Patterico's Pontifications


Debbie Does Lunacy – And Just About Nothing Else

Filed under: Morons,Scum — Xrlq @ 6:12 pm

[Posted by Xrlq]

Anyone who dislikes Ann Coulter should really, really, really hate Debbie Schlussel. While Coulter jerks people’s chains by makes outrageous statements with a gleam in her eye, Schlussel just spews her hate with no trace of humor at all. Case in point: while every American with an ounce of decency celebrated Jill Carroll’s release, Schlussel pulled a Fred Phelps and piled on with a series of increasingly shrill posts implying Carroll was a terrorist sympathizer. When called on her tone-deaf behavior, Schlussel turns around and plays the victim, arguing that she owes Carroll no apologies for her smears, yet for some oddball reason every blogger who got a minor detail about Schlussel’s propaganda wrong must owe her an apology. A brief summary of Schlussel’s, smears, innuendos, guilt-by-association-with-an-association-with-an-association arguments and outright lies is here.

Schlussel played the victim card again when Ace and Jeff offered her a chance to debate Rusty Shackleford, whom she also had the chutzpah to call a “nut” even after leaving a series of deranged comments on his blog. Why am I not surprised?

UPDATE: Beth and Beth have more, as do Misha, Florida Cracker and Right Wing Nation. The first Beth offers a brilliant suggestion: Carnival of Debbie Schlussel is a Cupid Stunt. Meanwhile, Don Surber, who is far more charitable than I, asks his readers to pray for D.S. rather than at her.


Wild Moonbat Captured With a Single Screenshot

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 1:13 pm

[Captured by guest-blogger See-Dubya]

Okie on the Lam has done us a valuable service today. You probably heard about the loonball in Austin–but I repeat myself–who advocated a ninety percent reduction in the world’s population in order to save The Planet from Mankind. (If you haven’t, there are links on the Okie’s site.) The original reports about what said loonball, Professor Eric Pianka, actually said have come under attack. The Okie, however, has found a blog post from a sympathetic eyewitness who not only recorded what Pianka said, but voiced her agreement.

The blog was since taken down, but the Okie found the Google cache of the site and, to prevent more Orwellian airbrushing of history, took a screenshot.

You know, it’s kind of scary. There’s a tradeoff here; if you say anything too stupid these days the odds of having to answer for it are higher than ever. Paradoxically the same technology that gives everybody a voice also holds those voices to account. On balance it may be a good thing; it makes it harder to lie and dissemble and we may get better information. But it also chills the speech of those who can look down the road and foresee consequences, while the ignorant, rash, and foolish are undeterred. The result is that smart people are gradually self-censoring, but stupidity proliferates.

Self-censorship isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think mean and stupid things all the time that I never even think about telling anyone, much less putting on the internet. I do this both because I’m ashamed of those things but also because I know there will likely be consequences if I say them or post them. I think that discretion ultimately improves the quality and usefulness of what I write–and what most people write. Nobody wants to wade through unfiltered neural firings and petty rages transcribed for their own sake.

But at the same time, every time I hit that post button or open my fool mouth, I worry that I might actually be saying something not just wrong and/or dumb, but career-endingly dim or offensive that will come back and bite me some day and that I simply will never be able to live down. My family’s welfare could suffer because of something I post here on a blog under a tissue of anonymity, or an e-mail to a colleague, or a remark offhand in a meeting that someone with a blog might transcribe. I worry, but I still write things and say things. And so do other people who are smart enough to know the risks. Go figure.

Self-censorship, aka discretion, is a double edged sword. As is candor.

There is, however, a useful side effect even to the proliferation of candid, unfiltered stupidity: in cases like the one Okie caught, it enables us to recognize fools, liars, and knaves where before we had to rely on guesswork and biased sources.

Metaphor Alert

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 11:36 am

Taking aim at the other foot…

[discharged by See-Dubya]

Endings and Beginnings

Filed under: Real Life — Patterico @ 7:13 am

We sold our condo. The closing is tomorrow. We stopped by it on Saturday night, on the way back from Napa, to say goodbye for the last time.

When our children were born, that was where we brought them home. It’s where they learned to talk. Where they smiled their first smiles.

“This is where you took your first steps,” I told Lauren. “There was a chair here that you liked to hold onto. I stood you up three or four steps away, and you walked right to it!”

It was late — already well past the kids’ bedtime — and we didn’t have time to relive all the memories. But even if we’d had all day, there wouldn’t have been time to relive them all. There were too many.

When we first moved in, there was no Matthew and no Lauren, just a newly married couple and a cat named Aslan that we have since lost to kidney failure. (Christi used to give him IV fluids in the same chair Lauren walked to.) After we got the keys, but before we moved in, we went there late at night. We let the cat run around while Christi and I sat on the floor, lit a candle, and talked about what we would do in our new place.

On our last night there, our family sat in the same place, and talked for a few minutes about everything that had changed since that night.

“We had some good times here,” I said to Christi.

And, with luck, there will be more. Just not there.

A line from a song by the Gin Blossoms sums it up:

The past is gone
But something might be found to take its place

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