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May 21, 2007

Comments

Totally off topic, but the center headline looks like it says "Lebanese and Mutants Clash". Are these mutants the illegal aliens we keep hearing about?

At least they're exposing the scam that is lemonade booths. "Uh...this is Country Time lemonade mix. There's never been anything close to a lemon in it, I swear!"

I agree that the word 'illegal' is inherently biased, but isn't the word 'few' much more offensive. Being as it is a blatent lie contradicted in the subheadline. Or am I misunderstanding how 40 people opposing or expressing serious concern over it, doesn't leave 60, well 59, other people who do not oppose it. I suppose it's not completely dishonest beings as it only has 19 or so who openly support its present form, but then only 17 openly oppose it, somehow that's not a 'few'.

I view both parts of the headline as extremely misleading and blatently meant to bias the reader. I also found it revealing how the story failed to mention the fact that both majority and minority senate leaders will support the bill until literally the last two lines of the article. As if this little fact will have small relevance on the future of the bill.

I know this is by now obvious

Does it cross your mind, even for a split second, that this statement might be remotely controversial? I'm just curious as I wonder how far to the left ObWings plans to go.

And please note I'm not disputing the statement, so please spare me complaints about how obvious it is. I have no position on FoxNews or the Washington Times and could care less what you think of them.

G'Kar,
could I point out that publius is the newbie in the group? While he was invited, I think it is a bit unfair to assume that his posts now stand as the complete and total represention of the group consensus.

From the left, I wonder how many times I have to recalibrate and start from the premise that fox news and the Washington Times represent neutral unbiased reporting in order to satisfy. You say that you have no opinion, but that seems like a dodge to avoid actually discussing their stance and their position in the news food chain.

btw, someone likes your pseudonym

During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article.

Writing as "Publius," von Spakovsky contended that every voter should be required to produce a photo-identification card and that there was "no evidence" that such restrictions burden minority voters disproportionately.

link

G'Kar: In all seriousness... the hell? You declare that you have no position on the matter, you don't give a crap what anyone else thinks about it either -- in fact, you pretty much declare reality as irrelevant to the matter at hand -- and yet you felt a need not only to comment but to in fact take a position, while simultaneously trying to bail out of any further conversation. Truth be told, I'm actually impressed by the chutzpah.

Man, that's an ugly front page. Can't they afford decent designers?

Anarch,

If only my goal were merely to impress you, I could rest complete. Sadly, that is not the case. I hope I didn't hurt you too badly, though.

lj,

publius is the latest addition to the fold. It doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that his addition moved the site left.

My point was merely that making an assertion, as publius did, without any evidence, suggests that he's looking to preach to true believers. If so, that's his business, not mine, I'm just asking the question, since if that is his intent, I know to skip those posts.

Anarch,

If only my goal were merely to impress you, I could rest complete. Sadly, that is not the case. I hope I didn't hurt you too badly, though.

lj,

publius is the latest addition to the fold. It doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that his addition moved the site left.

My point was merely that making an assertion, as publius did, without any evidence, suggests that he's looking to preach to true believers. If so, that's his business, not mine, I'm just asking the question, since if that is his intent, I know to skip those posts.

Odd. I only clicked once, and it kicked me to the verification page. When I verified, it posted twice. Typepad glitch?

Fair enough, but I would point out that "I'm just curious as I wonder how far to the left ObWings plans to go." gives a level of agency that isn't really called for. Being new, I assume that you are unaware of this, but the hive mind has, I believe, attempted to recruit folks to represent the other side of the aisle, but they either go off to Redstate or get sent to Iraq.

I only know what I see, and when I see a comment like that, it sends a very definite message.

they either go off to Redstate or get sent to Iraq.

Sounds risky either way.

To follow up, I'm sure that there is no deliberate editorial slant at ObWings, but 'truths' like that offered by publius send out a very clear signal regarding the slant of the author, and someone inexperienced with the site might well assume that is the slant of the site, particularly after a dip in the comments.

My point was merely that making an assertion, as publius did, without any evidence, suggests that he's looking to preach to true believers.

