Contempt and Retirement : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Mr. Decker,

I just don't see the point of dragging Big Dog through the mud-- every chance you get. I'm not interested in who started calling who what or who did it first. Put it behind you. As for my own conduct in the matter of words, it is on record that I am able to apologize and have done so. But you? Myself, I am able to look my mistakes in the eye. So I may be better equipped and quicker to accept the possibility of a non-event than you, would the breaking of the camel's back. Nor do I demand the "right kind" of evidence. I remain reasonable -- if also passionate to the cause of Truth and Freedom. The public record speaks well of my work, not just here. I also think it speaks well of me.

"The old racism said that all blacks look alike. The new racism says that all blacks are supposed to think alike. The first myth was dealt with in the civil rights movement. The second is exploded by Stan Faryna in this marvelous book which allows other voices to be heard; voices that are too often censored by the Black Establishment."

- Cal Thomas, Syndicated Columnist; Author of The Things That Matter Most.

You write:

"My earlier posts have been my honest comments, like them or not... My intent has always been to engage in the Y2K discussion and challenge the fuzzy thinking I see on BOTH sides of the issue."

Often, your comments would have been better served without the garnish of your contempt for the various opinions that will be found here. But you complain that the "bullies" won't allow for such conversations. I disagree. Conversations are possible, though they be with the kind of rough table manners that Chuck tells us about when describing the old scars in his kitchen table. And if you are willing to go a round in the ring, you're fit enough for the passionate conversations at this table. If you overplay your hand, however, you will find all sneers sneering at you. And you have overplayed your hand from time to time. We all do. Some more than others. You will get as much as you give.

"Not ignorant" writes (and not for no reason): "You have only tried to make me feel like an ignorant and stupid person but you have not succeeded!"

So, yes, I would not be surprised if your contempt for the wide range of opinions represented on this forum did not extend to the wide range of opinions held by Americans in general. In fact, this forum is an interesting and wide demographic sampling of Americans with some interesting traits in common. Whatever their errors, they tend to be thoughtful, compassionate, and patriotic. I don't know what school, you call alma mater, or what degrees you hold, but your contempt for the opinions held by these people, their experience, and their common sense... says something. Your contempt says more about you than them. Myself, I'm not convinced you are as educated as you seem to believe.

To not recognize the import of the modern criticisms of Allan Bloom, Herbert Marcuse, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn says much about you. As for the classics, what parodies would Lucian offer to us as a hand mirror? Would Aristotle think our government was a good government? Big Dog's education, as an example that most of us know, is very respectable. But it is not just very respectable, it is alive in him. Coprolith, Prometheus, and too many others for me to name by handle, seem to exercise a powerful and quick mind. And Andy, seems to be a genius if also passionately eccentric-- as most geniuses tend to be. On the other hand, education and high intelligence is not everything.

Those with an extraordinary capacity to love and have compassion for others complement the intelligence of this community. Helen stands out in my mind, but she is not the only one with a true heart. She offered to take in the children of a man who suggested suicide was preferable to facing the worst. And beyond the power of love and compassion, there are men and women whose words bespeak a treasure and treasury of virtues-- natural and supernatural. Your contemptuous words attempt to dishonor, defame, and characterize these good people. Maybe, if you stopped reading Andy's headliners and read the other threads, you might get to know these people upon whom you heap your many contempts.

What is surprising is that you can have contempt for this community at the same time you are exhuberant in your confidence that the republic is healthy and capitalism will prevail against the risks associated with Y2K. In other words, you don't put much stock in real Americans and their opinions, but you don't hesitate to bubble over American ingenuity, etc. While I think that American ingenuity among other such virtues are not to be underestimated, we should neither overestimate our virtuosity nor should we forget that a nation cannot be virtuous unless its people are. If we pull through Y2K without much loss, it'll be due to people here and people like the ones you're finding here.

