On courtesy and flame wars

One of the things that makes CSPT at least somewhat different from many — if not most — political blogs is our de facto, if not de jure, free speech policy. From the Comments and Registration policy:

We appreciate any comments you may have on the articles on Common Sense Political Thought, and encourage participation. We reserve the right to delete offensive comments, but do not define critical as offensive. Since 2005, I have censored exactly one non-spam comment, when someone tried to use this site to “out” a supposedly closeted homosexual politician; even there, I simply redacted the name of the politician. I have edited a few other comments, usually to insert paragraph breaks when the author did not include them and they were too difficult to read without them, and a couple of really bad spellling errors. :) But I don’t edit reader comment content in any other fashion.

Outright libel will be deleted, as will spam and spam links.

That’s actually a bit old: I’ve edited a few other comments since then, to address formatting problems and, on occasion, to insert youtube videos linked by the commenter.

Unlike sites from Pandagon to Patterico — both sites with significantly greater readership than CSPT — I have never banned anyone, and it is my intention never to do so. I do not wish to censor either comments or people, and, for that reason, I would rather waste the additional bandwidth (which hasn’t actually cost me any money yet!) to maintain comments which are off-topic or repetitive or even conspiracy-theorist stuff than to delete them.

However, we have developed something here that I really, really dislike, and something which has led to personal complaining e-mails to me, from more than one person and from both sides of the political spectrum: we have developed a flame war in many of the comments sections, in which partisans from both sides have said some rather unsavory things about each other. There have been things which could be considered threats, there has been profane language, and there have been characterizations of people which just shouldn’t be made. One of our formerly frequent main article authors has left us because of the personal nature of some of the opposed comments.

One thing is obvious: some of the authors and commenters here just flat don’t like, and don’t have respect for, some of the other authors and commenters. OK, that’s fine: people cannot be compelled to like or respect each other. But I would ask people here to be more courteous than they have been.

Winston Churchill was a great man for being able to insult someone else with cunning and humor.

Mr. Attlee is a very modest man. Indeed he has a lot to be modest about.

Now that is funny!

When I was a teenager — yes, I really was younger once — I used to read Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Because of the Comics Code Authority, Sgt Fury couldn’t bawl out his men using the words a real sergeant would use. I do remember one line where he called someone a dad-blasted, chicken-scratchin’, flea-bitten, dog-leggin’, joy-ridin’, pickle-pickin’, pink-eyed son of a bob-tailed hyena. (Yeah, I just had to memorize that one!)

So, my request is this: if you absolutely have to insult someone, try to be creative and not profane about it. I want to throw some water on the flame wars going on in here.

I bet Marco likes his TEA black (with a lot of cream)

Just a couple videos to drive the liberals stark-raving mad. First the black TEA, proving Olbergasm and the rest of the lamestream media to be liars when they say the TEA is lily white. (Note: MSNBC talking heads are all white.)

Then Marco Rubio at CPAC.

Now, if that don’t drive the librulz nutz, I don’t know what will.

HT SayAnythingBlog.com and Caffeinated Thoughts

Edit: For those who can’t see the second video (and I don’t know why), here’s the link to it.

Of course the Islamists are hiding behind civilians!

In the hubbub over Afghan civilian deaths due to a misplaced rocket attack, comes this story from the front page of today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

Taliban using civilians as shields

As U.S. and Afghan forces try to prevent civilian deaths in Marjah, enemy holdouts are fighting amid its citizens.
By Alfred De Montesquiou and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press

MARJAH, Afghanistan – Taliban fighters holding out in Marjah are increasingly using civilians as human shields, firing from compounds where U.S. and Afghan forces can clearly see women and children on rooftops or in windows, Afghan and U.S. troops said yesterday.

The intermingling of fighters and civilians, they said, is part of a Taliban effort to exploit strict NATO rules against endangering innocent lives to impede the allied advance through the town in Helmand province, 380 miles southwest of Kabul.

Two more NATO service members were killed in the Marjah operation yesterday, the alliance said in a statement without identifying them by nationality.

