The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
It's easy when you get to make up your own definitions.
I didn't go see.
Was it "Blue Meanies"?
No. The more pedestrian "Fascists."
That was posted by Markadelphia?
It's his blog.
He's smarter than that.
If America is a fascist country;
-why aren't the Minutemen a government-sanctioned & funded organization instead of being labelled "vigilantees" by the president?
-why are anti-war protests still happening?
-why aren't Code Pink members jailed (especially the one who got in Ms. Rice's face with bloody hoofprints; you'd think she'd be in a prison medical ward from all the beatings she received as she was pulled away by the Capitol Police)?
-why have anti-war documentries like "Fahrenheit 9-11" been seen by thousands of people instead of being censored and destroyed?
-why is Cindy Sheehan a media figure?
-why are people like Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer, Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, etc, et-al still in the public eye and with the exception of Al Gore, still in positions of political power, instead of in concentration camps or dead because they're political enemies?
-why aren't Islamic and Arabic citizens & naturalized aliens, as well as all Hispanic illegal aliens, being rounded up en-mass, put in huge detainment camps, and being deported to other countries on airplaines running 24-7 to do so?
If fascism is the state using its power to beat people down and force its will, then either present-day America is not facsist, or if this is a fascist nation, it sucks at implimenting fascism. The American state apparatus is not effectively using its power to beat down its people and enforce its will upon us.
Well, thanks Bilgeman, at least someone thinks I'm smart, although I don't know how true that is...
I put that up on my blog because we have had an ongoing debate over the last few weeks, in comments...some of it very funny, over how some conservatives seemingly stray into fascism. A regular poster there, a conservative, even joked that he was going to "sulk in the corner with the other fascists." So it was only semi serious.
And I have been ordered to think, write, and express myself in an oddly rigid way by Unix and DJ, which is interesting considering I hold them to be two of the best (and I am NOT being sarcastic)champions, next to Kevin of course, of individual freedom.
I actually think true conservatism is government out of people's lives--that includes socially--and that somehow we have gotten away from that. Far way...While I think it is true that liberals also stray into dictatorial waters, the current leadership of this country (and followers)are way out of hand. And, even stranger still, some people here defend them and their actions, calling it justified in the name of national security.
In the same way that Hilter (and of course the select comfort mattress of Goodwin's Law will come into play here, natch), convinced his country that certain groups of people were enemies of the state, so do conservatives these days of liberals, socialsists, communists, Muslims, immigrants etc...do you see my point? It's the fear of the "other" and the complete lack of understanding of the intricacies of other cultures that have gotten us to this point.
It is this point of fear and ignorance that will ultimately be our downfall, if we're not careful.
"In the same way that Hilter convinced his country that certain groups of people were enemies of the state, so do conservatives these days of liberals, socialsists, communists, Muslims, immigrants etc..."
Firstly, Socialist and Communists ARE enemies of the state by definition. Those political philosophies cannot coexist with a Constitutional Republic that runs on capitalism.
Secondly, I think you are unfair to characterize conservatives as people who consider immigrants enemies of the state. I do not know of one conservative political figure who has ANY problem with immigration. Illegal immigration is a different issue entirely, and I do not see how you can call one who wants our country to enforce our immigration laws a fascist.
Some people are so deeply embedded that they really see Communism and Socialism as just harmless belief-systems and idealistic thought experiments - things that should really be "in quotes," and that in no material way do they affect who we are as a nation itself or alter the landscape - but somehow Fascism does that each and every time and is driven by Capitalism.
The genius in Marxist rhetoric was to tie Capitalism to fascism despite its real roots based in Communism.
"And I have been ordered to think, write, and express myself in an oddly rigid way by Unix and DJ, which is interesting considering I hold them to be two of the best (and I am NOT being sarcastic)champions, next to Kevin of course, of individual freedom."
The only constraints that I have seen them expect of you is to use facts and reason rather than emotion, and the only consequence you would face for not doing so is ridicule, not imprisonment or a beatdown. You're free - and always have been - to express yourself however you choose, with the caveat that if you're too offensive, Mr Baker will boot you from his blog. Hardly fascist, sir.
In the same way that Hilter convinced his country that certain groups of people were enemies of the state, so do conservatives these days of liberals, socialsists, communists, Muslims, immigrants etc..."
Immigrants aren't the problem. I'm an immigrant myself (still waiting to hear about my citizenship application) and consider myself quite conservative. Illegal immigration is the problem - you know, those guys who cut in line, right past us law-abiding folks who have to wait FIVE YEARS (and pay quite handsomely) to get a green card. But you know all that already, Mark - it just suits you to paint conservatives as xenophobic.
