March 14, 2005

A Letter to Nancy Pelosi

Below is a letter to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi posted by the author in my comments section. I’m promoting it, so to speak, to the main page because it’s way too much fun to leave languishing in obscurity at the tail end of a thread. Don’t miss Rep. Pelosi’s response at the end. (The following has been slightly edited for spelling and punctuation.)

Fri, 11 Mar 2005 23:12:15 -0800 (PST) From: "Warren Windrem"
Subject: Re: Join Me in Welcoming Howard Dean to the DNC!
To: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi"

Dear Rep Pelosi,

If I had to pick one guy who was most responsible for driving me out of the Democratic Party and into the arms of the Republicans, it would be Howard Dean. Welcome him to the DNC? I'd just as soon welcome Noam Chomsky, the late Edward Said, or Ward Churchill, or Juan "Israel is always wrong" Cole, or Leroi What's His Name, former "Poet Laureate of New Jersey" ("The Jews didn't show up for work on 9/11, 'cause they were in on the secret – the CIA/Mossad did it!), or the Middle Eastern Studies Department of Columbia University, or the Chairwoman of the Duke University Middle Eastern Studies Department ("Let's boycott the International Gay Pride Celebration in Tel Aviv – we don't want to give any encouragement to the International Zionist Conspiracy!), or Representative Cynthia McKinney, or her Jew bashing (not just Israeli bashing, but in-your-face Jew bashing) daddy.

Hey, normally, my being a Democrat would be a lead pipe cinch. Pro choice? Check! Pro Gay Marriage? Check! Pro women's rights, whatever that is these days? Check! Do I have a pro-Democratic voting record? Check! (Voted for Jimmy Carter twice, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton twice, and even, God help me, Al Gore.)

But the promiscuous, intellectually and morally slutty Anti-War Movement ("We don't care how bloodthirsty the Palestinian Extremist anti-war speaker is, he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" attitude) has driven me out. Now, Howard Dean probably doesn't share all of the above views, but he certainly has legitimized them, and that makes him totally unacceptable to me.

I turn 57 day after tomorrow. Back in the 50's and 60's I rejected Bull Connor, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, the White Citizen's Council, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other people who murdered Condi Rice's childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing of nineteen sixty something or other. The Civil Rights Movement more than anything else drew me out of my Goldwater Conservative family into the Democratic Party for a generation (at least 35 years, anyway). Too bad the No-Enemies-on-the-Left anti-war crazies are driving me right back to the Republican Party, isn't it?

You want me back? It will take a Sister Soulja speech straight to the black heart of the anti-war left. I suppose Hillary Clinton looks promising that way. She seems to have lowered the shouting on the abortion debate. (Interestingly enough, I personally would have been okay with a take-no-prisoners pro-choice position, but pragmatic compromise there is okay by me.) I do feel sorry for you. As a San Francisco politician you have to take the Neo-Stalinist idiots down at 24th & Mission (A.N.S.W.E.R.), and the disgraceful Medea Benjamin, and that Israel Bashing lady that runs a women's shelter on city funding somewhere in S.F. (no coverage of THAT story in the Comical, I had to read that story in the Baltimore Sun – maybe your dad can send you a clipping) and makes life miserable for Jewish employees and clients…you have to take them seriously. Fortunately, I don't, and I'm free to associate with people who, however much they might disagree with me on Social Security "reform", or taxation policy, or Supreme Court appointments, or reproductive rights, or bankruptcy legislation, at least they share my abhorrence of racism and Israel bashing and Jew bashing.

Yeah, yeah, don't tell me, I know, I know, Dean’s wife and teenaged kids are Jewish, so I shouldn't worry. Do you remember the question some network guy (Tom Brokaw?) asked Michael Dukakis in 1988? "Governor, if some man raped/murdered (I forget which, it was 17 years ago) your wife, what would your reaction be?"

Okay, here's my question for Howard Dean, and all you people who think he's okay: Governor Dean, speaking as the husband of a Jewish spouse and the father of Jewish children, what is your emotional reaction when you see some old line neo-Stalinist geek or some don't-know-any-better young protester carrying a sign that says, "Zionism is Racism", or "Smash the State of Israel"?

When I hear the Democratic party addressing my concerns in that area, we can talk about contributing money, and not one nano-second earlier.

