Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Godwin, I presume?

Here are a couple of definitions for you from the Urban Dictionary (one of my favorite reference sources):

1. Godwin's law

There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely-recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful.

Example: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

2. Godwin's Law

A term that originated on Usenet, Godwin's Law states that as an online argument grows longer and more heated, it becomes increasingly likely that somebody will bring up Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. When such an event occurs, the person guilty of invoking Godwin's Law has effectively forfeited the argument.

Example: "Dude, shut up. Nobody cares what you think."

"Oh, so now you're trying to censor me? Go to hell, you damn Nazi!"

It can also be used as a verb, to Godwin, as in "Aww, man, you just Godwinned the thread! You lose!"

Obama protester Nancy Pelosi recently commented on some of the recent town hall protests, saying "They're carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare." Well, that's a statement of fact, as you can see in the picture. However, many people have interpreted that as her calling them Nazis.

Rush Limbaugh went a little further, though, saying this:

"Obama's got a healthcare logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook. Now, what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany? Well, the Nazis were against big business — they hated big business . . . They were insanely, irrationally against pollution . . . They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working . . . They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables, as we all know, and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare."

Limbaugh not only Godwinned the discussion, he Godwinned himself! What a maroon! You lose!

I'm not even going to dignify his comparison with all the reasons why it's untrue, patently absurd, and just plain goofy. I have to comment, however, on the "insanely, irrationally against pollution" statement. The Nazis weren't insanely against pollution, obviously, but the bigger concept here is that in Limbaugh's Bizarro World, being anti-pollution is insane and irrational. Who IS this guy, honestly? Talk about insane and irrational!

At the meeting that Ken and I went to, a couple of people angrily demanded an apology from Speaker Pelosi...as if Congressman Donnelly could do anything about that. I felt like yelling, "Then Limbaugh needs to apologize to our President!" But I didn't. Why? Because I don't believe that sort of arguing serves any purpose to further the discussion, and in fact, has the opposite effect, bringing the discussion to an end.

Stop the hatred We've all seen on the news lately the angry rhetoric being shouted at town hall meetings. Legislators trying to speak and to explain things have been shouted down; a Congressman was hanged in effigy at one meeting; another was chased through a parking lot by an angry mob; others have received death threats. Limbaugh and others of his ilk are feeding this hysteria with their words. They are no longer informing; they are inciting. Sarah Palin gets all pissy with people for picking on her kids, then brings her own kid up when she says Obama's "death panels" will kill him...then she turns around and calls for civility in the discussion. I submit to you that she and Limbaugh and others are harming the country they claim to love so dearly by fomenting unrest and anger in the place of civil, rational discussion, and by promoting and furthering misinformation. When discussion ends, fighting begins. Is that really what they, or anyone, wants in our country?

I have no problem with anyone speaking their mind, or discussing issues with their legislators either in private or in a public meeting. I have a big problem with those who would shout down those with opposing views rather than let them speak in a public forum, and those who continue to spew misinformation like they're some sort of walking, talking chain letter.

If this continues to fester, someone somewhere will eventually get hurt. It's not a question of if, it's a matter of when. I will blame haters like Limbaugh with their incendiary remarks, and liars like Palin with her imaginary "death panels." It will rest solidly on their shoulders. Of course, they won't care, because they're beyond the fray, out of the reach of the huddled masses, above it all. They don't care about their country, and they don't care about us. They care about their ratings, and Palin cares about...well, I don't know what the hell she cares about.

13 comments:

  1. Another wise and well-written post, Beth! Thank you.

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  2. Hi Beth,
    Wonder why it is that all the attention is focused on so-called "Republican mobs" and all the accusations these people are "plants" rather than grassroots opposition, and nothing said about the Democrats recruiting AND PAYING to sway public opinion on the health care bill? Here's a link to one ad on Craig's List: http://sacramento.craigslist.org/etc/1310895349.html
    Organizing is organizing. The media should report both sides. And, here's a link to Washington Times article that refutes the claim by the White House that the protests at the town hall meetings are scripted: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/10/drooping-polls-undercut-claims-of-scripted-protest/

    While I don't condone all the actions of some people such as threatening people's lives and violence, leftist demonstrators have been resorting to the same type of behaviors for decades: the shouting down of people, sometimes violent, whatever. Americans are fed up and very frustrated that here is yet another multi-trillion dollar piece of legislation that if passed will do a lot of damage, if not completely tank our economy. We simply can't afford it, we're out of money, & the Congressional Budget Office estimates costs much greater than what is being told now.

    Dirk
    THE FIRST AMENDMENT, NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT II
    http://tsalagiman2.blogspot.com/

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  3. When I asked my question, someone did ask how much I was paid? I was like, WTF are you talking about. From Dirk's comment, I see where the misinformation came from. I wish people would research and investigate more rather than listen to rhetoric and spew it back :o)

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  4. Holy crap, honey, I didn't hear that when it happened! It's probably a good thing, because that would have PISSED ME OFF.

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  5. Another amazing post. How do you do it, Beth??? It's incredible how people get so worked up over things they don't even understand. And really, bringing Nazis and swastikas into the fray? When we're discussing health care? WTF???

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  6. Love it.
    This is getting so close to the "yelling fire ina crowded theater" type of speech. It needs to stop before there is a real fire of any kind.

    As for Limbaugh. He rakes in enough dough to keep himself heavily medicated and Glenn Beck is so stupid he says one things then retracts it instantly then says it again.
    As for Palin, all she cares about is Palin. Not this country

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  7. Beth,

    You are such an amazing writer... your commentary is brilliant. You should send that into NYT op/ed.

    Ps... Limbaugh is the biggest dorkhead evah!

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  8. Rush Limbaugh is indeed a maroon, a dark maroon and shoulod be marooned somewhere where he can't do any more harm.

    With 9/11, the Iraq War, Bush's reelection, the fall of the economy, the crimes of the private sector and now these shouting goons, America is becoming a very scandelous place to be.

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  9. I hope health care reform passes, but look forward to a time in the near future when the wing nuts have less to get excited about and crawl back into their caves.

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  10. Palin gets pissy. I like that.

    and i always love when someone speaks their mind about a flat ass moron like Limbaugh.

    Palin is a flat ass moron too. If she divorces Toddy,maybe she can hook up with Rushie Boy....

    oh wait....does Palin condone drug addicts? Because i seem to remember that Rush is surely NOT perfect and he loved his pills......


    hmm...glass houses.....stones being thrown....

    and Republican morons getting press. Damn shame.

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  11. I wrote a comment and must have clicked without noticing it didn't post. I'll comment again and pay attention.

    Excellent post! Excellent! This concerns me, too, and scares me. I've been working on a post about it, too. Well done!

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  12. I don't know what I did wrong before but am glad this one showed up. Who knows?

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  13. My gosh, Ken, just what question did you ask anyway? LOL :-)

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?