Monday, October 25, 2010

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As many of you know (or have experienced yourselves), many blogs who self-identify as more conservative will ban or screen the comments of many whom they consider "too liberal." And it's their blog, they can do as they want no matter how cowardly or lacking in intellectual honesty that might seem to others of us. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure they do so because they don't want to "pollute" their website with what they consider heretical comments from people they reject as wolves in sheep's clothing.

Their blog, their rules.

Nonetheless, sometimes I find myself wanting to respond to such folk and that's what I'm doing today. I'll leave names out to protect their privacy and just address their comments which I find problematic.

So, this person recently wrote a blog about "progressives" and what's wrong with their thinking. They said...

the progressive mindset is that the way to do it is to move away from what we are doing to something new, and the conservative mindset is to do what we are doing better...

What, exactly, is "progressive"? Well, the term refers to the idea of continual improvement. The concept is one of making things better. That, of course, is somewhat misleading when it comes to "conservative" versus "liberal" because the conservative notion is that by moving back we can make things better -- progress. The idea there is that by returning to what works, things will get better. "Progressive", then, can be misleading on its own.

And therein lies the problem, at least for me. Today's progressives have in mind the idea of "progress", of moving forward to make things better, as if movement alone is good.


The problem is, of course, that "progressives" don't want to move away from anything we're currently doing to something different for the sake of doing something different. Progressives don't want to "move forward" and just blindly trust that "moving forward" will result in a moral good.

"Progressives" want to see something that works. If an old Salvation Army program works and helps, then of course progressives support this. If a new school based Family Resource Center helps, then we support that.

Progressives (not unlike good conservatives) want to see something that works in the real world. I would not denigrate a conservative program or agenda simply because it is conservative, IF it was being effective. Heck, I probably wouldn't denigrate it even if it wasn't being effective, as long as it wasn't doing harm and was a private effort.

So, if some conservatives want to have, for instance, a prison ministry program and the result is convicts having some peace of mind and some comfort in their time of trial, then God bless whoever has done that work. I don't care if they're "conservatives" trying to save the prisoner's souls or if they're "progressives" trying to decrease recidivism. Good on folk trying to make a positive difference.

In the real world, if we set politics aside (and quit making goofy assumptions about what "those evil conservatives" or "those socialist progressives" think), we could agree on a lot, since we all have some similar starting points. We ALL want to see children warm and fed, what can we agree to work on to help meet that common goal?

Don't start with the assumption that it's "us vs them" and you won't find so much to disagree with. That would be my suggestion. Also, you don't come across as stupid for making asinine suggestions about strawman boogermen who mostly don't exist in the real world.

58 comments:

Alan said...

You're not going to convince someone who is stupid enough to write such tripe in the first place.

But good luck with that. :)

Dave Miller said...

Nice take, perhaps there are enough of us to push folks to actually look at ideas with an open mind instead of being oppositional just because the "other side" proposed it...

Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps, Dave. And I reckon it'll all begin at home.

Alan, for me, the point is not to convince anyone of anything, just offering the view for consideration.

Alan said...

"the point is not to convince anyone of anything, just offering the view for consideration."

But you're a liberal. They're not going to consider it, period.

You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Perhaps the solution is not to stop engaging people with different opinions, but choosing smarter people with different opinions with whom to engage.

Marshall Art said...

Hmmm. I'm still willing to engage with YOU, Alan, despite your lack of smarts.

As an example of Alan's intellectual deficiencies is this notion that because someone is a lib, his ideas won't be considered. Yet, it is only through considering those ideas that we realize they should be rejected or altered. And as so many lib ideas match so many failed lib ideas of the past, rejection or alteration is the right path. Unfortunately, for people like Alan, also as we see in our prez and other Dems, it's always the other guy who has the problem for not "understanding" the liberal's idea well enough.

And of course, the notion that an idea is rejected simply because of WHO proposed it as opposed to what was proposed is simply another falsehood that is put forth to sidestep the objections. All one has to do is ask, "Well, what's wrong with this idea?" and those objections will be brought to light where they can be addressed.

Here's an example: Dan brought up decreasing recidivism amongst inmates in prison. In discussing his support for educational opportunities for inmates, I mentioned that they were already provided with educations by the tax-paying public and to provide them with more is to increase their debt to society without expecting repayment. I argued that studying is doing the hard work, and as we see in the general population, the average person is more willing to throw a few bucks at a problem than to volunteer their time and sweat. With this in mind, paying a portion of their wages after release to reimburse society for the additional education provided not only makes sense, but is totally just and fair considering how many people utilized the first education they were given without turning to crime, and how many of them spent their own money for continuing education after that. Dan crapped on the idea because I had no proof that it works. How could I? Where has it been tried? I merely suggested an alteration of an idea that is more just and fair than the original that could achieve the same goal.

So I certainly listened to the idea, considered it and found it lacking, but it was the lib who turned away without consideration.

Conservatives don't, generally speaking, blow off lib ideas simply for being lib.

