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Old 02-28-2005, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone else getting bored in here????

I was hoping that after the election, the bashing might end.

It seems the opposite has happened.

It seems to me, that in a majority of cases, if a thread doesn't start out bashing Bush and his admin, it spirals into a Busco bashing event. Seriously, I just browsed through all of the threads in the politics forum. I don't want to go through the brain damage of actually counting and coming up with exact percentages, but it is pretty obvious that a clear majority of threads fall into this pattern.

Do we have nothing else to talk about? Does anyone think that opinions are going to be influenced by this?

It also seems that accuracy of data and validity of references is becoming scarce around here as well. If I cite a reference, I try really hard and find references that support my opinion that you will accept. I am not going to insult your intelligence and try and sway your opinion by citing Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly--why insult my intelligence by doing it to me? If I won't accept your reference, you will have a very hard time making a point with me--and don't give me this "medium" crap or "shoot the messenger" shit--it's a bullshit excuse. Quality of references is always of paramount importance to a well substantiated argument--if your reference alienates your intended audience, you are just wasting everyone's time.

I will pose an example from my side: Remember the onslaught of liberal-bashing posts from wonderwench? It got annoying didn't it? The volume of her posts diluted any possible point she was trying to make, right?

Guess what? To some of you on the other side--your posts/comments are beginning to sound a lot like wonderwench. Any possible chance you had of making a point or swaying me or anyone on my side has been obliterated.

I find that, as days go by, there are fewer and fewer threads that I would become involved in. The endless arguing and the constant bashing has just gotten really, really old for me. I would actually like to discuss issues, not spend my time defending Bush, his admin or conservative principles--it gets to tiring and tedious after awhile.

There are cases where the discussion here is brilliant and very invigorating. It just seems that these kinds of discussions are getting fewer and far between.

What particularly grates on me is when a discussion is going well and someone has to send it spiralling by going on a bashing binge--particularly when the subject of the bashing has nothing to do with the topic being discussed. Some topics/issues here actually transcent one particular President or administration. Why denegrate the discussion by throwing it off course?

It is getting really bad in here, folks, and it is spreading. I was in the gaming forum here discussing online gaming and someone had to mention that stupid people who play online games voted for Bush. What's the friggin' point in that?

Am I being overly sensitive? Talking out of my ass? Full of shit? Clueless? Something else? All of the above?
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Unsurpsingly, I find the perception on what causes a discussion to spiral out of context or purpose, in the Politics forum, is typically based on ones own personal political philosophy.

If you ask me, and you have, I would certainly not blame the "anti-Bush"crowd, whatever that is, rather I would blame the "pro-Bush" crowd - which is probably the opposite group of people, for consistently failing to back up their arguments with what i perceive to be logic.

As far as references - I'm tired of them. They seem to be almost entirely pointless. If it's an opinion you referenced, what's the point? Are you just parroting the opinion? And, as you mentioned, there are almost never opposing, referenced, opinions that anyone will agree is satisfactory. If it's some type of statistic, the discussion simply devolves into my statistic vs. your statistic and which one of us can repeat it the most often and from the highest degree of perspectives. Again, useless.

I'm more interested in your opinion.
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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for what it's worth--from a very different political viewpoint than yours--i have found my interest starting to wane.

one thing that seems to be driving it is the attitude that you outline above--that most conservatives (NOT all) have been, are and in all probability will remain unwilling to participate in actual argument.

the tactic seems to work as follows:
1.
refuse to present a coherent argument
or
repeat the dominant line from the administration about an issue as if that repetition was adequate

[[it should be obvious that those outside this frame of reference are suspicious enough of the administration in general--and its media strategies in particular--that starting with this will be taken as refusing to argue anything.

i imagine that folk who work from the other side see things otherwise
but they must be aware of this kind of problem because they have been told about it over and over---so that refusing to take it into consideration when posting amounts to refusing to debate at all.

one thing for sure, however--this presents a real barrier to effective debate, to communication at all, frankly.

i am also aware that i see this from a particular viewpoint. no Message bourne down from the Mountain here--just an attempt to work this out]]

2.

attempt to trivialize responses from others to that by calling it "bashing" or "bush hating"
which has the effect in argument what the category "terrorist" does in politics--cutting off any consideration of what might really be at issue, and reducing opposition to an expression of some kind of emotional dysfunction.