And this, folks, is why he hasn't been booted: because we get to see someone seriously claim that people expecting you to have something to your claims other than whatever shit pops into your head and feels good is THE MAN keeping you DOWN in a TOTALLY FASCIST WAY. And that's the funniest damn thing I've seen in weeks.
America is a fascist country when CNN uses six planted Democrat operatives to ask "questions" in a Presidential debate posing as, "Ordinary people, undecided voters."
Who include; the former political director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, a well-known antiwar activist, a local Union official, an Islamic leader who's been on CNN before, a political communications intern for Senator Harry Reid, and a radical Chicano separatist who, "(we) worked in sync... with the local and state Democratic Party to inform many people about the importance of voting..."
"Ordinary people, undecided voters." - riiiight... And the Fringe Left claims that The Media is a big Right-Wing manipulator...
Dirt, do you really want to go down the path of planted questions by operatives?
Lab, there is plenty behind my claims. You just don't want to see it because it's all evil liberal propaganda.
Kevin, there are plenty of liberals that are xenophobic as well. But if you look at poll after poll, the issues of terrorism, immigration, and economy/welfare are the most important to conservatives.
"expect of you is to use facts and reason rather than emotion"
The facts that are pre-approved by them, of course :)
"Kevin, there are plenty of liberals that are xenophobic as well. But if you look at poll after poll, the issues of terrorism, immigration, and economy/welfare are the most important to conservatives."
Wow, completely missed Kevin's point didn't you? I assume you do understand there is legal and illegal immigration, right? Conservatives want to stop illegal immigration and reform legal immigration. When you see immigration, does your brain just immediately say "Conservatives don't want immigration."? How do you miss these points so completely?
I am still amazed at reading your arguments which always seem to revert to "default" even after being destroyed by logical arguments. Kind of like restoring an image to a computer.
Your "default" is not letting you progress.
I guess it's all just a big consiracy of shadowy operatives, mirror-halls, and false-flag operations that we'll never be able to unravel, and that's what really drives the Islamists crazy about us and makes them want to kill us, since they didn't really do it with airplanes.
Oh, yes, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that you can never provide sources that aren't just somebody else spouting opinion, that your arguments fall apart at the slightest whiff of logic, or that you repeatedly have admitted that when you use a word you give it an entirely new meaning to suit your own purposes, it's because it's scary liberal stuff!
Meanwhile, you repeatedly accuse "conservatives" of "language manipulation", framing, dishonesty, a refusal to ever admit they were wrong, and an inability to give something a serious assessment if it is thought to represent the other side's point of view. Oh yes, and of fascism, which is by definition the subversion of individual rights to the collective State, which you argue is the logical extension of "personal responsibility". More transparent projection I could not have ever possibly invented.
I'm really beginning to wonder if you're even real, but given the length of your blog's history, that'd be pretty far for someone to go to setup a Strawman Liberal.
Well, thanks Bilgeman, at least someone thinks I'm smart, although I don't know how true that is...
You know that reminds of one of Churchill's better quips; when someone remarked about a particular MP "that he was a modest fellow", Churchill's rejoinder was "he has a lot to be modest about".
Okay, where to begin on this.
Let's start with definitions - this is a favorite passtime of the Left and something that the Right cannot allow. The re-definition of words is an old dodge - "He who controls the terms of the debate, controls the debate."
Fascism is a method, not strictly an ideology. Nazis were fascist, but socialist - in the same realm as the communists. The were NOT Right wing in the American sense. They operated with a great deal of central power and planning.
The Nazis wanted to control all aspects of life. They registered and later confiscated personal firearms (with those convienent registration lists). Does this level of control sound familiar? Wait for it....
No Soda in Schools.
No Trans Fats.
... on and on ...
And oh yes, no guns. Especially no guns!!!
Before some lefty goes off and has a hissy fit I am NOT a gun owner. I barely know which is the dangerous end. I do, however, think that it essential to liberty that folks who want to be armed are allowed to with no infringment.
Ahem.. enough of that.
So given that fascism is a method, is it well applied to Islamic radicals?
Is it truly applicable to Bush or Cheney? Have there been any activities out of the Administration remotely resembling the true horror of life under Hitler or the Imams of Iran? Have folks been rounded up, imprisoned and shot? Enemy combatants and terrorists yes, but citizens? In Iran don't get raped or murder will follow (the execution of the VICTIM). Women in Iran do not live well and free.
To make this current Administration out to be fascist, one must conclude that the prior occupants were pure evil. They did turn the power of government against their enemies in ways the current have not dreamed of.
