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None Dare Call it Voter Suppression

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“You can’t vote unless you can prove that you are who you say you are. All you need is a picture ID.”

That sounds sensible and reasonable, doesn’t it? That’s the Republican line for wanting to pass laws requiring picture identification for voters. They point out that if someone doesn’t have photo identification, they can be provided one at no cost by the state. Again, that sounds sensible and reasonable. One such law was passed in Wisconsin in May of this year.

But the devil’s always in the details, isn’t it? Because earlier this month a high-ranking Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) executive sent out a memo which said,:

“While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box, you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it.”

Now, I could understand it if this were a business enterprise that wanted to keep its employees from telling customers about this or that really good discount, but this isn’t a business. This is government, and how anyone in government can honorably justify making it more difficult for someone to engage in the most basic of all actions of a citizen in a democracy, voting, I don’t know. Oh, I know he’ll justify it by saying “We’re trying to cut costs,” but the key word in my question is honorably, and honor has nothing to do with this particular policy.

Why? Because in a recent test run, nearly 20 percent of all voters did not bring photo identification to the polling place. Because those who lack photo identification are more likely to be minority members or students or who are poor, all of whom strongly tend to vote Democratic, all of whom would be less likely to be keeping up with the latest changes to state policy and who would be much less likely to fork over the money to pay for a photo identification since the government functionary is not allowed to inform them of the free voter identification card. It should never be a requirement that one must know all the recent changes to state voting law in order to be able to cast a vote! If anything, this is a back door poll tax.

And is it a coincidence that the high ranking Wisconsin DOT executive who sent out the memo is Steve Kreiser, who was formerly a Republican state senate aide who was appointed to this position just last month? Remember, Wisconsin is the same state where a state election was decided by over fourteen thousand votes that a Republican voting official “found” on her computer, thus reversing the liberal candidate’s lead and winning the election for the state Supreme Court for the conservative candidate, who just happened to be her former boss.

But wait! It gets better! Earlier this week a Wisconsin  state employee in a department other than the DOT, was fired for sending out the following e-mail to a few of his fellow employees:

Do you know someone who votes that does not have a state ID that meets requirements to vote? Tell them they can go to the DMV/DOT and get a free ID card. However they must ask for the free ID. A memo was sent out by the 3rd in command of the DMV/DOT. The memo specifically told the employees at the DMV/DOT not to inform individuals that the ID’s are free. So if the individuals seeking to get the free ID does not ask for a free ID, they will have to pay for it!!

Why did he send out the e-mail?

I decided that I thought it would be prudent as a fellow citizen of the state and just a decent human being in general to send out an email to all of my constituents where I work that they should be informed. As a result, I am not apparently employed.  

Yep! Not only are Wisconsin DOT employees barred from telling people about the secret free photo ID cards, but apparently all Wisconsin state employees are barred from mentioning them, even to each other!

So will any Republicans of importance stand up against this affront against democracy? Of course not, for the secret free photo identification card is in the best tradition of a particularly seminal moment in the history of the Republican party in which Paul Weyrich, the founder of the Heritage Foundation, said the following in a speech in front of 15,000 Baptist preachers, Jerry Falwell and Ronald Reagan:

I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down. 

Matthew Vedum, a former vice president of the Heritage Foundation and now senior editor of the Capital Research Center, is following in Paul Weyrich’s footsteps:

Registering [the poor] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country– which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote… Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor. It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money.

That’s right, in the eyes of the Republican cognoscenti, it’s now unpatriotic to help the poor to vote, and if what’s happened in Wisconsin is any indication, it’s their patriotic duty to hinder the poor from voting!

I look forward to the day when someone among the Republican elite will stand up for democracy, and against hindering our own tired, poor, and wretched refuse from being able cast a simple vote. I figure I’m going to have to live a long, long time to see that day.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • jamminsue

    Glenn, Well said

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Thanks, Sue

    In my experience on BC, there’s three reasons why an article doesn’t get much in the way of comments – either it’s poorly written, or it’s on a topic that’s not controversial enough, or the material presented within is too strong to dispute. I’d like to think it’s the third, but of course I’m too close to the article to make a proper judgment.

