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March 21, 2004

Comments

"....Carlos...[is] ultimately fair-minded."

Optimism is good.

Erm, it's not optimism, it's based on past behavior. If you don't believe me, ask your most recent guestblogger.

"Then don't write like you are."

As per advised.

You wanna unpack that for me?

I just came across this site as a result of having read a comment by Charles Johnson linking to a perceived criticism made by "Bruce"">http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10284_Sorry_Flit#comments">"Bruce" (Flit)
Tacitus, et al.

While I continue to read LGF I stopped commenting a long, long time ago. The "nuke Mecca" and "beatify Israel" crowd was simply over the top, repetitive and non productive— not to mention the neocon posturing by both Charles and the groupies. On occasion Charles used to tell them to tone it down, but of course, it never did much good because he really does not mean it.

I have noticed that many, many lucid, intelligent posters with unvarnished facts to present have either left or been banned. My assumption is they are gone for the same reasons. And, of course, anyone who disagrees with the "you are either with us or against us" neocon agenda of lgf is labeled a troll. Those who presume to state that perhaps Israel is not always correct, all the time, are labeled as anti-Semites.

Part of my "agenda" is rather the same as that of many others about the net—the exposure of Islam to the light of day with the unvarnished truth. However, that means others including Israel, the U.S. and Europe will get equal time. The other part of my focus is highlighting things that might be of equal or even greater importance than Islamic terrorism.

Charles provides a service that would be much more valid were he to make it more evenhanded.


Lumico

I was just recently banned from LGF (though Im not sure why--I was on vacation for 2 wks, not commenting, and as soon as Im back, im banned???)

Anyway, I find LGF very extremist, but also interesting. Im not sure how CJ's service is so "valuable", as there are many distortions/outright untruths posted by both CJ and his groupies. However, I feel that LGF could be a much more valuable and interesting site if it were more open to discussion/debate. If a "better" LGF is to be created, as some of you are suggesting (perhaps through a collaborative effort...?) I think that the route to go would to follow the basic formula of CJ; namely find a somewhat obscure story off the wire services, add a few comments, and then open it up for discussion. The essential difference would be to let the debate take shape naturally, ie-dont ban people because their ideas dont fit with your beleifs/worldview. Eventually this will attract a broader audience than that of CJ and in a sense will be "self censoring". This wont work perfectly, but eventually, the "cream" will rise to the top, and real "trolls" will tire of the game and fade away.

Just an idea....

Maybe I came across Tacitus during a bad *month*?

But let's see. Someone who posts as if his opinion is gospel truth, but later calls it a "supportable factual assertion"? How Clintonian. Basically it means it's true, through Tac's mere assertion, until it's shown to be false, at which point it becomes an opinion.

By the way, "supportable factual assertion" is a Google isolate. So kudos for Tac for coming up for a new recipe for fudge.

I'm waiting to see Tac's much-vaunted honesty. Perhaps he could admit that his little "heads I win, tails you lose" piece of rhetoric was unfair? Take your bets, folks. I've wounded his pride; I don't think he can do it.

C.

RS:

This is related to, but distinct from, the idea of Islam's superiority: it would be perfectly possible to believe in one's own superiority without thinking of others as scheming liars.

You're splitting hairs. Yes, such a thing is perfectly possible. No, it does not detract from my point.

Do you really think I am unaware of this? [the presence of non-Muslim communities in the Arab world.]

No; but then, I'm not writing merely for you. There is an unhealthy assumption in many places that the Arab world is a monolith. It's not. (A point that applies very well to the tendancy of some [not you] who imperfectly understand -- and thus imperfectly apply -- the concept of dhimmitude as it is practiced (or, better put, not practiced) by millions of Muslims today.)

However, even though I think you are reading a great deal into my article that isn't there, and drawing inaccurate conclusions about my intentions as a result, I appreciate your not resorting to invective in this exchange -- as so many do.

Well, just because I think you're wrong doesn't make you evil. And I appreciate your calm and perspective as well.

It's late, and been a tough day. Look forward to continuing tomorrow.

von

I read all the comments, but I am not sure what exactly you guys want to do wrt a new blog.

Do you want to create a cleaner and not bigoted version of LGF? That might be difficult. Exclusive focus on the faults with Islam will attract a crowd similar, though probably not as intense, as LGF. See for example, Fatimah's blog. The only people commenting there are bigots of one kind or another.

