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September 03, 2004

Comments

Windhorse

Adrian,

I have noticed your comments apprearing in various progressive blogs that I frequent, and I tracked you back here a week ago or so. Besides finding your God theory really wild, what else caught my eye was your goal of fostering understanding between the "right" and the "left," for want of better terms. I respect that, and think that restoring civil relations between the two generalized political polarizations in this country is critically necessary. We need to return to a time where a Ronald Reagan can sit down for drinks with a Tip O'Neill at the end of the day, or where Republicans are driven by principle to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct against a Nixon, and not driven by politics to have endless baseless investigations against a Democrat.

While I will firmly argue that it is the modern day iteration of the Republican party which is responsible for ratcheting up of the diviseness, who started it is ultimately not important. What IS important is restoring civility and objectivity as much as possible, I believe. So I for one support your efforts at trying to establish real debate.

I would like to make an observation, however. You remarked about getting nasty receptions on "lefty" blogs. I've only seen a couple of your posts, but the ones I've seen have included some pretty ad hominem stuff in them: how men on the left aren't real men like the longshoremen you worked with or whatever. While I know what you're getting at and I think there's some truth to what you're saying -- although I do think your hypothesis misses the mark entirely -- the parts where you say things like "I can think of no worse nightmare than to be the son of a Democrat, Feminist Manly-GirlFrankly" isn't serious debate, it's just schoolyard namecalling. I think those are perfectly acceptable musings for your own blog, don't get me wrong, but toss that stuff out there on Eschatan or Yglesias and you're begging people to jump on you, and you know it. If I made equally insulting claim about Republicans on Free Republic they'd send someone over to vandalize my house, or report me to Homeland Security. They don't allow even respectful policy disagreement, much less generalized character attacks on their own.

I'm here writing this now because I just saw your comment on Eschaton about a double digit lead for Bush in the polls, saying something condescending like "gee, that's too bad." Doesn't sound like trying to foster real debate or understanding to me.

Anyway, I don't know if you're serious about trying to breed respect between right and left, but if you are, for what it's worth I'm with you, and I look forward to talking, but I don't think it's ever gonna happen if it's filled with taunting, insults, and name-calling. Do you?

Adrian Spidle

"Anyway, I don't know if you're serious about trying to breed respect between right and left, but if you are, for what it's worth I'm with you, and I look forward to talking, but I don't think it's ever gonna happen if it's filled with taunting, insults, and name-calling. Do you?

Posted by: Windhorse"

WELL. THANK YOU. I ASSURE YOU THAT I'D NEVER SHOW ANYTHING BUT RESPECT TO A THOUGHTFUL PERSON LIKE YOU NO MATTER WHAT YOUR POLITICS WERE. I'D LOVE TO ENQUIRE INTO SOME POLICY DIFFERENCES WITH YOU.

ON THE OTHER HAND, AND I KNOW THIS IS BAD, I DO SO DEARLY LOVE AN OCCASIONAL FOOD FIGHT.

DO YOU THINK ITS POSSIBLE TO BOTH BE RESPECTFUL TO INDIVIDUALS WHILE ENJOYING A LITTLE SMACK WITH OTHERS?

ALSO, ISN'T IT OK TO MAKE GENERALIZED OBSERVATIONS ABOUT PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN VIEWS?

Bonnie

I have to agree with Windhorse. I've never gotten the feeling from your posts that you have any desire to understand your sinister brothers and sisters.


ALSO, ISN'T IT OK TO MAKE GENERALIZED OBSERVATIONS ABOUT PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN VIEWS?

I think it depends on whether your generalized view is used to understand or to dismiss. With you I see a lot of dismissal and not much understanding. Maybe you've thought these issues through enough that you feel right in dismissing them, but it's kind of insulating to those of us who believe in them. And I know I've done the same to you, so you needn't bother pointing that out!

Having taken a ride through the right wing reality tunnel, I truly feel I know where you are coming from. In fact it was scary, because I was really starting to see things from your point of view. I don't think it would take a whole lot of twisting my thinking around to permanently enter the global republican think tank. But your remark about building more jails really reminded me of the inherent meanness of republicans. My lefty view of the world is logical, reasonable, and has tons of evidence to back it up. And there's a voice that sounds like God to me telling me the left worldview is a much more moral, compassionate and loving way of looking at and acting toward my fellow human beings.

