Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just a Few Thoughts

Readers’ Note: If you’re not familiar with the posts and their comment threads: Rove at Duke Letter: My Response , Attacks on Rove: Some Reactions , and Reader Comments Today , I urge you to read them before reading this post.

You'll see many comments from someone ID'ing as "just a thought."

Thanks go to all of you who made informed and properly critical responses to just a thought’s error-filled and mendacious comments.

You’ve demonstrated the corrective power of the blogosphere.

I’m about to give just a thought a brief response after which I’ll go to bed hoping to rise tomorrow and post again with all of you back.

John
_________________________

Dear just a thought:

Let’s agree you started off at JinC defending the right of “protestors” last evening at Duke to shout slander and disrupt former Presidential Assistant Karl Rove’s attempt to talk to an audience.

Of course, you didn’t call what the “protesters” shouted slander. You described what they did as an exercise of their Constitutional rights.

In subsequent comments, which everyone can read for themselves, you made clear just how you felt about things most Americans cherish: presumption of innocence, due process, and checks on prosecutorial power, to name just a few.

On another matter: Informed and fair-minded people reading your comments about what Communists and Nazis sought to do in Weimar Germany know those “protestors” often tried, frequently successfully, to shout down speakers with whom they disagreed.

But you didn’t acknowledge that.

Something else: In response to AC who pointed out Grover Norquist could not have been a shill/plant questioner at the CNN You Tube Republican presidential candidates debate because the candidates and the media all know who he is, you countered by saying you’d asked your wife and she didn’t know who he is.

Now really, just a thought, who are you fooling?

Besides being one of Washington’s best known and most influential lobbyists, Norquist serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union. He's also a contributing editor to the American Spectator Magazine.

Some people might think you’re a Duke faculty member and/or someone who sincerely believes Mike Nifong got a raw deal from the NC State Bar.

But I don't believe that.

You’re a troll.

I’ll be deleting any future comments you make and any comments similar to yours.

That said, on the chance you’re not a troll, you’re in luck: There are many blogs for folks like you and thousands of colleges and universities that’ll welcome to their faculties and staffs someone “thinking and dialoging” as you have here.

John

25 comments:

Ralph Phelan said...

you countered by saying you’d asked your wife and she didn’t know who he [Grover Norquist] is.

Now really, just a thought, who are you fooling?


I don't think he's trying to fool anyone. I find it quite believable that he and his wife are that ignorant.

I'm just surprised that a high-school junior is already married. Must be a North Carolina thing.

Anonymous said...

John:

A quick response on your part and very appropriate.

It appeared to me that Just a Thought had the same goal as the Karl Rove protestors to stifle reasoned debate.

Ken
Dallas

just a thought said...

I hope that you will leave this up long enough that your readers may see it.

First of all, I would love to be one of Duke's faculty members. The fact that you would compare me with them is an honor. Recall that it was one of Duke's faculty members that helped bring Mr. Rove to Duke, so regardless of your political persuesion, they cannot all be bad.

In your response to me, you say that I didn't respond to your point about Nazis and Communists, but I did. Please reread the record. I stated that you were correct, that free speech did have limits. These individuals were trying to incite riots. The students who disrupted Mr. Rove did not incite a riot.

It appeared to me that Just a Thought had the same goal as the Karl Rove protestors to stifle reasoned debate.

I haven’t backed down from a reasoned debate. I have made counterpoints to the points made by others, which is the very definition of a "reasoned debate". Why do you wish to stifle this debate by deleting my future comments? Ken from Dallas has made an excellent observation about my opinions, and I have made a counterargument (that if he is correct Mr. Fitzgerald perjured himself in court documents). This is a debate. Silencing my side of the debate just means that your own positions cannot withstand scrutiny, because you cannot make a reasoned counterargument.

I like the other attack by Ralph, "a high-school junior". Why don't you discredit my facts instead of attacking my person? This is what a reasoned debate is about, comparing your ideas with the ideas of others.

I'm sorry John that you are so protective of your isolated sphere that you cannot handle someone who is not of like mind. We would probably agree on many things. I am a firm believer in the right of citizens to have well regulated arms and own several rifles. I don't believe the poor and middle class should shoulder the tax burden of our country (though the rich, like Duke's more illustrious faculty members and basketball coach, probably should).

You say you will delete my posts in the future, if you really want a reasoned debate, why are you and your readers backing down by silencing me?

just a thought said...

Now really, just a thought, who are you fooling?

I wasn't trying to fool anyone. I was simply giving one example of someone I knew who was educated who didn't know who Grover Norquist was. Is it really that suprising? He is a behind the scenes player, not a member of the Presidential cabinet. I'm glad that you all saw him for the shill that he was (because you knew who he was), but why couldn't CNN/YouTube find one of the other 5,000 entrants to make his same point (that the candidates should pledge to not raise taxes). If it is really an issue (as I agree it is) then certainly someone else submitted it from the general population who doesn't have access to these national figures on a regular basis. The exciting component of that debate was the possibility that ordinary citizens would be able to aske the candidates questions. Mr. Norquist can ask them his question any day he likes.

