Friday, September 14, 2012

The Sounds Of Silence

Loyal readers of The O’Zone may have noticed a recent decline in comments on this blog.

Trust me, I’m still getting them.

However, they have become so vicious, abusive and, in many cases, libelous that I have refused to publish them.

Now, I think that I have demonstrated an ability to engage in banter as well as having a respect for humor.

However, in the last two weeks, there has been an absolute absence of any intelligent arguments advanced against the opinions that I have expressed.

I have never refused to publish a comment that was based on either fact or reason or both.

Apparently those who disagree with me lack the intellectual capacity to express themselves in any terms other than four letter words and disparaging remarks about the personal traits of those political figures they oppose (dare I say “despise”).

I do, and always have, welcomed reasoned discussion and debate. Simultaneously, however, I have always maintained my right to disagree and advance countervailing arguments.

But it has become increasingly clear that there is an element that will support a position or candidate even when they have lost all reasonable bases to do so. Increasingly they have resorted to no other form of discussion than the launch of invective.

To them I quote another old Chinese proverb, “A closed mind is like a closed book – a block of wood.”


  1. This is part of the reason I don't allow anonymous comments on my blog. Anonymity seems to bring out the worst in people.

  2. I like the origin of the word "shibboleth." It seems so fitting for those who are "Foxified." They are incapable of speaking anything but the false talking points that are part of the indoctrination engaged in by Fox News and other radical right-wing billionaire- financed propaganda machines.

    The moment they speak or write it is clear that they are part of the deluded class who could not pronounce "shibboleth" to save their souls. They are too ignorant to know how easily they reveal their shallowness. They are incapable of independent thought.

    We can only hope that they are a vocal minority and that people who love this country will prevail. History gives us Germany to point to for an example of what happens when the indoctrinated and deluded prevail.

  3. now that the there biggest liberals around here have weighed in everybody now - Kumbaya my lord Kumbaya -
    a few days ago, White House press secretary Jay Carney also alluded to the song. "I don't think that anybody expected or expects Washington to be a campfire where everybody holds hands together and sings 'Kumbaya,' " Carney said. "That's not what the nation's business is about."

    1. Well. Anonymous, first of all I don't blame you for commenting anonymously. Your thought process is so woefully inadequate that certainly it would embarrass you if people knew who you were.

      As to your Carney quote which you asset was uttered a "few days ago," if I were a betting person like Mitt "10,000 dollars" Romney, I would wager that you have no idea as to when he said it and the context in which it was said.

      Incidentally, "Kumbaya" means Come by here. It is a prayer to God that you so freely mock. I imagine you must have the same revulsion toward "God Bless America?" Perhaps not, however, since Kumbaya is a Gullah dialect (African-American). That prayer undoubtedly does not count. Until recently, however, when tragedy struck as it did in Libya, we did all could join together in mourning as a nation. Romney and his ilk have changed all that.

      Carney is correct that the nation's business is not conducted as around a campfire with hands joined and singing. Never has been. Never will be. It is hardball. What the right-wing hates the most is when their hardball game is answered in kind. Barack is one uppity Negro, eh? Doesn't he know his place is to be submissive?

      Your stereotypical depiction of liberals reveals your programming. You would like to think that a response to pressure results in hand-wringing. You are so very wrong. Yes, Barack Obama has tried to reach across the aisle so to speak for areas of compromise. His hand has not been grasped by the Republicans because, let's face it, it's the wrong color.

    2. Brent the only one raising the issue of the wrong colored hand is you. Which of course makes you the racist and also the loser of 10,000 wager. You ASSUME to much! Which is the exact same reasoning that resulted in all this unrest in the middle east. Despite "When I get elected the middle east will love us - OBAMA" It is why a terrorist flag is currently over a USA embassy in Tunisia. It has nothing to do with a movie! Did they go this bizerk when Brokeback Mountain aired - NO but they're against that too! The current foreign policy has made the US irrelevant in the Middle east and not respected. They know we are pulling out and are no longer a player in the region. The door will continue to hit us on the way out - watch and learn my kumbaya replier they don't play by the same rules we do.

