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Friday, March 25, 2011

America: Explained

As many of you probably know, this post: America, You Keep Using That Word (I don’t think it means what you think it means) has gone viral.

Amazingly so.

I am both flattered and a bit puzzled by this event.

I started Stonekettle Station the day my retirement from the US military was final, when I could speak freely about anything I pleased without violating my oath.  Originally, Stonekettle Station was an experiment.  I had things I wanted to say, but I didn’t know if others would be interested.

I didn’t know if I could write.



Rather I knew I could write, but I didn’t know if I could write well enough, distinctly enough, to rise above the noise floor of the Internet. 

Oh sure, you can always create a site that becomes popular, that gets tens of thousands of hits a day, that even makes money, if that’s your goal. I used to be one of the country’s top experts in Information Warfare, I certainly knew how to attract attention on the Internet, LOLcats, tech reviews, movie critiques, de-motivational posters, 9/11 birther conspiracy theories, hate, or pictures of frolicking naked people along with aggressively encouraging trollage and flame wars in the comments section – but I wanted to write. Over the last few years I have endeavored to write well about the things that interest me. Readership has grown slowly but steadily, expanding beyond the original core group of UCFers (if you don’t know what the UCF is, don’t worry about it. But if you like what you find here on Stonekettle Station, you should definitely check out the UCF blogs linked down the right side of this page).  I’ve worked hard to cultivate an intelligent and interesting bunch of regulars, mostly by aggressively weeding out the trolls, banning the deliberately stupid and the willfully ignorant, and banging together the heads of people who just don’t seem to get that you can disagree without being an asshole about it. It seems to work, I’m extremely happy with Stonekettle Station and its readership – though of late I’ve had much less time than I’d like to devote to it.

A number of my posts have found widespread interest, the most recent being this post, which followed the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. Upon occasion famous writers have linked to the site and sent hordes of their readers my way.  Some stuck. Posts regularly get picked up and reposted here and there across the web and bring in a few more regular readers each week.  Slowly and surely Stonekettle Station has grown based solely on the strength of the  writing and word of mouth instead of gimmicks and I find this encouraging.
Previously, the highest number of hits on a single post was about 18K when the Scifi writer, John Scalzi, linked to this post from his very popular Whatever blog.  And while I certainly appreciated that particular boon, the spike in pageviews was because Scalzi found that post amusing, and not because my writing struck a chord with tens of thousands of people.

And then there was America, You Keep Using That Word...

Over the last week, the America post has, so far, pulled in over 150 thousand pageviews – and still counting – here on Stonekettle Station and a rather large number on other sites where it was reposted with permission (If you reposted the article in full and you didn’t ask me first, you need to send me an email).  It’s been linked to 2000+ times from Facebook alone, along with numerous links from Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, and various forums.  And I have received several hundred emails in response to the post which I’m still gamely trying to answer – be patient, I’ll probably get to you sooner or later, maybe.  Overwhelmingly, the response has been positive and it’s apparent that the post struck a resonant chord with a large number of folks and it continues to spread across the internet.

I find this immensely gratifying for a number of reasons, not the least of which is knowing that there are a very, very large number of Americans who truly do understand what their country really stands for, who really do understand what America means to a significant fraction of the world, and who are people I’d be proud to call friends and countrymen.  The fact that I’ve gotten positive comments from a General Officer, a handful of senior military officers (both retired and active duty), a large number of senior enlisted, a slew of city councilmen and public officials, and Americans from all walks of life and from every state in the union gives me hope for the future of this country – indeed, for the world.

And in fact, I did get more than a few letters from Conservatives that said essentially, “I don’t agree with everything you wrote but you made me examine my own position, thanks. Keep writing.”  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the hell out of those more than all the rest.

However, as those of you who are familiar with Stonekettle Station might expect, not all of the reactions have been positive.

Yes, I know, you’re shocked. Shocked.

Oddly, I haven’t yet received any death threats – and I’ve gotten death threats for posts much less pointed than America. But I have gotten a number of emails that stop just, barely, short of threats.  I’ve gotten the usual screeds questioning my manhood, my patriotism, my military background, my morals, my integrity, my agenda, my affiliation with the New World Order, and whether or not my parents were ever married.  I’ve gotten an even dozen that are in the format I’ve come to call TEA Party Tourette's, i.e. incoherent froth and spittle, random capitalization, punctuated with serial ellipsis and exclamation points, full of fierce damnation and God’s wrath – I’m tempted to post those here for ridicule, but it would be like taunting the class spaz.  Amusing, yes, but more than a little mean. I’m not saying I won’t, mind you, you know me after all, but that’s another post entirely.

Of the rest, the negative responses seem to fall into a couple of distinct categories:


Attention Deficit Disorder

It’s too long! You could have just said ‘You hate everybody’ and let it go at that! I lost interest after the second “you hate…”  In fact, all of your stuff is too long.  You could have summed the whole thing up in one line.

