Partisan War Syndrome

The left falls victim to a debilitating affliction

By David Sirota

A disease is running rampant through the American left these days. Its symptoms are intense and increasingly pervasive in every corner of the self-proclaimed "progressive" coalition. A good name for the disease could be "Partisan War Syndrome" - and it is eating away at what [RETURN TO ARTICLE]

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    Posted by Neruda on Oct 17, 2005 at 7:23 AM

    One of the most progressive presidential candidates was Dennis Kucinich. He stood for everything that true Democratic progressives believe in. Yet, many progressives would’nt support him because they wanted someone who they thought could win. They wanted image, not substance. The rest is history.

    Kucinich is still one of the few politicians that stands up for “We The People.”

    Posted by Deb C on Oct 17, 2005 at 8:51 AM

    So long as we continue to associate the Democratic Party with “the Left”—neither of which really exist, as the “Democratic” party is merely one half of a centrist corporate-defense party, and “the Left” in the US bears no resemblance to actual Left politics—we will continue to remain trapped in this vicious cycle of political schitzophrenia known as American socio-political cognitive dissonance.

    The so-called “anti-War movement” has been co-opted and subsumed by the Democrats, so that rather than a real movement that challenges government, we have Cindy Sheehan and her celebrity friends having a folk-song party in front of the White House, waiting for the next photo-op. United for Peace & Justice, purportedly the largest anti-war coalition in the nation, has steadfastly done everything in their power to not actually make any real challenge to the government nor create any real disturbance around the war, aside from the tired old ineffectual, unseen, unheard and unheeded marches and rallies that no one but the choir ever sees or attends.

    In short, activism has become entertainment, and the Democratic Party has hoodwinked us all into thinking they care about us, when in fact, they give as much money to the Pentagon as the Repukes, and wouldn’t dare challenge the corporate system which keeps them rich and fat and liars.

    I encourage you all to read “Regulated Resistance: Is it possible to change the system when you are the system?” which asks, Does the American

    Posted by chuckville on Oct 17, 2005 at 9:51 AM

    Sirota’s posting today reminds me that, I too, supported Kerry on the theory that he was the most ‘electable’ candidate.  There’s no question that a candidate with powerful TV charisma, such as Bill Clinton, can go far, regardless of his position on issues.  Unfortunately, with the possible exception of John Edwards, none of the 2004 candidates had Clinton’s charisma.

    Despite Sirota’s leaning for an “ideologically pure” candidate, we really do need a charismatic leader, such as a Kennedy or a Clinton, who will nonetheless expouse a position that will expose the lies of the last 30 years of conservatism. 

    Conservatism has really be “in control” ever since Johnson gave up the South with the Civil Rights legislation.  Jimmy Carter was elected because he was “from the South,” as was Bill Clinton.  The last northern Democrat was JFK, who was elected 45 years ago!

    There is no question that the Bush presidency has exposed the fundamental weaknesses of conservative positions, especially on taxes, and fighting a useless and unnecessary war in Iraq, all in the name of “fighting terrorism.” 

    We have had the ‘progressive’ taxation system undermined ever since Reagan, and there are still conservatives and libertarians who want a “flat tax,”  austensibly in the name of simplicity, but, in reality, as a giveaway to the very rich.

    Unfortunately, much of the current conservative movement is made up of what I will call “Wal-Mart Joes”, people who are barely middle class, or even below.  They listen to Limbaugh and other hate-mongers of the radical right, who, while catering to Wal-Mart Joes’ hatred of gays and others, bash the tax system that has benefited Wal Mart Joe the most, the progressive tax system.  It is the Wal Mart Joes of this world that used to vote Democratic, that voted for Reagan in 1980, and voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004.  The conservatives are also to blame for the health care crisis in this country, nixing Hillary’s Single Payer health care reform for market-driven insurance.  Health Insurance costs have more than doubled over the last five years, which is why GM today announced that it is cutting billions out of its health insurance program for employees.

    Democrats need Wal Mart Joes back, and the conservatives have given LOADS of ammunition to any Democrat that is willing to take a stand on the economic issues of taxation and health care, and the failed Iraq war.  The current Congress only listens to the dictates of the corporations that put them there.  This includes some of the lame and feeble Democrats that are currently in office.  A Democrat who is able to articulate effectively what is wrong with the current path, including the “regressive” income tax, the market-driven health insurance industry, and the war in Iraq, while, at the same time, not appearing “wimpish,” will be able to re-capture the Wal Mart Joes.

    I know that recapturing Wal Mart Joes won’t be easy, especially for those that want to take the correct stand on gays, namely, “let them marry, it ain’t gonna hurt you.”  That should be an understated part of any campaign.  JFK didn’t push for Civil Rights in his campaign, although clearly he believed that the time had come to end the discrimination of the previous 170 years of American history.

    Finally, it is really time for Democrats to take a stand on getting out of Iraq.  It is the wrong war, only a “war for oil,” and the American people are ready for true leadership on getting out.

    Posted by farbie on Oct 17, 2005 at 10:04 AM

    “The so-called

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 17, 2005 at 10:06 AM

    “It does seem that the anti-war movement and Cindy Sheehan, in particular, helped to galvanize anti-war sentiment across the country.”

    True…until she went from being a grieving mother to a celebrity and partisan hack. Her little smiling moment at the so-called “civil disobedience” at the White House showed how much activism has become entertainment. There should have been a riot there, instead, not one of those celebrities was actually arrested. It’s a joke. I encourage these folks to go back and read their Thoreau, “On The Role and Importance of Civil Disobedience”. It is not supposed to be “fun”.

    And, what does it matter if the choir is “galvanized”, they are still the choir. Most Americans are completely disconnected from the so-called “anti-war movement”, which to most Americans is simply a joke.

    Lastly, as I said, so long as you keep perpetuating the myth that there is any real or empirical, quantifiable difference between the Dems and Reps, you are part of the problem. Look at them both holistically, and you will see there is no empirical difference. They both stand for the same things, and differ on negligible, niggling non-issues.

    Posted by chuckville on Oct 17, 2005 at 10:15 AM

    The Democrats were once known as the party of the ordinary working people

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 17, 2005 at 11:09 AM

    “It is the Wal Mart Joes of this world that used to vote Democratic, that voted for Reagan in 1980, and voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004….
    Democrats need Wal Mart Joes back, and the conservatives have given LOADS of ammunition to any Democrat that is willing to take a stand on the economic issues of taxation and health care, and the failed Iraq war.”

    In Sunday’s “Washington Post” column SundayPolitics, there was a blurb about DNC Dean’s “Merlot Democrats” aka “the base”. Seems that 1/3 of them have postgraduate degrees and they are “affluent and secular in their cultural values, and not particularly anxious about ‘pocketbook’ issues.” Does anyone really wonder why the Democrats keep losing? Wal Mart Joe’s don’t hate gays but they don’t see any reason to adhere to a party that places gay marriage and abortion above the economic interests of most of the country - which is mainly feeding, clothing, and sheltering their families with a bit left over. And why should they?

    Posted by DFlinchum on Oct 17, 2005 at 12:16 PM

    “Look at them both holistically, and you will see there is no empirical difference. They both stand for the same things, and differ on negligible, niggling non-issues.”

    Empirically there is a difference between the two parties on important issues: while the Dems position on Gay Marriage is a BS compromise, it is different than wanting to pass anti-gay marriage amendments; while Dems have failed to provide a real education program, they are far from believing that the solution is standardized testing and privatizing the educational system; the parties have different stances on women’s right to choose, and they have different beliefs about the governments role in assisting American in need (for example the victims of Hurrican Katrina).

    I am not saying that they are different across the board. They have clearly gotten too close to corporate America. They have allowed themselves to be cowed by the repubs. Worst of all they have undertaken a policy of appeasement on a large scale for fear of alienating moderates and independents.

    Perhaps it goes back to one of your original points, we do need to shake up the political system. We have needed a third party for a long time. Sans that party however, if we the nation is to stop this turn right, the Dems do need to go back and rediscover why they are Dems to begin with.

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 17, 2005 at 12:59 PM

    The previous posts have said most of it. I would suggest that the focus of opposition must be economic security…that a national economy must be about the production of economic security for all citizens(the necessary basis of true freedom and individualism and effective democracy), rather than a competitive game of “opportunity” for a few to achieve extreme affluence, and undemocratic control of social policy. The Democrats must again become populists, and paint conservatism as a proponent of class divisions. It IS class warfare.

    Posted by amygdala on Oct 17, 2005 at 1:05 PM

    I’m a life long PROGRESSIVE Republican and I think that most of the Democratic party is way too far too the RIGHT!!!

    Stop pandering to big business

    Posted by c.d.embrey on Oct 17, 2005 at 1:07 PM

    “Also get out of

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 17, 2005 at 1:22 PM

    The problem with the anti-war movement is that is is just anti. I have yet to read a coherent way to leave Iraq, other than what we are currently doing (shoring up the Iraqi government until it can provide some semblance of security).

    The Dems need to provide a viable alternative to the Repubs. One could imagine beginning by attacking the termination of the estate tax, which seems like an easy target. Moving on to make the tax system more progressive seems like a relatively easy issue to capture as well (economic justice for the working man or some such).

    It would seem to me that discarding the politics of race would be another big plus up for the Dems. If they were to focus on the real stratifications in our society, it would be class based. I think more people would be sympathetic to class based assistance, rather than race based ‘give aways’ or ‘reverse discrimination’ (while both quotes are accurate, they are also inflammatory).

    Bush has apparently ceded the domestic side to the Congress, while he focuses on the war. This could be used to advantage, but one should not pander to the “anti-war” crowd unless they have real alternatives to the war. And no, just cuttinng and running is not such an alternative.

    Posted by wolf on Oct 17, 2005 at 1:46 PM

    First of all, the progressives are not the base of the Democratic party.  The Democrats are the base of the progressives, and the “Wal-Mart Joes” and Joans are the base of the Democratic party, just as the businessfolk who hire and fire them, and thereby obtain their allegience, are the base of the Republican party.  The source of the confusion dates back to the Depression, when FDR harnessed a progressive socialist vanguard administration in order to transfer a flagging allegience from Big Business to Big Government, in order to mobilize the nation for war.  Once the war was won, the socialists were cut loose and the fascists returned to, er, business, as usual.