I can't speak to your intent, I only know what I see. At no point in your comment did you call for evidence and, in fact, you explicitly told him not to provide any. This is tantamount to declaring that the truth of the allegation was not just uninteresting but actually irrelevant; strange, given that this was basically the only content of your post. Throw in what LJ said about agency and your comment looks a lot less like a polite request for moderated rhetoric -- as you're now portraying it -- and a lot more like a backhanded attempt to throw a bomb and run. Hence your somewhat chilly reception here.

And yes, you've wounded me. About as deeply as I've wounded you, I have no doubt. Comity!

Seems like an apropos spot for a TiO post

Anarch,

Well, I should hope that the fact I have attempted to continue the dialogue demonstrates that I did not intend to throw a bomb and run. Indeed, I did not intend to throw a bomb at all. Perhaps my choice of words was poor, but my intent was only to try and highlight how comments like that frame issues. Clearly I failed to do so, so it is a good lesson learned for me.

G'Kar -- It's been my understanding that ObWi was intended to be a bi- or multi- partisan site, rather than a non-partisan site, and that therefore individual posters were expected to be as politically biased as they liked within the limits of civility and rational discourse. I think your comment may have gone astray in that it appeared to implicitly assume that Publius had offended against or changed the goals of ObWi by posting in a manner you saw as partisan.

If (as I'm guessing) your intent was just to say that as someone who doesn't share Publius's prior convictions, you found his post unengaging and unconvincing, and thought he should know that if his goal was to convince those who were not already convinced, his tactics were ineffective, that probably would have come across more clearly without tying it to the status of the site as a whole.

LizardBreath,

Noted. An excellent and (more importantly) correct point. I shall try to be more precise in my phrasing in the future. Thank you.

And of course you're right that the commenters are heavily weighted toward the left; not sure what to do about that, but the goal of having a site where reasonable left leaning and right leaning people could meet to discuss things without either side feeling as if they were on hostile ground hasn't really worked. I'm sure anyone right of center feels absolutely outnumbered around here. (And I really do sympathize -- I'm arguing with SH in another thread, and while I think I'm right and he's wrong, there are three or four people picking at his arguments, and he's got no one arguing his side. I've done that on other sites, and it gets tiring and unpleasant really fast.)

I doubt there is anything to be done about where the commenters end up. I think most communities inevitably end up moving away from the center over time. It's a natural process, and a self-reinforcing one, as people on the other side are less and less-likely to stick around when their views are marginalized. ObWings is a nice concept, but I think it runs counter to human nature.

Yet, there are instances of actual, positive discussions taking place between the two sides. One person form the right, OCSteve, is extremely good at framing his persectives and actually engaging responses, to the point where two things have happened. Firstly, he admits to changing his position on some points due to the discussion (when civilly and non-condesendingly made) and some on the left have admitted to moderating or chaning their views. It can happen. I think at this point in time, the emotional engagement of most commenters makes what was hoped to happen less likely.

john,

I'm sure there are exceptions. But I'll wager that OCSteve's experiences are not the norm here.

I agree, they are not the norm. There have been a few other rare exceptions. But I don't know where else opposing views are at least allowed as much consideration as here.

And by opposing, I mean either side.

I don't know where else opposing views are at least allowed as much consideration as here.

That may well be true, although I'm not sure if that's something to be celebrated or lamented.

Celebration of this site, lamentation that it is probably unique.

I find it interesting that what is being expressed about two sides and the gap run contrary to the notion that there is a middle ground that the majority occupies, and it is only a small number of people who are pulling it in one direction or the other. I'm probably admitting to over-optimism when I say that I think that the above is more true than the idea that the gap is unbridgeable. If a solution that can be tolerated were to be found, (most recently about immigration, but on a range of other issues as well), I'd like to think that people might accept it. However, having gained so much mileage out of demonizing the opposition, it is hard to imagine it will be abandoned.

Moving back to the topic of the post, it is interesting that when faced with a flood of people from the Eastern European countries joining the EU, the UK, unlike France and Germany, did not restrict them, and the result is that 500,000 workers have registered with the Home Office and an equal number have come without registering. Here's what a Forbes article says (I'm not sure if you will see the whole article, I saw it while travelling, and found it on the web)

Some return home, but still, for an island nation of 60 million people, this is a lot of new blood. Over the same period the U.S. (pop. 300 million) has allowed just 560,000 workers legal entry into its labor market. Imagine the U.S. had instead handed out 9 times that many green cards, and you've got a clue as to what's up in Britain. (Ireland, with a population of 4 million, has allowed 200,000 workers into its labor pool.)

