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Bob K
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225 posted 04-09-2010 01:34 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     So I did read the link.  Thank you Mike, for supplying it.  Asking you for it meant that I was sure that I'd get the offense-giving link and not some link you might disagree was the offense-giving link, later.  I wanted to get the text before the parrots had gotten to it, for sure.  I am puzzled by your missing that.  Perhaps I didn't explain it clearly enough, but I wanted it from as much your point of view as I could get it.  That seemed to be the only fair way of doing things.

     Clearly, it must be my own bias here, but I didn't see anything that was actually wrong about the article.  I don't mean that you'd need to agree with it or with the conclusions, but I believe that everything the author said was pretty much supported by his references and his references were solid.  The fact that you are contemptuous of the conclusions doesn't mean that they are wro ng, nor do you offer any references or reasoning from sources with anywhere near the credibility  that his had to offer.

     Actually, you didn't offer any at all, did you?

     Withering contempt is very thin stuff indeed without a clear factual basis to build it on.  You've been good with the withering contempt, not so good with the actual supporting facts, while The Guardian has you beat in that department hands down.

     I'm certainly interested in any references or facts that you might be willing to share to disprove the facts The Guardian has offered.  I look forward to the chance to see how the cases you and that paper put forward might compare.

     Please tell me, how do you think I might best judge which case is best in your opinion?  I'm inclined to go with accuracy of the facts first and foremost.  If, for example, The Guardian has the quotes from these particular Republican Congressfolk correct, it would be pretty difficult to escape the conclusions that The Guardian has drawn will have significant reality to them.

     Would you dispute these quotes?

     What about the article would you dispute, specifically, other than the fact that the conclusions are not conclusions that either of us would find pleasant?  I can, I think, see why the article so upset you, though not why Jennifer substituted another for it.  Nobody said that the truth would make you happy, after all; only that the truth would make you free.
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226 posted 04-09-2010 07:23 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, you keep making sounds like you want a fair conversation but you have already shown that's not possible. As I said, your view of the article is not important to me, just as Jen's little sneak substitution is obviously not of interest to you.

Have a nice day.
JenniferMaxwell
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227 posted 04-09-2010 10:18 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I didn't see much to dispute in the article, Bob. Maybe that's why the parrot's giving you the brush off - he just doesn't want to admit unpleasant truths?
Balladeer
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228 posted 04-09-2010 12:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Oh, boy...a double goad from the dynamic duo.

How about that Tom Watson??
Ron
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229 posted 04-09-2010 12:59 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I'm inclined to go with accuracy of the facts first and foremost.  If, for example, The Guardian has the quotes from these particular Republican Congressfolk correct, it would be pretty difficult to escape the conclusions that The Guardian has drawn will have significant reality to them.

And what if those facts, Bob, should also support Michele Bachmann's contention that your government is setting up political re-education camps for our country's youth? Does the quotation then lead to your same significant reality? (For the writers still among us: when did the verb quote replace the noun quotation? Never mind. I know I really shouldn't encourage Bob and his infamous tangents.   )

Facts are slippery little critters. It's patently impossible, and usually unwarranted, to consider every possible fact about every possible thing. So we pick and choose which facts we want to attend. Just as the article did, just as Bob is doing. That's why, even when the facts are accurate, they often lead to something other than the truth. Indeed, perhaps the greatest threat to critical thinking is mistaking accuracy for truth.

Here's the thing.

Trying to muzzle the little boy who cried wolf only serves to leave all the little sheep vulnerable and helpless. The little boy may have been wrong (or lied) any number of times, but he was right at least once. That one time, I believe, justifies all the mistakes and lies.

What if Obama really does intend to use one of his proposed social tools to influence the minds and attitudes of our kids? Don't you think that's kind of important? Shouldn't we at least want to take a look at the message he plans to send our children? What if it's a Republican president doing it a few years from now? Shouldn't Americans be warned?

And do we really want to characterize those warnings as hate-speech?

If you don't agree with Michele Bachmann's interpretation of her facts, it might be best to counter them with your own facts, with education, with persuasion, with even perhaps lies and propaganda of your own. Trying to shut her up is the wrong answer. If nothing else, you're just setting yourself up to be the object of similar tactics down the road. The power to silence others implicitly carries the ever-present danger of being silenced in turn. And for those who have, in these very pages, voiced their own concerns over the erosion of liberty in American, can there be any greater loss than that of your own voice?

You cannot limit political criticism in a free country. Not even a little. The minute you do, it ceases to be a free country. It becomes, instead, a reflection of whomever it was you allowed to set the limits.

Instead of blaming violence on free speech, how about we put the responsibility where it belongs - on the people engaged in the violence?
Bob K
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230 posted 04-09-2010 08:48 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Nice to see you, Ron.

quote:


You cannot limit political criticism in a free country. Not even a little. The minute you do, it ceases to be a free country. It becomes, instead, a reflection of whomever it was you allowed to set the limits.



     Perhaps you see me as limiting political criticism in a free country?

     I don't see myself as limiting political criticism in this country.  Telling people that the government is doing x,y, and z is not political criticism; it's a straightforward assertion of fact, and it needs to be buttressed with facts.
Especially if such statements are made to people already inflamed, such statements need to be buttressed with facts.