    Posted by Major Major on Oct 17, 2005 at 3:55 PM

    Rabbit has landed. Am reading still and will be doing so again slowly as well as thinking before saying anything. 

    This may serve as a warning to any Morons who may or may not be lurking (woof woof), not to be posting anything too stupid, lest ye be given the choice of eating them or the stick.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 17, 2005 at 6:49 PM

    Chuckville and Farbie, Rabbit salutes your posts, you have bothe said all Rabbit would and better about the “Centrist Corporate-Defense Party”. That is a very good name for it.  It is what has become of all our intended or de-facto 2-party systems.  The left is trying to appeal to the conservatives, or more caccurately the conservatives are the face of whatever organised left labelled rersistance there is, or isn’t.  We all (USA, Britain and OZ) seem to have the most insane fascist leaders all of whom would seem to be such F*cking A*seholes that anybody should be able to beat them, hell they even felt threatened by Michael Moore’s Ficus, enough to pull some swift fraud against it. 

    YET our supposed oppositions are in all cases disorganised, and the most coherant message is pretty much just “more of the same”.  It cannot be that both sides of politics are “Missing the point” of what makes people dissatisfied. They cannot be both ignoring “ALL” the issues which people want dealt with differently.  This is only logically possible with a conspiracy, Rabbit can find no more appropriate word.

    The FACTS of who supports which party, for how much, what they expect AND GET, in return is not even a secret, so what is there to discuss?

    Rabbit has an OPINION about why this is the same in each of our countries.

    The disorganised state of what would be a real opposition force is due to the MEDIA primarily. The relatively recently christened MSM. WE KNOW how much they FILTER the news and Rabbit for one has seen MANY examples of very serious mis-reporting becoming the supposed gospel truth among the mis-informed masses.

    This keeps everybody in doubt about the truth about so many things. At the least people are confused with the amount of information and just switch off, going into beer and football mode. People are easily made to mistrust each other this way. One group or another is focused upon and all the NEGATIVE sides of that group’s existence and contact with the wider “percieved” community. It can be youth, race, drugs, religions any group you care to think of can be made to look sufficiently “DIFFERENT” and somehow threatening to all these insecure sheeple everywhere. Everyone buys into some part of the story and joins the sheeple in their BLEATING. They bleat whatever they are told to bleat.  “Four legs good two legs bad”  BAA BAA….................

    “Muslims are terrorists who hate us…BAA BAA”

    “We have to kill everybody in case they get the idea to kill us….BAA BAA”

    So long as we are all convinced that some group or another are our enemies instead of concentrating on defining who are our friends we are at the mercy of the, centrist corporate-defense party. 

    Both the DEMOCRAP garbed beast as well as the REPUGNANT one.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 17, 2005 at 7:25 PM

    WTH and Rabbit agree once again on issues where the facts are not in dispute. 

    The Dems have not offerred an alternative in concept or in the details even down to social security which should be considered their turf.

    Wolf even gets no argument from Rabbit, and certainly not CD embrey.

    It is rather telling guys that even the conservatives are “COMPLETELY” on target about what is wrong with the DEMS.  Now if only they could all as clearly see the NEO-CONS for what they are.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 17, 2005 at 7:35 PM

    “The disorganised state of what would be a real opposition force is due to the MEDIA primarily. The relatively recently christened MSM. WE KNOW how much they FILTER the news and Rabbit for one has seen MANY examples of very serious mis-reporting becoming the supposed gospel truth among the mis-informed masses”

    Rabbit I believe that this is half the story for sure. But what seperates those who question the media from those who don’t?

    Perhaps there is a reason that education is talking point that nobody really wants to reform. Critical thinking does not make for good sheep.

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 17, 2005 at 8:17 PM

    “what seperates those who question the media from those who don

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 17, 2005 at 10:21 PM

    ” But what seperates those who question the media from those who don

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 17, 2005 at 10:33 PM

    (Strangely, the comment box says I’ll be identified as “David Sirota”. I am not, I am Kuya.)

    I think this is a very valuable article, really a breath of fresh air. I appreciated the author’s willingness to look at the “progressive” movement not so much as an opponent, but as something of an insider, and to characterize some of its pretty severe limitations. Yes, I know we can debate the semantics of the term “progressive”, but for brevity’s sake I’ll conveniently use it as stated. 4000 characters, ya know.

    Conservative/libertarian posters at this site often say that self-described progressives suffer from hazy thinking, disjointed styles of reasoning, and intellectual sloppiness. Sometimes I think they have a point even though in general I tend to agree more with the progressive side. For example, I

    Posted by Kuya on Oct 18, 2005 at 1:04 AM

    Hmmm, well, I guess the ITT server got my name right after all.

    Computers. Crazy machines!

    Posted by Kuya on Oct 18, 2005 at 1:06 AM

    Not wishing to take the thread off topic, Rabbit is reluctant to say this but here goes..

    Cutting and Running in Iraq, is the right thing to do if the majority of Iraqis want this and I think they do. we should never have been there in the first place and we are not fixing anything stumbling around like a bull in a China shop.  The mess is bad and it is getting worse. It will not get better while the troops of an invading army are everywhere.

    Most importantly is that you are STEALING their oil and they know it.  the OIL belonged to Iraqis it is being “FORCEFULLY” privatised and is being placed under US control. THAT IS PIRACY and all the good will in the world will not suffice while this is going on.

    A UN security force, with Muslim troops or at least more neutral and complete US British and Australian withdrawal. The war is illegal, it is being waged imorally and poorly and it cannot ever be won by us. We invaded their home and have caused a serious fight among their family. There is NO justification to remain and try to fix the mess. They neither NEED nor WANT our help.  When will even the more enlightened souls of your benighted land wake up to this.

    WE DON’T WANT WHAT YOU ARE SELLING. We don’t want it even when you force us to take it.

    Cutting and running is just a spin.  GET OUT is simple. STOP stealing their OIL is even more simple.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 18, 2005 at 1:59 AM

    “Neruda, education does not necessarily a critically thinking sheep make. It can help certainly, but there are plenty of smart people who do a

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 18, 2005 at 6:40 AM

    ” So what is the difference between the sheep and those who question the news? “

    Fear and ignorance can separate those who question from those who don’t. Education may be able to dispel fear and ignorance. Fear and ignorance can dispel an education.

    It used to be the politicians promised to deliver us our dreams. Now they promise to deliver us from our nightmares.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 18, 2005 at 6:59 AM

    Hello Rabbit,
    I don’t justify the Iraq war, they can keep the oil.

    But security and law/order don’t exist (and yes, I know how they were broken, and how they behaved before they were broken).

    There’s no safety there. Violence has been unleashed that won’t (I believe) subside even if foreigners bail.

    Believe me, I’m aware of how we got to the present situation. I’ve argued against the US being in Iraq since before the invasion. But we’re at the fucked up present moment now, and my indignation about how it all so bitterly took place doesn’t change what’s in hand and won’t turn back the clock.

    Would turn back the clock if I could, back to before the sponsorship of Saddam ‘way back when. But that aint gonna happen, and today, I believe some kind of security apparatus has to be built.

    Sooner the better. The more Iraqi-controlled the better.

    The sooner we all get a realistic understanding about oil, and use the shit more intelligently (equals sparingly), the better.

    Posted by Kuya on Oct 18, 2005 at 7:49 AM

    “It used to be the politicians promised to deliver us our dreams. Now they promise to deliver us from our nightmares.”

    What does this mean? Perhaps some examples might make this more understandable?

    Posted by wolf on Oct 18, 2005 at 7:52 AM

    Here is a serious question. Given that blacks (a misnomer if there ever was one) vote overwhelmingly Democratic (~90%!!!), is this an example of:

    1) sheep following what authority figures tell them to do


    2) a group of well informed folk who understand their own political self interests?

    Other alternatives are welcome.

    Posted by wolf on Oct 18, 2005 at 7:57 AM

    “‘It used to be the politicians promised to deliver us our dreams. Now they promise to deliver us from our nightmares.’—What does this mean? Perhaps some examples might make this more understandable?”


    This is in reference to the brilliant BBC documentary about the origins of both NeoConservatism and Radical Islam, “The Power of Nightmares”. That phrase is the main tag line, or thesis-statement of the film.

    Essentially, the filmmakers are saying that the Liberal dream, that of the promise and power of 20th Century Liberalism, was that government could provide for their people, address and solve societal ills, and be the central construct in people’s lives, helping them all achieve their dreams. That dream failed, and now government, with no tanglible purpose anymore in an era where widescale warfare is obsolete, promises to “protect us from our nightmares” by dealing in the politics of fear.

    If you think Fahrenheit 911 did any good to expose the criminal administration we have now, then just hold on to your cobbles! “The Power of Nightmares” makes Fahrenheit 911 look like From Justin to Kelly. I cannot stress enough how important it is for all Americans to view. It is a top notch, professional, credible, non-Partisan documentary which exposes the

    Posted by chuckville on Oct 18, 2005 at 8:56 AM

    “They would create a hidden network of evil run by the Soviet Union that only they could see.”

    The quote above is from the link above. In 1949 only the neocons could see that the Soviets were evil? I expect that hundreds of millions of people in Eastern Europe might have had their suspicions. . .

    Personally, even if government could “take care” of us, i would be very leary of such an arrangement. I prefer freedom, such as it is, to the gilded cage.

    Posted by wolf on Oct 18, 2005 at 9:40 AM

    “Personally, even if government could

    Posted by chuckville on Oct 18, 2005 at 9:55 AM

    “They can be bad shepherds and use fear and ignorance to keep the sheep in line. They can be good shepherds and use love and knowledge to show the sheep a better way.”

    This seems far too simplistic to me. As a parent, i often use fear to “keep the sheep” in line. Look both ways when you cross, don’t do drugs, etc etc.

    I suppose that ignorance is often self imposed, for one reason or another (typically due to lack of time/inclination).

    It seems far more important to me that the “shepherds” get the “sheep” to do whats right. A famous (infamous?)  example was how FDR manipulated public opinion to help draw the US into WWII.