As you say, I have met you face to face. And I find it disappointing that you are not comfortable to be yourself when you write online. Big Dog is himself here minus the big, warm smiles, much laughter, and a good hug. Sure, electronic communications are limited that way. But you are Red in person, Mr. Decker online. And Red doesn't have any of the pretense of a Mr. Decker. While Red seems to be an honorable, thoughtful, and decent man, Mr. Decker doesn't seems to be the same man. And he isn't. Mr. Decker is a character. He benefits from Red's experience, mind, and character, but he has none of these himself. Mr. Decker says what Red might never say or mean. Red is a real person.

I think it's time to retire Mr. Decker; the old fart has now become contentious, honery, and contemptible. Send Mr. Decker to the old folks home in the country. Let him have a room with a big picture window so that he can look out on the land and skies and find some peace inside hime. Maybe, some love too. He can write books or short stories to pass the time. But Red should stay, I think. Myself, I haven't had the opportunity yet to talk with him about history and politics and everything else. I have been looking forward to such an opportunity, but this forum seems as good a place as any. And I think that Big Dog would enjoy talking with Red too. But I could be wrong.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, September 11, 1999


Confused? Read this thread...

Two Cups of History (Decker) 001NdQ

Beautifully put Stan.


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 11, 1999.


-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), September 11, 1999.


I see tolerance diminishing much more on your part (and on mine as well) than on Decker's. While it may rub you the wrong way, I consider Decker essentially correct that this forum contains bullies who deserve contempt. I think Decker has a sense (with which I agree) that some of the lowlifes around here are just noise, while others could do so much better, and are letting themselves down.

My own general sense is that there are good people, bad people and stupid people (who lack the processing power to be either good OR bad). Decker in this sense honors Big Dog as a Bad Person, who has the ability to be good and fails to use it to further valuable discussions or treat genuine differences of opinion among reasonable and intelligent people with the respect they deserve. This isn't contempt, this is regret that a genuine and potentially valuable resource is being wasted. But comtempt is all the recognition that the Cretin Crowd ('a', Ray, Andy, KOS, etc.) deserve.

I'd really like to meet several of these people in person, because I refuse to believe that their forum persona is much of a reflection of the reality. The purely written word can be a house of mirrors, because we are all deprived of facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, or the veneer of decency physical presence imposes. And some of us have trouble typing (don't laugh -- if you type slowly, you tend to telescope your thoughts and omit most of them).

-- Flint (, September 11, 1999.

Yep, Stan... Flint's still crabby.

Please try another nicotine patch Flint.


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 11, 1999.

Gawd, what the hell is this crap???!!! Are we now supposed to be in some kind of group therapy, so that Mr. Decker can be all touchy-feely with us and explore his feminine side side via some wonderous new personality named "Red"????!!!!

Flint: Go back to smoking. Pleeaaaaaassseeeeeee...

-- King of Spain (, September 11, 1999.

Flint is right again. I should make my real self known more. King of Spain, would you PLEASE mud wrestle with me??

-- helen (, September 11, 1999.

helen: YES!!!!!!

-- King of Spain (, September 11, 1999.

Hey Flint,

Are you another sci-fi hack like Decker? Having you two worked together? Am I getting warm? Want me to guess your name?

-- On (, September 11, 1999.


??? My name is Flint. What's to guess? That's the name I was given, and all my records are in that name. I don't use any other name. So it's not any big challenge, is it?

-- Flint (, September 11, 1999.


Mr. Decker too writes that I was once reasonable to deal with and so I can only assume *that* is what defines a thoughtful pessimist-- if such a category does some how exist in Decker's psuedo-mind. In other words, if one can continue to put up with (1) the imaginary Mr. Decker's contempt of those less educated and/or enlightened as he (and *he* is but a phantom!) and (2) the dishonest contentions of the same Mr. Decker... then they are thoughtfully tolerant and worthy of some treats (I often give a treat to my dog when she has put up with me though I ask her to do something annoying to her-- like "Stay!" and "Rollover!"). Webster defines "thoughtful" differenty-- as do I.

I am not one to go chasing after ghosts [g], but (at least) one ghost in the machine (Mr. Decker) has got to go! Flint, I sympathize with your hardships. I plan to join the crabs when I try to chuck the smokes, and it is about time! A carton of Marlboro Red (box) goes for $27.00 these days). But I still have some questions for you: is it ok that our government lies and/or misleads us? Do you agree that a lie or untruth on one thing by our government has no bearing on another thing? At least, Mr. Decker came out and said that it was wrong. If our President had lied and coerced others to lie on his behalf, are you sure that he and his people aren't keeping a lid on the Y2K story?

