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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), federal Judge John Roll, and others shot at campaign event (Page 12)

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Author Topic: Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), federal Judge John Roll, and others shot at campaign event
Ron Lambert
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It was great to learn that Rep. Giffords' condition has been upgraded from serious to good and she has been transferred to the Memorial Hermann TIRR facility to begin her rehabilitation. There had been some delay because of a buildup of fluid in her head.

Wasn't that actually a jump in several levels, going from serious to good? Where does "guarded" come into the picture (or do they use that normally)? What about "fair" condition?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
. Whenever some issue like this comes up in the wake of some tragedy, I always feel an instinctive wariness for the over-reaction of "PC" type demagogues trying to take away something from all of us.

Usually the the things "PC" people try to "take away" are the terms and phrases specifically infused with malice and defamation through association- malice and defamation that the users of these terms know full well that they themselves are accessing and employing, or else full well should know. "Political Correctness" is a misnomer, as far as what this process describes. Quite simply, it's the awareness, and the advocation of awareness, of those political and social terms which have been corrupted by history to the point that they cease to fulfill their original communicative functions, and now fulfill rather blunt rhetorical functions that have become ineffective at actual communication of the original subject. So thus, "cripple," once a more general term of a person with some disability, takes on the connotation through fashion of speech of weakness, lack of wholeness, invalidity, and sloth. So the term is relegated to the politically "incorrect," meaning, very plainly, that if you want to talk about disabled people in any neutral way, saying "cripple" doesn't accomplish that aim. It is technically "incorrect" for political usage. Get it?

And there is no unringing the bell here. A word gathers connotation like moss, and then it has to be changed. That's language. The word can still be used- but it will maintain its history and its connotations in the minds of those who hear and see the word. That can be effective in art, and complicating in politics. That's life. Moaning about it is pointless, and those who fight against it usually seem to do so because they don't enjoy having their rhetorically inflamed speech thrown back in their faces for the ignorance that it represents. The backlash against PC culture is one of insecurity, just as the rabid wing of PC culture itself is.

And I think it's important to consider whether "PC" vigilants "take away" these terms, or rather simply expose these terms for what they are, and actively shame those who continue to employ them into seeking new and more original forms of expression for themselves- disempowering non-constructive speech. That is not taking anything away- it is deflating rhetoric which is far too obvious and crude to be accepted on its face. I think that's an aspect of "PC" you may never have considered.

[ January 27, 2011, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Samprimary
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This event has tied into all the things I've been talking about in a very unique way.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/When_the_politically_fueled_murder_of_a_9-year-old_girl_in_Arizona_is_NOT_national_news.html

quote:
While the seriously warped mind of Christina'ss Tucson murderer, Jared Lee Loughner, is a muddled mess, the motives of one of Brisenia's alleged killers-- a woman named Shawna Forde -- are pretty clear: She saw herself as the leader of an armed movement against undocumented immigrants, an idea that was energized by her exposure to the then-brand-new Tea Party Movement. But unlike the horrific spree that took Christina's life, the political murder of Brisenia and her dad (while Brisenia's mom survived only by pretending to be dead) has only received very sporadic coverage in the national media. That's a shame, because it's an important story that illustrates the potential for senseless violence when hateful rhetoric on the right -- in this case about undocumented immigrants -- falls on the ears of the unhinged.

This week, Forde is on trial on Tucson, and the details are horrific:

As her mother tells it, 9-year-old Brisenia Flores had begged the border vigilantes who had just broken into her house, "Please don't shoot me."

But they did — in the face at point-blank range, prosecutors allege, as Brisenia's father sat dead on the couch and her mother lay on the floor, pretending that she too had been killed in the gunfire.

Why did Forde, said to be the "mastermind," and the other alleged killer, Jason Bush, carry out this heinous crime? Prosecutors allege that Forde cooked up a scheme to rob and murder drug dealers, all to raise money for the fledgling, anti-immigrant border patrolling group called Minutemen American Defense, or MAD.


