The Nicest Sense of Personal Honor – TTG


Qualifications of a Naval Officer 

It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a great deal more. He should be as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honor.

He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness, kindness, and charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or be left to pass without its reward, even if the reward is only a word of approval. Conversely, he should not be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time, he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtfulness from incompetency, and well meant shortcomings from heedless or stupid. 

In one word, every commander should keep constantly before him the great truth, that to be well obeyed, he must be perfectly esteemed. 

Written by Augustus C. Buell in 1900 to reflect his views of John Paul Jones (from Reef Points: 2003-2004, 98th Edition [Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Academy, 2003])


Every midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy knows these words. Obviously not every Naval officer lives up to them. That doesn't diminish their importance. Why do I post this now? Simple… I invite all members of this committee of correspondence to strive to live by these words, especially those I put in bold, in our conversations with each other at SST.

I have noticed a few more rudely argumentative conversations on SST lately. I'm all for lively discussion, witty comebacks and even occasional ribald humor, but we can easily forget that we are, in effect, sitting in Colonel Lang's living room when we do this. Being rude or smart assed to the host or other guests should be seen as an unthinkable breach of etiquette and a smear on our personal honor. 


This entry was posted in TTG. Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to The Nicest Sense of Personal Honor – TTG

  1. Bill H says:

    It was my experience in the Navy that officers, for the most part, met that standard pretty well. I grew up in the Air Force and I would say the Air Force officers met it quite well also. That was half a century ago, so take that for what it’s worth.

  2. Hear! Hear! TTG! A worthy request since I view this blog as devoted to reason as opposed to emotion!
    Ad Hominem atttacks must be avoided!

  3. nightsticker says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I recall the Qualifications of a Naval Officer being read to me the day I took the oath as Midshipman USNR [that was 52 years ago].
    USMC 65-72
    FBI 72-96

  4. steve g says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments
    you covered. I spend a great of time
    perusing various sites and read many of the
    comments sections. Some of the crude
    comments remind me of junior high, middle
    school?, or sophmoric coarseness. The last
    bastion of the uninformed or ignorant is
    blatant hostility and tangential diversions,

  5. johnf says:

    Strewth. In the old days BBC newsreaders used to have to wear Bow tie and tails to read the news on radio. Sorry, wireless. Does this mean we should be attired in full evening dress and wear kid gloves before we can post on this site?
    I must confess to having just climbed half way up a mountain to inspect military installations – the Iron Age force of Caracatus, the last British war leader to stand out against the Romans. I am sweating profusely. Is sweating permitted on SST.?

  6. Fred says:

    A good standard to live by at all times.

  7. John Minnerath says:

    Only if you have problems with your knuckles dragging as you climb the mountain.

  8. Basilisk says:

    Well, said, TTG, we should aspire to such a standard even when we cannot meet it, like driving in this #$%@@^& Washington traffic, for instance.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  9. David Habakkuk says:

    ah yes. The old days at the BBC. My wife started out her career as a secretary in BBC drama, in the late Sixties. She vividly remembers how the then Managing Director of BBC Television, Huw Wheldon, would come down into the bar, in particular at Christmas. People he knew, he would call by their Christian names. To everyone – including secretaries, though it might have helped if they were good looking – he would be courteous and friendly.
    It is worth bringing into the picture the fact that Wheldon was not an English public schoolboy, but a product of one of the oldest grammar schools in Wales: Friars School Bangor, established in 1557, the year before the accession of Elizabeth 1. He was however a former officer, having enlisted in 1939 and been awarded the Military Cross for an act of bravery committed on D-day + 1. He had transferred from the Royal Welch Fusiliers to the Royal Ulster Fusiliers, in order to join the airborne forces.
    As to the modern BBC, I have no direct contact, but my wife and I have quite a substantial number of friends who have. And I can assure you that the comfortable ‘democratic’ manner which it projects to the outside world hides an organisation where people are obsessively concerned with their status, and also obsessively watch their backs, out of a quite justified fear that someone may be intending to stick a knife into them. It is also a world where very many people talk a kind of ideological ‘volapuk’. And because nobody has any security of employment, almost nobody is going to take the risk of telling their superiors the truth.
    As in so many areas of British – and I suspect, American – life, the pretence is to have made away with hierarchy. In practice, however, new forms of hierarchy replace the old. And the new forms of hierarchy are not necessarily preferable to the old.

  10. shepherd says:

    Thank you. I suspect that many of us come to SST precisely because we are not in agreement on issues. There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can get your ideas loudly ridiculed. To find mine intelligently and sometimes convincingly challenged is, to me anyway, the central pleasure of this site.

