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The Forgotten Side of Helen Keller

October 10, 2009
Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Last Wednesday, to great applause and accolades from the politicians and dignitaries in attendance, a bronze statue of Helen Keller was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol. “The story of Helen Keller inspires us all,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added that: “Helen Keller ignited a century marked by progress for people with disabilities.”

Most of us think we know her story:

Born in 1880, Helen Keller lost her eyesight and hearing before the age of two after contracting an illness. Shut off from the world because of her disabilities and unable to communicate even with her parents, she was doomed to lead a lonely, institutionalized existence.

Everything changed, however, when she met Annie Sullivan. Sullivan became her teacher, eventually showing her how to spell words by tapping them into her hand. She became an accomplished author and speaker, and travelled the world inspiring others everywhere she went. She lived to be 87, and Patty Duke played her in a movie.

This is, more or less, the bowdlerized version of her life that we all learned as children in school, and it is a truly remarkable story.

If you’re a socialist or a Marxist, however, you know that there’s more to the story—much more—and the Marxist reporters at Democracy Now! have taken the time to remind us of Helen Keller’s true legacy: she was, first and foremost, a radical socialist.

And they’re quite right in saying so.

In fact, she was a relentless zealot in her embrace of left-wing causes. Consider the following facts about Helen Keller:

•She was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

•She was a pacifist and a proponent of universal disarmament.

•She was the author of the essay “Why I am a Socialist.”

•She was a member of the Socialist Party and a communist sympathizer, who actively campaigned for Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene V. Debbs.

•She was an admirer of Vladimir Lenin.

•She was a personal friend and strong admirer of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the country.

•She was a strong advocate of birth control and sterilization.

•She was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a group founded in Chicago (where else?) by socialists, anarchists and radical trade unionists whose goal was “to promote worker solidarity in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the employing class.”

•She was a supporter of the eugenics movement, once declaring, in an ironic twist, that: “Our puny sentimentalism has caused us to forget that a human life is sacred only when it may be of some use to itself and to the world.”

Bet you didn’t know.

  1. P-Diddle permalink
    October 10, 2009 8:46 am

    Glad Alabama was thorough enough in their research to put her on their state quarter. Strange. Thanks for this read.

  2. October 10, 2009 10:55 am

    Thanks. I did know all this, but had forgotten.

    Keeping up with the Left is definitely a full-time job.

    • Joseph Cottrell permalink
      October 12, 2009 1:13 pm

      It’s because they just run off in all different directions, following any wacko cause or idea without any critical thinking skills. It’s like trying to follow a two-year-old around – tons of energy but no coherent plan, just whatever looks shiny and interesting at the moment.

  3. Stephen Brady permalink
    October 10, 2009 11:12 am


    When I was in High School in Chicago, back in the 1960’s, we were all forced to study her life, as part of a Freshman English course. Not one of the facts presented in the piece by Mr. Cartaginese was ever revealed to us. Not one.

    Concerning her position on eugenics, wouldn’t that have included her, also? By ascribing the sacredness of human life based solely upon its usefulness, I suspect that she also gave us a hint about her religious views. A Christian believes that every human life is sacred, whether it is “useful” or not.

    The section did yield some delightful Helen Keller jokes, like the one where Helen Keller “calls” for help, after falling into the well …

  4. Swemson permalink
    October 10, 2009 11:19 am

    What’s next ?

    Are they going to canonize Bernie Sanders ?

    • "gunner" permalink
      October 11, 2009 6:04 am

      i’d be all for “cannonizing” bernie sanders, what size cannon should we use?

      • Swemson permalink
        October 11, 2009 1:38 pm

        From your handle, I think we can trust you to choose whatever is the most appropriate… However as a former Marine, I do have an affection for my 45…

        • "gunner" permalink
          October 11, 2009 2:45 pm

          thanks mate, and semper fi, the handle comes from my old m.o.s., 0331, and the old m1919a4 browning “.30 air-cooled”. when i said “cannonizing” i was thinking of how the brits in india handled the indian sepoy mutineers, blowing them off the muzzle of a field gun.
          i share your affection for the m1911a1 .45, i’ve still got one, as well as a ka-bar and both are still in good working order.
          (u.s.m.c. 1955/59)

          • Swemson permalink
            October 11, 2009 3:49 pm

            Ooh Rah !

