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Source: (consider it) Thread: Saturday Night Massacre Redux
Gee D
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I agree with Eutychus on this. It looks childish, and detracts from the proper attack. It gives easy grounds for all comments made to be dismissed. And I can't see any real distinction between attacking someone skin colour and the size of their hands (even given what was said earlier).

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Brenda Clough
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So your case is that 'Tiny Fingers' or 'Mango Mussolini' (that one is questionable, since I believe the skin tone is a fake tan either applied with makeup or achieved by tanning beds and therefore a volitional decision) is not his fault.
However, it is clear that his indisputable treachery, lying, and misogyny are fully in his power. And therefore Pussygrabber, Lyin' Don, and Crooked Donald are entirely appropriate. These epithets also have the virtue of being terms that have emerged from his own pursed lips in denigrating other persons.
We need a new epithet however, to take in all the ramifications of the fresh Russian complications. There's a march at the White House in June, I need to make a sign.

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HCH
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I don't see any evidence that Trump is smarter than Nixon. Nixon, for instance, did actually write his own books. Nixon survived in American politics for many years while Trump is fizzling out in a few months. If Trump actually had any brains, he would be much more dangerous.

I don't think the meeting with Kissinger was an instance of Trump trolling us; I think he is utterly oblivious to how his actions will be perceived.

On an irrelevant note, I wonder if Trump actually is a competent golfer.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
So your case is that 'Tiny Fingers' or 'Mango Mussolini' (that one is questionable, since I believe the skin tone is a fake tan either applied with makeup or achieved by tanning beds and therefore a volitional decision) is not his fault.

My case is not about what is whose fault but above all that using these epithets weakens your arguments.

It suggests the use of insults to make up what is lacking in cogency.

Using epithets repeatedly has all the class of a playground bully. It's certainly not going to heal any partisan divides, and as far as I'm concerned, my natural disposition to be persuaded by an argument is in inverse proportion to the amount of invective involved.

Trump's America is looking increasingly like, say, Erdogan's Turkey to me, but if your endless stream of links to almost exclusively left-leaning sources seasoned with insults is the alternative, to be honest it doesn't look all that rosy.

And demonstrations? They're not going to bother the guy in the White House and they are not going to bother GOP Congress members whose constituencies don't depend on your vote. They are more likely to reinforce a misplaced sense of self-satisfaction at having "done" something that actually achieves very little. The only way I can see this thing getting turned around is more investigative journalism and/or grassroots political activism.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
So your case is that 'Tiny Fingers' or 'Mango Mussolini' (that one is questionable, since I believe the skin tone is a fake tan either applied with makeup or achieved by tanning beds and therefore a volitional decision) is not his fault.
However, it is clear that his indisputable treachery, lying, and misogyny are fully in his power. And therefore Pussygrabber, Lyin' Don, and Crooked Donald are entirely appropriate. These epithets also have the virtue of being terms that have emerged from his own pursed lips in denigrating other persons.

My case is not about what is whose fault but above all that using these epithets weakens your arguments.

It suggests the use of insults to make up what is lacking in cogency.

Using epithets repeatedly has all the class of a playground bully. It's certainly not going to heal any partisan divides, and as far as I'm concerned, my natural disposition to be persuaded by an argument is in inverse proportion to the amount of invective involved.

Trump's America is looking increasingly like, say, Erdogan's Turkey to me, but if your endless stream of links to almost exclusively left-leaning sources seasoned with insults is the alternative, to be honest it doesn't look all that rosy.

I've always thought this kind of civility policing is more intended to shut down criticism than to accomplish anything else. The argument seems to be premised on the idea that pointing out police state tactics or being horrifically offended by police state tactics is actually worse than using police state tactics (to work from your Erdoğan example). I mean yeah, maybe the government rounding up dissidents is a bad thing, but describing it as a "clusterfuck" is just beyond the pale! [Roll Eyes]

The problem with "healing partisan divisions" is that people disagree about politics, and it doesn't matter how nicely you phrase your counter-arguments. There is still going to be disagreement. I've also noticed that calls for fake "civility" are almost always directed at people who are angry about injustice, rarely at anyone actually perpetrating injustice.

quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
I don't see any evidence that Trump is smarter than Nixon. Nixon, for instance, did actually write his own books. Nixon survived in American politics for many years while Trump is fizzling out in a few months. If Trump actually had any brains, he would be much more dangerous.