  11. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel Lang runs a very tight ship.
    We are coming up on the twenty-third anniversary of the start of the Gulf War and the beginning of America’s never ending Middle East War. I am shocked the discussion of Israel’s involvement and America’s arming of Jihadist who the Marines have fought from Fallujah to Kandahar hasn’t erupted into a shouting match.
    What is tragic is that our discussions seem to have no effect on policy. On my hopeful days I think the powers to be are listening in but don’t have guts to get the Colonel pissed off by shutting us up.

  12. Kieran says:

    Sorry for the crabbiness. I recently quit smoking, but unfortunately none of you are reaping the atmospheric benefits.

  13. Medicine Man says:

    Duly noted, TTG. I always try to remain civil here and I hope someone will tap me on the elbow if I stray too far from that.

  14. Matthew says:

    DH: “volapuk”?

  15. Tyler says:

    There’s a time for Marquis of Queensbury rules and there’s a time for the eye gouge and the cheap shot.
    TTG, I’d like to think we’re all grown enough here to know when which is appropriate.

  16. johnf says:

    Entirely agree about modern BBC, David.
    Have worked as a freelance for the Beeb for forty years and the difference is shameful.
    40 years ago the place was run by Second World War ex army officers whose attitude, if you brought them an idea which they liked, was “Let’s do it”, and if we can cause a bit of controversy on the way, even better. Now it’s run by overpaid cowards and duplicitous idea stealers. They are scared stiff of any controversy because it might interfere with their gigantic pensions.

  17. Fred says:

    There is a time and place for both, but I think most of the time the place is elsewhere.

  18. Tyler says:

    Like I said, I assume we’re all adult enough to know when to use what. I wouldn’t go after a regular for disagreeing with me peaceably. The lefty sophists who wander through need the hammer and tongs treatment when they pipe up about how great our Chocolate Messiah is and how evil the South is.
    I think the Colonel does a great job of moderating the dicussions here and keeping the discourse at the tempo he wants it. I think there’s a happy medium between a roughneck dive and the Russian Orthodox Tea Room as far decorum goes.

  19. PeterHug says:

    I would expect that he’s referring to this:
    It’s an artificial language created in 1880 by a German. Think of it as a precursor to Esperanto.

  20. Alba Etie says:

    The year we quit together- my wife put the daily cash saved in a five gallon mustard jar – and we spent that money on a very nice week in Cozumel , scuba diving & big game fishing . God speed with your recovery Kieran , – nicotine is a horribly addictive drug.
    As for as the ‘code of conduct ‘herein at SST , I would say on the whole we do have lively but polite conversations . And when we don’t we do make amends right Jonst ?

  21. Alba Etie says:

    Respectfully I grew up in the South , and I do support quite a bit of what President Obama is doing , particularly regarding matter such as not defending DOMA. We are long time friends with two same sex couples that are very committed to their respective monogamus relationships . Both couples IMO deserve the same rights that me and my wife enjoy. Furthermore I find your use of Chocolate Messiah offensive in several ways.
    But you and me are in locked step when it comes to no boots on the ground in Syria .
    Peaceable is preferable over Hammer & Tongs.

  22. Fred says:

    Tyler, the colonel is a Gentlemen.
    Those liberals – they will be out in force the first time there is a post about the Supreme Court overturning the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Don’t let them bait you into verbose hammer and tongs treatment since that’s all they are trying to do; they certainly don’t want a conversation – especially on their own academic blogs (I’ve tried, the comments get deleted if they do not support the political correct expectations of the hosts.)

  23. optimax says:

    Is it ok to use enhanced interrogation techniques against righty sophists that sing the love song of all things Bush/Cheney? I think TTG is right that rules of civil discourse should apply to everyone. My problem is I like to break the rules.

  24. Tyler says:

    It’s cute you think there’s a difference between the neoliberals of the last administration and the neoliberals of this administration.
    In other words: Waterboarding for all of them.

  25. Tyler says:

    I don’t know Fred – I think they’re good at giving but when you throw their words back down their throat they clutch their pearls and find a place to faint.

  26. Tyler says:

    You forget, I was raised by a lesbian couple. I don’t think my mother should be able to marry her girlfriend though. Your exception does not mean the rule – that male homosexual couples are more often than not extremely hedonistic and polyamorous, is invalidated. Look up bug chasing and gift giving (gay men attempting to catch AIDS on purpose) if you want to see the height of degeneracy.
    No one has a ‘right’ to marry whoever they want to. Explain to me how that right precludes incest or polyamy? Gay people have the same right you do to marry someone: as long as its not another member of the same sex. ‘Pursuit of happiness’ is not another way of saying ‘ do whatever I want’.
    I’m offended by the Chocolate Messiah’s many attempts to undermine our country and his Imperial Rule, much like I was offended when the Shrub did it. No despots, no tyrants – ever.

