Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another Young Hero

Book Of Words - Grow by paynehollow
Book Of Words - Grow, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
For the most part, I ignore people like Anne Coulter. She is beneath contempt, it seems, based upon her hateful words she imparts. No problem, she's nothing to me. Ignore her.

So, this post is NOT about her latest hateful comments (which I won't even repeat here, but you'll be able to tell from the text below), but rather, one great young man's response to her words. We need more John Franklins in this world, who has more brains, nobility, grace and courage in his pinky than folk like She Who Must Not Be Mentioned in their whole person...


Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,

John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

75 comments:

John Farrier said...

this post is NOT about her latest hateful comments

You'll have to be a bit more specific.

I jest. Actually, I know what you're talking about.

The 'r' word has no place in a polite person's vocabulary either as an insult or a description of the mentally disabled.

Is it just me or has the word become more frequently used in the past few years?

Alan said...

Well, it could be um ... worse (?)...she could be running for Indiana Senate and call rape a "gift from God."

But instead of just being a ridiculous attention whore, saying such a thing would apparently qualify Ms. Skelator to be a candidate for political office.

Is anyone surprised that horrible people say such horrible things?

Kudos to Mr Stephens for stepping up, but it is too bad he felt he had to, and unfortunate that the leader of Ms. Skelator's party didn't denounce such words himself.

Parklife said...

There are some people in this world that will continue to use words like this. They work hard to find ways to justify their actions. For example, they may claim that the person they are attacking fits the description of the term they used. Im sure Ms. Coulter can justify her behavior to herself. However, what she, and those like her, fails to realize is how foolish she looks to the rest of those within earshot.

Marshall Art said...

This is typical nonsensical outrage. It is meaningless and as one who is acquainted with both retardation and DS, I am more insulted that a person with either has been taught something other than reality as to the use of epithets.

It is one thing to attack a person with challenges of any kind because of whatever challenge they endure. It is indeed reprehensible. There is no debate about it.

But to deny use of any word simply leads to a replacement with the same meaning and intent be used. Choose one of the following:

Retard, idiot, moron, dumbshit...etc.

Each of them attacks the "victim" as a consequence of some perceived shortcoming of words or actions. I've certainly been called a moron at this very blog with abandon. I do not deny referring to one particular visitor to my blog as an idiot. The use of any of the above words, have all been used to make fun of people with actual mental development challenges.

But the difference is clear. An actual retarded person cannot help his retardation. His failures to act as "normal" people cannot then be held against him, just as one truly insane cannot legally be held accountable for heinous actions.

But to call a "normal" person a retard, or something he did retarded, indicates that something far worse than actually being clinically retarded. It is NOT a slight on truly retarded people in any way.

This is not the first time a person with a mental challenge has made comments in this regard. Removing the words "mentally retarded" does nothing to remove the mindset of people who like to engage in name-calling.

It isn't the word used, but the intentions behind the use that matters. Right Alan? You obviously regard yourself as a horrible person since you have no issue referring to me, or Coulter, by horrible terms. Why is it OK for you and not her?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, read the response of the very wise Mr Franklin and learn from him why it makes a difference.

Learn, or at least remain quiet so you don't reveal your low character.

Such epithets will not be allowed here. If you comment again, tread carefully. Or, if you'd like to praise the wise Mr Franklin, by all means, do so.

If you can't say something nice, at least don't be a jerk.

John Farrier said...

Wow, this letter has really gone viral.

Hopefully someone will forward copies to Louis C.K. and Stephen Colbert.

Marshall Art said...

Sorry Dan, but your response shows you have not truly read and/or understand my clear and uncomplicated comment.

What's more, you apparently missed the part where I make accurate comparisons of the words "retard", "idiot", "moron", etc. What really distiguishes any from the other, aside from spelling? There was a time not so long ago when they were commonly used interchangeably. Your boy Alan has called me at least one of them on more than one occasion. I believe he truly means to compare me to a person of such diminished mental capabilities.

But once again, there's a distinction that is lost on those who like to posture themselves as taking some high road (or more likely, intentionally ignored) that has to do with the target of such epithets. Rarely are they used to compare the target with those who are truly mentally retarded. As I said, the truly mentally retarded cannot help their intellectual state.

But any dismissal of another's opinion is an automatic opinion of the mind whence it came. It cannot be helped. If one does not like the opinion of another, or does not see it as having equal value to one's own (and if one truly believes all opinions are valid, one would have no issue at all with following the other person's opinion---this rarely happens without a measure of trepidation).

The fact remains, and why you believe this to be an indication that I'm being a jerk is an indictment of your own view of my thought processes, that it is not the words used, but the attitude and intention behind them that matters.

This particular commentary to Coulter is especially galling as it is given great value due to the person who wrote it. It's a perfect example of patronizing that I find far more offensive that if a direct shot at my Downs granddaughter took place right in front of me. As with all my children, I would guide her to understand that the use of such words should not compel her to take offense as if it was a personal attack directly toward her. The words are less important than the larger point being made in which the words were used. I would guide my granddaughter, as I have all my children, to have a thick skin.

Coulter did not intend to belittle the president by linking him to people who are truly challenged. She meant to belittle him for having less sense without the excuse of being born that way.

What's more, by your opening paragraph, it seems you you have a similar inability to cope with the point that someone like Coulter makes simply because the way she says it. You'd prefer things be sugarcoated in a manner that pushes the line of lying. Sugarcoating does that. Letting someone rip is far more honest, even the person fails to find the words that gets the point across with the proper level of import without using words you don't like.

Marshall Art said...

idiot

1. usually offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation

2. a foolish or stupid person

moron

1. usually offensive : a person affected with mild mental retardation

2. a very stupid person

retard

often offensive : a retarded person; also : a person held to resemble a retarded person in behavior

retarded

slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

(All definitions from Merriam-Webster.com)

*Hmmm. I guess it is to have been cut some slack to be called a moron instead of an idiot.*

I posted the definitions to show the extreme similarities between the words, one of which, with its variation, is singled out as somehow more offensive than the others. Note that each has pretty much the same distinct uses: one more clinical and the other more of an epithet.

The problem with the letter is the political nature of it. Either the man is sharp enough to engage in the usual liberal semantic games, or he was put up to it. I'm going with the latter, since that is most likely. Why would anyone take offense to a epithet not directed at him? Why would anyone assume it says something about him when a word is clearly directed at someone else? How does a person with an affliction more often manifesting as a happy and trusting individual come to believe that Coulter is intending the types of things suggested in the letter without having been raised and guided to believe so about people who use the term in the manner Coulter did? If he is actually that on the ball, and he may very well be, then he is hardly the type of person Coulter had in mind and thus has less reason to take offense.

Having grown up around a few mentally retarded people, as well as direct contact with some with Downs, I, along with most of my friends, knew there was a massive breach of etiquette when such terms were used around people so challenged. To utter them within earshot of them would draw stern looks of disapproval at the very least. To mock them with the terms would win a beating.

At the same time, however, the terms were used to point out the lack of intelligence on the part of someone not so afflicted, as they are still used today: "Are you an idiot? Are you a moron? Are you mentally retarded? What were you thinking? You're smarter than to do such things!"

You can't escape it. Any of those terms suggest the same thing and as I said earlier, merely to disagree with another implies such about the person with whom one disagrees. At the same time, disagreeing insists one's own intellect is intact and operating normally.

This post is another case of selective outrage regarding the use of words. This is common amongst the left leaning segment of society as they commonly default to this outrage when the underlying point being made by the Ann Coulter in question is too factual and impossible to refute.

At the same time, charges of bigotry, hatefulness, misogyny, and a host of other unproven options are spewed without a moment's hesitation, and far worse, with the belief that it is both justified and righteous to say. Here, at the very blog, all manner of negative connotations are both suggested and said outright. As stated, I've been called moron, idiot, and other things suggesting intellectual dysfunction. Our host has posted a poem composed to demonize GW Bush.

