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July 19, 2006

Comments

Pooh, another possibility is that he writes the pieces for RedState and doesn't think at all before he reposts them here about whether there's anything in them that might be inappropriate for ObWi.

The problem is that Hezbollah is not strictly distinguishable from Lebanon. Hezbollah is in Lebanon, it acts from Lebanon, it is supplied through Lebanese trade channels and is otherwise intimately connected to Lebanon.

While it is not strictly distinguishable from Lebanon, I think it is pragmatically distinguishable from Lebanon. I mean, yeah, the fact that they are a political party and social organization besides a militia complicates things a lot, but in and of itself I don't see how that explains what I described. Destroying the Lebanese infrastructure, economy, and government, rather than the infrastructure within Lebanon directly surrounding Hezbollah ('surrounding' in a not strictly geographic sense), is, to be sure, impossible with absolute precision, but the current program seems to have minimal precision. And again, if the goal is or ought to be encouraging the rest of Lebanon to internally reduce Hezbollah, I don't see how attacking that 'rest of Lebanon' helps.

That is why ideally Lebanon would go through the trouble to remove Hezbollah from its borders.

Sure, I agree; ideally all kinds of totally impossible stuff would happen. Practically speaking, I can't imagine why the other parties in Lebanon would choose to restart the civil war there, the sort of thing which, incidentally, might in and of itself have led to attacks on Israel and/or Israeli intervention. Abolition of Hezbollah as an autonomous military entity as a goal for a few years down the line, sure, but a mere year after independence? Unrealistic.

The thing I like about these threads is that it brings all of these newer folks into the mix. The oldtimers just shrug and say 'that's Charles'

The other thing reading thru the thread is Sebastian's comment. In labeling this an 'otherwise excellent post", does this mean that you agree with everything except the treason thing?

Francis, being endangered is not the same as being killed. Claiming that it is is wrong.

If someone wrote that Hezbollah was threatening to kill all Israelis, you would be perfectly correct to point out that they could not.

When someone writes that Hezbollah is endangering each Israeli -- which is precisely what "imperiling" is -- they are perfectly correct.

I don't know how to make this any more clear.

Imperil:

im·per·il (ĭm-pĕr'əl) pronunciation
tr.v., -iled or -illed, -il·ing or -il·ling, -ils or -ils.

To put into peril. See synonyms at endanger.

en·dan·ger (ĕn-dān'jər) pronunciation
tr.v., -gered, -ger·ing, -gers.

1. To expose to harm or danger; imperil.
2. To threaten with extinction.

It doesn't mean "to cause extinction."

And it's not very "minor" damage when it's your mom that is killed, or your brother with his leg blown off. Whether it's the Israeli DFs so endangering "a large group of people" in Lebanon, or Hezbollah doing it to the same in Israel.

Minimizing the fear and danger and tragedy on either side isn't helpful. If I pointed out how small a percentage of Lebanese have been killed or injured, I'd be being a real jerk, because that misses key points. People in Lebanon and Israel are in shelters and fleeing because of the danger, not because of the odds.

Does Charles stay up late at night masturbating furiously to the idea that finally, finally some leftist might get hanged, shot or gassed? Or is it just more of a daydreaming thing? A pleasant, refreshing thought to get him past the post-lunch doldrums?

The only people -- literally, THE ONLY PEOPLE -- that I have ever seen seriously quote Noam Chomsky for any non-linguistics topic in the blogosphere are: Charles Bird, and some other right-winger whose name escapes me at the moment.

And the spectacle of a man my approximate age, who cannot POSSIBLY have a single meaningful memory of the Vietnam War, refighting it by dredging up Jane effing Fonda, for pete's sake, is simply amazing. I mean, my FATHER doesn't much care for Fonda, but that's because he spent several years trudging through the jungle getting shot at. (And, for the record, he's a Democrat.)

Pooh, another possibility is that he writes the pieces for RedState and doesn't think at all before he reposts them here about whether there's anything in them that might be inappropriate for ObWi.

Probably the most likely. Which is another argument for him not continuing to post here in my mind. Not that he writes for RedState, but that the/a 'thoughtful conservative voice' can't or won't think about the differing obligations of the two forums (fora?)

And, as is often the case, the kernel of merit in his post is lost due to BD's overreach into the polemical - on it's face the idea that the IDF should degrage Hez until Lebanon can deal with them is not crazy (the conclusions Charles draws from that premise I find extremely disagreeable, but as a starting point for discussion it's not bad. Of course, as has been noted exhaustively, he has a way of extinguishing the conversation before it starts.)

Incidentally, more Hezbollah handiwork:

Hezbollah rocket attacks on the northern town of Nazareth killed two Israeli Arab children, brothers aged 3 and 9, on Wednesday afternoon, bringing to 15 the death toll from rocket strikes since the crisis in Lebanon began a week ago.

Another 12 people sustained light wounds in the attack, and were evacuated to the Italian Hospital in the town.

The two siblings, Rabia Abed Taluzi and his older brother Mahmoud, were killed by a direct hit from a rocket in the yard of their family home on their way to visit their uncle in a nearby house, the Israel Defense Forces said.

