Monday, September 24, 2007

Pilchard's Macmuppet Video Mash

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Cat 9/21/07

A shadow in a bag., originally uploaded by repsac3.

A shadow in a bag.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Reply: "You act where you stand the most chance of doing the most good."

Burkean Reflections: The Big Picture on Iraq Antiwar Protests (From the comments, which have no permalinks in the ECHO system.)

Jim again makes sense, but I take it further.

ANSWER is insignificant. Almost no one who attends their rallies & marches buys into the communist agenda, or has a single anti-American thought. No one who was there is cheering US defeat, or looking for America to lose, as you claim.

Those are just silly talking points.

The real issue is this specific occupation in Iraq, and what to do about it. And like it or not, much of America is questioning pretty much all aspects of it, from how we got in to what to do now...

While I'm kinda on the fence--I neither support continued occupation or immediate withdrawal, and see no good answers--I'd like to see the conversation move toward finding a way out with as little damage to us, Iraq, or the region as possible, and therefore support demonstrations that keep the issue from being a foregone conclusion in favor of seemingly endless occupation & continued death all around.

Commies & anti-Americanism are boogiemen made of straw. (I'm not saying there is no such thing, but both put together are to the peace movement what Fred Phelps is to religious thought.) There are far too many people from all walks of life opposing this occupation (either in polls, or in representation at these marches) for you to credibly attribute it to be "anti-American Reds."

I understand that some of the groups have socialist or commie ties. If that were grounds for automatic dismissal, you folks would have to give up the eight-hour work day (along with many other labor laws), and The Pledge of Allegiance. Even followers of bad political theories can have good ideas, occasionally. Fixing what Mr. Bush broke (more slowly & carefully than we broke it, I hope) is one of them.
September 17, 2007, 1:22:11 PM EDT

It is also not true that American public opinion is clamoring for an immediate withdrawal.
I agree... That must be why I never made any such claim.
but I recently posted on the WSJ poll that found the public opposed to a quick cut-and-run.
And while I wasn't polled by WSJ, I oppose a quick cut & run, too. But that doesn't make me a stay the course guy, either. I want the US to find its way back out, as carefully as possible, to minnimize the damage this occupation created. (And no, I'm not saying we're responsible for all the troubles in the Middle East, or that Saddam wasn't a bad guy who created a whole lotta damage of his own, or that now that AQ is in Iraq (which I do blame on our not securing the borders), we don't need to respond to that.)
ANSWER folks are relentlessly anti-U.S.
Some of 'em are. And, like the black bloc asses who follow peace protests areound (& are also anti-American in my opinion, based on their violent tactics), I denounce them. My point is, they are an insignificant part of the movement, idealistically. The myriad of folks attending are not parroting actual anti-American slogans (by which I don't mean opposing the President or his policies, which is a very American trait and is done all the time by whatever party isn't in office), arming themselves (you tend to find that kinda anti-government militia stuff on the right fringes) or trying to overthrow anyone, violently or otherwise. At worst, they try to get you to read stuff or pay attention to rambling speeches. Not all that scary, and occasionally, even fun to debate against, as a rhetorical excersize...
The NYT piece in fact calls them an umbrella group for the movement.
That'd be because that's exactly what they are. ANSWER really isn't it's own group, but a coalition of all kinds of left o' center groups, from commies to environmentalists to human rights groups. So whatever your bugaboo, there's probably an affiliated group that you're able to point to & say "They're bad because___" The fact is, they came together to oppose the war, and that's all most folks give a hoot about. Freeing Mumia & saving the rainforest, & celebrating the life of Che may or may not be on some folk's individual agendas, but that's not why we attend ANSWER rallies, even if there are some speeches & signs that suggest otherwise. The minute an ANSWER rally becomes about communism (or much of any interest of any other coalition member group), the streets will be almost empty.
How many of the peaceniks have denounced ANSWER?
I only know of a few, mostly based on a foolish anti-Jewish stance they took in 2002 or so. (They barred Rabbi Lerner from speaking as a rally, after he denounced their support for a single Palistinian state, rather than a two state solution. I considered not attending the next ANSWER function in NY, but even Rabbi Lerner himself suggested continuing to support the anti-war movement, even if ANSWER was involved.)

Few peaceniks have denounced ANSWER, because few take their ideas seriously in the first place, or see them as any kinda threat to our American way of life. Yes, the ANSWER coalition has commies (& palastinians, & pro-muslim groups, & socialists, and vegetarians, & religious groups) in it. They (the individual organizations) are no more of a threat to the US way of life than any other fringe group is. And together as ANSWER, they spend very little time (though still far too much, according to many of us) selling anything but opposition to the occupation.
September 17, 2007, 4:10:14 PM EDT

Well it was Anarchists that spearheaded the campaign for the 8-hour workday...
It was both anarchists and socialists, here in the US. (The first MayDay parades here were in support of the 8 hour work day.) In England, it was socialists.
...and they were no threat to America. They only bombed it a bit and assassinated a president. It was just an international terror campaign. No biggie… I can see the parallels…
You're making my point, FN... Even otherwise bad folks can have good ideas... Or would you prefer to scrap all the labor laws?
Anyways it wasn’t Anarchists or Socialists that are responsible for the 8-hour day, it was President Roosevelt in his New Deal, which was passed decades after Anarchist Unions campaigned for the 8-hour day in the 1870s and 80s. They had nothing to do with it. It was a great American president who saw the benefits of moderate Socialist policies and how it could compliment Capitalist ideals.

Funny how you dismiss the socialists right out of the picture, because they don't fit your meme, and deny that the early calls for an 8 hour day had anything to do with Roosevelt's later decision.
Eight-hour day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The United Mine Workers won an eight-hour work day in 1898.

The Building Trades Council (BTC) of San Francisco, under the leadership of P.H. McCarthy, won the eight-hour day in 1900 when the BTC unilaterally declared that its members would work only eight hours a day for $3 a day.

By 1905 the Eight-hour day is widely installed in the printing trades.

On January 5, 1914, the Ford Motor Company took the radical step of doubling pay to $5 a day, and cut shifts from nine hours to an eight hour day, moves that were not popular with rival companies, although seeing the increase in Ford's productivity, most soon followed suit.

The Adamson Act was a United States law passed in 1916 that established an eight-hour workday, with additional pay for overtime work, for railroad workers. This was the first federal law that regulated the hours of workers in private companies. The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Act in 1917.

The eight-hour day was realized for many working people in the U.S. in 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S. Code Chapter 8) under the New Deal made it a legal day's work throughout the nation.
And if RepSac claims that ANSWER are anything like Christian Socialists then he is mistaken. They are atheist revolutionaries, of which Bellamy was neither.
Straw man. repsac makes no such claim. repsac repeats what he said originally; even bad actors can have good ideas, and that one can do or support the same thing a commie or a socialist does or supports--like opposing the occupation of a foreign country, appreciating US labor laws, or pledging to the US flag--without being or becoming a commie or a socialist.

There are times when guilt by association makes sense. This isn't one of those times, unless doing so supports the position you came in with, and prefer to leave with.
September 17, 2007, 5:41:25 PM EDT

I have read many articles and blogs, and I can see the pictures for myself (see Malkin, for example). I think these people would destroy the nation and enslave the people in a reign of terror if they got their way.
I feel the same about Malkin, sometimes... 8>)

But don't forget, Malkin, et al. has an agenda, as well. The pictures & experiences they relate are there to sell a particular version of events, to back up a particular ideology.

Go to youtube & search out "ant-war Protest" or "Gathering of Eagles" videos for yourself, and look at all the people involved in the marches. (I recommend hitting a variety of videographers, because they too, have an agenda.)

