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Opposing Viewpoints

Posted Friday, January 14, 2011, at 4:58 PM

Opposing viewpoints are an interesting topic. Two people who agree on almost anything can completely disagree on one issue and their debates can get so heated that it can cause a rift in a otherwise normal friendship. Typically, though, the respect remains.

Respect is something we have lost over time as we have become so entrenched in what we believe that we think it absolutely impossible to believe in anything else.

Recently I posted a blog where, even though I wanted to stay away from finger pointing, I finger pointed none-the-less. My comments caused quite the firestorm. I would like to think that it was mostly from misunderstandings about what I had actually said. Some posters took my statements about four particular conservative politicos and talking heads to mean that I was going after all conservatives. This was not the case. I offended some with my statement and for that I apologize, but I do stand by my original statement that those four in particular have been and are guilty of using extremely vitriolic and eliminationist rhetoric.

Are they the only ones? Hardly, there are people of all faiths and all political ideologies that use this particular extreme rhetoric and it is those that I believe to be the most guilty in causing the deepening gulf between the opposing viewpoints.

The reason I focused on these particular four is because for them their rhetoric is nothing new and they often seem surprised and confused when people react angrily to their words. I also knew that these particular four would play the victims card so fast it would make your head spin. I had thought about including Keith Olbermann as well because he has the same type of rhetoric representing his side of the issues. A funny thing happened he immediately came out and apologized for his comments and promised to do better in the future. Whether he can muster this remains to be seen.

One key point I would like to address about the comments section of that particular blog was the absolute divide in blaming me for going after conservatives but not after liberals by posters who have never gone after a conservative but continually go after liberal posters, bloggers, politicos (whether those people are actually liberal or not), and talking heads.

Less than an hour and a half after I had posted my blog, the posts were already flying declaring the assassin as a liberal or a "leftist" based on one person's Twitter account.

I was personally called: ideologue, hater, disgusting. There were demands that I pull that particular blog, pull all of my blogs, calls were going to made to the paper, people were going to pull their advertising. What is most revealing about all of this is that many of these posters who were saying that I was doing exactly that which I was railing against were doing the exact same thing.

Posters had not problems, apparently, with painting the assassin as a liberal or "leftist" or blaming liberals for the act itself, but they just lost it when I went after four conservative public figures. I never once assumed this guy to be liberal or conservative. I also never solely blamed conservatives for what happened in Arizona. That was completely lost on some.

I find it reprehensible for anyone, defending their words or actions, to use the term "blood libel". If you feel comfortable defending someone who has used that term than go for it.

If you are going to decry my calling out conservatives but not liberals (though I have and will continue to do so) for their vitriol (in other words if you want me to clean my porch before cleaning another's) then it is not the best idea to do the exact same thing (just the opposite way). I know this statement will be completely lost on those that it is actually directed, but the finer point is do not criticize others for doing something that you yourself are guilty of.

Even though my first amendment rights were never actually challenged nor is anyone's who posts on this site, it was eye popping to me that some of the very same posters that not a couple of months ago were decrying that the website was somehow violating a person's freedom of speech by removing one of their comments for violating the terms of service were now not only calling for me to remove my blog but calling for the Gazette to pull it for me.

I already know the reaction that this blog will invoke; I will be called just about every name in the book, told that I am being hypocritical, that I am "driven by hate, and hate alone". I expect it and I understand it. I do not like it but I understand that until or political and talking head leaders change their rhetoric and start toning it down it really is not going to change that much on the local level.

Here's to hoping anyways.

I feel that it is within my best interests not to respond to any posts on this particular blog. These are simply my thoughts. If you want to rant or get your feelings out feel free to do so.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Michael, I am sorry you seem to have missed the point, once again. Like so many people, from both sides of the Isle, not only respect is gone, but so too consideration.

As, so often happens, and you just seem to have re-fallen into that trap, they spend ten words espousing a simple apology, and then, rather than let the rabid dog die, author another two thousand (+ - a thousand) explaining to the idiots, just apologized to, why the apology is only a means to an end, and that being how dumb the opposition is, to even think that they actually meant the apology, because they being apologized to are far worse than anything the author feels self has stated.

