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"Declaration of Conscience"

Posted by Mason M. on 5/12/03 at 17:32 (118456)

By U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a thoroughbred Republican, in a June 1, 1950, speech to the Senate:

'Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism - the right to criticize; the right to hold unpopular beliefs; the right to protest; the right of independent thought.

'The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood, nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs.

'Who of us doesn't? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own.'

I do not feel I am in danger of losing my reputation or livelihood, yet (although others are), but visiting the board this afternoon has made me believe I am in danger of losing my capacity to focus on anything for the next week except the 20 or 30 questions posed to me since last night. (I don't use emoticons - don't even know how - but you can insert a smile here.) I know some are serious questions, and I respect them. Others appear to be 'we are putting you in a corner and not letting you out unless you say what we want' types of questions.

For anyone truly interested, if you type 'Judge Harold Baer' and, separately, 'Salman Pak' into the Google search engine you will find some material that partially informs my beliefs today. There are older documents, produced by people who are in our government today, that are truly eye-opening and even shocking - these have affected me much more deeply than the relatively superficial searches I suggested above. If I recall correctly, these were mentioned here a few months ago, and I won't repeat them. Anyone who was interested was free to follow up. I was already aware of these documents at the time; they were not news to me.

I believe many of Sharon's questions are sincere, but, in the end, if you agree that our main purpose in invading Iraq was not to liberate the Iraqi people, does the fact that the administration named this foray 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' make you even a little bit skeptical about other ways in which those in charge manipulated (and continue to manipulate) the perceptions of the American public?

Although I did not vote for Mr. Bush, I was willing, as I always am, to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he would in time relieve me of my doubt. And, make no mistake, I was just as horrified as anyone here by the events of 9/11. In the big picture, my greatest disappointment is that this administration has turned almost worldwide sympathy and we-are-with-you collegiality after 9/11 into the deepest anti-U.S. resentment I've ever seen or read about. I consider it the most major diplomatic failure in our history, and I see far more destructive than constructive consequences to come from it. Do I enjoy my stance on this and the consequences I think will result? No! I want to be proud of my country, just as you all are right now, even though, as you must have gathered, I think you are proud for off-the-mark reasons. Just my opinion.

Some appear to think I am putting myself on a pedestal for my views. Try expressing my views anywhere (including here), for one day, in the current climate. You will not feel on a pedestal. You will not enjoy yourself. You will find that it is not fun in this strangely McCarthy-like atmosphere to differ from the majority. But my soul is my own, and I make no apology for it.

I will try - again - not to return here. I understand that most want this board to be only a supportive place for foot pain and would rather not be bothered by opinions like mine. I can live with that just fine. I still wish you all the best in the healing of painful feet and the havoc it wreaks on one's life.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/12/03 at 18:02 (118461)

Mason,

I appreciate the time you spend here. It seems that the only time some of the folks here post is when their is a differing political opinion then their own. It is a strange atmosphere at times. I respond to the posts that I feel are unfair and unjust in their criticism of other's beliefs. I rarely read their political posts nor get involved with them until they start in on someone. I will undoubtedly be given a cold shoulder after i post this. You may notice the post before this is political...if that's what they want to talk about it's ok and I don't get involved. What bugs me the most is that you and I cannot have a conversation about our ideas without one of the guys jumping in to attack and insults. It is a bit odd.

It is a strange time indeed...Americans telling other Americans to shutup. It saddens me deeply.

I have two students in the morning that are completely opposite of each other in every way. Both are Seniors. One is already signed up in the Army. Unlike some Americans he is willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. His political views aren't too dissimilar than those posted here. My other student is a throw back to the 70's. He's the most mello laid back kid. Always polite to me. He of course opposes war. His beliefs are liberal....much more than myself. Yet every day these kids come to my class and never leave angry with each other. They respect each others beliefs. It is amazing that these two young people have found a way to get along and I respect them immensely for that reason. I learn amazing things from my students. Their capacity to give each person the space to enjoy their freedom is immense. By the way they are of age and ready to vote. I am very proud to have had them in my classroom.

marie

I hope this isn't your last conversation here.

PS: How are your feet?

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Sharon W on 5/12/03 at 18:27 (118462)

Mason,

I believe this was directed at me: '...if you agree that our main purpose in invading Iraq was not to liberate the Iraqi people, does the fact that the administration named this foray 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' make you even a little bit skeptical about other ways in which those in charge manipulated (and continue to manipulate) the perceptions of the American public?'

My answer is YES. I am a skeptic -- and not just because of anyone's words posted on this foot board about the conflict in Iraq! (The thing is, I'm skeptical of BOTH liberals and conservatives...) Manipulating the perceptions of the public is called 'propaganda'. Propaganda is no new invention; it's been around as long as there have been governments. It is a fact of life. If anything, one of our current administration's faults is that it has NOT used propaganda very effectively -- as can be seen by the world's reaction to all of this.