There are some crazies, there are some truthers, & there are some anarchists... And then there are ordinary folks of all ages, genders, & races, dressed like you or I would be on a late summer day, participating in the marches & making their voices heard.
That's just my opinion, but nothing you've said rebuts my basic points on ANSWER.
Your basic point about ANSWER seems to be that the coalition contains commies. It does.

You allege that ANSWER & the like cheer US defeat, hate everything for which the US stands, & would storm the barricades against a US government under seige, in hopes of imposing a reign of totolitarian terror, but you fail to offer much of anything to support the allegations.

If you see no reason or need to support them, I see no reason or need to refute them, other than to say I've not seen anything that supports your allegations (aside other folks of your bent making the same allegations, also without proof.) I even took a quick look for anything about ANSWER's support for overthrowing the British State, but found nothing.

You're free to maintain your opinion. Until I see a reason or two to change it, I will maintain mine, as well.
September 17, 2007, 6:11:33 PM EDT


The strawman to which I refer was FN's...

Not quite sure what Rich is saying, except that he thinks ANSWER is dangerous, as well.

Lending credibility to the truthers?
That's like the blind leading the blind. Few take either group seriously. I don't even think ANSWER takes truthers seriously (or vise versa). In fact, I'd venture to say it's only the right (some of it, anyway) who cares about either/both of them.

And as for protesting in/near where the wars are, some (though not many) are. Remeber the human shields?

The fact is, we protest here against what this government is doing because this is the government that is supposed to represent us, and this is the government doing what we'd prefer they didn't. It's all well & good--though dangerous--to yell at Tehran (in Tehran, even), but why should Tehran care what a portion--even a big portion--of American citizens think, especially when our own government doesn't seem to?

I didn't see rightwing Americans standing in Tienamen square... But I would never take that to mean the right does not oppose communism. (The same cannot be said for granting Communist China the trading status we have, without insisting on more attention to human rights abuses, however.)

The US government is of the American people, by the American people, for the American people. There is no other government where that is the case, and that is the reason we address our grievences where we do, rather than somewhere else. (For the most part, that's true, regardless. Even when some other government is misbehaving, many Americans petition OUR government to put pressure on that other one to stop what they're doing, because it is our government that stands the most chance of listening to what we say.)

When I see the protests that are mounted in other countries against US actions, I sometimes wonder how effective they are... ...and at the same time wish ordinary Americans were as involved in world as the citizens of other countries seem to be.

The idea that protesting for peace is illegitamate unless anti-war Americans take it to the other countries involved is a charge I never understood. (I think it's some kinda chickendove argument...)

I do think religious/spiritual pacifists ought to oppose war & violence wherever it occurs, but I still see the value of starting where one can do the most good. For Americans, that is by petitioning their own government to stop it's own violence, first.
September 17, 2007, 8:57:19 PM EDT

Yes ... what would you think if, say, the KKK (robes, hoods, and all) was standing along Pennsylvania Avenue last Saturday, mixed in among us ... and we didn't move away
Your being with the KKK would not further legitimize either your group or theirs, which is the accusation you purport to be backing up with this argument.
We know how Big Lies get started ... and since distrust of the government is a national pastime that cuts across party lines, it is too easy for such a Big Lie to take root, and tear up the pipeline of sound judgment.
I have more faith in the intelligence of the American people than that.
Bad example ... for they did not protest the actions of the regimes being shielded. The shields ended up being used as dupes by the regimes, instead. The only criticism, was directed at America.
I disagree that it would make much of any sense for Americans to protest the actions of other governments in those countries, particularly when our own government is also acting badly.

Only one government is beholden to and claims to represent the American people.
We act where we can have the greatest (or any) effect, even if the cause is greater elsewhere.

I suspect you know this as well, or you (or yours) would be organizing protests against the enemies abroad, rather than your political enemies here. We talk to the US government & people because they are the ones with whom we have influence.
If you are going to be truly antiwar, but still support justice, life, and liberty, you had better be protesting, with at least equal volume and stridency as you use against our government's misdeeds ... the worse things those other governments do.
First off, many are only opposed to this war, and said nothing when we invaded Afghanistan, believing that was justified.

Second, this illusion of a "fair & balanced" world that FoxNews created is a myth. Some ideas & actions are more worthy than others. One does not need to protest all war equally to credibly be anti-war. You act where you stand the most chance of doing the most good.

If one is a true pacifist (I am not, but I know some are), you don't lose credibility until you advocate in favor of any country's warlike ways, or stop your opposition once your country is no longer engaged in war.
Or better yet, encouraging your government to confront them.
Some do... only they urge them to do so non-violently.
The leaders of these other nations are grown-ups too ... where is ANYONE holding them to account for the proper implementation of governance?
If that is how you feel, and you believe that signs and slogans will do any good, I urge you to marshal your fellow righties & begin protesting against them, rather than against those here who disagree with you.
September 19, 2007, 4:25:57 PM EDT

You made an error. You claimed that without socialists or commies we would have to give up the 8-hour day.
I'm not going back & forth on this again, FN... I put up my links showing the history as I understand it. If you read it differently than I, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Basically, you engage in straw man arguments and then accuse everyone else of throwing around the straw man. The Christian Socialist Bellamy has nothing to do with militant Socialists like ANSWER and has little in common with it.
I wasn't aware we were grading socialism on a curve, and saying some socialism is better than others. I put forth the argument that the pledge was written by a socialist, not that it was written by an ANSWER style socialist. I did so to say that not every word and deed that comes from one's perceived enemy is automatically unacceptable by virtue of where it comes from. Should some "muzzie" find the cure for cancer, I hope we don't refuse to use it because of it's origin.
It is unfortunate that one word can describe both, but that is the reality of the English language.
I believe you dismiss the argument a bit too easily, but so be it.
You once tried to convince me to use an alternative word for jihadists or something like that a long time ago (via Flopping Aces), but I forgot what that word was. Its not in common usage.
One Muslim’s Jihad, is Another Muslim’s Hirabah

As far as the rest, yes, words do hold different connotations for different people, which does make absolute agreement on the meaning of any word impossible. But I don't agree that my use of "rightwing" or "socialist" is so fraught with connotation as make reasonable communication impossible. While you seem to think my use of socialist is overbroad, I think you're defining it down just enough that you don't have to confront my actual point. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere between the two, or maybe we're both flat out wrong... I imagine this won't be the last time the words get in the way...
September 19, 2007, 4:51:45 PM EDT

I find these conversations to be very boring.
The fact that you keep coming back to them says far more than your words...
You really go off on tangents.
You'll have to give an example... ...if you're not too bored.
You missed my point about Socialism so much that I dont even know what you are talking about.
I didn't miss it so much as dismiss it as not being relevant to the point *I* was making when *I* brought the subject of socialism up. (And you talk about going off on tangents... 8)
Anyways, we have many Muslims allies. The Kuwaitis, Kurds, Albanians, Afghanis, Iraqis, etc... I dont think they are my enemies.
I don't either, and that's my point... (To be fair, I was kinda playing a guilt by association thing there... I first learned the term "muzzie" from your friend nanc's blog... Her posts & those of many of her commenters are lousy with the term... But, you are not your sister's keeper and, while I never noticed you making a similar defense of Muslims there, I shouldn't hold you responsible for their sins. I'm sorry for doing so.)

