No, of course I didn't. It likely wouldn't matter if I had; seems that it would take 12 years and well-financed opposition research to figure it out. WARNING: extreme cynicism ahead, and possible forcast of 'bad language' and sarcasm. If you are looking for proper tone and Strunk and White style spew and proper footnotes, you should defer to reading something submitted to the United States Army War College. I understand their ability for discernment is impeccable. And don't take this as a response in defense of Walsh. I intend to respond to the response, hence the cynicism.
So, Senator/General John Walsh got caught plagiarizing a paper. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please get out of your cave. Color me pink with shock and surprise. (Yes, that would be sarcasm.) I would love to say that I am surprised, just as I would adore actually being surprised at the reactions I've read to this scandilous horror which undermines our ENTIRE FAITH IN POLITICS! Being true to myself, I'm going to try and generate some surprise, just to see if I can find any.
When the story broke, the first thing that crossed my mind was this: how convenient that the NY Times ran the story short days after the release of a poll that showed Daines vulnerable, narrowing the Senate election in Montana to 7 points. Over on the Tweeters, Montana state Representative Ellie Hill noticed the same thing, with the same dry resolution I feel. It's dirty politics as usual, plyed by dirty people for dirty reasons. Which leads me to the first point of curiousity.
Mr. Mark Tokarski, never one to fail at defending the poor 'good' people, argues that they are politically, and often physically, assassinated by the ruling Illuminati who have all dirt against everyone. He has strangely been silent about the timing of this revelation of horrors. It's no mystery that Tokarski doesn't like Walsh, certainly doesn't think him a good person; but it is so curious that he doesn't comment on this obvious manipulation of the electorate. Mark knows all things politics, so what did Walsh do that pissed the oligarchs off enough to conspire such a character assasination? If our real struggle is against the foul and evil men who coerce our destiny, shouldn't we be supporting Walsh since they have deemed him 'dangerous'? Every single thing in this paragraph is a logical question based on what Mark has put forth for the last eight years. He has argued, well, I might add, that the only danger faced by politicians from the shadow government is that politician's ability to tell the truth and upset the order of shadow rule. He has argued that Democrats are the "real" problem because the somnabulent people will follow Democrats to Republicant policy without question. Yet, not once has Mark questioned the unbelievably coincidental timing of this 'scandel' which hurts a Democrat. So I am left with the questions: does Mark really believe what he spouts? Does his caterwaul have "integrity"? I'm certain, gentle reader, that you can understand my confusion.
On the latest political "scandal" this is all I have to say. While I was an undergrad TA at Montana State I graded many many papers, and the number of papers that included wrongly cited sources and/or outright plagiarized paragraphs were the majority. Maybe I'm jaded to it, but I honestly don't give a shit. Can we get back to talking about real issues that matter now? Like income inequality, the prison industrial complex, discrimination, global unrest, and the economy? Please? This so called "news" does absolutely nothing to get people interested in the political process and just provides opportunities for negative campaigning to those playing inside baseball.
I could not agree with her more. I spent two years working as a TA in Philosophy, and have spent 18 since working with students in the technological age. I would likely be retired now if I had charged good money to every person who has asked for or intimated that they would like a place to download papers to fulfill school work. (Hint: that would be plagiarism.) Like Sheena, I'm jaded to it. I do not consider plagiarism to be a high crime deserving casting of ash, woeful wail, and demand for public flogging. In truth, I consider it the very least of crimes that a sitting Congress-person could have committed. More than half the bills these assholes take credit for are submitted by other entities. All one has to do is follow the Tweeters and one will see more plagiarism in a day than Walsh has committed in his lifetime. I defy anyone reading this post to claim that they have never taken credit for another's thoughts, efforts or ideas. (If anyone does respond to that challenge, I will call them a liar, and the burden of proof lies with them.) The over-reaction to this scurrilous behavior is comedic, yet I find myself not laughing very much.
