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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Outing Red America from the Inside

I was rummaging through the "Dailykos" garbage when I came across this throwaway item, and thought it might be a good thing to save to make a point.

It's a book written by Tim Schilke called "Growing Up Red".

In it he describes how he was raised a Conservative in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and after attending three days of college he

growing up red
Originally uploaded by Sally Ann.

shed his Red State ideology and turned Blue. (Surprise, Surprise!)

That was the expected part. The unexpected part was when I listened to his interview on Air America, Liberal talk radio, with hosts Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo. I'm always bowled over whenever I hear a Liberal explaining their perception of Conservatives. Catches me by surprise every time, and afterwards the only sane thing I can do is roll my eyes back into my head!

But you may have a different reaction after hearing the interview. Perhaps more of a "banging your head against a wall."

Click here for Segment 1 http://www.growingupred.com/media/segment1.mp3

Click here for Segment 2 http://www.growingupred.com/media/segment2.mp3

And if you run into a Liberal in the next few days, tell them to "stop imposing their beliefs on us."

42 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm... Okay. Actually, I attended college for six years, not three days. And there was much more to my "conversion" than my college philosophy classes. The point I was going to make, which Sam did not let me finish, was that those experiences have allowed me to critically approach modern issues.

For example, I'm not sure if you've heard, but there was no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda. The 9/11 Commission Report was very clear on this, and the Feith memo has been severely discredited. Not to mention that Saddam was a secular leader, and Osama's group is founded on religious extremism. Osama tried to talk to Saddam, but saddam refused the communications. Those are facts. I use those facts to determine the truth.

Conservatives, however, had a different twist on those facts. At the time we went into Iraq, 83 percent of Americans did not know that there were no Iraqis on the planes on 9/11. Twenty one percent of Americans thought that "most of them" were Iraqis. So you tell me, is critical thinking a differentiator in 2005 America? Unfortunately, I contend that it is.

Thanks for your interest in my book.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Sam (if you return), college wrecks a lot of minds. It happens to the best of us. Graduates of higher education always come out loaded for bear, believing they have all the answers or the training to critically think through every issue to its logical conclusion. But what they don't have--the differentiator--is the life experience to test their conclusions.

A basketful of facts can't help you find the truth in all cases. If that were the case, O.J. Simpson would be behind bars for murdering Nicole and Ron and Jane Fonda would be serving a life sentence for treason.

Every Red-Stater I know could have cared less if Saddam and Osama were connected at the hip or total strangers to each other. We were fed up with "crap" coming out of the Middle East "before" 9/11. It was time after the murder of 3000 innocent Americans to raise holy hell with rogue leaders and Islamic criminals. It was time to draw a line in the sand and say "Cross it and you lose." It was time to free a nation from a murdering tyrannical leader.The Liberals were content to allow Saddam to remain in power. The Red-Staters were not. After 9/11 containment was not an option. Only Liberals trust the inherently wicked. Red-Staters do not.

So keep "selling your facts", facts that no one except the Left cares about. Red-Staters are more concerned with "outcome", and we're quite pleased with what's happening in the Middle East right now. "Democracy is on the march" (buzz words just for you) and you guys are starting to look even more foolish.

A little advice from a Red-Stater: the next time you critically think through an issue, don't just stop at the facts that suit your thesis. Consider both sides and then draw a conclusion...and then wait for the outcome. That's where the wisdom/truth is.

P.S. Janeane and Sam, especially Janeane, conducted a lousy interview with you. Janeane obviously believed that what she had to say was more important than what you had to say. But then, most Liberals really like to hear themselves talk. Doesn't matter that they don't make any sense and sound like old shrews who won't let go of anything.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response. It was very enlightening. It's funny how you say that Conservatives are only concerned with the "outcome". That's exactly what I said in my book. Maybe we have more in common than you think?

To a "Red-stater" (your term), the ends always justify the means. Whether you are talking about ignoring cheating in baseball, or recruiting 13 year old kids through a nebulously targeted video game. It's the ends that matter. Further proving this point is your statement:
"It was time after the murder of 3000 innocent Americans to raise holy hell with rogue leaders and Islamic criminals. It was time to draw a line in the sand and say 'Cross it and you lose.' It was time to free a nation from a murdering tyrannical leader."

There's this wonderful thing called "Proportion". The death of 3,000 Americans is horrible. But, that does NOT justify the killing of at least 50,000 Iraqis, who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. Facts cannot be ignored, or glossed over, or rationalized, if our country is to survive.

I love my country, perhaps as much or more than you do, and therefore I am not willing to overlook the actions that my country's government undertakes to achieve the "outcome". For me, an un-American Liberal, the ends certainly do NOT justify the means.

Thanks for your feedback.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Sam: I posed this hypothetical problem to a Liberal a while ago when we were discussing "outcomes". They never responded, but I'll try it again with you.

The cops have been called to a crack house complex called a neighborhood. They were tipped off by many who were not considered necessarily "credible", but nonetheless, the cops had ample information that drugs and guns were being sold from their own survilence. They surround the complex and raid it, busting through doors to find not a single ounce of any drug or a cache of weapons. However, they did discover hundreds of dead bodies buried in the cellar.Men, woman and children, murdered, to keep the "leader of the gang" in power by scaring everyone else into submission. Were the cops lying? Were they wrong to raid the complex? Did the means justify the ends? Were the cops heros or were they goats? Was "cleaning up" the neighbor wrong, because the premise was wrong? Was this action out of proportion to the "outcome"? Was this action "unjust"?

Question: Why do Liberals always say, "If our country is to survive." Survive what?

Sam: Haven't you ever questioned why the Left lost the election? And...was O.J. innocent or guilty?

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

See...the Libs never answer those questions. They always disappear right after I ask them. Sam's probably bragging to all his friends that he "bagged a Red-Stater" with his "convert them with facts" technique.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

There must be another "Sam" out there willing to defend Tim's book. Any takers.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not "Sam" but i'll answer your questions.

1) I don't think your hypothetical works here, but I have work to do and don't have the time to critique it properly, so i'll let this question stand for now. It's not because I don't have an answer, or becuase i'm running away, it's because I want to do my answer justice and I simply don't have time at the moment.

For the time being I'll simply say that the issue for and many of the others who opposed the war was not the outcome, but rather that we were sold on the war based on evidence that was false. The ousting of a dictator who was not threatening the united states does not outway the deaths of 10s of thousands of civilians over the course of the war.

2)Liberals ask the question about the survival of our country because it is a question which must be asked. Democracies are not invulnerable, and America is no exception. They thrive on questioning themselves, they thrive on debate and dissent. A democracy where dissent is non existant and debate is crushed will quickly descend into totalitarianism.

3) The democrats lost the election because Kerry ran a completely incompetant campaign, he failed at framing the issues, he failed to educate the American people about his platform. He allowed the republicans to turn the debate from a reffurendum on the performance of the current president to a refferendum on Kerry's character

I think OJ was guilty, I also recognize that the court lacked the evidence to prove it. Thats the way the system works here, and although it may result in a few guilty men walking free, it is better to do that than to imprison an innocent man.

It is obvious from your posts how you feel about liberals in general, I should let you know that I don't think i'm better than the "red staters" In fact, i think the entire red state blue state thing is needlessly polarizing. I don't "trust the inherently wicked", I don't want America to lose, I simply belive that the world should be looked at in more than simply black and white, and that the US's actions in the world should not be to hammer down opposition regardless of international support, but rather to use our diplomatic ties to peacefully solve problems, and to truly make the world a better place.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Sam made his point. You never backed your argument with one fact.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sam" here. By the way, it's Tim, not Sam. I had every intention of answering your hypothetical, but I had to play at the park with my kids and tuck them into bed. I didn't realize there was a time limit.

I won't answer your questions about the analogy until you fix the questions. Your analogy is woefully incomplete. First of all, almost 2,000 "COPS" are dead. Second, at least 50,000 people who live in the "neighborhood" are dead, killed by an overzealous police chief who brought in cluster bombs to use on a crack house.

The questions I can answer: Was the action "out of proportion" to the outcome? Yes, without a doubt. 50,000 innocent people in the neighborhood and their friends would agree. Do the ends justify the means? Again, ask the survivors of the "neighborhood" which they will be more likely to remember - A theocratic cousin to Iran, or their dead mom and dad.

Survive what? Survive an attack on facts by people who are consumed with emotion from 9/11, over 3 years later.

Have I questioned why the left lost the election? Yes, that's why I wrote a 300 page book. Perhaps you'd like to read it to find the answer. It's available on amazon.com and bn.com.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you are debating a topic, it's not good form to try and change the subject. the OJ simpson trial doesn't have anything to do with the iraq war. hypothetical, contrived scenarios about crack houses also have nothing to do with the iraq war.

the 'ends justifies the means' attitude is responsible for hell-hole dictatorships like the former soviet union and currently in that worker's paradise, china. it doesn't ease my mind any to hear that vast swaths of the american populace thinks of the war on terror simply as an opportunity to kick some middle-eastern ass, the facts be damned!

this is a deadly serious problem, and it's most certainly NOT about drawing lines in the sand like squabbling grade school children on the playground. especially when it involves sending the sons and daughters of other americans to die killing citizens of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

where in the world is osama bin laden, pray tell?

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

I learned years ago when you argue with a Liberal and support your argument with facts, they don't listen or do they care. In this case with Sam/Tim, (I called him Sam because I'm not sure it was Tim)if he had been the least bit interested in facts a quick Lexis Nexus search would have produced 100's of quotes from Liberals, Centrist, Republicans, French, Russians, Germans, Poles, Italians Iraqi ex-patriots etc. who all said Saddam had WMD prior to the war. A quick history lesson would have revealed that the intelligence was Clinton's watered down, politically correct CIA that Bush had to rely on for "facts." And no Liberal I know worth his salt ever refers to the Deulfer Report from the Iraqi Survey Group that investigated the status of WMD before the war and concluded Saddam was working the system to get sanctions lifted so he could reconsitute some forms of lethal WMD and nuclear power. And they flat out refuse to mention the Oil for Food scandal that explains why Russia and France were against the war, and God forbid, al-Zarqawi's name comes up.He's the "Phantom terrorist" that just popped up in Iraq for no reason or maybe he was just vacationing in the area when the bombs started dropping.

There are a lot of "facts" the Left had to chew on, but they chose not to. They are so anti-war they were only looking for facts that supported their point of view.Like now, do you think the Left will acknowledge the "fact" that democracy is spreading in the Middle East? Tim/Sam is not going to include that fact in his anti-Bush/war/Red-Stater debate. Because it's an "outcome" of the war just like Bush and the dreaded neo-cons said it would be.Tim/Sam can't reconcile that fact, so he will ignore it like any good Liberal does.