That said, my point is still valid, I think... I hope that on the wildly unlikely chance that the cure for cancer is developed by a member of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Baathists, or JAM, we don't refuse to use it based on where it came from.
Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Baathists, JAM, etc... those are enemies.
Good enemies to have.
You dont even know who you are talking to.
But I learn more every time you speak.
September 20, 2007, 6:52:56 AM EDT

Saturday, September 15, 2007

In Reply: "Priests, and generals have the potential to commit bad acts, and some do."

Burkean Reflections: Antiwar Protesters Will Mount Civil Disobedience (From the comments,which have no permalinks)

Emoting is for civilian courts.
...and blog readers & writers.
September 14, 2007, 6:23:38 PM EDT


I don't know enough about courts marshall to know either way... My gut tells me that cases where it's the military against___, there could be bias in favor of the military. When the accused is part of the military too, there could be some degree of the thin green line, again doing whatever most protects the institution... Like I said, I'm not claiming to know, but I don't buy that anyone loses their degree of human failibility by virtue of choosing a noble profession. Politicians, priests, and generals have the potential to commit bad acts and do inappropriate things just like the rest of us, and I've no doubt that some do.

That said, I agree that those empaneled for a court martial are probably less swayed by appeals to emotion than civilian judges or juries.
September 15, 2007, 5:49:55 PM EDT

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pavarotti RIP

Another good man goes down.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Cat 8/31/07

Peanut, originally uploaded by repsac3.

This is Peanut, who I met while out for a walk two days ago & adopted on the spot. (That makes us a seven cat household... Yeesh!!)

She was born April 7th,2007, making her almost 5 months old.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Cat 8/24/07

Tuffy-Books.jpg, originally uploaded by repsac3.

Tuffy's no longer with us... but while he was alive, he was one voracious reader.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

iPod Semi-Random 10 - 8/19/07

1) Better -
Antigone Rising -
From the Ground Up

Antigone gets a little extra oomph because my wife's known two of 'em (the sisters) since they were all in diapers or so... I've been regailed with tales of houses almost burned down and similar female preteen hi-jinx... Aside that, they're very, very talented...

2) I Walked Away -
Sunfall Festival -
NPR: Open Mic Music Podcast

3) Congress...Your Fired -
Jason Brock -
The PEACEPOD Podcast

4) Whole Of The Moon -
Mandy Moore -

5) "To Elsie" or "The pure products of America / go crazy" -
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) -
In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry (Disc 1)

6) Play That Funky Music -
Wild Cherry -
The Disco Box [Disc 2]

7) Like Castanets - Bishop Allen -
KEXP Song of the Day Podcast

8) I Will Move On Up A Little Higher -
Mahalia Jackson -
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century - Folk, Gospel & Blues: Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Disc 1)

9) Americano -
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers -
Paste Magazine Issue #9

10) Llama -
Phish -
Picture of Nectar

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Phil Rizzuto, RIP

I wasn't much of a baseball fan, but that doesn't mean The Scooter meant nothing to me... As a cultural icon, he was quite a guy...

And then there were The Money Store ads...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

John Gibson: Heartless scumbag (with audio)

Fox News' John Gibson calls Jon Stewart a phony after mocking his post-9/11 return to air comments and show of emotion. What kind of a heartless bastard does one have to be to make fun of another person's grief? I never had much respect for this guy in the first place... ...but now I have even less. Follow the link for the audio...

read more | digg story

Here's a link to a video of the original show opening, September 20, 2001. Have tissues handy (unless you're more the heartless Gibson type...)

I suggest watching the video, particularly if you've never seen it. (I hadn't, until tonight.) The transcript doesn't do it justice:

September 20, 2001

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Show. We are back. This is our first show since the tragedy in New York City and there is really no other way to start the show then to ask you at home the question that we asked the audience here tonight and that we’ve asked everybody we know here in New York since September 11, and that is, "Are you okay?" And we pray that you are and that your family is.

I'm sorry to do this to you. It's another entertainment show beginning with an overwrought speech of a shaken host--and television is nothing if not redundant. So I apologize for that. Its something that, unfortunately, we do for ourselves so that we can drain whatever abscess is in our hearts and move on to the business of making you laugh, which we haven’t been able to do very effectively lately. Everyone has checked in already. I know we are late. I’m sure we are getting in just under the wire before the cast of Survivor offers their insight into what to do in these situations. They said to get back to work. There were no jobs open for a man in the fetal position under his desk crying. . . which I gladly would have taken. So I come back here and tonight’s show is not obviously a regular show. We looked through the vault and found some clips that we think will make you smile, which is really what’s necessary, I think, right about now.

A lot of folks have asked me, "What are you going to do when you get back? What are you going to say? I mean, jeez, what a terrible thing to have to do." And you know, I don’t see it as a burden at all. I see it as a privilege. I see it as a privilege and everyone here does. The show in general we feel like is a privilege. Even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wise cracks. . . which is really what we do. We sit in the back and throw spitballs--but never forgetting that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. That is, a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds like it goes without saying. But that’s really what this whole situation is about. It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and. . . burdened. And we don’t take that for granted here, by any stretch of the imagination. And our show has changed. I don’t doubt that. And what it has become I don’t know. "Subliminible" is not a punchline anymore. Someday it will become that again, Lord willing it will become that again, because it means that we have ridden out the storm.

The main reason that I wanted to speak tonight is not to tell you what the show is going to be, not to tell you about all the incredibly brave people that are here in New York and in Washington and around the country, but we’ve had an unenduring pain, an unendurable pain and I just. . . I just wanted to tell you why I grieve--but why I don’t despair. (choking back tears) I’m sorry. . . (chuckles slightly) luckily we can edit this. . . (beats lightly on his desk, collects himself).

One of my first memories was of Martin Luther King being shot. I was five and if you wonder if this feeling will pass. . . (choked up). . . When I was five and he was shot, this is what I remember about it. I was in school in Trenton and they turned the lights off and we got to sit under our desks. . . and that was really cool. And they gave us cottage cheese, which was a cold lunch because there were riots, but we didn’t know that. We just thought, "My God! We get to sit under our desks and eat cottage cheese!" And that’s what I remember about it. And that was a tremendous test of this country's fabric and this country has had many tests before that and after that.

The reason I don’t despair is that. . . this attack happened. It's not a dream. But the aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.

Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. (pause) You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They got together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill. . ." It's all a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding. . . that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won. . . they can't. . . it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.

They live in chaos. And chaos, it can't sustain itself--it never could. It's too easy and it's too unsatisfying. The view. . . from my apartment. . . (choking up) was the World Trade Center. . .

Now it's gone. They attacked it. This symbol of. . . of American ingenuity and strength. . . and labor and imagination and commerce and it's gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. . . the view from the south of Manhattan is the Statue of Liberty. . .

You can’t beat that. . .

Sunday, August 12, 2007

IPod Semi-Random 10 - 8/12/07

Last 10 songs/stories/podcasts played on my iPod:

1) Fresh - Kool & The Gang - The Disco Box [Disc 4]

2) Ocean - Joan Armatrading - Lovers Speak

3) Lesson #027 - Let's Speak Italian! Podcast

4) iTunes New Music Tuesday July 31, 2007 - iTunes New Music Tuesday Podcast

5) Lazy Eyes - Chow Nasty - KEXP 90.3 FM Song of the Day Podcast

6) Jesus is Just Alright - Doobie Brothers

7) Drum Boogie - Gene Krupa - The Drum Battle At JATP

8) Blue Moon - Chris Isaak

9) Spiritual High (State of Independence) Part II - Moodfood - Moodfood

10) The Philosophy Of Loss- Indigo Girls - Liberation: War Is Over

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Reply: Anti-Capitalist Pizza

In reply to: Burkean Reflections: Johnny's Pizza Faces Papa John's, and the following, in particular:
My first thought upon reading this story was that if Johnny's Pizza is as good as it sounds, Johnny's family's got nothing to worry about: Their restaurant will put away the competition. In fact, the circulation of the anti-Papa John's petition is not only anti-capitalist, but probably unnecessary.

