The futility of arguing with hardcore Leftists *UPDATED*

Prior to Palin’s appearance on the national political scene, conservatives had long griped about the fact that the media’s narrative was slanted against them, but it was often difficult to point to something obvious that demonstrated this fact.  The media slipped up occasionally in big ways, such as Rathergate, but usually the bias was expressed more subtly, with turns of phrase, and over- or underexposure of issues.  With Palin, though, the ideological Left has abandoned subtlety and given up on any effort to advance actual facts.

I’m not the only one who has noticed the wholesale embrace of absolute falsehoods.  Ace noticed it too and did some investigating.  He discovered that the hardcore Left is encouraging the dissemination of out and out lies as an absolute necessity in the war against McCain and Palin.  Here’s Ace:

That’s a weird thing: Coordinated mass lying. Shit is slipping by us that we’re assuming might be true or somewhat true (those missing months of Bristol’s when she was carrying baby Trig, that “Alaskan Airline crew members stated Palin didn’t look pregnant,” etc.) just because we’re simply not used to thousands of people agreeing to spread deliberate lies to as many people as they can. The fact that multiple people on multiple websites are claiming it, seemingly independently, tricks us into thinking, subconsciously maybe, “Gee, they must have gotten that from some article; they all couldn’t just be lying in unison.”

Or could they?

I’ll print this posting found at DU, tipped to me by the great Larwyn, again:

122. What many here don’t understand. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. RUMOR IS TRUTH.

The modern laws of media hype and political warfare have a useful tenet:

Repeat ANYTHING or raise false concern over ANYTHING and it is likely to be planted in the conscious/subconscious of many voters.

If people start to think that there might be something fishy with Palin’s last kid (if hers), then that’s FINE. One more doubt (whether tied to reality or not) is another hesitation at the ballot box.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM PEOPLE. The “rising above it” bullshit has served us so well in the past, hasn’t it?

If you have problems with the story, then STFU and get out of the way of Dems who are engaged in MODERN POLITICAL WARFARE. Go tend your garden or some other pedestrian task, because the “concern trolls” are not helping shape the message.

J

By the way, if you’re a student of history, the directive in the last paragraph quoted, the one about abandoning truth in favor of useful lies, may strike you as familiar.  It’s the same technique that Goebbels perfected on Hitler’s behalf.  Goebbels’ theory was that the only “truth” is that which leads to the desired goal.  Or, as he said, “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result.  It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”

Repeat lies, big and little, often enough, and you will convince people of their truth.  Confuse straightforward arguments with myriad irrelevant, and often false, facts, and you will eventually exhaust people.  The good will walk away in disgust; the weak will capitulate and accept your false premises.  Either way, you win.

There is a point to this post beyond the obvious one of highlighting the way in which the Progressives, Liberals and Democrats (and whatever else they’re styling themselves)* have gone after Palin in an attempt to destroy the Republican ticket.  As many of my regular readers have noticed, my comments have been visited with overwhelming frequency by a handful people who oppose Bush and the Republicans, and are supportive of Obama and the Democrats.  Certainly that is their right to hold those views.

However, while their views are rightfully theirs, this blog is mine.  I’ve always encouraged open debate in the comments at this blog, and I’d like to continue to do so.  As long time readers know, some of the most interesting, enlightening and truly civil discussions here have involved people who are not conservative, but who come here with genuine good will and a desire to discuss issues.

My recent liberal commenters, however, seem less interested in reasoned debate, and much more interested in generating confusion and disinformation.  In other words, their tag team approach, demonstrated by an overwhelming volume and immediacy of responses, suggests a concerted effort to “shape the message” in precisely the way described in that DU post Ace describes.  Not only does this hog space, but it turns reading my blog into an exhausting exercise, and makes the blog a hostile environment to my regular, more temperate readers.

If this were a public forum, of course, we would all put up with this noise, since it would be a sign of a healthy public marketplace of ideas.  This is not a public forum, however.  It is my personal blog.  If you, my readers, are enjoying the debate, I will continue to let it flow freely.  However, if the intentional or unintentional tag-team approach that’s playing out now results in my blog being co-opted as a forum for views with which I disagree, let this post stand as warning that I will block commenting privileges — and I will do so by the end of this week.

And please don’t anybody cry censorship.  I’m not the government.  This is not a public space.  This is my intellectual parlor, and I am free to include those I feel enter with good will, and exclude those I feel come with a more nefarious purpose.

_____________________

*A propos the way in which liberals keep changing their name: There seems to be a sense among them that one term after another that is associated with them degrades in value.  We know this happens with language.  The most lovely example is the word beldam, which now means an “old hag,” but which comes from the French phrase for beautiful woman.  As the term “liberal” has become degraded from its association with the Left, the Lefter side of the spectrum has abandoned it for the term Progressive.  However, as long as the ideas continue the same, I suspect the title “Progressives,” too, will fall into disrepute.

UPDATE: Old War Dogs has an excellent no troll policy. A little more blunt than anything I would write, but the spirit is dead on correct.

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Comments

  1. BrianE says

    A speech before the Council for National Policy by John Stossel:
    “Freedom and Its Enemies”

    MR. STOSSEL: So you guys are mostly friends. You believe passionately in what you believe, but are you winning hearts and minds?

    I wonder about that. You have an uphill battle, and I would like to talk about that today and what I have learned about it in my 36 years of reporting, because I was your enemy for a long time. I got into media because I was a garden‑variety liberal coming out of Princeton and falling into a television job, and I approached life like most young reporters do. I became a consumer reporter, and my attitude was that capitalism is largely evil.

    I mean, it’s okay. It brings us some stuff, but, by and large, it is cruel and unfair and destructive to the earth, and so we need government and lawyers suing to protect us from you capitalists, and that is the kind of reporting I did for 10, 15 years, and there were lots of companies to make fun of. The Coffee Institute was running ads saying “Coffee is the drink that picks you up, while it calms you down.”

    So we’d call them up, and we’d say, “How can you say this? It is contradictory.”

    “Well, we have research to back this up.”

    “Really? What’s the research?”

    “Well, we surveyed thousands of people. We asked them what do you get out of your coffee break. Some people said it picked them up. Some people said it calmed them down.”

    MR. STOSSEL: So this is why we consumer activists said you got to regulate these people. They are always trying to cheat us, and intuitively, this makes sense. Intuitively, it makes sense that life is too complicated. We can’t make these judgments for ourselves. We need the wise elites in Washington and State capitals to make the decisions for us, to set the rules, and I believed that for too many years. But as a TV consumer reporter, I had an unusual ringside seat on the regulatory state, and I got to watch them work.