And if libs blog visitors were the smart ones, they wouldn't need to disparage their opponents when they can't defend their positions or persuade the other side.

Alan said...

"As an example of Alan's intellectual deficiencies is this notion that because someone is a lib, his ideas won't be considered."

and

"Conservatives don't, generally speaking, blow off lib ideas simply for being lib."

which sounds nice until...

"And as so many lib ideas match so many failed lib ideas of the past, rejection or alteration is the right path. "

Shorter: Reject or alter is the right path because they're "lib" ideas. Which is what I said. QED.

Like I said, Dan, if debate is your thing, you need to find smarter people to debate with are at least clever enough or have the attention span needed to maintain one clear thought all the way through an entire blog comment without contradicting themselves.

"it's always the other guy who has the problem for not 'understanding' the liberal's idea well enough. "

You're generalizing, MA. I wasn't. As I implied in my comment, I know there are a great number of people, conservative or liberal, who can understand liberal ideas, whether they agree or not.

You're just not one of them.

Alan said...

BTW, welcome back, MA. Like my neighbor's yappy dog, it is always fun to see you yap, yap, yapping at another shiny object that landed in your yard.

Alan said...

"And if blog visitors were the smart ones they wouldn't need to disparage their opponents "

vs.

"As an example of Alan's intellectual deficiencies"

QED.

Marshall Art said...

Let me try to clear things up for you, son.

"Reject or alter is the right path because they're "lib" ideas. Which is what I said."

Yes you did. But I didn't. Didn't even come close. My first two statements which you highlighted not only sound nice, they ARE nice, because they're true. However, you think the third quote is a contradiction. Foolish boy. It is not our fault that you sad sacks on the left can't come up with a new idea. If you keep regurgitating that which history has shown to be failures, what are we to do except to reject or alter them? BUT, we take the time to hear you out, so there is no contradiction. When good ideas come about, they are supported. It's just that simple. Being simple yourself, you should catch on easily.

As to your last, the difference there is also obvious. MY shots come with substance behind them. Yours don't---like a true yapper.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I know you are but what am I?

Alan said...

" MY shots come with substance behind them."

vs.

"Yours don't---like a true yapper."

QED.

Shorter MA: Yap, yap, yap, yap.

Geoffrey: Exactly.

Marshall Art said...

No. Not "exactly". Not even "similarly". Lil Alan tries again with this:

"" MY shots come with substance behind them."

vs.

"Yours don't---like a true yapper."

QED."


My comments previous to this support the claim. This exerpt is no example of "QED" because it is incomplete---out of context. If I had said only that, the second quote might contradict the first. But as it is the follows actual substance, it is supported. See? I'm so happy I could clear that obvious point up for you boys.

Marshall Art said...

OOPS! Typo! It should read:

"But as it (snip) follows actual substance, it is supported.

Alan said...

"But as it follows actual substance..." and "And if blog visitors were the smart ones they wouldn't need to disparage their opponents "

vs.

"Lil Alan....", "Yours don't---like a true yapper.", "being simple yourself, you should catch on easily.", "As an example of Alan's intellectual deficiencies"...

Well... yes, technically dog sh*t is a substance, after all. So, yes, MA, your comments are, like yourself, chock full of that particular substance.

MA's yapping continues. Of course, the difference between MA and my neighbor's yappy dog is that eventually even a dog with a brain the size of a walnut is smart enough to shut up.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I long ago considered all sorts of labels - liberal, conservative, progressive, what have you - as utterly meaningless. Even those labels I choose for myself - I switch back and forth between liberal and progressive and lefty fairly easily - are only used as signposts for others. For myself, they mean little to nothing.

That others make judgments upon things I say based upon these labels is beyond my control. That others might actually refuse to acknowledge that my views are unique, well, what can I say?

As for Marshall Art, all I can say is his schtick is quite old, tired, and really irrelevant. The reason, Marshall, I steer clear of your website is I have so much more interesting things to do with my time. Reading yet another post on that unAmerican black guy in the White House who is destroying everything, or those awful horrible gay people who are committing suicide just to spite good Christians like yourself isn't really worth my time. I can't even muster the energy to make fun of you any more.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay fellas. The point of this post was not within the first paragraph, but in the last seven or eight: How some people have misused, misrepresented or misunderstood the nature of Progressivism and how we could all probably agree to a lot more if we'd put some of these false stereotypes to rest.

Does anyone have a comment on that, or can we all agree that this was a pisspoor understanding and/or representation of "progressivism" and we ought to do better about agreeing where we can agree, whether that is with a liberal, conservative or Whig?

Dan Trabue said...

Earlier, Alan said...

But you're a liberal. They're not going to consider it, period.

You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?


Again, the point is offering the opinion. What the host does with it is on him/her. And, beyond the host of the blog, there are the visitors to the blog, including those who never talk.

And so, I offer an opinion, for what it's worth, for those who have a mind to read.

Marshall Art said...

"...eventually even a dog with a brain the size of a walnut is smart enough to shut up."

...and yet you yap on.