IMO, you were way overboard in your last offering, but refrained from entering the foray, as tempers seemed to be way beyond rational, again, both sides, including Host.

As you are not going to respond, I will cease and desist, at this point, but for one thing: (bad similitude): when the pot calls the kettle black, and they both are, who is the rightest, and who is the wrongest?? Both be, says me, but that is just how I see it.

I believe it was Abe Lincoln, who said that the softest spoken person in the room is always thought to be the smartest, and when that person does speak, everyone leans toward him/her, not wishing to miss a word. Speak softly, and only as absolutely needed to maintain steerage-way.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 8:22 PM

"I was personally called: ideologue, hater, disgusting."

You'll note that I called you none of these things.

I simply challenged you to back up your assertions, or retract them.

....and I'm still waiting.

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Sat, Jan 15, 2011, at 3:06 AM

owen, you will be waiting for a very long, long time. It is very easy for Michael to point out the hypocrisy of others but cannot stand to have his own pointed out to him.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Sat, Jan 15, 2011, at 10:19 AM

Six days.

At LEAST 21,585 news articles.

....and still you are unable to provide even ONE piece of evidence that the shooter was even EXPOSED TO, much less influenced by, even ONE of your "Four Horsemen of the Hater-calypse" - Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and O'Reilly.

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Sat, Jan 15, 2011, at 7:40 PM

QUOTE: "The reason I focused on these particular four is because for them their rhetoric is nothing new and they often seem surprised and confused when people react angrily to their words. I also knew that these particular four would play the victims card so fast it would make your head spin."

PLAY THE VICTIM CARD? Oh, Mike, still pointing fingers, I see.

Somehow, despite being part of it, you managed to miss the absolute storm of blame thrown at that "particular four."

And you seriously think that their SELF DEFENSE is "playing the victim card?"

You are a micro-example of one major problem in our media, the attempt to create truth instead of reporting truth.

Another "F" column, Mike.

-- Posted by MrsSmith on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 11:03 AM

None of the four individuals mentioned in Michaels previous article have been implicated as a cause for the shooting spree in Tucson. However, there have been incidents where there are connections to Glenn Becks influence in foiled assassination attempts and documented threats to Congressmen. Maybe next time we won't be as successful in stopping the attempts.

Let me put it this way -- if a certain school bus manufacturer had a reputation for causing bus drivers to lose control under normal operating conditions -- would you want your child to ride in an identical model bus to the next out of town ball game?

-July 17: Devoted Beck fan Byron Williams, who saw the right-wing talker as a school teacher on TV," keyed into Beck's dark conspiracies about the ACLU and Tides Foundation and set off to assassinate staffers at both left-leaning organizations in order to spark a political revolution. (Police arrested Williams before he was able to unleash his shooting spree.)


-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 12:31 PM


media matters

I wonder what the real story was.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 1:24 PM

doodle bug

Have you forgotten about Charlie Wilson, the man that was convicted of threatening Senator Patty Murray from Washington State?

Here is a refresher link for you - warning - language may be offensive to some viewers!!


-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 3:36 PM

What's next Geezer, an article linking Jodi Foster to the Reagan assassination attempt? People are responsible for their actions in my opinion, to try to shift blame to people who may have "influenced" is disingenuous. Unless any of these articles have proof that someone else forced someone to act criminally, you're just pepetuation the negativity and incivility that the President complained of.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 4:20 PM

SWNebr Transplant

I think I follow your line of logic.

So the people that sell alcohol to folks already drunk aren't at all responsible for the resulting car accident. Or the doctor that performs an abortion can not be held accountable.

I am glad you clarified that for me.

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 4:41 PM

Geezer, that's not quite correct in this particular instance.

I think Mr. Hendrick's position might be more clearly stated as:

"The people that sell alcohol to people OTHER than the drunk driver ARE responsible for the resulting car accident."

9 days, 33,501 articles. Still not even ONE direct link between those Mr. Hendricks indicted and the shooter.

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 5:07 PM

Owen McPhillips

I am not trying to justify Michaels position in his article - I will let him do that.

