Sep 2, 2007

On Larry Craig, Restroom Sex, and Sexual Identity

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Mug shot of Senator Larry CraigLeft: Mug shot of Senator Larry Craig

The decision by Senator Larry Craig to tender his resignation must have brought a collective sigh of relief from national Republican leaders, as the prospect of yet another drawn out GOP scandal heading into the 2008 elections is the last thing the party needs.

Interestingly, though, Craig maintains his innocence in an affair he describes as "entrapment," and he has steadfastly denied that he is gay. This statement came despite his sworn testimony in the disposition of his court case for disorderly conduct.

"I have little control over what people choose to believe. But clearly my name is important to me, and my family is so very important also," Craig said to reporters yesterday. "Having said that, to pursue my legal options as I continue to serve Idaho would be an unwanted and unfair distraction of my job and for my Senate colleagues."

The now-infamous post-arrest interview with Larry Craig reveals some typical characteristics of participants in what Laud Humphreys described as the Tea Room Trade in his controversial 1970 text examining illicit restroom sex between men.

Like many participants in this behavior, Craig repeatedly insisted he was not gay, and there is a belief among men who engage in anonymous restroom sex that only the "recipient" is homosexual. Craig also demonstrated the behavior of someone who has "planned" what to say if he were ever caught, claiming that the officer solicited him, and that his attempts to communicate sexual interest (foot-tapping, hand gestures) were "natural" and not intended to express a desire for sex.

Craig, in one sense, is typical of closeted American men who fear the social stigma and financial backlash of being identified as "gay" were they to publicly (and perhaps personally) acknowledge their sexual attraction to men. The current homophobic hysteria that is driven in large part by religious moralists has succeeded in dimming the brief period of increased acceptance that gays began to receive in the 1970s, and Larry Craig is a sad reminder that many people feel compelled to live out lives of secret shame rather than to become stigmatized by mainstream society.

I hope that Senator Craig will one day find peace with himself, and that he and his family will be able to come to terms with his sexual identity. He is also to be commended for having the common sense to resign from the Senate rather than spending months providing any more fodder for lurid press coverage and late night comedians.

35 comments:

MP said...

Once again, I have absolutely no concern or interest in a politician's sexual life. Unless they're misappropriating political funds, ruining people's lives, or killing people, I simply don't care.

I may be alone in this feeling, but I want political accountability from politicians, NOT sexual accountability. I am annoyed to no end with this story, especially when there are starving, jobless, and homeless people throughout the U.S. and the world.

To repeat, if Senator Craig solicited gay sex in a bathroom, I don't care. I never cared. I will not care, and I wish "moral" America would just get over it.

Go ahead, extreme right wing. Take your shots. I still don't care.

Rob R said...

Actually, the idea that Craig is gay is speculative even if he is guilty (of course I believe he most likely is guilty). He could be bi (and of course he could be bi and primarily heterosexual or bi and primarily homosexual) or just on the "down low". Just because he's not beyond getting his jollies from some guy in a bathroom doesn't mean that he has persistent same sex attraction or that he lacks heterosexual attraction. It's not controversial even amongst mainstream psycologists that there are degrees of homosexuality and heterosexuality (and there's even a small minority that doesn't care about sex at all).

As for taking care of the starving, jobless, and homeless, I highly doubt that attending to issues of sexuality in public is going to detract from that. Craig is a republican after all and if he is a typical republican, he would exersize a light hand in attending to those matters on a governmental level.

Quite frankly, we should pay attention and be concerned when law makers break laws and we should be concerned of the sexual life of others when they take it to public restrooms. REason would suggest that even for those who want to keep the government out of the bedroom, they should agree that we should still keep the bedroom out of the public restrooms. Children could walk in on that!

So supposedly if we had a more open embrace of homosexuality as normal, this debacle wouldn't have happened? That's completely false given that we don't know that Craig is a full fledged homosexual and wouldn't have married a woman anyway while having occasionaly bathroom flings. He still might have been cheating on his wife.

Then again, if the culture insisted that sexual matters were of no public concern, perhaps marriage wouldn't matter at all including the issue of whether one cheats on their spouse. Marriage is a public declaration of a sexual relationship.

But yes the stigma does have a harmful effect to those who have same sex attraction and that is that if they don't want these attractions, they are in the closet alone and are afraid to venture out to get help. Not only is there the stigma of same sex attraction but there is the stigma of the culture and psycological community steeped in homosexual political activism against treatment just because they gave up on it when shock therepy didn't work (who would've thought...) and found change to be very difficult.