I hope the petition is unnecessary... But I've seen a whole lotta independent (put type of business here) run out by franchises & big boxes with inferior products &/or service, but the financial backing lose money by selling below cost & whatnot until they're the only game in town...

While it may be anti-captialist*, I'm all for citizens/consumers petitioning & otherwise speaking up.

*I'm not sure it is anti-capitalist. I see it more as negative advertising, making PJ look bad for "forcing" themselves into this community against the community's wishes, and trying to run "the little guy" out of business. Now, should these citizens try to pass some kinda law against PJ's, I'd be more inclined to agree.

Posted August 8, 2007, 6:35:15 PM EDT (No permalink. Go to post, and hit "comment" link to see original commentary.)

Monday, August 06, 2007

A (poetic) Public Service Announcement:

I'm working on my addiction to the other box. (This box here is a two way street, at least. While it'd be best to shut 'em both off, lifewise, at least this one lets you give, as well as get.)

A poem by a guy I know, vaguely...


in our livingrooms kitchens bedrooms
in Feng Shiu a television screen is a mirror
and a mirror facing the marital bed is bad luck
pluck moving pictures and sound
from the electromagnetic spectrum
wherever there is electricity
piped-in cables condensing crisp, multi-channeled feasts
broadcast signals are weaker
since cable television has become ubiquitous
all the materials, chemicals and gases that go into its making
a condensed history of the electronic age
from giant vacuum tubes to little transistors
from small grainy black and white pictures to big screen color
Did we dream in black and white before photography?
our multicultural liturgy Marcia Marcia Marcia!
knowing where I was the moment the last Seinfeld episode aired
ordering our lives supper must be eaten
and home work must be done before prime time
I can pick you up from the train as soon as X Files is over
Infotainment mostly, commercials
paying for privilege of watching It’s free, you say?
did you pay for that appliance? your monthly cable bill?
is time with your kids worth nothing?
your spouse? your parents? yourself?
wherever you live, there is tons of good live local music
often it’s free or just the cost of a drink
turn the television off
you will be surprised how you no longer have time for it
turn the television off
unplug it cover it up stow it away
turn it off

television - On the Wilder Side

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blog Pimpin' - My debate with Freedom Now

This is a debate between me & and another gentleman that was going on on a consevative political blog. We were also discussing politics in our posts, but this off-topic thing about blog promo was getting bigger & bigger in our posts. After writing the post below over there--and almost posting it--I decided to post it here instead, and just leave a quick explanatory post & a link over to here, on that site. Below that, I also excerpted the previous portions of the debate out of our previous comments. Hopefully, FN will come visit & continue discussing this, since we both seem interested...

Any reference to where we are ("here," "this site" ...) refers to the site where we were having this discussion.

If you're interested, previous debate on subject was here.

FN: "You can promote your blog anyway that you want. I never said that it was bad that you try to get people to go to your blog… that would be stupid. Everyone should try to promote their own blog. How go about it and who you target doesn’t really matter to me."

I know this "blog promotion" thing is a silly argument. I know I should just let you have the last word & be done with it. I know it... ...but I'm a glutton for punishment.

Here's the thing: You brought it up.

All I did was post a link back to my blog, where I had written a whole post on this subject. I thought it was better to post the link than cutting & pasting the whole thing from there over to here. In point of fact, if I had written a big long diatribe about this subject in your comment section, I would've posted a link to YOUR blog.

Folks do it all the time. I didn't think it remarkable in any way. To my mind, it's the polite thing to do.

That would've been the end of it, but you chose to remark on it, saying that I was trying very hard to promote my blog. (I wasn't--not that I don't want traffic--but I wasn't, regardless of what you believe. I was no more promoting my blog by doing what I did than promoting yours when I link to it, as I did last evening on my blog.)

You say that it was just an observation, nothing more. My reply--noting that you don't make the same observation when fellow conservatives post links, and yet, you've made this same observation about me on two occasions, months apart--is no more or less an innocent observation than yours. (For the record, I think both of our "observations" have not-so-subtle-hidden-meanings in them, and call suspect your assertion that yours is a purely innocent thing you just so happened to notice & mention in passing.)

I don't really know your purpose in making the comment or continuing to defend your doing so. I agree that you probably don't believe blog promo is bad... I do think there's something not "fair & balanced" about your making this comment about my back links and not other people's, though... I also think that in saying someone is posting a link to promote their blog, you're cheapening their post, a little. Finally, I think it's a little impolite, regardless of whether the observation is true or not. (It's like making an observation about the frequency with which one uses the restroom. It's one thing to reply if someone asks; it's another to blurt it out in a crowed room, "just because".)

As for "how I go about it & who I target not really mattering to you":

1) it still assumes I am in fact, promoting my blog, rather than giving those interested more info on my position via something else I wrote on the subject, and

2) it doesn't jibe with what you said in an earlier post, where it seems to me you're saying it was "who I was targeting" that was the whole reason for the comment in the first place.

"It is a normal every day experience for likeminded bloggers to try to drive traffic of likeminded individuals to their blog. You are unusual in that you are trying to drive traffic from people that are hostile to your views to your blog."

Now, I'm thinkin' this is getting far off topic, here... I would've e-mailed this reply to you, but I don't have that info. I would've posted it on my blog & just left a link, here, but that'd just be more proof of my blog whoring. I'd of posted it to yours, but... well... I'm guessing you know why I might be reluctant to bother.

ABOVE is what I almost posted on the other site, but didn't. (There was probably going to be something more in closing, but once I realized/wrote about how off-topic it was, I couldn't continue.)

BELOW is all of the relevant posting up to this point--in order, first to last:

More from me on the subject here
repsac3 | Homepage | 07.28.07 - 6:50 pm #

You try very hard to promote your blog dont you?

There's nothing wrong with that, I'm just pointing that out. Controversy can be big. This is just an observation, nothing more.

Freedom Now | Homepage | 07.29.07 - 4:53 pm #

"You try very hard to promote your blog dont you?"

Not really... I Just don't see the point of cutting & pasting (or worse, rewriting) my thoughts when I can just provide a link to them. You & I have both seen more rightward thinking people do the same on other blogs where we both post... ...and yet you only refer to it as "blog promotion" when I do it... I wonder why...

FN: "http:// freedomnowonline.blogspot...ates.html#links"

Blog whore 8>)

repsac3 | Homepage | 07.29.07 - 5:59 pm #

I merely observed that you try to drive traffic to your blog. You have done the same on Mike’s America. There’s no harm in that. It was solely an observation. That’s all.

Freedom Now | Homepage | 07.30.07 - 12:57 am #

And I am simply making the observation that I have never seen you make that same observation when someone on the right links back to their own blog in posts, though you've had plenty of opportunities to do so.

repsac3 | Homepage | 07.30.07 - 10:57 am #

Repsac you think that you are on to something by saying, “I am simply making the observation that I have never seen you make that same observation when someone on the right links back to their own blog in posts, though you’ve had plenty of opportunities to do so.”

It is a normal every day experience for likeminded bloggers to try to drive traffic of likeminded individuals to their blog. You are unusual in that you are trying to drive traffic from people that are hostile to your views to your blog. That is worthy of note. And that is all it is, an observation. Yet you act like I have wronged you somehow.