The over-reaction that does have me laughing comes from Bob Brigham. The camps have set their tents, and the lines have been drawn. Pogie is just a 'Walsh Denialist/Defender' and the good folk at 4 & 20 are rationally slamming Walsh as a pretender. But Brigham ... he is tearing up the Tweeters with the claim that anyone who sees Walsh as anything other than scum shares in that man's corruption; they have no "integrity". He has used the hashtag "cultureofcorruption" so many times that it is becoming meaningless. I like Bob Brigham; I've defended him at several websites. But let's be clear. He is bought and payed for. For him to be judging the "integrity" of anyone is a joke. The 'Culture of Corruption' refers to moneyed powers buying the democratic process, just like Bob is bought and payed for. He's being a fucking hypocrite. Not once has he bothered to question how the New York Times got the information they published. (Did they get it from him?) Not once has he bothered to publically question the timing of the release of this information. Nope, Bob is acting like a good little soldier for the candidate he was payed to support, and ignoring the fact that the 'culture of corruption' is really about hidden powers buying elections. Daines has more money than the God who he believes created the world 6,000 years ago (as long as it is politically expedient.) Much of that money comes from the "culture of corruption", but you won't find Bob bitching about that. He focuses on the candidate that beat the guy he was payed to get elected, and tells us all that if we do not turn that horrific moral pariah into the wilderness, than we are as corrupt as the Judas Walsh. Tell me that isn't funny.
The Copper Kids (no intention of linking) are all about how TERRIBLE a crime Walsh committed. Lizard (again, no intention of linking) has stated his peace that Walsh's crime is horrific but it's hard to pay attention to that given that we all must be concerned about what's happening in the Gaza. DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT WHAT"S REALLY IMPORTANT, YOU ASSHOLES!!! (I told you I was going to be sarcastic, so sue me.) JC's comments are the familiar flavor of 'This is how it affects me and you should think so too." The most rational and forthright post on the topic I've read so far is, of course, from James Conner at the Flathead Memo. He is patient and considerate. I encourage you to read this brief post and consider your own response before camping with any of the partisans, left, extremist left, disenchanted Democrat, right or extreme right.
My beloved and I have lived in this house for 17 years. But we live across from the Bozeman Brewing Company, an establishment that has been here maybe a decade (I don't clearly remember.) It's a bar. No bullshit. It's a bar. I have come to some resolution that dumbass bar patrons will be rude to my life. But I still have a problem when bar patrons block the driveway. Imagine yourself in that sad position. When my wife ghets home and finds the driveway blocked, she will unleash hell on the bar and its patrons. I don't blame her. Yet still, when I call the cops on those who act foolishly, I am somehow the bad guy.
Most problems are resolved without any conflict. I went to the bartenders, when it is not their job to keep people from being stupid, and it seemed to help. I'm done. When someone does the stupid, I act the role of calling the cops and take pictures of their car. Mostly, that works to get them moving their ass. Lately it hasn't. Most times anymore, neither effort has worked. The priveleged get to do whatever they want and fuck the area ... BEER! So, I call the cops.
When folk are from out-of-town, I am willing to cut them some slack. But the last several folk are from Bozeman, and they don't care ... until the police show up. Suddenly, they are apologetic and willing to admit thier wrong doing. I don't buy a word of it. All they've done is put my life at odds with the bar, the bar patrons. I hope that they have a moral center, but I'm pessimistic that my tires are safe or that my beloved's car won't be fussed with.
Don't fret. You read that correctly. Max Baucus is retiring from the US Senate, and the seat was Brian Schweitzer's to take. He declined. If all of this is a mystery to you, then please don't read this, and get the hell out of that cave you've been living in.
Many have been supposing, theorizing, stategerizing, crowing, lamenting, accusing and wondering who ever might Montana send to the US Senate to replace Max. Cowgirl and her commenters have opinions. James Conner has opinions. The good folk at Intelligent Discontent have opinions. And, of course, Liz and the gang have opinions that generally involve telling everyone else how they are WRONG, and being mean! Whatever. These are my opinions. Despite the strong urge of others, they do not represent a party worship, current polling trends, or anything other than an informed view of Montana, its history and it's politics.
