13 October 2005

I've been a bad, bad boy

Yes, my fellow Americans, I have come out of the proverbial opinion closet.  I have linked to one side of the political discourse.

I wasn't always like this.  I used to be respectful, courteous, open-minded.  Now, I have just lost my way.  How?  How did I manage to let myself become like this?

You may have noticed that I recently enabled the "favorite sites" sidebar on this blog, and that it is filled with assorted political web sites.  I did this because, well, I'm sick of the whole thing.

Anyone who has read more than an entry or two here knows which way I lean politically, especially since March 2003.  However, I am not a die-hard Democrat.  There's a lot about the party that I am not happy with, and I don't agree with everything they stand for either.  I like to consider myself a moderate.  Hell, I'd like to consider myself an independent, but I think that might be stretching it a bit.

I do know, however, that there is no way I will ever consider myself a Republican.  Simply writing that word gives me the willies.  Fortunately for myself, the one or two issues that I tend to think conservatively on (mostly fiscal responsibility) are no longer important issues to the GOP.  I have to admit that I did not think I would ever see the day when it was the Republicans who felt the answer to every problem was to toss money at it. 

Deficits?  What deficits?  I don't have to show you any stinkin' deficits!

Now, my biggest fault in any circle (not just political) is that I tend to spend way too much time on keeping informed.  This means that I read a lot of newspapers and magazines, and I watch for too many news programs for my own good.  Recently I have also been visiting too many right-leaning blogs.  In a never-ending search to know just how the other half thinks, I have OD'd on, well, crap.

If I were to sub-title this explanation, it would be:

"I Fought the Armand, and the Armand Won"

Lest I continue to be labeled as a trouble maker, I would like to make it clear that indeed, I like Armand.  Really, I do.  I think he writes well.  He expresses his opinion and he sticks to it.  And the man can argue like there is no tomorrow.  I was not aware of who he was until his unfortunate encounter with the TOS police this past summer, but I caught up with him in a hurry.  I got the impression that he welcomed and encouraged debate in his comments.  And I think I was very, very wrong about that.

I'm not going to turn this into an Armand bash-fest.  Let's just say that he and I do not see eye to eye on much.  Recently, he wrote an entry about the mayor of New Orleans and his idea to build casinos in his Katrina-devastated town.  Armand wasn't in favor of it.  I happened to read the article about Nagin before I read Armand's entry, and I felt that he left out an intricate part of Nagin's words, and probably did so to make his point stronger.  When I left a comment about that, it unleashed a back and forth between us, and that has happened probably ten times or so previously.

I can get a little rough around the edges when trying to make a point.  But then, so can Armand.  So we go 'round.  And around.  And around.  He doesn't bend.  Ever.  The man can argue until your head spins.

But it's his blog, and he is entitled to do that.  However, I am starting to question whether it is my right to persistently "bug" him about his opinions (note that I said "opinion" and not "fact."  That, I feel, is the gist of where any and all problems arise).  It probably isn't.  I don't know how tolerant I would be of someone constantly coming over here and disagreeing with what I have written.

So I think that I am done speaking up over at Armand's.  I will still visit, and visit often, and probably feel my blood pressure spike now and then, but I should leave the dude alone.  His blog is not about me.  He's never said anything to me about that, never commented on anything outside whatever the issue was, and I have no idea if he even cares about it.

I have left a lasting impression over there, though.  During one of our debates, my head exploded.  I had to stop, find the million little pieces, and put them all back together.  Afterwards, my head still hurt.  My next comment to him simply said that I was done talking about the issue, because debating with him was dangerous to my health.  I also said "debating with you is like trying to fend off a rhino with a whiffle bat."

If you go to Armand's blog, you'll see he now refers to himself as "you're friendly seeing-eyed rhino..."; the man evidently has a sense of humor.  I think that is hysterically funny, both in how it sounds and in the realization that I am somewhat responsible for that moniker.

Back to reality...I can't take all the right-wing stuff coming at us from all over the place anymore.  It's ridiculous.  I am particularly tired of being told that I hate George W. Bush.  I don't hate him.  I hate that he is president.  I hate what he has done since he has been in office.  And, most of all, I hate what he has made America into.  He is supremely unqualified.  No amount of jargon from television, print or the blogosphere is going to change my mind on that.  The happiest day of my life will be when he is finally out of office.

But I digress.  I think I am going to lay off the rants on the political side for a bit, and just let those of you who want to experience it seek it out.  That's why I put those web sites in my sidebar.  "Newshounds" dissects just about everything that appears on Fox News, and is quite informative.  "Crooks and Liars" does a good job of analyzing television news shows.  "Media Matters" does that as well as radio.  I'm not a huge fan of "The Huffington Post" so far and as such that may go.  It's a little too left.  Andrew Sullivan is about as liberal as I am conservative, but he has a gift in that he is able to honestly analyze his own party and is not afraid to call it out.  I disagree him sometimes, but he is as good as it gets.  "The Blue Voice" is a group of people who cut their blog teeth on AOL and got together to counter "The Red Voice," and you can imagine what that is.

