Just Another Quick Re-Set

stand-up-for-americaI wanted to take a second to make sure that we all take a second to breath here and remind everyone of what it is that I ask of those that choose to take part in our debates, discussions, and dialogues (all three just for you, BF). As you all know, my biggest requirement here is that we are always respectful of the opinions and feelings of others. Over the last couple of weeks we have been tackling some really tough topics that have hit on some really passionate nerve endings for a lot of people. Abortion, gay rights, Gun Control, Welfare. And we are going to continue to have these tough discussions because they are important to have. But I want to make sure that we keep “Stand Up For America” the very thing that made it a place you all wanted to come in the first place….

I want to first say how proud I was of the abortion discussion that took place last week. I presented a point of view that was my own. I know it doesn’t jive with what everyone believes but it is mine. The first couple of replies were well thought out opposition to my position. And they were respectful. But they were addressed towards me, and as the author of this blog, I thought maybe those folks were just being extra respectful to the host. But as the discussions unfolded and the comments poured in, EVERYONE handled the discussion with respect towards other’s feelings and and a mature discussion on differing points of view. It was, with a doubt, the most civil, intelligent, and respectful debate on abortion that I have ever taken part in. And it was on my site. I could not be more proud of anything than I am about that. 

Likewise, we have had the opportunity to have several people join the discussion over the last couple of weeks that were of a very different mindset than the majority of the people that post regularly here. Off the top of my head I can think of CanadianFox, Chris Devine, and Ray Hawkins. And from what I have seen (although the growth has made it harder and harder to keep up) everyone has treated them with respect and, for the most part, approached their differing opinions with a somewhat open mind and honest intention. I want to first say how difficult it is to be a vast minority in a public forum. It takes some balls to stand up to a group, and even more to stand up to such an intelligent group as the ones who frequent this site. Those who do so have earned our respect, and are certainly always welcome here. And I thank everyone for engaging them with the same respect you have given to those who share your views. 

We have had a few slips along the way and I usually will try to catch them quickly. I thank those who I have asked to change the way something is addressed for doing so and always understanding why I ask. There are undertones to certain words that we must be aware of. Calling gay folks “homos” may be semantically correct because they are homosexual, but that shortened version carries with it an undertone of dislike and nastiness. Another example would be when I asked someone to not call people “abortionists” simply because they are pro-choice. Semantically it may be correct, but for many it is not. I support a woman’s right to choose because I don’t have the right to choose for her. I do not approve of abortion at all, but I do approve of individual liberty. That doesn’t make me an abortionist, as I would reserve a term like that for someone who approves of abortion. I think you see my point as to how little terms like this can change the tone of conversation quickly from civil to offensive. 

partisan-boxing-cartoonAs we have these conversations, let’s remember the biggest things that I want to accomplish with this blog. I want people of all views to have a place where we can come together, have civil conversations about our differences and find our common grounds. Some things we will never agree on and that is OK. Remember that their opinion is no less valid for them than yours is for you. But the key is that government for too long has had the upper hand because they kept us divided and bitter with each other. We are a group that is going to break that cycle of intolerance. We can learn from each other. There is so much to learn from those with opposing points of view. And believe me when I say we all have far more in common than what separates us. 

To that end, we MUST remain respectful to those who oppose even that that we hold most dear, whatever that may be. BlackFlag was very polarizing to many because his views were so different. Once you respected him enough to listen, look at how much you learned and how many things you saw in the same ways. Kent is direct and sometimes harsh, but he is rooted in HIS principles and believe me when I say he lives exactly the way he speaks. There is much to learn from these two. Ray has challenged so many of us to think more logically about the issues we discuss. We may be more right than he is (just kidding Ray 😉 ), but like BF, he forces you to either shoot your own argument in the foot or further define it so that you understand it better. We should be grateful for either outcome. The good OB Doctor jumped in briefly and offered a heartfelt insight into a different side of a debate that helped many of us to humanize the third wheel of the equation (the doctor who performs). He would not have provided such an insight had he not previously seen so many discussions without judgement and nastiness. It made him comfortable enough to engage with us even though he knew people may not agree with his position. And that is the kind of blog I strive to have.