I really really do believe both the right and the left are necessary to society. Maybe if we throw out the Ann Coulters and the Al Frankens we could get somewhere. But the harsh truth is we have absolutely irreconcilable views about things, e.g. gay marriage, spending tax money on feeding poor people versus killing poor people, getting to the roots of crime versus locking millions of people in cages where they become monsters... so I don't really know if there will ever be a meaningful meeting of the minds. Maybe we're just doomed to make fun of each other and think each other are complete idiots.

I wish we could use each other's strengths to work together to build an America that we could all live with, but I don't know if that's possible either. You don't want to live in an America where god forsaken sodomites raise children and I don't want to live in an America that looks like Dickins' London.

I thought you were kidding when you said you wanted me to contribute... email me and let me know what that's all aboot, wouldja?

Adrian Spidle

I have to agree with Windhorse. I've never gotten the feeling from your posts that you have any desire to understand your sinister brothers and sisters.

OH I DO. I JUST THINK I UNDERSTAND THEM AND THE WORLD BETTER THAN THEY DO. I'M HAPPY TO DEBATE THAT POINT. I DO REALIZE IT SOUNDS OBNOXIOUS, BUT THAT IS HOW I SEE IT.

I think it depends on whether your generalized view is used to understand or to dismiss. With you I see a lot of dismissal and not much understanding. Maybe you've thought these issues through enough that you feel right in dismissing them, but it's kind of insulating to those of us who believe in them. And I know I've done the same to you, so you needn't bother pointing that out!

DISMISSING BAD DATA AND BAD IDEAS IS GOOD FOR ONES SANITY. AGAIN, I'M HAPPY TO ENQUIRE WITH YOU INTO ANY PARTICULAR DATA OR IDEA THAT YOU THINK I'M WRONG ABOUT.

Having taken a ride through the right wing reality tunnel, I truly feel I know where you are coming from. In fact it was scary, because I was really starting to see things from your point of view. I don't think it would take a whole lot of twisting my thinking around to permanently enter the global republican think tank. But your remark about building more jails really reminded me of the inherent meanness of republicans.

WELL, YOU'RE JUST WRONG. I KNOW WE'RE BOTH PARENTS. MY 37 Y/O HAS A BRILLIANT WIFE, A SON AND A DAUGHTER ON THE WAY. HE HAS AN IVY LEAGUE PHD AND A GREAT JOB. MY 9 Y/O DAUGHTER IS AMBITIOUS, BEAUTIFUL, BRILLIANT, ATHLETIC AND EXTREMELY SENSITIVE AND LOVING.

I USED TOUGH LOVE, COACHING AND GUIDANCE TO MAKE THEM THAT WAY. EXPAND THAT STRATEGY TO SOCIETY AND YOU ARE A REPUBLICAN.

My lefty view of the world is logical, reasonable, and has tons of evidence to back it up.

LOGIC AND REASON ARE USELESS IF THEY IGNORE RELATED DATA AND PROCESSESS. YOUR "TONS OF EVIDENCE" ARE STILL A VERY VERY SMALL PART OF ALL THE EVIDENCE.

And there's a voice that sounds like God to me telling me the left worldview is a much more moral, compassionate and loving way of looking at and acting toward my fellow human beings.

I ALSO HAVE A VOICE LIKE GOD THAT TELLS ME THAT I MUST WORK HARD TO ENSURE THAT COMPETENCY IS A BETTER GOAL THAN EXPRESSING JEALOUSY.

HELPING YOUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS TO BECOME COMPETENT IS THE BEST WAY TO HELP THEM.

I really really do believe both the right and the left are necessary to society. Maybe if we throw out the Ann Coulters and the Al Frankens we could get somewhere.

NAH, THEY'RE JUST TOO MUCH FUN TO THEIR SUPPORTERS AND THEY MAKE THEIR OPPONENTS TRY HARDER.

But the harsh truth is we have absolutely irreconcilable views about things, e.g. gay marriage,

WELL, I THINK GAYS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS WE ALL HAVE INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO MARRY PEOPLE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX.

spending tax money on feeding poor people versus killing poor people,

THAT'S A STPID COMPARISON AND A CHEAP SHOT. TEACHING POOR PEOPLE TO FEED THEMSELVES WORKS. JUST FEEDING THEM ENABLES THEIR INCOMPETENCE.

getting to the roots of crime versus locking millions of people in cages where they become monsters...

