Thursday Night Open Thread

There's a lot of TV tonight. Project Runway, Gray's Anatomy, the Apprentice and a new Jersey Shore.

What's on your agenda tonight?

In the news, the Tyler Clementi suicide continues to draw outrage. Invasion of privacy charges have been filed:

Mr. Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, N.J., and another classmate, Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton Junction, N.J., had each been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy for using “the camera to view and transmit a live image” of Mr. Clementi. The most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of five years.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Tragic (none / 0) (#1)
    by me only on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 09:36:41 PM EST
    I am not even sure what a good outcome would be for Mr. Ravi and Ms Wei.

    Who's hoping for a good outcome for these (none / 0) (#2)
    by Angel on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 09:48:41 PM EST
    scum?  They outed a guy and drove him to suicide.  They need to suffer.  Big time.  And this needs to be a warning for others who choose to illegally video or record in some other manner the private activities of those who have not given them permission to do so.  Like I said earlier, to those who want to put your life out there - go ahead, but for those of us who would like to retain our privacy, leave us the hell alone.

    My spider sense is telling me (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 09:58:00 PM EST
    that Mr. Ravi has his own demons separate and apart from what he's just set in motion. As for making him and his associate "suffer," no. Vengeance isn't the right path here.

    Also, I personally assign blame higher up the food chain. The politicians who create a toxic environment for gays have something to answer for here.


    Toxic environment (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 11:13:10 PM EST
    Probably won't state this as clearly as I would like but I think that the toxic environment in this country has been created by politicians, religions and media figures who spread hatred and "jokingly" or not promote violence against everyone who can be identified as the "other" (not just gays), the SCOTUS who have ruled that we do not have a right to expect privacy in our communications.  Privacy as a right has not only been reduced but devalued to a great extent in our culture. People willing display all types of  private activities on vehicles like facebook without any thought to consequences and it has become part of the culture and no big deal.

    This is not meant to downplay the tragedy of Tyler Clementi's death or excuse the behavior that lead up to it.


    I was wondering this morning (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 11:45:13 PM EST
    how many 14-year-olds killed themselves because of George W's 2004 election strategy. Maybe none, but it sure didn't help the climate.

    SCOTUS has nothing to do with this (none / 0) (#19)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:21:19 AM EST
    This wasn't a government action.  This was a 21st century form of gossip.  People have been invading other people's privacy since before the video camera, before the written language, before official language.

    It might be more traumatic as video than hearing it through the grapevine, but in the end you don't have a right to privacy from your fellow Americans.  The only way to enforce such a right is a draconian, authoritarian government.

    Whose side are you on?  In Maryland they prosecuted a man for taping his own arrest, because of this "right to privacy, viz a viz the officer."  Thankfully, the judge threw it out noting that the police have no such right when arresting citizens, which are obviously in public.


    bullsh!t (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:53:24 AM EST
    it doesnt take a "draconian, authoritarian government" to protect the privacy of a consensual sex act.



    Seems that this statement (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:58:20 AM EST
    is not factual as it applies to transmitting sexual acts without consent, at least in NJ

    in the end you don't have a right to privacy from your fellow Americans

    Under New Jersey's invasion-of-privacy statutes, it is a fourth-degree crime to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person's consent, and it is a third-degree crime to transmit or distribute such images. The penalty for conviction of a third-degree offense can include a prison term of up to five years. msnbc

    Also it seems that you have blurred the line between public and private events. Sexual acts conducted in private vs public acts (i.e. arrests) by police.

    The blurring of the lines between what is considered public vs private was part of my original comment.


    Those are images (none / 0) (#37)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:05:51 AM EST
    and yes, that is a crime.  Privacy extends beyond pictures.  If Mr Ravi had simply gossiped about Mr Clementi, that also would have violated privacy, but not been a crime.

    Ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:06:01 AM EST
    It might be more traumatic as video than hearing it through the grapevine, but in the end you don't have a right to privacy from your fellow Americans.  The only way to enforce such a right is a draconian, authoritarian government.

    Actually, you do have a right to privacy (depending on the circumstances) from your fellow Americans, and protecting citizens from having having third parties record and transmit their sexual acts hardly requires a "draconian, authoritarian government".


    <temporary unlurk> (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by JamesTX on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 11:53:58 PM EST
    I have to break my serious vow of silence to correct something here which has the potential to grievously mislead many people. First, I have to qualify why my perspective is valid. What happened to Tyler has happened to me. Second, if you haven't experienced it first hand, there is no way you could understand the terrible emotional impact it has. Tyler's suicide is completely comprehensible and quite predictable. I only wish he could have been put in touch with other victims of this sort of thing. As this type of digital harassment becomes more common, I think it is important for people who understand it and have experienced it to form emergency response teams to assist those who are victimized. It is a genuine psychiatric emergency in response to a genuine psychological assault. It is very likely to be fatal.

    The fact that this has never happened to you is betrayed by your assumption that Tyler committed suicide because he was "outed", or because the video disclosed that he was gay. I can be almost certain that has absolutely nothing to do with the trauma he experienced. If he were going to kill himself over being "outed", he wouldn't have invited a man to his dorm room and asked for privacy, and he wouldn't have been posting on gay websites. No, Tyler didn't kill himself because he was afraid of being gay, or afraid someone else would find out he was gay. That is absurd.

    The genuine terror and likely suicidal response to having one's private sexual activity eavesdropped and published is a basic psychological reaction which runs much deeper than the more trivial concerns about whether one is gay or straight. The only thing I can do help you understand is to have you to imagine that your last sexual act was filmed without your knowledge and made available to your family, your employer, your friends, your coworkers, your enemies, and anyone else you can think of. If you can imagine that, then multiply the terror you think you might experience by 100 and you may begin to understand what it feels like when it really happens.

    This is not a gay/straight issue. The people who did it to me, as well as most of those who enjoyed the festivities at my expense afterward, were themselves gay. This is not a crime to which only gays are vulnerable. It would likely produce a suicidal response in anyone -- gay or straight. The trauma of this kind of violation of privacy and the resulting assault on one's primal psychological sense of dignity is much more fundamental than sexual orientation issues. It is a human response -- not a gay response.

    This kind of assault is deadly. It is cruel, and it is dangerous to everybody, regardless of sexual orientation. Unfortunately, it is also destined to become more common as the technology for committing the crime becomes more available and easily implemented. This crime has the power to kill, and here we have the evidence. The most important thing to do at this point is not to try to turn it into a gay rights issue, but to insist that emergency mental health services and supports are available to anyone who discovers that their private sexual activity has been unknowingly filmed and distributed. If you think this is a gay issue, I would like to see how a heterosexual would stand up to this kind of assault. Most of them would have beat Tyler to the bridge, or put a pistol in their mouths. Nobody is going to remain calm and collected when their most private and vulnerable human acts are put on public display for ridicule. Gays have no special corner on this vulnerability.

    </temporary unlurk>


    I've been thinking about it it just that way (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:34:11 PM EST
    I know we supposedly live in an 'anything goes' society, but still I can imagine my own complete mortification if that had happened to me, with my straight sex life, such as it is. I may not have been suicidal, but it would have taken a supreme act of will to get up and leave the house every day.