The benefits have far outweighed the problems. Of the eastern Europeans who have poured into Britain, 98% are working, 80% are younger than 35 and all are barred from receiving the dole until they've worked at least a year. So public spending to support the influx has been negligible. And the newcomers have helped sustain a boom. International Monetary Fund economist Dora Iakova has modeled what she terms the "immigration shock" and is convinced it boosted real economic growth in Britain by at least 0.2 of a percentage point per year after 2004, helping the country overcome an uptick in interest rates. Although a good lot of the natives grumble, the IMF cites evidence that the eastern invasion is not responsible for a rise in domestic unemployment.

Assuming the newcomers improve their English and grow more productive, Iakova figures they will boost growth even more over the coming decade. And the downward pressure on British wages is just temporary, she says. Meantime, it's brought some relief on consumer prices in an expensive locale.

So it seems to me that if we give this kind of rhetoric and framing (illegals/border security/national sovereignty) the least bit of legitimacy, we are guaranteeing not a central ground, but a gap that will never be bridged.

I think there's little doubt there's a lot of people in the middle. But they're there generally because they're not engaged, not necessarily because they don't have strong opinions. I have seen no evidence that those people are more likely to establish a middle ground rather than moving to one of the poles. In too many areas there are simply irreconcilable differences between the sides. I fail to see how acknowledging what is somehow grants the facts more legitimacy.

Tell me, how do you see these gaps being bridged? I am genuinely curious, after all we have seen in American politics over the past decade or so, what you see that suggests that these gaps can be bridged and, if so, why you think those in power are interested in doing so?

Look no further than one of the headliners here at Obsidian Wings. Hilzoy is on record stating that she doesn't want the Democrats seeking compromise on Iraq because she thinks the situation is lost. That's not an unreasonable position, but it does seem to suggest that even among reasonable people the chance of compromise is limited at best.

G'Kar,
I think that Iraq has become a specially toxic situation, resembling abortion. It seems to me that given the behavior of the admin, there is no possibility for compromise.

As far as gaps being bridged, I don't see it happening, but I would place the blame not on honest statements of opinion about Fox and WashTimes, but on a demand that certain opinions expressed by Fox et al be accorded some legitimacy. The immigration issue seems to be a perfect example. You have Publius, hilzoy and Charles forming some agreement on this. That seems as much of a central consensus as one could ask for. Yet if Publius, (linked with hil and Charles) calls out the WashTimes for an obviously inflammatory headline, the response is, wow, you are out there on this.

The gaps are going to bridged when enough people reject the most extreme rhetoric. In this case, the rhetoric is coming from the right. Thus, it would make more sense, as a gap bridging exercise, to take up the phrase used by the WashTimes rather than accuse publius of trying to tilt the mothership to the left.

G'Kar: to me, Iraq is a very, very special case, for two reasons. First, I don't think "compromise" is really possible so long as the President refuses to countenance any views but his own. I think the Democrats tried to compromise, but were rebuffed. What I was opposed to above was not compromise per se. but capitulation without even getting anything that clarifies the debate next time.

It's not "rejecting compromise" when you support your side in being willing to make deadlines waivable, cut all extraneous spending from the bill, and do all sorts of other things, so long as the President is required to justify himself from time to time, and the Congress is also required to vote to accept those justifications, and you are then asked to drop even those conditions.

Second, just to make a point that I'm sure is more obvious to you than it is to me: this is about people dying. Not every issue is. I can make a lot of compromises on, say, immigration that I would not be prepared to make when it comes to what I (rightly or wrongly) regard as an attempt to do whatever we can to keep people from being sent off to risk their lives in order to maintain the pretense that we can still succeed.

Even here, there are tactical questions on which I can easily compromise, especially since what other people are willing to accept has a lot to do with what tactics one should employ. But it's an issue of an entirely different order than, say, tariffs.

liberal japonicus,

Let me try to parse what you're telling me.

I think that Iraq has become a specially toxic situation, resembling abortion. It seems to me that given the behavior of the admin, there is no possibility for compromise.

1. Iraq is toxic, it's Bush's fault, so there's no bridging the gaps there and you should get a pass on that.

I would place the blame not on honest statements of opinion about Fox and WashTimes, but on a demand that certain opinions expressed by Fox et al be accorded some legitimacy.

