Friday, January 06, 2006


Guest: Nick Toper on 'Good Democrats'


(Read below, then go and read M. Brandon Robbins great answer to it.


In the spirit of comity, I offered Nick the chance to guest blog on the topic of his choice. Here 'tis. (I think he thought I said "comedy.") :-)


By Nick Toper

I called this place the cyber equivalent of Berkeley the other day. ER, in his largesse, has given me the opportunity to inject a little common sense -- uh, sorry, did I actually type that out loud? I mean, of course, "a different perspective" -- into the proceedings.

So let's all chew on this list of 21 Sure-Fire Ways to be a Rock-Solid Democrat (forwarded to me by Mrs. Toper yesterday, with a smiley-face bearing note that I should "share this with your friend (ER)."

Additions, of course, are welcome -- especially from Rem, Mark Manness, Pastor Timothy (I heard a rumor you and ER had patched things up) and any of the Anonymi who are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Ways to be a Good Democrat

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments
create prosperity. (This one is really important)

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are
more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of
Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by
cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by
soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being
homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders
how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that outdoorsmen don't care about nature, but loony
activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually
doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money
to make The Passion of the Christ for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of
the constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts
of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more
important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial
quo! tas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked
anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but
a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag,
transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and
manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the
Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right-wing

Toper hit it on the HEAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you truely believe that's what the majority of Democrats believe, or even half heartedly believe thats what the majority of Democrats believe, then we must be a nation divided and the distance between us may not be closed.

You have subscribed to a simplistic cartoon enemy, and failed in one of the major precepts of Sun Tzu's Art of War, Know Your Enemy:

"If you know the enemy
and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy,
for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will
succumb in every battle."
Anonymous said...
Toper hit it on the HEAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:33 PM

Rather Toper must have been droped on his head!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let the record show I didn't write it -- merely passed it along from an e-mail that got passed along to me. That said, there are some nuggets of truth here -- the result, I would submit, of the sentiments expressed in the preceding thread.

By that I mean, when you do not believe in absolute principles, but rather operate from a situational ethics perspective, you find yourself all tied up in contradictions.

We on the right can be guilty of it, too, of course -- but I'd say the scale tips more to the left on this front.
"Don Quixote is visibly crazy to most people. He believes ordinary inns to be enchanted castles, and their peasant girls to be beautiful princesses. He mistakes windmills for oppressive giants sent by evil enchanters."

Tilting at windmills, Nick is.
All ethics are situational. That does not mean that there aren't immutable principles -- only that most people, whether they acknowledge it or not, take a given situation into account when they make an ethical decision.
Yeah, but I'm tilting to the right when I do it.
Tilt to the left, or tilt to the right even by one degree and eventually you will complete a full circle back to where you began.
That sounds like a fortune cookie, DrLobo ...
I suspect ye ol' Doc knows all too well about going in circles. He is in academia.
These are at best twisted and glib; at worst outright lies. Suppose we turn example number 1 around and say to be a Republican you have to support the death penalty on demand but yet insist that a blob of cells has rights exceeding those of a sentient being. Or let's take example number 18, presumably referring to Bill Clinton. Is there any truth to the allegation that he is a sex offender? (Because last I heard Slick Willy had sex with a woman who was of age.) Or better yet, any evidence that a Republican has ever been caught telling the truth? I'd like to see Mr. Toper provide one single shred of credible evidence that there is any truth to example number 20. Don't even get me started on example number 3, since the current (mal)administration is doing a fine job of ignoring the issues surrounding nuclear weapons in China and North Korea in favor of creating a straw man to duel with in Iraq.

ER, if you ever feel the need to be "fair and balanced" again, why not turn the forum over to someone who really has something substantive to add to the political discourse in this country. We already have plenty of this kind of bullshit.
Typed like someone who knows his way around bullshit, Red State ...
Red State, this is your chance to dispel the bullshit! :-) You have done well so far.
Her way, bucko. Damned proud of it, too. (At the risk of being categorized a feminazi, as folks like you are wont to do.)

This post is, as ER said, piffle. This is glib soundbites. This is superficial nonsense. If we want to elevate the tone of the political conversation in the country, we can do with a lot less of this "All Democrats are idiots" and "All Republicans are heartless assholes" rhetoric. We can start talking about what we love about our country and what we have in common. I care about my country. Prove that you do, too, by looking to connect rather than divide.
I was amused as I began reading. Somewhere past the middle of it, though, my mirth turned to dismay. As Nick said, there is a kernel of truth in most of the bullet points, but I can't get behind this post. I'm pretty sure it was all meant in fun, but I'm tired of all the rhetoric - from both sides.

