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Red Herrings

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Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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0 posted 07-13-2009 10:24 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     We talk about them often enough, I think there ought to be a place for them.  That way we can try to keep to the subjects in the threads, and have a place to slip in all the red herrings we want to.  If we think that somebody's trying to toss one in, we don't have to wait for them to post it in the red herring section, we might do it ourselves, and left the discussion go on there, if people want it to, and try to get back to the subject in the main thread.  Or at least it would give the person someplace to respond to the charge of red Herring without it getting in the way of the discussion.

     There are, certainly, flaws in the plan, but I thought that giving it an experimental whirl might be worth a try.

     Thoughts, anybody?

      We might even try posting our own red herrings, and see where they might take us, as long as we try to keep things reasonably civil.

     We would have to try to stay civil, wouldn't we?
Balladeer
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1 posted 07-13-2009 04:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and who is to say what's a red herring, Bob? I'm calling the latest Bush burning a red herring. You are not. Do you think any author is going to call his creation a red herring, instead of a valid point?

You have had interesting ideas before but this is not one of them, I'm afraid.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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2 posted 07-13-2009 09:30 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Might as well give us an example. It takes a red herring to know one  
Bob K
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3 posted 07-14-2009 01:14 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           It may be, in your opinion, a red herring from the agenda you'd like to discuss, the stuff you don't like about the president.  But not really from the subject of the thread, which was some of L.R.'s fears about what may have been done without our knowledge to the structure of powers in the government.  When Denise thinks Obama may have done something like this, she gets very nervous and want to know as many facts as she can find.  Nor do I  blame her.  On one or two occasions I have said to her that if what she was afraid of were happening, I too would equally upset at the President.  I don't like such things no matter who is responsible.  I feel the same way about torture and some other issues.

     If the discussion is about human rights and abridgment of them, that's what I want to discuss.  There is space for discussion for the other material on other threads which I have tried to take part in: global warming, environmental change and the economy are all of interest.  If I criticize Bush in those places, it is in the context of his role in those areas.  I don't see that as a red herring, perhaps you do.

     Local Rebel his a distinctive voice, heavy on facts, that I admire.  I would be interested in hearing somebody address him, if they can, with facts as cogent and as well prepared and as well sourced.  It isn't that there is a paucity of response, mind you, it is that the response doesn't seem to the point.  Hence my proposal for a Red Herring thread, where such things might be gloried in or even promoted, and the other threads might be kept for exposition of the actual facts, without such major changes of subject, which could be dealt with here.

     We could tell each other that we were raising red herrings and tell each other why, and leave the other threads for more reasonable discussion.  Who knows if the idea would work?  I certainly don't.  But it might give us some practice on distinguishing topic from distraction, which can't help but do us all good generally speaking, and more specifically will allow us to see what each of us thinks the point of a discussion might be, and what serves to further it and what serves to distract from it.  I confess that I have had considerable disagreement with some folks on these issues from time to time.  Some must be clearly laid at my feet, but I suspect not all of them, and the more common understanding we can develop, the fewer unnecessary quarrels will come up.  

     Some are necessary and indeed useful clashes of points of view, to my mind.

     Anyway, that's my thinking, and that's the best way I can put it right now.  If I'm being vague or if there's something I can try to clarify, I'll make it my business to give it my best shot.  Can't promise to succeed, but I'll give it my best shot.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven  

    
Bob K
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4 posted 07-14-2009 02:24 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

quote:

Well, Bob, I - and around 70% of the public polled - disagree with you. Some of us feel that it was a smart thing to do. One fact that cannot be disputed is that we were not attacked again after such things were implemented. Does the wiretapping get the credit for that? Beats me. That's a question that can't be answered, since it didn't happen. I would much rather have any inconvenience incurred by it than another 9/11. It damaged our civil liberties? That would not be a first,  considering the Japanese interrment camps and the McCarthy trials and too many other instances that could be listed. Do you feel your own personal liberties were damaged? In what way?



     You bury me with off the subject questions.  The subject is what were the things that happened in addition to the wire taps that we know about following the 2001 imposition of the restriction of civil liberties.  You are eating up that space.  

     I will pick and choose.  We have discussed some of these topics before.  You should remember my answers from before.  Asking again serves only to use up my writing and research time.  If I have any new information, I'll try to find some way of fitting it into so appropriate future post.

     We don't run governments by popularity poll.  The founders loathed the idea, and were extraordinarily distrustful of it.  A serious conservative would know that this is an outrageous position for him or her to take, since it is at odds with the basic constitutional principles he believes in.  Indeed, the constitution is designed to protect us from this exactly situation.  It doesn't matter what percentage of the population feels this way.  The feeling needs to last at least two years to have any impact, and four before it begins to make structural impact.  This is why the Presidency is not decided by popular vote, though there is pressure to change that now.

     The fact that you place your particular slant on our freedom from major terrorist attack on US soil (I am not sure this is true, by the way; I'm simply going with you on this because I don't have research time now) says little.  There hasn't been a whole lot of serious attacks in the former Yugoslavia since that time.  There have been a number of serious attacks of US allies in that time.  The attack on Iraq was an attack on what the administration claimed was a whole series of sinister forces, each having to be eventually acknowledged as either false or an outright lie in turn.  You could as easily say that the actual removal of the twin towers (sick as the comparison is) was the agent to kept America free from attack.  There is as much evidence to prove cause or correlation.  It sounds great to draw that conclusion because it offers us the illusion of control over what happens to us, but the proof of correlation is not there.  If it is, show me the math and show me the studies that prove it.  It's comforting but probably untrue.