I am merely trying to show that there are many instances when the implied action or threats made by media personalities could possibly be construed as an endorsement of sorts for someone to actually commit a violent crime themselves.

I hope none of comments were found offensive, that was not my intent.

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 5:52 PM

ochosinco - good discussion, Thanks.

I understand where you are coming from with Michaels article.

I also understand that people can be manipulated into thinking something is true, whether or not the facts are used to establish the argument is irrelevant to a lot people - especially those people that have formed their opinions based on hearsay, conspiracy theories, and such.

A good example was the denial of many school districts to allow their students to watch President Obama's first address to the students of our country on education. All I heard on the media at the time was Obama was trying to indoctrinate our students and many of the same media people were the ones pushing that belief. Although I can't personally remember another time in mine, my children, or grand children's life where students were denied the opportunity to listen to the President of the United States involving education goals and how education could benefit them.

So, here we have a situation exactly like you explain in your last paragraph. The party making the accusation could not back it up with facts yet they still managed to persuade some of the population into believing it was true. Do you think that same scenario could play out with the violent rhetoric?

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 9:30 PM

"So the people that sell alcohol to folks already drunk aren't at all responsible for the resulting car accident. Or the doctor that performs an abortion can not be held accountable."

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 4:41 PM

Actually Geezer, that is right. If they were already drunk, the accident WOULD be the responsibility of the drinker, not the bartender. And the doctor? Accountable to whom? The IRS for his bill? The last I knew abortions are not illegal. Or are you supporting those lunatics that kill abortion doctors? See how silly statements are a straw man argument?

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 10:45 PM


I do believe there were other Presidents that did the same thing - only limited by available technology. In fact George W. Bush was at a school when he received the word about the planes hitting the twin towers. A photo-op with children at Emma Booker Elementary School--promoting his proposed education bill. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/11/01] After spending about 20 minutes with the children, Bush was scheduled to give a short press conference at about 9:30. [White House, 9/7/01, Federal News Service, 9/10/01]


So you think the paranoia came about naturally and had nothing to do with the negative messages being put out in the media at the time? I don't know if I buy that argument. I tend to believe the messages themselves were used to create the paranoia.

We all have our own opinions.

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 11:11 PM

Sir Didymous

Selling alcohol to an intoxicated person is criminal, because the seller sees that the person is intoxicated, at the time of the selling.


In modern times, states have enacted "dram shop statutes" that changed this rule. Under these statutes, a person or company that is in the business of selling alcohol can be held liable for injuries caused by the intoxicated patron--adults or minors. This is one reason that bartenders will stop serving customers who are visibly drunk. But, these statutes do not generally apply to social hosts who serve alcohol out of kindness or hospitality. But, at least one court has concluded that a social host can be liable if he recklessly encourages a guest to continue when it is obvious that the guest was drunk.


As far as the abortion issue, I think similar to your analysis. However, that does not seem to satisfy some in our society which sometimes leads to threats of violence by those opposing our view.

You guys have worn me out and it's time to hit the sack. Thanks for your opinions, I will take them into consideration.

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 17, 2011, at 11:44 PM

The results of irresponsible liberal speech:


Palin Targeted in Violence-Tinged Tweets Following Arizona Massacre

Critics of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have turned to Twitter to post hate "tweets" suggesting that "she should be shot" and "assassinated."

A four-minute video montage of the the "tweets" -- apparently sent after Saturday's massacre in Arizona that left six people dead and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- was posted to YouTube on Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/...


Palin has absolutely no credible link to this horror. None. Yet the immediate ASSumption of those like Mike has led to an enormous increase in death threats against Sarah...AND HER KIDS.

Only an idiot ASSumes that violence is RIGHT-wing.

-- Posted by MrsSmith on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 8:49 AM


You raise some points that I feel don't support your argument. If a person is already drunk then no someone is not to sell them more alcohol. However being drunk is an observable state, sometimes it is difficult to decide who is unstable by looking at them briefly.

However, your drunk analogy raises another issue. How would the person who sold the already drunk person be more responsible for a car accident than at least two other parties? What of the person who sells the alcohol to the sober person who then when drunk buys more? Are they not just as guilty in your argument? Perhaps more importantly, what of the responsibility of the person who is drunk?