    It took me too long to see it, but it soon became clear that they weren’t making life better. First of all, there was the vast amount of money they were taking. The least of it was the taxes that they took. The big cost was the indirect cost, all the creative energy and the money that is lost trying to game the system…

    http://www.policycounsel.org/58602/65845.html

    He’s always great.

    I would suggest intersted folks go over to the nefarious, secret Council for National Policy. The one that’s trying to subvert the Constitution. There are some interesting speeches by some interesting speakers.

  2. BrianE says

    Judge Robert Bjork speaking before the Council for National Policy, Spring 2006:
    [snip]

    Law is a crucial element of American culture and although the situation there is currently grim, there is for the first time in many years reason to hope. One of the great achievements of Western nations has been the rule of law, which is now under attack from a determined and vicious enemy. Even more ominous, however, is the attack from within the West that may have dangerous consequences that go far beyond the law.

    Now, there’s a paradox here. The rule of law is in danger precisely because the nations of the West, including this country, are attempting to extend and solidify it. They have adopted constitutions enforced by judges and are creating international rules and tribunals to protect human freedoms.

    The one thing these nations have not taken into account, and neither has the United States, was what judges would do with the powers given to them. Judges throughout the West, not just the U.S., but in the UK and elsewhere, are becoming activists. They are taking sides in a transnational culture war. They elevate values peculiar to an Olympian intellectual class over the values of the general public. Olympianism has been defined by Kenneth Minogue, a British political philosopher. He said, “It’s the project of intellectual elite that believes it enjoys superior enlightenment and that its business is to spread this benefit to those living on the lower slopes of human achievement.”
    [snip]
    It is now being urged that there is an international law requiring abortion on demand and that people of nations which don’t allow it are in violation of international law. Well, the danger of this development to American sovereignty is clear, but I want to make an additional and perhaps more controversial point is this: the attitudes being taught by our courts and other Western courts, the UK is out in front and the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg is behaving in the same way, are politically correct, or blue-state values. They increase our vulnerability to the onslaught of the Islamic fascism.

    Now, I’ll try to state this very carefully because I do not want to be heard saying more than I mean. In the first place, I do not mean that courts are primarily responsible for the attitudes under discussion. Olympians in general are responsible, the intellectual class in general is responsible, and if we have time I’ll be delighted to define the intellectual class for you afterwards. Activist courts, however, not only reflect Olympian values because they come from that class and respond to it, but they reinforce them and spread them and give them legitimacy because Americans are told falsely that these are the values that their revered Constitution requires.

    However, these values are so contrary to the commonsense of the American people that their constant trumpeting and enforcement leads to moral anarchy and lowered morale. We are in the grip of a mood common to intellectuals that not only is America a highly imperfect society hardly worth shedding blood and treasure for, but that the individual is more important by far than the community and the community’s moral standards. That is radical individualism and it is a plague throughout the Western nations.

    This view suffuses the Supreme Court opinions. People forget that they don’t just decide cases as reported in the press and elsewhere, they give moral instruction, and this view of radical individualism suffuses Supreme Court opinions. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that it is “a moral fact that a person belongs to himself and not to others, nor to society as whole.” In a word, the individual has no obligations to anyone: wife, family, neighborhood, state, nation, or anything outside of his own skin. Now, Justice Kennedy also spoke for unrestrained individualism. As he twice put it in opinions, and both of these cases involved homosexual sodomy, the liberty the Constitution protects is, “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

    Both justices thought that these watery sentiments created a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy and the court was clearly headed for the invention of a constitutional right to homosexual marriage. Whether or not the angry reactions to the Massachusetts decision will deter them for a while, I don’t know, but if the same majority remains in power, they’ll be back. But rampant individualism is not confined to the question of homosexuality. It may be seen in the court’s throwing First Amendment protection around the vilest pornography, including computer-simulated child pornography, as free speech; in the court’s intense hostility to religion, which is particularly dangerous in the modern world, that hostility is; in the invention of a right to abortion, even partial birth abortion; in the steady whittling away of the death penalty with a view apparently of eventually abolishing it altogether; and more.

    Now, I want to stress that none of these developments, not one of these things the court has done that I just recited, not one of them is consistent with the Constitution, but every one of them is consistent with Olympian or intellectual class of values. That court is consciously engaged in social engineering to remake America in the blue-state image was made clear by Justice Kennedy in a recent interview he gave to something called The Academy of Achievement. They gave him an award. Stating his conception of the role of the court, he said, “You know, in any given year, we may make more important decisions than the legislative branch does, precluding foreign affairs perhaps.” That perhaps is ominous especially because the courts are going to take up various cases brought by terrorists.

    But Kennedy went on: “You,” he said, “as a justice have the opportunity to shape the destiny of the country. The framers wanted you to shape the destiny of the country. They did not want to frame it for you.” I don’t know what the point was of calling them framers or why they bothered writing a Constitution. They could have just have said – junked the Bill of Rights and said, “The Supreme Court shall determine the destiny of the nation.” Period. It’s a lot shorter.

    It’s increasingly clear that a court majority thinks that the sovereign individual has a constitutional right to be free of any legislation based upon community morality. Of course, all of this has moments of farce and you can’t read this stuff seriously for a long time without beginning to think of all kinds of quips about it. Ted Olson pointed out that the Supreme Court had held that students could not pray before a high school football game that nobody be injured because that was an establishment of religion. Previously, they had held that nude dancing was a form of expression and therefore had considerable First Amendment protection. And Ted said, “Well, since nude dancing is a superior form of communication to prayer, perhaps the students should dance naked before the games.” And I have only one caveat: the students must not get naked by doing the Dance of the Seven Veils, because that has biblical connotations and would be an establishment of religion.

    Well, Justice Scalia was less amused. In a different case he wrote: “Day by day, case by case, this court is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize,” nor, I might add, do the American people recognize the country that is being reengineered against their will.

    http://www.policycounsel.org/46101/59902.html

    Well worth the read.

  3. Deana says

    Hi Ozzie –

    Thank you for your response.

    It is clear that you (and some others here) honestly believe that conservatives “aren’t paying attention” or, as dg clearly intimated earlier, that we aren’t as “expert” on the big issues and therefore need others to point out the truth and the dangers that apparently are lurking everywhere. And that’s fine. Believe me, most conservatives know very well by now that regardless of how many years we spend in school and/or work in a particular field, those on the left will forever be convinced that they and they alone hold the keys to knowledge, awareness, and intellect.