Warren S. Windrem
Oakland, California

P.S. I am ethnically Scotch-Irish/WASP, from a Presbyterian family background, raised in at-that-time predominately liberal Protestant Olympia, Washington (yes, sigh, the home of "Let's burn the Israeli flag" Corrie What's Her Name). I don't belong to ADL, I don't dynamite abortion clinics, if I should ever be so lucky as to be invited to the wedding of a gay or lesbian friend I would be honored to attend (I've lived in the Bay Area since 1976, almost 30 years, and I hold the typical gay tolerant attitudes). I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, Queens, or North Jersey. I'd be happy to see the Israelis abandon most, if not all, the West Bank Settlements (BUT NOT THE WALL – a perfectly legitimate defensive measure against inexcusable murder). If you guys want to insult would-be liberals like me by endorsing Howard Dean, go ahead. Even here in the Bay Area there are more pro-war liberals than you think, even if the Comical, and Medea Benjamin, and Tom Meyer would never admit it.

*

Rep. Nancy Pelosi wrote:

Dear Warren,

On Saturday we elected a great Democrat as the chairman of our Party -- Howard Dean. Governor Dean has used the power of technology, the force of his personality, and the depth of his ideals to energize the grassroots, and bring more people into the political process.

I have seen Howard Dean's campaign strengths firsthand as he traveled across the country for House Democrats -- organizing voters and raising money. I have seen people who have stood in driving rain for hours to hear his message. We all thank Governor Dean for his enthusiasm and support for our candidates.

This is a critical time for our Party.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Governor Dean joins the DCCC's new Chairman Rahm Emanuel as a pair of visionaries who are already working quickly to reform our party and refine our message.

Our new Chairmen need you on board. The 2006 elections have already begun. We need the support of loyal Democrats like you to continue in our fight.

Please renew your support in the DCCC today.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Democrats are shaking up the status quo, reaching outside the Beltway for ideas and direction, and striving to strengthen the bonds with the great citizens of this country. We will restore a government that protects the interests of the people against the massive special interests that would use government to gouge them - rather than the other way around. You want real reform, and we will bring it to you. But we can only do it with your help.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

We will fight together, and together we will prevail!

Sincerely,

Nancy Pelosi
Posted by Michael J. Totten at March 14, 2005 05:53 PM
Comments

PELOSI: Democrats are shaking up the status quo, reaching outside the Beltway for ideas and direction,

hehe! That part cracks me up. They're "shaking up the status quo".

Posted by: Carlos at March 14, 2005 06:12 PM

"It will take a Sister Soulja speech straight to the black heart of the anti-war left."

To cut striaght to the heart of the matter, it isn't just a matter of the "anti-war left" anymore. It's a matter of the "anti-American" left. Because there were plenty of folks from the right who were "anti-Iraq war". Frankly - they are not really the problem. We all know where their sentiments lie. We're dealing with something much bigger here. That bigger something is anti-American/anti-Israel hatred combined. It is undeniable that "transnationalism", in this global age, has pitted the US/Israel against an overwhelming propogandistic (is that a word?) force from Europe (having been "Palestinianized") along with the left in America. Sorry to say - but it appears that even Bush has bought into it to some extent (forcing Israel into apparently suicidal concessions). How does one stand strong against the entire force of the world (that means the UN, the international press, the American democratic party and so on). Warren is spitting into the wind. Does he realize how many Jews are against him? None of it is an accident. Go look up frontpagemag's interviews with Ion Pacepa - head of Romanian intelligence. The West (including Israel) has been the subject of the most virulent propoganda by the KGB for several decades now (much of it channeled through the political left). Now we see the cumulative effects of several decades worth of Saudi money - combined with the anti-semitic/anti-US propoganda coming out of the Muslim ME and the KGB - coming to fruition. No truly democratic society can compete. Propoganda is basically anathema to a democratic society. We see that fact every single day in our papers. Truly democratic societies are forever at a disadvantage on that score. What exactly does it take for truth to overcome lies?

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 06:38 PM

That's a beautiful, heartfelt, impassioned rant from Warren W. If I understand this correctly, the Pelosi letter came first, right, and his letter was a response to it? The reason I ask is that, from my experience, the Pelosi letter could just as easily have come after his, and been a reply to it.

I went through a period of sending outraged letters to various Democratic and media organs (although none of my missives were quite as good as Warren's, to tell the truth), full of the pain of a betrayed lover, saying "O Democratic Party of my youth, how could you?"

One letter that I took particular pains with was a lengthy tome outlining exactly why I, a twenty-one-year member of Amnesty International, could no longer stomach the organization. What did I get back? A form letter thanking me for my support. I sent off another one, angrier than the first, angry at the added injury of having my first letter ignored. What did I receive in reply? A request for money.

After many efforts like that, I simply gave up. They don't want to hear, they don't want to reply, they don't want to face it, they don't want to be challenged, they don't want to think. I can only imagine that they're saying, "So long, don't let the door hit you on your way out." They don't really care if us old ones leave, since they know they'll always be getting a new infusion of fresh young blood to replace us.