     If those facts show that Congresswoman Bachman's assertions are true, that our government is setting up political re-education camps for our children for our kids, I'd join her in her upset.

     In fact, my frequently expressed upset about The PATRIOT ACT, that piece of bi-partisan paranoid trash passed with the active help of the Democrats during the the first administration of the second Bush, hinges on just such issues as this.  I have expressed upset about President Obama not working to get it repealed, just as I expressed upset about the Democrats helping get it passed in the first place and about the pivotal roll the Republicans played in getting it passed in the first place, and have played in allowing it to stay in place now.

     If anybody wants to deal with that, let me know.  There is to my mind significant danger and it has no particular party to which it is aimed, only at the liberty of the nation itself.  "Only!"

     I see nobody who wants to deal with that.  What I see is an attempt to stir up partisan rage directed at the Administration for partisan purposes.  Should Congresswoman Bachman wish to deal with the actual danger to the country, count me in.  Even in that case she (and I, because I would then be included) would be responsible for dealing with the issue on a factual basis.  Advocating violent revolution is seditious and because of that, illegal.  The right wing seems to be heading in that direction, and that is what the article in [i]The Guardian[/i} pointed out.  

     I see myself as wanting people to keep the discussions factual.  When you start lying to a bunch of folks walking around with guns, I submit to you that the results can be explosive.

quote:


Facts are slippery little critters. It's patently impossible, and usually unwarranted, to consider every possible fact about every possible thing. So we pick and choose which facts we want to attend. Just as the article did, just as Bob is doing. That's why, even when the facts are accurate, they often lead to something other than the truth. Indeed, perhaps the greatest threat to critical thinking is mistaking accuracy for truth.



     Perhaps you heard me say that I wished to consider every possible fact about every possible thing.

     In that case, you will no doubt be relieved to know that I believe that to be not only impossible, but also irrelevant.  You pointed out my weakness for tangents, and this would certainly be an overindulgence.  I am not even terribly curious about who shaved the barber and who let the dogs out.

     When the facts are accurate, they may, in fact, lead to something other than the truth.  I agree with you entirely.  There are other factors that need to be considered, and I'm interested to know what you think those might be, because I certainly didn't mean to suggest that accurate facts would be the only element to be considered in making a decent decision, and I am, above all, interested in making a decent judgement and a decent decision.

     What I would like to point out, while I must acknowledge the fact that accurate facts may not necessarily lead to the truth, is that accurate fact are much more likely to lead to the truth than lies, half truths and deliberate evasions.  Despite the somewhat checkered record of the Intelligence services of this country, we still fund them because most administrations and most leaders other than, of course, the administration of the second President Bush, have found that accurate facts have proved absolutely vital in the formulation of national policy and in the making of safe and effective governmental decisions.  There are, as I mentioned, the occasional exceptions.

     It's been general governments experience, fronm the time of Sun Tzu on, that it's better to make decisions with a knowledsge of the facts than without it.  How well you make the decisions is infinitely more personal.

quote:


Here's the thing.

Trying to muzzle the little boy who cried wolf only serves to leave all the little sheep vulnerable and helpless. The little boy may have been wrong (or lied) any number of times, but he was right at least once. That one time, I believe, justifies all the mistakes and lies.



     Could be.

     But here's the thing.

     In real life, you aren't always limited to a single source of information, as in the example of the boy who cried wolf.  If that boy is the only source of information you have, well, gee, you're sort of stuck, aren't you.  You have to decide whether it's more expensive in terms of lives, money, safety to keep mobilizing every time you hear "Wolf" come over the loudspeaker, or whether it's more expensive in the same terms not to.

     You can decide to figure out if the boy is responding to the possibility of a coming wolf, or if the boy is responing to some other stimulus that makes him yell wolf instead, for example the need to have a dinner, go to the john or have a bit of excitement.  Idf you can do that, then you can plan around those times, or fire the boy and get another boy or make other plans entirely.  You don't have to keep listening to the same boy doping the same thing as though you were silly and helpless.

     Or you can figure out where the wolf is and go after it, eliminating the threat in the first place.

     There are also other strategies you can come up with.  

     Why allow yourself to be stuck in a failing dead-end strategy with an unreliable method when you can change it?  Surely, Ron, you don't believe that we have only those two choices?  I don't.  And it's certainly not a good reason to justify all the mistakes and lies.

     If it were your burglar alarm, you'd probably replace it, wouldn't you?  After the cops came out to your place the thirtieth or fortieth time and started coming more and more slowly, and then maybe didn't respond at all once or twice?

quote:


What if Obama really does intend to use one of his proposed social tools to influence the minds and attitudes of our kids? Don't you think that's kind of important? Shouldn't we at least want to take a look at the message he plans to send our children? What if it's a Republican president doing it a few years from now? Shouldn't Americans be warned?



     I asked Mike the same question about the Patriot act a few years ago, and really got no answer.  I guess he missed the importance of the question.  It remains as important today as it was then.

     The answer, as it was then, is to repeal the silly Patriot act, which gives the foundation in law for all these pieces of worry that today's Right Wing is (and I think with good reason) worrying about, because there is law there to support such actions as far as I understand it.  I was worrying about such actions during the previous two administrations.  And I still worry about such actions today, for the very same reason.  Also, we have come to a time when ther Posse Comitatus law is no longer in force, a big thanks due to both parties during the last administration.  That law needs to be brought back.

