Good Manners v. Effective Communication

I’ve been gathering my thoughts to write about President Trump’s use of the word shitholes and the resulting media pearl clutching, but Andrew Klavan has beaten me to the punch with a better essay than I was planning.

(Personally, my first thought on hearing about the remark was: “What squirrely little tattle-tale of a weasel went running to the press with that?” But never mind. That’s just me.)


For all the bad language, for all the loose talk, I would rather hear a man speak as a man without fear of the Nurse Ratcheds in the press and the academy than have him neutered and gagged by a system of good manners that has been misused as a form of oppression. Better impoliteness than silence. Better crudeness than lies.

Read the whole thing.

14 thoughts on “Good Manners v. Effective Communication

  1. 1) It has to be remembered that Donald Trump stated his exact words were different, and, that two Republican Senators present state they did not hear the alleged remark. The alleged quote may in fact be another example of fake news accepted blindly by a fake media.

    2) A press member in South East Florida demanded to know if President Donald Trump was going to condemn their area as a “sh*thole.” Donald Trump did not respond, but I will: there are neighborhoods in the Miami area [and Chicago, Baltimore, LA, and NYC for that matter] for which being characterized as a “sh*thole” is aspirational.

    • Durbin began his Congressional career by lying and smearing a decent man, Paul Findley who represented that US District at the time. I was there. I disagreed with Findley on a lot of things, but unlike Durbin he was honorable. And still alive at age 96 I think.

  2. “Better impoliteness than silence. Better crudeness than lies.”


    I have a scintilla of respect for Bernie Sanders… at least he is somewhat honest potraying himself as a socialist.

    Still think he sucks… but at least he doesn’t try to weasel out of what he really is.

  3. Slate website (of all places) noted last year that 60%of the world does NOT. have indoor plumbing. If that is not the quintessential definition of “s***hole” I don’t know what is.

    My personal wish is that if we’re going to give away money to countries (and most especially the UN) shouldn’t they be democracies, like we are? Shouldn’t the only countries that get a vote in the UN be voting democracies?

    • I think it would be fine to mandate that we can only give a place aid for at most 1 year out of ten. If there is a Tsunami in Japan or a Volcano in Norway, or oil spills, poison gas outbreaks, earthquakes… whatever. They tend to be rare. Usually assistance in these highly unusual events is appreciated, and relatively good PR for the country…

      But a lot of countries that get aid treat it rather like a natural resource. Rather, leaving aside how the government treats it, the economy treats it like they’ve found a well that pumps out food or money, and the allocation of labor reflects that. The benefits to us fade while the cost remains. People don’t appreciate a benefit that is always there. Whereas, when our situation becomes tight enough that we need to ratchet it back, when our situation is at it’s most unfortunate, when we take it away people who didn’t favor us when we were giving them stuff will suddenly dislike us (more) because we’ll be seen as taking something away from them. Irrational, yes, but entirely within the norms of that creature we call humans.

      • Well done. I agree entirely. It’s like when people in this country complain about work requirements for benefits. “Never had to before.” That is irrelevant.

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