Posted by: neo-neocon at March 14, 2005 06:53 PM

Odd. The way that link is interspersed with the text reminds me of the emails I get from Democracy for America.

Posted by: Shawn at March 14, 2005 07:58 PM

Warren,

Any chance on considering that a lot of the rest of the Democratic party's positions are wrong?

Come on, tell me you wouldn't get a kick out of seeing your friends react to the statement that you're pro-life. :)

Posted by: Sydney Carton at March 14, 2005 08:03 PM

Yes, I'd be the first to admit Howard Dean may very well be the last thing we need...that he empowers the anti-war left...that he panders to the worst post-modern elements of a stale and outdated version of liberalism forever stuck in the 1960s. But, hear me out, he might just be a blessing in disguise.

The author says Howard Dean legitimizes a set of views that even he likely doesn't believe in. Well, regardless, the anti-war crowd believes in this guy. Because of him, they feel less marginalized, they go home happy at the end of the day, AND THEY SHUT THE HELL UP ONCE IN A WHILE!

Assume Hillary Clinton continues running to the sane and productive New Dem center. When the primaries come around, do you think the anti-war crowd will be more willing or less to accept such a candidate now that Howard Dean is their chairman? My bet is that, as their crowned king Howard moves to enthusiastically give her his support, so will they. My point is to say, one way or another, the anti-war left has to be dealt with. You can either further enrage and alienate the pacifist left, or you can pacify the pacifists. It's best to pacify the pacifists, and Howard Dean may just be the man to do it.

Democrats: Let's at least give the guy a chance before we absolutely tar and feather him. The fact he's now the chairman means he won't be running for President, again. This is, in no uncertain terms, a very very good thing. Let's see how he does.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 14, 2005 08:06 PM

I'm certainly no fan of Dean, and he's well to my left, but comparing him to the likes of Chomsky, Churchill, and Amiri Baraka is way over the top. I've gotten no indication from anything Dean has ever said or done to indicate that he hates America, hates Isreal, or anything like that.

And let's not pretend there aren't crazy people on the fringes of the GOP either.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at March 14, 2005 08:39 PM

Grant,

Good call. I live in a state whose Democratic governor won by an even larger margin than the 13% that Bush won by here and he's already 3 steps ahead of you. Many on the left would call him a Republican, but he just ignores them and is by consequence hugely popular.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 14, 2005 08:43 PM

what is your emotional reaction when you see some old line neo-Stalinist geek or some don't-know-any-better young protester carrying a sign that says, "Zionism is Racism", or "Smash the State of Israel"?

Profound embarrassment, followed by the realization that even the most stopped of clocks is still right twice a day.

It's like I've said elsewhere on this blog, though -- if you're a one-issue voter, and that issue is invading Iraq, you've got your Party. I haven't the faintest notion of what this has to do with a center-lefty Governor of Vermont, but it sounds like this letter is a whole lot of verbiage around, "I don't agree with the Democratic base that the war was a bad idea, and this issue is more important to me than all the other issues facing America combined, so I'm not going to be a part of a Party which has a person who opposed the war as its Chair." The rest of it is psychological window-dressing and the projection of (for some reason) Kucinich's supporters onto Dean's candidacy.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 14, 2005 08:46 PM

Here's what we see when we see Dean - Howard the Scream. He comes across as feisty, sure - but also unbalanced.

The Democrats need someone who's dull but a good fundraiser. They got someone who will be a fundraiser - for the Republicans.

Dean + Hillary == hundreds of millions for the Republicans.

Posted by: steve miller at March 14, 2005 08:53 PM

Yeah, now that you know not all republicans are scum you may want to question some other stances.

Like social security. There is no money in the trust fund. They spend it and put IOUs (re: bonds) in the account.

The dems official response is 'there is no crisis, economists say it will be solvent for decades'. Translation, twenty years until it needs to start drawing on the bonds and need to draw on the (already in deficit) general fund.

Then there is Medicare... but we need to start somewhere.

Posted by: Thomas at March 14, 2005 09:04 PM

Great points, Grant. You and I agree for the most part (big surprise, right?), but I understand where Warren is coming from at the same time.

Nancy Pelosi, I think, is more of a nut than he is.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 14, 2005 09:26 PM

"Like social security. There is no money in the trust fund. They spend it and put IOUs (re: bonds) in the account."

If that was the issue, there's an easy out for social security. Sell the bonds -- this month -- and buy commercial bonds, and/or british-government bonds, german bonds, japanese bonds, indian bonds, etc.

Commercial bonds give a better return because there's a risk they'll fail and not pay anything. If the government bonds are going to fail why put up with them? And the bonds of other major nations aren't in any danger of failing -- it's just us.

