Skip to comments.Remember Nick Berg!
Posted on 05/13/2004 1:40:29 PM PDT by MarDav
In the face of the horrific, brutal murder of Nick Berg, I am here to say, Ive had enough! I will no longer let my somnambulant friends and acquaintances get away with their disregard and lack of concern for the war against radical Islam. I will no longer allow them to dismiss the lies, the mischaracterizations, the half-truths and the politically motivated distortions perpetrated daily by the left-leaning media and the Democratic Party. I will no longer sit by and be frustrated by the shrill, hollow shout-downs of those who would never be willing to stand for anything (unless, of course, it is to oppose core, traditional American values and beliefs). I will no longer let these things pass. From now on, every correspondence I send, every conversation I conclude, every checkout person I encounter, every waiter I tip, every friend I meet, in short, every human contact I have will conclude with a cry, with a prayer, with a unifying reminder of what our collective lives must be united against, what our actions and words must strive to live up to, what we must all always bear in mind as we work and play and live and love and laugh and cry. We must always:
Remember Nick Berg!
As in wars past, Americans came together under the rallying cries of Remember the Alamo! and Remember the Maine!, today you and I must, we must keep in mind the great threat that would seek to wrest from all of us our God-given rights of freedom and liberty. We are involved in a great conflict which many have refused to acknowledge, and which many Americans have forgotten. Think of how quickly the pictures of the attack on 9/11 disappeared from our public view. Think of how muffled the truth about our war has become (it is not a war on terror, but a war on radical Islamsee Andrew McCarthys piece at Nationalreviewonline.com). Well, we can no longer allow Americans the luxury of forgetfulness (or semi-consciousness). We can no longer allow the anti-American bias that permeates so many of our institutions (and, indeed, all of the information-generating, public opinion-shaping, education-offering mechanisms in our country) to saturate the American psyche with the self-loathing guilt without voicing with equal regularity a ready response. Not when innocent civilians such as Nick Berg are being sacrificed to the false god of radical Islam. People must not be allowed to get away with complacency any longer. The Left must not be allowed to get away with its hatred of America any longer. Stagnation today, could well mean Americas surrender tomorrow. America must be awakened, reminded that she is under attack. She must be reminded that the enemy is vile, inhumane, savage, hate-filled. America must be reminded that she is not the aggressor here; she is not filled with evil and corruption. She is not what is wrong with this world. And the phrase:
Remember Nick Berg!
Will serve to do just that. So, I encourage you to join me in reminding Americans everywhere at every moment throughout the day to Remember Nick Berg. Think how it could be if every day Americans everywhere heard or saw the phrase, Remember Nick Berg! dozens of times throughout the day. Maybe, just maybe, it would change the hearts and minds of a few (or a few thousand) to stir to wakefulness their slumbering patriotism. Maybe it would remind someone not to take Americas benefits for granted. Maybe it would dull in the mind of someone the impact of the incessant droning of the anti-American Left. Maybe it would be a reminder just to yourself about who and what your are, what you stand for, what you believe in, what America is all about.
Remember Nick Berg!
That's not even a grammatical rule in English, merely a convention handed down from lazy American printers who wished to avoid misaligning columns - the well-rounded reader will note that that exact opposite rule is in place in Britain, the very wellspring of the Queen's English. Do try to learn something about your own language before you presume to lecture others about it.
Also, one should not begin a sentence with a conjunction such as "but," as in, "But this is not Vero Beach..."
A completely nonexistent "rule", perpetuated by generations of spinster-like fourth grade grammar pedants. Starting a sentence with a conjunction is both perfectly acceptable and perfectly grammatical. If you had ever read Shakespeare, Burke, the King James Bible, Johnson, or any other of dozens of classical English works, written by genuine men of letters - which, obviously, you haven't - you would have unavoidably noted that all of them contain dozens of examples of sentences beginning with conjunctions. Don't take my word for it, though - walk down to your local library, and check out a book or two. This may be an unfamiliar experience for you, but there are many friendly people staffing the library whose job is to assist the novice reader.
I'll forgive you for only having a "passing familiarity" with public schools, but generally they encourage students to speak their minds as opposed to telling them to "shut up and sit back down."
Of course they do - it's so much easier that teaching them, isn't it? Just let them spill their guts about how they feel - nothing is more important than self-esteem, right? Certainly not mere information, anyway. It would be cruel and unusual of us to encumber their opinionating with anything so mundane as a fact or two, wouldn't it?
I am not offended by those who share their opinions. When the ignorant and the uneducated spout off, blessedly unhindered by any connection to reality, however, it wastes my time, and everyone else's here. I am not obligated in any rational sense to reward the execrable, and if you, sir or madam, are responsible for the odious state of the minds that produced the posts that precede and follow yours, you should be ashamed of yourself.
