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Peter Stothard on Christopher Hitchens

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Posted on May 27, 2010
book cover

Editor’s note:

When Robert Scheer asked me three years ago to be Books Editor for Truthdig, I was granted sole authority to choose the books and pick the reviewers. Not once has either Scheer or the editors or the staff of Truthdig sought to influence my decisions. That continues to be the case and is emphatically so with regard to today’s review for which I bear sole responsibility. In the world of book reviewing, relationships between reviewers and authors should be disclosed. That would, of course, include any relationship between the assigning editor and the author under review. In the case of today’s book review, readers should know that I have been Christopher Hitchens’ literary representative for the past five years—years which have seen the publication of his “God Is Not Great” and now his memoir, “Hitch-22.” I believed Truthdig readers would be interested in a review by someone of stature and so assigned it, despite the appearance of a conflict of interest that might ordinarily have warranted my recusing myself. Peter Stothard, the former editor of The Times of London and the current editor of the distinguished Times Literary Supplement, is such a reviewer. He is familiar with the English milieu out of which Hitchens emerged, able to expertly parse the literary and political worlds Hitchens has made his own on both sides of the Atlantic over the past 40-odd years. That Stothard was at Oxford at the same time as Hitchens and would later come to know him concerned me less than the intimate advantage he would bring to bear on assessing the book’s literary merit. Whatever his take, pro or con, I was prepared to publish it. These are facts readers will wish to consider and which we wish to declare forthrightly.

—Steve Wasserman
————————————

By Peter Stothard

Since there is so little surviving poetry by Christopher Hitchens, consider briefly the following:

I Am the King of China,
I’m a Patron of the Prize-Ring.
And Every Time My Man’s on Top –
I Can Feel My Boxer Rising.

You don’t like it? Well, you may not be the only dissenter. Why am I asking you to read it? Surely, you say, I wouldn’t begin a piece about Susan Sontag or Edward Said with a bawdy invention from their sophomore years. Why does a review of “Hitch-22,” an opportunity for an essay on one of the most vigorously examined political writers in America, require an opening verse quotation about homosexual voyeurism in the Orient? Well, the answer lies here in a wonderful life story, glitteringly told by its author and subject. Stay with me.

First, there is the date of this particular Boxer Rising (circa 1969); and then the place (Oxford, England), and last, the occasion of this fine quatrain, the opportunity taken to contribute to a series of such “King of China” poems, each one written to strictly imposed rules set by a fellow International Socialist, one of the main Trotskyist groups at the time. A good many of what we now know as Frequently Asked Questions About Christopher Hitchens may be answered by a reflection on these themes of metrical respect and perpetual adaptation, principled fixity and mercurial art. 

 

book cover

 

Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

By Christopher Hitchens

  

Twelve, 448 pages

 

Buy the book

You still don’t get it? OK. True connoisseurs of politics and literature in our times—the readers who most of all will delight in this book—may like now to compare the Hitchens contribution to the poetic model set by James Fenton, that great poet then and now, to which ’60s followers of the “King of China” invitation had to adhere.

I Am the King of China
And My Court Is Crammed With Sages.
But When I Want a Bit of Bum,
I Ring Around the Yellow Pages.

Better, perhaps you’re saying. But, before we get on to the rest of the Hitchens life and its fearless search for the correct side in any argument whatever the consequences,  what exactly were those rules? Rules for the poetry, I mean. There were, we are told, only three. The first line, “I Am the King of China,” could not be changed. The second line had to be mildly obscene. And after that almost any sort of seriocomic point could be made. (If anyone still has the Sycamore Press edition from the time, the TLS editor’s library would much like to acquire it.)

These poems, filling less than a page of “Hitch-22,” are a vivid reminder of my own student days (normally an attractive thing once the golden days of one’s youth have had time to separate themselves from the dross). They are a useful reminder too that in the late ’60s and early ’70s there was both a greater seriousness and a greater comedy than you will find in Oxford or any other British city of students and workers today. A vast variety of Trotskyist thought was alive and well practiced alongside styles of life that, except for the introduction of sexually liberated women alongside the men, had changed only patchily since “Brideshead Revisited.” As well as all the fun that was to be had composing “King of China” variations on Magdalen Bridge, there was very much “a war on,” many wars, most notably in faraway but frequently rather close-seeming Vietnam. Washington versus Hanoi is one of a range of potent conflicts in “Hitch-22.” It even features obliquely—but only obliquely since business and pleasure must not be mixed too much—in the third and finest of the stanzas.

I Am the King of China
And I Like a Tight Vagina.
It Lets Me Show the Things I Know -
Like the Prose Style of George Steiner.

Why professor Steiner? In comparison with the placard-waving, picket-line protests of the local industrial estates that engaged much Trotskyist energy at the time, a proper Oxford response to American policy in Southeast Asia was of more significant concern to the famed polymath with an equally famous lack of fear for the heavily laden sentence. In Hitchens’ account here, the great man had challenged over dinner Fenton’s insouciant claim that “there were no great unifying causes left any more, no grand subject of the sort that had sent Auden to Spain or China.” Steiner had snapped back that Vietnam was worth a hard look. Fenton admired Steiner and had a copy of his book of essays “Language and Silence,” including the one titled “Trotsky and the Tragic Imagination.” From that Hitchens “realized that my new chum had suggested to me a possible relationship, which was that of politics to literature but this time beginning at the literary end and not at the ideological one.” It was a relationship that has lasted a lifetime, bringing a powerful purpose to literary criticism on George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh and a rare literary vigor to his political attacks, whatever their target.

To see long excerpts from “Hitch-22,” click here.

“Hitch-22” is the story of its author’s youthful opposition to the Vietnam War, his later more direct involvement in other wars, his perpetual even more direct confrontations, against former comrades as well as more permanent foes in the ideological debates of the past 40 years. But it is also comic, self-deflating and sexually frank, epigrammatic well beyond the pages in which the “King of China” poems occur. Those who want to know the details of a lusty Italian lad’s most likely experience in the shared embrace of Gore Vidal and Tom Driberg will find their every desire met. In the George W. Bush years Hitchens’ support of the administration’s policy toward Iraq spawned a minor industry of questioning as to how so dedicated a man of the left should become so potent a spokesman for the neoconservative cause. For those who find these worthy works somewhat hard-going, for those whose early study of Trotsky was either nugatory or unleavened by Steiner, this book is an easier, gentler way.

 


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, June 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

By apologist Leefeller you mean showing that they also have a side with some legitimacy even if what they do is wrong also? That is how you see it? Too bad. Because I can see that and still have other problems with them as Chomsky does. Why can’t you?

Are you sure it was “The Nation” that expelled Hitchens as you contend in your subtext or that he left dissatisfied with them? Such aspersions you link to us (vaguely general) I find disreputable of you and disingenuous too.

How about one example of where Dr. Chomsky didn’t cover such “meat & potatoes” issue please? I have not seen such. Compare to Hitchens who must then cover such issues is the corallary of your argument. Thanx.

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By smitty8, June 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

I read the entire “review” thinking I might find
something interesting but did not. Well,
considering most of what Hitchens has written I
shouldn’t be surprised while the “review” gave
even less. If you want to read a real writer on
revolution and more, try Ryszard Kapu?ci?ski.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, June 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Nemisis reference link for Hitchens previous works, could be worthy for all to read. Now I feel a degree of understanding why Hitchens may not be writing for the Nation, his attacking the sacred cow in disagreement, (Chomsky)  was more than some open minded left were willing to accept. Just my opinion. Sort of what one sees daily on Truth Digs. 

I noticed Chomsky seems in my view, to ignore the meat and potatoes of issues, like address the negatives only as he wants and he seems an apologist for Al Quada, though I see this side also.  I need to read much more, for further assimilation and would enjoy further discussion here if possible. No not a debate RD! ( and without name calling preferred) This could be most enlightening.

Mean time I will read more and type “Hitchens on Chomsky” thanks again, only hope my comprehension dost not explode.

It may be worthy to outline their disagreements and agreements as pov’s and compare them.

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By Joan, June 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis,

OK…I got it…

Thanks for the honest response ....

Might have more to say ...after I mull it over ...

Glad you liked my post.

Report this

By Joan, June 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

For a brain surgeon I’d actually bypass the politician and select someone who is good with a scalpel and knows what the brain looks like. Now for a diagnostician I’d choose Gregory House. He’s just phenomenal.

Every endeavor has its skill set that some master better than others do. Analytic skills applied to the art of disputation are legion …here are a few…

-knowing what the other person is talking about
-addressing the points raised
-analyzing words and how they are being used and the implications of that usage
-invoking deductive or inductive, syllogistic reasoning etc…
-making statements and identifying the conclusion drawn from those statements.

“That some reasonings are genuine, while others seem to be so but are not, is evident.” 
Aristotle “De Sophisticis Elenchis” (On Sophistical Refutation) 

Don’t you just love Aristotle??? One of the greatest minds in Western thought even though he educated that Macedonian imperialist, Alexander the Great. 

Here a few indications of weak argumentation styles but used because people think by using them they win somehow no matter if their argument is senseless because that’s all that matters, really…which is why Socrates abhorred the abuse of analytic skills by sophists that he and actual lovers of wisdom, philosophers, had developed. 

-ad hominem attacks
-appeal to authority
-appeal to pity
-argument from ignorance

Regarding Chomsky…I think in a way you are right. He is stating the obvious but the new path he is carving is that it is now a topic for open discussion. As Martha says…that’s a good thing. 

Take heart…I’ll find something to whack you around with…to ease your pain of online harmony. Try to be a brave little soldier and hang in there.

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By nemesis2010, June 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

By Joan, June 7 at 11:36 am

”New to you, you seem so incredibly angry…why? After all according to your posts to Leefeller, you’re actually Mr. Congeniality.”

I’m not angry. In written word it is impossible to see the facial expression and hear the laughter that make up part of verbal communication between we Homo sapiens. I damn sure do not let a bunch of bad opinions from mostly myopic twits ruin my day. And while I’m tolerant I have a lower level of tolerance for men(?) who come across as whiny little metrosexuals wearing those sweaters with the thumb holes in the sleeve; Andy Dickish in two words.

I simply felt it time that Ardie put a sock in it. If you gurlz want to have a cat fight go ahead, I could care less. But when a man comes here whining, pissing and moaning, and sounding like Joe Lieberman it tends to grind and can cause others—in other parts of the world—to be left with the false impression that all American men wear panties. I assure you that not all of us do. I also had Alpha male in my list of appropriate adjectives. smile

That was a well-written post by the way.

Perhaps I should change my handle to Mr. Congeniality… ummmmmmm… food for thought. Wadda ya think?

By Leefeller, June 7 at 12:47 pm

”Anyone have an idea of Hitchens opinion toward political ideas such as those proposed by people like Chomsky?”

Type “Hitchens on Chomsky” in your search engine and start reading.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, June 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Determined by whom? What dost make good analytical skills? Choose a brain surgeon who has the social skills of a Republican, but the knowledges and hands of a musician, or would one prefer Jack the Ripper with nice social skills?

Judging others but never ones self seems such a handicap in discussion. I know my limits how about some others here? As I stated before I am like Sargent Schultz, “I know nothing”. And some here seem just like Kernel Klink acting like their poop don’t stink!

Pyromaniac me, always lighting those damn fires. 

Back to Chomsky’s Unpeople controlled, killed and manipulated by a few elite seems very real, but I never needed Chomsky to tell me this for I am the cynic of cynics. What Chomsky does for me places some foundation on my set in sand opinions.

George Carlin said they do what they want, why bother to vote, I am beginning to agree, especially when one listens to the garbage sold as reason from the Morons in Congress and DC.

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By Joan, June 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Again, Shenonymous, when it comes to your many ‘stream of consciousness’ posts, I am mystified. 

And, of course, being rude or crude doesn’t replace analytic skill, ability to follow the discussion at hand or demonstrate any particular guile.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, June 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

It was well and brave for Leefeller for it might bring a price to
his head, to bring up the murder of Theo van Gogh in the
Netherlands by an Islamist extremist and that reminds us of the
intense trial there also of Geert Wilders for being an outspoken critic
of Islamists.  Cut/paste into your browser
http://www.internationalfreepresssociety.org/
2010/05/more-on-the-
trial-of-geert-wilders/

If Wilders is critical, and it is a matter of free speech, then what is
needed are counter speeches that shows he is wrong, and that
Hitchens is wrong not to think so.  For to murder someone, or to put
an assassination price on someone’s head, which amounts to murder,
or to put someone on trial that could take their life, for expressing their
views either in print, or in the media, or film regardless of their bias or
bigotry, or grasp of the truth that may offend or insult someone, is
truly a savage travesty against the most sacred of all freedoms, free
speech, unless the speech calls for a violent sedition or the murder of
others.  For whose truth is the reality?  Inherent in freedom of speech is
free thought, the antithesis of slavery of the mind which is worse than
slavery of the body.  It was the way of the Spanish Inquisition.  It is the
way of all totalitarian tyranny.  It is uncivilized and in a word, savage.  If
an overthrow of an undesirable government is determined by the
majority of the people, then they must in unison petition the entire
population to remove those according to the law who administer the
government, review the weaknesses that caused that government to fail
them, then repair those unfit causes through the rule of law.  The way
of the mob is destructive and ruinous to the population.  As madness is
the tyrant.

It is wrong to accuse an entire group of people of the crimes of a few. 
I do not accuse nor ever have accused Muslims as a people of the
inhuman crimes by the slim percentage few.  And Muslims show that
they are not united in the fanatical actions of a small group.  Of the
estimated 1.2 - 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, or about 21% of all
people in the world follow Islam compared to 33% who are Christian.
Of that number, it is estimated any where between 7% and 15% of
Muslims are jihadist terrorists.  That means 93% to 85% are not and are
followers of the Religion of Peace.  I have no figures of how many
Christian terrorists there are.  There are none I can find.  If anyone has
a verifiable statistic and link to the opposite information, I, and it is
highly likely many others, would appreciate it.

Do you really own your own mind?  To what dogma do you resign
yourself to?  Cut/paste into your browser the following
http://www.yourdiscovery.com/conspiracies/
urban_myths/index.shtml

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, June 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Burrrp!  Oh I’m so rude.  Sorry to burp in your face, Joan.  My
bad.  But people who slap around just for the sake of slapping
around for the fun of it make me burp. Sometimes, though they
make me vomit.  They make me wonder if they were slapped around
and learned the art of slapping that way?  No doubt.  That
reflects once again my earlier comment about perversions and
pitbulldogmatism.

Is being a grandma ‘sposed to make one wiser than others?  Wiser than
even nemeisis2010?  I don’t think so.

