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Friday, June 12, 2009

Politics Turned into Confusion

I’ve been away for a bit and I’m just a little bit upset about the anger in the comments here at Papamoka. I’m a pay it forward kind of guy and yes some of my posts have been extremely critical of the political party ideology on the right. And yet some of my post have agreed with the right on some issues. I’m one of those son’s of biscuit eaters stuck in the middle. I’m one of the folks that politicians have to convince to get elected to high office.

What I do know and have learned in this life is that not everyone thinks the same as me and I should not expect them to. We all grow up in different environments, we all became adults from far vast different experiences as a child or even as an adult. Our parents had strong influences on our political philosophy through all of our growing years to become self sufficient adults, nurturing the values that they grew up with and passing them on. Some of us hate them for what they put us through and others love them and thank them for the life they gave us. There is no political thought or judgment in that result. I fear that America is becoming a “Us vs. Them” society and that is not a good thing for anyone in either political party. Are we not all still American’s when it comes time to look at our flag? Are we not all still American's or is there some kind of war going on? I have no idea what political philosophy my neighbor backs but if his house was on fire I would be the first one running in to get him and his family out because he is my neighbor. That is what I'm talking about.

I’ve just gotten the chance to read many of the comments on this site and the anger really scared me in the words I read. I could actually feel the anger and spite and it was coming from both sides! Is that what we have become as a people? One side has to accept the other sides way of thinking or blast the torpedoes? And yet if you actually met one another in the market or in the mall in person you would probably be more civil and some of you would probably hug one another. I’m talking Republican and Democrat hugging. Life is love of your fellow man, it is far to short to waste your breath in anger over politics.

Both sides do our part as citizens to pay it forward, that is not a fact to dispute politically. Both sides of the political aisle love our country and do what is best for our nation. Somewhere in the middle is the ground we need to nurture, sow our seeds for the future, and make damn sure America sees another two hundred years of prosperity. Biting one another’s heads off over facts that can be tweaked one way or the other by either side is not the solution. Discussing and debating the middle ground is. Finding the solution that will work for now is. The process isn’t simple but it isn’t supposed to be! We live in a world that is bigger than life and every tick of the clock it changes and we must change with it. The ideology of today just like many decades before us will pass on and be changed to format the society that is America in the decades to come.

The middle ground is where we have one America and that my friends is how the system has worked since George Washington was President of these United States of America. He wasn’t a God, he was a farmer and a distiller of whiskey and at the time he too had his detractors in the Whiskey Rebellion.

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Blogger sue said...

Mornin PapaM! How are you sweetie?? Things OK?? Yes its been a heated couple days and we were running wild without you to tame us LOL! I'm glad to be a part of it tho, it was fun! BUT... You are so right, we as a country need to start talking to each other, we need to act like grown-ups and work together to better our world! You are the smart one, the one who brings the calm after the storm! Have a great weekend! xo

6:33 AM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

Hello PapaM! I hope things are going better! I totally agree with your pay-it-forward ideals, but to be clear the stones were hurled at me as a contributor. I simply reacted.

I'm not trying to say I'm innocent, but to be blunt I do not blog in the hope that I'll be attacked by ditto-heads. Yes, I'm the Left Coast progressive-liberal, which may generate some heat from the right, but why does it always have to burn me. I contribute to find positive exchanges with others like me, as well as open-minded Republicans and Independents. I'm not a masochist for God's sake.

Despite all my research and effort to be accurate (I was a journalist), I usually get called a liar, demented, crazy or worse. The abuse can be pretty bad, and often makes me question whether I want to continue blogging. I've even given up trying to debate their "facts," because when I try they simply dismiss my research and my sources. Sometimes it feels like the Twilight Zone. In the end their "facts," or "imagined perspective" as I like to call it, are usually inaccurate, and often not worth debating.

As you seem to suggest, I will try to be more civilized and polite to my fellow Americans. I know Machinist does his best. I usually react when somebody posts something contradicting my work that I know to be false based on my research. I also can't stand the inane GOP talking points. No matter, I'll try my best.

In the end, I think they're all probably fine people. I would be happy to pull them out of a burning building as you say. Do I want them voting, or would I want them teaching my kids social studies or civics? That would be no. Still, I'm sure they're fine Americans who I'm willing to respect as long as they don't harass me too much. (I also wish they would research topics using a variety of reputable sources.)

I can't pay-it-forward too well online, but if I could I would. Thanks for the nice pep talk and for your great blog PapaM. I hope things start to improve for you and your family. :) Michael

9:30 AM  
Blogger B.J. said...

