Re: David Bowie

1

See, Tia? Labs abuses his main page privileges even when what he's saying is germane to an existing discussion in a comment thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 5:16 PM
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It is a lesser known fact that while he was recording "Ziggy Stardust" David Bowie threatened to kill no less than seventy-three children. But he only actually killed forty. And he did so in a very humane manner.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 5:17 PM
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nobody complained.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 5:23 PM
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Awww, Labs. It's sweetness like this that gets my boyfriend into jealous tizzies over whether I'm pursuing an affair with my comment box friends.

Also, I e-mailed you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 5:28 PM
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Hey now I'm jealous too!


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 5:43 PM
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David Bowie: what a rocker.

"Young Americans" inspired this thought?!? I mean, I like the song, but: how much tequila did you have?

Normally when I see Bowie being discussed, I like to make snarky comments about "The Laughing Gnome", but I don't have the energy tonight. Just consider it done.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:08 PM
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a dissenting opinion! now we've got to threaten each other's kittens.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:11 PM
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Man I feel so guilty. I found this blog via the whole unpleasantness going on with Protein Wisdom and that nasty Frisch person so I started looking around.

Then I did what I do every time I find a new liberal blog...and why I feel so guilty.

I went to the archives.....back to election day 2004 and I read. And I read. And I cackle. And I howl with laughter. And it's always the same.

At first the euphoria, the complete misread of the polling data, the misunderstood raw data from the exit polls, the cocksure expectations of a Kerry win.

Then....the wailing begins. I feel so badly, but it is so delicious to read. So delectable.

And then I feel guilty for having done it. Again. But, luckily, I don't stop there. I continue to read, entry after entry, post after post.

I read the honest thoughts and feelings of the author and the like-minded commentors and I see the same thing, liberal blog after liberal blog....the utter contempt for people who disagree with liberalism. The haughty insults about people with whom they have nothing in common, nor really know anything about. And then the familiar icy sensation flows into my veins, not a mirror of the white-hot hatred toward them that they feel toward me and those who think like me and vote like me, but the cool comfort of knowing they are the ideological and political losers in this country.

Again and again their stale, limp, ineffective ideas rejected at the ballot box. And their impotent rage on the day after and the delight it inspires.

I know this is a pendulum, and that eventually it will again swing in their direction but for today, and the forseeable future their twisted and malicious ideas and plans gain no foothold here.

If you people could step outside your cocoons and hear what you sound like to those who don't think as you do.....you would go white with shock.

But you never will do that so....

THANKS FOR THE SHOW ANYWAY!!!


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:23 PM
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FUCK YOU. I'm sick of your triumphalism, your smug satisfaction in your tiresome backwards opinions, your complete failure to see the real issues. "The Laughing Gnome" is a great single.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:30 PM
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I like "Young Americans." I hate America, of course, but Bowie's not American, so that song gets a pass.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:34 PM
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Olympic Troll Judging:

Handle: 9.2. A feint, to broadcast and disown one's political intent.
Coherence: A surprisingly high degree of technical difficulty, relatively unmarred by talking points. Unfortunately the cocoon bit has been done better by her superiors. Hard to compare yourself to the greats. One point deduction for an 8.0.
Reading Comprehension. Showed promise with the unprecedented ability to click on archive links, but lacked a strong finish. 5.6. She'll be thinking about that one on the plane ride home.
Dessert: 0.0
Artistic presentation: Overzealous use of the ellipsis weights down an otherwise uninspiring performance. 6.75.

Judges? Ooh, a 5.91. Not going to qualify for Nationals that way.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:35 PM
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Also, JL: a lot of tequila. But seriously, what an awesome song. Maybe I only relate because of the part about lousy sex.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:37 PM
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In fairness, some of those election posts were a bit much.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:39 PM
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Cala, shouldn't you deduct a tenth of a point or so for the all-caps tagline?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:40 PM
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13: Maybe, but being smug about them two years later?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:43 PM
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Oh, right. There goes the Wheaties box.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:43 PM
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But seriously, what an awesome song.

While I agree, I regret that I must say that if you could get out of your liberal left cocoon, you would see that it is smooth '70's blue-eyed soul with an extra helping of irony, and not much of a rocker at all. Maybe when you wake up and acknowledge this, your side will stop losing elections.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:43 PM
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Iam, the troll competiton is in the thread labeled "Relapse." You show some good stuff, but I'm afraid your competitors are very talented.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:44 PM
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In fairness, some of those election posts were a bit much.

Smile when you say that, Red.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:46 PM
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11: Doesn't she get an extra point somewhere for the really very successfully executed Bond-villian tone? I was impressed -- "it is so delicious to read. So delectable." and "familiar icy sensation flows into my veins."

Really, I think this one is high-class trolling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:46 PM
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15: I figured you guys would take care of that side of things.

Also: I should have added that if you one reads all of the archives from 2003 to the end of the heavy politics blogging, it should become quite clear that the election posts are not representative.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:47 PM
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20 has a point! Plus, the smug username has to count for something.

I realize that my own username kind of disqualifies me from saying that, but I'm not doing the judging, just commenting from the sidelines.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:49 PM
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And enjoying delicious pink grocery-store cake! With decaf.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:50 PM
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So you label anyone who doesn't march lockstep with you a troll (I'm going to pretend I'm shocked about this, however this IS a liberal blog and it follows exactly to the liberal blog template) , and that's the best you got? Well, it's a hell of a lot easier than opening your freakin' eyes and stepping outsiiiiiiiide the circle jerk, I guess.

No matter, I'll just come back in 4 months for undoubtedly another dash of wailing and indignation after the mid terms.

No skin off my nose.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:50 PM
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Iam is certainly a very talented troll herself. Personally I think the overuse and misuse of ellipses is going to hurt her in the later rounds, but I suppose we'll have to let the audience decide.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:51 PM
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Shit, there's a template? Why don't you fuckers ever tell me this shit?

I bet there are Cliff's notes, too. Assholes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:52 PM
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We'll be glad to see you back if you can keep up this level of quality.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:55 PM
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wordpress calls them themes.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:55 PM
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Profile: Claims to be an artist first and an athlete second, but the flamboyant use of 'i' has soured some judges. Also, IOTC suspect her of doping, with the frequent complains of icy liquids flowing into her veins.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:55 PM
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All the cool kids use Sparknotes, B.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:57 PM
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Shit. And here I bothered studying. I hate you all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:58 PM
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21: eb, I just went and looked at the posts from that week. Overwrought, but basically right. Is it the overwrought bit that you're talking about? I'd have thought that such was to be expected.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 6:58 PM
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I hope IamSAHM didn't take his/her handle from the late Doug Sahm of Sir Douglas/Texas Tornadoes. I'd hate to see him resurrected as a wingnut troll.


Posted by: LA Confidential Pantload | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:00 PM
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I think it's I am Stay At Home Mom. Which sounds sorta like a superhero.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:02 PM
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33: I think "SAHM" is "stay at home mom."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:02 PM
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Well which is it, Iam? The meaning of the acronym will affect your score.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:06 PM
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I must admit that you guys are the gift that keeps on giving. You are entertainment of the highest order and not for the reasons you'd imagine.

Keep it coming.

bitchphd, I've encountered your, em, blog before. I enjoyed your post-election posts as well. You guys never let me down. It's just beautiful.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:07 PM
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This is quite impressive. Can I imagine you reading 37 out loud in some sort of slinky teddy or negligee?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:09 PM
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I wasn't aware that there was some doubt as to whether BitchPhD kept a blog.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:10 PM
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It's hard to do a circle jerk in a cocoon. Hard, hard work. I prefer the echo chamber.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:10 PM
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Well, it doesn't follow the template! Because you people kept me out of the loop.

I'm going to sue.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:11 PM
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if Iam wants to be our troll I'm afraid she will have to wear a slinky teddy or negligee when she comments.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:13 PM
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Not to mention the difficulty of doing a circle jerk while marching in lockstep.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:13 PM
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No, no, text, you don't get to sexually harass the trolls.

Anyway, Tia and Silvana and I aren't going to share the attention whoring with some interloper.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:15 PM
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Now girls -- there's plenty Clown to go around.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:18 PM
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#43,
Yeah, the lock-step circle jerk does sound both difficult and disagreeable. Might work better in the Time Cube universe.


Posted by: LA Confidential Pantload | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:19 PM
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These are like the World Cup metaphor competitions!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:21 PM
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it's only harassment if she doesn't secretly like it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:21 PM
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No, seriously, dude, chicks get too much of that crap online as it is. Don't contribute to the non-consensual grossness.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:22 PM
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I did think the overwroughtness a bit much. I read those posts in October or November 2005, though; I didn't get here until the first party thread. I also may have been thinking of this, but it turns out it's just a comment.

It's also quite likely I'm less to the left of most of you, you know.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:24 PM
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Do we even know that Iam is female? I was thinking probably not. Either way, by all means, I won't mention the secret troll requirement again.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:25 PM
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50 is to 32. I curse you, Tim, for making me go back and skim those posts and threads.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:26 PM
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Yeah, it's not nice, text. Plus, 47-year-old balding men look like hell in lace.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:27 PM
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Well, it doesn't matter; the point is that folks with feminine pseuds get harassed a lot. You're probably right, but even so.

Sorry to be all humorless, but you know, it's my hangup. Plus it's totally unfair to make me defend SAHM trolls.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:28 PM
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I don't understand the last sentence of 50.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:30 PM
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eb thinks we're all commies.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:32 PM
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So you label anyone who doesn't march lockstep with you a troll

Oh, please.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:35 PM
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Next you're going to say I have to stop using racial slurs. Fine, yes, standards of politeness apply to the trolls. I hope Iam will accept my apologies.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:35 PM
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I'm going to found a new organization: liberals for conservatives.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:36 PM
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liberals for conservatives.

That would be very nice.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:37 PM
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Damn. I was all excited that there were 60 comments extolling the awesomeness of David Bowie.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:37 PM
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What, like pets?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:38 PM
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Ground control to major Becks....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:38 PM
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Can I can I have my own conservative to put on a leash? Pweease?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:40 PM
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Last sentence of 50 is actually pretty incomprehensible. I kinda like it that way.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:40 PM
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64 -- nonono, it's "Liberals for Conservatives", not the other way round. You're the one's going to wear the leash, and purr when Glenn scratches you behind the ear.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:42 PM
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I thought it was the liberals who were to be the pets.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:42 PM
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66: Cats don't generally wear leashes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:43 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:43 PM
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But would they still be liberals?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:44 PM
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Yeah, I mixed my metaphors -- I meant, Cala is going to jiggle her leg back and forth when Glenn rubs her tummy.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:44 PM
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I think eb's organization would be better titled "Liberals for Bush" or some such.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:47 PM
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's been done.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:49 PM
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Hm, 70 is a good question. Cats like hunting, and they can be kind of snotty. They probably are conservatives. Except that they seem awfully fond of living off of others. Dogs, on the other hand, are pretty friendly and generally tend to think the best of people. Probably dogs are fairly centrist, except for the ones that have been abused and are unpredictably cringing/vicious. Those probably write the more frothing right-wing blogs.

I'm not sure about the mice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:49 PM
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Eh, it doesn't matter. I seem to be more moderate than conservative, and anyway am still left of center to most people.

You know, I didn't vote for Kerry: I requested my absentee ballot too late and disfranchised myself. Not that it mattered in my district.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:51 PM
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Okay, seriously, did no one else get 59?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:52 PM
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76 - It was a Jews for Jesus joke, right?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:53 PM
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My cat is batshit. I think that just makes her a troll on either side of the aisle.

I consider myself a moderate; if some think I'm a leftist, well, 'tain't my fault the conservatives ran so hard to the right they came back the other way without their fiscal restraint.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:54 PM
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sigh


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:54 PM
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I didn't get it. But I'm stupid like that sometimes.

75: That's it, eb. You're outta the club.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:56 PM
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And I suspect, from comments here, that my views are probably pretty close to Cala's, and that I share the sentiment FL expresses in the main post.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:56 PM
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I voted absentee for Kerry and my ballot got shredded!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 7:58 PM
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I share the sentiment FL expresses in the main post.

Regarding Bowie, or Cala?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:02 PM
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I also voted for Kerry absentee, and my vote counted for way more than any of yours (but still not enough).

And 81 describes me as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:02 PM
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my cat's a libertarian. she thinks Nature put all that catfood in the cupboard.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:03 PM
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81 describes me as well.

Then... 83 applies to you as well.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:04 PM
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Can someone tell me where the stress in Karamazov lies?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:04 PM
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It's also quite likely I'm less to the left of most of you, you know.

There's a difference between ideological position and level of anger. I'd be astonished (but v. pleased) if you were to the right of me.

Well, it doesn't matter; the point is that folks with feminine pseuds get harassed a lot.

Disagree, I think. Text should moderate his comments out of a sense of duty/deference/whatever to you and other women here--b/c you're offended, or you reasonably worry about total effects down the line. But a duty to SFR? Fuck that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:06 PM
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Fine. We're all a bunch of moderates. Way to puncture my cocoon, teo. Next thing you know all this echoing I hear will stop.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:06 PM
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90

There's always Emerson.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:08 PM
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87: I've always stressed it on the /ma/.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:09 PM
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And Tim, I think I was thinking of this, from the week after the week of the election.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:09 PM
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Fucking Russian.

