DaveC, troll, performance artist, misguided soul, or what Gary thinks?Oct 21, 2007 by libjpn
Oct 21, 2007, 17:35:24 Jesurgislac wrote:
Now, Gary Farber - same question?
Oct 21, 2007, 17:39:24 libjpn wrote:
Jes, I'm not touching that with a 10 blog pole (or should that be poll?)
Oct 21, 2007, 18:17:58 Jesurgislac wrote:
FWIW, I think it's the same answer. ;-)
Oct 21, 2007, 19:11:11 libjpn wrote:
Happy blog commentators are all alike, unhappy blog commentators are each unhappy in their own way...
Oct 21, 2007, 22:26:19 DaveC wrote:
Once Godwin's law has been fulfilled, is everything fair game?
<a href="http://obsidianwings.blogs....">Here is Gary giving bc the righteous beatdown, suggesting that bc MIGHT be a crypto-fascist.</a>
Note that Gary is the first in the thread to mention Nazis, and make a direct comparison.
So the question at that point is whether I should tweak Gary or not. I can tell that Gary is making many reasonable points otherwise, but still the G-man is giving bc the full Gary treatment.
Oct 21, 2007, 22:41:00 DaveC wrote:
On the one hand, Gary is really feeling his oats in the thread, and is approaching 100% self righteousness. On the other hand, do you knock down a hornets nest every time that you see one?
Hmmm. In one ear the little devil whispers "Go for it, DaveC", and the angel in the other ear is cautioning "Don't go there." This is not my exact thought process leading up to my comment, but is reasonably close.
Oct 21, 2007, 22:41:45 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC, since you're reading this thread, I agree the Little Green Footballs comments you make are really stupid. I just think you're misguided enough to think you're being amusing. "Tweaking Gary" is a costly sport, and the people who pay the cost are the others on the thread who would prefer to continue having a reasonable discussion.
Oct 21, 2007, 23:10:39 OCSteve wrote:
Wow. Now that was a bit of a meltdown. Makes me want to double check my punctuation.
Oct 21, 2007, 23:24:07 libjpn wrote:
I'd tend to agree with Jes on this. I know Gary's writing on Haditha are something that you have some strong feelings on, and the fact that gary has contributed over 30% of the verbiage in that thread makes him a plump target, but I think just ignoring him would be preferable for everyone involved.
Oct 21, 2007, 23:25:41 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>On the other hand, do you knock down a hornets nest every time that you see one?</I>
Well, evidently, <I>you</I> fucking do, and right into the middle of where your friends are having a picnic, because you think it's funny to break it up that way!
I changed my mind. You're a fucking troll.
Oct 22, 2007, 00:57:27 DaveC wrote:
Let me explain this one more time.
Gary is a very smart and informed guy. Much more so than I am. But he also can be a bit of a bully. More than a bit.
On the flip side, Gary famously has very thin skin.
So when I see Gary trying to railroad a commenter off of the ObWi site - and this is something that he has a history of doing - I am sorely tempted to give him a piece of his own medicine. And by the way, I am usually WAY less harsh than Gary is.
Gary may not capable of understanding the feelings of his targets when he is trying to browbeat conservatives away from commenting on ObWi threads. But then again, some day he could become self-aware enough to practice a little restraint and not launch tirades against newbies.
Is it worth the collateral damage for me to demonstrate what a hypocrite Gary is? Yeah I know, it screws up the thread for everybody else, so that probably makes me a troll. On the other hand, when somebody says something that turns out not to be true, and I call them on that, I won't go to the length of declaring them a liar. I might say that they are wrong, or that they misled me, but I'm not going to say "You're a lying, lying, #@&! lying LIAR."
You see, not everybody who disagrees with you, or doesn't have the facts entirely straight, is a malicious liar. On ObWi, they are running a very tight ship on what conservatives can say before they are banned (think bril), and have far looser standards for liberals (there are innumerable examples).
There was a little object lesson in the thread where I referred to CharleyCarp as a terrorist-symp. Charley knew I was full of bullshit and bantering, and let that one slide. (Charley's work at Gitmo makes him one of the most interesting regulars on ObWi, by the way.) Gary could learn something from Charley's non-reaction; I don't know that Gary will get that because the written word is quite important to Gary, and there is no bullshit allowed.
Oct 22, 2007, 02:03:06 Jesurgislac wrote:
You're a fucking troll. Who cares what you think?
Oct 22, 2007, 02:31:38 DonaldJ wrote:
DaveC, you just admitted that you deliberately bullshitted CharleyCarp and you praise him for letting it slide. Here's a tip-why not treat him with some respect, so that you don't have to count on him letting it slide? Are we all supposed to know that you're just kidding when you say stuff like this? I for one would read you differently if you'd make that clear, but actually, I think it's you venting your personal resentments onto the thread. You seem to be around a lot of liberals in your real life and rather than deal with the frictions you have with them, you subject the rest of us to your bullshit.
Oct 22, 2007, 06:24:37 Turbulence wrote:
You mentioned on the mothership that one of the reasons you comment the way you do comes from your experiences at the local UU church. Could you elaborate on that?
Do you actually enjoy spending time there or do you just go to please your wife? Do you respect any of the people there?
I have this image of you, stuck in a "church" (do the UU folk you associate with even believe in God?), surrounded by people with bizarre beliefs you find abhorrent, dying to say something, anything, but forced to keep your mouth shut because of your devotion to your spouse; every week the stress builds...it doesn't seem very healthy.
Oct 22, 2007, 06:55:32 libjpn wrote:
Well, I didn't see this coming. Not that I'm surprised that I didn't see it coming, it seems that the number of things I don't see coming is increasing exponentially these days.
Oct 22, 2007, 08:00:08 libjpn wrote:
A few more thoughts. I imagine that the group of people who would like to beat Gary at his own game is only limited by the number of people who have had the pleasure to encounter Gary online. However, just like the fact that there are lots of things that we would like to do, but don't, one shouldn't really try, not only because Gary is extremely good at what he does, making it very difficult to top him but should you be able to top him, you would end being just like him and I don't think any reality continuum, let alone any blog, deserves two Garys.
Turb's question is a good one, and to generalize it, what sort of things do people here do for their spouses that they really don't want to do, but do it anyway? If there are some good responses, I may make it a separate post.
Oct 22, 2007, 08:50:17 Phil wrote:
I would take a single Gary Farber over a fucking boatload of DaveCs or Jesurgislacs -- talk about bullies, for pete's sake! -- on any day you care to make the offer, not least because he has the benefit, on a great many topics, of actually having some idea of what he's talking about. He's also, whatever his faults, scrupulously honest, which is more than you can say for either of those two.
Oct 22, 2007, 10:42:30 DaveC wrote:
"You're a fucking troll. Who cares what you think?"
(Should I hesitate here or just go ahead and be a jerk?)
OK, I'll be a jerk.
Jes, you called rilkefan a "misogynist".
You may not see anything wrong with that.
Which would prove something.
Now I know that it is probably wrong to provoke Gary in a sneaky way that will make him embarrass himself. After all, Gary is a shut-in, and really benefits the human contacts he has with ObWi, but for goodness sakes, he practically called bc a Nazi.
Listen, my daughter was recently subjected to verbal and physical abuse from her theater teacher. So a school official calls me to explain and apologize to me, so I just say "Well, I know all about Tim, we have had a history with him. He's pretty high strung."
Maybe the school official was too dense to get it, that I was suggesting a pattern of abuse, not just for my kid but for other kids. I just hope that the official asks the theater teacher to clarify my remarks. And then Tim might slip up and mention all the crap that went down between him and my son.
Which would be self-incriminating.
Advice to Phil:
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Alternative method preferred by me:
"No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
We're just the guys to do it. Let's go!"
(quote from Animal House)
Oct 22, 2007, 10:47:17 libjpn wrote:
Good, good, seem to be making progress. On the far off distant horizon, I see a group hug. Or is it a hand to hand melee?
Oct 22, 2007, 11:29:20 nous wrote:
DaveC -- I've always figured you not as a troll, but as a wind-up. Kinda like the fan from the [Bears/Leafs/Rangers] who shows up occasionally just to start shit with the [Packers/Canadiens/Celtic] fans on a board where you know they are the majority. You aren't a troll because we all know who you are and you don't take up much time or space or create much interference -- more like intermittent static than the irritating next door neighbor that has loud parties every weekend. You've never wrecked a thread.
Jes has wrecked a couple threads, but most of those have involved Seb's active cooperation. C'est la guerre. It's a small price.
I think there must be a mathematical function out there to express the function of Gary in a thread. He's great in any thread he participates in from 0 to X percent, but above X there seems to be a runaway reaction whereby Gary's input into the thread approaches infinity and my tolerance rapidly approaches zero. This seems to happen more often than either Dave's wind-ups or the occasional Jes v. Seb throwdown.
Oct 22, 2007, 12:32:19 Turbulence wrote:
I think Gary makes a fascinating psychological case study; much of Nous' analysis above seems correct, although I suspect that Gary is either in a good or bad state before he approaches the computer. If he's in a good state, his contribution to a thread will be limited. If he's in a bad state, he will contribute normally until he finds something to fixate on and will lose all control.
I also think Phil is absolutely correct in calling Gary honest, but I don't think that's the whole story. When Gary gets sufficiently fixated, he seems impervious to reason and that results in situations that aren't much different from him being dishonest.
Having said all that, DaveC, you really make me angry and for much of the same reasons that Gary articulated. You describe yourself as an emotional parasite: you have problems in real life (like we all do) so you take out your frustrations on us. When you're finished voicing your aggression, you discard us like used kleenix. I respected you more before I read the comment where you explained that.
The whole point of the mothership is that we all accept the fact that people we disagree with are decent human beings who deserve the benefit of the doubt. It seems like you don't even think we're people...
Oct 22, 2007, 22:54:43 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: <I>OK, I'll be a jerk.</I>
No, you're a troll. And I don't give a fuck what you think.
Turbulence: <I>The whole point of the mothership is that we all accept the fact that people we disagree with are decent human beings who deserve the benefit of the doubt. It seems like you don't even think we're people...</I>
Yeah. I'm not giving DaveC the benefit of the doubt any more.
Oct 22, 2007, 23:01:45 DaveC wrote:
OK, I'll delve a little more into "what was DaveC thinking?", but first I'll respond to a a couple of observations / questions:
I've never heard of the term "wind-up", but the Bears / Packers thing is literally something that I do in real life. A couple of weekends ago, when the game was in Lambeau, I found myself in a Wausaukee, WI convenience store declaring "This place gives me the creeps! It's full of Packer fans and hunters." A short, lively discussion ensued. Now, my initial statement was literally dishonest. For criminently, I have been driving around in Caspian and Gaastra, Michigan where the deer are walking around in the streets at dusk giving me this "Whatta you looking at" attitude. And as far as Packer fans go, there has always been an infiltration of cheeseheads into Illinois, corrupting our youth with tales of Bart Starr and Brett Favre.
As far as UU goes, I find the experience more than 50% satisfying, It got too much politicized after the 2000 election if you ask me. I think that the satisfaction level with a church is fairly dependent on the particular minister. There are some that are fantastic, Tony Larsen would be a good example. My pastor, not so much. (I shouldn't say that, let's pray for him and his family; they are going through tough times now.) Well crap, I said it anyway, so I'll explain further: He has never had open office hours where you can just walk in and talk to him. Everything is by appointment. Frankly, I find that intimidating, and so never developed a relationship. (For you professors out there, this might also apply to you. Keep an open door policy.)
All right, back to additional me vs. Gary / me vs. ObWi commentariat background.
With regards to Haditha, there were many, many posts on Haditha from Charles Bird at ObWi and Gary at Amygladagf, back when the events looked completely damning for the Marines involved. Then from Sept 2006 to April 2007 there was not much news until the trials began, and news leaked out very, very slowly about mitigating circumstances. I figure that if Charles and Gary used so many pixels initially, they should have followed up later, which they did not. And I asked them to do that 3 months ago, but to date neither has done that. So I feel like I was manipulated and ripped off by them.
But there are other, latent, issues I have that relate to the particular thread that I went off on. You may or may not know that Katherine has a particular interest in rendition, torture, etc., and wrote many posts on ObWi about Maher Arar. The general consensus was that if you are not opposed to rendition, then you are "objectively pro-torture". Now, I can see some problem with rendition, but do not want terrorist suspects brought into the United States for any reason. Furthermore, if a terrorist suspect is in the US and not a citizen, I want them outta here, pronto.
And for this I got the "DaveC is in favor of torture." and "DaveC is no better than a Nazi." treatment on more than one occasion.
There was this groupthink that if you didn't sign on to the rendition=torture idea and denounce the Bush administration as a bunch of evil torturers that you were not qualified to comment on the matter. You'll see Birddog and von loudly declaring themselves anti-torture for this very reason.
So did Gary actually call bc a Nazi? Well no. He intimated that if bc had certain beliefs that (s)he was no better than a Nazi. So if you want to get literal, Gary didn't actually call bc a Nazi - and he probably would declare that I am a liar: "I never said bc was a Nazi! All bc had to do was agree with me than that would prove that bc was not a Nazi!". That is a distinction without much difference, if you ask me.
Now Turbulence said "The whole point of the mothership is that we all accept the fact that people we disagree with are decent human beings who deserve the benefit of the doubt. It seems like you don't even think we're people...", and Jes alluded to that.
That is precisely my point about what Gary was doing to bc, because the same thing has happened to me.
Oct 22, 2007, 23:18:38 DaveC wrote:
Anyway, the upshot is that when I see the accusations of "You're a Nazi / racist / sexist / homophobe" being delivered, I will eventually fight back. Maybe not immediately, but in a place and time of my own choosing, because, well, I'm outnumbered.
Oct 23, 2007, 00:29:20 marbel wrote:
DaveC: you earned the "I don't mind torture" (which differs from pro-torture) by your own statements that always boiled down to err in favor of torturing innocents. I've regularly been shocked by the ease with which you took that position.
About Haditha: do you really think that the US dropping the accusations means that they didn't do it? You think nobody remembers justice after My Lai, or do you actually believe that one guy serving a few months and getting a medal later on is proof of how just the US system works? All I see is that in the few cases that, despite attemtpts, couldn't be covered up the US was much more busy with denial than justice. AFAIK everything Murtha said is still true.
It's nice for you that you feel you can help the homelife by being trollish here. It is kind of insulting for all of the folks who try to really think and discuss.
I've not responded much to you in discussions because you lost my respect long ago. Just making nice small talk (IRL you probabely ARE a nice guy) is easer. Since I'm probabely some kind of Eurotrash phantom for you you cannot be bothered by that. But I never realized quite how much of a sneak you actually are.
Oct 23, 2007, 01:36:06 john miller wrote:
Dave C, I did not have the opportunity to read the whole thread you referred to re Gary and bc due to an extremely busy weekend. However, I did read the comment you linked to above, and for the life of me, I cannot see in any way, shape or form Gary even came close to insinuating that bc was a Nazi.
Now, I am not here to defend Gary. Like most people there are times I respect Gary's input, particulalry when attempting to clarify historical inaccuracies that have been presented, but there are other times when I become very annoyed, particulalrly when he gets into the manuscript editor pose. And at times, he can be too self-righteous, a criticsim he may very well reject.