  27. elkern says:

    “He should be as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honor.
    He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness, kindness, and charity.”
    Tyler, you consistently violate these rules of civil behavior in your posts. I am a regular here – for several years longer than you – and you have treated me to your verbal “hammer and tongs” more than once for “disagreeing with [you] peaceably”.
    TTG’s post (thanks!) – and the public warning from Col. Lang a few weeks ago to you & EA – have reminded me to be careful with my own writing style (I’m prone to snide, caustic “wit” – and ask forgiveness from any here who I may have insulted).
    Tyler, please re-read TTG’s original post, and be more careful with your communication in the future.

  28. optimax says:

    The Shock Doctrine, as described in Niomi Klein, is being implemented in the US, more slowly than it was originally foisted on Chile in the 70s, by both Republican and Democratic administrations. On this we agree. I was giving you crap for mentioning only one side, the liberal, of the criminal equation, though I know you are aware of both sides working in unison. Look at how much of the military/security complex has been contracted to private corporations. Detroit may have to sell off all its assets to pay its bondholders in full, including the paintings in its art museum. In the New World Order, there is no such thing as a bad investment for the 1 percent, only an opportunity to accumulate more valuable assets.

  29. Bobo says:

    Elk earn
    I think the Catch here is “Naval Officer” versus the large subset of Army/Marine commentators.
    We all come from different life experiences to learn from each others views expressing in different mannerisms. Now while Tyler likes to play the Rogue at times just do not get caught up in the back and forth as he always has the the last comment plus the man has a way with words knowing how to place the knife properly.
    I have never known a Army man with “the nicest sense of Personal Honor” they have and are bound by Honor but Nice…come on.

  30. Alba Etie says:

    Thank you for sharing ..

  31. Alba Etie says:

    With you there Tyler , not a dime’s worth of difference .

  32. Tyler says:

    Well I’ve yet to see any right wing sophists come through here – just deluded neocons.

  33. Tyler says:

    Elkern, you constantly make up facts out of whole cloth, refuse to provide sources, ignore facts that contradict your world view, argue past your opponent, strawman horribly, adhom, and refuse to concede when you’re proven wrong.
    In other words, you’re a disingeneous sophist shill at best and doing it AGAIN by wrapping yourself in victim status while claiming you’re merely ‘peacefully disagreeing’. If you want to improve yourself, look at how alba etie discusses with people he disagrees with.
    “be more careful..”? Who the hell are you to give me orders on this forum? Put your female shaming language back in your purse and remove the beam from thy own eye before complaining about the mote in mine.

  34. Stephanie says:

    The Court addressed itself to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, not the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The VRA was not overturned, but it certainly was gutted.
    Thank you, TTG, for the original post. I appreciate Buell’s use of “nicest” – a Jane Austenish usage that has mostly gone out of fashion. A nice way to remind us all to be nice……

  35. turcopolier says:

    “… I have never known a Army man with “the nicest sense of Personal Honor” they have and are bound by Honor but Nice…come on.” I think that is a bit much. pl

  36. elkern says:

    This thread would not be the right place for inter-service rivalry.

  37. elkern says:

    Oh, well, I tried. My “purse”? Whatever.
    One point: I did NOT give you “orders”, I asked politely.
    SSTers: am I outta line here, or is Tyler?

  38. optimax says:

    There goes another good idea down the drain.

  39. Fred says:

    Thanks for the clarification, I did mistake the bill. Why do you think the VRA is gutted when the court simply decided that separate but equal doesn’t apply to states.

  40. Tyler says:

    Excellent observations on all counts.

  41. Tyler says:

    If you were trying to disprove what I said about you, I don’t think arguing past your opponent and ignoring facts that go against your worldview is the way to do it.
    Also nice argumentum ad populum fallacy. (Mangling the Latin I know – mea culpa). Your asking was passive aggressive as hell coming at the end of a long list of tears.
    Playing the victim is not an attractive sight on a grown ass man. I may be rogue, but at least I own it and argue from facts.

