Thursday, May 12, 2005

"Progressive"? "Reality Based"?

You know, every time I hear someone claiming to be "progressive" and "reality based", I have this immediate and almost Pavlovian desire to roll my eyes. I have yet to meet, listen to or read anyone who claims to be "reality based" and that actually says anything that is based on reality, much less this planet or this galaxy for that matter.

Unfortunately, most of these folks talk about things they haven't even done a modicum of research on and are usually half assed quoting (from a seriously depleted memory) something that they half assed heard or read. I believe it's called "regurgitating" in most circles, but much of what you hear isn't even "regurgitation" as this implies actually memorizing something completely and repeating it verbatim or within a very close proximity of the original. It's more like a case of "Chinese whispers" where the original idea gets repeated over and over with parts excluded or added until it doesn't even resemble the original.

Take this character for instance. My friend Tonecluster sent me an email that simply said, "read this". As soon as I saw the title of the blog, "The Voice of the Progressive Voice", I knew what I would be reading. My immediate judgement was further enforced by the guy (I think it's a guy), claiming that he was from the "reality based" community.

Of course, never a person to allow my first prejudices to make the decision for me, I proceeded to read his few posts. All of them put up today, obviously in a fit of needing to get somethings off his chest. It's a new blog, so if you go over and check it out, make sure you welcome him to the community and encourage him to keep blogging, even if you're laughing your ass off while you're doing it. Maybe, just maybe, he'll actually get some hits from people that will be happy to help it actually join the "reality based" community. If not, at least you'll get some laughs.

Honestly, that's exactly what I was doing while I was reading. Laughing. I mean, if you can't find amusment in these things you'll suffer perpetual high blood pressure which is never good.

Let's start with this post, Hello where he introduces himself and his general ideas:

Welcome. Here, in our America, the America based in reality, we have some things to say. And we can't be stopped from saying them. No amount of oppressive right-wing pressure can make us shut up, and we shall not just go away.

Now there's an ugly threat if I ever heard one. They won't go away. Once you read this site, you'll be scared, too. You'll be really scared if you have to contemplate that this guy is part of the "reality based America". If so, we're eminently screwed.

Let us continue:

I walk, which is what more of you should do out there. It made me think: how about a tax on everyone who doesn't walk to work? Give the walkers, those of us actually taking an everyday, reality-based role in preserving this beautiful blue globe on which we eat sleep and dream, a break in our society.

Obviously, either this guy has never owned a car before or he is purposefully oblivious to a few things like personal property tax, sales tax, sales tax on gas, "road" taxes, school taxes and a few other taxes on gasoline used to pay for everything from school to healthcare to parks to clean air projects, etc.

Hellloooooo???? Reality knocking at your door, Batman. But, be sure to read the rest where he denigrates all those that choose not to live in the urban hell hole he obviously occupies and walks the few blocks from his apartment to his job (at a retro record store maybe?). I don't know about the rest of you, but I live about 35 miles from my job and "public transportation" does not cross the state lines that I must cross to get there. There's some reality for you.

But, I digress, continuing:

I realized how sick of it all I am: the hatred, the fascist conservative nutjobs telling us what to do and how to live our lives. You, me, all of us. They want little suited robots, a throwback to the 1950s when everyone was a shiny happy cog in a shiny happy wheel.

I stop here to point out the word "fascist". Not because it's a new thought being thrown around or because this guy obviously doesn't know what it means, but because later in his "hello" post, he says this little gem:

Lets talk about hatred. I hate hatred. Who doesn't? I don't hate people, I hate people who hate. Hate is not a bad thing, if directed toward people who hate. I know this sounds odd, but hear me out. If we were to legislate anti-hate laws, much more seriously than we do now, to include a loss of citizenship and serious jail time for offenders, we'd be in a much better place in our society. Eventually, the sanctions would teach people to just play nice.

Hmmm...I don't know about you, but legislating thought control by the state seems...oh, I don't know...what's the word I'm looking for...FASCIST maybe?

Yeah, the rest of this post is similar tripe so I won't fisk it to death, but you see what I mean? Reality based? Puh-lease.

Let's look at a few other "reality based" gems.