Barb said...

Interesting --your info on The Tearoom Trade, Mike --a book that prescribes Craig's response to arrest.

when I heard him suggest "entrapment," and the idea that the officer "solicited" him as you put it, I inferred that Craig was admitting guilt right there, before his guilty plea--In esssence he said, "I wouldn't have done those things if you hadn't let your foot touch mine --you entrapped me!" this suggests he admits to being involved in the sexual signals game --despite his other denials.

And he had no good excuse for the palm-up gesture under the stall wall --which he did not deny effectively --or at all, at first.

Yes, it is too bad, as rob said, that gays and bisexuals are stigmatized if they do come out of the closet to get help. That's just not PC. It's more PC to come out flaming, loud and proud, marching in the parades

As for you, mp, I hope, as a law student, you will gain some understanding of why sex acts in public restrooms, parks, libraries, etc. are against the law and very bad for public health --and realize that the epidemic levels of men reportedly involved in such activities suggests something very abnormal and sick about men in today's culture. Too many fatherless and father-deprived men, undisciplined and self-indulgent with their sexual impulses.

More to be pitied than censured --but censureship they need if they are going to act out in public places.

you wrote: The current homophobic hysteria that is driven in large part by religious moralists....

The hysteria --if that's what it is --is driven by the pride parades, TV like that high school show I stumbled across last night- (degrassi? High) with 2 teen fellows thinking they are attracted to one another and all embarrassed and atwitter when one slips and falls with his face on the other guy's crotch. It was disgusting -and I watched no more--sorry for young boy actors put into this situation.

We're being asked to encourage and celebrate this abnormal fixation --which needs to be prevented and remedied --not condoned as wonderful.

The fact that so many gay men are after anonymous bathroom encounters and have a promiscuity rate (some have documented a 100 or more a year) that would make a sailor blush, ought to tell us that something is out of whack here.

And if it's older men, like priests corrupting altar boys, who are responsible for most gay adults, we'd better be bold to speak truth to power on this topic.

It's time for the definition of marriage in the constitution.

microdot said...

Craig's sexual predilictions have been commented on for the last 4 years. He resigned as a last resort, when actual participants began to surface and he realized that he had to act in the hope of derailing new stories and accuasations.
It's not the sexual orientaiton of the politician at issue here. It is the hypocrisy of a politician who repeatedly voted anti gay rights while secretly protecting his self loathing denial.
Perhaps if he were brave enough to confront who he really was and deal with it and go forward as some one willing to represent the ones he repeatedly oppressed, he could have a future....ahhh, but we're talking
I daho here...fat chance.

Barb said...

Posting this here about your blog post, historymike, because MR will delete it. It is a comment to Lefty G's comment on your thread at Muckraker's site.

Everybody labels their opponents, Lefty G --just for the record.

As for Nixon, he didn't steal --he tried to cover up a burglary which on any TV show would've been called a "spy mission" --since they weren't trying to steal anything but information --dirt on democrats, as I recall. They figured it would probably be found in the Watergate democratic headquarters --and they were probably right.

One account published in national media, however, says the real reason for the "burglary" was Nixon aide, John Dean's desire to get his hands on a book that might implicate his wife as a former call girl --since the sec'y of the national Democratic committee was said to have a call girl/escort service operation on the side and she had been a friend or roommate? of maureen "Mo" Dean. John Dean had political aspirations and needed to get ahold of any such evidence concerning his wife before it would leak out with the book as evidence.

Nixon knew that his men involved in a burglary for any reason could bring him down --so he was found guilty of attempting to cover up any link with his office. I don't recall if later tapes suggest he had anything to do with planning the operation. I didn't think he did. And certainly not if the John Dean story is true.

Don't make a leap to assume that all people who "protest too much" against sexual immorality --are ALSO involved in sexual immorality, as Craig doubtless was.
It happens --to those on both sides of the ideological aisle -- and it's really creepy to hear any blatant transgressor, like bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, go after the GOP moral failures --when they should be the most understanding--and likewise when GOP transgressors take a lead in denouncing Democrat lapses.

Which is worse? --to say, "Do as I say, not as I do." OR, "Be immoral --like me!"

Neither is constructive--both are damaging. Better when a man can say, "I have sinned --don't do as I have done." Or, "I try hard to not sin --because that's the right way."

