Ashamed of myself - a formal retraction and apology about my extremist global warming post
I wrote a post that advocated for the jailing and execution of global warming deniers. If any of you have read my former posts - I may get very angry sometimes - but I truly don't want for anyone to die. I'm vehemently against the death penalty - and do my best to respect all forms of life.
My intention was not to wish imprisonment or execution of global warming skeptics. I am not a trained writer (I hear your collective "no shit sherlock" loud and clear) - and was not able to get my point across. That point is now irrelevant because I did true harm to this site, as well as the cause of global warming research. It's hard enough for respected scientists to battle Fox News ability to provide mass misinformation on the subject - they didn't need the extremist language in my post riling up conservatives. My original point was to combat what I considered an extreme (denying global warming) with another extreme (my ill conceived jailing and ... - well you know). A good writer would have found a better way to make their point without the threat of violence. I find the thought of being locked up for your views truly disgusting and disturbing as well. The whole post was ill conceived, poorly written - and not representative of who I am. But I did write it - and I take full responsibility for it.
This post was linked to many conservative sites before Josh could take it down, and I was even included as the subject of a Washington Examiner article. Wow - I'd reached the big time!! But I had been compared to an extremist abolitionist and the murderer of an abortion doctor. And sadly I didn't have much room to argue based on how my post was taken. Someone asked me how my language was any different from an extremist anti-abortionist calling for the murder of abortion doctors. While my intention was certainly different, the tone was not.
Some of the global warming skeptics actually had reasonable arguments against my extremist position, pointing out that science is ever evolving and changing. One in particular (I can't find it now - but it was well written) showed how throughout history scientific consensus have been overturned by new evidence - and that we should never stifle true scientific inquiry. This definitely made me think and further realize I was wrong in my approach. For those of you wishing to be thoroughly informed about the issue by a true master, I humbly direct them to the great potholer54 on youtube and his extremely reasoned scientific look at the issue. You will be glad you did.
What was truly disgusting though were the right wing vultures who pounced upon the story like it was a piece of rotting flesh (a good analogy for the post). They quote mined the story - picking out only the part about jailing and murdering people who don't agree with you and made sure it looked like Josh himself approved the article. Many of them insinuated (or just stated) that the post was written by the staff at TPM. They knew full well that the site allows anyone to post a blog - but they tried to drag the site through the mud because it wasn't pulled quick enough. One of the things I regret most is a comment on red-alerts.com who said that my post was just another reason to stock up on ammunition. Again - I know you don't know me - but the thought that my post made even one more lunatic on the right consider further arming themselves makes me sick and I question whether I should continue to write. As you can see from some previous posts - I push the envelope with people on the right and with evangelical Christians as well. I certainly hope I have never given the impression that I wish harm or violence to any person or group. I may (and do) vehimently disagree on some big issues - but I want everyone to live a healthy happy life.
As I thought about what to write - I wanted to post without throwing too many jabs at the right. I hope I have succeeded in that endeavor - it was not easy. There are many things that separate the views of progressives from the views of conservatives (and especially neo-conservatives). But one thing I think our side does much better is admit when we're wrong. I don't remember the last time someone on the right offered a sincere apology for some of the vile viewpoints they project onto our World. I'm not talking about offering a half hearted generically written apology when a sponser threatens to pull out due to public outrage - but an honest "You know what - I was wrong" apology. It would honestly make me listen to their viewpoint more if I knew they were introspective enough to question their own views and admit when they've made a mistake. I've taken this experience as an opportunity to do just that. I have concluded that although I think I'm right in my progressive World view - I can always do more homework and look at the true facts - and maybe examine the views of the other side for validity before I completely make up my mind. If anyone takes anything from this retraction - I hope it's that.
In conclusion - I'd like to offer my thanks to Josh Marshall for the second chance he's given me. He had no reason to allow me to post here - and in fact it was probably in his best interests to suspend my account permanently. He gave me some advice that I truly value and will do my best to heed it. I promised to abide by the terms of service - and to think before I hit save. Josh - thank you for taking a chance and for allowing me to continue to post here.
I am sorry.
The Insolent Braggart