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Sunday, 07 October 2007

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"I know it is because of the re-action of my liberal readers."

Oh come now. Stop with the self-importance already, will you? You know exactly why I object to your grave-robbing, David, and it has nothing to do with the numbers themselves. This childish "You can't handle the truth!" melodrama is getting mighty boring.

Don't get me wrong: I appreciate all the foreplay, I really do. I just wish you'd get down to the good stuff already.

"...you can start thinking about some sort of solution."

Oh you tease. A solution, you say? Why, whatever can you mean?

Come on, Dave. Drop trou', for chrissakes.

Sergent Friday "just the fats, Maam" always caught the bad guy. Being a cop must be easier with friendly script writer.


"they [liberals] have started to comment in increasingly outraged terms. [...] Querulously they demand to know what my point is, or why I am conducting such an outrage, and what am I trying to prove?"

For examples, see Mr. Hosehorse above and passim, and note the agility by which the elephant in the morgue is avoided at all costs.

Jesus Christ. It's embarrassing to have to explain this to you in public, David, but I can comfort myself with the belief, however flimsily held, that you are being willfully stupid here.

Your grand production wherein my "liberal" legs are set a-tremble by your collection of statistics is a complete fiction and an exercise in point-dodging the like of which I have never seen. Your murder toll could be 2, 250 or 2 million; it would still be completely irrelevant to the issue I am raising and that you are avoiding (and not with agility, I hasten to add).

The issue is that you are raiding the graves of these people in order to pimp your own preferred "solution". You do not care about these people, except insofar as you can use them for your own argumentative ends. That is the problem, not the numbers themselves. It's no good pretending that you are simply endeavoring to keep an accurate historical record out of the kindness of your own bleeding heart, and that if we all end up happen talking about your own preferred "solution" then hey, that's just a happy coincidence. Nobody is buying it.

So, the only barrier to discussing the so-called "elephant in the room" is you. We can't be expected to discuss these murder figures with someone who "resolutely refuses" to act in good faith. David, all I am asking is that you have the balls to state your agenda from the outset (for we all know you have one), instead of continuing with the frankly incredible pretense that you actually care about these people and their grisly fates. Just admit that you are using these poor dead people, senselessly cut down in their prime, to shamelessly advance an argument that you have repeatedly failed to make on its own terms in the past.

Come on, get it over with. You must be dying to talk about it by now.

See what I mean!

And see what I mean about the lack of agility with which you dodge the point. You're a great big baby, Duff. It's small wonder nobody can be bothered to converse with you.

So if I understand you correctly David, you are waiting for us terrible liberals to admit that people being murdered is a bad thing, and then we can finally move to the next stage of the argument: what to do about it.

But I already know exactly what the next stage of the argument is going consist of: first, a Liberalocrat (myself for instance) will put forward some suggestion which doesn't involve hanging people. Next, you'll spend a few days snorting incredulously and sniping at me with all the bitter sarcasm you can muster. You will, in passing, insist that that only solution guaranteed to work is your own, namely the immediate reintroduction of hanging. You will completely and feebly fail to support this conclusion with any evidence whatsoever, other than your own famed hunches about human nature.

Then, finally, you'll forget that all of the above ever happened, and return to counting corpses and shouting "when will you liberals admit there's a problem, and start coming up with solutions?" Then we'll stick on that bit of the record for a few months, until the whole dismal cycle recommences.

All in all it will be a colossal waste of everybody's time, the only upside being the entertainment value in watching you plumb ever new depths of poor, dishonest, and disgraceful argumentation.

So really, David, given the tedious and total inevitability of what's to follow, why on earth should we bother attempting serious answers to your questions?

"It's small wonder nobody can be bothered to converse with you."

Well, he'll always have you, SyphonHippo. After all, you make up most of the comments here, usually railing against some 'hidden message' that only you can discern, apparently.

Shouldn't you be on the 'Fortean Times' website instead? They love a good hidden message over there.....