But worst of all --to say, "I have not sinned --my troubles are all your fault --I am innocent" --whether or not his sins are evident. The Bible addresses this when it speaks of the heart as being very deceitful. "If a man says he has no sin, the truth is not in him."

historymike said...

Agreed, MP, that one's sexual orientation should have no bearing on qualifications for political office, or really any other sphere of life.

Unfortunately, there are folks for whom homosexuality is a source of fear, disgust, and/or hatred.

historymike said...

Rob R:

1. Yes, one might define Craig as "bisexual," "straight-acting," or in a host of other terms.

2. Agreed that the issue here is one of law-breaking and accepting responsibility. While I might prefer to live in a world with fewer governmental intrusions into matters of sex, the fact remains that Craig broke the law but wants to pretend he is the victim of an overzealous police agency.

3. I think men like Larry Craig are driven to act in manner such as he did by social pressures. Were there more convenient places for men like Larry Craig to meet each other and "hook up," they wouldn't be forced to use places like public restrooms and parks.

historymike said...

Barb:

1. Agreed about Craig and the tape. I had no opinion about his guilt until hearing his desperate attempts to spin the restroom encounter in his interview. Innocent people generally are not thinking in terms of "entrapment" and "solicitaion," but rather steadfastly maintaining their innocence. Throughout the interview he kept backing up, trying to make his story fit the facts as the officer drew them out.

2. I disagree with your connection between pedophilia (priests/altar boys) and homosexuality. Two completely different subjetcs.

3. While I would share your distaste for the scene you describe, I can cite innumerable examples of sleazy heterosexual displays of loveless sex on television and in other media. I suspect you would be equally offended by the soft porn masquerading as "music videos" on MTV and BET.

historymike said...

Agreed, Microdot, that Craig's public stance and private sexual orientation made him an especially inviting target.

Anonymous said...

Microdot:

Craig's sexual predilictions have been commented on for 4 years? I didn't even know who he was until last week.

Are you referring to the blogosphere?

Rob R said...

3. I think men like Larry Craig are driven to act in manner such as he did by social pressures. Were there more convenient places for men like Larry Craig to meet each other and "hook up," they wouldn't be forced to use places like public restrooms and parks.

leave aside the "what if's" Craig was a married man. Are you suggesting that married men should have places to hook up with other men?!

microdot said...

anonymous, yes, I was referrring to a blogger who had been tracking Craig and a number of other officials.
He came forward 2 years ago in the media and had detailed descriptions of Craigs activities which he gave on CNBC and a few other Networks.
Admittedly, this blogger is gay and he has an agenda of outing hypocritical officials who talk anti gay rights while living in the closet.

As far as Rob's assumption that Mike is inferrring that there should be places for married men to hook up with each other.
Rob, stand back and listen to yourself, you're beginning to hyperventilate.

Barb said...

I agree, Historymike, that heterosex scenes on tv are also inappropriate and risque --bad for kids, etc. And not particularly good for the "mature" either. In fact, it is a misnomer to say that sleaze scenes are for the "mature" audience --when it's the immature who enjoy voyeurism and porn --who can't make their marriages satisfy their libidos.

I do think there is a connection with pedophilia and homosexuality --in that most gays are inducted into the activities before they are mature adults --and usually by an adult gay.

The lifestyle is almost inherently promiscuous --judging by research findings on numbers of partners and hook-ups in a year's time and tolerance for infidelity among the "married" gay partners.

Take Geo. Michael, the English singer --no shame about his bathroom encounter; just regret that he got caught. He had a partner/lover, too--so why did he need strangers in a bathroom (Oprah asked him.) He said well the officer was so good looking! That's all it takes --and it's excuseable --and his partner was only upset that he got caught --or so it seemed.

There is something so perverse about a sex drive willing to do things with strangers in a stinky bathroom without bathing and without condoms. Yccccchhhhyyyy!
Public Health Alarm Bells go off. Hetero prostitution, the same.

A diseased populace because of these behaviors is a burden on all the other people--and a tragedy for those who get the STD's --and their spouses and kids.

I wouldn't want to be Craig's wife for love nor money.

Man with Bible and Brain said...

Oh, sorry Mike, looks like your posting on my blog brought two virus with it over here.

Barb said...

HistoryMIke: Were there more convenient places for men like Larry Craig to meet each other and "hook up," they wouldn't be forced to use places like public restrooms and parks.

