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Dr. Sardonicus
Posted on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 09:07 am:   

There's been a story in the news about John Ashcroft's testimony before the 9/11 Commission. In carrying out the Administration's strategy of "When anything goes wrong, blame Clinton", Ashcroft pointed the finger of blame at Commissioner Jamie Gorlick, who worked in the DOJ during the Clinton Administration. Her crime? She wrote a memo clarifying interpretation of a law that had been on the books for 25 years, a law that had created "the wall" between intel ops and criminal investigations. Never mind that the law had been on the books all those years, and never mind that Ashcroft's DOJ had confirmed the interpretation of that law in Gorlick's memo. Ashcroft blamed Jamie Gorlick for the existence of "the wall", and blamed "the wall" for failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks.

And when Ashcroft pointed the finger at Commissioner Gorlick, she started getting death threats.

Does this sound familiar? A public figure, wrapped in the mantle of security, religion and all that's decent, points the finger at a convenient scapegoat, and their life is threatened by the rabble. Public figures such as, say, Ayatollah Khomeini, with his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, or Osama bin Laden with his fatwa against all Americans, wherever they may be found.

This aspect of the story seems not to have been picked up by the "liberal" media, but perhaps the denizens of this forum might have some thoughts about it...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 11:09 am:   

What;s there to think? This is the Nixon White House on steroids.
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Dr. Sardonicus
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 06:29 pm:   

Lucius said:
What;s there to think? This is the Nixon White House on steroids.
To substitute mere metaphors (let alone mixed metaphors) for thought is at best synecdochic.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:51 pm:   

Gee, I'm supposed to share my thoughts on the subject with some jerk who hides behind a pseudomym and sesquepedalia? Wish I had the time, but I gotta go polish my toothbrush....
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Bob Urell
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 02:01 am:   

Or toothbrush your Polish....
Nope. I don't know what that means.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 03:07 am:   

It;s a Urellism.... :-)
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Dr. Sardonicus
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:31 am:   

I didn't ask anyone to respond to me, Lucius -- however they might choose to characterize me. I merely wondered if anyone had any thoughts on the topic I raised. Your desire to personalize things seems odd. As does levelling an accusation of "hiding behind sesquipedalia" at a reference to tools of your trade.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:58 am:   

What a joke! You offer snooty comment from behind a facade and then say that _I_ am personalizing things? You seem no more than another internet coward/fraud. As for your topic, what is there to think? Why should we attempt to analyze these crude foolish assholes? They're politcians and this is politics as it is practiced in these days. There's nothing about their behavior that demands deep contemplation. If you think there is, make a statement, don't just pop out here with this faux-intellectual Shall-we-ponder bullshit.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:21 pm:   

I hate to say this, Dr. Sardonicus, but I think your statement against Lucius's "What;s there to think? This is the Nixon White House on steroids," is a bit off base. Let me explain.

You said, "To substitute mere metaphors (let alone mixed metaphors) for thought is at best synecdochic." Lucius's statement is in and of itself analysis and therefore thought about your post. Occasionally, the thought that no more thought is necessary, can be the most profound.

Second of all, I'm not completely sure if "This is the Nixon Whitehouse," is a double metaphor. It depends a lot on exactly what "this" refers to. If it's nonspecific enough like it seems, it very well might not be a mixed metaphor. Even if it is a mixed metaphor, frankly, does it matter? The image works very well for me and I suspect most people. The rule against mixed metaphor is an approximation for good usage, not the reality. Shakespeare used a number of mixed metaphors that worked well in my mind.

Furthermore, metaphors in one form or another are the basis of thought. Read _Metaphors We Live By_ by Lakoff and Jonson for a start if you want further insight. One of the things that makes quantum theory so difficult to understand and imagine is that the metaphors start to fail. What you can't understand by relating to something else becomes very abstract and difficult if not impossible to imagine.

