Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby MacCruiskeen » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:25 pm

"RT-approved". Some might call that a transparent rhetorical ruse, a confusionist tactic. Also a troll move, a piece of flamebait.

Pressed to clarify his 498th use of such tactics (a conservative estimate), American Dream explains that he just wanted to help us:

American Dream » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:40 pm wrote:"RT-approved" is not meant to provoke but rather to shine a light on what I feel should inherently be a wake-up call: a political tendency that supports siding with one set of (oftentimes brutal) bosses over another. Not my politics at all. Irregardless of the particulars of one's own worldview, this sort of dissent from a putative "consensus" absolutely should be allowed here.


Is there a Nobel Prize for Mixed Metaphors? There should be. Try shining a light on a wake-up call, especially when that wake-up call is a political tendency (particularly one you don't agree with). I smell a rat, frankly, and I want to nip it in the bud. Inherently and irregardless, as George W. Bush might have said (and did), let's move on. Because Rigorous Intuition.

As to Jerky, check it out. His tone was harsher than I think would be ideal but some board members here do much worse and do not earn multi-week bannings for it. He was banned on the thinnest of rationales and really should be back by now.


Yes, do. Follow AD's advice there, everyone. Take a close look at the content and style of that allegedly innocuous post, which AD finds barely reprehensible.

American Dream wrote:some board members here do much worse and do not earn multi-week bannings for it


So you assert, American Dream. But you provide no evidence whatsoever to back up that assertion. So name names and provide actual quotes with lInks or else I say that you are bluffing, as usual. And that's putting it very politely indeed.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Rory » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:41 pm

Peace out.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby chump » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:40 pm


https://washingtonsblog.com/2018/12/u-s ... ation.html

U.S. the World’s Invasion Nation
posted on December 8, 2018 by Eric Zuesse

How Big Brother Grips Americans’ Minds to Support Invasions

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

On November 29th, Gallup headlined “Democrats Lead Surge in Belief U.S. Should Be World Leader” and reported that “Three-fourths (75%) of Americans today think the United States has ‘a special responsibility to be the leading nation in world affairs,’ up from 66% in 2010. The surge is driven by Democrats, whose belief in this idea has increased from 61% eight years ago to 81% now.” This finding comes even after the lie-based and catastrophic U.S. invasions of Iraq in 2003, and of Libya in 2011 (and of so many others, such as Afghanistan, where the U.S. and Sauds created the Taliban in 1979). Americans — now even increasingly — want ‘their’ (which is actually America’s billionaires’) Government to be virtually the world’s government, policing the world. They want this nation’s Government to be determining what international laws will be enforced around the world, and to be enforcing them. Most Americans don’t want the United Nations to have power over the U.S. (its billionaires’) Government, but instead want the U.S. Government (its billionaires) to have power over the United Nations (which didn’t authorize any of those evil, lie-based, U.S. invasions).
Not only would doing this bankrupt all constructive domestic functions (health, education, infrastructure, etc.) of the U.S. federal Government, but it would also increase the global carnage, as if the U.S. Government hasn’t already been doing enough of that, for decades now.

The leadership for this supremacist craving comes straight from America’s top, not from the masses that are being sampled by the Gallup organization, who only reflect it — they are duped by their leaders. Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama (a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2009, for nothing at all but his ‘kindly’ but insincere verbiage when he had been a candidate) stated this widespread delusional American belief in American global moral supremacy, when addressing the graduating class at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. [Every other nation is therefore ‘dispensable’; we therefore now have “Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt”.] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … America must always lead on the world stage.

This had certainly not been the objective of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he set up the U.N. just before his death in 1945; he instead wanted the U.N. to evolve into a democratic government of the world, with elected representatives of each and every one of the world’s governments — to evolve into becoming the global international republic — regardless of whether or not the U.S. Government approves or disapproves of another nation’s government. The idea on which the U.N. was founded was not to involve the U.S. Government in the internal affairs of other nations, not to be the judge jury and executioner of other governments that it doesn’t like, nor to dictate what other nations should or should not do within the given nation’s boundaries. FDR intended that there instead be democratically represented, at the U.N., each and every nation, and each and every people within that global government, where each of these national governments is (hopefully but not necessarily) a democracy. FDR was just as opposed to dictatorship internationally, as he was opposed to dictatorship nationally, and he recognized that inevitably some governments will disapprove of other governments, but he was deeply committed to the view that a need exists for laws and law-enforcement between nations, on an international level, and not only within the individual nations, and that each nation is sacrosanct on its own internal laws. He respected national sovereignty, and opposed international empire. (This was his basic disagreement with Winston Churchill, then, and with American leaders such as Obama and Trump now.) Unlike President Obama (and evidently unlike the vast majority of today’s Americans) FDR didn’t want this international government to be an American function, but instead an entirely separate international governmental function, in which there is no international dictatorship whatsoever — not American, and not by any other country. He knew that this is the only stable basis for international peace, and for avoiding a world-annihilating World War III.

