Not sure what the "issue" is...

ME - posted on 04/18/2010 ( 64 moms have responded )

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Ok...So, I am teaching Intro to philosophy this semester...This past week, i was teaching Phil. of Science...not my favorite subject, but I made it through...and then we were discussing evironmental issues and the debate over global climate change (as a "contemporary" issue in philosophy). I have about 25 students this semester, and NONE of them spoke up in defense of the Environment; NONE of them admitted to believing in climate change as a human related issue. I brought support/evidence from the IPCC and NASA and other scientific studies; I pointed out that most scientists support this theory to some extent. They didn't care...they believe that Al Gore is trying to get money (for something, they're not sure what), and that as a politician, he can't possibly know what's really going on. No matter what I said, no one spoke up in support of this science...

Ok...so, I assumed that none of my students believed this was real, and none of them understood that several thousand experts agreeing is usually a decent reason to trust the scientific evidence...It turned out (after reading their assignments on the topic) that the majority actually DO believe in climate change...they just never spoke up in class. It was a VOCAL minority who did all the talking...

I guess my question is...is this what's happening on a larger scale in the US right now? Is a vocal minority making us all look like crazy conspiracy theorists? Is that minority stopping debate and stalling progress? If so, is it our fault for not speaking up as loudly as they are? Is our national fear of offending others leading to a sort of relativism (you believe what you want, and I'll believe what I want, regardless of the evidence)? I'm not sure how to deal with this in my small class let alone on a national level...anyone have any thoughts?

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ME - posted on 04/24/2010

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Of course I brought in evidence from both sides (though there is very limited creditable info for the anti climate change side). I gave references, and brought four pages of stats from both sides. My students NEVER heard how I feel about global climate change from me until class had ended and someone finally asked me. I am a FAN FUCKING TASTIC teacher; you can take your hateful presumptions and shove them in your ear.

Dana - posted on 04/25/2010

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Kelly, you were attacking her right from the get go. Your first post and first couple of sentences.

Kelly Alldaffer

yesterday, 4:06 pm

First of all, it doesn't surprise me that you are trying to influence your classes with your own liberal agenda. I think it is sick that you brought in 'evidence' to prove your global warming beliefs, and apparently neglected to show both sides of the issue.
I would say that is more than simply showing agitation.

What is more annoying than anything is that you just assume you know what you're talking about when you were clearly wrong. Lord, knows you can't acknowledge that though, you just go on and on attacking.

?? - posted on 04/26/2010

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My post was deleted earlier, with reason I understand but I will say the point again. That "opposing view" aspect is exactly why there are people who won't speak up. What's the point of speaking up when we know that we're not going to actually get an "opposing view" in return, we're going to be given crap instead. Why converse and debate with people who automatically get beyond defensive they just turn to a rude arrogance that eliminates any productive conversation.

I think that this thread is a perfect example as to why some people would rather present a passively, 'whatever, I don't care' attitude than delve into a conversation with people who are notorious for attacking, assuming, ignoring and making shit up.

All of the 'credible' points are completely lost -- FROM BOTH SIDES -- and then when people finally get sick of the attacks and the bullshit points, they stop debating and start telling those people to get on track then they're told they're back patting and bashing. It's lame and it's not worth the time and effort.

A college student probably could go for a real debate and get right into it but why bother when you know anyone worth debating with isn't going to be in the classroom with you, learning along side you. Most unmoderated / uneducated debates disolve and result in 'hard feelings' or at the very least... someone or some people walking away offended or an ego bruised.

With the attitudes that we see around here being the same kind of attitudes those students see at home, I can completely understand why a student would rather shut up than speak up. I've backed away from COM so much because of those attitudes. I don't have time for the nitpicking bitching. If I was sitting in a classroom, I think I would feel the same way. I'd rather shut up and let the other students blow it out their ass than let my day be ruined or be annoyed by some arrogant bitch that doesn't know the difference between an assumption and an omission and the entire conversation being sidetracked, and the original question being completely lost because of it. It's pointless.

I decided to speak up instead of shut up this time. And to some people it might be nice that I spoke up, and to others, it's just more "back patting" and "conservative bashing" but in all reality it goes for BOTH sides of the spectrum and everyone in between.


& just a lil bit of an emphasis, I did quote a few choice words from Kelly's posts and used the assumption example but none of it was directed at Kelly and I hope that my point gets across without anyone taking it personally or getting all butt hurt and offended by something that, I'm stating right now, is not directed at anyone.

Krista - posted on 04/26/2010

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Dana's right, Kelly. You could have just ASKED Mary Elizabeth if she had brought in information from the other side. Instead, you leapt all over her, called her professionalism into question (which MOST people would bristle at), and now you're saying that you didn't assume -- you were just going off of the information provided. Well hell, Kelly. You haven't explicitly stated that you don't molest kittens, so going by the information that you provided, should my "opinionated response" be that you are a sick individual for your kitten molestation habits?

So yeah...you did assume. To assume means to accept something as true without proof. You had absolutely no proof that Mary Elizabeth did NOT take in information from the other side....you just leapt to that conclusion, and then tore her a new asshole based on that conclusion.

ME - posted on 04/25/2010

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I have never met a teacher who "abused their position to push their liberal agenda"...LIBERAL education refers to "Liberation" or "FREEDOM"...not Liberal as in thoughtful progressives fighting for change in our nation...It just so happens that I've met lots of thoughtful conservatives fighting for what they believe in...It doesn't show how thoughtful you are to ignore scientific data tho...The theory of climate change is a THEORY not a hypothesis...this means that the majority of people working in the field today accept the paradigm of global climate change, and believe that human beings are affecting that change in some way...a hypothesis would be ONE person suggesting a new idea or area of research...so...I do expect most people to support the overwhelmingly accepted theory of global climate change. This has nothing to do with a progressive bias on my part...unless you are now claiming that science has a liberal bias??? (Is that like reality having a liberal bias?)