"Reading yet another post on that unAmerican black guy in the White House who is destroying everything, or those awful horrible gay people who are committing suicide just to spite good Christians like yourself isn't really worth my time."

Well Dan. You're not going to get a good response about your point from Geoff. As you can see by his comment reprinted above, he hasn't the ability to understand the point of, at least, conservative opinions. What he says isn't worth his time is not something he's read at my blog---that is, not from me. For example, I never remark on Obama's color, except for those instances when the Geoff's who visit suppose it matters to me. I will generally respond, "He's not black, he's half-black and half-white. I don't care for either half."

Nor have I spent any time on whether or not he's an American. I don't care as it doesn't help his case either way. He sucks and should never have been put forth as a candidate, much less have gotten any votes. But that's not on him. It's on the voters.

And homosexuals killing themselves to spite ME or any Christian? Wow! Did he pull this out of his own backside or someone else's? What a complete ass to pretend to have read my comments regarding the suicides of homosexual kids and then to pretend I did anything more or less than show true concern.

So it's not likely, Dan, that he gets the point of your post.

"I can't even muster the energy to make fun of you any more."

That's OK, Geoffie. You were never any good at it anyway.

Marshall Art said...

Regarding your post:

""Progressives" want to see something that works."

Yet, they continue to champion so much that doesn't. So, I would ask you, can you provide one example of a progressive idea (whatever you consider to be a progressive idea) that you think will work, or has worked before? I can't think of anything that is being put forth by progressives currently in power or in positions of influence that is likely to improve anything for anyone but perhaps themselves.

Dan Trabue said...

You already provided one. Prison education/rehab programs. Study after study shows that they decrease recidivism to a degree such that they pay for themselves.

To sum up how they DO work:

1. They significantly decrease recidivism.
2. If they cost $1 million, they have been shown to SAVE $2 million in reduced costs associated with sending prisoners back to jail (for example, I'm throwing out round numbers, I can provide actual ones if necessary).
3. Thus, because I believe programs which SAVE taxpayer money and DECREASE recidivism and, as a result, INCREASE in successful re-entry into non-criminal society, I think these are programs which work.

So, rather than resort to ad hom attacks, to address this point, you'd have to demonstrate how prisoner rehab programs DON'T work.

Marshall Art said...

Ad hominem attacks? You mean like "yapping dog"? or lying about position on the issues? OK.

As to your prison program, are you sure you don't mean "study after study after study after study"? Don't worry about it. I have no doubt that prisoners that take the time to better themselves are less likely to return to prison after release, whether they have schooling provided for them or they simply avail themselves of the prison library.

The problem is that you are jumping on this like a housewife who buys products she doesn't need because they are on sale and then brags about how much she saved. Still, I approve of spending less on some punk for whom I already have to spend money unnecessarily and reluctantly. I'm supposed to be happy because I'm (meaning me and every other law abiding citizen---even Alan) spending money on one sentence instead of two? AND spending money to provide education the rest of us buy ourselves? For what? How does society profit? By saving money we shouldn't have had to put out in the first place? This isn't like spending money on food and shelter. It's like spending money to repair windows the neighbor kids keep breaking and then running away.

So here's my tweak to your plan:

First, reduce all unnecessary costs for housing convicts, such as no more heat than necessary to keep them from freezing, no more food than is necessary to keep them nutritionally healthy (no desserts). All inmates must be involved in some form of profit producing work for the prison to offset the expense of their incarceration. Any job training for inmates likely to be someday released must be paid for by garnishment of wages from whatever job they attain upon release.

Keep in mind that inmates have taken from society. If they are not "paying their debt" both by their loss of freedom and by covering the costs their crime and punishment has generated, then we are. That is not justice.

Like all Americans, these people had educations provided for them through 12th grade. That's enough for most people to find a gig and provide a decent life for themselves. YOU want to provide them with a second education at our cost; an education law abiding people pay for themselves. This adds to their debt to society just as if they had been released and broken the law a second time.

I ask you: is this how you raised your kids? By bribing them to be good? Providing a free second education is doing just that. It's like negotiating with terrorists in hopes they won't attack again.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you initially asked...

I would ask you, can you provide one example of a progressive idea (whatever you consider to be a progressive idea) that you think will work, or has worked before?

I provided an answer. Are you suggesting that prisoner rehab programs don't work?

You SEEM to be suggesting we cut off our nose to spite our face. That, because these people had a chance earlier, then we MUST imprison them with no "free" rehab because it's their own damned fault. And, if as a result, it costs society even MORE (both in terms of prison costs and societal costs, due to the loss of a productive citizen), then that's too bad.

The problem with that is, 1. It does not adequately address the problem of crime and recidivism and 2. It is a costly solution for taxpayers. It is a BIG GOV'T solution, not a smart gov't solution.

Yes, you SHOULD be happy that we are spending money on one prison sentence instead of two. Less crime is a good thing, don't you think? Saving taxpayer money is a good thing, don't you think?

Out of time...

