RE: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Thu Apr 08 2004 - 12:35:31 BST

  • Next message: Matthew Poot: "Re: MD junk or politics on this list"

    DMB and all MOQers:

    > Platt said:
    > As for examples of 'war' as a fitting metaphor, in America there's
    > acknowledgment and much debate about 'Culture Wars.' For example, the
    > intellectual level, represented in some cases by 'liberals' and burdened by
    > the defect of having 'no provision for morals,' supports rap culture which
    > glorifies profanity, pornography and bestiality. The recent half- time show
    > at our football Super Bowl represented this culture. The social level,
    > represented in some cases by 'conservatives' and generally supportive of
    > Christian social morality, supports so-called 'family values' which
    > glorifies patriotism, honesty and decency (not to mention sexual abstinence
    > before marriage). The vast numbers of Americans attending Sunday school and
    > church services each week represent this culture.
    > dmb says:
    > Liberals support rap culture? The superbowl exposure of Janet Jackson's
    > right boob represents liberal culture? Wow. I feel like a misquito at a
    > nudist colony - I just don't know where to begin. For starters, you've
    > confused the term "liberal" as a euphemism for one with loose morals with
    > the term "liberal" as a political ideology. I know the Republican
    > propaganda machine has been trying to confuse the public by morphing one
    > into the other, but logicall, factually and philosophically the idea can't
    > hold a drop of water. Liberal feminists like myself, for example, despise
    > the misogyny found in so much of rap music.
    The entertainment industry, which funds and produces rap music, is run by
    liberals in Hollywood and New York.

    > Platt said:
    > Take, for example, the welfare state. Here is huge social static pattern
    > that was created, expanded and today vigorously defended by liberals.
    > Conservatives would dynamically dissolve this static social pattern and
    > substitute in its place a pattern much more open to DQ by allowing for
    > greater individual freedom.
    > dmb says:
    > Again, I think your case is both factually and logically flawed. For
    > starters, Pirsig explicitly describes America's most ambitious welfare
    > program as intellectual, not social.

    The planning may be intellectual, but the resulting welfare state is a
    social pattern. A state cannot read 'Lila.'

    > Platt said:
    > Another example would be the static social pattern of the media,
    > monopolized until recently by liberals but increasingly challenged by new
    > dynamic conservative media outlets like Fox News, the Drudge Report, and a
    > host of Internet bloggers.

    Typical liberal argument--ignore the message, bash the messenger.
    > dmb says:
    > New dynamic conservative media? Aren't you the one who pointed out that we
    > shouldn't confuse novelty with progress? In any case, its pretty outlandish
    > to characterize these new outlets as an improvement of any kind. I know
    > Matt Drudge. He's a an uneduated gossip monger. Got his start hunting for
    > celebrity gossip in the dumpsters of Hollywood. Literally. I'm not kidding.
    > And Fox news is a joke to anyone but a partisan conservative. For example,
    > Al Franken's latest book is basically a fact-checking project conducted by
    > a class room full of Ivy Leage grad students. Franken set them to the task
    > of investigating the veracity of what is reported on Fox's "fair and
    > balanced" news programs. The book is called, "LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO
    > TELL THEM: A Fair and Balanced look at the right". (Fox tried to sue
    > Franken for using the phrase "fair and balanced" in his book title. They
    > were literally laughed out of court. The law suit, said the presiding
    > judge, "was wholly without merit, both factually and legally". Reminds me
    > of the case Platt is making here.

    Some joke. Fox has 51 percent of the prime-time cable news audience--more
    than the liberal CNN and MSNBC combined. Also 1.1 million fewer people
    watch the three liberal network news programs today than 12 months ago.