(I picture a small child at this point, arms all stiff, doing that impatient dance four year olds do. It’s tooooo loooong, toooo loooong)

Hell even folks who liked America, warned readers “It’s really long, but worth the read…”
I hear you. I do. And if I ever want to write witty de-motivational posters or greeting cards, I’ll be sure to remember this.

Look, folks, I spent most of my life writing short, succinct military fare.  But, I’m longwinded. I know this. It’s part of my charm, as anybody who knows me personally will tell you. I’m a wordy bastard and I know it, I do it on purpose, l like it that way. I like to explore ideas in detail. What’s the point of having the bandwidth if you don’t use it?  That’s one of the reasons I’m a blogger and not a journalist or a columnist, I don’t like to color inside the lines and here on my own blog I don’t have to. Something I’d point out to you: wordy as America was, it went viral and has been read by hundreds of thousands of people.  I think I can confidently say that if I’d wrote “Saw a truck and I thought of Americans who hate everything. The End” it probably wouldn’t have been read by very many people.  I realize you hate that, but there it is.
Start your own blog and write what you like.

But in order to heed your own admonishment, you should probably stick to Twitter – and if you’re Charlie Sheen, mayhap you’ll get a hundred thousand folks to read your 140 character post.

Me, I’ll just keep doing what I do, it seems to be working for me.



Oh Noes! Liberalism!

I saw this response mostly on forums, though I got some email that said essentially the same thing.  To paraphrase, “Obviously written by a [liberal, socialist, communist, Nazi, America hater]. I hate people like that. Dismiss!”

All I can say is, thanks for proving my point.



Nuh Uh!

I got a number of letters explaining why the Confederate Battle Flag is really a symbol of patriotism, of rugged individualism, of true American spirit. How it symbolizes a real American’s fight against tyranny and the federal government of the United States. How it’s got nothing to do with North and South and a war long over.

Yeah.

You keep telling yourself that little fairly tale, Bubba, and again, thanks for proving my point.



Say What?

I saw one forum where the entire America post was dismissed because, “Diesels don’t emit white smoke. The whole article is suspect.”  (I guess the commenter has never seen a diesel truck with a high performance chip and twin stack exhaust on the Palmer Hay Flats at -10F.  And yes, I do know that it’s actually a condensation trail and not smoke – note the “contrail” description in the original post. I claim poetic license. Also, I know a thing or two about diesel engines, just saying).  Note that he dismissed the entire article based on what he perceives as a single flaw in a bit of window dressing. I will bet you even money this guy is either a global climate change denier or a creationist, or both, and that America describes him to a Tee.  I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

A commenter on another forum called me an “obvious liar.”  The commenter declared that the driver of the truck in America must have been a liberal because, and stay with me here, the post identified the vehicle in question as a “RAM,” i.e. a Dodge.  Not getting the logic? Yeah it took me some reading too, but apparently the gist of the reasoning goes like this: GM and Chrysler took Obama’s bailout money and are owned by the government, therefore only liberals would drive one because they are now socialist machines. Ford, which didn’t take bailout money, is a Conservative’s truck. 

You win. I have no retort for this.

Can I be honest? I don’t actually remember what make the truck was, I just thought “RAM” sounded funnier when I penned the Old Spice Guy paragraph.



Angry Man!

As always, a rather large number of folks read what I wrote and then decided that I must be a) a very angry man, who b) hates America.

I don’t suppose there is anything I can do to convince these people otherwise, even if I were to bake them a plate of cookies and sing You Are My Sunshine accompanied by flying bunnies on kazoo and banjo while giving them a baby oil neck massage as they watched Glenn Beck.

I’ve been known to tilt at windmills, true, but I’m going to just let this one go past – you, on the other hand, can live with that charming homoerotic mental image. You’re welcome.

And finally, Strawman!

Ah yes. At last, something with a grain of constructive criticism.

The gist of the objection being that the driver of the truck in America is a strawman.

Heh.

Well duh, Captain Obvious, of course he is.

Folks. I’m not a reporter. I’m not a journalist. I don’t pretend objectivity. I’m a blogger. I’m a writer. A storyteller. A raconteur. I have spent the better part of four years developing the particular voice of Stonekettle Station, a gruffly humorous descriptive style influenced by more than two decades of leading and teaching military people, of telling entertaining sea stories as any good Sailor should, and by some of my favorite writers, from the gonzo Hunter S. Thompson to the libertarian Robert Heinlein to the conservative military fiction of Jerry Pournelle to my personal favorite curmudgeon-at-large, Fred Reed.

