Monday, June 25, 2007

Goodbye Brit, and thanks!

I'm sad to announce that our good friend Andrew Nixon, aka Brit, will be leaving the Daily Duck as a contributor. I also want to apologize for any ill will I've engendered with Brit, as well as Peter and Ali due to any overly strident or poorly phrased comments in my posts as of late. Blogging presents us with temptations to act self-righteously, and I resolve to try to act more maturely in the face of those temptations in the future. I started this blog not to hear my own echo but to converse with others and to learn. There's a time for spirited debate and a time for listening and learning, and I'm afraid I gave short shrift to the latter recently. Mea culpa.


Blogger Brit said...

There's no ill will, Duck. Just time pressures and, especially on one obvious issue, what rock bands call 'artistic differences'. Commenting will continue.

June 26, 2007 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


June 26, 2007 3:27 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

Bummer! I suppose that's the end of the limerick threads?

June 26, 2007 10:44 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

You have nothing to apologise for Duck. Heck, I respect you, Skipper, Harry, Oro, joe s, AOG and everyone else here immensely. It's a privilege to converse with you.

I won't be around for some time though. Like Brit, I've got a lot of extra demands on my time. Plus the Chris Benoit murder case has severely depressed my desire to while away time on the net.

June 27, 2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger joe shropshire said...

Is this the end of the limerick thread?

No, but this might be:

A blogger who'd nurture the hive mind
Must ne'er be ungracious nor unkind
But double your ration
Of self-flagellation?
Duck, stop that, before you go blind.

June 27, 2007 7:49 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

After reading the original post, I was upset to think I might have driven Brit off, since, judging from his last post on the subject at ToE, I was the worst of the bad.

Glad to know it wasn't just me.

However, with Brit and Skipper both pulling back, it looks like a period of sitzkrieg coming to TDD.

June 27, 2007 9:39 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


Some months ago I made an actual decision, with many ramifications.

Some of which amount to 52-card lifestyle pickup, the game where rugby meets poker.

As a consequence, I am homeless, midway between here and there.

How's that for a teaser?

BTW, I'll be back in a couple weeks.

June 28, 2007 9:56 PM  
Blogger Brit said...

It's not you Harry - your position has always been clear. It was the position of my fellow Duckians in relation to you.

It's also much easier to be a guest than a host.

June 29, 2007 12:51 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


I've been out of the loop for quite some time, but in re-readng that thread, I very much got the impression you completely misread what the Duckian's positions are, as evidenced by a couple comments on ToE::

If you don't get it, try swapping 'Muslim' for 'Christian'. Do the Westboro Baptist Church represent the "true voice of Christianity"?

Leaving aside for the moment whether anyone posited a "true voice is Islam", there are a whole raft of instnaces where one could easily swap Christian for Muslim, with respect to divine revlations that are immoral nonsense.

Beyond the monotheistic stupidity regarding homosexuality, until Vatican II, with respect to Jews, the only good Catholic was a bad Catholic.

Given the contenes of the Q'uran and the Bible, it is a very good thing indeed that most Muslims and nearly all Christians are bad believers.

In that regard, I simply was unable to find any bigotry of the sort you should object to, if it was there. I don't recall seeng even one instance of suggesting punishing, or even ostracizing, Muslims as Muslims. However, it is impossible to talk about the evil inherent in Islam (or Christianity, for that matter), without at some point involving Muslims or Christians.

In particular, also from a comment of yours on ToE, I simply did not understand The first thing you should have done was take Harry to task for his hateful Islamophobia..

I just carefully re-read his posts, and am completely unable to find anything amounting to "hateful Islamophobia." He clearly hates some elements of Islam, and obviously has concluded some Muslims adhere to those elements, while the rest are seeminly reluctant to abjure them.

However, if there was even a hint of anti-Muslim bigotry -- that is, a desire to assign guilt to the entire group based on the actions of a subset of that group -- than I couldn't find it.

Is that because I am just as guilty?

(Duck -- if you think this post is too late, or in the wrong place, etc, by all means, delete it.)

June 29, 2007 6:05 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

I think we could all improve our debating skills to target ideas and not personalities. I will only speak for myself and the things that I could have done better. Reading my post again, I clumsily tied, or gave the appearance of tying, my critique of Vlahos with the arguments of Peter and Brit. I think that Vlahos definitely is wobbly on Western values, I don't think that of Brit or Peter, but I gave the impression that I did.

Skipper, all I can say is that even if certain things aren't intended, the way we express our ideas can give that impression. Gettting our points across clearly and unambiguously is a skill that we could all improve upon. I don't want to stifle debate, and I really don't want to police the blog unless I have to. These debates are too important to squelch. I just think that we all need to look at our style of argumentation with a view to how others perceive them. We're all adults here, lets just all redouble our efforts to maintain a civil, but impassioned debate.

June 29, 2007 6:28 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

The news reports from Britain the past couple days leave many questions unanswered, but it rather appears that up until 3 days ago there were some people residing there who were indistinguishable from the common run of modern Englishmen who nevertheless did not have the best interests of the community at heart.

According to the BBC, Sarwar, MP, is more concerned about graffiti than about bomb attacks on his airport.

Slap me down for beating a dead horse if you like, but these recent events do seem to bring out my basic policy question: How do infidels tell the good Muslims from the bad ones?

When I was a boy in Tennessee, we all learned a jingle about snakes: Red on yellow kill a fellow; red on black venom lack.

When playing in the woods, if we encountered a snake with horizontal bands of black, yellow and red, we were always wary at first.

It would have been absurd, I think, to have been indifferent, on the grounds that almost all the banded snakes were the harmless kind.

July 01, 2007 1:14 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

From the Associated Press, July 4, about the UK would-be bombers:

'Azmi Mahahzeh, a teacher at the University of Jordan's medical school, said he knew the suspect Asha during his studies and training there in 1998-2004. He said he didn't think Asha was religious. "He is not a fanatic type of person," Mahafzeh said.

'Asha's family also denied he was a militant or had links to terrorism, as did the family of Asha's wife, Marwa.

' "Marwa is a very educated person and she read many British novels to know England better, a country she liked very much," her father, Yunis Da`na, told The Associated Press in Jordan.'

July 04, 2007 1:12 PM  

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