  • Or there’s a fourth, which is that comments in general are way down at the moment for some reason. There are just two or three active threads that are keeping the place twitching, but apart from that everyone seems to have other things to do right now.

    That said, this is one of your best efforts, Glenn. I’ve observed that the right wing in general – this is not just an American phenomenon – feels entitled to power, and is inclined to view periods when other political factions are in office as episodes of disastrous mismanagement, even when the incumbents are pursuing policies not drastically different to those favoured by conservatives.

    The equating of the poor to criminals is one manifestation of that attitude.

    It manifests itself particularly blatantly in America, which despite its protestations of being a nation that recognizes the fundamental equality of all persons has since its inception been run almost exclusively by a privileged elite.

  • Clavos

    …America, which despite its protestations of being a nation that recognizes the fundamental equality of all persons…

    One of America’s most foolish concepts and a great flaw in its political makeup. Any observer can see that people are decidedly NOT equal.

    …America…has since its inception been run almost exclusively by a privileged elite.

    Humph. Bad as it is with the “privileged elite” running it, one shudders to contemplate what a mess it would be if the proles did.

  • Any observer can see that people are decidedly NOT equal.

    Well, we do all start out that way, as basically the same intriguingly quirky brand of ape.

    But reality, in the form of genetics and environment, immediately takes over. Life would frankly be rather boring if it didn’t.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Any observer can see that people are decidedly NOT equal.”

    yes, bigots are awful people.

  • So the object of well-designed political philosophy is to undo genetics (or nullify its effects)?

    That would be like applying the affirmative-action principle to the totality of human life.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So now we see a manifestation of those who believe that we should not strive for equality for all.

    And where does said inequality end? Should the disabled have fewer rights than the rest of us? Apparently, we’ve got many (apparently all are on the Right) who think that Muslims should not have equal rights. And Ron Paul wants a nation where discrimination for any reason is the right of the business owner!

    And this is America???? Land of the free and home of the brave, where we look after and protect our own?

    And now the poor somehow not deserving equality with everyone else – particularly those who once were once very successful but whose livelihoods were lost for whatever reason?

    Roger, if you were in Florida, you’d be given lawfully required urinalysis tests in order for you to receive any state assistance…and the Republicans are trying to pass such a law now in Ohio!

    Is this “freedom”? Is this “Limited government”?

    America has a choice – to be a nation where everyone is equal, or a nation where NO ONE is equal…and anyone with even a modest appreciation of history knows where the latter leads almost unerringly.

  • @ 8

    #7 was posed as a teaser, a bait to Dreadful because of his #5.

    Thus far he hadn’t bitten.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yeah, I can’t imagine why comments are down…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I think my suspicions in #2 show that I was a bit too full of myself. Time to deflate….

    Phew! That stinks!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Also, the dearth of comments should give a bit of a sign that it was a mistake by the BC editors to ban Ruvy, Irv, et al. As frustrating as they may be, their wildly different views – as controversial as they certainly are – draw more traffic and widen all our perspectives…if we have enough patience.

    For instance, Ruvy did insult, but only rarely towards me because I did not insult him in return, but only replied to him as I do to Roger – and in his own way Ruvy respected me for it. Those on BC who are too impatient to bear with people like Ruvy or Irv need to learn patience – and their patience will be rewarded in time…even if it’s a looong time.

    I think the BC editors should swallow their pride and invite Ruvy and Irv back to BC, if only to increase traffic.

  • Dougg Hunter

    I had hundreds of comments over years, went over the line one time and questioned authority. Now my IP is permabanned. Oh well, I see those type of policies are really working out.

  • troll

    that’s gotta be a mistake Doug…I’ve been wondering where you’d gone

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think the reason the comments are down is because most of what happens in politics is down to the same ol’ boys (and sometimes girls) having the same ol’ arguments about the same ol’ things.

