If I haven't dissed it--it ain't worth dissing!

Frank Apisa

Frank Apisa
Piscataway, New Jersey, USA
August 09
On a political continuum with Extreme Liberal at 1 and Extreme Conservative at 10, I can be found at position “P.” I get a chuckle at much of what passes for liberal thought, but don’t much chuckle at anything conservative. Quite frankly, I consider American conservatism to be one of the most dangerous pieces of garbage ever to pollute the planet Earth. A major problem with this mindset is occasioned by the fact that I am a 72 year old, white male who works at a county golf course in one of the richest, most conservative counties in the United States. Since I get free golf (at five county courses) as part of my compensation package, I play 4 – 5 times a week. Bottom line: Goddam near everyone I work with or play golf with, almost all of whom are 70+ year old white, males, is a die-hard conservative. I love each and every one of ‘em—love every bone in their heads. Truly! Sure is a tough haul, though—‘cause I am not given to holding my tongue. Just think of all the fun I have at work and play! Don’tcha envy me?

Frank Apisa's Links
JANUARY 19, 2013 8:24AM


Rate: 16 Flag



Got a private message from libbyliberalnyc this morning…a message drenched in indignation. “How dare you” she spits…” I do not want you to comment on my blogs any further.”


This from a person who posts thread after thread…rant after rant about the damage Barack Obama is doing to freedom of speech and expression in America.


She deleted my last comment. I honestly do not remember exactly what it was but Libby had asked me a question about my motivation for an earlier post…and I answered. I am absolutely positive I answered the question in a reasonable, polite way, but since she also deleted her question to me, I can only assume she wishes she had never asked it. Sometimes a truthful answer stings.


 In any case, I can assure anyone reading this that my response was reasonable; it was on point; and it was more courteously expressed than the expressions of scorn she often hurls at anyone who dares suggest that Barack Obama might be anything but a contemptible traitor leading our nation into fascism.


So now she wants me to voluntarily allow her to relentlessly attack the president without objection!


Good luck with that, Libby! 


Peter Breschard, another blogger who seems to think President Obama is leading our nation into fascism…and who bemoans that Americans are losing the right to free speech and expression…is another person who recently deleted one of my posts. The post merely call attention to the fact that I may be, as he suggested, “an idiot”, but at least I am able to post a disagreement without calling the other person an idiot.


And these people argue that they are champions of free speech!


I use to wonder how the word “liberal” had become the pejorative it has become…how the conservatives were able to make the very word seem like an indictment of intelligence.


I am beginning to suspect the conservatives didn’t do it at all. “Liberals” like libbyliberalnyc and Peter Breschard did it for them.


By the way, in response to Libby’s  “ I do not want you to comment on my blogs any further”, I wrote back:


And I want world peace. 

We don't always get what we want, Libby. 

I can understand that you do not want people calling your nonsense out, but if you post here in a public forum, I will respond if I choose. You are able to delete my posts...and free to do so if you don't have the courage to face reasonable criticism.




I then posted in her blog:


Amazing! Post after post…rant after rant…decrying that Barack Obama is attempting to limit freedom of speech in this country…and then you send me a private message demanding that I no longer post criticism of your comments in your blog. Do you honestly not see the hypocrisy in all that, Libby? Has your unreasonable hatred of Obama actually blinded you to that degree?





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That' who runs the place, unhappy Stalinsts and Trotskyites.
Don't know Breschard but Libby's tether snapped long ago, or so it would seem. Sure, Obama is a politician which makes him several degrees of unsavory from the git, but Libby - well, reading her titles are enough, especially when you crack open those posts to see the length she goes to... long, shrieking, harpiness.
And, exactly what you said Frank "I can understand that you do not want people calling your nonsense out, but if you post here in a public forum, I will respond if I choose."
Kills me.. KILLS ME, seeing people posting nutter content and expecting no one to disagree.
Oh, Waaaaaaaah!

Stop sobbing over being called out for what you are, Frankie... a troll who works part time as a shill for the Obama administration.
@ Don Rich: Thank you for visiting and commenting, Don. Much as we disagree on many things, I gotta say that the “unhappy” part of your remark is spot on.

@Tr ig Glad we are of one mind on this issue. Libby has simply gone over the edge…and anyone posting the kind of stuff she does who thinks there will not be strong disagreement is dreaming.

@ Matt Paust Smile back atcha! Thanks for stopping in.

@SafeBetAmy Yo, Amy…I am not a troll; not a shill; and not a crybaby. You are beginning to remind me of another Amy who used to post here. Anyway...thanks for stopping by.
Two words; Confirmation bias

We each choose either to learn from others and gain wisdom over our lives, or to only reenforce what we think we know, thus condemning ourselves to life-long adolescence.

The choice is for each of us to make.
Dr. Amy. I remember her. You and I once butted heads about her, and you and I remain friends.

You're right, you are no troll. You are a good, principled person who can be and will be friendly with whom you disagree if the other person will greet your friendship with friendship. I can absolutely attest to that fact.

You know that some people wont accept reason. They would rather have negativity than reason. That is their narcissistic supply. They also divide the world into good and evil. They call it "splitting.". They don't allow themselves to be judged by the standards that they hold others to. There is nothing you can say or do to change that fact. They are not retrievable. Let them go. Just let them go.
@another SteveThe choice most assuredly is for each of us to make. Thanks for stopping by.

@Bill Beck Oh, Dr. Amy was a handful; she was in a world of her own—one of the most rigid personalities ever on OS. And we both did much battle with her. I wonder if this other Amy is Dr. Amy in disguise?

Anyway, I thank you for your kind words…and I hope we remain friends for a long, long time. I agree with you that some people will NEVER accept reason…and I guess your advice to “just let ‘em go” makes lots of sense, but I am tired of the so-called liberals on OS piling on Obama. He has an almost impossible task; is getting child-like opposition from the right…and then has to battle the far left, because they want him to do the impossible…and want it done NOW.

I’d love to be able to just ignore it…but there is so damn much of it on OS that it is almost impossible to be here and not be engaged. In any case, these supposed defenders of freedom of speech—these defenders against fascism—show their true colors by deleting remarks calling their opinions and tactics into question. So even if I get deleted, the point gets made. Thanks for stopping in.
@Gary Fandango

It might go smoother if you said what you have to say in a couple of posts and then "let it be".

Good advice…and I thank you for it. There are times where I don’t do that…times where I become tenacious. But truly they are not that often…unless the person with whom I am speaking just feels like arguing…or asks me a question.

In this particular instance with Libby, she asked a question…and I answered. Then she deleted my answer. But you are absolutely correct, you gotta have your say and then let it go.

I also post over at Able2Know…where things get much, much, much more contentious. Lots of fun over there…and things get D I S C U S S E D!!!! But, this really is a dual kind of site. It is true that writers here often post material just to showcase their work. Take my word for it, Gary, Libby’s posts are not of that kind. She has an agenda…and mostly it seems to be to foment as much anger toward Barack Obama as possible. She has no problem with the many sycophants who flock to her posts to tell her how courageous she is to speak out in a fascist country like America…or to compliment here on her outrage and anger. She just doesn’t like having the other side of the story told.