Freedom Now | Homepage | 07.31.07 - 10:20 am #

As far as the "driving traffic" linking thing, I'm fine... You made an observation about what I was doing, and I made an observation about your observation. Unless you want to continue discussing it for any reason, I'm willing to leave it as is and let you, me, & all reading us think as we will about it.

repsac3 | Homepage | 07.31.07 - 12:25 pm #

You can promote your blog anyway that you want. I never said that it was bad that you try to get people to go to your blog… that would be stupid. Everyone should try to promote their own blog. How go about it and who you target doesn’t really matter to me.

Freedom Now | Homepage | 08.01.07 - 6:03 am #

"You can promote your blog anyway that you want. I never said that it was bad that you try to get people to go to your blog… that would be stupid. Everyone should try to promote their own blog. How go about it and who you target doesn’t really matter to me."

This "blog promotion" bit is getting wicked off topic--and I almost took it further, before realizing I'd only be making it worse.

So, at the risk of being called a blog pimp, I took it over to my blog (My other, non-political blog--'cause it'd be off-topic on mine, too): What'd I Say?: Blog Pimpin' - My debate with Freedom Now. Much as I kinda want to, I won't continue to discuss that subject here. Those interested are welcome to come on over & read the response I had all written in this very comment box--& was yea close to "publishing."

Hopefully, FN will show up too, or this'll all be in vain.

...&, like it or don't, I'll likely be back to tackle the rest of FN's post, soon.
repsac3 | Homepage | 08.01.07 - 10:30 am #

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wingnut X-post: Greg Palast on the Fired Prosecuters Scandal

Wingnuts & Moonbats: Greg Palast on the Fired Prosecuters Scandal

While some believe that this story isn't important, I think Greg Palast has unearthed evidence of the link between Rove & the White House, "Torquimada" Gonzales' fired prosecuters, and left-of-center voter intimidation past, present, and future.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Too many crossposts, not enough posts

Now that I made Wingnuts & Moonbats, I haven't been using this blog nearly enough. (I guess when you come right down to it, most of my posts here were political... Taking them away didn't leave much else...) The crossposts kinda stand as reminders that this blog needs another focus (or perhaps it is me that does).

So, who am I, anyway?

Well, I'm a guy who's really into politics, that's for sure 8>)

I like funny stuff, and I think a lot that goes on in this world is very funny, including too many things that aren't meant to be.

I like music of all kinds. I was a big ol' Deadhead in high school, and still indulge in them & the fruits of their legacy on my tastes; jambands, folk, bluegrass, jazz... Some new-age-y stuff speaks to me, or at least helps me sleep. Strangely enough, I've become *more* of a slave to pop as I've gotten older. The repetition used to bother me no end, & I'd tune away on principle. But now I find myself sold by it sometimes. I first noticed it with Ciara's "1, 2 Step" & "Goodies" a summer or two ago. Somehow, I found myself diggin' 'em, even though they weren't in my usual listening sphere, wide as it is. I also really dig standards, which I think has a lot to do with my father being a musician, somehow. I can still recall having an almost perfect moment 20 years or so ago, driving home from work one early spring day with Sinatra singing "On a Clear Day...," and realizing just how cool he was...

I used to be a voracious reader, but not quite so much, anymore... I still purchase the books, and start most of 'em, but I don't finish nearly as many as I once did. Maybe it has something to do with my being such a political news junkie, and the ever-changing nature of that.

I can take or leave most movies & TV. I watch a good amount of the latter, but I wouldn't miss it tremendously if it suddenly disappeared. I spent a good six months without one in the 80's, until a friend of mine on a visit home from the Navy couldn't take it, and brought one from home for us to have, so that HE could watch it while he was there. We kept it in the closet for a while, except when he was there, before finally giving in. Even now, my wife & I have one TV in the living room, & pretty much basic cable. (No movies, no sports...)

I am married to a most lovely woman. In some ways, we are magical together, but marriage isn't as easy as it looks... We're learning & growing all the time. (Neither of us are particularly healthy, which provides for opportunities for each of us to be at our best, & our not so best. Right now, she's the angel, & I'm... less so.) She makes me smile & be thankful for her every day, though...

I've primarily been in retail sales & support most of my life. (I prefer running the back of stores--inventory control, stocking, warehouse layout--but I'm also quite good out front, & tend to end up out there...). But, after going into a run of sustained Ventricular tachycardia (V tach) during a stress test, I became the proud owner of an Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Complications with that--frozen shoulder & muscle achiness--kept me away from my last job longer than they liked, so they let me go. (About a month later, they let every full time employee go as well, so I suspect it wasn't about me, at all... I'm waiting to see how long it'll be before the whole company's gone. The CEO who took over in 2000 had high expectations, but has seemingly run the place into the ground.)

Bottom line is, I'm currently unemployed, not as physically able to do the work I did as I once was, and weighing my options. Diving back in is a little scary... ...but really necessary.

I'm not sure what else to toss out, here... Perhaps that'd be a good place to stop, at least until I have something else to say...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Moonbat X-post: Clift: A Third-Party Ticket in 2008?

Wingnuts & Moonbats: Clift: A Third-Party Ticket in 2008? - Newsweek Capitol Letter -

Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools

Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools

This is an awesome neat website I accidented upon... (From upside down flags to a child friendly snot remover in mere seconds... That's why I love the Internet.)

If there's one thing I got from my dad, it's appreciation for gadgets & gizmos that'll do stuff better or faster than you could without 'em. This website is chock full of stuff that'll do stuff you need done (even if you didn't know you needed it done--or had even thought of doing it--before you got there...)

My favorite actual useful thing--which I just might order, being left-handed myself--is a SmudgeGuard. It's a piece of glove that goes over your pinkie, down that side of your hand & around your wrist, covering that side of the hand to prevent smudging when we lefties put pen or pencil to paper. Brilliant. And yet so simple, I don't understand why no one (not even me, who's been smudging my writing since kindergarten) had thought of it before. Here's the SmudgeGuard inventor's site, for even more info.

Kudos to bookofjoe for posting about the SmudgeGuard & also posting the list of other great gadget sites, including Cool Tools, that featured that product. I'll be poking around them too, just as he did.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dishonest Debate Tactics - Shifting the Burden

Now that I'm taking all the political stuff outta here (Have you seen the spiffy new blog, Wingnuts & Moonbats?), I figure I can focus on other things, here...

Today, I'm thinkin' about using language and debating, & specifically about folks who want you to disprove their points or statements.

Some of the following examples will be real. Some will not be real. Either way, I'm not interested in discussing the veracity of the statements, but only their value in confrontational conversation.

You suck. Go on, prove you don't.

The anti-war movement is anti-American.

You stole my sandwich.

Conservatives hate free speech.

Anarchists and Liberals share the same basic political philosophy. They're Nazis.

These statements (& every other affirmative statement under the sun) all share a similar feature. The onus is on the person making it to prove his/her statement is true, by offering evidence. That's the way it's supposed to work, and we have every right to expect that proof, rather than just accepting the veracity of the statement. In it's absence, one has every right to flat out dismiss the statement as being without merit.

Sometimes, that's where the trouble starts...

Sometimes, the party making the statement tries to turn it around, and requires YOU to prove what THEY said is untrue. They're not proving anything... Instead, they're trying to shift the burden of proof to you. And, they're asking you to prove a negative, which, if you really think about it, is just about impossible.

There is no conclusive evidence I could ever offer that I didn't steal something. I could produce people who saw me somewhere else, but the accuser says, "So you didn't steal it at that time... But prove you didn't steal it, at all." A search of my property reveals no stolen item. "Maybe you hid it. Proves nothing." No physical evidence on my person. "You were careful, wore gloves, and showered. You still could've done it." No matter what I said, I could never ever prove I didn't do it.

