Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Good Day

Two way cool things happened today.

First, I received in the mail my brand new

NOBAMA

t-shirt and bumper stickers. This was a great thing to find upon coming home from the grind.



The second thing was finding out how clean Milwaukee now is. This shouldn't be a surprise considering how well


THE CUBS SWEPT!!!!

Yes, my friends. It was a really good day!

186 comments:

Doc said...

Here's hoping for a Cubs and Rays world series. Holy Cow! I've not followed professional baseball for more than a decade (as a Pirates fan) so, go Cubbies! (Anyone but the Braves, and their godforsaken chop) Funny story, my last trip to Wrigley was when the Dodgers ended up fighting with the fans in the stands. I was with a friend from Romania, and it was his first time seeing a baseball game; he turned and asked me, "does this happen all the time?"

I've seen a bunch of Obama signs around, but no McCain signs--unusual in a very predominantly republican area of Virginia. Is there a general etiquette regarding the timing of these things, or has McCain not ramped up much? (There should be an unspoken rule in these signs, like no Christmas sales before Thanksgiving.)

Marshall Art said...

I may have seen a McCain sticker, but I'm not certain. He definitely isn't running a very good campaign. We're likely to see more such stuff once a VP is picked.

While the Cubs were sweeping the Brewers, the Sox were battling their closest division competitor, but not fairing as well, they lost 3 out of 4 to the Twinkies. I think they still have a half game lead before meeting the Royals, but perhaps they're down a half. If only I had access to the world wide web I'd find out for sure (lazy).

The Cubs, by the by, are meeting the Pirates next.

I'm hoping, but not holding my breath, that both north and south side teams meet in the series. So many Chicagoans will then pass away. Not only would they see the Cubs in the series, but against the Sox would be too much. Having spent my entire life in the burbs, I root for both teams. That's unholy for some people, but I don't care.

Les said...

Yes, it was a brutal week for my beloved Brew Crew. That being said, if the devastating events of the last few days don't send the hometown nine spiraling into a 2007-esque tailspin, then 9/26 through 9/28 promises to be a critical battle of epic proportions.

Hey, at least this guy's still on my team:

http://sports.yahoo.com
/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post
/Answer-Man-CC-Sabathia-talks-
imaginary-friends-?urn=mlb,97668

Cameron said...

Careful, they're currently losing to the Pirates.

And they are the Cubs, after all.

Doc said...

The Pirates (farm club to the MLB) trade away their two best players and then break the five game winning streak of the Cubs? Must've jinxed it. Sorry.

Jim said...

Marshall, apparently I'm either too stupid or too right for Mark to allow me to post any longer. Too, bad. A good debate is fun, although I'm finding it more and more futile since nobody can seem to concede a point made by the opposition. Black or white is the order of the day.

That said, you said, "it didn't mean that they did not believe any other woman or child was not endowed with the right".

But of course it did. Women couldn't vote until the 20th century. They were basically property at the time the Constitution was ratified. And negroes were definitely property.

And isn't what the framers "had ... in mind" exactly what original intent means?

Mark said...

Worst traffic jam I was ever in was in downtown St Louis about 10 minutes after the baseball game let out on the last day of the season, and the Cards were playing the Cubs for first place in the division. Winner won the championship, but, being a Royals fan, I don't recall who won. The traffic Jam was monstrous, though. I spent about an hour or more in the shadow of the arch (about a block from Busch stadium) and I bet I didn't move more than 20 feet. It was 1989. Cubbies won, I believe.

Mark said...

Worst traffic jam I was ever in was in downtown St Louis about 10 minutes after the baseball game let out on the last day of the season, and the Cards were playing the Cubs for first place in the division. Winner won the championship, but, being a Royals fan, I don't recall who won. The traffic Jam was monstrous, though. I spent about an hour or more in the shadow of the arch (about a block from Busch stadium) and I bet I didn't move more than 20 feet. It was 1989. Cubbies won, I believe.

Andrew Clarke said...

Hi, Marshall. It was good to read your comments, as always. Come to that, it's good to catch up with your posts here! Keep in touch. Best wishes!

Democracy Lover said...

I'm glad you got the bumper stickers with the only viable slogan for Republicans this year - No Obama.

The only tactic they have is to raise doubts in people's minds about Obama since everyone is fully aware after 8 years of Republican rule that the party is anti-American, anti-Constitution, and inept to boot. That's why they had to nominate an elderly fool who is running against his own record. As the WSJ said recently McCain is not flip-flopping, what he's doing is more like a sex change operation.

Erudite Hussein Redneck said...

Please join me in extending best wishes to the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, today, on the occasion of his 47th birthday.

Thank you.

--EHR

Ben said...

Don't worry about it Jim. Mark is all about censorship and ending debate when he starts falling behind.

Anyway, NObama? Is that the best you can do? I shouldn't be surprised. Compare the McSame logo to that of Obama's. John McCain has zero imagination and it shows. Perhaps the same could be said of the conservative movement.

Marshall Art said...

I think some of you people are confusing me with a McCain supporter. This is not the case, thus, countering me with "What about YOUR guy?" is futile. The best thing about McCain is that he is NOT Obama. Mickey is simply far closer to what I want. But that's like saying '69 Volkswagen Beetle is closer to the Caddie I want when the alternative choice is walking. I don't care what one's political affiliation might be, & I don't care what one thinks of the GOP. But to think Obama is any choice at all speaks ill for the intelligence of anyone who takes that position. Between his upbringing (politically), his associations, and his support for policies that have already been proven to be failures, there's no way any sane, thinking person should be throwing support his way. Absolutely NOTHING will improve with the election of Barry Obamanable.

As for the sticker and T-shirt, it's slogan says it all. It's the only thing anyone need remember for Nov '08. But I would like to create my own slogan. It would go something like this:

Only The Stupid Support Obama. Get A Clue!

John said...

NoBAMA in '08. HA! Excellent. I would slap that on my car if I didn't work in academia and teach with folks who wear Obama '08 pins into class.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

So, John, you're a coward. Today's conservative, so afraid to express himself unless he's in a pack of like-minded people.

Marshall Art said...

John,

That's the best time to be bold. Get the sticker, get the T-shirt. Wear them both proudly in the thick of lefty supporters. Have fun with it. Make them tell you why they support him. Give a cookie to the first one that says something substantive. I had known these were available and I hemmed and hawwed until I saw a dude in Charleston wearing a gaudy pro-Obama T-shirt. It was then that I decided to go ahead and get one and wear it proudly at every opportunity.

But, hey, Geoffrey. You might call it cowardice, but libs have a track record for doing nasty stuff like vandalizing property of the opposition. My wife is expecting that my car will get keyed. I've been flipped off by more than a few lib weenies because of my Bush/Cheney sticker.

Democracy Lover said...

There are many of us who believe that to think that McCain "is any choice at all speaks ill for the intelligence of anyone who takes that position. Between his upbringing (politically), his associations, and his support for policies that have already been proven to be failures, there's no way any sane, thinking person should be throwing support his way."

Upbringing: another spoiled rich kid who got into school on his Daddy's pull and then nearly flunked out due to excessive partying and inadequate studying.

Associations: He has made a fetish in the last 2 years of associating himself with the most radical Christian right nutcases in hopes of getting their votes, and has a long history of cozy tit-for-tat relationships with lobbyists.

Policies: virtually the same as GW Bush's policies that have landed us in the morass we are in today.

Here's a candidate we can all support.

Ben said...

Marshall.. Just maybe its your terrible driving. Perhaps you should try driving on the right hand side of the road. Some of the worst drivers I've seen have been those with Bush/Cheney stickers.. or at least thats what my super scientific study says.

As far as "libs doing nasty stuff", you best look in the mirror first.

And John, really is a coward. Honestly, nobody cares. Nobody cares what sticker you have on you car or what pin you're wearing.

mom2 said...

So, John, you're a coward. Today's conservative, so afraid to express himself unless he's in a pack of like-minded people.

August 5, 2008 7:04 PM posted by Geoffrey.

No, Geoffrey it is not being a coward. It does not take long to see that if we express ourselves to liberals, they twist it around and pulverize our intent until too much time is wasted. THEN, there is the abusive language that they heap upon us and to which we do not like to reply in kind unless they have done it so long that we lose our self control and that doesn't help.

Democracy Lover said...

I always find it amusing that right wingers consistently accuse "liberals" of doing exactly what they do. I live in a very liberal town surrounded by very conservative rural counties, and we see plenty of Bush/Cheney stickers in among the Impeach Bush Now stickers. I have yet to hear of anyone on either side being accosted by those on the other.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

You know, I have yet to see an instance of "liberals doing nasty stuff". To be honest, I have yet to see an instance of conservatives doing nasty stuff. People who vandalize automobiles or attempt to intimidate others for voicing an opinion are bullies, pure and simple. There is no political affiliation involved. They are undemocratic and anti-American.

I suppose, to be fair, I should have said that John showed cowardice, rather than saying that he is "a coward", an unwarranted personal attack. As ELAshley has stated, I am the rudest person on the internet, so I guess I should try and improve my image. . .

Again, to reiterate - I find it cowardly to say, up front and without reservation, that one refuses to express one's political opinion through a bumper sticker because others at one's place of employment might have different political opinions. Remember, that is all we are talking about here. John isn't distributing copies of campaign literature, or trying to start political discussions. He is refusing to put a bumper sticker on his car because there might be Obama supporters where he works.

I happen to work for a corporation that is treading a fine line, legally, to do all it can to make sure Barack Obama is not elected. Not just the top brass at corporate headquarters, but salaried management up and down the line, while never once telling anyone how to vote, are making it clear what the corporate preference is. Yet, I have said unequivocally that I would vote for my neighbor's rottweiler before I would vote for John McCain. I understand that I am putting my job on the line by doing so, yet management has yet to do anything more than shrug.

Why?

Because this happens to be America, John. There are parts of the world where political differences lead to violence, like Iraq and Afghanistan. Here in the US, grownups understand that people have different political opinions. Most of them figure that's OK, too.

Marshall Art said...

So Geoffrey, Ben and DL have all found my statement regarding the behavior of libs to be a bit of a poser.

First, I drive every day as part of my job and have for about thirty years. At my age, I'm never in a hurry. I simply don't cut people off because I drive defensively. Y'all will have to take my word on that just as you expect me to take your word that you are unfamiliar with incidents of liberal vandalism.

I guess those were Republicans trashing their own store-front offices in the last election. I guess those were conservatives throwing pies at conservative speakers at various events. I guess those were fundamental Christians dressing up like freaks and disrupting Sunday services in order to make their lame and unsubstantiated points about homosexuality. Now I get it. Thanks for putting me straight(er).

Marshall Art said...

DL,

"There are many of us who believe that to think that McCain "is any choice at all speaks ill for the intelligence of anyone who takes that position. Between his upbringing (politically), his associations, and his support for policies that have already been proven to be failures, there's no way any sane, thinking person should be throwing support his way." "

And you are all wrong.

Once again, rip on Mickey all you like. I'm not a fan. So as I have no dogs whatsoever in this race, it's clear to see who the bigger idiot is and it's clearly Barry Obamanation. I mean, c'mon. What the hell were you guys thinking?

Jim said...

What are we thinking? We are thinking about NOT having a president who will appoint another Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, or Alito. We are thinking about not having a president who will say he's against torture then not vote against it. We are thinking about a president who doesn't think that another 100 years of paying Halliburton and KBR to electrocute troops in Iraq is fine with him.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

You must get lots better weed than do I.

"...NOT having a president who will appoint another Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, or Alito."

You'd prefer a justice who sees what doesn't exist in order to further the unwanted agenda of a small section of society. By this of course we're referring to using the courts to pass that which Congress is unable to pass. You'd prefer a justice that will look to other countries to further that end, but not look to those same countries on other issues where they did not see things the same. Yeah. That's good for the country.

"We are thinking about not having a president who will say he's against torture then not vote against it."

I don't know to which vote you are referring. Doubtless it contained other items that Bush found unworthy of his vote, or the specific vote was too vague or restrictive of those attempting to extract information. But here's my take on the whole torture whine: Anyone who thinks it was a good idea for our country to officially announce its opposition to the use of torture is a fool. Such pronouncements encourage the very enemy we now fight. It doesn't matter if torture is ever used so long as the enemy believes it could be used. Removing that threat from the minds of the enemy lets them know that they have nothing to fear. And here's the worst part: this whole pile of crap was instigated by our own lovable lefty lunatics who think such things matter to the enemy in a way that benefits us or our troops. Stupidity at its ungliest.

"We are thinking about a president who doesn't think that another 100 years of paying Halliburton and KBR to electrocute troops in Iraq is fine with him."

Maybe it's actually crack you're smoking.

Jim said...

Contrary to your myths, Thomas and Scalia have overturned more laws passed by legislatures (the people) than any other justices. They are the most activist justices in recent history.

Marshall Art said...

It's not overturning laws that's a problem, it's creating or overturning laws based on constitutionality. If a law alines with the constitution, a Scalia won't find fault with it. If you have examples that dispute this contention, I'd be happy to look at them.

Democracy Lover said...

Examples, Marshall? Well, you could start with Bush vs. Gore. The Constitution clearly puts states in charge of determine how elections are run and counted.

According to Reason - a libertarian publication - "But Scalia's liberal critics have a point: His moral views have a habit of grafting themselves onto his constitutional philosophy."

If you are going to be a strict constructionist, then you have to set aside your moral and religious views and rule based on the Constitution. That certainly does not describe Scalia.

If you want to decide this election based on which candidate is less scary, then Obama is your man. He has never been accused of having a serious anger problem, he doesn't continue to support policies that are responsible for the quagmire in Iraq or the state of the economy. What exactly is scary about him?

Ben said...

My comment about Marshall’s poor driving was a joke. Perhaps he should lighten up a bit.

As for his comments that only liberals cause trouble, they may be a bit misguided. Why, just the other day I drove past a McDonalds with protesters out front. Seems they were none too happy about gay people. Why cant these deadbeats just get a job? On the same topic, Westboro Baptist Church is another group that hates on gay people. Not to mention the endless stream of gay-hate graffiti. What about the hate on Planned Parenthood? Yes, from the threatening letters to actual murders. Does the managerial interference from Wal-Mart count? (Best not open this can of worms.) Seems they hate unions. Who would have guessed? Oh, and lets not forget Jim Adkisson or the endless hate coming from his (and Marshall’s) idols.

This is what makes Marshall interesting; despite overwhelming evidence, he defends his position to the end.

Dan Trabue said...

Y'all will have to take my word on that just as you expect me to take your word that you are unfamiliar with incidents of liberal vandalism.

I've had someone come into my yard and burn down my Yarmuth (Democrat) for Congress sign. I've been on my bicycle with a Stop Bush sign on it and had people yell at me, flip me the finger, call me communist and all manner of names.

It's anectdotal. As is your information.

The vast majority of Dems and Republicans, of Liberals and Conservatives and all folk in between, are willing to tolerate differences of opinion.

People being the same everywhere, I expect there are roughly the same number of vandals and un-democratic opponent haters on all sides of the aisle.

I would hazard to guess that perhaps, since tolerance and free speech are highly valued traits for Liberalism, that Liberals might be slightly better on this point, but it's probably about the same, if someone were able to measure it.

Marshall Art said...

I doubt it's the same at all. The freaks disrupting a Christian service isn't anecdotal, it's a news story. The various incidents of pie-throwing by opponents of conservative speakers is documented as well. And vandalism of GOP store-front campaign headquarters is well known and also a news story. Let's throw in the those pictures of tolerance and democratic action, Code Pink, and other such groups that enjoy interfering in gatherings of all kinds. Also more than anecdotal. You might dig up some similar incidents involving conservative vandals, but dig you'll have to do.

Marshall Art said...

Ben,

I'm quite light actually. I was merely clarifying for those who might need it.

For your examples, as long as protests are peaceful and not disruptive, I have no problem. Were those at McDonald's hanging Ronald in effigy? I doubt it. As for Fred Phelps and his merry band of inbreds, he's a poor example since he's just an asshole and a poor Christian who doesn't understand the faith he claims to preach. The hate of Planned Parenthood? They're killing people. They're killing innocent and helpless pre-born human beings and doing so for money. You really want to go with that one? BTW, when's the last bombing or murder of abortionists of which you might be aware? Lots of people hate unions. Even some union members. Unions ain't what they once were and need a lot of work to be respected again. Who the hell is Jim Adkisson and which of our idols spew hatred? Is this what is called "overwhelming evidence"?

Dan Trabue said...

Have you heard of the Klan? You do know that they're alive and well?

http://www.amarillo.com/stories/080806/new_5294850.shtml

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20080715/NEWS/237539510

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20060311/ai_n16149332

Are you unaware that gays are pilloried and attacked regularly?

http://www.gay.com/news/article.html?2007/03/07/6

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_arsn.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/02/05/robida/index.html

Do you know that people going door to door for Obama have been experiencing vocal racism?

http://sableverity.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/back-door-racism-alarms-obama-supporters/

There, that was about 90 seconds worth of "exhaustive" digging. These are news stories, too. And they're news stories that include physical attacks, not just burning crosses, vandalism and verbal attacks.

I repeat: People are people everywhere and I expect that about the same numbers of so-called liberals misbehave as so-called conservatives. Perhaps a little less and a little less extreme.

Perhaps you don't see because you don't look.

Marshall Art said...

