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Ms. Smith-Pace sets a bad one, but even bad examples can be beneficial.

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Below is the unedited (i.e. the innumerable grammatical and spelling errors included) response from Patricia Smith-Who-Knows-And-Worse-Does-She-Know-Who-She-Is-Pace to my submission, "When can McCain misstatements be called lies?"
"Now be respectfull Ed, what stands out the most in all your writings' is your incestuous misconception of believing that half the population in the US is racist, and to put it Very simply; I find McCain a man of character with more experience. If Obama was truly a man of character he would not be using racism as a means to win this election. The true racist's in this election are those who blame Obama's lack of experience and qualifications on racism. Those whom are trying to invoke the guilt derived from racism into voter's minds are guilty of a form of mass-deception, and it should be considered as a subtle but effective form of terrorism being used to try and win the presidency of our great nation! Terrorism. "An act of terrorism" – (i.) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion,... 18 U.S.C.A. § 3077."
The only response-worthy reaction to Ms. Whomever's (hereinafter 'W') rambling non sequiturs distils from what has been the Rightwing Rovian reaction to far too many source-driven critiques of one of their candidates or positions: attempt to distract via the insertion of stuff that has no connection whatsoever to the specific issue(s) raised. Reference to my post concerning the Arizona senator clearly demonstrates that the immediate reference to Senator Obama by W follows the Rovian script dutifully. Nothing whatsoever that is contained in W's response is to a single consonant within my "When can McCain." But then, as every consonant in "When can McCain" is documented and indisputable, the only response available is a non sequitur deflection.

It should be noted that raising a question, which I did, is not the same as suggesting it is a concluded truth. It is only that: a raised question; one which W refused to address!

(By the way, I'm not about to challenge W's definition of "terrorism" or the validity of the source of the definition because it's just plain silly, nothing about it is any more connected to anything in my post than if a physician tried to argue an element of bioethics by absurdly referencing Boyle's Law, or something equally irrelevant.)

This is sad, because there are two tragedies here.

On so many fronts, this country is facing the desperate need to set new courses in directions that are disparate from those we have been upon, and that have sent us skidding toward a horizon of precipices. The need for intelligent discussion is critical. By "intelligent" I mean that which is akin to an if-then cost-benefit analysis of a well-composed business plan. Let's look at facts and statements that can be cross-referenced and 100% within the context in which they were said or occurred. Anything less seriously diminishes us and our prospects for reaching any level of success.

That the preceding needs were missed entirely in W's confused reaction was Tragedy Number One. Tragedy Number Two is the Ann Coulterish tactic of throwing aspersions and allegations without ever including verifiable evidence that work to support the aspersion and/or allegation. (And before any attempt to cut off my legs on the assertion that Ms. Coulter does include evidence, I will stipulate to the fact that she frequently insists her books are rife with "footnotes." Sadly there are no "footnotes," there are "endnotes," which someone with her education should recognize are not the same. Additionally, way overwhelmingly, what she refers to as documentation are naught but reiteration of opinions, not the stuff that composes validation.)

I cannot decide which is the more despicable, dropping the ball with the failure to approach an issue or candidate seriously, when serious is required, or carelessly making an accusation that is both highly inflammatory and is without the first moment of evidence. That such were cheap and easy tactics that the GOP employed cannibalistically against its own, as well as against its across-the-isle opponents successfully do not remove them from the tawdry and thoroughly reprehensible.

I don't know W personally. However, via the evidence that are her responses and submissions, responses and submissions that do not reference facts and statements in full context - often in no context with anything at all - that can be cross-referenced, and that are logically en route to a persuasive conclusion, as with Ann Coulter, her submissions and responses truly are unworthy of anything beyond abject ridicule; like, what the hell is an "incestuous misconception"? Though I speak for no others, the woman is certainly unentitled to my respect; an example of the individuals and perspectives and tactics, for the reasons stated above, I plead that we turn our backs on.

More than perhaps at any other time in my six-plus decades of life, we need serious, thoughtful discussion. The stakes are enormous . . . for all of us individually and collectively, and for the planet.

- Ed Tubbs Oakland, CA

PS - Beginning Saturday, July 12, and for the ensuing three weeks, I'll be in Thousand Oaks, CA. Thus it is that that is what you'll see as my place of residence.

PPS - Of course I welcome responses, those that disagree as well as those that agree. But I've got to insist that only those retaining the courage of their convictions to include their real name and the city where they reside, exactly as they would for any letter to the editor, will be read or responded to. Now is the time for all of us to live up to the words and sentiments in our National Anthem.

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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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