The Bathroom Wall

With any tavern, one can expect that certain things that get said are out-of-place. But there is one place where almost any saying or scribble can find a home: the bathroom wall. This is where random thoughts and oddments that don’t follow the other entries at the Panda’s Thumb wind up. As with most bathroom walls, expect to sort through a lot of oyster guts before you locate any pearls of wisdom.

35340 Comments

There is a God!

And he is a plumber. The Bathroom has been flushed.

Thank you Reed.

Great!

Course, that still leaves what happens when the new plumbing acquires a big drip…

Wait, what am I saying?

Ingeborg Esbrandt said:

Hey, nice post :) - well, even though I came via Google searching for “justfaces spreadshirt” wondering why this post came up on top??? Greetings xoxo

Spammer alert!

To make one point about the previous thread. John Kwok wrote:

“Sorry Jim, but your invocation of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is not helpful here. Incidentally there are many Muslims and Muslim Americans who oppose its construction, simply because they recognize that building it near Ground Zero is needlessly offensive to the families of the victims and the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Some of the most prominent critics - who are Muslim Americans - include Wall Street businessman Mansoor Ijaz (who tried to assist the Clinton administration in extraditing Osama bin Laden from the Sudan) and former United States Navy officer Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

[…]

If you are going to call Miss USA, a Muslim American, Rima Fakih, a bigot, then be my guest. Same is true for those two prominent Muslim Americans I had mentioned. Or other Muslim Americans who, like them, have spoken out against building the “Cordoba House” Islamic Center (Of course I am also against it, but am definitely not a bigot.).”

Unless YOU are a practicing Muslim your opposition to this cultural center is pure bigotry, so your saying that you’re “definitely not a bigot” is false. Your ruse of hiding behind the Muslim-Americans’ backs is the same as of the racists who think that using the n-word is OK because so many African-Americans use it. If you are a Muslim, well then, I find your views on the issue just silly, not bigoted.

Kris,

You can’t possibly know what I know.

mrg said:

DS said: Kris has certainly demonstrated that he doesn’t deserve anything more.

Actually, I was suggesting we all insult and abuse DH. If he wants to invite it, why not oblige?

We already tried that on Kris. You can only call someone an @$$hole, a bastard and crazy so many times before it gets tiresome. What’s the point of bashing me?

Kris has called me a liar for stating the obvious facts about him. We can all see what he has done, so why would he deny the stunts he has pulled? He is the one who invaded our space to attack the cause of the blog, yet he expects us to be tolerant and respectful of him no matter what he says? There is no law or principle I know that demands any such thing.

Kris said:

What you said about me is a complete lie. I didn’t start the insults and attacks. You and your asshole buddies here did. And trying to con FF with lies about me and that swill about respecting people you and they (“we”) don’t agree with is yet another one of your acts of deliberate dishonesty. You and most others here wouldn’t know what respect is if it hit you like a freight train going 60 miles per hour.

Since the statements you make about me are false, you’re a deliberate liar, according to your own standards for others. Of course your standards for yourself are completely different. How convenient for you.

The ONLY reason you and most others aren’t now viciously attacking FF is because she said she’s a woman. Even then, some of you have been pretty blunt to her, and especially rude before she said she’s a woman, even though she has been nice the whole time.

My questions to her are not an attack or a trap. They are sincere. You are grossly misrepresenting me and are just showing yourself to be the hypocritical, dishonest, delusional liar you are.

You are a seriously fucked up lunatic with delusions of godhood who needs a good ass kicking.

By the way, Mr. theological agnostic, unitarian, universalist, dis-honorable, bushido, liberal, un-scientific pseudo-skeptic, what are you going to add to or subtract from your self-created, self-serving, bogus religion tomorrow?

You just keep piling up your lies and hypocrisy Dale. You said “You do what you like, but I’m done with Kris for good.” yet you’re still bashing me and lying about me.

You also said you respect people with whom you disagree but then you say “I went after him anyway.” when you first saw me here. When I first came here I didn’t say anything that warranted you going after me.

Plus, you said you respect people with whom you disagree but then you say “I’d go after Ann Coulter if that bitch showed up here too.” So much for you respecting people you disagree with.

As usual the things you claim about yourself, and me, are false, which makes you a chronic LIAR, according to your standards for others.

You admit to slamming me a lot but of course you try to make it look like you’re a saint for doing so. Whether you or anyone else here ever accepts it or not, I’m just giving you and others shit back because you and/or they started it, either with me or someone else who didn’t or doesn’t deserve it.

I didn’t escalate the situation. You and your fellow, lying, arrogant hypocrites did.

It really cracks me up to see you guys acting exactly like some of the creationists you hate and condemn so much. You accuse and attack them for not listening and having closed minds, and for playing what you think are ridiculous games, but you do the same thing. Congratulations, you have become your enemy.