respect-road-signThese are the kind of victories that we should all be proud of, as it has taken all of you to make this site what it has become. I often say that all I do is write the post and set the rules of engagement. And that is true. People out there want to debate the issues civilly. They just struggle to find a place where that can actually happen. The tone that all of you have maintained has created just such a place. We can all get better at it. We can all open our minds just a little bit more every day. And if we all agree to do just that, we will draw even more opposing views to learn from. And from that, we all win.

As a final thought, I want to share a personal thought two and learnings from running this site for 6 months. I really am proud of what I have created here with all of you. But I am even more proud of myself for how I have come to accept how wrong I can be. I am a smart guy. How smart is all relative. I was always smarter than many of the people around me (which doesn’t say much for the crowd I was keeping, lol).  I went through a good portion of life believing that I was right 99% of the time, believing that every value I held was the right value for the right reason. And I did so because I was not secure enough to really analyze myself.

Something in me has changed a good bit as I have gone through this journey with all of you. I have come to realize that there are times when I need to look inside at what I believe and re-check to see if my principles are in line. I know I have good values and good principles, but I find that sometimes I just haven’t thought something far enough down the line to really come to the best conclusion. And it is for that reason that I am so often willing to respectfully listen to even the most extreme points of view and debate them intelligently.

And I have to be honest and tell you that sometimes it really hurts. It is not comfortable to realize that some of the things that I have believed for almost 40 years were right in principle but wrong at the root. But I have committed to taking that pain and always striving to look at every belief that I hold dear and really analyzing it to make sure it relates to the principles that I hold and the values I believe in. I throw every article up here with great care and thought and research. But I now do so every time with the understanding that the comments from that day may challenge the very root of my beliefs. And I am now OK with that. Because the key for me is learning and making myself a better person.  

I am the guy in my circle who everyone sees as the one who’s experiences are equal to that of someone twice my age. I have done a lot, seen a lot, learned a lot, and experienced a lot. And because of that there are a lot of things that you can all learn from me. But my experiences are just one person’s among hundreds of people who read this blog every day. And every one of you has as much to offer me as I have to offer you. I laugh every day when people comment for the first time and tell us that they feel dumb on this site or that they are learning but don’t have much to offer because they haven’t followed politics the way some of us have. No matter your age, you have that many years of unique experiences that we can all learn from, even when you don’t think you have much to offer. I savor the opportunity every day to soak up what you can teach me. 

So I ask each one of you to do the same. Embrace the uncomfortable feeling that comes with accepting that you might be all wrong. When you are challenged, especially when it is something you hold most dear, really embrace the opportunity to ponder a new point of view, a different perspective. Take the time to research what you believe and present it with a new found passion. It is hard to explain the feeling of power that comes with doing your own research and coming to your own conclusions and being able to speak with authority on a subject. 

Write articles for guest commentary on the things that you are most passionate about. It will give you the chance to learn and research and solidify the reasons for your beliefs. You don’t have to write as well as I do, if you want to research and submit a draft I will help you write it in a form you are more comfortable presenting (and no one will ever even know I helped! You’ll look like a brilliant writer, like me 😉 ). I can’t tell you how great a feeling it is to research and write articles and have them published on a website. I promise anyone who does will feel great about doing so. Just ask those who run their own blogs here how rewarding it is when you research and learn stuff on your own and then get to educate a group of people. I highly recommend that everyone find a topic and do an article sometime when you have the time. 

And opening our minds the way I have asked is valuable. But if we want to get the most out of this discussion tool that I call a blog, engage those who you disagree with the most with respect and dignity, because that is what Stand Up For America (and the VLDG) have come to represent. We will continue to grow our group here by doing so and together we will find a way to fix what ails our great country.