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Mucus
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WhaaaaaaaaaTF.
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Rakeesh
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Huh. That is, no joke, reading like straight out of Machete, to the extent that I wonder if it will turn out to be partial or completely bogus, without having read more on my own yet.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
ooooohkay... One, where do you see me talking a whole lot about my respect for civility? When do you even see me advocating civility? I advocate *against* ridiculousness generally, but I pretty much keep my mouth shut when it comes to people being civil, because I'm not always that civil myself. So, who are you talking to? What newfound respect for civility do you think I've claimed? I realize it would be a wonderful blow to me if I had actually spouted long and loud about civility and its wonderful qualities- because that would make me look like a hypocrite. But you're just too lazy to actually account for my points, rather than the points you imagine for me in your own head- so I'm sure you feel you've scored some real points, calling me on my hypocrisy for saying things I haven't said. It's a good strategy, but I'll have to call you on your ridiculousness, as usual.
*laugh* *edit* Let me try to work so very hard for you and see if I can account for your points. Your point is that the immense volume of right wing hate speech, as opposed to the tiny sum of left wing unpleasant speech, is causing an increase in violence. That there is at least 3 times the amount of violent speech from conservatives as opposed to democrats. You do not want conservative pundits to be held guilty in a criminal sense for their overwhelming amount of violent/hate speech but they are responsible for the current violent politcal atmosphere. Additionally, democrats bear little, if any, responsibility for current political atmosphere. President Obama has done an extraordinary amount of appeasement to the hate filled conservatives while never stooping to using any violent/hateful speech of his own. You are baffled by anyone who does not agree that conservatives are producing the overwhelming, or at a minimum controlling, majority of violent/hate speech. Does that sum it up pretty well? Am I on the right, I mean correct, track?
quote:
Two: "All the Bush comments?" From whom? Me? I wasn't extremely vocal about Bush- nor am I extremely vocal about Obama- nor have I ever been extremely vocal about McCain. Palin, now, everything I've said has been true, and none of it has been unfair in my estimation- I have been vocal on the fact that I think she's an idiot and an embarrassment.
So you had to have been *extremely* vocal for it to count. Got it. You can be vocal, but not extremely vocal.
quote:
Now, if you're asking me if I'm going to apologize for "all the Bush comments," made by Liberals?
Nope. Just your own which, since you have not been extremely vocal, are given a complete pass.
quote:
Rhetoric is not bad, and Rhetoric is not good. You can persist in your small minded reductionism, or you can absorb that bit of wisdom right now. The kind of rhetoric, the aim, the motivation, the content- that all matters very much. But rhetoric is not valued in and of itself. It always exists. It is a function of language. So understand if you can, that when I say: "the rhetoric of the Right," I am talking about that rhetoric which I believe is generated with poor intentions, poor aims, a lack of wit or skill, and a disregard for truth. Were the rhetoric of the right something more positive- likely I would refer to it as such. I believe those terms characterize most of the current rhetoric of conservatives. 'Twas not always this way. It's just this way now. While rhetoric maintains a vaguely pejorative connotation, actually *using* rhetoric, actually being "rhetorical" is not in itself a failing. It's just that we refer most often to that "rhetoric" which is plainly obvious and therefore leaden and often destructive to communication.
*Edit* I never gave a value judgement on the word or definition of "rhetoric" although you believe I did for some reason.
And yes, I do understand with my small brain that your are speaking against the current, poorly intended, aimed, lacking wit and skill, intentionally false rhetoric of conservatives. Additionally, democrats are not, for the overwhelming majority of them, engaged in that type of rhetoric.
* edit* I was saying in that specific post.
Scholarette is much nicer than you.
quote:
You need to understand this point- and I think you need to demonstrate that you do understand it, or else we're not talking about *anything* except what you don't understand.
*Edited*

[ January 28, 2011, 12:45 PM: Message edited by: DarkKnight ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
*laugh* You are so gosh darn cute. Let me try to work so very hard for you and see if I can account for your points.

[promptly mangles all of Orincoro's points]


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JanitorBlade
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DarkKnight: You need to dial it back a bit please.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Huh. That is, no joke, reading like straight out of Machete, to the extent that I wonder if it will turn out to be partial or completely bogus, without having read more on my own yet.

The whole thing is going on as a trial right now. The woman is insane, and so are her supporters, to the extent that they're holding up the trial. One just tried to sneak into the trial in disguise.

She's a pitch-perfect example of, well, all the risks of the alarmist environment that we've been talking about. Her minutemen group is practically apocalyptic in their fear of immigrant takeover, and felt that there was only one real solution: to take matters into their own vigilante hands.