Now that we are done with throwing stuff at each other, can we agree that labels do not make policy?
To make good policy, one must first understand the facts and then construct actions which will achieve the desired outcome. Consequences must be considered and allowed for. But first, facts - not propaganda and flames.
This sort of thing is for people who have spent their lives being coddled, safe in their pretty warm little houses, enjoying the freedoms that were won for them by others. They have no idea what fascism is, what suffering is...
It is an uneducated person's version of "making a statement". Pick the ugliest sounding word (fascist! Nazi!) and apply it to the opposition. Pathetic and repugnant, all in one!
Actually, Breda, I am all too aware at what fascism is and what kind of suffering is endured under said system. It is my contention that those of us who point out these tendencies of the right are hoping to prevent our country from slipping further in that direction.
I am not trying to win any argument. I am simply pointing out that we are straying into territory that has, in the past, lead to fascism.
Rob, I gently suggest that if you want answers to your questions you go out and do some research. Take some time and read what the "loonies" are saying. I don't agree with all of it but I think you'll find that the answer is YES to many of your questions.
Markadelphia - I still want you to define "marginalized." It's in use so much, but I've never seen it applied correctly, or even if a made-up word such as "marginalized" can even be used correctly.
Again, what should the penalty be, in federal (or even state and local) court for "First Degreee Marginalization?" Surely, something so terrible as to be used as a sure sign of opression by all the left MUST carry some penalty. Surely it's criminal. It just has to be.
Otherwise it's BS. I claim BS, but that's just me.
I am not sure what questions you are referring to; my rhetorical questions? They were a challenge to show proof. Not the Rosie O'Donut "Metal doesn't melt" kind of proof - which is not proof but simple ignorance of structrual reality.
My point was that both ends of the loonie scale are just that - loonie.
I think the Right is better at disowning their loonies than the Left.
When news organizations make up the news and/or present it with a decidedly "loonie slant" is that real reporting? When Hannity interviewed the Phelps Pholks he was clear in his distancing.
Is there not an obvious difference here? The MSM does not distance itself, but Rather (as in Dan Rather) embraces the extreme. Fox (Center/CenterRight) does point out a loonie as such on both ends of the spectrum.
So, if like any good prof we throw out the extremes and keep with the std deviation (rather than the std deviants B-) ) can we take a dispassionat look at issues and come up with solutions?
As long as either side brings baggage and fails to address facts, the other side will simply sit back, point at the baggage and laugh/ridicule/take a nap.....
It is my contention that those of us who point out these tendencies of the right are hoping to prevent our country from slipping further in that direction.
I've often heard how our country is on the brink of becoming an authoritarian regime - usually from people who would prefer it to be totalitarian.
Yes, Juris. It seems to be a case of "I don't want You to tell me how to live my life! I SHOULD BE TELLING YOU HOW TO LIVE YOURS!"
After all, the authoritarians are greedy, selfish, and nasty. They are caring, sharing, and fair. Their truncheons are environmentally friendly and cause 30% less bruising!
To me, marginalized means that conservatives have redefined what liberalism means in this country. And the Democrats, spineless turds that they are, have let them do it.
Some of you here believe that liberals/Democrats would ruin this country. At least 30 million Americans believe outright lies about liberals. There are so many to mention that I don't even know where to begin. Pick one and I will show how the bullshit machine starts to crank.
I think it is important to remember that in any dictatorship, the first things you do is control the message and distort the image of your opponent by appealing to fear. That's how they do it. I covered this topic here
Conservatives have done an excellent job of this for the past ten years, although it is starting to wane slightly...and thankfully.
Robb, well, you're going to get no argument from me about Rosie and Rather. I agree with Rosie politically but loathe her so deeply personally that I can't stand to listen to her. And I have never forgiven, nor will I forgive, Dan Rather for insisting that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman (just because of his titanic journalistic hubris), although I do know for a fact that the story about Bush's time in the guard was true even if the documents were false.
And the answer to your question is yes. Absolutely YES!! I think that is exactly what Obama is trying to do but this goes back to what I said above. Some people will tune him out straight away because he is an evil liberal.
I would really love to eject a veritable ton of people on the left from the capsule. Believe it or not, they are way MORE irritating to me than Unix or DJ :)
conservatives have redefined what liberalism means in this country
Sorry, Mark, but the Socialists did that by co-opting the word.
I think it is important to remember that in any dictatorship, the first things you do is control the message and distort the image of your opponent by appealing to fear.
Again, I invite you to study the works of Antonio Gramsci.
I do know for a fact that the story about Bush's time in the guard was true even if the documents were false.
