Posted By Laughing_Wolf • [January 23, 2009]
Alas, this is a day with a second red pill target. Right now, it appears that Patsfanin Philly was right about the spin from Goodell and the NFL (and eventual outcome when they realized what they had stuck into was a 220 socket)(UPDATE: as noted below and elsewhere, the NFL will make good), but it can't hurt to keep the fire raining down. So, that leaves me with the second target of the day.
Old Blue really doesn't leave a lot to go after in the case of a person who has attacked one of my favorite Angels (Nor does Chuck, who also notes the need for people to adopt). It seems that Michael Sweeney of Leavenworth, WA took it upon itself not merely to castigate MaryAnn of Soldiers' Angels Germany for her blogging, but also to report her to the head of Army PAO operations and members of Congress for allegedly engaging in politics under the guise of charity.
Let's take a look at this impressive missive.
First Mistake: Salutation. For one who is PC, the use of Madam is contraindicated as it implies ownership, as in the person being married. It also has the connotation of an older woman. In terms of general use and connotation, this is most often used in real life by pretentious a******s in restaurants (along with the snap of a finger) to attract the attention of a waitress they feel is improperly ignoring them. It carries the strong connotation of a superior dealing with an errant inferior, and is meant to in that useage. In terms of writing usage, the proper form of respectful address to a female (and in this case lady) who's marital status is unknown to you is Ms. (in American English) and it is no longer even used as a proper mode of address in correspondence in British English, which was obviously not the case here since you failed to sign it "Yours Faithfully" at the bottom. Which pretty much means that you are either woefully ignorant of manners and etiquette or that you (most likely) intended it to be belittling and insulting.
I think the work that you do aiding wounded soldiers and their families at Landstuhl Army Medical Center is commendable, but as a veteran I find the extreme right-wing political slant of your web site to be a disturbing travesty that runs in direct contradiction of the official policy of the United Stated Army which is to always remain above politics . Perhaps you should consider re-registering your entity as a PAC?
How do we count the failures here? Logical fallacies or simply facts? Hmmmm. Let's see. There is the wonderful slam of "work...is commendable, but" right out the gate, a debate tactic used almost exclusively by those either in a weaker position or that are about to proceed into ad hom. Then there is the fallacy of the false appeal to authority in the "as a veteran" part on a subject that has nothing to do with veteran or non-veteran status. Proper usage would be "as a veteran who used it, I find that your story analysis of the MX1000 weapon system was flawed." It becomes a logical fallacy when used as part of an apple-orange comparison as in this case. Especially when the subject of the rather long winded overly adjectified diatribe appears to be the content of the website. To put the whipped cream on this bit of pseudointellectual drivel, Michael Sweeney of Leavenworth WA seems to be also trying to claim that this blog is either an official Army blog or it should operate under what he regards as the proper rules for such a beast. He then further beats a dead horse by implying that Soldiers' Angels is a small entity consisting simply of MaryAnn. The execrable grammatical structure of the sentences makes it very hard to tell exactly what he is demonizing or modifying, or flat out just trying to say.
As for the claim of "extreme right-wing political slant" there is no apparent research on this nor is there any modifier that would indicate that anything is coming to back up this rather outlandish claim. I modify this part by noting that the Soldiers' Angels Germany blog goes to great lengths to be apolitical, and that any rational bit of basic analysis will demonstrate that fact. The same can't be said of what appears to be the source of Michael Sweeney's outrage as noted below.
So, massive failure of fact, grammar, and massive use of logical fallacies. Good job!
The latest example of this politicking is your slagging off a highly respected journalist at the New York Times. You seem to have a problem with either the first amendment of the United States constitution or with dissenting opinions vis-a-vis your own personal views. I assure you that the entire US army and the DOD civilians involved with the US military's efforts do not all think in the same repressive right-wing fashion that you do, there is a vast variety of political opinion in the uniformed services/DOD and there is a proper time and place to express them. I find your blog disturbing not because of your opinions, but because you are a non-profit organization tasked to aid soldiers and their families, not a political action committee to further right wing Republican causes which is exactly what you are behaving like. I have written to both my congressman and the DOD leadership to register this complaint and have asked that they insist that if you persist in these biased political diatribes that they revoke your status and demand that you register as a PAC.
First up, slagging off is not a proper term nor a term of art. One may slag someone, one may throw slag at someone, but "slagging off" doesn't seem to exist, save perhaps as a polite descriptor of the mental masturbation that that is this letter. The major logical fallacy here seems to be the "staw man" that some complaint with the First Amendment was stated or implied, and that somehow questioning what a reporter at the New York Times was doing or that same person might have an agenda is somehow an evil right-wing-republican-bushcheneyhaliburton-ohmy! thing. How tight is that tinfoil Michael Sweeney? Note also the "friendly suggestion" of becoming a PAC has morphed considerably. Note further down how it goes into an inalterable (rolling of eyes here) demand.