            Damn Gunner… you’re even older than me !

            MOS 4631 Combat Photographer, late 60’s

            Are you anywhere near LeJeune ?

            • "gunner" permalink
              October 11, 2009 3:59 pm

              no, i settled down in the only place in new england that doesn’t issue, or require “pistol permits”.

              • Swemson permalink
                October 11, 2009 4:28 pm

                Other than for that however, isn’t it pretty much a far left looney bin ?

                • betty boop permalink
                  October 12, 2009 8:19 am

                  Hey, Swemson and Gunner,

                  Thanks for your service. It’s hard to conceive how young soldiers can defend so many who so obviously did not and do not have THEIR bes tintersts at heart.

                  • Swemson permalink
                    October 12, 2009 12:09 pm

                    Well they get us while we’re young & dumb…

                    But we sure grow up pretty fast once we’re in it…

  5. LanceThruster permalink
    October 10, 2009 1:12 pm

    I’m all for examining the historical record, warts and all. Prescott Bush illegally traded with the Nazis yet that didn’t stop his bloodline in the least from getting their hands on the reins of power. Members of some of the wealthiest families/corporations in America tried to engineer a coup against FDR with the help of much decorated Marine officer Smedley Butler (who alerted the WH). The matter was allowed to just fade away with no consequences of note. One player (Goldman Sachs) has since been successful in helping bring down the country from within.

    • October 10, 2009 1:16 pm

      This comment is in violation of commenting guideline #5

      • Swemson permalink
        October 10, 2009 3:14 pm

        Hey David;

        He doesn’t give a damn about your rules…

        Look at his avatar’s left hand… HE’S GIVING US ALL THE FINGER….!

        • October 10, 2009 3:41 pm

          Yeah, another one of our regulars pointed that out to me. If it was Thruster himself giving us the finger then I’d probably tell him to remove the avatar if he wants to continue commenting, but I think the little image is kind of cute and amusing. At least there’s something to smile about from his posts.

          • Swemson permalink
            October 10, 2009 4:08 pm

            OY !

            For someone living in a world bent on self destruction, you have a revolting tendency to see something good in everyone, don’t you… ?

            Oh well…

            They say that in order to have a really good friend, one must allow that person at least one major flaw….

            I guess this is yours good buddy !

            • October 10, 2009 4:18 pm

              Well that’s one of the best backhanded compliments I’ve ever gotten. Thanks Swemson.

              One of the things about we Gen-Ys that you’ll have to get used to is that a lot of us have this generally optimistic disposition toward things.

              • Swemson permalink
                October 10, 2009 6:09 pm

                I don’t worry about it David…

                You’ll grow up eventually 🙂

                • October 10, 2009 6:22 pm

                  Too bad there isn’t a “rolls eyes” emoticon.

                  • Swemson permalink
                    October 10, 2009 8:35 pm

                    You don’t need one me boy…

                    I knew what you were thinking !

    • LanceThruster permalink
      October 11, 2009 8:48 pm

      Sorry David, I considered it “on topic” (still do in fact) for a couple of reasons.

      The topic was on Helen Keller’s politics and how that is handled in the historical record. Democracy Now! mentions it, and it is “proof” of their communistic agenda. NEWSREAL mentions it pointing out that Democracy Now! mentions it, and that is OK. Her other political associations are also listed to further establish her unworthiness for inclusion of her statue on Capitol Hill.

      My comment shows that there is #1 ) also a backstory to a key founding member of a particular Republican family dynasty that goes largely unknown , and #2) that there were political associations that were also deplorable (Prescott’s dealing with the Nazis and the industrial titans trying to bring about a coup because they felt FDR was heading us towards socialism and they liked the fascist business model).

      Helen Keller got a statue, got applauded, had her socialism highlighted by a media outlet in a non-derisive way, and NEWSREAL felt that worthy of questioning the appropriateness. She was certainly free to hold whatever political views she had, and certainly invested her own energies to bring about positive change for people with disabilities as well as the country itself in that they could benefit from the contributions and productivity from those with special needs that might have otherwise been lost) . David Horowitz can be forgiven his left wing leanings because he renounced them. Right or wrong, Helen Keller felt there was value in her political views so she continued to hold them.