DL,

The Supremes didn't give Bush the vote, they decided exactly that Florida was not jerking anyone around. It was Gore who was looking to have the presidency handed to him by SCOTUS.

Scalia's ideology mathces that of the founders. Where's the problem there? He understands how religion was meant to be respected and tolerated in this country. To call any of the examples of the articles "activism" is really a stretch. One needn't set aside one's beliefs to do one's job. There's no constitutional precedent for that. But if those beliefs coincide with the Constitution or the beliefs of those who wrote it, where does one go wrong?

Your misunderstanding of the progress in Iraq taints your last paragraph. Obama's the scarier because of his belief that he has the skills and the words to change the minds of evil men in the world. He can't talk without a teleprompter. He'll get some scumbag to agree to all sorts of things and act as if he's accomplished something. Look at all the wasted time and effort trying to get Israel and Palestine together. Barry's clueless about foreign policy. In the meantime, he wants to get tough with those who are our allies. The trouble here is how tenuous our ties are with some in his sights. He's clueless. He wants to reverse Bush's tax cuts, which have done wonders with our economy in the face of natural disasters and wars and attacks on a major financial center. He's supporting the very economic policies that things like tax cuts help to eradicate. He's got no clue. He's likely to appoint the same type of judges who gave us Roe v Wade. Didn't go to school for law? He still has no clue. He supports abortion in any form for any reason. He voted against increasing jail time for perps connected to gangs. He's got no clue. He's an idiot. An idiot with nothing to show for his time in public service. Yeah, he's perfect. I gotta make that bumper sticker!

Ben said...

"And vandalism of GOP store-front campaign headquarters is well known and also a news story."

Do you really think the GOP is the only group attacked? Im sure Obama's campaign has never been a attacked in Viroqua, Wis. Or was it Orlando, Fla.? Perhaps it was both.

For what its worth, I'm a bit shocked you haven't signed up with the Phelps group. You seem to have lots in common with him.

Planned Parenthood.. try 2008. You dont even know what they do. In the end you just come across as hating poor people. Do you really think its alright to murder a Planned Parenthood worker?

Your Union defense reads more like an admission. Could you clean that up for me a bit. Because it sounds like Wal-Mart is breaking the law. Worse, youre advocating it.

Jim David Adkisson??? Doesnt ring a bell? Do you follow the news? Do you have "teh Google"? Just what kind of bunker does Savage have you living in?

Speaking of terrorists, lets not forget that Tim McVeigh was a registered Republican and NRA member.

"Is this what is called 'overwhelming evidence'?"

Umm... again... it doesnt mean much to you. Which is kinda of funny. Sad. But funny.

Oh, and your Bush v. Gore / Scalia arguments are just goofy.

Dan Trabue said...

Or how about this story that was just in the news, where the guy shot up a church for being too conservative?

How about those who burn crosses in front of black churches? Swastikas on Jewish graves? Attack gays? Bomb abortion clinics? Harass muslims? Vandalize gay-friendly churches?

Do you suspect those are the actions of "liberals?"

After thinking about it, I'm not so sure I'd be as generous as I initially was (in thinking that probably liberals and conservatives misbehave at roughly the same rate). It might depend upon the nature of misbehaving.

I'm guessing that perhaps more "liberals" have thrown pies at people, but more "conservatives" have killed people they disagree with. Just a guess, based on the stories that I can recall in the news.

Dan Trabue said...

D'oh! that first line should have said "the guy shot up a church for being too LIBERAL..."

Jim said...

"It was Gore who was looking to have the presidency handed to him by SCOTUS."

OK, this PROVES that you don't know what you're talking about. Note that the case was Bush v. Gore because Bush sued Gore, not the other way around. Bush brought the case before the SCOTUS. Gore was proceeding according to the Constitution which says the States determine their electors. The SCOTUS had no jurisdiction.

If you think that the SCOTUS did not deliver the election to BUSH (regardless of the vote tally), ask yourself why the Supreme Court decision includes these words?

"Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances". In other words the Court's decision is never to be used as precedent for any other case.

Why is that?

Jim said...

"He wants to reverse Bush's tax cuts". No, the Bush tax cuts are self-reversing. They expire all by themselves. That was done so the long-term impact of deficit after deficit wouldn't look so bad when the bill was passed. Obama wants to amend them so that more lower and middle income families will benefit.

"tax cuts, which have done wonders with our economy". Is this a joke? How is our economy doing? As we go farther and farther into debt with the trillions of dollars in Iraq costs off the books?

blamin said...

So many issues, so little space…

On the Bush – Gore vote count in Florida. Gore’s people are guilty of the typical junior high schoolish debating tactic; they asked the same question over and over again until they got the response they wished, at which point they declared victory.

As to which side of the political isle has the most lunatics? Both have their share. But there is one huge difference. The right tends to throw their loonies under the bus, the left (present company excluded of course, but not the leadership) tends to embrace the extremist, hell not just embrace, but allow them a huge bully pulpit to state their views (and raise money of course!!!). It could be just the desire for money, that “encourages” the lefty leadership (LL) to look the other way, or it could be the LL really embraces the views. Who the hell knows, they’re so damn hard to pin down on what they exactly believe.

Bush Tax Cuts – Bush inherited a recession, of that, there’s no serious debate. The returning of taxpayers own money most certainly didn’t hurt our economic situation, hell most economist will argue it actually helped; hell, I hear even the Dem leadership admits it was a good idea, want to jump on the bandwagon, and try to pretend they weren’t against it in the past.

All things considered, I think we’ve had a pretty good run! We’ve endured an attack on native soil, financed a war, Bush has gone along with just about every spending increase the Dem’s have wished for (his biggest mistake; but done to gain support on his war initiatives), and we still aren’t in that bad of shape. What, did you clueless types think?!, our country can have uninterrupted economic upturns for decades on end? Come on, look at history, check out the graphs, and peruse the charts.

Do you F’ing (excuse the accurate expletive) morons believe we can tax ourselves into greater prosperity?

Dan Trabue said...

The myth of tax and spend democrats is just that, mostly.

The gov't has grown fastest in my lifetime under Republican presidents.

Speaking for myself, I'm for smart gov't - not small nor big.

If I were in charge, we'd spend considerably less than we currently do and what we DID spend on, would be programs that tend to work to save American dollars.

It's all about fiscal responsibility - something most Republicans have not been about for a while.

Dan Trabue said...

What'dya wanna bet that this guy butters his bread on the Right side?

The news is not kind to the mythology of well-behaved Right Wingnuts.

Marshall Art said...

Just skimming as I eat my morning oatmeal. I'll likely respond in greater detail later. But as to Dan's last link, perhaps he missed the part where the subject also expressed a desire to cap Bush. Does that make him an independent?

blamin said...

Dan

The myth of tax and spend democrats is just that, mostly.’

Ummm… a “myth” you say; the only national dem’s I can think of that don’t believe bigger government is the solution to all our problems have been shunned by the dem leadership.

”The gov't has grown fastest in my lifetime under Republican presidents.”

You shouldn’t confuse history with your “lifetime”. The last couple of Republican presidents have been a luke warm at best representation of conservative principals.

”Speaking for myself, I'm for smart gov't - not small nor big.”

Ahhhh… a noble belief, sounds real good on the surface; but when you get right down to the nuts and bolts of it I guess it all depends on how you define “smart gov’t”. The problem with so-called “smart gov’t” is the definition of smart (usually defined by clueless libs). Also, once it’s created it never goes away, and by all honest measures it tends to get dumber, less responsive, and more repressive.

It's all about fiscal responsibility - something most Republicans have not been about for a while.

I can’t really argue with you on that point. I can only point out that Democrats have not been about fiscal responsibility for decades. Certainly Obama, and Hillary are the antithesis of fiscal responsibility.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, now, I reckon you'd have to show me where Obama's ideals have been antithetical to fiscal responsibility.

He advocates famously, for instance, that we can do more for our energy crisis by maintaining our cars well than we will ever get off any possible offshore drilling and he is absolutely correct. Not only is that smart, it doesn't cost gov't one red dime AND it saves individual dollars.

McCain's (and Republicans in general) response to that bit of fiscal responsibility? To mock it.

Obama is for ending corporate welfare to oil companies.

Obama is for changing our pro-corporation (ie, corporate welfare) "free trade" policies to more fiscally responsible fair trade policies.

Obama is in favor of encouraging economically and fiscally responsible energy policies and technologies.

Obama is in favor of ending costly military adventurism around the globe.

I am not gaga over Obama's every policy or position, but he seems to be more fiscally responsible than any Dems or Republicans that we've had as president in a while. I reckon you'd have to demonstrate some fiscal irresponsibility in his positions and how he is significantly worse in this regard than McCain.

Merely making the claim doesn't mean much to me.

Dan Trabue said...

And to clarify: I think it is fiscally responsible to invest $1x million in, for instance, prisoner recidivism programs IF it saves $2x in the longterm.

THAT is what I mean by SMART gov't. Gov't that is not merely small for the sake of being small, but which invests in programs where it can ultimately save taxpayer and individual dollars.

We can certainly cut out all prisoner education efforts and save money on one side of the ledger, but it has been proven to COST even more in the long run. That sort of small gov't is NOT fiscally responsible. It's cutting off your nose to spite you face and it is, quite frankly, stupid.

Dan Trabue said...

Blamin said:

I can only point out that Democrats have not been about fiscal responsibility for decades.

Well, when I said, "My lifetime" I was indicating decades. Gov't spending grew under Reagan/Bush/Bush and, to a lesser degree, Nixon.

This chart on the nation debt is a helpful illustration.

During Reagan's reign, he increased government spending tremendously.

"Federal spending totaled $590 billion in fiscal year 1980; by 1988, Reagan’s last year, it rose to $1.14 trillion. Under Reagan, the national debt climbed from less than $800 billion to more than $2 trillion."

source

By comparison, Nixon comes across as relatively decent when it comes to fiscal responsibility, so maybe I should limit my criticism to just the last three Republican presidencies.

blamin said...

Dan,

I really can’t believe you bring up the “maintaining our car well” line as some kind of revelation.

I’m foreseeing a time when after a few years of Dem rule and government control of health care, a big ad campaign extolling the benefits of “maintaining our bodies well” as a way to save a failing, floundering, disastrous, health care (commun)ogram is undertaken.

Republicans should ridicule that bit of sophistry! I suggest that anyone who does not know that proper car maintenance will save a small amount of gas is a disconnected-from-reality moron, but I guess I can’t fault Obama for trying to enlighten his base. And based on history (not just my “lifetime”) I know all you guys are patting yourselves on the back for this sudden flash of ingeniousness.

This issue is so illustrative of elitist liberal beliefs. We’re all dumb-asses without a clue. If I inflate my tires, stop eating fried pork and liquorice three times a day, and learn to understand where terrorist are “coming from”, everything will be peachy-keen.

Thank you – thank you - for making (helping/enabling) me see the light! I really don’t know how I’ve survived without your guidance.

Dan Trabue said...

Sooo, does that mean you CAN'T demonstrate any actual places where Obama's policies are fiscally irresponsible?

As to this:

This issue is so illustrative of elitist liberal beliefs. We’re all dumb-asses without a clue.

It is always a giggle to make strawmen to knock down and can be fun to joke about, and if that's all you want to do, that's all well and good. Funnin' around is fun.

But if you want to talk about actual policies and ideals, well then, of course it doesn't help to make ridiculous comments to support your cause.

So, if you think that encouraging individual responsibility is elitism and bad leadership, do you think encouraging people to get off welfare is elitism and bad leadership? After all, people KNOW they need to get a job and find meaningful work to support themselves and their families. There is no need for gov't to go around TELLING people what we already know, right?

How about the Victory Gardens back in WWII (I'm assuming you're familiar with our history there) - we all knew that growing our own food could help our nation through the crisis time of war and shortages, so I suppose that President Roosevelt was being elitist in calling for something that was so obvious?

Some of us would think that encouraging fiscal responsibility, of challenging America to step up to our pending crises and actually do something about it - even if he's encouraging us to do obvious things - is a good thing. We call it leadership and it has been lacking in the White House for years.

But you are free to mock Obama for encouraging fiscally responsible solutions that can work TODAY and without taxpayer dollars to do what may questionably happen in a decade or so by drilling offshore. I'll pass.

blamin said...

Dan-the-man

Your non-working links and questionable, selective, sliver-pie statistics not-withstanding, is it your contention that a majority Democrat congress along with a Democrat executive branch will lead to smaller government?

Just so you know where I’m coming from – I think the Republicans suck, I believe both parties are all about gathering more control at the normal citizens expense. My hope is that if we all raise enough hell, the Repubs will “tone down” their quest for power. I cannot vote Democrat because there is no way in hell; I can in good conscience vote for a party that openly strives to move power away from the private sector.

Cameron said...

Bush's tax cuts "expire". They do so because that was the only way they would pass Congress.

Meanwhile, we have record amounts of government "revenue" despite the evil tax cuts for the rich.

Which, btw, is a bit of a misnomer.

Dan Trabue said...

Your non-working links and questionable, selective, sliver-pie statistics not-withstanding, is it your contention that a majority Democrat congress along with a Democrat executive branch will lead to smaller government?

1. The links I provided all work for me.

2. And YES. It is absolutely my contention that the best hope for a reasonably-sized government is with the Dems. The current Republican philosophy is all about greatly increasing the size of the gov't and running up a massive nat'l debt - each of the last three Repubicans have done this and there is no reason to think that McCain represents a change in direction.

Clinton, on the other hand, slowed the growth of gov't and wiped out our deficit. While I didn't like Clinton's policies generally, he was clearly more fiscally responsible than ReaganBushBushMccain.

I see Obama as being even more fiscally responsible than Clinton, although he will be saddled with some pretty big problems stepping into the office on Day One.

Soooo, does this mean that you can't point to any significant ways in which Obama's policies are ACTUALLY fiscally irresponsible? Is it just more of a knee jerk "conservative" ranting against a presumed "liberal spender" than actually fact-based?

That's okay, if so. We all like to blow off steam sometimes and I'm not opposed to that. Just don't ask people to buy into the misrepresentation as if it were reality.

blamin said...

Dan,

I take it from your response that if Obama, at a press conference today, states that breathing is good for our health; you’ll rave about his “actual policies and ideals” and compare him to Roosevelt (snicker).

My point (as illustrated so nicely in McCain’s Obama/Hilton/Spears commercial) is that Obama is all frosting, sugar-free frosting.

Vote less crappy – vote McCain.

Dan Trabue said...

I noticed that you didn't address really any questions I raised, blamin. I am still wondering about this one:

"I suppose that President Roosevelt was being elitist in calling for something (Victory Gardens) that was so obvious?"

Dan Trabue said...

AAAAANNND I see that Blamin' once again FAILED TO POINT TO A SINGLE POLICY OF OBAMA'S that is fiscally irresponsible.

Talk about being all frosting and no cake.

Dan Trabue said...

Earlier, Marshall said:

But as to Dan's last link, perhaps he missed the part where the subject also expressed a desire to cap Bush.

What do you want to bet that he dislikes Bush because Bush is too liberal for his conservative tastes?

$1? $5? Two bits? Anything at all?

blamin said...

Dan,

So you want me to point to Obama’s supposed campaign trail “policies” and prove them fiscally irresponsible. Would that be yesterday’s policies or last week’s policies? Would that be yesterdays rootless, platitudes, or last week’s pep-rally sound bites?

I’ve visited Obama’s website, I’ve followed the various newspapers and network news shows, and I have to be honest, it all seems one big commercial, replete with shallow policy statements and cheerleader “obviousisms”.

Maybe you believe we all should just give in to the inevitable cult of personality?

Make no mistake; this is a sad day in the history of our country. We have two choices – bad or worse. I want to believe this country will be strong enough to survive any inane choice made by the voters. But I’m afraid what we are seeing here is yet another step towards what is the inevitable history of this world.

Dan Trabue said...

Gotcha. You just want to gripe, you can't point to any of his policies. You have no ACTUAL complaints against him, just your uninformed perceptions.

Again, that's fine. Rant away.

Just don't expect unsupported rants to be considered a serious critique.

Cameron said...

A local (for me, as I used to live in Idaho) example of liberal tolerance:

Brandi Swindell is a Boise, Idaho conservative activist.

She recently went to China and participated in a protest on Tiananmen Square. She was detained, and eventually deported for her efforts.

Here's the news story.

Here's the comments to the story:

Submitted by MrSkippy on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 8:39am.

Sure, she's pretty but I'd rather they just kept her.
»

MrSkippy
Submitted by brt929 on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 8:50am.

I agree and I'm willing to sign a petition to that effect. Maybe Bryan will fly over and rescue her?
»
"Rescue" implies that they'll be returning...
Submitted by ElaineMT on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 9:16am.

I propose that Bill Sali and Bryan Fischer go to Beijing to support the protests. And all can share a jail cell. And Bill can use the Larry Craig "I am a US Senator!" and see how far that gets him....
»

Submitted by MrSkippy on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 9:54am.

Maybe they'll stand up to a tank. We can always hope!
»

May the tank be with you.....
Submitted by jeands on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 11:18am.

I would love a chance to drive the tank, and right over Brandi! Would the mayor give me a key to the city?


Another story about the detainment, with correspondingly tolerant comments, including the following:

"I never thought I'd be rooting for the tanks."

Dan Trabue said...