There's got to be a word for words which one can use deftly in writing, but cannot pronounce.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:11 PM
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I've never been able to figure out the stress on most Russian names without hearing a Russian say them.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:14 PM
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Note that I don't know any Russian before taking my advice. If only there were someone here who did know Russian...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:14 PM
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I've also read something like zero Russian lit.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:15 PM
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I'm sure with all the commies around here, somebody's got to.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:16 PM
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I just don't want to belie that I'm a pretender to the throne of the educated* if I have to say it. Lots of words used to give me this problem; read a lot, gain a big vocabulary, go to public school, have it never come up in conversation.

*Probably porcelain.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:18 PM
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I think it's on the second syllable. teo, you read linguistic symbols, right?

/'brat?j? kar?'maz?v?/)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:20 PM
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I pronounce it like Teofilo in 91 but believe it is more properly pronounced the way Cala is talkin bout in 99.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:23 PM
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That looks right (assuming the accent mark is before the stressed syllable), but that's the third syllable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:23 PM
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If the second syllable is a schwa, it's probably not stressed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:24 PM
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That's from wikipedia. I don't read symbols. So the accent mark precedes the stressed syllable?

(I am feeling like Eliza Doolittle here.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:25 PM
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Standardly, the accent mark should follow the stressed syllable, but that's clearly not the case in 99. Schwas are almost never stressed, so I suspect it's meant to mean the third syllable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:27 PM
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I can't read those damn symbols, but teh stress is Karamazov is definitely on the "ra". The "mazov" should flow out quickly and smoothly, almost as if it were a single syllable. 91 is wrong.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:39 PM
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92: The linked post explicitly recognizes that it's wildly overwrought ("while I'm not being reasonable"). And I'd actually be pretty surprised if ogged (who, AFAIK, still thinks the Iraq war might have been a good idea) is very far to the left by normal measures. I think what drives the anger at Bush is pretty well described by the first half of this post.

And, no, I have no idea why I'm pursuing this. I'll stop now.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:46 PM
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Urple sounds like he knows what he's talking about. Listen to him rather than me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 8:53 PM
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Skimming this thread, post-Bowie:

Sorry, the stuff after the election was "a bit much"? Break me a fucking give. The American people had just reelected a dribbling dingbat based on his ability to get us stranded in a steadily-worsening foreign policy debacle that had already claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people for no readily apparent purpose while simultaenously encouraging the spread of international terrorism and normalizing torture by the CIA and the United States military. And although we didn't know about the NSA listening in on our phone calls, we damn well knew about John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales and their belief that the president was above the law. The stuff on this blog after the election was a model of absolute restraint.

And that's my random disproportionate frothing for the evening. Everybody can go back to talking about cats.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:08 PM
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I like cats.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:11 PM
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cats are soft


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:14 PM
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Also, the video for "Dancing in the Street" filled me with a terrible and righteous indignation. I'm sorry, but I had to get that off my chest.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:14 PM
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as a child, I watching Cats while it was touring through the nation. I was frightened. My father told me, "do not be frightened, they are just men and women in cat costumes." But that is what frightened me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:16 PM
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ogged (who, AFAIK, still thinks the Iraq war might have been a good idea) is very far to the left by normal measures

But he likes guns, so he can't be all bad.

And, no, I have no idea why I'm pursuing this. I'll stop now.

This stuff is kind of interesting, because it depends so much on perception, the crowd you're in, etc. On this site I'm a gun nut. But there's a definite segment of the gun crowd that tend to think I'm a commie because I don't acknowledge that the U.N. is secretly out to ban guns in the U.S. Likewise it's interesting how people arrive at similar positions. I bet a fair amount of people here are anti death penalty. But there's different paths to that position. I am anti death penalty not because I object to certain crimes resulting in someone forfeting their life, but rather don't think the system is capable of handing down such a punishment in a fair and consistent manner. But I bet a fair number of people here are anti death penalty because they genuinely think it's a cruel and unusual punishment.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:25 PM
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There used to be a funny show "Dr. Katz something-or-other other". Medicine woman.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:26 PM
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That second "other" should be "otter". It was a show about otters.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:27 PM
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but rather don't think the system is capable of handing down such a punishment in a fair and consistent manner

Same.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:28 PM
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Me too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:30 PM
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me too (re: the otters)


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:35 PM
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108 is a bit much.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:38 PM
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Fascist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:39 PM
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I bet you support the death penalty for cats too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:39 PM
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If you look to the good side / Falling down's a free ride.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:43 PM
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The wavy lines represent electrocution.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:45 PM
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Jim Henson adapted Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas from a book by Russell Hoban. Jim Henson, Russell Hoban. It is the Christmas special of the gods.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:49 PM
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Which gods?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:51 PM
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Teo may have been right.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:55 PM
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Which gods?

You otter know.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:57 PM
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When I was little, we used to bake chocolate chip cookies and watch Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas while eating them fresh from the oven with milk every Christmas.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:58 PM
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Also, wanna know what's cool about being home? My parents actually have food in their refrigerator. I should really try that someday.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 9:59 PM
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Otter theory revolutionized marine biology.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:00 PM
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Did you ever catch Dr. Katz, Medicine Woman Otter?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:01 PM
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And just because I think dead horses should be beaten, in 106:

by normal measures

Right, that's why in 21 I said those posts were not representative of the blog overall. And that's why I referred to some of those posts, not to the whole blog in general.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:05 PM
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And I'll stop now, too.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:05 PM
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131 - No, but I saw the prequel about furry lobsters.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:06 PM
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Otters make fine marinates.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:06 PM
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No, but I saw the prequel about furry lobsters.

Pwned!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:08 PM
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Hey hidey ho.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:10 PM
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David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona was based on an otter he knew as a child.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:11 PM
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I believe that the Flying Karamazov Brothers pronounce it in the usual American English way, accent on the MA. Who you gonna believe, some professor of Russian langauge and literature, or a group of guys from the West Coast who can juggle chainsaws?

That troll thing doesn't make me think of David Bowie, but Margaret Hamilton: 'what a world, what a world.'

Every time I see Keira Knightley in a film, I think she'd be perfect to play my daughter in the movie version. Totally intereferes with the whole 'I'd do her' thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:12 PM
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Six in one, half dozen in the otter.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:12 PM
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Was she a female otter who practiced medicine?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:12 PM
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Who you gonna believe, some professor of Russian langauge and literature, or a group of guys from the West Coast who can juggle chainsaws?

My pronunciation is taken from the chainsaw-juggling guys. I have neither read the book nor discussed it with anyone who has.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:14 PM
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I first started blogging in the wake of the 2004 election. I'm not embarrassed to say I was angry. Most of that blog was about feeling a lot of rage and wanting a safe space to express that rage. But I created my author-function out of rage, not out of reason. I got into a lot of arguments there and said a lot of emotional stuff. That's how I felt.

I found that blog couldn't last because we started winning a few battles of public opinion—too late, but still important ones. When you feel like you're the only person you know who's not blind or apathetic, rage and sincerity are appropriate responses. But when people around you are starting to see what you see, rational conversations have to start. I couldn't start them at my old blog because that persona didn't do rational. All she did was rage.

So I killed her off after about ten months, quit blogging for about four, and began again with a new attitude. Now that most non-crazies are having conversations about what's right and wrong in culture and government, we need safe spaces to hold those conversations.

...which is all to say that I'm damn glad my old blog is gone. Blog texts are ephemeral for the very good reason that some stuff is what you need to say at one time, and then you're ready to talk about something else. I'm glad I don't have to rage all the time anymore, but I'm glad I could then.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:14 PM
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There is no "post-Bowie".

"Young Americans" of course is most effective after having sat through the entirety pf Dogville, accompanied by the depression-era stills. An veritable estasy of loathing, an orgasm of spite.

17 times for me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:16 PM
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I'm afraid of Americans.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:17 PM
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I'm afraid of the world.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:20 PM
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Ner-neet.
Nee-nert.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:24 PM
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I started blogging during the election and still like one of those posts, but some of my earnestness and generalizations make me cringe. I took my oral exams one week later and gradually stopped blogging for a few months.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:28 PM
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143 - well said A White Bear. For me, I'm kind of embarressed about some stuff I've written on my own blog that has now aged by a couple years because life changes us and our perspectives change.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:31 PM
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149: I wonder if part of the above commenter's obsession with reading 11/2004 blog posts is because that was the last time this administration's supporters felt like a happy majority. If memory serves me right, when Bush's people first gained power, there was a lot of liberal nostalgia for the Clinton era. Re-triumphing over a dead enemy is the best way to lick hard-to-reach wounds.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:38 PM
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150: "dead enemy" should be "undead enemy"? What are these fucking parties if not amnesiatic zombies with weapons?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:41 PM
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If I could use the search function I'd look up baa's comments about political affiliations being like sports affiliations. Reliving the election could be like revisiting some epic win.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:42 PM
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If I could use the search function
(If I could use the search function)
I'd look up a post by Unf
(But not a real Unf post, that's cruel)


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:45 PM
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I'd search in the morning,
I'd search in the evening,
All over this blog.
I'd search in the archives,
I'd search in the old threads,
I'd search using google and yahoo
All over this blog.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:51 PM
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A White Bear, it's not an obsession. As I explained it is something that I like to do when I encounter a new liberal blogsite, even though I know I should not take pleasure in other peoples' misery.

Alas, it's not called "The School of Hard Knocks" for nothin'.

And it isn't the last time I felt like a happy majority, I know my views are still held by the majority regardless if people are happy with the President or not. They STILL won't be voting democrat in November.

Reading the reaction of the 2004 election in a liberal blog I'm not familiar with is just one of the simple pleasures in life.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:52 PM
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We wouldn't have to make new cock jokes.
But we would make new cock jokes.
Of course we would, we'd just make more.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:53 PM
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Yahoo search works, you hosers. You're probably just misremembering the search terms.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:54 PM
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you hosers

I have to search so bad, I can taste it.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:56 PM
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It makes sense to me, SAHM. If I were to figure out a way to derive pleasure from people whose ethics I find distasteful, it would probably involve probing their pain as well. But I guess it doesn't match my mood or personality to do so.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:57 PM
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I'm waiting for the Lecksus-Becksus search engine.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 10:58 PM
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155 - I respectfully disagree. Alot of the stuff Bush and the republicans promised us turned out to be empty. In fact, they've made things much worse. I'm not sure he intentionally misrepesented himself as standing for middle class just to get elected, twice, but I sure am very embarrassed I voted for him. I miss President Clinton, a centrist, who didn't make a mockery of the budget and respected our constitution.



Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:09 PM
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Well I acknowledged that it's wrong, and quite honestly what I see are the same denials, the same excuses, the same assumptions, the same recriminations and accusations, not to mention the same mischaracterizations and distortions of republicans and Bush supporters.

Initially I read to try to understand the beliefs that are so alien to mine, despite having been born and raised in the same country. But on the rare occasion I tried to engage the locals in substantive discussion, I simply found myself banned from comments.
*shrug* I see the nation at a stalemate. The left is unable to convince the right to see things their way and vice versa. It's simply amazing to me. Utterly confounding. The only conservative that I read who vilifies the left to this degree is Ann Coulter, and I don't quite agree with her verbiage or methods. On the other hand the entire left blogosphere seems to be composed entirely of lefty Ann Coulters. Not to mention the vilification the dems heap on me because of my views is loathsome, not to mention politically idiotic.
Anyway, that's how I see it.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:13 PM
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143, 149, and I suspect eb:

I went in exactly the opposite direction. The 11/04 posts strike me as overwrought because they're so painfully earnest. I've come to think of things now as closer to a straight fight, with little expectation of common ground on important issues, and great hopes that I won't need to depend on such common ground during my lifetime. I suspect that is the way it has always been, and that the peace and prosperity of the 90s, or the same during my lifetime, just mezmerized me, allowing me to ignore that greater truth. And I've ended up with empathy if not any sympathy for the people on the other side aisle in the 60's; I find myself quickly reformulating some of the same things they said toward my own ends.

It's weird, and I find it impressive that countries work as well as they do. But, then, I feel the same way about USPS.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:22 PM
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Oh yeah, "entire left blogosphere seems to be composed entirely of lefty Ann Coulters." Meanwhile SOP for mainstream right wing blogs is publishing people's contact info, eliminationist rhetoric, and regular accusations of treason. But damn those lefties and their rudeness.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:24 PM
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Or #162, from the directly opposite side.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:24 PM
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IamSAHM says "*shrug* I see the nation at a stalemate. The left is unable to convince the right to see things their way and vice versa"

I think that's how it was for the years 2000-2004, but I think the current administration has done such an attrocious job in so many different areas (look at any poll for the last 3 years) that lots of people (myself included) have realized the "right" is too extreme and don't reflect our middle class values afterall.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:26 PM
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gfswift, you don't really want to go there, do ya?

I doubt that.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:26 PM
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bring it


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:27 PM
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Can we please not pull out our cocks on this shit again? I'm with gswift; I think there's no comparison between the kind of rhetoric used, and by the sorts of people using it (as measured by the power those people have). But there's no way to convince SAHM of that, because she sincerely sees exactly the same matchup of quotations and the like and makes precisely the opposite diagnosis. There's an unbridgeable gap there.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:32 PM
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163 makes sense too. I suspect you're probably right that there's always been a divide and there's two sides to every coin for whatever issue, but that's why I like a more centrist leader, like we had in the 1990s. I know this isn't something everybody thinks we should strive for and they think it's better to get somebody from "their side", even if extreme, to push this or that issue, rather than finding somebody who is more of a unifier and risk not get anything done for their causes, but I long for that more peaceful time.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:34 PM
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No TD, I don't think so. The issue isn't the politicians or parties themselves, I'd be relieved if that were the case. No the issue is that Joe Six-Pack democrat and Joe Six-Pack republican is who is finding it hard to live in the same neighborhood, so to speak.

