Monday, January 22, 2007

A Little Rhiel Word Interaction

I figured I'd best have a look around to see what's being said on the other side of the barbed wire about KSFO. I frankly find it astonishing that there ARE people who can't parse the distinction between the right to free speech and "saying anything about anyone with impunity in order to make a buck." I posted this as a comment over at Rhiel World - and then realized it made some points that people on THIS side of trenches should think on.

I feel a little caught in the middle here; as a Prog-Lib I've got feet in both camps. But I personally do draw a bright line at hate speech.

Indeed, making someone lose their brains and resort to the sorts of drooling lunacy served up as a regular diet on KSFO is to me a great big blue ribbon that says "I win." I mean, if you seriously suggest that "killing liberals" is a good idea, it pretty much means that their ideas are too dangerous to the the ideas you wished were true... but aren't.

I should add that I've seen this before. Vietnam era. Other side. Remember "baby killers" being screamed at returning draftees?

Same-same. This is the point where I stop listening, because if there's any truth buried in the crap - well, I hope I find it somewhere else, because life is too short to spend it having bile spat at me in anybody's cause.

Anyway, nobody is attacking their "free speech rights." They are attacking their right to be paid to speak, with the assumption of impunity.

Now, I know better.

And I also know there's not a single point made by KSFO that could not be made better by someone who wasn't using hate speech.

The moment you start attacking the person, instead of the idea, you have lost the argument. Everyone who doesn't already agree tunes out. Eventually, even those who agree become embarrassed to be associated with the viewpoint. And that political viewpoint, whatever it's validity, starts circling the drain.

And I see this as a serious problem. I don't LIKE the idea that there's nobody out there who can validly check my arguments. An honest argument on the merits of the case; that's a service to the American people. It's also good clean fun. But it's kinda like hockey. If you won't let the other team on the ice, it's just masturbation on skates - and after you've established that it can be done in the first place, I think most people lose interest rapidly.

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