By the way, I do it nicely, reasonably…and if there is a zinger, it usually is delivered with a bit of humor or irony.

But the bottom line is that you are right…I should have my say and then move on.
If libby & Peter are right then it won't be long before Obama's secret police disappear them. Then you needn't worry about their posts.
DandyLion gets the Comment Award for this thread.
I think as to ethics of such things, a couple of things stand out.
Number one, if you write something personally libelous on someone's blog,like calling them say intoxicated while writing something or implying that is the case, that's libelous if it's not, and then deletion is fine, as is telling them not to come back, if, people can be oversensitive too.
Number two, if you use profanity or say ethnic slurs, even though someone everyone knows and loves here likes to do, who used to be called Amenuensis Caracella, and you ask that person not to comment like that, especially when using your own name on a blog, then deleting someone's comments doesn't make you a bad person. Although I still like the Jejuene Podiatrist in his way.
Number three, people like to rant on the Internet, because it is a good forum to do so, since it seems like you can say things other people's fists might object to in person. Of course, people still get upset, big surprise.
Number four, and I'll stop here, don't talk politics and religion if you don't want to have heated arguments. Good luck with that too. And by the way, in a bizarre sort of way, I am glad people here are well and such, as when that ... whatever that was happened, and you couldn't log in for weeks and weeks, and the cover remained from September, although I am certainly in a political minority, that was sad too. So Frank, make sure you give Libbyliberal a big hug, like Yezhov Yagoda always said, which was a jest at Linda, if we didn't mean to be mean either, as to this community such as it is here.
@DandyLion Funny! Very funny! Thanks for posting.

@Myriad You may be right…it was gem. Although even kidding about that kind of thing bothers me. Thanks for visiting.

@Don Rich I have nothing against Libby at all…even considering the deletion, which I tell you for certain was not deserving of all the indignation she expressed about it. She regularly posts insults toward people who do not share her views that top anything I said by miles. And if she ever came to one of the many meets we have in the City…I would definitely give her a hug.
This is not a point I'm about to argue, not because I'm interested in smearing an individual but because I have no trouble smearing an approach. I've devoted posts to that, one about rules for intellectual integrity, another about Pavlov's Bloggers.

Personally, I very rarely delete a comment. I'm trying to remember if I ever have; I think I did early on but I no longer remember. I'd rather leave the evidence up because a comment is an indicator of a blogger's character and I'd rather have the ability to point to it. If you want to make the point that someone is an intolerant idiot, it helps to have something to quote.

There's another element at work here: intellectual cowardice. If there's an argument presented on your blog in response to what you've posted, my inclination is to face it. If I can't face it or if I refuse to face it, that says something about the strength of my case.

I've come close to asking people not to comment on my blog but it's not because of rudeness and it's not because they disagree with me; it's because they hide from me on my own post or because they hit me with objections whose answers are in the post itself. I'm not bugged by that happening once, but I am when it happens repeatedly. by "hide from me," I mean I give them an answer or, better yet, a countering question, and get no response, meaning they're perfectly willing to use my post to rant and to widen the audience for their own views but they're not willing to actually defend their views, just to hit and run. As I said: intellectual cowardice. I tend to have limited respect for such individuals.

When it comes to liberals, I tend to run into another phenomenon that drives me nuts (perhaps I should say "fellow liberals"): A refusal to acknowledge that being able to navigate the tradeoffs of politics is a moral responsibility. Not just a practical necessity, a moral responsibility. If you are an elected official and the result of voting your opinion on every vote individually is that you fail to accomplish anything, you may think you've been pure but you've actually failed because you weren't hired by your constituents to express your opinion, you were hired to improve whatever entity your legislature serves to the best of your ability. That's not always pretty, but the alternative is pretty much always useless. This is a concept I have not been able to convey to a group of people on OS/OurS. It strikes me as screamingly obvious.

I hope your own pet peeves don't include windbags who type overly long comments on your posts. If so, tough sh uh, sorry.
@Kosh...I never have a problem with you. I agree with just about everything you said in your response. I definitely do not delete posts...and have only done so at the request of the person making the post.

Not sure what is going on with Libby or Peter Breschard, but I this just got to me today and I reacted.

The Obama bashing by the left has to serve a purpose for them...and I hope they get their needs met with their constant hammering. Like most Obama supporters, I am far from completely happy with the way he has done things...but I also see that there is so much stacked against him by the House Republicans, the country would go down the toilet if he didn't make concessions that I hate.

I do not consider myself a liberal...but I do support a progressive agenda for this country...and STRONGLY oppose most of the conservative agenda.

This constantly sniping so-called liberals are damaging chances for preserving the progressive agenda...and is furthering the stranglehold of the most extreme element of the right.

I will oppose them no matter how much it bothers them.

Which, of course, is part of the reason for this thread.

Thanks for stopping in and adding useful comments, Kosh.
In a particularly corrosive rant this afternoon, Libby posted a hate-filled screed excoriating the president in ways that defy reason. Its title is: Insufferable Hype & Egotism: BOTH Lincoln’s & MLK’s Bibles? In her third sentence she mentions she will be fighting the urge to vomit during the inauguration ceremony. If you get a chance to read it, I suggest you may be fighting the urge to vomit because of its content

I left the following comment:

Libby, you are way over the line here. Your posts about Barack Obama have become senseless rants...a lesson in how ineffective hyperbole is to make a point.

I hope whatever in your personal life motivates you to write this stuff finally clears you can get back to reality in your political perspective.
Allow me to say, Frank: 1) That since I've met you personally on a few occasions, I know you to be a gentle, reasonable man who seems unwilling to carry a grudge, even against those bloggers who excoriate you on a regular basis; 2) That I've seen many of your comments, including the one to Mr. Breschard, and have found them to be on-point and respectful to the blogger; 3) Reiterate my belief that if someone doesn't want to read harsh criticism of his opinion, he shouldn't post his opinion in public to begin with; and 4) it is exchanges like the above that compel me to ignore nearly all of the political discussion on Open Salon (bad for my blood pressure).
First of all, thanks. Though I'd have less of a tendency to name names than you have, I have similar objections with the approaches in question. I don't get involved in names because feuds are mostly pointless, not to mention distracting. The personalities become the point when the personalities should, as far as I'm concerned at least, be beside the point.

So I'll ask you a different question:

Why do you visit Libby's blog?

You're not going to be able to persuade her of anything. She isn't listening. I know, I've tried. I eventually found it too insulting to attempt to engage in a conversation with someone who ignores my replies, and God knows it's not because I lack civility. I don't mind being told I disappoint her if I have the shadow of an indication that it bothers her when she disappoints me.