As you said, 'In the big picture, my greatest disappointment is that this administration has turned almost worldwide sympathy and we-are-with-you collegiality after 9/11 into the deepest anti-U.S. resentment I've ever seen or read about. ...I see far more destructive than constructive consequences to come from it.'

I agree. That is the main reason why I didn't want this war in Iraq; I just didn't think it was worth all the repercussions in world politics. (My other reason for concluding that war would be a bad idea is what Marie touched on -- we need our money and all our resources to deal with the recession we're in and the way things are breaking down as a result of being out of money. We DIDN'T need to be spending that much money to get Saddam out of power in Iraq!)

But now I, too, have said my piece. I cetainly agree that it's important to have this Social board be a supportive place for people with foot pain, and I realize that many people are put off by these political discussions, even when they're conducted with appropriate courtesy and respect.

Sharon
:)

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/12/03 at 18:49 (118465)

Marie:

With all due respects, I don't recall anyone attacking or insulting Mason.
He makes a number of strong statements, sometimes without substantiation and must expect others to raise a challenge. It is a bit tiring listening to someone enter into a controversial topic and then threaten to leave just because those views are challenged.

I have made and continue to make controversial posts, both here on the social board and elsewhere. I do so with the full expectation that others will respond, both in the affirmative and otherwise. I don't see how anyone can expect a subdued response on a hot or important issue.
Ed

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

D.Thomas on 5/12/03 at 19:49 (118475)

I just want to make one comment.

Some people have stated in the past that they are not treated badly at other boards about their political beliefs like they are treated at heelspurs.com, making it sound, as this is the only place where people don't respect people talking political issues.

I visit at least 8 different boards daily on wide ranging topics (i.e., home theater, college basketball news, etc.) besides this one. And what has gone on here is EXACTLY the same as what has gone on with ALL the other boards when discussing this topic.

In my opinion, this board is not any different than the others I visit on a daily basis. I constantly see people everyday threaten to leave and never come back (both liberals and conservatives). It is NOT unique to this board only.

P.S. Mason I am not saying you said this, it is something other people have said.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

john h on 5/12/03 at 20:29 (118479)

D.Thomas: There are only two boards I vist. This one and an NFL team I follow. The sports board really gets extreme and people can really get wound up when it comes to sports and really get angry. This board seems to have many more ladies than the sports boards. Actually on the sports board I follow there is not one lady. What this means I do not know and I am afraid I would be politically incorrect if I were to speculate the ladies are more sensitive and feelings are more easily hurt than men. Now I know we have a couple of the ladies here who can knock heads with anyone on anything so my speculation is not all encompassing. OK ladies let me have it. Give me your best shot. Call me some sort of sexist male chavanist but I do perceive ladies as more sensitive than your typical male.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/12/03 at 21:22 (118484)

John,

That's ok. I am proud of the fact that I am a woman. I love to primp and even my shoes have their own jewelry. However my Birkenstock's don't look that great with rhinestone clips on them. I have deep feelings although I can be rather head strong at times. I embraced being a woman a long time ago. I don't want to be a man. So you see I think your correct. I also think that men are sensitive but they aren't alowed to admit it. That's part of being a man. Men don't like to be challenged by women. I have had many occasions when men tried to impress me with their computer knowledge....I usually just smile and say ahaa....don't want to let them know I can work circles around their meager abilities. They are very threatened by me. So I have to nod say 'ahaaaa, yes I didn't know that.' I get farther with the tech director when I don't threaten his male ego. The games we play.

marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/12/03 at 21:34 (118485)

D. Thomas,

I post on two other sites. I pretty much agree with you. It depends upon the board. The current political climate is is a non stop errupting volcano. My hubby plays guitar and posts on a site for guitarists...if you guys think this site is bad....they actually cuss at each other...they also had to get a moderator. I don't really recall that it has ever been this bad. I think that was the point Mason was trying to make. I never mind a political discussion as long as the insults towards one group or another remain out of the discussion. Do I take it personal as John contends we women do....well that depends upon whether the author intends to make it personal. How badly does it bother me? not too badly because I am not leaving this board. I will come and go, but never leave. I think the discussion below went as well as it could considering the players involved. Ed showed some restraint....poor thing he must have been chomping at the bit. Ed you did pretty good. B-)

marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/12/03 at 21:49 (118487)

Max's comment

A freedom freeloader perhaps? They seem to believe that peace and freedom will snap into place like a rubber band if we just let it. That's about the same level of maturity as a small child who thinks that water comes out of the faucet and groceries come out of the refrigerator.