Microdot: As far as Rob's assumption that Mike is inferrring that there should be places for married men to hook up with each other.
Rob, stand back and listen to yourself, you're beginning to hyperventilate.


sounds like historymike is the one who should stand back and listen to himself!

So, what DID you mean, Historymike?

Even if you meant unmarried homosexuals should have places where they can hook-up other than public rest rooms, what sorts of places did you have in mind? There are gay bars --but they'd have to take someone home with them from there, or use the bathrooms there --is that what you mean? And taking them home for hook-up could get risky --when all you want is an anonymous 4 minutes! or however long it takes --I heard someone on tv say 4 minutes. And you couldn't take your hook-up home where the wife is, so how do you propose to help someone married have a nice place for hooking up, like senator Craig?

there really should be a government program --like the free needles for addicts (who by the way are leaving their needles all over "needle park" in at least one city)

If only there were a gov't program for anonymous gay sex --maybe designated bathrooms protected by police and law --right? is that what you were suggesting, fellahs?
It would help the hetero-marrieds like poor Senator Craig hide their bisexuality from public scrutiny and a wife's knowledge.

Yes, sir, I think some democrat should campaign on this promise of better accommodation for homosexual hook-ups. And for prostitution while we're at it. More medical and police protection--public showers before and after the hook-ups. A condom policeman to ensure that the dispenser is full and used. The new Sodom and gomorrah will vote for the politician with this kind of good sense! right?

(Now, THAT's hyperventilating, Micro-breath!)

historymike said...

Poor word choice on my part.

My intent was to depict a world in which people did not live in fear and shame because of their sexuality. This would be much like straight couples today, who have the relative freedom to date without being stigmatized.

Instead, because many gay men are bombarded with negative messages, they are driven to behavior like Larry Craig.

Assuming he was not married, could Senator Larry Craig walk down the street holding hands with another man, or share a romantic dinner at a restaurant with a male lover?

Not without backlash.

There are cities with greater acceptance of people with different sexual identities, but in the main the United States is a highly intolerant place for gays.

Thus, Larry Craig is reduced to frtive "hook-ups" in places like restrooms or public parks.

Barb said...

Fact is, Historymike, gays CAN legally and relatively safely and discreetly live as roommates without us necessarily assuming theirs is a gay relationship--or discriminating because it is. There is more tolerance for gays in general, such that bashing is NOT tolerated legally --and the younger generation is being won over to think that gay is just fine. Nevertheless, because of the influence on impressionable children and the superior benefits and health of heterosexuality, both personally and societally, I don't think gays SHOULD be making public displays of affection --as in Disney's Gay Day, kissing, etc. in public. Being discouraged in PDA wouldn't be a good excuse for anonymous bathroom sex, nevertheless.

We need to recognize that homosex is not preferred or equal to heterosex in any way, that it is not genetic, that it can be prevented and even escaped. Because many have done so successfully.

Marrying and giving birth is good for women's health --better for breast cancer prevention, etc. --Children are good for social security and military support --and having children and grand children, raising them well, helps us grow old gracefully in our senior years. The gay lifestyle, in contrast, shortens life --and seems to perpetuate a self-focused life and adolescent narcicism-- The Peter Pan syndrome.

Their gay marriage agenda doesn't mean gays want to REALLY live monogamously and would stay away from anonymous sexual encounters if they only had a homosexual "Spouse."

Even gay author Andrew Sullivan said there should be a degree of openness in a gay marriage. So promiscuity with strangers, casual hook-ups, is really part of the gay lifestyle --else why would he say that? and why was rich Geo. Michael, who had a live-in partner in his mansion in England, cruising and arrested in a park bathroom? The lifestyle is frought with risk and illegal pursuits -- just like the hetero sex addict who cruises for prostitutes.

Gays get into this LIFESTYLE like an addiction --an abnormal, unhealthy, unwholesome, high risk addiction --that IS in fact a sex addiction --and not just a sexual preference --an addiction to orgasm by mouth or derierre --preferred to the female or at least an easy substitute with no strings attached, no commitement required, no pregnancies or child support --and the activities most often started in youth.

Why preferred? possibly lack of father's love and affection? hatred for mother or over attachment and over-identification with her? lack of male self-image-- thinking as a female. any number of reasonable possibilities --including fascination for the forbidden and the gross.

St. Paul said because of worship of creature more than Creator. And he called it "self-love" to want to unite with a body like your own --or like the ideal body which you want for yourself --and so you crave intimate contact with someone attractive who is more like, than unlike, yourself.

