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9/11 Conspiracy theories: "any reasonable person"

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Are there really things that "any reasonable person" must believe? What about evolution, global warming, 9/11 conspiracies, and Saddam's WMD program?

Absolutely. Any reasonable person would think so.
5
63%
Of course not. But you might have a very good reason for thinking otherwise.
3
38%
 
Total votes : 8

Postby TomDavidson » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:11 pm

However, to say that it would be 'baldly ridiculous' to suggest that your brother would ever shank a puppy, since puppies are different than ants, would be an incredibly shitty argument to make.


Are you seriously going to say that because it's harder to prove a negative than a positive, we have to keep our options open on whether anyone we don't like is a mass murderer?
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Postby Marvell » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:15 pm

TomDavidson wrote:
However, to say that it would be 'baldly ridiculous' to suggest that your brother would ever shank a puppy, since puppies are different than ants, would be an incredibly shitty argument to make.


Are you seriously going to say that because it's harder to prove a negative than a positive, we have to keep our options open on whether anyone we don't like is a mass murderer?


Your incapacity to grasp basic logic is only exceeded by your lack of reading comprehension skills.

I think I'll go debate this topic with a growth of corn smut. As an opponent, the corn smut will be a serious upgrade in intellectual capacity.
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Postby TomDavidson » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:30 pm

I'm just trying to figure out the logic you're applying, here. You concede that the cases aren't equivalent. Your argument hinges on the assertion that they don't have to be equivalent -- that being "evil" in other ways makes it reasonable to contemplate the possibility that he's "evil" in this specific way.

But if that's true, I can't understand what criteria for other evil behavior you would use to establish a cutoff for the reasonable assumption that someone's a mass-murderer. The examples you gave -- his opposition to MLK Day and sanctions, his willingness to order American soldiers to die while causing "collateral damage," etc. -- don't correlate with mass murder in any clear-cut way.

So what I'm left with, without having access to the logs of the neurons you're using to create these connections, is "someone's who's bad in one way might be a really bad person in another way." And while you correctly accuse me of exaggerating this wording for humorous effect, it's also an attempt to point out to you just how flawed this thinking can be. I don't think the Vice President deserves some kind of inherent respect by virtue of his office -- if that office had "virtue," I think the last few years would have stripped it away -- but using this kind of indirect character criticism to prop up (even, in your case, reluctantly and non-committally) accusations of cold-blooded murder seems to this "naive" poster to be more than a little beyond the pale.

I worry that this sort of wild hand-wringing speculation, the "how do we know he DIDN'T kill all of his close friends" stuff, contribues enormously to the perception of the liberal fringe as a bunch of bleeding-heart lunatics. And since I occasionally skip across that verge myself, picking lilies and suchlike, it's inconvenient for me to have to draw a distinction between what I think about Cheney and what someone who believes he's capable of murder thinks about Cheney -- especially if it just boils down to the fact that we both think he's a wrong-headed jerk.
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Postby lukpac » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:41 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:In the same way that one cannot ring a bell in a vacuum.


You can ring it all you want. You just won't hear it.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:45 pm

lukpac wrote:
Chuck_Schick wrote:In the same way that one cannot ring a bell in a vacuum.

You can ring it all you want. You just won't hear it.

You're both wrong.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:58 pm

Oh Jeebus, people, IT WAS A FUCKING WISECRACK!

And anyway, Wagstaff, please explain what the hell I'm supposed to take away from that link. I see a table with a bunch of cryptic references, but no conclusion anywhere.
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Postby Madcity Expat » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:00 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:Oh Jeebus, people, IT WAS A FUCKING WISECRACK!

And anyway, Wagstaff, please explain what the hell I'm supposed to take away from that link. I see a table with a bunch of cryptic references, but no conclusion anywhere.


Same here...
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:01 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:Wagstaff, please explain what the hell I'm supposed to take away from that link.


It's a Zen koan, only in picture form.

If I explain it, it's meaningless.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:02 pm

Okay, I get it now.

Now I've got to run off and play some mini golf while my mind is free of clutter.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:03 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:Now I've got to run off and play some mini golf ...
Come on over, dude ...
Some of the 'Toons are coming over for pizza and Atari later - the more the merrier! :wink:
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:07 pm

Can't ... got a date with a drumbot.

