Friday, December 18, 2009

X-Post: Donald Douglas' War on E.D. Kain, Part 1

American Nihilist X-post

American Power: Mark Thompson and the Scientific Falsification of God:

It is, of course, precisely this Western Judeo-Christian heritage that the progressive left seeks to destroy. Andrew Sullivan is no conservative when he promotes a gay radical licentiousness that knows no moral boundaries. Thus, the solution: just rebrand the model in your own image and label adherents to classic teachings as "Christianists." I mean really, Mark Thompson cites E. D. Kain as suggesting "who cares"?

This is a long post, and to really understand it (& where Donald goes wrong, in my opinion) it'd be best if you read all of Donald's post as well as all of the post he's replying to... But the short answer is, Mark Thompson is citing E.D. Kain as responding "who cares?" to a different question than Donald believes he is, and wants you to believe he is. (Look for the part where Donald resorts to saying "I think what Mark really WANTED to say was...". He can't argue against what Mark ACTUALLY said, so he has to put his own spin on it. Classic Donald.)

Some people believe in God. Some people don't. Convincing the folks on the other side of the equation to believe what you believe -- whatever that is, be it God, Gods, or no God at all -- is largely pointless. What's important is how we treat each other.

Liberaltarianism and Intellectual Dishonesty:

My point of departure, as readers might have guessed, is Mark Thompson and his blogging buddies at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Thompson's a self-proclaimed libertarian, and his cohorts at the blog are all over each other with intellectual glad-handing and backslapping on their bright ideas on atheism, gay marriage, humanitarian intervention, neoconservativism, and God knows what else. This cabal might well be aspiring to develop some newfangled "postmodern conservatism," but it's really all the same, as far as I can see.

An animating force for the paradigm seems to be the resistance to tradition and universal morality. This can be seen in the excursions on atheism at the blog, where we see commentary suggesting that since there's no possibility for the falsification of God's existence, those of religoius faith are essentially "lunatics" for proposing an alternative theory of evolution in Intelligent Design. Or we can see this in the virtually unhinged attacks on neoconservatives and the war in Iraq, where E.D. Kain excoriates the Bush administration for "invading countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan in order to democratize them ..." Never mind that the origins of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq emerged out of vastly different contexts - with varying methodologies of strategic justification - the overall animus toward the forward use of state power places this "libertarian-progressive" agenda firmly in the nihilist camp of the "world peace" utopians Robert Stacy McCain mentions above.

But what's especially bothersome about these folks is the confused intellectualism on questions of moral right. It's almost stomach-churning to read E.D. Kain's comments on Israel following this week's election: "Israel, once lively with the dream of the original idealists who founded it, has over the years become increasingly militarized, entrenched, and anti-Democratic." This is not much different from the commentary on Israel one finds at the neo-Stalinist Firedoglake. E.D. Kain, of course, has problems with intellectual integrity, as I've already noted, and he joins Mark Thompson in a left-libertarian hall of shame on that score.

This seems to be common among liberaltarians, or postmodern conservatives, however we might identify them. E.D. Kain gave the finger to a deep-bench of neoconservative writers whom he'd asked for analytical contributions - at no charge - when he deleted his online magazine, "NeoConstant," without the decency of a courtesy notification. Mark Thompson has the gall to applaud the strategic rationality of Hamas (with an obligatory attack on Israeli's actions as "self-defeating"), and then when questioned about his argument, he cowardly throws his hands up and pleads that "I honestly don't know - or pretend to know - the answer to the situation ..."

Re Intelligent Design: If you didn't read the long post I suggested you read for the last "War" post, you have another chance here.
Mark isn't simply suggesting that religious folks who try to make a science of their faith are lunatics. He's saying that anyone who tries to make a science out of any faith--including those atheists who try to prove that God doesn't exist--are lunatics. Once again, Donald only sees what he wishes to see...

Re "E.D. Kain excoriates": Interesting fact. In the ED Kain post to which Donald links, the words "Bush" "administration" or the name of any member of the Bush administration does not appear. In fact, ED Kain says that the foreign policy he's discussing & taking issue with, has been going on for three decades. Quite the excoriation, huh? Once again, Donald only sees what he wishes to see...

I don't know enough about Israel to intelligently comment on the next bit. (but at least, I'm smart enough to know that. I've seen far too many folks wade in, ignorant... and I've no doubt that everyone reading this has, as well.) I know that everyone there has been a victim of the conflict in one way or another, and that there's been altogether too much violence and needless death all around. I can say this much, though... There seem to be those who believe we in America should be more like Israel, security-wise especially. I would rather that Israel was more like us, to whatever extent that's possible. (Now, how what E.D. Kain said relates to these supposed issues of "intellectual integrity," I cannot say... ...and note that Donald doesn't, either.)

