‘Mary’ stands accused

I’ve decided to set before this "community" an interesting proposition. Buried deep among the record 108 comments on my lengthy March 26 column is the following, from fellow Unpartian (I think) Paul DeMarco:

Thanks for trying to keep the debate civil. Personal attacks simply
demonstate that the attacker’s argument won’t stand on its own merit.
Mary’s "worthless piece of garbage" routine is tiresome and mitigates
any impact the substance of her message might have. If I were Brad, I
wouldn’t stand for it. I’d warn her and her like and then ban them from
the site if they continued. If not, I predict, the ugliness will only

As you can see, the Unparty — assuming I’m right about Paul’s affiliation — is not for libertarians. We believe in the rule of law.

The thing is, the shifting community that has formed on this blog has no laws as yet. And we are still small enough that we have not formed a republic, therefore to the extent that we deliberate, we must do so through the "town-meeting" sort of direct democracy.

But now Citizen DeMarco has proposed not only a law, but presented its first test. He says that Mary Rosh‘s behavior is unacceptable in these virtual parts. He proposes a community standard, and a means of enforcement — a warning, followed if necessary by excommunication.

This is fascinating. We are present at the birth of a society, however rudimentary it may be. I’d like to see where the group will take this. I expect a wide variety of viewpoints to be expressed, but I’m curious to see whether we can nevertheless move toward a consensus — one way or the other, or in between somewhere.

Since I have a rather unique role in this society — you might say I’m sort of a unitary executive in a very liberal (in the classic sense) democracy — I’m not going to say what I think about Mary’s case at this point.

Anyway, we have the bill before us. Let’s debate it.

70 thoughts on “‘Mary’ stands accused

  1. Dave

    We would want to promote and support free speech at nearly all costs. So I would prefer that short of gross obscenity or slander, just about anything goes. The citizens of the virtual world need to hear the Mary Roshes so valid decisions can be made on the issues. A good example of how this can work for or against a person or issue was how effective the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were in the 04 election. I would never want to see voices on the left or right muzzled. The truth will out.

  2. Uncle Elmer

    Blogs like this are wonderful, voluntary exercises in persuasive writing. Some people chose to persuade with vitriol; I don’t have a problem with it. I might not respect their opinions very much, but that goes with the territory. I wouldn’t ban anyone.
    Or you can have fun with it. Your recent repair of the italics demonstrated your FontMaster powers; can you turn the angry entries red? The bizarre non-sequiters polka-dotted? Since you’re birthing a society here (ouch) you should also be able to handle developing non-verbal cues for text-based communication!

  3. doug

    I also would not like to see anyone banned.
    I made the mistake earlier of being too
    confrontational in some of my posts with Capital A and addressed it offline. I am trying to focus on ideas and opinion and imagine the perceived level of vitriol would be significantly different if these conversations were held face-to-face….
    but then I have been doing these types of online discussions since about 1984 (pre-Windows, pre-blogs, pre-AOL, but post-punchcards) mainly over sports topics. I once spent a very enjoyable evening at a Boston Celtics game with a guy with whom I had carried on an months-long war of words over the relative abilities of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. It only took about 2 minutes of face to face contact before we both realized that having different opinions didn’t mean we had to hate each other.
    I find Mary’s non-garbage comments to be passionate and well thought out. Hope she stays.

  4. Doug

    How about organizing a blog get together sometime in the summer? Maybe bag lunches in Finlay Park… we could all meet, shake hands, laugh, smoke cigarettes :-), and debate the issues of the day. I bet the level of negativity would drop considerably if we could associate a name and a face with the posts.
    (If anyone cares to imagine Brad Pitt when they see “Doug”, be my guest)

  5. Herb

    Mary seems to have dropped the “worthless piece of garbage” routine; the direction seems positive. But if someone engages in constant name-calling, labeling people (and that isn’t always just Mary, as she pointed out), rather than actions, at some point I would zap their contribution, if it were my blog.
    A person might have something worthwhile to say; just as important is learning how to say it. It is part of how a democratic society works. Some folks are turned on by vitriol, and respond in kind, which ultimately isn’t helpful. Others are driven into a corner, and feel intimidated to speak their mind, which is equally not helpful. The framers of the Constitution maybe didn’t put common courtesy into writing, but it was part of the value system that formed the context of its birth. Passion and zeal are good, but a degree of politeness is inherent in the practice of freedom of speech. It is the “glue” that holds it together.

  6. Capital A

    Mary Mary Quite Contrary should stay. For one, she makes me look moderate, and I enjoy the “cooler head” role for a change. For two, she is consistent (read: honestly holding)in her beliefs which is more than I can say for some of her sparring dummies. For three, I love the irony of an estrogen assassin whose is more of a malcontent than even her testosterone toting targets.
    Censorship of the type our host proposes on this blog would transmute this place into the type of vapid vapors symbolized by the postings in the blogs to which yours are linked. A whole lotta straw comments posted on those and no gold. This ain’t the CrunchyRep., thank God!
    Though their design skills do trump our host’s, I’d say this “party” should favor substance over style.
    I would draw the line at cursing. It’s just too coarse and boorish. Maybe it’s the Southern dandy in me…
    I’d vote for never meeting each other also. I’d prefer to keep my carefully constructed mental images of those with like and unalike mind. To participate in such an event would only cloud our judgment in future bloggings. Since we would’ve met, we’d pull our punches and only go half moon.
    Besides, if I’m not the most dashing and handsome rogue on this blog, sheer surprise would steal my sunshine.

  7. Dave

    Brad, after you compelled us to see that latest picture of you, this group may find you guilty of the obscenity laws and as a result you could be overthrown and deported. Where would we deport you to? Mary would ship you off to Iraq for sure where you could be embedded with the new Iraqi forces. I see a Pullitzer in your future on that score.