If you're not going to be able to accomplish anything by talking to her, and you're not, who are you going to reach by commenting on her blog? This is a pretty intelligent community. There will be people who comment on her blog who will buy into what she says and there will be people who don't. Given what you know, do you think you're going to move anyone there into the "don't" category? I'm afraid I doubt it, which means you're wasting your time.

How much publicity do you want to give her? She's front and center on your post. Why send people there?

You of all people know what putting too much attention into a feud can do to a reputation, being as you were the target of what I'd characterize as an obsession. Does anyone you know think that when Markinjapan went on and on about you whether or not you were present that it was your reputation he was damaging? Instead of looking like a guy making a case, he started looking like a nutcase making a case. Here we go again, give it a rest already. That tactic is not only ineffective, it's completely counterproductive. This is a community that, by and large, doesn't approve of personal attacks. A lot of people here are misfits who spent time on the wrong side of bullying and all those attacks do is make them uncomfortable. The majority of people here side with victims, not attackers. Hold your fire.

Someone here accused me a few times of trying to assassinate his/her character. I never replied directly, but if I had, or if I ever do, my reply would/will be as follows:

The most effective way I have of assassinating your character is to shut up and let you talk. The fact that I haven't yet means I'm not assassinating your character.

Farshtayss? (That's Capice in Yiddish)
So I'll ask you a different question:

Why do you visit Libby's blog?

Good question, Kosh.

I hate what she says about Obama...and I am acting like a spoiled brat because of it.

I'm using her foolishness to excuse my own.

I will not go to her blog any more after today.

You're welcome to tell her if you want.

I am committed to not going to her blog from now on.

For what it's worth, I have no reason to tell her. I rarely speak to her. Given that she's essentially thrown you off her blog, I wouldn't call that a courtesy you owe her.
Frank, I think you and I have both agreed and butted heads at one time or another. One thing though, you have never deleted my comments nor have I done the same to yours. People like Libbie really get me fired up! It's not nice to say bad things about other writers, but she deserves what she gets!
hey frank I think weve disagreed in the past although my foggy memory makes it difficult to remember where. anyway you're a valuable resource to open salon and dont feel too bad, getting reasonable comments deleted can be a badge of honor. open salon can never have enough old, conservative curmudgeons. a rare breed and it stands out as contrarian on here. its a good counterbalance to the constant liberal crying. although I tend to agree with some of her politics, libbys underwear is clearly almost always in a very tight knot. so, of course the solution to that, you should just quit the rambling around and whining in your blog here and ask her out on a date immediately.
@ Kenny…yeah, I allowed “being fired up” to be an excuse to over-react. I’m going to leave her to her regular sycophants…and just move on.

@ VZN Thanks for the remarks…and you are correct, being deleted can be worn as a badge of honor. Libby did not delete me because I was rude or inappropriate…she deleted me because she did not like my answer to her question. Breschard deleted me because he could.

And for the record, just about every time we’ve had an OS meet in NYC, I have personally invite Libby to come. I'd be glad to buy her a drink.
Frank and Kosh have turned something ugly into a very interesting, and very important discussion. There are elements laying around here, but as yet, unmentioned.

Consider the posts by someone like Libby. Libby is considered to be a "liberal." What exactly does that mean? Whatever it means, we look at her comments a particular way with that preconceived determination, rather than if the same comment had come from, say, Gordon Osmond or Arthur Louis. Whether the comment is rational or reasonable should not have anthing to do with the identity or political perspective of the person, but we absolutely view them throught that prism. If Libby's comments came from someone like Osmond, most would not give it the slightest credence. Only the determination of "liberal" can accomplish that with such otherwise, extreme opinions.

When the opinions are consistently extreme, and the only reason that it is given any consideration is the wrapping that it comes in, then the wrapping is meaningless.

The person who makes such comments know this. Making reasonable, balanced comments and posts dont draw attention. But if you are a harp seal, and you say something like, I favor the clubbing of baby harp seals because gloves from their fur is so beautiful, it makes a bigger splash than if you are wrapped in some other determined category. It's a game. It is not a real perspective. It does not meet the reality test. It is not at all about the issue. It is about the attention. I remember once stopping a guy from selling leather goods on the street in Hollywood because he did not have a permit. He was draping animal skins over a fence and selling to motorists, and pedestrians. Then some lady in a Mercedes drove up and started screaming at the man about "animal cruelty." We were already stopping the guy, but she wanted to jump in andmake her point. I turned to the lady and said, don't interfere, and get back into your Mercedes with the leather seats, lady. It wasn't about the animals. And with Libby, and some others, it is not about liberalism. It is about the attention. The labels are meaningless.
Frank, I first encountered Libby when she inserted herself into a dust-up about fraudulent OS accounts used to inflate ratings. It had nothing whatever to do with her, but she made herself the star of it. She was horribly traumatized by things that were said about people she's not even friends with. She posted a bunch of ravings about the damage her parents had done to her. If she were capable of embarrassment, she would not still be posting.

Libby is a classic borderline. They love you or they hate, nothing in between. A person is perfect, then they are the devil. That's clear enough from her Obama posts. The creepy thing about OS is that there is always a ready, credulous audience for the mentally disturbed. You can be her supporter and comforter, but you can't reason with her. Too bad OS doesn't have a personality disorder filter.

@Don Rich, jejune-caca-yoda usually gives me a wink when he calls me a cunt.
Sirenita…she IS a drama queen. Not sure what motivates her, but she has to live with it. Thanks for posting.

Bill Good point. Sometimes a rather petty thread like this turns out to be a vehicle for a larger, more interesting and productive discussion.

There is no doubt that I am “guilty” of being bothered more by people who call themselves liberals spouting the over-the-top nonsense being directed at Obama…than by equally powerful stuff coming from conservatives.

In the political sphere, I think the thing that bothers me most is the self-inflicted damage liberals have done to the liberal brand. I have spent years trying to figure out how conservatives, considering the crap they bring to the table, have managed to make the very word “liberal” seem like a sign of stupidity and naiveté. But I was barking up the wrong tree. Much of the damage to liberalism truly has not been done by conservatives…it has been done by liberals. And some of the people here in OS have taken self-inflicted damage to new heights.

Frankly, our politicians in general ARE trying to do their best for the country…as they see “the best” to be. Don’t get me wrong; self-interest at the expense of the country is still there…and in abundance. But I can live with that, mostly because that is the way things almost surely always will be. We each take care of our loved ones and ourselves first…and the rest of humanity after that.

But so long as there is no significant conflict involving self-interest, most politicians seem to try to do “the right thing.”

Unfortunately, doing “the right thing” can be a bitch in a democracy with such competing interests.

How does anyone do “the right thing” on abortion; on gun control; on distribution of wealth; on social safety net programs; on property and income taxes? We all have our personal notion of what “the right thing” is…and it seems that in our country, we no longer are willing to give and take. Some people (the subjects of this thread, for instance) seem ready to condemn to Hell people for making decisions that are popular with many others. There is no flexibility in some people…no willingness to bend a bit.

