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cognitive madisonian
05-16-2009, 09:10 PM
Something certain posters on here embody:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/14/AR2009051403601.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns

claymisher
05-16-2009, 09:14 PM
Oh boo fuckin' hoo.

bjkeefe
05-16-2009, 09:23 PM
Something certain posters on here embody:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/14/AR2009051403601.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns

You're resorting to George fucking Bush's chief fucking speechwriter because you're too fucking gutless to say any of your own fucking words?

Fuck off, you little fuck.

uncle ebeneezer
05-16-2009, 10:19 PM
Cry me a fuckin' river. Really. Rush makes his living saying disgusting things about our own president (not to mention black quarterbacks, black people in general, Micheal J. Fox etc., etc) but clearly he needs to be protected.

I only wish somebody else had been around to take Sykes' place:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F7Q7BkAbCk

(warning: scatalogical humor)

Natalie Portman
05-16-2009, 11:14 PM
r u saying i'm gay?

pampl
05-17-2009, 04:09 AM
I really wish there was a taboo against taking some principled stand when the principle is clearly and directly in your self interest. So Gerson got his feelings hurt and wants to make some high-minded point about manners.. well, where was his concern for manners when it was someone else being insulted? How often did he try to keep debate civil when it meant restraining his friends and allies (and himself!) instead of condemning people whom he already didn't like?

Lyle
05-17-2009, 12:08 PM
So intellectual and progressive. Makes me want to become a Democrat.

bjkeefe
05-17-2009, 12:09 PM
So intellectual and progressive. Makes me want to become a Democrat.

It'll never happen, Lyle. You don't have the sense of humor for it.

claymisher
05-17-2009, 12:50 PM
To the extent that civility is a kind of obedience to authority, fuck that. As a way to express of social equality and solidarity, it's terrific. (That's why I always give a cheerful "Thanks!" to the bus driver when I get off.) Gerson is being awfully selective about applying his scolding:

http://mediamatters.org/research/200806190011

I'll give Gerson credit though for quoting Franken, "If you stand up to bullies they usually back down." I'm with Al.

nikkibong
05-17-2009, 12:59 PM
How civil is plagarism, lying, and sh*tting on your hardworking colleagues?

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200709/michael-gerson

Lyle
05-17-2009, 01:05 PM
Yay! He-he. Ha-ha. Ho-ho.

AemJeff
05-17-2009, 01:26 PM
To the extent that civility is a kind of obedience to authority, fuck that. As a way to express of social equality and solidarity, it's terrific. (That's why I always give a cheerful "Thanks!" to the bus driver when I get off.) Gerson is being awfully selective about applying his scolding:

http://mediamatters.org/research/200806190011

I'll give Gerson credit though for quoting Franken, "If you stand up to bullies they usually back down." I'm with Al.

I don't like the characterization of civility as "a kind of obedience to authority." I think, really, it's just the opposite of that - a means to maintain the peer status of arguments and to circumvent the efficacy of "shout down" type argumentation strategies, a way to help keep the focus on the the arguments themselves.

CogMad, it seems to me, conflates people taking notice of the weakness of many of his arguments with ad hominem and bias against his point of view. All I can say to that is that it might pay to observe how other people who might seem nominally aligned politically with CogMad, but who make an effort to mount careful, consistent arguments (see Thus Spoke Elvis, or Bobby G as examples) are treated here.

nikkibong
05-17-2009, 01:41 PM
(That's why I always give a cheerful "Thanks!" to the bus driver when I get off.)

Do you extend the same courtesy to your g/f ?

ADDED: (sorry)

graz
05-17-2009, 02:35 PM
CogMad, it seems to me, conflates people talking notice of the weakness of many of his arguments with ad hominem and bias against his point of view. All I can say to that is that it night pay to observe how other people who might seem nominally aligned politically with CogMad, but who make an effort to mount careful, consistent arguments (see Thus Spoke Elvis, or Bobby G as examples) are treated here.

It would take an especially secure and magnanimous man to concede your point. It would be downright civil and appropriate for cog mad to acknowledge that he should aspire to stronger argument and less defensiveness in the face of ideological challenge.

Fat Fucking chance! He fancies himself an intellectual heir of James - but presents himself as disciple of Dolley. All about appearances.

claymisher
05-17-2009, 03:14 PM
Do you extend the same courtesy to your g/f ?

ADDED: (sorry)

That's what she said!

Bobby G
05-17-2009, 03:35 PM
You're resorting to George fucking Bush's chief fucking speechwriter because you're too fucking gutless to say any of your own fucking words?

Fuck off, you little fuck.

Somehow, BJ, I don't think this is you just making a joke that Lyle didn't get.

However, about civility: I agree with what Jeff said--I think civility is an important virtue. It allows you to focus on the intellectual core of what someone said, without derailing the conversation to unenlightening tangents. I think also that, by and large, people who sell their point of view with indignation at the other side often turn undecided people off (though it might also work to rally their own troops; at the same time, though, it may also galvanize the other side's troops).

This is not to say there no time for incivility. For instance, my parting shot in my discussion with Francoamerican was quite uncivil. I'm open to the possibility that I shouldn't have posted it, but I think in that case it was clear that he wasn't discussing anything in good faith. Given that I was no longer having a conversation with him, there was nothing to argue for or against--instead, it was just two jerks (me and Francoamerican) trying to be artful in their insults to one another. So, incivility was part of the art in that case.

BTW, I'm not saying that your incivility to cog mad, BJ, is undeserved. I happen to think it is, as I think he has interesting things to say and that he often argues for them well, but I haven't followed your discussions with cog mad much, so I don't know your history with each other.

bjkeefe
05-17-2009, 03:41 PM
Somehow, BJ, I don't think this is you just making a joke that Lyle didn't get.

While there wasn't no (serious) meaning to what I said, the way that I said it was. (Jokey, I mean.)