That's why legally, ethically, & logically, the onus for providing proof always falls on the original speaker. Don't get trapped, and don't accept the claim that you're only "playing word games, or semantics," which often indicates that they know the jig is up; you recognize their "word game," of shifting the burden of proof for their words onto you. Make them keep the burden they came into the conversation with. Make 'em prove what they say is true.

If a person is unwilling or unable to prove the statement s/he's making is true, you are under no obligation to accept it is true, and can therefore reject it as unproven, & therefore untrue.

If you still don't believe me, just try to prove you don't suck.

(When you can't, it won't mean you do suck. or that you don't suck. or anything else, at all. And that is the point.)

Some of those statements above have other problems, like being sweeping generalizations, as well. Perhaps I'll hit that one next time.

Wingnut X-Post: Free Speech, Imus, & the Free Market

Wingnuts & Moonbats: Free Speech, Imus, & the Free Market

My thinkin' on Imus & free speech, and my discussion with 2 Cons about it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wingnuts & Moonbats

Wingnuts & Moonbats

My new happy place. Seemed like the thing to do at the time... 8>)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mike's America: Trying to fit in (my words)

Mike would prefer that I keep the wordage down over at his blog. (I can appreciate his concern. I do likes to ramble...) I tried to reply to each of his points in one or two short sentences... ...and failed miserably. It's not in my nature. I always feel like I'm leaving the best part or most salient point out. So, I brought my wordy ass here. I'll give Mike a link, and he can pick & choose the points he wants to address, here or there.

Mike sez:
First, just a minor point, but you criticize Rummy for meeting Saddam with a "cheesy grin...looking like he was having such a good time with [Saddam]"

Have you blogged on the Pelosi photos of her smiling with Assad and wearing the veil?

Just looking for consistency here.
Keep in mind I'm responding to several comments on your blog, Mike. My mention of Rummy's trip was in furtherance of the conversation between Freedom Now & Art, and was meant to point out to you that Saddam was evil for a very long time before we finally acted. I asked you why you thought that was... (A question to which you did not reply, by the way...)

Were it not for the folks at your blog I was responding to, I would not bring up Rummy's trip, at all... While I thought it was a mistake for Reagan to send him, the only thing about which I disapproved as far as Rummy was concerned was the smile.

That said, I have never spoken in any forum about Pelosi's trip. (This is also the first appearance of Rummy, in any way, shape or form, on my blog.)
Mike: Second, I'm assuming you attend these ANSWER events? On behalf of what group do you attend? Or what cause? If you want to give more details (considering the limitations of space) feel free.
I attend peace events on behalf of promoting peace, of course. My UU fellowship has a group, and some folks in my old neighborhood started another, which meets at the local library. I have attended ANSWER events with one or the other of those groups, and I've gone to one (or maybe 2) on my own. I was ambivalent about our involvement in Afghanistan (I could appreciate both points of view), so I neither protested nor spoke in favor of our actions there. I am opposed to our actions in Iraq, as you know. I have written letters & whatnot about other conflicts (Darfur, Israel/Palestine) but never attended a demo about them.

Mike: Third: "It is not that our environmental, peace, and social justice orgs are focusing on US issues to the exclusion of others. It is that they are not focusing on the worst problems in the fields they claim to care about, wherever they may be. Have I got it, now?"

Nyet! It is because these groups are focusing on relatively minor and trivial actions by the U.S. yet ignoring the REAL EVIL which is of much greater magnitude than anything the U.S. is doing.
First first off... The distinction between what I said and what you said seems to be whether the actions are those of the US or not. Let's review:

I said "...not focusing on the worst problems..."
You said "...ignoring the REAL EVIL which is of much greater magnitude..."

I said: (or failed to say, but pretty obviously implied) "they are focusing on lesser problems"
You said "...are focusing on relatively minor and trivial actions..."

To me, they are VERY SIMILAR sentiments. Here is the difference:

I said "...wherever they may be."
You said "...focusing on by the U.S." "...ignoring much greater magnitude than anything the U.S. is doing."

If I'm mistaken, I guess I'm going to need more words from you.
Back to my rebuttal...

First off, "minor & trivial" & "REAL EVIL" are in the minds of the beholder. Second, I still think one does & should have more influence with one's own people & government, and should focus one's actions where they are most likely to affect change. Finally, should deal with the splinter in one's own eye, first. In some cases, you appear to agree. Without going back into the Imus issue, read how you end your blog post on the subject:

"Start by holding yourselves accountable to the same standard of conduct you daily demand of others."

It doesn’t say start with the most evil, or the least trivial... ...or even whether or not the US is involved. It says start at home.
I agree.
Finally, your last point: It may well be that some of these groups do object to abuses elsewhere. But they seem to reserve their ire for the United States. It wouldn't be too difficult to find examples of where they expressed environmental, human rights or peace concerns for the actions of U.S. allies either.

Harder though to find them protesting, if at all, U.S. enemies.
I think you're moving the goalposts here, Mike.

We already established that it is more difficult to find interest groups from the right or left protesting against the actions of other countries. One might say that the Minutemen are protesting the actions of Mexico, but then Mexico is not an enemy of the US, either. (That would be a group on the right protesting against an ally of the US.) The few other groups I can think of on the right primarily deal with social issues here in the US. It remains to be seen whether the Eagles will march for other country's soldiers, or against America's enemies. If they do, they will be among the first.

I say American interest groups protest the actions/inactions of our American government because they are the ones most likely to care & perhaps change. (We vote here, we donate here, we educate & therefore affect the attitudes of our fellow citizens here...) That's what I believe, and I think they are wise to do so.

I cannot help that you don't agree with my reasoning, or believe that US interest groups should focus on the issues that you (& yours) find MOST EVIL/least trivial/furthest from criticizing US policies and allies, and "back burner" the issues you (& yours) find least evil/MOST TRIVIAL/closest to criticizing US policies and allies (in whatever combination most suits you). We disagree, and it's possible we always shall.

You have mentioned the plight of the Marsh Arabs in Iraq several times. You obviously care about this issue very deeply. So, what actions did you take to help them? Did you go there? Did you form a group &/or attend a protest on their behalf? Did you write any letters to Saddam? Did you ask your government to intervene on their behalf? Aside using the issue now to club liberals, what did you do to change it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too much death

Dan Bern - Kid's Prayer - Song Lyrics

Dan Bern wrote this song after Columbine. The words ring true...

Friday, March 23, 2007

I went overboard at YouTube

I've been debating some of the anti-peace protester folks on the vid pages, lately... It was going fine, at first, but what started out as one or two line replies started getting longer, needing 2-3 boxes. (500 character limit). Then today, I got scolded by one of the vid posters (a peace guy, no less) for spamming his vid.

Guilty as charged.

So, I apologised, and sent messages to the three "eagles" that I'm currently "involved" with. This is one of 'em.:

After posting my reply (replies) to you, I realized that the guy who's vid that is (who's on your side, btw) is probably going to blow his top. He was moderating the comments so that folks didn't go nuts & post like crazy... we've been doing.

So, I'm thinkin' that if we want to continue this debate, we ought to find a better forum & stop spamming the video pages. If you know of an unmoderated blog, (preferably one that is read by all sides) let me know. I do have a blog page, but I suspect that few actually read it... OTOH, I'd be glad to have you there to debate if you're willing:

Either way, I'm going to try to avoid doing anymore long form debating on the YouTube pages for awhile... (I was scolded for the same thing at another vid today, too... A guy on the peace side, in that case. I realized he was right, which is why I'm doing this.)