"...why on earth should we bother attempting serious answers to your questions?"

Ditto for you, then, I guess....

"It's small wonder nobody can be bothered to converse with you."

Well, he'll always have you, SyphonHippo. After all, you make up most of the comments here, usually railing against some 'hidden message' that only you can discern, apparently.

Shouldn't you be on the 'Fortean Times' website instead? They love a good hidden message over there.....

"...why on earth should we bother attempting serious answers to your questions?"

Ditto for you, then, I guess....

There is no "hidden message", Julia. "Hidden message" is a phrase that you have simply pulled out of your arse, apparently in order to make some lame wisecrack about the Fortean Times. Well, you can put it back where you got it.

The point is simple. Long time readers of this blog - yes, including yourself - are aware that David has certain strongly held and utterly inflexible views about "what should be done". His posting these numbers is not the panty-waisted schmaltzfest he would apparently like us to believe, but merely an overture to his banging that same old drum again. The only reason that he is so reluctant to bring up that "solution" himself (and is instead seeking to contrive a bogus "discussion" with his commenters) is because to do so would expose his cynical exploitation of the dead. His complete failure (or "resolute refusal") to respond to this point with anything other than ridiculous playground nonsense makes it quite clear to me that I have his number on this one.

Anyway, I think you have already understood this, Julia, and are just feigning incomprehension. Or maybe you really don't get it; whatever, we're only talking about the difference between you being a real idiot or a pretend one.

"...makes it quite clear to me that I have his number on this one."

Well, I guess you do whatever keeps you warm at night.. ;)

Ah, Julia M: another professional point-dodger. Master of the cherry-picked half-sentence and appended cliché ("whatever keeps you warm at night", indeed. At least try to come up with your own jokes, will you?)

It's already abundantly obvious that you have nothing to add here and are, like your buddy David, utterly incapable of responding to the substance of my comments, so you really don't need to keep demonstrating that. Cheers.

...demonstrating that. Cheers.

Well, whatever floats your boat, Todd... ;)

"It's already abundantly obvious that you have nothing to add here and are, like your buddy David, utterly incapable of responding to the substance of my comments..."

Translation: "Wah! Wah! Wah! Won't give me the answer I want! The lecturers never taught me how to deal with this!"

....and why do you think your comments have substance? All you do here is bang on and on at the host in the vain hope he will finally say something you think you can use.

As I've said before (but it didn't sink in - wordblindness is as common here as snowblindness in Alaska, it would seem...) you aren't objecting to the host's use of the statistics because it is 'cynical exploitation of the dead'. I doubt you'd care about such an abstract concept.

It's just because the use they are being put to here is one you fundamentally disagree with!

Translation: "Wah! Wah! Wah! Won't give me the answer I want! The lecturers never taught me how to deal with this!"

Oh, Christ, it's the "student" schtick now, too. You're a goddamn riot, Julia, okay? Now please, enough with the jokes already.

Anyway. We have a breakthrough:

It's just because the use they are being put to here is one you fundamentally disagree with!"

BINGO! It's the use of the numbers that I disagree with, J-Mo, you're precisely right. Now contrast that with David's stock line that it's the numbers themselves that bother me. You see the difference?

Good. Now we're getting somewhere.

Hi again David. Been gone a while form your site, but thought I'd check in again.

I'm afraid I agree with Mr Hosehorse - and oddly JuliaM has hit the nail on the head in her last post, albeit inadvertently and, judging by her other posts, incredibly.

Mr Hosehorse has been trying to prise from you what the real reason for using these stats might be. JuliaM says he doesn't agree with your reasons. The fact is that he can't disagree with your reasons until you have the courage to say why they're up there. Your point cannot be solely that murder is bad or wrong or that murders take place.

"It's the use of the numbers that I disagree with...contrast that with David's stock line that it's the numbers themselves that bother me. You see the difference?"

