To get the full effect, scroll to the bottom of the page. We left a comment, asking the blog author to 'unplug it.'
We have spoken to your mother. We know everything.
Lots of smart people are idiots.Now to be clear, idiots come in many varieties. There are the idiots who we review. They are classic idiots, with no sense of anything other than their self absorbed, mundane lives.The only determination to be made is just how much of an idiot they really are.
Or: imagine a world where people respond to well thought out, well reasoned intellectuals who are willing to face unpleasant truths with badly cliched, knee-jerk emotional attacks.Naturally, we responded, albeit a bit too quickly:
The man is very clearly against suffering. Disagree with his conclusions if you want, but you base your argument upon nothing but tradition and reaction, making you a reactionary and a fundamentalist, in the worst sense of both words.
You fail to address a basic point, gollux- that there is a moral component that needs to be addressed. No one wants to see suffering- but by the reaction of others- even in Princeton- Singer clearly fails to address those moral issues.In a free society, to put all things on the table and open for discussion is a good thing. Irrespective of one's beliefs, rational discourse is always beneficial, if to further question those things that need to be questioned, or to bolster and reinforce those beliefs that as individuals or we, as part of a society, hold dear.
The argument is indeed based on tradition- those traditional values society holds dear. To dismiss them because you believe that disagreement with Singers message is 'fundamnetalist,' is a presposterous notion.
On the other hand, you seem to think your argument is based on a 'well reasoned,' intellectual approach. Clearly, this indicates a distinct- and some might say, rather sophomoric- and pointed insular view of reality- that you can seperate societal values and mores from the equation, as well.
Indeed, not even Singer does that- he attempts to limit his ideas to be bound and framed within certain times.
Your words validate my thoughts- that it becomes 'open season' on whomever the interpretation of the word suffering can be applied.
"Sometimes I think we will go down in history as the blaming generation, first blaming our parents for not nurturing us to be all that we could be and then when we became parentswe turn around and blame our kids for keeping us for being all that we can be."That idea alone would be enough to give us all pause and reflect, but Square1 doesn't stop there. She seems to realize, either by instinct or clarity of thought, that those ideas, in a vacuum, cannot reach us 'where we live.' This is important because all to often we see ourselves from a distance and fail to make that emotional connection we need to make- if not to encourage change, then to make peace with our realities.
I think this Alan Keyes story demonstrates, yet again, the hypocrisy of the Christian Right. They call themselves “compassionate conservatives” and say they are “pro-family.” How is it compassionate to disown your own daughter? How is it pro-family to kick your own daughter out of the house?We cannot say what went on in the Keyes household and needless to say, if indeed there is strife within the Keyes family, we wish them all well.
I'm 23 years old, work for a non-profit, proudly supported Howard Dean, and reluctantly voted for John Kerry because he was the only Democrat running.OK, here's how it works: There is always only one democrat running. We realize you are disappointed, but that is how the system works. We're sorry you are not happy about it- and we wouldn't be surprised if this is news to you. It is however, our system, so as heartbroken as you must be, learn to live with the fact that only one democrat can run in the Presidential Election. Perhaps we can soften the blow by informing you that only one Republican can run, too. Feel better now?
If an employer were to treat its employees fairly, all terminated employees would be given at least twenty weeks notice, because for the employee, losing a job is at least a ten times worse proposition than losing an employee is for the employer.This is the last part of a mindless post. When we saw the twenty weeks notice to fire an employee, we had this to say.
It is rare that we come across an idiot so foolish as to flaunt their stupidity.While you might think us a bit rude, we ask that you reserve judgement till after you read more wisdom from Abigail.
That said, let me congratulate on you lunacy.
I know I speak for so many who would be delighted to have an incompetent/dangerous nurse or other health care provider, knowing they are going to be fired in FIVE MONTHS, look after a loved one.
Brilliant, just brilliant.
Then of course there are the teachers who can't read. While you may delight in these educators playing with blocks with your children (Please, please, do not have any), the rest of the parents might be a tad perturbed.
Then there are the Air Traffic Controllers who might be a tad peeved, or merely the cashiers at a store, who in retaliation might not ring up $6500 worth of Manolo shoes to get even. Before you bitch about Manolos, remember that all the Hollywood libs wear Manolos, so you can't just insult them, OK?
I will be gentle in my review as you obviously will attempt once more to graduate High School.
So as to be clear- we wish there to be no misundertandings- you are an in idiot. While I'm sure you have plenty of self esteem and the trophies to prove it, you remain an idiot.