    Ozzie – I don’t know who the folks are whom you know on the religious right and maybe they are the scary kind (and yes, I agree with you, there are some that are scary!!). But the conservatives I know who are deeply religious really want few things: yes, they do want the unborn to have the opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just like the rest of us received. But they also want government to get the **** out of their lives and stop taxing them to death!!!! They want a strong national defense, justices who seem to remember what it is they are supposed to do and NOT do, and a society in which people are advanced based on merit. Mostly, they just want government out of their lives. Is that so bad??

    Ozzie – have you ever read a book about a country or population that was eventually taken over by fundamentalists? I happen to be thinking specifically of Iran at this moment but there are others. The reason I ask is this: our society simply is not in the kind of shape that is required for fundamentalist activity to take root. I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen in the future – it could. But for now, our lives and our realities do not in any way resemble those societies in which fundamentalism took root and grew to devastating proportions.

    I apologize for the choppiness of my post but I’ve been working all night and am hitting the wall here. Anyway, I do appreciate your response.

    Deana

  4. Ozzie says

    It is clear that you (and some others here) honestly believe that conservatives “aren’t paying attention- Deanna

    It’s not just conservatives. It’s Americans in general. People are busy and only have time to get snippets on TV. Nobody gets a full picture without reading a great deal.

    “I don’t know who the folks are whom you know on the religious right and maybe they are the scary kind (and yes, I agree with you, there are some that are scary!!). – Deanna

    Once again, I’m not talking about individuals. Most of the people I know belong to mainstream religions, and aren’t actively seeking to meld church and state. I’m talking about the Evangelical movement and its leaders’ intentions.

    “But the conservatives I know who are deeply religious really want few things: yes, they do want the unborn to have the opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just like the rest of us received. But they also want government to get the **** out of their lives and stop taxing them to death!!!! They want a strong national defense, justices who seem to remember what it is they are supposed to do and NOT do, and a society in which people are advanced based on merit. Mostly, they just want government out of their lives. Is that so bad?? -Deanna

    None of that is so bad, Deanna.

    My issue is that there seems to be a disconnect between what Republicans have traditionaly stood for and what the party actually delivers. (Ditto for Democrats, by the way).

    The party of Eisenhower and the party of George W. Bush are lighyears apart, and the government is in people’s lives more than ever before.

    Mainstream religions, whose leaders have met with every president since George Bush, were pushed aside by the Bush adminstration, in favor of the growing Evangelical churches, whose leaders have actively sought to subvert the separation of powers that have been in effect since day one, which could create a more autocratic government, rather than one that stays out of people’s lives.

    Mainstream churches weren’t trying to meld themselves with the government. Evanglical leaders have explicitedly stated that this is what they intend to do.

    “Ozzie – have you ever read a book about a country or population that was eventually taken over by fundamentalists? I happen to be thinking specifically of Iran at this moment but there are others. The reason I ask is this: our society simply is not in the kind of shape that is required for fundamentalist activity to take root. ”

    We will never be like Iran. This country is too big and too diverse.

    Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists, however, want to overthrow the government and create a hardcore theocracy based on Biblical law.

    They’re hardcore fundamentalists. I dont think they’ll ever get their way. But the fact that they’d had access (and were behind legislation that actually passed in the House) should give Americans pause.

  5. BrianE says

    Robert Bjork said:

    But Kennedy went on: “You,” he said, “as a justice have the opportunity to shape the destiny of the country. The framers wanted you to shape the destiny of the country. They did not want to frame it for you.” I don’t know what the point was of calling them framers or why they bothered writing a Constitution. They could have just have said – junked the Bill of Rights and said, “The Supreme Court shall determine the destiny of the nation.” Period. It’s a lot shorter.

    It’s increasingly clear that a court majority thinks that the sovereign individual has a constitutional right to be free of any legislation based upon community morality.

    I assume you don’t put Robert Bjork on the fringe, certainly not of the Religious Right.

    This is the grave danger facing the Republic, the usurpation of power rightly granted to the legislature that has been co-opted by judicial activists.

    If these are issues you feel are injurious to the country, or as Scalia noted, “day by day the supreme court is designing a constitution for a country I do not recognize”, some have come to the conclusion that the supreme court must be bypassed. I don’t know if this concept of limiting the scope of the Supreme Court will ever be tried. If you have a solution I would be interested in hearing it.

    But as Bjork again identifies: “Now, I want to stress that none of these developments, not one of these things the court has done that I just recited, not one of them is consistent with the Constitution, but every one of them is consistent with Olympian or intellectual class of values. That court is consciously engaged in social engineering to remake America in the blue-state image was made clear by Justice Kennedy in a recent interview he gave to something called The Academy of Achievement. They gave him an award. Stating his conception of the role of the court, he said, “You know, in any given year, we may make more important decisions than the legislative branch does, precluding foreign affairs perhaps.””
    These Olympian values are being taught at law schools across the country, continuing the cycle of subversion of the judicial system.
    Most Christians, maybe the exception being amillenialists, don’t believe that laws will perfect the human race. We aren’t trying to turn America into a theocracy. But we do understand that… “However, these values (radical socialist agenda) are so contrary to the commonsense of the American people that their constant trumpeting and enforcement leads to moral anarchy and lowered morale. We are in the grip of a mood common to intellectuals that not only is America a highly imperfect society hardly worth shedding blood and treasure for, but that the individual is more important by far than the community and the community’s moral standards. That is radical individualism and it is a plague throughout the Western nations.”

  6. Ozzie says

    some have come to the conclusion that the supreme court must be bypassed. – Brian

    I know.

    I get it.

    The three branches of government aren’t working for these folks so they’d like to do away with the Supreme Court.

    And, in absense of that, they’re looking for ways to subvert the separation of powers.

    I see danger in that.

    I’m guessing that you see wisdom.

  7. suek says

    >>”It’s increasingly clear that a court majority thinks that the sovereign individual has a constitutional right to be free of any legislation based upon community morality.”>>

    That way lies anarchy.

  8. Deana says

    Hi Ozzie –

    Thank you for your response.

    You contend that the Bush administration ignored mainstream religious leaders and instead cultivated strong ties with evangelical churches. Assuming that this is even true, this could not possibly be a serious concern of yours unless you believe that most evangelicals believe in and are willing to support what the Reconstructionists, Dominionists, and other radical Christian groups are aiming for. I really do not think that is what is happening out there.