     One can communicate any of this stuff without trying to foment the sort of violence that Ms. Bachman and many of the cohorts seem to be attempting.  I don't expect everyone to agree it's hate speech.  You do not see the Democrats trying to equal or exceed it, however.  

     Nor is it a question of disagreeing with Ms. Bachmann's interpretation of her facts.  She has not shown them to be facts.  She makes them as assertions.  If they are facts, then she needs to show that they are facts and source them and reference them.  My interest in lies and propaganda of my own is zero.  I'd rather avoid that.  If I find myself voicing any, it is not intentional, and I will willingly apologise for anything that I say that I find to be untrue.  I can at least try for as much personal honesty as I can bear, which I hope to be quite a lot.  That doesn't mean I lay my life open befoire anybody, but that what I say I do believe to be true.

     I do not, on the whole, believe that violence comes from free speech.  Doing psychotherapy, one of the things that I've found is that for most people, angry speech is in fact a substitute for angry actions, and that if you can get somebody to vent, then the likelyhood of violence may well diminish.  This is not, however, always the case, and there are people for whom violent speech raises the level of violent tension higher, just as, for many, sexual speech raises the level of sexual tension.  Psychopaths, whose level of excitement is chronically low, really only begin to feel normal when the sense of danger for other folks begins to feel quite uncomfortable.  And it is these folks that I worry about.  They enjoy putting themselves into the fantasy of violent confrontations, and, after a time, the fantasy is not always enough.

     You can't curtail the freedoms of the many to control the psychopaths among us.  But you can ask those of us  who tend toward the more inflammatory sorts of speech to make sure that we're basing what we say in the facts and the truth.  And we should feel free to confront those who don't base what they say there.  That, too, is free speech.

     Hopefully, then, there won't be as many people we need to punish for violent actions:  Once, that is, people get used to making sure they're telling the truth when they speak, and other get used to confronting them about where they get their facts.
Ron
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231 posted 04-09-2010 10:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Telling people that the government is doing x,y, and z is not political criticism; it's a straightforward assertion of fact, and it needs to be buttressed with facts. Especially if such statements are made to people already inflamed, such statements need to be buttressed with facts.

And who is to be the buttressing police, Bob? You? Do you really feel qualified to determine for everyone which facts are or aren't to be added to the buttress?

Sorry, but you don't get to say what it political criticism, Bob, and what is a straightforward assertion of fact, at least not for anyone except yourself. Those distinctions have to be left up to each individual to make. That's sort of the definition of freedom?

quote:
If those facts show that Congresswoman Bachman's assertions are true, that our government is setting up political re-education camps for our children for our kids, I'd join her in her upset.

It doesn't matter if they're true, Bob. Nor is this about the Patriot Act, any more than her contentions were about the Patriot Act. The problem is that neither you nor the Guardian ever asked if Bachman was right. Instead, you simply labeled her contention something called hate-speech and implied Bachman shouldn't be allowed to criticize our President that way. That seems, to me, to be a far cry from countering her contentions with facts?

quote:
When you start lying to a bunch of folks walking around with guns, I submit to you that the results can be explosive.

And I submit, Bob, that when you start telling the truth to a bunch of folks walking around with guns the results are likely to be equally explosive. The problem isn't with the lies or with the truth.

The problem is with the idiots walking around with guns.

quote:
Advocating violent revolution is seditious and because of that, illegal.

Agreed. Absolutely.

And the fact, Bob, is that no one has shown us any politician or activist advocating violent revolution.

quote:
That I would like to point out, while I must acknowledge the fact that accurate facts may not necessarily lead to the truth, is that accurate fact are much more likely to lead to the truth than lies, half truths and deliberate evasions.

At the dire risk of igniting another tangent, Bob, I sincerely and passionately disagree. As just one example from tens of thousands, Orwell's 1984 was absolute political truth masquerading as lies, half truths, and beautifully executed evasions. What we might otherwise call . . . pretty much all of art? We use metaphor in art, Bob, because it is far more powerful than accurate facts.  

Again, however, that's all tangential. The fact, Bob, is that neither you nor I get to decide what other people can say about the government based just on our own perspective of so-called facts. There are no buttress police in a free society.

quote:
If it were your burglar alarm, you'd probably replace it, wouldn't you?

So, uh, do you want to replace just Congresswoman Bachman, Bob? Or the entire Republican party?

quote:
Perhaps you see me as limiting political criticism in a free country?

Well, yea, Bob. I do. You and articles like that from the Guardian.

I remember a few years back, Bob, when the "other side" was trying to do the same thing you are. Their spiel was that we shouldn't criticize that administration because doing so bolstered the terrorists and demoralized our own troops. They tried to make people feel bad about speaking out, tried to make it politically incorrect to call our politicians onto the carpet. Remember those days?

From where I sit, Bob, we're looking at different reasons given, different logic followed, but exactly the same results sought. You want to control what people say for what I'm sure you feel are very good reasons. Just like they did a few years back.

