September 15, 2006

Like Poop Goes Through A Goose

When I read really bad arguments, I react with a combination of frustration and amusement. Especially when one of my friends is involved. So I feel the need to post about an on line conversation I recently read, just to share with you some of what I felt. And to gawk at bad argument tactics.

I won't detail the who or where of the source of this material, because I'm not sure that the friend wants attention called to the website where I saw this conversation, so let's just focus on the words themselves, posted here for their educational value.

Background: the conversation is about the proposal to control geese in a city park by letting one resident shoot some of the geese. Certain facts exist:

  1. It has not officially been established whether the geese need to be culled. The issue started because one hunter saw what he thought was a problem and decided on one solution he preferred.
  2. Because of #1, the city has not yet considered whether there might be alternative solutions, if it is established that there actually is a goose problem.
  3. As far as I know, nobody has polled the surrounding residents of the park to see what they think.

Despite all the uncertainty surrounding this issue, there seem to be a number of residents with a "close your eyes and full speed ahead to the solution: Guns!!" attitude. Without the facts or logic behind them, lets look at how they get by in an argument. I've changed the names of the people to protect their identity.
Huey: "The Mayor of Fitchburg needs to worry a little bit more about humans being shot (ref. Saturday's shoot-out) than geese being shot and eaten. But this is typical of the radical left ... more concerned about animals than humans."
Interesting that Huey concedes that "the radical left" (as she name-calls her opponents) are at least concerned about animals. The "radical right," I suppose, is more interested in shooting than it is in humans.
Dewey Writes: "Hmmm here's an idea...invite all the illegal aliens living in the area to the park for a day to play Catch Me If You Can. If you catch a goose you can take it home and eat it. The city could have the proper authorities there to round up all the illegals and have them deported.

I can see the liberals now..reading this and gulping down another glass of kool aid before responding. Cheers!!"
By the way, the thread I'm getting these quotes from is not very long. These folks entered a discussion and launched immediately into a combination of 4th grade schoolyard tactics and burping up whatever they heard on Rush Limbaugh that day, which had nothing to do with the issue. Don't be amazed, this is typical of the forums for the local paper here in the greater Fall River area as well. The people who call themselves conservatives are the loudest voices. And rarely very conservative at all. But, apparently, if you met them in person, you'd be able to tell them by sight. The liberal would be the ugly one:

Louie Writes: "A liberal is the kid in school who had no friends and had to resort to giving away his desert to get kids to talk to him.

A conservative is the good looking, atheletic, popular kid in school who, through thorough effort and dilligently applying himself, made it look like everything came easy to him. Curse those handsome devils."

Curse them, indeed! I find this especially wonderful. Imagine the low self esteem of a person who has to keep the above fiction in his head to quiet his demons. Imagine further that he has himself so convinced of it that he posts it publicly for other people to see!

Well, this radical left-liberal has to go off and "dilligently" apply himself to an "atheletic" endeavor. I hope you enjoyed your Weenie Words of the Week.
Posted by James at September 15, 2006 9:00 AM
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I figure it has to be tough when you are a so-called Conservative in Massachusetts. More buttons, easier to push.

So I expect a lot of that. But if you think that was annoying, read the gay marriage thread on that site. Hoo boy, there's some ignorance.

Posted by: Chuck S. at September 15, 2006 9:06 AM

Interesting. I guess "Louie" doesn't remember any kids like Dwight Shrute in school.

Posted by: Julie at September 15, 2006 9:10 AM

It may be tough for a conservative in MA, but maybe it wouldn't be so tough if these folks formed coherent arguments.

There is definitely a group of people who seem to be in a wide-eyed panic ever since Bush's poll numbers started dropping. So, yeah, for a while now. The people able to form an argument jumped ship and left a bunch of rabid individuals spouting insults and other irrelevant gibberish.

Guns? It's an illegal immigration issue.
Geese? It's about who was 'atheletic' in school.
Gays? Aiiii! Someone is going to make me get a same-sex marriage!!!

Posted by: James at September 15, 2006 9:20 AM

Consiedring the goose problem started because of hunters (they stopped migrating because some were being used as "live" decoys) I think they should be the last people to get a vote on how to handle the "problem". I have no problem with hunting in general but do have a problem with hunting in a public park. If culling needs to be done it can be done by the fish and wildlife service and the geese can be donated to food pantries and shelters. Addling the eggs of problem population geese is probably a better option.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 15, 2006 10:07 AM

When I worked at Wheaton College we had a goose problem. The solution? A specially trained border collie who herds the geese. Apparently, they hate that and after a while just find a new place to go. Sure, it just displaces the problem rather than really solving it, but still, it does so without killing the geese. Plus, you get to watch a cute happy dog run around.

Posted by: DG at September 15, 2006 10:32 AM

Re: your "live decoy" statement, see below from Mass Wildlife:

"Canada geese have passed through Massachusetts on their journeys to and from their arctic breeding grounds for centuries. Prior to the 1930's, it was unusual for geese to nest here, yet today in Massachusetts you can find Canada geese any time of the year."


"When live decoys were outlawed in the 1930s, many captive birds were liberated. With no pattern of migration, these geese began nesting. Lawns at houses, golf courses and mowed parks, well-watered, fertilized and bordering water, provided an excellent source of food. In suburban areas, there were few predators. The habitat for grazers was perfect."

Read more indepth info here:

Posted by: Patti M. at September 15, 2006 10:33 AM

See, now you're taking my post, focusing on the goose issue and applying actual reason.

Making an informed observation.

When people did that in the original thread, they got the responses you see above.

Posted by: James at September 15, 2006 11:14 AM

by the way. In case people are thinking that Mass Wildlife is anti hunting biased it is very much pro-hunting.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 15, 2006 11:25 AM

Bob, you make hunting sound like a dirty word. I don't hunt, but I do fish (well, I used to before I lost my fishing buddy and married a man who thinks fishing is boring).

I think as long as you eat what you catch, don't threaten populations of wildlife, and don't kill living things for sport (see earlier point about eating your catch), hunting can be ok. Hunters are by and large pro environment, which the Mass Wildlife magazine (which we get) takes pains to explain. Think about it: If the water and woods are developed and/or polluted, where will hunters and fishers go? This is the idea behind Ducks Unlimited (read more here:

Posted by: Patti M. at September 15, 2006 12:38 PM

I have no problem with hunters.

I do have a problem with people who shoot signs, shoot guns near the edge of a forest and send bullets towards residential areas, people who want to shoot animals in the city, people who think shooting is the solution and anybody who wants to question that is an extremist.

Those people aren't called hunters, they're called "assclowns." I have a problem with assclowns, not hunters.

Posted by: James at September 15, 2006 1:52 PM

Shyah. Like I'd give away a dessert to get someone to talk to me.

Posted by: briwei at September 15, 2006 3:06 PM

What is the difference between an asshat and an assclown, one wonders?

Posted by: Patti M. at September 15, 2006 3:10 PM

The assclown wears the whole camouflage ensemble and has the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" bumper sticker right next to "These colors don't run" and "W" bumper stickers.

Posted by: Maggie at September 15, 2006 5:06 PM

I thought that was the definition of an 'asshat' ;)

Posted by: Hooligan at September 15, 2006 10:18 PM

I guess I threw that in there because many time hunters 1st reaction to someone saying they shouldn't be allowed to do something is to claim that that person is anti-hunter.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at September 18, 2006 8:01 AM

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