Yes, I brought up my professional life. I am a teacher, and issues in education are an area of debate that include many topics I take seriously...I did not say anything, however, about my teaching methods; so, everything you said that personally attacked me was based on assumptions...and you know what they say about assuming things...

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ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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You are right Christa...The global climate change issue is (typically ) not on par with the birthers and their ilk...BUT the way the debate went in my class (a point I did include in the OP), the students made it one of those issues...For example...Al Gore is just trying to make a buck off peoples fear of this...SURE...he started researching this issue and fighting for the environment over thirty years ago, because he thought he could make some money much much later in the future! Thats not only an irrational argument, but very much a conspiracy theory...particularly when they include the scientists in the people just trying to make money off the irrational fears of others...That is not the case, and claiming that it is, does make those individuals sound "crazy"...

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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But the other side can say the same thing Christa, about being lumped all together. And there is anger and emotion in the opposite side of those topics as well. They might not as vehonment on the same subjects or from the same perspective but there is just as much anger and emotion from the left as there is the right.



I don't throw around the word racist or call just ANYONE crazy. There has to be a real reason why I would say those things. So I don't like being lumped in with people who DO call everyone those things without looking into it further.



I feel just as much anger and emotion when - for example - the topic of LGBT community comes up. Or when I hear people saying they can drive their SUV's and they don't have to recycle cause the earth is theirs to use and abuse as they please. Or that religion should be mandatory in laws. I don't think EVERYONE thinks that way but I'm not going to ignore the people who DO think that way. And I do get riled up, hurt, angered, frustrated and to the point where I want to punch people in the face because of their views on those things.



And when those topics come up I have to prepare myself to be angered and upset and know that it doesn't give me the right to do and say as I please. And granted, there are times that I will, because those topics are passionate to me and my emotions will get the best of me. Just as they will for everyone.



BUT when you're in college... you KNOW that you're going to be tested and it's going to be required of you to back up your thoughts and opinions. And around here, the same thing goes. Comin in swinging like that - it really doesn't matter what side of the issue you're on, it's not acceptable. Allowing your anger to completely take over is unhealthy, to the point where you're unrational, you're disrespectful, you undermine your own attempt to debate by doing so. Debate or not, it's not productive. I think that's something we can all agree on.



I also think it's quite unfair to say that the left side doesn't understand the anger because the same anger is felt on different points from the other side. It's both real and it's both valid but in a situation like HERE, taking time to calm down and come forth in a more respectful manner is the best way to go about it, and that goes with any topic and any discussion anywhere...





BUT if students see the angry approach and response more than the common sense approach and response, then of course they're going to be more inclined to detach themselves from the situation or topic. I don't know about you (generally), but I don't purposefully put myself in the position to be attacked... so I can see why a group of students would rather sit back than speak up.

Christa - posted on 04/27/2010

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I went back and re-read your previous post on this and the fact that you lump them all together is exactly what I'm talking about with the anger.

Christa - posted on 04/27/2010

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Mary, I know you don't. However anytime the words "crazy conspiracy theorists" are used in reference to something many people believe in, you are going to have people on the defensive.

Had this post been about the birth certificate or something similar, you probably wouldn't have gotten the same response. But climate change is not a "conspiracy" type of subject, IMO.

Christa - posted on 04/27/2010

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I totally understand that Jo. The only reason I could come in here with a clear head is because I first read this post a few days ago and followed it. This allowed me to let my emotions calm down and try it another way. In many situations, like Mary's class, there isn't time to take a step back. And I know from experience this forum can be that way too ;-). I truly don't think that those on the liberal/progressive can even begin to understand the anger coming from the right and how they perpetuate it. I agree it would be great if those on the right could take a breath and compose themselves before speaking, it would help people stop calling "us" crazy etc. But humans are emotional for better or worse and it takes a very strong person to not get emotional when provoked, which is what the left likes to do (by calling “us” crazy, racist etc), especially now in this political climate.

To get back to her students, I think because of all of this, people on the right are taking the time to get educated and they are ready to fight, where as the left has been comfortable and are caught off guard when they are challenged. Especially in college, many college kids are still in the "I just believe what I've heard from my parents" phase. Frankly I think that's what happens on a national stage as well. The media/whoever dismisses the entire conservative movement, ignoring anything they may say by finding one person holding a poor taste sign and use that to dismiss the whole group. Or they use a stupid comment someone has made i.e. Sarah Palin to dismiss anything else they might say. Thus continuing the anger. It's a vicious cycle and until someone on one side or the other takes the high ground, I don't see it breaking anytime soon. Sadly. . . .

ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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This point has been made in this forum before...But, I will make it again. All conservatives do NOT back all of the conspiracy theories I listed...I would never include all conservatives in the group Conspiracy Theorists...I don't think that way...

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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But in point of her actual question -- look at the different responses you and Kelly got. Your well thought out, nicely said, interesting, valid and pointed post is much more productive and it's a lot easier to get a debate going, or continued when you present yourself in that fashion.



You can be angry, emotional, you can be upset - but Kelly's posts weren't a representation of her opinion and they weren't any kind of stance to go forth in a debate on.



Mary asks why don't people bother... and that answer is simple to me - because there are more "Kelly responses" than "Christa responses" these days. No matter what side of the spectrum you sit on.



If it were switched around, WHEN IT IS switched around like you said Mary saying "the conspiracy theorists" and calling names and the like - you don't want to debate with those people, you want to debate with someone who can see YOU as a person with valid points too. It does go both ways.

