Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Rachel Buchman Loses, As Does Laptoplobbyist

Full story here. Rachel Buchman was a reporter for WHYY-FM, a public radio station which in Philadelphia, until she left this voicemail for conservative website laptoplobbyist.com :

"Hi, my name is Rachel, and my telephone number is... I wanted to tell you that you're evil, horrible people. You're awful people. You represent horrible ideas. God hates you and he wants to kill your children. You should all burn in hell. Bye."

After Buchman's ties to the radio station are uncovered, she resigns in disgrace, so I think WHYY wins.

Hat tip That Liberal Media.

But it's not over yet! I decided to check my links by surfing over to Laptoplobbyist, and they get a loss also. Top story on their page:

Braying left-wing Republican Arlen Specter -- strutting around like a peacock in a barnyard -- just ORDERED the President of the United States to nominate pro-abortion judges – or else.

Oh, come on. I disagree with Specter just as much as Laptoplobbyist, but this type of rhetoric does nothing to further the pro-life cause.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Strange Case of Steve Gardner

Powerline, in this post, points out a Chicago Sun-Times story about Steve Gardner, a shipmate and outspoken critic of John Kerry.

If the story's accusations are true, then many people have lost. Gardner was allegedly threatened, and then the threats were acted upon when he was fired from his job.

Gardner told this story and others to radio stations and he wrote a piece for the local paper. Then, he says, he received a phone call from John Hurley, the veterans organizer for Kerry's campaign. Hurley, Gardner says, asked him to come out for Kerry. He told Hurley to leave him alone and that he'd never be for Kerry. It was then Gardner says, he was threatened with, "You better watch your step. We can look into your finances."

Next, Gardner said he received a call from Douglas Brinkley, the author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. Brinkley told Gardner he was calling only to "fact check" the book -- which was already in print. "I told him that the guy in the book is not the same guy I served with. I told him Kerry was a coward. He would patrol the middle of the river. The canals were dangerous. He wouldn't go there unless he had another boat pushing him."

Days later, Brinkley called again, warning Gardner to expect some calls. It seems Brinkley had used the "fact checking" conversation to write an inflammatory article about Gardner for Time.com. The article, implying that Gardner was politically motivated, appeared under the headline "The 10th Brother."

Twenty-four hours later, Gardner got an e-mail from his company, Millennium Information Services, informing him that his services would no longer be necessary. He was laid off in an e-mail -- by the same man who only days before had congratulated him for his exemplary work in a territory which covered North and South Carolina. The e-mail stated that his position was being eliminated. Since then, he's seen the company advertising for his old position. Gardner doesn't have the money to sue to get the job back.

Let's see. Gardner admits that "I told [Brinkley] Kerry was a coward." Is this a loss? Maybe not, but in an effort to avoid bias, we'll chalk it up as one.

John Hurley, veterans organizer for Kerry's campaign, allegedly tells Gardner, "You better watch your step. We can look into your finances." That's definitely a loss.

Douglas Brinkley, Kerry biographer, interviews Gardner and then writes an inflammatory story implying that he's politically motivated. Let me see if I can find the story via Google or Time.com . . . Ah, here it is. Well, make your own decision, but I'm going to give Brinkley a loss when he prefaces his interview with Gardner with the following caveats:

...PCF-44’s Jim Wasser telephoned me last week with the news that Gardner had “rung him up out-of-the-blue” to discuss their shared days together in Vietnam. “It was great” Wasser told me. “You know he fought bravely in Vietnam. He is still a brother. I miss him. I would like to see him.” He then hesitated and went on. “But he has developed a strange, negative assessment of Lieutenant Kerry. It shocked me. His memory is dead wrong. He remembers things so differently.… He has some kind of weird grudge against Lieutenant Kerry.”

This was unexpected news. In Tour of Duty I portrayed the crew of PCF-44 as a true Band of Brothers—it turns out they were a Band of Brothers minus one. A disappointed Wasser gave me Gardner’s telephone numbers, reminding me that PCF-44 gunner’s mate was nicknamed “The Wild Man” by his crewmates for his hair-trigger penchant for firing M-60s into the mangrove thicket. “Let me know what you find out,” Wasser told me. “I’m having trouble understanding where he’s coming from.”

