Tuesday, July 31, 2012

From the Cornucopia

I strongly encourage my readers to check this out.  The post itself is goofy enough.  But check out the comments, too.  It takes an incredibly conscious desire to disconnect from reality to put forth such comments as if they reflect reality.  If you're up for a laugh (or maybe a good cry considering actual people claiming to be educated are making the comments), you'll get one there.


Craig said...

I've promised never to despoil the hallowed halls at Geoffie's place again, as my last foray over there got me bashed for something benign. Further if Geoffie allows his fan to lie about me, it's just hopeless.

Having said that.

IRAN is a democracy? Really?

Feodor said...

When the government is chosen by vote of the people, that government is a democracy. It may be that the people who are eligible to vote are not all the people residing in that country. It may even be a minority set, such as in Ancient Greece, or in the US until the 1960s.

But this would simply be - apparently another - benign mistake on Craig’s part.

Marshall Art said...

I doubt that Craig, or any other who would question the notion, is suggesting that Iran can't be technically labelled a democracy. The question is whether or not they are truly democratic or manipulated and merely claiming to be democratic while living in a far less than democratic manner. But to actually compare Iran to Israel in terms of liberty and democracy, as Geoffrey does, is far worse than a "benign mistake", as is feo's response here. It's patently false and obviously so.

Feodor said...

I’d rather say that democracies are immature and mature. And history tells us that usually countries go through a long maturing process - that is if they keep at it. Iran is a very immature democracy, and something of a bad democracy.

However we want to nuance, it, there are other democracies in the Middle East. Iraq is one. Lebanon another. So is Tunisia. So is the Palestinian Authority. Mauritania. And Egypt is a nascent democracy as we’ve recently witnessed.

Marshall Art said...

Iran is a false democracy. A sham. It is run by the religious fanatics and it's president is not the choice of the people. This "immature/mature" designation would be fine if countries like Iran weren't so lacking in the type of people that made up our country, and countries like Israel for example. It isn't that they don't have any, but not enough to take the risks necessary for those countries to be REAL democracies instead of pale imitations. Thus, to say that Israel is the only democracy is to say that it is the only one that truly operates as one now.

Feodor said...

Democracy has nothing to do with what kind of choices a society makes. Democracy is found wherever people can choose their form of government.

In immature democracies it may be that only some portion of the people can participate in that choice, and even then representatives from which they choose may be limited by a few powerful interests. Irate democratic process in Iran today - not the content but the access to power - is much like nineteenth century America.

Ahmadinejad's party took power when they got more votes in 2005. But they've been steadily losing seats since.

Our system has had deeply flawed elections. LBJ had ballot boxes stuffed in southern Texas; in 2000, Florida and the Supreme Court stopped the careful consideration of votes in one county and the final state-wide count may well have been inaccurate.

Craig said...

For the people to choose there must actually be a choice,

It would seem that there are actually two people (outside of Iran) who are seriously suggesting this. Impressive.

Feodor said...

Iran has elections. Members of several different parties stand for parliamentary seats. The composition of their Parliament keeps changing with every election.

That is a democracy pure and simple. Now, it may be a weak or immature or even a badly acting democracy by virtue of power being controlled, but the fact, Craig, that you can't ascribe the word means both that you don't what democracy simply means and you don't have words for what you really want to say.

Parklife said...

"For the people to choose there must actually be a choice"

Hey.. dont bring the US into this discussion.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Feodor - I guess I did leave out some countries like Lebanon and Iraq and Tunisia (Algeria waxes and wanes on the matter, but has had contested elections in the recent past). I guess I wouldn't consider Mauritania in the Middle East, any more than Morocco would be, although some might, so that's fair enough.

I think I was adhering to your "mature/immature" distinction, and so I find your criticism fair and warranted. We don't have to like the decisions other populations make, but to say Iran is a false democracy is belied by the facts. To say it is "actually" ruled by the Supreme Council makes of a complicated situation something far too simple. There are women legislators in Iran's parliament, there are several Christians, and at least one Jewish member in the near past (I do not know if he still sit in parliament). Ahmedinejad's party and policies are vastly different from the previous President, who attempted a softer approach to the US in foreign policy (among other differences); that the US was ruled by morons at the time, losing an historic opportunity to reach through the crack in the door opening toward us is entirely our fault. Also, neither here nor there.

I'm not even sure what else you're complaining about in my post. Sure, the Israelis consider Jerusalem their capital. Not even the US recognizes that as real, dealing with the bureaucracy in Tel Aviv rather than the domestic institutions in Jerusalem.

So, I'm still waiting to read what, precisely, is so goofy about what I wrote, let alone detached from reality.

Feodor said...


All of my comments were directed to Craig, who forget to check facts and definitions, and Marshall, for whom facts and definitions are persons non grata.