Christa - posted on 04/27/2010

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I think that's the reason you got such and angry response from Kelly and frankly my initial response would have been the same had Kelly not said it first. You may not have said conservatives or liberals, but as groups, liberals agree with it while conservatives don't. I know there are exceptions, but in general. The fact that you, and others, so quickly dismiss the opposing arguments because they are "crazy conspiracy theorists" makes those who think along the same lines angry. The right as a group is angry right now. We are tired of not being heard or treated as valid. Whether it be on climate change, political policy, etc we are painted as crazy, racists, etc. Are there nut jobs out there that make the headline news, unfortunately yes. But the whole of the group are not that way and we are sick of being painted in such a light. THAT is what's stopping debate in this country.

Without getting into a debate about the specifics of climate change, because I have baby brain and no time to site facts to back up my opinions on that subject. There is valid scientific evidence to back up the belief that "climate change" is a bunch of BS. Why do you think it got changed from "global warming" to "climate change"? Because we are in a cooling trend and they couldn't fool anyone with the "warming" part anymore, so now it's "climate change". Do humans impact the earth, of course, but not to the extent that "climate change" people want us to believe. Frankly I think it a bit naive to think that this giant earth that was here long before us and will be here long after could be so adversely affected by us. It's a bit arrogant of us a humans, IMO. Anyway I'm really not wanting to get into that debate, only to point out that you don't have to be a "crazy conspiracy theorist" to not by into what Al Gore is selling. That attitude is why the "vocal minority" as you call it is no longer silent.

Krista - posted on 04/27/2010

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That was a very thoughtful post, Christa -- I'm sure it's given us a lot to mull over. It IS very possible that her students didn't speak up because they'd never before been made to actually ARGUE their beliefs. Interesting....

ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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welcome back Christa...I appreciate your input...

It's been a while since I wrote the OP, but I didn't include the terms liberal or conservative anywhere...and when I was thinking about this, I was thinking specifically of conspriacy theorists (not conservatives or progressives) like the birthers and those accusing President Obama of stealing our country for the Muslims and of those who deny that climate change is an issue. Yes I lump them all together (in my personal opinions, not in my professional life)...all of them fail to pay attention to or account for the evidence that invalidates their position...There are plenty of conservatives out there that use evidence and logic when they debate (Andrew Sullivan, George Will)...I disagree with them much of the time, but they don't make outlandish, irrational claims, and they force me to rethink and rework my position on issues occasionally and for the sake of consistency...conspiracy theorists have never "made me think"...irrationality just makes me cringe!

just so everyone is clear...the writing assignment was a 1-2 page reading response on two articles (in the text book) supporting global climate change...the author of the college approved text didn't even think it was necessary to include an opposing view. So...I did my research and brought one to the class...the students had already written their responses before this class took place. So NONE of them knew what my opinion was when they wrote their papers...in fact...since I brought evidence against Al Gore...it is far more likely that they believed I held the opposit opinion...

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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Aww Peyton (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure that's your other daughters name) has a lil sister, that's awesome !! Those eyes could change ya know! Especially if everyone else is brown, give her a couple more months and she may end up with beautiful brown eyes too !!

I can play nice sometimes! You of all people should know that about me by now :P I might have that attitude but when it comes to DM, if things are presented respectfully I can be pretty good about staying in line ! We've both crossed the lines in the past, but we all can... I hope you're planning on sticking around Christa, and continuing with posts like your previous one !!! Those posts, I will look forward to reading and participating with :)

Christa - posted on 04/27/2010

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Thanks! It's a little girl, it's not the best profile pic, she looks all crazy when it's cropped like that, but it shows off her big blues eyes, which in my family of all brown eyes is quite a treat. :-)



I will say you shock me too, I was a little nervous myself when I saw you were the first to respond. :-P

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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Christa, you shock me! That is the kind of post I always want to see from 'your side' and rarely see. When I saw your name I thought "oh no..." just from the last posts you contributed a lil while ago... but wow girl, I completely understand what you're saying and I can totally see what you mean and how it can be seen that way.

Side note, Is that the new baby in your profile pic?? Congrats !!!! I can't tell from the picture, and cause my eyes are kinda buggered right now... boy, girl, name? Those eyes are adorable :D

Christa - posted on 04/27/2010

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I hope I don't regret this. . . . .



I'd like to get away from the Kelly bashing and get back to the OP. I do agree with most of what Kelly has said, but thought I'd try saying it differently.



Mary, I think the problem in the wording of your OP comes from the third paragraph. Here you make it and "us vs them" thing. You've assumed that those in favor of climate change are the majority. They may have been in your class, but that doesn't mean the same should be assumed for the country as a whole. I'm sure there are polls out there to show that both sides are the majority, so I don't want to get into a argument about who is truly the majority, because there's really now way to know. I believe there are more people who think like me on this subject, including credible scientists, and I'm sure you believe otherwise. Let's leave that at that.



I think it's interesting how you perceive you and your like thinkers (whoever was meant by your use of us and our) as the silent majority. For years the conservative voice, the non main stream media opinions, whatever you want to call them have been the quiet ones. I think this past election has finally riled those of us up enough that we are being heard. And yes we are being loud and some are crossing lines. But I think it's interesting how suddenly there is a "national fear of offending others", I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) that what you meant by that is a fear of offending the conservative thinkers, I've never met a liberal minded person who thought twice about sharing their opinion in a public forum, let it be a classroom or office or other social gathering. I've constantly been shocked by someone saying something "controversial" (liberal side)without even thinking twice about who they are talking to. I have always, and still do, feel that the conservative side has always been the one who has to tread lightly when expressing an opinion for fear of offending.



Getting back to your class, I don't think they were "tired of banging their heads against a wall" truthfully I think they may not have had any idea how to argue because up until this point they really never had to. The liberal ideals have always been the loudest and those that thought that way were usually the majority in a debate type setting. I know I have always been outnumbered in these type of discussions in real life. So what I think happened in your class was a bunch of people who didn't actually know how to back up their opinions when put on the spot like that. I do think they were probably able to tell your personal feelings, at least have an idea, and they would have felt "backed up" to say something against these people IF they had any idea what to say. I don't mean that as an insult to your teaching, I just know I could always tell which way my professors leaned and when you are so passionate about certain things it's very hard to appear completely unbiased.