I agree, doctors who perform abortions should not be held accountable, whatever that means. I agree with Sir Didymus, since there is no illegal act, how can one be held accountable. I would argue they are only accountable to provide safe, appropriate medical care to thier patients as is governed by the law and their morals.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 9:00 AM

MrsSmith - Good Morning

You are absolutely correct about Mrs. Palin. A lot of folks have had eat some crow over their statements surrounding that issue.

On the other hand, it is hard to rationalize a credible argument for justifying violent rehtoric where connections have been made - as in the case of Glenn Beck. The rehtoric loses it's credibility once the proof of the connection has been established. The only argument remaining to justify the actions is the right to free speech, regardless of the potential outcome.

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 9:33 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but I, for one, am (truly) enjoying the debate between Geezer and Mr McPhillips and others. I believe both sides are providing valid, debateable arguments.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 9:38 AM


I re-read the links you posted, but they do little to sway me. I still contend that individuals are responsible for their actions, and these attempts to shift blame help no one.

Byron Williams said he prayed for someone like Beck who agreed with him. Maybe Beck agrees with his, in my opinion, crazy views, but I don't see how the argument can be made that Beck is responsible for his actions as the Left does. Williams is responsible. Again, unless there is evidence that Beck told someone specifically to engage in criminal activitiy, he is not culpable. What specifically did Beck say that encouraged violence?

This is a problem I have with the Leftists, they appear to me to always be looking for someone else to fix thier problems, or for someone to blame for thier problems instead of taking personal responsibility. The Righties also wrong, in my opinion, for their hypocrisy when refusing to allow people the ability to succeed or fail.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 10:05 AM

doodle bug,

It's amazing how people can have a civil disagreement when people aren't accusatory, playing a victim, or refusing to answer questions isn't it?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 10:07 AM

SWNebr Transplant - Good Morning

I would think that in the case of the person who sells the drunk more alcohol - the argument could be made that the drunken persons actions and thoughts were already impaired due to his condition and any further degradation of that condition by another party could be seen as worsening the already apparent problem. I agree with you on the fact that sometimes it is hard to differentiate between someone who is impaired or not. But if you fall down three times trying to get to the counter at the bar, you shouldn't be served any further alcohol. If you are, then someone may be held accountable for worsening an already impaired condition.

The person who is drunk does stand accountable for his actions; along with those that have contributed to those actions if it was known the persons reasoning was already severely impaired at the time the choice was made to allow further alcohol consumption.

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 10:47 AM


If a person is so drunk that they fall down three times, so the bartender, rightfully so, denies to serve them leaves without any more alcohol, is the bartender at the earlier bar now responsible for the accident?

What if a person is very drunk but the server doesn't know they are drunk and gives them more alcohol? Is responsibility tied to previous knowledge?

You have still not shown how anyone incited anyone else to violence in my opinion.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 11:11 AM


I agree with the premise of your excellent worded statement concerning Bush on his reaction to the events of 9/11. That was a shocker for everyone; he is only human like the rest of us.

I don't agree with your analysis of President Obamas speech. The President submitted the full transcript of his speech for review prior to giving it, to relieve any concerns of citizens and school boards across the country. If the transcript didn't contain any indoctrinating language then why were some of our children denied the opportunity to hear the President of the United States speak concerning their education -- regardless of the way it was delivered? Are we projecting a preconceived bias onto our children by doing this?

-- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 1:52 PM

When the Republican Chairman of District 20 in Arizona resigns in fear after the tradgedy in Tucson along with several other leaders in the party there, it seems to me that speaks volumes as to the state of political discourse in that area. The chairman stated he loved the Republican Party, but would not take a bullet for it. That kind of fear only encourages lunatics of any persuasion to act out. The political discourse has become too negative and hostile in our country. Of that, both extremes are guilty.

We work best in this country, not from the right nor from the left, but from the center, where differing opinions are respected and considered and acceptable solutions are developed.

And by the way, he resigned in fear of the tea party members of the Republican party.