However, about civility: I agree with what Jeff said--I think civility is an important virtue. [...]

No disagreement.

However ...

... but I haven't followed your discussions with cog mad much, so I don't know your history with each other.

... exactly.

cognitive madisonian
05-17-2009, 07:22 PM
It would take an especially secure and magnanimous man to concede your point. It would be downright civil and appropriate for cog mad to acknowledge that he should aspire to stronger argument and less defensiveness in the face of ideological challenge.

Fat Fucking chance! He fancies himself an intellectual heir of James - but presents himself as disciple of Dolley. All about appearances.

I didn't realize I had such an established presence on here.

On point, however: I never initiate incivility. And while I've ended up in little exchanges, they're thoroughly pointless and I try to avoid them. There's plenty of high quality discussion on here, which I do participate in. That's what keeps me coming back.

Gerson makes what I think is the beginning of a very sound argument about the dangers of the rise of incivility in popular politics. This goes with some things that I have posted about before, namely the drift toward opinion-filtered news sources and the self-segregation into ideologically identical clusters. These erode the health of democracy, because they reduce social capital and marginalize, if not eliminate, the deliberative aspect of democracy. It pushes us perilously close to the climate that produced the alien and sedition act.

graz
05-17-2009, 07:48 PM
Gerson makes what I think is the beginning of a very sound argument about the dangers of the rise of incivility in popular politics. This goes with some things that I have posted about before, namely the drift toward opinion-filtered news sources and the self-segregation into ideologically identical clusters. These erode the health of democracy, because they reduce social capital and marginalize, if not eliminate, the deliberative aspect of democracy. It pushes us perilously close to the climate that produced the alien and sedition act.

There has always been incivility in public discourse. Especially amongst contemporaries of Madison, James: http://www.bricklin.com/pamphleteers.htm.
Excerpt:I found this mention of "inflaming" writing, predating the Internet "flame-wars", intriguing given that he was writing this well before the term was used on-line.

It's also interesting to look at the style of writing that emerged:

One of the surprising aspects of the American writings is the extent to which they include the stylistic modes associated with the great age of English pamphleteering. Of satire...irony...parody...sarcasm.

The most commonly attempted was the satire associated with pseudonymous authorship.

I think Gerson drastically overplays its significance to say nothing of his selective application.
As it applies to an internet forum generally or bhtv particularly, let free speech reign.
Ideal democracy requires debate and consensus, but real disagreement shouldn't be couched in sensitivity, lest it be mistaken for acceptance.

cognitive madisonian
05-17-2009, 07:52 PM
There has always been incivility in public discourse. Especially amongst contemporaries of Madison, James: http://www.bricklin.com/pamphleteers.htm.
Excerpt:
I think Gerson drastically overplays its significance to say nothing of his selective application.
As it applies to an internet forum generally or bhtv particularly, let free speech reign.
Ideal democracy requires debate and consensus, but real disagreement shouldn't be couched in sensitivity, lest it be mistaken for acceptance.

I don't think anyone's arguing against free speech ;)

Nor, for that matter, is anyone arguing that real disagreements shouldn't be aired. There's nothing to be found in debate, however, when gay-marriage advocates call opponents obscene words, or when liberal comedians wish death on members of the opposition.

JonIrenicus
05-17-2009, 07:59 PM
I think incivility is in large part related to peoples perceptions of the other.


It is one thing if you think a person is simply mistaken about some issue, a VERY different thing if you think they are not simply mistaken, but BAD, malevolent, greedy, selfish, corrupt, liars etc. If those latter perceptions of another exist, then the guard rails of civility break down, and why shouldn't they?

Why should one be equally civil to an essentially "decent" mistaken person, compared with an "indecent" person with the same mistake?

It is the same sort of thing that allows a soldier to more easily shoot an enemy if he sees that enemy as "evil," as opposed to a person just as decent as he is (reverse is true as well, what stays the pacifists hand by seeing different people, no matter how malevolent they truly are, as essentially "good").

So I think incivility is a marker of a persons perceptions of the other.

i.e. Bush was not simply mistaken about wmd, he LIED about them!

Why would a person who genuinely believed that Bush was not simply mistaken, but a LIAR on top, be civil towards him?


I will say though, if you see a person exhibit excessive incivility, it signals a certain paranoia about the motives and nature of others.

Some people truly confuse the beliefs of a man, with the beliefs of a Balrog.

If dealing with the latter, you can justify doing almost anything in your power to defeat them.

bjkeefe
05-17-2009, 08:26 PM
There's nothing to be found in debate, however, when gay-marriage advocates call opponents obscene words, ...

There is a point at which continuing to harp about what some individuals called some others and trying to pretend it represents any sort of generalized behavior ...

... or when liberal comedians wish death on members of the opposition.

... and a point at which continuing to clutch pearls over one throwaway line in stand-up comedy routine ...

... themselves becomes uncivil.

This is why you have a bad rep here, cog.mad. You waste your apparent intelligence regurgitating the same sort of moron wingnuttery we can get anywhere else.

I don't think you're being honest about being offended about either of these things. I think, rather, that you're using them because you think they are convenient clubs and you seem to be most interested in scoring points when you visit these forums. The problem with this, though, is that all you're getting is a couple of pats on the back from a couple other commenters who already share your political outlook, and who, I might add, are not themselves looked at with much respect. Everyone else just reads a comment like this and moves you another notch down on the scale.

Or, maybe you really are offended by these two things. If so, so be it, but I must say, if this is the case, I'm not going to worry for a second about being civil in your estimation. It would be completely unreasonable. There is no pleasing some people, and it's a waste of time to try.

AemJeff
05-17-2009, 09:14 PM
I think incivility is in large part related to peoples perceptions of the other.