Tim/Sam and his kindred souls are still living in the past where there was no WMD and when for one brief moment they had the upper hand, politically speaking. The rest of the world has long since moved on, slowly grasping the "outcome"of their unjust war-- the powerful concept of "living free in a democratic society".

This is what Red-Staters are concentrating on, the liberation of another million or so people and the positive effects that will have on the planet. Tim/Sam is concentrating on "poking Red-Staters in the eye" because we believed in this just effort. All of Tim/Sam's facts aren't going to change this outcome.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

My apologies "Tim" for not believing it was you. I composed the last post without knowing you had returned. I guess I'm convinced it's "you", so let me congratulate you on your book deal even though you wrote it with Red-Staters in mind. I will encourage my friends, both Liberal and Conservative, to buy it. It's the least I can do in the spirit of freedom of expression.

You say you are a converted Republican. I am a converted Liberal. I am anxious to share my path of conversion with you, as I want to hear more about your ideological transformation.

In some respects you are very lucky to have found a Red-Stater to test your thesis on. And I challenge you to change my politics.

I will head to Barnes and Noble tomorrow and purchase your book. I have lots of homework to do. I will also respond to the others who left thought provoking comments.

11:31 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

The analogy does not work because we knew that Saddam was a monster before the war. Saddam's being a monster was a sufficient reason to go to war. It was not a sufficient reason to go with no coalition; this was a job for the international community. The Bush administration did not have sufficient facts on their side to convince the international community to go to war as they did in Gulf War I. This was what I consider to be Kerry's eminently sensible position. Kerry is not a leftist!

11:32 PM  
Blogger blueenclave said...

Tim sent us all over here?

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Lets take these facts.

1. Tons of people said Saddam had weapons.

My answer to that is simple. The evidence should be looked over and reviewed much more thourougly when we're thinking about going to war compared to when we're just saying things to keep Iraq in the news.

It's clear now that the "evidence" was nothing more than the assumption that Saddam would make weapons just like he had before, but with no credible facts to back it up.

Just saying "France says so" or "Liberal personality X" says so doesn't make the information that they used to make those statements true.

I lay this at the feet of the administration because what this person thinks or that person thinks doesn't matter jack unless they have access to the actual intellegence.

2. You can't blame "Clinton's CIA" on this. Bush was president for a full two years before the war. Thats enough time for him to take full responsibility for the CIA's successes and failures.

3. While on first look, the Duelfer Report looks bad for Saddam, you don't have to go far into the summary to see that the authors are blowing steam out of their rear ends.

In fact, on the first page of the summary, the report states that "the former regieme had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMDs after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam."

So where did they get the conclusion that he wanted to make weapons again? Once again the assumption that since he had them before he would wanted them again.

4. Oil-for-food. First, the vast majority of money came from other nations in the middle east, and not France and Russia. The money that did come from France, China, and Russia mostly came from oil companies. Could that have influence those nations policies? Maybe. Maybe not.

However, the nation which quite possibly is most cuplable for the oil-for-food scandal is the US itself. It had veto power over every sale of oil from Iraq, and the US turned a blind eye to these fraudulent sales, even up to the start of the war.

5. Yes, al-Zarqawi. Terrorist in northern Iraq, where Saddam had absolutely no influence because of the no-fly zone. His existence shouldn't be taken as evidence for saddam supporting terrorists. In fact, Saddam was pretty well known for eliminating people like al-Zarqawi whenever he could, since he saw them as a threat to his power.

And I gotta love this quote: "They are so anti-war they were only looking for facts that supported their point of view." Speak for yourself. Many people on the right still try to use the claim the Saddam had (not alleged to have had, but actually had) WMDs, that there were links between him and bin laden, claims even denied by the White House.

"Like now, do you think the Left will acknowledge the "fact" that democracy is spreading in the Middle East?" At what cost? Afthanistan, ok, thats not too bad. We attacked a nation that harbored bin laden, and US losses are at least at a justifiable level.

On the other hand, while Democracy in Iraq is good, is it worth 1500 dead soldiers, over 10,000 wounded soldiers, 50,000 to 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and completely destroying all of our credibility in the international arena? I vote no it isn't worth that much.

Saudi Arabia? Sure, they elected dog catchers and the like. The nation is still under near total control of the royal family. Lebanon? Anti-Syrian riots had more to do with that than anything the US did.

"The rest of the world has long since moved on, slowly grasping the "outcome"of their unjust war-- the powerful concept of "living free in a democratic society"." - What the rest of the world has done is try to make the best of the mess that we've made in Iraq. They have no impact on politics here in the US, so they aren't going to sit there and rile on Bush about the War like people int he US do.

However, I'd bet that if you asked France or Russia or one of these other nations "should we have gone in" they would still say no.

"This is what Red-Staters are concentrating on, the liberation of another million or so people and the positive effects that will have on the planet."

Good for you, but dont cost us the lives of 1500 soldiers and 50,000 to 100,000 Iraqis, along with 10,000 wounded US soldiers and our international credbility to do it.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

"On the other hand, while Democracy in Iraq is good, is it worth 1500 dead soldiers, over 10,000 wounded soldiers, 50,000 to 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, and completely destroying all of our credibility in the international arena? I vote no it isn't worth that much."

Something tells me it was worth it to all the Iraqis with the purple fingers. How many Iraqis were there that voted....8 million? And just who has been slaughtering the Iraqis? So if democracy is good, it's just not good enough for the Iraqis to risk life and limb to get it even though that's how we got it and that's what we'd do to keep it. And why does anyone care what the international arena thinks of us. Red-Staters don't because we understand their politics. Europe loves a Democratic president and hates a Republican president. Since Europe has moved to the Left, it's to be expected. They hated Reagan too, loved Carter and Clinton.We prefer people who are like minded.

The Left will never agree that the wars were worth it...Never. Like they won't accept the fact that Reagan's Mutually Assured Destruction policies broke the back of the Soviet Union.

One man's fact is just another man's fiction. But with the Left, you can be assured they will always take an anti-conservative/American view point. That's a fact.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

"Something tells me it was worth it to all the Iraqis with the purple fingers. How many Iraqis were there that voted....8 million?"

Yes, they think it's worth it, but you miss my point. You still look at the ends and use that to justify the means, no matter what they are.

My point is that one can't only look at the ends. The ends and means must be balanced. Whenever the means are worse than the ends, then the ends aren't justified, it doesn't matter what they are.

Having an "ends justifies the means" arguement is one of the most dangerous slippery slopes.

So someone can search your house with a warrent on evidence you committed a crime. We see that as acceptable. But what if they search your house without a warrent? Or put a camera in your house? Or put a camera in every room in your house? That may very well catch crimals and cut down on crime. The ends sound good, but can the means justify it?

While the 8 million Iraqis who voted are better than Saddam, what was the price? The US should be concerned with our own security, not ensuring voting rights for those in other nations, at least not by using military force.

"And just who has been slaughtering the Iraqis?"

The main study done on the issue said that Americans are killing Iraqi civilians at a rate at least twice that of the insurgents.

"So if democracy is good, it's just not good enough for the Iraqis to risk life and limb to get it even though that's how we got it and that's what we'd do to keep it."

I'd say it would be worth it for IRAQIS to risk life and limb to give themselves democracy. My point is that it isn't worth for OUR soldiers to risk life and limb for it.

"And why does anyone care what the international arena thinks of us."

Because, just like you aren't the only empoyee at your business (presumably), you aren't the only person in your neighborhood (presumably), and your state isn't the only state in the US, the US isn't the only nation in the world.

If anything the Iraqi situation has shown us, we *need* foreign cooparation to take on projects as big as Iraq. The fact that not only is our military spread thin, but no one wants to join it now is the painful truth showing my point.

However, if we alienate the rest of the world, we may not be able to get their help when we really need it. Does that mean we *always* have to work with the rest of the world? If the issue is pressing enough, no. However, Iraq is not one of those situations.

"Red-Staters don't because we understand their politics. Europe loves a Democratic president and hates a Republican president."

Perhaps you should consider the reason for this. The fact that Republican presidents tend to go around waving the diplomatic equivilent of the bird at Europe doesn't help that attitude I'm sure.

"The Left will never agree that the wars were worth it...Never."

Err, find a Democrat against the idea of the Afghanistan war. You may be able to find one...maybe. The vast majority of Democrats support the idea. In fact, we believe if we fought there like we did in Iraq, we could have gotten bin laden by now.

Most Democrats aren't against wars. However, it seems that Republicans are willing to go to war over anything while Democrats leave war as the last option, when there is no other avenue to pursue.

" Like they won't accept the fact that Reagan's Mutually Assured Destruction policies broke the back of the Soviet Union."

You'd be surprised. They probably agree with the theory, but disagree with how much Reagan spent on it.

In fact, you'll sometimes see the theory of "mutually assured destruction" as evidence *against* the Iraq war. How? If the soviets wouldn't attack us with a huge arsenal of nukes, why would Iraq attack us, even if they had WMDs? We'd completely wipe them off the earth. Why would they ensure their own destruction by attacking us? Saddam might have been evil, but he wasn't stupid.

"But with the Left, you can be assured they will always take an anti-conservative/American view point."

So are you making a statement that conservatism is now "American" and liberalism is now "anti-American"

Of course, I could write a book on the very idea of "anti-american" and how the idea of it is mostly absurd, but thats for another time.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Saddam was both evil and stupid. He thought his army could beat the US and the Coalition during the Gulf War. That was pretty stupid. He also didn't believe the world would do anything when he invaded Kuwait...That was stupid. And he also believed the US wouldn't attack three years ago...that was really stupid.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

"Saddam was both evil and stupid. He thought his army could beat the US and the Coalition during the Gulf War."

He becomes overconfident, but that doesn't mean he's stupid. He both overestimated his own power and underestimated the coalition's

However his actions in being able to survive in Iraq for 20 years clearly shows that he had some idea of what he was doing in regards to staying in power.

"He also didn't believe the world would do anything when he invaded Kuwait...That was stupid."

It also helps when the US ambassador to your nation tells you that the world isn't going to do anything if you invade.

"And he also believed the US wouldn't attack three years ago...that was really stupid."

Evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, I'm not sure if I ever recall him making statements of "oh, they wont attack." I could be wrong but I don't recall it. In fact, the fact that he offered a deal to let US troops into Iraq to search for weapons like 2 days before we invaded is pretty good evidence that he did, in fact, think we were going to invade.

2:06 AM  
Blogger sallyann said...

Measuring morality on a scale from one to two, one being the lowest score, rate the following:

A.) Abu Ghraib

B.) Insurgents taking hostages, beheading them and blowing up innocent Iraqis to sabotage the new government.

Play black and white for once. We'll nuance later.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

I re-read the post from last night and the one theme that jumped out at me was the persistent defense of Saddam Hussein. Saddam wasn't stupid, he was "just" over confident. Saddam wasn't a threat, he was "just" goofing on us. Saddam "just" miscalculated that's all. No big deal. Why that old boy couldn't hurt of flea. He's just misunderstood.

