Dixie Dems: Dean Too ‘Liberal' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Dixie Dems: Dean Too ‘Liberal'

The Washington Times reports that Democratic leaders in the South consider Howard Dean "too liberal" to win electoral votes in the South: "Most acknowledge the growing conservatism that dominates their region, and some concede it will be difficult, if not impossible, to carry many Southern states if the nominee is out of step with mainstream Southern values."

The piece interviewed Mississippi Dem Party leader Ricky Cole: "As for the intraparty squabble among the presidential candidates over Mr. Dean's recent remark about reaching out to white Southern voters who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flags on them, very few of the state chairmen were offended by his remark. 'I understand the point he was trying to make, but I don't know if he knows exactly how tall an order recruiting those voters would actually be,' said Mississippi Democratic Chairman Rickey Cole."

Perhaps an interesting question here would be whether Cole and the state's Democratic Party are ready to do what it takes to compete. Any thoughts?

Previous Comments

ID
136501
Comment

If I wanted to promote candidates that would be successful winning in elections in Miss., I would look at candidates that have a proven record of winning elections. I'd look at Democrats in Miss. and similar surrounding states that have won races. I'd model my startegy on actual candidates that won elections in the real world, and stay away from the type of candidates that lose. I think any debate that gets away from this pragmatic approach is to abstract to be useful.

Author
David
Date
2003-11-20T11:06:28-06:00
ID
136502
Comment

I think this tail is furiously wagging its dog. This approach to political office underscores most of what's wrong with our electoral aprocess: We carry out elections to win the office instead of engaging in civil discourse to bring about better public policy and more honest politicians. We play to win instead of playing to perfect and refine the game.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-20T11:20:01-06:00
ID
136503
Comment

Excellent point, Nia. I fully agree and feel exactly the same about the process.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-20T11:28:14-06:00
ID
136504
Comment

Nia: We carry out elections to win the office instead of engaging in civil discourse to bring about better public policy and more honest politicians. Unfortunately, civil discourse is a losing investment. If you want to raise and spend the necessary money to win an election, you have to have a strategy.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T11:43:33-06:00
ID
136505
Comment

The reason why civil discourse is a losing investment as far as elections are concerned is that people want results. And the positive result in an election is winning.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T11:45:35-06:00
ID
136506
Comment

That's the problem, Ex. As we've proven time and time again, winning an election doesn't produce results, just bigger, more complicted election games focused not on good public policy but on rhetoric to get people to vote for you.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-20T12:13:10-06:00
ID
136507
Comment

Nia-- What's wrong with rhetoric? Bring back John Arthur Eaves talking about the ''bureaucrats down in Jackson in offices where the air conditioning is turned down so low you could kill a hog." Seriously though, substance does matter in political campaigns. However, similarities too often occur between & among the candidates vying for the 20 percent of people who do not follow political parties. That's when likability comes in.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T13:17:20-06:00
ID
136508
Comment

That's the definition of a tail waggin its dog, Ex. There's something wrong with a political process based on whether constituents like the way a guy dresses or what school she went to. The fact that candidates have been reduced to and have stooped to doing and saying anything--sometimes in contradiction of what they actually believe--to win a majority of votes among the 50% of the population that votes is appalling. Sad, too.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-20T13:23:06-06:00
ID
136509
Comment

Nia-- That's life. Appearances & rhetoric matter. Linking this discussion back to this Dean/Dixie Dems thread & the Confederacy of Dunces thread, what do you think about Dean's rhetoric in this case?

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T13:43:01-06:00
ID
136510
Comment

I think that's a copout, Ex. Just because things are the way they are doesn't mean that' the way they have to be. If we don't continually identify the inequities and problems with our society, it doesn't grow. And that's pretty much a death knell. And all the rhetoric and beautiful appearances in the world won't matter. People seem to believe, falsely, that things will go on as they always have. Problem is, things haven't always gone on. Societies crumble and die because of these kinds of problems. They fail to thrive and are conquered. We haven't gotten around to reading "Guns, Germs, and Steel" yet on the book blog, but I can't wait. That discussion should prove raucous. As for Dean, I haven't made up my mind yet about him. I see a lot of potential, but he also seems to cave to spin doctor pressure. Witnes his retreat on the Confederate flag flap even though he was dead on. He should have hit back, hard. He should have taken his rivals to task for not reaching out to Southern voters, and he should have stuck to his guns (pardon the militaristic reference) on the spirit of what he meant.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-20T13:58:55-06:00
ID
136511
Comment

Nia, "This approach to political office underscores most of what's wrong with our electoral aprocess: We carry out elections to win the office instead of engaging in civil discourse to bring about better public policy and more honest politicians." Good grief - who's the one that's naive?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-20T14:42:29-06:00
ID
136512
Comment

Nia, Even if you agree with Dean's stance on every single issue, it should raise doubts about the man's judgement that he: a) seriously thought he could ever be the candidate for "guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks," b) seriously thought he could say so - and not bring down the wrath of the politically correct Huns in his party; c) thought that he could retain any of those Bubba votes by lecturing them about how their politics shouldn't be about God, guns, race, and gays, when his party has spent the last 30 years trying to yank the first two out of Bubba's life, and trying to cram the last two down his throat.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-20T14:51:17-06:00
ID
136513
Comment

Nia-- It's not a copout. In political campaigns, you have to accept the way that things are-- otherwise you lose. When you lose and continue to run again, eventually people consider you to be a gadfly. It's better to be the blade of grass bending with the wind instead of the tree that eventually falls over. If you try to run a different campaign for the first time, what generally happens is that the candidate gets applauded for his courage-- which tends to be the kiss of death politically. Greg-- One note. Dean is the only Democratic presidential candidate to have received an A rating from the NRA.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T19:22:02-06:00
ID
136514
Comment

Nia-- Regarding Dean. I have doubts about him. I've long preferred Lieberman or perhaps Kerry, but I thought Dean's Confederacy comments were on target.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T19:27:38-06:00
ID
136515
Comment

That should be Confederate, not Confederacy.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T19:29:13-06:00
ID
136516
Comment

Greg, you're confusing "naive" with "idelaistic." I'd cop to being idealistic any day, but I'm not naive. Ex, I'm not suggesting that politics can be a Pollyanna kind of sport. But I am suggesting that it can be WAY more civil and productive than it is now. We deserve better than the crappy fare we have now in terms of candidates. There's plenty of blame to go around with regard to why that's the reality, but unless people start insisting that the rules of engagement are changed, the rules won't ever change. I think we can do better. Ex, why do you favor Lieberman? Or Kerry?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-20T19:37:20-06:00
ID
136517
Comment

I knew what you meant. You've got Dean-itis! :-)

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-20T19:38:41-06:00
ID
136518
Comment

Nia-- Why Lieberman? My vote is usually a purely practical vote for the candidate I think is the party's best chance to win-- period. I've been impressed with Lieberman since the 2000 campaign. I've mentioned in the past that I wished that it was Cheney & Lieberman running as the presidential candidates. IMO, Lieberman has the conservative/moderate credentials to compete in the South & Midwest against President Bush. I do not believe that Dean possesses them yet. Kerry is my second choice. He's smart and has good experience with foreign relations-- not to mention his military experience, which should also play well here.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-20T19:54:52-06:00
ID
136519
Comment

Ex, I'm aware of Dean's stance on guns. I was referring to the anti-gun efforts of his party over the last 30 years.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-20T22:49:58-06:00
ID
136520
Comment

Greg-- I thought you were talking about the party, but I wanted a little clarification. Thanks.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-21T11:47:00-06:00
ID
136521
Comment

No party out there is anti-gun, Greg. Stop exaggerating.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T11:56:31-06:00
ID
136522
Comment

I have a question. Why, in the media lately, have I repeatedly seen Kerry referred to as "handsome"? I just don't get it. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a joke, but I've seen it in 3 or 4 articles lately. Is he better looking in person or something? Because on TV and in photos, he comes across as somewhat ghoulish. At least to me. (Just trying to raise the level of the debate here.)

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-21T12:03:00-06:00
ID
136523
Comment

OMG, Kate! You're right. I hadn't even noticed that, but a quick Google found a scary number of news reports from all over the place describing him as handsome. Hmmm. I don't think he's ghoulish, but he isn't the sexiest man alive either. He ain't ugly, but he ain't gorgeous either. (The waters are risin' already!)

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T12:10:05-06:00
ID
136524
Comment

Freaky, ain't it? I have a hard time finding *any* politician attractive, since most of them are just so smarmy. Some of them come across as charming, and even tending towards charismatic, which saves them in the attractive-o-meter. But Kerry? Egads.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-21T12:13:28-06:00
ID
136525
Comment

I agree with you: I don't see it, either. Of course, I never got why people would think Clinton or Bush are "handsome," either. And Dean's certainly no looker.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-21T13:14:48-06:00
ID
136526
Comment

And, remember when all us gals were supposed to vote for Quayle, because he was *soooo* handsome! Hee!

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-21T13:28:35-06:00
ID
136527
Comment

I have a hard time thinking of them as anything other than slimy. Smart? Sometimes. Elegant? Usually (but that's more about the Armani, Boss, etc.). But handsome? Nah. Sexy? Not. The best looking candidate this time around is Braun!

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T13:37:09-06:00
ID
136528
Comment

Nia, You say no party out there is anti-gun. So tell me - exactly where do all gun-control legislation and initiatives come from? Republicans?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T14:10:14-06:00
ID
136529
Comment

Sharpton's got a good head o' hair, though. ;-)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-21T14:12:14-06:00
ID
136530
Comment

You jest! I hope. It's a head full o' hair, all right, but I wouldn't call it 'good'.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-21T14:14:24-06:00
ID
136531
Comment

Ladd, Finally, FINALLY we agree on something!