None of this is meant as a justification for using nasty terms toward other people. Civility is always preferred. It is, however, yet another rant against thin skin. It's tiresome and such soapbox pronouncements are little more than another way to attack the other side.

Dan Trabue said...

You still do not understande, Marshall. And yes, I did get your point. Yes, I know that moron USED to be a term used for those with mental disabilities.

The point is that those terms do NOT have the same meaning any more. The words in question DO have that mean. the words in question ARE offensive.

The point is you are a pretty scummy person if you intentionally use terms that are offensive to some of our most cherished folk, their family and friends, folk who have enough to deal with already without dealing with lowlifes.

Marshall, one can choose to be a jerk or choose to strive for nobility and grace. Choose nobility and grace, don't choose to be a jerk.

Learn from, if no one else, yourself...

There was a time not so long ago when they were commonly used interchangeably.

That time has come and gone for those words. It hasn't for the epithet in question.

Don't be an ass (which used to mean "burro...").

Parklife said...

The "intent" of the word has little relevance. Words have meaning in a larger context, its how we all communicate. Mr. Stephens used a well crafted letter to express his concerns with Ms. Coulter and her poor R-word choice. We dont have to squint or imagine what is in his soul to make an educated guess as to how we might imagine his words are intended. Coulter (and today Palin) are held to the same standard. Mr. Stephens presents himself well in the face of a bully, which is one reason his letter is popular.

John Farrier said...

Parklife wrote:

(and today Palin)

Please elaborate.

Parklife said...

Palin, Murdock, Akin.. Romney.. ect. there is a long list. The point isnt which politician is busy sticking their foot in their mouth. The point is that its not the readers / listeners job to hunt for the secret meaning that lets them off the hook for the poor word choice. Stephens shows that well meaning comment is accompanied by well meaning words.

Marshall Art said...

There's no "secret meaning" to divine. Their meaning is crystal clear until someone like you guys insist on diverting attention from that meaning to whine about the actual words used, because you're incapable of dealing with the fact being expressed. If Coulter says that Obama is a "retard" or an idea or comment of his is "retarded", then obviously her meaning is that Obama isn't the smartest guy in the room after all. It has nothing to do with those who are actually mentally retarded.

As to offense taken by people like the author of the letter, I insist that their offense was a response taught to them. As to how words are now used, note that the definitions above do not mention that neither given is referred to as "obsolete". But regardless, they still mean the same thing.

And just as libs see racism in every comment about Obama, you will see offense to the mentally retarded when it suits you to do so. Exploiting both groups for the purpose of demonizing ideological opponents is so typical and routine, you no longer recognize amongst yourselves anymore than you recognize the meanings of the words listed above. And you do this while making sure you apply offensive terms to me.

But I try to live by the teachings I give to my kids and don't let words get my goat. So say what you like about me, as you need to believe those things are true, again diverting from the point of my comments.

Finally, for now, note that at no time in any of my comments do I defend Coulter's use of the word.

Marshall Art said...

John,

Palin used the expression "shuck and jive" in relation to Obama, so naturally she's a racist. The term was used originally in regards to what was believed to be a common trait amongst the black community, and regardless of the fact that it has a far less racist usage, the left needs it to revert to its original usage so as to allow them to imply racism on the part of another right-winger. As suggested by my comments here, this is a common tactic of the left.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

As to offense taken by people like the author of the letter, I insist that their offense was a response taught to them.

Because they obviously can't think for themselves?

Move on, Marshall, you're just digging yourself deeper in the pile of excrement you've stepped in. Don't be a thug, don't defend thugs.

Be noble, or just keep your mouth closed. At least here.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, the point of this post is to praise the wisdom and grace of Mr Franklin, not to berate those lacking grace and wisdom, or those who would defend Ms Coulter.

I'm grateful for brave young men and women like Mr Franklin and the example they show in standing up to bullies and thugs and doing so with such wit and panache.

Alan said...

:) Awww...Dan...you're no fun. :)

John Farrier said...

Marshall wrote:

Palin used the expression "shuck and jive" in relation to Obama, so naturally she's a racist. The term was used originally in regards to what was believed to be a common trait amongst the black community, and regardless of the fact that it has a far less racist usage, the left needs it to revert to its original usage so as to allow them to imply racism on the part of another right-winger. As suggested by my comments here, this is a common tactic of the left.

That's interesting. Since Chris Matthews of MSNBC, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney have also used the term "shuck and jive," I guess they're racist, too.

Dan Trabue said...

I know, Alan, I know...

Alan said...

I would however like to apologize to Skeletor for comparing him to Ms. Coulter. He deserves a better class of insult.

Parklife said...

"I guess they're racist, too."

This makes it acceptable for her (or anybody else) to use the phrase? Right. Didnt think so. Palin & Coulter had the option of responding like Stephens. They decided not to. I'm more than happy to congratulate Stephens and point out somebody taking the high road.

Alan said...

OMG I am so sick to fraking death of the "but you did it two!!!!!" response from people who ought to be older than three year olds. (Apologies to any three year olds whom I just insulted.)

Seriously, John, doesn't it make you want to puke when you try that same old pathetic crap? How can you even type that and not break down crying that such a sad and miserable cliche is the very best you have to contribute to this conversation?

At the very least have the decency to appear to be embarrassed.

Holy sh*t you people are pathetic. Stop trying to make stupid, pathetic, morally bankrupt excuses for people like Skeletor and talk about something useful.

Grow the f*ck up.

By the way, back to Skeletor, at least she has the balls these boys here don't have. I don't remember her ever apologizing or trying to come up with some lame "But you do it too!!" whine.

Maybe her apologists here can try to act a bit more like Skeletor and grow a set.

Just a suggestion, kids. Don't wet your pants about it.

John Farrier said...

Parklife wrote:

This makes it acceptable for her (or anybody else) to use the phrase? Right. Didnt think so. Palin & Coulter had the option of responding like Stephens. They decided not to. I'm more than happy to congratulate Stephens and point out somebody taking the high road.

Nope, it doesn't make it right.

I look forward to the loud public condemnations of Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K., Chris Matthews, Andrew Cuomo and Jay Carney.

Those will be coming soon, right?

John Farrier said...

Allow me to be a bit more blunt, Parklife.

When the Left/Right (take your pick) wails in outrage at the bad behavior of its political opponents but doesn't condemn the very same behavior in its own ranks, outsiders are inclined to think the outrage is phony and disingenuous.

Can you understand why outsiders might reach that conclusion?

Parklife said...

Come on John you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow..

see Alan's comment. You.. me.. everybody commenting here are not 3-years old. The "but you did it two!!!!" argument that you insist on using, is an instant loser.

"outsiders are inclined to think the outrage is phony and disingenuous."

Honestly, John, I think your comment is incorrect.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I knew the way this comment thread would deteriorate from the get-go. Dan expresses disgust at disgusting comments. Art comes along and defends them, not on some principled stance like the First Amendment. No, Art defends them on the merits. Much as he defends his own derogatory term "homo" and calling my great-grandmother a "bastard" because she was conceived out of wedlock.

Look, it would be nice if there weren't people like Coulter who just have to toss some poo in to the mix to get people to talk about her. Since she's achieved that goal, she's successful. It would have been preferable to pass over the event in silence, wiping the poo off and carrying on with far more dignity than the harridan with poo on her hands.

As for the whole, "You do it, too!" . . . Really? Seriously? Because, you know, that ALWAYS makes it OK.

This is so tired and sad.

John Farrier said...

Honestly, John, I think your comment is incorrect.

I am confused. Please explain. I am really trying to grasp your point of view.

John Farrier said...