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Dan, I think your object lesson has proved the point Alan and I were making. It is what I called Marshall Art's "schtick". He posed a question, you responded, and he came back, saying in effect that he dismisses everything you wrote because he is right and you are wrong because, as a liberal/progressive/what-have-you, you are inherently wrong.

This happens every. Single. Time. Not just once. Not occasionally. All. The. Time. It has gone from frustrating to enraging to amusing to boring. As I wrote above, I have far more interesting and productive things to do with my time than play games with stupid people. I am always willing to engage with people with whom I differ, provided they are willing to be honest, intelligent and open.

Marshall, despite your constant whining about all the liberals deserting you, the simple fact is you are neither open nor intelligent; you refuse to acknowledge simple facts; you aren't even satisfied with the reality that you far too often have no idea what you are talking about, but venture forward gamely.

This is the problem with having good intentions for public discourse at our current moment. No matter how hard one tries, the simple reality is that one side is really seeking to discuss issues in a substantive fashion; the other side demands attention by claiming all sorts of nonsensical things, demeaning other human beings by calling them names, and generally revels in debasing any attempt to talk like adults.

I have no interest in dealing with these people. I have no interest, in fact, in acknowledging their presence.

Alan said...

Geoffrey wrote, "Dan, I think your object lesson has proved the point Alan and I were making."

Exactly.

MA wrote, "can't think of anything [heh. no surprise there] that is being put forth by progressives ... that is likely to improve anything for anyone but perhaps themselves."

See, Dan? MA dismisses all progressive ideas.

Dan wrote, "we could all probably agree to a lot more if we'd put some of these false stereotypes to rest. "

I did comment on this, and agreed. The outcome is obvious and exactly what I predicted, because it isn't we who have the problem understanding the point of your post.

Now you're going to go down a nice little trail with MA about prison programs, when he has already told you what he thinks about all progressive ideas. Care to place a bet on how useful that is going to be?

If "we" put some of these false stereotypes to rest? Speak for yourself, Dan. Who is stereotyping? Me? Geoffrey? Nope and nope. Neither of us has done any such thing. Clearly MA and his AmeriKKKan Descent KKKronies are morons and a joke. That isn't stereotyping all conservatives. So, please do not include me among "we" who stereotype, eh?

In fact, please don't lump me in with people like MA and his KKKronies. Ever. If it isn't obvious why I (or anyone for that matter) would see that as an extreme insult, then I have perhaps misjudged you, Dan.

Marshall Art said...

*Ahem*

Dan,

"Are you suggesting that prisoner rehab programs don't work?"

No. In fact, I'm pretty sure I said something quite supportive of such programs. Yes. Here it is:

"I have no doubt that prisoners that take the time to better themselves are less likely to return to prison after release, whether they have schooling provided for them or they simply avail themselves of the prison library."

So, despite the graceless blatherings of Mutt & Geoff, I haven't dismissed your idea at all. In fact, I've considered it thoroughly ever since the first time you brought it up. If you don't mind me moving off topic, I'd like to present another way to view my position.

You seem to use the term "big gov't" as a dig to conservatives in discussions like this. If the cost of the military is high in your opinion, you wonder why we aren't concerned with gov't expansion.

But when we use such terms, we're talking about what the gov't has a mandate to do. For the feds, for example, it must be Constitutionally mandated. If a task is the mandated job of gov't, then the cost to do it is justified, assuming no waste and the best possibly plan to accomplish the task. For example, if we are attacked, we spend what is required to thwart the attack. We don't complain about gov't expansion if the cost rises as the attacks continue. We just do what needs to be done.

The prison system, as a part of law enforcement, is something that is a necessary task. Thus, to spend what is necessary to incarcerate lawbreakers is not an expansion of gov't, or an example of "big gov't".

Now, to enforce laws against those who decide to break them, and then to incarcerate those for whom the sentence for their crimes demands it, is not something we want to do or enjoy doing, but something we must do for the sake of society. We wouldn't waste a dime on it if certain people didn't break the law. It is each citizen's duty to obey the laws, to live within the laws and to not abuse their freedom in a manner that leads to their arrest, trial, conviction and incarceration. It is up to such people to repent and become productive citizens. It is not OUR responsibility to cough up more dough than has been put up already for education for all in the hopes that each who receive such additional education will not backslide and end up in prison again. As we can both agree that it is not unreasonable to expect that such people will turn over a new leaf, I'm merely saying that it is equally reasonable to expect that THEY pay for the additional education needed to be productive in the same manner that each of us pay for our own. Why do you have an issue with this expectation and find it unreasonable? You talk about "smart gov't", but no matter what, whether recidivism works or not, WE are paying for the mistakes of such people. Without any education at all, prisoners are not coming close to paying their debt simply by being incarcerated, because aside from the broken law and the people put out by its breaking (not to mention any dead during the commission), the cost of prosecuting them and incarcerating them is on us. What I suggest is truly paying their debt as they engage in profit making activites that pay for their incarceration, and/or pay back the additional education either while in prison or after they find a job on the way out. To play it even smarter, having the prisons run by the private sector would cost society even less.