However, I ahve seen many people, particulalry on the right decide, whenever anybody form the left uses the word Nazi in a sentence, that there is a definite name-cally and direct comparison being made, which is usually nonsense.
Durbin never called our troops Nazis, although that is what he was accused of doing. Naturally no one on the rightt ever got around to actually debating the verity of what he said.
Kerry never called our troops terrorists, although he was accused of doing so. Again, though, the actual verity of what he was saying was never discussed.
I tend to agree with what marbel saqid above. I wouldn't call you pro-torture, but definitely that you don't necessarily have a problem with it.
And why, from a purely security point of view, woudl you not want a terrorism "suspect" in this country, where a close watch can be placed on the individual until more facts are known. Send the "suspect" away and if he/she is really a terrorist you let them free.
Unless, of course, you do the rendition thing, which makes a "suspect" put in a situation where torture can take place, which has already been proven to be non-effective.
And if you say that any "suspect" should be put in that situation, who makes the determination of who is a "suspect"?
Getting back to the original point, Goebbels had a famous statement about how easy it is to lead people into a war, and he discussed the steps to take. Many people saw this administration taking the same steps prior to the invasion of Iraq. Does that mean those who did, myself included, were calling this administration Nazi? No it did not.
Oct 23, 2007, 06:54:35 DaveC wrote:
Bear with me you all. I'm busy for a while, but I have a lot more to say about posting rules, trolls, etc. I'm not going to have a pity party, either. That's why I choose to give you a glimpse of a side of me that is unsympathetic. I have some serious points to make, aside from all this nonsense. And remember there are NO posting rules on TiO. Say whatever you wish, there are no such thing as trolls if there are no rules.
Oct 23, 2007, 08:11:32 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC, you've made clear that (a) you're all for arresting innocent people and sending them off to be tortured because someone's named them a "terrorist suspect"; (b) that you were so offended when we weren't nice about your being smugly for torturing innocent people, you decided you were going to "fight back" against people calling you pro-torture because you'd said you were pro-torture by doing drive-by trolls to disrupt threads.
And you are arrogant and stupid enough to think that we might want to throw you a "pity party", or claim that you have "serious points" to make? Who could take someone as full of crap as you seriously, or pity someone who thinks he's got a right to disrupt discussion because people meanly refused to accept that he shouldn't be called pro-torture because he justifies torturing innocent people by labelling them "terrorist suspects"?
There are a good many people on Obsidian Wings/TIO that I argue with and disagree with but that I would like to be able to hang out with in real life, maybe share a coffee or a beer. Up until you made clear what a shitty person you are on this thread, you were one of them.
Oct 23, 2007, 08:19:07 DaveC wrote:
- And you are arrogant and stupid enough to think that we might want to throw you a "pity party" -
My understanding of a "pity party" is that there is one attendee. We have different definitions of this colloquialism.
Oct 23, 2007, 08:44:53 Jesurgislac wrote:
Who the fuck cares what you think, troll?
Oct 23, 2007, 12:39:21 DonaldJ wrote:
I said a bunch of harsh things about DaveC's ObiWi contributions, a couple of them in the title to this post, and don't take any of them back, but people are more than a sum of their worst behavior and their political beliefs.
People who know him in real life seem to like him--I also remember (I think) DaveC calling up Gary when Gary was going through one of his rough patches.
Not that I want a group hug--I'm not real big on internet community anyway. I only wish DaveC would take some of the hostile reactions he's getting here as a subtle hint to change his behavior.
Oct 23, 2007, 16:11:25 libjpn wrote:
Jes, if DaveC is a troll, you are trolling a troll, which puts you at sub-bottomfeeder in the scheme of things.
DJ, since DaveC probably won't cop to it, your recollection is right, jftr.
The point about knowing him in real life makes me take up something that john millier mentioned, which is when he deconstructed a connection from being able to contemplate torture to its logical conclusion. I'm not sure if john is offering this as an object lesson to the problems that arose in the criticizing Durbin or Kerry, but the connection has a big gap in it, in that people who may contemplate accepting the use of torture have not yet and might not actually torture someone. People tend to throw bridges over this gap all the time, but it should be something that is only crossed in the rarest of instances, because if you regard people as basically decent, they aren't going to leap that gap, and if you view people as generally weak and willing to follow anyone in authority, you really don't have any reason to single out that person, unless it is pour encourager les autres. Either way, you can't hold them up as some example that should be avoided at all costs.
Oct 23, 2007, 16:58:20 Frank wrote:
I think DaveC is probably as representative a Republican as we could hope to find. Most Republicans enthusiasticly support "enhanced interogation techniques" which we call torture. DaveC is the only one at obwings who will admit being for EIT. I try to keep in mind that when he is calling us all traitors that millions of Republicans think just like he does, and cheer whenever Limbaugh suggests that we should all be sent off to camps. I think its instructive to spend time with people who think that way, even though we aren't going to convince each other of anything.
Oct 23, 2007, 17:20:53 libjpn wrote:
Hey Frank, glad you could make it!
I have to say, having met DaveC IRL, he is certainly not a representative republican, if clothes and manners are anything to go by. I think of him as more of that libertarian, free thinking type that got pulled into the arc of republican revolutionary rhetoric, and now find it difficult to extract themselves.
I admit, I do entertain fantasies of having DaveC 'see the light', but as it stands, my victories are pretty small ones, so just having him listen to the general thrust of opinion given at ObWi is something that has me counting my blessings.
Oct 23, 2007, 18:58:17 marbel wrote:
<i> but the connection has a big gap in it, in that people who may contemplate accepting the use of torture have not yet and might not actually torture someone. People tend to throw bridges over this gap all the time, but it should be something that is only crossed in the rarest of instances, because if you regard people as basically decent, they aren't going to leap that gap, and if you view people as generally weak and willing to follow anyone in authority, you really don't have any reason to single out that person, unless it is pour encourager les autres. Either way, you can't hold them up as some example that should be avoided at all costs.</i>
I disagree. Unfortunately many decent people cross that gap in the right circumstances (which does not have to include a ticking bomb).
Thinking that decent folk never do it is what Dutch people call 'austrich policy' (putting your head in the sand). Look at the enormous amount of people all over the world doing bad things - I could insert long lists with examples here, from citizens to soldiers, of all colour and all corners of the world, including the US.
One of the problems IMHO is that decent people might end up doing bad things due to trust in authorities, peer pressure, group brain washing, etc., but they will realize that it is bad later, when they can't change it anymore.
If you want to help decent people you should not fuel the assumption that decent people won't do those things. You have to help them draw the line, recognize the mechanisme, and understand when they are on a slippery slope.
Oct 23, 2007, 19:30:20 libjpn wrote:
Well, dutch, the way I framed it is that if you have either belief, you have to tihnk exactly how you choose to treat DaveC in particular and people in this stuation in general. If you believe that this is a problem that lots of decent people would do, it seems strange to excorciate DaveC for doing it (not saying that you are, mind you, but some others would like to simply run DaveC off).
I waver back and forth between these two poles, that people are basically decent and, if directly confronted with it, would stop, and that people are essentially weak and prone to kowtowing to whoever tells them what to do in a way that allows them to keep their dignity (and ignorance) intact. I think the only way you can run DaveC off is if one feels that he embodies some sort of unique evil or at least something that separates out a small minority unless you feel that you are without sin and can get to cast stones (again not saying that you are, that's just the general 2nd person)
Oct 23, 2007, 20:23:30 marbel wrote:
LJ, DaveC has said that he was ok with torturing innocents on the offchange it might stop a possible terrorist attack that might harm someone he cares about.
I HOPE that he is a small minority, but that's my idealism speaking. My realistic side cannot deny that he is more likely to be a majority. And this is about torturing INNOCENTS, suspects who never had a change to proof their innocence (I always felt it was ironic that DaveC at the same time complained about a family member being unjustly suspected of a crime).
If they don't see how abhorrent that is, how can you ever convince them torturing anybody is wrong?
As long as the majority does NOT speak out clearly and say that this is wrong, quite a number of people will feel justified in giving in to their fright and doing anything, how morally low it may be, to make them feel safer.
Oct 23, 2007, 21:02:53 Jesurgislac wrote:
libj: <I>Jes, if DaveC is a troll, you are trolling a troll, which puts you at sub-bottomfeeder in the scheme of things.</I>
As DaveC is a self-admitted troll who likes to throw crap at us for the fun of watching us jump, you are a troll-enabler who likes to see DaveC do that and wants to make sure he's allowed to keep on feeling good about doing it. Why are you doing this? What has Obsidian Wings done to you that you want to see DaveC permitted to throw crap on our picnic?
Oct 23, 2007, 21:04:29 Jesurgislac wrote:
I admit, I do entertain fantasies of having DaveC 'see the light', but as it stands, my victories are pretty small ones, so just having him listen to the general thrust of opinion given at ObWi is something that has me counting my blessings.</I>
Crap. DaveC isn't listening to anything we have to say: he's admitted he's hanging out on Obsidian Wings purely and simply to troll it. You are enabling him to do that.
Oct 23, 2007, 21:36:37 libjpn wrote:
I don't believe DaveC said that he was ok with torturing innocents on the off chance his loved ones might be protected, I think he said something like he accepted that it might happen because of the threat he feels Islamists pose. I definitely don't agree but those are two different very things and, at any rate, both are in the realm of the hypothetical. If you think that somehow 'proves' what DaveC would do in a specific situation, I think you are skipping a few steps of logic.
"DaveC isn't listening to anything we have to say"
So this makes your comments even more bizarre. Unless you feel that by telling DaveC to go fuck himself (repeatedly), you are helping the ObWi players do their dinner theatre version of The Ox-Bow Incident. Or you are somehow trying to convince us of your deeply felt beliefs, ironically in the same way that Gary felt that dropping the f-bomb and self-banning himself (a practice that he railed as only he can when Charles and Sebastian did it, iirc). Of course, the fact that you are now casting your lot with Gary because of DaveC's admission that he was winding up Gary, well, the irony is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
And you seem to be suggesting that I am enabling him by letting him hang out here, so I assume that you are suggesting that I get in the admin area and kick him off as an author. The logical knot you tie yourself in is Gordian in complexity. "Freiheit ist immer Freiheit der Andersdenkenden"
For what it is worth, I don't agree with winding anyone up, and I wish that DaveC wouldn't do it and the next time he does so, I'll ask him to stop. I might even try to present it to him here after he puts down some more of his thoughts. But it was only thru providing a space to talk that we actually got to this point. Funny, that.
However, don't let that get in the way of your self consuming self-righteousness. It's really amazing to watch. Ouroboros anyone?
Oct 23, 2007, 21:36:53 DonaldJ wrote:
I agree with Marbel about DaveC's beliefs. He seems immune to arguments about consistency on human rights, which is why he gets outraged over enemy atrocities and never over our own and why he thinks it's okay to accuse people who are consistent of sympathy with terrorism. The entire country was like this in the aftermath of 9/11, including a lot of so-called leftists. You couldn't say anything critical of US policy without being accused of saying the 9/11 victims had it coming. DaveC represents a lot of people in all cultures who think like this. How to change their thinking--I don't know. I don't feel like treating their opinions as respectable is the way to go.
All that said, people are complicated, so that's why I'm trying to calibrate my anger correctly. I have friends in real life who are like DaveC--good people in lots of ways, but I've had conversations on human rights issues that really depressed or angered me.
Oct 23, 2007, 22:35:05 libjpn wrote:
I think that people have things that they just can't think clearly about. For DaveC, I think Haditha and Gary form one nexus of immovability. I think we all have them on a personal level (think of someone saying accusation X about your mother or your spouse) but when it is with someone online, I think it's a bit problematic. When you are in a f2f environment, body language, facial expressions etc tell you not to go there and most people generally just leave it be. This is because, in day to day life, human rights are generally an abstract. Face it, if someone at the grocery store expressed such an opinion, how far would you go to make it clear that you disagreed? I hope we can agree that any kind of physical action is out ('I'm going to break your arm because of the opinion you just expressed'?), but even physically threatening behavior is problematic. So what is left? There have been people that I have refused to talk to or communicate with online because of things they have said. But I've never been so confident in my opinion that I can tell others 'you need to do what I do'.
The point about 9-11 is a good one, but I don't think it is a good or wise thing to mess around with people grieving, so discussions about the aftermath of 9-11 have to be considered in that light. And looking at this compared to other events suggests it is not all that special. Look at the debate that arose with the Smithsonian's exhibit about the atomic bombings. I didn't agree with the veterans who protested the questioning of the necessity of the bombing, but when you think that this is 50 years on, and there is this fixedness, you realize that this is a deep seated trait in the people of the US. It may seem very satisfying crucifying DaveC for his beliefs, but I don't think that's very useful. I also don't think that his opinions in the matter are 'respectable' simply because I'm suggesting that he not be dragged around the city 3 times. That conflation is mistaken and I don't think I've said anything saying those beliefs are respectable. I've also not said that I agree with DaveC's opinion, or that I support it in anyway. But I do see 'I think what he did at the mothership is wrong' now conflated with 'well, he is objectively pro-torture'. If the aim is to shame him into appropriate behavior, I would suggest that pixels on a screen are not strong enough to get the effect we want or demand.
Oct 23, 2007, 22:52:53 OCSteve wrote:
I think that LJ has the right angle on all this. Speaking only for myself, I can only tell you a little about my own transition on the topics of torture and habeas.
My hang-up with torture was that I did in fact feel that the bar was being set too low as far as what constituted torture. Being familiar with some of the techniques used in certain types of military training I really did not feel that stress positions, or temperature extremes, or loud music, or solitary confinement constituted torture. I have a total of three relatives working in the state and federal prison systems and I can assure you that the average lily-white twenty-something convicted of dealing crack goes through worse in American prisons many days, and these are US citizens with full constitutional and civil rights. I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for bad guys of any stripe. But that is not a position you could discuss in any meaningful way on ObWi as you would immediately be branded as some kind of sick Nazi or worse – Dave is absolutely correct about that. The group think was and still is that certain opinions get you branded as some type of sub-human not worthy of participating in discussion among the civilized folks. So at least in my case I just avoided those conversations. But I stuck around in general and did end up changing my opinion.
I had somewhat softened on the issue, but the real turning point for me was Hilzoy’s excellent three part series on Padilla, KUBARK, and sensory deprivation in January.
I was familiar with the Cold War experiments on sensory deprivation and they had always chilled me in a way that thoughts of physical pain did not. I had *not* however made the connection with what we were doing today.
Katherine’s efforts eventually convinced me that we were in fact catching up apparent innocents in all this. It was a one-two punch for me. I became convinced that not only was all this stuff torture but also that something had to seriously change to insure we are not putting truly innocent people through any of this stuff.
So people can change their mind. I can say though that had I been driven off I’m pretty sure that this would not have happened.
I think that people need to ask themselves what it is that they want from ObWi. If it’s a “me too” echo chamber then driving off people who you disagree with is the right approach.
