Over on the Garden City Press, they have a unique way to end a comment thread that has over-stayed its welcome. Apparently, once the length of the comments, counted in characters posted, hits 5258671, the server crashes. When this happens we see this:
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 26214400 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 5258671 bytes) in runtime.php on line 736
I did email their “webmaster” and suggested that they up the memory limit but received no response. It’s really not that difficult as one only has to open the php.ini file, find the line that currently says(For the uneducated, the current 25M refers to 25 megabytes which is actually 26,214,400 bytes, the number which shows in the error message.)
memory_limit = 25M
and up it to something like
memory_limit = 50M
All that techie stuff is amusing but the real point is that in the currently crashed thread, Climate change: Do we trust science or doubters?, what had obvious overrun its content were the volumes of “references” posted by Team Cato/Greenland. In true apologist style, they figure that if one cannot win with the facts, then one should deluge the competition with data that they will never take the time to refute and then declare themselves the winners.
In that climate change thread, the deniers, even though given the opportunity, avoided addressing the title topic, which had to do with why science can be trustworthy. The deniers did nothing more than make the case that the original letter writers stated “They exaggerate the uncertainty inherent in science, while giving far less reliable information sources a free ride.”
On the upside, it appears that Team Cato/Greenland2/Hakon is now just Team Cato/Greenland2. Poor Hakon was getting his rear end handed to him over his claims of dowsing and the ability to cloak himself so he is invisible to motion sensors. He hasn’t posted since October 29, 2013, at least under that handle.
Hakon was also trying to make a case for “credibility” attached to various commenters online, inferring that he has more than others. I, of course, took him to task on that mistaken notion and, in passing, mentioned that I’d been online doing one form of discussion or another for over 3 decades. He hopped right on that and tried to say that online forums haven’t existed for that long. I showed when the dial-up BBS world began and how that fit into that time frame and he went sputtering away, probably turning on his “Cloak of Invisibility” and forgetting where the off switch was.
I originally posted this to the Missoulian but decided I needed to share, and archive, it here since it does continue the issue brought up many times and covered in “Will the real bigot please stand up.”
We have some commenters on the Missoulian who are cut from the same cloth as those we previously encountered on the Billings Gazette who avoid discussion of the issue(s) and get off labeling others as “bigots” in a lame attempt to end the discourse. In this case, we have Cato (AKA: a Sancho Panza in search of a Don Quixote), who is the most egregious offender, who says he is on some kind of mission against bigotry and is supposedly defending those victimized by bigotry. How someone in an anonymous online forum can victimize someone else has not been made clear.
Here’s my view:
To review, we have someone, Cato, who says his mission is “opposition to bigotry” which he defines as “attacking what people believe rather that the tangible horror of the acts that they commit daily.”
Hmmm, apparently, for Cato, his definition only applies when the “victim” is of a certain religious persuasion. Cato doesn’t have a problem practicing bigotry when the subject is politics. Here’s a few of his greatest misses:
“Is it because, fundamentally, nut cases belong to the same religion, and share the co-religionist’s customary hostility to those who do baptism differently?”
“No, it’s imaginary influence is flourishing today among Left wing nut cases.”
“Seriously, quoting “thinkprogress,” a notoriously deranged left-wing site that sees “vast right wing conspiracies” everywhere, while greedily sucking up Left wing dollars and promoting vast Left wing conspiracies?”
And that is just the short list. We see in those examples, clear attacks on what people believe, which clearly meets his own, albeit misguided, definition of “bigotry.”
Go to any political thread on this site and search for the word “bigot” and it rarely, if ever, shows up. However, go to a religious-themed thread and count the number of times Cato (or the other versions of Cato) use the term. On this thread, with 240-some comments, he/they use the word 26 times. Over on the “GOP: Tea party a form of assisted suicide” thread, with 117 comments, the word does not appear at all, even though “what people believe” is roundly given the once over.
The point is that the misuse of the word is illustrative of the now-defunct societal taboo against criticizing religion. It is that same taboo that gave us the now-unConstitutional anti-blasphemy laws (still on the books of 7 states), just another example of Christian Privilege, and it is the diminishment of that privilege that riles zealots and causes them to attack, with pejorative labels, those who challenge that privilege.
With Cato, it is quite clear that he is a “believer” and what thinks of non-believers:
“…we do know what atheists do when bereft of moral compass, when Man becomes the God they seek to replace.”