Ed,

This kind of comment is unnecessary. What purpose does it serve other than to be insulting. It's rude. I am not as sensitive as John thinks. I am the daughter of a true southerner and I was raised with manners. I would guess Max was not raised with the same manners. I'd guess New York. I don't know him all that well but his posts usually consist of these kinds of comments. He only comes here when there is a political comment. Max who are you? Inquiring minds want to know. Just kidding.

It would be like me saying all doctor's are arrogant as@#$!^^., based on a few personal experiences. However I prefer to assess my opinions based on my experience with each doctor I meet. You're lucky that you are not my doctor....because at the last pool party I pushed both my dentist and my doctor in the pool. Of course it was easy because they're married to each other. My feet my be bad but I am still a bit fisty.

Good day to you doc,
marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

BGCPed on 5/12/03 at 22:53 (118494)

Great points Dr Ed. I dont recall anyone telling Mason to 'shut up' or 'go away' I have asked legit questions of him and he doesnt respond with facts or solutions. I find his m.o. very strange. Make bold accusations. Claim to be the pinnacle of the moral/intellect high ground. Bash GWB and other conservatives. Ignore legitimate questions. Then claim to feel run off and not appreciated becuase the conservative lemmings are too dumb and violent to get his deep views. Views so deep I may ad that even he cant post them.

This may seem very silly but I would ask one last time MASON Could you outline some of your plans regarding your alternatives to the situation in Iraq? Also could you outline what type of military intervention you would propose for the situation in Zimbabwe?

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Max K on 5/12/03 at 23:19 (118495)

Hi Marie,
I'm 42, a taxi driver. I have read your comments with interest. Hmmm. What is the difference between a career criminal and an Amercian hero like Todd Beamer? Which one deserves respect? If you suggest that both deserve equal respect, doesn't that mean that you are attempting to blur the distinction between them? I say one Todd Beamer is worth more than a hundred criminals. But as you indicate, it is impolite to suggest such differences among people. The polite thing to do is to act as if we are all more or less the same, and I usually do that, in person, because otherwise, civilized conversation would be impossible. But on a message board like here, I feel compelled to reveal more of my thoughts: that people are not equal and do not deserve equal respect, nor do their opinions deserve equal respect. Also, part of what I'm doing on this message board is to hopefully learn to better express my opinions.

Max

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/13/03 at 00:56 (118499)

Marie:
I don't think that Max's comments amount to a personal attack on Mason. There is a opinion that many take freedom for granted or that the price of freedom is is not costly. Such individuals want freedom but not if the cost appears to high. I cannot say if Mason would fall in that category or not but his views appear to reflect that type of thinking. We are discussing that mindset or views as opposed to a personal critique of mason.

Mason pulls few punches in his style of debate so I do not think it is fair
to expect that from the opposing side. I do not feel insulted by Mason nor do I see any insult in the response to his statements. I am annoyed by the tactic of threatening to run away when the going gets rough -- that certainly does not reflect maturity if we want to invoke that concept.

Max is one of the most educated patients I know who has used this website to research his foot problems and to make effective decisions about his care. He is one of the small percentage of people who take an active effort to study and research their healthcare needs and become an active partner in the decision making process. There would be no healthcare 'crisis' if the majority of patients took that approach.

I would imagine that a percentage of his clientele are military people so he has a healthy respect for their role and has the opportunity to get a modest amount of first hand information. I would consider his economic perspective to be that of an independent business person and, as such, has a good work ethic and politics which reflects that work ethic.
Ed

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/13/03 at 01:08 (118500)

BG:
I think that the tactic of acting insulted and threatening to stop posting is really getting worn. Mason holds little back in attacking conservatives. He makes a number of statements, but when he is called on them, he fails to back them up or acts indignant when asked to do so.
I asked him for information about the judge he derided. I asked him how he would respond to a probable scenario in Korea and he deferred to China.
He has joined the bash Bush bandwagon, a lot of which is political nonesense. I occasionally listened to Rush Limbaugh but grew weary of him trying to find fault with everything Clinton did. I did not like Clinton but felt that such criticisms trivialized many issues.

A level playing field is all that debaters should look for. If we don't get that I am going to run away and never post again. ;)
Ed

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/13/03 at 01:10 (118501)

Marie:
I think Birkenstocks look okay.
Ed

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

john h on 5/13/03 at 07:02 (118503)

Marie: Your statement 'men' tdo not like to be threatened by women sends a message I do not think you intend. I have had several women bosses in my life and I admired theme very much. There have been some women politicians who I admire very much not because they are women but I admire their work. Lady Thathcer and our former Ambassaddor to the U.N. are high on my list. I really do not look at women as one big group who all think similiar. There are differences between men and women which some people do not seem to want to recognize. Our brains according to science are programed somewhat different. Women excell in certain skills beeter than men. Men are sttoner, bigger, and faster. Men fight in the physical sense more than women. Women can have babies and all the instincts that entails. And yes I think women are more sensitive which is a plus in my mind. Women live on average about 8 years longer than men. Does this subject open up some heat or what.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

BGCPed on 5/13/03 at 07:12 (118504)

Max, I think you are well spoken and very articulate. I would also say that as a Cab-Driver you have a grasp on the real world. I would further specualte that you have more common sense, insight and logic than a busload of Sheens,Penns,Sarandons,Garafolos,Moores etc.