As far as the illiterate and pedestrian manner that you claim this 15-year-old expresses himself with, you might think about what manner you are using when you compare a child's thoughts to excrement, and if that manner is really from "his better."
Consider, for a moment, whether you are really doing the child a favor by lying to him, telling him that his manner, style, and content are praiseworthy, when they are in fact, patently illiterate. Consider, for a moment, which of us does the child a greater service in the long run - you, who lies to him, or me, who tells him the brutal, but honest, truth. Which one of us will prod the boy to actually become a better writer, and thereby a better thinker?
You feed your charges a steady diet of spun sugar and Jolt cola, and then you have the nerve to be surprised and offended when someone points out that their teeth are rotting out of their heads. Wake up, I urge you - stop lying to them, and educate them properly. If you can.
I don't have time for this - put your mother back on, or whoever it is that you found to spell for you.
Bubbles and his mommy enjoy a moment of rest ;)
My point is that it's hardly a "rule" in any meaningful sense at all - at best, it's a convention.
Regarding Shakespeare, the King James Bible, etc, while those are excellent and inspiring forms of literature, I'm not sure that there is a single English teacher or professor (even in America's public school system) that would teach grammar rules based on the form of Old English used in them.
You are, of course, joking. It's not a matter of teaching grammar based on Shakespeare - the point is that the conventional and traditional usage of English flies in the face of this rule. This should hardly be surprising, as the "rule" is no such thing - it was essentially spun out of whole cloth by Victorian pedants who insisted on forcing the language into their own peculiar straitjacket. Consider Edmund Burke's 1775 "Speech on Conciliation with America" - which, as a poster on a conservative website, you are naturally already familiar with:
The church of England too was formed from her cradle under the nursing care of regular government. But the dissenting interest have sprung up in direct opposition to all the ordinary powers of the world; and could justify that opposition only on a strong claim to natural liberty. Their very existence depended on the powerful and unremitted assertion of that claim.
All Protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principle of resistance; it is the diffidence of dissent; and the protestantism of the Protestant religion.
Seas roll, and months pass, between the order and the execution; and the want of a speedy explanation of a single point, is enough to defeat a whole system. You have, indeed, winged ministers of vengeance, who carry your bolts in their pounces to the remotest verge of the sea. But there a power steps in, that limits the arrogance of raging, passions and furious elements, and says, ' So far shalt thou go, and no farther.' Who are you, that should fret and rage, and bite the chains of nature ?
In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study. The profession itself is numerous and powerful; and in most provinces it takes the lead. The greater number of the deputies sent to the congress were lawyers. But all who read, and most do read, endeavour to obtain some smattering, in that science.
The smartness of debate will say, that this knowledge ought to teach them more clearly the rights of legislature, their obligations to obedience, and the penalties of rebellion. All this is mighty well. But my honourable and learned friend on the floor, who condescends to mark what I say for animadversion, will disdain that ground.
In the face of hundreds of years of counterexamples, it takes a rather perverse sense of correctness to insist that the "rule" is right, and the language itself is wrong! There is no "technical rule" against beginning sentences with conjunctions, and I highly doubt you can cite any grammatical authority who says otherwise, save perhaps for quibbling over stylistic issues therein.
The misspelling of "sentence" in my original post was obviously a typo, the two question marks were for emphasis, and I hardly think that I am the first to not use capital letters while posting on this website.
I doubt it. It's tolerably obvious that there are two or more people posting under the handle of Jacko's chimp. That would be the charitable explanation, anyway - a less generous inference from your wild swings in apparent compositional ability would be that you're mentally disturbed.
I do, however, wonder if I am the first to be attacked for that, or if you save attacks on grammar for people you have nothing else to say to.
What would you like me to say? I notice that you're not wasting any time in actually defending the original practical joke of a post. Wisely so, in my opinion - there is precious little of substance there to defend. It's a fairly empty-headed little thing, wrapped in a stinky little package. Unfortunately, that same lack of substance gives me little to grab hold of in forming a substantive critique - how can I discuss the substance of that post when there is none?
As far as the less than eloquent post of Student with Opinions, of course his post is not as grammatically-correct or as well thought out as one of yours; he is only in his second year of high school.
Yet he jumped right in here, spoiling for a fight, didn't he? What on earth did he expect would come of such a thing? A pat on the head and a welcoming smile? Send him back to the wading pool, and tell him to try again in a few years - he's not ready, and anyone who's telling him that what he produced is an acceptable form of public discourse, suitable for deployment in the real world, is bordering on educational malpractice. This is not an after-school bull session in the Model UN chapter, held under the close supervision of some authority figure, all in order to prepare the youngsters to sally forth into the arena of public discourse - this is the arena of public discourse. This is where the adults come to talk, not to indulge the foibles of the young and uneducated.
