By Elaine Magliaro
Last October during a political debate, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina defended the Confederate flag’s presence on statehouse grounds because “not a single CEO” had ever complained about it. Vincent Sheheen, her Democartic opponent, called for removal of the flag. While Haley acknowledged that the flag was a “sensitive issue,” she rejected the idea that it should be removed.
During the debate, Haley said, “What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”
So…there you have it. The Confederate flag may be a “sensitive issue” in South Carolina. It may be an offensive symbol of racism to some of the state’s residents. So what? No CEO ever talked to Governor Haley about the flag, therefore, the flag’s presence on the statehouse grounds is just fine! How’s that for stellar logic?
Asked whether stars and bars should be removed from statehouse grounds, the Tea Partier says there’s no need (Salon)
Well of course!…….How silly of us not to understand it. In South Carolina the feelings of corporate CEO’s are much more important than let’s say ordinary Black citizens.
I guess she doesn’t care what the rest of normal non racist America thinks of them and their precious Confederate flag.
Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now
The flag that Dylann Roof embraced, which many South Carolinians embrace, endorses the violence he committed.
By Ta-Nehisi Coates Jun 18, 2015
Last night, Dylann Roof walked into a Charleston church, sat for an hour, and then killed nine people. Roof’s crime cannot be divorced from the ideology of white supremacy which long animated his state nor from its potent symbol—the Confederate flag. Visitors to Charleston have long been treated to South Carolina’s attempt to clean its history and depict its secession as something other than a war to guarantee the enslavement of the majority of its residents. This notion is belied by any serious interrogation of the Civil War and the primary documents of its instigators. Yet the Confederate battle flag—the flag of Dylann Roof—still flies on the Capitol grounds in Columbia.
The Confederate flag’s defenders often claim it represents “heritage not hate.” I agree—the heritage of White Supremacy was not so much birthed by hate as by the impulse toward plunder. Dylann Roof plundered nine different bodies last night, plundered nine different families of an original member, plundered nine different communities of a singular member. An entire people are poorer for his action. The flag that Roof embraced, which many South Carolinians embrace, does not stand in opposition to this act—it endorses it. That the Confederate flag is the symbol of of white supremacists is evidenced by the very words of those who birthed it:
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…
This moral truth—“that the negro is not equal to the white man”—is exactly what animated Dylann Roof. More than any individual actor, in recent history, Roof honored his flag in exactly the manner it always demanded—with human sacrifice.
“What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”
Uh oh, I wonder how many conversations Haley with CEOs about shooting people?
Haley’s thinking is pretty superficial. She obviously represents less than % of the people of her state.
I was in NC a number of years ago, hmmmm, decades ago actually, when a friend told the story of a conversation with a neighbor boy. The topic of the Civil War came up. It was apparent that the boy thought the South had won. My friend suggested he ask his daddy who won the war. Next day my friend asked him who won the war. Downcast, he admitted that “the Yankees did.”
“less than %”
I would imagine that the first thing a corporate CEO, calling on behalf of an organization whose fiduciary duty is to make money for stockholders, would ask Haley is, “Hey, so…what about that confederate battle flag you got flyin’ over there?”
We gots the akismet virus, again.
Roof honored his flag in exactly the manner it always demanded—with human sacrifice. – Coates
Crazy people but …. British scientists have found the answer to treating the personality disorder commonly called racism.
Propranolol. Yep, Propranolol. Implicit racism is fundamentally founded on fear, and the drug acts both on nerve circuits that govern automatic functions, such as heart rate, and the part of the brain involved in emotional responses.
Roof was a pill popper just not the right pills.
There you go, freed from the barbaric clutches of a spam filter run amok.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/19/only-white-people-can-save-themselves-from-racism-and-white-supremacism/ “But it is up to white people to rescue white people from our own worst selves, from the distorted monsters we have allowed ourselves to become. It is time to stop making excuses. We have to stop hiding from the truth of race — that this country, and the state of South Carolina in particular, were created on the idea of white supremacy. We’ll never overcome that history unless we acknowledge it.”
From the article cited: “Brooks also called Wednesday’s fatal shooting of nine people “an act of racial terrorism.”
I think that is about right.
For those interested in issue of terrorism and racist violence Brian J. Phillips has an interesting article at WAPO:
I do think that an act of violence can have many characteristics and that the issue of mental health may still provide a useful view of this event – but terrorism, yes, definitely.
That’s a good one. Here’s another:
Elaine, I think the white flag is too simplistic. Yes, they lost the fighting but they never gave up their rationale for the fighting. Some did, but far too many did not, they just found another way to continue the plantation. The slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule and it just didn’t happen. The kinds of conciliatory actions that Lincoln wanted to take died with him and here we are.
I hope that the renewed interest in the removal of the Confederate flag is successful. Can Haley dry her tears long enough to do the right thing in this regard? I guess we’ll have to wait and see if her CEOs give her permission.
It’s sarcastic irony, but I like it, bk.
Another thought about the Civil War and the Confederacy. It’s unlikely that the Confederacy would have lasted as a country. The idea of state’s independence was so much a part of their thinking that they really weren’t cohesive during the war. The only real army was that of Virginia commanded by Lee. The other states weren’t major players. There were states with excess uniforms but they would not provide them to the army that really needed them because the army wasn’t “theirs”. If they couldn’t cooperate during their war of secession, what chance was there that they would be able to form a working government that encompassed all of the seceded states? How long would it have been before the slaves organized a big bloody revolt?
bigfarmike you said…vis a vis Nikki haley:
Uh oh, I wonder how many conversations Haley with CEOs about shooting people?
Isn’t that a stretch too far? The Cvil War has been over for a relative long time, the remnants are still present, however. Nothing about Ms Haley has indicated she supported the Confederate cause. However, she did have to run & be elected in a state that apparently still reveres it…however misguided that those voters are in fact. Does that condem her for the thoughts or acts of others. Her emotional interview suggests to me that it is heartbreaking. Are we to ask her to demand a flag be abolished by law? To suppress free speech however abhorrent…which it is to me, if anyone has read much of my comments here or elsewhere.
Now that this abomination of a criminal act has occurred, she may just act to remove the stars & bars from state edifices. Roof the loon may have been attracted to it in his misguided mentality. I’ve spent considerable time in the south in the later years of my time with DOD & DA and I found that in many places their race relations are superior to many of ours in the north. I was welcomed almost like kin in several black places, and ery very best soul food place I’ve ever been in in Mobile Alabama. Several of my co-workers in DA transferred and moved to Atlanta and other locales south, and that is the reason they gave. Were they fools or did they know something we northerners have missed?
In short, I can’t see how this horrid tragedy is anyway at the feet of Governor Haley.
