Welcome to Rotten Chestnuts. We’re glad you stopped by. But we need to have a brief chat about the rules around here.

This site is designed to explore the underhanded ways liberals spin, distort, and obfuscate public discourse in order to change the culture. That’s the core assumption of every post here. If you disagree with that, and your sole purpose in coming here is to tell us so, save it. There are lots of liberal blogs you can comment on, or you can start your own — last I checked liberalsdontdistorttheculture.com is still available. As is everthing-liberals-do-is-totally-aboveboard.com.

We can almost hear your fingers limbering up for a tirade about “suppressing dissent.” Again: Save it. We’re fine with dissent. The thing is, though, “I don’t like what you have to say” isn’t dissent. It’s grumbling. Which you’re free to do to your heart’s content…just not here.

Dissent marshals facts and deploys arguments. A dissent to our core proposition, for instance, could go something like: “We liberals are aboveboard in everything we do. Our dialogue is crystal clear and our data, transparent.” You’ll be asked to provide a for-instance, of course, but it’s an empirical claim, subject to testing and verification. Another might be: “Yes, we’re trying to change the culture, because the culture needs changing. It needs to change in the following specific ways, and here are our reasons — political, economic, and philosophical — for saying so. If you have any questions, ask; we’re open books.”

[That no liberal has actually made such an argument since Fighting Bob La Follette goes a long way to confirming the essential truth of our proposition, and the need for sites like Rotten Chestnuts….but that’s a discussion for another day].

A word about facts and figures: Because this site explores liberal discourse in some depth, we frequently find ourselves discussing scientific, economic, and historical claims. You’re free to comment, as long as you always keep in mind that the point is the purpose of the claim, not the technical specs. If you want to discuss the thickness of polar icecaps, the precise characteristics of an “assault weapon,” or the fluctuation of rice prices in the Qing Dynasty, take it offsite.

And one last note of caution: Since this site is designed to explore the common techniques of liberal “arguments,” we have little patience with the cruder ones. You’ll be politely asked to leave if you indulge in comments along the lines of “you’re only trying to justify tax cuts for millionaires” or “why do you hate ____?” We know you think we’re a bunch of racist, sexist, patriarchial pigs; have the common courtesy to know that we know.

Thanks, and have fun.

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