Gautam Mukunda wrote:
> --- Robert Seeberger <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> wrote:
>> The first two sentences above really set me off. And
>> I can only hope
>> that you can understand why.
> Actually, after everything I've heard on this list, I
> have no sympathy whatsoever, Rob, and I really don't
> appreciate having you compare me to racists.  You want
> a fighting mood?  You'll get one and more fast if you
> ever, ever, ever think you can get away with doing
> that again.

Gautam, I think this is where you are having some trouble. (And not
just with me)
I did not compare you to racists.

No sir.......not at all!!

I said that what you *said* reminds me of what racists /and/ certain
flag draped/waving A-holes have said(most of the time they are the
same person), both to me and in front of me.
So when you said "I am on America's Side", the obvious implication is
that you think that someone else is *not* on Americas side. Maybe it
is a character flaw on my part, but that kind of talk makes me
unreasonably angry at the best of times, and I will focus on the
offending remarks to the exclusion of any redeeming qualification that
may be present. For that, I will apologise, even though I believe I am
correct in being offended by such (Speaking generally here), but not
in my reaction or how I express my outrage.

> In this case, of course, I was pointing out whose side
> I am on.  I'm not on President Bush's side.  I'm not
> on Senator Kerry's side.  I'm just on America's side.
> Brin has very loudly proclaimed that we're on opposite
> sides.  Well, okay.  I know whose side I'm on, though.

I understand what you are trying to say, but from where I sit, You and
Brin are both on the same side. It is a matter of loyal opposition.
Maybe I'm crazy but I really do believe in inclusiveness.

>  He uses abusive language and arm-waving to cover the
> fact that every time someone challenges him, they
> demonstrate that he traffics in inaccuracies,
> conspiracy theories, and paranoia.

I think one has to account for the presuppositions (is that even a
real word?) held by a person one is discussing an issue with. Some of
what Brin says comes across as reasonable to me, but I hold a
different set of assumptions at the onset than you or (Frex) Dan. The
only way to have a meaningful debate is to agree on the terms and
definitions at the beginning of the discussion. But what I think is
happening here is that every person is starting with a different set
and "assuming" that others are working from the same toolkit, but I
think we have some metric/imperial mixtures confusing the issues

> But if we're on
> opposite sides (as he said - not me.) I've never
> claimed to be on the opposite side from him, not once.
>  So in our particular dyad, only one has accused the
> other of cowardice (him).  Only one has insulted the
> other's intelligence (him).  And only one has
> proclaimed that people who disagree with him are
> bribed or blackmailed by foreign powers (him).  Only
> one has ranted about NASCAR and the Confederacy (him).

"Gary, the problem with you is you're a hack. "

"I will continue this discussion if it seems you're
interested in discussing, not lecturing from a
position of Olympian ignorance."

"Bob, get one of your surgeon friends to remove the
stick from your ass, okay?  Maybe your head along with

"You know, Erik, if you didn't keep reminding us we
might forget what a jackass you are."

There is no monopoly for insulting tone on Brin-L.

>  And you think _I'm_ questioning people's patriotism?
> That's bullshit.

It may not be your intent, but the language you use sure leads me to
think so.
But like I've said, I'se seen very similar language where that was
implicitly (even explicitly<G>) the intent of the speaker. IMO even a
hint in that direction should be avoided if it is in any way possible.

> Like I said, it's just gaming the
> refs, trying to intimidate people into shutting up for
> fear that they'll be accused.  If you accuse the other
> guy of being unfair loudly enough and often enough,
> people might not notice what's actually going on, I
> guess.

I'd agree that some do that and it often works, but honestly, I'm not
interested in that kind of discussion. I see it often enough on USENET
and it lowers my opinion of the speaker.

>> I want everyone to know that *that* is unfair to
>> Gautam. But I think
>> too that there has been a whole hell of a lot of
>> this circulating
>> onlist lately and I ascribe it to some willfull
>> misunderstanding of
>> the words of included.
> Well, fine, now that you've said it you take it back.
> I accept that.  But if you really want to take the
> stand of someone trying to make peace, it would help
> if every once in a while you looked at the discussion
> and said, hmm, maybe I could criticize both sides once
> in a while.

My very first post in that regard *was* aimed at both parties.
Neither party responded.
In fact it evoked no comment at all from anyone.

> I'm not even asking that you be
> evenhanded.  I'm just saying that every once in a
> while it might be nice to see our most prominent
> member reigned in by someone other than me when he
> decides to abuse people.

