...A Good Idea at the Time


And *poof* the average IQ of Slog writing drops 10 points.
Oh, dear. Such a long post. Are you an Objectivist? That post was absolutely Randian.

I think I'll skip this one for something lighter. Has Charles posted anything this morning?
Radian in length, that is..... Like one of Howard Roark's speeches that go on for thirty pages and add nothing to the plot....
Someone wishes he were the Lewis Lapham of the right.
God, you're a wordy sonofabitch.
You can be long-winded, you can be boring, you can post your writings in a forum where you have zero to negative credentials, but not all three and expect anyone who doesn't share your last name to read the entire screed.
Microsoft Encarta and a 1913 edition of Webster are your go to dictionaries? That annoys me far more than the incoherence of this post.
I kept looking for the TL;DR summation. (I quit around the definition of "psychosis.")
Logorrhoea much?
Poe's law.
What @8 said.
"Below the fold" = Fuck You, regardless of political slant.
The reason that free speech is enshrined in the very first amendment of the Constitution is because speech is powerful.

Powerful things can be dangerous.

Dangerous things should be used with care.
tl;dr but I got to the fold. Clearly batshit insane. This week's Slog has potential.

3/10 best I can give you.

Post more crazy man.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson

I was gonna use the Shakespeare quote, but I thought you would appreciate Jefferson's more.

I, and I'm sure other well meaning Sloggers, would love to engage you in a week of liberal v. conservative. But first we have to be able to read your posts. And this is a blog most of us check while avoiding our real jobs. Concise is the name of the game.
Now we know what Seattleblues got for Xmas.
I got bored after the first paragraph. Quit reading completely by the middle of the second.
Horsehit. 2000 words takes about five minutes to read. What, did you think I was going to use this forum to post YouTube videos of mating squids? Short screeds featuring gratuitous all caps obscenities? Jesus, people.
And every one of you took the time to comment within minutes. To paraphrase the SNL cowbell bit, I put my pants on one leg at a time, but when I put my pants on, I drive page hits. I got skills.
@20 Cute name.
2000 words may not take long to read, were they well put together. Meandering thoughts take a while to string back together.
TL;DR and what @16 said. One gets the distinct impression that you love to hear yourself type... so please, put down the thesaurus before someone gets hurt.
Can we give his daughter her money back.I got five on it.

Way too longwinded and sounds vaugely like Laughners rambling on YouTube.
TL;DR - here's the take-away, about halfway through: "And if you’re incapable of recognizing what might set off a lunatic, you are the lunatic." In context, the author means it as a sarcastic example of liberal idiocy, but as @10 suggests, it works both ways.
Not sure, but we may have covered the "brevity" thing.
Perhaps it is time for the "you write" portions of Strangercrombie to be dropped. I know I always avoid that particular issue of The Stranger because it is notoriously bad.
......point being? No, seriously.
I have no problem engaging cogent ideologies with which I disagree; in fact I encourage it.

But this just makes no sense.
Thanks Lo. Point being that Omar Thornton was driven in part by delusions instilled by a national narrative on race that is farcical. This is currently relevant in light of the latest push for "civil" discourse.
"The Democratic Party, assisted by the braver elements of the national media, sprung into action, quickly wrestling the First Amendment to the ground and disarming it before it could do more damage. "

I would tell you that I disagree with you, but if I did, I would be violating your First Amendment rights.
So you are saying that white people in America should be allowed to be racist because of the first Amendment and because black people are racist as well- on MLK day? Stay Classy eladsinned.
So asking everyone to tone it down a little is an attack on the First Amendment? You have the right to say 'Fuck Your Mother, Bitches!!" all you want. It doesn't mean you should, nor that people are barred from criticizing you for doing it.

And I thought one of the family values was civillity? How about conservatives start promoting that?
@ 31
I've heard this argument--that this media-driven campaign against heated rhetoric is hardly an assault on free speech because, after all, no body is talking about passing a law or anything.

Nonsense; our political history is full of campaigns like this the explicit purpose of which is to chill speech and ostracize political enemies. I repeat myself: the relevant analogy is the run-up to the Iraq war, when the media was cowed into believing all sorts of nonsense by a political movement (neocons) taking advantage of a tragedy and its ensuing fear and loathing. No one passed any specific laws against public speech then (not even in the monstrous Patriot Act), and they didn't have to.
So you are saying that white people in America should be allowed to be racist because of the first Amendment

Good God, of course I'm saying that. Anyone gets to "be a racist". What country are you from?
C'mon, admit it...you guys are starting to miss Matt Luby, right?
If anybody got all the way through this, please tell us if anything happened in the second act.
tl;dr. I guess you need to get your money's worth.

