Give us our community back

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

I take off for a few days to have cataract surgery – and in my absence, this site is riven with dissention.  Harsh words are exchanged.  Steve Harvey is banned.  Romanoff shills, metastasizing like cancer cells, go beyond vilifying Senator Bennet to attacking their host, Coloradopols itself, calling for the humiliation and vilification of the very community of which they are an integral, if frequently disrespectful, part.

In the immortal words of Rodney King:

“Can’t we all just get along?”



Of course, the answer is that we can’t.  Because there really is no “we” here but, rather, as the song says,

“There ain’t no good guys. There ain’t no bad guys.  There’s only you and me and we just disagree.”

(I forgot the group that popularized that song, but to avoid the kind of plagiarism charge that BJWilson threw at Steve Harvey, let me assure our readers that the original author was Scott McInnis.)

We have even lost, temporarily at least, such estimable members of our community as Phoenix Rising – who is worn out by the crossfire of Bennet/Romanoff.  

Thus, it is time to ask, in the words of the founder of this site, Vladimir Lenin,

“What is to be done?”

(Outing alert.  Officially, the founders of this site are dead governors Alva Adams, James Peabody and Jesse McDonald, all of whom served as governor on the same day, March 17, 1905.  Alva Adams won the election, apparently because of the high premium voters placed on alphabetical order.   But soon after he took office, the legislature declared his opponent, Peabody, governor – but on the bizarre condition that he immediately resign, so that his lieutenant governor, McDonald, could be governor. Thus, Peabody served only moments as governor.  But as Dan Maes recently revealed, that story is a lie.  The real founder of this site was Lenin, who created it to promote bicycle riding, thereby delivering Colorado to that one-world hellhole, the United Nations.)

Where were we?

Oh, yes: “What is to be done?”

The answer is quite clear: “Not much.”

I have been an avid member of the on-line community since 1983, when I married my Kaypro 64k CP/M machine to a Hayes 300 baud Smartmodem.  That was long before Scott McInnis invented the Internet and received $300,000 from the Al Gore Sr. Foundation for his troubles.    We communicated on line by means of BBS systems – community “bulletin boards” where we left messages sequentially.  We were about as raucous and rude to each other then as we are now.  My greatest fear in those days was coming across a reference to homosexuality – which was certain to inspire a hundred-plus message chain as gays and gay bashers traded blows and made it very difficult for the rest of us to follow our own interests, such as finding out what the term “CP/M” meant.  

(Seriously, in those days, a lot of the message traffic was devoted to the techniques of our incompatible computer systems. Depending on which manual you read, CP/M either stood for Control Program/Monitor or Control Program for Microcomputers.   It was an 8-bit precursor to  MS Dos which is a great thing to know to impress whippersnappers like BJWilson – who wasn’t even born when I was a great on-line warrior on the 12-inch green screen of the Kaypro.)

Then as now, most but not all on-line traffic was done under what I now call a nome de blog. As far as I know, I coined that term to describe a pseudonym on a blog.  So, if Scott McInnis claims it, I’ll see him in court.

There was and is something about sitting in front of a monitor and typing anonymous messages that brings out the bold and sassy in us – and often the disrespectful.  Without the social buffer of having to look your adversary in the eye, exchanges can get out of hand.  All I can say is that modern blogs – with all the bile and vilification hurled upon them – are the closest thing today of the Jeffersonian ideal of a free press.

Journalists often quote Jefferson’s letter to Edward Carrington in 1787 that: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Yet that doesn’t mean Jefferson liked or respected the press of his day.  As his biographers note on an unsourced Internet reference, “He knew newspapers too often take advantage of their freedom and publish lies and scurrilous gossip that could only deceive and mislead the people. Jefferson himself suffered greatly under the latter kind of press during his presidency. But he was a great believer in the ultimate triumph of truth in the free marketplace of ideas, and looked to that for his final vindication.”

The Colonial press and that of the early republic is best described as a pack of rabid dogs.  Not surprisingly, many articles, including even the famous federalist papers, were published under pseudonyms.   Yet, the marketplace of ideas that these venomous and savage attacks were a part of ultimately produced our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.   It is one of the miracles of nature, as the Russian monk Grigori Rasputin noted, that a lovely flower can grow from a base of manure.

So, what is to be done?  What will it take to get our Coloradopols back, to recapture the vibrant online community that we all enjoyed just a few weeks ago.  Here are some suggestions.

1-Count on that old doctor’s remedy, tincture of time.  In a couple of days, the Bennet/Romanoff rivalry will be as irrelevant as that between Rome and Carthage.  Things will get back to normal rather quickly.  Then, of course, we can get on with the job of insulting each other along Republican/Democrat lines.  That’s actually better because the internal family fights of a primary are the most vicious.  