That said, both ER and Nick are right - there are indeed some rock-solid, unchanging principles (or fundamentals) and for the most part, ethics are situational. Looking at it in another way, I would say that each of us have principles to which we hold that are in direct contradiction to another principle we hold. While we may act one way 90% of the time, there will come a time when faced with a similar situation we will react in the opposite manner. Not all of our views are like this, and with some people, the contradictions outnumber the non-contradictions. Some are hypocrites; some are just deeply conflicted. Referencing the last thread, a fundamentalist, then, is one for whom their convictions seldom result in contradictions. The more fundamental a person is, the less situational their ethics become.
And thereby REM has shown how even bullshit can be the launching pad for meaningful discussion.

Red States Blue, too, actually.
Oh. My. Word. "By looking to connect rather than divide?" That sounds all sweetness and light, but the reality is you lefties think you have the market cornered in that regard. You're the ones slapping lables like "hate-monger" and "divisive" on us.

By the way, love the "elevated" tone of you referring to the White House as the "mal-administration" ...
Yep, maladministration is as dignified as "Slick Willie." More piffle!
I think some more bitch-slappin' is in order.
Pardon me one moment.... my inner bitch has something to say... hold on, here she comes....

I AM SO SICK OF THIS SHIT! You people couldn't get along if you were parachuted to an island paradise with everything you ever need. Frankly, I'm so sick of it I may stop blog reading. CRAP ON Y'ALL!!

Sorry guys, I tried to hold her back, but just ran out of strength.
Alert: Generalization ahead.

Conservatives by there very nature are more likely to be grounded in fundamentals. Therefore, conservatives are not wont to admit to situational ethics. Correspondingly, conservatives that say one thing and do another are typically hypocrites.

Liberals (or Progressives or whatever) tend to not hold to fundamentals in quite the same way. There are fewer absolutes. Therefore, to a liberal, ethics are considerably more situational. Likewise, a person such as this who contradicts himself (or herself, Red) is seldom seen as a hypocrite, but more of a flip-flopper (ala Kerry in the 2004 election).
Rem: A not unfair generalization.

Trixie: Um, that's sorta like goin' to a swimmin' pool and complainin' when somebody splases water on ya. Simmer down. :-)
Besides, who said we wanted to get along? I'd rather we didn't tear into each other so personally and viciously sometimes. But there's something to that "iron sharpening iron" thing.
ARRGH!! Every time I start half-way getting along with the cons and neocons something like this gets under my tree-hugging-baby-killing-tattooed-pierced-Commie skin.

Head over to my blog to read a response to this @#$%$#@%.
Until this, I had always respected Nick Toper. Now I am severely disappointed. For his edification, I -- as a card-carrying, proud-of-it Democrat -- will share my thoughts on this piece of crap.

1. I do not support capital punishment and do not support abortion. Killing is wrong. However, I could kill child abusers like I would kill mad dogs. Sue me.

2. Some businesses do oppress. They're called monopolies. Some businesses cheat their investors. They're called criminals. But most businesses are just trying to survive and make a living for their employees. What don't the Republicans fix the unfair trade balance and keep our products from being unfairly taxed by foreign countries? And close that dang border between the U.S. and Mexico. And do away immediately with the North American Free Trade Agreement. Yes, I know Clinton supported it. Clinton was a dolt.

3. This one makes no sense since they're unrelated, but whatever. Gun control would be nice, but I don't see a solution to this since there's no way to tell who's going to use a gun for criminal actions and who is not until they do (although jail time is an indication). We certainly can't remove guns from everyone. Besides, as ER knows, I like guns and have several, my latest purchase being a lovely Taurus .357 revolver in Sundance Blue that I'm shooting .38 rounds in because they're cheaper. Yes, I'm a liberal with a lot of guns. Get over it. As for the Chinese and North Koreans having nuclear tech, that's appalling. I don't know of any Democrat that thinks it's good or that thinks it isn't a threat or that has said it's less of a threat than guns in the hands of Americans. This is just crap and lying crap at that.

4. More lying crap. But we can show that the production of art increased with the influx of federal funds. However, on this one, I'm not such a great believer since I'm pretty much a classic art fan and not much of that is being produced. I also think that funds for porno should stop, and yes, I do know what porno is and so do you, and we shouldn't support it with government funds.

5. Once again, a lie. Conservatives like to trot out pet scientists that claim 1.) Global warming isn't happening and 2.) even if it is, it's not because we did anything, and finally 3.) even if we did cause it, it's too late to do anything else. They ignore that 95 percent of the climatologists in the world do think global warming is happening, do think we're influencing it, and do think we can change it. This is just laziness on the part of the government and businesses to change our approach to energy. We should have ended our dependence on foreign oil decades ago. Instead, we shuffle along, neglecting alternative energy sources and generally being dolts.