I don't think anyone argued that Trump is smarter than Nixon was, just that they seem to be playing from the same playbook:

quote:
Once again, the fiery wreck of President Stupid's administration parallels the fall of Richard Nixon in eerie ways. Today, specifically, I am reminded of that day in April of 1973 when Nixon -- who knew damn good and well exactly what Watergate was about because he was ass-deep in the cover-up from the very beginning -- dispatched White House Counsel John Dean to Camp David to "write him a report about everything he knew about the Watergate matter."

So why would Nixon do that? Why send Dean off to prepare a report on a subject with which Dean knew Nixon was already intimately familiar.

Deniability.

Nixon wanted to be able to wave that report around and claim that "This is the first I ever hear of Watergate!" and then scapegoat Dean for withholding this vital information from his august self. And then, more in sorrow than in anger, blame Dean for everything and sack him for betraying Nixon.

And now, 44 years later...

quote:
...
At his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., Trump groused over Comey’s latest congressional testimony, which he thought was “strange,” and grew impatient with what he viewed as his sanctimony, according to White House officials. Comey, Trump figured, was using the Russia probe to become a martyr.

Back at work Monday morning in Washington, Trump told Vice President Pence and several senior aides — Reince Priebus, Stephen K. Bannon and Donald McGahn, among others — that he was ready to move on Comey. First, though, he wanted to talk with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his trusted confidant, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, to whom Comey reported directly. Trump summoned the two of them to the White House for a meeting, according to a person close to the White House.

The president already had decided to fire Comey, according to this person. But in the meeting, several White House officials said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey...

There is no way to look at the nearly-identical scheme that President Stupid and his minions hatched -- get some trusted stooge to reverse-engineer his hare-brained plan to fire Comey and cauterize the accelerating FBI investigation into the incompetence and treason of his administration into some publicity-friendly rationalization and then blame that trusted stooge for precipitating Comey's firing -- without seeing the spirit Republican president Richard Nixon...
Of course that's just some filthy blogger who probably uses the word "fuck" when he's angry and refers to Trump as "President Stupid" just because Trump does a bunch of really stupid stuff. So I guess the obvious Nixonian strategy should be ignored until presented in the form of a dry academic dissertation.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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HCH
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It was Zappa who asserted that Trump is more clever than Nixon (May 10).
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I've always thought this kind of civility policing is more intended to shut down criticism than to accomplish anything else.

Bring the arguments on. I have no problem with criticism. I have a problem with criticism that struggles to express itself without calling its target names every single time.
quote:
The argument seems to be premised on the idea that pointing out police state tactics or being horrifically offended by police state tactics is actually worse than using police state tactics
I have no idea whose argument you are referring to but it certainly isn't mine. Of course police state tactics are worse, I am appalled at Trump's decision to fire Comey, which is why I mentioned Turkey, and I have no quarrel with people pointing them out.
quote:
I mean yeah, maybe the government rounding up dissidents is a bad thing, but describing it as a "clusterfuck" is just beyond the pale!
That depends on which company you keep and what you're trying to achieve (there is of course a school of thought that says that profanity is actually a good distraction from the real issues).

In Ship terms, Hell is there for people to use (almost) any language they like to express their sense of injustice. But that's not the same as a compelling argument. One of the things I respect about you (which does not always equal agreeing...) is precisely that you can make an argument without resorting to epithets.

And there's a difference between the words used to describe a situation and epithets directed at a person (cf Killary, Illary, etc...).

quote:
The problem with "healing partisan divisions" is that people disagree about politics, and it doesn't matter how nicely you phrase your counter-arguments.
Sure. But it's more convincing the less insulting they are. Or would you like to simply fast-track to politics by other means, i.e. physical violence?