Barack Obama rejected FDR’s vision, and advocated for the United States as being (and even as if it already had been for a century) virtually the government over the entire world, which “must always lead on the world stage.” Adolf Hitler had had that very same international vision for his own country, Germany, “the Thousand-Year Reich,” but he lost World War II; and, then, when FDR died, Hitler’s vision increasingly took over in America, so that ideologically, FDR actually lost WW II, when Harry S. Truman took over the White House and increasingly thereafter, until today, when the U.S. commits more invasions of foreign countries than do all other nations in the world combined. Americans (apparently, as shown in this and other polls) like this, and want more of it. Nobody else does. For example, nobody (except the U.S. and Saudi and Israeli aristocracies and their supporters worldwide, which are very few people) supports the U.S. regime’s reinstitution of sanctions against Iran, which the U.S. regime is imposing as the global dictator. America’s economic sanctions are like spitting into the face of FDR, who had opposed such imperialistic fascism in the more overtly military form when Hitler’s regime was imposing it. It’s also spitting at the U.N.

This latest Gallup finding displays an increase, but nothing that’s at all anomalous as compared to the decades-long reality of imperialistic U.S. culture. For decades now, Gallup’s polling has shown that the most respected of all institutions by the American people is the nation’s military — more than the church, more than the Presidency, more than the U.S. Supreme Court, more than the press, more than the schools, more than anything. America is invasion-nation. This is true even after the 2003 invasion of Iraq on the basis of blatant lies, which destroyed Iraq — a nation that had never invaded nor even threatened to invade the United States. The American people are, resolutely, bloodthirsty for conquest, even after having been fooled into that evil invasion, and subsequent decades-long military occupation in Iraq, and after subsequent conquests or attempted conquests, in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere — all destroying nations that had never invaded nor even threatened America. Why? How did this mass-insanity, of evil, come to be?

How is this aggressive nationalism even possible, in America’s ‘democracy’? It’s actually no democracy at all, and the public are being constantly fooled to think that it is a democracy, and this deception is essential in order for the public to tolerate this Government, and to tolerate the media that lie for it. This widespread deceit requires constant cooperation of the ‘news’-media — and these are the same ‘news’-media that hid from the public, in 2002, that the U.S. Government was outright lying about “WMD in Iraq.”

The public simply do not learn. That’s a tragic fact. Largely, this fact results from reality being hidden by the ‘news’-media; but, even now, long after the fake ‘news’ in 2002, about the U.S. regime’s having possessed secret and conclusive evidence of “Saddam’s WMD,” the published ‘history’ about that invasion still does not acknowledge the public’s having been lied-to at that time, by its Government, and by the ‘news’-media. So, the public live, and culturally swim, in an ongoing river of lies, both as its being ‘news’, and subsequently as its having been ‘history’. This is why the public do not learn: they are being constantly deceived. And they (as Gallup’s polls prove) tolerate being constantly deceived. The public do not rebel against it. They don’t reject either the politicians, or the ‘news’-media. They don’t demand that the American public control the American Government and that America’s billionaires lose that control — especially over the ‘news’-media.

Honesty is no longer an operative American value, if it ever was. That’s how, and why, Big Brother (the operation by the international-corporate billionaires) grips Americans’ minds to support foreign Invasions. Americans support liars, and it all comes from the top; it’s directed from the top. It is bipartisan, from both Democratic Party billionaires and Republican Party billionaires. National politicians will lose their seats if they disobey.

[… con’d at the link above with links embedded in the text]
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Elvis » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:28 pm

By Rory's own request, his account has been permanently banned. It was not my wish but upon confirmation I complied.

Best wishes to Rory. :basicsmile

Per Slad's request, I'll delete some now-meaningless posts in this thread.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Elvis » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:01 pm

I'd like to take a moment to clear up some misconceptions.

1. A couple of critics have made it sound as if I've been conducting some kind of reign of terror, banning people left and right on flimsy pretenses. Most amusing was a contrast drawn between me, and SRP—the much nicer, more empathetic moderator, who, unlike me, kept the punitive tools on the "high shelf" and "rarely used" the powers of suspension.