It was....as we all know because of the..."facts"...it was all Bush and the neo-cons fault. Doesn't that strike you as just a hair wrong?

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

I'll take your two posts one at a time.

First both A and B are rated a 1. However, I'd take issue with wanting to be "black and white for once" because the world isn't just black and white.

Second, as far as Saddam. My main claim was that he wasn't stupid, at least not to the point that he was suicidally stupid (if thats a word). Perhaps inexperienced and/or overconfident, but he wasn't going to do something to kill himself.

The point being there that, he had no reason to attack the US with WMDs even if he had them. Thats not defending what his regieme has done in the past attacking Iran and Kuwait or what he's done to his own people.

It's purely a discussion about the interactions between two nations in the international arena.

As far as going to war...was it all Bush's fault? It was Saddam's fault to the extent that he allowd a situation to develop where Bush could do what he did.

However, the actual descision to go to war is completely Bush's fault yes. And I would say that even if he personally thought the intellegence about WMDs is true, and I'll tell you why.

I was someone at the time who, had we gone into Iraq and found that he had reconstituted weapons, probably would have supported Bush's invasion in the end.

Redeveloping WMDs was in violation of the UN resolutions, and while I would have been angry that he went in without the UN's blessing, it would have been the case where even though the means weren't necessarily great, they weren't bad enough to overshadow the result.

However, no WMDs were found. This leaves us with two possibilities.

The first being that Bush knew that the evidence was flimsy and went in anyway. This would put Bush under direct blame for invading on false premises.

The other possibility is that the intellegence community was wrong, told Bush flawed information, and then Bush, believing what he was staying was true, invaded.

So why would I still blame Bush for that? Not because I like blaming Bush. Having an "R" next to his name isn't enough. However, the fact that not only did he not punish those responsible for the failed intellegence, he has actually gotten into the habit of PROMOTING them.

That suggests one of two things. That possibility one is in fact correct, and Bush already knew the intellegence was flawed, or two, Bush doesn't care whether the intellegence was flawed or not.

A situation that comes closest to this that I can think of is this:

You have Bob. Bob used to be a crack dealer. Many people in the neighborhood still think he is. One day the police stop Bob on the street and ask him if he is still selling crack. He says no, but the police arrest him anyway. After an investigation they find that he in fact stopped selling crack years ago.

While the consequences of the actions of Bush or the police in the example are obviously not comparable, the point still stands: where the police right or wrong to arrest him based solely on the fact that he was a crack dealer before and they had just assumed he still was one?

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Bob didn't have 17 UN "outstanding" Resolutions that he refused to comply with. Why didn't Saddam account for the missing WMD? All he had to do was prove he destroyed it. Instead he played a cat and mouse game with UN inspectors. He led the world to believe he was "hiding" something. And just exactly when did the world discover that Saddam had no WMD? Not until we invaded. Not until Tommy Franks told us he didn't. Then and only then did the Left begin to howl that Bush misled us into war. Then and only then did we discover our intelligence gathering institutions were gravely flawed and inept. How was Bush supposed to know this before the war? And how was Bush supposed to "fix" the CIA when he didn't know it was broken until after we invaded Iraq? This is why Red-Staters never believed Bush led us to war under false premises. The "facts" do not lead us to that conclusion.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

"Bob didn't have 17 UN "outstanding" Resolutions that he refused to comply with"

Thats true. But two points:

1. If Bob owes you $20, that isn't reason to go shoot him. Proportion matters. Just because he isn't following a resolution doesn't automatically means that war is a way to fix that. There are some things which are just not worth it.

2. There were inspections, and Blix said that they were making progress. Bush pulled them out anyway for whatever reasons. (I have my own thoughts, but i'll keep them to myself for now).

"Why didn't Saddam account for the missing WMD? All he had to do was prove he destroyed it.

Instead he played a cat and mouse game with UN inspectors. He led the world to believe he was "hiding" something.
"

Actually, I got little impression he was hiding. Bush was saying he was playing a cat and mouse game, but that was only him and the pro-war hawks. The actual inspectors actually believed that Saddam was actually being quite cooperative, at least more so than they expected.

As to why they didn't account for weapons...I don't know and I won't really speculate. There are many possible reasons, any as likely as the next.

"And just exactly when did the world discover that Saddam had no WMD? Not until we invaded."

Thats the first time that we could confirm that he DIDN'T have WMDs. However, it's clear that we couldn't show that he had them ever before the war, and thats the burden of proof that must be met. The burden isn't saddam proving that he doesn't have them. The burden is ours to prove that he does. That idea was taken for granted when it shouldn't have been.

"Then and only then did the Left begin to howl that Bush misled us into war. Then and only then did we discover our intelligence gathering institutions were gravely flawed and inept."

Actually the left was howling about the war and the intellegence being used publically well before we invaded.

I could have told you at the time that the evidence that they made public wasn't worth jack. It was either assumptions that he must have reconstituted his weapons because "why wouldn't he?" and evidence based on defectors which are well known to be terrible sources of information.

I just assumed that there was some hidden secret evidence which showed that they had some idea what they were talking about. That ended up being a bad assumption to make on my part at the time.

"How was Bush supposed to know this before the war? And how was Bush supposed to "fix" the CIA when he didn't know it was broken until after we invaded Iraq?"

Well, we knew there were problems with the CIA after 9/11. A year and a half later those problems still existed, and perhaps had even gotten worse.

Bush may not have known the intellegence was flawed, but he should have publicly fired or made his view plain that he wanted fired, those responsible. Not only did he not do it publicly, he didn't even do it privately, and many of the people responsble for it got promoted.

However, there is growing evidence that not only did the CIA know there was a problem. They told the White House there was a problem? And what did the White House do (whether it was Bush or Rice)? Either told them to be quiet or completely ignored it.

While there isn't proof that the White House itself told the CIA "this is what we want, give it to us" there is evidence that some working at the CIA felt like that was the case.

There are many things Bush could have done to not faced the wrath of liberals as much. Had he been open, and openly said "we made a mistake by invading, i want those responsible to be held responsible" you wouldn't be seeing this.

However, instead of saying "we made a mistake" Bush instead decided to change the reasons why we went to war. It was be cause he "could have" reconstituted weapons. Then it was to topple Saddam because he was a bad man. Now it's to spread democracy around the middle east.

Well, I'm sorry. Our troops are there to protect our democracy, not to conquer other sovereign nations so their people can have it.

Of course democracy is preferable to dictatorship, but as republicans love saying, our national security is #1 priority. So why did Iraq trump that, if "spreading democracy" is the reason we're there? There is no way one can say that invading Iraq helped our national security when bin laden is running around if Afghanistan.

And using that rationale, we could justify invading 2/3 of the nations on the planet. Thats a dangerous precident to set.

And oh by the way...new today..German intellegence confirms that the Afhgan warlords that were supposed to catch bin laden for us, not only knew where he was, but could have captured him for us. Why didn't they? Bin laden bribed them. More incompetence in planing by someone. Perhaps not Bush himself, but he is on the top of the food chain.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well--clearly the blues still have the election day blues!

Wake up you guys- the majority voice in this country has spoken.

We are sick of an education system that is dumming down our population.

We are sick of a liberal mindset that has vehemently tried to destroy the ethics and ideals that our great country were founded on.

And we "red-staters" are pretty much fed up with coddling, coaxing and enabling a growing population of amoral, self-indulgent underachievers, (spurred on zealously by a group of over-educated idiots without a "lick" of common sense)who choose to blame everyone else for their unhappiness rather than getting their butts in gear and truly living their lives.

We redstaters revel in the thought that we have a president with the courage to stand on his convictions, and who can do so without blaming past administrations or the folks who we have sent to Washington to look out for us.

There are really only two kinds of people in this country, optimists and pessimists,although there are many variations and nuances present in each or us.

The optimists see the potential that exists if we work hard, stand firm on our convictions, treat others with the same decency and integrity that we hope they return and take responsibility for the choices that we make in our lives.

Then there are the pessimists- they see eveything as a problem, have a major disconnect when it comes to practicing what they preach, throw blame around at anyone or anything that doesn't hold the same opinions as them (God forbid they actually listen to and digest what the other is saying!)and generally live an unhappy life.

I really don't care whether there were WMDs or not. When we went in to Iraq, we believed there were. If you could walk in President Bush's shoes through that entire ordeal leading up to the war, I think your mindset would be very different.

I don't know of anyone who thought that there were Iragis on board any of the aircraft that murdered 3000 Americans (83%??), but I know many who believe that Sadaam was aiding and abetting anybody that had a buck and was looking for an opportunity to get back at the US.

I do know that I was ecstatic when I watched the Afghanistani and Iraqi elections and was embarassed and truly humbled to think that so many people risked their very lives for the right to vote freely, when so many in this country can't get their butts off the couch or away from the TV to vote.

I, like Sal, once held a liberal mindset (I was an ideological idiot in college too!). I was converted to the "red" side by a burning desire to make the most of my life, by really considering and understanding the words of wisdom passed to me by my elders and realizing that we either fight for what we believe in or we will fade into some homogenized, Socialistic humdrum, where everyone has the same things and life is boring and miserable.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Ya know Josh, we could go round and round and round-- point/counter point til the cows come home and never agree on a single issue. That's the one notable trait of a Liberal. They don't move on. I know, I used to be a flaming Liberal. I was absolutely certain that I had all the answers. There wasn't a single person who could "out fact" me. I had a sharp tongue and I made sure my opponent knew how stupid they were at all times. If they felt stupid, therefore, I had to be right.

I was as anti-war as any pacifist could be. War was wrong period. But being "patriotic" was worse. Being anti-American was a badge of honor. In fact, you couldn't be "cool" if you waved a flag off your front porch because that equated to stupidity. Raise an American flag and you were admitting to your neighbors just how ignorant you were. Being patriotic meant you were gullible, prone to uncondtionally believe in your government and its leaders.That was the epitome of ignorance because anyone who was "cool/intelligent" knew that the United States of America was one evil regime. At my peak I was thoroughly "anti-establishment." I distrusted everything my government said.

I believed "Liberalism" was the salvation of the world. Kill the rich and feed them to the poor. Destroy the military, establish a socialistic government, believe all people were redeemable, even the worst of the worst. Respect all cultures and never hold anyone accountable for their actions...ever.And if you must find blame, blame it on our government or Christianity. Either one, because they both were the root of all evil.

Did I have my head up my ass? I guess so.My beloved "facts" began to betray me. Progressive ideas/actions were proving wrong. On a national/international level, my politics were always wrong. That "outcome" thing the Left rails about now, came back and bit me in the ass everytime. All I could do is "reflect" and ask why? So I did.