More to the point: are you saying that hypocrisy is not shameful?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

John, I know you directed your comment at Parklife, but I'm going to answer.

Hypocrisy is no big deal. It's the white bread of character faults, the vanilla ice cream of insults. As much as all of us like to think of ourselves as people of integrity and principle, the fact is all of us are hypocrites at one time or another. Unapologetic, unthinking hypocrites.

The post and comments should concern themselves with a young man who, fighting bigotry and ridicule simply because he is who he is, made it clear to a small-mined bigot that she was just that. It is admirable, to say the least.

Anything else, well, it's just kids choosing up sides in a pick-up football game then making sure their side gets the kickoff.

Parklife said...

"outsiders are inclined to think the outrage is phony and disingenuous."

John, perhaps we have different meanings for the word "outsiders". When I read this I think of what I imagine the average American to think when they read Coulter. Just like you and me, many other Americans would have the same reaction. And, as Geoffry points out, just because we are not perfect people, doesnt mean that we should not be disappointed or disgusted with Coulter / Palin / ect.

The more cynical part of me thinks that when you write "outsiders" you really mean "conservatives". From my experience, liberals dont seem to react with the "outrage is phony" meme, at least not in the same way conservatives do.

John Farrier said...

Well, I'm not a conservative, although I do read many conservatives and often agree with them when they talk about economic policies.

I have two questions:

1. Were Ann Coulter, Louis C.K. and Stephen Colbert equally offensive when they used the 'r' word?

2. Were Sarah Palin, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Matthews and Jay Carney racist when they used the term 'shuck and jive'?

I'm answer them, too: yes (1) and no (2).

How do you answer?

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey writes . . .

I'm not "outraged" that Ann Coulter said something horrible. I'm not "outraged" by the content of her statement. In the vast course of my life, I care less about pretty much anything Ann Coulter says than I do about what the Mars Curiosity Rover is up to today.

I'm surprised and pleased a young man demonstrated just how ridiculous the entire notion of "retardation" really is. I think that's admirable, especially doing so by telling a person whose stock in trade is ridiculous bigotry that her bigotry is ridiculous.

I'm not even outraged by Art's defense. You know why? I saw it coming a long way off. Why should I be surprised that someone who has a history of defending horrible statements (as well as making them himself) would do so yet again?

This thread has far too many comments because there are a couple folks who want to make clear just how small minded and horrible they are. Those people aren't Dan, or Alan, or Ben, or me.

Just sayin' . . . The evidence is right here, for anyone to check out. Who, precisely, is being morally vicious here? Who, by name or internet handle, is doing something "outrageous"? Dan, by writing a post highlighting a young man doing something noble? Are Alan or Ben or I being outrageous by pointing out that Art, whose history of small-minded bigoted comments and support for the same from others, guaranteed he'd come along and dirty the waters?

The only thing surprising about this whole comment thread, John Farrier, is your sudden desire to play the "But you guys do it, too!!!" card. I'm not outraged by that. Just surprised.

Parklife said...

Not conservative, just agree with the policies. Ok.

1. Coulter should have acted more grown up. Im guessing the others you list should have thought better before speaking as well.

2. Palin should have acted more grown up. Perhaps she was being racist using the term, but I dont think any less of her. j/k.

But, yes.. people should be aware of the words they use. In both examples these commentators use words to gain attention. Its sad that you seem willing to debate the merits of inappropriate word-choice, especially within the context of people with the job of crafting commentary.. presumably through the act of careful word choice.

John Farrier said...

Not conservative, just agree with the policies. Ok.

Economic policies, yes. Many libertarians do.

But, yes.. people should be aware of the words they use. In both examples these commentators use words to gain attention. Its sad that you seem willing to debate the merits of inappropriate word-choice, especially within the context of people with the job of crafting commentary.. presumably through the act of careful word choice.

It's sad that you hesitate to condemn people on the Left who use terms that you find terrible when used by people on the Right.

As for me, I do not debate the merits of the word choice. You can see that in the first comment that I left in this thread.

Alan said...

John writes, "I have two questions:"

Your questions completely, and I mean completely -- by "completely" I mean in the sense of totally and absolutely and in every possible way -- miss the one simple point that Geoffrey, Parklife, Dan and I have been making here. In other words, your two questions are simply another way of complaining "But they do it too!"

So now you're attempting to compare something said by two comedians with things said by a political appointee, a governor, and the former nominee for the vice-presidency. Really? That's your question?

Yes, by all means John, let's look to Louis CK as a roll model on important matters of ethics and political discourse. Richard Prior used to use the N word, so you can too?

It's a stupid question, John, ask a better one. Ask one that matters.

Alan said...

"It's sad that you hesitate to condemn people on the Left who use terms that you find terrible when used by people on the Right."

Now the next line in the script. Really John, you've been hanging around the wingnuts too much. Everyone who saw that one coming, please raise your hand.

You have not, in this comment thread, denounced the pro-rape statements by Republicans, so clearly you support them.

Again, John, how does it not make you puke to write such tripe? Surely you can see that it is indeed tripe, can't you?

I mean, just tell us if you don't understand this: Condemning the hypocrisy, as you do, completely misses the point of Dan's post and is a stupid, silly, worthless tactic. I don't need to denounce anyone about anything, because normal rational people can see what this post is obviously and clearly about: praising Mr. Stephens for standing up and calling out a person who offended HIM, and doing so with class.

But since you do not denounce eating puppies, let us now discuss that, John. Seriously, if that's the level of discourse you're looking for, I'm sure we can come up with any number of things.

Ever write anywhere that you denounced the holocaust, John? No? Why do you support the holocaust, John?

Your sad and pathetic "but they do it too!" rejoinder was bad enough, now you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Is John just an MA sock puppet? I used to think he contributed useful stuff on here, but now he's just spouting the inanity I would expect from MA.

Parklife said...

It's sad that you hesitate to condemn people on the Left who use terms that you find terrible when used by people on the Right...

John.. dont be upset that I answered your question before you asked it... remember... lets jump in the time machine..

This makes it acceptable for her (or anybody else) to use the phrase? Right. Didnt think so.

Marshall Art said...

Not much time here...

"Shuckin and Jivin" is a term that for some time has been applied to people of all races. This is a fact. It no longer is applied only to blacks. It would never occur to most people to condemn even the wacky Chris Matthews as a racist for using the term. The false outrage at Palin is to demonize her as a racist for use of phrase so many people use without regard or recognition of its origins, including black people. "OOH! OOH! LOOK! Palin said "shuckin and jiving! Now we can call her a racist and make more people dislike her!" It is part and parcel of deceptive leftist tactics and is at work here in the outrage over Coulter's word choice.

For the liars assembled here (who's names are not John or Art), I have not made one comment that indicates endorsement in any way for Coulter's choice of words. EVER. As some here demand proof from me for every comment I post, I would expect that one of them would find the time to copy and paste the sentence I posted that indicates I am defending Coulter's use of the word. It must be there somewhere since everyone not named Art or John believes I have indeed defended her. I just can't find it.

Much more later...

Parklife said...

"Much more later..."

Yeah.. nobody cares.

John Farrier said...

John.. dont be upset that I answered your question before you asked it... remember... lets jump in the time machine..

This makes it acceptable for her (or anybody else) to use the phrase? Right. Didnt think so.


Then it should not be difficult for you to answer my first question with an unequivocal 'yes'. Or to even answer the second question, which mentions three more people.

Why are you prevaricating? This is why I wrote:

When the Left/Right (take your pick) wails in outrage at the bad behavior of its political opponents but doesn't condemn the very same behavior in its own ranks, outsiders are inclined to think the outrage is phony and disingenuous.

Parklife said...

"Why are you prevaricating?"

I disagree.

In the interest of sanity, this conversation was over about 35 posts ago.