FODS

I haven’t lied about anything, you jackass! The simple fact is that you have invaded Panda’s Thumb and have been a disruptive force from the beginning and have played us like suckers. I’m not fooled by you and no one else is. Even if you were insulted by one or two people in the beginning, you could have ignored it and just responded to the ones who were being positive to you, like flowersfriend has been, but instead you started throwing shit at everyone who dared to reject your tactics. We insulted you because that seemed to be what you liked, but I get tired of that after a while. You don’t, appearantly.

If you seriously think you have made ANY positive contributions to this community here, you are even more delusional than most Creationists!

Dale Husband said: What’s the point of bashing me?

None whatsoever, but since any comments to a troll are going to produce nothing but bashing in response, that leads to what the point of the comments was.

John often fails to read for comprehension. A poor highschool education , no doubt.

Ghrom said:

To make one point about the previous thread. John Kwok wrote:

“Sorry Jim, but your invocation of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy is not helpful here. Incidentally there are many Muslims and Muslim Americans who oppose its construction, simply because they recognize that building it near Ground Zero is needlessly offensive to the families of the victims and the survivors of the 9/11 attack. Some of the most prominent critics - who are Muslim Americans - include Wall Street businessman Mansoor Ijaz (who tried to assist the Clinton administration in extraditing Osama bin Laden from the Sudan) and former United States Navy officer Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

[…]

If you are going to call Miss USA, a Muslim American, Rima Fakih, a bigot, then be my guest. Same is true for those two prominent Muslim Americans I had mentioned. Or other Muslim Americans who, like them, have spoken out against building the “Cordoba House” Islamic Center (Of course I am also against it, but am definitely not a bigot.).”

Unless YOU are a practicing Muslim your opposition to this cultural center is pure bigotry, so your saying that you’re “definitely not a bigot” is false. Your ruse of hiding behind the Muslim-Americans’ backs is the same as of the racists who think that using the n-word is OK because so many African-Americans use it. If you are a Muslim, well then, I find your views on the issue just silly, not bigoted.

Malchus said: A poor highschool education , no doubt.

Oh Bob, I can hear the howls now: “Set phasers to SLAUGHTER!”

Kris said:

Mike Elzinga said:

With a troll’s profile ready at hand, and with sufficient discipline on the part of the regulars, that could be cut to zero.

Profile ready at hand? What exactly does that mean Mike? Ready for what or whom? Do you have printed profiles of all the people you’ve labeled as trolls and hand them out to passersby on street corners? Or, do you create a profile file in your computer containing your intricate and exhaustive (LMAO!) calculations and determinations about each alleged troll and somehow send a copy of it to everyone on Earth to warn them of impending doom? Or, do you only dispense it to other regulars here who are able to contact you personally and who request a copy because they let you do their thinking for them?

Or, do you just think that your stupid ‘profiles’ actually matter, when in reality they actually don’t? Do you really believe that what happens on this website, or your asinine profiles, or what you do with them, matters one iota to the vast majority of the people on Earth? Get over yourself Mike.

Hey, if you have my profile handy, why don’t you post it here? I could use a good laugh.

Your “profile” is a person who needs attention and does not even try to get it by behaving in any consistent or coherent fashion. You are a manipulative jerk who takes ANY response from others and uses it as an excuse to attack. You bash us for not being tolerant enough of Creationists, while stating Creationist fallacies yourself. Then you turn around and deny being religious and question why certain others who are Creationist take their religion so seriously. Such strange behavior is pathological in the extreme.

Gee, this website seems VERY important to you, considering how much time you spend here.

You are either crazy or a fraud, Kris.

The fun thing about the BW is that the trolls either have to cave in and respond on the BW – which they don’t want to do – or pass up responding – which they REALLY don’t want to do.

Kris said:

Whatever you do, don’t even consider that when people come here and sincerely want to ask, discuss, debate, learn, and/or contribute in some way, that when they’re mercilessly insulted and attacked and erroneously lumped into your hated group of ID/creationists, they just might not like it and may fight back, and especially when they offer reasonable explanations of their words and the explanations (and the person) are ignored, misinterpreted, misrepresented, slammed, bashed, and ridiculed by you and the rest of the mindless haters here. Yeah, don’t even consider that for a second. You and the other haters and bashers here are way too perfect to have to consider such things. It’s never your fault.

Your track record is too well known here for us to consider that you are sincere about anything. You are even WORSE than the average Creationist troll because you keep going back and forth between acting non-religious and acting like a Creationist. You cannot be both, so you must be bullshitting us. Nobody here can take that seriously.

Expressed violent thoughts a number of times?? Yeah Mike, I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar, but I haven’t “expressed violent thoughts a number of times” in the way you’re implying. You’re the one who needs a psychiatrist, along with some others here. If you’re considered sane, I’d rather be considered crazy. And comparing me or anyone else you simply don’t agree with to a serial killer just helps show how paranoid and delusional you are.

If you don’t like being called a liar, stop being one. At least I have ALWAYS told the truth about YOU.

DH, a very minor issue here: the first part you cited above was addressed to me, and personally I find it amusing to watch such comments fall into a hole of resounding silence.