Ah yes, "Fake but Accurate." And your evidence is...? Wait! It's in that CNN video no one but you got to see, isn't it? At this point I'm not sure you could recognize a fact if it bit you on the ass.
Besides, I thought that avoiding military service in Vietnam was something admirable to the left? Shouldn't you be applauding Bush for his skill at it?
"Shouldn't you be applauding Bush for his alleged skill at it?"
There. I fixed it for you.
No, no, DJ! He knows it for a fact!
I said I fixed it for you, not for him. One cannot fix dogma.
No doubt, Clinton is a draft dodger. Bush served in the military, true, but his father pulled strings and got him out of going to Vietnam. He went into the guard to avoid combat and his dad didn't want his son killed, like any good father would. Bush also failed to show up on several occasions for his Guard duty.
Personally, I don't have a problem with this. Vietnam was a gigantic mistake from day one and if Kennedy had not been killed, would not have unfolded into the FUBAR that it became. So, if Bush wanted to skip out, that's cool by me. The problem I have is when he (and supporters), in glorious monumental hypocrisy, accuse the left of being cowards, weak etc...
I believe the term is called chickenhawk and that's exactly what Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh etc are...
Mark, when (and I want a citation, even if I have to go to the library to look it up) has Bush accused the left of being cowards?
Cite it. Show me.
Now I can find innumerable instances where the Left has accused supporters of the war who did not or have not served in the military of being "chickenhawks." Yours is but one example.
You do know what a chickenhawk is, don't you? A predatory bird that feeds on chickens, mice and rats? I'm quite proud to call myself a "KeeBee"
What do you call members of the military who support the war in Iraq? Or the families of the dead and wounded who do? Oh, right, idiots, saps, dupes and other assorted insults.
I guess that "ultimate moral authority" thing only works if you're opposed to the war.
Interestingly, when I Googled "Bush Left Cowards", I came up with one example of a leftist saying that Bush called the left cowards, and about a billion of leftists calling Bush, Cheney, Republicans in general, service members, and leftists who do not show adequately rabid anti-warness cowards.
"Cite it. Show me."
How about the entire 2004 campaign? Sure it wasn't Bush that came out specifically and said "Kerry is a traitor" but everyone on his side did. I recall him giving a speech in which he said that he gets attacked to in ads and then he turned and sort of winked at someone off to the side of the stage.
He also has more subtle ways of calling the left cowards. He says things like "Support me or perish in a mushroom cloud" setting himself apart from his opponents and casting them as weak on defense. It's the classic logical fallacy, appeal to fear, and he does it all the time.
Sure it wasn't Bush that came out specifically...
Gotta love faith. Who needs facts when you got faith.
"To me, marginalized means that conservatives have redefined what liberalism means in this country. And the Democrats, spineless turds that they are, have let them do it."
Let me get this straight. When you bust out the marginalized card, all you're saying is that people's value systems are being redefined? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is the best you can come up with? So, in other words, "marginalized" is a word that really means nothing but has a cool "bad" feel to it. Almost like a curse-word... but not. Like we're being judged... but we're not.
Did you even really think about your definition? Here I was expecting something like "Marginalized means verbally oppressed" or some other un-provable verbal tomfoolery.
Your definition kinda puts all your postings in a new light. Too bad, eh?
Markadelphia: "The problem I have is when he (and supporters), in glorious monumental hypocrisy, accuse the left of being cowards..."
Me: ""Cite it. Show me."
Markadelphia: "Sure it wasn't Bush that came out specifically and said 'Kerry is a traitor'..."
You accuse Bush - DIRECTLY - of calling the Left "cowards." I challenge you on it, and you A) change the breadth of the accusation from "the Left" to "Kerry," B) you change the accusation from calling "coward" to "traitor", and C) you acknowledge you have no evidence of EITHER ACCUSATION!
And you can't understand why your logical, reasoned, well-documented arguments here JUST AREN'T GETTING THROUGH TO THE NEANDERTHAL CONSERVATIVES?
Nor do you understand why we DON'T RESPECT YOUR OPINIONS.
(I know typing in all caps doesn't help reality penetrate your brain, but I can't seem to help myself.)
Newsflash, Mark: We're not all Bush-bots. We think, reason, and research for ourselves. We come to our own conclusions. Amazingly enough, our conclusions tend to coincide! And they tend to be diametrically opposed to those of the Left on the majority of topics. On a few things we have some agreement, but those are few and far between.
