tagged w/ civility
Sam Harris lays it out here quite correctly, but let me sum it up in my own words:
"The freedom to believe in superstition and religion comes with the responsibility to act civilized. Anything less will not just forfeit your freedom, but hasten your extinction. "
savroDSam Harris lays it out here quite correctly, but let me sum it up in my own words:... more
8 months ago
Civility. It's a concept that conservatives seem to have trouble wrapping their heads around.
An examination of this hypothesis in action:
Liberal icon dies. Conservatives immediately take to Twitter and Facebook to slander the liberal icon's memory. While the corpse is cooling in the morgue, hilarious conservative pundits write how this particular liberal, a hero to the progressive community, had enough fat and alcohol in his body to keep an eternal flame lit for centuries. Leading the peanut gallery in much of this visceral, most-uncivil hatred is a conservative columnist -- a hack who uses the internet as if it were his personal roll of toilet paper that he smears, on a daily basis, with lies, half-truths and the most rancid kind of filth that betrays an utter disregard for decency and veracity as long as his conservative ideology is served as an end result. As the liberal icon is being mourned by liberals, independents and, yes, conservatives, this hack refers to him online as a "duplicitous bastard," a "villain," a "prick" and "a special pile of human excrement."
Continue reading on Examiner.com Conservatives extend 'civility' to dead partisan hack, not living college 'slut' - Baltimore liberal | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-baltimore/conservatives-extend-civility-to-dead-partisan-hack-not-living-college-slut#ixzz1oG1Q8TDOCivility. It's a concept that conservatives seem to have trouble wrapping their... more
What if the Surgeon General were to declare “stupidity” a disease and the National Institutes of Health were to declare a National Emergency and manpower and money were utilized to eliminate stupidity from the human condition? That would be cool!
Years ago, as a young city hall reporter in my hometown of Clinton, Iowa, at the end of a contentious debate over whether or not Clinton would remain the largest city in the state without even a basic building code (it would), one of my favorite council members gave me a quote that I will never forget. As the building code ordinance was defeated yet again, the councilman leaned over to the press table and sighed these words.
“If only stupidity were painful…”
http://deepbrainmedia.com/2012/02/09/lets-declare-a-national-war-on-stupidity-treat-it-as-a-disease-2/What if the Surgeon General were to declare “stupidity” a disease and the... more
By Sherry Pasquarello,WWH (Pittsburgh in the 60s) – Well, maybe just a tad cranky.
I’ve actually lost some facebook friends over the past few weeks! Yep I have. I should feel worse than I do but hey, I have to say what I feel. I’ll miss one in particular but I suppose I could see it coming.By Sherry Pasquarello,WWH (Pittsburgh in the 60s) – Well, maybe just a tad... more
Two things required to appreciate this satire. One, check out the Washington Post story about Rick Perry's old hunting camp. Two, ya gotta know the tune to the old bluegrass song "Rocky Top."
http://www.billschmalfeldt.com/2011/10/02/good-old-ngger-head/Two things required to appreciate this satire. One, check out the Washington Post... more
While I do not know what millions upon millions of Americans think about the current status of our political system, I personally have had it. I am tired of the political strategists, pundits, politicians who have no chance of being elected president, Democrats and Republicans, people who so easily refer to the states in which voters reside as red, blue, or in some cases, purple. As a matter of fact, the last time I checked my own political ideology and party affiliation, no color of any sort was associated with my being an American first.
I see our current political system in disarray and the only way I see America moving forward under either President Obama or the next President of the United States will depend on whether we, the American voters, demand that civility be put back into our politics. So, in an attempt to help put civility back into our politics and further my desire to change politics as usual in America, I have developed a simple guide to help voters like myself. This guide is intended to help others how to become knowledgeable of different political ideologies and includes some basic tools that can be used achieve a greater awareness and understanding of them.
Absent anyone else to my knowledge who is attempting to do I am attempting to do here, it is my hope that my efforts will serve as a catalyst to further discussions on this extremely import issue. After all, America can only be as great as the people who ultimately elect their politicians to represent their interests at the local, state, and federal levels.
And it is my belief that our individual political ideology is based on our respect for the political ideology of others regardless of party affiliation, civil discourse, a willingness to work together across party lines in the best interest of America and its people, and ultimately, exercising the lost art of legislative compromise.