Of course, what our SWO has yet to learn - one of many things, actually - is that "adult" is as much a state of mind as anything else. There are a few posters here of approximately the same age as our hapless Student With Opinions - the difference, of course, is that the few young adults who manage to have a successful run at posting here are bright, reasonably literate for their age, and capable of suitable form and substance.
Oh, I suppose I shouldn't oversell it - you can get away with poor form. Hell, you can even get away with no substance, wrapped up in a pretty package around here - lots of people do it. But no form and no substance is a surefire path to irrelevancy, both here and in the rest of one's adult life. If Student With Opinions learns nothing else from his brief encounter with the unfiltered adult world, perhaps that would be the best thing to impress upon him - no form and no substance makes Jack a dull boy.
No one is claiming that he should be praised for his sentence structure, but for his courage in posting here, and for his interest in world affairs and politics, which is fairly rare among American teenagers.
Sorry, no dice. Courage unencumbered by a basis in reality is not praiseworthy, nor is it particularly rare - it is foolish, and all too common. To cast it in terms that the late SWO might relate to, MTV's "Jackass" is full of people who very courageously do all sorts of idiotic things. Pouring a can of gasoline over yourself and then striking matches requires a certain amount of courage to pull off, but the fact that courage inheres within does not suddenly make the act itself a good idea.
His interest is laudable - his ignorance is not. The remedy is education, which requires not speaking, but listening. I suspect that the late SWO is fairly typical of others his age - years of praise unconnected to any actual performance have given him a false sense of his own abilities. However, the rest of the world is suffering under no such delusion, to put it mildly. This is, in truth, not entirely SWO's fault - those who would claim to be educating him have clearly failed in their efforts. Given that the public schools are broken by design, it does not behoove us to be surprised that SWO is a fairly typical example of someone his age. What is mildly suprising is that occasionally the mental bonds put in place by the failures of the adults surrounding him prove inadequate, and a prototypical SWO is somehow able to escape the shackles of ignorance. With the proper internal motivation, and indulgent parents, he may find his way as a sort of autodidact, but he will find no escape from those shackles in the public schools - they are the ones who put him there, aided by well-meaning but unknowing parents, and they have no interest whatsoever in seeing him break free. Oh, yes - I know how the schools work.
Also not debatable is that this IS a child's opinion, not an adult's, and it doesn't deserve such a harsh reply. He would be better served to be told that he could use a little work in the grammar areas, etc, but I hardly think that the manner in which you replied was appropriate or deserved.
I think not. If and when you catch me wandering the halls of the Vero Beach public schools, berating random students for their intellectual inabilities, then you may have a point. But this is, as I said before, not Vero Beach high school, and what passes for discourse in study hall is of precious little use around here. You can be arrogant, or you can be ignorant, but combining the two as our little SWO did is not a recipe for success. If the boy insists on speaking to adults on their own terms, then let him be treated as an adult. Either he is an adult who must learn to suffer such slings and arrows on his own, or he is a child who requires his mother's skirts for protection from the wolves of the outside world, but he cannot have it both ways. He got exactly the response any adult who posted such inanities would deserve, and if he can't handle it, he doesn't belong here in the first place.
I thought that the opinions and ideas expressed here are more important than the style or grammar used to do so.
Absolutely. If, however, you think that this translates into "my opinions and ideas will never be challenged", you should seriously rethink what you're doing here. What "ideas" SWO managed to dribble forth were, by and large, ridiculous on their face - and in the real world, the ridiculous will tend to gather unto itself all the ridicule it so richly deserves. Unlike high school, the rest of the world will largely not concern itself with propping up your self-esteem, not if it means giving out a platform for the stupid, the insane, the ignorant, or the uneducated - nobody, other than you, really cares very much about how you feel about yourself. It's a harsh lesson, but the boy will remain a boy until he learns it, and learns to deal with it like a man.
bubble, you're a trip. If either one of you are first-timers here, I will eat my hat.
Sound familiar to anyone?
Does to me, so I'm calling it.
Hold still, bubble...
Even in the cannon's mouth."
That's from "The Seven Ages of Trolls" by William Shakespeare.
Bubba... I mean, BUBBLE, added to the list!
Git out yer trollswatters everyone!
" WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
DIVERSITY IS STRENGTH"
He must have one of those bargain cable TV specials where they pipe in Al Jazeera and only Al Jazeera 24/7. Talk about living in a bubble.
For those keeping score at home, this is the fourth distinct "voice" our bubble has affected.
Why are you still spluttering about Student With Opinions? Surely (cough!) you realize he was banned five days ago, and not for being a "student with opinions", either...
That depends on whether you prefer european grammar or american grammar.
West Chester sounds like quite the little 'burb!!! And I'll bet that most people don't know that Rachel Corrie was Michael Berg's lovechild. Quite the Peyton Place! From the behavior of Ms. Corrie, as you described in an earlier posting of your's, one can now understand her desire to stand before a bulldozer, ranting about the rights of a country that has never existed!