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T15:23:04-06:00
ID
136532
Comment

Oh wait... Kate, Finally, FINALLY we agree on something!

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T15:23:30-06:00
ID
136533
Comment

I have a big problem with Sharpton's hair! Why the hell is a black man wearing a perm these days? Even black women are starting to move away from using them. My question is, Does he REALLY think he looks good with that 'do?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T15:26:46-06:00
ID
136534
Comment

What is *any* man doing with a perm these days? I know, let's get the Fab 5 to do a 'make better' on the democratic candidates. That would be some seriously funny reality TV.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-21T15:40:29-06:00
ID
136535
Comment

Great idea Kate! Would be a hilarious sight! Could Trent be next in the series??? He's notorious for his helmet hair.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-21T15:47:16-06:00
ID
136536
Comment

Excellent candidate! He and Carson would be hysterical out shopping together.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-21T15:55:43-06:00
ID
136537
Comment

I may regret getting into this discussion, but to respond to Greg for a moment, isn't Gov. Arnold S. a supporter of gun control? And, isn't he a Republican? I think most of the current federal laws we have (including the assault weapons ban) are good. I also think that the states I have lived in -- NY, VA, MS -- have laws regarding guns that are appropriate for those states. On this one, I'm status quo. Am I pro-gun or anti gun? I ran a campaign in Virginia for a candidate who got an A rating from the NRA (the candidate was a Virginia Democrat). If I had answered the questionaire I would have answered one question differently -- it was a question about how easy it should be to get a conceal-carry permit (I thought that it should be as difficult as getting a driver's license, my recollection was that the VA NRA disagreed). My answers would have caused me to get a B and I would have been branded as anti-gun -- even though I basically believed in the status quo.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-11-21T16:06:26-06:00
ID
136538
Comment

OMG! Kate, that's a great idea! Somebody call Jon Daly! I want to see that skit on The Comedy Show or SNL. Wait, isn't Shartpon hosting SNL tomorrow night? Seriously, Kate, send in a query on that one.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T16:11:23-06:00
ID
136539
Comment

Matthew, can't you see we're trying to have a serious discussion here?! :-)

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T16:12:28-06:00
ID
136540
Comment

My bad Nia. :-) BTW, how great is NYC at this time of year? Hands down my favorite time of year there.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-11-21T16:22:14-06:00
ID
136541
Comment

Matthew, Yes, Governator endorses some gun control, but look where he comes from: Hollywood. Not exactly a representative sample. Of course there are individual Republicans here and there who support some forms of gun control, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Find 100 people who want somewhat stricter gun control than most states have now, and 75 of them will be Democrats. Find 100 people who want to ban ALL guns, and 99 of them will be Democrats. It is Democrats and their party who initiate gun control movements and legislation, no matter what Nia would like to believe. But as long as we're on the topic, tell me: What makes one set of gun laws "appropriate" for one state but not another?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T16:23:15-06:00
ID
136542
Comment

Greg, I think "appropriate" is just another way of saying I believe in representative democracy. This issue is odd. I'm a Paul Wellstone Democrat, yet, and I'll say it again, I'm fine with the status quo. I think the politics of this -- the electoral politics of this -- is skewed. My position is translated in the run up to election day as "anti-gun." I don't want criminals ot have guns, but that's the same stance as the Gun Owners of America and the NRA. Most of my Democratic friends feel the same way.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-11-21T16:38:19-06:00
ID
136543
Comment

I realiz the "represenatative democracy" thing from the previous post is sort of trite. How about this -- different state have different speed limits, different land use regulations, different responses to educational spending, taxes, etc... It's still a reflection (a reasonable proxy, maybe) of the electorate of that state. That's fine.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-11-21T16:44:59-06:00
ID
136544
Comment

Greg, In short, I think it has to do with culture. Compare New Jersey and Wyoming. NJ has little, if any, areas to hunt - in fact, the vast bulk of the state is urban and suburban (yes, people, hunting is a hot-button topic, but for now let's ignore that). Perhaps because of this, hunting is (generally) not an "urban thing" up there. Also, the culture of hunting up there doesn't exist to the extent it probably does in Wyoming. Therefore, gun laws in NJ may be perfectly appropraite for urban-suburban settings. Wyoming is the exact opposite. No (well no real ones, anyway) cities, LOTS AND LOTS of open space, and a strong tradition of hunting . Finally, and I don't know if this is actually true, but people in WY are probably more trusting of people with firearms than people in NJ - at least it seems that way in rural cultures vis a vis urban/suburban ones.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-21T16:46:44-06:00
ID
136545
Comment

Philip, You say: "Compare New Jersey and Wyoming. NJ has little, if any, areas to hunt... Also, the culture of hunting up there doesn't exist to the extent it probably does in Wyoming. Therefore, gun laws in NJ may be perfectly appropraite for urban-suburban settings." This sounds - and God forbid, I don't want to be putting words in anybody's mouth - as though you're coming from an assumption that gun laws are, perhaps should be, a function of how important hunting is to each state's culture. Before I comment any further, is this about right, or would you like to expand on the point?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T17:04:54-06:00
ID
136546
Comment

Matthew, States do indeed have different speed limits, land-use regulations, etc., but there's one key difference between those things and gun laws: They're not addressed in the Bill of Rights. Thus my question: What makes one set of gun laws "appropriate" for one state but not another? For example, why should Chicago have stricter gun laws than, say, Montana? Or Mississippi? Do strict gun laws "make more sene" in places like Chicago or New York than they do here? If so, why?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T17:10:22-06:00
ID
136547
Comment

I thought you'd go that way. I think reasonable people debate the meaning of the Second Amendment, just like they do with the Tenth Amendment -- from where state enabling legislation comes as it relates to land-use regulation. Until the SC clarifies the meaning of the 2nd Amendment it's not up to me to say whether strict gun laws in Chicago or NY make or less sense than the laws in MS or anywhere else. The people in those states decided that.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-11-21T17:19:11-06:00
ID
136548
Comment

Greg, You are right about my assumption that it depends on how important hunting is in a culture, although it's more than just that. More broadly speaking, I would say it's a matter of how ingrained firearms use is within that culture in general - of which hunting is only one aspect. Me? My brother will throw a fit about this, but I see nothing wrong with regulation of handguns (rifles and shotguns, I can allow a little more leeway because they are harder to conceal).

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-21T17:32:20-06:00
ID
136549
Comment

I believe the second amendment has not been incorporated into the 14th amendment, that's why states have different policies.

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-11-21T17:39:19-06:00
ID
136550
Comment

Philip, Explain why there is nothing wrong with regulating handguns.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T17:59:35-06:00
ID
136551
Comment

Greg, you Artful Dodger and Master Exaggerater, you, if you can find 100 people from anywhere in the US who believe that all guns should be banned, I'll write you a check. Hell, even I don't think all guns should be banned. Hunting culture aside--which I firmly believe in because not everyone can afford to shop at Balducci's or likes the stuff they sell in there--some of us NEED guns because who knows when some weapon-wielding Republican high on steel tariffs might come busting through your bedroom window?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:19:09-06:00
ID
136552
Comment

And yes, Matthew, this is definitely my favorite time of the year in New York. Strolling through Central Park, the Village, waiting in line for half an hour in 30-degree weather just for brunch at a table so small you can't cross your legs or move your elbows, ahhh, New York, New York.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:21:14-06:00
ID
136553
Comment

I don't want to interrupt the flow of this gun discussion -- it's interesting -- but I must point out that Greg just made me smile: He wrote: " This sounds - and God forbid, I don't want to be putting words in anybody's mouth - ..." You just got a little cooler in my eyes, for what it's worth, Dude. ;-D Now, don't ruin it. (grin)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-21T18:24:06-06:00
ID
136554
Comment

BTW, Nia, did I mention we'll be in the city next week for a couple days?

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-21T18:24:45-06:00
ID
136555
Comment

Good point, Nia. As much as I hate guns, I don't support a policy of banning them all, either (and, understand for the record, that you can't hate guns much worse then I do). I do believe in smart regulation, however, in the interest of public safety. Hell, we can regulate our militias well; why can't we regulate our guns? ;-)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-21T18:28:47-06:00
ID
136556
Comment

Don't do that to me Donna. Until I moved to Jax in 1999 I think I missed Thanksgiving New York twice. Down to the city for the Parade in the morning - I grew up in Mamaroneck, Nia - and back for food in the afternoon. You guys are killing me.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-11-21T18:32:03-06:00
ID
136557
Comment

Ooh! We should get together. Bring your galoshes though 'cause it won't stop raining. If we meet up, I'll tell you the story about why Gloria Steinem thinks I'm the anti-feminist because I got into an argument with her at a dinner party about gun control. Her husband, Christian Bale's dad, agreed with me though. :-)

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:33:47-06:00
ID
136558
Comment

Nia, 100 people who want to ban all guns? Hell, I could find that many in the NYU student union.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T18:38:30-06:00
ID
136559
Comment

Now that I think about it, Gloria might be one person Greg can count on who might say that she bans all guns--except for the military. Then again, knowing Gloria, she might want those banned, too. Matthew, I'll send you Central Park vibes tomorrow when I stroll through the park. And I'll have a hot dog from Papaya's for you, too. Did you see that Matthew Perry movie where he plays a NY transplant in Vegas and he goes through the trouble to have a friend FedEx him Gray's Papaya hotdogs? Funny.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:39:28-06:00
ID
136560
Comment

No you couldn't. Hell, half of them would be armed when you ask them.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:40:08-06:00
ID
136561
Comment

Nia, Wow... Christian Bale's dad agrees with you. I shouuld shut up.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T18:40:30-06:00
ID
136562
Comment

Agreed.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:40:55-06:00
ID
136563
Comment

Ladd, You ARE making a joke about regulating militias and firearms, right?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-21T18:43:12-06:00
ID
136564
Comment

He's a famous activist, silly. He's well known for his anti-aparthied views, which is something amazing for a white man from South Africa. He's also well-known for his animal rights activism. That's why it's significant that he agreed with me. I guess I should have pointed that out, but other than being married to Gloria, that's what he's most well known for. Not many people know that he's the father of a famous actor son.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-21T18:44:09-06:00
ID
136565
Comment

I am one who did not know Mr. Steinem was Christian Bale's father. Go sit in Shakespeare's Garden for me; it was close to our last place there; it was my favorite place to think. Greg, I'll never tell. Confusion sets in: So, did she use a smiley face because she was joking or because she was dead serious??? What is the answer!? Aaaaaaaa.... I must say, driving you crazy, Mr. Griffith, is more fun than I thought it would be. ;-P

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-21T19:06:01-06:00
ID
136566
Comment

banning handguns, (1) they are very portable (2) they are easy to use (3) they are easily concealed (4) aside from target practice, they are not an actual outdoors/sporting weapon Besides, if you have to have a license to handle dynamite (similarly portable and easily concealed, and just as liable to kill others), then why not handguns?

