The Raving Theist

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Where Reality Exits

March 22, 2009 | 53 Comments

After President Obama mocked the Special Olympics on national television, Governor Sarah Palin condemned his “degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people.” This observation was too much for talk show host Bill Maher, who led a panel consisting of Senator Bernie Sanders, actress Kerry Washington and New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin in a round of hooting, hand-clapping laughter at Palin’s presumed stupidity. Things got a bit uncomfortable, however, when Maher specifically challenged Palin’s description of the disabled:

Imagine what would have happened if Maher had challenged the President’s “precious and unique” leadership skills. I’m pretty sure the whole panel would have stomped off the set in outrage.

Comments

53 Responses to “Where Reality Exits”

  1. Jen
    March 22nd, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

    Bill Maher is an absolute ass. Beyond that, I’m almost speechless…How shallow, hollow, and unfeeling he is! And his panelists should be ashamed of themselves for just sitting there with their awkward smiles and laughter.

  2. Dan
    March 22nd, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

    I think that this could get out of hand – either to much sensitivity or to little.
    Everyone gets made fun of.
    Only in some contexts is it appropriate though.

  3. newtimon
    March 22nd, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

    I tell myself, “it’s just the marijuana talking.”

  4. Adam
    March 22nd, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    Disappointing. Very, very disappointing.

  5. Cathy
    March 22nd, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    What happens when you give the media to people who have less moral fortitude than your average 14 year old?

  6. Beelzebub
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 3:20 am

    Well, he was host of Politically Incorrect. It’s pretty obvious that at this point Palin is just trying to stab at the uppity n—-r who beat the crap out of her in the election in any way she can. She’s probably up there in Juno sticking pins in a voodoo doll. Classless.

  7. Pikemann Urge
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 5:15 am

    Well actually Palin is wrong: the disabled are not the most unique and precious people. Nobody is more precious than anyone else, whether in the eyes of the gods or of men. Unless I’m missing something?

  8. Beelzebub
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 5:57 am

    Yes, you’re missing Palin’s bottomless capacity to use the disabled’s status to cynically score political points.

  9. Christina
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 6:25 am

    I agree with Pikemann — everybody is of equal worth. It would have been much more appropriate for her to say that the Special Olympics athletes are vulnerable people we should be nurturing, not poking fun of.

    Also “unique” means that there is only one, so you can’t be more unique or less unique. You either are or aren’t. And since there’s only one of each of us, we’re all unique. But that’s the disgruntled English teacher in me talking.

  10. Lily
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 7:02 am

    Bbub– there is nothing cynical about the mother of a Down syndrome baby defending her own. She had already heard similar nasty comments about her baby from the morally superior left on the campaign trail.

    Why do you hold a normal, accomplished, healthy, sensible woman in contempt? Maybe if we understood that, we could understand why you don’t see a problem with voicing comments about voodoo dolls and uppity negroes in the same message and attributing them to a perfect stranger. I am very much afraid that this says more about you than about an accomplished mother of 5 and governor with whom you are totally unacquainted.

  11. Catholic Cat
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    Beelzebub,
    Vox Day uses the word socially autistic to describe how some adults act. He even had a site that one could use to score how autistic they were.

    I thought it was all bs.
    But I have to admit, reading your comments makes me think that Vox might have been on to something.

  12. Tom
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    People, he’s right. Sorry to break it to you. Saying that they’re not the world’s most precious and unique people does nothing to degrade them.

  13. Tom
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 10:53 am

    Plus, this was mostly a political move for Palin.

  14. GMD
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 11:04 am

    Yes, Palin orchestrated Obama saying yet another idiotic thing.

    She was also behind him smacking his head on the entrance to Airforce 1, and mistaking a window for a door.

  15. Lily
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 11:32 am

    Oh, this is fun! Palin was also responsible for him mocking Jessica Simpson’s weight, his lackluster
    inauguration speech, his inability to speak without a teleprompter and, even with one, his inability to tell which is his speech and which is the Irish Prime Minister’s.