6. No, you have to believe that consenting adults have the right to do what they want behind closed doors. For people who are against sexual behavior, conservatives sure seem fascinated by it. Might I suggest you mind your own business?

7. This one is just sickening. To use the suffering of AIDS patients as a political tool. Both sides do it, and both should be ashamed. But neither should be ashamed as gays who have unprotected sex. Grow up, everyone.

8. I don't want teachers teaching sex. Where is that in the Democratic platform? More lying crap. (I'm going to get tired of that phrase, I can already tell.)

9. What about the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Federation, and the countless hunter and outdoorsman organizations that protect the environment and waterways? You'd be surprised to discover how many of the outdoorsman organizations battled drilling in national parks. I think Republicans think that hunters automatically support them because the Republicans think we should all have family assault rifles ... mmMMmm assault rifles ... where was I? Oh yeah, but many hunter organizations -- Ducks Unlimited, Western Outdoorsmen, etc. -- want the environment to stay pristine.

10. Huh. This one doesn't make sense since programs that promote self-esteem emphasize activities and projects to build self-esteem. But frankly, I'm tired of self-esteem. I think people could do with a bit more of guilt and shame for their actions.

11. Yeah, again, let's say it together: lying crap. I applaud Gibson's movie. Should have been nominated for several Oscars. It was a thousand times better than that piece of crap Last Temptation of Christ, which was boring, poorly filmed and costumed, but won an Oscar.

12. I support the NRA and the ACLU. That must drive you crazy.

13. Once again, not related topics, but a merry trip down the Yellow Brick Road of the Extreme Right, nonetheless. I think our taxes are fine if they were just spent wisely. The Republicans aren't doing that. But neither did the Democrats. Just give the money to me. I'll see to it that it's spent well.

14. Sigh. This doesn't even deserve a comment. No, wait, let me say, lying crap.

15. I support tougher standardized tests. Flunk their sorry asses if they're stupid.

16. I'm sorry, but Hillary is Satan's older sister who tormented him and made him in the Republican he is today. Yes, there are plenty of Democrats who aren't Hillary fans. Surprise!

17. L.C.

18. What?

19. I think I've already made my manger scene stand quite clear, but let me restate it. Yes, more manger scenes in public places, more Ten Commandants in public buildings, more anything that will help bring down crime. But I don't mind other religions having displays. I think it would be cool to learn about other cultures. I've never been afraid of knowledge. What about you?

20. L.C.

21. No, it's just another example of stupid people using the Internet to spread stupidity. I refuse to blame Republicans for it. I know many. They're not stupid.
And in that regard, ER, you're dead on. Dialogue is good; none of us are likely to change our positions whole hog, but every now and then we wear the rougher edges off of each other, and that's a good thing.

This post was intended, more than anything, to get a rise out of folks. I thought my intro was suitably smart-alecky to make that clear. Truth be told, I'm kind of glad somebody besides me or Mark or Pastor Tim is going apoplectic -- now you know how it feels for us somtimes here in CyberBerkeley ...
Phone rings ...

ER: "The Bugle. Erudite Redneck speakin'."

Caller: "I'm mad because of something I read in your paper and it's your fault and if you don't watch out I'm going to cancel my subscription!"

ER: "Pbtbth. Here, let me transfer you to circulation."

Caller: "I, uh -- well ..."


Right wing Christians who believe in moral fundamentals have to decide whether those fundamentals are Revealed - and thus fundamental only to those who accept the revelation, or that Jesus (and the parts of the Old Testament not declared inoperative) was simply a mouthpiece for some variety of Narural Law that can be independently demonstrated.

I always thought the Golden Rule in any of its incarnations is best understood as an axiom of primitive game theory. There have been refinements.
You GO, Tech! Woo hoo!
Astonished is a good word. Tellin' Trixie to simmer down. ER did that.

She just spoke her mind, ER. She ain't the only one that gets tired of seeing this bullshit over and over.

And over and over and over and over and over.

Get my point? And over and over and over and over.

Nick, Timmy, Maness, et al, are on polar-opposite sides politcally than the host. The host likes to reach under the udders and scratch a little too close.

Nick posts what I considered a tongue-in-cheek slam in a direction, and the whole ER-blogging world explodes on impact. Sometimes people don't even get jokes.

So don't criticize Trix for feeling as if a certain topic is a lot overcooked. She likes blog-reading more on the medium side, not cooked charcoal black.