So once again, I haven't dismissed anything. Your opinion regarding education and recidivism is intact. Only the implementation is altered, and, in a more efficient and cost effective manner. I await your response.

Marshall Art said...

For the little guys,

I don't recall that I've ever claimed to be Einstein. Thus, your attacks on my intelligence only serve to prove your own lack of class. Ironically, neither of you have been very impressive intellectually, either, so I don't see where you feel you have room to denigrate me. But that's OK. I've considered the source.

The truth is, as you both well know but are too small to admit, I am quite open to criticism of both my opinions AND my self. YOU pathetic whiners simply can't handle that your opinions aren't swallowed by all and held up as Socratic marvels. Boo-freakin-hoo. You go ahead and avoid me and other conservatives. It's obvious you'd rather surround yourselves with agreement at all costs.

I gotta say, there's not too much that I think Dan has right (beyond his appreciation for True Grit and education for inmates). Most of what he says I think is wrong, goofy and many times very unChristian. This is understated, to be sure. But for all that, he's no coward.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Coward. Ha. That's so funny. While I will admit, Marshall, you at least have the gumption to pop your pointy head up at various places, you pal around with people like Mark and Neil who make of cowardice, and the pose of manly denial of such cowardice, an art form. So, please.

Since I am currently engaged on other sites in serious discussions with people whose world-views are quite different from my own, yet engaged thoughtfully, agreeing to disagree when necessary without insisting that one or the other is the embodiment of evil, a threat to peace and stability, and maybe a child-molestor to boot, I simply have no interest wasting my time with a bunch of people who insist, on a daily basis, that Pres. Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are deliberately trying to undermine the Constitution of the United States to enshrine some amalgam of Sharia law and communism.

In pursuit of a post I wrote last night on the whole Wikileaks thing, I re-read Hannah Arendt's essay on the Pentagon Papers. In this essay, she discusses lying and the fragile nature of reality. At the same time, she insists that reality, at some points, gains enough momentum to shatter even the most thorough-going illusions and lies.

I wonder, though. Since the Presidential election two years ago, you, your cronies, and others like you around the country have insisted, with varying degrees of integrity, that our current President is not just erring in his policies, but a direct and substantive threat to our entire way of life. One would have thought the accumulation of evidence to the contrary would have been enough to break the back of this delusion. The election on Tuesday may well make fools of us for assuming that.

Be happy with the rewards of victory, Marshall. As we return to those thrilling days of yesteryear under Speaker John Boehner, and leadership that includes bigots like Steve King of Iowa, I may just spend my time talking about uplifting stuff, fiddling, as it were, while Rome burns. Because, you see, this is how not just Empires, but great nation's die - by refusing to recognize the illness that is killing them.

Alan said...

"YOU pathetic whiners simply can't handle that your opinions aren't swallowed by all and held up as Socratic marvels."

No, MA. What you are clearly too stupid to understand, even though I've explained it time and time and time again is this: I. simply. do. not. care. what. you. think.

I don't care whether you agree with me. I don't care whether I agree or disagree with you. I don't care whether you think my views are well-supported or full of crap. I simply do not care what you think on any subject at all, ever.

Why should I?

I have many actual, real, live friends and family with whom I can discuss the important topics of the day. We agree on many things; we disagree on just as many. Agreement is completely unimportant to me. There isn't a single person on the planet with whom I agree about absolutely everything. I respect others' opinions both when I agree and when I disagree because I respect them.

But I don't respect your opinions, because I do not respect you (and if possible, I think even less of your sad little KKKronies.) Is that really not obvious by now?

Alan said...

So then, why would I bother trying to persuade you about anything? I don't care what you think. I don't care how you vote. I don't care if you're right. I don't care if you're wrong. I don't care about your views at all, on anything, ever. This may shock you, but I frankly do not need the Marshall Art Seal of Approval in order to believe something. In fact, I don't need anyone else's permission to hold any view, least of all some bigoted idiotic blowhard I've never met and will, by the Grace of God, never meet in my life.

To be clear, I also don't think you should care at all about any of my opinions or whether I respect you or not. Yet here you are again like clockwork, still hoping for a debate; still desperately begging for it.

Honestly, I cannot for the life of me figure out why you are so invested in arguing with people who couldn't give a damn about your views. What is truly sad and pathetic is all your whining that we "libs" don't come to your blog anymore. Why would you care? Honestly, I think you're a pathetic freak to care about whether total strangers will argue with you or not, especially total strangers who think you are a bigoted, hateful idiot. Yet every month or so you stop by here or Geoffrey's crying that we won't debate with you.

You really should seek some professional help for this strange, unnatural and overwhelming need you have to beg for attention from people who clearly do not respect you.

Clear enough for you this time? I can try writing it in crayon for you, or perhaps we can arrange a puppet show if you still can't understand.

Marshall Art said...

And he calls me hateful and bigoted.