Social security could be out of US bonds in a month if they had permission, and after the one-time hit of selling the things social security would be holding no further risk.

It's the US federal deficit that's the problem. And why do we have that deficit? Because Bush cut taxes and increased spending.

Social security isn't the problem. Bush is the problem.

It follows that letting Bush get rid of social security is not the solution. That's kind of backwards....

Posted by: J Thomas at March 14, 2005 09:33 PM

Thomas,

I've known former democratic voters who, upon seeing the cliff that the rest of their party is willingly leaping over, have reconsidered other issues aside from the war in Iraq. While this hsan't transformed pro-choicers into pro-lifers, it has opened them up to seeing the absolute lunacy of things like political correctness. Questining one thing leads to another. The universities exalt political correctness at the expense of dead white men, and so now a lot of former liberals are rediscovering the wisdom of the ages from these dead white men, all as a counter-reaction resulting from the Iraq war. A lot of conservativism lies in the wisdom of the ages (in fact, that's what it means), so there's hope.

Posted by: Sydney Carton at March 14, 2005 09:44 PM

People are dreaming if they think Hillary will get anywhere. She's disliked by the base, intensely, and can't raise money anymore now that Bill is not in the White House.

Kerry, Dean, and heck even GORE all have the old Internet/Hollywood/Trial Lawyer magic. They can raise tons of money and win the hard-left primaries. Not Hillary.

Dean? He's the candidate of choice (and money) of MoveOn, Daily Kos, the other internet crazies and big money Hollywood/Wall Street types. I would be very surprised if he did NOT run in 08. Particularly if he sensed he could knock off Kerry or Gore. Reagan ran and lost in 76. He ran again and won the nomination and the general election in 80. It can be done if you have the core of the party faithful behind you and right now that's DEAN. Not Hillary. Or even Kerry or Gore.

Howard Dean is not a stupid man, but the bottom line is that he's not even close to being done with Politics and MoveOn put him where he is today. MoveOn is about ten centimeters to the right of ANSWER. So yeah the Lunatics HAVE taken over the asylum. It's like putting Pitchfork Pat Buchanon in charge of the Republican Chair.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at March 14, 2005 10:33 PM

MICHAEL...

Oh, believe me, I too know exactly where Warren is coming from. You know me, man. I'm a Cold War Liberal born 50 years too late, so I definitely sympathize with alot of what he's saying. And, yes, Nancy Pelosi is kinda nutty (not to mention just downright creepy looking).

I'm just saying, maybe the best path to a decent Democratic Party isn't openly beating down the anti-war wing as much as it is giving them the velvet glove. This is a new theory of mine and I'm still not even completely sold on it, but hear me out.

The situation in Iraq is still looking pretty shaky in spots but, though I'd still say the verdict is out on that one, the verdict is definitely not out on the effort to democratize the greater Middle East. Mubarak is caving. Syria is under fire. Lybia is scared shitless. There seems to be a pretty undeniable trend here and you'd have to be a fool not to realize our efforts in Iraq are largely responsible. Yet, the anti-war crowd could care less. They're not going to convert to the cause. Morality is relative, America is imperialist, and Israel is to blame for everything else...they're not going to abandon these beliefs anytime soon, I'm convinced. Not in the face of world events. Not in the face of anything.

If that's the true state of affairs, if the anti-war movement has developed into a faction that's here to stay, then the challenge facing the Democratic Party today lies in how best to go about marginalizing their influence. Howard Dean is still not fully just the anti-war candidate everyone makes him out to be. He was once a centrist governor with the backing of the NRA. If there's any amount of consistency to the guy's past, it's in the fact he has been all too willing to play whatever role he feels is necessary to acheive his goals. Is it too much of a stretch to say that maybe, just maybe, he's assuming a new identity or role within the Party today? That he might just be playing anti-war-hero to those people in an effort to shut them up, in an effort to try and drag them kicking and screaming into supporting a much more mainstream agenda in a way that only he could? When he was running for Party Chairman, a funny thing happened that went largely unnoticed by the media: A surprising number of moderate to conservative Democrats backed his campaign from the get-go. Stop and think this idea of mine over. Given Dean's extremely pragmatic history of chameleon-like identities, is it really all that crazy to assume their might be some merit to this?

Think about it this way: Hillary is moving hard to the Center in a much bigger way than John Kerry ever did (or could, for that matter). If she keeps it up, she'll start alienating the base in a potentially disasterous way. If all hell breaks loose within the Party at some point leading up to 2008 because of it, Howard Dean is the only one who really has the power to keep that leftist fringe in check...and I think Hillary knows it. I could be wrong about this, but who knows? The latest polls have her in a statistical dead-heat when paired up against either Rudy Giuliani or John McCain in a two-man race. She's definitely come a long way.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 14, 2005 10:53 PM

Jim, no offense, but you're way off...