Go back and read some of the posts here. Please. Note that that they all have a similar format, I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what that is exactly, but if you look carefully you’ll see that there are many layers underneath the surface, note the use of particular words and descriptions, the digressions are dead giveaways – I’m looking for readers with whom that sort of thing resonates, because that’s the sort of thing I enjoy reading.   America uses that well established format – the truck, and its supposed driver, are simply foils.  Something to get your attention, something you could identify with, to set the mood, to establish the scene, to place you into the world as I saw it at the moment I wrote the story.  Hint: The Old Spice Guy paragraph should have tipped you off immediately.

In the story, you never saw the driver, did you? The driver, the strawman, represents an idea, a generic political viewpoint, nothing more. 


You, the reader, filled in the details based on your own bias. You fleshed him out (and it was a him, wasn’t it? With a southern drawl maybe? And a mullet?)

Look, a strawman is not always a bad thing.

Think of Star Trek. The original series. Remember Spock? He was the foil. The Strawman – especially in the pilot episode.   His supposed cold stoic emotionless machine-like logic was used by the writers to emphasize the larger than life human elements – that was the character’s entire purpose. What? You thought it was just so McCoy could make humorous quips at the end of each episode? The gimmick worked so well that it has been copied endlessly ever since. I was once a military war planner, a guy who wrote weapons and combat doctrine. We used strawmen all of the time.  Stand him up, knock him down, learn along the way until you have something that works.  The term itself comes from this practice, a target made of grass that you hone your skill against, that you use to make a specific point or teach a specific lesson.  A strawman is only bad if you allow it to become a logical fallacy. Such is not the case here. The driver of the truck, the strawman of America, could be any one of a dozen real world people. It’s somebody you know, isn’t it? Of course it is, otherwise so many people wouldn’t have identified with the post, it would not have gone viral.

Don’t believe me?

Ask yourself this, when was the last time you heard Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck spend an entire show talking about the things they love about America?  When was the last time Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachman, or Sharon Angle went an entire hour on the air without describing something about America that they hate?  When was the last time you read any article on FoxNews, Yahoo, or a Tea Party forum that didn’t include a comment section full of descriptions of things conservative commenters hate? Be honest.  Every single one of those hates I listed in America were taken directly, directly, from Yahoo, from TEA party chat rooms, from transcriptions of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter – and I could have made that list a lot longer.  A lot longer.

Still don’t believe me?

Still want to tell me that certain conservatives don’t think this way?

Really?

Folks, every single thing that I listed in America, this guy hates.

And, unfortunately, because his opinions and those of people just like him often go viral, his viewpoint has become increasingly common here in these United States.

Sure, liberals do the same thing, and I touched on that in my other bumper sticker inspired post (which has also gone viral, thank you very much), the difference is that liberals rarely display the same shallow fair-weather knee-jerk “patriotism” displayed by the driver of the truck that inspired America

And that hypocrisy is what America was actually all about.

If the questions made you uncomfortable, if the various hates described struck just a little too close to home, if the article made you angry, if it made you think about your own hates and bigotry and viewpoint even just a little bit – well, you know, that was the whole point.


Updates:
People keep asking me what I love about America. The answer is here: Part 3 – America: Land That I Love

Comments on this post are now closed: If you feel the need to comment, read part 3 and comment there.

96 comments:

  1. Ya sure, you are a bit wordy. You like to read your own stuff, It is toooo looong; my eyes were tempted to drift down the page; you made your point many times over; who of your regular readers needs an explanation; but, don't edit out one word.
    Laird Monahan

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  2. Here in Europe there is this misconception that Americans don't understand satire. Jim, you have proved them wrong.

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  3. Yes too long, that is why I followed the links and read those as well.

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  4. Trucks are emitting chemtrails now? Oh noes!!

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  5. Don't feel bad. I still HATE YOU SO MUCH.

    :-)

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  6. Jim,

    [de-cloak]
    I know I rarely post here - your other regulars always seem to cover what I'm thinking and say it so much better than I think I could.

    And, I really hate doing just a "me, too!" post.

    Having said that, I want you to know that I, and I believe many others like me, never miss a word you write. While "America ..." was one of your best, I'd hate to label it as the best. I'd also be hard pressed to pick one of your past efforts to wear such a label. I so wish I had your talent.

    How's that for a "me, too!" post?

    Lucy

    hatingsk: seriously?

    [lurkermode]

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  7. I'm an editor. Yes, your posts are often long and could probably be shortened if you had to meet someone else's arbitrary word count.

    However, they don't usually "drag", meaning that they usually don't seem too long while you're reading them: they just seem long when you skim the post.

    Keep doing what you're doing. I think you have a lot to contribute.

    Oh, sorry. What I meant was that YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THIS COUNTRY AND SHOULF BE TRACKED DOWN BECASUE YOU ARE INTERFEREING WITH MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

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  8. This was too long too. You suck.