John, feel free to use offensive terms, nobody is stopping you.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

From Art's fingers to our eyes, Part 1: " I have not made one comment that indicates endorsement in any way for Coulter's choice of words."

From an earlier version of Art, or perhaps someone posting under his name: "But to call a "normal" person a retard, or something he did retarded, indicates that something far worse than actually being clinically retarded. It is NOT a slight on truly retarded people in any way.

This is not the first time a person with a mental challenge has made comments in this regard. Removing the words "mentally retarded" does nothing to remove the mindset of people who like to engage in name-calling.

It isn't the word used, but the intentions behind the use that matters."

Now, most folks reading this would think, "Hm. Sounds like this person is saying that Coulter's remarks are OK."

From a version of Art between the two just posted: "Coulter did not intend to belittle the president by linking him to people who are truly challenged. She meant to belittle him for having less sense without the excuse of being born that way."

So again - yeah, you do indeed defend what Ann Coulter said.

Liar? Sure. Like Pres. Obama is a liar for accurately representing to Mitt Romney things Romney has actually said.

Class dismissed.

Alan said...

John, thanks. I know people write LOL when they aren't actually LOLing, but you actually made me LOL.

Oh the hypocrisy!!!!

John wrote: "Then it should not be difficult for you to answer my first question with an unequivocal 'yes'. Or to even answer the second question, which mentions three more people."

John you're such a hypocrite! I asked you some simple questions and you refuse to answer. Could that be because you actually support eating puppies?

What are you hiding, John?

Frankly, how you could fall in to such an obvious trap designed specifically to point out the vacuousness of your argument, I cannot imagine. I expected you to see it a mile away. But in case you missed it:

You start the silliness: Call us hypocrites for not doing something none of us is even discussing. Four of us answer you in different ways saying the exact same thing: you're missing the point. You ignore that completely in favor of your "hypocrisy" whine.

I plant the bait: Suggest you support eating puppies and the holocaust because you refuse to condemn them.

You fall in: You refuse to answer my question, as I knew you would.

I twist the knife: Now I get to call you a hypocrite for refusing to answer the question while demanding that we answer yours, and make your concern trolling look even more stupid, shallow, and hollow.

Lather, rinse repeat.

Just to reanswer your question, BTW, which the 4 of us have already answered but you missed it: YOU'RE MISSING THE FRAKING POINT. Got it yet? Please reread that sentence over and over until it sinks in.

Either that, or please tell us why you like eating puppies, you monster. Frankly, given how much time you spend shooting kittens, I'm surprised you have time to eat puppies. ;)

Marshall Art said...

For the sake of defending John, who speaks like a person with actual common sense, I don't believe, and he can correct me if I am wrong here, I don't believe his point was to engage in "they said it first", but rather to demonstrate very much the point I was making, that the left is using this "shuck and jive" nonsense to demonize a conservative. If the left truly sees it as a racist comment, they would have been all over the libs who have used it before Palin ever did. But the fact is that they, like most people nowadays, do NOT perceive the phrase as having racial overtones. It is only because they love to use anything, no matter how thin, to accuse the right of racism. If one can't even say "Chicago" in the same sentence as "Obama" without being accused of racism (or "golf" or a host of other words and terms with no inherent racial meaning), what a treasure it was to hear Palin say "shuckin' and jivin'".

And we see it above with Geoffrey's last comments as he attempted to prove I was defending Coulter. Apparently, and I must tread gingerly here, his intellectual capabilities lack discernment in determining what constitutes a defense of Coulter. From his 4:36PM comment, he first repeats my explanation of her usage. That is, what is commonly meant when one uses the term "retard" in reference to a person not technically mentally retarded. (As it happens, Coulter claims the common meaning akin to "loser". Even if this is so, the mental development of the loser is also in question when the word is used.) This explanation, as well as the further explanation Geoffrey also cited, does not equal a defense or endorsement of her use of the word. Geoffrey goes on to say...

"Now, most folks reading this would think, "Hm. Sounds like this person is saying that Coulter's remarks are OK.""

Only most folks whose intellectual development is somewhat...uh...like Geoffrey's. Only folks like Geoffrey who need me to be a bad person in order to feel better about themselves. Rational, honest and thoughtful people would see my comments for the explanation or analysis of Coulter's comments that it is. If Geoffrey was such a person, he might have simply asked me what my position was as regards Coulter's use of the word. He hasn't yet anymore than anyone else has. Five of you here giving me crap without asking that simple, and obviously initial question. Thanks for proving my point about the intentions of lefties when these situations arise.

Indeed, now there is still one more person making baseless and unprovable statements like this:

"Are Alan or Ben or I being outrageous by pointing out that Art, whose history of small-minded bigoted comments and support for the same from others, guaranteed he'd come along and dirty the waters?"

First of all, if I made bigoted comments, there's no way they could be termed "small-minded". But I don't make bigoted comments at all, unless what I say regarding bad behavior counts as bigotry.

Marshall Art said...

I have to wonder why Dan makes no rebuke of Alan's use of the term "Skeletor" in reference to Ann Coulter. Could it be Dan's hatred of the woman clouds his judgement? Surely malnourished people are offended by such a term directed at an extremely slender woman. Not to mention this is in breach of a rule laid down just a few posts ago regarding referring to a person by their proper name at all times. The double standard continues. It appears Alan doesn't think much of Dan that he can't self-regulate his hateful sense of humor. (I'm really starting to understand the benefit of labeling everything and everyone as "hateful". Maybe you lefties are on to something here.)

Marshall Art said...

As regards John Franklin, how do you know he "has more brains, nobility, grace and courage in his pinky than" Coulter or people like her? Do you really know anything about the man, or are you basing this opinion simply on one letter he wrote scolding a woman you hate? There's only one tiny difference between the John Franklins of the world and the rest of us, and that's a single chromosome, the addition of which renders him developed in a altered manner than the rest of us. Despite this, they are as motivated or less so as any other person. Many seem to be relatively happy and kind, though I've experienced one or two nasty DS patients.

I don't see his letter as being all that special because I don't view them as any less a person than I do anyone else. But you refer to them as "most cherished". How does this sentiment manifest exactly? Do you donate more time and money on behalf of Downs Syndrome patients than any other object of your sense of charity, or was that just more of your notorious psuedo-sanctimonious rhetoric used in a transparent and weak-sauce attempt to shame an opponent? And you dare suggest I'm being a jerk?

My points are totally legitimate, but you and your boys would prefer to pretend I'm suggesting something the words I use do not.

Those points include:

--Franklin takes offense where he shouldn't. There is far too much time wasted in doing so, too much effort and emotion. The last thing Franklin should be doing is spending any time and emotion over a throw away comment by someone he doesn't know who wasn't talking about him or anyone like him.

--The "greatness", "wisdom", or "nobility" of this effort of Franklin's is increased in the weak minds of people like you due to the person being scolded in the letter rather than the message itself, which is preached by millions of people these days. You are exploiting the man.

--The left uses words as they feel they need to when actually defending their positions against opponents fail. It so much easier to demonize than to deal with the message or point of the opponent, particularly when that opponent is so obviously correct. Coulter says "retard" and the left is aghast. They conveniently forget their illustrious ruler's own Special Olympics joke and will never regard him in the same way they do Coulter purely because of politics. Dan said early on that I was stepping in it. This is true. I'm stepping in the shit of leftist hypocrisy.

Marshall Art said...

And now for my defense of Coulter. Not for her use of the word. I'll let you wonder about that while really knowing you've made up your feeble minds about it.

I defend Coulter against this crap about her being hateful and a bully. She hates what I hate, the nonsense that comes from the left put forth as truth and light. She is actually one who no longer accepts the bullying of the left, which is prevalent and in constant play at this blog right now. She refuses to engage on their terms, terms that are meant to give advantage to them, and instead, speaks truthfully without concern for their feelings.