I am reminded once again of the words of Robert Godwin:
(F)or the person who is not under the hypnotic psycho-spiritual spell of contemporary liberalism, it is strikingly devoid of actual religious wisdom or real ideas. As such, it is driven by vague, spiritually infused ideals and feelings, such as "sticking up for the little guy," or "war is not the answer." On the other hand, conservatism is not so much based on ideas, but on simply observing what works, and then generalizing from there. It is actually refreshingly free of dogma, and full of dynamic tension. For example, at the heart of conservatism is an ongoing, unresolvable dialectic between freedom and virtue. In other words, there is a bedrock belief in the idea that free markets are the best way to allocate scarce resources and to create wealth and prosperity for all, but a frank acknowledgment that, without a virtuous populace, the system may produce a self-centered, materialistic citizenry living in a sort of degenerate, "pitiable comfort." Thus, there is an ongoing, unresolvable tension between the libertarian and traditional wings of the movement.
There is no such dynamic tension in liberalism. Rather, it is a top-down dogma that is not dictated by what works, but by how liberals would like reality to be. This is why liberalism must be enforced with the mechanism of political correctness, in order to preempt or punish those who deviate from liberal dogma, and see what they are not supposed to see.
Try seeing what you're not supposed to see, sometime, Mark. There's a whole freaking world out there.
I've now got a little scrolling counter in my head that makes a "ding!" noise every time Markadelphia reveals that he's chosen to ENTIRELY redefine a word, concept, or source in order to use the scary language he wants to.
Any of you code-heads want to make one? Kevin could put it under the "Axis of Asshole" graphic, perhaps...
Markadelphia: "Bush also failed to show up on several occasions for his Guard duty."
Me: Bullshit. Here's proof:
Bush's military records from a FOIA request
An explanation of the points system used by the ANG
Bush's career points. He was required to earn a minimum of 50 points each year. According to the military records, he earned 253, 340, 137, and 112 in each year he served.
You can't confuse Markadelphia with facts, Ed! His fact is superior to all of yours because he cares! (And you're just another lying neo-con Bush-bot!)
Funny, Kevin, because I think there is no dynamic tension in conservatism, just dogma. There is only one way to view things, only one way a word is defined, and only one way to express yourself. And if you don't, then you must be wrong!! And I must be right!! Or Right!
I also think that there is a...what was it again?....a "hypnotic psycho-spiritual spell of contemporary" CONSERVATISM. It really boggles my mind that conservatives continually behaving in the same way they do.
A great example is our exchange above. You know full well that Bush (et al) in very subtle ways manipulates language to make the left look weak on defense. He banks on his "tough guy" image and has people around him that tell him what to say and do to perpetuate that image. It's all part of the process of lies. If I make a statement like "Bush accuses the left of being weak and/traitors" why does it be completely and utterly literal?
As far as Bush's service goes, my facts aren't superior..I just have a different experience set with this story than, I suspect, all of you do. It is for that reason that I am extremly comfortable in knowing exactly what happened.
Oops...it should be "conservatives accuse liberals of behaving the same way they do."
"Bush served in the military, true, but his father pulled strings and got him out of going to Vietnam."
PROVE IT, INSTEAD OF JUST RECITING DOGMA, you blithering idiot.
President Bush's CO (that's "Commanding Officer") has stated otherwise, and in plain English. He is believable. You are not.
"Bush also failed to show up on several occasions for his Guard duty."
President Bush's military records have been released, Mark, all of them. They show that he fulfilled all of his guard training requirements.
You don't know jack shit about the National Guard, do you, Mark? I had no choice but to learn a few things about it. My father was an officer in it for seventeen years, resigning only to join the Regular Army. He was attending the Command and General Staff school when he died.
The National Guard trains, Mark. That's all it does, unless and until it is mobilized, either for a local emergency (such as hurricane relief) or a national emergency (such as war).
A member of the National Guard thus has certain requirements that must be met. If the member meets those requirements, then he has fulfilled his obligations thereto. Chief among those requirements is minimum training hours per year. President Bush exceeded those requirements, Mark, all of them. His records show that quite clearly.
But that just doesn't fit the leftist dogma, does it?
""Cite it. Show me."
How about the entire 2004 campaign?"
Yet again, you respond to a request for facts that we can verify ourselves with opinion. You really don't understand the difference, do you?
Funny, Kevin, because I think there is no dynamic tension in conservatism, just dogma."
You don't understand the concept of dogma, Mark. Or are you just redefining words again?
Let's try Wikipedia, shall we? Yeah, it's suspect, but they get it right this time:
"Dogma ... is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization, thought to be authoritative AND NOT TO BE DISPUTED OR DOUBTED. While in the context of religion the term is largely descriptive, outside of religion its current usage tends to carry a pejorative connotation referring to concepts as being "established" only according to a particular point of view, and thus one of doubtful foundation. This pejorative connotation is even stronger with the term dogmatic, used to describe a person of rigid beliefs WHO IS NOT OPEN TO RATIONAL ARGUMENT." (My emphasis added, including caps.)
