Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Marathons, Gay Marriage and Peace...

It's been a busy week around the Koda household over the past few days... Peace continues between the wife and I... I am no longer a bastard, but may have to do something about some of the circumstances leading up to the problem last week. Another reason on my list of why organized religion is a monster that should be destroyed.

Saturday saw the day of the Ogden Marathon. I have been registered for this since October last year, and pretty nervous about it lately due to some injuries. It could not have gone better. For those of you that are interested there is a race report here and hopefully some pictures will get added to it later in the week.

There has also been a fair amount of debate on another blog I read about various issues, including the topic of Gay Marriage in California. If you read this blog regularly, you probably already know that I'm pro gay marriage for a number of reasons, my own preference for the gentler sex, notwithstanding... And if you aren't a regular reader, now you know! I've been chiming in occasionally, generally just trying to offer my take on the situation as opposed to trying to argue or beat anyone down. I was beat down on one issue, and realized something in the process...

The problem with people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other political commentators from both sides, is a lack of original thought. All their content is geared towards why the other side is something to be feared. The person who beat me down didn't have anything to offer on his own, he just liked to point out everywhere I could possibly have made a mistake. I'm not above apologizing when I'm wrong, but unfortunately he then smelt blood in the water. I'll spare you the rest of the story though...


  1. I feel I had plenty to offer on that thread, Koda. The author made a pretty bold, discriminatory point. He failed to offer verifiable or otherwise convincing evidence of that point and I simply called him on it.

    You then repeated an absolute lie about somebody, which I called you on.

    My point in taking you to task so aggressively was that in mocking your political rivals for lack of independent thought, you provided a perfect example of it yourself.

    You really should link to that thread, though, so your readers can see what we're talking about.

  2. I'll be completely honest here... I doubt any of my readers would even bother looking at it, nor care.

    Just in case I'm wrong though, if any of my tremendous readers feel like reading a long and drawn out discussion about Rush Limbaugh's reliance on an audience of sheep, please let me know, and I'll post the link. I suspect most of you would likely agree with the premise though. Ah, what the hell - It's here if you want a laugh!!

    I've had a couple of discussions with people of opposing view points over the years and have found that they go two ways, either they are very respectful and both parties involved have walked away with a better understanding of the other. The other way they go is that they become very confrontational and no one learns anything. I'll let people decide for themselves after reading your comments as to which boat you're in.

    I was wrong with Beck calling Obama the anti-christ. I apologized, corrected it, and shared my reasons for originally thinking that, all of which I feel are pretty valid. Absolute lie seems a harsh term for what was obviously a misunderstanding on my part and was corrected as soon as it was pointed out to me.

    Of course you're the kind of person that would spend an entire blog mocking Obama for misstating the number of states in the union, when it was obviously just a dumb mistake. So absolute lie is probably appropriate in your mind.

    As to the remainder of the topic in question... Politics and religion seem to rely very heavily on opinions, more than fact. Frank presented his opinion on a topic, as did many others. As far as I can see, the only thing wrong with Franks opinion, is that it didn't agree with yours. Just a different opinion formed by different experiences and impressions from life. Perhaps if you had offered your opinion, and tried to understand Franks, mine, or anyone elses, all of us would have benefitted.

    Contrary to what you may think, Like Frank I consider myself more of a conservative, than a liberal, although for some reason, people keep getting the impression that I'm a liberal?!? I have however found that liberals are far more willing to discuss stuff and work through problems. I guess I should just consider myself a right-wing liberal, since I believe in freedom and small government, but I don't want to nuke everyone who doesn't agree with me.

  3. Ooops - 1 quick correction to the comment above...

    I didn't mean to imply that liberals or democrats don't believe in freedom...

    They do, sometimes different people just approach problems differently.

    My humblest apologies for that.

  4. Koda, about an hour after Beck asked the Obama question, Media Matters flooded the Web with "Beck calls Obama Anti-Christ" posts. This, as you rightly conceded, was an absolute lie. You, for whatever reason, echoed their claim. Note that I didn't call you a liar. I said you repeated something (albeit innocently) that was and is an absolute lie. Had you done any- i repeat, ANY research into the situation, you would have known this.

    Look, Frank posed an opinion. I'm perfectly willing to discuss opposing points of view, but only if the arguer can even remotely back up his claim. Frank did not. I defy you to point out any comment I made on that thread that was disrespectful. Confrontational? Maybe. Honest? More likely.