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Comments

  1. Actually I agree but I also want to add something. First of all there are stand points that don’t need to be discussed. If a rapist comes up and tells us his point of view do we also meet in the middle and say that it was the victims fault because it dressed so sexy and the rapist is just a human that has his instincts? Definetly not and there are a million other opinions that don’t need to be discussed because they are wrong from the root. These wrong opinions all have in common that they threaten the freedom of someone else but claim to be justified somehow.

    Secondly there are lots of people in this world who are discussion-resistent. You could bring up the best arguments but they ignore them completely and keep shouting their paroles and propaganda like many of the leftist anti-capitalism or anti-everything people who give a damn about freedom of speech when it comes to other people’s opinions.

    Thirdly Tthere were many dictators in this world from Hitler to Ahmadinejad today who give you the feeling that they listen to you in an discussion but actually don’t follow you at all. They do so in order to give you a wrong feeling of progression and safety. You think that the other side is listening and that you maybe can meet in the middle while in reality this appeasement policy just prevents you from taking action while you could.

    My point is that you don’t have to discuss with everyone. Alarms should go off everytime someone else is of the opinion that it would be good to take away some individual freedom in order to strengthen government etc. because sooner or later you will notice that government won’t give it back (somehow government does not discuss anything with you when it comes to taxes for example). It’s another thing with topics like security, health care or abortion of course but every discussion has its limits and there is no need to meet in the middle everytime.

    • USWeapon says:

      Manuel,

      You are absolutely correct. I certainly won’t be wasting my time listening to some rapist tell me that he was justified. But I do think it is important to make sure that we at least hear the ideas of others. It is then up to each of us personally to determine the relevance, accuracy, or merit of their argument, and proceed accordingly.

      • You are absolutely correct. I certainly listen to everyone’s opinion and certainly will reconsider mine if it is flawed on a logical basis. Therefore this blog is a great opportunity.

  2. USW,

    Being one of the “geezers” who hang around here – and one with some pretty set opinions, I might add – I have found that life experience trumps book learning by a country mile. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of education as I have stated many times before. However, in order to have a complete education one must have lived awhile along with that education, and not just hanging around the corner store either.

    Young folks who think they have learned a lot in school usually find out that school is nothing but a starting point in life. While those of us who have had to work to get an education – and like mine, some get it later in life – usually find that what we learn in books lends some solidity to what we learned in life.

    To me, sitting around and discussing a problem is just that, sitting around. I have always been a “doer” and not a talker, so this retirement life is something of an enigma to me. The aging process has a tendency to slow a body down, at least it has been with me, yet my mind (other than forgetting my glasses on my head) hasn’t been affected that much(now, what was it I was writing about ;-)).

    I do like your site, and that is why I always look in on it on a daily basis. All I have to do is keep drinking the decaff . . .

    • I am totally with you, GA. Like USW, I was always the smart kid in the class. Educated in private east coast schools (and amazingly have remained a conservative thinker throughout), some might consider me elitist based upon my bio or profile. Those who think that could not be more wrong. In the past six months, I have had the pleasure of meeting or communicating with a wide swath of people who’s basic philosophies are far closer to my own than many of the people who surround me here in New England. Some are not as “educated” in the academic sense as those in my community, but they sure have a lot more common sense and often really know their stuff; far more than most of the real elitists. Everyone has their own skill set, and I’ve learned that it is going to take all of us to change the course in which this country is headed. I cannot do what many others can do, and vice versa. But like GA says, we’ve got to DO, not just talk. And by do, I do not mean JUST stocking up for our own individual survival; it means getting out there and trying to steer this Titanic away from the iceberg (Yes, I know, BF, that you think this is all for naught). But let’s learn from each other and at least try, before hunkering down, because even if you think you are prepared for the worst, something can and will go wrong. Get up and fight for this country now! Together.