Except that a review of democracies in the Middle East brought up several more cases than you came to in the moment of writing.

It’s telling how quickly we swallow a lot of subtextual propaganda. Ahmadinejad seems like an eternal devil according to the US, but he’s not ever served out the equivalent of a two-term presidency in the US. He wont be there in three more years.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

The last part of my comment should have been directed at Art, the whole business wondering what, precisely, is so "goofy" about what I wrote in the linked post. Sorry for that HUGE attribution error.

As soon as Art comes along and insists he always sticks to the facts, just remind him that he just recently insisted he didn't care if he quoted something correctly. Not that it'll shut him up, but at least it'll be on the record.

Marshall Art said...


Perhaps you could make just a little effort to pretend you're honest. I never said I didn't care if I quoted something accurately. I said what was quoted less than accurately didn't alter the point I was making.

As to what was goofy, aside from the mistake regarding the capital of Israel, the comments section is rife with goofiness. Later, when time allows, I'll revisit to capture some of the many examples.

Craig said...

So far a quick internet search seems to ages that the government of Iran is either a theocratic republic or an islamic republic. Nowhere have I seen Iran referred to as a democracy. Now you may choose to use the term democracy to describe a republic, but, that would seem to be incorrect.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Craig, you should check out dictionary.com because it's, you know, a place where words are defined:

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
political or social equality; democratic spirit.
the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

The CIA World Factbook, long known to be a hotbed of goofy liberalism, does indeed describe Iran as a "theocratic republic", which only means their Constitution is a particularly narrow understanding of Shari'a. A bit like calling the United States a "secular republic", because our laws are rooted in the Constitution, not the Bible, the Talmud, or the Holy Q'uran. Furthermore, if you actually read the description of the different branches of government, the way elections are held (including contested multi-party elections), and universal suffrage at 18 - not a franchise restricted either de jure or de facto by race, gender, or religious belief, it sounds remarkably like western social democracy. The only difference is its roots not in the traditions of western liberal thought, but Islamic law.

So, Craig, I'm still waiting as to how what you said about Iran means it isn't a representative democracy. Even the CIA understands it to be such, just theocratic rather than secular.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, you're a gem. "I'm always accurate and factual unless I say it doesn't matter! Now stop lying about me being inaccurate because accuracy only matters when I say it does!"

You can't make up stuff like this.

As to the "mistake", since there isn't a single country among those who have diplomatic relations with Israel that recognize Jerusalem as the capital, and the US does not act in any way that might be construed to confer legitimacy upon that claim - legally, Jerusalem is an occupied city - I'm just not sure how it is that the verbal equivalent of you stamping your feet and insisting you are right makes it so.

The comment section? Seriously?

I must have something better to do, like give my guinea pig an enema.

Feodor said...

Craig: "Now you may choose to use the term democracy to describe a republic, but, that would seem to be incorrect.”

The United States is a republic.

According to Craig that rules us out of being a democracy.

Feodor said...

And by the way, let me be helpful to Marshall and the Marshettes and remind you that the United States is a secular republic.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...

My apologies, Craig, I shouldn’t have been so mean - I was writing too quick.

It’s just that if we all do not understand the clean definition of the terms, then there is no use talking about Iran which is a complex admixture of all the terms - as most nations are, in fact.

I’d suggest “democracy” means that citizens directly or through elected representatives vote on the laws that affect their lives.

Thus the US is a representative democracy.

So are nations with parliaments.

As in Iran.

I’d suggest “republic” means that those who occupy the institutions of representative government are elected or appointed and do so for a term. In other words, the position cannot be handed on.

The US is a republic.

So is Iran.

Federal government means that some powers of governance are reserved for regional bureaucracy, and therefore not all held by the central government.

For the US, that would mean states.

Iran governs from Tehran alone - therefore a unitary government.

"Theocratic" simply means that all legislation must conform to the standards of one religion. This is what Marshall wants. But the religion can be Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist, etc.

Iran is a theocratic (Islamic in this case) democratic republic.

It should serve as a warning to Marshall that difference here between the US and Iran that tends to put Iran in a totalitarian light is that religion determines legislation in Iran and does not in the US.

I say, “should,” but real ethical thinking is hard to come by here.

Craig said...

"More powerful than the President of Iran, the Leader appoints the heads of many powerful posts: the commanders of the armed forces, the director of the national radio and television network, the heads of the major religious foundations, the prayer leaders in city mosques, and the members of national security councils dealing with defence and foreign affairs. He also appoints the chief judge, the chief prosecutor, special tribunals and, with the help of the chief judge, the 12 jurists of the Guardian Council – the powerful body that decides both what bills may become law and who may run for president or parliament.[4]"

Above is a partial description of the Supreme Leader of Iran.