Foreign Fighters?

So, the Marines are out in force, killing Iraqis, and all the media can do is fawn all over them about how they're killing "foreign fighters". Disgusting. More lies from the White House. What "foreign fighters"? We're supposed to believe that the Iraqi's aren't in a massive popular uprising against our invasion? That the innocenst being killed are "foreign fighters" from other countries? Who'd want to come into Iraq and fight for Iraqis? The Iranians hate them, the Saudis hate them, and the entire Syrian army is on the edge of Israel waiting for the inevitable U.S./Israeli invasion.

I kept thinking as I was reading this that this guy must really be about twelve or maybe nineteen and the oldest, but one of his posts talks about going on a camping trip with this "girl" who is an attorney, which means he has to be at least in his mid to late twenties right?


Noisy Chickens

Kos has a great idea: you support the war, you should go and enlist. If you think the war in Iraq is such a good idea, either join up or shut up. You have absolutely no right to support a conflict you aren't willing to take part in yourself.

I think we should take this one step farther: anyone who writes anything in support of the war should get sent to Guantanamo, or to Abu Ghraib

My suggestion, of course, is that maybe these guys should spend some time down at Guantanamo Bay explaining to our "guests" about liberalism, tolerance, women's rights, gay rights, same sex marriage and the non-existence of God. Bet you one hundred dollars we'd either: a) get a ton of information out of these guys just so they wouldn't have to listen to this "torture" anymore; or b) the reality based community would suddenly find out the reality about our guests, mainly that they would be happy to cut their heads off with a sharpened tooth brush. Either way, it would be both entertaining and fruitful (no pun intended).

Of course, he did say "Kos" which helps you understand where he gets these kooky ideas from, so maybe we can give him a pass since the kool-aid over there is notoriously laced with LSD.

Once more, dear friends, into the breech...

Thoughts on the Crisis in Palestine

You know about the middle east crisis? Whose brilliant idea was it to take all of the Jews of Europe, parachute them into the middle of an Islamic Arab nation and call it a country? The Muslims have been there since time immemorial. The place was called Palestine since the Roman Empire, and all of a sudden it isn't? No wonder there's a conflict. How'd you like it if someone came to your house and gave it to some perfect stranger from another country? There haven't been Jews in that area since biblical times, which was what: about 5,000 BC at latest? So the place has been Muslim for 7,000 years.

I probably could have stopped around the "parachute" sentence, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to include "reality based" idiocy about Muslims occupying "Palestine" for the last 7000 years or the part where the Romans called the place "Palestine" and therefore that is the name of the area, disregarding entirely salient points like, before the Romans conquered the area around 40 BC, it was the kingdom of Judaea or that Mohammed did not create "Islam" until 622 AD and the Muslims did not invade the area until 640 AD and did not fully control it until the 13th century after many crusades.

You know this is really sad, right? I probably shouldn't have poked fun at this guy since he obviously has some educational issues, but it was just so damned easy and I was too tired to organize all the information and graphs from an American Culture study I saw presented on CSPAN last week. And it is eminently humorous after this same gentleman proclaims the president should be riding "the short bus".

It was just too ironic.

Last little gem I'll fisk a piece of...

Fill the Fillibuster

If the Republicans insist on the so-called "nuclear option" in the Senate to break the Demoractic filibuster of right-wing activist judges, an opton that by the way is completely unconstitutional, we need to get angry. Sen. Reid needs to do his best to have these crazy theocratic Rethug Senators kicked out of the Senate - especially the ones from states with a Democrat governor. If Reid can get these unconstitutional criminals removed from their offices, a Democratic governor can then assign a Democrat to the empty seat

Well, most half way informed folks have already heard that the fillibuster is actually not a constitutionally guaranteed right. You ever read the constitution? No where in there did I see the word "fillibuster". Article 1, section 3 establishes the Senate and it's responsibilities. Nope. No "fillibuster" here. Not even "unlimited debate".

Article one, section five:

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

What? They can make their own rules and it's constitutional?

Article one, section seven:

If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.

Bills are passed by two thirds vote. Doesn't say anything about any "constitutional right" to fillibuster. Article III dealing with the establishment of the judicial branch doesn't say anything about it either.