Gimme a little more medium rare so's I can giggle. That's just me, though. I ain't stagin' a walk-out. I support the blog and the blogees, and I'll check back in daily because, for the most part, I enjoy it.

But that also means sometimes as I read, my blog-reading meat gets a little darker than my taste and gets a lot tough to chew.
Damn it all to hell, Teditor. You should know by now that nuance is impossible to see online. Trixie knows I wouldn't be mean to her.

But, seriously, to all of y'all: If you don't like what you see here, then change the channel.

The fact is I am the only one here who knows who among the nicknames and blog identities are my actual RW friends. So, I suggest that NOBODY assume anything.

Teditor, friend, (RW, y'all) what I'm tired of, truth be told, is you wanting to come her for giggles every time you come here. If this place makes you giggle, be glad. If it doesn't SORRY.

Tech killed the thread! Tech killed the thread!
Bite me, you redneck heathen! :)
Read M. Brandon's reponse ... and am awaiting the outrage from folks like Red State Blues as to the the horrifying incivility of it all.
Fine, I comment my heart out -- something I rarely do on this blog -- and what do I get? Nothing. Nada. Silence. M. Brandon Robbins gets a mention. I shall now go and play with my guns.
You have guns, Tech? I thought you were a liberal?

(Disclaimer: That was a joke. Or at least an attempt at same.)
Not to nitpick ER's prize pupil MBR because that would be petty and small, but his post has one misspelling in it and three misplaced commas. Maybe more.

I'm a loud sulker, by the way.
If you had read my reply, NICK, you would have read that I do have a LOT of guns. I like guns. I like shooting them at things. Like targets.

I would like deer hunting, but after you shoot a deer, you have to eat it. I dislike the taste. And that's strange because when you shoot a person, no one expect you to eat him or her.
I read your reply, and did not find it all to be lying crap ...
Hold it - I just re-read 14, to which Tech gave a bye. Why is Robert E. Lee so important? Even assuming he was a brilliant general (not as accepted now as decades ago, not the importance of generalship), winning a battle here or there in a losing war doesn't seem especially significant. And I mean losing war in the broader as well as narrower sense - whether one accepts the war was ultimately about slavery or about state's rights as they were understood by John Calhoun (a genuinely important figure), the issues were buried a long time ago. I realize people like their icons and all, espcially military ones with a tinge of chivalry, but I think there's a strong case to be made that the ideas of feminist leaders and how they changed/spread are more important than the name of the guy who commanded Confederate forces at Chancellorville.
Kisses and hugs to Tech for his profound responses and to Teditor for coming to my defense. Good, good guys they are.

And y'all, E.R. and I have a real-life "gig before they gig you" sort of back-and-forth. It's one of those things that may not come across they way it's intended in Blogland.

And before E.R. transfers me to Circulation so I can cancel my (unpaid) subscription, here's a note handed to me by my Inner Bitch before she stomped off mumbling....

"Those Yahoos! Don't they EVER relate to each other as human beans? (sic) Must every dang interaction be couched in political terms? Blah blah and blah! Politics is nothing more than an artificial invention to allow idjits to take sides against each other! Play a good ol' game of Dodgeball or Red Rover and get back to talking about stuff that matters in REAL life! Politics is bunk! And so are the stupid political jokes that go back and forth trying to gig people on either side of the line! ..."

At this point the note becomes illegible, probably because my Inner Bitch spilled her Diet Coke on it. She also slammed the door as she left to go take a walk, in compliance with a pact she made with others to lose weight this year. (She is a little chubby.)
Oh, and if Tech is picking on comma problems, I apologize for all of my typos in advance, including the spelling of Chancellorsville
Tech: You gave away too much information, you've endangered our simplistic comic cover. If they begin to see the opposition as complex and not homogeneous, they may try the divide and conquer route. And tech I would say I would go play with my guns, but none of them are registered so I might attract the ATF if I did.

Teditor: I'm "in" retirement, I was "in" academia, but never "of" it, because I worked at a level that said NO to academia on a regular basis. A win in my world was when I got 50.01%, sort of like GW Bush in that sense.

ER, tech didn't kill the thread, this wasn't no thread, it was a jerk chain.

Trixie: rock on baby

Tstockmann: excellent insight that the Golden Rule is fundamental Tit for Tat game theory. Tit for Tat is the only way everybody wins. In every other system, winners can not maintain thus even the winners are doomed to become losers.

Nick toper:
"That sounds like a fortune cookie, DrLobo ..."
Nope it is just fundamental geography and geometry, if you are off course by even part of a degree you will go in a very big circle. Many a person has died in the wilderness traveling in circles. It is good to have maps.