Don't try to put nice clothes on it --that corpse (homosexual nicety and normalcy) just won't walk!

Compassion is appropriate for those who really are miserable as homosexuals and grieved by their compulsion --but George Michael expressed no shame or embarrassment about his bathroom compulsion --which wasn't necessary as you think --considering he had a gay partner for his "sexual preference."

IF I haven't said it clearly--the preference is an unwholesome, unhealthy, promiscuous sex addiction --similar to pedophilia --or heterosexual serial adultery.

Barb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...

I needed to make an amendment....

NOw, Rob, watch the tomatoes fly! DUCK!

One more thing hystericalmike and micrododge --about the difference between gay sex on tv and straight --the straight is at least normal, the sort of procreative behavior for which we are designed, which sane people prefer their children to emulate as married adults--but it shouldn't be on TV either. And oral and anal sex depicted on TV--SPARE US! and our children! Not that they should see hetero nudity and intercourse either --but if TV doesn't police itself, our kids are going to be VERY sexually active, experimental and CONFUSED!

I also hope they don't imitate the horrible crimes that are so bizarre and prevalent in shows seeking for ratings with the most bizarre cruelties imaginable.

A little self-restraint in society, such as no gay pride parades, no explicit sex or homosexual mouth-to-crotch gropings on TV would be a good thing.

Barb said...

Can you imagine a hetero-pride parade? with people parading down the street doing simulated sex acts and half-dressed with exaggerated sex organs? Mockery of priests and nuns? wearing leather and crawling on all 4's on leashes in front of the dominatrix --floats featuring leather-clad women spanking grown men in diapers? hookers on parade, passing out business cards? Topless showgirls dancing on their poles.

That would be the hetero equivalent of the gay parades today. And no decent society would allow it. Yet, we allow the gay equivalent --and Ford Motor Company is going down the tubes because this is where they choose to put their charity money.

The Screaming Nutcase said...

"Ford Motor Company is going down the tubes because this is where they choose to put their charity money."

Barb, as a former buyer of American cars, I can assure you that Ford's charity work has extremely little if not nothing to do with their sales figures. Ditto GM and Chrysler.

On another note...Does anyone else find it a bit silly that he wasn't actually arrested for committing a sex act in public, but merely for signalling his availability? If signalling your availability for sex is a crime, they're going to need to shut down every singles bar in town....

historymike said...

Barb:

If you wish to engage in civil debate, feel free to. If you are going to descend to the level of childish name-calling, I'll just ignore you. I have better things to do with my time than get into flame wars, but hey - it's a free country.

historymike said...

Agreed, Screaming Nutcase, that Ford's quality, design, and gas mileage problems far outweigh any negative backlash from social conservatives in its sales declines over the past few years.

Agreed, also, that it is a strange world when flirtatious behavior becomes a crime. I would prefer to see the police catching people in flagrante delicto rather than in the process of trying to find a partner.

And, as much as pedophiles disturb me, I am troubled by these "stings" in which an online cop poses as a kid to catch a potential pedo. Seems like more of a "thought crime" than an actual crime of commission, since there is no victim and the "crime" is one of possible intent.

Mad Jack said...

Can you imagine a hetero-pride parade?

Sure. They call it Mardi Grau. There's also Carnival in Rio, and any number of parades most every day in Key West, FL.

My hard spot with this silly SOB is that he doesn't have the good sense God gave a waste basket, yet he held an important public office. The dumb ass solicits sex in an airport men's room (stupid), can't spot an undercover cop (real stupid), pled guilty (real, real stupid) and now squawks about entrapment and fighting the plea. Where is this idiot from, FantasyLand USA?

This is an example of the kind of derelict that is floating around Pennsylvania Avenue. This man used to make decisions that affected the direction of the largest, most powerful nation in the world (that's us, in case you didn't know) and the dim wit pulls this crap? I don't want him in government.

Not only is Craig a class A, number one fuck up, but his promises don't mean much either. Consider, this is a man who promised his wife he'd be faithful, which I would guess doesn't mean much to him. Just how important to him (Craig) are any campaign promises he might have made?

Our elected government officials are supposed to be exemplary individuals with good morals. Many are not. Craig damn sure is not. The real law that is needed concerns eligibility for public office and a clean background, but good luck getting anything like that passed.

Barb said...