According to Wikepedia: Fillibuster, the rules have been changed seven times since the inception of our government. According to this guy, these were all "unconstitutional, criminal acts". The last one was in 1975 when the Democrats forced a rule change allowing cloture (ie, device to stop the fillibuster) with 3/5 vote (ie, 60 votes) instead of 2/3 vote (ie, 70 votes). Maybe we could get in Mr. Peabody's way-back machine and have these guys thrown out of the congress and into jail for breaking an invisible unconstitutional law?

Then, he really lets go with some hyperbole...

The filibuster is a time-honored way to prevent Congress from dangerous behavior. And assigning crazy right-wing activist theocratic judges to permanent court seats is dangerous behavior. How's you like to go before a judge who orders you to go to church every Sunday, give your money to religious schools and tells you what you can and can't do in your own bedroom?

Well, the only part he may have right is "tells you what you can't do in your bedroom" since I know some state (Texas?) recently passed or tried to pass a law about not selling sex toys within the state borders. However, maybe someone knows somebody who has actually been convicted of something like this or been ordered to attend church (although, I'm sure it would do some folks a world of good) or give money to religious schools? Anybody?

Anybody actually know anything about the judicial nominees in question? Certainly not this guy:

Even going to court for a traffic violation could mean an entire court-mandated change in your life. How'd you like to be ordered by some religious-freak conservative judge with an anti-humanist grudge to go to your local bell-ringer every Sunday morning, sleep in a separate bedroom from your wife, and only watch The Disney Channel?

I would say that the Disney Channel is probably a vast improvement over getting your political views from the Kos. Mickey Mouse or Kos?

And what if you're living an alternative lifestyle? Can you imagine getting the call in the middle of the night to see one of these inquisitors at 5am sharp the next morning?

Speaking of wet dreams about fascist states, is it me or doesn't Freud or Jung have something to say about this kind of repetetive paranoia? It's like this guy is praying for fascists to wake him up at 5 AM to see the grand master "inquisitor" that makes him get on his knees and beg. Or, praying for a fascist state so he can become part of the apparatus based on his other commentaries about laws and stripping people of their citizenship.

There is plenty over at his site to read. Certainly don't miss his camping trip with a woman who will not call him back after the trip and he is wondering why.

Well, I hope you enjoyed even mildly this fisking of nonsense. I almost felt dirty after I did it because it was such an easy target. I absolve myself by saying that the guy gave me the big ass target and that it sounds like so much other crap I've had to hear, it was nice to find it almost all located in one blog all at once.

For that I say, thank you Asparagus Rex. If nothing else, I was amused.


Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

There are lots of idiots on the left, and not a small number on the right. Independant is the closest I'll come to labelling myself.

Robert said...

Kat-- still going strong.

Funny thing Kat, I've seemed to lost the art of fisking. It's like I can't even remember where to go to find juicy tidbits of idiocy to tear apart. It's funny to see how stupid some people are. Palestine being Muslim forever? Oh boy.

Anyway, how are you doing? I'm sorry I haven't checked in in a while.

cjufnf said...

Wow. Just wow. I'll say what I've said before: I keep my mout shut most of the times because I know I'm not fully informed. This guy should do that to.

Sheesh! He almost gets bit by a spider and whines the whole night?!? I wouldn't call him back either. I love the rationalization he makes at the end of that post.

MichaelH121 said...

First off I read but made no comment on M-Days post. I spent all 80 degree sunny day on the back of my bike cruising fast and going nowhere but down the road.

Sheesh! The opposite of love is not hate but indifference. To put people in jail for what they think. Does anyone remember oh I don't know...HITLER!

Then the hate crimes are increased, to lesser hates then next thing you know half of the people are in jails. And the government has full power.

Libs are LOONEY. Their brains are not fully functioning. They try think with their feelings. Brains are not a big commodity in on the left side of the isle.

These libs NEVER seem to look out windows when they fly if they fly. There are A WHOLE LOT of TREES. There is a whole lot of country. Look at Montana what less than 2 million in the whole state.

Cities are a place you go sometimes but they are not a place to live.