I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions that will help me further develop this guide. To view my "Guide to Political Awareness and Understanding," please visit http://philsview.wordpress.comWhile I do not know what millions upon millions of Americans think about the current... more
2 years ago
Instead of using 'civility' to cover up reality, how about a people's civility intended to reveal it.Instead of using 'civility' to cover up reality, how about a people's... more
Funeral pickets to be met by 'angels'
By the CNN Wire Staff
January 11, 2011 2:25 a.m. EST
* Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket funerals of the Tucson shooting victims
* Several groups want to show support for the families of the victims
* They will be silent and non-confrontational, organizers say
* The funeral of 9-year-old Christina Green is Thursday
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) -- Tucson just isn't that kind of town, says Christin Gilmer.
Gilmer is talking about Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, that has made its name picketing the funerals of people who died of AIDS, gay people, soldiers and even Coretta Scott King.
But when the church announced its intention to picket the funeral of a 9-year-old girl -- one of six people who died Saturday during the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- Gilmer and others in the college town put their feet down.
Tucson, said Gilmer -- who said two of the six people killed were friends -- is a "caring, loving, peaceful community."
"For something like this to happen in Tucson was a really big shock to us all," she said. "Our nightmare happened when we saw Westboro Baptist Church was going to picket the funerals."
They're planning an "angel action" -- with 8-by-10-foot "angel wings" worn by participants and used to shield mourners from pickets. The actions were created by Coloradan Romaine Patterson, who was shocked to find the Topeka church and its neon signs outside the 1999 funeral of Matthew Shepherd, a young gay man beaten and left on a fence to die in Laramie, Wyoming.
"We want to surround them, in a nonviolent way, to say that our community is united," Gilmer said. "We're a peaceful haven."
"You don't mess with Tucson," said Gilmer, 26, who described it as "a little dot of blue in a sea of red."
But political persuasions don't matter, she said. Republicans, Democrats, independents, right, left and center -- they've all offered their support. Forty-two people have signed up on a Facebook page called "Build Angel Wings for the Westboro Funeral Counter-Protest and Meeting" and more than 4,500 have signed up on another page to "Show Support for the Families of the Tucson Shooting Victims."
"People, businesses, they're all donating material and money to build the angel wings," said Gilmer, who is helping organize the action. And, she added, they're donating to a fund created to help pay for services for the victims of the shooting.
Chelsea Cohen, a 20-year-old senior at the University of Arizona who launched the "Show Support" Facebook page, said she never expected such a response.
"Once I heard that the Westboro Baptist Church was coming, I felt like something should be done to show support for the families," she said. "I don't have any experience in organizing these things. I thought I might get 50 to 100 people."
Cohen said she thinks many of the 4,500 people who've signed up on the Facebook page will be there "in spirit" on Thursday, when mourners gather for the funeral of Christina Taylor Green, who was born on September 11, 2001. But she added, Tucson is an active town, and the response isn't likely to be small.
"This isn't a counter-protest," she said. "We wanted it to show support for the families and to show that Tucson is there with love and support."
They don't want to interfere with the funeral in any way, Cohen said.
"We plan on being completely silent, and we're asking people not to bring signs or make comments about the Westboro Baptist Church," she said.
The angels will be doing the same thing.
"We're going to silently stand there so people can mourn the death of a 9-year-old girl who died in a senseless tragedy," Gilmer said.
Cohen said several groups are planning to be at the funeral to show their support, and there is an effort afoot to bring them all together "into one group so we can all be on the same page."
"I hope that everyone there can convey the peaceful message that we want to convey, she said
And if the church pickets persist, the silent supporters will be on hand for the funerals of U.S. District Judge John Roll, Gabriel Zimmerman, Dorothy Morris, Dorwin Stoddard and Phyllis Schneck, the other five victims of Saturday's shooting. Giffords, who was shot in the head and is in critical condition, and 13 other people were wounded.
Westboro Baptist Church, founded by its spiritual leader, Fred Phelps, and run mostly by family members, did not respond to a request for an interview in time for this article. But a flier released by the church about the picket targets the Roman Catholic Church because Christina and her family were members.
"God hates Catholics!" the flier, posted on the church's "God Hates Fags" website, says. "God calls your religion 'vain,' as it's empty of His truth; you worship idols!"Funeral pickets to be met by 'angels'
By the CNN Wire Staff
January 11,... more
We can laugh at the desperate people who threaten violence against elected officials. But they are not the fools. We are.
March 31, 2010 |
The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.
"We are ruled not by two parties but one party," Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. "It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded."
The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die.