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DarkKnight
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Samp,
quote:
That there is at least 3 times the amount of violent speech from conservatives as opposed to democrats.
________________________________________
Wait a second, I'm confused here. How about BOTH sides use more common sense and restraint?
________________________________________
Orincoro: Yes. And then the democrats will still be using three times as much as the conservatives. Good idea.
quote:
You do not want conservative pundits to be held guilty in a criminal sense for their overwhelming amount of violent/hate speech but they are responsible for the current violent politcal atmosphere. Additionally, democrats bear little, if any, responsibility for current political atmosphere.
Orincoro: I also specifically indicated that I believe that there is a difference between responsibility and guilt and that I believe conservative pundits are *responsible* for the things they say and their contributions to the atmosphere, but that they are not *guilty* of other people's actions. I cannot be more clear.
quote:
President Obama has done an extraordinary amount of appeasement to the hate filled conservatives while never stooping to using any violent/hateful speech of his own.
"Obama has made comments."
Orincoro: I'm sorry, I think you need to substantiate that.
"I'll bet you never heard any outrage over Obama, Biden, or the Congressman's violent quotes."
Orincoro: And this. Particularly the idea that their speech has been notably violent. Particularly that such violent speech was aimed at political opponents rather than, say, terrorists, criminals, enemies of freedom and democracy, etc etc.
quote:
You are baffled by anyone who does not agree that conservatives are producing the overwhelming, or at a minimum controlling, majority of violent/hate speech.
Orincoro: It is a preponderance of violent rhetoric, certainly a controlling market share of violent rhetoric, a majority of violent rhetoric, but a monopoly on such a thing doesn't exist, and never could exist, and has never been suggested as having ever existed, by anyone here.
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Blayne Bradley
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CIVIL DISCOURSE!
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
Your point is that the immense volume of right wing hate speech, as opposed to the tiny sum of left wing unpleasant speech, is causing an increase in violence.

No, I never made that claim, and I do not think it is likely to be true. Violent crime continues to decrease. I do believe however that this type of speech remains dangerous. It is dangerous, not actually immediately responsible for much violence that I am aware of. So no, you are absolutely wrong on my position.

quote:
You are baffled by anyone who does not agree that conservatives are producing the overwhelming, or at a minimum controlling, majority of violent/hate speech.
I would love to understand what these people have been seeing and hearing to convince them otherwise. But specifically I think I said "violent" speech, and I don't know that I focused on "hate" speech. There's considerably more liberal "hate" speech than violent speech. I couldn't say who has an edge on that.


quote:
So you had to have been *extremely* vocal for it to count. Got it. You can be vocal, but not extremely vocal.

I say "extremely" a lot when I apparently don't mean it. Perhaps I should have said: "markedly" or "notably" vocal. I am vocal on many topics. Those weren't really important ones for me- at least not to discuss here.

quote:
Edit* I never gave a value judgement on the word or definition of "rhetoric" although you believe I did for some reason.
Because you're a weasel and you implied one very clearly. And being called out on your ignorance and your obviousness now, you demure about your own implications because they were cowardly and underhanded in the first place, and you were too slow witted to realize I would catch it immediately. Typical of you.


And what we come to at the end of all of this is that you are apparently letting go of your notion that I'm a hypocrite who mouths platitudes about civility. Because believe me, if one sarcastic remark counts as a "call to civility," then you really are completely lost in this discussion- the remark itself was hardly civil.

quote:
Scholarette is much nicer than you.
That's true. And I am smarter than you. I can live with one out of two.

[ January 28, 2011, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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JanitorBlade
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Orincoro: And now you need to dial it back please. I don't really feel like doing this all day guys, please just calm down.
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Orincoro
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Sorry, you know how it goes.
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Rakeesh
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Yeah, refraining from personal insults on a repeating basis is hard.
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BlackBlade
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It can be if one feels offended. Still I really do appreciate it when posters listen to me when I ask them to do something as moderator.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Yeah, refraining from personal insults on a repeating basis is hard.

Almost as hard as kicking that constant needling sarcasm habit.
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Ron Lambert
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Usually the the things "PC" people try to "take away" are the terms and phrases specifically infused with malice and defamation through association- malice and defamation that the users of these terms know full well that they themselves are accessing and employing, or else full well should know....