I began to listen to opponents facts and insights. Instead of trouncing their opinions I began to respect them and take them into consideration. Before, I thought I was "nuancing" like a seasoned intellectual, but I was living in my own black and white world. I collected only beliefs that fed my ideology or core beliefs on the various issues. I filtered out all beliefs that didn't fit my "Liberal criteria."

Liberals tend to believe they are objective because that is the highest form of intellectual prowess. They claim the ability to see all sides of the equation. As a Liberal, I didn't have an objective bone in my body. Objectivity brings in other points of view. That's not what I wanted. That's not what you want Josh.

You want the war in Iraq to be unjust and wrong. That is your core belief. So any fact that comes down the pike that doesn't feed your core belief is filtered out. Some commentor mentioned that in the Deulfer Report Saddam had never "written down any plan to reconstitute WMD once sanctions were lifted." He mentioned that he had read that "fact" on the summary page. The Deulfer report was 1000 pages. He had "filtered out 999 pages" of pertinent information that said otherwise. Why? Didn't fit his core belief that the war in Iraq was unjust and wrong.

I don't look for "facts" that fit a Liberal/Conservative criteria anymore. I gather far more information/evidence-circumstantial and smoking gun type- now than I ever did as a pure Liberal.

By the time you reach this last paragraph you've already formulated your response. You've already determined how you can "turn it around" in your favor. Your brain is jumping with counter points and eager to tap them out on the keyboard.

But you would have missed an opportunity to mature, just like I missed it until I began to acknowledge other points of view different than mine. There's a saying, "A wise man changes his mind."

Read the last paragraph in your recent post and see if you can find "another point of view". Don't automatically "filter out" what doesn't fit your Liberal core beliefs about George Bush. If you can learn to do this, you may very well move to the "center" where there's real wisdom.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Well if that description of "liberal" is what you are you were left of left, because most liberals aren't that way.

"There wasn't a single person who could "out fact" me."

Facts are often up to interpretation, but I fail to see how an arugement can be won with out them.

The danger isn't being patriot. Most liberals actually would say that they are patriotic because they believe their vision of what America is what America is supposed to be.

The danger is *nationalism* or the idea that not only is your nation good, but it is intrinsicly better than all other nations because...well...just because.

Gullibility is also a danger. If one actually looked at the left, it is hardly a unified front. Infighting is everywhere. This group wants this thing. This other group wants something else. They're both democrats because of a big umbrella, but they rarely help each other.

"anyone who was "cool/intelligent" knew that the United States of America was one evil regime."

We certainly don't think the US is inherently evil, but on the other hand we admit that the US is *capable* of doing evil things if it's leaders wish it to.

"Destroy the military, establish a socialistic government, believe all people were redeemable, even the worst of the worst. Respect all cultures and never hold anyone accountable for their actions...ever."

Now, I know many people who think military action should be more restrained, but i dont think I know anyone who wants to "destroy the military." Establishing a "socialist government" is up to the person describing what socialist is. Some on the right would describe what the US now as socialist, while I consider something more like what the Green Party wants as socialist.

Are all people redeemable? There are some people who are at the point of no return. However, is there anyone who is inherently evil from birth? no.

As far as keeping no one accountable...apparently you've missed the last 4 years.

"Liberals tend to believe they are objective because that is the highest form of intellectual prowess. They claim the ability to see all sides of the equation. As a Liberal, I didn't have an objective bone in my body. Objectivity brings in other points of view. That's not what I wanted. That's not what you want Josh."

The only way you can argue against the other side of an issue is if you know what the other side is. Otherwise you just sit there saying "you're stupid. you're wrong. prove your facts" and don't actually address the issues.

I consider myself able to look at both sides because I can look at the opposing sides facts and critically analyze them. Many libearls I know are the same way. Are some people "anti-anything Bush does?" Yes, and I'm typically annoyed at those who are opposed to *anything* Bush does just because Bush does it, but thats not most liberals.

Part of the problem today is that, even though liberals would congratulate Bush if he ever did anything liberals agreed with, he never actually *does* anything which we can congratulate him for. Or if he does, he puts it on the back burner or fails to fund it, or things like that.

"You want the war in Iraq to be unjust and wrong. "

We don't want it to be wrong. We *KNOW* that it is wrong. We attacked a soveriegn nation with an excuse 1) turned out to be true, and 2) wasn't proven to be a legitimate reason even had it been true.

There was no "proof" that we were under immenent danger. There was no "proof" that Saddam was itching to press the little red button to send anthrax over to New York City or anything like that. Yes conservatives wanted to dump saddam. Why? Two reasons.

1) They felt that they had a "moral obligation" to get rid of someone they didn't like. Well thats all good, but wars fought on that basis have always been seen as illegitimate. ALWAYS through the entire history of warfare between nation-states.

2) A war-time president has *never* lost an election. NEVER. Bush came the closest, but he still won. It's easly to get the nation to support you because you can rely on the "rally around the flag effect" to give you the support. Is it a coincidence that he invaded Iraq when he was having the lowest ratings of his presidentcy at the time? Is it a coincidence that his approvals went from about 45% to 65% in a week after we invaded?

I used the summary of the Deulfer because, as you said, it was 1000 pages long. They said that he wanted to reconstitute his weapons. But based on what? If he had no plans or anything to do it, by what basis do they come up with that conclusion? Essentially it was two things: the assumption by those around him that it was the case, the the assumption by those here that it was the case.

"There's a saying, 'A wise man changes his mind.' "

And I have. When Bush was elected in 2000, I have him a shot. When 9/11 happened, I gave him a shot. I agreed with him on Afghanistan. I was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt with the Iraq war. I congratulated him on No Child Left Behind. I was hopeful when he announced AIDS funding. He has failed to deliver on any single one of those chances. At this point, I'm not willing to give him another shot. He's already been given more chances than I'd give most people.

Now the republican party has turned into nothing more than a "we're holier than thou" fundamentalist Christian party who wants to tell me that they're right, we're wrong, and if anyone disagrees, well, we can go to hell. literally.

While most, what I would term as "tradition" conservatives I can at least have a debate with becuase they are at least willing to discuss facts, the new brand of the republican party isn't even that. They're proud that they're part of the so-called "faith based community" where belief is more important than knowing and that reality is whatever you believe it is.

"Read the last paragraph in your recent post and see if you can find "another point of view". Don't automatically "filter out" what doesn't fit your Liberal core beliefs about George Bush. If you can learn to do this, you may very well move to the "center" where there's real wisdom."

--------------------------------

Reponse to other poster:

"Well--clearly the blues still have the election day blues!"

You missed the "now shut up" line.

"Wake up you guys- the majority voice in this country has spoken."

51%. Yes a majority, but by the skin of your teeth. Oh and by the way, if you look at polls, its not a majority any more.

"We are sick of an education system that is dumming down our population."

Err...?

"And we "red-staters" are pretty much fed up with coddling, coaxing and enabling a growing population of amoral, self-indulgent underachievers, (spurred on zealously by a group of over-educated idiots without a "lick" of common sense)who choose to blame everyone else for their unhappiness rather than getting their butts in gear and truly living their lives."

When did becoming "over-educated" become a bad thing. I'm sick and tired of people who think that "real life experience" (whatever it may be)somehow gives them a better idea of how the relationship between nations in the international area work than those who have actually studied the topic.

"We redstaters revel in the thought that we have a president with the courage to stand on his convictions, and who can do so without blaming past administrations or the folks who we have sent to Washington to look out for us."

What good is "stainding up for your convictions" if your convictions are wrong. People cast Kerry as a flip-flopper more because he was able to change his mind. Instead Bush is the kind who will take a position and stand with that position *no matter what.* You may see that as strong. I see that as stupid and reckless.

"Then there are the pessimists- they see eveything as a problem, have a major disconnect when it comes to practicing what they preach, throw blame around at anyone or anything that doesn't hold the same opinions as them (God forbid they actually listen to and digest what the other is saying!)and generally live an unhappy life."

Sounds like the leadership of the religious right today. *Everything* is evil...gays...liberals...anyone who isn't like them. Republicans control the white house, both houses of congress, the majority of governorships, the majority of state legislatures, have appointed 7 of 9 supreme court justices and a majority of the federal courts yet they still act like they're being oppossed by the evil liberals.

"I really don't care whether there were WMDs or not. When we went in to Iraq, we believed there were. If you could walk in President Bush's shoes through that entire ordeal leading up to the war, I think your mindset would be very different."

If I were in his shoes, I would have asked if the lives of our troops were worth it to protect us against a theoretical attack of which there was not only little to no evidence even then that it would occur, but also that there was good reason to believe that it *wouldn't*

"but I know many who believe that Sadaam was aiding and abetting anybody that had a buck and was looking for an opportunity to get back at the US."

Saddam and bin laden were not friends. This was well established even then. Not only had Saddam executed many an islamic extremist, but bin laden had called saddam a "socialist" which is about the worst political insult you could throw at someone if you were bin laden.

"I do know that I was ecstatic when I watched the Afghanistani and Iraqi elections and was embarassed and truly humbled to think that so many people risked their very lives for the right to vote freely, when so many in this country can't get their butts off the couch or away from the TV to vote."

I would agree with that. Far too many people here are far too apathetic about voting, and thats a problem that people on *both* sides of the political spectrum need to address. We liberals aren't mad or angry about Iraqi elections. We just dont want it to overshadow the facts that the Iraq war as still fought illegitimately.

We fight for what we believe in. We just believe in different things. The discussion should be with of those things are better. Obviously both sides believe that they are right.

I think the democratic party can sometimes look "lost in the woods" if you will just by the very nature of the party. While the republican party is a coalition: one between fiscal conservatives and religioius evangelicals, its still, for the most part, a homogenous mixtures of white, mostly male, protestants. The difference is the issues that they feel are most important.

The Democratic Party is a hodgepodge of dozens of different groups who all of their own aims. Whether its environmental protection, gay marriage, the end of poverty, religious freedom (that is, the freedom to not have religion shoved down their throat), among other things. Bringing all of these people together to fight in unison is often difficult, and it often becomes into a "we'll support you if you support me" game.

The blog I post on has a wide diversity of people posting, ranging from those in the Green threatening to defect because they think the democratic party is too conservative to those who think the democratic party should move more towards the right.

Do they agree on everything? No. But there are some issues on which they are unified, and those are the issues that we work the best on. Often this looks like we only oppose things. Part of that is because it's harder to draw up a program that enough people in the coalition agree with, and in part because, well, we're in the minority so the #1 priority is to stop things that the majority are doing that we dont like.

I think some people on the left unfairly say that people on the right dont look at facts they dont like, just like how many on the right unfairly say that liberals dont look at the facts they dont like. I dont think one can say that you just can't legitimately come to a certain opinion.