  8. Mary Rosh

    Yes, once again you prove your hypocrisy and cowardice. You don’t argue in support of your viewpoint, instead, you argue that anyone who disputes your opinion is unpatriotic. It isn’t that we have used reason to come to a conclusion contrary to yours; it is that we “don’t love our country enough.”
    You pretend to see nothing wrong with that behavior, just as you pretend to see nothing wrong with advocating a costly war when you do not, and are not willing to, shoulder any of the sacrifices that it causes. You sit on your sofa, watching Thomas Friedman on television and living off of handouts, and spinning out your racist fantasies. When the fantasies do not come to fruition, it is not your fault, somehow. It is not the fault of you and the other chickenhawks and freeloaders who talked about how this “experiment in democracy” was worth the deaths (not yours) that it would bring about, and the money (not yours) that would be wasted.
    We predicted three years ago that this would lead to disaster, and it has. Yet somehow, you accept no blame yourself, but instead blame those of us who foresaw this disaster, and you blame the majority of the American public who have been persuaded by our arguments and their own observations that this war is a disaster.
    We are to blame because we don’t believe hard enough. We are unpatriotic. We have infected a majority of the American public with defeatism and despair.
    You see the war as having no cost because it imposes no cost on you. Someone who (like you) doesn’t contribute anything to the United States doesn’t feel the loss when the resources (hunan and financial) of the United States are wasted.
    As I’ve pointed out before, you and the other chickenhawks do everything you can to avoid addressing the argument and the facts as they are. Instead, you impugn our motives. We are, at various times, unpatriotic, defeatist, enemies of America, and when we take umbrage at your smears, you swoon, reaching for your smelling salts and decrying our “incivility.”
    I have put forward the proposition that you are a worthless piece of garbage, and I have backed it up pretty well. You are a liar, a coward, and a hypocrite, who avoids supporting your argument by impugning the patriotism of your detractors and hiding behind our soldiers. If that’s not a worthless piece of garbage, I don’t know what is.
    If you want to ban me, why don’t you first go a month without attacking the patriotism of those who oppose the Iraq war, or hiding your arguments behind our troops. Why don’t you base your arguments exclusively on facts and reason, rather than taking the coardly position that opposition to your views is unpatriotic?
    If you can do that, you probably won’t need to ban me; I’ll probably be struck speechless with astonishment.
    If all you want is for me to quit calling you a worthless piece of garbage, the solution is simple.
    Quit being one.
    Dave, you bet I’d ship Warthen off to Iraq (and you too). But of course, it’s a lot harder to support the war if you actually have to lift a finger to do it. It’s a lot easier to “support” the war the way you do, by accusing 60% of Americans of treason for not clapping hard enough.

  9. Capital A

    The truth is that we need people and viewpoints of all types to define ourselves. I wouldn’t ship anyone off because it would simply be unAmerican.
    Mr. Warthen (based this one viewpoint he’s expressed)is a victim of his failed generation. Knave is simply a simpleton. We are all Americans.
    Besides, won’t it be a wonderful day when evil is overthrown and the rule of law is affirmed? V-I Day is coming, and we’ll need an audience present to appreciate immodest gloating.
    I’m not above such an act because it’s been going-on-7-years of suffering the fooleD gladly.

  10. Mary Rosh

    Capital A, shipping Warthen and Dave off to Iraq wouldn’t be unAmerican. I’m not talking about deporting them. I’m talking about giving them an opportunity to take positive action in support of their (professed) beliefs.

  11. Dave

    Capital A – As Dick Cheney might say, you are a major league Clymer, so now we know what the A stands for. Even in our virtual village we cannot be deprived of our idiot, and you are the idiot. Major league idiot with a Capital A. I don’t think I have seen one original thought from that idiot brain (or lack thereof) of yours. Your posts consists of attacks on or commentaries (mostly negative) on what others post. How about for once posing an original opinion on this blog, but, I realize it will be minimal with that pea sized brain you have.

  12. Dave

    Mary, I am proud of you, you are determined to hang onto your title of The Queen of Doom and Gloom. Disaster, disaster, disaster over and over. If you were around in 1776 you would have been picketing or verbally harassing (only verbal because you are a physical weakling with a sharp tongue) George Washington and his army because blood was being shed. Thankfully, for all of us who inherited the greatness of this nation, the founding fathers either ignored or pushed the weakminded aside, like you and Capital A, and the result is we have the greatest country to ever exist on this planet. Let’s include the universe when we say that. But, keep it up, as in our little micro-world here, you represent the real life opinions of the Howard Deans, Nancy Pelosis, Ted Kennedy, Maxine Waters, Russ Feingold, and many others from the looney left. Free speech is great I say.

  13. BLSaiken

    We need to remember the difference between “censor” and “censure”. The former is unacceptable (except for very strict limits) under the First Amendment, the latter is perfectly in order for offenses such as use of profanity, repetitive name-calling, straw man arguments, and faith-based arguments that fly in the face of accumulated evidence. This is a forum, not a debating society, but showing restraint and good manners always makes a better impression than ranting. Fifty-six years of life experience have taught me the meaning of my grandfather’s adage, “Never argue with a fool. People watching you may not be able to tell the difference.”

  14. kc

    Look how quickly this thread devolved. Now you’re going to have to ban everyone. 😉
    Seriously, I say don’t ban Mary. He can be obnoxious, even when I agree with him (I assume he’s a guy – the original Mary Rosh was), but so what? Don’t ban Dave either. I don’t think you should ban anyone except spammers or people who post threats, and I haven’t seen anything like that on this blog.
    In my opinion, bloggers who ban and threaten to ban commenters wind up looking petulant and slightly ridiculous. You’d be a bigger man if you just let Mary’s comments stand.

  15. Mary Rosh

    kc, Warthen would have to complete a long uphill climb to look only slightly ridiculous.
    You say that he would be a bigger man if he let my comments stand; I basically share that view, but I would put it in a slightly different way. My perspective is that by letting my comments stand, he would avoid being an even smaller man than he already is.
    What would make him a bigger man would be if he took my comments to heart, and avoided arguing on the basis of casting his own viewpoint as the only legitimate one and impugning the patriotism of people who argue against his viewpoint
    Oh, and you can avoid looking at his pictures by turning off images in your browser before going to his blog. For Netscape, you go to edit, and preferences, and privacy and security, and images.

  16. Debbie Watson

    Free speech comes to the website, Yippee. Did you hear the radio ads on the Glen Beck and Rush on April 7th? It seems a group of volunteers are putting their money where their mouths are today in promoting their favored Republican for president. From the buzz in national polls, Condi is at 20%, on the same level as McCain and Rudy. I went to their website and found interesting stuff, http://www.4Condi.com. Sharing information is a key factor with blogs, so this is great.
    Thanks for allowing me to speak.

  17. Dave

    Debbie, welcome to the virtual world here from a fellow poster. I am a big Condi supporter too. She wins if she runs. It would be great to see her make history and further her record of being such a fantastic role model for all Americans, and especially minorities.

  18. Phillip

    Dave, while I admire much about Condi (not least the depth of her musical knowledge (see a previous post on my blog to learn more) I disagree with you that “she wins if she runs.” And it’s the Republican Party that will prevent her…she has no chance of ever winning the nomination, for the following reasons:
    1) she has not revealed much about her views on social issues, but I have a hunch they would be unacceptable to too much of the “base”…ditto Giuliani…
    2) she is fundamentally an academic, an intellectual…Americans have traditionally distrusted intellectuals as Presidential candidates.
    3)Even though I don’t think her race would be the deciding factor, enough of the Republican strength in this country is based on subtle and not-so-subtle appeals to racism that any potential Republican gain among African-Americans by her candidacy would be offset partially by loss of votes among white males.
    Still, #1 is the main reason.
    Oh yeah, let Mary stay.