I have never minced words, as you very well know, Mat.

I am offended by your post. You are, of course, right that we should work together. But, I didn’t expect the few of us liberals who came here and commented in full defense of your blog to be slapped on the hand for doing so.

I support every word of Michael Boh’s comment above, and I do hope you have thanked him for busting his ass so gallantly to keep your blog going in your trying times. I believe we few liberals who managed to get a few words in edgewise felt we were championing your blog, too.

You can read my current post AND comments for my own feeling about your comment zone.

Michael and Sue can tell you that I, at first, urged them not to take the bait from all the goading we were getting. But, when I see a blatant lie, I will try to inform the person believing it of the facts. If I wanted to make nice, I would go to a Tupperware party.

Best to you and your girls and granddaughter Hazel Marie.


11:14 AM  
Blogger B.J. said...

P.S. Have you considered moderating your comments? BJ

11:23 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Sue, hugs at ya honey and more or less a group hug for everyone. Don't be pissed at me BJ, I like you will call it like I see it

Michael, I thank ya bro for holding the fort while I'm trying to turn things around on the work front. And I would just like to say that you my friend posted some excellent articles that have some room for discussion. Way to go bro! You managed to make people ask questions and think.

I'll be back (Terminator).

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

Michael and BJ are right. All that's happened is that a couple of right-wing trolls have discovered this blog and settled in to robotically recite their standard talking points and spew insults at people. Understandably, this has annoyed the people they are targeting.

Nothing else has changed except that.

It's because of things like this that I use comment moderation. All it takes is one or two trolls with too much time on their hands to derail a comment thread and drive away people who actually have something worthwhile to say.

8:45 AM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

PapaM, I thought a lot this weekend and now I think BJ and Infidel have a good point. The "confusion" you mention is the fault of only one side, and it's not us.

Why? I visited a few right-wing blogs this weekend and it never occured to me that I should comment in the manner of our own recent contributors. I felt an obligation to be polite, and try to debate the facts. Simply put, it was their turf. I was a guest coming with an opposing viewpoint. They called me names, and insulted my positions, but I felt obliged to stay focused - because I wanted to make an impact. I kept it real, and left making a positive impression.

So, what did the experience teach me? It taught me that Infidel is right. They are "guests" with opposing viewpoints, and so they should go out of their way to focus only on the debate. They are not welcome to distract the debate by sinking it into a blur of distortion and disreputable factoids. When they do it, we should see it for what it is: an attempt to derail our own honest debate.

After reviewing our past "transcripts" it's clear they are trying to shut down real debate. They intrude with ditto-head talking points, often harassing their fellow bloggers using factless dead-end discussions, peppered with curse words and irrelevant questions designed to confuse the issue.

Eventually both sides begin to tire. Our side from a lack of real debate, and their side because we refuse to engage or respond in the way they hope. Looking back, they are a waste of our time and energy.

So, why do we bother with them if they offer no real debate? Why should we continue to allow them to talk past us? Why do put up with them pelting us with talking points, inane factioids and absurd questions?

Let's face it, they work hard to ruin what should be a good thing. I'm now convinced they simply want to disrupt our forums. It's clear they're not worth the time or the effort. PapaM, BJ is right, we're not guilty of creating any confusion. They are, and it's time we all just admit it.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Papa sorry about the "getting out of hand" thingy and more importantly that you and your family are doing well.
Hope you don't mind if I interject here a bit.
What I think people are concerned about now is the economy and I don't see anyone particularly "stimulated" about it's supposed "fix".
We elected someone to help fix the economy and the fear many have is it is not getting any better in fact it is getting worse and we are seeing a government spending obscene amounts of money without disregard, and we are not to dissent while we are tightening our belts and we are supposed to be okay with what is happening?
People are worried with good reason.
Our economy continues to tank and it seems like Obama is more concerned with Global Warming (aka Cap and Trade), expanding Government and making nice around the world.
The feeling is he is not listening or doesn't care what people's concerns are he is going to forge ahead to please his base regardless.
I know there are people who take criticism of Obama very personally but that's where it borders on a little eerie for me and others.
I think people are criticizing him early on because they are scared about our future.But at the same time I think too many people are giving him way too much credit and way too much power.
"IF' the economy turns around and we have a long way to go just to get back to where we left off then we are going to have massive tax increases to pay for all this big government, and have the pay back with interest added on top of that for all the borrowing that was done.
Is there a fire in the room now? No but something is smoldering big time and yes it isn't sitting right with many people.

