Oh ... Really?

Freedom of Speech and Opinion?

Not if it isn't aligned with the Left ... and if they hate the messenger, anyone who agrees with the message is hated in a similar manner.

Strolling through Bloglines this evening, I happened upon a post at No Silence Here. Michael Silence quoted, among others, Joe Powell, who stated, "Like others, I don't think much of the anti-immigration stand, but they did have a permit and this IS still a free nation (isn't it?)." My eye drawn to "anti-immigration stand" I traveled over to see if he, like so many others, confuses anti-ILLEGAL-immigration with anti-ALL-immigration, and hurls the ever so tiresome racist and xenophobic barbs at those who wish to keep our sovereign land sovereign.

Good God in Heaven above. I waded into a cesspool of mindless, irrational, illogical diatribes of the looniest kind. Not so much on the ILLEGAL immigration protest, or even the pretty good post on the Fear of Fat, but just below that were two posts ... I am still trying to make sense of it.

Joe Powell says about Ann Coulter, "You are either for her or against her. Since Ann Coulter has found much money for painting the political world in her two-tone dialectics, then it's time to paint her and her supporters with the same brush." And goes on to further state if you agree with her in any way, you endorse her crass way of stating her views.

Whut Da Hell?? He is telling me how I must think? That if Ann Coulter has a viewpoint that I happen to agree with (and there are a few) that I then endorse her crude way of stating them? Or conversely, that if I abhor her ways of stating her views, then I have to oppose her views as well? Hey Joe? Does that mean I have to disagree with her on everything? What if she likes double-fudge marble ice cream? Do I have to hate it lest I be painted with the same brush of scorn she has brought upon herself?

Then, a commenter takes on Joe and his echo chamber. He makes some good points, but Joe et al pull the usual underhanded "debate" tactic of arguing a point not made, when they aren't clapping each other on the back. Inaccurate accusations fly too ... the commenter is said to use vulgar language throughout. I count two craps and one horseshit. Joe's buddies rack up at least four instances of cussing, including some name-calling. All the while staying off topic, not addressing the point being made.

Very juvenile indeed.

The post that follows continues the flow of foam from their mouths ... it seems they caught the attention of the folks at Tongue Tied, a site devoted to pointing out breaches in the right to free speech. I don't always agree with all the views expounded there, and I have stated so in comments, but the site bears watching. Anyway, Kim's comment is quoted by Joe and held up as an example of a "hard core Party Faithful." Um, Joe ... you might want to spend a few minutes over at Kim's place, and then consider perhaps retracting that statement. It makes you look quite the fool. (I am quite liking Kim myself though ... we straddle that neither left, nor right political fence much the same.)

Joe rants on about the commenter on the prior post, totally mistating what they said and accusing him of vulgarity, when he and his buddies are guilty of far worse. I should screen shot those comments, as I bet Joe will race to edit out the Bad Words™ to make themselves look like choir boys. But Joe still doesn't get it. At all.

Try this one on, guys ... I don't like Ann Coulter. I didn't like her before her classless book and tirades recently on TV. She is just the sort of person I don't like. And her political views factor into that not one bit. You see, I have the intelligence, the maturity and the logical capability to separate the person from the opinion. That is why I can debate with friends and still be friends. I can also share opinions with people I do not like, as I do with Ann Coulter and the Jersey Girls. But hey, if it makes it any easier for you to fathom, instead of agreeing with Ann Coulter, let's say I agree with Dorothy Rabinowitz instead.

Does that work for ya, Joe? Can I have my opinions back now?

Posted by LissaKay on 06/26/06 at 10:59 PM in Oh ... Really?
• (4) Comments Pop UpPermalink
Thanks much for mentioning my blog, and if you don't mind, let me point out a few things.
First the original post I wrote about Coulter was based on the idea of using the all or nothing style of debate that Coulter uses. Heaps of Irony definitely intended. For some that point seems a difficult to grasp - Coulter constantly argues vehemently about the Evils of non-Republicans, so yes, it seemed natural to construct the same type of argument about her opinions and various hate-filled threats - either you take all of her or none of her. Again - heavy dose of Irony.