  19. Spencer Gantt

    No one HAS to read what anyone writes. Right? I always read everything some writers post, and I always pass on EVERYTHING certain others post. The latter would be “Bloody Mary”, RTH and Bill.
    Opinions are like “you know what”. Everybody’s got one.

  20. Ready to Hurl

    Your loss, Spencer.
    Closed minds, like parachutes, don’t function very well.
    I read Dave and Lee because they remind me why this country elected a buffoon like the current Pres. and VP.
    My current theory (explaining 2004) is the combination of rampant fear and epidemic stupidity.

  21. bill

    Maybe Al shouldn’t have invented the Internet afterall.It’s like I told my late grandmother years ago-It’s just a party-line(anyone remember those?)with a TV and a typewriter-only everybody in the world shares it-“Wow”,she said,”Imagine the gossip.”

  22. Ready to Hurl

    BTW, there seems to be an illogic to Demarco’s complaint.
    Demarco seems to say that he’s stopped reading Mary’s posts yet he wants them banned.
    I suggest that you move the name of the poster to the beginning of the post. Also, I’ve seen other discussion sites where the individual can “block” certain individual’s posts. The second option would shield sensitive folks from “offensive” posts without censoring everyone else’s content.
    Frankly, I’ve ceased reading Mary’s posts because they’re almost entirely ad hominem attacks.
    OTOH, I like to season my posts with an ad hominem insult in return for the less colorful insults that Dave, Lee and others of their ilk like to drop casually.
    Liberals in this country failed to take seriously the threat of regressive troglodytes like Dave and Lee for too long. We thought that accusing fellow Americans of being traitors was ip so facto proof that the accuser had no argument. It’s taken us a while to understand that uber-patriots actually pose a very real threat in this hyper-polarized environment that Dear Leader has created.
    When Dear Leader, your only hope for saving the country, tells his slavish followers that dissent is treason; if you’re not with us then you’re against us; and, laws are made for everyone else; then, it’s quite obvious that his minions are dangerous.
    I won’t be caught in self-delusion like the German Jews in WW II.

  23. Dave

    RTH – Funny but it is the liberals in this country who work tirelessly to disarm the US population, just like Adolf did to all Germans, except his own gang, pre-WW2. The Jews were in self delusion much like the liberals in America are today. Your home being invaded, you don’t need a weapon, just call 911 and wait patiently for the police. Natural disaster, don’t worry, your fellow citizens, if they are out of food, water, fuel, etc. won’t trouble you or your family. Believe that? You shouldn’t. Herb gets it. The punks and gang members and drug addicts will make short work of your food, fuel, water and whatever else they want. So remember that the next time Hillary and Chuckie Schumer wax on about how private citizens don’t need any guns. That is our liberal mantra after all. As for your paranoia about conservatives and libertarians taking away your freedoms, that is nearly laughable. We are the ones who want government minimalized so it doesn’t have the power to step on the citizenry and constitution. You, and your liberal pals, consistently vote for the government to get bigger and more controlling. Hopefully, you can see that.

  24. Dave

    Phillip – I agree Rice may have some unknowns but winning is everything. The country cannot afford a Kerry, Gore, or Clinton in the presidency. I may have to hold my nose for McCain but I would support him too. Rice I like.

  25. Mary Rosh

    RTH, you don’t exactly understand what an ad hominem attack is. An ad hominem attack is an attack on the argument based on irrelevant claims relating to the speaker. For example, X is ugly, therefore his arguments on Social Security privatization are to be rejected.
    My “attacks” are almost exactly the opposite of ad hominem attacks. I make assessments about the character of the speaker based on his statements or arguments, and I don’t think the statements and arguments are irrelevant to that assessment, either. For example, I think it’s clear without question that Warthen is a hypocrite. For example, he ignores Lee’s and Dave’s constant accusations that people who disagree with them are traitors, and he ignores Dave’s descent right to the very edge of profanity.
    No, it is my assessment of Warthen as a coward for hiding his arguments behind our soldiers, and impugning the patriotism of his opponents, that is somehow beyond the pale. My calling Warthen out as a hypocrite and a coward isn’t an ad hominem attack; it’s an estimate of the character of someone who makes the kinds of arguments he makes.

  26. Herb

    I wasn’t trying to defend the NRA. What I am concerned about is that we look down the road, and not just assume that we’re always going to be able to cope: “Everything will turn out O.K., after all, this is the good ol’ USA.” I’m more concerned about getting our churches involved with this generation of kids that don’t have anything bigger than themselves to go by, than any defensive strategies. (Not that some aren’t doing a lot; it’s just not enough, and it’s not anywhere near what we could be doing, if we’d throw down the Left Behind novels and get back to reality.)
    I doubt that I’ll ever buy a gun — I’d probably shoot myself in the foot with it anyway — though I’m not promising what I might do if someone tries to harm my wife.

  27. Ready to Hurl

    “Mary”—(I’m not sure if many here understand the significance of your pseudonym.)
    I too was wondering where exactly BW would draw the line at insults and aspersions. He evidently has no problems with the insults used routinely by the wingnuts. Perhaps he’s just innured by the constant repetition of “traitor” or “seditious” while “good” liberals decline to sink to the Ann Coulter level.
    I’ve decided that the wingnuts are using a variation of the apochryphal story of the frog in the pot of water. By raising the temp a degree per minute, or so, eventually you boil him to death without disturbing him enough to jump out.
    Actually, I’m coming to a less favorable evaluation of BW, although not as personally acidic as yours. When he decided that even censuring Bush for breaking the law would be tantamount to “defeatism” or maybe just shy of treason, I had to severely downgrade my opinion.

  28. kc

    For example, he ignores Lee’s and Dave’s constant accusations that people who disagree with them are traitors,
    That’s because he agrees with them (I’m entitled to profess to read his mind, since he professes to read the minds of all opponents of the Iraq war – according to Mr. W. we oppose the war only ’cause we hate Bush so much; not because the war was an incredibly ill-timed, badly planned venture that’s harming America AND ordinary Iraqis. But not terrorists . . . they seem to be benefitting. But I digress).
    Another reason not to ban Mary has occurred to me: That is, it’s pretty easy to evade such a ban. If Mary were sufficiently motivated, she’d just keep coming back with a vengeance.

  29. Dave

    KC – Read more carefully, aiding and abetting the enemy is traitorous, not disagreeing with someone on a blog. Also, an appeaser is not a traitor, and there is no question we have some appeasers in the mix here. Again, be careful about stating that someone is being directly called a traitor.