I'm not opposing the view of those who think we are right by being in Iraq because I dont understand their arguement. I understand their arguement rather well. The arguement isn't the problem. What I usually have issues with is the logic and assumptions the arguement is based on.

For example, the idea that the ends justify the means. I just personally feel that that is a terrible way to justify something, because of how many cans of worms it opens.

Anyway, I think I've ranted WAAAAAY too long this time around, so I'll stop before I write my own book.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm-"While the republican party is a coalition: one between fiscal conservatives and religioius evangelicals, its still, for the most part, a homogenous mixtures of white, mostly male, protestants."

Well Josh, clearly the differences that exist between the Reds and Blues are as strong as they were between the North and South during the Civil War and then some. People will never stop trying to generalize groups of people and our philosophical differences will always help keep society in balance.

This may be hard to face but I happen to be a 47 year old mother of 3 who grew up enjoying very few amenities. My parents were strict but fair (I survived many a spanking but never felt they were undeserved) and little held more importance in my home than education and self-sufficiency. I come from an entire family of educators-mostly college level professors, although my mother taught remedial studies. This, in and of, itself may explain the differences in our ideologies, but I do not have the facts to make a rational assessment.

I put myself through college at 16, (mostly political science and law courses) and have worked all of my life.
I took 8 years off to stay home and be with my children until they were in school and returned to college to get credit for the "life experience" I had gained in the working world.

I returned to work and in five years had made it to senior management. In the midst of my 40th year, I discovered that I was pregnant and was faced with one of the hardest choices I have had to make in my life. I made a conscious choice, based on the moral values that I had learned and based on the belief that everything happens for a reason. I now have a bright, beautiful, intelligent, healthy young boy who has given us far more than we have ever had to give.

Forgive me for not being a white, male protestant. My "religious" tendencies lean towards the metaphysical and obviously I am a female, so I fail the test on both counts.

I am sorry that I don't fit your vision of a Republican, but that's the reality.

"When did becoming "over-educated" become a bad thing. I'm sick and tired of people who think that "real life experience" (whatever it may be)somehow gives them a better idea of how the relationship between nations in the international area work than those who have actually studied the topic."

For the record Josh,
when a "book" education is liberally seasoned with "real life experience" ie: been through the real thing and realize that it ain't like the textbooks say it will be", then you can never be "over-educated". Nothing, repeat nothing holds greater practical educational value than "real life experience".

Education is a lifelong experience whose journey starts at birth and continues until death, if you accept the reality that you will always be surprised by how different outcomes can be from your anticipated expectations, and the reality that you always have more to learn.

When someone spends 4-8 years of their life studying then suddenly assumes that they are an expert, without any practical experience in the subject they have studied, that person is an "over-educated idiot". Hopefully I clarified my point.

I recall spending hours reading all the childcare books and thinking how well prepared I was to be a mother. Then reality sunk in. I have survived 2 teenagers who have easily taken 10 years off my life and managed to get them safely to adulthood. My "life experience" going through the daily challenge taught me to draw on my past experience, get as many facts as possible, trust my instincts and pray that I am making the right choices. You learn to cope with the "unexpected outcomes" and make adjustments when necessary. That's called "real life". My "life experience" has served me well so far.

President Bush, while having much more difficult and far-reaching decisions to make, used a similar approach. He has far more information available to him than any of us will ever get to know, and his decisions were based on that information. Apparently the intel community was loaded with "overeducated idiots" who made bad assessments. No one,repeat NO ONE, knows how anything will play out in life. We draw on experience, gets as many facts as possible,trust our instincts and pray for the best outcome. That's called gaining maturity.

There is a saying that "hindsight is 20/20". It amazes me how many people are trying to use what we know now, to argue that President Bush was wrong in his decisions, based on information that we would never have had, had we not invaded Iraq so that we had to access to get it.

As painful as it is to hear that another soldier or Iraqi has died in this struggle (my son lost a friend last month), I temper that pain with the realization that another 1,000,000 Iraqis might have died under Sadaam's regime had we done nothing.

I am fully aware, that Sadaam and Bin Laden weren't bed buddies, but I also know that there is great honor among thieves and they all help each other out, when it suits their needs - and they really don't give a damn how many people die in the process.

You have real potential, Josh, if you just accept that you have lots to learn and get out there and get some "real life experience" to go with all that book knowledge. It is truly liberating!

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Josh: Tell me how you knew we were never in imminent danger from Saddam?
How did you know Saddam would never sell/give terrorist WMD to use against us?
Why was the Left so willing to believe Saddam and not the international intelligence agencies?
What would Saddam have done after sanctions were lifted?
Why did Charles Deufler and the Iraqi Survey Group get it so wrong?
Why didn’t the Left consider Iraq a rogue nation?
Do you believe there are rogue nations?
Why doesn’t the Left get outraged over mass graves?

Why does the Left consider the insurgents “freedom fighters”?
What freedoms are they fighting for?
Do you know absolutely Iran is not developing nuclear weapons?
Do you know absolutely Iran is developing nuclear weapons?
Do you know absolutely if Iran had nuclear weapons it wouldn’t sell/give them to terrorist to use against us?

How do you know for sure the war in Iraq was wrong?
You talk about “proportion”. Was the war in Iraq wrong for 25 million Iraqis?
Why does the Left begrudge Iraqis living in a free democratic society?
Why does the Left believe our soldiers died in vain for a free Iraq?

What is the Left’s moral obligation to the Iraqi people?
Should we apologize for sending our sons and daughters to die for them?

Why is the Left so afraid of Christianity?

P.S. In a couple of days I’ll receive Tim Schilke’s book, “Growing up Red”. Never have I been more anxious to read a book. I intend to critique his book one chapter at a time.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

"Well Josh, clearly the differences that exist between the Reds and Blues are as strong as they were between the North and South during the Civil War and then some."

I'm not sure if they're that strong, at least yet. The division at that point caused the fracture of one political party (Democratic Party) and the creation of another (Repubilcan Party), to say nothing that they fought the war. As much division as there is today, I think one still has to keep things in some prospective.

"My parents were strict but fair (I survived many a spanking but never felt they were undeserved) and little held more importance in my home than education and self-sufficiency. I come from an entire family of educators-mostly college level professors, although my mother taught remedial studies."

I grew up what I'd consider in the middle of the middle class..something like 50K a year or if I were to estimate what it's worth in today's dollars...not bad..but certainly not what I would consider to be rich.

My parents were pretty liberal, though that didn't spare me from the spanking treatment or grounding if I really had something bad. My was an educator - he was a professor at one medial college, and Dean of a department at another before going into private practice where we are now. My mother was the office manager of my dad's practice until they started to quasi-move into the mountains to prepare for their retirement and she got a job at a local university there.

I'd say that my upbringing typically was 1. to do the right thing, with education not too far behind.

I actually typically see myself as moderate to conservative in some areas. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs of any sort. I dont go out to clubs and stay out until 4am. I'm not into goth or jerry springer or eminem.

In fact, there are many a thing that many other liberals may like which I may dislike or even find offensive. But what I think makes myself a liberal is that, just because I personally don't like those things mean that they still shouldn't have the right to enjoy them (presuming they dont hurt other people...but if you're talking about music or tv, thats almost certainly the case).

"I put myself through college at 16, (mostly political science and law courses) and have worked all of my life."

For college, I got a double major in political science and information mangement & technology. For undergrad, it was kind of 1/3 scholarships, 1/3 parents, and 1/3 working through. I'm in grad school right now in computer science.

I actually grew up in a really red area - East Tennessee, where there hasn't been a democratic congressmen representing our district since, if i remember correctly, 1884. My undergrad at Syracuse was really my first taste of being around an area which was majority liberal. It actually opened my eyes quite a bit more. If for no other reason than getting to know so many different kinds of people, many of which just don't live in Tennessee.

"Forgive me for not being a white, male protestant. My "religious" tendencies lean towards the metaphysical and obviously I am a female, so I fail the test on both counts."

Well, I realize not everyone in the party meets that description (and actually looking back the the exit polls, Bush got more female than male votes, so perhaps male shouldn't be included in the description, though Bush didn't get a majority of woman while he got 55% of men). The other two are pretty true though, at least as far as the average republican goes. I'm not going to take up space by posting numbers here though.

"Nothing, repeat nothing holds greater practical educational value than "real life experience". "

I would probably tend to agree. However, typically (though not always, obviously) education is the first step to being able to succeed at "real life experience." And despite the common conception, many, though not all, in academics have either been in professional work before being in academics, or do it on the side.

I know that in nearly all of my study, both graduate and undergraduate, all of my professors had profession "real life" experience of one level or another.

"When someone spends 4-8 years of their life studying then suddenly assumes that they are an expert, without any practical experience in the subject they have studied, that person is an "over-educated idiot". Hopefully I clarified my point."

I would tend to agree. I wouldn't say I'm an expert in anything. However, many conservatives don't talk about people like me when they talk about "over educated idiots." They're often talking about people who may have studied and research for 20 years, quite probably throwing in professional experience as well somewhere along the way.

But even so, i'd would find it annoying if some guy who works as a car mechanic or works at the local factory would claim to know more about world politics than someone like me who paid attention to it since middle school and got an undergrad degree in poly sci. I may not have "real world" experience with it yet, but i'd typically believe i'd have more standing to talk about the subject than the type of person i just described.

For those who have professional degrees, especially say Ph.D's with 20 years experience, their feelings on the topic are probably increased that much.

Does that mean education makes people experts? No, and I sympathyize with the arguement that it doesn't. However, I become frustrated at those who just stick their nose up at education, simply because it's education.

"No one,repeat NO ONE, knows how anything will play out in life. We draw on experience, gets as many facts as possible,trust our instincts and pray for the best outcome."

If it didn't deal with a war, I would probably agree with this statement. However, evidence seems to show that the experienced intellegence agents were the ones most warning against making sweeping statements against Iraq like Bush did. However, it appears many of them remained silent or were silenced from fear of retribution, whether that fear was rational or not.

"It amazes me how many people are trying to use what we know now, to argue that President Bush was wrong in his decisions, based on information that we would never have had, had we not invaded Iraq so that we had to access to get it."

For some people its 20/20, but for others, whats we now know about Iraq matches up almost completely with what they were saying we went in, namely that we had no real evidence that he had WMDs, at least not publicly. As I've stated many times, I gave him the benefit of the doubt thinking that surely he had some private evidence that showed otherwise, because, again, I sympathyize with the arguement that the president has much better information than I. However, it seems that what was made public was essentially the evidence they had, and if thats so, I would have to say that they should have known better.

"I temper that pain with the realization that another 1,000,000 Iraqis might have died under Sadaam's regime had we done nothing."

I hate to tempt the claims of "you hate the troops" that liberals hear more often, but, if the number done by one study showing that 100,000 Iraqi's have died is correct, we're killing Iraqi's at 5 times the rate Saddam is.

