Random Questions I Should Know the Answers To

1.  Is there a term for the philosophy of leaving your opponent with an honorable way to lose in order to keep him/her from being more dangerous?

2.  I’m looking forward a great deal to the start of the Tennessee legislative session.  When do we get to start seeing the legislation folks will be proposing?

3.  Our favorite state legislator raises a good point, one that supports both his larger contention and mine:

The last time an income tax was brought forward many of the income tax legislative supporters were run out of Nashville on a rail. The only legislators who supported an income tax and survived were from districts full of people who would not pay an income tax any way because many of them did not have jobs.


Oddly, The legislature still passed the largest tax increase in state history but the people who supported other forms of tax increases got a pass.The moderates and the Democrats learned. Pass any other form of tax increase, no matter how big, and the people will not notice. Many smaller bites instead of going after the entire sandwich all at once would get the same meal at the end of the day.

His point is that there’s too much taxation; government is too big.  My point is that opposing a state income tax pretty much is just a symbolic stand and does nothing to ease the tax burden of people in Tennessee.

3a.  It’s stuff like his snide little remark which I italicized that drive me around the bend with Campfield.  Don’t you think he means we’re supposed to assume it’s those Memphis legislators who supported an income tax, who have all those constituents who don’t have and don’t want jobs?  As an antidote, go ahead and peruse the unemployment numbers from October.

I was surprised to see that almost 9% of Maury county is out of work (as opposed to 4% a year ago).  Eight percent of Lewisburg is out of work.  Anyway, I’m just curious if that’s who Campfield had in mind.

3b.  Holy shit, you know, if 9% of Maury county is out of work, it’s no wonder we see such hostility towards immigrants down there, is it?

16 thoughts on “Random Questions I Should Know the Answers To

  1. Considering Campfield’s track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if he proposes taxing women on their aborted fetus’…

  2. Is there a term for the philosophy of leaving your opponent with an honorable way to lose in order to keep him/her from being more dangerous?

    dunno, but if there is, it ought to be translated from the Chinese. the sentiment itself (phrased slightly differently) appears in Sun Tzu, and probably predates even him.

  3. I’ve found, with your number one, that is is best to start discussions outside the framework of winning or losing. If at all possible, never frame your argument in a way that the person you are speaking with cannot be the good guy. No matter how goofy he is.

    (As an aside, this is why I dislike the concepts of white or male priviledge. It presupposes that a person, who may be doing the right thing, is doing so for evil or ignorant reasons. Thus, the “other guy” can’t be the good guy; not a good way to win friends and influence people. As a second aside, I can think of many concepts that conservatives apply to the motivations of liberals, that are similar – opposing war because you hate America is one – these I cannot stand either).

    B, you usually approach discussions in a wonderfully neutral fashion (“help me out here…”) I think this is key. Also, for me personally, it’s key to find something in common before ever branching out to disagreements.

    There is a huge diference between two people who are friends but happen to disagree on certain things, and adversaries who happen to have a few things in common. I find people are much more receptive when I approach conversations with the former in mind.

    But, I didn’t answer your question, did I? I think they’ve just always called it allowing your opponent to save face.

  4. Pingback: Volunteer Voters » Maury County Blues

  5. You tickle me. Tear her a new one, or be done with it. No need to bother our Chinese ancestors on one this easy. You have the truth on your side, its a powerful thing….

  6. Is there a term for the philosophy of leaving your opponent with an honorable way to lose in order to keep him/her from being more dangerous?

    In the American political system, it’s called the Vice-Presidency.

  7. Mack, no, I’m not going to and here’s why. It’s because I see two things no one else having or reading the broader conversation sees.

    1. Is that she’s sending me about 250 hits a day since she put that post up. Considering that my normal readership hovers at just under 1,000 a day, I believe that means she’s single-handedly increased the number of eyes on my site by a fourth (If I have my math right, which I probably don’t). I should probably send her a thank-you note.

    But 2. is more troublesome.

    2. is that, out of everyone who’s linked to me about that post–all of them, with the exception of her, as far as I can tell, being Women of Color bloggers–no one has generated the traffic to my site that she has.

    Now, it could very well be that, say, Brownfemipower’s readers or ProblemChylde’s readers aren’t really that interested in seeing another white woman not getting it.

    But, from my end, it’s interesting. In part, because it seems to support one of Brownfemipower’s points–that it’s hard for women of color to get heard. I mean, here I am in the middle of what should be a discussion between me and the women of color bloggers who are upset with me.

    And yet, what do I see? That readers are showing up here because a white woman is angry at a white woman. If I engage her, I’m just further aiding in moving the conversation away from being about and with women of color to being about and with another white woman. What’s the point in that?

  8. If you say so. The minute they became “brown” feminists instead of feminists, they muffled themselves. Why not let let your (their) voice go out on the web without the race distinction? That way, theres no chance of you or Amanda M. ignoring them because they are brown. You may actually ignore them because they have little to offer. You may actually find the information or perspective enlightening and even life altering. Whatever. I don’t blog as a Hispanic person. I have faced plenty of adversity in my day, but claiming I’m not read by Ezra Klein because I am a man of color is no small stretch.

  9. Yeah, but the opposite is also true. If you refrain from making distinctions, and the people in power claim they’re refraining from making distinctions, and the folks who get things are still all white, you’ve got to identify yourself in order to identify the problem.

    So, people call themselves what they want. I try to be respectful of and mindful of that. I can identify people how they’d like to be identified; to me it’s not that big a deal.

