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Reformed Chicks Blabbing


Interesting take on Obama’s elitism controversy

posted by Susan Johnson

Kaus lists four problems with the Obama gaffe. Here’s the fourth:

Yes, he’s condescending. It’s not just that in explaining everyone to everyone Obama winds up patronizing everyone. He doesn’t patronize everyone equally. Specifically, he regards the views of these Pennsylvanians as epiphenomena–byproducts of economic stagnation–in a way he doesn’t regard, say, his own views as epiphenomena.** Once the Pennsylvanians get some jobs back, they’ll change and become as enlightened as Obama the San Franciscans to whom he was talking. That’s the clear logic of his argument. Superiority of this sort–not crediting the authenticity and standing of your subject’s views–is a violation of social equality, which is a more important value for Americans than money equality. Liiberals tend to lose elections when they forget that.

I think that pretty much nails it.
But I know you guys think that Obama can do no wrong, that he isn’t condescending, just truthful (thus proving exactly what the right thinks of you) and won’t be swayed by anything anyone says. That’s fine but I bet he’ll say something again that will be considered condescending by everyone but the Obama supporters (Obama will come out and apologize for it but the supporters will still defend him just as they are doing now), and I bet you guys will say the exact same things you are saying now. I’m going to note this post so I can link to it when it happens (and I will be more than happy to apologize and link to this post if he doesn’t make another elitist blunder).
And Kristol makes this point:

I haven’t read much Karl Marx since the early 1980s, when I taught political philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Still, it didn’t take me long this weekend to find my copy of “The Marx-Engels Reader,” edited by Robert C. Tucker — a book that was assigned in thousands of college courses in the 1970s and 80s, and that now must lie, unopened and un-remarked upon, on an awful lot of rec-room bookshelves.
My occasion for spending a little time once again with the old Communist was Barack Obama’s now-famous comment at an April 6 San Francisco fund-raiser. Obama was explaining his trouble winning over small-town, working-class voters: “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
This sent me to Marx’s famous statement about religion in the introduction to his “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”:
“Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”
Or, more succinctly, and in the original German in which Marx somehow always sounds better: “Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes.”
Now, this is a point of view with a long intellectual pedigree prior to Marx, and many vocal adherents continuing into the 21st century. I don’t believe the claim is true, but it’s certainly worth considering, in college classrooms and beyond.
But it’s one thing for a German thinker to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to … religion” out of economic frustration.
And it’s a particularly odd claim for Barack Obama to make. After all, in his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, he emphasized with pride that blue-state Americans, too, “worship an awesome God.”

I guess this might be the fruit of the black liberation theology (which is Marxist in nature) that Obama has been imbiding over the last 20 years.
(via)
And then there’s this:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters nationwide disagree with Barack Obama’s statement that people in small towns “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 25% agree with the Democratic frontrunner while 19% are not sure.
Partisan and ideological differences suggest that the comments are more likely to be a factor in the General Election than in the Primaries. A plurality of politically liberal voters—46%–agree with Obama’s statement while 33% disagree. Moderate voters take the opposite view and disagree by a 51% to 27% margin. Seventy-four percent (74%) of conservatives disagree with Obama’s statement, only 12% agree.
[…]
Forty-five percent (45%) say that Obama’s comments reflect an elitist view of small town voters. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree. Republicans overwhelmingly say that the statements are elitist and most Democrats disagree. Among unaffiliated voters, 40% say they represent an elitist view while 34% disagree.
People who have followed the story are much more likely than other voters to disagree with Obama’s statements and to consider them elitist. To date, just 25% have followed the news story Very Closely while another 30% have followed it Somewhat Closely.

(via)



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm


You know what, part of me hopes Obama loses the election, and that you people get the leader you deserve.
Then maybe it will be your children who go off to fight a sham of a war. Maybe it will be your children who receive an educationthat teaches them how to take standardized tests, but not how to think. Maybe it will be your grandchildren who are saddled with the debt as the grandchildren of your owners sit in their gated communities with armed guards. Maybe it will be your children and grandchildren who are left with no breathable air or potable water.
Good luck with that.
It’s no less than you deserve if you elect someone like McCain.



