?

We have a profoundly dysfunctional government - thus I think there is fair reason to question how stable the dollar will remain. For asking that question about a superpower, there may, be consequences, as Mr. Assange has unfortunately learned.

You don't have to like DSK or the IMF to reserve a little skepticism regarding the allegations, or to refuse to condemn a man before a trial. It's supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty", isn't it? Fine to condemn and denounce the IMF's actions, but at my age, I'm skeptical of sexual allegations against any individual critic of the US and its banks.

Jerry said...

@ Draft Spitzer- While the IMF and DSK in particular have been attaching rules of austerity to aid pkgs.that affect primarily the poor,he jet sets about the world riding in first class comfort,staying in 5 star $3,000/night hotels.While we can't condemn the man until convicted,we may form an opinion on the IMF and DSK by their actions of "Do as I say,NOT as I do."
Don't forget 17% of IMF funding is US taxpayer money.How do you feel about them eating lobster,while you slave for your wages?

Draft Spitzer said...

I agree with you, and if you read the last sentence of what I wrote: "fine to condemn and denounce the IMF's actions" you'd see that we're making the same point.
I'm merely trying to remind people that we should be skeptical of sexual allegations against individual critics of the US and its banks.
As for the 3k hotel suite, let's bear in mind that it was likely an upgrade. Let's also bear in mind that he was here on business, and that 3k suite wasn't about a heart-shaped jacuzzi, but a conference room and meeting place for the type of people who would be utterly unimpressed by the Ramada Inn. Let's also bear in mind that while our President urges cuts and austerity, he himself lives in a heavily securitized palace, even if we refuse to call it that.
How much of the alleged 3k went for the additional security the hotel had to pay for? As an ex-banking lackey, I feel your frustration, but I think if you're truly outraged about a 3K hotel suite, then you likely have no idea the magnitude of the problem.
3K ain't chump change to me, trust me, but your outrage over the hotel suite is like yelling about AIG bonuses when the real issue was our fulfilling 100 cents on the dollar for the credit default swaps. It's not that you're not right, it's just not the real problem.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

"They (IMF) have been the ruination of MANY a country. It is criminal that people here haven't a clue as to this criminality. Too lazy - indifferent? . . ." Jude

So true, Jude.

I don't know much about how the IMF works - it seems they do a lot of their dirty work in secret - but I see the result of their policies.

I feel the same way about the IMF as I do about the big banks. We are propagandized and fed implications that we can't do without them; the same foul people who design disastrous policies are the only people who have the smarts to keep running things - so let’s keep them in their jobs or things will get even worse.

Personally, I don’t care about Dominique Strauss-Kahn and quite honestly I don’t care if he stepped on the toes of someone more powerful than he and is being punished in this way.

As for Assange, if he really wanted to shed light on something important, he should have released what he had on the big banks and let the foreign policy stuff rest. I don’t pity him either.

I've got more important justice issues to worry about. Would that the policies perpetrated by the IMF against powerless people in poor nations get the same front page coverage by the mainstream media.

Draft Spitzer said...

Your penultimate paragraph is some tough talk on Assange. I agree that I'd like him to release the banking materials, but it would be difficult not to appreciate the magnitude of "the foreign policy stuff" he distributed. Does Assange's work not qualify as part of your "more important justice issue(s) to worry about"?
If we are so callous toward people like Assange who risk their lives to achieve the transparency that presumably allow you to work on "important justice issues", then what motivation has the next Assange to take such risks?

Karen Garcia said...

Interesting you bring up Assange, who has fallen out of public view recently. I wonder if the reason he hasn't released the Bank of America documents yet is because he is holding on to them as a bargaining chip, to ward off his rendition to some American (or Gitmo) holding cell. I think the standing orders are that the BoA docs are to be released in the event of his arrest. What ever happened to the sexual assault charges against him Sweden?

Valerie - wasn't Assange just awarded some prize in Australia? What a difference a country makes!

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Yep, Assange was given the Sydney Peace Price - although, he remains a controversial figure in Australia. He receives mixed press - and I only listen to the ABC (the Australian BBC) so I don’t know what the mainstream media in Australia is saying. Australians are like Americans, they lose interest quickly and move on and they have a press that works the same way.

