Why can’t we all just get along?

I have spent the last several months correcting a few bad habits. One is this: never engage in online conversation where Larry Kralj has commented more than three times. The second, never engage in any online conversation where Mark Tokarski has been responded to even once. The third is to click immediately away from any thread in which JC shares a self-indulgent anectdote. The result of doing any of those is illfated, cursed … or put less dramatically, a colossal waste of time. Not a one of them has anything fresh to say, or anything helpful to offer. Just like too many of those they rail against, they haven’t accepted the fact that we are all in this together. So it’s no use dealing with what they’ve polluted. I have and will continue to read the blogs, but the comments are a waste anymore. (Food for thought, Pogie.)

That is from a rare Rob Kailey blog post. I don’t mean to be complimentary here, nor to be either obsequious or to damn him with faint praise. As I read him at this time he is going through period of self-reflection, and will endure some personal growth as a result. That’s painful for all of us, but I hope in the end that he writes regularly and about more than football and zombies. He’s not without talent.

This particular piece, where he took pains to level personal attacks against JC, Kralj and me … I want to soften it somewhat knowing that he’s got anger going on, and also that anger is an essential feature preceding deeper insight and interesting writing. So I take no offense, or at last am suppressing my own anger in response, and want to deal with the substance he brings to the fore.

Years ago, while a volunteer with Montana Wilderness Association, I met a man named Bob Decker, whose thinking and wisdom were beyond my own and most of the group. He tried to explain to me one day how Max Baucus controlled the debate going on around him. Essentially it was this: If you did not agree with Max, you did not get to be in the room with Max. Later others would use the term “framing” in the same manner – to frame the debate so that any views you do not like are excluded. Forceful marginalization is another term.

It’s nothing more than a power play. When Jon Tester became senator, he set out to advance the work of his predecessor, Conrad Burns, and reintroduced old wine in the form of his Forest Jobs Recreation Act. Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, all who entered the room were to bow and praise FJRA. The one who did not, Matt Koehler, who criticized the law and the means by which it had been crafted, was demonized. Tester was new on the job and did not know what Max should have taught him: Never let critics have a forum. Koehler endured a scathing personal attack and was not asked back to testify again.

I bring that to the fore because what I think Rob is doing here is very similar, though he does not have a senator’s power to control who gets to come into his office. Set aside Kralj, who I think was just included to brand us all as the same animal. Rob is very angry at JC and me. He’s not specific about what, but the intention of his tone is that the both of us be forcefully shut out of debates that involve Democrats. It’s an authoritarian attitude.

Why? When we are present, the debate does not go in predictable directions. The Emperor’s Clothes are worn by Democrats like Baucus, Tester, Bullock and now John Walsh. By saying that “we are all it his together,” Rob is being a little evasive, perhaps euphemistic. He’s saying that those who step out of line should be excluded from debate. It’s a power play, albeit a minor one, as these are after all low-traffic blogs.

The last line, “Food for thought, Pogie,” is a suggestion that I be banned from Intelligent Discontent. Pogie blows hot and cold on that matter but is sensitive to accusations of having an authoritarian bent, so I have survived. Someday I will get “No soup for you!” there too. But it is interesting, as there is no more bland and unoriginal and predictable writer on the blogs as Progreba, and yet he will attack me for being “predictable.”

Again, it is euphemism. He’s really saying that I am not playing by the rules wherein Democrats attack Republicans and visa versa, they all take immense satisfaction and personal validation from it, and they rarely interact and never hold their own party accountable. It is not unlike the snarky Daily Show pieces that make the rounds, the ones that attack Fox News and which are never seen by Fox News viewers. It’s all for personal validation. There is no “debate” going on.

Anyway, that’s my reaction to Rob’s attack. I think it is the product of an authoritarian mindset and cleverly worded to damn me and JC by lumping us with Kralj, and hide his desire to forcefully shut is out of blog commentary behind the euphemism of togetherness.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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13 Responses to Why can’t we all just get along?

  1. larry kurtz says:

    You waiting to vote for Tom Tancredo for your party’s gubernatorial nomination or can you vote early in Colorado?


    • Go away, silly man. I am very close to losing patience with you, shallow Hal.


