Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I disagree ( wanna fight ? :-) ). As others have said, the problem seems to be being exaggerated, some not having noticed any fights, some thinking they are VERY few. It's a bit like the news - one plane crash gets all the attention - CNN is at this moment poring over every possible detail (prior to any investigation of course) of the latest crash. The zillions of non crashes never make the front page.

I can understand the FPers' frustration and annoyance, as they have to deal with sometimes difficult debaters (why are looking at me like that ? :-)), worse, with a very small minority who accuse them of bias, ganging up, etc. My impression is they lean over backwards to avoid even the appearance of doing so. And, yes, of course they should be able to take part in discussion and passionately if they feel so moved.

It's natural and very desirable that people get passionate about things and then upset when others disagree - and the heat rises. It's healthy to want to defend your views and smite the unbelievers with logic and some - er - rhetorical flourishes :-) - one ought to be able to call a spade a bloody useless shovel from time to time. "Sticks and stones can break my bones..." -  guys.

I like the rough and tumble of some British forums - there has been, just occasionally, some brilliantly scathing invective to savour  on Lenin's Tomb - along the lines of: "Your comment reveals that the sum of your knowledge of theoretical physics would still leave a large void in the brain of a gnat." E.g.:

[Jenny] "All right, all right, Rob, but how would you propose a non-military solution to helping foreign countries in need aside from a slow working class revolution?"

I would not bomb the crap out of them.

That's not a solution I know. But, let us parse this slowly, for you seem to be a bit slow. Not bombing the crap out of someone is preferable to bombing the crap out of them. It may not be a solution to their indigestion, depression, financial problems, dictatorship etc - whatever ails them. Though it is a solution to the problem of having the crap bombed out of them - which is a serious problem.

Moreover (and here you'll have to take a deep breath, because it gets a bit complex) bombing the crap out of them ACTUALLY TENDS TO MAKE THINGS WORSE.

If they're poor they'll be poorer. If they're depressed, they'll be more depressed. If they have a dictatorship the dictatorship will gain support for opposing the nasty bombers. And, finally, they'll not like the country/army/regime that is responsible for the solution because they are BOMBING THEM.

There endeth the lesson. Tomorrow we'll do fractions.

http://leninology.blogspot.com/ Feb 21st

The Tomb flourishes, despite regular doses of such bracing stuff.

CNN is STILL discussing the crash - yawn - in the meantime there must have been a million happy landings. Now they're listing other recent crashes, all two of them - obviously we need to ground all aircraft for checks and endless drivelling discussion on CNN - building fear where there is no justification - a bit like fear of occasional passionate dispute here.

We need to accept the Dionysian (puff for my diary :-)):

"It is no good casting out devils. They belong to us, we must accept them and be at peace with them"

D.H. Lawrence (British Novelist), Pheonix, 'The Reality of peace'

"Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot."  

D. H. Lawrence

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Feb 25th, 2009 at 08:24:22 AM EST
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