JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/11/brilliant-bit-of-analysis.html (54 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1257437437-614973  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:10:37 +0000

Thanks for highlighting this, Kevin, and thanks for writing it, Phil.

jsid-1257440486-614984  DJ at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 17:01:26 +0000

Thanks, Phil.

When the time comes, you should start a blog and document it.

jsid-1257445601-614995  Splodge Of Doom at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 18:26:41 +0000

Holy ****.

I know it's bad. But I hadn't really realised HOW bad, until I read that.

I think a large problem is that most people are crippled by "Not My Problem" syndrome. I know that people here can see the problem - I work retail, and I talk to a lot of people. Almost ALL of them will comment on how poorly run the country is, how terrible the justice system is, how flawed the whole country has become.

But talk is all they will do.

The other problem is that the few who WILL do something are... Not what I would call sensible. Black helicopters and tinfoil hats. (See: Philip Luty.)

Thing is, Mr. Luty and his ilk aren't necessarily wrong, but they aren't helpful either.

I wish I had a solution, but I don't.

I am considering completing my education outside the UK, though...

jsid-1257447344-615001  perlhaqr at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 18:55:44 +0000

It's what I've been saying. They're very good at dividing us, and divided we fall.

The good news is, if it really is just a small group of people, if you can unite those opposed, you should be able to vote them out, still. You have to get all of them, though, and blast away the decades of law decay swiftly, though. Use their tactics against them. The courts can't possibly keep up in this direction either.

jsid-1257447702-615003  DirtCrashr at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:01:42 +0000

QUANGOS and by extension the UN's NGO's are the same essential bits. Onto the bonfire.

jsid-1257448405-615005  Sarah at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:13:25 +0000

Excellent piece. I suggest Von Laue's Why Lenin, Why Stalin? to understand why the revolution found relatively quick success in Russia and other backwards places, but is struggling to happen in the West.

Rachel Lucas commented on the state of disgruntledness when she moved to England. As Phil noted, she observed that people are very upset, but that the tendency to inaction on the part of the non-yob population seems borne of two things: 1) culturally-imbued extreme politeness; and 2) a passive sort of resilience that has served them well in the past. For centuries, Brits have weathered countless invasions, the Blitz, etc., and always survived, so the feeling is that they'll weather whatever is going on now just the same. It's simultaneously admirable and distressing. One wonders where the breaking point is, and how bad it will be once it has broke.

As for the point about Markadelphia, it is well made. Whatever lessons were to be learned by any observers to these debates have long since been learned. Time to let this weed wither and die.

jsid-1257449468-615009  Kevin Baker at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:31:08 +0000

...if it really is just a small group of people, if you can unite those opposed, you should be able to vote them out, still."

No, Perl. Read what he wrote:

You must understand the nature of the Politicians, Quangos (Quasi Autonomous Non Governmental Organisations) and the Civil Service (which is neither civil or a servant but a Master). Ministers come and go and are briefed by the civil servants but it is the Civil Service which effectively runs the country.

And "Civil Servants" aren't elected. Neither are the Quangos.

This isn't something that can be fixed through elections any more.

I'm with Sarah - the "stiff upper lip" of the British Bulldog may already be their downfall.

jsid-1257450020-615011  Markadelphia at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:40:20 +0000

Phil, your long comment reminds me of something that Frank Schaeffer wrote recently.

"To be a conservative today is to be an anti-American, nihilistic libertarian know-nothing who believes in unregulated consumerism and the theology of dominion. It is in fact what conservatives of the 60s said the hippies were: selfish brats with no sense of responsibility to anyone. It's also a party of armed revolution not so subtly egging on its lunatic fringe to commit violence. It applauds white rubes who show up at public meetings carrying loaded assault weapons "to make a point" and signs reminiscent of Timothy McVeigh and his famous T-shirt; "the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants" and the like are held up by Murdoch/Beck/Fox and company --- those profiteers off the unregulated market --- as paragons of good sense and free enterprise and gun rights."