  42. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    I am not a native speaker of English. Thus, possibly, I cannot see how you equate being “nice” with having the “nicest sense of Personal Honor”.
    I have met many infantrymen with “nicest sense of Personal Honor”, and quite a few with “exquisite sense of Personal Honor”. All were/are quite touchy about this “personal honor”. I recommend that you look through some cartoons of Bill Mauldin. Don’t you think Willie and Joe do, indeed, have “nicest sense of Personal Honor”?
    Ishmael Zechariah
    BTW I do agree, and thank, TTG.

  43. Fred says:

    So those who were enlisted or civilians have no sense of personal honor? I sure hope that’s not a common belief.

  44. shepherd says:

    Nonsense. You don’t always argue from facts. I’ve personally called you out several times for misstating and making up things. One stands out: You jumped down someone’s throat about using the homosexuality of Sparta in defense of an argument about gays in the military. Your answer was that the Spartans treated their women worse than the Punjabi. That’s not factual. They had the highest status of any women in the ancient world. So you were arguing from stuff you made up, not facts.
    Here’s another example, from your post. An argumentum ad populum is a fallacy that argues that something must be true because people think it’s true. (Nine out of ten doctors who smoke smoke Camels, therefore Camels must be safe.) You got the Latin correct but the idea wrong.
    In appealing to us, Elkern is asking a question not making an argumentum ad populum.

  45. shepherd says:

    Oh, and my bad. I believe you said Pashtun, not Punjabi. I’d guess there are plenty of people on this board ready to explain the difference to me.

  46. Alba Etie says:

    Hi Ishmael
    Hope you and Kunuri are well and safe.
    Good to see you posting here .

  47. Alba Etie says:

    I stated both couples are in long term committed monogamous relationships , and as such should have all the same rights afforded to them under marriage as my wife and me. Additionally I can take you to a ‘swingers ” club or two in Central Texas that straight men & women who are married have multiple partners all in the same outing . Back when I drove taxis I would pick these couples up from some of the finest homes in Central Texas – and wait with the meter on while they ‘swung ” the night away . I for one was glad to make that revenue , but even more happy I did not have to act out that way . So I am not so sure any one group has a lock on hedonistic life threatening behavior .
    Maybe I should not engage with you on these issues Tyler – as I find I agree with you on a great deal of other issues . I particularly enjoyed your Rudyard Kipling quote about the Saxon .
    Peace & Respect

  48. Tyler says:

    I think it is all about who is more likely to engage in those behaviors, alba. Homosexuals are about 2% of the population, but make up nearly half of all pedophilia cases.
    Again, they have the same right to be married as anyone else – as long as its to someone of the opposite sex. Homosexuality is a choice they make.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the bit of Kipling. He’s a good ‘realtalk’ poet. Shame the UK is so poz’d with liberalism they don’t want to teach him in their schools anymore.

  49. Tyler says:

    Bullshit Shepherd. I remember that post because you came across like the ‘love scenes’ in “300” as actual historical fact (as opposed to laughable invention) and handwaved the DOCUMENTED homosexual pederastry and rape that made up Spartan life as ‘unconvincing’, you punk. Your romantacizing of Sparta is typical of someone who clicks a wikipedia link and thinks they’re an expert. The Spartan system of child rearing for females was much more extreme than anything that the Pashtuns do, they engaged in extreme hypergamy, wife swapping, and weren’t allowed to live with their husbands until they were 30.
    Please, tell me more about awesome it was to be a Spartan woman under the thumb of a despot state. I’m all ears over here. Six in one hand, half a dozen in the other…
    So do you have any other examples of your call outs? Because all I remember you as is yet another leftist big statist who posts a lot of wiki links and ‘me too!’ style posts without an individual thought to his name, hanging on like a tick to his betters around here.
    You’re nitpicking the argumentum ad populum, and you know it. By appealing to the crowd, he’s trying to say “look how many people are with me, I must be right!”. It could also be construed as an appeal to emotion (“B-b-b-but he’s mean! Agree with me guys!”) but by any measure asking for a popularity contest to decide the validity of an argument is ad populum fallacy.

  50. Alba Etie says:

    “And its Tommy this & its Tommy that toss him out the Brute – But its the Thin Red Line of Heroes when the guns begin to shoot ” ..

