Friday, September 25, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 9/24/09

Most undertakings don't take forever. In each of our lives there are plenty of things we would like to be doing that we could be doing. But we hesitate. We're afraid of failure. We're afraid of frustration. We lack self-confidence.

It's a vicious circle and it must be broken. It must be broken. Once you decide that, that's all there is to it. Make a commitment. Start carrying it through. Carry it through, and the next commitment will be easier to make. Complete this project, and renewed confidence will make it easier to start the next. The circle breaks here.

Inertia is a force that works against you when you feel like doing something and you're doing nothing. But if you seize the day and start doing something, than inertia works with you, it keeps you going till the job is done.

The way to build self-confidence is to start doing things. Things you're sure you can do, like walking to the icebox for another beer, won't improve matters any, so the way to build self-confidence is to start doing things you're not sure you can do. Like flirting with strangers. Like baking your own bread. Like painting a picture. Like moving to the Yukon. Whatever it is, the trick is: stop thinking about it. Do it. Seize the day and get started and stay with it, and things will get easier and easier from here.
- Paul Williams, Das Energi


Commentary:

"Most who oppose some or all of Obama's ideas are not racists. But some (fringe elements among those who rise in opposition) are. Those who'd rather defend or excuse this fringe element rather than admit that they exist, are doing themselves no favors, and may even be hurting their movement."
- American Power: Are Independents Against Obama Racist "Fringe Elements"?

"The fringe elements in every group deserve to be exposed, and I take no issue when someone says "this guy is a nut." (as long as s/he can prove it). But it'd be foolish to define any group by the fringe elements that choose to associate with 'em, in effect saying "Because this guy's a nut, everyone he spends time with is a nut, as well."."
- American Nihilist: Donald Douglas likes to delete posts.

"Until the "radical" idea that being gay doesn't take away your right to unite with the person of your choice becomes everyday common sense, a "radical" you will stay, no matter how "traditionally" you behave."
- Agnostics Unlimited: Gay Marriage

"I suspect it's going to take both the "out, loud, and proud" gay activist and the everyday man at the park with his kids and woman who works in the next cube over (both of whom happen to be gay) to influence enough of our fellow Americans, in elected office and out, to allow for the recognition that your sexuality doesn't make you any less of a citizen. And of course even then, some will always be left behind."
- American Power: Congressman Claims Same-Sex Marriage is Push for Socialism: You Think?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 9/18/09

When anger rises, think of the consequences. - Confucius


Commentary:

Immoderate Monk: Wingnut Racism: it isn't an all or nothing proposition (or "Divided We Stand United We Fall: Racism increases 67% since January")

"I don't believe that most of the charges and complaints about Obama or his policies have anything to do with race. On the other hand, one would have to be a fool to deny that there is any racism in anything any right-wing critic has said."
- American Power: Attacks on Obama Driven By Racism?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 9/17/09

When you believe in something, you become eloquent.


Commentary:

"What does this incident of bullying on a school bus have to do with hate-speech, charges of racism by/about anyone, President Obama, healthcare reform, or partisan politics in general?"
- Will the Left take the blame for this? - The Daley Gator

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 9/15/09

Learn to play a musical instrument. - Life's Little Instruction Book


Commentary:

"In disagreeing with Dr Douglas, we have "wronged" him, and that wrong must be avenged. (or something.)"
Villainous Company: Donald Douglas: Moral Relativist Extraordinaire "September 15, 2009 06:35 AM" comment (no permalinks)

American Power: Black Thugs Beat White Student on Bus in St. Louis ...And of course to Donald, this is the fault of Democrats and Obama... No... REALLY... If Donald Douglas really believes the things he's written here, he's lost whatever attachment to reality he once had. This is a politically partisan issue because most black adults are Democrats, so therefore the two black boys that beat up this kid did so because they're Democrats?

Immoderate Monk: Sometimes a banana is just a banana... (or "theblogprof: Video: White Student Beaten On School Bus To Cheering Crowd") -- At least the blogprof gets it... He may still believe it was a racial thing, but he's not crazy enough to buy into what Don's selling...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 9/11/09

Took some time away... I'm baaaack...

Commentary:

"Blaming every liberal for the bad acts of any liberal --and not being intellectually honest enough to do the same when judging themselves, of course--is the only way cons like Don can maintain his web'o'deceit.":
American Power: VIDEO! ACORN Tells "Pimp Prostitute"; How to Lie to IRS

Some facts regarding illegal aliens & healthcare reform:
American Power: Joe Wilson: America's Congressman

Applauding or booing are permitted; calling the President a liar while acting in your official capacity as a member of the House of Representatives, while in the chamber...? Not so much...
American Power: Democrats Interrupt 2006 Bush Speech, Cheer Obstructionism on Entitlement Reform

Again, applauding or booing are not against House rules. Calling the President a liar, whether he's speaking in the chamber or not, is.
An Un-American Display? No Way To Treat A President? : Stop The ACLU

Pro paved driveway shooter kills owner of gravel pit.:
American Power: The Town Halls of August: A Chronicle of the Goons (Also kills anti-abortion activist in separate incident.)
Same story, same comment again: American Power: Pro-Life Activist Shot and Killed in Owosso, Michigan

Anti-Pavement Wholesaler Shot And Killed In Owosso, MI. (or "theblogprof: BREAKING: Anti-Abortion Activist Shot And Killed In Owosso, MI. Will He Get The Air Time That Tiller Got? UPDATED with Video")

Immoderate Monk: "The ends don't justify the means" post #1002 (or "theblogprof: CONFIRMED! Anti-Abortion Activist James Pouillon Murdered In Owosso Because Killer Was "was 'offended' by Pouillon’s anti-abortion messages"" - 3 comments)

Immoderate Monk: Undaunted by facts, theblogprof keeps spinnin' (or "theblogprof: 6 Hours After Tiller Murder, Obama Released A Statement Condemning The Act, 24 Hours After Anti-Abort Activist Gunned Down, Crickets Chirping" - 3 comments)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

In Reply: "...newsworthiness is not a sufficient argument for publishing photographs/videos of people against their (or their family's) will..."

