Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Personal Attacks or Debating Issues?

I guess I wasn't too surprised to see a couple letters in the Eureka Reporter criticizing the guest commentary Rob Ash made a few days ago. He was critical of Anthony Mantova, a die- hard War Party member who has written a couple commentaries in favor of war against the muslim world.

I pretty much agreed with Ash: Mantova often advocates attacking other countries while he won't directly participate himself, other than being the cheerleader.

Both Andy Stunich and out- of- towner, Patrick Bell, wrote letters criticizing Ash's commentary as being personal attacks and as avoiding the real issues. Good point.

I guess I hadn't noticed it because I agreed with Ash. I get a bit tired of people telling other people to do things that won't apply to themselves and I still think Ash's point is somewhat valid. He just focused on it too much.

Nonetheless, as I've said a few words addressing name calling and personal attacks here, it's good that the point was made that we should deal with the issues at hand.

But, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Stunich and Bell might resort to the same sort of personal attacks if it was a different issue being discussed. We've seen on this very blog that personal attacks come from all sides of the political spectrum. Let's try and avoid doing that here.

25 Comments:

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Ash's letter was spot-on. Andy Stunich is the one making the 'logically flawed' argument, because he focused almost entirely upon a point that Ash never made.

Ash's central point is simply that Mantova is a hypocrite, as summed up in the sentence "Mantova is very enthusiastic about combat, just so long as someone else is doing the fighting." While Ash seems to welcome the implication that other vocal supporters of the current (and possible future) war are also likely hypocrites, nowhere does he say that this hypocritical support means that the war is thus wrong. It may be safe to assume that he believes this, but that is simply not the argument Ash was making.

However, that is precisely the singular argument that Stunich chose to attack. In fact, Stunich completely ignores the real issue at hand; that of Mantova's hypocrisy. Ash's piece was, in fact, an attack piece on Mantova, and a valid one. It was never presented as anything else.

For an attorney, Mr. Stunich does not seem to have a very good understanding of the basic principles of logic. Funny, then, that he chooses to stand on that podium while making his own erroneous and 'fatally flawed' argument.

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again. I just found the nugget from Stunich's piece. He states "Because Mr. Ash was so intent on simply attacking someone who holds an opposing view, he did not advance what really concerns him — the basis for his opposition to the pending war with Iran."

Boy, that's a pretty big supposition. I'm glad that Stunich is such a good mind reader.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Fred said...

"Ash's central point is simply that Mantova is a hypocrite, as summed up in the sentence".

Yes, but does that invalidate any of Mantova's arguments for war? Perhaps, at least in my view.

If he was a sixty year old man that never served in the military making the same points, would that make them any more or less valid?

I would think not. Still, the idea of someone suggesting others do things that won't apply to whoever's suggesting it, irks me, regardless of what the issue is- Like proposing tax increases on someone other than themselves, for instance.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Guys like Mantova want all the glory without showing any of the guts. Since he works for The Leadership Institute, Mantova must aspire to lead something, some day. From what I can see, Mantova is showing no leadership qualities whatsoever — only glibness, smugness and self-preoccupation that borders on the sociopathic.

I see nothing in Anthony's letter that comes close to sociopathic. What chaps my ass is when people throw around these terms lightly. You ever stared into the eyes of someone who "suffers" from antisocial personality disorder? Completely different then what this man writes about.

Should we do something about Iran?

You bet.

Thinking that Iran with nukes is a good idea is a scary thought indeed. I guess I need to sign up for the army now to have a valid opinion. Good thing they raised the age limits to 42, or is it 45. BUT if you have to fight in order to have an opinion on fighting, then shouldn't you also fight in order to have a opinion on not fighting? Or should we break down the way people vote like the movie (and the book) Starship troopers?

Violence has resolved more conflicts than anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn't solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst.

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you have to fight in order to have an opinion on fighting, then shouldn't you also fight in order to have a opinion on not fighting?

No. The point is to practice what you preach. It is ridiculous to assert that those who oppose the war should have to serve in combat before they can hold that view. It is reasonable to assert that one should not send others off to kill or be killed if they would not be willing to do so themselves.

 
At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic I know, but can anyone explain why Buhne is so solicitous to the Arkleys? Just wondering.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

It is ridiculous to assert that those who oppose the war should have to serve in combat before they can hold that view. It is reasonable to assert that one should not send others off to kill or be killed if they would not be willing to do so themselves.

No, it's hypocritical. One does not need to DO in order to have an opinion.

 
At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One does not need to DO in order to have an opinion.