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RJohnson

posted April 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm


Meh, your argument fails. Most Republicans don’t have kids fighting in this war. The vast majority of their leaders do not have their own kids on the line. Heck, most of them found a way to avoid military service when it was their time to defend the nation in Vietnam. Unless a draft is instituted there is no way their kids will be involved in any military action.
As for Michele’s children…who knows. I strongly suspect that unless they choose to volunteer for the armed forces they will never know what war is truly like. Republicans fear the draft. It is in their interest to keep people from truly having to sacrifice, because they know that once people are faced with the true cost of the war, in people and in financial terms, they will turn against it wholesale.
It’s easy to support the war when you let someone else fight it and let future generations pay for it.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm


You’re right, Johnson. My argument fails because it is predicated upon the right seeing the children and grandchildren of other Americans as having value. It depends on them seeing clean air and water as something other than resources to be wasted and exploited.
It’s never going to happen.
I despair of there ever being middle ground in this nation.



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SClucie

posted April 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm


I came to this site hoping to get away from politics – particularly the politics of destruction – and the endless repetition of meaningless stories in the press – while real life things, like torture, Tibet, the war in Iraq are completely avoided most of the time. I came to this site for solace in faith and belief.
I saw a story called “Casting Stones” and expected it to follow the “casting stones” story I was raised with – one that taught about forgiveness and self-righteousness judgement. Instead I find a piece that even twists those words for a political agenda. Has the writer of this blog even read the story she used as a headline or what Christ said (and I certainly don’t believe everyone or anyone has to be a Christian, but if you’re gonna quote Christ, read the words:
“According to the Gospel of John, the Pharisees, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, brought a woman charged with adultery before him. Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law. Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people crowded around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. ” Bartley.com
The article seems to do just the opposite of that. “…and I bet you guys will say the exact same things you are saying now. I’m going to note this post so I can link to it when it happens (and I will be more than happy to apologize and link to this post if he doesn’t make another elitist blunder).”
What we need in the midst of this election – where every attempt is made to tear us apart and fuel hatred is reason and perspective and solace



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Charles Cosimano

posted April 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm


The first rule of politics was stated by Richard Nixon 40 years ago. You can’t do anything unless you win. The problem with the Democrats is that they don’t know how to read a map and count electoral votes. They look at national opinion polls and forget that in presidential electoral terms those polls mean nothing. In 1972 the public had no love for Nixon but it hated McGovern, or rather McGovern’s supporters because George himself was not that bad.
If George Bush were running again the Democrats could run Castro’s dog and win. But W ain’t running, he can’t and McCain is not merely teflon, he’s kevlar and nothing the Democrats can come up with against him is going to hit. And as a presidential election, in the end, comes down to personality and gut reaction, not issues, McCain has the advantage.
Obama needs the “Reagan Democrats” to win and he has never been able to crack that demographic. McCain wins them hands down. He carries older voters, he is competitative among Hispanics to the point that if he does not carry a majority of them he will get a large enough minority to make Obama a non issue. That leaves Obama without enough votes to win in all but a few states (remember that there are 9 white voters for every black voter and the youth vote is neither large, nor monolithic, nor likely to turn it in significant numbers). In other words, Obama, at this point, does not seem to be merely unelectable, he may be McGovern unelectable for much the same reasons. If present trends hold, on the night of the election, McCain could carry California, but by the time the polls close in California it could already be decided.
Barring some dramatic shift, this election may already be decided now.



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 3:53 pm


Once again, zero rebuttal of the topic but plenty of hurling meaningless slogans. Can you guys HAVE an independent thought, or do you just ape the editorial page of NY Times?
The bald fact is that Obama is an elitist academic with almost no experience or real-world achievements. His pretty words are meaningless and paper-thin.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm


Can you guys HAVE an independent thought, or do you just ape the editorial page of NY Times?
Coming from a ditto-head, I’ll take that as a compliment.



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Lj

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm


Voting for a senile war-monger is not a great thing to brag about . How can you be pro-lifer and a war-monger at the same time. He toooo old to run for President of the USA. He is a rich elitist.