YOU keep asserting opinions that you don't, won't, and/or cannot justify by citing proof. WE keep asking for proof, for justification that we can verify. ALL YOU OFFER IS DOGMA, and you have the gall to accuse us of what you exhibit yourself and we demonstrably don't?
Your hypocrisy is unbounded. You've demonstrated that conclusively.
It's not hypocrisy, DJ. It's projection.
You know full well that Bush (et al) in very subtle ways manipulates language to make the left look weak on defense. - Markadelphia.
From Don Surber yesterday:
I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq.- Harry Reid, 4/19/07
The proposal being considered by the administration to add between 15,000 and 30,000 soldiers in a ‘surge’ of American troops will do nothing to address this issue. - Chris Dodd, 12/24/06
The proposed surge in troops 'is a sad, ominous echo of something we've lived through in this country.' - Dick Durbin, 1/5/07
What was striking to me in listening to all the testimony that was provided, was the almost near unanimity that the president's strategy will not work. - Barack Obama, 1/24/07
I tell you what: I'm confident it will not work. - John Kerry, same day.
The surge was supposed to bring stability, essential to political reconciliation and economic reconstruction. It has not and it will not. - Ted Kennedy, 5/1/07
The surge has not worked and will not work because its basic premise - to give time for a strong central government to take hold - is fatally flawed. - Joe Biden, 6/1/07
Boy, Bush sure is subtle!
I suppose "the surge will not work!" isn't dogma, either?
Well, let's see now ...
The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
a. The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others
b. The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or desires to someone or something as a naive or unconscious defense against anxiety or guilt.
Yup, you're right, Kevin. I think that both character traits are applicable to Mark in spades, but in this instance, projection is a much better explanation of his behavior.
But there's more to it than both of those problems.
Social psychologists tell us that belief systems are, in great measure, defense mechanisms that allow us to survive without drowning from the cognitive overload of processing the data we are continuously presented with and the requirements that are made of us. It is similar to the body's ability to walk without having to think about how to walk while walking.
In many ways, that it is a good thing, but it can easily become simply a springboard for jumping to conclusions, i.e. a mechanism for avoiding what Judge Learned Hand called "the intolerable labor of thought." It is the mechanism by why dogma becomes gospel, whether the subject be religion, baseball, or politics. At its worst, it is such extreme mental laziness, coupled with a tender ego that cannot suffer the admission of fundamental error, that lead to the blind acceptance of a proposition because "some dude says so" and the defense of that proposition by noting that "some other dude says so". Indeed, such is the antithesis of intelligent thought.
Mark practices this fault as if it were a virtue. It is the core failure that we witness in most of his blatherings here. He has claimed to teach his students to think critically, yet he gives scant evidence of being able or willing to do so personally. Instead, he spouts dogma, and he defends it by spouting yet more dogma, by pointing out that others like him spout the same dogma, and by accusing us of spouting opposing dogma. When we ask for facts that we can verify so we can separate reality from bullshit, he gives no evidence at all that he understands what our request is, or, most significantly, why we make it. He exhibits almost no evidence of how our thought processes work, and so how how they differ from his.
It buggers the mind, but Social Psychologists tell us that such belief systems almost never change. The combination of mental laziness and ego inflation that gives rise to such systems prevent the execution of mental effort and admission of fault required to change them.
Mark is a classic case study, suitable for a textbook.
The part of his "response" I find most humorous?
It really boggles my mind that conservatives continually behaving(sic) in the same way they do.
Of that I have no doubt. He can't figure us (even me, the non-conservative) out! But we have him pegged, and, as LabRat (or was it Sarah?) once put it, can make his arguments for him better than he can do it himself.
You are correct that Markadelphia is representative of a stereotype. However, aside from one incident where he really pissed me off, he has been largely inoffensive (although excruciatingly frustrating at times). He is the condescending liberal, rather than the angry model.
I am reminded of another quote, this one from P.J. O'Rourke:
The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things, war and hunger and date rape, liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
Whereas we are incomprehensibly selfish, greedy, meanies who are willing to send other people's children off to die in George Bush's IMPERIALIST WAR FOR OIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!!! And Haliburton. And Blackwater.
It's inconceivable! ;)
"PROVE IT, INSTEAD OF JUST RECITING DOGMA"
I don't have to prove anything to you, DJ. I'm happy and quite comfortable knowing what happened. The truth is out there (sorry :) had to get that one in there) if you want to go look for it. But you have to want to....