    It’s not a very inviting environment for newbies and most are chased away after dropping off just a few comments.

    Doug, use a proxy. Google it.

  • Dougg Hunter

    Nah. I’ll stick to the occasional lurking. Don’t want to be chasing off all the newbies and stuff.

  • Doug(g), as far as I know you haven’t been banned, nor do I see you as the sort of bloke who’d do anything to merit banning.

    It’s distantly possible, i suppose, that you might have been unfortunate enough for some spammer (we ban those scumb… upstanding citizens on sight) to have pirated your IP address, but other than that I have no idea why you can’t post.

    Personally I’d love to see you do more than lurk, as you’re one of the folks I most respect here at BC.

  • zingzing

    “it was a mistake by the BC editors to ban Ruvy, Irv, et al.”

    you know, “and al” would only have one more letter.

    that said, have you seen what happened over at bc’s bitchy younger sister site? al banned irv, and told him not to write no more. then he shut off the comments field completely. oh, hypocrisy… one really has to wonder if he’ll see the error of his ways or if he’s just so pigheaded he can’t even admit how stupid he’s just made himself look. as soon as he had control, he started censoring comments and kicking people off the site. a true champion of shooting himself in the foot, that al.

  • Doug Hunter is definitely not banned from commenting at Blogcritics, no idea where he would have got that impression from.

    Ruvy, Irv and Al were treated with the utmost patience by Doc D and myself and had the comments policy explained to them multiple times, both in the comments space and via email.

    They were all completely unwilling to accept the very modest limitations on self expression that Blogcritics has and the site had no option but to ban them.

    As far as I can remember, there has never been a case where someone who has been banned has realised the “error of their ways” and asked to come back with a commitment to play nice, so I have no idea what the management would do in such a situation.

    As to the volume of comments being down, it isn’t that recent a phenomenon; one major factor is the largely absent Dave Nalle, who used to comment in significant daily volume, which had the knock on effect of boosting participation because so many people, myself included, liked to take on his many inconsistencies and contradictions!

    BC could do more to promote engagement within its community but that would require more resource investment than appears to be available currently.

    This is a conjecture, but I think another significant factor is the rise of sites such as Twitter. I don’t quite understand the appeal of twittering, which seems a complete fail as a means of communication to me.

    I guess it does work well as a platform for people to mouth off into a vacuum of unresponsiveness, which is clearly something many people want. Apart from that, it is basically a weird hybrid of customer services and sales messages.

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • Dougg Hunter

    No posting from any browser or computer on my home network. Says ‘our software filters have blocked.. Because of who we believe you are.’

    Happened same day I told comment editor to FU after I jested lightheartedly (honestly) about his decision to edit my previous comment and he deletedy response.

    It’s an IP ban.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Isn’t there an “or” before the “Because of who we believe you are” and a few other possibilities? I believe I’ve gotten that message dozens of times.

  • Dougg Hunter

    Yes. I attempted to leave an ellipsis to indicate that. I’ve tried several innocuous comments including this one, only goes through on my phone.

  • Doug, that is an automated response, not something I have done.

    We don’t have any control over the automatic systems but, if you send me the exact details of the message you are getting, the exact time and date it happens, the comment you are trying to post and your IP address, I can refer it to the powers that be and see if they can do anything about it.

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • Clavos

    Do it Doug, as you can see, you’re most welcome here at BC.

  • troll

    …and I pledge that when elected bc jackass I will continue to work towards salvation for the damned and a general amnesty for the banned

    (thunderous shower of rotten veggies)

    thank you thank you

    (more veggies)

    god bless you all and god bless bc

  • @18 (zing)

    Talking of hypocrisy, he banned Irv for making public an email correspondence in spite of Al’s objections — the very same thing, mind you, he’d done with my email to him (making it available to BC management), and I didn’t even get a chance to object.

    El Bicho was right: Al is a snake in the grass.

  • @25

    It may be a coveted award after all.