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-21T19:42:49-06:00
ID
136567
Comment

Philip, Let's go through these one by one: (1) they are very portable How is that a problem? (2) they are easy to use How is that a problem? (3) they are easily concealed How is that a problem? (4) aside from target practice, they are not an actual outdoors/sporting weapon How is that a problem?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-22T13:31:37-06:00
ID
136568
Comment

Nia, Just curious... If this guy's so famous, why not just refer to him by his own name?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-22T13:32:49-06:00
ID
136569
Comment

Ladd, Just wondering if you knew that "regulated" has two very different meanings.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-22T13:34:34-06:00
ID
136570
Comment

Greg, I think all the specific definitions of "regulated" are included in the explanatory footnotes to the 2nd Amendment, or at least that's what my Republican friends tell me. Smile, guy.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-22T14:09:36-06:00
ID
136571
Comment

Greg, I think Nia was talking directly to me on the Steinem post above, and probably assumed I would get her reference without her calling names. BTW, you can call me Donna now that we're friends. ;-) OK, I'm out for the duration. Must get a paper out. Ta, all.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-22T14:18:55-06:00
ID
136572
Comment

Greg, First, I am not calling for a complete ban on handguns ñ mainly because itís so impractical in this country. Itíd start ìgun warsî similar to the ìdrug warî. As with drugs, there would be a huge underground market for guns. Still, I don't mind for calling for handguns restricted to shooting ranges. Personally, Iíd say we need a firm handle on crime first before we can truly do anything about handguns, but thatís just my opinion. 1)they are very portable How is that a problem? Portability, by definition, means itís easy to carry around for, for all practical purposes, an indefinite period of time. This means a deadly ìthingî can be taken anywhere. This makes it a lot more threatening to a person than, say, a 1000 lb bomb ìdumb bombî. These dangerous devices, being as hard to transport as they are precisely because it is so heavy, are much easier to control, and hence tremendously less likely to injure or kill at any random spot on a map. This makes it easier to localize whatever damage or carnage a ìdumb bombî will create. Handguns and their ammo, weiging only several ìonesî (as opposed to dozens) of pounds at most, are much easier to transport. This increases the odds that any random weapon will be taken from its place (even assuming the unreasonable notion that the exact same security/transportation precautions will be placed upon a handgun than it will be on a ìdumb bombî), and hence more likely to injure, kill, or destroy something at any random point on a map. In short, itís much more difficult to predict where any one handgun will do itís damage than it will be for the said ìdumb bombî. Hence, the relative randomness of the handgun danger causes is a much greater threat to public safety than 1000 lb bombs are. It is for this reason that dynamite sticks, whose portability is similar to handguns, are subject to regulation (2) they are easy to use How is that a problem? The easier it is to use something, the more quickly and efficiently you can use that thing for its intended purpose. If one intends to kill someone, itís quicker and more efficient to use a handgun than it is to use a 1000 lb. bomb (which is rather clumsy to set off). Related to this is the next point. (continued)

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-22T17:56:35-06:00
ID
136573
Comment

(3) they are easily concealed How is that a problem? Surprise and catching people off guard is a big key. Who do you think is more likely to be killed, someone who is alert or someone who doesnít have his or her guard up? Secondly, which kind of weapon is less likely to alert one that danger is present, a concealed weapon or the aforementioned 1000 pound bomb? Itís the difference between marching into a top secret Chinese military installation in full uniform at the gate demanding to get in, or a spy posing as a mild mannered scientist trying to get through the gate. Which tactic is more effective in allaying the suspicions of the guard at the guard post? Since handguns are easier to conceal, they are more likely to catch the intended victim off guard than a 1000 lb bomb, or even a hunting rifle. (4) aside from target practice, they are not an actual outdoors/sporting weapon How is that a problem? If they are not an actual outdoors/sporting weapon, then what possible point is there in having a handgun? What can it do aside from breaking and killing things? The ATF and other such agencies donít allow people to purchase dynamite without proper identification because of the chance that they could use the dynamite to kill people or destroy property. Dynamite sticks are also easily concealed. If you cut the fuse short, then it can be a surprise weapon, exploding in a few seconds depending on how short you can cut the fuse. Surely this kind of weapon can surprise the intended victims because itís easily concealed ñ just like a handgun is. Itís also very well able to kill people ñ again like a handgun. So unless thereís something about the issue Iím overlooking, I see quite a few reasons to slap regulations on handguns every bit as rigorous as those the ATF and other governing bodies slapped on TNT. Extremely deadly, portable, a fairly long range killing power compared to a knife or ìChinese Starî (star-shaped weapon you can throw with your hand), and very easily concealed: that seems to qualify as a stealthy public menace sufficient to require very tight regulation.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-22T18:00:26-06:00
ID
136574
Comment

Philip, Ok. So handguns are small, portable, easy to use, easily concealed, and have little sporting application. So what? You say: "The easier it is to use something, the more quickly and efficiently you can use that thing for its intended purpose. If one intends to kill someone, itís quicker and more efficient to use a handgun than it is to use a 1000 lb. bomb (which is rather clumsy to set off)." My question, then, is this: If the intended purpose of a handgun is, say, to kill the bastard who breaks into your home, or threatens your family, or assaults you in a parking lot, don't you *want* something that's small, portable, and easy to use?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-22T22:26:05-06:00
ID
136575
Comment

Actually, Greg, most gun owners I know would much rather have a shotgun to defend themselves on thier own property... Doesn't require as much thought when you are startled from bed and it definitely has a "wow" factor a pearl-handled 9mm will never have. ;-)

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-23T11:19:14-06:00
ID
136576
Comment

And, I might add, Philip's not arguing for a total ban on handguns. Just that they be very tightly regulated. So that we know who has them. Wouldn't bar a homeowner from having one.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-23T12:38:19-06:00
ID
136577
Comment

Kate, By "we" I assume you mean "the government." Exactly why does the government need to know who owns a handgun?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T14:24:13-06:00
ID
136578
Comment

Philip, It's a little hard to carry a shotgun with you across the parking lot of Metrocenter at night.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T15:01:13-06:00
ID
136579
Comment

I'll let you figure that one out on your own, Greg.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-23T16:12:27-06:00
ID
136580
Comment

Kate, I can think of one reason the government would want to keep a list of who owns a handgun: So if they ever decide to take them away, they'll know whose house to go to. Do you know of any other reasons?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T16:24:07-06:00
ID
136581
Comment

Greg, don't play dumb. Have you ever heard of the police finding a weapon, then tracking it through the serial number? To help them in solving violent crimes, that's why. I think the government should know who owns guns. You don't. Fine. We disagree.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-23T16:34:04-06:00
ID
136582
Comment

Ah, the familiar chestnut about the homeowner protecting his family and property from the housebreaker. Allow me to quote from Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men": "If you're thinking of buying a handgun for protection, ... let me give you a few statistics. A member of your family is twenty-two times more likely to die from gunfire if you have a gun in your house than if you don't. The idea that having a gun is the only way to ensure "home protection" is a myth.... Among all the instances when guns are fired during a break-in while the owner is at home, in only 2 percent are guns used to shoot the intruder. The other 98 percent of the time, residents accidentally shoot a loved one or themselves -- or the burglars take the gun and kill them with it. Nonetheless, we have almost a quarter-billion guns in our homes." I find these numbers compelling.

Author
Paul Oldham
Date
2003-11-23T18:40:25-06:00
ID
136583
Comment

Hark, are those the words "John Lott" galloping toward us this very minute from the right? Paul, you've just called in the American Enterprise Institute calvary; just remember when it shows up that Mr. Lott faces at least as many credibility issues as Michael Moore. (That said, "Bowling for Columbine" is a great film.) [Isn't this awful: I'm trolling our own blog and even trying to pre-quip other participants. My apologizes. I actually just popped to ensure that there hadn't been a killin'. Bye, again.]

