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Archive for Friday, June 8, 2007

Hateful ravings

June 8, 2007

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To the editor:

In his June 3 column, George Gurley lamented the polarization of Lawrence. For proof of his belief that the city's personality had taken an ugly turn, Mr. Gurley cited postings on the Journal-World's online edition.

Though it may seem to some that the mood in Lawrence has taken on a divisive tone, I think it would be a mistake to put too much credence in anonymous postings on the Internet. A handful of hateful online writers does not equate to a Lawrence filled with "rabid animosity."

A resident for 10 years, I find the Lawrence my family fell in love with alive and well. Yes, there are times when there are differences of opinion. The Wal-Mart proposal is just the most recent example. However, this difference of opinion does not change the overall personality of Lawrence. Whatever the resolution of the Wal-Mart matter, Lawrence will continue to be a great community in which to live.

Anonymity gives some writers the courage to write the most astonishingly cruel things. If the Journal-World were to require that the writers use their real names, I believe that courage would quickly dissipate.

Until these authors get the nerve to stand by their writing by revealing their identities, we should take these postings on the Journal-World for what they are: hateful ravings of a few people.

Jack Mercer,

Lawrence

Comments

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

I wonder why Jack Mercer neglected to reveal his registered LJWorld.com username. He reads these posts, and wants to tell people what he thinks badly enough to send a letter to the editor. Dollars to donuts he posts in here - anonymously.

There is more than one reason for anonymity. It isn't all that safe to make it possible for strangers to contact one other than in this forum. What if their posting personality is their real one? As I said: not safe.

Bruce Bertsch 7 years, 7 months ago

RT -- Every time you call yourself a conservative, Barry Goldwater spins in his grave.

Ken Miller 7 years, 7 months ago

Comment posting on LJW.com is entertainment - nothing more, nothing less. Anyone who tries to assign some sort of sociological value to this section is wasting their time....

Unless an employer is trying to track the activities of their employees...then, perhaps, there is additional value.

OOOPS...I just contradicted myself. I'm glad I'm anonymous.

Or am I?

jayhawk2000 7 years, 7 months ago

Anonymity is particularly good for folks who like to spread unfounded rumours for which they have no facts to back up, like 'when Bill Clinton was president, people who wrote in to complain about the IRS were audited.'

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, thought this was a thread about Marion. Never mind.

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

There are some very good reasons people choose to remain "Anonymous Cowards." Some people fear retaliation if they criticize police, public officials, or even convicted criminals for example. Others may work in positions where expressing their opinion in any public forum is either strictly prohibited or strongly discouraged. There are still others, that if their identity were known, would fear harassment at their homes or businesses because of their beliefs. This forum would not be nearly as useful or valuable to the citizens of Lawrence without their voices.

99% the comments I find most provocative and interesting come from anonymous users. I give no more weight or credibility to a comment because I know the posters real name. It is the ideas and arguments, not the person or their position in the community, that causes me to react and respond to their comments.

Are there abuses? Certainly. Is it perfect? Nope. But the LJW Online Edition and the contributors, anonymous or not, provide Lawrence with an incredibly valuable service; the open and free expression of divergent ideas, argument, and counter-argument, on both sides of the issues that this community feels very strongly about. I am thankful Lawrence has this forum for ideas that are not politically correct or popular with the majority. Instead of being discounted or condemned, the LJW Online and its anonymous posters should be praised.

drewdun 7 years, 7 months ago

Keep the anonymous nature of this forum alive.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

I read these pages off and on for years months before joining the conversation. I have to say that what is revealed in these pages is no more than a pale reflection of what is going on nationally. The country is more divided and bitter than ever, because of the dictatorial way this administration has ruled. The posters in here seem to be polarized along the same lines: Bush/anti-Bush, liberal/conservative, green/not-green, and so on. Nothing new there. These are desperate times, and the only people not freaking out are the ones who are not paying attention. Sometimes the truth hurts, and fighting for what is right doesn't always seem nice or polite. Great change doesn't usually take place while people are minding their manners.

There's a difference between honest criticism or telling the truth even if it's painful, with a point to be made, and just slinging insults. Sarcasm doesn't work too well in print. Every thread here is certain to have a few inane posts about "hippies" or "liberals." I tend to dismiss the writer forever when I read ad hominem attacks that aren't supported by facts and don't support their argument.