I have a hard time reconciling one person who controls which bills may become law and who may run for president or parliament with "Of the people, by the people, for the people."

"The lie that it's the only democracy in the Middle East..."

Had the above quote read "a representative democracy", "a representative republic", or "a theocratic republic", I most likely wouldn't have commented, yet it didn't.

If one refers to my actual comment I simply said that I could find no instance of Iran being referred to as a democracy (representative or otherwise). Interestingly enough GKS actually proved my point. Thanks.

Interestingly enough one the one hand I'm being excoriated by differentiating between a democracy, and republic, while at the same time being excoriated for not knowing the difference between the two.

jeez all this because I find it slightly humorous that the best example of a "democracy" GKS can come up with is Iran.

Do y'all think they'll be voting on allowing gay marriage any time soon with all that freedom they've got? ;)

Feodor said...

Craig, you are aware that ancient Classical Athens was a democracy are you not? And that for about five hundred years, Rome was a democratic republic?

Are you aware of medieval and democratic Venice? Or the Icelandic Althing?

Or about British history up to the 1832 reforms?

What you found about Iran would also be characteristics of all these historic democracies.

When you say, "I have a hard time reconciling one person who controls which bills may become law and who may run for president or parliament with "Of the people, by the people, for the people,” you are also casting critique on the American electoral process up until 1910 for a few states and the 1930s for most other states. Men sitting in Congress picked the party’s nominee until then - not the public.

You didn’t make distinctions between “democracy" and “republic” - you thought they were mutually exclusive. A nation has to be one or the other. It turns out, democracies can be structured as a republic. Or not.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

OK, Craig, so what do you think when the Supreme Court declare a law unconstitutional? Does that negate our democratic principles, or rather is our representative democracy limited by the principle of the rule of law, under which reside the branches of government?

How is this substantively different than your description of the Supreme Council? Oh, that's right. It's Muslim.

Craig said...

Feo, never addressed any of that. So why would I start now. The topic is not the vast number of societies that could be described as "democracy".

"You didn’t make distinctions between “democracy" and “republic” - you thought they were mutually exclusive."

Actually no I didn't, but thank you for so kindly telling me what I was thinking, I always appreciate it when some anonymous guy on the internet tells me what I think.

Feel free to continue to assert some sort of superiority if it makes you feel better.

GKS, try reading what I actually wrote. It is the supreme leader, and is ONE MAN who has ultimate say over who gets to run for office and what bills become law. Had you taken the time to read you wouldn't have made that error.

Had you been more specific in your original post, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Craig said...


Just realized you seem to be unsure about the difference between ONE person (Iran) and multiple elected persons (your examples). Again, reading the comments is most helpful.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Um, Craig . . . one person, or nine, I fail to see the difference. Furthermore, courts can invalidate candidature, elections, laws . . . anything that violates the supreme law of the land, the Constitution.

So, I'm still waiting for your explanation of how Iran is not a democracy.

Feodor said...

Craig, was this not your writing today?:

"Now you may choose to use the term democracy to describe a republic, but, that would seem to be incorrect.”

I responded to that just as you quote me: "You didn’t make distinctions between “democracy" and “republic” - you thought they were mutually exclusive."

But now you’ve just said, "Actually no I didn't, but thank you for so kindly telling me what I was thinking, I always appreciate it when some anonymous guy on the internet tells me what I think.”

So, if you can reread what you wrote…. yeah, you did.

I can’t tell you what you think, but I can read what you write and then tell you what you should think:

Republics are always democracies. Not all democracies are republics.

"The topic is not the vast number of societies that could be described as 'democracy’.”

Quite right, but your comments that Iran’s process of democracy disqualifies it from being a democracy is belied by these earlier examples whose behavior has all the same parallels which you disbelieve exists in a democracy.

By “you seem to be unsure about the difference between ONE person (Iran) and multiple elected persons (your examples).…” I assume you no longer wish to highlight the Guardian Council - which you did in your earlier post?

Feodor said...

I, too, am waiting.

(And doesn’t one person appoint Supreme Court Justices?)

Marshall Art said...


I don't know if you were a part of any past discussions about which I'll describe a bit later, but I wonder if you notice what is happening here?

Geoffie and his identical twin feo are making a stink over the definition of "democracy".

For those of us not looking for any excuse to condescend or demean those who disagree with us, what most people mean when they describe Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East is that their country is the one that most closely matches ours in terms of liberty and personal freedom and no other country in the region comes close, regardless of what they or anyone else calls them (such as "a democracy").

But the feos and Geoffs of the world see that and want to slap Romney or any other center-right politician or pundit for daring to malign Arabs by omitting them from the compliment. This is a way to do so.

