Anyway, phin made a suggestion regarding a feature to add to the Alliance blog, and asked me for my opinion. I won't get into exactly what his suggestion was right now. And while I said his suggestion was a good idea (I did have some questions; I always have questions), I made a suggestion for something to supplement his idea.
My idea? A chat room for the Alliance members.
What was I thinking?
That had to be the stupidest suggestion I ever made. Adding a chatroom to the Alliance? I'm now thinking it was a bad idea.
Why, you ask? Well, have you ever been to a chatroom? Everything's all nice and sweet then someone says something then dishes are thrown and furniture is kicked over. Or something like that.
You see, it's been a while since I've been in a chatroom. Years, in fact. Until recently.
Over at Stop The ACLU!, they do a weekly chat on Friday nights. I
haven't participated much, but a few weeks ago, it was a Friday night
and there was no baseball game. Rained out or something. I remembered
the chat and stopped by. I was greeted and everyone was nice and all. I basically sat back and didn't offer much. Just a one-liner every now and then. But added nothing to the conversation.
Well, that was a few weeks ago. Last week, another Friday night with no game (I go to all the Catfish games, by the way). So I stopped by the chat. Jumped in a little more, but still mostly just followed along others.
Last night was my third chat. A little more comfortable and a little bolder, I jumped in even more. First to greet several, asked questions, answered a few, throwing in one-liners every so-often.
Then, last night, I remembered why I had shied away from chatrooms. Someone made some comments that I took as on the fringe. Many would have call him a right-wing extremist. But he wasn't. I'm a right-wing extremist. This guy was doing what I thought was spouting with no reasoning behind it. He struck me as -- not comfortable with this word, but it's the best I can describe at the moment -- inexperienced. By that, I mean someone who hasn't had a real job, supported a family, or even voted and seen the consequences of that vote.
Now, we've all been there. And experiencing those things will give someone a perspective that those who haven't been through them can't quite appreciate. And this is true of everything.
Anyway, I refused to advocate the abolition of Social Security. And he called me "anti-freedom."
I didn't like that, and I let him know. And was then accused of "personal attacks."
What ended the dispute was when he called Social Security and Income Taxes both "anti-freedom," and I pointed out that Income Taxes are currently authorized by the U. S. Constitution (16th Amendment). By his argument (me being "anti-freedom" because I accepted that Social Security was part of our current system), then the Constitution was "anti-freedom" because it accepts (or allows) the collection of Income Tax.
Now, I might have been unfair in how I made my argument. It was something like:
- "What about Income Taxes?"
- "If I accepts Income Taxes, am I anti-freedom?"
- "Is anyone that accepts Income Taxes anti-freedom?"
- "What about the 16th Amendment? Are you saying the U. S. Constitution is anti-freedom?"
And that's when he bailed.
Overall, not a fun experience. Oh, I'm not saying I won't be back to the Stop The ACLU! chatroom. I'm not saying that at all.
But last night helped me remember why I haven't been to them in years. And why I think I made a stupid suggestion when I offered the idea of an Alliance chatroom to supplement phin's suggestion.
Hey, phin: Never mind!
UPDATE: If I left the impression the person with whom I had the discussion was one of the Stop the ACLU! moderators or a regular, then I gave the wrong impression. I was unfamiliar with the person who made the comment, and I gathered he was unfamiliar with me. So, my apologies to the Stop the ACLU! staff if it came across like they were the party that offended me. That's not the case.