Winds of Change focuses on war on terror issues and they haven't impressed me much.

How'll you control comments? Are comments even a good idea on such a site?

Or do you want to focus on the Muslim world with its terrorism, authoritarian governments, politics, fundamentalists and liberals and their factions? The good news with the bad. The good for the US, bad for the locals news with good for locals, bad for the US news. The conservative Islamic feminists with a foot each in the 7th and 21st centuries.

There are endless posibilities. You have to decide what the main focus will be. That will determine the audience.

My participation depends on the blog focus and team.

Did I mention I am on a (semi-)hiatus from blogging? This thing is addictive.

Von, I am off to the airport soon, so this is my last sally.

"You're splitting hairs."

Hardly. Making distinctions is what scholars do. Distinctions are important. To know that this is not that is precisely what knowledge consists of.

"Yes, such a thing is perfectly possible. No, it does not detract from my point."

What point exactly? That I wrote from prejudice rather than reason? You have not established that, you cannot know that anyway, you would know it was false if you had read more of my writings, and it is a false, baseless, and potentially damaging charge. Nor is it by any means self-evident, I believe, to those who click on your link.

"Well, just because I think you're wrong doesn't make you evil."

Wrong about what, exactly? That Islam contains an idea of its own superiority? That that idea contributes to conspiracy paranoia? I can give you numerous examples of both. Or do you think that just saying so is an example of prejudice? Well, most likely you'll go your way and I'll go mine, but I think that such an assumption, divorced from a factual basis as it is, is more prejudiced than anything I have written.

I realize this post is sharper than my others. It is 5AM and I am in a hurry. But I still appreciate your willingness to discuss this. Goodbye. RS

Carlos my boy, you can refer to my replies to Josh for satisfaction -- or not, more probably, given your persona -- of your demands. Failure to admit fault isn't really one of my problems. As for you, as I said earlier, if you're truly reduced from making grandiose claims about "LaRouche pamphlet" rhetoric, etc., to nitpicking this one passage (Google isolates equating to "fudge" -- does that even make sense?), then we're putting your heated condemnations -- along with Josh's protestations of your fundamental decency -- to bed.

Tac wrote:

Carlos my boy, you can refer to my replies to Josh for satisfaction -- or not, more probably, given your persona -- of your demands.

Looking at your replies to Josh:

"Optimism is good" and "As per advised".

And you haven't 'unpacked' those for Josh yet. Speaking in riddles now? Tsk.

Tac, old son, you've just shown that you *won't* back down from a politically motivated smear against people who disagree with you. Here it is again:

I have argued that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, initially connected only on an arguable conceptual level, are now inseparable parts of the same campaign. The inability to recognize this -- and the concurrent inability to grasp that defeat in one arena heartens and directly aids the enemy in the other -- is a surefire sign of one's politics overriding one's sense.

even when offered the chance to retract.

The inability to recognize this is a surefire sign of one's dishonesty overriding one's reputation.

I've seen it dozens of times, from all sorts of political viewpoints.

And your reputation was so easy to salvage. "I misspoke. I wrote something in the heat of my anger against our common foe; but of course I don't mean all people who disagree with me on this issue are slow-witted dupes who let their politics override their better judgment. After all, I have great admiration for Star Trek."

But you couldn't, and wouldn't, even when offered the chance.

What was your wheeze again? It was a "supportable factual assertion"? Now we know the answer to Pilate's question.

C.

Hardly. Making distinctions is what scholars do. Distinctions are important. To know that this is not that is precisely what knowledge consists of.

Well, yeah. But scholars also are charged with determining what's an important distinction, and what's a meaningless one.

What point exactly? That I wrote from prejudice rather than reason?

Again, the critique was of LGF and the paragraphs it excerpted. Your motives -- which, frankly, I don't doubt are pure -- were never and are not now in question. But that doesn't mean that your piece is free from criticism.

I think that's perfectly clear from the original post, which criticizes LGF (not you). Out of courtesy, though, I'll update the post to reflect your point of this morning.

I realize this post is sharper than my others. It is 5AM and I am in a hurry. But I still appreciate your willingness to discuss this.

No need to apologize; have a safe flight. We'll resume the discussion (I hope) at another time, on another thread.