    Good golly Miss Molly! That woman has a lot to answer for! She even caused Steve Kroft to ask Obama if he was punch drunk! Right on 60 minutes!! She must have super powers!!! Are there enough exclamation points on the planet to indicate how awesome her powers are? She has even managed to make Slow Joe Biden look like a statesman in comparison to the Pectorially-Challenged One.

    The mind boggles.

  16. frustrated (mk)
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 11:42 am

    Let’s not forget how she caused Katrina, 911, global warming and the Noah’s Flood. Gee, and he only got to part the red sea and walk on water!

  17. Lily
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    The perfidy of the woman!! You will never guess what else she did– She made Obama forget who the president of France is!! So the poor victim sent a letter addressed to “JACQUES CHIRAC”!!!!! Clearly, Ms Palin, or, should I say, Comrade Palin, must be stopped!!!

  18. Catholic Cat
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    Tom said:

    “Plus, this was mostly a political move for Palin.”

    You don’t know that. Palin has a special needs child; I would guess the issue hit very close to home for her.
    I would also guess that your interpretation is more telling of your own views. You quite likely would be of the type to exploit a situation like this. Again, considering that you appear to discount the fact that Palin has a special needs child and made the clearly unfounded statement that her response was “mostly a political move”.

  19. JoAnna
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    I’m curious as to how Bbub has such an intimate knowledge of Palin’s alleged motives. I seem to recall that such speculation on the part of others about Obama’s motives was met with derision.

  20. TruBrit
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    i hope y’all vote her in next time round

  21. skeptimal
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

    “Yes, you’re missing Palin’s bottomless capacity to use the disabled’s status to cynically score political points.”

    Beelzebub, you’re missing a key factor. Saint Sarah conceived Trig through immaculate conception, and because she gave birth to a special needs child, her moral character is above question. No doubt, Jehovah afflicted Trig with this disorder as a message to the world that he loves conservative Christians and abhors abortion. Trig got screwed in the process, but the important thing is that there’s a *purpose.*

  22. frustrated (mk)
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

    Skep,

    While I know you were being factitious, there is actually some truth to what you say. In the Church we have what are known as victim souls. Souls that “volunteer” to carry heavy crosses for the sake of the world. While I am not claiming that Trig is one of these, it is still within the realm of possibilities. He very well might be a soul, come to earth, voluntarily carrying a cross to offset the grave evil of abortion…at the very least, Sarah’s love and acceptance of him is truly a witness that these children are very lovable, and need not be disposed of simply because they are “different”.

    Of course, the part about Immaculately Conceiving is a bit harder to swallow. Sheesh, she isn’t even Catholic!

    Oh, and only Jehovah’s witnesses call God Jehovah.

  23. frustrated (mk)
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

    Lily,

    Do you suppose she picked out those gifts for the Prime Minister and his kids???

  24. Lily
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

    Hmmm, mk. I suppose it is possible (well, of course it is! St. Sarah can do *anything*!!!) but I am thinking she might have been a little too busy persuading Obamamessiah that Chirac is the President of France. I mean, he and his gov’t flunkies can’t be that stupid, can they? On the other hand, maybe when Obamatron couldn’t find a nice map of all 57 states, he grabbed whatever he could find. It isn’t like they have a great selection of unique, high end gifts at WalMart.

    I wonder. Do you suppose we have milked this for all it is worth yet or is some other pinko, commie, liberal with wild, unfocused eyes, messy hair and untrimmed toe nails gonna try to outwit us? Doesn’t seem to me like there could be that much darned fool bravado left in the blogosphere.

  25. JoAnna
    March 23rd, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

    skeptimal, how did you come by your intimate knowledge of Sarah Palin’s motivations?

  26. Skeptimal
    March 24th, 2009 @ 9:22 am

    “skeptimal, how did you come by your intimate knowledge of Sarah Palin’s motivations?”