There's been a lot of criticism of our city government in these threads lately. That's healthy and a right and necessary part of democracy.

craigers 7 years, 7 months ago

Jack, why do you hate America? You are just like the Nazis!!!

Sorry, I just wanted to ask that and make the first Nazi comment today.

Have a good Friday.

lunacydetector 7 years, 7 months ago

has mr. mercer ever taken on the city, county, or federal gov't only to get F'd with later on? when bill clinton was in office, the IRS had a group of people who read the 'letter to the editor' sections of newspapers from all over the country. if someone criticized the IRS, that person would be picked to be audited.

people in gov't don't get mad, they get even or bring your life a little hell, because they don't like to be inconvenienced or criticized.

anonymous is good. it lets people vent without fear of retribution.

Ragingbear 7 years, 7 months ago

Jack Mercer can go back to Johnson County with the rest of them.

classclown 7 years, 7 months ago

Then there is the fact that if most of you had to use your real names, your employers would realize what you really do all day.

Bubbles 7 years, 7 months ago

That was a hate filled letter Jack. Why do you hate so much? Who are you to judge others? Who died and put you in charge?

DaveR 7 years, 7 months ago

Myself, I'd drop the anonymity if I only knew how. I thought you had to be a print subscriber. For that matter, I'd post my picture. I've got an old one that's decent.

This is a tempest in a tea-pot. I used to post on some of the national blogs, but was run off by know-it-all loud-mouthed bullies, and by endless tirades of people calling each other names. Nothing unique to Lawrence or the LJW about this. It's a defect in the genre itself.

The solution, so far, has been monitors. The mere presence of monitors (or, more truthfully, the threat of monitors, perhaps) has been enough to keep most posters in line. There are certain to be enough friends of LJW to volunteer to fill the need.

temperance 7 years, 7 months ago

"Blogs are a new idea. I fear them. Therefore they must be rejected" -paraphrasing SNL's Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer

Jack writes: "If the Journal-World were to require that the writers use their real names, I believe that courage would quickly dissipate." So, inhibiting courage to speak one's mind is a good thing? Jack's letter is idiotic, and there are a number of healthy reasons for allowing anonymous posts, many of them cited on this thread. The "allowing anonymous internet posts" debate is pretty well played out, but I guess it's worth revisiting every now and again.

His letter is idiotic, but I don't think he's an idiot per se. I think his letter reflects a technology generation gap and anxiety about the fading role of Old Media. His letter reminds me a lot of Joe Klein's initial foray into blogging for Time magazine ("The Swampland"). Klein started to receive the usual insults, fact-checking, and "ravings" and he totally freaked out, took it personal, insulted his readers, and basically threw a hissy fit. Is Joe Kline an idiot? Well, of course, but that's not my point.

Moreover, the LJW discussion boards aren't dominated by the polar extremes and some of the more dominant voices aren't easily characterized by left/right polarities (e.g. passion_annex, greyheim). But I doubt Jack read far enough to reach that conclusion.

werekoala 7 years, 7 months ago

"There is a collective effort, not on just this site, by the far-left to intimidate and ridicule or ignore conservative bloggers. This is the new arrogant way of the far-left."

Not being far-left myself, I can only speculate, is it possible that the content of your comments lends themselves to being ridiculed or ignored by the majority of posters? In which case, it's not a conspiracy, any more than me & my buddies are part of a conspiracy against Paris Hilton because we all think she is a shallow self-absorbed idiot.

It's kinda like this - if one of your buddies calls you a horse's patoot, get a new buddy. If all of them do it - get a saddle.

So while it's possible that there is some massive conspiratorial underground resistance effort to make you feel like a horse's patoot, complete with callsigns, passwords, invisble ink and secret codes; the more likely explanation is that it's time for you to saddle up.

DaveR 7 years, 7 months ago

A PS about vandalized art, as this thread deals with the larger issues behind it:

There are rules about what is, and what is not, art. There are rules about how art is to be displayed, and about how it is to be safeguarded. Art is not anything that comes into your head. Never was. Never will be. Placing art (of any sort) at eye level on a public street & then abandoning it is a flagrant abuse of that art.

Or it could be that we are moving to a new kind of art, where the public is invited to participate in its final creation. Under this theory, the artist merely proposes an initial concept, and then permits the public to finish his creation in some way that is beyond his own ability, beyond his own imagination. Of course the result will be unexpected & unknowable, and, of course, at one phase or another, the art will be "destroyed" in the eyes of some observers. The solution is not to remove the art, but to keep it where it is & permit others to make further changes.