After interviewing Gardner for over an hour it essentially boils down to one word: politics. A strong supporter of President George W. Bush, Gardner is sickened by the idea of Kerry as president. “Anybody but Kerry,” he says. “I know what a disaster he’d be.” So what brought Gardner out in the open? The answer turns out to be Rush Limbaugh’s talk show.

Lastly comes Gardner's employer, Millennium Information Services. If the Sun-Times' implication is true that the company fired Gardner for speaking out against Kerry, they get a loss also. Bullying doesn't help anyone in the long run.

UPDATE: Millennium is fighting back, denying the Sun-Times' version of the story. Their response is here. Hat tip Instapundit.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Linda Ronstadt Loses

The singer once again speaks her mind on politics:

Don't get her started on the recent presidential election. "People don't realize that by voting Republican, they voted against themselves," she says. Of Iraq in particular, she adds, "I worry that some people are entertained by the idea of this war. They don't know anything about the Iraqis, but they're angry and frustrated in their own lives. It's like Germany, before Hitler took over. The economy was bad and people felt kicked around. They looked for a scapegoat. Now we've got a new bunch of Hitlers."

Go ahead, Linda, and smear one half of the electorate. But in doing so, you lose.

Hat tip One Hand Clapping.

On a side note -- I'm getting a little tired of doing all these posts pointing out members of the left. Does anyone have good examples from the right side of the political spectrum? I'm always looking for suggestions -- post them up right here in the open suggestion thread..

The Washington Post Wins

I mentioned Ted Rall a little while ago, pointing out a recent example of his losing. Well, I guess the Washington Post wins, because they just dropped his editorial cartoon.

Rall said he thinks the site dropped his work because of a Nov. 4 cartoon he did showing a drooling, mentally handicapped student taking over a classroom. "The idea was to draw an analogy to the electorate -- in essence, the idiots are now running the country," he told E&P.

Japan's MIC Loses

Japan muzzles a network security expert attempting to lecture on weaknesses in the national online citizen registry network.

Ejovi Nuwere, chief technology officer of SecurityLab Technologies, was scheduled to give a presentation on security issues related to Juki Net at the PacSec.JP/core04 security conference in Tokyo on Nov. 12.

Instead, just 30 minutes before he was scheduled to go on stage, Nuwere cancelled his talk after officials from Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) demanded that he remove a slide from his presentation that outlined his conclusions about the security of Juki Net.

"They have this mentality that if no one knows there is a problem, there is no problem," Nuwere said.

Juki Net is a national network of databases that contain the names and personal details of nearly every person residing in Japan. It has been surrounded by controversy, particularly over security concerns, since even before its launch in 2003.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Eschaton Loses

Duncan Black loses by denigrating Rumsfeld, Andy Card, the Democrats, a few other people, and -- oh yeah -- Iranian protestors. It's pretty mild stuff, though, compared to many of the other losses on here.

Spain Loses Again!

No sooner do I publish the previous post than this comes across SharpReader:

MADRID, Spain - Fans taunted black players on England's team Wednesday night during Spain's 1-0 victory in an exhibition game.

Fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium made monkey sounds whenever Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole had the ball.

Oleiros Loses

From the small northern Spanish town of Oleiros comes this:

English translation: "Let's stop the animal!!! Sharon the assassin, stop the neo-Nazis". Story here. Note to Mayor Angel Garcia Seoane: calling the leader of the world's only Jewish nation a neo-Nazi is not only ridiculous and offensive, it also breaks Godwin's Law.

Hat tip LGF.

Racism from Political Cartoonists

Democracy Project finds a bunch of racism in recent political cartoons here.

A couple of the more egregious examples:

Hat tip Instapundit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

German Imam Loses

Looks like Europeans may start waking up to the threat of radical Islam. Story here, and here's the money quote that brings the article under purview of this blog:

"These Germans, these atheists, these Europeans don't shave under their arms and their sweat collects under their hair with a revolting smell and they stink," said the preacher at the Mevlana Mosque in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, in the film made by Germany's ZDF public TV, adding: "Hell lives for the infidels! Down with all democracies and all democrats!"