And we Americans have gotten to the point where our “personal freedom” trumps all other things. Thoughts of giving up some personal freedom in the interest of the or for society…is treated with abject contempt.

Oh well…off the soap box. Gotta watch a couple of playoff games.

Enjoy the rest of the day, Bill…and everyone.
I don't get how the term 'liberal' belongs in this discussion.
Libby's nothing like any 'liberal' I've ever met.

The likes of you, Kosher "I'm interested in smearing an individual, but" Salaami and Bill "You racist bastard" Beck calling other people drama queens and sycophants when y'all, who collectively have your neo-conservative heads so far up the Democratic establishments ass that you can have tea with Obama, are running around in circles, screaming, shouting and waving your hands in the air is comical as hell.

Same goes for you TRYING to claim the labels of liberal or progressive. Y'all ain't nothing of the kind. You are just a bunch of grumpy old curmudgeons yelling at the kids to get the hell off your lawns.

BTW, I'm no friend of Libby's for most of the reasons Sirenita stated, but she DOES have a right to say/post whatever she wishes, YOU can stay off her blog if you don't like it and lastly STOP YOUR FREAKIN WHINING!

P.S. I also get a big chuckle that both KS and BB, whom have both deleted my comments on numerous instances, are now finding the practice to be reprehensible.
Falseness, thy name is Safe_Bet's Amy.

Last things first, I do not find the practice of deleting reprehensible. Wrong again. I think a blogger should do it for their reasons. I don't even think a blogger needs guidelines. I can't sy that more clearly. A blogger DOESN'T need guidelines. I think a blogger owes no one an explanation, given free choice. He can obviously do it. You assume I disgree with Libby deleting Frank? Why? I never said that. I wont ever say that. I have deleted Frank myself, back in the day. I alluded to that. Safe_Bet's Amy, you try so hard to be a pain in the ass that you wrongness exceeds that of a broken clock. I have rarely seen you right as often as twice a day.

Second, I have stated several times that I could not care less if someone is racist. Some people are racists. That is obviously true. But the fact of their racism does not concern me. Never did. The constructions that they make from a racist perspective do. You dont get it, you never did. But I can give you an example, to demonstrate the difference between your simplistc nonsense, and the actual fact.

If someone says, Treyvon Martin is a criminal because he is a young black male, THEREFORE it makes it a reasonable conclusion that he presents a danger to a non white male in his presence, I say that is a racist construction based upon the racist perspective. The perspective distorts the reality, and leads to false conclusions and away from justice. It is no concern whatsoever what someone's personal preferences about race are. I have no doubt that you can't understand that, but it is quite different from what you claim. But then again, where you are concerned, reality usually is different from what you claim.

Finally, I delete your comments because they are worthless. Your comments are among the most worthless comments ever posted on Open Salon. Here is why I think so. First, you are always wrong, and not just accidentally wrong. You're wrong because you are stupid and lazy with regard to the truth. Last week you popped on claiming that I had accused you of something, when upon further reflection, you realized it was Arthur Louis who alluded to you. I did not even acknowledge his claim. I find you utterly worthless with regard to discussing any issue. Utterly. I have even stated that I endorse the Robert Crook policy of "troll management." That refers to deletion.

I have been "out" about favoring the ability to delete when I choose, or whenever the blogger chooses to moderate his or her blog. By comparison, you accuse Jody Foster of not being "out" about being a lesbian, although most have known it for decades. You state your "out" lesbian bona fides through an anonymous screen name. Your thinking, your comments, your attitude, and your contribution is utterly useless in my view. That is why I delete you. You are less useful than Yertle the Turtle, that YY nutjob. That's how completely wrong you are "Amy", whoever the hell that actually is.
Jebus, Bill... you sprayed irate, maniacal spittle all over the inside of my monitor and your fist pounding and foot stomping knocked a plant over.

Behave yourself now and ask the nice nurse for your Thorazine...
Call it anger if you can't answer it. That's how fake you are, "Amy." This isn't anger, by the way. Typing in all caps "STOP YOUR FREAKIN WHINING!" is anger. But you don't acknowledge that. You lack the capacity for instrospection. And why is that? I can't know, but I have a theory. My theory is that you are not real. You're a fraud. And you project your own characteristics on others. It is comincal, really. Look back at your last two comments. You talk about anger and thorozine. Who is typing in all caps and using the exclamation point? You are less self aware than a stone. But how could you be? You're not even real.
Numerous occasions?

I don't remember deleting a comment of yours at all. When would that be?
I'm not sure I have any reason to follow Bill on this one, really, but I will in a respect or two.

I do not agree with Bill about deleting. I don't generally delete for the simple reason that I like to leave evidence. You can go back over my old posts and find all kinds of serious insults made against me and they're still up. The ones that are gone, and some are gone, are gone because these people either got their accounts deleted or deleted their own. One of the characteristics of OS is that when an account is deleted, its comments all over the site are also deleted, leaving our old conversations full of answers to comments that are no longer there.

You just accused me of deleting your comments "numerous times." That, and I rarely say this in any context on OS to anyone, is an out-and-out lie.

I don't care what Libby says on her blog. What I suggested to Frank is that he not visit her blog, which is essentially what you suggested. If you bothered to read my comments here, which you rarely bother to do before you respond to them, you'll notice that I criticized Libby's approach far more than her views. I criticized one aspect of her views, and it was not that I found her too "liberal," it's her refusal to acknowledge that being able to navigate the tradeoffs of politics is a moral responsibility. Take Ted Kennedy as an example. I'd imagine that if you looked into his record you'd find a ton of horse trading. One of the results of all that horse trading was passage of the ADA, which he spearheaded. I was the father of a handicapped son for nearly eighteen years, and I can tell you that life would have been three times as difficult without all those curb cuts for wheelchairs. Whatever pork he had to vote for to get that was worth it to me and to anyone else who has ever had to push or drive a wheelchair.

I have to agree with Bill about your being lazy with regard to the truth. I can't tell you how many times I've noticed that, but more than one example about me alone in this post alone says enough. You can't be bothered to separate Bill, who deletes comments and doesn't object to their being deleted, from me, who does not delete comments and does object to being deleted, and instead you say that we both delete comments and object to their being deleted, turning both of us into ostensible hypocrites when, at least in this regard, neither of us is. You state that my big objection to Libby is her political views when, actually, it isn't, and I haven't stated it as such. You imply pretty strongly that I think she doesn't have a right to post what she wishes when I have said nothing of the kind.

I can't stand arguing with you because in order to argue with you I have to correct too many lazy mistakes, then have you desert the argument because you have no answers for my answers. I don't mind people who disagree with me but I do mind people who waste my time. I mind people who draw erroneous conclusions because they can't be bothered to read what's written. I mind people who assume what my views are when those assumptions don't involve anything I've ever actually said. Sure, it's easier to lump us all together, so that Frank and Bill and I are all some indistinguishable mass to be criticized as a group. That way you can smear lots of people from what one person says. Very convenient. Also very dishonest.