However, as far as the rest goes, carry on.

mrg said:

DH, a very minor issue here: the first part you cited above was addressed to me, and personally I find it amusing to watch such comments fall into a hole of resounding silence.

However, as far as the rest goes, carry on.

Oh, did you want to answer him here first? Be my guest. But I figured I’d just make a note of ANY inappropriate thing Kris says elsewhere and post it here, answer it here, and wait for Kris to take the hint and stop attacking us everywhere else and just slam people here.

Dale Husband said: Oh, did you want to answer him here first? Be my guest.

Why would I want to do that? But if my own rejoinder is indifference, I can at least politely ask that the effect not be spoiled.

Kris threatens: “I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar,…”

Lotsa bluster; everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

Mike Elzinga said: … everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

AARGH! I am so outa here!

Kris said:

Mike Elzinga said:

mrg said:

Serial killers are maybe a bit much of a comparison.

The point was the sociopathic needs of such an individual. This troll has expressed violent thoughts a number of times. But a psychiatrist would have a better handle on this that I.

I think people like attention; it’s just a question of what kind of attention. When I was the factory contact guy in my corporate life, a colleague in marketing told me that it was true I put up with a lot of abuse – I did – but added: “People thank you sometimes.”

And they did. I get thanks on occasion for my current efforts as well – not often, and maybe thanks aren’t the be-all and end-all of the effort … but on the other side of the coin, if nobody ever thanks me, what reason would I have to honestly believe what I was doing actually did anyone good?

Now take the negative mentalities that show up here … does anyone ever thank them for what they’re doing? It’s obvious it never happens, and just as obvious that they haven’t any expectation that it will.

They still want attention, and lacking any concept that they will ever be praised, they have no alternative but to be disruptive. If one cannot build, then they can only take satisfaction in destruction.

Yeah; you are pointing out common desires that nearly everyone has. But sociopaths also know this and manipulate these.

But I suspect most of us can simply walk away from these kinds of manipulations when we have other things to do that are satisfying; and I suspect most of the moderators here on PT do in fact have other things vying for their attention.

Hell, I’m retired and I can’t get through everything I want to get through in a week. The only reason I even show up here is that the PT topics are often very interesting, and I have a high speed connection that allows me to look in from time to time when I happen to be working on my computer. So most of the time I’m multitasking up a storm when I’m here.

Expressed violent thoughts a number of times?? Yeah Mike, I would thoroughly enjoy kicking your ass and the asses of anyone else who has called me a liar, but I haven’t “expressed violent thoughts a number of times” in the way you’re implying. You’re the one who needs a psychiatrist, along with some others here. If you’re considered sane, I’d rather be considered crazy. And comparing me or anyone else you simply don’t agree with to a serial killer just helps show how paranoid and delusional you are.

Whew! Glad I never called Kris a liar. I only called him a coward and a bully.

Mike Elzinga said: Lotsa bluster; everybody’s collective asses are exposed right here.

So it’s like “one of these days Alice, POW! To the mooning”?

Another collection of Kris’ delusional rants.

Kris said:

And of course your insulting comments, and the insulting comments by the other hypocrites here, don’t violate any of those rules you posted, eh?

Apparently, all that matters here is that any insults have to be aimed at creationists or anyone who doesn’t blindly and viciously attack them right along with you guys/gals.

Giving you back your own shit isn’t allowed. Questioning you isn’t allowed. Having a mind of my own isn’t allowed. Calling you on your bullshit isn’t allowed. Anything less than total devotion and obedience to you and your creationist hating ‘cause’ isn’t allowed. Hypocrisy, by you and your cohorts, is allowed, and encouraged.

Kris said:

And of course you and others going on and on about “trolls”, and repeatedly posting “DNFTT”, isn’t “SPAM”. Yeah, whatever.

Why do you think that a “dissenter” is automatically a “troll”? You’ve said you’re a Christian. Would your Christian God approve of your insulting, hypocritical, hateful behavior?

Kris said:

Maybe, just maybe the moderators are getting wise to the hypocrisy and other bullshit you and others are guilty of.

Now STFU spamming troll.

How do you like your own shit thrown back at you?

Panda’s Thumb is a blog made for defending evolution and promoting proper science education, and since Kris was the one who invaded the blog to spew both Creationist arguments that we were expected to “tolerate” (like we are supposed to tolerate falsehoods?) and then claim to be non-religious at other times, why shouldn’t we regard him as unwelcome, inconsistent and disruptive? Why shouldn’t we treat him like he is the enemy, when that’s all he has ever acted like since he arrived here?

An example of hypocrisy would be us invading and attacking ID promoters on Uncommon Descent. I’ve never done that, and never will. Maybe Kris can go over there and drive the ID people crazy for a while, to prove to us once and for all that he is an equal-opportunity critic, and not a bigoted Creationist concern troll.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/

Kris the creationist wrote:

“If, however, “descent with modification” is defined as showing that speciation (evolution) occurs and/or occurred, then that’s a different ballgame, and requires greater evidence. While a lot of evidence points to a persuasive probability that descent with modification, including divergence/speciation, occurred throughout(?) the history of life, there’s a lot more work to do to before it can reasonably be said that it has been established close to 100%, and I’m not sure it can be reasonably said that it can be established ‘empirically’. Many inferences have been and have to be made, and inferences are a matter of opinion.”