Oct 23, 2007, 23:12:25 john miller wrote:
Unfortunately, I think for a lot of people ObWi is to be an echo chamber. One of the things that drew me to ObWi (I don't remember why I first started reading it) was that there were some legitimate, sane voices from the entire spectrum.
Sure there were some trolls (from both sides) and there still are. But I do think that the right is getting shortchanged.
Perhaps this is due to the overall appearance of looniness embodied by the republican leadership these days, that it is therefore seen to trickle down to anybody of a conservative bent. But it sometimes goes too far.
A couple quick points. LJ's comment about jumping over gaps is correct. I can see where marbel is coming from, and tend to agree (as I said before) that DaveC and others may not be pro-torture, but like OCSteve admitted above, it is easy to sert the bar at such a level that things which would not normally be acceptable become acceptable due to the perceived consequences.
The real issue which needs to be discussed inb this day and age is not torture per se (although it is an important issue) or the perceived loss of liberties (same caveat) but rather the reality of the threat we face.
Almost everyhting that is happening is based upon the perception that the enemy we face is quite capable of destroying our society, civilization and country. It is because of the drastic level of perceived consequences that certain actions are seen aas permissible by some.
Until the risk is seen in what is a more realistic light, you will never convince some people that policies need to change. And of course, you will never convince some people that our society, civilization and country are not at risk of destruction.
One more quick observation about DaveC. I have, for quite a while, been of the opinion that the 2006 elections caused a major shift in DaveC's contributions both here and at ObWi. It was always obvious that he was right of center, and even more right than most of the conservative commenters. But the level of hostility and for lack of a better word viciousness increased substantially after the elections.
My basic belief is that fear is the greatest motivator in the world and when someone's level of anger increases, it is generally due to his/her level of fear also increasing. I think that DaveC truly believes we are at major risk and saw the elections as representing a reason to be more afraid of the risk.
Oct 23, 2007, 23:20:59 DaveC wrote:
- (I always felt it was ironic that DaveC at the same time complained about a family member being unjustly suspected of a crime) -
It isn't ironic, it has much to do with my strong feelings about Haditha. Although at the time, my comments were in the context of the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, not Haditha. Anyway, the case of my family member involved a politician making some comments, an overzealous prosector making unwarranted indictments because of that, and generally one-sided press coverage. There was one small independent newspaper that laid out the complete facts of the incident, but that was the only full explanation; to my knowledge, no other news outlet ever explained the mitigating circumstances. Hence my frustration with the lack of a Haditha wrap-up.
That may provide some context for why I prod Gary even though I know that he is going to flip out. I want him to say at least that he was wrong to want apologies from right wingers who criticized Murtha at the time.
Oct 23, 2007, 23:28:38 DaveC wrote:
Anyway, to posting rules. If I had any, the top one would be:
If I say that you are wrong about something that doesn't mean I'm calling you a liar.
As a matter of fact, the best thing to say is "I disagree with your version of events. I think that you are dead wrong."
Or something like that.
It think that LIAR is the ultimate swear word on blogs, and is quite often used inaccurately. My two cents there. It's something that is a pet peeve of mine.
Oct 23, 2007, 23:47:44 marbel wrote:
<i> If you think that somehow 'proves' what DaveC would do in a specific situation, I think you are skipping a few steps of logic.</i>
I think you translate 'pro-torture' in 'willing to do torture' and I translate it in 'willing to let torture happen and even think it can be usefull'. I don't think DaveC will do the first, but I think he has said that he is ok with the latter. Since he complained about being perceived as such I explained to him where my perception came from.
As I said, I lost my respect for DaveC a long time ago, which means that I will definately not use my precious time to write English arguments for him. My explanation to him in this thread is only ment as a politeness, because he appearantly does not see why people have that perception or why people might feel insulted by being used as a frustration-outlet instead of a discussion partner.
I can still like people I don't have much respect for: they can be quite likeable and mean well. I just don't take their opinion serious.
I don't like people who are sneaky. And this "I will get X back, no matter how" comes pretty close. I prefer direct and honest. But it might also be a culture bias; the Dutch have a reputation for bluntness and it can even be perceived as a virtue here ;)
Due to the things DaveC says or has said in the past, I feel that he has difficulty with the straightforward approach. His anecdote about the teacher of his daughter is imho yet another example. Why on earth not just say that you feel the teacher has a problem because he was abusive to his son too, and might be abusive to other kids? Why drop hints and blame the other party for not picking them up? But I also realize that might be another culture clash thing. You (LJ) live in a less direct culture, so you might approve of the approach and see it as an example of diplomatic communication. So I reserve my judgement on that - but if there is a long list of similar incidents I cannot help but be influenced by it.
OCSteve: You and DaveC may share opinions, but I will take you much more serious when you express them.
Oct 23, 2007, 23:55:46 marbel wrote:
DaveC: I try to make sense of you 23:20:59 post, but I cant. Did you do a lot of cut and past in the second paragraph? The subject seems to shift.
Oct 24, 2007, 00:57:00 Jesurgislac wrote:
lib: <I>And you seem to be suggesting that I am enabling him by letting him hang out here</I>
No. I am saying that you are being an enabler: that is, you are doing your little best to make it easier for DaveC to think well of himself for being a fucking troll who attacks Obsidian Wings because he resents being told that if he's for innocent people being kidnapped and tortured (as he has explicitly said that he is) then yeah, he's pro-torture.
DaveC: <I>Anyway, to posting rules. </I>
You're a fucking troll. Who cares what you think?
Oct 24, 2007, 01:02:46 Jesurgislac wrote:
john miller: <I>But I do think that the right is getting shortchanged.</I>
So do I: by Republican leadership. It's impossibly difficult for an intelligent, decent conservative to defend the principles of conservatism and the "benefits" of Republican rule, when the Bush administration and their supporters are making it so extremely clear exactly what the principles of conservatism are in practice (deny health care to the children of parents who can't afford insurance, <I>and</I> kick the shit out of children who complain about this) and with the Bush administration offering day-by-day examples of what the benefits of Republican rule actually <I>are</I>: endless war and government spying and a country sinking deeper and deeper into debt.
It's hardly surprising that right-wingers tend to prefer to stick to echo-chambers where they can come out with nonsense about Bill Clinton being the most corrupt President in history, without anyone pointing out to them all the other more corrupt Presidents of the past forty years.
Oct 24, 2007, 01:18:20 john miller wrote:
Actually, Jes, I agree with you that the reason the right (that part of it that is sensible and rationale and articulate such as von, edward_, Seb, OCSteve and others) is being shortchanged is because the so-called leadership of the right is, to put it bluntly, looney and does not allow any dissent. Those who try to make some sense of conservative policies and principles, such as OCSteve did in reagrds to S-CHIP, are lumped in with the loonies.
Even OCSteve, who has probably been the most patient in the face of opposition has been attacked as being a troll simply because he does not agree with the left.
I have the highest respect for those I mentioned simply because they have hung around.
A couple, such as Brett and a few others tend to vaciliate, but even they can try to have a constructuve conversation at times.
Then there are such a bril who tend to cast a shadow on the more intellectually honest ones.
Because the left side is probably more represented on ObWi, there is (and here I partially agree with DaveC) more leeway given, although it is not absolute.
As I mentioned before, I have seen DaveC in his commenting persona move from the first group I mentioned to somewhere between Brett and bril. Particularly since the elections last year.
Oct 24, 2007, 01:33:51 DaveC wrote:
- I try to make sense of you 23:20:59 post, but I cant. Did you do a lot of cut and past in the second paragraph? The subject seems to shift. -
I'll look at that later. I was trying to give more background about why I have strong feelings about Haditha.
More about the sneakyness, Jes.
I have wanted Gary and Charles to do some follow up. I did my little bit on TiO, but there was no response from them: they don't hang out here.
So I have to find Gary and ask him about it again. That might constitute threadjacking, so I tried to do so in context of the post, much like Miss America contestants try to fit their statement to the context of the interview question.
I also wanted to say something about people intimidating others in comment threads (especially by using the L word.)
So what I did was but myself in a win-win situation. If Gary said, "Sure DaveC, I'll follow up on that", then that is the best outcome.
If as he calls me a liar, as I suspect he will, then I get to talk about the L word.
As a bonus, lj steers the conversation here because it is meta, and I can discuss my thoughts about several matters in the appropriate venue.
Did I manuipulate Gary and lj? Yes, kind-of, sort-of. I did have a notion of what their reactions would be. No I was not straightforward, but I did not in any way force them to do what they did. I know that seems like dishonesty to some people, setting up a pretext like that.
Oct 24, 2007, 01:37:15 marbel wrote:
I know the right is shortchanged, but I also think it is hard, these days, to defend the Republican party.
I'd much rather discuss the more traditional diverging points that the absurdities that divide left and right these days. I'd love to go back to the days where one could seriously discuss the merits of the flaws of having a higher minimum wage. My party has done the occasional stupid thing and it is hard to be torn between loyalty and reality.
Oct 24, 2007, 02:04:18 Jesurgislac wrote:
john miller: <I>Those who try to make some sense of conservative policies and principles, such as OCSteve did in reagrds to S-CHIP, are lumped in with the loonies.</I>
Well, is there any sense to be made of conservative policies and principles with regard to S-CHIP? Certainly none of the decent conservatives I know seemed to think so: they one and all sort of looked at it a bit and ran away.
marbel: <I>I'd love to go back to the days where one could seriously discuss the merits or the flaws of having a higher minimum wage. </I>
:-D There's nothing to stop a decent conservative from outlining what they consider to be decent conservative principles, on Obsidian Wings or anywhere. They just don't.
Oct 24, 2007, 02:52:26 libjpn wrote:
Jes say: "You're a fucking troll. Who cares what you think?"
Certainly more vivid than your last composition, but alas! still, another one note symphony.
Oct 24, 2007, 03:47:23 OCSteve wrote:
A couple of general thoughts:
Given the number of times I’ve seen Gary complain about the lack of posting rules enforcement I was pretty shocked to see him take this approach in such a blatant way.
I don’t think that “I’m about to crap all over the rules but then I’m going to self-ban for a couple of days” cuts it. The self-ban when you feel like you are going to lose it is fine, and I do that myself from time to time. But the rant was uncalled for IMO, and I don’t think he gets a pass for it.
On that note I’m a little surprised that the kitty has apparently chosen to completely ignore the whole thing.
DaveC: I find myself slightly in Gary’s camp here as I have been called out several times to retract past remarks based on new information. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that per se – but I didn’t really see that you made a case Gary had anything to retract. I haven’t had the time/desire to go through his archives that you did reference (May 06), but it would have been more helpful if you had linked the specifics. If I understand correctly he supported Murtha as being no worse than Republicans and Marines who were saying the same thing at the time. On the Haditha topic I am with you in that *all* public figures who rushed to judgment on this should apologize, Murtha especially. I hope that the Marines win their libel suites and I’m pleased that the judge is not letting Murtha hide behind the Speech or Debate Clause. OTOH I can’t agree with what you’re giving as motivations for the bomb throwing here. You have the ability to put up a post here whenever you like. If you are just in the mood to mix it up with some folks and vent why not do it here? If you are specifically trying to get Gary to retract something he wrote then I suggest a more appropriate open thread and more specifics on what you think he needs to address. BTW - believe me when I say that I completely understand the urge to tweak Gary. I just try to resist that urge. ;)
Jes: “There's nothing to stop a decent conservative from outlining what they consider to be decent conservative principles, on Obsidian Wings or anywhere. They just don't.”
Well some of us try. It’s just not often well received. If you honestly believe that those principals are inherently and intentionally evil there is little leeway for discussion.
Oct 24, 2007, 04:46:17 john miller wrote:
OCSteve, as I mentioned above, I think you attempted to give a considered objection to the S-CHIP program expansion. In fact, IIRC, someone else pointed to it as an example of how it can be approached, even though that individual and I both disagreed with it.
Jes, OTOH, states "Well, is there any sense to be made of conservative policies and principles with regard to S-CHIP?"
She may use the phrase "decent conservative" but I tend to think she thinks the phrase is an oxymoron. I could be wrong though.
Oct 24, 2007, 04:54:28 marbel wrote:
You think she's more into 'the only decent conservative is a dead conservative' ;^)
I find that with Jes (/me waves politely) it is a Jekyll and Hyde story, but than with ms Ratio and ms Emotion. How interesting the thread gets depends on who's turn it is to use the keyboard ;)
Oct 24, 2007, 05:17:12 Frank wrote:
My curiousity has been aroused. Can someone give me a link to what happened at Haditha? Last I heard the marines had reportedly killed a bunch of very young children with head shots. Its hard for me to imagine extenuating circumstances for that.
Oct 24, 2007, 06:01:45 cleek wrote:
nous: "He's great in any thread he participates in from 0 to X percent, but above X there seems to be a runaway reaction whereby Gary's input into the thread approaches infinity and my tolerance rapidly approaches zero."
my own Gary-X has been diminishing steadily, the past few months, as the epic grammar wars and pointless derailments have increased.
it's a shame - he's such a smart guy and generally a positive presence, but too often, he turns on the aggression and the thread just snaps under the weight.
Oct 24, 2007, 06:06:23 DaveC wrote:
Here's a good place for Haditha coverage:
via LCpl Sharratt's web site
The women and children were killed by a combination of grenades and gunfire, in 2 houses.
House B was the 1st house, then house C. After the events at house B, I this it was extreme negligence to storm house C in the same manner.
Oct 24, 2007, 07:12:02 Jesurgislac wrote:
Ignore the troll's comment above, Frank - DaveC thinks that when US Marines kill whole families, including children, it's wrong to criticize and only right to viciously attack anyone who is critical of wholesale massacre of civilians.
I hesitate to link to wikipedia, but the wiki article on the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...">Haditha massacre</a> does have a lot of links as well as a basic outline of events.
The <I>Time</I> story gives an account by an eyewitness: <blockquote>Eman Waleed, 9, lived in a house 150 yards from the site of the blast, which was strong enough to shatter all the windows in her home. "We heard a big noise that woke us all up," she recalls two months later. "Then we did what we always do when there's an explosion: my father goes into his room with the Koran and prays that the family will be spared any harm." Eman says the rest of the family—her mother, grandfather, grandmother, two brothers, two aunts and two uncles—gathered in the living room. According to military officials familiar with the investigation, the Marines say they came under fire from the direction of the Waleed house immediately after being hit by the ied. A group of Marines headed toward the house. Eman says she "heard a lot of shooting, so none of us went outside. Besides, it was very early, and we were all wearing our nightclothes." When the Marines entered the house, they were shouting in English. "First, they went into my father's room, where he was reading the Koran," she claims, "and we heard shots." According to Eman, the Marines then entered the living room. "I couldn't see their faces very well—only their guns sticking into the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny." She claims the troops started firing toward the corner of the room where she and her younger brother Abdul Rahman, 8, were hiding; the other adults shielded the children from the bullets but died in the process. Eman says her leg was hit by a piece of metal and Abdul Rahman was shot near his shoulder. "We were lying there, bleeding, and it hurt so much."<a href="http://www.time.com/time/wo...">cite</a></blockquote>
Oct 24, 2007, 07:17:05 OCSteve wrote:
John: “but I tend to think she thinks the phrase is an oxymoron. I could be wrong though”
I write it off to “Conservative = Republican = GOP = Bush”. Unfortunately in our two party winner take all system that’s hard to avoid. There is no R candidate who really represents all my views, just as I’m sure there is no D that truly represents all your views. We’re stuck with aligning with one party or the other and all the baggage that comes with. On social issues Jes and I differ more in degree than principal.