And, of course, I could list a long list of tragic Lebanese casualties from Israeli fire, and a shorter, but no less tragic, list of other Israeli casualties from Hezbollah fire.

It's all horrible. The rest is detail.

Though I will agree with Gary that responses such as the first graf of Phil's, we could also do without. Two way street kids.

Not that it matters in the court of Charles, but on Democracy Now last week that arch-traitor Noam said that Hezbollah's actions in attacking Israel were wildly irresponsible. He was obviously thinking a couple of months ago that Hezbollah's weapons served them as a deterrent against Israeli aggression, but obviously Hezbollah had other ideas.

Don't kick Charles out--I think it's good having this little window into that particular POV. I almost never bother visiting Red State. When he says something idiotic people can tear him apart or alternatively, they can just smile and move on.

You said that there was a "a reasoned and persuasive argument as to why Chomsky should have been put before a firing squad and shot (and add Jane Fonda to make it a two-fer)." This is not just "playing his own rhetoric back"; it's adding in a recommendation that he be shot.

I think not, Hil. That a reasoned and persuasive argument can be made, does not mean that I endorse it. That's how Chomsky argues, which was my point. He has exactly that same deniability regarding his statements about Hezbollah.

I find this frustrating, because it's very easy to understand that Israel is not, or not merely, degrading Hezbollah, but also degrading the Lebanese government, military, economy, and civilian infrastructure, by, for instance, attacking major cities that provide no support for Hezbollah and have held a predominantly anti-Hezbollah sentiment (such as Beirut).

You're identifying two separate issues, TM. There is degradation occurring to Lebanese non-Hezbollah infrastructure, the extent of which is hard to measure in a fluid and fast-moving situation such as this. I don't see Israel "attacking major cities", but Hezbollah targets in major cities.

"I suggest that if anger is the emotion the Lebanese are feeling, then it is misplaced if directed at Israel."

Actually, BD: I was suggesting that when one lives in what is generally considered a non-combat zone (like Beirut, which until quite recently was -finally and thankfully -considered to be one [if however wishful]); the (quite logical) anger and resentment toward being bombed by high-tech munitions from the air just might be focused on those who, you know, are actually doing the bombing: in this case, the Israelis. I'm sure that a Lebanese civilian family who may have had their property damaged, or destroyed, or, tragically, had a family member injured or killed by Israeli bombs, might stop a moment to give some some weight to your argument that it really IS all Hezbollah's fault, and their resentment of Israel is wildly misplaced - but you know, I really doubt it.

But of course, I'm sure you can put up a blogpost at RedState that will make it all clear to them.


" I don't see Israel "attacking major cities", but Hezbollah targets in major cities."

This is another distinguishing point between Hezbollah and Israel. When you say "Hezbollah attacks Haifa" you mean the whole city. Hezbollah doesn't have accurate enough rockets to aim at anything small at that distance. When you say "Israel attacked Beruit" you really mean that they attacked a specific building found in the city of Beruit. Just another way the language obscures real moral distinctions.

Unfortunately, the whole "well we can fire at them because they hide in the general population" doesn't go over very well with the innocent bystanders.

Who do you think I'm going to be more ticked off at, the people "hiding in my neighborhood" shooting, or the people over-reacting in return and destroying my house and killing my family?

I think the blow-back on this one will be immense.

Charles: "That a reasoned and persuasive argument can be made, does not mean that I endorse it."

Au contraire: absent any further qualification (like: it's persuasive but wrong), that you find an argument persuasive means that you're persuaded by it.

From the very beginning of Charles's crossposting, I have said that he should make a choice as to his audience. There's no point in having him post to Redstate when people who care about what he says could just go to redstate and see it (not, however, post comments to it, given the editors' raging authoritarianism).

But given that he apparently doesn't read Obsidian Wings, and doesn't seem to write his posts with Obsidian Wings in mind, is he really an appropriate poster for Obsidian Wings?

Charles--

In the Chomsky quote, the "reasonable and persuasive line" expands upon his claim that it is "justified":

""Hizbullah's insistence on keeping its arms is justified... I think Nasrallah has a reasoned argument and [a] persuasive argument that they [the arms] should be in the hands of Hizbullah..."

So if you are parrotting Chomsky's usage, than what you are saying is that the extra-judicial killing is reasonable and persuasive, and indeed that you find it justified.

If you now want to claim, after the fact, that you meant "it might persuade someone else but I don't think it's justified", then you can no longer claim to be parrotting Chomsky.

But then, no matter what the details of Chomsky's position, your claim that you meant it was "reasonable and persuasive but you don't endorse it" was never really...reasonable or persuasive.

Chas, how about just cut the 'plausible deniability' shtick and, you know, avoid saying that kind of stuff when you post here? Is it really that difficult to figure out what is going to offend a goodly portion of the commentariat? I mean one would almost think that we've been through this before.

This been the nth go-around with this kind of thing, you're eitherbeing willfully obtuse on this point, or you just don't give a rip, neither one suggests you are doing either yourself or ObWi much of a service. You are clearly intelligent enough to know better, where you just some daffy loon, you wouldn't be allowed to post on the front page in the first place.