  51. shepherd says:

    Thank you for your spirited reply. First, I’d like to point out where we are in agreement, namely concerning me. I’d gotten used to thinking of myself as a flea around here, but if you’d like to promote me to tick, I’m flattered.
    Then there’s the question of whether I get my information about Sparta from the movie 300. I think this is unlikely. The reason I think so is that when the movie was released, some of the folks who were promoting it hired me to assess its historical validity (a fairly short assignment). The reason for that was probably because I spent four years as a grad student studying Greece and Rome at one of the best universities for that sort of thing in the world. I have also advised on more than a few “historical” movies like this.
    Unfortunately, this puts me at a disadvantage with you, since I must argue with some knowledge of the historical record, while you have the freedom to make up any Sparta you like to fit your arguments (you are very kind to notice that I have no ideas of my own and remedy the situation by making up arguments for me as well). You can call Sparta a despotism, whereas I have to contend with the fact that it was apparently a dual monarchy with two relatively weak kings, who had a strangely undespotly habit of running away from their jobs.
    Anyway, I don’t want to go on boring everyone with this, so as a tick, I’m going to pull rank and insist that we end this discussion.
    I will, however, leave you with a parting gift: a real explanation of what the Spartan example teaches us about our armed forces. It begins with the nature of hoplite warfare. Imagine you’re standing in the front ranks of an Argive phalanx facing down the Spartans. Your left foot is forward, your right foot back. Your shield is in your left hand. You might notice in this position that you’re not actually protecting yourself very well. In fact, your shield is largely protecting the space to your right. That’s where your neighbor Bob is standing. So you’re protecting him, not you. Your friend Phil to your left is in charge of protecting you.
    The battle opens. Your enemy’s auxiliaries come forward and throw all manner of projectiles at you. Now, you notice that Phil is being a bit lazy with his shield and some of the arrows, stones, and whatnot are getting really close. So you instinctively turn slightly so that your shield is protecting you better and Bob not so much. Bob notices this, and he does the same. Soon, the entire phalanx rotates and loses its integrity. The Spartans see the disorder and charge (they could run at full tilt in formation) and you find yourself either dead or one of their many many slaves.
    So what’s the answer to this? Well, imagine if you’re a Spartan. Instead of Bob standing to your right, you have a beautiful young man whom you love more than life itself. Now it doesn’t matter if the guy to your left protects you or not, you’re going to keep your shield where it should be, covering his ass, so to speak. It gets better. You are also the young man’s mentor, as well as his only comfort and friend during months of hard and dangerous campaigning. He knows you’re going to protect him, and does not want to disappoint you in doing his duty. So he, spurred on by your good example and instructive words, keeps his shield exactly where it should be. Thus, by alternating pairs of homosexual lovers, you build an unbreakable phalanx. So argued Plato, anyway.
    It’s worth noting that the only two Greek cities to gain hegemony over the whole were Sparta and Thebes. Both were reported to have had institutionalized homosexuality of this sort, Sparta generally and Thebes with the Sacred Band. There have been challenges made to this notion, of course. The Athenian playwright Aristophanes famously depicted the Spartans as raging heterosexuals, and a contemporary historian has argued with some interesting evidence that the Sacred Band did not exist. But by and large, the logic is sound, if the actual practice murky. After all, this stuff happened a long time ago.
    What does this tell us about gays in our armed forces? I haven’t served in the military, but I get the impression that hoplite warfare went out of fashion some time ago. Therefore I don’t see how the argument above applies. Instead, I think the answer is what Pat Lang and others have repeatedly argued. An army is a fighting force, and it should be regulated for maximum effectiveness at doing exactly that. Whereas in Greece there was a logic to having lovers in the ranks due to the nature of the combat, no such logic obtains in a modern context. We are including gays and women in front-line combat troops for cultural reasons, not strictly military ones. Making decisions on such a basis sets a bad precedent.
    I thank you again, Tyler, for taking the time to engage me in this interesting discussion.

  52. optimax says:

    You are anything but boring. What happened to the fellow on the extreme left end of the line?

  53. Tyler says:

    That’s a lot of words that add up to a whole lot of nothing. Dissertations on what Sparta was routinely contradict each other and I find it amazing that you claim to have the literal truth about Sparta when historians still argue about it. The first loyalty of a Spartan was to the STATE, your smokescreen about ‘two weak kings’ aside. Pretending you have the actual truth about a very murky issue means you’re drawing from the same source I am.
    Its funny you mention Thebes, considering the Spartans with their stale tactics got crushed by the Thebans at the Battle of Leuctra. The Greeks also practiced slavery, pederastry, pedophilia, and a host of other unsavory behaviors.

  54. shepherd says:

    Thank you. I hope it’s clear I’ve greatly simplified what is in reality a very complicated and opaque subject to shed light on a particular topic. Homosexuality in armies was a common intellectual trope in the ancient world. Plato made much of it, and so it has come down to us. For what it’s worth, I’m addressing ancient theories of love more than military reality, because it’s from discussions of love not so much discussions of war that we hear about Spartan homosexuality.
    As for actual military tactics, we tend to think of Greece as a point in time, but it’s really many hundreds of years spanning hundreds of different city states. So every army did things differently and the same armies did them differently over time. Like all military formations, the phalanx had vulnerabilities. Some guys in formation were simply more likely to be killed than others. Some formations did not operate like the idealized one I described above. But the basic principle was that you were often reliant on the guy next to you for protection and that gave rise to a lot of intellectual discussion on mixing love with war.