I didn't agree with them, then, and I won't agree with you now. Giving you or anyone else the right to determine what is "valid" criticism simply doesn't make sense. That's too much power to give anyone. Let the criticisms, the contentions, the assertions, the truth and the lies, let all be heard and weighed. I'll decide for myself, without your help thank you, where lies the truth I wish to follow. Let each man and woman decide that for themselves. And . . . let each man and woman be held responsible for their choices and their actions. That, I think, is both sides of the coin we call freedom.

quote:
And we should feel free to confront those who don't base what they say there.  That, too, is free speech.

Absolutely, Bob. Just as "those other guys" felt free to tell you and I we were bolstering terrorism and demoralizing the troops. And, of course, just as I can feel free to point out to you and those other guys that you're both, in very similar ways, endangering the freedom you insist on abusing.

The power to silence others implicitly carries the ever-present danger of being silenced in turn.


Bob K
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232 posted 04-10-2010 03:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     If you’ll have a look at my post # 225, Ron, which is what I think we’re talking about here, I was having a look at an article that Mike used to line his bird-cage.  I was trying to understand why the article was so offensive to him that he would use it for such a purpose without actually explaining what was wrong with it.  After looking at the article, I could not find any reason for his offense.  You already have the citation for the article; I’m not about to repeat it here.  I didn’t suggest that Mike needed to agree with the article or it’s conclusions.  I don’t suggest that you do.  The reason you can tell that I didn’t suggest Mike needed to agree with the conclusions is this sentence, “ I don't mean that you'd need to agree with [the article] or with the conclusions. . .” which, forgive me, I regard as a dead give-away(the brackets are my substitution, for clarity, for the word “it.”).

     While the article was several hundred words long, the thesis was presented succinctly.  “[R]ightwing hate, aided and abetted by leading Republicans, has gone mainstream.”  And the conclusion was equally as straightforward:

quote:

A responsible political opposition would find a way to oppose Obama and the Democratic Congress while at the same time standing up to the forces of extremism. Instead, today's Republican party coddles and indulges them, hoping they'll put down their guns long enough to vote for them this November.
It's a sick and cynical game, and we can only hope it doesn't end in tragedy.



     I pointed out that Mike had not in fact addressed the point of the article, but had said that he’d put it in a bird-cage.  The article had made its case.  How well it made its case was certainly a matter for debate, and it still is.  I think it made its case quite well.  I suggested that,
” I'm certainly interested in any references or facts that you might be willing to share to disprove the facts The Guardian has offered.  I look forward to the chance to see how the cases you and that paper put forward might compare.”

     And I asked on what basis, I thought the two cases might be compared.  I suggested that accuracy of the facts would be the best.  I still believe that is the case.

     I understand that you like to argue for some of the more interesting positions here, but you should be aware that you are doing so without opposition.  The Guardian doesn’t seem to be trying to shut anybody up, and I am not either.  The Guardian does seem to be pointing out what the effects of how The Republican Party is handling this whole business seems to be.  I agree with the article that it is a sick and cynical game.  I agree that it does seem to be provoking a rising cycle of violence, and that the net effect is to destabilize the country.

     The article was not about whether Bachman was right.  It would be an interesting article, should somebody want to write it, but as you would be the first to point out, the newspaper has a right to determine what the subject of the article was about, and the subject was about how  “[R]ightwing hate, aided and abetted by leading Republicans, has gone mainstream.”  

     Maybe if you write a letter to that paper you might suggest such a topic, in fairness, ought to be undertaken.

     It is, of course, my own contention, that the problem that underlies the whole thing is The PATRIOT ACT.  I have made reference to it before.  One might even go so far back at the McCarren Act, which authorized the opening of detention camps way back when.  Even in the most haunted of paranoid fancies, there is often a piece of the truth; nor would you hear me assert otherwise.

quote:


At the dire risk of igniting another tangent, Bob, I sincerely and passionately disagree. As just one example from tens of thousands, Orwell's 1984 was absolute political truth masquerading as lies, half truths, and beautifully executed evasions. What we might otherwise call . . . pretty much all of art? We use metaphor in art, Bob, because it is far more powerful than accurate facts. 



     A fascinating point, and one with substantial merit to it, I agree.

     I think, however, that it more likely falls under the situation I spoke of this way:

quote:

    When the facts are accurate, they may, in fact, lead to something other than the truth.  I agree with you entirely.  There are other factors that need to be considered, and I'm interested to know what you think those might be, because I certainly didn't mean to suggest that accurate facts would be the only element to be considered in making a decent decision, and I am, above all, interested in making a decent judgement and a decent decision.



     Alas, I’m afraid you see me more as an adversary here than an friend.


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If there's one thing about Ron, it's that he sees no one as an adversary and no one is exempt from his  being called to task for their words or actions. We have all been there

The thing is, Bob, you only see things the way you want to see them. You take as gospel things not factually presented and yet demand facts from anyone who disagrees.

“[R]ightwing hate, aided and abetted by leading Republicans, has gone mainstream.”  And the conclusion was equally as straightforward:

What is straightforward about that? Where is the proof of this right-wing hate? Or that any such hate is being abetted by leading Republicans?

Instead, today's Republican party coddles and indulges them, hoping they'll put down their guns long enough to vote for them this November.

