Comments on: The Testosterone Defense: being wrong but never paying a price http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 05:29:41 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Being wrong & never paying the price: a Washington journalist testifies on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-1392300 Tue, 19 Mar 2013 04:40:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-1392300 [...] I have written here before about the stunning wrongness of the pro-invasion crowd, and the utter lac…: You probably can remember some of them, too:  wrong blogger Joshua Marshall, wrong New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, and wrong writers Christopher Hitchens and George Packer.  Wrong Kenneth Pollack–who alone among this crowd has had the decency to retreat into the background–gave the rest of the rat pack cover for their support for George W. Bush’s second war.  None of them had military experience.  All of them treated the invasion of a sovereign country as though it were a stoned late-night game of Risk in their parents’ basement.  (Only even stoned Risk-players know never to get bogged down in an Asian land war!) [...]

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By: Perpetua http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-874632 Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:01:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-874632 Well, the testosterone defense strikes me as slightly less persuasive than the Twinkie defense (which has always seemed to me a tiny bit persuasive -w ho knows what the human mind is capable of all hopped up on twinkies), but at least it’s gesturing towards some kind of explanation for those months of mass delusion that led to the invasion of Iraq. It was so willfully self-deceptive that it’s mind-boggling to even think back on it. I was in Europe during the lead up to the war, and every European news cast I watched said flat out, There are not WMD in Iraq. There is no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. They were just shaking their heads, like, can you believe these Americans? So I had a totally different impression of what was going on than mainstream America. And I returned in the US only after the war had begun, so you can imagine the depths of my culture shock.

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By: Millerz http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-874485 Mon, 19 Sep 2011 05:18:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-874485 The Barnicle story is a good example of no consequences, but the details are more intertwined than coincidental on why he was fired. Patricia Smith was fired not for plagiarism but for infrequent small embellishments of her anecdotal columns, eg, making up a quote from a fictional persona to add commentary as she saw fit. These were opinion columns, and many of us were not pleased she was railroaded out instead of some other measure taken. Barnicle piled on, railing against Smith, as if he himself were not blatantly guilty of worse. The Boston Phoenix took it on themselves to fact check Barnicle’s work, since the Globe was reluctant to hold their brash white male columnist to the same standard as they judged Patricia Smith, a black woman writer and poet who was a vital part of the greater Boston community. The Phoenix busted Barnicle and the Globe was basically forced by public exposure to let their main opinion columnist go. He wasn’t busted for plagiarism, either, but for wholesale inventing of characters, including turning a white family facing their child’s cancer into “African Americans” to up the heartstrings factor of another family’s helping them out. There was more, such as the Globe shelling out settlement money to cover-up people he’d misquoted and mischaracterized.

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By: Western Dave http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-874411 Mon, 19 Sep 2011 01:37:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-874411 Speaking of making shit up and not paying a price: David “the liar” Brooks. The kid who took him down is still relatively unknown, but Brooks wound up on the Times editorial page. Sigh.

(Note: Sasha Issenberg, the kid who did the takedown, is a former student of mine, so I might just be a teeny bit biased).

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By: Dr. Koshary http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-874013 Sun, 18 Sep 2011 03:28:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-874013 I seconded Janice’s observation about The Princess Bride. I cannot possibly hear about land wars in Asia without thinking of Wallace Shawn.

As for Dick Cheney and Tom Friedman, I cede my time to some worthwhile links:

On Cheney:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-cheney-memoir-reveals-hes-going-to-live-full-s,21262/

On Friedman:
http://inanities.org/2011/03/this-is-just-the-start-and-it-never-fucking-ends/

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By: Fratguy http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-873919 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 23:32:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-873919 Worse yet, Dick released his book on Sept 11 10th anniversary eve. Fuckin soul dead ghoul.

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-873871 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 20:13:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-873871 The esteemed Driftglass’s Two Commandments:

1. There is a Club.
2. You are not in it.

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By: Tenured Radical http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-873849 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 18:34:22 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-873849 How about Dick Cheney getting the big payday for writing a book about how he wasn’t wrong either — about !!!!anything!!!!ever!!!!!!

Or Ann Coulter, who has just written yet another big book of lies that makes me long for British slander laws? The NYRB reviewed it, and I thought about all the *great* novels that never get published, and good history books that get shunted into academic presses with weak distribution, because all marketing cares about is a huge audience and massive sales, not that anything in the book is valuable, smart, interesting or true.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-873839 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 18:16:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-873839 As a rider to all this, the _Times_ front-paged an article earlier in the week reporting on a study that found that things like reading _Goodnight Moon_ “for the umpteenth time” (and, needless to say, to kids, not on Metro-North while commuting to the hedge fund shop) made testosterone levels drop substantially over time. The cultural-as-well-as-scientific commentary that they solicited from experts “not involved in the study” was all over the map and interesting. Not sure this could make even a measurable contribution to war-adoidance, even if “used in a conscientiously-applied program” of other tempering measures. I wonder how they got that squishy “umpteenth” metric past the peer reviewers? The burden of the study claim, apparently, was that parenting behavior intervenes/ed, over evolutionary time, in biological processes, in some coherent way.

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By: FrauTech http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/16/the-testosterone-defense-being-wrong-but-never-paying-a-price/comment-page-1/#comment-873573 Sat, 17 Sep 2011 03:00:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16573#comment-873573 I’m not sure expressing wrong opinions in what were essentially opinion columns is that big a deal (we’d have to fire everyone in the media, right?)

But I agree with the gist. I remember leading up to the war, and in our early post 9-11 fever, I had many male acquaintances who almost seemed to indicate they were so in support of this that they would join up if we invaded! Only one of those people did join up (Navy, though significantly later than the invasion).

It’s all about what your local culture is. I went from working non-profit healthcare industry where being anti-war was something you could talk about in the workplace. Even the “conservatives” there did not seem to welcome a war, though presumably they thought it might be necessary. When I left for male dominated engineering industry the culture was much different. The war was more like this thing that just happened. It didn’t really matter if you were for it or against it. It was its own machine. Those that served in Afghanistan or Iraq often didn’t discuss their service at work. Strangely it was those who’d been in say the Navy in non-war times who spoke most often of their personal commitment to patriotism. It seems the less personal experience people have, the more patriotism and eagerness for war they are willing to project.

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