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[All words in quotes are actual words from emails received in the last 24 hours] You know what? I have nothing to apologize for. I re-read my words from yesterday and I still feel the same way, even after "letting the anger dissipate" a bit and "sleeping on it". The only thing I would change in those words is to put the word "far" in front of "left" so as to avoid half of the arguments that ensued in the comments. One thing I want to address is this: Most of the arguments against my words were about the minority of the far left, that they are small in number and shouldn't matter. Bullshit. They get the press, they get the attention and they vote. So they matter. When people like Sean Penn and Barbra Streisand speak on behalf of the far left, they matter. When Robert Fisk has a national column that speaks for the far left, they matter. I don't owe anyone an "apology." And this is my own personal website. It's not a newspaper of record, I don't get paid for this, I have no "guidelines" to follow. If I want to "spew my opinions" until the proverbial cows come home (mmmm....cows), I will. You can either "change the channel" or leave a comment. And, yea. If I was such a "coward" or a "hate-filled reactionary who won't listen to anyone else" I wouldn't have an open comment policy, would I? Nope, I sat here and let people insult me, refute me and call me names on my own site, yet I'm somehow an "oppresser of the left, a silencer of opinions." Right. So for all you people who hurled insults, wished ugly things upon me or just acted like assholes, my sentiment of the day is for you:
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Comments

way to go! i agree with your first post and agree with this! you are simply stating facts IMHO

Of course. You have nothing to apologize for. One doesn't need to apologize for thinking or having an opinion. It seems bizarre that one would imagine it necessary, and yet I think many people would understand it: it's of a piece with being liberal. What makes someone truly liberal...tolerant, thoughtful, etc, also must make one contemptous of the "far left"; so much so as to seem right wing. I myself don't have these feelings because I do belong to the right, or at least, don't have a problem with the association. But nowadays almost anything that is fairly contemptuous of the "far left" seems so defined these days. We like freedom, we like living...and we wish to defend ourselves against those who loathe and want to destroy western civilization. After all, a hatred for the west is where the "far left" and our enemies seem to have common cause.

(And I like Ann Coulter. She's vicious, cutting, mean and funny. And she certainly isn't going to feel the need to apologize to people who are offended by her contempt for those who want to either destroy the west, or don't make their principal enemy the same...)

"oppresser of the left, a silencer of opinions."

After a spell check, that would make a great tee shirt! Should there be a picture on the "opresser" tee shirt or would that detract from the message?

Or maybe I can come up with a tee shirt that expresses my point of view as a lefty who thinks that pacifist, anti-American, secular church-lady communists "suck the sweat off a dead man's balls".

The problem is that you'd have to be so heavy handed to get the message across.

My first thought was a picture of the pink protest tank with a caption that says "Pink tanks for plastic shredders. Because torture is a personal choice." But I don't think anyone would get it.

The only people who give any sort of real thought to Penn, Streisand, etc. are right-wingers who need someone to pound on.

Oliver, I'm increasingly suspicious you wouldn't know "real thought" if it ran up your leg and bit you on the ass.

Michele,

Excellent posts. The usual lefty crowd is there, rattling their cardboard sabers, toothless and impotent. Ignore them. Remember, there is an enemy now, simply because they have decided we are the enemy. It is their reason and their decision to call us the enemy, not ours. We cannot appease them, understand them or fix their root causes in any fashion that would change us being the enemy.

So stick to your truth, for it is that. The angry left rails at you because you throw light on their dark secrets. They are afraid of the world as it is, and demand like some petulant two-year-old to have the world behave as they wish it to be, but cannot. Their barbs suggest you are right on target.

Good for you. Be strong. "Never, never, never give up."

Hey, I for one think you said something that needs to be said. It's your blog, your house your rules and your door.

While I firmly believe that leftism is an ultimately flawed philosophy, I have no doubt that there are lots of good decent principled lefties who are trying to do good and are even (gasp!) correct about several things (see.. FMA).

The problem is that they don't seem to be running the show. Your point about celebs is spot on. They matter. I find the loony left in some ways more scary than the Fallwell /Bauer type asshats because they have been given the faux mantle of caring and goodness by a sympathetic and occasionally oblivious press. Everyone knows the Religious Right is scary, the left, having usurped the word liberalism are seen, being opposed to the far rights evils, as being necessarily good....well not necesarily...and without posts like yours they'd continue with their crap....every bit as bad as Fallwells and Dukes..... but be all the more menacing 'cause of their stealth.

(BTW, If it makes you feel better, I don't think you're like the Coltergiest at all:)

Best,

Rock on, Michele!

