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March 26, 2005

The shorter David Brooks

David Brooks: Is it okay to kill Terri Schiavo for being worthless? Tough question. Conservatives cherish every human life. Liberals only care about happy, healthy Volvo drivers. Granted, there are some pretty pathetic vegetables out there. Just between you and me, the conservatives should probably write off some of that human garbage. But what about the VAST GRAY AREA between persistent vegetation and exurban life? Liberals haunt that misty zone like hungry ghosts. You can tell they're relativists because they're always moaning about "riiiiights" and "duuue process."

So, you see the dilemma. Some stocks really ought to be de-listed from the Big Board, if you know what I mean--but you don't want liberal snobs writing off your dyslexic kid. If only we could discover an absolute standard of worthiness and enforce it ruthlessly.


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I guess this is supposed to be funny or something?

man this blog really sucks.

I bet without the picture you wouldn't have half your readership, even though you're not all that hot anyway.

(blog standards are lower than real-life standards. you might be hot for a blogger, but that's not saying much.

Bloghopping and came across your blog.

I guess at least part of the answer would be in how one would define "worthless", wouldn't it?

Hey did you ever hear back from Ph.D. programs?

I guess this is supposed to be funny or something?

i guess jacques is supposed to be an asshole or something? why exactly anyone would surf by a site and then leave a string of comments like that boggles the mind. someone needs to get a hobby

now the original reason i hit the comment button: i didn't think brook's column was that bad this time. sure, he seemed to think that things like the integrity of the judicial system don't matter and all. but there is a heart of truth in there--the moral argument for liberals is not a simple one-sentence proposition. brooks seems to think that's a problem for liberals. i only see it as a problem in marketing. then again, considering that a clear majority of the public is on our side, marketing is less important for this one.

Sorry I shouldn't be so mean. This blog ain't so bad.

On our side in this instance, or generally?

I agree the problem with liberalism is it doesn't seem to lend itself to Quik'N'EZ marketing. The idea that it has to in order to attract voters makes me very unhappy.

OTOH, we have some target rich material here. The Schiavo case does encapsulate all that is crappy about the GOP. It hooks into everything: the fiscal irresponsibility that has the GOP cutting funds for healthcare in order to protect tax cuts for the rich; the assault on an independent judiciary; GOP politicians in cahoots with extremist religious nuts to interfere in private lives; even the anti-science faith-based reality horseshit.

All we need are some competent campaign managers and media consultants.

This is a very good post.

Please, please, please delete the comments by trolls. I don't understand why some people are so tolerant of troll behavior. You are handing the trolls a big reward for their behavior when you let them comment and then especially when you leave the comments up. I understand some people, such as yourself, have a strong belief in freedom of speech, and perhaps you worry that deleting troll comments is a form of censorship. But troll comments are comments which you know, we all know, to be offered in bad faith. This isn't like having a strong disagreement with Amy Welborn or Virginia Postrel or Eve Tushnet or anyone else who is clearly offering a conservative argument in good faith. The thing about a troll comment is that you know, as soon as you read it, that it was offered in bad faith, to game the system, to parasitically attack the openness offered by a liberal comment policy.

I wish more people, especially those with strong views on freedom of speech, would recognize troll comments as a separate category of speech, not deserving of free-speech respect and protection. I wish more people would vigorously delete troll comments, and vigorously ban trolls, where possible.

If you want to get rid of the trolls, make a rule against responding to them or talking about them. They'll stop commenting when they stop getting attention.

That funny.

But the point lurking inchoate behind the funny more important.

Why is it that the reflex that refuses to let others falsely define oneself, is so lacking in other blogs high ranked for hits, that they take Brooks seriously?

David Brooks is pretty short, actually.

But leaving that aside, he's so @#$%^ing disingenuous. He knows damn well the "conservative" position he lays out, the moral absolutism, the thin bright line, all that is totally meaningless if the life in question is not of interest to these so-called conservatives. All this really comes down to is the fact that they are able to muster a non-relativist philosophical position when, relatively speaking, the political situation calls for it.

Everyone keep this post in mind for when the Koufax awards roll around.

I cried when the air conditioner died in The Brave Little Toaster.

Most excellent post, Lindsay.

If you want to get rid of the trolls, make a rule against responding to them or talking about them. They'll stop commenting when they stop getting attention.

I wish that were true, David. In my blog-reading experience, however, it isn't. Anybody who's been reading Pandagon over the last couple of weeks knows what I mean.

"Granted, there are some pretty pathetic vegetables out there. Just between you and me, the conservatives should probably write off some of that human garbage."

Shades of Germany, 1930s.

Shades of the USA, 2010s.

Patience. It's coming...

But you may not like how the country's leadership accomplishes such goals.

Uncle Kvetch-
Well, even if the rule wouldn't stop them, it would prevent trolls' comments from derailing conversation, which I think is really the only bad effect of trolling.

You know what, David? You may be right after all. Since I last commented here I've been pleased to see that the resident trolls at Pandagon are pretty much being ignored, and everyone's happier for it. Maybe it really can work.

For fuck's sake. Way to reframe the issue. It isn't about her being *useful;* it's about, what the fuck kind of existence is that? when there was no, repeat NO hope of her coming out of it? at all? Not physically, *not mentally.* At *all.*

You know, and this is what I truly don't understand about the Terri Schiavo fanatics. Most of 'em are doing it in the name of religion, right? So: if you really do believe that this our mortal coil is just a brief overture to the real thing, to Life Everlasting, then why so much emphasis on maintaining the body's existence, no matter what? Wouldn't you think, if you truly believed she was going to her eternal reward, it'd be even crueler to keep her suspended in a prison of atrophying flesh and bone? Sinful, even? I'm an agnostic, but *I* sure as hell think so. Some things are worse than death, it seems to me.

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