      • larry kurtz says:

        You mean here in your own little sand box? Someone brings a nicer toy and your feelings get hurt. Bring it on, big boy.


        • I think you have it figured out. I have spent decades in honest inquiry, trying to figure this system out. I have done so to a large degree. I understand how it works, and how minds are corrupted and controlled, how freedom is something only a few of us value and that most do not tolerate. This produces frustration, I admit.

          You, on the other hand, are incurious and bland, unquestioning and easily managed. And dammit , you’re happy with the way things are.

          You figured it out. Stupidity is a virtue. Better to be Bart than Lisa. Ignorance really is bliss!

          Mind if I call you Bart?


  2. Rob Kailey says:

    I’m not angry with you, Mark, just observant. Kurtz is absolutely correct that you post the same comment, verbally refreshed, time and time again at other blogs. You could as easily copy and paste. Your comment(s) is exactly as I described it: threadbare. But if you would be more than just superficially observant, you would notice that I don’t find your commenting to be a problem (quite unlike Larry Kralj whose consistent barely coherent rants and endless replies to himself are actually a problem.) No, the problem in comment threads begins when people respond to you, with the same angry trolled out objections, and comment threads go seriously South from there. Any serious examination is lost from that point forward because a response to you is an admission (in your mind) that people should focus on what you wish as opposed to any topic brought up by the post author. So, I guess, since you seem intent on psychoanalyzing me, that paragraph was not as an admission of anger, but rather boredom.

    Speaking purely personally, I’ve been there, done that. I’ve read your arguments and argued with you in disagreement better than most, which is vastly more than I can say for you in kind. I’ve agreed with you more than you would ever have the self-reflection to admit and advocated some of your own stances at Metafilter and my own website before you appear to have even known what a blog was. With such evidence at hand, frankly, Mark, I’m not interested anymore in your opinion of the self-reflection you see in others. In your mythology, it’s all the same, lined up behind your revelations as if those were born of some grand awakening on your part. Good for you.

    If one wasn’t deeply entrenched in the conspiracies swirling about one’s self, that one might realize that my aside to Pogie was a direct extension of what had come before: Don’t let Larry highjack threads, don’t take personal claims of special authority from JC as anything more than his opinion, and most of all, don’t respond to you. See how simple that is? It wasn’t code-speak, it wasn’t Authority circling the wagons. And the most humorous part of all is that it certainly wasn’t “personal attack” against your august personage. If you’ve been banned at ID, that was his choice, certainly not what I suggested. Unlike your progressive catechism buddies, I don’t contact people privately to online-assasinate others. I’ve no need, and I don’t take it quite as seriously as you obviously do.

    Have a nice Summer, Mark.


    • Oh, there was anger there. I picked up on it easily. And it was passive aggressive anger to boot, talking about JC and I as if we were privilege to a overhearing a conversation. That’s annoying. Some of us are simply more direct in our approach.

      Tomorrow I am putting up an RFK tribute, and reprinting an interview with William Papper, the man who volunteered to represent Sirhan Sirhan, unjustly imprisoned now for 46 years. Pepper asserts that the assassinations of the 60’s, all easily unraveled and solved by overwhelming evidence, were a prelude to oligarchy, and that democracy is dead.

      It’s not. But it has never been popular. Most of us simply don’t tolerate democracy. You don’t. Pogie doesn’t. PW doesn’t. You believe in your party, and that’s quite a different thing. It is a power structure and a means by which democracy is thwarted. You believe in voting and otherwise shutting the fuck up, and in ostracizing anyone who does not play by your rules. That was all you needed say in your blog post: “ostracize them!”

      My own reading of history is that it’s always been like this. The assassinations were painful, RFK by far the hardest to swallow, as his seemed the end of hope. “The good die young” is not an imagined phenomenon. We have had great leaders, but they are systematically murdered, scandalized, marginalized, demonized, as real leaders cannot be controlled by oligarchs. And one of the roles of your party is to perform these tasks for the oligarchs, to prevent the rise of real leaders.