PS: Elaine’s cartoon of the only flag that mattered is on point, and the one that sent my great grandfather home alive.
” Are we to ask her to demand a flag be abolished by law? To suppress free speech however abhorrent…which it is to me, if anyone has read much of my comments here or elsewhere. ”
Some states already outlaw a burning cross. Why not suppress the battle flag for the insurrection that lead to the movement that burned crosses?
I think you are on thin ice to claim that flying an appeal to live and die for Dixie is a simple matter of free speech.
BTW, I am well aware of the hypocrisy of many northern communities that are as racist as any place in the south, albeit usually less violent. However counting up of who has more racist communities has nothing to do with the discussion.
Haley has cast a blind eye to racism instead of taking a leadership position against it. We get to call her on that – we ought to call her on that. We also get to call the evasive fool who publicly said that Roof went into a church to kill Christians. Does anybody care to make the argument that the intention of Roof was to kill Christians – does anyone believe that? Lets be clear. Roof intended to and did kill African Americans. What ever else those nine were to Roof they were first and foremost African Americans.
So yes if I want to point out the stupid evasive remarks of Haley that give comfort to racist, then yes I consider that a right and a duty.
BTW, to briefly review Haley’s remark and logic. She claimed that flying the flag of the Confederacy was of no – repeat no – consequence because CEOs did not call her on it.
Following her logic should we deduce that shooting people is of no consequence because Haley had no conversations with CEOs on the subject.
My satirical exaggeration of Haley’s quote is a bit of a straw horse. But I think it amply illustrates the incredibly offensive and deeply stupid logic of Haley’s justification.
If we cannot call racists on their words then how can we ever expect to stop them from their acts?
Earlier today, I read a story about the Confederate battle flag on the SC state capitol grounds. Seems it is there by statute. The governor has no authority to remove it. If it is to be removed, it is up to the state legislature.
Roof isn’t dead and the Confederate flag waves over South Carolinians. No way the NRA and racists are going to be able to avoid the spotlight. This is a very good thing as their noses are rubbed in it for months to come and their defenders forced to say any number of incredibly stupid and inane things.
I read that–but it doesn’t change the fact that Haley rejected the idea that the flag should be removed from the statehouse grounds.
Chuck Stanley said …
If we cannot call racists on their words then how can we ever expect to stop them from their acts?
Well said. Had more people called Mr Roof out on his racist thoughts and expressions, we might not have had the tragedy in Charleston. No way to tell now, but it is an idea worth considering in the future…if you hear it, say something and contradict it, and in a worst case, report it. Start the paper trail.
Haley seems to be rethinking her own position. Two legislators, one Republican and one Democrat, have announced they will be introducing legislation to repeal the law mandating the flag’s presence on the Capitol grounds.
I believe the credit for that quote should go to bigfatmike. One of those things I wish I had said, but BFM beat me to it.
Well that’s good news Chuck. One step toward acting like they still aren’t a Confederate state. Next they can stop the hero worship of Jefferson Davis and take down the monuments and rename the highway.
blouise … as an NRA member starting in 1949 (Junior NRA in those days) I can’t accept the universal condemnation some people chose to throw at the organization. I agree with much of what they say, especially on their efforts to enhance safety, and disagree with a fair amount of other things. I admire their efforts to enable legal gun restrictions and provision of safety training, and legal training, for those who seek a CPL license. They don’t just sit back, they participate in sane legislation and enforcement. Fault that if you can, but also tell me who does more in this regard?
The point is that within the NRA all members have a voice and a vote…and most of us use it. No one that I know of favors unrestricted gun distribution, but most I know acknowledge that no amount of “law” can stop illegal gun acquisition. Mr Roof, and perhaps his father, broke all of those laws with impunity. The problem isn’t the gun, it is in the mind of the assailant. That seems to be a too hard to do thing…challenging and changing minds vis a vis “race” which is unrelated to guns. Think of Tim McVeigh, who without a gun killed hundreds using simple fertilizer bombs…something Mr roof could easily have also done…his dementia made him act alone, and the gun was his means, but lacking that, he could have just as easily done worse with a bomb. Ask the cop in NYC hit in the head with a hatchet. Or those in Oklahoma City.
Let’s place the blame on those who can make a difference like Chuck Stanley said above…resist the idiots and challenge their thinking….face to face, before they act out. Any one of us might save a life. Just sitting back and blaming the NRA will help no one…and it is a much smaller organization than you might think. They get widespread non-member support because of the fear many people have of being left without any means to defend themselves.
I freed that last comment from the spam filter. Askimet has been a little frisky the last week or so. I’ve had to free a couple of my own comments from the filter as well as those of other posters. It you get a comment lost like that again, don’t hesitate to mention it in thread. One of the A/Es will the see the message and free it or tell you if it has simply fallen into the WordPress Vortex of Doom (rarely a comment simply vanishes but it does happen).
Mr Roof, and perhaps his father, broke all of those laws with impunity. The problem isn’t the gun, it is in the mind of the assailant. – Aridog
They (NRA) get widespread non-member support because of the fear many people have of being left without any means to defend themselves. – Aridog
Like first graders in their school rooms and people attending bible study in their churches?
Aridog, darlin’, you and I have nothing in common when it comes to people who pay dues or give any other support to the NRA. But keep on preaching, brother, you do my work for me.
Haley seems to be rethinking her own position. – Chuck
Maybe a few CEO’s called. Poor Paula.
There’s a great article in the NYTimes and the lead photo should be the NRA’s next poster. I’m going to post the link but without a subscription, I don’t know if the link will be accessible to the general audience.
Sometimes I have my frustrations with the web site Vox and Ezra Klein. But Zack Beauchamp at Vox makes an interesting attempt to explain why some prominent GOP leaders have tried to conflate the recent attack of African Americans with an attack on Christians:
Briefly I think he makes two main points. The culture wars have hardened attitudes among some in their base which makes it politically risky to directly criticize racism. Claim that this racist attack is first an attack on Christians fits nicely into their claims of a war on Christians.
But you really ought to read the article.
http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/06/19/n-r-a-board-member-deletes-criticism-of-victim-in-church-massacre/ One would think that a thoughtful gun owner would renounce the NRA.
POLITICO @politico 10m10 minutes ago
Mitt Romney: Take down Confederate flag in S.C. Capitol http://politi.co/1I5WN9t
Romney has the luxury of not being a candidate. No GOP candidate has asked for it to be taken down.
Or, perhaps, there is no such thing as a “thoughtful gun owner”. 👿
I will give some non NRA hunters the benefit of the doubt, Blouise. i actually once read a thoughtful editorial written by one. In some places the deer population is really too high.