So, either visit my blog or get back to me with another one if you wish to continue, or do nothing if you don't.

My whole ANSWER answer appears below.

ANSWER is a coalition of many smaller groups opposed to war & racism. It was founded by the International Action Center, who in turn, has strong ties to the Workers World Party, a Communist group. (WWP has since split, resulting in a smaller WWP, and a new group, The Party for Socialism & Liberation. PSL stayed with ANSWER, and the IAC/WWP folks went on to form Troops Out Now!

There are Muslim groups involved, but they had no part in founding ANSWER. Several other American & International Communist & Socialist groups are also a part of the coalition, along with civil rights & other left wing progressive orgs, many representing minority groups within the US.

The big question I have is, so what? While some of these groups do believe the US should adopt another form of government (& IMO, too often wastes valuable peace demo time saying so, rather than focusing on the issue at hand) the majority of the people who attend know why they are there, and DO focus on ending the occupation.

While many on the right like to point out the origins of ANSWER & other coalitions, they never bother to explain why these origins are important, or provide any evidence that anyone is being harmed because of ‘em.

(& yeah, I did actually post that whole last bit to a vid. Took 4 boxes. I WAS out of control.)

So, let's see if anyone comes a-calling... I left a light on for 'em...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pro-war counter-protest fails to prove its point - Opinions

Pro-war counter-protest fails to prove its point - Opinions

Let's hope there are a few more articles discussing the behavior of the anti-peace protester folks. The descriptions (& more importantly, the videos) are starting to appear around the web, showing that there was a good bit of thuggery among the pro-war, pro-bush, crowd. If anyone was destroying property (mostly the signs or flags of the peaceful), it was these guys, not the peaceniks.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lost in a Sea of Thugs 3-17-07

YouTube - Lost in a Sea of Vets 3-17-07

I expect this is just the first of several vids that will expose the fact that some of the anti-peace protesters in DC were there to intimidate the anti-war folks with physical violence and destruction of property.

Tried to post the following at this vid, but it's moderated... Let's see if it appears...

The peace protesters oppose US government misdeeds in the hope that they can influence change. The "Peace thru strength" pro-war folks protest against other American citizens, in hope of keeping them quiet.

Just more "Bush the divider" in action.

The Impolitic: Who's protesting who?

The Impolitic: Who's protesting who?

Libby's point about peace protesters opposing government action (the invasion of Iraq, the mistreatment of veterans), while the "pro war" protesters oppose the actions of their fellow citizens (the peace protesters) shows a big difference between the sides. Peace protesters are all for differing opinion (mostly, anyway...), while those that support Bush's misguided occupation want to stifle divergent opinion, much like Bush's unitary government.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ilana Mercer: The "Idiocracy" Has Spoken! (About My Hornbeck Pieces)

Barely A Blog - Updated Again: The ‘Idiocracy’ Has Spoken! (About My Hornbeck Pieces)

I could go through this new post over at Ilana Mercer's blog paragraph by paragraph, but there's no point. It all comes down to this: She's apparently received several comments questioning her heartless opinions & speculations about Shawn Hornbeck, and her feelings got hurt, so she's lashing out at the "idiocracy" -- those of us who disagree with her -- & stamping her feet with all the righteous indignation she can muster.

Speaking for this "idiot," I'd much rather have Ilana beat up on me than on a kid who spent the last 4 years with the man who kidnapped him.

'nuff said.

* History Post * Ann Coulter Was Wrong

National Ledger - Ann Coulter Was Wrong

I was deleting old bookmarks, when I came upon this article about Ann Coulter from last June, not too long after she'd made those nasty comments about the Jersey Girls being harpies. The author, Cliff Kincaid, wrote in part

"Coulter appears to be saying that she knows something that is both shocking and disgusting about why these women were acting they way they did. But she has no way of knowing that. Coulter may be offering only her personal opinion about what was supposedly going through the minds of these women, but she obviously has no evidence for her opinion."
Does that bring to mind a certain mother/daughter "mind reading" team about whom I've been writing a lot, lately?

The rest of the article offers more commentary about making judgements based on fact, not supposition. It also talks more about the awful things Ann Coulter was saying about folks, including veterans who've spoken out in favor of liberal positions. Even now, 8 months later, it's an interesting read...

Talk about tying my recent posts together...

I have a bunch of older articles and posts gathering internet dust in my archives. I'll try to pull out one or two on the weekends, if nothing more interesting is going on...

Me, a hater?

The Redhunter: Videos: Leftist Anti-War Protesters Abusing the Troops

So, I was surfin' the net, just goofing around, and I decide to do a search for myself. Among the hits I get was a Right Wing blog called "The Redhunter."

Turns out, your humble host is a hater... Can you imagine?
According to this Redhunter guy, I hate the troops. Here's how I was outed as a hater:

The other day, I added a comment to a youtube video of Joshua "Spit" Sparling on Faux News. Redhunter saw it & obviously didn't like it, because he collected my comment, along with several others he disapproved of, and posted them on his blog, under an explanation that said:

"...But if you want to get an idea of some of the hate that is directed at the troops who served in Iraq and dare to publically say that they support our efforts there, go to YouTube and look at some of the comments that have been left under the videos I posted above. Here's a sample of what was left in response to the last video above"

Mine was the last comment on the list. It said:
"Where's Ann Coulter now that this poor amputee is exploiting his victimhood in the name of right wing politics? Wonder what foul name she'll be calling him, and how soon that'll be? (If she actually ever did--which we all know will never happen--I'd defend Mr Sparling's right to speak out, just as I did Ann's other victims.)"

Does that show my hate for the troops?
Is it even insulting or disrespectful to Joshua Sparling? (Not that I've never been disrespectful, particularly of Joshua's repeated victimization at the hand of peaceniks, but this isn't one of those times.)

And, after my post at the end of the list, "redhunter" writes:

"Can we question their patriotism now?"

I had to post a comment at Redhunter's blog:
I fear you've misunderstood my comment about the video...

I fully support Joshua's right to speak out, though I do disagree with him.
I just wondered whether Ann Coulter would be intellectually honest, and rail against Joshua the way she did Max Cleland. (All that crap about trotting out the victims, blah, blah, blah...) If she actually ever was that intellectually honest, she would be as wrong about Joshua as she was about Max. And I would be among the first to say so...

You may question my patriotism, if it'd make you feel better (I've no need for a freeper seal of approval, anyway), but if anybody's got a beef with that comment above, it oughta be Ann Coulter, not Joshua or you...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Still More: Ilana Mercer's Daughter Weighs In On Hornbeck

Barely A Blog - Letter of the Week: My Daughter Weighs In On Hornbeck

Ilana's daughter sez:
If you’ve been participating in this here blog at all, you’ll want to read this. I have perused some of the antagonistic comments here and think there’d be more substance to my response if I didn’t comment about them. Instead, here are my impressions of the Shawn Hornbeck debacle. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The horse being Ilana’s daughter. And I’m not really a horse. I’m a person:


Ilana's daughter is wrong. I really didn't want to read another attack on Shawn Hornbeck and his family by anyone in the Mercer clan. Unfortunately, that didn't stop it from happening, again... I also question her personhood, a little.

That little shit. That is my reaction; it has little to do with what my mother taught me. This reaction has to do with my mother and how I feel about her.


I suspect that Ilana's reaction is no more based on reason than her daughter's, no matter what either of 'em says. This seems to be about their inability to sympathize with folks who aren't like them.

It is quite a thing, being my mother’s daughter, to read of her impressions of parenthood, and particularly in this article regarding Shawn Hornbeck. Bill-O is generally a man not good for one’s digestion, but I sympathize wholly with his low regard for this kid. And my mother’s, too.