Contending that too often, social policy is made on the basis of
sweeping assumptions, arbitrarily selected statistical data, and
ideological dogma, without sufficient evidence, Thomas Sowell
contemporary social critic advocates stronger than most the importance
of empirical evidence.  “Trying to convince the public of something? Use
statistics. You can make them say anything you want.”  A quick scan of
the index of his book Intellectuals and Society shows Sowell did not say
anything about the Illuminati or the so-called New World Order.  If
there are citations in the book, please provide the page number(s).

In the same league as vampires, and just to put a reverse spin on it
with some background, re:  the obscure German group known as the
“Illuminati.”  The first disjointed pieces of the Illuminati Myth can be
traced back to the French Revolution, specifically to the French cleric,
the Abbe Barruel. - Then it was anything but a sinister group of
sedentary men bent on a world-conspiracy. It was in fact nothing more
than a cluster of “aging armchair intellectuals” more at home in their
comfortable gatherings than in the streets inciting rebellion; they were
more like an curmudgeon “wrinkly athletic club” whose members could
talk a good game, but nothing else.  Their name - “the Illuminati” 
means “enlightened ones” in that they were followers of the French
Enlightenment, however, not its leaders. The Illuminati and the other
followers of the Enlightenment and were not Freemasons, they were
their rivals.

The thought that half a million Frenchmen could under any
circumstances “blindly” follow a small group of Bavarian Germans is so
ridiculous that it makes the head spin at its stupidity.

Just before he died in 1820, Barruel had elaborated the beginnings of
the modern myth of the Judeo/Masonic Conspiracy (ala The Illuminati).
He had written a lengthy fanciful manuscript to illustrate how a
revolutionary conspiracy had existed down through the ages, from Mani
to the medieval Knights Templar, and then on to the Freemasons. The
whole organization was supposedly controlled by a Supreme Council.
The Council was veiled in impenetrable secrecy and had no fixed
residence, but wherever the statesmen of the Great Powers gathered,
there they could be found as an “unseen and controlling presence”
lurking in the background, [Pat Robertson’s New World Order similar
occult theory]. The Council, according to Barruel, was composed
entirely of Jews, elected a Grand Master and around the figure of the
Grand Master, Barruel wove a truly flaming and salacious tale of
intrigue, terror, despotism, sorcery and witchcraft. The tale was so
capricious, and the product of his own cankered imagination, that a
few weeks before his death, in a fit of conscience, Barruel sought to
destroy all his existing manuscripts.  Tch tch…he failed.  For reference
see Norman Cohn’s Warrant for Genocide.

Be careful what you read, and question, ask questions.  If you are a
Christian, ask questions.  If you are a Jew, ask questions.  If you are a
Muslim, ask questions.  And if you are a free thinker definitely ask
questions.
http://www.pfo.org/illumint.htm
http://conspiracyscience.com/

The New World Order isn’t a real possibility because every government
has its own interests at heart and are too selfish to organize a single
group to control all nations.

Report this

By Joan, June 7, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Leefeller,

Now onto business.

If your reference to Chomsky is the post on the threat of the intellectual elites, Bill Clinton must also be reading (but unlikely to reveal it)  “Intellectuals and Society”, written by that fantastically astute black conservative, Thomas Sowell.

In a nutshell here Sowell outlines and cites example after example of how over these past several centuries the illuminati have, with no particular experience or expertise in the areas into which their theoretical ideas graze, forced inane, untested and unaccounted for failures on entire societies, rendering them worse off than ever. Sowell rightfully argues that the illuminati are never held accountable, but in the face of all evidence of their catastrophic failures still revered, while the time tested common sense of the common man is ridiculed and discarded as unpolished and naïve. 

Here is a case in point, not his, one I have witnessed unfold over the years.

To allay white guilt, restore the moral high road America veered off, whatever the reason, in the 60’s the government began to issue much more generous welfare benefits in the hopes it would benefit black people who suffered economically from discrimination, which they, of course, had. The catch was that this welfare only went to homes with absent fathers. So black fathers left the roost. Today, the out of wedlock black birth rate, even according to that endearing former TV spy, Bill Cosby is 70%. Of course, the black community is replete with all the attendant problems of unwed motherhood like poverty, low education rates, crime and drug abuse.

Bill Clinton ought to look himself in the eye and examine his own lunatic actions, bolstering the CRA to deliver homes to people who could not pay for materials and labor.  Why think that is doable? Again where is the common sense? Homes for all, whether or not people can pay. Another untested grand intellectual scheme that is at the bottom of this fiscal nightmare we’re living as much as the deflection the government’s inept role in this mess “ It’s all Wall Street greed” theme. During his tenure Clinton cleaned up some of this welfare mess but the effects are still very bad for the black community. 

The road to hell is not paved with common sense.

At least there is some hope now that the bungling of the illuminati is now a topic in its own right. First off, let’s begin by holding these grand scheme thinkers accountable and by restoring time tested common sense to its rightful place in the discussion.

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By Joan, June 7, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Well, Leefeller,

You like to stir the embers, because you are a pyromaniac???… 

People sort through issues and find consensus as well as bona fide conflict. Some like the role of devil’s advocate, like you. That’s fine too. 

There are people on threads who are just annoying too. I like your grandma’s fly swatter quip. If you have read some of my posts on another thread, you would appreciate that I really would like to swat annoying people like flies. I’m a grandma too.

Here’s what I’ll do for you because you’re special and as per your posts that you like to be slapped around online. Every so often I’ll whack you around to fulfill my moral obligation to treat people the way they want to be treated and, as a show of good faith in my pristine intentions toward you, you can, likewise, treat me the way I want to be treated…Deal?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, June 7, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Anyone have an idea of Hitchens opinion toward political ideas such as those proposed by people like Chomsky?  It seems they would conflict but maybe not on many issues? There is an interesting TD article just posted on Chomsky he talks of the “unpeople”, the site will probably be inundated and filled with the usual drooling Socialists. 

It may be said most posters here on this thread really agree on more concepts than they disagree, except except it seems some find agreement unpalatable for personal reasons and what may be some sort proclivity towards a martyr complex. Same people always keep stinking their fingers in light sockets to see if the switch is on?  Agreement is not why I am here, hell one could attend church for moronic agreement, well at least until some kind of change becomes an issue, then the shit hits the fan, I have been there. 

Yes Manni agrees 99 percent with RD, what does this really mean? Taking sides, are we forming some sort of an alliance?  “Sally says you are a poo poo head and I agree 99 percent” know,.... Nemisis comment of people acting like 8 years old fits very well, most often I am reminded of my childhood days here on these Truth Dig threads.

I suspect some people just really never grow up, in some ways that seems sad, in others ways it can be good. Social compatibility seems a real problem for some here for they they seem to make some of the most stupid comments, then when people take them to task and scold them like the spoiled brats they portray, just as children, they cry and whine when they get their butts slapped. 

I always remember, as my grandmother used to say when she was chasing me around the room with a fly swatter, “this will hurt me, much less than you think it will hurt me”!

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By Joan, June 7, 2010 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Nemesis,

Earlier I posted that Islam has a real problem and so does the West as a result of it.  I agree that probably there are millions of Muslims who would not hurt a fly, probably like that defenseless woman who was stoned that you mentioned, but embedded in that religion is a penchant for violence, practiced by Muslim to Muslim through harsh punishments and codes and the violence jihadis, to their own ends, aim at the infidels. 

I believe that America, far from perfect, has that silver lining. I am only one generation removed from a life in former Soviet Russia/satellite Poland. My paternal grandfather escaped Russia to avoid servitude in the Red Army. No money. No language. What guts young Pavil had.  I kiss American soil. This haven for hope for the less fortunate cannot   be taken from our world.  We could not sustain the universal hopelessness that void would leave.

I went to college before anti-Americanism grew out of control and debate was stifled by political correctness. As a nation we were safer then because of that freedom of speech, freedom to debate issues more honestly. 

I’m old enough to know that no one is safe from anything and the proverbial David can slay Goliath.

For the aforementioned reasons, I appreciated your posts for delineating problems with Islam that the MSM is, through professional malpractice, not reporting to Americans, the bulk of whom are exhausting themselves just to put food on their tables the days. We, with time to read and keyboard, are the privileged.

New to you, you seem so incredibly angry…why? After all according to your posts to Leefeller, you’re actually Mr. Congeniality.

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, June 6 at 6:47 pm

”I titled that post to “most of the forum” That of course didn’t mean to include you , a blatantly bigoted asshole.”

Bigoted? Moi? No, no, no, I might be a lot of things but bigoted isn’t one of them. First bigots are intolerant, and I’m very tolerant. I’ve tolerated more than a week of your puerile, absurd, asinine, egregious, preposterous, contradictory, inchoate, fallacious, unintelligible, irrational, fatuous, and illogical antics and commentary without having uttered a word. Second, I’m not partial to any one group, religion, political ideology, etc.

As for being an anus, that’s a physical impossible. An anus is a part of all human anatomy but cannot be a living, breathing entity in and of itself. So you’re proven wrong on all counts –which doesn’t surprise anyone who has had the misfortune to read any of your puerile, absurd, asinine, egregious, preposterous, contradictory, inchoate, fallacious, unintelligible, irrational, fatuous, and illogical comments on just about any topic.

If you meant to say that I was a thoroughly contemptible and detestable person, you are once again proven wrong. You’d be hard pressed to find a more congenial individual in the entire homo sapien community.


You might want to consider purchasing a college level dictionary and thesaurus so that you can offer up applicable adjectives to describe me, such as: manly, virile, alpha male, super, super-duper, suave, debonaire, astute, intelligent, sarcastic, witty, loving, sympathetic, kind, tolerant, impartial, understanding, fit, pleasant, flirtatiously shy, modest, aficionado of good whiskey, fast cars, and lovely women…  oh… and amazingly humble!

By Leefeller, June 6 at 8:44 pm

” Well it seems Nemesis has stated some unsavory things about RD, even if I find them worthy bringing up ones ex wife is quit a low blow Nemisis!”

If you knew my ex-wife you’d know that she is a low blow! Bwaaaaaaaaa!

Relax Leefeller, there is no ex-wife. I’m a widower and my wife was a very kind and sweet woman.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, June 6, 2010 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Nemisis, your Taliban information is much appreciated, as most of what you post!  I had been led to believe the Taqliban were CIA pom pom girls as most people have acquired from the MSM sound bites.

Separating Facts from fiction is a never ending task, it seems some people have their minds made up for the fiction, Eric Hoffers Fanatic is real. 

Hitchens pov fills a MSM void in agreement or not.

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By Joan, June 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

By Night-Gaunt, June 4 at 7:15 pm #

Re: “the blood pressure thing, you’ve got to get a sense of humor, She”… Joan

“Um, I (Night Gaunt) believe that was myself who commented on that (the blood pressure), not Shenonymous.
Perhaps my sense of humor is lacking but I get by.


Shenonymous June 4, 2:07 PM

“For instance, should I care if one’s blood pressure rises even one grade
due to reading my comments?  Some don’t rise at all…?”

Joan to Night-Gaunt June 4, 8:09 PM

“I missed your comments about my blood pressure. Part of that reference is a gimmick I used on the other thread to make a point, part is humor and part is true….It was cool of you to recommend the yoga…thanks for the concern.”


You both referred to the blood pressure stuff and my comment about a sense of humor was directed to Shenonymous, not you.

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By Leefeller, June 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Well it seems Nemesis has stated some unsavory things about RD, even if I find them worthy bringing up ones ex wife is quit a low blow Nemisis!

By the way RD who are most of the forums participants, Jane, She, RD, Nemisis, Manni and me?

I am still trying to figure out who the 1 percent is?

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By Maani, June 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

“I titled that post to “most of the forum” That of course didn’t mean to include you , a blatantly bigoted asshole.”

Well, your “leadership” in not succumbing to the temptation of bringing yourself down to others’ level in a knee-jerk reactive way did not last very long, did it?  LOL.  If Nemesis chooses not to abide by same - and wishes to engage in unnecessary and unprovoked mean sarcasm, name-calling and insult - it simply proves he has chosen to take the low road, and continue to engage in the kind of behavior that even N-G and She seem to want to avoid going forward.

So let him be the only one doing so.  He does himself no favors, and only makes himself look bad.

Peace.

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

By ardee, June 6 at 10:26 am

”To most of this forum’s participants:”

Why don’t you stop whining like a bitch-slapped 8 year-old, grow a pair, and put a sock in it.

My first wife—infamous for her mastery of flying brooms around the neighborhood—didn’t bitch and whine as much as you.

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

The Taliban:

I.

By Maani, June 4 at 1:02 am

”Actually, WE created the Taliban (and Al Qaeda) when we (U.S. military, CIA, etc.) provided the mahujadeen with weapons, intelligence, etc. to fight the Russians.  Indeed, OBL was among the leaders of the mahujadeen, and the U.S. was “in bed” with him for almost a decade.  Thus, we are at least partially (some would say largely) to blame for the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the mess we find ourselves in over there now.”

You’re the pitcher who would have pitched a perfect game if it weren’t for the 22 hits and 12 runs.

The Soviet Union invaded the feudal state of Afghanistan. The invasion caused a civil war between the Soviet Union and its sympathizers and the anti-Soviet war lord factions. The U.S. did not create the Mujahedeen. The U.S. provided funding, weaponry, training, etc. to the Mujahedeen. Had it not been for U.S. intervention, the Soviets and their Afghan allies the Mujahedeen would have been crushed.
The Taliban, like the Mujahedeen, was NOT a creation of the U.S. or the C.I.A. or the N.S.A. The Taliban is the creation of Islamic madrassas in Pakistan! It was the Soviet invasion and Afghan civil war that provided the orphans and poor to fill those madrassas. It was also the Pakistani government—not AmeriCorp—that first used the Talibs (<- that one word should be a major clue for you but a Sherlock Holmes you’re not) for their own political gain. They were first asked to go into Afghanistan to protect passengers on buses—many of whom were Pakistanis—who were being extorted by the different war lord factions.

The Talibs begin fighting the war lords in what was yet another civil war using even harsher tactics than those of the war lords. Have you so soon forgotten the images on the TV evening news of the feudal fighters being hung on the barrels of Talib tanks?

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

The Taliban:

II.

You are correct that the U.S. had relations with both, but the U.S. deals with any tyrant who can provide access to exploitable natural resources or help hinder or defeat a foe. The U.S. is a dark cloud with a silver lining. Have you any other viable alternative? No you don’t.

Where were you when we were in Viet Nam and the Russians and Chinese were supplying our enemy? If you’re going to decry evil be fair about it, decry evil wherever you find it. And in Islamic nations evil is so prevalent that you’ll lose your voice decrying it long before you’ve managed to cover it in its entirety.