Quick lesson: The First Amendment of the Constitution protects you from the Government, not from me. Or MaryAnn. Or the blogger down the street. Disagreeing with someone or noting that someone might be a bit biased in their reporting is not an evil thing, but is simply something called Free Speech, which is closely aligned with The Marketplace of Ideas.
See, in the real world the Founding Fathers (note, am capitalizing some phrases you seem to have missed in school, so you can search on them easily) wanted to ensure that ideas could and would be fully discussed so that truth would out and voters (those having demonstrated the responsibility in life such that they could vote, see Sufferage and how it morphed into Universal Sufferage) would have sufficient information to make informed decisions on their votes. Their answer to bad information or people saying bad things was not to repress speech, as you have tried your best to do here (and a pretty pathetic effort it was, too), but to encourage yet more speech. More speech meant a greater chance of good speech, good facts, figures, Reasoned Discourse, Rational Debate, and other fun things overriding the bad. Just a hint for you for some remedial civics lessons, but Totalitarians (Fascists, Dictators, Socialists, Communists, etc.) who are the bad guys work to limit free speech, while good guys encourage more speech/full free speech.
Also, note that at no time does Michael Sweeney offer up any facts to support anything being said, it's all feelings. He feels that it is a right wing blog, written in a right-wing way, and offers no proof. No Content Analysis, no Longitudinal Research, no multivariant, qualitative, or quantiative analysis of any kind.
I read the articles that you stated are slanted in the NY Times, and as far as I can ascertain they are all 100% factual. If you can prove they are not you are free to redress them with the editor by providing factual evidence or in a court of law under the state's slander statutes. If you think that nine returning soldiers from a single brigade (at Ft Carson) all murdering people in the United States over the past 36 months is normal or not newsworthy then I think that you either have personal problems or would be better suited to serving as a propagandist in some unquestioning totalitarian country's army. In fact, the United States Congress feels that this particular incident is indeed so troubling they have launched a full-scale investigation into it. I also note a lot of grousing on your site about Senators and Congressmen from the Democratic Party such as "Kennedy, Edwards, Frank" etc. but never pray-tell a critical word about any Republican congressman or the recently departed Bush administration.
Okay, so you read the articles and as far as you can tell they are 100 percent factual. Did you bother to read any of the links? In particular, did you even bother to note the content analysis of story titles and more here? Did you happen to note that the author(s) and the public editor can't really validate their own statistics as noted here? May I suggest you add statistics to your civics, English, and logic courses?
The free press plays an important role in the functioning of American society. If the press just printed what the government wanted us to hear then we would not have known the truth about the lurid behavoir at Abu Graihb or what really happened to the late Mr.Tillman or Jessica Lynch's real story. I for one prefer know the truth rather than to hear sanitized versions, misleading propaganda, or outright lies.
Again, you plead facts not in evidence and one hell of a strawman in a fit of logical fallacy. Again, no one has argued, here or most especially at Soldiers' Angels Germany, against a free press. In fact, the opposite has been argued: we want it to be free and accurate. If you don't point out mistakes, they can't be fixed. Either in the world or most especially in the press. If you don't fix the latter, well, what you get is a lie left as fact and a very distorted reality. Bad argument, really bad argument here, no biscuit for you.
I urge you to change your blog's policy, remove all of the politicized posts and stick to your primary (and important) mission which is to provide support for wounded US soldiers and their families, not to advance right wing political causes. I have written Major General Kevin J. Bergner, the US Army Chief of Public Affairs, concerning this matter.
Ah, write what I say you should write, how I say you should write it, and toe the party line comrade! To make sure you do, I have written important people, really important people, to demand that they make you do exactly as I want you to do and so that they will uphold party lines and principles, and send you to re-education camp if you don't! The continuation of logical and rational fallacies is truly breathtaking. It if weren't so pathetic in terms of sheer willful ignorance, it would be inspiring.
Listen up bubby, I'm going to exercise my rights and responsibilities too. I'm going to write MG Bergner too, and aside from telling him of this post and what a pretentious ignorant twit I think you are, I'm going to point out reality and commend the entire SA Germany team. After having you fling the mental poo that you have, I figure that someone needs to send something to clean the mess off the walls.
Thank you for your consideration and best regards,
You have got to be kidding me.
(former Staff Sgt., Strategic Air Command, Unites States Air Force)
Obviously not a LeMay vet or even of the "I am EWO ready Sir!" generation. You display a willful ignorance of fact, logic, manners, and more. So much so, that I fear that you are stupid: As Ron White notes, ignorance can be cured, but you can't fix stupid.
In case you haven't gotten the hint yet (it seeming that you require about a 12x12 cluebat since 2x4's just bounce), you attack MaryAnn and SA Germany, you attack me.
And since I think you probably still don't get it, Soldiers' Angels works hard to be apolitical and to adhere to the rules and regulations regarding same. To continue to make claims otherwise would be most foolish, and will bring you to the attention of important and powerful people.