@8 +1

@37 Oh, totally. I actually liked his writing, posting, and trolling. This new one isn't fun at all.
@37: So because a "[campaign] to chill speech and ostracize [people]" was bad when used to lead a nation into a questionably justifiable war, it's also bad when used to try to keep people from inciting assassination attempts?
@40: that should be @35, not @37.
@37: No. Especially when he keeps posting this shit under assumed names.
that's the real problem you have, isn't it? Nobody incited Loughner. If people aren't trying to silence dissent, why the hell do they keep shouting about rhetoric?
Dennis Dale is my real name; I'm commenting here as eladsinned because that's what I'm registered under. The substance in this thread is overwhelming.
I'll read a 2000 word screed if it is interesting and well written, even if I disagree with the writer. This was just a rambling boring mess.


Your daughter bought you the right to post here for a week. She did not, and can not, buy the politeness or interest of SLOG commenters. If you bore us, or pointlessly insult us, this will get ugly long before the end of the week.
again @ 40

"questionably justifiable war"?

No; illegal and profoundly immoral. Not to mention wholly unnecessary and, now, disastrous, even from the point of view of its proponents. Just for the record.
@30: See Dennis! You managed to make your whole "after the jump" point in 34 words. And didn't you start out with a plea for good manners? Do you hold the denizens of Slog to a higher standard than those who have (or wish to have) the power to influence public policy?

@Canuck: You are a bad lady. Xoxo
It's okay. But I'm not pleading for politeness, and I'm sure not insulting anyone, pointlessly or otherwise. You guys really have taken this "civility" nonsense to heart. I appreciate your concern, but I think I'll survive the week just fine. I'm already having a blast, and despite everyone's disingenuous complaints, I think they are too.
Oh Lissa, but you, Mr. Canuck, and the RCMP know that already... ;)
@43: What? Um, yes, my real problem is that people died. People keep shouting about rhetoric because that's what we're talking about. People are shouting about the way things are being said not the things that are being said.

You can go ahead and disagree with me, and argue with me, and hold and espouse whatever opinions in the world you want, and I will argue with you about them as they come. But when you start phrasing your arguments in terms of attacking and reloading and crosshairs and 'taking <someone> out,' then I am going to take issue with your rhetoric (i.e., the way you are saying what you are saying).

I don't care if we're arguing about health care or immigration or what color the sky is, there are some rhetorical techniques that are BAD, which you SHOULD NOT USE, and when someone uses them, I reserve the right to tell them so.
@35 What you're talking about has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

After 9/11 corporate media made a choice to support the Bush administration entirely even when they knew in advance that they were lying to the public. The 1st Amendment supports their right to lie to the public for financial gain. It also protected the right of the neo-cons to call everyone that disagreed with them terrorists.

I watch a lot of lamestream media, and I gotta tell you, no one has said Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck don't have the right to incite violence against the left, which they do every day, but have suggested that they tone it down, as is their right under the First Amendment.

As it was in 9/11 it's not a First Amendment problem, it's a cowardice problem. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh have been actively inciting violence. Now they are pretending their rights are being violated when someone has the gall to point it out.

@46: I phrased it that way simply to avoid branching the argument.
Okay, so where was your outrage before? And (why must we keep repeating this?) there is no connection between Loughner and any political party, so the hysterics attached to his crimes are essentially a campaign of disinformation.

Again, the Iraq War analogy is apposite because, note, even now about half of Americans think Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. Years from now people will talk about a "right-wing gunman" who killed all those people in Arizona.
Has anyone wondered why the two issues that directly pertain to the incident--gun control and mental health policy--are getting crowded out by this disingenuous nonsense? I'll tell you why--because there's no political advantage to be drawn from them. You are being manipulated.
Easy to read, hard to comprehend. Your thoughts are almost as disjointed as Loughner's. (What an apt reference, eh?)

No, no one incited him to shoot Giffords. He probably would have LOVED to blow out Sarah Palin's brains. He's just a mentally disturbed nerd who took "Fight Club" way too seriously.

Violent metaphors and imagery won't incite sane people to commit violence, and and trying to ban (through legislation or public opinion) whatever we think will push nutcases over the edge is an exercise in futility.

However, certain people know how to push normal folks' buttons. "John is not a real American. John supports terrorists. John wants to take this country away from us. We must stop him. Every single one of you must act now if we are to save our great nation from the forces of evil." Your rhetoric can be more subtle than, "You should kill John," but implant the same idea.