    Even if most evangelicals out there are sympathetic to these radical groups and are committed to making significant changes to our laws and practices, what evidence is out there to show that they have been even remotely successful? President Bush has been in office for 8 years and if we are to believe everything we have been told, he is (simultaneously) the anti-Christ who will stop at nothing to turn this country into a Christian theocracy. He, along with his minions in the evangelical movement and that nefarious Karl Rove, has had plenty of time, money and support to subvert the First Amendment. And what has happened? Have there been laws passed “encouraging” citizens to convert to Christianity? Do churches get seats in Congress? Do they get to participate in the judiciary? Are non-Christians pressured by the government to convert, required to pay higher taxes, or forced to somehow separate themselves from Christians? Maybe you think these are extreme cases and you are just worried about the “subtle, nuanced” influences of the evangelicals. Well, look at the whole faith-based and community initiative that President Bush established early in his presidency. Even though the funds were distributed through state agencies and then to local organizations based on grants and the program had safeguards to protect the separation of church and state, there was significant criticism of the program and various lawsuits ensued. The whole initiative was an effort to help religious (not just Christian) AND non-religious community organizations address the many social problems that affect our communities and people went bonkers. Don’t you think that there would be just a little bit of upheaval if there were serious infringements on the First Amendment?

    Maybe you are aware of this already but the churches I am familiar with pay attention to politics, NOT because they are trying to influence laws but because they want to keep Washington as far away as possible. They know that the more contact there is between them and Washington will guarantee further intrusion by the state into the church. They want them out.

    Ozzie, I truly am not trying to belittle your fears. I look at some in radical Christianity and they give me the creeps. But Americans, including religious Americans, do not like others telling them what to do. They don’t like others interfering in their lives, even if they happen to share similar beliefs. In order for your fears to have even a remote chance of becoming a reality, vast swaths of the American public would have to undergo a significant change in their ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles. We, as Americans, simply do not hold the type of values, nor do we live the types of lives that are necessary for these concerns of yours to stand much of a chance.

    Thanks.

    Deana

  9. Ymarsakar says

    As many of my regular readers have noticed, my comments have been visited with overwhelming frequency by a handful people who oppose Bush and the Republicans

    I don’t remember seeing these people criticize Bush when I was talking about Bush in 2005-6.

    They certainly oppose Iraq, Vietnam, and saving the lives of other people who deserve it.

    My recent liberal commenters, however, seem less interested in reasoned debate, and much more interested in generating confusion and disinformation.

    I comment a lot, so I know to what extent writing links and analyzing positions on a blog’s comment section takes in terms of time. It would be a full day task, in fact, to replicate Oz or Dg. It’s why I leave most of it to BrainE, for I want to read other blogs about Palin and I wouldn’t have the time if I started responding to everything Oz or Dg said, every day.

    I disagree, let this post stand as warning that I will block commenting privileges — and I will do so by the end of this week.

    If you just block dagon, everything will be alright.

    and exclude those I feel come with a more nefarious purpose.

    Oz doesn’t have a nefarious purpose. And Dg is just biased. When I say biased, I mean compartamentalized bias, such as double think.

    Oz has that nihilistic complex that sees destroying things, enjoying witnessing destruction, and helping people blow stuff up rather than rebuild, is somehow a mark of complexity and construction on Oz’s part. What this means is that if you start talking with them, be assured that your philosophical assumptions are going to meet a hammer and you’re not going to feel all that good afterwards. Cause when two mutually exclusive philosophies meet, what you have is a battle, not a pleasant conversation over the weather.

    As for practical advice, Book: I think you should tell people and the people who want to argue with them, to keep it in an older thread. Stop continuing to grab attention on new threads, if you have as yet un-resolved arguments on previous threads. Use the previous threads. Do not use the newest threads under the newest posts. That is designed to grab people’s attention, and not the attention of the people they are arguing with primarily.

    This includes people on both sides. BrianE as well as Dg.

    People should and can argue amongst themselves for however long they wish to devote to it; they should not be called for derailing the primary subject of one of BOok’s post. However, if you continuously make the same views known, across multiple threads, even as Book posts new things, that’s not just arguing with one person over an issue you find interesting. That’s dominating Book’s readership to your message. A common information warfare tactic. You cannot convince people, unless you have their attention. And Book has a lot of attention, in her readers, that can be re-directed towards a commenter’s issues.

    with comments that liberals were not allowing free discussion.

    There’s nothing about lying and making deception work, that could be called “unfree”. Lying is a product of freedom.

    I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, but play devil’s advocate on both sets of sites.

    Dan Rather and Bill Keller of the NYTimes says the same thing. They were both lying, though. And the one they were lying to, was themselves.

    I haven’t “tag teamed” with anyone (although I have been ganged-up upon)

    I guess that’s an example of dg’s “devil’s advocate for both sets”. He hasn’t tag teamed, but he has gone against tag teams. Yeah, that’s arguing for both sides.

    Thanks for the analysis. I really am blind. Wondered why I was getting exhausted reading some of the posts lately.

    If you have ever read Neo-Neocon’s blog when she got attacked by a bunch of people who kept masking their IPs to stop her from banning them, you’d know what it would feel like to read a blog war ongoing across multiple days, weeks, and months.

    I never said I was a lifelong Independent, but became one when it became clear to me that the Democrats could not – or would not — deliver on most campaign promises.

    Like getting out of Iraq. Oz doesn’t like Iraq, especially now that people are living better lives. That’s a fact, interpret it however you wish.

    That doesn’t mean Oz is sitting on a fence with no bias towards either side. That’s like an arms merchant saying he takes no sides by selling both sides weapons to kill each other with.

    You have maintained that equal pay is not an important issue to feminists, although on the website of the largest women’s PAC in the country (NOW), a constitutional amendment for equal gender rights, including equal pay, is clearly listed as one of the five key issues promoted by the group.-Dg

    Dg doesn’t use the same logic that I do or even the rest of us do.

    It’s like I nuke Moscow, when I said I would’t, but my supporters defend my action as being a consistent issue because of how I made it clear when I posted up a Constitutional Amendment for “Not Nuking Moscow Now” 5 months ago.

    You can see the problems of logic with that. Why are my actions in one field, necessarily consistent and directly tied to my actions in another field? One’s an action of nuking and attacking; the other is words on paper. Which takes priority in terms of determining people’s consistency and predilections?

    Plagiarism was the wrong word. I meant to say that your entire argument was someone else’s rather than your own, but you did give credit to that source.