Irregular? Check, unless you think that having a command structure makes an army "regular" even if it owes no allegiance to the nation state in which it's based, and imports ordnance from elsewhere. Indigenous? Check. Small Bands? Check, though I'll grant that small is relative and point out that I did mention the PLA for a reason. Occupied Territory? Well, I think the Sheiks would disagree with you both about how significant twenty years is, and about what's "occupied" and what isn't in that part of the world.

So yes, Hizbollah's history as a militia strikes me as a far better indicator of its nature and what it actually trains for than its "peacetime" activities or its use of up-to-date artillery. I think if Israel were stupid enough to actually re-occupy South Lebanon the switch back to a hit-and-run style would be pretty much instantaneous, don't you? No tank battles (tanks? what tanks?), no flanking maneuvers, no insignia (do they even have insignia?), no pomp and circumstance. Plenty of cousins in black tshirts waiting to pick off the survivors when that truck hits that land mine though.

In any event, what I was trying to get at was mostly that destroying Hizbollah's visible military capacity isn't meaningful in the larger scheme of things. They can melt into the sea of people plenty quick enough if it becomes necessary.

you really mean that they attacked a specific building found in the city of Beruit

Sebastian, at the risk of being really really really snarky, was the WTC a specific building?

"I'm sure that a Lebanese civilian family who may have had their property damaged, or destroyed, or, tragically, had a family member injured or killed by Israeli bombs, might stop a moment to give some some weight to your argument that it really IS all Hezbollah's fault, and their resentment of Israel is wildly misplaced - but you know, I really doubt it."

This is one of the many points where it's entirely silly to speculate, given the vast number of quotes one can find in a minute on the internet of actual Lebanese saying, variously, both things.

I'm inclined to think that the odds of more Lebanese being more pissed at Israel than at Hezbollah are quite reasonably high, but we know for a fact that a lot of Lebanese people take a mixed view, and others take more of a view in one direction, than another, depending upon their experience and predilection, and, of course, highly influenced by how they already felt about Hezbollah.

There's no shortage of actual Lebanese quoted on the web, is my primary point, so speculating abstractly is superfluous.

I know it's hopeless, but what has always driven me crazy about I/P -- and now Lebanon, as well -- is that practically everyone feels compelled to have an opinion, and an great many feel compelled to write "well, here's what I think" comments and posts on blogs, without actually being particularly qualified by any knowledge beyond casually reading newspapers or seeing tv or hearing some radio reports.

This is not remotely helpful.

Random people's opinions on the Congo would be similarly poorly or ill-informed, but being the Congo, most people don't feel compelled to blather about a topic they generally at least realize they know little about.

Switching topics, I suggest that now would be a good time for a fresh open thread, for less fraught discussions, and a chance to discuss a topic other than Charles Bird: Threat or Menace?

Does Charles stay up late at night

I'd suggest that not only is the comment beginning with the above most likely in violation of some posting rule or other, but it would also be well below the taste threshold for OW. If we had one, or could agree on where to put it.

Why is it that some of you are reacting to what you perceive as offensiveness with even more offensiveness, as if that'll raise the bar somehow?

Slarti,

I agree.

You know you're in big trouble if I'm the voice of reason, Pooh.

Sorry, Pooh, but I see Charles send too many people off to their verbal deaths far too frequently to suggest to me that he's nothing if not uncaring at best and bloodthirsty at worst, and I'm not going to sugarcoat that.

This been the nth go-around with this kind of thing, you're eitherbeing willfully obtuse on this point, or you just don't give a rip, neither one suggests you are doing either yourself or ObWi much of a service.

He thinks it's funny. It stems from a very particularly frat-boy meanness. He probably still thinks calling people who blow a lay-up on the basketball court "fag" is funny, too.

Phil, I'm not disagreeing with you on substance, I think it's an indefensible and frankly idiotic remark on his part. However, I am suggesting that you don't respond to Charles's violation of the posting rules with one of your own that is even more obviously over the line.

You know you're in big trouble if I'm the voice of reason, Pooh.

No way dude, you're reasonable as often as any of us (with the exception of perhaps LJ or rilke...)

I may have missed on update, but did you get the other eye done? How'd it go?

Why is it that some of you are reacting to what you perceive as offensiveness with even more offensiveness, as if that'll raise the bar somehow?

What, are we supposed to believe Charles is suddenly amenable to persuasion or reason on this matter?

Slarti: I agree. I can't find it now, but: whoever wrote it, stop.

Anyone else: Tacitus thinks that those of us who have criticized Charles in this thread are "might be inclined" to commit treason, "given the opportunity".


Methinks Tacitus would gladly take part in a "night of the long knives" if given the opportunity.

Sebastian, your implication that Israel's airstrikes are narrowly targeted (for any reasonable definition of narrow) does not hold up under scrutiny. You are essentially asserting that the only gun control that matters is hitting what you aim at, only you're saying it with a straight face.