That's dangerous, and I will exercise my First Amendment rights to criticize such speech.
When a Liberal administration and a progressive agenda get underway, a section of the population collectively loses their shit, minorities get scapegoated for causing problems that should be laid at the feet of greedy corporations and powerful special interests, the guns come out, and somebody perceived as a threat to the Great American Way gets shot.

Let's face it: that's how it goes, and you can hardly blame us for anticipating that it can and will happen again.
I think someone wasted their money.
@54: Where was my outrage at what? At violent rhetoric? People had already been pointing it out for some time. Should I not feel more strongly about something after someone dies? I don't understand your point.

As for Loughner's politics, I imagine we'll have to keep repeating it as long as you keep bringing it up. In fact, that's the entire point. It wasn't someone saying that the sky is green that was the problem, it was people in power, people on television and in the media saying that if anyone tries to tell them the sky is purple, they'd resolve the problem with guns.

I will agree that the mental health policy issue is a better avenue of discussion, as far as national dialogue is concerned. But your screed starts with the headline "Rhetoric and Political Violence." What the fuck did you think we were going to talk about?
Easy to read, hard to comprehend.
How does this even make sense? Yes, "disjointed" is apt.
Should I not feel more strongly about something after someone dies?

You should feel more strongly about the causes thereof. Feigning outrage at something unrelated (but conveniently in line with your own political goals) is not only dishonest, it is cynical and obscene.
@60: I don't even know what your point is anymore, but you seem to be the expert on what I feel and think, so I'll just go ahead and concede.
My reaction to this post: http://bit.ly/eVgqU1
someone bought their crazy father a week on SLOG?

Don't get me wrong, its like punking the whole city, I like it. As with any practical joke, I cant wait to watch it unfold. Its like reading "Real Change", without the ink that gets on my fingers.

Since you like definitions, Mr. Dale, I'll put it like this.

Read: To interpret something that is written or printed.
Comprehend: To get the meaning of something.

I READ your post, but did not COMPREHEND what you were trying to say, unless you were simply saying, "Don't criticize my political allies."

You complained about this thread's substance, yet hypocritically failed to address the substance of my comment. Since I conceded your point that conservative media did not influence Jared Loughner, I can only assume that's a strawman to deflect my criticism of rhetoric that has the potential to be truly harmful rather than merely distasteful. It's like writing off the high schooler who draws swastikas on his notebook as harmless and ignoring the radio host who says Jews kill children to make matzo
Pretentious writing is annoying. Incoherent writing is frustrating. Aggh!

I tried. I really did try to get through it. Sorry, man.
I thought the teabaggers were cumming all over themselves a little while ago, telling Muslims in New York not that they couldn't exercise their First Amendment rights to build an Interfaith Community Center (a/k/a mosque) , but merely that they shouldn't, because it Offended Us.
There was a time when I was upset with my father to the extent that I wished for him to be publicly ridiculed by strangers for a week.

I don't Strangercrombie existed back then. And I'm over it now.
This makes me half-wish they let a random Slog commenter post an article a week, with a different person each week. Guest editorial!

God knows what weird crap would end up on here.
Here’s our problem. I am to the right of Ronald Reagan.

You're breaking one of the internet commandments: thou shalt only be on forums with like-minded people.
Meh, I liked Matt Luby. We may have thought him wrong but he could still string together a post and engage with the commentariat in meaningful ways. I also don't like the TL;DR comments posted on other articles--especially since it seems more a symptom of shitty attention spans. But I have to say it's almost appropriate here...I really tried Dale, but I did have a hard time getting through this. Maybe you need to write these and then take a break or get somebody else to proofread them?
I skimmed it. The only thing I could add that hasn't already been covered in the comments* is your endless invocation of "the media." What are we talking about here? The internet? Cable news? The Wall Street Journal? The New York Times?

See, when you bundle a bunch of disparate and contradictory organizations together and then say "x does this," your readers are going to be confused as to your meaning.

*Being a devoted Slog comments-reader, there's plenty of disagreement, all the time. When everyone sees the same thing-- a long-winded, poorly-written, using-twenty-words-when-one-would-do screed, then you might want to take those reactions to heart. That is, if you're trying to effectively communicate your thoughts & ideas to your fellow humans. If all you want is to convince yourself that your genius is unappreciated and revel in your Righteous Indignation, well then, keep up the good work!
Actually Roma, I'm not that kind of conservative--more old-school--anti-war, small government, civil liberties, etc. "paleo", they call it. You know, what the Republicans and Tea Partiers would be if they actually meant what they said. But thanks for what I will assume is fellow-feeling. Yours is the only comment that doesn't suggest it was typed across a screen flecked with spittle.

