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Scott Adams: Trump “won the election” last night by losing the debate

Very presidential
Very presidential

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If you thought Chuck Tingle’s version of the Clinton-Trump debate last night was surreal, well, take a look at what Dilbert creator and wannabe master persuader Scott Adams has to say about it.

Unlike some of Trump’s superfans, Adams is willing to admit that, yeah, Hillary kind of won the debate, at least by normal debate standards.

Clinton won on points. She had more command of the details and the cleaner answers. Trump did a lot of interrupting and he was defensive. If this were a college debate competition, Clinton would be declared the winner.

But Adams thinks this “victory on the 2D chess board” doesn’t really matter, because in his mind, apparently, Trump is playing some kind of 95th Dimensional mashup of Chess, Cribbage, and Hungry Hungry Hippos, or something. And in this game, Trump is the clear winner.

“Clinton won the debate last night,” Adams explains. “And while she was doing it, Trump won the election.”

tim-and-eric-mind-blown

IS YOUR MIND BLOWN YET

On the off chance that your mind is not, in fact, blown, let’s look at exactly why Adams thinks Trump is the real victor in this game of 95th Dimension Chesscribbippos.

As he sees it, Hillary needed to prove to skeptical Americans (or at least to Dr. Adams) that she’s healthy. And she failed.

Clinton looked (to my eyes) as if she was drugged, tired, sick, or generally unhealthy, even though she was mentally alert and spoke well. But her eyes were telling a different story. She had the look of someone whose doctors had engineered 90 minutes of alertness for her just for the event.

Huh. This is your takeaway from a debate in which Trump sniffled so much that people started to wonder if he wasn’t hopped up on the cocaine?

Some will say Clinton outperformed expectations because she didn’t cough, collapse, or die right on stage. 

But that’s not enough for Adams, who raises the serious medical question: Is Hillary’s smile kind of weird?

Clinton’s smile seemed forced, artificial, and frankly creepy. … My neighbor Kristina hypothesized that Botox was making her smile look unnatural. Science tells us that when a person’s mouth smiles, but their eyes don’t match the smile, they look disingenuous if not creepy. Botox on your crow’s feet lines around your eyes can give that effect. But whatever the reason, something looked off to me.

CLEARLY UNQUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT

Trump, by contrast, was the perfect model of health and handsomeness! Well, not entirely.

To be fair, Trump’s physical appearance won’t win him any votes either. But his makeup looked better than I have seen it (no orange), his haircut was as good as it gets for him … .

But Trump didn’t WIN THE ELECTION LAST NIGHT just by being somewhat less orange than usual. He showed what a calm, cool, and collected customer he is.

Trump needed to solve exactly one problem: Look less scary. Trump needed to counter Clinton’s successful branding of him as having a bad temperament to the point of being dangerous to the country. Trump accomplished exactly that…by…losing the debate.

Wait, what?

Trump was defensive, and debated poorly at points, but he did not look crazy.

MASSIVE WIN

And pundits noticed that he intentionally avoided using his strongest attacks regarding Bill Clinton’s scandals.

You actually think he lost the debate … on purpose?

In other words, he showed control. He stayed in the presidential zone under pressure. And in so doing, he solved for his only remaining problem. He looked safer.

As I put it in a tweet to Adams last night (you’ll have to forgive my typo):

Trump definitely looked presidential, not at all like a giant petulant baby who shouldn’t even be in the same city as the nuclear codes.

BLINKING SARCASM.GIF

https://twitter.com/peterwsinger/status/780607277938147328

https://twitter.com/CCW000/status/780897508310458368

Oh, wait, that last one isn’t Trump. Hard to tell sometimes.

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Awwwwwwww

 

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Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

More of this? Ah, me. I’ve just had a nice long chat with a friend from across the world, who is very much of the same mind as I when it comes to a lot of this stuff, but is just slightly out of step. Just enough to get my brain moving, looking for errors in my positions. Things like the difference between equality, equity and justice; the complex roles of affirmative action in the workplace; universality of consciousness and the means of instigating social change. Really good conversation, always lovely to talk to her. Very calming. Sorta hippy-dippy. But that’s me.

comment image

So, let’s take a look at what we have here?

He can throw it out there, we can decide for ourselves on reviewing the evidence how likely it is.