Fridays are so much fun on this blog.
And is Trixie just asking, like Henry Higgins in drag, why can't a man be more like a woman?

Politics is one thing, but disparaging the name of The Great General is another. This may be ER's blog, but I will not stand for it.

The history of Robert Edward Lee is the history of two nations - The United States of America and The Confederate States of America. General Lee's decision to stick with Virginia rather than take command of the entire Union forces gave the Confederacy legitimacy. Without him, the War of Northern Aggression is probably lost within the first year. Lee got more out of less than any American military leader ever has.

Lee was a general who still believed in the oxymoronic notion of 'the civility of war". People like Sherman would never have been allowed to impose 'total war' on a population with Lee in command.

Arlington Cemetary was founded on the Lee family homesite, though not out of any respect for the man. Ironicly, our greatest heroes are entombed there.

I need to collect myself. So much more to add. Somebody please step in and help me out.
I believe this message is about a vast right wing brainwashing of people who want to believe this tripe (even though I understand it was meant as hyperbole).
i was wondering if anyboy was goingto call TS to task for denigratingh Lee. Even I know not to do that around here -- and I'm a Yankee.
You bet Lee was important to American history, if he hadn't betrayed his oath to uphold the constitution then almost a million men would not have died in a fruitless rebellion, and America would be an entirely different country than we have today. Better or worse, who can tell, but very different.
And of course the reason that Arlington Cemetary was place around the Lee mansion was because it was the Lee mansion, and because the Union forces has a 1000 confederate bodies left on the field by the confederates to bury, so they buried them in Lee's on front yard in a mass grave. also they had to have somewhere to bury the Black contrabands that fled to Washington D.C. and then died, so they buried them there as well, thus assuring that Lee could never return to his home, which was actually his father-in-law's home, and of course his father-in-law was the adopted son of George Washington.
By the way Nick on number 5, Gobal warming is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of temperature. Whether you "believe" it or not will not keep several tens of millions of us from getting our feet wet in your lifetime. Oh yes, and nothing can stop it now, so the argument is moot.
Lee did not betrway his oath to defend the Constitution. The exact opposite is true. He took up arms in defense of Virginia in the face of what was widely seen an an unconstitutional usurpation of state power by a radical national government. The war decided that question, perhaps. But it was a legitimate question, and a legitimate reason to oppose the national government, at that time.

Rem would have us go back to those days in dealing ewith current events. I would not. But I do respect the men who made such decisions back then, and I see their logic.
Tech, you don't know how glad I am to see you leavin' your thoughts and words here. :-)

Trixie, I knew you knew I wadn't meanin' ya, but Teditor had me worried a mite. :-) "Simmer down" ain't mean, where I come from. Just a mild expression of mild exasperation.
a losing war
a fruitless rebellion

Neither of you gets it. It was not a rebellion. It was a seccession. It was a perfectly legal thing to do. Had the freakin' Yankees minded their own daggum business, things wouldn't have gotten out of hand. Then to top it off, when it was over, The South was treated worse than Germany was after WWI. "Reconstruction" makes the "Treaty of Versailles" look a good deal. The Germans rose (and fell) again. The South has been systematically smothered to the point where she's indistinguishable from the rest of the country.

Lee's first priority was the Lord God Allmighty. Honor was number two. In his day, the United States of America was exactly that - a union of states. His loyalty was to his state. Any oath taken to 'country' assumed that.

And I quite understand the history of Arlington. Hence the ironic part to burying heroes there now.

No friggin' feminist is worth squat compared to that man. He held to ideals worth dying for - and many were willing to. How many feminists do you know that are going to raise an army to fight some perceived injustice? Please, stop it with your tripe.

I gotta go. I don't have many buttons, but y'all've found one tonight. ER, if you're even a fraction of the Southerner you claim to be, you better step it up . . .
Rem, our comments crossed in the mail, see above!
REM: No offense, but I think you managed to miss every point in my post. Whether or not you think state sovereignity was the only issue rather than slavery (and you southern apologists always try to make that very simplistic and dubious point), it's a dead issue, and will not be revived in this Age of the World, as Tolkien would say. That you admire Lee is all well and good - but he really doesn't matter, and not even in the negative sense, because the rebellion/secession would have proceeded without him and millions of men would have died anyway. That you don't like feminists is all well and good - but that ideological battle is very much alive.

Now, as a nonSoutherner let me tell you how the rest of the coutnry - the ones with the higher average test scores on thse standardized tests that conservatives seem to think are indicative of something or otherr - feel about it, although it was not the point of my original post. The establishment of a government that was ultimately concerned with prospective (not even immediate) Federal "interference" with a property right over other people is contemptible. That Reconstruction had many unfair elements as victors' peaces tend to - but why don't you look again at what black historians have to say about what happened after Reconstruction was abruptly ended. Now, given the injustices of Reconstruction and the injustice of Jim Crow laws imposed by white loca majorities on generations of blacks - guess which one seems worse to us?