Which means that such art is never actually "finished", and the art is not its physical state at any given moment, but the ongoing story of a public process. The ultimate art would be a 24/7 video of the process.

You could also think of this as an inverted time capsule. Instead of locking something away for a 50 years & then digging it up to rediscover what it was, you instead organize a process of change over a stated period of time, such as week, a month, a year, a decade, etc.

To make this work, you would want an initial offering that was provocative.

Such as a prayer booth. What I could do with that!

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Vandalism as Art? Interesting concept if that is what you planned, otherwise it is nothing more that vandalism. Does it have a "deeper meaning?" Yes, it represents societies degeneration to a condition where property crimes are not only to be tolerated but elevated to the level of artistic expression or criticism. What a load of nonsense.

altarego 7 years, 7 months ago

I officially invite Jack Mercer to the new Hooters for wangs and beer to discuss my anonymity and cowardice.

ImpactWinter 7 years, 7 months ago

In the broader sense of the Web 2.0 movement, what Mr. Mercer is saying has some value;

this hatefulness isn't limited to purely political or idealogical discussions which are subjects where tempers are expected to flare, its even desirable on occaision to rally people;

but in the greater context of the web-o-sphere and the countless forums buzzing about the ether, public discourse has never been so adversarial, so lacking in basic human courtesy as countless misanthropes flood bandwidth with venom and bile that would make any sane person ashamed to share oxygen with these people.

some of it seems to stem from the willingness not only to defeat peoples arguements, but to directly and instantly attack their character, their education, or their faith.

these ideas deserve respectful criticism, but very, very little of the criticism they do receive could ever be called "respectful", or even decent.

ImpactWinter 7 years, 7 months ago

well, this forum and paper is mostly concerned with local news; I don't know about y'all but I don't read LJWorld to find out whats happening in Washington... I don't think that this discussions position in the post order is as damning as you do.

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 7 months ago

Geez, right_thinker, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Playing the victim is pathetic.

Joel 7 years, 7 months ago

KUbacker: Just to clarify - our emphasis on the Web site and in the paper is on local content. We don't emphasize national news on our site unless A) it has Kansas connections or B) it's so huge - like 9-11 - that to ignore it would be folly. By and large, though, we recognize that we can't "out-CNN CNN;" that's why we make that decision. I understand if you disagree, but as others here have noted, we don't think readers come to LJWorld.com for national news, so we try to play to our strength.

DaveR: You can drop the anonymity if you want, as some of our other readers have. I'm blanking out on the process right now - it's used so rarely ; ) - but if you e-mail me at jmathis@ljworld.com, I can get you started.

Joel Mathis Managing Editor for Convergence

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 7 months ago

Faux news is not journalism. Calling it infotainment would even be a stretch. It's nothing but far-right-wing propoganda. If a program has no credibility then there is no need to go there. For Dems to appear on that channel would be tantamount to lending credibility to Faux. Why appear only to get shouted at by rabid idiots? Anyone who believes that Faux is really reporting news in seriously dellusional. I am very happy that the majority of the viewing public finally recognizes that Faux is a video version of an illegitmate rag.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm "anonymous" but I've lived and worked in Lawrence for over 30 years. It has changed, as the rest of the world has changed. It has changed for the same reasons and in the same ways. People are becoming more fearful; therefore, angry. It seems as if that's by design but simply could be a consequence of our increasing feelings of a lack of control, as we crawl around in the shadow of expanding power (those grabby, world-eating governments and corporations). Fundamentalists, bigots, conservatives and liberals complain of being oppressed by fundamentalists, bigots, conservatives and liberals. Awww... We lead unexamined lives. We forgo discourse and debate across the board. We assist in the building of our exclusive walls. Has life become too complicated? ...too simple? ...both? Go ahead and remain fearful. This is an open market for snipers, stumpers, listeners and fools. I think most of us can claim all of those titles. Do remember that most of us are NOT anonymous, except perhaps to each other. BE SWEET! Morning ramble complete...

ImpactWinter 7 years, 7 months ago

Joel made my counterpoint better than I could, and non-anonymously I might add!

but I should also thank Kubacker for emphasising my point about personal attacks instead of defeating arguements;

you don't know me, how can you assume that my one paragraph comment "speaks volumes about me"?