Synecdochic? I couldn't find it in my somewaht outdated college dictionary. But I found it in my partial translation of _Rhetorica Ad Herennium_ which is admittedly 2000 years outdated. It says, "Synecdoche occurs when the whole is known from a small part or a part from the whole." I guess (I'm not sure)you're saying that Lucius is making a broad statement without analyzing the full information. I'm not sure you need to taste every maggot crawling upon the whole of this administration to know that something tastes more than a little odd. It's called the random sample.
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Anonymous
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:16 pm:   

"Crude assholes" is a synecdoche, an apt and pithy one.
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Bob Urell
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 05:24 am:   

Hey look! Another loud-mouthed pussy too timid to post under their own name! How novel!
By the way, which manner of synecdoche would that be? Part for the whole, or whole for the part? Or would that be hole for the part? And really, the whole point of the synecdoche is that it is, and never can be, apt. Pithy, perhaps, though that hardly seems accurate, considering the inherently erroneous nature of the term.
And "crude?" The crudest post in this thread, before this one, that is, would be yours, cockbreath. Really, if you're going to come pussnutting around peddling inanity for perspicacity, at least try to display something akin to moral fortitude by placing your name where your intended target can see it.
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Bob K.
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 08:54 am:   

Sorry about that, Bob. You took the bait on my first and last anonymous post ever. (Actually, I intended it to be an _agreement_ with the "crude assholes" comment -- but no matter.) Anonymous posts suck!
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Anonymous
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:14 am:   

No they don't!

Anonymous Poster
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Dr. Sardonicus
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:21 am:   

Byron Bailey said:
"This is the Nixon Whitehouse," is a double metaphor. It depends a lot on exactly what "this" refers to. If it's nonspecific enough like it seems, it very well might not be a mixed metaphor.
Excellent post. I'm reasonably sure that "this" refers to the incident of my original post to this thread. As to my calling it a "mixed" metaphor, I was referring to the "on steroids" part, which is a bit incongruous.

I agree with your assessment of the difficulties of explaining QM with classical-physics analogies, or metaphors. The usual mischaracterization of the uncertainty principle is a particular sore point for me.

Figurative language is a part of thought, but certainly not all of it.

The problem isn't a failure to "taste every maggot", but rather the tendency to dismiss the new generation of maggots as being, ho-hum, a lot like the maggots of a couple of generations back, except perhaps wriggling more vigorously. Business as usual, so to speak.

Using the comparison with the Nixon White House, it was sometimes said of Nixon that one of the difficulties his adversaries had was the "multiple bad things problem" -- people had trouble focusing on one thing, or even a few things; it was hard to know where to start with the objections. Thus, Nixon and his supporters would say that his opponents, unable to state clearly what they found so bad about him, "just didn't like him"; so why listen to them? And yet, when the Watergate coverup started to unravel, people stopped dismissing the Nixon White House operations as simply "business as usual". They got upset about particular things, like the "Saturday Night Massacre". And Nixon and Agnew both got chased out.

Well, nowadays, some object (rightly, in my opinion) that people are too complacent, too passive, too accepting of the shenanigans of the current Administration. People should get upset about things they're doing. The multiple-bad-things problem may be worse now than it was with the Nixon Administration, but I figure you have to start somewhere, and try to point out some specific things. So, I rose to denounce a specific White House operation, one that appears to have novel features and that seems especially subversive. It's not encouraging to see this dismissed with a bumper-sticker slogan to the effect that it's just business as usual, but them's the breaks. Perhaps the analogy with the frog in the water that's slowly being heated applies here.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:16 am:   

No Sardonicus,
Your point was not "dismissed" by a bumper-sticker slogan... Your point was soo small as to not bear much notice amongst a group of people that has been screaming at the top of their lungs for the last 3 years that something is not right. Hell... lets take it back to the Clinton years. The incident you point out is an example of a tactic that has already been accepted by the media, and mainstream America as "standard politics..