This is common here and anywhere Dan visits as he tries to limit what and how an opponent expresses his opinions. Anything from banning words (as he appears to have banned the use of the word "retard"), to nonsensical pleas such as "Don't you understand how what you say sounds like..." as if real people are actually that dim or suspicious.

Coulter basically gives the left what they richly deserve, regardless of whether or not she is actually in possession of the authority to do so. But its the way she does it that has gotten her followers as well as detractors. The difference is that her followers agree with her basic point, seeing through her rhetorical style, while her detractors have only her style that can be legitimately attacked for its coarseness because her points are valid and usually bulletproof. Probably most galling to her detractors is the joy and cheerfulness so common in her demeanor. She loves what she does, she is confident in what she believes and knows to be true and will joyfully and cheerfully agree to go toe to toe with any lefty at any time. She's unafraid of any lefty and that makes lefties seek ways to demonize her. Horrible person? No more so that Alan or Geoffrey.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Yes, my powers of discernment are faulty, indeed. Again, to repeat, Art: "I have not made one comment that indicates endorsement in any way for Coulter's choice of words."

Later Art: "Only folks like Geoffrey who need me to be a bad person in order to feel better about themselves. Rational, honest and thoughtful people would see my comments for the explanation or analysis of Coulter's comments that it is."

And, even later Art: "And now for my defense of Coulter. Not for her use of the word. I'll let you wonder about that while really knowing you've made up your feeble minds about it.

I defend Coulter against this crap about her being hateful and a bully."

Art, this entire post is about Ann Coulter using the word "retard" to insult the President of the United States. Most folks who've come across her words understand this is the kind of thing she does. She's insulting and a bully. That's the point of the post. It isn't about "word choice", as if somehow had Coulter used some other word, well, that would have been peachy. The whole thing is about Coulter being a small-minded, attention-seeking provocateur.

So you haven't written a single word in defense of Coulter except when you have, which I've highlighted. And I only read enough of your comments to find the places you explicitly defend Coulter. I'm quite sure there are all sorts of nuggets of goodness in the rest of your comments.

There is a comedy factor here. Art makes a categorical statement. When it's proved wrong by his own words, suddenly his words don't mean what they would mean if he'd been speaking English, or if just anyone had used them. So his defense of his own contradiction descends in to pure, grade "A" gold.

Don't think I'm impressed either with your personal insults or attempt at the March Hare defense of your use of language. It would have been preferable if you stuck with the topic at hand. Oh, that's right. You did! (cont'd)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

At 5:52 this morning, Art wrote the following:

--Franklin takes offense where he shouldn't. There is far too much time wasted in doing so, too much effort and emotion. The last thing Franklin should be doing is spending any time and emotion over a throw away comment by someone he doesn't know who wasn't talking about him or anyone like him.

--The "greatness", "wisdom", or "nobility" of this effort of Franklin's is increased in the weak minds of people like you due to the person being scolded in the letter rather than the message itself, which is preached by millions of people these days. You are exploiting the man.

--The left uses words as they feel they need to when actually defending their positions against opponents fail. It so much easier to demonize than to deal with the message or point of the opponent, particularly when that opponent is so obviously correct. Coulter says "retard" and the left is aghast. They conveniently forget their illustrious ruler's own Special Olympics joke and will never regard him in the same way they do Coulter purely because of politics. Dan said early on that I was stepping in it. This is true. I'm stepping in the shit of leftist hypocrisy.


So, not only is Dan wrong to highlight young Mr. Franklin's note to Mr. Franklin because it demonstrates Dan's hypocrisy; Mr. Franklin was wrong to write it because he never should have been insulted by Coulter's remarks in the first place.

The last point, that somehow we're "demonizing" Coulter for using the word "retard", when I believe the point of this post was a young man with Downs Syndrome publicly chastising Coulter for using an insult that demonstrates her ignorance and mean-spiritedness (and please, remember, the whole point of this post is Mr. Franklin's courage and audacity, not Coulter). So, you're arguing that (a) Franklin was . . . too, what? stupid? maybe even, I don't know, not intellectually astute enough? . . . to understand what Coulter was saying? Obviously you think you do, and that young Mr. Franklin did not. That's the first argument you're making. The second argument, (B), is that those folks who publicly celebrate Mr. Franklin's courage and audacity are actually hypocrites who are secretly laughing at him behind his back? Your claim that Dan's highlighting him here and calling him a hero is patronizing, because, what, exactly? Should Dan have ignored what Mr. Franklin wrote? Would that have been more "honest" and lest "patronizing"?

I'm not even sure what you're saying, to be honest, except perhaps only views that accord with right-wing views are honest, have integrity, and make sense. Is that your point?

Alan said...

Well, at least MA is consistent. He argues that the words people use don't matter. As as a perfect example, notice his two different uses of the term "defend" one of which means "to defend" and the other means, apparently, "I'm totally not defending." LOL

Or is he inconsistent by arguing that insults don't matter and then falling into the trap of getting his panties in a wad by my intentionally provocative invocation of Skeletor?

(Strange that he gets so weepy about someone insulting a cartoon character, but couldn't care less about insults directed at ... you know ... real actual people. That tells us pretty much everything about the world MA lives in.)

If he could just keep one thought in his head long enough to complete a comment without contradicting himself 10 times, these little games would be less fun, I suppose. You'd think he'd have some sense of pride in not constantly having his "arguments" ripped to shreds by using his own inconsistent word salad against him. But then, if he had any dignity at all, these little games would also be less fun.

But since I've been able to now trap both John and MA into arguing against the very thing they were arguing for, I'd say the game is over.

John thinks anyone who doesn't call out someone for a particular statement must agree, and anyone who doesn't is a hypocrite. Then I trap him into doing that very thing.

MA thinks words don't matter, insults in particular. Then I trap him into rushing to Skeletor's defense because she might feel insulted.

You two do realize this is a game, right? Since we all already know the argument the other person is going to make, it isn't hard to predict your moves and trap you in these inconsistencies.

Check mate, fellas. (Sorry if the chess analogy is too advanced for you MA, picture it as a game of Candyland if that helps.)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Or Chutes and Ladders. I always liked that one better.

Marshall Art said...

"Art, this entire post is about Ann Coulter using the word "retard" to insult the President of the United States."

To which post are you referring? The one to which I've posted my comments is about John Franklin. I know this because I actually read the post and it even had this easy to understand sentence:

"So, this post is NOT about her latest hateful comments... but rather, one great young man's response to her words." Can you say, "Miss the point"?

The point of the post is to praise Franklin's attempt to scold a woman people like you wrongly perceive as a bully.

Sure, she's insulting. No more than lefties like Matthews, Olberman, Schultz, Maher, Maddow, you and Alan. But at least her insults have the benefit of being based on truth and reality, not accusations of fictitious bullying, racism, bigotry and hatred.

And you and Alan enjoy referring to her as an "attention whore" (Alan's preferred term), but no more or less than those same people named above, including you and Alan and anyone else who posts an opinion on any publicly accessible medium. You boys call her "whore" because you like to insult women (I'm using your tactics here), you don't like that someone like her with her conservative perspective is so respected and in demand and you cannot successfully argue against her position.

And once again, Geoffrey, you haven't highlighted any defense of mine for her until I specifically gave one in my last comment. Previous to that, I spoke of what her comments were meant to convey. That's not a defense of the comments themselves. You're way to eager to disparage me that you want me to say "I like that she called Obama a retard and dammit, I agree with her!" But I haven't done that at all, now, have I? No. I haven't. One of you boys will have to ask me directly if I do, first. If the distinction is still lost on you, please let me know.

Yes, Geoffrey, there is indeed a comedy factor here. Thanks for supplying it. You've provided no proof of your allegation that I have defended Coulter. Of course you can now, since I provided one. But I have not defended her use of the word that provoked the letter by Franklin, which, again, was the point of the post. Defend her? I finally did long after you began to accuse me of doing so. Defend her use of the word "retard"? You'll have to ask me what I think of her doing that first.