  30. David

    Mary’s comments are interesting. She wrote
    ” it’s a lot harder to support the war if you actually have to lift a finger to do it. It’s a lot easier to “support” the war the way you do, by accusing 60% of Americans of treason for not clapping hard enough.”
    I actually agree with that. But I also raise the point that the only person in my family that has served in Iraq supports the war effort. He has returned recently after 1 year in Iraq – on the ground. He is a 1st Lt in the Army and wasn’t so much of a supporter before going.
    There are many smart, focused, committed people on both sides of this argument. No reason to doubt the patriotism, intelligence, or genuine for America for anyone on either side of the argument.

  31. Ready to Hurl

    Check your meds when you start accusing liberals of taking away rights and making government more intrusive or oppressive.
    Depite what your Dear Leader says, his wiretapping and “terrorist surveillance” programs are assuredly not restricted to monitoring Al Qaeda.
    But, wait, I’m sure that in your bizarro reality a small group of Florida Quakers are really AQ operatives or Fifth Columnist “appeasers.”
    If you only knew what an idiot you appear when touting Second Ammendment rights as the answer to jackbooted gubmint thugs breaking in your door. No matter what der Grand Kleagle of your militia says, your 12 gauge is no match for the “anti-terrorist” SWAT squad.
    Oh, and your Katrina-inspired rant about “punks, gang members and drug addicts” was a gem. If Dear Leader had merely exercised the ability of government to maintain order instead of letting hunger and thirst to reign then the lawlessness would have been quite limited. In fact the lurid stories about rape, murder and mayhem have been proven to be quite overblown.
    To sum up: your Dear Leader has proven to be more of an actual threat to the “rule of law” and the U.S. Constitution than Osama bin Laden. If we’re lucky, the Dems will win the HoR and put an end to the reign of George the Leaker and Dead-Eye Dick.
    Meanwhile, Dave prefers to live in his little Red Dawn fantasy world.

  32. Paul DeMarco

    I like your idea about having a blogger party. I think it would help temper the discussion and would be very entertaining. I’m betting Mary would be the belle/beau of the ball.
    Thank’s for your grandfather’s quote about arguing with fools. My father-in-law’s is similar, “Never argue with an idiot. He’ll drag you down to his level and then beat you with experience.”
    I didn’t mean to imply that I had stopped reading Mary’s comments. I still read some of them, although it’s getting easy to skim since they are fairly predictable.
    And at her current level of venom I think the blog can accomodate her. She(He?) and I actually agree in that we both believe we rushed to war without a compelling reason and without a post-invasion plan.
    However, there certainly must be a line which is not to be crossed by our fellow bloggers. I’m not exactly sure where that line is-vulgarity? profanity? obscene images? attacks on our mothers?
    I think one reason I seem to want Mary to be civil more than most folks is that I want her to be effective. I come to this blog to learn and it is often difficult to wade through her tirade to see if there’s actually a kernel of truth in there somewhere.
    I can truly say that my perspective has changed since I started being an occasional reader of this blog. My centrist view has been enriched by folks like Lee on the right and Mary on the left.
    My interest is engaging in a disussion with people whose minds are open enough to be changed. I am drawn to Herb’s posts for this reason. Herb seems open to other opinions and comes as a seeker rather than as a pronouncer of what is good and noble.
    I think a number of others come here just for sport. Their ideas are fixed and they are just here to score points by whacking the “idiot” on the other side.
    One last thought. Please don’t question someone’s patriotism. I think it’s clear we all believe in this country and democratic ideals. The best way to be Americans…now that’s something we can debate.

  33. Dave

    David, I commend your post for shedding some much needed truthful light on a a complex set of issues. By a vast majority, the people who actually spend time in Iraq see many more of the positives that are not being reported back here. Many, many problems for sure, but if given enough initial protection Iraq will succeed in the birthing of democracy. Who knows, it could start a trend in that part of the world. I am sure too that you are very proud of your relative who has served honorably. That is great.

  34. Mary Rosh

    Paul, you have been afflicted by the excessive affection for “balance” that has defined press operation for too long, and has crept into the way a lot of people see the world. I am not “left” compared to Lee’s “right.” Lee is crazy. He doesn’t base any of his views on evidence or reality; he does not evaluate arguments based on how well or poorly supported they are; he evaluates arguments based on who makes them. Lee spins out wild conspiracy theories that have the press deliberately concealing all the “good news” that comes out of Iraq. He makes claims about how vague, yet-to-be-translated documents prove that Iraq was on the verge of building a nuclear weapon, EVEN WHEN FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS, U.S. TROOPS HAVE BEEN ROAMING FREELY ABOUT IRAQ AND FOUND NOTHING OF THE SORT.
    According to Lee, the 58% of Americans who believe the Iraq war was not worth the cost are all traitors. Think about that one! Lee bases his beliefs not on evidence, but on his desire to support whatever Bush claims and to claim for himself a monopoly on patriotism.
    I, on the other hand, observe that bin Laden is still alive and active, that the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan, that 2360 U.S. soldiers have been killed, that tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, that hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars have been spent, and that there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq invasion and that there is none now.
    Lee and I are not two sides of the same coin. Every viewpoint isn’t equal, the best position on every issue isn’t some position in between two opposing viewpoints.
    For example, look at Strom Thurmond, Brad Warthen, and me. Strom Thurmond believed that it was OK to rape and impregnate African American women. I think that African Americans have the same rights as everybdy else. Warthen believes that it isn’t OK to rape and impregnate African American women, but that African Americans shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
    The proper position on the issue is my position, not the “middle ground” between Thurmond and me occupied by Warthen. My position is the only one that attempts to adhere to American ideals, and neither Thurmond’s nor Warthen’s position should be countenanced. Thurmond was worse than Warthen, but Thurmond and I do not occupy opposite extremes of the issue, with Warthen in a comfortable middle.
    My mind is certainly open enough to be changed. But only by honest arguments. If you notice, none of the Iraq war supporters makes an honest argument. Their arguments are exclusively based on the idea that questioning the war is unpatriotic. Their arguments consist entirely of cowardice in seeking to shield their arguments from criticism by hiding them behind our troops.
    It isn’t appropriate to automatically seek a “middle ground” between people who conclude that the war is a disaster and people who avoid the analysis altogether but instead impugn the patriotism of their opponents. The correct position is whatever position we’re led to by an analysis of the facts.
    Automatically seeking a “middle ground” gives all the advantages to nutcases like Lee. If a “middle ground” is all that’s important, all that’s needed is for the nutcases to stake out more and more and more extreme positions so that the “middle ground” moves more and more in their direction.
    I’m ready to listen to opposing viewpoints. Ask yourself this, though. What evidence could be adduced to convince Lee, Dave, or Warthen that their position is in error? if the answer is “no evidence could be sufficient to lead them to such a conclusion,” (and that is, in fact, the answer) the correct analysis is not to seek a middle ground between their position and some other position; the correct analysis is to discount their views as those of crazy people and seek the truth elsewhere.
    Oh, and Herb is not a seeker (unless by “seeker” you mean someone who “seeks” to silence people with whom he disagrees); he is a pompous hypocrite. He makes pronouncements about how the Bible tells us we’re supposed to address people, but he only makes those pronouncements to people who disagree with him. He is just another coward who uses our troops as a shield to protect his opinions from challenge, as he did when he was criticizing Hollings for questioning the war. His argument had nothing to do with whether what Hollings said was true or false; it was based on the idea that what Hollings said, EVEN IF TRUE, shouldn’t be said because our troops were supposedly such sensitive plants that it would damage their morale.
    That’s not the worst of it though; the worst of it is Herb’s abuse of the Bible. When he starts making his pronouncements about what the Bible says (which he then ignores when convenient) I have the impulse to draw back from my computer for fear that he’s going to be struck by a lightning bolt and it will leak through the Internet and shock me.