It is one thing if you think a person is simply mistaken about some issue, a VERY different thing if you think they are not simply mistaken, but BAD, malevolent, greedy, selfish, corrupt, liars etc. If those latter perceptions of another exist, then the guard rails of civility break down, and why shouldn't they?

Why should one be equally civil to an essentially "decent" mistaken person, compared with an "indecent" person with the same mistake?

It is the same sort of thing that allows a soldier to more easily shoot an enemy if he sees that enemy as "evil," as opposed to a person just as decent as he is (reverse is true as well, what stays the pacifists hand by seeing different people, no matter how malevolent they truly are, as essentially "good").

So I think incivility is a marker of a persons perceptions of the other.

i.e. Bush was not simply mistaken about wmd, he LIED about them!

Why would a person who genuinely believed that Bush was not simply mistaken, but a LIAR on top, be civil towards him?


I will say though, if you see a person exhibit excessive incivility, it signals a certain paranoia about the motives and nature of others.

Some people truly confuse the beliefs of a man, with the beliefs of a Balrog.

If dealing with the latter, you can justify doing almost anything in your power to defeat them.

Except that it's a demonstrable fact that members of the Bush Administration lied. Colin Powell before the U.N. and Dick Cheney asserting a causal connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks multiple times are clear examples of deliberate lies. They were not mistaken, they were asserting to be true things they knew to be false.

cognitive madisonian
05-17-2009, 09:33 PM
There is a point at which continuing to harp about what some individuals called some others and trying to pretend it represents any sort of generalized behavior ...


Without the aid of quantitative research, I'd still argue that it does. The gay rights movement, and some other elements of the left have been getting increasingly militant. The vitriolic assault on those who disagree with them is just one instance. You can look at the hateful attacks on the Church of Latter Day Saints, the targeting of individual citizens who contributed to pro-traditional marriage funds, etc.

Generally, debate is limited to sides that reasonable people can find acceptable, if not correct. That's why it'd be absurd to have a Holocaust survivor debate a Holocaust denier--the denier has a position that is inherently offensive and indefensible. The problem is that many on the left are attempting to forgo debate and instead lump all opposition into this camp--their opponents are not just wrong, they are "homophobic", "racist", "traitors", etc.

And for you to attempt to dismiss the treatment of Miss California is absurd. She has been singled out for stating in a respectful manner a position held by the majority of American citizens. Her opponents have not debated her views but rather have stooped to offensive personal attacks.



... and a point at which continuing to clutch pearls over one throwaway line in stand-up comedy routine ...

Wishing death on a political opponent.

Remember a throwaway line at Strom Thurman's birthday party, spoken by a certain slightly inebriated senator? Or a throwaway line spoken by a clumsy Virginia senator. I guess 'throwaway' lines only matter when it's the other side.

Obama laughed at a comedian wishing death on his opponents. That was out of line. He should have apologized.



This is why you have a bad rep here, cog.mad. You waste your apparent intelligence regurgitating the same sort of moron wingnuttery we can get anywhere else.

I have not seen you once engage a conservative poster on this forum in a constructive manner. Every time you engage someone here who happens to be right of center, you pull out the big w word.


I don't think you're being honest about being offended about either of these things. I think, rather, that you're using them because you think they are convenient clubs and you seem to be most interested in scoring points when you visit these forums. The problem with this, though, is that all you're getting is a couple of pats on the back from a couple other commenters who already share your political outlook, and who, I might add, are not themselves looked at with much respect. Everyone else just reads a comment like this and moves you another notch down on the scale.

What I see on here is a very small circle of very active self-appointed elites, who do not engage in constructive discussion with people of ideologically different positions, separate from other posters on both the left and right who do engage in cogent discourse

JonIrenicus
05-17-2009, 09:44 PM
Except that it's a demonstrable fact that members of the Bush Administration lied. Colin Powell before the U.N. and Dick Cheney asserting a causal connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks multiple times are clear examples of deliberate lies. They were not mistaken, they were asserting to be true things they knew to be false.

members of an administration lied about something?

That reminds me of that people magazine cover that Bill Maher brought to light...


http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/8884/claygay2wo6.jpg


To the extent that the administration or its officials suggested a link between Sadaam and the 911 attacks, yes, that was a lie. If not directly, then by not clearing things up.

What was not a lie, which many still believe was a lie, was whether Bush actually believed Sadaam had wmd. Bush did believe he had them. He did not lie about his belief in that.

But for many even that is not possible in their little worlds. They maintain that he knew there were no wmd, and by implication, knew no weapons would be found, and went along anyway making the case in large part on that basis for war.

The irony is that without that nugget of a perceived lie to be real, it is NOT as if there is nothing else to go on that could be used against Bush. i.e. sloppy comparisons between 911 and Sadaam.

But that will not stop stupid liberals, foaming to latch on to any negative strand about Bush to fuel the case against him. Solid, nebulous, doesn't matter, logically inconsistent (KNEW there were no wmd, and USED THAT AS THE MAJOR CASE FOR THE IRAQ WAR !!!!!!!),

After all, Bush is not just wrong, he is BAD. As such anything thrown at him is justified.

To the ones who know better but throw everything that makes them hacks.

To those that are clueless enough to actually believe every negative perception about Bush, there is another word.

S T U P I D.

I have an Achilles heal for civility, I have a low tolerance level for stupid. It is not satisfying enough to simply clear things up, I genuinely want to punish people for wanton levels of stupid. You all have no idea the self constraints I maintain.

AemJeff
05-17-2009, 09:53 PM
members of an administration lied about something?

That reminds me of that people magazine cover that Bill Maher brought to light...


http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/8884/claygay2wo6.jpg


To the extent that the administration or its officials suggested a link between Sadaam and the 911 attacks, yes, that was a lie. If not directly, then by not clearing things up.

What was not a lie, which many still believe was a lie, was whether Bush actually believed Sadaam had wmd. Bush did believe he had them. He did not lie about his belief in that.

