A Sad Sign Of Our Times

Once again I am left virtually speechless but the sheer blind rage in this election. The moral leaders of the Church in the Valley in Leakey, Texas felt that it was appropriate to post this sign reading: “Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The capitalist, not the communist!” Putting aside the violation of its tax-exempt status, church leaders thought nothing of the lesson given their children in making such false and prejudicial statements. It shows the dangerously thin line that separates the faithful from the hateful in our society.


Of course, in addition to repeating the false statement about President Obama’s religion, the sign adds the common and equally ridiculous mantra about his being a communist. A term that, when pressed, seems beyond definition for some of these protesters.

The Church in the Valley headed by Pastor Ray Miller (who came up with the idea of the sign) sees nothing wrong is defining people primarily by their alleged faith — whether it is falsely Obama as a Muslim or Romney as a Mormon.

Equally disgusting is the response of a least one local businessman who insist that the controversy will be good for business. Damon White is quoted as saying “I love it. Even if it’s bad attention, bring it on. Come to town, see what it’s about.” Well, Mr. White, we certainly now know what you are about. It does not matter if it is unfair, prejudicial, and disrespectful, it is good for business. Now there is a lesson for the children of Leakey, Texas.

Notably, on its website, the Church proclaims “We believe our faith should be visible in concrete forms and models of personal and social behavior.” That model appears to include insulting and prejudicial statements about people with whom you disagree as well as use of false claims to achieve your political ends. I don’t recall the passage where Jesus Christ led the smear campaign against Pontius Pilatus. Indeed, I seem to recall something out “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Perhaps but it does not sum up Paster Miller or the good people of the Church of the Valley.

Source: KENS as first seen on Reddit.

286 thoughts on “A Sad Sign Of Our Times

  1. It does make one wonder how someone that ignorant, that oblivious to the world in which we live manages to breath without instructions. I don’t mind political disagreement but levels of stupidity this deep make me pray for a giant meteor.

  2. I remember hearing an interview with high school kids in Texas. The subject was religion in the classroom. One cheerleader thought it was fine as long as it was Christian and not one of those ‘foreign’ religions.

    How do kids that age get so closed minded? I think this Pastor says it all.

  3. Far be it for me, as an agnostic to comment, but morals and ethics have even we agnostics.

    It is amazing how far the church has left Jesus teachings behind them. But perhaps the church was not in fact created with that purpose in mind. Perhaps it is but power and politics at any price that count with churches.

    Ignorance is no excuse for bad ethics. That should come with mother’s milk, whatever your religion, ir- or otherwise.

  4. The right to speak freely includes the right to speak stupidly – and this isn’t a case of shouting, “fire!,” in a crowded theater. Be disgusted by the message, but it’s a little hypocritical to claim we have any “inalienable” rights, and then complain when someone uses one.

    As for tax exemption… the needful right of Congress to levy taxes notwithstanding, a tax is not just or proper simply because it’s lawful. Power, to lie in the people’s hands, should never be allowed to levy taxes by taking. Government should never have the power to take private property without just compensation and for a good that is not unconditionally, universally and equally available to all.

  5. Enoch,

    Here we differ: Speaking of principles and Constitutional protections is nice and I support them. But reality departs from both of them. The situation in the USA liken neither of them. Your reasoning is thus based on
    hypotheticals, not reality.

    The realists, shall we call them that–I am not well-informed—deny us the chance to speak unhindered. They dominate through money, leeched from us, to propagate their propaganda.

    To revere and defer to them based on their “holdings” is idiotic and destructive of what little democracy we have left. Regarding democracy, it appears now to be a moot question with the situation we have now.

    Why did Obama do such a bad first debate? Because he had just got the word that the plutocrats had made their choice: and it was not him that was chosen. And what we say is irrelevant. Vote fraud will fix what propaganda doesn’t.

    No principles have any importance now. Survival is what counts. And we won’t under the plutocrats.

  6. Democracy? How do you mean that?

    In one construction of democracy, “realism” and “pragmatism” trump principle – or it can, given a majority. Imagine you had the prettiest daughter in town. Would you want the majority to be able to make her a town’s common property?

  7. Obama will win over forty percent of the vote in Texas…. better than he will do in the many even redder states due to the diversity of the state. A white democrat is a rarity except in the cities. The birthers and racists have been attacking him on these grounds ever since he first ran for president, and it has been a nationwide effort. Donald Trump doesn’t live in Texas. Neither does Orly or Sean Hannity.

  8. Enoch:

    doesnt that depend on whether or not the rule of law is an absolute and benevolent toward the rights of the individual?

  9. I am a liberal democrat and a native Texan. I see the sad state of politics in Texas as the last gasp of the old conservatives. Our state will soon be a “minority” majority state. This change is inevitable and I for one welcome it. I hope the next generation will govern better than this one.

  10. Bron – In some constructions of democracy, voting to “nationalize” (a metaphor – let’s not get carried away, anyone) your daughter would BE the rule of law. Rights? If we don’t at least pretend that they descend to us via our Creator (again, just a metaphor for natural rights), these are dictated by the majority, too.

  11. Hi Enoch, welcome to Earth. We have a country here called “America” and this country has been doing pretty well for the last couple of hundred years. That country operates (or more correctly now, operated) under a shared belief that we all benefit when we all share a bit of the fruits grown while living under this system to make the system work even better. The results were pretty amazing. For relatively tiny contributions we got the greatest highway system, the best free education, world class universities, relatively low poverty rates, easy social mobility and generally a very good existence. About 30-40 years ago the forces of greed and stupidity managed to propel the idea that this tiny fraction being paid was not the cost of entrance to the DisneyWorld country but theft. The result of the rise of this greed and stupidity was a huge reduction in the “entrance fee” with the associated plunge toward third world status we can see around us (crumbling roads, failing schools, higher levels of poverty). And even this greatly reduce cost is still viewed as theft by the truly backwards.

    But tell us about this planet you come from. The one where ones daughter could be taken from them based on the whims of others. For instance, what color is th sky in your world?

  12. There seems, these days, to be a direct correlation between the professed level of faithfulness and the projected level of hatred and intolerance.

  13. “It shows the dangerously thin line that separates the faithful from the hateful in our society.”

    *****

    A line of separation? I’ve witnessed many of the faithful in this country who are hateful. For such people religion is a ruse of holiness.

  14. Enoch,

    Your complete and utter lack of knowledge and/or disregard of legal principles, jurisprudence in general and what the law actually says is quite impressive. Arguments from ignorance are always so amusing.

    “As for tax exemption… the needful right of Congress to levy taxes notwithstanding, a tax is not just or proper simply because it’s lawful. Power, to lie in the people’s hands, should never be allowed to levy taxes by taking.”

    The 5th Amendment states:

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    The highlighted section is known as the Takings Clause. So clearly takings are legal if just compensation is made. That historically the courts have had a difficult time interpreting the boundary lines of what constitutes a taking is simply a matter of jurisprudence being an evolutionary and accumulative process. Taxes are not so much the issue as whether or not and when regulations constitute a taking and this is a matter unsettled in American jurisprudence.

    “In one construction of democracy, “realism” and “pragmatism” trump principle – or it can, given a majority. Imagine you had the prettiest daughter in town. Would you want the majority to be able to make her a town’s common property?”

    Given that your definitions of technical terms is already demonstrably suspect, I’m going to skip over that and go directly to the Constitutional fact that no one’s daughter (nice appeal to emotion by the way, did you get fries with that logical fallacy?) is going to be anyone’s property held in common or otherwise.

    The 13th Amendment states:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”

    These laws of enforcement apply to the states and equally to all citizens via the 14th Amendment.

    Once again, you clearly are talking about something you don’t understand.

    Are you a self-identifying Libertarian by any chance?

  15. Frankly,

    I didn’t say anything against shared contributions (from my original post) “[…] for a[ny] good that is not unconditionally, universally and equally available to all.”

    With what part of that do you disagree, and on what foundation?

  16. OMG this is no surprise, unfortunately. Since the beginning of the recorded history the religions have been excuses for the worst human behavior imaginable. Of course there is no respect for others; the “others” are not doing what god wants them to do! Of course there is no respect for truth; the religions define their own “truth” and impose it wherever, whenever and however they are permitted to do so without big negative consequences. NO MATTER WHO WINS THIS ELECTION THAT CHURCH MUST LOSE ITS TAX EXEMPTION. We should all demand that response from the next administration. Otherwise taxpayers are PAYING for this crap. I pay for enough crap without having to chip in for this!

  17. “Take you meds, Gene. Go to sleep. When you can conduct yourself rationally and intelligently, maybe we’ll talk.”

    Awwww. You think that’s a counterargument or a cogent rebuttal when it is neither. That’s adorable, Enoch.

    The law says what the law says and your previous suppositions were weak, unintelligent, based in ignorance and delivered in a framework of irrational fear.

    You’re a real piece of work.

    Just not a very good one.

  18. No one has a right to a tax exemption! Tax exemptions are privileges based on the fulfillment of certain criteria. One of them is to stay out of partisan politics. For every dollar of exemption this “church” enjoys the rest of us pays a bit more. I for one am tired of it. It is time, high tint, for the IRS to go after churches who think they are above the law.

  19. Enoch,

    Just got back, directly to answer you, bypassing other comments.

    Only if she wore garments of wool and linen mixed!

    Silly examples prove no principles. It was realism I sought, and you did not come with it. I gave you support against motor mouth, but expect no quarter otherwise.

    No expertise nor ad hominems either. If my arguments don’t bite, then I don’t have to prove anything here.

  20. BUD,

    Gandhi is quoted as saying the following in return to a question of how he liked the British civilization (he attended Oxford or some such).

    “Which? I did not note any.”

    Paraphrase of cxourse.

  21. ElaineM,

    “A line of separation? I’ve witnessed many of the faithful in this country who are hateful. For such people religion is a ruse of holiness.”

    I think their use of religion hides their “sins” and their hatefullness from themselves.

  22. Enoch:

    I guess what you are saying is that if 3/4’s of the states agree that daughters can be held in common, then have at her.

    Democracy is a very messy thing or it can be if the people are uneducated and have no regard for each other.

  23. Beyond any smokescreen of of particular political differences the mostly unspoken, but absolutely real fact of Barack Obama’s Presidency has been the racist undertone of much of his most virulent opposition. This man is a political centrist in the mold of Bill Clinton. In action he would fit in well with the political actions of Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford. While this is not my particular political cup of tea I’m realistic enough to know that most Americans think themselves centrists even if they ignore the particulars of that position, which are inimical to their self interests.

    That the President has been so vilified with ridiculous allegations of being simultaneously a Communist, NAZI, Muslim and Kenyan, really are used as “code” that he is a Black man. While there are many legitimate reasons to disagree with the President’s policies. I do in many areas, deeming him far too establishment in thought and action for my tastes. The overarching continuous attacks on him by the minions of the Right are at bottom based on his skin color. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the racists in this country modified their savage rhetoric into “code” words that everyone understood referred to peoples skin color.

    1964 also coincided with the defeat of Barry Goldwater and the determination of some of this nation’s monied elite that they must spend their wealth in a campaign to use propaganda and advertising techniques to re-frame the debate between Liberals and Conservatives in a manner that would demonize
    “liberals” and sanitize the fact that most “conservative” thinking was in the interests of the few, thus structurally limiting its mass appeal.

    Along the way, so to speak, they infiltrated the Church Pews of Fundamentalist
    Christians (mainly Southern Baptists whose teachings had previously sanctified both slavery and racism. The infiltration was financial. The result is that in the minds of these “fundamentalists” Christ’s message has become one of Capitalism and hatred, mainly racially based. The insanity of this particular church is merely another example of the fruits of this long term initiative.

  24. Enoch,

    “I didn’t say anything against shared contributions (from my original post) “[…] for a[ny] good that is not unconditionally, universally and equally available to all.””

    Lots of things are universally available. Food stamps, minimum wages—-or as Voltaire said: “sleeping under the bridges of Paris.” But the rich do not avail themselves
    of them.

    Nor do the poor avail themselves of oil depletion allowances for tax reductions, nor of agrobusiness subsidies either, etc.

    Do you see your fallacy? I hope so.

  25. Gene,

    Whenever the meaning of a word is in doubt – MY doubt, Gene, not yours – I use the Oxford dictionaries – the Universal, 1955 ed. mostly, and occasionally the on-line Oxford. I use “etymologyonline.com” when the Oxford Universal doesn’t give a thorough enough history of a word. For legal terms, I use any one of several on-line legal dictionaries. For foreign words and expressions, I have several foreign language dictionaries.

    I would gladly go farther into the matter with you, except you will not agree to be bound by any of these. Without agreement regarding what either of us means, there is no common ground from which to debate.

    So, go take your pills. Enjoy the universe you inhabit alone, and simply accept the fact that I don’t consider a fundamentally dishonest person worthy of my debate.

    Oh. One more thing. Post what you like, I will not reply to you.

  26. If the IRS actually enforced their own rules, the coffers of the US Treasury would start filling up as tax exemptions were pulled from alleged non-profits, such as churches. Violating that bright line between church and political advocacy should result in revocation of the exemption.

  27. Bron – Where the majority is the ONLY rule (and if someone would like to teach me how to italicize, I’d be grateful), then, yes: if even a simple majority votes for any proposition, from incinerating Jews to chattel slavery or any other horrible thing you can imagine, such is the law.

    And if we are to believe that some things are so wrong that no majority can legitimately impose it, we must now figure out the origins, foundations and terms of whatever it is that will let us believe so.

    This sets up an inevitable conflict between what seems right, and what our schedule of ethics dictates. If we allow our intuition to trump that schedule of ethics, we’re right back where we started: deciding right and wrong by the weight of those who would follow the trump.

    This presents a rather nasty dilemma for all concerned, but most of all, for those who argue that right and wrong evolve and change.

  28. Otteray,

    What about the tax-exempt political groups?

    Tax-Exempt Groups Shield Political Gifts of Businesses
    By MIKE McINTIRE and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
    Published: July 7, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/us/politics/groups-shield-political-gifts-of-businesses.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Excerpt:
    American Electric Power, one of the country’s largest utilities, gave $1 million last November to the Founding Fund, a new tax-exempt group that intends to raise most of its money from corporations and push for limited government.

    The giant insurer Aetna directed more than $3 million last year to the American Action Network, a Republican-leaning nonprofit organization that has spent millions of dollars attacking lawmakers who voted for President Obama’s health care bill — even as Aetna’s president publicly voiced support for the legislation.

    Other corporations, including Prudential Financial, Dow Chemical and the drugmaker Merck, have poured millions of dollars more into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a tax-exempt trade group that has pledged to spend at least $50 million on political advertising this election cycle.

    Two years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the door for corporate spending on elections, relatively little money has flowed from company treasuries into “super PACs,” which can accept unlimited contributions but must also disclose donors. Instead, there is growing evidence that large corporations are trying to influence campaigns by donating money to tax-exempt organizations that can spend millions of dollars without being subject to the disclosure requirements that apply to candidates, parties and PACs.

    The secrecy shrouding these groups makes a full accounting of corporate influence on the electoral process impossible. But glimpses of their donors emerged in a New York Times review of corporate governance reports, tax returns of nonprofit organizations and regulatory filings by insurers and labor unions.

    The review found that corporate donations — many of them previously unreported — went to groups large and small, dedicated to shaping public policy on the state and national levels. From a redistricting fight in Minnesota to the sprawling battleground of the 2012 presidential and Congressional elections, corporations are opening their wallets and altering the political world.

    Some of the biggest recipients of corporate money are organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, the federal designation for “social welfare” groups dedicated to advancing broad community interests. Because they are not technically political organizations, they do not have to register with or disclose their donors to the Federal Election Commission, potentially shielding corporate contributors from shareholders or others unhappy with their political positions.

  29. Enforce the IRS rules when it is certainly being violated by these churches, though I would be concerned that this might become rather draconian where the churches are threatened financially for censorship purposes.

  30. Enoch:

    To italicize type the following:

    <i> text for italics goes here </i>

    for bold type the following:

    <b> text here </b>

    the “b” means bold and the /b means “cancel bold”

  31. eNOCH:

    “This presents a rather nasty dilemma for all concerned, but most of all, for those who argue that right and wrong evolve and change.”

  32. Enoch:

    “This presents a rather nasty dilemma for all concerned, but most of all, for those who argue that right and wrong evolve and change.”

    Yes, there has to be an objective moral/ethical system of government which is based on some unchanging standard. Human life is the supreme value seems a good place to start.

    Life, Liberty and Property is a good foundation on which to build a system of government. What else is there? Keep within those walls and individual rights are protected/preserved.

    Get rid of any one of them and the whole thing falls apart. You cannot assault life and liberty directly but you can assault property with little dissent.

  33. Regarding right or wrong evolving and changing as if there was something wrong with that, in my own lifetime I have seen this evoving change and some of it was good.

    Jim Crow no longer was constitutional.
    Jews were no longer discriminated against.
    Homsexuality was no longer a crime.

    For instance. I could go on and on with change.

  34. Idealist – Food stamps are not universally available: I, for example, do not qualify for them. I may not have them. They are not available to me.

    Do you see the error of your position?

  35. Enoch,

    Thank you for the courtesy of an answer.

    No, since I see that I must contribute via my taxes to the oil depletion allowance, even though I do NOT qualify for them either.

    Do you see your fallacy? (guessing that that will prouce an underline. I did htis skit in 1970 when assembler programming.

  36. Mike Spindell:

    the changes you note were not codified in laws, except for slavery. Which, as Condoleezza Rice so eloquently pointed out, was a birth defect of our founding.

    That some people have a problem understanding individual rights is not a reason for changing the laws, it is a reason to enforce them to their full extent. The federal government was asleep during Jim Crow, states do not have the power to deny people their rights.

  37. Bron – There’s a nasty little problem with objective rights, though. Ayn Rand understood the problem…the solution, not so much. The problem is, there hasn’t been found yet an ethical proposition that does not, in some perfectly plausible circumstance, self-contradict. Kant got that part, too; but, like Rand, he couldn’t resolve the problem.

    I’m convinced that this was the recognition that inspired that famous line in the Declaration, “…endowed by their Creator…”. The only unassailable scheme of ethics is the divine command theory. Every other approach on this topic has obstacles to it, in the form of objection from other writers. Aristotle answered Plato’s “Republic” in “Nicomachean Ethics;” Mill answered Bentham with, “On Liberty;” and, Nozick answered Rawls with, “Anarchy, State and Utopia”. The only device (and it is only a device – as philosophy, it stinks) around this trap of self-contradictions is, “God said it – no more debate”.

    Compare Jefferson’s wording in the Declaration with Mason’s wording of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights: “I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” Many believe that Jefferson was only paraphrasing Mason with, “…all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable right; that, among these, are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. The literature already made Mason’s account questionable. Calling on “their Creator” rendered Jefferson’s wording a bit harder to argue with…unless one were going to argue against the existence of a Creator in the first place. I believe that Jefferson meant precisely what Mason meant – but he wanted to take as much wiggle-room from the notion as possible.

    Regardless, an unalterable scheme of rights, even if it does miscarry in some instance, has this going for it: it will play no favorites in the miscarriage. I demure to the lawyers here if I’m wrong, but I believe the same principle still applies in that field: yes, the law may sometimes lead to undesirable outcomes, but our protection lies in its even and equal application, to all citizens and in all circumstances. Life isn’t fair, and neither law nor philosophy may be any fairer, but at least there can be no claim of malice when we all run exactly the same risks.

    This is hardly the case when law tries to make outcomes, “fair”. Even supposing it will achieve that end in every operation, it comes to seem malicious when, even without being unfair, there is a failure to apply the law in the first place: “My neighbor was helped, but I was ignored…”.

  38. idealist707 – You write, “No, since I see that I must contribute via my taxes to the oil depletion allowance, even though I do NOT qualify for them either.”

    Apply my rule to both sides of taxation, and you’ll see that I must consider the oil depletion contribution illegitimate as well.

    I know that it is not followed so in law or public policy, but my construction of equal rights is absolute: neither law nor public policy should be allowed to take any cognizance of any quality severable from the simple humanity of the person – not race, wealth, health, gender, national origin, religion, age, etc., etc., etc.

  39. Enoch,

    “Whenever the meaning of a word is in doubt – MY doubt, Gene, not yours – I use the Oxford dictionaries – the Universal, 1955 ed. mostly, and occasionally the on-line Oxford. I use “etymologyonline.com” when the Oxford Universal doesn’t give a thorough enough history of a word. For legal terms, I use any one of several on-line legal dictionaries. For foreign words and expressions, I have several foreign language dictionaries.”

    Then again, your choices in sources are insufficient when discussing technical matters.

    “So, go take your pills. Enjoy the universe you inhabit alone, and simply accept the fact that I don’t consider a fundamentally dishonest person worthy of my debate.”

    Fundamentally dishonest? I’m not the one who was arguing from faulty definitions and logical fallacy the other day. However, that was not my criticism of your statements on this thread. Try to maintain some kind of focus. I know! It’s hard, but try.

    I wasn’t questioning your definitions, dufus. I was stating that your suppositions were based on factual inaccuracies which can result either from your ignorance (my vote) or from intentional deception (i.e. you know better and are deliberately lying). That you took a critical attack on the factual veracity of what you were saying as being legal bullshit (and it was by the plain language of the Constitution) and tried to make our disagreement on this thread about your semantic deficiencies is what is known as a straw man. So you compounded being factually wrong with logical fallacies. The take your pills thing is cute though. It really highlights that you have no substantive counterargument to being factually wrong earlier in this thread – which is indeed what is at issue here and not your being wrong in your semantics as you were on a previous thread.

    “Oh. One more thing. Post what you like, I will not reply to you.”

    As if you posting replies would make any difference to me shredding the gibberish you post. You really can’t argue worth a damn to start with. Both your assertions and responses are devoid of logical and evidentiary substantive content. Whether or not you decide to defend your assertions is entirely up to you. But argument from ignorance and straw men and other fallacious defenses? Are not tactics that are going to serve you well.

    Unless you just like being made to look like a fool that is.

    A distinct possibility in your case.

  40. Mike – Did slavery become wrong, or did law and society finally catch up with the notion that they had always been wrong? Were Jim Crow laws ever right?

    I admit, though, that my account is simplistic in a way. It is certainly very easy to offer real ethical conundrums that seem to refuse solution.

    I have written to Bron that I believe our scheme of rights rests on a fiction – a very important fiction, but a fiction no less: that they descend to us from a Creator we can by no means be sure even exists. Rather than rely on that fiction for a comprehensive scheme of rights, we may be able to find a few fairly narrowly defined rights we can agree to as if they were God-given – such as the right to free speech, or to keep your dollar from government unless it gives you, from whom it was taken, “just” compensation in return. But it is your dollar pending that compensation, and that compensation must be as personally yours. I reject the proposition that someone else’s benefit satisfies my claim to compensation for a government taking.

  41. enochwisner,

    “Did slavery become wrong, or did law and society finally catch up with the notion that they had always been wrong? Were Jim Crow laws ever right?”

    This is a specious response, enochwisner. One cannot ignore the fact that slavery was morally acceptable and legally permissible for much of human history and encompassed many times and cultures.

    To pretend that this was not so and that the world’s cultures have finally caught up to an absolute “notion” that only libertarians such as yourself have recently uncovered is laughable.

    You show your true colors in using your comment to slip in your anti-taxing rant suggesting that the issue of taxation is a wrong notion that only the brilliance of libertarian thought can expose, and that we less insightful persons must again catch up with.

  42. I’m sorry, but the request is necessary, gkb. How you define these will determine your understanding of the use of the word, “slave,” particularly across cultures and i history.

  43. So do they think they are getting around the law by not putting up any names and just referring to a religion or economic policy? Grey areas! Ha!

  44. Enoch,

    I take the liberty of deriding you.

    You remind me of the windvane that however the farmer tries to correct its cant, always returns to what some call the libertarianism wind that does not exist in reality.

    You again leave reality in favor of principles:
    “Life isn’t fair, and neither law nor philosophy may be any fairer, but at least there can be no claim of malice when we all run exactly the same risks.”

    One percenter run very few risks compared with the 99 percent. Enough said?

    As for you objecting to your taxes contributing to the oil depletion allowance, I had not noted you bringing up before any arguments which would effect the one percent if your principles were applied. Quick recovery, but honest—no!

    The longer you spend here the weaker your arguments become.
    Admit your prejudice and political home. That would be reality-connected.

    I thought you would give GeneH a good match. You remind me of myself fighting the undertow in Bali. The sand that I stood on just ran away. How’s your footing?

    Final words are yours. You amuse me no more.

  45. enochwisner,

    “You remind me of someone else on this board, which forces me to ask you to give the distinctions between עבד כנן and עבד ‘שראל

    “I’m sorry, but the request is necessary, gkb. How you define these will determine your understanding of the use of the word, “slave,” particularly across cultures and i history.”

    Gee, enoch, I can’t read your Aramic inscriptions, so I guess you’ll just have to assume your own stance.

    My understanding of the word “slave” isn’t what’s being determined here, enoch, it’s the validity of your argument that’s being determined. So why don’t you look up slavery/slave in your Oxford circa 1955 and go for it.