ImpactWinter 7 years, 7 months ago

Also, this immigration bill is hardly the most important piece of legislation in 20 years, I doubt its the most important we'll see this year;

its a doomed and compromised bill with no future. hardly worth fretting over

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"There is a collective effort, not on just this site, by the far-left to intimidate and ridicule or ignore conservative bloggers."

Ha! Try pulling twice the load by defending the radical Middle. You'll hear from both sets of extremists. (And how!)

For my money, the lefties are more vindictive but the righties are less rational (but there's always exceptions!).

As to the letter's author - may I suggest that the nature of the forum does not lend itself to productive discussion whereby first principles are agreed upon and people are held to answer for their own inconsistencies and the consequences that flow from them?

For those interested, here is Bill Clinton's "99.9%" version of "can't we all just get along." http://video2.harvard.edu:8080/ramgen/pluto/ClassDay2007Archive.rm http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/06.07/99-clinton.html

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 7 months ago

I remember the thread this guy is talking about, or at least I thought I did. And I don't recall that much vitriol. I think folks were a little upset with the author of the column, but I also recall writing about the same comment about Lawrence as this guy just did, even outlining a little excursion through the downtown area, so what am I not remembering?

Every thread gets an occasional flamethrower and some more than others, but in the threads where you have to actually know something to post intelligently, there is much that can be learned.

Incidentally, I just followed my own advice and tour of the downtown yesterday. The sweet sauce at La Familia was great, I got a few CDs at Love Garden and Mike Amyx made me look much more dignified Needless to say, the coffee at Prima was superb. Downtown Lawrence a gem for the ages. These blogs, not so much, but who cares, have fun and blow off some steam.

costello 7 years, 7 months ago

http://www2.ljworld.com/accounts/profile/anonymity/

"Edit your anonymity setting

"The anonymity setting differentiates between people who stand by their comments and people who might be hiding behind their online anonymity for whatever reason. If you'd like not to be anonymous, supply the info below, we'll verify it and your user account will be marked as non-anonymous. Otherwise, you will remain anonymous by default.

"As in real life, the more you're willing to share accurate information about who you are, the more credible you are. Note that none of this is required; you'll still be able to post to our site even if you want to hide behind an anonymous screenname. You might find, though, that your comments aren't taken as seriously or with as much weight."

Joel 7 years, 7 months ago

Just to follow up, somebody smarter than I offers the following about shedding your anonimity and becoming what we call a "verified user":

There's 3 places people where people can see links for that; they can click on "Anonymous" after usernames, which takes them to http://www2.ljworld.com/help/usernames/ ; or on their profile -- http://www2.ljworld.com/accounts/profile/ -- they can click "Become a 'verified user'"; or in the pulldown menu next to their name in the header, they can choose, "Become a 'verified user'.

Hope that helps.

Joel Mathis Managing Editor for Convergence

perkins 7 years, 7 months ago

The bloggers whose user names we see time and again on this site do a good job of policing. Several times I have beamed as a few of the regulars teamed up to ridicule a mean-spirited poster. Before blogging, I guess things did seem more mellow. One had to get a stamp and an envelope and by that time the phone rang or the baby cried and what had seemed so urgent just faded away. I don't believe Lawrence is any more "polarized" than other cities with an articulate populace.

staff04 7 years, 7 months ago

"Any conservative blogger, like me, with a name like 'right_thinker' who stands up, is censored, banned, ignored, ridiculed, abused and threatened."

Interesting that you would say that, and then turn around and invite conservativeman back to the forum. I seem to remember a group of conservative posters (conservative man was one of them) that exposed a liberal poster's identity that had given some clues about who he was. What followed was intimidation and threats against that poster's family and himself. Driving by his house, threats related to seeing him in public, posting photos of him personally, phone calls to his home...you get the picture. Hell, I'm still not convinced that you weren't involved in it.

Anyway, stay anonymous. The example above should be more than enough reason for ANYONE to forget about verifying their name.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 7 months ago

Yep, Jack... you've had a lot of help proving your point here today...