I may be biased but your posts are to the point and lack some of the snide condescention I see in Mason's. If you are a NYC Driver you are very tame. I bet you have some crazy stories as well. Maybe sometime you could post a few of the craziest ones.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

BGCPed on 5/13/03 at 07:13 (118505)

Roger that

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Richard, C.Ped on 5/13/03 at 07:51 (118512)

Mason...
An opinion is an opinion. Frankly, I do not read these long cut and paste posts...I don't have the time. This is a supportive place for foot pain, as well as a place to express likes, dislikes, or even just plain talk about the weather. The main thing is that we all have to remember to stay nice.

I have strong political views at times, and if someone disagrees with me, that does not come close to ruining my day. I choose not to post about these things usually. I have in the past, and most of the time I wish I did not.

I like this message board. It is a good break from the day. No amount of strong disagreement would ever run me off.
Richard

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 07:59 (118513)

Marie,

This is not meant as an 'attack' on you, or anyone else, but as a matter of clarification.

You called a remark that Max made 'insulting' and 'rude'. Max's comment implied that people with anti-war sentiments make foolish, childlike assumptions. And you were right, that comment wasn't appropriate because it was sure to give offense. But Max certainly wasn't the first to make such 'strong statements' during this current round of political discussion.

These are both quotes from Mason, in the thread at the bottom of the page:

'People overly distracted by the opinions of Hollywood seem to me to be lacking in the brains department.'

Here he directly implies that those posters who strongly object to some of the remarks made by Hollywood celebrities against the war, are 'lacking in the brains department'. What purpose does that serve other than to be insulting?

'It is too bad that countless other - innocent - people also had to go (that is, die, or endure excruciating and lifelong maiming); and it is too bad that 70% of Americans apparently don't care about that, nor about what our plans are for other countries that somehow get in our way...'

Here he says that Americans who support Bush and the Iraq war 'apparently don't care' about the death or maiming of Iraqi citizens. That is both insulting to a majority of Americans and blatantly untrue. The war did cost the lives of many Iraqi people. But it also took Saddam out of power. Many efforts were made to reduce civillian casualties -- and in fact such efforts often put the lives of US soldiers at higher risk. Saddam, on the other hand, was demonstrably imprisoning, then torturing and/or and killing huge numbers of political prisoners, and he did so on a regular basis. He would still be doing so, if he were still in power.

Sharon
:(PIPE)

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 08:12 (118514)

Max I do appreciate your response. It indicates that you are open to new learning experiences. We all screw up from time to time. I know I do. It is hard to give respect to mass murderers like Saddam. And it's difficult to give respect to people that don't agree with you, however i am not a mass murderer. There are real people at the other ends of these messages, that like you and I, are just trying to do the best they can to make it all work. Diversity is what makes this country so great to live in. I do my best to listen and read your posts....but I wouldn't dream of insulting you personally because i don't agree with you.

A taxi cab driver. Alright I bet you've got a few stories to tell.

Thanks, marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 08:16 (118515)

Ed,

You are wrong on this one. When someone, including Mason, makes inflammatory comments about a group of folks out there than he is out of line. We can have civil conversations without the insults. I was glad to hear from Max, now that i know a little more about him I can understand where he is coming from.

I would think an intelligent thinking person like yourself may understand that.

marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 08:22 (118516)

Sharon,

I am not offended at all. I agree no one should make inflammatory comments. That is why I posted my views on respect. Mason did respond to that post. He was just as guilty. The point is he did respond and improved his comments. We all make mistakes....I have great respect for folks who can recognize their mistakes, apologize and correct and move forward. That brings us to forgiveness. Forgiving someone is probably tougher than admitting that you got a little out of line.

marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

BGCPed on 5/13/03 at 09:49 (118519)

'People overly distracted by the opinions of Hollywood seem to me to be lacking in the brains department.' ???????????
SO then, assuming this is true, does that mean that people who agree with and support the views of Hollywood folks like Clooney, Penn and Moore are candidates for fast-track membership into MENSA?

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 09:50 (118520)

=; The 'shut up' attitude is very present here. You don't have to actually say it it is present in each of your writing styles.
Every time someone posts a political opinion differing from yours you converge, attack and condemn.
I don't have to name the folks who participate in this gang activity we all know very well who you are.