  3. Richmond Spitfire says:

    US Weapon,

    Thank you for the reminder! Your format surrounding this site is what keeps it sane and honestly is ONE of the benefits that kept me here after I clicked the link on one of your postings from a FoxNews Blog! I feel quite “safe” here.

    There are many at this site whose opinions are very well analyzed and researched. If I “get” one of Black Flag’s postings, then I’m ecstatic and rejoice!!!!! To me, this site has become a valuable resource where I learn alot of things that I had no idea about. It has forced me to look up things like “Fiat Money” on Wiki. I had never heard of Fiat Money before! This site has forced me to pull my head up out of the sand and really evaluate/confront my “forward” thinking skills (i.e. What if Scenarios).

    Then US Weapon, there is someone like me — I am not college-educated (note: that doesn’t make me an ignoramus though). I’m new to this blogging thing — never felt the need to because it I thought it wouldn’t matter anyway. I’ve only recently had an “awakening” in my political awareness. Lastly, I’m scared that I’ll look like an idiot! Because of these, I mainly base my postings/replies upon my own personal beliefs and life experiences.

    In regards to performing IN-DEPTH research, the reality is that I just don’t have the time (working full-time/raising three children/new marriage). Then throw-in the fact that I do enjoy joking around — my dealing mechanism is to TRY to make a joke so that I can laugh which really does make me feel better. If I give a smile to other folks, then all the better!

    Knowing this about myself, when I post here, I try to preface my statements with “I believe or In my opinion” plus, I try to do it respectfully. The last thing that I want to is be the dealer of hurt feelings to anyone.

    US Weapon…I really do love your site — I think you have every reason to be proud of it and you are truly talented at what you provide here! If I EVER or HAVE become a detriment to it, please let me know so that I can make a change, bow out gracefully or simply lurk so that I can continue learning.

    Kind and respectful regards to every single person (past, present and future) at this site!

    RS

  4. USW, This site is truly rare. I’ve learned more than I could have ever expected about so many issues. Everyone, despite their position, remain civil and respectful. I enjoy the Ray Hawkins and Canadian Fox’s that come here with their opinions. It’s important to get differing views. Even if I may not agree with any differing position about the different topics, I still respond with a big smile on my face. Everyone has a RIGHT to their opinion, and I had a small part in protecting that RIGHT. That makes me a very happy man. I’m sure that anyone who also had a similar small part can smile as well. Thanks for a great place to read and learn and discuss. Thanks to everyone who comes here as well, you remind me why I’m proud to be an American.

    G!

  5. USW,

    I’m in the same mindset as G.A., a geezer who has education but also plenty of life experiences as a hands on type of guy. It’s always challenging to try and tackle some new problem or project and then actually do it. I guess that’s the self sufficiency part which keeps us going and not giving up.

    The issues that you have brought before us all are definitely challenging issues we either face personally or as a whole (America). They are all pertinent to each and every one of us, whether it affects us personally or as a country. As Manuel said, sometimes we cannot meet in the middle which is just fine. That is what makes your site so good. None of us here revert to saying negative or degrading things to others if we disagree as there is always a need for learning more and perhaps being a bit more tolerant of someone who has an opposing view. That’s why America is the great country it is.

    Thanks again for the time you put in, I look forward to it everyday!!

  6. USW,

    My wife & most of my friends hate talking about politics or current issues. I have no problem forming my opinions, but think a lot is learned by discussing with others. I have been amazed by the caliber of people that interact at your sight, and that is a credit to you.

    I have to go out of town for a tenday or so, but will be back.

  7. USW,
    I cannot even begin to express my extreme gratitude, for being able finally find a site where intelligent discussion occurs on a daily basis! You are so right, that if we can just look at things objectively and with an open mind, we can learn from all, and feel free to share our insights, if only to get shot down by BF(but it was a good LEARNING experience!).