Like the word "gay" has been taken away from us as a synonym for cheerful. Like we have to check every so often to make sure which are the approved and not approved ways of referring to African-Americans (aka negroes, aka blacks). Like the political label "liberal" has come to be resented by liberals because most people now see it as a pejorative term (and whose fault is that REALLY?) Like anything positive one might say about gun ownership is taken as being un-PC, including merely referring to the Second Amendment. There seems to me to be far too much attempt being made to hijack the English language to serve merely political ends.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Like we have to check every so often to make sure which are the approved and not approved ways of referring to African-Americans (aka negroes, aka blacks).
Wow, we only heard Malanthrop make about twenty different iterations of the same complaint.

Tell me: how many names used to describe that a person is black have become un-pc in the last ten years? Give me as many as you can think of.

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Ron Lambert
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Sam, who cares? The point is made.

Here's another example. In the recent movie Superman Returns, Perry White reprises the old Superman motto, where he asks his staff of reporters, "Does he still stand for Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" For some reason that seemed not to be quite PC, so the script writers had Perry White say, "Does he still stand for Truth, Justice--all that stuff?"

How many other people besides me cringed at that? More than cringed, I took offense. Why is it now PC to diss America and the American Way? I see nothing wrong with America being a little evangelical about the essential principles of its way of life. It is not a wrong or evil thing to seek to export democracy, and all the necessary practices and traditions that go with it (such as the value of each individual human life)!

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Paul Goldner
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"Sam, who cares? The point is made"

The point that you should think for 2 seconds before being insulting to people? Yes, yes it is.

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Rakeesh
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Ron,

quote:
Like the word "gay" has been taken away from us as a synonym for cheerful. Like we have to check every so often to make sure which are the approved and not approved ways of referring to African-Americans (aka negroes, aka blacks).
Language isn't static. This is a fact-do you want to dispute it? Words evolve, changing their meaning and what was innocuous in one generation will become irrelevant or even offensive two or three generations later. There's no conspiracy in it or even anything objectionable. No one has taken anything away from you, Ron, so your clinging to this mantle of victimhood is just strange.

For gay you've still got cheerful, happy, joyful, delighted, and that was without even straining my brain. One could say you're being silly.

For African-Americans, you don't actually have to check. It's not difficult to know which ones are objectionable and which ones aren't, and racism isn't much about terminology anyway.

quote:
Like the political label "liberal" has come to be resented by liberals because most people now see it as a pejorative term (and whose fault is that REALLY?)
No, liberals don't resent the label liberal, liberals resent the meanings many conservatives such as yourselves inject the term liberal with. To answer your question, that would be the fault of conservatives such as yourself. We've even been over this before, with your straw-manning of liberals and what they believe about the siren-song of socialism, and being cowardly, and wanting all sorts of things you say they want, etc. etc. That is what liberals resent: having their portrait painted by you, because you do such a willfully malicious job of it. (You being far-right conservatives)

quote:
Sam, who cares? The point is made.
Yes, let's not actually examine the language to see if the point is made, let's just insist that the point is made and move on. That's a very honest, courageous debating posture to take, Ron.

quote:

How many other people besides me cringed at that? More than cringed, I took offense. Why is it now PC to diss America and the American Way? I see nothing wrong with America being a little evangelical about the essential principles of its way of life. It is not a wrong or evil thing to seek to export democracy, and all the necessary practices and traditions that go with it (such as the value of each individual human life)!

It's not a diss to America, calling Superman's ideals 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way' is a diss to, wait for it, everyone else on the planet who is a good guy, Ron. Because remember the fact that Americans don't have a monopoly on those virtues that are enshrined under that term? Your brand of aggressive offense-seeking doesn't fit with the example you've used.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
For some reason that seemed not to be quite PC, so the script writers had Perry White say, "Does he still stand for Truth, Justice--all that stuff?"
Superman Returns made about half its money overseas, in countries where "The American Way" is not necessarily associated with either Truth or Justice.
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Rakeesh
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And, quite aside from the notion that the American Way is somehow the prime way in which one can support all those good things, just how reasonable is it, really, to expect non-Americans to embrace that phrase?

It ain't. But let's just pretend these and other points weren't made, shall we?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Sam, who cares? The point is made.

You don't even know what my point is. Answer the question.
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Chris Bridges
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Like we have to check every so often to make sure which are the approved and not approved ways of referring to African-Americans (aka negroes, aka blacks). Like the political label "liberal" has come to be resented by liberals because most people now see it as a pejorative term (and whose fault is that REALLY?) Like anything positive one might say about gun ownership is taken as being un-PC, including merely referring to the Second Amendment. There seems to me to be far too much attempt being made to hijack the English language to serve merely political ends.