Make no mistake; this is a sad day in the history of our country. We have two choices – bad or worse.

Ah, but the question is, which is "worse"? I've provided some details as to why we should expect that McCain will only make the gov't larger and that he will not be fiscally responsible. I've provided some details as to why I believe Obama to be the more fiscally responsible choice.

So, if fiscal responsibility is truly your desire and if you have no reason to think that Obama is the more responsible choice (and you have provided nothing), it would seem you would have no choice but to vote against McCain.

If so, I agree with you.

Dan Trabue said...

Cameron offered a story and a handful examples of liberals behaving badly.

I can offer similar examples of conservatives behaving badly at that scale. Personally, I've been called a coward, a liar, a socialist, anti-Christian and much worse by multiple "conservatives."

What's your point?

Do you want to get in a contest to see who can point to the most abusive language from one side or the other? Or do we acknowledge that it happens on both sides?

Dan Trabue said...

Now, if we want to be fact-based, here's a little help for some of you. This study suggests that cursing is quite a bit more common on liberal blogs than on conservative ones - or at least on the top ten of each.

I can believe that.

blamin said...

Dan,

I hate to burst your self-inflated bubble, but I’ve got your technique figured out.

It goes something like this – You join in a debate. You start regurgitating the liberal line. Someone takes the time to deconstruct and expose your fallacies point-by-point. You ignore the good counter-points and cherry pick what you deem to be the weakest counter-points. Your counterpart in the debate good naturedly humors you and then proceeds to best you even on their weakest counter-point. You resort to mis-direction i.e. “ya-buts” and “what about so and so”. Two or three weeks later you throw out the used and abused points from a previous debate. You then become offended because the time is not taken to repeat the old deconstructions. You then appoint yourself victorious in the debate.

Hell of a technique! I can see why you people have calloused shoulder blades (all that self back-patting).

On to the Obamanation.

How would you define policy? Would you say that policy is what you say you’re going to do, or what you have done? It’s fine to have a policy “going-forward” but you should have a tangible, definable history, not a questionable, suspicious history.

Let’s partake in a little exercise. Visit Obama’s campaign website. It’s as if some Madison Avenue slickster has taken a conglomerate of all successful politicians campaign promises and speeches, mixed them all around and created what he believes to be a best-selling product. It’s shallow! It bears only a small semblance of his extremely limited record. What is it exactly about this man that makes you believe he will do as he says and not as he’s done?

Dan Trabue said...

Man, you take a lot of words to say not much, Blamin.

You have me figured out? Then instead of spewing generalities, choose a point and say, "Dan, when you say X, you are mistaken. X..." and then defend your position.

Saying stuff like this:

You start regurgitating the liberal line. Someone takes the time to deconstruct and expose your fallacies point-by-point. You ignore the good counter-points and cherry pick what you deem to be the weakest counter-points.

Is not saying ANYTHING at all.

WHAT liberal line have I "regurgitated." WHO has deconstructed what I have said? WHAT fallacies have been exposed?

You have not said anything of substance, you've just ranted. When I ask for you to show even just ONE policy of Obama's that is fiscally irresponsible, you can't do it.

Where is the "liberal line" in my asking reasonably for you to demonstrate some fiscal responsibility, that is, to substantiate your charge?

What I have done here is to say that BOTH liberals and conservatives misbehave at times. That may be the liberal line, but it also happens to be reasonable.

I have gone on to point out that, IF there is a group that TENDS to be more abusive, I'd guess that would be "conservatives" and then I went on to point out that attacks on gays, cross-burnings, abortion clinic bombings, etc, etc, are not generally being perpetrated by "liberals."

I have allowed that yes, probably liberals curse more and probably they have thrown pies in the faces of those they disagree with more.

All I've done is looked at the evidence. How is that the "liberal line" (unless you think that conservatives AREN'T concerned about evidence...?) and how has it been deconstructed?

But I apologize. I already owned up to the fact that it appears you just want to rant, not discuss, so I don't know why I'm asking you not to rant now. Blather on, Blamin.

Cameron said...

Oh, I acknowledge it happens on both sides. Especially this type of hyperbolic commenting on news stories/blogs. It happens all the time. Peruse the comment section of Think Progress or Michelle Malkin and you'll find the exact same sentiments expressed, just leveled at each other. (Although, I've read ThinkProgress comment sections on a number of occasions and those guys are ruthless. And vile. And ignorant. And often moronic. But I digress.)

And as a Mormon, I'm well acquainted with psycho conservative Christians behaving like they badly want to be punched in the face by otherwise peaceful churchgoers.

That said, it seems off tune to me to hear Dan extol the diversity/tolerance virtues of liberals ("since tolerance and free speech are highly valued traits for Liberalism, that Liberals might be slightly better on this point,") as opposed to the general hatemonger status of conservatives when it's plain that those highly valued traits Dan speaks of are quite often ditched at the first opportunity.

I chose the Brandi Swindell story to illustrate the point because I've lived in Idaho, I know many of the authors of the comment I posted here, and I've had personal interaction with them. They make up the majority of the liberal blogosphere in Idaho. And for all their highly valuing of tolerance and diversity and respect, these types of comments ("I never thought I'd be rooting for the tanks." Seriously? I mean, really?) are the rule, and not the exception.

Dan Trabue said...

as opposed to the general hatemonger status of conservatives when it's plain that those highly valued traits Dan speaks of are quite often ditched at the first opportunity.

?

I'm not clear on your meaning here.

For my part, I don't think the majority of Conservatives are mean-spirited or prone towards violence. I spring forth from conservative roots myself and am well aware that most of those conservatives who raised me are great individuals, loving and polite.

And, I'm also well aware that some who espouse a Liberal worldview DO indeed abandon some of those values.

My point was merely that those who misbehave are found in both parties and in the shades in between. And, when Marshall tried to reject that reasonable view, I went on to surmise that perhaps, IF one side were more guilty than the other, it would have to be those who claim conservatism - given the degree of violence we see in those few exceptions (the Rudolphs, McVeighs the Klansmen, the skinheads, the gay haters/attackers, etc, etc), but that is just more anectdotal evidence, not ironclad fact.

I think you and I are agreeing, Cameron.

Cameron said...

hmmmm. I hope that doesn't make me a target. :-)

No offense, but I'm not sure if I believe you. I think the, "since tolerance and free speech are highly valued traits for Liberalism, that Liberals might be slightly better on this point" comment was a bit of a Freudian slip and reveals the true intent here. I think you believe that Liberals hold those tolerance values very highly and therefore are less likely to be mean than conservatives are. I may be wrong, but that was what I was responding to. In my experience, tolerance for others' free speech is no more likely in liberal circles than in conservative circles, and online it's actually less.

But if you agree with that, then I guess we're agreeing.

However, you may have a good point when it comes to violence from folks self identifying in one group or the other - the McVeigh's ect. that you speak of. Though I imagine the rebuttal would be to bring up (and I think MA already did?) the Code Pink folks, the animal rights activists, and the flag/American soldier burning peace activists. Extremism is extremism, and I'm not sure that either political philosophy has a monopoly on it.

Dan Trabue said...

The Code Pink people have killed? Peace protesters have killed?

What "extremism" have they took part in? Protesting has a long (Boston Tea Party, anyone) and valued place in US history and I don't view protests in and of themselves to be extreme.

And there was no Freudian slip on my part. Freedom of speech and valuing diversity ARE highly valued liberal tenets. Which is not to say that conservatives don't value them, just that those values tend to be associated with Liberal thinking (if you look at Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles, you don't see diversity or Freedom of Speech listed).

It was not a slight at conservatives, intentional nor Freudian, just an acknowledgment of what I think is conventional thinking.

If you are saying that online liberals appear to be more rude than conservatives, I would guess that is true in your experience. In my experience, the opposite appears to be true.

And in both cases, it remains anectdotal evidence. Nothing more.

Dan Trabue said...

"Have they TAKEN part in," I mean...

blamin said...

Gosh Dan, I guess you told me!

I guess I’ll just have to bite the bullet and pick one statement at a time.

I have gone on to point out that, IF there is a group that TENDS to be more abusive, I'd guess that would be "conservatives" and then I went on to point out that attacks on gays, cross-burnings, abortion clinic bombings, etc, etc, are not generally being perpetrated by "liberals."

I’m happy that you had the foresight to include the words “if, I’d guess, and generally” in your statement.

Taking a play from your book let’s look at your “attacks on gays” statement. I didn’t realize there was studies showing the ideology of those whom attack gays.

Regardless, a huge portion of attacks on gay Latino’s are by young heterosexual Latino’s, ya see it’s a “macho” thing which is extremely important to young Latino males, they tend to be highly offended by gay Latino’s sashaying around. In fact, most gay Latino’s are deathly afraid of being found out. Hell, most young male Latino’s are deathly afraid of doing anything that could be construed as effeminate. The last time I checked the young Latino community is associated with Democrats more than Republicans. That’s one leg of your three-legged stool (yes stool); hence the stool comes crashing down.

There – satisfied? I spent several sentences refuting what could have been summed up as “your full of bull”.

Now you maybe wouldn’t be satisfied with my technique of pointing out your bullness, but many people with a little common sense would instantly see the validity of my point, without need for explanation.

So why even waste time pointing out the obvious? I guess I like to hear myself talk (ya, ya, I know, it’s not talking). It appears we have much in common.

blamin said...

D(d)T

”And in both cases, it remains anectdotal evidence. Nothing more.

Now, now, Dan, that’s a little like the pot calling the kettle black. Your whole contention that “conservatives TEND to be more abusive” is based on antidotal evidence.

blamin said...

Dan, you said

The myth of tax and spend democrats is just that, mostly.

The gov't has grown fastest in my lifetime under Republican presidents.


How exactly do you define the growth of government?

Dollars spent? That’s probably a commonly held definition. Which we could debate – for instance, many would say that legitimate government spending (i.e. the military and what is considered a legitimate war by many) should be taken off the table before determining gov’t growth.

Some would define the size of government by dollars spent in relation to GDP.

Some would define the size of government by, I don’t know, the actual size of government – i.e. the number of bureaucrats flitting around, imposing “regulations” that are in effect non-passed laws, poking in our business, and turning seemingly mundane, simplistic task into a all day job (think the local DMV).

Just curious.

blamin said...

Dan

”Well, now, I reckon you'd have to show me where Obama's ideals have been antithetical to fiscal responsibility”

I could take the easy way out and dispute something that’s from the “wrapping paper” that is Obama’s campaign web site.

But lets take something a little more current from today’s headlines shall we -

How about Obama’s plan to tax so-called “windfall” profits from U.S. oil companies. It appears to be a popular plan; it’s not hard to paint as bad guys, entities that are making money when so many are pissed about gasoline prices.

Why doesn’t he just drop all pretenses and say he’ll nationalize American oil co.’s?

Obama is suggesting that the government here – not just in leftist dictatorships in Latin America – should take a “reasonable” amount of the oil co.’s profits and give them to the American people.

What is the difference between what he has suggested and what the Marxist Chavez has done, except the degree of the taking?

Where in the Constitution or in the Magna Carta or in the Declaration of Independence does it say the U.S. Gov’t can determine how much profit is fair and can just take the rest?

Investors Business Daily says – “In Obama’s world Economic justice simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat.”

It’s a euphemism for socialism. In the past such rhetoric was just that – rhetoric. But Obama’s is positioning himself to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.

Why should American oil co.’s be punished? Wouldn’t that just hurt American consumers and our competitive position around the globe?

What industry is next? If the gov’t deems one industry’s profits unreasonable, what’s to stop it from stepping in and taking money for others? Where’s the line?

Or is there a line? It’s much more convenient when there is no line; that way a government that has all the answers can move about freely, “leveling” the playing field as it sees fit wherever and whenever it wants.

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Obama is not fit to be president.

Dan Trabue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

Blamin', I think you may need a bit of help back on your rocker. The "Investors Business Daily"? You mean a conservative/libertarian group doesnt like Obama? You have got to be kidding!!! Next youre going to tell me that McCain is actually going to vote for himself in this election.

Dan Trabue said...

Why doesn’t he just drop all pretenses and say he’ll nationalize American oil co.’s?

Ummm, because he has no plan to do such a thing?

Let's not be ridiculous.

So why even waste time pointing out the obvious?

Because what is obvious to you is patently ridiculous to other people. And vice versa.

That is, just because something is obvious to you does not mean that the evidence supports it or that it is logically sound. That is appealing to a pretty subjective measure ("I think the world was created in six days, therefore the world WAS created in six days." or "I think Obama is going to nationalize oil companies and turn us into a socialist state, therefore he IS going to do that...") and not a wise way to handle serious conversations about important matters.

As to your complaints about Obama's planks on his website, you know, I suppose, that he has more information on his website than McCain does? Or that he has a similar amount to any other presidential candidate in the past?

Generally speaking, candidates don't create 1,000 page tomes outlining each and every point of their policy. No one ever has, that I know of. Not many people would read such a saga.

I think most people recognize that if a candidate outlines their plan and gives some detail as to the whys and hows of what they want to do, that suffices.

What would you have him change? I still don't think you have offered the first critique of WHY his plank is fiscally irresponsible or WHY you think McCain represents a MORE responsible choice.

So, short of you making some commentary on his actual positions (instead of reading "COMMIE BOOGEYMAN" into his planks that just doesn't exist or suggesting generally, "It's wrapping paper," without saying WHAT SPECIFICALLY you disagree with), I'll pass on these conversations.

You can rant if you want, it's a good catharsis sometimes. If you want to discuss actual positions, let me know.

Dan Trabue said...

How exactly do you define the growth of government?

By size.

If it was spending $1x when a president started and $2x when he ended, the gov't has grown. If he's only spending $1/2x, it has shrunk.

Yes, we could measure by only what we think is important (ie, "Except for all the things he spent more money on, he didn't spend ANY more money at all!"), but that doesn't sound very legitimate to me.

I think straight growth is the best measure.

Cameron said...

"And there was no Freudian slip on my part."

Then we agree, you do think Liberals are more tolerant than conservatives. And that, based on the fact that they say they are.

Though I live in a very conservative state (Utah, and before that, Idaho), and hold many conservative ideals, I flirted with joining the Democratic Party for some time. I have voted for Democrats, and hold many in high esteem. Utah has just one Democrat elected to national office, Jim Matheson. I've voted for him multiple times, and have found him to be even handed, responsive, and a great legislator. I've also found that his own party doesn't like him and has often contemplated ways to get rid of him.

I have read what has been written on the local liberal blogs (both in Utah & in Idaho) and have come to realize that there is no room in the Democratic "Big Tent" for me. I hold some differing views, and therefore can never be truly accepted.

While I could just as easily say the same about the Republican Party, they're not the group that "conventional thinking" says is the tolerant one.

Your experience with online conversations might be different because you've never attempted to argue a differing view on ThinkProgress or sites of its ilk. I know you've had some heated words on conservative sites we both frequent, and I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. I've even been zeroed in on after writing something that was construed as pro-abortion. But when I have gone to liberal sites, both local and national, I have been treated with nothing but anger and contempt. Which is fine, it is politics after all, but it's because of this that I bristle a bit when liberals label themselves as "understanding" and "tolerant".

As for violence, here goes:

There's the bombings in 2008, 2007 and 2005.

There's Brendan Walsh, who plead guilty to throwing a molotov cocktail through the window of a recruiting station. There are some really cool comments to this story about Brendan:
Feb 26, 2005 12:20PM EST
archie bunker

Brendan, thank you for your inspiring action. If the rest of us worked harder to sabotage the war effort especially by targeting recruiting centers, the achilles heel of the army, we might actually be able to affect the bastards.

Lets support the folks who get busted taking risks!

Feb 26, 2005 03:47PM EST
enemy of amerikkka

we need a million like him.
this entire dogshit piece of crap country needs to go

Mar 03, 2005 11:09PM EST
class warrior

solidarity with our captured comrade
the only way change will be made is through direct action
the more militant the more the ruling class will listen to our demands
every drop of blood the state drops
let a bureaucrat be leeched of all the blood in his filthy body
and for the liberals who condemn this heroic act
your time will come after the right wing skum is placed in their grave


Though that last one prompted a reply that made me laugh out loud:

Mar 05, 2005 12:12AM EST
from bkny to scarsdale

First, 100 dollars that the person calling for "CLASS WAR" and warning liberals that they will be killed shortly after all right wingers are killed is writing from his bedroom in his parent's home in scarsdale.


The New York Times reported in 2005 that "For Recruiters, Antiwar Protests Raise Perils on the Home Front". They noted the Brendan case, and also had this to say,

"Staff Sgt. Amedeo Trotta, commander of the Army recruiting station in Vestal, said that in addition to the Molotov cocktail attack, he was threatened last year by a man with a two-by-four while talking to recruiters near Ithaca College. A recruiter in his office, he said, was also sucker-punched while pumping gas about eight months ago."

It's interesting that anti-war activists are taking the same route that anti-abortion activists took a while back. They feel like there is no other recourse and something has to be done now to stop the killing.

Again, I think it's an extremist mindset more than it is a certain ideological one.

Ben said...

Are you really digging up comments from the internet? What, exactly, is this supposed to "prove"?

Marshall Art said...