    If you hate America so much, why don't you move somewhere else...like Arizona!

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  9. Glad to hear your post resonated and went viral. Sometimes it's easy to worry about our neighbours to the south (and NW)

    BTW wordy to me means clarity and specificity. A good thing.

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  10. After coming here due to "America..." and smirkingchimp.com I find it hard to believe it took this long for me to find you. Long winded, I love it! Soung bites are part of the problem! There's another guy out here that's long winded too and you remind me of him. His name is Joe Bageant, he's published, wrote a book called "Deer Hunting with Jesus" maybe you've heard of him. I also give you kudos because your humor reminds me of the late great Molly Ivins. Political writer from Texas, she never lost an opportunity for irony. Joe is from Winchester VA my state. Yes I know, the top two guns, God and death penalty states are fertile ground for humor but not everyone has the gift you guys do for articulating it. You obviously have many gifts and I appreciate you sharing all of them, thanks

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  11. Once you become president (or master of the universe) you should give your commenters cabinet level positions. On another note, back in wasilly I once had a rebel flag, then stopped and used my brain and realized the true stupidity of displaying such arrogance. I think a majority of them just act that way to fit in, to be a badass or more manly, basically stupid reasons, we all know liberals are greeny pussies, and that's their mentality and they never grow out of it. Pave the whales!

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  12. After using not one, not two, but three whole spaces after the period and before the sentence, "America uses that well established format..." I can only conclude you're a raging, godless liberal who hates American and has the manhood of a young Shirley Temple. And I completely discount your opinion and thought process because of that and your use of words with more than 3 syllables, which is the trademark of the overly educated elitists that are ruining our country.

    Keep going, Jim. And, yeah, your posts are way too damn long. You wordy bastard.

    Congrats on the success, BTW.

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  13. Hope you are writing a book (I'm sure you have time on your hands to do that LOL), I would buy it. Your writing style reminds me of Nelson DeMille's books - no nonsense and great humor. I'll have to check into the authors you mentioned.

    Love all your posts but haven't really commented much, but just picture an Ohio (yes that place that elected one of the biggest "fuktards" ever that is destroying our state) housewife smiling and chuckling along with everyone else.

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  14. TEA Party Tourette's

    Jim wins the Internet...again!

    Congratulations Jim, we're proud of you.

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  15. Yay, you. I don't think you're at all wordy. Well, actually, you are. But I choose my paperback novels by which one is bigger and a longer read.

    We have evolved into a 'fewer than 140 characters' world. No one has attention span for simple dialogue anymore, much less reading.

    First time here. I'll be back.

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  16. And that, folks, is how it's done.

    Dr. Phil

    subble -- yeah, even your Captcha thinks you're "too subtle" for teh Internets. (grin)

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  17. Nick from the O.C.March 26, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    You lost me when you said Spock was The Strawman in the pilot and that he was cold and emotionless.

    You fool! In the pilot, the cold and emotionless "Number One" was the character played by Majel Barett (Rodenberry).

    Star Trek fail means you can't have an opinion about America.

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  18. WRONG WRONG WRONG YOU'RE WRONG

    You, Sir, are alluding to the UN-AIRED pilot, "The Cage" (later recycled as "The Menagerie" which was actually episodes #11 and #12. 11 and 12, nowhere near the pilot, Nick.

    The actual series pilot was "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and Spock most certainly had a stick up his ass on that mission - you probably didn't notice because you were too busy watching Sally Kellerman, I know I was. Wooo. Uh, never mind.

    Now, go sit in the corner and be glad we let you stay.

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  19. Oi Jimmy, good ta meetcha mate. Gots to say I agree with prit-near everything you wrote.

    Was thinking about mentioning the Star Trek episode debacle butt you beat me to it in your own comment, good on ya mate.

    Bookmarked, gonna add ya to me wee lil' globroll for what that's worth.

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  20. And ignore any previous comments previous to my previous one as they were probably from my cat.

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  21. Your cat has one hell of an Aussie accent.

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  22. I see a lot of gas guzzler vehicles with American flags and "Buy American" stickers on them. They keep saying "Buy American" but I don't think they know what it means. Every time they fill the gas tank they are contributing to champagne and hookers for some oil sheik and ammunition for radical Islam. That ain't "Buying American".

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  23. I want cookies and a flying bunny.

    Also, congrats.

    PS. You're still an asshole.

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  24. More words! More! I got more and more delighted and entertained and happy the further I read. I am a fan of the beauty that can be blogghorea. I hate Twitter.

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  25. I found you on a Yahoo stock message board of all places, and I'm glad I did. I've driven the Glenn to Anchorage many times in years past and I can relate. I'll be back for more of your posts. Keep up the great writing!