    In any case, sounds like the kind of response Ron Paul got when, during the recent debates, he dared raise the matter of America’s own sins when speaking of 9/11 and the aftermath.

  • Costello

    Glenn, do you have stats related to those participants or are you making things up to suit your beliefs? And is it just the number or is the quality down as well? I’d be morer concerned about the latter.

    No surprise to hear about Kurtz’ actions. The reference to Col Kurtz others made was prophetic as he revealed himself to be a tryant in need of a place to rule. Probably the only way that sociopath will keep from getting kicked off websites. Looks like he’s the enemy of the 1st amendment and he proved the BC staff to be in the right.

  • Clavos

    El Bicho was right: Al is a snake in the grass.

    Yep, he is — a poisonous one, too.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Costello –

    I’m assuming you’re referring to my claim that bringing Ruvy and Irv back would boost traffic. Do I have hard-and-fast stats to support this? No. But I spent long enough as a moderator on a religious forum to learn that when there are people who present third and fourth sides to an argument – as Ruvy and Irv certainly did – and they do so with cultural experience outside the norm (as Ruvy had) or with great eloquence (as Irv had), even if we think their views are beyond the pale, they DO increase traffic, and significantly so.

    And caustic though they certainly were, their views were not always wrong, and helped expand the experience and awareness of those who dealt with them.

    You might disagree with this claim, but this is what my experience tells me.

  • Eloquence wasn’t exactly what I would call Irv’s excess verbiage, but that’s just me.

  • Glenn, everyone has a unique perspective but that does not give them the right to be continually abusing other people, which is the issue with regard to these people, not their views.

    If you found their opinions did indeed “”expand the experience and awareness”, that probably says more about you than anybody else.

    Your experience tells you lots of things but, so far, few of them are independently verifiable, so you might want to consider tempering what you choose to believe…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    If you found their opinions did indeed “”expand the experience and awareness”, that probably says more about you than anybody else.

    There’s two, maybe three possibilities, Chris:

    1 – You (and those whom you feel do not possibly benefit from seeing a radically different viewpoint) already have a deep understanding of Ruvy’s and Irv’s experience and knowledge, or

    2 – You are so busy being impatient and offended at their insults that you are unwilling to learn from the knowledge and experience within their writing…

    …AND you apparently do not believe that their wealth of experience and knowledge that is OUTSIDE your own is of any real consequence.

    Of course, perhaps you don’t feel that in a political discussion that often includes tensions in the Middle East and Israel, there’s no need to have someone around with Ruvy’s knowledge, first-hand experience, and viewpoint. But if I were in your position, I’d go to great lengths to keep someone like that around, just as I’d do for, say, an Iraqi or an Afghan. Part of me wants to apologize for the sarcasm in that sentence, but sometimes sarcasm is necessary to show someone what they need to see.

    Chris, I’ve done the job of forum moderator before – and I can honestly say that the religious forum I moderated had at least as much traffic as BC Politics. I can also say that the viewpoints therein were significantly more opposed than those on here, since there were Catholics and atheists and evangelicals and the occasional Muslim, all opposed to each other and all vehemently opposed to the Church of which I am a member. The only thing I can think of that leads to angry discourse more than politics, it’s religion.

    In other words, I do know how difficult it can be.

    Don’t get me wrong – there are those that should be banned, whose conduct is not only unacceptable but who also bring little of value to the discussion. Been there, done that – and suddenly found my personal information being spread all over the forum by those who didn’t like what I did (which is why I now use a pseudonym). You get some that just aren’t worth the time and effort, who I might have referred to in my early days as wastes of human flesh. Ban such people and you’ll have my hearty support!

    But Ruvy and Irv? No. Banning them was not a wise decision. So Ruvy and Irv did sometimes use unacceptable conduct, true, but they brought much of value to the discussion (even if you and Roger don’t think so – which IMO says more about the two of you than it does about me). When approached with courtesy and maturity, Ruvy DOES stay largely within the bounds of acceptable conduct – I’ve seen it – and I strongly suspect the same would be true of Irv.

