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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 10,618

About Me

I'm always on the lookout to connect with like-minded people, learn new things and debate the issues. I enjoy indoor gardening, traveling, going to the theater, reading and cooking. My great grandmother instilled in me a love for democratic politics. She lived through the great depression and talked about how essential FDR was in rescuing our country from the brink. My pronouns are he and his; I use they, them and their in posts when I refer to others when I do not know their gender.

Journal Archives

Please stop using Latin to criticize posts - a modest proposal

Saying ad hominem is so 2002. Can we start criticizing people en francais instead?

In addition to mixing things up, it will class up the joint.

Plus we can drop in French phrases in our posts randomly, n'est-ce pas. Everyone gets a pass on using proper French grammar or since that's a pain in le derrière anyway.

It will make us sound like Ms. Piggy, and who can turn away from her irresistible allure?

Certainly not moi.

So instead of saying I've perpetrated the transgression of ad hominem-ism, can people just say something like:

Mon dieu! Vous message est merde like un pungent fromage.

Merci and happy Friday!

Chemical weapons and averting our gaze

After Obama's speech, I watched the videos that showed the aftermath of chemical weapons attack. I hadn't watched them prior.

They show men, women and children writhing on the floor and the effects of what being the victim of chemical weapons looks like. Some were moving their limbs uncontrollably. Others were frothing at the mouth. All exhibited a perverse rictus of agony that they were unable to escape. Many were dead or nearly so.

I have never seen anything like it. Part of me wishes I could erase the images from my memory.

I was among the people who called my rep and senators to ask them to vote no on any resolution to attack Syria. I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do. I feel like I expressed a virtual fuck you to the victims. I was engaging in the kind of binary black/white thinking that I despised in the Bush admin. That I am trying to make myself not believe that chemical weapons are in a class of their own. Will I be complicit in the next gassing of whichever group becomes the brunt of these types of weapons again?

There are far more threads on DU about outrage at president Obama than at Assad.
I'm not sure what to make of it.

There's wisdom in the quote (which I am badly paraphrasing) that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing.

I don't know what the answer is. I only wish I had that wisdom.

But I do know this - if we settle for allowing Assad to simply say "Sorry! Mea culpa. I promise to not do that again," then aren't we just averting out gaze to focus on something that's easier to see?

Do we need to have an answer to the question of how many people is it acceptable to subject to chemical weapons? When will it be time to act? Is there ever a time to act unilaterally?

I hope diplomacy works since that is the direction we're headed. But the complexity of the issue does not change. Reducing our reactions to sound bites accomplishes nothing and debases us all.
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