Besides, permanently insulting Trump is hardly very edgy on the Ship. I wonder how the usual collection of epithets directed at Trump here would go down on, say, Free Republic.

[ 11. May 2017, 18:34: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Crœsos
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Speaking of nitpicking the semantics used to describe a situation that's both ridiculous and horrifying, there's this Washington Post correction:

quote:
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to more precisely describe White House press secretary Sean Spicer's location late Tuesday night minutes before he briefed reporters. Spicer huddled with his staff among bushes near television sets on the White House grounds, not "in the bushes," as the story originally stated.
Emphasis added. If there's a Hall of Fame for snarky newspaper corrections this is a worthy entry.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
Nixon survived in American politics for many years while Trump is fizzling out in a few months. If Trump actually had any brains, he would be much more dangerous.

This is the bit that I'm not convinced by, as many analyses are still indicating that Trump has vast support amongst the right wing that elected him, and he continues to have very clever minders around him like Mnuchin who have babel fish in their ears and turn the President's brain farts into English. He still has a friendly-ish Congress and a not yet rancid Senate and as far as I can see his strong men still adore his faecal flakes.

Therefore I fear he won't be going anywhere for a good while yet, and he is just intelligent enough, in a bear-with-a-fencepost-up-its-arse kind of way, to screw us all yet.

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and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Brenda Clough
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I quote you your own sig line, Eutychus. "One must take part." One must resist, any way we can. Because to do nothing is impossible to contemplate.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
On an irrelevant note, I wonder if Trump actually is a competent golfer.

The Guardian has wondered that too.

[ 11. May 2017, 20:41: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I quote you your own sig line, Eutychus. "One must take part." One must resist, any way we can. Because to do nothing is impossible to contemplate.

Resist? Definitely. Any way we can? Not sure: some options are better and more effective than others.

The challenge is to find the most effective way to resist - and also to engage.

Persistent name-calling isn't it, in my view - at least not when we're in a "serious discussion space", which is what it says up there ^^

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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The way it is going, it looks like the only effective way to bring down the apparently rapidly approaching dictatorship will be general strikes and non-cooperation.

It doesn't feel like we're there yet... although one might think that removing senior law officials investigating the Presidency wasn't so far from Turkey-style power grabs of the constitution.

If/when it does get to that stage, I guess it'll come down to whether those "calling names" at the moment are going to be prepared to walk the long and hard road.

I hope it isn't going to come to that, but I fear it will.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I quote you your own sig line, Eutychus. "One must take part." One must resist, any way we can. Because to do nothing is impossible to contemplate.

Someone shared this quote with me today (I might have to change my sig line):
quote:
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.


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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Brenda Clough
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It has taken me sixty years to recognize the calls to be quiet, the earnest counsel to only speak soft words to evil because otherwise its feelings will be hurt, to only use nice words, to be a good well-behaved non-offending girl, for what they are.
Sorry, you had that. Now we're done.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

And demonstrations? They're not going to bother the guy in the White House and they are not going to bother GOP Congress members whose constituencies don't depend on your vote. They are more likely to reinforce a misplaced sense of self-satisfaction at having "done" something that actually achieves very little. The only way I can see this thing getting turned around is more investigative journalism and/or grassroots political activism.

I would agree with your overall point that we need to pay attention to tone and methodology if we're going to be effective in our resistance. And I would certainly agree that now, more than ever, investigative journalism is desperately needed. It is probably not coincidental that this arose at a time when investigative journalism and the funding to hire such is at an all-time low. otoh, there is hope that this vocation, less than a year ago on it's deathbed, is now experiencing a renaissance (the silver lining of the Trumpestry is how so many long overlooked public servants-- reporters, egghead scientists, forest rangers, middling career bureaucrats of all sorts-- are emerging as people of courage and dedication).

But circling back to your post-- how exactly do you suggest the critical mass for "grassroots political activism" arises? It seems to me it begins with things like demonstrations-- things that, yes, in and of themselves have very little impact. But they gather a community, give it voice, and, most of all, create mailing lists, facebook groups, etc. that can be rallied to the cause by community organizers as more concrete activiism begins to emerge.