Kat you are a huge amount of logic and grace in the pajama wearing posting world. :o)

Keep writing and GET THE BIKE outta the garage. ;o)

Jason Rubenstein said...

Uh oh. Hit a nerve, did I?

Cynica said...

Asparagus Rex sounds like he lives in his own bubble. I found looking at his blog an utter waste of time.

Jim said...

I think the sex-toy law was in Alabama rather than Texas. Most of the judicial nominees in question are far from activists, which of course is the "progressives'" problem with them. Can't have people interpreting the Constitution based on what it says, you know. ;-)

I'm thinking the attorney lady didn't call him back because he's a big wuss. Of course, I could be wrong.

Jeffro said...

Heh. Sounds like his lawyer friend had him pegged. Metrosexual, anyone?

Donal said...

I wonder if this site might not be a conservatives idea of a joke? If its not it should be it was pretty funny stuff.

Jason Rubenstein said...

I just re-read your whole fisk and I am laughing so hard my sides hurt!!!

Kat said...'s all scary. makes you cringe every once in awhile. Just caught senator Byrd talking about violation of free speech on the senat floor if the fillibuster is broken. LOL

Robert...I've had a few problems myself lately. Mostly about time and passion. You need to have both to do it right. But, I'm doing pretty good and I'm so glad you stopped by.

The bike tags expired last month and I need to go get it retagged. Insurance is up also. going to take care of that next week so I can get some riding in while the weather is below scorching.


I'll try to post something more uplifting this next time. I just couldn't resist the humor in this.

donal..that's an interesting thought. although, I swear I've heard this from other people who claim to be "reality based". But, it's hard to tell. Maybe it's just too easy to pick on this stuff?

Tone...glad that was amusing.

Which was funniest? Pavlovian eye rolling or "knock, knock Batman?". I just want to know what lines work best for future reference. ;)

Kat said... grandma always said it is better to be quiet and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and let them KNOW that you are.

How's vacation treating you? get a job yet?

Scott from Oregon said...

I was on this one web site where someone believed the Earth was created in six days.... God days they explained.... Someone else tried to promote a man and a boat capable of carrying two of all the extant species on the planet. You should go there and fisk them. You'd have a ball....

MichaelH121 said...

Scott you are a one trick pony.

You are not going to change minds.

Try to maybe expand your "hate"

Or maybe go to Canada. Under their new laws if you are reading a Bible in public it "could" be considered as hateful literature.

Gadfly said...

Scott: I actually agree with some of your sentiments, but that doesn't change the fact that you are a douche.

Fuck off and die of spinal cancer you insufferable toad.

Scot from Oregon said...


Not only are you insulting, you are boring while you are at it. There is not an original thought in your head, save the one that mesmerizes itself on your toenail fungus. Ever since you saw the cartooned version of toe goo, you have been insufferable. Take the damn pill, suffer the side effects, and get on with your damn life.....

By the way, you should hear what other really silly things these Bib lickers espouse. It makes the looney left look like a bunch of Platoist on steroids....

Scott from Oregon said...

"These libs NEVER seem to look out windows when they fly if they fly. There are A WHOLE LOT of TREES. There is a whole lot of country. Look at Montana what less than 2 million in the whole state."

THREE questions for our Michael Preperation H dude...

Where are the great forest of Europe? (How's your history?)

Why is Phillipino Mahogony no longer used for cabinetry and door skins?

Why do the Japanese covet Port Orford Cedar?

Five bucks says you aren't smart enough to answer two of three, and ten bucks says you can't draw a rational conclusion from your answers....

Jason Rubenstein said...

You guys are arguing with a guy from Oregon?!? What's the point? A waste of energy, frankly.

"You can't reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."

Scott from Oregon said...

Ahh, the gang of Bush lovers are being demonstrably dumb, as is their sorry lot....

Gadfly said...

Oh! I didn't realize.

Scott is just a pimply faced attention whore with a limited IQ.

I'll quit feeding the trolls.

Scott from Oregon said...

gadfly--wrong again. Never scored under 152, ever... Broke 180 a few times....

No pimples, either. Prematurely grey, perhaps.

I just have a little time to waste trying to right a bunch of keeled over floaters....