Your analysis of myself is...well...psychotic...and that's being kind. I suggest some time at a sanitarium.

jsid-1257450093-615012  Ken at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:41:33 +0000

That just makes your problem bigger, doesn't it?

jsid-1257450450-615013  thebastidge at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 19:47:30 +0000

"When they're that good, it would be a crime not to."

Absolutely concur.

However, it is still important to address Mark's BS, because there are new observers wakign up all the time. The audience is not static, my friends. That's what the lunatic left has over us- they're a youth movement like most classic fascist movements. They're constantly agitating for the attention of new adherents, while the conservative mass is by nature more static. You might think that once you've proven a point, it stays proved. But that's not the way humans are wirde to think. Most people don't have a firm grasp on the underlyign principles, so they can be swayed back and forth by popular sentiment. And as I said, new kids are coming along all the time. A quiet conservative belief in the truth of their position doesn't reach them. It's not enough to expect kids to absorb the truth by osmosis; you haev to discusss it with them, engage them in thinking for themselves, demonstrate principles. The conversation is not over.

jsid-1257452152-615018  Markadelphia at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:15:52 +0000

I will say this, though, Phil...you are right about one thing. People here should spend less energy arguing with me and more energy on action. I submit to all of you that you leave the protective bubble of this blog and start sharing your views with the public at large. Run for school board, city council or even a state or federal position. Better yet, join Michelle Bachmann and storm the halls of Congress.

Please share all of Phil's comments as you do--explaining how anyone who doesn't agree with you is a supporter of Lenin and a communist bent on the destruction of freedom. When they give that funny look...the one that questions your sanity...move along to the next person. They have already been co-opted in the left's power grab for control of the galaxy.

jsid-1257452415-615019  Kevin Baker at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:20:15 +0000

Oh, I'm going to get another post out of this one!

jsid-1257452681-615020  azllibertarian at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:24:41 +0000

A very small quibble....

"...Samuel B Griffiths (an ex- US Marine)...."

Given that Phil is a Brit, this may be forgiven, but "ex-Marines" are not well-respected. "Former Marines" is the more correct usage for someone who left the Corps honorably.

jsid-1257452823-615022  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:27:03 +0000

Your analysis of myself is...well...psychotic...and that's being kind. I suggest some time at a sanitarium.

After that psychotic quote you posted?

(Oh, and the kind, feeling left got rid of sanatariums quite some time ago. )

His analysis of you is at least an analysis. Not something cut and pasted from someone else.

Meanwhile, in the thread that I presume you're now running away from, you claimed there was no middle class now, and there was a time when the middle class that was didn't worry about money. As well as some of your past hits, that employment is slavery, that loans are slavery, that the mortgage market is completely unregulated.

And yet you actually think someone else is psychotic?

Wait, duh, I should have guessed. What do you think psychotic means???

jsid-1257453458-615023  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:37:38 +0000

I submit to all of you that you leave the protective bubble

It might be easier to take you seriously if you weren't so damn stupidly insulting all of the time. (And then you'll be "nice" in a bit and demand "credit" for your "tone".)

Run for school board, city council or even a state or federal position.

Why? What does this prove or improve upon our current situation? (And who's to say we don't and haven't?)

But even aside from this, this shows how utterly intolerant you are, Ralph.

You can't even possibly conceive that that's not the point for most of us. All you can see - like your bitching about our complaints about education is that we should get in the failed system and ... somehow... change it.

(Plus, if we did, you'd call us stupid, and evil and rapists and exploiters, and slavers and... So you're dishonest as well as intolerant. You're reduced to frothing when we make fun of the current bunch of buffoons that you support so readily.)

I'd prefer to stop the failed system. I'd prefer to defund the school boards. Stop the education gravy train that's reduced our children to damn near illiterate drones.