I didn't remember it that way, so out of curiosity I checked the record.

In the six months I've been a moderator, I've suspended people four times.

In SRP's three-month active period March thru May, he suspended people eight times.

In other words, SRP suspended people at a rate four times more often than I have. :shock:

And he didn't limit enforcement to the explicitly spelled-out posting guidelines; reasons for suspension could be any bad behavior—"advocating war"(!), "baiting moderator" or "disobeying moderator request" or even "disparaging 9/11 conspiracies." Clearly a tyrant! :wink

So I hope that little misconception is cleared up. And to be clear, I agree that SRP was an ideal moderator, and he always had my support.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Elvis » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:19 am

2. For those concerned about Jerky (and thanks for adding your voice, Cordelia), maybe I can provide some context.

The first thing I was advised of when I became a moderator was that Jerky is on super-double-permanent probation. That's not my assessment, it's the judgement of mods who came before me. Probation usually means you are on thin ice, you have one violation to go. So why is Jerky not banned by now? Believe it or not, it's because we really don't want to ban anybody. The question is, will Jerky make an effort to respect others and make honest arguments, or, if not, how long should abuse be tolerated?

To be fair, Jerky may not have known he's "on probation," so I'm making it known now.

In the rhetorical arena, what I've observed is that Jerky habitually takes what people say and inflates or twists their words into something they didn't say, then he attacks or argues against that (a bad faith argument). When faced with evidence contradicting his assertions, he disappears, or goes into attack mode. That's the pattern I've observed.

Politically, Jerky seems to me to push a lot of neoliberal views and sources, and that bothers me, but it may be understandable simply because neoliberism is so entrenched in the political culture.

MacCruiskeen wrote:"RT-approved". Some might call that a transparent rhetorical ruse, a confusionist tactic. Also a troll move, a piece of flamebait.

liminalOyster wrote:Saying "RT-approved" is clearly meant to provoke, is it not?

I noticed that Jerky also uses the "RT-approved" smear:

Jerky » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:57 pm wrote:RT-approved brand of lazy-ass, Jimmy Dore-style pseudo-conspiracy mongering


This kind of gross mischaracterization is just another personal attack. What is "Jimmy Dore-style pseudo-conspiracy mongering" anyway? I think I've watched a total of four Jimmy Dore videos, and I had to look him up to see who he was (turns out he's a comedian).

If Jerky returns, it will be on a probationary basis and it'll be up to him to stay in good standing.


Cordelia wrote:I don't remember why he's been banned (or is is it suspended?) and hope it's not for much longer. He rightly called me out a while back on something I posted that was offensive and I fully appreciated the feedback. Jerky can be a jerk at times (can't we all?) but he knows it and he's very valuable to this board, imo.


I'm convinced that everyone posting on RI is doing what they believe is the right thing, but let's lose the slippery rhetorical tactics and resist the urge to attack.

Thanks for hearing me out.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby liminalOyster » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:47 am

I like Jimmy Dore. He may not be the worlds most exceptional critical mind but I dont see him as more problematic than most of the talking heads who get periodic airtime here.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Cordelia » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:19 pm

I guess due to the season I’m feeling all nostalgic and sentimental. I wish Rory wouldn’t leave and hope Belligerent Savant returns from suspension. Having grown up around reporters and politicians--I’ll take the former over the latter any day--I probably have a high tolerance for factious lots. (And also have learned that trying to change one's more entrenched behaviors is like trying to change one's eye color.)

Thanks for your work, Elvis :praybow I don’t envy the moderator’s task of reining in pugnacious puppies!

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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby American Dream » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:32 pm

liminalOyster » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:33 pm wrote:
Perhaps I truly do not understand where you're coming from. I could see that gibe maybe having more currency if it was referring primarily to opinions about Ukraine or Syria but as the predominant axis of difference on this board? Respectfully, it certainly feels to me like a strawman.


Yeah, you weren't understanding where I'm coming from. I know there is (to me) a fairly high threshold of snark and combativeness on this board. I generally try to stay below the baseline. If I hit a raw nerve, I'm sorry- not my intention. I may want to throw a bit of shade around as I think the issues of suffering human beings are worth it but I'm also trying to be at least somewhat respectful, even when I'm honestly horrified by some ideas that gain some degree parlance.

I have my opinions and have as much right as anyone else hear to express them. I hope we can all live with respect for the right to dissent, within the mutually agreed upon bounds.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby MacCruiskeen » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:05 pm

So Rory has gone too? The actual author of this thread, the man who went to the trouble of starting a dedicated thread, who thereby made more of an effort than anyone else to improve communication on this Discussion Board in 2018. Gone and permanently self-banned. Damn.