  • Glenn, I know as a committed faithist you’re practically addicted to it but you really need to at least try to get away from making stuff up.

    I didn’t say that I or anybody else wouldn’t benefit from seeing differing viewpoints.

    Nor was I either impatient or insulted by the actions of either of them; again, you are simply making stuff up and it is entirely inaccurate…

    Similarly, what happened had nothing to do with anybody’s knowledge or experience so for a third time, you are entirely missing the point.

    I don’t know what passes for sarcasm in your point of the world but it isn’t travelling very well, nor are you showing me anything but your inability to understand what is being conveyed to you.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but nothing you have written was anything other than pleading for special treatment on the grounds of particular knowledge and experience and has failed to even come close to making me think that the decisions made were anything but wise and appropriate.

  • Irv was a blowhard from day one, and this never changed. He wasn’t amenable to give and take or rational discussion (a real waste of first-rate classical education).

    I wouldn’t say that for Alan or Ruvy who, on occasions, had their sane moments.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Do you know why I feel a measure of freedom when writing using a pseudonym? Because I can speak what I know to be true.

    You can infer what you like from that statement, but look back at ALL my posts – you will not find a single insult in any of them.

    You’ve got my real name – you can Google it and you’ll almost certainly find the forum I moderated, and you can see for yourself. You’ll recognize the name-calling and insults that you often see here…but you’ll see a lot more of them. You’ll also see that I NEVER insulted anyone there, either.

    In other words, Chris, I do NOT “make stuff up”. Sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I might have my facts skewed – and everyone on BC Politics KNOWS that I am the FIRST to apologize when shown I am wrong, and am sincerely grateful to whoever showed me my error…

    …but tell me, Chris – do you REALLY think that someone who NEVER insults, who is the first to own up to error, who thanks others for showing him said error…

    …do you really think such a person “makes stuff up”?

    If so, then you have something to learn about people…and on the internet, some use their anonymity to lie through their teeth. Others, however, use their anonymity to be as truly honorable as they always wanted to be. Words like ‘honor’ and ‘integrity’ are scoffed at by many – but just as many hold such to be laudable goals worth striving for. I strongly suggest that before you impugn someone’s honor and integrity, be able to PROVE your case.

    Chris, before you accuse someone of “making stuff up”, you really should get the PROOF on your side. If you’re going to call a man a liar, you’d better be able to prove it. I’ve VERY rarely called other people liars…but every time I’ve done so, I’ve been able to prove it beyond doubt.

    I’ve been nothing short of sincere and truthful to you and everyone else here. If you’re going to call me a liar, you’d better be able to back it up. If not, then who, truly, is “making stuff up”?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    One qualification for the above statement that I’ve never insulted anyone online – I’ve never insulted a private individual online. Public individuals – politicians, preachers, and pundits and the like – are all fair game.

  • Roger, speaking personally the only problem I had with any of those three is that they could never let the facts get in the way of their points of view, which I find totally unacceptable; that had nothing to do with why any of them ended getting banned though.

    Glenn, I am struggling to find a connection between insulting people and making stuff up or why you think that because you don’t do the former it means you don’t do the latter.

    Similarly, I find your “logic” that being anonymous frees you up to be honest to be completely bizarre.

    It is obvious that you are making stuff up, as I pointed out in my previous remark, because all the points you made in #33 are inaccurate and/or untrue. I suspect that it is your commitment to unprovable mysticism that is preventing you from perceiving reason…

  • The confusion stems from reading “making things up” as analogous to lying.

  • Exactly, Roger…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah. I see. To both of you, giving (what is to me) a qualified opinion that is based on my firsthand experience is “making stuff up”. Tell me, exactly how much that is written on BC Politics must then – in your eyes – be viewed as suspect because it’s just “made up”?

    Both of you seem to be quite eager to label people and disregard their experience when said experience does not fit nicely within your own particular worldview.