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Lj

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm


The lates poll shows that only 25% of American feel offended about the bitter comment,and 75% are not offended. This rhetoric will not affect the election. Obama’08.



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm


“He toooo old to run for President of the USA”
And ur spelling tooooo bad for me to take your comment seriously.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:30 pm


I’m sure Lj’s crying in his coffee because some full-of-himself republibot won’t take a throwaway message board comment seriously.
You really have an inflated sense of self-worth, don’t you?



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm


“Obama 08″
If he does win, and he tries to actually implement any of his nutty ideas, the backlash will be so severe that voters will swiftly return control of Congress to the Republicans, who will stop him from reckless taxation and appointment of hippie judges. Since Obama has effectively renounced the only executive power that requires little oversight (command of the military), he will be a lame duck president, confined to meaningless jestures like having tea with Arab leaders.



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Lj

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm


Obama’08 McCain: “: He’s tooo old”. Obama is the people’s choice. Conserativism is dead as we know it. Only conseratism in Christ really matters. Have’nt you all learned a lesson from the last seven years. A war monger in the White House? Get a grip saints.



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Lj

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm


If King Kong is the next GOP candidate ,should I vote for him too?



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm


“Conserativism is dead as we know it”
A conservative is just a liberal with a teenage daughter. Once you people get old enough to have kids and actually make enough money to pay taxes, you’ll be singing a different tune.



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neo

posted April 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm


As bad as Obama’s statement’s were I think it was funny listening to Hillary try to sound like she wasn’t condescending.
So out of McCain, Clinton, and Obama who’s going to say the next stupid thing to be the news article of the week?



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm


Once you people get old enough to have kids and actually make enough money to pay taxes, you’ll be singing a different tune.
I’ve heard this line of thinking before.
I’m old enough to have kids. My partner *does* have kids. I make more money than my parents ever did – put together.
Strangely enough, I’m still a liberal.
Like most of rightist memes, it’s dreck, nonsense, sheer drivvel.



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anonymous reincarnate

posted April 14, 2008 at 5:57 pm


here’s one better – i HAVE TWO daughters. i pay taxes. hmmm, i still could never be a blabbing conservative. whoah… makes me nauseous just considering it. i could never hate my fellow human enough, or put enough faith in big corporations to do the right thing, or line up behind every pointless war to ever be a conservative.
“So out of McCain, Clinton, and Obama who’s going to say the next stupid thing to be the news article of the week?”
that’s a good question, neo. the real problem with elections in general, and presidential elections in particular, is that this is the crap bloggers and especially the press feed on, instead of real issues.



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:01 pm


“i could never hate my fellow human enough”
Oh, yeah, conservatives hate their fellow humans just because we don’t want The State to take our money at gunpoint and use it to pay for abortions and saving snail darters.
“I pay taxes”
I paid EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS in taxes this year, and I bet I gave more to charity than all of your people combined.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:06 pm


“i could never hate my fellow human enough, or put enough faith in big corporations to do the right thing, or line up behind every pointless war to ever be a conservative.” No, you just would put your trust in politicians to do the right thing with your money. Who has more faith?
And who hates their fellow man more? Those who lack the compassion to help their neighbor unless the government does it? And when the government screws it up, who hates their fellowman enough not to fix the problem? (Social services, comes to mind — how many kids have to die in the system before it’s fixed — yeah so much for compassion).
We could play this game all day, it really doesn’t get us anywhere does it?



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm


Meh – it was good enough for the founding fathers.
It’s not like it’s taxation without representation ;)
I paid EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS in taxes this year, and I bet I gave more to charity than all of your people combined.
How proud you must be.
Deadly sins much?



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:11 pm


“put enough faith in big corporations to do the right thing,”
Oh, yeah, those EEEVILLL corporations who deliver food to your store, and keep your lights on, and made the car you drive, and the clothes you’re wearing, and the medical equipment in our hospitals, and who EMPLOY YOU. The spawn of Satan, they are. Might as well rant about the evil rain and sunshine that makes the crops grow. Unless you’re an Amish subsistence farmer (which you may be), you owe every aspect of your comfortable life to capitalism.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:13 pm


Michele – it’s all about economies of scale.
Our collective tax dollars put to work can do far more than individual contributions can.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm


ZZ, 8 thou? That’s it? Do you take a lot of deductions?
BTW, I’m not a happy camper about paying taxes this year (well, I’m never a happy camper about paying taxes any year) because we couldn’t deduct as much as we did last year. Evidently we’re rich. Tell that to my wallet that’s empty most of the time and my gas tank that’s taking all my weekly allowance.