The very well regarded Indivisible document/movement-- written and led by seasoned political operatives-- outlines precisely that. I'm a part of my local indivisible group which focuses on both larger public demonstrations and smaller, more focused political activism.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Someone shared this quote with me today (I might have to change my sig line):
quote:
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

I'm guessing that's a variation on "Keep calm, and carry on". IIRC, KCACO is from a British royal, during one of the world wars. Over here, we mostly know it as a meme that appears on tote bags, mugs, etc.

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Golden Key
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cliffdweller--

Thanks for the reminder about Indivisible. [Smile] Hadn't been to the site in a long time. Just now went there, and found "Demand Your Senators Support an Independent Law Enforcement Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election".

It's got good summaries of the Russia-gate mess, and how Congressional Republicans are compromised. And there's a great graphic, from a member of Congress, outlining connections between the current administration and Russia.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
IIRC, KCACO is from a British royal, during one of the world wars. Over here, we mostly know it as a meme that appears on tote bags, mugs, etc.

Over everywhere that is how it is known. It was rarely used until 2000.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Gramps49
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1) Reference Obama's skin color: and I thought he was Irish.

2) The resistance: Congressional Representatives have been getting an ear full about their vote on the ACHA (The republican version of health care) and there certainly have been people protesting outside of the White House.

3) Have you noticed how the White House has been changing its story about the firing of Comey? First, it was because of Clinton's Emails--to which the Assistant Attorney General has said, "Don't blame me" Then it was because Trump thought Comey was grandstanding--huh? Now it was because the FBI was demoralized--yet the majority of the FBI supported Comey. Even White House Staffers cannot keep up with the current excuse!

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lilBuddha
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Cheeto spoke of thinking about the Russia investigation when deciding, all by himself, to fire Comey. Donald J. Nixon indeed.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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simontoad
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The arguments against Brenda's insults about Trump suggest that we who post here and read the threads will actually be persuaded by what she posts. My experience is that we are all, with a few exceptions, broadly of the same mind. What we post and link here is more along the lines of saying "look what this idiot has done now", or "did you pick up on this angle", rather than "look, all you shipmates who support Trump could not possibly support Trump after this travesty".

The point of posting and linking here for me is to let off steam about the Trump Presidency, share another angle that I thought of or read about, or crack another joke that I find hilarious.

I reckon the letting off steam thing might be particularly important for those of us who are living at the cutting edge of Trump's America. My feeling from the posts is that Brenda and Cliffdweller are particularly close to that edge. They need to be supported, to be held up, by those of us who share their views of Trump but who are a bit further away.

So, post what you feel. Insult away. Thanks for what you do.

As for the futility of protests, are you kidding me? The labour movement, the womens movement, the gay liberation movement and the civil rights movement are all great examples of the long term success of sustained protest action and civil disobedience. Raising consciousness in these ways are both legitimate and powerful actions for change.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
But circling back to your post-- how exactly do you suggest the critical mass for "grassroots political activism" arises? It seems to me it begins with things like demonstrations

I was reacting, specifically, to this by Brenda:
quote:
We need a new epithet however, to take in all the ramifications of the fresh Russian complications. There's a march at the White House in June, I need to make a sign.
I somehow don't see Kurdish people in Turkey reacting to mayors being arbitrarily dismissed and locked up by musing about the worst epithet to put on a sign several months down the line.

If there was a time to go into the street and protest about Comey's firing (and to my mind that, not the Russian allegations themselves, is the pressingly serious issue), it was that very day (cf the travel ban) - and to bite, the focus shouldn't have been on dreaming up new epithets, it should have been on the blatant political interference in other branches of government.

quote:
I'm a part of my local indivisible group which focuses on both larger public demonstrations and smaller, more focused political activism.
The first three things on that site are "Town Halls", "Local Public Events" and "District Office Visits". No mention of demonstrations that I can immediately see.

The former all look pretty grassroots to me. Of course that doesn't rule out demonstrations, but right now those little cogs of democracy look more likely (to me) to be the best place to effect any changes, rather than dreaming up fresh insults for the other side.