But for many even that is not possible in their little worlds. They maintain that he knew there were no wmd, and by implication, knew no weapons would be found, and went along anyway making the case in large part on that basis for war.

The irony is that without that nugget of a perceived lie to be real, it is NOT as if there is nothing else to go on that could be used against Bush. i.e. sloppy comparisons between 911 and Sadaam.

But that will not stop stupid liberals, foaming to latch on to any negative strand about Bush to fuel the case against him. Solid, nebulous, doesn't matter, logically inconsistent (KNEW there were no wmd, and USED THAT AS THE MAJOR CASE FOR THE IRAQ WAR !!!!!!!),

After all, Bush is not just wrong, he is BAD. As such anything thrown at him is justified.

To the ones who know better but throw everything that makes them hacks.

To those that are clueless enough to actually believe every negative perception about Bush, there is another word.

S T U P I D.

Jon, this is just incoherent. Lying about casus belli is a pretty bad thing to do. It's a clear abuse of power, and in a sane world is prosecutable in a democracy. It's not an excuse to say somebody's bad, it's a serious argument that they in fact did behave very badly. It doesn't matter if Bush thought Saddam had WMD - it's definitely true that he didn't know that to be the case. It's also true that not only did he not now it to be the case - he had no evidence to indicate that it was. We know that now because we know for sure that there were no WMD.

In short simple words: the Bush administration were incompetent lying criminals who mostly excelled at the flagrant abuse of power.

Refute that.

bjkeefe
05-17-2009, 10:07 PM
Without the aid of quantitative research, I'd still argue that it does. The gay rights movement, and some other elements of the left have been getting increasingly militant. The vitriolic assault on those who disagree with them is just one instance. You can look at the hateful attacks on the Church of Latter Day Saints, the targeting of individual citizens who contributed to pro-traditional marriage funds, etc.

Generally, debate is limited to sides that reasonable people can find acceptable, if not correct. That's why it'd be absurd to have a Holocaust survivor debate a Holocaust denier--the denier has a position that is inherently offensive and indefensible. The problem is that many on the left are attempting to forgo debate and instead lump all opposition into this camp--their opponents are not just wrong, they are "homophobic", "racist", "traitors", etc.

Once again, you're trying to pretend that what some individuals say represents a much larger group. You're flat-out wrong about that. You can't just keep saying "many on the left" because you've heard a handful of anecdotes and think it means anything as a general principle. You're just gathering up bits that support your preconceived notions.

And for you to attempt to dismiss the treatment of Miss California is absurd.

Excuse me, but I don't think I've said word one about this kerfuffle. Certainly not in this thread. But since you bring it up, I'll say a few words, since this case is a good example with the problem I have with you and others like you.

She has been singled out for stating in a respectful manner a position held by the majority of American citizens. Her opponents have not debated her views but rather have stooped to offensive personal attacks.

Carrie Prejean doesn't get immunity from criticism for airing her views, particularly since she used a prominent platform to do so, and additionally, because she continues to reaffirm those views. Not to mention dining out on them.

Whatever you might believe about her "respectful manner," the fact remains that her views are in and of themselves offensive to a lot of people. As such, she is going to take heat, same as anyone else who speaks out on any hot-button issue, from the left, right, or wherever. You're in dreamland if you think there is anything special about her case.

Wishing death on a political opponent.

Remember a throwaway line at Strom Thurman's birthday party, spoken by a certain slightly inebriated senator? Or a throwaway line spoken by a clumsy Virginia senator. I guess 'throwaway' lines only matter when it's the other side.

Obama laughed at a comedian wishing death on his opponents. That was out of line. He should have apologized.

Oh, fuck off. This is not a respectable attitude. The amount of heinous things said every day by hundreds of blowhards on right-wing radio and TV swamp this out of existence. So, you want to insist you really care about this, and you're not just beating this dead horse because Fox News told you to? Like I said before, fine. But I've lost whatever little respect I had left for you.

And for the record, the only thing that keeps me from wishing that Rush Limbaugh would croak tomorrow is that I'd like him to suffer a much more prolonged and painful death. I can't even put into words what that blight upon civilization deserves. It's enough to make me wish I believe in Hell.

I have not seen you once engage a conservative poster on this forum in a constructive manner.

Then you haven't read enough to have an informed opinion. Ask Bobby G, rfrobison, GarbageCowboy, Abu Noor Al-Irlandee, mvantony, Simon Willard, Thus Spoke Elvis, or jh in sd, to name a few conservative commenters, whether they feel that I've engaged with them in a constructive manner.

Every time you engage someone here who happens to be right of center, you pull out the big w word.

You're wrong. I only call wingnuts wingnuts. You are a wingnut, almost all the time, and your hysteria about Wanda Sykes epitomizes this. So does your even mentioning Carrie Prejean.

Also, you spend almost all of your time on this board insulting people, so spare me your sobbing about getting some blowback.

What I see on here is a very small circle of very active self-appointed elites, who do not engage in constructive discussion with people of ideologically different positions, separate from other posters on both the left and right who do engage in cogent discourse

What you see is a highly distorted version of reality. You come here to pick fights and to look for reasons to be offended. You want to be able to say whatever crazy, stupid, or obnoxious thing that squirts into your poisonous mind and you can't stand when you get the response you deserve. When you're not in victim mode, you're an offensive little turd, and this whole thread that you started off cannot be topped for irony or lack of self-awareness.

I'm done talking civilly to you, cog.mad. You don't deserve it.

Bobby G
05-17-2009, 10:09 PM
Jon, this is just incoherent. Lying about casus belli is a pretty bad thing to do. It's a clear abuse of power, and in a sane world is prosecutable in a democracy. It's not an excuse to say somebody's bad, it's a serious argument that they in fact did behave very badly. It doesn't matter if Bush thought Saddam had WMD - it's definitely true that he didn't know that to be the case. It's also true that not only did he not know it to be the case - he had no evidence to indicate that it was. We know that now because we know for sure that there were no WMD.

