Wow. Ever since I decided to start deleting people, it seems they are just trying to push my buttons. Zapping them has been fun, but this comment from "Dufus Galant" (IP address 220.127.116.11 for anyone who knows about those things) literally made my jaw drop. I'm not even deleting it; everyone should go and see
Sarah - proof once again that idiots exist among us.
Posted by: Kathleen A at September 13, 2004 07:33 PM (vnAYT)
Ok I'll bite, how is what he said any worse than being told "get over it" and "move-on" when your 9 year old sister suddenly dies, sixty days before your fourth birthday?? Not to mention "she's in God's hands, now" and the ever wonderful "she is in a better place"?? All these were said to me when my sister died of pleurisy on 21 December 1961. Think that hasn't messed up Christmas in my head for the last forty plus years?? If this gets me banned so be it, but I had to get that one off my chest.
Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at September 13, 2004 08:32 PM (4pVZJ)
I mean, this is not the biggest tragedy in the history of the human race. It isn't the worst atrocity to happen in my lifetime, by far. Compare this with the Holocaust, or the Great Leap Forward, and I think we ought to moderate our ourpourings of self-pity...
Now, the Civil War left some scars on the heart of the US. It's taken us a long time to get over it- to the extent that we have. 9-11 is, bluntly, a historical footnote. 30 years from now, you might still be asked where you were when you heard, but it'll be more of a trivia question, just like "where were you when JFK died?" is now. Of course, at the time, that was also a national tragedy.
Which makes me wonder- why do folks like to flagellate themselves with this terrible event, as if it were the second crucifixion, with innocent Americans standing in for Jesus?
There are only three answers that I can think of, non very pretty:
1)these people are so self-absorbed that they don't realize the level of human suffering in the world eclpises the suffering of 9-11 ona a regular basis.
2)they are dedicated to the cult of victimhood, and find the allure of claiming victim status overpowering (even when they live in Toledo & didn't know anyone in NYC or Washington on that day).
3)they are political opportunists, and think that living 9-11 24-7 is the way to push their favorite candidate or political philosophy.
And, to answer your last question- you are deleting people because you are a coward, but still long for the solace of others' support. You need positive feedback, but cannot handle negativity. Ergo, too weak to stand alone, and to weak-minded to stand among those who disagree with you...
Posted by: Carleton Wu at September 13, 2004 08:55 PM (7Rmoq)
geez... they do crawl out of the woodwork to push your buttons, don't they?
I'm sorry you have to deal with people like that.
Posted by: karishma at September 13, 2004 09:24 PM (dF9Oq)
Right. I'm sure the dead of the WTC think some lame-ass, gushy, uninspired cartoon about their deaths is a stirring tribute. Incessantly milking something for self-serving melodrama...oh, no...that's not cruel at all.
Posted by: Leopold at September 13, 2004 10:31 PM (vtExu)
I certainly don't know why people would actually tell a kid to get over his sister's death that quickly, but I think the remarks about her being in a better place is meant for comfort. I choose to remember those who were murdered in 9/11. So there are bigger tragedies. That does not mean we should not remember those who died.
If you want to delete comments go ahead. Not wanting to hear people call you names is not being cowardly, just that you don't get a high out of self-torture. This is your domain. The right of free speech does not apply here, nor can anyone force anybody else to listen to them even in the public domain. There's nothing wrong with grieving for those close to you, just because there are more dead people out there. How anyone can claim to care about people worldwide without being able to feel for those around them is beyond me.
You really need to start a comment regulating policy. This is your domain. Anyone who wants to insult you or be patronizing can go elsewhere. Anyone who doesn't care about thousands dead just because there are other dead people have no sympathy.
Posted by: chris at September 14, 2004 12:34 AM (VDzYB)
I'm telling you, Ralph Wiggum quotes are more fun than deleting!
Posted by: CD at September 14, 2004 01:13 AM (bsi5Z)
"If you want to delete comments go ahead. ... [snip for length] ... How anyone can claim to care about people worldwide without being able to feel for those around them is beyond me."
Let me say -- Ditto!
Chris went on.