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  26. Came to your site after reading your America post on another site. Damn, you are the best thing I've ever came across on the internet! Keep up the good work, Jim! I have linked your blog on my Facebook account and sent links to you to all of my friends! Thanks!!!

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  27. James Tiberius from the O.C.March 27, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Dude, I see your point, but the pilot is the pilot ... aired or unaired.

    I guess you can keep opining on America, though.

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  28. Tiberius, you must be talking about the alternate universe pilot.

    And you're still wrong.

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  29. You can write, and I liked it, and I'm sure the driver of that truck left Texas a week ago Tuesday. I saw him here near Dallas headed north on I-35. Followed him about 45 miles between Waco and Dallas. He had all those stickers on his truck, just as you described, plus one that you may not have seen "TEXAS SECEDE".

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  30. Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

    I like wordy, when it is well-written wordy. And that's true even though the Internet and my computers have given me a case of ADD that I didn't have before my computers and the Internet. Well-written wordy can still hold my attention and I appreciate the detail and peeled layers of the onions.

    Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

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  31. Your readers amused me as they always do, but Nathan's "If you hate America so much, why don't you move somewhere else...like Arizona!" Hahahahahahahahaha! Excellent!

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  32. Yes sir!
    You made me look inside and see the too many hates that I foster.

    Sarah, Rush, Glenn...no, no, no, just kidding.

    I don't want to hate.

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  33. Great job Jim, lots of people in the Progress For a More Perfect Union facebook page are loving the America post. Thanks for pointing us towards that libertarian response from outis. It's fantastic. The guy can exactly describe what his perfect government would look like, then admits it doesn't exist and isn't likely. Because his utopia is not available he could care less which other government gets elected. I left a comment on that post that I could picture him in his apartment. He really wants it to be 82 degrees but since it's not he's ok with 60, 40, -20. He doesn't care if not freezing to death is the lesser of two evils, it's still not shorts weather.

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  35. You're like a wild west version of my husband - opinionated, humorous, wordy, misspelled words (not many), and for everything he and I stand for.

    I'll keep on reading these. Thanks!

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  36. People write what they know...and you obviously know a lot about hate. Glad I'm not your neighbor!

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  37. People write what they know....you obviously know alot about hate. Glad I'm not your neighbor!

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  38. Thanks Jim for every word...

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  39. Somewhere up there Molly Ivins just nudged Mark Twain and said "Hey,look, they ain't dead, they're just hiding out in Alaska."

    Thank you.

    Jzelouise in Northern Kentucky

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  40. Excellent writing, sir. You nailed this problem of hypocrisy right on the head. And contra the quips about its length, it just drives home the point all the more. Keep up the good work!

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  42. I love you. Yes, you, you and everything about you.

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  43. I wrote my response in my own blog:
    http://meliorazeses.blogspot.com/2011/03/rant-to-myself.html

    I guess my biggest problem was that by building up this strawman, you are dehumanizing the people who hold these opinions and making these issues into an us vs. them. So, they hate you, you hate them. It makes the people who agree with you feel pretty smart for being on the "right" team. But not only does it not make any progress, it takes two steps back because the issue isn't the issue or anything about the issue. Its about how we are better than them because they are stupid or ignorant or hateful or whatever. Like if spock was an ugly racial stereotype to use your metaphor I guess.

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  44. If you weren't my blogger god before (you were), you sure are now that I've followed your link to "this man."

    Oh lordy, how wonderful to know someone else sees what I see. I'm not the lone ranger in seeing that man for what he is: a well organized, well heeled, destructive force. It's especially gratifying to know I'm not alone in my perception in this state, where he has so much (too much) clout.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  45. Jim,
    As others have said, I don't agree with *everything* you've written. But Damn Sir, I admire your prose and, most importantly, I admire the fact that the *content* of your prose could/would/should make any intelligent person, of whatever political stripe, give pause for thought.

    Thank you for making me give pause.

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  46. I have to agree with you that you are, as admitted, rather wordy (an understatement). And for that I fear for your long-term readability. However, that aside, I have to say that you, sir, are a patriot and even if I didn't agree with the angle of illumination you shed upon the topics under your pen, I would be proud to call you a friend and ally. A funny, and thoughtful, friend and ally.

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  47. Thank you. Finding your blog made my day. I have read exactly 2 of your posts, and I am a fan and follower. I like your writing style and what you have to say. I love it that you write blog posts, not bumper stickers, not tweets, not brain farts. Stay wordy. The readers who think your posts are too long probably think their dick is too big, too. I look forward to reading more of your wordiness.

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  48. As a former resident of both the Bible Belt and Alaska, I have found a refreshing new home in the Green Mountains of Vermont. A discussion with a crusty old dairy farmer sums up the state pretty well. "Gays? I love gays, they don't make more dumb people. We've got too many idiots in this world already." It is great! The type of guys who spout some of the most hateful vitriol in other parts of the country don't give a shit about what other people do as long as they aren't bothering anybody else. The rest of the country would be better learning this lesson.