This is of course incorrect. I already posted a link to a web page entitled:

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution

If Kris wants to discuss the point, he can do so here. Maybe someone will want to discuss it with him. Unless of course he is just plain chicken shit.

DS said: Kris the creationist wrote:

You might just leave a short bland note on the original thread to invite him to come to the BW for discussion. He’ll ignore it, of course, but that works too.

Yawn.

(Bored.)

All the spamming at The Immune System Cross-examination Still Burns, and other forums, is very unChristlike, don’t you think?

Makes you wonder if these anti-science creation-supporters are Christians? (Never known a real creationist who wasn’t.)

It’s funny how trolls stubbornly resist being prodded to direct their comments to the BW. They know that once they do, they don’t have any real nuisance value any more: “What’s the point of trolling, then?”

Kris huffs and puffs and squeaks “What are you afraid of?” hiding behind his mommy’s apron. Afraid to mix it up on the big kid’s playground, he’ll sit in the sandbox and cry.

Poor widdle Kwis! Mean old scientists call you out on your stupid shit? Maybe if we ignore the little wanker he’ll go back into the closet and play with himself.

Geeze, I’m beginning to miss FL! I tell you, the neighborhood is going to hell.

I knew the asshole was chicken shit. All he haas to do is come here and provide a better explanation for the 29 different independent data sets that are all consistent with common descent. Until he does, I guess he will just be someone who believes in evolution but not in common descent. Yea right.

Everyone should remember, he had his chance to discuss science, he chose to quote mine and insult instead. He can cry all he wants to now, but everyone is wise to his crap.

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility about the “almost uniquely the contribution of English-speaking peoples” stuff,

Advise away, harold, as is your right. We both have the right of free speech.

Florida school board finally realizes that promoting religion is a double-edged sword.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chap[…]rida-schools

Dave Luckett said:

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility about the “almost uniquely the contribution of English-speaking peoples” stuff,

Advise away, harold, as is your right. We both have the right of free speech.

Hey kids, here are a few lessons we can learn from Dave’s reply -

1) If someone says something stupid and they can’t really defend it, but their ego is too insecure to allow them to say “you may have a point there”, they invariably advance the non sequitur rebuttal that they have free speech.

Why, yes, Dave, you do, within limits, but since nobody suggested otherwise, there was no logical reason for you to bring it up. (Now granted, even the BW is moderated to some degree. So this is a private venue. So in a sense, you’re wrong. Your speech here is limited to precisely what PT moderators will allow, as the creators and moderators of this blog. But nobody suggested that your comment was outside what should be tolerated here.)

2) If someone says something that is kind of jerky, and you try to point that out to them is a polite and subtle way, you’ll probably get back a face-full of aggression as thanks for your efforts. Because if their first comment was kind of jerky, why would you expect their second comment to be otherwise?

But there are exceptions. Me for example. Sometimes I say something jerky - hopefully less often as years go by - but I’m often able to recognize that when provided with feedback. So it’s worth it to try, but remember that you’ll usually get a less than pleasant response.

3) I do happen to agree with Dave that the English common law system and parliamentary democracy model are proud accomplishments of the culture we both share. I would even go so far as to say that they have been beneficial side effects of the imperialistic expansion of the British in many places. Yet at the same time, we really should bear in mind that the Glorious Achievements of English Speaking Man are, sadly, balanced by a record of violence, discrimination, and exploitation, even are close to home and culturally similar as Ireland, without even talking about Africa or India.

Which is why I “advised humility” rather than merely expressing scorn. I do share the cultural bias that human rights for both genders and all ages and orientations are “good”, and I’m the first to admit that in many places where the English first brought aggression and exploitation, the better aspects of the way the English sometimes treated each other eventually took hold. But the record is distinctly mixed.

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility…

If I were arrogant and presumptuous enough to “strongly advise… humility” to anyone, harold, it wouldn’t be Dave Luckett. He can actually write.

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

“…a Charleston County [SC] probate judge has begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples…”

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/marriage[…]uth-carolina

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

phhht said:

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility…

If I were arrogant and presumptuous enough to “strongly advise… humility” to anyone, harold, it wouldn’t be Dave Luckett. He can actually write.

But his writing ability has nothing to do with what I was talking about…

Never mind.

harold said:

phhht said:

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility…

If I were arrogant and presumptuous enough to “strongly advise… humility” to anyone, harold, it wouldn’t be Dave Luckett. He can actually write.

But his writing ability has nothing to do with what I was talking about…

Never mind.

If someone says something stupid and he can’t really defend it, but his ego is too insecure to allow him to say “you may have a point there”, he often advances the non sequitur rebuttal of irrelevance.