3.

if this pattern repeats often enough, you see a shift into what you do above, kma: a story of martyrdom

i find my patience is running out with it in the microcosm that is this board.
because it all seems self-confirming:

attempts (conscious or not) to short-circuit debate from one side pushes those outside into really repetitive patterns of counterargument--because nothing ever moves.

i do not know the extent to which this is a symptom of a wider problem.
but i do know that it has been going on here with increasing frequency.
and it is tedious.
it is really really tedious.
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Last edited by roachboy; 02-28-2005 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Everyone here is to blame if a discussion turns south, not just pro-Bush or anti-Bush folks. It should be the responsibilty of eveeyone here (not just the mods) to help stave off personal attacks. Even though this is politics and emotions tend to flare up from time to time, this forum should keep the standard of no personal attacks/flaming.

I disagree with Manx in that we should not incluse stats in our arguments. They help us back up the argument and affirm that we just didn't pull something out of our asses. (I suspect that most liberals would like to keep facts and stats out of the arena of ideas, eh Manx?? j/k ) Opinions are great, but opinions backed up with facts are better.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
(I suspect that most liberals would like to keep facts and stats out of the arena of ideas, eh Manx?? j/k ) Opinions are great, but opinions backed up with facts are better.

I was thinking that myself.

source:http://austintx.blogspot.com/2005/02...at-myself.html
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If there is almost never agreement on what a fact actually represents, what is the purpose of a fact?

Last edited by Manx; 02-28-2005 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I personally think that some folks fail to see that not agreeing with an argument is not the same as not understanding it.

Also, I see many opinions presented as fact and many complex situations distilled down to simplistic arguments.

I personally enjoy it when I get into a conversation that can focus on the nuances of a situation without the usual overhead of one or both posters needing to "win" the argument.

Unfortunately, that is as rare here as it is in most places.

That is also what makes such threads stand out and even more enjoyable.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
If there is almost never agreement on what a fact actually represents, what is the purpose of a fact?

So much for this thread.
Manx -

I would agree with opinion being used to back up opinion--that is parroting, to some extent.

I am referring to people throwing out "facts" when they are clearly wrong.

I took a break from this forum for awhile and came back to find a whole bunch of threads based on inaccurate information--easy stuff to disprove, it took all of a few seconds on google to find the real info.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
I am referring to people throwing out "facts" when they are clearly wrong.

I took a break from this forum for awhile and came back to find a whole bunch of threads based on inaccurate information--easy stuff to disprove, it took all of a few seconds on google to find the real info.
I'm sure there is plenty of that. But I don't attribute it solely, or majorly, to any variation of political philosophy (i.e. bush-lovers do just as bush-haters do it). I haven't bothered to quantify this perception of mine.

But again, I reiterate that "facts" are cheap. Well thought out opinions are few and far between.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
I'm sure there is plenty of that. But I don't attribute it solely, or majorly, to any variation of political philosophy (i.e. bush-lovers do just as bush-haters do it). I haven't bothered to quantify this perception of mine.

But again, I reiterate that "facts" are cheap. Well thought out opinions are few and far between.
What is an opinion worth if a person doesn't know the facts/general information.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retsuki03
What is an opinion worth if a person doesn't know the facts/general information.

I completely agree.

You can have the most eloquent, well thought out opinion in the world, but if you have your basic facts wrong, what is it worth, except trying to convince others based on your ability to write/speak well as opposed to the way things really are?

I actually think this is something that is a major problem with our society.

Some people have confused a well verbalized argument with a good argument and a poorly verbalized argument with a bad argument.

When I am confronted with this situation, I use two well known phrases as touch stones:

1) let him who has eyes see and him who has ears hear, and

2) I may not know art, but I know what I like when I see it.

In otherwords, don't let a bullshitter shit you when common sense is telling you it's bullshit AND don't judge a book by it's cover.
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Old 02-28-2005, 01:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retsuki03
What is an opinion worth if a person doesn't know the facts/general information.
An opinion is an intpretation of facts. But once facts are brought into a discussion around here, they become the ultimate validation of the opinion - yet the interpretation of the fact is invariably distorted.

I could forgo posting opinion and just list a long series of statistics with the thread title "Bush is wrong, here's proof" (in fact, this has already been done on TFP). And the discussion around the statistics will immediately focus on misinterpretation.

So facts become useless.

A discussion around opinions is how you determine how well thought out an opinion happens to be - not the ability to google a random fact and copy and paste it.

