"Iron will, Iron fist! How can it have come to this?" --Iron Maiden, from "The Mercenary" on BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Today is the day known as Columbus Day (or Colombian Day, according to the stoner crowd at Lemoore High School). The myth is that Columbus was trying to prove the Earth was round, and it was he who discovered The Americas.

Both myths are a rancid load of Bravo Sierra, if you get my drift. First off the bat, even before Columbus' time, many navigators knew that the world was not flat...they just did not know that by sailing westward, you ran into a continent--unexplored at that--before you were able to hit the riches of Asia.

Second, remnants of settlments in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia contained artifacts from Viking explorers, long before the voyages of Columbus started. Plus, there were indegineous tribes living on both the North and South American continents, so the land already had inhabitants.

However, Columbus did discover the Caribbean Islands, and claimed them for the sponsors of his voyage--the Spanish Throne of Fredinand and Isabella. The members of the Taiho tribe, however, were soon either claimed by Death (smallpox was the main killer), or as slaves to be brought back to Spain.

In this, Columbus began the ethos of the European explorers when it came to dealing the new lands they ran into: "Conquer, Christianize, Civilize...then work the natives for everything they could produce, including thmselves." Any native who did not "get with the program," as it were, faced getting chopped down by arquebus fire or a lance thrust.

Like all who came later to the New World, Columbus took far more than he gave..and what he gave the Tahio tribe was disease, death, and misery. He gave his sponsors what belonged to the Tahio--including enslaved Tahio members.

However, at best, Columbus was a mercenary...a Genoan in the employ of the Spanish Crown, taking Spanish treasure and commanding Spanish seamen in a quest for a westward passage to the Spice Islands and the Orient. The profits of his journeys were to--supposedly--finance yet another Great Crusade to retake Jerusalem and the Holy Lands. They went into the Royal Spanish Treasury, instead.

So, knowing this, should we celebrate Columbus the man, or Columbus the myth? Certainly, he was a total dillweed when it came to the natives he encountered (more than Tahio tribe members were sent back to Spain and Europe to serve their white masters). In fact, he was an outright slave-trader--the first of his breed.

It was not until one hundred years later that the Spanish crown put an end to this most pernicious aspect of Columbus' legacy, outlawing trade in Carribean-born slaves. However, the actions of Christopher Columbus set the tone for how the Spanish, Potuguese, and English (plus the Dutch later on) conducted their explorations of "The New World."

Certainly, Columbus was no saint (to those tribes he encountered, they eventually regarded him as Lucifer incarnate). However, he was among the first to reach the New World...armed with disease, advanced weaponry, The Holy Bible...and a big Spanish flag, planted like a realtor's sign to advertise that this was now Spanish land.

So, now the question must be asked... "Knowing what we do, is it proper to still celebrate today as Columbus Day?"

That is for you to decide for yourself. Me, today is just another day that God has granted me of life.

--RKJ

Comments

antigeekess Oct. 12, 2009 @ 1:56 p.m.

"Second, remnants of settlments in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia contained artifacts from Viking explorers, long before the voyages of Columbus started. Plus, there were indegineous tribes living on both the North and South American continents, so the land already had inhabitants."

Yup, it's pretty lame. Not only did he "discover" a place that was already inhabited, he wasn't even the first non-native to do so. Those Vikings got around.

For me, it's a day off. For Native Americans, definitely nothing to celebrate.

Nice one, Robbie.

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CuddleFish Oct. 12, 2009 @ 2:15 p.m.

Good post, RobbieBear. I think it's good to have Columbus Day to remind us every year of the atrocities committed on native peoples everywhere.

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 12, 2009 @ 7:12 p.m.

I wonder about the impetus to demonize historical figures. Obviously, we all feel (and SHOULD feel) shame for the rivers of blood which washed away the indigenous cultures of America. The extermination of pre-Colombian Americans is prolly the worst thing that's happened, ever. Nothing will ever come close to putting right the wrongs done between the fifteenth century and, well, today. That said, what's the point in condemning past actions like this? Is there some sort of amelioration of deep-seated, cultural guilt that goes along with wagging the finger at history's "bad guys?" What's the point? What's gained by this recontextualizing of cultural "heroes" as "villains?" Any judgment we make is merely a reflection of our own issues passed off and deferred into history, thereby made basically impotent. I'm not saying you guys are wrong, you're RIGHT about Columbus, de Soto, Cortes, et. al., hell, the whole Age of Exploration, equating to a genocidal rampage of some fabulous cultures, which it would be much better to have around today. But why judge past actions so harshly? What good does it do? Is it even, perhaps, harmful that we do this?

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antigeekess Oct. 12, 2009 @ 8:35 p.m.

Well, Pike, it's been said that, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,"

So, there's that possibility.

And contrary to your post, the indigenous cultures of the Americas have not been washed away, try though Columbus and his kind might. In fact, one of the most delightful experiences I've had in the past decade was watching members of some of those cultures show up at the university to tell the clueless white guys "teaching" about their cultures that they were WRONG about a lot of stuff.

It just doesn't get any better than that. :)

The continued veneration of white and European murderers of the past only serves to sanction the ethnocentricity/Eurocentricity of the revisionist historians who have misinformed us for the last couple hundred years. It's a slap in the face to the existing members of our indigenous cultures, and the memory of their ancestors.

That's why.

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antigeekess Oct. 13, 2009 @ 12:53 p.m.

Fishy queried:

"Exactly how does one demonize demons?"

Now THAT is the most succinctly astute post I've ever seen from you, Fish. Brava!

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Robert Johnston Oct. 13, 2009 @ 1:11 p.m.

Hi, folks!

Time to put in my two cents here... !) FFP--The so-called "demonization of heroes" concept just does not fly. Humans are humans--warts and all. To pedestalize folks like Columbus, Drake, Raliegh, Vespucci, Cortez, Pizzaro and Magellan is to ignore the reality for some sort of fantasy.

The more we learn what sort of folks these "explorers" truly were, the better we can understand not only their histories, but also about the "Age of Exploration" itself.

And BTW: In the ultimate example of colonial arrogance, the Lateran Treaty divided the world into two spheres for exploration, exploitation and extermination. The two signers--Spain and Portugal--divided the world into two spheres of influence. One half went to Spain, the other to Portugal.

Eventually, Spain (under Phillip II and the Duke of Alva) conquered Portugal, rendering the Lateran treaty moot and void.

Also, FFP, about three essays ago, you made a rather snide remark about me taking my dates to places like Chili's and Applebees...as in how I got a third date after two at such eateries!

First off, m'man, it's not good practice to invite your date home for a dinner on the first-or-second date. Mainly, because the lass-in-question will suspect you have far more on your mind than feeding her a home-cooked dinner. When I'm getting to know my new female friend, I prefer to do so in a public place...it's easier for both parties concerned.

Second--I have a beer budget, and make do accordingly. Of course I'd like to take my new-found lady friend to Mille Fleurs, Mr. A's or Anthony's Star-Of-The Sea room...but no can do on my budget! Chili's, Applebees, or Famous Dave's is the best I can afford.

--RKJ

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antigeekess Oct. 13, 2009 @ 1:26 p.m.

"Also, FFP, about three essays ago, you made a rather snide remark about me taking my dates to places like Chili's and Applebees...as in how I got a third date after two at such eateries!"

Actually, Robbie, that wasn't Pike. It was my friend Daniels, whom I soundly thrashed for being such a food snob -- although she may have a bit of a point, based on my own few experiences at Chili's and Applebee's out here. I'm sure some are better than others.

As for me, my original comment about that still stands -- that some of us would be delighted to find ourselves at just about ANY restaurant where our date didn't sit on his wallet when the check came!

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 13, 2009 @ 1:38 p.m.

Easy there, homey, let's try to keep the guns in the holsters for now, aight? Wasn't even me who made the "surprised about the second date" comment, otay? So let's try not to take my strange, academic, ultimately pointless condemnations of contemporary culture personally because, I assure you, it's nothing personal, ever. You're a cool guy and a good writer and I appreciate you raising some interesting topics for us to talk about.