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

I didn’t intend that to be my question. I thought it might be the way the judge approached his decision: either through indifference to what SCOTUS might decide, or in anticipation of what they will decide, he wasn’t going to wait to apply his interpretation of the Constitution.

phhht said:

harold said:

phhht said:

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility…

If I were arrogant and presumptuous enough to “strongly advise… humility” to anyone, harold, it wouldn’t be Dave Luckett. He can actually write.

But his writing ability has nothing to do with what I was talking about…

Never mind.

If someone says something stupid and he can’t really defend it, but his ego is too insecure to allow him to say “you may have a point there”, he often advances the non sequitur rebuttal of irrelevance.

I unilaterally declare peace and will allow other comments in this thread to go unanswered, but I will note that this one is inaccurate.

I prefer accurate insults.

I actually frequently do concede when other people show me to be wrong. When I actually am wrong.

And none of my comments were non sequitur errors.

English imperialism did probably spread some beneficial cultural institutions. But the jury system is NOT unique to English language cultures. And given the negative effects of English imperialism, I do personally favor having a little humility about the benefits of it.

This comment is not intended to imply that I display humility on a consistent basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury

Harold’s point, as he now explains, was not that the common law and the jury system are not good things, nor that they are pretty much entirely the invention of the English-speaking peoples, but that the latter have done other things that are bad. That is, what I actually said might have been true, as a statement of tiresome fact, but he objects to me saying it, because I did not mention the bad with the good.

I am happy to have drawn that explanation from him.

Yes, the English-speaking peoples have done much wrong. But harold originally simply advised “humility” (that is, reticence amounting to silence) about the achievements. Now he explains that he really meant something like balance or even-handedness. I would respond that we are very frequently reminded of the great achievements of other cultures, and it is not thought objectionable for their representatives to take justifiable pride in their heritage. Why is it objectionable in an English-speaker?

A reason is supplied in harold’s follow-up that was not present in his original. Because it’s kind of jerky, says harold.

What does that mean? I suggest it means that harold thinks it’s politically incorrect, so he advises me not to say such things.

I respond, as I originally did, that harold may give whatever advice he likes, that being his right. I have the reciprocal right to think the advice mistaken, and accordingly to ignore it.

Herewith soliciting the thoughts of those wiser than I (IOW, damn near anybody):

What might be the potential downside of the state legally recognizing ‘domestic partnerships’, or whatever you might call them, of ANY two consenting adults, granting them all the rights and privileges now accorded only to legally married couples?

As Eric said: But if you think about the many secular goals that the state might argue for - encouraging settling down in one place, keeping a long-term job, investment in property and neighborhoods, etc. then the same benefits would accrue to any two people who pair up. Roommates. Brothers. Whatever. Whether the pair is having sex or not is irrelevant to those benefits.

I’m asking what if the state got out of the “marriage” business altogether? Instead, recognize such partnerships. Let religious or other institutions marry people, who want to be married “in the eyes of God”. If such traditionally married couples want the sanction of the state, and the legal benefits that accrue thereto, then they can register their partnership, being then both religiously married and legally partnered. Or they could choose to do one but not the other. Up to them.

In mulling over such things, after waking up at 3AM, it suddenly struck me that I needn’t contrive a fraternal twin “incestuous” scenario: I personally know a couple for whom such a legal partnership would be ideal and of some economic benefit. These are good friends of mine. The father, a widower, is in his 60s. His daughter, in her mid-30s, still lives in the family home with him. She has strong social anxiety. She holds a job, but will never marry or even date. She needs the security of her familiar home, and room, and books, and DVDs, and cats. These two, who live and maintain a home together, could never be married today, because the law would see it as “incestuous”. Thus they can’t enjoy the tax and other benefits that spouses do. Can anybody tell me why they shouldn’t be permitted such a legal partnership – along with many thousands of others who already live in such legally UNrecognized partnerships?

gnome de net said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

I didn’t intend that to be my question. I thought it might be the way the judge approached his decision: either through indifference to what SCOTUS might decide, or in anticipation of what they will decide, he wasn’t going to wait to apply his interpretation of the Constitution.

Sorry. Once I did not know what SCOTUS and POTUS (not to mention FLOTUS) meant. I had to look it up.

Dave Luckett said:

Harold’s point, as he now explains, was not that the common law and the jury system are not good things, nor that they are pretty much entirely the invention of the English-speaking peoples, but that the latter have done other things that are bad. That is, what I actually said might have been true, as a statement of tiresome fact, but he objects to me saying it, because I did not mention the bad with the good.

I am happy to have drawn that explanation from him.

Yes, the English-speaking peoples have done much wrong. But harold originally simply advised “humility” (that is, reticence amounting to silence) about the achievements. Now he explains that he really meant something like balance or even-handedness. I would respond that we are very frequently reminded of the great achievements of other cultures, and it is not thought objectionable for their representatives to take justifiable pride in their heritage. Why is it objectionable in an English-speaker?

A reason is supplied in harold’s follow-up that was not present in his original. Because it’s kind of jerky, says harold.