    I mean, I respect that you claim to be Hispanic.

    Ha, I tease.

  10. Well, perhaps don’t tease about that, because I can assure you I am VERY Hispanic.

    I don’t get what you are saying above. The folks who get things are all still white? We are talking about, I thought, women of color bloggers. What do they hope to get? Hits? Links from “influential” white bloggers? I get that people of color, like women, homosexuals, working class folks, etc all need activists fighting the good fight, it really doesn’t apply here.

    Here’s a for instance. i had no idea that Magniloquence was black. I read her here, liked what she wrote, and paid attention when she commented. (If I could wade through the excess verbiage). Now that I know she is black, am I now obligated to link to her? Are you?

    The ideas either have merit or they don’t, to each individual reader. The diatribe that brought this about was a self indulgent tantrum, and dripping with irony, if i may say so.

    Anyway, I won’t stand for even a hint of an accusation that you are, or were, in any way insensitive to women of color, be they bloggers or barmaids. I get that you may not want to engage them, but it doesn’t mean you have to excuse them.

  11. See, but isn’t that the rub? You say you don’t blog as a Hispanic person, but you don’t want me (or other folks) saying that you’re not Hispanic. You want to strike some balance that says “This is who I am” without saying that it’s the only thing you are. Isn’t that what everyone wants? And aren’t folks going to strike that balance at different points and at different points in different points in our own lives?

    But here, this is what I’m trying to say. We are supposed to be talking about women of color bloggers. Exactly. We’re supposed to be listening to them. Why? Because, if we don’t, we’re not getting a whole picture of what’s going on with women and because there are important valuable voices who should be on folks’ radar and are not.

    And my point is that, if most folks are coming to my blog from the blog of another white woman, instead of through the women of color who have linked to me, it just shows the scope of the problem. Even in a fight over and with women of color, who’s able to move traffic?

    That’s just a troubling systemic problem.

    People want to hear and take seriously the points of view of people they perceive of being “like them” in some way. If you can’t get people to perceive of you as being “like them,” you can’t get people to listen to you.

    I don’t think I’m excusing anyone. I thought that the women who commented here and who have posted about it elsewhere for the most part raised issues I need to think about. Isn’t that the point of doing this? To learn about what you don’t know?

    And I am not as sensitive as I should be. It’s not intentional, but it’s the truth. The difference with us is that you know me. I eat at your table. I lay on the couch with your kids. I smooch your forehead when you’re sick. If I say something dumbass, you know that it’s just a dumbass statement and not some indication of malice.

    People on the internet don’t know that.

    It’s like you said, out here, none of us are real. We’re just words and the motives the readers ascribe to those words.

    And if my words can’t stand scrutiny and challenge, then they aren’t worth much.

    Well, ha, they’re probably not worth much anyway, but you know what I mean.

  12. If people are reading one post (and only one post) and make assumptions based on that one post without delving into other posts to get a complete picture…

    I just don’t think folks can get a clear (really clear) picture of anyone simply by reading one post in a blog. Sometimes we can get a darned good idea, but nothing absolutely conclusive.

    I think you are a very inclusive blogger. I think you have a diverse readership–and you are often friendly in the real world with folks that you disagree with in theory here in TCP. I mean, that counts for something, dammit. Don’t sell yourself short.

  13. It’s a difficult thing to live out that tension between having a sense of self, being confident in oneself, and being open to improvement, to hearing criticism, to be willing to hear when you’ve hurt someone and need to say “I’m sorry.” I think B is a brave and wonderful person trying hard to live that balance much of the time and especially right now – and doing so in public.

    If anyone is too self-assured, knows she’s right and good and done growing and learning, she’s more apt to be hurtful and not be able to apologize when necessary. Even if now is NOT one of those times that calls for an apology, that she isn’t responsible for the hurt, that she’s trying to still lessen the overall hurt in the world and to be sure she doesn’t contribute to it in the future is wonderful. But the Editor is right that we can’t guarantee that people always give us a fair shake and it takes more than one side to generate misunderstanding.

    To just remind B of how right and great she is is to close her off to growth – this post speaks more to questions of method, not content anyhow. Worse, Mack, you encourage her to “tear her a new one or be done with it,” which is strange advice to give to anyone who wants peace, not power, who wants change not exchange, and especially strange advice to give to a feminist inside a discussion about the use and abuse of not only reason but might.

    I don’t read her a woman doubting herself in ways she should not, or really much at all. I read a woman getting to know herself in a community and looking for ways to lessen others’ self-doubt, even when it masquerades as anger.

  14. Prof–I think he just thinks I waffle, which I do. But, he’d clearly have my back in a bar fight… not that I get in bar fights… er… clearly I have no point here.

    I just wanted to say that I didn’t feel criticized by Mack. I thought he was just looking to understand what was going on in my head.

  15. Close enough, i suppose. My only goal is to see you have peace about this. I said that the truth was on your side…perhaps I over-simplified, but i fully fuckin believe that.

    Prof-i read that piece like 5 times. each time, i couldn’t help but think that a rebuttal, while easy, was necessary, and justified. I do, however, know B well enough to know that except with me, she feels no need to “win.”


  16. well of course he’d have your back – he has it now in this thread. I just want to challenge the method of backing and the sense of you that he is backing.

    but maybe I’m just a “ridiculous geek” in all aspects and will require accurate nuance all the time.

    and, given our chat the other night, I read the request for info about 1) to be not about B and her apparent shortcomings but about the shortcomings of those others anyhow.

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