And if we're posting phrases to sum up our opinions now, here's my contribution:

98% of all statistics are wrong.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry to butt in here, I just wanted to answer the question.

I gave up on this board long before the election. When I close my eyes, I imagine everyone in this politics forum as a child running around in circles with their ears covered just screaming a bunch of non sequiturs. NO ONE listens and responds here anymore. It has become pointless, just like all of the other political forums in this country. Everyone in this country has found their own comfortable little compartments to fit into and no one is leaving them anytime soon.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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if debate is impossible,
then so is anything approaching democracy.

if this is a microcosm of the wider situation in the states
then it really does look like we have slid into someplace else
in which people pretend that nothing has happened
by recycling the same terms as if they continued to signify

this is obviously a symptom of wider processes.
what do we make of it and what do we do?
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think I made a mistake combining two different points in one post.

I did not mean to have the "bashing" comment tied with the "facts" comment.

I do feel that a majority of the "bashing" comments are coming from the left. Just look at the thread titles in the politics forum if you don't believe me (I don't mean just "Bush-bashing", I mean the pointed comments concerning the right in general). Also, read through some of the threads and see how it degraded to a bashing theme. Now, I am not saying this is exclusive to the left, I am saying that a majority of it is. It was the other way around 5-8 months ago, but is no swinging full circle.

My comments about facts and references was more of a general comment.

By putting the two in the same post I gave the wrong impression, sorry 'bout that.

My main point is: Some of you guys on the left are never going to have any effect on people like me. Your methods alone put me off....I can never get past that to see the content. It just comes across like the Howard Dean screech. Once you put me on the defensive, you make it that much harder to convince me of anything.

Read my example about wonderwench, maybe you will see what I mean.




roach -

I hardly think the degradation of discussion here or in the "real world" is indicitive of the success/failure of "Democracy" in general.

also, not sure if I am supposed to laugh at the martyr comment or not.......

Last edited by KMA-628; 02-28-2005 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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let me try this one more time.

1. the degradation of debate is directly tied to the possibility of anything like a democratic process. because the citizenry has actual power to influence how they are to respond to/be in the world around them in such a system, debate is fundamental to it. because (a) everyone is in the same situation, and has to work with others to figure out what to do it follows that (b) there is nothing more important than actual debate--one that presents both information and perspectives on that information.

what you have in the wider world is an attempt--from the right--to reduce debate to rehearsing arbitrary positions. matters of faith and/or committment are what matter--information can be diluted or spun away--what matters is prior committment.

that is the primary mode of gutting informed conversation we live with.

yet we talk alot about democracy. under these conditions, it obviously means nothing.

second: that the same kind of thing happens here is connected to what is going on in the wider climate--but as a voluntary association, we--here on this board---have choices about what to do. complaining about this ridiculous category of "bashing" and setting yourself up as being victimized by it is one response--one that is an exact reflection of the problem itself, that gets no-one anywhere.

the community that operates here can choose to alter how debates are carried out.
there are no rules given in advance that shape the content of debate, that define what debate is.
we could take that on as a topic.
we could discuss and agree amongst ourselves that we might try to conduct ourselves otherwise here.

or we could acquiesce here, as in everything else, to the debased standard handed us by the context we are stuck in.

we could act like a community responsible for itself and for what happens within it--or we could just watch and complain as things devolve, as person after person simply withdraws.

complaining about what victims conservatives are surely advances nothing.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assilem
Sorry to butt in here, I just wanted to answer the question.

I gave up on this board long before the election. When I close my eyes, I imagine everyone in this politics forum as a child running around in circles with their ears covered just screaming a bunch of non sequiturs. NO ONE listens and responds here anymore. It has become pointless, just like all of the other political forums in this country. Everyone in this country has found their own comfortable little compartments to fit into and no one is leaving them anytime soon.
I heartily agree with this. I have in general, stopped posting in here because I see it as a waste of time. I stop by and see if anything interesting has actually happened, but I'm starting to think that's a pipe dream. I already know what all of the regulars will say regarding any possible discussion in here, so actually reading their resposnes has become rhetorical.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
Am I being overly sensitive? Talking out of my ass? Full of shit? Clueless? Something else? All of the above?
I think you're spot on. There are people that I like to refer to as "Kool-aid drinkers" who are, IMHO, completely, totally insane. They cross the political spectrum. They're the ones who, if they are lefties, immediately assume that anything positive that comes out about or relating in any way to Bush is the result of fraudulent reporting, EvilGenious Karl Rove and the Jewish Neocon Conspiracy, or "grey aliens". On the right, they're the folks who blame carbombings in Baghdad or intellegence failures relating to Pearl Harbor on the "Clenis". There are lots of things that can be plausibly blamed on the Clenis, but carbombings in Iraq and WWII ain't amongst them. Because of the presence of the "Tittie Boards", I think we get more of the former than the latter on these boards, since the rabid Righties tend to be "700 Club" members.