What does that mean? I suggest it means that harold thinks it’s politically incorrect, so he advises me not to say such things.

I respond, as I originally did, that harold may give whatever advice he likes, that being his right. I have the reciprocal right to think the advice mistaken, and accordingly to ignore it.

Thank you for your reasonable reply here.

I actually agree with what you are saying here.

There is a somewhat paradoxical situation in the world today. The dominance of the European, and particularly, English, cultural model, is unquestioned.

Almost all developed countries are democracies with or without a constitutional monarch whose institutions are directly modeled on, or strongly influenced by, the English model.

In addition, many developing countries follow this type of model as well, and as a general rule, those that do tend to score higher on measures of human well-being than those that are dictatorships.

Even countries with a very distinct national culture and their own history of dominance, such as Mongolia, appear to be strongly influenced by “western” institutions.

With the fall of Soviet communism, virtually the only competing models with any serious following are authoritarian religious ideologies - Islamic fundamentalism and right wing Christian fundamentalism in the US and some other places. Even these imperfectly differentiate themselves. Most of the world’s Muslims live in at least nominal democracies, and Islamic parties compete for votes. We find their proposed legislation terribly shocking, but tend to forget that a hundred years ago, our own society was so rigid in terms of things like expected dress code for women and the like, that Islamic societies were actually perceived as “more liberated”. We never specifically told women that they couldn’t drive a car (or manage a team of horses), but we did deny them the vote, in the US, until 1920.

Lastly, I should note that during my younger days, it was still common to praise the accomplishments of our own English language culture in terms that denigrated and denied the achievements of other cultures. And this tendency is still alive and well. There was also a tendency to imply that the ultimate benefits of things like a parliamentary model justified things like imperialist expansion, massacres, exploitation, discrimination, resource absconding, and so on. However, that is not necessarily the case. Perhaps our good ideas could have been spread in a more humane and sustainable manner.

My original comment was intended to be balanced and diplomatic. I didn’t think anyone would be offended by the use of the term “humility”. I meant “balance”, perhaps, but balance is a form of humility.

The paradox I referred to above is that when someone praises a particular culture for its achievements, it is indeed often intended as “balance”.

The success of the (good elements of) English culture are already implicitly apparent.

Quick addition to the above -

Of course I personally strongly oppose the ideology of religious authoritarians, whether they compete for votes or not.

Without authoritarian imposition of their ideas on others, people can live any way they want, including a strictly religious life.

Maybe, just maybe (could it be?) all this onslaught of gayness has finally been recognized by FL as a “wakeup call” to him and other Right With The Lord Christians to move to Uganda (or for the White Supremacist branch, to retreat to their secret compounds in the backwoods and string more barbed wire).

I’m beginning to think absence of evidence that FL is still living in Gay Kansas is evidence of his absence. (And, as always, I hope that speaking of the devil doesn’t elicit his materialization.)

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

I didn’t intend that to be my question. I thought it might be the way the judge approached his decision: either through indifference to what SCOTUS might decide, or in anticipation of what they will decide, he wasn’t going to wait to apply his interpretation of the Constitution.

Sorry. Once I did not know what SCOTUS and POTUS (not to mention FLOTUS) meant. I had to look it up.

It is similar to FLATUS.

KlausH said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

I didn’t intend that to be my question. I thought it might be the way the judge approached his decision: either through indifference to what SCOTUS might decide, or in anticipation of what they will decide, he wasn’t going to wait to apply his interpretation of the Constitution.

Sorry. Once I did not know what SCOTUS and POTUS (not to mention FLOTUS) meant. I had to look it up.

It is similar to FLATUS.

Is that meant as a Limbaughesque comment on the current First Lady?

If so, I can only quote Joseph Welch: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

If not, I apologize profusely for wrongly interpreting it as a scurrilous, infantile jibe.

You should always cool off before posting. Ignore that rule at your peril, or you’ll look like a dick. So, in the interests of not looking like a dick, I let myself calm down. I think I can write rationally now.

I wrote that the jury system and the common law were “almost uniquely the contribution of the English-speaking peoples to civilisation”. I was admonished: “I would strongly advise some humility about the “almost uniquely the contribution of English-speaking peoples” stuff”.

That is, the actual statement was not contested. Rather, it was objectionable that I took pride in the achievement of my people, my culture. I was advised rather to be humble about it. Why? Because, as was explained later: “we really should bear in mind that the Glorious Achievements of English Speaking Man are, sadly, balanced by a record of violence, discrimination, and exploitation”.

If I were an Aboriginal person, and I mentioned with pride the immemorial roots of my culture, its endurance of hardship, its simplicity, its cultural security, its fulfilling and meaningful ceremonial and beliefs, and its unique oneness with the land, would I be censured? Would I be expected to mention that its technology was surpassed in Europe thirty thousand years ago, or that among the fulfilling cultural practices that arose from this oneness with the land was forced abortion by savage beating in the belly, or infant exposure? Would I be expected to inveigh against its rites of passage, which mostly consisted of the infliction of agonising pain and horrific scarification?