When I read your revised history maani, I get the impression that you’re one of those that actually cum in his pants thinking of the glory of dying for one’s little imaginary friend while lacking the courage to do it oneself. I have never heard of Muslim Imams being referred to as evangelical or pastors but I cannot help wonder if you aren’t really of some bastardized form of a Christian/Islamic cult. You are certainly not a mainstream evangelical.

That said, I do want to thank you for helping to prove my point. AmeriCorp, albeit perpetrates many evils on the world, provides a much better hope for humankind than any of those shitholes known as Islamic nations. Almost every reference provides evidence that contact with Western thought and enlightenment—even the Gulf War—work out to be positives for many millions oppressed by Islam and the autocratic leaders of Islamic nations. 

You people should be ashamed of yourselves and try decrying social injustice from inside great Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Arab Emirates, etc. I’ve been there; I was even there before the big oil boom invasion of Westerners in the late 70s. My very first trip to Arabia, a major Saudi Arabian city was an eye opening experience. I’ve seen stoning, up close and personal. She was a woman accused of adultery by her husband. She was in a burlap sack hanging from a pole, much like our flag poles, with a pile of rocks on the ground beneath her. As people passed by they would pick up a stone or two and hurl it at the poor defenseless human being hanging in that sack in 125 degree heat.

Embrace Islam and Sharia you clueless twits, because you do so at your very own peril. 

A major problem with the American left, progressives, etc. is best described by Thomas Paine:

”What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

I.

By Maani, June 4 at 1:02 am

”Although it is true that, historically, they did not have such access, with the advent of globalization - including air travel, TV, Internet, cellphones, etc. - their access to such alternative views and enlightenment has increased dramatically over the past few decades.”

Well maani I see that your propensity to defend the indefensible, stand on the wrong side of an issue, and mental myopia hasn’t diminished.

Cellphones, TV, air travel, etc. do not translate into enlightenment. It’s enlightened education that provides the medium through which one becomes more enlightened and can willfully throw off the iron and repressive yoke of religion.

Muslim nations are some of the poorest in the world, what proportion of those populations would you have us believe have computers, much less Internet access. There’s a reason cell phones are really popular in many of those societies. There are no telephone services other than that provided via cellular services!

By Maani, June 4 at 1:02 am

”Actually, many Muslim countries have fairly high literacy rates: those that are former Russian republics (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan et al) all have literacy rates (including women) of 99%; Indonesia (with the largest Muslim population in the world) is at 92% (including women), and even Saudi Arabia and Iran are at 82%.  That said, India (the country with the second largest Muslim population) is at 66%, Pakistan is at 50%, and Afghanistan is near the bottom of the list, at a mere 28%.  Also, Muslim countries in Africa tend to be the least literate, with rates below 50%. As well, according to a recent U.N. report, “literacy rates of women in the Arab world…are around 55%.” (Note “Arab,” not “Muslim,” which explains the seeming discrepancy.).”

The high literacy rates in the former Soviet republics are due to the fact that under communist rule state provided education was mandatory and nondiscriminatory, females had equal access. Islam was bitch-slapped into obedience by the State, thus preventing the male dominated religion from treating women as chattel. As these former republics become more Islamic, with Sharia as their system of law, the literacy rates will begin to diminish.

Arab World Still Lagging in Education, Literacy
http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2008/02/
arab-world-still-lagging-in-education.html

The number of illiterate people in the Arab world has reached 99.5 million, accounting for 29.7 percent of the whole population, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) said Monday.

Among these, 75 million people are aged between 15 and 45, the Tunis-based ALECSO said in a statement….The sharp increase of illiterate people will pose a severe threat to the social development of Arab nations, said the statement.

UN: Arab world rife with illiteracy and lacks innovation.
http://talkislam.info/2009/10/29/
un-arab-world-rife-with-illiteracy-and/

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

II.

By Maani, June 4 at 1:02 am

”According to that U.N. report, there have been gains in this area over the past decade, though the numbers remain below what the U.N. characterizes as “adequate.”

Adequate as defined by the U.N isn’t “adequate” enough for the business world maani. If you’ve bothered to read the material provided by two links above you should have noticed a paragraph that speaks of the Arab world’s economic needs in the near future.

You also should have noted that in places like Egypt and Pakistan—as well as many other nations around the world—the more popular schools providing educational opportunities to women are UNESCO schools. That’s Western funded schools.

That literacy is improving shows just what shitholes most of these Islamic nations are. As I stated earlier, the West’s presence in many, if not most of those nations, is REQUIRED because it is the West’s technology and expertise that makes harvesting of those natural resources possible. Without the harvesting of those resources those nations would be even poorer and much worse off.

It will take several generations of unfettered access to enlightened education for most of those nations to even begin to catch up to the rest of the civilized world. And it is no small matter that the nations where Muslims are better educated are non-Arabic.

Until 2002, in Saudi Arabia, women’s education was under the department of religious guidance. Males, on the other hand, were under the Ministry of Education. Also, and this supports my position, the improvements in education, literacy, and equality, especially with regards to females, rises with exposure to Western secular and enlightened thought.  That’s why the Imams—like their evangelical pulpit pimp counterparts here in the U.S.—are going batshit crazier trying to quell truth and enlightenment.

What one sees in all of these reports by various agencies is that there is a close correlation between exposure to Western ideals and thought to improved literacy, health, equality, etc. in all of these Islamic nations. So the evil—AmeriCorp—that you hypocrites decry, is the very influence that best guarantees a better life for tens and hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. It is also noteworthy to mention that most of the hypocrites here, squealing like stuck pigs, are spewing their bile from the safety, comfort, and convenience of their homes in AmeriCorp.

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By nemesis2010, June 6, 2010 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

III.

By Maani, June 4 at 1:02 am

” This is where it gets weird.  By sheer PERCENTAGE, the number is very low.  However, the percentage of Muslim women who, after getting a primary education and going on to secondary education, go on to higher education (college, university) is among the highest of any group.  I guess this would actually make sense since any Muslim woman who fought for an education would likely be most “ambitious” in that regard, and follow it through.”

What’s really interesting is that the best higher educational opportunities for Muslim women are in Iran, the very nation—also non-Arabic—that the rogue state of Israel would have its little bitch, AmeriCorp, bomb back to the Middle Ages. 

And it is not without merit to ask where do they go if they want the finest higher education possible? The answer is to the very nations that they are simultaneously trying to subvert from within and destroy from without, universities in the West.

I’ve seen other countries like Iran, where women in universities outnumber males. This is due in no small part, to the lack of employment opportunities. Men haven’t the same opportunity to attend university because once they manage to find worthy employment they are forced to stick with the job, as sole providers, while their wives, girlfriends, sisters, etc. attend. 
Maani, there is absolutely no way that there are more Muslim women who go on to higher education after finishing high school or its equivalent than in the West. How do those percentages work out in proportions? Jeebus on a cracker!

By Maani, June 4 at 1:02 am

”Can you provide support for “mentally retarded” and/or “drugged?””

Wouldn’t it be rather difficult for me to provide evidence of the drug content or mental faculties of minced meat maani?

Mentally Disabled Female Homicide Bombers Blow Up Pet Markets in Baghdad, Killing Dozens
http://www.foxnews.com/story/
0,2933,327445,00.html

The world’s worst suicide bombers
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/
South_Asia/IG25Df03.html

Afghan NDS officials also spoke of apprehended bombers who were deranged, retarded, mentally unstable or on drugs.

Nevertheless, interviews and field work conducted in Afghanistan for this study revealed considerable evidence that the “duped, bribed, brainwashed” paradigm applies to a growing percentage of the bombers being deployed in the Afghan theater.

How al-Qaeda recruits
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/
10/how-al-qaeda-recruits.html

”Concerning the suicide attackers, they are usually selected among drug addicted people with weak personality and those suffering psychological troubles, in addition to complex old men, people suffering depression and youngsters.

These people are easy targets when it comes to persuade them with Takfiri ideas…”


14 Year Old Boy Agreed To Become A Suicide Bomber
http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=4995

”More from those pillars of human rights, the Taliban; a 14 year old boy agreed to become a suicide bomber under pressure from Taliban forces. The Taliban captured a 14 year old boy from the Northwest region of Pakistan, they told him that they had captured his father and would behead him if he didn’t cooperate completely with their demands. Fortunately they didn’t want much, just for him to become a suicide bomber and blow up a mosque.”

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By Leefeller, June 6, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Appropriate of course?

“Hypocrisy, prevalent warden over bigotry and sincerity.”
  Dingus Flatus

As the insulted must cry and lick their distraught-ed, bludgeoned and harangued martyred wounds, one must know who is among them,  whom the 99 percentile is, who the sarcastic ones are and who the stupid 1 percent may be.

It may be safe to say, it will all come out in the end!

Tequila!

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By Joan, June 6, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Ardee and Maani,

Good posts…Count me in with the civil discourse standard, too…

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By Maani, June 6, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:

I think you may actually be confusing my posts with someone else’s.  Unless I am very much mistaken, I did not use either “militarism” or “materialism” in any of my posts about Hitchens.  I certainly could be wrong, and if you find them, please let me know.

ardee:

Thank you for your superb, measured and thoughtful post.  I agree with 99% of it, and hope that others will follow your lead in stopping and “taking a breath” before responding, so that responses do not devolve into (mean) sarcasm, name-calling or personal attack.

I do have one comment.  You talk about “buttons” and how one responds when one of one’s buttons is pushed.  It is undeniable that, for psycho-emotional reasons, we usually react to button-pushing in knee-jerk, instant defense, often including “offense.”

However, while this may be unavoidable in the “real world,” it takes time to think out and write a response to an online forum.  Thus, it would seem that, when posting online, one has the time and ability to refrain from the kind of knee-jerk, instant defensiveness that most (perhaps all) of us are subject to in “real time.”

Stopping and “taking that breath” before posting can help minimize, perhaps even eliminate, the tensions and rancor that can accompany intense discussions and heated debates.  As noted, it is my hope that others will follow your lead here - and that you, myself and others similarly inclined will not give in to the temptation to respond “in kind” if others here choose not to follow that lead.

Peace.

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By Leefeller, June 6, 2010 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

Over time, much water has rushed under the bridge. Except for some, the bridge only spans a stagnate pond.

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By ardee, June 6, 2010 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

To most of this forum’s participants:

I understand completely your desire to have a diatribe free debate. I am generally of the same mind and most of my responses to most of the people here have been within the bounds of that delimiter.

We, all of us, have our buttons that, when pushed, generate an emotional response. I have two such in fact. One is bigotry in any fashion, and especially generalizations against over a billion people based upon the actions of a relative few. AlQaeda and the Taliban combined , for example, represent the smallest crumb of the largest organized religion existant.

Thus, the words of two posters here certainly qualifies as bigotry, even stupidity, and to my mind must be immediately and strenuously decried. I did so in as calm a fashion as I could muster and received a typically stupid and way overblown response. Which brings me to the second of my aforementioned buttons.

Phony and insincere posters as the one generating the criticisms directed at me by some here. My opinion of the way this poster attempts to hide positions and defends the status quo is only that after all, my own interpretation of her work.

My opinion should be clear enough by now, I detest her posts , not because she descends all too frequently into absurd responses, slandering any who dare object to her line of “reasoning”, but because she then seemingly “forgets” she has done so, and immediately too. Perhaps this indicates a condition needing a mental health professional, perhaps not, I do not qualify as such.

I do note that she has ,and continues to do so, insulted many, many more than me alone. That I choose to respond in fashion sets me apart from those who choose to ignore her aberrant responses. Is this a flaw in my own character? Perhaps it is indeed.

I do wish to note that I will give courtesy and polite response to any and all who offer the same, and I will attempt to ignore the responses of those who do not. Delineated by the two buttons previously mentioned, of course.

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By Shenonymous, June 6, 2010 at 2:37 am Link to this comment

“He holds dear the serious things, the things that matter:
social justice, learning, direct language, the free play of the
mind, loyalty, holding public figures to high standards,” by the
interviewer’s calculation in describing Hitchens in the NYTimes
interview.

I am almost never interested in a writer’s biography, auto or otherwise. 
Whatever attracts me to the writer is the content of their writing.  I
don’t even care if they changed from black to white or white to black.  I
look for ideas and most often ideas that have resonance with my own. 
But also I look for those ideas that are different from what I currently
believe so that I can consider arguing against them or to assimilate
them into my own thereby changing my view.  So I could give a fig that
Hitchens drinks, that he is a careless father and husband, that he may
have had bisexual encounters, that he “drifted” away from the left
(whatever that could possibly mean) from being a liberal to a what? A
conservative, a despiser of Islamists’ irrationality that would put a
million dollar price on a man’s head because of a book he wrote
(Salman Rushie and his Satanic Verses), I too found it repulsive, no,
revulsive.  How many other people found the fatwa repugnant?  Shall
we all have a fatwa put on our heads?  Isn’t that all about “free speech?
” And it seems his “drift” turned into a regular torrent upon the 9/11
attack, his living only blocks from where it happened.  Hitchens is not
shy when it comes to his views on anything. 

For whatever reason Hitchens ‘redounded,’ recoiled, from Islamism, and
I found nothing extraordinary in his criticisms, millions around the
world hold the same views.  No doubt he has a price on his head as
well. 

I don’t’ pardon, excuse, or condone assigning culpability to the entire
nation of Muslims, meaning all Muslims everywhere for the atrocities of
a few.  Exactly the opposite, I denounce and condemn those who do
that.  Just as I personally know Jews who abhor what Israel is doing
under the Netanyahu administration and wait with ached heart for the
day when “that bastard” as they call him, is removed from office.  So
not all Jews agree with what Israel has wrought.

As an aside from the Hitchens’ facts of the matter, a famous
anonymous quotation that is repeated in many places and it might as
well be repeated:
 
  A man told his grandson: “A terrible fight is going on inside me -
- a fight between two wolves. One is evil, and represents hate, anger,
arrogance, intolerance, and superiority. The other is good, and
represents joy, peace, love, tolerance, understanding, humility,
kindness, empathy, generosity, and compassion. This same fight is
going on inside you, inside every other person too.”

The grandson then asked: “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied
simply:  “The one you feed.”

It is clear to me that a kind of pitbullism is going on on this and
another forum and I suppose there is cause to deepen it or accelerate it
with counterdialogue.  But I am not going to “feed” what I see are
serious errors in judgment and assessment.  Let the comments stand as
they are.  Those interested in them can trace them to their heart’s
content.  If I have further things to say about any religion, I will say
them and let the criticisms come as they may.

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By Leefeller, June 6, 2010 at 1:53 am Link to this comment

Manni,

The confusion may be mine, but in the last sequence of the Times interview, and your quotes, I see two different words which seem similar in phonics but different in meaning?

“Materialism” and “militarism”.