"You really need to start a comment regulating policy. This is your domain. Anyone who wants to insult you or be patronizing can go elsewhere. Anyone who doesn't care about thousands dead just because there are other dead people have no sympathy."
OK - this is one of the few times you will see me being a ditto-head ;-)
Sarah - This is your yard we are playing in. In particular, you didn't invite me in. I know that many of my views are at odds with many of your views. Thus, I strive to maintain a civil tone of voice and to be a guest that you will (at least) tolerate in your yard -- and hopefully one who's positions you will listen to and consider, even if you reject them.
Please accept my hopes for a continued recovery for you and your mother, and my prayers that your husband returns home safe and sound.
Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2004 01:35 AM (s7guT)
Don't you just love that Wu guy? He signs his post "Wu" - man, you are just too cool for school. Oh and the history lesson - wonderful, marvelous. Yes, the Civil War, so much more important to people of our generation, mmm, brilliant. Dumbass.
She's deleting people who drive away the rest of her readers. You know, people like "Wu". People like "Wu" who are sneering, jabbering psuedo-human beings with very little intelligence or compassion. People like "Wu" who think they are clever and ironic, sarcastic, biting, caustic or whatever the current synonym is for literary sadist. Thank God people like "Wu" are being deleted now.
Sarah, Carleton the Doorman's post needs to be highlighted along with Dufus. The two of them have Grinch hearts three sizes too small. And make sure you put up a post about the Battle of Appomatox, y'hear? You know, the battle where soldiers were killed with conventional weapons while fighting on the field of war.
Hey, if "Wu" follow "Wu's" post to it's natural conclusion, you should go through all of history each day and post on numbers alone. "Today is the anniversary of the explosion at Pompeii. Clearly, much more important to our present day world because More People!! were killed than died in the World Trade Center!! And yet, these people are a mere footnote in history to us now. Where's the humanity?"
Hey "Wu", "Wu" wascally wabbit. The WTC will always be of importance to Americans. Not just for the people killed, but for the loss of innocence of an entire country hit within its boundaries by terrorists for the first time, for two beautiful buildings destroyed in one of the greatest cities in the world, for the destruction of 3,000 noncombatants with no warning of their deaths or the chance to fight back. Don't you get it? Nah, you're a numbers man yourself.
So, there should be a number 4 paragraph to your glib diatribe. I'm not self-absorbed, I'm not a victim, and I'm not a political opportunist. I'm a person who woke up on September 11 and realized a group of people flew three planes into symbols of my country and killed as many people as they could, and that they will try to kill as many more of us as possible.
While I certainly feel sorrow for those killed, I don't remember the WTC for them primarily. The WTC is a call to arms for me. I remember it to keep the disgust, anger and resolve against these animals at the forefront of my mind and heart.
Posted by: Oda Mae at September 14, 2004 02:45 AM (sIT9/)
Oda Mae? The WTC was hardly the first terrorist attack within our boundaries -- the Oklahoma City Bombing is an example that leaps to mind, as does the prior WTC attack in the 90's.
Just to nitpick.
Posted by: James at September 14, 2004 04:13 PM (UgMq9)
Sorry, I thought that would be clear. Every country has its' share of homegrown killers. By using the words "within our boundaries" I meant to indicate the threat and the terrorists came from OUTSIDE our boundaries. You know, linking back to that whole thing that America now realizes that oceans won't protect it from the rest of the world.
Although the OC bombing was horrific, I did not feel personally threatened by it, nor angered against Americans as a whole. I do feel threatened and angered by militant Islamic terrorists.
Posted by: Oda Mae at September 14, 2004 05:21 PM (kRPDO)
First of all, that's my fucking name. So, I sign my letters with it. A strange custom I picked up here in the US. Am I too cool for school? Yes. But not because I sign my letters with my name. I am, however, much cooler than you, mostly because I refrain from baseless ad hominems.
The WTC will maintain its importance to Americans about as much as the Maine or the Zimmerman telegram. It was not a world-changing event. It was a significant event. Pretending that it was as earth-shaking as World War II or Columbus is silly, demeaning, and- as I explained- can be traced to one of three causes.