Draft Spitzer, I am wondering what you found so riveting and important about the released Wikileaks documents? I could only gather that it revealed some comments about what our diplomats and politicians think of other diplomats and politicians - Something I think we can assume happens on both sides - and stuff we already knew - Afghanistan has a corrupt government. Nothing we can hold our politicians accountable for and no one is going to jail except Private Bradley - poor, misled kid. I think I would have more sympathy for Assange if he had used some of his financial resources and sent his legal team to defend Private Bradley.

The danger in releasing documents like this is that names of cooperating civilians in places like Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan can mean a death sentence for those people. Journalism and those who seek to invoke the First Amendment need to be responsible and weigh the good that revealing something like this has against the harm it could do. I also might have had some sympathy for Assange if he had actually released useful information that would have helped bring an end to the wars or prosecute those who have been the worst offenders – at least on the American side.

My concern is the really good stuff, the banking documents that actually could have resulted in trials of corrupt people will now be swept under the carpet as Assange tries to save his own skin. Sorry, but people like Assange come across as self-centred, publicity seekers to me.

Assange knew that he was taking the tiger by the tail when he made a big, public announcement about what he was releasing.- To me that doesn't compare to destroying the economies of poor countries to benefit huge corporations. THAT was my point. I only alluded to Assange because you brought him up in YOUR comment.

Obviously, I don't see Assange in the same heroic light that you do. I might if he would release the banking documents and they actually have some good information the public should know about, but he won’t.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I think my point is I don't see Assange as a Daniel Ellsberg who, understanding the personal cost of releasing the Pentagon Papers, felt morally obliged to do so because he felt it would save so many lives that would be lost by continuing the Vietnam War. He chose his documents carefully and was very conscientious and weighed carefully matters of national security against the public's right to know.

Someone like that I can fully support.

Be Afraid,Be very Afraid said...

This all seems so small and insignificant compared to what we have coming.The health care and retirement pension Tsunami will change all of our lives like we never expected.It may even trigger civil war on American soil.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid,

Agreed -

Janet Camp said...

Best comments ever! I was also wondering about the outcome of sexual misconduct charges against Assange when the current IMF story broke. I don't see Assange as a hero of Ellsberg status at all and completely agree with VLT.

And now we have Arnold joining in the ranks of real pig-men!

Lastly, it would be nice if the result of the DSK scandal is to expose the evil of the IMF, but I won't hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

So Eva what do you have to say about France now? Is it still the shining example of world Socialism that we should emulate? Arnold is not a "home grown" Pig he is Austrian, that said there are plenty of Pig Men on both sides of the isle that are.


Anonymous said...

To address both Janet and Valerie:
Perhaps you should have asked Ellsberg what he thinks of Assange before you drew the negative comparison. I think Karen will acknowlege that Ellsberg has had high praise for Assange.
He basically blows your criticism of Assange to bits. Sorry! I have mixed feelings about Assange, but I trust Ellsberg's assessment.
As for Richard, I never claimed that about France. Those are not my words, or even close. You're probably confusing me with another commenter. Please review the original exchange.
I will however apologize and retract my 'schadenfreude' comment about Greece after a phone call to Athens. Felix Salmon makes the same point in Reuters today.
So Valerie and Jude, now that the horrid DSK has been taken out, is it possible for you to imagine that things could actually get worse for poor countries, including Greece, or do you also lack pity for them? Again, I'm not defending DSK or the IMF, but I do have to reckon with the alternate.

Anonymous said...

Valerie's "cooperating civilians endangered" argument against Assange (isn't that the Pentagon line?) was dismissed by none other than... Daniel Ellsberg!
Val, don't worry about it, Daniel will forgive you. And you gave me a good laugh. But seriously, is part of the baby boomers' oft-expressed contempt for Assange just generational? Ellsberg and Assange were operating in two entirely different worlds, different media, different wars, etc, so it's logical that their releases weren't going to look cookie cutter-same. Perhaps Assange should do penance by listening to the Grateful Dead. Sigh.

Further, the derision expressed for Assange's public announcement is ridiculous on its face. The point of the announcement was to invite the public to start sifting.