Your defintion of dogma pretty much sums up the Bush Administration and some conservatives these days. I say some because Ron Paul, with whom I disagree on several things, at least understands what true conservatism is and how far away many have moved from it. I am not trapped by liberal dogma. I know full well that shortcomings and traps that they continually fall into. It is extremely irritating.
"George Bush's IMPERIALIST WAR FOR OIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!!! And Haliburton. And Blackwater."
I have offered up the film Why We Fight (2005 d: Eugene Jarecki) as evidence that this is true. I would also point to the film Breakdown (2007 d: Joanne Tucker (and regular poster on my blog)) as containing fact based evidence that this is completely true. Have any of you watched these films? Will you?
If you refuse to watch, then I would take that to mean that you are unwilling to learn the truth and everything you accuse me of...you are in fact guilty of the same projection/hypocrisy mentioned above.
I've read everything you guys send along (save for God and Gold but I will, it's on my Christmas list) and I agree with a few of the points. For the most part, though, it lacks perspective and contains an inherent disdain, in the form of a one hundred foot stone wall, of anything remotely off conservative dogma.
You see, I get the conservaitve ideaology. I don't completely subscribe to it because it lacks depth. I get the liberal ideaology but I don't completely subscribe to it because it is terribly naive. So, I have my own ideaology...Markadelphiology...the first tenet of which is to be open minded.
Which is why I am here....
1) I don't have to prove anything to you, DJ. I'm happy and quite comfortable knowing what happened.
2) So, I have my own ideaology...Markadelphiology...the first tenet of which is to be open minded.
Mark, you're not here to be open-minded.
You're here to preach to the heathen. ;)
“A great example is our exchange above. You know full well that Bush (et al) in very subtle ways manipulates language to make the left look weak on defense.”
Here’s the funny part; Bush doesn’t have to do anything to make the left look weak on defense. The left does just fine when they open their mouths. From the Copperheads of the Lincoln era to today’s “It’s a loss” chorus, the left has show itself to be quite willing to scuttle any effort to actually win a war. Why do I say this? Well, the left had a perfect opportunity to keep some moral high ground when it came to the conflict in Iraq. How? When the left said there weren’t enough troops in Iraq, they were right. When Bush and Co. did put more troops in Iraq (like the left had rightly been complaining about for years), the left immediately attacked the tactic before it even had a chance to start.
What does that tell you?
“He banks on his "tough guy" image and has people around him that tell him what to say and do to perpetuate that image. It's all part of the process of lies.”
Process? What process? Another unfounded accusation. Nice. It’s all lies if you don’t agree. Not a mistake, a different set of principals, or even anything else. It’s a lie. Besides, my 3 year old nephew looks tough compared to the bilge coming out of the mouths of the left. It doesn’t really take much to look tough when your only competition is the Democratic leadership.
“If I make a statement like "Bush accuses the left of being weak and/traitors" why does it be completely and utterly literal?”
Why? Because the unfounded accusation is the hallmark of the left. Please state EXACTLY where President bush said ANY such thing. Otherwise, you’re full of BS.
“You see, I get the conservative ideology. I don't completely subscribe to it because it lacks depth.”
How would you know about the depth? You’ve quite shown that you don’t know how to swim and that you're quite comfortable not learning.
Annnnd the Humor Hit Parade just keeps on rolling.
Dude. If you base all your opinions first and foremost on how you feel about something, if you consider it unreasonable to demand accuracy in definitions or fact, and you refuse to apply any logical standards of reasoning, by definition you cannot be open-minded!
Open-mindedness requires a willingness and ability to consider an argument on its merits, how it conforms to fact and for its logical soundness, REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT AND REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PERSON MAKING IT. It doesn't matter if you hold a few opinions that are outside "The Man's", unless you can do that they're just different ways of feeling about something!
If you base all your opinions on how things "should" be and how things and people make you feel, you are every single bit as closed-minded as the most racist redneck who ever attended a bedsheet-clad necktie party. And every single bit as unlikely to change your mind.
"make the left look weak on defense. The left does just fine when they open their mouths"
Actually, I disagree. If you take a look at recent history, it is the Republican party that continually gets elected on a platform of peace. Eisenhower got elected with the promise to get us out of Korea. Nixon got elected with the promise to fix Vietnam. Reagan got elected with promises of peace through strength.
And even my pal W said that the US was not interested in nation building. True, some of these presidents changed their minds when they got elected, but they won largely because they spoke of peace.
Nixon got elected with the promise to fix Vietnam.