1. Hillary is loved by the base. The nomination is hers to lose.

2. Hillary is every bit as masterful a politician as Bill. Also a hell of a fundraiser.

3. Dean isn't running. Period. He already has a job and it isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

4. Hillary is polling nearly even w/ McCain and Giuliani, and neither one of those guys is getting the Republican nomination. I'd be scared shitless of this if I were you.

5. And, finally, yes she could win the primaries. She's freakin' Hillary Clinton! Who the hell is gonna stop her?

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 14, 2005 11:07 PM

People like my sister (lesbian, on the left) will support Hillary even if she morphs into Margaret Thatcher, because they'll think she's pulling a Trojan horse, in other words faking in order to get past the flyover rubes.

Posted by: miklos rosza at March 14, 2005 11:20 PM

I think I'm going to copy, paste, print and frame in gilt Warren's letter.... And I BELIEVE that Pelosi's letter came second, it's just the kind of dumb s*** things politicians do. I once wrote Clinton a letter calling him on something or other and got back a "thank you for your thoughts, send money here" return kind of letter.... Sheesh, politicians can be awfully dense.

Posted by: GMRoper at March 14, 2005 11:33 PM

Sydney Carton: While this hsan't transformed pro-choicers into pro-lifers, it has opened them up to seeing the absolute lunacy of things like political correctness.

Believe me, Sydney, most people my age have known all along about the absolute lunacy of political correctness. We ran smack into it at college. Almost every one of my friends is a liberal or leftist and hates pc as much as you do. It's a Boomer thing, and a campus/activist thing, and that's it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 15, 2005 12:12 AM

Great letter by Warren; whether in response to Pelosi's or getting Nancy's form letter in response.

The anti-War Left is fueled by a feeling of injustice. The injustice of poverty. Of poverty existing in a country of such wealth. Of poverty existing when so many rich men are getting richer.

Injustice is always the spoken basis in support of violence -- every justice system is based on force. And the violence, justified by the injustice, in reality gets redirected by envy.

Envy is that sinful emotion that wants the destruction of something good which somebody else has. In America, "envy" has been nearly tamed into "admiration" and a desire to emulate, to copy. In Europe, envy leads to destruction. The Left is learning envy the way Europeans know it.

See Bush hate, Jew hate, Success hate

J Thomas says the problem is that Bush cut taxes (he wants to PUNISH the rich!) Nope -- the problem is that rich (home owning) Americans continue to vote for more gov't cash, and the Reps are now porking out as much as the Dems used to.

The Left is not as much "anti-American", as they are "anti-rich capitalists". They are also increasingly becoming anti-Christian. But they haven't yet pushed to cut any gov't boondoggle spending, just the military.

Sorry Michael, liberals who don't hate PC enough to support Bush over PC Kerry should admit that their feelings are only disapproval against PC. The whole Dem campaign was, essentially, PC against Bush. (Was there any Kerry position that wasn't PC? -- that would be an indication I'm wrong.)

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at March 15, 2005 01:03 AM

Grant and Michael -

I come from a Roosevelt Democrat father, a JFK styled liberal and a lot of excellent liberal social studies high school teachers, great teachers, the old style who love America.

However, I get the impression that you guys are actually pulling for Hillary. I'm not.
And thank g-d Bush won the last election.

What's going on in the Middle East, the UN, with China, Russia and Iran and the EU, NATO, the Euro etc... are all at a critical juncture.

The only way you convince me Hillary has any advantage is by saying she could get more concessions from Koffi and the EU due to the 'Clinton' persona, but I don't even buy that now... the lines in the sand have been drawn and fully exposed. The old fantasy days, were just that, a fantasy of naiivete...

The world needs an additional 4 years of Bush foreignesque type policy....
So would I vote for McCain or Rudy, yes..
Would I vote for Hillary, no... just to have to listen to her and the yentas in Hollywood again, would makes me instantly nauseous.

Do I think that stem cell research is being held up? CHECK Am I for Religious right jugde NO but I don't think that's who's been getting approved anyway.
As far as I'm concerned the ACLU is more dangerous than the judge who just wrote a book about the 10 Commandments being taken down.

As long as the radical left is still there, just like Warren I CAN'T/WON'T vote Democratic...

And people like Pelosi, Kennedy and others have no ability or clue as to dealing with the reality of Militant Islam and its gaining strength in the institutions of this country...
Their view is either that of Michael Moore's or simple passivity. AND THAT AIN'T MY VIEW...

COUNT ME REPUBLICAN IN 08.

