Archive for June 1st, 2011

by jhwygirl

The flame wars have surfaced again, just when I thought I was over it all.

Rather than keep it all inside..and rather than send emails (which would be time consuming since there’d be different things to be said to different people) that would either (a) get taken incorrectly or (b) get forwarded and blind copied on to the universe or (c) both… I’m going to free-form what it is thats been banging my head.

Get it out and clear the clutter and hope it helps me, because frankly, I can’t even write anymore because I keep circling back to this ugly.

First off, I won’t, nor do I see a need for anyone here, to apologize for the content here at 4&20blackbirds. We are progressives and we are liberals. We are also human, and just like humans, there are going to be disagreements. Nothing written here has been factually incorrect – in fact, I’d say that 4&20 takes painstaking efforts to provide links to its posts such that any reader will know that what is written here is derived from actual facts and not some sort of rumor or perception in reality.

There is also little to any coordination of content here. No one is asking anyone if it is “OK” to write such-and-such…although I’ll admit to sending link to a fellow contributor less than a handful of times on a subject that they may have written on several times. One such example that I can recall was prior to the 2010 election I sent something to problembear on payday loans. Generally speaking, that subject I felt was his. So it was out of courtesy, not direction or assignment.

All of that being said, I have to say I dread coming to this blog and seeing direct attacks on writers or commenters. I blame myself for this situation having reached what it has. IMONSHO, it started long ago with tit-for-tat interactions with one particular conservative commenter here who enjoys engaging pretty regularly. My self-policing reaction (stopping myself from jumping in) was based on (a) they’re adults and (b) they’re not newbies at this stuff. Had it involved an infrequent commenter, I’da jumped in – and have, in fact…but in this situation (which still continues to this day) I’ve stayed out of it.

No one – even with this current situation -needs me defending them whether they are a writer or a commenter. The audience here along with the writers are quite capable.

The flame throwing is everywhere now, it seems. It’s gotten to who’s-blogged-longer and who-has-more-readers and how-many-anti-Republican-posts-have-you-written-lately. It’s exhausting reading through the comments anymore. If I can’t read this blog, I have to wonder how many others are feeling the same way. It isn’t, really, what this is supposed to be about.

And think about it – and I know this to be true – there are plenty of people out there that would love to see this place die off to merely a digital footnote of the innertubes.

Look – I’m here to sway opinions. I’m not here to pick fights and I’m not here to preach to the choir. There are plenty of places that Democrats can go for self-affirmation of how great Democrats are and how horrible and evil Republicans are. But on that same note, I will engage in disagreements. “Disagreements” might be a bit strong – I think what I’m striving for is to understand other positions. For me that is one way to work towards solution. Gotta understand the problem, right?

If anyone – writer or commenter – comes here with one goal or the expectation of changing someone’s mind, that would be both unreasonable and unrealistic. In the end, ya’all need to realize that we are all different and entitled to opinions and when those opinions are reality-based (as opposed to, say, “Obama is a Muslim” opinions), they are valid.

Sometimes opinions will be swayed. It isn’t likely to happen in a post or from an interaction in the comments. What is more likely is that it is a long-term discussion that goes on where a realization that is made – through intelligent fact-based reading and thoughtful interaction – that a shift in thought is in order.

Does it make sense to push harder to change someone’s opinion? I mean, really – think about it – how smart of a strategy is that?

Does it make sense to contribute, in any way, to anything less than fact-based and thoughtful intelligent interaction?

Both Democrats and Republicans disagree. I have little doubt about that. What I think is different is that Democrats or progressives or liberals don’t have one iota of a problem airing those differences out there from the get-go. Republicans, on the other hand, are more content, it seems, to keep the discussions more internal amongst themselves.

The other thing about that is that Democrats are always pushing for change. Change change change. Fix, improve, try something different. Repubicans, on the other hand in imo, aren’t really keen to change. They like what has been done in the past. Now I, as a Democrat, could expound on that a little, but I won’t. It isn’t the subject at hand.

What I will close this out and say is that I am not pointing any fingers at anyone. I hope I don’t see anyone write any comment in here trying to point a finger at anyone for any particular example. At this point, frankly, I don’t give a poo. It’s all getting very exhausting.

If you don’t like it, go ahead and say it. It’s your right. If you have facts, that’s a huge plus in trying to make your point. Is there a need to roll your blog-eyes and sigh and let someone know that they are repeating the same old thing they’ve done time and time again? Not really – but again, you are free to say it.

What I ask is that you think about how productive it is to write those words. It is substantive? Does it have content in it worthy of discussion or are you poking a hot iron in someone’s face?

That’s the kind of disregard that really turns people off. Including me.


All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

All play and no work makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk, dull boy.

See all 139 of our various posts that kick Dennis Rehberg in the meat bags here.

Just because us simple folks over here don’t post on a topic as much as certain other blogs doesn’t mean we don’t care about the topic.  Honestly (and this is just me), I haven’t bothered to write anything regarding Rehberg because its too easy… really its like picking a fight with someone that has a mental disability.  I don’t feel the need to play the role of Johnny Knoxville in The Ringer: I need a challenge or an interesting topic to write about and Dennis Rehberg provides neither.

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