As for the person you mentioned who wrote anonymously in the comments section - whom you identify as Kim - if she had bothered to sign her name, or blog location, I would have gladly gone to read her views - but she didn't.
Did other readers blast Anonymous? Yep. Did she swear and name call - I'd say yes. It started getting heated, no doubt.
Despite my attempts to emphasize the Irony intended, there was no room in Anonymous' mind.
Perhaps my writing was too clumsy or too close to the bone - I've been pondering which.
And after several back and forths between the constantly Anonymous one and other readers I remarked that if the post and comments were too distasteful - why stay and rant?
Oh and I would never go back and alter a post. I have from time to time removed some comments for being too foulmouthed. And I've also been just plain wrong on some things and have admitted such in my blog. Hiding or removing a mistake is not my style at all.

And yes, the claims by Anonymous on Tounge Tied sounds exactly like comments I've heard before from "party faithful" folks. As you say, I too am neither a follower of one side or the other - I prefer more freedom than that.

If you or Anonymous think the all or nothing argument I lifted from Coulter's style was unpleasant, being told what to think - well, to me that says lots about Coulter. Again, perhaps my point was too cloudy for some to apprehend. Lesson learned - subtle isn't popular.

Anonymous also claimed the need to hide her identity was because she's received "death threats" for the comments she's made - not sure if I believe that or not, but maybe she does make comments and assumptions about others that get people riled up. Also, judging by the comments via Tounge Tied, they all were singing praises for the Right - so I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that they were certainly party faithful.

Just wanted to add some thoughts here and even if you think I'm a numbskull, I appreciate the mention of my blog.

Posted by Joe P. on 06/27 at 01:23 PM
Oops, sorry one more note - yes, in writing about the protest and police action in Hamblen County, I referred to participants in the protest as "anti-immigration". There is a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, yes, but the group backing the protest often expresses dislike for both.
For instance, one county commissioner who supported the protest is on record as wanting to file a federal lawsuit to recover local monies spent on programs teaching English to immigrants and other services the county provides immigrants. So, to me, that's an "anti-immigration" stand.
Apologies for not including this in the previous comment.

Posted by Joe P. on 06/27 at 01:30 PM
LissaKay's avatar Thanks for your reply, Joe. It clears up a little what you intended with your post. But still, I believe that one can agree with part of a person's views and disagree with others, even if that person demands full acquiescence with her views. Coulter is not the only pundit guilty of this attitude. As one that sits firmly astride the political fence, I see that same attitude from some folks both the left and the right. Case in point - I tried to participate in a discussion at DailyKos, questioning the statements, agreeing with most of the article, but challenging parts of it. Kos and his followers viciously attacked in response, saying I was a troll for merely daring to question their opinions. My user account was shortly thereafter cancelled. I don't get involved with political discussions very much anymore.

So yeah, irony doesn't come across very clearly in written word.

On the immigration thing - we are going to see extremes on both sides. There are people who advocate wide open borders with no checks, no limits, no documentation of foreigners entering the country. At the other end, you will have those who don't want any foreigners coming here at all. The vast majority lies towards the middle, and I believe that majority appreciates and welcomes LEGAL immigrants. Afterall, we all, except pureblooded Native Americans, have a history of immigration in our family tree.

Posted by LissaKay on 06/30 at 11:41 PM
Well Lisa, maybe I should do a series of posts lampooning pundits of all stripes as sort of an equal opportunity irony.
I visited Kos once and that was enough - and yes it speaks volumes that you were banned for daring to post a question.
I'm glad that for now, at least, there tends to be a wide range of discussions and views on the Web - but the middle seems to be getting marginalized at a rapid pace!!

Posted by Joe P. on 07/01 at 11:52 AM
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