If I were a Hindu, and I spoke of the ancient richness, vibrancy, colour, vigor, and mystic complexity of India, its towering intellectual achievements, its brilliant cuisine, would I be admonished to be silent about that, because of its poverty, caste system, intercommunal violence, bone-deep corruption and misgovernment on a mind-boggling scale? Gandhi is quoted as responding to the question “What do you think of Western civilisation?” with the jibe that he thought it would be a good idea. The quote cannot be traced further back than the 70’s, a generation after Gandhi was murdered by a bodyguard. (The British, who certainly had the means, opportunity and motive to do that, had refrained.) I think the dating is significant.

It was about the seventies when the fashionable and depressive self-disgust typical of some parts of the western intelligentsia began to permeate the culture generally. No doubt the reasons can be argued. However it happened, we have now come to a situation where it is thought “jerky” and hence deprecated to praise any good thing the English-speaking peoples have done, while enumerating their sins is practically mandatory.

I am aware that there is a doctrine to the effect that dominant cultures should be subject to special and additional contraints, because they’re dominant, and hence oppressive chauvinism is a real possibility. So it is; but in the history of the later twentieth and twenty-first century, I see little evidence for it, and a great deal more for its converse, oppressive political correctness.

So, for me, praise where praise is due, and if I dwell too much on what is praiseworthy, there are plenty of people - as we have seen - willing to correct any false impression I might give. I reject the well-meant advice I was given, therefore, but more: I reject the motives that inspired it. The day I unilaterally deprecate my own culture and my own people will be the day representatives of other peoples, other cultures, are expected to do the same for theirs.

harold said:

phhht said:

harold said:

I would strongly advise some humility…

If I were arrogant and presumptuous enough to “strongly advise… humility” to anyone, harold, it wouldn’t be Dave Luckett. He can actually write.

But his writing ability has nothing to do with what I was talking about…

Never mind.

In your refusal to engage my point, harold - that your admonishment to practice humility makes you appear to be both arrogant and presumptuous - you engage in a transparent dodge. You compound the dodge when you later say you “personally favor having a little humility”; you want to dilute your imperative to a personal preference.

And harold, must you be so Pecksniffian? I mean, in virtually every post, you rush to assure us that you are liberal, benevolent, and of the highest moral principles. It’s tiresome, and the repetition casts doubt on the sincerity of your claim.

Just Bob said:

KlausH said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

I didn’t intend that to be my question. I thought it might be the way the judge approached his decision: either through indifference to what SCOTUS might decide, or in anticipation of what they will decide, he wasn’t going to wait to apply his interpretation of the Constitution.

Sorry. Once I did not know what SCOTUS and POTUS (not to mention FLOTUS) meant. I had to look it up.

It is similar to FLATUS.

Is that meant as a Limbaughesque comment on the current First Lady?

If so, I can only quote Joseph Welch: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

If not, I apologize profusely for wrongly interpreting it as a scurrilous, infantile jibe.

Sorry, I meant it as a humorous jibe at the acronyms, and not as a personal attack on the first lady. I was not even sure many people would know what flats was, and thought it would be good for a chuckle.

Argh, I wrote f l a t u s, but the stupid tablet “corrected” my spelling again. Does anyone know how to turn off this “feature” on a Microsoft Surface RT? I am constantly fighting the stupid tablet, especially when I am typing in German. Sometimes, it won’t even let me put in spaces! Other times, it randomly changes correctly spelled words to other words, apparently due to its misinterpretation of context. For example, it has changed “some” to “omen” and “and” to “ant”. Microsoft is devoting far too much of the tablet’s meager resources into actively being stupid.

KlausH said:

Just Bob said:

KlausH said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

phhht said:

gnome de net said:

SCOTUS? Who or what is SCOTUS?

It’s Supreme Court of the United States.

You know, like POTUS.

I didn’t intend that to be my question. I thought it might be the way the judge approached his decision: either through indifference to what SCOTUS might decide, or in anticipation of what they will decide, he wasn’t going to wait to apply his interpretation of the Constitution.

Sorry. Once I did not know what SCOTUS and POTUS (not to mention FLOTUS) meant. I had to look it up.

It is similar to FLATUS.

Is that meant as a Limbaughesque comment on the current First Lady?

If so, I can only quote Joseph Welch: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

If not, I apologize profusely for wrongly interpreting it as a scurrilous, infantile jibe.

Sorry, I meant it as a humorous jibe at the acronyms, and not as a personal attack on the first lady. I was not even sure many people would know what flats was, and thought it would be good for a chuckle.

Then my apology is sincere.

And I agree that the acronyms just sound… stupid. POTUS and FLOTUS sound like fake Latin, made up by a kid trying to sound like a doctor. Like something from the “surgery” section of “Walter Mitty”. They just don’t sound dignified. My uncle, when he was about 8, and faking illness to avoid school, was asked what was wrong. Turns out he was suffering from jerris pyootus of the weewah.