    3. "When I get elected the middle east will love us - OBAMA"

      Since you put this in quotes, I would like the source.

      Yes, the usual "I know you are, but what am I" childish reaction to anyone who points out the racism that runs through the tea party crowd. Typical.

      You are deluded. The reason for the rioting is the terrorists taking advantage of the right-wing in this country stoking the fire. The video and the wacky Florida preacher bear a great deal of responsibility. As do people such as yourself who proclaim that the country is in decline. The right-wing message does not stop at our borders. You and the proclaimers of an America in decline are the greatest propagandists the terrorists could hope for.

      Keep it up. You may just end up with the country you think you want. Germany did. Unlike then, however, there will be no free United States to respond.

  4. I find the liberal complaint bringing about the kumbaya group response only to be followed by name calling for having an opposing view very sad and very pathetic.

    It is a direct hypocritical way of operation in thinking only one side of the issue - their side - is correct.

    Rather then research the words of Obama for yourself of course shockingly I received the liberal provide a link response - (because we all know liberals love their links) .

    Good at giving homework but not so good in doing it I see. Learning is a life long journey don't quit just yet.

    My race card baiting replier I'll humor you this one time!
    - NH Nov 21 2007 listen to Obama in his own words say that Middle east relations would be better if he won the election.

    OBAMA FLASHBACK: The Day I'm Inaugurated Muslim Hostility Will Ease

    "he is uniquely qualified to bring stability to America's relationships in the Muslim world because he lived in an Islamic country during his youth and his half-sister is Muslim."

    BTW GERMANY is Laughing at your guy's blundering ways.

    1. You are as beyond hope as any other cultist.

      Incidentally, your so-called quote by the President "When I get elected the middle east will love us - OBAMA" was never said in the clip you sent me to. How typical that you would cite something from a most discredited source - more right-wing propaganda. Even there the quote in the headline "The Day I'm Inaugurated Muslim Hostility Will Ease" was NEVER uttered by Obama.

      You cannot think for yourself and you prove it further with each response. It is good that you do respond though. Thinking people who read what you write would never want to associate themselves with such anti-intellectual parroting.

      To that end you do provide a valuable service. More people will vote for the re-election of the President. Those who are convinced by your deluded mantra are a small minority who are prone to be the victims of cults.

      Enjoy your world, Anonymous. It's all in your mind (such as it is).

      BTW, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous: If you are so sure of your views, why do you prefer anonymity? Are you ashamed?

  5. NO BS of A it is you who are beyond hope because you can not change your own viewpoints. That is because you are blinded and no longer objective to the truth.

    This blog used this phrase - Apparently those who disagree with me lack the intellectual capacity to express themselves in any terms other than four letter words and disparaging remarks about the personal traits of those political figures they oppose (dare I say “despise”).

    Perhaps you should read that again because he is talking to you too with Your use of name calling such as woefully inadequate ,Racist, Deluded . Childish, anti-intellectual. You are far from the civilized person you portray yourself to be in your own mind. For you see your words here will be judged as hypocritical as they always are. When someone resorts to name calling it is because they can't intellectually win the argument and have nothing else to say.

    1. What did you say your name was again? I didn't think so. Here is one more name for you. Coward. You may think of yourself as some sort of Mighty Mouse, swooping down to save the day from (gulp)liberals. Your anonymity simply reveals you to be a Mighty Mouth.

      Questions in this discussion you have not answered:

      1.Why did you misquote the President? You chided me for not doing my homework. In fact, I did try to find the quote that you posted. No such quote exists.

      2.When did Carney make reference to Kumbaya? Oh, he did, I know that. Was it a few days ago as you stated? What was the context?

      3.To what sources do you turn for information besides Fox News, Breitbart, and Rush? Drudge?

      4.What evidence do you have that "GERMANY is Laughing at your guy's blundering ways"?