One final thought, just because they wrote their papers on the subject doesn't mean that's how they truly feel. Without knowing the exact assignment, I make assumptions here. . . But because the MSM is so pro- climate change when you Google it you are going to find more pro articles then against. Which makes it a lot easier to write a paper on. Also you said you did make your feelings known at the end of class, so perhaps some students just wanted a good grade and were afraid to go against your thoughts. My guess is many of them don't really care either way, because lets face it, most college students are only interested in their own little world, whatever that may be.

ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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actually...you called my teaching methods "sick", and suggested that I was abusing my authority in the classroom...but whatever...

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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If I made a post EXACTLY like this, and put in that I presented data and evidence from well known religious experts to support creationism, and made no mention that I also presented scientific data and support for evolution, y'all would have been on me like white on rice




If you posted that, I would ask if you presented the other side too, and go on from there. If you DIDN'T present the other side, then I would call into question YOUR bias and point out the incapability you have to present both sides. If you DID present the other side, I would ask what you presented.



And then to further the conversation, I would provide my own information. I would present MY opinion and reason for the way I believe. And I would continue to 'argue the points' of the valid or invalid points that are presented.



That's how a debate is supposed to go... why is that so hard for you to get?



You didn't ask Mary if she presented the other side, you just decided she OBVIOUSLY didn't because she didn't mention it in her OP and you COMPLETELY ignored the ACTUAL question she was presenting US.



The actual subject that she was discussing IN class OR what she presented REALLY has NOTHING to do with THIS debate... so you turned into debaterambo on her for your own misconcieved notion of what you think she was trying to teach her students... without even asking her a question.



That alone makes YOUR attitude a total bust up.



I have an attitude when I post in conversations like this because your attitude RUINS good debates. But your attitude is exactly the answer to Mary's original question.

Kelly - posted on 04/27/2010

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Ok. Forget all the posts on this thread. Try to pretend you don't have an opinion on whether man has caused a climate change crisis, and please re-read the OP. Can any of you honestly point out anything that shows there ISN'T a bias in that 1st paragraph?



Mary Elizabeth, I can only recall ONE other post where you and I got into it a little..... and I really don't recall trying to pull you into drama, so whatever. The only comparison I made between you and Churchill is that he believes he is a great teacher too. My point was that I am sure there are some out there that don't think you are that great. Personally I have never been a student of yours, and I don't believe I ever made a personal judgement about your skills as an educator.



As far as coming in guns blazing, I have learned from the past that meek opposition posters get jumped on like a rabbit by a pack of rabid dogs. Jo I think it's kind of funny that you think I ALWAYS have attitude, because that is the same way I feel about you :-) I wasn't trying to play the victim either. I KNOW I came into this one with some heat, so I fully expected it back. I am not naive, I have no hopes of changing you or anyone else's minds on anything. When I see BS, I call it, just as you do. Honestly, the only one in your "group" that I recall ever really disagreeing with the majority is Dana, and possibly Amie. (That's meant as a compliment Dana) And of course you refrain from the completely harsh comebacks on the few occasions that has happened. You reserve all of the "you are wrongs" and names for those that are more often not "on your side". And please, don't try to say it is ALWAYS the other person that starts that crap........... You are far from perfect m'am.



Krista, I remember the kitten issue, I think you made a random kitten comment in another post too, so I am kinda starting to wonder if you might perhaps have a fetish?

:-)



And Kati, thank you for trying to see my point through all my snottiness. I disagree that I attacked her quality as a teacher. I agree that "teachers impact and shape the lives and brains of a student", which is why I had such strong reactions to the OP. Teachers need to be held to the highest standard, and IMO she showed an extreme bias originally that was somewhat cleared up in later posts. I didn't EVER say she was a shitty teacher, and what I said made me sick was the apparent one-sidedness in her original description of what happened in her class. If I made a post EXACTLY like this, and put in that I presented data and evidence from well known religious experts to support creationism, and made no mention that I also presented scientific data and support for evolution, y'all would have been on me like white on rice. I sincerely doubt you would have been speaking up for my value as a teacher.

Rosie - posted on 04/27/2010

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i will agree that kelly has some valid points about if this were a conservative based argument that we would start attacking. HOWEVER, i don't believe that i (i don't know anybody else, but i assume they wouldn't) or anybody else on here would start attacking someones quality as a teacher. first of all, i work in retail and if someone decided to tell me i was a shitty customer service worker it wouldn't affect me nearly as much as if i was a teacher. teachers impact and shape the lives and brains of a student, and to go off and say she was a shitty teacher and that she made you sick was uncalled for. she makes a difference in this world. that's what pissed me off, and that's why i said something. i would've said something if someone told you (kelly) that you were a shitty teacher as well, it's simple human courtesy, not a liberal conservative thing.

Krista - posted on 04/27/2010

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So if I pat you on the head, is that what makes you barf unicorns?

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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The pooping of the skittles was in the midst of all the back patting, I guess!

We all missed it !!

ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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And...Kelly...you DID attack me,...I went back to read your first two posts this morning just to be sure I wasn't being to sensitive (or whatever I was called)...Not only did you attack me this time, but you have done so before, and you have tried to involve me in COM dramas that I was not apart of...forgive me if I missed the one or two points you threw in with the venom, and responded to repeated hostility with hostility...
Again...it seems the behavior here IS the answer to my OP...we cannot have a healthy debate because vicious verbal attacks and strawman arguments and circular reasoning, and demands for religious conformity from citizens of a democracy are difficult/impoossible to argue with (not that all of these happened in this discussion, but one or more occurs in nearly every "debate" between conservatives and progressives)...I should not have been surprised by the "who cares" attitude of the supporters of accepted science in my class...I'm sure they are tired of banging their heads against walls too...
I am not a "sick" person or teacher! I have little or nothing in common with W. Churchill, and I never "dumb down" my students (just to respond to a few personal attacks)...in fact, when other teachers claim that fresh. community college students cannot do real college level work, I argue vehemently that indeed they can do it, and they must be expected to.

ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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Stephen Hawking said recently on a Charlie Rose interview that further space exploration and scientific research into living on other planets or in other solar systems has to progress or the human species will be in danger of extinction by the end of this century...WHY? Because of global climate change...I know that conservatives have always argued with change in scientific paradigms (Galileo, Darwin, etc.), but MOST of the time, the new paradigm is closer to the truth than the old...I'm a philosopher because I'm better at asking questions then I am at answering them, I got an MA in psych because people fascinate me more than numbers and equations...I am willing to take the word of men like Hawking on such issues because, while they very important to me, I need some help deciphering the data...

?? - posted on 04/27/2010

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Making someone expand the OP... you didn't make anything happen you just assumed and went with that... if you REALLY wanted to "make" her expand, you would have asked a question rather than attack.

Starting off on an emotional outrage doesn't expand anything except the collective idea that you don't want to debate, you just want to be aggressive.

You don't get under my skin, personally. When you do bring forth something valid, you undermine it with your self righteous attitude, so because of that you kind of frustrate me. But other people frustrate me in the same ways too. The times you leave the attitude behind are very few and far between so I think that a lot of the stuff you want to share with people gets lost. I wish you would just back off the attitude and put forth the knowledge you have. And I think YOU need accept that there are people who aren't going to believe you and they are going to disagree with you just as much as you say others don't accept that you don't have to agree with them.

And I think that is why the "opposition" has left COM, they don't like being told to argue points and leave the attitude behind. You obviously can't leave your attitude behind, and neither could they. I'm sure there are many of the 'liberals' that couldn't either but they manage to present a more civil front in many more ways than any of the 'opposition' ever has, so that the conversation and debate can go on in a civil fashion for a lot longer.

When the 'opposition' leave the attitude on the side lines, these discussions can be really elevating and interesting. But that doesn't happen very often or for very long either. You call it playing the victim or whatever the hell you want to call it, but it goes both ways. Your last post was all about playing the victim. Poor me, ganged up on because I attacked instead of asked a question. It just doesn't fly, it's an automatic crash and burn when you come forth with that demeanor.

And Kelly, you did start a thread awhile ago with a 'conservative bias' and it never got off the ground, and it's because of this exact issue that it didn't. No one wants to debate with someone they KNOW is going to just be angry and aggressive and isn't going to actually argue points but rather attack. I don't see the point of "debating" with you... for the same reason why a lot of people don't want to debate with the emotional debaters of the world... there's no point. Before they even post, they know people are going to disagree so they would start off with a air of snottiness that turns everyone off from debating with them. And they aren't all conservative either, and they aren't all christians and the other side aren't all liberals either. I hate all the labeling. I see individual people as individual people. And there are people from every side that are like that and they all annoy the shit outta me and I wish they'd all just leave their attitudes behind. If you want a real debate and a good conversation then why bring the attitude at all.

I gaurentee you there are issues that I disagree with with EVERY single person on this forum, from Esther, Amie, Erin, Dana, Krista, EVERYONE........... BUT... when those issues come up, we stick to the points, we argue the reason, we don't attack each other and we just disagree and we KNOW that because we disagree it doesn't make the other one wrong or stupid (unless it's obviously something stupid - and that's all a matter of perception too) it just means we disagree. And there HAVE been times when we got to the point where it gets personal, but then we talk it out like adults and then we realize that it's not worth the hurt feelings.

And because we disagree 'kindly' when shit like THIS goes all out, the person who is 'being told to behave' figures we all back pat each other and agree all the time and everything is all happy rainbows and pooping skittles....... but just because you choose to ignore the disagreements we all have doesn't make it any more valid for you or anyone to attack someone.

Krista - posted on 04/27/2010

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Don't forget that you were also accused of molesting kittens, Kelly.

;-)

I kid.

Look, this isn't necessarily about a left-right thing. I've seen this happen a lot on COM. A discussion will be going along, and then someone comes along who disagrees with the OP, and they come in swinging. Just like you did. So immediately, it changes the tenor of the discussion. Not because an opposing viewpoint was stated, but because it was stated in a very confrontational way, right out of the gates.

I'm not a mod or an admin here, Kelly, so I can't speak for everybody, but we do our best here to ensure that this place is NOT an echo chamber. So anytime you disagree with someone, don't be shy. But, sometimes things can be kept more civil if we don't bring a tank to a knife-fight. Now if it ESCALATES into a tank-fight, then gas that sucker up! :)

Kelly - posted on 04/27/2010

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Jo, I missed your first post, but I assure you, my butt isn't hurt :-)
As far as "wrongly attacking", I am quite positive that if I started a thread with a conservative bias, you all would have been very quick to jump on it and tell me why I was wrong. There was anger in my original post. Whether it was irrational or not, we will just have to disagree. And I did post my opinion on the question, you just chose to focus on the fact that I judged the OP as biased. I do think it is interesting that you claim to be tired of being attacked when there is hardly anyone left on COM with an opposing view. A lot of the conservative moms have left COM because THEY felt attacked constantly. Regardless of who is the "attacker" and who is the "victim", I think it's a cop out to hide behind the title of "victim" when it is unwarranted. Calling names, threatening you personally, bringing your kids into it, that would be considered attacking. Forcing you to back up your original position with supporting evidence is not attacking. Making you expand your OP to show that you weren't actually biased is not attacking. So far, in a round about way I have been called a bitch, arrogant and ignorant. None of that bothers me because all it does is show me that I have managed to get under your collective skin.