Better yet, join Michelle Bachmann and storm the halls of Congress.

While you mean that as an insult, it's a moving insight into your head. You cannot even possibly conceive of a thought process, a value system, a worldview other than your own. This has been known for some time, but this is the single best example you've ever given of is, and it's wonderful for that.

jsid-1257453831-615024  DJ at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:43:51 +0000

"People here should spend less energy arguing with me and more energy on action."

You should spend less energy here arguing with us and more energy on rearranging your sock drawer.

jsid-1257453903-615025  DJ at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:45:03 +0000

Phil, in your analysis of Markaphasia, perhaps you give him too much credit. I don't know that there is any ulterior motive behind his behavior for the simple reason that I don't believe he is intelligent enough to bring it off. Do not ascribe to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity (if I recall the maxim correctly). His level of stupidity is difficult to fake.

But either way, the result in terms of effect is the same, and for pointing that effect out, you have my salute.

jsid-1257454159-615027  Mastiff at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:49:19 +0000


Did you know that "consumerism" began as a political platform advocated for by one faction within the early Progressive movement?

I refer you to the excellent book by Michael Sandel, "Democracy's Discontent". Prof. Sandel is not a conservative by any stretch, and in fact is one of the early "Communitarians" and a Harvard professor of political philosophy. Meaning that you needn't fear getting icky conservative cooties on your pristine eyeballs, should you dare to read it.

jsid-1257454483-615028  perlhaqr at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 20:54:43 +0000

Kevin: They aren't elected, but they can be fired. Or so I presume. Perhaps that's not true in the UK.

I'm imagining a similar play out here. If you had the presidency and, say, 400 seats in Congress, you could fire every last bastard at all of those three letter agencies we're so fond of.

Surely Parliament at least has the conceivable possibility of defunding those civil service jobs?

jsid-1257457812-615039  Jeff Wood at Thu, 05 Nov 2009 21:50:12 +0000

Perhaqr, One of the institutions that has been thoroughly hollowed out is Parliament.

Forty years ago, MPs were still of the generation who had fought the War and were often independent of mind, regardless of party. Since then they have become shallow careerists who have never done a proper job.

This year they took their collective reputation to a nadir not seen for two centuries, when many, perhaps most, were found to be essentially corrupt, having fiddled their expenses on a grand scale.

They have no power, and what with the European Union we are royally fornicated, at least for a decade or two.

jsid-1257469195-615066  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 00:59:55 +0000

This is priceless: (Emphasis added by me)

Phil, your long comment reminds me of something that Frank Schaeffer wrote recently.

"To be a conservative today is to be an anti-American, nihilistic libertarian know-nothing who believes in unregulated consumerism and the theology of dominion. It is in fact what conservatives of the 60s said the hippies were: selfish brats with no sense of responsibility to anyone.
It's also a party of armed revolution not so subtly egging on its lunatic fringe to commit violence. It applauds white rubes who show up at public meetings carrying loaded assault weapons "to make a point" and signs reminiscent of Timothy McVeigh and his famous T-shirt; "the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants" and the like are held up by Murdoch/Beck/Fox and company --- those profiteers off the unregulated market --- as paragons of good sense and free enterprise and gun rights."

Note that Frank Shaeffer's message consists of three things: 1) Conservatives are stupid. Nothing given to back that statement. 2) Conservatives are selfish. Nothing to back that statement either. Conservatives are quasi-terrorists. That one, the important one with the "fear-shit your pants" message, he tries to back up.

And he does it by using as an example

It applauds white rubes who show up at public meetings carrying loaded assault weapons

in other words, by referring to this guy


who is also the guy in the photo at the top right of the page here


In short, this comment uses as its central point of attack a reference to a deliberately doctored piece of "news".

And Marky quotes it.

Prosecution rests. Thanks Mark, I couldn't have improved on that if my soul depended on it. That is priceless.

jsid-1257470247-615068  Phil B at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 01:17:27 +0000


My apologies for the Social faux pas of calling a Marine who is no longer a serving Marine "Ex".