Janet Camp said...

I am aware of Ellsberg's view of Assange, and it does not change mine. I don't think anyone knows enough about Assange as this point to form a definitive view and I would admit to the possibility of a certain amount of generational bias. I am open to revising my view of Assange as the story plays out.


What does the behavior of one misguided Socialist banker got to do
with France as a country that has sensible policies like healthcare as a right (as half the cost of our system) or other "socialist" policies?

Valerie Long Tweedie said...


I DID know Daniel Ellsberg defended Assange - I too read the papers.

However, I still don't agree with an indiscriminate dump of documents on the Internet. I am still wondering after all these months how valuable the Wikileaks documents have been. Perhaps you can enlighten me and the other readers.

I am not a baby boomer - just a fan of Daniel Ellsberg and believe I should know my history.

Also wondering if you would address the problem with dumps like this and their potential to endanger vulnerable people. I didn't read all the documents - and I am sure you didn't either - but I expect several governments have teams of researchers pouring over them in order to gather Intel. While I don't think anyone necessarily named names, they could have inadvertantly alluded to people who could be hurt. I wonder why you don't seem to care about those people.

My main point in all of this was to simply say these headline grabbers get front page coverage while the dirty deeds of the IMF don't get much of a mention. The powerless people in poor countries are the ones I was refering to when I said, I have more important justice issues to worry about.

Last, I am wondering if your condescending approach to political discussions works for you as a general rule. I find it quite off putting.

Anonymous said...

Point taken, I would merely ask if it's possible to make anything resembling a valid character judgment of any human who is now constantly on the run. I doubt very much that Assange himself knows who he is any longer, given his lifestyle. But when you wrote that you agreed with everything Valerie wrote, I took it to mean that you agreed with her assessment of him as a "self-centered publicity seeker" which is to presume some knowledge of him or his motivation.
Having said that, not knowing more about him is good reason to remain skeptical. I think Valerie took what I wrote to mean that I see him as some kind of hero - I think what I wrote initially was that prominent critics of the US can be accused of sexual assault in order to discredit them. And that it seemed a bit odd to be so dismissive of someone who had taken great risk to increase transparency.

Anonymous said...

Had you read or listened to Ellsberg, would you not then understand that Assange had not participated in an indiscriminate data dump on the Internet? If you have criticism of the release, perhaps you should direct it to the NYT, which essentially chose from what Assange provided?
Further, Ellsberg has stated that the US govt itself can not find any evidence that anyone was harmed as a result of Assange's work. Ellsberg DOES make the point that people have been harmed/exposed as a result of the Bush administration's actions (see V. Plame) and obviously people have been killed by a lack of transparency im the runup to the Iraq War.
As for your concerns over condescending comments, this is the internet, and not a single one of us posting here doesn't run hot, haughty and sharp (yourself graciously included) which is probably what draws us to Ms. Garcia's writing in the first place. Perhaps what you find off-putting is not condescension but being challenged? For example, Ellsberg himself has stated that he believes the unfavorable comparison of Assange to himself is merely a foil by which to discredit Assange, and he makes a great point in saying that the same people who now laud him once regarded him as they do Assange. In this case, the passage of time makes the radical appear a patriot.
You of course may disagree, but I really wish you would take the time to hear Ellsberg speak on the matter - not just a snippet but his to-date assessment.
Lastly, because we know so little about Assange's situation, I do think it is unreasonable to criticize his failure to release the BofA materials.
But you didn't address my question about the 'suspension' of DSK, and where that will leave Greece (and soon) Ireland.

Karen Garcia said...

If we are going to criticize Assange, we must also criticize the NY Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel for willingly taking the WikiLeaks and publishing them. Assange may be a less than stellar human being, but when you look at the record number of prosecutions of whistleblowers being conducted by the Obama Administration, I'll take my whistleblowers where I can find them. Assange had made a good faith effort, from what I read in the msm, to work with establishment media to make sure the names of the vulnerable were redacted from the documents. Of course since Times editor Bill Keller wrote the hatchet job on Assange and quoted reporters as saying he had body odor and skipped like a girl, I don't expect much cooperation from him in the future.