So, these desperate souls, so needful of imperfections in the right-wing to overshadow the gold-standard of imperfection called "the left", are now trying to use a very loose definition (in real world practice and application) to include all those other countries, and then add the bullshit qualifier "immature". Somehow, "democracy" is more vague than I ever would have imagined. (Or is it "nuanced"?)

Yet, and here's the flashback, to call Obama a "socialist" brings out firm, specific, absolute and absolutely narrow definitions so as to dismiss the charge. Is this irony, hypocrisy or just ironic hypocrisy?

To the left, words mean what they need them to mean at any given moment to win the debate, demonize the opposition and white-wash idiocy, wickedness or any other form of negativity they find themselves supporting.

In a similar manner, they will defend a mentally disordered man insisting he's really a woman, but will tell Israel what their capital city is. I don't recall any Israeli officials commenting on Romney's speech and correcting him on what the capital is. Rational and honest people know that western nations that refuse to recognize Jerusalem as the capital do so in order to avoid muslim whining. Medved, who is an observant Jew who spends time in Israel, has family there, etc. has also said it is indeed the capital. But Geoffrey knows better because he's sophisticated.

It is no wonder the divide is so great between left and right these days when the left refuses to deal with reality.

Feodor said...

Compulsory universal health care is socialism, Marshall?

Feodor said...

"what most people mean when they describe Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East is that their country is the one that most closely matches ours in terms of liberty and personal freedom and no other country in the region comes close…”

Indeed, there is a very sophisticated model put out there by The Economist, the centrist British publication that “most people” are knowingly or unknowlingly drawing from. It is called the Democracy Index and gives a number value to the state of democracy for most countries of the world.

Israel gets a index score of 7.53. Two of the most democratic nations also in the MIddle East are Turkey at 5.73 and Tunisia at 5.53. Iran is at 1.98.

These numbers agree with Marshal’s concern to peg everything to the US, which is at 8.11.

The numbers are grouped together into large descriptie categories, so that…

US 8.11 is a full democracy.

Israel 7.53 is a flawed democracy.

Turkey 5.73
Tunisia 5.53 are both Hybrid Regimes

Iran 1.98 is an Authoritarian Regime

So, Marshall would be right about gradations - not the point of contention, however - though there are many nations between the US and Israel, and we would be right that Craig is wrong in that Iran has democratic processes parallel to early, immature, or even bad democracies.

News for Marshall, though, is the US lies 18th on the list. The top five:

Norway 9.8
Iceland 9.65
Denmark 9.52
Sweden 9.5
New Zealand 9.26

Malta is also more democratic than the US. As is Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Uruguay.

And Canada. And the UK.

Countries with their putrid socialism. They can keep their mandatory universal health care, right Marshall?

We’ll take our lower democracy.

Feodor said...


Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...


Seriously, this is your complaint or whatever, Art, that Iran isn't like the US? No country is like the US. Canada isn't like the US, as much as we might like to pretend it is.

As for "not wanting to insulting Arabs", actually, I didn't want to insult reality. I'm no fan of the Iranian regime for any number of reasons (I'm also not a huge booster of the medieval monarchy in Saudi Arabia, either, which has far less personal freedom for its citizens, particularly women, and practices a virulent form of officially sanctioned fundamentalist Islam that is far worse than the Shi'a of Iran), but that doesn't mean its form of government isn't what it is.

I'm also, at least no longer, the kind of militant Zionist who demands that Israel's continued existence be the centerpiece of our Middle Eastern foreign policy. Precisely because that implicitly underwrites ongoing ethnic and religious violence through official support of the colonization of the Occupied Territories, it would be far wiser to return to the time-honored position that Israel, at least, return to its pre-1967 borders, with the specifics over the status of Jerusalem to be decided by the residents of the city, in tandem with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and any other interested parties.

There will always be those who wish to destroy Israel, just like there will always be those who wish to destroy the US, Mexico, Guatemala, Laos, and Bhutan. That is neither here nor there, and should never be the starting point for any country's foreign policy.

Craig said...

If one actually read my comment I said that I was inane to find Iran described as a democracy. The fact that the continuum of what constitutes democracy allows Jeans government to be so described is beside the point. I found no one else other then GKS who chose to do so. The rest of this is kind of pointless. Personally I find the presence of one unelected supreme leader who can controls who can run for office and what bills can be passed to not quite fit the dictionary definition of democracy. Y'all free to think it does. You can even suggest some sort of moral equivalence between Iran and Israel I don't really care that much. I keep coming back the fact that y'all think Iran is one of the best examples of democracy in the middle east. To each his own.


It's. Just too bat that pompousness and condescension aren't on Pauls list of fruits of the spirit.

Feodor said...