I think you would be surprised at the range of considerations that Big Dog considers-- Y2K or otherwise. Perhaps, you should be surprised at how tolerant I am. I have had some cool conversations with the pollys including CPR. Of course, some of those conversations were more brief than others. But whether you be a pessimist or optimist or whatever else, there are things that must be brought to a conversation. Namely, honesty, sincerity, and good faith. Good manners help too. Sure, I don't mind a thoughtful or witty repartee. In fact, I enjoy them. I can handle the truth or hear an opinion, but I don't care much for any of *that* which wants to pass for either truth or a sincere opinion.

Aside: And when I say that our Mr. Decker is dishonest, insincere, and untrustworthy, I do not say that Red is also dishonest or lacking in other elements of good character. At worst, Red is dishonest with himself. If Red is self-dishonest, perhaps, we ought to pity the poor fellow for he is a real person with real problems. If the prodigal son (in this case, grandfather?) of Red's imagination is nothing less than the demons that are inside us all, Red still lets his demons roam the web. Most folks have sense enough, however, to keep their demons locked up. I think you get what I'm trying to say, Flint. I won't belabor the point further... unless you or he gives me further cause.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

P.S. Is lying different than misleading? Is one wrong and the other ok?

-- Stan Faryna (, September 11, 1999.

Alright - THAT does it. Diane - schedule an immediate trip for the gang to fly out to DC and conduct an intervention on Mr. Decker. We want our damn Red back! :~(

And on the way back, arrange a stop in Hunstville. Bring the ketamine. We're gonna do a rapid detox on Flint. : )

-- a (a@a.a), September 11, 1999.

Stan: It's all that freakin' GEAR of yours, man! Don't you know that only collapsable pliers and chainsaws are allowed in the bugout trailers of thoughtful pessimists?

-- a (a@a.a), September 11, 1999.


I confess I haven't seen this degredation in Decker's posts that you have. Your negative reaction to them seems not to have been at all gradual -- it happened the instant he treated you with less than kid gloves. By amazing coincidence, I'm sure. I have noticed that Decker posts less often, which I attribute to starting a new job. New jobs always take long hours, there's a learning curve to be climed as quicly as possible. But when he does post, his points are as clear as ever, and as well supported by history and reality.

So from my outsider's perspective, it seems that Decker likes you and enjoys your company, but expects you to keep up your end of the bargain despite this, and will chide you for backsliding if required. Which, from your recent posts, I conclude that you can't take. Sad. I really had expected you to address the points raised, rather than deriding the person making them. By doing this, you drop back into the muck with the rest of us.

And no, I don't consider myself above that either. I'm perfectly willing to call a jerk a jerk. Which unfortunately descibes me all too often since I've volunteered for constaint pain and torture. Treatment like that does wonders to destroy focus and patience.

As for what a lie is, I addressed this in more detail than I expected to in the "answers to Cherri's Gary North's failures" thread earlier today. But it you really want to get into that, it might be best to email me privately, since I consider it at least somewhat off topic. But of course that's up to you.

-- Flint (, September 11, 1999.



Are you aware that Ketamine is the veterinary anesthetic of choice for the de-horning of goats?

Honest! Ask your vet.

-- Hardliner (, September 11, 1999.


Always enjoy your views, sometimes enjoy Ken's but I am staying out of this one except to say some folks are good at the details (I am not) and some folks are good at viewing the big picture. It would seem that this is a problem amoung the forum and understanding this would help both sides in studying Y2K. The scales stretches from deeply personal to totally global.

And I do value Big Dogs writing. He has the touch. Keep it up BD.

-- Brian (, September 11, 1999.

What we need is to seat all of you at the same table, fill your mouths with food, keep the knives out of reach, and let the King and I provide the entertainment.

-- helen (, September 11, 1999.

Oh my god, we all MUST have that post Y2K get-together!!!