Anonymous said...


Read the French comments in the NYT,or in the French papers, some of them women defending the "Socialist Banker" (isn't that an oxymoron?) and claiming it's "a vast Rightwing Conspiracy". That is more than one person, it's a culture of disrespect directed against women and France is not alone in treating the issue of sexual abuse and rape that way, other countries in the E.U. have the same attitude.
Eva and I have discussed the difference between theory and fact in France before.


Anonymous said...

"Eva and I have discussed the difference between theory and fact in France before."
As usual, I have no idea what conversation Richard is referring to. But if I had to choose, even as a woman, between Parisian sexual harassment and our unbelievably corrupt penal system which has locked up, in grisly conditions, entire generations of non-violent black pot-smokers, I would prefer France.
I have survived sexual assault with my soul intact. I will never live down what the US has done to people of all races in the drug war and through mandatory sentencing. It is a taint on all of us as Americans.

Karen Garcia said...

I think every woman commenting here has been a victim of sexual harassment or worse in the workplace. At least now we have laws on the books, which have at least a chilling effect.
Speaking of France's retro attitudes toward sexual assault, I couldn't help thinking that at least over there a woman gets free emergency medical treatment. In the good old USA, some jurisdictions actually charge a woman for her rape kit.

Anonymous said...

All of you should read the comments in the NYT by the French wemen who have been rape victims in France. They seem to prefer American Justice for victims to free medical care and no Justice in France.


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

"Assange had made a good faith effort, from what I read in the msm, to work with establishment media to make sure the names of the vulnerable were redacted from the documents" Karen Garcia

I did not know this! (My heart just softened a little towards the guy!) My impression from what I had read was that Assange basically released everything as it was - believing that the public's right to know trumped everything else. I stand corrected.


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Draft Spitzer,

You seem to be one of those people who hides behind anonymity in order to feel powerful. You are both nasty and condescending in your remarks. In this blog alone you have managed to put down almost everyone who dared to make a comment that wasn't entirely in keeping with your political view. I am assuming your Hyde personality is reserved for your DraftSpitzer persona because I can't imagine you would have any friends if you spoke directly to people in the same insulting manner.

It is a shame that you feel you have to be this way - that you have win every discussion as if it is a battle. You seem bright and well-informed; someone like you would have a lot of insight to offer if you didn't put everyone on the defensive by being so condescending.

I would be happy to explain my position but I somehow doubt you would listen or have any interest in another point of view - because an exchange of ideas in order to widen the knowledge from which you form your opinions is not your reason for being here and taking part in this discussion.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I think you're over-reacting to having been corrected. I also think you've engaged in some pretty tough talk, as does almost everyone who comments here. But when people ask entirely reasonable questions about your declarative and erroneous statement(s), you seem to have taken it personally instead of just fact-checking yourself. I'm not a Hyde, as you suggest, but I will ask questions about the group-think that sometimes reigns.
I don't particularly wish to be a wet blanket for our group hug, but there are times when it's important to disagree with the group.
In this case, your defamation of Assange was seconded by Janet, and it was necessary to correct, because it is, on a deeper level, a particularly dangerous lie. I also think the rush to judge DSK pre-trial is a bit more mob-like than is appropriate. I well remember the rush to judgment in the Central Park Jogger case, during which time defense attorney Bill Kunstler was pilloried. Over a decade later, we learned that none of the young men we'd sent to prison were guilty in the assault.
Unlike Karen, whose writing I greatly admire, I felt no relief in seeing DSK arrested. I had only questions. And yes, like you, I'm critical of the IMF, but I also fear that the loss of DSK's leadership could be disastrous for Europe.

Anonymous said...


She's been on sabbatical for awhile. Her method of argument has not changed. I support you.

John farrish (Lafayette) said...

The censor at the NYT didn't like my response to Gail Collins this morning and opted not to post it. Since it's on the same subject as this "Pig Men" column (Karen: Is gail Collins stealing your ideas? :-)), I thought I'd post it here:

This Republican penchant for infidelity goes far beyond the mere hypocrisy issue; it offends me in the extreme.