That's because St Paul did not want to list his own characteristics presumptiously. Read Galatians again, Craig.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"Jeans" government? The Jordache Republic? I know it's a typo, Craig, but it made me chuckle.

"he fact that the continuum of what constitutes democracy allows Jeans government to be so described is beside the point." No, Craig, it's precisely the point. So what if no one else anywhere in the world, even in Iran, calls itself a representative democracy with theocratic roots (they do, and even the CIA does, if you actually read the whole entry on Iran). Does that make me wrong?

Actually, it probably would. But, in fact, it is the whole point of this ridiculous discussion. That you don't like certain features of Iran's governmental structure doesn't change the facts of the matter. As I wrote, not too fond of them, either, but that doesn't change the fact that, as you admit, Iran can be considered a democratic republic.

Since you've conceded the whole point of this ridiculous foray in to the world of governmental structures and definitions and so forth, I await the wash of Art's readers to bombard me with stuff.

Or, I'll just go and DJ a party tonight, then a wedding reception tomorrow, which will be more fun and lucrative. As my cousin types, TTFN!

Marshall Art said...

No Geoffie. The point is that you think Romney made some incredible mistake in both referring Jerusalem as Israel's capital and it's level of democracy as somehow commonplace. The latter gaffe on your part is the desperate nit-picking of the words of a candidate that you think will bring a worse outcome than retaining the incumbent. Few people would argue that Israel isn't unique amongst its neighbors, and not in merely the vague "Canada is not like the US" drivel used to defend a technicality as you and your clone cannot help doing here.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I never said it was commonplace. I just said Israel isn't the only democracy in the Middle East, which it isn't.

As for Romney's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, since "final status of Jerusalem" has always been a part of general discussions concerning any comprehensive settlement, I'm not quite sure how Romney's contradiction of official American policy for, well, forever, which not only demonstrates that a Pres. Romney will not work in any capacity that might be considered a "fair and honest broker" (to use Al Gore's stupid phrase) between the Israelis and Palestinians over outstanding disputes.

So . . . um . . . I'm still waiting for a point somewhere here from you that isn't contradicted by actual facts. Oh, that's right, factual accuracy only counts when it fits whatever changing definition you might or might not be using today.

As Bugs Bunny used to say . . . What a maroon.

Craig said...

My original point still stands supported by GKS. That no one besides GKS refers to Iran as democracy. I know that is unpleasant yet it seems to be the case. My likes and dislikes have never been at issue. I still don't understand how any government where one unelected individual has almost sole control over who gets to run for election and what laws can be considered for passage fits with the definition of democracy. But,suitably chastened I'll just accept the wast wisdom being dispensed here, and just live with the apearant contradiction. I'm sure classical Athens or Iceland or the (ex) DDR or the PDRK or the DRC has something similar so of course it must be correct.

On two things GKS is correct though. The fact the my phone decided jean was
humorous, and this has become pointless. On that note of agreement I'll move on.

Marshall Art said...


The implication that Romney doesn't know about other "democracies" is obvious in your comments. I've explained what is meant when the "less than accurate" statement regarding democracies in the Middle East is made by anyone. Only lefties would pretend it means something else.

Romney didn't "declare" Jerusalem the capital. Israel did. He merely takes their word for it given it is their country and they should know. Romney, assuming he'll remain consistent after his election, would stand as one who cuts the crap on the issue, acknowledging what all previous US presidents should have. Peace will not come to the region simply because Israel split up Jerusalem or even if they gave it away totally. Idiots believe otherwise. Romney seems to understand the truth. History backs him up. He and I are aligned with the facts. You and other haters of all things right-wing are ignoring reality.

As to what is fair in that region, it is quite clear that pretending both sides are equal in the creating the tensions is far from fair. Since Israel was established in the 40's (and really before then), the muslim world has sought Israel's destruction or submission. FAIR would be forcing them to prove their desire for peace isn't bullshit, by denying them anything until that proof becomes reality. That would take a few generations where muslims no longer look to destroy Israel or for that matter, any Jew at all.

As for your last comment, I could take the lefty precedent and chide you for a racist remark, as has happened to me already. But I'm not an idiot lefty. (But instead a big fan of Bugs)

Feodor said...

I’m not sure why Marshall is protesting so much since he has made clear that he is not proud of anything about the history of the US - the history which has made it as democratic as it currently is - but proud only for what liberties he claims for himself.

Sounds bizarre and completely idiotic, I know, but we have him on record in comments this week.

No pride for the founding and historic documents of freedom - the Declaration and the Constitution - no pride for the Federalist and anti-Federalist papers, no pride for the principle of Judicial Review, Jury of one’s peers, the Emancipation Proclamation, etc., etc.