The point is not, and has never been, to control language. Generally, what the aggrieved party wants is to stop being called anything when it's dripping with scorn or abuse.

"Hey, bigboy! Look at the bigboy! Stand back, he's gonna stomp all over you! Hide your daughters! Back off, bigboy, we don't want your kind around here. Hey, have you heard the one about the three bigboys and the goat?"

"Please stop calling us bigboys. Please, just call us tall people."

"Yeah, whatever, 'tall person.' God, I can't believe how many tall people we're seeing in town these days. I swear they just take over the area. Well, tall people breed like rabbits, you know. But it's OK, we'd never hire one. They're dirty, tall people are, and they have no respect for themselves. Just lazy, really. Tall person! Yeah, I'm talking to you! Get your tall ass out of town!"

"We'd rather not be called tall people any more."

"Wasn't it your idea, 'tall person'?"

"We'd prefer to be called Heightened-Americans."

"Oh, got your own little group now, huh? Got to be treated special? 'Heightened-Americans,' what a joke. You know they got a quota down at the office. Got to hire so many Heightened-Americans, no matter what. Heightened-Americans are taking all our jobs, and it's a damn shame. It's getting so real Americans can't... Hey! They're calling themselves b-words now! I heard a tall p... ooh, sorry, I mean, a (finger quotes) 'Heightened-American' calling himself a b-word! And they call each other that all the time, on the street and in their music! How come we can't call them that? It's just a word!"

When the word is condemned, the real request is not really, "Stop saying that word, it's insulting." The request is "Stop treating my entire race/group/whatever as outsiders to be reviled, feared and ridiculed." But that's difficult to get across. What the members of the group really want are to be accepted, treated as peers, and respected.


Like the political label "liberal" has come to be resented by liberals because most people now see it as a pejorative term (and whose fault is that REALLY?)

There are several candidates, most notably Limbaugh, who puts all the scornful hatred behind the word that other people put into "child molester." But I'd lay the blame on Newt Gingrich, who included the term in the list of words he sent out in the GOPAC tapes to give Republicans loaded phrases and make their speeches sound consistent and powerful:

"decay... failure (fail)... collapse(ing)... deeper... crisis... urgent(cy)... destructive... destroy... sick... pathetic... lie... liberal... they/them... unionized bureaucracy... "compassion" is not enough... betray... consequences... limit(s)... shallow... traitors... sensationalists..."

A bad idea can never be simply a bad idea, it must be described as a bad liberal idea that will destroy America.

[ January 30, 2011, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]

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rivka
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Chris, great post.
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Samprimary
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quote:
"decay... failure (fail)... collapse(ing)... deeper... crisis... urgent(cy)... destructive... destroy... sick... pathetic... lie... liberal... they/them... unionized bureaucracy... "compassion" is not enough... betray... consequences... limit(s)... shallow... traitors... sensationalists..."
Lol. It's like listening to my friend's dad mutter to himself.
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Chris Bridges
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Imagine you're in high school, and for some reason the bullies start calling you a derogatory nickname whenever they yell at you, laugh at you, taunt you, beat you up or otherwise harass you. When, whenever you tried to make a new friend or find something in school you enjoyed, they were there right away to laugh at you and call you that word and all sorts of mocking variations of it and make sure you and everyone else knew exactly how unaccepted and useless you were and always would be. Doesn't matter a bit how harmless the word would be out of context, and it could even have been a nickname you originally chose for yourself. In very short order you would come to hate that word in any context, permanently associating it with that horrible feeling of unworthiness and helplessness even if it was used by someone who didn't mean it that way. You could spend the rest of your life building a strong marriage, a good job and raising wonderful children, and then at a reunion 25 years later someone could call out that name and that terrible feeling could come right back to you.

But it's not the word. It's never the word.

[ January 30, 2011, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]

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Orincoro
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And what's more, the person who's calling you that knows the effect it has on you, intellectually at least, and *doesn't care*. And when confronted for using it, he lies, and pretends to be unaware of the harm it causes.
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Samprimary
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Someone like ron should realize that much the same effect has been levied on the term 'fundamentalist' to the extent of birthing the derogatory 'fundie.' You could say that plenty have come to resent the usage of the word fundamentalist because now most people now see it as a derogatory term. And who's fault is that anyway?