Allow me to direct you to an editorial analysis dated 7 July, and you tell me whether you think the senior IDF officers quoted were just bluffing.

Senior officers in the IDF say that the Lebanese government is responsible for the soldiers' abduction. According to the officers, if the kidnapped soldiers are not returned alive and well, the Lebanese civilian infrastructures will regress 20, or even 50 years.

Also third what Slarti said at 7:23. Charles may be okay with having fleas, but if you don't lay down with him you won't have to scratch.

Oh, as if anyone but Josh Trevino and a lot of addle-brained theocrats care what Josh Trevino thinks of much of anything.

Aside from his poor skills at mind-reading, his bizarre lumping of everyone who took exception to Charles' nonsense as "a leftist," and his obsession with Rachel Corrie, I'll not be condescended to be the likes of him. While I never served myself -- I would've been a terrible soldier -- my family has taken bullets for this country going back to the Civil War. I'll not be accused of being a potential traitor by someone who got cashiered out for suffering from depression.

Phil: don't do the Tac depression thing. It's a horrible illness, and anyone who has it deserves better than to be snarked at.

"What, are we supposed to believe Charles is suddenly amenable to persuasion or reason on this matter?"

I see a sudden parallelism to what's going on east of the Mediterranean.

Haven't we beaten this thing to death yet.
Yes, Charles' comment was boorish & stupid and he has been taken to the woodshed. Time to get back to the substance of his post.

SHEESH.
Its not like it was the worst thing a wingnut has ever posteed, y'know...

I have depression, hilzoy. Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, been there, done those. Someone calling me a potential traitor sacrifices his right to hide behind that shield.

Y'know, I've come to like this blog over the last few since I started visiting. So who's this fuckwit 'Charles'? Does he pollute an otherwise good site often? Jesus, citing Krauthammer as an 'authority' is practically a DSM-IV criterion for clinical idiocy.

Don't allow this twit to post anything more than a comment, please.

Gary Farber writes: "When someone writes that Hezbollah is endangering each Israeli -- which is precisely what "imperiling" is -- they are perfectly correct."

And yet, the reverse is just as true.

Israel's attacks are endangering 2.mumble million Lebanese.

The targeting practices and claimed precision of Israel's weapons is immaterial. They could all be killed, therefore, they are all endangered.

And if you're talking about weapons that are held but haven't been used yet, Israel's nukes surely trump the endangerment potential of a mere long-range missile.

So I'm not quite certain what the point is in even claiming that 2 million Israelis are endangered. It's a wash.

Ah, Phil, see what you've done? We're going to need some construction adhesive and assorted clamps to get the posting rules back together again.

Hilzoy: Tacitus thinks that those of us who have criticized Charles in this thread are "might be inclined" to commit treason, "given the opportunity".

Oh, really? Charles, your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries.

Ah, Phil, see what you've done? We're going to need some construction adhesive and assorted clamps to get the posting rules back together again.

Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.

Rilkefan: "So you didn't mean to write 'sarcastic schtupping?' "

How did what I do late at night become an issue here? In the kitchen, no less?

I'll have you know that I can reach an exquisite level of wryness while schtupping but I never cross the line into sarcastic parody.

I suggest Jane and Charles and Noam and Al Capp return to their 1967 borders.

I am sick and tired, Slarti, of seeing me, and people I respect, called "traitors" each and every day that George W. Bush remains President, and I am sick and tired of the constant, casual catcalls of conservatives asking for people to be dragged out and hanged or shot. And if recent history has shown anything, it's that nothing -- nothing -- is gained by being nice to these people. Nothing.

I'll go be mean to them somewhere else -- that's fine. Your blog, your rules, and I should know better. But someone needs to push their noses in their puddles of urine, and it needs to be done where the stain is.

"I have depression, hilzoy."

Sorry to hear that. Still I don't find it makes your argument any more cogent. Tac's statement is plenty criticizable (or mockable, or ignorable) without bringing in his personal history.

(Uh, CB, there seems to be some confusion on either my part or several others' - was I incorrect in stating above that you would be horrified at the scenario I described [throwing in some sort of court proceeding]?)

Phil: don't do the Tac depression thing.

It's fine. I'm not the one it dishonors.

Gah. I followed hilzoy's link. Bad mistake. It's a rare person that can maintain total pomposity and bloodthirst at the same time. By the way, how do moonbats get their hands on simian feces anyway?

Phil, would you be ok with being called a potential traitor by a 4 star general who i sa winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor? If not, then the putative fact that Trevino was cashiered out of the Army really isn't that relevant.

That his fact-shy glossalia and and faux-classical&military persona
demonstrate rich irony in "Lip service to patriotism does not override the historical record of deeds", given the incredible (and, I fear, fatal) damage the modern Right has done to this country... -- those *would be* relevant.

weren't all these wingers recently going on about the cedar revolution and the wonderful people that made it happen?

seems they now have no qualms when their 'protest babes' are blown to smithereens because suddenly they only factor into the equation as hesbolla supporters or, if they're lucky, collateral damage...

"It's fine. I'm not the one it dishonors."