Yes, I know. I was stirring the pot. I’d probably fight like hell if they tried to take my bow and arrows.
It’s tragic that so many innocents had to die but this Roof fellow brought all the racists, gun lovers, Confederate Flag junkies and their Republican party representatives out from under their rocks. It’s a plethora of really, really bad press for all of them. I do love their rationalizations resounding from sea to shinning sea.
” I do love their rationalizations resounding from sea to shinning sea.” Blouise Yep, here, there ,everywhere…….
Or, perhaps, there is no such thing as a “thoughtful gun owner”.
Or may be you just don’t know any in your circle. Some of us enlisted and carried arms for the country as a whole, not for our gratification, and those among that group may also belong to the NRA. You may have not the wars, but you sent us anyway. Our background in NRA, when extant, gave us an advantage in both safety and certainty in our training…which was to kill. Most of us did not bring that mind set to kill home with us..I’d say if there are any the percentage is less than 1%. PTSD is not what you think it is…
I do NOT assert you must like them, or me, one bit; your opinion is as valid as mine….until you make a sweeping remark like the one above. I am an extremely cautious and careful gun owner who owns no assault rifles or their clones…I have no need for them. If I were still interested in the Camp Perry Rifle matches I’d own a customized M-14, which is generally more than I could afford, so I skip it. I am a careless gun handler’s worst nightmare on the range or in general…I redefine what “in your face” means when dealing with anyone loony or unsafe with lethal weapons, knife or gun, both which I am familiar with. The martial arts (Taekwondo) taught me self control, now is that experience also evil? Do you believe everyone is a Bruce Lee wanna be? I do not intend to get shot “accidentally” by some one…let alone merely injured. I do not intend to shoot anyone, ever again, short of threat directly to my life or someone else’s very close up…and even then I’d first take the risk of trying to ameliorate the confrontation before that level.
I was once cadre to train officers how to shoot long ago and the rules stuck. Some were doctors and where they were going required the knowledge we gave them because many were in or very close to front line combat. I own Trap Shotguns for clay pigeons and pistols, the very safest available (manual safeties & de-cockers with one exception to the de-cocking feature used only for registered targets requiring it..lacking a de-cocker I don’t “carry” it.) first for paper target shooting, and secondarily, for self defense in a city rather well known for risk now and then, although vastly improved recently. The safest most “thoughtful” armed person you could stand next to at any time would be me and those I associate with regularly. And you would never know it. We really do exist. The NRA supports *real gun control* far more than you seem willing to admit.
Yeah, I am pretty certain we’ll never agree on this. That is your right. And it is mine to explain my position.
BTW..for those who noted SWM’s comment vis a vis Charles L. Cotton of the NRA you can be certain I will write to him and suggest he does NOT represent the majority of his membership and should just shut up. In my state licensed carry in a church is also prohibited unless you are a LEO or you have the permission of the Pastor or Priest….which I have, but seldom use. I agree completely that the prohibition should stand, with the exception I’ve noted. That said, how do we protect those who abide by it and still get murdered?
The twerp Roof broke all the gun control laws, and perhaps his father did as well, and yet he had a gun. No one is to blame for that except him. The photo someone showed earlier of Roof (whihc I thought was appropriate) is a classic example of a nut case, with little support from anyone, not the NRA and not the Republicans or Democrats who support rational gun control. To imply he does is disingenuous. Had he not had a gun, with his perverted mindset he could have done even worse carnage with a rather simple fertilizer bomb, just as McVeigh did. He was the problem, personally, not guns or fertilizer.
Our Celtic Lassie was a thoughtful gun owner. She was extremely safety conscious, and had seen up close just what kind of damage a gunshot wound could do. Her first ambulance call was a response to a man who had been shot during a violent domestic confrontation. He was dead when they got there.
She was one of the most accurate rifle shots I have ever seen, followed closely by her skill with a pistol. The only thing she ever shot was a paper target, and hoped to keep it that way. At the time she got sick, she had been talking about entering competitions. However, one afternoon she called me saying somebody had been circling our house. He pulled into our driveway twice and got out of his truck, looking around, but never came to the door. She thought he was acting suspicious. There have been several home invasions in our county, some of which resulted in deaths. Asked her where she was. She said she had gone upstairs to her room, and was in the back corner with her dog and her pistol. Last resort.
We had talked many times about the fact that once you take a life, no matter who it is or the circumstances, you are changed forever and cannot go back.
Some people don’t buy the argument that “the black market problem” is real in relation to the matter of regulation or that even if banned that a gun is simply too easy to make with minimal machining skills for a ban to be effective. I’m not one of those people, but just so, there it is.
Gene … funny you should mention how easy it is to build a gun from scratch. You are dead right on the subject…and I know it from experience.
One case in Detroit pursued by both DPD and ATF of a man who was making “military” Uzi’s (full automatic capability) in his basement with elementary machine tools. I was aware of the case because I loaned my car to the officers doing the stake out work…a habit I did regularly when asked by LEO’s so that they had completely “clean” cars to work from…just as the gas and electric companies did with their trucks when asked. At that time those LEO’s gave our little business superb protection via their “booster” car crews. I figured I got the better of our deal(s).
Damn it. This is NOT about guns.It is about racism. To makeit about guns is to dodge the issue.
It seems to me that at some point we have to ask what difference guns make in the racist equation.
It seems to me that so long as the hatred continues then the racists driven to violence will find a way to carry out their homicidal acts.
From examples in China we know it is possible to kill more than twice as many as our most recent tragedy using only a knife. We know that ATF has made great strides locking down most any kind of explosive. Yet common fuels such as gasoline or propane remain easily available for use by extremist.
Lock up what ever tool or implement you want. The killing will never stop so long as there remains the hatred and the urge to turn that hatred into action.
One might also consider Roof’s manifesto. He mentions several beliefs, including belief in massive under reported violence of blacks against whites. Roof’s beliefs are scarcely any different from views shared by many on other well known blogs.
What distinguishes Roof and his system of beliefs from other less violent bigots and racists? What turns someone with those beliefs from typing on a keyboard to deadly action? In my view that question holds the key to safety and perhaps harmony.
BTW, for the record, I have previously mentioned I do believe there is an individual right to keep firearms.
Chuck Stanley … your words…
… the fact that once you take a life, no matter who it is or the circumstances, you are changed forever and cannot go back.
You taught Brandi Nicole very well. Your words above mirror almost exactly those a very good friend of mine, a veteran of considerable combat experience and residual PTSD, who frequently says in our private conversation that once you pull the trigger you cannot take it back. I’ve never asked what inspired that opinion, over some 40 years now, but I am sure I know. He’s now a professional photographer, with a degree in film and film making, some of whose works circa Vietnam 1965-66 hang in our living room. The images he sought, even way back then as a untrained kid, are astounding in their message(s). One, of children, captures the words of Jules Roy circa 1954 in Hanoi better than Roy’s own words did.