It is interesting, for some reason I have confused peoples names for the same reason, possibly because of similar endings? In actuality for instance your thread name ending in “i” or other peoples names ending in “y” or ending in “ie”?

Thinking back you mentioned militaristic about Hitchens, I replied using mercenary, which seems to combine both words “Materialism” and “militarism” in a loose way.  Without checking back If I recall Nemesis may have commented on it to?

Not only may phonics be confusing at times in the sounding, my vision seems not what it used to be for reading, so my handicaps seem to be compounded.

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By Maani, June 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller:

What got me was the following exchange:

NYT: “You’re a Washington-based polemicist who has written in support of the Iraq war but who was previously a self-described socialist with a column in The Nation. Why do you see yourself as consistent?”

CH: “I still think like a Marxist in many ways. I think the materialist conception of history is valid. I consider myself a very conservative Marxist.”

That’s the best he could come up with?!  What a copout.

This goes right to my response to one of She’s questions (in response to comeone else):

She: “What gives the idea that Hitchens was always militaristic, especially when it comes to the Middle East?  Where is the evidence for that?”

Me: “Actually, the evidence does not support that.  And that is the problem.  I was a big Hitchens fan when he was writing progressive (or at least semi-progressive) articles for The Nation back in the 80s and 90s.  However, when he “betrayed” the progressives by supporting the war (among other things) - for reasons which even many Hitchens supporters here admit they found difficult, if not impossible, to agree with - I, like many others, abandoned him to his new-found conservatism.”

Peace.

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By Leefeller, June 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Manni, checked out the Times Hitchens interview and found it to be a sales pitch for his memoirs, so my earlier mercenary comment may have some merit.  I found it amusing and typical Hitchens.

I will read it again to see if I missed something, really dragging my butt right now been standing in the sun to long, my delusions are taking over.

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By Maani, June 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Apropos the actual discussion, an “interview” with Hitchens in the NYT Magazine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/
magazine/06fob-q4-t.html?ref=magazine

Comments?

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By Leefeller, June 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

With all this haranguing and blundering(bludgeoning)  going on, and I only see one person with a hammer? Well it has been reported RD is learning how to ride a broom!

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By Joan, June 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

One more point, I never entertained a discussion about whether Jesus lied. Given the phantasmagoric and cryptic statements Jesus made, it is a valid point to raise for discussion. That does not offend me. If you want my opinion on that question, just ask. 

This academic will try one more time… When I said that Shenoymous said Jesus lied, she denied her words. When I said that She thought Jesus was a dumb liar, based on inferences from her posts, She railed on and on, in pretty foul way. Actually, Shenonymous forgot what She posted. OK…it happens but the vitriol She spewed out against me for the next few days and her refusal to take real responsibility for her behavior towards me is not OK.

Now you can man up and do the right thing or keep haranguing me…does not change what Shenoymous did but could speak well for you.

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By Joan, June 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

Want me to function as an academic/professor?

For the past several days you missed the posts I placed on the family values thread responding to your assertion there and on this thread that I had not supported my claims about She’s behavior towards.

First off as an academic, I’d fail you for that sloppy work. 

When I tell you where you can find the support for my position that Shenonymous was nasty, you fault me for using the wrong format. Well, as the academic, I’ll set the format for my posts and responses and you read them and figure out what they say. 

When you’ re done, you can go to both threads and acknowledge that I did what you requested and in fact, She did behave poorly towards me. All your kibitzing doesn’t change what She did. 

When that’s done, I’ll re-consider a grade change.

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By Maani, June 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

N-G:

“The defining quote is, ‘this generation shall not pass away’ till the prophecy was fulfilled certainly put the nail in that coffin didn’t it?”

I have now calmly and patiently explained at least twice that you and She are misreading that line.

If you read the entire passage (Matthew 24:1-34), you will see your error.  Jesus is explaining the signs that will accompany His second coming.  When He is done, He says, “This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.”

“This generation” is NOT the one He was speaking TO but the one He was speaking ABOUT - i.e., the generation that will see the signs He describes.  There is nothing in the text that suggests that the generation He was speaking TO would be the generation that sees the signs.

This is underscored by the next two passages:

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

If His “words” will not pass away, this would indicate that He is expecting His own death, but that His words will live on.  And they will live on until “heaven and earth” pass away.  Again, there is no indication this would happen within the lifetimes of the people to whom He was speaking.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Even JESUS doesn’t know the exact “day and hour” of His own Second Coming; only the “Father” does.  Thus, His words could NOT have been “absolutely” meant for the generation to whom He was speaking.

Scriptural interpretation cannot be done by simply taking a sentence or phrase out of context.  When kept in its context, the phrase you cite has a very different meaning from the one you ascribe to it.

Peace.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Joan just list the dates, times and relevant passages like any good academic, not the whole thing so the rest of us can see what you claim to see.

I agree that Shenonymous used Biblical quotes showing that Jesus lied. Beyond that She didn’t elaborate allowing for others to draw those conclusions. You didn’t contradict her on that. How could you? Unless you could prove that the quotes were somehow misrepresented. You did not. The defining quote is ,“this generation shall not pass away” till the prophecy was fulfilled certainly put the nail in that coffin didn’t it?

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By Shenonymous, June 5, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Self-righteous masochists walk hand in hand with the Marqis.  The
thrill of being beaten quickens the rate and rhythm of the heart.  It
tends to remind one who is intellectually somnambulistic that they still
are alive.  It’s classic.  Freddie was an interesting fellow who had a
“near-death experience.”  Taking Pascal’s Wager seriously, Ayer hedged
his bet just in case he misjudged the lack of divinity in the world. 
Many on their deathbeds want to have that extra ticket in their right
hand.  But just as many rational thinkers don’t.  For those who fear
death, you might find Ayer’s essay on what he said about when he was
dead comforting.  Google at commonsenseatheism.com/.../Ayer-What-
I-Saw-When-I-Was-Dead.pdf for the link.  Don’t let the atheism site
scare you.  Boo! hahaha

Wouldn’t it be different if other trumpeting TDers would provide such
interesting extra curricular reading even if when counter to one’s own
beliefs instead of puffing up one’s curriculum vitae?  I know, I’m too
mean spirited to do such niceties. LOL

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By Joan, June 5, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Leefeller,

Love ya,too…I knew were I diligent, I’d win your heart…..

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By Leefeller, June 5, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

This Bludgeoning thing has become long, very long of tooth, Yes you were bludgeoned to a pulpy mass and want or need more and I cannot even get a snapped finger on me ear. I am reminiscent of the Black Knight in Monty Pythons “The Quest for the Holy Grail! The Black Knight with no arms or legs says “Sir Knight, you chicken you, It tis only a nick!” sic.

Joan, you lucky girl you!

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By Joan, June 5, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt,

Please check my posts to you dated, June 2, 5:25 PM, June 2, 5:39 PM and June 2, 7:24 PM made on the values thread. You made the same assertion that I had not supported my accusations a few days ago there and I responded to you very carefully there. 

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/
family_values_and_glass_houses_20100523/


I don’t want to have to re-post those 3 posts on this thread too because it’s overkill. It took a lot of my time but you are right I ought to be able to back up my claims that Shenonymous has been quite ugly to me. And I have irrefutably supported my claims about the way Shenonymous has behaved towards me, in post after post over the range of a few days.

Just to be clear I am not objecting to people being “quippy”, or sarcastic or ironic, off color or humorous etc. It’s fun and it’s a way to showcase our stuff, be creative, keeps the brain well oiled, develops a level of articulate sophistication. A good parry or joust is great. It’s like an electric current in the air at times.

It’s abusive when people use words in place of their fists, beating people up. Accusing people of outright lying and stupidity, falsely to boot, and embarking on a crusade to bludgeon one repeatedly with words for sport. That is not tolerable in any morality. That is what I am standing against here.

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By Maani, June 5, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:

“I would love to see the world covered in peace instead of oil, what a pipe dream!”

My sign-off - which I have been using for about 25 years now - is, of course, partly about that.  But so is my understanding of my faith.  Consider.

The 11 main precepts of Jesus’ ministry were love, peace, compassion, forgiveness, humility, patience (including tolerance), charity, selflessness, service, justice and truth.

Now, it is, of course, true that many Christians do not attempt to live a “Christ-like” life according to these precepts.  And personally (i.e., based on my interpretation of Scripture as a minister), I determine an individual’s self-proclaimed “Christianity” based on this most basic of methods: how many of the 11 precepts of Jesus’ ministry do they actually uphold and attempt (to the best of their ability, but accepting that all humans fail at times) to live?  [N.B. This is why, despite his claims to the contrary, and even his writings in Mein Kampf, Hitler cannot be said to have been a “Christian” in any real sense, since he turned almost all 11 precepts on their heads.]

Note that I am not suggesting that simply because one does not (or cannot) live all 11 precepts all the time that they are “less” Christian.  Only that, as Christians, our primary “goal” in the temporal world is to live “Christ-like” lives, thus setting an example for others.

All of that said, if everyone - Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jainist, Zoroastrian, agnostic, atheist, whatever - actually lived their lives according to the 11 precepts of Jesus’ ministry, then your “pipe dream” would very quickly become a reality.

And although there are obviously other factors involved, that is why I am a Christian, and attempt, to the best of my human ability, to live by those 11 precepts.

Peace.  (global, personal and other)

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By Leefeller, June 5, 2010 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

Okay now that all the therapy is out of the way, I would like to know if the Moslem’s are not as scary as they sound?

So the Dutch guy killed on the street was just a minor fluke, the threats to authors who may have said some unpleasant things about the Muslim religion are not real threats, and the cartoonists were not really threatened?  Just a few radicals or fanatics having some fun?  Of course we know 911 was an inside job. I suppose the girls beaten and raped in the streets of Europe by boys and men from Somalia because they deserved it is just a man thing. So the women of Muslim countries are educated and want to be abused?

As for the Catholics the one sided history portrayed never happened, and come on the pedophile stories were and are over stated, if it doesn’t bother the Catholics,  why should it bother non Catholics? 

Now I have heard some stories that Muslim and Jews have lived as good neighbors in Israel and also the same in Bosnia, now I would like to believe this as true. One can hope people can live as neighbors together with respect of differences, but from history I have my doubts. 

Reading posts here on Truth Dig, I have seen where some would restrict freedom of speech and opinion. Even the manipulations of comments with the he said, she said routines do seem prevalent.

I would love to see the world covered in peace instead of oil, what a pipe dream!

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

I bear no ill will to anyone. I can reset as need be. No need for grudges. We see what happens with those. No good end from that until either all participants are dead or they mutually end it like the Hatfields & McCoys did only a few years ago for a feud that had been going on at least since the 1880’s or maybe earlier.

With my present condition my greatest danger is in the cardio-puluminary area of the body. One of a diabetic’s greatest threats. Along with blindness, kidney failure and loss of limbs.

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, 

I missed your comments about my blood pressure. Part of that reference is a gimmick I used on the other thread to make a point, part is humor and part is true.

I have been diagnosed with a high blood pressure condition by my cardiologist that has yet to be fully tamed, the blood pressure that is, not the cardiologist. Some BP “meds” are fairly pricey, as I have learned recently. 

Used to be distance runner but that was ended by, you know, the total bilateral knee replacements. Yoga is out as per my orthopedic surgeon but I like to walk and will do so again, once the shortness of breath is diagnosed, which spikes up the BP as does, as you pointed out, the adrenaline surges.

It was cool of you to recommend the yoga…thanks for the concern.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Here is are the closest things I could find that was “vicious” to you Joan. Your case is weak so far.


_______

By Shenonymous, May 29 at 6:13 pm #

No, Joan.  It is not my morality that would allow you to kill anyone, no one at all. I am against killing in general.  I would not hesitate
however to protect myself or those I love and care about against attack.

By Joan, May 30 at 6:24 pm #

Shenonymous,

What if all the lying and cheating you’re will to do save your family means that my family and numerous others would be killed, is it still morally acceptable to do all that lying and cheating?

By Shenonymous, May 30 at 5:56 pm #

I’ll tell you where to get off Joan, and that is to stop saying I have a theory of morality.  It does not do your argument any good to willfully attribute something to someone when it isn’t true.  That
really is an act of immorality.  You seem to be unable to recount what I said possibly because you are willfully blind.  What you accuse just isn’t there. I’ve checked my every post. I’m sure I’m
writing in plain English and do admit to using some words occasionally with which many are not familiar.  You might get a space sled and ride it back to earth for it sure seems like you are not in this world. In lieu of the space sled, you could cite day and time and exact quote in context of what you claim I said.

I’ve no opinion about your having high blood pressure. I’ve not said a word about it.  So again you fabricate something you would like for me
to have said.  But didn’t.  If I had such a condition I would see my doctor. It has nothing to do with morality.

The hypothetical, “if PETA gained the prominence to mandate animal rights,” is frivolous.  Frivolous because you propose a fringy moral theory that animals have more rights than humans, and what human would vote for that?  Idiots maybe.  I am glad that your Christianity would not go for such an arrangement.  I don’t know any atheist that
would either.  So why you hang that on secularists is beyond any reason or evidence.  No one is saying your faith-based morality is tenuous.  If you are persuaded by your religion to be a moral person, then that is a good thing as many people need that kind of coercion not finding any moral strength within their self.  Religion has probably been most instrumental in keeping immorality at bay, not eliminating it but kept it under control, with the help, of course, of secular police departments.  But there are non-believers who do not need coercion to
be moral and that is one of my major points.  Do see if you can argue against that one.”


Well there it is, Joan likes to interject words into quotes changing them then use them as if they are actual quotes! Not good for academia. Not good here either. Like here in response to what Shenonymous, wrote she added the erroneous idea that Shenonymous, by protecting her family in the hypothetical would kill Joan‘s even though such was not part of the thought experiment. That was just Joan‘s prejudices coloring her perceptions. I have met people like that who have no idea they are editing their perceptions directly in real time. Its like adding something to a movie all the way through that only you perceive. (Sometimes others will join thinking it is true.) It only exists in your mind but not anywhere else. Not even in the words I copied here. That is one of the reasons why you fail to persuade. You don’t operate properly. It is no strike against you personally, just an observation I have made of how you perceive things here.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Re: the blood pressure thing, you’ve got to get a sense of humor, She… Joan

Um, I believe that was myself who commented on that, not Shenonymous.

Perhaps my sense of humor is lacking but I get by.

There are many books I wish I could purchase or at least have time to read but I don’t. That includes Hitchen’s tome. But I am not fully ignorant of him. Nor am I go his slant to the Reich wing and use of their rhetoric to back his claims for the Iraq war which was substantiated on nothing but lies.
Lies I managed to see through but he could not.

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

Again there are times that you are just too funny.