      So you give us your schmucks, weasels and losers, your Baucuses and Testers and Walsh’s, and raise them up as if they had real substance, and when those of us having insight and wisdom see this, we merely point out the obvious. And in your power structure this is a thought crime, and your objective is to silence us. You want silence and reverence for icons, and for real people of substance to bow before them as if they were real.

      Pogie is tedious and repetitive, and you tend to be as well, insisting there is real substance in your leaders. Only when drawn out, as you were here, do you become somewhat interesting, but note that you carefully avoided every substantive issue that I raised here, glossing over it all and making it simply about me and my failings, which are real enough. But let’s talk about you too: Why can’t you deal in substance? Why do you find dissidents intolerable? Why do you hate freedom of thought and expression? Why don’t you want real debate? Why did you suggest to Pogie that he ban us? Why do you hate democracy?

      Self reflect, OK?


  3. JC says:

    “The third is to click immediately away from any thread in which JC shares a self-indulgent anectdote [sic].”

    If anybody knows anything about “self-indulgent anectdotes”, It’s Kailey. I’m amazed it took him this long to realize he should “click immediately away” from threads I comment in.

    I learned my lesson years ago that life was a lot simpler if I just didn’t ever comment on any of his threads. Ever since I accused him of not having a clue about wolf management and politics, he hasn’t been able to overcome having his diapers changed in public and put it behind him.

    Oh, I guess I just posted another “self-indulgent anectdote”. Hopefully Kailey will “click immediately away.” More likely he’ll pick up some meaningless dead horse to beat.

    And about the “this” is that Kailey thinks we need to accept as his “fact” that we need to “accept?” I’m eminently proud that he acknowledges that I have a different world view than him. I wouldn’t have it any other way!


    • The passive-aggressive nature of the attack is off-putting, but that is how some people learn to communicate, a product of their home environment. There’s also the matter of attempts at personal improvement, where removal of a compensating behavior without dealing with underlying issues means that the issues will still haunt him. He was very angry when he wrote that piece, steaming mad as I saw it. He’s not self reflecting, but projecting on us. I wonder why Lizard was spared.


      • Rob Kailey says:

        Perhaps because he actually has a some vision beyond his personal outrage. I attribute that to his youth, and good on him.

        I must admit to chuckling every time the eviro-progressives bring up their vaunted knowledge of ‘wolf-management’, though. They know so very much, but couldn’t see that endless lawsuits, accusation and denial would have exactly the effect it had. Of course when the inevitable did occur, it’s everybody else’s fault; they remain alone and stalwart comforted by how much they know of what should happen, and never will. It’s funny to me because for all my ignorance, I saw it coming. See, it’s that pesky little Democracy thing none of us outside the club understand anything about, best summed up as ‘we’re all in this together’.


        • It refer to this attitude as “body snatching,” wherein Democrats become right-wingers, adopting the rhetoric of the right wing, the goals of the right wing, but living in the corpse of the old party. Lawsuits are how democracies function when political agencies are so corrupt that they ignore the law. Of course the money behind the politicians wanted the lawsuits stopped, now!, and that became the rhetoric you adopted too, unknowingly becoming the other side.


          • Steve W says:

            Rob has always been in favor of tort reform, just like almost all of the Republicans and the Republican Democrats.

            He’s just another idiot who isn’t much of a writer, as seen by his prodigious lack of output. He has nothing particularly interesting or informative to say. . All he publishes is corn pone opinion.

            That Rob is here, writing to you (Mark) and to JC, is hilarious. It’s as bizarre and comical as when Pogie starts blowing wind over at 4&20.

            I love it when people write about their personal insight and then go and completely disregard that insight It shows me what their insight is worth.

            Pogie took the 4&20 link off his page because he wanted to publicly ostracize 4&20. yet what they are writing is apparently important and salient enough for him to want to go over to their blog and read and respond to it.

            “Don’t respond to them!” is what Rob says but it sure isn’t what he does, either.

            ‘You can’t tell by what they’re saying,
            It’s real clear by what they do.” – Michael Bloomfield

            It’s real clear that neither Pogie nor Rob follow their own advice. So why would anyone else?


  4. Abe Froman says:

    Its nice to see you and Rob arguing again. You were getting a little too friendly for my tastes for a while there.


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