Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Practicing what I preach

Though no one took to heart my plea on Monday for more, and more civil, and more edifying speech ("engagements") on this forum, I did receive one acerbic dismissive email two days later giving the writer's opinion as to why my wish will not be granted. Though I was only indirectly addressed in it, I quickly and perfunctorily dispatched an answer to the list. The post discussing Monday's Jonal, along with my reply, are online at the permanent email list site here, so I won't repeat them in full. But the point of today's topic is to admit that I broke my own "rules" proposed on Monday. Though they didn't anticipate angry dismissive and caustic exchanges, I still should have followed my own proposals and answered the perceived attack on me and my ideas more dispassionately. So I will repeat here the places where I should have followed my only rules (indented) and the things I should have said on Wednesday.

This might get me another trip to the tar and feather pit but, Oh well!

Casting yourself as a victim of others' "tar and feathering" seems to suggest that you doubt your legitimate place on the list. We're all equal here, if we choose to be. No one can "tar and feather" you any more than you can, and probably do, others.

I don't think we're going to see an increase in the dialogue because this forum doesn't have an atmosphere that supports a variation in membership, AKA different people with differing views and philosophies.

How so? The tests of membership here are interest in the Blacklick Valley and a desire to dialog with others with the same interest. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing political, religious, or otherwise prejudicial.

I'm one of MAYBE three non-conservatives in our group.

How so, and if "our group" is the list members, how can you possibly know this? I'm the moderator of the list and I have no idea anyone's political philosophy nor do I care. All I know is what people have said, and only a half a dozen, certainly less than a dozen, of the well over 100 members have ever said anything that might give a clue as to their politics, even if I were looking for clues.

But because I'm not a conservative, that makes me full of **** and not worth listening to and fair game to be verbally beaten up

Who has said or implied any such thing here? There are thousands of emails in the forum archive; could you please point out to me some in which such things have been expressed? We do have a rule against personal attacks on fellow list members, but no one has asked us to enforce it for at least two years.

Because I'm not a lemming willing to follow George Bush into hell, I'm called a traitor. I question the motives, capabilities and intelligence of our President and I'm branded unpatriotic.

Where? When? Can you send us some email numbers from the archive? I'll ask those making such personal attacks to resign the list if you can produce evidence. For my part, I can't remember the last time anyone other than you mentioned the name George Bush.

I question the motives of a vicious Ann Coulter and her venomous approach to everything and person who disagrees with her philosophy and I'm accused of being jealous of her looks, education, and fame.

Ah! I did raise a question to this effect, though if memory serves me right, it was her wealth, not her fame, that you mentioned repeatedly and that I then wondered was a burr under your saddle. I did not, however, accuse anyone on this list of any such thing; I just asked. "Insult inflation" is not conducive to civil discussion. But have you never heard the maxim that it is never proper (in biblical categories, at least) to impugn the motives of anyone, Ann Coulter or otherwise? Actions, yes; motives, no, because only God has the power to accurately assess anyone's motives. But I digress.

I question some of what I consider to be oppressive tactics of the Religious Right and I'm ambushed with a sermon saying how dare I speak out about these wonderful God-loving people as though my opposing views should buy me a ticket straight to Hell.

Who has done this? Where, please? Show me. Could it be that you're "imagining this," reading questions as attacks? I'm just asking, but certainly not preaching.

...What recourse do I have but to sit here with my finger on the delele key and wait for the noncontroversial cute email "hugs" and jokes that find their way regularly into my inbox and be content to let the serious subjects discussed/ argued/ haggled/ debated by those who know of what they speak.

As I said on Monday, you could do some research, get some actual facts, quotes, and anecdotes, to support your opinions, stop being offended by others' general questions (not aimed specifically at you or any other individual so far as I can tell) and proving your own points and bolstering your own arguments. Though this time you deny your previous claims of being a liberal, don't be afraid of what you are but be certain of your position to argue for it rather than cower when anyone takes your worldview and its implications to task. If there is truth and value in liberalism, I for one would like to know about it and I bet everyong (especially those who never speak up) would, too.

Thanks for "engaging"!

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


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My neighbour asked if he could use my lawnmower and I told him of course he could, so long as he didn't take it out of my yard.

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Do not fear the conflict, do not flee it; where there is no struggle, there is no virtue. Where faith and love are not tempted, it is not possible to be sure whether they are really present. They are proved and revealed in adversity.

St. John Chrysostom (347-407)

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