but there are plenty of malicious ones. There are intellectuals, and there are journalists, but they rarely are united in one room, let alone in one person. I want people to understand one thing: When I get in argument, it is rarely against the ideas the other side is presenting. More than 95% of the time it's because the other guy has adopted a dualistic, adversarial mindset and I'm toying with him. There are a few people who are LPSG members or recent bannees whose default position is one of "THIS versus THAT", folks who believe that there are two sides to every story. Life, EVERYTHING is more complex than that. There are MANY sides to every debate, and I take great joy in skewering those who take the extreme position in the interest of "balance" then start throwing enough rocks to build a wall around themselves. These are usually the people who preach "live and let live" until they want to throw a tantrum and then believe it's their God-given right to grauitously insult everyone who doesn't instntly conform to their myopic, and narrowly defined version of reality. Spoiled brats, vandals, and hypocrites, all of them. Broken though they may be, they are my favorite toys. There is no US vs. THEM. There is only US. You have the option of choosing sides, but such behavior, and the mindset that motivates it, is rarely fruitful. Another facet of my posting behavior has recently come under fire, and I'd like to waste a few electrons addressing it. I've been criticized for giving short (Tourette's - like!) answers to the rants of some especially hostile people. Too bad. You may believe your rivers of vitriol deserve an equally long-winded response. I don't. I respect ideas and people and logic too much to overdefine anything. "A word to the wise is sufficient." The flip side is that you can write a book and though the unwise may read it cover to cover, they will never be satisfied. So don't think that when I reply with few words it means I lack the intellectual capacity to get my brain all the way around your arguments. I have both the intellect and the integrity not to elevate unworthy concepts above the mud from which they were flung. I also have the common sense to drop a turd rather than turn it over and over in my hands waiting for it to turn into a diamond and start sparkling. So don't hand me shit and call it an emerald. I weren't born in Baghdad, and I weren't born yesterday, all right? I turn away quickly when the tone of another's words crosses the line from impassioned to hysterical. Either that, or I bait them. And some people are so easily baited. Those are the ones who would do well to keep their mouths shut. They are also the least likely to do so. I'm done preaching now. Y'all have a nice day!