I see the 'difference', if that is how you wish to phrase it. I suspect, however, that you don't realise what you've just said.... ;)

"Your point cannot be solely that murder is bad or wrong or that murders take place."

Oh, boy. Another idiot stops by. And just why can't it? Because you say so...?

....and not a 'him' actually. You might want to look at the name a little closer next time.

Julia, the "he" referred to in Simon's post is me, as in: "JuliaM says [Todd] doesn't agree with your reasons". Also, without meaning to step on Simon's toes, I suspect that the reason for his assertion that David's point "cannot be solely that murder is bad or wrong or that murders take place", is because that would be perhaps the most banal point in the history of the universe. Even myself and Simon would appear to give David more credit than that; how disappointing that one of his most loyal and steadfast defenders does not.

"I suspect, however, that you don't realise what you've just said.... ;)"

Care to explain? Or does the smiley face communicate something other than your teenage mentality?

"Julia, the "he" referred to in Simon's post is me..."

Ah, it wasn't clear from reading it (still isn't) but if that was the case, then I'm happy to accept it wasn't intentional.

Just sick of people assuming that no female would dare to express an opinion behind her real name. Or alternatively, misreading my name as 'Julian'.

"....one of his most loyal and steadfast defenders..."

? Who, me..? I think you must need a morning coffee - I only comment here occasionally, and only if a subject interests me, though I probably stop by every day to see if there is a new post.

If that is your definition of 'loyal and steadfast', no wonder you are confused about everything else.

In fact, I don't share David's opinions on quite a few things, but then, it isn't required, is it, to read his blog?

Except on the left, of course, where everyone must hold the same opinion, and woe betide anyone who steps out of that defined role!

"Care to explain?"

Do I really need to...? Oh well. You've admitted that it is the use that the statistics are put to that bothers you ("BINGO! It's the use of the numbers that I disagree with..").

So your protestations that David doesn't care about the deaths & is using them for his own purposes ring hollow; you don't care either, save that they are used in a way you percieve as 'against you'.

Clear now...?

A paraphrase of the above:

ME: The Iraq body count is .../the unemployment figures are .../the number of people living on benefit is .../the percentage of people owning cats has risen by .../church attendence is down by .../the obesity rates have risen by ... (Delete as necessary)

SUNDRY TOSSPOTS: How dare you print these figures! What are you trying to prove? What's your secret agenda? You're only writing this to ...(fill in your own reason).

ME: But what about the subject ...?

SUNDRY TOSSPOTS: Shut up and answer the questions! How dare you print these figures! What are you trying to prove? What's your ... (and so on, 'ad infinitum' and 'nauseum'!)

Gentlemen, to turn an old saying on its head, by your *silence* shall we know you!

I forgot to say 'welcome back, Simon' but anyway, put yourself on a charge for going absent without leave!

What is it with you two and your "hidden messages" and "secret agendas"? Everybody here knows exactly what your agenda is, David. I'm only asking that you state it for the record.

I think it's only fair that you declare your interests before proceedings begin, don't you think? After all, it means the difference between (1) honestly discussing, with open-minded people, what can be done about UK murder rates, and (2) arguing with a staunch advocate of a particular solution. It would be a great waste of time for anyone to start out on the former route before belatedly discovering that the latter is what is really going on. You could save everyone a great deal of time by incorporating your stance into the post itself. Why won't you do this?

Anyway, I can hardly be accused of silence. That's ridiculous.

Julia, your paragraph beginning "So your protestations..." does not at all follow from the first, and in addition, I am not objecting because the figures have been used "against me", whatever that means. The precise nature of my objection has been explained to you in increasingly simple terms, and your complete failure to comprehend simple English leads me to conclude that you are hopelessly confused and that it is therefore a total waste of time talking to you unless you can demonstrate that you've understood a single thing I've said. Failing that, I'll just talk to David from now on, provided he can overcome his own silence and finally admit his vested interests.

"...it is therefore a total waste of time talking to you unless you can demonstrate that you've understood a single thing I've said."