2. The problem isn't that some people may be put off by statements that reflect a certain worldview that, by definition, exclude the other side.

The gaps are going to bridged when enough people reject the most extreme rhetoric.

3. The real problem is rejecting extreme rhetoric.

Thus, it would make more sense, as a gap bridging exercise, to take up the phrase used by the WashTimes rather than accuse publius of trying to tilt the mothership to the left.

4. People who object to your assessment of the problem should shut up and color.

Or, to put it more simply, if I'm bothered by something some said, I should button my lip because if I speak up I'm not trying to bridge the gap. Conversely, if what I say bothers people, they should complain, because that is somehow bridging the gap.

I don't think that's what you believe. But that's what you're saying.

Just to throw out a different take on bridging gaps, perhaps part of bridging gaps, assuming this is an endeavor that should be taken up by all sides rather than only by the side(s) you disagree with, would be attempting to understand what the other side is trying to say rather than chastising them. Because, and this is just my opinion, I don't see being told that when I bring up an issue I should shut my trap being particularly conducive to bridging any gaps.

G'Kar: I don't think anyone thinks you should button your lip. I certainly don't.

hilzoy,

My comment was not intended as a criticism of your position. As I noted at the time, your position is quite defensible. I merely used it as an illustration of an unbridgable gap.

While for you I'm sure that there are many compromises you're willing to make for less significant issues, I'll suggest that you are several standard deviations away from the typical voter, not to mention politician.

hilzoy,

Please note my penultimate paragraph. I don't think liberal japonicus thinks that either, but that is, nonetheless, the implication of her (his?) comment.

Perhaps my choice of words was poor, but my intent was only to try and highlight how comments like that frame issues.

Fair enough. Comity again, this time for real!

You didn't mean it before? I'm crushed.

G'Kar,
this is moving off the page, so I'll probably make this the last comment here.

First of all, to equate hilzoy's position current position on Iraq with a rejectionist stance is wrong. I can understand how it can happen, but hil has consistently written about Iraq and, from my perch, has attempted to give this admin every benefit of the doubt as possible. You may not be aware of it, given your general newbie-ness, but equating hil's position with the extreme comes off as an attempt, hopefully unintentional, to tar with the same brush. The iraq link in the sidebar can provide some backup, though the amount to go thru is rather large.

Or, to put it more simply, if I'm bothered by something some said, I should button my lip because if I speak up I'm not trying to bridge the gap. Conversely, if what I say bothers people, they should complain, because that is somehow bridging the gap.

I don't think that's what you believe. But that's what you're saying.

If this were the case, any disagreement with any point someone raises means that I want them to shut up. I don't see how you can draw that from the tone of my comments or from my participation in this list, but again, general newbie-ness may have a role.

I certainly accept that you simply wanted to make a statement about how the opening comment frames the issue, and that's a fair point, but to link it to the perceived position of ObWi on the political spectrum is what I was objecting to along with the question of where we can take something as a fact. By begging off on the question of discussing Fox/WT's neutrality, the disagreement is then raised as evidence of bad faith on my part. I hope you can see why I think this is more of a problem than any implications one could draw from the fact that I challenged you.

At any rate, feel free to take this over to TiO if you want to discuss it further.

I give up. Apparently, since I'm a newbie, there is no need whatsoever to respond to my points, but rather to dismiss them and to complain that I'm not addressing your points sufficiently.

Enjoy your echo chamber. I have better things to do with my time than be condescended to.

Dammit, that's overly broad again.

I give up on conversing with liberal japonicus. I appreciate everyone else's comments and discussion.

lj: "your general newbie-ness..."

I'd ponder that bit for a while. It may or may not be accurate.

I was under the impression that G'Kar came in about the time Publius came onboard. If s/he has been around longer, my apologies, but representing your position (and the steps you took to get there) as one that indicates the breakdown in discourse seems to be off, at least to me, but I'm not going to ridicule him/her for not reading the archives, so if that's what it sounded like, my apologies.

"I was under the impression that G'Kar came in about the time Publius came onboard."

That's technically true.

That's about the time that comments suddenly began being posted under that name, to be clear. Other relevant factors might be in play, though. I'm uncomfortable saying anything more clearly, save that you've not been paying sufficient attention, LJ, I'm afraid.