Fact of the matter is that the elevation and destruction of historical figures are both completely arbitrary practices. Conquistadores only get to be heroes or villains (always arbitrarily) through the retrospective lens of history which is ALWAYS a fantasy created by us, in the present, in the practice of historicizing. My point is not so much that you or anyone else is ruining my fantasy world (wherein Bold White(ish) Men Conquer the Savage Lands So That I May Live In Suburban Utopia Several Hundred Years Later), rather I more mean to say that the practice of turning a judgmental eye towards history easily becomes a ritualized gesture of looking away from the present. To put a twist on AG's "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," I offer that we spend an awful lot of time creating a past to remember and therefore repeating it, perpetually, under the guise of remembering and controlling it.

We might think we get closure on past wrongs by recognizing them and attempting self-effacement for the sake of history, but really closure is a process of connecting absent facts to present ones. Scott Mcleod (in a book on making comic books, of all places) quite rightly points out that "closure" is really the practice of reconciling the unknown with the known. Getting closure on the past is just a way of recognizing the myriad ways in which it is no different from the present. We ARE repeating the errors of colonialism, every day and in different ways, the practice of looking backwards and saying "never forget" allows us the liberty of creating an artificial gap between then and now, of achieving closure. Ultimately, it helps us to NOT change anything. You said we ignore reality in favor of fantasy, I'm just suggesting that all we have is fantasy and maybe the tendency to point to a fantasy which is fashionably preferable and say, "oh, look, reality!" is worth a wee bit of scrutiny.

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CuddleFish Oct. 13, 2009 @ 1:58 p.m.

This is actually what Pike said about Applebee's:

It's not a date if you go to Applebee's, or any other place that substitutes gluing crap on the walls for ambiance.

My 0.02

By FullFlavorPike 12:36 a.m., Oct 8, 2009

I tend to agree with AG, it's a date if the guy pays!!!

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SDaniels Oct. 13, 2009 @ 1:58 p.m.

First issue, AG: Asking if I am a food snob does not equal a sound thrashing, AG :)

Second issue, LPR: Yes, it was I who questioned whether or not one would get a third date. Didn't consider I was being snide, just playful, though I don't think those two establishments offer much for people who REALLY love good food--or anything at all for vegetarians-- to eat. When I was invited to eat at either of these places with others, I had no choice but to sit politely, and sip a drink. The point: If you felt that either place was sufficient for a first date with me--a hot chick--you would not likely get a second date.

HOWEVER, LPR: If I were single, and you took me to a coffeeshop on Columbus day, and showed your kick-ass knowledge of the true meaning of said day, you can bet your imperialistic smarts that you would get second, third, and fourth dates ;)

Third issue, Pike, who whined:

"That said, what's the point in condemning past actions like this? Is there some sort of amelioration of deep-seated, cultural guilt that goes along with wagging the finger at history's "bad guys?" What's the point? What's gained by this recontextualizing of cultural "heroes" as "villains?" Any judgment we make is merely a reflection of our own issues passed off and deferred into history, thereby made basically impotent."

I seriously do not get your point, Pikenstein, other than as an intellectual exercise, which is inappropriate to apply to these kinds of historical events. You yourself wrote: "genocidal rampage." It is clearly intellectually appropriate to ask how we review events from various sociohistorical standpoints and methodologies, and how narratives change over time; but wonder whether or not we should condemn the slaughter of indigenous peoples?!

If you want an immediate reason to continue to ask questions about how and why we might revise history, start by considering how exactly it comes about that such abominations as Columbus day and Thanksgiving are still on the calendar--as patriotic events full of American cultural pride.

Fact is, schools are still teaching how in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and how he did us a great turn by discovering all kinds of neat lands, animals, and oh yeah--people who needed to be discovered in order to exist. (Apparently they also needed to be tortured, enslaved, and murdered by the thousands). I think it is more important to question this particular putre-fact, eh?

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PistolPete Oct. 13, 2009 @ 2:06 p.m.

The biggest joke in American history is American History itself.

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antigeekess Oct. 13, 2009 @ 8:32 p.m.

Daniels declared:

"Asking if I am a food snob does not equal a sound thrashing, AG :)"

It was behind the woodshed. I employed the use of a flashy thing, so you would not remember.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2009/02/flashy-thing-winmo-65-rm-eng.jpg

And then:

"I seriously do not get your point, Pikenstein, other than as an intellectual exercise, which is inappropriate to apply to these kinds of historical events. You yourself wrote: "genocidal rampage." It is clearly intellectually appropriate to ask how we review events from various sociohistorical standpoints and methodologies, and how narratives change over time; but wonder whether or not we should condemn the slaughter of indigenous peoples?!"

And some other stuff, all of which I agree completely.

In other words, "Yeah, what she said."

BTW, I say this as a direct product of the bloodbath that was the interaction between the Cherokee and the Irish. If a bunch of Irishmen hadn't come over and bumped off most of the Cherokee men and enslaved the Cherokee women as their wives, I wouldn't be sitting here typing this right now.

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 13, 2009 @ 11:54 p.m.

Aw, jeez, I had to come back and try this thread once more after I saw this:

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/bks/1418753272.html

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/bks/1418750300.html

http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/bks/1418746241.html

Hopefully the ironic levity will convince you all that Pike still wants to be your friends and engage you in meaningful dialogue :)


Daniels, you're feeling under the weather and I don't want to pick on you, but:

"Who are we to judge which is which? I truly believe that if you are to be a writer, you should force yourself to take something about which you tend wax judgemental, and write it from at least two different points of view, really exploring each protag's feelings and consciousness. This can be applied to any topic about which we want to learn more about basic humanity."

If this is your take on things--which I do believe it is because everybody here is awesome and open-minded and I like you all a lot--I feel a little miffed as it rather seems like nobody wants to discuss this with me, or even listen to me at all.

I cite the pithy wisdom of my very wise roommate: "If you're angry, you're probably not 100% right about something."

That said, I catch way too much anger in this thread for us to actually discuss anything productively. I will try, once more, to clarify myself. I preface this with the caveat that I don't want you all to be getting mad at me and thinking I'm some sort of weird fascist who wants to wrap himself in a flag and claim history in the name of AMERICA. Not the case at all. If anything, I'm just trying to push an idea that I think is a little more radical, a little more progressive than the current fashions and idioms of historicity.

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 13, 2009 @ 11:54 p.m.

Apparently, there's a 3k word limit on comments. Here's the rest!

ANYWAYS:

The thing that I think isn't coming across, what no one seems to hear me saying, is that I'm really not talking about history at all. I'm talking about NOW. To clarify, my take on colonialism is pretty simple. It was awful, many people died. My family has trickled together from a lot of different places, there are colonial oppressors in there right alongside some highly oppressed Massachusett-speaking Indians. But I don't see the point in talking about that because we live in a world where things are awful NOW for lots of people, myself included since I'm incredibly, staggeringly indebted and living on a pittance. What I have been trying to communicate is that I see contemporary attitudes towards history--or ANYTHING--as wells of information ripe for explication.

Why? I ask. Why? Why do we look with such anger towards the past? What does that tell us about US here NOW in the present? Am I wrong for thinking that there's perhaps something masked by that anger, something we refuse to admit about ourselves? I don't think so, I really don't. I think it's telling that there's so much anger wrapped up in issues like this. To me, it looks like the anger of political right-mindedness. To me, our view on history is steeped in dogma. It has become heretical to question the condemnation of the past just as it was once heresy to naysay its veneration. I personally, am for neither. I just want you all to hear me say one thing: the way we deal with history has nothing whatsoever to do with past events, instead, it tells us much about ourselves right here and now.

Daniels asks a great question; "Why is Columbus Day even on the calendar?" This hits us in the now, lets us look at ourselves instead of a throwing invective at a scurvy-ridden pirate hundreds of years in the grave.