I should have known better - I have met two Marines who are "former" Marines and those blighters will give up being Marines the day they screw the coffin lid down on them (and even then, I'm not too sure about that ...).

However my comment stands. Sam Griffiths' translation of Sun Tzu is the one I reach for most often (and I have three copies) as I consider it the most clearly and carefully translated version I have to hand and therefore the most easily read and assimilated.


I'd be grateful if you could correct the piece and the comment. I most surely would NOT like to piss the entire USMC off ... >};o)

jsid-1257471482-615075  Kevin Baker at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 01:38:02 +0000

Phil: Done.

jsid-1257471583-615077  azllibertarian at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 01:39:43 +0000

"My apologies for the Social faux pas...."

No apologies necessary. It's one of those small pieces of idiom that you sort of need to be an insider to know the distinction between "ex" and "former". I'm neither a former- or active Marine, but during my (now, ancient) days in the Air Force I crossed paths with enough Marines to understand what grated on their ears. Not wanting to get on their bad side, I learned the distinction.

As I said, it was a very small quibble, and other than that, you crafted an excellent argument.

jsid-1257472705-615079  perlhaqr at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 01:58:25 +0000

Jeff Wood: Again, I may be displaying massive ignorance of the British political system here, but aren't MPs elected?

If enough of the UK realized that the unelected civil service and elected parliament and the Prime Minister were all actively trying to destroy Britain, it seems that it would still be possible (if not very likely) that they could elect enough people to force through repeal of all this nonsense?

(I accept, though, that it may not be very likely at all that enough of the UK actually wants to fix it.)

jsid-1257476333-615085  Kevin Baker at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 02:58:53 +0000

The problem perlhaqr, is that there aren't enough people left who understand what "fixing it" means.

jsid-1257477142-615088  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 03:12:22 +0000

I submit that there actually is such a thing as an "Ex-Marine." But so far as I know, there's only one. His name is John Murtha.

jsid-1257477511-615090  Ken at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 03:18:31 +0000

I'm not sure how likely it is that enough of America actually wants to fix it. It's enough to make a body want to throw in with the secesh. ;)

jsid-1257479695-615099  Lyle at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 03:54:55 +0000

reading the post, I was frequently reminded of the U.S.

"1) The weakening or destruction of the existing State and its institutions

2) The destruction of the existing society so that it can be replaced by the type of society required by the "new" post revolutionary society

3) An inability of the existing institutions to govern or bring about change .

4) The armed forces must be demoralised (sic) and rendered ineffective (including the Police).

5) The "proletariat" must be in a mood for change."

All that's been going on here for a long time.

I'm also reminded of the urgent need to get education out of the hands of the government. That, among all other concerns, is one of the truly key points.

As for marxadelphia and his ilk; there are two kinds of leftists-- the perpetrators and the duped. Ignoring the duped, such as marxadelphia, is likely the best option. Addressing their endless string of irrational assertions is a profound waste of time. If the object is to convince the more open-minded or less committed socialists, then state the very basic principles of liberty, which are all too often ignored or given short shrift in these discussions. Once the basics are understood, the individual regurgitations of the random leftist agitator are more easily dismissed without a word. As for the perps; they know exactly what their doing, and the bit about the grizzly bear comes into play. They can only be defeated through force.

jsid-1257483439-615112  Phil B at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 04:57:19 +0000


I'd agree wholeheartedly - I have quite a reservoir of patience with people who genuinely don't know about things and will explain, demonstrate and generally listen to their point of view and try to point out what I think are errors. I will refer them to primary sources or other information so they can check things out themselves.

At the end of the discussion, we may agree to disagree but if they are genuinely seeking knowledge or understanding, then OK, I'll devote the time and patience to them.

The willfully provocative and the malicious deserve all they get.

