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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Limits of Civil Speech, Part 3 of ??

The left once again proves that it makes up in ad hominem venom what it lacks in logic, coherence, and intellectual integrity. This post at the prominent lefty blog Fables of the Reconstruction generated a lot of approving smirks across the leftist blogosphere in the last few days. The "Conservative Blog Taxonomy" examines every prominent conservative blogsite and finds them wanting as human beings.

A sample:

2. Michelle Malkin - Far-right affirmative action hire who is so bigoted she'd arrest herself for trying to cross a border. Famously published a book praising internment of Japanese-Americans that was (a) incoherent and (b) probably not written by her. If she didn't have tits, she'd be stuck writing at

(Malkin is a Fillipina.)

5. Captain's Quarters - Every so often on the subway, I find these screeds written in colored marker, in which the printing goes from edge to edge on the paper, often with words cut off in random spots at the end of the line and continued on the next. I am told that this style of writing is common among very delusional people. Ed Morrissey has the benefit of blogging software that paginates the words for him. He will deliver pages on any subject at all, always proving in his mind the perfidy of liberals and always making absolutely no sense. I bet Ed makes even other far-righters nervous.

7. Hugh Hewitt - Death to Muslims! Death to Muslims! Death to Muslims! It goes on like that.

This for three of the most thought-provoking people posting on the web. I don't always agree with them, but they're always stimulating.

I will not pass ad hominem judgment on the author of the site, one "Mithras." But I will note--without comment--that he describes himself as "your basic, harmless Philadelphia pervert...who likes to beat people and talk about politics" and that his site's blogroll has a "sex" section with links to 64 sites, like "Zombie Pinups," "Cliterati," "Delia Day, Sex Slave," and "A Cumwhore's Diary."

I will, however, point out that this kind of argument is the last refuge of someone who has lost an argument. We all know it from gradeschool days: "Oh yeah?! Well, you're just a poopy-head!!" When you have nothing to say, say it obnoxiously. If you do, maybe your opponent will get so mad that he/she will come down to your level and turn reasoned discourse into a mud rassle that you have a chance of winning. Sager advice was never offered: "don't wrestle with a pig; the pig likes it and you get dirty."

That, however, is what public discourse has come down to in this country and--yes, Chefjef--it's mostly the left that's guilty of dragging it there in recent years. You may not like that fact, but it's true. I read and listen to commentary on both sides of the political fence. "Liberal" mainstreamers like James Carville and Molly Ivins are such artists at the meaningless, mean-spirited ad hominem attack that the likes of Coulter and Limbaugh are kids drawing with crayons in comparison.

Case in point: the left wing of the blogosphere's reaction to the "taxonomy." The Volokh Conspiracy* has a thoughtful round-up. It's a veritable snark-fest. One of the left's most prominent blog voices, Atrios of Eschaton, basically argues that comments on Malkin are justified, no matter how irrelevantly vicious, because he perceives her to be "racist." An Eschaton reader posted a typical comment:

She always reminded me of one of those 14 yo Bangkok whores my globe trotting friend would (unfortunately) tell me about (in way to [sic] much detail).

Can you imagine the screams from the left if Malkin was a liberal Fillipina and a conservative attacked her in such terms? Planes flying above FL 310 would be knocked off course by the sound waves. But she's "not of the Body." If you oppose the left's worldview, you're beyond the pale and anything goes.

But, hey! Where's Vita ab Alto?! I wanna be a famous poopy-head, too! I know that my 700ish hits in the last couple of months don't quite stack up to the combined 700,000,000 hits the taxonomy's sites generated, but I think 700 is a pretty good number for just two readers! (It's especially great when you consider that one of them is me...) Well, I may be under Mithras' radar for now, but I'm determined to be prepared. My loyal, trustworthy, and deeply-disturbed readership deserves no less!

Herewith, then, is my proposed taxonomy entry for Vita ab Alto:

Vita ab Alto: A flea-bite carbuncle on the ass of conservative blogdom. The author is a real "kill them all, let God sort them out" chickenhawk Ghengiz Khan type, with completely inconsistent ravings about something called "god" who "forgives and loves entirely" thrown into the inedible stew as a sop to the Christer crowd. I don't know what planet he's from, but I do know it's somewhere out beyond Planet Stupid. (He is awfully good-looking, though, from what I'm told.)


* Described in the taxonomy as, "Doctrinaire right-wing lawyers who intellectualize and ward off reality, interspersed with flashes of viciousness. Fortunately, Volokh is so tone-deaf he has already excluded himself from the judgeship he obviously desires - he's described himself as a "law and order conservative" (code for putting blacks in jail) and praised torturing prisoners before executing them."

How's that for addressing the issues?

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