I hope I didn't "offend" anyone by stating my concerns. I don't recall ever insulting anyone. All I have done was defend what I felt was either wrong or insulting to people who have an different pov .

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life is love of your fellow man, it is far to short to waste your breath in anger over politics.

Mankind is destined for destruction. We are a violent race, who can never get along and have been murdering each other since the beginning of time.

Global cooling will ensure worldwide anarchy. War is coming. Are you ready? Or will you wave your sign and say "Ill work for food" when there is no food to feed your family other then what you can fight for.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

Mankind is destined for destruction. We are a violent race, who can never get along and have been murdering each other since the beginning of time. Global cooling will ensure worldwide anarchy. War is coming. Are you ready?

I call fundy. They're the ones with the fetish for this end-of-days you'll-be-sorry apocalyptic stuff.

There have always been people who proclaimed that everything is hopeless and we're all doomed. Luckily there have also always been those who rolled up their sleeves and tried to improve things.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have always been people who proclaimed that everything is hopeless and we're all doomed. Luckily there have also always been those who rolled up their sleeves and tried to improve things.

And what has it got us...war after war after war. End of days.

yes it is upon warming will doom us all. Home grown t'rists will kill us all. The worlds running out of food. We cant stop going to war. The economy is a crisis...we must all have health care so we can all live to 100.

Let in more Hispanics because they will do the work....Bigotry, hatreds and we roll up our sleeves and do what?

Argue about who should marry whom? Man not only is a savage race...were actually not too bright either. We should have stuck to the caves, killed our rivals and lived to the ripe old age of 20. Then we would not be worrying about all this drivel.

7:59 PM  
Blogger B.J. said...

In the early ‘70s, I read Taylor Caldwell’s novel about the Apostle Paul, “Great Lion of God” (1970). In her foreword, Caldwell wrote, seemingly, about all the perils and problems facing society in the 1970s. So mjch of what she wrote seemed ripped right out of that year’s headlines. It was only at the end of her foreword did she reveal that the events she has just written about were all taking place during the time of Paul. I have never forgotten that lesson – that every generation has its trying times.

I share this with Papamoka readers: the conclusion of William Faulkner’s acceptance speech as he receive the Nobel Prize for Literature:

“I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,

"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and
100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know ?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."


(s). Access to this e-mail by anyone else is unauthorized.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eternal optimism does not pay the bills, put food on the table.

In the end life is about eating, sleeping and making it thru the next day.

How you do that is up to you. Oh thats not right...its now up to the government to tell us what to eat, when to eat it and how much we can eat.

Its up to the government because we have grown afraid of taking care of the government has regulated and legislated that much we must earn, how much we pay in taxes so they can continue to tell us what to do.

We are 1984 and we dont know it. Big brother is getting bigger by the day.

Roll up our sleeves and do what? The government WONT LET US.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

And what has it got us...war after war after war.

The per-capita mortality rate from wars has been falling for centuries, even taking things like World War II into account. Probably for longer than that. The most violent societies on Earth are hunter-gatherer societies.

End of days.

Religious nutjobs have been predicting the end of the world for millennia. It's still here.

global warming will doom us all.

Nope. Planetary-engineering problem, that's all. There are plenty of feasible ways of dealing with it. Of course, the right-wingers who pretend it isn't happening aren't helping, but fortunately they no longer matter.

The worlds running out of food.

Nope. Global population is 15 times the highest level it reached before 1500 and worldwide there are twice as many obese people as underfed people.

The economy is a crisis...

Thanks to Bush. Still, it hasn't gotten as bad as the 1982 recession and everybody who knows what they're talking about agrees we'll be out of the current recession in three to nine months.

we must all have health care so we can all live to 100.

Far too unambitious.

Let in more Hispanics because they will do the work....

Nope. Japan maintains a normal capitalist economy with virtually no immigration.

Bigotry, hatreds and we roll up our sleeves and do what?

Vote against Republicans to get the bigots and haters out of power.

Argue about who should marry whom?

If it weren't for religious nuts fulminating against interracial marriage 40 years ago and gay marriage today, this wouldn't be an issue.

Man not only is a savage race...were actually not too bright either.

Well, evidently some of us aren't.

We should have stuck to the caves, killed our rivals and lived to the ripe old age of 20. Then we would not be worrying about all this drivel.

Gee, you're ambitious. Most fundies only want to go back as far as the Dark Ages.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:55 PM  

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