Friday, May 25, 2007

Crazy as...

Greenwald has been writing some amazing stuff lately. Loons like Glen Reynolds respond by *sigh* claiming that liberals want America to "lose".

This statistic was interesting.

18% of Americans believe that "the U.S. should use nuclear weapons even if it has not suffered a nuclear attack."
I've argued with Doug over at Politicalpistachio quite a bit. He's "banned" me again for doing the horridly "disruptive" acts of, you know, looking shit up on the internet and posting the information in his comment section. He desires it to remain a "fact free" zone, and clearly I was "disrupting" that plan. He even wrote me an email to ask me to respect his ban (there's lots of ways around them), and I'll paste that below. However, one mistake I've been making the entire time with Doug, and Rick, and a few others, is that I didn't account for the fact that they are simply insane.

Doug documented his plan for conducting the war in Iraq. His plan involves the utilization of nuclear weapons in Iraq cities - vaporizing hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqi men, women, and children.

I kept arguing with them as if they were not completely insane.

Last night, I checked on Rightwingguymn to see if he's returned to his blog after suddenly disappearing last January. He's still not back, but I did see this comment to the last post.

I think that World War III will be fought in the streets - Urban Guerilla Warfare Style - of the United States. God help us.
Douglas V. Gibbs | Homepage | 01.27.07 - 11:41 pm | #
Doug honestly believes that somehow the "Islamofascists" will soon organize into multi-million man armies and stage a Normandy style invasion of America. I think a lot of the loons think Red Dawn is just around the corner and they fancy themselves as Wolverines.

Any reasonable person would view these screeds as.. well, crazy. There's always going to be a segment of society that is completely out of touch and quite literally insane. I got caught up in trying to debate rationally with some of the American flavor loons.

Seriously Doug? Nuclear weapons on civilians and destroy Iraqi cities? You are out of your mind fucking insane.

The problem with having any sort of debate with the "18%" certifiably insane is that the mentally disturbed tend to invest everything in their illness and nothing anyone says will make any difference. Hell, Doug has quoted Julius Streicher, a rabid Nazi war criminal executed after the war, stating flat out he would never change his mind regardless of any new information or perspective. Why the hell would he quote Nazi's to defend his position? Because he is an American Nazi - the far fringe crazy as fuck right, and I'm a bit crazy arguing with them.

One last thing before I post the email exchange, Doug is once again trying to assert that somehow America was "founded on Christian values". I keep having to correct that lie. I'll do it again, even while I just wrote that I know I'm arguing with the clinically insane - it's just way too many people believe that American government has something to do with Christianity.

From this post from Doug, which by the way offers ZERO examples, references, or links to any sourcing. It's yet another giant strawman argument.

From bondage to spiritual faith (In America from religious bondage in England to Freedom of Religion here in America - and for those idiot liberals that try to convince me that America was founded on Secular ideals, even my daughter's history book admits that the Pilgrims primary reason for coming here was in search of religious freedom - hence the separation of church and state that Jefferson referred to, meaning that Government shall not control Religion or how we worship).
I finally see what the problem is. Doug (and many other people) define the "founding" of this nation as the event of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth. The pilgrims landed in Plymouth in 1620, and they certainly were a splinter sect of English Christianity. That is their definition of the "founding" of America.

The Constitution of the United States of America was ratified in 1787. That is 167 years AFTER the pilgrims landed at Plymouth - and most reasonable people (read, not insane) realize that when you consider the "founding of America", the Constitution is the defining moment. After all, what is our entire form of government defined by? The Constitution.

As I've written many times, the Constitution was explicitly written without references to "God" or "Jesus" and was in fact crafted by men who were, by a large margin, not even Christians.

The conservative right tries to use the quite valid fact that Christians landed at Plymouth in 1620, but neglect to mention that during the intervening 167 years, many other Europeans came to America and established the greatest form of government in the history of the world via a completely secular Constitution.

Then, they call us "idiots" for pointing that out. It just boggles the mind - but again I have to keep reminding myself that I'm dealing with the fringe crazies. He even references Thomas Jefferson without realizing that Jefferson abhorred organized religion, was a Deist, and fought tooth and nail to keep their insanity out of government via the Establishment Clause to the First Amendment. Somehow Doug argues that Jefferson's intent was to protect the religious involvement IN government. Say what?

Have you no shame?

So, anyway, here's the email exchange. Doug's mail is first and my response after. It's amusing to me that I argue against unsourced propaganda, and the very next day Doug writes a long and completely unsubstantiated post. It's just insane.

One last thing.. Monday is Memorial Day. The right will no doubt use the opportunity to bash liberals by claiming we're anti-American and hate the troops, while also arguing to keep our military in an untenable situation where more and more Americans die. We're quickly approaching the 3,500 dead milestone.

Who are the "traitors"? Is it the liberals who want to redeploy the troops, or the conservatives who advocate policies that ensure they keep dying? Seems simple to me.