"Don't think I'm impressed either with your personal insults..."

The thought never crossed my mind. An easy money bet is that you are more than impressed with your insults of me and Coulter, and equally so of those from Dan, Alan, Anon and Parklife.

Marshall Art said...

"So, not only is Dan wrong to highlight young Mr. Franklin's note to Mr. Franklin because it demonstrates Dan's hypocrisy; Mr. Franklin was wrong to write it because he never should have been insulted by Coulter's remarks in the first place."

You're only half-right, which is twice as good as usual. First, the right part: Franklin is wrong because he mistakes Coulter's insult as a slight to people like himself. It clearly wasn't and she has stated as much herself, not that anything she says matters to someone like you, aside from the pain you feel from hearing truthful statements. If his taking offense is appropriate, then calling Coulter a whore is insulting to all women and calling her "Skeletor" is insulting to all thin and/or malnourished people. Yes. Hypocrisy is afoot here for sure.

But my problem with Dan posting it is not a matter of hypocrisy. That came later in comments by you and Alan. My problem with Dan is that his reasons for posting it are suspicious. He opens with nasty comments about Coulter. Franklin's letter scolds Coulter. His condition allows Dan to hold him up as heroic without regard to the unfortunate mistake of his perception of Coulter's intent. (He'd have a more legitimate beef by merely telling her the use of the word bothers him, without adding assumptions about her motives.) Dan thinks he's safe in using this guy to denigrate Coulter, a woman he holds in contempt like the good Christian he is. He is being exploitative. He is patronizing. As a grandfather of one with Downs and a cousin to another, I take issue with this.

"The last point, that somehow we're "demonizing" Coulter for using the word "retard"..."

Really, Geoffrey. Is there ever a time when you really try to digest and understand what you read? The last point to which you refer is of a more general nature, that you (meaning the left) use any opportunity to demonize a conservative. This "retard" thing is just another example and the reference to Obama's Special Olympics joke, and Matthews and other leftists using "shuck and jive" shows how much you really care about how words are used. To you folks, it's just a matter of who is speaking the words and how it can be used to demonize them.

"...when I believe the point of this post was a young man with Downs Syndrome publicly chastising Coulter for using an insult that demonstrates her ignorance and mean-spiritedness (and please, remember, the whole point of this post is Mr. Franklin's courage and audacity, not Coulter)"

Wait a minute! You just said...

"Art, this entire post is about Ann Coulter using the word "retard" to insult the President of the United States."

...and so accurate and truthful of you to insert "demonstrates her ignorance and mean-spiritedness". Franklin never used the words.

Marshall Art said...


" So, you're arguing that (a) Franklin was . . . too, what? stupid?"

Ah. Finally you're actually seeking clarification! (I'm assuming here. It's just as likely you're suggesting another unprovable nasty action on my part.)

Unlike Dan, apparently, I don't know the man. I can't comment on his level of intelligence. I suggested the possibility that he was somehow guided to believe the worst about people who use words like "retard". This doesn't say anything about his smarts as so many (like yourself) make such assumptions about conservatives as well. No reason to suspect that a Downs person can't be as politically twisted as you are. Don't forget. They're just people to me, not more or less cherished than anyone else. I don't question their intellectual potential anymore than I question the lefty's potential to exploit them. For example, I wouldn't expect a Downs person to ask a question as nonsensical as this...

"The second argument, (B), is that those folks who publicly celebrate Mr. Franklin's courage and audacity are actually hypocrites who are secretly laughing at him behind his back?"

...considering nothing I've said anywhere in any of my comments above are in the same universe as this ludicrous suggestion. The hypocrisy is in deriding Coulter's use of the word (indeed deriding her for so many things she's said in her public career) as if no one on your side of the divide engages in such speech with as much, if not more, abandon.

I would also say that there is nothing particularly courageous about Franklin writing this letter, nothing so audacious due to the fact that it ain't like it's the first time Downs patients have said such things about the use of such terms as Coulter used. The patronizing aspect is the use of terms like "courageous", "audacious" "most cherished" as if one shouldn't expect a Downs person to have an opinion and want to express it. The patronizing aspect is in suggesting that Franklin is standing up to some tyrannical despot, and not scolding a woman who known for showing courage and audacity in being willing to speak her mind in the face of constant BS from leftist politicians and pundits (not that she would regard herself as particular courageous for doing so).

I don't know that Dan should have ignored Franklin's letter. It obviously appealed to him, so he shared it. I doubt he could have been more honest in how he did it considering his very Christian contempt toward a sister in Christ.

"I'm not even sure what you're saying, to be honest, except perhaps only views that accord with right-wing views are honest, have integrity, and make sense. Is that your point?"

No. It's not my point. It is true, however.

Marshall Art said...

Now to correct Alan (again).

"Well, at least MA is consistent. He argues that the words people use don't matter."

I'm always consistent. You just aren't honest enough to admit how I am. You certainly aren't honest enough to accurately reproduce my position. I don't argue that words don't matter. I argue that the words chosen aren't as important as the intention one tries to convey. It's unfortunate that so many people use words improperly (57 state?), but honest people can either overlook obvious poor word choices or at least withhold judgement until after clarifying questions are answered. You should try that sometime. Geoffrey just did and with any luck, he hasn't missed the point of my answers. We'll see. And certainly honest people can see that I used the word "defend" in the same consistent manner throughout all of my comments. The trouble is you boys are just so damned eager to get me to defend Coulter's use of the word "retard". For that to ever have a chance to happen, you'll have to ask me directly what I think, first.

Now this is rich:

"
Or is he inconsistent by arguing that insults don't matter and then falling into the trap of getting his panties in a wad by my intentionally provocative invocation of Skeletor?

(Strange that he gets so weepy about someone insulting a cartoon character, but couldn't care less about insults directed at ... you know ... real actual people. That tells us pretty much everything about the world MA lives in.)"


Alan believes he can really run with his "baiting" angle again. He likes to say things that are...less than ideal...and then pretend he did it purposely to "trap" me. Sure. Such weak shit. I don't know which is my favorite ploy. The "baiting" nonsense, or....

"If he could just keep one thought in his head long enough to complete a comment without contradicting himself 10 times..."

...the "Art's contradicting himself" play. Someday, I'd like to see where I've actually contradicted myself. As Alan's so good with that "interweb", you'd think he'd have examples at the ready. There's none in THIS thread.

"ripped to shreds" That's funny.

"But since I've been able to now trap both John and MA into arguing against the very thing they were arguing for..."

When did THIS happen? You must have some kick-ass weed.

"John thinks anyone who doesn't call out someone for a particular statement must agree, and anyone who doesn't is a hypocrite."

I'm quite sure I corrected THIS blatant misconception already. I KNOW he didn't suggest that "anyone who doesn't call out someone for a particular statement must agree". What he did do is wonder why it took a conservative to speak poorly to prompt a reaction to the words used. It's an incredibly valid question.

"MA thinks words don't matter, insults in particular. Then I trap him into rushing to Skeletor's defense because she might feel insulted."

Actually, Alan, I compared the use of the term, and how it might make thin or malnourished people feel, to the use of the term "retard" and the apparently devastating affect it has on the mentally retarded and Downs Syndrome patients. Was that point a bit too nuanced for a progressive like you?

"You two do realize this is a game, right?"

Is that what this is, Dan? Are you posting things just to f**k with us?

Alan. In order to trap anyone in an inconsistency, you have to show where one has been inconsistent. Just saying it is so doesn't make it so. Indeed, to know what our arguments will be only proves our consistency. Ironic that, eh? Check mate, indeed.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

OH NO! ART CAUGHT ME IN A CONTRADICTION! I CAN NEVER WRITE ANYTHING AGAIN!