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm


Capitalism: where everyone wins, unless they lose.
The problem with capitalism is it rewards the basest of man’s instincts: greed, duplicity, backstabbing, dog-eat-dog profit no matter what the cost.
Corporations aren’t inherently evil; they’re merely inherently sociopathic. Which is fine, of course…
…if you’re a sociopath.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:20 pm


“Our collective tax dollars put to work can do far more than individual contributions can.”
Meh,then why don’t you guys put your money where your mouth is an take on these problems facing the nation (and the world). There are all these social networking groups and the candidates are able to raise millions of dollars online, so it shouldn’t be so hard for you guys to pool your resources and end world hunger or provide healthcare for the poor.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:21 pm


Yeah, and communism has worked so well hasn’t it, meh?



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm


“Our collective tax dollars put to work can do far more than individual contributions can”
Oh, right, and who gets to make the decisions about how to use this pooled mass of money? Government bureaucrats? They have no accountability and suffer no consequences for being wrong. The money that they don’t embezzle will just get funneled to pet causes or whoever bribes them the most. Hello Soviet Union. Yes, there are winners and losers in capitalism. But the losers are fewer than in any other system.
Michele: I do deduct my tithe and I live in a fairly low-cost area. And that was just federal taxes.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 7:53 pm


ZZ, consider yourself blessed :-)



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ZZ

posted April 14, 2008 at 8:18 pm


With state taxes, medicare, and everything else, I totaled $19K. I AM blessed. Thank you for reminding me!



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meh

posted April 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm


Wow – cry much?
Why should I trust private enterprise to provide basic needs for all citizens? if it was left up to people like ZZ, poor folks would be feudal serfs or sweat-shop slaves.
No, it’s much more equitable this way.
The needs of the many outweigh the whines of the few.
Our elected representatives take care of that business. They appoint people more qualified to make the decisions about how those social programs are run than you are. Them’s the breaks. If you wanted to have such a say in how those tax dollars were spent, maybe you would have been better served going to school for public administration?
In the meantime…
I hear that Costa Rica, Indonesia and the Philippines would be right in line with your idea of a “fair” society. You could live like the king you think you deserve to be, there.



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Michele McGinty

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:09 pm


Why in the world would you begrudge people their own money, meh? They work hard for it and deserve to keep as much as possible. Would you prefer that the government get it all and eek out a little to everyone? Sounds like you might want to move to Cuba and China it would be right in line with your idea of a “fair” society :-)