The internet rule I broke is always assume your audience is incapable of recognizing nuance and irony, and will give a fair shake to an argument honestly offered. I always forget that one.
Am I going to get showered with more abuse if I ask what "TL;DR" is? I honestly don't know. I'm new to the blog.
@73: Here.
One last thing before I go.
I have more magazine articles to my credit than the lot of you combined. http://tinyurl.com/4jecgn8
So I'll keep my own counsel on style, thank you.
@75: Ha!!!!
I just googled it myself and it was about to write something similar. I would not have achieved your elegance tho', sir. Ignorance is no longer an excuse when one has the internet at one's fingertips.

To the author; You started well, with a quick joke to set the scene. But yeah, at the risk of adding to the chorus, I couldn't focus past a page or so. I will try and keep an open mind with whatever you slog next, tho :)
Wow, you just slammed that door shut. Okay, now I think you're an asshole.
@77: Ma'am. :)
There was a high-profile shooting at a supermarket that killed 6 people (including a federal judge) and wounded 16, including a congresswoman. That coincided with a map that had crosshairs on it and political rhetoric around that congresswoman that encouraged supporters of her opponent to go shooting with him.

The shooter was a total crazy. The rhetoric didn't fuel his actions as far as we know.

Rather than discuss the super thorny issues of availability and quality of mental health services in this country, and the ethics of locking up/forcibly treating those with mental health issues, let's talk about all these inferences to shooting people that we throw around so much.

Isn't it kind of off-putting how blithely we use war and violence in our discourse? Wouldn't it be swell if we did that less?

And isn't it weird that one faction of one particular political party seems to use those metaphors a whole lot more than the others? What's up with that? Do you think we could get them to stop? Oh wait, everyone does it to some extent? Wouldn't it be swell if we did that less?

Oh, and also, what would a robust mental health system look like that could have responded to Jared and have treated his underlying mental illness while also respecting his freedom as a citizen of this country?

Regarding our taking this whole "civility" nonsense too much to heart, I'd like to add that you're a fucking moron Dale. Really. And look mom, no spittle!
@63 ftw. The left half of Seattle just got punked.
Can anyone find the thesis statement in this mess? Dennis, can you point it out?
And now I know what it would be like if Mudede didn't know how to keep his unbearable posts to a paragraph or two.

Thanks for making me appreciate Mudede! You have a rare gift.
make. every. word. count.

way to blow your wad on day one.
Retain a shred of your dignity and don't comment on your own post.
@75 SOOO talented! That is so cool! Hah!
@ 76

So.... What you're saying is that you are a proud participant in "the media." Your anger, your finger-pointing, your condemnation is directed at.... you.

Good to know.

(See? This is where "defining your terms" becomes quite helpful! :)
Wow 76. Way to prove our point. I googled myself on google/scholar and got 51 articles; hey, hey (and two book chapters). I googled you and got nuthin', meaning you haven't written for many well-known, reviewed, or peer-reviewed periodicals. Googling you on regular google revealed several articles in "American Conservative." Is that what you're referring to? Do you use a nome de plume?

I'm trying to give you a chance here, man.
@ Dennis: You'd find yourself a more civil reception if you tamped down on the pretension. People dislike being talked down to.
Jebus H, I thought I was the longest winded person ever, but I have to agree with the others - TLDR - but only because if there was a point, I couldn't find it within the meandering.
Clarity and concision are two of the most beautiful words in the English language.
I will continue to try to read the rest of your posts this week.
Good luck to you, you've got your work cut out.
In after shitstorm...
baby.. you're gonna be here ... all ... WEEK ?.. child.. give me strength.. and may god have mercy on all our souls.. but especially yours..
Some stats! This post is 2,003 words long. The combined word count of the last ten posts on slog today followed it on slog (again, that's ten posts) for the rest of the day was 2,150. Just saying.
Whoops. Post Ambien haze made that a little murky -- but the numbers are accurate.
"This estimation of "racism", broadly defined, as the equivalent of violence (with the noose as a talisman and the "n-word" as incantation, both imbued with supernatural powers) is how the cultural commissariat sanctions black-on-white violence as an unfortunate but understandable means of redress."

Holy fuck............
jeesus. the attention span of slog readers is short. so very short.
Well I know what "paleoconservative" has always meant to me - someone who will segue from literally any issue into a screed about how white people are being repressed, and "reverse racism" is being soooo ignored. Thanks for confirming THAT, at least!