  46. Someone wrote, “This is a specious response, enochwisner. One cannot ignore the fact that slavery was morally acceptable and legally permissible for much of human history and encompassed many times and cultures.”

    2) “slave
    Etymology:
    From Middle English, from Old French sclave, from Mediaeval Latin sclavus (“‘slave’”) < Byzantine Greek σκλάβος < Old Slavonic словѣнинъ, словѣне (Slav). Slavs were often enslaved during the early Middle Ages, hence the semantic correspondence. }"
    Source and further information:
    ===
    Properly speaking, then, one is only a "slave" whose condition of those Slavs from which the word derives. The Romans had those called "servus". In the ancient Greek city-states, a number of different names and rules applied to those one might mistakenly call a "slave;" but, since, "slave," only dates to the Middle Ages, these cannot be discussed under the same term. Similarly, in ancient Juda, there were distinct classifications of those even now described as "slaves" in translation – each living under very different terms, and neither being remotely comparable to the Greek ἀνδράποδον.

    Pending more specificity regarding the commenter means by, "slave," the proof of his comment cannot be discussed.

  47. gkb – “Gee, enoch, I can’t read your Aramic inscriptions, so I guess you’ll just have to assume your own stance.”

    That would be because it isn’t Aramaic. A scholar would know that.

  48. gkb – “My understanding of the word “slave” isn’t what’s being determined here, enoch, it’s the validity of your argument that’s being determined. So why don’t you look up slavery/slave in your Oxford circa 1955 and go for it.”

    But a discussion of my argument cannot be more fruitful than the understanding of the person I discuss it with is good. Yours is not (“I can’t read your Aramic inscriptions” that aren’t even Aramaic). Please move on.

  49. Awww.

    Widdle Enoch pretends people who destroy his nonsense don’t have names or don’t exist. Next he’s going to sulk and call someone a dooty head. Maybe even take his toys and go home.

    Poor widdle Enoch.

    Unless of course, he’s responding like a pedant on what he thinks is a relevant point like “that’s not Aramaic” as if that’s even relevant. Then that person has a name. But then that person isn’t a “scholar” like Enoch is by implication.

    Uh huh.

  50. Scholars also know that Azitiwada Phoenician script and Aramic are very similar. Hard to tell the difference with only a few scribblings.

    I’ll leave you to your medieval musings and evasions, I have much to do today. However, if you want to discuss your absolute notions feel free to ramble, I’ll be back later this evening.

  51. idealist707 – We being with different premises: I make no apology for the “1%”. If not for the inherent contradiction, I would wish there could be more of them – richer than Croesus, all of them, dripping money everywhere they go.

    You see, I work, and I get paid what I ask for what I do (in addition to 3 season farming, I also own and operate a sawmill in the winter). My brother (for example) is far richer than I – but he didn’t get that way in any way at my expense. If I were as good at what he does as he is, perhaps I would be richer. I’m not, and I’m not. And if there’s any blame to be assigned, it all lies with me.

    And if anyone is richer than you, it isn’t their fault, it’s yours.

  52. enoch,

    “But a discussion of my argument cannot be more fruitful than the understanding of the person I discuss it with is good. Yours is not . . .”

    It’s amazing how much you’ve learned of me in such a short time with so little information. I really do have to leave your esteemed illusions for a time though, but continue with them as I love watching train wrecks.

  53. gbk – “Azitiwada Phoenician script and Aramic are very similar.” But neither is like modern Hebrew, in which characters Aramaic survives as a living tongue, today.

    And the words that began this digression are Hebrew, in modern Hebrew characters.

    Just can’t seem to find that broad side of the barn, can you, gbk?

  54. digress \dī-ˈgres, də-\, v.i.,
    : to turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument

    You can be irrelevant and diverting in more than one language.

    Interesting.

  55. enoch,

    Maybe you should go back farther in tme, like you did with the word “slave.”

    “Among the scripts in modern use, the Hebrew alphabet bears the closest relation to the Imperial Aramaic script of the 5th century BCE, with an identical letter inventory and, for the most part, nearly identical letter shapes.”

    “The Aramaic alphabet is adapted from the Phoenician alphabet and became distinctive from it by the 8th century BCE.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_alphabet

    I guess palaeography isn’t your thing.

  56. SwM,

    Most of Europe have already chosen Obama by a very wide majority.

    He’s even popular in China. They do have internet there without an Obama filter, I’ve heard.

  57. Enoch,

    You are tiring. You were very sharp yesterday, even oversharp, lots of new (for here) words, new for me ideas.

    Today you come back like any would-be-alpha dog, going around pissing, scratching gravel and leaves after you, and watching to see who notices you. Now that is tolerable, we have at least two of those already. But when you put on the bully mask, that got me irritated

    BTW, I was the first to attack today. So am not running in GeneH footsteps, like some other vultures here are doing. The last twitchings of a dying body entrances them.
    ———-

    “And if anyone is richer than you, it isn’t their fault, it’s yours.”

    Of course. But it is also so that the man who starts with a hundred meter handicap, ie ahead, usually finishes first in a hundred meter race.

    Now what do you suppose “Dubja” would have done without his Poppy? Not crap.

    And that goes for all those born to money or station, which is the same thing actually. They only learn how to talk the talk, walk the walk is usually not theirs. Dubja flunked out his flight periodic test and fled NG service after that in violation of his obligation, to avoid Vietnam.

    Where do you usually play? This is a tough playground. Only old men are sometimes given quarter, or ignored.

  58. Wow! We have a blatantly racist advertisement by an alleged church of God and then an Ayn Rand devotee decides that the law does not allow for taxation unless you get something back. How about national security, roads, FAA monitoring air traffic, how about social security and medicare and the justice system for getting something back for your tax dollar, the CDC and on and on?

  59. I wrote: “Regarding right or wrong evolving and changing as if there was something wrong with that, in my own lifetime I have seen this evolving change and some of it was good.

    Jim Crow no longer was constitutional.
    Jews were no longer discriminated against.
    Homosexuality was no longer a crime.

    For instance. I could go on and on with change.”

    Enoch responded: “Mike – Did slavery become wrong, or did law and society finally catch up with the notion that they had always been wrong? Were Jim Crow laws ever right?”

    Enoch,

    Here’s the problem. You misconstrued what I was talking about and added slavery to the discussion, which I had specifically not mentioned. Slavery was unmentioned because I was obviously referring to the acceptability of social beliefs, rather than legal systems. If the country’s attitudes hadn’t changed regarding the three specific issues I mentioned, they never would have been redressed by law. My comment was responsive to the theme of this blog post, which is the anomaly of a Christian church preaching hatred and how that fits into the bounds of social acceptability.

    That you turned it into a slavery issue was thus non-responsive and off the point. I suspect though, given your writings, that it was your attempt to raise that issue, so that you could make a further point of the thrust of your philosophy, which is that taxes are essentially theft. You seem to be someone who can only discuss an issue on your own terms, which certainly bespeaks a rigidity of thought.

    GBK likewise was onto your game and he replied:

    “This is a specious response, enochwisner. One cannot ignore the fact that slavery was morally acceptable and legally permissible for much of human history and encompassed many times and cultures.

    To pretend that this was not so and that the world’s cultures have finally caught up to an absolute “notion” that only libertarians such as yourself have recently uncovered is laughable.

    You show your true colors in using your comment to slip in your anti-taxing rant suggesting that the issue of taxation is a wrong notion that only the brilliance of libertarian thought can expose, and that we less insightful persons must again catch up with.”

    You responded to him with a discussion of the entomology of the word slave which was a “non-sequitur” to avoid answering his valid point. This was i the tradition of Bill Clinton parsing the meaning of “is”, though he seems to be a far better debater overall than you can aspire to be.

    Then you went further with this Enoch:

    “You remind me of someone else on this board, which forces me to ask you to give the distinctions between עבד כנן and עבד ‘שראל

    “I’m sorry, but the request is necessary, gkb. How you define these will determine your understanding of the use of the word, “slave,” particularly across cultures and i history.”

    The only problem being that you failed to address what GBK was saying, which I agree with, which was that you gratuitously added slavery to the discussion. This was done so that you could then follow up with your view of taxation. This is why I and others have attacked your use of logic being non-existent and fundamentally dishonest. Now your use of the Hebrew words עבד כנן and עבד ‘שראל was done for two purposes the first being to show your “erudition” thus trying to give yourself credibility and the second to illustrate your “non-responsive” point by indicating that within the Torah there were different meanings for someone who worked toiled for others and toiled for the priestly class. They both fail for the same reason, they are “non sequiturs” to the discussion at hand in an attempt to turn it to the points which you want to discuss. I would say nice try, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a disingenuous and also patently obvious gambit.

    The truth of what GBK and I are saying lies in your last comment, Enoch, which contains this quote:

    “You see, I work, and I get paid what I ask for what I do (in addition to 3 season farming, I also own and operate a sawmill in the winter). My brother (for example) is far richer than I – but he didn’t get that way in any way at my expense. If I were as good at what he does as he is, perhaps I would be richer. I’m not, and I’m not. And if there’s any blame to be assigned, it all lies with me.

    And if anyone is richer than you, it isn’t their fault, it’s yours.”

    First of all what does your working and your brothers relatively greater wealth have anything to do with this topic, excepting that this is what YOU really want to discuss? Please explain that Enoch? Secondly, that last sentence shows what a “Redneck” fool you are. I’ve no doubt that you’ve worked hard in your life, though possibly you inherited a large family farm. I guess then when my parents died when I was 18, leaving me nothing, that I was on equal footing with let’s say Paul Ryan, whose family owned the largest company in town ad who lived a prosperous youth after his father alone died when he was 18. Also Mitt Romney who talks of struggling through college and grad school on the million dollars of an investment portfolio that his Father gave him. Then too Mitt’s initial capital of $10 million, with which he started his company came from Daddy too. But I guess its my fault that I didn’t become as rich as Mitt.

    The fact is that most of the wealth of this country was created via the help of government bought and paid for by wealthy individuals. While it is true that some like Edison and Ford built their wealth through innovation,
    most like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt were added by being born to wealth and by bribing government officials, Your particular philosophy assumes an equal playing field, which I know your not stupid enough to believe in.

    The fact is Enoch, that you, like many others with big mouths and greedy minds, see wealth as the measure of a person. That you try to hide this fact of your own sociopathy by philosophical obfuscation and by silly attempts at debate, only makes you more ridiculous. I’m sure that the friends, if any, that may surround you see you as erudite, but the truth is from your opening comment I knew who you were and how you would proceed, since there have bee so many before you here with the same overweening hubris and pitiful skillset. Now in this case, that last insult directed at you was not “ad hominem”, because I had already answered all your preposterous musings with logical/factual refutation. What it plainly was is my casting a direct aspersion on you and your character.
    You amuse me mildly in your hubris, but mainly bore me with your obviousness.

  60. I dislike casting dispersions…however, the anti-____________(Romney, Republican, Religious, etc,) by the posters on this site is beyond the pale. You may feel that with the big words you use, you sound justified. You do not. You sound as intolerant and hateful as the Texan that put up that sign. Don’t expect respect for your beliefs when those with whom you disagree, you disparage.

  61. Not all beliefs are equally worthy of respect. The Nazis had a very definite ethos no matter what else you can say about them. Most would agree that their ethic is certainly not worthy of respect. You have a right to have and express your opinion. That does not mean it is right automatically just because you hold it, it does not mean it is superior simply because you hold, it does not mean your beliefs cannot be challenged by critical scrutiny, and it does not guarantee you a right not to be offended.

    Respect and offense are individual in nature.

    Logic, reason and evidence are not based in subjective perception and any beliefs predicated thereon, but rather objective standards that follow rules that can be checked for error and relevance in making decisions, even if the speak engages in insult (which is not the same thing as the logical fallacy of ad hominem attacks).

    If someone says something about your beliefs you think is wrong?

    Prove it wrong using the proper tools to do so: logic, reason and evidence.

    If someone says something about your beliefs that you find offensive?

    Suck it up, buttercup. No one cares if you are offended but you. That’s your reaction and as such entirely your property and under your control. It has nothing to do with anything but your feelings and in the big pants world, your feelings are simply beside the point.

  62. Yes.

    And today I was first to kick Enoch—-but only today did his weakening reveal his faults to me, but those I am proud that I have answered. Pardon my hubris, if it is that.

  63. Beverlee,

    To quote President Lyndon B. Johnson: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

    I could re-phrase that ten ways, but hope the first one does it for you.

    People are here for their own amusement, not to entertain others.

    Particularly NOT those who bore or are defective. Life is that way. Haven’t you been kicked the last year?

  64. PS I have. Many times. And disliked it when others are too. But this is the big league, relatively. Compared to politics it is very minor league.

    There they go for your life, here it is only your honor which is damaged. And this is not a tea party, although some say it is. ;-)

  65. SwM,

    Don’t get it, as usual. You and Blouise are too deep for me. WTF does the UN have to do with our election campaigns? If it were the FBI then might be excited.
    I must have missed something.

    PS We have Clear Channel here at all the bus shelters in the city. Scary. Who controls them?

  66. Gene, If you’re going to quote the great Walter Sobchak you should at least give attribution. Now, “SHUT UP, DONNY!”

  67. UN monitors? Yeah, did not help Saddam in his WMD worries. He did not want to phuck with USA.
    And even if led by the most honest man in Sweden, it made no difference.

    Folks, like Dubja, ignore what they don’t want to hear.

    “You’re either with us or against us.” Works in his circles so it will with the nukes in his hand.

    Won’t quote Rove again. It was attributed to him AND Dubja. Take your pick. Ca: We make history, you figure out what we did afterwards.

  68. Bron,

    Two sites say HST. He also said, publicly: “To hell with Congress.” Yes? And called home McCarthur who wanted to nuke the whole Chinese border with Korea. Good idea. China had no nukes. Bad idea. They would have gotten them sooner. Good idea: McCarthur was senile. Bad idea: most Generals are, or insolnet upstatrtw who plot the assassination of the President. (JFK) (Lyman L. Lemnitzer)

  69. So much for ethics in Virginia. The GOP operative arrested for dumping voter registration forms in the dumpster will not be prosecuted. The State Board of Elections is GOP dominated and they refuse to press charges. IF they did, it would have to be prosecuted by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is a Republican. One has to wonder just how much Ken’s heart would be in such a prosecution.

    Seems odd to me (not really) that the GOP is up in arms about voter fraud that does not exist, but when they have a dumpster full of registration forms, they suddenly develop a case of ‘not a problem.’

    http://wtvr.com/2012/10/22/ken-cuccinelli-responds-election-fraud-investigation/

  70. SwM,

    Must be the GA. They would never let it get by the SC with our veto. Must be one of those permanent organization which we hate paying for: type UNESCO or UNICEF or…..!

  71. I have posted info on the Third Party Presidential Debate (Tues. Oct. 23- 9PM ET) on the “Minnesota Lawyer Convicted…” article. If interested, please take a look. Thanks.

  72. OS:

    he was hired by republicans to register voters and he dumped a bunch of registration forms? I am guessing they were republican as well as democrats and he probably has a case of the a$$ for not being paid on time.

  73. id,

    Yeah, especially after you referred to me as a vulture that loves twitching bodies. You really need to get a grip.

  74. Otteray Scribe, it is the law in the Commonwealth of Virginia that educated me about the corruption of the whole system. I was astonished to learn recently, by reading a book entitled “Israel on the Appomattox” by Melvin Patrick Ely (a professor at William & Mary) that there had been many lawsuits in the 19th Century in Prince Edward County, Virginia that actually appeared NOT TO BE CORRUPT! It flat out astonished me!

    Cuccinelli was a legislator in Fairfax, USA, the home of corruption, the pinnacle of crook-led law, was he not? What do we expect of public officials when we reward all manner of criminal conduct and turn the courts into whorehouses?

    If someone does wrong in Virginia, they don’t get punished; they get promoted. Everyone needs to put that in their pipes and smoke it.

  75. I know I’m one to talk, but ever look for agreement rather than what you (plural) imagine or know are the underpinnings of the others arguments? In this case, enoch’s and gbk’s back and forth (I’m not singling you two out other than on one thing that struck me as odd).

    Looking back at Gene H.’s good essay on Ethical Relativism (and its natural cousin) and drew this quote, which he argues against, “whether an action is right or wrong depends on the ethical and moral norms of the society in which it is practiced” which I believe should also have a temporal component. Gene H. did allude to that with human sacrifice (widely practiced in Mexico, with evidence that it was also practiced in South America). Next quote from that essay: “it is possible to acknowledge cultural differences and still find that some of these practices and beliefs are wrong.” I hope I’m keeping them to his context, easy enough for him to resolve.

    So Enoch asks ““Did slavery become wrong, or did law and society finally catch up with the notion that they had always been wrong? Were Jim Crow laws ever right?” and gbk responds “One cannot ignore the fact that slavery was morally acceptable and legally permissible for much of human history and encompassed many times and cultures.” I don’t see a reason for this to be a point of contention, partly because I’m ignoring all the isms, and any past history on this blog, that we hold to by drawing from Gene H.’s essay.

    Bear with me (if you’ve read this far you obviously are), gbk stated an unarguable, obvious historical fact, while Enoch asked a question about moral absolutes and applying temporally, drawing obviously from the present. I noticed that gbk used “morally acceptable” for an obvious reason, he couldn’t bring himself to use “morally right”. If tomorrow the world went insane and made slavery morally acceptable and legally permissible (for the USA, the Reconstruction Amendments are repealed) I doubt gbk would endorse the change. I am not picking on you gbk whatsoever. I don’t like applying morality backwards either. But the question shouldn’t be dismissed either.

    We, meaning Western Societies, aren’t that far from slavery. Next year will be the 180th anniversary of Britain, the first IIRC, ending slavery.

  76. IIRC, Britain abolished slavery, de jure, on its mainland while practicing it, de facto, in its colonies and protectorates and so-forthies.

  77. Ariel,

    “But the question shouldn’t be dismissed either.”

    What question, the one in your mind that you neglected to ask?

    Ask it, frame it.

  78. Bron, nice try, but the article I read said he had been registering college students, in an area known to have heavily liberal/Democratic leanings. Even if that were not true, if we use the same yardstick as the hue and cry over supposed mistakes by ACORN, the guy would get a loooooong sentence. Instead, they are not even bothering with him.

  79. Enoch, I’m sorry but this is specious “Properly speaking, then, one is only a “slave” whose condition of those Slavs from which the word derives.” No, because the root of a word doesn’t enslave the meaning of the word to the root. IIRC, root in Arabic for slave is “black” or some similar meaning term, which doesn’t mean that whites taken into slavery by Arabs (estimated at 1.5 to 3 million) weren’t slaves. Now as far Juda, really by far more enlightened than most, that there was a hierarchy to being a slave doesn’t mean that the word slave doesn’t apply.

    I’ll grant that English, language and derived culture, doesn’t make as many distinctions as others, but in our language “slave” is slave. Want to argue Russian serfdom wasn’t a form of slavery? Granted, they were Slavs.

  80. nick,

    paraphrase /ˈparəfreɪz/, n.,
    :a rewording of something written or spoken

    The quote you refer to:

    Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! F$*k me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

    What I said:

    “Not all beliefs are equally worthy of respect. The Nazis had a very definite ethos no matter what else you can say about them. Most would agree that their ethic is certainly not worthy of respect.”

    This is not a direct quote. It is a paraphrase.

    In writing, the grammatical and stylistic convention is to identify and attribute direct quotes by quotation marks and sometimes a direct cite depending on circumstances. This is not so with paraphrasing. I wasn’t “busted” nor am I concerned about your evaluation that following a grammatical and stylistic convention properly is a need for me to “man up”.

    However, if your lack of proper understanding of the English language makes you feel like you accomplished something of value?

    Good for you!

    You get a gold star and an extra snack before nap time.

  81. OS:

    as with most all things like this there are 2 sides to the story and in the article you provided someone was quoted as saying there were both repub and demo registrations.

  82. I wrote about honor earlier today. I know, you know, God knows, and some folks here know you just got caught and your faulty ego won’t allow you to just man up. Join Nixon and all though many egomaniacs who never learned it’s not the offense..it’s the cover up. A smart person would have just admitted the failure to attribute and it would have been done. I see your love for Shakespeare is deeply rooted. The first rule for getting out of a hole is to stop digging.

  83. Bron, stastically, it would be bizarre if it were not both. However, that misses the point. He had been registering potential voters in a heavily Democratic area. That means that more Democrats than Republicans were probably disenfranchised. That beggars the question. NEITHER should be thrown away. When a potential voter fills out that registration form in good faith, the damn form should be turned in.

    In a just world, Colin Small would be in the dock facing at least 13 charges of fraud on the voting system. He will not face any charges, not even a slap on the wrist. Why? Because he was a paid GOP operative with the assignment of voter suppression in a GOP controlled legal system.

  84. nick,

    I’m afraid what you think about honor let alone manliness is absolutely meaningless to me but especially in the face of contrary facts. Paraphrases don’t require cites. That you’re ignorant of grammar and style in the use of language is hardly a surprise so if you want to take your own advice? You put down your shovel.

    Or continue to show your own fears of intellectual inadequacy by making a meaningless and factually inaccurate point repeatedly as if you’d won the Olympics.

    It’s funny.

    Again, not so much in the “Ha-ha!” sense as in the “Awwwww” sense.

  85. OS:

    I would like to know the whole story and Cuccinelli’s limitations.

    If it is as you say, Colin Small is possibly in need of company.

  86. October 22,2012
    900 East Main Street
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    804-786-2071
    FAX 804-786-1991
    Virginia Relay Services
    800-828-1120
    7-1-1

    Dear Senator McEachin:

    Over the past few days, I have read reports in the news media regarding your request for my
    office to investigate the alleged dumping of voter registration forms in Harrisonburg. An investigation into this matter is absolutely warranted, and the local authorities are currently conducting one. Tampering with voter forms is a serious crime, and I believe that this allegation should be thoroughly investigated.

    As a state lawmaker who serves on the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee and as someone who ran for attorney general, you undoubtedly know that my office does not have the authority to investigate election matters unless explicitly requested to do so,by the State Board of
    Elections, a local commonwealth’s attorney, or a local electoral board member (see Virginia Code § 24.2-104). No such request has been made to date; and, therefore, by law, I do not have the authority to undertake the investigation you have suggested. My hands are tied in this matter.

    However, regarding future election matters, I would be happy to support a legislative effort by you in the next General Assembly session to provide investigative authority to the Office of the Attorney General in relation to vote tampering and voter fraud. As you know, then — and only then — would my office be able to fulfill your request to investigate such matters without a formal request from the State Board of Elections, a local commonwealth’s attorney, or a local electoral board member.

    Thus, I agree with the sentiment reflected in your statements that the Office of the Attorney General should have concurrent authority with commonwealth’s attorneys to investigate and prosecute violations of our election laws, such as the destruction of voter registration forms. The current system is cumbersome and less effective than it would be if the prosecutors of the Office of the Attorney General could work across all of our local jurisdictions to punish violators.

    I appreciate you focusing attention on this shortcoming in our election laws, and 1look forward to working with you to improve the protections in Virginia law for the right to vote — one of our most important and precious rights.

    Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II

  87. Virginia Code § 24.2-104

    Virginia Code 24.2-104 – Requesting assistance for attorney for the Commonwealth; investigative committees

    Virginia Code > Title 24.2 > Chapter 1 > § 24.2-104 – Requesting assistance for attorney for the Commonwealth; investigative committees

    Current as of: 2011
    Check for updates
    2008 version
    § 24.2-104. Requesting assistance for attorney for the Commonwealth; investigative committees.

    When the State Board is of the opinion that the public interest will be served, it may request the Attorney General, or other attorney designated by the Governor for the purpose, to assist the attorney for the Commonwealth of any jurisdiction in which election laws have been violated. The Attorney General, or the other attorney designated by the Governor, shall have full authority to do whatever is necessary or appropriate to enforce the election laws or prosecute violations thereof. When the State Board makes its request pursuant to a unanimous vote of all members, the Attorney General or other attorney designated by the Governor shall exercise the authority granted by this section to conduct an investigation, prosecute a violation, assure the enforcement of the elections laws, and report the results of the investigation to the State Board.

    The attorney for the Commonwealth or a member of the electoral board of any county or city may make a request, in writing, that the Attorney General appoint a committee to make an immediate investigation of the election practices in that city or county, accompanied by a statement under oath that substantial violations of this title have allegedly occurred which may alter or have altered the outcome of an election. On receipt of the request and statement, the Attorney General shall forthwith appoint a committee of two or more persons qualified to make the investigation. Members, officers, and employees of the Board, local electoral boards, and registrars’ offices shall not serve on the committee but may provide assistance to the committee.