A few days ago in response to your denial that Shenonymous had been vicious towards me I took a good bit of time to identify the posts, including the excerpts etc. They are catalogued on the “family values” thread. 
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/
family_values_and_glass_houses_20100523/

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

I’m mystified. What are you talking about? 

When, where, how, did I ever say that Socrates was a gentleman? I said that among the definitions I USE, not Socrates, to define philosophy was that it is the gentlemanly art of disputation. I suspect the Great One might go for the more traditional, “philosophia” definition…love of wisdom.

My posts about you appear on the threads where you post, right before your eyes. 

It seems you are following the advice of the old gambler. It’s clearly time for you to fold, walk away and run from me.

Now as far as failing in Christianity, listen up. You seem to think it’s all right to slap someone, a Christian, silly for sport and entertainment and if they respond to you by not falling on your sword but by expecting that you behave like a respectful human being, well, they are bad, bad Christians. Just what kind of religion do you think would countenance such injustice to its believers?  I am holding you to a decent standard of behavior. That’s all. 

Also, I told you on the family values thread that I am “roughly” Christian. I am also a devoted Yahwehist, someone who believes that Yahweh is the God of Gods as well as a part of the Trinity. Now Yahweh rather likes to use His sword to impart justice on His enemies.  I rather admire Him for it. Remember what Yahweh did to Pharaoh and his army when the king reversed his decision and started to chase the Hebrews as they left Egypt. What a display of justice. I am also part Catholic. I like some of those warlike saints, like Michael the Archangel. He rather likes his sword too.

Enough about me…you believe yourself perfectly capable of composing your own moral code. Just what is in that code of yours that allows the ill-mannered and at times immoral behavior you have displayed on both threads towards others and me?  And why should you not be accountable for it?


Re: the blood pressure thing, you’ve got to get a sense of humor, She…

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By Maani, June 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Ardee:

Your June 8:59 post is excellent and spot on.  However, in the interest of true fairness, I would ask that you refrain from your continued use of “shrew” (much less “vicious bitch”) here.  If you choose not to address her as “She” (capital S), you could always use “she-who-must-not-be-named” LOL. But seriously in any case, ALL of the name-calling, insults and attacks have to stop.  Thanks.

N-G:

“Just remember Joan you have never backed up one time you said Shenonymous had been lying or misrepresenting or even wrong.”

Actually, you are incorrect here. Joan has, at least once, and possibly more than once, provided such evidence.  After all, Shenonymous would not have had any reason to offer even her quasi-apology if that were not the case.

She:

Re psychology, let me clear that up.  I do not have a degree in any area of psychology.  What I do have is extensive academic courses and readings, plus the fact that counseling is my primary area of ministry, both “in-faith” (i.e., pastoral counseling) and “general” (alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic violence, family, etc.), for both of which I did further specialized, intensive studies.  That certainly does not make me an “expert” (if such is defined vis-a-vis having a degree), it simply gives me a somewhat broader, more solid base for understanding and application.

Peace.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Do unto others as they have done unto you. Or the nearest facsimile. You sling mud you get dirty. Duly noted as to your use of “shrew” again. Time to stand upright isn’t it Ardee or does mud slinging become you? It doesn’t me.

Hitchens has some good ideas and bad ones but he can’t be faulted for poor articulation. At least with what I am familiar with.

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By ardee, June 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, June 4 at 2:22 pm

Your opinion is duly noted, and filed. Thanks for the personal insult too, I guess your long term friendship with the Shrew has reaped side benefits.

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By Leefeller, June 4, 2010 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Night Guant how does one back up an ego load of accusations after being bludgeoned into what looks like a pulpy flattened roadkill skunk? I guess we just found out!

Please someone call me a name any name, guess I need to call someone a name first so then they can call me a name? If RD is a male shrew, how about calling him Mr. Shrew, actually shrew may be like skunk, maybe in one could find Shrew in Spanish?

Damn this all seems so frocking hard, this drama crap, how do some people keep the BS coming, reminds me of those Republicans using the word no! Time for me to take Scoops into go see the Vet!

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Socratease LOL was no gentleman, and neither am I.  Bye bye for
all your claim to philosophy, you are really not worth any further
attempt at reasonable intercourse, Joan. You may make as
many snide remarks behind my back as you wish, or rather in front
of me, as I will have departed from any further comments directed
to you or your fellows and allow you all the brow beating you and
your pretentious comrades wish to inflict, and I remain a commenter
on the Hitchen’s forum.  It is soooo Christian of you.  It is gratifying to
see without my solicitation that others recognize your quibbling flimflam.

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Glad you are here to school me in philosophy. AJ Ayer, with whom I had a friendly chat about my master’s dissertation (and a gentlemanly, polished Brit, Vienna Circle empiricist/positivist who had spine and grace enough to sweetly apologize to me for what he thought were his poor manners as our department’s guest for his philosophizing away ethics but who really flattered me for even caring about what I thought), notwithstanding, I have Shenonymous here to set me straight about philosophy. 

Given that many professional philosophers argue about how to define the discipline, of the over forty definitions of the discipline I have in just one dictionary of philosophy, I chose this one as my philosophy of philosophy to impart to my students …It’s so apropos to our discussion at hand.

PHILOSOPHY IS THE ART OF GENTLEMANLY DISPUTATION. 

Of course, you are free to settle on your own perspective.

Given your propensity to on the spot pedagogy, versed as you are in…well…everything, I am sure I can trigger an on the spot dissertation on skilled argumentation and the problem of sophistry that so deeply concerned one of our great philosophical heroes in Western philosophy, Socrates, and how it relates to the discussion at hand, namely your lack of gentlemanliness, for instance.   

Enlighten me.

At this point in the discussion that great Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” comes to mind. Filled with good advice, a beat up gambler, in exchange for a swig of liquor, counsels a young upstart among other things “...to know when to fold, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

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By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Joan you would never know if your blood pressure was high or low. It would probably be your adrenaline flooding your system that you mistake for it. Temperature rise, heart pumping, flushed skin are signs of it, not you blood pressure as such. Learn yoga, take a stress pill would be more constructive.

Just so everyone remembers a bigot acts on their prejudices. So unless someone is actually stopping any of you from venting then calling them a bigot is not only wrong but an act of propaganda. A false setting you are trying to establish.

It would be nice if 1/2asses like Ardee would stop with the name calling. What is the male equivalent of shrew? You are it for your under the earth spit fests. Unbecoming and it lessens you ever time you use it. Petty, vindictive and ultimately unproductive. That is you as you prove it every time you use it and do it.

Just remember Joan you have never backed up one time you said Shenonymous had been lying or misrepresenting or even wrong. That is the whole problem with you, you don’t put up what you contend. Everyone else does, why not you? The same for me. I will stand corrected but only if you prove it. Assertions do not do it.

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Sincerity is in the mind of the beholder…
I am quite sincere.  Amen
Not being a Roman (well my grandparents were from Southern Itlie
(Calabrese and Sicilian, both the hard-heads of the peninsula) and
had some Greek thrown into the pot), I am not subject to the
Gladiator’s thumb up or down, not being a slave particularly to
incessant insults, except to salute my right thumb from my nose. 
I am insulting right back especially when I see that a mercenary
skirmisher is hypocritical about their Christian beliefs.  My left
thumb is usually busy lifting tabs on my Diet Dr. Pepper.  I think
I’m addicted.

For instance, should I care if one’s blood pressure rises even one grade
due to reading my comments?  Some don’t rise at all but instead their
blood pressure lowers due to the comfort they get from my insights!
Whatever it is.  Others react so violently that their blood pressure rises
to the point of apoplexy.  I cannot gauge what the reaction will be.  But
I can use probability to make an “educated” guess based on past
performance.  The fact remains, though, that I do not care one grade
what another’s blood pressure does.  I would hope that the individual
whose blood pressure rises even one grade would be conscious enough
to take some measure to keep their blood pressure at a healthful level,
such as self-reflection and meditation on the question of what is the
truth and what truly does it mean to be interested in the truth?  All else
is pretension and hubris.

Not a therapist, though I think Maani, besides being a
philosopher, was in the psychology business at one time?  Is that right
Maani?  I am here providing some meditative music to help
anyone along who is suffering the problem of elevated blood pressure
due to comments by Shenonymous.  Also provided is a youtube
on relaxation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF8_L7L8hfM
Never Hesitate to Meditate – feel a little bit better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEe5sPeQaZ4
How To Meditate - Spread Peace And Love To Our World - Brahma
Kumaris - Easy Relaxation Method

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By Leefeller, June 4, 2010 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

RD has become a therapist of some sort, could I get a free analysis RD?

My therapist charges me big bucks and I just can not afford her any more, because the price of Diesel and Tequila has gone up. So instead I go to the Veterinarians office with my dog scoops and pretend my dog is having my mental delusional escapades,  I save a bundle, but Vets are not free and I think the Vet is catching on, so now it seems I can get Therapy for free, so what the hey!

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

I take you as not all that sincere in wanting to end the rancor but more like weaseling out of accepting responsibility from your unjustified nasty behavior, again using a sea of words as a diversionary tactic. So be it.

I am not trying to put words in your mouth just expressing the sentiments that a bona fide and sincere apology would countenance.  Given we are not telepathic, I utilized the common medium of language to communicate. 

Given you thumbs down, let gladiator games continue.

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By Leefeller, June 4, 2010 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Empowered by attending charm school so name calling seems acceptable without any substance, I see this is the high road, velly interesting!

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By Shenonymous, June 4, 2010 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Sorry, Joan, that is not what more I would say and it is an
arrogance to attempt to put words and attribute them to me. 
But I am a person of my word, so I will not say more on the topic
of Jesus’s lying, except to say you are completely wrong about what
I would say.  You owe me an apology as well since truth is what is
missing from your apology acceptance.  It is disingenuous of you to
even be addressing me that way.

I would accept your apology without any elaboration.  That does not
mean I would capitulate on any other topic. 
All my best,
Shenonymous

Yes, do water down the definition of philosopher, it is a common
practice to level everything to ground level thinking.  Why even have
the word in the vocabulary if everyone is a philosopher?  To say that
everyone has “a” philosophy would be correct but not all reflect on
their thinking as well as others.  You say you are a philosopher but it is
plain to me, who also is a philosopher in practice, that your thinking is
local and reflection limited.  Philosophers are supposed to make
distinctions that others do not have the mentality or inclination to do. 
Have you forgotten the purpose of philosophy?

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

Ardee,

I appreciated your sentiment that people should not let this kind of posting go unchallenged. I wanted you to know that I was in the trenches, likewise Maani, on another thread. 

All that is necessary for evil to happen is for people to let it.

I have not followed this thread enough to know about all the discussions but on the violence in Islam issue, it seems there is some truth on both sides.

Most Muslims are very peaceful, would not hurt a fly, but there is a violent aspect embedded in Islam that a few are running with and the peaceful ones are not quelling it in house.

I think Islam has some theological issues that have to be resolved so the rest of us can feel safe

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By Joan, June 4, 2010 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, apology

Yes by all means let’s bury the hatchet so my high blood pressure can return to its typical not so high ranges.

To actually end the rancor in my heart it would help if you could finish your apology, if not publicly, at least in your mind and soul.  It would sound something like this.

“Sorry, Joan. I just forgot what I had posted. I can also see how you drew the conclusion that I thought Jesus was dumb but I didn’t mean for such a strong position like Jesus is dumb to be inferred and I got really annoyed about it.  Be that as it may, I was way out of line to be so nasty about it and I was. Hope you’ll accept this apology and that we can dialogue in the future. I think we have a lot to offer each other. All the best. She… “


I agree…I think Maani is a philosopher and a great analyst. Most posters are pretty much philosophers of sorts.

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By ardee, June 4, 2010 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Joan

Thanks for the link, more of the same. “would that god the gift he gae us, to see ourselves as others see us”.

My purpose in entering this thread was to spark some sort of dialogue regarding the horrific and raving prejudices of nemesis. I only partially succeeded but I did seem to accomplish an ending to the unapposed and cozy bigotry of the broom riding Shrew and the aforementioned bigot.

For every Iman preaching radical interpretations of Islam there are scores preaching love, tolerance and peace. For every Madrassa teaching hatred and violence there are ,again, scores teaching tolerance and understanding. But that matters little to some, the radicalized, the small minded, the haters. I woudl remind all and sundry that the oldest Synagogue and Catholic Church still existent are in Baghdad. Throughout the centuries Islam, no more and no less than Catholism or Protestantism, have had times of tolerance and times of oppression.

The very worst thing about those like Nemesis is that they are Americanized Taliban,teaching hate and working for a continuation of separatism and war, and they simply do not know it, sad for them. But even more importantly it is the duty of every righteous and peace loving person to stand up to such hatred and hyperbole.

As far as the Shrew is concerned, her inability to see herself is sad to be certain, posting middle school diatribe while all the while claiming the high ground. She does it time and again, as Joan’s link demonstrates. I recall a classic scenario in which the Shrew posted a twelve paragraph post managing to insult ten different people while claiming to be balanced and fair.

I will let the forum judge whether my initial comments were worthy of that silly little response , her usual in fact. But, most importantly, I will not allow this creature of the status quo, this preacher of blind loyalty to the Democrats, this teacher of false dichotomy and foe of change to bully me into silence. I will continue to ignore the vicious bitch whenever possible, but there are times and subjects when that will not be possible. Sad….

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By Maani, June 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis:

“How many of that 1.6 billion have had open and free access to alternative views and enlightenment?”

Although it is true that, historically, they did not have such access, with the advent of globalization - including air travel, TV, Internet, cellphones, etc. - their access to such alternative views and enlightenment has increased dramatically over the past few decades.

“What percentages of their populations are literate?”

Actually, many Muslim countries have fairly high literacy rates: those that are former Russian republics (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan et al) all have literacy rates (including women) of 99%; Indonesia (with the largest Muslim population in the world) is at 92% (including women), and even Saudi Arabia and Iran are at 82%.  That said, India (the country with the second largest Muslim population) is at 66%, Pakistan is at 50%, and Afghanistan is near the bottom of the list, at a mere 28%.  Also, Muslim countries in Africa tend to be the least literate, with rates below 50%. As well, according to a recent U.N. report, “literacy rates of women in the Arab world…are around 55%.” (Note “Arab,” not “Muslim,” which explains the seeming discrepancy.)

“What percentages of their female populations have a minimal education (1-5)?”

According to that U.N. report, there have been gains in this area over the past decade, though the numbers remain below what the U.N. characterizes as “adequate.”

“What percentages of their female populations have had higher education?”

This is where it gets weird.  By sheer PERCENTAGE, the number is very low.  However, the percentage of Muslim women who, after getting a primary education and going on to secondary education, go on to higher education (college, university) is among the highest of any group.  I guess this would actually make sense since any Muslim woman who fought for an education would likely be most “ambitious” in that regard, and follow it through.