    Of course, the *real* problem is that the vast majority of us either don’t have the resouces or time or ability to decide if our leaders are following a path that is in our best interests. I believe this is true for all social strata. It is made impossibly difficult by the obvious fact that we have very little ability to forecast the future, and yet must choose to act as if we know what we are doing. . .

    Posted by wolf on Oct 18, 2005 at 1:00 PM

    If you want the attention and backing of a large number of people you must offer to serve a need they have in common. This is a basic theme in mass marketing.

    I agree with a number of comments on this article, but it seems to me the discussion quickly degenerates to those things we disagree on

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 18, 2005 at 1:34 PM

    ” This seems far too simplistic to me. As a parent, i often use fear to

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 18, 2005 at 2:17 PM

    “Of course, the *real* problem is that the vast majority of us either don

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 18, 2005 at 2:32 PM

    A UN security force, with Muslim troops or at least more neutral and complete US British and Australian withdrawal. The war is illegal, it is being waged imorally and poorly and it cannot ever be won by us. We invaded their home and have caused a serious fight among their family. There is NO justification to remain and try to fix the mess. They neither NEED nor WANT our help.  When will even the more enlightened souls of your benighted land wake up to this.

    I agree that we are in their living room, and uninvited, and they want us gone. I said before the last election that we should get out of there, there is nothing that we can do to make it better (jeeze, we don’t even control the “green zone” and a ride to the airport can be fatal).

    The country is ALREADY in a civil war, and women have ALREADY lost their freedom. Every innocent civilian that we kill makes 2 or 3 terrorists. We are actually working against ourselves here - talk about BECOMING our enemy.

    Trying to control Oil is not only impossible, it’s working against our own interests - think of what 300 billion dollars could have bought in the way of alternative energy technology!! We would have no need of oil by now.

    We definately need charismatic leaders to articulate the progressive agenda, we need them now, and we need them to be staunch and vocal in their defense of progressive values.

    Bernie Sanders comes to mind.

    I, a lifetime democrat, will never vote for Hillary. She has abandoned her ideals and values for the fine triangulation that won the presidency for her husband. That was then - and it was over 10 years ago. Now we need politicians that actually believe in what we do. Triangulation just won’t cut it.

    Posted by SB_Gypsy on Oct 18, 2005 at 3:07 PM

    Interesting but not true. Out here on the ground, not in the blogosphere or DC or the salons or radio shows or all that can be perceived by the macro-media, the micro-media is organizing around universal policies that will reshape the states and the nation. Without comment or commendation we are changing everything from a sound ideological basis. To wit:

    1- Universal Healthcare
    2- Out of Iraq Now
    3- Clean Money Elections
    4- Environmentally sound business (put the GREEN in the Greenbacks)
    5- Living Wage

    I could go on but that’s a good start. These entities Mr. Sirota refers to are not the left, liberal or progressive movements just folks playing the old game the old way.  In California we have a Progressive
    movement at every level, local, regional, state and national. Its’ here and its’ growing and its’ just getting started.

    David should come for a visit.


    Brad Parker

    Posted by riozen on Oct 18, 2005 at 4:51 PM

    Wolf you are in need of help as a parent it would seem. You are doing what so many failed parents do.

    “As a parent, I often use fear to

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 18, 2005 at 6:09 PM

    “Men think in herds, go mad in herds, but recover their senses one by one.”  Charles Mackay

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 18, 2005 at 6:14 PM

    part 1

    Incredible. Declare falsehoods to be truth and you can prove anything.

    The one symptom Sirota fails to mention, the one he suffers from as well, is denial.

    (John Kerry’s nomination) was the most non-ideological of choices in what we were supposed to believe was the most ideological of races.

    John Kerry was losing to Howard Dean, the true ideology of the 2004 race, until Kerry took his cue from Dean and steered his campaign to a much more vigorous opposition to the Iraq War. Kerry didn’t start to lead the pack until he co-opted Dean’s message. It was only after that, and after Dean’s tantrum, that Kerry earned his electability.

    In fairness, Iraq may be an exception when it comes to the grassroots. There is undoubtedly a palpable - and growing - core of progressives outside the Beltway who put their desire to see American troops withdraw above their partisan loyalties.

    No. No. No. That is the falsehood that is costing Democrats elections. That blatant partisanship is gutting the Party for the second time in three decades. As a strong believer in Bush

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 19, 2005 at 3:55 AM

    part 2


    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 19, 2005 at 3:56 AM

    “the American public still wants to see a proud and strong America”

    Too bad they are seeing a collapsing and weak America, or at least they will when they open their eyes.

    Choosing either Dems or Reps will be re-arranging the deckchairs on the titanic. Still that sounds like an appropriate way for the greatest failure in the history of earths empires to go out. 

    Fiddle while Rome burns, it’s been done before.

    It seems likely that it is this blindness and hubris which brings down empires, very likely.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 19, 2005 at 6:39 PM

    Luminous Beauty linked this on another thread and it is apt for this thread as well.

    Some difficult questions, no fence to sit on. Polarizing but effective. Avoid knee jerk reactions unless knee jerk reactions are the reactions you actually have. hehe. I am usually skeptical / disdainful of “questionnaires” but this one, for me, was thoughtful and accurate, I approved of where it brought me:

    I am sitting next to Ghandi.

    David’s political compass
    Economic Left/Right: -6.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85

    I would be interested in other people’s results. Please remember there is no right or wrong result. Just different results.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 19, 2005 at 6:50 PM

    Jay’s political compass
    Economic Left/Right: -1.07
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.98

    This is very similar to an article I read about 25 years. I would add a third, semi-major axis differentiating political belief in progressive political evolution vs “fall from grace”. Measuring left and right on the economics scale doesn’t really cover that.

    Besides, I hate being thought of as middle-of-the-road ;)

    Thanks, lb and David!

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 19, 2005 at 7:27 PM

    Correction:25 years ago

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 19, 2005 at 7:28 PM

    America is not going to move forward politically and re-engage people in politics until we move beyond the tired ideological formulations of both the Republicans and Democrats.

    I think people are interested in social justice, i.e. people being treated fairly regardless of race, color, sex, etc.  I also think the vast majority of people think corporations and corporate “MSM” media have WAY too much influence on our lives.  What people don’t want though is a big centralized Federal government intruding in our lives.  Thus we need to work on regional county and community based solutions to our problems.  An example would be here in Washtenaw county Michigan (home of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti) where we have a county based health plan that provides health insurance for those too poor to afford medical care.  This seems like the right approach to me, it gets the job done of taking care of the poor without the cumbersome top heavy inefficiency of a Federal single payer health care system.  Other examples of regional non bureaucratic solutions to our problems are food co-ops, credit unions,and community gardens.

    To move forward I think we need to acknowledge BOTH the right wing point that the big daddy hide bound bureaucratic government isn’t going to take care of us (as in the failure of Federal subsidized housing projects) and the point of progressives that it is inhuman to just leave people behind in a mad every more competitive rat race, and unsustainable to strip the earth of raw materials at an exponential rate. I think we can also get paleo-cons and some Libertarians on board for a non imperalist isolationist foreign policy.  It’s pretty scary that in many ways Pat Buchanan makes more sense to me on foreign policy than Hilary Clinton. I mean he’s right we’re a republic not an empire, right?

    I suppose what I’m talking about is something like the Green Party with some with effective leadership, something the current U.S. Green party is totally lacking.  I think we also need to take seriously Libertarian right critiques imperalism as are seen at

    I seriously doubt either the corporate funded Dems or Repigs would have the creativity to rebirth themselves in this way.

    Anyone with ideas about what a post big government progressive movement would look like, and how we can communicate such ideas to people feel free to e-mail me at

    Posted by mrraven on Oct 19, 2005 at 7:47 PM

    It looks like Rabbit has correctly identified himself as an Anarcho-socialist. 

    Quite an interesting little site, thanks Monk.

    Rabbit has long hated the definitions of Left versus Right too and this is a solution.

    Now how about we divide the world into quarters and each quadrant can have theirs?

    Not good, we will end up with all these clowns like Jay who think they are something they are not. Pulling our quadrant into the evil right top one by virtue of their delusions.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 19, 2005 at 8:26 PM

    This one got lost, here it is again.

    Rabbit has done the thing for the Monk.  Couple of questions Rabbit would have preferred a “not sure”. 

    Rabbit has not yet made up his mind about same sex couples and adoption. Almost 50/50, and I have swayed a bit back and forth on the issue over the last couple of years.

    Rabbit is sitting just to the right of Ghandi.

    Economic Left/Right: -3.88
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.28

    After having seen the graphs at the bottom, Rabbit would expect dittoheads to be closest to the centre.  They would be found further to the right if their ideas alone were used to judge.  Since they have many misconceptions though about themselves as well as the rest of the world, they answer along the lines of their misperceptions rather than the actual meaning of what they claim to believe.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 19, 2005 at 8:27 PM

    I will be who I will be.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 19, 2005 at 9:07 PM

    Hmmm I think the “political compass” is pretty much b.s. a lot of the questions have built in assumptions towards traditional left and right thinking.  For example when it asks about public funding of radio in the following fashion:

    “No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.”

    I was EXTREMLY frustrated.  Although I said radio should recieve “public” funding this seems to imply I’m a traditional centralist old left government NPR supporter.  Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact I think the most interesting media is do it yourself community and pirate media which is NEITHER funded by the government nor by capitalism. It is neither old old left socialism nor laizez affair care nothing for others capitalism.  This survey leaves no place for such a perspective.

    So I got a

    Economic Left/Right: -5.13
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.36

    but I cry foul because many of the questions try to box a person into a left right divide that I think is outdated from a 21st century bio-regional, progressive, information society perspective.

    Posted by mrraven on Oct 19, 2005 at 9:39 PM


    There is some truth to what you say. The model has it’s limitations, but the Old Left vs Right thinking runs into similar problems.

    What I find interesting is the double axis comparison. Maybe the questions need a bit of refinement, but the method seems to make sense.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 19, 2005 at 10:07 PM

    Exactly, pigeon holing (pun intended raven) aside it was interesting.