  55. The Twisted Genius says:

    Well played, sir. Well played. And you are absolutely correct when you say that “an army is a fighting force, and it should be regulated for maximum effectiveness at doing exactly that.” It will reflect the society it serves, but it will never be an exact image of that society. We can all thank the stars for the difference.

  56. Fred says:

    I believe they got slaughtered by the Romans legionaries along with the rest of the phalanx at Chaeronea.

  57. Fred says:

    “We are including gays and women in front-line combat troops for cultural reasons, not strictly military ones. Making decisions on such a basis sets a bad precedent.”
    Indeed. The liberals see a way to rally the base, which doesn’t need rallying. Their opponents, lord knows what they are going to do. More than one nation has lost a war by ruining the quality of their military forces for very short-term domestic political reasons.

  58. elkern says:

    Shepherd got it right: “In appealing to us, Elkern is asking a question not making an argumentum ad populum.

    I know that the only vote that counts here belongs to our host.
    TTG started this thread with the comment that he had “noticed a few more rudely argumentative conversations on SST lately. […] we can easily forget that we are, in effect, sitting in Colonel Lang’s living room when we do this. Being rude or smart assed to the host or other guests should be seen as an unthinkable breach of etiquette and a smear on our personal honor”
    Tyler, your comments to me – and to others – have been consistently rude. No one else here attacks other posters on a regular basis. Am I the only one here who has noticed this? Obviously not – Shepherd, at least, has noticed this too (thanks).
    I appealed to the “community” because etiquette is a social construct – different people may have a different idea about where to draw the line. Perhaps I’m violating someone’s idea of propriety by accusing one poster in particular; if so, I hope you/they would note that I was responding to a specific post Tyler where Tyler had claimed that “there is a time for the eye gouge and the cheap shot”, then ignored Fred’s gentle suggestion that this is the place for neither. Tyler’s response to that was to rail about “lefty sophists” deserving the “hammer and tongs treatment”.
    I think he didn’t get the point of TTG’s post, and still doesn’t. Is everyone else afraid of him? Amused by his crudeness? Glad that he says the things they’re too polite to say? Are his insults really justified?
    Col. Lang – please contact me privately. If I am attacking a personal freind of yours, I appologize & will desist.

  59. Fred says:

    TTG asked us to ‘strive to live by those words’ he quoted . Here’s another that is a quote from JPJ, from wikiquote:
    “Where men of fine feeling are concerned there is seldom misunderstanding.
    Letter from Jones to the Marquis de Lafayette. May 1, 1779.”
    I do not always agree with his ideas or tone but think I understand where Tyler is coming from.
    Some of my earliest comments half a decade or so ago on this blog (yes, its been along time and a great education) left a great deal to be desired. I deeply appreciate our host’s consideration in my remaining here. If you feel something is amiss, well we are not fish and we need not rise to the bait; though I think very very few intentionally do that and most don’t stay around long.

  60. Tyler says:

    Yet amazingly, I was able to disagree with Fred and Alba Etie and there were no confrontations. Even Optimax, that old rum, could ‘tweak’ me and I knew where he was coming from.
    The reason I told you earlier to put your language back in your purse was because you’re focusing on the tone and not the substance. You speak of rudeness? The constant sophistry and refusal to admit to the facts is a slap in the face to any decorum around here becausee at that point you’re simply arguing for the sake of arguing.
    Look at what we talk about, and the heady issues of the day being debated, and maybe you’ll realize that this is a time to get fired up about something and take a stand instead of passively waving your hands around. The world is on fire, and you’re upset because of the color of my jacket in your Orthodox Tea Room.
    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”
    I got the point of TTG’s post, thanks, but I disagree with it. I can do that. Your passive aggressive way of arguing and playing the victim here, as a grown ass man, is more problematic than me railing against the disingeneous ‘points’ of you and yours.

  61. optimax says:

    My best advice is the same as Fred’s–don’t bite.
    Too many years on the railroad thickened my skin and–Tyler is right–I do take a certain sadistic pleasure in tweaking him. You both contribute valuable ideas to this blog so I hope you both stick around. Anyway, it’s too late to get Tyler into Charm School.
    I’ll be gone for a week or so–camping and visiting friends.

