[B5JMS] OT and politics: Getting back to Aisling on MM

b5jms at cs.columbia.edu b5jms at cs.columbia.edu
Fri Jul 9 04:21:53 EDT 2004

From: "Vorlonagent" <jNOtSPAM at otfresno.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 04:06:32 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 261

"LK" <fountainmdome3 at yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:r4bde0t2k10rqioov0gh3bemjrs0a5agbm at 4ax.com...
> On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 13:19:24 +0000 (UTC), "Vorlonagent"
> <jNOtSPAM at otfresno.com> wrote:
> >A case in point is that JMS, an atheist, expresses great respect for
> >spirtuality.  You could not view B5 and easily figure JMS' spiritua;
> >based on the way he treats both earthly and non-human religion.
> >
> >Contrast this with Moore.  Anything that isn't liberal seems to earn
> >dismissal or contempt.
> That's your problem right there.  Auto-lableing something as liberal
> or as conservative.  I rarely label.  I just consider the problem and
> the a variety of consequences.  When someone pushes a solution it
> still demands consideration.  If you only label it then you're using a
> butterfingers to decide what to do.

Only if I allow that definition to drive my acceptance or rejection of the

People do congregate in groups and those groups have names and characters.
You blind yourself to a whole dimension of politics if you watch the game
and avoid seeing the teams or players.

> >> Moore does the same as JMS.  People are not faceless numbers/consumer
> >> whose lives are juggled around by, I'm almost tempted to say Nazi-like
> >> bureaucrats who are only doing their jobs by taking care of
> >> "problems".  --That's a little more harsh than I want be but I do hate
> >> being constantly label a consumer rather than a citizen or a person.
> >
> >I understand "Farenheit 9/11" is *designed* to try to turn people against
> >Bush for the election.
> Yes.  It is op-ed as Moore himself has said.  It claims to reveal.  It
> balances against what has not been widely covered and it a few of the
> claims have been unsupported by the 9/11 commission.

....So what happens when Moore has his facts wrong?

> >Does Moore treat Bush as a "person" or one of the nazis?
> Banal face of evil has been talked about a lot since Hussain (sp)
> trail began.
> I thnk Bush was misdirected on many things but no one has been held
> accountable.  I was reading that a few of his advisors IIRC Rumsfeld
> were also in the Regan adminstration but Regan didn't pay attention to
> them because they wer determined to close off the US and first stirke
> at the USSR or something like.  It was in the NY times during Regan's
> funneral week or last week and I've lost the link.

Don't worry.  I don't accept the Times as unbiased reporting.

> He was better than I expected for teh first few months but then wnet
> down hill.  I cannot speak for Moore's view.

Fair enough.

Bush moved too slow for my like (still does) but the made he made were the
ones I wanted him to.

> >I don't dount that Moore has compassion for the people that his films
> >champion, but all you need to be is halfway competent to do that.
> >Compassion for your enemies, that's harder.
> >
> >B5 shows moments of that compassion.  I strongly suspect that Moore's
> >do not.
> First, not all "enimes"--this lableing of yours is driving me nuts--
> not all those we disagree with diserve compassion in the conqueneces
> of their actions or lack of action.

Look at Moore's prose.  Seriously.  *He* certainly doesn't give much
compassion.  *He* certainly seems buy into very harsh definitions of freind
and foe.

Moreso than me.

> Second, you keep going on about Moore's films but you haven't seen any
> of them.  ...So there is really not all that much to say to respond to
> you.

I go on about Moore's prose and extrapolate his films based on his prose.
You will note I never use definitive terms when discussing his films.
Example: I ask IF Moore treats Bush as a nazi, I do not SAY Moore does.  I
don't make the assumption.  Sure it doesn't seem much of a stretch, but I
give Moore the benefit of the doubt.  You might not be free of freind/foe
thinking if you aren't picking that up.  :)

> >> Moore is also an editorialist and kind of editorial cartoonist.  I
> >> didn't need him to tell me about the current administration because I
> >> heard the symptoms and a few of the goals in between the lines in his
> >> 2000 campaign speeches.  Too many others didn't. But Moore still
> >> reminds me that the failure of a town like Flint, Michigan, missing
> >> the cues of murderous children in at a high school are not merely bad
> >> luck.  (USA does have its on neo-Nazis as well as White Supremacist
> >> militias and terrorist-inclined groups that have seemed to been
> >> ignored or back-burnered with the focus on Al-Queda, etc.)
> >
> >You prose seems to blame your entire list of issues on the Bush Admin,
> >some of the events occurred before Bush ever got into office, such as
> >Columbine.  If blame should go to a Prez for that one (and I would
> >personally not assign any), it would be Bill Clinton.
> And you amze me because you assume that I have no awareness of time
> passing.  And again you insist on talking about blaming an
> administration for a very home based problem as in the Columbine
> tradgedy.

You wrote "missing the cues of murderous children in at a high school", not
me.  What should I take this as a reference to, if not to Columbine?

Since it looked like you were calaloguing failures of the Bush Admin, it
seemed a reminder was in order as to who was Prez at the time.

> >You also seem to equate all brands of terrorist.  I question that.  Not
> >saying that Neo-Nazis and White supremecists are trivial things, you
> >understand, but they didn't pilot airliners into major US buildings.
> >at war and we have to prioritize.
> This is true. Oklahoma City bombing was only on Hilter's birthday IIRC
> and there were ties to the USA=based neo-Nazi and White Christain
> supremist groups.

In my view, 9/11 signalled a willingness on the part of islsmic terrorists
to take their work to a new plateau of lethality and destruction.