Mike

Posted by: Mike at March 15, 2005 01:19 AM

So every issue breaks down into only two stances...

PC and anti-PC?

I'd love to hear your take on this, Tom, and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that. I've never thought about it like that before.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 15, 2005 01:23 AM

The democrats are anti-Israel? Give me a break.

And-- I hope poor Warren isn't crying about not getting a hand written response from Pelosi.

Posted by: drydock at March 15, 2005 01:28 AM

Militant Islam gaining strength in the institutions of this country...

Um, what institutions are you talking about? Wanna back that up with something? Seriously, I'm baffled. If anything, the culture in this country is moving in a more secular-liberal direction as it has been for the past 40+ years. I think there's kind of been a nascent Christian conservative backlash to it all as of late, but it's hardly the stuff militant Islamic dreams are made of (hardly as strong a backlash as Osama would prefer I imagine, but then I'd kind of be saying that Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists are fighting on the same side and we wouldn't want that now would we). The moment Pat Robertson comes out in favor of the hijab, do let me know.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 15, 2005 01:36 AM

Sidney Carton,

Well, Sidney, you're right. The Democratic Party position on the war was the opening wedge, and now other ideas are slipping through. If you tell you're girl friend, "Yeah, sure, let's wife swap/swing with Clyde and Josephine," don't be surprised if your girl friend starts taking Clyde more seriously than you'd like.
If you had told me in the year 2000 that within three years I would be taking out a subscription to The Weekly Standard, and looking forward to getting it in the mail every week, I'd have said you were crazy. The National Review's $75 subscription is a little pricey for me right now, but I do read their online edition religiously. I don't agree with a lot of their ideas, but I'm definitely more open to them than I would otherwise have been.
And who's to say that the Democrats agree with the pre 9/11 me anymore?
1. Gay rights-never mind gay marriage, lets just talk about gay acceptance and tolerance-Okay Mathew what-his-name gets murdered in Wyoming by some punks. Except for that over the edge "clergyman" from Wichita, do you know of ANY even extremists in the USA who are okay with murdering gays? of course not.
Israel is light years ahead of the Arab Middle East regards, let's seek concensus here, gay acceptance and tolerance. They have an annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, and an out of the closet gay on the Tel Aviv city council, for cryin' out loud. Do the over the edge lefties even say, "Look, I acknowledge that Israel is light years ahead of the rest of the Middle East in terms of Gay rights, and I'm always going to to hold that in their favor, but still, their actions in the West Bank enrage me" (They don't enrage me, but this is a position I could respect) Nope! It's, "We've got to smash them Fascist lowlifes". Scoring brownie points with the Cult of the Third World Boys With Kalashnikovs trumps gay rights. Now THAT is enough to drive a man to the subscription department of the Weekly Standard.
If you want, I could spend a couple of hours looking for a link to an article in
The Front Page Magazine about a conference held at Duke University by some pro-Palestinian group WHICH BANNED ANY PRESS COVERAGE. A Front Page guy snuck in. One of their positions was to boycott the next Gay Pride festival in Tel Aviv. Yep, when the needs and the agenda of the Gay Rights Movement conflict with the needs of THE CULT OF THE THIRD WORLD BOYS WITH KALASHNIKOVS, The needs of the third world boys with Kalashnikovs wins out. The Liberal mainstream reaction is, "Ho Hum."
2. Women's Issues. 30 honor killings a year in Jordan and the West Bank. 3 honor killings a year in Pakistan. Never mind the exotic, first world only tempest in a teapot brouhahas over being admitted to Augusta National Golf Club, or giving Susan Estrich a column in the L A Times. Honor killings seem pretty fundamental and basic to me. I'll keep this on a level that won't offend any conservatives or Republicans here. And of course, there's always UN peacekeepers raping Congolese teenagers and Rudy Lubbers-a "trusted right hand assistant" of Kofi Annan's sexually harassing at least 20 or so UN woman bureaucrats-five years ago, this issue wouldn't have gotten any publicity at all. It's getting traction only because Kofi is now vulnerable.
In short, you don't have to be Republican to be disgusted with current P.C. Give me a break, guys-can't I be alowed to have a problem with P C, even if I do have liberal tendencies?

The Original Warren

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 15, 2005 01:56 AM

Hehe...

Warren, you're a Cold War Liberal if there ever was one. Nice to make your acquaintance. Welcome to the fold!

PS- Abandon the Party if you must. It's not my personal choice, but I can't say I blame you most the time. The neo-conservative Republicans are now the ones pursuing an unabashedly liberal foreign policy and I wish them all the best. If they would only dump the Christian Right for a far more liberal stance on social issues and morph into fiscally responsible neo-Keynesians somehow, I could become a Republican too!