    Plagirism is the right word, for Dg cannot be stupid enough to misremember what plagiriasm means. What went wrong is that Dg showed what he really thought of other people’s debating tactics. He thought of them as Goebbels or following in that philosophy of propaganda, which is a bias and a prejudice. But the facts, as they increasingly do, turn out to refuse to substantiate dg’s biases.

    Danny, how many years between hits on the World Trade Centers? Hint: more than the 7th anniversary we celebrate today.

    That’s another example of Dg’s “logic” for you.

    Just because there was X number of years with Clinton between two events, doesn’t mean that Bush would have made the time smaller or even longer in terms of intervals between another event. It is totally irrelevant. It’s a non sequitur. It’s illogical. But it is perfectly reasonable to Dg and how it sees and uses logic, however.

    But you should be careful about declaring success on the part of the Bush Administration just yet…

    Another non sequitur.

    How many does dg have? Nobody knows.

    Examples? Your response #12 to my post, the point of which addressed fears about Christian Fundamentalists (directly at Ozzie’s hysterics, mostly) raises a more-than seven-year gap between the two Trade Center bombings (the non-sequitur). Huh? Certainly you aren’t trying to convince us that there were no attacks after the first WTC bombing, were you?

    Who said non sequiturs had to make some kind of logically consistent sense? They don’t have to. It is not required. That is why people use them.

    Look, DG…I agree with BrianE: you’re intelligent.

    Which is why when dg said he used the “wrong word”, plagiriasm, you really have to think about that for more than 2 seconds.

    As people should have noticed now. People are continuing to drag issues they spoke of in the past, to the latest and newest thead. Where people like me, who have little interest in reading BrianE’s numerous arguments with dg and Oz’s numerous with X.

    I firmly recognize that this is useful if you want to make a point about Dg and Oz’s previous actions, but you certainly have to recognize that you are falling into the trap of giving them the Top Notch attention by regurgitating their old arguments in a regenerating format. Readers of Book’s comment section cannot “ignore” the arguments Oz and Dg comes up with. Why? Because people keep bringing them up to the newest comment sections, and across MULTIPLE comment sections.

    Stop doing that. Or if you want to do that, do it once every 3 days, not once every 5 hours.

    It’s not like you people can’t link to one of Book’s perma link older comments, and keep your arguments there, not here. Is that so diffcult after people have unleashed a barrage of other links to “sources” these days?

    Or is it that it is simply more convenient to draw attention to Oz’s and Dg’s arguments so that people cannot ignore them without scrolling past huge text every time they want to read the comment response to one of Book’s newest posts.

    I remind people that this is September the 12th and Book’s post was written on September the 10th. All the comments after this, was on subject. That’s how it should be. If people have problems with other commenters, keep it in the thread where you have the problem with him or her. Do not follow him or her into some other thread, nor should you allow him or her to raise objections on the other thread, when they could have easily raised those objections on an older thread.

  10. Ozzie says

    You contend that the Bush administration ignored mainstream religious leaders and instead cultivated strong ties with evangelical churches. Assuming that this is even true, this could not possibly be a serious concern of yours unless you believe that most evangelicals believe in and are willing to support what the Reconstructionists, Dominionists, and other radical Christian groups are aiming for. I really do not think that is what is happening out there. – Deanna

    Hi Deanna.

    Dominionists were behind the Constituion Restoration Act, but Evangelicals were behind the Marriage Protection Act, which cited the untested provision, Article III, Section 2, as a loophole. This bill passed in the House, but not in the Senate. (The New York Times called the Marriage Protection Act “a radical assault on the Constitution,” and deemed it a “radical approach” which “would allow Congress to revoke the courts’ ability to guard constitutional freedoms of all kinds.”).

    This bill woud have allowed Congress to bypass the Supreme Court and not allow the Supreme Court to consider whether laws they passed were Constitutional or not.

    I found that alrming, Brian did not.

    But yes, the National Council of Churches, which represents the country’s Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians , etc were largely ignored by President Bush, while evangelicals enjoyed unparalleled access.

    This is what Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Bob Edgar told Salon.com in 2004:

    “Bush has shown an ideological commitment to the literalist Christian tradition at the expense of the broader view of the larger religious community. He is the first president not to meet with the leadership of mainline Christian traditions since George Washington. We’ve been able to talk with the prime minister of Britain and the chancellor of Germany, but not our own president.”

    *******

    “Even if most evangelicals out there are sympathetic to these radical groups and are committed to making significant changes to our laws and practices, what evidence is out there to show that they have been even remotely successful? President Bush has been in office for 8 years and if we are to believe everything we have been told, he is (simultaneously) the anti-Christ who will stop at nothing to turn this country into a Christian theocracy. . “Deanna

    I breathed a sigh of relief after it looked as of the Religous Right had overstepped its bounds in 2004-2006. Did you ever hear of David Kuo? He’s a very smart and very sane Evangelical who worked inthe Bush White House and wrote a book and an 2006 New York Times op-ed saying that Evangelicals should stop mixing religion with politics.

    He believes that Evangelicals actualy sully their faith by mixing it with politics. And that faith should be a priority.

    He also used a line that I thought was pretty funny:

    “Jesus was resurrected only once. The religious right has been resurrected at least twice in just the past 15 years.”

    Well, anyway, today he wrote a post about Palin, saying that she’s a politician first and would throw her faith under a bus for political gain.

    http://culture11.com/blogs/kuoandjoe/2008/09/11/palins-grand-sellout/

    I’m not sure if it made me feel better or worse, but it’s nice to see an Evangelical who’s seen the inner workings of the White House weigh in.

    But once again, I’m not concerned that America will become an Iranian-type Theocracy, but that the GOP has become the political arm of the Christian Right.

    The Palin pick proved that to me, showing that, though many thought the Religious Right was D.O.A in 2006, it’s been resurected yet again.

  11. BrianE says

    Ozzie,
    If Bush had met with the mainline denominations, led by the National Council of Churches, that would have been OK by you?

    Do you know why he didn’t?

    They’re pro-choice Democrats!

    Everyone should have a voice in government, but the people working to defeat you probably aren’t going to get the best seat at the table, metaphorically speaking.

    Look, there evangelical Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian associations, but they’re not part of the NCC.

    I’d be happy to continue this discussion, and get in depth on the Council for National Policy, eschatology, dominionists, reconstructionist or anything else, but let’s move this over to the other thread if you want to continue.

    Sorry, but using the New York Times as proof of anything is not proof of anything.

  12. Gringo says

    I guess Ozzie is justified in getting really alarmed Governor Palin.