I'm tired of your lazy-ass misinterpretations, like when you recently put President Obama's likeness onto an Aunt Jemima waffle box. I told you that that was offensive, big time, and was a big enough deal to cost you your account, so Pull it. You accused me of threatening your account. On the contrary, I saved it. If you'd left that up, anyone could have successfully demanded that your account be pulled because, whether or not you intended it as racism, you picked such a racist symbol that the case would be too easy to make.

Had I made a mistake like that (assuming that you made it because you're too young to remember Aunt Jemima as a stereotype, which is my way of giving you the benefit of the doubt I'm not sure you deserve), I'd have apologized for it. You had neither the guts nor the courtesy to do that, instead opting to claim that you were "of color" because you were "100% Sicilian." That didn't exactly go over well either.

I'm not Bill. I'm not likely to delete what you say. As I said earlier: The best way for me to assassinate your character is to shut up and let you talk.

You have the floor.
I agree with you, Kosh, more than I disagree. The area of disagreement is almost too small to mention. Given that this is a verbal medium, I might as well mention it as opposed to yelling at those kids on my lawn.

Here is what I see. I think Robert Crook's guidelines refer to this particular variety of trollism as "graffiti." The SBA puppet does not only work up her bile for things that it disagrees with, it also behaves the same way frequently when it agrees. This post is one example. SBA said, "BTW, I'm no friend of Libby's for most of the reasons Sirenita stated, but she DOES have a right to say/post whatever she wishes, YOU can stay off her blog if you don't like..." SBA puppet does not disagree but apparently needs to point to everyone in a crowd and shout orders and insuts. Not only did no one say that she has no right to say what she says, not only is no one visiting her blog...other than Frank...not only is it inaccurate on all counts, but it is also only seeks to draw attention to itself. It does not have a genuine dialogue on the elements in the discussion. In my experience, SBA puppet's comments are always that way. It does not add to any discussion when it drops in to say, "you all suck"..."stop whining"...etc, etc, etc.

Like you and I have discussed, Kosh, it is not necessary to identify oneself to have a discussion about ideas. I do understand and endorse people protecting their anonymity. What I do not endorse, or accept, is for someone to level personal complaints based upon who or what they are, however that may be determined, and then maintain anonymity. There is a difference between saying, misogyny is wrong, and you are wrong because you are a misogynist. One has the right to examine one's accuser. To do so in such a way requires stepping up a bit more. To say, "Jodi Foster should be out", based ostensibly in part because I am an "out" lesbian has a certain merit...if that is indeed true. The fact is, you can't be anonymously "out." That makes no sense. For reasons like that, as long as the status remains the same, anonymous attacks with lack of attention to facts and no accountability, I see zero value in the comments. They are graffiti.
Though I have no need for Amy or anyone else not to be anonymous, the term "graffiti" is really apt. They are general yells that are responses to annoyance and frustration but not to facts. I think I should check out Robert Crook, whoever he may be. My term for this phenomenon is Pavlov's Blogger - a stimulus triggers a canned response that is a response to the stimulus, not to the contents of the post in question. All scream, no thought.
I thoroughly-enjoyed Frank's post here and comments by Don, tr ig, Bill Beck, kosh, and Cranky, most of whom I've disagreed with on occasion.

SafeBetAmy is obviously a flawed and completely-unreasonable entity. I would guess there's no mirrors in her house.

Libby is a drama nut case. Tokyo was supposed to be an Chernobyl-type ghost town by now, according to Libby and her pie-in-the-sky science.

I'm apolitical but sometimes enjoy people's theories about the actions/reactions of online entities; so thank you for that here.
Good to see you, Joisey.
I just read llnyc's blog and was really incensed by the title, which was obviously designed to grab attention and infuriate. So I decided to not give her the satisfaction of commenting, even though she has rarely attacked me personally for anything I've said. Anyway, this has been a good string of mostly intelligent comments. And the site works again! Good to see Bill Beck back too. Cheers....
So I've read everything here, and I have one question. If you guys are so down on Libby and the people that "prop her up", can you see that you've taken 40 comments to do the same thing here amongst yourselves?

What's the point in this rambling discourse? All I can see is a bunch of "Libby Bashing", something that everyone says they don't approve of and yet do, anyway. If you don't like what someone says, then avoid their blog and ignore them. It's not hard. I do it every day. Granted, I'm not one of the "big names" here, and a lot of you will dismiss me because I don't discourse on the weighty topics that enthrall the lot of you, but I know what bullying looks like and I know a gossip klatch when I read one.

This needs to stop before it turns into another disgusting tirade like last summer.
Speaking on the heels of Phyllis...

There is an overwhelming tone here, of boys delighting in the plucking of wings from flies, of legs from spiders, because these creatures are small, and big boys can. You all have excellent working minds, and probably reasonable stable daily lives. Not everyone has those things. Disability is not exclusive to a physical limitation, a damaged leg, unseeing eye or deaf ear. A mind can have a disability. You have read thoughts from minds that reveal a tell, and rather than step aside, as you might when a blind person approaches so that they may pass, you craft hundreds of sentences to confront and even wound the disabled persons. Perhaps the inability to see this, or to see it and not care, is your own disability.

It’s cruel. What harm have they done to you? Why visit their blogs? The only reason I can see, is so that you may exercise and exhibit your formidable intellects and debate skills. You don’t need to use their blogs as a point of departure for that. Would you exercise your chops in the same way with someone who is deaf? Because that’s what your pig pile of sentences is, and it’s just mean. To me, intellect doesn’t mean much, if attached to a mind that lacks compassion, and true strength can look like silence.
I dont get that perspective. Perhaps I should say that I am not piling on Libby. I can't remember the last time I read her blog. Let's agree to this much. I think the following is reasonable. Libby posts publicly. We can read or not. Most of the rest of us do as well. Some post on more controversial topics than others. Some within that group use extreme language and extreme condemnations of individuals connected to the issues being discussed. Is it not reasonable to expect stronger response when you use such strong condemnations? Is it fair to expect, demand that someone be able to do so publicly, and not engender strong opinions? And when asked for an opinion on a subject, must as person moderate the opinion or else be a fly pulling off wings?

Flies don't offer opinions, and little boys are not parsing a fly's controversial words. Inflammatory words. That is not the dynamic. When the Westboro Baptist Church uses such inflammatory rhetoric about the subjects of their choice, is it "cruel" if someone says, I don't go to their blog, or I disagree with their style? Nah. No way.

Now how disability plays into this equation, I am not aware of it. I have spent quite a lot of time away from OS, and don't get into the cliques, so if there is some wide knowledge of a disability involved here, I've missed it. But if there is some disability to be concerned with, shouldn't there be some sort of disclaimer attached to the posts, or wherever before readers and commenters can be held responsible for touching on some disability issue that would be otherwise not knowable?
Bill, come on. You know what a disability is. The dictionary definition:


lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability; incapacity.
a physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job
anything that disables or puts one at a disadvantage: His mere six-foot height will be a disability in professional basketball.
the state or condition of being disabled.
legal incapacity; legal disqualification.