Hold on a minute. We know that Bush didn't know that Saddam had WMD, because Saddam didn't have WMD. That's right (unless he moved the WMD to another country; I've certainly heard that claimed a lot, on no evidence of course, but I wonder whether there's evidence against that contention?). But the rest of what you say, namely that we know "he had no evidence to indicate that" Saddam had WMD "because we know for sure that there were no WMD" doesn't follow. He had some disputed evidence--the famous aluminum tubes--and weren't there a bunch of international agencies that claimed, based on circumstantial evidence, that it was likely that Saddam had or was developing WMD?

JonIrenicus
05-17-2009, 10:14 PM
Jon, this is just incoherent. Lying about casus belli is a pretty bad thing to do. It's a clear abuse of power, and in a sane world is prosecutable in a democracy. It's not an excuse to say somebody's bad, it's a serious argument that they in fact did behave very badly. It doesn't matter if Bush thought Saddam had WMD - it's definitely true that he didn't know that to be the case. It's also true that not only did he not now it to be the case - he had no evidence to indicate that it was. We know that now because we know for sure that there were no WMD.

In short simple words: the Bush administration were incompetent lying criminals who mostly excelled at the flagrant abuse of power.

Refute that.

You can make a credible enough case that the data for weapons was not strong enough, so why defend people who maintain he explicitly lied about their existence?

Implying a knowledge you just claimed he did not have?

You refute yourself.


The canard of no evidence of weapons at all is a lie in itself at worst, and at best the same level of ignorance you accuse Bush of.

If by no evidence the ONLY thing you mean is Hans did not eyeball them, then no, there was no evidence. Hard evidence was not all they were going on.

Turns out whatever evidence they did have was wrong and insufficient, bluffs and previous use of weapons was evidence of a sort that he at the very least conceivably had some weapons.

Too flaky, fine, make THAT argument. You could probably succeed. But that is not enough for you, is it Ahab?

No matter, you can live the rest of your days in peace, your world view vindicated, the party headed by the white whale has been defeated, wounded by repeated solid blows, but defeated is still not enough, EVERY scrap of malice attributable to him MUST be launched, MUST be hurled at the beast, the creature, the swine. He not only lied about X, but Y too !!!!!!!! HE IS THE FATHER OF LIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(cue quote)

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!


All you need do, to drop the spear, is allow the possibility that he believed there were weapons, but was STUPID to do so based on the evidence he had. But that would imply slightly less malevolence in the creature, an inch you refuse to give Ahab.

Bobby G
05-17-2009, 11:06 PM
Once again, you're trying to pretend that what some individuals say represents a much larger group. You're flat-out wrong about that. You can't just keep saying "many on the left" because you've heard a handful of anecdotes and think it means anything as a general principle. You're just gathering up bits that support your preconceived notions.

To chime in here, this definitely dovetails with my experiences. I remember reading the comments on the Blankenhorn diavlog (back when I was Bobcat instead of Bobby G), some of which were:

jhrobbins (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13795#msg-13795):
I too cannot listen anymore to this quirtly sincere bigot as everything he has said so far is patently absurd and a lie. He hasn't 'reluctantly arrived' at this position - he has come to the new neo Nazi approach however of the quiet and thoughtful bigot and not the ranting maniac.

BJKeefe (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13802#msg-13802), responding to jhrobbins:
I'll agree that bringing the N-word isn't helpful, but the rest of jhr's argument was quite sound.

randomdude (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13790#msg-13790), commenting on the title of his post, which was, "If you're against gay marriage, you're a bigot", wrote:
Yup. Look, everyone knows this is true. There can be all kinds of discussion about side issues but it's a smokescreen. I'd like to quote a great Matt Yglesias post on this subject...


bcruds (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13813#msg-13813) wrote:

"brucds, blankenhorn isnít saying gay marriage is ďbad for kidsĒ because gay couples canít be good parents, but because it would normalize an arrangement that is, *in general*, non-optimal for children."
This is bigotry, pure and simple. Sorry...
Heterosexual marriage ends in divorce with such frequency, the same could be said. I detest this kind of bigotry. Years ago I heard arguments against racial intermarriage because "it would be bad for the children." Again, a "nuanced" argument that masks apology for bigots. This isn't something I'm interested in discussing at length or even spending my time listening to. I detest bigotry.

Wonderment (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13996#msg-13996):
I confess not having listened to the whole dialogue. Opposition to gay marriage is too absurd to consider. Sorry. Call me opinionated. But it's just the miscegenation debate revisited.

Admittedly, that's only five commenters here, but this is part of what forms our experiences debating this subject. That, and my colleagues calling SSM opponents bigots.

Carrie Prejean doesn't get immunity from criticism for airing her views, particularly since she used a prominent platform to do so, and additionally, because she continues to reaffirm those views. Not to mention dining out on them.

I don't think she intended to use the Miss America pageant as an opportunity to air that view of hers. I think she was genuinely surprised by the question, which, I think, was unusual for a Miss America pageant. She continues to reaffirm her views, but of course, she believes them, she's asked about them a lot, she feels persecuted (e.g., the source of her fake boobs being investigated, being lampooned in shows such as Best Week Ever, and arguably not getting crowned Miss America for her comments) for holding what she and many other Americans takes to be a perfectly normal view, and lots of right-wing pundits want to use her to score some points. Yes, she's dining out on this, but that doesn't mean she might not have been wronged.

Whatever you might believe about her "respectful manner," the fact remains that her views are in and of themselves offensive to a lot of people. As such, she is going to take heat, same as anyone else who speaks out on any hot-button issue, from the left, right, or wherever.

This is of course true, but there is the question of the degree of heat, as well as the propriety of asking her the question in the first place.