     You suggestion that there is a correlation and that you'd be willing to accept the inconvenience is therefore without logical grounding.  You are now proud owner of a bridge in Brooklyn, and are trying to sell other people shares of the same great investment.  That it would not be the first damage to our civil liberties is not a healthy excuse for accepting another assault.  All you are saying is that you've gotten so used to it that it's okay with you by now, and that you expect the rest of the country to live down to that standard.  That is not what the ideals of the country are supposed to be about.  It is not only not what Liberalism is supposed to be about, it's not what conservatism is supposed to be about either. If it is, when did it start?

     Do I feel my own personal liberties were damaged?

     Well, yeah!

      I told you about being stopped and closely questioned three times on a single bus trip from Ithaca to Buffalo, and also from Buffalo to Ithaca.  I told you about the rank discourtesy some of my companions were exposed to.  You didn't find that met your standards.  I was somewhat upset to hear that you were imposing your standards for what was good enough to be upset about when you asked me what I felt.

     The standard was what I felt.

     The point was that this behavior was repeated for everybody on the bus on a domestic bus trip, and it was not polite, it was darn crude and insulting.  The point was that this was simply the obvious behavior, the behavior that I knew about.  Because the way the law was structured, they didn't have to tell you that they were going through your things and going through your mail or entering your house or checking to see what books you read from your bookstore or your library.  You have no idea what information the government is collecting on you and what use they are making of it.

     You, Mike, thought that was terrific.  As long as the government was Republican, everything was swell.  Now that the power has changed at least some of your fellows are starting to wonder what uses are being made of those sweeping powers, and whether there might be a crackdown on right wing politics, talks shows or politicians.  This was fine when the shoe was on the other foot; now it's unfair and terrible and possibly as measure of potential tyranny.

     I think it was always a potential instrument of tyranny, and it continues to be one today.  It's simply easier to see what's been done by looking back at where it all started, and to work our way forward.  The folks back then are out of power and can't strike back as hard.  Then we need to work our way forward, as far as it goes.

     My personal opinion is that the Democrats aren't as much involved as the Republicans, simply because they've been out of power too long to get hooked back in to the machinery.  If you want to prove me wrong though,  I'm really going to want solid reasoning and as many facts as you've got.  Local Rebel has made a very fine case.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Balladeer
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5 posted 07-14-2009 09:48 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Is there a Red Herring thread #2 to follow up the red herrings on red herring #1, like comparing the absence of terrorists attacks in Yugoslavia to the ones in the US? Or the removal of the twin towers? Of course you champion Local Rebel. Can you show me a thread in the history of the Alley where you disagreed with him on anything? It would be against the Musketeer code.

No, this thread seems to be constructed for a place where insults can pour more freely than on the actual threads in the Alley and, like I said, if one doesn't consider his statements to be red herrings, what would be the point of coming here, which I don't plan on continuing. If there is a topic that you feel manifests itself from an Alley  thread, then just begin a new topic in the Alley based on that assumption. We don't need a "step outside" approach.

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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6 posted 07-14-2009 03:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           Perhaps you can tell me how the opening posting of a thread can be a Red Herring.  That posting sets the tone.  It can't distract somebody from itself; it is the subject.  

     Comments about the logic in the discussion of attribution of the lack of terrorist attacks to Repressive policy are near as I can tell, fairly straightforward.  There is no logic in attributing the connection of lack of terrorist attacks toe Bush's policy.  It is in fact a named logical fallacy  "After, therefore because of." I always screw up the Latin because I never learned the language.  Post hoc ergo propter hoc, I believe.  This is not a red herring, it's simply   the sort of mistake everybody makes from time to time.  As I recall, you were a touch uncertain about it in the original posting.

     There may be lots of reasons why that policy was the best one for the time, though I really don't think it was for reasons we've spoken about before.  This was not demonstrably one of them.

     This was my attempt to clear up the confusion of red herrings I found in the other thread.

     One thing I've learned is that we have a different idea of what a red herring may be, and that we may be getting upset about them for different reasons.

     It appears to me, perhaps incorrectly, that you have an idea about what's the right sort of thing to be talking about based on what's current and in the news, and if other folks bring up concerns other than that, you feel they are trying to get away from the topic and that you get upset, while I have the notion that the initial posting is what sets the subject and that postings that bring the subject away from that are red herrings.  That's one big sentence.  We might be able to save ourselves some trouble, and the site as well, if we could talk this out on email or something of that sort.  

     What do you think?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Grinch
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7 posted 07-14-2009 04:56 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Talking of kippers..

My wife’s recently decided to go on one of those annual diets that the fairer sex seems prone to.

This latest one has set me back a bedroom (converted to a gym), miscellaneous apparatus of torture masquerading as exercise equipment, the obligatory flat screen television with DVD (feel the burn) and a whole new wardrobe of clothes in the size she thinks she’s likely to get down to.

The upside is that her diet involves eating lots of fish which means the once banned pungent kippers and smoked mackerel I love are back on the menu.

Mmm.. kippers

I think I managed to keep on topic – just.

Balladeer
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8 posted 07-14-2009 06:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, you didn't, grinch. This thread is clearly about communist fish!
Bob K
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9 posted 07-14-2009 09:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Red Snapper?   Did somebody bring up Red Snapper?
Dark Star
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10 posted 07-14-2009 10:38 PM       View Profile for Dark Star   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dark Star

"communist fish", meh...
 
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