As the late Owen Murphy observed, in Colorado the differences within political parties are greater than the differences between them.  When that particular Murphy’s Law was written, moderates still dominated the Colorado GOP.   Today, the differences in November may be great but the personal viciousness between advocates of a given candidate is still amplified in a primary, in part because the political differences are so small.

2-Remember that we’ve been here before.  There never was a pastoral ideal when we universally treated each other with respect.  Four years ago, this site was ravaged and trashed by Holtzman shills as thoroughly as it is now beset by Romanoff shills  - and like today’s Romanoff shills, Holtzman shills attacked their host, Coloradopols, as viciously as they attacked “Both Ways Bob” Beauprez.  

The fact that there are virtually no shills for Maes or McInnis this year doesn’t reflect Republican maturity so much as a recognition that both candidates are a disaster.  Getting into that fight is like arguing whether the Titanic or the Lusitania (sister ships from the same maker, by the way) looked better as they plunged to the bottom of the Atlantic.  It can be said, however, that the warring Romanoff/Bennet factions could learn from the relative civility of the Norton/Buck partisans on this site. And two years ago, many of us blogged valiantly and hopelessly for the Fair Hillary, only to be overwhelmed by Team Obama.  The Democrats got over it and went on to win in November.

3-To the extent possible, remember the words of ColoradoPols: “Be Excellent with each other.”  (Of course, the original quote is from Scott McInnis.)  Try to avoid the endless exchange with a foe that produces the increasingly disparaging insult.  (Pause here for a hearty cry of “Physician, heal thyself!” for Voyageur has indeed often been guilty of such obsessive and excessive quests for the last word himself.  As Scott McInnis would say, “Mea Culpa.)  Remember that a former adversary can be tomorrow’s friend.   (The current respectful changes between Libertad and moiself weren’t always that polite, as oldtimers may remember.)   We all write things from time to time that we feel ashamed of in the cold light of morning.   Try to keep our disputes focused on issues, not personalities.

4-And when we or our foes go too far, remember the words of the Editorialist’s Prayer:”

Give us oh Lord, our daily idea.  And forgive us the one we had yesterday.

97 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bjwilson83 says:

    I resent the implication that I am not a shill for Maes.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Which you occasionally claim to be, in jest I hope.  There is a difference between backing a candidate and shilling for him/her.  You’ve been willing to acknowledge mistakes by

      Buck/Maes and haven’t relentlessly attack their foes or the supporters of their foes.

        Look at the difference between Wade Norris and Strykerk2/ shills to the core of their being, and JPS — a strong Romanoff man but one who doesn’t wake up in the morning with his first thought being how to vilify Bennet and those who support him.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        Do you have a date with BJ?

          • Teeter says:

            Good hygiene, nice conversation.  It’ll happen for you yet BJ.  

          • Middle of the Road says:

            in meeting with you on Wed., at least according to his reply so what does it matter if he’s a boy or girl? Just be thankful somebody likes you. And hope he pays because he strikes me as a cheapo.

            • bjwilson83 says:

              about how bad I thought the Prop. 8 decision was?

              • AristotleAristotle says:

                But don’t bother if you can’t argue it on its legal merits.

                • bjwilson83 says:

                  The will of the people was subjugated to one obviously biased judge who should have recused himself. How is this government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”? And no, gays don’t have a God-given right to “marriage”. If you want to challenge me on it, I’ll be happy to quote you the Scripture where God talks about homosexuality. That said, I have no problems with gay couples having the same legal rights as married couples; I just don’t think it should be called “marriage”.

                  • Ralphie says:

                    The decision was based on the Constitution.

                    One of the functions of the Constitution (and the judicial branch which enforces it) is to protect individuals from the tyranny of the majority.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      You’ll find it enlightening.

                      Especially the “Equal Protection” clause.

                      All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (emphasis mine)

                  • Middle of the Road says:

                    on a work of fiction to make your case, it sort of undermines your argument. Quoting from The Wizard of Oz would make your point just about as meaningful for me.

                    Rely on facts, not fiction, when you are explaining why one group of people should be denied the same rights as everyone else.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      “That said, I have no problems with gay couples having the same legal rights as married couples; I just don’t think it should be called “marriage”.”

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      in your opinion? And again, try to go with fact and leave the fictional timeless works out of it.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      You asked for both. And “fictional timeless work” is your opinion, not fact.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      but I’ve seen some of your arguments on other subjects and they tend to be light on those. Give it a shot. Dazzle me!