    I haven’t said whether I think she was using her son to milk sympathy, but I do find it nauseating that she’s given a free pass on just about everything by the right wing. Her political past is riddled with cynical political actions, sometimes at the expense of old friends who got in her way.

    There is much more objective reason to reject Saint Sarah’s legitimacy than there is to reject our lord and savior Obama.

  27. lily
    March 24th, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    Skeptimal, you know that you cannot possibly make such unjustified statements without the slightest attempt at supporting them. Just exactly what cynical political actions did she engage in? What old friends were sacrificed? You do realize how unlikely it is that you can make such charges plausible, don’t you? Such politicians don’t usually maintain a 90% approval rating in office. Even after all the oceans of slime that have been poured on her, her approval rating is the envy of most politicians.

    So let’s hear it. What is your evidence?

  28. Skeptimal
    March 24th, 2009 @ 11:34 am

    I don’t know whether this forum will allow you to post links or not, but here goes:

    For several examples of her cronyism:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?_r=1&hp

    For discussion of firing a police chief for doing his job but not supporting her politically:
    http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/09/03/palin-scandal-du-jour/

    For a story on her lying about here alleged opposition to the “bridge to nowhere” (the only reason she is considered a “reformer” by the right):
    http://www.adn.com/sarahpalin/story/511471.html

    For information on Troopergate, in which she and her husband used every source of power she had to avoid transparency or accountability: http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/08/29/a-tick-tock-of-the-big-palin-scandal.aspx

    (Just as a reminder, Troopergate was an issue pressed by conservative Alaska Republicans, not the ubiquitous and all-powerful liberal media.)

    She’ll support you (Murkowski and Stephens) until it becomes obvious she can’t do so without making it obvious she’s no reformer. Then of course, there are the questions of how she used campaign money, how she uses state funds (her odd outlook on per diems), and the fact that she was the least qualified Vice Presidential candidate in at least two generations.

    What’s the difference between the miserable failure and Sarah Palin? Lipstick.

  29. Catholic Cat
    March 24th, 2009 @ 11:37 am

    Skeptimal and the fine art of the Least Gracious Interpretation Possible.

  30. Skeptimal
    March 24th, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

    “Skeptimal and the fine art of the Least Gracious Interpretation Possible.”

    Cat…

    I can’t say that I’m exactly gracious when it comes to the miserable failure or his cronies/wannabes. If I loved my country less, it might be easier to be gracious. Even so, are mine really as bad as RA/T’s diatribes?

  31. JoAnna
    March 24th, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

    Both Saint Sarah and Lord Obama have their problems. I don’t think that one is necessarily more ethical or squeakly-clean than the other.

    That being said, if Sarah Palin did not have a child with Down’s Syndrome, I’d agree that she was using the situation for political gain. However, she does, and she reacted as any mother (including myself) would have reacted.

    Actually, she reacted more calmly and classily that I would have — if the President of the United States had gone on national TV and mocked my child’s disability, I would have gone on the warpath.

  32. lily
    March 24th, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

    It is also the untrue interpretation, I am afraid, Catholic Cat. These stories have been thoroughly debunked numerous times. I am not sure it is even worth trying to do so again. The left is simply unable and unwilling to deal fairly with anyone who does not fall in with their views. There is a reason guns and ammo are flying off the shelves these days. These people don’t care about truth, are no friends of free speech and will stop at nothing to grasp and keep power.

    So now here is poor Skeptimal who doesn’t appear to be nearly skeptical enough!

    Let’s see. Troopergate. We have a man, with a known problem with alcohol, who was reported to have boasted of drinking on the job, actually had tasered his step-son, had threatened the life of his in-laws (Sarah’s parents) and you and the deranged left think she did something wrong by actively pressing for an investigation and not letting it drop?? Let’s not forget that she was cleared of the ethics charge, as well she should have been.