What YOU fail to understand, nay, what you deny without evidence, is that I DO care, not only about what you think, but why you think it and, more importantly than that, about you personally. I care about people in general. I meet people like you now and again in person who think untrue things about me and conservatives in general. And though people like Mark and Neil suggest I follow Scripture's teaching to wipe the dust from my sandles and/or not throw pearls before such swine as yourself, I, like Dan, continue to hope for better things. (Another way in which Dan and I agree.)

Like little Geoffie, you hurl insults and accusations questioning my character, such as the charges of bigotry and hatefulness, and do so without ever having presented evidence. This is typical of your kind and one of the many things I had hoped to one day be presented with a real explanation. The hope remains without my holding my breath until its possible arrival. I don't suspect it'll ever come, not because you simply refuse to engage like adults, but because you couldn't possibly produce such evidence. YOU two, like so many on your side of the ideological fence, choose demonization when your arguments run into their expected dead ends, or simply flee or, as you both are saying now, deal only with those who won't scrutinize your positions so that you can tell yourselves you're "agreeing to disagree without yada yada yada..."

And Alan, I'm well aware you don't care. That's not a news flash. Tolerance has only ever been a one way street with you lefties. Your claims of agreeing to disagree are blatantly false because you aren't agreeing to disagree with me. Instead, you're calling me bigoted and hateful.

The fact is I have never thought in terms of respecting the author of any comments on any blog. That is, I give respect to all people, but I'm dealing with words on a screen and all I have are those. I don't know Alan beyond your words and your goofy picture that used to appear. Were we to ever meet (and despite your crappy attitude I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing, though it's quite possible you'd see to it that it is), I'd still consider your opinions crap (those you've presented where I could see them) and I don't respect crappy opinions. Only people with crappy opinions and a childish ego worry about that. You can't distinguish criticism of your opinion from respect for you. Guilty people are like that. Why are you? You're a victim of love the sinner, hate the sin, but you want that I should love the sin. In a broader sense, it's respect the opinion holder but see the opinion for the crap that it is, and you insist that I respect what I see is crap.

I've never minded that anyone, even those like you and Geoffie, didn't respect my opinion. I've only minded that neither of you would articulate why. You little boys spend too much time being offended. Guilty people do that. Why do you? I'm not put out when you accuse me of bigotry and hatefulness because it is so patently false. I know I am not either. I know no one is capable of proving otherwise that which isn't true.

So you two boys go on as you wish. You'll never find my door locked. You'll never find me whining about Alan's barbs or tiring of Geoff's famous inability to understand a point. Why would I care about people like you? Because that's what Christians do.

Alan said...

Nope, you didn't get it at all. I figured as much.

"you insist that I respect what I see is crap."

No, I don't insist you respect anything. Because I don't care what you do or do not respect. That was pretty much the entire point of my previous post, which you're still too blindingly stupid to understand.

Alan said...

"You'll never find me whining about Alan's barbs"

Except for this whining:

"Like little Geoffie, you hurl insults and accusations questioning my character..."

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

First of all, it's "Geoffy", by which I was referred by my family for about three months when I was, oh, 2.

Second, it isn't about whether or not I care. It has been nice to find folks to discuss stuff with on the internet, and I will admit that a certain kind of friendship has obtained in a couple cases. Rather, it is about the constant frustration I feel at each and every encounter we have, Marshall.

Even your on-going refusal to acknowledge the things Alan and I have written even as you continue to play your little game - all part of the little kabuki theater of yours. Even in your exchange with Dan, you quite simply play your game, all the while pretending to be reasonable while actually being ridiculous in the extreme.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I do not care whether or not anyone agrees with me. Like Alan, I know that there will not be anyone in the world with whom I agree on everything. People don't work that way, and I don't expect them to. Furthermore, at least on my site, I'm far more interested in setting down in writing the stuff rattling around in my skull for the sake of clarity than I am in engaging in arguments. Frankly, I'm not interested in arguments. Discussions, sure. You lay out what you think, I lay out what I think, we point out where we disagree, then we move on.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I have nothing invested in being right, because I have no illusions about being right or wrong. Since what I think and believe changes all the time, at best I present momentary snapshots. My mind is as likely to change as not, due more to various factors than any words, positive or negative, about anything I have written.

As I have written time and time again, Marshall, the thing I find most frustrating is this - it isn't your playful wish to win arguments, because that's your game and I don't play it. Rather, it is your insistence that all sorts of things that simply are not facts are, indeed, facts. It is your many written statements regarding Democrats, liberals, progressives, the President, the Speaker of the House, the LGBT community, calling African-Americans "negroes", on and on - these are not just offensive on most occasions, but quite simply factually inaccurate. For example, your claim that Barack Obama is a socialist - it is just. Plain. Wrong. Period. There is no evidence, anywhere, from any source with any credibility, that backs up that claim. That real socialists think Obama a sell-out tool of corporate power should be enough to persuade most people this is not the case.

I mention this last because you are always asking for "examples" and "evidence" and it is always provided, and you always dismiss the evidence we provide. If you continue to do that, well, what can I say? If we call you stupid, it might just be the result of experience.