-- Mara Wayne (, September 11, 1999.

Well Hardliner, all I know is that it's used to tranquilize heroin addicts while they go cold turkey - but now that tou mention it, I think it would be sufficient to de-horn Flint's goat.

Interestingly, it is also an illicit psychedelic drug that has been reported to induce transcendental states where the user supposedly communicates with insectoidal aliens. Are you listening Andy? Oh thats right, you're concerned with reptiles...sorry..

-- a (a@a.a), September 11, 1999.

Stan, welcome to the Decker GIs.

Hardliner, is Flint an old goat?

-- Mike Lang (, September 11, 1999.


Allow me point out some confusions you have. You suggest that my new hardline response to the imaginary Mr. Decker (or was it Red?) began after he took the gloves off. Go back and read the thread again (you sent me looking for a supposed dissertation on truth and lies). I started out mad and I got madder as it became apparent by his reply that he meant no good. There is no coincidence about it, so... so much for your certitude (you say you were sure about your insight into this matter). If his points are clear to you and you think they make sense, good for you, Flint. It must be a reassurance to find a like mind-- even if it's a mind of an imaginary character. It must also disturb you.

I have no bargains with imaginary characters. They aren't real, Flint. But yet again, I ask you to go back to the thread and read it one more time. Three times may be the charm! What you'll find is that I restate the original argument. The imaginary Mr. Decker says that pessimists are completely ignorant of history. And because he has said that pessimists are completely ignorant of history, he can say again that pessimists are completely ignorant of history. I have even diagramed this rhetorical argument in symbloic logic. To improve on one of your favorite cliches, the imaginary Mr. Decker's argument is tantamount to 1=1, if and only if, 1=4. Do I got it wrong? Maybe, you can explain with imaginary numbers.

That isn't to say that the imaginary Mr. Decker doesn't later pretend that he never made this argument, then offers a new argument for us to consider further. But I do think an apology is due to the pessimists before we let him back at the table. And if he provides a sincere apology, I will be happy to make comments on Mr. Decker's new and improved argument. But I noticed that you often make the same mistake as he does: on the same page, you and he will pretend as if you had written something that *is* written. Well, I'm afraid you boys don't quite understand that once a word is written here, it cannot be erased by your imagination alone. You'll have to ask Chuck politely to do that!

I understand how you are sympathetic to the imaginary Mr. Decker. You have both taken quite a beating in words, and you both get a lot more everytime you come back for more. Well, you seem to admit that you share his contempt for the "preparation wardens" (his terminology), so, of course, you don't see any any problem with his growing contempt for the pessimists (do you read it and grin or slap you legs and howl?). The imaginary Mr. Decker doesn't write that *some* pessimists are completely ignorant of history. He writes that pessimists are completely ignorant of history. Of course, he makes the correction in his new argument.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, September 11, 1999.


But I noticed that you often make the same mistake as he does: on the same page, you and he will pretend as if you had not written something that you *have* written.

-- Stan Faryna (, September 11, 1999.

Gawd, this is really getting spooky. Ok, so Decker is really a crazed heroin addict in need of a fix. That much I've figured out. But who the hell is "Red"? And I thought that Decker said that he did NOT live around Dee Cee. Or was that just a red herring to throw us off?

helen: I think I've got another girl (susan, on another thread) who also wants to mudwrestle, perhaps we can have a mud la trois?

-- King of Spain (, September 11, 1999.


I'll certainly agree that what we say doesn't always come out just the way we mean it. And for some of us (including Decker and myself), this normal human failing is compounded many times by what I feel is undoubtedly a desire on the part of many here to make a substantial effort to *distort* what we say, or to interpret it very carefully in a manner that wasn't meant.

I'm an engineer, not an author. And I'm trying to grapple with what I consider a very ambiguous situation, and still remain clear. Pitted against me are some (not all, of course) who have, in their own minds, solved the problem of ambiguity with what I consider religious dogma. I ask you sincerely now, have you ever seen the likes of 'a' or Ray or Andy making any real attempt to understand what I'm driving at or address the issue I'm talking about? Back atcha, then, I encourage you to consider the reception my efforts get from the forum bullies. In my shoes, do you think it would be possible for you *not* to hold these mindless attackers in contempt?