Both use the unsourced and probably wrong assertion that 'most people now see it as a derogatory term' and both are insinuating that the group in question is at fault for other people making a word used to describe them a pejorative.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
And what's more, the person who's calling you that knows the effect it has on you, intellectually at least, and *doesn't care*. And when confronted for using it, he lies, and pretends to be unaware of the harm it causes.
In the example Chris gave, absolutely. I'm not prepared to say that fully transfers over to the discussion we're having about PC race/class/religious terms in every case - that someone using it knows, in all cases, what they're doing and when they claim ignorance they're lying.

I think it's a bit more complicated than that. I think what folks like Ron want is for other people to just get over it, to understand that they (meaning people like Ron) don't mean wrong-sounding terms like that, and it's obvious (somehow it's supposed to be obvious), so just can't they drop their baggage already?

That's when they're not claiming that the opposition is lying, or traitors, or something, about the entire process-that is that they're conspiring to use language against conservatives to make the whole thing up. I'd forgotten about that little publication, Chris. I'd be interested to see Ron talk about that, but I suspect the silence will, as usual, be deafening on the subject.

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Orincoro
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Sure, I just there are a lot of cases in which the person is not being honest in misunderstanding and or denying the effects of their choice of words. At best, they are being intellectually dishonest, and at worst, they are simply lying. For those who are simply ignorant- the solution would seem easy. You explain it, and they ought to understand.

Not understanding is one thing. A "when I was a child, I understood as a child," sort of thing. But "not understanding it" in terms of most of these discussions goes beyond not grasping the basic reasoning for changes in registers of speech throughout history, and in politics.

But since these arguments typically go: "I don't understand this," and then proceed from that basis, where the offending party continues to rebuff explanations as if they are false ideological justifications, I think "not understanding," stands in for simply not *liking it*. I think a lot of people who rail against PC culture simply want it to be acceptable for them to use inflammatory language. And how can you argue with someone about that? Their arguments make a lot more sense (to them), if they can maintain some level of incredulity at the very notion of the practice. Because if they access the part of their reasoning that should make this issue and its basic properties clear, they will have to accept that being PC is necessary. They accept this implicitly by not using the words (because they understand the effects and are also afraid of reproach), but their argument is actually against an ideology they imagine being based on being "PC," which is that it is not okay to criticize your opposition. Thus, you get people saying that "the truth" in the form of stereotypes they wish to perpetuate, is not "pc," when in fact a clear argument in favor of their position would be fruitless either because it is not true, or because it would demand an acknowledgement of subtlety and depth in the subject that they are not willing to allow. This is precisely because the stereotype or base assumption is the one they resonate with, rather than the more carefully expressed and qualified view. They actually don't have an interest in the truth, they have an interest in *their* truth.

quote:
I think what folks like Ron want is for other people to just get over it, to understand that they (meaning people like Ron) don't mean wrong-sounding terms like that, and it's obvious (somehow it's supposed to be obvious), so just can't they drop their baggage already?
I think the trouble with Ron and a lot of people like him is that he wants to just keeping using the words, knows damn well what effect they have, and wishes he could get away with doing it anyhow. I think he's intellectually lazy, and using hate speech and loaded vocabulary is easier. A lot of other people are actually just run of the mill racists, and they want to be allowed to express their fear and hatred of the outside world and the people in it. Then you get those who like the words and the phrases for their power of forbidden-ness, and try to deconstruct their effects by using them in unexpected and disarming ways: Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, George Carlin, Jay-Z, et al. The reason why they "get to" use them is because they are using them with due consideration of their effects. They are not using them, and then denying that they in fact do have meaning- they are forcing the meaning to serve their message, rather than the original. There is nothing wrong with this.