  62. JTCornpone says:

    Taking this back to where TTG started it off I would just like to point to a man who to me has always defined the phrase “officer and gentleman”.
    James Earl Carter, Jr., ex President, ex nuclear submarine commander, and Annapolis grad always demonstrated gracious behavior in difficult and easy circumstances alike. Please leave politics aside and let’s agree on the man himself. He was and still is an officer and gentleman and a credit to his Naval background.
    We should all strive to emulate his decorum and ability to argue without rancor.
    Thanks TTG.

  63. JTCornpone says:

    Taking this back to where TTG started it off I would like to point to a Naval officer who to me always personified the phrase “an officer and a gentleman” at least in his public demeanor.
    James Earl Carter, Jr., ex President of the US, ex commander of a nuclear submarine, and Annapolis grad always exhibited to the public grace and diplomacy under difficult and easy circumstances alike.
    Lets leave politics aside and agree on the man. He was always gentlemanly and rational and able to argue for his cause without personal rancor.
    We should always strive to emulate that aspect on the man.
    Thanks TTG.

  64. shepherd says:

    I never said I had the literal truth about anything, much less the ancient world. Surely you understand that there is a difference between knowing exactly what was going on at Sparta and nailing down a few things that almost certainly weren’t going on. For example, we know it wasn’t ruled by Egyptians. While you’re right that Sparta probably wasn’t a pleasant place, it just wasn’t unpleasant in many of the ways you think it was.
    Minor point. If you think the Spartan problem at Leuctra was that their tactics were stale, you dishonor the Theban general Epimanondas, who was easily one of the greatest men who ever lived (not least because he freed the Spartan helots). During the battle, Epimanondas exploited the situation I’ve described above brilliantly. It was his tactical innovations, never before seen, that won the day. We do him and ourselves a big disservice by not studying him more.

  65. Tyler says:

    You’re moving the goalposts now, going from your initial assertion that I ‘made things up’ to ‘oh well yeah it wasn’t nice but IT WAS NICER THAN YOU THINK’. Can I get some ideological stability please.
    I know Epimanondas’ tactics were the big reason that he crushed the Spartans, which allowed him to exploit the stale tactics that the Spartans were wedded to. I figured that went without saying. Oh well.

  66. Peter Brownlee says:

    It’s Epaminondas or Epameinondas (Ἐπαμεινώνδας) — picky, perhaps, but bold, misspelt assertions of authority are less than convincing.
    Cornelius Nepos’s life of E. might repay study, especially in the light of this thread:
    “1. Epaminondas, Polymnii filius, Thebanus. de hoc priusquam scribimus, haec praecipienda videntur lectoribus, ne alienos mores ad suos referant, neve ea, quae ipsis leviora sunt, pari modo apud ceteros fuisse arbitrentur. [2] scimus enim musicen nostris moribus abesse a principis persona, saltare vero etiam in vitiis poni: quae omnia apud Graecos et grata et laude digna ducuntur. [3] cum autem exprimere imaginem consuetudinis atque vitae velimus Epaminondae, nihil videmur debere praetermittere, quod pertineat ad eam declarandam. [4] quare dicemus primum de genere eius, deinde quibus disciplinis et a quibus sit eruditus, tum de moribus ingeniique facultatibus et si qua alia memoria digna erunt, postremo de rebus gestis, quae a plurimis animi anteponuntur virtutibus” and so on.
    (They say “musicen” in 2 but I think it should be “musicam” and it could be OCR problems.)
    “I. EPAMINONDAS was the son of Polymnis, and was born at Thebes. Before we proceed to write of him, the following caution seems necessary to be given to our readers; that they should not confound the customs of other nations with their own, or think that those things which appear unimportant to themselves must be equally so to others. We know that skill in music, according to our habits, is foreign to the character of any eminent personage; and that to dance is accounted disparaging to the character; while all such accomplishments among the Greeks are regarded both as pleasing and as worthy of admiration.
    “But as we wish to draw a correct picture of the habits and life of Epaminondas, we seem called upon to omit nothing that may tend to illustrate it. We shall therefore speak in the first place of his birth; we shall then show in what accomplishments, and by whom, he was instructed; next we shall touch upon his manners and intellectual endowments, and whatever other points in his character may deserve notice; and lastly on his great actions, which are more regarded by many than all the best qualities of the mind.”