    I've read he was a shy, private person, and I can relate to that. Maybe the gay aspect of it tipped the scales, but the violation alone may have been enough to bring him 90% of the way.


    Interesting perspective (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:05:55 AM EST
    Doesn't make sense to me (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 07:14:09 AM EST
    there isn't a taboo on str8 sex in this country.

    i appreciate you perspective, but do not think it is quite accurate on the psychology. though i am perfectly willing to accept it was about more than being outed.

    still, a heterosexual "outed" (if that's even what it was) like this might only reacted this way if the person he was having sex with was, say, his sister, or his roommate's girlfriend, or someone inappropriate.


    homophobia (none / 0) (#75)
    by JamesTX on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:07:56 PM EST
    "plays a role" in many things, but unless you have actually experienced the trauma of having any sexual activity surreptitiously recorded and published, your speculation on what it may cause and the relative importance of such factors is empty intellectualization. The embarrassment and despair cannot be imagined. It has to be experienced to understand the effects. And, yes, it is likely to lead to suicide in anybody -- str8 sex notwithstanding. With all due respect, you are wrong, and you can't really understand why until you experience it. I pray you do not.

    If you feel I am trying to steal gay thunder, fine. I'm not, but you are wrong.


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#22)
    by dk on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:46:18 AM EST
    However, just because there are undoubtedly some gay people out there who could be insensitive/cruel enough to pull the same stunt, and just because some straight people could be so traumatized by having the stunt pulled on them that they would consider/commit suicide, doesn't mean that homophobia couldn't play a role in a scenario like this.

    I'm sure we'll find out more about the story, but, for example, my understanding is that the roommate, when he posted the video, tweeted that his roommate was getting physical with a "dude."  If the genders of the people involved were so irrelevant, why did the roommmate feel the need to point them out?  My initial thought is that he figured this would get more of a reaction out of the potential audience.  And, apparently, it worked, because from what I understand, many homophobic comments came in from people who felt the need to share how gross they thought the idea of two "dudes" together is.  Would a straight couple have garnered those kinds of comments?  I doubt it.


    I think you make too much (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:18:37 AM EST
    of the word "dude."  I'm trying to imagine how the guy would announce his prank without using a word for the other person that would indicate their gender. "Having sex with a person"? Uh-uh.  Don't think so.  I can, however, imagine a lot of other words a homophobe would have used to describe this guy and his partner, and those were not used.

    The reaction of the "audience" doesn't actually tell us anything about the motivations or attitude of the roommate.

    I actually agree with James above. This was an incredibly cruel thing to do to anybody of either gender or orientation, and possible homophobia is pretty far down the list of sins involved here.  I can imagine there are some incredibly studly straight guys who might be thrilled, but for anybody else, it would be humiliating and violating beyond belief.


    I don't know. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by dk on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:47:35 AM EST
    I mean, my instinct tells me that if he had been with a woman, the tweet would have simply said he's having sex (or whatever).  

    And by bringing up the reaction of the "audience" I wasn't making a comment on the motivation of the roommate.  The point I was making is that there is, in fact, something different about the reception that a video of two mean getting physical receives than a straight couple, namely, the homophobia of many of the commenters.  I'm not saying that a straight couple wouldn't feel a deep sense of humiliation, etc. as James points out.  However, it is simply a fact that the kind of reaction they would have to endure is different than that which a straight couple would endure.  So, to act as if there is absolutely no difference just doesn't make sense to me.


    I actually wondered if the (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:26:07 AM EST
    roommate did this as a way of "proving" that he, himself, wasn't "like that."

    The possibilities are endless, of course, but the one thing that is missing here is any sense that the perpetrators gave any thought to what would happen after the video went public.

    Then again, kids can be incredibly, stupidly, impulsive, and be so taken by what they think is their incredible brilliance that they are completely blind to the consequences - not just for themselves, but for the others involved.

    When you consider the inherent underdevelopment of the area of the brain that governs impulsive behavior in kids this age, and combine it with all of the societal influences that piggyback on and feed into that impulsivity, it doesn't' surprise me that these kinds of things happen - and will continue to happen.

    I am heartbroken for the parents of the suicide victim, because I know they are agonizing over whether there is something they could have done to prevent it, and going over every detail of every bit of their son's life to see if there's something they did that made their son more likely to think ending his life was the only solution.

    As for the kids who made the video, it's hard to know where that's headed.  They will say they had no idea this would happen, and I'm sure that's true; the question will be whether they will be held at all accountable, if not in a criminal sense, then in a human one.  What is their own history?  Have they engaged in this kind of humiliating and bullying behavior before - and if so, did anyone ever try to do anything about it?

    I hope there are consequences significant enough to make it clear that people can't do these kinds of things and expect to keep breezing through life; for the record, I'm not talking "vengeance," as much as I am something like being dismissed from the university, or being required to do something positive for others that brings home to them how cruel and damaging their behavior was, and that it isn't okay to toy with other people's lives this way.


    in my experience (none / 0) (#56)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:30:16 AM EST
    the severest homophobes are almost always the latent ones.  that is my personal experience.  and now there are studies to back it up.

    FWIW (none / 0) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:58:02 PM EST
    from what I've read, there's no indication that either of these two kids were or ever had been homophobes.  According to some comments from the guy's friends, his circle of pals in high school included openly gay kidsm and when he first met his roommate, he told his friends he was a really cool guy and he was enthusiastic about rooming with him.

    I'm actually tempted to think that part of the reason it didn't occur to either of them that doing this would be such a big deal for their victim is because they don't make much of a distinction between gay and straight.  Sex is sex, and what a cool-o practical joke to broadcast somebody having sex.  It's not even clear that the victim felt that he was being "shamed" as a homosexual since he was apparently out, just having his private moments of intimacy hideously violated.

    That may all be taking it way too far on my part, but today's h/s college age kids are way, way less worried about Teh Gays than I think maybe most of us adults can easily comprehend.

    There's a lot of hate crime out there for sure, but sometimes a crime is just a crime and the identity of the convenient victim doesn't really play into it.


    I hope you are right (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:12:26 PM EST
    I really do.  but I dont think you are.  I work in a building full of 20 something upscale educated above average men.  I have stopped being shocked at how strong the undercurrent of homophobia is.  and I say undercurrent because in one sense I agree with you.  I would say that gays are about where blacks were in the late 60s.  its no longer cool to openly hate but there is still plenty of hate.  and it finds it way out.

    I find it hard to believe that these people knew this boy very well at all simply from the famous "dude" tweet.  if they new him who he was having sex with would not have been worth tweeting about.


    How about sex (none / 0) (#38)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:08:21 AM EST
    with a fat chick? Due to the current fat phobia, the same damage and result could occur heterosexually no?

    um, no (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:09:54 AM EST
    I wouldn't be so sure about that. (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by vml68 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:20:17 AM EST
    I was not a "fat chick" in college but I was very shy. I can assure you if something like this had happened to me when I was 18, a bridge would have looked very inviting. If it happened to me now, I would be more inclined to throw the perpetrator off the bridge.
    For some of us, depending on our personalities and how we were raised, we are not equipped to deal with these situations at such a young age.

    this is just absurd (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:23:25 AM EST
    to suggest such a thing shows a total lack of understanding of what gay people face every day of their lives.

