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Author Topic: I don't think I've ever been so ashamed of my country
Mucus
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I'll post as my respectable Rakeesh sockpuppet now
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Rakeesh
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quote:
You can assume I'm doing it to 'score points,' and even keep a tally for me or report on what my score is from week to week, because the whole 'scoring points' idea is so ridiculously irrelevant to me that I honestly don't care if it's your interpretation. I just assume it's a gooesy representation of trying to represent the fact that I indulge in disagreeing with people openly and undermining their arguments where and when I consider them weak, disagreeable, or even openly silly.
Samprimary, the 'jackass' part was obviously over the line. Pretty plain example of personally insulting name-calling. Open-and-shut.

But are you seriously going to dispute the 'sneering' part of it? I mean really? I suppose it's possible that you're not actually sneering, that there's not some variant of, "These people (in this case, the TP and to a lesser extent their associated support) are so stupid and/or odious I get to be a real schmuck about pointing it out, because they've got it coming," going on when you post about politics. Or about individuals in some cases.

But it just seems pretty unlikely. About as unlikely as you whistling someone for calling you a jackass, considering how much scorn you appear to enjoy casting about, but I was wrong about that too, so I guess I need to re-evaluate my perceptions. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you're not actually sneering. I just know that when I post like you post, I'm sneering. I also know that when most people post like you post, they're sneering and will once things have calmed down cop to it.

I can't be certain but it seems to me that you post like that a lot. *shrug* For whatever it's worth.

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Swampjedi
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

There's really only one effective recipe for dealing with this kind of behavior, and that's not criticism from without: it's criticism from within. That is to say, y'all Christian Conservatives and Tea Party members (and those who sympathize and/or agree with some or most of the ideals, etc.) rather - to my mind - have an obligation to speak up, loudly, and denounce in unequivocal terms this kind of thing as shameful and unAmerican and not representative of you.

To kick `em straight out of the tent, in other words. Rather like the way the TP demands Muslims do all the time with regards to Islamic terrorists, in other words. Else be considered terrorists themselves. Before anyone misunderstands me, though, I'm not saying the TP are terrorists-what I am saying is that this whole 'we're decentralized, and look at what liberals are doing, and, and, and,' is worn out. Maybe that could fly when the TP was the upstart spunky new kid with bold new (well, not new really) ideas. But not anymore. We hear all about this mandate they've gotten, they helped Reps win the House, etc.

With that comes some responsibility, not, "Oh, that's not us." Not when the TP can use the same sort of tactics - attacking a 'fringe' and applying it to the whole - on other groups as a matter of course.

Very well stated. How then, other than at an individual level, are we supposed to do this? Would it even make the news? I can't find anything from any "big names" in the TP, but my google skills suck a little.

At a more fundamental level, I am very angry that conservative and Christian has come to mean racist and uneducated. Even the idea of small government is becoming tainted by this mess.

I imagine those of you to the "left" of me feel the same way about how "liberal" or "progressive" have been twisted, both from within and without.

As to the other issue - I've lurked here regularly for almost a decade [Angst] so I'm know what to expect from specific people. Remember, feeding the trolls rewards them.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Pretty plain example of personally insulting name-calling. Open-and-shut.
Again, I dispute this, although looking at it, I can see where that impression came from.

My intent with that statement is to say that he was acting like a sneering jackass. I was describing behavior, not trying to be personally insulting. If that was taken as a personal insult, I apologize. This was not my intent. I still think it is a fair description of the behavior.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Even the idea of small government is becoming tainted by this mess.
I don't know that the idea of small government in America has ever not been tainted by a large section of the people who have held it, or at least claimed to.

Which is a shame, really, because there's a fair bit of valuable stuff there, when it's not being used to defend the entrenched positions of the advantaged, or as cover for corporate poor behavior in laisez fair capitalist system, or to support racists, etc.

Smaller, more localized government has a lot to say for it and it's problematic that it is generally advanced by people who have such debilitating flaws or nefarious purposes.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Very well stated. How then, other than at an individual level, are we supposed to do this? Would it even make the news? I can't find anything from any "big names" in the TP, but my google skills suck a little.
Well, one way would be to stop saying you sympathize with Tea Party ideals. List, rather, the ideals you agree with-don't give the Tea Party 'ownership' of those things, even in language. It's politics, and they do get some power when they're associated with small government, even by people who go on to say, "But I can't stand them because of what some of their Senators do..."

Another way would be to write to these specific officials, espicially (most emphatically) if they're from places you vote in and express in the most unequivocal terms how upset you are at what they've done.

Just a few examples. Nothing huge, but the kind of thing that would have to be done by you x1,000,000,000 or so to start having an impact. Supporters without being actual members are a big part of any political movement's 'oomph', after all. They also serve as a sign of how strong it is, how far they can go, etc.

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Swampjedi
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I suppose that any time you take a scoop of people you're bound to get some bad apples in the group. The larger the scoop, the more bad apples.

