|Mr. Thomas Knapp,|
Thank you very much for your kind and measured words.
Believe it or not, I had a part in that Post 60 about you being a very enjoyable exception - one of those who actually argues with facts. After drafting it, I couldn't find anywhere to place it that would not water down the impact of calling out our colleague with his self-proclaimed vastly superior erudition to see if he had any facts in him at all.
Well, he does drop a name or two once in a while and certainly has pro-anarcho-capitalist opinions and even more opinions about the people on this forum. And I just love it when counterfactual pompous opinionated asses say bad things about me. Imagine my reputation if they started saying good things! People might get the impression that I think like they do. Dayamm!
But getting back to my opinion of you, let me state here what I was going to say there. There are some qualities I find extremely refreshing in your posts (I have only skimmed your website a couple of times due to lack of time - but I intend to do more). To start with, you refuse to be intimidated when you think you are right and you always counter with reasoned arguments backed by research. We can disagree on what your facts might mean but we almost never have a problem of any lack of them to discuss.
I admit, I am a bit more lapse in this, but that is due to a few extenuating circumstances, like my library and laptop still being in Brazil and my extended visit here at my parents for very personal reasons. They use a slow dial-up Internet connection, so even google searches can become tiresome. I still have a month or two before this will change, so many of my arguments rely on my memory and will do so until then.
As you did not mention my references to other authors, I will. I have peppered many of my posts with non-Rand works ranging from Mark Twain to Aries de Geus, just to cite two more recent ones. I have even made recent mention of the sacred Harry Browne. I like reading and do a lot of it. I justify this to you, Thomas, just in case you may be swayed into thinking that I am a non-read nincompoop like our paragon of encyclopedic recondite literacy would imply.
Just one other small fact about my life. I worked as a professional translator for about 13-14 years and during that time I translated over 35,000 pages of text - literally. That is no exaggeration. Everything from public bids, laws, contracts, articles of association, practically all public registry documents, encyclopedia articles, scientific studies, telecommunications, oil, mining and metallurgy, balance sheets, history, electronics, construction, automobiles, literature, food, farming, you name it, I translated it - I used to own over 250 technical dictionaries and since I only really needed about 50 of them, I got rid of the dead weight. This has served as a vast educational experience that a simple trombone player and conductor would have never had under any other circumstance.
I use simple language on a public forum by choice, especially avoiding traditional jargon and catch-phrases, from a conviction that any good argument must stand up to being understood by an ordinary person, without the razzle-dazzle. Just plain language. It is very challenging to do this.
Whew! Once I start in about myself...
Anyway, I subjected myself to the wrath of Linz from the very beginning if you remember our initial posts to each other. You were being crucified and I threw out a few friendly words. That is because I saw an intelligence I could respect posting, one who took on all comers and kept his cool. And kept the facts coming.
You have never disappointed me in this over time. I generally fall more in line with Robert Bidinotto - and you know that. Robert has been doing this stuff for years and he is a very formidable intellectual opponent. The way you hold your own with him has won my respect and admiration (screeeeeech!!!! - er... don't get excited - that does't mean that I think you are right or anything most of the time...).
You also correctly identified my love of this country. (I also love Brazil, by the way, but that is another long story.) And we have even moved each others' positions a smidgen a couple of times by rational discussion. But that is what you are supposed to do on a discussion forum anyway.
I am especially grateful that, despite your stated reservations, you put your own love of this country into your job when you were in the armed forces.
We disagree - a lot. But you are someone I can respect. And I do. You love this country and I see it.
Wanna know something else? There are serious changes to be made in this country. I would not be surprised if one day we were on the same side of a real political issue out there in the real world and not just posting on a discussion forum.
(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 5/12, 9:49pm)