As my cousin writes on FB, TTFN.

Alan said...

Geoffrey wrote, "Frankly, I'm not interested in arguments."

Exactly. It occurs to me that the lame folks who desperately troll the internet pathetically begging for arguments with a total stranger like me have never actually been to my blog (not that I'm issuing an invitation.)

But if they had (and they could read), they'd see what I care to blog about, which is decidedly NOT about arguments. I'm not out to write blog posts that convince people of anything or lay out arguments about random stupid crap.

In other words, even if MA weren't a totally hypocritical, hateful douchebag, I still wouldn't have any interest in arguing about anything with him.

But alas, these people who believe they are the center of the universe cannot imagine that we just don't get off on stupid meaningless duels with total strangers on the interwebs.

(Heh. Reminds me of a joke. How many MA's does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Just one. He holds the lightbulb and the world revolves around him.)

But because MA gets off on arguing with strangers on the internet, everyone else must as well. It's the egotism of a 4 year old ... except that at least a 4 year old has an excuse.

Marshall Art said...

Funny joke. Would be funnier if it were true, even if I, personally, didn't find it so because it was about me. But then, I don't mind shots directed toward me as much as Geoffie does legitimate shots toward politicians he favors.

And I DO understand that you don't care, Alan. It's just that continued pronouncements to that effect lack credibility with every response you post to restate it. You care so little that you can't stop telling me how little my opinion matters. Be honest...you kinda like me, don't you?

By the way, one of the reasons I came back here originally, aside from seeing what Dan's been up to, was to check out your blog. Nothing came up. And I had so hoped to be able to say that after reading some of your posts. Alas.
I wonder if maybe there you had some post explaining just what evidence there is to justify your accusations of hatefulness, hypocrisy and, uh, what was the other one? Too freakin' cool? Oh, well. I'll just have to content myself with the usual reasons people on the left say such things.

Alan said...

"By the way, one of the reasons I came back here originally, aside from seeing what Dan's been up to, was to check out your blog. Nothing came up."

Good.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall, I honestly have no idea what the following refers to: "I don't mind shots directed toward me as much as Geoffie does legitimate shots toward politicians he favors."

If you keep calling me Geoffie, I might wonder if you want to move this conversation to a private room.

Marshall Art said...

I meant that you seem to get really upset when your liberal politicians are attacked in any way, such as Obama being a socialist. Yet I'm not in the least bit affected by the sorry attacks against me personally by any visitor or opposing commenter. THAT's what I meant. Just how upset you get is not important. That is, I don't suspect you stay up all night grieving on their behalf, but you do seem more upset by such righteous accusations than I ever do when confronted by unsupportable attacks against me, such as bigot, hater, hypocrite, etc. That's just too funny.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I get frustrated when my kids refuse to listen to me. I get frustrated when adults act like kids and refuse to listen to me, too. My daughters, at least, come around. You, on the other hand, display not the least willingness to read with comprehension.

If you checked my blog at all with even a modicum of intelligence, you might notice that I have been just a tad critical of the President myself. Precisely because he just isn't all that liberal. One would think, if we were all interested in serious discussion, this FACT would penetrate that thick skull of yours. Since it's something I've been saying about Obama since the campaign over two years ago, one would think it would have penetrated long ago.

It hasn't and I have no illusions about it ever doing so. I call you stupid for this reason along - you are too stupid to read the things I write with any understanding whatsoever. I call you stupid because, rather than consider the situation based on FACTS, you begin with the false idea that Obama adheres to socialist principles, and venture forth in to cloud-cuckoo land from there.

I have neither the time nor inclination to give you rudimentary reading instructions, Marshall. Because I have so many other, far more fruitful things to occupy my time, that is what I do. I gave up getting upset over the things you say a long time ago, not because they are true, but because they are insane.

Marshall Art said...

Once again you tease, Geoffrey. Just how far left must you be to for one moment consider that Obama isn't liberal enough for anyone? And when you think you can demonstrate any stupidity on my part, take off the bib and have at it. Just as a disclaimer, no, I do not check out your blog with regularity. I did when you visited mine more often, but with my time more limited of late, yours is an infrequent destination. But as you claim to criticize him, I'm intrigued. It might interesting to see if you get the point of what HE does or say any better than you do others.

As I've explained to Dan in a similar conversation on the subject, anyone left of center is a socialist. It's just a matter of degrees. (Lefties don't like this reality, but they don't like much of reality, always attempting but always failing to reshape reality to their preferred image. That's why their policies fail with remarkable predictability.)

So you can pretend it is ME who is the stupid one if that makes you feel all superior. That doesn't bother me. Such whistling in the dark is cathartic to such as yourself. I understand that.

Alan said...

Dan wrote, "In the real world, if we set politics aside (and quit making goofy assumptions about what "those evil conservatives" or "those socialist progressives" think), we could agree on a lot, since we all have some similar starting points."

MA wrote, "anyone left of center is a socialist."

That answer your question, Dan?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall's last comment is an object lesson in the fruitlessness of it all.