No, I believe the promise was "peace with dignity," not "to fix Vietnam." Did we or did we not leave Vietnam during Nixon's presidency? Was South Vietnam not holding its own until the (Democratic) Congress cut off funding supporting that nation?
Reagan got elected with promises of peace through strength.
Um, "Cold War"? "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"? Worked out pretty good, didn't it? Our primary enemy during Reagan's presidency was the Soviet Union. Last I checked there is no Soviet Union, and it didn't cost us a single armored division!
And we (as a nation) weren't interested in nation-building. Here's Bush's quote from November, 2000:
Let me tell you what else I'm worried about: I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our view of the military is for our military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.
His opponent would be Al Gore. Gore's (and Clinton's) nation building efforts were in Somalia, the Balkans, and Haiti. Excuse me, but does the U.S. have any national interests in these locations?
The "neo-cons" argued that nation-building was the only viable alternative to counter the rise of radical Islam in an area where we DO have a vital national interest.
You know, OIIIILLLLLLL!!!!!!
Oil funds radical Islam. We can't not buy it from them. (Well, we CAN, but read on.) Western culture is influencing their societies. They can't keep it out. Conflict is inevitable. So our options there are binary: either do some nation-building based on the belief that human beings everywhere would rather be free, or go medieval on them, occupy their countries and TAKE it.
I believe the latter is what you're arguing we're doing. If so, we're really sucking at it, since gas here is running $2.98/gallon and oil is selling for about $98/bbl last I checked.
Reality has an unfortunate tendency to rear its ugly head.
Having said all that, I think Bush was lying in 2000. (I'm shocked, shocked I say, that a politician on the campaign trail would lie to the media and the public! Shameful! Just shameful!) I believe (and I have said so before if you recall) that Bush had every intention to overthrow Saddam prior to 9/11. The timetable was simply accelerated by it, and the division of forces between Afghanistan and Iraq had not been foreseen.
Bear in mind that NONE of this, nor your attempt to redirect the argument, addresses the quotes from Reid, Dodd, Durban, et al. above, who do a wonderful job of making the Left look weak on defense just by being themselves. Add to that Code Pink, Moveon.org, and the other usual suspects who "support the troops when they frag their officers," and I think your assertion that "making the left look weak on defense" is due to some Machiavellian word manipulation by George W. Bush and the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy is hysterically funny.
With emphasis on hysterical.
Kevin: Well, I suppose if you really believe that saying a thing ("We're strong on defense") makes it so, then obviously people failing to believe you means that someone ELSE has been coming along with BETTER Newspeak.
Thus reducing all of politics to a "Yo momma" contest.
So our options there are binary: either do some nation-building based on the belief that human beings everywhere would rather be free, or go medieval on them, occupy their countries and TAKE it.
Sorry Kevin, but I have to disagree (without agreeing with Markadelphia). We were not in a binary bind, and even if we were, we sure as hell should've hit the snake in the head and not around the tail. If it was about the oil, Chavez would have a lot more to worry about as he is much more vulnerable (being so much more accessible).
And Markadelphia, the reason the Dems run soft on defense is that they have the rap of war starting on their watch, historically speaking, and the more recent embrace of a foolish pacifism rooted in 60s leftism (i.e. whenever the U.S. uses force it must be in the wrong). Sure there are some exceptions, but the Dem's trend that way.
"I don't have to prove anything to you, DJ. I'm happy and quite comfortable knowing what happened.
No, you are happy and quite comfortable believing that you know what happened. I am thoroughly convinced that you really can't tell the difference between knowing and believing, hence you are spectacularly susceptible to dogma.
This deserves a comment all its own, Mark.
Your response to my assertion
"When we ask for facts that we can verify so we can separate reality from bullshit, he gives no evidence at all that he understands what our request is, or, most significantly, why we make it. He exhibits almost no evidence of how our thought processes work, and so how how they differ from his."
"I don't have to prove anything to you, DJ."
which is in perfect agreement with my statement. Thank you for the affirmation.
Actually, I disagree. If you take a look at recent history, it is the Republican party that continually gets elected on a platform of peace. Eisenhower got elected with the promise to get us out of Korea. Nixon got elected with the promise to fix Vietnam. Reagan got elected with promises of peace through strength.
Oddly enough, we're not talking about Nixon, Reagan, Korea, Vietnam, or electoral promises of the past. We're talking about the modern heroes of today's left. Giants of character such as Pelosi, Obama, Kerry, Reid, and others who declare the war lost in the face of substantial evidence that we have the upper hand.
Nice deflection BTW. Ever thought of running for office? You're a natural.
Still, please re-read and attempt to actually answer the question. Were this a test, you would have scored a zero for answering a question not asked.