    The Attorney General shall direct the committee to observe, investigate or supervise the election if supervision appears necessary. The committee shall make a preliminary report to the Attorney General within five days of its appointment. If its report shows that violations of this title have occurred, the Attorney General may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, authorize the prosecution of those responsible for the violations.

    http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/virginia/va-code/virginia_code_24-2-104

  88. Hi, gbk,
    “What question, the one in your mind that you neglected to ask?
    Ask it, frame it.” I did frame it, it was the one Enoch asked, and I framed it as follows: “while Enoch asked a question about moral absolutes and applying temporally, drawing obviously from the present.” I furthermore framed it this way “I doubt gbk would endorse the change. I am not picking on you gbk whatsoever. I don’t like applying morality backwards either. But the question (Enoch’s) shouldn’t be dismissed either.” Now there was a lot in between, all of it framing, so I don’t think I kept it hidden, and therefore I didn’t neglect to ask it.

    You stated a very, irrefutable, historical fact, but you couched it with “morally acceptable”. Was I making too great a leap in assuming that you didn’t mean “morally right”? Enoch was just arguing that it shouldn’t be considered morally right, whatever the time period, whatever acceptable for the time. I don’t care what “ism” he draws it from whatsoever, that’s for ideological purists. I really don’t think you disagree on the point, but feel free to make the argument that it was morally right because it was morally acceptable.

    I dwelt longer on what you wrote only because you gave me more to work with by your phrasing. No insult intended, and no intent to single you out other than what I had to work with.

    Now, because I’ve tried to be nice I’ve built up some Internet Snark Bile, while there are no medical studies yet, from my own observation of others as well my own internal reactions, it must be released or it leads to extreme rants.

    Gene H., Eskimo? Really, Eskimo? That was a discarded, even insulting, word when I was in Alaska, along the Aleutians, and on the Pribolofs (OK, they think of themselves as more Russian, but I was on a run) in the mid-70s. It’s Inuit, man, INUIT. Not Eskimo. IN-U-IT.

    I feel so much better.

  89. “Twenty-three-year-old Colin Small is facing 13 felony and misdemeanor counts all related to alleged voter fraud. Small was contracted by the Republican Party of Virginia to register voters, but was spotted allegedly tossing a trash bag containing eight forms in a dumpster just ahead of the Oct. 15 registration deadline.

    Small, a Pennsylvania resident, is charged with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of disclosure of voter registration applications, and one count of obstruction of justice.

    Officials say there is no indication that this was a widespread incident, or that it was politically motivated.”

    http://wtvr.com/2012/10/19/man-arrested-for-dumping-virginia-voter-registrations/

  90. “But a source close to the case against Small says the young field worker missed the deadline to return eight voter forms, and then, panicking, appears to have thrown those eight forms in the trash.

    According to the source, Small would have gotten fired for missing that deadline.”

  91. Ariel:

    what are you saying? I think gbk has a valid point.

    What I think you are asking is if gbk is a moral relativist who does not believe in absolutes but I am not sure.

    Slavery is wrong but I am not so sure you can hold savages accountable for slavery since the idea of individual rights is a fairly recent concept. I think we can hold some of our founders accountable because most knew better.

  92. Ariel,

    Although I am hardly a slave to PC language, I’d like to know what is so particularly offensive about the term Eskimo. You are the first person I’ve ever heard complain about it. Then again, I only know one person from Alaska and he’s whiter than I am. My understanding is that it is a generic term to cover the related cultures of the Yupik and Inuit. No one gets upset by the term Northeasterners although the culture of Maine is slightly different from the culture of New Jersey. So really. If you can explain why the term is considered insulting, I’d like to know.

  93. Ariel,

    “Was I making too great a leap in assuming that you didn’t mean “morally right”?”

    In a nutshell, yes.

    I choose my words very carefully and it is a mistake to substitute what you think I said for what I actually said — there is a world of difference between the words “acceptable” and “right” within the context of this thread.

    Conversely, enoch did not make the claims you attributed to him, they are what you expanded on in reading what you wanted to read.

    I’ll respond to your predetermined opinions tomorrow morning as I will be spending the rest of the evening with my family.

    Rest up, the post will be long.

  94. gbk,

    you read looking for insults and I write slovenly. OK?

    You were in the vanguard today (yesterday), NOT one of the late-coming vultures. Not at all.

    My love of a sweeping phrase overwhelms my judgement. Borders around beautiful phrases destroy the esthetic value. etc etc

    “So am not running in GeneH footsteps, like some other vultures here are doing. The last twitchings of a dying body entrances them.”

    Did NOT apply to you.

    I had perceived a certain hoverings, landings, and even short inrushes to test Enoch’s life signs.
    You often give me skit, but that is OK. One learns from that, although differently.

    But no criticism of you this time. Fair must be fair

    Your lance was held on high from the beginning.

  95. There is indeed in my mind a difference between “right” and “acceptable”.

    But after reading a book: the “Authoritarians”, I find those that feel there are “right” as opposed to “wrong” things, are RAWs and a plague upon all our housess.

  96. id707,

    Eagles and vultures are not the same thing. One is a predator. The other is a scavenger.

    predator /ˈprɛdətə/, n.,
    1: an animal that naturally preys on others

    scavenger /ˈskavɪn(d)ʒə/, n.,
    1: an animal that feeds on carrion, dead plant material, or refuse

    If you are going to use natural world metaphors, at least try not to invert them. gbk does not primarily argue like a scavenger nor do I or any of the others here who apply critical thought to their argumentation. The core method is inquisitorial and adversarial which is more predatory than not. Someone who came into the argument on the side of the predators once most of the wet work was done? Or who argues ancillary points after the main argument was destroyed by others? Would be a scavenger.

    There is nothing wrong with either. Especially when the arguments are facially critically sufficient. And your attack on Enoch went to the lack of realism in his argument (a material factual issue). It was far better and more substantive than your usual rebuttals.

    Both predation and scavenging are successful adaptive survival strategies found in nature. Some creatures even adopt both strategies, for example, lions and most other apex predators. Some demonstrated this blended approach on this very thread. The metaphor in general works to describe styles of argumentation. However, like many metaphors, it’s not exact, it’s not exhaustively inclusive of argumentation strategy or methodologies, but it does work.

    But getting your metaphors backward? Is just sloppy. You must work at having the basic form and relationships down or else you will run into problems with the tactic of argument by analogy: the metaphor’s more sophisticated adversarial cousin.

  97. Ariel,

    Where to start? This is always the most difficult decision as endings are much more easily accomplished.

    So I guess we’ll start with your claim of actually asking a question of me in your post of October 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm. Scroll up and read your own post.

    I see no question directed at me in this post of yours. I see a lot of innuendo and assumptions, but no question directed at me. You admit as much later in your post of October 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm with a morass of verbiage:

    “I did frame it, it was the one Enoch asked, and I framed it as follows: ‘while Enoch asked a question about moral absolutes and applying temporally, drawing obviously from the present.’ I furthermore framed it this way ‘I doubt gbk would endorse the change. I am not picking on you gbk whatsoever. I don’t like applying morality backwards either. But the question (Enoch’s) shouldn’t be dismissed either.’ Now there was a lot in between, all of it framing, so I don’t think I kept it hidden, and therefore I didn’t neglect to ask it.”

    First of all, enoch presented two questions, not one, and enoch’s questions were in my opinion rhetorically offered so that he could segue into his libertarian rant. Secondly, enoch did not ask about, “moral absolutes,” in his “questions,” he implied them to suit his own argument. Thirdly, how was I to associate your non-existent “question” with enoch’s ploy given the unfocused drivel of your October 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm post?

    But in your postings you provided a theme whereby you cognitively substituted my phrase of, “morally accepted” with your phrase of, “morally right,” with the assumption that, to quote your October 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm post, “I noticed that gbk used ‘morally acceptable’ for an obvious reason, he couldn’t bring himself to use ‘morally right’.”

    What makes you think that I used the phrase, “morally acceptable,” because I couldn’t “bring myself” to use the phrase, “morally right?” Do you think I don’t know the difference between the words, “acceptable,” and “right” given the context of this thread.

    Why do you think I specifically stated the phrases, “morally acceptable,” and, ” legally permissible,” in the same sentence? Do you really think it’s because I really wanted to say, “morally right?” Have you even considered the fact that I differentiated between moral and legal thought?

    To cut to the quick in your references to Gene’s posting of Ethical Relativism:

    1. I don’t think there are absolutes of ethical/moral behavior.

    2. I would like to believe there is, but history speaks otherwise.

    3. History speaks to this conundrum through the various means of war, economic servitude, subjugation of women, fratricide and incest of “royal” lines, delineations of “race” when biologically none exist, and the simple fact that many cultures have beliefs, no less valid than any other, that are eschewed for jingoistic purposes. There are many other historic examples if one searches for them.

    So, really, Ariel — what was your question?

  98. enochwisner,

    “gbk – …and oregano (I’m told) “resembles” marijuana – but not enough to fool a cop.

    Seems like you’re just pissing everyone off.”

    Do you mean like you did on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 leaving Lab Corp at 1 Wescott Drive?

  99. gbk,

    Not to provide too much digression, but “the simple fact that many cultures have beliefs, no less valid than any other, that are eschewed for jingoistic purposes” relates to both the issue of ethical absolutes and the broader question of Conflict of Laws at an international level. What would make a principle ethically absolute is its universal cross-cultural application. For example, the prohibition on murder is universal. What is not universal is how various cultures define murder and how they apply principle to the administration of justice. A previously used example was one man’s capital murder is another man’s legal honor killing. Now the process of examining the definition and application of principle? Is indeed fraught with complication, not the least of which is jingoism and other cultural bias, but that does not change that under it all is a core, universally accepted principle: murder is bad and should be prohibited. It is not absolute because every culture interprets or administers the principle uniformly. It is absolute because at its most basic form it is a universal among the species. This would hold true even if some culture chose not to enforce the principle at all because as a species we place value on our lives and those of our family/immediate tribal group. It’s how evolution wired us.

    Now, if you really want to take the example and stretch the cross-cultural universality of absolutes? Consider that humans, despite their cultural differences, are the same species. Commonalities if they exist are comparatively easy to define in a homogeneous group. But what if we were talking about the ethical absolutes of an alien species? For example, Heinlein’s bugs from Starship Troopers? In a hive species such as theirs, perhaps individual life might have little or no value. The death of soldier/worker bugs might be considered a zero sum event in their alien ethos so they might have no direct ethical analog for murder. But what of the relatively rarer brain bugs and queens? Could their culture consider the killing of members of this class a crime? Possibly. Wouldn’t that crime be analogous to murder (as some form of regicide/patricide)? If that were the case, then again we are left with a cross cultural absolute: murder is wrong. The difference is in how their species defines the concept and how they administer justice for the crime. In that case though, the analogy would be stretched to the maximum because truly alien thought would be, well, alien and I suspect such commonalities of thought would be even more disparate and tenuous as differences in species morphology and basic social orders grew further and further apart.

    Just food for thought.

  100. Ariel – You write (above): “Enoch, I’m sorry but this is specious ‘Properly speaking, then, one is only a “slave” whose condition of those Slavs from which the word derives.’…”.

    You’re 99% right. Unfortunately, there are some who write here who’d stop an express train for the sake of a semantic quibble – a word you or I might use perfectly well that doesn’t comport with their choice of construction, not whether or not an accepted meaning agrees with what you or I might intend to express. Consequently, when engaging in an exchange with any of these types, it isn’t only prudent, but it’s essential to insist that words bear their most literal meaning. You – I – might as well strike first, since the exchange will inevitably degrade into such compost in any case.

    As for that last 1%, there have been conditions of less than freedom in certain cultures that (for example) the slaves of the antebellum south wouldn’t have recognized as slavery as they experienced it – in some cases, far more liberal and, in some case, even more brutal. There are also distinctions between chattel slavery and (again, for example) the condition in which Jews were forced to labor under the Nazis. The person my comment was written for neither made any such distinctions nor did he imply the existence of any such distinctions.

    Finally, there is the 13th Amendment: “1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Does the 13th Amendment make a substantive equivalence of anyinvoluntary servitude” with slavery? If so, are there any circumstances in which government demands service to it on such terms as we may call that service, “involuntary”? How about conscription? The Amendment specifically exempts those convicted of crimes – may we not infer, then, that if any other manner of involuntary servitude were similarly exempt, the Amendment would say so? How about compulsory payments to government, which can only be discharged, even if in a single case, by labor: does that labor, by virtue of its “belonging” to government (in the form of the compensation derived by it), and the fact that the laborer has no say in the matter, rise to the level of “involuntary servitude”?

    Or, of course, we can skip over all the sophomoricisms and simply discuss what each other clearly means.

    Personally, I’d prefer this last, but I’m afraid that some others here just wouldn’t let that be.

  101. gbk – “Do you mean like you did on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 leaving Lab Corp at 1 Wescott Drive?”

    No. Like the municipal prosecutors in both Raritan Township and Hillsborough Township who lost the case. The charges were dropped last April, ans the “hunting knife” returned to me.

  102. gbk – “No. Like the municipal prosecutors in both Raritan Township and Hillsborough Township who lost the case. The charges were dropped last April, ans the “hunting knife” returned to me.”

    I forgot to mention, I was pro se throughout.

  103. Oooo. Taxes as slavery. I take it back. You aren’t a Libertarian. You aren’t even that bright. You’re a tea bagger, Enoch. Are you one of those sovereign citizen clowns too?

  104. Gene – This is going to be my one and only reply to you on this page – and the only reason I’m making even that is to illustrate your idiocy.

    This is what I wrote:
    “How about compulsory payments to government, which can only be discharged, even if in a single case, by labor: does that labor, by virtue of its “belonging” to government (in the form of the compensation derived by it), and the fact that the laborer has no say in the matter, rise to the level of “involuntary servitude”?

    Or, of course, we can skip over all the sophomoricisms and simply discuss what each other clearly means.

    Personally, I’d prefer this last, but I’m afraid that some others here just wouldn’t let that be.”

    a) The word, “tax,” does not appear in any form. Your delusions cannot change what I wrote in black and white.

    b) The sentence beginning, “How about…,” ends in a question mark. If you passed grade school, you’d know that signifies a question, not a declaration…or don’t you know the difference?

    c) The sentence, “[o]r, of course, we can skip over all the sophomoricisms and simply discuss what each other clearly means,” implies that all that went before are sophomoricisms that I really did not mean; and,

    d) “Personally, I’d prefer this last, but I’m afraid that some others here just wouldn’t let that be,” was written with you and gbk in mind. Clearly, I was right.

  105. Gene,

    “For example, the prohibition on murder is universal.”

    I’m not so sure of this anymore. I suspect you are also given the NDAA and your comments relative to this act. The definition of murder changes with expediency of need, don’t you think? This is an observation of mine, not a belief, merely an observation.

    “Is indeed fraught with complication, not the least of which is jingoism and other cultural bias, but that does not change that under it all is a core, universally accepted principle: murder is bad and should be prohibited.”

    I agree, but I don’t see governments acting in this way. What I do see is the acceptance of government actions permeating and diluting long-standing broad cultural definitions of murder.

    “It is absolute because at its most basic form it is a universal among the species.”

    One would hope, and I so want to believe this but current events speak to a breaking of this bond. I don’t wish it to be so, but events speak for themselves, do they not?

  106. gbk,

    I think political expediency is usually a code word for “I’m a sociopath and I’m going to do whatever I want to get whatever I want.” Government is necessary for society of any scale. I contend that a majority of our problem come from faulty processes in how we select leadership combined with pure complexity in the mathematical sense. Too many people with no ethical sense at all other than their greed and love of self over all other consideration get into positions of power. Although the Constitution calls for there never being a religious test for office? Believe it or not, I’m not against the idea of mental health screenings to keep socio- and psychopaths out of office in a democracy.

  107. Enoch,

    I won’t mention the gun, but I will mention your platitudes to Ayn through your comments at:

    http://robbingamerica.blogspot.com/2011/04/who-is-afraid-of-ayn-rand.html

    Mr. Gerson, of the Washington Post, in criticizing the movie “Atlas Shrugged”, pretends to criticize the book and the philosophy behind it. It is a stretch in which he fails predictably. As one might have expected, there is a chasm between the movie and the complex development of a philosophical structure that was the final purpose of the book. Mr. Gerson comes to pieces in trying to launch a critique from the initial platform of a movie – we all know that Hollywood can never convey historical truth of esoteric ideas. But he sinks further – and this is his real sin – when attempting to bridge his initial movie review to an explanation of why Objectivism – the philosophical name of Rand’s individualistic philosophy – is what he calls “adult-onset adolescence” (whatever that means).

    Mr. Gerson goes on unaware of his limitations to precisely assert those limitations by concluding that “Rand developed..[her].. philosophy at the length of Tolstoy, with the intellectual pretensions of Hegel, but it can be summarized on a napkin. Reason is everything. Religion is a fraud. Selfishness is a virtue. Altruism is a crime against human excellence. Self-sacrifice is weakness. Weakness is contemptible.” He uses the semantics and descriptive titles of a complex philosophical logic without analyzing the underpinnings that took Rand thousands of pages to explain. So, if Mr. Gerson cannot go beyond the napkin we will.

    We have chosen the clear headed, learned and intellectually capable answer (perhaps unfortunately longer than a napkin) of Enoch Wisner, farmer-intellectual, who has kindly contributed to Robbing America in his own words:

    “Rand’s, ‘Objectivism’, simply says there ought not to be value ascribed to anything, absent objective cause. Sentiment and personal psychology, the foundations of subjective evaluations, are not trustworthy or, consequently, a sound basis, on which to evaluate anything, from love to the value of a dollar. The notion is not new. Emanuel Kant (“the Categorical Imperative”) says as much: a moral choice can only be accepted as such on its face if it operates to the apparent disinterest of the moral agent. Constrained to objective standards, it is not the poor that Rand holds in despite, but those are poor by their own choice or fault; and it is not helping others that Rand finds contemptible, but helping those who do not make every effort to do anything and everything in their power to deserve help. Rand is opposed to religion because its values are not demonstrable – objective. The faithful accept that “x” is good, not because the goodness of “x” can be demonstrated, but because an unprovable authority says it is – and this is true even in cases where the goodness of “x” IS demonstrable. The devout Christian does not help the poor because a grateful poor man, lifted from poverty, may well work harder than most, but because a mythic being has told him to.

    And the notion that anything and everything must be deserved is a direct assault on how we have come to govern ourselves, where the undeserving impose a moral claim on the deserving, THIS is what “Atlas Shrugged” is all about, and there are currently near 14.3 trillion reasons to believe Rand was right.”

    As our friend Enoch Wisner suggests, and Gerson misses, it is uncanny, and more than a bit unsettling, to see that, philosophy aside, many of the predictions of Atlas Shrugged of 1956 have come to be palpable realities.

  108. gbk – It isn’t for me to put words in your mouth (so to speak). It seems, though, that you’re making a good observation less well than you could.

    Statutory language aside, I believe it is fair to say that the functional definition of murder is “unjustified/unjustifiable homicide,” and that your observation goes to the changing terms of justifiability.

  109. enoch,

    “I believe it is fair to say that the functional definition of murder is “unjustified/unjustifiable homicide,” and that your observation goes to the changing terms of justifiability.”

    Sorry, but I don’ have the same decoder ring. Try again.

  110. gbk – “Enoch, I won’t mention the gun, but I will mention your platitudes to Ayn through your comments at: [etc.]”.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about, re. a gun, but I do want to make clear that I was not defending Rand. Rather, in something of the role of a school teacher, I was critiquing Gerson’s account of Rand, and explaining to him what she really (I believe, at least) meant.

    I find I can learn something from just about anyone, whether Marx, Rand or even Gene. That I have learned something from any or all of these does not entail that I agree with any or all of these.

  111. I thought you weren’t going to address me again.

    Awwww. Did I hit a nerve there, Enoch?

    You old teabagger you.

    How about you first addressing the factual problems of your earlier statements on this thread that I pointed out and you promptly ran away from proclaiming I should “take [my] pills” and “Post what you like, I will not reply to you”? Hmmm? You know, the bullshit you were trying to spread before I called you on it and then gbk came along and started dismantling your tea bagger gibberish instead?

    Oh, that’s right! Because you’re a philosophy student of note total pantsload.

    “Gene – This is going to be my one and only reply to you on this page – and the only reason I’m making even that is to illustrate your idiocy.”

    Good luck with that.

    “This is what I wrote:
    “How about compulsory payments to government, which can only be discharged, even if in a single case, by labor: does that labor, by virtue of its “belonging” to government (in the form of the compensation derived by it), and the fact that the laborer has no say in the matter, rise to the level of “involuntary servitude”?

    Or, of course, we can skip over all the sophomoricisms and simply discuss what each other clearly means.”

    It’s again a loaded question and begs the question that taxation (a percentage of your work due society to pay for your mutually derived benefit(s)) is anything other than that component of the social compact that funds governmental operations and directly derives from economic value. Taxation is not indentured servitude or slavery of any sort. It’s your portion of the bill. Or do you think you should get to be a free rider on society? Seems so.

    “Personally, I’d prefer this last, but I’m afraid that some others here just wouldn’t let that be.”

    I don’t care what you prefer.

    “a) The word, “tax,” does not appear in any form. Your delusions cannot change what I wrote in black and white.”

    No, but your description is of a tax (possibly a fine, but you’re a self-confessed tea bagger on your websites, you mean taxes no matter how much you want to equivocate here) – “compulsory payments to government, which can only be discharged, even if in a single case, by labor.”

    Compare with this definition of taxation: “The process whereby charges are imposed on individuals or property by the legislative branch of the federal government and by many state governments to raise funds for public purposes.

    The theory that underlies taxation is that charges are imposed to support the government in exchange for the general advantages and protection afforded by the government to the taxpayer and his or her property. The existence of government is a necessity that cannot continue without financial means to pay its expenses; therefore, the government has the right to compel all citizens and property within its limits to share its costs. The state and federal governments both have the power to impose taxes upon their citizens.”

    Why, that’s not your teabagger code word to imply slavery!

    See, such loaded language as “indentured servitude” can come back to bite you in the ass when dealing with people who understand the fineries of both the English language and its application to propaganda.

    The rest of what you say is meaningless gibberish designed to hide the fact you’ve got squat for argumentation skills and no evidence at all other than your ridiculous tea bagger ideology.

    But why don’t we address how divorced from reality your “daughter” blather was?

    Hmmm?

    That ought to be really funny.

  112. gbk – Re. murder, I mean that the word is biased in itself. By definition, murder is wrong/immoral, because it is the word we use to describe the wrong/immoral death of one human at the hands of another. For other man-caused deaths, there are other descriptions – homicides (justifiable and culpable), “doctor assisted suicides,” state-sanctioned executions and, on battle fields, simply “war dead,” or, “casualties” (this latter including both the dead and the injured).

    Culturally, though, there are disagreements regarding moral justifiability of homicide. In some cultures, “honor” killings may not rise to the distinction of murder. In other cultures, female infants may be killed (if by deliberate neglect). In still others, blowing one’s self up in order to kill certain others is also not murder.

    Yes, we all agree murder is wrong/immoral – but we don’t all agree what murder is.

  113. And stop kidding yourself.

    What you do is not really learning. It’s absorbing catch phrases and cherry picking that caters to your ideologically driven confirmation biases, Enoch. You’re very good at regurgitation though. I’m willing to bet beyond very basic reading, you haven’t learned anything in years that didn’t simply confirm what you already thought.

  114. Gene,

    “Government is necessary for society of any scale.”

    Granted. I’ve never argued otherwise.

    “I contend that a majority of our problem come from faulty processes in how we select leadership combined with pure complexity in the mathematical sense.”

    Yep.

    “Too many people with no ethical sense at all other than their greed and love of self over all other consideration get into positions of power.”

    Yep.

    It’s time for the people to demand that a constitutional convention through the auspices of state legislators be called to address some fundamental issues of non-representation and the financial excess of our collective addiction to the corporatist state that we currently live in.

  115. “It’s time for the people to demand that a constitutional convention through the auspices of state legislators be called to address some fundamental issues of non-representation and the financial excess of our collective addiction to the corporatist state that we currently live in.”

    Hear, hear, gbk.

    Fascism, corporatist or otherwise, never ends well.

  116. gbk – “Tuesday, September 14, 2010 @ approximately 11:34 AM – Police arrested Enoch Wisner, age 51 of Hillsborough, and charged him with unlawful possession of a weapon following a traffic stop on Rt.31. Police were initially dispatched to Lab Corp at 1 Wescott Drive for a client with a knife is his possession who had left after creating a disturbance in the office. Staff at Lab Corp provided a vehicle description and license plate number for the vehicle Wisner was driving. Police located and stopped the vehicle on Rt. 31. Wisner was found to have a hunting knife in his possession and was subsequently taken into custody. Investigation and arrest by Ptl. Michael Dendis.”

    No gun, gbk, just my knife. On Apr. 2, 2012, the charges were dimissed, after being knocked down from a felony to a misdemeanor and getting kicked from Raritan Township municipal court to Hillsborough municipal court. The knife was returned to me by the Raritan Township P.D. on Apr. 12, 2012.

    I’m really quite proud of the arrest, process and dismissal (achieved pro se, I might add): farmers carry knives, and the public just needs to get over it. I still carry the same, fixed-blade knife – I’ve even carried it back into the Raritan Township P.D. They leave me alone.