Translation: "La, la, la, not listening, don't agree, can't explain why..."

You see, I understand what you are saying - I disagree with it and have pointed out why. You can't deal with that, having no ability to cope with rational dissent.

And you cannot 'talk to David' when you post a public comment to his blog, because anyone not banned by the host & who can get past the Turing word can point out the flaws in your argument (or agree with you, which might serve to make you happy) - use email, if a private conversation is what you require.

"...finally admit his vested interests..."

Ah, the good old 'vested interests'...

Julia, do I seem like somebody who would shy away from an argument? The reason I'm through with you is because battling to reconcile your myriad logical inconsistencies, tired old "jokes" and irritating "text speak" prose is an increasingly arduous and singularly unrewarding task. I am running out of ways in which to explain my very simple point to you, while you appear to have an inexhaustible resource of ways to demonstrate that you just do not get it at all. Conversing with you is a veritable quagmire and a sure route to temporary insanity; this comment itself is an exercise in pure masochism. The only thing you have successfully "pointed out" is that you are as dumb as a bag of hammers and a giant waste of time.

Now, now, 'mes enfants', shall we return to the main point?

I have set before you a real-life situation. My views on it are well known which is why I refuse to redeploy them yet again. Different people reading this blog will have different re-actions to the facts as presented. They will range between two extremes - a shrug and a 'so what?', to utter despair and despondency. I am curious as to exactly what re-actions people might have to these statistical facts concerning our society, but in this instance *my* opinions are not of importance but *yours* are. If you have an opinion on the central facts (not me!), express it - or not - but remember, silence is sometimes eloquence!

"My views on it are well known..."

Then what's the problem with stating them from the outset for the benefit of the casual reader? It would clearly save everyone a lot of bother. Why won't you do this? Is it because posting the grisly details of real life murders in order to advance a favourite argument of yours seems somehow crass and insensitive?

A statement of interests is a preliminary matter in all good faith discussions. The conversation will not advance in any useful way without such a declaration. It's about time you quit shirking the issue and dealt with this.

"...I refuse to redeploy [my views on it] yet again."

Oh, I doubt that.

"...what's the problem with stating them from the outset for the benefit of the casual reader?"

Does everything have to be explained, as if to the dimmest person? Can no-one think for themselves any more?

And what value a 'casual reader' who needs everything signposted?

"Does everything have to be explained, as if to the dimmest person?"

Tread carefully, dear Julia.

Well done David, a brilliant exposition of the Burke and Hare approach to law and order. The morgue metaphor is rather apt.

Next week, David invites the liberals to smell their own farts in his reactionary Dutch oven.

If you have an opinion on the central facts (not me!), express it - or not - but remember, silence is sometimes eloquence!

In other words I have two choices: get embroiled in a long cul-de-sac of an argument with the two densest hangers and floggers on the net; or don't do that, and thereby tacitly admit that I am in favour of murder.

I'm sorry, Dr. 'Teabag', that I am unable to rise to the intellectual heights that you command so effortlessly but should you deign to scatter some of your analytical thinking on the subject before my unworthy self, I will try my humble best to understand them provided, of course, that you keep the syllable to word ratio at a low figurative norm - sorry, I don't quite know what that last phrase means but I was trying to make it sound like something from a 'Sums' lesson to make you feel at home. I can also promise not to mention the 'H'-word or any of its derivatives.

'ZitZit', go forth and multiply!

Oh, so everybody else gets a reply? Even though I was the only person to ask any questions?

Man, I must really be on to something here.

No need to throw a hissy fit, Mr. Hosehorse! I thought I had answered your questions about 18 or so comments ago. At the risk of terminal narcolepsy, let me repeat, yet again, that I have no intention of discussing *my* opinions, I am simply curious conerning *yours* - 'yours' being any of my readers including, of course, yourself. Now, blow your nose, straighten your tie and stop being a baby!

I've have the solution: Force all convicted criminals to spend a day arguing with David Duff.