BTW, hat tip LGF.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Ted Rall Loses

No, not in one of his cartoons. This loss comes in his latest Op/Ed, titled "Confessions of a Cultural Elitist", carried by UPI and viewable here on Yahoo!


Firstly, living in the sticks doesn't make you more American. Rural, urban or suburban--they're irrelevant. San Francisco's predominantly gay Castro district is every bit as red, white and blue as the Texas panhandle. But if militant Christianist Republicans from inland backwaters believe that secular liberal Democrats from the big coastal cities look upon them with disdain, there's a reason. We do, and all the more so after this election.


Maps showing Kerry's blue states appended to the "United States of Canada" separated from Bush's red "Jesusland" are circulating by email. Though there is a religious component to the election results, the biggest red-blue divide is intellectual. "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" asked the headline of the Daily Mirror in Great Britain, and the underlying assumption is undeniable. By any objective standard, you had to be spectacularly stupid to support Bush.


Would Bush's supporters have voted for him even if they had known he was a serial liar? Perhaps their hatred of homosexuals and slutty abortion vixens would have prompted them to make the same choice--an idiotic perversion of priorities. As things stand, they cast their ballots relying on assumptions that were demonstrably false.

Educational achievement doesn't necessarily equal intelligence. After all, Bush holds a Harvard MBA. Still, it bears noting that Democrats are better educated than Republicans. You are 25 percent more likely to hold a college degree if you live in the Democratic northeast than in the red state south. Blue state voters are 25 percent more likely, therefore, to understand the historical and cultural ramifications of Bush's brand of bull-in-a-china-shop foreign policy.


So our guy lost the election. Why shouldn't those of us on the coasts feel superior? We eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what's going on in the world. If you voted for Bush, we accept that we have to share the country with you. We're adjusting to the possibility that there may be more of you than there are of us. But don't demand our respect. You lost it on November 2.

Generalization, insults to intelligence, and claims of superiority are not friends of logic, Ted.

Carole Simpson Loses

ABC News national correspondent Carole Simpson continues the Republicans/slavery meme on CSPAN's Meet the Press. You can see it here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Northern Loser

Via Instapundit. This guy loses big time. WARNING: Extensive use of obscenities in link!

Jonah Goldberg Loses

In his latest article, Jonah Goldberg's subject matter matches closely with this blog's focus. He hits on some of the same targets I've already mentioned, as well as many others including Jane Smiley, Paul Krugman, and Bill Maher. These people do definitely lose. Jane Smiley, in an article subtitled "The unteachable ignorance of the red states", writes:

Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it.

Next, they tell you that you are the best of a bad lot (humans, that is) and that as bad as you are, if you stick with them, you are among the chosen. This is flattering and reassuring, and also encourages you to imagine the terrible fates of those you envy and resent. American politicians ALWAYS operate by a similar sort of flattery, and so Americans are never induced to question themselves. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter—he asked Americans to take responsibility for their profligate ways, and promptly lost to Ronald Reagan, who told them once again that they could do anything they wanted. The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.

Third, and most important, when life grows difficult or fearsome, they (politicians, preachers, pundits) encourage you to cling to your ignorance with even more fervor. But by this time you don't need much encouragement—you've put all your eggs into the ignorance basket, and really, some kind of miraculous fruition (preferably accompanied by the torment of your enemies, and the ignorant always have plenty of enemies) is your only hope. If you are sufficiently ignorant, you won't even know how dangerous your policies are until they have destroyed you, and then you can always blame others.

The whole article reads that way. And this comes after some accusations that leave me scratching my head: she talks about "classic Republican feelings of superiority", and then in the next sentence talks about how the 'red state' vs 'blue state' divide can be traced back to the Civil War era, when blue-staters opposed slavery while red-staters defended it. Last I checked, the Democratic party was the party of slavery, while the Republican Party began as a single-issue third party, the single issue being the abolition of slavery. If the red vs blue divide began then, according to Smiley Republicans must have been the enlightened blue-staters, while Democrats werethe red-staters. Doesn't that put the lie to the "classic Republican feelings of superiority" screed?