Much of what was said on this blogsite after the election is true not just of liberals but of conservatives as well. I was feeling what was being expressed but in complete reverse. Yeah, I was so relieved to find that Bush won, but I was still astonished how many people actually voted for Kerry. Incredulous.

I thought I simply disagreed with Clinton and his administration, but no, it's the liberals and their dangerous and unworkable schemes for this nation that I'm vehemently opposed to.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:34 PM
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On the other hand the entire left blogosphere seems to be composed entirely of lefty Ann Coulters. Not to mention the vilification the dems heap on me because of my views is loathsome, not to mention politically idiotic.

Perhaps this is the problem with the kind of voices that tend to attract large audiences, SAHM. Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin are attractive because they are so extremely offensive, as it's clear some of the more radical voices on the left are to you. But just like you don't feel represented by the hate-mongering of the far Right, it seems unfair to assume that people who disagree with you politically are all the hate-mongerers you've (apparently) been reading. No wonder you revel in our pain! It's just that it's the wrong pain to revel in.

At least, I've appreciated the moderating effect that conversations here have had on my discourse. Although my personal politics might be far Left, that's simply not true of most people here. I don't feel guilted out of my personal stances, but I also have learned how to take others' positions more seriously, because now they belong to people I know and (in my way) care about.

That's why I guess I don't "get" why one would get pleasure out of laughing at people expressing hurt. Have party politics really made us not treat others (who are not, after all, that different from us) like human beings? Or is that just the way of the internet, to make some people more real to you while making others seem like symbols or evil robots?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:35 PM
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Tim, I have no penis so I won't be bringing it out.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:37 PM
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#169

Very true. Engagement isn't going to get us anywhere. Perhaps I'll just be content with telling her she's fucking delusional.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:39 PM
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174 - IamSAHM, I'm not sure what the hell I am anymore. All I know is I was slightly right of center in '00 and '04 but now, thanks in large part to Bush, have moved slightly left of center. And I can't imagine right now the democrats could do any worse if they tried because, talk about unworkable schemes for this nation, the republicans are trying to bankrupt us, take away all our liberties, and invade other nations as they see fit without declaring war and without regard to how much it costs (both in terms of money and lost lives of reservists, whom many of are fathers, firefighters, and cops in smalltown USA).


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:41 PM
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TD you commie, don't you know that the terrorists WANT you to think this way?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:42 PM
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A White Bear, I find it hard to believe you've never partaken in schadenfreude of any form. I've never heard of such a person.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:44 PM
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gswift's language is the liberalese I hear 95% of the time.

Just sayin'.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:46 PM
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TD you commie, don't you know that the terrorists WANT you to think this way?

You mean there's some left? Even after Bin Laden is supposedly no longer in charge?


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:47 PM
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And I've ended up with empathy if not any sympathy for the people on the other side aisle in the 60's; I find myself quickly reformulating some of the same things they said toward my own ends.

This I feel too, though I think I really started picking it up on the way to November 2004 as I read, really for the first time, about post-1945 US history. I believe I mentioned before that until 2002/3 I paid almost no attention to contemporary politics - as distinct from "current events news" - and I take a temporally expansive view of "contemporary". Growing up where I did I was so tired of hearing about the 60s they I did what I could not to learn about the time period.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:49 PM
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gswift's language is the liberalese I hear 95% of the time.

Cause the word "fuck" makes the baby Jesus cry.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:50 PM
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that


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:50 PM
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Listen, I'm not saying I don't have vices, SAHM. I'm as bad as anyone else, I guess, but political schadenfreude would signal to me that I care more about "the other side" not getting what they want than about things taking a turn for the better for all of us. If "my side" won a victory, I'd hope your life improved as much as mine will, because that's a more meaningful political victory than one that only benefits my friends.

Now, personal schadenfreude is a completely different issue. I just can't manage it against the millions of strangers who support a different party.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:52 PM
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You mean there's some left? Even after Bin Laden is supposedly no longer in charge?

They're EVERYWHERE. They're flooding across the Mexican border as we speak.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:53 PM
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180 - really? I'm always fascinated about seeing stuff from the 60's because there seems to have been such a competition between the "old world" and the "new world". It's interesting to imagine both sides made valid points, yet so different. Seems like such a fascinating paradox to me.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:53 PM
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183 - furthermore, I imagine any joy would only have been short term (like a couple weeks) and not still relishing in other's political misfortunes 2 years later, continuing to revist the scene of the party when everyone has since moved on.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 8-06 11:57 PM
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Okay TD, I guess it's the frickin' hyperbole that wears my ass out.

Do you REALLY think the GOP wants to BANKRUPT the country? To what end exactly? How does that benefit them, exactly? Or is it more that they are spending more money than you'd like your government to spend?

DO tell what frickin' "liberties" the GOP has taken from you or anyone else? Name me one US citizen who's had "liberties" removed by the current administration. And are they taking A liberty away, SOME liberties away or "ALL" our liberties as you state? Huh? I mean, what kind of bullshit IS that, anyway? WHAT has been taken away from you or anyone else, exactly?

What "nations" are in danger of being invaded by the U.S.? And are you unaware that the U.S. Congress voted for BOTH the invasion into Afghanistan AND Iraq? I mean, what is with the frickin' collective amnesia the liberals (or anti-Bushies, whatever) have been hit with since 2003? Tell me please! IF it is as you say, that Bush and his administration have invaded nations willy-nilly, well, that's completely ILL-fucking-LEGAL, pal. We need to lock his ass up, don't we? Why aren't we? Could it be....because he consulted Congress and Congress voted for the military incursions? HUH? Everything Bush has done has been done legally because of his Presidential powers, for the love of God!!

I mean, get a fucking clue.

1/2 the people in this country appear to me to be either 1) ignorant and/or willfully misinformed or 2) psychotic! Which is it?!

Pardon my french but Grrrrrrrrr


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:01 AM
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Maybe this is like our conversation about sports, TD. It's one thing to gloat because you succeeded at something and it made you feel good. It's another thing to derive pleasure in the pain of your enemies' failure. They are not two sides of the same coin, or at least those who continue to feel confident rarely feel the need to flip it, and even those who start to doubt shouldn't have to.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:06 AM
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Name me one US citizen who's had "liberties" removed by the current administration.

Padilla. Hamdi, who actually lost his citizenship. That you don't know that, or see it that way, is precisely what makes me think there's an unbridgeable gap.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:12 AM
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Everything Bush has done has been done legally because of his Presidential powers, for the love of God!!

Yeah, TD, don't you realize the President's powers are unlimited, and therefore nothing he does is illegal?

1/2 the people in this country appear to me to be either 1) ignorant and/or willfully misinformed or 2) psychotic! Which is it?!

The Presidnt's approval ratings would indicate the days of having 1/2 the country on your side have passed.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:13 AM
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1/2 the people in this country appear to me to be either 1) ignorant and/or willfully misinformed or 2) psychotic! Which is it?!

a) It's more like 2/3 these days.
b) Were you expecting to come here and find lots of people automatically nodding along with you? If you want to calmly discuss politics, that can be done, but not if you call TD (the most moderate among us) a psychotic.

This is why people who don't care about people shouldn't get involved in American politics. It's supposed to be a system in which we trust that there is sense to be found in dissenting voices. If you don't want to hear what others have to say, why ask? Why get involved at all, especially if it makes you angry when they speak?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:13 AM
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I'm a fucking leftie, and my views are not only unworkable, but dangerous. I actively want to destroy the United States from within. While I'm at it, I want to kill babies and promote the gay agenda. I hate the military and I actively support Islamic fundamentalism. I think everyone who makes over $40k/year should pay 50% of their income in income taxes, and all of that money should be given to lazy people and drug addicts. I think all white men should immediately be fired from their jobs and replaced by unqualified black high school dropouts. The fired white men will be forced to be stay-at-home dads while their wives abandon their responsibilities to become college professors, congresswomen, and abortion providers. I think children should be taught to masturbate in public by strippers funded through tax money, and that as soon as they turn twelve both the children and the strippers should be given free birth control, also at taxpayer expense. I think that if they get pregnant anyway they should be provided free taxpayer-funded abortions unless they choose to collect their $40k annual income directly from the government, which should actively discourage marriage unless it's between gay people or men and dogs. Everyone should be forced to send their children to public school, which should be paid for all the way through the Ph.D. level by taxpayers, although Ph.D.s should only be granted to blacks, Latinos, Indians, and women. Public education should, of course, require all students to memorize Darwin's Origin of Species, the Communist Manifesto and Mao's Little Red Book but absolutely must not teach them Shakespeare or Adam Smith.

I also hate apple pie and puppies.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:41 AM
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Oh, and trolls.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:43 AM
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192: Nope, no hyperbole here. Just a big Leftgasm.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:49 AM
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bitchphd's language is the liberalese I hear 95% of the time


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:49 AM
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189: Also that guy in Oregon who was arrested (because of a case of mistaken identity) and held without access to a lawyer for a while.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:55 AM
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Well, you do live in Utah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:56 AM
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197 to 195


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:57 AM
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My God it's late. Good night, all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:58 AM
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187 seems to be expressing, dare I say, utter contempt, haughty insults, and impotent rage.

Also aren't we on the left supposed to have the lock on "spending more than [people] want their government to spend"?

Crap, I'm so confused now. Ever since the NSA started illegally tapping my phone calls, the tinfoil hat seems to be less and less effective.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:00 AM
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Buenas noches, Teo.

AWB, why don't you log in and keep me company for a bit? If you're up anyway.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:01 AM
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This has been very strange. Unfogged is fun largely because it exemplifies a broad idea of conversation, far broader than the partisan sniping I can so easily find elsewhere. (Though many of the individuals are political, and no doubt sometimes partisan.) These recent visitors are alien to the style, but even more oddly, they seem not to think that anything other than partisanship can ever have been the point.


Posted by: Vance Maverick | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:30 AM
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"Is a bit much"/"Goes a bit far"/"Sounds overwrought to me" is the new "gets it exactly right". If there's any justice in the world.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:36 AM
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1/2 the people in this country appear to me to be either 1) ignorant and/or willfully misinformed or 2) psychotic! Which is it?!

Oh, but indeed, this has hardly exhausted the realm of possibilities. They could all be on drugs leftover from the 60s. Or it could be that in a large republic, if half the people in the country agree with you, that makes your position not a fringe and minority one. It takes a special kind of arrogance to insist that if (these days) 70% of the population disagrees with the direction that the country is going, they must be deluded.

Here's another possibility: maybe they just think the country is going the wrong direction.

Name me one US citizen who's had "liberties" removed by the current administration. And are they taking A liberty away, SOME liberties away or "ALL" our liberties as you state? Huh? I mean, what kind of bullshit IS that, anyway? WHAT has been taken away from you or anyone else, exactly?

Jose Padilla. Yaser Hamdi. Depending on how you construe it, millions of Americans have, given the NSA datamining project. That's also not an exclusively liberal position, by the way. You can read conservatives who disagree, too, right here on these very interwebs. What has been taken away from me? My faith in due process. If you don't understand why that's big, read the Constitution and get back to me.

No the issue is that Joe Six-Pack democrat and Joe Six-Pack republican is who is finding it hard to live in the same neighborhood, so to speak.

This gets it quite wrong. Look, millions voted Democrat in the last election. They don't all live in the same town. Now maybe you only have Republican neighbors and never hear a dissenting voice unless you click on a blog, but this is not a universal experience. Most of us get along with our neighbors just fine. Seriously. Turn off the talk radio.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:07 AM
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203 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:48 AM
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Most of us get along with our neighbors just fine.

Ah, I remember when that was the standard line from Shi'a and Sunni alike.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:46 AM
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Wow! It looks like I clocked out 5 minutes too soom last night (this morning) and missed all the really good fireworks! IamSAHM turned from engaging to enraging in 0.5 seconds! Of course everybody did a good job hosing her down (192 was especially amusing), the points made by gswift and AWB that "The President's approval ratings would indicate the days of having 1/2 the country on your side have passed." is so very true.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 9:48 AM
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It is not a matter of dispute that both Padilla and Hamdi present UNUSUAL cases in the matter at hand, which is the primary task set before any POTUS, that being the protection of the nation and it's citizens against those who would do it and them harm, yes?

There are any number of differences between the Padilla and Hamdi cases as well. Hamdi was plucked off the battleground in Afghanistan, along with John Walker Lindh for Pete's sake. Joe Six Pack Citizen doesn't make it a habit to be there does he?

There is also a reason to believe that some american citizens who are part of the global terrorist network and working towards the destruction of this nation HAVE in effect revolked their citizenship BY taking part in such an operation, have they not? It isn't unreasonable to make that finding, is it?

The left operates on the belief that the Bush adminstration has the intent TO deny U.S. citizens their civil rights for no reason whatsoever, or for imagined reasons of a political nature based on NOTHING.