    Nobody is denying what gay (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by vml68 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    people face everyday. But can you say for sure that Clementi would have committed suicide if this had happened to him at the age of 22 or later in life? Youth has a lot to do with how we face various circumstances/hardships.

    I cant and I wouldnt (none / 0) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:36:50 AM EST
    but the fact is the killed himself.  and the video was the reason.  another sad fact is that even under less stressful circumstances gay teens are up to four times more likely to commit suicide than straight ones.

    How About with a Goat? (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:14:40 AM EST

    We can argue which type of sexual preference has the most stigma for ages...  

    In fact we can shift to other cities, states, countries and even eras...  

    Still we would wind up with facing the obvious.


    the sad fact is (none / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:16:54 AM EST
    that boy would have faced less stigma in the eyes of cretins like the two involved with the publication of the video if it had been a goat.

    But not other cretins (none / 0) (#47)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:20:18 AM EST
    who are revulsed by bestiality. . .

    Why not? (none / 0) (#42)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:17:38 AM EST
    Because it's ok for you to make fun of fat people? You should go to some of the fat acceptance sights and read of their humiliation at the hands of the fatphobic. It might change your mind.
     Come on, men who are attracted to heavy women can suffer the same humiliation as a gay being outed this way. In fact the very identical words of disgust to humiliate or belittle could be used.

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:21:52 AM EST
    Not to mention teenagers who are into having sex with 90 year olds.

    They are shunned.

    Anyway it is absurd to argue who suffers the most discrimination.  

    The facts are obvious here. Why try to either diminish or equalize them with imaginary scenarios?


    it simple (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:24:35 AM EST
    clearly there are people who call themselves progressives who do not have a clue what its like to be gay in this country.

    that is utterly (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:19:02 AM EST

    to help you out here (none / 0) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:20:00 AM EST
    neanderthals may joke about chubby chasers but they dont drive around looking for one to beat up.

    The fact (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:09:55 PM EST
    That you blithely used the term "chubby chaser" kinda proves hookfan's point.  

    is there a (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:39:08 PM EST
    more PC name for them?  if so please enlighten.

    Shows how ignorant you are (none / 0) (#53)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:25:39 AM EST
    The psychological damage to the victims is just as bad. And the discrimination in housing and occupational opportunities is just as bad as well.
    Gays don't have a corner on victimization.

    a fat person (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:28:23 AM EST
    can lose weight.  doenst work that way for us.
    Im sorry you feel this way.  its blindingly ignorant.

    Actually this is largely not true (none / 0) (#73)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:53:25 PM EST
      statistics on  attempts to keep weight off show over a 97% failure rate(i.e., those attempting to lose weight return to the previous level) with in a 3-5 year period. Most measurement approaches for weight loss stop measuring in a much shorter time frame for a reason. See american Psychologist 62 (2007): 220-223 for an article showing this entitled: "Medicare's search for Obesity treatments: Diets are not the Answer".
       Also betchya didn't know that dieting may very well increase mortality rates.

    And the psychological damage (none / 0) (#80)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:12:41 PM EST
    is just as bad from the stigma and rejection. Your ignorance of the damage to women is astounding.

    there are no public figures (none / 0) (#50)
    by CST on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:24:20 AM EST
    Who go on tv decrying a "fat person agenda".

    There is no fear of telling your family or friends that you are fat.

    Fat people do not have every major religion in the world against them.

    As far as I am aware, in no country can you be executed for being fat.

    People do not get murdered over their weight.

    Are fat people discriminated against in this country?  Yes, to a point.  But to compare that to the treatment received by gay people is frankly, obsurd.  Way too much of this country/planet is overweight for that to ever be the case.


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    there have been public statements against fat people.
      Although it's true, the obese have a harder time hiding, that doesn't make it better. And the fear of public scorn for exposure of private sexual activity is just as real. The scorn is just as damaging. I've worked on women's units in psychiatric hospitals. Many women are driven to suicidal attempts due to scorn from families, and public humiliation in schools and work.
      And believe it or not, there is domestic violence against women for being fat, as well as fat resulting from post trauma psychological effects from the physical/psychological violence of ridicule. Scorn for the results of that violence (becoming obese) merely contributes to the damage and promotes higher incidents of suicide attempts.
      As for religions, they also preach against the "sin" of "gluttony", and did you know that there is only one state in the US that does not sanction discrimination against fat people? That'd be michigan, that prohibits discrimination on the basis of being fat since the Elliott-Larsen civil rights act of 1977.
     Ridicule over homosexual activity,is not the only, or even primary form, of societal stigma that leads toward suicide.
      I'll grant you that gays have it bad. Perhaps, in some ways worse, But we shouldn't down play cruelty toward others either.

    I am not trying to downplay cruelty (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by CST on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:41:03 PM EST
    to anyone.  I just find it an incredibly false comparison.  Despite the fact that I am well aware of the extent of the damage it can do, I was once a teenage girl - not that long ago.  Gluttony may be a sin, but you really don't hear the same kind of venom and hate from such a large percentage of the global or national population.

    I agree that it's changing, and may not have been the primary motive or feeling from the two who commited this act.  But I'm sure it still had a huge effect on the person who received it, knowing how this is perceived in the public sphere, no matter what the intentions of those two were.

    The saddest thing about this is, I agree with whoever said age was a huge factor here.  At 18 things are going to appear much more drastic than they do later in life.  No matter what the circumstances.


    I'm struggling to understand why (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:10:28 PM EST
    the basis for someone being subjected to - or feeling - humiliation, shame, discrimination, bullying or otherwise being treated like dirt, matters so much; why the need to classify it as worse for this group over that group when what really matters is how it makes someone feel, and what it might cause them to do in response?

    This kid jumped off a bridge because of how he felt, how what those kids did to him for fun made him feel.  Was that connected to his sexual orientation?  Maybe, but why should how he felt because he was gay be more valid than how someone who's fat or ugly or whatever feels - and what any of them do as a result of being humiliated?

    What if they'd made a video of a fat kid having sex and then he'd jumped off a bridge?  Would you all be wondering why he didn't console himself with the thought that, "well, at least I'm not gay?"

    The world is not a nice place if you're different.  And some of the smartest, most attractive, capable people, who seem to have it all and every reason to live, can feel, dumb, ugly and incompetent and see no reason to go on.

    Why can't we focus on what he was driven to do, and why these two kids felt compelled to do it, instead of arguing over which group has more reason to feel bad?


    I was responding (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by CST on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:30:25 PM EST
    to someone else who brought up that comparison.  Which I felt was false.

    I do not think it any more valid or not valid as a reason for feeling bad about something.  I just think it's likely that this was related to that event and it seems to me like there are a lot of people here who do not find it relevant, or think that it could have happened for any reason.

    The fact is, this is a part of what happened.  And so to me, it feels dismissive to say "well he could have been fat or a goat f*cker" and it would have been just as bad.  We don't know that, because that's not what happened, and we don't know that it would ever have happened if those were the circumstances.  What we know is, that this boy was sexually humiliated, that he was gay, and that he killed himself.  Frankly, pretending like being gay had nothing to do with it, or it would have been just as bad if he were "insert some other thing here", feels like a dismissal of the very personal response he might have felt due to the nature of this particular incident.


    its is also (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:33:11 PM EST
    worth remembering that the tweet did not say "he is making out" it said "he is making out with a dude"

    I am trying to comprehend the IQ that would see no difference in those statements.