    > Platt said:
    > Another example would be our public schools which are totally controlled by
    > government bureaucracies and monopolized by a liberal teachers union who
    > block any attempt by conservatives to allow dynamic choice through school
    > vouchers.
    > dmb says:
    > Again, novelty and progress are two different things. As liberals see it,
    > the voucher systems proposed by conservative are efforts to A) commodify
    > yet another aspect of life. B) break the back of yet another labor union.
    > C) Replace secular education, where one is taught HOW to think, with
    > private religious education, where our children are merely taught WHAT to
    > think. In other words, its a way to get around the seperation of church and
    > state in our educational system. Again, this is not an innovation, it is a
    > regression, an undoing of social progress. Its reactionary rather than
    > genuinely conservative.

    Everyone knows the U.S. public school system is a colossal failure. In
    science and math, American students rank near the bottom among
    industrialized nations.

    > Platt said:
    > Of course, liberals argue that conservatives would like to 'turn back the
    > clock,' because they believe that anything labelled 'new' is better than
    > 'old' (except things that challenge their power like Fox News)
    > Conservatives argue there's 'nothing new under the sun' and believe the old
    > ways were often better than the new. Both positions can be intellectually
    > defended, which means you cannot automatically assign one or the other to
    > the social level.
    > dmb says:
    > Like I said to Wim, it hardly matter if one is defending tradition in
    > intellecual terms or not, one is still defending tradition. And there isn't
    > anything inherently wrong with that. I have a tremendous respect for
    > tradition. But when social level moral codes and values try to trump
    > intellectual values, that is immoral and degenerate. For journalists to be
    > so wildly inaccurate so as to fill entire volumes, such as is the case with
    > Fox, there has to be something else going on. Nobody THAT incompetent
    > should be able to keep a real job as a journalist. The reason the most
    > inaccurate staff in the history of journalism remains on staff is becasue
    > FOX is not really interested in journalism or accuracy. They have a
    > different agenda, not least of which is to provide intellectually dishonest
    > people with a reason and an excuse to dismiss the more disconcerting facts
    > of the day.

    Sounds like National Public Radio to me.

    > Platt said:
    > So let us not be too hasty in assigning 'conservative' to the social level
    > and 'liberal' to the intellectual level. I know liberals would love to
    > think of themselves as the avant-garde of Pirsig's evolutionary
    > metaphysics. But their staunch defense of outmoded static social patterns
    > belies their belief.
    > dmb says:
    > There is a certain kind of genuine conservative position that can rightly
    > be characterized as intellectual. (I'd suggest George Nash's book; THE
    > Encyclopedia devotes many thousands of words to describing it. But what we
    > see happening in actual politics bares very little resemblance to that
    > legitimate ideology. Most of the main players in the current administration
    > are more accurately called neo-conservatives. The Republican party itself
    > is dominated by the more reactionary religious right, but also includes
    > free market libertarians, old-fashioned bigots, nationalists and other
    > factions that have various reasons to hate and fear the "radical foreign
    > commie eggheads".

    Knowing of the millions killed under communist dictatorships, one would be
    incredibly naive not to hate and fear a revival.

    > The liberal eggheads aren't at the cutting edge. Nobody is suggesting
    > anything terribly big or new or radical. Today liberals find themselves in
    > a defensive postion. All three branches of government are controlled by
    > conservative majorities and 80% of the men is this county have a hair cut
    > that makes them look like a member of the SS. .

    The logic is impeccable. If your hair is short you're a Nazi.
    > The conservative
    > complaints about the tyrannical, oppressive and coercive nature of
    > government fail to recognize that our government was concieved from the
    > very start as a means of protecting indvidual rights.

    Complete agreement. Our government was conceived to protect individuals
    from the tyrannical, oppressive and coercive nature of government.

    > As Jefferson puts it
    > in the Declaration, "governments are instituted among men in order to
    > secure these rights". Yea, conservatives want a small government. They want
    > it to be just small enough to get in your bedroom door with a gun and a
    > pair of handcuffs.

    Thanks to DMB we have a colorful and accurate description of the nature of
    government. How intellectual level is a gun and a pair of handcuffs?


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