I am all for a rigourous vigilance against tyranny, and I do not want to see the Constitution suspended unless it is for the greater good or by original design, and I certainly do not want to see any U.S. President abuse his or her powers, and since these two, TWO, cases are publically known and have indeed been pled before U.S. courts, it is clear to me that the necessary checks and balances have indeed worked in place. Was everything done as it should have been done? No, I would expect not. Is it ever?

The Padilla and Hamdi case are hardly a cause to conclude that the "republicans want to take away all our liberties". Be rational for God's sake.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:11 AM
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I don't need hosing down, but I do lose my temper now and then.

Sue me.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:16 AM
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There is also a reason to believe that some american citizens who are part of the global terrorist network and working towards the destruction of this nation HAVE in effect revolked their citizenship BY taking part in such an operation, have they not? It isn't unreasonable to make that finding, is it?

At a minimum, the question is whether the Executive should get to make that finding, and what the minimum set of protections that person should get in that finding process are. That you don't see that, and are evidently not troubled by that, makes you un-American to me. But be happy; you guys are in charge, so my opinion is of little import.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:22 AM
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SAHM, aren't you moving the goalposts just a little bit? You originally said,

Name me one US citizen who's had "liberties" removed by the current administration.

and Cala replied: Padilla and Hamdi. Fair enough: US citizens, appear to have had liberties removed-- we're off and running. Then you say something I don't quite understand:
It is not a matter of dispute that both Padilla and Hamdi present UNUSUAL cases in the matter at hand, which is the primary task set before any POTUS, that being the protection of the nation and it's citizens against those who would do it and them harm, yes?

There are any number of differences between the Padilla and Hamdi cases as well. Hamdi was plucked off the battleground in Afghanistan, along with John Walker Lindh for Pete's sake. Joe Six Pack Citizen doesn't make it a habit to be there does he?
There is also a reason to believe that some american citizens who are part of the global terrorist network and working towards the destruction of this nation HAVE in effect revolked their citizenship BY taking part in such an operation, have they not? It isn't unreasonable to make that finding, is it?

Whether the Hamdi and Padilla cases were unusual wasn't really the question; nor is it relevant that they aren't "average citizens," at least if you're still talking about your original question. On the other hand, you might want to argue that people shouldn't be upset about the Hamdi and Padilla cases because they're isolated cases, because the circumstances are so unusual, and so on. (I think baa took this position a while ago.) But this is a different argument, and it would be helpful if you clarified just what you take your point to be instead of (apparently) changing theses midstream.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:29 AM
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Cala, I know millions voted democrat in the last election and you say they don't all live in the same town but have you looked at an election results map? They live in the same regions.

I know how the electoral college works, so a state can be almost evenly split on a Presidential candidate even though the state's votes only go to the one candidate. There is virtually no red or blue state. So in effect those voting democrat and republican live side-by-side in america. That is nothing new.

What is new is getting your car vandalized because you have a Bush sticker on the bumper. What is different this time is having your political signs run over in your front yard. These are just two examples of the manifestation of the red/blue rancor out there. These are things I read about daily in the newspaper and on internet news sites during the last election. And the fences have yet to be mended.

"Turn off the talk radio" Nicely done. Assumption made and delivered! Typical liberal:)

"Depending on how you construe it, millions of Americans have, given the NSA datamining project." The devil is in the construing isn't it? But let's not bother with realities, you guys WANT the NSA program to be illegal and unconstitutional so why not let's just ALWAYS refer to it as such? It just sounds SO good and fits SO perfectly with your evil republican fantasies.

Assuming facts not in evidence. Always. But I'm not allowed to get irritated. heh


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:33 AM
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208 - The Padilla and Hamdi case are hardly a cause to conclude that the "republicans want to take away all our liberties". Be rational for God's sake.

But domestic spying on our phone calls and large databases full of our emails and spending habits and subpoening google and yahoo and other search engines for what people are doing is completely fine in the name of national security? Nevermind all this info consolidated in one place or in the wrong hands or pieces of it downloaded to somebody's laptop is a much more credible threat to our freedom and lives than some terrorists from afar. As somebody on the right, I'm surprised you're not outraged at all this intrusiveness by an overbloated federal government!?

As for bankrupting our country, no I don't think the republicans in power are doing it intentionally, I just think they're horribly irresponsible and have no regard for fiscal conservation - which, again, thought used to be one of their strengths. We've spent enough money in IRAQ already equivalent to the amount it would have taken to have paid for 10+ million 4-year scholarships for US college students. Why the fuck is "liberating" another country more valuable to our leadership than educating our own children?!?!

Lastly, the whole "moral values" charade which I bit into hook, line, and sinker, being the father of two young daugthters has been a sham. Instead of doing something to clean up TV, radio, and video games, all they do is continue to press on to make sure deviant gay people will never enjoy equal status as "normal" married couples. Being moral means being tolerant of all, not being judgemental.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:33 AM
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What is new is getting your car vandalized because you have a Bush sticker on the bumper.

See, this is your fault. I peeled ours off in shame 18 months ago!

What is different this time is having your political signs run over in your front yard

Would this be as likely happen if Bush's approval rating was 70% instead of 30%?


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:36 AM
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Also, since I'm on a roll, this really strains charity:

The left operates on the belief that the Bush adminstration has the intent TO deny U.S. citizens their civil rights for no reason whatsoever, or for imagined reasons of a political nature based on NOTHING.

Very few if any people here actually have that belief. (Maybe Emerson. He's always wrecking my universal quantifier.)* The left-leaning sorts here do believe, I think, that the administration has been far too casual w/r/t civil rights and that this is not warrranted by our situation. You're free to argue, as baa and idealist and others have done here, repeatedly and without being called trolls, that the administration hasn't been that casual, or that the situation requires some degree of fast-and-loose with legal protections, or both, but do cut the crap with this straw left you're on about. Whoever they are, they're not here.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:38 AM
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Tim, when was it "american" to get one's panties in a bunch over the health and happiness of people who are trying to kill you? You, or I for that matter, don't get to decide what is "american". You can decide for yourself what you see america to be, and the same goes for me, but if you're looking for the historical america, well, your party shits on that every chance they get.

When I read how liberals view america and what they think america should be, which I do from multiple sources, I'm pretty sure we don't want to live in the same country.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:40 AM
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I think we should have a substantive conversation with Iam, nothwithstanding that is obviously not what Iam came here for. It's what we come here for, that and cock jokes.

Iam: are you in favor, as a matter of policy, in the Guantanamo Bay detention centers? Why?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:44 AM
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When I read how liberals view america and what they think america should be, which I do from multiple sources, I'm pretty sure we don't want to live in the same country.

And conservatives in power seem more concerned about building up other countries (after they invade them) than our own. I'm sure Bahgdad is a much better place to live now than when Saddam was in charge; probably better than New Orleans today.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:44 AM
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Let's lay aside all this bullshit about what it is to be liberal and conservative and talk about things, not words.

Sincerely sorry if you were offended when we called you a troll, etc., though I doubt you were.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:46 AM
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I should add: "or if not, why not?" Don't mean to presume anything.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:47 AM
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You, or I for that matter, don't get to decide what is "american".

Does the U.S. Constitution?

No person "shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Hmmm.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:48 AM
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FL, I don't mean to be moving goalposts, I do recall my post earlier. I started out with expressing irritation at the hyperbole employed by the anti-Bush folks.

TD claimed that the republicans "are trying to take away all our liberties" and that kind of wild accusation just is so tiresome. So I wanted an example of it. Someone else named Padilla and Hamdi and of course I'm aware of those cases, but I was looking for the millions of people who lost their civil liberties and that just wasn't it.

Padilla and Hamdi seemed questionable but they have been treated through the justice system. Maybe they wouldn't have if someone hadn't raised a stink, and the stink should be raised for that reason. I'm not arguing those cases, but I was expecting an enormous list of names to match the accusation.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:49 AM
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I'm sure Bahgdad is a much better place to live now than when Saddam was in charge

Really? I don't remember headlines like this on CNN nearly as often when Saddam was in charge.

And no chance in hell Bahgdad is a nicer place to live than NO -- were you kidding?


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:49 AM
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IamSAHM said "TD claimed that the republicans "are trying to take away all our liberties" and that kind of wild accusation just is so tiresome. So I wanted an example of it."

I thought I gave plenty of examples in 213?


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 11:53 AM
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Well I'm not going to wait around forever. Apparently Iam didn't want to have a substantive conversation after all. I'll come back when I feel up for some absurdity.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:01 PM
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SAHM:

When I read how liberals view america and what they think america should be, which I do from multiple sources, I'm pretty sure we don't want to live in the same country.

What's funny is that you and I are much more in accord than I (probably) am with most of the people who comment here. Our analysis is roughly (possibly v. roughly) the same; we're just on opposite sides of the fence. Which means that it's sort of hard for me to argue with you--we see the same base decisions to be made, and I vote "Yes" while you vote "No." And, because these are base decisions, the reasons I vote "Yes" are as inexplicable to you as the reasons you vote "No" are to me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:02 PM
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SAHM, it seems to me that calling Hamdi or Padilla a vindication of the Administrations' adherence to the rule of law is like calling the 2004 election a vindication of John Kerry's policies and personality.

Yasir Hamdi's citizenship wasn't taken away by the government because of his conduct, he was forced to give it up voluntarily as a condition of getting out of jail. Note that the government made this -- and giving up his monetray claims against the United States for wrongful imprisonment -- the only conditions to allow him to be released, because they did not want to give him the trial the Supreme Court said he deserved. The renunciation of citizenship is probably ineffective, anyway, because it was coerced.

To come back to it, your liberties are restricted by the Hamdi case. There's a law on the books that says that no American citizen can be locked up unless specifically authorized by Congress. The Supreme Court said that a law that allows a war is good enough, even if the law allowing the war doesn't say anything about locking people up. Then, in Padilla, the Fourth Circuit said that these same principles apply to someone picked up in Chicago, on suspicion of preparing to commit a crime. [The government was so unsure that this result would hold up that it dropped its 'enemy combatant' holding of Padilla, and has charged him like an ordinary criminal, unrelated to the Chicago arrest. The judge on the Fourth Circuit who wrote the opinion was so humiliated by having been manipulated by the government that he resigned]. So, for anyone who lives in Maryland, NC, SC, WV, or Virginia, the law is that you can be picked up and held indefinitely without trial, on the basis of an affidavit that neither you nor your lawyer is allowed to see. If you don't think this means that liberties have been impaired, than I don't think you know what 'liberties' means.

These cases, like all Supreme Court cases, aren't just about the particular individuals involved. Miranda, Brown, Bowers -- these define for all of us the extent to which the State may or may not infringe on our personal liberty, or unfairly deny us equality. I was going to paraphrase Justice Jackson's dissent in Korematsu, but I can't improve on it:

Much is said of the danger to liberty from the Army program for deporting and detaining these citizens of Japanese extraction. But a judicial construction of the due process clause that will sustain this order is a far more subtle blow to liberty than the promulgation of the order itself. A military order, however unconstitutional, is not apt to last longer than the military emergency. Even during that period a succeeding commander may revoke it all. But once a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination in criminal procedure and of transplanting American citizens. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need. Every repetition imbeds that principle more deeply in our law and thinking and expands it to new purposes. All who observe the work of courts are familiar with what Judge Cardozo described as "the tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limit of its logic." A military commander may overstep the bounds of constitutionality, and it is an incident. But if we review and approve, that passing incident becomes the doctrine of the Constitution. There it has a generative power of its own, and all that it creates will be in its own image.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:04 PM
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Tim, when was it "american" to get one's panties in a bunch over the health and happiness of people who are trying to kill you?

You might review Gen. Washington's correspondence on this subject.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:07 PM
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if you're looking for the historical america, well, your party shits on that every chance they get.

IamSAHM, look, I have been a Republican for longer than some people commenting here have been alive. I have been a member of the Federalist Society since before it was cool or professionally advantageous to be so. One of the many reasons I left the Democratic Party was the habit of its leaders to talk like you have been talking about their opponents. And a good way to drive me and many people like me back to the Democratic Party (or to no party at all) is to make the way you have been writing the hallmark of the right, not the left. Frankly, you and some of the other folks who came over to comment this weekend have me very depressed. If Republicans are right (as I believe we often have been been) we should be able to explain why in a civil, reasonable way. If you have nothing civil to say, it certainly makes it look like we have nothnig to say at all. So, could you do us a favor and try a different tack?


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:09 PM
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The judge on the Fourth Circuit who wrote the opinion was so humiliated by having been manipulated by the government that he resigned.

That's a charitable reading of Luttig's actions, and one that probably speaks well of you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:10 PM
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I have been a member of the Federalist Society since before it was cool or professionally advantageous to be so.

Wait, it's cool to be a member of the Federalist Society? If you have naked pictures from the last event, you have a moral obligation to post them somewhere.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:15 PM
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Goddamnit, I've been listening to "Young Americans" all day and can't stop. It's the sound of the Ford years.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:18 PM
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If you have naked pictures from the last event, you have a moral obligation to post them somewhere.

Sorry, SCMT, it was mostly just a bunch of lawyers talking about constitutional theory. Of course, I skipped the banquet where Karl Rove was the speaker, I am sure that was a real swinging event.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:19 PM
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"But domestic spying on our phone calls and large databases full of our emails and spending habits and subpoening google and yahoo and other search engines for what people are doing is completely fine in the name of national security?" That?