    Perhaps you would (none / 0) (#125)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:25:54 PM EST
    prefer the statement that suicide due to the damage from ridicule for being fat, is just as bad as suicide from the damage due to ridicule for being gay. Neither damage is good. Neither suicide is good. And those who persecute either should knock it off.

    I dont see (none / 0) (#90)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:15:20 PM EST
    anyone arguing but you

    Are you kidding me? (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:05:44 PM EST
    First of all, this was only my second comment on the subject -I have not been in the thread "arguing" that one group should "win" the discrimination contest - but that is what I am reacting to.

    Second, I didn't claim that anything was "just as bad" as something else - I asked why there should be more validity in someone's feelings because he or she is a member of one group as opposed to another.  Why aren't we looking at what motivates people to drive others to the point where they take their own lives?

    If I were to apply your overall rationale to this, I would say that you must think that the humiliation and bullying and shaming of a fat kid or a disabled kid or a kid who doesn't meet the current standard for beauty just doesn't matter as much because being one of those things just isn't as hard as being gay - and that doesn't' make any sense to me in terms of the person who is subjected to the bad treatment.


    sorry that was flip (none / 0) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:18:11 PM EST
    why?  because the idea that fat people suffer the discrimination gay people do is idiotic.  it shows a complete lack of appreciation of what gay people live with and it trivializes it to a completely absurd level.

    do fat people suffer discrimination, sure.  
    is 70% of the country now considered fat, yes they are.  you know what I will take those numbers over ours.

    hope that explains it for you.


    Any person (none / 0) (#112)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:45:53 PM EST
    fat, thin, or gay driven to suicide, or even made to suffer lowered self esteem, is wrong. Gays don't have a corner on discrimination, or the negative effects of stigma.
      Even if thin persons are more subject to suicide attempts, or gays, does that make it right to persecute fat people until they catch up?
      For me it only makes me feel for the thin, as well as the fat, and the gay.
      Nobody is arguing that gays don't suffer. But they aren't the only ones, and the type, and severity, and duration of the psychological damage is comparable.
      Or is it ok with you to psychologically torture the heavy because it doesn't involve the physical means that gays sometimes suffer?

    one other question (none / 0) (#93)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:20:06 PM EST
    if it is really "just as bad" why does the suicide rate go up for gay teens and down for fat people?

    If it is only a matter of statistics... (none / 0) (#96)
    by vml68 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:28:35 PM EST
    compare suicide rates for Gay TEENS vs fat TEENS and gay ADULTS vs fat ADULTS.

    no thanks (none / 0) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:29:34 PM EST
    Well, you asked the question.... (none / 0) (#100)
    by vml68 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:32:14 PM EST
    if it is really "just as bad" why does the suicide rate go up for gay teens and down for fat people?

    so why dont you (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:33:48 PM EST
    go and do some groundbreaking research and them maybe you will have something to say.

    Why should I? (none / 0) (#108)
    by vml68 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:42:15 PM EST
    go and do some groundbreaking research

    You asked a question. If you want it answered look it up yourself.
    You keep bringing up the gay TEEN suicide rate focusing on the gay part but not the teen part.

    I did (none / 0) (#110)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:43:23 PM EST
    and provided a link

    I dont play move the goalposts.  have fun


    Actually (none / 0) (#135)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:59:53 PM EST
    that would be a worthwhile study.

    Suicide attempts go up (none / 0) (#159)
    by hookfan on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 07:51:00 AM EST
    for fat people, especially women. But women less frequently accomplish the act,perhaps due to using less violent means.
       A good research article discussing this can be found here

    Apparently, from what (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by JamesTX on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 01:33:44 AM EST
    you have written, I can see you are intellectualizing in good faith, but let me fill you in on the difference between having this be a reality instead of a brief hypothetical intellectual exercise.

    Your brief intellectual guess at what it might be like:

    Your hypothesis here is that age matters because young people are more sensitive, less experienced, and probably more easily embarassed by the natural act of sex than adults. After all, you think, they should realize it is normal, and what happened isn't that bad. They are holding themselves to an immature standard, and sooner or later they will realize that it's just not that big of a deal.

    The reality:

    The timing of Tyler's decision to jump is commensurate with how this psychological trauma actually unfolds. Truth is, Tyler probably got past the things you are thinking on the first day. Yes, sex is natural. Yes, even gay sex. Yes, everybody does it. No, you're not freak. It's not that bad. You are making too much of it. No big deal.


    Now that the adrenaline has begun to subside, the victim can begin to consider further sequelae in a more rational manner, as if having a discussion with a wise old man who can help you put it in adult perspective over the next few days. This takes place over the period of the next 2 to 3 days:

    1. Who has the tape? Answer: Who knows? It's out there -- in the internet cloud.

    2. Can they show it to my parents? Answer: I'm not sure why "they" can't show it to anybody they want if you don't know who has it!

    3. Can they show it to my children? Answer: See the answer to #2.

    4. If I try to get a competitive job, can they show it to my potential employer? Answer: See the answer to #2.

    5. If I try to get into a competitive educational program, can they show it to the officials who decide? Answer: See the answer to #2.

    6. If I try to form a new intimate relationship with another person, can they show it to that person? Answer: See the answer to #2.

    7. Is there anybody who they can't show it to? Answer: I don't think so.

    8. How long will it be before it doesn't even look like me? Answer: Possibly 10, maybe 20, 30 years.

    9. What can I do legally to stop the harm? I need to put an end to this. Answer: Get a lawyer for every possible instance where the tape might turn up to harm you. Of course, you won't know until it happens. As a matter of fact, you usually won't know when it does happen! Lots of lawyers. Lots of money. You'll have to hope they don't show the tape to your first good paying employer! Better get moving!

    10. If I decided to run for political office, do you think this might affect my campaign? Answer: Maybe.

    11. OK, OK. There has to be a solution here, let's go over these questions again. Oh. I forgot. What are the implications of having descriptions of your body available to others? Could criminals make up false assault charges and try to blackmail you? How else would they be able to describe your genitalia if they weren't telling the truth? Answer: No problem. I'm sure any judge will entertain your wild story about being filmed as an admissible defense theory of being framed.

    12. OK, OK. Now what is the solution? What can I do to make this better? Answer: jump off a bridge?

    13. Is there any end to possibilities of disaster here? Answer: As far as I can see, no. The more you ask what can happen, the more possible disasters you can imagine, and the more you look for ways to neutralize the threat, the more you realize there are no options available to do that.