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

The immigration issue has been hotly debated for weeks at LJW Online. The attempted mass deception of the American people by a handful of politico's on the right and the left was happily defeated. That "courageous" vote (which just weeks ago was expected to go the other way by inside the beltway of Washington types) was impacted, at least in part, by the wishes of the American people as voiced in online forums, just like this one. Sure they can be outrageous and might offend more often than you would like, but debate is healthy.

deec 7 years, 7 months ago

Wow, the right-wing flamer who just won't go away was " exposed and beat up mercilessly every day of every hour". Did he press charges? Was he killed by being beaten hourly for days? Way to hyperventilate.

Amy Bartle 7 years, 7 months ago

I was so happy to see this letter in today's paper. The ramblings of a few angry cowards who are the most frequent posters do not reflect the entire picture of our community. Also - it's interesting to me in Lawrence how people become our leaders just because they go to alot of the meetings, show up at things and are around all the time. Some of these people gain credibility just by showing up. The views of most activitists in our community are polarized - some are far right, some are far left. And this polarity prevents the even tempered, moderate, more sensible people, many who are highly educated, from joining the debate - and from joining public service (such as city commission, county commission, planning commission, etc...,) Regarding the extremely negative crazy postings - this happens on every BLOG I've ever seen, Just ck out trip advisor or even purely entertaining sites like american idol or hbo series blogs to see nasty postings. It's sad and funny at the same time.

Godot 7 years, 7 months ago

Joel, IMHO, the JW should eliminate most national and world news, and cancel its subscription to AP. Local news is where this paper shines; By the time the JW prints world news, it is already stale.

Joel 7 years, 7 months ago

KUbacker:

I assume, based on your earlier postings, that you're looking at the placement on the "Today's News" page.

That page is a grab bag of every piece of content - feature stories, recipes, sports and columns included - that appeared online in the paper on that day. The "grab bag" nature of the page is such that, except for the lead stories you see at the top, there's no editorial decision-making that governs the order that content is displayed in - if I understand correctly, it mostly depends on the order it was created in our system by the webproducer.

I've talked with the guys in charge of the Web page about organizing that page a little differently, in part so it can reflect news and editorial priorities. In the meantime, it reflects nothing of the sort.

Hope that helps,

Joel Mathis Managing Editor for Convergence

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

This form of communication requires one to be brief, or no one will read your post. You have to be direct, or people won't get your point. You have to be blunt, because you don't have the advantage of facial expression or tone of voice.

All this leads to a necessity to slightly exaggerate emotions by one order of magnitude so they will come through. This is how it is on all blogs.

I hope most people draw the line at ad hominem attacks because those are useless. I hope most people draw the line at posting outright lies as facts because in this anonymous forum that is unfair.

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Jamesaust (Anonymous) says: For my money, the lefties are more vindictive but the righties are less rational (but there's always exceptions!).

Oh pul-leeze, scroll through these forums and look for ad hominem attacks on "liberals" and "lefties" and "hippies" (as if all left of center are hippies), or see everyone reduced to some kind of "hater."

As for vincitive, I think you mean angry. Try being on the receiving end of the right's rampage of the past 6 years. Righties are mostly ok with it even though they too are being raped. Outrage is the correct result of paying attention.

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"As for vincitive, I think you mean angry."

Touche.

Still, I don't believe you're being fair enough to the other "hominems" in the "ad hominem" such as the "develo-turds," "selfish fatcats," or "fascists" (as if anyone to the right of Ted Kennedy is a modern day equivalent of Mussolini).

Of course, sometimes fascists are fascists and hippies are hippies. (Its just extraordinarily frightful when someone is both!) With apologies to Andy Warhol, it does in fact appear true that 'everyone in the future will be just like Hitler - at least for fifteen minutes'.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 7 months ago

divide and conquer.The way of those in charge.We have been intentionally polarized.God forbid we join together to fight the oppression!Thanks to mainstream media,many don't even know they are oppressed!If we'd park our cars,turn off our TV and AC,and went outside,talked with our friends and neighbors,maybe things would change.But that aint gonna happen.

I too am happy that most people are realizing "Faux news" is propaganda.Now if they would realize ALL corporate owned media is,we'd be getting somewhere!Peace,Nick(KVK)

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Jamesaust, I am sure Andy Warhol wouldn't mind in the least and it made me giggle.

Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Jamesaust (Anonymous) says: Still, I don't believe you're being fair enough to the other "hominems" in the "ad hominem" such as the "develo-turds," "selfish fatcats," or "fascists" (as if anyone to the right of Ted Kennedy is a modern day equivalent of Mussolini).