    In my younger, more liberal leaning days, I had countless, productive discussions with a co-worker who told me that as I got older, my political views would change. He was correct, but to my disappointment, by the time I got to the point where he was right, I found that even his party had been hi-jacked, and you really couldn’t tell the difference between the two!

    Since finding your site, I have found it refreshing to find sooo many others with attitudes and beliefs and desires for our country as I have found on this board! But I do look at it as an opportunity to not only hear the same as I think, but to also respect differing opinions, and to take my thinking to another level and deeper as well!(Thanks to you and BF mostly, but also JAC, Mad Mom and others who I can’t remember).

    Please keep delving into the thought provoking topics, and when enough people finally pull thier head out of the sand, and learn to think for themselves, then we will see our country finally headed the right direction! Thank You!
    Matt L

  8. Bee in my Bonnet says:

    As I stated before, I am new to this site. I’ve attempted to blog on other sites but the responses were so nasty that I didn’t go back. I’ve noticed on this site that, although the opinions are varied and most feel strongly about their own personal opinions, the responses are polite and respectful. What a refreshing change!

    • Bee:

      Which part of Canada you from? I am real partial to B.C. but do like parts of Alberta as well. I used to be able to get folks in those two provinces all excited when I would start talking about reforming the North West Territory as a new Country.

      Your story about the preacher in Alberta and the speech police was a little chilling. That is why we need to talk with folks from other countries. Our progressives are trying to impose laws and programs here that you all have already experienced.

      Bottom Line:: Jump in any time and often.

      Happy Sunday
      JAC

      P.S.: Is that TV show call Red Green still on up there? Now that show was Fuuuunnnnny!!! I haven’t had a TV for 1 1/2 yrs so lost track.

      • Bee in my Bonnet says:

        JAC
        I’m from the heart of the country, Manitoba, but I must say, BC is beautiful. We are in the midst of fighting a flood as we are down-stream from where Fargo was hit.
        No talk of the NWT becoming a new country. Now its the West seceding from the rest of Canada as most of the politics are driven by Ontario and Quebec. But that’s a discussion for another time.

        I look forward to our many discussions.

        Bee

        ps RedGreen was cancelled a couple of years ago.

  9. That was a good reminder! It is always a joy to discuss with people that are able to discuss with respect, and not have a go at you personally. But there will always be those who want to discuss because they like to irritate people..

    I’m not american, but I find your blog very interesting and engaging… Like in this post, you write about a subject that has to do with everyone. I like that you write about politics in your country, because a lot of people don’t care, and they all should, because it is about them.. I realize when I read all the comments that there are so many ways to look upon a subject, and people (as do I, although I try not to) tend to think that their view of the issue is the right one. No wonder it’s hard work being a politician. There’s no way you can make everyone satisfied… In one way I think people should have respect for those people doing the job it is, being a politician, but then again, they often makes you wonder if they think about the people at all..

    I’m not sure if anyone really wants me here, because I’m not american, but at least I get to read it, right?

    • You’re absolutely right Camilla, you get to read and also share your views without being attacked personally. Some may agree, others maybe not but it does get us all to think a little more which is always beneficial. We surely don’t want to appear arrogant as Obama has called us as a nation while he was in Europe. That was totally uncalled for doesn’t say much for the man that is our president.

      Many people on this site use their personal experiences to make a point, others are very knowledgeable when it comes to quoting books and scholars with historical references. I’m glad USWeapon came to Fox News site and offered something different, it surely has opened my eyes and I’m grateful for that.

    • From my perspective, and I am almost certain from that of the others, you are most welcome to both read and comment.

      You obviously are coming at this from the “old country” and will find that we disagree with a lot of what you have to say. we however will respectfully try to disagree without being disagreeable.

      US Weapon said it best up on top. This is a place to learn, perhaps you change your mind, perhaps not but you get to hone your arguments.

    • Camilla:

      In case you haven’t looked back, I left you a comment back on the Part 4 of March to Socialism. In response to your last post that day.
      I thought it might explain why the converstation went as it did on the topic.