To wit, Marshall:

"I feel pride not in what I haven't done, but in what I've done. I live in this country and am proud to do so BECAUSE of the values in which our founders believed because I share those values.”

Granted, Marshall confuses himself as to what exactly is the object of his pride, but he clarifies that later to be himself only:

"I take pride in MY decision to call myself a citizen of this country BECAUSE of the values of the founders…”

So, since he wasn’t there at for the key moments, he cannot feel pride in them.

Therefore, it would seem the only thing about Israel that can possibly be admirable is whatever principles and policies that “I DECIDE to be values I MYSELF BELIEVE."

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I didn't even notice "I decide to call myself a citizen" bit.

Really? Do you not understand the Constitution? Do you not understand that being a citizen is something that happens to you because you are born here, not a "decision" you make one way or another? I suppose you could forswear your citizenship, but that doesn't mean you previously "chose" it. Talking this way is, quite literally, an enormous, beautiful display of pomposity combined with ignorance.

Parklife said...

"Talking this way is, quite literally, an enormous, beautiful display of pomposity combined with ignorance."

Geoffrey, you almost make it sound like a good thing.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

So, Art, I came across this profile of the Post's Jennifer Rubin, and realized I'd found either your mentor or protege, depending on which of you started writing first. The penultimate paragraph provides the reason for me saying this:
The “misreporting” charge comes from her beautiful post demanding that people (liberals) stop complaining when other people (Republicans) purposefully twist (or misleadingly edit!) remarks in order to make attack ads and gin up controversy. She no longer wants anyone (Obama) to complain about being taken “out of context,” because only Jennifer Rubin can determine whether or not something was fairly quoted. Her argument is essentially that it’s fair to “misconstrue” President Obama’s words but unfair to paraphrase Romney.

"For a “conservative blogger” Jennifer Rubin isn’t particularly conservative," Pareene continues at the beginning of the next paragraph. Which, of course, also describes you as well.

Marshall Art said...

You came across it, but you didn't read any of Rubin's stuff, did you? I read the one your vaunted Pareene uses for his quote you highlight here. Her argument is essentially nothing like what Pareene said. No wonder you were impressed. He isn't adept at "getting the point" anymore than you are. She clearly was criticizing both sides of the political divide, evidenced by her multiple references to both side partaking of the same "out of context" type defenses often used.

But I must say, time and nausea prevents me from perusing the entire Pareene piece. And by "piece", I'm more than implying the low quality of his journalistic integrity.

As to citizenship, like being a homosexual, how one might be born is in no way a matter of accepting without conscious decision. I don't have to be a citizen if I don't want to be. I don't have to do anything more than I'm willing to tolerate in terms of ramifications for my rejection of the citizenship inherited upon my birth.

Personally, and here your brother also fails to understand, I take pride in being an American because I share the values spoken of earlier. The founders had them, founded the nation upon them, and I find them to be values necessary for sustaining it as they envisioned it. I choose to remain and proclaim myself a citizen of this nation because of what it means to be one. In that I take pride enough.

Again, you kids insist on technicality. I look to what it truly means to be a citizen of this nation. So, boneheads, it is not a matter of choosing to be a citizen, but choosing to remain one. Choosing to be something more than merely a citizen in the technical sense.

If either you or your alter ego, feo, still need more clarification, I'm always ready to try again to explain such simple points to such educated people as the two of you. Whether you are bright enough to grasp these elementary "nuances" is another issue. Irony again.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

With your last comment, Art, you (a) proved the general contention that, like Rubin, you consider yourself the sole arbiter of truth, reality, and interpretation.

You are the kind of comical Nietzschean/Randian ubermensch best described by Christopher Lasch as the prototypical late capitalist bourgeois individual, so lacking in any psychic center, you project this massive image of yourself on the world, insisting it conform to your wishes. Saying that the legal title of citizenship is something you confer upon yourself rather than something conferred upon you is a species of . . . I lack the word for what it is, except really stupid and kind of funny.

My best friend growing up used to say, "It's not me, it's the rest of the world," and argue for hours on end the many ways the world should and must conform to his wishes and preferences. He refused to believe it possible that facts actually mattered. Four years after graduation, he blew his head off with a shotgun in a paroxysm of grief, acute clinical depression, and drug addiction all of which were the result of him realizing the world doesn't really care about him.

So, an object lesson in what happens to people who insist they are the interpreters of the world par excellence.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

. . . and I forgot the (b). Or maybe I should have omitted the (a). Either way, I have proved Art's basic awesomeness because I made an error whereas Art even chooses whether or not to be a citizen. Me, I just rely on the Constitution.

Feodor said...

"Technicality" is your safe word for intellectual honesty, I assume.

Marshall Art said...