If the thought of that hasn't deterred them from a life of crime in the first place, they'll be begging for the noose by lunchtime!

You haven't answered any of my questions. You've merely stated that you aren't going to answer my questions and, furthermore, have given no reasons for not doing so. Why not? I think it's because you are unable to do so without substantiating my charge.

Anyway, given this pitiful display of how you conduct your discursive affairs, is it any wonder why nobody wants to waste time on your bogus discussion and your laughable declarations of "curiosity"?

...and stop being a baby!

You know, you could maybe get away with statements like this if you just had the balls to answer any of my questions.

Well, I like the bizarre fawning more than the "silence is sometimes eloquence" emotional blackmail, but I'm going to take a whole lot of persuading that your mind isn't absolutely 100% made up on the issue, and that this whole "debate" isn't the crude set-up that Todd suspects.

So my answer remains "no" for the time being - if you're looking for a patsy then you can look elsewhere. And if you're really not, then maybe you could try writing some less confrontational posts on this issue. I'm not likely to want to get involved in a discussion merely on the basis that you'll draw all sorts of horrible conclusions about me if I refuse.

Larry, of course my mind is 95% made up (not the 100% you suggest) which is precisely why I have promised not to air it. (The 5% is because looking back over 67 years I am embarrassed to admit that I have probably been wrong more often than right, so these days I exclude nothing totally!)

I say *again*, it is *your* (meaning all of you) opinions that I'm curious about and I have promised not to raise mine - and not being quite as senile as you suppose, it is precisely because I do *not* wish to engage in yet another debate over *my* views that I am trying to get *yours*, even if it is like drawing teeth!

None of that, of course, means that I might not indulge in what m'learned friends call 'hostile questioning', but you're not scared of that, are you?

Well, if you really are interested to discuss your readers' views in an honest way, then as I say, you'd be better off with a bit more of this: "should you deign to scatter some of your analytical thinking on the subject before my unworthy self, I will try my humble best to understand them"; and a bit less of this: "silence is sometimes eloquence".

No-one here is under any obligation to discuss this stuff with you in the manner chosen by you, and you have no right to expect anyone to take your "who-me-guv" protestations of your good faith at face value.

Yeah. What he said.

I await your prognistication, Dr. 'Teabag', with all humility. Now, after all this time, will you just get on with it, please!

And Mr. Hosehorse, if I may go a touch theatrical on you, darling, you were made to play a choric role!

Well, I suppose it was a bit of a chore.

Well, I might move this on, then, as the impass is becoming somewhat irritating.

So, what's the body count? 500? That's bad. LEt's say by the end of the year it hits last year's figures. It probably won't. Do we have a problem Britain? Yeah. Is it getting worse? No. Murder rates have fallen year on year since 2003. Despite the rise before 2003, including during the lefty Thatcher era, things appear to be improving. What should we do about our problem? Find out what Labour's implemented since 2003 and support it, perhaps. Find out what has changed in the economy and how this affects social marginalisation and associated violent crime? Post BBC soties on a blog?

You can't chart the decline of a nation with BBC hits, David. A longitudinal study of actual crime figures versus media reporting would show less homicide but more media reporting of it - we all know this and I suspect Teabag and Hosehorse and the other pseudonymic guests here know that you know this. Therein lies their suspicion of your motives in compiling these figures.

Have we got a problem Britain? Yes. What should we do about it? Well, certainly not compiling BBC stories on a blog.

And there's no point throwing 600 bodies at people and expecting their reaction to be such that they'd have no arguments against it, they'd submit and agree that throwing one more obody into the pile for each person killed would sove the problem. You were right all along, David, sorry. You thought that would happen, it didn't. Try something else.

Try this: Find anywhere - ANYWHERE - where the use of the death penalty today is reducing the crime is is intended to deter. ANYWHERE, David. Then we can debate.

For reasons I have explained above, I have moved Simon's entire comment and placed it as first comment to my post "Murder Inc. #18", up above.

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