[nb your "4th cause" is pretty clearly the first one. 'It feels huge to me right now so it must be huge.']
Every American generation thinks it is 'losing its innocence'. Vietnam. The Phillipenes. And, yes, the Civil War.
Just like every self-absorbed teenager thinks that their angst or broken heart is the most profound thing in history. Until they grow up, and realize that other people have things much worse, and that their awe-inspiring angst wasn't actually that big after all.
By the time they grow up, they're usually having more profound experiences, while simultaneously recognizing that those experiences aren't necessarily as gigantic as they appear subjectively.
Raw numbers don't tell the whole story of human suffering. Nevertheless, people who compare 9-11 to the Holocaust deserve nothing but scorn for their self-indulgence.
Posted by: Carleton Wu at September 14, 2004 05:52 PM (7Rmoq)
Chris & Jim,
I don't think anyone is claiming that they have a *right* to free speech in any private forum. I'm certainly not doing so. This is being hosted on private property, so the owner can do as they wish.
However, just as some will claim violations of "free speech" for legimate, private censorship, others may be inclined to view any criticsm of such censorship as an attempt to assert a right. This is also a mistake.
If Sarah chooses not to have comments, I say more power to her. If she chooses to have comments and live with the free-for-all, I say the same. And if she deletes ads for penis enlargement or other white noise, that's fine as well in my opinion.
But if she opens the floor to comments, but then deletes those that challenge her without being seriously offensive, I call that cowardice. Within her rights, but cowardice nontheless. It suggests that she would prefer the comfort of likeminded yes-men. It suggests that she knows her arguments are weak, but would prefer that they remain unchallenged nevertheless. It smacks of intellectual dishonesty.
Posted by: Carleton Wu at September 14, 2004 06:01 PM (7Rmoq)
Oda -- There's a lot of people in this world named Wu. The way you put the name in scare quotes shows how narrow-minded you've let yourself become.
Posted by: yettrab at September 14, 2004 09:27 PM (9AAwc)
Calling Sarah a coward is not what you consider ad hominem? Your comments reek of personal attacks and self-aggrandization.
Is it too much to ask for polite discussions for disagreements?
And since when do you speak for all Americans? Does grieving for three thousand of your countrymen count as self-absorbed? Do you not deserve scorn yourself for disrespecting other people? Why does it irk you so much to know that at least some Americans care deeply about those who were murdered that day? And yes, it did change the world. America before 9/11 didn't believe in preemption. And in preempting other parts of the world will be invariably affected. You may think it's a little thing, but there are those who do not. And if you can't show enough respect for people to disagree politely without calling them names, perhaps you should go back to school and polish up your manners.
And for all you people who are so considerate to the sufferings and deaths world-wide that you consider three thousand lives lost so unimportant that their mourners should be ridiculed: what have you done to help those people? What have you done to help anybody (insulting people who care about others do not count)?
Posted by: chris at September 14, 2004 11:57 PM (VDzYB)
Oda Mae, please tell me you were joking when you called the 2 main WTC buildings "beautiful". Those two were, well to be quite frank, hideous. As a fan of the late Frank Lloyd Wright, I have to tell you, achrtitectually speaking, those buildings never deserved to see the light of day.
Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at September 15, 2004 01:45 AM (4pVZJ)
Bubba, I agree that aesthetically they weren't the greatest. But whenever I see them in an old movie or TV series, my heart lurches a little. They DID dominate the skyline.
Yettrab - I didn't put Wu's name in quotes because I'm afraid of him. (???) But to use his name instead of the word you. Oh, and the questionmarks, by using more than one, indicate puzzled incredulity.
I am afraid of few things, but not of a pretentious twit who double signs his posts by dropping his last name at the end, like I'm supposed to recognize it. But thanks again, you guys with petty minds are great on the little details. Cheers!
Posted by: Oda Mae at September 15, 2004 02:23 AM (uiSXB)
"Wu", sorry I didn't reply to OM, but since it was directed at me, I didn't find it did much to flesh out your earlier arguments. (Other than saying that we shouldn't compare WTC to the Holocaust, which, er, I don't think anyone here made that comparison.)