You might look back to G'Kar's very first comment, for instance, and the exchange that followed.

Further deponent sayth not.

I glanced a discussion that you and G'Kar had about his/her identity, but didn't think it appropriate to probe into someone's identity, especially when they didn't seem to what it to be probed, so didn't pay much attention to it. (this should be taken as a sign that I thought G'Kar was an honest commentator. I'm sure if I had thought that a trick was being played, I would have read more closely)

Again, if G'Kar is someone who has been here a long time, and merely adopted a new handle, I apologize for using the term 'newbie', but I'm not sure how closely one should be expected to follow people's identity, especially if they themselves take steps to conceal it.

For the record, I have no complaints about use of the term newbie. My complaint rested strictly on the condescension and dismissal.

Further, I would hope that one wouldn't have to be an accepted member of the 'in' crew merely to receive common courtesy, and indeed that has been the case with everyone else I have interacted with, which I do appreciate.

lj: I'll shut up in a minute, but: not a trick, and no dishonesty.

Mr Cella gives us the BW take on the matter:

    I am sorry to polarize and embitter further, but the fact is that we have an immigration bill on the table, with a good chance of passage and enactment into law, that amounts to the overthrow of American sovereignty.

idjits

Nonsense. It's clear that Cella is referring to the sovereignty of America as it existed in the 14th century.

Isn't he?

I apologize if I sounded condescending, it was unintentional. In fact, I was going to say that I thought Anarch was being a bit too rough, but by the time I got to it, it seemed to have solved itself, so no comment was necessary, I thought. I also didn't (and don't) accuse anyone here of any dishonesty nor did I dismiss anyone and if anything I said suggested that, I apologize.

as a side note, thanks for the url, but it wouldn't resolve, saying 403 Forbidden. I'll try again later, but I'm going to be away from the computer until this evening, so I'll try to find a workaround this pm.

But I'll wager that OCSteve's experiences are not the norm here

I’ve kind of lightly touched on this before, and while I hesitate to dip my toe in here, this exchange did prompt me to expand on it a little. To the extent that I do get along here, I think it is due to a couple of reasons.

First, on domestic issues I am somewhat to the left, or at least I can well empathize with those who hold those positions. Summarizing various comments to several posts lately: I grew up very poor and my family survived by using various public assistance programs at various times. Single mother raising four kids (one with Down Syndrome) and the only jobs she ever had until I was in my early-teens was as a waitress. So I know firsthand how important those programs are and what a difference they can make in someone’s life. My mother clawed her way out of the worst of that situation (getting some college classes and eventually a two year degree) and eventually landed a series of jobs all tied to social programs. She worked in the Head Start program, worked as a care giver in a residential facility for the handicapped, for social services, etc. She is extremely supportive of all social programs and except on the topic of abortion, as liberal as anyone you will ever meet. How she spawned a conservative son is a mystery to her to this day. She also imbibed me with a very strong work ethic and a very strong sense of personal responsibility. The end result is that I’m supportive of many social programs but have a strong belief that they should all be based around strict elements of personal responsibility. That is, I do not believe in “entitlements” of any kind, I believe in providing necessary assistance while someone is working their behind off to better themselves. Many Democrats feel the same way so we have a lot of common ground. Foreign policy is another matter of course…

Or, to put it more simply, if I'm bothered by something some said, I should button my lip because if I speak up I'm not trying to bridge the gap. Conversely, if what I say bothers people, they should complain, because that is somehow bridging the gap.

This unfortunately applies to me as well. I’ve learned over time that there are simply topics that I have to avoid here. There are threads I avoid completely, and others that I abandon if they go in certain directions. There are certain commenters and sub-groups that I have learned to avoid engaging on certain topics. I’ve learned that it is not only unproductive and a waste of time because some folks are simply not open to opposing viewpoints on those topics – but the pile-on is frustrating and frankly tiresome. And so I self-censor or “button my lip” if you will. I am only willing to do that because I do enjoy the community here and I am able to have productive and satisfying conversations on many if not most topics.

So the give and take and the free flow of ideas is not quite the ideal here. It may be as close as I have found, but it is not open and welcoming of ideas that do not fit neatly within the framework of the bulk of the participants.

(None of this is directed at LJ or Hil or John BTW.)