Oh, fuck off. This is not a respectable attitude. The amount of heinous things said every day by hundreds of blowhards on right-wing radio and TV swamp this out of existence. So, you want to insist you really care about this, and you're not just beating this dead horse because Fox News told you to? Like I said before, fine. But I've lost whatever little respect I had left for you.

But surely there's a difference between Obama laughing at someone in the same room with him wishing the death of Rush Limbaugh, and Rush Limbaugh saying detestable things without regularly being condemned by George W. Bush?

Then you haven't read enough to have an informed opinion. Ask Bobby G, rfrobison, GarbageCowboy, Abu Noor Al-Irlandee, mvantony, Simon Willard, Thus Spoke Elvis, or jh in sd, to name a few conservative commenters, whether they feel that I've engaged with them in a constructive manner.

I feel you usually engage with me in a constructive manner, but you have worried before (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=108715#poststop) that I was indulging my "inner wingnut".

AemJeff
05-17-2009, 11:06 PM
Hold on a minute. We know that Bush didn't know that Saddam had WMD, because Saddam didn't have WMD. That's right (unless he moved the WMD to another country; I've certainly heard that claimed a lot, on no evidence of course, but I wonder whether there's evidence against that contention?). But the rest of what you say, namely that we know "he had no evidence to indicate that" Saddam had WMD "because we know for sure that there were no WMD" doesn't follow. He had some disputed evidence--the famous aluminum tubes--and weren't there a bunch of international agencies that claimed, based on circumstantial evidence, that it was likely that Saddam had or was developing WMD?

Bobby, the point is that more is required before you start killing people than a mere belief that something is true. The case for WMD in Iraqi hands had not been made at the time. Convincing evidence certainly had not been found, and it's easy to make the case now that such evidence did not (could not) exist.

Bobby G
05-17-2009, 11:09 PM
Bobby, the point is that more is required before you start killing people than a mere belief that something is true. The case for WMD in Iraqi hands had not been made at the time. Convincing evidence certainly had not been found, and it's easy to make the case now that such evidence did not (could not) exist.

Well, it wasn't thought of at the time as a mere belief, but as one fairly well supported by an international consensus. Sure, you should rush to kill people on more than just consensus, but you should also be wary when inaction might lead to killing people (and when there was already a crumbling sanctions regime--itself partially responsible for a lot of deaths--that, if it fell, might have made it easier for Saddam to get said WMD).

Even if it's easy to make the case NOW that such evidence did not exist (but could not exist? How would you make that case?), it doesn't follow that it was easy THEN.

AemJeff
05-17-2009, 11:16 PM
Well, it wasn't thought of at the time as a mere belief, but as one fairly well supported by an international consensus. Sure, you should rush to kill people on more than just consensus, but you should also be wary when inaction might lead to killing people (and when there was already a crumbling sanctions regime--itself partially responsible for a lot of deaths--that, if it fell, might have made it easier for Saddam to get said WMD).

Even if it's easy to make the case NOW that such evidence did not exist (but could not exist? How would you make that case?), it doesn't follow that it was easy THEN.

But the point is that the burden was on the Bush Administration to make a case before they acted. Whether or not they thought might eventually be able to make that case isn't sufficient cause to have started a war.

cognitive madisonian
05-17-2009, 11:40 PM
Yes, that is a key distinguishing feature. If George Bush attended an event, and Michael Savage stood up and said, "Where's Barack Hussein Obama? I guess he forgot his prayer rug," and Bush was caught on camera laughing, can you imagine the reaction? It would be nuclear.\

cognitive madisonian
05-17-2009, 11:52 PM
Also, you spend almost all of your time on this board insulting people, so spare me your sobbing about getting some blowback.


Would you care to offer some evidence? To my recollection, I have ended up in uncivil exchanges with you and aemjeff. I've had quite civil exchanges with a number of other members, including Wonderment, whom I disagree with substantially.

Again, I never have initiated hostilities. But when posters such as you have responded with childish attacks, I have at times been drawn into tit-for-tats.

bjkeefe
05-18-2009, 12:23 AM
To chime in here, this definitely dovetails with my experiences. I remember reading the comments on the Blankenhorn diavlog (back when I was Bobcat instead of Bobby G), some of which were:

jhrobbins (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13795#msg-13795):


BJKeefe (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13802#msg-13802), responding to jhrobbins:


randomdude (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13790#msg-13790), commenting on the title of his post, which was, "If you're against gay marriage, you're a bigot", wrote:



bcruds (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13813#msg-13813) wrote:



Wonderment (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,13777,13996#msg-13996):


Admittedly, that's only five commenters here, but this is part of what forms our experiences debating this subject. That, and my colleagues calling SSM opponents bigots.

As you acknowledge, this is a handful of examples. It does not equate to "many on the left." Either you and cog.mad. get no exposure to "the left" any place else but here (which I know is not true in your case), or you're forgetting about the zillions of opinions that you have encountered that didn't rub you the wrong way. You're also evidently forgetting about the reality that most people, including most liberals, don't typically express any opinion at all on the matter.

And yes, I view opposition to same-sex marriage as bigotry. If my saying so seems out of line to you, too bad. I don't see this as any different from being against marriage between two people of different ethnic origin, religion, or skin color. If you're offended by my attitude on this, just know that I am equally offended by yours.

I don't think she intended to use the Miss America pageant as an opportunity to air that view of hers. I think she was genuinely surprised by the question, which, I think, was unusual for a Miss America pageant. She continues to reaffirm her views, but of course, she believes them, she's asked about them a lot, she feels persecuted (e.g., the source of her fake boobs being investigated, being lampooned in shows such as Best Week Ever, and arguably not getting crowned Miss America for her comments) for holding what she and many other Americans takes to be a perfectly normal view, and lots of right-wing pundits want to use her to score some points. Yes, she's dining out on this, but that doesn't mean she might not have been wronged.