Amen to that. If you piss off people, then so much the better - at least you are getting a reaction, which in turn stimulates the flow of ideas.

Don't stop-a-rockin'!

That might be part of the problem, Oliver. Many of the people who follow the celebrities don't think, they just proceed in lemming fashion. When someone says "Hey, point A doesn't make sense with point B", they get ripped into as .
Is that a more equitable fashion of dealing in the marketplace of ideas? I would say not.

"The only people who give any sort of real thought to Penn, Streisand, etc. are right-wingers who need someone to pound on."

I think there's an element of truth to this. After all, even Penn, Streisand, etc. don't give any sort of real thought to Penn, Streisand, etc.

Debating stuff we're passionate about is great, as long as it doesn't degenerate into name calling. Sort of tends to shut down the discussion. Any of that binary "I'm right and you're wrong" kind of debate has the same effect, with reason being replaced with "you're stupid, therefore I'm right."

Speaking of checking reason at the door:
The usual ... crowd is there, rattling their cardboard sabers, toothless and impotent. Ignore them. Remember, there is an enemy now, simply because they have decided we are the enemy. It is their reason and their decision to call us the enemy, not ours. We cannot appease them, understand them or fix their root causes in any fashion that would change us being the enemy.
Can't help but read responses like that and imagine Rorshach muttering these thoughts under his mask; or Travis Bickle alone in his apartment, getting stronger and leaner and meaner, staring himself down in the mirror. You talkin' to me?

RKB, is Rorshach the guy who painted those filthy inkblots? He should be ashamed of himself!

It's always illuminating to see who takes such posts so personally, as if Michele were writing specifically about them. So touchy.

Also, this idea that a blogger must give equal time to issues or opinions in order to be fair - utter bullshit.

Write on, Michele.

Also, this idea that a blogger must give equal time to issues or opinions in order to be fair - utter bullshit.

Perhaps Indimedia and Democratic Underground should take the first step in opening themselves up to more diverse opinions. Michele may be holding to principles of cyperspace property rights. IM and DU ideological stances (albiet not their editorial policies), however, seem hold alternative views.

"The only people who give any sort of real thought to Penn, Streisand, etc. are right-wingers who need someone to pound on."

Maybe the democrats/liberals/left that don't give them any thought, SHOULD... and if they don't agree, be vocal about disagreeing. Like it or not, they're speaking for your party/side of the political spectrum.

Besides... we "right-wingers" have no shortage of people "to pound on."

I liked Sean in 21 Grams. And Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And Barbra was fabulous in Whats Up, Doc? But Yentl...? Don't get me started!

...wait, what forum is this...?

(Oh, and don't sweat it, Michele. I used to answer everyone back, but now I've decided to be more judicious with my energies. I think my record was 30+ personal responses to those commenting on this old post. In retrospect, it wasn't worth the upset stomach).

I always thouoght those Rorshach things looked like smooshed spiders. Or naked women.

To RKB:

I read posts like yours with a certain roll of the eyes. Unable to refute, you mock, not unlike some pimply twelve year old. Yawn.

You cannot force the man to see who revels in his blindness.

Joshua -- it's a reference to a character from an old graphic novel. His mask was, in fact, a constantly changing set of inkblots.

And Pogo, I'm not even trying to refute anything you've written. The entire point of the two character references is reinforced by your last statement.

See, there are many voices that appear ready to debate, many passionate individuals on either side of the political spectrum that are willing to participate in a reasonable discussion (even about topics that maybe hit close to home).

I can understand such black and white "us versus them" statements you're making ("we cannot appease them, understand them or fix their root causes in any fashion that would change us being the enemy") if you're a soldier talking about the people lobbing grenades at you from across the battlefield. But you're using these phrases to identify the guy down the guy down the street, or that woman in your church, a quiet co-worker who maybe doesn't share his politics with you.

I can agree to disagree with many people on politics because I know that while we may not see eye-to-eye on what's happening in Iraq elsewhere, I'm also cool with the fact that life is much bigger than tha. There are many reasons I enjoy the company of my friends, and most have absolutely nothing to do with our (often opposite) political beliefs.

So my point, Pogo, is that if you've got such a chip on your shoulder that you're going to do this passive-agressive equation of lefties=enemies (you're only doing it because they did it first, right?) then I wouldn't expect much in the way of a reasonable debate from you. You've already closed -- and locked, and double-bolted -- the door.

I mean, seriously, Pogo. Starting from "remember, there is an enemy now..." sounds like you're describing terrorists, not somebody who disagrees with you on politics.

