[Vision2020] an opinion...everybody's got one
london at moscow.com
Thu Jun 23 11:45:41 PDT 2011
we disagree on two main points.
First, you say Hank Johnston and Ed Iverson write "offensive" editorial
columns for the Daily News. I think Hank has become more rational and
centrist in his views of late, and did not find his use of "hippie" to
describe Moscow leftists as any big deal. However, I would agree that
Iverson was "offensive." But what do you expect from an elder in a church
that is anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-science? I thank the Daily News for
having Iverson as a columnist since that gave all of us a chance to see how
illogical and mean-spirited that belief structure is. Reading Iverson's
beliefs let us know what kind of drivel is filling the minds of Christ
Church members and their kids.
Second, why stop buying the Daily News? Why kill the messenger? Sure,
confront the church, Iverson, or whoever -- but pull your head out of the
sand and learn about the entire community here in Moscow.
From: Joe Campbell
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 10:19 AM
To: Bill London
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] an opinion...everybody's got one
Oops! That last post was premature.
As I was saying, this article is evidence in support of my point,
which was not that Hank should be fired. I don’t really care if the
Daily News fires him or not. I stopped buying the Daily News years
ago. He is just the tip of their offensive iceberg. Even if they fired
Hank they’d still have folks like Ed Iverson, who is much like Hank in
his hatred of liberals and progressives but adds to it the belief that
folks like Hank may be killed for their “sins.” (I can understand why
Hank adopts him as a rhetorical role model – not!) My point was only
that, in an area with two universities, the Daily News could do better
than hire incompetent and offensive “writers” like Hank and Ed.
For evidence that Hank is offensive, he writes: “In recent years, ‘The
Viz’ has become a platform where a rather small but egotistical group
of pompous academics bloviate regularly about whatever fires them up
on any given day.” Actually, this is also evidence of his
incompetence. Are the majority of folks who write on Vision 2020
academics? No, they are not. Of course, what does the truth matter
when you can appeal to well-used stereotypes to make your point?
Then there is Hank’s inability to understand subtle distinctions. In
his latest essay, at least 2 important distinctions are glossed over.
First, there is a distinction between legal rights and moral
obligations. Yes, Hank, the first amendment gives you the legal right
to say whatever you wish; it does not follow that you should do so. It
is wrong to be as offensive as you are. Period. Just as it is wrong to
lie even though you often have the legal right to do so. But then I’ve
said this before, Hank, and you didn’t get it the first time. Chances
are you still don’t get it. As I said, you are incompetent.
But the most important distinction that is glossed over is the one
dealing with Hank’s original article. In the new article, Hank writes:
“My position is that, regardless of what one thinks of the moral or
ethical implications of the oil sands project in Canada, it is not up
to Moscow to pass judgment and prevent legal, permitted loads from
traveling through our town. If the loads are legally permitted to move
then we can't change the rules just because we disagree with what the
loads are or who they belong to. That is an issue for the state
Legislature, not the city council, to take up.” Well if it is not up
to Moscow to pass judgment and PREVENT the megaloads, since this is an
issue for the state Legislature, then it is not up to Moscow to pass
judgment and ALLOW the megaloads. It seems that Hank should be equally
opposed to Steed’s motion, which invited ExxonMobil “to use our
hotels,” etc. Who is Steed to issue such an invitation? This is a
matter for the state Legislature! At least that’s what Hank would have
said if he understood the implications of his own argument. But he
didn’t understand the implications of his argument because he is
Of course, the question comes to mind: Why, in an area with 2
universities, does the Daily News hire incompetent and offensive folks
like Hank? The answer is that it has a radical conservative political
agenda. That folks who think he deserves to be KILLED for his sexual
“sins” have set the agenda is something that should worry Hank. But it
doesn’t because he is apparently too much of an idiot to figure it
With this last nasty post, I’m ending my participation in Vision 2020,
at least for the next two years. I’ve taken on some additional duties
that make my continued participation on this list-serve inappropriate.
Besides, conservatives like to dish it out but they can’t take it.