Then, of course, you have the whole ignorance factor at work...some people talk about stuff which they are not particularly well read upon, while claiming to be an authority. For a hypothetical example, if there was a thread on "Batson challenges" (which is a pretty esoteric legal topic), and a 17 year old kid started claiming to be an expert because he's taking "US Government courses in his special ed classes", well, odds are good that the conversation stemming from his posts wouldn't be terribly intelligent.

Then, of course, you've got the situations that fall into the "just silly in an interesting manner for exposing the inherent hypocracy" category. For example, in one thread, one person basically said to another poster that "you have no room to speak on this issue relating to Y because X, so STFU", to which I basically replied "If that's true, what basis do you have to speak on this issue, since not only are you not X, but you're not even Y?". Care to wager who got slapped down for basically violating free speech? hint: It wasn't the first person, who made up the criteria for being able to speak on a subject in the first place...

Sometimes I wonder why I bother...then, I smile, because I realize that it's highly unlikely that anybody who posts on this board lives near me, and that suits all parties involved just fine. (before anybody freaks out, that's a joke)
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
I find that, as days go by, there are fewer and fewer threads that I would become involved in. The endless arguing and the constant bashing has just gotten really, really old for me. I would actually like to discuss issues, not spend my time defending Bush, his admin or conservative principles--it gets to tiring and tedious after awhile.. It just seems that these kinds of discussions are getting fewer and far between.
I agree with you mostly. The problem is that we feed the troll. The next time we see a post like "Why Is Bush So Evil" or Why Are All Democrats Communists" followed by pages of cut and pasted articles from biased websites etc... we should just ignore it instead of taking the bait.

I know the temptation is to cut and paste biased articles from the other side but what's the point? You know, "Did Too", Did Not", "Did Too", and on and on.

There have been some interesting threads recently like the Social Security debate and Eminent Domain discussions where the pro and con dialog was rather interesting.
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
lcomplaining about what victims conservatives are surely advances nothing.
So....using this train of thought.....all of the "complaints" about Bush, his admin, conservatives in general, christians, etc. is all o.k.

But if me, and others like me tire of it, it is not o.k. for us to voice our opinions of it?

Some of us don't think all of the world's ills fall on the conservative's shoulders.

Discussion could continue and be fruitful if we could communicate more effectively.

If you are on the "left" and you are trying to change/alter/sway/whatever someone's views, than I am your intended audience. If you lose me with your methods, you effectively accomplished nothing.

Some of us here are capable of looking at both sides. Have I not criticized Bush on several occasions? I am not trying to put myself on a pedestal, I am well aware of the filters I use to view this world.

What does tham mean?

It means the messenger is fucking up if the messenger has a good message and can't deliver it.

If I can't communicate my opinions to you without alienating you, I have accomplished nothing.

The quality of your opinion means nothing. How well thought out your opinion is, means nothing. If you can't communicate your opinions to me without alientaing me, than you have accomplished nothing; regardless of how much effort you put into formulating your opinion or how intelligent you are.

If all of us, left or right, held each other accountable to the quality and style of our arguments, we might actually get somewhere. Hell, i've snapped at Daswig for taking a discussion and throwing it off course.

Because, once it is off course, it is really hard to get it back.

If you think I am whining, then you misunderstand me.

I would actually like to participate more here, but I find that my options grow slimer each and every day.

We have to remember, that it is more than just the message, it is the way we try and deliver the message that matters. We may never agree, we may never change each other's opinion, but we may shed some light on things the other didn't know/wasn't aware of, etc.

But first, we have to get past our own assumptions (myself included) that anything the other side does/says is wrong just because it comes from the other side.

and here roach, is an example of what I mean
Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
what you have in the wider world is an attempt--from the right--to reduce debate to rehearsing arbitrary positions.
Any possible point you may be trying to make just suddenly veered way off course. You will accomplish nothing with this. You'll get 'hell yeahs" from people with your political persuasion and you get ignored by people like me.