Dan uses the actions of a few loons to counter what is obvious and apparent. Liberal tolerance is as mythical as the notion that Barak would make a good president. Conservative don't shout people down and raise a ruckus to prevent a speaker being heard. Generally, the opposite is true, that conservatives want to hear the goofy liberal sentiment in order to refute it. This is well established on such conservative talk shows as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt and others. Now I'm sure that there are cons that hang up on people, but usually I've heard that happen when the caller is a raving loon. The liberal penchant for rudeness is a natural extension of their misbegotten beliefs that the Constitution allows for vile language whenever anyone wishes to spew it. How could they not then use it to silence opponents or rebutt them on web logs?

Dan feels he's been the victim of conservative abuse. I've been dealing with his comments here and elsewhere for a few years now and from what I've seen, most accusations of abuse are unfounded, and those with some evidence are generally only after listening to his convoluted explanations for his opinions. In this, Blamin's description of Dan's tactics aren't that far off base, but Dan never sees it. Oh well. Ben has accused me of as much also. (Of course he's wrong)

The main problem with Obama's fiscal policies are the costs it will incure over time. He is opposed to making permanent the Bush tax cuts (yeah, I KNOW they "expire". Not the point. If you don't support their re-instatement, it's akin to hiking taxes.) These cuts have benefitted everyone and have done a lot to keep our economy going after suffering disasters both man-made and natural.

But Obama has the same ideas as most Dems for what to do with taxes and the revenues of the productive. His lame-ass notions about windfall-profits taxes have been proven to be failures (Carter proved it, if I'm not mistaken) and would result in the same problem now. It would impact the retirement packages of millions of Americans as well as cost jobs, and raise prices all over the board, giving the neediest more trouble than they already have. He, like Hillary, have absolutely NO business determining what is and what isn't "obscene profits".

In this case, he shows a far lesser grasp of economics than the biggest idiot to ever farely win two elections, GW Bush. Under Bush's tax policies, unemployment dropped to levels lower than during Clinton's reign, revenues went through the roof, as businesses weren't overburdened with giving so much of their cash to the feds.

When one talks about the size of government, one needs to consider the revenues. Every politician likes to take excess money and give it to someone. This has been a problem for recent Repubs, which is why they didn't fare well in the last mid-term. But it's par for the course for the Dems. If we have Dem control in both Houses of Congress and a socialist Dem as president, Dan will HAVE to get a better gig to help pay for the additional poor as well as his higher taxes and costs of living.

Oil is another loser position for the Obamanable. Inflate tires? This is supposed to be something praiseworthy? Bush was recently asked what Americans should be doing in light of the rising oil prices (at the time---they've been falling recently). He told the reporter that Americans are already doing their part by adjusting their lifestyles and car buying choices and demanding better fuel economy etc, etc. You see, the big idiot Bush believes in the American people to do what's necessary, Obama thinks they need to be told (and considering his supporters, he's half right).

So fiscally, Bush understands the power of unfettered market forces to straighten out economic troubles, Obama thinks it needs his push, a push which has always caused greater problems in the past.

blamin said...

Dan,

Your glaring lack of response to my comments on Obama’s “windfall” profits tax position must be an admission on your part of Obama’s utterly ridiculous stance.

Ben, you wouldn’t prefer I place a small quote in my comments from that preposterous rag, The Economist, now would you?

Marshall Art said...

I wanted to respond to the following quote from Dan and almost forgot. Actually I DID forget, but eventually remembered.

"Which is not to say that conservatives don't value them, just that those values tend to be associated with Liberal thinking (if you look at Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles, you don't see diversity or Freedom of Speech listed)."

First of all, freedom of speech would be a logical extension of the points of Kirk's Ten Principles. You could not accept each point without understanding the the freedom to criticize one's government wouldn't be a natural effect. But I guess some just need things spelled out perfectly for them.

Next, diversity is meaningless. Particularly how it manifests in the minds of the average liberal. If one is speaking of diversity of thought, well, obviously, different ideas are a good thing because it's by dissecting and comparing ideas that the best one is found. But if you're speaking of some kind of racial diversity, or gender or ethnic background or religion, it's totally meaningless. What matters are the principles and any forced consideration of "diversity" is anathema. I believe what's best for this country is the idea of a melting pot, not a fruit salad. Everyone joins in the American dream as Americans with America's interests at heart. Screw diversity. It's what keeps racism alive.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

This entire thread has become . . . interesting. I especially love the last line of Marshall's most recent comment - "Screw diversity. It's what keeps racism alive." Yes, by all means, let us pretend that differences don't exist on the one hand, as a way of ensuring that only people like us make it in America. Because, you know, if we pay attention to differences, it might get people who don't like differences all upset. I think that's the logic behind that, although, since it doesn't make any real sense in the real world, I can't be sure.

Dan has been fighting a winning game over here single-handedly, although, to be honest, it's a bit like the Yankees playing three little league teams at once.

Not a single one of those who has been "arguing" with Dan (except perhaps for Cameron, a bit) have managed to substantively make a point. It's all been empty rhetoric, thoughtless repeating of buzz-words without any connection to experience of understanding.

On Cameron's point concerning the limits of liberal tolerance I actually agree. When it comes to religion, and especially a minority religious point-of-view, I think it is quite clear that most secular liberals get their panties in a wad at the thought that someone, somewhere, might be worshiping God. That's why, as I've said many times before, I'm a liberal who doesn't express "tolerance" as a virtue; it's the virtue of those who have it all figured out - they have the noblesse oblige to put up with differences of those who aren't as enlightened as they as (so sad, you know, but it's something up with which one must put in order to keep the masses happy).

That's why I prefer diversity to tolerance. A society that recognizes diversity also recognizes that differences are real and sometimes even incompatible. A diverse society is one in which Marshall Art, Dan, Cameron, and I all participate with our different beliefs, our different ways of thinking, yet all call ourselves Americans, not because of our dedication to a certain way of living, but because we all subscribe to the public idea that it is far better to argue in public than to kill one another. We keep our public disputes verbal in America because we recognize the limited nature of wisdom, knowledge, and the reality of incommensurability of human life choices. That is to say - a person can live a happy, healthy, productive, and (yes) moral life and do so according to standards with which we not only fundamentally disagree, but oppose. The trick in a diverse society is that we recognize the legitimacy of difference. There are some, however, who don't. Sometimes, they call out "liberals" for wanting to kill children. Sometimes they call Presidential candidates "Barry". Sometimes, they sit in the Oval Office.

Jim said...

"I think it is quite clear that most secular liberals get their panties in a wad at the thought that someone, somewhere, might be worshiping God."

This is a totally nonsense statement. Not only is it NOT quite clear, it is patently false.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Um, Jim, as a very faithful liberal I will tell you that not only is it a true statement, it is such because of my own experience. For some reason, there are those out there who become incoherent at the thought that people believe in God. It offends them, somehow. We are called "superstitious", "obscurantist", are never differentiated from our more conservative brethren, and I could go on. I really have no desire to write a monograph on liberal intolerance for religious belief here and now; suffice it to say that evidence is legion upholding the basic factual nature of my statement, and I see no reason to change my mind because you say it isn't so.

TTFN.

Jim said...

Funny, I've been around secular liberals all my life and I've never heard anyone of them say anything about not wanting people to believe in God. Most of them believe in God themselves, so your "point" makes no sense. Maybe you're thinking about atheists, but most atheists don't care if you believe in and worship God and long as you don't try to force it on them.

I don't know what kind of "secular liberals" you've been hanging out with, but they are a brand of seculars or liberals with which nobody I know is familiar.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm mostly with Jim on that one, Geoffrey (although, thanks for the funny, kind remarks!). I know plenty of secular liberals who tolerate me just fine.

I DO know some secular liberals who are less tolerant and seem to have something of a chip on their soldiers, but they have been - in MY experience - a minority. Just as the conservatives who can't tolerate the notion of a liberal Christian is a relatively rare thing in my experience - although they do seem to flourish on these here internets.

Dan Trabue said...

I would add that, in the case of at least some of those secular liberals with a chip on their shoulder, the chip got there with the help of some offensive religious types.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Dan, my experience, too, has been of a wide variety of responses. However, the reigning ethos - thanks, in part, as you point out to religious folks who do things either offensive, stupid, or both - is one of strident opposition. The popularity a couple years ago of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris signified, to me, that anti-theism was the new ideology among many on the left. That neither Dawkins nor Harris added anything original, or even substantive, to the debate over the relevance of religion in our lives, public or private, was irrelevant. Both became the harbingers of an almost visceral lashing out at any expression of religious belief.

Having said that, I have found that conservative religious folks are far more tolerant, for the most part, of their liberal coreligionists. With the occasional exception of some folks on the internet who have managed to tick me off from time to time, I have found a certain level of "live and let live".

Marshall Art said...

Well, that's all just dandy. We on the internet are engaging in the debate of those very differences of which you speak that we, in the world, tolerate, if begrudgingly so.

And this also points to the lack of understanding regarding "diversity". Here on the internet, as I said, we debate those differences, at least of ideology and opinion, and in proving or supporting our point of view, we are called intolerant or bigoted or mean conservative Christians. This of course, is just whining on the part of our liberal visitors because they can't take the pressure of the oppositions' opinions. In other words, they are intolerant of the conservative positions and resort to calling us meanies.

Why should we relent in our positions if the other side has not proven their case? How can it be intolerant in a discussion of differences to describe the blatant shortcomings of the opposing position? Are we supposed to say, "We see big holes in your position that allows for all sorts of negative consequences, but hey, it's a really great position because, you know, you're God's child, too." Sorry. Doesn't work that way in these types of discussions.

But I need Geoffrey to expound on his displeasure with my position on "diversity", the meaningless quality that gives liberals goosebumps. I have distinguished between diversity of thought, that is, different opinions and ideas, and that of diversity of superficial irrelevancies, such as skin color, gender, ethnic lineage and such. If you believe we are a better country when our government and corporate offices reflect racial percentages of the population, well, you'd be an idiot. Such diversity is harmful to our society in that it continues to regard these superficialities as meaningful differences. As long as those differences are highlighted, we can never move past racism for good.

"A diverse society is one in which Marshall Art, Dan, Cameron, and I all participate with our different beliefs, our different ways of thinking, yet all call ourselves Americans, not because of our dedication to a certain way of living, but because we all subscribe to the public idea that it is far better to argue in public than to kill one another."

This polar opposite of sticking one's neck out describes what is already a given. Thus, the use of the term "diversity" here might not be exactly meaningless, but it is very much moot. It's a platitude with which few would argue.

But it's legitimate to call a stupid idea or position "stupid". Playing word games to avoid damaging those sensitive feelings some possess, interferes with getting to the heart of the matter, which is determining the value of the idea or contribution. When reasons or evidences are offered to support the opinion that the idea is stupid, it's far more efficient to explain the counter argument effectively, rather than claim victim status to dampen the point of the opposition.

Attacking the intelligence or validity of an idea or position is not an attack on any form of diversity, given one knows how to properly define the term. It's an attack on the specific idea or position.

It would be more accurate to look to how the lefty visitors deal with challenging arguments. A lot of misdirection occurs. Ride the nearest tangent. This is in conflict with the notion of toleration of diverse thinking. Pressing on in the face of stiff opposition is discarded in favor of accusing the other side of intolerance. I believe face-saving plays a roll in how tough debates handled. Better to pull up and say, "I don't know. I'll get back to ya."

Take our debate on when life begins. It is understood where the lines are drawn. My position was that every bit of data regarding the practice supports my position that the practice is meant for the generating of a new person and as such that which is produced must be a person equal in every way to our very selves. You never produced anything that supports any other opinion regarding when one becomes such an equal person but pretend it's all about my version of Christianity, or some such misdirection.

By the same token, I don't believe I've come across too many situations where I felt I was confronting a solid argument without arrows in the quiver. (Must be the subject matter, really.)

And there's certainly a tolerance for diversity of thought at THIS blog. This goofy debate is closing in on 100 comments. That doesn't happen when everyone agrees.

So perhaps a more detailed explanation of your idea of "diversity" would be bad.

But finally, at least for now, I just want to thank Geoffrey for the joke about Dan winning the debate all by himself. That was precious.

Marshall Art said...

Oh, one more thing:

"...recognize the legitimacy of difference. There are some, however, who don't. Sometimes, they call out "liberals" for wanting to kill children. Sometimes they call Presidential candidates "Barry". Sometimes, they sit in the Oval Office."

---If we've established that science and biology demonstrate that the aborted are just as much a person as each one of us, then supporting that act of destroying that life means you want to kill children, or at least reserve the right to do so if need be. Liberals think there's a distinction they can justify. Conservatives know the liberals can't because they haven't even gotten close yet. In other words, you are calling us intolerant because we don't like people killing other people, particularly in such torturous ways. There is no legitimacy in this "diversity".

Unlike Geoffrey and Obama, I don't feel that Barry is worthy of the adoration and worship and sense of divine right which seeps from the pores of Barry-ites. It is a fiction. It is a level of deification I do not attach to even my own favored candidates. It's like Geoffrey is a ten-year-old girl and I just dissed the teen hearthrob gracing his cover of "Tigerbeat". It's like we're Muslims and I keep referring to Muhammed as "Bob". But don't worry, Geoffrey. I know good and well when I should make with the "I'm not worthy!" routine. Barry's the one not worthy. And that doesn't speak well for his supporters.

BTW, back to the joke about Dan winning...I'm constantly referring to things Barry's said, done or not done(which is much), and says he wants to do in most of my remarks about him. It's easy to show why he's the crappiest choice.

Finally, Bush's hiring choices have demonstrated his understanding of diversity the resembles the type you seem to support. If you wish to speak to those who've left the admin or those let go or such, the fact that their opinion wasn't acted upon doesn't show a disregard for diversity of thought. It just shows a disagreement over the worthiness of that opinion. He would have had to have welcomed diversity of thought to have someone with whom to disagree.

Marshall Art said...

Well, that's all just dandy. We on the internet are engaging in the debate of those very differences of which you speak that we, in the world, tolerate, if begrudgingly so.

And this also points to the lack of understanding regarding "diversity". Here on the internet, as I said, we debate those differences, at least of ideology and opinion, and in proving or supporting our point of view, we are called intolerant or bigoted or mean conservative Christians. This of course, is just whining on the part of our liberal visitors because they can't take the pressure of the oppositions' opinions. In other words, they are intolerant of the conservative positions and resort to calling us meanies.

Why should we relent in our positions if the other side has not proven their case? How can it be intolerant in a discussion of differences to describe the blatant shortcomings of the opposing position? Are we supposed to say, "We see big holes in your position that allows for all sorts of negative consequences, but hey, it's a really great position because, you know, you're God's child, too." Sorry. Doesn't work that way in these types of discussions.

But I need Geoffrey to expound on his displeasure with my position on "diversity", the meaningless quality that gives liberals goosebumps. I have distinguished between diversity of thought, that is, different opinions and ideas, and that of diversity of superficial irrelevancies, such as skin color, gender, ethnic lineage and such. If you believe we are a better country when our government and corporate offices reflect racial percentages of the population, well, you'd be an idiot. Such diversity is harmful to our society in that it continues to regard these superficialities as meaningful differences. As long as those differences are highlighted, we can never move past racism for good.

"A diverse society is one in which Marshall Art, Dan, Cameron, and I all participate with our different beliefs, our different ways of thinking, yet all call ourselves Americans, not because of our dedication to a certain way of living, but because we all subscribe to the public idea that it is far better to argue in public than to kill one another."

This polar opposite of sticking one's neck out describes what is already a given. Thus, the use of the term "diversity" here might not be exactly meaningless, but it is very much moot. It's a platitude with which few would argue.

But it's legitimate to call a stupid idea or position "stupid". Playing word games to avoid damaging those sensitive feelings some possess, interferes with getting to the heart of the matter, which is determining the value of the idea or contribution. When reasons or evidences are offered to support the opinion that the idea is stupid, it's far more efficient to explain the counter argument effectively, rather than claim victim status to dampen the point of the opposition.

Attacking the intelligence or validity of an idea or position is not an attack on any form of diversity, given one knows how to properly define the term. It's an attack on the specific idea or position.

It would be more accurate to look to how the lefty visitors deal with challenging arguments. A lot of misdirection occurs. Ride the nearest tangent. This is in conflict with the notion of toleration of diverse thinking. Pressing on in the face of stiff opposition is discarded in favor of accusing the other side of intolerance. I believe face-saving plays a roll in how tough debates handled. Better to pull up and say, "I don't know. I'll get back to ya."

Take our debate on when life begins. It is understood where the lines are drawn. My position was that every bit of data regarding the practice supports my position that the practice is meant for the generating of a new person and as such that which is produced must be a person equal in every way to our very selves. You never produced anything that supports any other opinion regarding when one becomes such an equal person but pretend it's all about my version of Christianity, or some such misdirection.

By the same token, I don't believe I've come across too many situations where I felt I was confronting a solid argument without arrows in the quiver. (Must be the subject matter, really.)

And there's certainly a tolerance for diversity of thought at THIS blog. This goofy debate is closing in on 100 comments. That doesn't happen when everyone agrees.

So perhaps a more detailed explanation of your idea of "diversity" would be bad.

But finally, at least for now, I just want to thank Geoffrey for the joke about Dan winning the debate all by himself. That was precious.

Marshall Art said...

Wow! I double posted. How'd that happen?

Mark said...

Jim, I rejected your comment because it was stupid and repetitive. You continuously repeat yourself even after you have been proven to be stupid. If you have anything intelligent to say that hasn't been said already you are welcome to post on my site.