To further complicate my standpoint: Of COURSE we should never attempt to deny the horrors of genocide! Denying that bad s**t happens is insanity. If I could prevent things like the "Death March of de Soto" through Florida, of course I would! I'm a little ashamed that my character isn't strongly enough represented to you that you would think I propose such a thing. Clearly, I'll have to write my blogs and comments better.

Call me crazy, but I just think we can do better. Get beyond the rage and anger and pointed language. Turn that critical eye towards the here and now and face our own wrongs rather than condemn someone else.

At the end of the day, Pike loves you and wants you all to lead happy lives.

Hugs and :* for the bunch of you. Let's all be friends.

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 2:16 a.m.

Pike wrote: "But I don't see the point in talking about that because we live in a world where things are awful NOW for lots of people [...] What I have been trying to communicate is that I see contemporary attitudes towards history--or ANYTHING--as wells of information ripe for explication."

Pikey, to begin with, I did not write in anger, just mild annoyance and a bit of surprise. It does not affect my feelings about your non-Yah Dude awesomeness and coolness, which was and remains--for me--intact since reading your very first blog. And don't worry about slogging any argument about me when I am not well--because that is about 90% of the time lately--I am still capable of some reading and writing :)

Now, to attend to the topic at hand: I agree with your general sentiment above, and it doesn't look like we are in complete disagreement on the whole. What I think you might be doing here, though, is assuming that those of us who expressed dismay over Columbus day might just be mindlessly repeating invective, rather than keenly aware of historical trends. The fact is, if we continue to question why Columbus day is still on the calendar, we may begin to understand a bit more about a uniquely American historical revisionism, as well as a European imperialist past.

This is why we revisit these themes in contemporary cultural studies, and you've doubtless found many theses dealing with both together. On the downside, there is a lot of indoctrination happening in cultural studies programs, and you end up with a lot of kids with misdirected anger who think that expression of outrage at historically documented injustice equates with refusal to actually read Descartes or any of the "old white dudes." I am nearly as impatient with that attitude as I am racist nonthinking attitudes.

If you have some theory you are chewing over, let me know what it is, and I can discuss it with you. As I've said, I've been out of the loop theory-wise for a time, but am very interested in knowing what you've learned and how you apply theory.

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 8:52 a.m.

re: #13: "Daniels declared:

"Asking if I am a food snob does not equal a sound thrashing, AG :)"

It was behind the woodshed. I employed the use of a flashy thing, so you would not remember."

To which I, Great Aunt Ada Doom, reply:

"[No wonder I have a traumatic memory that]

I saw something nasty in the woodshed!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncYIQRIyovQ&NR=1

(see 9:32)

:)

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CuddleFish Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:05 a.m.

Sure you did!! But did it see you?? :)

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:50 a.m.

Yeah, but did it see you, baby?! I love that film! :)

And speaking of, I did see YOU CuddleFish--just picked up my weekly copy of the Reader, cutie :)

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nan shartel Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:09 a.m.

I'm going to get my READER now Cuddlefish!!!!!

zzzzzzzzzoooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

and I'm glad we aren't Vinland and i don't have to pronounce those hard consonant names...like Bjork...Bjorn etc

i like that we have the ROMANCE languages here...hahahahaha...hey did u know that October is Mexico month...let's get out the PINK PAINT!!!!!!!

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 11:52 a.m.

Re #17:

"I saw something nasty in the woodshed!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncYIQRIyo...

(see 9:32)"

Are you sure it isn't 9:23?

MoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

;)

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:22 p.m.

Pike quoted his roommate: "If you're angry, you're probably not 100% right about something."

And I'm sure it's a very comforting thing for him to tell himself, when he's been busted on something and is getting yelled at by a very angry person. :)

I'd say it's more like, "When you're 100% right about something, you probably have the right to be angry."

See that? Kinda like jujitsu, a non-angry martial art that uses your opponent's own energy (or BS, as the case may be) against him.

Pikey then fretted: "I don't want you all to be getting mad at me and thinking I'm some sort of weird fascist who wants to wrap himself in a flag and claim history in the name of AMERICA."

Of course not. Just a bright young guy who overvalues intellectualism and enjoys theorizing too much.

Oh yes, you're on the cutting edge there, Pikester...

  1. Flag-Waving-Redneck America ->
  2. White-Liberal-Guilt America ->
  3. Backlash Against White Liberal Guilt America.

(Like we couldn't see that one coming.)

And Daniels wrote: "The fact is, if we continue to question why Columbus day is still on the calendar, we may begin to understand a bit more about a uniquely American historical revisionism, as well as a European imperialist past."

Precisely. Just because the BS that constitutes most of American "history" is on YOUR radar, Pike, doesn't mean it's reached the masses, most of whom are still back at square one, just lovin' them some Columbus.

It's great you're focusing on the now. That's what a good Marxist atheist is supposed to do (not that you are one, or anything). It's useful. Wanna get something done? Ask an atheist. They're running out of time, after all. :)

From a psychological perspective, I can certainly see that a lopsided view in which historical figures are put in their proper light, while simultaneously failing to apply the same scrutiny to ourselves, is just simple mass projection.

I wonder if you've seen "Capitalism: A Love Story" yet? I'll bet you have, or soon will. Michael Moore starts off comparing the U.S. with ancient Rome before the fall, and he's right on.

However, first things first. Columbus Day is still on the calendar, as is Thanksgiving. False information is still being taught in schools. Ya gotta start somewhere.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:29 p.m.

I vote we start with replacing the baloney that kids are fed in public schools about Columbus and Thanksgiving. Perhaps invite some Native Americans over to explain what actually went on, according to THEIR perspective. They're around. Maybe some are even reading this blog, at this very moment...

Wouldn't that be great? Turn Thanksgiving into "Native American Celebration Day" and invite some of them to dinner? For realsies this time, with no slaughter a few days after?

I'm sure Martha Stewart could do a whole issue on it.

It's a good thing.

:)

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:34 p.m.

I say we murder us some pilgrims and re-name it Celebrate Your American Fat A** Day. :-D The best thing about Thanksgiving? Football. We really need to get rid of the lame tradition of having two sty teams play EVERY fin' year!!!! Detroit & Dalls? O_o WTF?

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:36 p.m.

Re #26:

Sorry, Fish. It's just the link copied from Daniels' post. They're truncated & don't work when copied. I forgot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncYIQRIyovQ&NR=1

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:39 p.m.

Re #28:

Pete, leave it to you to turn a thread about history to football.

:/

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:43 p.m.

F Columbus. Everyone knows the Vikings were here first. Speaking of Vikings....I can't wait till the Packers kick the s out of Favre and the 'Queens. Although we DO get to beat up on the Detroit Tabby Cats on Stuff Your American Faces In Celebration Of Murdering Native Indians Day. Should be fun! :-D

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:57 p.m.

Re #32:

"F*** Columbus."

Well, although I agree with the sentiment, I'm not a necrophiliac. You like guys. You do it.

"Everyone knows the Vikings were here first. Speaking of Vikings...."

"I can't wait till the Packers kick the s*** out of Favre and the 'Queens.

I can understand why you like Packers, but why would you want to beat up on Queens?

;)

Love ya, Pete.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 1:13 p.m.

Hey Pete,

Whaddya think of this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV4eMNpW0oc&feature=sub

If they don't let him in the NFL, he could always be the poster boy for "Celebrate Your American Fat Ass Day." 'Course, he might have some stiff competition.

http://my-trivia.net/images/southpark_cartman.gif

Nothing says American like a nice set of moobs, no?

;)

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 1:34 p.m.

LMAO@moobs! I'm all for Rush getting the Rams. All politics and racism aside,I think he might actually be able to restore some dignity to the game. One of the reasons the owners don't want him to become like them is simple:the truth hurts. Take Michael Vick for example. It's not the fact that he was involved with dogfighting. That's bad. It's what he did with the losers that's so outrageous. Owners like Rush would say"HELL to the f*** NO!" when it comes to players like Vick. The NFL has become a huge joke in terms of respectable sports and Rush would upset that.

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 2:27 p.m.

You must be on amyl nitrate to come up with "Rush" and "dignity" in the same sentence.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 2:38 p.m.