What was it I said? Ah yes:

Or not, more probably, given your persona.

Well, right, then. Have fun unpacking.

Tsk. And you came with such glowing recommendations.

Oh well.

*flush*

C.

". . .Do you want to create a cleaner and not bigoted version of LGF? That might be difficult. Exclusive focus on the faults with Islam will attract a crowd similar, though probably not as intense, as LGF. See for example, Fatimah's blog. The only people commenting there are bigots of one kind or another. . . "

I don't agree at all that Fatimah's blog only attracts bigots. It appears there are several types posting there: The truth tellers (as they see it) from the Islamic and the secular as well as other religious perspective sides. People ask questions of the Muslims, but they answer with "canned" responses. It gets old! Every once in a while some muslimahs come out from behind the veil and claim "Islam is everything one needs" but don't back it up. Then the Islamic males get livid and claim Fatimah "tells lies" about Islam. But, when challenged they can't and don't counter those "lies" with their own proof. Lots of people believe she is not a Muslim.

Fatimah does not write much these days and she will not answer the question as to why she became an "unhappy, nattering Muslim." The site appears dormant.

There are plenty of blogs and sites on the web that already have a more balanced perspective than LGF.

Lumico

". . .Do you want to create a cleaner and not bigoted version of LGF? That might be difficult. Exclusive focus on the faults with Islam will attract a crowd similar, though probably not as intense, as LGF. See for example, Fatimah's blog. The only people commenting there are bigots of one kind or another. . . "

I don't agree at all that Fatimah's blog only attracts bigots. It appears there are several types posting there: The truth tellers (as they see it) from the Islamic and the secular as well as other religious perspective sides. People ask questions of the Muslims, but they answer with "canned" responses. It gets old! Every once in a while some muslimahs come out from behind the veil and claim "Islam is everything one needs" but don't back it up. Then the Islamic males get livid and claim Fatimah "tells lies" about Islam. But, when challenged they can't and don't counter those "lies" with their own proof. Lots of people believe she is not a Muslim.

Fatimah does not write much these days and she will not answer the question as to why she became an "unhappy, nattering Muslim." The site appears dormant.

There are plenty of blogs and sites on the web that already have a more balanced perspective than LGF.

Lumico

then we're putting your heated condemnations -- along with Josh's protestations of your fundamental decency -- to bed.

Gosh, thanks for characterizing what I wrote as a "protestation", Tac. I don't particularly care if you two get along or not; I'm just suggesting that you don't have all the information.

I realize I have no official standing on this blog, but I humbly request, as a simple ObWi denizen, that we not turn this thread into a referendum on Tacitus' integrity. This bickering is long past having anything at all to do with the original post, and it doesn't belong on ObWi in any case.

Hear, hear.

I'll third that notion.

I fourth the notion that we shouldn't turn this into a referendum on Tac, but let's be careful not to ad hom Carlos either. (Not talkin' to the last couple posters, obviously.)

Incidentally, is "Carlos, my boy, ..." ad hom?

er...good question rilkefan.

However, I think Carlos set the tone first.

Incidentally, is "Carlos, my boy, ..." ad hom?

Perhaps, if you find civility to be uncomfortably offensive. On the other hand, The reality, the level of _pandering_ there, came as an unpleasant shock seems to be overtly insulting to me, particularly in light of its complete lack of veracity.

Slart, if luisalegria used that expression it might come across as civil. But I'd never use it towards someone I respect, you for example. If I wanted to take a tone of excessive or perhaps disdainful civility I'd say Sir, your comment re such-and-such is unfounded and impolite. As far as "pandering" goes, whatever that means, I did find the conservative reaction to the Spanish election results highly objectionable, and Carlos's framing statements were actually positive. I mentioned "my boy" because it is an example of what seems to me Tac's willingness to violate the spirit though not the letter of his posting rules. Anyway, time to stop the threadjack.

Understood, rilkefan. No quibble.

By "no quibble", I mean that I don't dispute your point. I don't agree, but that being a matter of opinion that's WAY outside the scope here, I'm not uncomfortable leaving it there.

nhop, I don't know if you're still reading but if you are ... you weren't banned from LGF and I know that for a fact. Please keep posting there.

Zulubaby, this place is filled with vile racists. Be warned.