I think "be very afraid" is a good way of thinking as you venture over to "The Red Voice".  If you so desire, you can find a plethora of other conservative sights there as well.  Don't say I didn't warn you though.

I'm all for debate.  I'd be happy to link to sites that debunked liberal television and radio IF THERE WERE ANY OF THE FREAKIN' THINGS ANYWHERE!!!  Sorry, I got a little intense there.  We are bombarded it seems 24/7 by the Limbaugh-O'Reilly-Hannity brigade, and I'm a little sick of it. 

So, in closing, I guess I have chosen my side of the fence.  And at the very least, I invite you to see what it is like over here. 

Despite what the louder people say, dissent is healthy.  Dissent is normal, and most importantly, dissent is patriotic.


emmapeeldallas said...

Well said (and FUNNY, too).



oceanmrc said...

Interesting.  I've recently abandoned a right-wing religious site because I just couldn't stand it anymore. It's made me much more well-informed (for instance when, at the beginning of the war in Iraq, our pastor announced from the pulpit that he couldn't imagine that there was a minister out there preaching in favor of the invasion of Iraq, I was able to tell him that he was only reading one POV) but I've had a similar experience with respect to the discussion/debate situation. (When someone says something supportive of the Republican party, s/he is lauded for "courage" and then when someone questions it, s/he is castigated for "divisiveness.") Maybe I'll wander over to the Red Voice and read a bit.  Thanks for the great read here yourself!

donah42 said...

I learned on a nature show a few years back that rhinos are actually very near-sighted...
I like Armand too, but I don't see the point in debating him...to quote Sting (just because I love him) "It's like singing in the wind, or writing on the surface of a lake..." Totally out of context, but it's a Sting quote, so, so be it...

xzasporated1 said...

I like a good debate, but usually from the sidelines.  Like a tennis match.  I don't have the stamina others do.  I usually end up conceding out of frustration and exhaustion, so they are always winners by default.  And life's just too dang short and I got better things to do.

~~ jennifer

sistercdr said...

Despite what the louder people say, dissent is healthy.  Dissent is normal, and most importantly, dissent is patriotic.
I'd like to add that for a democracy to thrive, dissent is also essential.

armandt said...

Sis is right.  Dissent is patriotic.

I would add that it's patriotic right up to the point where it's disloyal to our nation, disloyal to the people who put their lives on the line for our way of life, and (glue your hair in, Ber) up to the point where that dissent is one-sided partisanship with hypocritical and political expediency written all over it.

Before you go about tugging at your freshly glued-in hair, you'll want to familiarize yourself with two definitions: 'patriotism', and 'partisanship'.  

The fact, Ber - is that I distinguish between my opinion and fact and you frequently attempt(ed) to counter those facts.  I'll stand on fact and defend it all day long.

Even when you did address an opinion of mine, it was opinion firmly based in fact.  You seem to want to pretend otherwise, which is fine if you don't mind selling-out on your integrity.

But hey, it's /your/ journal, and that's /your/ prerogative.

ber144 said...

Ah, I see Caesar has dropped by for a visit.

Give me a break, Armand.  What finally made me see the light about trying to discuss anything with you is the fact (oops, there's that word again) that you believe your opinions to be 100% factual, whereas anyone who disagrees with you is purely stating a WRONG opinion.  You are simply never wrong, Armand.  It took me a while to realize it, but now that I know, I shall live life accordingly.  

You defining patriotism vs. partisanship is indeed rich.  You are as partisan as they come.  You dislike for all things left has blinded you to that fact (there I go again).  You seem to believe that your military service deems you more qualified to judge yourself more "patriotic" and less "partisanship" than others.  I suppose that works well on the battle field.  Newsflash: I am as patriotic as you are.  I may not be as blind, but oh well.

I had no idea that integrity was based upon being able to determine fact from BS.  You must be overflowing with it then.  But then you know what they say, BS rolls downhill.

Don't let the olive branch hit you in the ass on the way out.

ber144 said...

One last point, Armand:

"Sis is right.  Dissent is patriotic."

Dang right, she is.  But then, that was the last line of my post, which means I am right as well.

How 'bout that?  First time for everything.

armandt said...


Unlike your opinions, which you virtually always capitulated on - I can cite my facts.  Without them, your opinions might have come across as valid points in the debate.  As it is, they came across as laughable.

Fact trumps opinion every time.

Any day you like, let's go one for one on what you call my opinion (presented as fact) vs verifiable fact.  The loser sends $100 to the winner's favorite charity!

Or would you rather not stand behind your word?

ber144 said...


Where would we possibly find someone to judge us fairly?  Besides, I have already bowed to your superior skills of language.  I'd rather give $100 in the name of "agreeing to disagree" and be done with it.  I've never had a problem standing by my word, nor have I ever suspected your ability to do so.

So tell me where it should go, and I will happily send my c-note on its way.  Is there a save the rhino foundation out there somewhere?

jevanslink said...

I just wrote a long long dissertation here on why I'm a liberal. Demographics that include being a divorced single mom of two who was date raped and needed an abortion were just for starters. But I erased it. Still, I thank you for making me realize what took me there.  

Mrs. L