(Note: to drl - thanks but tit-for-tat is "do as you have been done to" which can be folded into the Golden Rule and later variants like Kant's Categorical imperative, therer are other wats to set up a Golden Rule game.)
>>>"No friggin' feminist is worth squat compared to that man. He held to ideals worth dying for - and many were willing to. How many feminists do you know that are going to raise an army to fight some perceived injustice? Please, stop it with your tripe."<<<


Yes, "ideals" that justify slaughtering people. You must be SOOOO proud.

Seriously, thanks for showing me, yet again, how illogical justifications are spouted every day in the name of "honor".
>>>"No friggin' feminist is worth squat compared to that man. He held to ideals worth dying for - and many were willing to. How many feminists do you know that are going to raise an army to fight some perceived injustice? Please, stop it with your tripe."<<<

How about Joan of Arc? Would she qualify?
Rem870 said...
a losing war
a fruitless rebellion

"Neither of you gets it. It was not a rebellion. It was a seccession. It was a perfectly legal thing to do."

Let's see, I don't remember ever seeing a Rem870 as being on SCOUS.
What did the SCOUS say about the legality of seccession anyway.

Not all Lee's Confederate contemporaries saw him as a marble demi-god:
"That old man...had my division massacred at Gettysburg!"
- George Pickett said these words to John S. Mosby shortly after paying Lee a visit in Richmond. To which Mosby replied, "Yes, but it made you famous".

Doesn't it seem ironic that all these Southern hero's voted Democratic until integration in the 1960's, and all those Yankee bastards voted Republican all those years?
One late thought: granting the (to me) dubious assertion that Lee alone stood between the Confederacy and quick defeat (considering the dubious quality of Union leadership early on and the snarled logistics and more recent assessments of Lee's generalship), does that mean he's important becuase if the war had been settled quickly and with less Northern acrimony, the Emancipation Proclamation wouldn't have been written, and slavery wouldn't have been abolished for some time, and there would have been no Reconstruction? Talk about unintended consequences.
Great post! I think you have it covered, except the republicans pretty much believe the same things as the democrats.
Warriormom said, Yes, "ideals" that justify slaughtering people. We fought in defense. How can you spin a defensive war into "slaughtering"? And, yes, I'm very proud of my heritage. Maybe if you had some honor too, you'd understand.

Tstockman, I'm a Southerner - proud and true. I make no apologies. As for the jibe about higher test scores - up for a challenge? Bring it on.

Dr. Lobojo, no Joan d'Arc does not qualify. She fought for God and country - not women's lib. Is a Frenchwoman, who may or may not have been crazy, the best you can come up with?

And lastly, TS, if Lee had not fought for Virginia, he had been offered complete control of the Union military - it can be assumed he would have taken it. The dubious quality of Union leadership early on and the snarled logistics would have disappeared. As for these veiled references to scholary work denigrating the generalship of Lee - how about providing some sources?

With or without the Emancipation Proclomation, slavery was on the way out. Technological advances would have soon eased the demand for physical labor. How would that transition have gone? Hard to say. No - it's impossible to say. Just as it is impossible to say what would have happened had Lincoln not been killed. It's doubtful he'd have been as harsh. It's possible that he would've shipped the recently freed slaves to Africa or points south.
Well, I think to be a Republican all you have to do is think you are RIGHT.

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Joan of Arc was NOT crazy. She was dedicated to a dream. Where that led her is the place that daring dreams sometimes lead people: glory and death.
"No friggin' feminist is worth squat compared to that man. He held to ideals worth dying for - and many were willing to. How many feminists do you know that are going to raise an army to fight some perceived injustice? Please, stop it with your tripe."

Drlobojo: "How about Joan of Arc?"

"Dr. Lobojo, no Joan d'Arc does not qualify. She fought for God and country - not women's lib. Is a Frenchwoman, who may or may not have been crazy, the best you can come up with?"

So you changed the "criteria", now it has to be "raise an army to fight for Women's Lib". Try Susan B. Anthony, and she did it without killing anyone. Not good enough, I guess huh?