    The next difference you haven't considered between your hypothetical exercise and Tyler's experience is: You can go to sleep knowing it's all hypothetical. Tomorrow you will wake up refreshed and no longer have to worry about the problem -- life will bring you something new and interesting. Tyler didn't have that option. Somebody threw a bomb into his world that few people can begin to understand. You have to actually think about it for a few days to begin to understand the depth of it. As the victim examines the facts, things just keep getting worse. As I said, it is a genuine psychiatric emergency. A victim of this crime needs serious help.

    worth repeating (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:44:13 PM EST
    gay teen are 4 times more likely to kill themselves than straight ones.

    no idea what the numbers are for the obese


    what do you know (none / 0) (#87)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:06:22 PM EST
    there are numbers:

    Study Suggests Suicide Linked to Thinness

    They found that suicide rates were related to weight as measured by body-mass index, a ratio of height to weight. As body mass indexes went up, the suicide rates went down by 15 percent increments, the researchers said.

    not that shocking (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by CST on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:18:32 PM EST
    as some of the people who have the biggest issues with their weight are the ones who take extreme measures and are deeply unhappy.

    I wouldn't say it's the fact that they are thin that makes them unhappy though.  More like the fact that they are so thin is a symptom of a greater body-image issue.


    Anorexia might play into this (none / 0) (#98)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:29:52 PM EST
    and what does that (none / 0) (#105)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:36:28 PM EST
    have to do with fat people?

    Foolishness (none / 0) (#119)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:06:52 PM EST
    The fear of being fat permeates the issues in Anorexia. That fear results from the very same social debasement focused at the rotund.
      By the way, your study you quoted was limited to males (military males at that). But I bet the dynamics for women may very well be different. So generalizing to the fat outside the military doesn't apply, and it clearly doesn't apply to fat women.

    Suicide attempts vs suicide deaths (none / 0) (#160)
    by hookfan on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 08:03:39 AM EST
    Increased Suicide attempts seem mostly correlated with BMI increase, but less suicide deaths. So it's not that the obese aren't suffering enough to try. They are just not as effective in accomplishing it.

    depends on who you listen too (none / 0) (#94)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:26:22 PM EST
     The families of many women on eating disorder units use the same venom, the same hate, the same rejection, the same humiliation that leads to suicidal behavior.
      Richard Carmona, the former surgeon general, described obesity as "the terror within, a threat that is every bit as real to America as weapons of mass destruction." A few months before that prouncement on CNN, terrorists had destroyed the world trade center. Pretty venomous.
      As to wide spread effects, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are 7 times more prevalent among women than men. 20% of college aged women are bulimic. 25% of adolescent women either "hate/ dislike their appearance.
      Result? 50 to 70 percent of girls of normal weight believe they are over weight.
    Those stats are published by National Association of anorexia Nervosa and related disorders.
      Also consider:
       "Girls whose families criticize their weight or eating habits may
    develop lasting problems with body image and self-esteem, a new study
    suggests. [...] Researchers found that of 455 college women with poor
    body image, more than 80 percent said their parents or siblings had
    made negative comments about their bodies during childhood." (SOURCE:
    "Family?s weight comments harm girls for years" Reuters,

    thank (none / 0) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:25:02 AM EST

    Well (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:36:08 AM EST
    As far as I am aware, in no country can you be executed for being fat.

    People do not get murdered over their weight

    You obviously missed all the movies that depicted cannibals who only ate their captives after they were fattened up....

    and let's not forget hansel and gretel....


    hansel and gretel (none / 0) (#61)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:38:15 AM EST
    were only fat after the witch made them so with goodies.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#62)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:40:23 AM EST
    That is my point. They were to be killed because they were fat.

    No witch in his or her right mind would cook and eat someone who was not fat.


    you have a (none / 0) (#63)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:42:31 AM EST

    an idiotic one (none / 0) (#64)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:42:55 AM EST
    but a point



    Well (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:35:52 PM EST
    A lot less idiotic than arguing about which marginalized group feels the most suicidal or is the most oppressed, in the wake of this tragedy.

    sorry (none / 0) (#106)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:38:22 PM EST
    I am not going to allow an assertion that fat people suffer as much discrimination as gay people go unchallenged.

    its an idiotic and destructive lie.
    and if you had a dog in the fight you would be in it.


    No I Would Not (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:42:36 PM EST
    After witnessing the absurd back and forth about whether sexism or racism was a bigger problem in America, it is clear that arguing about which group is worse off emotionally, winds up being embarrassing for all the participants.

    The misery contest is guaranteed to only wind up with losers.


    fine (none / 0) (#111)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:44:08 PM EST
    you wouldnt
    I am.  and will be.

    Well (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:47:49 PM EST
    How about this:

    You win. You come in last place as the biggest loser/victim because you are gay.

    The fat person comes in second to last place.

    And the top suicide award goes to the fat black gay lesbian who was adopted.


    everyone happy now?


    or how about this (none / 0) (#115)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:49:29 PM EST
    show me the person left dead hanging on a fence for being fat

    What about psychological damage (none / 0) (#130)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:48:02 PM EST
    don't you understand? Or are you hiding behind the gays to justify your hatred and discrimination against the fat?
     The psychological damage to fat or thin people can be and is just as long lasting, painfully intense, and ruinous (leading to suicide) as the psychological damage to gays. Why is it so hard for you to say neither is right?
     Do you desire to persecute the fat? Is that why you minimize their pain? Several of your statements suggest this is so.
     Perhaps you are just as fat phobic as Islamophobic.

    examples (none / 0) (#134)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:59:23 PM EST
    please.  still waiting

    of psychological damage? (none / 0) (#137)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:05:38 PM EST
    You are bsing by trying to conflate psychological damage (which is the point by the way-- not who suffers the most horrendous torture methods to get there) resultant from actions with comparing the the actions themselves.
      again why do you wish to minimize the pain and suffering of the obese? Is it so you can persecute them? Are you that sadistic?

    examples below (none / 0) (#138)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:07:18 PM EST
    I could do more if you like.
    still waiting for one.

    Ok (none / 0) (#141)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:16:45 PM EST
    thrown out of the house= external circumstance, not psychological response. I can point to fat people from abusive homes that were thrown out and were glad. As well as those who were suicidal. Their responses vary. So what?
       What about the fat people who stay and suffer the humiliation until they kill themselves?
      The external methods and circumstances has never been the contention. Only the psychological damage that occurrs has been focused on, well, except by you.
       So, why do you minimize the suffering experienced by fat women? Or men? Is it so you can continue to be abusive toward them?

    take a breath (none / 0) (#143)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:25:41 PM EST
    you are losing it

    or perhaps (none / 0) (#116)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:51:23 PM EST
    there is a Defense or Svelteness Act I am unaware of.

    lets start with this (none / 0) (#107)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:40:45 PM EST
    introduce me to the person who has been thrown out of their house and disowned by their family because they are fat.

    introduce (none / 0) (#114)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:48:23 PM EST
    me to the corpse who was stoned to death in some arab country for being fat.

    OR (none / 0) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:04:38 PM EST
    maybe there is a crazy cult who protests at fat peoples funerals with signs that say GOD HATES DOUBLEWIDES that I dont know about

    I can (none / 0) (#120)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:08:40 PM EST
    do this all day.

    Well (none / 0) (#121)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:11:55 PM EST
    It sounds like you are getting a lot of international attention in any case.....  for some any news is good news.

    A small consolation for doing so well in the misery contest, no?

    I have a great tee shirt an artist friend made that says:

    The Misery Contest Nearly Killed Me,  

    Maybe you should print a few up.


    you have got it all wrong (none / 0) (#122)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:14:32 PM EST
    I am NOT miserable.  I fight back.  I fully believe that living well is the best revenge.   what you mistake as pity is rage.  and I have learned to use it.