  • Cannonshop

    In 1994, I was in the Saudi Desert. I’d filed my paperwork for an absentee ballot months before departing for that hell-hole.

    I got it, a week after the 1994 elections were OVER, long past the due-date for the postmark that would get my ballot counted.

    I wasn’t the only soldier with that problem-it is persistent with today’s soldiers, too, and it’s “Progressives” in the DOJ who make sure that the Felons can vote, that their votes are counted, while helping states avoid the legal penalties for excluding deployed servicepeople from having a voice in their elections.

  • Admit it, you were an oddball, Cannon. Having experienced a tour of duty, or two or three, I’m willing to bet that most (except for “our finest”) end up being disenchanted with the war machinery and are apt to vote democratic. Not that I argue that is makes a whole lot of difference.

  • As usual, you weasel your way out, Glenn.

    “Making things up” is not at issue here. What is at issue that you’re accusing Chris for saying that as being equivalent to his saying that you’re lying.

  • Glenn, you are completely misunderstanding what has been said to you and the more you chuff on repeating yourself the more you keep on missing the point. Please stop.

  • Cannonshop

    Roger, Probably.

    But it’s not about “The machine” here-it’s about voting. (yeah, I’m trying to steer us back on-topic…) If a guy doing 15-20 for armed robbery can vote (and Progessives insist he can), then a guy who’s put his life on the line for his country-regardless of how he feels about what he’s doing, should be able to vote, and know his vote will be counted.

    The Service is filled with all kinds of people, some of them would make Glenn Contrarian look like a rabid right-winger, some of them are so far the other way that they’d creep out Pat Robertson.

    Their votes deserve to count, and they deserve to not be denied the franchise merely because it’s inconvenient-especially when those same states make sure that convicted felons, in incarceration, are permitted to vote.

  • Of course I can’t argue against what you’re saying. I didn’t realize, however, that voting presented such a problem once you’re outside of CONUS.

  • Cannonshop

    #47 the problem is chronic, Roger, but seems isolated to persons on military deployment (as opposed to stable basing.)
    Jet-setters and Snowbirds don’t have it, but for some reason certain states have an issue with getting ballots to their citizens-in-uniform serving in active zones, it’s like they do not WANT those people to vote.

  • Clavos

    The first time I voted was in the 1964 presidential election. I was in Basic Training at Ft. Gordon, GA at the time. As a Florida resident, I requested and received my ballot in time, filled it out and presented it to my company CO (a VERY young shavetail Lt.) for countersigning (in those days, service men and women who were enlisted had to have a commissioned officer countersign their absentee ballots). When I handed my ballot to him, the Lt. had the temerity to open it to see how I had voted. “GOLDWATER???,” He exclaimed, “You’re voting for GOLDWATER??? If you vote for Goldwater, you’re gonna wind up fighting in Vietnam within a year!!”

    Damned if he wasn’t right…

  • Fort Gordon was my AIT, 1965.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    In 1994, I was in the Saudi Desert. I’d filed my paperwork for an absentee ballot months before departing for that hell-hole. I got it, a week after the 1994 elections were OVER, long past the due-date for the postmark that would get my ballot counted. I wasn’t the only soldier with that problem-it is persistent with today’s soldiers, too, and it’s “Progressives” in the DOJ who make sure that the Felons can vote, that their votes are counted, while helping states avoid the legal penalties for excluding deployed servicepeople from having a voice in their elections.

    1 – So it was the Progressives – and not some supply clerk somewhere between Iraq and WA – that stopped you from receiving your ballot in time? And exactly HOW do you know that it was the Progressives and not some military functionary?

    2 – And exactly HOW do you know that it was Progressives – or any politician at all – that prevented you from receiving your ballot on time? Especially since you almost certainly CANNOT state with certainty what actually caused the delay in your receipt of the ballot! Don’t give me your suspicions – give me your proof. Why? Because I believe that my experience in both the military (about 5X your own, IIRC, though you deny it) and the USPS tells me that unless you can show me otherwise, either the USPS or the military or the worker bees in the internal processing bureaucracy of WA’s elections commission delayed your ballot. But of course your intention is to attack Progressives…and reality need not apply.