Anyways, the title of this post is not "Jane Smiley Loses", but "Jonah Goldberg Loses". That's because, while Goldberg appropriately points out these examples of unfair and demeaning attacks, he engages in this behavior himself:

There are other complaints as well. Take the two leading liberal columnists at the New York Times, Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman. As we all know, one's a whining self-parody of a hysterical liberal who lets feminine emotion and fear defeat reason and fact in almost every column. The other used to date Michael Douglas. But both of them have been writing a string of columns insisting that the Bushies ran a campaign of "divisiveness," "primitivism," and "fear." To be fair, and to everyone's surprise, Krugman's post-drubbing column wasn't a whine-fest so much as a cri de coeur about how his whininess was justified all along. The column read like a quickly dashed-off buck-up memo about how Democrats should keep fighting. Conveniently Krugman is now going into hiding for a few months to work on an economics textbook. (Nothing like telling the troops to tough it out in the trenches as you head to the bunker.) Thank goodness Dowd has picked up the slack. Her columns of late aren't the clever highbrow snarks they once were; once she knew how to sweeten the bile. Now her op-ed page real estate hits your desk like a bucket of vomit with some Body Shop potpourri sprinkled across the surface.

And later:

But even worse was [Bill] Maher's mindless righteousness about his own atheism. For years Maher has been auditioning for his Profile in Courage award by saying "brave" things about the unreality of Jesus and the silliness of religion. Every mention of religion causes a dirty smile and joyful sneer to spawn across his face. The other night he was pounding the table with great satisfaction for having the courage to be a "rational" person and hence an unbeliever — and of course the audience was applauding like so many toy monkeys.

I vehemently disagree with Dowd, Smiley, Krugman, and especially Maher, but fighting bile with bile isn't the answer. Goldberg should leave this type of attack out of his work, and instead focus on a rational deconstruction of the left's accusations, as he does later in the story:

Love, in fact, is just as silly and superstitious a concept as God (and for those who believe God is Love, this too is a distinction without a difference). Chesterton's observation that the purely rational man will not marry is just as correct today, because science has done far more damage to the ideal of love than it has done to the notion of an awesome God beyond our ken. Genes, hormones, instincts, evolution: These are the cause for the effect of love in the purely rational man's textbook. But Maher would get few applause lines from his audience of sophisticated yokels if he mocked love as a silly superstition. This is, in part, because the crowd he plays to likes the idea of love while it dislikes the idea of God; and in part because these people feel love, so they think it exists. But such is the extent of their solipsism and narcissism that they not only reject the existence of God but go so far as to mock those who do not, simply because they don't feel Him themselves. And, alas, in elite America, feelings are the only recognized foundation of metaphysics.

Monday, November 08, 2004

"Manic Moonbats on Parade"

Lots of examples of leftists losing here. But then, I have to give DiscoShaman a loss also for tarring all liberals for the actions and statements of a few.

Oh yeah, almost forgot -- hat tip The Truth Laid Bear and his new Blogosphere Daily News feature. At least, I think it's new, since I've never seen it before.

Moorewatch Loses

See the post here, and browse the website. Even though I strongly disagree with Michael Moore, it's not right to fight hatred with hatred like this:

Moore has no earthly idea how despicable he is

Take a look at the front page of his site now. It’s now a list of dead soldiers. Most of whom hated him. Most of whose families still hate him and wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire.

Amazing. The man will use anyone to make a buck and try to keep his name out there. It’s like he has no idea what a miserable failure he is as a pundit and as a human being. I don’t think he even realizes that he’s a laughingstock.

Any other examples from the right side? Please, post them in my comments thread!

Michael Moore Loses

Check out michaelmoore.com daily, and you'll always find new instances of Michael Moore losing. Here's today's example:

What does it mean? I'm not quite sure. But it's obviously meant to denigrate a huge portion of America, both in terms of geography and belief. Thanks for your opinion, Michael Moore!