      Prescott Bush got two of his family members in control of the entire country as well as its spying operations (greatly expanded with Bush Jr. – and against US citizens no less). Wall Street entities, even with a history of manipulation for their own ends, were given insane amounts of cash from our treasury for failing to operate in an ethical and responsible manner, and the danger of them taking the rest of us down with them.

      Thanks for pointing out what you thought was off topic. I’ll try not to be so obscure next time, though that will probably require connecting each and every dot to avoid confusion.

      Re: my avatar – While it is true that the Mooninite pictured (Err) does happen to be “flipping the bird”, it also kind of looks like a sword and hilt thus tying into the “LanceThruster” motif (however tenuously), though the bird works for me as well (especiially considering the reaction my comments often get).

      • October 12, 2009 9:39 am

        Oh I know why you think it’s on topic, but it’s not. Going from Helen Keller to Prescott Bush is a wild leap and there’s no similar movement surrounding Bush. It’s not a relevant comparison by any stretch of the imagination.

        You’re not really interested in talking about the subject at hand (a historical figure’s whitewashed political views,) you’re just interested in smearing the Republican Party.

        • LanceThruster permalink
          October 12, 2009 11:24 am

          David said – “(a historical figure’s whitewashed political views,)

          That pretty much sizes up Prescott Bush and the coup plotters to a T! Considering the consternation by the author and the posters, it was also fitting. Hell, I even showed how Mr. Horowitz came from the place where Ms. Keller stayed. This goes beyond connecting the dots; this is just Reagan’s 11th Commandment applied to non-goopers (i.e. any mention of GOP actions as bad or worse than what is being condemned is OT).

          My Mooniniite friend tips his sword your way.

          • October 12, 2009 11:34 am

            I’m the moderator and I decide whether something is on topic or whether it’s just a smear trying to divert attention away from the issue at hand. Now I’m not deleting your comment or anything I’m just warning you to stay on topic. There are plenty of critiques you could make of any given issue at hand without having to resort to tu quoque ad hominem smears like you’re doing here.


            • LanceThruster permalink
              October 12, 2009 2:04 pm

              As per your link:

              Legitimate use

              Not all uses of tu quoque arguments involve logical fallacy. They can be properly used to bring about awareness of inconsistency, to indirectly repeal a criticism by narrowing its scope or challenging its criteria, or to call into question the credibility of a source of knowledge.

              You-too version

              A legitimate use of the you-too version might be:

              A makes criticism P.
              A is also guilty of P.

              Therefore, the criticism is confusing because it does not reflect A’s actual values or beliefs.

              Example: “You say that taking a human life is wrong under all circumstances, but support killing in self-defense; you are either being inconsistent, or you believe that under some circumstances taking a human life is justified.”


              Example: “You say (your side says), a person’s true history is important when evaluating their suitability for positive recognition and it is typical for the left to omit these troubling facts.”

              I say, “I agree that history should take pains to disclose all the facts; even when involving Republicans, and even when Republican supporters claim it is only the other side guilty of this.”


              Hell, if you like pointing out fallacies in latin when constructing a logical argument, maybe you’d appreciate that a good many of the contributions by the authors and the posters commenting in here should be ending their submissions with “ipse dixit.”




              Example: “Leftists are in fact the enemies and oppressors of women, children, gays, minorities and the poor and conservatives should never confront them without reminding them of this fact” – Ipse dixit

              Yes, you’re the moderator and as such can call “Ball!” even when one is fired right over the plate and dead center of the strike zone. You can even eject a player or coach for contesting it too loudly or too long. I’m not kicking dirt on your cleats, but I think an impartial judge checking the slo-motion replay footage would indeed find it a far cry from OT, if not completely relevant.

              I’ll just keep pitching ’em and you just keep calling them as you see them. Can’t get much fairer than that. I think you’re wrong and demonstrated such using the links you yourself provided. No more dots to connect, David. You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out.

              • October 12, 2009 2:21 pm

                1. We’re not being inconsistent by not blogging about Prescott Bush’s history. If you haven’t noticed NewsReal’s posts are inspired by dialogues on the cable shows. Helen Keller was talked about on Democracy Now! thus it made sense to blog about her.

                2. The Horowitz quote you’re attacking as Ipse dixit is a quote summarizing arguments he’s made at length. He’s established this point over the course of several books. (Have you read them? I doubt it.) What the hell do you want me to do? Run the full text of his books as the quote of the day? Your argument here is as absurd as all your other arguments.