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anonymous reincarnate

posted April 14, 2008 at 11:18 pm


“Oh, yeah, conservatives hate their fellow humans just because we don’t want The State to take our money at gunpoint and use it to pay for abortions and saving snail darters.”
you forgot, there won’t be any guns and they’ll just rip the fetus from between your legs without even asking! talk about freakishly whacked mindsets, man you need help back into the really real world.
“I paid EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS in taxes this year, and I bet I gave more to charity than all of your people combined.”
oooh, i love contests! but, what’s your point? are you thinking that your $8K or $19K is more than what i paid in taxes and you’re proud that you still managed to squeak out a penny for charity? well, sir, you’re still behind.
“They have no accountability and suffer no consequences for being wrong.”
it would help if you paid attention to what your elected representatives are doing, write to them, talk to them, be involved instead of just sitting around pissin’ and moanin’ about them, and vote. of course they suffer consequences, that’s how our system of government is supposed to work, except when you get a wannabe dictator like bush with his rubber-stamp congressional republicans.
communism? you people are way off the deep end. nobody here is promoting communism.
“you owe every aspect of your comfortable life to capitalism”
hardly. unlike some, i didn’t purchase my spouse and capitalism didn’t build this beautiful land that i live upon.
i do have issues with unregulated capitalism, but what you’re suggesting is nothing close to what i said. you’re an illiterate boob.
michele:
“No, you just would put your trust in politicians to do the right thing with your money. Who has more faith?”
faith in politicians? no, i have faith in the men and women that i vote for. if they let me down, i let them know. if they continue to fail, then i either don’t vote for them, or i take it to the next level. the difference is that i remain engaged with these people, which is impossible to do with closed corporations.
“And who hates their fellow man more? Those who lack the compassion to help their neighbor unless the government does it? And when the government screws it up, who hates their fellowman enough not to fix the problem? (Social services, comes to mind — how many kids have to die in the system before it’s fixed — yeah so much for compassion).”
my neighbor, michele? i donate food, clothing, and time to help my neighbors, literally, when i’m not giving cold cash, and i do so happily without complaint. so apparently you don’t know jack about liberals, oh omniscient one.
you’ve got your conservative blinders on, so let me point out the obvious, that there were rampant problems with domestic abuse, incest, abandonment, etc before there were tax-funded child social services. why didn’t you conservatives step up then and eliminate the need? why don’t you step up now to save those children before they enter the system, or the 15,000 children who die every year due to abuse before social welfare can even locate them?
and since you brought it up, why must it be up to just liberals to save the lives of the unfortunate kids in a broken system? why don’t you step up to the plate, sister, and bring your compassionate conservative minions with you? why not march in the save-the-social-services-kids army and abort your save-the-sperm-and-egg crusade?
is it conservatives who are looking out for the victims of corporations who treat employees as liabilities and not assets? of course not, they have faith that corporations will take care of the little guy. are conservatives more likely to speak out against the torture of prisoners? not. was it conservatives who made the move to raise minimum wages to help the hard working poor? nope. was it conservatives in congress who moved to take care of our war veterans? no, they barely care for them while they’re “of use” on the front lines of war.
between you and me, who is more in support of pushing that remote button to indiscriminately butcher iraqis or other people unfortunate enough to live in a country with resources that we need? yeah, you already answered that one. no thanks, we don’t need your style of compassion, we’ll all live longer without it.



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ZZ

posted April 15, 2008 at 7:22 am


This argument is pointless. You’re just toeing the liberal line and expecting everybody to give you a handout.



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meh

posted April 15, 2008 at 1:46 pm


Why in the world would you begrudge people their own money, meh? They work hard for it and deserve to keep as much as possible. Would you prefer that the government get it all and eek out a little to everyone? Sounds like you might want to move to Cuba and China it would be right in line with your idea of a “fair” society :-)

How “hard” do CEOs work? Do they work 2000 times harder than the guy on the assembly line busting his ass for a pittance? Without that worker, said CEO would have nothing – he sure as hell isn’t going to sully his manicure or dirty his Armani suit doing any actual – you know – WORK.
How hard do you “work?” Are you breaking your back? Seems to me you have time enough on your hands to blog about how horrible you have it, so you must have it pretty good.
Of course, in the land of “God’s Frozen Chosen,” those people who weren’t fortunate enough to have the breaks you had deserve their fate. If they were “chosen,” they’d be in a much better position in life, right? And as much as you wish you could, you cannot deny your privilege – your skin color is only one of a myriad – like your access to good safe schools, good recent textbooks, good safe neighborhoods in which to raise your good white kids who go to their good safe schools etc. etc. etc. world without end, amen.
Do you like using roads? How about buying food? Do you like water coming from the tap? How about turning on the lights? Do you like living in a land where you, as a woman, get to go to seminary school?
Why would you deny the duty you have to pay for the upkeep of the “Greatest Country on the Planet ™?” Pay your taxes.
Or whine more. Your choice.



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anonymous reincarnate

posted April 16, 2008 at 2:15 am


“This argument is pointless. You’re just toeing the liberal line and expecting everybody to give you a handout.”
unfortunately for your argument, i earn plenty and don’t need a handout from anybody. but if you’re offering to send me money, feel free to do so and i’ll forward it to obama’s campaign along with the url to this blog and some prints of your comments about him.



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