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-23T19:02:40-06:00
ID
136584
Comment

BTW, I like your art. I looked for you at the opening the other night, but you were gone, they said. Welcome to Jackson. I'm really gone now.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-23T19:03:20-06:00
ID
136585
Comment

Allow to me to dismiss anything Michael Moore says. His "facts" have been put to a merciful death so many times as to make quoting them brand you instantly as a joke.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T19:04:05-06:00
ID
136586
Comment

Kate, No no no no no.... YOU'VE got the wand. "Fine" won't do. As a matter of fact, I *have* heard of police finding a weapon, then tracking it through a serial number. IN THE MOVIES. Kate... sweetie.. these criminals who get tracked down using their guns' serial numbers? Are these the same criminals who make sure and buy their guns from legal retail sources, dutifully register them with the local constabulary, and proceed to be and sure and commit their crimes ONLY with guns they own and have registered? Of course they are... and monkeys just flew out of my butt. Aside from statistical irrelevancies like serial killers, gun crimes occur mainly as a result of two things: Domestic disputes, and small-time robbery and burglary. In the former, registration is largely useless, because detectives show up and the perpetrator is obvious: It's the guy whose prints are left in gobs of caked blood all over the house; or the guy who left 38 messages on the answering machine, threatening to kill the victim; or the guy who's been arrested 14 times in the past year for assault & battery; in other words, the husband or the boyfriend. In the latter case - robbery and burglary - the guns are always stolen. Can you explain to me how registration is going to help "track" a criminal who a) doesn't considerately leave the gun at the crime scene b) stole the gun in the first place, rendering the serial number useless; that is, if he didn't c) file it off the moment he got it? If you can provide any evidence at all - ANY - that serial number tracking has helped find over 50% of the criminals who have committed gun crimes in this latter category, I'll concede this particular point. Until then, I'll consider your suggestion the goofiest thing I've heard since I've been up.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T19:04:21-06:00
ID
136587
Comment

Donna, Save your criticisms of John Lott. I won't be using him.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T19:41:02-06:00
ID
136588
Comment

Paul, Here's that font of responsible statistics you quote: 1. In "Bowling for Columbine" Michael Moore added to the Wille Horton ad onscreen text that was never there. He's since had to remove it, and issued a grudging apology admitting he faked it up. If the Academy had any balls, it would revoke his Oscar. 2. The B-52 memorial scene in "Bowling for Columbine" has a voice-over saying, "The plaque underneath it proudly proclaims that this plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve 1972." In the world the rest of us inhabit, it reads, "Dedicated to the men and women of the Strategic Air Command who flew and maintained the B-52D throughout its 26-year history in the command. Aircraft 55-083, with over 15,000 flying hours, is one of two B-52Ds credited with a confirmed MIG kill during the Vietnam Conflict Flying out of U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in southern Thailand, the crew of 'Diamond Lil' shot down a MIG northeast of Hanoi during 'Linebacker II' action on Christmas Eve, 1972." 3. This is from an article in that fire-eating bastion of conservatism, Salon: "[Take] his claim that "two-thirds of [the over $190 million President Bush raised during the presidential campaign] came from just over seven hundred individuals." Given the $2,000 federal limit on individual donations, this claim is obviously false. To back it up, he cites the Center for Responsive Politics Web site (opensecrets.org) and an August 2000 article from the New York Times. As opensecrets.org clearly indicates, however, only 52.6 percent of Bush's total $193 million in campaign funds came from individuals. The Times article Moore references actually states that 739 people gave two-thirds of the soft money raised by the Republican Party (which uses its money for "party-building" activities that support all GOP candidates, not just Bush) in the 2000 election cycle as of June of that year. Whether out of malice or laziness, Moore conflates the party's soft money with Bush's campaign funds. [more Moore]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T20:27:51-06:00
ID
136589
Comment

4. More from the Salon article: "In a discussion of Pentagon spending, he refers to the "$250 billion the Pentagon plans to spend in 2001 to build 2800 new Joint Strike Fighter planes" and states that "the proposed increase in monies for the Pentagon over the next four years is $1.6 trillion." To back this up, he refers to the Web site of the peace activist group Council for a Livable World. CLW's own analysis of the 2001 budget, however, shows that $250 billion is the total multiyear cost of the Joint Strike Fighter program, not the amount spent in one year. $1.6 trillion, meanwhile, was the total amount of money requested by the Pentagon at the time for 2001-2005. It covers five years, not four, and is a total budget request, not a "proposed increase" over previously requested budget levels. It shouldn't even take this much research, however, to determine that out of the total defense budget request of $305.4 billion in 2001, $250 billion was never intended to go toward one type of plane, nor that an increase of $400 billion per year in military spending was never proposed." 5. Salon: "Most baffling of Moore's misstatements may come in a listing of categories that the U.S. tops, such as per capita energy use and births to teenagers. In a blatant misrepresentation, he states: "We're number one in budget deficit (as a percentage of GDP)." When Moore wrote his book last year, the United States was running a budget surplus, as it had for the previous three years." 6. Salon: About Bill Clinton "[H]e has been able to kick ten million people off welfare," he writes in a list of attacks on the former president. While the welfare rolls did drop substantially while Clinton was in office (although the total number as of June 2000 was 8.3 million), many people left voluntarily to take jobs as the economy grew or for other reasons. Far fewer were booted from the rolls by the five-year limits Clinton signed into law in 1996 or by stricter state limits." [more]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T20:28:03-06:00
ID
136590
Comment

7. Forbes magazine, on "Bolwing for Columbine": "The distortions begin with the film's title. Lyons reports that, contrary to the title of the film, the two boys who committed the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., did not bowl the morning before the shooting. Although early news reports did state that they had attended a bowling class in the morning, police told Lyons it's simply not true. This is similar to Moore's continued repetition of the lie that the U.S. gave millions of dollars in aid ($43 million last year and $245 million in total) to the Taliban government of Afghanistan when, in fact, that aid consisted of food aid and food security programs administered by the U.N. and non-governmental agencies to relieve a famine." 8. Forbes on the gun-from-the-bank scene in "Bowling for Columbine": "..the scene in a bank in Michigan that opens the film was staged. Customers who open long-term CDs at the bank actually have to go to a gun store to pick up the weapon after a background check. Yet the film clearly indicates that the bank itself stores and hands out guns to customers and Moore even jokes as he walks out, "Here's my first question: do you think it's a little dangerous handing out guns at a bank?" 9. Forbes on "Bowling for Columbine": "...he tells the story of a young boy who shot and killed a classmate after his mother was forced to leave him with her brother while she took a job, a tragedy Moore blamed on the requirements of a Michigan welfare-to-work program. But he fails to mention that her brother kept drugs and guns in his home..." 10. Forbes also reports that the Lockheed-Martin plan featured in the film, which Moore describes as making rockets for "weapons of mass destruction," actually makes rockets that carry satellites into orbit. And finally... 11. Moore travels with bodyguards, who are armed with handguns. "Stupid White Men" are the ones who watch and read Michael Moore, and think he's a serious social critic.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T20:28:12-06:00
ID
136591
Comment

Greg: "'Stupid White Men' are the ones who watch and read Michael Moore, and think he's a serious social critic." Donna: Why not just let your comments stand on their own without tacking that nastygram on there? Don't you want friends you can also disagree with? Also, why not add URLs, so other folks can read your links and comment on the entire piece, and see who wrote them, and so on. That's what's really helpful in this kind of forum. Try moving the discussion forward ... as I alluded to earlier, it's old news that Michael Moore's facts have been criticized; do something original, and try indulging in a little class and wit while you're at it, instead of attacking everyone who doesn't agree with you. People will only indulge you for so long.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-23T20:54:32-06:00
ID
136592
Comment

Donna, "Why not just let your comments stand on their own without tacking that nastygram on there?" It wasn't so much meant as a nastygram, but as a statement of fact. Moore is not just a sloppy researcher, he's a rabid partisan and a pathological liar. You quote him to help make your point, that makes you not very smart, or not very informed. So at best you're ignorant; at worst you're just plain stupid. And after all, what was it Moore himself said, Americans are "just about the dumbest people on the planet?" "Also, why not add URLs, so other folks can read your links and comment on the entire piece, and see who wrote them, and so on. That's what's really helpful in this kind of forum." http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-q=michael+moore&sp-a=sp100115c6

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-23T21:14:54-06:00
ID
136593
Comment

"It wasn't so much meant as a nastygram, but as a statement of fact." Then you need to go back to school and learn what a "statement of fact" is. It was a nastygram. I don't know how else to say it, Greg: Stop the blatant insults of other posters. I don't care if they don't like your opinion, or disagree with your facts (God knows, I do often enough); that's not the point. But stop the damned insults, if for no other reason than that they make you look so friggin' bad. I'm sick of asking you this. Your ad hominem statements are "inflammatory," which violates our policy. So *please* stop it.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-23T21:25:26-06:00
ID
136594
Comment

Actually, VBell, Greg has tried to contribute a lot to this dialogue at various points. I'd like to see him taken seriously by not continually calling people "stupid," by sourcing his facts and, frankly, by not falling into the same trap that Moore does. As the co-owner of this site, it is my job to tell people such as you when they are overstepping the rules of decorum, whether directed at Greg or others. Greg also, I believe, uses his real name, which I find admirable in an open forum; he doesn't slink around leaving cowardly flames. You, on the other hand, have offered nothing but anonymous insults since you came; you haven't tried to discuss a single issue; and you try to violate our "inflammatory" rules everytime you come here. I find you and your comments absolutely useless, as I'm sure most people do. You're simply a troll; please move on somewhere else. As for Moore, I think there's a very interesting discussion there to be had; I was surprised that the film "Columbine" wasn't ultimately about guns, as I've mentioned on these boards. I would like Greg to leave out the insults so the serious posters here, including himself, can get around to more interesting conversation. Back to work ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-23T21:54:22-06:00
ID
136595
Comment