Oct 24, 2007, 08:13:25 Jesurgislac wrote:
OCSteve: <I>Jes and I differ more in degree than principal.</I>
Princip<B>le</B>. ;-) (We obviously disagree on that.)
But otherwise, yes, often surprisingly true...
Oct 24, 2007, 08:26:52 Frank wrote:
Huh- I thought with DaveC making a big deal about this that it had turned out the insurgents faked the whole thing or something. I just read one of the articles, so you need to be more specific if there were some kind of big break in the story. Right now I don't think you've got a leg to stand on.
At best if you believe the stories that the marines are spinning, they still killed houses full of unarmed women and children, they just didn't cold-bloodedly murder them. And to believe that you have to swallow stories (http://www.nctimes.com/arti...) like: ""It was dark," Tatum said of the second home. "Couldn't make out a whole lot. Just targets."
Tatum said he did not learn until later that the "targets" were women and children, most of whom were found dead on a bed. Some of the children appeared to be between 3 and 5 years old, according to testimony.
Even if you can only see a partial silhouette I have a hard time seeing how a 3 or 5 year old looks like a "target" in the close quarters of a house. Is al queda recruiting a lot of very small well proportioned midgets?
Oct 24, 2007, 08:33:17 Frank wrote:
Maybe that wasn't clear enough. I'm sure its great for the marines in question that they aren't being punished. I don't like the fact that the haditha case means that people around the world can honestly say that marines are baby killers, and that Americans let baby killers go unpunished.
Now what was Murtha supposed to apologise for?
Oct 24, 2007, 08:50:35 Jesurgislac wrote:
<a href="http://hocb.net/index.php?i...">Bullying and earmarks</a>, according to the troll.
Oct 24, 2007, 08:55:05 nous wrote:
re: Haditha. I've been reading the various links and it seems to me that the reduction in charges and all of the rest that the defense is trumpeting as signs of vindication have less to do with innocence and more to do with the difficulty of getting evidence and witnesses (since the trial is at Pendleton and not in Iraq).
I'm not going to pronounce the Marines guilty in this matter in part out of sympathy for the situation that they were in. People who are willing to denounce their actions with no mitigation need to read more about trauma and combat stress and the psychology of combat and killing. The people involved were under stress and had been issued ambiguous rules. The whole incident matches up across the board with the conditions that Grossman outlines in _On Killing_ which lead to atrocities.
I'd say the marines are guilty of fairly severe atrocities, and their higher-ups are likely guilty of having covered it up and of failing to investigate as much as they should have. I think Murtha is right to call this an atrocity and wrong to describe it as 'cold blooded.' I also think that the people who jumped from Murtha's "killed in cold blood" to denouncing him for having accused innocent marines of 'murder' are missing or minimizing the seriousness of the atrocities and are being led by their emotions to mischaracterize Murtha's statements as more damning than they are.
The whole thing is a Charlie Foxtrot.
Worst part is that I don't think we are doing the things that need to be done in order to minimize the likelihood of another Haditha. And I don't think that arguments of the sort being made by Jes and DaveC do anything to balance the discussion.
Oct 24, 2007, 09:08:58 DaveC wrote:
- Due to the things DaveC says or has said in the past, I feel that he has difficulty with the straightforward approach. His anecdote about the teacher of his daughter is imho yet another example. -
What should I have? Ruin the school play for everybody? Sue the high school? Have the teacher arrested for assault?
In these litigious times, plenty of straightforward people would do that. Did I mention that the next day I also left a message with supervisor saying "Oh when my son got into that dust-up with Tim, he was lucky because the spring play was directed by another teacher." (since retired)
The supervisor was very confused. He asked my daughter "Is your dad, ...uh, pretty laid back?" Maybe he wasn't used to the genteel approach.
Anyway the upshot is, that afternoon the teacher apologized to the entire cast and crew and to my daughter specifically. Not the perfect outcome, but about as close as you can get.
Now enough about me, (a subject that I find infinitely fascinating.) Let's get back to Gary. I know a lot of you think that he is scrupulously honest and straightforward, but when he says:
"Oh there are about ten other questions I want to ask you."
"... to clarify."
My reaction is
"Oh yeah, sure Detective Columbo. To clarify"
But maybe I'm just not trusting enough. I think that he is preparing to pounce. So if it were me he was asking, I'd go all hinky.
Oct 24, 2007, 09:09:38 Jesurgislac wrote:
nous: <I>I'm not going to pronounce the Marines guilty in this matter in part out of sympathy for the situation that they were in. </I>
I've got considerable sympathy for the situation they are in.
However, they're all still alive. Eman Waleed's family are all dead. Having killed her entire family, the Marines went back to base, and the first report that was made on this massacre directly implied that the fifteen civilians who were killed "as a result" of the explosion were killed <I>by</I> the explosion, not by the Marines.
<I>And I don't think that arguments of the sort being made by Jes and DaveC do anything to balance the discussion.</I>
Right. Because viciously attacking anyone saying anything critical of US Marines for massacring civilians is <I>exactly the same</I> as calling someone who does that a troll.
Oct 24, 2007, 09:24:26 DaveC wrote:
- Worst part is that I don't think we are doing the things that need to be done in order to minimize the likelihood of another Haditha. -
I think that we've got guys on that:
Oct 24, 2007, 09:48:23 Jesurgislac wrote:
I see the troll's linked to Andrew Olmstead's blog. Andrew is one of the good guys, but has no ability to do the things that need to be done to minimize the likelihood of another Haditha.
Jim Henley on his own educational transformation, or, the basic difference between a decent conservative and a troll like DaveC:
Oct 24, 2007, 10:41:22 DaveC wrote:
OK, meandering over to a couple of old subjects, I want to talk about lies and torture.
A long long time ago, I found myself in very close vicinity to some police activity. So the first thing they did was separate me and the other guys far away from each other and got our alibis. Now I heard them talking about how our alibis all matched up (because the alibi was true, at least to the point of detail we all gave.)
So the next thing my cop did was make all kinds of threats about what he could do to me. "I could throw your ass in jail right now", and in between threats, ask me all sorts of questions.
What I know now, and did not know then was that once he started asking me the questions, it wasn't about arresting ME, but trying to get more information while I was under duress.
He asks me "Do you know Michele D?" I have a blank face "No, who is that?"
Copper tells me this amusing description of her, and I laugh, thinking "Oh, you mean Annette!" But I didn't say "Well yes, I know HER!"
But I wasn't lying. I was telling the truth about not knowing Michele. (Tip to young ne'er-do-wells: Be known by your middle name to your friends, and by your first name to the cops.)
And the cop wasn't lying, either. I mean, he COULD HAVE done all those bad things to me. He wasn't going to, though; he was just pressuring me in the interrogation.
(You're probably thinking - Oh, DaveC is a Straussian to boot.)
Now, the pledge not to torture included Any Kind of Psychological Torture, with no definitions. What's up with that? If the cop had told me "Well, lad, were not going to do anything bad to you, we just have some questions.", do you think I would have given up even as little information as I did? Or would I have gone completely hinky - uncooperative and not talking?
My take is that a competent interrogation may well involve making threats, making the suspect psychologically uncomfortable, and the like. Is that coercion or torture? I think not. Once you say "We're not going to do this. We're not going to do that. We're not going to make you uncomfortable", you are not going to get the information.
The bright line that was drawn included "psychological torture" and I'm not buying into that, not going to take a pledge, don't want that bill to pass.
Oct 24, 2007, 10:44:10 nous wrote:
Jes- "Right. Because viciously attacking anyone saying anything critical of US Marines for massacring civilians is <I>exactly the same</I> as calling someone who does that a troll."
Well that is certainly one (rather reductive and self-serving) way to read it. But what I was thinking, and not necessarily explicitly saying, was that the only way to change the situation is to change the military, and that this has to happen from within. Individual guilt or innocence is irrelevant to the dialogue that needs to happen in order for that to change and the military as an institution tends to become more resistant to change when it sees itself as a scapegoat. Both you and Dave fall back on a juridical mode of argument more often than not, and this is a case in which I think that we need deliberation more than we need judgment. I leave any further comparisons between you and Dave to other more foolhardy souls.
Oct 24, 2007, 10:58:46 nous wrote:
Make that 'judicial,' rather than 'juridical.'
Oct 24, 2007, 12:34:33 DonaldJ wrote:
"But what I was thinking, and not necessarily explicitly saying, was that the only way to change the situation is to change the military, and that this has to happen from within. Individual guilt or innocence is irrelevant to the dialogue that needs to happen in order for that to change and the military as an institution tends to become more resistant to change when it sees itself as a scapegoat."
I thought your analysis of Haditha was plausible, but the above sets my teeth on edge. The implication of what you are saying is that the military is so morally corrupt they won't do all they can to avoid civilian casualties if they feel scapegoated by sharp-tongued civilian critics. I would think that no honorable member of the military would or should feel this way--if such an attitude exists, it's part of the problem that needs to be uprooted.
Oct 24, 2007, 13:47:09 John Thullen wrote:
Alright, I've cracked under the psychological pressure and can't help confessing that I don't know what the phrase "going all hinky" means.
But I'm going to use the term every chance I get, probably in my next seven comments at OBWI.
What happens when a person "goes all hinky". Does their body go limp? Does a look of beatific innocence come over them, as if to say "Why, I don't know where you are getting your information, officers, but I've no idea what you are referring to."?
Do they stutter and flap one arm? Does their upper lip get snagged on an incisor?
Is "going all hinky" like having a "conniption fit"?
And, I don't know why, but the sentence "You're probably thinking, Oh DaveC. is a Straussian to boot" struck me as hilarious.
It would be like me saying "Oh, you're probably thinking John T. is a Gestalt Hegelian with Confucian antecedents and Jungian highlights, to boot."
Which I have said before, but only under duress.
Oct 24, 2007, 15:01:47 libjpn wrote:
While I'm delighted that a thread I cracked open is bubbling away like this, I have to apologize that I won't be able to attend to it much in the 10 days cause I'm going stateside with the wife and kids. Please, no appeals to admin power cause I imagine that TiO will be for me like an airport tv that is on some set channel, where I will feel compelled to watch but won't be able to fix either the vertical or horizontal.
Oct 24, 2007, 23:02:25 john miller wrote:
DaveC, yes you were lying to the officer because you knew "her", just under a different name. I am not condemming you for doing so but trying to rationalize that you weren't lying doesn't cut it. Clinton was more honest in his testimony.
Second, what the officer did was not psychological torture. Threatening physical harm to you or your family would conceivably fall under that category, particularly if you had reason to consider the action threatened to be likely. But even then, it is considered more as coercion rather than torture, and coercion, from a legal standpoint invalidates any evidence thereby received.
Finally, it has been shown time after time that being "nice" results in more honest, useful information than being "nasty".
Oct 24, 2007, 23:20:54 Turbulence wrote:
Since you're OK with psychological coercion and other forms of torture-lite, does that mean that you're OK if other nations use such tactics when interrogating American military personal?
Oct 25, 2007, 02:01:42 nous wrote:
DonaldJ- What I said about the military's resistance to change may set your teeth on edge. I know that it sounds like an attack on the morals of individuals, but what I'm pointing to here is not about the actions and attitudes of individuals (even in aggregate). This is about institutional culture and politics.
The US Army is a warfighting institution. It is built to fight conventional wars with infantry. Its institutional structure is built with that in mind. It has resisted changes to that structure for 40 years. It's a top-down structure and the top is almost all infantry generals who were proteges of the people who were proteges of the people who won WWII. They are dedicated to the institution itself -- to its traditions and doctrines -- and they will not allow mission creep to change the institution they love. And the institution they love is not in any way built for low intensity conflicts or small wars.
The other branches are similar stories with their own institutional cultures. They will fight tooth-and-nail to maintain their perceived role in the face of changing circumstances, even if that means being less suited to the task at hand. Just two weeks ago the Air Force was complaining because the Marines suggested that they shift all their own forces to Afghanistan and let the Army take over the job in Iraq so that each could better manage troop rotation and supply. The only reason the Air Force opposed this is because the Marines have their own air support and they didn't want to lose a piece of the combat pie.
At the base of this is a folklore upon which US military cultures are built in which Viet Nam weighs heavily. The "we didn't lose in Nam, the politicians didn't let us fight" mindset which reinforces the institutional bias towards conventional warfighting. Each branch -- as an institution -- believes in its own doctrine and structure and the people running the show have spent their whole lives proving that they are more dedicated to these doctrines and traditions than anyone else. They believe (scary echoes here) that if they are just allowed to do what they are built to do they will succeed. They also believe that if they stop doing things the way they are doing them that they are paving the way for a future military defeat.
So you train your soldiers (and marines) for war because training them otherwise will get them killed. The training doesn't work as well for insurgencies or peacekeeping missions, but neither of those tasks are the primary mission of any of our services. They will do them, but only to the extent that these lesser missions do not interfere with their greater missions.
I'm not supporting this mindset, only pointing out that it exists and that it shapes policy in ways that cause things like Haditha, and that these things happen because of institutional paradigms rather than moral calculus.
Oct 25, 2007, 03:32:54 OCSteve wrote:
nous – well put. I agree entirely.
Marines are taught to clear a house in only one way, and that way is particularly violent. And they practice it until it is all second nature and split second reaction.
This was a tragedy waiting to happen.
And I’ll agree with you that little to nothing is being done to prevent it from happening again. Just one more reason to get them all out of there.
Oct 25, 2007, 04:02:40 nous wrote:
OCSteve -- the training issue is one particular scenario. Another possible scenario involves combat stress and trauma leading to episodes of berserking in which one or more marines may have knowingly-but-not-rationally killed non-combatants.
I'm not going to call all those deaths accidental any more than I am going to call this murder in cold blood. I don't know what happened, and I'm not going to build a narrative based on a particular closed reading of the atrocities in Haditha. I think we *have* to leave this ambiguous.
Oct 25, 2007, 04:04:30 john miller wrote:
I agree with nous and back up OCSteve's comments.
However, one of the realities of war is that, at times, something is going to get out of control.
I doubt if there has ever, in the history of mankind, been a conflict in which any of the sides involved totally avoided any acts that would be considered, specially in this day and age, an atrocity.
Even the very best of training cannot totally avoid incidents such as Haditha, My Lai, or any other incident.
Human beings have breaking points and the best of training can not prepare someone for every possible contingency.
The only real hope is that if an individual cracks, the rest of the people around him/her will be able to control the first individual. But the greater the stress the group itself is under, the less likelihood that the control can reassert itself.
Perhaps one of the worst things about the current state of affairs for our troops in Iraq is that almost all the "combat" troops are never away from possible conflict. The need for constant monitoring of their environmnet is a 24/7 thing, with only a possible 2 week break during up to 15 months.
Even during WWII, most troops were rotated out of the front line after a month for rest, and then they would go back. The same in Vietnam, although even there, there were more safe spots in country than our troops currently have.