"The Party That Hates America Always Loses"

Virginia Postrel has a good post about political vitriol here. Read the whole thing. She also provides a link to a column in which Maureen Dowd loses.

The Daily Mirror Loses

I posted this last week at Heroes from the Past, but it really belongs here.

Open Suggestion Thread

Come one, come all, and post blog suggestions! This is the open suggestion thread, in which you can suggest to me good examples of a politician (or anyone else) using ad hominem attacks. If the example is good, no matter from what past of the political spectrum, I'll use it with appropriate credit given and then I'll delete your comment on the post.

Political Civility

Go check out this post by Lara, a quick rant about the lack of civility in political conversation recently.

For me, it's not so much the yelling, the anger, the passion. If you can get passionate about this country's electoral process, that's a lot better than being apathetic about it :). What does bother me a lot -- and I come across it both online and in person, although luckily most of my friends are good about it -- is when someone can't understand the brute fact that the person on the other side of the political spectrum may be as intelligent and well-informed as you are. The next time I hear "They're too stupid to be allowed the right to vote", "You simply haven't looked into all the facts", "He just isn't old enough yet to have the right perspective on things", "Bush is a moron", "Kerry is an empty suit", the conversation is over. Done. And you've lost, no matter whether you're agreeing or disagreeing with me.

Political discourse needs to have as its goal two things. The first is a revelation of the facts of the matter. Perhaps the person with which you're talking/discussing/disagreeing/arguing/fighting is in reality not informed. Then don't fall back on "You don't have all the facts." Instead, present the facts, and say, "Have you considered X?" or "How does your position take into account Y?" And be prepared to show proof of X or Y, or for the purposes of the discussion you're as uninformed as your partner/opponent.

The second goal of political discourse should be an examination of assumptions. Once all the facts are out on the table, and there's still a difference of opinions, the discussion should find its way to a point where it's assumption versus assumption. For example, in discussion of abortion, my basic assumptions that inform my position include the assumptions that a human life is valuable, that viability is meaningless, that extra-marital sex is immoral, that personhood is inherent at conception, and I'm sure there are others. And eventually, if the discussion with a proponent of the pro-choice/pro-abortion position is going well, we'll be able to pinpoint the difference in assumptions -- either my opponent will admit the assumption that human life is not valuable (and yes, I've had people admit this before!), or the assumption that viability somehow makes a moral difference, or the opposite of one my other assumptions. At this point, I and my opponent must step back, take a look at our respective assumptions, and each ask ourselves, "Am I comfortable with my assumption?"

That's why I talk politics with people. It's definitely not to score points. It's not to change anybody's mind -- only two people can change your mind, and I'm not one of them. My first goal is to spread and receive information. My second goal, and the more important one in my opinion, is to get both you and me to examine our assumptions ourselves. And if I think your assumptions are wrong -- as I often will -- there's nothing more I can do to change them, after the facts are known and the assumptions are uncovered. I won't throw out some relativistic nonsense that we're both right for ourselves. One of us is right and one is wrong, but further discussion is fruitless, so let's talk about baseball.

I know I'll be comfortable with my assumptions, as long as their foundation is what it should be. And what about you? What's yours?

Crossposted at RedState and Heroes from the Past

You've Lost

Hey guys, and welcome to "You've Lost". Contrary to what you may think from reading what my first few posts will be, the title of this blog does NOT refer to Democrats having lost the 2004 American Presidential election. My next post will be a crosspost from my regular blog, Heroes from the Past, which will give you the context of the title. I'm planning to have this website populated with examples -- from both sides of the political aisle, if possible -- of people who have lost the political argument through resort to name-calling or other forms of denigration. It just so happens that the first examples will be primarily from the left. For one thing, the left are the most recent losers in terms of political power. Secondly, and closely related to this, the left's reaction to Bush's Presidential win is what has directly caused me to start this blog.

My third post will be an open suggestion thread, in which you can suggest to me good examples of a politician (or anyone else) using ad hominem attacks. If the example is good, no matter from what past of the political spectrum, I'll use it with appropriate credit given and then I'll delete your comment on the post.

Sound good? Then let's get started!