ER: "Lee did not betrway his oath to defend the Constitution. The exact opposite is true."
Now ER, he did take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America when he went to West Point. Where in the Constitution does it mention secession?
Lee was a traitor to the United States, that is what you are when you make war on the nation of which you are a citizen.(don't give that Virginia is my country crap) The Union won the Confederacy lost. The winner's laws and Constitution prevailed. The United States latter forgave Lee and many others their treason, granted them the return of their citizenship as a healing act that no one seems to remember or appreciate.
As for being a good General, he was a better general than the Union Generals he opposed, until Grant. Lee was bested by Grant, because Grant was willing to kill more of his own people than Lee was his.
In his way Lee was the last general of the age of chivalry and Grant was the first general of total war.
"Age of Chivalry" being, of course, a misnomer - medieval armies not being especially gentle to noncombatant peasants - even their own.


I'm so glad up that you'ree proud of being a Southerner. If you can total up a list of particularly Southern admirable qualities and achievements, we'll measure them against centuries of your "peculiar institution," Jim Crow, the KKK, and segregation and see how it balances out for everyone other than you and other conservative white Southerners. I even include - reluctantly - all the works of the great Flannery O'Conner.

As far as bring it on - just google comparative scores for the states. If you're talking about you and me on an individual basis, I'm afraid you wouldn't credit anything I could tell you about, say, my ancient GRE's. And you might even beat me - with a straight flush.

But I do concede that I don't have any good sources on Lee's generalship - if you care, take it up with the WarNerd at - got it from him. It's a nasty thought I like, but can hardly defend, and has nopthing to do with teh argument anyway. Your attachment to Lee is not because he had an intentional and significant effect on the course of American history, but that you think he's an admirable figure fighting for the right cause. Even if that were true (which few of us accept), that makes him a footnote or the kind of human interest you'd find in a illustrated box in a junior high textbook. As I said, John C. Calhoun and his ideas were important; Lee was a tool.

Finally, but most importantly, the old, old lie that slavery was on its way out, that somehow the cotton gin was going to lead to the end of slavery ignores the many uses - agricultural and otherwise - for unpaid and capitve labor. You should contemplate the figures and functions of the illegal immigrant in the U.S.; the few a hundred years of sharecropping, and the irreplacable domestic servants (with or without the newest vacuum cleaners). Now let's go from the Federal rifles that brought freedom to the slaves to the Federal bayonets a hundred years later that let them vote and attend public universities. It's true that we can't predict hypothetical history with any accuracy - but to think that Southern blacks would have received freedom, let alone equality under the law with whites, is the wishful thinking of people who can no longer stomach what their ideological - and perhaps biological - forefathers once did.
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I suppose, since my name was mentioned, I should leave a few observations. Here they are:

I thought Nicks guest post was humorous and was intended that way.

Somewhere in this thread, (and I am not going to go back through it to see where) Republicans and Democrats were confused with Conservatives and Liberals. I grant you that sometimes they are the same thing, but not always.

I also read M Brandon Robbins' reply and I thought it was humorous and intended that way.

I agree with most of it. I'll leave it to my regular readers to figure out what I agree with and what I don't.

In Brandons reply, he mentioned that Republicans think it's OK to stand on street corners and hold signs that say "God hates fags".I don't think that myself but that only proves that I must be Republican, because the guy that actually does that is a Democrat!

Look it up.

I dare say that it will be a while before Nick accepts another offer from ER to guest post on his blog unless he is a glutton for punishment.

"Visualize whirled peas" is my favorite bumper sticker.
Also, in the 2nd comment in this thread, ER typed one word. I feel like I should always type many words when I have to endure the word verification to post it.

ER is courageous.
I quit want to apologize to REM and retract the ridiculous challenge to enumerate the accomplishments of Southern culture. Asking what balances slavery is as stupid as trying to decide if Bach, Goethe, and Nietzsche somehow "balance" out the Holocaust. Also, I thought of a few too many other things I liked.

On the question of the "legality" of secession - a strange debate for Americans when the Revolution that established the country was, beyond doubt, illegal under British law and precedent, and particulalry in view of the charters that established some of the colonies and later changes. To this individualist, whether the state or the nation was the constitutionally irreducible political unit was less inportant than which best protected or established the greatest aggregate liberty among their citizens.
Ain't History a Bitch, it is always written by the winners. Thus the Revolution is right and legal and the War of Seccession is wrong and illegal. Now if the South had won then the War of Rebellion would have been right and legal. But if the Brittish had won the Revolution then the South, being under the rule of the British Empire, would have lost their slaves in 1834 rather than 1865.
Now it is a misunderstanding about the cotton gin, invented in 1794 it actually made slavery profitable in the cotton culture and revived a practice that was already on its way out.
So a Yankee invention actually pro-longed American Slavery. Is it all about property and profit cloaked in in honor?
Ain't History a Bitch?
And you can bet the old Gal will Bitch all over the current History being made as well.
ER, forgive me, but I thought you were showin' yer ass to Trixie. Didn't note the smiley face, so I jumped at her defense. Forgive me.