The unraveling of America mirrors the unraveling of Yugoslavia. The Balkan war was not caused by ancient ethnic hatreds. It was caused by the economic collapse of Yugoslavia. The petty criminals and goons who took power harnessed the anger and despair of the unemployed and the desperate. They singled out convenient scapegoats from ethnic Croats to Muslims to Albanians to Gypsies. They set in motion movements that unleashed a feeding frenzy leading to war and self-immolation. There is little difference between the ludicrous would-be poet Radovan Karadzic, who was a figure of ridicule in Sarajevo before the war, and the moronic Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. There is little difference between the Oath Keepers and the Serbian militias. We can laugh at these people, but they are not the fools. We are.
The longer we appeal to the Democrats, who are servants of corporate interests, the more stupid and ineffectual we become. Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the country is in decline, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, and they are right. Only 25 percent of those polled said the government can be trusted to protect the interests of the American people. If we do not embrace this outrage and distrust as our own it will be expressed through a terrifying right-wing backlash.
"It is time for us to stop talking about right and left," McKinney told me. "The old political paradigm that serves the interests of the people who put us in this predicament will not be the paradigm that gets us out of this. I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from the white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. Citizens United did not come from white supremacists, it came from the Supreme Court. Our problem is a problem of governance. I am willing to reach across traditional barriers that have been skillfully constructed by people who benefit from the way the system is organized."We can laugh at the desperate people who threaten violence against elected officials.... more
I think it's safe to say that most of us here on current have strong opinions and feel the need to voice them in one way or another. (Otherwise, why else would we be here?) But what is anyone's opinion really worth? We've all got them, but one's opinion doesn't really amount to much unless he/she can back it up.
I've read a lot of heated arguments here on current, and each side of every issue has its share of flawed arguments. People have very firm convictions, yet the reasoning they use to try and convince you they're right just doesn't add up. We often let our passions speak for us rather than our logic. (I'll be honest; I'm guilty of this too, sometimes.)
So, in the interest of raising the level of dialogue, I've provided some examples of common fallacies and tips on how to avoid them. (Note: In order to be clear and concise, I've tried to avoid using 'technical' verbiage as much as possible.)
--Generalizing: "Selling drugs is a crime. Pharmacists sell drugs. Pharmacists are criminals." To avoid this, be specific in your argument. "Selling illegal drugs is a crime."
--Stereotyping: "All Republicans I've met oppose gay rights, therefore all Republicans are against gay rights." What can I say… there are Republicans who support gay rights. (There are even some gay Republicans.) There are pro-life Democrats and pro-choice Republicans. Stereotyping is just wrong. Don't do it.
--Begging the Question: "The book, 'Patriotic American' says Jane Doe would be a great president. 'Patriotic American' is a reliable source of information because it was written by Jane Doe." To avoid this fallacy, don't support your conclusions with evidence that assumes your conclusion is correct.
--Affirming the Consequent: "Drinking too much alcohol will make you sick. John is sick, therefore he must have drunk too much alcohol." To avoid this, keep in mind that there may be several different ways to arrive at the same result.
--Denying the Antecedent: "Every time Senator Smith is on a talk show he is bashing the other side. The Senator is not on any shows this week, so he must not be bashing the opposition right now." Obviously, a politician doesn't need to be in front of a camera to smear his/her opponents. Don't assume that because you've seen a connection between two or more things/events in the past that they cannot exist independent of each other.
--Substituting Opinion for Fact: "I believe big business is bad for America, therefore all large corporations are bad." Explain why you feel the way you do.
--Red Herring: "The proposed tax law is a bad idea because its sponsor, Representative Jones was caught cheating on his wife." This tactic is used to divert attention away from the topic at hand. If your support isn't relevant to your conclusion, then it's not really support. Don't use it.
--False Cause: "Mary took medicine X and later developed cancer. Medicine X causes cancer." Medicine X could be as benign as aspirin and Mary could have developed cancer because she smoked for 50 years. Do your research and don't form opinions without knowing as many of the facts as possible.
Remember, good arguments have support that's relevant and based on fact. Put some time into it and you'll better yourself, you'll better your argument and you'll improve the conversation here on current.I think it's safe to say that most of us here on current have strong opinions and... more
Passion is a wonderful thing. It can light a fire under you and inspire you. It can unite people. Passion invokes action. More than anything else, it's the fuel that moves us. Having said that, it's vitally important in these complex and difficult times that we control our passions and not let them control us.
For many months, I have been reading stories and comments, and even posting stories of my own here on current. I think my experience is somewhat typical of the average current visitor… it goes something like this:
1. I read an off-the-wall insult, maybe in line with my political philosophy, but shallow nonetheless. I think, "Eh, that's kind of funny," and move on.
2. I read an off-the-wall insult that is definitely not in line with my political philosophy, and is shallow. I think, "Ugh, dumbass," and move on.