I can see it now. This bathos ridden North American kid, quivering and gesturing at the keyboard. Still full of histrionics, even without an audience. To pen something so sinisterly anonymous to his parents, a simple sentence so torturous because it is coming from the child: “How long will you look for your child?” What kind of awful dramatic shit is that? How many crappy Hollywood flicks has this kid seen? How many books has he read in comparison?


No, miss Mercer, you CAN'T see it. You can create a version of events to justify how you feel or what you believe, but you cannot really know anything, any more than anyone else who wasn't there.

You imagine a child havin' a ball torturing his poor parents with anonymous cryptic messages. Other's imagine that Shawn was made to write it, under threat of violence, or that it wasn't Shawn who wrote it at all, but Devlin. Folks can imagine scenarios all day, based on whatever is or isn't in their hearts.

I think we ought to wait until we have more facts, rather than inventing these fictions, at all... But I ask you; If they're going to create these fictions, why are the Mercer's so willing to imagine the worst of Shawn and his motivations? What does it say about them?

Here’s a basic guide to escaping the torment Shawn suffered through. You email your folks, you tell them where you are and you get your ass home. They’ll come get you; parents are good at that. They generally like to keep kid and kid’s possessions altogether under one roof.


Saving yourself from predators is just that easy. So easy, even a child could do it. The fact that so many children are murdered or raped in these situations means nothing to miss Mercer. If they didn't save themselves by hoppin' on the old internet & popping off an email to mummy & daddy (like I would've)... Screw 'em. Who needs such weak willed kids, anyway? It's not like their parents can't make more...

Cold. Very cold.

As a child partially schooled at a private elementary and middle school in Cape Town, South Africa, I have seen a different kind of child than the North American specimen. I was shocked to my core when I first stepped into a North American classroom. I was disgusted with and dismayed by my classmates, as they genuinely, unblinkingly quizzed me about the population of lions in my back yard, how come I wasn’t black, and, “Why did you leave a place that had such nice weather.” Not to mention the petulance and total lack of respect for the teacher, the teacher’s lack of discipline with respect to the feet on the desks, the eating in class, the idiotic guffawing and god knows what else I took in within 10 minutes of immersion with my fellow 12-year olds. ILANA INTERJECTS: [I recall you came back crying. You said: “Mom, the children in my class are retarded. Take me out of there.” So I did.] END ILANA This is the way fellow feelings are nurtured in North American schools and obviously in the homes, too. I couldn’t bring myself to act that way with my peers, even away from home.

I quickly skipped a grade and moved just slightly beyond the level of the stupid and ascended to the heights of mediocrity. That is about as good as it gets in the North American schooling system (sadly it has gone that way now in my place of birth, too).


Do I even need to say anything?

Look, kitten... Speaking strictly for my little parcel of North America, you're welcome out, anytime... Take your mom with ya...

A combination of my experience in schools here and in South Africa and my home life lead me to this overall impression of Shawn Hornbeck’s behavior. It is mostly a gut reaction, hence the emotion. Yes, I accuse this victim for his total lack of care. If he hated where he was, he would have emailed his parents and told them where he was. If he was feeling the slightest discomfort he could have shuffled over to the computer and told mom and dad he was bored and was ready to come home now. He didn’t. He toyed with them. He cruelly toyed with his parents. How could you live with yourself? If you’re old enough to play a video game (I can’t even get them – they’re not as easy as they look), you’re certainly old enough to give a damn.


Slightest discomfort?

Is that what you imagine Shawn was feeling?

Like her mom, Miss Mercer has written a fictional story, and is railing against it, rather than facts. They have no idea what Shawn was thinking or feeling. None at all.

Okay. So for a moment I linger on his selfishness. Then I can’t help but think of my mother in place of his parents. It breaks my heart. I can’t even let my imagination wander there without shedding tears. Tears of disgust with myself if I were to do such a thing. When my mom writes about life coming to a stand still for a parent in this kind of situation, I know she ain’t kidding. I’ve seen her concerned for my life and it is an earth-shattering thing to look at. One should feel privileged and fortified for being the object of such emotion. I can say with utter confidence that I would have felt the same way at age eleven or fifteen and will continue to feel that way until I am an old woman.


I can say with utter confidence that you're fooling yourself if you think that you would feel that way at 11. Despite your pretty words, I doubt you really have the ability to empathize outside of your little circle, even now. If you did, you would avoid adding to the hurt of Shawn and his family by keeping your vicious opinions off the internet, where they can see them.

You say you feel. Good for you. Why broadcast it to the world, when you know it's going to bring grief to all those victims and families who don't share your opinions? What is the point of needlessly hurting others?

Shawn could obviously access a computer and other people. That premise alone is evidence enough that that child could have done something. But he did nothing. He prolonged his situation unnecessarily. And why am I not surprised? My old peer group in South Africa understood the value of life and respected their families. No matter how belligerent we all were as teenagers, no matter how much we would push our parent’s patience and write horrid things about them in our diaries, we loved them utterly and would never give them cause to worry for our lives. No way. We acted out within known boundaries. We were grounded, sure. We had to do extra chores. Absolutely. And we had to shed the attitude, definitely. So what? Did it kill us? No. It just made us human with a value for our lives and the lives of others. We don’t require special tuition in order to learn how to give a damn.

posted by Ilana Mercer on 02.02.07 @ 6:27 pm |

Yes, Shawn could access a computer and other people. That doesn't prove anything. It doesn't address what he believed would happen in his world if he took advantage of that access. Perhaps he acted badly. He most certainly didn't act the way a smart cookie like you would've at 11. But you have no more knowledge about why he acted as he did than I, or anyone else does. You think you know, of course. Your whole diatribe, like that of your mother's, is all about what you think you know about Shawn Hornbeck and his ordeal. You've written a story, and now you're punishing the bad character you created. It's fiction, dear. All fiction.

Your writing does not provide any evidence that you give a damn about anyone outside of your mom.

You certainly don't give a damn about Shawn Hornbeck, or his family. Because they failed to meet your standards, they mean nothing at all. At best, they're but a bad example in Ilana Mercer's preachings on free will.

What of other parents of children who failed to act as mother & child Mercer think they should've, and were harmed or killed as a result? What should they take from your words? Should they believe, as you do, that they deserved whatever they got?

From where I sit, your ability to give a damn is severely lacking. You & your mom live in a cold, heartless world.

And now, the comment I sent to Ilana's Blog , which she rejected, as usual.
Ilana, I really like your daughter, at least in this one sense... Unlike you, she doesn't waste a whole lotta time with lofty theories... She speaks much more plainly about what you've been saying since your first hit piece on this kid.

Shawn Hornbeck was a bad child who deserved everything that happened to him, once he failed to summon the courage and reason required to escape the first time he had the chance. That little shit made his own damned bed, and chose to lie in it. (And if he was joined in that bed by some 300 pounder with a penis, well, he must've chose that, too...)

Given your belief in free will, I wonder why you (and now your daughter, as well) have chosen to write these articles about Shawn. I mean, even if you are correct about everything you've said, how does your saying it benefit you or anyone else? Do you fail to realize how your words will hurt Shawn Hornbeck and his family, or is it that--like Shawn failing to contact his mother when he had the chance--you simply fail to care? Like Shawn, are you not choosing to act in a way that will bring hurt and anguish to every victim and family who fail to live up to your standards? Never mind Shawn... What motivates your poor choices, Ilana?

As I said in comment one, I believe that you and your daughter lack compassion. I feel sorry for you both, as well as for all who share your cold, cruel world. I hope they choose better in future.

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