What's more, I assumed that was obvious.

I therefore draw a definite distinction between Islamic-brand terrorists and
homegrown variety.

As an aside, I would expect that our homegrown terrorists would be pretty
happy with current situation.  Our own tend to be an isolationist and
anti-UN lot.  Whatever else you may think of Bush choosing to invde Iraq
despite international pressure, givin the UN the finger is pretty likley to
register well with the home crowd.

> What you assume I "seem" are way off the mark and based on rather thin
> "evidence".

Citing the Oklahoma City bombing as you did sure looked like you're arguing
for equating American and Islamic terrorists.

As that was what you "seemed" to be doing last time around, I rather think
I'm batting 1000.

If you had a different purpose for referring to Oklahoma City, please

> >> Agitators and annoying people are needed by everyone lest we be so
> >> self-assured that we think the patent office of the mind and heart are
> >> no longer necessary and ought to closed for lack of work and lack of
> >> faith and curiosity.
> >
> >True, but even there, some people deliver quality annoiance and others
> >just annoying.  Lacking a feel form Moore's film work, he's just
> >emptily partisan with no unique perspective to make up for his slavish
> >devotion to liberal politics.
> >
>   ANd some people hate pink.

True.  Your point?

> >> I'd like see Moore, Ellison, JMS, and Asimov--Ojui board needed--or
> >> maybe Clarke or Bill Moyers get together and argue some things.  And
> >> maybe David Brooks as well.
> >
> >You'd hardly get a balanced view of things with that panel by themselves.
> >would add Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Rielly and
> >Ojui board, Robert Heinlein, give me a second board and I'd add Joseph
> >Cambell.  NOW you have a balanced panel.  (If you want Rush off the panel
> >you have to boot Moore)
> >
> >Now you have a first class debate session.
> >
>  I don't want a balnaced debate in that group.  Just some different
> input and a few bar fights.  That is pure personal pleasure, not a
> national commmision.    Debate sloves little.  Discussons are more
> likely to bring awareness and compassion and discussion knows there
> are few things in life that are decided once and for all.

But if everybody has the same viewpoint you miss a lot of ideas, don't get a
lot of potential mistakes caught.

> >> And wandering afield and yet to the point, is who are the Michael
> >> Moores in your community and region?  The person/people who are saying
> >> and poking fun, and crying out "Hey, pay attention to this!"  They, we
> >> are all a part of self-determination.  And political parties and other
> >> groups sometimes show signs of being Shadows and Vorlons: fight/argue
> >> because we tell to fight and argue and quibble for us.  It keeps
> >> run-of-the-mill people from paying attention.  --And do so-called
> >> reality shows. ...Anyway.)
> >
> >Remember, what you say goes for Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Sean
> >as well as Michael Moore...  :)
> No.  I've listened to the Rush-man and his excusers.  I've read
> Coulter and her "reasoning" is beyond me except to blame people.  The
> last indivdual I've never even heard of  that's probably for the best
> considering my heart comdition.

Then Moore get the same treatment from me.

For the same reasons as you give for Ann Coulter.

I have no love for Ann Coulter's work.  And Rush neither turns me on or off.
But if you're going to argue for the value of dissent, then tolerance has to
be equilateral.  The alternative is the hypocrisy of "tolerating" those
whose dissent you already agree with and rejecting dissent from those that
you don't.

> >> Even the USA eagle, as JMS has written, needs a Right and a Left wing
> >> to fly.
> >
> >Agreed.
> >
> >Now but tell that to Michael Moore.  His writing paints the pcture of an
> >absolute partisan, something JMS is not.
> I'll invite him to a barbeque.

Let me know what he says.

John Trauger,

"Methane martini.
Shaken, not sitrred."

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 13:03:11 +0000 (UTC)
Lines: 55

>But if you're going to argue for the value of dissent, then tolerance has to
>be equilateral.  The alternative is the hypocrisy of "tolerating" those
>whose dissent you already agree with and rejecting dissent from those that
>you don't.

There's a misperception about how such arguments should be phrased in the
popular media, however.  The problem is the attempt to create tolerance through
supposed balance...and they're not the same thing.

One person gave a great example...if Bush said the world was flat, the papers
would rush out and get other opinions, then run articles entitled "Bush,
Democrats Differ On Shape of World."

It's balance of a point of view, but it's not an accurate portrayal of the

I've seen Moore's film, and my sense of it is this: about 70% of the film
consist of very solid and well-researched facts that have been reported and
confirmed by a variety of respected sources, then further vetted by a battery
of attorneys.

The remaining 30% is the analysis of those facts.  You may or may not agree
with some of those analyses.

But the facts themselves are damning enough.  That 70% is one hell of a 70%.

And I'm sorry, but to argue about the merits about Moore's film without
bothering to see it is about as asinine and ignorant as anything I've ever
seen.  You can't just cite his "prose" in an ambiguous way and come to
conclusions about something you haven't deigned to see.

As Harlan says, you're not entitled to your opinion...you're entitled to your
INFORMED opinion.  If you haven't bothered to be informed about something, to
be properly educated -- in this case by seeing the thing you're discussing --
then sorry, but your opinion is less than worthless.  It may serve for your
amusement, but that's all.

There's the story of a group of philosophers who were sitting around debating
how many teeth were in the mouth of a donkey.  A kid sitting nearby suggested
they simply go out and count the teeth.  They booted him out and went back to
speculating in a vacuum because somehow that was purer.

But history has shown who was truly the ass in that discussion.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2004 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
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