  35. Dave

    Paul, she is ready to listen to other viewpoints and be open-minded, but Lee and I are crazy, Herb is a pompous hypocrite, Warthen likes to see black women raped, and is yada yada yada yada, and so on.

    I vote for her to stay because of the entertainment value alone.

  36. bill

    Mary’s biggest problem is that she makes too much sense.She is,by far,the most erudite writer on this blog.

  37. Paul DeMarco

    I certainly agree that Mary is intelligent (although not the most intelligent on the blog). However, I thought this blog was not just about strutting your cerebral stuff but about being persuasive, which means communicating in a civil way. It’s hard to get someone to concede a point after you’ve called him “crazy”. Mary’s rants are so hyperbolic that they are easy to distrust or ignore.
    I dare you to say something complimentary about Brad (or Lee or Dave or any of your other nemeses). Might help you to loosen up a bit. Here’s one other thought on blog etiquette. Don’t say anything to Brad that you wouldn’t say in front of his wife (or his children, if your want to hold yourself to a exceptionally high standard-and since he’s told us his children are computer-savvy that’s not just a theoretical issue).
    Well, Mary, from here on out you’re on your own. Seems like at present everyone’s either happy to have you or wiling to tolerate you. See you at the blog party!
    Looks like the community has come to its first consensus without any intervention from on high! But perhaps just knowing you were watching influenced the debate for the better.

  38. Mary Rosh

    Bill said “erudite,” not “intelligent,” and these words do not mean quite the same thing. Maybe he likes my use of literature, although my knowledge of literature doesn’t run all that deep, I don’t think. I would put Dante, Shakespeare, and Peter Pan sort of right up at the surface, while a slightly deeper knowledge of literature might include being conversant with Donne and Sir Francis Bacon, for example. Or Homer, of which I know little or nothing.
    Of course, too, Bill didn’t say “really really erudite,” just “most erudite on this blog.”
    You say this:
    “However, I thought this blog was not just about strutting your cerebral stuff but about being persuasive,”
    Hmmm, well, I persuaded Bill, it appears.
    You say this:
    “which means communicating in a civil way. It’s hard to get someone to concede a point after you’ve called him “crazy”.
    But if you’re right, and he is crazy, he’s not going to concede a point anyway, so it doesn’t matter whether you call him “crazy” or not.
    Lee and Dave think that the 58% of the American people who believe the Iraq war was not worth the cost are traitors. Can you seriously say that someone who believes something like that isn’t crazy?
    Can you envision any evidence that would persuade Lee and Dave to change their opinion of the Iraq war? If you say no, you’re saying they’re crazy, because that’s what a crazy person is – someone who forms and holds an opinion utterly without regard to the evidence for and against it.
    Again, your constant calls for civility toward people whose sole technique of argument is to impugn the patriotism of their opponents plays right into their hands. They are cowards who won’t stand behind their opinions, so they always find fault not with the substance of what their opponents say, but with the fact that they say it. They call us unpatriotic one minute and whine about our “incivility” the next. I’m not trying to persuade them; I’m trying to persuade people like you and Bill that arguments that depend on complaining about the fact that your opponents dare to raise contrary arguments shouldn’t be countenanced, and that people who use this technique should be held in contempt. My “rants” as you call them, are NOT hyperbolic. Dave, Lee, Herb, and Warthen, are cowards who seek to shield their arguments from criticism by hiding them behind our soldiers. They are hypocrites who do not follow the rules they seek to set for everyone else. Calling someone a coward and a hypocrite may be strong language, but if someone IS a coward and a hypocrite, what else is there to say?
    You say this:
    “Don’t say anything to Brad that you wouldn’t say in front of his wife (or his children,”
    Well, I don’t.
    You say this:
    “Seems like at present everyone’s either happy to have you or wiling to tolerate you.”
    Yeah, Warthen’s cowardly attempt to protect himself from criticism by trying to get the “community” to agree that my arguments were somehow beyond the pale didn’t work out quite the way he planned, did it?

  39. Dave

    Mary, I didn’t realize you may have an interest in Homer. He’s on the Fox channel nightly. He works at a nuclear power plant, likes beer, and is pretty intellectual if you consider the deep meanings behind his thinking. OK, we may have some things in common here.

  40. Herb

    Paul, you are a gracious man. Thank you for your words. I trust that everyone is aware of Mary’s presuppositions, some of which seem to be:

    Warthen’s cowardly attempt to protect himself from criticism by trying to get the “community” to agree that my arguments were somehow beyond the pale

    This, of course, is evidently not true. Brad has shown extraordinary patience with some of the rants and posts on this column. It is an obvious case to me of someone twisting someone else’s words to make them fit their own argument. Or Brad himself can disagree with me if I am wrong, and his post was a deliberate attempt to get rid of Mary.
    2) A person is a coward if she/he supports the soldiers, or criticizes those who don’t. In other words, “Mary” seems to be saying that any support of the military is evil. Any government administration that makes use of the military is evil. Anyone who halfway supports the same is evil.
    3) Civility doesn’t matter. If you disagree with someone, just call her/him what you want.
    4) Any person is a coward who disagrees with Mary.
    Maybe you see this last one differently, Paul, but my take on it is that “she” cannot argue rationally, and takes instead great joy in putting down the other person. This is sociopathic behavior, as I understand it.
    Unlike Dave, I don’t think we should revel in someone’s rantings. It’s rather like teasing the neighborhood bully. He gets all the madder, and what have we achieved? I would rather treat people as graciously as we can, and still counter their arguments. I would also rather hope for change, but that is hard to hope for in this case. But you are a far more patient man than I.

