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Monday, 15 October 2007


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Not for the squeamish or those of a liberal tendency...

...Or for those who believe that beating your political opponents with blown-up photos of aborted fetuses is the argumentative equivalent of flashing at schoolgirls.

Still, it's good to see Laban continuing his relentless one-man Culture War - perhaps next he could post footage of himself nailing his balls to a desk.

It would communicate just as much meaningful information about the morality of abortion, and would also be the most entertaining and profound thing he has ever posted.

It's worth noting that, 'Ratty', an example of a true liberal, rears up in horror when actually faced with anything *real* that happens in our country, particularly if they are things that have come about as a direct result of the intellectual(?) theorising of his liberal mentors being put into practice. Thus, he gets angry at my daily murder log, and nearly swoons away at the sight of an aborted child, a sight I might add, that can be seen (except that liberals don't want us to see it!) over 500 times *a day*, 365 days a year, in England and Wales. I cannot say for certain what the butchery rate is in 'Ratty's' homeland but the Jocks were never less savage than us, so I guess it will be similar.

Really, 'Ratty', you must stiffen the sinews and face the wonderful liberal world as it is, not as you fondly think it is.

I wonder what his opinion is of the shocking images of children in India with cleft palates (very severe ones too) that seem to be springing up in magazines recently, in support of a charity.

Or, is that ok, as it's for a good cause...? So confusing!

What if some anti-war blogger posted this image to support their position:

What would we all think then? Poweful, makes us face up to the consequences of our ideas and actions. Or exploitative, emotionally charged, probably fabricated rubbish?

I'm genuinely curious here, so don't you go snipping this comment Dave!

Oh no, David, I've seen lots of pictures of aborted fetuses before - usually because such grisly images are the first and last argumentative gambit of the true cretin.

Such sights don't infuriate me or make me swoon, since I'm a big boy now.

So, allow me to be clear - I don't get angry at your murder log, I get annoyed with you because you're incurious, dismissive of detail, close-minded and rhetorically dishonest.

And, while I'm used to you hiding behind corpses to disguise your inability to articulate a coherent argument, I have to say this represents a new low, even for you.

Really, what did you think I was going to say?

Ooo, David, you've shown me a nasty picture, please protect me with your manly opinions on the death penalty!

So confusing!

Having read previous comments you've authored, Julia, I'm not surprised you're confused.

"Having read previous comments you've authored, Julia, I'm not surprised you're confused."

Care to lift the veil of my confusion then, oh all wise and knowing one...?

If you believe that 'beating your political opponents with blown-up photos of aborted fetuses is the argumentative equivalent of flashing at schoolgirls', what's your position on ghastly images of deformed children used to beg money for charity..?

I don't like it, and I wouldn't do it myself Julia - I think it's dishonest moral blackmail.

Much like the topic under discussion, in fact.

As for the image you linked, is it verified by any authority (preferably one that can spell, as the captioning leaves a bit to be desired)..? And if it is, what do you think it proves, that 'war is hell'..?

I doubt anyone here would argue that, certainly not the host! The difference is, children hit by shrapnel is considered an accident for the armed forces. For the terrorists, however, it's their main objective.

Assuming NIB's picture is real, it is considerably more honest than the photo Laban links to - at least you can see the scale of the fetus.

With Labans', a thumb placed next to the fetus would give us a more accurate impression.

"is it verified by any authority"

Is Laban's? And if it is, what does it prove other than 'abortion is horrible' (aside from the fact that he can type 'aborted fetus' into google images)?

"...what does it prove other than 'abortion is horrible'..."

Ah, but that is exactly what it does prove... So why the fuss?

"With Labans', a thumb placed next to the fetus would give us a more accurate impression."

Oh, haven't you heard, sweetie? Size doesn't matter... :D

"So why the fuss?"

The same reason you 'fuss' (although I don't mean it to sound quite as shirty as that) about the images of kids with cleft palates.
Go down the high street on a Saturday and you'll see them all at it - anti war, anti vivisection, anti torture, anti fox hunting, you name it.

All it says to me is "I want you to stop thinking and sign up to my club" (and get your wallet out, more often than not).

I think reading my blog must do for Ratty what reading Polly Toynbee does for me. Tones up the blood pressure, raises the hackles and all that.

I find his blog quite amusing at times (damns with faint praise).

I have just read through the thread above and the following points occur.

An honest picture is a fact. In a debate it can stand as a metaphor for sundry other similar facts. Thus, if I argue in favour of a war, it is legitimate, in my opinion, for an opponent to point to an honest picture and challenge me to accept that this is likely to be one of the outcomes. I would not complain, indeed just the opposite, I think it is crucial that those who support a war for this or that reason are made to face the facts of what might otherwise be wished away as 'collateral damage'. It should concentrate their minds before they embark on such a course. But precisely the same argument holds good for abortion which is why Mr. Tall was right to publish the photo.