You’re right in that Trump doesn’t have to set up a complex causal chain right there on stage in order to be able to say that thing. He can of course say what he wants. That’s not really the point at all. Here’s the difference.

– When Hillary Clinton makes a statement about Donald Trump being a racist or bigot or whatnot, there’s easily-accessible video of him saying racist, bigoted things all over the place. The evidence is first-hand.

– When Donald Trump makes a statement about Hillary Clinton being led by his policy statements, there’s no easily-accessible video, no written word, no evidence that this is the case. The evidence is personal opinion and, therefore, subject to bias.

Do you see the difference in weight that should be placed on these two statements? The difference in class?

I feel like what it comes down to is you guys are saying that people with different priors are objectively wrong (and that your priors are objectively right). That doesn’t strike me as humility (“I know one thing: that I know nothing”).

I don’t at all mean that people with different priors are objectively wrong, and that mine are objectively right. I realize that you feel this to be the position we’re taking, but it’s not, really. We- ah, well, let’s deal with the second half of this quote first, perhaps.

Further, there is this weird conflation of certainty/proof with action. We don’t do things because we have proven them to be true (and shown that alternatives are false) we do them because they appear to be the better option.

Where’s this conflation happening? I’ve said, bluntly, that certainty is not required. I said it here:

Yes, exactly. We operate in an unsure world. As new information becomes available, we update. That’s humility.

You’re reading our positions as being things which they are not, and you’re seeing our statements as saying things which they do not.

And I’m pretty sure you know this. You aren’t here to defend anything in particular – this is why you have retreated from any defense of Trump at all into the swampy morass of “I feel it and you can’t logic my feelings away.”

Which – well, you’re right, no one can argue you out of that position. Just be aware – you’ve decided to reject all evidence in favour of your feelings. This isn’t humility, though you seem to have decided to define it that way, somehow.

Enjoy your solipsism?

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

@Axe, that whole #BasementDwellers thing is annoying as heck, but at least it lets you filter out who has actual complaints about Clinton versus those who just want to pile hate on her. I mean, jeeby-creeby, the whole context of the clip has her supporting and sympathizing with them!

She sympathizes with the fact that the terrible economy has forced them into a situation they don’t want. How’s that hate on Millennials? Ohhhh, wait, if you’re just a jerkbutt who wants to trash on Hillary, then sure, you can interpret it that way, I guess. If evidence doesn’t matter to you, n’stuff.

Gee, that sounds familiar…

Seven of Mine
Seven of Mine
4 years ago

Just like how all trump supporters are motivated by racism?

I’m with WWTH and am also perfectly happy to own this. Donald Trump is virulently racist, misogynist, ableist, Islamaphobic, classist and fatphobic. He reminds us of this on a daily basis by mocking autistic people, calling all Mexicans rapists, threatening to deport Muslims, attacking women for having gained a few pounds 20 years ago, offering to pay legal fees for those of his supporters who assault black people, implying that those of us who pay taxes are stupid and so on. He does this so publicly and with such regularity that it beggars belief that anyone could possibly be unaware of it. If you support him, you are totally fine with this and there is no meaningful distinction between that and being racist, misogynist, ableist, Islamaphobic, classist and fatphobic yourself. I will not assist anyone in protecting their ego from this demonstrable reality.

Ooglyboggles
4 years ago

Roger you appeal to emotion
For blatantly bigoted men.
There are no points for devotion
Nor praise for words so hate-sodden.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

Re: being *ist vs supporting *ism
Hear, hear! Same diff!

@Scildfreja

it lets you filter out who has actual complaints about Clinton versus those who just want to pile hate on her

Sure, but I fear diminishing returns

Voting with vaginae, [slurs], neoliberal, shill, shrill, emails, Bernie marched with King, rigged primary, rigged debate, rigged election, crime bill, Vince Foster, drone strikes, smile, dynasty, political correctness, career politician, body double, Parkinson’s, warmonger, socialist, communist, earpiece, Benghazi, stamina, status quo, criminal, wikileaks, smug, overprepared, Lewinsky, etc, etc, etc

Odds are, if you’re jumping on this, you’ve probably been spouting at least some of that other stuff too. How effective is this, given all the other filters? *sigh*

How’s that hate on Millennials?