    ANCHORAGE — Weeks after taking office as Alaska’s governor in December 2006, Sarah Palin vetoed a bill that sought to ban benefits for the same-sex partners of state workers. It was unconstitutional, she said.
    This year, she rebuffed religious conservatives who wanted her to add two abortion restriction measures to a special legislative session on oil and gas policy, even though she supported the bills. Former aide Larry Persily said she didn’t want to risk offending Democrats, whose votes she needed on energy legislation…
    But in her 21 months as governor, Palin has taken few steps to advance culturally conservative causes. Instead, after she knocked off an incumbent amid an influence-peddling scandal linked to the oil industry, Palin pursued a populist agenda that toughened ethics rules and raised taxes on oil and gas companies.
    “She has governed from the center,” says Rebecca Braun, author of Alaska Budget Report, a non-partisan political newsletter. “She has in some small ways supported her religious views — for example, proposing money to continue the office of faith-based and community initiatives — but she has actually been conspicuously absent on social issues. She came in with a big oil and gas agenda, which really required Democratic allies to get through.”
    John Bitney, who was Palin’s issues adviser during the 2006 campaign and later worked as her legislative liaison before she fired him, says, “She’s a very devout Christian. That’s a part of her core. But we never put those issues forward in the campaign. She takes the positions she takes because that’s who she is, but when she came into office, that wasn’t her agenda.”

    Better get the storm cellar ready, Ozzie.

  13. Ymarsakar says

    Sorry, but using the New York Times as proof of anything is not proof of anything.

    It’s proof of how Oz thinks and what Oz thinks is valid logic and reason.

    That is important, Brian.

  14. Ymarsakar says

    Gringo, some people cannot imagine Palin not bringing her own personal issues to a position of power like the Governorship of Alaska. Why? Because they could never resist abusing such power, Gringo, so why should they believe Palin is any better than they?

  15. Deana says

    Hi Ozzie –

    Wait a minute. You are saying that the nomination of Palin to the VP slot on the GOP ticket is evidence of the resurgence of the religious right.

    Then you quote this “very smart, very sane” evangelical, David Kuo, who says that Palin is a politician first who would throw her faith under a bus for political gain.

    Ozzie, if she truly is someone who is willing to throw her faith under the bus in a heartbeat for her own personal/political gain, then why are you so worried about her nomination? Do you really think she is going to spend her time collaborating with all of these radicals to ensure America bends to her religious will? I mean, if the GOP really is the political arm of the Christian right (which you seem to equate with the Reconstructionists, Dominionists, and other far radical groups), then how can her nomination possibly prove to you that the religious right is resurrected and on the warpath?

    One other question: it is obvious that you spend an inordinate about of energy thinking about the dangers of the religious right or the radical Christian groups. (So far, you seem to use these concepts interchangeably and don’t seem to distinguish between those people who are conservative and go to church versus the tiny minority of people who belong to truly radical groups). You clearly are concerned about the danger these groups COULD present IF they were to ever become powerful. Again, these are POTENTIAL dangers – they have not happened, even though we are assured over and over again that these groups have never had a better friend than George W. Bush.

    My last question is this: do you spend the same about of time and energy worrying about the ACTUAL assaults on freedom presented by members of other religions? Do you worry about the installation of foot-washing stations for Muslims on college campuses? That is not a potential danger – it has happened at various colleges around the U.S. Do you worry about the increase in reports of Muslim student associations demanding separate prayer rooms at U.S. colleges? Do you get concerned when you read about how Muslim schools in the U.S. are being funded by radical Muslim groups (and we need to be clear, here: radical Islam means something a little different than radical Christianity)? How do you react when you hear members of the press admit to self-censorship for fear of angering Muslims? Did you worry when you found out in August that Random House US pulled out of publication a novel titled The Jewel of Medina for fear of inciting Muslim violence (see link below)? These are but a few examples of ACTUAL events that have already happened here in the U.S. It doesn’t even begin to address the actual assaults on freedom that Muslims have perpetrated on others in European and other countries.

    I’m just wondering.

    Thanks.

    Deana

    http://www.thebookseller.com/news/64777-random-us-no-regrets-over-islam-book.html

  16. Ymarsakar says

    These are but a few examples of ACTUAL events that have already happened here in the U.S. It doesn’t even begin to address the actual assaults on freedom that Muslims have perpetrated on others in European and other countries.

    You should be aware of the thinking that the Christians are hidden and require stringent research by Oz, while Muslims are getting attacked and balanced all the time. So this means the Christians require more proactive action than against Muslims, for the Muslims are known to the public but the Christian extremists are not.

  17. Ozzie says

    Wait a minute. You are saying that the nomination of Palin to the VP slot on the GOP ticket is evidence of the resurgence of the religious right. – Deann

    I have no doubt that she was chosen to appeal to the Religious Right, particularly after Dobson, Lahaye and other members of the Council for National Policy vetted her, the way they did Geroge W. Bush.

    Dobson and Gary Bauer changed their mind about voting for John McCain after he picked Sarah Plain, with Gary Beuar being invited to help draft the current GOP platform.

    “Then you quote this “very smart, very sane” evangelical, David Kuo, who says that Palin is a politician first who would throw her faith under a bus for political gain. ” – Deanna

    That’s what Kuo believes George Bush eventually did, which is why Kuo became so dissillusioned. Kuo is no longer in cahoots with the political arm of the Christian Right, and believes, as did C.S Lewis, that when people mix politics and religion, politics and religion both suffer.

    Once again, I have no problem with Evangelicals as individuals. But when their agenda becomes the country’s agenda, I become a sad panda.

    “Ozzie, if she truly is someone who is willing to throw her faith under the bus in a heartbeat for her own personal/political gain, then why are you so worried about her nomination? ” — Deanna

    Well, that’s why I said, I’m not sure how I feel about Kuo’s assessment, though I appreciated reading his thoughts. If she’s a true believer, that could be very bad for the country, should she become President and the GOP control the Senate and Congress again.* If she’s pandering and we arent subjected to the silliness that accompanies one-party rule, she might end up being just another Dan Quayle.

    * (During the Terry Schiavo drama, when Tom DeLay’s Values Action Team pipelined some scary legislation to Congress, Christopher Shays said, “This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy,” which is how it felt to me, also. It was difficult to tell whether George Bush was a true believer or just pandering, but in the end, Kuo believers Bush took Evangelicals for a ride, the way politicians typically do).

    I don’t have a cyrstal ball. Just memories of the 2004-2005 silly season and an increased awareness I can’t ignore.