The Republican party has tried to co-opt G-d as being for them. They have told us they are the guardians of all that is moral and decent in society. As a former long-time resident of Nevada, I was "privileged" to have spent many years listening to John Ensign pontificate about morality. He lambasted Bill Clinton for his affair. He campaigned in Nevada for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. All the while, not only was he carrying on, he had help in trying to cover up his affair from Republican leadership.

And honestly, I don't care that Gingrich, Ensign, and others are serial adulterers; I would like nothing more than to leave it their business. But they made it my business by insisting that they are the guardians of truth and morality. They made their personal conduct my business by telling me my son - who is gay - isn't deserving of the same rights to build a life and a family as they are.

But if they are so much more deserving than my son, why do they insist upon carrying on in ways that would never occur to him? Why are these guardians of morality, who tell me my son is immoral, sinful, and indecent, so immoral and indecent themselves?

What's worse, why are their immoral escapades no brake on their penchant for condemning my son? One would think people so obviously indecent would just shut up about the conduct of others, especially when there's nothing inherently indecent about it.

These people are loathsome. It's bad enough they're in Congress. Why would anyone want to reward them with the presidency?

Marie Burns said...

At the risk of getting knocked upside the head by some of the critical commenters here, I would like to make one small observation on the "innocence" of DSK. Many Americans have the false impression, stated once here, perhaps as an oversight, that a person is "innocent until proven guilty."

The principle that comes down through English common law is the presumption of innocence. That is, a person is "presumed innocent till proved guilty." He isn't innocent.

If he pleads not guilty & the case goes to trial, a judge or jury will find him guilty or not guilty. The judicial system doesn't find a person innocent. It merely draws a conclusion that the prosecution didn't present evidence sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the guy did it. The decision is a finding, not a fact. A jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty, but raise your hand if you believe that.

The Constant Weader

Anonymous said...


That "loss of leadership being disastrous to Europe" sounds a lot like "but the trains run on time now" and you do remember how that turned out for Europe and the rest of us don't you?
Making excuses for people's bad personal behavior because you agree with their public policies is always a mistake.


Janet Camp said...

Hellooooo People,

My view of Assange stands and doesn't revolve around the "protection of innocents" issue.

I agree with 99.5% of Valerie's view of Assange, okay nitpickers?

Richard, I'm not going to engage you anymore. You are a "concern troll" or some other similar designation. France is a great country. All countries have their good and bad points. Your point escapes me entirely.

VLT - I think you were a little hard on DraftSpitzer, but I'll give the whole thing another reading as I tend to go through these pretty quickly. Maybe we could all try to stay with the general gist of the topic and not focus on small inconsistencies in comments that are knocked out quickly and not subject to deep thought or editing?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marie about innocence before conviction and in France under their system which is different from our system based on English common law He would be guilty until proven innocent. Now that He has resigned as IMF head expect a plea bargain.

Janet, all I wrote was that you should read the comments of the French women that state the were victims and didn't receive justice. Yes, all countries have good and bad points. That doesn't excuse them especially when the bad points are institutional. The good points don't offset them ether that is the short path to "but the trains run on time now".

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed the name again!

"concern troll": "A phrase of absolutely no meaning, used by bloggers to shut down debate on their sites." I learn something new everyday that is what makes life worthwhile!


Karen Garcia said...

To John (from Lafayette)--
Fantastic comment on the Collins op-ed. I was just reading the later comments and noticed yours has been published and highlighted! So they liked it after they censored it. Actually, I think there is an algorithm at work at The Times that dumps a certain percentage of the early submissions. It has happened to all of the "regulars." See my post above on Comments and instructions on how to get published on Off Times Square. When I remember to copy my comments to The Times, I always paste them on Marie's site, which has a large readership.

John Farrish said...


I apologize. The Times finally did post the response to Gail Collins that I also posted here. I would never presume to waste your time reviewing my words if I knew they had already appeared (I wrote the comment on the Times site last night at 9:00 Central time).

Congratulations on becoming popular enough to have to start reviewing submissions. I've told everyone I know about your commentary and its quality, both literary and political. Keep it up.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...


My last response was in response to a comment by DS which ended with "you need to educate yourself!" I had just had enough.