    People tend to get stuck on ” either/or “. It is a false contradiction. It only serves to make true believers on either side close their eyes to more nuanced possiblities.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 19, 2005 at 10:18 PM

    .. or open their eyes to more nuanced possibilities.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 19, 2005 at 10:20 PM


    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 20, 2005 at 8:33 AM

    mrraven says,

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 20, 2005 at 8:51 AM

    I agree the scale is not very good. At the very least there needs to be a don’t know/don’t care/no opinion choice. There were a couple questions I that had no real interest or opinion about, but was forced to choose sides. That consequently gave far too much weight on those questions.

    I also think linking LEFT vs RIGHT to strictly the economic scale probably distorted the questions and analysis. The apparent underlying assumption is that LEFT/RIGHT politics is strictly about economics, so it actually defeats the purpose of a true two dimensional scale.

    David (“Popeye”) is right. I yam what I yam.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 20, 2005 at 8:59 AM

    Last night I posted some of my own criticisms of this compass at my own blog, if anyone is interested. Not really anything more than what has been said already, though

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 20, 2005 at 9:03 AM

    WTH and Rabbit as often too much common ground.  This would have helped a lot.

    “A better measure would be a 1 to 10 sliding scale for each question similar to the final outcome graph.”

    Nevertheless, WTH the fact that the fact of our positions on the graph, may be more accurate than it seems.  Rabbit recognises the intrinsic rightness about his own scores, even though they are more ‘right’ and authoritarian than what would be expected.  The same may be true of many of the apparently odd reseults.  At the same time he believes yours and probably Jay Clines are actually closer to the truth.

    This is actually the flip side to what I said above about Jay’s score.  You are both in reality holders of those viewpoints, it is simply many of the facts of everyday existence which mean you are mis-informed.  Rabbit knows that this will be hard to listen to objectively, but he hopes that WTH at least is capable of considering this idea.

    Consider this.  You are for the most part supportive of Bush.(compared to most of us). Have a look at where Bush is on the Graph?  Now honestly do you see yourself out there?  Jay is closer, (and his graph says so), but even he is no-where near that sort of people.  Rabbit for one, had already intuited this about both of you, even Jay, who can ignore Rabbit all he wants, Rabbit can still see him and talk to him.
    ..............(See he has his wee hands over his ears but he can’t shut his eyes and stay on the thread.)

    If this idea could be carried a step further, it would seem fair to suggest that something is wrong to cause the apparent politics of WTH and Jay to lean so much further to the Authoritarian Right.  Rabbit suggests it is wrong facts.

    They would have many more similar opinions as others on this thread if they had the same facts.  Of course they can say we have the wrong facts, but then we are where we should be on the graph, you are the ones ‘apparently’ out of place.

    Has it ever occurred to either of you that you are involved in regular discussion threads on a LEFTIST site?  Neither of you are trolls.  Rabbit admits Jay has shown himself to not be a Troll, and although Rabbit does not offer any other concession to Jay, he apologises for calling Jay a troll.

    Jay is still as ignorant as dirt, but he is neither stupid, nor a Troll….....................................<>..........................

    Anyway, what are you here for?  Neither of you are scoring any points against we ‘lefties’ sorry to say it so, but you must realise it.  The fact may well be that you are both well represented by your personal stats.

    For what Rabbit’s intuition is worth, and it is his best sense, they look about right to me.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 20, 2005 at 6:36 PM

    Whattheheck and Jay, others too, “score points” with me by being here and being outnumbered. Diversity of opinion helps the debate. All are welcome, or should be.

    Maybe some well spoken “lefties” should go vist some “rightie” sites?

    I think that whattheck and Jays scores are probably accurate too.

    Jay doesn’t seem too put off by his score. Correct me if I am wrong Jay. Other than being middle of the road. Nothing wrong with that.

    Whattheheck, do you maybe just not like sitting next to the rest of us when you thought you would be in another room? It’s ok, we won’t bite.

    One of us. One of us. One of us. hehe

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 20, 2005 at 7:25 PM

    Two of us. Two of us. Two of us.

    All of us. All of us. All of us.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 20, 2005 at 7:30 PM

    Jay is more than middle of the road, he’s a bit left of and less than authoritarian.

    Monk we have discussed ‘bombing’ the right wing sites with logic before, it is a lost cause. Has the Monk seen the sort of dicussion that goes on these sites?

    The main way of proving a fact is to say “everybody knows that” and “If you had any clue you would know that….”

    There is no way that a reasoned logical approach would ever gain anything by ridicule and shouting down on a right wing site.  Rabbit has looked at some of them, and does indeed throw in a hand grenade once in a while. The best thing is to chuck in the grenade then run, don’t bother sticking around for the fireworks.  There is always some, there are always lefties lurking ready to pounce, they are in greatest numbers on the net.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 20, 2005 at 7:36 PM

    Here are the results so far Very interesting. Order based on the sum of the two numbers :

    Jay     Economic Left/Right: -1.07 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.98

    WTH   Economic Left/Right: -3.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.10

    Rabbit Economic Left/Right: -3.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.28

    Neruda Economic Left/Right: -2.38 Social Libertatian/Authoritatian: -5.23

    David Economic Left/Right: -6.25 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85

    Whit   Economic Left/Right: -7.25 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.08

    Raven Economic Left/Right: -5.13 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.36

    Luminous Bty Economic Left/Right: -7 Social Libertatian/Authoritatian: -7

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 20, 2005 at 9:24 PM

    Makes sense to Rabbit.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 20, 2005 at 9:44 PM

    Rabbit always was the most straight one at hippy things, even though he is a happy hippy hoppy Rabbit.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 20, 2005 at 9:46 PM

    Very interesting.

    I agree that it is a very imprecise measure. It should def be a 10 point continuum.

    However it is a good platform for a discussion.

    Rabbit, peoples’ results make sense to you and I am curious as to why.

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 20, 2005 at 10:10 PM

    From what Rabbit has intuited and learned directly, via peoples comments and what he, Rabbit, knows of people.  The fact is you may notice the similarity between WTH and Rabbit.    Rabbit has been pointing this fact out for some time as it happens.  WTH and Rabbit almost always agree on matters where the FACTS are indisputed. 

    Obviously there have been many opportunities for Rabbit to observe others of this number and he longs after at least as many others as we have now….........................Rabbit MOSTLY wants his beloved…..DARK and Deadly Natalie,  Scorpy would be second choice, but will he deign to lower himself to actually looking at the same site as so many of we dirty liberals have already soiled with our mishapen eyes?

    Rabbit has a few clues as to where they both will be and there are others too.  . 

    Where is Rabbit’s honoured and awesome Queen EADORA?  Sweet LIZ? GrayArea? KUYA? The Mangy WOLF?

    Yes in fact Rabbit feels that within thelimitations set by the scales themselves, they are limited to specific attitudes, which are yet simple enough in individual interpretation that each will give a response which is based on things more fundamental about one than mere religion or political labels suggest.

    These are the things that matter, and Rabbit is actually more and more impressed with this model the more we see of it.  The fact that Jay and WTH have reacted the way they are to their own scores, and no doubt what is yet to come, will further compound this observation…....thinks Rabbit.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 20, 2005 at 10:40 PM

    I thought the test was fairly accurate. More good than not good. 10 points would be a bit too much spread. 5 points would allow for a fence to sit on. Strong agree, agree, no opinion or undecided, disagree, strongly disagree. But I liked that the questions demanded commitment to your answer. Too may people sit on fences for the wrong reasons.

    What I found interesting was how those of us who took part were all in the same quadrant. Not so different after all it seems. In general at least. Some different opinions on specific issues. But mostly of an accord.

    I had expected that my results would be closer together. My sum was - 8.10 and I would have initially expected a -4 and -4, give or take a point. After some consideration and self reflection I understand why I have the spread that resulted.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 20, 2005 at 10:40 PM

    This last post of Rabbits, apart from showing off his new Rabbit skills, is based upon the presumption that political and religious beliefs change, people do not.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 20, 2005 at 10:43 PM

    If beliefs change the believerhas changed.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 20, 2005 at 11:21 PM

    No, Beliefs are things which come and go, today I’m a christian, tomorrow I’m a Muslim, or Budhist.

    Once i was a Liberal now I vote Labour.

    I am still I.  Changing one’s beliefs is changing one’s beliefs.

    There are beliefs which when once changed also change the believer, but mostly Rabbit thinks it is a path of discovery about who we are and only when we have found out that will we be able to ascertain what beliefs we are left with.  We are who we always were… we know it…...

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 21, 2005 at 12:42 AM


    No, I wasn’t overly disappointed, only in that it isn’t as revealing as I’d expect. My objections are as previously stated; there doesn’t seem to be much differentiation on at least the full spectrum of a progressive nature. I think the “middle” of this scale is more of a dumping ground that these scales fail to separate.

    But, maybe that would be too fine a hare to split…

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 21, 2005 at 7:25 AM

    Rabbit says,

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 21, 2005 at 9:35 AM

    “Also, we tend to worry more. Little imagination = little to worry about. This is the lure of fundamentalism.”

    Point well taken. What we are currently seeing unfolding in the world is a struggle between closed systems (fundamentalism) where answers are given from on-high, written down in words to be taken literally and without question and open systems which accept not having absolute knowledge of everything and understand that openness is the way to progress, The downside is there is more to worry about, more questions, fewer easy answers, and development (social and personal) is challenging.

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 21, 2005 at 10:26 AM


    Rabbit was only using the politics and relifgions as examples. The only point Rabbit was making, which you got obviously, was that People don’t change just because they change their ideas.  The Churchill quote is an excellent example.

    Actually Rabbit has voted for Labour, (Bob Hawke), Democrats, Greens, National Marijuana Party, One Nation (helped them in the election), and even refused to vote and been fined for it.  (We are compulsory, which is not a bad idea I feel, these days) Rabbit has also written his feelings in flowery prose all over the ballot papers on occasion.

    rabbit was born an Atheist, became an Apostolic, then Mormon Christian, turned to budhism for many years and am still officially on the role as a Budhist.  Now…..........
    Rabbit has finally realised he was an
    Gnostic all along.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 21, 2005 at 6:46 PM

    PC is not silly, the proof is in the fact that it conforms to prediction.  It may not be giving all the information you would expect, but as said that is because you think yourself much more different to us than you are. The same for Jay.