What is your intent here? What kind of effect do you think this would have on anybody you classify as "right".

Yes there are problems in this world, but they are not the all the fault of the "right". Under normal circumstances, I will read a statement like this and completely discount the entire content of the post because of it.

/end rant
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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KMA,

Don't give up yet. Start another thread and let's see if we can keep it from degrading.

flstf has some good points too.

If you think it's starting to deteriorate, then call it. Also, try not to read too much into posts (although I know what you mean about some, it's just obvious - but I ignore it, usually cause like you said, it doesn't add to the discussion and if anything, loses the argument). Sometimes it could be just lost in translation. That's the problem with internet discussion boards, sometimes nuances are lost.

Remember, civility and maturity goes both ways.
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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kma:

so what you are saying is that we should all act as though nothing basic is at stake in debates?
then what you want is not debate at all.
what you want is no basic disagreement.
from this it follows that what you want is a single political framework to be dominant, and it follows that you would prefer this dominant frame of reference be conservative.
that is what you are demanding in the above post.
nothing more, nothing different, nothing less.

but why should we agree on a frame of reference when often it is that frame of reference that is or becomes the focus of the debate?

the conflict--and it is a conflict--that seperates "left" from right at this particular moment is one of control over the terms of debate.

you question my intent.
well, my intent is to try to get conversation out of this place into someplace where we could actually talk about basic terms that shape how discussions can unfold.

to this, you react in a reductive manner--you decided that what i mean is that the right is the source of all evil--which i never said--which i do not even think---what i do believe is that this particular situation is characterized by a consistent, systematic inability of conservatives to state the premises around which their arguments are built, to even start to consider that there might be problems with their positions, and that those problem start (and be discussed) at the level of premise.

another, related point:
one of the other consistent features of contemporary conservative discourse--which you did not invent, and for which i do not blame you or any other conservative i run into here--is to float particular arguments as if they reflect the beliefs of all americans.
it was like this during the clinton period, when the far right operated in opposition.
it is like that now
(remember the way the right tried to cast everyone who opposed the war in iraq as anti-american? i do....)

well they dont speak for all americans.
i am sorry if you do not like that.
but there is nothing you can do about it.

again--we could choose to conduct things a bit differently--but it might require some compromise from your side (you personally, and you insofar as you occupy a particular political space)--what you are asking for is quite the opposite--compromise from everyone else, and nothing from you.

maybe you could try to respond to questions and be willing to lay your arguments out as arguments rather than deciding to take offense (which is rarely intended)?
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retsuki03
What is an opinion worth if a person doesn't know the facts/general information.
What is an opinion worth if people believe their facts are true. Just look at the Republicans and Democrats. Both feverishly defend their truths and opinions, and yet both sides are the opposite, accusing the other side of steering the wrong direction. Given that, what is an opinion worth then? Here, there or anywhere?
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:49 AM   #24 (permalink)
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kma,

you say you don't want to be put on the defensive, that if you are then the person delivering the message will find their message unaccepted.

i say that as long as the message does not fit into your world view, does not match your oppinions, you will automatically be put on the defensive.

how can one possibly say soemthing like 'bush's plan on SS is wrong' (with a list of reasons following it) if you agree with his plan and anytime someone says otherwise puts you on the defensive.

i think people pretty much always become defensive when someone else criticizes their opinions and things they agree with. it's natural. people don't change until their open enough to actually look at their side with a critical eye, something most people aren't willing to do. think about an alcoholic... they think nothing is wrong, and anytime someone tells them they might have a drinking problem they get on the defensive. it isn't until that they've reached a certain point that they're mentally willing to look at themselves critically and be open to what people say rather than becoming defensive about it.
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:00 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Everyone here is to blame if a discussion turns south, not just pro-Bush or anti-Bush folks. It should be the responsibilty of eveeyone here (not just the mods) to help stave off personal attacks. Even though this is politics and emotions tend to flare up from time to time, this forum should keep the standard of no personal attacks/flaming.


I haven't really seen any personal attacks or flaming in here. . .. Granted I usually only get to TFP in the morning and evening, so there could be crap posted halfway through the day that the mods get to before I see it.

I think we need to redefine discussions turning south. I'm seeing a lot of posts that act like disagreement is bad for the post. I particurlarly like the ones that start with "I ONLY want opinions from people who believe X," which seems about as idiotic a way to start a post as any.