      Have a nice day
      JAC

    • Camilla:

      P.S., I look forward to your thoughts on various subjects. We Americans are cock sure but always open to good thinking and usually respectful of other’s opinions.

      Besides, my Swedish ancestors would haunt me from their graves if I treated a fellow Scandanavian with anything but respect.

      Hope your weekend was full of fun and warm sun
      JAC

      • Thanks everyone. It’s nice to hear that I’m “allowed” to come back.

        Just A Citizen: I don’t think I read it, will do so now, but I don’t want to continue the discussion. Hehe…

        • Realize that English is probably not your first language. The words are “welcomed” and “encouraged” not “allowed”.

          “Allowed” is the kind of word our anti-free speech friends would use to stifle debate or discussion.

          • English is not my first language no. I if were I would hopefully be better at it. I used the word “allowed” on purpose. It means to “give someone permission to do something” right? I wouldn’t want to be here, unless you wanted me to. I don’t wish to force myself upon you…

    • Camilla, I like having you here….If we all thought just alike we would be robots….I for one enjoy other people’s perspective on things…keeps me from econing narrow minded. Glad you are here.

    • Black Flag says:

      And do offer your views – yes, I will challenge you to explain why you think that but my motives are always honorable!

  10. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi Everyone,

    This posting is off subject from the topic at hand for today, but….

    Since we are now in a “Health Emergency” due to the unusual Swine Flu virus, I’d like to say a couple of things:

    1. I pray that each and every one stays healthy and doesn’t get this virus; should you get it, I pray for a swift recovery for you and your families.

    2. If you do start to get sick, don’t try to go it alone; go to the doctor/hospital and get the anti-viral drugs — Go at first signs – DO NOT WAIT! The anti-virals only do their job at the beginning of the symptoms. By the way, the anti-virals don’t eliminate the illness, they simply lesses the effects of the virus…meaning you don’t get as sick with them as you do without them!

    3. My attempt at inserting humor: Since this will be an opportunity to not be wasted, I wonder what type of spendulus bill will be enacted from this. I look forward to the mutli-billion dollar hand-washing initiative with pork added!

    Have a blessed day everyone!

    RS

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      I’d also like to add that if you do have elderly neighbors that you take extra care to watch out for them at during this time. The elderly can be somewhat stubborn (no offense meant to anyone here) and resist going to the doctor!

    • According to the W.H.O., this “swine flu” has been attacking those who are not normally at risk for the flu. Usually it is the very young and the geezers like me. This stuff has been deadly for those aged in between so far.

      The over-the-counter “TAMIFLU” stuff they say is what to stock up on.

      Anti-virals have to be tailored to a specific virus and that takes time – which is what the government in Mexico squandered by saying that it was just a normal late season flu outbreak. They didn’t figure it out until they had a bunch of people very dead and many more very, very sick. So much for government run socialized medicine.

  11. Black Flag says:

    As a primary antagonist of the site, I also must say how much I’ve learned here too.

    My style, purposely, is blunt and to the root. I also offer “exactly”, no more or less, the root – and I try leave others to self-realize the implications of either of what I’ve asked and said or what POV they hold.

    I am very grateful to USWep and JAC and others for their guidance in helping me improve on how to present my ideas. They’ve offered great assistance in adjusting my style without changing the message, and has tremendously improved the quality of my writing.

    I’ve still got a way to go – my tendency to us first-persons like “you” and “me” when really I am referring to third persons of “they” and “them” will help – it’s a bad habit.

    • Mr. Flag, how nice of you. Thank you and right back at you. I didn’t realize how sloppy some of my rhetoric had become unitl I first started commenting here, and you jumped on me like flies on stink. Folks on this site will not tolerate such sloppiness and make one think hard before jumping in.

      I haven’t had this much fun discussing issues with others in a Long Time. Thank you to all.