However, if you are producing facts by way of photos it is wise not to produce too many, too often. There is no danger of putting off the unwary, on the contrary, you only lessen the shock with each one and build up the hardened shell of indifference. As I have indicated elsewhere, the preciousness of human life in modern Britain has now been devalued. This is made explicit in the 18,000-plus abortions that take place every year, even more explicit in the 750 murders committed annually and implicit in the ludicrously soft punishment that wanton slaying is given.

'Ratty' provides the perfect example. His response to the sight of a human being killed wantonly, is to boast that it no longer effects him and "Such sights don't infuriate me or make me swoon, since I'm a big boy now." There is no reverence or regret for the waste of the magical, mysterious miracle that is human life, just cold-blooded indifference - and anger aimed at whomever dares to place such a fact before him.

Like Pontius Pilate, he complacently washes his hands!

There is no reverence or regret for the waste of the magical, mysterious miracle that is human life, just cold-blooded indifference...

To answer Laban, it's pious guff like this that keeps me coming back to sites such as his and David's, although Laban's emotional blackmail is considerably less hysterical.

Here's the obvious situation - there are clear areas in which backlash culture freaks such as yourselves are absolutely correct, for example...

Liberals think they're so damn smart.

There is less respect in society now than there was back when we were a Sharia-lite nation of God-fearing forelock-tuggers and a woman knew her place.

Abortion is very unpleasant.

The judicial system often exonerates criminals.

All of these are cast-iron truths, and the sole purpose of the culture warring mind is to keep the focus on these huge, simplistic generalities.

David chooses these issues specifically because they are huge, simplistic generalities - that's the best way to guarantee an argument.

And the argument is the main thing, isn't it?

For example, Duff posts about a murderer who has received a derisory sentence. The natural response of anyone who's seen a court is to argue that justice, being the product of human design, can never deliver 100% perfect results. I would then address the specifics of the case.

Cue Duff to cry Ratty doesn't care about all these criminals walking free!

And here's the best part - when I come along to explain this to Duff using legal terms and humorous metaphors, the JuliaM's know instinctively that David is the one telling God's honest truth. After all, it's me that's quibbling and complaining about his disingenuous delivery.

Which brings me to the dead fetus - it adds nothing to our understanding of the issue whatsoever. So why would you post such a thing?

Because it keeps the argument general, where you are right - abortion is unpleasant.

Why, only a monster could deny it! Who wants to hear the weasel words of such a fiend?

The trouble is, of course, the situation is more complex than that simple statement, which guarantees a nasty and rancorous argument.

Which is precisely why I come back so often - it entertains me to watch David playing to the gallery while desperately scrabbling to stay up in the broad generalities, where he is correct, rather than in the specifics, where he's inevitably revealed as an ignoramus.

And that, folks, is the backlash in action - table-pounding, incurious, red-faced reiteration of the same childishly obvious points followed by furious denunciation of doubters.

It's almost an artform, and by these low standards Duff is a veritable master.

And so here we go again, I offer up nothing but a fact, in this case a photo of a dead baby on another blog, or, my own list of daily murders in our country, and does 'Ratty' offer up any thoughtful, intelligent comments that might start a useful conversation - he does not! Instead he charges in straight away with "blown-up photos of aborted fetuses is the argumentative equivalent of flashing at schoolgirls" and goes steadily downhill there-after.

Under the lash of my sarcasm which he thoroughly deserves for failing to address the problem instead of me, 'Ratty' strains his brain and produces this minor thought-burp: "Abortion is very unpleasant"!

Sorry, could we hear that again, please.

"Abortion is very unpleasant".

Well, bless my soul, I'd never thought of it that way before!

"I offer up nothing but a fact"

But was it? It looked like propoganda to me.

I'd never thought of it that way before!

No, David, because you far prefer to think of it this way - Liberals love to murder babies, but can't bear to look at what they have wrought, the cold-hearted scum!

Complex social issue? Check.

Brainless reduction to simplistic black and white cartoon? Check.

Knee-jerk dismissal of complexity? Check.

Harshing on evil liberals instead? Check.

Duff 'n' Nonsense is cleared to taxi - please ensure that you extinguish your critical faculties before take-off.

Nice one, 'Ratty', I liked that last bit, started my morning with a smile.

@Flying Rodent: Someone should examinine the picture on Laban's site for evidence of Photoshopping... Calling Richard North...

Duff, if you were simply "offering up facts" then your post must only have been saying "an aborted foetus looks like this". Everybody knows this and nobody could possibly disagree, thus making your post thunderingly banal and utterly vacuous. Is this the case, or did you intend for this photo to perform some other task in lieu of actual reasoned argument? Are we honestly expected to conclude from this "fact" that, since an aborted foetus looks just so, abortion is therefore wrong?