    It doesn't seem to be working here, (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:39:47 PM EST
    and while we know you can clog up a thread better than anyone else, sometimes to the point where you are replying to replies to your own comments, your rage has blinded you to the essential truth that it matters little to those who feel discriminated against, or who are laughed at, or humiliated in myriad ways, that someone else may have it worse because they are a member of some other group.

    We feel what we feel as the individuals we are, and nothing you or I feel, living within our own selves, is any more or less valid.

    You don't get that, and as long as you keep trivializing the pain of others, it is unlikely your rage will be greeted with as much understanding as you feel is due you.


    yeah well (none / 0) (#131)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:50:02 PM EST
    I think the point was made even if you missed it.

    still waiting (none / 0) (#132)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:52:03 PM EST
    for those examples

    Try talking to a fat person... (none / 0) (#133)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:57:39 PM EST
    that might be enlightening for you.

    Oh, wait - I bet some of your best friends are fat, huh?


    actually (none / 0) (#136)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:01:15 PM EST
    and I have talked about the several times before, my sister who is the only relative I care about is morbidly obese and she would laugh you out of the house for your victimhood.  

    You don't seem to grasp that I am (5.00 / 4) (#151)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 05:54:16 PM EST
    NOT trying to make victims of anyone; I have simply stated that it isn't up to any of us to decide if one person's feelings about how he or she is treated is any more or less valid because of the reason for the bad treatment.

    Body image is in one's head, which explains why the anorexic can look in a mirror and not see what looks to the rest of us like someone who is starving, but someone who still isn't thin enough.  I applaud your sister for embracing who she is, fat and all, and for being able to withstand what I'm sure has been years of being stared at, laughed at and ridiculed - but not everyone has the mental wherewithal to do that.

    I've also known some significantly obese people who adopted the I'm-fat-and-proud-of-it attitude as a defense against the ridicule.

    Some of the brightest and most capable people I've known have, at times, been convinced they were failures, that they couldn't do anything right, and it doesn't matter if that's true as long as that's their perception of themselves.

    I have no idea why I am trying to communicate with you as someone who might be able to open his mind and acknowledge that gays do not have a monopoly on discrimination; it's a lost cause.  

    You will continue your "still waiting for examples" form of talk-to-the-hand, but you should know that none of us is fooled by it, and none of us is buying it; it's just making you look like you've got your eyes closed, your fingers in your ears and the only thing you can think of is to shout la-la-la-la-la-la as loud as you can until you think you've won.



    And of course (none / 0) (#139)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:08:57 PM EST
    your sister's psyche is identical to every other fat person's. . . pffft. People's responses vary, not everyone is the same. As a gay you should understand that.

    oh believe me (none / 0) (#140)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:11:03 PM EST
    I understand that.  and so does my sister.  we both have known for a long time that you are only a victim if you allow yourself to be one.

    she is an unapologetically fat and I am unapologetically gay.  


    So (none / 0) (#142)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:25:21 PM EST
    you think it's the fat's fault if they're damaged from social stigma. . . the battle cry of every abuser: it's your fault.
      And it's overgeneralized bs. People vary on their sensitivity to social rejection-- vastly more people than not are damaged by it.
     So are you hiding behind the gays and minimize the suffering of the fat, so you can continue to abuse them?

    absolutely (none / 0) (#144)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:26:26 PM EST
    its a hobby

    Being abusive? (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:29:17 PM EST
    I think that is true on your part. Perhaps the gaybashers should respond to your outrage, with "It's a hobby."

    are you (none / 0) (#149)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:31:25 PM EST
    still here?

    Hey, CH--I know (none / 0) (#157)
    by the capstan on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 12:21:20 PM EST
    it is not part of your personal experience being the parent of a homosexual kid.  But talking about agonies, point out the terrors the parent of one such goes thru while the kid is learning to navigate thru a new (unchosen) world.  What kind of adult offers to be the guide?  Will the kid be degraded and abused by that adult?  Will the kid make an approach to another in the wrong place and wind up hanging (still alive) on a fence?  Will the kid unknowingly do something to attract the attention of a nut who's willing to kill to rid the world of homosexuals?  Will the kid come to the attention of an ugly-minded cop?  Will the kid be targeted by a wandering mob out for blood?  Will the kid simply give up on life in despair?

    And, yes, I know have known the ones who wind up on the street, thrown out of their families cause they 'won't repent.'  But what I personally know is the worry about the kid who says, "I can take care of myself!"--and you know that is in no way true.  Do you suppose that the parents of the obese kids have to worry when those kids want to 'go downtown' at night?


    btw (none / 0) (#145)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:29:12 PM EST
    as if it mattered pretty much my entire family is fat.  really fat.  my sister is the biggest and she never lets anyone forget it.

    in my family the idea that fat people are victims would be a rather alien one I am afraid.  its more like a point of pride.


    as an example (none / 0) (#147)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:30:43 PM EST
    there have been thanksgiving contests to see who can hold the most quarters in their belly button.

    I doubt (none / 0) (#148)
    by hookfan on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:31:00 PM EST
    your family serves as the criteria for the norm.

    yeah (none / 0) (#150)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:31:49 PM EST
    well I doubt you do.

    btw (none / 0) (#123)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:16:19 PM EST
    still waiting for those examples of abused, murdered, abandoned and feared fat people.

    OK (none / 0) (#124)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:25:48 PM EST
    Obese, black, muslim, transgender female, homeless, addict, HIV toothless, acne, bald, very smelly, and naked.

    you forgot (none / 0) (#126)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:28:34 PM EST

    That Too (none / 0) (#127)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:37:56 PM EST
    Although I think given all the other deficits, being a midget might wind up being a plus, not a minus.

    It would add some cute factor, as opposed to scary large, gay, toothless, black, muslim.... wait, skip the toothless part...

    male it bad teeth, much worse than toothless...


    Compared to a white male coming from an unconditionally loving family, who is also rich, gay, white, WASP, successful, with lots of friends, I think we have a top contestant.


    And that is why (none / 0) (#18)
    by dead dancer on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:17:11 AM EST
    one should do their very best with every sexual encounter; because you never know.

    Seriously though, i agree it is not the outing. Don't think he would give a darn about that; he asked the roommate for privacy and invited someone up.

    So these two scoundrels taped and broadcast his adventure. Is that a crime? The motorcycle guy who taped the cop pulling his gun had the charges dropped.

    It's the world we live in


    your lame misplaced attempt at humor is (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:48:54 AM EST
    revealing.  and to answer your question, yes, as a matter of fact it is a crime.

    I said yesterday that we do not know why he jumped and we should not assume.  having said that just because he posted on gay sites and was open to his college friends does not mean he was out to his family.


    Not sure what (none / 0) (#65)
    by dead dancer on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:48:13 AM EST
    it reveals, but you take it however u want. OMG; was that revealing something.



    careful (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:49:23 AM EST
    someone might just tell you

    One things for sure (none / 0) (#153)
    by dead dancer on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 07:19:27 PM EST


    Vengance isn't the right path here? Did I use the (none / 0) (#152)
    by Angel on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 06:14:12 PM EST
    word vengance?  No, I didn't.  I said that I would like for them to suffer - as in get charged with the appropriate criminal indictments, go before a jury and take the punishment, get expelled from school, become pariahs for life.  They deserve to be punished for this despicable act.  They drove a kid to suicide for dog's sake!  

