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    PhysicistDave
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    Lorel,

    Well, if you bother to look back at the thread, I think you will see that I simply responded to posts directed directly to me and, indeed, posts that rather bizarrely insulted me! I did not insult others, and, in fact, I continued to say nice things about them. No one has apologized to me, and I have been too polite to request an apology or to feign being a victim.

    Indeed, I refrained from responding to some of incogneato's later posts since her hostility was so bizarre as to border on... well, let us just say it was not easily explained.

    I realize that there is an ethos in our society that says that if you happen to disagree with what someone else has said, you can simply say that they have �hurt your feelings,� and then they are supposed to apologize rather than continue to espouse their position. I consider this a slimy, unethical, despicable, and abhorrent form of behavior, and I refuse to be an "enabler" for that form of behavior.

    Frankly, it is I, not Kriston, and most certainly not incogneato (!), who has been gratuitously and shamefully insulted here. I do not think that the fact that Kriston chose to whine about her feelings, and that I have not chosen to whine about my feelings, means that I should be the one to offer an apology.

    I think you and I have a fundamental and profound ethical disagreement here. I do not, to take an example from current events, think that Jeremiah Wright should apologize publicly for telling the truth about some things that do indeed "offend" many Americans. I have no doubt that many of our fellow citizens truly are hurt �emotionally� by Rev. Wright�s words. However, what Wright was talking about was the fact that many of our fellow citizens have condoned large-scale mass murder. That they expect Wright (!) (and Wright�s friend Sem. Obama) to apologize rather than recognizing the evil in which they themselves are participating and apologizing themselves for their participation is absolutely, morally bizarre.

    Obviously, Wright is addressing issues of somewhat greater import than the issues Kriston and I were discussing � although, what I was in fact pointing out was the manner in which Americans raise our children that does result in their succumbing to the sort of profound evil as adults that Wright was addressing. The two issues are indeed closely linked.

    Since you and I are speaking frankly, morally, I think the position you adhere to is abominably evil. The slaveholders in the Old South espoused precisely the same position: those d*!~ Yankees just should not be so insensitive as to insult the South by criticizing slavery! The �slavocracy� suffered from even greater �defensivesness,� to use Kriston�s term, than Kriston herself.

    It saddens me that you hold this evil view, but it does not surprise me -- as I said, it is very widespread in our society. I am married into an East Asian immigrant family and I have good friends from across Asia. Again since we are speaking frankly, this attitude, which you espouse, on the part of Americans is a major part of what causes the rest of the world to have contempt for Americans. That Americans can engage in boorish and insensitive (and, on a geopolitical scale, outright mass-murderous!) behavior such as you, Kriston, and incogneato have demonstrated here is viewed by much of the rest of the world with utter astonishment. For six-and-a-half years now, Americans have wallowed in self-pity over the deaths from 9/11, while being stunningly insensitive to the far greater suffering and death they have wreaked on Iraq, the Palestinians, etc.

    To call this �infantile� behavior would be insulting to infants.

    I would not have written this so frankly except that you yourself chose, as you said, to be quite blunt.

    I do not anticipate for a moment that you, Kriston, or incogneato will ever apologize for your rude, insensitive, and boorish behavior, and indeed I do not request such an apology. I consider my interaction with the three of you simply an enlightening (if rather unpleasant) experience that helps me to understand the larger point that Jeremiah Wright, and so many people abroad, are making about Americans such as yourself.

    I do think that my one mistake here was that I was too passive, restrained, and polite in dealing with Kriston, incogneato, and yourself. I will not make that mistake again.

    Incidentally, I think you need to seriously consider the possiblity that your son�s �Asperger�s� is simply a sign that he is morally superior to yourself and unwilling to engage in the systematic lies that contemporary Americans consider a part of �psychologically normal� behavior. There is an amusing, but ultimately very serious, website ( http://isnt.autistics.org/ ) that makes this point more clearly than I could. Again, since we are, as you chose to say, speaking bluntly and since you brought the matter up, I pity him having you as a mother.

    Thanks for your frank comments and I hope you appreciate my reciprocal frankness and openness.

    Incidentally, I still like you, Kriston, and incogneato, and wish you all well. But I do concur with you that sometimes blunt discussion serves useful purposes. In particular, I hope that you can achieve a more tolerant perspective for the sake of your son: your comparing me to your son in a negative way was not only insulting to me, it was stunningly, unbelievably degrading treatment of your own son. Shame! I truly feel for him.

    All the best,

    Dave

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    Dave, I feel the need to vouch for my friends here. Kriston, Incogneato and Lorel are not abominably evil. You are taking this too far.

    Sometimes it is difficult to discern the tone of other people's posts, particularly people you haven't been interacting with for very long.

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    PhysicistDave
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    cathy,

    I do not think I said they were "abominably evil," did I? If they ever calm down (which I rather doubt, they do not seem to be that sort of people), I would be happy to exchange posts with them in the future, learn from their experiences, etc. Simply because I finally spoke frankly to them, after their repeated frank and insulting posts to me, does not mean that I hate or despise them. Quite the contrary, in fact: I like almost all of the people that I meet, and I still rather like these three women, although I do not much like their recent behavior.

    Each of them did behave in a remarkably insulting and rude way towards me, even though I had in no way insulted or attacked them. Incogneato, specifically, launched into vicious personal attacks on me when she had not even been part of the conversation at all.

    By normal standards of human behavior, all three surely owe me an apology. I do not demand (or expect) such an apology, of course, but even those us of who do not constantly whine about our feelings, do, after all, have feelings.