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      The fact is that marriage has been defined as one man and one woman for thousands of years, and the institution of marriage has led to stability in society, an optimal environment for kids to grow up in, etc. Yes, gay couples have existed since Greek and Roman times, but it was never called “marriage” to my knowledge. For one gay judge to overturn with a flick of a pen thousands of years of recorded human history and the will of the voters in California is just reprehensible. And I think, for once, Obama would agree with me on this.

                    • Teeter says:

                      Marriage has been defined many ways over the centuries.

                      Certainly over the thousands of years you speak of non-specifically there have been arranged marriages, marriages as property, polygamy–all considered the ‘norm.’  Plural marriages remain the norm in some societies.

                      If your unfounded statement is what passes for fact in your mind then I guess it would be hard to counter since reality doesn’t appear to impinge on your pre-formed, cut-and-paste, empty-headed world view.  But thanks for playing!    

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      of polygamy, marriages as property, etc. as well? After all, they deserve “equal protection” too.

                    • Teeter says:

                      Your statement was that ‘marriage has been defined as one man and one woman for thousands of years.’  

                      Proven wrong you move on, like any uniformed idiot ideologue can be expected to do.

                      But, while I do not support marriage as property, what consenting adults do, uncoerced, is not really of concern to me.  

                      So plural marriage, among consenting adults wouldn’t really bother me either.  But your argument still doesn’t hold water.

                      The issue is this–marriage is currently both a religious and a government institution, if religious then churches can define it/limit it as they see fit (again, consenting adults).  If government, then religious mores and prohibitions etc. have no place.  

                      If it is a government institution between two people, then the gender make up of that couple shouldn’t be a government concern.  

                      I understand that logic and argumentation are not your strong suit.  You have demonstrated that quite well–really your best work in actually demonstrating something I have seen, even if it is not what you set out to do.  

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      but that last paragraph sounds like him. Anyway, I do agree that marriage is a religious institution, but it is recognized by governments for tax purposes, etc. How about the government just recognizes “unions” for both gay and straight couples, and churches tack on “marriage”. Then churches could call gay marriages “unholy unions” but still recognize be ok with recognizing the legal rights.

                    • Teeter says:

                      But as long as government recognizes marriage as a civil contract between two people, of the appropriate ages, then it should be available to all such, regardless of the particular gender make up.

                      Thanks for the compliment, btw, although I do think that Mr. Harvey occasionally engages in a bit of sesquipedalianism.  

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Now to find a politician to implement it.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      The fact is that marriage has been defined as one man and one woman for thousands of years

                      And have for thousands of years.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      not gay marriage. Not that I’m in favor of polygamy either.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      as between one man and one woman, and said that it had been in place for thousands of years.

                      I called bullshit on you.

                      I’m not “condoning” or “arguing for” anything.

                      Simply calling bullshit on your definition.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      But this only strengthens the argument that marriage should involve both sexes, due to both custom and biology.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      Slavery was considered an awesome idea, too, for thousands of years. That also seems to have lost some appeal.

                      And since when do you need backup from Obama?

                    • PERA hopeful says:

                      The Old Testament has many examples of one man and lotsa women.  That seemed to be pleasing to Yahweh for a long, long time.  

                    • Teeter says:

                      If so, why do you support usury?

                      Do you enjoy bacon cheeseburgers?

                      That’s a double sin (beef/cheese AND pork).

                      Do you shave?

                      Leviticus prohibits it.

                      What about that cotton/poly shirt?

                      Yes, another Biblical sin.

                      What about slavery?

                      The Bible condones that, even sex slavery:

                      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  Exodus 21:7-11

                      Now, BJ–whatever that stands for–if you want to present an argument against the legal merits of the judge’s ruling, you have been invited repeatedly to do so.

                      If you want to argue that the judge erred because of Biblical principles, then please provide a rationale for why the other matters presented above, from the Bible, no longer apply to our modern situation.

                      If the government sanctions something, it is not a religious institution.  Churches can do what they will–they are guaranteed that freedom (within certain constraints).  If the state–i.e. government–is going to recognize marriage it should apply to all couples equally, man-woman; woman-woman; man-man.  That is what ‘equal protection’ means.  

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      I fail to see what “threat” gays face if they have a civil union instead of a marriage. I guess I just want to preserve the time-honored traditions of America such as marriage; I don’t see what’s so wrong about that. That’s why I’m a conservative and not a progressive.

                  • Teeter says:

                    Shellfish is an abomination, blended fabrics are as well.  If you rape a woman she has to marry you or you will both be stoned.