    Before we break out the pitchforks and torches (none / 0) (#4)
    by abdiel on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 10:16:40 PM EST
    I think a lot more needs to come out about this story. There are a lot of very shaky details. What they did might be reprehensible, but there's a big gap between a web cam joke and suicide.

    And I don't think a proper response to cyber-bullying is to become digital brown shirts and punish them in kind by hoping they suffer.


    And Sarah Pailn? (none / 0) (#8)
    by diogenes on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 11:14:01 PM EST
    Didn't everyone on this site grumble about the guy who hacked and transmitted Sarah Palin's private email messages being charged with felonies?  I don't care--charge them all with felonies.

    not even comparable (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 07:15:29 AM EST
    but, yes, if someone illegally obtained them, prosecute away.

    your selective outrage, however, and your false equivalence here are both funny, disturbing, and irrational.


    this really seems to be (none / 0) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:18:04 AM EST
    bringing them out of the woodwork doesnt it?

    there are so many in the woodwork (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jondee on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:51:54 AM EST
    it becomes a matter of physics after a while..

    Gloria Allred was on the last segment (none / 0) (#5)
    by Harry Saxon on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 10:19:08 PM EST
    on "The Last Word" on MSNBC, and she hinted darkly at "other evidence and information" that she hasn't produced but will if Ms. Whitman 'engages in more lies' and thinks that they may have underestimated her and her client.

    As one of my greataunts used to say about my mother, Ms. Allred is "Madame Formidable".

    There is a certain kind of curse that comes over those people who run for statewide office in CA as a rookie candidate and think that their wealth will propel them to their goal, only to be brought up short by 'unexpected circumstances'.

    Look up Norton Simon and his failed attempt to capture a Senate seat some decades ago.

    Gloria always (none / 0) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:21:43 AM EST
    "hints darkly" about having even more incriminating stuff, and I can't remember a single time when she's actually produced it.  It's a negotiating tactic, IMHO, to scare the wits out of the target and get them to cough up the big bucks rather than risk being blindsided with something else embarrassing at trial.

    She stated that she doesn' t say (none / 0) (#72)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:46:35 PM EST
    that she can produce something unless she has it and she's able to produce it.  

    BTW, this is from the answers(dot)com article about her I posted an excerpt from about Ms. Allred.

    Allred has earned a reputation as a champion of those who have been sexually victimized. She represented a woman who won a $5 million civil suit against an accused rapist the district attorney declined to prosecute; represented a boy who claimed to have been sexually abused by a famous rock singer (although she abruptly and without explanation withdrew from the case before it was settled); and tackled the thorny issue of clergy sexual abuse. She says she wants the public to know that even if the criminal justice system fails them, they are entitled to file a civil suit.

    Allred is an ardent feminist who believes that all attorneys and all judges should be feminists, because she feels anyone who is not a feminist is a bigot. Some critics say she is all show and no substance. She has been compared to legal showmen such as Melvin M. Belli ("the King of Torts") and Marvin Mitchelson, who gained notoriety through a series of celebrity palimony suits. However, even Mitchelson, not one to shrink from publicity himself, describes her style as rough. But Allred has many supporters as well. Among them is Justice Joan Dempsey Klein, of the California Court of Appeal, who credits Allred with moving women's issues forward. Klein also points out that Allred saves her dramatics for outside the courtroom and always observes proper decorum when before the bench. According to Klein, Allred is always well-prepared and, for that reason, is quite successful.

    Click Me

    But you know more than someone who serves on the CA Court of Appeal.

    I looked it up, there's no gyrfalcon listed on the VT Supreme Court.

    She was correct about the letter that some people here were poo-pooing ever existed, and today now Whitman is saying that perhaps her husband saw the letter, even if she didn't.

    It's a negotiating tactic, IMHO, to scare the wits out of the target and get them to cough up the big bucks rather than risk being blindsided with something else embarrassing at trial.

    Or she could have something explosive and is giving Ms. Whitman a chance to come clean and not lie, as she said on the air.

    You also seem to buy the line that perhaps her client is more motivated by greed than getting her day in court.

    Here's a link to the Gloria Allred interview:

    Click Me


    You might try (none / 0) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:08:24 PM EST
    actually reading what I've said about this rather than just making up your own storyline.

    In fact, I had intended to give your first post outlining Gloria's bona fides a "5," and if I failed to, it's only because I forgot to hit the "Rate all" button.

    She's an extremely skilled attorney, and part of that is that she almost always "hints darkly" about other incriminating stuff that she never ends up revealing.  It's actually a fairly standard technique for attorneys pursuing civil suits, it's just that Gloria's a master at getting publicity for it.

    As for this particular case, I actually find the housekeeper's story entirely credible on its face, including fishing the paperwork out of the wastebasket, which I also posted about earlier.

    I don't know what your anger problem is here, but kindly don't take it out on me because I'm almost entirely in agreement with you on this case, which you would know if you would read what people say instead of lashing out at some figment of your overheated imagination.


    I'm not taking out any anger (none / 0) (#89)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:12:27 PM EST
    but you haven't mentioned any specific cases where she's employed the tactic that you mentioned, and thus I remain a skeptic on that issue.

    You may be right, but I'd be willing to bet garbage to doornails that if Ms. Whitman doesn't take Ms. Allred seriously, it would turn out to be a blunder of the highest magnitude.


    Jeralyn... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 11:09:53 PM EST
    Did you get your wireless problems resolved?  Did you end up getting a new router?  My laptop crapped out and I'm also having problems with Windows 7 to recognize the existing wireless on the new laptop.

    At least I was able to connect the DSL and keep the wireless running for the Blue Ray and the TV.  Now I have to figure out a way to retrieve the data on the old laptop!  Grrrrrr.  

    Every now and then i quote the bible. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:43:30 AM EST
    I think it is a good habit.

    Matthew 24:40

    "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me."

    That statement can refer to good deeds or evil deeds.

    The two criminals for indeed that is what they are, feloniously and sexually assaulted the young man that committed suicide just as if they had beat him down and raped him with a broom handle.

    Since his death can be related fairly closely to the felony assault just as if he had died of rectal hemorrhaging from a broom handle, they should be tried for first degree murder in my opinion.

    Only a few times in my career did I have occurrences within my command that could be compared to the above and my recommendations was very similar to the above.  Usually though the higher ups wanted to tread more softly.  

    I can say though that once word got out about my stance, life got a lot easier for those that didn't fit in so well, and the units also functioned more efficiently because everyone could keep their minds on their work more easily and not on personal grievances.

    Excuse me. Matthew 25:40 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:46:10 AM EST
    I think my eyes skipped ahead to the 40 and I wrote 24.