    I cannot know for certain what is in Palin’s heart and mind, but I’m not only weighing the onslaught of “Christian Nation” legislation the country endured during 2004-2005, and hoping we never have a repeat of that.

    But here’s the other side of the coin: I believe that Palin was chosen to appeal to the Relgious Right, which should not be a qualification for the second highest office in the land. I would prefer to have a VP who showed INTEREST in events that occured during the past 8 years, and didnt have to be spoonfed talking points..

    I’m just a goober and I know what the Bush Doctrine is. It was clear she didnt, which I’m filing under the same, “Ut-Oh” file as Gov. Plain’s Dec 2006 observation that she wasn’t really paying attention to the war Iraq.

    Some watched Palin’s interview and thougt she did well, while others, like David Frum, cringed and reminded himself that John McCain had a 6 in 7 chance of making in through his first term.

    But that’s where were are in this country.

    Whatever The Republcian and Democratic parties once stood for, that’s all gone.

    I became an Independent after watching the Democrat’s keep mum and play along, when they should have been shouting objections from the rooftops.

    These days, I vote for individual politicians based upon their merits. But, when it comes to national politics, I vote against the special interests that scare me most.

    And Sarah Palin, as the darling of the Relgious Right, (whether she’s pandering or is a true believer), does not sit well with me.

  18. Ozzie says

    My last question is this: do you spend the same about of time and energy worrying about the ACTUAL assaults on freedom presented by members of other religions? Do you worry about the installation of foot-washing stations for Muslims on college campuses? That is not a potential danger – it has happened at various colleges around the U.S. Do you worry about the increase in reports of Muslim student associations demanding separate prayer rooms at U.S. colleges? – Deanna

    If Muslims ever became so powerful in this country that Republicans’ or Democrats’ only chance of winning was through the blessing of secretive and very powerful Muslim organization or if members of Congress created a “Values Action Team” designed to streamline legislation designed to turn this country into a Muslim nation, I’d be even MORE concerned.

    But with Human Secularists being shut out of the Democratic National Convention due to the political danger of associating with agnostics or athiests, I highly doubt Muslims will ever be granted access to Congress or that a candidate would have to be a Muslim to make it to the second highest office in the land..

    Footwashing stations at College campuses for ANY minority or majority relgion would not bother me.

    Relgious students demanding seperate prayer stations at colleges dont concern me much either.

    Having actual power and using that power in ways that affect the structure of the U.S government is a much bigger deal.

  19. BrianE says

    Ozzie said:

    But with Human Secularists being shut out of the Democratic National Convention due to the political danger of associating with agnostics or athiests…

    So this “ultra-secretive cabal that networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy”, according to Max Blumenthal, is powerful indeed.

    If Muslims ever became so powerful in this country that Republicans’ or Democrats’ only chance of winning was through the blessing of secretive and very powerful Muslim organization

    Just subsititute Council for National Policy for Muslim and you have what Ozzie believes is their power.
    Not only do they have the Republicans in their sway, acting as king makers, but they have the Democrat party in a hypnotic trance, a kind of thought control, where they are afraid to associate with humanists for fear of the CNP wrath.
    This is the kind of power from which myths are made, legends are born and totalitarians will eulogize centuries from now.

  20. Ozzie says

    Not only do they have the Republicans in their sway, acting as king makers, but they have the Democrat party in a hypnotic trance, a kind of thought control, where they are afraid to associate with humanists for fear of the CNP wrath.- Brian

    The CNP belongs solely to the GOP, Brain.. Dobston, Lahaye et all would NEVER vote for a Democrat..

    But, in 2006, Evangelicals became upset with the Republican party, and started leaving in droves, and the Democrats tried to capitlaize on it. (This was before the Palin pick, mind you).

    I think it was ridiculous, but that’s how it goes.

    From the Denver Post:

    What about Democrats who are not “people of faith?”

    The party that will soon nominate Obama is to be praised for its acceptance of and respect for its religious members. However, it is the nonbelievers who are now being ignored.

    Hearing of the plans for the prayer/unity/values event leading off the convention on August 24, Ron Millar, Associate Director of the Secular Coalition for America, wrote a letter on July 2 to Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Democratic National Committee and planner of the “big tent” event. He asked Daughtry if nontheistic Americans were welcome and, if so, how this would be manifested.

    While not replying directly to the Coalition, Daughtry did discuss the request with the Associated Press.

    For more:
    http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_10216736

  21. BrianE says

    When first avowing his religious credentials for president, Barack Obama said – and then repeated many times since – that “secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.”

    The party that will soon nominate Obama is to be praised for its acceptance of and respect for its religious members. However, it is the nonbelievers who are now being ignored.

    Hearing of the plans for the prayer/unity/values event leading off the convention on August 24, Ron Millar, Associate Director of the Secular Coalition for America, wrote a letter on July 2 to Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Democratic National Committee and planner of the “big tent” event. He asked Daughtry if nontheistic Americans were welcome and, if so, how this would be manifested.

    While not replying directly to the Coalition, Daughtry did discuss the request with the Associated Press.

    “Atheists speaking at an interfaith service…does that work?” a “befuddled” Daughtry was quoted as asking in a July 19 story by the AP’s Eric Gorski. “I don’t quite know. But they’re part of the party, you treat them with respect.”

    The first sign that treating them with respect was not a priority for Daughtry was her lumping all notheists who include not only agnostics but also humanists, skeptics, and believers in spirit but not a personal god into atheists.

    And the second came with the announcement of the lineup for what had once been thought of as a “values” and a “unity” event: no one represents the millions of secularists. Daughtry: “Democrats have been, are and will continue to be people of faith – and this interfaith gathering is proof of that.”

    But what about those Democrats who are not “people of faith?” Are they not invited? Or invited just to watch others pray? Should their own outlook not even be acknowledged?

    If the Democrats are trying to strike unifying chords among their entire kaleidoscopic range of liberals, moderates, and progressives, it should be obvious that secularists cannot dare be left out of the “big tent” event, and that it should be about beliefs and values, not solely about religion.

    I’m not sure what to make of this. Athiests feel excluded from an event where people who believe in a Supreme Being are asking for guidance, blessing, forgiveness, etc? Why would they want to be there? It makes no sense.

  22. Ozzie says

    So this “ultra-secretive cabal that networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy”, according to Max Blumenthal, is powerful indeed- Brain

    Once again, Brian, if you want to read more, there is plenty out there, and not just from Max Blumenthal.