You know, Tom, I honestly don't care what you do for a living, and I can just as easily go back to moderation. You gave Mudkitty some crap about not being wanted and lingering, yet you do the same. And didn't you recently admit I had a point on something you took out of context? You see, you do not see the whole spectrum and jump to conclusions that are simply not true - and then on a few occasions I will explain, but usually I just don't have the time. All your long comments do is disrupt, and cause me to have to spend undue time responding. It is not that I don't appreciate a different opinion. It's that I don't want it to be blatantly disruptive.

As for your accusations of my never having sources - give me a break - I am writing about "my opinions". The source is me. I spent numerous years in theology, and everytime you quote the Bible you have a tendency to take it out of context and misunderstand it. A typical practice of those trying to snuff our Christianity.

Banned is banned. I'll go back to moderation if I have to. I went with HaloScan hoping to ban without Moderation because I think moderation is unfair to folks who comment knowing that their comment won't appear until I get around to seeing it.

As for what folks do for a living, I am multi-faceted with a wide history that amaze most folks, and plenty of education. Computers are for fun, and writing is my next career move (perhaps radio as well). Apparently you do something that has something to do with computers for a living.

You stated in an e-mail to me long ago that you would abide by my ban. Sorry you disagree with what I write so much, but you apparently are not a man of your word if you keep commenting. Want to question me? Curious about my take on particular scripture? E-mail me. I do not fear confrontation or people who disagree with me. Trust me, you are not the only one. I have a cousin that makes Mudkitty and You look like amateurs. She lives in Sausolito just north of San Francisco and she is perfect for that area of the country. She's a New Age Agnostic Pagan who thinks her enlightenment is so advanced that she is ready for the "Singularity".

Anyhow, enjoy your buddy Rick's site, and enjoy mine if you wish, but hold back the comments or I go to moderation and you won't be able to comment anyway. Got a gripe? Think I hate gays? (which I don't, but we already went over that) Don't understand what you read in the Bible? E-mail me.

My response;

Hi Doug,

Okay.. fair enough.. You're correct that I said I wouldn't comment and then I just gave in to temptation and did it anyway. I shouldn't have done that - but sometimes I just get wrapped up in the whole thing.

But, just to give you one recent example where the lack of sourcing can cause a problem in "persuasive speech". You wrote;

"However, thanks to abuse of the system by some, and the overuse of the system by illegal aliens"

I used to work for a company that specializes in processing medical claims for hospitals, specifically to Medicaid programs. Your statement didn't jive with my experience, so I double checked it by checking the relevant laws for California on the net. Illegal aliens cannot qualify for Medi-Cal, nor any other state Medicaid program. That makes your statement factually incorrect. Why do you do that sort of thing over and over? When your opinion is based on an invalid statement at the out-set, your opinion becomes worthless.

The whole "you have to admit that our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian values." statement especially perturbs me because I see more and more people trying to make that argument, but it is factually inaccurate. I dropped a bit of info on that in your comments. I simply back up an opinion with facts. It is a fact that Christians did not even write our constitution. The Treaty of Tripoli is not something that I just made up. The list of counter-arguments is endless. Ben Franklin would have lost his mind to see what's going on today considering the exceptionally harsh writings about religion in government he published.

People try to morph that invalid supposition by making that statement over and over until it somehow becomes taken as fact. I'm sure if you polled a random sample of Americans, they would agree, just because it's been said over and over without rebuttal. It's the same way that if you polled Americans, asking if Saddam Hussien had involvement in the 9/11 attacks, about 40% would say yes. Even Bush has said that was not the case. It's just been beaten into their heads ad nauseum.

So, then conservatives will base their desire to push Christianity into the secular public life of America based on a factually inaccurate assertion. It is not liberals trying to change anything. We want to keep it the way it's been for over 200 years now. I'd even like to take "In God We Trust" off the currency because it was not even there the first 180 years of this nation, and the founders would have put it on there if they wanted it on there.

On most opinion blogs, even conservative slanted blogs like RedState and so on, when they make a factual assertion, they link to the relevant documentation. Then they opine about the relevance of that information. You totally skip the "fact checking" part of your opinion pieces, and I have to be honest with you, if writing is something you want to pursue, it's important to have your facts in order. I just now looked at RedState and the first 4 posts all quoted sources directly and linked to them, and then opined on them. One can certainly argue their interpretation of the information, but if the sourced documentation is itself known to be credible, it's taken as such.

There is nothing more important in opinion writing than credibility. You probably disagree with me, but you'll only preach to the choir if all you do is make factually inaccurate assertions without sourcing all the time. If that's all your goal is, then you've got that working well as evidenced by the comments on your blog. They do tend to agree with you a lot.