I was taking issue with your statement that the left was worse than the right.

fat cat - the fat cats think this is a compliment fascists - 29% (that's 89% in Kansas) who still support BushCo are, even if they don't know it develo-turds - inflammatory and stupid, doesn't speak well for the speaker at all

Eileen Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Gurley and Mercer are just as polarizing as anyone posting in this blog. They try to veil their criticism a little but it's one-sided and it glares through.

coneflower 7 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence is polarized exactly like the country is polarized. These are dark times.

At least in Lawrence, unlike the rest of Kansas, there are two sides.

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

I think it's polarizing to make a headline like Hateful Ravings. The paper gets a lot of traction out of this so-called polarization. Look at the advertising on these pages.

Oh dear, have I said too much?

Eileen Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Liberal aka Marion aka Pilgrim aka kshiker aka Godot are away celebrating their Walmart so there are fewer hateful ravings right now.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

hawk, I feel your pain. I mean this in the kindest way. Discreet delivery, just for you. http://www.northshorecare.com/depend-poise.html

denak 7 years, 7 months ago

I think Jack is right. There are times on here that it is close to impossible to carry on a rational discussion regarding certain topics. Read any thread involving abortion or immigration and the hate filled posts are there. It doesn't even take long. It is almost a joke. I've seen people posts "it is 6:45 a.m. and we have our first hate filled post of the day" refering to the previous post.

There can't even be a discussion about traffic calming devices or some other non partisan topic without someone throwing out "liberal" this or "liberal" that and blaming all kinds of things on "liberals." In another thread right now, there is a topic about kids television and sure enough, someone wrote how it was the "liberals" who are the blame for all the crappy t.v. for kids.

And lord forbid, someone actually has a religious viewpoint and states it. People jump down that person's throat quickly. And yes, sometime people's religious standpoint could be construed as hateful but from what I've seen, people's reactions towards other people's religious viewpoints are worst.

The people who write all these hateful posts and there are a few who always seem to pop up,. do this because they know they are protected because no one knows their names(except Marion) They wouldn't have the nerve to say it in public. On here there are no reprecussions so they feel they can do whatever they want. And it makes it unpleasant for everyone.

Dena

jlw2000 7 years, 7 months ago

I find that the anonymity of the internet allows people to behave in ways they never would if they were speaking with a person at a coffee shop or on the street. I understand that it is part of the appeal. One can rant and call people names with few to no social repercussions.

I agree with Jack Mercer.

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Who Are You (I really want to know) http://www.videocodezone.com/videos/t/the_who/who_are_you_live-2.html Who Are You (Live) video by The Who Listening suggestion: TURN IT ALL THE WAY UP!

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"...allows far-left, secular-progressives to call W a murderer, a terrorists, an idiot, a warmonger, the worlds worst leader, the worst president ever [etc]...."

Of course, (a) its not just Lefties who say this, and (b) it is in fact true - and will, probably before the end of the decade, solidify into a general public consensus.

George Bush has literally copied Stalinist, Nazi-era, and even Inquisition torture techniques and even Nazi terminology (euphemisms really) and deployed them upon prisoners in various prisons both secret and not-so secret - the very techniques that a half-century ago led to war crimes trials and executions of war criminals. Heck, not only has the U.S. abused the children of prisoners but openly justifies a "right" to do so. Those are facts however inconvenient they may be.

As r_t has revealed before, its not so much that he supports various Bush policies (although of course he reflexively does generally) but that he's determined not to give solace to those of the Left that he views as his own enemies.

Godot 7 years, 7 months ago

People expect to be given solace as a result of posting on this forum?

wow

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"Maybe W has a secret 'torture' manual like AQ that explains how to gouge out eyes and other humane things like that."

Indeed, he does - and worse. Here, for example, is a narrative provided by Bush own torture-detention policy guru John Yoo: http://rwor.org/downloads/file_info/download1.php?file=yoo_on_torture.mp3

"Cassel:

If the president deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him? Yoo: No treaty Cassel: Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo... Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that..."

The dozens of deaths documented to have occurred in the known American prisons, the maltreatment in every conceivable manner of prisoners, the large percentage of innocent persons held have all been quite extensively documented to this point.