    Here is a link to a transcription of an interview with Palin by the Alaska Dept. of Public Safety Dept about what she, her sister and parents were dealing with: http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/07/18/13/071607-palin-monegue-050205-interview-transcript.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf

    Here are the trooper’s notes on the interview: http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/07/18/12/071608-palin-monegue-troopernotes.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf

    This is only the tip of the iceberg of what is available to corroborate Palin’s version of events. Moreover, the investigation and this (and other available interviews) started a year before Palin ran for governor, so this idea that she misused her office is as bogus as most every other charge the deranged left has made against her. Let’s look at what one journalist found out when Wooten’s personnel file was released:

    Wooten recently gave his union permission to release the entire investigative file, all 482 pages and hours of recorded interviews.

    “The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable, and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession,” Col. Julia Grimes, then head of Alaska State Troopers, wrote in March 1, 2006, letter suspending Wooten for 10 days. After the union protested it, the suspension was reduced to five days.

    She warned that if he messed up again, he’d be fired.

    “This discipline is meant to be a last chance to take corrective action,” Grimes wrote. “You are hereby given notice that any further occurrences of these types of behaviors or incidents will not be tolerated and will result in your termination.” (http://www.newsminer.com/news/2008/jul/28/scrutiny-wooten-raises-conduct-questions/)

    This can stand for all of your charges. They are all ridiculous. The per diems may have been wrong but there is no reason to believe that she did not honestly think she could claim them. Where is the meat in “She’ll support you (Murkowski and Stephens) until it becomes obvious she can’t do so without making it obvious she’s no reformer What did she do that was wrong?

    You are regurgitating the usual leftist drivel with which that woman has been slimed, non-stop, since McCain chose her. God and 40 of his angels could appear before Congress and testify on her behalf and it wouldn’t give the loony left pause, much less cause them to rethink their lies.

    What is the difference between truth and the deranged left? Night and day, I am afraid.

  33. EclecticGuru
    March 25th, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    How does being retarded or crippled make you magically *more* special and unique than someone with fully functional bodies and minds?

    Is it because God loves them more?

  34. JoAnna
    March 25th, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

    EclecticGuru, have you ever known someone with Down’s Syndrome, or someone who was “crippled”?

  35. Heather
    March 25th, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

    Regardless of how much Sarah Palin loves her own disabled child, mentally disabled people are most certainly NOT “the world’s most precious and unique people.” Any other animal would push the sick and disabled out of the herd, letting the predators feed on them so that the smarter, healthier, and more fit individuals could live on and improve the species. We humans have evolved to the point where we take care of the mentally disabled — we build special schools, special equipment, and we even gave them their own olympics. That’s great, because everyone deserves to live a quality life. But these people do not grow up to be leaders, scientists, teachers, inventors, or any other role that helps to improve the species. They just don’t, and Bill Maher is absolutely correct in pointing out the stupidity of Palin’s comment.

  36. rhys
    March 26th, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    touche Heather!
    couldn’t agree more,

    disabled children are put on a pedastool. i know it would be hard being disabled, and just as hard caring for the disabled, however they aren’t the ones closing holes in the ozone layer, and securing funding for the reversion of global warming, or anything revolutionary for that matter.

    we all know how retarded Sarah Palin is though, a religious fundamentalist bigoted irrational parsimonius incapricious close minded right wing nutcase. she actually literally believes in a talking snake and that dinosaurs lived with humans! thats what she ACTUALLY believes! how can people take ANY of her verbal diorrhea seriously??!?!?!

  37. Lily
    March 26th, 2009 @ 6:46 am

    Yout comments are ugly, unnecessary and just plain wrong, Rhys. Moreover, your utilitarian view of humans is the stuff of which nightmares are made– not to mention eugenics programs that sterilized (in this country) and killed in Germany. Yes, the Nazis made it unfashionble to weed out undesirables which is the only good they ever did. Think it can’t happen here again? It already is happening.

    Your comments about Palin, besides being wrong are beneath contempt.