Perhaps with my departure, cowards … I mean, conservatives will come
back to the V and things will be like they were in the old days. Good
luck to all of you! I promise to lurk and you’ll always know how to
find me: philosopher.joe at gmail.com
On Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 6:47 AM, Joe Campbell <philosopher.joe at gmail.com>
> I'm beginning to think that the only thing Hank and I have in common is
> we both laugh when I call him an "idiot." It is hard to know where to
> Suffice to say that this is a nice bit of evidence of the very point
> My dear but this article is a nice example of
> "In recent years, 'The Viz' has become a platform where a rather small but
> egotistical group of pompous academics bloviate regularly about whatever
> fires them up on any given day."
> On Jun 21, 2011, at 12:47 PM, "Bill London" <london at moscow.com> wrote:
> Moscow-Pullman Daily News - DNews.com
> Henry D. Johnston
> HIS VIEW: 'Visionaries' exercise freedom of speech
> June 21, 2011
> I believe the First Amendment, namely freedom of speech, applies to
> everyone. One of the things I enjoy about being a columnist is the
> interaction I get from readers either in person, through email or a letter
> to the editor. The readership of this paper is certainly diverse, and the
> feedback is usually cordial even when people are disagreeing with me.
> Except for my last column.
> Two weeks ago I sided with the Moscow City Council with regard to
> ExxonMobil's proposed megaload shipments. My position is that, regardless
> what one thinks of the moral or ethical implications of the oil sands
> project in Canada, it is not up to Moscow to pass judgment and prevent
> legal, permitted loads from traveling through our town. If the loads are
> legally permitted to move then we can't change the rules just because we
> disagree with what the loads are or who they belong to. That is an issue
> the state Legislature, not the city council, to take up.
> Anyway, I received emails from readers complimenting me on my position and
> also took in comments from a few dissenters. And then, as I sometimes do,
> checked in online to see what the Vision 2020 crowd was saying.
> If you're not up on early '90s technology, Vision 2020 is basically a
> email list called a "listserv" where people share their opinions. In
> years, "The Viz" has become a platform where a rather small but
> group of pompous academics bloviate regularly about whatever fires them up
> on any given day.
> Two weeks ago, I was their target.
> Except it wasn't my stance on megaloads that caused me to suffer the wrath
> of these keyboard commandos. Oddly enough it was the fact that they felt I
> painted the anti-megaload crowd with a giant brush when I called them
> But guess what?
> Like it or not, Moscow does have a rather large and diverse population of
> people who could be defined as hippies, even if they don't fit the image
> from the 1960s. And it is our diverse culture that makes Moscow unique
> sometimes to my chagrin, flavors our political climate to something
> different from the rest of Idaho.
> At least that's my opinion, which is protected under the First Amendment,
> just like yours.
> But the enlightened crowd of "visionaries" didn't see it that way.
> One user called me an "offensive idiot," and another said my column was a
> "pathetic excuse for analysis." Some questioned why the Daily News can't
> fire me and hire better writers and suggested because we live between two
> universities that all columnists should be college professors or students,
> somehow producing a better opinion page.
> One person went as far as to ask if anyone knew who I was, where I lived
> what I did for a living. Why does it matter? Last I checked, I was Henry
> Johnston who lives in Moscow, Idaho, not Soviet Russia.
> After reading all the vitriol from these self-proclaimed tolerant
> I was half expecting an angry mob to show up on my doorstep with torches
> pitchforks, smelling of patchouli oil and singing "Kumbaya."
> I'm not sharing this experience because I want to point fingers and whine
> about someone picking on me. I'm doing so because even as nasty as some of
> the comments were, they and this column are perfect examples of free
> in action.
> Joe Reader has just as much right to call me an idiot as I do to call him
> hippie. It's all part of being an American and exercising the rights we
> so very lucky to have.
> So I encourage everyone to continue to debate topics of every nature in
> whatever venue we have available, be it on the opinion page, online or in
> person. I'm tough enough to handle it and will chuckle and smile when we
> because, quite frankly, not doing so would be un-American.
> But, then again, that's just my opinion.
> Henry D. Johnston lives in Moscow. He can be reached via email at
> moscowmoderate at gmail.com.
> List services made available by First Step Internet,
> serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
> mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
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