And Markadelphia ?? Try Critical Theory on him and see how HE likes it - just mock and belittle him and say "Huh!! Well, you WOULD say that" and "If I need to explain, then you are too stupid to understand" etc.

jsid-1257484064-615113  Russell at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 05:07:44 +0000

Beautiful piece!

jsid-1257502204-615118  Graysi at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 10:10:04 +0000

I have fought my whole life for "economic equality" with men, so you started to lose me in the paragraph that states: "The destruction of marriage, the recent posting on this blog about the way all parents are to be treated as paedophiles, the wrecking of the education system, “equality” legislation, gay and minority rights etc and so forth ad infinitum all assist one or more of the five principles. Try matching the attack to the principle."

You lost me completely at this: "
This addresses Point 2 above Examining the relentless attacks on marriage from a myriad of different directions (removing tax breaks for married couples, elevating the “single parent family” by favourable benefits so that it is financially more beneficial for a married couple with children to LIVE APART, the elevation of gay “Marriage” etc.) add to this."

Why should married couples get any tax break? The OP thinks that single people should pay MORE to support the choice of married people to get married? Don't married people save enough money by virtue of being able to split costs living together?

This column pissed me off so much, I'm steaming.

Women deserve to make as much money as men do for doing the same job. That is true EQUALITY! It's too bad that Republican states have fought the Equal Rights Amendment tooth and nail.

You can take this post and stick it up where the sun doesn't shine.

jsid-1257517325-615122  Mark Alger at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 14:22:05 +0000

Yes. Yes. Yes. BT. DT. Conceived of the idea of a commemorative t-shirt.

NOW what?

Do you just declare open season on all collectivists? Do we read collectivism out of the Constitution: Congress shall make no law ... EXCEPT when people advocate in word, image, or deed the violent or subversive overthrow of the United States?

Do you stand Markadelphia and his ilk up against the nearest scrap of masonry and administer some thirty-caliber lead subcutaneously?


How do you then prevent those same means from being turned against YOU?

If an ideology behaves like a rabid bear -- neither willing nor even able to be amenable to reason -- how is a people to defend itself against it?

I do not pretend to have a/an/the answer. And, while I understand that folk new to these concepts need to be brought along toward the light, more thought needs to be taken for preemptive action.


jsid-1257518591-615126  Unix-Jedi at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 14:43:11 +0000

I'm not sure what's got Graysi so mad, but...

Women deserve to make as much money as men do for doing the same job.

Yep, they do. And in actuality, they do. Factor in total compensation and right now they're making more. For doing the same job.

Now, most people who complain about this - and I don't know if Graysi is one - ignore that most women take time out of their career for childbirth/care at some point and/or are more diverted to childcare during their career, and thus choose jobs with more flexibility and sometimes lower pay.

So the oft-cited example of a lawyer, where the males, who have more years experience, and are billing more hours, are making more than the females, for example, isn't a case of "equality".

It's too bad that Republican states have fought the Equal Rights Amendment tooth and nail.

According to Wikipedia.. It's been approved in 8 states. 4 of whom are generally considered "Republican" states (today).

Interestingly enough, discussing equal rights, the other day I had to replace the battery in my car, and I was waited on by the female employee at AutoZone.

Who didn't have the strength to pick the battery up and put it in the truck. Nor the ability to actually secure the terminals correctly.

Also, per education, you might want to consider what the ERA would mean to the public school system.

jsid-1257520937-615129  Sarah at Fri, 06 Nov 2009 15:22:17 +0000

Heh! Women like Graysi make me laugh, because all the while she's demanding equal treatment between the sexes, she's reinforcing the stereotype of the angry, bitter, overly-emotional female -- the kind every man wants to marry and every company is just dying to employ. :-P

Why should married couples get any tax break?