Every source I've seen says that Saddam killed about 10,000 citizens a year. Now obviously thats not good, but 50,000 a year by either us or the insurgents obviously isn't better, and the fact that the war has possibly cost as many lives in 2 years as Saddam killed in 10 just doesn't seem like progress, no matter how bad Saddam was.

Will Iraq be better now that Saddam is gone? Yes, presuming the democracy gets off the ground like we hope it will. However, once again, most liberals will ask if its worth the cost in American lives.

"I am fully aware, that Sadaam and Bin Laden weren't bed buddies, but I also know that there is great honor among thieves and they all help each other out, when it suits their needs - and they really don't give a damn how many people die in the process."

Yes, but it's highly unlikely that Saddam would have given bin laden weapons, weapons which bin laden would have just as likely used back against Saddam than he would have used against us.

One thing to understand about Saddam was his utter obsession with the security of his power. One reason why he made WMDs, and seemed to pretend to have them long after he got rid of them was his paranoia that everyone inside and outside the nation the nation was going to try to overthrow him if he showed weakness. I think one failure of the war planning and the whole Saddam-terrorist connection talk was failing to take the nature of Saddam into consideration. They did take it into consideration, but they only took "he's a bad guy who hates america" into consideration, but not his motivations.

I'm the type of person who thinks the best way you can understand what someone is like, and what things they'll do is to understand their motivations.
------------------
"Tell me how you knew we were never in imminent danger from Saddam?"

First, I think the burden of proof should be on those who believe that we are in immenent danger.

"How did you know Saddam would never sell/give terrorist WMD to use against us?"

As I described above, Saddam was obsessed with his own security. He wasn't going to do something what would cause his own demise. Even if he had wished a terrorist organization to bomb New York, he full well knows that he'd be the first on the target list had it happened.

Second, as I stated above, bin laden would probably be just as likely to hit saddam with WMDs as he was to hit us. For his own security's sake, Saddam wouldn't want to give bin laden WMDs.

"Why was the Left so willing to believe Saddam and not the international intelligence agencies?"

It wasn't a matter of believing Saddam. It was a matter of Bush being like "he has WMDs all over the place, so we have to go to war!" So when we asked "ok wheres the evidence" we essentially got "well...he had them before...so obviously he would make them again"

Second, had Bush been willing to let the inspectors do their work, I think most liberals would have been open to whatever conclusions they came up with, one way or another. However, towards the end, Blix was essentially saying that there was little or no evidence supporting the claim that there were weapons.

"What would Saddam have done after sanctions were lifted?"

Well, hopefully they wouldn't be lifted, at least I wouldn't hope so. I'm not sure what other liberals thought. Some perhaps wanted them so, others probably wouldn't. However, the belief seemed to be that the sanctions weren't stopping Saddam from making weapons, so what difference would it have made on WMDs had they been lifted if one indeed believed that?

"Why did Charles Deufler and the Iraqi Survey Group get it so wrong?"

Their report was based on the assumption of what Saddam would do, not necessarily what Saddam would actually do. Not that you could pin that down 100% anyway, but from what I know about the report, and I'll admit that I don't know about all of it, the conclusions would have been more one of inconclusiveness.

"Why didn’t the Left consider Iraq a rogue nation?"

I think they did. They just dont see that fact alone as a reason to invade.

"Do you believe there are rogue nations?"

Yes, and North Korea as the most prominent one. In fact, North Korea is where most Dems think the attention should have been all along. Thats a nation which all evidence suggests that they have nukes, with a leader who actually is not only evil, but unstable as well. However, most Dems think that just ignoring them and being like "do what we want or else" isn't the way to go about doing things.

"Why doesn’t the Left get outraged over mass graves?"

We're saddened by it. However, its not major shock. We knew Saddam was evil. What we get angry about is when people are like "see, were justified in going in now because of these." In 700 years of tradition of the nation-state, the internal dealings of a nation, even if it consists of murdering their own citizens, has never been seen as a legitimate arguement for war.

"Why does the Left consider the insurgents “freedom fighters”?"

I wouldn't necessarily call them "freedom fighters" and I don't recall seeing any liberal calling them that. However, I think the point that the left is trying to make is that, if this were a civil war somewhere else in which the US was not involved, the US would see them anywhere from "freedom fighters" to at worst just "rebels."

I think liberals tend to make the claim that the only reason why we use a term with an automatically negative connocation to it is that, well, they're fighting us and not some ambiguous other nation out in the world somewhere.

"What freedoms are they fighting for?"

It proably depends on the person. It could range from wanting to bring Saddam back into power, to just wanting the US out, to wanting to establish their own particular form of government.

"Do you know absolutely Iran is not developing nuclear weapons?"

But, but just like with Iraq, I think the issue is irrelevant because they're not insane enough to use them against us. If they did, Iran would become a glowing ball of radiation for the next 1000 years and they know it.

"Do you know absolutely Iran is developing nuclear weapons?"

Again, no.

"Do you know absolutely if Iran had nuclear weapons it wouldn’t sell/give them to terrorist to use against us?"

It may not be "absolutely" but I would tend to think that i'd have a better chance at winning the lottery than Iran, at least it's current leadership, being stupid enough to launch a nuke at us.

In fact, if I had to worry about a group of people giving nukes to terrorists, it would be the popularly elected government of Pakistan (which has minimal power now that the US allowed Mushariff to make himself a virtual dictator. Not that I disagree with that policy, but it's just contrary to their "spreading democracy" talk).

"How do you know for sure the war in Iraq was wrong?"

Unless some fact at some point comes around that makes me want to change my mind, here is why:

1. Iraqi Democracy or saving Iraqi's is not a legitimate arguement for war. As I've already stated, in 700 years of nation-state tradition, it never has been.

2. Knowing what we knew we knew (does that make sense?) at the time of the war, the decision should never have been made to go to war.

3. Even had Saddam had a weapon, the arguement was all based on the idea that Saddam could have theoretically given terrorists weapons, irregardless of how probable it was that he'd do so. If you can justify a war over what is theoretically possible in the ambiguous future, nearly any war can be justified, and thats a prescident that liberals think shouldn't be set.

"You talk about “proportion”. Was the war in Iraq wrong for 25 million Iraqis?"

The question for the US shouldn't be "was it right or wrong for 25 million Iraqis" but "was it right or wrong for 300 million Americans" since that is the President's and the military's absolute #1 priority.

What has the United State gained against what we have lost? (1500 lives, 10000 wounded, international respect, a better chance of catching bin laden).

"Why does the Left begrudge Iraqis living in a free democratic society?"

We dont. We just dont think it justifies the war.

"Why does the Left believe our soldiers died in vain for a free Iraq?"

If you mean "in vain" to be absolutely no good income, then no, they haven't died in vain.

If you mean it to mean the bad has outweighed the good, then yes because, well, the bad has outweighed the good, at least for the US.

"What is the Left’s moral obligation to the Iraqi people?"

Speaking from today, in my opinion its to work for a democratic Iraq since we're already there and there isn't much we can do about that.

"Should we apologize for sending our sons and daughters to die for them?"

Not necessarily to the Iraqis, but perhaps we should apologize to the troops and their families for sending them.

"Why is the Left so afraid of Christianity?"

I wouldn't say they are. What they get frustrated with is the need that some on the religious right seem to have to make their religious views the one view.

Just today Frist said he's going to be part of a meeting of religious leaders. Their banner says that people "shouldn't have to choose between public service and faith in christ" not faith or religion, but "faith in christ." Though this message sounds tamer than it actually is, considering this group not only wants Christians to serve the public (which they already do anyway), but they essentially want to make it so that only Christians become public servents, and not just Christians, but their brand of Christianity willing to impose fundamentalist law on the nation. That is what liberals are afraid of.

Secular doesn't mean anti-religion. Believe me, if liberals were somehow anti-religion or anti-Christian they'd know it. However, most of the "your religion is wrong" or similar type talk that I hear come from christian conservative leaders, not the left.

I'd say that the majority, if not vast majority, of liberals are Christian. The difference is their views of how religion and government and public life should mix. Most liberal christians think that there should essentially be no relation between religion and government...that religion is a purely private matter which the government shouldn't be trying to promote or deter. "If you don't like whats on a particular tv channel or in a particular movie, then dont watch it or make your own" is typically the attitude. In short, why shouldn't I (theoretically) be able to watch gore and violence just because some religious conservative guy doesn't want to accidentally stop on that station for 5 seconds on their way to PAX? And if they don't want their kids to watch it, then either monitor what your kids watch, or raise them so they wont watch it. Forcing religion down people's throats shouldn't be a substitute to parenting. Anyway I'll stop myself from going off on too much of a tangent there.

"P.S. In a couple of days I’ll receive Tim Schilke’s book, “Growing up Red”. Never have I been more anxious to read a book. I intend to critique his book one chapter at a time."

I haven't read it myself. I want to buy it whenever I get my next paycheck, presuming I can afford it after I pay tuition. It looks interesting since, while my parents were liberal and his were conservative, we both grew up in very red areas, and I'm interested to see what his experiences were.

Ah well, another long post. I think I'm on my way to writing my own book here. lol.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh- Could I possibly inquire into your source of reference materials? It will help me to better understand your point of view-

I missed an important point in my last post and that was to respond to -"We are sick of an education system that is dumming down our population."-

Err...?"

You wouldn't have the "life experience" to understand this Josh, because you have no life experience to compare it to. You
only have the current educational system to compare to.

Sallyann and many of us do have the life experience to make that assessment. We survived being educated in the post WWII baby boom and have raised children who were educated in todays' educational system.

We may have been kids, but we understood the behavioral expectations our parents, our peers and society had for us, and the consequences of not meeting those expectations.

Those expectations weren't meant to limit our abilities or freedoms-they were meant to establish a reasonable level of courtesy and respect that everyone could live within, and when everyone worked together to reinforce those expectations, we all understood.

We actually knew how to read and write (without the assistance of a word processor spell-checking us) and do math without the assistance of a calculator.

Few of today's high school graduates have the skills to step into college level work without taking remedial classes to prepare. I know this because I was a supplemental instructor and tutor when I returned to college. I know this because 2 of my children have been educated in New York State schools. I know this because I research educational statistics, and by research I mean looking at materials that present both liberal and conservative views.

The state of education in this country is appalling. Teachers are spending more time training to be social workers than teachers. They are being driven by how much they have to cover and not allowed to meaningfully teach, so that our children can learn the basic concepts.

The liberals, in their zeal to make sure that individual rights outshine all else, have imposed their warped, amoral ideologies on this country, and in the process have cast aside the basic tenets that define us and our standards. those ideologies are dictating educational standards in this country.

How can young children learn when there is no sense of order, no sense of discipline and children fear (even in rural America) that their lives may be in danger?