Agreed. However, it certainly raises issues regarding one's level of conviction.

Mantova may be able to advance a cogent argument in favor of war, but if he is able-bodied yet not willing to serve in that war, then why should others?

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Because they cash their paychecks from the Army?

 
At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is being a squaddy the only way to "serve" in a war?

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

"But, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Stunich and Bell might resort to the same sort of personal attacks if it was a different issue being discussed."

Fred,
Do either Stunich or Bell have a history of such personal attacks (on any issue) as Ash engages in? If not, I think you are engaging in inuendo which is a poor debating tactic.

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are "out of towners" not allowed to comment on national issues here?

 
At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 1:24 PM, Anon.R.mous said...
What chaps my ass is when people throw around these terms lightly. You ever stared into the eyes of someone who "suffers" from antisocial personality disorder?


Well tell us all about it, Anon.R.mous, since you have so much experience staring into the mirror when you shave your head.

 
At 6:15 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Pogo wrote, "If not, I think you are engaging in inuendo which is a poor debating tactic.".

Good point, except I'm not sure the comment was part of a debate.

6:48 asks, "Are "out of towners" not allowed to comment on national issues here?".

Out of towners can comment on whatever they want.

 
At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've seen on this very blog that personal attacks come from all sides of the political spectrum.

On this very blog! Imagine that!

Yes, it's only natural that you "can't help but wonder if Mr. Stunich and Bell might resort to the same sort of personal attacks if it was a different issue being discussed", because you see your own reflection.

You don't want yourself or anybody you like attacked, but you really don't mind at all if people you don't like are personally attacked. No doubt you have anonymously hurled many a personal attack -- on this very blog! And on many other blogs too.

One can often smell a fred in the more insipidly sanctimonious, stale, dull-witted comments that support your political views.


Let's try and avoid doing that here.

You're such a fraud, Fred.

 
At 7:17 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Boy, you sure told me!

 
At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Off topic I know, but can anyone explain why Buhne is so solicitous to the Arkleys? Just wondering.

3:38 PM

---------------

WONDER NO MORE! THe buhne tribune is a ROB ARKLEY venture!
BT was caught red-handed last week and had to erase all the comments.
Nice try Rob...

Buhne Tribune = The Eureka Reporter!!!!!!!!!

I wonder how dave silverbrand feels knowing that his employer fragged him.

Probably the same way America will feel after we find out the truth about 911.

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's called THE BUHNE TRIBUNE because rob arkley lives on buhne street.

why is it that no matter how sneaky they think they are.... republicans are just plain ..... dumb?

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Well tell us all about it, Anon.R.mous, since you have so much experience staring into the mirror when you shave your head.

Now that's a low-grade troll. Sad really.

These Guys could do a whole show about you forum posters.

 
At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this guy, fred? He obviously hasn't been reading your blog for long. You have always been thoughtful and considerate, there is a very nice tone here. Yes, some comments get heated, but people are entitled to their opinion, and I have not seen you be unkind. Quite the contrary.

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that's a low-grade troll. Sad really.
These Guys could do a whole show about you forum posters.



Hey if somebody did a whole show about some of your forum posts, Anon.R.mous, you'd be America's poster boy for psychiatric disorders.

 
At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Penn & Teller's Bullshit! anon.r

I haven't seen the one on bloggers, but the one on Feg Shui and the environmentalists, and the one on bottled water - they are hysterical!

Hey 8:42, is that you Shawn? Ok, MAYBE, just MAYBE, someone named it the Buhne Tribune in SATIRE - BECAUSE Arkley lived there - and they were going to be poking fun at the ER (and the TS and every other paper up here)?

Call me silly, but I just don't think someone like Rob Arkley has TIME to follow the Bullshit on the blogs.

 
At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunna be a pickin' on our anon.r.mous 4:23. We likes 'im. He brings us 'uber left-wing whackaloons' on a spit.

 
At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some might like Anthony Mantova, but he has also refused to even consider serving in the military, thus becoming a posterboy for chickenhawks, a symbol of those who call others to fight, but not them, and probably ending any career he thought he had in politics.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Karl said...

Anyone can express any opinion they want.

However, as Rob Ash clearly pointed out, that person's unwillingness to serve in a war he supports is a relevant factor of his position on the war.

Anthony Mantova is obligated to inform his readers of relevant personal conflicts of interest, i.e., he supports the war only if "other people" fight it.

With the complete story, his readers can make their own decisions about how serious they, or even Mantova himself, should take his opinion.

 

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