Reverend Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church is a Democrat. He has even entered the Kansas Governors race a couple of times as a Democrat. This is typical of Democrats, by the way.

Jim said...

"Jim, I rejected your comment because it was stupid and repetitive."

How are you supposedly rejecting comments on Marshall's site, or are you actually Marshall, too?

I don't even remember posting anything after the last post shown here from me.

That said, it's curious that you supposedly reject "stupid and repetitive" comments and yet your blog is rife with them.

You haven't proved anything about me. You've only proved that you are as hypocritical on Marshall's blog as you are on your own.

Mark said...

Jim, you said, in this comment thread, "Marshall, apparently I'm either too stupid or too right for Mark to allow me to post any longer."

I was responding to that comment. I have been away and just got back so that explains the delay in answering you.

And to respond further, you are half right.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall, no one is asking anyone to "relent". Public disagreements over public issues continue on because there is no definitive right or wrong answer, for the most part, to any issue of public import. Whether it's war and peace, crime and punishment, or any other Russian novel title you can think of, it is all well and good to stake out some kind of absolutist position and stick to it. It is quite another to get in to the nitty-gritty details of individual cases and discover that the absolutist position simply doesn't hold up because the details confuse and complicate the matter.

This is why I prefer not to stake out some a priori position, but consider an instance of real-world experience on its own merits, then ask "What should be done?" A great example, for me, was my my own position on capital punishment. When I was in my early twenties, I was fascinated, for the oddest reason, with Ted Bundy. I think because he was such a sociopath - he was part of the model for Hannibal Lecter, at least the suave, sophisticated part - I was just fascinated with stories, not of his crimes, but of the attempts to understand him that all came up empty. All of them started from the premise, "He was just crazy," or "He was sexually impotent," or even his own, "I was addicted to pornography," the last being an instance where Rev. Don Wildmon was played like a Stradivarius by a master musician.

In the end, Bundy died in a Florida execution chamber, and at the time I couldn't help feel good riddance to bad rubbish. A couple years later, I became close friends with a young woman from the Sea-Tac area, in which Bundy grew up. We got talking about the case (she was too young to have been a potential victim) and she remarked that she had been a neighbor of the Bundy's, growing up, and knew him in passing as a quiet, polite older man who treated her well. On the night of his execution, this young woman sat with Mrs. Bundy, who was in the horrible position of accepting that her son, whom she had loved and nurtured and helped on his way in local and state-wide Republican politics, was indeed guilty of the monstrous crimes of which he was convicted, yet still loved him because he was her son.

A couple years later, I was in California with my wife, visiting her father. John Wayne Gacey was executed while we were there. We sat and talked, and I couldn't help but wonder (in Gacey's case) if execution wasn't something he yearned for.

Jeffrey Dahmer, after watching a wonderful documentary on his life and crimes on NBC, always struck me as a sad, pathetic figure, self-hating, desiring nothing more than an intervention from outside because he recognized the compulsive nature of his crimes, yet having to wait until he had gone to the furthest extreme of cannibalism before he could be caught. His death in prison at the end of a bloody shiv was hardly justice for his crimes, and it robbed us of the opportunity to figure out how, exactly to understand someone like him.

In other words, I moved from a position of abstract agreement that these individuals deserved what they got, to thinking about them as human beings, unique, monstrous, guilty of the most horrific crimes and I realized that permitting or even encouraging the state to kill them was not an instance of justice but vengeance. In prison, Bundy did nothing more harmful than write letters to random women, and do the odd interview. Gacey was housed in a private building because the state of IL knew his lifespan would be counted in days if he were in the general population. Wisconsin deliberately placed Dahmer in the general population, it seems to me, to allow someone to do what the official organs of the state could not do. None of these men deserved to die. They all deserved to be sequestered from society, denied all but the barest needs for physical survival, and studied to figure out if it is at all possible to figure them out.

I changed, in other words, due to the facts of the matters before me, to a position in which I no longer believe even the most heinous criminal deserves to die at the hand of the state. I suppose it suffices to say that I hardly support the execution of a person who, as a scared young kid robbing a convenience store or liquor store, nervously pulls the trigger and kills someone. Is that person guilty of murder? Obviously. Do the circumstances of the crime make that person a non-person, someone disposable by the official organs of the state? Absolutely not.

Anyway, I know my position here will not be agreed with by most folks. That's OK. I just offered it to show an example of how my mind changed due to actual facts, understanding of individual circumstances, and a kind of moral reasoning that places a primacy on the integrity both of individuals and on our moral responsibility as citizens and participants in society at large.

Jim said...

Geoffrey: nice, intelligent, thoughtful post.

blamin said...

GHKS

“…it is all well and good to stake out some kind of absolutist position and stick to it. It is quite another to get in to the nitty-gritty details of individual cases and discover that the absolutist position simply doesn't hold up…”

And here you have hit the crux of the matter. As a society, I posit we need a well defined “absolute” behavior, while at the same time leaving open the possibility of “extenuating circumstances”.

That being said, and we can all agree very little is set in stone, your examples are extremely lacking.

Your example of Ted Bundy is interesting. A sociopath by definition does not feel “conscious” like you or I. He or she knows they are different and maybe feel some chagrin they don’t feel “normal” as society has defined normal. They become expert at fitting in, at being the normal, quiet neighbor. They are basically the ultimate actors.

Sociopaths are obviously damaged goods. They cannot be allowed to interact with the normal population; it would be like sicking lions on sheep. Do they deserve death? I guess that depends on their offenses against humanity. But to delegate them to a life sentence because we recognize their basic abnormality, while leaving open the chance of parole is ludicrous ( f’ing stupid).

A rabid dog is not at fault because of his rabidness. To study sociopaths is indeed a very interesting thing, if we could insure that these rabid individuals would never enter normal society, I’d have no problem. But we can’t insure any such thing. Because there will always be looney lefties that wish to set them free.

The “Onion Field” is an excellent study of sociopaths. The end result of this famous case? Two murdering sociopaths set free after 20 years. Hell 20 years is a long time by today’s standards.

blamin said...

Going by Geoffrey’s and Dan’s usual modis operendi, I expect no serious rebuttal.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

You said, "Marshall, no one is asking anyone to "relent"." That's very true. It's far more like a demand with the use of like-minded justices to force it upon us.

'scuse me. Gotta go.

Marshall Art said...

GKS,

I think we stray from the topic, which is NOBAMA and the Cub dominance over the Brew-ha-ha's. But that's OK. I just hope you get to clarifying your definition of diversity, particularly how it supposedly is a boon to our culture.

In the meantime, you say facts led you to a change in attitude regarding capital punishment. I'm wondering if hearing how that transpired will be more or less enlightening than Dan's conversion to homosexuality enabling Christian. His efforts have thus far yielded no fruit, but then I can't see how it could ever. I wish you more success.

In the meantime, consider that justice and vengeance are quite similar in that they both bring one to face consequences for bad behavior. The crime of murder has attached to it in almost any municipality one can imagine, a consequence called execution. To force anyone to suffer the consequence of a crime that society created in advance of it's commission is a vengeful action, but not in the negative sense I believe you attach to the word. Justice is a society avenging itself for crimes committed. If capital punishment for murder convictions is unjust or vengeful, so is every other sentence for every other crime on the books. It matches precisely just how much value we attach to human life that if one should take life, the consequence is that one lose's one's own life.

To understand the sociopath, find one that hasn't murdered anyone yet. Don't trivialize the lives of the victims by shedding tears for the convicted.

blamin said...

HKS’s mini-story of Bundy’s neighbors is extremely interesting. I’d say his reaction is worthy of interesting study, just as much as the study of the sociopaths themselves. The fact that he’s seems to be caught up in the fascination of the history and/or story is not unusual. It’s the tone that disturbs me.

Maybe I’ve misread him. But it’s a “tone” that seems to be fairly common amongst the self appointed intelligentsia.

Marshall,

Your justice – vengeance speculation is fascinating. BUT – I believe instruction is an equally if not superior “team-mate” of justice. No doubt that many can’t feel justice without some form of vengeance. At the same time consequences are a teaching mechanism.

blamin said...

Oops,

I meant to address the original topic and got all caught up in….well you know.

My brother who just started “doing” signs on the side is making my first “Vote Less Crappy – Vote McCain” bumper sticker.

Baseball – I used to be all into the game, after all it’s the most cerebral of the major ball sports, but after the strike I just couldn’t get back into the game. I watch occasionally, and every time I start “getting into it” I admonish myself. That’s not to say that if the right team starts busting out, I won’t follow them on the sly.

Dan Trabue said...

Blamin said:

Sociopaths are obviously damaged goods. They cannot be allowed to interact with the normal population...

This is pretty danged far afield of the topic but Marshall doesn't seem to mind, so I'm wondering:

There are an estimated 2 million individuals in North America who might be accurately diagnosed with "Antisocial personality disorder" (according to this source, most of whom will never commit a murder.

When Blamin suggests that "they cannot be allowed to interact with the normal population," I wonder what he's advocating?

Clearly, people afflicted with this disorder are in trouble and will generally cause trouble, but we are not a society that believes in condemning and penalizing people before they've ever done anything wrong.

blamin said...

Dan

How so very typical of your debating techniques. A sociopath and one suffering from “anti-social” behavior is two different animals. They may share a few traits, but that doesn’t make them one-in-the-same.

blamin said...

A true sociopath versus one who may merely display the symptoms, is next to impossible to discern. They both deserve the same fate in a civilized society.

A conscience is one of the main things that separate human beings from animals.

It’s almost impossible for you or me to even comprehend a man with no conscience. A sociopath that’s never committed a violent crime is merely a sociopath that hasn’t been presented with an opportunity they feel they can “get away with”. Most sociopaths are of above average intelligence.

Why should I, endanger my family just to assuage your misplaced guilt over the unfairness of a sociopaths lot?

The humane thing to do would be to lock them up for life. But again, due to the overwhelming amount of limp-wristed hand wringers in our society, these dangerous animals will inevitably be set free.

Dan Trabue said...

Why should I, endanger my family just to assuage your misplaced guilt over the unfairness of a sociopaths lot?

I assure you, I have no guilt, misplaced or otherwise, for the plight of sociopaths. That doesn't even really make sense - why would I have guilt over sociopaths' condition? I have done nothing to contribute to it.

No, what I'm talking about is our Constitution. Under what grounds will we imprison people for life? Because they might be a threat? Because they might lie and try to get away with breaking laws?

To do such is against our constitution and has nothing to do with guilt. Are you proposing we re-write our Constitution or just ignore it?

Dan Trabue said...

And I wonder, do you really think living within the bounds of the Constitution is "limp-wristed hand wringing"? How so?

blamin said...

I never suggested imprisoning those whom might do something wrong. I merely pointed out that with sociopaths, it’s just a matter of time. And once the crime has been committed and the pathology identified it’s time to throw away the key.

You truly are the master of misdirection.

No I don’t think living within the constitution limp-wristed, I merely suggested certain types (that tend to share your beliefs on most subjects) are limp-wristed. Do I need to spell it out? The types that are willing to overanalyze any and most all behavior, no matter how destructive to society, and then parole said vermin.

It’s not the fault of conservatives (other than the crime of acquiesce) that a life sentence means parole in as little as 8 years.

blamin said...

Perhaps you and your comrades think me a bit harsh. Probably you don’t like or appreciate my choice of terms. But let’s get right down to the crux of the matter.

There’s a war from within going on over society.

History tends to be some what like a pendulum. I guess it’s the struggle of man to try and freeze that pendulum at the most “civilized” moment.

Many will argue this country’s pendulum swung to far right 4 or 5 decades ago. Many will argue the pendulum swung too far left in the last few decades. I’m of the latter opinion. When idealism trumps reality there’s a problem. Yes, yes, I’m aware of all the arguments about upholding our idealism. I suggest we can do this while being smart at the same time. There is no inherent right to the “pursuit of happiness” if one isn’t around. Those that would steal that freedom from us deserve to be extinguished, or at the very least locked away in a deep dark place – for good.

But there continues to be “those” whom would excuse, mostly from a circumstantial point of view, the very beings that would strip us of our most fundamental rights. And “those” have a very powerful and vocal place from within the left in this country.

Dan Trabue said...

Blamin said:

I never suggested imprisoning those whom might do something wrong.

Oh? I thought that was the point of your argument. We were talking about sociopaths - the group of sociopaths as a whole, not just the ones who have committed crimes. And in that context, you said:

The humane thing to do would be to lock them up for life.

I presumed that you were still referring to the whole group of sociopaths.

If you are just saying that those who commit crimes should be locked up, then I agree and my apologies for the confusion.

Still, you say we should "lock them up for life." Later on, you say they, "deserve to be extinguished, or at least locked away... for good."

What I'm advocating is obeying our laws. If a crime has been committed, then the just punishment should be meted out. But if the crime is petty robbery and there is the additional factor that the criminal happens to be sociopathic, I don't believe our laws allow for "extinguishing" them or even "locking them away for life."

I'm in favor of us abiding by our laws and by the Constitution.

I am concerned about those who would advocate killing people for the crime of having a mental disorder. If you're merely advocating holding sociopaths appropriately accountable for actual crimes committed, then we have no disagreement. If you're advocating something more draconian, I would suggest you need to change the Constitution, first.

blamin said...

Well now, maybe we share just a tad (a tad!) of common ground when it comes to the just desserts of criminals. And I may even share more of a “tad” when it comes to what’s defined as criminal. For instance there’s an overwhelming (overburdening) amount of people locked up for the non-violent crime of possession. That’s right, locked up right next to armed robbers, rapist, murderers, and your general sociopaths.

…But if the crime is petty robbery and there is the additional factor that the criminal happens to be sociopath, I don't believe our laws allow for "extinguishing" them or even "locking them away for life…"

If we can surely (and that’s a damn big if) identify a criminal as sociopath, then yes he should be locked away for life. Seems how we aren’t willing to give away North Dakota, or Eastern LA as a home base… yes they should be kept away from normal civilized human beings. Evoking the constitution, It’s my damn right in the pursuit of happiness!!!

Yes, yes, I know it’s harsh. But I have a right to expect known dangerous persons to be kept away from the general population. At the very least admit my right to be armed, in public, if your consciences won’t allow you to lock up said rabid individuals.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, it has nothing to do with my conscience but with the Constitution. You say:

If we can surely (and that’s a damn big if) identify a criminal as sociopath, then yes he should be locked away for life.

But this would be against our system of justice and against the Constitution. So, I'm wondering, are you proposing changing the Constitution to allow for the possibility of locking people up for life for mental disorders, or are you saying something else?

We can't just decide, "Hey, here's a good idea: Let's identify and imprison for life anyone diagnosed as a sociopath!"

We are a nation of laws.

Marshall Art said...

It's not uncommon to commit people with mental problems, and some of them without their consent. Often, it's merely for the "crime" of being blatantly mentally unstable and not likely to properly function in society. In the world of big "ifs", IF it could be determined that a sociopath exists, locking him up would be akin to committing any other mental patient, with the exception of stronger doors and locks for the sociopath. It's for the patient's safety as well as for ours and, and argument could be made that it falls in line with promoting the general welfare.

It's a tough call in the real world, but it would be interesting to know how common it is for a sociopath to live out his days and die without a violent manifestation of his condition.

Marshall Art said...

Blamin,

I MUST HAVE THAT BUMPER STICKER!

Please let me know when they are ready for display and I'll email you my address. I'll probably want ten of 'em. They'd make lovely gifts. Cost is almost no factor.

As for the nation's past-time, I, too, was greatly put off by the strike. I believe it was '96 when the White Sox were in contention for glory and then they went on strike. I didn't care about baseball after that. I've since gotten over it, realizing that the real issue isn't so much highly paid players whining, but that the owners will give in to it. I don't go to watch the owners play. In addition, the Sox were recently world champs, have the opportunity to get another chance this year, and the Cubs are also in contention at the same time. A crosstown World Series would be the ultimate, especially considering how long Chicago has waited for the Cubs to get there.

Dan Trabue said...

And as long as we follow our laws in order to commit a violent sociopath to a mental institution, that is fine.

Perhaps I'm just reading him wrong, but it sounds like Blamin is talking about something a bit more loose - if he commits a petty robbery and we discover that he's a sociopath, kill him or lock him in a deep, dark dungeon for life - that is NOT what we do for our citizens with mental disorders.

If you're merely talking about imprisoning sociopaths when they commit a crime for a reasonable amount of time for the crime committed OR if you're talking about seeking a mental health warrant to institutionalize someone for a medically-considered appropriate time within the bounds of our laws, I'm okay with that.

Mark said...

I know one thing:

Sociopath or not, If someone takes an in ocent human beings life for any reason, execution insures they will absolutely never do it again. If they are allowed to remain living, not only will they waste much more money than keeping them alive would be worth, but there is always a possibility, however remote, that they could eventually be released to kill again.

I say we should expand the laws on execution. Execution for all murderers without exception, and throw in child rapists, too.

Mark said...

I watch and follow baseball sometimes, but until Baseball brings in parity like the NFL, I won't get too excited about it.

As long the wealthiest owners can buy a pennant, small market teams like my beloved Royals will never get the chance to compete legitimately.

blamin said...

Yes, I’m advocating for the lock up for life any sociopath so discovered.

The reason being a sociopath by definition is a threat to normal civilized human beings, they are the ultimate actors, and they’ve had a life time to hone their skills. I shouldn’t have to worry about the well being of my family.