    Since we have certian information which you don’t, we are more likely to be in tune with where we actually stand in the political scheme of things.

    The nuance and individualism, as well as the co-herance of the arguments presented by most of us show an assurance of what we know and the ability to support our views with referenced facts. Our lack of hesitation at replying in detail, and directly to anything which is said and the fact that we acknowledge mistakes, when they are shown, is the proof that we have something which you do not. 

    You both usually support the same concepts as us, but you ascribe these concepts, to false beliefes about people and history.  If you had the same knowledge of the facts which we have, you would still have the same attitudes, but your beliefs will have changed.  You will not register any different on the graph, than you do now, that is almost certain.  Go back and read the questions, you are both completely missing the point to suggest that the thing is not a very good indication. 

    Rabbit tells you it is a FACT that the questions and the results are ABSOLUTELY valid, within the self imposed boundaries of the test.  The results are DEFINATELY able to be used for comparison. The labels on the graph, are to be interpretd in relation to each other.

    Therfore, for Jay to say that the middle is a dumping ground for those who fail to fit elsewhere, is patently insane.  There is a scale, it has been numbered, and the very nature of a scale is such that some will fit in the middle exactly, while others will be at either extreme.

    The problem you both have is that you Thought you were something else.  This is not the least bit suprising to Rabbit who has said all along that you misunderstand certain fundamental truths.  It is not you which is wrong, it is your ideas.

    The proof is that your ideas are inconsistent with an UNBIASED survey based on attitudes.  Guys the survey cannot be critisised in the way you are doing. The test like all tests of comparison, is to be judged on the previously defined criteria, and saying that these criteria do not say things they were never designed to say, is no argument.

    The criteria were selected as a comparison.  Who cares that JAY does not consider himself to be in the position to which he would have assigned himself, an independant test has just placed him where he is and that is valid, for the comparison, of anyone who takes that test.

    WTH has given a result exactly as Rabbit would have predicted, and Rabbit has said as much for a week or more, before this test appeared.  The only way this is possible is if Rabbit knows something WTH does not.

    Of course you are going to argue with the results, because they are based on your real attitudes.  Your pre-conceptions about where these attitudes placed you politically are according to us, based on misperceptions, about some leaders, about history.  These are things which can be proven and if you ever allow yoursleves to look seriously at the things we show you, you will see this.

    If you had different info than now, would you actually change any of the answers you gave to the test?  Of course you would not, so what is so hard to understand.

    The test essentially proves your politics are based on some error.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 21, 2005 at 7:29 PM

    The FACT of the test giving valid results for comparison, is not an opinion, so don’t go there.

    Rabbit has just defined a scientific principle, which has to do with testing and without which all science would be worthless.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 21, 2005 at 7:32 PM

    Here is a simple story.

    Jay thinks he is a reasonable conservative democratic individual. 

    We say he is supporting a fascist undemocratic viewpoint, by supporting ideas of certain leaders.

    Jay says no these leaders are really supporters of my reasonable views. 

    This test shows Jay to be a reasonable conservative democratic individual.  The test also shows that the leaders he supports are fascist and undemocratic.  There is no way Jay would actually believe he supports somebody as far into the UGLY zone indicated by the graph.  If you doubt it is ugly go back and try to reproduce those results on the graph, you will be shocked by the things you will have to believe to get there.  The only answer Jay and WTH can give this is to deny the test is accurate.  GUYS that just isn’t logical. 

    Go back and look at the questions and think about what you are trying to deny here

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 21, 2005 at 7:39 PM

    Oh and by the way, you are often ascribing ideas to Rabbit, probably his score suroprises you too.  Rabbit is exactly where he would expect to be, you have just understood very little about Rabbit yet.  The idea of not wanting big government to rule our lives is not especially conservative, it is common to most people, and is only ever a consequence of political parties, who as we’ve established are not any more than power machines.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 21, 2005 at 7:44 PM


    Quoting from your blog, I like the name ”  sufrensucatash ” by the way.

    You describe yourself : ” I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; libertarian who won’t privatize first responders. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams. ”

    It is good to see that you will admit to a variety of labels for your variety of views. It is good to see that you are an idealist and a realist. I like ideals as well. I am certain we have the important ones in common, all people do even if they don’t know it. Reality is OK. Dreaming is better.

    So keeping in mind your multifaceted definition of yourself ..

    Re: Political Compass

    You said : ” It is flawed; the creator is definitely NOT a political scientist. One of the more blatant screwups is that the economic spectrum gets the Left/Right designation while the social spectrum is a Authoritarian/Libertarian designation. Yet, an example of the extreme Right pole is labeled Libertarianism and the Libertarian pole is Anarchists.
    I scored -1.07 and -1.98.
    That only proves my point ...”

    You don’t like the labels used in the test results. Have you read the FAQ at the Political Compass website? They address many of the criticisms you have about the results and the test itself.

    Use your own labels if you like, don’t get hung up on theirs. The results would remain the same but have a new label but essentially the same definitions. Yes?

    We would all still agree on many propositions. On a specific proposition you might call your position liberal from a conservative perspective and I might call it conservative from a liberal perspective. The position is the same. The perspective is not. But we agree.

    Rabbit puts forward a good experiment when he suggests testing again trying to produce results contrary to what you think is right. It is revealing.

    “Go back and look at the questions and think about what you are trying to deny here.”

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 12:22 AM

    It is a VALID experiment.

    Actually the more Rabboit looks at it the more convinced he has become that even his first reservations may have been unjustified.

    First reaction, during the actual answering stage, was that I sought a more nuanced answer from time to time. Upon second thoughts, I realised then and more so now, it would then introduce a differnt and much more difficult to calculate scale, I think it might end up introducing logarithms into the thing then and that gets weird.  Maybe not but Rabbit always shies away from too precise mathematical thinking.  There will always be such feelings for a random few questions by anyone, but the variation though only on a scale from +10 to -10, or whatever it was, is no less valid as a comparison because it is a graduated scale, which has been arrived at via a mean of testing across a previously identified group of question/responses.

    This is called changing ones mind and it isn’t done to annoy you WTH, Rabbit hopes you are seeing the logic here, it is rather effective really.

    As a basis for political comparison, this is a very excellent tool….................Says Rabbit….........

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 1:16 AM

    “PC is not silly, the proof is in the fact that it conforms to prediction.

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 22, 2005 at 5:30 AM


    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 22, 2005 at 6:36 AM

    <i>When Churchill was criticized for switching parties

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 22, 2005 at 7:56 AM

    Taking David’s suggestion to try Rabbit’s Contrarian Test, I soon realized that in being contrary, I was always selecting Strongly, whether it was in agreement or not. Perhaps because I am more familiar to my own nuances than others who do not share my point of view.

    So, I stopped and took the test for myself again, but instead of wanting more options, I stuck with a <b>Strongly<b> strategy. It soon became apparent that the fuzziness of the test is more from the equivocal statements I was responding to, rather than my own. The test is too liberal (absolutely NO pun intended) with words like “some” and “usually”. A couple questions even twist equivocal statements with equivocality.

    Anyway, I am much happier with the results.

    Eco at 2.75; Social at -1.13

    By the way, my last score was the result of taking the test twice and still getting essentially the same score.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 22, 2005 at 8:24 AM

    Jay Cline,

    Thanks for the British parties connection.

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 22, 2005 at 8:32 AM

    Re-took the political compass but this time using Jay’s “strongly” strategy to answer all quesions:

    Economic Left/Right: -2.88
    Social libertarian/authoritarian: -6.72

    Center-left economically and quite libertarian socially.

    After a little bit of introspection, I can honestly say that really does capture my perspective pretty well.

    Posted by Neruda on Oct 22, 2005 at 9:22 AM

    Always answer “Strongly”  strategy results :

    Economic Left/Right: -6.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.31

    Moved little further left economic. Moved much further libertarian.

    Here are my original results :

    Economic Left/Right: -6.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 12:53 PM

    I encourage everyone to read the Political Compass FAQ (frequently asked questions).

    “But it’s important to realise that this isn’t a survey, and these aren’t questions. They’re propositions - an altogether different proposition. To question the logic of individual ones that irritate you is to miss the point. Some propositions are extreme, and some are more moderate.”

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 1:14 PM

    To question the logic of individual ones that irritate you is to miss the point

    Ah, yes, of course. If I disagree, if I question, the problem is not the questionee, but the questioner.

    How silly of me…

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 22, 2005 at 3:47 PM


    Come on.

    Maybe I am missing the point too.

    Questions always good. Acussations not so much so.

    How silly of me ...

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 4:24 PM

    “How silly of me ... “

    Or missing your point?

    We all answered the same questions. Each to their own self.

    I don’t consider those that have different answers a problem or my enemy.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 4:30 PM

    Or if they are a problem or an enemy, real or perceived :

    I do not or try not to treat them any differently than I would treat a solution or my friend.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 4:38 PM


    Thanks for the recommendation! I had seen the book in passing before, but I am always leery of laying down money on kiss ‘n tell books without getting a good unbiased recommendation from someone. I will take a look!

    My all time Churchillian favorite is Democracy is the worst form of governance, except for all those tried so far (again, or something similiar!). Not only does the Stand-Up Democrat grab you with that straight-line, but the philosophy behind it is so timeless, and timely. Winston could really grab an audience. I can’t wait to read Franklin and Churchill. Two peas-in-a-pod politicians, if there ever was.

    You might want to take a look at Port McClellan for occasional Churchill chatter. The proprietors over there are admirers of the Lion as well, though be warned; even with a modified eco score from -1.07 to 2.75, I am still a little to the left of center, though by no means the token left… Interesting site. I’ve taken up residence there for the time being (at the sufferance of the proprietors! though they don’t seem to mind). I still wish the Left2Right blog was still active. Now that was a lively straight-up site!

    I’d taken a couple short trips to London, decades ago. Compared to other European cities, this one isn’t. A city, that is. Somehow, London never lost its English village charm, just grew out and up and modernized. Sort of like New York.

    btw, Paris, surprisingly, is my favorite. A Francophile I am NOT! But I fell in love anyway as we drove into the city on a quiet early morning Friday. And we didn’t get any sleep until we left Monday afternoon! French politics leave me cold, but one on one, the people are as lively as they get.