The NSA program does not begin by targeting any particular, known U.S. Citizen, but instead out of practicality it targets al Qaeda operatives certainly overseas. The NSA acquires enormous amounts of communications traffice outside the U.S. in a rather indiscriminate way and then analyses it using software for importance and for more direct targeting of the terrorist. It is not a "domestic spying" program.

The large mining operations involving emails and cookies and spending habits, do I like those? Well, in order to target me for merchandising reasons? No. As part of the overall effort to find people hiding in my country who are working for a terrorist organization? I understand that if you want the government to do everything in it's power (which assumes legality) to find and remove these people, this is how it's done. Too bad we don't have an entire army of telepaths who could give us the name and address of all the people inside this country working for terrorist organizations. That would be helpful, huh? Otherwise you have to do it with the technology at hand. Some legal minds think the NSA program is illegal, others argue that it is legal.

I'd rather they used that information to protect the country and citizens than to figure out how much I spend on feminine protection products. Regardless it appears the info is being collected by some entity.

No, I was looking for the long list of names of people who actually had their civil liberties taken away.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:19 PM
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Idealist, I have made, oh I don't know a dozen posts or so in here. I have been relatively civil in all but a single post. So I really don't get your beef.

CharleyCarp, I appreciate your posts, and I definitely get your point. I have no training in law so it's impossible to comprehend the myriad of ways various court rulings in thousands of cases can and do subtly erode our liberties. But how can you or I stop that? Who is making sure that this doesn't happen? Not too many, eh?

TD, I believe you are quite correct. We are the opposite sides of the same coin. We see things very much the same way but like from alternate universes.

And for the record: I never had my car vandalized during the election because I would put my stickers in the windows but lay them down when I left my car in a parking lot. And our HOA doesn't allow for political signs in the yards so that didn't happen to me personally either. I just read about this kind of stuff from all around the country. Some poor schmuck even got caught on tape stealing Bush signs from someone's front yard. Or was it Kerry signs? Well I suppose that doesn't really matter.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:36 PM
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SAHM: The government has so far refused to tell me whether it has monitored any of my communications. I'm going to have to take it to court to find out for sure, and will do so. If you think you know the full factual details of the program(s), you're either in possession of classified information, or naive.

I think many fewer people would argue that the NSA program (assuming facts as have been disclosed to date) is legal now than would have done two weeks ago. This is because much of the support for legality comes from a particular legal theory, one that in my view could not survive Youngstown, but certainly cannot survive Hamdan.

I'd be interested to know Idealist's view on this subject, btw.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:41 PM
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But how can you or I stop that?

You can certainly communicate with your representatives. You know, it's a whole lot more useful than reading people's contemporaneous expressions of anguish and anger over the 2004 election and making fun of them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:48 PM
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Charley, I don't think I know the full factual details of ANYTHING. I do what I can to get them, but nobody on earth knows the full factual details of most things.

I guess you think you do?

If the Bush administration is found to have done something illegal, then that of course should be addressed. But if you want to impeach him and put him in jail over it, it says to me that you (not you personally but the collective you) think he did it for reasons OTHER than in his capacity of POTUS charged with the protection of the nations and it's citizens.

I know there are many people who truly believe that Bush is a danger, he's a dangerous POTUS, and nothing he does has been done before, but I see no realistic evidence of that.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:48 PM
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I NEVER said stumbled across this blog was useful.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:49 PM
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Read that as "I NEVER said stumbling across this blog was useful."

It's a shame you can't edit these comments.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:51 PM
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I guess you think you do?

Not at all. But then I'm the one not going around making claims about what is, and what is not, being monitored. Or how the program works.

I don't care whether what the President's done has been done before or not. The second guy to steal my car (hypothetically) doesn't get a free pass. Nor the fourteenth.

I'm not interested in impeachment at this point, or putting him in jail. Stopping with the lawbreaking would be a good start. And if my own communications were monitored in violation of FISA, I'd be content with the civil damages provided under that law.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:55 PM
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The President isn't charged with protection of the nation and its citizens -- not explicitly anyway -- but is directly charged with "tak[ing] Care that the Laws be faithfully executed . . ."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 12:59 PM
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You go for it Charly. I'm behind you 100%.


Posted by: IamSAHM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:03 PM
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237: I think before "contact your representatives" we need to start with "stop being an apologist for it."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:08 PM
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I'm not sure why I'm bothering.

which is the primary task set before any POTUS, that being the protection of the nation and it's citizens against those who would do it and them harm, yes?

No, actually. Check the oath next inauguration. Something about preserving, upholding, and defending the Constitution of the United States. That's the primary task. Not to decide all Jack-Ryan-style that he gets to do whatever he feels necessary to keep the country safe.

There are any number of differences between the Padilla and Hamdi cases as well. Hamdi was plucked off the battleground in Afghanistan, along with John Walker Lindh for Pete's sake. Joe Six Pack Citizen doesn't make it a habit to be there does he?

That's not actually anywhere near striking distance of the point. Most U.S. citizens aren't thieves, but that doesn't mean that when you're arrested, the government gets to do whatever it wants. You still get a lawyer, full Amendment protections, lots of nifty things. Notice, I didn't mention Lindh; Lindh as far as I know had a reasonably fair trial. Nevertheless, you asked for one, I gave you two.

"Don't do bad things and you won't need those rights" isn't a defense. And the really fucking stupid thing is I'm almost old enough to remember when this would have been a standard conservative position.

Cala, I know millions voted democrat in the last election and you say they don't all live in the same town but have you looked at an election results map? They live in the same regions.

Not really. It's more an urban/rural divide than a state-by-state one. My home state has a Democratic governor, two Republican Senators and a split state Senate and House. It's home to Santorum and Murtha!

The Padilla and Hamdi case are hardly a cause to conclude that the "republicans want to take away all our liberties".

I've used the word Republican once in order to describe voting patterns. And I'm pretty sure no one says anything near what you're pretending to be quoting.

If you're gonna play on here and be taken seriously, you're going to have to step it up, and address what's being said instead of repeating soundbites that address a fictional liberal instead of any of your interlocutors here.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:19 PM
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Ooh, fuck. Runaway italics.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:20 PM
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We were speaking upthread of mispronunciations; I was alerted by radio announcers of two on my drive today. While we passed Scranton, I learned that its sister city, whose name I have always pronounced to rhyme with "feldspar", rhymes actually with "Doonesberry". And! Later on, I learned that "Bonobo" has its accent on "No", not on "Bon".

Speaking of driving through Scranton: The Clownæsthesiologist and his female companions are in Ithica this week. If any Unfogged commenters living in Binghamton, Syracuse, Cooperstown or nearby towns, villages, boroughs or freeholds want to get in touch, we could have a Finger Lakes area meetup. Time is limited, so hurry and e-mail me today at anacreon at gmail dot com, or comment here in this regard. I will be only moderately present at Unfogged so email is probably useful at least as an adjunct to your comment here.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:29 PM
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UB40


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:33 PM
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Wow, it's a little commonwealth party in honor of David Bowie. If it makes you feel better, clownae, it took me a very, very long time to learn that bit about Wilkes-Barre.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:33 PM
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Lindh as far as I know had a reasonably fair trial.

To the best of my knowledge, he did a deal, and there never was a trial.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:45 PM
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More like "Doonesberreh," actually. And it's Ithaca.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:45 PM
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I think it's cute that IamSAHM enjoys taking sadistic pleasure in the fact that liberals so naively assumed that the exit polls were wrong and that Bush didn't steal the election (when in fact, he did, just as he stole the 2000 election).

Bush is a usurper and a war criminal. He should be rotting in jail right now. I don't care what the NASCAR crowd thinks of him or how much my rhetoric just alienated a precious swing voter -- those are the objective facts.

As for IamSAHM, off to the gulag with her!

Civility be damned!


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:46 PM
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(I'm trying to kill the thread in order to save it.)


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 1:59 PM
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(Like euthanasia.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:03 PM
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(Or youth in Asia.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:17 PM
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Holy fuck, Zidane. What was that about?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:27 PM
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Yeah, that was weird. I have to say, though, this has been a really good game.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:29 PM
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Italian guy must have made a racial slur. Zidane's usually pretty even-tempered.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:29 PM
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Why are American sportscasters so obsessed with meaningless statistics and constantly trying to predict the outcome of the game, rather than just fucking describing the action?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:30 PM
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking too.

Either that or he said he wouldn't care of Zidane's kids were killed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:30 PM
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Because that's how we call baseball and that's the model ESPN is following?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:31 PM
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Yeah, I know. But good lord, it's fucking appalling.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:31 PM
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I mean, it's appropriate for a sport in which nothing fucking happens.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:32 PM
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Yeah. Methinks if they can't find talented soccer announcers, they should re-train hockey players. It's got the offsides rule and the similar pass-pass-pass thingy.

Baseball has a zillion games a season; stats make sense there.

And no Zidane or Henry for penalties! And Barthez in goal. Wahhh.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:33 PM
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Either that or he said he wouldn't care of Zidane's kids were killed.

you're just a natural bomb thrower, aren't you, B? Is the thrill of the throwing, or the joy of the fireworks that come afterwards? I assume it was a racial slur, too. At a minimum, I think that's what Zidane's going to have to claim.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:33 PM
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FUUUUUCK!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:38 PM
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Talk about your bomb-throwing! I'm making a stupid joke about a stupid argument, you're imputing untruths to a yet unexplained situation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:38 PM
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Wait, Tim, I thought you hated soccer?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:39 PM
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Wow. The poor French players.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:41 PM
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They look so very sad...


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:43 PM
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Fucking Azzuri. First the Heat, now this.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:43 PM
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Bahhhh. I hate penalty kicks.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:43 PM
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Yeah, penalty kicks suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:44 PM
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NYT is saying that the Italian guy twisted Zidane's nipple and that's why he lost it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:45 PM
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Did I mention Dogville? Was on again last night, watch it to see how and why slavery and exploitation arise among "the very nicest of people."

Kotsko condemns Bushco. I condemn the Party. I have lived among them my entire life. The model is the Civil War, millions of people committing suicide to preserve fucking slavery, refusing to accept defeat, remaining a backwater for a century because urbanization might bring cosmopolitanism and race-mixing. There may be libertarians and scoundrels in the mix, but they are corrupted by who they associate with.

They will kill themselves and everybody else just out of hate and spite and xenophobia. It wasn't Nixon and it isn't Bush. It is the people who voted for them. I don't trust Glenn Greenwald as far as I can throw him.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:46 PM
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What? He wasn't anywhere near him. That's ridiculous.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:46 PM
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Coming in late, and it's a waste of time, but conservatives only care about legal precedents when it's a Democrat or liberal setting a bad one. They squealed like stuck pigs during the Clinton administration (and incidentally, some of the time they were right back then).

But now they're cheerleading enthusiastically for all of Bush's bad precedents, and saying "There weren't really very many people whose rights were violated, and anyway, no one likes them and they're all jerks." But a precedent makes things possible for the future.

Conservatives also seem to have this hysterical, bedwetting idea that al Qaeda and the rest of the terrorists are a threat on a par with Hitler or Stalin. But they aren't -- think about it. To believe that they are is to give in to terrorism, and you shouldn't let chickenshit groups like them control your mind.

I will defer to the civility rules here and shut up now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:48 PM
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Yeah, it looked like they just exchanged words and then Zidane dropped him. But maybe the replay didn't show anything.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:49 PM
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Let's see if SCMT gets upset at me and McManus for throwing flames on the fire, or if it's only Bitch -- that bitch!


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 2:51 PM
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I'm from the Wilkes-Barre area, here's my estimate of how local people pronounce the name.

40% - "Wilkes Beara"
30% - "Wilkes Barry"
30% - "Wilkes Bear"

I never thought that a FOURTH pronunciation was the one that outsiders would immediately assume. Oh well.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:00 PM
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Everyone knows you're a bomb-thrower, Kotsko. And mcmanus was driven crazy by his part in the collapse of the Mavericks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:03 PM
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If we start with "conservatives are x, conservatives are y" (where x and y are nasty, fascist sounding things), your typical limbaugh devotee, or troll, or what have you will just say, "no, no, liberals are x, liberals are y."

It turns into "you put chocolate in my peanutbutter," and the result is the limbaugh-trollite doesn't have to face the policy positions he or she actually supports. No, it's just like David Brooks said, we have totally different brains, so let's chalk it up to that. How comforting.

But let's be serious, there are very few people in this country who can be considered true liberals. Likewise, the republicans in office are very seldom actually conservative. What we have is a bunch of people in office doing morally repugnant things, and people who either accept it or do not accept it.

Quit playing with words, my advice, and engage these people in what is actually going on. Mr. Carp did a good job with that. Either you reveal the opponent as being completely unserious, you convince that person, or both. Some people you can't engage with, true, but the best way to find out (and the best way to make that person look foolish) is to try.

And say what you want about Zidane, the headbutt move is pretty ballsy.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:05 PM
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Conservatives also seem to have this hysterical, bedwetting idea that al Qaeda and the rest of the terrorists are a threat on a par with Hitler or Stalin. But they aren't -- think about it. To believe that they are is to give in to terrorism, and you shouldn't let chickenshit groups like them control your mind.

In what world does anyone here think it's reasonable to compare AQ to Hitler or Stalin? At various times, most of us have made the opposite argument.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:07 PM
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Was anyone else watching when Zidane stomped the guy who was already down in 1998, resulting in a suspension? I thought he'd put that stuff behind him.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:09 PM
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I actually agree entirely with 282, including that last bit.