Where is the proof that republicans coddle and indulge extremists? The pathetic offerings they have are simply their thoughts, adding 1+1 and coming up with 6. They speak of Scott Roeder, who shot the doctor almost a year ago and the fellow who flew his plane into the IRS building, making no connection with either to the right wing or the republican party or their actions being caused by the coddling of republican leadership.

They speak of the hurling of the N-word against the congressman with absolutely no proof it happened. They denounce the presentations of Beck and Bachmann with no proof they are wrong. These are the things you consider straightforward and yet you call for proof anyone who disagrees with them.

Withering contempt is very thin stuff indeed without a clear factual basis to build it on.  You've been good with the withering contempt, not so good with the actual supporting facts, while The Guardian has you beat in that department hands down.

     I'm certainly interested in any references or facts that you might be willing to share to disprove the facts The Guardian has offered.  I look forward to the chance to see how the cases you and that paper put forward might compare.


Yes, you are right, Bob, about withering contempt and that is exactly what the Guardian is displaying, with no factual basis, only things that "might" have happened or things that "might" be connected to the Republican party....and yet you have no problem with that.

  I see myself as wanting people to keep the discussions factual.  

No, you want to see those who DISAGREE with you to provide facts. Thoses who agree with you, like Jennifer or the Guardian, get a free pass. You are not willing to provide facts to back your own claims. You are not will to provide facts that the chanting of the N-word occured, for example. You are not willing to provide facts of "right wing" hatred instead of extremist actions. You will post paragraph after paragraph to get around presenting actual facts, believing that fancy phonetic footwork may cover the non-facts in your arguments.

It doesn't work that way.

JenniferMaxwell
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Death Panels, death panels, oogly boogly they're gonna kill gramma! 17000 armed IRS agents gonna beat down your door and haul your sorry uninsured butt off to jail! Obama - socialist, marxist, fascist, muslim, kenyan, terrorist lover, oogly boogly, duct tape and plastic!
Ron
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quote:
I was trying to understand why the article was so offensive to him that he would use it for such a purpose without actually explaining what was wrong with it.  After looking at the article, I could not find any reason for his offense.

Now perhaps you do? Or at least, as one concerned about personal liberty, you should.

quote:
The Guardian doesn’t seem to be trying to shut anybody up, and I am not either.

That's exactly what the Guardian is trying to do, Bob, and exactly what you have been arguing should happen. Whether you characterize criticism as hate speech or as treason, the only reason to do so is to stop it.

quote:
The article was not about whether Bachman was right.

Sure it was, Bob. Because if Bachman was right her words could no longer be called hateful. That neither the Guardian nor you ever asked if Bachman was right was, indeed, the point. Labels apparently made it okay to ignore the message.

quote:
Alas, I’m afraid you see me more as an adversary here than an friend.

I'm not arguing with you, Bob. Just with the words you have written in defense of an article I find highly objectionable and pathetically biased.

quote:
Death Panels, death panels, oogly boogly they're gonna kill gramma! 17000 armed IRS agents gonna beat down your door and haul your sorry uninsured butt off to jail! Obama - socialist, marxist, fascist, muslim, kenyan, terrorist lover, oogly boogly, duct tape and plastic!

The lies you like to effortlessly list are regrettable ones, Jennifer. You should, however, be far more concerned with efforts to silence the lies than simply with the lies themselves. Else surely there will come a day when you are no longer allowed to list them.

If the lies can be silenced, so too can the truth.
JenniferMaxwell
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236 posted 04-10-2010 12:54 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Hey, wasn't me, it was my parrot.
Ron
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Please don't give your password to your pets, Jennifer.
Bob K
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      IU don't swallow it, Ron.

      I believe you have made a noble effort here, speaking up on the side of lies and liers.  I believe that there is not not nor has there ever been much chance of shutting liers up by asking them to produce facts.  It didn't work with McCarthy, it didn't work with Palmer, and Father Coughlin; and Rush Limbaugh and his friends simply incorporate them into their ongoing stream of conversation.  They are a singularly hardy  life form.  

     Nor, had I the poiwer, would I wish to shut them up.  

     I am as much in favor as you of the freerdom of political speech.

     I do not draw as much of a distinction between speech and action as you seem to.  I believe in "performatives," those places where speech becomes action, for example when one says, "I do" in the wedding.  I think all speech has something of "the performative" in it, and this accounts for part of the magic in speech.  It appears you see speech as something much less solid.

     There is not much I can do against people who lie and distort and mislead with their words; but there is one thing I can do, and that is to make them accountable before their audience for what they say and howe they say it.  Of course they have the same freedom with me, and I expect them to take advantage of it, when they can.

     I do not exist in a vacuum, nor does The Gyardian.  The people who don't like what we say or how we say it are perfectly welcome to ask for an accounting from us as well, as they are from The Southern Poverty Law Center.  The more they do this anbd the more we do this, the better, because then people begin thinking about what the nature of the actual facts are instead of getting immediately carried away by the misinformation and the lies.

     This doesn't shut people up, it moves people into a place where they're trying to make statements that they can actually back up with facts.

     For some reason, you seem to have taken a dislike to facts in political discourse.  

     There's an interesting phgilosophical conversation in there, I think, about the nature of narritive in the social construction of reality and how rthat relates to facts.  The more I talk to you this way, the more I think you'd be an interesting guy to talk with about some of this stuff face to face some time.  But I don't think we can do that here, and it really would be a very large tangent.