And, while I'm at it, kiss my ass. So what if I come here to giggle multiple times a day. I do not always respond to the usual bullshit, as per your request. When you let the bullshit get you all steamed, you prefer I keep my sense of humor out. For the most part, I do.

But there's so much damn humor on this entire blog ... that's why I come here. And I'll be back. I change the channel as I see fit. My defense of Trixie was just that and an explanation of my thoughts, too.

ER, you are a dear friend, and I will always appreciate that. But don't be pissy with me because I prefer to giggle than get all deep in someone else's version of shit.

No go back amongst yerselfs and play with the explosive devices ER's left on the front porch. That's his version of fun.
"ER is courageous."
# posted by Mark Maness : 1:35 AM

Speechless in OKC!
Teditor, do you turn on HBO and then complain about the language used on it?

Do you move to the Panhandle, then bitch because it's flat?

Do you turn on a country station, then bitch when they play a Merle Haggard song.

Feel free to engage any topic or any person here. Do not come in here and bitch about the damn programming. Dear friend or not, that's just effing rude.
Drlobo, I think yer right about Lee being the last general or one kind and Grant being the first of another kind.

I agree that Lee was a traitor to the United States, as traitor is defined by the victors.

I disagree that he was a traitor to the Constitution, as it was widely understood at the time -- that's part, but not all, of what the war was about.

Lee a tool? Yes. A tool of the pre-Civil War philosophy of goverernmnent that believed that when states seceded from the union, then the union ceased to exist. Even the Choctaws believed that in 1850, as did lots of others, in he run-up to THAT near-miss of war.

And that is my interest in the Civil War -- the "civil," or govermental, aspects of. The United States, singular noun, was forged in it. That does not mean that ideas surrounding the united states, plural, were any less honorale or legitimate.

Ergo, Lee, tool or not, acted honorably. And, he was a gentleman and a scholar.

Now, is anyone else not getting e-mail notification when comments are left on their blogs? I didn't even know this discussion had gone so far, since none of these comments showed as e-mail...
TECH called me your prize pupil ER. Is that true? Am I your prize pupil?

And TECH, I'll tell you like I told someone else (but be a lot nicer to you since you weren't as asshole): the blogosphere is an informal setting. Grammatical mistakes will happen, even to us English majors.

Oh, and ER you might be glad to know that I made a 1080 on my GRE. I hope the apprentice has made the master proud.
LOL. ... I don't remember what my GRE score was, M. Brandon. You were ... 7 when I took it. Thank GOD I didn't have to have a new one to commence my late M.A. in history!
MBR is more likely ER's dialated pupil.
Oh, and, Teditor for POTUS! Cuz it seems like currently the qualification consists of being able to tell the people to "kiss my ass."
Hmmm, being a human being and bitching about the programming ... damn, that's effing rude. Didn't like the episode of Friends last week, even though I loved virtually every other one. That's rude.

Didn't care too much for Reba's last album. Thought it was too poppy. I listen to every album she's ever made, and I love them. But that's rude.

I sure like the paycheck I get, but I don't like my freakin' job. But that's rude.

Uh ... HELLO!??? Is this the same ER? You're reading what you want me to say, not what I'm saying. Since you're not, let me paraphrase:

I love this blog, and I come here many times each day. I don't always like what's written, but I come back every day. EVERY DAY!!!! I don't like political discussions, but sometimes something really comes out and slaps me about the face or tickles my funny bone, so I come back her EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!!!

I do not care for the arguments about this and that and those and the others at every turn, but I come back here EVERY DAY.

I post when I'm led to or when someone's made me spit milk out of my nose, because that's what lights my fire. And I come back here EVERY DAY.

That said, I have earned the right after this many months to write ONE negative comment about the content on this blog. I've defended you, ER, more than most, and I've sided with you more times than I care to admit publicly. I'm STILL coming back and reading and rereading and overreading. And I ENJOY it.

Now thinking you were showing your ass to Trixie, I felt as though her viewpoint should be defended. I've apologized for not registering that you were making a joke.

But telling me I'm effing rude because I make one comment about the content is out of line. Am I being rude when I try to throw some levity into some of these deep conversations? Yes, and as you can see, I've done my damndest to avoid that.

But being called rude by this blog's host for bitching about anything ... well, I'm just effing astonished.
Teditor said:
"I post when I'm led to or when someone's made me spit milk out of my nose, because that's what lights my fire."

That is a great visual!
By the way, KUDOS!, to Nick Toper for getting this stringstrand whatever going.
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