  117. enoch,

    Whatever, I really don’t care about your knife or gun. But have you seen the error of long ago and far away in stating that:

    “But neither is like modern Hebrew, in which characters Aramaic survives as a living tongue, today.”

    When Aramaic script is modern Hebrew in script. Not in the phonetic sounds associated with the script, but in the actual symbols used? Do you know the difference?

  118. Perhaps this is counterintuitive – or just simply ignorant – but I suspect the decline of American Christianity of all sorts could be accelerated by letting their practitioners conflate and ultimately substitute their politics for their religion without penalty of law.

  119. gbk – I speak Hebrew (“Biblical,” Mishnaic and modern), Aramaic and Yiddish (and a few other languages as well).

    Which Aramaic do you mean? ” The Gemara is mostly written in Aramaic, the Jerusalem Gemara in Western Aramaic and the Babylonian in Eastern Aramaic, but both contain portions in Hebrew. Sometimes the language changes in the middle of a story” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemara)

    Also, the Hebrew characters (“aleph-bais/bet,” Ashkenaz or S’phard depending) have various forms in themselves. In other words, Hebrew doesn’t resemble Hebrew in some texts.

    Second, there is no standard vocalization of Hebrew, so how can it be said that the “sounds” of Aramaic don’t agree with it? The Hebrew word for “blessing” (for example), ברוך, is pronounced, “Baruch,” “Boruch” or “Booreech,” depending if one follows the S’phardic custom (“Baruch”), the Russian/Lithuanian custom (“Baruch”) or the Hungarian/Rumanian custom (“Booreech”) – and spoken Aramaic follows the same rules as for Hebrew, except in the academy (which follows a pattern nearest the S’phardic custom, but includes some differences even from that).

    Now, if you can tell me how to post a .jpg file here, I can post a chart to demonstrate the statement that Hebrew doesn’t always resemble the Hebrew of a Bible (for example). As for vocalizations, if you like, I can probably find some you-tube clips of the various customs.

    So, which aleph-bais does Aramaic resemble (or not)?

  120. Mike,

    You addressed a long post to me, way up above. I’m sorry I didn’t see it before now. You deserve a civil answer.

    If I introduced slavery where it did not belong among your examples, I apologize. I really would rather understand you and agree or disagree with what you mean to say than try to change the topic to my own.

    Several comments after yours have tried to raise my question: there is an intrinsic push-and-pull between the need for an objective and a subjective scheme of ethics. The objections to a subjective scheme of ethics should be clear in examples such as the Holocaust. The objections to an objective scheme of ethics is similarly clear in examples such as, “The Nazi at the Door” (the Gestapo comes to the house Anne Frank is hidden in, and asks the owner if he knows where any Jews are hidden – how do we insist on honesty as a moral absolute in such a case?).

    So, with both approaches to ethics problematic, what do we do?

    I propose that one reason religion has been so successful is that it posits a law given by God (fixed and unchangeable), interpretable by an elite that can tailor “God’s law” to circumstance and condition. I believe that Mason/Jefferson suggested the same device for our own notion of rights under the law: they are ours by nature/our Creator, fixed and unchangeable, and yet available to interpretation by an elite as necessity dictates.

  121. I had gone for a pre-employment (Tractor Supply – I’d been asked to help out) drug screening, asked to empty my pockets and I put my knife on a counter.

    The technician took exception, and I was vocal about my right to carry the tools of my trade. It was never brandished. It was, in fact, out of my possession, on a counter behind me, the entire time.

  122. or did you even touch the knife and they just thought you were going to pull it because you were upset about something?

    None of my business but you did mention you were recovering from surgery/sickness. Anything to do with Lab Corp? Like a botched diagnosis by the lab and dealing with schmucks who seem to inhabit the hallowed halls of the medical industry.

    It is enough to make a grown man angry. There are some very good people in the industry but there are some really crappy ones as well and when they suck, they seem to really suck. Not just run of the mill incompetence but an incompetence that is embraced as a badge of honor.

  123. No, Bron. There was never any allegation respecting the knife except that I possessed it. I was charged under NJSA 2d 35:d, “possession of a weapon for no legitimate purpose”. No assault. No menacing. Nothing like that.

  124. Yep. Talk about anything other than . . .

    “Enoch,

    Your complete and utter lack of knowledge and/or disregard of legal principles, jurisprudence in general and what the law actually says is quite impressive. Arguments from ignorance are always so amusing.

    “As for tax exemption… the needful right of Congress to levy taxes notwithstanding, a tax is not just or proper simply because it’s lawful. Power, to lie in the people’s hands, should never be allowed to levy taxes by taking.”

    The 5th Amendment states:

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    The highlighted section is known as the Takings Clause. So clearly takings are legal if just compensation is made. That historically the courts have had a difficult time interpreting the boundary lines of what constitutes a taking is simply a matter of jurisprudence being an evolutionary and accumulative process. Taxes are not so much the issue as whether or not and when regulations constitute a taking and this is a matter unsettled in American jurisprudence.

    “In one construction of democracy, “realism” and “pragmatism” trump principle – or it can, given a majority. Imagine you had the prettiest daughter in town. Would you want the majority to be able to make her a town’s common property?”

    Given that your definitions of technical terms is already demonstrably suspect, I’m going to skip over that and go directly to the Constitutional fact that no one’s daughter (nice appeal to emotion by the way, did you get fries with that logical fallacy?) is going to be anyone’s property held in common or otherwise.

    The 13th Amendment states:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”

    These laws of enforcement apply to the states and equally to all citizens via the 14th Amendment.

    Once again, you clearly are talking about something you don’t understand.”

    What is a Red Herring? It is not some kind of Norwegian mid-range chain of seafood restaurants. A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. For example, foreign languages and old criminal charges instead of Constitutional law.

    That is the logical fallacy de jour.

    It is also part of the lunch menu at the Stavanger Middle School.

    That is all.

  125. they arrested you for that? That is ridiculous.

    I would have been upset too, if some tech started reading me the riot act about a legal knife. I used to carry a knife for the work I did, a folding Buck knife with a 3 to 4″ blade. The company made us buy them and carrying was mandatory while on the job.

    Needless to say, they would have really $hit themselves if you had put a .45 on the counter.

    I love Tractor Supply, it is like a candy store.

    We once had our water shut off for about 6 months during a drought when our well went dry [we have since had city water installed at great expense to us. so much for shared financial hardship in society. the only people paying are the ones who use the water even though my tax dollars are going for roads for everyone.], I went to TS and bought a 200 gallon water tank and a jet pump and ran the water through the outside spigot. It worked great and there was a yard hydrant the county installed next to a fire hydrant about a block away to service the local area. We put the tank on a trailer and filled up about 2 days a week.

    We would pull up to the spigot and fill it up, we would see people using gallon milk jugs and those 5 gallon water cooler containers. What a mess that must have been. If the apocalypse ever comes, I am covered, my well is back, I can grow my own food, there are deer and squirrels in the woods, plenty of wood for heating. The only thing I need is a few hundred gallons of gas and a generator.

  126. Gene H:

    gbk brought up Enoch’s legal trouble, Enoch didnt. As with most everything there are 2 sides and I was curious about Enoch’s side of the issue.

    I dont think he is shrinking from your argument, I think he was answering my questions and he has to go to work. He answered it forthrightly and even gave the case number so he certainly isnt hiding anything. And he isnt putting up a red herring as gbk is the one who interjected the legal trouble. Is that a form of ad hominem?

  127. Not in the slightest Bron. Look at Enoch’s response to that earlier post:

    “Take you meds, Gene. Go to sleep. When you can conduct yourself rationally and intelligently, maybe we’ll talk.”

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/10/22/a-sad-sign-of-our-times/#comment-436945

    He was anxious to talk about anything other than that valid criticism of the law around his earlier comments, he sputtered “your crazy” and then ran toward any topic but those. That was what Enoch did.

    Now, technically speaking, gbk answered insult with insult based in fact by bringing the charge into it. It was about character but not in the impeaching sense. But since Enoch was proud rather than shamed by the charge, that tactic was nullified and moot. A technical foul at worst. But that does not change that Enoch has run with it (or any other irrelevant topic like Aramaic) rather than address substantive criticism(s).

  128. And Tractor Supply does carry a lot of neat stuff. Then again, I find tool stores endlessly entertaining anyway. Any sort. It doesn’t matter. I spent a lot of time hanging around the local small town hardware store where my grandfather lived when I was a kid. It rubbed off on me.

  129. Gene H:

    After I posted that I thought that you could call it impeaching the character of the witness, which is a valid strategy.

    If someone had me arrested for taking a knife out of my pocket, I would be a little po’ed. If I defended myself without a lawyer, I would probably give myself a pat on the back.

    We had a great old time hardware store in the town I live in, the old timers would gather for coffee in the morning and swap BS. I went once in awhile and it was fun to hear the stories from “back in the day”. It is now a Latin supermarket Mercado Americano or some such name. But it is good to see immigrants taking advantage of the choices our system provides people.

  130. Bron,

    I would have called it impeachment if the charge had gone to truthfulness in character, such as fraud or theft.

    The old hardware store near my grandfather’s is still there, although in a new larger building and they are now an Ace affiliate. Back in the day, it was much like the one you describe – a hang out for the old timers. Today? Not so much. It doesn’t help that everyone who worked there when I was a kid is dead or retired though. The second generation now runs the daily show there and I know them all (went to school with them), but it’s still just not the same. For one thing the new building smells too new. The old building? It smelled like a hardware store had been there since the first cavemen started banging rocks together. But oh well . . . such is the passage of time and the nature of change.

  131. Enoch:

    It is so bizarre to me that you were arrested for carrying a knife. Not that I doubt what you say but someone in authority would call for arrest for that.

    When I was in grade school nearly every boy carried a pocket knife to school. It was no different than wearing a belt to us or the school officials. Later, during high school, some students had shotguns on racks in their pick up trucks because they went hunting before school. Sometimes we would go shooting after class and kept the guns in the trunk. None of this was a big deal. Today, everything in this paragraph would cause a frenzy if school officials took notice. It is stupid in my view.

  132. GeneH,

    I wish you would:

    1) learn to read—I have already assured gbk that he was not on the vulture list. Very simple reason. He was there fighting Enoch early on, not hovering waiting for the final twitch. So as usual you can not read or you do it slovenly.

    2) NOT wait until I have left the scene (6PM ET) to direct comments to me personally. Common courtesy or chivalry, call it what you will. It is difficult answering you when I have left the scene. You know by
    this point that I live 6 hours earlier than ET.

  133. GeneH,

    “You were in the vanguard today (yesterday), NOT one of the late-coming vultures. Not at all.” ID707

    Satisfied? I know that the JTs has many comments, but read carefully next time. And I also admitted writing without considering who I must set caveats for to avoid splash effect. So that was included too.

  134. GeneH,

    Disregarding your missing my apology for not explicitly excluding gbk from the metaphor, I re-read your lesson in GeneH’s school of argumentation.

    Loved it. Very well done. U rite so purty.
    Weaving in facts from the natural world (apex predators…) to anchor and enliven the metaphor discussion was “good”, mildly said.

    Got a good site? Want to know the differences between bla and bla-bla.

    No, that is beyond reach. Best to take the appetizers when they are offered here.

    Hard to dislike someone who writes and reasons so well, but he kicks like a mule.

    But I have perhaps figured out one reason. Your vicious attacks are simply a quick way to drive away those who come, fart at the banquet table and
    expect applause. The quicker the better.

  135. id 707,

    One, I don’t care if you explicitly “excluded gbk from the metaphor” or not. Also, note the time stamps. I was writing the post about your sloppy use of metaphor at the time you posted your “exclusion”. I didn’t see your “exclusion” until I posted my comment. However that is irrelevant to the valid point I was making about your sloppy backwards use of metaphor. Just because you apologized or whatever that was to gbk doesn’t mean you didn’t make the error in the first place or invalidate my criticism of it.

    Two, I truly and utterly don’t care about your schedule. I’ll post what I want when I want. If that presents a problem for you? It’s your problem. You simply don’t dictate my schedule on anything.

    Three, I know how to read. Quite a bit better than you I might add so pardon me if I take a pass on your attempt to rehabilitate my skills.

    Four, if you think any of that above to you was vicious? I do not think that word means what you think it means. I can be vicious if you’d like though. I sometimes take requests.

    Carry on.

  136. “If I introduced slavery where it did not belong among your examples, I apologize. I really would rather understand you and agree or disagree with what you mean to say than try to change the topic to my own.”

    Enoch,

    I never ask anyone for an apology, though I consistently apologize when I’m wrong. If an apology has to be asked for then it is not worth it. In your case, however, since I didn’t ask for an apology, but you appeared to give it I believe I must address it. The use of “if” in an apology format negates the apology, since it transfers the burden to the one being apologized to, without admitting any real responsibility on the part of the giver. To put it into a hyperbolic analogy, the apology “If my punch that broke your nose was unwarranted then I’m sorry I did it.” Rather than “I was wrong for breaking your nose and I’m sorry”. The “if” and “unwarranted” in the sentence delete it of meaning.

    Much less dramatically, you introduced slavery into the argument specifically because you were seeking a lead in to a topic obviously close to your heart, which is that taxation is an unwarranted taking. Given that I was specifically addressing the topic of this particular article by Professor Turley which was the outrageous signage of this Church and what were its greater implications. You were so anxious to twist this topic to your own ends that you never gave an opinion about this Church ad about the greater implications of its behavior. I note that you don’t refer to any other issues I addressed in my comment and since you have arrived here you have fallen into this pattern with everyone. except for Bron. Bron in contrast to you is far more honest about his beliefs and has made some good contributions to the discussion. While he and I disagree on much, I nevertheless respect his good will as a person. In your case I was and am dubious since from the beginning your contributions here have been that of someone pushing a definite agenda, in short a propagandist.

  137. What really gets me about the sign isn’t the ridiculous and simply untrue statement about Obama being Muslim, but rather the blatant endorsement of capitalism. I mean, it’s not as if Jesus ever threw money changers out of the temple or advocated taking care of the poor and the sick or anything like that. It’s well known he charged Lazurus 1,000 shekels and the use of his donkey for a month in exchange for razing him from the dead. Loaves and fishes? All you can eat, 10 shekels. Oh, I’m sorry. I’m working from the wrong notes. These notes are from a speech by Lugwig von Mises about the value of social programs and their privatization . . .

  138. GeneH,

    I did not misuse the metaphor. Those hovering were indeed vultures, and have proven themselves so previously.
    Your bringing up eagles is/was irrelevant, whatever prompted it.

    I did not mention vicious. You did. I said that you kicked like a mule.

    Your arguments as usual, repeat as usual, are fallacious as they are completely irrelevant to the discourse from my side.

    Giving you lessons in civility is also irrelevant, as you demonstrate for the ???-time.

    I won’t waste any breath on giving you compliments as you despise even them when they come from me, and are even well-earned by yourself.

    Or maybe I shall, look at what water can do with the Himalayas now become the Appalachians, or the Colorado which produced the Grand Canyon. A thousand pharoahs could not do as well as simple raindrops.

    And you are wasting your breath, as I shall not be driven away by you, nor by any other. But you decide what you do.
    Otherwise it would be a bore. And I suffer it poorly. So fart away when ready, Greddy.

  139. id707,

    “I did not misuse the metaphor”

    If that’s what you want to think. If you did not misuse it though there would have been no reason to “except” gbk from it.

    “I did not mention vicious. You did. I said that you kicked like a mule.”

    Actually you did both (the following are your words):

    “Your vicious attacks are simply a quick way to drive away those who come, fart at the banquet table and
    expect applause.”

    AND

    “Hard to dislike someone who writes and reasons so well, but he kicks like a mule.”

    See?

    “Your arguments as usual, repeat as usual, are fallacious as they are completely irrelevant to the discourse from my side.”

    Except I haven’t repeated myself once and none of my logic is fallacious.

    “Giving you lessons in civility is also irrelevant, as you demonstrate for the ???-time.”

    You are not the arbiter of civility.

    “I won’t waste any breath on giving you compliments as you despise even them when they come from me, and are even well-earned by yourself.”

    I’ve not only indicated that your criticism is irrelevant to me but why and more than once. If your criticism is of no value to me, why should your compliments be?

    “Or maybe I shall, look at what water can do with the Himalayas now become the Appalachians, or the Colorado which produced the Grand Canyon. A thousand pharoahs could not do as well as simple raindrops.”

    Whatever.

    “And you are wasting your breath, as I shall not be driven away by you, nor by any other.”

    Did I tell you to leave? Not once. If you cannot stand having your statements exposed to critical thought? Then perhaps you should keep them to yourself in your own best interests. Injecting comments into the commons is an action that in itself invites comments critical and otherwise. I have not once told you to leave. However, I’ll not censor myself because of your discomfort over the consequences of actions you take freely, namely introducing speech in to the commons.

    “But you decide what you do.”

    Yes. I do.

    As to the rest of it? Your obsession with gaseous by-products of biology is most unusual but not uncommon. However it has nothing to due with your hyper-sensitivities to the consequences of free speech unless people challenging your statements somehow makes you personally gassy and that, once again, is not my concern but rather yours.

  140. GeneH. Hee, hee, hee. You skirted away from 3 points but ne’min.

    Frances. Fortunately.

    AY. Why should here be any different than most places. Even the best here have a bad day. And champ is not by ambition.

    And GeneH still doesn’t get that it was he that introduce the comparison between eagles and vultures, not I. I compared gbk to a knight, well in advance of the front, with his lance on high. I did not compare him with an eagle—if that is GeneH’s implication.

    His claim that I am fixated on biological byproducts is of course his privilege to deem, but I would reply no more than most. They together with phuck seem to rank high as America’s favorite word—as any viewer to evening shows can hear.

    But admit an error? Have you ever seen him do it?
    Delusional or whatever, it ain’t usual, if not mental.
    Enoch perhsps was correct there. He obviously regards himself as alpha dog or de facto king, and no one dares challenge him. Have seen once recently, very mildly and short—and that is not Spinelli’s quote vs paraphrase bla bla.

    GeneH has at least clarified that we don’t have a psychiatrist on board—only two well qualified psychologists. What other professions do we have in the house than a 3-season farmer who does timber in the winter?

    AY? Frances? GeneH?

  141. OTOTOTOTOTOTOTOT
    ================

    Cross-post on the election on the Turkey blog.
    There, is also my report from my young Turkish woman resident in Sweden, on her views.

    ” 29 Ono
    1, October 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    Evolution theory should be taught. I remember being taught that people thought the earth was flat. Laughable to think such ridiculous notions existed then and now!

    30 idealist707
    1, October 24, 2012 at 4:42 am
    ONO,

    You are so right.

    It is also laughable to think that:
    —-Romney would be a good president
    —-that the onepercent will let us have more

    Romney as Governor faced a massive demand for and supported Massachusett’s own Obamacare.
    Now he wants to see the Natinal version of Obamacare cancelled.

    He is owned, just like he owned the companies that he bought to slaughter for profit. And we know who owns him, and it is not the American people or its Constitution.”

  142. Bron – Good morning.

    A correction. I did not give you the case #. However, you were right: I have nothing to hide. That case # is: 20100000514. Charges were originally filed in NJ Superior Court, Hunterdon County, NJ.

    That case took almost 18 months to resolve. On the misdemeanor I was ultimately in the dock for, the State faced an unpleasant choice: Heller/McDonald affirmed the right to bear arms, and the Court defined any weapon traditionally carried as an “arm,” including knives, leaving the States to regulate those it deemed necessary to regulate for public safety. NJ regulates a limited menu of edged weapons by statute, and mine was not among the offerings. The Raritan Township municipal prosecutor wanted to toss the hot potato, and recused himself on the pretext of having represented my wife in a civil personal injury action. The case then went to Hillsborough Township, where, after 17 months, the State had failed to produce discovery – in the instant case, something that should have been as simple as simple could have been.

    I argued that the witness’s information respecting my possession of a knife failed to meet the burden of probable cause for a police stop, search and arrest: a) insofar as the knife in question was not one of those regulated by legislature (without belief that the knife I possessed was prohibited by law, simple possession is not criminal); b) that there was no allegation of conduct other than possession on which to stop and detain me; and, c) that the exercise of a Constitutionally guaranteed right is lawful on its face, absent some controlling law (e.g. permitting for a rally or march). Had my argument succeeded at trial or on appeal, a precedent would have been set that the NJ AG’s office did not want set, preventing State and local police from finding a knife (in my case, but any unregulated “arm”/weapon generally) in a person’s possession adequate grounds for custody and subsequent searches, seizures, etc. Simply not producing discovery made the case go away, without prejudice.

    As for herrings, when I was a boy, and my mother was still alive, people would say I “look[ed] just like” her, that “the resemblance is uncanny”. Doubtful. I’d hazard to guess that no one would ever have mistaken me for my mother. Nevertheless, looking at old pictures of her, there is, in fact, a strong resemblance: there could be no doubt that I was my mother’s son – nor that I was her son, which gender distinction (at the very least) made any thought of mistaking one for the other impossible.

    I found myself asked to accept that resemblances allow for mistaken identities. Perhaps, some do – but, as in the example of my mother and me (by no means a unique example), certainly not all, or even most. As long as anyone is going to pursue the false argument that a resemblance must necessarily permit mistaken identities, I will deem that the “red herring” (“ablenkungsmanöver,” as someone else had it) is there by permission, and I will let the hounds loose to follow it as far afield as they like.

  143. Darren – Having given the case #, it would be difficult for me to lie about the charges or the allegations underlying them. The way police work often follows this pattern…

    At a traffic stop, police may take custody of a person without claiming wrong-doing “for their own safety,” in the process of which the police may “pat down” the detainee to assure that there are no offensive weapons or other objects (syringes, for example) on their person that might cause injury to the officer. Upon the revelation of a “weapon possessed for no legitimate purpose” (a close paraphrase of NJSA 2C:35(d) – 5), the police can then place the detainee under arrest, on the pretext of which the police now have virtual carte blanche to more thoroughly search the subject, his effects and car, often yielding even more grounds for more charges.

    Had I prevailed on my particular arguments, my case would have removed that pretext – something the State did not want done, and no municipal prosecutor wanted to be responsible for the doing of.