“You say that suicide bombs are for the ill-equipped. Have you decried the fact that many of those individuals are mentally retarded, drugged and all are inculcated with lies about 72 virgins and martyrdom for a non-existent imaginary god?”

Can you provide support for “mentally retarded” and/or “drugged?”

“Do any of you ask how the Taliban came to rule Afghanistan? How many of you know that they were called upon to prevent Muslim on Muslim violence?”

Actually, WE created the Taliban (and Al Qaeda) when we (U.S. military, CIA, etc.) provided the mahujadeen with weapons, intelligence, etc. to fight the Russians.  Indeed, OBL was among the leaders of the mahujadeen, and the U.S. was “in bed” with him for almost a decade.  Thus, we are at least partially (some would say largely) to blame for the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the mess we find ourselves in over there now.

Peace.

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By nemesis2010, June 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, June 3 at 1:38 pm

”Would you say such a thing directly to them?”

In many, if not most, yes I would. I’ve always been very direct and have worked in male dominated industries where men talk to each other like men –not metrosexuals.

Anonymity provides a cushion and medium that allows most to express their true inner feelings more directly. I prefer the honesty rather than having to look a two-faced, lying, sum-a-biotch in the eyes and pretend that I don’t know he is a lying, two-faced sum-a-biotch. Words aren’t that bad; they beat the hell out of stab and bullet wounds.

By Night-Gaunt, June 3 at 1:38 pm

”Ardee‘s points are well made.”

No they’re not. They’re even more generalized than those generalizations that he is criticizing. And like yours they are duplicitous.

Ask yourself how many of those 1.6 billion Muslims have been inculcated with that bastard offspring—Islam—of Judaism and Christianity from birth? How many of that 1.6 billion have had open and free access to alternative views and enlightenment? What percentages of their populations are literate? What percentages of their female populations have a minimal education (1-5)? What percentages of their female populations have had higher education?

When you criticize the actions of Western nations in those countries do you conveniently overlook and not criticize the abuses perpetrated on those populations by their political and religious leaders? Do you ever mention that the autocratic leaders and families promote and desire exploitation of those resources by Western corporations because they reap huge amounts of wealth, most of which remains in the hands of those autocrats, while very little trickles down to the population at large?

Are you one of the deluded fools that decry banning of the hijab in France while totally ignoring the fact that they are banned in some Muslim countries also? Are you one of those deluded that ignorantly compare the hijab to nun’s dress while totally ignoring the fact that nuns voluntarily enter convents while Muslim women are forced to wear hajibs because of social and religious pressures and laws? Are you one of those deluded that fail to realize that even nuns have modified their dress from the traditional penguin suits to more a modern skirt and jacket and have never covered the face?

Are you one of the hypocrites that want to see a convicted child abuser castrated and jailed for life while refusing to speak out against infant and child genital mutilation performed on infant males and child females of the so-called big three monotheistic religions in the name of their imaginary sky-daddies?

You say that suicide bombs are for the ill-equipped. Have you decried the fact that many of those individuals are mentally retarded, drugged and all are inculcated with lies about 72 virgins and martyrdom for a non-existent imaginary god? Where’s your outrage?

Do any of you ask how the Taliban came to rule Afghanistan? How many of you know that they were called upon to prevent Muslim on Muslim violence? How many of you dare to speak out about their abuses on their very own Muslim populations?

How many of you when you criticize AmeriCorp intervention in many of those nations also decry Saudi Arabia’s helping supply Saddam during the Iran/Iraq war? A million Muslims were killed in that war and the U.S. through its two proxy agents—Israel and Saudi Arabia—supplied both sides. 

I could go on for days. I haven’t even touched on the Balkans and other areas of the world where religious violence—always one side Muslim—is ripping apart somewhat enlightened secular societies in favor of Islamic rule.

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Much has been said especially between you, Joan, and I,
and Maani, who I have interacted with from time to time
over the years, has been part of it as well but mostly it was you
and I.  We each have our points of view and those won’t change
unless some incredible epiphany occurred.  Highly unlikely.

So it seems we have two believer philosophers (I consider Maani a
philosopher, I don’t know if he is or not), and a nonbeliever
philosopher who came to loggerheads probably because of their
respective beliefs.  It has never been my intention to exacerbate a
conflict not with you not with anyone.  Reasons for the escalation to the
level it got to probably could be puzzled out, for it is probably more
complex than we might think, or it would take too long a time to
analyze, but to what purpose really? 

Since we are rational people we ought to be able to find a way to
transcend the rancor.  Towards that effort, without any expectation I
offer to settle our differences with a neither wins concession.  Each
retains their integrity as we see it and move on.  This is where I will
leave it.

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By nemesis2010, June 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

By LocalHero, June 3 at 6:25 am

”I think the threat of Islamic fundamentalism is ridiculously overstated to the point of it being laughable (and that’s beside the fact that they are merely puppets of the military and intelligence “services” of the U.S., Great Britain and Israel).  ”

Since you are fortunate enough to be participating on an open forum in a free nation you are—unlike most in the Islamic world—free to state your opinion and to be stupid. I would remind you that while you are free—here—to express your opinion, not all opinions carry the same weight. Opinions as they say, are like anuses, everyone has one and most smell of feces.

Your being clueless is why you do not see the real threat that Islamism is to the civilized world. Would you feel better if I owned up to the fact that we also face a threat—albeit not as severe as that from Islam—from Reich-wing evangelicals?

By LocalHero, June 3 at 6:25 am

”And, let’s see, just off the top of my head, here are a few things that our society offers as “far superior” alternatives: The rape and destruction of precious natural resources, never-ending wars to open up new markets, the threat of nuclear annihilation held over the world for 60 years, the insane use of two of those weapons, false-flag ops to start new wars (possibly including 9/11), ghoulish medical experiments without the consent of the victims (including vaccines), advertising propaganda, slave labor contracted world-wide, pesticides, birth defects, toxic air and water, poisonous drugs, untested Frankenstein-foods and seeds and, possibly worst of all, the mental, physical and spiritual subjugation of people as merely “human resources” to be used up and discarded.”

That’s a major difference between you and me. I would label those negatives. But let’s approach it differently, okay?

Have you considered that we classified women as humans and not farm animals? How about access to adequate and fairly clean and safe drinking water, food, shelter, public libraries, education, roads, hospitals with the latest medical advances our science and technology has developed? How about laws against old hags holding down little girls from about 4 – 10 years of age and performing clitoral circumcision and vaginal infibulation? How about laws granting women equality with men and the right to be educated? How about laws and social structure that prevent insane f—king religious bastards from burying defenseless girls and women up to their chest and being stoned? How about a structure of laws and morality that prevent the public beating of those charged under any circumstances and definitely not incarcerated without first being presumed innocent and having a fair trial and a right to a defense lawyer? Have you given any thought to all the good you experience each and every day in comparison to the hell that the average Muslim must live under in those shitholes called Islamic nations? If you’re so dismayed with what out society has to offer perhaps you should actually try living in one of their glorious Islamic cesspools in order to obtain a proper adjustment to your sorry-assed attitude.

How much bitching about Sharia Law do you think you would be allowed before an insane Imam grabbed your sorry ass and had you publicly caned or stoned?

Attempting to negate the good that Western Civilization has to offer compared to what those medieval societies have to offer mankind is the height of unadulterated stupidity.

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By Joan, June 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous and Leefeller,

Leefeller.

Along She’s line of thinking, abuse is not funny, either verbal or physical, especially for women…especially for women. 


Shenonymous,

I am not suggesting that you put up with bona fide abuse.

You were abusive to me and I am not going to tolerate it.  And I am a female in the same boat…

I must also say that I have not had your experience on TD although admittedly I am not on TD often these days. The guys seem pretty good and at times protective like Maani and a great Iraqi vet named Tebaldi. 

I was the only female philosopher I knew for the first 20 years of my career so I know what its like to function in an all male bastion. In grad school I lived in a virtual barracks.  Yes, I agree, women must learn to stand our ground but we also must learn when it is our turn to extend the apologies. It’s not about high ground but accepting responsibility for your mistakes that hurt others and making things right. Men don’t get a free pass and neither do women.

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Do your own Names-I-Been-Called journal, Leefeller. I has to go
to the Walmart f’some Crona.

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By Leefeller, June 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

She, please bludgeon me, I need to be bludgeoned please please, I forget what I write all the time, so if anyone bludgeoned me for something I really did not say, I would not know it and I probably would not care, well that is me!  I get excited with the thought of being bludgeoned you lucky people being bludgeoned, the thought of such pain,  I have missed pain, pain is my friend, I need, no I want to be bludgeoned, all I have to show here on TD is being called a zero Zionist Nazi with jack boots on by a self righteous solipsist with a peg brain. 

Damn, some people get all the luck!

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Bull crap, Maani, “[ardee] Calls Shenonymous a “wretched
shrew.”  Certainly an insult, but a personal attack?”
  Are you
serious?  Are you being called the wretched shrew?  If that isn’t a
direct insult, then my retaliation of The Spew is also not a personal
attack!  You have got to be dreaming.  It is obvious you do not have
much power of discrimination.

Crap on the “be a bigger person” philosophy.  I am a woman and the
macho chauvinistic pigs here take opportunity to do their abusing on a
female electronic ghost when I say something that just does not click
with their dogma. Only this e-ghost suprises the f’n hell out of them
and they are speechless! As are you. And Joan. For thousands of years
women have been told to be a bigger person, bite your upper lip, boys
will be boys, bull shit.  Your excuse is The Excuse to abuse women with
what you think gives you justification.  Turn your logic on your cronie,
ardee.  Perhaps you have not visited the forums where it was attempted
to bury me.  One forum had about six men at one time thinking they
could gang bang me taking delight in egging each other on.  Is that
sick or what?  Well needless to say, they were shown to be the assholes
they really are and their attempt to chase me off the forum was an
abortion.  So up yours too to judge me by the paltry forums where you
and I both participated.  I can reprint all of them!  But that would be
torturous to the other participants.  It is true I have extraordinary
powers of insult!  I told you, I learned it all on Truthdig.  I have plenty
of control over myself, most of my posts have been complemented,
why even gifts sent to me by some I knew outside of TD but once I
made reference to some negative feature of Islam, BAM the slurs, the
lambastes, the name calling, uh you would not believe or if you do
know you choose to ignore it.  That is very unethical and you know it. I
choose to let the SheWolf out (only one endearing name I’ve been
called so I will use it to eat them alive!) and perhaps a little lesson will
be learned: Don’t mess with She.  I say little since it is only little brains
that can be affected.  I won’t take the higher road. I am already there! 
Would you like to see a lexicon of all the names I’ve been called.  It is
extensive.  I may publish it someday with names of the callers included. 
The idiots!  They are too stupid to argue against my points because
they cannot.  Frustrated they resort to denigration.  I’d say they need to
find a bit of a higher road themselves and you too, and all my
poisonous retaliation would immediately stop!  I believe in reciprocity. I
treat you the way you treat me.  It is a form of the Golden Rule,… in
reverse.  I post grand amounts of good solid historically based, always
referenced materials pertainent to the topic. But Maani, I will tell you
once and for all, nobody calls me names or denigrates my person ever
again!  Think what you will, at the end of the day, I am standing tall. 
Sometimes in stiletto heels with my long flaming red hair flowing in the
wind!  Testy, you damn well better believe I am.

And yes, y’all, do revisit the Family Values forum, only read from the
beginning to see the originating evolution of Joan’s clever mercenary
skirmishes about lying then cheating then how Shenonymous won’t
play her game!  So Joan would have you use your time hunting for
Shenonymous’s bones!  Kind of vulturous I would say.  Why Joan, you
are a real cannibal!  Electronically speaking.

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By Leefeller, June 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Lets see the one who propagates the attack or insult is the victim?..... Now I get it, this is like turning all four cheeks as   riding the higher or lower road depending on how many cheeks one gets turned?

Everyone handles things differently, lets see how many cheeks I can turn today, so I would never expect others to handle things as I, nor would I call them disappointments, maybe some people learn things differently and then handle them differently, my disappointments seem many, are they the same as others?

So if I cruse around Truth Dig on the low road looking for cheeks to turn and find a potential cheek turner, usually someone I do not like or may be jealous of or happened to have been in many previous food fights with getting my arise kicked, so this time I run some interference and drop a little bomb and play the poor me routine, maybe I can win this one? Boy this is fun!

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By Joan, June 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt and Shenonymous,

Here’s to those who never err, all evidence to the contrary. For the readers here puzzled by this post, check out this URL.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/
family_values_and_glass_houses_20100523/


My discussion was not if Jesus lied. I never challenged Shenonymous on the veracity of her absolute assertion that he did, and about which she has backpedaled. I have no obilgation to make that challenge and Maani already responded aptly. My challenge to her was did I lie about what she said?  I did not.

Somehow, she simply forgot what she posted and then bludgeoned me on a number of posts rather than man up and admit her fallibility and make things right with a sincere apology, an act of dignity and strength of character all can admire.

If you show such strength of character and grace and apologize to her for a simple mistake, she still bludgeons you. Speaking from experience here too… Go figure…

For those who have the time, it’s an enlightening read.

Ardee,

You may find that thread of particular interest.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Such is an example of the human condition in the frailty area of it. It is hard indeed to take such slights. I react to those who question my intelligence. I just want to bash them till they don’t know their ass from their head. It is an almost instinctive with me that I try to curb. It must also be said that Ardee does his share too, usually starting it so no one is fully clean here. Just where will it end?

I am still waiting to see the murder numbers done by Ba’hi’s and Universalists so anyone who knows please relate? Buddhists tend to hurt themselves but I do believe they will defend themselves if attacked. If there aren’t then maybe we should look to see why not?

Again it is the human factor that is the primary cause not whatever philosophy or theosophy they follow. Though such can facilitate more good or evil depending on how it is written.

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By Leefeller, June 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Damn Night gaunt, we just went through the same swooping one winged buzzard crap with the Fizzle thread by two other posters, disrupting OM and the general flow of the thread or was it yourself? I suspect for the same reason and bullseye she target.

As for the Moslem’s I would like to hope they are peace loving people who would leave infidels alone, but reason provides doubt if the choice and opportunity was theres to make. What seems to be happening in Europe with religious inroads may be cause for concern and argument?

Intolerance seems to be more common than not. Guess this could be pointed toward religion but really just about anything different from ones accepted norms, even in Atheism, which leads me to conclude for now intolerance may be a human trait, built on ignorance?

When people of religion say one will be going to hell, because one does not believe or belong or if people of religion demand subservience to believe of else, I feel little compassion for ignorance as this. Supporting tolerance as in the freedom of choice would be my first choice, but this does not seem the smooth road road promoted by the ignorance of religiousophy.