I almost swoon at the manliness of your position. From shootin’ gooks to shootin’ up, Nam was a ball. But then I am of that generation so remember it well and thus am not the least impressed with your tales of gun valor. You made it home and even, if memory serves me from your writings, joined those protesting. Several of my friends didn’t make it back and I don’t have fond feelings for the men who got home and turned against their brothers. Your assumptions are thus entertaining.
Unlike the other gun supporters on this blog, I have no use for any kind of gun owner who supports the NRA either with their money or with their words, whether they consider themselves thoughtful or not.
I have been actively involved for three years with a national group of LE’s and prosecutors working to bring responsible gun legislation to states, one by one. I don’t just talk a good game, I play one.
But do keeping trying to impress me, it’s cute.
Tell that to the dead bible study members.
“Tell that to the dead bible study members.”
My point is that these murders occurred because of racism. On the Right they clearly understand that it is another mass death by a gun and so they try to avoid the issue on two counts. The first of course is that the Right itself has stoked the racism, doubling down even more when Obama was elected. The second place where the Right feels vulnerable is on the issue of gun control and so you find them going as far as blaming the victims, blaming psychosis and other non-sequitor issues to deflect from the central fact that a gun was used. In this vein as we see with Aridog, they even go as far as to suggest the futility of gun restrictions using the killings as proof, with the implication that if the worshippers had been packing they would have been safe.
Here’s the thing though a big problem with some on the Left is that they would make the focus that of a pet issue which is gun control. My opinion is that I think anything that takes the focus away from the climate of racism in America and in a State like South Carolina allows the racists to bog the entire horrible issue down in a welter of issues. I don’t want to lose focus on the horror of racism and how it is eating away at anything that is good left in this country. However, I’m aware of your activism on this issue and I respect it. In fact I am finally being won over to the side that feels the excesses of the NRA’s interpretation of the 2nd amendment, which I will get to next focusing on Aridog’s comments which I find annoying as well. But a final point with the guns and racism thing was made by BFM and I agree with it.
“It seems to me that at some point we have to ask what difference guns make in the racist equation.
It seems to me that so long as the hatred continues then the racists driven to violence will find a way to carry out their homicidal acts.”
Precisely from my perspective, however, now to Aridog
“Or may be you just don’t know any in your circle. Some of us enlisted and carried arms for the country as a whole, not for our gratification, and those among that group may also belong to the NRA. You may have not the wars, but you sent us anyway. Our background in NRA, when extant, gave us an advantage in both safety and certainty in our training…which was to kill. Most of us did not bring that mind set to kill home with us..I’d say if there are any the percentage is less than 1%. PTSD is not what you think it is…
I do NOT assert you must like them, or me, one bit; your opinion is as valid as mine….until you make a sweeping remark like the one above. I am an extremely cautious and careful gun owner who owns no assault rifles or their clones…I have no need for them. If I were still interested in the Camp Perry Rifle matches I’d own a customized M-14, which is generally more than I could afford, so I skip it. I am a careless gun handler’s worst nightmare on the range or in general…I redefine what “in your face” means when dealing with anyone loony or unsafe with lethal weapons, knife or gun, both which I am familiar with. The martial arts (Taekwondo) taught me self control, now is that experience also evil? Do you believe everyone is a Bruce Lee wanna be? I do not intend to get shot “accidentally” by some one…let alone merely injured. I do not intend to shoot anyone, ever again, short of threat directly to my life or someone else’s very close up…and even then I’d first take the risk of trying to ameliorate the confrontation before that level.”
Blouise calling you out on this being a macho statement was accurate, but I’ll concede that you yourself perhaps were not aware of how macho it was. I don’t get the impression that you fought in WWII, or Korea. If you haven’t, I frankly could care less about your service history, because all the other wars America has fought in since were immoral, illegal and a criminally futile waste of life. I flunked my physical when being drafted into Viet Nam and you know I’m damned proud of it. I protested that godforsaken was and all the innocent young American soldiers who put their lives at stake, many losing them, for nothing. The same was true in Panama, Grenada, Nicaragua, Iraq and Afghanistan. That doesn’t mean I have no empathy for the armed forces put in harms way, it means that I care more for their lives than the greedy and power mad sons of bitches that sent them off to fight for nothing.
You used that piece though to illustrate your prowess with firearms and afterwards with your knowledge of self defense.to burnish your manly credentials. Truth is that I was never a good fighter and at 70, after various illnesses, I can barely lift fifty pounds, when I could bench press 260 in my younger days. Although I have used on occasion a rifle and a pistol for target practice I would never own one. I believe they are virtually useless in self defense situations, unless you’re constantly packing one with you and eyeing everyone around you suspiciously, which is a way I don’t want to live my life. That doesn’t mean I’m defenseless because there are always available means of self defense, the first being always acutely aware of my surroundings and the available means of protection in each environment.
While I believe people should be allowed to own guns and to hunt, I think that the NRA you’re a member of is being run by a bunch of lunatics starting with Wayne La Pierre and remembering poor demented Charlton Heston. I also will grant that perhaps a majority of NRA members are responsible gun owner. however, you keep electing La Pierre and support open carry laws. THe idea of that is nonsensical on its face because even in the supposed “Wild West” open carry was illegal in most jurisdictions. We are intimidated by the police because they display their guns prominently. Do you really think it would be helpful if every yahoo in the country had a holster and a gun, like that full who brought his AR17 to the airport. The NRA could prove that it is a responsible organization by throwing out LaPierre, as I’m sure your letter to Charles Cotton will be tossed in the trash. No matter how responsible you might personally be as a person, belonging to a group run by Right Wing radical, paid off by the Arms industry is nothing to be proud of..
In the event you respond to this don’t get the impression that my lack of response has anything to do with being overwhelmed by your arguments, merely that I’m taking a blog break until next week because I’m seeing my children tomorrow and hosting my oldest grandson until Wednesday evening. See you all again this Thursday.
“Damn it. This is NOT about guns.It is about racism. To make it about guns is to dodge the issue.”
It’s about racists WITH guns.
Blouise, Racism is the tinder. Gun are the fire. It’s both. The problem is that most of these racists and white supremacists are also gun toting. Boom! Many deaths!
http://www.salon.com/2014/09/03/before_ferguson_americas_disturbing_legacy_of_white_supremacy_and_guns/ “Throughout American history guns have been instrumental in maintaining white supremacy. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes growing diversity — America will be mostly non-white by 2043 — as a factor in the increase of white supremacist groups. In fact, past moments of cultural change have yielded violent opposition by white citizens.”