Except that we all know I wasn't attacking your grammar, was I? No, I don't think so. I was attacking the grammar of someone posting under the name of "bubbles", perhaps - someone who hastily realized that he was in over his little head, and drafted you to charge in to the rescue. O noble warrior, protecting the (rightly) downtrodden from their inevitable (and well-deserved) fate!
Double negatives, inverted sentence structure, improper use of dashes versus semi-colons, all of these things could be seen as conventions rather than rules.
Your sentence closes with an independent clause, not linked to the previous clause with a conjunction. You really should use a semicolon in such cases, like so:
"Double negatives, inverted sentence structure, improper use of dashes versus semi-colons; all of these things could be seen as conventions rather than rules."
Now, you were saying...?
All grammar rules could be construed to be conventions. Double negatives, inverted sentence structure, improper use of dashes versus semi-colons, all of these things could be seen as conventions rather than rules. All that is required, essentially, is a subject and a verb, and in no particular order, according to the rules. The conventions define the readability, the flow, and the current usage of the language.
And what, pray tell, shall we do when the conventional usage clearly and directly contradicts the "rule", as it does in this case? What are we to make of a "rule" that clearly bears no relationship whatsoever to the language it attempts to approach? My suggestion is that such a "rule", as that of not beginning sentences with conjunctions, is clearly useless, and I daresay you have yet to present any sort of support for your contention that it should be otherwise.
Formal documents, as any post that disagrees with you apparently must be, are subject, in general, to more stringent "conventions."
Like using the shift key? Perhaps properly spelling "because"? Knowing that one question mark is the maximum generally used? Those sorts of "stringent 'conventions'" are what you have in mind, then?
If you feel that the original post is "a fairly empty-headed little thing, wrapped in a stinky little package," then why did you bother to attack the package?
What else was there to do with it? I was bored, it was a slow day, and it amuses me to poke holes in the grossly overinflated self-esteem of the ignorant and uneducated. It passes the time, in much the same way as the seigneur of yore might have tossed wine bottles from the castle walls at the gaping peasants below, and pissed on them when he grew bored with that. In any case, I read the terms of service for this forum fairly closely, and I'm quite sure that there was no clause to the effect that I may only post when my motivations meet with the chimp's approval, nor any clause suggesting that I must justify my efforts to the chimp in the first place.
You ask me why I don't attempt to defend the original subject matter, but that wasn't my intent.
A wise move, as I said. I'm not sure why you're bothering to defend any of it at all, but there you go. We do him no favors when the way we preserve his self-esteem is to conceal from him the true nature of his own wretchedness. If the first step on the road to recovery is to admit that you have a problem, how on earth will the boy ever manage the journey when everyone around him denies it, and continually plies him with drink?
At least Student with Opinions attempts to discuss a political subject rather than trying to make clever digs at somebody's screen name.
This is the mindset of the "Everyone Gets A Ribbon!" days, so popular amongst the public trough-feeders these days, to be sure. How cruel of those Olympic committees, to only recognize success, and not reward mere effort! How awful of me to point out that the "attempt", such as it was, was a miserable failure! Let's give the boy an "A" for effort, and then hide the fact that the failed attempt means...well, it means that he failed, doesn't it?
Wake up. The Real World is looming for these kids, and in the Real World, nobody cares about "attempts". "Success" is the gold standard here, unless your plan is to be such a miserable failure in life that complete strangers will be moved to pity your plight, and take you on as a sort of charity case. If the child is shocked and injured to learn that he has a problem, then perhaps rather than sniping at the messenger who delivers the news - with a certain relish, of course - he would be better served by having a good, hard look at what motivates the sycophants and ignoramuses who have kept him in the dark for so long.
I am waiting for you to jump up onto your self-righteous high horse to tell them to "shut up and sit back down in front of their Play Stations," or do you ?
"Playstation" is one word. As for why I might "reserve such advice for only those...with views different from [my] own", I must say I have no idea what you are talking about. You certainly can't be talking about the late SWO, since the lad very likely has no honestly won views, brought about by deliberate examination and introspection. And even if he does, he's terminally incapable of conveying them to other humans. Either he's basically empty-headed, or those who have taken on the responsibility of educating him have cut out his tongue, whether deliberately or accidentally, and thereby robbed him of any means by which he might express any views he happens to hold. Personally, I doubt that he yet possesses the language to formulate an honest-to-God opinion, but in any case, why are you defending it instead of fixing it? Shall I, on his behalf, endeavor to understand why you are so determined to keep the SWOs of the world comfortable but ignorant? Shall I, on his behalf, endeavor to understand why it is that you would keep him in the dark, unarmed and unprepared for a world that will chew him up and spit him out faster than you change your socks? Why is that, I wonder....
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