I’ve learned over time that there are simply topics that I have to avoid here.

I can live with some self-censorship on topics where people simply aren't going to budge. What annoyed me was the sheer blatancy of liberal japonicus' comment.

She also imbibed me with a very strong work ethic

I'm guessing you were looking for imbued, and didn't find it.

OCSteve, my parents were middle class and as conservative Republicans as you can get. They had me doing campaign work for Nixon in '60 and were rabid supporters of Goldwater. I don't think my mother ever voted for a Democrat in her life.

I am one of 6 kids and all but one are strongly liberal in most of their thinking. After my father died 30 years ago, the rest of it made it a point never to discuss politics around my mother as we didn't want her to have a premature heart attack. She never figured out how we turned out the way we did either.

BTW, I am a social liberal and an economic conservative. I guess, in this day and age, that makes me a strong Democrat. And on foreign policy we may be closer than you think.

And I think you underplay you openness to different ideas, as long as they are presented without sarcasm or other negativity.

You remind mwe of my brother-in-law who ran for Congress as a Republican (lost to a wing nut in the primary) worked for this administration for two years and ended up voting for Kerry (not that you did). The point being, although he still considers himself a Republican he has worked hard to disassociate himself from that element of the party that he feels has betrayed it.

Would that the party was made up of more people like you and him.

Between my terrible spelling and Word’s “helpful” replacements who knows.

Given that I have tomorrow off and thus my first 4 day weekend in a long long time – I’ll stick with “imbibe” - any and all forms.

That last was to Slart if not obvious :)

OCSteve: Given that I have tomorrow off and thus my first 4 day weekend in a long long time – I’ll stick with “imbibe” - any and all forms.

*pours you a glass of wine*

What annoyed me was the sheer blatancy of liberal japonicus' comment.

You are welcome to take this up at TiO.

"Between my terrible spelling and Word’s 'helpful' replacements who knows."

This is why spell-checkers are evil: they inevitably cause misspellings. Simply proofreading by eye (if one has the patience -- that's the trick!) is the only method that works. Although for some people, of course it doesn't, in which case I don't know what to recommend. However, if one isn't terminally unable to doubt whether something is misspelled, I recommend simply dropping the word one is uncertain about in the google search bar, and checking the spelling that way: so long as one is willing to check, one is apt to never go wrong. (I do this all day long, myself.)

You are welcome to take this up at TiO.

Gosh, thanks. Perhaps I can even get another faux apology out of you.

Spell-checkers: I once graded a paper that referred, throughout, to "the porpoise of human life." Really. I tell this to my students as an example of how spell-checkers can ruin their lives, while enhancing mine by adding to the store of things that cheer me up just thinking about them.

It is not clear to me what is gained by assuming that apologies are faux, any more than I see what is gained by assuming (for instance) that the intentions of conservatives are necessarily evil. Sometimes people genuinely think better of what they said.

"the porpoise of human life."

Thanks for all the fish!

And for furthering cheering-up-ness, know that I'm stepping away from the oridaFlay awLay conversation. Shhhh!

I have given up on thinking that there is anything to gain with certain commenters. The first time someone says something unpleasant to me, I am more than willing to assume it is a misunderstanding. When the insults are repeated, however, the balance shifts to an assumption of malice.

G'Kar: Gosh, thanks. Perhaps I can even get another faux apology out of you.

That is below you. I have the utmost respect for you, but that is below you. LJ seemed more confused than anything by all this, there was no bad intent. I don’t know what set you off here but that is below you. Damn.

LJ invited you repeatedly to “take it outside”, and I gave my 2 cents there as well. Come over there and hash it out.

In many ways I am on your side, ideologically, experience, etc. But I think equally of LJ, and I think you are out of line. Damn.

I'm sorry, but I fail to consider 'I'm sorry if you felt offended' an apology. It has the form of an apology, but it clearly is not one: the only thing he's sorry about is that I felt offended, not at all that perhaps he said something offensive. If noting that is below me, so be it, but non-apology apologies are a pet peeve of mine.

And given that the invitation to take it outside leads me to a post where he has already established to his satisfaction that I am stupid and hypersensitive, what, precisely, is there to hash out? He has clearly already made up his mind.

"I don’t know what set you off here but that is below you. Damn."