    About my Obama blog post- read it again. It was a humor piece designed to make a point that the Right side of the New Media has a unique sense of humor. Either you completely misunderstood it, or your having trouble digging something up to throw at me.

    For the record, I never argued that you or Frank weren't conservative. I could care less. If you want my analysis, Frank seems to be teetering. I haven't read enough of you to have a feel for where you stand politically, so I couldn't make an informed statement. Which is why I didn't.

    I'm pretty open-minded, but I cannot tolerate misquotes or incorrect claims. Get past those and you'll find I'm pretty reasonable. After all, I've been on both sides. I may have mentioned it over at Frank's place, but I was once a flaming liberal. I was probably campaigning for Clinton when you were still a Limbaugh ditto head.

  5. I think I've mentioned this before, but I got the idea that Beck had referred to Obama as the Anti-Christ, not from the liberal media, but from Glenn's daily email and from a colleage that avidly watches Glenn. In the absence of that newsletter and no other evidence that he had said this. I conceded that I was most likely wrong. As I have said numerous times in regards to this, had Glenn not brought the topic up, even in jest, it wouldn't be an issue. In addition the fact that I could readily believe that Mr Beck could have said this, does say something about how he deals with people whom he doesn't (in my opinion)like. I would concede that I was misinformed, and have apologized for such. I never conceded it was an absolute lie.

    I was wrong because I have no evidence either for or against a statement which I made. I was also wrong because I attacked someone because of something I thought he said.

    Unfortunately this lumps me in with the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, you and pretty much everyone going after Rev. Wright as well.

    It's unfortunately an attitude which is doing more harm than good in the world, and I hang my head in shame for allowing myself to fall into the mud.

  6. Unfortunately this lumps me in with the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, you and pretty much everyone going after Rev. Wright as well.

    Interesting that when you rattle off this list of supposedly horrible people that you don't include Rev. Wright. No, it's the people condemning Wright that you find abhorrent. I suppose that includes Obama now.

    Also interesting that you don't include Frank ("Rush Limbaugh Wants People To Be Stupid") Staheli. OR your pal Derek S., who does absolutely nothing but attack conservative viewpoints.

    Nope, just the conservative talkers. And you're wondering why people mistake you for a liberal?

  7. I never used the word 'horrible' or 'abhorrant'. I'm not wild about anyone on that list, but horrible and abhorrant are definitely not words I would use to describe them. I just don't agree with their tactics and regret that I used them as well.

    Personally I admire the intellect of each of those men, you included. I think you are very opinionated and passionate about what you believe. I favor a different approach to opposing anothers point of view, but I'm not saying either of us is right or wrong, just different.

    I should have included Obama in that list as well. I was very dissapointed when he turned on Rev. Wright and when he joined Hillary in "slinging mud". I would have hoped he was better than that. I admire someone that can stand on their own merits, which he seemed to do at the beginning of his campaign, and what attacted me to him initially.

    Rev. Wright is a very passionate man. While I am not familiar with everything he's said or written, the things he is currently taking heat over, I tend to agree with, controversial as they may be. That said though I think each statement should be taken on it's individual merits. He may have said things I wouldn't agree which, but I wouldn't dismiss everything he says just because I don't agree with part of it.

    I've never seen Frank get openly confrontational with anyone, at least not in a nasty way, or as you described it, attack them. He shares his opinion, corrects it when he learns something that gives him more understanding. He stands up for what he believes, but from what I have seen, always considers other points of view.

    The same would go for Derek S. He and I likely differ on many topics, but I have never seen him attack anyone for their opinions. Respectfully disagree, yes, offer an opposing opinion, yes, but never attack.

    Aside from pointing out where you feel my opinions are flawed, what exactly are you debating? I'd like to try and see your side of the argument. So far all I've seen are the things that you feel I am wrong about.

  8. Koda, note that I do not call yours, or anybodys, opinions flawed. I just feel that if you're going to take your opinion to a public forum to argue it, you should try to back it up. The line between posing an opinion and arguing a case can be very thin. With the very nature of the blog format, the blogger posts an opinion and invites others to comment on it. If an opinion is presented that lacks convincing backing, I ask the presenter to give me something to go on. That's what I did in that thread on Frank's blog. Then the Glenn Beck thing came up, and I felt I had to correct it before moving on.