You cannot force the man to see who revels in his blindness, indeed.

"Everything that guy said is bullshit"

I agreed with most of it, my only problem is your insistence in calling it the War on Terror.
Maybe I'm just a nitpicky nitwit, but we can't fight a war against an emotion. We CAN fight a war against a particular action, such as terrorISM.

I don’t know why I didn’t come back to this blog sooner. I came here just now from Tim Blair.

You’re terrific, Michele!

To RKB

I see now. You misunderstood, and quite badly I'm afraid. I was in fact speaking precisely of terrorists. The blind are those who refuse to recognize that we are at war, whether we like it or not.

Your impulse to judge statements opposed to yours as coming from "nuts" like Travis Bickle (rather than asking the obvious: "are we speaking about terrorists here?") speaks of such determined blindness.

Hoorah! I like your grit! I'd purely love seconds on opinions and watch you kick smelly lefty butt right through the goal posts of life!

Uh, what Robert Fisk national column? I know of no major US daily that regularly runs Fisk columns. Honestly I'm not sure if I've ever read a Fisk column in a major US newspaper (now if you are speaking of the UK than of course it's an entirely different picture). If you mean by national column that webzines like Counterpunch regularly publish his crap, well sure but they are but a hangnail on the national debate. They matter not and are almost entirely (and wisely) ignored. Anyway all this is to say, that leftism of the Fisk, Chomsky variety while it generates much heat and flash here and there, contributes little of substance or import to current political discourse in the US (again different story outside of the US I agree). Here's a couple of recommendations for you to read next time you're tempted to swim through the sectarian leftist swamp: Michael Berube, Michael Walzer, Paul Berman, Bernard Henri-Levy (I highly recommend his "Who Killed Daniel Pearl). Life's too short for creeps like Ted Rall, read the above instead. No doubt you'll disagree with much of what they write, but they all have something of value to contribute. I imagine you'd find it worth your time.

Secondly, it's your blog. The notion that you need to provide space for opposing viewpoints is inane. Too anyone who'd suggest otherwise, I'd recommend they go find said viewpoints on their own. It's not your responsibility to do the work of others for them, and it's not like its hard to do either.

Lastly, Slayer* rules and I really, really hate Limp Biscuit and anything associated with them. I was recently forced to listen to "Behind Blue Eyes" and am now undergoing a vigorous Slayer cleansing of my polluted ears.

*currently playing "South of Heaven".

"Far" is the all-critical word in front of Left and Right because those are indeed the wingnuts who get the press and publicly define the ideology. Of course, they are in a tiny minority, leaving the actual running of things to the saner parts of the political spectrum.

It is very true that the Islamic Fanatic follower of Osama is Bound by their beleif taht to kill kufr is to please Allah. They have no desire to live with the lesser races who do not believe in their version of Islam. Infidels are to be killed or subjugated. Islam demands that Sharia law be universal. That law says gays and lesbians are to be defenstrated or have a wall dropped on them. If a woman is raped and she reports it then she must have no less than four male relatives who were witnesses. If she cannot produce them then she is convicted of adultery and buried to her elbows in the ground and then stoned to death by a crowd including her own family. Oh yes, we DO need to understand the root cause; they hate us and their god will be pleased by their killing us. That is the root cause. Read the Koran.

Protein Wisdom – “I think my record was 30+ personal responses to those commenting on this old post. In retrospect, it wasn't worth the upset stomach”

OMG – I did a parody of a Tom Tomorrow sketch and lefties descended on my site like locusts. I got emails, I got insults by the ton.

Tom (ie. Perkins) may appear to be blasé about that sort of thing, but whenever there’s a parody out there, I now picture him rubbing his hands together and saying "Smithers, release the hounds!"

Michele’s recent problem is the same thing. It’s how they fight their battles. They don’t have brainpower, so they use a dumb, constant onslaught. Creeps.

Actually Michele, that angry reaction proves your point. The anger is not confined to the Far Left, either. One merely needs to look at the preumptive nominee of the Democratic Party to see that anger. Or the junior Senator from New York and her screeching diatribes.
Confined to the fringes? Albert Gore, Jr was Vice President of the United States of America, who can forget his shouting about 'HE PLAYED ON OUR FEARS! Oddly the Bush Administration's rhetoric about Iraq was, if anything, milder than the Clinton/Gore Administration's was during 1998.
The Left is angry for a simple reason. No matter their antics they know that these are serious times and the American People are looking for serious leadership. I disagree with much the Bush Administration is doing. I even disagree with some of the tactical and strategic decisions they've made in this war. Having said that, at least this Adminstration is FIGHTING. That's why I, and most Americans, will reject the Left again in November. The Left had their chances. The first bombing of the Twin Towers, the Kohbar Barracks bombing, the Embassy bombings in Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi, the USS Cole and Mogadishu. The Left's reaction was to cower and wait for the next loud noise. Sometimes they'd cry to the UN, sometimes they'd make trheatening noises and blow up a couple of unimportant targets.
It's the anger of spoiled children, shunted out of the way by the adults when there is serious work to be done.