                3. And no, you have not demonstrated (except in your own mind) that your use of a tu quoque argument was legitimate.

                • Swemson permalink
                  October 12, 2009 2:35 pm


                  This putz is playing you like a fiddle…. Look how much time you’ve been wasting on him…

                • LanceThruster permalink
                  October 12, 2009 4:11 pm

                  Batter up!

                  I don’t need to see what David wrote in support of his own argument as I referenced the comment by Derbyshire of The National Review which clearly negates his implication that conservatives are the ones who are not in fact the enemies and oppressors of women, children, gays, minorities and the poor. I offer the Derbyshire quote to conservatives because I should never confront them without reminding them of the fact that they can indeed (and often are) enemies of all the above.

                  As far as your concern for adherence to the commenting rules, I guess Swemson’s “putz” is somehow below the radar. I would think it’s clearly a #1, and as a Yiddish vulgarity could be considered a #2, and since the vulgarity itself is derogatory of the size and/or operation of said penis, #7 might also apply (as demeaning someone for the size or function of their genitals* – something out of their control – would be akin to harassing people of small stature or with a disability).

                  Oh, but I forgot. You’re being played like a fiddle and since Swemson is unable to craft a coherent argument on his own, he’s pretty much left to “work the refs.”

                  * from:

                  [putz vs shmuck]

                  Shmuck: literally, “jewel” Another of the many Yiddish words for “penis.” (as in “family jewel?) Although it has the same basic meaning as putz, a shmuck often refers to someone with greater power or social/emotional status; someone who’s intentionally nasty or uses their power for ill, whereas a putz is more ineffectual, easier to dismiss because he’s beneath consideration or has no real effect on your life. (It’s the difference between “jerk” and “total a$$hole.” — It’s a very subtle difference, I grant you, and the line is often blurry.) Note: I recently had an almost Talmudic discussion with my brother-in-law about this subtle difference between a putz and a shmuck, and he summed it up perfectly: “One is erect, the other is limp.”

                  Who knew a discussion of Ms. Keller , Prescott Bush, and David Horowitz himsellf would involve so much penis coming out of Swemson’s mouth?


                  • Swemson permalink
                    October 12, 2009 4:17 pm

                    Hey Putz !

                    Do you also know the difference between a Schlamiel and a Schlamazel ?

                  • October 12, 2009 4:22 pm

                    1. One conservative saying something racist, sexist, or homophobic does not negate Horowitz’s argument. Further, you’re misdirecting and changing subjects. (Since you cannot defeat me on the points I raised in my previous response to you.) Horowitz has established his argument, you just have no respect for him so you choose to ignore it. (Just as you choose to ignore all of our arguments and just hurl your tu quoques and ad hominems.)

                    2. I don’t need advice from you how to do my job moderating this forum. I don’t delete every post that violates our commenting guidelines. If I delete Swemson’s mild jab at you as a “putz” then I need to delete your off subject comments as well.

                    3. Further, I’m constantly giving Swemson warnings to tone it down, just as I gave you a warning. I try to only delete posts that are ridiculously out of line.

                    4. If we’re invoking commenting guidelines then I’d encourage you to keep these in mind:

                    While this website obviously expresses a somewhat conservative or libertarian perspective on the issues, comments and questions from ALL points of the political spectrum are welcome if you wish to take part in the discussion. However, If you’re only here to heckle, or to hurl insults at bloggers, commenters, or public figures then please look elsewhere for satisfaction, as you will be blocked from commenting here if you repeatedly disrespect our rules.

                    All commenters are essentially guests in our home. Please behave as you would if you were actually sitting down with us in our living room, sharing a cup of coffee and discussing the issues.


                    I’m going to ask you the same question I asked Pbrauer a few weeks ago: DO YOU RESPECT NEWSREAL’S BLOGGERS AND COMMENTERS?

                    If so, then please show it by engaging our arguments instead of misdirecting and smearing. If not, then you can leave.

                • "gunner" permalink
                  October 12, 2009 6:28 pm

                  you’ve got a troll on your hands, he’s getting his egoboo from sucking you into his specious arguments, hijacking your blog. i’d suggest you use your power to end his gaming. let him pay for his own soapbox and street corner.