      5.Do you consider an argument won when you ignore points made by those holding opposing views?

      6.Did you not open your remarks by referring to liberals as the Kumbaya crowd?

      7.You refer to a request to back up your statements as "the liberal provide a link response - (because we all know liberals love their links)." Do you think that just because you state something (or heard something) that makes it true? Why are you threatened by asking to prove your assertions?

      8.Why do you not provide your name? Is it because you are scared? Unsure? Unwilling to let the world know the real you?

    2. Europeans are smirking at Obama’s Middle East foreign policy meltdown
      US embassies in the Muslim world were on high alert Friday following days of violent protests against an anti-Islam film. Germany, too, closed several embassies in fear of attacks. German commentators argue that the violence shows that Obama’s Middle East policies are an unmitigated disaster.

      Die Welt writes:
      “US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. Like no president before him, he tried to win over the Arab world. After some initial hesitation, he came out clearly on the side of the democratic revolutions. … In this context, he must accept the fact that he has snubbed old close allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian military. And now parts of the freed societies are turning against the country which helped bring them into being. Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It’s a bitter outcome for Obama.”
      “Obama was naive to believe that one only needed to adopt a new tone and show more respect in order to dispel deep-seated reservations about the free world. In practice, the policies of the Obama administration in the region were not as naive as they may have seemed at times, and the Americans have always been much more involved in the Middle East than the passive Europeans. But Washington has provided the image of a distracted superpower in the process of decline to the societies there. This image of weakness is being exploited by Salafists and al-Qaida, who are active in North Africa from Somalia to Mali.”
      “One thing is clear: If jihadists believe they can attack American installations and kill an ambassador on the anniversary of Sept. 11, then America’s deterrent power has declined considerably. For a superpower, it is not enough just to want to be loved. You have to scare the bad guys to keep them in check.”
      When Obama is called an ape and told that they are coming in this video it much more than the Germans who laughing at Obama's foreign policy.
      Besides why do you hate the German peoples ?

    3. A June survey by Pew Research found Obama's favorability rating among Europeans at 80%.
      Your generalizations from one article in one German newspaper widely recognized as conservative, is typical of right-wing argumentation.

    4. Please and pew research isn't widely recognized as liberal being typical of left wing argumentation ? Oh yeah I did just do that.

      If Obama is elected to a second term look at the mess he will inherit this time! lol

    5. The article you cite initially "Europeans are smirking at Obama’s Middle East foreign policy meltdown" is from BareNakedIslam. It begins its "about" section with these words:
      "Do not fear being labeled an ‘Islamophobe.’ Winston Churchill was once accused of being a ‘Naziphobe.’"

      At least, Anonymous, we have learned something about you. You have a hatred for Muslims. That speaks volumes.

      Your "Die Welt" article was also repeated in extreme right-wing publications. You can also find a link to this article on..... guess. Fox News.

      You're an angry racist xenophobe, Anonymous. The bottom line, however, is that you are a frightened little person.

      You are more to be pitied than censored.

      There is no need to engage with you any further.

    6. Where do you get the view that Pew is a liberal-biased outlet. It's findings are cited as often by conservative as liberal outlets (i.e. Media Research Center, Fox News, etc.)

    7. By the way, the study I cited from Pew begins with, "Global approval of President Barack Obama’s policies has declined significantly since he first took office, while overall confidence in him and attitudes toward the U.S. have slipped modestly as a consequence."

      That's hardly a "Liberal" take.

      However, the decline was mostly in Middle Eastern countries - not Europe, Japan or China where his favorability remained above 50%. In most cases, as in Europe, it was significantly above a plurality.

    8. Before you jump too quickly on that quote, it is worth noting how Obama's favorability and that of the U.S. compares to the last year of the Bush Administration.

      The study notes, especially regarding Europe, "Attitudes toward the U.S. are generally more positive today than in 2008, the final year of the George W. Bush administration. The biggest improvements in America’s image have occurred among Europeans – in France, Spain, and Germany, the percentage of people with a positive view of the U.S. is at least 20 percentage points higher than in 2008."