[ 12. May 2017, 05:23: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

Posts: 16266 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
My experience is that we are all, with a few exceptions, broadly of the same mind.

Which is a shame. That's known as an "Echo Chamber".
quote:
What we post and link here is more along the lines of saying "look what this idiot has done now", or "did you pick up on this angle", rather than "look, all you shipmates who support Trump could not possibly support Trump after this travesty".
None of which requires insults and epithets.

Are you really here because it's a nice little circle in which you can sit with like-minded individuals comiserating with each other about the bad stuff happening in the world by dreaming up new names to call those you disagree with? If so, you disappoint me.

quote:
I reckon the letting off steam thing might be particularly important for those of us who are living at the cutting edge of Trump's America.
There's a perfectly good thread for that, here.
quote:
My feeling from the posts is that Brenda and Cliffdweller are particularly close to that edge. They need to be supported, to be held up, by those of us who share their views of Trump but who are a bit further away.
It may have escaped your notice but I live in a country which has just narrowly escaped the far-right presidency of someone who makes Trump look like a rank amateur in many ways, and which may yet be ungovernable if the legislative elections don't pan out well.

I can assure you that if Macron won, it was precisely because unlike the opposition, he refused consistently to resort to a constant stream of epithets and repeatedly put his own personal security at risk by physically going to engage with people hurling epithets at him.

The far-right threat has receded here - a little, for now. But don't think it hasn't kept me awake at night. Like cliffdweller, I have to think about my responsibilities as an individual and the leader of a congregation. I'm taking notes here.

If people want support, there's All Saints. If people want to vent, there's Hell. Purgatory is supposed to be a "space for serious discussion".

If people's only form of engagement even in Purgatory is epithets, I have a hard time distinguishing them from the people who insisted in calling Hillary Killary or Illary and declining interest in listening to what they have to say.

quote:
As for the futility of protests, are you kidding me? The labour movement, the womens movement, the gay liberation movement and the civil rights movement are all great examples of the long term success of sustained protest action and civil disobedience. Raising consciousness in these ways are both legitimate and powerful actions for change.
See my response to cliffdweller. The only example of anything remotely close to that against Trump's actions I've seen was the day the travel ban was announced.

I've seen nothing else reflecting a similar, sustained groundswell. Until the Democrat base comes to terms with the fact that close to half the country apparently disagrees with them (and perhaps a larger number simply don't care) and starts working on how to overcome that, I think they are doomed to (noisy) irrelevancy.

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Eutychus
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Recent noteworthy examples of epithets and insults in demonstrations versus actual engagement:

here and here.

Guess which side is spouting the epithets.

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Zappa
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Meanwhile, in the issue at hand, while the GOP are in lust with power and Trumpite pseudo-Evangelicals have replaced Jesus with Satan it is going to be very hard to shift this man and his sycophants.

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Golden Key
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And the Girl Scout in the second picture, calmly standing up to the angry Neo-Nazi, is being held up as an example of strength and bravery.

ETA: Cross-posted. Am referring to the 2nd pic link in Eutychus' post, just above Zappa's.

[ 12. May 2017, 06:54: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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simontoad
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Yeah, this is absolutely an echo chamber. I'm surprised people don't realise this. The only time we have an actual dispute is over stuff like this, not policy. The one regularly posting crazily conservative American on the US election thread knew this, and basically spent his time trolling the rest of us.

Gotta go, psych appt.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And the Girl Scout in the second picture, calmly standing up to the angry Neo-Nazi, is being held up as an example of strength and bravery

Precisely. She's not hurling insults.

To come back to simontoad's point on history-changing demonstrations, I think the most effective ones have been all about non-violence, and that includes non-violent language (which is not the same as firm language).

To Zappa, those evangelicals will not be induced to change their minds by epithets, they'll just point to them as examples of how pagan the other side is.

To write them off as a lost cause is to see this as a zero-sum game. Christians can't disown them and simultaneously call on Muslims to own ISIS.

(My own tiny piece of activism in this respect is to attempt a dialogue with a US evangelical who was a missionary for many years in my city and is now back in the US and firmly in the Trump camp).