                  • October 12, 2009 7:43 pm

                    Thank you for your concern Gunner. We’ll see if it’ll come to that. It has in the past. I pride myself on being slow to ban. People really need to ignore multiple warnings and fail to improve.

                  • LanceThruster permalink
                    October 13, 2009 11:37 am

                    I would think that technically, a true troll does not really engage in discussion at all but rather sets off his stink bombs and runs off. You may disagree with my observations (or feel that they’re OT), but I try to respond to any serious questions/points (and a few of the less than serious ones as well).

                    I understand you have to play to your base and it makes no sense from your perspective to antagonize them, but I don’t doubt that if someone not of the same political philosophy as you came in and starting tossing around terms such as ‘putz’ and the like, you’d consider it out of bounds. But, as is often the case, especially in one of the many safe harbors preaching to the choir, IOKIYAR.

                    While I think there are solid arguments for some elements of conservative philosophy, too many of them (at least as presented) are pure Rovian posturing. When your side says “the left is this way”, or “the left thinks this way,” it quite often is a partisan mischaracterization as well as totally ignores where your own side is guilty of the same or worse. If pointing out strawman arguments and hypocrisy raises some hackles, I’m not surprised why. The most amazingly perceptive elements of “Mein Kampf” were his propaganda guidelines (what, you thought they originated with Rove?). Keep it simple, black and white – no grey areas, and tailor your appeal to the masses exclusively.

                    The most frightening aspect to me of this dumbing down and the need to ignore complexity, is where he basically says, “Forget about the intellectuals, there are not enough of them.” This means that emotional arguments, irrespective of their validity, are far more powerful than rational ones.

                    I’ve seen both authors and posters in here write along the lines of, “Muslims are…”, “liberals are…”, “Democrats are…” and proceed to hang around their necks every single stereotype available in addition to whatever valid observations to be made. But should someone offer “Conservatives are…”, “Jews are…”, “Republicans are…”, you’d be the first to protest that the characterization of the whole cannot be made based on the actions of the few, even when those actions draw few if any rebukes or are even encouraged. I’d love for you to direct me to a link or two where Republicans/Conservatives ranked anywhere near along the same rungs of the ladder that the National Review occupies took Derbyshire to task for his apathy towards a woman’s right to vote. Considering Mr. Horowitz’s quote about where the dangers lie for the groups mentioned, you’d think he’d be one of many publicly at odds with Derbyshire, possibly calling for his ouster for holding views considered totally unacceptable.

                    Would they be as silent if he stated the same views on blacks, or Jews, or atheists being allowed to vote? Well, maybe they would on that last one. GWB said the following with barely a ripple; despite what is supposedly guarenteed by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution that Bush was sworn to uphold – (““No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”“)

                    You do what you have to do, David. It is, after all, your bat and ball.

                    Far be it for my goyishe kop to be able comprehend the complexities of such decision making.

        • Swemson permalink
          October 12, 2009 12:11 pm


  6. Marylou permalink
    October 10, 2009 2:14 pm

    I DID know! I was aghast as I unfurled the pages of Wikipedia to see that my forebears had indeed idealized these Commies and socialists and enemies of our way of life! person after person that was held up as oh, so cool was now being revealed to me as I perused the newly conveniently annals of history via the internet. Horrified.

    Even Thoreau and Emerson were teaching along the lines of Fabian thought, and their work was being included in the curriculum of the public schools when I was a child (1950s). How long has this been going on?

    How does our wonderful country manage to stand with the continual onslaught of even progressives as President??!

    It’s amazing to me.

    Thank you for exposing this fraud, or is that too strong a word to use? She had numerous speaking engagements, no doubt some at least provided by her leftist buddies. And, what would she have to speak about? I think I get it now.

    Reflecting, my first tip-off was an innocent curiosity about my grandmother’s time as an artist and me being proud of her for receiving a college degree from Arts and Crafts (then) in Oakland, CA. As I began to explore her influences, my jaw began to drop as I discovered, among many other things, the influences upon Ms. Keller, a very popular figure of her time, frequently appearing in the old black and white Edward J. Murrow type of News Reals in the movie theaters.

    One of Keller’s big influences in her later years and when my grandmother was most entranced was some Swedish Svengali/ Rasputin type named Swedenbourg, an interesting character, who one of his contemporaries called “nothing but a fool” I must say I would be of the same opinion, having reviewed Mr. Swedenbourg’s ideas as he presents many seemingly profound ideas as truth.