  41. Mary Rosh

    Herb, by attributing these sentiments to me, you prove beyond any reasonable possibility of contradiction that you are a coward, a hypocrite, and a liar:
    “A person is a coward if she/he supports the soldiers, or criticizes those who don’t. In other words, “Mary” seems to be saying that any support of the military is evil. Any government administration that makes use of the military is evil. Anyone who halfway supports the same is evil.”
    Once again you refuse to stand behind your arguments. Once again you conflate agreement with your opinion and “supporting the soldiers.” Once again you prove yourself too cowardly to argue in favor of your position on its own merits. Your viewpoint is not a viewpoint in favor of supporting the soldiers, or a viewpoint disfavoring a general blanket opposition to any use of the military. Your viewpoint is a viewpoint in favor of continuing the present occupation of Iraq by the United States.
    Your talk about “supporting the military” and “supporting the soldiers” has nothing at all to do with any argument supporting or opposing that viewpoint. You have a viewpoint favoring a particular use of the military at a particular time and under particular circumstances. You should argue in favor of that viewpoint by putting forward facts and reasoning tending to demonstrate that your favored use of the military is beneficial to the United States, or staves off harm to the United States, or benefits a particular group or population, or humankind in general, without creating countervailing disadvantages, dangers, and harm so great that the benefits are overcome. Or make some other argument BASED ON YOUR VIEWPOINT.
    You, howver, are too much of a coward, too much of a hypocrite, and too lazy, to put forward such an argument. Instead, you create faux “arguments” based on the assumption that your point of view is the only point of view consistent with support of our soldiers, and that any argument opposing your view is a statement of nonsupport for our soldiers. You are a coward, who is afraid to put your arguments forward and let them stand up to criticism. Instead, you shield your viewpoint from criticism by hiding it behind our soldiers.
    I have explained with great care and at considerable length what support for our soldiers means. I have explained the commitment that our soldiers undertake. Our soldiers commit to follow the orders they are given and to do their best to carry out the policies they are given to carry out.
    Supporting our soldiers means supporting their commitment to follow orders. It does NOT mean supporting any conceivable set of orders that our soldiers might be given.
    Support for the military does not mean support of any conceivable use to which the military might be put. If a policy is bad for America, that policy is bad for America. The fact that our soldiers have been ordered to implement a policy that is bad for America does not mean that we should support that policy.
    You do not have the courage to argue that the policy you support is good for America. Instead, you argue that anyone who fails to adhere to your point of view is unpatriotic. You cast your own viewpoint as the only one that should be heard, casting aspersions upon the patriotism of your opponents.
    I have explained all these things. You know what my viewpoint is. You have deliberately misrepresented my viewpoint. You are a liar, a coward, and a hypocrite. I say, as I said before, but with even greater assurance this time, that if you fell into a sewer, the sewer would vomit you out in disgust.

  42. Paul DeMarco

    If I were in charge of this blog that last insult directed at Herb would get you a warning. It’s gratuitous, just the sort of unbecoming behavior you seem to despise in others. And please don’t bother to respond to me with the same old diatribe. You’ve made your point, literally ad nauseum.
    Don’t respond to Mary. Remember the admontion about feeding the trolls…(was that from Mike C? By the way, where did Mike C go?)
    Your post about Homer was classic. Maybe even Mary smiled a little.
    Alright, benevolent despot of the blog, I think we’ve spun this one out. Any thoughts?

  43. Dave

    Paul, Thank goodness someone on this blog has a semblance of a sense of humor. I wish I could be funnier and wittier myself because I really enjoy a sharp witted comment, double entendre, or something just plain funny. Most of my work is grind it out serious stuff, so this blog and some others I frequent are sort of a stress relief venue. I also agree that if this “group” were to meet the rhetoric would not be so harsh and personally derogatory. But, would we have to go through metal detectors first? So, in the interests of civility, I say:
    Mary is contrary,
    and Billy is silly,
    while Mike C. is unseen,
    and Brad is left, right, and in between.
    Then Lee is always right,
    much to RTH’s fright,
    and Capital A likes to debate,
    and Dave on his nerves does grate.
    Now Paul is usually above it all,
    and Herb may be superb,
    but most of all we are glad,
    that this blog was created by Brad.
    PS – If I left anyone out,
    like Laurin,
    don’t be sad,
    as your day will come,
    on another subject by Brad.

  44. Mary Rosh

    Dave, if you can’t write decent prose, you certainly shouldn’t try to write poetry:
    “True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance,
    As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance,
    ‘Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence,
    The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense.
    Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows,
    And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows;
    But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,
    The hoarse, rough Verse shou’d like the Torrent roar.
    When Ajax strives, some Rocks’ vast Weight to throw,
    The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;
    Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain,
    Flies o’er th’unbending Corn, and skims along the Main.
    Hear how Timotheus’ vary’d Lays surprize,
    And bid Alternate Passions fall and rise!
    While, at each Change, the Son of Lybian Jove
    Now burns with Glory, and then melts with Love;
    Now his fierce Eyes with sparkling Fury glow;
    Now Sighs steal out, and Tears begin to flow:
    Persians and Greeks like Turns of Nature found,
    And the World’s Victor stood subdu’d by Sound!
    The Pow’rs of Musick all our Hearts allow;
    And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.”
    –Alexander Pope

  45. Herb

    If we are going to wax poetic, then let me add my bit. I was looking for some humorous doggerel, but nothing comes to mind at present. Too much bogged down in research, I suppose. But one of my favorites:
    Lead us, Evolution, lead us
    Up the future’s endless stair;
    Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
    For stagnation is despair.
    Groping, guessing, yet progressing,
    Lead us nobody knows where.
    Wrong or justice in the present,
    Joy or sorrow, what are they
    While there’s always jam tomorrow,
    While we tread the onward way?
    Never knowing where we’re going,
    We can never go astray.
    To whatever variation
    Our posterity may turn
    Hairy, squashy, or crustacean,
    Bulbous-eyed or square of stern,
    Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless,
    Towards that unknown god we yearn.
    Ask not if it’s god or devil,
    Brethren, lest your words imply
    Static norms of good and evil
    (As in Plato) throned on high;
    Such scholastic, inelastic,
    Abstract yardsticks we deny.
    Far too long have sages vainly
    Glossed great Nature’s simple text;
    He who runs can read it plainly,
    ‘Goodness – what comes next.’
    By evolving, Life is solving
    All the questions we perplexed.
    On then! Value means survival,
    Value. If our progeny
    Spreads and spawns and licks each rival
    That will prove its deity
    (Far from pleasant, by our present
    Standards, though it well may be).
    C. S. Lewis, Hymn to Evolution

