Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dear Paladiea: That's a really bad idea you have there.

Recently, Paladiea of The Stormy Days of March dropped me a note and invited me to get involved here:

What is the Great Canadian Debate?

The Great Canadian Debate is an attempt to provide intelligent, civil discussion of some of the major issues facing Canada and Canadians. Two bloggers with opposing points of view will present their side of the argument on an agreed-upon topic. Readers will then be invited to debate the issue.

To which I can safely respond, "Not fucking likely."

In the first place, based on what I wrote here recently, as long as The Prairie Wrangler's Olaf continues to associate with that worthless, waste of skin Richard Evans and his cretinous colleagues here, I wouldn't touch anything he's involved in with Ann Coulter's dick. But it goes beyond mere personalities, Pal.

Frankly, I'm not sure what you think you're going to accomplish. You seem to believe that, under the right circumstances, you can get those on the Canadian Right to buckle down and produce cogent, coherent and rational arguments on various topics. What have you been smoking?

I've been to the Blogging Tories, Pal. Regularly. And I can say with little fear of contradiction that reason and critical thought are not in great supply over there. I mean, really, these are the folks who keep giving us such gems as "Saddam Hussein had WMDs and attacked us on 9/11" and "Same-sex marriage will threaten the sanctity of traditional marriage" and "There's no evidence for global warming" and "Yeah, I think there's something to this intelligent design stuff" and "We have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" and "But you can't prove God doesn't exist" and "I read on WorldNetDaily ...".

However, Pal, let me be generous. Let's assume that there are some in Canada's wankersphere that are, in fact, capable of logical and civil discussion. If that's the case, let them prove it first. By themselves. On their own blogs.

It shouldn't be necessary to set up a forum with all sorts of restrictions to finally get those dingbats to write something that's even marginally sane. They have their own forums, and they've had years to figure out how not to post utter swill. And, sadly, that just hasn't happened, and I don't see why they should be provided with yet another forum to try to get it right.

Let them figure out how not to sound like ignorant dingbats on their own time. And when they finally make that big step, then we should consider engaging them in conversation. But not before.

And, finally, I wouldn't get involved in that venture simply because I have too much pride to want to share the same stage with any of those whackjobs. As an evolutionary biologist recently said as he was explaining why he didn't want to debate a creationist (paraphrased), "That debate would look pretty good on his CV. On mine, not so much."

P.S. And I know this isn't going to go down well in the Canadian progress-o-sphere, but I took a stand regarding Olaf and his association with that bottomless pit of sleaze Richard Evans, and I'm going to stick to it. If you choose to hang out with Olaf, say bye-bye to my blogroll. I'll be cleansing it of anyone that has Olaf on their blogroll.

Sorry, Pal, but I have certain standards, and that's one of them. End of discussion.

JUST TO BE CLEAR, PALADIEA, the dropping from the blogroll has nothing to do with the attempt to promote civil debate. It has to do with Olaf, and nothing more. And you're not the only blog that got cut for precisely that reason.

If Olaf wants to chum around with Richard Evans, that's his choice, just as it's my choice to have nothing to do with him, directly or indirectly.

MAN, TALK ABOUT TIMING. Resolved: That genocide is not always a bad thing. Speaking for the affirmative ...


Paladiea said...

The idea wasn't to force people to form a coherent argument, it was for actual reasonable debate, amongst people who can be intelligent.

The rules are for keeping the trolls out.

But I respect your decision, even though... ouch.

Paladiea said...

Although, I do wish you had sent me an email to warn me first...

CC said...

Sorry, Paladiea, but given that the debate website is publicly accessible by everyone, it's only proper that any comment from me also be public.

Emailing you quietly on the side ahead of time would have been inappropriate.

CC said...

By the way, Paladiea, let me remind you of your comment only a couple weeks ago:

"I for one am willingly glad to kick Olaf off my blogroll if he doesn't denounce Richard Evans immeadiately."

Dare I ask what happened to that stand on principle?

Paladiea said...

With all due respect CC, you're stretching a little.

If I had asked you to join publicly, then yes, perhaps this wouldn't be such a shock. But I did ask you privately, and I expected the reply to be as such.

As for cutting me off the blogroll, that's ultimately your choice, and as I said before, I respect that.

Paladiea said...

Dare I ask what happened to that stand on principle?