    9. As much as you think links are a liberal ploy ("we all know how liberals love their links") others who want to evaluate the findings of the Pew study can find it at Global Opinion of Obama Slips, International Policies Faulted.

    10. AH the old cut someone down and run tactic. You insult degrade say that your better and won’t comment any further. Bravo you have completed the Liberal circle argument of attack.
      Really, slinging a three for – angry, racist xenophobe against someone you don’t know who simply disagrees with your blue man group politics. You’re the guy that writes against bullying right?
      BS of A based on your comments one could argue that you hate the Jews. That speaks volumes.
      That you most likely disagree in the thought that Benjamin Netanyahu is the Winston Churchill of our day. Again because you hate the Jews and those nice Islamic radicals killing people and burning our flag are your type of guys.
      You are more to be ignored than pitied and censored.
      However, I’ll engage you when your writings are defamatory in nature which I guess will be often.

    11. Benjamin Netanyahu is the Winston Churchill of our Day? Boy, you've been marinating in the Kool-Aid way too long.

      And how can Brent defame someone who remains anonymous?

      Why don't you have the courage to use your name?

    12. Apparently you missed the point of the graphic that accompanies this article!

    13. Cut and run? Apparently you don't know me as well as you think you do. I am writing as myself, not hiding behind a cowardly anonymous screen name.

      Your courage extends only as far as your fingertips on your computer keyboard.

      Not continuing to engage you in conversation is hardly unusual. In fact, I would imagine you must be quite used to it. There is little value in trying to reason with a pre-Oz scarecrow.

      I also suspect that you are someone I DO know, and I have dealt with you before. You are, in the jargon of the internet, a troll. You hunger for incendiary disruption. You do not need to be fed any further.

    14. Brent:
      You are absolutely correct in sounding the Troll Alert.
      This character has been here before and is betrayed by his remark about Liberals loving their links which he has used before.
      He is useful, however, in illustrating precisely how bankrupt the right is when it comes to being able to carry on a coherent debate. If the facts don't fit the argument, manufacture new "facts". Or, as Romney, Ryan and Brown have done, just outright lie.

    15. Absolutely, Ken. I have often dealt with these characters, and I DO believe I know who this tea party cultist is. He will never reveal his name, but you would know this Southbridge resident.

      You are right that, as I remarked previously, he provides a useful purpose. Thinking people could never associate themselves with his comments. Dullards and dittoheads are desperately trying to "get their country back." Of course, it is a country that never was, but their utter lack of knowledge about American History allows them to wallow in ignorance.

  6. As Rick Santorum said Saturday at the Value Voters summit, "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."

  7. The real problem in our debates is shallowness of knowledge and thought. Consider for example the attacks on the Obama Administration over the vulnerability of American embassies. This is a problem a half century in the making as pointed out in How Congress left our embassies exposed.
    What is required is that people stop making up their own “facts” and open their minds to the awareness that there are objective realities that are now being distorted by media spin. And the fact is that most of that spin is coming from the right-wing media outlets .
    A number of studies have demonstrated that conservatives are more inclined to believe information that confirms their biases. See, for example What Dilemma? Moral Evaluation Shapes Factual Belief.
    It is as a result that we have the denials of scientific data in so many areas ranging from evolution to climate change.
    Until we have a baseline of reality we’ll be no better than medieval theologians arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  8. I get where you are coming from Ken, but at times I have to take a post down that I find less than flattering to others or directed at others. Having said that, the slings and arrows that come my way I leave up as I run an open forum. I will not allow slander or malicous statements, but when it comes to me, I take the hit. It is a hard call to make but only one time have I ever banned anyone from my site. Part and parcel of the job, and for the record? I think you do a good job even though we don't always agree, but I believe that is the point. A give and take and a occasional disagreement is not a bad thing, just keep it resonable. Its a fair trade off, and the last couple of Durant posts have shown up on my blog. Keep up the good work.