Finally, Donald has a problem discerning a person expressing the opinion that an enemy (Hamas, in this case) was doing something strategically smart, and that person giving support for the smart thing the enemy was doing.
(I was going to wonder whether Donald had ever met a smart person with whom he disagreed, but realized... All the smart people Donald knows agree with him, and all the idiots don't. That's just how Donald rolls...)

American Power: Neoclassicons:

Well, yeah. I'll just say here that Conor Freidersdorf is an Andrew Sullivan myrmidon. As anyone who's followed the recent conservative debates knows, especially in the months since the election, there's been an amalgamation of moderate conservatives, left-libertarians, and unpatriotic paleocons on the postmodern right. I wrote about this (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) the other day, in "What's Up With David Weigel?" From Conor Friederdorf to David Frum, to Daniel Larison to Andrew Sullivan, and then E.D. Kain, there's a movement afoot that wants desperately to be "conservative," but one that is failing miserably.

E.D. Kain, another neoclassicon who practically worships Sullivan - and not to mention, Daniel Larison - is himself like a confused adolescent, afraid to engage in an intellectual debate with me at this blog. E.D. Kain was once in regular communication with me as the publisher of Neo-Constant, which was described as a blog of "Hard-line neoconservative political commentary, global politics, and foreign policy." Like Andrew Sullivan, E.D. must feel a need to float along the tides of partisan popularity. He's certainly denuded himself of moral standing among those with whom he had previous communications. But that kind of childishness appears to characterize the neoclassicons overall.

They ARE conservative, Don. What they're not, is an echo chamber for Donald Douglas and those Donald Douglas himself echoes. (Whether they're echoing others or thinking for themselves is a separate question... From the little I've read, there's some of both, the exact quantities of which depend on the specific writer.)

And afraid of him? Please... For the most part, I expect it's simply that they don't take Dr Douglas seriously enough as a thinker or as a blogger to bother giving him the time of day, let alone offering a rebuttal comment on his blog or wasting time writing a post in reply to his hit pieces on their own blogs.

(But if Donald really believes this -- If he really is saying that bloggers who don't address any/all arguments put up in opposition to them fail to do so out of cowardice -- then I suppose there is no need to wonder why Donald Douglas so often avoids replying to my comments and posts... He's explained himself quite clearly, here... Obviously, Donald Douglas is a coward. [Who thinks that Donald is & will remain an intellectually dishonest putz, who, if he can get up the "courage" to reply at all, will explain why it's COMPLETELY different when HE doesn't respond to the opposition posts of others.])

As far as his last charge, I trust that he's noticed by now that one of E.D. Kain's other old friends from his NeoConstant days has spoken up (twice, even), OPPOSING Donald's accusation about Kain "denuding his moral standing" among them, and calling Dr Douglas to task for his unwarranted and personal attacks on Kain. Perhaps Donald will lay his cards on the table, and explain who in the hell it is he's talking about (aside himself, of course) who believes E.D. Kain is any less moral now than he was as a neocon.

(Having never read Kain back then, I can only hypothesize, but it don't look to me like Erik is the type to lose his ethical grounding. While his politics may have changed, the moral compass he uses to guide him--politically and otherwise--appears intact.
And putting him up against Dr Douglas and HIS morals... ...Well, I know which one of 'em I'd rather meet in a dark alley or be stuck on an otherwise deserted island with. One of 'em makes mistakes, admits when he does (see below) and apologizes for them.
The other's just angry at everyone who doesn't see the world his way, has a tendency to lash out inappropriately, and is very seldom ever wrong. Just ask him..
'nuff said.)

American Power: Conor Friedersdorf: Avoidance, Obfuscation, Prevarication:

I've responded to Mr. Friedersdorf with a number of detailed posts (here, here, here, and here). All of these essays are detailed and substantive. Mr. Friedersdorf's silence in engaging them goes beyond disrespect. Frankly, as is the case with Mark Thompson and E.D. Kain, it's most likely that Mr. Friedersdorf is simply overwhelmed by superior firepower; and rather than further expose the superficiality of his intellect, he adopts a variety of coping techniques: avoidance, obfuscation, and prevarication are the first tactics that come to mind.

These "War On ___" posts are becoming something of a Donald Douglas/AmPow meme, where Donald gets "outraged! OUTRAGED!!" over something one of his many perceived enemies says, and writes a whole series of posts denouncing them, and demanding all manner of satisfactions. Mostly, they're ignored by the targets, which only seems to infuriate Dr Douglas further--though obviously, answering him, and even apologizing for whatever it was that sent Don into the tailspin in the first place, doesn't make the mighy Don Douglas particularly happy, either.