Either she’s condescending, or she’s outta touch, or she hates the poor, or she’s corrupt… When they make up their mind about why it’s insulting, I’m sure they’ll let everyone know

Seven of Mine
Seven of Mine
4 years ago

I’m gonna guess they think it’s insulting because they’d mean it that way themselves if they said someone lived in their mother’s basement and had a dead end job, etc. They can’t brain empathy.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

If you support him, you are totally fine with this and there is no meaningful distinction between that and being racist, misogynist, ableist, Islamaphobic, classist and fatphobic yourself. I will not assist anyone in protecting their ego from this demonstrable reality.

Seconded

When they make up their mind about why it’s insulting, I’m sure they’ll let everyone know

Our resident troll in this thread has made a pretty good demonstration for why they ain’t ever gonna make up their mind on the reason they think it’s insulting. Reasons can be disproved, feels can’t. So it’s just gonna be an endless regression of excuses.

Dalillama
4 years ago

Yup. Trump supporters are motivated by bigotry, principally racism and misogyny. All of them, without exception.

@Axe

Short version: She said that a lot of ‘millennials’ and/or Bernie supporters are idealistic, stuck in dead end jobs, and living in their parents’ basement. Sounds a little mean, right? Of course, she was being empathetic and understanding. She didn’t blame them for their situation and even said that it’s not cool to shit all over that idealism

Reminds me of when Obama said something about people in devastated rural economies clinging to the few certainties left to them, and the right spun it the same way.

eli
eli
4 years ago

OT:

I just got really blindsided yesterday with something and I’m really uncomfortable about it. I like lurking in the comment section around here because I don’t know many people and most of those I do know are not feminism-friendly. Plus people I know, either know the person and have made up their own minds or else don’t know and I don’t want to be the one to tell them.

I thought I knew how I wanted to handle this, but then when faced with it today in the flesh, I just froze. I didn’t want to bring it up on the book thread because the whole thing comes with a giant

TRIGGER WARNING

anybody willing to have a listen and possibly offer advice and perspectives I haven’t thought of?

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Eli,

I have no idea whether I can be of any help, but I’m sure at least one of us here will have good advice. Feel free to post about it. I’m sure no one would mind.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Go right ahead, eli. I’m sorta having similar problems with a friend over here, too.

Ooglyboggles
4 years ago

We’re all ears eli. Feel free to tell on your own terms On another note:

Roger stay out of it.

eli
eli
4 years ago

@Scildfreja Unnýðnes

I hope you’re not having the same problem that would be really weird.

TW for assault; child pornography and LONG

So the good news is I got a new job and I don’t know how to explain this at all without some specifics. I’m the new music director at a small church. I knew the pastor from a different church where I used to play organ. They also like having a band a couple of times a month. I don’t really have contacts or experience with the band side of things, so when pastor said he was talking to some people, I thought, great!

He told me a lot about some guy I’ll call Peter.* I’ve met Peter’s Dad. I don’t know Peter. No opinion. Mom says he’s personable. Whatever.

So yesterday, we’re over there doing something else and pastor pulls me and the congregation president in to chat. Pastor says he has two guitars lined up. PAUL* and Peter.

He keeps talking, but I’m stuck on Paul, who last I knew was on his way to prison for possession (am I in moderation for my trigger warning?). And then I realize he’s saying Peter is on probation for assault and it was his girlfriend and witnesses say she hit him first and florida and they just arrest the man automatically blah blah

I feel like I’ve fallen into a hole both from they way he’s talking about it and having to work (and direct) these guys. He starts to talk about Paul and I just held up my hand and said “I KNOW” (oh please I don’t want to hear your apologetics for him). Paul was supposed to be in for 15 years (I guess he served 8). Didn’t know he was out. I’ve met him before. He used to do work for my mom. She tried to set us up.

He came to church today. He was polite, but pastor sent him up to the organ loft just the two of us. I mumbled that I had to start my prelude (which was true). I shook his hand. I saw him stop on the stairs and look back at me. Weirded me out. I was just breathing.

I am really uncomfortable about this. The council knows, but both men are volunteers and they say they can’t stop anyone from coming to church. Our time together will be two services, plus rehearsals. I don’t know yet if they’ll be weekly or every other week.