                    If a ‘straight’ judge upheld Prop 8 would that also be suspect?

                    Never mind I don’t befriend bigots.  

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      Mixing meat and dairy products on the same plate is an abomination.  Personally, however, I think if you add enough onion, at least 1/4 inch, and a few jalapenos, the meal becomes self-purifying.      

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      unlike his hero Ken Buck, he looks good in high heels!

                      Still, by supporting civil unions for gays as long as it’s not called marriage, he’s in the more liberal half of Coloradans on this issue.  Renmenber we narrowly voted down Ref I.  

                      I do hope he won’t start quoting the old testament condemning gays, however.  I’d be forced to retaliate by quoting the Old Testament as not just justifying but commanding genocide and the murder of babies.  What happened to Jerico after the walls fell down wasn’t pretty but according to the Bible, Yahweh ordered even more brutal massacres before it.  Read Judges some time when you feel like losing your lunch.

                  • AristotleAristotle says:

                    … I don’t believe in God, so I don’t believe that God “gives” rights. I think rights are struggled for. My proof? If God “gave” rights, we wouldn’t have to fight for them, would we?

                    But as I said – if you can’t challenge it on its legal merits, you shouldn’t have said anything. But since you went ahead anyway…

                    I’m sure others have stated it, but it bears repeating – rights are not subject to the will of the people. Not after 9 of the original 13 colonies ratified the Constitution, at any rate.

                    You’re probably right about one thing; marriage is largely a religious construct. As such, government should get out of it. You can go get married if the spiritual aspect is important to you, but if you want the legal benefits, get a civil union – whether you’re opposite sex or same sex. But let there be no such thing as marriage be recognized by the law.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      And “Creator” doesn’t equal “God.”

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      … that I definitely agree with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, but I believe much of the letter of it, in particular this passage, was framed this way because kings had long claimed that God gave them the right to rule, and that their power derived from God himself. If a bunch of uppity merchants across the ocean are going to challenge it, they have to use the same construct (that is, claim that it’s GOD who gives us “certain inalienable rights”), or else be on the wrong side of God. And in a religious world, who wants that?

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Who is he, the flying spaghetti monster?

                    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                      For you it’s clearly God. But for others it can be whatever they think of it as. I’m agnostic and yet I’m very comfortable with that statement – but it does not conotate God for me.

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      Give it another shot. What might this statement mean?

                      “Creator” doesn’t equal “God.”

                      I’m thinking specifically of what Thomas Jefferson and the signers meant. Why did they use the word “Creator” rather than “God?”

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      Get a civil union if you want the legal benefits.

  2. BlueSkies says:

    And, Dave Mason did “We Just Disagree,” a #12 Hot 100 hit in 1977.

  3. Barron X says:

    .

    Haven’t you seen the documentary ?

    Friend, you write pretty good.  Ever thought of trying to write professionally ?

    .

  4. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    And so, likely, will once again be most of the writers on this wonderful site.

    That was an excellent post, Voyageur. I, for one, never realized the Third Reich meant Germany.

    Sorry – I was momentarily channeling “The Producers.” What I meant to say was: I, for one, as a very unimportant and amateur contributor to this forum, will try to behave better and not personally disparage certain other contributors – even when they oh, so richly, richly deserve it.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      It was the Holy Roman Empire, which, as Scott McInnis once said, wasn’t holy, wasn’t Roman and wasn’t an empire.

        I disagree, however that you are a

      very unimportant and amateur contributor to this forum

        You’re a solid member of this online community.  And your glass is about four-tenths fuller than that of most of our contributors!

      • Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

        By the way, my moniker is from one of my favorite sayings (of many wonderful sayings) by wordsmith George W. Bush: “I think [he's] a person reflecting a half-glass-full mentality …”

  5. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I’m off to have free beer. We hit out reach goal in sales last month so work ends at 3:00 every Friday this month and the company buys beer! Oh yeah, and hourly employees (interns from C.U.) are paid for this time – so we pay them to drink beer.

  6. sloanslake says:

    many of the people posting on this site lately have embarrassed themselves including many of you who have posted on this particular diary thread.

    Seriously, some of you need to get a life.

    I would like to point out the obvious that this has to be the first year I can remember where there is hardly a single decent candidate to vote for major statewide / federal office. Almost every candidate is not just flawed, but borderline deceitful, greedy, and at the very least, untrustworthy by average everyday citizens. Don’t believe me? Go talk to your neighbors.

    Then it gets worse by all you crazy fools jumping on the interwebz and talking smack about the other candidates. Give me break. The hypocrisy on this online forum has been deafening lately. Some of you really need to chill out and listen more than you talk, and ask more questions instead of making crazy inflammatory statements. Opinions are cool, but ya’ll have jumped off the deep end lately.

