Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Overconfident Fascists

In Saturday's spat debating the dismissal of Valarie Plame's damage suit on Mercury Rising, Charles deleted one comment of mine so as to make it appear that he "won," accused me of "lying," and let stand a comment from Phoenix Woman calling me an "amoral" "little troll." Fortunately, I saved a screenshot that exposed the fraud. (BTW, it didn't seem to occur to Charles that because Plame resigned from the CIA -- as opposed to being fired -- and didn't sue the spy agency or its personnel, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to claim "loss of employment and hence the deprivation of property.")

Inspired, Assistant Village Idiot tried to read and react to other posts on that intolerant lefty blog. I saw at least four of his comments Sunday but -- just like me -- AVI swiftly was cursed, banned and erased. Foiled by "Fascists Rising," AVI cast a wider net, but reports similar results:

I usually wander through the lefty blogs a few times a year, looking for ones which allow reasonable discussion. . .I wasn't scheduling myself for another round until the fall, but hooking up with Mercury Rising because of your incident there inspired me to try their blogroll. That perhaps was a poor choice of starting point.

It's Status quo: the energy there is put into the cleverness of the insult and the expression of how enraged they are (and the American sheeple just take it! Oh, the injustice!) rather than the thought behind the argument. Reminiscent of my teenage years.

I know exactly how AVI feels. I'm still irritated as hell over being insulted and eradicated. I shouldn't care what a few close-minded lefty crackpots think; indeed, as AVI implies, it's possible that Merc Rising bloggers actually are teenagers! In any event, I should have known better: for years, I was an enthusiastic participant in Yahoo's political chat rooms, but beginning in 2004, liberals began cursing me, ignoring me, and sending boot-codes that ejected me and destroyed one hard drive.

And "progressive" fraud and fabrication isn't confined to the Internet. For example, Amnesty International recently decided to denounce legal impediments to abortion and attacked the Catholic church and Catholics for their beliefs. In particular, AI's April 7th FAQ on "Sexual and Reproductive Rights" (page 7 of this .pdf) described the new policy as:

based on the principle that every woman has the right to be free from any form of coercion, discrimination or violence as she makes and puts into effect informed decisions concerning reproduction, including decisions in relation to the continuation or termination of pregnancy. . .

The policy now adopted allows AI to call governments to account for their laws and policies on abortion and to make appropriate policy recommendations toward the realization of women’s human rights.

Knowing its new posture would be seen as a dogmatic betrayal of its asserted mission and a challenge to culture and religion -- even Andrew Sullivan denounced it! -- AI played "hide and lied," as Ryan Anderson recounted in the Weekly Standard:

Hidden on the members-only section of its website was the announcement of a new policy that condemns as a human-rights violator any country that does not allow broad access to abortion or punishes abortion providers.

"This policy will not be made public at this time," the website instructed its visitors. "There is to be no proactive external publication of the policy position or of the fact of its adoption issued." Amnesty International officials had good reason to want to keep this new policy quiet: It undermines their voice as global human-rights advocates, and they know it.

Perhaps that's why Amnesty International had preemptive talking points posted on the site too. The news was to be kept secret--but if the story got out anyway, members were to respond immediately: "Some media reports and individuals have claimed that AI promotes a 'human right to abortion.' This grossly misrepresents AI's policy on sexual and reproductive rights. AI takes no position on whether abortion is right or wrong, nor on whether or not abortion should be legal."

Got that distinction? Neither did I.

AI's approach might be more persuasive without the cover-up. And Charles' vision of Mercury Rising as "a pleasant place where people of different persuasions can post politely and find a common path" might be admirable if he deleted less and researched more.

Leftists like AI and Charles no doubt consider themselves broad-minded and devoted to debate. But both fake fidelity to the First Amendment; they talk, but rarely listen. This isn't liberal--it's totalitarian:

So don't believe the hype: Democrats are only tolerant of those who agree with them. They're biased against everyone else. Modern Democrats look less like a political party and more like a religious cult. Maybe they should demonize and excommunicate themselves.

But they won't and -- perversely -- their insular exclusion aids conservatives (slightly edited; links updated):

[T]he liberal media actually helps Republican conservatives. Because the NY Times, the LA Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (motto: "dumb as a post!"), and the WaPo are no more than an echo chamber. All they print is the conversation at Georgetown (or upper west-side, or Hollywood hills, etc.) cocktail parties. They don't care about, much less print articles about, people who live between Pittsburgh and Denver. So they miss the real news. . .

If you don't print the facts, your audience can't get the truth. If you abandon objectivity to become the house organ for liberal causes, what you want crowds out reality. And that means readers of big-city newspapers--lefties all--never see the blow coming. Most famously, the late film critic Pauline Kael expressed astonishment at the Republicans' 49-state landslide victory in 1972: "I don't know how Richard Nixon could have won; I don't know anybody who voted for him."