    Anyway - Matthew 25:40, KJV


    why aren't they being charged (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 04:12:27 AM EST
    with some kind unintentional homocide felony? their actions could have reasonably been forseen as resulting in adverse consequences for mr. clementi, whether intended or not.

    who cares?:

    that Mr. Ravi has his own demons separate and apart from what he's just set in motion. As for making him and his associate "suffer," no. Vengeance isn't the right path here.

    mr. ravi's and ms. wei's personal "demons" can be taken into account, when they are sentenced. this wasn't a college prank, where the victim ended up with a bucket of water poured on him. this was a vicious act, the sole purpose of which was to cause mr. clementi serious harm. it succeeded.

    Because that is not the law (none / 0) (#17)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:13:30 AM EST
    Mr Clementi committed suicide, days later.  They didn't hold a gun to his head, they didn't push him over the bridge.

    As for

    his was a vicious act, the sole purpose of which was to cause mr. clementi serious harm. it succeeded.

    that is all conjecture.  For all we know Mr Ravi didn't like Mr Clementi and simply wanted a different roommate, one who wasn't gay.


    Plenty of students change their roommates (none / 0) (#21)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:42:03 AM EST
    without violating their privacy as part of the process, and whatever his motive his actions were inexcusable.

    He has been (none / 0) (#23)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:57:48 AM EST
    charged with a crime.

    To charge him with homicide as CPINVA suggests because CPINVA assumes that Mr Ravi was trying to cause serious harm is pure speculation.


    I never stated what, if any charges are (none / 0) (#24)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:20:11 AM EST
    appropriate, so make your arguments with the aforementioned commentators, not me.

    I did (none / 0) (#25)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:27:13 AM EST
    I replied to CPINVA precisely because of the question on homicide.  Then you replied to me.  Since my entire point was that homicide is not a reasonable charge and that ascribing motive to Mr Ravi because the commenter feels for Mr Clementi does not make it so.

    In essence you walked into the middle of a conversation about homicide charges.


    Whatever the motive (none / 0) (#28)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:56:37 AM EST
    he can still be charged with a criminal act because motive is irrelevant to guilt in such cases.

    And he is, (none / 0) (#29)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:15:16 AM EST
    but intent does matter, at least in homicide charges.

    I find the outrage here odd, considering the lack of outrage about the Megan Meier case.  I mean there the suicide was by a minor and the individual who sent the info was an adult (mother).


    you were here (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:25:51 AM EST
    counting comments 4 years ago?

    If what je did is ruled a felony (none / 0) (#68)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:23:54 PM EST
    He could be tried under the felony murder rule, which doesn't require the intent to murder to be present, from the Law Library:

    Felony-murder statutes evince a special brand of transferred intent. Under a felony-murder statute, any death caused in the commission of, or in an attempt to commit, a predicate felony is murder. It is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim. For example, a death resulting from arson will give rise to a murder charge even though the defendant intentionally set the structure on fire without intending to kill a human being. Furthermore, the underlying crime need not have been the direct cause of the death. In the arson example, the victim need not die of burns; a fatal heart attack will trigger a charge of felony murder. In most jurisdictions, a death resulting from the perpetration of certain felonies will constitute first-degree murder. Such felonies usually include arson, robbery, burglary, rape, and kidnapping.

    Click Me

    There was an ENORMOUS (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:10:45 PM EST
    amount of outrage over that case when it happened, numerous threads full of it.  Don't know where you were at the time, but it sure wasn't on TL.

    their first comment (none / 0) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:20:02 PM EST
    is months after the incident

    TChris wrote in defense (none / 0) (#103)
    by me only on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:34:48 PM EST
    of Lori Drew, noting:

    This site is about the politics of crime, and it is written from the perspective of lawyers who think it is more important to shield liberty from governmental abuse than to "punish" every perceived wrongdoing.

    See here especially comment #10.

    On this thread there is no such support for the defendant(s).

    Posting the images is against the law, but this even disturbs me MUCH less than the Megan Meier episode.  I absolutely oppose any laws being created because of this event and find most the quotes in the NYT article quite disturbing.


    Send lawyers, guns and money! (none / 0) (#20)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:40:19 AM EST
    Dad, get me outta this.  Isn't it odd, if al-Awlaki is such a brave idealist sworn to destroy America, that he would send his Dad to a US court to say "Don't tase me, bro?"
    If this guy is just some poser, online-extremist blowhard, then this capture or kill order is a big deal. My piece on this story

    Does Anyone Know? (none / 0) (#26)
    by bselznick on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:38:33 AM EST
    Have these two miscreants been expelled or is that expecting too much from an institution of higher learning?

    I sure hope so (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 12:43:17 PM EST
    If there ever were two people not ready to live away from the supervision of mommy and daddy, it's these two.

    I needed something to cheer me up (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 10:37:10 AM EST
    The state of the nation and the political climate is such a failure.  I thought maybe a really nice meal could help.  So this notoriously poor instinctive cook is going to make beurre blanc tonight and by God I will be successful at doing something hard or else.  I have some nice flounder and nice scallops, and only an idiot would not apply themselves properly to the job at hand.

    How'd it come out? (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:13:33 PM EST
    Beurre blanc is actually incredibly easy if you follow the directions.

    Two main things to be sure of-- that the acid liquid is reduced to nearly a syrup before you add the butter, and that the heat in the pan is so low that it just barely softens the butter to the melting point and no further.

    It's a lukewarm sauce, not a hot one.  Heat will separate the butter and ruin the sauce.

    A good beurre blanc on a nice piece of fish is practically orgasmically good, IMO.


    It was delicious! (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 08:30:03 AM EST
    We really pigged out :)  I think I still must give some credit to my husband though on the sauce and when it had been well reduced.  I watched a couple of videos and went with cheating a bit with a touch of cream.  Then my husband watched the vids to see what I was attempting and came into the kitchen after I added the cream and said that the bubbles were too small that it was making.  I rolled my eyes, is there anything more annoying than a guy who looks at the size of bubbles in a video.  I took his word for it though, he is a better cook than I am unless it is baking.  I think he was probably right too.  I let him tell me when to take it off the heat and add the butter and it was one of the best things I've ever made with his assistance.....AGAIN.

    You are so right (none / 0) (#129)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 03:45:09 PM EST
    Best crab cakes ever - Anthony's Home Port in Seattle and environs (2 or 3 locations) with beurre blanc for dipping. Best single food experience I have ever had. I go back whenever I am in that area, but the first time is special.

    First time I ever had it (none / 0) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:14:14 PM EST
    was a wonderfully delicate ugli fruit beurre blanc over a delectable piece of spanking fresh sole-- room service, of all things, in a newly opened fancy hotel in San Diego, one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life.

    I tried and failed to reproduce that one myself with grapefruit, which is just too strong, so I'm keeping an eye out for the ugli fruit in case it ever shows up here in the sticks!


    Does anyone watch (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 11:33:01 AM EST
    project runway?  As rediculous as it sounds, it was incredibly emotional last night.  And I'm not one to use that word lightly, nor did I ever expect to describe that show in that way.  The current topic reminds me of it.


    I watched (none / 0) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 02:28:17 PM EST
    it and it was out of the ordinary for the show.

    loaves and fishes (none / 0) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 01:54:53 PM EST
    in this case Rahm would be the loaf (pinched)

    What a charming parting gift given to outgoing White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at his final Senior Staff meeting this morning.

    A dead fish.