    Well, enough for now. Time for this free-enterprise fan to get back to my beloved discipline (work….and, play) and the enjoyment of the very expression of my life.

    Thanks again to the Davids for this blog arena!!

    • October 10, 2009 3:42 pm

      You’re welcome Marylou. 🙂

    • The Inquisitor permalink
      October 11, 2009 7:40 am

      “Even Thoreau and Emerson were teaching along the lines of Fabian thought, and their work was being included in the curriculum of the public schools when I was a child (1950s). How long has this been going on?”

      It’s been going on since the colonization of America. (See the history of the Plymouth and Jamestown settlements.) There have been arounf one hundred and forty or so such communes over time in America — some drawing the admiration of Abraham Lincoln. Gus Hall said that communism is as American as apple pie. When I first heard it I thought it was a slander, but he was right.

      There is an almost unbroken string of collectivist authors in the cannon of American literature. The great Hemmingway failed to learn what Orwell learned from the Spanish Civil War — probably because he was sitting on his can in a hotel instead of actually fighting like Orwell. One of the few to break the string was Robert Frost, and the literary establishment hated him for it.

      Loyal Americans have always had a battle on their hands. At the time of the Revolution only a third wanted independence. Another third were pro British. The remaining third were neutral. Today the issues are a little different, but the ratios are about the same.

  7. October 10, 2009 5:51 pm

    Yes, sir, I did know all of this. It’s sad that she was brought up that way. She had tremendous potential. But like all the others, she studied in Europe and quickly learned their “political language”. Such a shame and a waste. And to honor her for helping to introduce the destruction of this country is even more despicable! I had a video of this on my YouTube site, but like all the good ones, they seem to be taken off.

  8. Walt permalink
    October 10, 2009 11:56 pm

    I would give Helen Keller something of a pass, due to her condition. Other leftists do not have her excuse.

  9. October 11, 2009 4:28 am

    It seems crazy that a severely disabled person should support eugenics, so much so that all of her ideas are suspect in sincerity. I knew nothing of this and am still in a state of shock at the massive cover-up of her left wing ideals.

    • "gunner" permalink
      October 11, 2009 2:57 pm

      you want to take into account that her channels of communication were extremely limited, and both access to her, and hers to outsiders were controlled by her “caregivers”, and her information filtered by them, so i would doubt she had much opportunity to get dissenting opinions in her formative years.

      • LanceThruster permalink
        October 12, 2009 11:25 am

        Your description sounds like a typical FAUX NOISE viewer to me.


  10. Joseph White permalink
    October 11, 2009 7:00 pm

    Some part of me should be shocked that a statue to a communist/socialist/eugenist aclu founder should be put up alongside the vietnam wall, the iowa jima memorial and the 9/11 memorial, but for some reason, I’m just not shocked.

    With the socialists and communist people in charge now, they would need their god to worship to.

  11. October 13, 2009 11:55 am

    You dodged my question:
    “I’m going to ask you the same question I asked Pbrauer a few weeks ago: DO YOU RESPECT NEWSREAL’S BLOGGERS AND COMMENTERS?

    If so, then please show it by engaging our arguments instead of misdirecting and smearing. If not, then you can leave.”

    Are we going to dialogue or are you going to monologue? One shows that you respect us, the other does not.


  12. LanceThruster permalink
    October 13, 2009 3:00 pm

    “…there are solid arguments for some elements of conservative philosophy…”

    No dodging involved. Though I thought this statement covered that there are respectable conservative positions, I do not know what you mean by “DO YOU RESPECT NEWSREAL’S BLOGGERS AND COMMENTERS?” I respect their worth as human beings and their freedom to hold whatever ideas choose. The respect for their ideas (and their consistency and honesty) is on a case by case basis. As an atheist who’s argued theology with believers, I tell them that I consider it a sign of respect to share my views openly and honestly; to do otherwise meant that I didn’t care what they thought and that they didn’t matter. That isn’t the same thing as necessarily agreeing with their views, just that any worthwhile discussion starts with an honest compare and contrast. Sometimes there’s much common ground, sometimes there’s very little.