      BF, I see your style as a mix of two approaches, let’s call your shorter style “Sarcratic” in its nature!

      Hope today was as good as yesterday. Turned cold here and snowing in the mountains….again.
      JAC

      • Black Flag says:

        JAC, I’ve ‘patented’ Sarcratic… LOL!

        You certainly are a quick wit!

        Snow here again – covered up the mud…

        Have a good one!

  12. I am also grateful to have found this blog. I got tired of the insulting and hateful speech on a couple of other sites I visited. We all got upset, especially Veterans, when the story broke about the President’s plan to have Veterans pay for their own Health Care. We even threw some choice profanity at the President. A day or 2 later, we had calmed down and returned to our respectful tone.

    I enjoy visiting, and thank you all for participating in a very informative experience!!!

  13. esomhillgazette says:

    Hey US, I didn’t have time to get on yesterday, much to my chagrin. I try to at least look every day. let me say first that I have learned so much since I first came here that it is unbelievable. I first came after seeing your blog on Fox forum. I haven’t been back seriously since. Too nasty with venom and hate; both ways.

    Now let me say that I hope my comments yesterday about Perez Hilton were taken as just that. AGAINST PEREZ HILTON. I normally don’t think much about gays one way or the other, despite my upgringing. As long as they don’t throw their lifestyle in my face, it’s not my job to judge. As I have said previously, I have my own family members who are gay. As long as they don’t flaunt their life choice in front of me or my family, I consider it their business alone.

    But I was quite frankly furious that this sick freak (not sick freak for being gay, but because, well, have you seen that guy?:-))attacking that girl for giving an honest answer to the question he asked. So since he was so nasty and vicious towards her, hey, I figure he’s fair game to have a little fun at his expense. Thus the Sheep comment! Sorry if anyone else was offended by it. But I am not sorry that I made fun of him personally. He asked for it!

    Usually when I make snide comments such as that one it’s because, in my august opinion, they deserve to be derided. I can be, admittedly, mean that way. I felt in particular that Mr./Miss Hilton deserves anything he gets.

    Especially NO RESPECT.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      This site has actually caused me to both start my own, and to seriously neglect same. I get so caught up in the discussions that I don’t have time to get to mine. Not to mention that US is MUCH better writer than I am. Mainly though, I don’t have time to research my articles much.

      I try to keep up with US at the same time that I am working and so my thoughts on here tend to meander, or so it appears. The fact is I cannot sit and think long enough to be completely coherent in my comments before I have to get up and go to a classroom. (IT Tech, Middle School) Some days I am busier than other days.

      But I have to say that this site is becoming a habit to come to. I check and respond to others but always come back to this one. Are there any more out there like this one US?

  14. SFC Dick says:

    No no no!

    I won’t have it!

    Someone put forth the argument that we do not “debate” on this site and Black Flag seemingly agreed. Shame on you BF.

    I could go back, find the post and paste the exact quotes, nay. I believe I’ll just run into this both guns a’blazin. Yeh; where angels fear to tread*, I’ve run head on these past few days so I’m feeling a bit feisty.

    Were I a better man I’d take Gunny Rowe’s advice and switch to decaff. Screw it, I embrace the mania.

    The reason this struck me is denigrates what is happening here on this blog.

    I searched 4 different online dictionaries for the definition of debate, most were pretty short and defined debate in much the way most people would use the term. I used selective editing in what I pasted, not to prove fact through omission of fact but to distill and equate to what is occurring on this site.

    I approach from an agenda. My agenda is that I believe a great many certain ills that affect this country come from the complete lacking of civility in matters of public discourse and an unwillingness of many to acknowledge the validity of ones right to hold an opinion in as much as it is a persons right, regardless of its lacking the formulation in fact and being able to bear the weight of scrutiny and dissection.