I don't feel that to be an unreasonable request, but I think it should
be noted that the reigning in only occurs after the argument gets hot
enough for abuse.
Not trying to be a jerk here, but since you are one of the mutual
antagonists, you are not really in a position to be *able* to reign
"the other party" in. In that case you can reign in the entire
argument or yourself, I think. But any mediation or moderation needs
to come from some (and somehow) impartial party.
Considering that you often say that the list as a whole is decidedly
left-leaning, I don't know that in the heat of the moment that you
would see anyone (cepting maybe Dan) as being impartial. And perhaps
they are not.
It makes for a potentially difficult situation, one that most would be
 hesitant to enter.
Heh<G> Maybe I'm just stupid, I seem to be the only person who has
tried in any direct manner.<G>( I'm absolutely impressed by Dan's more
subtle methods)

>> Some of his crew are people I just dislike because
>> of their politics.
>> (Neocons)
> Just out of curiosity, which part of being a neocon
> don't you like?  Is it the part about believing in
> spreading democracy around the world?  Because that
> is, in fact, the only major difference between neocons
> and traditional conservatives.

>From what I am seeing, the Neocon powerplayers embody this concept
where they decide they want to do something, roll all over any
opposition, are willing to use any sophistry or even lie to convince
people of their righteousness, and if plans go south use any sophistry
or even lie to isolate themselves from blame.

After a quite brilliant persecution of the war in Iraq, the execution
of the aftermath has been particularly boneheaded, in the main because
they have isolated so many useful people. There seems to be a mindset
that loyalty to the core Neocon group supersedes loyalty to America or
even to the Republican party, and anyone who pushes for what they
think is a better method is shunted to the side and kept out of the
loop. This appears to me to be what happened to Powell and IMO was
their biggest mistake. I also think that Powell would have done better
to have checked which way the wind was blowing and shucked the
Administration since it didn't seem like they particularly cared what
Powell thought and were just using him for his reputation as a means
to maintain some good PR. If you think the administration has taken
some heat, can you imagine how things would have went without Powells

You said a while back:

" I do
have some criticisms of the neo-cons - having switched
from the Left to the Right their policy positions have
improved but they still betray quite a few hints of
their old truly astonishingly bad ideas."

Care to elaborate?

> For a lot of people
> their particular objection to neocons is that they're
> Jewish.  I somehow doubt that's your problem with
> them.

<G> No.....that is pretty far from being a concern I would harbor.

But I dispute describing Neocons as an all Jewish choir. John calls
himself a Neocon, as do a lot of other non_Jewish people I see. Why do
you even bother with that particular definition?

> But other than Brin's fevered and ignorant
> rants, what do you know about neocons that makes you
> object to them?  For that matter, why do you think
> they have much power?  The most important neocon in
> the government is the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
> Can you even name a single Clinton-era Deputy SecDef?
> Can you name a _single_ DepSecDef other than
> Wolfowitz?  I can't.  If Paul Wolfowitz's name was
> Paul Smith, I doubt anyone would know who he is.

Oh I doubt that Gautam. That New American Century stuff made a pretty
powerful splash and the ripples are still being seen.

I type reeeeeeeal slow. And I'm stopping to give everything you say
and I  want to say a whole heaping lot of consideration.
I have a lot of respect for you and I want to give a response that is
worth the time it takes to read it.
I'll respond to what is below on the morrow.

How about those SOX!!!!!!!

Thinking About Ethics Maru

>> But what does it matter to you what I think about
>> such things?
>> Does that prevent us from being friends?
>> I'd like to think not.
>> I'd like to think that we could vehemently disagree
>> about certain
>> political realities and other political beliefs, and
>> then have a good
>> time drinking some brews and watching the Sox whup
>> up on the Cards
>> with any acrimony set aside for the next political
>> round or even
>> disposed of altogether.
> I would hope so, but I don't know anymore.  I have
> posted on more than one occasion on this list on the
> importance of not taking politics personally.  I don't
> appreciate being insulted by Dr. Brin, but I don't
> take him seriously any more, and I'm not likely to be
> very offended by someone I don't respect.  I do _not_
> like having other people whom I do respect pile on
> behind the disguise of some sort of even-handedness.
> I would hope that we could sit around and talk about
> the Sox.  I don't know that anymore, though, because
> that would have involved different actions in the
> past.  Remember what I said when Brin was going after
> John - that friends stick up for each other?  Well,
> piling on when Brin is on one of his idiot temper
> tantrums, instead of (at least) sitting out or
> (better) acting like a restraining influence, that
> would have been the action of a friend.  This was just
> a cheap shot, misconstruing a pretty clear statement
> on my part in order to make that old claim about
> patriotism.  So how am I supposed to interpret that?
> I don't think that was a friendly act at all.  Your
> explanation in the post I'm replying to helped a bit,
> I guess, but it seems to me that the very bare minimum
> that I'm suggesting isn't much to ask for.
> =====
> Gautam Mukunda
> "Freedom is not free"
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