Wow, Art, I'm impressed. You know what a red herring is?

The game would be far more interesting if it hadn't become bogged down in this sideshow.

I congratulate you, Art, because this is the first instance where I've read something of yours that demonstrated any reading comprehension on your part.

Marshall Art said...

I demonstrate it all the time. Someday you'll have to show where I haven't. I'm still waiting. Your standards for proof are exceedingly low and self-serving. It's beyond tiresome to bother correcting intentional misinterpretations intended as personal attacks from people who dare condescend as Christian sophisticates.

Alan said...

"It's beyond tiresome to bother correcting intentional misinterpretations intended as personal attacks from people who dare condescend as Christi"

Well, if it is such a bother, you could always...you know...stop. No one is forcing you to read or post here. No one would miss your "contributions".

Marshall Art said...

My intention, Alan, is to comment on what Dan posts. Like him, I claim the right to respond to and correct poor interpretations of my comments. And I will continue to do so as I see fit. However, I was clearly referring to "intentional" misinterpretations from people such as yourself.

John Farrier said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

John Farrier said...

For the sake of defending John, who speaks like a person with actual common sense, I don't believe, and he can correct me if I am wrong here, I don't believe his point was to engage in "they said it first", but rather to demonstrate very much the point I was making, that the left is using this "shuck and jive" nonsense to demonize a conservative. If the left truly sees it as a racist comment, they would have been all over the libs who have used it before Palin ever did. But the fact is that they, like most people nowadays, do NOT perceive the phrase as having racial overtones. It is only because they love to use anything, no matter how thin, to accuse the right of racism.

Yes, indeed. I'm opposed to using offensive terms like the r-word. I think that Parklife misunderstands me when he writes, "John, feel free to use offensive terms, nobody is stopping you." I don't want to use such offensive terms. I would just like for those who see these terms as offensive to be consistent in their objections.

Are those who are calling Palin racist for using the term "shuck and jive" being sincere in their objections? The test comes when they are confronted with the use of that same term by their political allies. If they won't condemn it then, I'm inclined to think that their objections are insincere.

That goes for all sides and shades of the political spectrum. For example, I think that Ron Paul's use of racial demagoguery in his newsletters alone disqualified him from the Presidency. Libertarians who defended him should not have done so and brought shame on themselves and the libertarian movement.

Whatever standard you maintain for other political teams, you have to maintain for your own team. Otherwise, you're guilty of hypocrisy.

Parklife said...

Aside from this conversation being completely insane, Palin used the term in an effort to gain attention. She may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but she knows how to stir a pot.

John brings up these other people that have used the same term in some bizarre attempt to distract from the current issue. First, I have only vague memories of these events. Where they condemned appropriately? I have no idea. I do know that the last time I heard the term, I found it inappropriate. All this and John feels the need for me to apologize.. To this.. I congratulate John for creating a "test", ignoring my comments, and re-enforcing his world view.

When conservative politicians say dumb things, its time for other conservatives to stand up and say how wrong it is, not to ask liberals to apologize for some prior wrong.. otherwise.. you're kind of a... well.. you get the idea.

Marshall Art said...

Parklife,

It was you who first brought up Palin (early in the conversation, so it should be easy for you to find). And no doubt she used the term to simply describe the evasiveness of the administration. Not to stir any pot, which is already swirling due to the evasiveness. And sure, she might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but the shed in which one finds her is filled with all sorts of razor-like implements. The progressive shed has only blunt instruments.

John has clearly explained his purpose in bringing up the others.

Conservatives are well known for holding their own accountable for their transgressions. The same cannot be said for your side as there are numerous examples to prove it. There are many conservatives who do not care for Coulter's style and would prefer she not say the things she does in the way she does. One or two are bloggers with whom you yourself have taken issue and disparaged.

Marshall Art said...

Because clarity is important (I think Dan will agree), I want to repeat myself a bit here.

My point is that this letter of Franklin's is getting the attention it does AT LEAST AS MUCH for whom he is scolding than as for the message attacking the use of the word "retard". I truly don't think many would have heard about it if Coulter wasn't the person who used the term. I just don't recall any blog postings when Obama made a similar comment on Leno except for conservative sources.

My point is that Franklin is being exploited in this due to his having Downs. That also contributes to the attention the letter is getting. But again, it isn't the first time a Downs person has spoken out against the use of the word.

My point is that no one should be getting all worked up over the use of the word, as it only leads to its replacement being used in exactly the same manner by the same types of people. Indeed, it is how the word came into common clinical usage in the first place, and then became derogatory. It's how these things work, so why get bent?

My point is that Franklin should not get all worked up as if Coulter's use of the term is a slight on people with Downs. If I am called a polack, I know that the person using it is playing on my Polish heritage, but is more likely insinuating something negative about my intellect. I'm not worried that he is really knocking every Polack who ever lived. Moreso, if someone ELSE is so referred, I don't, as one of Polish descent, take offense, because I know he's basically just calling the other guy "stupid". Would he be less insulting if he was to say "less than extremely intelligent"? Only by degrees, perhaps, but his intention is the same. It's to convey a shortcoming in the other person's ability to reason. Thus, the words used are not important here. The intention is. The meaning behind the use of the words is.

My point is that it is clearly wrong to suggest that it is Coulter who is a bully. She is not in the habit in insulting or doing battle with weak opponents, only opponents with weak ideologies, proposals and opinions. Her tone makes her abrasive, sure. But not bullying. On the contrary, it is the bully she engages with her tone, the progressive who seeks to batter their opponents with rhetoric of a clearly false nature. And as such falseness indicates a clear lack of regard for their opponents, Coulter feels no compulsion to treat them any better. People are pissed. They are fed up with the nonsensical things progressives say as regards conservatism and conservatives. Coulter points out the hypocrisy of the progressives and THAT drives them nuts. Shining light on lies is often bad enough, but the liars must be shamed so that others are less willing to lie so easily.

And once again, my point is that Franklin's letter shows that people with Downs are not beyond having a improper perspective. But the sentiments here regarding his "nobility" and such comes off to me as no better than cocking your heads, heaving a big happy sigh and saying, "Awww! Isn't he a big, brave boy!" and I find such patronizing offensive.

Parklife said...

Marshall.. go away.. Please.. Scurry off and make all your arguments on your own blog.

Dan Trabue said...

While I don't encourage visitors to shoosh away other visitors, in this case, Parklife has a point. This conversation is over.

My post was in praise of a young man who spoke out against a bully and did so elegantly, respectfully, and in such a manner that allowed the offender to save face and be welcomed in as a comrade, rather than demonized as an enemy. I thought we all could learn from such great wisdom.

Marshall apparently thinks that this young man is being used (and thus, belittles the fella that most of us recognize as a hero, as well as his family and admirers). Okay, don't respect the young man and his family and supporters, Marshall. Support those who use intentionally offensive terms.

Just don't to it here, you've made your disgusting point, move on.

Others here (those on "my side") might have been better off just ignoring the Marshall-like comments, just as I try to ignore the person who began this with her disrespectful, small-minded, childish name-calling. I'd ask that you make your points about the points, please, not about the people. While I generally agree with most of what you have said in principle, there's no need to keep dragging it on, let it end.

Yes, Marshall (and John, to address some of your points), this is at least partially about WHO said the offending statement: Because she is an (in my mind) inconsequential, but oft-listened to political commenter, who says it to offend, as opposed to a mere comedian who says it to get a laugh. She is a bully who has been called on this before and she passes herself off as offering serious political commentary as opposed to merely being a comedian, she will rightly be denounced more than a mere comedian.

Which, as has been amply pointed out, not to defend the comedians who use such language, just to point out again that context matters.