When I posted the comments, I was just trying to rebut what I considered to be inaccurate statements - like the "liberals hate America" jive you do all the time. That's really offensive to me because I don't hate this country, and I don't know any liberals who do. I don't even claim conservatives do - I just call them incompetent - and I'm a very mainstream liberal. It's really vile to call millions of Americans "anti-American" and then distort and inaccurately represent our viewpoints. It's like if I wrote on my blog.. oh.. about that Republican state legislator that just got arrested for raping kids.. and I wrote "Conservatives are child rapists". It's just not fair. You do that sort of thing in virtually every post of your blog. It doesn't matter what the issue is, you distort our viewpoints.
Note that he wrote a perfect example of that tactic the very next day.

If your agenda is to paint liberals in the most negative light possible by lying about their viewpoints - you're doing a heckuva job. I can understand that tactic if your goal is not an exploration of the issues, but merely the defeat of a political movement. At that point, your writing becomes simple propaganda. However, I'm not terribly worried about the big picture as trending over the long haul has been liberal by a long shot. The current views of the conservative movement by a large majority of the American public will only accelerate it. Bush has been in the low 30's for a very long time now, and that's not going to change.

Rick does exactly the same thing as you. He recently wrote 'what's happening to our schools!?" (paraphrasing) and I looked at the story he linked, and it was a story about a school in Australia (not "our" schools) - about a teacher that violated school policy - and somehow that was American liberal's fault. It makes me crazy, and when I rebut a long post, it turns out to be really long only because there's so much to correct. He wrote a piece (apparently after talking to you) titled "Democrats can't admit there is an enemy out there", in which he claimed "The Left already thinks that it is our fault that the Sunnis and Shiites are blowing each others heads off as they take pop shots at American Troops (because they are too stupid to see the truth of the matter) and for all I know, they even believe that it is our fault that Islam hates the West". The entire piece was done totally in your style, and completely misrepresents the opinion of Democrats and liberals. The post was one giant unsubstantiated, unsourced, misrepresentation of Democrats and liberals. It took me 1,812 words in a comment to correct his mis-statements. Will he make the exact same invalid arguments again in the future, even after reading my explanation of liberal views? It's only obvious he will. What I can't understand is why people do that - unless again, the writing serves no other purpose than propaganda.

I guess what I could do is just use it for fodder on my blog, and use a trackback. I've fallen into a bad habit of writing more on other people's blogs than I do on mine. I did start a new blog called "Right Wing Loon". I thought I'd use it as an exercise in writing pure propaganda. I have yet to post on it because I need to get the style just right. I'll probably copy one of yours and flip the ideolgy 180 degrees as a trial. What I plan on doing is writing mostly unsubstantiated strawman arguments and completely mischaracterize conservative philosophy in order to create persuasive arguments that conservatives hate America. Call it the "Fact Free Zone", if you will. It should be fun.

The quip about my job.. just thought that was amusing because there's many different ways around bans. It seems kind of pointless to ban, but I suppose it works with people who don't understand IP.

Anyway - you've made your point, and I will make all possible efforts to refrain. I think I've made a credible point in return, but have no doubt you could not possibly consider the viewpoints of bleeding heart America-hating commie pinko liberal like me.



Anonymous said...

"From the beginning we should have gone in with guns blazing, destroyed a few cities, turned some sand to glass, allowed for collateral damage, and showed the world that if you screw with the United States your nation is going to suffer. We should have went in from a position of strength. We should have went in as the Superpower that we are."

yeah... that guy is off his rocker. he also seems to be completely oblivious as to why vietnam completely changed the way americans and the world view warfare.

i'm pretty politically liberal for the most part but would definitely not consider myself a democrat... but i've got to agree with you on this one, tom. it was a fun read and i'll ehh... stay away from this guy's blog. ;-D you may or may not know who this is by the i.p. or typing style, but it doesn't really matter. support is support.

Tom said...

I allow anonymous comments here to make it easy for people to post without registering, but my rules say you sign the post. So, sign the post.

Sky Dive Rick said...

Did Doug use references to nuclear war? Yes. Does he truly believe that we should launch a nuclear exchange? I don't believe so, but that's between him and his God. However, I've read some of his other writings and he believes that the guerilla warfare in the streets of America scenario comes is possible not by a Normandy style invasion, but from within. Once again, I don't know if that's possible, and he has told me it is just one possible scenario in his belief system, but one thing I do know for sure is that Iran surely considers using nuclear weapons. Thing is, this is not a war against Islam as you and your cronies claim the right believes, it is about security = national security. And I don't think it is Doug's choice, or yours, on what happens. When it comes down to it there is an enemy out there that will stop at nothing to destroy us, and folks like Doug are willing to recognize that. Unfortunately, you are still living in the fantasy world of believing that all we have to do is kiss and make-up and everyone will be dancing hand in hand through the daisies. Doug may lean too far one way, but you lean way to far in the way of hating America, and it is despicable.

Anonymous said...

oh, there's rules? *shrug* name's bud.