I'm sure she didn't.

As I said in comments on Saturday's post:

I never aspired to troll-ness. But if the progressive definition of troll is "one who knows facts and can quote law/decisions, thereby upsetting long-held left-wing prejudice, leaving 'tin-foil hat types' without a retort, thus necessitating -- when spotted -- censorship from liberal discussions, so to preserve pleasant places where people of identical ideas can politely parrot Blue State memes, while skipping fact-checking, overlooking the outcome of prior similar proposals and ignoring possible unintended consequences, outsourcing deductive logic to Democratic Underground and confusing a Kos poll with proof, freeing "progressives" to MoveOn to pre-ordained policies of the past: anti-American, anti-Bush, and anti-Israel," I could get used to it.

Hobbled by erroneous facts and un-tested logic, Charles' preferences are less likely to be appropriate or achievable. Regardless of one's view on abortion, faking and fibbing vitiates the credibility of AI's new stance. In the marketplace of ideas, "progressive" fascism's attempted speech monopoly is inefficient. By November '08, leftist overconfidence could be our best weapon.


whig said...

I looked at the exchange and it appears that there was an unwillingness to engage further conversation and that was clearly stated. It does appear that a final comment was deleted and not responded to once the decision had been made to discontinue the debate.

I appreciate that this can be frustrating to someone who is just looking for an argument, but you do not have a right to waste Charles's time.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

First - Charles may not have deleted a post. I tried five times on different threads to post after the first exchange, but none came through. We all have occasional trouble posting on other sites, but I have never had five in a row. I call it suspicious, but not an accusation, as the error could have been mine.

Whig, you make a distinction between deleting a comment before and after banning. That seems an inadequate difference.

Then you judge that Carl was "just looking for an argument," which as much as claims that the difficulties all resided on Carl's side. That is not sustainable, and to attempt it is less than honest. I appreciate this can be frustrating to people who will brook no disagreement, but you then do not have a right to claim you are seeking an exchange of ideas.

Bottom line. We were polite. Charles and Phoenix Woman were rude. We attempted discussion. Charles refused it. I recognise that this does not seem to the folks at Mercury Rising to be what occurred. To them, stupid a/o deceitful people came over and tried to cause trouble. I maintain that such an impression is precisely the problem that progressives have. An observer from Mars - or from another era in the history of Western Civilization - reading the exchange would have no trouble spotting who was discussing and who was merely insulting. Progressives now have a false view of reality, so convinced are they of the ill-will of their opponents.

I was a man of the left for a long time, writing for socialist weeklies in the 70's. I know whereof I speak. Reconsider that the entire enterprise, root and branch, of the progressive attitude is not founded on an intellectual but on a social foundation. Charles and Phoenix Woman's responses were purely tribal.

Carl said...


I appreciate the sentiment and the offer. In particular, it's commendable that you recognize that the "record" of comments on Mercury Rising was tampered. And, as a political Whig, I applaud your chosen name.

But let's be clear about what happened: Charles said I was "lying" and when I chose not to react to the accusation but instead quoted and hyperlinked evidence to the contrary, he deleted the comment (AVI: Charles deleted the comment. Period. Full stop.) thus leaving the impression he prevailed in the debate. There was indeed an "unwillingness to engage further conversation"--but only with me (remember, Charles and Phoenix Women shared snipes after my post was deleted) and starting only when Charles began to realize he had erred.

Characterizing the foregoing as "looking for an argument" and admonishing about some "right to waste Charles's time" demonstrates you fail to grasp the gravity of the offense. Blog debate is strictly voluntary; responses aren't required (I don't reply to each comment or email). But it is pointless to take your ball and go home as soon as it appears you will lose; it is scurrilous to substitute invective for argument; it is dishonest to falsify the documentation to obfuscate your loss; it is outrageous to do all three and claim to be liberal.

Despite the fashionable but unfortunate post-modern reluctance to be judgemental, truth is truth. And, as AVI says, rude is rude. I politely supplied facts; Charles dissembled and chose a cover-up rather than accept he was mistaken. He apparently reacted similarly to AVI. I'm sure there's a DSM number covering such behavior.

Clinical or not, Charles and his sort prefer prejudice to persuasion; they'll never learn. This is well beyond the merely "frustrating" you concede. AVI is spot-on in calling it "tribal," and concluding that "people who will brook no disagreement . . . do not have a right to claim [they] are seeking an exchange of ideas." I'm not sure, Whig, why you fail to appreciate this--but it undercuts your admirable invitation to further debate.