You know I was going to address that at the end of my last comment but decided not to... *sigh*

I talked to Olaf after this whole thing broke and he laid out his reasons for not taking his name off no-libs, and I in turn made my arguments.

We came to a mutual agreement, and that's why I dropped the issue.

Ti-Guy said...

I think you're wasting your time debating issues with people who don't really know anything about them when you should be reading about them from credible sources. There is a conceit among young people (that should be left behind by the time they hit university) that truth springs from their beautiful minds and that other beautiful minds can provide insight that you don't have. That's not true if there is no basis in imperical observation; you're getting nothing but opinion and speculation and even if moderate and reasonnable, may not have anything to do with any external truth.

One thing about rightwingers is that they only read what doesn't challenge them, and a lot of they read is utter garbage (lies, distortions, gossip, specualation). I don't know how anyone can glean anything useful from that.

Olaf said...

When you're done cleansing your blog of anyone with three degrees of separation from Richard, why not four? Or five?

I mean, if Pal is morally tainted by her association with me by my association with Richard, what about those who associate with Pal who associates with me who associates with Richard? If I'm culpable for not repudiating Richard, and Pals culpable for not repudiating me, wouldn't anyone associated with Pal also be culpable for not repudiating Pal? And what about those who associate with people who associate with Pal who associates with me who associates with Richard?

It will be quite a project for you to ensure your blog maintains its pristine reputation for high civility by purging the ranks of anyone "indirectly" associated with Richard, but I think it would be a relatively good use of your time. Tell me how it turns out.

What said...

CC, been checking here and lurking for a long time. Just want to let you know I respect your decision and the rationale both for the blogroll and the "debate" forum.
Please never change.

Anonymous said...

Yep, cc is OWNED!

[Who wants to bet that this comment disappears shortly?]

CC said...

Whoa ... apparently, I've been "OWNED". Is that what all the cool kids are saying these days? Neat.

Anonymous said...

Back about a year and half a ago Cjunk did a series called "Cowboys and Indians". He invited me to participate. I said I would only under the condition that there would be an actual DEBATE RULES... like, people had to define their terms and stick to those definitions even when they found themselves boxed in by their chosen definitions... no fallicious reasoning allowed, no argument from authority, no ad homs, the onus being on those positing a positive to prove their assertion, not on others to prove a negative etc... I laid out these terms in a very simple way....

There wasn't a single person from the right who wanted to ACTUALLY discuss Aboriginal issues ON THOSE TERMS... to a man... they were completely at a loss to come to a discussion without the loophole of logical lunacy to bolster their positions.

I can only say -- what is being proposed her is interesting, but I doubt that it will actually achieve anything.

The last right-of-center person who was capable of debating honestly was Andrew Anderson and he's thrown up his hands in disgust at all of the political blogosphere.

But anyways.. good luck with the project. Whomever is doing it. They will need it.


Scotian said...


I can understand and respect your position regarding Richard Evans and Olaf (whom I like as a person and think is well intentioned but blinkered by his own assumptions and beliefs, which is why I have stopped engaging with him even though he tends to be closer to the reality based world than almost any other online supporter of the CPC I have encountered to date), and it is a reasonable one to me. To those throwing out the separation of degree argument, it appears to me that you are limiting it to three layers, Richard Evans directly, and all those that link/blogroll to him which includes Olaf and those that like Olaf link directly to Evans, and those that place anyone (like Paladiea) who links/blogrolls anyone that blogrolls anyone (like Olaf) that blogrolls Evans. I haven't seen you take it any farther than that, and I will admit if you do take it farther than that I think that would be being a bit excessive given the inevitable small world syndrome manifest within the entire online community especially bloggers.

It is a shame that it is coming to this, but I have to say it is one reasonable way to fight back and show that you will not tolerate certain levels of extremism/hate/stupidity/deception. I also fear I tend to agree with the likely outcome you project for Paladiea's project, as much as I wish I could otherwise. Unfortunately I see much of the same underlying issues and problems with the notion as you do, and while I believe Paladiea truly is trying to foster real dialogue that however well intentioned and honourable her instincts and actions are here that it is unlikely to really come to anything.