The Republicants: Racicot will not run. He will never live down the shroud of destruction draped over his role in the death of Montana Power. He is still popular in Montana, and polls well. Yeah, that is until he is confronted with the obvious skeleton in his closet. I've met the guy a couple of times, and he is most obviously not stupid. Montana Power would kill him, and I think (hope) he's smart enough to know it. Like Freddy Thomas, he may hold to the hope that Montanans will have forgotten his betrayal, but in the age of dark money they won't forget for long. Steve Daines, on the other hand, is a powerful candidate. Those who liken him to Dennis Rehburg are ignoring that Daines is likable, not a complete idiot, safely pure and doesn't have a porn-'stache. Daines hasn't voted any way that Rehberg wouldn't have, but unless someone can righteously hammer him on the farm bill, he really hasn't done much to hurt himself. He currently has the inside track. I won't say much about Edmunds other that he is a hideous human with a hideous soul. Stapleton is probably the most acceptable of the Republicants. But he has to convince the libertarian voters and garner big money donors. I'm not convinced he can do that. Bob Brown? We'll see.
Republicant Women: don't make me laugh. This is the party of old white men.
Democratic Women: Monica Lindeen has already bowed out. I think that's justified. She had little to no chance of victory. Maybe another round for the House when Daines steps up? Denise Juneau is an unbelievably attractive pick. She is strong willed, decisive, morally centered as evidenced by her votes against coal mining. But there is a huge chasm between Secretary of Public Instruction and US Senator. I would like to see her become Governor. I just think the gulf she has to bridge at this time is far too large. Franke Wilmer? Oh yes. She definitely stands a chance, especially if running against Racicot. Against Daines? Not so much. Kim Gillan might stand a shot, but only with lots of 'dark money'. If, and I mean if, any one can convince Nancy Keenan to run, then that might be our best shot at a female Senator, and for defeating Daines.
Democratic Men: There isn't very much hope here at all. Jent, Van Valkenburg, McDonald. They've all pretty much shot themselves in the ... foot. However, there is still some hope for up-and-comers, if IF if they are willing to run. Kendall Van Dyke? Jim Peterson? The hope here is slim, even though the future of progressive values in Montana lays with Montana men standing up for women and minorities and unions. Jon Tester was a dark horse in 2006. Maybe someone can rise these next two years as well.
I don't maintain hope that Montana will hold this Senate seat for Democrats. But a lot can happen in a year.
I've made it no mystery that I adore the so-called "gun-control" debate. That's not because it's a debate. It's hardly anything of the sort. I adore it because it exposes deep feelings, harsh realities of life and lunacies To myself, it's the 'debate' that is of interest. Both camps, armed as they are with pseudo-facts and pride and bullets and hubris, claim the moral high ground and wail almost incessantly about the lack of respect that they so obviously deserve, when very few on either side have earned any sympathy or empathy at all. Both sides, because there seem to be only two, call for Reason while offering every dodge, hustle, intimidating threat and stupid factoid available. There is little reason to be had, and I adore that for the simple amusement of it all.
I work with a man whom I respect a great deal who believes very simply that we should only be allowed manual action rifles and shotguns for hunting and defense of stock. There is no debate with him, no defense of holy rights or talk of 'efficiency' in putting holes in crap, or any political action to defend his view. Simply put, if he were dictator for a day, he would establish law that we not have the best means to kill ourselves and others. I respect his view because it's reasonable, if unrealistic. He doesn't have to defend his view because it makes perfect sense, even in the modern world. That it won't happen is beside the point. He is reasonable about what would work to protect humans from themselves and others.
I haven't a doubt that some gun advocates reading this will be all butt-puckered about what I just wrote. "You can't have that, and you don't have the right and TYRANNY!" they would scream. ~sigh~ That doesn't make their side of the debate any more reasonable, just more shrill. It isn't reasonable at all. We aren't having a 'reasonable discussion', and likely won't. Both sides want what they want, and will engage in any amount of intimidation, manipulation and silliness to get it.
Trust a self-described "comedy website" to be reasonable about this shouting match.
2) No one really knows why nuts let loose with firearm destruction, and some have an interest in keeping it that way.
3) Gun control would help solve a whole big bunch of gun deaths.
4) Too many people on both sides talk shit about what they don't understand, and
5) Guns are toys, not tools. Outragasms don't address anything other than fear. Stop that bullshit.