-- Posted by ontheleftcoast on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 2:29 PM

And by the way, he resigned in fear of the tea party members of the Republican party.

-- Posted by ontheleftcoast on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 2:29 PM


-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 4:44 PM

Never mind. I see that you are correct.


-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Tue, Jan 18, 2011, at 4:50 PM

ochosinco - Good Morning

Found a link for you to take a look at.


-- Posted by Geezer on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 6:07 AM

I've been thinking, which can be dangerous, I know. I don't think the Gazette should pull Mike's blog. However I think it would be better if people voted with their feet, so to speak.

I propose that all of us who are disgusted with Mike's methods and refusal to face reality should cease reading and responding to his blogs. This is fitting in my opinion because he has shown himself to be unrealiable for conversation and personally I'm getting tired of his tripe. I propose to let him rail away into the dark night and to stop giving him the attention he desires. Sort of like how you treat an unruly child who is no danger. I'll be honest, the final straw for me was his previous blog and his continued refusal to face reality. There are bloggers on this site who are much more deserving of attention than Mike is in my opinion. I'll try to support them.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 4:03 PM

I agree SW. This sounds like a good idea. It should prove interesting how often mike will go to other blogs to attack his previous critics. Who knows? It could be good for him, his previous blog seemed to show some increasing irrational behavior, even for mike.

To echo ochocinco, it does seem more more civilized on this blog that mike isn't posting on. hopefully it will carry over.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 4:14 PM

I'll go along with sw and didymus. Whew!!! I was fearful that there was something wrong with me in thinking that Michael was becoming more irrational.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 4:43 PM


this one is also Michael's blog but he indicated that he wouldn't be responding to anything.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 4:45 PM

I have be watching this blog and the Politcal Assination blog and not responding because of the old saying "sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me"


-- Posted by boojum666 on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 5:53 PM

I was going to correct my spelling but Assination seem more appropriate than Assassination

-- Posted by boojum666 on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 6:48 PM

"Challenging him accomplishes nothing, because he has indoctrinated himself so deeply in his political viewpoint, he cannot tolerate any dissent, nor will he ever withdraw a statement, no matter how far out in left field (pun intended) he gets. Sometimes it seems like a total waste of effort to deal with such a bull-headed personality, so.."

Who says he's the intended audience of any challenges?

Sometimes, the point is not to change someone's viewpoint, but rather to illustrate its absurdity for all to see.

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 7:10 PM

So much for the newfound civility....


-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 12:21 AM

I see a few of you are starting to wake up, congratulations!

-- Posted by Keda46 on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 1:31 AM

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Wed, Jan 19, 2011, at 7:10 PM

agreed, but I will still try SW's suggestion. The failure to respond to Michaels blogs, though, may give him exactly what he desires - posting his dogma with no challenge from conservatives.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 10:17 AM

doodle, et al.

Because Mike said he wasn't responding to this blog is why I posted it here. I see no reason to challenge his dogma, it is so extreme and ridiculous it's existence challenges itself. No need to refute the absurd because it is apparent to rational people that it is absurd. To continue to challenge it gives attention and credibility to statements which deserve neither.

I agree in some ways with you ocho, and for me it was his last blog which he refused to bow to reality that has led me to my decision.

I would love if non-dogmatic and rational people would start blogs that fostered real discussion, but I don't see that happening.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 12:33 PM

This particular thread aptly illustrates that rational folks can have a very good discussion, with completely different viewpoints, without stooping to name-calling, inuendo and vindictiveness.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 1:05 PM

Over a year ago I posted some info on Sun Spots and the lack of them might cause a mini-iceage from 2010 to 2030. The Mauder minimium was my analog. Some on this site thought I was a nut.

At anyrate the Sun is what warms and cools our planet. A fact that has been forgotten in all climate talk I have ever heard. Last winter was cold and this winter is cold.

Just want to reintroduce that piece of information to a new Audience.


-- Posted by wallismarsh on Thu, Jan 20, 2011, at 2:04 PM

I guess I saw the reply to this post.


-- Posted by wallismarsh on Fri, Jan 21, 2011, at 5:33 AM

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