Tacitus, You wrote

Tacitus, I'm hoping the term fellow traveler is not intended pejoritively.

Ikram: March 22, 2004 12:12 PM

You've really got to move past this.

Er -- this is one of those times that the whole 'apology'/'I misspoke'/'whoops' thing would come in handy, Tac. It's not like all of us haven't said super-stupid unintentional things on various fora on the net.

But, per your advice, I will move past this. You haven't said whether the names I offerred interest you, or whether you are interested in something other than a cleaner-LGF, but in the spirit of engagement, I've got a few more substantive points.

I think the proposed project (call it the "Tacitus Project" -- TP) would work best if the posters involved were extremely knowledgeable about their geographical or thematic areas. the world has a surfeit of clueless wankers. I think the names I suggested work in that regard.

TP will, I presume, try to link two different blog audiences (or the non-insane portions of those audiences). I'm not sure what you mean when you say there will be no slackening of viewpoints -- isn't changing viewpoints the whole point? (Over time, I hope that you will realize your entire worldview is fundamentally flawed).

Your blog-description is OK, but perhaps a bit too general. How about linking 'specific info by Muslims and non-Muslims in various Muslim-ish countries with Americans readers'. Sort of a reverse Radio Sawa.

Ikram -- Speaking on Tacitus's behalf, I believe that there will be a large and diverse (of location and opinion) group of people involved.

Oh, I see. Silence the essential clueless wanker viewpoint. As long as you discriminate against clueless wankers in such a manner, the site will be nothing more than a breeding ground and echo chamber for clueful nonwankers.

On a more serious note, I have to admit that at this point I'm confused about the vision (I'd say 'mission statement', but I'm already over my boardroom-speak quota for the day) for the proposed site.

Originally I understood it to be a sort of evenhanded MEMRI, with extensive commentary from many viewpoints. The primary goal being the dissemination of information about current events involving Islam and Muslims to non-Muslims, and the secondary goal being civil discussion.

Does that still hold?

Does that still hold?

I think so. Part of the reason for "confusion of vision" is that the vision's still being debated.

I think so too. And what von said as well.

Ikram, your list is, in fact, being used, so thanks for submitting it. Von and I have already discussed it via e-mail, and I think we're going to end up inviting quite a few off it.

As for the "fellow traveler" nonsense, I meant, with the posting date referral above, to point out that I used the phrase to describe people who agreed with me as well. I can't compensate for the apparently numerous people who insist on being offended at this or that turn of phrase; it's certainly been taken to absurd lengths in this thread.

Reverse Radio Sawa. Huh. I like that. Wonder how it can be worked in.

Reverse Radio Sawa. Huh. I like that. Wonder how it can be worked in.

Awas Oidar "AwasOidar.com"

I've checked...it's not taken.

You may also want to try sisters abez and aniraz (two blogs, google'em, I'm done with HTML) in PK. Excellent writers, very funny. Or, if this blog is going to be heavy on Gay Muslims, try "Search for Love in Karachi" (google it). These are personal writers, but I think the best type (and often the only decent type) of blogging is personal blogging.

Also, I'd advise that TP not have comments. at least, not until it gains its footing. I'm a huge supporter of comments, and usually don't bother with a blog without 'em. But this is a topic that attracts too many cretins, and would have to have a heavily policed comments section. That kind of policing is easier once all the participants have a certain level of trust.

Well, I just found this after getting the note from von and drilling around the site.

Very interesting. And I may add tacitus gets me nod for the reference. While obviously we don't really on a particular subject, and the turns of phrase in the above exchange are perhaps a bit unfortunate. I do respect the nod.

Otherwise, interesting concept, I toyed with it myself.

Last note, I will be happy to participate to the limit of my other commitments and in the context of a wide ranging discussion of the issues - I will say I am utterly uninterested in an exclusive focus on Islam and its problems (as well as "problems").

I might suggest, by the way, that a focus on the Middle East proper is a rather more reasonable focus - something covering the entire Islamic world per se is simply unwieldy.

As for names, well, if I may be so bold to suggest something like " ta'qqul " ~ " judiciousness, mutual understanding " or more amusingingly " 'aqoul " which means both " understanding, reasonableness " and is the name of a spiny bush - English name is 'Camel's Thorn '

That rather amuses me actually. Hell, even if I do not participate, I encourage the last suggestion.

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