I’ve already invited a church member who I really like(under plausible circumstances) to join our rehearsals. I really don’t like any of this.

eli
eli
4 years ago

you may not know things about me. I’m 45, female, cis-het, extreme introvert. I’ve been trying to find a job like this for about 6 or 7 years.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

The council knows, but both men are volunteers and they say they can’t stop anyone from coming to church.

Both untrue, and not the point. Even if the church doesn’t want to kick these guys out the door (and I can see why they are motivated not to), they are not required to accept volunteer work from them. It’s baffling that they would throw up their hands helplessly just because someone volunteered.

That’s a snow job you’re being fed, so recognize it for what it is. Not being willing to get rid of a parishioner is not the same as being required to let them do whatever volunteer work they feel like doing.

eli
eli
4 years ago

Both untrue, and not the point.

That’s a snow job you’re being fed, so recognize it for what it is.

Yes. Thank you. I was having so many feelings ping-ponging around, but, I think this is the truth and what I was having trouble articulating to myself.

I think the church is being fed a snow job by pastor, too, now that I consider a bit.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ eli

Other people here might be best able to offer support and advice, so I’ll just throw a few things into the mix.

First you’re very correct to trust your instincts. That may seem obvious; but it’s something you might have to force yourself to remember if you raise your concerns and people suggest you’re paranoid or over reacting. There’s a lot of social pressure on women to not make a fuss and unfortunately, but understandably, women end up succumbing to that and either remaining in situations that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe, or feeling that it’s incumbent on them to vacate the situation rather than the men.

If you can get hold of a copy of Gavin De Becker’s ‘Gift of Fear’ I’d highly recommend that as it covers this in a lot more detail.

Secondly, and related, I appreciate the dilemma you’re in. This is you’re dream job and it’s not something you want to jeopardise. That puts a lot of pressure on you not to ‘rock the boat. I can’t pretend there’s an easy answer to that. Obviously you’re safety and well being is the highest priority; but I completely understand that it’s trite to say ‘just walk away if you don’t get a satisfactory solution’.

I would though suggest you take steps to raise this issue. Is there anyone you can talk to about this? Even if theyre not the people who can make the ultimate decisions you can run this by them. They might be able to offer support when you do bring this to the relevant people, even if it’s just a bit of hand holding. Also it may be you’re not alone in your concerns. It can be hard to be the first person to speak out, but it might be there are others just waiting for someone else to do so. If you can identify each other beforehand, well, theres strength in numbers.

Best wishes for however you decide to deal with this.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Eli,
It sounds like quitting and finding a new job is not an option or is a very poor option for you. So it seems like you don’t have the leverage to say something along the lines of “get rid of them or I get.” But I do think it’s reasonable to tell them that you won’t be alone with them because it wouldn’t be safe. I’m also guessing that the one with the child abuse imagery (trying to use that term more often as opposed to child porn, even though it’s somewhat cumbersome) conviction is not allowed to work with children or be alone with him as part of his parole, so if the church were try to allow him to be around kids, I would report to the police or CPS.

I suck at giving advice on interpersonal relationships, so I’m pretty useless at giving advice as to how to handle this with your employer, but if it makes you feel better, you’re in the right to feel uncomfortable with this situation. You’re not being irrational, oversensitive, silly or whatever else people might try and tell you.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Oh my gosh, eli, that’s so terrible :c It sounds like it must be incredibly stressful. You absolutely, certainly, definitively don’t have to be around the guy, and the church should be supporting you, not just shrugging their shoulders. There’s no reason at all for it, beyond them not wanting to “cause a scene”. Instead they’re just letting you shoulder the burden of it all. But it’s a job, and I totally get how important that is to have. That’s a really uncomfortable situation to be in :s

It sounds like the pastor’s just trying to evade dealing with the problem, and is leaving you out in the cold. I mean, at the bare minimum he could get some extra people up in the loft to sit with you so that you aren’t alone! I’m glad that you were able to arrange that on your own at least.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@eli
Everyone else has solid advice, so imma leave it to them. I’ll just say that this:

I thought I knew how I wanted to handle this, but then when faced with it today in the flesh, I just froze

or being “weirded out” or “uncomfortable” or whatever else are perfectly OK reactions to have. It’s OK to ask for advice or just to talk. And it’s OK not to know what to do or how to feel
Anyway, I hope everything works out. Hugs, love, and good luck