LOL! IF you look at it with an open-mind though,you'll understand where I'm coming from. Rush would just be the owner of a football team. Big whoop. Any man(black,white or rainbow sherbert)who would refuse to play a game because of who the owner of the team is,is just f***ed in the membrane. I understood Eli not wanting to come here. His winning the Super Bowl put that argument to rest. Professional sports players should be playing to win. NOT because it's a popularity contest and NOT for the owners or coaches. The NFL has become a huge group of pussies."WAAAAAAAAAA! I don't want to play for the big,bad racist! WAAAAAAAAAAA!". Give me a break. Only in a recession and the worst time in America's short life does this conversation even come up.

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CuddleFish Oct. 14, 2009 @ 3:07 p.m.

Pete, you need to re-think what you just said. Seriously.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

How can the NFL deny a conservative blowhard with a radio show designed to piss most people off and garner support from a modest percentage, the opportunity for partial ownership of a franchise? I don't like the guy at all, but seriously? What if Jerry Springer wanted to buy a team? What sort of a line are we drawing here?

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CuddleFish Oct. 14, 2009 @ 3:30 p.m.

The line is, just guessing, that Rush Limbaugh is an outspoken racist, Jerry Springer isn't. I would imagine the NFL wouldn't allow Lou Dobbs to be part owner of a team either, for the same reason.

Several potential draft picks have already stated for the record that they would refuse to play for a team that had Rush Limbaugh as an owner. I would think many fans would stay away from games for the same reason. I'd like to think that the NFL would turn Rush down on principal, but in reality, of course, the NFL is all about the money. They don't need the headache, the PR issues, or the potential loss of income.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 3:38 p.m.

WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Hold on here. If the NFL was about morals,Vick wouldn't be in Philly,Lewis wouldn't be in Baltimore and Al Davis would be in a homeless shelter mumbling about this and that. I'll go on record as a hater of Rush. I can't stand the pompous windbag and think he does more to hurt the Republican Party than help it but we're not talking about politics here. We're talking about professional sports. If any draftees don't want that racist tainted million dollar contract,f***in' put me in coach!!!! I'm ready to play!!! I'll play for Hitler himself if puts food on my table.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 3:40 p.m.

"The line is, just guessing, that Rush Limbaugh is an outspoken racist, Jerry Springer isn't."

Um. The longtime producer of Limbaugh's program is black. Anything that Limbaugh says is for effect and entertainment. While it isn't my idea of entertainment, don't kid yourself. Every word is calculated to elicit a response. I don't think that Limbaugh is a racist, I think that he's an idiot. A genious idiot. A right-wing Howard Stern (who I also don't like).

But I think you're right about the reality of it, that it's all about money with the NFL. This is one reason that I'm not a fan of the Chargers, because the Spanos' have been completely unfair to the City of San Diego and the fans of the Chargers. I predict that much of it will come out once they move to Los Angeles.

But regarding Limbaugh, it is entirely hypocritical of the NFL to deny him ownership while allowing Vick, and several other convicted felons, to play in their league.

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CuddleFish Oct. 14, 2009 @ 4:23 p.m.

I'm giving you a second chance at this, refriedgringo. Try that again, this time without insulting your intelligence, since obviously you think so little of mine.

Start from, (your premise) Rush Limbaugh is an idiot who says racist things for entertainment value but it's okay because he's got a black producer.

And um, no ums necessary on my account.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 5:38 p.m.

I don't need a second chance, CuddleFish. A second chance at what, exactly, to see the error of my ways? What? Even the Klu Klux Klan has the right to free speech, and as obviously screwed up in the head that they are, I would fight to guarantee their right to it. As does the ACLU. As they should.

My "premise" is that Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. Period. And if you somehow feel that my apparently incorrect opinion of life has somehow insulted your intelligence, I'm at a loss to understand why. Your opinion is that Rush Limbaugh is a racist. My opinion is that he probably is not. I do not believe that Limbaugh has a black producer simply to give him license to say whatever he wants about black people. I believe that he says things about black people in order to get ratings. I never said it was "okay". I think that a lot of things are not "okay". I think that you giving me "a second chance" is not "okay".

Let's talk about the NFL. Do you know what the Rooney rule is? The Rooney rule was set six years ago because the league was not interviewing minorites for vacant coaching position. We're talking 2003, not 1953. Now, teams are required to interview at least one minority for a vacant position in coaching and football operations. This is sort of funny when you consider how many PLAYERS are minorities. Yet, the NFL felt the need to HAVE TO level the playing field. That should tell you what sort of racism exists in NFL ownership.

Chargers: 10 of 16 on the coaching staff are white, six years after the Rooney law. Less than 20 of the 53 players on the roster are white (or otherwise not black). You want to tell me who the bigots are? Limbaugh does it for ratings. NFL ownership doesn't even have THAT excuse.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 6:18 p.m.

Uh-ohhhh.

Boy, am I sorry I posted THAT link!

But, since I did, this just in:

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CuddleFish Oct. 14, 2009 @ 6:48 p.m.

Why are you sorry, AG? It's always better to know the truth than to live a lie.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 7:25 p.m.

Sure puts me in the unique position of defending someone I can't stand. Jeremiah Wright has every right to preach whatever he wants. And if the NFL denied him as a part-owner in the National Football League, I would say the same thing - it is hypocritical. And if you told me that Jeremiah Wright was a racist, I would tell you that, no, he is not. Preachers and talk-show hosts say whatever they need to say to gain an audience. I have no idea why anyone couldn't see through that transparency. It's as ridiculous a notion as a politician that really honestly cares about their constituency. They don't, they care about being re-elected.

I believe in freedom of speech, whether or not I like what's being said.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 7:48 p.m.

A little while ago CNN's AC360 was reporting about the group that wants part ownership in the Rams had decided to drop Rush from the group because they saw him as a liability. AC had on Al Sharpton(He's not a bigot,right?),some other black guy and some white guy who got kicked off of Nancy Grace's show awhile back. They were arguing the subtle points of all this when the white stated that Rush is the most listened to man on radio. My GF suddenly said"That's bulls***." I corrected her and told her that he is indeed the most listened to man on radio. Democrats who hate him have helped him become that. Afterall they listen to him as well. Industry ratings have proven it. It is what it is.

So I said to my GF"Don't be a dickhead Democrat". She made this face and said"What's that supposed to mean?" I said"It means what it means. Don't be a dickhead Democrat." We argued and I stormed off. I'm tired of the cliched denial from Democrats. That doesn't mean I'm a Republican or that they don't deny some things. It just seems to me that the cold,hard truths in life are denied by more Democrats than Republicans. Why is that? What's wrong with a Democrat thinking to themselves"Gee. Maybe he IS the most listened to man on radio because of dickhead Democrats like myself that tune JUST to listen to what he spews out?"

A little food for thought for you liberal Democrats.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 8:05 p.m.

Not really AG. Does our Constitution give us the right of freedom of speech or doesn't it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcnVIjwjMF4

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 8:07 p.m.

I don't think anyone can rationally decide what constitutes free speech and what doesn't. It's sort of like drawing a line that limits any sort of freedom. I can drink and I can smoke cigarettes, but I can't use heroin? To me, that's another hypocracy. If you listened to Franken when he was on Air America, it was sort of like listening to the other spectrum of Limbaugh. It wasn't nearly as effective, evidentally, but that's what they were shooting for.

When Limbaugh fist started out, I lived in L.A. It was the late '80's, and while he was conservative, he wasn't an a-hole, and some of the stuff he said made a little bit of sense. But, as with all things, money drives the mouth, and he became a complete idiot. But at first, it was simply political commentary (and that black executive producer for Premier Radio Networks was with Limbaugh long before he became obnoxious), and I can handle political commentary as long as it isn't ratings-driven. Otherwise, I simply tune out.

Anyway, point is, once society starts setting up ground rules for defining free speech, then society is no longer free. A free society accepts the crap in order to get the good stuff. Making drugs illegal isn't going to keep people from taking drugs, and redefining free speech isn't going to stop racist comments.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 8:22 p.m.