Please understand me, I respect what you are trying to do, and I truly wish I could in good faith support it, but the problem I have with this is that there is a clear lack of good faith underlying much of the online Conservative community from believing in unproven myths like Liberal courts, media bias/control, etc. If it were limited to just a couple of things like that that would be one thing, however it is something that runs rampant even with the more reasonable/sensible/reality connected online Conservative supporters like Olaf. I did not like having to decide to stop engaging (although I'll still read his commentaries, I read a lot of people and things I personally do not agree with to find extremely offensive and his is far from that latter standard) him but I refuse to argue with people that refuse to challenge their own preconceptions and argue in good faith as a basis for their thinking/writing/speaking. I thought Olaf might be the exception but over time I have been disappointed by him in this regard.


Believe me or not, I am not one of those that thinks you are brilliant only when I agree and always bad when I disagree with you. I state that because this is something you have commented on about progressives that have stated they like you and why. I think you suffer the fault of all idealists, the inability to recognize that even those you agree with/believe represents and practice your ideals will not always follow such standards and that those you disagree with/oppose can follow them even though it is unappetizing to credit them for it. Note I said this is a problem with idealists; I make no reference in this to age, as this is a problem I have seen from idealists of all ages. I have never been able to look at the world and humanity that way, while I strive the absolute that are my ideals I understand that I and no human can ever fully achieve them, yet the closer we can get the better and that it is the efforts in striving to attain rather than the achieving of that makes us truly evolve/develop/mature as a species.

CC said...


It's not just that Olaf "links directly to Evans." Olaf is an active participant in Evans' blog, along with a bunch of other knuckle-dragging troglodytes who think it's just hysterical to register domain names to masquerade as other bloggers in an effort to ruin their reputations.

Olaf is not just passively accepting this behaviour -- he's part of it, hence my disgust. I just wanted to make that clear, so everyone with these ridiculous "three degrees of separation" arguments can just knock it off.

Observer said...


I'd like to argue against you. I ask the questions via private email and you answer them and post it on your blog. Sort of like 20 questions. I once proposed this to the former Blogging Tory Bound By Gravity and first he accepted but then he backed out when he realized I meant 20 questions on the *same* topic.

You could stop the debate anytime since it would be in your control.
The only way it would be uncivil is if you were the one being so.


First, I'd start with gay marriage because we have a genuine disagreement and you like to call people names on this topic as a way to avoid actually making an argument. Even those who generally share your political ideology are subject to your rather uncivil name-calling on this topic.

Scotian said...


Point taken, I had missed that, although now that you remind me about it I do recall you mentioning that when you first discussed this issue regarding Evans and Olaf, my apologies. That does in my view also worsen the offense and therefore makes excluding those whose blogroll contains Olaf therefore as effectively one step away from Evans and not two steps separate as I had originally written in my attempt to be sure I had what you were doing correctly understood. My thanks for your correction.

I remember now when I read about it here back then that this only confirmed my decision to stop responding to Olaf despite how reasonable he can come off as. I was saddened to discover that Olaf would be willing to collaborate with someone with Evan's well documented history of extremism zealotry, and contempt-to-hatred for anyone that dares disagree with him. For all Olaf has chastised me for being so hard-line about Harper and those that knowingly support his true agenda (as in his consistent political views from the late 80s until after his defeat in the 2004 elections, I do not believe he has fundamentally changed and that the "moderate/centrist" Harper we have seen is solely because of his minority status and any excusing of his old views as in his youth for me discredits anyone claiming to know this man's history let alone defending it) I keep an open mind, and I do not encourage those that argue in bad faith regardless of whether they are "on my side" or not, as I am first and foremost a fact/reality based person (varying interpretations/conclusions/inferences from facts is one thing, varying the facts themselves is quite another in my eyes) and I certainly do not feel any need to see my opposition as inherently evil or out to harm. One of the most profoundly tragic aspects of learning history is the recognition of how many atrocities and horrors and repressions have come about from people whose intentions truly were "for the best" of all in their minds and that villains almost never see themselves that way, we are all the heroes of our lives in our own minds after all.

Anyway, thanks again for the clarification, and as many others have said to you in the past keep up the excellent work with this blog, you have far more of a poison pen writing style than I use, but that does not mean I do not appreciate it when it is directed at legitimate/reasonable/fair targets, which I find you have been doing IMHO.

CC said...

observer writes:


I'd like to argue against you.

That's nice. And when I decide to drop my normal blogging duties to devote my time to going mano-a-mano with someone who still can't come to grips with same-sex marriage, well, believe me, you'll be the second one to know.

notcycles said...