And, in effect, this is what Murtha was talking about originally. Not how horrible the Marines involved were, but that they have been placed in a situation without the mental rest and relief that could lessen the likelihood of things like this happening.
And yes, better training about how to enter a house would help, but gentleness can alos get you killed.
Oct 25, 2007, 04:24:20 Jesurgislac wrote:
My take is that a competent interrogation may well involve making threats, making the suspect psychologically uncomfortable, and the like. Is that coercion or torture? I think not. Once you say "We're not going to do this. We're not going to do that. We're not going to make you uncomfortable", you are not going to get the information.
The bright line that was drawn included "psychological torture" and I'm not buying into that, not going to take a pledge, don't want that bill to pass.</I>
<a href="http://secondcircuitcivilri...">The case of the suspicious airplane radio.</a>
A terrorist suspect was being interrogated by an FBI agent, shortly after 9/11. The man was formerly an Egyptian student in New York, who had been evacuated from his hotel on September 11, and who became a terrorist suspect when a suspicious airplane radio was found in his hotel room. According to the troll, anything you do to a terrorist suspect is just fine:
<blockquote>"Higazy alleges that during the polygraph, Templeton told him that he should cooperate, and explained that if Higazy did not cooperate, the FBI would make his brother “live in scrutiny” and would “make sure that Egyptian security gives [his] family hell.” Templeton later admitted that he knew how the Egyptian security forces operated: “that they had a security service, that their laws are different than ours, that they are probably allowed to do things in that country where they don’t advise people of their rights, they don’t – yeah, probably about torture, sure.”
Higazy later said, “I knew that I couldn’t prove my innocence, and I knew that my family was in danger.” He explained that “[t]he only thing that went through my ead was oh, my God, I am screwed and my family’s in danger. If I say this device is mine, I’m screwed and my family is going to be safe. If I say this device is not mine, I’m screwed and my family’s in danger. And Agent Templeton made it quite clear that cooperate had to mean saying something else other than this device is not mine.”</blockquote>
So Templeton "got the information" out of Higazy by psychological torture: Higazy confessed. And to DaveC, that's all good - it was a competent interrogation, the man was a terrorist suspect, the FBI got the information they wanted.
Then Higazy stopped being a terrorist suspect, because the pilot who had occupied the hotel bedroom before Higazy stopped by the hotel and inquired if anyone had found the radio he'd left in his bedroom.
Higazy was released and is now suing the hotel (a member of the hotel staff helped make Higazy a terrorist suspect by lying about where the airplane radio was found, which lie the employee admitted to when the pilot came back to collect it) and of course Templeton, the FBI agent who performed what was in DaveC's eyes such an admirably competent interrogation, including what is in DaveC's view the perfectly reasonable tactic of threatening to have Higazy's brother imprisoned and tortured if Higazy didn't confess. After all, at the time this happened to Higazy, he was a terrorist suspect - made so by a forgetful pilot and a lying hotel employee, but still a terrorist suspect - and so not entitled to any legal process.
Oct 25, 2007, 05:31:40 marbel wrote:
<i>I doubt if there has ever, in the history of mankind, been a conflict in which any of the sides involved totally avoided any acts that would be considered, specially in this day and age, an atrocity.
Even the very best of training cannot totally avoid incidents such as Haditha, My Lai, or any other incident.</i>
I agree. But that is why I am really in favor of being strict about the borders of what is acceptable. People believe that you don't support the troops if you don't give them slack due to their circumstances. I believe I support them by advocating strict interpretations, because I want those troops back in society and being able to function in that society. Hard enough after serving in a warzone, even harder if you have to be in denial about what you saw or did.
We have the same discussions in the Netherlands, about acts of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, so it's not just about Haditha.
Oct 25, 2007, 06:04:14 john miller wrote:
marbel, I agree. The point is that if we are going to make the decision to be the aggressor, which we did in this case, then we need to be aware of the potential for these events taking place.
I am in no way excusing any military person who acts in this manner, and it needs to be made clear to all involved what the consequences will be if things go beyond certain boundaries of behavior.
All I am saying is that no amount of training or monitering is going to totally prevent it from happening. The best that can be done is to minimize it as much as possible through training, appropriate break time, and appropriate consequences being in place and followed through on.
Oct 25, 2007, 06:35:23 marbel wrote:
<i>The best that can be done is to minimize it as much as possible through training, appropriate break time, and appropriate consequences being in place and followed through on.</i>
Oh, we're in agreement. But you forgot to mention that lowering the entrance standards (is that what it's called?) for soldiers is a certain recipy for more trouble later on.
Oct 25, 2007, 08:15:43 OCSteve wrote:
nous, John, marbel - no substantial disagreement.
Oct 25, 2007, 09:37:52 DonaldJ wrote:
Hey, I agree with nous too. Don't want to be left out.
Seriously, his later explanation of what he meant made a lot of sense to me, not that I have any firsthand experience with the military.
Oct 25, 2007, 09:41:24 nous wrote:
DonaldJ- I'm not a veteran of any service either, but I'm neck deep in reading about this for my dissertation (which is what put the quarter in me in the first place).
Oct 25, 2007, 10:36:00 Turbulence wrote:
What's your dissertation about?
Oct 26, 2007, 01:21:18 nous wrote:
I'm a lit/rhetoric person with interests in ethnography and New Media. I'm writing (pending approval of my committee) about the ways in which texts about war represent and construct the soldier and especially in the ways that soldier/authors do this. I'm exploring how novels and memoirs get adapted to become war films and video games and what parts of those stories come into focus when this happens. And I'm looking at how recent generations of soldiers (in the inclusive sense) and other writers have received these texts,films, games, etc. and are responding to them to see how the position of the soldier has changed since the Second World War.
Oct 26, 2007, 02:49:41 DaveC wrote:
I liked "One of Ours" by Willa Cather.
May be too jingoistic for some.
Oct 27, 2007, 00:16:10 DaveC wrote:
Damn, I got totally into my comfort zone, but too busy w/ work around the house, and contract work at my old company ( $100 AN HOUR!!!) to write more. Turbulence, "torture-lite" is a acceptable term for the difference between I think is allowable and what is not. Jes is correct that even threats if used in the wrong way can lead to bad results. All, certainly war is bad and there is a qualitative difference between policing / advising and warfare operating under the rules of engagement, that seems to permit a wide range of actions. ObWi talking about war mongers in the Hawks and Doves post - I think there is an oversimplification of opposing viewpoints there, but I won't get into that (time issues again). It is a beautiful day here, I have to "make hay while the sun shines."
Oct 29, 2007, 01:57:03 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I> Jes is correct that even threats if used in the wrong way can lead to bad results. </I>
What bad results? The FBI agent carried out a competent interrogation of a terrorist suspect and got the information required. From your angle, DaveC, that's all 100% good - I can't see why on earth you'd say that's a "bad result" when everything about that interrogation happened just the way you've said you think it should.
Oct 30, 2007, 00:53:14 DaveC wrote:
A competent interrogation leading to a confession should include corroborating evidence. That is, the suspect must reveal information that only the perpetrator would know. A bogus confession is no good to anybody.
Oct 30, 2007, 01:41:45 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>A competent interrogation leading to a confession should include corroborating evidence. </I>
But that is not possible when innocent people are subject to kidnapping and torture: competent interrogations then can only be expected to provide whatever information the innocent person being tortured knows the interrogator wants to hear. And you have explicitly and frequently defended the American practice of kidnap and torture of innocent people, on the basis that competent interrogations require torture: indeed, your last furious trolling of Obsidian Wings was based on your anger at the general disapproval of your public endorsement of kidnapping/torturing innocent people.
Oct 30, 2007, 01:44:55 Jesurgislac wrote:
In fact, of course, when guilty people are tortured they will generally most often provide only the information they know the interrogator wants to hear: because the truth won't necessarily stop the torture.
So it's clear your notion of a competent interrogation does not in any way include providing *useful* information - a competent interrogation by your pro-torture standards is only one that provides the information that's wanted.
Oct 30, 2007, 13:33:21 DaveC wrote:
- indeed, your last furious trolling of Obsidian Wings was based on your anger at the general disapproval of your public endorsement of kidnapping/torturing innocent people. -
I don't think that I was the furious one. That was my "sneaky" point, anticipating that the reaction would be quite furious (from a certain person). True, I generally disapprove of the "You are no better than Nazis" approach to talking about these issues. For the record, I didn't make a "public endorsement of kidnapping/torturing innocent people".
Used to be, when you talked to people that you disagree with, you would mutually make concessions - "I'll grant you that" sort of thing. Some times you can talk to other people about things without it being a formal debate. Now, if I see the need for an opposing viewpoint, I'll do it, whether joking, or getting all hysterical, or "Just the facts ma'am". But these are just different ways of talking about things.
The fact of the matter is that we are not going to change the world based on whether we "win the argument" at ObWi or Tio, or any other blog. Things average out, given an equal representation. The fact of the matter is that based on the "Political Compass" quiz,
I scored most recently:
Economic Left/Right: 0.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.36
so that makes me pretty average, as far as I can tell. I'll confess, I do like to tease people and piss them off a little bit. Don't you?
Oct 30, 2007, 14:11:56 dr ngo wrote:
Call me old-fashioned (or just call me old, as some do), but in the Real World I don't hang with people who like to "piss me off." ("Just a little bit" is a judgment call better left to the teasee than the teaser.)
I don't see why I should enjoy this in the blogosphere, either.
Some of your posts here suggest that you might be an affable person in real life. So why on earth would you think that this kind of deliberate affront to others makes you a more pleasant companion?
Oct 30, 2007, 17:07:57 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: <I>For the record, I didn't make a "public endorsement of kidnapping/torturing innocent people".</I>
For the record, you did. You have said, consistently, that you are for terrorist suspects being kidnapped by US forces, taken away, and tortured. You know that terrorist suspects include innocent people - that's what "suspects" <I>means</I>. You have, therefore, publicly said you support and approve the kidnapping and torture of innocent people.
Oct 30, 2007, 17:10:05 Jesurgislac wrote:
Dr Ngo: <I>So why on earth would you think that this kind of deliberate affront to others makes you a more pleasant companion?</I>
As far as I can see, because he's annoyed with us for pointing out that when you support the kidnapping and torture of innocent people because they're "terrorist suspects" you are using the same basic logic and language that the Nazis did. DaveC is okay with using the Nazi logic and language, but vilely angry with us for pointing this out.
Oct 30, 2007, 21:55:32 libjpn wrote:
Actually, dr ngo, a lot of people engage in this sort of banter. Think of 'yo mama' jokes. However, there is some sort of line between pissing people off and taking the piss out of people. Where that line is, I'm not really sure.
Could you tell me what "Nazi logic" is? If I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, I'd suggest that you had Adorno's Negative Dialectics in mind, but I really doubt that. You are doing precisely what you accuse DaveC of, and your choice of using "Nazi" to modify 'logic' is especially telling in this regard.
As far as I can tell, DaveC took his chance to push Gary's buttons because of the grief Gary has given him multiple times, a temptation that you have fallen prey to any number of times, to the point that you have a cut and paste link to your live journal to explain why you aren't talking to Gary. Which is not very interesting in and of itself. What is interesting is that your self righteousness is so gargantuan that you feel the need to go to multiple threads here to denounce DaveC's trollhood. Of course, anytime anyone offers some observation to DaveC, you are going to chime in with an 'explanation'. I also note the deployment of the first person plural in 'He's annoyed with us' and [he's] 'vilely angry with us'.
This is not to defend DaveC's formulations. But whereas DaveC's formulations seem to be unthought thru, yours are never going to thought thru. More's the pity.
Oct 30, 2007, 22:22:01 Jesurgislac wrote:
That's the spirit, Libjpn: sometimes I've thought you haven't quite got the hang of "Taking It Outside" as a place for flaming people. This is quite a good flame. Well done.
*toasts vegetarian sausages*
Oct 30, 2007, 22:43:56 DaveC wrote:
- So why on earth would you think that this kind of deliberate affront to others makes you a more pleasant companion? -
It's hard to operate in a situation where people believe, or pretend, that their shit doesn't stink. So, in a situation where you need to accomplish something as a group (I'm thinking work), and the process involves criticizing other people, you have to establish a culture where everybody can do that. I would always encourage the customer support folks to have angry customers talk to me, and later I would drop by the CS representative and say something like "You are such a fucking bitch!" (We would laugh and laugh about that). Or I'd walk into the manufacturing / service area, and they might say "Here comes R&D: Retards and Dummies." Or the big boss (CEO) would yell at me after talking to the doctor at the big research institute and I'd yell back at at him, then he'd call the doc back up and yell at him, relaying my response, and then we'd all get on the phone and talk about it.
So then we get a new guy as Pres, and he says "We're going to have "STRAIGHT TALK" ", and of course nobody wants to talk to him. I remember one time he had gotten off the phone with some angry doctor, and the CEO and product manager called me in and said "You have to talk to Pres about this problem" and I say "Hey, I had nothing to do with that, that was all the Polish and Israeli guys' fault!" And they say, "Well somebody has to talk to him, He's mad enough to spit. We'll get a box for you to put all your personal shit in when you leave." So I go into the office and tell him "Of course you know that in normal populations, if you use a bone oscillator, the contralateral response looks very similar to the ipsilateral response. blah, blah, blah." So he's nodding and saying "Oh, Oh, yes of course", when actually he couldn't find his ass with both hands on this issue. Things got even worse when we were bought by a big company, the CEO and Pres were fired and if somebody finds a bug that you are responsible for, you get written up. So that makes R&D meetings much shorter, because nobody wants to go on record saying anything. This leads to much shorter meetings and hence, more efficiency. Continuous Process Improvement!
Oct 30, 2007, 23:14:59 Jesurgislac wrote:
None of that explains why you support kidnapping and torturing innocent people, and then get mad at other people for pointing out who else, like you, supported imprisoning and torturing "enemies of the state"/"terrorist suspects".
Oct 31, 2007, 23:54:36 kenB wrote:
Hmm... seems to me that if DaveC can be accused of supporting the torture of innocent people, then so can Jesurgislac -- she was against the Iraq war and thus was fully in favor of keeping Saddam in power and allowing him to continue his practice of torturing his enemies.
Nov 01, 2007, 00:39:23 DonaldJ wrote:
Maybe it does seem that way to you, kenB. Or maybe you're just taking time off from under bridges waylaying travellers.
Nov 01, 2007, 01:59:10 OCSteve wrote:
Wow Dave – where the hell did that come from?
Nov 01, 2007, 03:14:27 DaveC wrote:
It's a shame, you just can't find candy cigarettes to give to the kids anymore, so I'll have to make do.
Nov 01, 2007, 03:17:41 DaveC wrote:
kenB, that is reminiscent of how this kind of talk all started:
Moe Blow: "Hey peacenik, you are objectively pro-Saddam."
von Doe: "Oh yeah? Well you are objectively pro-torture."
Or something like that. As usual, I will not provide a link.