Their deaths brought to six NATO service members and one Afghan soldier killed since the attack on Marjah, the hub of the Taliban’s southern logistics and drug-smuggling network, began Saturday. About 40 insurgents have been killed, Helmand Gov. Gulab Mangal said.

In five days of fighting, the Taliban has also shown a side not often seen in nearly a decade of American military action in Afghanistan: the use of snipers, both working alone and integrated into guerrilla-style ambushes.

Almost every American and Afghan infantryman present has had frightening close calls. Some of the shooting has apparently been from Kalashnikov machine guns, the Marines say, mixed with sniper fire.

War is hell, and not only for the warriors: civilians die as well. But this is an old tactic: the Palestinian fighters in Gaza and the West Bank use it, the Viet Cong used it, really anybody who wants to hide from a superior, concentrated force can use it, if that force is making efforts to not kill non-combatants. Then, of course, the civilized West will cry about civilian casualties, and many — including some of the commenters here — will say that the civilian deaths are a reason we shouldn’t fight the war at all.

If we surrender to such logic, then it means any group which is willing to hide amongst the civilian population automatically wins.

Amy Bishop Is A Bad Person

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard about that far-left woman who shot up an Alabama college campus because she was denied tenure. And you heard about how she killed her brother back in 1986. And you heard about how that police report had gone missing. And you heard that she was released before booking back in 1986. And you may have heard Representative Delahunt (D-MA) was involved as a District Attorney.

The police report has been found, and the Boston Globe has a copy of it online.

Below is the 1986 police file on Amy Bishop’s fatal shooting of her brother, Seth. Initially ruled an accident, a Norfolk County district attorney recently reviewed the document and said there was probable cause to charge her in the incident.

(follow the link to see the police report.)

I just found something from Five Feet of Fury that adds to my belief that she has been an egocentric power-broker surrounded by enablers since at least the mid-80s. But it also has caused me to change my mind about her husband.

Again from the Boston Globe:

At least once, Bishop hinted that an ongoing confrontation with neighbors could become violent.
Bishop, who was referred to as Amy Anderson at the time, called 911 regularly during her short time living in this North Shore community. She reported several neighborhood kids to the police for “disturbing the peace” by riding their dirt bikes and motorized scooters in the neighborhood after school. Police repeatedly informed her and her husband that kids are allowed to ride their bikes and scooters during the afternoon hours, especially on their own property.
On June 25, 2000, during another complaint about kids making noise, Bishop reportedly told police that her dispute with one of the children’s parents may “come to blows.”
Bishop once stopped a local ice cream truck from coming into their neighborhood. According to WBZ-1030 radio, she said it because her own kids were lactose intolerant, and she didn’t think it was fair that her kids couldn’t have ice cream.

There’s more megalomania presented in that article.

But there’s even more information available, again from the Boston Globe.

The professor who is accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama on Friday was a suspect in the attempted mail bombing of a Harvard Medical School professor in 1993, a law enforcement official said today.
Bishop surfaced as a suspect because she was allegedly concerned that she was going to receive a negative evaluation from Rosenberg on her doctorate work, the official said. The official said investigators believed she had a motive to target Rosenberg and were concerned that she had a history of violence, given that she had shot her brother to death in 1986.
Shortly after the attempted bombing, Fluckiger said, Bishop told her she had been questioned by police. According to Fluckiger, Bishop said police asked her if she had ever taken stamps off an envelope that had been mailed to her and put them on something else.

“She said it with a smirk on her face,” said Fluckiger. “We knew she had a beef with Paul Rosenberg. And we really thought it was a really unbelievable coincidence that he would get those bombs.”

I have to wonder with this pattern of behavior, when was anyone going to stop her? I guess it took 3 more murders and 3 more attempted murders to finally stop her. And if she tries to use the “my mind went blank” excuse, there’s plenty pattern of behavior to throw that out.

UPDATE: From an update on Spin, strangeness and charm comes a question and observation that is tangential to the situation, but a few commenters on CSPT have already entered this tangent.