That's another thing that irks me about the Democratic Party. They feel the need to somehow legislate morality. Why? It doesn't do anything but give legislators an excuse to waste taxpayer money. And to be fair,the Republican Party does this alot as well. It's mostly the Dems though. Don't believe me? Ask Obama how his new soda sin tax is doing? He doesn't even have to do it. Now he's got that homo mayor in 'frisco contemplating the same thing. I just love the mantra of the Democrats...."We're the party for the working man!!!!" Really? Ok. How about not spending my money on bulls***?

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 8:42 p.m.

Well,

a.) This ain't about drugs. I'd come closer to wanting to decriminalize all of those. Not sure why anybody needs heroin, but whatever.

b.) Redefining free speech certainly WILL eliminate racist comments in the MEDIA if the FCC slaps media outlets with big ole fines and threatens their licenses. Radio's censored already. I'd rather hear Carlin's 7 Dirty Words...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhYhRqQDE1A

...than a lot of racist crap.

Also, verbal assault is a criminal act, and you can be charged for it.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Verbal+assault

Now, it has to accompany an apparent ability to carry out the threat, but it doesn't take much.

Wasn't is Sartre who talked about being "radically free, and radically responsible?"

The first half doesn't work without the last half, and "responsible" doesn't exactly describe the behavior of a lot of so-called adults in America.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:08 p.m.

I found this as a link on a website devoted to old Chicago television....fuzzy memories.tv if anyone is interested. Pretty cool site. Anyway,when I first started watching this,I thought to myself"Damn. Another lame Soul Train clip." Boy was I surprised. Pretty cool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEUVcuygSgw

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:09 p.m.

AG: But that's sort of my point. I mean, you can try to outlaw racist speech, but that sure isn't going to stop racism. Radically free and radically responsible. I mean, you can't make someone be responsible. I don't want to hear racist crap either, and Carlin's list doesn't offend me in the least, but if you outlaw one, wouldn't you have to outlaw the other, based on the fact that a boatload of people are going to get their panties in a bunch over any one of the seven dirty words?

In other words, the liberties we try and redefine will also be redefined by those who follow us. An example: The Homeland Security Department. All I heard from my liberal friends was how bad it was, and all I heard from my conservative friends was how great it was.

To my conservative friends, I said this: You're not going to be so happy when the liberals gain office, because they're going to use that invasion of liberty however they see fit, just like the jerks in office are doing right now.

And to my liberal friends, I suggested that once the liberals regain power, I'd bet any of them a paycheck that their party won't disband that fascist organization ever, because it will help them to control what they've won.

Humanity matures with time, and I don't think there's anything that can be done to hurry that transition. But I do believe that complete liberty should be maintained in any case, otherwise, we'll only run the risk of retarding that maturing process.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:17 p.m.

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRREFRIED GRINGO FTW!!!!!! Sorry,AG. He's got you on this one. I am however giving free hugs to any runners-up in today's debates ;-D

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:29 p.m.

Pete, I'm not out to win a debate, it's just my opinion. I realize that it's not going to be too popular because I'm not exactly taking a side, I'm simply proposing that freedom and liberty are absolute values in a world that seems to want to limit or diagnose such values to suit a more palatable taste. It's hard to find fault with such a noble desire, but realistically, I don't see how yin and yang are so easily separated.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:36 p.m.

"I mean, you can try to outlaw racist speech, but that sure isn't going to stop racism."

Now that's a very specific issue in linguistic philosophy, and perhaps you, Daniels or someone else can point to some of the more well-known elucidations of it. I've long since forgotten.

It's a chicken/egg question, much like the one often applied to art and media. Does language reflect society, or does society reflect language? It's an either/or question, asked in typical Western dualistic style. It's both, I'd say.

I'm not a big fan of violence on TV or in film, because it's fairly obvious to me that such exposures build up a psychological callus that enables violence to escalate.

I don't feel much different about violent, hateful language. The more the attitude is expressed and disseminated via the airwaves, the more folks get the idea that the attitude is okay, and the more it increases.

Reeeeeally uncomplicated stuff. Monkey see, monkey do.

As for humanity maturing with time, the difference is that other cultures have matured in times that were less technologically advanced. Lucky us. America's still in its 200-year-old gurgling, silly infancy in a time when we're able to kill each other quickly and easily with the newfangled weapon of choice from our own personal arsenal, thanks to the 2nd Amendment.

(Never mind the rest of the world and the global contest for the biggest nuclear stick.)

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:37 p.m.

I know that. I was screwin' with AG :-P You DID have the better point though.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:49 p.m.

Here's a musical disco interlude and one more reason why Chicago is better than the Whale's Vagina... http://www.fuzzymemories.tv/screen.php?c=2534&p=3

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:51 p.m.

Looks like AG @#50, as usual, has been taking care of what would have been my side of the argument, with:

"So, let's not confuse the issue of government censorship against individual patriots appropriately critiquing the government (a legit concern) with a-holes who like to use the "N" word or get as close as they can to it, just to stir the sh*t for ratings.

Big difference."

And refried and CuddleFish, I think you both have valid points:

refried, I know tolerance is the name of your game, and as much freedom as you can garner. Aside from this, you are simply pointing out that anyone should know Rush Limbaugh is an opportunistic showbiz type, spewing today's trendy hate. We should keep in mind that his show is a spectacle. As Pete points out, I have known "liberal Dems" who listen to Rush just to hear what latest horrors and idiocies might issue forth from his rotten maw. Guess they hear the ads, too.

However, I am also with CuddleFish on principle. Hate is hate, whether you are selling it or spewing it in earnest, for free (and when it comes down to it, people like Hedgecock and Limbaugh turn to it like ducks to water--their true natural enviros). Because you are making a cynical profit does not excuse it. And Pete, just because I boycott hate speech doesn't mean I am trying to get it totally censored. It means that I choose to make a better decision about what constitutes sane and intelligent rhetoric, and hope others do the same.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:51 p.m.

"Now that's a very specific issue in linguistic philosophy, and perhaps you, Daniels or someone else can point to some of the more well-known elucidations of it. I've long since forgotten."

I'll do better than that, I'll point out a counter-example:

http://tinyurl.com/yg86kj2

That page (hell the entire book) is banned in public schools. But it is proof positive that freedom of speech, regardless of language, can set us all free. Twain's Huck Finn was willing to go to hell for it. And so am I.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:53 p.m.

Re #61:

No he doesn't, Pete. You just agree with him because you like to use racial slurs and a lot of obnoxious language. Along with Spliff Adams and some other dude I can't think of right now, you've probably abused the First Amendment more than anybody else on this site.

What was the percentage of your posts that got removed when you first came here a couple months ago, before you toned down your language? Two thirds?

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 9:57 p.m.

I never said anyone was trying to get hate speech censored.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:06 p.m.

You DO speak the truth and I can certainly commend the Reader for running THEIR website how THEY see fit. However,just like with guns,words are weapons. What happens when you outlaw guns? Only outlaws will have guns. Same principle. Just because they delete them doesn't mean those thoughts are still in my head. It's morally corrupt,unjust and just plain reprehensible for a country that touts freedom like ours does to want to take away something as basic and profound as speech. It's just like hate crimes. I'm not a big fan of hatecrimes. Why? The reason is simple:If I walk up to a white guy and yell"CRACKER!" and beat the crap out of him,I get charged with a misdemeanor. If I walk up to a black guy and yell"JIGABOO!" and beat the crap out of him,I'm now charged with a state and/or federal hatecrime. Why? It's the exact same crime.

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:10 p.m.

64: That does not constitute the kind of hate speech we are talking about, gringo, and the general public mostly knows the difference between historical usage and incitative contemporary usage as well as you, hopefully.

I like AG's quote of Sartre @55: radically free AND radically responsible. Isn't this more along the lines of your anarchist values, refried?