    In Feb, 2012, the 3rd Circuit [etc.] handed down the following – the final nail in the State’s case:

    PRECEDENTIAL
    UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
    FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
    _____________
    No. 11-1136
    _____________
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    v.
    AHMOI LEWIS,
    Appellant
    ______________
    APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
    (D.C. Criminal No. 3:10-cr-00022)
    Chief Judge: Honorable Curtis V. Gómez
    ______________
    Argued December 8, 2011
    ______________
    Before: FISHER, GREENAWAY, JR., and ROTH, Circuit Judges.
    (Opinion Filed: February 22, 2012)
    2
    George H. Hodge, Jr., Esq. (argued)
    P.O. Box 803
    St. Thomas, VI 00804
    Counsel for Appellant Ahmoi Lewis
    Nelson L. Jones, Esq. (argued)
    Office of the United States Attorney, District of the Virgin Islands
    5500 Veteran’s Drive, Suite 260
    St. Thomas, VI 00802
    Counsel for Appellee United States of America
    ______________
    OPINION
    ______________
    GREENAWAY, JR., Circuit Judge.
    After receiving a tip from a reliable source that individuals in a white Toyota Camry were carrying firearms, police officers in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle. During the traffic stop, a firearm was discovered on the driver, Appellant Ahmoi Lewis (―Lewis‖). Before pleading guilty to two firearm offenses, Lewis unsuccessfully moved to suppress the firearm as the fruit of an unlawful search and seizure. We must determine whether the traffic stop was supported by the requisite reasonable suspicion of criminal activity under the Fourth Amendment based on either: (1) the illegal tints on the vehicle’s windows; or (2) the tip that firearms were in the possession of the individuals in the vehicle. We hold that neither basis establishes the reasonable suspicion necessary for the traffic
    3
    stop. Hence, the firearm discovered on Lewis should have been suppressed. We will vacate Lewis’s judgment of conviction and sentence, reverse the denial of his motion to suppress, and remand for further proceedings.
    I. BACKGROUND
    On July 28, 2010, the District Court held a pretrial hearing on Lewis’s motion to suppress. The first law enforcement officer to testify at the suppression hearing was Officer Evans Jackson (―Jackson‖), a peace officer employed in the enforcement section of the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Jackson testified that on April 9, 2010, he received a phone call from a reliable source stating that there were firearms in a white Toyota Camry, with the number ―181‖ in the license plate, located in the vicinity of the Gottlieb gas station. Jackson had known the source for approximately two years at the time and testified that he had received reliable information from the source in the past.1 The phone call was brief, lasting approximately one minute. Jackson did not inquire about how the source
    1 Jackson’s testimony about having received reliable information from the source in the past was contradictory. Jackson testified that the first time he received a credible tip from the source was approximately two weeks prior to the tip he received on April 9, 2010. (App. 43.) However, Jackson also testified that this first credible tip was received around ―late April, early June‖ in 2010 (App. 33), even though information provided at that time would have post-dated the tip received in this case. The District Court concluded that Jackson’s source was reliable. (App. 102-03.) Because the reliability of the tip is not integral to our decision, we will not address the District Court’s factual determination.
    4
    learned of the information in the tip. More importantly, the source provided no details about the legal status of the firearms. Jackson was traveling on foot at the time that he received the tip, without his patrol vehicle. He determined that he could not investigate the tip himself. Jackson called his partner, Officer Gerald Mercer (―Mercer‖), and asked to be picked up. Mercer was off-duty at the time, and Jackson instead asked Mercer whether any other officer was nearby. Mercer replied that Officer Kendelth Wharton (―Wharton‖) was next to him. Jackson spoke to Wharton and relayed the tip that he had received about the white Toyota Camry. Jackson had no further involvement in the traffic stop.
    The only testimony at the suppression hearing specifically related to the traffic stop came from Officer Jose Mendez (―Mendez‖), an officer with the Virgin Islands Police Department. Mendez testified that he responded to a request for assistance from Wharton over the police radio system in the area of the Ulla Muller Elementary School. Mendez was the second officer to arrive on scene. Upon Mendez’s arrival, Wharton had already initiated the traffic stop of Lewis’s vehicle.2 Wharton was positioned by the driver’s side of the
    2 Although subpoenaed by the Government to testify at the suppression hearing, Wharton did not appear, prompting the Government to request a bench warrant for his arrest. Questioning whether Wharton had ever received the subpoena in accordance with police protocol, the District Court reasoned that a bench warrant should not be issued. Counsel for Lewis argued that, as the police officer that initiated the traffic stop, Wharton’s testimony was critical and moved to stay the hearing. The District Court declined to do so. The
    5
    vehicle, and Mendez positioned himself by the passenger’s side. Mendez observed that the vehicle was heavily tinted, preventing both him and Wharton from seeing how many occupants were inside.
    Although the testimony was unclear as to how many occupants were inside the vehicle, Lewis was the driver and Jesus Grant (―Grant‖), Lewis’s co-defendant, was in the front passenger’s seat. Lewis and Grant were ordered out of the vehicle individually. Based on their respective positions on the street, Wharton handled Lewis when he exited the vehicle, while Mendez handled Grant. When Mendez asked Grant if he had any weapons on him, Grant became argumentative, a struggle ensued, and Mendez eventually placed Grant in handcuffs. Upon frisking him for weapons, Mendez discovered a hard object in Grant’s waist area. Mendez searched further and discovered a firearm on Grant, at which point Mendez placed Grant under arrest. Mendez had no knowledge of Wharton’s interaction with Lewis but noted that Lewis also was placed under arrest.
    On cross-examination, Lewis’s counsel questioned Mendez about whether Wharton provided any information about why he initiated the traffic stop of the vehicle:
    Q. [W]hat did you hear on the 911 call that indicated
    District Court determined that because the Government bore the burden of persuasion on Lewis’s motion to suppress, Wharton’s failure to appear only inured to the Government’s detriment. Wharton’s testimony would have been undeniably essential given the focus of our inquiry on the legality of the traffic stop.
    6
    [Wharton] needed assistance for a traffic stop? A. Well, to my understanding, I don’t know what was his reasons to make that stop. All I responded was [a] request of a fellow officer, he needed assistance in making a stop. . . . Q. The point is that you don’t know whether he was making a traffic stop because he was planning to stop a vehicle in the traffic, or whether there was a traffic violation. Is that correct? A. That’s correct. (App. 64-65.)
    Officer Terrance Celestine (―Celestine‖), an officer in the Traffic Bureau of the Virgin Islands Police Department, testified about what happened to the vehicle following the arrest. Celestine testified that he received a phone call from Wharton on April 9, 2010, requesting his assistance in determining whether the tints on a vehicle involved in a
    7
    traffic stop were in violation of Virgin Islands law.3 Wharton informed Celestine that the vehicle was located under the sally port at the Virgin Islands Police Department. On April 10, 2010, the day after the traffic stop, Celestine inspected the vehicle’s tints. Based on his initial inspection, the tint on the vehicle surpassed the AS1 line—a demarcation on a windshield that serves as a boundary rendering illegal any obstruction crossing below the line. Using a tint meter, Celestine discovered that the tints far exceeded the 35% threshold permissible under Virgin Islands law.4 Celestine issued a citation that day for illegal tints. After the three officers testified, the District Court heard argument on the motions. The Government asserted that the totality of the circumstances—the tip Jackson received from the reliable source and the tints that Celestine discovered on the vehicle—rendered the traffic stop constitutionally valid. Lewis’s counsel, on the other hand, argued that suppression of the firearm was warranted because Jackson’s source was unreliable and the tip failed to provide any information that would lead officers to believe that Lewis illegally possessed the firearm.
    3 Celestine was certified to examine the legality of a vehicle’s tints. 4 The numerical percentage of a tint is directly proportional to the amount of light that can pass through the window. As the percentage of a tint decreases, less light can pass through the window, rendering both the window and the inside of the vehicle darker to an outside observer. (App. 48-49.)
    8
    In a ruling from the bench, the District Court concluded that suppression of the firearm recovered from Lewis was not warranted. The District Court first addressed whether the tip that Jackson received provided the requisite level of reasonable suspicion to conduct the traffic stop:
    [T]he Court . . . agrees with the defense that the tip certainly cannot be the basis for the stop, because the fact that someone has a firearm is not a basis for a stop, in and of itself. And I believe there’s case law in our circuit that makes that very clear, because the ownership of a firearm is not illegal in the Virgin Islands. You simply have to have a license, of course, to possess one. But someone saying that someone has a firearm doesn’t mean that you can just stop them. So a stop based on the tip certainly would present problems for the government.
    (App. 103.)
    The District Court then determined that the illegal tints provided the necessary justification for the traffic stop:
    But that’s not all that’s attendant here. In fact, what we have here is a – the tip information was that there were some firearms, there
    9
    was a description of the vehicle, there was a description, I believe, identification of the specific license plate number for that vehicle. But there’s more. And this is, I think, what presents a problem for the defense. The vehicle that was described was heavily tinted. The testimony during this hearing revealed that. And the Court is aware that it is a violation of the law to have tint in excess of a certain amount. So while there’s been some concern about the motivation for the stop, again, that’s not dispositive here. Once there is a valid reason for the stop – here, a tint that exceeds the limit . . . . even if it’s pretextual, even if there is some motive that is questioned by the defense, there is certainly a valid reason for the stop: a violation of the tint requirements.
    (App. 103-04.) The District Court went on to reason that, once the traffic stop was initiated, the resulting discovery of the firearm on Lewis was lawful.
    On October 5, 2010, Lewis conditionally pled guilty to two of the eleven counts in the charging information: Count Three (possession of a stolen firearm) and Count Six (unauthorized possession of a firearm). The District Court sentenced Lewis on January 13, 2011 to a term of fourteen
    10
    months of imprisonment on Count Three, a concurrent term of fourteen months on Count Six, and three years of supervised release.
    On January 14, 2011, Lewis filed a timely appeal from the judgment of conviction, challenging the District Court’s denial of his motion to suppress.5
    II. JURISDICTION AND STANDARD OF REVIEW
    The District Court had jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3231. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 to review the District Court’s judgment of conviction. We review a district court’s order denying a motion to suppress under a mixed standard of review. United States v. Tracey, 597 F.3d 140, 146 (3d Cir. 2010). We review findings of fact for clear error, but we exercise plenary review over legal determinations. Id.
    III. ANALYSIS
    The Fourth Amendment protects the public from ―unreasonable searches and seizures.‖ U.S. Const. amend. IV. ―Generally, for a seizure to be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, it must be effectuated with a warrant based on probable cause.‖ United States v. Robertson, 305 F.3d 164, 167 (3d Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). A well-established exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement permits an officer to ―conduct a brief, investigatory stop when the officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.‖ Illinois
    5 Grant also pled guilty to certain offenses but filed no appeal.
    11
    v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 123 (2000) (citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968)).
    The requirement of reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop-and-frisk applies with equal force to a traffic stop of a vehicle. United States v. Delfin-Colina, 464 F.3d 392, 397 (3d Cir. 2006). When determining whether an officer possessed reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop, we must consider the totality of the circumstances. United States v. Silveus, 542 F.3d 993, 1000 (3d Cir. 2008). Once a valid traffic stop is initiated, ―an officer who develops a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity may expand the scope of an inquiry beyond the reason for the stop and detain the vehicle and its occupants for further investigation.‖ United States v. Givan, 320 F.3d 452, 458 (3d Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). Where reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop is lacking, the evidentiary fruits of the traffic stop must be suppressed. United States v. Johnson, 592 F.3d 442, 447 (3d Cir. 2010).
    Here, we must determine whether Wharton possessed the requisite reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop of the vehicle.
    A. Illegal Tints on the Vehicle
    The District Court concluded that the excessive tints provided a legal justification for the traffic stop, regardless of whether Wharton was motivated by the desire to investigate the tip about the firearms. We have noted that ―the Supreme Court established a bright-line rule that any technical violation of a traffic code legitimizes a stop, even if the stop is merely pretext for an investigation of some other crime.‖
    12
    United States v. Mosley, 454 F.3d 249, 252 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996)).
    While case law continues to afford police officers increasing latitude to initiate traffic stops that pass constitutional muster, see id., our obligation to scrutinize police action is no less demanding. We agree with the District Court’s determination that pretextual traffic stops supported by reasonable suspicion do not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. That proposition is not in dispute. But we cannot lend our imprimatur to the District Court’s erroneous conclusion that the illegal tints provided the necessary pretext in this case. Needless to say, a pretextual traffic stop requires the officer to have observed a traffic violation prior to initiating the traffic stop. Otherwise, the officer’s motivation for the stop could not be pretextual. The corollary of this fundamental principle is that ex post facto justifications are impermissible.
    After receiving testimony at the suppression hearing, the District Court reasoned that the tints provided a legal justification for the traffic stop. This determination was unsupported by the factual record. Based on our review of the testimony, the only logical conclusion is that the tints were a contrived, after-the-fact explanation for the traffic stop. As such, the tints cannot justify the stop of Lewis’s vehicle.
    Jackson provided no testimony at all about the vehicle’s tints. This is unsurprising given that his role was limited to relaying the tip to Wharton that precipitated his search for Lewis’s vehicle. Jackson never observed Lewis’s vehicle and had no communication with Wharton about the traffic stop. While Mendez participated in the traffic stop, his
    13
    first observation of the vehicle’s tints did not occur until after he arrived on scene. By that point, Lewis’s vehicle had been pulled over, and the occupants were on the cusp of being ordered out of the vehicle. Moreover, Mendez testified on cross-examination that he could not identify the reason for the traffic stop and had not discussed the issue with Wharton.
    Whatever testimony Celestine provided about his inspection of the vehicle’s illegal tints is of no moment to our determination. Celestine had no involvement in the actual traffic stop. His testimony shed no light on why the traffic stop occurred as it did. He had no knowledge of whether Wharton observed a traffic violation prior to initiating the stop of the vehicle. See Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266, 271 (2000) (―The reasonableness of official suspicion must be measured by what the officers knew before they conducted their search.‖). Celestine’s only involvement in this case—the inspection of the vehicle’s tints—occurred the day after Lewis was arrested. This inspection is inconsequential to our inquiry. The Government’s undue reliance on Celestine’s testimony is insufficient to resuscitate the Government’s doomed argument.
    The absence of testimony that Wharton or any other officer observed a traffic violation, prior to the initiation of the traffic stop, precludes a finding that the stop was pretextual. See Mosley, 454 F.3d at 251. The District Court erred in concluding that the illegal tints provided a pretextual justification for the traffic stop. We are left to conclude on these facts that the vehicle was stopped because of the tip about the firearms.
    14
    B. Tip Regarding the Firearms
    We can nevertheless affirm the District Court’s denial of Lewis’s motion to suppress if the tip that Jackson received about the firearms in the white Toyota Camry itself provided reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop.
    In United States v. Ubiles, 224 F.3d 213 (3d Cir. 2000), we analyzed whether reasonable suspicion existed to support a Terry stop in the Virgin Islands. There, individuals in St. Thomas were celebrating a street carnival festival during which alcohol consumption was widespread. Id. at 215. An anonymous informant approached several officers and informed them that a young man (the defendant) standing in the crowd of celebrants had a firearm in his possession. Id. The informant described the defendant’s clothing and appearance but did not state that the defendant was acting in a suspicious manner or that the firearm was unlawfully possessed. Id. After the informant pointed in the direction of the defendant, officers walked over to the young man. Id. Although the defendant exhibited no suspicious behavior, officers proceeded to conduct a pat-down search and discovered an unregistered firearm with an obliterated serial number. Id.
    At a hearing on the defendant’s motion to suppress the firearm, officers testified that they based their decision to stop and frisk the defendant solely on the anonymous informant’s tip. Id. The district court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress the firearm. Id. We held that the search and seizure of the defendant was unlawful and vacated the conviction. Id. at 214. We premised our decision on two considerations:
    15
    First, it is not a crime to possess a firearm in the Virgin Islands—even when standing in a crowd. Second, the anonymous tipster who approached the authorities had said nothing that would indicate that [the defendant] possessed the gun unlawfully (e.g., without registration); that he was committing or about to commit a crime; or that he posed a threat to the officers or anyone in the crowd.
    Id. We analogized the tip provided by the informant about the firearm to a tip that the defendant ―possessed a wallet, a perfectly legal act in the Virgin Islands, and the authorities had stopped him for this reason.‖ Id. at 218. ―For all the officers knew, even assuming the reliability of the tip that [the defendant] possessed a gun, [the defendant] was another celebrant lawfully exercising his right under Virgin Islands law to possess a gun in public.‖ Id. Absent additional information, ―a mere allegation that a suspect possesses a firearm, as dangerous as firearms may be, [does not] justify an officer in stopping a suspect absent the reasonable suspicion required by Terry.‖ Id. at 217.
    Less than three months after our decision in Ubiles, we clarified that ―reasonable suspicion does not require that the suspect’s acts must always be themselves criminal.‖ United States v. Valentine, 232 F.3d 350, 356 (3d Cir. 2000) (noting that the ―Supreme Court has found reasonable suspicion based on acts capable of innocent explanation‖). In Valentine, the totality of the circumstances—an in-person tip
    16
    that the defendant was carrying a firearm, received in a high-crime area of Irvington, New Jersey at 1:00 a.m., where the defendant and his companions walked away upon observing a police car—provided officers with reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry stop.6 Id. at 357. We have since concluded on several occasions that a totality of the circumstances inquiry rendered a Terry stop lawful. See, e.g., United States v. Torres, 534 F.3d 207, 213 (3d Cir. 2008) (concluding that tip provided by anonymous informant that man brandished firearm at gas station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was reliable to justify traffic stop). For cases arising out of the Virgin Islands, however, the treatment afforded firearms under territorial law continues to be of paramount importance in our analysis. In United States v. Gatlin, 613 F.3d 374 (3d Cir. 2010), an officer received a tip from a reliable source that a man was walking on a street in Wilmington, Delaware with a firearm in his jacket. Id. at 376-77. Based on the man’s description, officers responded to the area where the informant indicated that the man could be found. Id. at 377. Officers located the man, handcuffed him, and patted him down, finding an unlicensed handgun in violation of Delaware law. Id.
    We noted that the facts in Gatlin resembled those in Ubiles—i.e., the sole evidence to support the Terry stop was a tip about a firearm—but nonetheless concluded that reasonable suspicion existed to frisk the defendant for
    6 Given the totality of the circumstances regarding the tip, we declined to address the Government’s alternative argument that New Jersey, unlike the Virgin Islands, presumes that an individual lacks a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Id. at 357.
    17
    weapons. Id. at 378-79. Critical to our analysis was the presumption under Delaware law, unlike in the Virgin Islands, that an individual has no license to carry a concealed firearm. Id. The reliable tip coupled with the presumption of illegality provided officers with reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop within the confines of Terry. Id. at 379.
    The District Court concluded that the tip Jackson received, which he relayed to Wharton, was insufficient to justify the traffic stop. We agree. It is lawful for certain individuals in the Virgin Islands to carry a firearm provided that a license is obtained. See V.I. Code Ann. tit. 23, § 454. Ubiles recognized that the possession of a firearm in the Virgin Islands, in and of itself, does not provide officers with reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry stop. 224 F.3d at 217 (―[A] mere allegation that a suspect possesses a firearm, as dangerous as firearms may be, [does not] justify an officer in stopping a suspect absent the reasonable suspicion.‖). Indeed, Virgin Islands law contains no presumption that an individual lacks a permit to carry a firearm. Gatlin, 613 F.3d at 378-79. As we observed in Gatlin, the Government bears the burden of proof in the Virgin Islands that the defendant had no license for a recovered firearm. Id. at 379 (citing United States v. McKie, 112 F.3d 626, 630 (3d Cir. 1997)).
    Our conclusion here that the tip was insufficient to justify the traffic stop of Lewis’s vehicle flows logically from the reasoning in Ubiles. Jackson received a tip that individuals in a white Toyota Camry, bearing the number ―181‖ in the license plate, had firearms in their possession. Jackson testified that his conversation with his source was brief and that no information was provided about the legality of the firearms. This information alone does not permit an
    18
    officer to suspect—let alone reasonably suspect—that possession of either firearm was illegal or that the firearms were being used in a criminal manner.7 Jackson relayed the tip about innocuous conduct to Wharton, who proceeded to initiate a traffic stop of the vehicle. Absent any information about the criminality of the firearms, the mere possession of the firearms could not provide Wharton with reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle.8
    The Government argues that the totality of the circumstances—based on the tip and the illegal tints—justified the traffic stop. (Appellee’s Br. at 7.) The Government misapprehends the totality of the circumstances standard. Facts known to an officer at the time of a Terry stop must bear individual significance if they are to be considered in the aggregate. See United States v. Mathurin,
    7 This is true even assuming the reliability of the tip, which contained no information about suspicious activity. Cf. United States v. Johnson, 592 F.3d 442, 449 (3d Cir. 2010) (finding anonymous informant’s tip reliable where informant observed criminal activity in progress). 8 This is not to say that an officer must receive information about or observe criminal behavior in progress to constitute reasonable suspicion. To the contrary, as we noted, ―reasonable suspicion may be based on acts capable of innocent explanation.‖ United States v. Whitfield, 634 F.3d 741, 744 (3d Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). But, whereas here, the sole information provided by the informant concerned the mere possession of firearms in a vehicle in the Virgin Islands, without more, there are no facts upon which to predicate reasonable suspicion.
    19
    561 F.3d 170, 174-75 (3d Cir. 2009) (―We will examine the factors separately to address their individual significance, and then in the aggregate to assess the agents’ reasonable suspicion under our totality of the circumstances inquiry.‖).
    As we explained in supra Part III.A., based on the testimony at the suppression hearing, the illegal tints on the vehicle were an impermissible ex post facto justification for the traffic stop. The informant’s tip about the white Toyota Camry is equally of no aid to the Government. We cannot consider in the aggregate these two facts that individually have no relevance to our totality of the circumstances assessment.9
    IV. CONCLUSION
    Because neither the illegal tints nor the tip was sufficient, the Government failed to meet its burden of proving that the traffic stop was supported by reasonable suspicion. See Delfin-Colina, 464 F.3d at 397. The District Court erred by not ordering suppression of the firearm discovered on Lewis. We will vacate Lewis’s judgment of conviction and sentence, reverse the denial of his motion to suppress, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
    9 At oral argument, counsel for the Government conceded that the tip was insufficient, stating that suppression of the firearm discovered on Lewis would be required if the tip remained the sole support for the traffic stop.

  144. Mike – Re. my comment, “[i]f I introduced slavery where it did not belong among your examples, I apologize”…

    The qualifying “if” is yours to negate or affirm: “if I did […]; yes, Enoch, you did […]; therefore, Enoch apologizes”.

    You may accept or reject my apology. If you accept it, I hope I can look forward to productive conversations with you. You seem capable of affording such. If you don’t, I can’t see why you’d want to engage me in any further conversation…in which case, further comment on my posts would be gratuitous.

  145. Bron – I understood the confusion of a woman who said Obama is a communist, even though she couldn’t define what a communist is or believes: “A writer for the Communist Party USA says that ‘…re-electing Obama is absolutely essential,’ and warns that ‘divisions among Democrats and a potential wave of bad economic news can combine to threaten President Obama’s reelection’.”

    “Marxist John Case, who writes for various CPUSA publications, has written a piece, ‘The danger of a Romney election,’ (http://peoplesworld.org/the-danger-of-a-romney-election/) for the party publication People’s World, which warns that ‘Re-electing Obama is not sufficient to bring economic recovery or even relief to our people. Only a different class configuration in political power can do necessary minimum reforms to give us a chance. But re-electing Obama is absolutely essential’.”

    …but Romney!?!?!

    P.S. I do believe Obama is sympathetic to communism – more so than to any expression of capitalism – even if he isn’t an actual subscriber to that belief.

  146. enoch:

    this is sort of a joke based on a Romney supporter calling Obama a communist on another thread and not being able to give Chris Matthews an explanation as to why she thought he was.

  147. enoch:

    I am an almost 100% laissez faire capitalist. But do agree with Gene H that some taxes are necessary. I cannot really figure a way around it because of local roads, courts, military and things like waste water treatment. There is no efficient way to have competing waste water treatment plants or at least I cant think of any efficient, viable means and I am a civil engineer.

    And Gene H can attest that I have tried.

    You cannot have competing court systems, military or police. There has to be some standard and fealty to a common end. The standard you could probably set but the loyalty part is a different animal.

  148. Bron – Re. taxes, I never said anything remotely against them. I’ve tried very hard to be clear that my objections are on the expense side, and with the manner in which taxes are levied.

    On the expense side, I believe a simple test should apply: if one has to qualify for it in any sense of the word – age, infirmity, gender, income, etc. – it is (in my view) an illegitimate expense of the people’s money. That is, into which everyone contributes, everyone must be equally able to benefit (in real time – e.g. I pay taxes today, I should be defended by armies today; if I pay taxes today, the roads I finance must be there to benefit me today, or actionable plans to build a road on the table that my taxes – or an appropriate portion thereof must be paid toward).

    On the collection side, I do not believe compulsory takings to be legitimate. A national sales tax (not a VAT) would agree better with my beliefs – but modeled similarly as some state sales taxes are modeled (with a few adjustments). For example, transportation being necessary, I would impose a nominal tax on the average of all sales prices of all new compact sedans (say, 2%, just for discussion). At regular steps (e.g. 10%, 20% 40%, 60% and 100%) of MSRP above that average, the tax on that car would be commensurate: 10%, 20%, 40%, 60% and 100% of MSRP. For new cars below the base average, the same rule would apply, but in decimal increments. Used cars would bear a flat 1% tax. Clothing, un-prepared food, personal hygiene products and the like would be tax free (I might be persuaded to tax some very expensive, very luxurious items among these).

    The point is, I believe that the irreducible foundation of freedom is choice, and one is no more free than his ability to choose – where to go or stay, acquire, keep or dispose of, think, say, do (so long as they are not their equivalent expressions of yelling, “fire!”, in a crowded theater), etc. I believe that the sole purpose of government is to defend and provide for the greatest freedom/choice possible that does not operate to a foreseeable harm to others.

    And I very much recognize the importance and necessity of taxes toward that end. I simply dispute the legitimacy of any other end.

  149. “For new cars below the base average, the same rule would apply, but in decimal increments.”

    I meant, of course in decreasing decimal increments – e.g. 1.8%, 1.4%, 1.2%, etc.

  150. enoch:

    sounds good to me. Although I think there needs to be a limit on the amount of money government can take and that must equal or be less than the amount spent.

  151. Bron – Three things:

    1) I agree that government must never spend more than real receipts.

    2) That, since emergencies do occur, a mechanism must be in place to permit borrowing. Something on the order of a 3 month emergency bill passed by super-majorities of both Houses, pending the outcome of a national referendum to affirm or deny the proposed emergency spending, with special elections to replace Representatives and Senators in the event of that referendum’s failure called 3 months later, might suffice, with the president who signed the stop-gap bill in any event being rendered unable to run for reelection at the end of his term. (We would want every disincentive to borrow.) Should the measure pass, each graduated sales tax would rise in proportion to that bill’s excess above that f/y’s budget – e.g. if 150% above budget, the 2% base sales tax for compact cars, above, would rise to 3.5%, etc., for the duration of the emergency and until the debt is paid.

    3) Finally, since a national sales tax would produce variable receipts from year to year, and only real income would be lawful to spend, it should be the case that legislators would be forced to “low-ball” revenue expectations. Let the people give government what they want through their purchases: if they are free to pay less, they must be just as free to pay more. Nevertheless, the uncertainty of receipts, and the disincentives to fall short of receipts against outlays, argues more that legislature will accrue surpluses than anything else. And because all but the most essential purchases would be taxed to some degree, a minimum revenue stream should be fairly predictable simply given the nation’s population and the necessary consumption thereof.

  152. enoch:

    why not make it simple and require a minimum surplus of 1 year of expenditures.

    This could have been a fabulously wealthy country if they had only spent what they took in.

    Bad policy creates poverty and then more bad policy tries to correct poverty.