Our society is fast becoming Sodom and Gomorrah (forgive the biblical reference, I know it is offensive to some liberals), preparing to implode. Forgive those of us who are parents and would like to make sure our children have a decent world to grow up in.

Our children have grown up in a society that has no clear standards for behavior and that obvious lack of clarity presents itself in every facet of our lives. Schools are dangerous places, children are commiting suicide at an alarming rate, they can't build jails fast enough to house the criminals and everyone is running in circles, because they have no clear sense of purpose, no sense of self-discipline and certainly no clear sense of right and wrong.

I am not trying to "convert" you Josh- I just want to open your eyes a bit wider, so you take in all the facts, not just those that fit your current mindset. It is very easy to convince yourself that you are right, if you only surround yourself with people and facts that support your mindset. Real learning only takes place when you dare to venture into that realm of darkness on the other side of every viewpoint and do so with the intent to truly learn from the experience.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Josh said...

"The liberals, in their zeal to make sure that individual rights outshine all else"

Thats because they pretty much do

"have imposed their warped, amoral ideologies on this country, and in the process have cast aside the basic tenets that define us and our standards. those ideologies are dictating educational standards in this country."

I find it interesting that you see "personal liberties" as a "warped, amoral ideologiy" or at the very least insinuated that it was.

I'm not sure what you mean by "the basic tenets that define us and our standards." If its what I think it is (essentially what your morals and proper behavior should be), thats something which, yes, should be reinforced in schools, but is primarily meant to be taught at home.

"How can young children learn when there is no sense of order, no sense of discipline and children fear (even in rural America) that their lives may be in danger?"

Last time I checked, liberals weren't the ones telling everyone that people might launch anthrax at their home at any time. In any case, discipline is a matter more belonging to the family than the school. Should a school have some dicipline? Yes, but its a matter of whats supposed to be done through parenting and whats supposed to be done through school.

"Our society is fast becoming Sodom and Gomorrah (forgive the biblical reference, I know it is offensive to some liberals)"

Only if you're running around trying to smack us with it telling us we're going to hell if we don't convert to your own personal brand of Christianity.

"preparing to implode. Forgive those of us who are parents and would like to make sure our children have a decent world to grow up in."

Again, parenting. Education are meant to teach that X type people exist, here is what they're like and these are their motivations. School isn't there to be like "now be nice little children and remember to stay straight, christian, and conservative."

"Our children have grown up in a society that has no clear standards for behavior"

A person's behavior is personal rather than societal in nature. If a person feels compelled to act a certain way because "everyone else is doing it" than I see that as a parenting problem. I never did anything because "everyone else was doing it" because I was raised to be strong willed and independent enough to be my own person, irregardless of what others were doing.

"Schools are dangerous places, children are commiting suicide at an alarming rate"

Again, the importance of winning or being the best than just learning, a phenomenon, by the way, embodied by more conservatives than liberals. Also caused by bullying, which, also by the way, the typicall "its just boys bieng boys" comes more from conservatives than liberals as well.

"they can't build jails fast enough to house the criminals"

This is more of a matter of locking someone up who has 2 ounces of drugs for 10 years instead of attempting to rehabilitate them, but thats a topic for another day.

"everyone is running in circles, because they have no clear sense of purpose"

Parenting!

"no sense of self-discipline"

Parenting!

"and certainly no clear sense of right and wrong."

PARENTING!

"I just want to open your eyes a bit wider, so you take in all the facts, not just those that fit your current mindset."

It's a matter of the proper role of each institution...whether its school, parenting, or whatever else. Liberals don't want the tv to be a babysitter anymore than anyone else, but the reason why its become that way is mainly due to guess what? a cut-throat conservative economic policy that requires that both parents work to...maybe...make ends meet.

Many people on the right seem to have an attitude that educating about = putting a stamp of approval on.

Teaching about a certain group is just that, teaching about them. It is expected that each person can make up their own decision about it. If they can't, then is that the problem of the schools or of the parents? From my own personal experience, that is something that schools, because of their very nature, can't teach.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Sallyann asked: "Tell me how you knew we were never in imminent danger from Saddam?"

Josh said: First, I think the burden of proof should be on those who believe that we are in immenent danger.

"How did you know Saddam would never sell/give terrorist WMD to use against us?"

As I described above, Saddam was obsessed with his own security. He wasn't going to do something what would cause his own demise. Even if he had wished a terrorist organization to bomb New York, he full well knows that he'd be the first on the target list had it happened.

Second, as I stated above, bin laden would probably be just as likely to hit saddam with WMDs as he was to hit us. For his own security's sake, Saddam wouldn't want to give bin laden WMDs.

Sallyann said: I agree Saddam was obsessed with his own security, to the degree he built a monolithic underground bomb shelter four football fields long, complete with “decomtamination chambers for WMD” after the Gulf War. His paranoia of being assasinated by his own people was legendary. He went to great “deceptive lengths” to conceal his whereabouts night and day even from his own cabinent.

But your operative comment is: “ Even if he had wished a terrorist organization to bomb New York, he full well knows that he'd be the first on the target list had it happened.”
For me and most conservatives, you have hit the nail on the head. The instant that second plane flew into the second Tower we knew it was a terrorist act, and we immediately began to form a “perp list”. Who were the most likely to attack the US in this way? We also factored that the attack had to be an act of revenge.
Three suspects were immediately mentioned at my kitchen table the morning of the attacks:
1.) Saddam was the first on the list because the US had humiliated/defeated him during the Gulf War. Saddam had already committed acts of aggression that went beyond the pale of reason. His gassing of the Kurds under the noses of a “civilized” world was a clue that he could committ heinous acts without fear of retribution. His subsequent invasion of Kuwait was another clue that he had “balls the size of watermelons.” His bloody put down of the Shia rebellion was another clue that Saddam’s “mental capacity” bordered on insanity. Eyewitness reports after the failed rebellion stated that Saddam’s tanks could not move in the streets because the dead bodies were piled so high. Saddam continually defied UN inspections and 17 UN Resolutions. No reasonable person I know would eliminate Saddam from the “perp list”.
2.) Second on the list was al Qaeda or another extreme Islamic terrorist group. Prior to 9/11 their acts of terror had been like “gnats biting the leg on an elephant.” No one I knew, including the world, believed they could carry off such a large attack. But they remained on the perp list.
3.) Our own nutcases: They didn’t stay on the perp list for long. As soon as we learned that the Pentagon had been hit and the plane downed in Pennsylvania, thwarted by the passengers we knew the odds were slim that it was our own nutcases. Not impossible, just unlikely.

Fast forward to the dawn of the Iraq War: By then we knew the US had Arab enemies willing to cause great acts of terror that resulted in mass casualities. 9/11 was the proof. We also knew that al Qaeda planned to use WMD in future attacks against the US. Who’s the first person that jumped into reasonable clear thinking people’s mind when they heard this? Was it Kim Jong Ill? Not hardly. He only surfaced as a potential threat after the invasion of Iraq. Was it the head mullah of Iran? Never heard his name mentioned, but Iran has never been discounted as a source of WMD for al Qaeda. Who was the prime suspect? Who was obsessed with WMD? For ten years the United Nations and the US demanded that Saddam PROVE he had destroyed all of his WMD. Year after year UN Resolutions were passed that demanded he “fully”comply. He never did. President Clinton was on the same page as George Bush distrusting Saddam.

Saddam Hussein was the ‘Master of WMD’. He developed them and he had used them on his own people and the Iranians. It wasn’t much of a stretch to believe that he could sell a vile of anthrax or any of the countless other mass casualty poisons he had in his arsenal to a member of an exteme Islamic terrorist group. He had already established a “pattern of insane/criminal behavior”. No one believed he dared invade Iran or Kuwait or gas his own people, but he did. That is a matter of record. And anyone who believed Saddam was not capable of partnering with al Qaeda to bring the US down had their head up their ass. Saddam was a loose canon, the kind of leader that no intelligent person entrusted with our national security should ever trust. Saddam was like a Level 3 child molester who lived next door, and metaphorically speaking 9/11 was the child that came up missing.

You were right:
“ Even if he had wished a terrorist organization to bomb New York, he full well knows that he'd be the first on the target list had it happened.”

Deducing that Saddam was a threat was nothing more than using basic police investigation techniques. Saddam was the prime suspect to be the “most likely to give al-Qaeda the WMD they desired to cause mass casualties in the US. “ The evidence against Saddam was circumstantial. But then Scott Peterson was convicted on mostly, if not all, circumstantial evidence. Scott was convicted on “his pattern of behavior.” Scott didn’t think he’d get caught either. Neither did John Evander Couey. Who in their right mind would remove Saddam Hussein from any perp list?

The issue of WMD should be put to rest as an excuse/argument against the war. And the Left should stop treating Saddam as if he were a “redeemable human being. He wasn’t. He was a monster. And you my friend are as much of a monster as he for making excuses for him and defending him and pretending to know that you knew how Saddam would react in any given situation. The record states otherwise. Saddam was full of evil surprises. It’s very clear how the Left feels about American nationalism even after 3000 Americans lie dead in their graves. Even knowing we will get hit again. Your mindset is the same that allows a John Evander Couey to walk free because he was redeemable enough to live amongst us. Liberals trust when everything tells them they shouldn’t. That is the “fatal flaw” in their ideology. They can’t identify evil. Moral relativism has killed their ability. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. You chose to condemn an administration who took action to rid the world of a despot so evil I can’t even wrap my brain around it. Even to this day after all the heinous acts he and his sons committed are known to the world, the Left still takes Saddam’s side. Still consider him a leader of a sovereign nation, an equal to Tony Blair, George Bush, Chirac etc. You can’t look me square in the eye and convince me you are a Patriot. None of your “facts” or assumptions hold water. Saddam Hussein was a lying, rotten, evil, murderous, duplicitious son of a bitch, yet that’s what the Left accuses George Bush of being. How in the hell am I supposed to take the Left seriously?!!!!!!!

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

I had written a response, but I've decided to re-write it in order for it to not be a book.

The facts are this: Democrats don't even need to say "Iraq" "Saddam" or "WMDs" to make an arguement against Bush.

This is all we need:
1. President Z makes allegation X against country Y

2. President Z puts out evidence in an attempt to support X

3. Evidence for X seems to be weak, but President Z may have better, secret information.

4. President Z attacks country Y, citing that X could be used sometime, somewhere.

5. We find out that Y didn't have X after all, and we also find that there wasn't good evidence to ever definitively say that they did.

6. As a result, in doing #4, President Z has violated nearly 700 years of international tradition.

7. Group V criticize President Z for #6, as well as the fact that because of #5, he and/or his subordinates should have known better.

That essentially consists of all the relevant information. Plug in any president for Z, any nation for Y, and any accusation for X and it still works. In this case, the answers were "Bush" "Iraq" and "WMDs".