I don’t think anyone disagrees that racism is a major problem, and as far as we can tell at the moment, the major driving force behind the Charleston church murders. As a Gestalt therapist, you know how virtually every issue is made up of parts with whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
Ever play Pick-Up-Sticks, Ta-Ka-Radi, or Jenga?
If the problems facing this country are to be addressed, we need to understand how the many parts are interlocked. One cannot be addressed without addressing an ever-expanding circle of critical issues. As with the tabletop games, make mistakes in one area and any solution attempted falls apart.
I have been gifted, or cursed, depending on how one looks at it, with the ability to see patterns and relationships. The greater Gestalt. I see a problem that goes much further back than the Civil War. Fixing it can be done, but it won’t be easy. Fixing the problem requires will, determination and cooperation as well as understanding how everything is related. I said it can be done. Realistically, I don’t foresee success.
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/20/politics/hillary-clinton-race-guns/ “”I lived in Arkansas and I represented upstate New York. I know that gun ownership is part of the fabric of a lot of law abiding communities,” Clinton said. “I also know that we can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners.”
The comment earned a sustained round of applause from the mayors assembled for the conference.
“The stakes are too high, the costs are too dear, and I am not and will not be afraid to keep fighting for common sense reforms and along with you, achieve those on behalf of all who have been lost because of this senseless gun violence in this country,” she said.
Clinton backed a bipartisan 2013 plan to require universal background checks on gun purchases, saying it didn’t make sense that the plan failed despite “overwhelming” support among Americans.”
It’s a battle worth fighting and the NRA has erected many barriers on a state by state basis that we are slowly breaking down. My complete disdain for NRA members and supporters is well grounded in these experiences. Many of the members are unaware of the barriers purposely erected but that, like the Germans who ignored the passing cattlecars, is no excuse.
blouise, Don’t think it will hurt Clinton one bit to take on the NRA and racism.Those guys were never going to vote for her .
blouise said …
You made it home and even, if memory serves me from your writings, joined those protesting. Several of my friends didn’t make it back and I don’t have fond feelings for the men who got home and turned against their brothers. Your assumptions are thus entertaining.
With all due respect, you must have a reading or memory deficiency. Please cite anywhere that I said I protested the Vietnam War. I enlisted in 1968 at the age of 26 and never once “protested” in any fashion, then or now. You must be thinking of John Kerry & his puerile “Winter Soldier” affair (begun in Detroit)…an event I’ve said many times I detested to the extreme, and still do detest him to this day. Do you have an opinion of Secretary Kerry?
Next, I have made no attempt to impress anyone with my manliness, as you put it, only pointed out that you suggested, with hyperbole, that all gun owners were not thoughtful. I suggested that carrying a weapon can be a duty at times in one’s life, and some 2.5 million of us did so, both draftees and enlisted. I doubt we all were not thoughtful.
Last, I do not care what you think of me, but if you assert I turned against my brothers, you are either misguided or lying. I’m sorry you lost friends in that War, just as I am sorry I did as well. Yes, I came home walking and talking, but you sound like that itself was a crime. Frankly, I do not care.
BTW: “Gooks” is not the pejorative for Vietnamese, it is a poor translation of Kuk or Guk in Hangul, the written Korean language. Your use of it is telling none the less. I suspect you know much less than you think you do, among other things by misplacing a slang term for Koreans in place of Vietnamese. I don’t use the term, or the couple that do apply to Vietnamese.
Chuck Stanley … I agree it can be done, and I even envisioned the day when it would be done. This tragedy in Charleston has shaken my confidence in that and now I agree that I also do not foresee success.
Since the subject has come up again, here’s my take.
Don’t bother restricting guns because people can just make their own?
How many people would actually do that? You’d be able to tell, by ER visits. There are lots of interesting youtube videos, portraying what happens if you don’t do it right.
If people can just easily make their own firearms, why would you object to limiting the manufacture of firearms?
If registering guns, and background checks won’t be effective in controlling the use of guns, then why do you object to registration and/or background checks? Let’s prove it’s not effective. I don’t give a damn if it’s a waste of time, show me it’s a waste of time.
Why is the sale of grenades to civilians illegal? They’ll just make their own, right?
Bob Kauten … Registering hand guns and background checks are mandatory in my state. My name is so common that it always takes a week for the FBI to clear me on any pistol purchase, even purely target pistols. I don’t have a problem with that level of control, it makes sense. I might object if they decided to demand I “register” my Civil War Spencer Carbine however, or my rather large and long Trap shotguns…however, in the latter case I’d comply none-the-less.
BTW…the sale of grenades wasn’t illegal until 1968 as far as I know. There are still plenty of them out there. Back then you could buy a canon if you wanted it, or even a mortar. That said, crazy people can find a way to make explosive devices from nearly anything, as proven over and over in the middle east in the past decade. A very dangerous one can be made in a 5 gallon bucket with fertilizer and a readily available additive. Fougasse is easier to create and almost as lethal. Sane folks wouldn’t bother, crazy people very well might. How many does it take to make a tragedy? We might “control” the sane, but the crazies…nope, those we have to interdict. One method with today’s “social media” would be to spy on folks…and I don’t fear that because I am not crazy but would be happy if the crazies were interdicted before they could act.
In short, the federal and state government both know of and have records on all of my handguns, by dint of the permits required to purchase. Waiting a week for clearance by the FBI is no big deal…as I said, my name is almost as common as dirt in this country.
Must have been another gun nut. You all sound alike. Shootin’ gooks then shootin’ up was a song.
As to Kerry, if you read what I wrote then there should be no question as to what I thought of him … then and now.
Too many “not my fault” bodies surround NRA members but not to worry, there are lots of gun supporters on this blog.
Let me be crystal clear.
NRA members and supporters are a huge problem in this country and I have as little to do with them as possible. But for them we could have made real strides in reasonable gun laws and saved many lives. So you, Aridale, are the enemy because your dues help fight the passage of gun laws and thus enable those who kill first graders in their classrooms and those worshipping in their churches. Can’t get any clearer than that.
And I was being sarcastic earlier, manly was a joke.
We’re you the Zimmerman supporter or was that a different gun nut?
We’re. sb Were
Racism Is Not A Mental Illness
When white people go on shooting sprees, their actions are frequently attributed to mental illness and, thus, they’re not considered fully accountable for the harm they’ve inflicted. But in a historical psychoanalysis of 235 mass murders in the U.S., forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Stone called this an illogical fallacy, and noted the media narrative tends to go something like this: Someone committed mass murder, therefore he is mentally ill, which caused him to commit mass murder.