3. I read a well thought-out discussion in line with my political philosophy. I think, "Well said, good point," or "Hell yeah!" I share the discussion, comment on it, even add its talking points to my mental filing cabinet so I can refer back to it the next time I'm discussing that topic. Or…
4. I read a well thought-out discussion that's not in line with my political philosophy. I think, "Oh, good point, I haven't thought of that," or "I can respect that but I still disagree." I may still share the discussion or comment on it. I will definitely add its talking points to my mental filing cabinet because I may find a way to refute them later and make my argument stronger. I may even refer to them the next time I'm discussing the topic just to show that I've looked at both sides of the issue.
The point is; if you're passionate about something, you want people to hear your message and not just blow you off. To get people to hear and think about what your saying, put some thought into it yourself. It should sound intelligent, not as if you're foaming at the mouth while writing it. Bellow are some tips that may help:
--Think about the issue and make up your own mind rather than just passing on the beliefs of your parents or friends.
--Don't just repeat what you've heard on television or the radio.
--Do some fact checking, read the bills, the text of the speeches or the reports and use these facts to support your conclusions.
--Don't ignore the opinions or research of others.
--Write in a reasonable tone without insults or name-calling.
Remember, reasonable people discuss ideas and exchange opinions, not insults.
I look forward to reading some interesting and civil discussions on current in the months to come.Passion is a wonderful thing. It can light a fire under you and inspire you. It can... more
President Obama declared today that “a sense of purpose that transcends petty politics” must be forged by Democrats and Republicans to create more jobs, reduce the deficit and find at least some common ground on health care.
“We can’t afford grandstanding at the expense of actually getting something done,” Mr. Obama said as he made a surprise appearance at the daily White House briefing for the media only hours after he convened his first monthly bipartisan meeting he called for in the State of the Union address.
The president praised Republican leaders for coming to the White House on a snowy day in Washington. He said the meeting went so well that Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, were “out doing snow angels together on the South Lawn.”
But his laughter gave way to a forceful message, saying that bipartisanship was a two-way street and neither side – including Democrats – could get their way. He said there needed to be at least some cooperation, but he offered no specific path for the legislative way forward.
“Bipartisan can’t be that I agree to all the things that they believe in or want and they agree to none of the things that I want,” Mr. Obama said.
The president took several questions from behind the lectern in the White House briefing room, the first time he has appeared before reporters in a formal setting in months. The appearance by Mr. Obama had the effect of giving him the final word after the bipartisan meeting of lawmakers a few hours earlier.
It was the latest effort in a revised White House approach for the president to appear more transparent and more bipartisan in the second year of his term. He touched upon health care, saying that he would be willing to consider tort reform in the overall debate on expanding coverage and bringing down the costs of health care, but he said Republicans needed to consider some of the Democratic ideas.
“Bipartisanship cannot mean simply that Democrats give up everything that they believe in,” Mr. Obama said. He added, “That’s not how it works in any other realm of life. That’s certainly not how it works in my marriage with Michelle. There’s got to be some give and take.”
His bipartisan appeal came with sharp words for Republicans, whom he asked to stop blocking the confirmation of his administration appointees. He said he would consider making appointments during recess – a prerogative of the president – if Republicans did not give in.
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/obama-urges-setting-aside-petty-politics/President Obama declared today that “a sense of purpose that transcends petty... more
With continually sliding rules on overnite guest in dorm rooms, students are increasingly being exiled by roommates intimate encounters. Having a good roommate relationship is integral to pleasurable to the college experience so colleges are stepping up and instituting room mate agreements that guarantee a level of civility that would otherwise gets pushed to the back by carnal desire. In days long past when the a sock or a necktie would signal a roommate of intimate rendezvous has been replaced by the ubiquitous text message. Some of the new agreements specifically indicate that a roommate can not do anything to interfere with sleep or studyWith continually sliding rules on overnite guest in dorm rooms, students are... more
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) says that he will not apologize to the House of Representatives for his outburst when President Barack Obama addressed the joint session of Congress last Wednesday.
Democratic leaders have stated they will propose a resolution condemning Wilson's heckling of the President if he does not first apologize on the floor of the House for violating House rules.
"People know my civility, they know this is a one-time event," Wilson told Chris Wallace on Fox News. "I believe in the truth, what I heard was not true."
Wilson had apologized to President Obama immediately after the President's address, although Wilson said that it was through Obama's Chief of Staff rather than to the President directly, and that it was only at the insistence of Republican leaders. President Obama said on Thursday that he accepted the congressman's apology.Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) says that he will not apologize to the House of... more