Nov 01, 2007, 05:30:38 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>that is reminiscent of how this kind of talk all started:</I>
The difference is, of course, that you are <I>literally</I> pro-torture: not to mention <I>eagerly</I> pro mass murder, providing of course it's "terrorist suspects" being tortured (ie, innocent people whom you don't know and don't give a damn about) <I>or</I> US Marines doing the murdering and Iraqi children being killed.
Nov 01, 2007, 11:00:18 kenB wrote:
Yeah DaveC, I had that whole "objectively pro-Saddam" thing in mind when I wrote that.
The whole "pro-torture" thing also reminds me of the way the "pro-life" folks try to label the other side as "pro-abortion", as if they were actively in favor of abortion for its own sake rather than seeing it as an acceptable trade-off between the rights of the mother and those of the fetus.
I doubt there are very many people who consider "enhanced interrogation techniques" to be inherently good rather than just an acceptable price to pay for a (supposed) reduction in the likelihood of terrorist attacks.
Nov 01, 2007, 13:33:42 DaveC wrote:
- The whole "pro-torture" thing also reminds me of the way the "pro-life" folks try to label the other side as "pro-abortion", as if they were actively in favor of abortion for its own sake rather than seeing it as an acceptable trade-off between the rights of the mother and those of the fetus. -
Yep, I would have opted for a second trimester abortion if the tests had indicated some really serious genetic problems. And yet I am in favor of restricting third trimester (partial birth) abortions. People draw the bright line at different places. I consider abortion and torture a problem of determining a threshold of what is considered acceptable and what is not.
So I guess that is another case of "inherently good rather than just an acceptable price to pay" re: the sort of pro-abortion stance.
Nov 01, 2007, 17:42:04 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>And yet I am in favor of restricting third trimester (partial birth) abortions.</I>
So besides being in favor of torture, you're <I>also</I> in favor of forcing a doctor operating on a woman who needs an abortion in the third trimester, to use the more dangerous method than the safer method? What do you have against women who need third-trimester abortions that you want their bodies permanently damaged?
<I>I consider abortion and torture a problem of determining a threshold of what is considered acceptable and what is not.</I>
Yeah, because when foreigners and women are considered objects for use rather than human beings, you <I>wouldn't</I> consider torture just as inherently unacceptable as forced pregnancy and childbirth. Those are attitudes that come with assuming that all human beings have rights, including the right not to be tortured and the right not to be forced to give up the use of your body.
Nov 01, 2007, 20:59:44 DonaldJ wrote:
You guys have your analogies wrong. The pro-war/pro-torture crowd are the same people because they use the same logic for both situations--they believe in using massive violence against real or alleged bad guys in illegal ways on the supposed grounds that the benefits of doing this will outweigh the collateral damage (innocent people killed or tortured, erosion of basic moral norms involving human rights and barriers to starting wars, etc...). Advocates of the Iraq and torture are often skeptical of people who advocate using the government to help others--when violence is involved, however, and there's the entertaining prospect of hurting bad people, their skepticism lessens.
Peaceniks and torture opponents tend to be the same people because they are also using the same logic in both cases--the government should not be allowed to use violence except under very strict rules. Collateral damage is not shuffled off to the side. We recognize that people who do bad things virtually always claim to be doing it for noble reasons.
Nov 01, 2007, 22:10:11 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>We recognize that people who do bad things virtually always claim to be doing it for noble reasons.</I>
Which applies to the whole forced-pregnancy movement, too, both the general run who think that women ought to be forced through pregnancy against their will and regardless of the damage to their health: and the DaveCs who think that if a woman needs a third-trimester abortion she should suffer permanent damage to the cervix. They too claim "noble reasons" (though the opposition to safer third trimester abortion is hard to make "noble" without outright lying). Generally those "noble reasons" amount to "We must SAVE THE FETUS because it's a HUMAN BEING" while ignoring the facts that (a) requiring more dangerous third-trimester abortion methods won't save a single fetus, just harm women - DaveC's said explicitly he's all for that, though: (b) banning abortion by law doesn't prevent abortions, it only ensures they are carried out more dangerously: (c) even if it were possible to ban abortion by law, the "noble reasons" for doing so are all based on the idea that women aren't really human.
Just as the "noble reasons" for being pro-torture and pro-war are all based on the idea that those <I>other</I> people aren't really human.
Nov 01, 2007, 23:53:20 kenB wrote:
DonaldJ, I'm not sure what you mean by having my "analogies wrong" -- I was just talking about a specific rhetorical tactic whereby a person who sees X as an acceptable *cost* is painted as *actively supporting* X.
Of course you can always argue that someone's cost-benefit analysis is defective in some way.
Nov 02, 2007, 01:34:58 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>whereby a person who sees X as an acceptable *cost* is painted as *actively supporting* X.</I>
When a person argues that X is actively necessary then yes, you can say that person is supporting X. Especially when they are attempting to frame X as an "acceptable cost" without actually themselves being willing to pay that "acceptable" price. (Ask DaveC if he is willing to have what was done to the Iraqis in the Abu Ghraib photos done to himself, his wife, his children, as the "acceptable cost" of the war on terror?)
Nov 02, 2007, 03:42:38 kenB wrote:
When you were actively opposing the Iraq war, was it fair to call you a supporter of Saddam's regime? Were you willing to go to Iraq and personally be tortured by Saddam's henchmen as an acceptable cost of not intervening?
Nov 02, 2007, 04:19:45 DonaldJ wrote:
The problem with proposing the Iraq War as a solution to Saddam's torture is that it was likely to increase human suffering, not decrease it.
Nov 02, 2007, 09:01:03 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>When you were actively opposing the Iraq war, was it fair to call you a supporter of Saddam's regime? </I>
No, because at no point have I ever argued that Saddam's regime is actively necessary.
In the 1980s, that put me at odds with Ronald Reagan, Donald Rumsfeld, and other practically-minded right-wingers who figured that Saddam's regime was actively necessary, and were willing to support mass murder and torture of Iraqis in order to facilitate it.
Opposing the decision to invade and occupy Iraq came from (as DonaldJ has pointed out) a realistic assessment that no matter how bad a dictator is, waging aggressive war to overthrow him is only too likely to make the situation of ordinary people in that country worse. As has in fact proved true. The same people who were content to have Saddam Hussein torture and murder Iraqis in the 1980s, were content to have Americans torture and murder Iraqis in the 2000s. The same reason: the inability to conceive that the lives and welfare of Iraqis actually <I>matter</I>.
Nov 02, 2007, 21:14:43 kenB wrote:
OK, so if I understand your logic, it's still not fair to say that DaveC actively supports torturing innocent people -- that would be a potential unintended consequence, not something that he thinks is actively necessary.
Nov 02, 2007, 22:12:33 Jesurgislac wrote:
The flaw in your logic is that DaveC has repeatedly argued for torturing people.
Therefore, to argue that he doesn't "actively support it" would be kind of like trying to argue that he doesn't "actively support" brutal damage to a woman's cervix during a third-trimester abortion. He's made clear that he's *against* making torturing people illegal, he's *for* torturing innocent people, and he's *for* using the most dangerous method to perform a third-trimester abortion. He's said so himself.
Nov 02, 2007, 22:19:23 DaveC wrote:
And I understand that Senators opposed to the Partial Birth Abortion ban are not necessarily actively supporting the procedure, which, if you think that the baby is a human being, is quite horrific.
They might be looking at the proposed law, and think "This would be a bad law, which would produce nothing but trouble."
So compare to waterboarding, which may have been done 4 or 5 times over the last 5 years, the Partial Birth Abortion procedure likely has happened more than 3 orders of magnitude over the same period of time. There is no official policy actively encouraging either. Both are disavowed, but laws haven't been passed to make either explicitly illegal because other language in the laws is vague enough that there may be all sorts of unintended consequences.
Nov 03, 2007, 00:22:36 nous wrote:
Yes, but Dave you neglect to mention that the human being you speak of here is most often already dead (it being a miscarriage after all). So what you are seeing done here is not the destruction of a living human being, but the removal of the corpse of a once-wanted child who did not survive to be delivered. The only living person involved in the procedure is the mother.
And judging from the size and number of our dark facilities I think you underestimate the number of waterboardings.
Nov 03, 2007, 01:49:36 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: <I>And I understand that Senators opposed to the Partial Birth Abortion ban are not necessarily actively supporting the procedure, which, if you think that the baby is a human being, is quite horrific.</I>
So you find it less horrific to think about the "baby" being cut up inside the woman's uterus and pulled out in pieces, with consequent risk to the woman's cervix?
That's the alternative, DaveC. You don't like the idea of a third-trimester fetus being removed almost whole aside from a puncture in the skull to collapse the head so that it can be removed safely - that's "pretty horrific", especially, I suppose, when you think that the woman who has just lost her baby (abortions in the third trimester are in general of much-wanted babies for whom something has gone horribly wrong) will very likely, after a "partial birth abortion", be able to have another baby.
That's obviously too horrific to contemplate. You'd rather think that she should run the risk of having her uterus perforated or her cervix permanently damaged - or better yet, she should be denied a third-trimester abortion altogether, regardless of the damage to her physical health if she is forced to deliver a dead baby via induced labour, or the mental suffering over several months knowing that she is carrying a baby that will die almost immediately after it is born. All of this you find *less* horrific than a safe abortion?
It's not a question of whether you think a seven-month fetus is a human being. It's whether you think the pregnant woman is a human being, or merely a faulty incubator.
Nov 03, 2007, 04:56:20 DaveC wrote:
Here is the text of the Partial Abortion Ban.
The very first part of the Bill describes SPECIFICALLY what is proposed to be banned. Note the specification of a LIVING, UNBORN BABY.
The Congress finds and declares the following:
(1) A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion--an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child's body until either the entire baby's head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby's trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child's skull and removing the baby's brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant, performs this act, and then completes delivery of the dead infant--is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.
It's a partial vaginal birth, for goodness sakes. I CAN think of an alternative. What about a Live Birth C-Section?
Look, this procedure is awful to contemplate, OK? I understand that. And perhaps it is even necessary in very rare circumstances.
But don't deny that the bill says what it explicitly says. And don't think that I don't think what I think I think.
Nov 03, 2007, 06:43:04 nous wrote:
Yes, that's what the legislation says.
You obviously haven't been paying attention to all of the complications this legislation has caused for people for whom this should not even have been a concern.
Many medical schools no longer teach how to perform an intact dilation and extraction (which is the name for the medical procedure) because of potential legal liability. Many clinics will not use the procedure even on stillborn children for fear that they will be accused of falsifying records in order to cover up for an illegal abortion.
The procedure is the safest way to evacuate a late term stillbirth and it leaves a mostly intact corpse for them to mourn without requiring that the mother undergo major surgery. Because of the ban the same couple that would have chosen this procedure are many times not given the choice and must instead have the stillbirth dismembered into pieces.
Nov 03, 2007, 09:39:31 marbel wrote:
She could also give birth off course Nous.
After lots of hard thinking and reading and mainly due to the arguments dr Science brought up I've drawn the conclusion that the ban in the US is not good and should be withdrawn. But I really hate false arguments and they make it harder for me to be convinced.
Nov 03, 2007, 18:00:18 Jesurgislac wrote:
marbel: <I>She could also give birth off course Nous. </I>
She could: induced labor of a dead fetus is markedly more dangerous than the safe procedure that DaveC hates so much.
Basically, DaveC is coming across as a complete wimp.
He's been told about the safest procedure for late-term abortion. It sounds horrific to him.
So he'd rather women who need late-term abortions suffer real danger, than that he himself should have to suffer mentally.
And he puts this in terms like "Ooh, I care about the BABY" because that's easier for him too, than to admit that his notion is that women can suffer pain, damage and emotional torment - what does that matter? - so long as he himself doesn't have to think of their undergoing a safe procedure which horrifies him.
DaveC is a pro-torture wimp.
Nov 03, 2007, 18:48:28 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: <I>And don't think that I don't think what I think I think.</I>
Well, that's a confused enough sentence, but no: what you have made clear is that you think your mental well-being takes priority over a pregnant woman's health and safety.
You find the idea of IDX ("partial birth abortion") peculiarly horrific. You don't want to have to think about it happening. You'd rather a pregnant woman suffered horribly, perhaps had permanent damage done to her body, than you have to think about a safer operation happening because the safer operation squicks you.
You think your mental well-being is more important than theirs, and your mental well-being is more important than their physical safety. Which seems to be pretty much why you're pro-torture of innocents, too.
Nov 04, 2007, 00:23:26 kenB wrote:
Jeez, what a monster this DaveC person is -- I don't understand why any respectable person would even talk to him. Clearly his only desire is to see other people suffer horribly.
Nov 04, 2007, 01:15:51 DaveC wrote:
kenB, you didn't include one of those ;-) smiley things, so I can only conclude that you are a lying liar.
Nov 04, 2007, 01:39:48 marbel wrote:
<i>She could: induced labor of a dead fetus is markedly more dangerous than the safe procedure that DaveC hates so much.</i>
As I said; I've come to the conclusion that in the US the circumstances are so bad that that ban is more damaging than the procedure. That does not mean that I think it is the best procedure or that it should be the first choice.
Nous' alternative was "have the stillbirth dismembered into pieces", which *is* markedly more dangerous. Giving birth to a third trimester fetus is something that for most is pretty survivable in the first world.
Nov 04, 2007, 02:49:19 kenB wrote:
DaveC, I lean toward deadpan delivery in real life, so I avoid using emoticons and meta-tags in my comments. Granted that there are fewer contextual clues online, which can lead to some misunderstandings; but in this case my intentions were probably clear enough.
Nov 04, 2007, 02:56:23 nous wrote:
marbel- Giving birth to a third trimester fetus is something that for most is pretty survivable in the first world.
Under most circumstances, perhaps, but then the procedure itself is not exactly common. What makes me argue this point at all is that in some cases the D&X *IS* the only option other than a c-section. If the stillbirth is, for example, hydrocephalic, there is no possible way that the mother will be able to birth the corpse normally.
And I'm not making a false argument here. These circumstances do happen. I've heard from people who have faced them. I just find it barbaric that couples who are sure to lose the child are forced to face the prospect of severe harm or death for the mother as well because of a law that is ultimately counter-productive to a consistent pro-life position that looks at *all* lives involved.
Nov 04, 2007, 03:50:33 Jesurgislac wrote:
kenB: <I>Jeez, what a monster this DaveC person is -- I don't understand why any respectable person would even talk to him. Clearly his only desire is to see other people suffer horribly.</I>
You got it. DaveC is scum.
Nov 04, 2007, 06:50:29 marbel wrote:
<i>Under most circumstances, perhaps, but then the procedure itself is not exactly common. What makes me argue this point at all is that in some cases the D&X *IS* the only option other than a c-section. If the stillbirth is, for example, hydrocephalic, there is no possible way that the mother will be able to birth the corpse normally.</i>
But it is hard to know when you make a general comment and when you talk about a specific example.
You mentioned dismembering the fetus as an alternative. But over ca 23 weeks dismemebering would not be an option because the bones are too solid and the change of sharp points (that will damage uterus and cervix) is too big. So that is not a real alternative in third trimester.