    Furthermore, all three of these kind women lectured on me on how I should behave � even though it was they who were throwing around the insults! � and I refrained for a long time from lecturing them on their ill manners.

    Please note that I said nothing critical about Lorel at all until she chose to, in her own words, offer some very �blunt� criticism of me. However, since she did feel the need to be so �blunt� in addressing me, I felt I finally had an obligation to speak my opinions frankly and openly. I felt this particularly strongly because of her execrable sliming of her own son � implying that there was something wrong with me because I reminded her of her son!

    I am indeed deeply, profoundly, and unspeakably offended by this, not so much because of any insult to me, but more because of the horrifying attitude it reveals that she holds towards her own son! Yes, it may be difficult for me to forgive her for that. She should be profoundly ashamed.

    I have spoken elsewhere on this board about a friend of mine in college who started graduate school in mathematics at age 15: he was the Terence Tao of my generation. He was not only stunningly brilliant, he was also an amazingly nice guy, far more compassionate and sensitive to other�s feelings than most �normal� people I know. Like Lorel�s son, he would surely have been labeled �Asperger�s� had people back then been inclined to do such labeling.

    Yes, that behavior by Lorel does outrage me and offend me very deeply. I think it is evil.

    But, no, that does not mean I am labelling Lorel �evil.� As historical experience indicates, it is far too easy for basically decent people to slip into evil, when that evil is endorsed by the group of which they are members. That was the larger issue I was trying to discuss vis a vis socialization with Kriston, before Kriston chose to become verbally abusive.

    Are Lorel, Kriston, and incogneato, to use your words, �abominably evil�? No, I do not think they are, and I do not believe that I said they were. I do think they have let themselves be drawn into some unethical patterns of behavior that are, sadly, all too widespread in our society. And those patterns of behavior not only have negative effects for personal interaction, as they have so clearly shown in their insulting treatment of me, those patterns of behavior have also enabled Americans to engage in mass murder around the world.

    These three women have gratuitously and viciously insulted me for no legitimate reason. In response, I have repeatedly said that I sincerely wish all three of them all the best; they sincerely have my good wishes. I have been more than willing to �turn the other cheek.� I do not demand nor expect an apology, nor do I think nor claim that they are �evil.�

    I do think, though, that in response to their behavior, I am entitled to express my own thoughts and feelings about their behavior. Do you think I was obligated to simply remain silent forever in the face of their nasty viciousness?

    All the best,

    Dave

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    Dave, I agree with Cathy A.

    At first, I really enjoyed your posts. At this point they are just getting tiresome.

    Please don't respont with another long winded post...At one point you just need to let it go. At this point I am starting to feel sorry for you kids. What happens in that house if one of them disagrees with you? Do they get the same treatment Kriston, Incogneato and Lorel have received? Perhaps in your case HS can be harmful. They need to be able to talk to other people that are not as intense as you are on your views. How can they possibly develop their on views about the world around them with such sophocating influence?

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    Originally Posted by PhysicistDave
    Lorel,
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    .
    .
    Since you and I are speaking frankly, morally, I think the position you adhere to is abominably evil.

    I think that when you accuse someone of adhering to an abominably evil postion, it is splitting hairs to say that you are not accusing them of "being evil".

    At the very least, can't you see how others would interpret your post this way?

    Last edited by Cathy A; 03/21/08 04:35 PM.
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    Ann Offline
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    Last edited by Ann; 03/21/08 09:00 PM. Reason: ... ...
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    acs Offline
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    Perhaps I could make a little suggestion.

    It seems that some have found this thread to be amusing and enlightening.

    Others have found it somewhat unpleasant.

    I believe that some who have found it unpleasant have already stepped away, looking for a nicer place to play. I would now encourage others to do the same if they would like to. We do not need to waste our breath defending our fellow parents or ourselves; I think they already understand that this is not personal, but just a rough game.

    Last edited by acs; 03/21/08 04:15 PM.
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    For those who may be interested:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/beyond+reproach

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    PhysicistDave
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    Cathy,

    Quite right.

    If Ann and Dottie meant the phrase in its correct meaning, and were actually expressing sympathy for me, I will sincerely (and most ruefully, I assure you!) apologize to them. I can only say that it is a bit disconcerting being on the receiving end of so much verbal abuse preceding their posts.

    From the tone of their posts, it appeared to me that they were not using the phrase in its correct meaning and were intending to criticize me.

    Again, if I was indeed mistaken (as I clearly was in terms of the correct meaning!) and wrongly interpreted supportive comments as abusive comments, I hope they will so inform me and I will most sincerely apologize.

    Thank you a great deal for pointing this out. It is always a good thing when an unnecessary conflict can be avoided. Frankly, I have had enough of being attacked. I really do hope that I was wrong in those two cases, and that two of the �attacks� were not attacks at all.

    Unfortunately, I am not too optimistic that they intended the phrase in its correct meaning, but we shall see.

    All the best,

    Dave

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    Dave,

    I sincerely believe that the people here did not set out to attack you. I have been participating in this forum for almost a year now, and I have not seen any evidence that they are bullies.

    I am sorry that you feel you are being attacked. I think that your posting style is not what we are used to here and that you are not used to our posting style. It really appears to me that you are talking at cross-purposes to others here.

    I don't think this conflict is the result of an attempt to force you to conform to this social group, rather it is simply a failure to communicate the tone and feeling of our posts to you. It is as if we are speaking different languages. I hope I am speaking your language now and that it is clear that I am attempting to find a resolution.

    Cathy

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