My going back to the original "offense" that started the latest round of blogwars was spurred by my irritation at the way that the accusation that someone "threatened" someone else has pretty much been accepted when, in fact, that isn't what happened. It annoys me when people concede untruths.

That said, though, it was pretty typical of one of my less defensible traits, the inability to let shit go. And I regret it, especially since text's comment is so much to the point.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:09 PM
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Doh! I was just going to ask if we needed a World Cup thread or not. Looks like I'm a bit too late on that one.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:22 PM
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"What we have is a bunch of people in office doing morally repugnant things, and people who either accept it or do not accept it. "

Forty years I have been watching this stuff, and told that politics isn't personal, that it is about policy not personality, and that I should be civil and engage my opponents. And I believe it has all gotten worse over those forty years.

No bad Nixon, bad Reagan, bad Bush didn't tricksy all over those sweet gentle Republicans. You stop this stuff the same way you stop anti-semitism and racism and homophobia;you declare it unacceptable in your neighbours and stop associating with them. Otherwise they will smile and vote for monsters and say: "Darn got fooled again. I didn't know President X would do that!"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:49 PM
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I those forty years, have you been engaging those people? I'm not saying the fault doesn't lie in the people, I'm saying the way to defeat them is to force them to confront their ugly positions. If only for the sake of third parties who are watching. Ad hominem attacks are worthless because they can just be turned around. Likewise it's a mistake to accept that we're a divided people, that those who voted for Bush think differenlty from you and I. No they don't. It might be that they think less. If so, force them to think.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:54 PM
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In those forty years, that is.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:54 PM
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Hard to believe but during the a pause ABC showed a longer replay and Materazzi twisted Zidane's nipple. Basically it was a very pgysical shirt-grab.

But Zidane had already walked away from it when he then turned and did the head butt. So he was really thinking ahead (ha! head) or Materazzi said something else. I assumed it was a rascist thing. Maybe it was that too.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 3:59 PM
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Here is the thing that really disappoints me about IamSAHM: I would love to have a conversation with a serious, intelligent Bush supporter. Honestly, and I'm being serious here, I've never met one. Don't get me wrong, I know *many* people who voted for Bush in '04, but every single one of them did so as the lesser of two evils-- because they hated Kerry, because they feared a "Massachusetts liberal" who was going to force gay marriage on the nation and surrender to the terrorists and raise our taxes and appoint a liberal judiciary etc. etc. etc. But none actually thought Bush was doing a good job, and I honestly don't know anyone who does. I knew people who supported him post-9-11 (and pre-9-11, for that matter), but their support has long since eroded.

I'd really love to pick the brain of someone who could articulate for me a principled basis on which they could say "Yes, I think President Bush is doing a good/very good job as president." And to whom I could ask "but what do you think about [x]? Or [y]? Or how about [z]?", and get serious, responsive, intelligible answers in return.

But I've never encountered such a person. I think I'd learn a lot from the experience.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:04 PM
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Actually 291 wasn't quite right-- I do know a few genuine Bush supporters, but they're all stupid.

I don't mean that as it might first sound -- I don't think all Bush supporters are stupid. In fact I refuse to believe such a thing; it's preposterous. Which is why I'd like to find a smart one and really pick his or her brain.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:10 PM
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It's because they're all hiding behind the idea that Kerry was a greater evil. Ever try pushing them on that, beyond the "massachusetts liberal" bullshit?

Not that I have, this is just something I've been kicking around after our recent encounters.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:11 PM
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SCMTim, mine was a belated response to IamSAHM, who apparently was gone by then. Support for Bush's power grabs and violations of legal procedure almost all assume that we are in unprecedented danger justifying unprecedented measures. Our present situation is unique in some senses, but it's by far NOT the worst we've ever seen.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:13 PM
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I don't think they're stupid at all as a group of people. What's more important is that the question is irrelevant. You don't change a stupid person's mind by calling him stupid.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:13 PM
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280: My vote is for Wilkes-Bear.
295: No, but it's like a headbutt. Sometimes it makes you feel better.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:22 PM
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red card


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:23 PM
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295- of course not. Also, not at all relevant to what I was saying.


Posted by: Urple | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:31 PM
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I was merely agreeing with you, Urple, that all Bush supporters aren't stupid, which is very relevant to how we should engage with them (or whether we should) an issue I've been kicking around in my head for awhile, and commenting about on this thread.

Keep it civil or you're liable to get a head to the chest, and I don't mean my cock.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:38 PM
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now I'm giving myself a red card. catch you all on the flip side (especially Iam, I hope).


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:40 PM
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288: Text, there's a difference between (broadly) liberal open-mindedness and stupid bull-headedness. The attitude of liberal open-mindedness doesn't come naturally. You have to be trained up in it for years and years, and it requires a certain degree of self-maintenance as well. It is simply stupid to assume that the majority of the people Bob is talking about were even willing to entertain a position of open-mindedness and that he missed some opportunity.

Sometimes you really do need to use emotional arguments and try to get people to feel ashamed of the things they spontaneously feel. If someone tells you a racist joke, are you going to say to him, "Oh, come now -- it's impossible that all Mexicans are really like that, isn't it?" No, the only live options are either to laugh it off in order to avoid awkwardness, or to say the equivalent of "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

Like all these arguments about torture -- it's all about the best interests of the country, the court of public opinion, etc. It's disgusting that this is even being treated as though it were a valid topic for open-minded discussion. The proper response is to respond, "No, torture is unacceptable, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even entertaining the possibility."

This is the persistant problem that I've noted among liberals since I made my radical shift toward the left late in college -- there's this naive trust in rational persuasion and an equally naive distrust of emotional appeals, etc. It'd be awesome if everything could be hashed out rationally, but that's just not reality -- the population is inadequately educated and too busy being worked to death. There need to be some shortcuts along the way.

Making people ashamed to say "nigger" was a victory, even if some people still feel that "political correctness"/civility are coersive on some level -- we need to do the same kind of thing with torture, or with supply-side economics, etc.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:41 PM
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The problem, though, is that hectoring tends to lead to emotional defensiveness, as well as playing into the convenient and well-worn stereotype of liberals as elitist know-it-alls telling everyone else what to do. Not that it's worthless, but I do doubt its effectiveness in most situations.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:52 PM
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ok I lied. I'm off after this comment though.

Kotsko, I think you're right. I don't think that emotional arguments are out of bounds. I do think name-calling doesn't work. Even when the name or description is somewhat apt, it's easily dismissed by the people you are talking about. Better to talk about things.

Things like torture. I don't think torture can be talked about unemotionally. I don't think it should be. I think, if you are talking to someone who voted for Bush, that person should be made to admit he or she voted for Guantanamo Bay and all that entails. Maybe the "conservatives are x" statement is true, but if so, show it rather than saying it.

I don't think we should limit ourselves to hashing things out rationally, I just think we should hash things out rather than trading insults. If we are in the right--morally--then that will come out, and it is worse than any insult.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 4:52 PM
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it's a mistake to accept that we're a divided people, that those who voted for Bush think differenlty from you and I. No they don't. It might be that they think less. If so, force them to think.

I think I'm on the mcmanus-Kotsko side of this line. It's a mistake to think that all, or even most, policy disputes can be resolved by appeals to rationality. Most policy choices are just that--choices about preferences. Do you accept X risk for Y liberty, etc. I don't think Kotsko's right about shaming, and that seems naive in precisely the same way that he charges that appeals to rationality are naive. They've a series of well worked out explanations for why there is no need to be ashamed.

It's a straight fight. The reason we don't get ad hominim is because it doesn't help us win the fight; if it did, I'd think we should do it. In general, we're not arguing with other people in hopes of convincing those other people; we're arguing for the benefit of third-parties who aren't part of the discussion.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 5:15 PM
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I think 304 was a perfect description of the political landscape in 1994. There are now policy choices--ones that have been, in fact, chosen--which are morally reprehensible. If people have justifications for those choices--if they personally accept the justifications that have been tossed out for them--let them give those justifications with a straight face.

There's nothing about any cultural segment that predisposes one to support Guantanamo Bay, the NSA's surveillance, or pursuing belligerent foreign policies. The supposed differences are just an excuse to allow people not to confront those things.

I've given up the pretense of leaving this thread.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 5:31 PM
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In other words, I don't think red states are incapable of democracy, and I think it's our duty as Americans to give the people in those areas the same opportunity for representative government that we are offering the rest of the world.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 5:45 PM
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So, we invade Kansas then... ?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 5:51 PM
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I do not do what I do thoughtlessly. 1880-90s:"Rum, Romanism, & Rebllion";1920s:anti-Catholic ptopaganda in Fla to defeat Al Smith;late 1940s:"God" put into the Pledge of Allegiance. I think I have seen patterns in Republican behavior, especially in those(including current) eras of political dominance. There is something , a "Republican Party" that exists outside of current particular policies and demographics/membership that has endured over time, is in itself meaningful, and that is causally related to current membership and policies. It is partially perceived as a blank slate that anyone of any persuasion can join or belong to, and simultaneously as having and providing an identity.

It is not about policy or ideology as such to me; nor is it about particular people who have either done well by the ideology(Reagan?) or badly (Bush);nor really about the membership as people.
Nazis and Soviet Party apparatchiks behaved very differently when their parties disappeared.

I want to destroy the brand name. They are advantaged by the Party not being identified with the mistakes and flawed policies but only with the successes and myths. Republicans in all four eras have been weak on civil liberties (banning Ulysses) and Glenn Greenwald should not have been taken by surprise.

If the Republican Party can be irradicably connected with religious intolerance, for instance, not this current incarnation or these particular Republicans, but the eternal and enduring Republican Party ( and as above, I think this is at least somewhat fair), than many of its more attractive myths and symbols and ideas will be homeless. If the "Party of Bigots" can be put away, supply-side economics will go away with it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 5:59 PM
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We invade them with love, marzapan, and kittens. The kittens are important, for our recent forays have shown that you can't maintain the stronghold without sufficient power on the ground.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 5:59 PM
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McManus, I think, ought to lead the invading forces.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:06 PM
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If the "Party of Bigots" can be put away

another party of bigots will rise up to take its place. Remember the Know-Nothings? It's a good thing we got rid of them, or else there would still be xenophobia and anti-immigrant prejudice in this country.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:09 PM
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There are now policy choices--ones that have been, in fact, chosen--which are morally reprehensible.

But they really aren't. If it really was a choice between either (a) losing to Al Qaeda, be it millions of American lives lost or simply turning our government over to the Islamoscaries, and (b) severely curtailing our liberties, everyone would choose (b) and think it morally fine. Just as if it were really a choice between (a) segregation, or (b) every white woman in America being raped repeatedly by bands of maurading black guys, every white person in America would choose (a) and think it morally fine. I don't think those were the choices in either case, but I can't prove it--it's a matter of probabilities, all of which encode a series of baseline assumptions about how the world works, some of which are impossible to make explicit in any meaningful way. That's a worldview issue, and their worldview is radically different from mine. And every day that my worldview has been the dominant one--and I'm an Establishment sort of guy, so that was a long, long time--they've spent shoring up their worldview. I can't meaningfully make a dent in that worldview.

SAHM just in this thread said the choice was between protecting America and stripping a few citizens of their rights. And she's being entirely sincere, I think. She would disagree with Emerson about the level of the threat here; I think she would be very, very wrong, but I can't prove it for some strong sense of "prove." John Tierney, in the NYT, argued that if we'd simply let the South secede, slavery would have magically gone away and African-Americans would today probably have better protections for their rights and better relationships with white Americans than they do now.

From my perspective, you can't make any meaningful impact on that kind of crazy.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:11 PM
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I'm not sure putting away the Party of Bigots, so to speak, is feasible. Aside from the issues téo mentions, I'm not sure to how many people not on the receiving end of bigotry 'end bigotry' is a convincing cry.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:12 PM
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"téo"?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:14 PM
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Yeah, I thought you needed an accent mark. So I gave one, for free.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:15 PM
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I think this is important. Bruce Bartlett is out the saying the "real" Republican Party is a party of fiscal discipline. From Lincoln financing the railroads and buying Alaska to the Panama Canal yo the Interstate Highway System to the insane Nixon "counterforce strategy" Republicans have always been the party of massive and wasteful pork.

Gleen Greewald should not get away with saying "his" party has been hijacked by fascists, that the "real" Republican Party is the protector of civil rights and limited executive power. I fucking remember Nixon, and Greenwald is trying to erase Nixon.

Bartlett and Greenwald are not our friends and allies, and are not trying to help us.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:15 PM
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315: Thanks. I like it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:17 PM
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313:It is a rhetorical strategy. Pull up some history, use it and call em out. I want to see them deny it, as LBJ said.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:18 PM
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That's a worldview issue, and their worldview is radically different from mine. [...] I can't meaningfully make a dent in that worldview. SAHM just in this thread said the choice was between protecting America and stripping a few citizens of their rights. And she's being entirely sincere, I think.

I agree. Where I get stuck is in trying to gauge the proportion of people whose worldview might lead them to make similar policy choices to mine if it were presented persuasively (via logic, emotion, or both) to them. If you want to protect the woodlands because you're a hunter and I want to protect them because I'm a hiker, we ought to be able to agree on that piece of environmentalism.

On issues like civil liberties I feel as though the moderate conservatives are just missing -- but I know they're out there.* Right now I feel like I don't interact with them in my daily life and I can't tell if that's because their voices are drowned out, or they're not willing to speak up in the current climate, or they've genuinely shifted in their beliefs.