Presuambly dishonoring is something generally to be opposed.

A lecture on honor from Mr. All Non-Conservatives Are Potential Traitors. Brilliant.

I'll wait while you page furiously through your thesaurus for a typically scintillating Josh Trevino response.

It's fine. I'm not the one it dishonors.

If only you understood that the same standard applies to the inexcusable accusations of treason you repeatedly hurl at your countrymen.

Tim: By the way, how do moonbats get their hands on simian feces anyway?

Ebay.

Phil, would you be ok with being called a potential traitor by a 4 star general who i sa winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor?

Brian, given my childhood, I'd probably snap a (non-sarcastic) salute and say, "Yes, sir!"

Jon H.:

Gary Farber writes: "When someone writes that Hezbollah is endangering each Israeli -- which is precisely what "imperiling" is -- they are perfectly correct."

And yet, the reverse is just as true.

Clearly when I wrote in the comment you are responding to that:
And it's not very "minor" damage when it's your mom that is killed, or your brother with his leg blown off. Whether it's the Israeli DFs so endangering "a large group of people" in Lebanon, or Hezbollah doing it to the same in Israel.

Minimizing the fear and danger and tragedy on either side isn't helpful. If I pointed out how small a percentage of Lebanese have been killed or injured, I'd be being a real jerk, because that misses key points. People in Lebanon and Israel are in shelters and fleeing because of the danger, not because of the odds.

Obviously I was confused. Thanks for pointing out to me what I was clearly unaware of, Jon H.

Which part of "Whether it's the Israeli DFs so endangering 'a large group of people' in Lebanon," was unclear to you? What part of "either side" should I have used other words for? Which part of emphasizing that if I dismissed Lebanese casualties I would be "be being a real jerk" was trouble understanding?

I'd like to second sglover's remark:

"Y'know, I've come to like this blog over the last few since I started visiting. So who's this f---wit 'Charles'? Does he pollute an otherwise good site often? Jesus, citing Krauthammer as an 'authority' is practically a DSM-IV criterion for clinical idiocy.

Don't allow this twit to post anything more than a comment, please."

That sounds about right.

On the other hand, I think we can all get as vehement and pointed as needed without descending into obscenity.

I'm totally with you on substance, Phil, but I'd drop the obscenity.

For instance, it requires no obscenity to point out that some people are immune from being dishonored in the same way the the Sahara is immune from being deforested.

"Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who."

That's amusing, Jes, really it is, but I'm also reasonably sure that your displays of righteous indignation and moral superiority are no more likely to be saving any lives than the same from anyone else here in any direction.

I could be wrong. Perhaps the more that people yell at each other on blogs, and insult each other, and demonstrate Morally Correct Wrath, the less shrapnel will hit anyone in the Mideast. Maybe it works that way.

I'm inclined to suspect not, though.

Phil, you're clearly mad; understandable. Please take some deep breaths, and consider holding off on commenting for a while, perhaps. You're a good guy, but you're really crossing some lines, repeatedly, and the fact that someone else or elses have crossed the line first doesn't justify it. So, yeah, what Slart said: we don't need to re-enact Your Side Attacked First here, just because we're discussing (ha!) the Mideast.

Frankly, if someone had the power to shut down comments on this thread, I'd be about ready to suggest it. Walk away, people. Walk away if you can't say something constructive, and not ad hominem. Whomever the target is. Ya want peace in the Mideast? Start at friggin' home.

I suggest Jane and Charles and Noam and Al Capp return to their 1967 borders.

Dunno about the others, but I bet Jane would be thrilled to return to her 1967 borders.

I'm not sure this is right:

"Perhaps the more that people yell at each other on blogs, and insult each other, and demonstrate Morally Correct Wrath, the less shrapnel will hit anyone in the Mideast.
I'm inclined to suspect not, though.
[snip]
Ya want peace in the Mideast? Start at friggin' home."

I've got a different idea:

Ya want peace in the Mideast? Make sure that the irresponsible war-mongers who dominated political discourse in the lead-up to the Iraq war are thoroughly discredited and no longer taken seriously.

In the run up to Spring 2003, I went along with the national mood. And the national mood was facilitated by war-bloggers and their video-game, shoot-em-up ilk.

So it was popular opinion that you sounded wacky if you weren't all gung-ho for invasion, and you sounded wacky if you had any doubts. So I toed the line and kept my trap shut. And that didn't go so well.

You see, the fact is that public discourse has major consequences for war and peace. If we learned anything in the last six years, it is that.

So, you know, maybe you're right that this vocal push-back to the irresponsible war-bloggers is an impediment to peace in the Mideast. But I think that there's just as good a chance that it's helping out, by slowing down, even a little around the edges, another rush to war.

What is very clear to me is that expressing a dissenting opinion ought not count as giving aid and comfort to enemies. Let us not forget that the ink on the Constitution was not get dry before these were on the books. I think people should bear in mind that in any population there will be some distribution of authoritarian personalities, people for whom it seems reasonable that expressing a dissenting opinion counts as a crime against the state.

I bet Jane would be thrilled to return to her 1967 borders.