    PS, I’d like to see Pols dial back on the dem leaning favoritism at least a little bit and try to be at least a tiny little bit more middle of the road like the good ole days!

    • Laughing Boy says:

      Get ‘em!!!

    • State Line says:

      Governor.

      He’s done a lot of good in Denver – other than that UN bicycle thang of course – and has a shot at being Colorado’s most effective Governor since Roy Romer.

      And I personally like Bennet for Senate. I said ‘like’, not ‘wild about’, but ‘like’. Wish I knew what he really stood for…..

      On the Republican side, actually it seems as if chaos and embarassment is the order of the day, on both the Senate and Governor side.

      As a Dem, that makes me happy in a selfish, partisan way. :)

      But in a broader public policy sense, I think the GOP has really let down Colorado’s citizenry in 2010 by not being able to offer credible candidates for either of the two topline races.

      Too bad…maybe we really DO need Basil Marceaux here to set things right.  ;)

  7. ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Besides ignore his actual campaign in favor of posting diatribes on COpols?

  8. Cutthroat says:

    I am enjoying watching the Democrats bash each other and complain.  Keep it up!

  9. MADCO says:

    What a ridiculous logarrhea  of foolishness and claptrappery.

    I knew you must have been Carthaginian and now I’m glad my Roman ancestors salted your ancestors’ farms.  

    All get along?!  All I can say to that is…Hey, you kids get off my damn lawn!

  10. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    I haven’t had time to follow this site much recently, as work is getting pretty intense.

    And yes, the B/R wars have gotten way over the top.  You nailed it with this statement:

    … the personal viciousness between advocates of a given candidate is still amplified in a primary, in part because the political differences are so small.

    And this to me explains Romanoff’s head-long dive into negative smear campaign ads.

    But I am terribly disappointed that you felt the need to make up facts in order to support your case.

    First of all, there was never a Kaypro 64 —  Commodore 64, yes. And the typical user would hook it up to a 12″ monitor.  But it didn’t run CP/M.

    The Kaypro II had a built-in 9″ monitor, thus no need for an external monitor.  If you had any personal integrity at all, you would have known that.

    Secondly, Cunard’s Lusitania was built by John Brown and Company in Scotland in 1906.  White Star’s Titanic was built in Ireland by Harland and Wolff in 1912.  Perhaps in the mental fog that passes for consciousness for you, you were thinking of Titanic’s ill-fated sister ship Britannic, or the first of the series, the Olympic.

    As it is not my wish to engage in an endless tit-for-tat about non-political topics on an expressly political blog, I suggest we continue this discourse at a place and time of your choosing, but only where strong libations are served — my treat.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      twas Lusitanhia/Britannic and Olympic.  I even have 2400 scale models of them.  

       But the Kaypro II did indeed have 64 k of memory and 9k of each 150 k disk was reserved for the CP/M operating system.  I still have one in my attic.  I think you’re right, though that the screen was just 9 inches — which still looked big compared to the 7 inch osborne that started the bundled cp/m computer craze.  There was also a Kaypro IV, which used double sided disks.  I have one of those too.

      There was even a Kaypro 10, way ahead of its time, that had a 10 megabyte hard drive.

       And, yeah, I can use a drink.   Check the weekend rant where Tim, David Thi, Moi and others are planning an after the election drunken brawl.

      • harrydobyharrydoby says:

        Covering for the boss at work this week, then it’s my real boss’s birthday ;-)

        But, still MSU aren’t you, you old coot?  Osborne 1 had a 5″ screen!  

        Back then we thought that was tiny, but yet today, people watch movies on their iPhones — are you kidding me?

      • Ralphie says:

        CP/M machine.  10-inch screen, 64K, dual floppies.

        Still have CP/M, Wordstar, etc.

        Can’t bring myself to recycle it.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          my original Kaypro 2, a later Kaypro II and a Kaypro IV.  They’re all stored in my study in my attic.   I intend to get rid of the later two and keep the original as a keepsake.  Thye difference between no computer at all and the Kaypro II was enormous.  Between the Kaypro II and my current 4 gigabyte (65,000 times as much memory, etc.) 23-inch color screen etc. is much less than no computer to the kaypro.

           I still have my Apple II, also.

          • Ralphie says:

            And I still have my Commodore 64.

            Churned out a lot of work on it, too.  Planned a $160 million program on it using Microsoft Multiplan.  Used to take 45 minutes to recalculate the spreadsheet, 3 hours to print it.  But it got done.

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