My biggest problem is who and what for is defined as sociopath. Psychology is an inexact science. Throw in gov’t psychologist and you’ve got a whole other problem. Mainly why and what for they were appointed as such. What I’m so ineloquently trying to say is, I don’t trust a “gov’t” psychologist to make that call. So I guess it makes this whole debate kind of meaningless. But, if we could somehow definitely discover a sociopath after only stealing a lighter, yes, he should be locked up for life! For his own good as well as ours.

Baseball – I guess if the Yankees or the Braves are not in it, I can pull for whoever is the underdog. Sorry Marshall, I just can‘t get into it, no matter how much I’d like. But if the Sox or Cubs end up in the running, I promise to give a little of my attention.

Now, college football is another subject. Screw the Eagles, Steelers, Cowboys, etc,

Bring on the ACC and SEC!

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, I get it. You are in favor of locking up sociopaths for life. Regardless of what the law says.

However, until such time as you convince a majority to change our Constitution and our laws, you'll have to deal with the reality that probably the majority of your fellow citizens disagree with your position.

Sorry.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Blamin', I don't know if this is a "rebuttal", but sociopaths do not have a "conscience". They certainly feel "conscious".

As for "tone", I don't know what you mean. My "tone" was one of my own struggle of coming to grips with a reality that is far more complex than calling murderous sociopaths "rabid dogs". What stunned me when I heard my lady friend tell me about sitting with Ted Bundy's mother was the realization that Ted Bundy, for all the rage and violence of his crimes, for all the evil he embodied, was still someone's child, a child that was still loved, and whose loss not just through death but through those acts of hate-filled violence, was irrevocably lost. This loss was mourned.

I had viewed Bundy as a type - some kind of monstrous aberration of humanity. He certainly never once understood that what he did was wrong. Along with Gacey, Dahmer, and a few others, he was certainly deserving of the most extreme punishment our society could mete out.

Yet, I could no longer view him as a type, an instance of a larger category bearing no relation to the rest of humanity. Considering the biographical details of John Wayne Gacey and, especially, Jeffrey Dahmer, one cannot help but wonder how things might have turned out had there been some sort of intervention in their lives at an earlier point. If blamin' noticed a tone not so much of sympathy but of understanding, and thinks this somehow wrong, then I can only say that I do not see how it is wrong to see in these extreme cases of hate-filled violence a glimpse of what is possible for any of us, given even a tweak in our own lives.

Bundy's is a special case, I believe, because he was actually afforded all sorts of opportunities in life, but his psychic make-up was such that he rather enjoyed hunting and killing women more than anything else. Gacey and Dahmer cried out for help all along the way, yet were driven by a psychic compulsion to kill and kill some more by a mechanism not really understood. The differences, as I see them, between them and the rest of us are so slight as to be a matter of degree rather than of kind.

I did not offer this example of my own thoughts on the matter as an argument against capital punishment. I have no desire to change anyone's mind on this, or any other issue. I offered it only as a case-study of how my own thinking was changed by my life-experiences. To view even the most horrific criminal as a unique individual, in my own case, created a cognitive dissonance that forced me to rethink things I believed were settled in my own mind.

I think, also, that these worst offenders against the person and life of other human beings do not deserve the death penalty because they cannot die more than once. Their deaths are, compared to their victims, short, quick, and relatively painless. There is no way a civilized society can make them pay in equal measure for what they have done. On the other hand, I still understand the desire to do away with them, preferably as quickly as possible, and I hold no brief against those who desire death for such as these.

See, my understanding goes many ways. I do not take lightly the considerations of those who believe and advocate differently than I. I only offer my own views and the way I came about them.

Marshall, as for going far afield here, well, that's the way of blogs, isn't it? If I did so against your wishes, I apologize.

blamin said...

Dan, I’d love to have you as a neighbor (as long as the shit didn’t hit the fan).

Man, You’ve got me so much into your little fantasy, everything is peaches and creams, I can see, I can see the light you’re pushing!!!

Dan, bless your little heart, I am so damn happy that there is at least a few people like yourself left in this world. Note, I said a few, more than that and we’d be overrun with barbarians!

Ya know why Dan-the-man? Because at some point in your voyage that is life, you have to realize that all is not as it should be.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Mark, I have a scenario for you. Two men are out hunting. In an accident that could happen to anyone, one of these men shoots and kills the other. There are no witnesses, there is only the word of the man who did the shooting to corroborate that it was accidental. During a routine investigation, it is discovered that the dead man was owed a significant sum of money by the man who shot him. While the shooter insists this was a private loan between friends, it becomes prima facie evidence that a pre-meditated murder occurred. the shooter is indicted, tried, and found guilty by a jury of his peers, said jury further sentencing this man to death.

Is this person deserving of death in the same way that Ed Gein (a Wisconsin man who was the inspiration for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films) or Albert Fish (a murderous pedophile from the 1920's) were?

Simply demanding more and more death for more and more crimes is meaningless outside a consideration of circumstances. The Supreme Court has stated, unequivocally this past term, that the death penalty for rape is unconstitutional. I would agree, even in the case of the rape of a child. Whether or not I personally feel either disgust or rage at the actions of such individuals is neither here nor there, because we are not a nation of sentiment or vengeance, but of laws.

By the way, and I mean this as an honest question, how do you square your support of state-sanctioned killing in the form of capital punishment, with your firm belief that abortion is the killing of a human being, and therefore even those, such as myself, who give rhetorical and political support to abortion rights are guilty of supporting the murder of millions of human beings? I realize I will hear all sorts of things about the difference between "innocent" and "guilty", but I would offer this observation. As a Christian, do you or do you not believe in original sin? If so, is it possible, from a theological point of view, to speak of unborn (and therefore unbaptized) children as in any way innocent?

blamin said...

No, not regardless what the “law” says, but what the group of pears say!!!

A life sentence means – I don’t know – a friggin life sentence. Screw an appointed judge changing a justifiable sentence. We don’t need people like you excusing rabid individuals.

Now, if you maintain a majority, and that’s what you wish, there’s nothing more I can do, other than What I’m doing at the moment.

blamin said...

What stunned me when I heard my lady friend tell me about sitting with Ted Bundy's mother was the realization that Ted Bundy, for all the rage and violence of his crimes, for all the evil he embodied, was still someone's child, a child that was still loved, and whose loss not just through death but through those acts of hate-filled violence, was irrevocably lost. This loss was mourned.

What can I say man? I, like yourself, mourned what could have been. No shit, I’m an unhappy individual, because deep down I just want us all to get along, no really, get down along!

?But let’s break this down – Your attempt to “humanize” an otherwise unhuman mother is almost laughable. I really appreciate your vast and otherwise deep knowlodge of our puny attempt at understanding.

Geoffry, I don’t know how to say this without being straight forward, I’ve really tried to look at your posits, without pre-conceiving (that’s just for you) your position.

You are 100% full of shit!!!

I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want, but my man; you’re full of bull. 100%
H

I said it way back, and I stand by it, I’ve got your number.

Marshall Art said...

G,

No problem on the digression. Such happens on blogs and if I'm particularly passionate about a topic, I'll guide the discussion back as best I can. Otherwise, it goes where it goes.

A couple of things regarding your last, if Mark doesn't mind.

The idea of an innocent human being is from a legal perspective, or more properly, a human perspective. The argument generally revolves around the right to life that is denied another person. The manner in which it is done certainly matches the criteria for murder. The convicted is not "innocent" from a civil POV. No problem distinguishing between the two issues.

Regarding your dead hunter scenario, I don't think you've painted a realistic picture of how the dead guy's friend can get mistakenly accused and convicted. I doubt any jury would convict on so little.

But of course that wasn't the point. It takes years to put a convict to death. Mistakes can still be made, but thanks to scientific advances, those mistakes are getting harder to miss before the wrong guy gets it.

Penalties meeted out for crimes is a reflection of our mindset (as a society) regarding what things are most important. Life being THE most important thing, the penalty for taking one is severe, and justly so. In the issue of putting to death child rapists, I value the lives an innocence of our little ones every bit as much. I want a world where they can run around without fear. I want those that would hurt them punished severely. No child should ever experience anything like the abuse some assholes put kids through. I have no sympathy for such perpetrators.

Like child molesters, sociopaths have a bad record of continuing their heinous lifestyles. I don't shed tears for any sad tales regarding how the warning signs were missed. The crimes they perpetrate dictate our next move. Even lacking a conscience, if that is true, they speak the language and all their lives they've heard of the wrongness of their situations. If they murder, toast 'em. That's what our government is oblidged to do. Go ahead an hold prayer vigils and ask God to forgive. Our earthly authorities have their job to do and they should do it.


Blamin,

"No, not regardless what the “law” says, but what the group of pears say!!!"

Who cares what a bowl of fruit say?
^snicker^ Donthca love typos?

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

OK, so Blamin', I address your response to me, after you insist I won't do it, and all you can say is that I am full of shit.

You know, my feelings would be hurt, but they aren't. An inhuman mother? What the hell is that? Ted Bundy's mother grieved the loss of her son before he died, because she had lost him to whatever illness infected his brain, causing him to commit those atrocious acts of violence. Why should I not have sympathy and understanding for her? Why should I not suddenly understand Ted Bundy, for all his monstrosity, as a unique human being?

How can I not see, in the dark depths of rage, hate, and violence that stared out of his eyes, a dim reflection of possibilities for any of us? Bundy, Gacey, Gein, Dahmer, Berkowtiz - they were and are so far gone they are, in a sense, irretrievable, at least from a human standpoint. Yet, the road they traveled is not different in kind from the road any of us take from time to time. Most of us, either through luck, the great good fortune of love or family or friends (or a good therapist) find our way back. The differences between them and us are minuscule, dependent upon chance and happenstance only. By humanizing these people, it offers us a glimpse in to the depths of possibilities inside all of us. As a Christian, I would deny this to my peril. As a human being who believes in the worth of all persons - and takes that modifier seriously - I deny it only by lying.

If seeking to understand the possibility for evil inherent in all of us (sociopath, after all, is a clinical term, just as insane is a legal term) makes me full of shit, then I guess I have brown eyes after all.

blamin said...

Marshall,

I like pears!

Hell, I don't just like them - I love the little suckers.

Mark said...

The Liberal mindset:

Let's all try to understand these savages. Let's spend trillions of tax dollars and work decades on scientific and psychological studies trying to understand theses animals. Yeah that'll work.

Meanwhile, they are committing all kinds of atrocious murders and raping thousands of innocent children.

Sociopaths, psychopaths, religious zealots, or just plain evil, they are all still animals. That's all I need to understand.

Actually, I do agree they should be studied. After we kill them, tear down their brains and see iof there is some kind of irregularity in them.

But kill them, and don't spare the wattage.

And if their mothers and fathers grieve, maybe they should spend a little time with their sons and daughters victims parents. If they are't horrible parents with psychological problems of their own, I'm betting they will side with the victims families.

Dan Trabue said...

Blamin said:

A life sentence means – I don’t know – a friggin life sentence. Screw an appointed judge changing a justifiable sentence. We don’t need people like you excusing rabid individuals.

You're changing the terms of our discussion.

We have already agreed that neither one of us has a problem with people going through the system and, if convicted of a crime, serving their just sentence. Or, if the medical/legal system sees fit (after going through the legal process) that someone needs to be committed to a mental institution due to mental disorders, we're both okay with that.

What I have objected to is your suggestion that if someone is arrested for jaywalking and they are discovered to be sociopathic, that "I’m advocating for the lock up for life any sociopath so discovered."

THAT is what I'm talking about. We can't legally throw people in prison for life if they were caught pickpocketing and discovered to be a sociopath. That would be beyond our laws.

It sounds like you agree until you decide to disagree and cast aspersions upon those you agree/disagree with.

blamin said...

Geoff,

I knew, at the exact time I posted my next to last, that it’d be misconstrued.

Mother - as in Mother F@$(&$%. “That mother”, ”He’s a twisted mother”.

Not his actual Mommy - witch of course she has no blame, seems how the boy was born (supposedly) with defective goods.

I think this little statement cuts to the heart of the matter –

“…because she had lost him to whatever illness infected his brain, causing him to commit those atrocious acts of violence…

You can’t have it both ways my friend. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I thought your argument is he shouldn’t be locked away for life, if he’s never been caught and convicted of a crime. The statement above leads me to believe you think he has a basic flaw that “causes” him to commit atrocious acts of violence. If this is the case (and I do believe it be) then there should be no problem in locking away said identified flawed individuals.

“…is not different in kind from the road any of us take from time to time. Most of us, either through luck, the great good fortune of love or family or friends (or a good therapist) find our way back. The differences between them and us are minuscule, dependent upon chance and happenstance only…”

There’s nothing at all wrong in trying to”understand” a sociopath, it’s fascinating; just don’t confuse understanding with excusing, which is what many libweenies tend to do. Furthermore it’s extremely difficult to understand a flawed individual from a healthy point of view. I suggest you can never really understand that which is so alien to our point of view, no matter how hard we may try. What’s your basis? How can you truly understand the concept of evil, if you have no basis to ground your thesis on?

No, I reject your contention that the differences are minuscule. There’s a huge difference between fantasizing about an act and committing said act. That’s what separates civilized human beings from flawed garbage.

My ex-wife is a twisted black hearted human being. She has a deep (and I do mean deeeep) dark black stone in her inner most being. She’s caused untold harm to the well being of my child. I may fantasize about putting her out of our misery, but I’d never act on that fantasy. Why? Because society and my active conscience would never allow such a thing. But when society tends to excuse the most inexcusable, certain people start believing they can get away with anything. AND that’s why we as a society can not allow ourselves to excuse the inexcusable.

Dan Trabue said...

Sociopaths, psychopaths, religious zealots, or just plain evil, they are all still animals. That's all I need to understand.

Mark, how about you? Are you advocating killing these animals as soon as we find out they're sociopathic or religious zealots - even if they haven't committed a crime? A pre-emptive strike, if you will?

blamin said...

I’m with Mark on this one. They’re animals and I like to hunt.

Why should we allow danger in our midst? Just because some San Francisco judge deems a flawed individual should be studied and realeasd?

That’s a pretty screwed up thing to have to explain to my child.

No doubt Dan/Goff you will pat yourself on the back and proclaim your self above the dirt most of us have to wipe off our shoes
I
I say, if it weren’t for men like Marshall, Mark, etc. you cherries would be easy picking. And when you have to bury your dead mother, wife, or child you can puff out your chest and proclaim that you stuck by your principals, while we clean up the mess for you.

I know it’s harsh, and I hate it’s come to this, but its time we quit playing pretend and face the harsh realities of life. Some things just suck out loud. I hate that the best solution to a damaged individual is to stop him no matter the means. I know he can’t help himself – but neither can I – I’ve a duty to the people that count on me.

Dan Trabue said...

Harsh? Yes.

Harsh and unamerican and not a little crazy.

Fortunately for you, we have laws that protect you from being imprisoned or killed just because you sound nuttier than a fruitcake.

God bless our American ideals, when we live up to them.

Dan Trabue said...

I'd have to note that you sound a bit like you're over-compensating for something there, B.

blamin said...

Yes, yes.
Dan

There’s a place in society for people like yourself. The kindly old grey-haired professor that can afford to debate the intangible and deep things in life, while the rest of us deal with reality.

You can afford to discuss the implausible, dissect the improbable, while the rest of us drive a nail, or truck, or whatever we need to do while raising and protecting a family.

Vote less Crappy!

Power to the otters!

Dan Trabue said...

Reality?

A fella was stabbed early in the morning down the street from my house, across the street from where my 17-year-old son wants to go jogging in the dark hours of early morning.

We live down the street from a homeless shelter and about four different agencies that work with the mentally ill. I walk past them each morning on my way to work.

Our church hosts a daily drop-in center and a monthly coffee house for our homeless and mentally ill friends. My twelve year old daughter serves coffee to fellas who sometimes have served time for child abuse and for generally being nutty.

I worked with the mentally ill for several years.

My wife has worked with homeless families and substance abusers for all of her adult life.

We sit beside the mentally ill and homeless in our church services, which sometimes may be interrupted by the barking of a mentally ill gentleman or the drunken singing of an addict.

Reality? I deal with it a good bit, I think. I'd suggest I'm on the front lines of reality.

What are you doing, big man? Having fantasies of killing your ex-wife? Does that make you an expert on reality?

blamin said...

Un-American and a little crazy you say!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the basic tenet of this great country “the pursuit of happiness”?

Well… the pursuit of happiness is a little tough when my bispectled bow-tied neighbor insist I must allow a sociopath in my midst. Just and only because he’s yet to commit an atrocity.

Of course this whole debate is down-right silly, slap-ass crazy, or what have you. There’s hardly any way to identify a sociopath before he’s committed an atrocity. BUT if we could identify said twisted individual after an episode of shop-lifting (or was it jay-walking?), wouldn’t that just be peachy?

Dan, I admire your consistent, even keel. Other than indistinct philosophical musings, is there anything you’re truly passionate about?

Dan Trabue said...

Other than indistinct philosophical musings, is there anything you’re truly passionate about?

Life, man, living life!

Walking. Gardening. Raising my kids. Playing with them, reading to them, preparing them for life. Spending time with my family and friends. Church. Community. Singing. Playing guitar or mandolin. Jamming with my friends to some ol' timey music and church hymns, or to some Bob Dylan or some new folk songs.