    Jim, move to VT and run for office. They'd love you here. And we've got moose!

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  49. Look, you be as wordy as you like.

    I was turned on to you today and baby, I know you're going to be the star in my dreams tonight.

    ;)

    Keep up the good work.

    - Maggie, liberal, gun-shooting, booze-slinging, fast-reading, high-thinking, cat-loving, patriotic, Illinois-born & bred, California-living.

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  50. I also just found your blog through a Facebook link that a friend posted. Loved the post and plan to go back and read your older ones. I'm intending to be one of your regular readers from now on.
    ~~Pat in Idaho

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  51. Thank you for linking back to the 'liberalism is a mental illness' piece, it was among the best! Definitely worthy of a re-read every so often.

    Sure you write long things, but wordy? Neal Stephenson is wordy!
    Keep the word count somewhat below Avogadro's number and it will be fine!

    Congrats on the viral post, it deserves all the attention it gets!

    I'm so happy Mensley clued me in to your stuff.

    Stuart in Cinci.

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  52. "Warner (aka ntsc) said...

    Yes too long, that is why I followed the links and read those as well."

    As did I.
    Well done sir, well done indeed.

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  53. Oh man! Now I'm gonna have to keep coming back and reading stuff. Your site was linked from M&H's blog. Damn. More time on this darn machine. My old man was a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army. Nuff said...

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  54. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you heard Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck spend an entire show talking about the things they love about America?

    I won't speak for Rush Limbaugh, but did you miss the 8/28 Restoring Honor 350,000 get together last year? That was hosted by Glen Beck, with Sarah Palin as one of the guests of honor.

    That was about as patriotic and positive event as we've had in many years in Washington D.C.. In fact, it was so postive, it had stunned Libs like you conjecturing for hidden meanings to criticize. Then when that didn't take with the public after you'd floated every balloon, you slowly let the issue die.

    So I have a question for you. Who is the Liberal on the national stage that talks about anything positive? Obama? His entire 2008 campaign was a list of everything wrong with America.

    You don't read terribly well researched if that's an indicator of your memory and objectivity.

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  55. You don't read so well yourself, Tex. Try reading this post again, especially that part about objectivity.

    And that Restoring Honor rally? Positive? For your little Tea Party perhaps, but it was an insult to the rest of the country. Restoring honor? As if America had lost her honor, her courage, her greatness, because you lost the election? Yeah. Save it, Tex.

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  56. Yup, very wordy. But you've made my day better. Thanks.

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  57. I agree with everything you've said, except for the part about the confederate battle standard. The feelings involved with that thing are way too complex, and mostly have nothing to do with how one feels about the current incarnation of the federal government for most people. There -are- some loonies who still want to seperate and form the 'new confederacy' or whatever, but they're no where near the majority.

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  58. Your words are what America needs to hear, and see. Literally. Would you consider doing an audio to accompany your words on paper? At least an audio of a few key paragraphs? We could blow people away with actual visuals of what you so eloquently describe in your writings. It would be extremely powerful because real American patriots like pictures to accompany their reading material. :D

    Seriously though, I'm signing with a link to my YouTube page. My videos are political in nature and you can see some of the work I've done in the past under Uploads. My latest is Puppets of the Plutocrats which was published a few days ago. It's a good example showing a narrative enhanced with pictures and music. I hope you agree, it's a powerful way to send a message. Speaking of messages, I just followed you on Twitter and can get in touch with me there if you're interested in doing a video, or two. I look forward to your response.

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  59. Try reading this post again, especially that part about objectivity.

    I read it again, and it was even more mundane the second time. You read like the typical garden variety, irreligious bigot from the left. It's neither original thought, nor creative. It does parrot the marching orders of MSNBC, mixed in with repetitious attempts at humor.

    And that Restoring Honor rally? Positive? For your little Tea Party perhaps, but it was an insult to the rest of the country. Restoring honor? As if America had lost her honor, her courage, her greatness, because you lost the election? Yeah. Save it, Tex.

    Last I looked Jim, that Tea Party didn't lose the election - you and your amoral lackeys from the Left did in historical proportions. I thank Obama for employing 69 new Republicans.

    --------

    You live in a world of illusion Jim, where Yes We Can! passes for profundity and your echo chamber tickles your ears. That may fly with your little sycophants here, those who peed in their pants at a facade who now has proven to be a abysmal failure as President, but outside the blog, the rest of the world is laughing at you.

    So you keep on dissing the Tea Party, and we'll keep on handing your *ss. And by the way, I'm no member of the Tea Party - just somebody with a real high B.S. meter, which was pegged as I perused this award winning blog.