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Yeah, this is absolutely an echo chamber.

Even if it is, do you think its purpose is best served by dreaming up new epithets? If that were to become a majority view, don't expect me to hang around here much longer.

[ 12. May 2017, 07:09: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


To write them off as a lost cause is to see this as a zero-sum game. Christians can't disown them and simultaneously call on Muslims to own ISIS.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't call on Muslims to own IS and I never expect individual Muslims to continue apologising for despicable acts conducted in their name.

Evangelicals who support Trump have nothing to do with me. They're using words I recognise in ways that have nothing to do with the way that I use them - rather like some words in Welsh (of which I'm a very basic dysgwr/learner) sound the same as English words but have completely different meanings. Trying to parse Welsh if one only knows English is impossible.

IMO the only thing to do with individuals who seem set on heading towards support for fascism and totalitarianism is to disown them.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
IMO the only thing to do with individuals who seem set on heading towards support for fascism and totalitarianism is to disown them.

And resort to insulting them?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
And resort to insulting them?

It seems to me that you're rather too focussed on the name calling and rather less focussed on the fact that some people are heading towards fascism.

But that's your lookout, I suppose.

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Golden Key
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Re epithets, etc.--

A bit of backstory:

That's something I struggle with, somewhat chaotically. I've been bullied, abused, gossiped about, threatened, and attacked, throughout my life. So I try hard to think about everything I say, before I say it, and filter it accordingly. I know how much words can hurt.

Plus, in my background, goodness and manners were sometimes scrambled together.

Plus, as Brenda mentioned, there's the whole thing of girls being polite and speaking softly.

Plus I've spent many, many years working on my own baggage; trying to understand why people do things, when/if they're responsible, what should be done about them; figuring how I want to and should behave; and trying to learn compassion. Etc.

Current story:

I try to deal with all the above in a balanced way. I do *not* always make it. And I judge people (though I'm working on that); but I'm quite clear that God, if She exists, is the only one who can truly judge anyone, because She knows all the factors (childhood, biology, culture, etc.).

I also have a hard time sorting out comedy, especially the late-night talk shows. Some of their jokes are way too harsh or crude. OTOH, I love comedy. So I wind up sorting through the jokes as I hear them.

My problem with joking about Trump's hands is that he can't help that. It's like bullying someone for having one leg shorter than the other, or needing glasses. (And, honestly, I couldn't even see that he had small hands, until long after the meme started. They just didn't register.)

Plus he's obviously extremely damaged, unbalanced, mentally ill; has severe learning disabilities (per Pres. Obama); doesn't know much about the world; and can't really cope with it at all.

(ETA: And I question whether he's at all capable of doing much better than he actually is doing.)

I HATE what he's doing to my country, the world, and individuals. Haven't figured out if I hate him. Would be easier to sort that out if he weren't so damaged.

FWIW.

[ 12. May 2017, 07:49: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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mr cheesy
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See, it bothers me more when people think they can diagnose mental illness from a distance than when they make fun of the man's hands.

If we accept the trope that he is mentally ill, then it isn't many steps before we are associating other people who have <insert mental illness> with Trumpite characteristics - and that might be quite wrong.

On the other hand, claiming something about his hands is very unlikely to be something which affects people with similar sized hands.

The fact is that one has few ways to attack a tyrant. They pick on individuals, they close down dissent, they arrest or shut down journalists, they then often go on to then attack the constitution and the liberal values that the nation stands for - and at that point you're screwed. See Turkey.

About the only thing that the normal person in the street has left is mockery. And, as Charlie Chaplin showed, those Nazis really really don't like being laughed at.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
And resort to insulting them?

It seems to me that you're rather too focussed on the name calling and rather less focussed on the fact that some people are heading towards fascism.
That's because the name-calling detracts from the warnings about heading towards fascism. It suggests you don't have any better ammunition.

I read the occasional barrage of US conservative website comments. It seems to me that almost all they can do is post endless, incoherent, unsourced comments, and insults.

Can the opposition really do no better?