[something else I said]

This is of course true, but there is the question of the degree of heat, as well as the propriety of asking her the question in the first place.

I don't buy that she's been "wronged," unless you're willing to say that every other person who has made a political statement, who has been on the receiving end of personal attacks, has also been wronged. And if you're willing to say that, then I can only tell you, tough. That's just how our society is. Like it or not, it's a fact of life. There is absolutely nothing unusual about her case.

I can't comment on the propriety of the question, since I have no idea what the (unwritten?) rules are. I'll concede it was a little surprising, given the vapid sort of fare I'm under the impression these beauty pageants usually feature. (Not that I've watched one in decades -- I'm guessing based on the utter lack of news (with one obvious exception (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww)) about them otherwise.) Still, she said what she said, and much more to the point, she has doubled down on it repeatedly. She's got a right to voice her opinion, and so does everyone else who says anything about her.

As to her boob job being paid for by the pageant itself, come on. This is hilarious. It's like catching a vegan scarfing down a Big Mac. You'd probably be laughing about the irony of this yourself, if you weren't so aligned with her on the issue that set the whole thing off.

But surely there's a difference between Obama laughing at someone in the same room with him wishing the death of Rush Limbaugh, and Rush Limbaugh saying detestable things without regularly being condemned by George W. Bush?

I refuse to take seriously anyone's fretting about Obama laughing at a joke, and I expect better from you, in particular. I'm going to write this off as you being an annoying philosophizer, trying to make an abstract mountain out of a non-existent molehill. Plus, your comparison to Bush doesn't even make any sense.

You really ought to drop this matter, because you're not going to get any satisfaction from me by harping on it, that's for damned sure, and I'm hard-pressed to think of a stupider place for you to stand in defense of cog.mad.

And come to that, I'm hard-pressed to think why you're even standing up for this idiot in the first place. Have you nothing better to do with your time? Why don't you go mine his comments, if you want to find personal attacks and other potentially offensive utterances?

I feel you usually engage with me in a constructive manner, ...

Thanks for saying so.
... but you have worried before (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=108715#poststop) that I was indulging my "inner wingnut".

What I said:

... but since you've lately started to parrot the mantras of "echo chamber" and "teh moderators, oh noes!!!1!", perhaps you've paused your thinking process for a while and are instead indulging your inner wingnut.

I stand by it. I don't remember what led up to that, but I vaguely remember you were saying those specific things, and I know I would not have said you said them if you hadn't. It was unusual, coming from you, and yes, those two things are the sort of nonsense one hears from the full-blown wingnuts that pollute this forum.

You know, whenever they're feeling over-sensitive about others not agreeing with their insanity and saying so, bluntly.

Hard to believe you even remember this, more than forty-five days later, but on the other hand, that you had to go that far back to find something that wasn't "constructive engagement" kind of makes my original point, doesn't it?

bjkeefe
05-18-2009, 12:27 AM
Would you care to offer some evidence?

Nope. As I said, I'm done talking to you in a civil manner. You don't deserve it. Respect has to be earned, especially once you've done as much as you have to lose it.

cognitive madisonian
05-18-2009, 01:01 AM
Of course, it also helps that you were making a false accusation ;)

Lyle
05-18-2009, 07:03 AM
Cog.mad has a good rep here actually, I'd say. He's all substance for the most part. What more can you ask for? bhtv isn't a left-of-center only venture.

Lyle
05-18-2009, 07:15 AM
What I see on here is a very small circle of very active self-appointed elites, who do not engage in constructive discussion with people of ideologically different positions, separate from other posters on both the left and right who do engage in cogent discourse

This is the precise reason I decided to hangout at bhtv. Too quality of a site to only let progressive fabulists dominate its forum. However, there are a number of people here who will engage the center or right respectfully. bjkeefe and his coterie normally aren't the ones that do, but keefe & coterie can be cool at times.

I've grown to appreciate wonderment with time. He has his opinions and he lets you have yours.

Lyle
05-18-2009, 07:20 AM
Respect has to be earned in public discourse? Come again?

Lyle
05-18-2009, 07:26 AM
And yes, I view opposition to same-sex marriage as bigotry. If my saying so seems out of line to you, too bad. I don't see this as any different from being against marriage between two people of different ethnic origin, religion, or skin color. If you're offended by my attitude on this, just know that I am equally offended by yours.

I don't buy that she's been "wronged," unless you're willing to say that every other person who has made a political statement, who has been on the receiving end of personal attacks, has also been wronged. And if you're willing to say that, then I can only tell you, tough. That's just how our society is. Like it or not, it's a fact of life. There is absolutely nothing unusual about her case.

bjkeefe,

For the record... is President Barack Obama a bigot with regards to same-sex marriage? His views are the same as Ms. Prejean's I believe.

Why pick on small fish like Ms. Prejean and not attack the Kingfish himself, President Barack Obama? Wanda Sykes totally flaked in not taking Obama down a notch, I think.

bjkeefe
05-18-2009, 10:03 AM
Cog.mad has a good rep here actually, I'd say. He's all substance for the most part. What more can you ask for? bhtv isn't a left-of-center only venture.

You are one of the applauding trolls I had in mind when I said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=114015#post114015) to cog.mad.: "... all you're getting is a couple of pats on the back from a couple other commenters who already share your political outlook."

Of course you approve of everything he says -- you approve of everything anyone says as long as it's in contradiction to me or any other liberal who won't meekly indulge right-wing nonsense. The damp-palmed eagerness with which you waddle in to type "Good post!" in response to every piece of petulant wingnut whining would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetically obvious.

So, regarding some of your other posts ...