Raising hell to keep the US living to her best ideals. Writing. Mending fences when needed. Tearing down walls when appropriate.

You know - living life. Thanks for asking.

blamin said...

Tsk, tsk, Dan-the-man

You’re the one who suggested there’s little difference between sociopath and sane. I knew where you were going with your concept so I provided an example.

I appreciate all you do for your fellow man – myself – I don’t quite have the resume you have, but I do my share, volunteer for the Salvation Army, prepare care packages for our soldiers, and spend two nights a week (along with my lovely wife and daughter) at the local food bank. I’m constantly in contact with what many would consider the dregs of Society. Of course I rarely bring it up in conversation. I don’t feel the need to publicly pat myself on the back.

But ya know what? NONE of my experiences better provide me with the concept of how to protect my family versus the landscaper that lives next door.

He’s not near as immersed in political culture as myself, but has a basic understanding of why Obama is a dangerous choice. Which is precisely due to the fact that certain people seek to understand, to the detriment of reality. We can all try to dissect the reasoning behind a sociopath. It’s fascinating, no really. But at the end of the day, I’d like to feel reasonably sure my daughter and son can play ball in the road without a psycho fulfilling THEIR fantasies, at my children’s expense.

blamin said...

Life, man, living life!

Dan, you’re not near as bad as you seem!

I just pray to God, that a slobering maniac doesn’t jump your back yard fence during one of your jam sessions and irrevocably scar your tender sensibilities. It would be a tragedy to have all you hold cherised come crashing down just because a local judge felt his hard-to-grasp (but feel-good) philosophies trumped your right to safety.

Dan Trabue said...

Brother, I've dealt with slobbering maniacs before. Most are not nearly as deadly as the movies make them out to be.

Are there dangerous people out there? Sure. And so we take precautions. But while we teach our children to be cautious - and while we're cautious ourselves - we try to teach them to not live in fear or to hate those who are so afflicted.

There's nothing to gain in that.

blamin said...

Amen bro!

How about the Olympics?

What a fantastic, overwhelming Opening Ceremony. It’s amazing what even a suppressed people can do with a 300 million dollar (the purported cost of the ceremony) budget.

Does anyone besides myself find the whole concept of the Olympics sad, but at the same time uplifting?

blamin said...

Brother, I've dealt with slobbering maniacs before. Most are not nearly as deadly as the movies make them out to be.

How do you define “dealt”? An Obnoxious guy in the buffet line, while you have “hulk” in the background providing support is not really and truly and most assuredly “feeling tha peoples pain”

Methinks you’ve never really had to deal with a truly threatening situation. How do I come to this conclusion? Speaking from a totally anecdotal situation, persons that’ive dealt with a truly frightening situation have for the most part “come through” while people that merely speculate about said situation, either “whip it out” or cower in fear.

Dan – I hate to say it – cause I like ya – but you don’t strike me as a “whip it out” kind of guy.

Dan Trabue said...

I've worked at places with individuals with mental disorders. Sometimes (rarely) they became violent. We received Safe Physical Management classes on how to restrain individuals so that they don't harm you or others. I've implemented that training before.

Mostly, though, we "talk them down" - talk with them through their episodes of rage, which is generally effective.

Outside of work, I've had a knife pulled on me once (they asked me for my wallet, I said, "no" and walked away), I've been assaulted from a gang of kids after a football game (ran away that time) and once I happened upon a young man who was assaulting his girlfriend while a few of his friends watched (I intervened, placing myself between him and the young lady; I told him what he's doing was wrong; he said "ya wanna make something of it??" I rolled my eyes and said no, but I did expect him to quit - in the meantime, his girlfriend left the scene safely - this fella then punched me once in the nose; I turned to his friends and told them to get him out of there - it is wrong to assault people and he was out of control; his friends obliged).

Other than a few drunk or mentally ill fellas at church and in my neighborhood being generally belligerent, that would be all of my instances of personally threatening situations. Is that what you're asking?

More specifically, NO. I have never (to my knowledge) come across a sociopath intent on causing harm. That was part of my point - for most of the 2 million individuals with sociopathic tendencies, they don't tend to be violent, as far as I know. In most cases, people can be talked down from feelings of violence. In other cases, community can overcome (appealing to the assailant's friends to get him out of there).

I'm not saying I'm Chuck Norris (who is?) You suggested I was living in an ivory tower, I was letting you know that I live in and among people with mental illnesses, people who sometimes get violent, I'm not some suburb-living weenie who is wholly unfamiliar with difficult situations. That is why I brought up my personal situation. Because I think you had/have a wrong impression of folk like me.

Doc said...

From Baseball and Bumper stickers to Sociopaths and Soup Kitchens--quite a meandering blog river. I know that Geoffrey was only using these extreme cases to illustrate the change in his thoughts regarding capital punishment, but the topic certainly has covered many thoughts on sociopathy, so I'll add my two cents.

(Deep Breath)

Sociopathy is a descriptive term used to explain the pattern of behavior identified with a disrespect of societal rules. It is also combined with a lack of insight regarding one's own pattern ("ego-syntonic" = what I'm doing is right). A sociopath (clinically) is one who has sociopathic traits to the extent of becoming toxic to their environment (and therefore has a personality disorder). Another label is antisocial personality disorder (APD); personality disorders are maladaptive patterns that develop to cope with a challenging developmental period. APD usually develops as a pattern of defense mechanisms formed during a VERY abusive childhood. There is a great deal of data to support that genetics also play a role in determining what type of personality disorders will develop, and at what severity. Sociopathy is thus on a continuum, and that is a challenge of this thread. It is difficult to describe an individual as a sociopath even after commiting the crime, and impossible to determine the level of sociopathy that an individual will present before such actions occur.

The criminals of which have been named: Dahmer, Gacey, Gein, Bundy, fall into a very narrow band of extreme behavior, yet are very different even across their pathologies. A confluence of many different pathologies and traumas in the biological, sociological, and psychological spheres needs to occur. Dahmer, for example, was probably not a sociopath in the traditional sense of the word; he actively sought treatment a few times, only to be sent away with no one seeing him.

For those interested in the scientific attempts to explain evil, I'd turn you towards Dr. Michael Welner. He's a forensic psychiatrist, has help develop the "depravity scale," and assists in trying to determine the level of sociopathy, in many death penalty cases. He notes that identifying the levels of depravity can be useful in determining the heinousness of the crime, but are not good predictors.

Just for fun, and to illustrate this continuum consider the crimes of drug trade and ask yourself at what level of sociopathy there may be in each criminal. These are just made up profiles, so please don't go NRML on me!:
1. The person caught for possession who doesn't care if the drug trade hurts his community.
2. The person who mugs a 60 year old lady to pay for the habit.
3. The dealer trying to make a quick buck.
4. The dealers' strong-arm, who enjoys hearing bones snap.
5. The kingpin, made by killing any and all potential rivals.
6. The white-collar banker laundering the money.
What level of sociopathy is here? and what punishment should be served on that basis?
For any of you who would say, "if they are sociopaths by forensic and biologic testing, kill them all (and let God sort them out)", a bonus question:
If sociopathy could be tested biologically, would that justify abortion of the sociopathic unborn?

So, I agree with Geoffrey in that we are not so different from those who may have some elements of sociopathy, but I disagree that we are in the very extreme (e.g. serial killer) range.

However, understanding that those criminals who have committed crimes may have done so out of a SEVERE antisocial personality disorder, and that those individuals will very likely provide an ongoing harm to society, even in their prison environment, sequestering those individuals makes good sense. If their crime is punishable by death, as per our current laws, then fine.

Likewise, I find a pragmatic use in the death penalty, as a deterrent for those on the larger bell curve of the sociopathy continuum (those currently walking peaceably among us).

Finally, the Olympics are a nice respite from the realities of the world (especially Georgia), living life is good, and football's coming soon!

blamin said...

Doc – I hardly know where to start, you offer up so many juicy opportunities.

Geoffry provided an excellent case study of those wrestling with the concept of capital punishment. It seems his philosophy has trumped reality, but hey give it time..

You left us with a huge, meandering definition of sociopath. But I didn’t happen to see what I ( ya, ya, I’m an arrogant asshole) consider the true definition. That being a lack of conscience.

You touched on many aspects people mistakenly confuse and describe as sociopath behavior, that’s for damn sure. But you never really touched on the definition. That is a lack of something that makes us complete as human beings.

Doc said...

Sorry to not be specific, I'll try to parse. I'm not trying to be obtuse merely to show the complexity of this definition--it is complex.

"Sociopathy" is a meandering definition as it is described on a continuum, as I have tried to explain. The descriptors of those traits were identified by Dan in a previous post with a handy link (which is fairly comprehensive), and would have made a too long post longer.

e.g. Lying can be a sociopathic behavior, not all liars are sociopaths, even if they do so knowingly without a guilty conscience.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (or sociopath, although that is not the clinical term) is briefly:
Two parts:
1. One who has sociopathic traits to the extent of becoming severely toxic to their environment (and therefore has a personality disorder).
2. An inability to look inward and recognize them self as the source of their toxic behavior.

It is not easy to differentiate Antisocial Personality Disorder from, say, pathological narcissism, or Borderline Personality Disorder.

Arrogant asshole is not a clinical diagnosis-- :) --But probably in the pathological narcissism continuum. I get you point and you are close in what you are looking for: a lack of a conscience- but that's only part of the picture. Even then, the Bundys of the world are in a class of their own within the sociopaths.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Obviously he shouldn't be locked away for life if he's not committed a crime. We do not do that in the US. Locking people away in mental institutions for being a "threat to society" is something the Soviet Union was good at, so I suppose you are a Stalinist/Brezhnevist in your approach to social problems.

Commie.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

Mark, they are not "animals". They are human beings, of infinite worth, included in the love and grace of God. They are vicious human beings, the very worst our species has to offer (except, perhaps for those who commit these same crimes on a mass scale from a politician's perch), but they are not "animals" in the sense of being sub-human. Once we start down that road, we can divorce ourselves from any attempt to see in their deviance nothing more or less than the depths of evil of which any and all human beings are capable.

You may content yourself that you are above it all. I, however, do not, nor can I. I am not suggesting that I am a lurking sociopath. I am suggesting that such persons as these are just extreme versions of any one of us.

Unless you believe that certain human beings live their entire lives outside the bounds of the grace of God; that some human beings are beyond redemption in a theological sense (certainly not a social sense; once people like this have proved their inability to function in society, keep them as far away from other human beings as possible); that human actions rather than divine grace symbolized in Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross determine our status before the throne of God, then I might suggest it is possible to consider the possibility that they aren't "animals" at all. Or, perhaps, that we are only slightly better behaved animals than they, with an unwillingness to surrender to out most basic fears and anger being the only difference separating us from them.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

I missed this from Blamin':
"Geoffry provided an excellent case study of those wrestling with the concept of capital punishment. It seems his philosophy has trumped reality, but hey give it time.."

Actually, my comment was meant to show the exact opposite, how reality trumped by philosophy. Since I said exactly that, and went to great lengths to make that point, I really don't understand how you made it out to be the exact opposite.

Either you don't want to get it, or you can't get it. I have nothing more to add at this point, since you seem content at not understanding. I shall not revisit this particular theme again, because you seem far more interested in calling me names - "liberal", "full of shit" - and as I am no longer a child, I really have no interest in dealing with people who can do no more than resort to that kind of thing.

Geoffrey Hussein Kruse-Safford said...

I will add a comment, in regards your discussion with Dan. I, too, have faced a few situations of violence. I disarmed a young man who threatened me with a knife. I faced a 9mm from a man who wanted my wallet. I intervened between a young man who struck a woman in public. Each situation called for a different response, although in retrospect, my decision to disarm the young man who threatened me with a knife was foolish in the extreme, and getting between a drunk man and his punching-bag girlfriend could have cost me my job (I will give no details because it is quite possible that their are still civil penalties if it should come to light). In the first case, I reacted rather than thought. In the latter case, I did the same thing, and while I am not sanguine about my choice, I content myself that I prevented a bad situation from being much worse.

In the case of the gun-toter, my choice was easy. He got my wallet.

Jim said...

"Does anyone besides myself find the whole concept of the Olympics sad?"

Uh, no. Why sad?

Dan Trabue said...

(CNN) -- One person was shot Wednesday at the Little Rock headquarters of the Arkansas Democratic Party, police said.

The shooter, described as a white male, came into the headquarters before noon and asked for Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney before firing three shots, CNN affiliate KATV reported.

======

Wanna bet this is a conservative fella? Angry at being politically impotent and losing more power every day and looking for someone to blame?

Marshall Art said...

If he IS a conservative, why not say so?

If you have no idea, maybe Gwatney owed money, or did somebody's wife or daughter, or reneged on a deal with shady characters.

In any case, cut the crap.

Dan Trabue said...

You were the one making the case earlier that liberals tend to behave badly more often than conservatives - saying "You might dig up some similar incidents involving conservative vandals, but dig you'll have to do."

I'm just asking if you think this is a case that goes against your hunch and yet another bit in the news that undermines your position? Digging, unfortunately, has not been necessary of late.

Cameron said...

It's a good point. It seems like there's been a rash of conservative wackos in the news lately.

Earlier I made the case that this sort of thing is fairly equal between conservative and liberal ideologies. Most of the proof I brought up were anti-war types resorting to violence to make their point. But all things considered, I'm not sure there's much more than that. There's an awful lot of violent rhetoric from liberals, but as far as actual killing rampages, they're somewhat hard to find. (Unless you include the anti-technology unabomber types).

I've heard people explain conservative violence as a natural result of talk radio's angry rhetoric towards liberals - how they're ruining the culture, disrespecting the troops, killing babies etc. The thinking is that random conservative types hear all of this and get so angry they resort to violence. I suppose that's plausible.

But how does that square with polling info showing conservatives are generally more happy than liberals, even considering various problems each face? The data suggests conservatives deal with crummy things in the world better than liberals do - at least in terms of still maintaining happiness.

I think I still believe these acts of violence are more a result of extremism and sense of impotence than they are of one particular political philosophy.

Dan Trabue said...

For the most part, I agree. And I see that today's victim of violence has died, as has the assailant. Truly a horrible tragedy.

I was just positing that IF there were a side that leaned more towards misbehaving violently, it seems like the news supports those being folk who espoused conservative reasoning.

Of course, by their very actions, any who'd take such violent steps are rejecting both conservative and liberal values.

Ben said...

Cameron, if I were a conservative, I would still believe that. I think you "square" your exit poll with the internet comments you cited before. You dont have to go far to find rather disturbing comments from conservatives. Sprinkle in the NRA, add a hint of talk radio, and toss. Is anybody surprised that a 50 year old white male was upset?

Then again, this could have just been random. It will be interesting to read the fallout.

How obvious was Marshall's comment? Blame the victim, do conservatives ever do anything to the contrary.

Marshall Art said...

I have no data. I only have what I see and hear and read. You can pretend a McVeigh is in any way representative of the conservative side, or be honest and admit he was just a wackjob. Are the pie-throwers on the same level? No.
They are more special. They are lib loud-mouths who do something more on the level of annoying, and pretend they've made a stand. They've made their voices heard, by golly. They pretend they were at risk, that they faced up to a real oppressor, that they stuck it to the man. They are pants-wetters whose actions place them just outside normal everyday citizens. These are the types to which I refer. If you want to use violence to make your case, keep in mind the 50 million aborted, first.

Ben,

Try actually listening to the NRA or conservative talk radio a while. Not much to incite violent behavior there. Keep in mind, the left are the emotional ones. Disturbing comments my ass.

I wasn't blaming the victim at all. I was pointing out other possibilities, and also the fact that I await real knowledge rather than assuming. As far as blaming the victim, that's not a conservative trait as far as I'm aware, and I'm very much aware. You must have that confused with the conservative concept of holding accountable those responsible.

Ben said...

"holding accountable those responsible"
You do realize McCain is running as a conservative.

I am aware conservative values that helped create a punitive society. Complete with a prison system that violates the constitution and record recidivism rates. Other than that, you’ve done a great job of "holding accountable those responsible".

"Not much to incite violent behavior there."
Ahh.. yes.. Marshall.. this is not a road you want to look down. And, I suspect you never will. Just how long do you think it will take me to find a ridiculous amount of embarrassing behavior from talk radio, let alone the internet?

"I'm aware"
You might be the least self-aware person on the internets.

Marshall Art said...

I am aware that you consistently make statements you never support.

Jim said...

I doubt anyone who reads this blog will actually do so, but I invite you all to spend some time watching this interview of a conservative former US Army colonel and historian, Anthony J. Bacevich. Forget about who is asking the questions. Just listen to the answers. Democrats and Republicans alike are bashed, so it is non-partisan.

Ben said...

"I am aware that you consistently make statements you never support."

The only link you've ever included is that at the start of a post.

On the other hand, I've included specific examples in this (and other) post(s) and, in the past, links to support my opinion. Good luck in fantasy land Marshall.

Marshall Art said...

Ben,

You've provided nothing supported by anything, only you typing it here. That's fine. Just know that your saying so doesn't hold much sway. Here in the real world, when someone makes claims regarding hateful rhetoric causing violent activity, some kind of example of the hateful rhetoric would be helpful. I listen to a lot of talk radio and hear no hate speech that would encourage anyone to kill or destroy. In fact, I hear no hate speech, but this is not taking into account what that term means to lib weenies.