As an aside, somehow I'm both pro small government and anti big business. I'm unsure how that works.

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Rakeesh
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The problem isn't the bad apples, the problem is the attitude of the bunch to the bad apples. Or in this extended agricultural metaphor, the attitude of the farmer to the bad apples and how many he's willing to tolerate in the bunch before throwing that particular barrel to the slops.

Every group has bad apples. Not every group's bad apples have national prominence as a mainstream (now) political party whose elected officials are present at hate rallies held in direct, undeniable rejection of American ideals.

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MrSquicky
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As pointed out, I don't think it's fair to say that this sort of thing should be considered as indicative of the Tea Party. But what does seem to be happening a lot is that these sort of things are occurring and the response from Tea Party people and organizations is usually apologetics or very slight disavowal.

If these people really represent a hijacking of the more pure Tea Party ideals to serve their racism, hatred, and fear, people, rightfully so, would expect a very strong response from the people who hold the pure ideals. One pretty obvious step would be for the other Tea Party groups to cut out this one and explain that they are not welcome in the Tea Party.

But it's like the problem with the anti-SSM people. There are people out there who are against SSM, but who aren't anti-gay bigots. However, the force of the movement comes from the bigots. If they abandoned and repudiated the bigots, the other people would have very little political clout. So, it seems like they try to minimize both the offenses and the significance of these people.

It seems to me that this is pretty much what happens with the Tea Party folk. I think people are trading putting up with and even going to bat for some pretty awful people and ideals in exchange for political power. And, not surprisingly, the "pure" ideals get awful dirty in the process.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
That's amazing. And stupid!

It was changed that way, due to requests from members, several years back.

But hey, don't let me stop you from making more attacks on the software. You're really quite predictable on this one.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
As an aside, somehow I'm both pro small government and anti big business.
I'm anti-big, in whichever form it presents itself. It doesn't fit to well into a rallying call, but basically I acknowledge that there are competing interests between size of government and size of businesses and that you're trying to get screwed as little as possible.

The really bad part for me is that one of the major reasons I'm anti-big is that I want people to have the greater say they have in smaller scale situation, but I'm also an anti-populist elitist in that I think many people often make very poor decisions. However, on a smaller scale, it's harder to avoid responsibility for those bad decisions. Although, without oversight, it's easier for the advantaged to foist the fallout onto the disadvantaged.

So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Ultimately, I don't believe in any doctrine as an end or solution in itself. The only way that we're going to get away from the problems of people is if people get better. Stuff that I want put in place are either checks against bad things happening or things that encourage and/or enable positive change in the nature of people.

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Rakeesh
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quote:

It seems to me that this is pretty much what happens with the Tea Party folk. I think people are trading putting up with and even going to bat for some pretty awful people and ideals in exchange for political power. And, not surprisingly, the "pure" ideals get awful dirty in the process.

This is pretty much what I meant by the attitude towards the bad apples, more directly and elegantly stated. It bears out with a look at more mainstream politics, too. Any political party comes to power by getting the plurality of votes out there, but they get those votes by revving up their base. They don't get that plurality without priming the pump. The water in the TP pump is pretty...brackish.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
But hey, don't let me stop you from making more attacks on the software. You're really quite predictable on this one.

Of course I am. It's really not good architecture, or very secure, and hasn't even been supported in a while.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Pretty plain example of personally insulting name-calling. Open-and-shut.
Again, I dispute this, although looking at it, I can see where that impression came from.
Ok, just read the TOS. It's a direct insult, it's namecalling, it's 'vulgar,' whatever. There's multiple ways in which the text of the TOS makes your statement a clear violation of it. After reading it, do you still dispute that?
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MrSquicky
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Yes, of course I do. As I already explained, it's not a direct insult, it's not name calling. Also again, I apologize if you took it that way. Vulgar...the word itself is fine, I think. If someone said something like "Rush Limbaugh is acting like a real jackass." I don't see any censure coming for that.
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rivka
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Samp, what purpose does repeatedly pointing out the software's flaws serve?

Other than entertaining you, I mean?

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TomDavidson
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I suppose it's possible that someone, somewhere, will recognize that he's entirely right and do something about it.
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BlackBlade
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What sort of expense could new software entail? Do you have any suggestions for new forum software?
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TomDavidson
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The expense question really has to be answered by the site's webmaster, unfortunately, because it's likely that all these boards are UBB because that's the codebase he knows best. Any cost estimate I'd come up with would factor in my experience and skills, which wouldn't necessarily match his.
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Samprimary
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Probably someone mentioned this before, but it seems like anything that should really only be bringing the board down for ten minutes ends up stretching on and on for days. I have no clue if that's UBB classic or the webmaster(s) being flakes/rank amateurs, but for all the crap I give this (terrible) (unsupported) (obsolete) board architecture I don't know why it would be at fault for that.
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Rakeesh
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Mucus, I'm not sure how to interpret the sockpuppet post. I think it might mean that I'm saying some of the same things you are (it's difficult to gauge possible teasing/sarcasm in text); if so, sorry about that. I don't mean to parrot you or disregard your posts, but when I post mobile I go in starts and stops, and don't always look at what other folks have said as thoroughly as I ought to. (I'm not the best at that even on the PC.)