I had an hour-long discussion last year with a friend, and with all the good will in the world we couldn't get past his contention that he basically trusted the government: If they said a guy was bad, he was a Bad Guy. This man is a friend of mine, a fairly thoughtful guy, and we were having this discussion civilly, in my kitchen. We respect each other. And yet he genuinely saw no problem with something like the Padilla case.

I honestly don't know where to go from here.

*Also, whatever happened to the ACLU's high-profile recruitment of Bob Barr (or whoever it was)?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:27 PM
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I find an incredible level of wishful thinking and denial of obvious fact in the Republicans I talk to. The WMD question is just one example. Furthermore, behind it is often a rather sinister world-view according to which the major media, and liberals, and people who argue to much are traitors, etc., etc., plus a magical world-view based on a close reading of the Bible, and often with the addition of a smug, self-serving materialism.

Liberals are always accused of being sheltered types who project their fantasies on others, but these people have been thick on the ground in my life, and I work hard to avoid their company. I'm sure that I've known ten times more right-wing Christians while I've been trying to avoid them than Brooks ever has when he's researched a story about them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:28 PM
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I'm not sure putting away the Party of Bigots, so to speak, is feasible. Aside from the issues téo mentions, I'm not sure to how many people not on the receiving end of bigotry 'end bigotry' is a convincing cry.

This misses the point. You're not trying to convince the guy you're calling a bigot. If you've chosen your target right, you have no chance of convincing the guy you're calling a bigot; you just have to wait for him to pass away. You're trying to convince the guy watching you argue with the the bigot (or "bigot," as the case may be). You're trying to so taint the bigot that the guy on the sidelines instinctively doesn't want to be associated with him.

And you have to do it credibly, as judged by the guy on the sideline. That's where I differ from mcmanus and Kotsko--I don't think their arguments end up sounding credible to the guy on the sidelines. It's also why I think easy claims of bigotry won't work--the guy doesn't buy that at the moment, either. Whether or not it's true is irrelevant.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:40 PM
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SCMT, I think you give up the fight when you allow them to frame the costs and benefits like that. There's nothing to show that giving up our civil liberties helps at all in the great war on fear. The choice simply isn't between "protecting America and stripping a few citizens of their rights." That's escape via generality. The choice is between giving up our rights or not giving up our rights.

I'm an establishment guy too and everyone might be surprised to know where I stand on the issues of 1994. But those aren't the issues any longer.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:47 PM
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This world view bullshit is something that's been sold to keep people from realizing they've been suckers. Those people bought it cheap because nobody wants to admit he's a sucker anyway. But that's all it is. There's nothing in the rural water; it's nothing about owning a truck. There's nothing about what kind of food you eat or alcohol you drink to make you support detaining people in Guantanamo Bay. There's no difference, there isn't even a coherent world view, there are only choices made in voting booths and excuses for the choices.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 6:52 PM
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I agree that Ima and John Tierney probably can't be convinced. I frankly question the sincerity of most conservative op ed writers, if not all of them, and you can't expect to convince a person who argues insincerely.

So we argue with them on the issues in order to convince third parties. I'm not sure where we even disagree, SCMT. I guess where you would say, "well we just have different world views," I would want to keep going; I think that person has either been fooled or is actively engaged in fooling other people.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:05 PM
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I really like a lot of what SCMT is saying. I differ from him a little, in that I think that the kind of nebulous "worldview" differences that make political discussion largely fruitless are not inherently off limits in discussion. In particular, it's obvious that experiences and circumstances can change those, because a person's politics often (usually?) changes over time.

Even deep questions about personal responsibility and morality and property and civic duty and how much you can (or should) trust government are still topics amenable to rational discussion. The problem is that discussion on these topics, if it's to be fruitful, must be extremely technical and hard to follow for anyone but people specializing in the areas. So, regarding the best group strategy for liberals to use to move public opinion, that kind of thing *is* pretty much irrelevant. (In fact, I imagine SCMT would pretty much agree with all this, and I don't think it contradicts what he's said at all.)

Now, why is this relevant? Well, (here comes my pet issue,) I think that certain concrete features of the environment in which people obtain and share information and opinion (including mass media and various community software like blogs) can favor or inhibit certain desirable features of the kind of communication fostered. Thus, we see terrible science (and plenty of other) reporting in the MSM. We see a much higher level of competence, but more diversity, in blogs. We see amazing progress in knowledge in science, and while this is largely driven by funding, the structure of communication in the scientific community is also a necessary feature.

Specific differences in the software that mediates intaractions between people online can favor the kind of deep, rational discussion that's lacking in so much partisian discussion. Figuring out what those innovations could be, and how best to introduce them, is a hard question, and occupies a considerable amount of my limited and fragmented attention.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:08 PM
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See this link.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:11 PM
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do you think we've got something close to it here, pdf? or is this just a colossal time waste?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:19 PM
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I'm not funnin' ya. A lot of what you think is necessary for this special place, we exhibit (sort of) here. Plus we've got cock jokes.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:21 PM
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I'd go for time waste. We've got a nice little salon running here, but it's nothing like the sort of well-indexed, archival evolving reference database that pdf seems to be talking about.

(There's something weird about watching someone named 'text' conversing with someone named 'pdf'. I'm tempted to start calling myself 'doc'.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:24 PM
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What's up, doc?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:35 PM
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The features that make conversation here so much more civil than other place in the blogosphere with similar topics are pretty interesting to me. I believe I've commented here a bit about them in the past. But discussions here still have weaknesses. Like LB says, it's not well indexed at all, so it's hard to use to point other people to old discussions, and it's basically impossible to continue an old discussion fruitfully on the same thread (leading to further fragmentation). It also lacks some convenience features, and features geared towards peacefully and effectively resolving differences between people and trolls. (Which is basically along the lines of disarming the trolls and hamstringing them with a minimum of effort--making it easy to refute the talking points in a way where third parties will be convinced, but without having to put so much effort into it.)

Also, I think comments threads like this are *way* overly linear. I actually wrote a comments plugin a while back for WordPress that allows you to group things into collapsible subthreads, to make discusions with lots of tangents easier to follow. This is like threaded comments, except that it doesn't branch at *every* comment, only when the topic diverges enough. Other features could be the admin ability to split off subthreads into new top-level threads, etc.

I developed the plugin for Alas, but as they've been having some server troubles and have, in any case, seen a decrease in commenting volume lately, it hasn't been implemented there.

There are all sorts of ideas like this just waiting to be tried.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:35 PM
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I actually wrote a comments plugin a while back for WordPress that allows you to group things into collapsible subthreads, to make discusions with lots of tangents easier to follow. This is like threaded comments, except that it doesn't branch at *every* comment, only when the topic diverges enough. Other features could be the admin ability to split off subthreads into new top-level threads, etc.

This sounds fascinating. I hate threaded comments -- won't read them unless I follow a direct link from something interesting. But I can see that they serve a purpose, and it'd be neat to see something that served the same purpose and didn't annoy me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:43 PM
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329 -- I will be "sleepy".


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:44 PM
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I find this conversation incredibly depressing. First because it seems to leave no room for the non-expert to engage, effectively, in political argument. Second because I, personally, cannot stand to engage with people who argue insincerely, and I'm not convinced by the argument that doing so calmly will convince some imagined onlookers to realize that yours is the better position. Not all insincere arguers froth and lose their tempers, and a lot of people have an instinctive feeling that outwitting someone is unfair, a trick. Think of the Gore/Bush debates. Also, Witt's 319: I think there is a lot to be said for the importance of certain core psychological attitudes (in everyone) that just aren't directly amenable by reasoned argument in that way.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:46 PM
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334: Huh? I'm not getting you either on the 'no room for the non-expert' point, or on the 'insincerity' point. What are you reacting to?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 7:52 PM
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332: More details on subthreads.

334: The role of antagonism and ridicule (and other sorts of discourse oriented primarily to address those motivators and attitudes that aren't as directly amenable to rational discussion) isn't something I discount. In fact, I think that if a single link could link to a page that debunked a specific claim in something that's being ridiculed, and if the effort to come up with that link was low enough, you might be able to convince people like Brad and Gav to start including those links along with their own particular brand of commentary. That would serve the dual purpose of ridiculing positions that deserve it, and providing serious responses to those same comments, without legitimizing those comments by putting the effort into writing something original to address them.

I don't see this sort of idea, done right, as excluding anyone from discussion. I envision it (currently) as something maintained by experts, and where feedback from the general readership would be in a format as simple and easy-to-use as our current comment threads. Whoever maintains such argument repositories could manually integrate the feedback into whatever format is being used.

"I'm not convinced by the argument that doing so calmly will convince some imagined onlookers to realize that yours is the better position."

I think you underestimate how easy it is to change someone's mind when they haven't yet made up their mind at all. Many people genuinely have no opinion on many subjects, no sense of group identity with one side or another, and *are* easily swayed. These people never, ever comment, and so you sort of tend to forget about them.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:03 PM
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Non-expert: 318's "pull up some history." But also, text's 288: "force them to confront their ugly positions. . . . force them to think." Basically, the argument seems to be to use the Socratic method to reveal the insincerity/illogic/effects of X position. But using the Socratic method is damned hard to do unless you know a great deal about the topic at hand. I'm not saying it's not a fantastic method, but it's one that in political arguments I think demands a very strong command of facts, precedents, and history.

The insincerity thing is from 324: "you can't expect to convince a person who argues insincerely." So, text says, we "argue with them on the issues" (which again requires a level of expertise, no?) to convince an audience. Aside from my own personal intolerance with insincerity, it's also my experience that that kind of expertise, wielded against someone who lacks it, can easily backfire.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:03 PM
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"Many people genuinely have no opinion on many subjects"

On the other hand, there are some issues (like abortion) where there are very few people on the fence. Strategies should be different for these issues. Issues like torture? Probably the same. (I'm still so flabbergasted that anyone could support torture that I don't trust myself to judge popular opinion with any accuracy, though.)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:04 PM
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In fact, now that I think about it, people are going to have opinions on pretty much any subject that's been covered in the MSM, and they're generally going to take their opinion from whatever source they identify as most closely belonging to their group. Once that happens, people generally aren't openminded, and partisian thinking starts to dominate.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:08 PM
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Oh, no, I don't underestimate the ability to teach at all; if anything, I overvalue it. But people who haven't made a decision yet aren't blank slates, either; they have certain attitudes, prejudices, beliefs. Like, say, an instinctive desire to support the underdog, or a tendency to trust authority figures, or a resistance to pedantry, or whatever. One of the things that's important in teaching is to *find out* what those attitudes are, more or less, and I'd say one of the reasons this place works so well is that the regulars *know* each other well enough to adjust. (Which is part of what worries me about this "change the software, develop subthreads" thing--is the goal to produce a perfect venue for political discourse? Because that loses a great deal in the process, no?)

With people who don't comment, just like with the student who never speaks up in class, it's very difficult to tell whether, say, your calm, patient explanations are perceived as gentle, knowledgable, boring, patronizing, coddling, or what. And those things matter too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:10 PM
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I am not on the fence. I think that France was the moral victor of the World Cup.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:10 PM
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"and a lot of people have an instinctive feeling that outwitting someone is unfair, a trick. Think of the Gore/Bush debates."

Yeah, this is an problem for issues where no one a person trusts advocates for the other side. But if the person had previously heard someone they respect make an argument that Gore was making, that would probably defeat a lot of this reaction. Also, perhaps if people see two or three debates on an issue argued by different people where their side is outwitted, their psychological resistence might be alleviated.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:12 PM
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I think on abortion and torture the problem is a failure of imagination and an over-reliance on seemingly rational arguments. The real bottom line for both those arguments is that it is wrong for the state to exercise its power on the bodies of individuals, to literally invade them: if people can't be made to feel revulsion at that prospect, then it is very difficult to convince them that torture/outlawing abortion isn't okay in some circumstances.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:13 PM
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"if people see two or three debates on an issue argued by different people where their side is outwitted, their psychological resistence might be alleviated."

I think this is absolutely contradicted by what we see happening politically in some of the more conservative, more uneducated, more rural parts of the country. For instance, I'm absolutely convinced that the root of the divide between coastal, urban California (mostly liberal) and the valley (mostly conservative) is a sense of grievance in the latter, a sense of being outnumbered, outwitted, and outvoted. And that the resentment this leads to is a huge part of the "values" behind conservative voting--there's a sense (and I'm not immune to this feeling myself) that despite the fact that X has repeatedly lost the argument, there is something valuable in X that is not being acknowledged, and that this is not fair. And that therefore, we will hang onto X no matter what anyone says.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:19 PM
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"One of the things that's important in teaching is to *find out* what those attitudes are"

Strongly agree, but this is well outside the scope of what I think about. And, I would assert, largely orthogonal to making places where purely rational (not concerned with audience, only truth) discussion is dominant.

"Which is part of what worries me about this 'change the software, develop subthreads' thing--is the goal to produce a perfect venue for political discourse? Because that loses a great deal in the process, no?"