(For the record, I am not "rearing up in horror", or otherwise performing in one of your ridiculous melodramas. In fact, if anyone is flying off the handle due to that photograph it is you, with your fantasies that it is going to make your "liberal" readers crap their pants.)

"Everybody knows this"

Well, I didn't since I don't make a habit of searching for such pictures. However, if my post was as "thunderingly banal and utterly vacuous" as you suggest, then why are you and everyone else getting so excited? Perhaps it had something to do with the picture - oh dear, we seem to have come full circle!

Well, I didn't..."

What on earth did you think an aborted foetus might look like?

...if my post was as "thunderingly banal and utterly vacuous" as you suggest...

Well, actually, I was actually suggesting that such staggering banality was, even for you, the least probable reason behind this post - hence the line about you intending the photo to "perform some other task in lieu of actual reasoned argument". It is this latter possibility that has everyone, to use your hyperbole, "so excited".

In any case, you can clear this up for us pretty quickly: was your post simply about the aesthetics of abortion or not?

"was your post simply about the aesthetics of abortion or not?"

Of course it wasn't, as is *perfectly clear* in my reply to 'Ratty'. I have offered up a fact in the form of a photo which can stand as a metaphor for thousands of similar facts. Discuss!

(But discuss the issue - not me!)

Okay, so you didn't simply "offer up nothing but a fact", as you have previously claimed. Fine. So, what you have actually done is offer up this photograph in lieu of an actual argument (or to "stand as a metaphor for thousands of similar facts") as previously claimed by me. Even better.

"Discuss". But what is there to discuss about your absentee argument? If you have a point to make about abortion, why not just make it? Why place the onus on your readers to try and guess what your "thousands of similar facts" might be?

A dead foetus can't do your arguing for you, David. previously claimed by me

And of course, by NIB and FR, too.

"discuss the issue - not me!"

Ah, here he handing out orders again - "you will discuss what I tell you to, when I tell you to!".

Well why should we, when you do not? Your contribution to this 'discussion' has basically been this is what I believe Flying Rodent and other liberals think. Which is pretty funny, actually - you frequently derides psycho-analysis yet you claim to know precisely what's going on in other people's minds from some typed words on a blog. Stand up Sigmund Duff!

As I said in another thread, you ain't gonna get a discussion going here. You ran out of chances to earn that privilege years ago.

Also, if the orders are to "discuss the issue - not me!" then it's surely about time the "DUFF &" part was removed from the title of this blog. It's been a long time coming.

Well, to be honest, it's rather hard, and even more boring, to hold a *conversation* with people who give every appearance of having no ideas or opinions of their own.

It takes two to tango - and to converse!

Well, you started it. How can we give our opinions if you won't even tell us what we're supposed to be giving our opinions on? What is your argument, exactly? Do you even have one?

"you won't even tell us what we're supposed to be giving our opinions on"

Come along, Hosehorse, even you can manage this one if you just try really, really hard:

Here is a photo of an aborted baby, now, what do you think the subject is?

And who, apart from you and NIB and Ratty gives a toss what my opinion is? Can't you manage one all on your own?

I take exception to that - I couldn't give two monkey's about your opinion. As if!

Well, this is just the height of laziness. So all you have to do is post a link to a photograph - either because you can't be bothered to construct a rational argument or are simply unable to do so - and all of a sudden we're just supposed to randomly advance our opinions on aborted foetus photos? Whose blog is this, exactly?

All of this bluster from you is just a long way of saying that you have no argument at all. Well, if you can't be bothered to make a point, then we ca hardly be expected to respond.

Maybe Laban would feel better if we shot these fetuses in the back with a shotgun?

Yeah, maybe abortions would be tidier if we just hung the little bastards.

I was tempted to censor the last two comments, but on reflection I think I will let them stand as a monument to the, er, intellectual capacities of their authors about which and whom they say so much more than I could.

As for Hosehorse who wrote: "we can hardly be expected to respond", indeed, and I shall try to bear my disappointment with equanimity!

I think I will let them stand as a monument to the, er, intellectual capacities of their authors

As opposed to the towering intellect of our host, whose meticulously crafted point was, um, what exactly?

Hey, don't let your moral inconsistencies get in the way of the good governance of your 'blog'. Censor away, champ!

I was tempted to censor the last two comments...

Wassamatter? Squeamish?

I think it's only fair to note that David is happy to eulogise the miracle of life, provided it isn't making off across his lawn with his DVD player.

Why,the miraculous little beggar! Where's my elephant gun?

Certainly sets the little critturs a'scurrying around, doesn't it ?

But be fair. I have a similar Pavlovian response every time the Guardian runs another "Don't be nasty to criminals - it only makes them worse" piece.

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