PPS- Ever read the New Republic? You should.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 15, 2005 02:12 AM

Grant,

Actually, I've been reading New Republic for years. I love it! I'm a subscriber to their internet edition, and next time I get a loose $40 or so, I'll re-subscribe to their print edition-I had hit a financial rough spot and had to let the print subscription lapse, but I still have my internet edition priveledges.
Republicans & Democrats: Having Arnold Schwartzenegger around has really changed things around here. I was against the Grey Davis recall, but now I see it was the best thing that ever happened to California. I haven't regestered as a Republican, I'm still registered as a Democrat (how else would Nancy Pelosi have reached me?). It's nice to know that, hopefully, if this anti-gerrymandering initiative gets through, you won't have to be Bruce Hirschensohn or Bob Dornan to get anywhere in the Republican Party. Whenever there's an open primary ballot initiative, I ALWAYS vote for it. I can't say I'm holding my breath for another Tom Campbell or Pete McCloskey, but IT'S NOT UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE NOW!

The Original Warren

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 15, 2005 02:48 AM

Correction:

That should have read "3 honor killings A DAY in Pakistan", not "3 honor killings a year" in Pakistan.
I'm not advocating a Quitotic invasion of Pakistan-to be pragmatic, we have to put up with them, but I'll be damned if I'll go along with throwing a country that's light years ahead of its neighbors in terms of (concensus building here) gay safety, and women's safety and right to participate in society over the edge just to please THE CULT OF THE THIRD WORLD BOYS WITH KALASHNIKOVS and their PC blinded apologists.

The Original Warren

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 15, 2005 03:03 AM

Grant, help me out here. Suggest some political issues that you think are NOT PC vs non-PC.

Abortion (the BIGGEST one): PC - YES! NARAL has never seen an abortion they don't totally support! Yet Hillary is making noises to staunch the flow of pro-life Catholics towards the Reps. At still 48%, when the Catholic vote drops to 30% the Dems lose lose lose. The Pope is pro-life, anti-war. (funny how quiet are Hitler's Pope critics, who thought the WW II Pope wasn't anti-Hitler enough, when today's Pope is also not so anti-Saddam.)

School Vouchers: PC - NO; even if it means poor black kids read better, the ONLY solution is more gov't money for gov't schools, like in 72; in 76; in 80; in 84 ... more gov't for ONLY gov't schools, 88; 92; more gov't for more gov't; 96; 2000. (When will blacks want results?)

Gay Marriage: PC - yes. Forget children, fudge AIDS (aren't those with AIDS victims? of being infected? by "criminals" who infected them?), FORCE society and Christians to fully accept the gay lifestyle, and anybody calling it sinful will be guilty of Hate Speech and sent to jail. (This is NOT NOT NOT imposing any morals. It's NOT. Because we say it's NOT. We are the PC who say NOT.)

Gov't Spending: PC - yes, to almost every program.

Military Spending: PC - no, to almost every program.

One not quite PC issue is immigration. It's about to be, illegal immigration: PC -- ok, with "they shouldn't be here," but any attempt to deport them is opposed.

Operation Iraqi Freedom: PC - no! (That's almost what Michaels' whole blog is about)

As it exporting democracy bbecomes "successful", perhaps after 2006, I expect the Dems to almost totally switch, and become very pro-democracy. Big military. BIG. Big enough to impose PC thinking on dictatorships that aren't PC enough.

If you can tell me a non-PC issue, I'll be interested.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at March 15, 2005 03:04 AM

Grant McEntire: "Because of him, they feel less marginalized, they go home happy at the end of the day, AND THEY SHUT THE HELL UP ONCE IN A WHILE!"

And: "That he might just be playing anti-war-hero to those people in an effort to shut them up, in an effort to try and drag them kicking and screaming into supporting a much more mainstream agenda in a way that only he could?"

Michael: "Great points, Grant. You and I agree for the most part"

I have to disagree with Grant and your agreement with him, Michael. The idea that the antiwar/antiAmerican left gets more silent when appeased is unsupported by the evidence. Have the Kossacks gotten more or less vitriolic since Dean was chosen as DNC chair? Did MoveOn get more or less shrill as it became mainstreamed to the party?

Appeasement does not work. It emboldens.

Or maybe we should give Zarqawi what he wants in Iraq, and that will get him to stop...