This isn't rocket surgery. It's a cultural problem, not a gun problem. There are things we could do, like background checks. But the arguments against those are always handy ... TYRANNY!!!! As long as this 'debate' exists, I will continue to enjoy the silliness. Hey, it's what I do. But I sincerely hope that we come out of it a better country, and a better species.
In response to my last post, Craig Moore attempted, poorly, to catch me up in some kind of hypocrisy and he missed my point completely. That's not very surprising. He has an agenda and I was being deliberately obscure, though using terrific music in the effort. So, for those few who might want to know what I was thinking, I just figured I'd explain it.
Back in 2004, the 'Brady Bill' assault weapons ban on sale was set to expire. Both Presidential candidates in debate waffled about their support for such a thing, politically blaming Congress for what at the time, amounted to inaction concerning a 'hot button' issue in the great culture war between right and left. A few things have happened since then. An asshole with two handguns and a lot of loaded clips became the most prolific mass shooter in American history at Virginia Tech. An asshole who looks like Sideshow Bob dressed in combat gear shot 70 people in a theater, killing 12. And an asshole walked into a school and killed 20 six and seven year old children, as well as 6 adults trying to save those lives. As Craig pointed out, in 2004 I called the gun control debate trivial. It isn't trivial anymore. Things do change. For one, the NRA has convinced a remarkable amount of America that gun control means gun confiscation. For two, we've elected a black President, a President that many including the NRA have worked to convince people wants to take your guns to spur racial fear. (It should be noted that Obama is the first President elected twice by a majority of the popular vote since Dwight Eisenhower.) And three, oh yes, assholes are mass killing our children.
Here we are in 2013 having the gun control debate again. The political will has shifted, but it seems the arguments never do. That fascinates me more than any policy change. Policy follows the wind of culture, but culture follows the desires of those who make it. Since the St. Reagan endorsed 'Brady Bill' passed, FAUX News has become the dominant source of TV misinformation. The Tea Peeps have risen. The NRA has shifted focus from promoting gun safety and responsible ownership to lobby support for gun manufacturers and universal ownership of their product, regardless of qualification. The SCOTUS has decreed a right to keep arms, though still refuses to address the qualifying clause. We have the Bush doctrine of foreign policy which says 'get them before they get you'. And our culture, politics and policy has become increasingly divided, antagonistic and extreme. Yet the arguments concerning gun control really haven't changed that much, save in decibels.
Since the Newtown shootings, I've had several arguments with my brother concerning efforts of gun control. These haven't been policy arguments. On policy, we probably are fairly much in agreement, though I think he would favor a more extreme interpretation of such. No, our arguments have been about 'the opposition'. He recently posted a Facebook update about the ill-use of his good reason at the hands of "liberals". His reasoning was okay, for what it was, but he is doing the same as those awful "liberals" are doing. He is striving in all righteous victim-hood against those most extreme who influence policy the very least. He paints all gun control advocates with the very same brush. They are going 'take his guns'. Of course, they are arguing against gun-nuts, gun addicts, redneck shooters, holding my brother to a standard of wacko that isn't even remotely applicable, which is exactly the same mistake as he makes with them. That's the part of the argument that fascinates me.
The progression of the argument is lamentably historic: You can't talk about this tragedy because it's still raw and people are emotional. But people do and they should. Of course, removed from the tragedy, people are still emotional, both sides attempting the high moral ground. Both sides hold that the very worst of the other is the norm. Gun Grabbers! Gun Addicts! Shortly after the Newtown shootings, I posted on Twitter that anyone who brings up 'penis' isn't really interested in discussing gun control. They are interested in demeaning gun owners. I attempted, gently, to point out to others that those who are concerned about gun crime will never, ever, come to take your guns away. EVER. But that is where the argument has gone and will continue to go, nonetheless. ~sigh~
Which brings me back to the previous post and my point in posting it. Common ground. This should be the point of discussion but I have no confidence it will be. 'Gungrabbers' want to protect their children, their families, their property and their society. 'Gun-nuts' want to protect their children, their families, their property and their society. It doesn't matter if you use a Broadsword or an AR-15 or legislation. You want the same things, people. Get a fricking grip.