As you'll note, Sarah has not removed your comments, because they're not offensive. (Well. . . allright, I'll give you a pass, they're pretty straight up vanilla, middle of the road, party line blather.)
Some of the personal attacks she's endured when people have piled on after being directed to comment from another not-so-tolerant (raving lunatic moonbat) website have been beyond comprehension. THOSE posts should absolutely be deleted. They add nothing to the discussion and just seem to give the freaks some type of hateful personal satisfaction that they've gotten to kick someone around on a webpage.
While I COMPLETELY disagree with you and your buds on your cynical relegation of the WTC as a historical footnote, you don't make me sick, just mad. And right now you're adding needed entertainment value. That's my barometer.
Posted by: Oda Mae at September 15, 2004 02:49 AM (uiSXB)
"Calling Sarah a coward is not what you consider ad hominem?"
Actually, it isn't one. Just as "free speech" is often misused by those who find that they can't say whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, ad hominem
does not just mean 'saying something bad about someone' or 'calling someone a name'.
It means 'to attempt to discredit an argument by attacking the source'. The insults can even be *true*, and it's still an ad hominem
if the insults are irrelevant to the argument being made.
What I did was express my opinion about her behavior. Since whether her behavior was justified was the question at hand, it isn't an ad hominem
at all. It's a conclusion to an argument.
As for the rest of your comments-
-I do not, and never have, claimed to speak for all Americans.
-I disrespect people at my discretion; those not worthy of it do not receive it. And, bluntly, being aggrieved does not earn respect.
-what have I done to help anybody? Since you don't know me, you don't know anything that I've ever done to help people. Likewise, I don't know anything you've ever done.
As an insult, this is only millimeters ahead of those who threaten to beat up other posters; you get to puff yourself up with imaginary pride for *confronting* me, although we both know that such a confrontation won't be occurring.
(btw, *that* was a classic ad hominem
; whether or not Ive helped anyone doesn't have any bearing whatsoever on the historical impact of 9-11).
And, in the midst all of that ranting- the real question: "Why does it irk you so much to know that at least some Americans care deeply about those who were murdered that day?"
I'll present another hypothetical: A couple loses their only child in a playground accident. A swingset manufacturer was negligent, which contributed to the death.
The parents are heartbroken. They sue the manufacturer and put him out of business, as well, as a punishment and as a warning to other manufacturers of children's equipment.
So far, so good.
The parents dedicate their lives to children's safety. They launch lawsuit after lawsuit against car seat manufacturers, crib manufacturers, etc. Anything that they perceive as even slightly dangerous, they attack. To defend their behavior, they invoke the memory of their lost child and the pain that they suffered those many years ago. Who can deny their grief, or its outlet?
No one would deny that they suffered a terrible loss. Likewise, I've never claimed that the people whose families or friendships were broken didn't suffer terribly.
But many (I suspect most) people would believe that this couple should move through the grieving process. That attacking everything that looks remotely dangerous is merely a way of holding their grief too tightly, because they are unwilling to let it go. And that their attacks on things that were not truly dangerous were actually harmful to others.
If anyone who lost family or friends on 9-11 still nurses their grief and rage, I completely understand that. If that grief and rage pushes them to political beliefs that would otherwise not be rational (eg kill all the arabs), I can even sympathize with that level of anger.
But those who didn't suffer any personal loss I do question. Why do these 3000 deaths wound you in this personal way?
Consider that, for example, over 90,000 rapes occurred in the US last year (source: FBI). If I had my druthers, ever single one of those rapists would be executed- it's a terrible crime. It's usually intensely traumatic for the victims.
Again, no one would disagree that this is terrible. Im sure that you agree.
So I ask- why is the one resonating with many people as a tragedy beyond tragedies? Why do we hear that any political, economic, or strategic decision is not too much to undertake in memory of this attack?
And so, I reached the conclusion that I outlined above- to those not personally affected, ongoing 9-11 fascination isn't about grief, or loss. It's about something else. I'm prefectly willing to consider that they're might be additional reasons beyond the 3 that I came up with on my own, but I'm not really open to the idea that some office worker from Ann Arbor was traumatized by 9-11 to the point of personality transformation.