    3 – If an 18 year-old (or a minor who was charged as an adult) does something really stupid that counts as a felony – and you’d be surprised at what counts as a felony these days – when they’ve paid their debt to society, should they really never be allowed to vote ever again? AFTER they’ve paid their debt to society?

    Come to think of it, considering all the African-Americans with felony records thanks to the so-called War on Drugs, I can see why the Republicans wouldn’t want ex-felons to have any right to vote, never mind that they HAVE paid their debts to society. It fits quite well with the premise of the article of this very thread. Thanks for helping me point that out!

    P.S. – I never had a problem receiving my absentee ballots, and neither did my shipmates. But of course since this goes completely counter to what you want to believe, you’ll call me a liar on this one, too.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    This is neither the first nor the last time that I’ll bet beat up by all and sundry…and I learned a long time ago – when I was doing what you’re doing now – that you can’t make everyone happy.

    It’s a thankless task that you’re doing – everyone gripes about what you did wrong, and everyone is telling you how you could do your job better. I know. But also bear in mind that you, too, are human…and the higher the standard to which you hold yourself, the more standing you have to uphold the rules.

    To your mind I misunderstood what you meant by “making stuff up” – but what you’re not getting is that to me, “making stuff up” IS lying. To me, “making stuff up” refers not to making claims that may or may not be true but are not provable either way, but making claims that one KNOWS is not true or factual. In other words, a lie.

    The connection between insulting and “making stuff up” is this: I told you I’ve NEVER insulted anyone in this forum or any other…and that I have always been the first to own up to my own error and been thankful to those who showed me my error. You can verify all this – you’ve got all the access you need.

    What does all that have to do with “making stuff up”? INTEGRITY. In your experience as a moderator, Chris, have you not noticed that the more strongly one abides by a proper code of conduct – tell the truth, don’t call names, admit when you’re sorry – the LESS likely that person is to “make stuff up”?

    As I said above, if you haven’t noticed this, then you have something to learn about people.

    Here’s my personal online code of conduct:

    – I tell the truth as I know it.
    – I don’t call names (of private individuals).
    – I admit when I’m wrong.
    – I apologize when I’m wrong.
    – I say “thank you” to those who show me that I’m wrong.

    If you can show me where I’ve failed to abide by the above code of conduct, I’d really like to see it.


    – I don’t “make stuff up”.

    Think about all that the next time you take the side of those who think that things like “honor” and “integrity” are just the rantings of a fool.

  • That’s how I read Chris’s phrase, “making stuff up,” in the order of increasing gravity:

    (a) misreading

    (b) missing the point

    (c) being out of touch with reality

    (d) being delusional

    None of these states (necessarily) signify willful intent; in fact, they’re more suggestive of being unaware, or doing things unwittingly.

    Hence, there’s no accusation of lying and no impugning the person’s integrity.

    A delusional who is locked up in a mental ward for extensive observation does not suffer from lying but a mental illness. We don’t put liars in psycho wards

  • The last paragraph wasn’t meant to peg you, only to emphasize the point.

  • Glenn, you are missing the point by such a wide margin that I can’t see any possibility of you pulling yourself back into the world of actual understanding and comprehension. Suffice to say that your entire comment #52 is as irrelevant as it is misguided.

    All you have to do to see this is re-read your remarks to me in #33, in which you made up a load of speculative and inaccurate garbage, which I pointed out in #34. Until you can manage to drum this into your presently irritating and rather smug perception, you are just perpetuating your error and, incidentally, failing to adhere to your own precious little code of conduct.

    Roger, I would endorse the points made in your #53. I guess once one starts living by dogma and creed, whether secular or spiritual, self-deception inevitably follows. Sad, really…

  • troll

    …Einstein presumably describing the way his mind worked said that novel concepts emerge from the free play of intuition – ie making shit up

  • How out of context and completely irrelevant! There should be an award for that!!