  9. Well, I'm going to enjoy the first day of the last year of my forties and maybe tomorrow I'll me, not Anonymous!

  10. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...

    On Friday, 09/14/2012, German commentators analyze the violence and its implications for US foreign policy.

    The center-right [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung] writes:

    "The murder of an ambassador in Libya and the attacks on US diplomatic missions in other Arab countries is sure to strengthen the skepticism that more than a few Americans feel toward Muslims and the political changes brought by the Arab revolutions. The deeply held American belief that all you have to do is liberate people from serfdom and dictatorship, and then democracy and a market economy will develop more or less on their own, burned to ash in the trial by fire of Iraq. * A fact that academics and historically informed diplomats have always known can now be observed throughout the Arab world: Deeply ingrained cultural attitudes do not change simply because one political regime replaces another. In the long process of building a democratic society, it is not possible to simply skip stages *."

    The left-leaning [Die Tageszeitung] writes:

    "The conservative US media have already -- excessively -- labeled the anti-US protests in Egypt, Libya and Yemen as a 'wildfire' and interpreted them as a result of Obam's 'weakness.'"

    " * It's lucky for Obama that his opponent Romney is acting in such a hapless manner. Instead of condemning the attacks in a statesman-like fashion and assuring the president of his support, Romney criticized the government's alleged 'apology' to the demonstrators *. That was not just nonsense, but partisan maneuvering at a moment when patriotism would have been appropriate. With his attack, Romney has scored an own goal."

    The financial daily [Handelsblatt] writes:

    "Three years after Obama's speech in Cairo, which was supposed to initiate a new beginning in the Middle East, the United States now has even less support in the region than before. * That's not a failure of this president. Instead, it is the consequences of an American foreign policy that for decades favored power over democracy, and a hard line over human rights -- and which will suffer from a credibility problem for a long time for precisely those reasons *."

    " * Mitt Romney has, however, failed to recognize the very core of the American dilemma. He attacked Obama with twisted facts shortly after the announcement of the death of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. He claimed that the US government had sympathized with the attackers in Benghazi. But not only was that factually wrong, it also demonstrated an alarmingly high level of foreign policy incompetence to his own party *. None of this would matter, except that Romney wants Obama's job -- and might even get it on Nov. 6."

    The mass-circulation daily [Bild] writes:

    "Naked hatred is raging against a country that many people in the world regard as a symbol of freedom. * When US flags burn, embassies are vandalized, and diplomats are murdered, it is an attack on the West, and not just America! *"

    "We rooted for the demonstrators at Tahrir Square, and many of us have longed to see democracy in the Arab nations. But democracy includes honoring the lives of fellow humans."

    "The turmoil in Libya, Cairo, and Bangladesh is a return to the Middle Ages, when people were beheaded and stoned to death. No pathetic anti-Islam film can justify hate-filled murder."

    "The West must be tough on terrorism. And it must show that it can differentiate between rabble-rousers and peaceful Muslims."

    With reporting by Hasnain Kazim. -- David Gordon Smith

    Site Source:

    1. Jester:
      Thanks for another marvelous job of incisive research.

    2. Ken O'Brien:

      Bitte sehr!

  11. Netanyahu’s warhawk blustering is understandable to anyone who follows Israeli internal politics. Following the erosion of his coalition government he rushed through a series of austerity measures that, as Agency France Press reported in August, caused “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's popularity [to] [plummet] to its lowest point since his election in 2009 after he pushed through a series of tough austerity measures, a poll showed yesterday.
    Asked if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with Netanyahu's performance as prime minister, 60 percent said they were unhappy, while 31 percent said the opposite.”
    In light of this he has moved aggressively on promoting the Iranian nuclear threat, a view not shared to any similar extent by his own military or intelligence services. Clearly this is an effort to solidify his conservative Likud Party base as well as mobilize American conservative Jewish supporters and contributors.
    By and large this, as well as his Sunday morning appearances on U.S talk shows today, is an effort to distract from his domestic problems.


All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.