Michele: I agreed with your post when you made it, and I agree with it now. You have nothing to apologize for. Furthermore, Peter has probably said the final word on the subject: "It's the anger of spoiled children, shunted out of the way by the adults when there is serious work to be done." Exactly.

With Michele's insertion of "far" left, I basically agree with everything she had to say.

However, some folks here are going far beyond Michele's comments in their trashing of anyone left of center.

Peter, in particular - exactly who was it who was President when we packed up and headed for the hills after 241 Marines got murdered by a suicide bomber in Lebanon? You might want to think about that before going out of you way to sneeringly proclaim that Democratic Presidents inherently cower in fear.

Michele, you wrote that the left is merely/mostly defined by it's "ANTI"-ness

Simply "anti-" is not whay I consider to be the defining meme of the left.

I do NOT think it really explains why the left is so wrong.

I think the meme that best explains the core valuer -the foundational values - of the left
is POMO-Moral Relativism.

The left is bad because the left is based primarily on "post-modernism" and "moral relativism."

This explains their all their behavior and their ideology better than anything else.

They are "PRO" enemies of the USA because we are "strong" and our enemies are "weak". And because they believe all values are either "subjective and/or cultural", they believe that all culture conflicts are MERE power plays, and they always side with the underdog - (when Israel was the underdog the left sided with Israel, before 1967).

This explains why the left argues that "you cannot impose democracy or freedom" because they do not see these values (personal freedom) as innately human and the birthright of all humans , but merely as "Western values" or even Western falsehoods.

This explains why they argue that "Bush is a simpleton who is too stupid to know that there is no such thing as evil, and when Bush says that 'there is evil and it is bad' he proves himself to be a religious fanatic."

And the left's "pomo-moral relativism" is why they favor the "nuanced" hedging of Kerry and the French: Like the convoluted language of the semiotic/Marxist/psychoanalytical obscurantist philosophers they beatify, they love overly complex, abstruse, analogical/metaphorical and "poetic" ambiguities (feeling that life is really too complex for any human to grasp it any other way), and declaim empiricism as stupid.

Moral relativism is the handmaiden of evil because it disarms people of their ability to counter evil: When "do what thou wilt" is the whole of the law, and when people do what is right in their own eyes --- they do evil.

To do good, to be just and fair, one must consider how one's values, and actions effect others, and what would be the implication of their universalization: What would happen if EVERYONE felt/behaved in such-and-such a way.

Doing this requires "getting out of one's self" - it requires that we: consider others - our neighbors - to be as important as ourselves; to love the other as we love ourselves; to NOT do unto others as we would NOT have others do unto us.

Which demonstrates why, if everyone bombed innocent third parties to get their way, then the whole human world would vanish.

That is why sane people cannot tolerate terror: it is nihilism.

BUT: "pomo/moral relativists" have no basis for fighting nihilism. That is why the "pomo/m.r." left is lost, useless, annoying, and WRONG.

Actually, Miker, I had a good friend killed in that bombing, someone who decided to stay in the Corps after we served in the SE Asian War Games. Ron Reagan didn't want to send troops there, he gave in to Congressional demands to DO SOMETHING, even though we had no national interest, nor a clear plan to stop the conflict.
After the bombing the same Congresscritters demanded we get out of Lebanon, threatening to cut off funding for that operation, among others.
I remain convinced to this day that one of the biggest blunders of Reagan's Presidency was bowing to the congressional pressure to send an inadequete force into a hopeless situation with overly restrictive ROE. Reagan screwed the pooch there but there is plenty of blame to spread around. Blaming only Reagan is very much like the congresscritters who refused to fund the upgraded body armor and up-armored Humvees blaming Bush for sending the troops into combat without such armor.

A Different Bill..

You made me laugh out loud so much so that my daughters gave me that "daaaaaaad" look.

Peter, I wasn't trying to place sole blame for the Beirut situation on Reagan - I was just pointing out that simplistic black and white equations of Republicans=brave and Democrats=cowards are not valid.