Ann Althouse has a “duh” moment: “If Amy Bishop had turned out to be right-wing or conservative [or even to watch Fox News once in a while — NCT] we’d never hear the end of it.” Love this comment:

Man in cammies with “assault rifle” goes on a rampage and the lefttards heads explode. They rage against the Second Amenment. They rage against murderous Conservatives. The want to ban guns, ban people who own guns, and ban any speech about guns. Hell, they want to ban anyone who does not agree with them.

Stereotypical frumpy looking progressive activist professor goes on a rampage and not a word about her activism, socialistic ideas, or revolutionary thought. Not a word about banning guns- except on campus. Not a word against banning progressive activists.

Bill Ayers and his wife- both professors- are forgiven their sins because they contribute to the common good. Bobby Rush and Luis Guiterrez, urban terrorists, are allowed to stay in Congress. Murderous sins forgiven. They are the heroes of the revolution. The darlings of the left.

Yeah, the left is just full of hypocrisy and full of bovine excrement.

Via the same comments section, speaking of nutjobs, Gore Vidal compares Timothy McVeigh to Paul Revere. You can’t make this stuff up.

Cross Posted on Truth Before Dishonor

A lazy tired blogger steals borrows from Sharon again

Not really a surprise, at least not to conservatives:

I’ve Been Telling You This

U.S. has the best health care.

As recently published by Investor Business Daily, a survey by the U.N. International Health Organization has reported:

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis: U.S. 65 percent, Eng-land 46 percent, Canada 42 percent.

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months: U.S. 93 percent, England 15 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months: U.S. 90 percent, England 15 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month: U.S. 77 percent, England 40 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people: U.S. 71, England 14, Canada 18.

Percentage of seniors (65 and older) with low income who say they are in “excellent health”: U.S. 12 percent, England 2 percent, Canada 6 percent.
The initial conclusion from this report is that the U.S. has the best health care in the world.

Well, duh.

I’ve noted before the extensive waiting times to get some diagnostic tests in our good neighbor to the north, while here we actually have doctors and clinics advertising for patients to use their MRI machine. We have the machines, and really excess capacity, while the socialized medicine countries — the ones which have removed the profit motive as much as they can — have shortages.

The International Monetary Fund lists the United States as sixth in the world in per capita GDP, at $46,443 per person. The same list has Canada twelfth, with a per capita GDP of $38,290. A significant difference, to be sure, but Canada is clearly a wealthy country.

The Census Bureau lists our current population at about 308,700,000 souls. The current population of Canada is 34,004,000. Since Sharon gave us the number of MRI machines per million population, some simple math tells us that there are roughly 21,920 MRI machines in the US, and 612 in Canada. Why is it that, in socially-concerned, socially-caring Canada, the government-run health system could only buy — or only chose to buy — slightly over 600 MRI machines, when such devices are within the reach of private clinics in the United States?

Taliban #2 in custody

Taliban’s 2nd-in-command nabbed in Pakistan

Bin Laden associate is most senior Afghan Taliban leader caught since ’01

NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 1 hour, 33 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Taliban’s top military commander has been arrested in a joint CIA-Pakistani operation in Pakistan, officials said Tuesday.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the No. 2 behind Afghan Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar and a close associate of Osama bin Laden, was captured in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, two Pakistani intelligence officers and a senior U.S. official said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release such sensitive information.

One Pakistani officer said Baradar was arrested 10 days ago with the assistance of the United States and “was talking” to his interrogators.

Commentary when I get unbusy at work.

We be famous

RIP Nodar Kumaritashvili was noticed:

Networks’ use of luge video draws criticism

Callers especially upset by airing of crash during opening ceremony

By David Bauder
updated 5:01 p.m. ET, Sat., Feb. 13, 2010

NEW YORK – NBC and other networks were criticized Saturday for broadcasting the disturbing video of a Georgian luger who died after flying off the track and slamming into a steel beam during an Olympic training run.

NBC said callers complained and Twitter was aflame with disgust. Much of the criticism centered on the network showing the footage at the beginning of its coverage of Friday’s opening ceremony for the Vancouver Games, even though video of Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death aired on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft.) . . .

The story “could have been told perfectly accurately and well without NBC’s ‘Faces of Death’ moment,” blogger Dana Pico wrote.

I is so proud! :)