I'm going to drop this now. I'm not a debater.

I too am unaware of any disabilities associated with any online entities who post or comment in OpenSalon.

I guess greenheron is either involved with some people on a personal level or has the ability to ascertain one's physicial or mental state from a blog. I congratulate her/him on that special power.

Greenheron's criticism is offbase and wrong. No one is going to a Disability Forum and flaming the participants in there.

I did learn something, I think, from greenheron. Libby is shorter than 6 feet, I guess.

I know what a disability is. And if this is a concern of yours, I know there is something to it. I am just saying, I dont know how it attaches to this issue. I am not seeking what exactly that means. I do not seek to peer into anyone's personal life. That's how I meant it. And being unaware of that, as I would guess most in this thread are, one can't be held responsible for knowing that. I wont even speculate as to who you might mean.

Also dropped.
Great. So who's in the clique?

If I treated someone here as mentally disabled, am I being condescending?

I will disagree in one key respect:

If you offer a political opinion here, particularly a strident one, be prepared to defend it. No wings off flies.
The introduction of the disability card certainly has given this conversation a strange turn. Funny too, since I would describe llnyc as just the opposite, as one who uses her verbal superpowers to pre-empt and overpower all of her perceived forces of evil. I do believe she is very intelligent, but equally intransigent; not in any of the thousands of lines of her prose and others she has quoted have I seen anything vaguely resembling, " might be right about that." If mentioning this is also equivalent to plucking wings off flies, I can only say that ugliness is in the mind of the beholder.

As for the cited and sorely unmissed nutcase, he did a proper job on himself when he called an absolute innocent contributor a Nazi. At least he had the sense to disappear.
I can't tell you how pissed I was when I saw that. It was done on the most inappropriate post imaginable. Still, when he figured out he was wrong, he had enough integrity to admit it. (Not in this case to my knowledge, but I saw it a few times.)

As you point out, I've never seen her, or Amy (whose work I know a lot better) suggest they might be wrong. If I think I haven't been right about something, I've been known to add an addendum to a post. If you're not listening, if you're not open to the possibility that you might be wrong, then you're just a billboard, a mouthpiece, and you're just producing, as Bill put it, graffiti.

There is no smugness in this to me. It doesn't make me feel superior, it makes me feel offended. This, to me, is an issue of integrity. I don't feel like I'm dealing with a handicap here - if I did, I'd have backed off, because I see no point in bullying. I can't call myself a bully here because I'm typically not initiating attacks, I'm reacting to them. I try most of the time to keep it to issues and not personal and many have commented to me on my patience in the face of this stuff. Now I'm losing patience.

The other thing I'm losing is respect. If I am confronted with an argument that makes any sense at all, I try to answer. If there aare parts that seem valid, I say so. I expect the same respect in return and I'm tired of the extent to which I don't get it. The issue here isn't ideology, it's intellectual integrity.

This isn't based on Bill's opinion and it isn't based on Frank's; it's just mine. Frank set the topic is all. I did not suggest he go confront Libby. I suggested he stop. I suggested he leave her alone.

Speaking for myself, I am not attacking political views here. People are entitled to their views. I'm attacking conduct. If someone says "I hate this politician" and I answer with the question "What course of action will yield the best or least bad result?" that's a reasonable question. I ask it over and over - about more than one politician, incidentally - and the answer comes back "I hate this politician and if you dont't too, you're immoral." "Point taken, but what gets us the least objectionable result?" "I hate this politician......."

Maybe this is an intellectual handicap. Maybe Greenheron's right. Maybe my problem is not too little respect on my part but too much. I expect this basic a point to be grasped. I'm not that inarticulate - I keep asking fairly clear questions. They're in English. I go so far as to state in posts: This is the kind of response that will not answer my question. Then I get exactly that response. Over and over.

A psychologist, speaking to am elementary school class of mine, said "Frustration causes anger." I'm very frustrated. I am not ashamed of my reaction. I'm afraid I've earned it.
Onone hand I am glad to see the "picking wings off of disabled flies" accusation directed at someone else. For quite a while, I had it directed at me fairly often, perhaps with other metaphors. I am also disappointed that it goes on still. Given that the lack of awareness that some disability exists which explains the wild, paranoid accusations of all things Obama, and the serious moral error that one incurrs in spite of not knowing, I suggest that there should be an advisory statement which precedes this post, like a sign before railroad tracks, so that the unwitting commenter does not run into a train incapable of stopping due to some "disability." Given that one is judged by interacting with that train, isn't it fair to warn them that there are tracks, and perhaps such a train in the vicinity?
You all are in the top percentile of intelligence, are extraordinarily skilled thinkers, with the gift of reason and self-expression. Your arguments are tightly constructed impenetrable jewels. This is your art. I’m not a political arguer, but sometimes read your posts and comments with admiration. I loved Bill’s post about white blind spots. That needed telling.

Yet by default, you hear and respond with reason, even when the words are delusion. My work involves listening to lots of people express themselves. There is a sound to delusion, similar to the tapping of the sightless person’s cane. It becomes easy to recognize. Physical blindness garners respect and compassion, yet someone who spends most of their waking hours scouring the internet for fringe articles, who writes thousands and thousands of words, lengthy outpourings of an angry wound, gets no compassion, is poked instead with a sharp, very smart stick.

The expectation that someone in this situation can or will hear your reasoned words is beyond reason, and a set up for your own frustration and disappointment. Why would you stab yourself in your own eye with a pointy stick? You have more effective use for your time, and audiences for your words here. You may not see who reads you without comment, who nods and considers your words as they make coffee or drive to work. Write for them.
OK. Believe it or not, I hear you.
So my question is this, and this is not rhetorical in the least:
How do we handle those with blind spots when they enter our arenas? My arguments with them don't take place on their turf. I don't seek them out, nor do I advocate seeking them out. I started in this comment stream by saying to Frank: Don't go. And he agreed.

With one exception:
I will engage someone like that on their turf if they post something blatantly bigoted.

So, what do you suggest?
Kosh, I know that you get this, that all the smart guys who commented here get it, which is why I took the time to make a comment.

As for what I’d suggest, I can’t speak to that very well. Response becomes an internal struggle. I try to make wise choices, and do not always succeed. Do I flash my wit at this poor person? What will I gain by that? Even as I write a response to you, I’m aware that while some words come from compassion, some come from my own old wounds, of having been an underdog. There’s an old Buddhist adage that difficult people are our best teachers. Some days the most difficult person we encounter is our self.

Multiple times, I have been on OS early in the morning and seen the entire length of the recent comment feed filled exclusively with comments made by the subject of this post. With no other soul on OS to answer, still, they compulsively howl into a void. It is painful to witness that level of lonely suffering. I don’t need to read that line up of comments to know what is there, certainly no opportunity for insight or discourse. Imagine what it must be like to live in a world that seems such a terrible place, without beauty, without kindness or humanity, one where our President is as evil as Hitler, and the sight of him is cause for vomiting. Would you, even for a few moments, be willing to exchange minds and lives in order to gain a better understanding of such a perspective? Then why read?