Revised and extended, in reply to the American Power post Realities of War? An Update:
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One or two more bits about Cassandra.

1) I'm not seeing the hard-left, radical feminism in either of her arguments that Donald says he does. While I'm sure Donald's actions & reactions would likely've been different, does anyone doubt that Cassandra would've reacted any differently were it hottie sports reporter "Eric" Andrews who was videotaped in a hotel room naked, and fellow conservatives like Donald (though more likely "Donna" Douglas) were providing links to the illegally shot video in hopes of increasing their blog traffic?

Does anyone think that Cassandra's arguments about rape & incest victims would be any more or less forcefully argued by her if the majority of victims were men & boys, rather than women & girls? After reading a good deal of what she's written before and since, I sure don't.

While gender absolutely does play a part in sexual exploitation--be it voyeurism or rape--I submit that Cassandra's arguments against re-victimizing Erin Anderews and against photographing rape or incest victims are not based on the gender of the victim, but on the fact that the victim is a victim.

2) Cassandra's argument in the Erin Andrews matter is not inconsistent with her position here. In both (and seemingly all) cases, she believes that newsworthiness is not a sufficient argument for publishing photographs/videos of people against their (or their family's) will. That is true whether the person is a famous sports reporter, a member of the military who was injured or killed in the line of duty, or a rape/incest victim, or whether the person in the photograph is male or female.

While I don't agree with her argument equating soldiers with crime victims, her argument is consistent, and at least as rational as it is emotional.

Of course YMMV...
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Sunday, September 6, 2009, 3:01 AM (AmPow blog time)

In Reply: Striking a Balance Between Privacy and the Public's Right to Know

In reply to the American Power post "Realities of War? An Update," discussing military families and privacy rights vs the public's right to know:
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It's a shame that Dr. Douglas included the bit about Cassandra at Villainous Company. Given his history with her (and the fact that he relates it here in this post), it seemed a little more vindictive that informative.

Aside that, this is among Donald's best posts, as he shows himself willing to look at all sides of the issue and admit that he's not sure there is one right answer.

While I believe the media should have the legal right to use legitimately newsworthy photographs, they have a moral obligation to balance newsworthiness against the privacy wishes of the person being photographed or, when they cannot express their wishes, the wishes of their families.

While there will always be some who prefer to keep their grief private, there will also always be those who, for one reason or another, choose to share their grief and the loved one they lost with the rest of us, and I agree that those latter families, no matter the reason for their choice, are allowing their loved one to serve their country one final time.

While it's sad that some families will find themselves in the position of having photographs published against their wishes, and that there will be times when the public will lose out on a better understanding of an issue because the media outlet chose to honor a families wishes, I believe that the system we have now is about right -- though I remain suspicious of the whole embed system.

Aside legitimate national security concerns, the military should not be dictating what stories and images they must or cannot use to a free media. (However, I agree that if the contract the photographer signed said she was restricted in what she could offer for publication, she should've lived up to her word, and not used those photographs. It's a bad rule that I believe reporters & photographers ought to refuse to sign, but those who do sign ought to live up to it.)

As for Cassandra (since Dr. Douglas did bring it up), I believe she is playing the reductio ad absurdum game (or something like it at least).

First of all, we do in fact see some of the physical effects of rape, on those victims who despite privacy concerns, are willing to show some of their injuries in the media or in public. Even very graphic images are "published" in court, where some members of the general public do see them.

Images of genitals etc. are for the most part kept out of the media whether the person is a soldier or a rape/incest victim, so I'm not sure her analogy holds.

And the fact that soldiers volunteer to serve their country and perhaps be maimed or killed whereas crime victims do not makes a difference, as well. Whatever injuries a soldier sustains s/he receives on behalf of all of us. That means we have an obligation to know what we're asking our military men & women to risk for us. There are very few situations where anyone (let alone the country) asks a woman to become a rape victim on another person's behalf.

On the other hand, Cassandra is right about one thing; Thankfully, relatively few of us really know what it means to be a victim of the kind of crimes she describes. While I'm not sure we need to or that it would help anyone if more of us did, she is right about the fact that few of us do. But while the tolerance for some crimes (like the video voyeurism of Erin Andrews, where the video was essentially a product of the crime) is too high, VERY few are similarly tolerating, celebrating or otherwise defending the acts of rape or incest or any of the products thereof. And again, no one volunteers to put themselves as substantial risk of becoming victim of such a crime on behalf of their country.

While I admire her passion, Cassandra's arguments are way off base.
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Posted Sunday, September 6, 2009, 2:11 AM (AmPow Blog Time)

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