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Since this is right now an active dumping ground for Awful, Just Plain Awful Shit, here’s a link.

https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/november/1446296400/jess-hill/suffer-children

CN: Laws hosing children in Australia, MRAish arguments from the law-side, abso-fucking-lutely gut-wrenching and awful “research” and writing somewhere in the middle from Richard Gardner whose access to any writing tools should have been removed right after the first sentence put to paper, sexual abuse, murder… and I haven’t even finished reading it, I gotta read it in tiny chunks to avoid Hulk-level rage, so expect anything, up to surprise-assholes flying out of the page, spewing shit.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Seven of Mine

Donald Trump is virulently racist, misogynist, ableist, Islamaphobic, classist and fatphobic. He reminds us of this on a daily basis by mocking autistic people, calling all Mexicans rapists, threatening to deport Muslims, attacking women for having gained a few pounds 20 years ago, offering to pay legal fees for those of his supporters who assault black people, implying that those of us who pay taxes are stupid and so on.

Yes, Trump implied that all Mexicans were rapists. But — and it will surely cheer poor, beleaguered Roger to know that someone on this board is willing to be fair to Mister Trump — I’m sure he didn’t mean that.

No, he meant to say that all Mexican men were rapists.

Roger, you’re welcome.

eli
eli
4 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

I’m the weirdo who picks up every flea market copy of Gift of Fear I find and gives them out to people. I should probably take another gander at the one I have right now to reassure myself. 🙂

@everyone

I have been typing and backspacing and typing and backspacing!

I really was blindsided. Pastor had never mentioned Paul before, only Peter. And he kept asking me if I knew Peter and I just kept saying no.

I have talked to the church president, yesterday. He’s young and he didn’t seem entirely comfortable with things and maybe I need to talk to him again.

So much of the problem is being new and not fully understanding the power dynamics at the church. I was just hired. I don’t even know who is on the council! (yeah, talk to prez)

Everyone has given me much good food for thought. I think I was angry when I found out and immediately smushed it down. I’m not going to pretend to be comfortable. And the more I think about it, I think today with Paul was just how it should be. I shouldn’t think of it as freezing. I was polite, but distant and that’s ok. I told him I needed to get to work. His reaction is his business.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Eli
What a horrible situation. I’m so sorry that you’ve encountered this.

Just to be clear: Are you saying that one guy possessed child porn and one guy assaulted his girlfriend?

Echoing both you and Alan and maybe some other commenters, I’m going to suggest that you get other people involved. I think that this church is not the one you attend, or else I’d suggest that you approach your trusted friends there.

This church appears to be your employer only. Does the church have a board of directors? Then I suggest that you call the president of the board or another member of the board and share your concerns. Does the church have a secretary? Maybe you can ask her out for coffee and share your concerns. See what she says.

You can do this cautiously and discreetly and see how it goes. Worst case scenario: Nobody cares. In that case, you might want to consider resigning.

But I don’t think that will happen. A church is supposed to care about its members and employees. Also, a church needs to care about its image and its vulnerability to a lawsuit.

Does this church have a Sunday school? Plus a guy employed by the church who has been to prison for child porn?

I think that the president of the board might see your point about the church needing to protect itself — and, not incidentally, you.

I believe that the arguments you make about the guy with the child porn could also apply to the guy who’s on probation for assault, although maybe to a lesser degree.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Eli
As always, great minds think alike. I’m glad you approached the president of the board of directors.

If that doesn’t work, try another member of the board. Maybe a woman this time.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Shiriki
Finished. That Alex kid is my fuckin hero. The lack of follow up hearings or review or whatevs is blowing my mind right now. I need to eat something…

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen
4 years ago

Testing testing…1 2 3 testing….

ETA: for some reason the site isn’t letting me post a link to this, but if anyone goes to the USA Today website, their editorial board published an editorial (9/30/2016) on why they’re against Trump winning the election. They don’t normally endorse or reject candidates, in case anyone was wondering about that.

eli
eli
4 years ago

Thanks Kat!

Yes, I am not a member. They are my employer only. The Pastor was just appointed as an interim and brought me (hired) and the two different guys, both with their own criminal records, over (as volunteers).