This is right out of The Playbook for Apologists and Zealots which claims that atheists are inherently immoral because one cannot be moral without God’s rule book. That is a pretty strong position to take considering there are major cultures in our world who DO NOT believe in Cato’s God. A statement like that, according to Cato himself, is a
“self-aggrandizing view of his own moral superiority; the sure indicator of a bigot.”
In what has to be one of the lamest acts of desperation, in the now defunk and sometimes-unavailable comment thread under “Ed Chaberek: Rhetoric skips history, facts,” poor little serial commenter Sancho Panza, who’s had his rear end repeatedly caned with the Logic Stick, claimed that AE is guilty on online criminal activity.
When faced with facts, reality, and logic, in the face of his indefensible position, his favorite come-back is to call someone a “bigot.” I have, of course, reference my well-written and bullet-proof explanation of why that label is misused (“Will the real bigot please stand up“), but that bit rational thought has not deterred Sancho from claiming otherwise. Here’s his rant:
From September 10, 2013
According to Merriam-Webster, “a bigot is a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”
As a matter of law, heavy metal fans and Walmart shoppers are not protected classes; however, discriminatory conduct, which includes public communications of bigotry, are, in fact, prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Religious beliefs are included in that protection.
These protections have evolved further by the enactment of “hate crimes.” “A hate crime or bias motivated crime occurs when the perpetrator of the crime intentionally selects the victim because of his or her membership in a certain group.” Stotzer, R.: “Comparison of Hate Crime Rates Across Protected and Unprotected Groups”, Williams Institute, 2007–06.
These are read in conjunction laws regarding criminal libel. Libel is posting false information about someone that defames them, commonly accusations of criminal acts or dishonesty among a list of other things. An effort to subject a victim of such attacks in order to damage their reputation in the community is libel.
Is libel a hate crime when directed toward a protected class such as religious belief and intended to accuse them of dishonesty or fraud?
Those are the laws of a secular society.
It is obvious that these three have no respect for secular laws, as they attack religion. This isn’t about being “secular” or noble; this is good old fashioned bigotry, skirting perilously close to violations of the Civil Rights of 1964 as well as hate crime legislation, and even criminal libel.
Are these people disgusting?
The secular law in place pretty much says “yet.”
Cato, I challenge (AKA “bash” or “attack”) ideas, not people, therefore your tirade does not apply. Note it refers to “members of a group.”
You might also consider how ridiculous it is saying that what someone says here about another commenter can be “criminal libel” or a “hate crime” when we are all anonymous. A reputation in the online community on anonymity has no value. Your grasping.
If you “feel” that you’ve been “bashed” because I have challenged something religious that you believe in, that is your problem. At least I haven’t called you a “pompass dirtbag,” a “fool,” an “idiot,” a “bigot,” or “a liar from thread to thread.” Those are personal attacks, which I notice you ignore.
Don’t give up your day job, law isn’t your forte.
As you have noticed, we aren’t dealing with intellectual giants here. Sancho, like others on this site, are better versed in creating and maintaining a flame war than they are in discussing topics of the day. If Sancho thinks that AE is guilty of criminal activity, why has he not pursued this with authorities? Why has he not pursued this with the moderators?
In light of Sancho‘s activities, I’ll share this photo. Thanks, JT
I decided to take a brief, or not so brief, break from posting here but that doesn’t mean that I have been offline. No, over at the other venue, where many of us migrated after the Billings Gazette threw in the towel on anonymous commenting, I’ve been pretty active.
(An aside regarding the Gazette…you can still post anonymously. Even on Facebook, no one knows you’re a dog.)
Yes, it didn’t take long for me, lightninsam, JustEd, and JT tobreak up the prayer circle that had been holding court there for quite a while. And, they are none too happy with our appearance.
This consortium of clowns play a game we has seen all too often and pretend as if they are originals. Instead of addressing the issue at hand, they take something someone wrote, out of context, and feed it back, over and over, calling the commenter a liar and the other standard online pejoratives in an attempt to discredit the messenger.
Yes, we have seen “bigot” and “hater,” just as might be expected, but one of the lamerz called me a “pompass dirtbag,” a “fool,” an “idiot,” and “a liar from thread to thread.” One even tried to label what I’d written as “hate speech” and “criminal libel.”