    I took a two week jaunt once up into East Anglica through Cambridge and stopping at Hadrian’s Wall before heading up towards Edinburgh and then to Lock Ness. Driving back up and over the enormous ice cream scoop shaped barren mountains of the Highlands and into the Moors was something I will never forget. I can still see the heather and hear the wail of the bagpipes played at a pullover rest stop.

    Oh, to have a summer of hiking them hills!

    I made a stop at an old WWII RAF Airbase. I am intrigued by the history of the RAF and the USAAF, particularly the US 8th Air Force. Too many movies like Command Decision and Twelve O’Clock High, I fear. Being stationed in Germany for three years only reinforced that affliction. My landlord was a tank driver for Rommel. When I could understand his Bavarian German, he told some good stories…

    Oh, and family lore has it that one branch on my maternal side had a lassie from the Isle of Wight kidnapped by Viking interlopers some fifteen hundred years ago. Not sure how many great-greats that makes her, or of the veracity of that story.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 22, 2005 at 4:42 PM

    BOTH main parties are corrupt,they no longer represent the people.
    A third party must be put into power to shock them to their senses.
    The democrats’ clinton ,she has not come out against the war,she clearly has no morals stating that the main thing is to make sure that the boys didn’t die in vain .Well hello ,does this mean more have to die in vain so we can pretend the others didn’t die in vain?

    the Republicans have let BUSH lead them into this war ,while the congress played dead and the democrats rolled over.
    Both parties are now clearly bought by the ELITE
    as such neither can ever be trusted again.
    So whats next ,your guess is as good as mine.

    Posted by skullker on Oct 22, 2005 at 6:07 PM

    Hello Skullker

    Thanks for the clarity. I agree.


    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 6:12 PM

    Please excuse Rabbit’s confusion over PC.  Rabbit was still talking about the Political Compass, thought that was the PC ref.

    As WTH should know about Rabbit by now, he too loathes Political Correctness.  Only people unsure of their own feelings get caught up in PC silliness. So PC is SILLY, agreed.

    WTH You and Rabbit could be twins, except Rabbit would be the twin who prefers abit of Happy Baccy to Tobacco. Smoked Tobacco for a couple of years, and found it to be the most physically damaging thing and the most addictive crap ever tried.  Rabbit has always been able to take or leave anything, but Tobacco was hard going.

    Rabbit enjoys a cold beer or six a few times a year, but definately would swap them all for a couple shots of GOOD Whisky.  It doesn’t get much better than Jack Daniels either.  Only a dash of coke, or on the rocks of course.  Southern Comfort is too sweet.

    Of course the problem with prisons and law enforcment generally is all the “civilians” caught up in the “War on Drugs”  The chief of Danish police once made a statement along these lines.  Paraphrased.

    If drugs are a problem of themselves then they are a social problem. The police have more than enough to do attempting to control serious crime, we are no longer interested in wasting resources chasing people for using illicit drugs.  It is to be hoped that scoial and political forces can sort out the issues involved, but in the meantime this is the position of the Danish police.”

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 6:44 PM

    We have the same situation in Canada.

    Our main parties have long since sold their souls, whether they know it or not. Even our third part show signs of slavery to elitist interests.

    There are fourth and fifth parties on the horizon here in Canada. They are gaining support. Hopefully they remain true to their ideals and resist the temptations for corruption that power brings.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 6:45 PM

    For clarity : My last post was directed at Skullker, as a continuation of my first response.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 6:48 PM

    Whattheheck and Rabbit,

    Agreed. Political Correctness is like a fence to sit on or play on.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 7:00 PM

    ... and that too is why I agree, in reference to Political Compass results :

    Strongly agree and agree, and the converse, are a little like equivocal, nuanced hedges. Cutting both ways of course.

    I would be happy with a YES/AGREE or NO/DISAGREE response to the Political Compass experiment

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 22, 2005 at 7:11 PM

    Regarding compulsory voting.  Yes Oz and i think Britain too has compulsory voting.  Whilst growing up Rabbit was against this.  Having travelled widely and knowing what i now do about other countries politics, I have changed my opinion about it.  True and it was always Rabbit’s contention, that many people who have not even considered who or why they are voting end up having an effect on the result.  Rabbit hears some of the things said by ‘ordinary people’ and shudders to think that they have the same amount of say in who will be the government as Rabbit.

    Yet it is no a better situation to give them a choice of not voting.  The result ends up being a government selected by less than the whole nation. It might sound better to have 50% of informed voters deciding, than mix up the other 50% of ill informed voters with their choices, possibly tipping the balance against the informed ones.  The thing is, those informewd voters do not necessarily know the truth or make the best decision either.  Better in the long run to be able to say that 100% of the people took part in the election, than to say our leadership was elected by a poll of half the population.  Just because those who choose think they know best, does not mean they do.  Compulsory voting is I think a better way to defend a democracy against, well what you guys have in your system.  It looks messy and inneficient, and not at all inspiring.  The polititicians do have to consider the whole nation leading up to elections, they cannot afford to concentrate on getting their people to vote.  All will be voting which means in effect all eyes are on all of them.  In the end it is an incentive to take a bit of notice too, I Think Aussies are generally more aware of their government and it’s antics.

    WTH observations about the survey and survey in general is agreed also, yet Rabbit would argue that this survey holds water.  My point still being that the questions and interpretations will be standard for all responders.  The limitations of surveys as such are here, but as a survey, for the purposes of comparison it is adequate.  One of the primary reasons rabbit feels this is so, is because the results conform with his own observations.

    Jay getting a different score by forcing his own responses on things, gives more clues too.  He has admittedly forced his answers to be stronger, and thus managed to get a score which he considers to be more accurate of his economic position.  The first test was your true result, Jay. that is where you stand in relation to the test as it is designed.  Your second score ony moved further to the extreme on economics, and th fact that the social score stayed the same is VERY telling.  This actually supports Rabbit’s contention that you are tending in belief towards some peoples ideas because you percieve them to be other than what they are.  Bush for example is not who you think he is.  Thus to make him more like you, or you more like him, you need to force something which is not natural to you.

    In fact Bush and those in the right top quadrant are a lot more extreme and in directions of which you have been unaware.  It has become obvious to rabbit that both you guys are saying the same things as us, you are just believing that we have different views than we have, and that is only because we clearly distance ourselves from the leaders you think are something trhey are not.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 7:15 PM

    The test is not liberal. Rabbit found the questions about economics for example to be too conservative in answer choice. The slant was conservative. 

    If we are right, and Bush is a liar, a facsist etc, then you would not be anywhere near supporting him, that is what must be considered.  the Graph gives a result which is entirely understandable to us, that is not meaning that it is a liberal test. It suggests to Rabbit only that you and Jay are not really Fascists, or inhumane greedy pigs.  Yet the issues you regularly support are policies of inhumanity, fascism and greed. 

    Sorry to say it so, but there is no other way.  The thing which this survey has done, is to show these things to be so.  Rabbit is finding his own explanation of this to be less than satisfactory. Surely Luminous Beauty or Neruda can say it better?

    Perhaps this helps….....Jay especially probably thinks that the extreme right is a lot less extreme than it is.  You think you are right wing economically but in fact, since the left is actually not as extreme in this regard as you think, and more because the Right is MUCH more extreme than you think, you are more centrist on economics.  Frankly most of the economic policies you Jay and WTH have ascribed to others of us have not been close to the mark. We are mostly more conservative than you realise, ie: closer to you two.

    Jay stop contorting yourself to move closer to Bush, accept the bastard for what he is, and move on.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 7:19 PM

    Now Rabbit see’s you are all answering ‘strongly’ as if that is helping.  NO NO NO

    All you are doing is making the test more crude.  You are trying to make things more clear cut, simple and that is not what it is all about.  If you keep going in this direction the logical result will be a Left/Right linear scale again. 

    People are searching for ways to make their scores fit into their preconceptions about where they stood in relation to each other and the world.  It is very clear to Rabbit that the original scores are immensely telling.  Some must be able to see what Rabbit sees here.  Look, Jay and WTH are as we know (sorry guys) seriously misinformed about a few critical issues, which of themselves make a paradigm shifting view of GWB and the current world politics etc.  WE KNOW THIS RIGHT?  Therefore, since this survey was testing the ATTITUDES of people, independant of their politics, it is placing them relative to each oher in REAL POLITICS.

    Cannot we understand the fact of a Liberal holding to a conservative plan if he percieved in that plan something else entirely?  Therfore if WTH and Jay are wrong about their own politics, (sorry guys) then they are going to be somewhere else entirely.  Rabbit would even go so far as to suggest that the better one recognises one’s own landing point on the graph, the more in tune one is with what is happening in the world. 

    Rabbit is desperate for a finer mind than his to clarify this, it is not hard to understand if we could communicate via telepathy, it is the words which are harder to come by.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 7:32 PM

    Now the following is not to annoy WTH, or Jay, but if we are to use our new-found respect for one another to advantage, we are going to have to deal with certain things as they arise.  Some things we can easily hold different views on, but FACTS, some of them at least are important.  Rabbit will openly discuss and values alternative views about anything, but when false facts are taken for granted, the whole point of dicussion goes out the window. 

    If WINSTON CHURCHILL was not exactly the storybook version, if the simple version about him was not only partly false, but if it was only the tip of an iceberg about the truth, would you want to know?

    Rabbit is not asking if you would believe anything else, but would you want to know IF it was so? 

    If one wants to believe in a fantasy hero, what is wrong with Superman or Batman?  OK Rabbit knows what is wrong with Batman, anyway why not just have an imaginary hero and be done with it.
    Rabbit already knows all about Winston Churchill, he is an Aussie, OK and he is a much closer part of our history, Oz was part of the British empire at least in spirit (Not officially of course) and we went to war the same day as Churchill declared it too.  Yes Rabbit knows all about him from the usual history books.