Now, the *political* implications of 9-11, that's whole 'nother ball of wax. But we don't sort out political implications by displaying our inconsolable grief- we talk about what we want to make happen and how we can make it happen.
Posted by: Carleton Wu at September 15, 2004 03:30 PM (7Rmoq)
Either there are two of you, or you were earlier calling for me to be banned (highlighted?), and are now saying that I ought not to be banned. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you.
In either case, I would hope that my comments would be perceived as something that could spark debate, not as 'entertainment'. I suppose that if one were dogmatic enough that change were impossible, then good arguments from the other side could merely be as amusing to you as the "it's turtles all the way down" story. For your sake, I hope that that's not the case.
Posted by: Carleton Wu at September 15, 2004 03:36 PM (7Rmoq)
To answer your questions and clarify my previous comments:
"Ad hominem" does *not* mean 'to attempt to discredit an argument by attacking the source'. It means "Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason" (dictionary.com). And in calling Sarah a coward you are just trying to rile up people's emotions rather than arguing logically. Not enjoying insults is not equivalent to cowardice or the unwillingness to face other opinions.
The reason I asked whether you presume to speak for all Americans is because of this sentence: "The WTC will maintain its importance to Americans about as much as the Maine or the Zimmerman telegram." It seems rather inclusive of all Americans to me.
If you do not respect people don't get annoyed if they fail to respect you. And you should always shown basic manners and respects to other people. Apparently you do not respect the lives of the three thousand at WTC.
The reason I ask about whether you had ever done anything to help anybody is this: if the death of 3000 is insignificant to you, what is? Do you really care, say, after 10000 deaths? If you cared about them so much as to discredit those who mourn for the 3000, surely you must have done something about those significant people? Or are you just heartless and those are all numbers to you, just like the 3000, something to get over with?
As for your broken-hearted couple example: I think people who actually dedicate their lives to children's safety are to be respected. It is not necessarily an indication of a neverending grieving process - maybe they find that it is something they want to do. Of course they can go overboard if they get worried about anything and everything, but such is not the case with the Islamofascists. They not only wanted 9/11 to happen they want to kill Americans everywhere. And if you think that it's just remotely dangerous you're mistaken. You can't really "let go" and forget that people want to kill you - because they will not cease to want to kill you whether you let go or not. Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. (And I don't recall where I read that statement, but if we just forget that people want us dead we'll end up with something worse than 9/11).
I do agree with your point on rapists. They should be fried in deep oil. But that's not the topic here.
The question about why WTC affects us can be boiled down to this, I believe: it *is* personal. It was an act of war against the United States, it was an attack on all Americans. An attack on each and every single American. The aim was to destroy America. Not just the two tall buildings in New York. Not just the Pentagon. Not just some airlines. Not just the thousands of lives lost that day, as tragic as that is already. That is why I identify with those people. I don't know anyone there, that's true, and if some rich guy just happened to lose two of his buildings, I don't really care. But those people attacked us. Every single one of us. And until this threat, this war, is over I CANNOT let go. These people could have been people I know. People I love. And they died for the single crime of being American, some even just for being in America. God forbid that I forget them.
Posted by: chris at September 16, 2004 01:33 AM (VDzYB)
Those definitions mean exactly the same thing. In both cases, the personal attack ("personal considerations") is used to discredit the logic of the argument ("rather than logic or reason"). It does not necessarily have to involve an insult- one could instead point out that the speaker has a financial or other interest in proving the case, for example.
But they are, in fact, the same.
See, the definitions don't have to use exactly the same words in order for them to be isometric at a cognative level. If you're interested in pursuing the point further, please provide a few examples that would fit one definition but not the other.
But, by your standard, one must not merely refrain from using personal attacks to discredit an argument. One must now also refrain from reaching personally perjorative *conclusions*. You say that cowardice is not equal to an unwillingness to face other opinions. I disagree, and therein lies the crux of the argument. Bluntly, that *is* the logical question being debated- "is it morally wrong to censor other people's opinions?" I say yes, you say no.