As if I truly needed the validation for my position, note that in this article there are examples of people born here, thereby having citizenship conferred upon them, who have recently renounced said citizenship. They are examples of my point, so clearly missed by two incredibly educated geniuses. These are real world situations. Facts, you could plainly say. Why do you ignore them and please don't blow your little brain out over it.

I am always entertained when people like Geoffrey pout and insist I regard myself as the "sole arbiter of truth, reality, and interpretation" when I am merely an honest and objective observer of the same.

"Saying that the legal title of citizenship is something you confer upon yourself rather than something conferred upon you is a species of..." abject stupidity on your part since I never said I conferred it upon myself. I said that I consciously choose to remain a citizen. Remember "nuance", Geoffrey?

Marshall Art said...

""Technicality" is your safe word for intellectual honesty, I assume."

It's the appropriate word for the issue at hand.

Mark said...

I don't understand why you continue to frequent that site, Art. It's equivalent to self-flagellation.

Marshall Art said...

For the post ideas, Mark. It's rife with them.

Geoff asked for goofiness from that post, and of course I clearly stated it was in, not only the post, but the comments that followed. Here's a taste:

From Alan:

"They choose to remain in this state of never-ending bloodshed, don't they?"

This was in reference to the tension between Israel and its muslim neighbors. Clearly, Israel has no choice in the matter apart from vacating the region as the muslims would prefer (That's their second choice. Their first choice is the total annihilation of the world's Jewish population). It hasn't been Israel that launches random missile attacks on the Palestinians, for example. They wouldn't lift a finger if it wasn't for the attacks perpetrated on them. Total goofiness in the typical moral relativism of the left.

Alan goes on with this:

"No one is signing up for Mitt on the basis of anything regarding foreign policy. The guy has exactly one argument to make, and that's that his experience destroying companies is what our economy needs."

I'd love to see Alan defend this statement with facts showing how Romney has destroyed any company. Bain Capital has not managed to save every company in which it invested. There actions have forestalled the inevitable in most cases where companies have closed, or, the closing was necessary for the sake of the parent corporation who has no obligation to keep open any subsidiary. Alan buys the tripe of the leftist haters.

Gotta go.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

No, you never said you consciously remain a citizen or anything else even remotely like that, Art.

God, you are the most ridiculous person I do believe I've ever encountered.

And have fun in the birthplace of those unconstitutional ideas of nullification and secession, which conservatives who claim to love the Constitution have come to believe are part of the same document.

And, Mark - he visits and posts link after link for the same reason Neil cyber-stalks Chuck Currie.

Mark said...

Geoff, you are delusional. You flatter yourself. But, I suppose you must since no one else will ever flatter you.

Not only do I never post "link after link" at your place, I never even visit there.

What color is the sky on your planet?

Marshall Art said...

Y'know, I'm really not sure where the kiddies are trying to take this. They like to think that there is some mystery surrounding the difference of citizenship by birth, which I do not deny is something over which I had no say, and the freedom I have to reject that citizenship or to continue embracing it. So determined are these small minds to find something wrong in my positions and beliefs that they make bigger fools of themselves than they otherwise are just by swallowing the leftist point of view.

Also, Geoffrey prefers to convince himself, I only visit his blog for shallow reasons. But as I've explained over and over again, without his ever proving otherwise, I visit his site to question and seek clarification for what he puts forth as reasonable and logical positions and observations. He hasn't the courage to explain his positions to me when I ask about them, pretending I'm there to, as he likes to say, poop on his porch. What a sad and insecure individual.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Lordy, but you folks are a hoot.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Because I used a pronoun where a proper noun should have made my meaning more clear, I can forgive Mark's confusion over the following:

And, Mark - he visits and posts link after link for the same reason Neil cyber-stalks Chuck Currie.

That was, in fact, a response to your interrogative to Art as to why he is visiting my web log and posting links (he is still my number one source of traffic over all, and number one for the past several months running). For clarity's sake, then: As to your question, Mark, as to why Art visits and links to my web log, Art does so for the same reason Neil cyber-stalks Chuck Currie.

Thus, while grammatically confusing, I am not, alas, delusional. Unlike Mark, under whose photo appears the word "perfection".

Just for the sake of digging the knife in a tad, Mark, I do, occasionally visit your web log as well. It's nice to know that you and Art and Eric Ashley, so horrified at the existential threat to our great nation by the election of Barack Obama you started a group blog entitled "American Descent" to which you rarely contribute much of anything; none of you seem so horrified by our current national decrepitude to post much of anything at all.

Which leads me to the point: I saw that your personal circumstances, Mark, had become straitened, forcing you to move, again. I was going to tell you that I do hope you might find some peace in the midst of personal worries, but you preferred to act like a childish asshole, with an insult best suited to a fourth grader. Had you, perhaps, been a bit less of one such, you might have read some recent posts in which I have recounted our family's move to IL thirteen years ago, and other personal tidbits. Instead, you seem to prefer me to be some inhuman monster, as bad as Chairman Mao and Stalin you once said.