With a D&X (we call it D&E but I assume it is the same thing) removing the brain is normal. It means you only have to dilute the cervix to a minimal point, which is much better and avoids future riscs. Though there still are risks: I had a friend who lost a healty second baby (born at 22 weeks) because her cervix was weakened by a second term abortion from a severely handicapped first child.
We don't have third term abortions in the Netherlands, but we have so many options before you reach that term that the percentage that would want one is very small. I don't know what the official guidelines or figures are, but the few people I know who were diagnosed with a baby with a non-survivable condition gave normal (induced) birth and had their child die in their arms.
you talk about a stillbirth. But the whole idea about the partial abortion ban is that the fetus is fully alive and functioning before the procedure.
I do agree with you that the ban (and the US suing culture) might make it harder for doctors to try a similar procedure even when it makes more sense. And it will have a negative effect on how well doctors can perform the procedure. In the Netherlands our 'organisation for abortus doctors' recommends that doctors get lot's of practise at early abortions and slowly move on to later abortions for that reason.
As I said: I think the ban in the US is not good, even though I don't like the procedure, because the alternatives are likely to be worse. But that doesn't mean that I still thought your "dismembering" as the only alternative a false argument (though I agree with many of your other statements).
Nov 05, 2007, 05:17:04 nous wrote:
marbel - "But that doesn't mean that I still thought your "dismembering" as the only alternative a false argument (though I agree with many of your other statements)."
Fair enough. I hadn't intended that as a blanket statement, as I was thinking of a specific set of circumstances under which the law has proven to be a danger to women. Outside of these circumstances there are alternatives, and you are correct to point these out. I just wanted to make sure that DaveC knew how this law was actually affecting women in ways that had nothing to do with his imagined bright line.
So yes, I see a parallel in the desire on the part of some parties to cause more (albeit unintended) collateral death than existed in the first place for the sake of a particular notion of moral clarity. I just don't think one can sustain such a view once the bigger picture becomes clear.
I'm glad to see that you are more pragmatic than this.
Nov 05, 2007, 08:54:46 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>I just wanted to make sure that DaveC knew how this law was actually affecting women in ways that had nothing to do with his imagined bright line.</I>
Oh, I figure we may as well assume that DaveC had made an informed decision to support the mutilation and suffering of women in order to spare himself the mental pain of thinking about how awful a safer abortion method would appear to him if he were in the OR at the time it was performed.
After all, at the time this Act was passed, this information was widely, publicly available, and was discussed in some detail on Obsidian Wings, on a thread I think DaveC actually commented on.
And DaveC knows that his advocating the torture of terrorist suspects means he is advocating for the torture of innocent people.
Face it; he's scum.
Nov 05, 2007, 09:13:30 DaveC wrote:
So, are you all in favor of abortion as a method of sex selection?
This is quite an effective and safe procedure for getting rid of unwanted girls. I don't accept this; I think it is both immoral and unethical, and this is one unintended consequence for allowing abortion for any reason whatsoever.
We in the USA would generally frown on this type of thing. It could be posited that countries that allow abortions based on gender are far more open minded, but as for me, I'm against it.
Nov 05, 2007, 09:20:32 marbel wrote:
In the Netherlands is is not allowed (except for cases like genetic diseases that are carried by one gender), but I wouldn't mind in the earlier stages if people would want to abort for reasons that might seem trivial to me.
As I said earlier: my hesitations with abortion begins when I feel that the fetus/baby is enough of a person to be entitled to protection - and that the intrests of mother and child should both be taken into account.
I think it is unwise, but that is a different discussion.
Nov 05, 2007, 09:56:29 DaveC wrote:
marbel, For clarification, if my unborn child was diagnosed with spina bifida, I would be cold heartedly insistent on an abortion.
Not that it would be my ultimate decision.
I am just framing the issues in different ways. I actually do see things in shades of gray. Just saying that elective abortions are not always good or not always evil, I can see the different pros and cons to things. I'm not going to attempt to shut down discussions with ad hominem attacks, even though ad-hom is allowed here at TiO.
Nov 05, 2007, 14:29:33 marbel wrote:
DaveC; spina bifida is actually one that would be hard for me because they can only diagose it in a late stage and because the severity of spina bifida can differ greatly.
Nov 05, 2007, 16:26:56 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: <I>So, are you all in favor of abortion as a method of sex selection?</I>
That's an extremely stupid thing to say, DaveC, but I guess that kind of rapid subject-changing is all you can come up with. Forced abortion is as abhorrent as forced pregnancy.
<I>For clarification, if my unborn child was diagnosed with spina bifida, I would be cold heartedly insistent on an abortion.</I>
And as cold-heartedly insistent that the abortion should be carried out in a way that would subject your partner to mutilation and suffering. Or so you've said in this thread. What a disgusting little creep you are.
Nov 06, 2007, 02:13:26 Jesurgislac wrote:
I saw this on <a href="http://pandagon.blogsome.co...">Pandagon</a> and thought of DaveC:
<blockquote>Another huge benefit from the project of defending reproductive rights through the use of personal stories is that you begin to see the shape and place of men in this debate. The editors warn the reader in the intro, but it’s still a slap to the face how one story after another about abortion ends up telling a tale of male entitlement and male cruelty to women, as do some of the stories about other choices that ended up leading to babies. Not all; there’s stories about women who have accidental pregnancies they need to abort and have their boyfriends stand by them without being big babies about it. But it’s an appalling minority of the men in the abortion stories. None of this is to say that all men are bad or anything, but privilege allows that a lot more men act like assholes than they would otherwise, and it really drives home the point that the right to choose is fundamental to women’s liberation. You see this parade of men who treat women like crap just because they can, and you see how trapping women into bearing these babies is about making these women even more subject to male control and male abuse. You get pregnant and he accuses you of infidelity?* Since you got an abortion, it’s just another story from your past, not an ongoing child support and paternity testing nightmare. He’s a dick who slips the condom off during sex or threatens to have sex with other women if you won’t do it without the condom? Well, it was a mistake to be with him, but thanks to abortion, you can leave him behind completely, instead of keeping him and his misogyny around in you and your child’s life. You start having painful complications from an incomplete abortion, and he jets out of there, unwilling to stick around now that you’re emotionally needy and not sexually available? Thank god you weren’t tied to him before you found out what a douchebag he is.</blockquote>
Yeah. DaveC brought up the fact himself that he would have coldbloodedly argued that his wife should have an abortion by a more risky method than IDX, primarily because (a) he doesn't like to think of what IDX looks like if he's in the OR, he'd rather his wife suffer the physical danger of other methods; and (b) he wouldn't want to cope with a baby with spina bifidia.
Nov 06, 2007, 03:32:58 marbel wrote:
Not to mention that he had threatened to sleep with other women if she didn't have the abortion (though that's more warmblooded than coldblooded, and he specified coldblooded), didn't want to pay childsupport when his wife got pregnant *and* left her because she wasn't up for sex after this hypothetical abortion. All done with the ulterior motive of " trapping women into bearing these babies" which "is about making these women even more subject to male control and male abuse". I know I called him sneaky before, but this is beyond sneaky.
And all that while there's about 90% chance that this hypothetical abortion took place in the first trimester - a fact you regulary cite yourself.
Nov 06, 2007, 04:08:15 Jesurgislac wrote:
Marbel, are you trying to defend DaveC's expressed preference for female mutilation for his own peace of mind?
Does this match up with your own expressed preference that you and your friends should get to be allowed to make decisions about late-term abortions, while you've said many times that you feel (other) women should be forced through the second and third trimester against their will?
Nov 06, 2007, 05:27:09 marbel wrote:
No, I'm saying that you are ranting even more than normal about this subject. I must admit that I also hate the 'all men are bad' arguments, but you practically accused him that he wanted to force his wife to have an abortion *and* that he wanted to keep her pregnant and barefooted (barefeeted??) in the kitchen.
Expressed preference for female mutilation is about as true as accusing you of hating all handicapped people (you do know that that is one of the reasons many handicapped people have problems with abortions for genetic problems, that they fear for the effect it will have on the role of handicapped people in society?).
Nov 06, 2007, 05:27:52 marbel wrote:
And I have never said that women should be forced through the second and third trimester against their will.
Nov 06, 2007, 08:42:19 kenB wrote:
> barefooted (barefeeted??)
"barefoot", actually. A young ballplayer may make a bare-handed catch, but if he's unshod at the time then he's a barefoot boy.
But I don't know why I'm even talking to you, you hypocritical moral monster, you. </sarcasm>
Nov 06, 2007, 17:01:03 marbel wrote:
I can explain that quite easily; you are a man (you are, aren't you?), so you rejoice in my promotion of female mutilation and attempts to bring all women under male control. Pointing out my mistakes (yes I asked, but who cares) is just your way of affirming the male superiority.
Nov 06, 2007, 17:35:50 Jesurgislac wrote:
Marbel: <I>And I have never said that women should be forced through the second and third trimester against their will.</I>
Crap. So many times <I>I've</I> argued that treating women as human beings means the right to choose applies throughout pregnancy. So many times <I>you've</i> argued that after the first trimester, women ought not to have the right to choose - ie, you <I>have</I> argued for forcing women through second/third trimester against their will. Except, when you came down to personal examples, for you and your friends. Which is fairly typical pro-lifer.
Now you're trying to claim you were actually in full agreement with me all along? Sheesh.
Expressed preference for female mutilation is about as true </I>
As true. DaveC has said very clearly that if women have third-trimester abortions, he wants the safest method to be legally forbidden: he actively prefers them to have to undergo the methods more likely to cause them suffering and pain. Because the safest method *squicks* him. He did not say - as you said - that he would make an exception for his wife.
Nov 06, 2007, 18:10:07 libjpn wrote:
Funny, I've never heard Dutch suggest that women don't have the right to choose in the first trimester. Of course, I can't prove a negative, but since there are so many examples floating around, it should be relatively simple for you to bring one forward.
And don't worry, Jes, none of us think of you as a typical anything, as your reasoning patterns seem rather unique, at least around here...
Nov 06, 2007, 21:07:38 Jesurgislac wrote:
libjpn: <I>Funny, I've never heard Dutch suggest that women don't have the right to choose in the first trimester. </I>
Funny, you don't normally make comments this illiterate. Is it numbers or words you have a difficulty with?
Nov 06, 2007, 21:29:10 libjpn wrote:
Wow, just when I think you hit rock bottom, you find a rock boring machine. Take a break, Jes, you are overheating and embarrassing yourself.
Nov 06, 2007, 22:32:38 DaveC wrote:
- DaveC has said very clearly that if women have third-trimester abortions, he wants the safest method to be legally forbidden: he actively prefers them to have to undergo the methods more likely to cause them suffering and pain. -
I was thinking about this yesterday; About 5 years ago, friend at work's wife was in an automobile accident, and their unborn daughter was killed. They had an open casket funeral (probably the most grim funeral I have ever been to), and the baby looked perfect. Now, I'm not an expert, but compared to my son's friend who was killed in a car accident, there were no signs of head trauma. So I can only come to the conclusion that the baby was taken out by a C section type of procedure. The mother was clearly traumatized. I'm sure that the doctors used the safest method possible for the mother to remove the baby, and it was not the procedure described as Partial Birth Abortion.
Another thing that puzzles me is all this talk about female mutilation. I'm guessing that this is referring to the doctor using forceps, and possibly doing an episiotemy. Now, this is fairly rough stuff, and my wife went through this with our first child. Induced labor, epidural anasthesia, the nurse pronouncing "It's a Conehead!", my son looking like Gumby, etc.
But that is - Exactly The Same Way - that partial birth abortions are initiated, except one result is a live baby, and the other is a dead one. An obstetrician CAN squish the baby's head and get the baby out without crushing the skull and removing the brains. I know this for a fact.
Now for our second child, we selected a doctor that was not so anxious to get the baby out once it reached term. They let the delivery be postponed another week longer, and when it happened, the birth took about 15-20 minutes, tops. My instructions from the midwife were something like "Shut up! Get some towels and clean this mess up, and get out of the way!"
So the miracle of childbirth, whether "easy" or hard, does many times involve some yelling, crying, possibly swearing, major discomfort (I cross my legs as I write this), that's just the way it is. We were lucky, and got perfect children.
Now as far as why I considered being the cold hearted sonofagun insisting on an abortion: I was not the one that opted for amniocentesis for one child and chorionic villus testing for the other. I didn't think it was necessary, but my wife did, because the procedures were recommended by the doctors. So if the tests did turn something up, I felt it was up to me to be the "bad guy" and insist on an immediate 2nd trimester abortion, rather than agonizing about it and possibly postponing it until later in the pregnancy. That is, once you have the genetic testing done, you are committed to the consequences.
What I pondered in an earlier post was the problem of Downs Syndrome, and what to do about that. At the grocery store the other day, I saw a lovely young man arriving for work; he had Downs, not so obviously, because he was attractive, had a sense of purpose, seemed normally intelligent, and so forth. What would I have done about him? This is one of those tricky questions that you get into when you start to play God.
Nov 06, 2007, 22:41:11 DaveC wrote:
They did literally make the Conehead remarks in the delivery room, by the way. I guess they were trying to be reassuring in some humorous sort of way.
Nov 06, 2007, 23:11:25 Jesurgislac wrote:
DaveC: God, what a horrible thing to happen to your friends.
<I>I'm sure that the doctors used the safest method possible for the mother to remove the baby, and it was not the procedure described as Partial Birth Abortion.</I>
It may have been the procedure described as "Intact dilation and extraction" which has since been described as "partial birth abortion". You wouldn't see any head trauma on the infant.
Obviously, neither you nor I can know for sure. Possibly it was safest for the mother to have a C-Section, though it seems unlikely that it would have been "safest" to subject her to abdominal surgery, if they could get the dead infant out without it.
But if it happened five years ago, at least your friends could be sure that the procedure used was chosen because it <I>was</I> the safest for the poor woman, and <I>not</I> because a majority of judges on the Supreme Court of the US decided which one should be used, as would be the case if the same thing happened today.
<I>Another thing that puzzles me is all this talk about female mutilation. </I>
What we're talking about is the fact that the skull of a human fetus is, in the third trimester, <I>larger</I> than the birth canal. It's also soft.
A woman needs a third-trimester abortion for all sorts of reasons - sometimes, as with your poor friends, because the fetus is dead or is dying inside the uterus, sometimes because it's been discovered late in pregnancy that the fetus has abnormalities that mean it won't survive birth for long. The fetus's skull is too big to get out by normal abortion methods.
That leaves medical staff with four options:
1. Subject the woman to major abdominal surgery and remove the fetus by C-Section. As far as I know, this option wouldn't be contemplated when the fetus is known to be dead already.
2. Dismember the fetus inside the uterus and remove the bits piecemeal. This used to be standard method when the fetus was known to be dead or dying, and may have to become the standard method again for cases like your friends'. Obviously, the remains don't look anything like a baby, so your friends would have had to have a closed coffin. The other disadvantage to this method is that it carries with it a higher risk of mutilating the woman's cervix or perforating the uterus as the dismembered fetus is removed, thus preventing her from ever having any more children. Again, this could be your friends' experience, if this tragedy had happened to them today.
3. Induced labor. Where the fetus is already dead, this is even more high-risk than method 2 - the contractions are powerful, and the dead fetus can end up broken and damaging the woman's birth canal or cervix.