A few months ago, the War was on Conor Friedersdorf, and here's how I replied to this same piece of Donald's prose then:

One can intelligently speculate or flat out wildly guess as to the reasons why a person chooses not to reply to another's posts or comments--and Dr Douglas does a good deal of one of those things, just below--but unless a person actually asked you to write the posts, or in any way suggested that they would read and reply to whatever you put forth, there is no disrespect in his/her ignoring your words. And when your post(s) are largely disrespectful to the person from whom you're demanding the response(s), there is no earthly reason why they should respond. Claiming that s/he is disrespecting you by not engaging your posts--whatever their content, but especially when their content is largely an attack on them--at the very least, doesn't hold water, and may be evidence of an ego problem, as well. (Who thinks themselves so important that their words demand reply, and that one's failure to do so is a sign of disrespect?)

And did someone say something about ego? (Oh, wait... Apparently it holds more meaning if I say "ego." --God love the dictionary... I guess Doctor Biobrain and I finally got to Mr. Douglas, and he's actually citing the words he uses, occasionally. The next step, which has been years in the coming, would be to get him to provide examples of how the words he uses to tar people actually apply to the people he's tarring with them. According to him, we've all been nihilists for years though--while he has whipped out a dictionary once or twice, he's never shown how the definition applies... Think he'll do so as regards Conor?)--

But back to ego... Donald's "superior firepower" is largely a product of his own imagination. I'm not saying Dr. Douglas isn't smart; but smart ain't worth a damn, if you cannot or will not apply it to real situations.

(Re-reading it, I think the whole "War on Conor Friedersdorf" post & collection of comments speaks to many of the same issues at play here in Donald's "War on E.D. Kain". Here's the link again, in case you're interested...)

American Power: Paleocons/Postmoderns Bash Democracy Promotion, Neocons:

What does Patrick Buchanan have in common with Andrew Sullivan, Daniel Larison, E.D. Kain, and James Poulos? Perhaps a burning hatred of the "evil" neocons?

No, I don't think that's it, particularly since not a one of them used the term "evil" or "hate" (or any word synonymous or even related) in discussing neoconservatism in the articles to which Donald links... (For my money, this is what Conor Friedersdorf meant when he suggested that Donald was prone to fits of paranoia...) True, none of them are fans of the neocon vision, and of course, Donald disagrees with all of them, but perhaps that says more about him than it does about them, particularly since it is him, rather than them, turning that political disagreement into accusations of "hatred" and "evilness."

Contrary to Donald's sly assertion, it isn't that they agree or disagree with one another to any great degree, but that Donald Douglas vehemently disagrees with all of them, that sets him off with these accusations of hatred and calling individuals and groups of folks evil. The secret is, his posts are really about him, and not the people he attacks.

American Power: Steers, Queers, and Ordinary Gentlemen

Sometimes E.D. Kain reveals just a bit too much about himself. Here he is attempting to take down Robert Stacy McCain for alleged homophobism and sexism, and he ends up looking like a grotesque caricature of the most peurile practitioner of political correctness. At least his post is appropriately titled, "The Things People Say on the Internet" (emphasis added):

-- Here’s the frustrating thing to me about McCain. He can be a funny guy, with a good sense of humor. He’s obviously a talented writer. It’s just that he says such damn stupid things sometimes, and does it mainly because he’s ... an attention whore. His dissection of gay culture (and its apparently misogynistic nature) is absurd. I don’t know, but pretty much every gay guy I’ve met has had a veritable harem of girl friends. A lot of girls I know really like hanging out with gay men because it avoids that Harry Met Sally rule that all male/female relationships are inevitably about sex. And I have yet to meet one single gay man who is as misogynistic as many of the straight men I’ve known.

Then again, I’d give people overall the benefit of the doubt here – most men, gay or straight, that I know are not women haters. It is certainly not a defining feature. In fact, none of the gross generalizations Stacy evokes in his post are definitive in any way. That’s the funny thing about people – gay or straight, they’re each unique with a plethora of personal issues that compose their psychology. That’s the problem with psychology in general, but especially this hackish voodoo psychology that Stacy’s pushing.--

I think E.D. needs to spend a little time with Lou Gossett, Jr Not to mention Ernest Hemingway. (Just to toughen him up a bit. No insinuations here. Besides, E.D.'s got nothing onJames B. Webb - NTTAWWT!!).

Related E.D. Kain posts, "Neoclassicons," and "Liberaltarianism and Intellectual Dishonesty."

Ah, yes... The "fag" jokes... In Donald Douglas' tiny little world, gay folks are not "real" men like him & all of his real manly man friends, so insinuating a man is gay or in any way feminine--or going all in and actually calling him one, as Donald does further on--is considered an insult.

Bravo, Donald... you fucking bigot.

And Donald... I'm pretty sure that if you were to ask Louis Gossett, Jr., he'd say you were a bigot, too. (Couldn't vouch for Hemingway, either way...)

Free clue: It was a movie, Don. This is real life. Think about the difference, and learn to treat people better.

End of part 1 (Look for more, whenever I get around to it...)

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