Gang mentality is very evident in our society. It seems to become an ingrained part of our culture. Have you been watching the news....did you see the film of the hazing incident in a suburb of Chicago? They probably don't see themselves as a gang. However it is a superb example of how a gang evolves from a fairly normal looking average American teens. It feels good to have someone validate your ideas or actions by agreeing with you and encouraging you. The more that validate the more it gets out of hand. That's how the teen's victims ended up in the hospital. I can share many stories that are similar to that hazing incident. I have spent the last 10 years researching gang mentality....this group has been an interesting study. You're all very normal folks who share an aching foot problem. Yet some fall easily into the gang approach. I didn't come here to find a group to study...it just sort of happened. Like Max said he is an average guy who doesn't normally act this way. Why is it that he acts that way here? It's a question he and the rest of you folks that participate will have to answer for yourselves.

mmarie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 10:08 (118522)

Sorry...but I have had several experiences along this line...even with the most liberated men. I shouldn't generalize.

John...I'll give you a short discrption of myself. I am a blonde bombshell. When I am in an evening gown I make Ginger from Giligan's Island look dim. At 46 I stll can't walk two blocks from my house without wolfwhistles. I cna't help the way I look and for years I was embaressed about it. I deal with all kinds of sexist comments....more than most.

Here is a cute story:

My oldest son, who attends the local college, went with me to a high school football game. There was a long line for tickets so I gave my son some money to stand in line and get tickets. I was not walking well and was using a cane. He went ahead and got in line. In front of him were two guys he knew from campus. They were chatting a bit when one of them said 'check out that woman with a cane...let's sexually harrass her, she's hot.' My son didn't tell them I was his Mom. As they got closer to the ticket booth I went over to get in line with them. My son said 'Hey Mom! I'd like you to meet these guys.' Boy did they have egg on their faces. Boy did my son and I have a good laugh about it later.

I am not bragging, I could care less about how I look. If I responded to every wolf whistle and sexist comment I have had through the years it would take all the frre time I have. And I haven't even started on the never ending series of blonde jokes. I have a few brunette jokes but people get their feelings hurt when I share them.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

john h on 5/13/03 at 10:29 (118526)

Marie: The word Gang connotates something bad or evil. If those with a conservative view on the board are Gangs then what are those with differing views. I think we are all individuals. Dr. Ed and I do not agree on everything but we are conservative on many subjects. I find it interesting you find Max an average guy and lump many of us into your category of a Gang. Applying such labels serves no good purpose and I would think detracts from one's viewpoint. I certainly never consider myself a gang member of any sort nor do I consider anyone on this board of the Gang mentality. Some of my long time friends on this board are very liberal in nature (Nancy N, Nancy S, Julie) but I still think they are wonderful people and we still communicate on occasion. They surely never called any particular group of us 'Gangs'.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 10:34 (118527)

Brian,

You're a bright man...who I happen to respect. John said women were the sensitve ones....but I think you guys are a bit sensitive too. I am not a member of MENSA. You do post alot about celebrities that you don't like and that's a fact. That's just you.... Oh I don't take your comments to heart I figure you have to blow a little steam off somewhere. When you post without those comments it's a little easier for me to understand your ideas. It's a bit hard to follow when we get to passing judgements and insults. As soon as I read something like that I go somewhere else.

Later,
marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 11:04 (118530)

Yes, I have had that brought up in many conferences with students and parents when we discuss gang mentality. Any time a group of individuals come together to attack someone else it is by definition a gang. It's not a formal street gang, which is what most folks think of when gang mentality is brought up. It is human nature to want to have someone validate your ideas, it is normal. The problem is when it is used to focus on an individual for the purpose of bullying them into submission. The members don't necessarily have to agree or even be like someone for gang mentality to occur.

It happens all the time in a classroom setting, more so with teens. The kids don't even recognize that they are doing it. Usually once I sit down with them and discuss the behavior of gang mentality they understand and the behavior is corrected.

Right now I have a female student in my adv. art class. She is easily riled up....in her words 'I'm going to flip out'. She is a bit loud and not as well accepted by her schoolmates. The kids in the room aren't even close friends but they have discovered how to push her buttons until she explodes. One of them may start with a comment and then it snowballs into several of them continuing to make comments until she blows. What's funny is that they will even try to get me to participate and validate what they are doing.
That is gang mentality. They feel that it is ok because they validate each other by joining together on a crusade to bully her verbally. It is not a street gang it is gang mentality. The comments are often subtle. I've been working with her and the others to recognize what they are doing. I was gone from school yesterday and the sub left me a note because it happened again. This is my area of research because I work with it every day. So guess what I'll be doing today and probably tommorrow.
We all paritcpate in gang mentality unknowingly.