60: The chicken or egg: I don't think it matters whether we decide that language constitutes social reality or vice versa (I tend, along with cultural linguists, toward the former). The fact is that we are embroiled in a situation where things can potentially change quickly, due to the high rate of speed of our modes of communication. Roughly, for our purposes we can say that we are reflecting with language the dynamics of current events, and our children react developmentally to what we demonstrate is ok to do with language and cultural expression.

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SDaniels Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:13 p.m.

Pete #67: "If I walk up to a white guy and yell"CRACKER!" and beat the crap out of him,I get charged with a misdemeanor. If I walk up to a black guy and yell"JIGABOO!" and beat the crap out of him,I'm now charged with a state and/or federal hatecrime. Why? It's the exact same crime."

Pete, what is it with you that you just cannot consider the historical implications of your examples? No, these situations are not at all analogous, except on a very superficial level. It is the kind of analogy on a multiple choice that would be the red herring.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:15 p.m.

Oh come on, refried. "Huckleberry Finn?" Really?

Whether it's banned in public schools or not (it shouldn't be), I don't see how it serves to further your point, for at least a couple of reasons.

One, the book itself was written in a time when that language was considered the norm, about an even earlier time. It would be bizarre if a piece of literature from that period said anything else.

Two, I'd like to see a little more development of your point that "...it is proof positive that freedom of speech, regardless of language, can set us all free. Twain's Huck Finn was willing to go to hell for it..."

??? Huck wasn't willing to go to hell for freedom of speech. Huck was willing to go to hell for doing what he was right -- saving his friend.

I'm sure you're familiar with the quote by E.M. Forster:

“If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I would have the courage to betray my country.”

It's this sort of quandary with which young Huck is faced. Freedom of speech had nothing to do with it.

Three, we're not talking about classic literature. We were talking about hate speech and racial slurs in modern live media. Not the same thing. Not the same effects.

(Nice writing though, as always.)

;)

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:18 p.m.

There's NOTHING historical about it. Liberals want to inject history in situations like I pointed out JUST to add high drama. Remove the false history you speak of and it's the exact same crime.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:23 p.m.

SD, I think you're missing my point. Why is Huck Finn banned, exactly? In other words, if WE are supposed to KNOW the difference, then why is it banned? That particular page, that passage, is one of the most beautiful pieces of American literature ever written, and it's banned? Because? I would rather trust that people get it. I would certainly grant freedom of speech, even if they don't, based on the message rather than the language.

To forward my point, I think it is unconscionable to pretend that because the usage of a word is deemed as offensive, then the right to use such a word is prohibited, regardless of the perceived result. The very next application of "new-speak", once everyone is held to a strict adherence of speech rules, will be thought rules. Liberty is far too important, in my opinion, to even consider the beginning of limiting free speech.

Turning the dial is a better option.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:27 p.m.

As soon as we start"banning"certain ideas,words and thoughts,this country is dead. DOA! Dead. It's no longer America. The Constitution,Bill of Rights,Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence are all but scratch paper when you're writing down a phone message. The flag? Fughettaboutit! Toilet paper that you can re-wash over and over.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:32 p.m.

Pete pecked:

"However,just like with guns,words are weapons."

If you understand this, why do you think it's such a great idea to be popping off all the time, then?

"Just because they delete them doesn't mean those thoughts are still in my head."

That's fine. They can stay there, too. At least you won't be spreading them around and doing damage with your mouth by giving the impression that that kind of thinking is okay, and by extension that actions based on that kind of thinking are okay.

Glad to hear you're not a fan of hate crimes. Not sure why you think beating the crap out of someone is a misdemeanor. It seems you would know, but I'd like to see some documentation on that.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:37 p.m.

Simple assault. Go back to the link you provided. I'll give you another example of twisted thinking regarding offensive words:Why is it that a woman can use the word dick willy-nilly and men don't get offended but those same men cannot call a woman a kunt without those same dick calling women getting their panties in an uproar? There's a double standard when it comes to race relations nowdays and it makes me sick to know that a supposed"free"country allows it and encourages it to happen. The Rush Limbaugh/NFL ownership issue is one of those double standards.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:37 p.m.

"We were talking about hate speech and racial slurs in modern live media."

Yes, but AG, Twain was "live media". And that wasn't his normal narrative. And it's banned in schools. But never-the-less.

My point is that free speech is an absolute, and to try and control it would be a grave error. Of course we're going to hear stuff that's offensive! But, we're also going to hear stuff that's beautiful. My point is that you can't limit one without limiting the other, because one person's beauty is another person's nightmare. And freedom is freedom. I would rather have freedom and liberty and be offended once in a while than to have my freedom and liberty limited to the perception of beauty that is held by who might be in power at that time.

Because, you never know who is going to rule the World next.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:43 p.m.

My point about guns being the same as words just meant that both are weapons. One kills. The other hurts. That's why one is outlawed in certain situations and one isn't outlawed at all. Our Founding Fathers were wise to see the difference. Why can't we?

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 7:45 p.m.

Re #49:

Aw, come on, gringo. NO politician cares about their constituency. Ever?

It's not exactly the royal road to riches. Most of them make more money as lawyers/in private industry than they ever do being politicians. Even becoming President, for example, normally entails a massive paycut for whomever takes the job.

As for freedom of speech, it's too often abused by racists and hatemongers. Nobody needs to hear that, and they don't need to say it. It serves no constructive purpose whatsoever, and in fact is destructive to "domestic tranquility" and suchlike. That's why things like "inciting a riot" are illegal.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/102/2101

As far as I'm concerned, they could expand this law to specifically include things like racial slurs and hate speech (carefully defining terms, of course).

If individuals don't have the common sense, manners, decency and intelligence to censor themselves, someone else needs to do it for them.

And I don't want to hear any "slippery slope" arguments, either. As long as any proposed censorship is clearly spelled out, defined and limited, nobody's going to go sliding down any slopes.

So, let's not confuse the issue of government censorship against individual patriots appropriately critiquing the government (a legit concern) with a-holes who like to use the "N" word or get as close as they can to it, just to stir the s*** for ratings.

Big difference.

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antigeekess Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:49 p.m.

Modern = today. Live - broadcast.

Today's broadcast media.

"one person's beauty is another person's nightmare"

If anyone finds hate speech "beautiful," they've got mental problems that need to be addressed.

"I would rather have freedom and liberty and be offended once in a while than to have my freedom and liberty limited to the perception of beauty that is held by who might be in power at that time."

'I' and 'my.' There ya go. Not a big-picture view of what works for the entire culture (including its children and others easily influenced/confused), just what works for one particular individual.

The problem here is one of idealism versus pragmatism, which makes it clear that there's really no point in arguing it further.

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David Dodd Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:56 p.m.

By "I" and "me", I was trying to humbly be opinionated rather than authoritarian, but it's cool. You all win. I lose.

Bye.

P.S: Good luck with your new language. It didn't work a thousand years ago, but perhaps you're all very much smarter that they were.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:56 p.m.

I don't use hate speech because I think it's beautiful. I use hatespeech to get my points across. I don't really consider it hate speech. It's speech. Politically correct,ultra-elite bourgeois liberals created a thing called hatespeech to appease the minorities and for centuries of guilt.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 11:03 p.m.

Neither of you women have an answer for me regarding the dick/kunt question I asked earlier about? Didn't think so.

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Russ Lewis Oct. 14, 2009 @ 11:09 p.m.

Gringo, not all speech is Constitutionally protected. Get used to it. Racist speech is protected, but defamatory, obscene, and seditious speech are not.

(#62) Pete, you're right that Chicago's musical heritage beats San Diego's (certainly in the blues department), but if you think DISCO is anything to be proud of, you're on drugs, pal.

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PistolPete Oct. 14, 2009 @ 11:11 p.m.

LMAO! I being a bit facetious with that link. Although,that website alone shows how important Chicago television was decades ago. I looked for a similar online museum for San Diago and came up with bupkus.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 1:16 a.m.