  153. Bron – Implicit in my “3 points” is that surpluses have been depleted, or are subsumed in the total requested for emergency. For example, if the amount required is $2T, and there $1.5T in surplus, we must still deal with the immediate sum wanting of $0.5T.

    But I agree with you:

    “This could have been a fabulously wealthy country if they [we] had only spent what they took in. [“We” have been complicit by letting the opposite occur.]

    “Bad policy creates poverty and then more bad policy [and more poverty] tries to correct poverty.”

  154. enoch:

    call me out of touch but amazon has a lending library for kindle. Free books.

    Amazing what the private sector and the profit motive can devise. What exactly has collectivism actually done for society? Except keep it down.

  155. Re: Blah Blah Blah.

    A friend of mine was litigating a tough case pro se because she tried to volunteer while Black and some very religious folks with an agenda and lots of lawyers slandered and then sued her. So in the middle of it, she was up all night writing a document and asked me to edit, which I did. In the “court and cause” section I did not know what to write there so I wrote, “Blah Blah Blah” and she was getting ready to file, early in the morning before running to the photocopy place and the courthouse and this and that and so forth, so she printed out my document that had edited her stuff and slapped it onto the motion she was making. Since I had edited for her a hundred times before, she trusted me. We hadn’t even had time to speak about the caption.

    She filed the thing in the Superior Court for the State of California, whatever County it was, with the caption: “Blah Blah Blah v. Blah Blah Blah” with the index number “Blah Blah Blah.” Nobody noticed.

    NEWS: She lost in the trial court and won on appeal. Her adversaries are looking at big-time damages and attorneys fees YAY YAY YAY, BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!

  156. Hi gbk,
    This: “there is a world of difference between the words “acceptable” and “right” within the context of this thread” and that was my point, so we read the thread differently. Not unusual with the context of our own lives and intellectual predilections.

    This: “Conversely, enoch did not make the claims you attributed to him, they are what you expanded on in reading what you wanted to read.” I’ll hold by my interpretation because you gave me no argument otherwise. You only gave me a declarative, “you’re wrong and I’m right”. Sorry, that was a Freudian slip. Obviously, I have no history of what he writes, and even if I did I will still interpret his words by his words. Otherwise, I would be acting by prejudging. We aren’t so easily defined by others assessment so I try to use just the words at the time.

    I went to this: “I see no question directed at me in this post of yours. I see a lot of innuendo and assumptions, but no question directed at me. You admit as much later in your post of October 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm with a morass of verbiage.” Actually, I don’t admit that, my question to you was always the distinction between “acceptable” and “right”. I do not view the terms as the same, and I’ve admitted, as well endorsed, your phrasing for past cultures, past societies, as being correct. It was “acceptable”, but that word is not commensurate with “right”. It’s just not and I did think you picked your words carefully thus my exception to your words.

    This: “my opinion rhetorically offered so that he could segue into his libertarian rant”, yet I explained I was not assuming whatsoever, and gave “I don’t care about the isms”. The height of prejudging is “I know this person therefore everything they write must be predicated on what they wrote before, and how I judged those words, and I will judge their words accordingly”. I didn’t do that with Enoch or you ,I have no history. I still called him out on another argument, because I thought the words were wrong.

    And this: “What makes you think that I used the phrase, “morally acceptable,” because I couldn’t “bring myself” to use the phrase, “morally right?” Do you think I don’t know the difference between the words, “acceptable,” and “right” given the context of this thread.” Yes, I do, I think you picked your words carefully. It is why I drew the distinction, and it’s all there in my comments. Yet now we quibble over the context of the thread, yet I so very hard tried to write that it is only between the two comments, which kills everything in the thread but those two comments. I try to use words as you do, which makes me verbose and gives you “morass”. I repeat my third paragraph, just because it obviously needs to be repeated until it sinks in. But you’re really telling me that no matter how I explain it you’ll take exception, drawing from any words I use that give you the possibility of exception. I believe you meant exactly what you wrote. Never questioned that.

  157. Hi, Otteray Scribe,

    I had a very personal experience with ACORN in the mid -80s. Granted, it was only the local group, but I left meeting with them feeling like I had waded through a sewer. A sewer of really stagnant waste. Anaerobic.

    I was supervising a Haz-Waste facility and was still on my game as a BSChe. Behind the facility, south, was a rendering plant and about 1/2 mile west was an uncovered WWTP that gave the Black Canyon Freeway (I-17) the title of “the smelliest curve in the US” in national magazines.

    The meeting with ACORN was supposed to be a discovery meeting, at least that was what we were told. The meeting was nothing of the sort, unless Judge Parker’s court was “a discovery meeting”. ACORN lied to us from the very beginning. The decision on their part was made with no evidence whatsoever, other than HW=Bad=Illness. We came with wind pattern data, approximate release data, and more, but judiciously kept quiet the whole meeting because there was no point to doing otherwise. They should have had an interlude of entertainment with kangaroos as the main attraction.

    The funny part was that the meeting went on and on about “the smell” (I think of Agent Smith here) from my facility which made people sick and ill, yet the smells they described were obviously from the rendering plant and the WWTP. We handled Freon, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methylene chloride, ketones, alcohols, and aromatics, with some esters mixed in some streams. I was on the pad everyday (7 days a week, as I did at least one check on my days off, sometimes twice, even with 1 man assigned for each day). The smell they described did not match the chemicals whatsoever.

    I have no faith that juxtaposing the word integrity with the acronym ACORN has any meaning. I wasn’t surprised that ACORN could so easily be shown to be dishonest.

  158. Hi, Bron (Bron 1, October 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm).

    No, I wasn’t calling gbk a moral relativist. I’m not so presumptuous, usually, to draw a conclusive label from so few words, something others make a career of rather than just a hobby. I prefer neither.

    I was only weighing on the choice of words, “acceptable” versus “right”, and weighing that moreover Enoch’s words read as a question of moral right versus accepting what was morally acceptable temporally. I did pose the question to gbk of what if the world went insane tomorrow and slavery was both morally acceptable and legally permissible, would you endorse/accept it? No answer unless I missed it, but I did get a lot of criticism about my view of his words, as well my interpretation of Enoch’s words, which of course was wrong because it wasn’t his interpretation.

    Yes, gbk. my further comments to you may extend to others first, indirect versus direct.

    Just when I think there’s meat, I find vegetarians.

  159. Ariel – There are a lot of people who are not honest players. There are even people writing on this blog who have no interest in understanding the others here, but see this space only as an opportunity to belittle them. One might hope that words or phrases that mean something different to the reader than the writer clearly means to express would inspire the reader to seek clarification or a more common vocabulary…but such hopes would be quickly dashed. One would hope that, being confronted with beliefs and opinions different than one’s own, a conversation might proceed in which each explains to the other why he thinks of believes as he does, accepting the obvious fact that both believe themselves to be right, and letting who really is right be a question for another time in favor, perhaps, of learning something new. That hope, too, would be quickly dashed. Of course, it’s happened to me, but not only to me – and not only here, but in other places and contexts.

    Your experience with ACORN seems something of the kind – a conversation in which the other side is largely irrelevant, except in the serendipitous case that the irrelevant party might provide an opportunity for the other to do even more harm. ACORN seems not to have had any interest in being right. That would require a coherent argument in which a party who believed otherwise would have something to say about it. Instead, it seems that ACORN’s only purpose in meeting with you was to insist on the doxological proposition that you were wrong.

    I’ve seen too many circumstances such as you describe – many (sadly) even here.

  160. Bron, thank you by asking your question of gbk and moral relativism, my slow, dull wit came to a realization:

    gbk, out of everything I wrote that you nit-picked to death, I asked you one real, salient question which you assiduously avoided. I am going to paraphrase it, go back and quote my earlier question to undermine my paraphrase makes you a weasel (or some other disgusting furry animal): If tomorrow the world went insane and slavery became morally acceptable and legally permissible, where would you stand?

    I could answer the question in four words without blinking, hedging, diverting, or avoiding.

  161. …and again, Ariel –

    I didn’t catch the post to gbk you refer to in your post to Bron; but, as you explain yourself in that post (this morning’s), you do catch part of what I meant correctly. I believe it is defensible to say that, if any proposition is determined morally wrong that was once unoffensive to a person or society at large, it is the understanding of the moral agent that has changed, not the intrinsic morality of the proposition. Capital punishment may serve as an example of what I mean: as we learn more about the influences that lead some people to commit crimes punishable by death, we are more inclined to view state-sanctioned causation of death as the full moral equivalent of the punished crime, itself. This argument is still on-going (in the US, at least), and neither side has definitively made its point supreme, but we see the operation of growing understanding influence our moral debate.

    Another point I’ve been trying to make, though, is that the very notion of morality is so elusive that, except like pornography, we know it when we see it, it defies codification – and this, against the very real and absolute need we have of a codified, immutable scheme of morality. If we allow the notion that morality is determined by what we agree is moral, there is no impediment to the most horrific abuses of man by man. If all that we require is consensus that (for example) capital punishment – or slavery, or genocide – is morally defensible, we become blameless for imposing capital punishment, instituting slavery or committing genocide. This is untenable.

    On the other hand, take the account of morals that suits you best, from Plato to Beth Singer (“Operative Rights”), and we can demonstrate its utter failure in some perfectly plausible circumstance.

    I believe that this is the cat that our Founders/Framers were trying to skin with the notion of natural rights descending from our “Creator:” if “God” determines right and wrong, good and bad and the legitimate scope of individual conduct, no legislation or executive fiat can modify those terms, rendering, coincidentally, the chance that government will trespass on those moral propositions we know when we see them much less likely. This, of course, is very thin ice to build a scheme of ethics on, and (I believe) such a scheme can only survive and persist if its claims are very few. The more fully we investigate the notion, the nearer we get to that case in which it, too, fails. This is one of the foundational explanations for the Founders’/Framers’ insistence on a limited government: the narrower its authority over propositions of ethical import, the less likely it will err in the exercise of its authority over propositions of ethical import.

  162. Bron –
    “[C]all me out of touch but amazon has a lending library for kindle. Free books.

    “Amazing what the private sector and the profit motive can devise. What exactly has collectivism actually done for society? Except keep it down.”
    ===
    And therein lies the grand paradox. For the collectivist, it’s all about what’s in it for some “me;” whereas, for the individualist, what happens to some “me” is comparatively unimportant, relative to the underlying principle of individual liberty, choice and responsibility. In this construction, it should be no wonder that the individualists afford society the greatest good, while the collectivists represent the greatest weight holding society down.

  163. Ariel,

    You should learn how to ask a question. I still see no question from you until your post of Oct. 25 @ 5:40 am in your last sentence:

    “gbk, out of everything I wrote that you nit-picked to death, I asked you one real, salient question which you assiduously avoided. I am going to paraphrase it, go back and quote my earlier question to undermine my paraphrase makes you a weasel (or some other disgusting furry animal): If tomorrow the world went insane and slavery became morally acceptable and legally permissible, where would you stand?”

    Before this you said in your post of October 22 @ 7:20 pm:

    “Bear with me (if you’ve read this far you obviously are), gbk stated an unarguable, obvious historical fact, while Enoch asked a question about moral absolutes and applying temporally, drawing obviously from the present. I noticed that gbk used “morally acceptable” for an obvious reason, he couldn’t bring himself to use “morally right”. If tomorrow the world went insane and made slavery morally acceptable and legally permissible (for the USA, the Reconstruction Amendments are repealed) I doubt gbk would endorse the change. I am not picking on you gbk whatsoever. I don’t like applying morality backwards either. But the question shouldn’t be dismissed either.”

    I don’t see a question here, Ariel. I see you saying that I really wanted to say “morally right” instead of “morally acceptable” and then you state that you doubt I would endorse the change if the world “went insane . . .”

    I don’t see a question there.

    Then in your post of October 22 @ 10:34 pm you supposedly clarify :

    “I did frame it, it was the one Enoch asked, and I framed it as follows: ‘while Enoch asked a question about moral absolutes and applying temporally, drawing obviously from the present.’ I furthermore framed it this way ‘I doubt gbk would endorse the change. I am not picking on you gbk whatsoever. I don’t like applying morality backwards either. But the question (Enoch’s) shouldn’t be dismissed either.’

    You refer to enoch’s rhetorical “questions” here as your “question.” Then you lecture me with a diatribe of your own making in your Oct. 24 @ 10:14 pm post where it all boils down to this statement:

    “Actually, I don’t admit that, my question to you was always the distinction between ‘acceptable’ and ‘right’. I do not view the terms as the same, and I’ve admitted, as well endorsed, your phrasing for past cultures, past societies, as being correct. It was ‘acceptable’, but that word is not commensurate with ‘right’.

    I’ll say it again: you never asked a question. Additionally, you are the one that brought the phrase “morally right” into the fold, I did not state this, and yet you choose to equate this for what I said.

    Then on Oct. 25 @ 5:40 am, after calling me a weasel for not divining your question, you finally ask your question:

    “If tomorrow the world went insane and slavery became morally acceptable and legally permissible, where would you stand?

    Here’s my answer: I would be against it. Got that. See how easy it can be if you just ask your question?

    You’re the one that conflated “morally acceptable” with “morally right,” Ariel, not me. And then you claimed enoch’s “questions” were what you asked of me, then you dribble on pointing out the distinction between “acceptable” and “right” though I never used the second word, then you call me a weasel, and then you ask your question!

    You should accept what people write as what they meant to say and learn not to overlay your own ill-founded equivalence onto what they’ve said. Additionally, learn how to ask a question. Okay?

  164. “I was supervising a Haz-Waste facility and was still on my game as a BSChe. Behind the facility, south, was a rendering plant and about 1/2 mile west was an uncovered WWTP that gave the Black Canyon Freeway (I-17) the title of “the smelliest curve in the US” in national magazines.”

    Ariel,

    What an amazing evidence of the evil of ACORN. About 25 years ago you were supervising a Haz-Waste facility and went to a meeting with one local group that treated you badly in your opinion. You of course had no vested interest involved, after all as the supervisor of the plant you knew with absolute certainty that the plant was doing absolutely no harm. They treated you skeptically, not understanding that you were true of heart.

    Those vile ingrates! More importantly though we should take your unbiased evidence from that one local meeting to draw conclusions about a national organization What a stunning piece of argumentation I am overwhelmed by its logic.

  165. Ariel:

    Mike S does have a point, not all Pit Bulls attack toddlers. I know at least one who is about as sweet a dog as I have ever seen, like a happy 3 year old, just loves people and other dogs.

    Was your job in jeopardy?

    It is hard to put aside your personal bias. It is hard to recognize your personal bias.

  166. “I was only weighing on the choice of words, “acceptable” versus “right”, and weighing that moreover Enoch’s words read as a question of moral right versus accepting what was morally acceptable temporally.”

    Ariel,

    Both GBK and myself answered Enoch’s query by answering that it was introducing a point into the discussion that was not relevant to the discussion. I further asserted that he did so in order to later set up the real line of argumentation he wanted to assert, which had nothing to do with the blog post this thread was discussing. either he, nor you, ever dealt with us raising those points, yet you see fit to call GBK a weasel. Given the topic of this thread as encapsulated here:

    “Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim! The capitalist, not the communist!” Putting aside the violation of its tax-exempt status, church leaders thought nothing of the lesson given their children in making such false and prejudicial statements. It shows the dangerously thin line that separates the faithful from the hateful in our society.”

    I note that neither Enoch, nor you, have anything to say on that sign or what Professor Turley is saying about it. You and Enoch seem so capable of ignoring others points, yet responding to them with questions that are “non-sequiturs” to the issue, while casting aspersions on peoples ethics. May I ask you both a simple, yet highly pertinent question? What do you think about the Church’s sign and Professor Turley’s response to it.

  167. true story from friends daughter:

    “So I’m at Wal-Mart buying a bag of Purina dog food for my dog. While in the check-out line, a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. Why else would I be buying dog food, RIGHT??? So on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again, and that I probably shouldn’t because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in intensive care with tubes coming out of every orifice and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and all you do is load your pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle’s butt and a car hit me.”

  168. “For the collectivist, it’s all about what’s in it for some “me;” whereas, for the individualist, what happens to some “me” is comparatively unimportant, relative to the underlying principle of individual liberty, choice and responsibility.”

    Enoch,

    Never having responded to one of my criticisms of your comments here except by “non sequitur”, or self-serving attempts to spread your personal propaganda, let me again reply to you in what I expect will be an unrequited attempt to actually establish a dialogue with you. Your view of political, economic and sociological issues seems to me to be structurally deficient in that you divide peoples beliefs into one of two convenient categories and naturally ascribe to your own predilections as superior.

    The innate flaw in that kind of mono-linear thinking is that these beliefs are so easily categorized into us versus them propositions. Take me for instance, it has been known here for many years that I take issue with many progressive mantras. Indeed, I have also discussed that I took issue with Communists in the labor movement in the late 60’s and find them distasteful. By the same token the people who’ve know me in my life have always considered me to be highly individualistic as a person and in terms of my political preferences. As far as government goes, I have written numerous guest blogs here criticizing our governance and the policies of both “liberal” and “conservative” activity. I have also stated that at least since the 1960’s our government has neither been a Republic, nor a Democracy, but rather a coup-instigated Oligarchy. While I’m not a member of the NRA (far to non-individualistic for my tastes), I am a supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.

    The reason that I came to this particular blog many years ago is that I believe so strongly in civil liberties and Jonathan Turley is in the vanguard of the fight for civil liberties in this country. On the other hand I do believe that there are some tasks better handled by government than by private industry. While I believe that capitalism as Adam Smith conceived it is a excellent economic model, like Adam Smith I also understand that uncontrolled Capitalism leads inexorably to a tyrannic use of wealth. ow given that how do you define me: Am I a “Collectivist”, or am I an individualist. If, as in your past comments here, you do not respond to that simple question, than I think it will confirm that you merely deal in propaganda rather than intellectual discourse. This has been the critique of you made by myself, GBK and Gene.

  169. “I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle’s butt and a car hit me.”

    Bron,

    Hilarious anecdote. I personally prefer the taste of Kal-Kan.

  170. Mike – I know you won’t like my answers, but the first is, even with your account of yourself, I don’t have enough information to describe you (I would suggest that only you can define yourself, while others are left, at best, to describe what they see). As you do, I also have views that might be considered consistent both with conventional liberal and conservative politics. What you are is something I can know, if at all, only by getting to know you better.

    My second answer goes to your observation re. mono-linear thinking. Several people here have observed that, in the real world, people don’t [whatever]. Here, some background about me might be helpful.

    I live in a very real world. Farming is the 4th most lethal occupation in the country. Logging is the 2nd most lethal, and that is my winter occupation (I run my own sawmill, from taking down the trees to lumber and, on commission, to finished cabinets). Every year, someone I know dies or is maimed in one of my occupations. In ’76, when I graduated from high school, my parents kicked me out of the next. I joined the Navy, where I served as a Cryptology Technician Technical (1791) until I reached E-5, when I earned the Navy Enlisted Classification 9102 (National OPELINT [operational electronic intelligence] Analyst), under Naval Special Warfare Command (take a good look at my “avatar”). I come here – especially now, as I go through some very unwelcome preoperative procedures and processes for a very unwelcome operation) – to get away from my very real world and a more than adequate history of fighting. This is my drawing room. My coffee – still Navy black and strong enough to use for battery acid – is my brandy and my Marlboros are my cigar.

    I’m looking for the abstract conversation, the investigation into the intellectual principles beneath the real world and the real people in it. I don’t believe that my purpose here is antithetical to an attorney’s blog, either, insofar as practical law sits atop some rather impractical philosophy. And philosophy was my major in college. If I took the department’s word for it as frankly as it was given, I was rather good at it, too, with laurels enough to give some support to the belief.

    Please, in that context, then, don’t look at my “mono-linear” questions as if proof of my perception of the world and the people in it as equally mono-linear. I don’t. But in the context of academic conversation, we are not bound by what the world is.

    I don’t expect you to join me in my threads. Perhaps I’d like you to, if we can do it in the manner of two people talking quietly over brandy and cigars (metaphorically speaking, of course), but there are some people here I hardly hope that from. I don’t hold that against them. I just prefer not to engage in discussion with them.

  171. Too bad for you Enoch that by injecting your comments into the commons on a forum dedicated to free speech completely negates any control you might have over who you converse with and whether they treat your babble and weak trollish attempts to misdirect threads as meriting anything other than deconstruction mixed with mockery, tea bagger.

  172. Enoch,

    Now that we have each defined ourselves and by use of our real names openly express our opinions fearlessly, let me again assert why I have reacted to you as I did.

    “I’m looking for the abstract conversation, the investigation into the intellectual principles beneath the real world and the real people in it. I don’t believe that my purpose here is antithetical to an attorney’s blog, either, insofar as practical law sits atop some rather impractical philosophy.”

    I can, but I don’t do abstract philosophy. I am far too passionate about the ills that plague humanity to want to deal with peoples pain in the abstract. What bothered me in your first comment was that you tried to take the discussion from a particular topic, to one that was not even an abstraction of that topic. You did it in a way that was very familiar to those of us that have been here for awhile and is characteristically that of people who troll various blogs they disagree with, to disrupt the conversation. As for trying to deal with the “real” issues that are masked by the “noise” of societal conventions: Enter “Mike Spindell” in the search function on the top right and you will get the entirety of my blog posts since I’ve become a guest blogger here. what you will see is that 2/3 of my writing have dealt with the myths that have proliferated in our country to hide the “reality” that exists below.

    Thus far what I’ve seen from you is someone who has tried to come across as an “Alpha Dog” by trying to turn the discussion into your own direction, while not being interested responding to others. Perhaps I’ve misjudged you in this respect and my history here is that if that is the case I will apologize without the equivocation of “Ifs”. What you need to understand about this site is that it is a free speech zone in the sense that no one gets banned for their point of view, or for much else. However, as a free speech zone sometimes people can be harshly criticized for what they present. That is the price of free speech and there are times when I exercise mine, loaded with the passion with which I approach life. Those I attack are free to respond to me in any way they deem appropriate.

    On the specific topic of this particular post, you have not at this point expressed any opinion on the Church’s sign, other than to plead the case that a lot of others do the same. Can you see how this might be construed as trying to deflect the topic away from its’ theme, whether you meant to do that or not? If you can then perhaps there is a basis for discussion, if ot we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  173. Mike – Thank you.

    First, I don’t participate on any pages other than this and the Washington Post’s “comments” pages. I sent an email to JT, giving my philosophical take on his opinion piece re. free speech and, in a follow-up email, asked if he knew a forum for more intelligent discussion than the Post’s. He suggested his own, and here I am.

    If I came across as trying to “be” anything – alpha dog, sycophant or anything in between – it is completely illusory. I give you my promise that, for better or worse, I’m just being me. If I break any of the conventions of this site – in tenor, not content – let me know: I’m perfectly willing to learn Rome’s ways when in Rome. On the same token, though, if someone chooses to attack me through my comments rather than discuss things with me, I consider myself under no obligation not to return change in the same coin.

    One of the more important things that I look for in any discussion are opposing points of view. I’m not looking for a fight, but I’m also sure as hell not going to learn anything by talking to some surrogate for my existing points of view. Writing with my opposite, though, requires that all that passion you mentioned has to be kept in check: maybe you aren’t the best person for me to correspond with. I want to know if what I think are my views, formed in a vacuum, are really rational and defensible, if my opposites can add anything to my calculus I hadn’t thought of myself or if, maybe, I really have thought my positions through.

    Finally, regarding the topic of JT’s original blog here, it was two others who first brought taxation and democracy into the discussion, not I. I replied to these comments, and some others took off on me because of them. From that point forward, my departure from JT’s blog took on a life of its own, and you and I find ourselves here.

    Frankly, if this helps you and me understand each other better, I’ll consider it a worthwhile exercise, all the rest notwithstanding.

  174. Your comment from http://jonathanturley.org/2012/10/22/a-sad-sign-of-our-times/#comment-436870 was the very first mention of taxation, Enoch. It reads in relevant part:

    “As for tax exemption… the needful right of Congress to levy taxes notwithstanding, a tax is not just or proper simply because it’s lawful. Power, to lie in the people’s hands, should never be allowed to levy taxes by taking. Government should never have the power to take private property without just compensation and for a good that is not unconditionally, universally and equally available to all.”

    It’s the fourth comment of the thread and your first.

    That’s a fact.

  175. Also, if you choose not to defend your assertions then that is your choice too.

    They will be questioned and attacked whether you like or not or whether you respond or not.

  176. enoch,

    “First, I don’t participate on any pages other than this and the Washington Post’s ‘comments’ pages.”

    This might be factually true at this point in time, enoch, but it seems you had quite a run at teapartynation.com until May of this year. I especially like this paragraph out of the sixty-seven threads you commented on:

    “In this context, all that separates the conservative from the libertarian is the conservative’s pragmatic admission that government has a more expansive role to play than the libertarian admits. Civil rights laws are a good example of this: a libertarian would argue that I am free to contract with whom I please, even if that meant I DON’T please to contract with Mongols. A conservative would argue that there ARE no Mongols – at least, not that the law can take cognizance of as such – and contracts are law, so I am NOT free to make a legal distinction that the law refuses to make. And this is that reciprocity rule again – I am my neighbor, and my neighbor is a Mongol: I ought not to discriminate against myself.”