Because single people, and especially single-parent families, create a greater demand for resources and are typically a drag on the economy.

jsid-1257553356-615182  Kinnison at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 00:22:36 +0000

Truly there is no such thing as an "Ex-Marine" unless they have been dishonorably discharged. Sam Griffith was the kind of maverick intellectual that appears from time to time in the Corps. He was an observer with Mao's 5th Route Army prior to WWII, and was fluent and literate in Chinese. His translations of Sun Tsu and Mao are on my bookshelf. He retired a brigadier general, and was considered one of the Marine Corps' premier experts on guerrilla warfare.

jsid-1257555057-615186  Ken at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 00:50:57 +0000

I have Griffith's translation of Mao, provided me by a thoroughgoing gentleman (this worthy also gave me my copy of St. Augustine's Confessions).

jsid-1257556238-615190  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 01:10:38 +0000

I know I'm just a squid, but I stand by my assessment of Murtha.

jsid-1257565352-615200  Roberta X at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 03:42:32 +0000

I liked this piece -- mostly (and I do get paid what the men do for the same job -- a little more, as I have additional responsibilities). I liked it when Garet Garrett wrote something very similar a generation ago, about FDR's "Revolution within the form." http://mises.org/story/2726

jsid-1257576504-615203  Phil B at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 06:48:24 +0000

For anyone thinking that I'm paranoid and seeing "Reds under the bed" at every turn, these links should give a ring of truth to the article




It is rare that such information is publicly and explicitly stated which makes it all the more startling.

jsid-1257588161-615204  John Pate at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 10:02:41 +0000

"Nearly a quarter of us would be tempted to carry a gun if the law allowed it."
"The Uncovered Poll" The Observer, Sunday April 27, 2003.

So, in spite of relentless black propaganda for victim disarmament, at least 25% of the British population are smart enough to have a clue. The question seems to be, to me, `What will it take to make them angry enough to actually fix this?'

It surely won't be long before UK is having rolling power black-outs and brown-outs and massive structural unemployment thanks to the policies of the political elite... I daydream of a time when I can walk thru streets where the lampposts have been decorated by politicians and bureaucrats hanging from piano wire. And we can also use some of the CCTV poles...

Sigh. Sooner rather than later please.

jsid-1257607034-615209  Kevin Baker at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 15:17:14 +0000

Jesus, Phil. And the public is demoralized enough not to go hang politicians from lampposts and CCTV poles after those revelations?

jsid-1257608836-615210  Unix-Jedi at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 15:47:16 +0000

I'm not sure we're in any position to be throwing stones.

I mean, we've had several blatant breaches of the Constitution, and a couple of potential/possible/bendings of others, we've had companies nationalized, political favors repaid with billions of taxpayer money...

Yeah. I think we're kinda in a glass house too. Maybe slightly better-founded, maybe with some rooms made of brick...

jsid-1257611398-615211  Kevin Baker at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 16:29:58 +0000


jsid-1257613995-615212  Unix-Jedi at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 17:13:15 +0000

And after all that, we still elected Obama, and that doesn't even account for all of what HE'S done yet!

jsid-1257621047-615216  KG at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 19:10:47 +0000

Ah,the million dollar question, what will it take?

Honestly, I don't think the Republicans have what it takes to rollback everything the Progressives have done in the US for the last century should they retake Congress. Too damn many squishies.

So it seems to me that any rollbacks will happen very suddenly, forcefully, and possibly even violently. I don't see how it can be done otherwise, though I would rather we not have a revolution per se because those are never a picnic.

A question for Phil, you believe that there is actually a chance that Brits will eventually fight to undo what has been done to their country? It seems pretty far gone to me....

jsid-1257633982-615218  geekWithA.45 at Sat, 07 Nov 2009 22:46:22 +0000

Quoth Phil:
Constant change and bogging people down in pointless activities contributes to points 2 and 3 – Markadelphia is expert at this. Consider the amount of time that the readers of this blog have wasted in rebutting in detail his postings – while you are busy researching facts, carefully editing replies and spending your time and effort concentrating on the garbage he writes, you are not concentrating on other, perhaps much more important things. “Make the enemy do useless things” is one of Sun Tzu’s maxims. And while you are doing this, he, like a butterfly, flutters off onto another topic, equally as pointless and you respond …

I'm going to paste something I wrote a few days ago, and went back and forth on posting for various reasons.