70 and #76, refried:

Why is Huck Finn banned…if WE are supposed to KNOW the difference, then why is it banned? I would rather trust that people get it. I would certainly grant freedom of speech, even if they don't, based on the message rather than the language. …it is unconscionable to pretend that because the usage of a word is deemed as offensive, then the right to use such a word is prohibited, regardless of the perceived result. The very next application of "new-speak", once everyone is held to a strict adherence of speech rules, will be thought rules. Liberty is far too important, in my opinion, to even consider the beginning of limiting free speech. Turning the dial is a better option.

Refried, this is getting rather hyperbolic, and smacks of the kind of drama Pete accuses the “liberal” of attempting to inject into debate on free speech. New-speak? Thought control? Let’s put down 1984 for a moment. Orwell was prescient about many things, but in order to have some clarity, I think we need to define and sort out, case by case, what is incitative of violence, and what is peaceable, though potentially controversial. Since you invoke aesthetics, however, I’ll use a familiar example: some think artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic nudes promote pedophilia, and others think his work simply celebrates the human body. My point is that we need to open dialogue about such issues, rather than blindly adjudicate or condemn. Case by case. What is the HISTORY behind reception of Mapplethorpe’s work? If we allow the social history of his work and person into consideration, we discover that because he is gay, there will be a contingent of folk who do not appreciate homosexuality, and who are consequently suspicious about his concentration on the young male body, and automatically presume that he is sexualizing this body. Let’s bracket off whether or not this is actually true, and just think about this example qua example of what it means to examine a situation from as many angles as possible. Continuing in this vein, we ask about Mapplethorpe’s conduct as a person, and how reception of his work is unavoidably affected by his history.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 1:18 a.m.

(cont 2).

78, AG to refried:

Not a big-picture view of what works for the entire culture (including its children and others easily influenced/confused), just what works for one particular individual.

79, refried to AG:

P.S: Good luck with your new language. It didn't work a thousand years ago, but perhaps you're all very much smarter that they were.

Refried, I don’t think AG is proposing a “new” language, just that we take more thoughtful care of the one(s) we use. She has a good point in that we are paring down to some fundamental political differences between us; she and I tend toward the notion that society really does need some regulation when it comes to social relations. If we are to raise a next generation of thoughtful, openminded individuals who prefer dialogue and discourse over “words as weapons” and unexamined scapegoating, we need to set some ground rules and a good example for them. Plato thought as much with his conception of a Republic, and so did the founding fathers. What I mean by ground rules and setting an example is that we regulate hate speech, not all speech. It is not ok to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, and it is no more ok to shout “N****r!” at a brown-skinned person. Words are powerful, and we need to exercise some common sense with them. The more we encourage our future ruling citizens to engage in thoughtful and responsible dialogue, the more we can hope for a responsible society. Sure, there should be the option to turn the dial, but there should also be plenty of education. This is not about “political correctness,” which in my opinion is a term used rather crudely to just try to shut down dialogue. This is about common sense, philosophical rigor, and a sense of social responsibility and trust with the great freedoms we enjoy.

71, Pete:

“There's NOTHING historical about it. Liberals want to inject history in situations like I pointed out JUST to add high drama. Remove the false history you speak of and it's the exact same crime.”

Denial of the power of words historically is a dangerous weapon, called willful ignorance. The more you learn about history, the better care you will take with the words you sling at others. There is no good philosophical or political reason for yelling “N****r,” and rather than expand the realm of free speech, it just serves to sustain and nurture the virulent hatred ingrained within the word, along with its history of slavery and a reliance on denigration of others as the only way to assert your own existence and classist superiority in this society. There is not the same genocidal history behind the shouting of “Cracker!” and the most we can say is that it repeats the same kind of dangerous logic.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 1:18 a.m.

(cont 3).

73, Pete:

“As soon as we start"banning"certain ideas,words and thoughts,this country is dead. DOA! Dead. It's no longer America.”

No one is talking about a complete ban of any words or ideas. Freedom of speech exists, but we have a few reasonable, necessary limits. Hate speech is incitative of violence, and carries with it the history I mention. You as an individual cannot control that history, nor can you change or defuse such derogatory slurs. You should have the choice to use pretty much whatever language you want, but you should also be aware of its historical usage and meaning.

75, Pete:

“Why is it that a woman can use the word dick willy-nilly and men don't get offended but those same men cannot call a woman a kunt without those same dick calling women getting their panties in an uproar? There's a double standard when it comes to race relations nowdays and it makes me sick to know that a supposed"free"country allows it and encourages it to happen.”

Actually, you are bringing up two double standards, one of gender and one of race. I agree about the gendered bias; although there is a long history in this country of treating the female as a less capable entity, both physically and intellectually, it still isn’t a great idea to simply reverse the bias and propagate anti-male sentiment. This is why I don’t appreciate stereotyping of males such as one finds in these viral email jokes about the male “mentality.” I don’t need to assert any “rights” to define men as silly or stupid, which just continues the kind of irrational hatred and systemized disempowerment women have historically suffered. By the same token, reversing racist rhetoric is equally useless and dangerous (calling whites “crackers,” etc.) I do believe, however, that in order to address and redress past social inequalities, it is important to take some steps to level the playing field for people of color in this country. Again, if you do not deny history as false, and you pay attention to exactly how racism still works in this country, through visual stereotyping based on skin color and manner of dress, and continuance of facile judgement of a person’s way of speaking or living, then you realize that inequalities do demand some different treatment. We can talk about this further, too.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 1:19 a.m.

(cont. 4 and last).

77, Pete:

My point about guns being the same as words just meant that both are weapons. One kills. The other hurts. That's why one is outlawed in certain situations and one isn't outlawed at all. Our Founding Fathers were wise to see the difference. Why can't we?

Pete, pardon the pun, but your ideas about the power of language are a bit scatter shot. Sometimes you claim that racist epithets, for example, do not contain enough historical significance to merit our taking care with them. Certainly, if you continue on this illogical path of denying history as ‘false,’ and continue to take such terms out of context, this does follow. Guns and words are two separate issues, but we can use an analogy, and say that both, yes, can be dangerous. If you now admit this, then you are readmitting history into the equation, and must consider that words can incite violence just as surely as can guns. The founding fathers were pretty bright, and the authors of the bible were pretty talented, but we need to adjust our lawmaking to reflect the times we live in, and the particular necessities of the sociocultural makeup of this country, which is quite a bit more diverse than it was. The very definition of “man” has changed since our fundamental doctrines were composed—for one, it now includes women. We can talk about this further if you like, though I am no Constitutional scholar, I can track some important social changes that might necessarily affect the principles under which we agree to live, making necessary some amendments, and some redefinitions to reflect our situation

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 9:13 a.m.

I don't even know where to begin. For now,I'll just quote Benjamin Franklin"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Never were more truer words spoken that ring true now.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 5:15 p.m.

No one is suggesting giving up essential liberties, Pete. If you give up that part of your argument, what's left?

And btw, I am conducting this argument despite being struck by the swine flu virus, (snort, snort, paw, paw), so do give it your oinking best, and figure out where to begin! :)

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Russ Lewis Oct. 15, 2009 @ 5:27 p.m.

No, seriously...do you have swine flu?

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 5:41 p.m.

I do. Thought it was the "usual" problems, but yep--caught it the one time I left the house, and visited some relatives with children. Meds I take lower the immune response. It is sweeping the ERs and doc offices, as one ER doc said, and my cousin, a pharm rep, says pediatricians' offices are packed.

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Russ Lewis Oct. 15, 2009 @ 5:52 p.m.

Okay...I'm gonna wash my hands early and often.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 6:17 p.m.

Always a good idea, russl. Of course, you know I do that too, as well as use a tissue to open doors... but a few days ago I could not resist kissing the tops of a couple of lovely twin ten-year old heads, whose selves had been, naturally, to school--one of the twins now has the H1N1 virus, too, which has kicked up her asthma. Sigh.

The major symptoms: Fever over 100, violent chills, and severe body aches. ER doc and pediatricians said it seems to last 5-7 days, but when the course of the virus is run, it takes another week or two to get over the lethargy. Lots of water and rest are prescribed, and if you are immune-challenged, see your doctor. If you take medications that suppress the immune system, doc might want to you to hold off on them--as in my case.