  46. Capital A

    Everyone has been so generous with their poetry, please allow me to dedicate a lyrical piece from one of my musical influences. This one goes out to Mary (with all affection) from Dave. This may also be the “gateway” song for Dave into a genre of music about which he was previously ignorant.
    No extra charge.
    If Mary is truly male, as is her namesake, then another layer of laughter will surely be applied.
    Hopefully, all mentioned parties will see the humor of this, and we can move our warring to other threads.
    Herb, you may not want to read past this paragraph. Or you can…and then pray for my immortal soul.
    Sophisticated B—h by Public Enemy
    That woman in the corner – cold playin’ the role
    Leave her a– in the corner till her feet get cold
    Knowin’ for a fact – that girl is whacked
    If you hold your hand out – she’ll turn her back
    Better walk, don’t talk – she’s all pretend
    Can’t be her friend unless you spend
    Wall to wall – after all
    Get ready to throw only money at the b—h
    Cause she thinks she’s so-
    Peekin’ an’ seekin’ inside a book
    Her demands for a man with a chemical look
    Wishes an’ desires – gettin worse with age
    She doesn’t want a man – all she wants is a pay
    Ain’t got a man so she goes to a club
    She thinks it’s classy but it’s really a pub
    But that’s the kind of place where she likes to go
    The b—h got a problem
    Cause she thinks she’s so-
    Jackets, shoes, everyday ties
    The girl only wants one of those guys
    Suckers who front it like it ain’t no thang
    Pretend to be friends and don’t want that thang
    Talk like this – don’t talk slang
    Do anything to get that thang
    Tries to be chic and playin’ it off
    Peekin’ through the window – saw her take her clothes off
    Nasty girl – a stone cold freak
    Stayin’ in the bed a whole go–amn week
    Comin’ and leavin’ guys servin’ up storms
    From execs with checks – boys from the dorms
    Never kept a name – never seen a face
    She could pass ’em in the street like it never took place
    I know she’s a ho so I’m a go
    Expose the funky b—h
    Cause she thinks she’s so-
    Now she wants a sucker boy with an attache
    And if you ain’t got it – she’ll turn you away
    You can smile with style as you profile
    Cause you got a gold tooth an’ she thinks you’re wild
    She don’t want a brother that’s true and black
    If you’re light, you’re alright – better you stay back
    Cause the sucker with the bag is out to catch
    With something in his bag keepin’ her attached
    The man’s got a plan – it’s IBM
    The devil at her level – yes it is him
    His Audi she rides – his gold and clothes
    The ill base method – turning up her nose
    A lack a lack a lack – cold beaming her up
    She’s still got the nerve to turn her f—in’ nose up
    Her status looks at us from down below
    Now the b—h is in trouble
    Cause she was so-
    Little is known about her past
    So listen to me cause I know her a-s
    Used to steal money out her boyfriends clothes
    Never got caught – so the story goes
    She kept doin’ that to all her men
    Found the wrong man when she did it again
    And still to this day people wonder why
    He didn’t beat the b—h down till she almost died

  47. Dave

    Capital A – I think that could be Mary’s theme song, but what if s(he) is a man? At the blog party, someone who draws the short straw will need to do a Crocodile Dundee, better known as the “male inspection” test.

    Mary, I am touched. That is the nicest thing you have ever said to me.

  48. Capital A

    Dave, you missed the point, but then what did I expect? Haha! Republicans and their straightforward humor…
    Where’s a womanless beauty pageant when you need it?
    Ah, well…at least you you can now start an appreciation for rap and stop pushing the selling points of “Moon River” or other outdated songs from an ostensibly happier time that never, never was.

  49. Mary Rosh

    Capital A, the problem with anything like that is, the words themselves are only a miniscule part of the whole. The song’s not on Rhapsody, so I can’t listen to it without finding the CD.
    I don’t listen to that much rap, just a few of the standouts. My favorite rapper is Stephen Hawking. Who can ever forget his immortal words about Jesse Helms:
    Big fat f*** from North Carolina state,
    he’s a worthless piece of s***, he’s a paragon of hate,
    he’s a redneck, f***-face, brain-dead waste of space,
    two-bit, two-timing, motherf****** pool of slime.
    Against gay rights, and funding for the arts,
    tried to cancel PBS and tear Big Bird apart.
    cut AIDS funding, corporate welfare for the rich,
    he’s a shameless money grubber, he’s a two dollar b****.
    Why won’t Jesse Helms just hurry up and die?
    But again, the words don’t do it justice. Fortunately, this song is avaiable for download as an mp3 at http://www.mchawking.com, which gives a brief biography of Stephen Hawking, mentioning his scientific achievements, but concentrating on his ascension as one of the leading forces of hip-hop.
    At the site, you can also buy the CD, as well as clothing and other merchandise.

  50. Herb

    And I answer with another one from Lewis:

    Quick! The black, sulphurous, never quenched,
    Old festering fire begins to play
    Once more within.
    Look! By brute force I have wrenched
    Unmercifully my hands the other way.
    Quick, Lord! On the rack thus, stretched tight,
    Nerves clamoring as at nature’s wrong.
    Scorched to the quick, whipp’d raw – Lord, in this plight
    You see, you see no man can suffer long.
    Quick, Lord! Before new scorpions bring
    New venom – ere fiends blow the fire
    A second time – quick, show me that sweet thing
    Which, ‘spite of all, more deeply I desire
    C. S. Lewis, The Forbidden Pleasure

    And to all on this Good Friday, an appropriate meditation:

    Lifted aloft in the air, with light all around it,
    Of all beams the brightest. It stood as a beacon,
    Drenched in gold; gleaming gems were set
    Fair around its foot . . .
    The King of all mankind coming in great haste,
    With courage keen, eager to climb me.
    Then the young hero – it was God Almighty –
    Strong and stedfast, stripped himself for battle . . . Mounted it in sight of many, mankind to ransom.
    A cross I became; lifted up with the mighty King, the Heavenly Master; but yet I dared not bend.
    With dark nails they pierced me: on me the scars are visible, the open and malicious wounds. For him I dared not, so no one
    did I injure.
    Mocked they us both together. I was all with blood sodden from the side of the Hero after his spirit was ceded.
    Much ridicule on that hill did I experience
    with this cruel event: The God of Hosts
    hideously stretched out. Darkness had now
    covered with clouds the Lord’s corpse,
    and its shining radiance;
    A darkness went forth,
    black under the clouds.
    Weep all creation,
    lament the King’s fall: Christ was on the Cross.
    “But then there hastened many from afar
    to that Prince: I beheld it all.
    From a seventh century Old English poem, The Dream of the Rood

  51. Capital A

    Mary, PE recently released a greatest hits compilation. It’s available at Target for 7.99. It’s a pittance to pay to sample the greatest (in my opinion) rap group of all time. If you don’t like it, use it as a beer coaster as I do with musical mistake purhases.
    Unfortunately, rap, like punk of the late 70’s, could not sustain its quality, purpose or momentum. Witness: Young Jeezy.
    Now, if only I could find a way to slip to slip that cd into Herb’s Easter basket, high hilarity would, no doubt, ensue.
    Few things are funnier than Republican conservative reactions upon listening to the following lines from the little ditty known as “Fight the Power”:
    Elvis was a hero to most / But he never meant s— to me / Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain / Mother—- him and John Wayne / Cause I’m black and I’m proud. / I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped / Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.”