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Golden Key
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mr cheesy--

If I may ask, how much coverage of Trump, himself, have you watched, over the last couple of years?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
as Charlie Chaplin showed, those Nazis really really don't like being laughed at.

Satire is not the same as coming up with a workable and compelling alternative, and as has been pointed out to you before, it took a bit more than Charlie Chaplin to defeat the Nazis.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
mr cheesy--

If I may ask, how much coverage of Trump, himself, have you watched, over the last couple of years?

I know what I don't know about mental illness. And I'm fairly sure that even professionals wouldn't try to diagnose from TV coverage.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Satire is not the same as coming up with a workable and compelling alternative, and as has been pointed out to you before, it took a bit more than Charlie Chaplin to defeat the Nazis.

And as has been pointed out to you before, refusing to take the Nazis seriously - even whilst they were doing the most disgusting and degrading things - was not insignificant in reducing the legitimacy of Hitler and other tyrants.

By the way, simply stating things in the past does not mean that you've proved anything at all.

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Eutychus
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I think you are making a big mistake if you think Trump and his followers are going to be defeated by refusing to take them seriously.

So far, I think their strategy for distracting and wearing out the opposition is working just fine.

To repeat: dreaming up new epithets for your opponent and serving them up for the appreciation of one's Echo Chamber (sic) is a distraction from practical action to combat creeping totalitarianism and from serious discussion about how best to engage in it.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That's because the name-calling detracts from the warnings about heading towards fascism. It suggests you don't have any better ammunition.

Nope. It suggests that the opposition is keeping its powder dry until an opportune moment when other tactics will come into play.

quote:
I read the occasional barrage of US conservative website comments. It seems to me that almost all they can do is post endless, incoherent, unsourced comments, and insults.
Well, maybe you shouldn't read those comments on those boards. To suggest that this is exactly the same as the liberal insults in late night tv shows suggests that you're not actually watching the late night tv shows - because they're far more coherent and sourced than simply throwing random insults.

quote:
Can the opposition really do no better?
Oh yes. But now isn't the time.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think you are making a big mistake if you think Trump and his followers are going to be defeated by refusing to take them seriously.

Think whatever you like. There is a constant pattern of how non-violent resistance and popular uprisings progress, and part of that at the beginning is de-legitimisation of the power.

If the power demands loyalty and politeness, you refuse to give it to him.

quote:
So far, I think their strategy for distracting and wearing out the opposition is working just fine.

To repeat: dreaming up new epithets for your opponent and serving them up for the appreciation of one's Echo Chamber (sic) is a distraction from practical action to combat creeping totalitarianism and from serious discussion about how best to engage in it.

I don't think it is a distraction at all. It is acting to highlight the absurdity of the situation, it is highlighting the inanity of the Power, it is buying time.

All of those things are worthwhile.

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Dafyd
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When Trump was elected I saw a link to a blog by an Italian writer, who said they spent years mocking Berlusconi to no effect. Then they changed tactics and concentrated on his policies and they did kick him out.

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Golden Key
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mr cheesy--

Actually, "Mental Health Professionals Sign Petition Declaring Trump Is 'Mentally Unfit'" (Townhall). The petition is at Change.org, and currently has 55,155 signatures. The reporter who wrote that article is probably a Trump supporter, given her comments. There's a link to the petition in the article.

And this link covers both sides:

"Trump's mental health debate: What is it about?" (BBC).

The reason I asked how much coverage of Trump you've seen is because watching a couple of years worth of coverage makes it clear that something is severely wrong with him.

I'm not saying he's mentally ill as an insult. I have severe depression, and anxiety. And it's not "he's crazy!" in the general, everyday sense of someone who's just really different. And it isn't politics. He really, truly is too damaged to do the job.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
mr cheesy--

Actually, "Mental Health Professionals Sign Petition Declaring Trump Is 'Mentally Unfit'" (Townhall). The petition is at Change.org, and currently has 55,155 signatures. The reporter who wrote that article is probably a Trump supporter, given her comments. There's a link to the petition in the article.