I do sometimes read, and when I do, if I am honest with myself, it is for one or more of the following reasons: I’ve succumbed to my hardwired human tendency to rubberneck a tragic situation. I’m feeling judgy. I have a desire to feel better about my own circumstances and abilities. Or this, perhaps the most difficult to accept: there is something humming in this person’s written voice that I fear could hum in mine, if I was just a little more fill in the blank.

As liberals, we bemoan the cold hearts of conservatives, of Mitt Romney et. al. Does the sight of him make me vomit, or does it remind me to be a kinder person. There's a choice.
Thank you all for commenting.

Greenheron…I grok what you are saying and will keep it in mind when deciding what I will and will not read…and even more so when I am deciding how or whether I will respond. Your points are well made…and I cannot comment on them further without actually violating the spirit of what you were trying to say.

You and I have disagreed at times; conversely, we've also agreed at times. In a "discussion", there needs to be give and take. Which is why I typically avoid people who blindly stick to their positions when there is evidence to the contrary. I won't bother naming names, they are easily recognizable.

Someone much wiser than me once said, "You cannot reason a man out of something he was not reasoned into."

I agree, blatantly incorrect information needs to be refuted. I try to do that where and when I can, when I see it. But I won't get drawn into long, protracted arguments anymore. It simply just is not worth my time.

A final favorite quote, which I sometimes have trouble adhering to:
"When you are arguing with a fool, make sure that they are not doing the same thing."
Greehheron, when you look out the window, do you see civilization, or the savage wild, and how do you know? For some, the answer is that if I live where there are no forms constructed for humans, then I am in the wild. If I am where I can see roads, light poles, and other buildings, then I am in civilization. It is that simple, but it is not that simple.

Within that area that is inhabited and governed by humans, there are the savage. There exist savagely criminal. There are savagely incompetent, and there are savagely deluded. In that place where humans regulate behavior, occassionally someone will drive down the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians. They may even be deluded by the belief that they are doing good. If no one says, "don't drive on the sidewalk", you lose civilization. You have a brutal environment that is not safe for pedestrians. At the very least, someone has to say that that is not proper conduct. And if no one ever says that, and everyone else is disconnected by the pedestrian walkways that allow the people to move and come together, then how is anyone to know which is the approved conduct, and which is the foolish conduct? Civilization takes some doing.
Bill, as a former police officer, you've probably witnessed many acts of savagery. Of course I'd want to see such dangerous behavior addressed and stopped. Are we still talking about a blogger though? Blogging isn't driving a car down a sidewalk full of people...even though comparisons between Obama and Hitler might make it feel that way!

A blogger whom every OS old timer knows by multiple names recently called you the n word. You responded with equanimity, and even respect. Perhaps you recognized that by doing so, you kept your position on the high road, while allowing him to exhibit not only his racism, but his irreparably broken mind. I admired your cool head in that, your restraint. Maybe it's there for the metaphorical sidewalk driver as well.
Greenherron, appearances can be deceiving. If he had been face to face with me, I would have shoved his jaw bome into the underside of his cranium. This does not allow for that. So, the only alternative is to allow his words to stand in contrast to mine. If I were conviced that 90% of the other OS bloggers did not think almost exactly like he does, I would remove it. Back in the time when I was of the belief that 90% did not think like he did, I removed such things. Then that sort of individual would complain and say I am a deleter. Behind Blue Eyes called me a censoring cunt. Freebobafett accused me of raping my mother. Shmadoff confronted women who made comments in my thread, accused them of wanting to have sex with me, and cheered them on saying "miscegenation is no longer illegal." I could go on and on with examples. So, my presumption about how the majority of OS bloggers feel has changed dramatically. Mostly, people say nothing. I think that is really fucked up.

Some people say, "dont you know how delete works.." Yeah, I do. Others say, you just delete everyone you disagree with. Some have even asked me, "why do these people attack you?" Which to me is like asking the victim why he or she was victimized. It is rather offensive. The basic truth is, jackasses act with impugnity becuase of at least three reasons. 1) It's not easy to shove their jawbone into the underside of their craniums while online. 2) They can count on the fact that most wont say anything because they dont want the same treatment form them. 3) Some will say that anyone standing up for truth, or decency, or openness will twist the situation into, say, being mean and pulling wings off of the fly. I don't think most people give a good goddamn. That's why I dealt with YY the way I did. People have to learn to give a fuck.
Incidentally, I was not offended by what YY said about me. He actually praised me in the sick, twisted sort of way that his mind works. I would have decked him for referring to children in Chicago as "niggers." It was completely obtuse.
I hate to think that commenters replying respectfully to a disrespectfully person have to be chastised. Most of the people on this particular thread respond to the subject matter of a post. While I understand having compassion for someone who seems so upset about something, I don't know that the emotion is the problem It's the thinking that's the problem And by that I don't mean the opinion. Believing you have a right to control other people's thinking and opinions is the problem, and if there's abuse happening I would say that is what's abusive, and the treatment of Frank should be what is concerning. Challenging people is one thing, controling them by censoring them, even when they are respectful, is another.
It's very liberal of you to attribute reason to "libbyliberal" and think you owe her a decent response when her only purpose is to bully and manipulate to the extent she is capable. She's not a "liberal," she's a hothead looking for victims. I think if she is ignored, and we get lucky and she finds another place to rant, she will go away.

Breschard is a good example of the limits of ideology because he so often finds himself unable to make sense since his perspective is so narrow. It can't be fun to have your head so far up your ass. He proves all the demagogues aren't on the right, which is a good thing for the unsuspecting to know.
My query got lost in the discussion, but I'm still kind of curious....?

"I don't get how the term 'liberal' belongs in this discussion.
Libby's nothing like any 'liberal' I've ever met."

I, for one opinion, don't read anything mean here, no picking on someone less able or defenseless. Even playing field, I'd personally say. I'd be most pissed by being thought of as disabled, actually, if I were Libby.....
I just had another case of my posts being deleted. Francois Arouet deleted two posts of mine from his thread (devoted to savaging Obama)...and offered me a lesson in how to be polite and intelligent when responding. Here is part of that lesson:

This creep has the social skills of Jared Lee Loughner. I'd tell this stalking troll to go annoy his friends but I doubt he has any. He can't follow a thought farther a civic center pigeon can fly. What a life. Did I say 'life'? Sorry. Witness a nasty, mean-spirited, red-faced, senile old fool who's sole joy in life is to piss on others.

I (and others you will note) have repeatedly had to clean up the demented shit this tired old sack of venom loves to dump in others' space. Always the no-life troll with nothing to do, nothing to contribute, hiding in wait, looking for a place to spill his spleen. Always the serpent sinking his fangs into others I have had to ban his hideous ad hominem before and I generally delete his comments without reading for we can see the same, consistent, poisonous pathology. So clean it up I do - my choice of course.