Donna, "Try moving the discussion forward ..." So is it safe to assume that Kate has given the wand back? ... Let's see... - Philip wants to strictly regulate handguns because they... fit in your hand! - Kate wants to enforce strict registration, so the government "knows who has them." - Paul poo-poo's the idea that citizens should be able to own guns in order to protect themselves and their homes. And he uses "statistics" from an unhinged pathological liar to do it. Philip uses some whakced-out analogy to TNT to make the case that handguns should be banned because they're small, portable, and easily-concealed. Kate either glibly assumed that "so the government knows who has them" is reason enough to require gun registration, or she tried to sneak out with saying "we disagree. Fine," after thinking through the next couple of steps in her position. And Paul just plain brought in the weakest stuff I've since I got here. [more]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T02:15:11-06:00
ID
136596
Comment

It could not be less relevant to the question of whether guns should be registered, regulated, or banned, than the fact that they are portable and easily-concealed; that the government should just, you know, *of course* keep a list of everyone who owns one; or that Michael Moore says we're too clumsy and stupid to handle them. I think it's safe to say that everyone on this forum agrees that the Patriot Acts constitute threats to our freedom. There may be slight differences of opinion as to the degree of the threat, but all in all it's accurate to say that around here, the threat is perceived as real and immediate. As for myself, I think it bears watching, but I hardly think it's reason for panic. The Bill of Rights is not ordered randomly. There is a reason that the right to keep and bear arms is second only to the freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment. The reason is that the Founding Fathers had learned from history, and what they learned was that educated peoples fell under tyranny; wealthy peoples fell under tyranny; but armed people never fell under tyranny. This is why we have the Second Amendment. Not because some people can't afford to buy meat and have to hunt for it, or because some people like to go the range for target practice, but because the Founding Fathers knew that as long as Americans were armed, they could never be tyrannized. I can just see the eyes rolling now. But if you're tempted to laugh off the notion of tyranny, to think of it as quiant, then why worry about the Patriot Act? Why consider seriously for one moment when someone compares the administration to the Third Reich, or Bush to Hitler? It is preposterous to suggest that, for example, had German Jews and South African blacks been armed, the Holocaust and apartheid could have ever happened. It is equally preposterous to suggest that the Patriot Act rises anywhere near the level of what the Nazis enacted, or if it did, that it would last very long with tens of millions of armed Americans out there, pissed off about it. [more]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T02:15:49-06:00
ID
136597
Comment

Owning cars and dynamite are not constitutionally-protected rights; owning a gun is. What's more, some people - most here, evidently - don't understand the nature of the Bill of Rights. In their writings, the Founding Fathers were very clear that the Bill of Rights doesn't create or grant *any* rights; it *preserves* and *guarantees* the people's pre-existing rights. They didn't limit the articulation of this concept to their extra-constitutional writings, either. The 9th Amendment states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." This is why the implication from Philip and Paul that citizens should somehow have to "earn" or "justify" the owning of handguns, and Kate's presumption that it's the government's business to know who owns one, are so obnoxious. The exact wording of the second amendment - which I don't think anyone has posted in this thread yet - is the next hiding place for people who would infringe it: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." [more]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T02:16:05-06:00
ID
136598
Comment

First of all, know what a militia is. It is not a standing army. In fact, it is the opposite of a standing army, and it's a key distinction made over and over by the Founding Fathers. (It helps to remember that this country owes its existence to being freed from a tyrannical British government by a militia). It is a military force composed of ordinary citizens, called up in times of war or other national distress. Second, know what "well regulated" means. It does NOT mean regulated in the sense that, say, the pharamceutical industry operates under strict guidelines and oversight from the government. In reams of writing, among them the Federalist Papers, the Founding Fathers make it very clear that they're not talking about government control of militias. What they're talking about is putting them "in good order." In other words, the security of a free state depends on the readiness and ability of its citizens to constitute a militia. That readiness and ability must not be infringed. Finally, a government that is afraid to trust its people with arms is a government that has ceased to be of, by, and for those people. If you believe that's where we are - that our government can no longer trust us with arms - then the problem is with the government, not with the people from whom it derives its powers. [more]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T02:16:23-06:00
ID
136599
Comment

[just not now]

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T02:30:34-06:00
ID
136600
Comment

Donna, "Ignorant" refers to someone who simply lacks knowledge, e.g., that Michael Moore's fact-checking is even sloppier than his hygiene. "Stupid" is defined as "marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting," e.g., willfully using statistics from a Michael Moore book to support one's position, when presumably the user is aware that Moore is the Jayson Blair of social commentary. So in the interest of civility, let me rephrase my "nastygram": "Ignorant and/or Possibly Stupid White Men - I Won't Know Until I Ask One More Question" are the ones who watch and read Michael Moore, and think he's a serious social critic. If Paul was unaware of Moore's long history of making up facts to suit his agenda, I hope I've provided him with the references he needs to evaluate more critically Mr. Moore's body of work. If he was indeed aware, but chose to quote Moore anyway, then I hope he takes my characterization of him not as a personal slight, but purely as a clinical observation. Better?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T02:54:00-06:00
ID
136601
Comment

Better would be sticking to the points and just not making it personal: "only a _____ could possibly think that." That is personal. Ad hominem means "to the man"; just don't make comments to the man. How hard is that? I am certain that some people are resisting the urge to call you "ignorant" or whatever for some of your wild-ass assertions. I personally think, for instance, that it's stupid and ignorant and a few other things to get all choked up over carrying a handgun in the MetroCenter parking lot (and could find some facts to support that concept, should I have time or inclination to argue with you about it; I don't). Do you think that the fact that others aren't calling you ignorant or stupid every posting means that they think your reasoning is stellar!? Maybe they're just a bit more polite or reserved with their opinions about you. (Again, not always; I know posters including me have gotten saucy with you, so no need to point that out.) I'm trying to keep this site remotely civil so that the conversation will continue, and people aren't afraid to state their opinion because someone is going to start calling them stupid or ignorant because they showed up and posted on an issue once or twice. That is one of the things we mean by "inflammatory" in our policy. And we do mean it. And the wand thing was a joke; lighten up about something, for goodness sakes. I made a joke earlier about trolling my own site during my time "off." To be honest with you, I glanced at the site and saw that you had cold-cocked a new poster, and it inspired me to tell you to, again, stop being a jerk on this site. What is the saying: "Ignorant people talk about other people. Intelligent people talk about ideas." Let's stick to ideas and leave the people to the anonymous trolls. ;-) Greg, just laugh now and then. Neither the world or a pack of raving liberals are out to get you, I promise. There is really no need to get so angry at folks who disagree with you; and when you do and start insulting them, they just do it in return, or they start ignoring you. Maybe you get off on that, but I don't. I have vowed many times to ignore your taunts and insults, but it bothers me more when you do it to other people here. It's simply against the rules. So smile, damn it. And play nice. ;-D

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T03:25:09-06:00
ID
136602
Comment

Greg. Whatever. You talk too much.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-24T10:12:17-06:00
ID
136603
Comment

You mean to tell me that you folks were up at 12 and 1 am today arguing over gun control? It's OK to catch some shut eye. I guarantee you that the issue is not going anywhere soon, so take a break.

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-11-24T10:57:07-06:00
ID
136604
Comment

Greg, you made my day with this comment: "Michael Moore's fact-checking is even sloppier than his hygiene." Anyway, on to the gun discussion... Personally, I do know of more people within my circles killed "accidentally" by guns rather than wrongfully. Those accidents were committed by "legal" guns but the owners did not have the intelligence to lock them away from children and/or ignorant relatives. That being said, I think more "training" requirements should be implemented especially for "new gun holders" and possibly an IQ test. :) I tend to agree with you Greg on the issue of illegal guns being used to commit most crimes (handgun or otherwise). It's easier to buy a stolen gun than a legit weapon. So, the bigger question is -- how to prevent legal guns from becoming illegal weapons of death? Why/how are legal guns making it to the black market and why is there such a demand? Those are the issues that should be in the foreground of the gun control debate. Back to Moore... While his movie made me think, it made me think less on the gun issue (as a gun owner) and more of how pathetic we as a society have become. I believe I've seen many others state similar opinions on this board and elsewhere. His movie was a social commentary that ultimately had less to do with guns and more to do with how weak and sick our society has become. Further, knowing that Moore is not such a great "fact checker" means his movie in and of itself is a prime example of how blind the status quo can be when it comes to the American drug called TV/multimedia. I'd like to believe this was his intent but I have a hard time swallowing that pill.... Hope that made sense... Still a little groggy; so, I'm off to get some java... Cheers!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-24T11:04:40-06:00
ID
136605
Comment

Actually, I was up putting the JFP to bed. And *I* was not arguing over gun control. I believe the midnight topic was "stupidity" and when it's appropriate to call one's peers stupid in public. And, admittedly, the whole thing was pretty stupid, so we deserve your ribbing, JimJam. I'm happy to report that Todd and I are headed on holiday this week, and I do not plan to visit this blog much or ... argue with Greg about a damn thing. ;-) I do plan, though, to talk to Todd about working out a more detailed policy for the blog in order to keep ad hominem attacks off of here, and to let people know when/what is likely to be deleted or blocked. (Maybe three strikes and they're out, or something equally as vogue. ) We've been quite laissez-faire about our "inflammatory" policies, and recent days have shown that we probably need to get more strict to preserve the integrity of the discussions and to ensure that people aren't turned away by personal attacks and flames. We're planning to add some cool new features to the site in upcoming weeks, so now's a good time to think about this end as well. On that note, I'd be happy to take suggestions on what should be in the policy in e-mails; not posted on the site. If you've seen other blogs use effective tools to deal with troll problems and lengthy manifestos and diatribes and the like, let me know what they do that you think is effective. When we come back from Thanksgiving, we can institute more detailed rules. Meantime, I'll keep an occasional eye over the site over the next few days; if the overt personal insults calm down considerably, maybe there won't be a need to institute more rules. Let's see if a bit of Libertarian-esque self-regulation can work here.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T11:11:51-06:00
ID
136606
Comment

Donna, If you knew how much I was laughing, you'd be stunned. :D G

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T11:51:10-06:00
ID
136607
Comment

Donna, Kate said I talk too much. I find that insulting. Make her stop.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T12:14:02-06:00
ID
136608
Comment

Perhaps that's merely a "clinical observation." I think there may be lots of lab evidence to support the hypothesis. ;-P

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T13:13:20-06:00
ID
136609
Comment

Good - so can we all now grow thicker skins, or should I just leave y'all alone to agree with each other in peace?