I hope I have better explained myself. I hope you can stand back and view what happens on this board with an objective mind.

later marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

BGCPed on 5/13/03 at 11:22 (118532)

I thought it was Mason that made the connection between lack of brains and rejection of hollywood delusionists. I am ok with you Marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 11:51 (118534)

I know....I guess I felt the need to jump in. I am a well known 'nosey peabody'.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

JudyS on 5/13/03 at 12:10 (118536)

John h, it's not sensitivity that keeps us away. It's intelligence.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Mason M. on 5/13/03 at 12:40 (118539)

Please let me make this clear: I do not feel run off. Insults have been sent my way, but only by two people and I did not take it personally. Also, no doubt when put on the defensive - as anyone who voices opinions like mine tends to be on this forum - I am guilty of putting a few thoughts in a less than respectful way, and I do apologize for that.

There _is_ a gang mentality in the country today, and to some extent on this forum. But it does not run me off nor make me think this is a horrible place to be. I choose not to stay long because, one, I sense that political disagreement upsets the majority here; and two, I simply cannot write books long enough to answer the huge number and diversity of questions people use to challenge me here.

People who disagree with me here do not put themselves to that test - to list and describe all their sources of information that lead them to their opinions and exactly how they reached those opinions. Nor do they cancel the rest of their lives to research and write books on how best the U.S. should carry out foreign policy in regard to a number of other nations in the 21st century. They don't need to, because for the most part they agree with each other on their opinions, and so they don't ask each other to constantly justify every opinion they express. But read over all the questions that have been put to me, and then be realistic. Could you do them all justice on this forum in a day and a half? You demand the impossible, and then imply that I am deficient because I cannot do the impossible. I reject the offensive reasons manufactured for my inability and unwillingness to write a book on this forum. If my thoughts were glib, I might give it a try. But they are the result of much reading and thinking, as I'm sure many of yours are also, and I will not reduce them to a few sentences, only to have more probably rather hostile questions thrown. I do not have time for that vicious circle, and I doubt any of you would, either.

Here is an attempt to answer questions related to the article posted a couple of days ago: As I said, my information about Judge Harold Baer can be found from a Google search which quickly brings up a number of articles and documents. They describe his gross mishandling of a large drug case a few years ago, a long-term flap that ensued, and a subsequent move to impeach him. My information about Salman Pak has come for over a year from way too many sources to list, among them PBS, the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, the National Review, the St. Petersburg Florida Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, CNN, and a number of web sites that several folks here will not like one bit, such as commondreams.org.

The militarism of our current government and its plans for future wars are well documented in Pentagon and National Defense University publications, such as the book 'Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance.' They are also detailed in several documents at the New American Century web site. All of these contributed a great deal to the opinions and perceptions I have expressed on this forum.

I stand by my opinion about paying much attention to Hollywood when it comes to politics. You don't have to like it, and I don't ask you to, but I do have a right to state it.

Now, in another post, I will type out some substantive parts of a New Yorker article on the subject of the credibility of Iraqi defectors and the question of whether there is a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Perhaps all of this will satisfy some of the questions as to why I think the way I do at the moment. If not, so be it, and have a good day.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 13:07 (118541)

Marie,

Mason was NOT responding to any inflammatory post when he made those remarks!! Those were both quotes from his FIRST post on the subject, and noone had made any insults, veiled or otherwise, prior to Mason's inflammatory remarks. To say those who objected to what the celebrities had to say is STUPID, is an inflammatory remark and it was not in response to anyone else. To imply that anyone who supports our government's actions in Iraq does not value human life is also extremely inflammatory.
Perhaps it does not irritate anyone who AGREES with his statements, I don't know... it is of course human nature to be much more irritated by inflammatory remarks made by someone you disagreed with to begin with.

My post after Mason's was an attempt to diplomatically point out that we are all free to post here about politics or anything else, as long as we are civil to each other. I had hoped to diffuse the tension and emotion, and discourage escalation of the problem. It didn't work.

If Mason had made his first post WITHOUT those inflammatory remarks, or if his remarks had been in response to someone else's provocative remarks, I could see validity in your remarks about gang behavior. As it is, however, I do not. Mason first made inflammatory statements that provoked reactions from several people who disagreed with him, and you defended him. A heated discussion ensued. It is true that the more liberal side of the discussion was outnumbered, but that is probably because more people support the current administration than disagree with it. I see no 'gang behavior,' just disagreement.

Sharon
(:(PIPE)

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 13:10 (118542)

Cool Beans!

Re: Oops!

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 13:21 (118546)

This was a grammatical glitch, and I don't want it to be misinterpreted:
To say those who objected to what the celebrities had to say is STUPID, is an inflammatory remark and it was not in response to anyone else.'

It should have read, 'To say that those who objected to what the celebrities had to say are STUPID, is an inflammatory remark, and it was not in response to anyone else.'