  177. Gene – didn’t like being shown wrong, did you?

    No. Don’t bother answering that (although I know you won’t be able to help yourself).

    I made a strategic error engaging with you on my first day or so here, Gene. I hadn’t learned the landscape yet, the players and the devices they improvise for combat (and you are quite the combatant, Gene). I didn’t know that someone like you was here. I won’t make the same mistake twice.

    That said, the lessons of asymmetrical warfare are apt here. A guerrilla fighter will pop up, incite return fire and disappear, leading the regular forces to disclose more about themselves than they should. When opportunity smiles on the guerrilla fighter, he might toss a grenade, actually inflicting damage great or small, but harassing, always harassing the regular forces, always making him fight on the guerrilla fighter’s terms, and inflicting casualties when and how he can.

    And the regular forces always do return fire. They can hardly help themselves. Spraying and praying, though, rarely if ever harms the guerrilla fighters, who have retreated to their own refuge. It’s a strategic retreat, Gene, right out of Sung Tzu.

    Post, Gene. Strike out. Write all sorts of nasty things to and about me. I read them – but I don’t care. As long as I choose not to answer you, you’re shooting blanks, And telling me everything I want to know.

  178. Enoch,

    What part of “putting aside” didn’t you understand?

    Aside from all of it.

    You didn’t prove anything other than you’ve got a reading comprehension problem.

  179. And yeah, that “I’m not going to answer” tactic is going to serve you real well moving forward.

    Like I said, if you choose not to defend your assertions then that is your choice too.

    They will be questioned and attacked whether you like or not or whether you respond or not.

    Your active participation in showing what a pantsload your assertions are is not required, tea bagger.

  180. Gene wrote”

    “Your comment from http://jonathanturley.org/2012/10/22/a-sad-sign-of-our-times/#comment-436870 was the very first mention of taxation, Enoch. It reads in relevant part:

    “’As for tax exemption… the needful right of Congress to levy taxes notwithstanding, a tax is not just or proper simply because it’s lawful. Power, to lie in the people’s hands, should never be allowed to levy taxes by taking. Government should never have the power to take private property without just compensation and for a good that is not unconditionally, universally and equally available to all.’

    “It’s the fourth comment of the thread and your first.

    “That’s a fact.”
    ===
    And I answered:

    “’Putting aside the violation of its tax-exempt status, […]’. JT’s original blog,1st paragraph, 4th sentence.”
    ====

    What is it Gene likes to write? “Snap!”?

  181. it is a sad thing that people go to see a layman instead of GOD.

    but what can you tell a fool. they make THE BIBLE a lie about knowing GOD to get to HEAVEN.

    the good news is that there is lots room since those that speak against GOD don’t get in. just ask ask creflo dollar. one left from the pews on,
    ‘about explotativive christianity << group sects'

  182. What is it about “comments” that eludes you, Enoch the Simple?

    In the article proper, “putting aside” means to disregard tax issues that you promptly bring up first in the comments section.

    You’re really not that bright if you think this gyration is making you look anything but more foolish as the instigator of the trollish attempt to derail the subject – the content of the sign – the more you drag it out trying to say that “putting aside” a subject means you should jump to it as your first and foremost topic in the comments.

    However, as time moves on, that you’re not very bright is simply more and more apparent. A common affliction among tea baggers. Just because you can read doesn’t mean you understand it. Much like “putting aside” has completely gone over your head. In the words of Foghorn Leghorn, “You’re built too low to the ground, son! The fast ones go right over yer head! You got a hole in yer glove! That boy’s about as sharp as a pound of wet leather.”

    But you keep on, Enoch.

    It’s really funny.

  183. ““’Putting aside the violation of its tax-exempt status, […]‘. JT’s original blog,1st paragraph, 4th sentence.”

    JT put aside a status of exemption, i.e. that a church doing as this one did ought to be required to pay its taxes, taxation being that which the church is exempt from, providing it follows certain rules.

    But then, I wouldn’t expect a poor lawyer to be able to make such fine distinctions.

  184. Putting aside means putting aside as in “disregard”.

    “Putting aside the violation of its tax-exempt status, church leaders thought nothing of the lesson given their children in making such false and prejudicial statements. It shows the dangerously thin line that separates the faithful from the hateful in our society.”

    In other words . . .

    “[Disregarding] the violation of its tax-exempt status, church leaders thought nothing of the lesson given their children in making such false and prejudicial statements. It shows the dangerously thin line that separates the faithful from the hateful in our society.” [emphasis added for the hard of understanding]

    The primary question was about making false and prejudicial statements.

    English isn’t your primary language, is it, Enoch?

    Oh snap!

    You trollish teabagger you.

  185. “If I break any of the conventions of this site – in tenor, not content – let me know: I’m perfectly willing to learn Rome’s ways when in Rome. On the same token, though, if someone chooses to attack me through my comments rather than discuss things with me, I consider myself under no obligation not to return change in the same coin.”

    Enoch,

    One of the rare beauties of this site is that there are no conventions, except for five words banned by WordPress and not threatening anyone personally. Also I would assume the legal strictures such as slander and libel in possibly some extremely rare instances might be abutted. That’s what free speech is about. However, if you comment here, you don’t get to choose who will respond to you, whether or not you wish to engage them.

    I must note though, which you have chosen still not to respond to, that you have not once as yet actually responded to anyone, on any issue. Instead your methodology is to deflect into something else. This is a tactic that is we’ve seen attempted on this site many times, that proliferates on the Internet and the mainstream media. As an example I present your first comment on this thread in its entirety:

    “The right to speak freely includes the right to speak stupidly – and this isn’t a case of shouting, “fire!,” in a crowded theater. Be disgusted by the message, but it’s a little hypocritical to claim we have any “inalienable” rights, and then complain when someone uses one.

    As for tax exemption… the needful right of Congress to levy taxes notwithstanding, a tax is not just or proper simply because it’s lawful. Power, to lie in the people’s hands, should never be allowed to levy taxes by taking. Government should never have the power to take private property without just compensation and for a good that is not unconditionally, universally and equally available to all.”

    These two short paragraphs illustrate your technique perfectly and in fact are excellent examples of what the “Tea Party” and many faux conservatives use as argumentation. In the first paragraph you give a false hint that you might condemn this billboard, but then pivot away into raising a “Straw Man” argument that criticizing the billboard puts one on a side against free speech. So in fact we never know what you think of this sign.

    Your second paragraph then gets into what is probably the basis of all your thought processes which is that taxes are an unwarranted taking of a person’s private treasure, even if their levy is legal. Which has little to do with what was presented in the post. However, your hubris is such that you really exposed yourself in the following comment directed at Gene, which only shows that my judgment of your motives has been correct all along:

    “I made a strategic error engaging with you on my first day or so here, Gene. I hadn’t learned the landscape yet, the players and the devices they improvise for combat (and you are quite the combatant, Gene). I didn’t know that someone like you was here. I won’t make the same mistake twice.

    That said, the lessons of asymmetrical warfare are apt here. A guerrilla fighter will pop up, incite return fire and disappear, leading the regular forces to disclose more about themselves than they should. When opportunity smiles on the guerrilla fighter, he might toss a grenade, actually inflicting damage great or small, but harassing, always harassing the regular forces, always making him fight on the guerrilla fighter’s terms, and inflicting casualties when and how he can.”

    To deconstruct your verbiage: “I came here on a mission to spread my personal propaganda, believing that the people here would be as clueless as those hanging around my local Tractor Supply Warehouse and discovered that there were people like Gene who were more or less immune to my legerdemain. Having been shown that people weren’t buying, I’m going to switch my tactics by not engaging with the less gullible, but keep throwing the propaganda up there for those who I can propagandize.”

    Enoch please stay around as long as you’d like, but be aware that your reconnoiter of the landscape is very incomplete. Most people here are immune to your tactics. Now let me also give you another clue about your ineffectiveness thus far. You pretend to be a mere farmer, fourth generation no less, but you studied philosophy and have alluded to other occupations including military service of the Intelligence variety. That is obviously an attempt to present yourself as a mere “salt of the Earth American”, which you are not. Aw shucks!…….Methinks you are awash in excrement and I don’t mean from cowpies.

  186. Mike – “I came here on a mission to spread my personal propaganda, believing that the people here would be as clueless as those hanging around my local Tractor Supply Warehouse and discovered that there were people like Gene who were more or less immune to my legerdemain. Having been shown that people weren’t buying, I’m going to switch my tactics by not engaging with the less gullible, but keep throwing the propaganda up there for those who I can propagandize.”

    There is danger in believing that the world as you see it is the world as it is.

    There is also a peculiar inversion of reality in supposing that what one says of something has any effect at all on what has been said.

    I have been warned against pronouncing armchair diagnoses of mental and emotional illness, but I believe, if you do your own homework, you will find clinical terms for both delusions in their various degrees of acuteness.

  187. “There is also a peculiar inversion of reality in supposing that what one says of something has any effect at all on what has been said.”

    Really.

    Defusing propaganda by unmasking it for what it is in a timely manner has been shown to be quite effective in negating the intent of said propaganda, i.e. to garner support for a position, proposition or person through the means of deceptive content and/or practices in messaging. Anti-propaganda doesn’t do so by changing what was said. It isn’t a time machine. It does so by altering the perceptions of those who have just consumed it to alert them that someone is acting toward them in a less than honest manner in ways that may not be in their best interests and the speakers of such and what they say should be considered with a more critical eye.

    “C’mere. It’s not like I’m a dange-rous tiger or sumptin’ tryin’ to eat ya.”

    “Duh. Okay.”

    “Hey, buddy. That’s a tiger over there.”

    “Thanks for the heads up. I almost went over there.”

    It’s basic psychology, but it has the merit of working.

  188. Mike,

    I’d also like to point out that Enoch referred to farming as a “lifestyle”.

    I know a lot of farmers. Grew up around them. I’ve even worked for a few as a teenager helping with harvests and the like. Not one of them calls it a “lifestyle”. They all call it what it is when you aren’t some gentrified poser: work, hard and lots of it, a job. Martha Stewart farming is a “lifestyle”. That’s not how real farmers roll.

  189. Raff, good observation about Mike’s posting.

    Gene, good catch on the lifestyle comment. As a country boy myself, I must admit that is the very first time I ever heard of farming referred to as a lifestyle. Kind of makes one go, “Hmmmmmmm……”

  190. Enoch, your own words betray you and you ripostes are getting boring in you trying to defend yourself through tactics of deflection. Ho hum.

  191. Gene:

    I now an electrical engineer who is moving into farming, I had to help him with a house foundation. When I pulled up to his house his wife was butchering turkeys in the driveway. He had goats, cows, chickens, grew vegetables and sold the meat, eggs and veggies at the farmers market.

    I think more and more people are trying to use their land to grow food because of all the chemicals used in farming today. I have been thinking about buying a calf and some piglets. But I am such a softie I would probably have them as pets at the end of 6 months.

  192. Bron,

    If you don’t have the heart to kill an animal, by all means stick to vegetables or chickens/ducks for eggs. Any kind of animal husbandry for meat is not for the squeamish or the “softies”. Personally, I know myself better than to try to raise something like pigs (too smart, I’d give in and they’d be pets too), but birds and cattle I’d have no issue with killing (although for practical reasons I’d send cattle to an abattoir for processing). Chickens are one of the dumbest animals on the planet and domestic cattle are not far behind. I’ve killed and plucked chickens before. It’s not that bad. It’s still a ton of work to raise large animals though. Expensive too once you factor in veterinary costs for large animals (which can be considerable). I’d probably stop at vegetables and birds myself. Maybe some quail in addition to ducks and chickens. I like the eggs and the birds are tasty too.

  193. Hi, Mike Spindell,

    Really, go back and read my damn post on ACORN. “What an amazing evidence of the evil of ACORN. About 25 years ago you were supervising a Haz-Waste facility and went to a meeting with one local group that treated you badly in your opinion. You of course had no vested interest involved, after all as the supervisor of the plant you knew with absolute certainty that the plant was doing absolutely no harm. They treated you skeptically, not understanding that you were true of heart.” They didn’t treat us skeptically, they had already mind their minds up, totally, completely and thoroughly. It was supposed to be a discovery meeting, something you glossed over for the sake of your argument. Discovery not hanging. Finding facts, not going in with minds made up.

    Next, we, as I said had spent money for data to support our argument. ACORN spent nothing other than organizing. They had no data, and in fact only had hysteria. Guess which two plants out of the three I mentioned had to make changes? Did you even think? Or just go knee-jerk? Or do you believe that only those people you agree with or sympathize with should be heard?

    As for “vested interest” what a totally cheap shot. And this “not understanding that you were true of heart.” I took pride in doing something for the community, as well helping companies to get in compliance. I shouldn’t get paid? I’m only true of heart if I starve? What the hell were you doing to get companies compliant with RCRA in the 1980s? Not shit I’m sure. What vested interest do you have? Or do you starve to maintain your purity from “vested interest”? I’m beginning to realize that the Jesuits were wrong to even consider how many angels dance on the head of a pin, it should have been buffoons.

    In this particular instance, enoch read what I wrote, and you read only for your prejudice. Which sickens me that I have to deal with such low integrity. So much for civility.

  194. Just for my own amusement I’m going to re-post Mike S’ last paragraph to Ariel.

    “I note that neither Enoch, nor you, have anything to say on that sign or what Professor Turley is saying about it. You and Enoch seem so capable of ignoring others points, yet responding to them with questions that are “non-sequiturs” to the issue, while casting aspersions on peoples ethics. May I ask you both a simple, yet highly pertinent question? What do you think about the Church’s sign and Professor Turley’s response to it.” –Mike S.

  195. Ariel,

    I did go back and read your post and then I read my response. It seems in the rage of your offense taken you neglected to respond to the entire point of what I wrote. One anecdote about the actions of some people, in a specific community, 25 years ago, does not indict a nationwide volunteer organization, yet that is where you comment was going.

    By the same token that some Haz-Waste organizations may not do their jobs does not indict the entire industry. Then too, this is your anecdote of indictment, given fro your particular perspective which was related to your own self interest. I don’t think my inference was unfair, though it was admittedly snarky. It was snarky because you have yet to respond to the question this post presents, as BF just pointed out, but in fact have completely avoided it. Neither for that matter has Enoch. That does indicate to me that your purpose here is to distract, rather than discuss and I do get sarcastic when people play that game here.

    The performance of both of you is something that I do find amusing. There are a group of people in this country who cry for sympathy when their vile judgments are exercized and they are then responded to in kind. Their verbiage and faux victimhood is reeking of the flatulent smell of entitlement. Now that is perhaps a mixed metaphor, but not only did I enjoy writing it, but its essence is true.

  196. Blind Fathiness,

    Primarily because the conversation took another turn, granted I’m as responsible or more than any other, but oddly those maintaining “non-sequitur” pursued the turn. And spent a lot of time doing so. So much for non-sequitur. Dismiss it and don’t argue it is the best response, “not it’s a non-sequitur but I’m going to fight you to the bitter end over it”.

    Go back and look at my first post. It was about something I saw as not a disagreement but two different questions (I saw one, gbk saw two, quibbling ensued). I actually agreed with both as being worth looking at, and gave gbk a 100% accuracy and never labelled him with “moral relativism”, his response simply wasn’t. Didn’t challenge the ethics of either, and clearly stated that I wasn’t going to judge the words of either by any preconception, I don’t have the history here, and I would hope that I wouldn’t assume the meaning of others words by any history.

    You get into “message and messenger” issues. As well assumptions, and arguments from those assumptions, that likely won’t address the words. M. Spindell’s response to my ACORN post is a good illustration, and included impugning my character because it was necessary from his assumptions and for his argument.

    I found the quote amusing also. I do realize that by expressing empathy with Enoch I am now tied to Enoch (no matter how I disagree with him, and state so). Thus are the comment sections of blogs.

  197. Hi, Mike S.,

    “One anecdote about the actions of some people, in a specific community, 25 years ago, does not indict a nationwide volunteer organization, yet that is where you comment was going.” On the other hand, you have no idea that that wasn’t the methodology of the organization at the time. How much experience have you had on the opposite side from ACORN? How many “discovery meetings” have you gone to that you quickly realized were kangaroo courts? We had data, and we didn’t give it because there was no point. Your comment goes exactly to the other extreme, especially with your “vested self interest”.

    This is laughable “It was snarky because you have yet to respond to the question this post presents, as BF just pointed out, but in fact have completely avoided it. Neither for that matter has Enoch. That does indicate to me that your purpose here is to distract, rather than discuss and I do get sarcastic when people play that game here.” So ignore me, yet you spent so much time on me? I commented on things I considered important with the flow of the “conversation”, scare quotes because I grant comments sections aren’t really conversations, and that the long-timers consider it their comment section so anything jarring needs to be beaten down.

    Furthermore: “It seems in the rage of your offense taken you neglected to respond to the entire point of what I wrote”, neglecting the connotative freight given I was in no more rage than you, you no more and to my thinking responded less to what I wrote (given how much you ignored or twisted into a new meaning), I’m left with “pot and kettle”. Which do you prefer? I’m fine with pot.

  198. Hi, Bron,

    Was this an analogy: “Mike S does have a point, not all Pit Bulls attack toddlers. I know at least one who is about as sweet a dog as I have ever seen, like a happy 3 year old, just loves people and other dogs.” I ask only because I couldn’t find it on a search. I spent a year trying to save a fractious dog and did a lot of research on dogs and behavior. Pit bulls (a term almost without meaning because it covers a number of breeds) are just as likely to protect a child as attack it, more likely if trained properly. The attack breeds, including Dobermans and Rottweilers, are as good as you train them. My Doberman mutt loved puppies, kittens, and babies, and knew the difference with no training. She trained puppies and kittens, and protected my baby from the former. Again, was it an analogy?

    Given that I have you here, you asked a question about gbk and moral relativism. Again, I have to unequivocablly state that his “morally acceptably” and “legally permissible” was 100 % correct and I might add the only way to look at the people of those times.

  199. Hi, gbk,

    I took all your posts directed at me (by search it had to have Ariel and gbk) and put your comments into a word document, then winnowed seed and chafe, by my interpretation. I’m giving you an obvious out to disagree.

    I was left with the following: “Then on Oct. 25 @ 5:40 am, after calling me a weasel for not divining your question, you finally ask your question:
    “If tomorrow the world went insane and slavery became morally acceptable and legally permissible, where would you stand?
    Here’s my answer: You wrote “I would be against it.” Good for you, you took a stand and a good one, and it does not reflect on your original statement about “morally acceptable” because “right” and “acceptable” are not the same.. But I asked the question on the 22nd, and you acknowledged it, you quoted it. But it didn’t have the marks for you to glean the question. So I guess if I didn’t clearly put a question mark, and succinctly and with brevity make the question, there was no question. OK, fine, your world versus mine. Had you done it in the same way I would have seen a question.

    “You’re the one that conflated “morally acceptable” with “morally right,” Ariel, not me. ” And here you did a disservice to yourself, one I’ve done to myself when I try to hold so strongly to my opinion that words lose meaning (that was a slam): conflate means “1a : to bring together : fuse; b : confuse
    2: to combine (as two readings of a text) into a composite whole”. Are you really trying to say that I saw Enoch’s question (or his two questions as you would maintain) as fused with your statement? Conflate is to confuse, to fuse, to combine two things into a composite when not necessarily fusible.

    I clearly in my writing considered the two as possible for agreement, because I saw the two as different but not so far different that you couldn’t find agreement because I saw common ground temporally. I never considered, nor did I write anything that should be confused as conflation. It’s a grasping at straws and you should be ashamed stating that I did. If only for the words…

  200. Ariel, gbk, listen up:

    ““If tomorrow the world went insane and slavery became morally acceptable and legally permissible, where would you stand?”

    Guys, I didn’t study your debate but I just wanted to let you know: that was YESTERDAY. Tomorrow will just be a deja vu. And what we have today is just a dress rehearsal. Carry on.

  201. Hi, Gene H.,
    Although I am hardly a slave to PC language, I’d like to know what is so particularly offensive about the term Eskimo. You are the first person I’ve ever heard complain about it. Then again, I only know one person from Alaska and he’s whiter than I am. My understanding is that it is a generic term to cover the related cultures of the Yupik and Inuit. No one gets upset by the term Northeasterners although the culture of Maine is slightly different from the culture of New Jersey. So really. If you can explain why the term is considered insulting, I’d like to know.

    Because there are no tribes that go by Eskimo, none, not a one? Is it a linguistic term, or even by taxonomy? A white man’s grouping? Yep. Look at the names, search by Inuit. Wiki gives this “However, natives in Canada and Greenland view the name as pejorative and “Inuit” has become more common.” First Nation issues, but they at least took a stand. I can’t/don’t give Wiki full authority, because in the mid-70s when I was in the Alaskan panhandle, along the Aleutians (south and north), up the northern coast and to the Pribiloffs we had Tlingits, Aleuts, Inuit (any permutation, starting with an I or N), and the Pribiloffs Indians (I have no idea where to go with them because all the last names were Russian), respectively. No Eskimos any where, and frankly, your usage was jarring because I haven’t heard the term in years and haven’t used it myself since the 1970s (neglecting cartoons from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, I have kids). Maybe it was just my cutter, but Eskimo was not a term we were supposed to use.

    “No one gets upset by the term Northeasterners although the culture of Maine is slightly different from the culture of New Jersey. So really. If you can explain why the term is considered insulting, I’d like to know.’

    Because your analogy is not applicable (look to Canada above). Whites defining whites as an analogy?. I live in a state with roughly 27 Rez, and one is real adamant on name: don’t ever call a Tohono O’odham Papago, think N-word. There are others, but I’m wont to remember, and I hope won’t step on their Rez and insult them.

    I’m still waiting for the Navajo council to get some balls and say we are Dineh not Navajo, because they’ve been using the term for at least two decades if not three. BTW, Navajos are grouped as part of the Apaches according to Wiki, try saying “Navajo equals Apache” on the Dineh Rez without a good dental plan or an escape plan.

    White terms are what whites use, NA (I actually hate NA, prefer Aboriginal in the US, but I’m stuck) and First Nations use their terms. I will use their terms if I know them.

    No Eskimos anywhere.

  202. Malisha,

    Whether intended or not, this afforded me a good laugh: “Guys, I didn’t study your debate but I just wanted to let you know: that was YESTERDAY. Tomorrow will just be a deja vu. And what we have today is just a dress rehearsal. Carry on.”

    And at the same time I was laughing, you made me so depressed.

  203. Ariel,

    Thank you for that absolutely meaningless defense. Nothing in that displayed even a hint as to why that the term would be derogatory other than it is an imprecise term. It’s analogous to me being upset if someone called me white instead of Scots-Irish English Blackfoot. Also “Because your analogy is not applicable (look to Canada above). Whites defining whites as an analogy?” Apparently you’ve never been to the Northeast if you think that term is whites describing whites. Eskimo is a collective term used to describe several of the indigenous peoples of a common region just like Northeasterner. It is not a prime facie insult equivalent of the pejorative “nigger” or “retard” or “kike” or “cracker” and nothing in your rather babbling explanation indicates that it is one other than you’d like to conflate it to be so in a fit of political correctness. The concept of political correctness is not only ridiculous left-wing authoritarianism and an inherently stupid concept no matter its good intentions, it’s an anathema to free speech. As a very funny expert in the use of the English language once noted, “There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions, and wooooords.” So unless an actual Inuit or other indigenous person of the region can explain why a collective term for peoples of a region is on its face insulting for any other reason than it is imprecise? I’m going to go with my previous assessments of your statements, namely that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Have a nice day.

  204. Maybe you should have gotten a hint by the Nova Scotian and Canadian First Nation response to Eskimo. What part of no Alaskan tribe uses Eskimo, because it isn’t their term for themselves and has never been, don’t you understand?

    “It is not a prime facie insult equivalent of the pejorative “nigger” or “retard” or “kike” or “cracker”. It is if you are an Inuit (look to the first paragraph). Next, ever met a Jew that said “yep, Kike was our term for us but your kept using it so it’s OK”? You had just as well use wop or Dago (the latter interesting because it was used for both Spanish and Italian, though it’s derived from Diego’) and so those terms are wrong because you accept them as so, but refuse to except when others say so, especially for the last 3-4 decades? I realize I’m in a conservative moment, but don’t be so behind.

    “Scots-Irish English Blackfoot”, imprecisely you’re Mann, Welsh, and Modoc? I”m German (permutations included Jew), French-Basque, English, Scot-Irish, and Cherokee, as well a culture overlay of Italian. So imprecisely you could call me whatever, but from the list, I’m white (the Cherokee being sufficient that all I have to prove is a census). How is imprecision an argument for ignoring a name for a group that is precisely something? Especially when they prefer it? I did get your point, but it just makes you a scofoot, or an engblack, and me a gerkee.

    This “nothing in your rather babbling explanation” is something you might consider for your own writing. Pot kettle issues, same reason you shouldn’t be a fallacy nazi.