This narrative — which is not afforded to people of color — feeds into the assumption that incidents like what happened at Emanuel AME Church are isolated tragedies executed by lone gunmen. Essentially, it excuses the system that allows racialized terrorism to keep happening.
Only around 22 percent of mass murderers suffer from clinical mental illnesses, while the rest are just people with narcissistic and paranoid personality traits like entitlement, self-righteousness and resentment. They strike back at people they both know and don’t know. At the time of the killings, they’re usually feeling a combination of murderous rage, utter hopelessness and suicidal despair — but these things are not mental illness, Stone wrote this May in the journal Violence and Gender this past May.
What we know of Roof so far echoes these facts, Stone told HuffPost. Men like this, said Stone, are susceptible to white supremacist ideology because it has the ability to “[reverse] a feeling of worthlessness and inadequacy.” Historically, white supremacy has been attractive to disenfranchised white men, explained Stone, because it gives their suffering meaning and it gives them a cause to rally around.
“Some men of that sort try to adopt a cause — often a very hateful cause like white supremacy — to imagine that instead of being a flop and failure, they’re a member of a special group of people who are under-appreciated but who also really know the truth and [are] trying to grab the reins of power,” said Stone. “That would be a relief from the feeling of being a total nothing and a total failure.”
In 1999, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a black psychiatrist, wrote in The New York Times about why he believed racism should be considered a mental disorder. “Like all others who experience delusions, extreme racists do not think rationally,” he wrote. But the American Psychiatric Association decided not to recognize the phenomenon as such — and ultimately opts to focus on the impact of racism on people’s lives — because racism’s presence in the U.S. makes it normative, and because the organization “expressed their concern that if racism was to be classified as a mental disorder, racists would perceive an inability to control their beliefs and, therefore, not be inclined to challenge and change their racist beliefs.” Some psychiatrists also attempted to get “pathological bias” into the DSM-V in 2012, but its inclusion was ultimately rejected.
Park Dietz, a well-known forensic psychiatrist who has testified in several high-profile criminal cases of mass murderers, agrees that bigotry is not a mental disorder. While it can distort the lens through which people view the world, explained Dietz, there is no biological basis for bigotry the way there is for real mental illness. And in fact, bigotry doesn’t even necessarily have to disrupt the way a person lives his life and contributes to society.
Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America
Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason
The tragedy in Charleston last week will no doubt lead to more discussion of several important and recurring issues in American culture—particularly racism and gun violence—but these dialogues are unlikely to bear much fruit until the nation undertakes a serious self-examination. Decrying racism and gun violence is fine, but for too long America’s social dysfunction has continued to intensify as the nation has ignored a key underlying pathology: anti-intellectualism.
America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof’s actions on America’s culture of racism and gun violence, but it’s time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation’s culture of ignorance.
In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell,” (link is external) where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball (link is external) into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president (link is external), it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall.
In considering the senseless loss of nine lives in Charleston, of course racism jumps out as the main issue. But isn’t ignorance at the root of racism? And it’s true that the bloodshed is a reflection of America’s violent, gun-crazed culture, but it is only our aversion to reason as a society that has allowed violence to define the culture. Rational public policy, including policies that allow reasonable restraints on gun access, simply isn’t possible without an informed, engaged, and rationally thinking public.
Some will point out, correctly, that even educated people can still be racists, but this shouldn’t remove the spotlight from anti-intellectualism. Yes, even intelligent and educated individuals, often due to cultural and institutional influences, can sometimes carry racist biases. But critically thinking individuals recognize racism as wrong and undesirable, even if they aren’t yet able to eliminate every morsel of bias from their own psyches or from social institutions. An anti-intellectual society, however, will have large swaths of people who are motivated by fear, susceptible to tribalism and simplistic explanations, incapable of emotional maturity, and prone to violent solutions. Sound familiar?
Heritage of hate: Dylann Roof, white supremacy and the truth about the Confederacy
In the wake of the terrorist killings in Charleston by admitted white nationalist and neo-Confederate Dylann Roof, many a voice have called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse, and in general, from American culture. That flag—actually a battle standard of the army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War—is prized by Roof as a symbol of white supremacy and segregation: both of which his recently discovered manifesto makes clear he supports. Much as the Klan and Neo-Nazi groups have brandished that flag as a symbol of their cause since the 1950s, so too does Roof consider it an appropriate totem for his.
Naturally, those who defend the flag, whether on statehouse grounds or a bumper sticker, have been quick to condemn any suggestion that the flag is a racist symbol. No matter the use for which it has obviously been put by overt white supremacists, including Roof, they insist that the flag and more broadly the Confederacy itself was not about racism. Indeed, they insist the flag is about “heritage, not hate.” It’s an old canard and one that we who are southerners have heard all of our lives: The Confederacy was about state’s rights, they insist, or tariffs, or taxes, or an intrusive “central government.” That anyone could still believe such things is testament to the broken and utterly pathetic state of American education. Much as some apparently don’t wish to believe Roof was motivated by racism and white supremacy, even as he said so from his own mouth before slaughtering nine people, many white folks appear incapable of trusting the very words uttered at the time of secession by Confederate leaders, all of which make clear that enslavement and white domination were not only the biggest reasons for their breakaway government but indeed the only ones.
I realize how frustrating it is and you know my history with civil rights. We’ve come a long way since the early 60’s but racism is a disease (I consider it a mental illness) buried deep within our culture and something that I know will eventually destroy this nation. I’m just trying to save a few lives because the gun laws are something we can fix.
Don’t concern yourself with Aridog. I purposely poke him ’cause playing with RIL trash is entertaining and I really do hold the NRA membership, each and everyone of them, responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. We are making progress on gun laws, state by state and there would be a great many children alive today had the NRA not put up so many barriers. It’s slow work but there are a dedicated bunch of professionals determined to implement gun safety laws in every state. Then we can get proper reporting to the CDC who will do for guns what they did for auto.
Will that help in solving the racism that afflicts so many of our citizens? No, but it will force them to find other ways to kill the people they hate and given the intelligence level of your ordinary racist, they will be blowing themselves up by mistake which is, all in all, a most pleasant outcome.
I, too, will be gone for the next two weeks. Taking that train trip.
In Aridog’s defense, he has indicated that he is not against reasonable restrictions but rather for protecting the 2nd. While our positions may not have the same nuance or detail, that is essentially both my position and that of other long established members of this community.
Does that make us “RIL trash”?
Editorial Reminder: Trollery is a set of dishonest tactics. Disagreement is not trollery. Agreement is not required.
Also, “Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America, Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason”. Any culture that prides itself on ignorance and irrationality is doomed. Civilization is in large part defined by progress and anti-intellectualism is a retrograde function. Our dysfunctional government’s dysfunction is rooted in graft. Our dysfunctional society is rooted in the abandonment of reason as the article Elaine linked to points out.
““Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America, Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason”. Any culture that prides itself on ignorance and irrationality is doomed. Civilization is in large part defined by progress and anti-intellectualism is a retrograde function. Our dysfunctional government’s dysfunction is rooted in graft. Our dysfunctional society is rooted in the abandonment of reason as the article Elaine linked to points out.”
The article makes the decline of reason and miss-application of science sound almost … feral.
Why Conservatives Still Won’t Admit That Charleston Was A Racist Crime
We live in an age where mass shootings are so common that there is now a template for politicians to plug in the victim’s names, the date and location of the massacre, and synonyms for words like “tragedy” and “horror.” In the last 36 hours, we’ve heard ersatz condolences filled with hollow words, anodyne phrases about “unimaginable” horrors.
But the Charleston church shooting that left nine African-Americans dead while they prayed is not an inexplicable tragedy. It simply took white rage and racism and conservative political race-baiting to their logical conclusions. It echoes a disturbing trend in right-wing media inflaming fringe factions, encouraging maximum armament, and then turning around after a tragedy and saying “we had no idea this would happen.”
There were two things about that article that I didn’t like. 1) It’s true. 2) I didn’t write it.
GOP’s fear of a black America: The long, racist history which explains Dylann Roof and stains the so-called “party of Lincoln”
Dylann Roof’s assault was the latest salvo in the racial struggle we have fought since 1865: Who owns America?
By Heather Cox Richardson
(Richardson is the author of “To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party,” amongst several other books, and a professor of history at Boston College.)
In 1889, a new Republican administration threatened to revive the federal defense of black voting. A new generation of white Democrats combined with increasing numbers of middle-class women working outside the home to turn this political fear into the specter of the rape of white women by black men. Opponents of black political rights explained that in exchange for their votes, political leaders would give government jobs to black men. This would give them the power of patronage, for in the nineteenth century, local positions depended on the goodwill of local politicians. While men gained political favor by promising their votes, women had no votes to trade for a job. So when black men became, for example, school principals, they could force innocent white girls to have sex with them in exchange for jobs as teachers. This social construction of a political fear very quickly turned to the idea that black political power meant widespread rape.
When American judges proved reluctant to convict all black prisoners accused of rape, white mobs dismissed the government as either corrupt or ineffectual and took over the job themselves. By the early twentieth century, white citizens had made the lynching of black men a civic duty. While the Ku Klux Klan had operated in secret, the vigilantes of the early twentieth century took photographs of themselves with victims. For these citizen-terrorists, only by purging the government of black voices could the nation be made safe.
When Roof said: “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go,” and then made himself judge and jury, he was echoing both a fear and a crazed solution that grew out of the Civil War, when white Southern men had to face the reality that they were going to have to share control the government. That fact inspired terror—and terrorism—among white men in the late nineteenth century. It did so in the 1960s, when, once again, white Americans tried to silence black political voices with terrorism.
Today, Fox News, talk radio hosts, and Movement Conservative politicians have stoked in their followers that same fear of losing control of the government with constant references to freeloading black voters and the “47 percent… who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” As in the past, the fear of sharing political power with African American voters who, according to right-wing media, are lazy criminals, has led to horrific violence. After a hundred and fifty years, this pattern should come as no surprise.
I think I need to leave this conversation. We’ve talked about gun control and reasonable legislation, but I’ve not read any suggestions as to what those laws might entail with specifics…e.g., I don’t really know what you mean. I’ve briefly described our laws in Michigan, which I find reasonable & necessary and at least in my case any purchase I make is vetted by the FBI as I’ve stated…and usually takes a week to do so because of my very common name. I’d be happy to hear proposals of what others think is reasonable gun control state by state and/or nationally. I don’t think that will occur on this thread. I’d also be interested in specifics on just what others believe the NRA has blocked that was otherwise reasonable. It could be a good conversation. I’m not addicted to all NRA positions, even dislike some of them on hunting and certain weapons I consider manifestly unsafe (thus irresponsible to espouse or own) …and I say so directly when necessary.
If I sounded “macho” that certainly wasn’t my intention, so the error is in how I couched my statement. I merely meant to illuminate how many of us, some 2.5 million in my war (Vietnam), were “thoughtful” even though we carried lethal weapons. I didn’t protest that war, although I had many doubts about it and still do, especially the policy of Robert Komer in the LBJ White House. Back in those days, being inducted wasn’t a choice for most of the participants. In the remarks I made I was simply trying to describe my personal views on being a “thoughtful” gun owner and how those ideas evolved in my thinking.
Finally, having been a Democrat until 2004’s election cycle, now a right leaning Independent (social liberal, fiscal conservative), I find the aspersions cast at the NRA in general, without specifics, disingenuous, let alone implying that Mr Roof was a “Republican” or representative of them in any way. Just my opinion, of course, since I still a ticket splitter now as an Independent, just as I was as a Democrat…although I vote in Republican primaries as my part to sort out the field. Until he was re-districted away from my district, for the 2012 cycle, I always voted for John Conyers Jr., because I have personal experience with him as my “representative”…he does powerfully represent his constituency regardless of their politics or color. Some many not be aware of that solid representational stance by him, so I’ve repeated it here after saying several times elsewhere. I may seldom agree with him politically, but I trust him implicitly, and trust trumps politics IMO.
I hope everyone has a great Father’s Day.
As an Editor and blog Administrator, I would like to remind everyone that ad hominem name calling is what many of us fled another blog to avoid. If you have a point of argument, make it and defend that position with logic and reason. Aridog is not “trash” and neither are some of the others who may find this forum more to their liking. Bron often leaves me scratching my head with some of his ideas, but he is not “trash” either. Imitation is NOT the best form of flattery when one is more or less imitating the style of some of the denizens of other “civil” [choke, snort, gag] blogs.
This is also not a private club where “insiders” can feel free to greet newcomers and visitors with derision and personal attacks. Attack the argument, not the person. I am friends with a physics professor who specializes in materials and dense matter physics. She tried to engage discussion here shortly after this blog was first set up. After a brief exchange, she sent me an email saying, “I don’t have time for assholes.”
We want to attract enthusiastic commenters, not run them off.
Finally, be aware that no one is immune from having comments moderated if they get out of hand and devolve to content-free insults. As Gene says, agreement is not required. Adding to that, I recall reading Dale Carnegie when someone gave me a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. I was in high school at the time. I have long forgotten the details of the book, but the overall message has remained with me for more than six decades. Might be time to revisit the book.
If we are going to be instruments of change, we must act more like salespersons and less like dogmatic ideologues.