     If Representitive Bachmann believes that The President is doing the terrible things she says he is doing, she needs to move from assertion to citation.  The Guardian is pointing that out.  Without facts, what the woman is saying is simply hate speech.  To encounter her on a level which offers facts to refute her at this point simply gives the woman ammunition instead of forcing her back to come up with her own sources.  Why do her work for her?  Why point out that such accusations have been a staple from the left since at least 1968, when I made them myself about the camps built on the authority of the McCarren Act.  Why point out that the Government actually used such camps during WWII?  It would only fuel the fire, and it would do nothing to prove or disprove her assertion that the President was preparing them.  Let her prove that.

     If McCarthy's words had been right, would they no longer have been hateful?

     There were old Communists hanging around.  So what?  The damage that McCarthy did to the country far outstripped the damage that they possibly cound have done.  He virtually turned this country into a police state.
If Ms Bachman is telling the truth, let her tell the truth so that everybody can hear it, not simply a selective element of the Republican party.  Let her speak, not only to them, but to all of us, with facts and figures that will convince us as well, so that we may join her.

     The fact that she doesn't do so says everytyhing that needs to be said about her message.  She doesn't appear interested in speaking to anybody else.

     Look at how her audiences respond to her speeches.  Are they calm and reflective.  Are they cheering thrilled, hopeful and newly invighorated  with hope for the democratic process, as people are after a speech by the President?  Or is the response something darker?

     If you want to the the intention of a communication, it generally helps to look at the response.

     Being somewhat rushed this morning, that's all I have time to say, except I'm enjoying having the chance to talk about this stuff.

     The part I do go along with, and think you're correct about is that anybody has the right to say, at any point, "show me your supportting data."  Demonstarte to me the truth of what you're saying to a reasonable standard that a reasonable audience may judge for themselves whether or not you are playing fair with the public.
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239 posted 04-10-2010 03:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I believe you have made a noble effort here, speaking up on the side of lies and liers.
Ron Carnell, defender of lies and liers, er, was that liars, Bob, or pliers and you forget the "p"?

For some reason, you seem to have taken a dislike to facts in political discourse.  
It's not my fault, Bob. I have warned Ron about that very thing, time after time.  

Without facts, what the woman is saying is simply hate speech.

I love it when you prove my point and expose your own bias, Bob. Let's take two situations here, Bachmann's assertions and the N-word chanting. With regards to Bachmann, you feel she needs to offer proof or else what she is saying is simply to stir up racism. It is not the Guardian's fault to investigate her claims. In the N-word prolongued chanting, you feel that those who claimed it happened, with absolutely no proof to back it up, are right and it is up to the republicans to prove it didn't happen. Why, then, wouldn't it be up to the Guardian, or you, to prove her assertions are inaccurate? Why, then, wouldn't it be democrats stirring up racism for asserting a point they can't prove?  You would love to have it both ways, but you can't. Well, you can but only by making your two claims on both sides of the fence dismissable.

You have nothing to say about the continued assault on the tea-party movement. They have been called unruly mobs, thugs, racists, Nazis, and all by members of congress, right up to the beloved Nancy Pelosi. Democrats have done whatever they can to paint the tea-pary movement with the blackest possible brush and are not concerned (and even count on the fact) that it will stir hatred towards them. That doesn't seem to bother you. Jennifer's ranting, like her last gem, doesn't bother you, either. Why? Because you WANT those results, therefore, they are forgivable. The tea party movement is dangerous to the democrats, not because grandmas are going to pull out Ouzies, but because they question. They want answers and they want accountability. If you are concerned about dissention disrupting the country you should be equally concerned about the fostering and spreading of lies coming from the Democrats. You don't, though, because your one-sidedness does not allow you to see anything but what you want to see. Anyone who doesn't share your views "dislikes facts".

Forgive us for not allowing you to have it both ways.

Ron
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quote:
I do not draw as much of a distinction between speech and action as you seem to.  I believe in "performatives," those places where speech becomes action, for example when one says, "I do" in the wedding.  I think all speech has something of "the performative" in it, and this accounts for part of the magic in speech.  It appears you see speech as something much less solid.

Not at all, Bob. I do not, however, try to tie the speech of Ms. A to the actions of Mr. B. Mr. B and Mr. B alone is responsible for the choices he makes.

quote:
For some reason, you seem to have taken a dislike to facts in political discourse.

Again, not at all, Bob. I simply refuse to let you or anyone else have the definitive voice on what is or isn't a fact.

quote:
If Representitive Bachmann believes that The President is doing the terrible things she says he is doing, she needs to move from assertion to citation.

No, Bob, she doesn't. Any more than you do when you assert that she does.

quote:
Without facts, what the woman is saying is simply hate speech.

No, they're still assertions, Bob, accusations even, but certainly not hate speech. Any more than your accusations about Bachman constitute hate speech.

quote:
To encounter her on a level which offers facts to refute her at this point simply gives the woman ammunition instead of forcing her back to come up with her own sources.  Why do her work for her?

Because she might not be your enemy? And because sometimes finding the truth is more important than being right?