But I'll kick your ass around the links very soon, rest assured.
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Postby Marvell » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:08 pm

TomDavidson wrote:I'm just trying to figure out the logic you're applying, here. You concede that the cases aren't equivalent. Your argument hinges on the assertion that they don't have to be equivalent -- that being "evil" in other ways makes it reasonable to contemplate the possibility that he's "evil" in this specific way.


Since you seem to be making a greater effort to actually argue your point instead of merely relying on cheap rhetorical effect like some dime-store flack, I'll respond in kind.

I think your inability to see my point (since we're now on page six of the thread and you still can't seem to wrap your head around it) comes down to this notion of 'equivalence.' From what you have said, my perception is that you have a very narrow and precise definition of 'equivalence' - the person must have been incontrovertably proven to have done exactly the thing in question, and to the exact degree that it was done in the event being discussed, for it to even merit consideration. Anything else throws open the door to an anarchic world of depthless paranoia.

And I'm saying that, logically, that's fallacious. People's prior behavior has a proven predictive value in regards to the future behavior - as I pointed out above, the FBI bases some of its profiling protocol on this (and you know what a bunch of 'bleeding-heart lunatics' those G-men are). That this principle is predictive doesn't mean it's deterministic, obviously - as I again aknowledged. However, the escalation from hurting animals to killing people is a scientifically-verified arc in the progression of a serial killer's pathology - an escalation in degree, not in kind.

So - again, having never said that Cheney's past behavior proves anything (just as being cruel to animals does not prove that you are a nascent serial killer), I did say that the details of Cheney's work in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush administrations (pere and fils) suggest to me a psychological profile that would not be inconsistent with those characteristics necessary for allowing (again, allowing, not planning - so please see if you can refrain from attributing that statement to me this time) the 9/11 attacks to take place in order to pursue political and financial advantage.

That's what I said. I stand fully behind that statement. Attempts to invoke a strawman argument in order to excoriate and belittle a stance I never took are, naturally, beneath contempt.
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Postby TomDavidson » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:15 pm

I'm not sure they're beneath contempt. You did, after all, deign to express contempt. :)

That said, I agree with your assessment. But....

I did say that the details of Cheney's work in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush administrations (pere and fils) suggest to me a psychological profile that would not be inconsistent with those characteristics necessary for allowing (again, allowing, not planning - so please see if you can refrain from attributing that statement to me this time) the 9/11 attacks to take place in order to pursue political and financial advantage.


This is my concern. I worry, in fact, that this is precisely why it's so easy for otherwise dim-witted conservative critics to marginalize liberals in situations like this: because the majority of the country doesn't agree with this assessment of Cheney's past history and is not only squicked out but offended by anything that draws this sort of equivalence. It's like all those Bush/Hitler comparisons; they're so inaccurate to most people that they only serve to alienate.
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Postby Marvell » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:33 pm

TomDavidson wrote:This is my concern. I worry, in fact, that this is precisely why it's so easy for otherwise dim-witted conservative critics to marginalize liberals in situations like this: because the majority of the country doesn't agree with this assessment of Cheney's past history and is not only squicked out but offended by anything that draws this sort of equivalence. It's like all those Bush/Hitler comparisons; they're so inaccurate to most people that they only serve to alienate.


Yeah, well - the majority of Americans get their historical understanding of Vietnam from Rambo II. Does that mean I must join them in their benighted groanings?

Dick Cheney worked for Dick Nixon, who ordered the death of thousands if not millions of civilians. He worked for Ronald Reagan, whose administration nurtured the clearly extra-legal funding of the terrorist Contra organization, the trading of arms with terrorist Iran, and the funding and training of various Central American death squads. As Secretary of Defense, Cheney oversaw the criminal bombing of civilians in Panama.

All of the things that I just stated are matters of public record (minus some slight editorializing by yers truly), but didn't start out that way. In fact, in each case the administration that Cheney was a part of went out of its way to dissemble and occlude the true nature of the events in question.

So - again, I submit that the fragility of our nation's self-esteem should not be the basis by which we determine whether something is plausible or not.

Bush is so not Hitler. As for Cheney, a much more apt comparison would be to Noah Cross. Like Cross, Cheney faced the moral test of power and failed - indeed, goes on failing, his ethical abjection metastasizing like some kind of soul-eating putresence.

His response to this failure, like persons of weak character everywhere and throughout history, is to fulsomely trumpet his inviolable virtue.

"See, Mr. Gittes, most people never have to face the fact that, at the right time and the right place, they're capable of... anything!"

- Noah Cross, Chinatown (screenplay by Robert Towne)
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