You mean like a sense of community? A genuine knowledge of the people you interact with? Informality? Well, I don't think subthreads would have that effect at all, but some of the other things I'm talking about definitely would. But I don't envision them replacing the more community-oriented venues, only supplementing them--providing them with a stronger backbone. I think that sort of thing would complement blogs the same way Wikipedia does.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:19 PM
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"I think this is absolutely contradicted by what we see happening politically"

No argument here. Like I said, I haven't spent much time pondering that angle.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:22 PM
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344: Absolutely. A lot of this stuff comes from a sense of being under attack.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:22 PM
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I think my 344 is part of Bob's 275, actually. And I admit that when I read 275, my initial reaction was to feel that his assessment was, in fact, unfair: that though yes, one could certainly boil down the conservatism of the south to a desire to conserve racism, that there were and are doubtless positive reasons for the south's nostalgia--and that even if (as I think is probably true) those reasons are inextricable from the racism that enabled them, that it's a gross and unproductive oversimplification to boil it down to racism without acknowledging those other things.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:22 PM
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And that the resentment this leads to is a huge part of the "values" behind conservative voting--there's a sense (and I'm not immune to this feeling myself) that despite the fact that X has repeatedly lost the argument, there is something valuable in X that is not being acknowledged, and that this is not fair. And that therefore, we will hang onto X no matter what anyone says.

Agree completely. But can we think of an example where a leader of the prevailing view attempts to acknowledge the value, or even the right to exist, of X, without seeming condescending?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:26 PM
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making places where purely rational (not concerned with audience, only truth) discussion is dominant.

I'm not so sure that this is a pure good. Isn't the impetus behind this somehow like the pro-torture arguments--that if we can arrive at the truth, the question of how our pursuit of it affects people doesn't matter?

That's kind of a vague devil's adovocate kind of question, though. I am understanding what you're saying in terms of thinking of it as a sort of think-tank, rather than a popular medium. I think this is largely fine and good, but I have to admit that my own instincts, values, and prejudices lie on the other end: I am more interested in communicating truth to a broad audience than I am in pursuing it with a narrow group of like-minded fellows.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:28 PM
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348: I'll Take My Stand, first published in 1929, still has readers because it addresses this exact sense of value deserving respect in Southern culture.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:30 PM
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349: Politically? I think Clinton was extraordinarily good at doing this. Patty Murray did it well, at least in her initial campaigning. I think that the op-ed that Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton did together a while back about abortion managed to do it. I know for certain that it's something good teachers do almost daily.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:32 PM
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it's very difficult to tell whether, say, your calm, patient explanations are perceived as gentle, knowledgable, boring, patronizing, coddling, or what. And those things matter too.

Yes, exactly.

This harkens back to LB's point about why Kerry (?) didn't offend her -- because he was a familiar type, like her father. That "type" isn't reassuring to everyone. To some people, I think, it's downright intimidating, or insulting. The subtext they get from it seems to be, "I can talk circles around you, so I'm better. And you're stupid if you don't think like me."

Some people find logical, factual argument persuasive and fair. Others feel attacked by it. It's hard to be open to change when you're feeling defensive.

I don't think we in the U.S. changed viewpoints in the last 40 years on the acceptability of ethnic slurs just by shaming people. I think we did it at least as much by asking more of each other -- challenging ourselves to hold our country up to its professed ideals. These days, sure I want someone to be called out for using the N-word.

But something created the social conditions that make it easier to call them out -- and I don't think it was just by shaming them, and I don't think it was just by engaging in a point-by-point argument over stereotypes about African Americans. I wish I knew what it was.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:33 PM
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I think it was the pictures of fire hoses and dogs attacking black children.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:35 PM
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349 - agree; Clinton was pretty good. It's too bad he looked into the nation's eyes and lied straight out and lost all cred. He should have just friggin admitted his indiscrections and people would have forgave him. America loves giving people second chances and he would have been seen as the most personable president we've ever had. As it is, it created a "moral values" war that split out country apart.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:36 PM
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Coming very late to the discussion.

I pretty much agree with B. A whole lot of partisan identification is just tribal, and on the right a big chunk of the tribal identity is built on getting back at the pointy-headed liberal elitists who don't respect you (SAHM upthread appears to be an example of this type). It's amazing that they can still manage to pull off the poor pitiful me crap while simultaneously being smug as hell, but somehow they do it.

How do you talk across the political divide? Talk policy. Don't try to sell the idea that Democrats are better on healthcare policy, just talk about how healthcare policy ought to work. If you can manage to discuss policy without triggering knee-jerk partisanship, you at least have a chance of convincing someone that you don't have three heads. And if you don't have three heads, maybe your voting decisions aren't just inexplicable and malicious. Maybe they even have some thought behind them, and maybe it's worth going through the exercise of actually comparing politicians rather than looking for reasons to vote for your guy or against their guy. You won't necessarily change many minds, but just getting to the point where voting against your tribal identity isn't unthinkable is progress.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:37 PM
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Sorry, 355 was to 352


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:37 PM
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352: Maybe, but in these cases you're not the person with the grievance, you're judging whether the effort to acknowledge and respect the grievance has been well done. Sometimes, yes. And I do it too, continuously, trying to read as if I were one of the people the outreach is to, whom I often know fairly well. But do they really notice?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:37 PM
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That, and the extraordinary dignity demonstrated by a lot of black adults, at all levels from lunch counter sit-ins to Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. Standing up calmly in the face of having your manhood attacked is viscerally appealing to people, and makes the attackers look very small and evil indeed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:38 PM
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ok, I'm excited. I'm not at all sure how to go about this (except not to make ad hominem attacks) but I think I'd like to start having political conversations with Bush supporters, even if I have to make it awkward in order to start the conversation. The only thing I'm sure of is that this red-state-mind/blue-state-mind nonsense is just that. It will probably help to be funny.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:38 PM
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The real bottom line for both those arguments is that it is wrong for the state to exercise its power on the bodies of individuals

Yes. And I think liberals get sucked into playing on the right's turf with "abortion, good or bad?" type debates. A lot of the "abortion is bad" crowd recoils at the thought of the government making those types of decisions for people.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:39 PM
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"I am more interested in communicating truth to a broad audience than I am in pursuing it with a narrow group of like-minded fellows."

Do you think that the two would interefere?

"the question of how our pursuit of it affects people"

Debate modeling would probably not be very popular with a general readership. Its usefulness would be secondary. Some commenter comes by and makes a detailed, well-argued, and completely wrong dissension, and instead of spending hours engaging them, you find the half-dozen pages to link to them that address their argument in detail. And if you don't have a page to link them for every point, you might choose to add one or two to your argument database. I don't see anything about this being damaging. And I don't see how the construction of the resource in the first place could have ill effects either. Think of it as a really big, well organized FAQ.

Isn't it just a question of what roles the two should play, and how much effort and time should be spent on each?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:40 PM
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341 is a bit much.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:40 PM
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Fascist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:42 PM
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359 continues 354.

to 357: Actually, no: sometimes in a teaching situation it *is* the instructor and/or her core values being attacked. We have to deal with racism and sexism in the classroom all the time, and it's absolutely vital that, when the person in authority embodies the group being criticized, that you appear scrupulously fair. I find that one of the better ways to do that is, again, to acknowledge the grain of truth in the accusation *and* to demonstrate that the disagreement doesn't need to be personal. Students are terrified of being disliked. So, if the instructor can tell a story of having been *themselves* corrected in expressing a similar thought, or having "unintentionally" offended someone, or whatever, that goes a long way. I think the personal trust thing is absolutely central to any kind of actual communication.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:42 PM
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A lot of what motivates me to want something like this is a real desire to reach people with widely different opinions and to try to reconcile these differences, but being overwhelmed with the amount of work necessary to find the facts and arguments necessary for it. So what I'm trying to do is make it easier to reuse, reuse, reuse arguments that others (and yourself, in the past) have made, so that you're not continually retreading old ground. I'm really not aiming for anything higher. And all these other considerations that people have brought up are still every bit as important.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:42 PM
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red-state-mind/blue-state-mind

I hate the whole red state vs blue state oversimplification of things because it was grossly misrepresentative of the real truth that it was really more like red vs blue counties.


Posted by: TD | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:43 PM
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So have you tried the Tour again, eb? "Leaderlessness" is haveing a remarkably positive impact on the race.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:43 PM
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Uh, 365 to 363


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:44 PM
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"was really more like red vs blue counties."

I think we should start ignoring all distinctions drawn by David Brooks, on whatever level. The idea that there are two Americas which cannot be reconciled is false, drawn on whatever scale.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:46 PM
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I think the problem with the 362 plan is that when X comes in and says "what about this?" and gets told, "oh, we've already talked about that here, here, and here," it feels like a brushoff. People don't want to do the reading, and being told they should makes them feel like they're being scolded. What they want is a sense that the person they're addressing respects them, and being directed elsewhere doesn't convey that impression, especially in a large, anonymous forum like the internet.

I think there are ways to kindly say, "oh, that's a good question--we talked about it here and here, and generally speaking our conclusion was Y, but if you really want the details I'm afraid you'll have to go back over those old discussions because I'm not sure I remember every step clearly," or something like that. But that kind of "good customer service" approach isn't likely to be consistently adhered to.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:48 PM
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364: Yes, but the instructor in that situation has the opportunity to engage. Sure, sometimes students tune out anyway, but you can command some of their attention, and they have a reason for wanting to reach rapproachement with you.

The trouble for the politician is getting into a position where enough people are paying attention that such a gesture will be widely received.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:49 PM
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360: I've had some on-line discussions across the political divide on a non-political (hobby-related) site that set up a politics board during the 2004 election season to get the political stuff off the other threads. It's an interesting experience. The general level of discussion is pretty low and I frequently give up in disgust, but there's a surprising amount of common ground to be found every now and then.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:50 PM
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But! Re 366, the "searchable database of arguments on X, Y, and Z" would be a fabulous resource to use *oneself* in making (re-making) those arguments when people step in. I'm just not sure that it's possible to skip over the interim (and admittedly boring and time-wasting) step of *personally* explaining it to at least some newbies.

And of course, in all my talking about this I'm assuming people who are, in fact, sincere about wanting to talk about stuff.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:51 PM
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371: Copy and paste. Yes, just linking the arguments wouldn't be as sociable, but I think having the ability to copy and paste them, instead of having to rewrite them, would be a really huge advantage, especially considering having access to other people's databases. (Can you tell all of my terminology on this really sucks?)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:52 PM
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I think we should start ignoring all distinctions drawn by David Brooks, on whatever level.

I was all set to say "Yeah!" to this. But actually, there's a deeper point too: How seductive a vivid image can be. Dr. B just pointed it out upthread -- the visuals of the firehoses and the lunch counters are good examples, but the Brooksian analogies and metaphors are powerful too. Was is LBJ around the time of the Civil Rights Act who used the idea of a person shackled by weights and unable to get a fair start in the foot-race of life?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:53 PM
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Well it may come to blows, but hopefully not. I'm going to start with Guantanamo Bay.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:53 PM
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372: Absolutely. That and the fear of the soundbite--inevitably, in order to gain the trust of an audience, you must concede something, and then of course that concession is going to get picked up and used out of context by insincere political opponents.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:53 PM
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it


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:54 PM
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It was LBJ, and I'm pretty sure it was his speech on the occasion of signing the civil rights act.

Good luck, Text. Let us know how your forays turn out.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:55 PM
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But something created the social conditions that make it easier to call them out -- and I don't think it was just by shaming them, and I don't think it was just by engaging in a point-by-point argument over stereotypes about African Americans. I wish I knew what it was.

Enough people at the top of the ladder thought it was bad, and everyone else had to obey. Over time, those committed to using the word died or learned to use it only among friends. But I don't think rationality had much to do with it. You have to give people incentives, positive or negative, to move them toward the place you want them to be. Rationality only matters when you're among people (a) who place a positive value on rationality on its own (this is a putatively large group, and (b) who share enough of your world view that what looks rational to you looks rational to them as well.

That's why I don't think pdf's solution ultimately works. We don't have very good models of the way the world works, generally, so every well-modelled answer is ripe for an attack of doubts. Or maybe better--all we've really got are "best guesses." In some fields, those guesses are really robust. In most of them, they really aren't.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:55 PM
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And these attempts to reach across, to acknowledge often backfire in partisan politics, particularly during primaries. Dean's "Confederate Flags" remark is an example. I think he was trying to acknowledge, but he got it from both sides.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:56 PM
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The idea that there are two Americas which cannot be reconciled is false, drawn on whatever scale.

Disagree entirely. I don't think it's just two, either.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:58 PM
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"That's why I don't think pdf's solution ultimately works."

It's not intended to solve anything, just to make what we currently do easier and more effective.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 8:58 PM
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368: I watched the time trial but not much else yet. Too many pack sprints so far.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 9-06 9:56 PM
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363 gets it exactly right. (grin)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07-10-06 4:02 AM
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383 amuses me.

I know for certain that it's something good teachers do almost daily.

There's an expectation in a teaching environment that someone is in charge; it's a lot harder to condescend in a teaching environment than it is otherwise. (There's a reason people say 'don't lecture me.') It's possible to condescend while teaching, but a teacher doesn't get charged with it simply for being an expert in the subject matter.

IamSAHM here, once we tried to engage her, didn't even read what everyone said. The whole time she was engaged in a conversation with jummy's left hand liberal. That's not someone I can argue with and arguing is exactly the wrong tactic in a situation like that.

But we don't need to argue with that group to win. The 28% or so that approve of this president now aren't going to be swayed if at the second coming Christ registers as a Democrat and tells them torture is wrong. A 5% swing last election wins it. We don't need to argue to win.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-06 6:13 AM
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Life on Mars.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 07-10-06 8:58 AM
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