Rather than treat it as worthy of discussion, I merely point to it as why, precisely, even with all the good intentions in the world, there are some people with whom "discussion" is impossible.

Marshall Art said...

"That answer your question, Dan?"

Had my words been said by Dan, and I responded in this manner, Dan would have chided me for a lack of grace, for making poor and slanderous assumptions and not seeking clarifications and further explanations. But gentle Alan is too set on demonizing ME (most hateful and bigoted) rather than truly engage. It is easier for him to pretend some problem lies within ME than to really make a case against what he's too lazy to discover. In the meantime, I more than prepared to defend my positions. It's just so sad that he and Geoffie have the bad attitudes they try to say I have. Sad, pathetic little boys.

Alan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Alan said...

Here's my proof, moron, er, I mean marshall.

Dan asked, "In the real world, if we set politics aside (and quit making goofy assumptions about what "those evil conservatives" or "those socialist progressives" think), we could agree on a lot, since we all have some similar starting points."

and in response, you wrote:

You wrote, "anyone left of center is a socialist."

Now maybe you're too stupid to be able to read your own writing, or maybe you're too stupid to see how that directly answers Dan's question, or maybe you're just too drunk or stoned or stupid or distracted by a shiny object to remember ever writing it. Whatever.

But nevertheless, you wrote it. At least be man enough to admit it.

See why discussion with some people is impossible Dan? Because they can't even put one idea together with another. They're incapable of even realizing what their words mean. They're incapable of understanding the basic structure of even simple sentences, and then they're incapable of actually admitting that they wrote what they wrote.

Not only is discussion impossible, frankly I'm shocked they're able to remember to breathe regularly.

Alan said...

"Had my words been said by Dan, and I responded in this manner, Dan would have chided me for a lack of grace, for making poor and slanderous assumptions and not seeking clarifications and further explanations."

Shorter MA: "Waaaaah! Someone was mean to me on the intertubes! Waaaah!"

Funny, I thought so-called conservatives were supposed to be tough, not a bunch of bed-wetters.

Want some cheese with that whine, MA?

Marshall Art said...

That's pretty funny, Alan. (Not really, but I'm trying to be gracious.)

I wasn't whining, but it sure seems like YOU are. The words of mine you quoted were merely pointing out a fact. But if it makes you giddy to assume I was whining, why, you just go right ahead and believe that.

As to your "proof", Dan referred to making assumptions. I wasn't making any. Anyone left of center is a socialist. From center to the left is the direction to socialism, with the ultimate destination, or degree of socialism, being fascism. I know you guys prefer "progressive", but your (lefties) penchant for calling something different names to defer criticism is well known. We've gotten used to that.

Alan said...

"Dan referred to making assumptions. I wasn't making any."

then,

" Anyone left of center is a socialist."

Uh huh. Not making assumptions at all.

To MA, either words mean nothing, or he simply doesn't understand the meaning of the words "assumption", "left", "socialist", "is", "anyone", and "a".

Marshall Art said...

This from a guy who doesn't understand the meaning of "gay" or "marriage" or "Thou shalt not..."

Alan said...

"This from a guy who doesn't understand the meaning of "gay""

ROFL. I'm pretty sure I got that one down, MA.

So basically, you now believe I'm *not* gay. What an idiot.

Seriously, you'd be more fun if your responses were more than "I know you are but what am I." Can't you be any more creative?

Marshall Art said...

As you suppose you can accuse me of being hateful, having no evidence to support doing so, I feel even more justified accusing you, based on recent comments here, of not being gay at all. In fact you seem very spiteful and unhappy, but not gay in the least.

And I'm hardly playing childish games by indicating that someone like yourself, who doesn't know the definitions of far simpler terms, such as those I've listed, would have the arrogance to question my understanding of more complex terms, such as socialist. I simply found it ironic.

Alan said...

Shorter MA: Yap, yap, yap, yap.

Let's see if I can stoop to your level of stupidity, MA: I'm rubber, you're glue.

Marshall Art said...

Shorter, yes, but no more accurate than any other accusation of yours directed at me. But hey, precious, if you want to pretend I'm your intellectual inferior, who am I to stand in the way of such brilliant attacks as "stoop to your level of stupidity". Oooh. I am cut to the quick!

Alan said...

Ah, MA, always such fun to taunt you and see how seriously you take it, never failing to respond.

You remind me more and more of my neighbor's dog. I pretend to throw it a ball, and it never fails to fall for that trick, running around the yard barking at the invisible ball.

Marshall Art said...

Yeah, Al. I get it. Yapping little dog. Very funny. You're a regular Bill Maher (another lefty who thinks he's a comedian). When do I get to hear some new material? You want funny? How 'bout this:

"Ah, MA, always such fun to taunt you and see how seriously you take it, never failing to respond."

Whaddya think I've been doing to YOU, bright eyes? What a chump!

Alan said...

Yet another "I know you are but what am I" response from MA. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Even most 3rd graders are cleverer than that.

Marshall Art said...

Whatever you say, Al.