I feel you make a real, genuine effort to think these matters through, and for that I respect and admire you. And I'll admit that Decker sometimes strikes me as hurried, and therefore glib. But hell, not as often as I am. I know there are things he's written he'd like to take back, and he's been known to publicly apologize for them. And yes, I've read some of my stuff and wished I'd taken the time to outline it, and write drafts, and get it better organized and expressed before posting it. Because you're right, once you poke the button you can't call it back.

Still and all, if you feel Decker has become more dismissive and less thoughtful, you are applying an extraordinarily flexible grading system. Few of the pessimists on this forum on their good days could reach Decker's knees on his bad days. So you are holding Decker to an extremely high standard, and you feel that lately he's falling short. Apply this *same* standard to almost any pessimist here, and contempt would be the highest grade most of them would earn. I can only assume your silence with respect to the little people here reflects nothing else.

-- Flint (, September 11, 1999.


Get some rest. I'm taking the dog out for a walk. Tomorrow, I take her to show. So I probably won't be here to continue this immediately. What you say here in regard to the anwsers I want is satisfying to me. Well said, mostly. I don't mind the jabs; you've really made a break through here, and I do have sympathy for you with regard to the rough handling you get.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, September 11, 1999.

goes without saying that if you want to convince someone, you probably shouldn't insult that someone. otherwise yer just blowing off hot air for the sake of your own ego, not an invigorating and insightful exchange of different ideas..

-- coprolith (, September 11, 1999.

"In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet." Winston Churchill

-- Winston Churchill (, September 11, 1999.

King of Spain, Is your radar not working? Quick...go to thread "Hilarous! Can we add more to the original" Stacia feels slighted and I don't blame her! If you want mudwrestling gals, you have to be on the ball!

-- Debi (, September 12, 1999.

Debi, KOS's radar definitely blinks. I think he was posting here for about 6 months before he asked me to meet him in the mud. I was so offended, I just stuck my nose in the air and refused to answer. (I don't remember him ever asking Diane or Leska, either!)

-- T the C (, September 12, 1999.

Mike (webflier),

Flint has referred to himself as "old", and although old is a relative term, if that's his self assessment, I'm certainly willing to accept it at face value.

As far as being a "goat", there are certainly many here who would make him one whether he be so or not and he could be a cabron (although you'd be better advised to ask his wife about that). For my part, I hold him to be one of the more thoughtful and intelligent Yourdonites. That he and I do not always agree is no more than normal amongst a crowd such as this, but he always has my respect.

As far as his being a "normal human being", I say absolutely not! One who thinks any regular poster to this forum "normal" is simply living in a different reality than the one that I inhabit. At that, I am quite content to share the same reality as Flint does with everyone here. Unless we all stand on top of one another though (and that would most likely be rather painful), we will all have a different perspective and thus a different view of that reality.

Now although I wasn't asked, I'm going to say something to Mister Decker. (Shyness has never been one of my better qualities)

Ken, why don't you just stop talking like you're better than the rest of us? You are not. Acting like you are simply pisses everyone off and negates most of whatever efforts you may mount at information or persuasion. No one expects you (or indeed anyone) to agree with them all the time, or at any particular time, but everyone appreciates a friendly attitude. How about just sittin' down at the table, suckin' some suds with us and havin' a good old fashioned argument? In short, why don't you quit acting like a total asshole and try a little accommodation? (You know, if you keep on doing what you've been doing, you'll keep on getting what you've been getting.)

-- Hardliner (, September 12, 1999.

For the record, Stan, I apologize. My intent was never to categorize all pessimists as completely ignorant of history. Some pessimists obviously know some history.


-- Mr. Decker (, September 12, 1999.

Oh, OK, thanks for clearing that up there Mr. Decker. Uhh, I mean, Red. Well, anyway, thanks for explaining everything.

-- King of Spain (, September 12, 1999.

" will pretend as if you had not written something that you *have* written. "

You are not a Jedi yet Flint.

-- Will (, September 12, 1999.

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