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 6:52 p.m.

Oh my, SD, I am so sorry to hear this. :(

Please take care of yourself, dear.

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 7:21 p.m.

It would take my mind off things if you or one of our crew would write a funny blog :) xoxo

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 7:43 p.m.

Well dang, I posted my blog for the day, but okay, hang on!! :)

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 8:16 p.m.

1-SD? I'm not a believer in the"swine flu". I do however believe in the flu that comes and goes every year so I wish you better health.

2-As much as continuing this argument over the illegalization of speech would give me a huge hard-on,I'll gladly pass. No use in beatin' a dead horse,right?

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 8:29 p.m.

I'm posting a thread about this subject tomorrow, well, the original subject, well the second original subject! Robbie's thread, as I understood it, had to do with the "holiday."

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 9:19 p.m.

re: #96: That was about a community skate park! Necessary, perhaps, but not exactly funny.

re: #97: As I sit here trembling with a 100 degree fever, you can bet your thermometer that it soothes me to know that Pete doesn't "believe" in the swine flu. ???!!!

As for dead horses, no. But it greatly disappoints me that you don't seem interested in writing anything but the same old one-liners about "liberals" and perceived infringement on your freedoms, Pete. You haven't responded specifically to anything I wrote, and it doesn't look like you are even listening. I read everything you write, and I listen intently. If you write something I can grapple with intellectually, that provides some food for thought on this issue, I'm here to give it serious consideration.

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 9:49 p.m.

If you and AG were given the world to do as you please,you'd criminalize speech. I've said what I had to say already. I'll give you an example:As we all know,I have pecadillos now and then with men. If someone was to recognize me in San Diego and scream"FAGGOT!!!" and beat the hell out of me,I'd want him locked up for assault. Not a hatecrime. I'm a sensitive guy but I'm much more thick skinned to let a word like faggot upset me. In your world,he'd be locked up for assault and for the word(s) he used before said assault. A word nothing but what it is. It's a weapon because we haven't evolved enough as humans to see them for what they really are. The Founding Fathers knew this.

As for the"swine flu",it's pure bulls***. Look up the word epidemic. The news,whose job it is to keep you terrified,does a fabulous job throwing it around. There's no epidemic or pandemic. Did you know that the flu shot you get actually contains the swine flu vaccination as well? That alone speaks volumes on on the CDC's ethics. Don't believe everything you hear,SD....you may end up believing a little 6-year old boy named Falcon fell out of an experimental helium balloon in Colorado today.....

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:08 p.m.

"The 2009 swine flu has been compared to other similar types of influenza virus in terms of mortality: "in the US it appears that for every 1000 people who get infected, about 40 people need admission to hospital and about one person dies."[57] There are fears that swine flu will become a major global pandemic at the end of the year (coinciding with the Northern Hemisphere winter months), with many countries planning major vaccination campaigns.[58]" -wikipedia [57]weblink http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/05/25/take-a-deep-breath-swine-flus-not-that-bad/

1 death out of every 1,000 cases doesn't sound so scary,does it?

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antigeekess Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:10 p.m.

Pete pecked:

"#1-SD? I'm not a believer in the"swine flu".

So you're not a believer in specific microorganisms? Only certain ones, like this one?

And they found that balloon kid hours ago. He was hiding in the attic at home, afraid he was going to get in trouble for letting the balloon go.

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:14 p.m.

I know that AG. I was being facetious. As for the flu,like one of the comments from the link I just posted,anything to sell newspapers...

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:20 p.m.

I wouldn't say I'm not a believer of swine flu. I believe it exists. I just think this swine flu scare is nothing but Chicken Little.

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:21 p.m.

You know, I'm going to say this straight out.

A lot of things you say, Pete, provoke discussion, and do, even when they aren't meant to. But at some point, you gotta wonder ...

I mean, where is the boundary between thought-provoking and thoughtless? Wherever it is, you cross it. A lot.

Relax, Max. Not every thing that flits through your brain needs to be blurted out onto the page.

Don't take that wrong. :)

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:28 p.m.

I'm actually a humble,quiet guy. I've studied human nature for too long. I'm just surprised we've lasted as long as we have. Humans will be gone long before most other mammals are. It's in our DNA.

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antigeekess Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:36 p.m.

"Humans will be gone long before most other mammals are."

Most other mammals don't shout racial slurs and have guns.

But I'm sure we'll all go out together, when humans destroy the world.

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:46 p.m.

I believe that about you, Pete. I believe that you are humble, and quiet. I believe that your issues still cause you to act out, that a lot of what you say is just blather and bluster.

I just don't see how it helps SDaniels to hear that she is suffering from an illness you "don't believe in" and that is "meant to sell newspapers."

There's a time for opinions, and there's a time for mercy.

Let's practice the humble and quiet on that swine flu front, shall we? :)

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:47 p.m.

That's my point,AG. We're too worried about not hurting each other's feelings and what's on MTV to see the mushroom cloud.

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CuddleFish Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10:50 p.m.

That's my point,AG. We're too worried about not hurting each other's feelings and what's on MTV to see the mushroom cloud.

By PistolPete 10:47 p.m., Oct 15, 2009

Here's my idea! Stop hurting each other's feelings. Stop watching MTV! Be part of the solution, and not part of the problem! Works for me!

:)

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 11:12 p.m.

"If you and AG were given the world to do as you please,you'd criminalize speech."

This doesn't deserve address that is any more thoughtful than what you wrote. Accusations, black-and-white, baseless conclusions, epithets...is that all you have to offer by way of argument, Pete? Where is that great "ah ha" moment you've been promising of your ability to change people's minds about everything?

"Don't believe everything you hear,SD...."

This is coming from a guy who hasn't even lifted an asscheek to find a way to see a doctor for a chronic, but likely treatable condition--and who prefers to simply garner sympathy for it from others. I've been chronically ill on and off since I was twenty years old, and you can bet your conspiracy theory I've done all the research possible into my condition, and that I do pretty much all I can to stay healthy (with the exception of smoking cigs)--including making sure I have health insurance and pay my way. Let's just say that when it comes to the medical, I probably do know a lot more than you do, Pete. As for the H1N1 virus, I sincerely doubt you've done anything other than listen to a few sound bites--just about everything you say sounds this way.

Pete, you act like you are the only person on the planet who has problems, and that you are the most unique individual ever to grace our presence. Yet all I have heard from you thus far, besides racial slurs, is recycled self-pity, and a fairly common form of conspiracy logic and thinly veiled (or not so veiled) bigotry fobbed off as "independent thinking" and "free speech."

What I have respected about you is that you have reached out to others when you didn't have to, and made yourself vulnerable; but I can see that for you, clearly, friendship does not go both ways. You remain just as thoughtless toward others as ever, and are probably a sucking black hole of sympathy--never enough for you, but you are the only one who deserves it, right?

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SDaniels Oct. 15, 2009 @ 11:16 p.m.

"I'm actually a humble,quiet guy. I've studied human nature for too long."

You are neither humble nor quiet, and the only human being you've "studied" is yourself--and STILL miss valuable conclusions that might help you to work your way out of being such an a-hole.

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PistolPete Oct. 15, 2009 @ 11:59 p.m.

Then I take it you didn't like what was in the mirror. got radical thinking? You can also quit trying to put words in my mouth.

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Duhbya Oct. 16, 2009 @ 5:23 a.m.

Pete: Does your roommate know what you're doing to his computer? I envision him bound and gagged in the corner, being force-fed the drug of your moment, the agony of the hours of subjection to your dregs eroding his once stout psyche. Oh, the waste. You coulda been somebody! Might have put those talents to good use. Like a guard at Abu Ghraib.

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PistolPete Oct. 16, 2009 @ 2:50 p.m.

LOL! As Jim Carrey used to say so eloquently..."Aaaaaaallrighty then!" :-D

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PistolPete Oct. 17, 2009 @ 12:18 a.m.

Nice! :-D Thanks for my own flashback. I was baked off my ass the first time I saw that movie. I couldn't stop laughing.

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