    It appears to me your don't like to be intellectually challenged. I thought you were a warrior? {snicker}

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  60. Say, Tex, you don't happen to drive a big black truck perchance? I really want to thank you for proving my point exactly, for being that guy.

    You're done now, beat it. Any further asshatery from you will be deleted without comment

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  61. You're a joke...and a coward requiring an echo chamber of approval. You better toughen boy if you want to meet that big dream, because you are going to be an easy target. And you dream of writing for a living? CHUCKLE Don't quit your wood work.

    Clowns like you are a dime a dozen, and you've proven nothing but what I said was true - you can't handle the truth sport, no matter how many times you keep telling yourself that ad nauseam, even when it's not germane to the questions at hand.

    Room temperature IQ and Bradley Manning look alike. A rube playing Alaskan warrior.

    But if you ever grab a set soldier, come over to Rutherfordl.wordpress.com where I linked to this POS, and I'll give you an eye opener in your debating skills.

    I doubt you can work up the courage.

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  62. Folks, in answer to your questions:

    No, "Tex" is not a sock puppet - if he was, I would have written him better.

    What he actually is speaks for itself.

    I'll leave his comments up as his stereotypical blustering tough guy act lends validity to my original observation more eloquently than any agreement. Today, when you see a big black truck with a confederate flag, think of Tex and smile.

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  63. Jim that is exactly what I was thinking! I now have a name for the "person" in the truck.....It's Tex! I think, dare I say' he even called you ..."boy"! Such a telling post don't you think; are you sure he's not a sock puppet?

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  64. Well, he may be a sock puppet, but he's not my sock puppet. Might be one of the Palin kids.

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  65. I'm sorry Tex followed my trail over here, but I did bait him at Rutherford's. Yeah, he's driving that big black monster with a set of rubber gonads swinging in the back. lol.

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  66. I'll have to remember to get you something special for christmas, poolman.

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  67. LOL! Hopefully I can redeem myself before you start your Christmas shopping. One thing about Tex, his byte is worse than his bark.

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  68. Yeah, I get that. I've met plenty just like him, full of wind, shit, and holy fire - and the very first one to go fetal and cry for his mommy when the bullets start flying.

    As to his bite, well, I'm not worried. Given his name, what's he going to do? Gum me to death?

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  69. I think I ran into one of your examples today, Jim.

    Especially after nearly get splattered with cold, muddy water by his truck, he gets into a conversation because he thought I was judging his plethora of anti-Kerry propaganda plastered over the back of his truck.

    And I knew they were his because he told me how much he hated Kerry after he spotted me shaking my head at his vehicle.

    It's been kind of a surreal day.

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  70. Hey Savage the wannabee author,

    As to his bite, well, I'm not worried. Given his name, what's he going to do? Gum me to death?

    How many bullets flew by your head while you were "gathering" information? That's why we need Israel for intelligence. You were parked there. Were you the one that gave Clinton info while he boning Monica, and he blew up the milk factory?

    Come on over to Rutherford's and I'll demonstrate your stupidity. You can join Al-Poolman as the court jester.

    I'll bet your service consisted of peeling potatoes in the kitchen Rambo.

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  71. This will be the last of Tex's comments I will leave up. I think his amusement value has about run it's course.

    I'd like conservatives to take particular note of Tex. He is what passes for patriotism and love of country and respect for veterans among conservatives these days. In a small handful of posts he has managed to demonstrate every single hate I described in the original America post. Every single one. This gives me no satisfaction, only sadness because people like Tex have become the public face of the once great Grand Old Party. He is a stereotype of himself, the hateful bigot, the ignorant redneck, the blustering know-nothing. He is why so many are no longer proud to call themselves Republicans.

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  72. oh my! You found a real live straw man! A fine example too, did you drag him up from the bottom of the abandoned well or did he find you on accident? Good grief, another fine example of the classic neo con *sigh* how on earth do they survive in a world with no facts, so scary.

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  73. He is why so many are no longer proud to call themselves Republicans.

    He is also why a lot of us country types don't advertise it. He gives us a really bad name (as evidenced by your stereotyping I should point out, but I do understand why. The ignorance of some of the yahoos is worthy of a Foxworthy joke.) Not all of us country music loving, truck driving farm types are zombie-like Beck/Palin followers who like to repeat the phrase of the day.

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  74. Hey! I'm a sycophant! Does that mean I peeled potatoes during my service, too, rather than my, you know, actual responsibilities? My mom will be so proud.

    And I love, simply LOVE, how he repeatedly baits you and then begs you to follow him home. Like he's convinced himself how he's just the perfect foil for you, and he can't understand why it's not worth it for you to engage.

    "PLEASE come play with me! PLEASE! No? Well, I didn't want to play with you ANYWAY. Because you're a POOPYHEAD."