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By Maani, June 3, 2010 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:

“It is sort of like the Hatfields and the Mcoys. I ask if one disagrees with Shes comments why do they not just disagree with her comment without the name calling?”

Pardon me, Leefeller, but I have seen FAR more name-calling and vituperation from Shenonymous than from many she accuses of same.  My post in that regard - comparing their respective comments - is a case in point.

“Though in She’s case I submit attackers promote tones of sexism and jealously and I suppose an incapability to respond with merit so this is business as usual.”

The black and white of cyberspace can be “cold” and easily misinterpreted sans emoticons, etc.  She’s problem (and it applies to others here too) is that she automatically assumes that comments that could be interpreted as “sexist” or “jealous” ARE such, instead of giving the benefit of the doubt and asking whether those comments were so intended.

“Ardee could have argued the points without insult or could he? Seldom do I enjoy the food fights here, though on occasion I have been involved, but what such a waste of energy.”

Yes, he could have.  But are you suggesting that She’s method of fighting fire with fire is the correct one?

She: “I have warned him time and time again, have offered to let byegones be byegones, but he has a bug up his ass and it just won’t let him stay his tongue.  That is how far the bug reaches.  He reawakens the beast in me and I’ve have warned him. If my vituperation is as poisonous as it can be, then I have succeeded.”

All you have succeeded at is showing that you have little or no control over yourself.  Why can’t you just be the “bigger” person and ignore it?  Why are you so PROUD of your vituperation?  What does that say about the kind of person you are?

You could take the higher road, but you don’t.  Instead, you take the lower road - lower even than your detractors and “enemies” - and actually REVEL in your meanness.  As I noted on the other thread, this is both surprising and incredibly disappointing.

Peace.

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Reprinted from After Religion Fizzles
By Shenonymous, June 2 at 9:41 pm
Lots of Muslims were killed!  You [truedigger3] should do some
research ?yourself and provide sources. The difference is there is
not a ?“long” history of Muslims being persecuted. But they certainly
?suffered many massacres.

Nevertheless, The Armenian–Tatar massacres (also known as the?
Armenian-Tartar war and the Armeno-Tartar war) refers to the ?bloody
inter-ethnic confrontation between Christian Armenians ?and Muslim
Tartars throughout the Caucasus in 1905–1907. The ?massacres started
during the Russian Revolution of 1905, and ?claimed hundreds of lives.

The most violent clashes occurred in 1905 ?in February in Baku, in May
in Nakhichevan, in August in Shusha and in ?November in Elizavetopol,
heavily damaging the cities and the Baku ?oilfields. Some violence,
although of lesser scale, broke out also in ?Tbilisi. According to
professor Firuz Kazemzadeh, “it is impossible to ?pin the blame for the
massacres on either side. It seems that in some ?cases (Baku,
Elizavetpol) the Azerbaijanis fired the first shots, in other ?cases
(Shusha, Tiflis) the Armenians.” The clashes were not confined to ?the
towns, and, according to an Armenian estimate, 128 Armenian and ?158
Muslim villages were destroyed or pillaged, while the overall ?estimates
of lives lost vary widely, ranging from 3,000 to 10,000, with ?Muslims
suffering higher losses.
 
?References:?Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Azerbaijan. History.?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia#World_War_I_
and_the_Armenian_?
Genocide?Willem van Schendel, Erik Jan Zürcher.
Identity Politics in
Central Asia ?and the Muslim World: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Labour in
the ?Twentieth Century.?

And most damning, see
?http://www.justiceforkhojaly.org/
?p=timeline

While the Armenians suffered much massacre they are not with clean ?
hands. http://www.azerigenocide.org/
hist/hist09.htm

Russia’s ruling circles also had played a double game for their purpose ?
in Armenian-Muslim’s conflict between 1905-1906. The imperial ?
officers were afraid that dissatisfaction would be turned against the ?
government, they stayed out of sight as the massacres committed in ?
the areas where Muslims lived by Armenians. This is said in the book ?
published in Istanbul by Jahangir Zeynaloglu, about setting up a special
?spy network for this purpose in 1924: “However Azeri-Turks still were ?
in QEFLET and were supporting the empire in the conflicts. Using this ?
QEFLET of the Muslims, Russia specially sent a delegation of 130 spies, ?
using its propaganda against the Turks and Armenians, duplicitously ?
agitated them to raise weapons against each other and made the two ?
nations, who had lived in peace for centuries, to massacre each other.”

?Armenians had committed more massacres in Irevan and many other ?
murders of Muslims in various places and attacked Muslim villages.
But the Jews were the prime victims throughtout time. And Muslims ?
were the inflictors death and destruction as well.

In the 1066 Granada massacre, a Muslim mob crucified the Jewish ?
vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred about 4,000 Jews -  ?
“Granada” - Richard Gottheil, Meyer Kayserling, Jewish Encyclopedia. ?
1906 ed.

In 1033 about 6,000 Jews were killed in Fez, Morocco by Muslim mobs ?
- http://www.usa-morocco.org/
moroccan-jews.htm and?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Pogrom - cite_ref-9?The Forgotten
Refugees - Historical Timeline

Mobs in Fez murdered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, in 1465
?- The Treatment of Jews? in Arab/Islamic Countries - Mitchell Bard
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-?
semitism/Jews_in_Arab_lands_(gen).html

The history of the Pogroms would yield even more accounts of Jewish ?
genocide.

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

In one sense, Night-Gaunt, you are right, and in another you
are not.  ardee has never missed the chance to stick me with
the knife of his ugly name-calling, not ever!  He and I have a long
history of his doing that and my venomous reaction.  He might be
right about the number of people that died at the hands of
Christians, but that was really a straw man argument that does
not take away from the fact that Muslims throughout history were
murderers too! Which is something the Islamists continue to try to
hide.  No one is more sad that I have to spend copious amounts of
time to neutralize the eunoch of the mind that is ardee’s and
others who are as defensive.  Oh strychnine is mild. 

I have warned him time and time again, have offered to let byegones
be byegones, but he has a bug up his ass and it just won’t let him stay
his tongue.  That is how far the bug reaches.  He reawakens the beast
in me and I’ve have warned him.  If my vituperation is as poisonous as
it can be, then I have succeeded.  Surprising just how high a level I can
muster, don’t you agree?  I have had good training in my tenure on
Truthdig and suffered all the name-calling I will put up with.  Not one
more iota. 

And I know you have a gentle heart, and too have suffered and
endured! being called almost everything under the sun.  I respect you
for your way of dealing with it. But it is not my way.  In reality, I do give
respect on every forum!  I never attack first, I always keep my posts
impersonal dealing with issues but that is not enough because the
content irks the reactive Islamists and because they cannot refute the
data, they attack me! I will not tolerate the face of such horrid
treatment.  I will not give up my integrity to lowlifes and lowmentalities. 
Offer me an argument and I will consider your points and either agree
or counter.  BUT DO NOT DENIGRATE MY PERSON!  You want a piece of
that then suffer the consequences.

I do not deny and have actually shown the evil that has been committed
throughout history by Christians.  I did not take any side. After all I am
atheist and see that religion in the hands of devious and evil men does
poison humanity.  There are a few articles where the topic of religion
are overlapping.  I posted a long account of massacres of Muslims on
the After Religion Fizzles We’re Stuck with Nietzsche to
truedigger3 took umbrage as usual when any mention of a
negative action by Muslims are made, in accordance with his comrades. 
I will reprint it here.  I apologize to you, but I do not apologize any
further.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 3, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Vindictiveness and rancor are like bile in the mouth, poison in the mind. It can make any beautiful thing ugly. If one has a bad thing to say about another first thing why not pause for a minute or ten? Is that really what one wants for a lifetime here? Would you say such a thing directly to them? Is that the best thing one could say to them? Does it really help them or just a way of “slipping the shiv” as you smile and shake hands? Please strive for better relations? That is all that I can ask of anyone including myself.

Suffice it to say Shenonymous I am sad at your most recent unnecessary attack on Ardee. Did you really need to do that then offer help within that poisonous preamble? Like adding vitamin A to a soup full of strychnine. Not of any real help.

Ardee‘s points are well made. How many Christians in the world? How many of them are in and dominate nations of the West? How many of those had colonies in the Middle East? How many have pushed their way in to take over or control or make money of the wealth of those Islamic nations? How many of them have superior weapons and have invaded Islamic countries? How many Islamic countries have nukes and have invaded Christian ones? See a pattern here?

The USA is directly involved in how Iraq, Iran, & Israel have turned out now. (For different reasons with Israel.) The USA is using occupied Iraq to threaten Iran, in Afghanistan and Pakistan while also taking pot shots in Somalia and Yemen from their base nation of Djibouti. Any equivalent in the Islamic world? No.

Suicide missions are for the ill equipped, poor, desperate and stateless groups fighting against a far more powerful superior force. This isn’t World War II by any stretch. It doesn’t excuse them but it helps to illuminate some of the reasons for it.

It doesn’t help Hitchens case that he has adopted all the propagandist rhetoric of the Reich wing including the farcical “Islamo-fascism.” What exactly does that phrase mean? Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11/01 attack, but Pakistan and Saudi Arabia did. So why are they our allies? Why hasn’t Hitchens disowned that from the beginning?

He is an articulate drunk but still addled just a bit. That and has stars in his eyes and money in his pocket for joining the dark side. It pays far better.

It must be understood that Republics don’t need an enemy to continue to exist but empires do. There are those that would like to eliminate what we have left of the Republic so that they could have a full Empire to rule the world. The kluge that is our country cannot stand as an asymmetrical hybrid of Republic and external dictatorship. One or both will fall. Will we get our full Republic back or lose it all? It is out choice.

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By Leefeller, June 3, 2010 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

So many times I have seen posters swoop in like one winged buzzards landing with little grace, do some pecking to disrupt the flow of Shes comments and this has also been done to others for that matter.  Disagreement by discussion is not on the agenda and never was to be, instead we are off to the name calling or insulting.  She seems to have her flock of detractors, ..... ever circling until they cannot stand it anymore.

Manni, it is sort of like the Hatfields and the Mcoys. I ask if one disagrees with Shes comments why do they not just disagree with her comment without the name calling? 

I am reminded of when I was growing up, for some amusement on a long trip sitting in the back seat of a car where I chose to annoy my sister.

Though in She’s case I submit attackers promote tones of sexism and jealously and I suppose an incapability to respond with merit so this is business as usual.

Ardee could have argued the points without insult or could he? Seldom do I enjoy the food fights here, though on occasion I have been involved, but what such a waste of energy.

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By Maani, June 3, 2010 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

From ardee: “I find no merit in discussing anything at all with that wretched Shrew, and only responded to that disgusting post because I think all persons of honor needs stand up to such bile.”

Calls Shenonymous a “wretched shrew.”  Certainly an insult, but a personal attack?

Here is how Shenonymous reacts:

“The Spew just couldn’t resist needing to smell the smell of his own vomit again to jab at the Shrew!  Isn’t that right ardee?  Hungering for your own regurgitation is it? Your bitterness is eating you up inside out and you show that your mind has already got going.  But it isn’t such a loss since it was small anyway. What power you have assigned to me, the Shrew!  How I must permeate your thoughts!  You need to genuflect!  I decree that your talent lies in straw man arguments, mainly because you have no content to draw from in the shrunken brain that was given to you from a diseased pig.  Flailing around trying to bring down the goddess you made of me! The Shrew!  Another impotent straw man effort.  Now I don’t think pigs eat straw.  You will just have to survive on your vomit. Looks like you want to bore this forum as much as you have done in the past.  Shall we perform for this bunch?  Okay, you know I’m up for it!  You are one of my favorite foes!  Let the circus begin!  Main feature: ardee the bumbling stuttering clown. ardee the Spewer.  Now does everyone have his or her front row seat?  Just note who struck the first name calling.  ardeeeeeee!  So dumb he can’t remember that last time he tried that.  Oh, forgot for a second, the shrunken brain problem.  5 Yups.”

Almost five times as much verbiage, all of it both overreactive and over the top, and much of it TRUE personal attack.

What has happened to Shenonymous’ vaunted and self-proclaimed fair-mindedness?  What has happened to the wonderful intelligence and debate skills that used to override her sarcasm and meanness?  When did she go from reasoned and thoughtful to oversensitive, overreactive, defensive, and mean-spirited?  When did she begin to find destroying her “enemies” more appropriate than actually debating them?

On two threads now, she has chosen to use personal attack as her method of engagement, and has sought to simply try to “cow” anyone who disagrees with her.  That is not exactly a constructive method for debate fora.  Nor is it exactly democratic, just or fair.

Peace.

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By Leefeller, June 3, 2010 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

If one makes a joke of something, comments on it with jest or dost show respect, death threats become the order of the day.  This dose not seem peace loving or promote any kind of open mindedness,  I would want to live among this kind of fear, the opposite.  Accordingly, freedom of speech by relgions, is free as long as it is limited to what is deemed as acceptability, by deciders, this could also be poltical?


Fear of ignorance of religion may be warranted, but I do not know anything other than what I have read and have been lead to believe. The happy picture Hitchens paints of all Regions past and present and their unequil treatment of women alone has removed any empathy I may have had for these religions. I find it unacceptable killing to keep the veal on women under the auspicious of voodoo crap.

Never fails, always some sorry sot, must insult a poster and never the post, very big of one to attack the female and not the male, sexism seems alive and well right here in River City. 


Ardee, you personal insults of She seem to fulfill some personal agenda, but it would have been much more appreciated and prudent if you had commented on Hitchens Book or disagreed with merit on the topic, instead of insulting and name calling, or is that asking to much?

Everyone has read about relgions treating of women as lesser beings, are these not true conditions?  I read “God is Not Great” and have seen other accounting’s, of women being stoned, caned and killed. My uncomfortable visions from TV, showing a frenzied mob chasing a naked women through the streets in Somalia for allegedly being a whore to be killed is not something I would want happening in my neighborhood.

My respect for religions have become nonexistent like the fantasy’s they promote.

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Yahoo, mountaindoodoo.  Got me broom and ready to ride!

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By ardee, June 3, 2010 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

I would only note, to those with discernment and taste, that ,once again, the broomstick riding supporter of the status quo and protector of her own right to luxuriate while the world burns has avoided discussing the blatant prejudice of her previous post.

She is not the only poster here who supports the American Empire over Justice, she is not the only poster here deserving of scorn and ridicule, but she does blow up so amusingly, dontcha think?

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By Shenonymous, June 3, 2010 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

The Spew just couldn’t resist needing to smell the smell of his
own vomit again to jab at the Shrew!  Isn’t that right ardee? 
Hungering for your own regurgitation is it?