As for the key west parades, Mad Jack, that's a pretty gay area, isn't it? But I realize that the debauchery displays are both gay and straight in mardi gras and Key West. Neither should be on parade.

I'm sure there are some gays who don't want to be publically obscene --who just want a monogamous relationship --but I think the other does their cause damage.

As for the Ford problem -- Levi and Disney also went through economic hard times when the American Family Ass'n called for boycotts beause of their pro-gay activism --taking the gay side in the "culture wars." There are several neighbors on my street who wouldn't buy levis --and we didn't influence one another --but just knew by mail or by church friends or relatives (not from the pulpit usually) about the boycotts.

We don't look at fords at this time because of the boycott--but we try to buy American.

God can also remove His blessing from a company--and our national economy --and weather--and food production. unfortunately, we are such wayward creatures regarding God's holy standards --which are good for us --that I believe He lets sorrow and trouble bring us back to HIm --like prodigals --and it's for our own good to find that God is real and can be appealed to in time of need.

Most of our worst troubles, and the most emotional pain, however, are self-inflicted and not from His Hand--natural consequences of our choices --death and disease are in that category as caused by The Fall.

Barb said...

Mad Jack --you and I share a concern for philandering politicians --if their promises to wives aren't important, how can we trust them at all? Oath of office won't mean any more to them.

mud_rake said...

Mike said"

Barb:

If you wish to engage in civil debate, feel free to. If you are going to descend to the level of childish name-calling, I'll just ignore you.


Once again, Mike, I must apologize for 'delivering' this virus to you.

I hope that you will be able to 'ignore her' but my experience is that she does not go away, even with direct requests to do so.

She infiltrated a French blog, Pourquois Pas? linked to Microdot's blog, and was made a laughing stock for her outrageous, righteous postings there.

Her homophobia is obsessive and I suggest that you do not post anything remotely related to gays, otherwise she will overpower the thread with her childish name-calling.

Again, my apologies.

Mad Jack said...

Mad Jack --you and I share a concern for philandering politicians

One word of advice: Don't. I make a lousy ally and a worse friend; Just ask HistoryMike (I fed one dog a laxative and the other a strong emetic when he invited me over for drinks and dinner) or GuestZero, whom I successfully outed as a closet intellectual and secret supporter of the second amendment.

Barb said...

I've seen links to History Mike on many blogs. I think my first appearance here was not recent --and not because of you, Mudrake. However, I did comment to Mike's post on Craig here and Lefty G's comment, because Mike's post was on your blog --and you are always deleting me there.

For the hundredth time, Mudslinger, I did not follow microdot to the French blog. I followed Valerie. As I recall, I clicked on her name because she posted on my blog (having followed Microdot there) and the French blog came up. I don't know how I COULD follow Microdot to that blog --except to follow one of his links which is legal isn't it? However, that's not how I got there. Valerie was the route --from my blog to where she posts.

As for the insults I have suffered there, it's a much more hospitable place than yours because it lets the conversation roll --lets people defend themselves --and people seem willing to cool off and return to cordiality in the living room --in part because the blog host sets a welcoming, forgiving tone --I liken a blog to a room full of people --and think we should treat each other respectfully whether we agree or not --as Roland Hansen stated the issue of respect so eloquently today at www.thebarbwire.blogspot.com.

and where else can I be called "my darling sexpot!" except on a French blog! HA!

Granted, there have been a few posters there who fly off the handle now and then --and can really hit hard and below the belt--literally --but then when you see how they talk about people when they are being friendly--well, there is little difference --except in tone. The language is the same. The Americans are actually the meanest when they flare up --but we have progressed over time --in tolerance and respect --some humor and I think even some friendship. Though I am very different in worldview from them, and it's always a bit of a minefield for a conservative on a liberal blog.

Barb said...

The laughing stock issue, which Mud-dawber refered to (and don't censure me for "name calling" mike, when you let him call me a virus --I have always enjoyed toying with screen names a bit --I'm sorry if you felt offended at being hysterical mike --I'll refrain --it was so tempting. If you think THAT was adolescent or childish, go to the French blog.)

That laughing stock issue MR brought up was the result of a foul-tempered American man thinking I had insulted HIM with a teasing remark --it had nothing primarily to do with my "self-righteous" comments. He had completely misread my attempt at humor involving him--and so responded by making fun of me out of anger rather than good natured teasing --which I intend when I mess with your screen monikers.