Some are very quick to label people with an opposing view as "dangerous lunatics" because they are vocal. IMHO, if you aren't willing to vocalize your opinion, you don't have one. If there is such a strong progressive movement out there, maybe they need to grow a set, and get vocal.

Dana - posted on 04/27/2010

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Dana, people tend to stick up for ANYONE who has wrongly been attacked. If someone attacked Kelly out of the blue, we'd do the same thing. It's about standing up for what is right.
Thanks for sharing your point of view, I do agree with you about Kelly having certain points. It just gets lost when you attack someone for no reason.

[deleted account]

I've been following this post the entire thread and all I want to say is that I'm completely neutral.....I don't know any of you extremely well and I'm certainly not friendly with any of you. I CAN SEE BOTH SIDES, if that matters? Amoung all the back and forth there are some really valid points that, like Jo said, get lost in all the bullshit! And sorry, but, that bullshit is coming from both sides! Kelly may have been harsh with her assumptions but everyone was certainly eager to jump back down her throat! Just an outsiders point of view....

ME - posted on 04/27/2010

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Jo is probably right. While Kelly's attacks certainly didn't directly answer my OP, they did point to the problem my post was meant to address. I've stopped posting questions here and particpating as much (partly because I have a two month old and a job, but also) because it's really tiring to get attacked like this out of the blue by people with more anger than evidence. A psychologist once told me that feelings are niether right nor wrong, they just are...another way of saying that might be you can't argue with anger (or saddness, or whatever). I'm sure that many of my students have had experiences like this one, and I'm sure that progressives, as a group, are getting tired of the irrational anger as well. I'm sorry that the thread got sidetracked before the actual question could be addressed...I also think that many of you brought up very interesting points...didn't sound like back patting to me!

Kelly - posted on 04/26/2010

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So yeah...you did assume. To assume means to accept something as true without proof. You had absolutely no proof that Mary Elizabeth did NOT take in information from the other side....you just leapt to that conclusion, and then tore her a new asshole based on that conclusion.




Actually, I wasn't provided with any facts that she DID present both sides in the OP. Quite the opposite. So therefore I didn't ASSUME that she had presented both sides. I am sorry, but there are *shock* many respected scientists out there that don't agree with the climate change crisis idea. Saying the "scientific community" believes in global warming is like saying the "medical community" supports Obamacare. Especially since it seems anyone with the title "scientist" can agree with the theory, regardless of their area of expertise. As far as tearing her a new one, that wasn't what I was trying to do, good to know it takes so little effort.



I have to say, It is refreshing to see that you ladies can all rally up to defend on occasion instead of just attack as is your usual modus operandi.



Since I already gave my two cents on the actual question in the post, I won't trouble you ladies anymore. Go ahead and get back to your back patting or conservative bashing, or whatever it was you were doing before I interrupted with an opposing view.

ME - posted on 04/26/2010

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I also didn't tell you that the lesson encompassed two hours worth of material, and not just five minutes worth of stats from opponants and supporters, and that the whole point was to examine arguments and attempt to determine the relevance of particular bits of info (and not about whether or not global climate change is caused by men), nor did I bring up my in-depth examination of the history of scientific paradigm shifts; all of which might have helped you to make a more informed opinion of me as a teacher. That, however was not the point of my question, so, it never occurred to me to include it. Mary answered the actual question, and I would be happy to continue debating it, but I won't entertain questions of my professionalism anymore!

Kelly - posted on 04/26/2010

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Mary you do have a point there. More and more of the younger generations seem to have an apathetic response to what is going on around them. They just don't care, unless it is something that is going to directly affect them right now.

Dana - posted on 04/26/2010

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No, you took a statement and assumed. Just because she said that to us doesn't mean she didn't bring the other side to the table. She was talking about one particular part of her lesson, that the students didn't speak up in support of this science in front of everyone even though some of them believed it.

You're only seeing what you want to see and jumping all over Mary for it.

Kelly - posted on 04/26/2010

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Mary Elizabeth April 18, 8:58 am
I brought support/evidence from the IPCC and NASA and other scientific studies; I pointed out that most scientists support this theory to some extent. They didn't care...they believe that Al Gore is trying to get money (for something, they're not sure what), and that as a politician, he can't possibly know what's really going on. No matter what I said, no one spoke up in support of this science...

That was the part responsible for my initial response Dana. Nowhere in the OP did she say she brought views from BOTH sides of the debate (as she later clarified), and she made it pretty clear she was personally involved in the debate (I brought evidence, I pointed out, No matter what I said....) I admit, the "I'm not surprised" comment came from past discussions with Mary Elizabeth, she has shown to be quite liberal, just as most of you probably have made determinations about who I am based on past threads and comments. (For the record, no FOX is not on my tv right now, I am not wearing a palin t-shirt or getting ready to go to a tea party rally). I don't "hate" Mary Elizabeth, and I never said I personally thought she was a bad teacher. I saw bias, and I called her out on it.

Mary Elizabeth, I didn't ASSUME anything about you. I took the information that you provided and formed an opinionated response. If you later say that you didn't do what your OP suggested, that's great. You are right, I have never sat in one of your classes. You have stated your perception of what transpired in your class. None of your students are here to present their perceptions, so we have to go strictly on what you say. I am critical of your perception. My stating I felt you were pushing your own agenda (based on the info you yourself provided) isn't a "nasty personal attack". In the future I will remember that you are sensitive to criticism.

Mary - posted on 04/26/2010

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Wow, did this thread take a nasty turn...and pretty much off topic at that!