Sharon
:'>

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 13:32 (118547)

Mason,

Concerning your comment about the celebrities: you said you are standing by your comment. I am also standing by mine.

By the way, I am NOT one of those who thinks those celebs have no right to comment on politics. Everyone has a right to comment on politics. And I am also not one to decide what movies or CDs to buy based on whether I like the artist's politics. But people also have the right to choose not to buy a celebrity's CDs or movies or whatever if they don't like their political comments. Such is the nature of our free society.

Sharon
.

Re: Sharon

marie on 5/13/03 at 13:50 (118549)

I guess I still have some unexpressed feelings about some past discussions as many apparently do. I hope that you have taken the time to read Mason's apology. Mason clearly doesn't need me to defend him. I am sorry to politely disagree with you about a gang mentality. It does excist. I am not making an attempt to insult the participants. It is more of a clincal observation on my part. The problem will persist until those that participate make an attempt to recognize it for what it is. I doubt that will happen but who knows I have seen many wonderful things in my brief lifetime. Once again let's try to remember who made the original post. As Ed said he clearly wanted to insight a reaction. He made the post with the full understanding that it was going to push someone's buttons. I understand Ed very well. He is not hat bad of a guy(sorry to be talking about you in front of everyone)however he thrives on this kind of conflict. Maybe a bad case of the DSB's. Now see I am insulting someone....sorry Ed because I think you are a good person at heart just a very different way of expressing yourself.

marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Mason M. on 5/13/03 at 14:05 (118553)

Sharon, as I said, I apologize for anything I expressed in a rude way.

I have to point out that BGCPed has made a very high number of shrill and rude statements - far more than I or anyone else here - and I have yet to see you or anyone who agrees with him take him to task for this fact. This was also the case the last time I posted here. I have to wonder why you focus on a few statements of mine but never have a word to say to BG about his rudeness; from what I can tell, he doesn't even make an effort to contain himself when he is annoyed.

Re: Sharon

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 14:17 (118556)

Marie,

We will have to agree to disagree on that point, then.

I, too, am fascinated by the way these heated discussions develop -- from an interactive psychology viewpoint. Mason came INTO the discussion acting very much on the defensive, yet he had not been attacked or even mentioned in any way. I don't understand why he was so emotional. It is true that Dr. Ed often posts politically-oriented articles that interest him, and yes he probably does enjoy getting a reaction (but of course, he can speak for himself!) Ed didn't insult anyone, though, he just posted the link for anyone to read who chose to do so.

Yes, I did read Mason's apology. Since I do care about human life (AND human rights) all over the planet, and because (in general) I also support my country and its government, I guess that apology applies to me - and I accept.

That doesn't change how this discussion erupted, however.

Sharon
.

Re: Sharon

marie on 5/13/03 at 14:33 (118559)

Sharon it wasn't a link he copied and pasted the article. Ed is a very bright man. I am sure that mason is on the defensive because of previous posts here. I do remember not long ago we were having a simple discussion about an article...I won't mention and some folks felt the need to jump in and attack. Why didn't you or anyone say something to them? You're very good at looking things up. Look it up.

As I said before I am likely to get the cold shoulder here for expressing my thoughts. That's ok.

marie

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/13/03 at 15:00 (118563)

Mason:
I am looking at things a different way as I don't interpret either your presentation or that of BC as rude. None of us are polished professional politicians and we are trying to be frank. I could go through each post and try to re-write things in a 'kinder gentler' way. I am not sure that is necessary as we are discussing very controversial topics and beleive we all need some latitude in our ability to express ourselves.
Ed

Re: Sharon

marie on 5/13/03 at 15:09 (118564)

Yikes that sounded kinda bossy....sorry. I was in a hurry.

Have a good day.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

marie on 5/13/03 at 15:11 (118566)

Nicely put...Ed.

Re: For Mason: responses

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 15:28 (118569)

Mason,

I've never seen any reason to take BGCPed to task for his inflammatory remarks (although I don't agree with them). That's because someone on the liberal side has usually already made 'fillet of Brian'! Your side may not have very MANY champions on this board, but the champions you do have are both articulate and adamant.

Sharon
.

Re: Sharon

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 15:34 (118571)

Marie,

You were right, too much Neurontin on the brain I guess -- Dr. Ed had indeed posted the story, not just a link. My error.

Sharon
.

Re: For Mason: responses

Sharon W on 5/13/03 at 16:24 (118583)

Mason,

I deleted part of the response I had written in reply to your post, above. I had responded more completely to your question. Interestingly, though, something Dr. Ed just said gives evidence of one of my observations.