The only time a business is really risky is in its brief startup phase, and even then, the venture capitalists who own the business have probably not put all of their investment money into a single business, but have spread the money around so a single business failure doesn’t wipe them out. In fact, the venture capitalist expects that some of the businesses he invests in will fail.We responded of course, perhaps too hastily, as follows:
Most of the shares are owned by institutional investors who have a diversified portfolio of many different investments. So if a business goes completely under, none of the owners of the business are hurt very badly unless they were stupid enough to put all of their assets into a single company. When a business is wiped out, the workers are the ones who lose their only source of income. The situation is, in reality, a lot riskier for the employee than it is for the employer.
This post is even dumber than the [other].We need to add that most business ventures are not funded by venture capitalists, but rather, by the sweat and determination of their owners. Minority and immigrant business are more often than not family affairs, with their owners making do with less, so as to be true to their dreams. They take years to grow their businesses and succeed- and most don't. For you, Abigail, to be so dismissive of business and what it takes to succeed, is an indicator of just how clueless you really are. We also believe that workers need to be treated fairly and equitably- but not as a platform to endorse sheer stupidity.
To simply dismiss the hard work it takes to establish a business indicates to me a complete and utter lack of understanding of even the most basic concepts of business, economics or common sense.
You are the reason there ought to be movement to have a means test for bloggers. It is rare to see an idiot such as yourself in full bloom.
Most institutional investors are pension plans. Unless you plan on taking in your neighbors granny for a few years, shut the hell up and let them pay their dividends in peace.
Your social studies teacher, besides being an idiot like yourself, lied to you.
"One reviles, similarly, the use of the word "Holocaust" in increasingly trivial circumstances."Apparently, those realties are of little consequence to the PC crowd, where moral equivalence rules and moral relativism has become the new religion of no comittment to the notions of right and wrong. God (of PC) help anyone who might dare imply there is a right and wrong.
"...In this context the word was used less for it's definition and more for it's sensationalism. That is the problem. Words are a powerful tool, and this was one that was mis-used."
I find it so amusing that humans take themselves so very seriously, think that they are so important, and yet continue to treat the earth with such little concern. The planet Earth has been around a lot longer than we have; we are just a blip on the radar, if you look at the lifespan of our planet, compared to the lifespan of our species. And yet now, more than ever, we have the power in this day and age, to completely destroy this planet, this planet that gives us life. If we as a species don't start changing what we are doing now, we will cease to exist. So yes, I think we should give a lot more respect to Mother Earth, and I see nothing wrong with the metaphor "rape of the land".OK, a real concern for our planet. That's nice. We still don't see how the 'rape of the land' is equivalent to the rape of a human being- and we again, asked for that concession.
"And I will not concede, because as stated in my first post, there IS MORE THAN ONE DEFINITION OF THE WORD. As there is for many words in our English language. That's what makes it so beautiful, and at times so confusing. You are focusing on on definiton; the word has been around for a very long time and has been used in past and present very often referring to the pillage and destruction of land. Your stand, albeit noble, is narrow-minded and irrational.It is at this point, a subtle shift occurs. There is an attempt not to deal with a reality- that the rape of a human being is worse than any 'rape' of the earth, but rather, an attempt is made to shift the discussion to language- and that somehow, the rape of a human being is equivalent- morally and otherwise, to the destruction of flora and fauna. This is moral relativism and Political Correctness run wild. It is outrageous that anyone would even attempt to link the degradation and humiliation of the rape of an individual to the destruction a micro ecosystem.
"The misuse and exploitation of the word (rape -ed) in and of itself causes much grief to those of us who have suffered such horrors. I’m glad someone takes the time to point it out."Lastly, the comment that perhaps best illustrates the moral vacuousness of any argument that equates the use of the word rape to anything other than it's most horrific meaning, was quoted from Dale Spender, the Australian feminist and reknowned authority on language. She is the author of the seminal work, Man Made Language and someone to whom word etymology is not exactly unknown. While we cannot say we are familiar with all of Spender's works or even that we would agree with all her writing, we are impressed with these words, in which she describes the origins and definition of the word rape:
...an absence of force in the name `rape' which does not reveal it as a vicious sexual act. This in turn is one of the reasons it can be used metaphorically without distaste. The use of the metaphor reinforces the legitimacy of the term and of the act, therefore perpetuating the conscious or unconscious acceptance of `resourcismo' - the view that both Nature and women can be managed for man's use."My, my, not very PC, is it? Imagine- a distinction between rape and flora/fauna abuse!