Let's hope such trolls slam their keyboards and spit their venom from the confines of a locked facility. I prefer to not look lunatics in the eye. These are the kinds of tricky personalities we hope are prevented from getting hold of guns.

At no point in any of my two posts did I call him any names--or use vile language. I really didn't even disagree with him that much. I'd print the entire of both posts, but they have been deleted and I did not keep copies because I saw them as innocuous. I agreed with something Old New Lefty had contributed that said Obama probably was not as religious as his rhetoric suggested—and I agreed with Arouet that politicians have to offer “god” talk in order to be elected. Arouet talked about those of us who like Obama as “failing to think”…and in one of the posts I suggested that perhaps he was failing to think. But nothing more than that. Reasonably courteous, on-topic posts that offered a difference of opinion.

These people (like Arouet) bemoan that Obama is creating a fascist state and taking the right of free speech away from them—and then they regularly delete the comments of people who disagree with them!!!!

Do they truly not see how absurd that is?
As awful as this is, you just cracked me up, Frank. It is so ridiculous that it is funny. My (poorly written) comment was fired off after quickly reading through the post and comments. Did anyone notice that SBA called Bill Beck a "racist bastard" and gets a free pass?.She disrespects Kosher and Jonathan, as well as you, yet nothing is said. Sometimes it's like falling through the rabbit hole!
I think SBA is saying that I accuse everyone, or others of being a "racist bastard." I think that is what he/she/it means by that.
Regardless of what I believe, I make my case and take a lot of stuff I may disagree with at face value. I once wrote a post for Markinjapan's asking whether Pres. Obama was a war criminal because of the drones. I made his case and said I wasn't sure what I thought. Most people did 't care all that much but the issue was discussed without screaming. It's still up. This isn't just about delusions. It's about conduct. It's about howmtomtalk to others, not just about beliefs.
Sorry about typos. On road, not on regular keyboard
Ah, young Francois.... a great fan of libby's. No great puzzle about why he assumes the name of a great writer whose pen name was Voltaire: "....Although he argued on intellectual grounds for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France, suggesting a bias towards Liberalism, he actually distrusted democracy, which he saw as propagating the idiocy of the masses. He saw an enlightened monarch or absolutist (a benevolent despotism, similar to that advocated by Plato), advised by philosophers like himself, as the only way to bring about necessary change, arguing that it was in the monarch's rational interest to improve the power and wealth of his subjects and kingdom."
Personally, I think her posts diminish not only the idea of true political dialogue on Open Salon, but also end up diminshing the site itself. Her inflammatory, attention seeking titles end up in the feed with writers who have much more to say, much more coherently.
And she feeds her own feed all the time. I wish she would find a better place to blog - where other people believe Obama is a fascist - but until then I wish she would take the time to understand that she just logs in and yells at everyone every day. In a lengthy matter. And we kind of don't deserve it. So stop yelling.
Without picking on her in particular, I have this to say about the style of extreme perspective which is never seconded by a rational person. Granted there is always more than one foil hat in shouting distance, but those who show agreement tend to have precisely the same sort of unreason. The thing that gets me about this sort of barking at the moon is that it calls everyone stupid, or of low character in some way. It does not self analyze and consider why it is not reflected by a statistically significant portion of the populace at any given point.

Granted, there is such a thing as being on the leading edge, but month after month, year after year, when an extreme perspective does not gain traction, when increasing evidence is not unveiled, and when otherwise sane people in good standing are not persuaded and add their alternate manners of expression to shed more reasonable light on the consistently shadowy perspective, any reasonable person would reconsider. At least concede that the idea is not gaining traction, and abandon the practice of calling all unpersuaded individuals "sheep", or "in the bag", or corrupt, or whatever. There is a certain arrogance that says, I'm right and every other person is wrong, or corrupt. That is the worst part of it for me.
Regarding my comment a few above about Arouet -- I suddenly flushed in the realization that I had just descended into the ad hominem mode that we are all decrying here. Let it be about ideas and ways of expression, not persons.
@ Bill

You wrote: "At least concede that the idea is not gaining traction, and abandon the practice of calling all unpersuaded individuals "sheep", or "in the bag", or corrupt, or whatever. There is a certain arrogance that says, I'm right and every other person is wrong, or corrupt. That is the worst part of it for me."

Allow me a loud AMEN!

I was going to just let this thread lie...but having been deleted by another of that group just bugs the crap out of me.

They blog day after day complaining about the rise of the fascist state under Barack Obama...moan about how their right to free speech is being undermined or taken away from them...grumble and whine about the "sheep" who allow it to happen...

...and then they delete views that differ with their opinions.

It is an absurdity and an example of hypocrisy of comical proportions.

Many times I throw up my hands and say to myself, "They just don't know what they are talking about."

Ya know what: They truly do not know what they are talking about.
never will understand the online angst......just a electronic comic book to me....
Steel, you are so right! What we see online is only the balloon over the character's head. It's even less real than comix and manga. It's only a matter of time until someone develops a system of generating illustrations that go with the text balloons.
@ Steel Breeze

never will understand the online angst......just a electronic comic book to me....

Whether it is the angst of the Obama detractors, or the angst expressed by some of us in this thread, “the angst” is today’s manifestation of free speech—and as such, it should be cherished. I imagine there was a day when people wondered why pamphleteers like Thomas Paine bothered. But it mattered. And it matters here. Think of it as an electronic comic book if you choose, but I suspect our age will be considered by history as the true beginning of freedom of expression.

That, in fact, is one of the reasons I experience angst at the curtailment of free speech by those pretending to be championing it.
A most fascinating and informative thread. I try to avoid political discussions, mainly because I've found so few people who can or are willing to discuss politics with an open mind. Also, I find politics to be a fairly specialized field (not mine), such that were I to enter the arena I'd be armed with a sling and no stones. I do wish to say something about Libby, tho. I don't read her political rants anymore, but in the past she posted the occasional non-political piece - personal remembrances and poetry - that has brought me to awe. I wish she would give politics a rest and devote more of her writing to the other.
I think many of us would, Matt. Libby's recent visuals of Las Vegas was terrific (I enjoyed it even though I did not post there)...and her photo essay of Central Park was wonderful.

In my opinion, her political posts are not so wonderful or so terrific.
Let's get one thing straight here:

This is a post and comment thread about practices and some of the people who practice them. It is not about the individuals in general. The point is quite simply that we want them to stop and, failing that, we won't engage them because we find it too frustrating to encounter these practices.

I probably speak for almost everyone here when I say that we don't want them to hurt, we want them to stop. The fact that these people are capable makes what they're doing all the more mystifying, but we acknowledge that least some of them are capable. If anything, this competence makes us angrier because they are smart enough to know better. If they were mere idiots, they wouldn't be worth discussing.
I would just like to add that I love you all despite your bad selves......and mine.

Well done gents. Intelligent, concise, amusing and to ensure I get you all bit debilitating.