    Conservative authors who are concerned about the wall between Church and State have addressed this issue too.

    If you’re not keen on reading an Independent like Kevin Phillips, David Kuo, an Evangelical who worked in the Bush White House, wrote a book about this, from an Evangelical’s point of view, while Republican Senators have aired their concerns..

    You keep trying to disprove what I’m saying, by twisting everything, and acting as if I dont know what I’m talking about. I’m not sure what your motivation is…Perhaps you feel attacked and feel the need to discredit me and/or what I’m saying?

    I dont know if you’re deliberately trying to distort what I’m saying, or if you are reacting to something in your own head, but I’ve done the best I can to explain my point of view

    I’ve stated my opinions and tried to back them up the best I can.

  23. BrianE says

    Ozzie,
    I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, sometimes my attempts to be clever lean toward the sarcastic.
    I’m aware of the debate inside Christianity about the extent of involvement in societal affairs. The Christian mandate is to reach the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ, not to turn society into a theocracy.
    In terms of religious involvement in society, even Obama understands this though: “secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.”
    It’s not my place to judge the sincerity of Obama’s profession of faith. But the Bible does say you will know them by their fruit. Is the message of Obama’s faith about personal redemption or societal redemption? And was the democrat attempt to woo disaffected Evangelicals sincere or manipulative?
    I’m not sure Evangelicals, however unhappy they have been at some of George Bush’s initiatives (think immigration) would migrate to Obama, a candidate who represents the extreme of the abortion on demand party.
    The Great Awakening, and other spiritual revivals in this country have always began with personal repentance, which then manifests itself in a public call for piety. Chang happens from within.
    I think there was the beginning of a sincere spiritual awakening in this country following September 11, and whether or not we are seeing a manifestation of that is hard to judge, given the overwhelming bias against things spiritual by secularists.
    I don’t need to discredit you, but I do believe the extent you give power to the Religious Right, whoever that my be, is exaggerated, despite your documentation.
    I’ll try to lay out a case for that soon.
    The fact is, the majority of people in this country believe in a Supreme Being who is involved in the affairs of this world.

  24. Ozzie says

    I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, sometimes my attempts to be clever lean toward the sarcastic.- Brian

    I didnt know if you were deliberately twisting my words or not, Brian, but I never equated the Council for National Policy with Muslims.

    You didnt offend me. You just made me question your intentions.

    I’ve said all I can say on the topic and think this particular horse has been beaten to death – and then some.

  25. Gringo says

    Ozzie: But with Human Secularists being shut out of the Democratic National Convention due to the political danger of associating with agnostics or athiests
    Perhaps the “Human Secularists” should form a new political party.

    The buzz term is “Secular Humanists,” not “Human Secularists.”

    I find it extremely hard to believe that Secular Humanists had been shut out of the DNC. Then why do about 2/3 of nonchurchgoers vote Democratic? As about 1/6 of the US do not attend church, then about 1/5 of the Democratic vote comes from nonchurchgoers( do the math” 2/3X 1/6= 2/18 ~ 10% and Demos get 1/2 of national vote.). You are going to inform me that their points of view are not respected within the Democratic Party?

    Such statements as the above italicized one lose you credibility.

    My experience as a nonchurchgoer all my life is that the US is very comfortable for those of my ilk, as long as I accept the fact that not everyone agrees with me.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-06-02-religion-gap_x.htm
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/945/religion-alaska-palin 16% of Americans unaffiliated with churches, compared to 27% of Alaskans.

  26. Ymarsakar says

    This is just one big circular logic, Oz is making.

    Christians are dangerous because Oz found out how a hidden council. Why Christians are more dangerous than Muslims is because Oz found out about a hidden Christian, not Muslim, council.

    Why has Oz found a Christian, but not a Muslim, hidden council?

    Wait for it…

    Because Christians are dangerous.

    You see how this works, Brian. What, exactly, are you arguing with Oz about then?

  27. Mike Devx says

    Well, this thread was certainly hijacked! Not that the topics under discussion aren’t interesting, but the comments aren’t comments relating to Book’s original post.

    Book, I wonder if there isn’t a way for you to hide “off topic” comments so that by default they don’t appear? Or all that can be seen is the header, for example:
    Mike Devx [Off Topic] on 14 Sep 2008 at 19:01:02

    Of course then you’d have to administer the comments. Ugh. And even if you monitored only the most recent N comments each day, it would probably be too much of a pain. And you’d have to do it at least twice per day, or your threads would still get hijacked by the provocative comments designed to steer the discussion away from the expected topic.

    (Yes, I know I’m guilty of some of those alternative postings as well.)

  28. says

    Mike, there are programs that you add to comments that allow comments to be left in threads, with sub issues tying into each other. Unfortunately, they don’t work in WordPress! It’s simply a matter of separating wheat from chaff on your own….

  29. Ymarsakar says

    It’s a matter of providing a zone of comfort in the comment section of each new post. A grace period of a day or so that you can’t argue, which is different from commenting or reproducing information on other topics, with another person about subjects that you two are somehow particularly interested in to the point where you are going to keep arguing for more than one pass.

    The readers of this blog should not have to scroll through 5-25 comments that devolve around an argument between two or more people, that don’t particularly argue anything in Book’s thread. And they should not have to do this, constantly, every time they want to read one of Book’s posts, for the first time, and then proceed to read the comment section under it.

  30. Ymarsakar says

    As I made a, belated, comment on the previous post right next to this one, people should not just accept Dg’s illogical arguments and then make a huge debate about it, assuming those illlogical arguments are logical and true. Illogical arguments don’t deserve attention or words on paper.

    Once the core or the base of an argument is rendered invalid, you no longer need to worry about any of the conclusions that line of reasoning will come up with.

  31. Ymarsakar says

    And Btw, the problem is not that people talk about “Off topic” things. That is totally irrelevant.

    What we have are personalities designed to instigate arguments that force people to pay attention to them. This is done by constantly being argumentative and attempting to pick apart people’s comments by starting a fight.

    Obviously, people can and should be able to defend their statements here. But the burden of proof is on the aggressor, not the defendant. If you want to talk about how “honest” Andrew Sullivan is, and you are going to use that appeal to authority to bulk up your claims, then you also can’t claim that people are killing the messenger by destroying Sullivan’s authority as “honest”. You brought it up. You defend it if you want the benefits.

    The defendants do not have the burden of proof on this matter. By making it so, you create endless chains of arguments based upon wrong and false logical foundations. That will always produce pointless arguments in the end.

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