  • troll

    …I prefer to characterize my approach here as somewhat tangential — mark it up as an irrational response to tedium in the comments

  • @56

    Another sense of “making things up,” though, by way of thought experiment.

    Is this what Glenn is guilty of?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Is it really all just misunderstanding on my part? Or could part of the problem be that you could have been clearer in your writing and you could have read my posts more carefully?

    Also, instead of considering the actual relevance of what troll said, you simply dismissed it.

    And Roger – who disagrees with almost anything I say anyway – is the only regular member here to back you up.

    So fine – let’s agree to disagree. You think I’m going off on some wild tangents, and I think you’re not reading my posts carefully enough…especially the parts that were meant to help and encourage you in your duty here as moderator from someone who has done it before on a forum more contentious than this one. I’m done on this subject – if you want the last word, go for it. I won’t reply.

  • Glenn, I don’t want to be harping on the subject, let alone prolong it, but it’s you’re sanctimonious tone that, speaking for myself, I find most annoying. I don’t see it in Handy nor in zing, even though you may be more or less “aligned” on some of the issues. It’s almost as though you had greater stake in convincing yourself of the truth of your opinions than communicating with others.

    But communication, Glenn, is more important than what you think is true. That’s why we’re here, ain’t that so? Besides, truth is relational, in the sense of finding a common ground, so that both participants in the dialogue can build upon and proceed from there. Well, there is no common ground insofar as you are concerned, Glenn, it’s always either your way or the highway.

    Your exchanges with Cannon make that aboundingly clear. Cannon makes good points now and then, but you never take them into account and always go on with your quite predictable tirades. You always end up accusing him of conservative bias as though you yourself were free of any such thing. There is no communication here, only total negation of Cannon and re-assertion of Glenn.

    You should detach yourself once in a while from the process and try to re-read some of your comments as though an outside observer. I sincerely hope you do.

  • Glenn, re your #60:-

    Yes, it is all a misunderstanding on your part.

    No, part of the problem is not that I could have been clearer or have read your post more carefully.

    troll’s comment had no relevance.

    I don’t care if anybody backs me up or not on this.

    We are not disagreeing; you are simply misunderstanding very simple expressions and failing – persistently – to notice.

    Your fanciful notion that I think you are “going off on some wild tangents” proves this; I don’t think that, I just think that what you wrote in ‘#33 was irrelevant bullshit that you made up, as I have written repeatedly.

    Nor do I need any help or encouragement in my role as Comments Editor, particularly from someone who can’t follow simple sentences coherently.

    I’d stick to your magical thinking if I were you; straightforwardness really isn’t your forte.

  • troll

    Is this what Glenn is guilty of?

    well he frequently adds a bit of himself when reading others’ comments…now and then this leads to responses that seem to come from the nonsequiturial regions of the dark continent

    I appreciate that

    and yes I think he is creative – conceptually speaking that is…free play of intuition and all that

  • troll

    …pig headed too

    and I mean that in the most constructive way possible of course

  • “Nonsequiturial regions of the dark continent” — this is a winner!

    I’m not going to contend your assessment, “troll,” and the reason is — it was never my intention to break anyone’s spirit.

  • troll

    I know that Rog

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    Pig-headed? Yes, I’ll take it as the constructive criticism it’s meant to be. Thanks.

    This sorta reminds me of a scene in Patton where Patton is complaining about Montgomery: “Hell, I know I’m a prima donna! My problem with Monty is that he won’t admit he’s one, too!”

    Or words to that effect.

  • Jordan Richardson

    On topic (!!!!), here’s an interesting article on the subject of Glenn’s article. It outlines the Republican history of voter suppression, but it’s from the dreaded liberal perspective so it’ll probably be ignored.

  • It’s also from Aljazeera, which automatically means that the writer Hates Our Freedoms. So it’s doubly disqualified.