As for the OP's question...I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised that more students didn't speak up. Typically, college students are at an age where they are more passionate and argumentative, regardless of the topic. I realize it's been a while since I was in college (graduated way back in '92!), but my philosophy classes were always quite animated, with people arguing/debating almost any issue ad nauseum...on BOTH sides of the political spectrum. It's a little concerning to me that these students were so reserved...this is the time in life where we tend to most believe that our opinions DO matter, and we can bring about change. Typically, we are still optimistic and idealistic in our early 20's, and have yet to be beaten down or apathetic, and we think we CAN change an other's way of thinking if we argue long and hard enough. It makes me sad to think that your students are already feeling the need to go with the flow...they are much too young for that type of passivity

LaCi - posted on 04/26/2010

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Kelly, You apparently assumed I support the democrats. You are incorrect. Although I do consider them the least ignorant of the given choices. Although I will argue that "change we can believe in" outweighs "Joe Six Pack" any day. There is also a difference between a catch phrase and a slogan, but I digress, you don't know who I support so don't assume. I do enjoy that the only thing I posted that you had a response to was the catchphrase comment. Palin's speeches have the integrity and meaning of a pop song or script in a Jim Carrey comedy. B-E-A-utiful. Irrelevant and irritating. I can actually argue about change, not about pitbulls.

Krista - posted on 04/25/2010

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Damn, Mary Elizabeth...I would not want to be a student acting up in your class. You're like the verbal equivalent of Muhammad Ali.

ME - posted on 04/25/2010

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Also...Theories (not to get all intellectual or anything) are required to be falsifiable. If there is NO WAY to prove them false, then they are discarded..so, the fact that there is some dispute is quite healthy, and there's nothing I love more than a real debate based on the facts of the case. Personally attacking someone who presents a theory, however, only proves that YOU are too uncertain of YOUR point to actually debate the issue. This is why personally attacking someone in a debate renders your point of view fallacious and ignor(able)ant!

Kelly - posted on 04/25/2010

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Sorry, but you do have to explain that you brought up both sides. Otherwise you are just another liberal teacher trying to push a personal agenda on an audience that has no choice but to sit and listen to it.
And Mary Elizabeth, I didn't come here and make some random personal attack on you. YOU brought up your professional life when you created this post. I am simply stating my OPINION on the fact that your OP was very one sided. Who says the scientific theory of global warming is respected? There are plenty of credible scientists that actually work and study in the fields relevant to global warming that don't agree with the theory. If your students were "afraid" to present an opposing view to the more vocal people in your class, I personally don't think it is any more than the fact that they don't like debate, or they are not confident in their beliefs and are afraid of getting their asses handed to them. And your last little point, proves that YOU are the one with the problem. I don't know how many posts I have seen where certain people of a liberal mindset have ridiculed and disrespected other's beliefs or points of view on a myriad of topics, religious beliefs being a big one. So don't try to lecture me on showing respect. I don't believe I EVER labeled you a "crazy liberal", I simply showed agitation at yet another teacher who seemed to be abusing their position to push their liberal agenda.

Kati, I wasn't inferring that she was a crappy teacher, I was stating the fact that I am sure some of her past students probably think she wasn't such a fantastic one. If I showed hate, it was for the pompous attitude thrown into some of the responses, as well as the OP. It may be a shock to you or others, but there are SOME people who are just as highly educated out there that don't buy into every farce thrown at them. I wonder if you (and others) would have showered so much love and praise on Mary Elizabeth if she herself had been anti- global warming in the OP....... my guess, based on the actual responses, is no.

Rosie - posted on 04/25/2010

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i'm not sure that you're seeing past your hate when contributing to this conversation kelly. how dare you still infer that she's a crappy teacher after she explained (which she shouldn't of had to) that she did bring both sides of the issue to her class, have you taken her class? if not then STFU!! my god woman, really?





and the point of my post was to say that just because there is evidence to support something doesn't mean it's right. i listened to the people who said they smoked and nothing happened to their child, so i still smoked. nothing happened to my child, so was i right? NO. of course it's harmful to smoke while pregnant. just as you're listening to people who think there's evidence to prove that climate change isn't happeneing. are they right? not according to the scientific community. the mind of kelly alldaffer doesn't really mean much to the scientists out there.



we can go back and forth all day long and this won't change anything for either of us, so i might as well give up. by giving up i guess i'm proving the point about mary's post in the first place.

ME - posted on 04/25/2010

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I'm sorry...my original response to your nasty personal attack should have been: 1. You don't know me, you've never sat in my class, and you are clearly making assumptions about my professional life based on conversations from a debating forum. I am capable of presenting my personal views in one type of arena and not in another. I am capable of defending the opposit side of a position from the ones I believe (it's called Philosophy). 2. Attacking a person's character is rarely the way to make your point!



My students are almost all conservatives. If I were to tell them outright what my actual political opinions were, they would tune me out, and label me a crazy liberal (just like you seem to be doing); and my class would then have no impact on them at all. If I get them to begin using their critical thinking skills, they will at least be one up on you. If I can get them to respect other points of view and realize that ALL of us are just Americans who love this country and want whats best for it, they will be one up on the whole conservative movement!



I should have also pointed out that the original post had more to do with the fact that the supporters of the climate change theory outnumbered those in opposition, they just refused to speak up...This wasn't meant to be a debate about global climate change exactly...I am more concerned with the fact that supporters of a respected scientific theory were too "afraid?" to speak up in opposition to people who don't believe it...

Kelly - posted on 04/24/2010

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Yep. and Ward Churchill thought he was a FAN FUCKING TASTIC teacher too. And I am sorry, but from the tone of your OP, I highly doubt your students didn't know your feelings until AFTER class. Just add this one to my running tab of hateful presumptions Mary Elizabeth. Oh, and while you may THINK you are a fantastic teacher, I am sure there are plenty out there that think you are quite the opposite, being that there are always two sides to everything...... As far as creditable info against the 'global warming crisis', I am sure you didn't look too hard. Prof. Lindzen had some interesting observations years ago, I found the CATO pub for you, if you are interested in being "fair and balanced" in the future. (how's that for a catch phrase Laura?)

http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv...