The Secretary is married to the President. Her default answer is ‘talk to my husband.’ But I’ll see if he can tell me who is on the council.

There are children. I am concerned that this arrangement is a parole violation. (I found her name and number and put it somewhere safe at home)

Dalillama
4 years ago

@Eli
Haven’t got any advice that you haven’t already been given, but all my best. Unfortunately, I don’t hold out much hope that the church hierarchy will do anything about this; I’ve known of way too many similar cases and their lack of resolution.

EDIT:
@Skrikiri
Argh!!! I haven’t been able to finish it yet, but it’s appalling.

Ooglyboggles
4 years ago

@Skrikiri
When MRA’s fantasize about a system that caters to them, this is what I imagined, unlike my imagination this horror show of a court system is very, very real. Those lawyers’ mentalities of “man knows best” is the exact sort of shit that helps keep the Family Courts in Australia the way it is now. Then again it’s not just them, it’s everyone involved that doesn’t care one bit of the spouses and children and instead sympathize with the abusers.

My heart goes out to all those affected by these monsters of humanity and those able to endure long enough to combat and reform the Family Court System.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

It’s just… gah! The entire horror just seeps under my skin like a swarm of death-rats and then there’s pain. Like, FUCK. And it is from 2015, so it is not exactly over and done with yet.

eli
eli
4 years ago

@Skiriki

That article was so horrific and horrifying. I had to keep taking breaks and that makes me feel bad, because those poor children have to live with it all day every day.

@my stuff

Spoke to Prez. Thanks to all who recommended that. He said they hired me and they stand by me whatever I decide.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

He said they hired me and they stand by me whatever I decide.

Awesome!

Ooglyboggles
4 years ago

@eli
That’s great news. It’s good to know that they are on your side.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@eli

Spoke to Prez. Thanks to all who recommended that. He said they hired me and they stand by me whatever I decide.

I’m not sure what that means. Can you elaborate?

Also, the more I think about this, the more I realize that the minister has not thought this through.

He has a duty to protect his parishioners. He also has a duty to make sure that the church grows — or at the very least doesn’t lose parishioners — and a duty to make sure the church doesn’t get sued.

Can you imagine the headlines if the worst happened?

Can you imagine the exodus from the church?

Can you imagine how quickly that church would fold?

And so on.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@eli
For names of the council members, check the church’s newsletter or its website. Their phone numbers or email addresses should be listed in the newsletter and maybe on the website.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

For any reader who’s interested in purchasing The Gift of Fear, just scroll over to the right margin (and up) and click through. If you buy it from this source, David Futrelle, who owns this blog, will get a small cut.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@eli
Yay! If you feel up to it, keep us posted 🙂

eli
eli
4 years ago

@Kat

I absolutely hear what you are saying. And I agree that this direction is damaging. I believe that’s why I felt everything caving in on me during the meeting on Saturday.

I agree that he has not thought this through. I’ve been working in churches for a long time and as much as anyone would wish better, the scripture itself provides justification for protecting men like the ones I now have to work with. The prodigal son story is not one of my favorites. The son who stays home and is true and faithful is not given favor when the ‘sinner’ returns. The pastor is a wealthy, successful, former member of this church returning; the two players are from families with wealthy, successful fathers. All of us, pastor, players AND me are from a ‘better’ part of town going to a small, struggling congregation in a stricken and struggling community. I am sure if I had offenses much slighter than theirs, I would not be welcome (pastor never would have approached me at all).

You raise very good questions. I plan on talking to Pastor and raising exactly these issues. This is a congregation that has lost 10% of their members to death in the last year. I’m not in a growth industry here and I’m honestly not too bothered by that. I’m a musician first and a parish musician to pay the bills. I’m sick of churches coddling and hiding those who abuse within their ranks and it’s every church, from the largest to the tiniest, the 1% to the 99%.

So it’s the fact that even though the ink is barely dry on my contract, that the president is expressing that he is behind me, gives me courage to raise an objection to something that I had no inkling I would be dealing with at all just a few sweet hours ago.

Sadly, I don’t think any of this would ever lead to any headlines whatsoever and that is, perhaps, the worst part of it all.

Croquembouche of patriarchy
Croquembouche of patriarchy
4 years ago

@ eli, seconding Kat:

Spoke to Prez. Thanks to all who recommended that. He said they hired me and they stand by me whatever I decide.