I THINK PROTECTING SOCIETY FROM CRIMINALS TRUMPS ENABLING THEM.

so I don't really know if there will ever be a meaningful meeting of the minds. Maybe we're just doomed to make fun of each other and think each other are complete idiots.

WELL, MAYBE WE CAN DO A LITTLE BETTER. I'LL NEVER MAKE FUN OF A PERSON WHO'S POLITE AND I CERTAINLY DON'T THINK YOU'RE AN IDIOT. I JUST THINK THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ALL THE DATA.

I wish we could use each other's strengths to work together to build an America that we could all live with, but I don't know if that's possible either.

I THINK WE ARE DING THAT.

You don't want to live in an America where god forsaken sodomites raise children and I don't want to live in an America that looks like Dickins' London.

WELL, I THINK CHILDREN NEED A MOTHER AND A FATHER FOR THE BEST RESULTS. I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT DICKEN'S LONDON EITHER.

I thought you were kidding when you said you wanted me to contribute... email me and let me know what that's all aboot, wouldja?

Posted by: Bonnie

I'M SERIOUS. WHAT'S YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS?

Charlotte Smith

ALSO, ISN'T IT OK TO MAKE GENERALIZED OBSERVATIONS ABOUT PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN VIEWS?

No, I don't think so. Only in jest. To not understand diversity within group and to not accept those who do not conform into one narrow view does a disservice to everyone.

I DO REALIZE IT SOUNDS OBNOXIOUS, BUT THAT IS HOW I SEE IT.

At least you admit it, because it does sound obnoxious and it is a real turn-off. Here's a point to ponder from Socrates: I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.
Cheers!

wilky

And there's a voice that sounds like God to me telling me the left worldview is a much more moral, compassionate and loving way of looking at and acting toward my fellow human beings.

Bonnie, I've been reading this blog for a little while, and I will admit than short term your right. Life, however has a permenant carrot dangling in front of you, waiting to give you instant pleasures. The problem being you are always chasing the carrot. I prefer to ignore the carrot and focus on the garden by the stream further down the road. That is where I will find lasting happiness.
Everything I learned about life was through sport. It truely is the closest thing to life. There are winners and losers in life, and losing is not as bad as those that never played imagine. When you lose, you reset you goals and get back at it. And when you win, you reset you goals and get back at it, because your the one everyone is shooting for. One learns more in losing than winning. But losing isn't really politically correct, now is it.
I agree with Adrian, I'm not willing to just hand somebody my fish, but I am more than willing to help those that are willing to learn, how to fish.
I am courious, why do you think the left worldview is a much more moral, compassionate and loving way of looking at and acting toward your fellow human beings. Take the Iraq war, I'm for it for all kinds of reasons, but the only one I really care about is that in 30 years, the amount of death in Iraq will be much lower than if we just left everything alone. Sure we will have more death on our side of the ledger, but the net loss of life will be much lower. To me, that is a much more moral and compassionate way of treating other human beings.

Bonnie

I am courious, why do you think the left worldview is a much more moral, compassionate and loving way of looking at and acting toward your fellow human beings. Take the Iraq war<<

I'm really on the fence about the Iraq war now. I absolutely believe that Bush went into it for imperialist, not humanitarian reasons. But there is a humanitarian side effect to it, that is ending Sadaam's rule and the sanctions. But to accomplish this, we ruthlessly slaughtered thousands and thousands of innocent people. So it's good and it's bad at the same time.

What I really mean when I say the left viewpoint is more moral and compassionate is that we don't dismiss people who aren't functional. I truly believe the worst scum bag in prison could have been me if I had lived his life. We know the very nature of this economy will always leave a certain percentage of people unemployed, and that will fall to the most dysfunctional members of society, breeding entire dysfunctional communities where it's nigh unto impossible to grow up well adjusted enough to get out of that community. Instead they adjust TO the community, hence gangs and crime and drugs.

Republicans tend to dismiss this entire big percentage of the population, proclaiming they deserve to be where they are because they choose it. I think that's so pompous I could scream.