Ralph Phelan said...

I was simply giving one example of someone I knew who was educated
Probably at Duke, right?

Ralph Phelan said...

Why don't you discredit my facts instead of attacking my person? This is what a reasoned debate is about, comparing your ideas with the ideas of others.

"Never argue with an idiot. First they'll drag you donw to their level, then they'll beat you with experience."

Your dodging and weaving is unworthy of serious engagement. "Debating" with you is a waste of time.

However I do find you fun to mock.

just a thought said...

I have given references for all of my points. If I havn't, please point them out and I will. How is this "dodging and weaving"?

By the way, I havn't seen any references given to refute my facts so far. If we follow debating rules I'm still winning.

just a thought said...

I was simply giving one example of someone I knew who was educated
Probably at Duke, right?


What if she went to UNC? Would that change your tune? Probably not, you would just bash it as a state school.

If you are a true conservative shouldn't you be bashing UNC because it relies on public funds? Why don't we let the free market settle the debate about which school is better?

Ralph Phelan said...

I'm glad that you all saw him [Norquist] for the shill that he was

Sigh.

The debate was supposed to be a discussion among Republicans about who they want for a nominee. The unshillness of Norquist derives not from the fact that he is known, but from the fact that he really is a Republican.

Democrats lying and claiming to be Republicans and asking questions intended to embarass the party as a whole rather than help it choose a candidate were not honest participants. They were hostile outsiders deliberately disrupting someone else's meeting. But then you've already made it quite clear that you approve of that.

One thing I'm curious about:
Are you really so stupid that you can't tell the difference, or are you just bad at hiding your fundamental dishonesty?

just a thought said...

The intention of the debate was for the candidates to be asked questions by ordinary Americans. President Bush is the AMERICAN president, not the Republican president. The candidates need to be selling themselves to America, not just pandering to one side or the other. I don't recall Mr. Norquist being referenced as a republican, just as the chief at American's for Tax Reform. If you are correct, then he should have been refered to as a republican specifically, then your point would be fine and I wouldn't call him a shill.

just a thought said...

The unshillness of Norquist derives not from the fact that he is known, but from the fact that he really is a Republican.

In many states people can vote for candidates in the Republican side or Democrat side regardless of whether they themselves are a member of that party. Why should other Americans be kept out of the discussion? We just read an article on this site about secrecy in making decisions (at Duke), do you really want the same process for choosing our Presidential candidates? People from both sides should be allowed to weight in and have a true debate. If everyone agrees, there is no debate by definition.

Ralph Phelan said...

"The intention of the debate was for the candidates to be asked questions by ordinary Americans."

At the Democrat debate, Democrat candidates were asked questions by "ordinary Americans" almost all of whom turned out to be politically active Democrats.

At the Republican debate, Republican candidates were asked questions by "ordinary Americans" almost all of whom turned out to be politically active Democrats.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell me why this is fair to both the candidates and the audience.

Anonymous said...

Just a Thought:

At the risk of prolonging an unuseful dabate, allow me to correct one statement you made.

"Ken from Dallas has made an excellent observation about my opinions, and I have made a counterargument (that if he is correct Mr. Fitzgerald perjured himself in court documents)"

Incorrect. I specifically asked you a question. Twice. (If Plame was covert, why wasn't Armitage or Rove charged?). You finally indicated you didn't know. Remember?

That's why you are being treated as a troll. Sorry.

Ken
Dallas

just a thought said...

Incorrect. I specifically asked you a question. Twice. (If Plame was covert, why wasn't Armitage or Rove charged?). You finally indicated you didn't know. Remember?

Ok. I apologize, here is my answer to those questions upon more reading and thought.

Mr. Armitage was not charged because he came forward and the statements he made to the prosecutor were corraborated. Mr. Libby and Mr. Rove did not come forward and there were inconsistencies in their statements. Mr. Rove was able to clear this up to the satisfaction of the prosecutor, Mr. Libby wasn't.

Would a troll really say they didn't know? Seriously, you made a good point, I hadn't heard that point before. The other point dominating the discussion, "she wasn't covert" are contradicted by other evidence (including the prosecutor himself in court documents).

Ralph said:

At the Democrat debate, Democrat candidates were asked questions by "ordinary Americans" almost all of whom turned out to be politically active Democrats.

At the Republican debate, Republican candidates were asked questions by "ordinary Americans" almost all of whom turned out to be politically active Democrats.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell me why this is fair to both the candidates and the audience.


I agree, but the Democrat debate was the one in the wrong between those two. They should be including questions from people who are not "politically active Democrats".

Ralph Phelan said...

Seriously, you made a good point, I hadn't heard that point before.

Which is why debating with you is about as much fun as playing one-on-one basketball with Verne Troyer.

just a thought said...