I’m not sure what that means. Can you elaborate?

My two cents: it sounds supportive, but in another way it sounds as if they are trying to place all responsibility for any decisions about this on your shoulders.

Do they mean that if you are unwilling to work with these people, they will not be taken on as volunteers?

Do they mean that if you specify conditions under which you are willing to work with them (say, only if other people are also present), they will meet those conditions?

Do they mean that if you say whether or not they should be in the presence of women or children, they will follow your policy?

Do they mean that if you decide to contact the parole officer and ask whether its appropriate for the sex offender to work in this capacity, you are doing that as an agent of the church?

As employers and as a church they have a duty to face up to these decisions and accept responsibility for them, and to know where the law stands on them.

They cannot delegate them to you. I’m concerned if there is any backlash or resentment from these men, the blame could end up heaped on you unless the church makes it very clear that they are acting according to ethics and the law, not on your ‘whims’.

They need to be aware of the rights of volunteers, parishioners, and staff, and their responsibilities to them and to the law.

eli
eli
4 years ago

@Croquembouche

We crossed. Also very good questions and points. I’m taking all of this in and very seriously.

Skiriki
Skiriki
4 years ago

Fingers crossed for ya, @eli. Good luck!

Croquembouche of patriarchy
Croquembouche of patriarchy
4 years ago

@ eli, it’s a sticky situation. These men also have rights, including rights to privacy – I have no idea what their privacy rights are as regards their criminal histories, but the church absolutely should know. It’s a complex balance, but exemplifying moral and ethical behavior are supposed to be a primary function of their industry, aren’t they?

eli
eli
4 years ago

@Croquembouche. I would hope that exemplifying moral and ethical behavior would be a primary concern of churches. And the men do have rights (which paradoxically is why I’m asking you all for advice and not people I know who also know them).

That does, however, make me think of some people I could and should probably consult, who I had not considered before.

Croquembouche of patriarchy
Croquembouche of patriarchy
4 years ago

@eli, disclosing people’s criminal histories to their fellow employees is like disclosing their medical histories. Even if its considered common knowledge, if it’s not done for legitimate safety reasons, it’s gossip. Another area the church should be very aware of their responsibilities to all parties.

Glad you’ve thought of some other people whose input would be useful!
Fingers crossed it all goes well.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

The church doesn’t necessarily have to disclose to the congregation the reasons why there are restrictions or an outright prohibition on these men volunteering in certain capacities at the church.

I am a family law attorney. Reading about what’s been happening in Australian family courts (and I read the whole thing in one go) I can’t say I’m surprised at what’s going on there but I can say it disgusts me and there needs to be more people working to put a stop to such dangerous and harmful practices that further victimize children already going through some very major emotional/physical ‘shit’, not to mention the need for some serious regulation of so-called single experts if the courts wish to insist they continue to rely on them to make such major, life-altering decisions. If they lack the experience with children and child abuse issues, maybe they’re not the right single expert to have doing a report that is for family court cases!

And perhaps the legal professionals who are involved in cases that are heard in family court need to have some changes made to add required and evidence-supported continuing education on domestic violence and child abuse (because we can’t teach people empathy, we can teach them they have to act ethically or find a different occupation though).

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@eli

I agree that he has not thought this through. I’ve been working in churches for a long time and as much as anyone would wish better, the scripture itself provides justification for protecting men like the ones I now have to work with. The prodigal son story is not one of my favorites. The son who stays home and is true and faithful is not given favor when the ‘sinner’ returns.

Yeah, that story has always baffled me too.

Maybe this will help in your dealings with church members:

Bible Verses on Abuse & Violence

http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/bible_verses.html

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Roger

Trump says:

“You heard what I said about (the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal), and all of a sudden you were against it.”

Well, it seems likely to me that Clinton would have heard what Trump said about TPP. And she did change her mind about it.

100% TRUE!

******

[I]t’s…clear that Trump’s message was this: I came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and then you immediately copied me and came out against it too.

Trump wasn’t saying, You heard me speak about the TPP. Then — in an unrelated development — you immediately came out against it….

Given that, I can’t say that Trump’s statement was a lie, because I can’t prove that it was a lie.

Nor can I say that it was true, because I can’t prove that it was true either….