The situation is a little more complex than that, but thats the general idea. Y could have been France and X could have been "amzing flying nuclear monkeys" and it still would have been the same.

This is on top of the fact that 1500 soildiers have died and 10000 more are wounded. Even though that isn't the main reason we attack Bush over it, it does gives us more reason to do so.

Also, try this out:

Is Action A ultimately good or bad for the United States.

Positives of Action A:
1) An evil guy is gone
2) another nation may have a democracy

Negatives of Action A:
1) 1500 americans dead.
2) At least 10,000 Americans wounded.
3) United State's international respect completely trashed
4) Price of oil skyrockets
5) Value of dollar plummets
6) The place may go to hell and become a terrorist factory before a democracy can even be created, if it ever is.

Now, in the world of "everything is black and white" and "being right" is all that matters, the positives may very well outweigh the negatives. However, since I live in the reality-based community, I dont see it that way.

The point? Since I don't want to live in a world that is an utterly insane place to live, where rationality had died and everything is done simply it's "right", I have chosen the path of rationality, even if that rationality keeps someone like Saddam in power.

You have bought into the lines spouted by Limbaugh and Hannity if you think liberals have anything but disgust towards Saddam. However, our personal feelings for Saddam are not and should not be an excuse for war.

The arguement that Saddam could have at some ambiguous future date done something to someone isn't legitimate because you can say that about anybody. Thats why we have a burden of proof, and why that burden always lays on the person taking action.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

And let me clarify my last post a little bit, before you try to.

Please don't construe that I live in a "reality-based community" and not the "just because it's right" community, that I would do something that I know isn't right, because it's rational to do so.

The difference is the different definitions of what right and wrong actually are.

On the one hand you have the "black and white" what I called the "just because it's right" group. These are people who take an action "Just because it's right" with no regard to facts, the means, or consequences.

We determine what is right by balancing the ends that are being achieved, the proposed means to deal with them, and the consequences. If, overall, more bad than good comes of it, then we wouldn't see it as "right" to take those actions, even if that action were to topple a evil dictator like Saddam. The ends isn't the only measure that we use to determine rightness.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh Says: 2. President Z puts out evidence in an attempt to support X

3. Evidence for X seems to be weak, but President Z may have better, secret information

First, Josh, you are making an assumption that Bush was "putting out" information, not relying on it. As you are certainly not in a position to know President Bush's motivations (I don't get the impression you are one of his close buddies), your reliance on "liberal spin" and assumptions is your first mistake.

As I recall, Josh, our elected governing body seemed to feel that the evidence that existed throughout the entire international intelligence community, at the time we decided to go to war, supported doing so. If you wish to have the real facts, which includes the Intelligence Committee hearings, you might review the discussions that lead to the President being authorized.

Try reviewing the facts that existed, at the time, before trying to irrationalize the decisions that were made based on that information, by using information that came out of hindsight.

Like mathematical equations, you won't get the right answer, if you don't enter the right information in the formula.

By the way, I would expect a graduate student to have a better grasp of the english language. Argument is spelled without an "e"-(arguement). Not trying to be a smart ass, just trying to help you learn, so you can appear more intellectual-which seems to be your goal here.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, Josh, its warrant, not warrent

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Sallann said...

Josh: Please clarify-

6. As a result, in doing #4, President Z has violated nearly 700 years of international tradition.

I'll be back tonight to "hammer" your response.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been too busy to respond before now, but didn't want you to feel you had gotten the last word- with that said--

“The liberals, in their zeal to make sure that individual rights outshine all else" Josh says:”Thats because they pretty much do”
and…"I find it interesting that you see "personal liberties" as a "warped, amoral ideologiy" or at the very least insinuated that it was”.

Your analysis of my statements was, at best, unfortunate. I never said or insinuated that “personal liberties” were warped, amoral ideologiy”(copied this from your post- I know that ideology doesn't have an i before the y - Just wanted to clarify that).

The fact is that everyone who chooses to exist within a community, has a personal responsibility to exercise their “personal rights” without destroying or imposing on the rights of everyone else. If they do impose, then society must have a structure (judicial and legislative bodies) that can effectively deal with the anti-social behaviors. Community used to mean something when I was growing up- we took care of each other and interacted as an extended family. Now, thanks to the liberal mindset that has plagued our country since my generation took up the anti-war movement, we have a myriad of social progr

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh said: "On the one hand you have the "black and white" what I called the "just because it's right" group. These are people who take an action "Just because it's right" with no regard to facts, the means, or consequences.

We determine what is right by balancing the ends that are being achieved, the proposed means to deal with them, and the consequences. If, overall, more bad than good comes of it, then we wouldn't see it as "right" to take those actions, even if that action were to topple a evil dictator like Saddam. The ends isn't the only measure that we use to determine rightness. "

What are you trying to say? The reality, Josh , is that "doing the right thing" is always the right thing to do". Must be the Enron and Tyco folks are as Liberal minded as you, because I think they justified their actions to themselves by using that same means of measuring whether or not their actions were right for them. We aren't talking about whether or not to undertake a business venture or buy a new car- we are talking about life and death.

There are soldiers who have died fighting in this war, and you know what? They knew they were doing the right thing. There are Iraqis who went out to vote, knowing they could easily be killed by a suicide bomber, because they knew IN THEIR HEART that it was the right thing to do. They didn't sit around with formulas and graphs and itellectuals and discuss the matter. They did what they knew was the right thimg to do. For themselves, for their children, for their country.

Do you realize how irrational that argument sounds? That is exactly what is wrong with society, with our government. Too many Americans don't possess the drive, the initiative or the courage to do the "real" right thing. They find ways to minimize and marginalize moral rightness and find some acceptable rightism, that doesn't require too much of our effort or time, to take its place.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Josh: Liberals do not have a clearly defined “moral code” in which they live by. For thirty years they have skewed the lines of good and evil. To them every event, every personal action is “relative” like Michael Moore referring to the insurgents as freedom fighters instead of “terrorist”. The phenomena, of skewing good and evil, had its roots in a metaphysical movement that started the 70’s that was called the “New Age” movement.

It was in part based on the theory of “reincarnation.” If someone stole from you that simply meant that you had stolen from that person in a previous life. If you were murdered by your husband that meant you had murdered him in a previous life. If you found yourself living under the tyranny of an abusive mate that meant you had been the abuser in a past life. If you are living a poverty stricken life now, that meant you were a rich person in a previous life who scorned the poor. If you were a racist in a past life, you would be reborn as a Black person. Reincarnation was considered the ultimate cosmic “justice” because you literally “walked in another’s shoes and experienced exactly what you had done to him/her.” If you believed in reincarnation, and many did, it was the first step towards practicing “moral relativism.”

A student/believer of the New Age philosophy could look at any “negative” global event or personal situation and “justify” the actions by referring to the laws of reincarnation. Millions of people, nationally and internationally followed New Age philosophies that became deeply rooted in their belief systems. Up until that time most people followed moral codes based on Christian principles. But there was a movement to rid the psyche of Christian principles. Every “evil” in the world, racism, war, genocide, cultural terrorism, personal destruction was blamed on Christian dogma. The “Hippie” generation was on a mission to overturn social, political, cultural and theocratic “establishments.”

Women were oppressed because the Bible said so. Gays and Lesbians were oppressed because the Bible said so. Slaves were allowed because the Bible said so. Children were beaten because the Bible said so. The American Indians were slaughtered because the Bible said so. Women were forced to have babies they didn’t want because the Bible said so. Every war in history was caused by religion. Any perceived “ill” in a global society was blamed on religion. The Hippie generation sought to rid the world of the scourge of religion. The Left continues the fight to this day. Every time the ACLU successfully removes a religious icon from the public square and justifies it by the Constitutional separation of church and state, I know they’re lying. The corruption of the Constitution is just a tool they use to satisfy their deep hatred for Christianity that was born during the New Age Hippie movement. And the hatred is specific to Christianity.

Many who lived through that period began to run head on into “moral dilemmas.” It became increasingly hard to “justify” horrible deviant behavior by sovereign nations and demented individuals: Serial murderers, pedophiles, sovereign nations starving/slaughtering millions of their own people, the “Killing Fields in Cambodia”, the criminally insane who forced innocent shoppers to drink Drano after he robbed a Hi-Fi store. The “perfect” justice of reincarnation wasn’t cutting it anymore because it skewed what was good and what was evil. Knowing cosmic justice would avenge the wrong wasn’t enough.

Eventually metaphysics evolved into “temporal moral relativism.” Many believers in the New Age movement wanted an immediate form of earthly justice without returning to the harsh “black and white” judgments of Christianity. They still needed “reasons” to excuse evil, because there was nothing, and I mean nothing as evil as Christian dogma, so they adopted “moral relativism”. Take Charles Manson as a prime example: Manson was “evil” relative to his childhood. As a child he was shucked around from one foster home to the next. He was wayward because “society had let him down.” The “system” had beat him up psychologically. He wasn’t responsible for his actions. The “establishment” was. Moral relativism could skew the lines between what was good and what was evil. Christian principles could not. To Christians Manson embodied evil. To the Left, the activists of moral relativism, Manson was a “victim” of a Christian society.

The generation that hated Christianity with a passion found a way to stay outside its “evil” grasp over mankind and pave the way for a new “progressive morality”. It was brilliant and very effective. By the 80’s moral relativism became main stream. The death penalty was defeated in one state after another. Victims of violent crime were ignored. Perpetrators of violent crime were stoutly defended and the “abuse excuse” became the favored defense. The “establishment” was blamed equally as well. That’s why Johnny Cochran could use the “race card” to set O.J. free.

Moral relativism is alive but it’s not doing well today. 9/11 all but killed it for most people in America besides having lived under the consequences of a culture unable to determine what was right or wrong for thirty years. 9/11 was the straw that broke the back of moral relativism.

But I detect a new trend, another evolution of thought to keep the Christian black and white moral code out of the power/influence of Christians by the hangers on from the past. The new trend is to use “arbitrary logic/critical thinking/facts” to argue what is right or wrong, that any Christian president or principle that defines right and wrong be held at bay, indeed, eradicated. The Left is absolutely paranoid that our American culture will be overtaken (again) by Christian principles. Christianity is the real enemy to the Left. Everyone on the Left knew Saddam was evil, but a practicing Christian president was more evil. The Left cannot sanction anything Christian in our culture. To do so threatens their “policies” into potential extinction. The Left has definitely “bumped into many moral dilemmas” during the War on Terror that they can’t reconcile even with moral relativism, but they try. They’re calling Benedict the XVI, John Paul the II’s “Rottweiler” less than 24 hours after he was elected Pope. That’s just wrong, and how easy it was for me to arrive at that judgment.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Sallyann!!

8:03 AM  

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