[insert cliche about ruining my keyboard with suddenly-emitted coffee here]

I can't imagine why, given such inclusive, rational and reasoned discoure, Swords Crossed didn't work out for good Mr. Trevino. Incidentally, what are we to make of a post entitled "Against the Wall?" I'm unfamiliar enough with the bloodletting oevre to wonder if there is an implied ', you hippie' there.

Hil, I'm never getting that 10 minutes of my life back.

"If not, then the putative fact that Trevino was cashiered out of the Army really isn't that relevant."


Do they have one of them fancy laser scanner thingees George was telling me about at that cashiering thing?

It's classy comments like that one that keep me coming back to ObiWi!

And then right back out again…

I was hoping this thread would devolve into aimless humor but after popping over to the Tacitus link, I've learned some things:

Charles Bird's name is Paul. Hi, Paul. I'm John.

Tacitus gets free medical care and disapproves of it.

Shooting Noam Chomsky would be a "good start". But I see no action. Tough talk, no action. It's time for action. But we get nothing but empty codpieces from the lot. Bring it on. I tend toward the manic.

Charles hasn't even begun investigating Jane and Noam's treason and claims he was merely posing a sly turnaround, but Tacitus believes he was literally calling for the execution of both. Charles has not yet corrected him.

In which case, the last paragragh of my 11:39am comment on this thread becomes literal as well. Raise the number used, please.

Is there a medication for tedium?

Where are my subsidized groceries? When I get those, cancel all scheduled schtupping and let the executions begin.

ah, and now here's Macallan.

Yes--it was inevitable, the pattern always repeats.

First Charles Bird says something gob-smackingly stupid.

Then the commentariat jumps all over him.

Then he says a few lame things in defense and gets his [gym-bag] handed to him.

Then he runs home to his big brothers and complains that the bad old meanies are picking on him.

And then we get little visits from Macallan and Tacitus and a few other grotesques with classical names (Epaminondas? Propertius? I forget).

They all come over here to try to defend their little brother, who has long ago fled, weeping, back to the safety of Red State.

Jesus--you know, it's not a joke that Charles' presence is seriously degrading the quality and utility of this site. It's not a cliche or a tag-line. It's just a verifiable fact.

Get rid of him.

On topic:

Djerejian, talking sense.

http://www.belgraviadispatch.com/2006/07/post_33.html

a plea for sanity, and against the neo-cons.

Macallan, surely you're familiar with the word "putative"? Ah, perhaps not.

Well, that's ok. I certainly wouldn't want you to be exposed to nuance. It might just complicate your life, and inevitably trevino will be calling you a traitor.

the best, nay the most wonderful, enthralling, interesting aspect of reading commentary by Mr. Trevino (besides, of course, the long-winded and prolix nature of his authorship), is the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone.

In just about every Tac post that involves his political opponents, there are certain classic elements:

pretension, condescension, and staggering ignorance.

he's limbaugh with a thesaurus. note that he posted on his eponymous website, where he could be sure to find his dittoheads cheering his erudite analysis, rather than here.

and josh, since you're reading this thread, maybe just maybe you should consider that the First Amendment provides a bulwark against a whole range of activities you'd like to be treasonous.

I said it a long time ago and I'll repeat it today. Giving Bird rights to this blog was a huge mistake. He can't help himself. He wants to be George Will but he's really Ann Coulter.

Where exactly did I call for murder, Anarch?

Political murder remains murder, Charles, even if you gussy it up with bullshit charges of treason. And I do, as usual, mean "bullshit" in the Frankfurtian sense: an allegation made with a disregard for the truth. [In your case, an explicitly acknowledged disregard for the truth, which is just mind-boggling.] If you don't like the charge, don't spew the bullshit -- whether in the initial allegation or the subsequent implausible denials.

IIRC, whether or not the Lebanonese government wanted Hezbollah in the country depended on who was running the Lebanonese government. When a pro-Syrian government was in charge, the answer was 'yes.' When an anti-Syrian government was in charge, the answer was 'no.'

I have a question which, in this specific instance, is now academic, though it might be useful to assess 'what else Israel could have done, and should have done.'

The question is, how could Lebanon, or Israel, have gotten rid of Hezbollah without a large military operation started by someone else?

There's a lot of criticism of Israel's bombing civilians, even by people who agree Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and that launching rockets into Israel is a bad thing. I would really be interested in hearing what the critics think should have been done instead.

What if an armed force had simply shown up and just started packing up Hezbollah's offices, file cabinets (and, oh yeah, it's weapons caches), put the lot into trucks, and bussed it out to, say, Syria (along, presumably, with Hezbollah's personnel) and only used force as needed to enforce the eviction?

There's no way, I think, that even that kind of operation wouldn't lead to a general conflagration, because I see no possibility of Hezbollah's not resisting eviction with all its might. And since, as has tirelessly been pointed out, Hezbollah had embedded itself in and among civilians, I don't see how that kind of operation wouldn't also, inevitable, have wound up killing civilians.

Okay, don't walk away. Run away! (From this thread.)

Save yourselves! Save yourselves while you can!