Since I'd been composing my additional remarks on the word processor, I think I can retrieve them (yes, here it is):

Marie is right, in that it is unfortunately quite common in a heated debate for people to make inflammatory remarks, sometimes without intending to or even realizing they've done so. But I think there may be a difference in the way that conservatives and liberals here react to such provocations.

It is not unusual for remarks that are derogatory toward conservatives never to get directly challenged as such, and I think that's at least partly because conservatives seem to be more accepting of so-called 'vigorous debate'. (That's why I brought it up this time.) Instead of challenging the posts they consider offensive, some conservatives will just ignore them and continue their efforts to make their point eith even more vigor. But there are also some who, if they take offense, tend to respond 'in kind,' reacting to a remark that upsets them by making more inflammatory remarks. I don't agree with that; I think it only makes a bad situation worse.

As I mentioned before, people sometimes make inflammatory remarks without really intending to, in the emotion of the moment. There is a tendency, in the heat of the moment, for people to think of one's own remarks as simply reasonable conclusions, and not to pause to consider how they may be taken by the other side. It's quite possible to say something inflammatory without ever realizing someone might have taken offense at it, unless that is pointed out. I think some liberals probably make the assumption that, because their remarks weren't challenged, they were acceptable. And then of course, when the other side responds by 'responding in kind,' the liberals quite legitimately complain! That in fact leaves the impression (at least for some) that only conservatives make inflammatory or derogatory remarks, and leads to the conclusion that the provocation is all one-sided.

Sharon

Re: "gang" vs. conscensus

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/13/03 at 17:43 (118597)

Marie:
There is a concensus of opinion on certain issues --- it is a fry cry from 'gang mentality.'
Ed

Re: For Mason: responses

BGCPed on 5/13/03 at 18:21 (118604)

Good point Sharon. I dont know what site has the stats but a media search of the words liberal and conservative was done a while back. The study noted that in media reports, srticles etc the word conservative was used in a negative context about 75% of the time vs liberal. I dont know if they counted editorials or just reporting of news. It was very interesting but I dont recall the source

Re: my observation take it or leave it.

marie on 5/13/03 at 21:08 (118626)

A concensous of opinions is one thing....insults and supporting them is another. Funny how it's always the same folks......hmmm. I'm not into mind games doc. I say it like I see it. You may consider it to be my opinion but I see it strictly as a clinical observation. It's not meant to be as personal. It happens all the time. The behavior is so engrained into our culture most of the time we are unaware that we're participating.

I think you may be offended by the specific term 'gang'. Because we hear so much about gangs in our society. I have actually spoken to real gang members who don't consider themselves to be a gang. Unfortunately that is the term used. If you like I will change it. But for my research it will remain that term.

marie

PS: By the way it's nice to see that you are alive and well.....I was worried that you'd never post again. Do you have other interests besides politics? What other types of conversation would you engage in? I know John loves football. I love high school football. I am not much of a NFL person.

Re: "Declaration of Conscience"

BGCPed on 5/13/03 at 23:06 (118644)

Well Mason if I may address this post. I am a very straight forward person. I am well mannered and polite. I have opinions just like you do. I think the difference is that I post in a more clear and to the point manner. I back up my opinions with what I believe to be facts, logic and supporting reasons.

Your style is more sly and stand-offish. You state claims and opinions (which is your right)but you cloak them in a more subtle condescending manner. You tend to berate people and opinions that you dont agree with as ignorant and uneducated. You dont come out and say 'hey that was stupid' you are more sly about it.

I get on hollywood and other limosine liberals and I dont appologize for that. I have not called into question the lack of intelligence of any person on this board. I would submit that you ao anyone else do a search and see who has made more derogatory comments aimed at other board members.

Your m.o. is to state your opinion as fact. Dismiss others you dont agree with as stupid (you dont call them that outright, you use a sentence or two to do it)The links or cut paste documents are the gospel writen by great thinkers while others are suspect shoddy right wing journalists with an agenda.

You knock GWB and the way he handled this situation but you have never offered YOUR alternative solution. Then comes the threat that you will leave because your rebel,honest and logical opinions are not embraced and understood by a few of the ignorant conservatives.

Re: my observation take it or leave it.

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/14/03 at 10:35 (118682)

Marie:
I am in the office for long hours so the little free time I have is spent with my 3 children. As such I don't have time for hobbies and can't remember the last time watched TV.

Diversion, during the day, includes keeping up with current events on the net, including politics. Getting outdoors to hike or walk is a favorite thing to do with free time as I live in a scenic area of the country.
Ed

Re: my observation take it or leave it.

marie on 5/14/03 at 15:20 (118743)

I understand completely.

Walking and hiking can be very relaxing and fun with your kids. How old are your children?

marie

Re: my observation take it or leave it.

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/14/03 at 21:14 (118779)

Marie:
My son is 7 years old and my twin daughters are 4.
Ed