For what it's worth (and this is another tangent), while I haven't read Bachman's actual words, her base assertion as quoted in the article is essentially accurate and (dare I say it?) quite factual. Obama is on record as advocating a "re-education" of our young people. He calls it service, of course, but the underlying philosophy isn't greatly different from what Hitler did (who probably also called it service). Nor is the underlying philosophy evil, just because Hitler used it. The devil is always in the details. And, yea, that's where your arguments should lie, too, in the details, not in labels of hate and spite.

quote:
Look at how her audiences respond to her speeches. Are they calm and reflective. Are they cheering thrilled, hopeful and newly invighorated  with hope for the democratic process, as people are after a speech by the President? Or is the response something darker?

Why do you insist on making one person responsible for the actions of another, Bob? In doing so, you only serve to absolve all audiences of their own personal responsibilities. It's not greatly different from the mythical Twinkie defense or the not so mythical The-devil-made-me-do-it line of thinking. Culpability lies with choice. So long as each audience member has a choice each audience member is responsible for that choice. Not the Twinkie, not the devil, and not the person standing at the microphone.

While I will never be in favor of advocating violence, I will always support the right to advocate discontent.
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241 posted 04-10-2010 04:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm curious, Bob. Would you consider this "hate speech"?
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum15/HTML/002838.html
Bob K
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242 posted 04-10-2010 05:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

From Wikipedia

quote:

Hate speech is, outside the law, any communication which disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race or sexual orientation.[1][2] In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or other characteristic.[3] In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both.
Critics have claimed that the term "Hate Speech" is a modern example of Newspeak, used to silence critics of social policies that have been poorly implemented in a rush to appear politically correct.[4][5][6]
A website that uses hate speech is called a hate site. Most of these sites contain Internet forums and news briefs that emphasize a particular viewpoint. There has been debate over how freedom of speech applies to the Internet. Conferences concerning such sites have been sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.[7]



     I think this isn't a bad working definition.

     What Jennifer is expressing is personal loathing, and, as I think you can see, it doesn't come under the rubric of "Hate Speech."  
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243 posted 04-10-2010 06:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I didn't ask if it fit the standard definition of hate speech. I asked if YOU consider it hate speech.

Also, do you consider "personal loathing" comments by tea baggers as being hate speech?
Bob K
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     If you speak about personal loathing directed at other members of Pip, Mike, I regard them as against the rules here, and not politically protected speech.  If you speak about calling Barney Frank "an aging queen," yes, I do; as you see, it falls into the catagory of hate speech as set forward in that Wiki blurb, and I generally agree with that.  I think it's bad taste, as well.

     Are you actually looking for guidelines within which you can feel free to smear other folks and feel good about it, Mike?  If somebody else does it and gets away with it, does that mean that you feel deprived of your chance to say something cruel as well?  I'd imagine your sense of fairness might do better trying to do other things than find the exact limits of what's useful in saying things that bother others.  If you feel that Jennifer has crossed the line, complain about it to the other moderators, don't try to drag me into your personal vendetta with Jennifer.

     No, I'm not entirely comfortable with what Jennifer said.  I think pearls and fleece are a daring fashion forward statement, and Jennifer ought to know what severe cold weather can do to a person's brain.  My preference is for at least attempting to be funny than attempting to be mean, but then you and I are of an age, and we seem to differ along the same lines, too.

       That may not be clear enough for you, and I do like to be as clear as possible without being nasty.

     I think that having one's facts in a row goes a long way, and Jennifer tends to do that.  I forgive a lot for a solid set of facts.  Despite Ron's apparent dislike for them, I find them much preferable to venom and lies as a way of conducting political discussions.  Failing that, they are an invaluable adjunct.

    

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245 posted 04-11-2010 01:51 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If you speak about personal loathing directed at other members of Pip, Mike

Where in the world do you come up with these things, Bob? I said nothing about loathing being directed at other members here. Jennifer's thread had nothing to do with other members here. My question about tea-baggers had nothing to do with other members here.....so where do you come up with a statement like that, unless it's just a way to change the subject.

Are you actually looking for guidelines within which you can feel free to smear other folks and feel good about it, Mike?

Another incredibly ludicrous statement, Bob, an insult to me and having nothing to do with my questions?

If you speak about calling Barney Frank "an aging queen," yes, I do

How convenient for you, Bob. You get to determine what is loathesome and what is hateful. Anti-republican is loathesome and allowable and anti-democratic is hate speech. Don't you get tired of showing how completely biased you are in your statements?I forgive a lot for a solid set of facts. No, you just forgive a lot if it is anti-republican, that's all.

That may not be clear enough for you, and I do like to be as clear as possible without being nasty. You mean nasty by entertaining the possiblilty I may be looking for ways to smear others and feel good about it? That kind of nasty, Bob?

No, it's not clear at all. You completely avoided my second question. Let me repeat it, in case you overlooked it.

do you consider "personal loathing" comments by tea baggers as being hate speech?

You don't need to write paragraphs to avoid answering it. It's not that difficult, really.

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Michael, it's quite simple. A rant by someone on the left is an example of free speech.

A rant by someone on the right is an example of a smear.

A rant against Obama's actions falls under the category of hate speech since he is black, and therefore any criticism is racist.