Microdot always calls me Mizz Thang -and I tolerate it. So if I can do it, anyone can. After all, I'm the blogger all the liberals love to hate --apparently --the "christian" in the arena.

And i think the annoying thing about it --is my usually irrepressible cheeriness! Tain't natcheral!

historymike said...

Barb:

1. Whatever feud you and MWTMR had came with you. My point was that you rolled in here and started up with me, despite the fact that I treated you with respect. If you want to engage in dialogue with me, I expect courtesy.

2. I do not delete posts, with the exception of spam, extreme profanity, or (in rare cases) when I determine that someone's safety/privacy is being violated by a reckless poster. There's no
"censure" here, just a reminder of how I expect to be treated.

3. I do not "let" posters write anything. They have free will and minds of their own. If you are offended by the term "virus" then you need to take it up with MWTMR, not me. I work three part-time jobs, am taking 13 graduate credits, and I have no time to try to police the board. I can, however, expect that posters reciprocate with the courtesy I extend.

4. None of the above rules apply to the neo-Nazi trolls who slither through here spouting hate and taking blog arguments into real-life harassment. In my opinion, genocide-spewing thugs have already broken the boundaries of civility with their rhetoric, and many of them have long prison records (the nation's prisons are the highest area of recruitment for white supremacist gangs). Thus, when one of the thugs shows up, I feel no obligation to "play nice."

5. On any given day I receive 30 or more comments and 5-10 emails from readers. I am lucky if I can address half of those. Thus, if you post something and I do not respond, it might just be that I am so busy that I find it hard to catch up on all the various forms of correspondence, not that I am deliberately ignoring a writer.

Rob R said...

from Mike: "1. Whatever feud you and MWTMR had came with you. My point was that you rolled in here and started up with me, despite the fact that I treated you with respect. If you want to engage in dialogue with me, I expect courtesy."

Mike, you have mostly shown yourself to be a hospitable host, but your bias is showing. Mom apologized to you. But she didn't bring a feud here. Just one little comment lumped you in with hoodlum friends. Your friend was the first to post a snide comment. If you wish to stay out of it, good, very wise, but then stay out of it. It's hardly staying out of it to insist "gee, leave me out of this, by the way it's all your fault." It's not consistent with the courtesy you wish to convey.

Barb said...

I appreciate your policies and your welcome to civil debate, exchange of views. And yes, our discussion was civil --and I'm sorry I offended you with --was it Hysterical Mike? And Micrododge came with the idea of dodging tomatoes --which is more my task than his.

With your moniker, the idea of hysteria, I think I was really responding to microdot's previous decription of Rob as "hyperventilating." I sort of lumped you in with your not-so-respectful blogfellows from Muckrake's blog.

The blog "living room" is a microcosm of the planet. If we can't discuss and still be respectful, and let everyone into the room who will be respectful --if we have to shut each other up and hate because of ideas we may abhor, there is no hope for global peace --which, in fact, there may not be, short of the return of Christ.

By the way, if you thought my paragraph comparing "your blog" to the French blog was about YOUR blog, it wasn't. Perhaps it wasn't clear that I was addressing Man with BB/muck raker /mud raker --who has so many pseudonyms now that he may be suffering from multiple personality disorder! (a joke --wouldn't be a joke if it were true)

A little humor or Microdot's "smidgeon of sarcasicity" in the recipe of discourse spices things up --but vitriol spoils the broth. As does deletion.

But I am allowed on any blog only by the courtesy of the host --and I admit I have been impolite to keep going to Microdot's and Man with BB/ MWTMR's living rooms where they've said I am not wanted --

HOWEVER, snobbish hosts professing greater tolerance and open-mindedness than Christians or the GOP --while practicing the opposite, deserve to be challenged by a dedicated gadfly.

I'm very fond of them! really! : D

Anonymous said...

"I believe that there is nothing
wrong with men having sex with men
inside of a public men's restroom
at a rest area,if gay men want to
have sex with other gay men or
bisexual men want to have sex with
other bisexual men, then it is
nobody's business. I would rather
see gay men having anonymous oral
sex with other gay men under the
stalls at rest areas,and I would
rather see bisexual men having
anonymous oral sex with other
bisexual men under the stalls at
rest areas then men having sex with
boys at rest areas. All hetrosexual
men believe that there is nothing
wrong with women having anonymous
oral sex with other women under the
stalls at rest areas there is a
double standard here.

Imitrex said...

you know something about strange sexual disorders