Seems like fairly standard interacting-through-a-keyboard friction to me. If everybody drops by my place and has a drink on the patio and watches the baby learning to walk, it'll be fine.

Any other weekend that would be great, rilkefan, but I get to go home and see my wife tomorrow, so I'll pass. But I appreciate the invite.

"Seems like fairly standard interacting-through-a-keyboard friction to me. If everybody drops by my place and has a drink on the patio and watches the baby learning to walk, it'll be fine."

Only a boob and nitwit, and probable loser-defeatist could think so! rilkefan has demonstrated his basic dishonesty by this thoroughly partisan, condescending, claim! He sucks, and is ruining the site!

Cancel my subscription!

Well, the offer stands. Bring some limes for G&Ts if you don't want scotch (I've got some Macallan in honor of a commenter of that handle along with some peaty stuff my wife hates for me to drink).

I'm a big fan of the peaty stuff. What...er...strain is it?

Gary,

Thanks. That was a well-needed (and well-done) bit of levity.

rilkefan,

Actually, I'm not much of a drinker, but if the opportunity arises, I'd love to swing by.

"I'm sorry, but I fail to consider 'I'm sorry if you felt offended' an apology."

True. A re-check confirms that he didn't say that, though.

For better or worse, he wrote: "I apologize if I sounded condescending, it was unintentional" and "I also didn't (and don't) accuse anyone here of any dishonesty nor did I dismiss anyone and if anything I said suggested that, I apologize."

I stand corrected. I was reacting to the former comment and may have missed the latter. Although I still consider that pretty mealy-mouthed.

I apologize for my criticism of lj's apology as a faux apology. I was wrong.

I issue a blanket apology. For everything. But most particularly for not being anywhere near rilkefan's house.

I have wine for the non-drinkers. Oh, water too. For Gary there's a cask (well, a bottle) of amontillado.

Slart, Islay.


So Rilkekind is crawling with his left knee and pushing with his right sole. He looks disturbingly like some cute but half-lame forest creature. He's banging on the piano with both hands now, and I sometimes wonder if I can distinguish his compositions from energetic Schoenberg.

Maybe you should start reading Richard the III to him?

"For Gary there's a cask (well, a bottle) of amontillado."

For the love of god, what are you trying to say?

I tend to find sherry heavy enough that a cask would definitely be too much for me. Though I don't believe I've ever had actual amontillado.

"Slart, Islay."

Pig Latin, is it now? Should be Artslay Artibartfastbay, though. Doesn't that sound like a plausible single malt?

Or have I gang alay?

Titus Andronicus didn't go over well - we tried some short prose works by Swift, but I think it's just Roald Dahl for the time being.

Sorry, gotta split, they're awaiting me at the palazzo.

Back on the immigration bill, this poll is interesting, by the way.

[...] Two-thirds of those polled said illegal immigrants who have a good employment history and no criminal record should gain legal status as the bill proposes: by paying at least $5,000 in fines and fees and receiving a renewable four-year visa.

[...]

But the poll showed that differences are not great between Republicans and Democrats on this issue, with 66 percent of Republicans in the poll favoring the legalization proposal, as well as 72 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents.

So much for the wingnut claim that Americans -- or even Republicans -- hate and will destroy any Republican who is for "amnesty."

Slart, Islay.

Yeah, I gathered. Which one?

I'm a big fan of the 10-yr-old Ardbeg for value. The 16-yr-old Lagavulin is still a little more than I care to spend, but it is rather nice.

Whoops, Bowmore.

Drop me a line before you come by and I'll pick up a bottle of the Lagavulin.

Oh, I've had that. Not bad.

Time for bed. It's been an extremely rough...um...two or three months, and I'm wiped. Enjoy your scotch.

I haven't travled to your part of the country in a long while, rilke, although I've been to Edwards AFB and Nellis AFB in the last couple of months.

Day trips. Maybe someday I'll get used to spending 12 hours of a given 24 in an airplane.

"Maybe someday I'll get used to spending 12 hours of a given 24 in an airplane."

I want my hypersonic passenger jet. They promised us hypersonic passenger jets, along with our flying cars.

Here is a baby step. But they've been promising">http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/03/29/nasa_scramjet_hits_mach/">promising since I was a kid.

The possible next craze in alcohol. Reading the article and then going to the Leblon website puts things in an interesting pespective

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