    If you want to know my take on Frank's premise in that post, I simply disagree with him. I think Frank is questioning his conservatism and it seems like it's an emotional thing for him (as it was for me when I converted from liberalism). Different emotions are surfacing, including a bitterness toward conservative talk radio- Rush in particular.

    Just from your comments here and there that I've read, you seem to be doing some of that too. Like I mentioned in my previous comment, your comments betray a palpable bitterness (for lack of a better word) toward the conservative movement as a whole and conservatives in general. Now I could be wrong on that, but if you're asking my opinion, there you go.

    Don't let Derek fool you. He attacks- he just does it in a very subtle, eloquent way. I don't feel he's open in any way to differing political opinions. In his mind, liberals can do no wrong. And if they do, he's quick to defend them at any cost. Nearly every post on his blog is about how conservatives are wrong and he is right. He's condescending and holier-than-thou, albeit in a subtle, faux respectful manner.

  9. You know, I think when you take the whole unfortunate Obama/Beck incident out of the mix, we're probably mostly in agreement on most things.

    I think you're dead on with you assumption on my feelings towards conservatives... It has been pretty emotional for me.

    I think the turning point for me was a few years back, driving to work and hearing that the Republicans had won either the house or the senate, and so now we had a GOP house, senate and president. I was so filled with optimism for the econmony and everything, only to be severely let down (mostly because I had set high expectations i'd set myself). I have actually considered getting shirts made with the phrase.
    Republicans for Hillary - At least we'll know we're going to get screwed.

    I would classify myself as more of a libertarian than anything else, although after considering myself a die hard republican/conservative and then seeing what those who profess to be such have done. I don't ever want to get sucked into subscribing to a specific thought pattern again. While I'm definitely not there and still subject to a certain amount of closedmindedness, I would much rather seek out the truth.

    Politics seems to divide people, and the good principles and ideas seem to get lost in the middle. I think genuine, honest liberals, conservatives and others all have a lot to offer. Ultimately I think the motivations are the same, it's the methods and paths to get there that differ.

    I had my doubts if anything positive could have come from this discussion on the onset, but I think you've raised some valid points. Thank-you!

  10. I was similarly disappointed when the GOP-led government failed to do anything to improve our country. I became (and still am) soured to the Republican Party across the board. I've felt betrayed by the Bush Admin. on many issues. I have no fondness for or loyalty to the GOP.

    That said, I won't be running back to liberalism or the Democratic Party any time soon. I'll be voting for McCain because he is the lesser of two evils (between he and Obama). I don't agree with Hillary on a lot of issues (plus I can't stand her), but she is arguably the best candidate of the three. It's too bad the Dems have thrown her under the bus. In all honesty, Obama scares the daylights out of me.

  11. I tried reading that blog and I guess I have a hard time believing one could have any kind of menaningful discourse with people who take Limbaugh or Beck or any of those loud mouthed over-oppinionated hacks on either side seriously.

  12. Yeah, it almost seems as if people who follow them take an almost religious approach to things that they say. While I'll admit that they all have good things to say on occasion, and most, probably try to promote the idea of free thought, many times the followers seem to take the commentators word as gospel.

    I noticed a similar thing a few years ago when the Covey books were really popular. I think the intent of the book was to get people to organize their lives better and have greater control over them, but unfortunatley instead of people empowering themselves, they chose a path of always asking "What would Covey do?" I don't fault the commentators or the Covey for this, it just seems to be something that people pick up.

    It turns out D. Sirmize is actually a pretty decent guy - I think he just likes the take down. Not that there's anything wrong with that... It's something I've found I am unable to do, as my emotions get too involved.

  13. Thanks for the kind words, Koda. You're a decent guy yourself. I do like the take-down, though. I guess it's sort of a primal craving:) I'd much rather have seething liberals comment on my blog than agreeing conservatives (in reality, nobody comments on my blog), because I crave opposition. A lot of people take me the wrong way, though I can understand why.

    You make a good point about the sort of religious approach some people take to their favorite commentators. Rush Limbaugh is an easy target because of the callers that fawn over him. The same could be said, of course, about some of the Left's media icons Jon Stewart or Keith Olberman.

    Me, I just hate fads. If everybody likes something, I almost automatically hate it. When I came over from the dark side, all my new conservative pals were Rush dittoheads. He was, and is, a fad. Sure, he's got some great analytical skills, but I automatically blacklisted him. If he ever falls out of favor with the talk radio market, I may give him another chance.