    Heather, no human being needs to justify his existence by “improving the species”. If he does, one is entitled to ask of every woman whether she has children. If she hasn’t, is she letting the species down? Should she be penalized? Forced to bear children (always assuming that she is good breeding stock)? Of course, we will need to cull the human herd of males, since only a few really good specimens will be needed as any livestock farm will demonstrate.

    I knew there had to be an upside.

  38. JoAnna
    March 26th, 2009 @ 10:42 am

    Heather, some animals also eat their young, kill their mates, and ingest their feces. Do you propose that we do all of the above?

    rhys, your comments about Sarah Palin and creationism are very off base. I suggest you educate yourself. Here’s a good link at Snopes.com about the subject. (Also, the correct spelling is “pedestal.”)

    I have the feeling that neither rhys, Heather, nor EclecticGuru have ever known someone with Downs or any other disabled person. Perhaps you three should get to know some of these people before you dismiss them as the dregs of humanity.

    “It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!” — A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

  39. Dan Crawford
    March 26th, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

    Referring to Mr. Maher as an “absolute ass” is offensive. At least an ass works for a living.

  40. EclecticGuru
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:24 am

    “EclecticGuru, have you ever known someone with Down’s Syndrome, or someone who was “crippled”?”

    I’ve broken my leg a couple of times, and my collar bone once. Neither incident made me feel imbued with magical powers of goodness and preciousness. I felt the same as I did before, only I needed crutches or a brace to get around.

    And I have been very close to someone who is on the spectrum of autism since I was in high school (he is in fact, going to help me move next week). He doesn’t think that his condition makes him more precious than if he weren’t autistic at all.

    I think this entire premise is ludicrous, and I think you’re all crazy.

  41. JoAnna
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

    So, EclecticGuru, if someone had seen you limping around on your crutches, and had decided to shoot you because you were a drain on society, you’d be okay with that? And your autistic friend is okay with that too?

    I really encourage you to get to know someone with Downs syndrome. They see the world in a very different, yet very special, way. We can learn a lot from them.

  42. EclecticGuru
    March 30th, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    “So, EclecticGuru, if someone had seen you limping around on your crutches, and had decided to shoot you because you were a drain on society, you’d be okay with that? And your autistic friend is okay with that too?”

    What the fuck? Seriously, how do you get from “I don’t think handicapped people are magically better than other people” to “I think its okay for a handicapped person to be murdered.” Fucking strawman / slippery slope argument.

    Typical waste of my time.

  43. frustrated (mk)
    March 30th, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    Electric Guru,

    I actually agree with you to a degree. Being handicapped doesn’t make you MORE special than other people. We’re all basically handicapped. They ARE special, but only because we are ALL special.

    I think this notion of “specialness” comes from our own subjectiveness. We see a kid with Down Syndrome, working in the grocery store and we think “Isn’t that sweet?”, but he is just doing what we all do…the best that we can.

    From his point of view, he is just like you or me. And really, he IS just like you or me. He might need more help to get by, but we all need each other.

    The only reason I would view folks like this as “special” is that people with severe mental disabilities often have an innocence about them. From a theological standpoint, they cannot commit a sin. As a Catholic, I think that is pretty awesome. It’s like being in the presence of a saint. Other than that, we can see all of the obstacles that they have to overcome. But they don’t see them as obstacles. They don’t know what it’s like to be able to drive a car, any more than we know what it’s like NOT to be able to drive a car. So while we can project our own feelings, they don’t necessarily reflect the feelings of the handicapped person.

    That said, there are people with Physical Handicaps, not mental ones, that achieve amazing things. These people push themselves past what we would expect, and they should be recognized as special. But so should anyone that pushes themselves to great heights.

    So, yeah, while I am always touched in my heart by these individuals, I am not touched because I think they are more special, but rather I am recognizing their own particular specialness…something I hope that I do with everyone I meet.