Kicking them totally off welfare I don't see as being constructive. Maybe half will get horrible low paying jobs, leaving their kids unattended all day or all night, and help drive down wages for everybody, and the other half will be eating out of dumpsters unless World Vision sets up camp on the East side. A lot of them will turn to crime... build more jails, Adrian says, so conservatives don't mind spending $30,000 a year to imprison a dysfunctional person but they wouldn't want to spend $10,000 per year trying to prevent him from becoming dysfunctional in the first place.

But on the other hand, there are people who are just plain assholes, and they'd walk all over someone like me. That's why I think the world also needs you guys. You don't put up with no crap; I put up with any crap; see how it balances out?

I really feel either my genes or my temperment or my karma or whatever is compelling me to be on the side of putting up with crap.

Bonnie

>>OH I DO. I JUST THINK I UNDERSTAND THEM AND THE WORLD BETTER THAN THEY DO. I'M HAPPY TO DEBATE THAT POINT. I DO REALIZE IT SOUNDS OBNOXIOUS, BUT THAT IS HOW I SEE IT.<<

I suspect you've spent a lot of time and energy into learning things and expanding your view of the world to make it justify your pre-existing core beliefs. I *know* I do that. So when you say you understand the left better than they do, I believe that you believe it, but I don't believe it's true. But I could be wrong!

I USED TOUGH LOVE, COACHING AND GUIDANCE TO MAKE THEM THAT WAY.

That's great. But what about people who's parents just sat around smoking crack all day and don't give a damn about them? How can you hold them to the same level of expectation as you do your own children?

I THINK PROTECTING SOCIETY FROM CRIMINALS TRUMPS ENABLING THEM.

Criminals are part of society. They're not something separate from it. A lot of people in jail have friends and relatives not in jail.

Adrian Spidle

...That's great. But what about people who's parents just sat around smoking crack all day and don't give a damn about them? How can you hold them to the same level of expectation as you do your own children?

I THINK PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM INCOMPETENT PARENTS IS A HIGHER ORDER DUTY THAN PARENTAL RIGHTS. THEREFORE I THINK CHILDREN BORN TO INCOMPETENT PARENT(S) SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY PUT UP FOR ADOPTION.

Criminals are part of society. They're not something separate from it. A lot of people in jail have friends and relatives not in jail.

Posted by: Bonnie

SO?

Bonnie

I THINK PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM INCOMPETENT PARENTS IS A HIGHER ORDER DUTY THAN PARENTAL RIGHTS. THEREFORE I THINK CHILDREN BORN TO INCOMPETENT PARENT(S) SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY PUT UP FOR ADOPTION.

Now that I agree with!! I watched three episodes of Jerry Springer today and everyone on there should have their children taken away from them.

My email is on that link next to every one of my posts... didn't you know that? Just a sitting duck for Spam email collectors! Email me about setting me up, because I've already got some ideas.

Sorry I laughed at you for calling Joe McCarthy a hero, but you have to admit, he was a lunatic who destroyed many lives. Just being liberal in those days was the same as being communist in their eyes. That's the thought police. That's bad.

Adrian Spidle

...Sorry I laughed at you for calling Joe McCarthy a hero, but you have to admit, he was a lunatic who destroyed many lives. Just being liberal in those days was the same as being communist in their eyes. That's the thought police. That's bad.

Posted by: Bonnie

I ADMIT NO SUCH THING. INTELLIGENCE INTERCEPTS OF SOVIET COMMUNICATIONS SHOW THAT ALMOST EVERYONE ACCUSED BY MCCARTHY ACTUALLY WERE SOVIET AGENTS, NOT JUST LIBERALS.

Bonnie

I ADMIT NO SUCH THING. INTELLIGENCE INTERCEPTS OF SOVIET COMMUNICATIONS SHOW THAT ALMOST EVERYONE ACCUSED BY MCCARTHY ACTUALLY WERE SOVIET AGENTS, NOT JUST LIBERALS.

WHAAAA?? Citation, please! If this is true... I don't want to stop hating McCarthy, goddammit!

Adrian Spidle

WHAAAA?? Citation, please! If this is true... I don't want to stop hating McCarthy, goddammit!

Posted by: Bonnie

BONNIE, JUST DO A GOOGLE ON "VENONA"

SOVIET INTERCEPTS HAVE PROOVED THAT THE PEOPLE INVESTIGATED BY MCCARTY AND HUAC WERE ACTUALLY REAL SOVIET SPIES.

WHEN WILL YOU START USING YOUR "AUTHOR" POWERS HERE?

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