4. Intact dilation and extraction - the safest method, and the one that you don't want used because it squicks you. The fetus is delivered breech, the skull is perforated <I>before</I> it passes the cervix, the skull collapses inwards, and can be delivered safely. The body is, as you saw for yourself, virtually intact, and can be mourned by the parents and displayed in an open coffin, rather than bundled out of sight and never seen again.
You don't like method 4. Because you don't like it, you're willing to make the tragedies of people like your friends far worse.
And apparently, you've never bothered to find out what the consequences of your "ooh, it squicks me, let's don't do that" will be. You didn't like it, that was enough.
For crying out loud, DaveC, WHY DO YOU THINK IDX WAS DEVELOPED?
Did you tell yourself that gynecologists and obstetric surgeons were EVIL people who wanted to KILL BABIES?
Did you tell yourself that pro-lifers who didn't want this method used were nice, fluffy people who love women?
Or did you just go "D'oh... don't like that..." and never think about it again?
Nov 06, 2007, 23:16:32 Jesurgislac wrote:
libjpn: <I>Wow, just when I think you hit rock bottom</I>
Touchy, Libjpn, just because you incompetently misread my comment... well, okay, and I flamed you for your incompetence. OTOH, you evidently have <I>still</I> not worked out the mistake you made...
Nov 07, 2007, 00:13:15 libjpn wrote:
Looking back I see I misread your comment and I can cop to that. Can you cop to the fact that you, on the other hand, are flailing around? Or do you have a misconception that using adjectives like 'Nazi' and 'incompetently' or making Dutchmarble out to be a typical pro-lifer actually helps establish something other than the fact that you have real problems separating your emotional stance from the actual facts?
I realize that your passion drives you to write, but perhaps you honestly can't see that you go OTT and try to say outrageous things for the purpose of getting people mad and off balance, and this is a classic definition of a troll (or as you say 'nothing but a fucking troll'). It is tiresome and pathetic. OCSteve tried the carrot, but it obviously failed, and since we don't use a stick here, you can keep on poking the hornet's nest to try and get a reaction. But you are just making yourself look idiotic, and I say that as someone who tends to agree with where you stand. But if you want to keep digging this hole, knock yourself out. You are certainly making Gary look like the model of restraint.
Nov 07, 2007, 00:17:24 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>Looking back I see I misread your comment and I can cop to that.</I>
Excellent. That's all you had to say.
Back to my regular flaming of DaveC, for his happy endorsement of female mutilation, dismembered dead babies that can't be displayed in open coffins, and, oh yeah, torturing innocent people, all in the grand cause of making DaveC feel good, never mind what physical and mental suffering that inflicts on others.
Nov 07, 2007, 00:26:43 libjpn wrote:
'you normally don't make comments this illiterate'
'excellent, that's all you had to say'
If you don't see why that makes you look completely unable to argue rationally, thereby obscuring any legitimate points you have to make, I really can't explain it to you.
Nov 07, 2007, 00:32:51 Jesurgislac wrote:
Okay, that last paragraph was over-the-top.
But seriously, LibJpn: you think DaveC is going to change his mind about banning IDX on account of it squicking him, just because he learns that use of IDX may have made a horrifying and tragic situation for his friends fractionally more bearable? Any more than he changed his mind about torturing terrorist suspects just because he was told the name of a terrorist suspect who was tortured to make him confess and was then proved innocent?
No. I think DaveC will continue to support having women mutilated, and families suffering, and innocent people tortured, so long as their suffering happens well out of his sight, and he can continue to think well of himself as someone who opposes IDX because "it kills babies!" never mind that it's used to save women, and think well of himself as an American patriot who only wants people tortured if they <I>deserve</I> it - but is indifferent to how his government decides how people "deserve" to be tortured.
This is disgusting behavior, LibJpn. People matter, even the people DaveC is indifferent to - the women who <I>aren't</I> his friends, the innocent men whose names he's never had to hear who were tortured by his government with his approval. DaveC may not care about them. And you may feel that your liking for DaveC outweighs his indifference to human suffering. But that level of indifference to human suffering is monstrous.
Nov 07, 2007, 00:35:14 Jesurgislac wrote:
libjpn: <I><If you don't see why that makes you look completely unable to argue rationally</I>
Because I flamed you for making a comment that proved you had managed to <I>completely</I> misread my comment? Your stupid mistake. Thanks for acknowledging it.
Nov 07, 2007, 05:50:09 marbel wrote:
As I said earlier in the thread, in third trimester a fetus/baby will not be dismembered. Its bones are too hard and can be pointy. They do (or rather used to) it in an earlier stage.
I hope I misunderstand or misread your point number three. How do you believe a dead fetus/baby in third trimester could be broken in a way that damages the mother? You realize that it is <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-b...">normal to give birth</a> if the fetus/baby dies in the womb - with brain and all?
Also; when the fetus is allready dead it's a different discussion. The problematic bit is when you have a wriggling alive baby body sticking out of the birthcanal before you slam scissors in the brain. I don't think anybody has a problem with sucking out brainmatter when the fetus is allready dead, if it makes things much easier and safer for the mother.
I also don't understand why you keep repeating 'female mutilation'. Do you think women who give birth are mutilated afterwards?
Jes: "So many times <I>you've</i> argued that after the first trimester, women ought not to have the right to choose - ie, you <I>have</I> argued for forcing women through second/third trimester against their will."
Nope. I've said that at a certain point (for me that'd be around 22 weeks) the interests of the fetus/baby and the intrests of the women should be weighted against each other and both should be taken into account. I also said that I have a problem with abortions between ca 12-22 weeks gestation if there is no real good reason. That is not the same as saying they should be forbidden. In addition I said that I was happy with our system of no third term abortions but euthanasia if the child is very severely handicapped and will only suffer . Due to the circumstances in the US however the rules should not be that strict, since the earlier options for women are often so bad.
You said "What we're talking about is the fact that the skull of a human fetus is, in the third trimester, <I>larger</I> than the birth canal. It's also soft." You do realize that the reason they want to remove the brainmatter is not because of the birthcanal, but because of the cervix? If it mattered mainly because of the birth canal you probabely would argue fiercly against all those wicked men that wanted these horrible procedures done in spite of the psychological damage for women. It is probabely theoretical knowledge for you, but I'm sure that you can figure out why men would prefer the birth canal to be tighter rather than stretched.
Dave C's support for female mutilation is still as true as your support for discriminating against all handicapped people.
Dave C: apart from Nous' argument about the consequences in a country that tends to sue very quickly and my argument that rules in the US should be bended towards protecting female intrests, my main argument to condone the procedure was that it might well be the quickest method with least stress for the baby. If you accept that there *might* be cases in which it is in everybody's best intrests that the fetus/baby isn't born alive, you have to compare methods they have for ending the life concerned.
It slightly reminds me of the discussion we had a while ago, about capital punishment. You can debate about wether it should exist, but once you know it is there you have to contemplate the methods. But what if the quickest and least painfull method looks gruesome? What if the lethal injection is as painfull as some research indicates it is? Introduce the guillotine?
Nov 07, 2007, 06:00:47 marbel wrote:
The 'you' in the previous comment is Jesurgislac.
Liberal Japonicus: Jes calling me pro-life just makes me grin. It is silly and it deteriorates her arguments even further.
DaveC: we actually had to do all this contemplating. I gave birth when I was 36, 38 and 40 and I didn't have an amnio because we wouldn't have opted for abortion in case of Downs anyway, so why take the risc. I had a special ultrasound at 20 weeks to check for neural tube defects (I have a brother with a schisis), but that was mainly because I wanted to be prepared and have the proper doctors nearby if something was wrong. Spina bifida could be diagnosed with the ultrasound or the bloodwork, so we had to think about that in advance too.
I also had the bloodtests and ultrasound at 12 weeks gestation, to check for likelyhood of genetical problems. I don't know what we would have done if one of those had shown a likelyhood for genetical handicaps, but I think that we wouldn't have done the amnio unless we were willing to abort.
Nov 07, 2007, 07:45:57 Jesurgislac wrote:
Nope. I've said that at a certain point (for me that'd be around 22 weeks) the interests of the fetus/baby and the intrests of the women should be weighted against each other and both should be taken into account.</I>
That's nice, Marbel, but you've never once said <I>who</I> does the weighing, and who gets to make the final decision - and you've consistently argued against my position that the woman gets to decide. So who, are you saying, ought to do the "weighing" and get to decide if a woman can have an abortion or if she should be forced to continue the pregnancy against her will?
Nov 07, 2007, 08:01:57 marbel wrote:
In the Netherlands there are no third trimester abortions allowed, so there isn't a decision. but on the whole we are a consensus society, which means that everybody concerned has a vote.
If the baby is born and so severly handicapped that it is in the child's best intrests to let it die (which is comparable with third trimester abortion, except that you have more info about the handicap), the protocol is:
<blockquote>Its requirements include a clear diagnosis and prognosis; that the newborn baby must be suffering hopelessly and unbearably with no prospect for future treatment; that both parents must give their informed consent; that the decision must be confirmed by a second independent doctor; and that the death and treatment must be reported to the local coroner.</blockquote>
First two trimester it is in the end the woman who decides. The doctor can refuse, but in the earlier stages he is oblidged to refer you to a doctor who would be willing. I don't know what the law says about the second trimester, but frankly I don't think there has been big problems due to refusing doctors.
We have had the occasional second term abortion for schisis or similar light handicaps. In those cases the doctors discussed and talked because they didn't want to do it, but the parents decided in the end. I think they are wrong and I have no problem with society saying so, but I also have no problem with the doctors deciding to perform the procedure. I *would* have a problem with aborting at 8 months gestation because of a schisis. As I said: there is a time when the fetus/baby is part of the equation and is entitled to some protection. For you that moment is after it leaves the womb, for me it is when it could survive outside of the womb.
Nov 08, 2007, 08:54:04 Jesurgislac wrote:
So, Marbel, I'm kind of interested - not a lot, but kind of - why did you keep arguing that you think the woman should stop getting to make decisions after the first trimester, which you did on more threads than I can count, if that wasn't actually your opinion?
<I>For you that moment is after it leaves the womb, for me it is when it could survive outside of the womb.</I>
That would be in a fuzzy kind of area between 25 and 32 weeks, then. Why do you feel that after 32 weeks the woman no longer gets to make decisions?
My argument all along, which you have contradicted and got cross at me at, is that the woman is pregnant: it's her body: she gets to make the medical decisions relating to it. I don't have a problem if she wants to terminate the pregnancy on or after 32 weeks and is only allowed to have an early delivery, not an abortion: after 32 weeks gestation, early-delivery survival is something like 90%, I think. The argument that pushes this back to 24 weeks based on "fetal viability" is a false argument; if a woman delivers at 24 weeks, such an extreme preemie will almost certainly not live.
But at no point (in my view) is there ever a time when the woman is <I>not</I> the right person to make the final decision, with advice from her doctors. You want to push the point at which the woman loses control of her body back to later than you've previously argued, but you still want her to lose control of her body at some point during pregnancy.
Nov 08, 2007, 14:54:36 marbel wrote:
<i>So, Marbel, I'm kind of interested - not a lot, but kind of - why did you keep arguing that you think the woman should stop getting to make decisions after the first trimester, which you did on more threads than I can count, if that wasn't actually your opinion?</i>
Probabely the misconception is due to the fact that you prefer jumping to extreme conclusions to asking and clarifying. AFAIK I've always said that the first term it should be nobodies business but the women, the second term there should be some (medical) justification and the third term the intrests of the child should be weighted in the decision. In addition I stated that the system of no third-term abortion but mercy-killings (euthanatia on babies) makes more sense to me than third-term abortions - and that the rules in the US should be less strict due to circumstances there.
Why do you now state that after 32 weeks it was allright if the woman only were allowed to have early-delivery? The head has only grown, so isn't that female mutilation and forced childbirth? Your point so far has been that all decisions should be *only* the woman's till after birth.
Nov 11, 2007, 00:25:36 Jesurgislac wrote:
<I>the second term there should be some (medical) justification and the third term the intrests of the child should be weighted in the decision.</I>
So in fact, you're going back again and arguing that after the first trimester, it <I>is</I> morally justifiable to force a woman to continue a pregnancy against her will?
<I>Why do you now state that after 32 weeks it was allright if the woman only were allowed to have early-delivery? </I>
Isn't that what the argument about fetal viability is based on? If it's not okay to have an abortion once the fetus could live without being 100% dependent on the woman, then logically, that means a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy early <I>must</I> be allowed to have either an early delivery or an abortion. Otherwise, you're arguing that women should be forced to oontinue a pregnancy against her will. You may have no problem with that (except when you and your friends are directly concerned) but I do.
Up to 32 weeks, it makes much more sense to just let the woman decide. But, given that early deliveries at 32 weeks and after tend to have 90%+ healthy survival rates, I see no problem with legislation that says that after 32 weeks, a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy must have an early delivery. I think it would be slightly-to-completely pointless - how many instances of abortion at 39 weeks have the pro-lifers ever been able to discover? but it would be a relatively harmless restriction.
Nov 12, 2007, 03:06:14 marbel wrote:
<i>So in fact, you're going back again and arguing that after the first trimester, it <I>is</I> morally justifiable to force a woman to continue a pregnancy against her will?</i>
Nope. That's not what I said, nor is it what I ever said. I'm actually quite consistent in my views on this subject.
Your view seem to have changed though. Apart from arguments about frequency of events (which is not part of the discussion) previously I thought you said it was ALWAYS just the womens opinion that mattered. Now however, you say that you'd have "no problem with legislation that says that after 32 weeks, a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy must have an early delivery".
Does that mean that you agree that there is a point where the fetus is entitled to some protection and rights of its own though? And are we just debating as from which point that is?
Frankly, I really don't understand why at 31 weeks not wanting to suck out the brains of a maybe perfectly healthy fetus/baby would be female mutilation and part of the worldwide complot for males to make women subservient. Saying that at 31 weeks that's the case but at 32 weeks it would be an ok thing seems even weirder.
In the Netherlands changes are 81% at 26 weken and more than 95% at 32 weaks gestation. 81% is not high enough for you? 90% chance is a specific limit? And if the kid should be born with a ceasarian, does that change the equation?
My niece was born at 27 weaks with an unattached duodenum. Her mother had to get a ceasarian because the baby needed to be born and immediately be operated on. The condition she suffered from is also one that is quite often associated with mentally handicapped people.
She didn't have a mental handicap and is now, at a little over a year, a healthy and normally developing baby. I would have a problem if her mother/parents would have killed her after the birth because of the operation and because of the chance at metal handicaps. I would also have a problem is they had decided to just terminate her in the womb instead of giving birth to her.
Since there has to be a cut off point if you assume (like I do) that it is a sliding scale, I feel that at 22 weeks it would be the mothers decision to terminate the pregnancy - even though I'd be against it. In the US the cut-off point could be even later because of the awful circumstances (female rights outweight fetal rights). But in previous discussions you have always made it clear that you didn't believe in the sliding scale but felt it was a matter of being in the womb (no fetal rights) or being outside of the womb (baby rights).