    I agreed with David Horowitz on the freedom to run the Mohammad cartoons but having seen his presentation on it with Yaron Brook, also felt it was used to demonize an entire people to help further the “official” Israeli narrative (i.e. our side = reasonable / their side = irrational). He did the same thing with his quote about “leftists are in fact the enemies and oppressors” of the groups he listed. Stated as an absolute is its biggest weakness. It’s professing some sort of omniscience that somehow knows that at all times in all ways this is true and conversely, the conservative side is always the non-opppressing non-enemy. To me, it’s that sort of mentality that belies the Republican claim of loving America when there is a clear hatred of around half of the population (you cannot be much clearer than labeling an entire group holding a particular view “the enemy”).

    Haven’t read enough of the authors here to know which ideas to connect with which writer. Therefore, my comments deal with taking an issue with some element of the idea or substance, and not so much on the writer.

    As far as the desire for dialog, that would be nice. It’s not always easy to separate the legitimate responses from the smokescreens. I’m dealing with contrary views at abot a 10/1 ratio with only a fraction of them dealing with tangibles. I wouldn’t dream of telling you what to do, but your advice to Swemson was good; chill. Your side doesn’t always have to sound like a pack of alarmed howler monkeys. If you think your ideas and philosophies have so much merit, you needn’t be so defensive. Rest assured knowing you alone possess the truth and that others cannot see things with the same remarkable clarity that you do. I should be like the gnat encountering your thick elephantine hides.

    You have granted me the freedom to leave and I grant you the freedom to put forth an argument anytime you see fit. At that time, I will gladly engage.

    • Swemson permalink
      October 13, 2009 3:43 pm

      You have granted me the freedom to leave and I grant you the freedom to put forth an argument anytime you see fit. At that time, I will gladly engage.


      • October 13, 2009 3:55 pm

        You’re not helping Swem.

        • Swemson permalink
          October 13, 2009 4:01 pm

          Yeah… I know..


          But you COULD eliminate the problem you know……………


          • October 13, 2009 4:07 pm

            Oh by putting your comments in the spam? j/k 😉

            • Swemson permalink
              October 13, 2009 4:57 pm

              Well you’ve been doing THAT for a while now…..


              • October 13, 2009 5:10 pm

                WordPress has been doing that. I probably let you get away with more than I should. 😛

    • October 13, 2009 4:11 pm

      This is more encouraging.

      You’re going to be disappointed if you’re looking for somewhere to argue with conservatives who think they have “the Truth.” David Horowitz, many of my Freedom Center colleagues, and myself tend to fit into a kind of “postmodern conservatism.” We don’t have “the Truth.”

      I mean if you keep an eye on the comments you’ll often see me arguing with “True Believer” conservatives who are often rather dogmatic.

      In fact if you’re opposed to a religious mindset then I’d encourage you to read Horowitz’s “The Politics of Bad Faith.” In it Horowitz makes the case that the Left is a religious movement and a secular faith.

      When we say “the Left” we’re not talking about every single person who identifies with the Left. Think of the Left as one might think of Christianity or Islam. Within these religions/ideologies there’s plenty of diversity, but there are some things which they have in common. To say “Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead” is a generalization but still a moderately accurate one even if there are Christians who don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead. Most do, so it’s a fair statement.

      Demanding that we basically speak in E-Prime inserting “maybe” or “most” or “some” as a qualifier in every sentence shouldn’t be necessary. So just give us the benefit of the doubt that we’re reasonably intelligent and not bigoted.

      “it was used to demonize an entire people to help further the “official” Israeli narrative”

      We don’t demonize an entire people. We are critical of Islam for some very legitimate reasons; we do not hate Muslims.

      • Walt permalink
        October 16, 2009 7:43 pm

        At some point, it is appropriate to dump a troll. They degrade threads with irrelevants rantings and abuse posters who wish to make legitimates on the subject of the thread. When repeated warnings are ignored or disparaged, it is time to show the belligerent drunk the door.

        • October 17, 2009 6:57 am


  13. Walt permalink
    October 16, 2009 7:48 pm

    I have a feeling that she was not entirely there, especially later in her life. Also, Helen Keller would have not made it in a Eugenics based society. It is likely that she was used, and that is something vulnerable people are subject to more than we would like to think.

  14. Cornelia permalink
    October 17, 2009 12:31 pm

    I agree with Walt….she was definitely vulnerable….

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