Sometimes it's a little unclear where the line between incredulity, malice and ignorance lies. I recall something along the lines of Jimmy Carter, during the 2008 presidential campaign, referring to Barrack Obama with language typical of a bygone age for describing successful black people: "clean, well spoken," and etc. Carter meant well, but disapproving public reaction was fully justified. Today we do not speak of black people in this way generally, because it is a mode of speech which relies on negative stereotypes of the black community in general, and patronizes successful blacks by implicitly recognizing them for being more "white," in speech and appearance. And these are not accolades that are bestowed upon white people, which further reinforces the notion that "whiteness" is a naturally superior state. This means that calling a black person "well-spoken," especially as a general descriptor, in fact glorifies the superiority of white culture by admitting that a lesser or disadvantaged member of society emulates white speech, and gains success in so doing. The fact that it is actually true that success in society is connected to how one speaks is immaterial to this. The comment ignores and marginalizes the substantive successes of a person in favor of focusing on their more superficial characteristics- those with which it is easy to identify. It's easier for some people to think of a black person gaining success by refusing to *be* black, rather than by simply working hard or being very smart. Carter, again, meant no harm by this comment- but he really, as a former President of the US and renowned diplomat, ought to have understood the effect of his words far better. It was troubling that he did not.

(Edit: Or was that Biden himself? I really can't remember)


ETA: And I think it's important to note that the typical anti-PC crusader is, in fact, a member of a majority culture or race, or is otherwise specifically *not* the typical victim of negative stereotyping. Jamaican neighbors, old white men, little old Japanese ladies, and so on. As a member of a minority in my country of residence (though of a cultural minority, and not a disadvantaged one), I have often been the victim of stereotyping, even as I have been complimented or praised. I think experiencing the kind of assumptions that come with being called "x" when you yourself feel no allegiance to the term or the group being identified, or else to any of the assumptions inherent in the term, makes you a little more sensitive to the feelings of others when you employ terminology of your own. That I am an American, to many people here, means that I am personally unreliable or unaccountable for myself, lack an understanding of history, am wasteful, am rich, am a christian, am politically conservative, am unadventurous in my diet (a hilarious example considering the typical East European attitude to foreign foods), am potentially violent, and am uninterested in foreign languages or cultures generally. So, quite often, people compliment me for not living up to any one of these stereotypes in some way, and it's insulting. It's insulting to be told it's incredible that I can bring myself to enjoy unknown things, not be wasteful, be intellectually curious, be friendly, be politically moderate, or show myself to be reliable and trustworthy. These are things we should expect of everyone, and though there is typically some truth in any given stereotype- they are no less harmful for that.

[ January 30, 2011, 07:41 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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BlackBlade
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Ressurecting this thread.

Link.

See? That wasn't so hard was, it?

[ February 25, 2011, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
See? That wasn't so hard, was it?

Added that missing comma for ya. [Wink]
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MrSquicky
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I may be missing it, but from what's written, it looks like the Congressman is blatantly lying about what he did. The report is that he answered the person asking the question, which he denies doing.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I may be missing it, but from what's written, it looks like the Congressman is blatantly lying about what he did. The report is that he answered the person asking the question, which he denies doing.

I noticed that too. The article wasn't exactly clear on that point. But perhaps he just turned and pointed to another person and the initial reports placed that statement as the answer to the Georgia man's question.
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Rakeesh
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I would say from what we can see in the link all that's clear is that he's blatantly weaseling, unfortunately. On the one hand he says he blatantly condemns, and on the other hand we see a clear cut lack of prompt condemnation. He doesn't say when he condemns all statements that threaten the use of violence.

Though he should've stopped right there and said, "No, sir. That's an awful question, a treasonous question, and you should be a ashamed of yourself for asking it. And the same goes for everyone who laughed at it. It shows how much work we have to do to make this a better district that the question would be asked as a joke, and that it would get laughter." Or some variant.

(Cue conservative complaints of, "But liberals...!")

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Sterling
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When McCain lost, I remember him telling his followers that they were going to have to come to terms with the new president and work with him.

I miss that very basic kind of civility. It really doesn't seem so much to ask. And yes, there are some people you're going to have to throw out of the "big tent" to do that, but it's absolutely necessary.

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LIGHT
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While serving my mission in Pennsylvania in 2008, we often ran into people who were generally ticked off with Obama's success and joked about shooting the guy. It's not an uncommon joke in some venues. Sounds like this guy just chose the wrong time and place to voice it.

*Editing to say that I fully believe that there's almost never a good time to joke that way, that doing so is in really bad taste and that mild-tempered civil cooperation is in our best interest. Hopefully things turn for the better.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
And yes, there are some people you're going to have to throw out of the "big tent" to do that, but it's absolutely necessary.

I don't think of it as absolutely necessary. If anything has been shown these past few years, it's that you can work the system and ensure you don't have to work with them at all, and force negotiation and cooperation to be strategically non-viable. First on your side, then on theirs.
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