Remember Obama's Fight the Smears website during the campaign? And his link on the White House website for reporting 'lies and misinformation' about Healthcare, where it asked people to forward emails or report neighbors who spoke against it? He seems to characterize every disagreement or dissent as a smear or a lie and thereby seeks to inhibit free speech on that basis, which is faulty reasoning, since even if something is a smear or a lie, it's still protected speech. Determining what truth is can be a tricky business. What seems like truth to one person can be deemed a lie by another. Apparently only he and those who agree with him are entitled to free speech. And his followers and admirers seem to agree.
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     It would depend on the comment, wouldn't it, Mike?  Would the "personal Loathing" go over the line on any of the Wiki points?  If it did, it would certainly be hate speech.  If not, it wouldn't be.

     Would you be willing to take a shot on what hate speech is, then, Mike, or am I the only one in the hot seat today?  And how would you distinguish between hate speech and whatever your personal version of "personal loathing" might be?

     And Mike, I'm sorry if you're taking my responses as insults.   I do worry about the things I say I worry about, though.  If you're the kind of guy who can say the sort of things about President Obama that you can without turning a hair, surely you can't be offended at having to account for the reality of them.  And surely when you're confronted with the tone of them, you shouldn't get all defensive and say you're being picked on for being a Republican.  You're not being picked on for being a Republican, I criticize the man myself.  I don't even criticize all Republicans for the way they talk about the President, or Democrats in general, for that matter.

     I disagree with Grinch's politics a fair amount.  He's a conservative, albeit an English conservative, and I admire his thinking and even agree with him a fair amount of the time.  While his politics are sometimes closer to yours than mine, he seems interested in talking about the facts of the situation, and can be quite convincing on that basis.  As I've seen you find from time to time.

quote:

You don't need to write paragraphs to avoid answering it. It's not that difficult, really.



     Like you, if I feel that I don't want to answer something, I really don't feel compelled to answer it.  I simply would rather answer most of the time because I feel that a straight answer is an attempt to be straight with myself and with other people and it's good for my giblets.  I really do try to answer.  I am not always sure that I have answered for one reason or another.

     If I don't want to answer, I'll usually say, Sorry, guy, that's not something I want to tackle right now, or something to that effect.  I don't love the abuse that that particular answer draws, but I've gotten use to it.  It's part of the price I pay for drawing that line.

     In this case, the closest I can come is that it depends on which person's answering — and it has nothing to do with being a member ofg the Tea Party Nation or not — and what they have to say.  That's pretty much the same it would be with anybody else.

     One of the most wild cases of political partisanship leaking over into conversation — and I do hope you enjoy this as much as I do — is from Dr. Johnson, who is reputed to have said to somebody, "I take it, Sir, you are a Whig Dog?"  We really don't do it like that anymore, do we?
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248 posted 04-11-2010 07:38 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

And Mike, I'm sorry if you're taking my responses as insults. And surely when you're confronted with the tone of them, you shouldn't get all defensive and say you're being picked on for being a Republican.

No, Bob, I don't take anything you say about Republicans as being a personal insult. When you speak about the possibility of my looking for ways to smear people and feel good, I do.

Would you be willing to take a shot on what hate speech is, then, Mike, or am I the only one in the hot seat today?

Bob, I'm just confused at what you consider to be personal loathing and what you call hate speech. There has been a lot of comment by both you and Jennifer about hate speech coming from tea-partiers and I'm trying to determine just what you define as this "hate speech" you refer to. The example Jennifer provided us with confused me further when you referred to it as only "personal loathing" and also added the comment that you can forgive a lot for someone you feel provides a lot of facts most of the time. I would sincerely like to know what you consider the "hate speech" that has become such a topic here. If you could help me out, perhaps I could understand. For example, which of these would you call hate speech and which personal loathing?

Obama is a socialist.
Obama and democrats are ruining the country with their spending.
Kick these bums out of office.
Pelosi looks like a platypus on drugs.
We need to kick the dems out of office in November.
Obama is only interested in redistribution of wealth.

Are any of these labeled hate speech by you?  What are the things that tea-baggers are saying that you label hate speech? You have given one example.....any reference to Frank being referred to as a "queen". For some reason, I have a hard time seeing that inciting hatred but if you do then so be it.  What are examples that cause so many "hate speech" comments aimed at tea-baggers and republicans? Chanting the N-word would be a good example, if it happened, but since there is no proof of it even occuring, you can't use that one. Can you give me some factual examples, please?

Not meaning to put you on the hot seat but I'm just trying to understand your definitions and, therefore, your accusations.
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249 posted 04-11-2010 07:48 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Jennifer was also kind enough to provide the following excerrpt from MediaMatters:


A Harris poll released on March 24 found that a majority of Republican respondents believe that President Obama "is a socialist," "wants to take away Americans' right to own guns," "is a Muslim," "wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government," and "has done many things that are unconstitutional." The findings follow a year of such smears and attacks on Obama by conservatives."

...followed by her own personal comment..


Makes you wonder, are Republicans/conservatives/teabaggers really so gullible they'll believe any sort of rubbish as long as it smears the President? Seems like hate is running their brains as well as their mouths.

She has made the assertion that the comments listed are hate speech. Do you agree? If so, how? I'm not asking you if you feel they are accurate or not but whether they constitute hate speech or not.  Your thoughts.....?
 
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