    “Apparently you’ve never been to the Northeast if you think that term is whites describing whites. Eskimo is a collective term used to describe several of the indigenous peoples of a common region just like Northeasterner.” Yet I was talking about Alaska and its tribes, was I mistaken and it’s actually close to Nova Scotia? Didn’t write it wasn’t a collective term, that’s that linguistic and taxonomy thingie, just that the people themselves don’t like it. Are you so stuck? I’m a Southwesterner, hate being called “Yank”, and I do understand the British ignorance, as well prejudice, but it doesn’t make the ignorance correct simply because “Yank” is a collective term they use.

    “The concept of political correctness is not only ridiculous left-wing authoritarianism and an inherently stupid concept no matter its good intentions, it’s an anathema to free speech.” Oh, I agree, in part, and in fact I like Sidney Hook’s coinage of “epithets of abuse”. Had I called you a racist because you can’t understand how Eskimo is not acceptable, I would certainly be guilty of trying to shut down free speech by labeling you racist (look the term up, essentially it means “You are not worth hearing because everything you say is just not worth listening to because everything you say is racist or trying to justify that you’re not a racist, but you are because I said you were, and everything you say proves it, especially if you have some friends that are (fill in the blank) because racists make exceptions but are still racist, so you’re racist, because I said so because you disagree with me on something that only racists disagree on because I know that only racists could disagree with me”.

    However, lacking that, cloaking yourself in the “anathema to free speech” is not worthy. Free speech is all about disagreement and why. That’s what we are doing. I’m saying you’re wrong about Eskimo, and you are, and you are giving me arguments back, however poor. That’s free speech. You can use Eskimo all day long, you’re wrong if you apply it to Alaskan tribes, or Canadian/Nova Scotian, but maybe in the Northeast you’re OK?

    As for this: “and nothing in your rather babbling explanation indicates that it is one other than you’d like to conflate it to be so in a fit of political correctness.” Babbling is pot/kettle by your response (using the white but I’m “xyz” argument gives babbling a positive meaning). You conflated, I was specific to one region and one group of tribes. As for a fit of political correctness, you mean the one I got over 35 years ago in the USCG? That was my whole basis against your usage of Eskimo. So over 35 years ago is a fit of political correctness?

    I’ll give you two quotes: SI Hayakawa “the word is not the thing” which is why some “things” say they don’t won’t to be called that word. The last must be paraphrased and unattributed (I can’t find my 30 page word doc of quotes) but it goes like this: “those who argue most vehemently that they are right are often the most wrong.” It has to do with the extreme that vehemence will take you. And you do have a tendency to be less than moderate. My wife is like you, it’s a challenge: either zero or a hundred, no middle ground. A living example of the need to argue the extreme when a middle ground is likely right, and no that isn’t the fallacy of the middle unless you want to argue only the extremes are valid.

    Since you’re the self-appointed fallacy Nazi, go back and look at your first comment using Eskimo and read all the rest. Yours and mine, anyone else. Who used the most fallacies, who went to the extreme?

    Fallacy Nazis are like grammar Nazis, they just can’t see themselves in the mirror. They only see others’ faults and it gives them so much satisfaction until they’re called on it. Grammar nazis go quiet, fallacy nazis double down.

    Have a nice day, whether you deserve it or not.

  205. Maybe you should get a clue I don’t think you know what you are talking about. On about any given subject. So more of your nattering isn’t going to help that fact. I also don’t care where or when you picked up that bad habit of political correctness. That you have it and wear your hypersensitivity to non-issues (and the use of “Eskimo” is entirely irrelevant to the argument which contained the word) on your sleeve is pretty apparent, Ms. More PC Than Thou. Your entire “argument” such as it is is simply one large red herring in the end. I might add that I don’t respect authoritarian drivel like PC speech no matter which side of the political spectrum it comes from. You have just about as much luck coming at me from the rightwing extreme and be telling me what you think God says I should and shouldn’t vis a vis word choice as if that’s relevant. Which is to say none and not at all. PC language is just as childish and irrational and it plays in to empowering the very words you twits get all in atwitter about. Unless you’re actually an Eskimo and you can tell me in specifics why the term is offensive for some reason other than it is imprecise? I simply don’t care what you think, Ariel.

    Also . . . “those who argue most vehemently that they are right are often the most wrong.”

    Spoken like someone who mistakes an emotional state for an argument and given your lil’ display above, I’m guessing you do that quite frequently.

    Thank you again for another totally meaningless and semi-lucid defense. Emphasis on the “semi”. You have a nice day being upset about very little if anything of substance, ya hear?

  206. Subject: Derivatives Explained

    Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets

    Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit . She realizes that virtually all
    of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer
    afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new
    marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

    Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the
    customers’ loans). Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later”
    marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood
    into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in
    Detroit .

    By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi
    gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases
    her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently,
    Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.

    A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these
    customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s
    borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the
    debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

    At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make
    huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS,
    ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on
    international security markets.

    Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to
    them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.
    Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon
    become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage
    houses.

    One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at
    the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on
    the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi.

    Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed
    alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot
    fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes
    and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

    Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The
    collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from
    issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the
    community .The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment
    extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various BOND
    securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad
    debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine
    supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that
    had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a
    competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

    Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective
    executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings
    attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government.

    The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on
    employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi’s bar.

  207. Hi, Gene H.,

    I’ll start with an answer to this “Unless you’re actually an Eskimo and you can tell me in specifics why the term is offensive for some reason other than it is imprecise?”. First, you know my heritage, I gave it to you and it is more robust than yours, so you know I’m not Inuit (you skimmed, didn’t you?. Come on admit it, you were too busy formulating your response to actually pay attention.) Imprecision is a weasel word, after all a Basque is a Frenchman or a Spaniard, determined by a mountain range. You’re only being imprecise, of course, and this imprecision means nothing to a Basque, after all he must acknowledge your right to name him and tell him he’s PC if he disagrees. Really, you can’t give others their identity except that which you choose for them? There is no strawman here.

    “Maybe you should get a clue I don’t think you know what you are talking about. On about any given subject. So more of your nattering isn’t going to help that fact. I also don’t care where or when you picked up that bad habit of political correctness.” Now this is just you saying “I’m smart, you’re stupid, or ignorant”, though I like your use of connotation with denotation. Neglecting the adolescent argument, the “bad habit” argument is intriguing. I give weight to the issue of PC, you could call it perspective, I see no weight to calling a people by the name they wish. None, in fact I call it respect. I do give weight to PC, that anathema to free speech you claimed for respect, that attempts to label, and thus dismiss, what you say or write. Those labels fall into what most of us would recognize: Racist, Sexist, Ageist, Specieist, etc., and if you could actually “listen” you could likely come up with more. Those are the PC issues we need to deal with, not what a particular group wants to be called because it’s actually their name, their traditional name. I’m sure the Roma enjoy Gypsy, and not calling them the latter would infringe your free speech.

    “That you have it and wear your hypersensitivity to non-issues (and the use of “Eskimo” is entirely irrelevant to the argument which contained the word) on your sleeve is pretty apparent, Ms.” You should talk to my wife, I use all sorts of non-hypersensitive words. I consider hypersensitivity a tyranny, and have taught my children accordingly. I still use the term cripple, my uncle was a cripple, and he could break me in two with his arms; a good business friend was a cripple, my daughter has one name after her, and she was a shrewd opponent. You jump to conclusions, then wrap those conclusions around you as a truth you can gain warmth. Human beings are not as simple as you need them to be to maintain your ego. (If you missed the wife reference, I’m male; I like motorcycles, and Ariel was a respected marque in the heyday of British motorcycling (that period of which you are not well-read).

    “You have just about as much luck coming at me from the rightwing extreme and be telling me what you think God says I should and shouldn’t vis a vis word choice as if that’s relevant.” Now this gave me a chortle, if not a guffaw, so for emphasis I’ll use caps: I HAVE BEEN A DECLARED ATHEIST FOR 48 YEARS, I DON’T BELIEVE IN GODS. Was that plain enough for you, and I went through all the family issues that would arise in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, and into the 90’s when it started to get better. You do understand that atheists don’t think alike. You think I’m left-wing because you and I disagree over what’s actually PC? Talk about the fallacy of the extremes. No right-winger can respect what others want to be called? Discordance isn’t just about sound. Cognitive dissonance is however a human condition. It makes you say silly things.

    “Also . . . “those who argue most vehemently that they are right are often the most wrong.” Spoken like someone who mistakes an emotional state for an argument and given your lil’ display above, I’m guessing you do that quite frequently.” . You haven’t in your post actually given me anything other than an emotional argument. I’m trying to respond rationally, but you give me so little to work with, just look at your words and their emotional freight. This is nothing but emotional “PC language is just as childish and irrational and it plays in to empowering the very words you twits get all in atwitter about”. You’ve never established a rational basis for what is PC, other than what you don’t like, and you express it with emotional words. I do like the alliteration, but that’s the only worth to what you wrote.

    “Thank you again for another totally meaningless and semi-lucid defense.” I could be just as dismissive, and have been, but where are your arguments? A fallacy Nazi, to own up to the grammar Nazis, needs to explicitly give where the argument is false by quote and refutation. You do nothing but claim, nothing but declarative statements.

    “I simply don’t care what you think, Ariel. ” Yet you spent so much time, so much emotion, and so little reason on my words. If you didn’t care, why would you engage me so much, or at all? Why would you spend so much time? Your words belie your words.

    Going back to me being “anti-science, anti-evolutionary, and pro-religious”, thank you because you gave me a great insight to how you think. Why? Well, one reason is that I have fundamentalist friends who would say the exact opposite because they know me (I’m not a hater, except for the four totalitarian movements of the early 20th Century, yet even there I only truly hate a few of them; I do hate Jim Crow with a passion, the greater stain on our Republic). The next reason: you didn’t try to comprehend; you made some really wild-ass conclusions based solely on your own biases; and you’ve stuck to them no matter what I’ve written (I’ve said before I’m not female and I am an atheist, you should pay attention if only to make good conversation ). We are all irrational, thus the quote of “vehemence'”, as well rational but we have to recognize when we are and when we aren’t. How you doing on that? Still a challenge?

    You have a law degree, I assume by previous reading, you may correct me. Me, I have a BSChe. I’ve spent 18 years in sales to corporations. Your degree, if it is law, beats mine and my experience hands down, especially when you know that engineers aren’t trained to be rational and sales has nothing to do with rational argument in a corporate setting.

    Finally, If you don’t care about my words; if I’m so stupid I’m beneath you; if my arguments to your declaratives are not worth your time; then please don’t engage me. You only give me pleasure when I see that what you think is rational is actually a mix of reason and emotion and you can’t realize it. Trust me, it’s schadenfreude but you don’t have the sense to be miserable.

    You haven’t given me a worthy argument yet, no meat, so I have to go line by line. It’s really tedious. Should we both hang our hats on the word “imprecise”?

  208. Ariel,

    imprecise \ˌim-pri-ˈsīs\, adj.
    : not precise : inexact, vague

    Nothing weaselly about it, however, you were the one who brought up a lack of precision as the reason the word Eskimo is offensive – which is utter nonsense. But the choice in hat hooks? Is entirely yours. A term being imprecise is not the equivalent of a term being offensive yet ultimately that was your rationale. That’s faulty logic, a false equivalence to be precise. Repeating yourself does not make the argument more sound or the logic less faulty. As to your ability to judge whether it is offensive for another legitimate reason as definable by the class in question, that’s simply common sense. You aren’t an Eskimo. You have yet to offer a rational explanation of why the term is offensive on its face, instead offering nothing but raw emotionalism and that the word is imprecise. There is an argument lacking substance here, but it isn’t mine.

    As to your judgement of my argument? I am indifferent. You have yet to demonstrate you can make a cogent argument so that hardly puts you in a position to judge the coherence of another’s argument. What I have said stands as it is and nothing you have said counters it whether you think so or not.

    So far all you’ve shown is that you don’t know what you are talking about and that you argue poorly and from emotion (a sure fire why not to win an argument).

    Please do provide a rebuttal when and if you can find a legitimate rational reason why the term Eskimo is prime facie offensive other than it being imprecise.

  209. No I didn’t bring up “a lack of precision”, that was your pivot then spin that then became your truth. I said it wasn’t their name, about as close I could come to saying wrong (deviating from truth or fact; erroneous). It isn’t. I consider “imprecise” a weasel word because it was a spin to diminish my point by reframing it then disproving it. Subtle, yet you know the term applicable. Most of your first paragraph, with a few word changes is just you looking in the mirror.

    “You have yet to demonstrate you can make a cogent argument so that hardly puts you in a position to judge the coherence of another’s argument.” A very subtle ad hominem if you look at it. Notice I quote you and refute you by line (OK, we’ll argue that point given the quote, but I am applying this to earlier comments also). You don’t quote, you don’t even address the argument directly, but you do make a lot of declarative statements that address nothing other than your own reference (that was one too, I can indulge myself also).

    We have both established our lineage. Neither applies, and leaves neither of us a footing for our arguments. Its not germane.

    It is prime facie (ooh, Latin erudition, “at first face” or “on it’s face” would have been so Anglo-Saxon) offensive if the people called it deem it so. I’ve given you my own personal experience, as well regarding in Canada as to the Inuit feelings about eskimo (there it isn’t imprecise, it’s wrong, I’ll wait for the PC and free speech argument, another reframing less subtle more lame). None of which you actually heard or likely read (I get the feeling you’re looking for rebuttal points). The only emotional argument I made was perhaps regarding “respect”, but I don’t think of that as emotional but fundamental to being human

    “Please do provide a rebuttal when and if you can find a legitimate rational reason why the term Eskimo is prime facie offensive other than it being imprecise.” There is a term for this kind or statement, but escapes me at the moment. Given that you determine whether it rational or legitimate, that you will continue to cling to your spin of “imprecise” as justification, there is no way to present any argument for you to budge except a concensus of all Inuit that it is offensive. Even then I think you’d pivot and spin something new. You are after all the arbiter of all that is rational.

    “I am indifferent” in your context is what I would choose to ignore. You have a hard time doing that don’t you? If I thought your words were without meaning, a strong summation of your assessment of me, I would ignore you. Why would I do otherwise, why do you? Obsession in light of assessment isn’t rational (try to tie it together with all before in this paragraph).

    Now, going back to an earlier comment of yours with “Maybe you should get a clue I don’t think you know what you are talking about”, perhaps you should get a clue that I don’t consider you rational. A rational person doesn’t clothe themselves in rationality, they know their genitals are showing at the least (there are about three layers of subtext allusion there, presume male and good luck). Rational people know they’re irrational and don’t clothe themselves in the mantle. Rational people don’t reframe to win, they deal with the argument they’re handed. Rational people have humility, knowing that they are also irrational, the latter often showing itself. (You’ll have a good run with this, enjoy waxing philosophically, or sophistic, or definitionally, whatever gives you that “winning” sense).

    Bigot, without all the connotation, the emotional freight, is a really good word. You might look it up. And, really, please don’t come back with the emotional freight on the word using faux outrage. Look at the denotation, solely the denotation. Nothing more.

    You’re initial comment to me, the one with all the fallacy nazi arguments but more pointedly, even more still poignantly, was the “anti-evolutionary, anti-science, pro-religious”. It was a salient moment of “this guy is irrational” (not endowed with reason or understanding, I placed the emphasis on the latter by charity). You drew such a sweeping conclusion from so little, and so very erroneous. I do understand that that was drawn from “consciousness screws with evolution”, and you responded emotionally, you responded by ego. I have two children that have Type I Juvenile Diabetes, which does have most certainly a genetic component, and without “consciousness” they would have died without passing on their genes (puberty onset). So I know first-hand that “consciousness screws with evolution”; you’re bacteria argument was not only lacking in insight about the human condition, but lame, because it lacked insight.

    To give you something more, my personality type is an outlier: I’m introverted (you may know the meaning in context, maybe not); strongly introspective; and strongly a generalist. The first is why I only come back after so many days; the second is why I see humor, irony, and always reach for self-deprecation, while deprecating those that take themselves too seriously; the last, I don’t get lost in the forest. I will enjoy your response, unless you live up to your words, which I will enjoy more.

    Finally, and it’s about time for God’s sake (was I pro-religious or just mining the richness of our language, only you would know, only you can determine), I’m not rambling but discursive. Generalists have that tendency. You won’t get pass the first definition, if you do, you won’t understand past the first.

  210. Oh, one last thing, I left the pronunciation of “wrong” out so you wouldn’t read out loud as I didn’t read “imprecise” out loud. Pronunciation is not important unless spoken, pedantry be damned.There are studies showing that it actually decreases comprehension so I eschewed it. As for the other words, I thought you should look them up as an exercise. That has been shown to increase comprehension by enervating numerous senses. Otherwise, this is pure snark, unless it did help you to understand, then it isn’t because snark isn’t there to help. Only you would know, unless you reveal it…

  211. “I consider ‘imprecise’ a weasel word because it was a spin to diminish my point by reframing it then disproving it. ”

    Interesting, but “imprecise” is an accurate term that leaves no room for you to wiggle out of the fact that you really have no complaint about the word “Eskimo” other than in you fit of PC language you’ve personally taken offense at a term that 1) does not apply to you as a non-Eskimo and 2) is not offensive other than it is “imprecise” – which is the summary of your earlier argument. The key word there in your is “disproving”. You really should have stopped there. Disproving the opposing party’s argument is what argumentation is about.

    You still have yet to provide a reason why the term Eskimo is offensive. Your “point” diminished itself by you never making one that was cogent. If you are troubled that I disproved you by turning your words against you? Then you simply don’t understand argumentation.

    If you can’t handle losing an argument, you should learn not to argue from emotion. I am starting to see this is an impossible task for you. That you seem to value your irrationality is your cross to bear, but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.

    To be clear, you are apparently angry over not being to answer the question “If you can explain why the term is considered insulting, I’d like to know.” You failed to meet your burden of proof and instead offered opinion and anecdotal personal experience that in no way answered the question.

    That is all.

    Carry on in your “righteous indignation” over a term you cannot provide a reasonable cogent argument for being offensive on its face.

    Political correctness is simply stupid and irrational no matter how well intentioned it may be.

    Thanks for red herring and the example of why PC language is ridiculous.

  212. Hi, Gene H.,

    Thanks for your reply, it fell neatly into my prediction “that you will continue to cling to your spin of “imprecise” as justification”.

    Following that: “the fact that you really have no complaint about the word “Eskimo” other than in you (sic) fit of PC language you’ve personally taken offense”, except I gave you the First Nation Canadian take, as well my training within the USCG 35 years ago which trust me wasn’t my personal take, yet you ignore and continue to pound with your argument that excludes any argument differing from yours. If anyone of the two of us is taking it personal, you are. Boy, are you.

    Really, look it up. This isn’t personal, I’m not an Inuit (I thought we had established that). What definition of cogent do you miss? In Canada, it is an insult on the Eastern Coast, I was told I should use Inuit on the Western Coast 35 years ago. How in any way rational do you maintain this is personal? Or PC (thanks though for justifying my prescience, I knew you’d fall back on that)? Prove by cogent, rational, and detailed argument that calling a people by their actual name is PC. Prove it, quit throwing the term out. Prove it. This is only your own intransigence, ignoring anything other than your own arguments and your own proofs.

    “1) does not apply to you as a non-Eskimo and 2) is not offensive other than it is “imprecise” – which is the summary of your earlier argument.” It’s like we start anew with each of your comments. It’s not germane that I’m not Eskimo, as well you. Using your argument, the use of Inuit doesn’t apply to you either, yet you resist it with vehemance, a vehemence that leads to sophistry as well inattention. Me, I’m just saying your wrong, and that is the actual crux or you wouldn’t keep replying to someone who is so unworthy (do I need to sum up all the different ways you’ve said that?). Really, if I know nothing, you can stop. No one would think less of you except you.

    I call the “Papago Indians”… google it and…the Tohono O’odham because that’s their name, not Papago, they don’t like Papago because it isn’t their name. I respect that, you obviously can’t, at least about Inuit, and probably the Tohono O’odham. Really, your imprecise argument applies to them also. How dare they go PC and force the rest of into an anathema of free speech. Their cheek is offensive to us “imprecise” rational people, well, not us, just you. I exaggerated, it’s my emotionalism, certainly not my assessment that someone is becoming a train wreck.

    How frigging simple do I need to make it to get through your so very dear imprecision defense? My argument was never “imprecise”, that was your spin, and now it is a clear strawman that you hug. My argument was that “Eskimo” is wrong, not imprecise, never imprecise, but wrong. You spun it to imprecise. And you’ll go on and on hugging that which keeps you warm (kind of a metaphor, writing that trying to keep you from literalism).

    “If you can’t handle losing an argument, you should learn not to argue from emotion. I am starting to see this is an impossible task for you. That you seem to value your irrationality is your cross to bear, but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.” Actually, this is just you doing the same thing over and over again. “I declare myself the winner, therefore I am”, kind of a Descartes thing, don’t you think. I’m not in an argument, I’m in your monologue. It starts anew, yet so repetitious, with each of your comments. Really, try quoting exact statements I’ve made, then rebut them without forgetting context (remember you thought the Nazis’ cherry-picking Nietzche was Okay, because he did write those words). It would be refreshing.

    “but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.” Never wrote that either, in fact, my point was that those that clothe themselves in rationality often show their genitals (I knew you’d be lost in the subtext, thanks for skipping it, it warms me). However, that statement is exposing your genitals and I thank you for that.

    (to be continued)

  213. Carrying on and quoting, something you’re wont to do, “but don’t commit the fallacy of composition and assume that everyone argues from irrationality because humans as a species have a varied tendency to be irrational about one thing or another.”

    My words however were different “A rational person doesn’t clothe themselves in rationality, they know their genitals are showing at the least (there are about three layers of subtext allusion there, presume male and good luck). Rational people know they’re irrational and don’t clothe themselves in the mantle. Rational people don’t reframe to win, they deal with the argument they’re handed. Rational people have humility, knowing that they are also irrational, the latter often showing itself. (You’ll have a good run with this, enjoy waxing philosophically, or sophistic, or definitionally, whatever gives you that “winning” sense).

    I didn’t say “everyone argues from irrationality”, far from it, I said (well, actually I wrote) that “Rational people know they’re irrational and don’t clothe themselves in the mantle (of rationality). Rational people don’t reframe to win, they deal with the argument they’re handed. Rational people have humility, knowing that they are also irrational, the latter often showing itself.” In all of that you should have gotten: “1) rational people can be irrational ;2) people are not always irrational; 3) but rational people can be irrational, recognize it, and don’t clothe themselves like you do.” Instead you got “everyone argues from irrationality”. I put my words in quotes just so you can’t reframe it later to suit your purpose. I said one thing then you reframed it into another, erroneous meaning to suit your purpose. You even threw in an inappropriate fallacy, given you didn’t understand what I wrote. You did wax sophistic, as the sophists thought any spin on an argument was justifiable to win the argument. Bravo.

    The rest you wrote has the same worth as your reframing. None.

    Try quoting people exactly. don’t cherry-pick, especially when your cherry-picking isn’t remotely what they said. You have so much in common with Creationists in terms of argumentation. Have you being doing this all the time you’ve been on this blog?

    Couldn’t address the subtext could you? Reframing it to suit you does so obliterate any meaning of the original author. You do realize you are one long, godawful strawman. Yet, you can say “winning” without a hint of irony or self awareness.

    Btw, you’ve failed to meet your burden. Leave it to you to think it was mine.

    Oh, further BTW, given all your words to say that “I’m not worthy”, I can sum you up in two “intellectual dishonesty”. You reek of it, yet can’t smell yourself.

    Again, why do you address me? You’ve yet to answer. If I had thought the same of you, prior to my last, this would be a much shorter thread. After my last, whatever you post here I will reply “word”. It amuses me.

  214. Three comments in a row, I’m going into your territory of monologue, Gene H., though mine have to be in a row while yours doesn’t. Thank you so very much for not responding yet.

    You lived up to my predictions, based on being predictable (if you actually argued in a back-and-forth rather than repeating over and over, you wouldn’t be), because damn if you didn’t end with that real zinger “Political correctness is simply stupid and irrational no matter how well intentioned it may be. Thanks for red herring and the example of why PC language is ridiculous.” You gave me the PC and even a fallacy, a hanging one.

    Was the red herring this “you’re bacteria argument was not only lacking in insight about the human condition, but lame, because it lacked insight” or was it “Otherwise, this is pure snark, unless it did help you to understand, then it isn’t because snark isn’t there to help. Only you would know, unless you reveal it…”, or even ““You have yet to demonstrate you can make a cogent argument so that hardly puts you in a position to judge the coherence of another’s argument.” Really, throwing out fallacy without showing the fallacy is just cheap, and obscure. Only you know the fallacy in your mind, and it may only be there. Without concise explanation, who’d know other than you? But that would be uncomfortable for you, better to just throw those terms out, so you can proclaim “Winning”.

    I spent 18 years in sales; my areas being FAA, electroplating, pcb, semiconductor, and wafer fab. All this is just funny, as well fun, to me, especially when you use “cogent”, “emotional”, or “repeat”. It leaves me smelling an omelette.

    Done.

    Word will follow. I promise.

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