Monday, August 15, 2005

"On The Road Again" - by Russ

Sorry for my absence, I’ve been getting a LOT of work done so I could take a road trip this weekend. I’m going to drive my motorcycle from Iowa to West Point in September to watch Iowa State play Army, and I need to take a few shorter trips before then to harden up the calluses on my rear and make sure my bike’s working properly. Tonight after work, I’ll be headed North to the Twin Cities, followed by a short fishing trip on the way home with an old college co-worker. This should be a good trip, since I’m planning to drop in on two friends, and meet my first blogger IN THE FLESH. Kathy from The Cake Eater Chronicles is a fellow ISU grad who read my articles from the Big 12 tournament & gave me a "shout-out" at the Llama Butchers back in March. I’m meeting her & the hubby at their favorite neighborhood diner for breakfast tomorrow. (Sorry ALa, you’re not the first blogger I’m going to meet, but you’ll always be my BLOGMOMMA, if that’s any consolation).

I was just wondering if anyone else out there was feeling the effects of "debate fatigue" yet. It’s been almost five freakin’ years since the Florida election recount, and the members of the "BusHitler" crowd still rabidly believe that the 2000 election was stolen. I would love to have a debate on the merits of our foreign policy, but every opportunity for debate winds up back in the swamps of Florida again. The rhetoric from the left has become toxic: if you need a refresher course on "how to slime your opponent" you need look no further than the emails Michelle Malkin’s gotten over the whole Sheehan controversy. One of her hatemailers even went so far as to send profane death threats to her using their work computer (an employment law firm, if you can imagine that). His employers weren’t too happy about having their firm’s name publicized in that manner, so he was asked to "not let the door hit him in the ass on the way out". I even witnessed a subgenius called "ghandi" in the comments section over at Protein Wisdom complain about all the "JEWS" who disagreed with his assessments of foreign policy. Another example of halfwittery would be the comments section at Brian Maloney’s Radio Equalizer blog – some people think that the Air America embezzlement scandal will just go away if they belittle Mr. Maloney.

Reading this swill makes me realize that a guy like "Paul" here at the House of Sage is the left’s equivalent of Winston Churchill. Here’s to you, Paul; even if I think you’re an idiot, I never feel nervous about coming home to find you naked in my front room holding a chainsaw.

My question for everyone here is this: Where do you draw the line regarding the limits of civil debate. Do you drop the subject even though you’re abso-freakin’-lutely sure you’re right? I’m talking metaphysical certainty here, like someone arguing over the date of your birthday. Do you value civility at the expense of an Ayn Rand-style "brutal truth"?

I find myself often tempted to "feed the trolls" on the internet. Maybe it’s my engineering background, where I often have to explain to "civilians" why their ideas are wrong and dangerous – or maybe I’m just an argumentative a-hole who can’t stand to miss out on the last word. You be the judge.

I hate to toss a grenade & boogie out, but I’m going to be on the road & far from the ‘net this weekend. Discuss this one amongst yourselves (or just flame me in creative ways – may I suggest haiku? The haiku flame wars on the Ace of Spades HQ are my favorite smackfests on the internet).
-Russ from Winterset, House of Sage Contributer

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