    ::snirk::

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  75. At that, right there, is why I love Senior Chief Janiece the best of all my sycophants.

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  76. Oh now don't go gettin' all girly, you'll make Tex cry

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  77. I'll put a pair of artificial testicles on the back of my Jeep IMMEDIATELY. Because nothing says "douche," I mean, "not girly," like a pair of artificial testicles on your vehicle.

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  78. You ever wonder about that?

    Truck Nutz I mean.

    How come those trucks with the "Cowgirl UP!" stickers don't have the corresponding rubber part on their tailgates and a big ole' pair of falsies on the grill?

    What? I'm just asking here is all.

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  79. Janiece, you're such a suck up.

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  80. Yes WORDY in a forum where brevity is king and I confess to doing a little skimming while reading the posts...

    Me personally, I've been driven off the road twice by those folk,with those flats twice and they screamed at me while cutting me off...still I let my pro choice and Irish American Democrat bumper stickers FLY

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  81. ScottE: I'm with you. It's been a surreal week. You know, I'm in Anchorage damned near every day, you and I need to meet up for lunch sometime.

    Joanna: You'll note the hat in my pictures (it actually a leather Aussie bush hate, not an American cowboy hat, but it's close enough that people don't know the difference). I also drive a truck, a crewcab at that. I grew up in Michigan farming country and I live now in small town Alaska about 8 miles from Palin herself. Please believe me when I say I understand that not all country people are assholes. Really I do. Just like not all Alaskan are like Palin.

    I hate C&W music though. Sorry.

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  82. To each his own. I can't get moved by today's rock, and rap is out of the question. So I turn on some oldies country, or some old time rock, and I'm a happy girl. One who uses her brain and *gasp* reads for myself to find out what's for real, and what is crazies spouting off again. I enjoy your perspective on life, it sure is a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the crap out there.

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  83. But as a country girl you're supposed to enjoy the smell of fresh crap! Ahhhhh the manure spreader is in the cornfield again ;)

    It's funny, when I visit my parents' farm in Michigan, that smell actually makes me nostalgic. My wife just looks at me funny and holds her nose.

    I listen to 70's rock and roll. Little else. Video, you know, killed the radio star.

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  84. Obviously, I really need to wear the reading glasses when typing on the netbook.

    Sigh.

    Please excuse the typos.

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  85. There's manure, and then there is crap. That should about cover that ;)

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  86. Neurondoc, I'm an effete liberal intellectual - I prefer the term sycophant.

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  87. "...TEA Party Tourettes...."


    We call it "Teabonics".

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  88. Jim, I'm the Rutherford that Tex speaks of. I'd love for you to visit, not to do battle with Tex but simply because you and I are on the same page politically. Your previous post on folks who love, wups I mean, hate America was brilliant and deserved to go viral!

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  89. I liked the vast majority of what you've said in 'America' and this post, but there was one issue I wanted to bring up.

    People with disabilities really don't like having our disabilities being used as analogies for political stupidity, moral turpitude, and inability to express ideas. ADD and Tourettes' shouldn't be shorthand for people who can't be bothered with reading and responding to a post. When you make an analogy that uses disability to mean something bad, you reinforce the idea of disability and the state of being disabled as inherently bad things. I've written about this problem, as have other bloggers, though I don't think either of the posts I'm linking here addressed the specific disabilities you used in this blog. You can find my post here http://brilliantmindbrokenbody.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/i-am-not-your-metaphor/ and a post I really liked from Feminists With Disabilities here http://disabledfeminists.com/2010/01/19/disability-is-not-your-analogy/.

    ~Kali

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  90. So, about the wordy accusations? Think about it: The length of the article is the POINT! As the hated items piled up, one after another after another after another after another, it proved how much hatred that American was carrying around. And as I read the items, I found certain specific items resonated for me, too: Oh yeah. Critters! Wow.

    You know, there are a LOT of scared people out there. Including me. And I think it's issues magnified by the media and Fox News and its ilk. Wish that stuff didn't work so well. Sigh.

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  91. I'll go ahead and state the obvious, since I haven't yet seen it here.

    Re the word count, it's not the quantity, but the quality, and you've got both.

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  92. A disability is a bad thing. People can overcome those more obvious issues related to a commonly accepted disability, but the definition of the word and the fact that you describe yourself as having a broken body gives the lie to your other words. It is a hangup on your part.

    As for the original posting, it is long. I can choose to read it or not - just like everyone else. But, noticing that it is long should be generally irrelevant.

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  93. I found your blog by accident. A friend posted a link on Facebook. You've got yourself a new blog follower.

    I've got just one question: Are you married? And would you ever consider moving to North Carolina? ;)

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  94. That depends, Ncwoman, do you own a boat?

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