It’s nothing more than the standard responses out of desperation when they can’t mount a defense of the indefensible.
And, while they attack us for our heresy, they have made some whoppers of claims. This one, aforementioned drone, tried to tell us that he is descended from from Viking royalty and should be accorded special privileges including suggesting that we should consider him as a potential ruler. This was after he tried telling us that he is a dowser. This guy has not shielded his own real identity and a visit to his web site yielded a treasure trove of goofiness.
For one, he is selling information about how to protect assets by setting up a trust. He states “Anyone can and SHOULD have a TRUST.” This, of course, is couched in rhetoric about that evil government of ours.
I quizzed (busted) him on the fact that recent changes in the tax law negate the advantage of trusts for those with a net worth of less that $5.2 million. This caught him off-guard and he’s been trying to spin his way out of that hole. His site also has links to weird vacation packages which no one with a wit would dare click on. Then there’s the “Town Hall” site where he starts building his “patriot” campaign, however, most of the links are empty giving the site the functionality of a federal project that ran out of money. Maybe he’s been caught in his own sequestration.
The Sancho Panza of this crew is almost a perfect blend of the innocent ignorance of cowboypoet and the attempt at intellect of banglajohn. He tosses out references to logical fallacies with inaccurate abandon and attempts to cite what others have said to prove one of his theories but these fall flat and under the power of our scroll wheels.
Ultimately, this crowd really isn’t up to the task before them but they do make good foils for our pointing out the charlatans, snake oil salespeople, fraudsters, and purveyors of all things supernatural.
Right off, the answer is, “No,” but I bring this up because of the activity we’ve encountered over at the “New Place” (actual location not revealed to prevent the LyingTroll from the “Old Place” from easily finding his way there.)
On a thread that talks about “God’s Plan” and how, if we refuse to imbed this deity into our nation, we will “suffer the natural consequences” of not doing so, the comments started with a smattering of views taking on the idea that there even is a deity, if there is which one, and that religion ruins everything.
Two days, and about 60 comments, in, the first of the trolls shows up. Green…, followed by Wand…., and, finally, Ca…
I’m not going to claim that I can do an analysis of their writing styles and suggest that they are one in the same, but let’s just say they are nuts that fell off, overripe, the same tree.
Their tactic is nothing new: ad hominems. Attack the messenger and that will diffuse any irrefutable truth in their message. This is taken right out of the Christian Apologetics Handbook and certainly a technique we’ve seen practiced before.
What’s humorous is their misuse of the word “bigot” and the continual citing of “logical fallacies” where neither actual occur. They remind me of RightDog and banglajohn rolled into one but with a better vocabulary.
I’ve pointed them to the “Will the real bigot please stand up” posting I made here last fall to show that, since we nonbelievers are willing to change our minds if presented with verifiable evidence, that the word “bigot” cannot apply to us, but, like the RacistDog they continue to use it with abandon and completely ignore postings calling this fact to their attention.
I did a count of the number of times “bigot” and “logical fallacy” were used on the thread, which was around 700 total comments at the time, and broke them down by commenter and posted the results. It was quite telling and shows that a couple of the trolls are in a rut.
Another humorous occurrence, posted by Green…., was the claim that he has a doctorate degree and that gives him authority over others and we should kowtow to him. That reminded me of “paradisecouple” from the “Old Place” who demanded that we accede to his demands because he had lots of money, a big truck, and a wife with big (read:saggy) boobs.
Yes, trolls are everywhere and this bunch is no different. Time to put them on a starvation diet.
A new study by the University of Tennessee, has found that there are 6 types of atheists.
Intellectual Atheist/Agnostics (IAA)
Activist Atheist/Agnostics (AAA)
Seeker Agnostics (SA)
Ritual Atheist/Agnostics (RAA)
After reading through the descriptors, I pretty sure I have written in the voice of each of the six at one time or another.
For more, here is a piece on Raw Story: Atheism study authors: Congratulations, non-believers, you’re just like everybody else
A quick overview of the types here on CNN: Behold, the six types of atheists
And the study site itself: Non-Belief Research in the United States
My favorite quote comes from the RawStory article:
“Education, said Coleman, particularly college education had a more deleterious effect on religious belief than any other single factor.”
No wonder the zealots want to defund public education, encourage vouchers and home schooling, and, in one state, want to outlaw the teaching of critical thinking skills.