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T13:35:05-06:00
ID
136610
Comment

Greg, if you could refrain from restating people's comments in such an oversimplified manner that the original meaning is lost or contradicted then I don't people would take such offense to your..."responses." Nearly everyone here seems to hav a pretty thick skin and there is far less agreement than you are willing to acknowledge. You simply lump into one category anyone who disagrees with you. I trust everyone had a good weekend?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-24T13:50:15-06:00
ID
136611
Comment

Thick skin isn't the point; rudeness is. It's hard to find skin thicker than mine, Greg, honed from years of being in this business and getting idiotic, insult- and expletive-laden mail. Thickness of skin is irrelevant; personal insults and ad hominem attacks are not welcome here, period. We all know the difference between harmless ribbing (as you and I just did), and some of the insults flying further above and on other recent blogs. To borrow from Potter Stewart, you know an act of sheer rudeness when you see one. And, of course, we can all type something sometimes that is rude or is mistaken; that's natural, and very different from a pattern of the same. And we're all capable of apologizing when we go too far. As I said, you are welcome to stay as long as you join the rest of us as we attempt to keep to the high road. That has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing. It has to do with basic civility.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T15:31:48-06:00
ID
136612
Comment

Busy, Nia, but we're about an hour away from the printer. So relief is near. How's the weather there? I must start packing later.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T16:09:35-06:00
ID
136613
Comment

It stopped raining for a whole 24 hours, but according to the weather folks, that was just a brief reprieve. It's threatening to pour down any minute now. I sympathize with the printing. We go to press tomorrow night and are approving DBLs today.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-24T17:28:39-06:00
ID
136614
Comment

Nia, "... there is far less agreement than you are willing to acknowledge." Then let's take a poll. Anyone here whose opinion differs significantly from those below, chime in. It's simple: Unless you can say that, given two choices, you'd choose the opposite, no need to respond: - Death penalty: generally oppose - Abortion: generally support - School vouchers: generally oppose - Gun control: generally support - U.N.: generally support - War on terrorism: generally oppose

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T17:38:37-06:00
ID
136615
Comment

That poll is even stupider than the ones they use on CNN.com. Go back and read the post about "oversimplyfying."

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-24T17:55:02-06:00
ID
136616
Comment

Oh, right, Nia. Sorry - I should have remembered that you're a complex political being, incapable of being pigeonholed, your beliefs lying on a multi-dimensional realm of cultural and moral relativism, where nothing is black or white, and where answers are never simple or - heaven forfend - final. My apologies.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T18:02:31-06:00
ID
136617
Comment

Now we're gettin' somewhere.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-24T18:13:16-06:00
ID
136618
Comment

- Death penalty: when 100% guilty, support. The problem with my own thinking: most cases are never as cut and dry so as to prove 100% guilt. - Abortion: Support an individual's choice (history shows women will do it one way or another regardless of the risk); personally believe in prevention using education and intervention. - School vouchers: BAH! Where were these when I was in school? If all of us could get along without these growing up, I'm sure kids these days can also. "See, sonny... When I was a kid we had to..." - Gun control: Hmmm... Gun control. I'm all about controlling the guns that are illegally obtained and fenced on the streets (any suggestions on this since most of those guns were once legit?). Restricting legit, registered gun owners is ridiculous and it's nearly impossible to do so without removing all guns from the marketplace. So, in most manners, I am "anti gun control" unless the guns being controlled are black market. - U.N.: This is a double whammy for me. In the "terror" bit, I agree to some degree with the UN. As a whole, the UN scares the $@#! out of me! Too damned Orwellian for me! - War on terrorism: War on terrorism is bunk. Wasn't this the job of the CIA for many years? Oh, that's right, they failed and sucked miserably when doing so... Would rather invest that money into schools and our medical system than covert operations designed to smoke out the so-called "enemies." <<

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-24T18:57:04-06:00
ID
136619
Comment

Knol, So that makes me 4 for 6 with you. BTW, in all fairness the CIA was built to fight the Soviets, not the likes of Al-Qaeda, and they didn't have a chance of being able to get reliable intel on the scum of the world when they're prohibited from talking to scum. Let those paragraphs rip, cowboy.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-24T19:07:06-06:00
ID
136620
Comment

Knol: - Death penalty: when 100% guilty, support. The problem with my own thinking: most cases are never as cut and dry so as to prove 100% guilt. That's why there's reasonable doubt. - Gun control: Hmmm... Gun control. I'm all about controlling the guns that are illegally obtained and fenced on the streets (any suggestions on this since most of those guns were once legit?). Restricting legit, registered gun owners is ridiculous and it's nearly impossible to do so without removing all guns from the marketplace. So, in most manners, I am "anti gun control" unless the guns being controlled are black market. What do y'all think about Project Exile? Off hand, I'd say it looks like a winner to me.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-11-24T19:09:18-06:00
ID
136621
Comment

Death penalty: I agree with it. Isn't going anywhere for a long time. Abortion. Until a child can shoot out of my penis (OUCH!!!), I really won't consider it an issue. Voucher: I agree but I want to wait and see how they do. Gun control. I want a bazooka, Damn it! U.N. Should be subject to death penalty and abortion. War on terrorism. "We make big bomb, it go BOOM" I won't lose any sleep if we summarily kill them on sight because I'm a white guy that stands hardly any chance of being accused of being a terrorist. I reserve the right to change my position if that ever changes.

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-11-24T19:29:45-06:00
ID
136622
Comment

Greg, I must admit that I thought that list you provided was meant as a joke. It sounds like the top six from a GOP wedge issue list. Make fun of her as you will, but Nia is right: It you mean it as a serious arbiter of blog opinion, you are trying to dramatically over-simplify very complex topics by listing those topics and saying "for or against"? Even though you came on the site originally arguing that politics much be either this or that, choose one, you've shown yourself on these boards that every issue contains nuance that don't just fit in a for-or-against, Dem-vs.-GOP paradigm, at least for many, if not most people. Even the "generally" you use yourself suggests nuance. For instance, am I in favor of a "war against terrorism"? Sure, I want to fight terrorism. OK, where should that war take place? Where are the terrorists hiding? How should that war take place? What are the facts behind certain battles against terrorism? How much does it cost? Who's backing us up? What's the end-game? On and on. I'm not going to just sign onto any "war on terrorism," that is. Those are just words, or a sound bite, that needs to be explored further before choices are made. Every other issue on your list can be parsed in much the same wayówhich is absolutely what discussion such as we're trying to have here is about. Don't get me wrong: I don't think it's bad of you to bring up these various large issues, but I think it's elementary logic to try to use such a list to prove that everyone else agrees with each other because they certainly don't agree with you. Just because you place yourself in a certain box -- if you do -- doesn't mean that others do. Greg wrote: "Unless you can say that, given two choices, you'd choose the opposite, no need to respond" What does that mean? That folks who don't choose to "choose" one are automatically pigeonholed somehow? Would someone who has nuanced views on every one of those points, and thus choose not to play the little game automatically be deemed as a member of the "opposite side"? I question your logic again, although I'm too tired and fried to challenge it much more than that.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T20:14:33-06:00
ID
136623
Comment

JimJam wrote: "I reserve the right to change my position if that ever changes." That's very funny. ;-) I suspect you're positioning yourself as the blog satirist, which we probably could use about now. Happy Thanksgiving, all. I like to think you won't hear from me again for days and days, but we'll see.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T20:14:55-06:00
ID
136624
Comment

OK, I didn't leave, yet. As soon as I hit "submit," I had a thought. Maybe a better ideas is for each of us to do our own list of what we "believe in," and ask everyone else to choose sides. If you don't at least "generally agree" with the concept that I believe in, you must be part of some big monolith of folks on the "other side." Right? Off the top of my head, my list would include: Fiscal responsibility Free enterprise Small national deficit Free speech Public education Right to a trial by jury Strong search and seizure protections Crime prevention/"smart" on crime Right to privacy Intellectual property rights Religious tolerance Separation of church and state Right to marry whom one pleases Local control Equal opportunity Strong alliances abroad Strong, farsighted national defense Strong support of American jobs and companies Limited government interference in personal lives The list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a start. (I do feel like I'm back in sixth grade doing one of those "Who do I like" lists. ) Bye, again, before I fall out of my chair with exhaustion. The paper is to bed, and I'm about to be.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-24T20:36:15-06:00
ID
136625
Comment

Donna, Let me get this straight. You just got through launching a broadside against "manifestos," you say "I must admit that I thought that list you provided was meant as a joke," so now you come back... let's see... 22 minutes later, having expanded my list from 6 to a svelte 19? WTF? I posted 6 in the interest of brevity. I picked the topics I did because they are the issues which divide conservatives and liberals most sharply. They're not "wedge issues" - but they are hot buttons for both ends of the spectrum. Asking you to give a thumbs up or down to each one, without a discussion and a list of qualifications, is a good, quick way to find out where everyone stands. Your list is no good. I mean, "fiscal responsibility"? Well hell, presumably all sane people agree with that. Free enterprise? Small national deficit? Free speech? Sounds good to me. Public education? Sure... Everything on your list is something that all reasonable people favor in some form or fashion. What's the point? To Balkanize this thread into a thousand pieces? Come on, Ladd. Answer the tough questions. G