  52. Herb

    First of all, I am not Republican conservative, at least not all, or even most of the time, I don’t think.
    Secondly, I don’t see any humor in what you posted. I doubt hilarity would ensue. Pardon my obtuseness, if that’s what it is.
    I prefer Lindt chocolate eggs in my Easter basket.
    I like black music too, but preferably the kind at black churches. You should visit Glory Temple down in Hopkins on April 30th. They have a visitors’ Sunday on the fifth Sunday of the month. The music will move your soul. Might even help it.

  53. Mary Rosh

    Is it “Power to the People and the Beats”?
    That one is on Rhapsody, with all songs available for streaming.
    I find that I don’t buy CD’s anymore. I have subscribed to Rhapsody for about a year, and there is so much music available there that you can’t begin to hope to listen to all of the music you like that’s on it, so there is little need to worry about the occasional artist who doesn’t allow their work to be used.
    You only think PE is the greatest rap group of all time because you haven’t heard MC Hawking (unless you are drawing a distinction between groups and solo artists). Dr. Hawking is an admirer of PE, to be sure, but I don’t think he or anyone else puts them in the same class as himself. As he said of another competitor:
    Dr. Dre can s*** my d***,
    That b**** got no Ph.D.
    I lost track of mine,
    I got stupid whack degrees…
    Dr. Hawking is justly proud of his abilities both as a scientist and as a musician, and he gives pride of place to no one in either field.

  54. Capital A

    “…black music…” Bwahaha!
    Herb, you are off da chain. You are mos’ def and off da hook. You are straight pimpin’.
    Seriously, Herb, if Mary is the “most erudite,” you are the most unintentionally comedic. I mean that in the most positive way that I don’t think can be clearly expressed with a blog posting. Honestly.
    Have a good Easter and…stay classy, Herbie!

  55. Capital A

    Mary, that is the greatest hits album. My suggested cuts off there are tracks 2-5, 8-12, 15 and 18. 8-12, as the arrangers must have thought, too, are the zenith of the compilation.
    The song Dave dedicated to you (by proxy) was from Yo! Bum Rush the Show in case you ever run across it in a bargain bin.
    Hawking is hilarious; he’s certainly mastered the rapper’s role as jester/egotist (all while proffering his his many other gifts to humanity), but if I had to pick one rapper to give a valedictory at my funeral, I’m gonna flow with the EZ-E. Since he is dead, make that ZombiEZ-E.
    I only pray that there is someone like Herb at my funeral to object.

  56. Herb

    Yea, that was pretty stupid, now that I look at it. But hey, a kid who asks stupid questions, makes stupid statements, and gets laughed at is the one who learns the language the fastest. Not that I particularly want to learn your music, though.
    I still like Lindt chocolate Easter eggs . . .

  57. Capital A

    But, Herb, I thought you were open to other viewpoints and cultures… You do an amazing job representing the duality of man, sometimes, Herb.
    Music is for everyone, my man, regardless of your culture or color. Don’t let the segregationist music industry win! We can turn our dials up louder than those modern day Jims can crow!
    Are your Lindt eggs white, Herb?;)

  58. bill

    The best “black music” being made today is usually ignored.Here’s a short list for your edification:
    William Parker
    Sonny Murray
    Anthony Braxton
    Jemeel Moondoc
    Hamid Drake
    Fred Anderson
    Cecil Taylor
    Kidd Jordan
    Muhal Richard Abrahms
    Sonny Simmons
    Joe Mcphee
    Of course,without blues and gospel music,there would be no rock,rap or jazz.

  59. Dave

    Enjoy this Good Friday poem:
    The ancient greyness shifted
    Suddenly and thinned
    Like mist upon the moors
    Before a wind.
    An old, old prophet lifted
    A shining face and said:
    “He will be coming soon.
    The Son of God is dead;
    He died this afternoon.”
    A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
    They wondered if they dreamed —-
    Save one old man who seemed
    Not even to have heard.
    And Moses standing,
    Hushed them all to ask
    If any had a welcome song prepared.
    If not, would David take the task?
    And if they cared
    Could not the three young children sing
    The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
    They made when God kept them from perishing
    In the fiery blaze?
    A breath of spring surprised them,
    Stilling Moses’ words.
    No one could speak, remembering
    The first fresh flowers,
    The little singing birds.
    Still others thought of fields new ploughed
    Or apple trees
    All blossom-boughed.
    Or some, the way a dried bed fills
    With water
    Laughing down green hills.
    The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
    On bright blue seas.
    The one old man who had not stirred
    Remembered home.
    And there He was
    Splendid as the morning sun and fair
    As only God is fair.
    And they, confused with joy,
    Knelt to adore
    Seeing that he wore
    Five crimson stars
    He never had before.
    No canticle at all was sung.
    None toned a psalm,
    or raising a greeting song.
    A silent man alone
    Of all that throng
    Found tongue —-
    Not any other.
    Close to His heart
    When embrace was done,
    Old Joseph said,
    “How is your Mother,
    How is your Mother, Son?”

  60. Herb

    Hey Dave, that was good. I liked that. Would have been even better if it has woven the thief on the cross into it, in my opinion. Where’s it from?
    OK, I give, what’s TGIGF? Or do I want to know?
    Oh, and thanks, Bill for the black music list. I’ll check it out.

  61. Dave

    Herb, the poem was sent to my by this site. I get daily emails and some pique my interest level. Here is Pray the Rosary Site!

    No matter how many times I worship through the Lenten seasons, and then experience the mystery of the last 3 days of Christ’s life, I still find it amazing. One single man, clad in a simple white robe, changed the earth forever.

  62. Herb

    I’m standing in praise band practice this evening at church and suddenly I thought, “TGIGF” — you birdbrain, you know what that stands for”. Oh well, sometimes I can think, and sometimes I can’t. More of the latter, probably.

  63. Herb

    Except I don’t think He got to keep a robe on; he got everything stripped. Even Mel Gibson’s version is sanitized; nobody can show what a crucifixion was really like.

  64. Dave

    Herb, you are correct, his tunic was taken by the guards. I think Gibson’s movie may be very close to what really happened. I had heard he was going to produce another Christian oriented movie. Hopefully yes.

  65. kc

    Mary’s biggest problem is that she makes too much sense.She is,by far,the most erudite writer on this blog.
    Posted by: bill

    I wish Mary would start a blog. I’d read it . . .

  66. Lee

    Oh, for the good old days, when Clinton let Bin Laden bomb the World Trade Center, our embassies, and the US Cole. He wasn’t bothering the bars in the Vista, or the coffee at Rising High, so why is Bush so angry at him?

  67. Lee

    You aren’t even discussing the new facts and viewpoints brought to you here.
    Just give me a daily column in your paper to refute the nonsense of Scoppe, Broder, Friedman and Fitts.

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