Your bitterness is eating you up inside out and you show that your
mind has already got going.  But it isn’t such a loss since it was small
anyway. What power you have assigned to me, the Shrew!  How I must
permeate your thoughts!  You need to genuflect!  I decree that your
talent lies in straw man arguments, mainly because you have no
content to draw from in the shrunken brain that was given to you from
a diseased pig.  Flailing around trying to bring down the goddess you
made of me! The Shrew!  Another impotent straw man effort.  Now I
don’t think pigs eat straw.  You will just have to survive on your vomit.

Looks like you want to bore this forum as much as you have done in
the past.  Shall we perform for this bunch?  Okay, you know I’m up for
it!  You are one of my favorite foes!  Let the circus begin!  Main feature: 
ardee the bumbling stuttering clown. ardee the Spewer.  Now does
everyone have his or her front row seat?  Just note who struck the first
name calling.  ardeeeeeee!  So dumb he can’t remember that last time
he tried that.  Oh, forgot for a second, the shrunken brain problem. 
5 Yups.

What glee, it will be a very good and entertaining day.

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By ardee, June 3, 2010 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

There are, I would remind the sane and the fair minded among you, over 1.4 billion followers of Islam. Remarks that generalize and demean all of those folks because of the actions of a minority of fanatics are beyond wrong and only serve to shine a light into the worms in that posters head.

I wonder if those who show such blatant prejudice would also condemn the 1.2 billion Catholics for the actions of pedophile priests and those like Torquemada?

Iraq, for example,had at one time women in govt, at every professional level as well. They also had , prior to the sanctions and ultimately invasion, the finest hospitals in that region and women served as doctors and administrators as well. Throughout history, Islam, like every major religion, has its positives and its negatives. Only the very small minded display such blatant prejudice, and only the sheep, I think, climb on that sorry bus.

I find no merit in discussing anything at all with that wretched Shrew, and only responded to that disgusting post because I think all persons of honor needs stand up to such bile.

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By LocalHero, June 3, 2010 at 2:25 am Link to this comment

nemesis2010

“I think that the Islamic threat to Western Civilization has been grossly understated. I agree with him that when compared to Islamic fundamentalism our society and what it has to offer mankind is so far superior that there is absolutely no way to compare them.”

I think the threat of Islamic fundamentalism is ridiculously overstated to the point of it being laughable (and that’s beside the fact that they are merely puppets of the military and intelligence “services” of the U.S., Great Britain and Israel).

And, let’s see, just off the top of my head, here are a few things that our society offers as “far superior” alternatives: The rape and destruction of precious natural resources, never-ending wars to open up new markets, the threat of nuclear annihilation held over the world for 60 years, the insane use of two of those weapons, false-flag ops to start new wars (possibly including 9/11), ghoulish medical experiments without the consent of the victims (including vaccines), advertising propaganda, slave labor contracted world-wide, pesticides, birth defects, toxic air and water, poisonous drugs, untested Frankenstein-foods and seeds and, possibly worst of all, the mental, physical and spiritual subjugation of people as merely “human resources” to be used up and discarded.

Oh baby, we’ve got a lot to offer!

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By Leefeller, June 2, 2010 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Nemisis, point well taken!

“It is foolish to label an individual this or that because of his/her position on a single issue. It’s that type of mental myopia that has me labeled on one thread as a right-winger and a socialist brother within three posts of each other.”

I stand corrected. Labeling is a cop out used for simplistic reasons and I fell into the trap of simplicity. May it be more accurate to state, Hitchens may be conservitive in some issues and liberal in others, as I and it sounds like Nemisis and I would hope most thinking individuals not accepting the mental myopia of labeles with what seems the horn of plenty here from minds of convenience. So it would be prudent to remove the labels and assimilate the comments at face value, all labels!

I apologize for my previous statement, labels always have annoyed me and yes I know better, I will blame it on the Tequila!  Having also been called many contradictory names on these unhallowed threads, may I present a hearty toast of raspberries to myopic name libelers everywhere!

She great comments! My respect for Hitchens writing has returned from holiday. Thanks for bringing focus.

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By nemesis2010, June 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, June 2 at 5:17 pm

” His argument is against Islam and what he calls “Islamofascism “who he believes is “hellbent on destroying our (Western) civilization), believes also that anyone who
disagrees is either stupid, cowardly, naïve or too lazy to have bothered updating their political faculties since the 70s.”

He’s absolutely right and I agree wholeheartedly with him. Islam is out to subvert Western Civilization. Their tactic is to involve themselves into the democratic process and subvert it from within while simultaneously attacking it from without and creating asinine reactions like those of the Bush/Cheney administration. Bush reacted exactly in the way that bin Laden wanted him to react. These wars are destroying us economically and have done much in the erosion of freedom and human rights.

By Shenonymous, June 2 at 5:17 pm

”They want to blame the west, the United States in particular, for all the ills that plague the Middle East.  Hitchens does not.”

Again he is correct in his assessment. Islam and that monstrosity Sharia Law are the problem in the Middle East. Our lust for oil doesn’t help the situation but the main problem—their religion—has been ruining lives for centuries long before oil greased the world economy.

By Shenonymous, June 2 at 5:17 pm

”Even when drunk, hardly anyone can surpass his articulation of what he thinks about
world affairs.”

Right on the money!

By Shenonymous, June 2 at 5:17 pm

”He takes George Orwell as a mentor and it is highly likely that his “longing for the great Orwellian test” – the momentous moral challenge to match the 1930s – might have tempted him to overstate “the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.” He asks himself if western civilization is superior?  He answers a resounding “Yes.”  He thinks western ideology is supremely worth fighting for.”

Here’s where Hitchens and I split company. I think that the Islamic threat to Western Civilization has been grossly understated. I agree with him that when compared to Islamic fundamentalism our society and what it has to offer mankind is so far superior that there is absolutely no way to compare them.

And anyone of you who wishes to debate that…

Fine post Shenonymous! smile

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By Shenonymous, June 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

How much is it Hitchens the Real, and how much the Call of
Celebrity where you are only as good as your last performance? 
Isn’t it the same here on Truthdig for the peons who populate
the forums?

Father of three, and perhaps not the best of fathers, but then that
description is not entirely owned by him given the millions upon
millions of absent fathers that has roamed this earth, bisexual in his
youth, Hitchens is on his second wife.  “Hitchens-22” is not, he says,
an autobiography, it is a memoir that puts his ideas on display.  A
pretentious British interviewer, Aitkenhead, perhaps expecting a god,
found instead an articulate though a boozer, couldn’t help waxing with
her own ultralingusitics that typify the English performance when they
interview anyone.  It’s the British thing you know.  Like who the fuck
cares if Hitchens is paunchy (how many men in the world are not
paunchy?) and who the fuck cares if he is bleary eyed, discheveled and
hungover.  How many men would love to make that claim, and do.  Like
really who the fuck cares?

He says, and why should we not believe him, that the 9/11 incident and
tragedy affected him indelibly.  His personal outrage gave him new
food for thought and his conclusion is that the left in which he had
long resided was completely wrong.  His argument is against Islam and
what he calls “Islamofascism “who he believes is “hellbent on
destroying our (Western) civilization), believes also that anyone who
disagrees is either stupid, cowardly, naïve or too lazy to have bothered
updating their political faculties since the 70s.”

There are many dissident voices on Truthdig who finds the event of
9/11 unimportant and untroubling.  They want to blame the west, the
United States in particular, for all the ills that plague the Middle East. 
Hitchens does not.

The interviewer criticizes that Hitchens emotional state of mind is
responsible for his critiques of world politics rather than any amount of
argument.  That is an asinine assessment and doesn’t even make
sense.  So much for the intellect of interviewers.  Even when drunk,
hardly anyone can surpass his articulation of what he thinks about
world affairs.  But the point is made that when the invasion of Iraq was
initially debated, there was a prevalence of left-wing men of a certain
age who came out in support of the war.  The interviewers own
emotional rhetoric shows up regularly in her editorializing interview
and one wonders why she even had Hitchens there at all.  Her
psychologizing is plainly stupid. 

He believes that the 9/11 attack was the defining moment that
displayed the unbreachable chasm between the Middle East and the
West.  He takes George Orwell as a mentor and it is highly likely that
his “longing for the great Orwellian test” – the momentous moral
challenge to match the 1930s – might have tempted him to overstate
“the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.” He asks himself if western
civilization is superior?  He answers a resounding “Yes.”  He thinks
western ideology is supremely worth fighting for.

Like other political thinkers he abhors mob rule.  This indubitably
contributed to his change to the right. 

From the interview this says it all:; “Well, I’ve done better than I
thought I would. I’ve made more money than I ever thought I would.
I’ve got more readers than I ever thought I would, and more esteem.”
He now earns “several hundred thousand dollars a year” – but claims
his wealth hasn’t influenced his opinions at all.

Does he think wealth ever affects people’s opinions? “Well, yes, I’m a
Marxist, after all.” So why would his own opinions be mysteriously
immune to his bank balance? “Well, because I can’t trace any
connection.” Doesn’t he find that unusual? He pauses to consider.
“Well, no, because I think that comes in with inherited wealth.”

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By Maani, June 2, 2010 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

The NYT Review:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/
books/02book.html?sq=hitchens&st;=
cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

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By nemesis2010, June 2, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, June 2 at 5:35 am

“having heard this before on the old Hitching Post, not sure if the timing is correct, but Hitchings shifted his politicked posture from progressive to what he is now, so I guesstmated a theory. 
I suspected it had something to do with his becoming a citizen of the US and a possible deal with the administration then for a huss??
Hitchens became a citizen about the time his book came out “God Is Not Great” I concocted my theory for conveyance sake,  only to answer the question. Really why do people write what they write. For Money, to get lucky or piss off others?
An other idea may be conservatism is much more lucrative then Progressivism? One only need Look at Beck, Limpjaw and Palin. These are assumptions on my part and one could construe Hitchens as a Mercenary of sorts.”

Might it be Leefeller that Hitchens decided that we had to make a choice between the lesser of two evils and chose pro-Iraq war? Anyone believing that Islam is not a viable threat to Western Civilization is a loon doing so at the risk of his own demise. Islam and its adherents are a real threat to our way of life. And while—admittedly—we are far from perfect what we have is one helluva lot better than anything that shit Islam has to offer mankind. Even Christianity and Judaism is better than Islam and you have to dig deep to find something more abhorrent than Christianity and Judaism.

The problem with your conservatism vs. progressivism idea is that most of those who consider themselves conservatives are also believers, who will be the last people on earth to buy his books. I’d be willing to bet that a very small percentage of the Christers even know that Hitchens was pro-Iraq war. What are his stated reasons for backing the Iraq invasion?

Can you present us with some of Hitchens’ positions that indicate he is conservative rather than simply a progressive that believes the Iraq invasion was necessary? I ask because there are many progressives in this country that believed the Iraq invasion was justified. How many Democritters have ever voted against the war and/or funding?

It is foolish to label an individual this or that because of his/her position on a single issue. It’s that type of mental myopia that has me labeled on one thread as a right-winger and a socialist brother within three posts of each other.

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By nemesis2010, June 2, 2010 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

By prole, June 1 at 9:37 pm

”Hitch is a bitch,
Stinking of gin;
and Iraq’s godless sin:
Hitch-22? Hitch-4Q!”

Shows how little you know. Hitchens’ favorite beverage is the same as mine; Johnny Walker Black Label.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 2, 2010 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Jeers to you Joan for repeating yourself on several threads. Keep them separate please. Don’t mix them up as you have recently. Confusion will be sown.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 2, 2010 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Jesus was certainly a dumb liar but only to those of us not blinded by the Holy Light to see it right there in the passages. You, however Joan, have produced a sea of words that did everything but point out where Shenonoymous quoting from the Bible is wrong on that. So what does that say about Christians like yourself Joan? For all of what you say you agree by omission with what those passages say and the resultant history that supports the conclusion both you and I draw from them. Now don’t you?

To all of those touting their abilities it is what you write here that shows it, not your IQ scores. IQ is malleable because it is learned information used in one kind of test. There are many kinds of intelligence which differs from knowledge for it is how you use it that counts. The ultimate test if you will every time you type in to any forum.

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By Joan, June 2, 2010 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

“Respect is earned.” Shenonoymous

Again, perhaps in your world respect is the fruit of bloody battle from which a victor emerges and a victim beaten to death or some other mechanism of your personal system of judgments of whom you deign to be worthy of your courtesy.  Christians believe and were taught to believe—- by this not too bright albeit somewhat now clever guy, Christ, prone to lying but, who to save others, honorably surrendered his life while promoting one of the largest churches in the history of mankind—- Christians believe that people are to treat everyone with respect because they are his Father’s children, a concept Thomas Jefferson exploited masterfully in ‘the Declaration’. Mankind is due rights just in virtue of being God’s children. Boy… has that little idea paid dividends in the march for universal human rights. 

I do think once someone has behaved so foolishly so as to have lost the respect of others, it must be earned but that does not mean one should be treated disrespectfully in the meantime.  In other words we are not supposed to manhandle people until we think they are worthy of respect. 

Maani is right. You avoid the questions you don’t want to answer with a sea of words and multitude of diversions. Then you malign those with the temerity to stand their ground and challenge your ideas. They are dishonorable and stupid liars.  You are ungracious if others unintentionally err, even in the face of a swift and honest apology, unacknowledged in word and spirit. If you err, you continue to assault the very person you wronged. When challenged, you don’t carefully review your own posts to see what you have written to generate the conclusions that others may reasonably draw from your, many, many words or ask for clarification or clarify. Challenged, you take aim and fire at will on those you think weaker or, as Maani says, you retreat behind your righteous indignation


Shenonymous June 2, 11:16 PM
Maani…
“Would you cheat?  That is the nitty gritty.  We shall see just how moral you are?  Joan has opted out from answering. “

If I did not answer a question, it was because I did no see it, not because I opted out of answering it. How could you possibly insert such malicious lie about me into that paragraph?


Note:  Maani’s June 2, 3:07 post

Shenonymous “Because I provided several biblical references that could imply [Jesus] lied”

Backpedaling???  On the Hitchens’ thread you said outright that Jesus lied and listed his litany of lies as sure God makes the rain, so to speak. You said in effect that he did so much of this lying that he was damaging his credibility and in turn his church. He evidently was not bright enough to realize that lying would have bad consequences. My use of the word “dumb” is well justified by your own words. But I see now that on this thread, late at night, Jesus has gotten a little more clever with what may have been lying on his part.

You may not have meant for anyone to draw the conclusion that you thought Jesus was a dumb liar. I get it. But what is not kosher is you berating me for your own forgetfulness, and a choice of words that gives me room to make the case you think he was a dumb liar, especially in the context of your all too often unflattering remarks about Christians.

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