I liked Rory a lot. I liked his actual rigor and strong intuition (and that intuition was not mistaken about a lot of things). He cared about things, he was informed about things, he strove successfully to maintain his clarity and his sanity, he took a lot of shit for his pains, he knew the difference between a reasoned argument and a childish pissing match, he made numerous heroic attempts to remain polite under constant provocation, he was very quick to apologise whenever the incessant needlings got to him briefly and whenever he rose to the bait, he was no timewaster, he was honest and intelligent and articulate, he knew how to embed a tweet, he had a bloody good sense of humour (he was a right dry sod), he was never evasive, he was no fool and no coward, he was an adult who sounded like an adult. In short, Rory brought a lot to the Rigorous Intuition Discussion Board. He really made an honest and sustained effort.

Life, eh. Our time is our life.
Last edited by MacCruiskeen on Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby MacCruiskeen » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Emphasis added.

American Dream » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:32 pm wrote:
liminalOyster » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:33 pm wrote:
Perhaps I truly do not understand where you're coming from. I could see that gibe maybe having more currency if it was referring primarily to opinions about Ukraine or Syria but as the predominant axis of difference on this board? Respectfully, it certainly feels to me like a strawman.


Yeah, you weren't understanding where I'm coming from. I know there is (to me) a fairly high threshold of snark and combativeness on this board. I generally try to stay below the baseline. If I hit a raw nerve, I'm sorry- not my intention. I may want to throw a bit of shade around as I think the issues of suffering human beings are worth it but I'm also trying to be at least somewhat respectful, even when I'm honestly horrified by some ideas that gain some degree parlance.

I have my opinions and have as much right as anyone else hear to express them. I hope we can all live with respect for the right to dissent, within the mutually agreed upon bounds.


Just unbelievable. But well worth examining closely, if any of you can stomach it. Line by line. Word by suffering word. It is a classic of its kind.

I've just written a line-by-line response to it but have decided to leave that response in drafts for a while. I'll have to have a think about whether or not to post it.

Meanwhile: "Throw shade" - I had to look that up:

Top definition

Throw shade

To say a rude or slick comment towards another person with little or no one else catching the insult except who it was directed towards[/b].

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define. ... ow%20shade


See also: Double Bind definition
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby MacCruiskeen » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:08 pm

Stillrobertopaulsen, four years ago:

http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/view ... 08#p554208

Scroll through to the bottom of the page for the punchline.
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Elvis » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:19 pm

If anyone should want to PM me in the coming week, I will be mostly away from the Internet and unable to reply until Dec.20.

If issues arise, give 82_28 a holler.

Keep it real! :thumbsup
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby Cordelia » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:50 pm

If issues arise, give 82_28 a holler.


Isn't today 82_28's birthday? If so, go easy on him.

Happy Birthday!
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(If not, go easy anyway...)
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Re: Rhetoric and the art of Collaborative Discussion

Postby peartreed » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:28 pm

The last few posts on this thread, as well as other recent thread commentary about members posting here, illustrates to me how vastly different various individuals perceive and react to the same people and their posts. While that individuality makes the dynamics of the forum interesting, it also makes the views contentious.

For example, while I appreciate Elvis’ efforts to clarify the rationale for his actions I cannot see nor agree to the basis for his decisions about banning Jerky, especially when the same behavior at issue is still clearly evident by others still active here.

Elvis also points out the differences in his style of moderating compared to the more punitive banning by SRP, and the fact he inherited former mod assessments of Jerky, but the decision to ban Jerky and its length was entirely Elvis’ call at the time. All the members would like is enough consistency to clearly understand forum violations and the rules we thus must adhere to.

Like the differences in mod perceptions and decisions, members also see other participants through very different lenses. Mac has posted a tribute to Rory that I find almost completely opposite my own assessment, and both Mac and Jack have reacted to AD here and elsewhere with criticism I find little sympathy with. To me, the personal character of a poster is far less relevant than the content they post. If the data they share is informative and welcome, why pick on the poster's personal idiosyncrasies?

It just underlines the reality of different strokes for different folks – and the fact that each of us derives different benefits and banes from the same unique contributions. Some look to the content while others take umbrage at the character posting.

I agree with Elvis that we should, “keep it real” while recognizing that reality differs depending on the reviewer, and we should all take the heat and the intended hurt out of the hysterics.
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