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-25T00:09:27-06:00
ID
136626
Comment

Also, you know damn well I didn't come on here saying that "politics much be either this or that, choose one," I don't buy this formless, smooth gray mush that certain people they exist in, but I have been extremely careful to use terms like "in general," "more or less," "with minor variations," etc., and I defy you to show me otherwise. And don't criticize *me* for wanting to over-simplify, then turn around and try to marginalize me for being simplistic. I've been anything but that, and you know it. By "War on Terrorism," in case anyone is really confused, I mean the war on terrorism as it's being fought now, post-9/11, by the only administration that's had a chance to fight it. I ain't talking about that low-level shadow crap that Clinton and Bush I and Reagam and Carter were doing. You know good and well I'm not talking about the efforts of the Johnson administration. I mean an extended. multi-front, aggressive campaign against terrorist organizations and sponsoring regimes *the way it's being fought now.* In case that's still unclear, what I mean is: The Bush administration's prosecution of the war on terror. "I think it's elementary logic to try to use such a list to prove that everyone else agrees with each other because they certainly don't agree with you." That's not at all what I'm trying to do, and no intelligent reading of my questions would let you arrive at such a conclusion. What I'm trying to do by saying "Don't bother responding if you basically agree with what you see," is a) minimize the burden of responding (like saying, "Anybody who doesn't want pepperoni, raise your hand"); and b) multiply the number of questions by the number of people currently engaged in this thread, and subtract the number of opposing responses. If I'm left with a relatively high number, then I've more or less pegged the positions of most people here. Knol chose to respond to all 6, but he disagreed with only 2. So far, I'm batting .667. Yes, yes, everyone's positions on topics like abortion and the death penalty are a rich tapestry. Of course they are. They're complex issues. But with every item on my list, you should be able to say, "Agree" or "Disagree," without all your gears locking up because you can't express the wonderful subtleties of your elegant and nuanced opinions. For cryin' out loud.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-25T00:34:25-06:00
ID
136627
Comment

Greg, I don't understand what your goal is by consistently arguing points where the arguments have no purpose other than satisfying your ego's agenda. Sure, most of us are going to disagree/agree in the manner you suggested. The JFP brought us here... The alternative views (in other words: non-CL views) presented by Donna and various freelance authors are why we are here. Pardon us if we have like minds or think along a similar thread; it's obvious why we are here. Same could be said of you and your coalition of websites of the rightist persuasion easliy accessible via Rhetoric -- predicatable. You're trivial agenda is boring. You should simply accept that: a)Yes, there are similar thinkers on these blogs. b)No, we are not sheeple; we can think for ourselves and do... You know this. c)Yes, most of us are of the "liberal" persuasion. Most of us prefer "progressive" since we are not necessarily Dem/Rep by definition. d)Yes, we are irritated by people that show up only to feed their own ego and not promote healthy debate. e)Yes, we all think you are childish in your responses and probably have VBell as your personal agent ready to hurl insults whenever fitting. ;-) f)There is no monolith. If there was, we'd certainly melt it down and fill in some of the pot holes in the city -- sacrificing it to the city and further spreading our liberal propaganda onto every street in the city. g)Yes, the world is round and you still haven't been able to respond to that statement. h)"C" DOES stand for cookie and, damn it, that's good enough for me! I predict you might have a return statement on this topic. i)I is for internet-- a place you certainly can find your own monolith to celebrate rather than building fabled ones for others. j)Sheeple are fun to count when going to sleep. Prove me wrong! Greg, lighten up; it's been said time and time again! Your walls of conversation are not worth scaling for many of us at this point. Seriously, I think we all enjoy and learn from you being here... But when your words are wrapped in venom or hostility, they are hardly tolerable. You are intelligent enough to know that your approach to conversation is less than appealing. Hell, I'd go so far as to say your approach is nihilistic and borderline fascist.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-25T10:52:57-06:00
ID
136628
Comment

And for VBell's sake: You're all sheeple! You are all Laddites! You are nothing but Jackson-haters that have nothing good to say about the Clarion Ledger... :) Save yourself the carpal tunnel!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-25T10:55:20-06:00
ID
136629
Comment

Greg, you still talk too much. And, you're boring. Knol, well said.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-25T10:55:52-06:00
ID
136630
Comment

Here, here.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-25T11:00:33-06:00
ID
136631
Comment

;-D Greg, my counter-list seems to have hit the mark. Nothing is as simple as you're trying to make it here. Not the way I, and I suspect many others, view it anyway. My list, by design, contains points that have tons of nuance as you point out, but so does yours, apparently not by design. That's my point. Life, or politics, isn't a true-false, either-or, choose-sides questions. We've got to work harder than that. Face it: I reject your paradigm. And that's OK. We can agree to disagree. I'm cool with it. (BTW, in my glossary, a "manifesto" is spreading the same post over, say, six screens in a row.)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-25T11:00:53-06:00
ID
136632
Comment

Knol, I appreciate many of your points, but don't call Greg a "borderline fascist." That qualifies as "inflammatory."

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-25T11:04:33-06:00
ID
136633
Comment

Woah!!!!! This is getting A LOT of responses!!!! Sorry for not responding, but my phone's been out since Sunday. Give me a while to catch up before I respond

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-25T11:12:59-06:00
ID
136634
Comment

Welcome back, Philip. An intermediate version of The List Game, should anyone care to play it, might be to take the six "hot-button" items on Greg's list and decide where they fit into the 19 items on my list, and where any contradictions, gray areas and such might emerge. That could make for some compelling discussion for those who prefer the more subjective essay form of test to filling in a limited number of bubbles. Now, I have a million things to do today before my holiday can begin. See y'all on the other side.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-25T11:22:25-06:00
ID
136635
Comment

Donna/Knol, Actually, I don't think "borderline fascist" is an insult at all. It's grammatically incorrect (it should be "borderline Fascistic"), but I hardly take it as an insult. There is such a thing as Fascism, and there is a border that defines things as Fascistic or not. Things that are just this side of that border should obviously be viewed with some suspicion. Besides, Knol's remark is so tiresome it doesn't even register. I'm a Fascist. Bush is a Nazi. Yadda yadda yadda. Sticks and stones, rubber and glue. If Knol's remark qualifies as insulting, there's no chance for energetic dialogue around here.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-11-25T14:55:11-06:00
ID
136636
Comment

You're welcome to stop wasting your time in this wasteland at will, Greg.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-11-25T15:05:06-06:00
ID
136637
Comment

What's funny is I read that is 'egocentric dialogue' the first time around, rather than energetic.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-11-25T16:17:51-06:00
ID
136638
Comment

Since the blog has become an insult blog, let's do it right. No more of this pansy "you are a nazi" or "you are a bleeding heart" blah blah blah. Let's hear some good "your mama" insults. I have faith that JFP bloggers can tie someone's political views and their fat mama into a good insult. Something along the lines of "Your mama's so ugly and fat . . . that's why you support abortion."

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-11-25T16:21:06-06:00
ID
136639
Comment

Bwahahaha, jimjam! Your mama's so ugly, Bush is now using her to "smoke out" the enemy!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-11-25T16:30:35-06:00
ID
136640
Comment

LMAO

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-11-25T16:34:48-06:00
ID
136641
Comment

That's frickin' hilarious, Knol! (Can I say that on the blog?) Yo' mama's so ugly, Michael Jackson looks like a natural beauty next to her.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-11-25T16:43:35-06:00
ID
136642
Comment

Handguns: As Kate said, I wasn't arguing for a total ban on handguns. However, I do want them registered so that they can easily be traced when crimes are committed with handguns. After all, if someone steals a handgun, the gun is used in a crime, the gun is found, and the gun (by definition) turns out to be stolen, it's a lot easier to trace the sequence of events that lead to the crime. Consider this: *I have a handgun, with the serial number deeply engraved into the barrel. The gun is registered to me (with documented proof of my legal ownership) *The gun gets stolen and is sold to someone else. *The gun's used to hold up a Super Stop. *The perpetrator gets caught, and cops find the gun. *The cops would know the gun is stolen because it's not registered to the robber. *The cops question the robber where he got the gun from. So, in this case, its possible not only to catch the armed robber, its possible to find the stolen-gun dealer too, and most likely the guy who broke into my house to steal the gun and sold it. All thanks to registration and the serial number. These steps may or may not make someone think twice before stealing a gun, but it does make it easier to solve crimes.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-11-28T11:14:07-06:00
ID
136643
Comment

While I'm certainly in favor of controlling weapons that are not handguns or hunting guns (such as machine guns, UZIs, and other such weapons that obviously are not meant for either hunting or protection of home and person), I honestly don't think registering handguns is going to do much good. Criminals will respond (as they already have) by filing the registration numbers off. The possibility of a person being charged for a crime because the registration number matches them is a small concern (a very small concern, I admit, but there). Be terrible to be charged with a crime committed with your registered gun, when you were not the perpetrator. When you register handguns, it really only affects law-abiding citizens (in practical terms), in the same way that making handguns illegal would - only the criminals benefit. I think all the gun control energy that is being expended needs to be forcused toward those weapons that are presently legal, but dangerous and not suited for anything but crime and insurrection.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-11-28T13:42:28-06:00
ID
136644
Comment

Y'know, I watch these blogs in an attempt to chime in somewhere, but they always seem to degenerate into cliched, "Right vs Left" arguments I've seen a million times before. And some people (They never know who they are) are just plain nasty. I don't have the time or energy for flame wars, and that's too bad; I might have something to say. Just a thought.