It doesn't mean the people here aren't outraged by the tactics.. But every time we open our mouths and say the emperor has no clothes we are branded as traitorous American-hating liberals. It’s fucking tiring. I can't even get people to take responsibility for the invasion of Iraq... I'm going to get my panties in a bunch, or even bother commenting on yet another example of the disconnect between reality and rhetoric?

Your bashing on Lucius for his lack of in-depth response to this "big issue" that you recently discovered shows that you are just itching for a fight, and were disappointed when nobody took the bait -- either that, or you were itching for a soft ball issue that everybody could agree on, and feel good about.

Either way, it's tired.

If you want to talk about this specific issue… talk about it in the broader context of Republican rhetoric and stategy, Media complacency and complicity and the growing malaise that infects most of the voting public, and gets them to except shit like this as standard operating procedure. Every post I’ve made about the war is directly related to these issues…. If you have to ask what our “opinions” on Ashcroft’s little finger pointing bullshit, your just not paying attention.

-JL
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JV
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:53 am:   

I'm wondering why the fuck everybody's fighting about this and not just ignoring what they don't like and focusing on the important issues.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 12:44 pm:   

Because it's the nature of man? :-)

Hey, Sardonicus..couple of things. If you think people aren't upset about Gorlick et al, then you haven't been following these threads. What I said in response to your initial post was what I had to say. Such tactics have been going on for decades and I frankly can't find anytthing new to say about them. And, for that matter, what good would having a discussion about them do? On this topic, you're either oreaching to the choir about that kind of shit, the stuff everyone's aware of, or you're arguing with assholes who aren't interested in listening to reason. Now, that said, if it's a fight you want, dude, bring it., I'm in a foul fucking mood today and I could use a whipping boy. I didn't get you wanted a fight--I thought you were just breaking wind--but if you're feeling frisky, well, like Val Kilmer once said, I'm your huckleberry.
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Bob Urell
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:26 pm:   

JV: Cause we likes ta tussle, Hoss. You know that.
What would you like to talk about?
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Dr. Sardonicus
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 09:58 am:   

Jeremy Lassen said:
If you want to talk about this specific issue… talk about it in the broader context of Republican rhetoric and stategy, Media complacency and complicity and the growing malaise that infects most of the voting public, and gets them to except shit like this as standard operating procedure.
I gotta admit, this demand surprised me. I never, ever expected I'd be told there was any need to explain the context to anyone in this forum. Perhaps at this point part of the problem is the lack, not only of any constructive alternatives, but the lack of any prospect of a constructuve alternative, or even the sense of there being any ideals that haven't already been so perverted and trampled to smithereens that there's no hope of resurrecting or reinvigorating them.

I mean -- when Dubya can rise up on his hind legs on John Muir's birthday and mouth statements to the effect that his policies have been good for the environment, and there isn't an overwhelming outpouring of public outrage, what can be said? The attempt to make comparisons boggles the mind. It's as if it was February 1258, and Hulagu was standing amidst the smoldering rubble and mangled corpses strewn about Baghdad, saying he and his Mongol army had been a benefactor to the city and its inhabitants by creating an opportunity for urban renewal. It's like Jack the Ripper saying he had improved the lot of prostitutes, John Wayne Gacy saying he had improved things for runaway teenage boys, or Charles Manson saying he had modernized the concept of a family.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 10:48 am:   

You know what you're iike, guy? You're like a little kid who just saw his dick for the first time. What is your point? You keep mentioning these things that everybody is aware of as if they're something you've just discovered. And no one asked you to EXPLAIN context. Jeremy suggested that you speak in context so as to display whatever point of view it is that you're trying to espouse, hopefully a point of view more cogent than the one you appear to be espousing, which is. "It's Bad!"
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Owell
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

I was with you until that last one. Charles Manson _did_ modernize the concept of family.
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Bob Urell
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 12:22 pm:   

"It's REALLY Bad!!?!?!!!"
That better? EEK!
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Bob Urell
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 11:22 pm:   

What, nobody liked my sideways smiley? Philistines.
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Nem
Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 04:06 pm:   

There's a spot of poo between those cheeks.

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