  44. EclecticGuru
    March 30th, 2009 @ 10:45 am

    I officially heap scorn on your magic-thinking, Frustrated. But at least your odd superstitions haven’t *totally* blinded you to the value of EVERY person as unique and special individuals.

  45. frustrated (mk)
    March 30th, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

    EG,

    Your moniker is GURU and you call me a magic thinker??? lol. Does this mean that you think I am special and unique too? And that you appreciate me for my “Oddness”?

  46. JoAnna
    March 30th, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

    EG,

    You never answered the question. See, the thing is, there are many in the pro-abortionist camp who believe we SHOULD abort the disabled/crippled in-utero because they are a drain on society. Survival of the fittest, and all that. If one could screen for autism prenatally, I have no doubt that some people would abort for that reason as well. What would your autistic friend think of that?

    It’s kinda scary to think that someone could decide whether you lived or died based on your perceived value to society, isn’t it?

  47. EclecticGuru
    March 30th, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

    Frustrated said, “Your moniker is GURU and you call me a magic thinker???”

    Correct.

    And then he said, “Does this mean that you think I am special and unique too?”

    I think you’ve probably some good qualities, yes, your magical thinking not withstanding.

    JoAnna claimed, “You never answered the question.”

    That’s because your question was clearly rhetorical, asshole. But since you seem to want an answer here it is, dummy.

    “So, EclecticGuru, if someone had seen you limping around on your crutches, and had decided to shoot you because you were a drain on society, you’d be okay with that? And your autistic friend is okay with that too?”

    No you dumb bitch. No I would not, and neither would he. What are you, some kind of retard?

    Happy?

    “It’s kinda scary to think that someone could decide whether you lived or died based on your perceived value to society, isn’t it?”

    Forced abortions! Yeah! And then the next thing they’ll do is sterilize cripples and retards that get past the genetic screening. And then they’ll say that people with red hair are “dangerous” and start killing them too. That is scary! And then they’ll take our guns, and “In God We Trust” and Santa Claus and make us all shave our heads and get barcode tattoos!

    AaaaaaaahhhhhH! OH!

  48. lily
    March 31st, 2009 @ 6:47 am

    Oh look, everybody. We got us a troll and one with a genuine potty mouth!

    Oh joy, oh rapture! Just what we were praying for. Someone to fill the joint with good feeling and bring a fresh perspective to the matters we discuss.

    I’ll pin this *guru* down, JoAnna, if you’ll get the soap and disinfectant. I don’t say we will succeed but we can at least try to clean this mess up.

  49. Beelzebub
    March 31st, 2009 @ 6:57 am

    Well, now I have to reciprocate because you guys did it for me. EG, cool it. No need for that. Arguing without insult is much more effective.

  50. frustrated (mk)
    March 31st, 2009 @ 7:01 am

    BBub,

    *curtsies*, thank you very much!

  51. lily
    March 31st, 2009 @ 7:48 am

    Slowly, but surely, Bbub will be ours.

    BWAHAHAHAHAH!

  52. EclecticGuru
    March 31st, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

    ## Warning ##

    The following post contains an offense term.

    ## End Warning ##

    I didn’t want to be disingenuous. I honestly think Joanna is a fucktard, and her “argument” deserves nothing less than an expletive-drenched response to drive home my point.

    The sort of nasty, pseudo-intellectual sarcasm that the host of this site uses is far more offensive and crude, in my opinion.

    But that’s exactly what it is. My opinion. Take it or leave it.

    But I will compromise. I will put a warning label at the start of any post that contains “inappropriate” language, so that the readers offended by such can skip over it.

  53. Beelzebub
    April 1st, 2009 @ 2:38 am

    “The sort of nasty, pseudo-intellectual sarcasm that the host of this site uses is far more offensive and crude, in my opinion.”

    I agree to a certain extent. If a person is deliberately snide and obtuse it can be as offensive as outright insult. The best thing is to point it out and if it continues, just walk away. It ain’t worth it. But also, conversation laced with strong insult is just as useless.

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