Before I do that though, I want to clarify that I do not believe that the Troll is anything like a "professional revolutionary" sleeper agent. I think he's more of the Eric Hoffer "True Believer" rank & file type. (Nor do I believe that Phil was saying that either, but proximity to other bit might make it seem that way)

I have been increasingly skeptical of the value of engaging him in debate. Someone recently commented to the effect that your really can't strop your edge on a wet sponge, which is true for us, but not true for the troll. If you've been paying attention over the years, he's been using us to improve his game, and while he hasn't come to anything like Reason, he has been able to put a more polished face on Inanity thank to our involvement. The troll knows that we will never buy what he's selling, but he's not trying to sell it to us. He has other marks to go after, and we're not doing them any service in participating in the polishing of the packaging.

Phil's comment did strike a certain resonance with this bit, which I now paste. It's something that I've been hinting at for a while: engaging the resident troll is a titanic productivity sink. There are other more important things to be doing to remain prosperous and free.


Watching the troll flounder is like watching a perpetual train wreck unfold. All the cars keep accordioning and careening off the tracks, curtains of sparks spray eternally unto the heavens, but the wreck never ends, never comes to a halt, the dust never settles, and an infinite supply of cars spills out of the tunnel down yonder.

There is something titillating and compelling about train wrecks that makes them hard to tear our eyes away from them.

There is something deeply unnatural about this too...being this wrong, this consistently takes serious dedication, and the whole thing reeks of shiny bait designed to keep our attention and drain away our productive hours.

While there may be some value in letting fools expose themselves, it's been a long while since I've seen any significant value (beyond entertainment...which is wearing thin) to be extracted from engaging this troll. He has been so thoroughly defeated in nearly every detail, it is as if, to use a pugilism analogy, a boxer, upon being awarded victory in the fight by the judges, then proceeded to knock his opponent out, and then methodically went about breaking each and every bone in his body just to make sure, only to have the defeated one awaken to claim, MontyPython Black Knight style, "'Tis but a scratch.".

I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this troll can continue to spout new and improved inanities. I have no doubt that his capacity for creatively finding new depths of absurdity to entice us, or new outrageous claims that we just can't stand to leave unchallenged is infinite.

What I suggest is that what this offers us the chance to encounter an example of people who are drastically, dreadfully wrong, and they will probably never be otherwise. There are people so profoundly demoralized and alienated from Reason that they are, to borrow a term from Bezmenov, people who "will close their eyes; they will have bananas in their ears".

Here's where the rubber meets the road:

People like this troll will always haunt this earth, and they will always seek out their own kind, and they will always seek to advance their schemes at the expense of others, because they cannot make their schemes work otherwise.

For the free human, these folks are a test, and is not a test that will never be passed by infinitely engaging them in debate. We will never be justified in their eyes, and they will never admit their own epic failings, and I fear that all the energy we invest in this is misplaced, and better spent elsewhere.

To pass the test, we must reject the claims his ilk place upon us, and we must do it without seeking their acceptance of that rejection, for it will never be granted.

Our participation in this perpetual train wreck may have initially served the purpose of rejecting claims, but N years later, I question whether that's still the case. It seems to me that we have allowed ourselves to be be seduced down a trail into into a forest of meaningless smoke and mirrors. This troll has never demonstrated that he can articulate even a coherent claim upon us, nevermind a justification for it. We owe him nothing, but we owe ourselves an accounting of whether the value of the diminishing benefits extracted from the excercise are worth their costs.