Avoid the fireball!

If you post to this thread again, the terrorists win. And you must hate America.

Think of the children.

I don't see Israel "attacking major cities", but Hezbollah targets in major cities.

In addition to radish's Haaretz link, we have, for instance, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/16/world/middleeast/16mideast.html>this:
"Early Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed the Beirut suburbs for hours."

"A Lebanese civilian convoy was hit near the coastal town of Tyre after fleeing the border village of Marwaheen, resulting in 16 deaths. ... The villagers left after the Israeli military told them to evacuate over a loudspeaker, Reuters reported."

Now, I'm not suggesting this is the deliberate targetting of civilians as such, but it strikes me as plainly indiscriminate.

Dunno about the others, but I bet Jane would be thrilled to return to her 1967 borders.

From downtown... it's good!

So, Gary by posting again, am I validating Tac's thesis?

Your blog, your rules

Erm, eh?

I'd suggest that it's your blog as much as it is mine (in terms of property: not at all), and is this the direction you want it to go in? You think that perhaps it's best to allow the behavior of others to dictate your own?

Of course, whatever choice you make is completely up to you. I'd not presume to instruct, but I do presume to pose the question.

Oh, and happy anniversary, Phil. Taking the night off to...well, to appreciate your relationship with your significant other is, without snark, probably the best gift you could give to your S.O., yourself, and the rest of us combined.

As for the offensive stuff, may it flow off you like water off a duck's back.

Without wishing to unduly lengthen this thread, and having nothing specific to say that others have not said earlier, please add my name to the list of those requesting that CB be removed as a regular poster on this site. Those who like his kind of "stuff" (an office-friendly euphemism, I trust) will know where to find it, and the rest of us can be spared these gratuitous insults to our intelligence, our patriotism, and our collective sense of decency.

(Andrew, on the other hand, is a real find.)

A plea to the collective: I have no problem whatsoever with there being principled conservative voices on this blog.

There is no such thing as a principled conservative.

That is why ideally Lebanon would go through the trouble to remove Hezbollah from its borders.

Considering that Hezbollah is the political party of the Shiite and that the Shiites are anywhere from 30 to 40 % of the Lebanese Population, good luck.

Demographics can really be a bitch! unless you're willing to commit genocide...

Ditto everything.

By which I mean CB is a Redstate poster who Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V's his posts there here. Obsidian Wings, and it's community, is an afterthought.

And advocating someone's death - even after a trial! - is serious business. Serious business indeed.

Honestly, Don Q, if I had been banned from somewhere as often as you've been banned from ObWi, I might just stay away out of politeness.

There is no such thing as a principled conservative.

Sure there is.

Spartikus: yep. Don Q's latest incarnation has been banned again, so we probably won't get to argue the point.

Wow. So with a ton of garbage posted and a few bits of useful info/discussion (among others, thanks for the response Andrew, it was very enlightening), I have to say that this last exchange is what drives me nuts about CB posting here.

I have no doubt that DQ is a jerk who repeatedly breaks the rules and is quickly sent away. But so is CB, save the being sent away. I don't comment the sorts of things he posts for any number of reasons. Primarily because it is unworthy of this site, the political discourse we strive to create, and my own personal dignity. However, there is also the fact that if many of us commenters wrote things like that we would be warned and then banned.

CB has been warned. From what I gather, he is absolutely unrepentant about the way he expressed himself. His poor behavior is seen as license for many who usually behave better to act out (to them, that is), further degrading discourse. Lastly, he generates posts that aren't just loaded with terrible rhetoric, but are also generally shallow and short sighted. A very cursory discussion pointed out why his post was more "rahrah"-ing than actual substantive commentary, and it isn't like this is an abberation.

I don't feel like it is unwarranted to publicly request his removal. And that isn't me atacking CB to devalue his argument (which is bad enough on its own). That is me pointing out that whatever kind of decent fellow CB may be outside of his online persona, his behavior as a poster is terrible and, at the very least, ought to get him knocked down to mere commenter status.

Note: While I do not believe this comment provides a reasoned and persuasive argument that CB ought to be shot. However, I do hope it provides a reasoned and persuasive argument for why he ought to be removed as a poster, and even justifies a future decision to this effect.

Gary: That's amusing, Jes, really it is, but I'm also reasonably sure that your displays of righteous indignation and moral superiority are no more likely to be saving any lives than the same from anyone else here in any direction.

I'm glad you're not being evicted, Gary.

Thank you, Jes.

And thanks for responding to me.

Incidentally, I'm shamed to say that I initially missed that you were making a Monty Python reference. My bad.

I wish you peace.

Oh, wicked, bad, naught evil Zoot!

;-)

Surprisingly, I don't think that Charles should be removed, if for no other reason than I don't want ObWi to be put in the position of feeding the bizarre victimhood cult of the reigning party. "See, see, those mean, mean leftists just want to silence dissenting voices!" they'll scream, in yet another display of projection. "We tried to 'build bridges,' and they bounced us out on our ears!"