Trump’s statement was intended as a stop-the-conversation opinion thrown out there for the world to hear, an accusation that makes it evident — as if we didn’t already know! — that the accuser is an asshole not worth talking to because the assertion can neither be proven to be a lie nor proven to be the truth.

Trump is saying that he knows what was in Hillary’s mind when she made the decision to oppose TPP. Mister Trump, that’s quite a thing to say. I’m gonna need some evidence to back up that statement….

I’m calling Trump on his shit — there’s no way that this grandiose buffoon’s psychic powers are that strong.

And if I’m wrong, well, I’d love to see some demonstrations of those powers.

*****

*Cough* *Cough* – Just like how all trump supporters are motivated by racism?

I think it’s reasonable to make the suggestion. It’s not fair to say it’s (objectively and certainly) a lie or that the act of making the suggestion is morally questionable.
He can throw it out there, we can decide for ourselves on reviewing the evidence how likely it is.

Ooh, that’s a nasty cough you’ve got. And with asterisks!

I have no idea what you mean by “all Trump supporters are motivated by racism.” What does my argument have to do with that argument? Just to be clear, I didn’t make the argument that all Trump supporters are motivated by racism. I look forward to your very clear clarification, which I’m sure will clear up this mystery.

Although you don’t admit it, you’ve obviously conceded that I’m right about Trump: He did indeed mean to say that Hillary came out against the TPP immediately after he did because she was copying him. Also, you’ve conceded that Trump was alleging that he could read Hillary’s mind — but in fact, he can’t.

Glad you conceded those points: they were ridiculous.

Now you say that Trump’s allegation about why Hillary changed her stance on the TPP was merely a “suggestion.”

Sure, yeah, a forceful, vehement, loud suggestion.

And you say that it’s not fair to call it a lie.

Dude, that’s the point I made.

You deny that making the suggestion was morally questionable.

Morally questionable? Heck, no. But I am gonna need to see a demonstration of his psychic powers.

Then you say that he can throw this “suggestion” out there and we can decide how valid it is.

Yes, of course he can. He just did!

And we can decide how valid it is. That’s what we’re doing!

Is the “suggestion” that Hillary changed her stance on the TPP because she was copying Trump a good use of Mister Trump’s time in the presidential debate? Is it respectful of the intelligence of the audience?

Absolutely.

The man is the producer-director of the most popular reality TV show ever, Presidential Campaign 2016! And he knows what it takes to get that kind of rating — drama! tackiness! absurdity!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

The prodigal son story is not one of my favorites. The son who stays home and is true and faithful is not given favor when the ‘sinner’ returns.

It’s worth noting that the prodigal son does not get his inheritance replaced. He took it and squandered it, and now it’s gone forever. The father does not take the faithful son’s inheritance and split it again to give the prodigal more money.

There is a parallel here in your situation: these men have squandered their right* to a place of prominence in the church and they don’t get that back just because they come back into the fold. That’s gone forever. They get to come back and be welcomed, but they don’t get to come back and go straight back into full favor.

*Note that I don’t think anyone has a “right” to a leadership role in the church, but from what you describe they come from a privileged background where they probably believe that they have such a right.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ eli

Glad you’re heading towards some sort of solution. And yeah as you probably guessed, that’s one of my most recommended books.

@ msexception

Do you have CPD over there? Here we have to do 12 hours a year training in areas relevant to our areas of practice. There’s no set syllabus but obviously family court people tend to end up covering things like that.

Similarly our judges have to be ‘ticketed’ in various areas of law. So they do get some specialist training.

As for experts (we have single joint experts too) they have to abide by certain conditions set out in our Civil Procedure Rules. That doesn’t necessarily rule out the mavericks, but it does impose at least some standards.

Although we have similar problems in our family court system perhaps the greatest protection for kids is that not only can they have their own lawyers and a guardian ad litem, the courts here take a ‘vote with their feet’ approach to contact, once they’re considered ‘Gillick competent’ (old enough to understand and make rational decisions). That can be from quite a young age. Obviously if the decision is ‘this parent let’s me bunk off school and smoke’ then the court might interfere, but generally if kids decide on their own contact arrangements the courts won’t enforce any orders to the contrary.

It’s still an imperfect system but family law is an inherently difficult area.