    Rabbit knows more though.  Rabbit has read other books which have more of the story and he has read much more on the internet too.  Please do not discard this info without reading it.  Rabbit is not saying read it with an open mind, that is something which will come with practice hopefully, open mindedness.  Read it with closed minds, just read it, and if you cannot accept something it says, be honest enough to challenge the fact directly, but unless you can show it is false, give Rabbit or others the chance to show it is otherwise.  We may be wrong, then we may have to re-consider too.  We will not change as people, or Rabbits, but we may form new ideas or even discard some old ones, pending new ones.

    It is a single source, randomly selected from a google of key words Rabbit slotted in.  This is important to be aware of, for Rabbit has never previously even seen the site, he just knows this information, is readily available and this was a start.  You don’t have to waste time with it, ask Rabbit and he will find much more substantial verification of anything you desire about the story of Churchill.

    Open mindedness just means to Rabbit, giving anything fair consideration, and if it seems possible and nothing Rabbit KNOWS contradicts it then Rabbit will then try and fit this information into his sum knowledge as a possibility.  Sometimes this idea clashes with other ideas and this can lead to Rabbit deciding to apply more energy to ascertainming which if either idea needs discarding.  It is a simple process, and it means that although many opinions are held, many others are actually with-held, pending more information, but this means Rabbit can often prove why some ideas are not adequate, despite not always having a ready replaement.. 

    It is not really more scary to live in a world where many unknowns are accepted, it is much less scary than the thought of being blind or ignorant again in such a scary world.

    Rabbit simply accepts that there is much more in the universe that we don’t know than what we do know. Also half of what we know is wrong.  This isn’t an excuse to stay ignorant, it is an inducement to stay humble.

    Rabbit is a very humble creature.

    Rabbit is a very proud creature too.

    Do we undertstand the two are self multiplying?

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 8:12 PM

    Sorry but meant to mean Rabbit is an Aussie, not the big fat man who was a Pommie as far as Rabbit knows.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 11:51 PM

    Rabbit wishes not to have said anything about being

    Proud and humble it comes out all wrong.  Scratch scratch… won’t come off.

    Happy Hopper Humble is
    Proud to still be happy
    humble and hopping.


    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 22, 2005 at 11:56 PM


    “I can

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 23, 2005 at 5:47 AM

    As for “put down lines” try George Galloway, he could eat Churchill for breakfast.

    Are we ignoring any history contrary to our small ideas like good little revisionists then?

    Half the story is still only half the story.

    If you ignore enough other history you could claim Hitler was just a pretty lousy painter who later rose to prominance in German politics.

    Churchill is not so pretty when you learn the truth, but who wants truth when you have a comfortable fantasy eh guys?

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:12 AM

    There is always the old ignore the uncomforable thing game.  After a while you then start claiming we cannot prove anything and there is no need to waste time looking at anything which is given because nothing can be known and yet you seem so sure of what you know?

    You will duck and dive, twist and turn to avoid just READING THE DAMNED article, and facing up to it’s claims, challenge their validity if you can, or see with open eyes that you are worshipping another flawed man.  Flaws are OK, but when those flaws make a mockery of all the symbolism of the person’s life, then you are being clowns to pretend otherwise.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:18 AM


    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:21 AM

    <i>” Now Rabbit see

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 4:31 PM

    I think it does help. Yes yes yes.

    My Personal Political Compass becomes my Personal Political Spectrum.

    After all you use a compass to get from A to B ... and maybe C.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 4:50 PM

    No the revised scores are where one would be if one was someone else!

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 5:01 PM

    There is a difference between agree and strongly agree. It is still as YES.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 5:18 PM

    No the revised scores are where you would be if you were someone else.

    The original answers were the most pure.  Now for non-science minded people this may need to be explained, but to any scientific mind the answer is obvious.

    You now know the test, the results and anything you do from here on to alter your original result is of absolutely NO use to the experiment.  You are now

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:19 PM

    BTW Monk…..rabbit didn’t mean to be UPPITY  even if it sounded so, he knows you are genuine in desire to find middle ground always, it is just that here you are removing the middle ground to allow soimeone to adjust their results to better attend their pre-concieved notions about the world. 

    The fine distinction is predictably lost on the subjects, but it is beautiful in symmetry when seen from an objective standpoint.

    And yes, Rabbit’s view is objective, he is satisfied with all results, can see a pattern in the confusion which in all cases explains why the person is able to understand or not their results.  he is waiting for someone like Luminous Mind or Neruda, maybe Whit will catch on, expecting they have not seen this stage of the exchange yet and when they do, expect a better explanation.

    In the mean time, Rabbit thought the Monk had it from the start, because his advice was the best, go back and read the FAQs.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:26 PM

    YES is YES.

    Agree = Yes
    Strongly agree = Yes

    The answer to a given proposition has not changed from YES to NO. Or vice versa.

    The variation in nuance from mild agreement to strong agreement of those YES or NO answers is interesting and I think it is valid.

    The original results are the truest results ... at least until there are new results.

    When taking the test the second time anwering “strong” always, on several questions I was not sure what my original response had been. I knew that my answer had been YES or NO but was unsure if it had been mild or strong. This happened mostly on those questions where if there had been a “no opinion/not sure” answer available I may have been tempted to sit on the rhetorical fence.

    Not answering from memory but from the heart : Does anyone think if they took the test again that they could produce exactly the same result as they did originally?

    Wouldn’t a different set of questions produce a different result? But I digress…

    Regarding the “mild or strong response” : Wouldn’t a good day as opposed to a bad day produce different results? Would’t having a beer or a coffee while taking the test produce different results?

    Discoveries lead to new discoveries and so on. Each revision brings a reconception of ourselves. We are talking about people here. Not cold hard science.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:35 PM

    from the FAQ at Political Compass :

    Question : “Respondents are going to feel under pressure to be politically correct.”

    Answer : ” Not really, because we’ve assured them that not only are their identities unknown, but their responses totally unrecorded. So the only actual pressure will come from themselves. We’ve found that a lot of people aren’t comfortable with the first result, so they go through the propositions again, changing some of their earlier responses. It’s a bit like an overweight person stepping back on the scales after removing their shoes. “

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:40 PM

    I am not sure if that supports my position or not. hehe

    Just throwing it out there.

    To bring this Political Compass cogent tangent (nice paradox there) back to the topic of the Partisan War Syndrome :

    Let’s hope that people and politcians who support the war, or think they supported the war, change their answer from YES to NO.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 6:52 PM

    Back to the Political Compass test, Rabbit says :

    You get one chance and unless you answered dishonestly the first time, this is IT.  Everything after is Tainted

    Just to clarify :
    Yes to No would be dishonest. But even dishonest can become honest after regret. Honest can become dishonest too.

    Just to repeat :
    A strong Yes and a mild Yes are still both Yes. same goes for No.

    Tainted yes, but I am tainted all the time, it never stops. I don’t exist in a vacuum.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 7:42 PM

    David you are being fooled by circular logic I think.

    Read what Rabbit said slowly.  It isn’t about opinions, I don’t think,  Rabbit could indeed and has gotten the same result the second time, he just did, and like before answered gave the best answer for me.  Identical result.  Rabbit is a scientist, in the loose term of the word and can assure you that the questions are questions about fundamental attitudes, as removed from political leanings. Since people can and do change their beliefs, but they don’t actually change inside, once they have established those fundamnetal attitudes, which are no less than the things which could define adulthood.

    Before trying to challenge this idea, consider this example, could a child answer most or even any of the questions with any hope of comprehension?  Could any adult fail to comprehend exactly what the question entailed?

    Then by logical extension we have placed all adults into the position of having to give the most accurate account of their attitudes.  As Rabbit first observed he would have liked a less committed answer once or twice, and obviously others wanted similar, WTH made the most logical improvement and it was and remains a good idea but may complicate the calculations, Rabbit recognises Logarithims from a distance usually and avoids them.  This however is the opposite of the crudifying you are now arguing in favour of.  Yes is yes, but a bit is less than a lot.  You are actually reversing your own position on this, from your earlier wiser defence of the test.  You started doing so thinks Rabbit in defence of others who were actually set to gain otherwise from the realisation that their true attitudes are not reflected in their chosen politics,  Rabbit respectfully asks the MONK to consider this.  You introduced the test which imediately brought about a growing sense of unity as people recognised certain basic truths, the dawning of them anyway.

    They employed their natural tendency to deny the valisity of anything which challenges them on their ideas, and this was meant to do so in an obviously good direction, and now they have been fed in their doubts and are absolved from having to take any further notice of some very strikinmg results and I’ve already proved they were predicatble and nobody has even challenged Rabbit on this.  They cannot because he has proof, Rabbit’s postings of last several weeks have indeed highlighted certian results reflected in those scores.

    The two who might have gained from a logical step backwards through their own selves, without the interference of political ideology, and thus have found the truth from within, have now abandoned ship, it was close, but no they are free again. Free to be ignorant.

    Better read the Screwtape Letters

    That quote blows your position out of the water, you silly Monkey, that is what Rabbit has been trying to tell you.  Your other what if questions of second last post are general only and are the sorts of things the peole who set up the test had to take into account when setting up the test.

    Now read all Rabbit’s responses on this like a good monkey and stop being a weird fish.  It is late down there, ..............Rabbit looks up…...Yes we have the sun… is late,....... The Monk would not be slightly stoned?  Rabbit is fresh as the daisies and is cooking boats.

    He is pretty sure Monk is being a wobbly fish, maybe it is the fish in you which feels pity for the prey just before it goes into the net, you need to make a hole for it to escape.  We don’t want them to grow bigger here Monk, we must land the fish and move on.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 7:57 PM

    Rabbit says :

    <i>” BTW Monk…..Rabbit didn

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 7:59 PM

    OK of course Attitudes change, but not from one sitting of the test to the next.  Go out and live a bit, learn something new, and some of your attitudes will of course change, but that is not the same as answering the test in a different way. The actual questions have to be considered in light of your criticisms which are as Rabbit pointed out generalities.

    An actual analysis of the test would do this, but raising the actual criteria which had to be taken into account when designing the experiment, is not an analysis it is merely a refrain about what sort of problems are faced by investigators when designing such a test.  Examine the questions in light of how they stack up to such criteria on an individual basis maybe, and if they are found wanting then criticise them.