One relevant observation he made:

"Why, one might wonder, is there such insistence on scientific unanimity on the warming issue? After all, unanimity in science is virtually nonexistent on far less complex matters. Unanimity on an issue as uncertain as "global warming'' would be surprising and suspicious. Moreover, why are the opinions of scientists sought regardless of their field of expertise? Biologists and physicians are rarely asked to endorse some theory in high energy physics. Apparently, when one comes to "global warming,'' any scientist's agreement will do."

Kati, not quite sure what the purpose of your post was other than to show that you yourself disregard "popular" scientific belief and endangered your unborn child by smoking..... I don't think climate change would be the political platform it is if it weren't for people like Al Gore spouting out crap, and the government trying to control every facet of people's lives instead of trusting us to do the right thing.

Laura, I will let the polls speak for themselves in showing how people feel about healthcare. I don't recall continually saying conservatives keep their views to themselves, maybe you could refresh my memory? As far as the left staying quiet, I don't agree with that at all. The left is staying quite vocal. There were a few Reid supporters in Searchlight when the Tea Party rolled into town were there not? I am not unreasonable, I am more than willing to listen to opinions that differ from my own. I just don't tune in to over-educated arrogant pricks bloviating spew from their pedestals.

Isobel - posted on 04/24/2010

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of course liberals have catch phrases...but how often do you find regular people on the left using them as proof of their argument (I for one have never used or heard any of the liberals here on com do that) I, however, don't seem to be able to get through one paragraph without reading one of the right's catch phrases "ramming it down our throats" "the American people don't want health care"

If you want to believe that 40% is the majority, I suppose I can't stop you...but at some point you will need to admit that you and your ilk are not the end all be all...

you continually say that conservatives keep their views to them selves because of the "liberal elite" slamming their views. I think Mary proves that the opposite is true. The left is now staying quiet because it's impossible to argue with people who continually stick bananas in their ears and simply say "lalalalala...it's all lies...nobody's telling the truth except our people" honestly why bother?

Rosie - posted on 04/24/2010

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kelly's there's always going to be some type of "evidence" to disprove things. just as there is "evidence" that smoking whilst pregnant isn't harmful (hence my perfectly healthy 8lb child, along with thousands of other healthy children) but that doesn't mean that it's the general consensus amongst the scientific community that we should all be smoking away while pregnant. but smoking while pregnant isn't a political issue so everybody in the nation actually uses their brain and listens to the scientific commnity. since climatechange is, for some reason, a political issue, we get all hyped up with who's right and who's wrong and who's lying and who's making shit up and who's just plain wrong that people can't see through all the bs, and just look at the fact that most of the scientific community is in alignment with this.

i have absolutely no clue how people can believe that second hand smoke is horrible for you, yet somehow can't figure out that exhaust from millions of cars, and smokestacks, and waste from EVERYTHING is horrible for them and this planet. its simple common sense.

Kelly - posted on 04/24/2010

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I just think Palin supporters must be a completely insane, tiny portion of the population. They might be loud and obnoxious, but their views tend to be ignorant and based on ridiculous catch phrases, so I just don't see a point in speaking against them and I'm not really interested in conversing with them.




LaCi, do you mean catch phrases like "Yes we can" and "change we can believe in" ? Just wondering.........

Kelly - posted on 04/24/2010

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First of all, it doesn't surprise me that you are trying to influence your classes with your own liberal agenda. I think it is sick that you brought in 'evidence' to prove your global warming beliefs, and apparently neglected to show both sides of the issue. There are just as many credible scientists that don't believe man is the cause of global warming trends. NOAA and the IPCC for example have done studies and their reports showed that some of the stated beliefs of Al Gore and his ilk were absolutely unfounded. Good for those students who were vocal in their opposition. I love how you attempt to dumb them down by saying their arguments were unfounded and they didn't even know why they felt the way they did..... oh to be a fly on the wall. The fact that you are just 'shocked' that more people haven't bought in to the Al Gore myth is laughable. As far as your question, no I don't believe it is a 'vocal' minority that is stalling progress and stopping debate. I for one don't have a fear of offending others (as you can probably guess from the tone of this post) and I don't believe I am in the minority. Maybe in some of the larger liberal meccas throughout the country, but not in overall America. Everyone, liberal or conservative probably feels that overall government doesn't listen or work productively. But never in our history (since the revolution at least) has there been such a blatant disregard for the voice of the people. That is why we are seeing more 'vocal' people out there, and if they are classified now as the minority, I don't think that will be for long.



Sorry if you see me as hostile, I am feeling slightly hostile after reading your first paragraph. My advise for whatever it's worth, is don't bring your personal agenda into the classroom. College age kids are able to form their own opinions. You should be presenting them with ALL the information available and letting them use their own deductive reasoning to form a belief, not trying to brainwash them to believe what you do.



*edited to add* Two major factors that affect global climate: The sun, and water vapor. Sulfur dioxide, methane and CO2 are much less significant. The Earth itself produces more sulfur dioxide than industrialization, methane is produced by ALL plant eating animals, and CO2 (it has been shown) has not had the major effect on the planet that some once thought it did.



I don't think that man contributes nothing to climate trends, but I also don't think man is responsible for a 'global warming crisis'

Lea - posted on 04/20/2010

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Mary, YES. And its not fear of offending anyone, its how do you debate with stupidity. Why waste your energy. Why try to convince someone the sky is blue. If other people want to embarrass themselves and prove how ignorant they are by being a parrot of fox news, let them. Intelligent people don't need to debate the existence of climate change, they are too busy trying to do something about it.

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