Which is why debating with you is about as much fun as playing one-on-one basketball with Verne Troyer.

Really, another personal attack? Prove me wrong with references and move on if I'm such a slouch.

I gave Ken credit because he is engaging me directly and making clear points. John has done the same thing. To contrast these responses, you are just calling me names. Show me where I am wrong and back up your statements with references if you want to claim success.

Ralph Phelan said...

Really, another personal attack? Prove me wrong with references and move on if I'm such a slouch.

I think of you less as a slouch than as a pinata.

Show me where I am wrong and back up your statements with references...

You said we shouldn't feel bad about the Minutemen getting shouted down, because their views are, in your view, reprehensible. That's what I objected to, and multiple links to references that show other people don't like them either are irrelevant to that fundamental point.

You claim that Columbia's Bollinger saying "they shouldn't have done that" about the students who stopped the Minutemen talk is meaningful, when Bollinger had the power to provide active security beforehand or discipline afterwards, and did neither. That arguement was profoundly stupid.

You draw stupid and empty analogies like comparing the severity of Nifong's lies to those of Libby, Stewart or Clinton.

You cite the Nation as a reliable source.

You are a contemptible person and any claims you make that you're really interested in freedom of speech rather than victory for your side are a lie.

just a thought said...

multiple links to references that show other people don't like them either are irrelevant to that fundamental point.

Not so. I showed that I have a basis for my opinion. I am not a member of the group, and no person here has claimed membership. So what do we have to go on? If it is reported that they are attracting racist members, they need to defend themselves from these statements and show that it isn't true. You haven’t shown me these responses (and they did respond).

The statements about Xenophobia directly follow from comments made by the founder.

Bollinger had the power to provide active security beforehand or discipline afterwards, and did neither. That argument was profoundly stupid.

He did discipline the students for their attack. The lack of security was an oversight, but answer me this, why should he have known to increase security for this group?

You draw stupid and empty analogies like comparing the severity of Nifong's lies to those of Libby, Stewart or Clinton.

Why are they stupid? The comment was that Ms. Plame was not covert. If she was not covert, then Mr. Fitzgerald lied to the court (perjury). Mr. Nifong lied to the court, that’s why he got in trouble. I never mentioned Clinton or Stewart.

You cite the Nation as a reliable source.

Then cite a National Review article that disputes it. Set your partisan interests aside and listen to the viewpoints of others, and contradict them with evidence when they are wrong.

Ralph Phelan said...

"multiple links to references that show other people don't like them either are irrelevant to that fundamental point."

Not so. I showed that I have a basis for my opinion. I am not a member of the group, and no person here has claimed membership. So what do we have to go on? If it is reported that they are attracting racist members, they need to defend themselves from these statements and show that it isn't true.


The question isn't whether they should have to defend themselves from charges of racism, it's whether they should have to defend themselves from a mob rushing the stage. You seem to be OK with that, which is why I think you're a lefty fascist.

No amount of "proof" that they really are "racist" will convince me that that justifies stifling them, and your collecting such quotes shows that you either don't get or more likely are deliberately ignoring my point about why you're a lefty fascist.

just a thought said...

it's whether they should have to defend themselves from a mob rushing the stage. You seem to be OK with that, which is why I think you're a lefty fascist.

I never justified the mob. That shouldn't have happend. I repeated have said that violence should not be accepted. I justified the protest.

Ralph PHelan said...

I never justified the mob.

Liar.

"don't feel too bad for the Minutmen. Their racism and xenophobia contributed to that riot."

Is this the first time you've argued with someone who has an attention span longer than five minutes?

just a thought said...

"don't feel too bad for the Minutmen. Their racism and xenophobia contributed to that riot."

Is this the first time you've argued with someone who has an attention span longer than five minutes?


You should look up the word "justified" in a dictionary. From Merrian-Webster " to show a sufficient lawful reason for an act done ". I never said what they did was lawful, I suggested that it was forseeable.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I never said what they did was lawful, I suggested that it was forseeable."

In which case Bollinger should have forseen it and supplied adequate security, rather than merely scolding the perpatrators afterwards.

I repeat, is this the first time you've argued with someone who has an attention span longer than five minutes?

And the admonishion "not to feel bad" doesn't sound to me like it's about foreseeability, it sounds to me like it's about the violation of the rights of people you consider racists not being such a bad thing.

You can now claim otherwise, but I won't believe you.

Just a Thought said...

Bollinger had the power to provide active security beforehand or discipline afterwards, and did neither. That argument was profoundly stupid.

He did discipline the students for their attack. The lack of security was an oversight, but answer me this, why should he have known to increase security for this group?


I didn't say that Bollinger forsaw it, I said it was forseeable by me. You didn't answer my question, by the way.

You should re-read ALL of my posts, you will see that I disagree with the actions of those protestors. But then you won't believe what you see, so what does it matter.

Ralph Phelan said...

Just a Thought said...
You should re-read ALL of my posts


Sorry, got better things to do, like go shave the cat.