Author
PoetDoc
Date
2003-12-01T18:23:20-06:00
ID
136645
Comment

PoetDoc, I have to agree with you. Of late, things have been overly contentious. My tactic these days is simply to ignore 90% of what some posters say. And to randomly post tangential information to see if the conversation can be re-focused. It doesn't work very often, but sometimes it does. Join us - blogging can be fun!

Author
Kate
Date
2003-12-01T18:36:29-06:00
ID
136646
Comment

PoetDoc you might want to just stay in the house with the blinds drawn and the doors deadbolted if you are so much of a fraidy cat. Its survival of the fittest out here in the big bad world. Take your prior restraints and see if you can get Nia to shut up. Otherwise, wade in or keep your tail between your legs.

Author
VBell
Date
2003-12-01T19:31:29-06:00
ID
136647
Comment

Ahhh, Somebody on this board thinks they are the Ad Hominem Avenger - with their short comments sure to intimidate any sensitive 13 year old. But alas, it's merely The Attack of the Killer Chihuahua!

Author
Philip
Date
2003-12-01T19:46:21-06:00
ID
136648
Comment

That's all you've got? LMAO I'm sure Ladd will be here shortly to protect you.

Author
VBell
Date
2003-12-01T20:38:18-06:00
ID
136649
Comment

VBell, I'm sorry you fluncked your audition for that Taco Bell commercial, but I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it

Author
Philip
Date
2003-12-01T21:08:19-06:00
ID
136650
Comment

Bwahahaha! That's funny Philip! :-) Vbell is so vicious, it can never actually participate in a discussion. It just shows up every now and then to throw darts at people it feels humbled by.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-12-01T22:46:50-06:00
ID
136651
Comment

And goddess help me, I never thought I'd agree with Vbell on anything, but it has a point--for once: Give us a try PoetDoc. This isn't your boss's cocktail party. That's the beauty--and the annoyance--of it. But oh what a thrilling ride! Even the regular posters break down every now and then and feed a troll from time to time, namely me. And I freely admit that I come on strong since I believe in fighting fire with fire. But most of the time you'll find very intelligent, spirited debate--as long as you ignore Greg and his pet chihuahua. You haven't been lurking on this site very long if you haven't seen the positives.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-12-01T22:54:32-06:00
ID
136652
Comment

OK, I've been misunderstood and flamed...big freaking deal. :) My boss doesn't have cocktail parties, by the way - he's a conservative Christian. The problem here (not in this blog, but in the original issue) lies in assuming any political stance is a solution. Saying Dean is "Too liberal" for the South is like saying a catfish smells too fishy. If we'd defer to common sense and ignore both poles, each of which defies any kind of sense, we'd be a lot better off. As for handguns, we license drivers for aiming a multi-ton, deadly weapon at their destination, and no one seems to complain about having their cars taken away. License gun owners, and the results will be the same. It's to protect those of us the guns might be pointed at as well as those who hold them.

Author
PoetDoc
Date
2003-12-02T12:02:36-06:00
ID
136653
Comment

PoetDoc, definitely hang around a bit. We are definitely seeing more nastiness of late -- BUT that's probably inevitable with people with different ideologies trying to discuss issues; it just doesn't happen much in today's divided America (ironically, divisions that benefit very few of us). We're trying to figure out how much to police the boards for ad hominem attacks, although I prefer self-regulation and a more laissez-faire approach to it -- if it'll work.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T13:42:47-06:00
ID
136654
Comment

The funny thing is that most of the ad hominem attacks (and other logical fallacies) can be very telling to the people reading (most of whom aren't blogging), so I haven't removed any nasty posting, yet, figuring each of them speaks for itself. But we are planning to post a more detailed Terms of Service, because I don't want the blog hijacked by nastiness that, in then, will squelch conversation or this forum for folks who aren't firmly on the far right or anywhere else on the spectrum to talk about issues. We are an "alternative" and unapologetic about that; that will inevitably bring out the nasty dawgs that only want one flavor of dialogue (theirs). I also want to keep the forum anonymous for those who wish to state their opinions without their employers knowing and so on, but I do know the identity of nearly everybody on this site, including the flamers. And if we need to, we will make the rules heftier in order to preserve the discussion and limit the personal crap -- which, of course, in itself is telling and educational. You know the saying: ignorant people talk about people, intelligent people talk about ideas, or something like that.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T13:46:36-06:00
ID
136655
Comment

Beyond the flames (please, please, all, ignore them), my biggest frustration is the folks who want more than anything to position everything as simplistically right-vs.-left. This is a MAJOR problem we have in the country today, and in the media, and it does not serve dialogue or public policy. Even though the blogs here have been more juvenile in the last few weeks, they are also proving how ridiculous simplistic paradigms are. And I'm not sure how we're going to get past the left-vs.-right-pick-one trap if we don't wade through this type of messy public display that shows, better than anything I've seen, the poor logic and bad assumptions that we all use when we try to force each other into ideological boxes (and that goes for the left just as much as for the right, although the right has the upper hand in intimidation right now. Won't last, so all you anti-ideologues speak up, even if -- especially if -- you don't agree with each other. Being a lapdog ain't cool, and don't let anyone tell you it is).

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T13:52:10-06:00
ID
136656
Comment

All that said, if anyone is really offended by an ad hominem comment someone makes, notify me in e-mail. The blogs are getting so busy that it's hard for me to keep an eye on everything, but if someone insults you in a way that you do not wish to remain public, we'll take it down. (Am I the only one having trouble posting more than a few sentences on this blog. Maybe the anti-manifesto detector has kicked in. )

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T13:53:06-06:00
ID
136657
Comment

Donna, FWIW, for months I participated in a politics listserv (infested with New Yorkers, btw) whose only rule was, don't spam the list with advertisements. Other than that, anything was allowed and it was impossible to get banned. It was a raucous place to be, and definitely no place for little kids or the thin-skinned, but the level of debate was extremely sharp, even if it was peppered from time to time with some real flames, some of which rose to the level of art. My personal opinion is that the tighter you try to control things, the less active the threads will be. I'd certainly encourage you to draw the line at using racial or ethnic epithets, but anything short of that, I'd recommend you just let it go. Sticks and stones, you know...

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-12-02T14:49:41-06:00
ID
136658
Comment

PoetDoc, There is no constitutional right to drive a car. There is to own a gun. When an amendment passes giving us a right - which "shall not be infringed" - to drive a car, then the driver's license comparison will be valid.

Author
Greg Griffith
Date
2003-12-02T14:56:47-06:00
ID
136659
Comment

Ah, maybe that's where your unique power to influence people comes from. ;-) As I've said already, Greg, I'm not going to run an insult blog (although good-natured jabs are harmless; and, yes, I (or Todd) will decide which they are). We all have seen insult sites (or heard screech-radio), and they're stupid and not interesting, except for those doing the insulting or posting the, er, artful flames. If you, and others, can stick to issues and leave out the ad hominem attacks (that is, self-regulate), then there won't be need for further regulation or kicking folks off the blog. It's simple.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T15:13:46-06:00
ID
136660
Comment

Otherwise, perhaps the biggest advice I can give everyone is to read what people say a couple times before you post (and read your post a couple of times before you post it). Nothing is more frustrating than having someone completely rewrite what you say and then try to use it against you. Recently here that sloppy (or intentionally nefarious) habit has been epidemic, and shows a complete disrespect for the debate and other posters. Ultimately, it only makes the person doing it look bad, but it does get in the way of discussion because people don't bother trying to have thoughtful talk with the person doing it; they assume it's useless. So often those threads become dull and one-sided. So the word of the day is "self-regulate."

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T15:15:01-06:00
ID
136661
Comment

To be more precise, there is a constitutional right of "the people" to "keep and bear arms." Beyond that, there is room for discussion and judicial interpretation, just as there is with all of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (thankfully). Here's a summary of some judicial history to date: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment02/

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-02T15:19:49-06:00
ID
136662
Comment

Just to point out, when dean made the comment, he meant that southern blacks and whites can unite on economic needs. As for guns, he thinks it's a fake issue, because if you check his positions, he believes in state decision on that. He actually had a very high NRA rating because he resisted gun control efforts in vermont, which has the weakest gun laws in the country, and also very low gun violence. He just thinks decisions like that depend on where you are. As for God, he's probably religious. He said to a campaigner that he prayed daily. I've just noticed that New Englanders and northeasterners are very big on keeping politics separate from religion, probably because the catholics and protestants around up there wanted to kill each other for so long. A good friend of mine is a born-again northern baptist from vermont (also very pro-Dean), goes to church and youth prayer groups 4 times a week, but he doesn't like to talk much about it publicly. They're just very private about religion, which is an interesting regional difference. Probably a mix of immigrant religious strife, reactions to puritanism, and all the damned snow :) -louisianian in exile in massachusetts

Author
donald
Date
2003-12-14T00:57:48-06:00
ID
136663
Comment

There goes a (nouveau) Yankee again: blaming it on "all the damned snow." Seriously, thanks for writing, Donald. I hope you'll visit us again.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-12-14T11:27:05-06:00
ID
136664
Comment

I have seen Sen. Kerry three times, and, at least to me, he looks just the same on television as he doens in real life. Dr. Dean, although he is not a candidate this year for any office, won the party's race for chairmanship. He defeated over five candidates for the postion. Therefore, he is the winner of that race. He also won the office of Governor of Vermont. And, in his race for the chairmanship of the national Party, the first (or one of the first) state chairmen who supported him openly was Wayne Dowdy, the present chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

Author
danfling
Date
2007-01-21T09:49:16-06:00

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