  67. Alba Etie says:

    Yes we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable ( I think I got that quote close to right ) . But here is the sticky part of this discussion – I find sometimes your attacks can be overly personal .Mind you I say this with clear knowledge that me & Jonst got stuck in ‘spat’ here. So my advice to you is the same that I also need to adhere to as well- that is refrain from personal attacks on other community members here. It is a lively discussion here at SST ,and I learn alot being here. BTW do you have a valid citation for homosexual man making up fifty percent of the pedophiles in jail ? My wife was friends with one the two lesbian couple we are very close to before we are were married , and both of these couples are deeply committed to their respective partners.

  68. shepherd says:

    Don’t you think that rather than being a passionate advocate, you should strive to be an effective one? You’re a smart guy and no one doubts your passion, but personally, I think you’d do your side a favor by putting more energy into honing your arguments and less into insulting your adversaries. Proving people are stupid is not the same thing as proving your point.

  69. Tyler says:

    You don’t get it, do you?
    90 percent of the people I argue with on here are wedded to their sacred cows of equality, post modernism, and general cultural marxist bullshit that I’m not going to knock the scales from their eyes. They’ll sit back in their little whitopias and be smug in their sense of self-righteousness over ‘those dumb rednecks’. Even after I get done butchering those sacred cows with facts, they’re still living in delusion.
    I’m pointing out the flaws and the hypocrisy of the other side’s “argument”, the self destructive ignorance of ignoring inconvenient facts and how its ripping Western Civilization apart. Mockery and visceral disgust are simply gilt on the blade I’m using to shred their arguments.
    Proving people are stupid isn’t the same as proving my point? How do you come up with that bit of nonsense? If a person is arguing that we should go into Syria to overthrow Assad and support the “freedom fighters” there – that’s stupid. Pointing out how they’re wrong and stupid is the exact same thing.
    These are the same people dedicated to tearing down the family, Mother Church, responsible government, the military – all pillars of Western Civ. In its place they want to raise an insane egalitarian false god, supported by the State, in order to place themselves on the top of the pyramid they’ve decided is the best way for the rest of us to live.
    I’m not arguing to convince THOSE types – they’ve got a vested interest in ignoring reality, and I’d have to physically rub their face in their lies. I’m arguing to convince the bystanders who’ve been told by the Leftists and their enablers in government and media their entire lives that the family, the military, Mother Church, responsible government are evil and that all southern whites are evil racists and all blacks are innocent victims. I’m arguing to point out the inherent selfishness, hypocrisy and insanity of the other side, who don’t care who dies on the march to their greater utopia.
    That’s who I’m arguing to win over, and Harvard Debate Club rules might be preferable if you’re a sophist trying to muddle the point of my uncomfortable facts. The average person though, they know what’s bullshit and what’s fact, and they can understand where I’m coming from.
    “Honing my arguments”. Please. Physician, heal thyself. Go find somewhere to faint if it bothers you that much, or find the self control to not respond to me, but stop wasting my time with this concern trolling BS.

  70. Stephanie says:

    Thank you, shepherd. This was a real pleasure to read.

  71. Bobo says:

    Mi Hermano, Calmate, Calmate, Tranquilo por favor…..
    Your sounding like a rabid dog yelling from the mountain. Better it is us than someone else. Take a day off and sit back and think. We may be wayward but sometimes a little bit of the “Nicer Sense of Personal Honor” you have may help in the persuasion.
    We understand your point and value. I will not reply to your comment.

  72. Tyler says:

    Yes yes pedantic Polly, we’re all very impressed by your cut and paste job. Here’s your gold star.

  73. Tyler says:

    “You sound like a rabid dog,” said the sheep.
    We’ll just have to pity each other from afar I guess.

  74. Tyler says:

    Excuse me, I misspoke – it was a third.
    Very long, but very well researched, especially because it takes the time to debunk the spurious handwaving of homosexual advocates that homosexual child molestation ‘doesn’t count’ as a homosexual act (no really) and the disproven Kinsey Sex Study.

  75. shepherd says:

    I’m growing to like you a lot. I haven’t been called a tick, punk, and (most insulting of all) philosopher in quite a long time.
    To be honest, you make some good points (not least that I should stop replying to you). I came from a relatively poor, rural background, and I got through school largely on academic scholarships and construction work. And yes, I was lectured continually at that time by the minority children of millionaires about all of the privileges I had as a white male. So it’s not like I don’t get where you’re coming from. I’m more moderate in my views than you, of course, but we probably have very different personalities and life experiences.
    That said, we’ll have to agree to disagree on the effectiveness of your tactics. So thanks for your time, and I wish you well.

  76. Tyler says:

    I hope to have the judgement of Sulla as far as my timing goes. I wish you well also. I’m sure I’ll continue to grow on you as time goes on.

Comments are closed.