Ben said...

"I hear no hate speech"
Is that supposed to be a disclaimer? As for an "example" can I submit the endless number of websites that track conservative comments in the media? Or do you want me to provide a list? In the meantime, you can chew on racist Jerome Corsi. Good thing for him, he cancelled his “pro-white” talk show appearance. What about Amy Alkon? I’m sure you will find lots in common with her. She hates victims too! Oh, that reminds me, have you figured out who Jim Adkisson is? That makes three names for you to google. You can do it!

Dan Trabue said...

In fact, I hear no hate speech

Feminazis

Leftwingbats

Moonbats

"I think the Moslem faith teaches hate."

~Jerry Falwell

"We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

~Ann Coulter

"Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you."

~John Ashcroft

"Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people-hater.' I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people."

~James Dobson

"You owe liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."

~Bob Jones III

"I think Mohammed was a terrorist. He - I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and � and - non-Muslims, that he was a - a violent man, a man of war."

~Jerry Falwell

"Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular... That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ... Hollywood likes anal sex."

~William Donohue

"Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now."

~Ann Coulter

How long would you like me to continue? I'm just getting started.

You know that fella that went on a shooting spree a few weeks ago at that "liberal" church? Guess what he reads?

Limbaugh, Savage, O'Reilly.

check it out

I'm not saying that Limbaugh, et al are deliberately promoting hatred of the Other. I think there is evidence, though, that the mentally marginal who have a thing towards violence to begin with, when fed a diet of hatred like feminazis, Loony Liberals, hate america, gay = pedophile, etc, etc, etc, that some of them will take it out on these targets. This guy is just the latest case in point (that is, unless the fella who killed the Arkansas Dem also filled his head with that sort of mental diarrhea).

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

There's nothing "hateful" in most of your examples. The closest is Coulter, who made her comments during the heated days following 9/11. I'll go through a few of them:

Feminazis--an appropo term for feminist radicals who put their goofy agenda above all else. If there's hatred in the term, it's for the attitude of the dumb broads that align themselves with such nonsense.

Leftwingbats---similar to above, a scorn of the attitudes and ideals of lefty chuckleheads.

Moonbats---see above


"I think the Moslem faith teaches hate."

It does. It's regard for non-Muslims demonstrates their disdain. This is not hate-speech but a fairly accurate opinion of anyone who takes the time to study Islam. Thank goodness they have their "liberal Christians" who, in the case of Islam, are better for the world than are their most fundamental. Quite the opposite of real Christianity.

The Coulter quote---see my original comment on Coulter. A far more manly response than one is likely to hear from libs in general. Said a bit tongue in cheek, the left likes to believe that she implies "forced" conversion. Perhaps she did mean that. I've no doubt that should anyone have actually questioned her at length, a more nuanced and level-headed response would have been forthcoming.

Ashcroft's quote---as espoused by the radicals, quite true. Is truth now hate-speech? Then I'm cool with it.

Don't know the background on the Dobson speech, but it sounds much like the Jones quote. An opinion of lefty attitudes towards people of faith. Not hateful, but an honest assessment as they see things. Sue them.

Donohue---another honest assessment from his perspective, but not totally off the mark considering the crap Hollywood often supports and produces.

Nothing hateful in the sense that reasonable people would be inspired toward violence. To pretend shooters were reasonable before hearing such talk is stupidity personified. But the left prefers to look at truth and call it something else, and hate isn't a word they avoid using. What's truly hateful is the attitude that the quoted need to parse their words, or assume that some asshole might use their words as an excuse to kill. Nice try. Doesn't wash at all.

Marshall Art said...

Benny,

Try submitting something for a change. I don't know the people you list. As I don't live in a cave, I would expect to have heard of them if they are people with real influence. I haven't. They aren't. Try again. BTW, I have no intention of looking up these people any time soon. So if you have a point to make about them, go for it. Just use a link to humor me.

Dan Trabue said...

What DOES qualify as hate speech, for you then, Marshall?

Calling a group of Americans Nazis doesn't do it. Demonizing Muslims as haters and homicidal maniacs and advocating killing their leaders and "converting" the rest doesn't do it.

Saying that liberals despise the US and are worse than terrorists isn't hate speech.

So, what IS hate speech to you?

"I don't like George Bush" - does that make the cut?

"I think Bush's policies are horrible and despicable" - is that it?

Is it "hate speech" when someone criticizes the Right, is that what it comes down to?

Marshall Art said...

Not at all. The whole concept of "hate speech" as it is portrayed nowadays is nonsense. Though Howie Dean proclaimed that he hates Republicans and all they stand for is a good example of true hate, since he says he hates in the statement, I don't even call lib rhetoric hate speech. Though many lefties take pot shots at Christians in the rudest terms possible, I don't consider that hate speech until they start blaming them as Nazis blamed Jews. Calling radical Islamists murderers isn't hate speech, it's called accurate description.

This is largely the problem when the term is leveled against the right. It is usually used to "demonize" the right because of their perspective, most of which is right on the money. (The rest is very close.) There's a lot of hate directed toward Christians, particularly by homo and abortion activists and atheists like the stupid and very unfunny Bill Maher. The right generally just feels that the left is pathetic.

To clarify, if Ann Coulter truly hates radical Islamists and those who support them, I cut her slack due to the actions of the those who have earned her hate. I don't condone it, since as a Christian she should know better, but it is understandable when they murder 3000 neighbors and then dance in the street over it. Yet at the same time, I don't think she was calling for vigilantiism, but for our government to kill their leaders, invade their countries and convert their people. So, even when hateful, no reasonable person would take her words as a call to kill.

Dan Trabue said...

Soooo, what qualifies as hate speech to you?

Mark said...

C'mon, Dan--"Demonizing Muslims?" Mohammed demonized Muslims when he created a religion that is the antithesis of Christianity. Conservatives didn't Demonize the Muslims. Muslims and any other religion or group that thinks killing innocents is God's will are already demons.

Telling the truth is not hate speech. Now, if I were to say "I hate you", that would be hate speech. But I don't hate you. I just think you make stupid comments. That isn't hate. That's the truth.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

Dan,

As I said, I reject the term. It's use these days is a tool to quiet speech one group doesn't like, such as preaching Biblical truth about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. To those wishing to indulge in such behavior, preaching the truth is hate speech.

It is also used to increase penalties on those who's views might be racist, for example, as if the harm done to the victim is in anyway enhanced by the thoughts behind it.

But if I was to define it, it would be as Mark said, an expression of hatred in the form of "I hate you" at its simplest, or demonizing a group as was done by Nazis toward the Jews, with the true intention to incite violence toward that group.

Ben said...

Marshall, do you even pay attention to the news? Or is it just talk radio 24/7? You realize that Rush Limbaugh proudly proclaims that he only makes his argument on an issue. In other words, he is propaganda.
" I have no intention of looking up these people any time soon."

Of course you wont. Heaven forbid your little world might be upset. Besides, I don’t expect you to actually do anything. Not doing anything is part of the conservative philosophy. Just close your eyes and stick your head in the sand.

"Though many lefties take pot shots at Christians in the rudest terms possible"

Ummm.. “many lefties" are Christians. Just ask Dan.

"or demonizing a group as was done by Nazis toward the Jews, with the true intention to incite violence toward that group."

You just make this up as you go along. What, exactly, is "true intention". Are Jews the only group worth defending in your opinion?

“Muslims and any other religion or group that thinks killing innocents..”

Just for the record, Muslims do not believe in killing innocent people. Certainly not any more than Christians want to kill innocent people. I suppose its an argument. Perhaps for another day. But, comments like that only expose the ignorance of your position.

“Yet at the same time, I don't think she (Ann Coulter) was calling for vigilantism, but for our government to kill their leaders, invade their countries and convert their people.”

What? Since when has killing leaders, invading countries or converting people ever worked?

Finally, Marshall has advocated the murder of Planned Parenthood workers and Union breaking. If he is looking for hate from conservative discourse, perhaps he should look in the mirror.

Jim said...

Here's MY link on the phoney so-called Born Alive Infant Protection Act and Jill Stanek.

"The notion that this fight is actually about killing live babies, rather than regulating abortion, seems a bit absurd; however, the website of the Illinois activist who championed the legislation, Jill Stanek, bears that out.

It turns out she doesn't just oppose child-murder. Or late-term abortion. Or abortion. She's also against condoms — in Africa. She's raising money for more billboards in Tanzania with the message: "Faithful condom users die.""

Marshall Art said...

Thanks for the link, Jim. The guy added nothing of substance to the debate. But thanks anyway. BTW, is Stanek not allowed to support more than one cause? Condoms are being supplied to reduce the spread of AIDS, a task for which they are not effective. It's a good warning in the hopes that some might not contract the disease while mistakenly thinking that they're protected.

Marshall Art said...

Ben,

Regarding your comment about Rush---huh? Are you suggesting that nothing substantial and true can be learned from a Rush Limbaugh or any other conservative pundit? And what news source would you suggest that would enlighten me to whatever unsupported "facts" you've attempted to present?

Of course you wont...etc.

What the hell are you talking about?

Ummm.. “many lefties" are Christians.

So what? That doesn't negate what I've said in the least.

You just make this up as you go along. What, exactly, is "true intention". Are Jews the only group worth defending in your opinion?

Dan asked a specific question regarding what I think constitutes "hate speech". So yeah, I guess I made up what I think is hate speech. Sheesh. By "true intention", I mean that the actual intent of the speech was to incite one group to act violently toward another group. There is no such intention in any of the example Dan listed, save perhaps Coulter's. The example of the Jew's demise in WWII was an example of that definition. Are you anti-semetic?

Just for the record, Muslims do not...

Just for the record, there are many examples in the Koran of the call to kill Jews and/or other infidels. There are many people, like Robert Spencer, Ergun Kaner, Walid Shoebat and others that point out where such tracts are, explain them as such by citing Muslim apologists and scholars, and explain how radical Muslims focus on these tracts to further their agenda. If the main reason is because the victims are not Muslim, or refuse to appease their demands, then, by virtue of the fact that the victims are only trying to just live their lives, then we're talking innocent people. In contrast, there are no passages or tracts in the Bible that mandate such killings in any way. Obviously, you are ignorant of any of this. Your comments then, display your foolishness.

Since when has killing leaders, invading countries or converting people ever worked?

You must have missed the part where I suggested Coulter's comments were tongue-in-cheek. But to answer, Hitler was killed (forced to commit suicide) and his country was converted from a socialist dictatorship to a democracy.

"Finally, Marshall has advocated the murder of Planned Parenthood workers and Union breaking. If he is looking for hate from conservative discourse, perhaps he should look in the mirror."

The first sentence is a blatant lie. I defy you to support it, or the statement that I have demonstrated hate for anyone. Good luck. I'll wait here.

Ben said...

When I pointed out Planned Parenthood is a target, you responded:

"The hate of Planned Parenthood? They're killing people. They're killing innocent and helpless pre-born human beings and doing so for money."

I was waiting for you to say killing people is wrong. Rather, I got that. A bit of a disapointment.

When I pointed out union breaking at Wal-Mart you said:

"Lots of people hate unions. Even some union members. Unions ain't what they once were and need a lot of work to be respected again."

Again, I was expecting someting different from a rational person. You seem to defend your point of view to the extreme. Perhaps "advocated" was the wrong word at the same time, you dont seem to side with the law on either of these issues.

As for Rush, all I'm pointing out is that if you want a well rounded, thoughtful discussion, you better look elsewhere. Its not going to happen there.

"Hitler was killed.."

Umm.. Germany was the group doing the invading. The current mess in Iraq and Afghanistan is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Things are going so well, the Cold War is about to start all over again.

Oh, and before I forget, you use hateful and aggressive speach on this blog and at "Whats Left In the Church". Mostly its in the form of name calling. Hate is hate. And, you seem to hate anything Rush tells you to.

Ben said...

"many lefties"

What are we talking? Two..or three lefties?

Marshall Art said...

Ben,

"I was waiting for you to say killing people is wrong."

You didn't get that from my comment? I really have to paint you a freakin' picture? It's like this: any "hate" you perceive toward PP is a result of their main purpose---killing babies. People, that is, rational, compassionate, honest people, understand that killing babies is wrong and the average person doesn't need that explained to them.

"Again, I was expecting someting different from a rational person."

Your expectations would be more appropriate if you, yourself, were more rational. As is, you have trouble distinguishing between those who are and are not rational. Thus, I'll again explain my comment:

Having been a member of various locals in my life, I am aware of what unions do and do not do for their members. In too many cases, they are concerned for their own positions, and members are seen as tools to that end. Not in all cases, of course, so don't go there. But as I said, many union members would be just as happy NOT being in a union but aren't confident that they'd get the same bennies. When unionizing began, the need was truly real and tangible. Not so much nowadays, though I don't care if people want to unionize. I do have a problem with what they do to costs that the rest of us have to pay. Union busting is situational. Unions are neither appropriate or necessary in every situation. When the union puts too much of a burden on the company supplying jobs to members/employees, then bust them good. If they focus on worker safety and employer fairness, they have a place. As for Walmart, I'm not sure that they are needed. Too much is made of what employees are making or getting. Walmart has been a boon for many workers AND customers.

"As for Rush, all I'm pointing out is that if you want a well rounded, thoughtful discussion, you better look elsewhere. Its not going to happen there."

I doubt you listen to Rush at all. If you did, you'd know that the callers who get to spend the most time on the air are those who disagree with him. There's nothing Rush says that can't be addressed by others elsewhere, and I would wager that he would welcome a call from a Dem to debate any issue. His strong suit is commentary, so anyone expecting a discussino at all should look elsewhere, but he does engage opponents and gives them a wide berth.

"Well-rounded discussions" are hard to come by anywhere on TV, radio or newspapers. The value of such discussions is questionable anyway. With the internet, both sides are easily heard. But trying to get opponents together to hash out their positions is logistically difficult, and I don't believe many are up to regular sessions for lack of ability and knowledge. "Well-rounded discussions" will always be few and far between.

As for Germany, your distinction is worthless. It doesn't matter who does the invading. What matters is why.

Finally, I'm still waiting for examples of my hate and agressive speech. I won't deny agressiveness in my rhetorical style. Passion is not hate. Name calling is name calling. It isn't hate. If you say something idiotic, I'll say so in a variety of ways, including sometimes calling you an idiot. But that doesn't mean I hate you, only that you're an idiot. (Keep in mind also, that in doing so, I'd be using the most clinical meaning possible and not just an ad hominem. Thank you.) I don't believe you understand the word "hate" if you think I'm a hateful person. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's against both my religion and my nature to hate. Don't see the need for it. I don't waste emotion on people who do hateful, wicked things. That being said, you couldn't in a million years find an example of Rush telling anyone to hate anything or anyone. In fact, rare are the occasions when Rush suggests anyone do anything. He did with the Hillary voting, but as I said, such things are quite rare. BTW, agreeing with Rush or anyone else does not mean one is doing as one is told. But you go ahead and believe that if it makes you feel better.

Ben said...

"People, that is, rational, compassionate, honest people, understand that killing babies is wrong and the average person doesn't need that explained to them."

So... you are advocating shooting and bombings at planned parenthood?

"Union busting is situational."

Your paragraph on Unions does not come close to addressing the topic. You are making the argument against the creation or continued use of Unions. The topic was the illegal tactics used to break Unions and influence elections. "Illegal" is the word you should be focused on. Feel free to try again. Why do you support illegal activities?

"I doubt you listen to Rush at all."
I do, on occasion, listen to him and other conservative talk radio. But, when I hear an interview with him on NPR saying that his job is to present one side of the argument, then I tend to believe him.

Name calling is hate. Perhaps we’re arguing over semantics. Besides Rush is a racist (as proved by his recent Obama comments. I wont hold my breath waiting for you to look them up.). But, you seem to agree with those folks. Plus, you just spent time excusing people of breaking the law.

Oh, by the way, "Homo"? You mean you don’t like homosapiens? That’s just weird.

Marshall Art said...

Ben,

So... you are advocating shooting and bombings at planned parenthood?

No. And nothing I've ever said would lead any reasonable person to even bring up the idea.

The topic was the illegal tactics used to break Unions and influence elections.

Maybe at YOUR blog it was. Not here. The topic was a Cubs sweep and my NOBAMA shirt and stickers. For future reference, I determine the topic. And for your further info, a mere mention of Walmart does not provide enough material to know about what the bloody hell you're speaking. And if you want to talk about ethics, how about the union desire to do away with private voting? There have been no proof of wrongdoing on the part of Walmart of which I am aware. If you have any, post it at YOUR site.

Plus, you just spent time excusing people of breaking the law.

When? Here's some name calling for you: You're an idiot. But as I said earlier, I say that with not hate, but concern. To be an idiot in the clinical sense must be a terrible burden on your family, if you have one. Seek help. In the meantime, try reading what I post and cease pretending you're divining some hidden meaning. There's no hatred here, Sparky, no matter what I call you.

Rush is no racist. And no, I won't go trying to track down the validity of every goofy word you post. If you think he said something racist, learn how to link to transcripts and PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR YOUR POSITION!!! So far, all you've done is make wild accusations about me and others. That might work at the DailyKoz, but it just bores normal people like those found here.

Dan Trabue said...

So far, all you've done is make wild accusations about me and others.

And so, irony finally breathed her last breath.