Honestly, one may support Bush's torture policies or one may be a Christian. One cannot do both.

coneflower 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, I for one post exactly the same opinions I express to people in the flesh, only in the flesh I am probably yelling. Those who only have to read my posts are lucky. I stand by my opinions and I have nothing to hide.

I think it would be stupid to reveal my real identity in a public forum where I don't know who is getting that information. There are some real crazies posting, or people posing as crazies, and some who are just not nice people, and I have no idea who is lurking and not posting. I don't want the entire universe that has access to a computer to know how to contact me.

It's a safety issue: respect for a real potential danger. Is that the same as cowardice? Or is it common sense?

Godot 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, I am glad to know that the JW forum allows me to disagree with, yet shelters me from having to meet, face to face, the kind of a person to admits to a habit of yelling at people who disagree with her.

coneflower 7 years, 7 months ago

Jesus Keerist, Godot, don't you know a self-deprecating joke when you hear one? Are you that humorless?

Marion, your post is indeed newsworthy. Someone accused of sexual perversion slash hypocrisy, and they are not a Republican! Fox will be sure to put that front and center.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

There are three reasons why I post anonymously: 1) There are a lot of nuts out there. Some of the responses I get make me afraid of you people. 2) People OFTEN misunderstand my posts. Maybe because I cannot write clearly... I don't know. But I don't want my name associated with someone's misperception of me. 3) I'm a work in progress, and I'm not proud of everything I've posted. I've posted some things that I now wish I hadn't posted. If I wasn't anonymous, those postings would be a permanent record of "who I am". I am always changing and growing, but my posts from 2005 will never change.

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"Well, that is disgusting."

I agree. So why does your hero - W - stubbornly claim a "right" to do it in direct contradiction of U.S. and international law?

Godot 7 years, 7 months ago

Jeez, Louise, Jamesaust, why did you have to channel Bush into this discourse?

Emily Hadley 7 years, 7 months ago

On the topic of THIS PUBLISHED LETTER to which these comments are posted:

Hear, hear!

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(Anyone else amused by the nasty, anonymous comments posted here?)

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"What about so-called warfare today follows 'international law'?"

Uh....."all" of it?

The law is the law - both U.S. and international. I note that there's not even an attempt to deny illegality.

sundancewierdo 7 years, 7 months ago

well right-thinker, first of all iraq has nothing to do with 9-11. that's the real crime. there are terrorists in iraq now because that's where the americans are. we made it a little simpler for them to kill americans. this entire term of presidential idiocy is a crime. everything this admin. has done is criminal. we invaded a nation which has no air force, wmd, or even a fully equipped, fully trained army. they were no threat to us nor are they now. we are threatened by the very people hussein kept out of his country. no doubt he's crazy but is that our problem? our last excuse to be there was to help the people. now there is more blood on our hands than there ever was on the "terrible dictator"'s hands. what happened to the "mission accomplished". all of a sudden it's still a war? iraq will never be the same. they will be in a constant state of civil war for decades to come, and it's all our fault.

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Jamesaust, didn't the UN (Resolution 678) approve the use of force in Iraq, and didn't the US Congress overwhelming approve the use of US forces (rightly or wrongly) in the current conflict, and wasn't Saddams breach of the cease-fire from the first Gulf War sufficient "legal justification?" I assume you believe that Clinton's use of cruise missiles against Iraq as illegal as well? Yet all these people are not included on your list as terrorist war criminals? Please tell us which of the current War's you believe to have "legal justification."

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

So I was right, UN Resolution 678 approved the use of force in Iraq, the US Congress overwhelming approved the use of US forces (rightly or wrongly) in the current conflict, and Saddams breach of the cease-fire from the first Gulf War was sufficient "legal justification." Before attempting to rewrite history it is helpful to let more time pass.

I noticed the Albanian's (former communist nation) enthusiastically welcomed US President Bush after being protested in Italy just yesterday. Guess which of these radically divergent events will get the most coverage in the mainstream press? http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070610/D8PM5QT00.html

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"Please tell us which of the current War's you believe to have "legal justification."

Huh?

Perhaps you are late to the party. Which legal justification for torturing relatives of terrorists do you claim?

None of the items you mentioned of course validate this - for the obvious reason that they are illegal. Yet W claims a "right" to do so.

Jesus may be Bush's favorite philosopher but don't let that fool you into thinking the consequence of this would be Bush feeling himself constraint by any Christian principle.

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