What we have now is Bush supporters who will not listen to any evidence that anything could possibly be wrong with Bush, and we have Bush detractors who will not listen to any evidence that anything could possibly be right with Bush. . . not, of course, that any of the supporters have been able to come up with anything that's true

The WMD issue is a good example. It's been proven 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that Saddam didn't have WMD's, yet I have yet to see a Bush supporter say "ya know what? My guy lied to everyone about that."

Whatever your opinion of Bush, you must surely agree that he is a polarizing discussion topic. You're either very for him or you're very against him. . there's not a whole lot of middle ground. When you get a subject like that, you will have a lot of argument.

But I'm kinda tired of people acting like argument is a bad thing. I don't think we need to be PC in here, and I don't think we need to mollycoddle the other side. If you have an opinion, state it. If you have facts, cite them. And if you are presented with irrefutable facts from reputable sources that you are wrong, for cripes sake, acknowledge it instead of trying to maintain your point with twisted logic.
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:39 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
The WMD issue is a good example. It's been proven 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that Saddam didn't have WMD's, yet I have yet to see a Bush supporter say "ya know what? My guy lied to everyone about that."
Really? 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt? Where did you hear that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
But I'm kinda tired of people acting like argument is a bad thing. I don't think we need to be PC in here, and I don't think we need to mollycoddle the other side. If you have an opinion, state it. If you have facts, cite them. And if you are presented with irrefutable facts from reputable sources that you are wrong, for cripes sake, acknowledge it instead of trying to maintain your point with twisted logic.
I agree as long as everyone tries to remain cordial. The idea that you are going to change the mind of someone on the opposite end of the spectrum is more an exercise in futility than a possibility. I like hearing from people who disagree with me, but not people blindly towing a party line.

If people have a complaint about Bush, they can say, "Bush did this, I don't agree with it, here is why." That way, it comes down to a matter of opinions rather then a long drawn out specious fact/source war. People are going "interpret" facts how they choose to. If someone "interprets" a fact in a different way, it seems to me that it is pointless to argue about it. Just accept their opinion based on their interpretation. From there, you can agree or disagree. I am fairly new to this forum, but I would say so far that the discourse is at worst a cut above other sites I have seen.

There was, however, a thread where two people were arguing over the meaning of the word democracy. That seems to me to be an example of the lowest form of discussion and made me want to skip even dealing with that topic all together. When you are arguing over the meaning of a word like democracy, you are not (in my opinion) being very productive. If democracy is truly that esoteric of a concept, perhaps you have larger issues to deal with and you should leave the political discussion to the adults.

Sorry for the lack of brevity. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:39 AM   #27 (permalink)
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People see what they want to see. If you want passionless, well reasoned discussion than you're amongst the wrong species. We are human and this is the internet.

If you see a thread in whose participation you would only find grief, then by all means, save yourself the trouble. It seems rather odd to me to willingly and repeatedly slam one's head against the wall and then complain about having a headache.

This forum is what it is, and if it doesn't excite you anymore, than perhaps that is more a reflection of changes you have undergone rather than what happens here. There comes a time in every one's life where they realize the absolute futility of political discussions on internet forums as a means of finding a greater truth.

Aside from the shrill hatefest that was election 2004 this board has been fairly consistent since i've been here. The only imbalance now is a lack of stubborn conservative ideologues. Where's ustwo when you need him?
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:49 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
I completely agree.

You can have the most eloquent, well thought out opinion in the world, but if you have your basic facts wrong, what is it worth, except trying to convince others based on your ability to write/speak well as opposed to the way things really are?
Philosphy and Truth are the enemies of Rhetoric.
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:35 AM   #29 (permalink)
 
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spoken like a true platonist, yakk.
of course, plato operated in a space of informed debate.
otherwise there would have been no point in the dialogue form.
of course he was an enemy of athenian democracy as well.
the idea of a stable ahistorical truth runs directly counter to any conception of activity within history, carried out by human beings, as fundamental.
without it, people make meanings in the world--with it, they discover meanings already in place.
without it, people make history
with it, people at best duplicate an already-existing order.