As it says in this article

quote:
Not so fast. None of these health professionals have indicated how they define mental illness. Instead, they follow the unfortunate tendency of modern psychiatry, exacerbated by the profit motive of the medical industry, to confuse symptoms with illnesses and to offer criteria for diagnosis so broad that they would apply to most people. And, in fact, they do. According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using current DSM-V criteria, an astonishing 25 percent of Americans can be considered to have a mental illness in any given year, and 50 percent can be diagnosed with a mental illness sometime in their lives.
This goes for presidents as well. A recent study in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases found that nearly 50 percent of presidents in American history met the criteria for a psychiatric disorder, and 27 percent exhibited the disorder while in office.

quote:
The reason I asked how much coverage of Trump you've seen is because watching a couple of years worth of coverage makes it clear that something is severely wrong with him.
Right, it means he's a complete arse. It doesn't mean that he has a recognisable mental illness which can be obviously be diagnosed via TV. Or that he is mentally ill and impaired from being the POTUS.

It's a stupid point and I wish people would stop saying it.

quote:
I'm not saying he's mentally ill as an insult. I have severe depression, and anxiety. And it's not "he's crazy!" in the general, everyday sense of someone who's just really different. And it isn't politics. He really, truly is too damaged to do the job.
And I'm saying without proper interventions by a trained professional mental health worker, it is not possible to make the statement about his suitability for the role.

It is beyond doubt that he's an egoist and an arse. That doesn't mean that he is too mentally ill to do the job, no matter how many people sign an online petition.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
maybe you shouldn't read those comments on those boards. To suggest that this is exactly the same as the liberal insults in late night tv shows

I never said anything about them being the same. I expressed my disappointment at the prospect of the Ship, and especially Purgatory, not being able to do any better than parade and repeat new epithets.
quote:
quote:
Can the opposition really do no better?
Oh yes. But now isn't the time.
Why not? You've got good, compelling arguments as to why Trumpism is bad and how it can effectively be combated but you're keeping them a secret in favour of nurturing ridicule? How does that work exactly?
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
There is a constant pattern of how non-violent resistance and popular uprisings progress, and part of that at the beginning is de-legitimisation of the power.

I'd like you to point to where the civil rights movement, for instance, spent its time productively thinking up new insults as part of its non-violent resistance strategy.

It strikes me they delegitimised power most effectively by going out and doing things that demonstrated just how ridiculous it was. Like by sitting in the "wrong" area of the bus.
quote:
If the power demands loyalty and politeness, you refuse to give it to him.
Loyalty and politeness are two very different things. And there's a difference between mannered politeness and consistently referring to your hated opponent by an epithet.

It's the difference between attacking the person and attacking the issue.

Here in France Macron has earned respect from me, and I suspect won the election, by persistently attacking the issue and not the person, in stark contrast to his (far-right) opponent. He didn't win by having better insults; he won by exposing her vapidity.

quote:
I don't think it is a distraction at all. It is acting to highlight the absurdity of the situation, it is highlighting the inanity of the Power, it is buying time.
Just how is dreaming up new epithets buying time?

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Jolly Jape
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I don't know Eutychus, there seems to be quite a strong biblical principles of "Laughing to scorn". Paul certainly seems to have indulged in it, in the moments between his "look what I've endured for the gospel (and he had) schtick, but surely the scriptural tour de force is Elijah and the prophets of Baal; where is Baal, perhaps he's had to go to the loo.

How much is just invective and how much is ridicule? And is there really that much difference? I think as a prime strategy it can be overrated, but it seems to me that there is some traction in using it as part of the mix.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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mr cheesy
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Actually one doesn't even have to call Trump names, one just needs to repeat back what he says.

Today's example from an upgoing Economist interview:

Trump: We have to prime the pump

Economist: It's very Keynesian

Trump: Have you heard that expression before for this type of event?

Economist: Priming the pump?

Trump: Yeah, have you heard it?

Economist: Yes

Trump: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven't heard of it. I mean.. I just came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It's what you have to do.

---

He literally thinks he invented an expression which has been in use for at least 80 years.

That's hilarious.

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mr cheesy
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Ecoonomist transcript

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