"First, I'd start with gay marriage because we have a genuine disagreement and you like to call people names on this topic as a way to avoid actually making an argument. Even those who generally share your political ideology are subject to your rather uncivil name-calling on this topic."

He does that because he can't make a decent argument. Like Rosie (fire doesn't melt steel) O'Donnell, CC makes proclamations and the limits debate on the same. He's a bully. He's scared to step up lest he be measured and found lacking. He's a typical MoonBat.

the rev. said...

I have to agree with CC on this -- I admire Paladiea's intent, but I think the kind of feckless dimwittery so often demonstrated by the trolls who come by here and by so many of the bloggies tories on their own blogs dooms any kind of real debate from the start. Add to that the kind of hateful, racist insanity and poo-flinging (See: RightGirl on "lazy, daughter-fuckers" or Kathy Shaide and Canada's lowest common denominatrix on almost anything) on the more extreme righty blogs and the juvenile bullshit of people like Richard Evans (cybersquatting and imitating people you disagree with to damage their reputations is not just uncool, it is likely actionable. Why don't you try it out on someone like Warren Kinsella and see how long it takes for you to get served with papers?)and what may be intended as a battle of wits and logic is likely to descend into a good ole fashioned flame war.

I'm not saying there aren't reasonable people on the right. I'm not saying there aren't people on the right that would be willing to have a reasonable discussion of issues on which reasonable people may disagree, following the proper rules of debate. I just haven't seen any lately.

notcycles said...

"imitating people you disagree with to damage their reputations is not just uncool, it is likely actionable."

Haven't imitated anybody yet.

Olaf said...


Olaf is not just passively accepting this behaviour -- he's part of it, hence my disgust.

I'd like to know on what grounds you suggest I'm "part" of Richard's behaviour, let alone passively accepting it?

There is a disclaimer on LFR, put up on my recommendation, saying "any posted opinions are that of the post author or individual commenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the group as a whole." Period.

You have no idea of my "association" with Richard, much less to imply that I am somehow 'actively' a part of planning his free time, behaviour and interpersonal internet feuds.

We are published on the same site, similar to columnists being published by the same paper. Would you suggest that two columnists of a single paper necessarily endorsed the opinions of the other, let alone their personal behaviour off the job? If it was found out that Lord Black is guilty, will you demand that everyone at the National Post quit lest they be "actively a part" of Black's behaviour?

Even to say that I "passively accept" Richards behaviour would be an exaggeration. I am utterly indifferent to it. I may disagree with Richard's behaviour at times, but quite simply, I don't take it upon myself to police the blogosphere.

Observer said...


You read into things which aren't there. There's lots of room for disagreement on any topic.

When I first starting reading your blog I thought it was performance art. Sadly, it seems that believe your own press clippings.

The sine qua non of a poseur is the inability to give answer straight questions. George Bush is the best example of this.

A close second is the ability to fire unrelenting attacks at anyone for any perceived slight; your opponents spend so much time replying that they forget to notice that you haven't actually made any argument. It makes a good front.

My suggestion was just a simple way of calling you out.

You would have us believe that you have time to respond in your own comments section all the time but you have no time to type "yes" or "no" in response to a few questions.

Phyl said...

I think you're doing the right thing, CC.

And there's a limit to how much one should "debate" with stupidity. You do too much of that, and you're completely tied up and have no more time to talk about intelligent things, to intelligent people who are interested in evidence.

So you just keep doing what you're doing, and don't waste your time.

notcycles said...

So, CC, why aren't you denouncing Meaghan for doing the exact same thing I did? Oh wait... The fact she did it before me doesn't have anything to do with it does it? Please, enlighten everyone else as to why you'll denounce me but leave MWW alone in your jihad against folks who claim legally available domain names...

saskboy said...

I don't really agree with the method you're employing here CC, but it's you're blog and blogroll after all.

petri striko said...

No doubt there are unreasonable people on the right but if you're trying to say that the same isn't true for the left then you have to be as naive and uninformed as those you are decrying.

You're doing no favours to any side of the political spectrum with this blindly partisan rhetoric.

There are plenty of well read and well informed people on all sides of every debate and sometimes they still disagree. There are also plenty of unreasonable people on all sides of any debate and from my limited reading of your blog you seem to be one of them.