Let him continue to post, and get heaped upon his head every single ounce of the opprobrium he earns. Perhaps one day it will sink in, and a little character will be built as a result.

I've posted my suggestion at HoCB
=====
This guy goes to the hatchery and buys a thousand baby chicks. He comes back a week later and buys a thousand more. He comes back the third week and, sure enough, asks for another 1000. The owner says

- you know, it's great that you are buying all these chicks, but I gotta ask how come?

And the guy replies

-well, I'm not sure what's wrong. Either I'm planting 'em too deep or too far apart...

I suggest that the banner be modified:

This is STILL the Voice of Moderation. Do not adjust your set. The unpleasant signals are generated by Charles Bird, who retains a microphone.

Also, opposite the homicidal kitten, the blood-spattered corpses of Joan and Noam should be displayed.

I love watching the "Iran is behind everything bad that happens" campaign unfold. Future generations will study it as a lesson in modern propaganda, comparing and contrasting it with similar demonization of another group in 1933-39. Maybe they, apparently unlike us (the general public of 2006 USA), will learn from it. Does everyone have their copy of Protocols of the Elders of Tehran handy?

On a different note, let's say for the sake of argument that it's actually a good idea for Israel to help Lebanon rid themselves of Hezbollah. How might that best be accomplished? By not cooperating at all with the Lebanese army, by targeting Lebanese civilian infrastructure, by killing Lebanese non-combatants? Sorry, but no. Helping Lebanon resolve its internal troubles is clearly not a major item on the Israeli agenda.

we're already in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we can't even keep those places under control. what in the world makes anyone think we have the ability to control Iran and Syria as well ?
Well.

We're pretty sure Iran has an actual standing army. So it'll fight fair. None of this 'insurgency' business.

Phil,

I don't particularly care about CB or anyone else's feelings of victimhood. I don't particularly care if anyone sees him as a martyr. People already see him that way for posting here and getting torn up.

What I do care about is ObWi, its content and methodology. As such, it bothers me when a poster can repeatedly degrade the quality of discourse and drive the site away from its (generally) well maintained reasonableness.

It isn't just that CB is not the voice of moderation in any sense of the word, it is that his invective is pretty terrible and it encourages others to act out in similar ways and be justified (after all, if it was wrong, he would have at least been cautioned, as oposed to just having it pointed out that what he does is distastedful).

Phil,

I don't particularly care about CB or anyone else's feelings of victimhood. I don't particularly care if anyone sees him as a martyr. People already see him that way for posting here and getting torn up.

What I do care about is ObWi, its content and methodology. As such, it bothers me when a poster can repeatedly degrade the quality of discourse and drive the site away from its (generally) well maintained reasonableness.

It isn't just that CB is not the voice of moderation in any sense of the word, it is that his invective is pretty terrible and it encourages others to act out in similar ways and be justified (after all, if it was wrong, he would have at least been cautioned, as oposed to just having it pointed out that what he does is distastedful).

Imagine if the Beatles, c. 1966, had decided that the band was missing something, and therefore they decided to invite a fifth member to the band, someone who could neither sing, play an instrument, or write a song. Let's further imagaine that when people would point this out to John, Paul, George, and Ringo, they would defend their decision to admit the fifth member, because "he's a good bloke an' all, and 'is heart is in the right place, an' that's what rilly counts, innit?"

That's how I feel about Charles Bird being part of Obsidian Wings.

Let's further imagaine . . . that I spell-checked my last comment.

"Imagine if the Beatles ..."

I think Yoko's a better singer than Charles.

Ba-dum says Ringo.

Yet, I wouldn't change a thing about the Beatles .... including Yoko.

Making every post of Charles into a Beatles thread. Me like.

It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Moe Lane taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
the act you've known for all these years
Sgt. Moe Lane's ObWing Hearts Blog Band

We're Sgt. Moe Lane's ObWing Hearts Blog Band
We hope you will enjoy the show
Sgt. Moe Lane's ObWing Hearts Blog Band
Sit back and let the evening go
Sgt. Moe Lane's ObWing, Sgt. Moe Lane's ObWing
Sgt. Moe Lane's ObWing Hearts Blog Band
It's wonderful to be here
It's certainly a thrill
You're such a lovely audience
We'd like to take you home with us
We'd love to take you home

I don't really want to stop the show
But I thought you might like to know
that the singer's going to sing a song
And she wants you all to sing along
So may I introduce to you
The one and only Hilzoy Shears
Moe Lane's ObWing Hearts Blog Band

What would you think if I called for the death
Of Jane Fonda and ol' Noam Chomsky?
I have the rights to post things to this blog,
Things which come close to pure lunacy--
I slide by through the grace of my friends,
Need not try through the grace of my friends,
A gadfly through the grace of my friends

Do I need anybody?
I just need someone to hate
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to hate

Guys,

We are discussing the situation via email. Please give us a little time, as it takes a little time to communicate effectively in that medium, as not all of us have access to our email 24/7. But the issue has been noted and we need some time to agree on a resolution. Your patience is appreciated.

goo goo gajoobgoo goo gajoobgoo goo gajoobgoo goo gajoob joob

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