"On an island as small as Easter, it was easy to see the effects of the deforestation as it was taking place. But the inhabitants continued their destructive actions. They probably prayed to their gods to replenish the land so they could continue to rape it, but the gods didn't answer. And still the trees came down. Whatever one did to alter that ecosystem, the results were reasonably predictable. One could stand on the summit and see almost every point on the island. The person who felled the last tree could see that it was the last tree. Nonetheless, he (or she) still felled it."We take issue with a number of ideas in that quote.
"This post touched me deeply, and I felt I had too much to say to leave a simple comment, so hear I am emailing you, excuse me for writing something so long.The next letter:
I was always the kid in school who couldn't stand seeing someone picked on.
I was always a little different in my home town, I'm half Korean and in my town you were either...or ..., which I so clearly was not. I knew what it felt like to be picked on, so I went out of my way to defend those who were also picked on. This caused me to be beat up a few times, but I didn't care, these people had no voice of thier own or were too scared to use it, so I did the talking.
Then I entered middle school, and all of a sudden the cool kids wanted to know me. I was flattered and desperate for them to like me. In defense of these kids, they were never the bullies that picked on the others, but nor did they ever come to their rescue. One day one kid was being bullied, and like other times, I stepped up and defended this person. He never dressed well, and wore these really ugly glasses. This caused the bullies to find him an easy mark, as he was also small and easy to push around. After I stepped in, my new "friends" took me aside and said that what I did wasn't cool, after all he wasn't my responsibility and they were embarassed by what I did. Instead of walking away from the cool kids, I took what they said to heart, and stopped stepping in.
One summer, when I was hanging with another friend of mine, who wasn't one of the cool kids but was a childhood friend of mine, we were walking downtown and saw a man on a park bench. He looked ragged and homeless. He was reaching out to us and said "help me". I took one look at him and walked away. My friend wanted to go and help, I told her he was just looking for a handout. Later that evening when we walked back by that parkbench, there was an ambulance truck there. The man was having a heart attack. He later died.
I still am haunted by his face, I can't help but feel if I had just stepped in earlier, he may have made it. There was an article in the local paper about this man, and the "faceless" people in our midst, and how no one had stopped to help him. I dumped the cool friends, which I came to regard and less that cool, and went back to my ways of stepping in to help those who couldn't or wouldn't help themselves.
This was a good thing, because when I turned 16, my brother was diagnosed with schitzophrenia. I had to explain to a lot of people in my school just what that was, and to tell them no they couldn't get it from talking to him or me. Having someone in my own family who ended up later on the streets for a while before we found him again, I again felt that guilt about the homeless man so many years ago.
I never take anyone for granted anymore, not since then. Even if I don't like someone, I try to find that in them which is likeable. Some call me a "Pollyanna" because of this, trust me I know the score in the world, I just never want to become the callous person I almost was way back when. Thankyou for writing such a good post, and reminding all of us not to take anyone for granted, because everyone has something to give to this world, and you can learn many lessons in the strangest of places.
Okay I'm done now, thankyou for listening.
This has been a tough email to write. I think this is my 10th attempt.
I grew up with an Andrew also. His name was Patrick. He found a spot in my heart during grade school when he tried to bust up a gang of bullies that were giving me a hard time. I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. He just knew it was the right thing to do. He was slightly autistic and ended up taking my beating for me. Naturally, I befriended him. We talked many times about deep subjects and I came to find that he was intelligent but lacked the physical ability to show it.
His mind was one of the most well organized archives of thought I had encountered. All anyone ever needed to do was listen to him but no one ever did. Listening to Patrick took a great deal of patience and I often tried to finish his sentences for him. This drove him nuts and he would often change his entire story just to show that I didn’t know what he was trying to say. He hated being predictable.
I took a lot of hits from other kids for hanging around with Patrick but I was indebted to him and he was the only person I knew that truly knew what friendship was about.
Patrick taught me much.
His parents were divorcing and he felt it was his fault. He knew they got frustrated with him and he had heard them argue about him in the past. As it turns out, his Mother had some serious issues and Patrick’s father was going to get custody of him and his sister (I had a huge crush on his sister but that had nothing to do with our friendship).
One night as Patrick and his sister were sleeping, his parents got into a huge argument and their father stormed out of the house. Their Mother then shot them both in the head so the father wouldn’t get them.
That was many years ago, but your post brought me to tears. I never could fathom how someone so good and pure wasn’t allowed to live a full life. But when I think back…Patrick’s life was as full as any adult I know today. He loved life and lived it optimistically. Most of us don’t learn to live like that until we are at the end of life itself.
I was fortunate in that Patrick gave me a head start down the road to realizing happiness.
Needless to say, as a blogger, the type and quality of readers I have humbles me.
I wouldn't trade my readership for anyone else's or 'higher numbers.'