    Rabbit has judged all these factors and can see the investigators have taken them into account answering all the queries in their FAQs. 

    Generic criticism is troll tricks,  Monk what have you been eating?

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 8:10 PM

    Rabbit was feeling too lazy to think that hard, so don’t make him stamp his foot as well now it is done.


    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 8:13 PM


    Have you never reconsidered?

    Have you never agreed with a proposition and upon a better understanding of that proposition agreed more strongly? Or less strongly?

    Have you never been wrong?

    Generalities maybe. How is this for specific?

    Are “agree” and “strongly agree” on the same side of the fence?

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 8:52 PM


    When we first started criticizing and people, you included, suggested that a wider choice of possible responses might be better.

    Political Compass FAQ :

    ” In some cases none of the four possible responses reflected my attitude. “

    One expert in the field suggested that we restrict the responses to simply ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’. But how many do you need? Ten? Twenty? If you choose the one that most nearly reflects your feeling, you’ll get an accurate reading…even if it niggles. “

    The “niggling” is there. We are talking about people. Not chemical reactions in a test tube.

    By taking the test over and sticking with our Agree or Disagree answer and “jiggling” the results by playing with “strong” and “mild” responses we are , as you say ” learn[ing] something new “ and not, as you say ” answering the test in a different way ” .

    The Agree or Disagree answer has remained the same. The degree of conviction for that Agree or Disagree answer is what has changed.

    And the end result has not necessarily changed.

    I don’t think my revised results are more valid than the original.

    Just interesting and something to consider.

    Call that ” silly ” or ” troll tricks ” if you will but I do not think that is a fair characterization.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 9:16 PM

    Please understand that I too think the original results are the most accurate.

    The end result is something of a median or average based on the individually weighted propositions and responses.

    But there is room for movement based on the degree of conviction given to the agree or disagree positions on the individual propositions.

    The same ” degree of conviction/room for movement ” is available for study in the revised results. I find that movement interesting and retesting illustrates it.

    Same side of the Agree/Disagree fence and only nearer or farther from it. Or is it that the fence has moved?

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 10:02 PM

    And it is not criticism of the test either. It is enthusiasm for the test. Taking the test and seeing what it can teach one about oneself.

    It is revealing.

    It is an opportunity for learning or at least understanding and maybe enlightenment.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 10:28 PM

    Of oneself and others too.

    Better try to understand yourself before you try to understand others.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 10:31 PM

    Yes David we all had our reservations after the test, but they are all answered in the FAQs you were the one who pointed this out the first time.

    The specific questions, bring them out and compare them with your generic criticisms.

    Rabbit does not suggest the revised results are of no use, they say much.

    Rabbit questioned the format, looked at it and decided it was best practice, under the circumstances. .  A second and a third or fourth set of answers are going to do no more than show how the results can be altered by the subject ‘deliberately ’ aletering them from within the experiment… this point the validity of the resluts as a political comparison tool is lost….........

    Has the Monk read back over the questions and tried to imagine how they could be dealt with except by giving the best answer?  Like Rabbit says again, generic critique of any sampling process is of no value, as a critique of this test unless it is applied directly to a question, now which question was presented in such a way that the answering of it would have given a false picture of what the test set out to discover.

    The re-testing with pre-conceptions, thus TAINTED is only of value in showing how much people disgreed with their first result and consequently how well they are able to recognise how to manipulate the result via new answers. ........... KNOCK…..... KNOCK

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 10:39 PM

    This is basic animal behiourology.  Press a button for a reward, press another button for a electric shock, which one do you choose?  Think ...............MONK…...............

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 10:42 PM

    Can Monk imagine George Bush or Johnny Howhard seeing their results and then re-sitting the test? 

    Robert Mugabe?

    How much use would the new results be?

    Now our own little conservatives have had their go, and they didn’t like being so close to us, they wanted to be closer to their imagined idols.  Not knowing as we know that their imagined idols are complete extremists.  They don’t recognise the extreme of their own side, we know that, we have seen it before, of course they are actually closer to us than they thought and of course their imagined Idols are a lot different to what they thought.  Can’t you see monk, they expected to find Bush a bit right of centre, and themselves too.  They did not, because we have been right all along.  Rabbit calls Own Goal for our side and awards a penalty to the other team.  They now get a free kick and an excuse to pull away from recognising their emperor has no clothes, and that their cause has been hijacked.

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 10:53 PM

    Rabbit, I will repeat myself.

    I do not disagree with my original resluts. The results are accurate.

    I am not / was not criticizing the test or the propositions of the test.

    I do not deny that second or third results can be deliberately altered. The results can be altered by dishonest methods or honest methods. I altered my results by the adjusting the degree of conviction, ie. mild or strong, and was still HONEST to my answers in respect to Agree or Disagree.

    Do you see what I am saying? I cannot speak for the others who retested. Ask them if they were honest. I was.

    I retested to see what would happen with the VALID experiment that Jay had suggested. Answer “strongly” only. You suggested the VALID experiment of retesting to try to produce alternative / opposite results as well.

    Obviously these results would be tainted with preconceptions.

    Obviously the new results are not as much use as the first.

    Posted by David in Canada on Oct 23, 2005 at 11:21 PM

    Rabbit understands this and your stance.

    He still cannot accept the implication that dishonesty is necessarily only changing from yes to no.  The simple fact is that there are some people who would feel more strongly than another but both agree with the principle.  by coming around a second time and giving adifferent answer having already seen the results of the first test, makes the “re-testing” worthless as a scientific tool.  Then all the criticisms which have been attempted of the testing method, could be levelled with accuracy.

    The difference is as simple as the difference between subjectivity and objectivity. The first results were objectively obtained.  The secons results were by definition subjective.  the subject could deliberately concentrate on giving the best most heart felt answers as Rabbit did, but even this lacked the objectivity of the first test, despite the results being identical.  Rabbit was deliberately being “objective”, impossible for the aware subject. 

    The others were honest but were seeking to reproduce their fantasised positions in relation to their fantasised facts.

    See above comment.

    All the following discussion about there being any value in re-testing with different premises, ie; altering the controlled structure of the experiment, results in a dilution

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 11:32 PM

    Rabbit didn’t actually expect anybody would waste time re-testing to see how to reproduce the far right wing beasts, assuming this to be rhetorical.  The tendencies would have to have been apparent enough and fresh enough in peoples minds thought Rabbit.  Maybe he overestimates humans…......................  The fact is that even with such deliberately slanted results, pandering to vanities as they were, no-one came close to the ones in the extreme.

    It all adds up. People just can’t.


    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 23, 2005 at 11:36 PM

    Sorry again if Rabbit seems Uppity and he knows Monk is as irritated with his hopping as Rabbit is with Monks hanging, but the sum total of the discussion pleases Rabbit, and he apologises…............^>.............for his impatience.

    It is mainly towards the reluctant brides that his Rabbiting was directed anyway,......... in absentia maybe?

    Posted by GhostRabbit on Oct 24, 2005 at 12:22 AM

    Posted by GhostRabbit on October 22, 2005 at 10:12 PM from HERE .
    re: WSC

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 24, 2005 at 6:27 AM

    As I read David’s commentary in reflection of Rabbit, I cannot help but note that it seems incredible that for someone who so ardently rejects official explanations as intrinsically untrustworthy, that Rabbit would put so much naive credence into such an obviously unscientific polling.

    Where is his self-laudable skepticism?

    Of course, I am only seeing one side of the discourse, so profuse apologies for gross mischaracterization, if I am guilty of such a crime.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 6:31 AM

    As it happens Rabbit

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 24, 2005 at 6:32 AM

    But there is nothing wrong with choosing a real life hero as a Super Hero. Even Superman had his kyptonite and Achilles had his heel.

    That only makes them more deserving of Super Hero status.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 6:33 AM

    from the FAQ at Political Compass :
    Question : “Respondents are going to feel under pressure to be politically correct.”

    Like the test itself, this is too sweeping.

    Some will

    Posted by whattheheck on Oct 24, 2005 at 6:42 AM

    It Takes a Parent[/url] by Betsy Hart. I saw a speech she did recently. One wonders why it took so long for a parent to stand up and tell the politicians (Clinton and Santorum) how to raise kids.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 6:57 AM


    Why do you think the PC poll is unscientific.  Because your son is a statistician hardly gives you much standing to make such a judgment.  Did you have him make a thorough analysis of the methodologies and metrics?  I didn’ t think so.

    Posted by luminous beauty on Oct 24, 2005 at 7:23 AM

    If you want to educate yourself on some of the thinking involved, HERE is a place to start.

    Posted by luminous beauty on Oct 24, 2005 at 7:57 AM

    I have a son?!

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 8:08 AM

    Yes, of course. This is a very scientific polling with scientific credentials and all the populist college standardized tests have cultural bias.

    Silly me. I mixed the two up.

    C’mon. Just because it has a website doesn’t make it valid.

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 8:09 AM

    And he is a statistician??

    Ah, I always knew he’d make us proud. Just wish I could remember his name….

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 8:47 AM

    Sorry, Jay, I must have confused you with some other fool.
    I’m feeling too lazy to backtrack, this morning.  What is a ‘populist’ standardized test?  Are you referring to the SAT?  Stanford-Binet?  Your sarcasm is a bit thick and witless, as usual.  C’mon yerself.  Just because it has a website doesn’t make it junk either, does it?

    I re-took the test.  My score was -6.25, -6.21.  A bit more centrist than what I remember from when I took it last winter.  I was originally surprised myself that I was tagged as such a radical.  I know my political idealism is anarchistic, but I like to think of myself as pragmatic and realistic.  I’ve since come to realize there isn’t that much difference.

    The Iconochasm quiz on the PC site is an interesting test of political knowledge.  I scored ~56%.  Tough.

    Posted by luminous beauty on Oct 24, 2005 at 9:08 AM

    Not having a statistician son doesn’t give your opinion much scientific standing, does it?  Maybe it was WTH.

    Posted by luminous beauty on Oct 24, 2005 at 9:19 AM

    Because your son is a statistician hardly gives you much standing to make such a judgment.


    <i>Not having a statistician son doesn

    Posted by Jay Cline on Oct 24, 2005 at 9:29 AM
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