    I do not argue that opinions are or should be weighted as valid fact. I argue that one, out of common courtesy, should allow another an opinion, recognized as such, and allow that one can hold personal opinions and beliefs which might be contrary to certain recognized facts, without holding the other in some contempt, or worse.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/debate

    V.intr. 2. To engage in argument by discussing opposing points.
    N 1. A discussion involving opposing points; an argument.

    http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=debate
    Noun. S: (n) argument, argumentation, debate (a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal) “the argument over foreign aid goes on and on”
    Verb S: (v) debate (argue with one another) “We debated the question of abortion”; “John debated Mary”

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/debate

    N
    Table 1
    1. a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints: a debate in the Senate on farm price supports.
    V
    Table 2
    9. to argue or discuss (a question, issue, or the like), as in a legislative or public assembly: They debated the matter of free will.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate

    Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examine the consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examine what is or isn’t the case or rhetoric which is technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy as well as some emotional appeal to audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting superior “context” and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic

    In a formal debating contest, there are rules…

    A rule-based competitive debate is often encouraged in high schools and colleges. Often, it takes the form of a contest with explicit rules. It may be presided over by one or more judges. Each side seeks to win, by following the rules, and even by using some rules to break other rules, within limits.

    The major goal of the study of debate as a method or art is to develop one’s ability to play from either position with equal ease.

    I pasted the first definitions from the freedictionary because it addresses a point that was made in favor of the argument that we do not debate on this site. The argument was that we “discuss” things. This seemed condescending in tone as if a discussion of ideas outside the bounds of formal debate is a poor man’s game. I understand well that the word discuss was used in context of defining how an argument is presented in some context and I will not drag that dead horse down the convoluted road of defining the “true” meaning of argument as the next line spells out an accepted definition of argument as “A discussion involving opposing points”.

    Princeton.edu supports “discussion” and “argue”. Therefore and in summation of….Dog’s Balls!

    I pasted the definition from dictionary.reference because I firmly hold that this is an assembly where public questions are discussed. This is as valid as any town hall or local elected assembly in it’s ability to debate.

    Last, I pasted the more formal and in depth definitions of debate because I have seen this very thing on this blog. I have seen two or more argue points and invoke the rules of debate. I have seen these rules acknowledged, obeyed and points ceded. I have seen posts where one has acknowledged the superiority of the others context and framework and acquiesced the point.

    I therefore argue that we do indeed debate on this blog. We are now lucky enough to have a person like Ray Hawkins join and actively present a view or side that has been under represented on this sight. I hope that more who read these posts and hold a different view but have in the past chosen not to post, will see that this is a site of civil debate. I hope that they will understand that it will greatly enrich the overall debate to post an opinion or view in opposition to an argument that has been posted. I hope that they understand this is a place that will give a voice to all who wish to post and engage in a civil debate. It is a site of debate.

    We debate in as many ways and forms as recognized definitions of the word debate itself. We debate in a most always civil manner. We allow another a held opinion or personal belief and we tackle everything from the most demanding to frivolous of topics and we do so with as much right or experienced input as any elected or self appointed experts of the day.

    This blog, a site of much debate, is as important and valid as the people who post on it and I bristle when I sense it is being slighted or denigrated because of the methods of exchange. I tend to think that the methods are not being attacked so much as the fact that the common man is given a voice. I believe many who have held the public forum in the past now look at these types of blogs as little more than the great unwashed masses voicing ignorant populist tripe.

    The debate has been joined by the people.

    “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

    * Mada Kandaw valley linking the open step of Afghanistan at the Pakistan border to the interior of Afghanistan, Orgun district, Paktika province.

    • SFC Dick says:

      Ok, here’s the deal. I read this “reset” post and only Manuel and G.A had posted, I took time to form an argument, do a smidge of research and by the time I post there are 33 comments. So, If this entry seems totally out of left field, that is why.

      But hey, that’s what I do, jump in, off-time probably out of sync and have at it.

      “All enlisted men are stupid, but they are cunning and deceitful and bear considerable watching.”

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