By your standards, if I asked "was Saddam Hussein a bad man?" you could not reply "yes, Saddam was evil", without an ad hominem.
My statement did not presume to *speak* for all Americans. It was clearly a prediction about what attitudes those Americans will hold in the future. Just as I might make a prediction about a stock price without it being construed as "speaking for all of the stockholders".
I don't crave your respect, so no loss. And I don't respect those 3000 *more* than I respect any other 3000 who've lost their lives. Say, 3000 people who've died in Iraq. Or Dafur. Or Maoist China. With the caveat that different people's deaths require different levels of respect- obviously, I have more respect for someone who dies trying to rescue others, here or there or anywhere.
As I clearly explained, the death of those 3000 is, again, no more siginificant than any other 3000 deaths, emotionally. You are intentionally misunderstanding that, I think, to make a rhetorical point. One tidbit- I volunteer weekly at the local humane society. It makes me very sad to think of animals locked up without significant contact with other people or animals. So I do something about it. That doesn't mean that I care more about this local tragedy than any other tragedy- it's just one that I can affect more easily than others.
Let me ask you a question in return: are you heartbroken over the 10ks of deaths in Dafur, and the 100ks or millions who have been left homeless refugees? Do you angonize over it every night? Do you rage against the Sudanese government and the militias conducting these attacks? Are you willing to use our blood and treasure to stop these atrocities?
If not, I would ask you why these 3000 deaths move you so much, but those 10s of 1000s do not. That is my point, in a nutshell.
Your bit about the Islamofascists is off-topic, I believe. As I said before, if we want to debate what the correct policy is under these circumstances, that's a completely different issue than whether or not America is forever scarred by 9-11, or ought to be. Just as we might put down a rabid dog, without having to feel rage or hatred towards it- it's just good policy.
In fact, I would argue that emotion clouds logic, and that we would be best served by not *avenging* 9-11, but by deciding what the proper course of action is to make America and the world safer and better. Which is why I think that this discussion is important- we cannot afford at this critical juncture to have policy discussions short-circuted by unfulfilled emotional needs.
Posted by: Carleton Wu at September 16, 2004 03:34 PM (7Rmoq)
"Wu". Sorry about the earlier comment, you are right, it was inconsistent. In the second one I was feeling a bit magnaminous and thought I'd entertain the hope that you aren't always a pompous, long-winded asshole, mabe it was just the topic. Thank you for removing all doubt.
Posted by: Oda Mae at September 16, 2004 04:23 PM (buTJw)
Thank you for clarifying your points. You obviously have no respect for the basic sanctity of human lives, and you cannot understand identifying with other people. And of course, you don't even respect those hundreds of firefighters and police officers who died on that day trying to save people in the towers, contrary to what you stated about having more respect for people who died trying to rescue people.
The Islamofascists killed my people. MY. PEOPLE. To you that's just emotion. As if your attack on Sarah wasn't based on trying to up the fear of being called a coward so as to induce people to agree with your points. And your "prediction" obviously does try to speak for all Americans, and does stock predictions, since it indicates what the stockholders will want to buy or sell. And if you think that the point about Islamofascists who *caused* this tragedy in the first place is off-topic, you're detached from reality.
And yes, I do care about other people suffering. If we had any other resources to spare I'd petition for sending troops to Darfur. I could list organizations I donate to, but that's not the point. There are others who do more anyways. But I do not close my heart just because there are more people suffering elsewhere. And I do not dicount their suffering just because other people have suffered more.
This will be my last post on this thread, since you and I obviously have very different values, even on the point of human life.
Enjoy your human society work. Enjoy your lack of identity with your country, be it America or China. Enjoy your firm belief that basic human life has no value since there will always be bigger tragedies, and enjoy your lack of emotion when thousands of people lose their lives, and the lack of sympathy to those who do. Enjoy your unclouded judgement.
I pity you.
Posted by: chris at September 16, 2004 06:19 PM (VDzYB)
You don't understand what the phrase scare quotes means.
Posted by: yettrab at September 16, 2004 09:17 PM (9AAwc)
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