Judy Paris, responding to criticism about her saber-rattling nonsense concerning the the Iraq war, wrote in a comment below:
“We try to discuss issues like reasonable adults who are allowed to disagree but try to respect each other’s points of view.”
Judy’s comments about respecting other people’s points of view are nothing but lip service. Allowing others to have their say isn’t the same as respecting their opinion. She and I would both be bald-faced liars if either of us claimed to respect the other’s viewpoint when it comes to a number of things but especially when it comes to the war.
Judy has repeatedly claimed, to the point of self-parody, that people who disagree with her about Iraq JUST DON’T GET IT, are ignorant, have blinders on, don’t want America to win (whatever “winning” means), et cetera. While I’m perfectly happy to use the same terms in describing others, unlike her I explain why I maintain that something someone says is dilapidated. I consider evidence or at least an attempt at producing it an important element of advancing a viewpoint, and Judy indulges in neither. Everything she writes is predicated on raw emotion and, I would guess, old, poorly healed wounds driven by personal anecdotes.
Judy prattles on about prayer and things that are completely beyond the reach of reasonable discussion. I haven’t seen her come out and write “because it’s in the Bible” directly, but she has played around the fringes of that too-common non-answer, and anyone who uses it immediate self-identifies as a failed rhetorician. There’s no wiggle room there. If you predicate ideas about policy on the unseen and the beyond unlikely, you’re a crater-headed fool.
I can claim something is in Peyton Place the Penthouse Forum so it must be (or should be) legal or true or both, and Judy et al. would be right to laugh. Defenders of godlike constructs will say the Bible isn’t like those other books. I’ll say, you’re right, it’s several thousand years old and demonstrably false, incoherent, and grandly irrelevant on a page-by-page basis — at least porn mags and trash novels were created in modern times. I’ll ask for evidence that anything in the Bible is useful or trustworthy and the adorers of Christlike creatures will roll their eyes and say “We’ve heard that demand before,” thereby supplying the world’s oldest, most treasured shuck-and-jive.
People will always be welcome to say anything they like here, and this blog’s history bears this out. But they can expect to be hectored if they dodge arguments. Poor counterarguments are better than none, at least in the short term.
Judy and many others yell about the need to keep fighting a war that long ago ceased to either be fruitful or have a specified or even a vague objective, and when challenged on these matters they simply ignore the challenge and talk over it, just as Judy and her fellow GraniteGroksters did when spewing crap about gay civil unions.
Know what? I don’t like anything about this war, and I do have friends in Iraq. I was an officer in the Army reserve for several years and did not spend my time smoking pot and tying doo-rags around my and other people’s heads. I don’t like terrorists of any creed and enjoy when they are taken out by any means. The Middle East is, for most purposes and from my distant perspective, a percolating mass of human waste and I look forward to the day when oil is gone and the crazed leaders of those sandblasted nations are forced to return to a bedouin existence. But these things do not define what the U.S. is doing and why, and Judy and other right-wing conduits of jingoism are simply not diverse enough observers, for lack of a better term, to appreciate this. They are just the kind of reactionaries the Bush administration — which has made lying with or without a smile its stock-in-trade — creates and caters to.
In summary, the Fudd brigade starts with the idea that they are right not because evidence favors them but because they simply are; even more ludicrously, they make it clear that counterevidence cannot budge them. I freely admit that I don’t “respect” such “thinking” and can’t imagine why anyone would. This is distinct from thinking Judy or anyone should be mistreated or silenced or maligned in their day-to-day lives when minding their own business, but that’s just teh rub — there’s nothing to suggest that their busy schedules of getting in everyone else’s business allows them sufficient time to focus on whatever their intrinsic concerns might be.
As a result of Judy advertising herself as a clueless, muckraking shrew, she’s going to attract people like me who will insist that facts and fair-mindedness — not intestinally generated aggression and ersatz patriotism of the sort that makes Americans look like mentally challenged hyenas to the rest of the world — be allowed to prevail.