KlausH said:

Argh, I wrote f l a t u s, but the stupid tablet “corrected” my spelling again. Does anyone know how to turn off this “feature” on a Microsoft Surface RT? I am constantly fighting the stupid tablet, especially when I am typing in German. Sometimes, it won’t even let me put in spaces! Other times, it randomly changes correctly spelled words to other words, apparently due to its misinterpretation of context. For example, it has changed “some” to “omen” and “and” to “ant”. Microsoft is devoting far too much of the tablet’s meager resources into actively being stupid.

What irritates me is the way that search engines “correct” my spelling without asking for permission and, what is even worse, making the search useless, ignoring some of the search terms.

Hi Folks,

This is totally “off topic” and several years old now, but my wife just discovered this, and I thought you would also be interested in The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. (The Greek translation also includes an interesting semi-spiral version of the table that I’d never seen before.)

The interactive version has some additional descriptions of each “element”, including these for:

Creationism: (Woo #5) [Symbol: “Id”]

The highest form of stupidity requiring the denial of vast swathes of converging empirical evidence born from the desire to retain a resolute and unfeasible belief in the literal meaning of a particular scripture.

I particularly like the Woo Symbol for #5. :-)

Judaism: (Woo #13) [Symbol: “J”]

Belief in a bad tempered sky fairy who dislikes bacon and foreskins.

Chemtrails: (Woo #118) [Symbol: “Ct”]

The confusions of condensation trails formed behind jet aeroplanes and sinister government plot to poison us all.

And the Woo Symbol for “Homeopathy” (Woo #58): “H2O”.

TomS said:

KlausH said:

Argh, I wrote f l a t u s, but the stupid tablet “corrected” my spelling again. Does anyone know how to turn off this “feature” on a Microsoft Surface RT? I am constantly fighting the stupid tablet, especially when I am typing in German. Sometimes, it won’t even let me put in spaces! Other times, it randomly changes correctly spelled words to other words, apparently due to its misinterpretation of context. For example, it has changed “some” to “omen” and “and” to “ant”. Microsoft is devoting far too much of the tablet’s meager resources into actively being stupid.

What irritates me is the way that search engines “correct” my spelling without asking for permission and, what is even worse, making the search useless, ignoring some of the search terms.

I finally was able to disable the POS “autocorrect”, no thanks to Microsoft. The MS support site has no information on this “feature”, which they enable by default. After a lot of searching on the web, I found some information of how to disable it on a different version of the Surface tablet. The menus and options were named differently, but it gave me enough to go on to find the correct setting. Apparently, Microsoft considers the RT’s spell check and “autocorrect” routines to be “devices”.

Also, I want to make it clear that I dislike both the president and first lady, but I would be much more straightforward in any criticisms I make, rather than engage in juvenile name calling. This is pretty OT, and while I strongly disagree with many pandas about social and economic policies, I respect you guys (with the exception of a few liars, hypocrites, and hatemongers), and would like to get along.

The old “I’ll provoke a response by saying something inaccurate” technique.

First let’s point out what’s going on here. I’m not religious but I don’t “hate religion”. A lot of internet atheists get annoyed at me for not hating religion, and phhhht is one of them. He doesn’t really give a crap what Dave Luckett said, or what I said. He just remembers that he has some kind of a grudge and wants to squabble.

In your refusal to engage my point, harold - that your admonishment to practice humility makes you appear to be both arrogant and presumptuous - you engage in a transparent dodge.

That wasn’t your point. Your point was that Dave Luckett writes well. I agree, but that has nothing to do with what I said. It was quite stupid of you to make that point. Michael Behe writes well, too, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized.

I don’t consider myself arrogant or presumptuous, but I don’t really give a damn whether I am or not. Anyone can call anyone else arrogant and presumptuous any time they want.

You compound the dodge when you later say you “personally favor having a little humility”; you want to dilute your imperative to a personal preference.

What imperative? I can’t tell Dave Luckett what to do.

And harold, must you be so Pecksniffian? I mean, in virtually every post, you rush to assure us that you are liberal, benevolent, and of the highest moral principles.

That’s absolute bullshit. I’ve never made any claim like that. I do admit my political policy preferences at times. That’s basically for full disclosure, because I point out the political dimension of creationism pretty often. I do detect here a very veiled and grudging concession that my original point had some merit.

It’s tiresome, and the repetition casts doubt on the sincerity of your claim.

Not that I made the claim attributed to in the first place, but is this a good method? Is Ken Ham not a creationist because he repeats all the time that he is a creationist? Is Rush Limbaugh not conservative because he repeats all the time that he is conservative?

harold said:

Is Rush Limbaugh not conservative because he repeats all the time that he is conservative?

Well, maybe by his crowd’s very strained and self-serving definition of ‘conservative’.

Just Bob said:

harold said:

Is Rush Limbaugh not conservative because he repeats all the time that he is conservative?

Well, maybe by his crowd’s very strained and self-serving definition of ‘conservative’.

‘Fucking maniac’? Fits, but not really descriptive of the particular bent of his mania.

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