First, thanks for admitting (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=114052#post114052) that you're here just to make trouble. I've long suspected this, but it's nice to finally get the confirmation of a guilty plea. I'm sorry (though unsurprised) that you see a paucity of good online forums where your views are in the majority; I'm sorrier still that your only recourse to that lack is to try to ruin a community that other people -- including a number of conservatives -- have built. The saddest part about the appearance of the likes of you and cog.mad. is that many of the worthwhile conservative commenters who used to participate here regularly have since gone quiet. Just correlation? Perhaps. Or maybe it's the same thing as we see nationwide -- right-leaning people who are decent and thoughtful are distancing themselves from yahoos like you.

Second, there is a world of difference between Obama and the likes of Carrie Prejean when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage. While I'd like him to be more aggressive on this front, I can also understand a president making political calculations and setting priorities when he also has to deal with every other aspect of running the country. This is not at all the same thing as someone who has nothing to lose -- and indeed, who is seeking to build a career for herself -- actively campaigning against equal rights. That you can't see that, or won't admit it, and instead just keep repeating this Fox/Limbaugh false equivalence (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=114055#post114055) means that you're either stupid or lying. Or both.

Which leads me to my third point.

Yes, respect (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=114053#post114053) must always be earned, and it can easily be lost. Especially in public discourse. If you had even a shred of honesty, you'd admit, at least to yourself, how many people you have on your own mental ignore list.

So, keep mindlessly rooting for cog.mad. Keep excusing the bigotry of Carrie Prejean. Keep parroting wingnut talking points. Makes no difference to me. You're already so far in the hole by now that even your continued digging has ceased to matter.

Lyle
05-18-2009, 10:52 AM
Haha... I actually agree with you on a number of things. I don't agree with your bigotry and spitefulness though. It's just not my style. One can make their arguments without personalizing the discussion.

You should look to wonderment as a role model. He respectfully disagrees with people, as it should be.

... and to say that Carrie Prejean is a bigot and Barack Obama is not a bigot is rich. Barack Obama believes homosexuals should never ever be married. That's no different from Prejean's view. She even agrees with Obama that it's cool that other states allow same-sex marriage. So if simply not believing in same-sex marriage is homophobia, President Obama is as much of a homophobe as she is.

... also, why do you liken not being a progressive to causing trouble? Why is disagreeing with you trouble making?

bjkeefe
05-18-2009, 11:24 AM
Haha... I actually agree with you on a number of things.

Good. Though I don't believe you, let's leave it there. I'm not interested in rebutting the same talking points you keep repeating and I'm not interested in responding to your attempt to drive a wedge between Wonderment and me.

Lyle
05-18-2009, 11:41 AM
I'm not attempting to drive a wedge between you and Wonderment. This is the paranoia cog.mad was talking about. You seem to think people who disagree with you are ipso facto out to get you. I think you might be projecting yourself on to others when you probably shouldn't be (just my opinion). However Wonderment, he just goes about agreeing or disagreeing with people without making things personal. He doesn't get bent out of shape when people profoundly disagree with him. He has the ability to genuinely say positive things (with no scent of sarcasm) about centrists or conservatives, or really anybody he disagrees with. He has the ability to criticize people on his side of the political spectrum as well (you do too I think).

You're not always an uncivil partisan bjkeefe, but often you are and it not only makes you and your politics look very bad, but it makes for a bad conservation here at bhtv.

bjkeefe
05-18-2009, 11:44 AM
You're not always an uncivil partisan bjkeefe, but often you are and it not only makes you and your politics look very bad, but it makes for a bad conservation here at bhtv.

You don't like it, leave.

You're either dishonest or stupid to think that I can't and don't disagree respectfully with others; i.e., those who aren't just trolls like you and cog.mad.

Lyle
05-18-2009, 12:01 PM
Bejesus bj... cog.mad and I are "just trolls"? Haha. Ah, don't change man, don't change... it just makes it easier for those who disagree with you to counter your arguments.

bjkeefe
05-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Bejesus bj... cog.mad and I are "just trolls"? Haha. Ah, don't change man, don't change... it just makes it easier for those who disagree with you to counter your arguments.

I await any attempt on your part to do so that involves anything but parroting what you just heard from the wingnut media. I'm not holding my breath, though. I expect we'll observe proton decay before we see evidence that you can think for yourself.

Funny how a few minutes ago, you were repeatedly urging me to change, and now you're saying "don't change." Since all you apear capable of or interested in doing is making noise that has no coherence from one spasm of typing to the next, I'm going to end this here. Have the last word, if that's not too loose a definition of what emanates from you.

[Added] By the way, your change of the subject line was especially juvenile, even for you. It also speaks volumes about your inability to discuss anything intelligently -- your only tactic is the one you learned from Fox and Rush and your heroes from the Bush Administration: just keep repeating the same lie over and over, in hopes that it will somehow magically come true. What a fucking waste of oxygen you are.

Lyle
05-18-2009, 02:02 PM
bjkeefe,

Haha. I don't normally watch Fox News and I don't even listen to Rush Limbaugh. I'm a registered independent who voted for Barack Obama. I've told you before I'm a contrarian, i.e., not a partisan. If anyone is a parroting a line it's you, because you're the partisan, not me. My guess is you get a lot of your stuff from Firedoglake and friends (which I read... got to see what Jane Hamsher is saying), cause you link to them regularly and use wingnut about as much as Jane Hamsher does.

I don't think I've ever linked to Fox News or quoted Rush Limbaugh. I prefer linking to the New York Times, if anything. I'm also on the Brooks/Reihan/Douthat side in the Rush Wars. Sean Hannity is a disaster for conservatism.

Barack Obama doesn't support gay marriage. He doesn't want gays in his military just yet. He also has the exact same religous views as Sarah Palin (Jesus floated into heaven for everybody's sins, etc... ). He's killing children left and right in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What a monster Barack Obama is. Haha.

Keep pretending I'm something I'm not, if you want. It's not a way to win a argument though.