[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: An Opening For Reasonable Discourse?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Opening For Reasonable Discourse?

Something interesting is going on in South Florida. It's related to the Herald's two new columnists who don't exactly fit the mold of most of the remainder of their stable. Jackie Bueno Sosa is supposed to be the conservative and Glenn Garvin the libertarian. Based on three columns (two by Garvin), this may very well be the case.

What's happening is that the South Florida blogosphere, which as a whole is left-leaning when it comes to politics and ideology, is starting to respond to the columnists and their pieces. It's no longer just local conservative hacks like me complaining about Leonard Pitts Jr., Carl Hiaasen, Fred Grimm and ex-columnist Ana Menendez anymore. It's my fellow South Florida bloggers starting to complain about Sousa and Garvin (and perhaps even Myriam Marquez). In other words, an arena for lively debate of important issues may be starting to shape up. At long last.

Unfortunately, a lot of the complaining from the left is not so much about the content of Sousa and Garvin columns. Instead it's about things such as Sousa possible plagiarism of a speech given by Kevin Costner's character in Bull Durham. Check here, here, here, and here. BTW, I agree with Rick that this is much ado about nothing.

When South Florida largest newspaper has coddled liberals for so long with their point of view and primarily their point of view, it's easy to understand this reaction to opposite points of view. Feel my pain. Maybe (more below).

Another strange thing is happening: the comments at the Herald site are becoming more, shall we say, reasonable. Both sides are actually making their points in a respectful manner (with a few outraged people stating that they're canceling their subscription because of the right-wing nature of these pieces).

Lest you're getting the idea that the Herald is becoming The Washington Times south, think again. They still have a left-leaning editorial board, Leonard Pitts who has two weekly columns, Fred Grimm, Carl Hiaasen on Sundays, not to mention syndicated columnists Ellen Goodman and Susan Estrich to counter conservatives George Will and Pat Buchanan. Sousa only has one column - on Mondays, and Garvin's column will only run every other Tuesday. Not exactly feature spots. The other metro columnist, Myriam Marquez, really doesn't fit neatly into a particular ideology (good). Overall, more balance which again is a good thing, but far from one side dominating over the other (another good thing).



Blogger Rick said...

I think the dialogue was always there, Robert, it's just that when it's a progressive view being expressed, the right's way of arguing is by photoshop [I distinctly remember a horse's face caricature in the case of Menendez] or name-calling or painting the columnist as racist, a Castro sympathizer or ignorant without really discussing his/her viewpoints intelligently.

Whatever. I don't see a big change and expect things to go right back to normal once a columnist doesn't excoriate Castro enough or supports the loosening of travel restrictions to Cuba or criticizes a Republican.

And we'll be back to characterizing them as the liberal media once again.


7:08 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

By the way, I didn't notice anyone's head exploding either.

Just sayin'.


7:21 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

I love how you dolts on the left use the word "progressive" as if it were some sort of talisman. Be honest and call yourself what you are: a socialist that's too afraid to admit it. You're as "progressive" as bubonic plague.

8:41 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...


8:53 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

Poof, Robert? Was that the "reasonable discourse" dispersing itself into the atmosphere as Moneo made his entrance?

Funny thing...when I enter into this "reasonable discourse" and make a valid point with some pretty damning examples, it's amazing how quickly the conversation gets rerouted by Yoda.

"As progressive as the bubonic plague." Wow, George. Is this what happens when you reach into your big red toolbox of vulgarities and come out empty-handed?

You disappoint me.


10:54 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

It was a joke, Rick. Lighten up.

9:13 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

Joke, Robert? Care to explain?

Hey, and I'm totally cool although you might want to check with the paranoid schizophrenic over there who probably has wet dreams about blowing up mosques and bombing abortion clinics and honestly thinks that half of America is out to destroy him and his carton full of smokes.


3:23 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Fantomas Agent Provocateur said...

Hey Robert what happened to my site link?

Did Val ask you to remove it


4:34 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...


I thought I already explained it. It's not difficult Rick, trust me.

Now, would YOU care to explain your remarks about the "paranoid schizophrenic over there who probably has wet dreams about blowing up mosques and bombing abortion clinics"? Please do so. Because aside from being a hideous thing to accuse someone of, you're supposed to be "better" than and "above" that, remember?

This is just proof that you're definitely NOT interested in reasonable discourse, just as you accuse others of the same thing.

Why do I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day all of a sudden?

5:01 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...


Hey Robert what happened to my site link?

I removed it.

Did Val ask you to remove it


5:02 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

And speaking of damning examples, how about your posts alleging that George Bush doesn't care about dead soldiers and their families, comparing Cuban-Americans to a lynch mob, calling Val a Cuban-American thug, defaming George and Cigar Mike and now this masterpiece which hasn't been elevated to post status yet.

You see, I can come back with just as many, if not more, examples of YOUR lack of reason. Go ahead and complain about others. That's fine. But don't pretend you're above all this because you've proven time and time again that
you're not.

The act's getting old, Rick.

5:16 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Alberto de la Cruz said...


When it comes to Ricky-boy, it's a simple case of liberalitis; a common condition among liberals where they create rules and limitations all who disagree with them must follow, but they can ignore. It's the only way they can level the playing field. Devoid of any honest intellectual thought, they must put limitations on those that do have them so they can play along. Otherwise, they just get slaughtered.

As much as I disagree with Ricky-boy, I can't say I blame him. If I were in his position I'd probably do the same thing.

5:20 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...


I'm not claiming I'm an angel, Robert, and it's disingenuous of you to say that I'm holding myself out as one. I have admitted a number of times that I take babalu to task a lot. I don't deny it. But I have also complimented them on the occasions that I thought warranted such praise. It is more than I can say for them.

Look, I came into this comment thread to have a discussion. Your boy Moneo threw the first punch. How's 'bout giving your bro the same lip service you give the guy from Broward, Robert?

Val Prieto is a thug. A thug threatens people. A thug boasts about his handgun collection. A thug intimidates people. A thug is vulgar. Need I say more?

I've already addressed "defaming" George and Mike in another comment. You're dead wrong for all the reasons I spelled out there.

And, George, well, the vitriol that George spews about Muslims and the hate he expresses about people who are pro-choice leads anyone to believe that that guy might be capable of doing anything. He might be capable and he probably has wet dreams about it. Listen, the guy apparently cruises the net using IP masking software. Why does someone do that? Many reasons including saying and doing things that he wouldn't want to have traced back to him.

Alberto, for a guy who despises half of his fellow Americans, you truly do have a home at babalu and I am damn proud that you don't like me.

Robert, I hope you do "elevate this to post status" but do me a favor and include all of it, number one, and number two, make sure you explain what "poof" means.


8:51 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Alberto de la Cruz said...

Who ever said I disliked you, Ricky-boy? The truth is I find you to be quite entertaining. You seem to have no limits to how low you'll stoop and watching you wallow in the mud and roll around in it has a slapstick quality to it that makes it hard not to chuckle. But don't think too much about it though--what makes you funny is the fact that you think you're being serious.

Keep up the good work.

9:13 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

What happened to Hope and Change?

9:26 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Well, I guess we're still new at this reasonable discourse game, eh? Let's stop right here before we figure it out.

9:45 PM, February 25, 2009  

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