To pass the test, we must examine the various ways in which we grant his ilk our sanction, and withdraw it when we find it, one thing at a time.

To pass the test, we must insulate ourselves from the influence and power of such ilk, to ensure that we are never ruled by them, and the first step of that is to cease asking things of them, for that is leverage we grant them, and instead find sufficiency amongst more worthy company.

IMO, our focus should be less on the latest antics of our opponnents, and more on what it is that we need to be doing to remain free and prosperous. I submit that the value extracted from the infinite clubbing-in-debate of this particular bobo doll is waaaaaaay past the point of diminishing returns and is therefore an endeavor to be abandoned.

Articulating the value of freedom and the baselessness of our government's current course of action is massively more valuable than cataloging the myriad ways in which our resident troll is wrong and irrelevant.

Each man, of course, makes his own choices in the matter.

jsid-1257718655-615241  Sarah at Sun, 08 Nov 2009 22:17:35 +0000

Excellent, geek, just excellent.

To pass the test, we must reject the claims his ilk place upon us, and we must do it without seeking their acceptance of that rejection, for it will never be granted.

I once took an online IQ test that turned out to be a practical joke. After a short time, it started repeating the same questions over and over. I gave up after two rounds of this, because it had become an obvious waste of time. When I quit, it provided me with an IQ, which was inversely proportional to the number of times I answered the same questions over and over. The IQ test had no end -- it would keep tempting you with a few new questions, but it was programmed to continue until the end of time if anyone was dogged enough to persist. The only way to "pass the test" was to quit, and the quicker you were to realize this, the better the results.

As much as we like to congratulate ourselves on our pragmatism and powers of reason here, we've been slow to learn the lesson geek pointed out. It's hard to let go after investing so much time -- especially when Mark keeps offering such tempting bait -- but, like the IQ test, the sooner we realize it's a monumental waste of time the sooner we can return to the things that matter.

jsid-1257774446-615260  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 09 Nov 2009 13:47:26 +0000

"An interesting game, Dr. Falken. The only way to win is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?"

- WOPR, War Games

jsid-1257784537-615292  Russell at Mon, 09 Nov 2009 16:35:37 +0000

Geek, I heartily agree.

But sometimes, just sometimes one must don one's armor and tilt windmills for Athena.

Pure folly, I agree, but leaving the field to the enemy, no matter how stupid, doesn't sit well.

jsid-1257798206-615319  DJ at Mon, 09 Nov 2009 20:23:26 +0000

If you leave the field to the enemy for whatever reason, he will think he's won.* That may or may not have any significance, but it's real.

*Witness Saddam Hussein in 1991.

jsid-1257811524-615343  Russell at Tue, 10 Nov 2009 00:05:24 +0000

I think the trick is knowing when enough is enough and just stop answering the questions!

jsid-1257873609-615396  Sarah at Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:20:09 +0000

DJ: Mindset has a lot do with winning and losing, but with someone like Mark, who cares if he thinks he's won or lost? Like geek said, he's not here for honest debate. He's sharpening his (albeit meager) skills and acquiring ammo to defeat lesser targets elsewhere. All this debating is helping him along.

Unless one of you dies of old age or Mark decides he's gotten what he needs here, the best you can hope for in this scenario is a neverending showdown, like in the Star Trek episode, "The Alternative Factor." The ending of that episode horrified me as a kid. What could be worse than a miserable struggle with no possible conclusion?

jsid-1257877477-615407  DJ at Tue, 10 Nov 2009 18:24:37 +0000

"He's sharpening his (albeit meager) skills ..."

Nah. He is as stupid as he ever was, he's just more experienced now.

"What could be worse than a miserable struggle with no possible conclusion?"

Ask Sysiphus.

In this context it would be having him tell his friends and such that he won because we gave up trying. Make no mistake about it; that's what he would do.

As Kevin has noted, the target is the fence-sitters. They are worth the effort, and playing whack-a-troll takes very little effort.

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