politically, plato was kind of an authoritarian.
folk usually refer to the republic
but they should read the laws.
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:08 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
People see what they want to see. If you want passionless, well reasoned discussion than you're amongst the wrong species. We are human and this is the internet.
I am not saying that at all. Passion is what drives us, why would you think I want "passionless"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
If you see a thread in whose participation you would only find grief, then by all means, save yourself the trouble. It seems rather odd to me to willingly and repeatedly slam one's head against the wall and then complain about having a headache.
This is basically the point I was trying to make. Last year, I found I could participate in quite a few discussisons around here. Now, it seems that a majority of the threads will give me a headache, so I stay away from them. I used to willingly stand up and defend Bush, his admin, conservatives in general....but that became a head-banging event as well, so I have pretty much stopped that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
This forum is what it is, and if it doesn't excite you anymore, than perhaps that is more a reflection of changes you have undergone rather than what happens here. There comes a time in every one's life where they realize the absolute futility of political discussions on internet forums as a means of finding a greater truth.
Rather than just go away, I thought I would share my opinion and feelings about it. If I just sulked away, what would that accomplish? There is really a diverse group of opinions here and I think we could learn a lot from each other if we learned how to get our message across without alienating everyone.

Has anyone not noticed that there are very few long-term conservative voices around here? Why do you think that is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
The only imbalance now is a lack of stubborn conservative ideologues.
Exactly


Maybe I am not being clear with what I am trying to say, but I can't think of a different way of saying it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hannukah harry
kma,

you say you don't want to be put on the defensive, that if you are then the person delivering the message will find their message unaccepted.

i say that as long as the message does not fit into your world view, does not match your oppinions, you will automatically be put on the defensive.

how can one possibly say soemthing like 'bush's plan on SS is wrong' (with a list of reasons following it) if you agree with his plan and anytime someone says otherwise puts you on the defensive.
I completely disagree with this statement.

I have been involved with several discussion in the past with people that I don't agree with, yet I wasn't put on the defensive and neither were they.

An example would be smooth. He and I are at complete opposite ends of the political/social/economic spectrum, yet we can discuss many different topics without putting the other on the defensive. In the end, we both know that neither will radically change their opinions, but we might have a new found respect for the place where the other person is coming from.

Once we have some semblance of respect for people we disagree with, we have common ground. Once common ground is achieved, we can move forward and accomplish more. The problem here is that common ground is rarely achieved because of many of the pre-conceived notions that the "other side" is always wrong because they are the "other side". (Note: I didn't say which side, my point applies to both sides and it also includes me as well--I am as guily of it as the next person).
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:03 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retsuki03
Really? 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt? Where did you hear that?

From the Sept. 30, 2004 "Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI (Director, CIA) on Iraq's WMD" in which it is stated:

Quote:
While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.

That's pretty clear cut, and doesn't leave much room for doubt.

Quote:
spoken like a true platonist, yakk.
Or a true anti-platonist Been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Yakk?
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:26 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
From the Sept. 30, 2004 "Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI (Director, CIA) on Iraq's WMD" in which it is stated:

That's pretty clear cut, and doesn't leave much room for doubt.
I agree, that is pretty damning evidence with respect to chemcial weapons. It is a huge report, have you read it all?

The whole Bush lied thing can seems to me to come down to a matter of opinion. If you don't like Bush, you say he lied. If you support Bush, you say every intel agency in the world thought Saddam had WMD, and so did Bush. Supporters would not condemn this as lying.
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:50 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whocarz
I heartily agree with this. I have in general, stopped posting in here because I see it as a waste of time. I stop by and see if anything interesting has actually happened, but I'm starting to think that's a pipe dream. I already know what all of the regulars will say regarding any possible discussion in here, so actually reading their resposnes has become rhetorical.
That's been my philosophy lately.

The one time in recent memory that I saw an interesting discusson with no flaming, Tecoyah closed the thread.
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:21 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Fortunately.....tecoyah wont be in here anymore
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:49 PM   #35 (permalink)
Tone.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
Fortunately.....tecoyah wont be in here anymore

that bears further explaining. Where are you going?
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:54 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Not Moderating in politics anymore....that is all

Sorry for the confusion
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:00 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
Not Moderating in politics anymore....that is all

Sorry for the confusion
I'm sorry to hear that. You did an excellent job of it.
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:20 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
Not Moderating in politics anymore....that is all

Sorry for the confusion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
I'm sorry to hear that. You did an excellent job of it.
Crap. Speaking as one who appreciated your input, you'll be missed in here. I might just get bored here without Tecoyah, now that I think about it.
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:26 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Why, Tecoyah? Taking a break or is it indefinite? Who's replacing you?

What happened in here?
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:32 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Nothing happened....shift change in moderation....Lebel is your contact
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