That I did not hear of (or was even vaguely aware that) comedian Louis CK (or whatever his name is) used such a term is not to suggest that I somehow approve of it, any more than someone here failing to condemn "eating puppies" is to suggest that they support it.

But let it go, fellas. This has gone on too long. I find Mr Stephens to be admirable for the reasons listed. I find the person to have started this to be contemptible and beneath the need to even address.

If you don't find Mr Stephens admirable, then just keep it to yourself, because no one is really impressed with that sort of personal denigration of Mr Stephens. If you can't say something nice, you know...

Alan said...

"Are those who are calling Palin racist for using the term "shuck and jive" being sincere in their objections?"


Who are "those", I wonder?

No one here, that I can see has called anyone racist for anything.

Do these guys (MA and John) just make stuff up to get ticked off about?

Marshall Art said...

Dan, please, a little honesty somewhere on your part would show some integrity. I have not rendered an opinion in support of or against Coulter's use of the term. If you want to continue asserting this, at least highlight what I've said that leads you to believe this is the case. You won't be able to, since I haven't done that, so stop bearing false witness, as you insist no one bears it in your presence.

As to Stephens (who I've been mistakenly calling him by his middle name), there is nothing in my comments that indicates I lack respect for him, though like you, I don't know him enough to have such an opinion of him. I respect his right to tender his opinion, just like I do anyone. But I also don't believe that offering one means the opinion is a good one worthy of respect. Indeed, he has made some nasty assumptions about Coulter's intentions, so I'm guessing he's a left-winger.

So, what you deem disgusting about my point is without basis, but assumes much that isn't apparent in my comments whatsoever, as I have continually explained. It seems quite clear to me that grace is just a word you throw around to bully those you don't like.

Coulter's style has always been to hammer the idiocy of her opponents and to do it with humor. Where do you guys get off pretending she cannot do so? Because she doesn't hide behind the term "comedian"? She's a friend of Bill Maher and has a far better sense of humor and what makes something funny, but you'll give a bad comedian like Maher a pass for doing the same things (I mean "you" in a general way).

What's more, you pretend here to ignore Coulter but don't pass up the chance to speak ill of her, like a good Chrisian is supposed to, right?

John Farrier said...

But let it go, fellas. This has gone on too long.

No problem, Dan. And I agree. The focus should be on Mr. Stephens' fine letter.

John Farrier said...

In the interest of civil discourse, let me add this:

Parklife, I like debating you and look forward more discussions. I enjoy the challenges that you present.

Marshall Art said...

"The focus should be on Mr. Stephens' fine letter."

I agree, but apparently one is not allowed to take issue with any of it due to both his condition and the person he is scolding.

To step away because he has Downs is to suggest they are incapable and obviously the letter indicates that is not the case. Downs does not afflict equally any more than any other disease, condition or defect.

Applauding him due to the person he is scolding does not make the letter any more noble, courageous or praiseworthy. The suggestion that Coulter is a bully is erroneous and totally subjective. The suggestion by Stephens that Coulter means to belittle people like him is clearly untrue. As I said, any word used to question the intelligence of another does as much if one wishes to believe it so.

So I must ask again, what makes Stephens noble, courageous, gracious or any of the other adjectives mentioned simply for telling Coulter he doesn't like when people use the word "retard" as an epithet? It's obviously because of his condition and the person he is scolding. That's shamefully patronizing. Unless you have some other explanation.

Marshall Art said...

BTW, I'd love to debate with Parklife as well. It's too bad he chooses to engage in drive-by, substance and humor-free less-than-wise cracking at my blog.

Dan Trabue said...

As I've already said, Marshall...

My post was in praise of a young man who spoke out against a bully and did so elegantly, respectfully, and in such a manner that allowed the offender to save face and be welcomed in as a comrade, rather than demonized as an enemy. I thought we all could learn from such great wisdom.

This would be true regardless of who Mr Stephens was and who Ms Coulter was.

And as you could learn from Mr Stephens, it is Down Syndrome, not "Downs" Syndrome.

Marshall, aren't you the one who destroyed a relationship with a niece or some family member because she used a curse word online? If so, you obviously have a sense that some words are offensive and/or inappropriate.

Which makes me wonder where you draw the line and on what basis? Is calling Obama a "nigger" okay with you? You appear to think that people shouldn't take offense at "retard." Those are two terribly offensive words that have been used to malign folk for years, but that does not appear to matter to you.

So, where do you draw the line and on what basis?

Marshall Art said...

I'm well aware, Dan, of the correct full term of the condition. I am also well aware that it is common amongst those who deal with family members so afflicted to refer to it as "Downs" (which simply comes from a slurring of the two words. To say "a Downs baby" is very common.)

I did not destroy any relationship with my niece over her unladylike use of profane language. She merely "de-friended" me on Facebook. I've spoken to her several times since that sorry event.

But it's nice that after over 70 comments, someone has finally decided to actually ask me what my opinion is regarding the use of such terms.

To begin, I definitely don't want to feel that I must constantly weigh my words so as not to offend the fragile sensibilities of those who in fact default to outrage over the use of certain terms rather than to deal with what ever real issue is on the table. It is very common with you and most of the lefties with whom I engage on the blogs. It is extremely common amongst the lefties in media and in the political world. The false outrage is intended to demonize and thus is far worse than any casual use of a slang term or profane or obscene word.

That being said, I do not find the use of any derogatory word or term to be "OK", even when I do so myself. I do, however, believe there are times when some words, even the worst, can be appropriately descriptive and efficient in conveying the desired meaning, as most everyone is aware of how the terms are commonly used. That still does not make it "OK", but like anger, and raising one's voice, it will get someone's attention.

The problem is with the recipient. Will that person get the message in a way that will allow a civil dialogue to then proceed? If the recipient is an honorable and honest person, confident in his own self, then yes. If the recipient is less so, then we will see the focus put upon those nasty words instead to avoid the real issue.

Throughout the bulk of my comments previous, my point has focused on the other side. For any word to be "terribly offensive", one must be offended. THAT is an issue that needs addressing as much as the issue of using improper language. WHY does anyone take offense at the use of such words?

Marshall Art said...

For those like Stephens, it is clear that Coulter had no thought of the mentally challenged. That is to say, no thought of offending them by her use of the term. There was no bullying going on, for sure. HER intention was to question Obama's intelligence. As the above definition clearly shows, to use the terms is to indicate that an otherwise "normal" person is displaying behavior one could expect from a truly "mentally retarded" person. That is to say, it indicates that the user had higher expectations that the other person clearly failed to meet. When a child of yours makes a mistake and you say, "Well, child, THAT wasn't very bright!", are you not questioning her in the very same way? Of course you are. The fact that you chose "nicer" terms does not diminish the fact that the child displayed behavior that you'd expect from a less intelligent, normal, mentally challenged person.

What does this mean to the truly mentally challenged? Nothing. Nothing at all. If one like Stephens takes offense, he should have been raised not to. Do we not teach our children the old "sticks and stones" message?

People are too sensitive and others aren't sensitive but use such situations to attack the one using such terms, not because they care about the words used, but for reasons totally unrelated but more difficult to deal with.

Sure, we all need to clean it up. But I have little trouble looking beyond the words used into the people using them and it isn't all that difficult to see the quality of the person, whether they are really cool or assholes, regardless of their style of speech. Coulter is no bully. You don't like her politics, so you hate her style.

Finally, you can eliminate the word "retard", but that doesn't change what some people unfortunately are. If a word is adopted by some for use as an epithet, its replacement will soon be used in the same manner. Don't forget: "retard" replaced "idiot" and "moron".

All my life, friends, family and acquaintances have called me and each other all sorts of nasty things. Not a single word used has any effect compared to a true expression of displeasure or dislike. What words are used to do the expressing never matter as much. To take offense at the words themselves really misses the point of what is truly being expressed.