Because, obviously, you are perfect.

Marshall Art said...

But you see, Geoffrey, Neil stalks no one. In a manner similar to me, he sees what he feels are blatantly false or confusing statements by Currie and questions him on them. I do a similar thing at your site. I haven't tracked the fun at Currie's, but I'd wager that he ducks the questions and objections Neil brings up just as you do when I visit your site. "Stalking" implies some mental dysfunction. Exposing faulty reasoning and bad theology is more of a public service. The faulty reasoning and bad theology is far more dysfunctional than the service we perform, free of charge for the benefit of all. Best of all, for us, it's a hoot.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Seriously, Art, the guy has an entire blog dedicated to Chuck Currie. Neil used to comment, but Currie blocked him because Neil started saying disparaging things about Currie's wife and children. Then, as per his usual SOP, Neil reversed the tale on his "Eternity Matters" blog, making Currie out to be the quasi-stalker leaving creepy comments. Since Rev. Currie, unlike Neil, is both honest and unafraid, all that is easy enough to discover. Currie wrote about it in real time, including his own sense of disquiet then resignation that Neil would do what he would regardless of his, Currie's devout wish that he stop.

And there is no error here, Art. That's your fundamental mistake. There's just difference. Feodor and me and you and Mark and Neil and everyone else - we're all different. Some folks are fine with that, and just let other folks think their thinks and live their lives (including having sex of which others disapprove) and worry about important stuff. Then, there are some, like you, who are convinced you have all the answers

There aren't any answers, Art, because there aren't any questions. There's no meaning or purpose or anything. There's just us, human beings, in our variety and contrariness and violence and hatreds and loves and courage trying to make our very limited time from the cradle to the grave. We figure it out as we go along, and if we screw up, well, we screw up.

If there's a "problem" in the world, it's the insistent demand that there exists a "solution" to existence and its many hazards. Some, like you and Neil and the Pope not only think you have it all figured out; you are convinced the rest of us are not only wrong, but dangerously so, when all we want to do is make our collective lives a tad less hazardous and painful. Maybe even celebrate our collective successes once in a while.

If you were better informed, or perhaps presented your thoughts more clearly, you might actually pose a threat to my sense of peace. Your virtue, Art, is your ignorance, on display for all the world to read, rendering you more risible than threatening.

Marshall Art said...

Seriously, Geoffrey. Currie began blocking Neil because he could not respond to Neil exposing Currie's bad theology. Neil presents Currie's words at his primary blog often enough for anyone to know what Currie is all about as regards his nutty point of view.

Maybe you could present a link to whatever disparaging remarks Neil has allegedly made regarding Currie's wife or kids. I know that Neil has mentioned the wife's atheism, which doesn't speak well for Currie, and that Currie has brought his kids to witness the deviant displays common during "Gay Pride" parades. Both of these indicate disparaging qualities about Currie if true. I have no reason to suspect Neil of purposely telling lies about anyone. I'm not sure I can feel confident that Currie would be as honest.

I've no doubt that you would easily take Currie's word against Neil's, since you also cringe at the thought of anyone daring to challenge you on your positions and understanding of Scripture and what it teaches. You constantly whine about my visits to your blog.

I'm well aware that you believe there is no "error", but that is a dodge. If you can live as though there is no "answer", then you can pretend to believe all sorts of things are possible.

But that which I question as regards your positions are typically only those that are directly in conflict with easily understandable passages of Scripture or obviously contradicted by the world around us.

The idea that the issue at hand involves mere "difference" between points of view is a part of this pretense. It isn't like preferring different flavors of ice cream. The comments of yours (or Currie's) that provoke challenges do so because the "differences" have consequences for those who choose between the differences. In the realm of theology, it could mean eternity. In the area of politics, it could mean the future of our kids and grandkids.

You, like that wart on your ass, Parkie, like to be believe that I'm not well enough informed to be of any concern. Yet, you can't take the least effort to explain your "superior" understanding when it provokes the challenges and questions I bring to you. As such, you fail, far worse than Parkie since you claim such knowledge and education, to explain just where I go wrong. Your last comment is proof of this as it is so much meaninglessness enveloped in your usual tone of condescension.

What's amazing to me is that you, feo and even Parkie, dare condescend without the slightest evidence that you truly have a better grasp of anything. You can't explain why YOU feel guilty for racism or why I should join you in that guilt. You can't explain how capitalism has manipulated you. All you seem to do is "know" that people like Neil, Mark, Eric, me have it wrong. But saying so doesn't make it so.