It's also possible you meant something else entirely and it's whooshed completely over my head, in which case: [Confused]

----------

As much as I agree that the site's software is out of date (and if even I can recognize that, it's probably pretty damn out of date), I have to wonder what anyone thinks the chances are of those ultimately responsible for making these decisions choosing to make the one being suggested, if the suggestion is done in such an openly scornful, amazed-it-hasn't-been-done way.

I'm put in mind of The West Wing in an episode where Sam Seaborn is having a meeting with some politicians, campaigners, speechwriters for some Democrats from...the Midwest, maybe? I forget where exactly. Anyway, the people he was meeting with wanted lines included in an upcoming speech about Republicans supporting tax cuts so that the uber-rich could buy Lear Jets and bigger swimming pools in their vacation houses (something along those lines). It was really over-the-top language that however much the people writing it may have felt it was true, obviously wasn't going to persuade anyone who didn't already agree with them of anything.

Similarly I suspect saying (repeatedly), "Hey, it's stupid that we've still got this terrible, outdated, ridiculous system," probably isn't going to persuade someone to actually adopt the change that you want made. I have a pretty hard time imagining, Samprimary and Tom, that the two of you are such poor persuaders as to be unaware of this, either. Why? Because I've seen the two of you write persuasively before, so I know you're not so bad at persuading people of things to think that has a real shot at working.

There are other possible explanations, but 'because it might encourage them to adopt the change for the better' isn't really one of them.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Similarly I suspect saying (repeatedly), "Hey, it's stupid that we've still got this terrible, outdated, ridiculous system," probably isn't going to persuade someone to actually adopt the change that you want made.
I've mentioned it maybe once for every year I've been here. It warrants at least that much curiosity, especially given how insecure it is. AS for persuading vs. probably not persuading, I don't think this impels change any less than just not talking about it.

quote:
What sort of expense could new software entail? Do you have any suggestions for new forum software?
MyBB would be a significant improvement at no cost. The best commercial upgrade would probably be vBulletin, in my opinion. A permanent license would be 195, of which I'd easily put 20 down for.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I've mentioned it maybe once for every year I've been here. It warrants at least that much curiosity, especially given how insecure it is. AS for persuading vs. probably not persuading, I don't think this impels change any less than just not talking about it.
*shrug* I don't have statistics on your posting patterns on the topic. I know you've mentioned it enough and in a sufficiently reliable fashion that the general content and tone will be very predictable.

As for impelling change any less, two things: are you taking this approach because it just doesn't do any worse than saying nothing-in other words, because from a practical (what gets the change accomplished) standpoint, you can get away with it? The other thing being do you generally find that calling a person's decisions stupid and sneering at them has a neutral or positive impact on them doing what you want them to do? Or a negative impact?

I know what my experience is, but perhaps yours is different.

ETA: I don't think money in amounts of $200 is really much of a factor for this problem (actually lending support to the idea that the intangibles such as emotion and 'face' carry more weight, such as callin' somethin' stupid), but even if it did, I think solicitations ought to be anonymous.

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Teshi
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I'm calling this thread on March 5th, 2011.

R.I.P.

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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I'll post as my respectable Rakeesh sockpuppet now

Did somebody call for a sockpuppet? Can I become predictable too?

Your forum is weird. Maybe you can mention the software sucks because the software sucks.

The way you have to "quote" people makes it worth switching. All by itself.

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DDDaysh
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Wow... how did we go from Muslim protests to "The forum sucks"?
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Samprimary
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I think I was involved somehow. I wasn't drunk. Should I have been drunk? Apparently, I sneer a lot. Sneering at everyone and everything. Judging. With those judging eyes.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
Wow... how did we go from Muslim protests to "The forum sucks"?

I dunno, I came back from a night of heavy drinking to this. It was quite disconcerting. Someone called someone else a jackass and then the lid just blew off everything.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
Knock it off Samp. You can disagree with someone and question their statements without being a sneering jackass.

edit: Samp edited after my comment. Initially all he had was "Even senators are present at this event and you still want to say that, eh?"

I would not have reacted that way to what he wrote now.

How do I edit after your comment and not leave an edit note on my post? You shouldn't have reacted that way for either post. Your estimation of what being a sneering jackass is wildly off. You can seriously quit with the calling out thing.
If you edit within a min or two it doesn't show that tag, Samp. Not saying I agree with the name calling, just sayin.....


edit: I just did it here, for example, and added the word edit myself. [Big Grin]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It's also possible you meant something else entirely and it's whooshed completely over my head, in which case: [Confused]

It just means you were the only person that posted within ten minutes of my post and I felt like playing on occasional meme on Hatrack that poster X *is really* poster Y. No worries [Smile]
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