As someone once said, “Don’t you kids make me have to get up out of this chair.”
“As an Editor and blog Administrator, I would like to remind everyone that ad hominem name calling is what many of us fled another blog to avoid. If you have a point of argument, make it and defend that position with logic and reason. ”
It is good to know there is usually an adult in the room – especially with these issues that carry so much emotional weight.
One more thing worth mentioning here, vis a vis guns and killing: Long ago I had a long conversation (mentioned a couple of times elsewhere) with a ROK Marine about the cultural difference between my west and his east. His opinion was that we in the west presume the right to kill, and debate the means….while in his own east the debate is on whether killing is justified, and if so, use any means necessary. He had a good point that has shaped my views ever since. It implies, to me at least, that our problem may be more cultural than guns per se, and add in overt blatant racism like that of Mr Roof and we have a toxic mix. Might we better address the cultural issue that ROK Marine and I did long ago. YMMV but all I can say his words changed me. The ROK Marines were at times called brutal and barbaric in battle, but his explanation shed light on why that was. In his country, at the time, if you killed some one for any reason you’d better have some severe wounds yourself…and if found guilty of a wrong decision to kill, it was the death penalty, carried out in 30 days most times. However, they have few murders in the ROK and I suggest the reason is cultural (like it is with the Swiss where virtually everyone is armed) not a question of the means.
Gene Howington …thanks for recovering my comment. Odd thing is that it appeared to post normally so I just moved on…thus it had to disappear after I left the site. I was unaware of the deletion until you mentioned it, but thank you for the recovery. In short, perhaps the WordPress vortex of doom was still trying to disrupt. 😀
Blouise: “Don’t concern yourself with Aridog. I purposely poke him ’cause playing with RIL trash is entertaining…”
Who needs debating differences in a marketplace of ideas when you can simply ignore your opponents by labeling them trash? And if that doesn’t work, you can always silence them by with accusations of micro-aggressions or whatever the censorship de jour happens to be.
Die Liberalen sind nie falsch!
“As an Editor and blog Administrator, I would like to remind everyone that ad hominem name calling is what many of us fled another blog to avoid. If you have a point of argument, make it and defend that position with logic and reason. Aridog is not “trash” and neither are some of the others who may find this forum more to their liking.”
I had planned to take three days, or so, offline to be with my family. However, to quote Michael Corleone in Godfather Three “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in”.
You may be an Administrator here, but I’ve been totally on board as an author/editor since the beginning of FFS and I must admit your remarks directed at Blouise, pissed me off. From her perspective as an anti-gun activist and from mine even as a general supporter of the right to bear arms, the NRA as an organization is the worst kind of trash. Aridog and other NRA members may well be responsible gun users and also responsible people as well. However, their membership dues go to support an ultra right wing organization that has racist tendencies and is a subsidiary of the Arms industry in the United States. To pointedly rebuke her for an ad hominem attack was reckless on your part.
I know that you and Aridog have a close relationship beyond FFS and I can’t help but think that you felt protective of him. Blouise, however, was an original and is the strongest supporter of this blog and BTW you also have an offline relationship with her, though apparently not as close. There are plenty of ad hominems thrown around here without reaction and you very well know it. Your reaction seems to me to be personal, by invoking your right as an administrator to threaten (make no mistake threaten it was) her. I’m sure Aridog is quite capable defending himself well and he is in no need of your protection.
One of the differences about this place vis-a-vis RIL, is that many of our main participants are women and in that respect you also know damn well that we offered Blouise an original position as an author/editor. Our most prolific and most read writer is Elaine. Among our most prominent commenters are SwM, I Annie, BettyKath etc. We are not a godamned men’s club here, unlike the other place and you well know what my stance is on that.
As you know very well one of the reasons I left RIL was NOT because people were attacking me on an ad hominem basis, but because I was not allowed to respond in kind to those attacks. My talent as a writer as I’ve admitted many times is journeyman at best. I think people like me because they know that I will be honest with them, have integrity and put my passion into my work. Because of this I am deliberately not choosing to deal with this disagreement between the major players here offline, it is because I remember those offline “discussions” with JT all to well and regret I didn’t go public sooner. The only other thing I’ll say further is that there is a strong possibility that Blouise won’t be returning here and while she is someone who I consider a friend, she is also to my mind an intrinsic part of RIL and your decision to threaten her was ill made.
My children will be up to see me soon and I’m going to be offline, as I mentioned, until at least Wednesday. I felt I needed to say this now because I’ve been in touch with Blouise and I must say this affair is quite upsetting to me. I wanted to get it our before I can relax.
Nonetheless, participation elsewhere is not a bar from participating here.
When setting up this blog, I could have quite easily taken every IP and email from there and added it to the blacklist. Instead, I used discretion. Was Chuck’s admonishment heavier than mine? Yes it was. Yet I too made an mild admonishment.
Ad hominem is not insult. Insult is not ad hominem. Insult has a place in public discourse. It expresses displeasure and disgust in a shorthand manner. Ad hominem is simply fallacious logic. For example, Bron is not often wrong because he is an Objectivist, he is wrong because Objectivism is wrong and built on a faulty foundation and that can be proven with a pencil and a piece of paper.
The two parties involved here (aside from the ancillary party of Aridog) have both been under considerable strain as of a late. That should be considered before there is escalation. Exhaustion and stress make people more tender than they might be ordinarily. Might I suggest that everyone step back and take a deep breath. We’re all friends here and friends sometimes have disagreements.
It is the Tao.
Now that being said, I really don’t want to get out of my chair today.
Perhaps the gun issue and white privilege are too important to some of us to overlook the differences. Should Blouise quit posting here I will make myself very scarce or go away entirely. Might be better to have a blog full of gun totters and deniers of white privilege that pick on Elaine. Been there don that…… We don’t mix well and the ugliness will continue.
If everyone wants to start acting like children, maybe I should just shut the door. I didn’t start this blog to be a hissy fit. I can make this all go away with a keystroke.
Since we’re on to making threats now.
Would anyone one else want to threaten anyone?
Anyone who knows me knows how well I like ultimatums.
It’s people like you and Blouise who give me reason to spend so much of my time researching and writing posts for FFS. This blog wouldn’t be the same without the two of you.
I know Elaine. Will see what Blouise ultimately does.
I think you should all check your email.
Mike sez, “I know that you and Aridog have a close relationship beyond FFS….”
Mike, I am puzzled as to how you can “know” that, especially since it is not true. Never talked to him, exchanged email or any contact other than a dozen or so exchanges on the blog. So how can you “know” something that is not true or never happened?
All I want is to keep things civil. Recall what Brandi learned about the Three Sieves from the Sufi story. Always ask, “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?”