Posted by: Gerry at March 15, 2005 04:01 AM

Hillary Clinton will pick up votes from the left, except for the moonbats, for the simple reason that she can win! The House is gerrymandered into near submission. After 2010 and a new census (not to mention changing some Democratically gerrymandered states in the south) there could easily be almost enough guaranteed Rep seats as to end most debates.
The Senate Dems have a tougher row to hoe in 2006. Lots of Dems running in Red States. Santorum and Snowe about the only Reps in similar straits.
Therefore, if the Dems are to have much influence at all they need to win the Presidency and the moonbats will make it very tough. So any who retain sanity will want someone in the center.
Many on the left retain their positions because the press covers for them. If the stupidity of many of their positions was trumpeted, they might well lose. But it's covered.
I knew three of the Swiftboat vets. They hated Kerry not for what he did when he was with them (although they snicker about the medals)- they say he did his job then. They hate him because he went around the country accusing them of committing war crimes (none of which he talked about when he ran for President). Actually, he was a useless Senator, had been Lieutentant-Governor of Massachusetts before then. His accomplishments were more like "Alfie"'s from the movies. He married rich women and looked good. Yet the media preferred him.
The more bloggers look at things; the more issues are exposed, the better for the anti-moonbats. Remember how the media told us about how bad the Iraqi elections would go? They don't mention how wrong they all were.
Many of the moonbats were ardent defenders of the communists. No one ever calls them on that. They were wrong, so wrong, for years. And they're doing it again.
As for Israel, note that these same people who talk about "justice" for Arabs had no problem with Saddam killing them off, or the Syrians, or just about anyone. These people are not focused on Arab victims but Jewish actions.
Warren: I've found the simplest thing to do with those particular people is to ask what they really think we should do? And then I follow up on their B.S. answer, "So we should follow in the footsteps of Adolph Hitler?" If they protest, I ask what the difference would be if Arabs do the killing or Germans. I have heard a few answers but none that wins the hearts and minds of rational beings.

Posted by: Scaramouche at March 15, 2005 04:43 AM

At 1:19 AM a blatently anti-semetic posting was made. It remains up while I type this. Does Michael Totten support anti-semites in his comment section?

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 05:14 AM

Nice try. Warren's screed is straight outta Linda lovelace's book. Try to portray yourself as one of them, spurned, but someone who was as warren claims, if for the war, cd probably use better reasons than "promiscuous, intellectually and morally slutty Anti-War Movement".
David Horowitz would be proud. Of course, this means that there were probably no solid moorings to begin with.
Warren- if what you say is true, and you're not just shilling ala Lovelace, why don't you drop the Dems and Reps and actually go find a party that stands on principles.
I am very much anti-war, but revile the PC Left, too. But the Right is living in utter fantasy land, and you see as much posted on sites like this.
Not all 3rd Parties are filled with wackos, and its ping-pongers like you that allow the Dems and Reps their death grip on politics. Free up, my man. It's liberating!

Posted by: Dan Schneider at March 15, 2005 05:44 AM

No question about it.

Howard Dean's election to chairman of the DNC has to be the work of Karl Rove. How else can you possibly explain it?

Posted by: Steve at March 15, 2005 05:55 AM

Grant McEntire:

"Militant Islam gaining strength in the institutions of this country..."

Um, what institutions are you talking about? Wanna back that up with something?"

How about this?

Saudi Fifth Column

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 06:15 AM

And how about this?

spreading Islam in public schools

And this is what happens to journalists who try to trace the Saudi money:

The Saudi buck stops here

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 06:39 AM

Anyone who compares Dean to Chomsky, Said and Churchill is not even worth engaging in a serious debate. This man is just happily ranting away rather than actually learning anything about Dean.

That said, Pelosi's response is pretty embarassing.

Posted by: Vanya at March 15, 2005 06:44 AM

Why is it so hip these days to attack Christians while ignoring all other religions? Is it because Christians are easy targets much like the Jews?

I mean it is perfectly acceptable for Muslim school children to pray five times a day while in public schools yet school children are banned from uttering the word God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

I thank God the voting box is private. At least the Christian haters cannot attack there.

I thought this country was founded on the right to FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!!!!

Yet, it is turning into a country which is dictating freedom FROM religion which is the first step towards erecting a totalitarian state.

Posted by: syn at March 15, 2005 06:53 AM

And as I stated further up the thread - the US and Israel have also been subjected to massive Soviet propoganda over the years, as pointed out in this article:

The Terror War

From the article, a quote by Ion Pacepa - former head of Romanian intelligence:

"History always repeats itself, and if you can live two lives, you have an even greater chance of seeing that repetition with your own eyes. During the last six years of my other life, as a Romanian intelligence general, the main task of the Soviet bloc espionage community was to transform Yasser Arafat’s war against Israel and its main supporter, the United States, into an armed doctrine of the whole Islamic world. America was our main enemy, and a billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on it than could a mere one million. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep. Our task was to convert its historical hatred of the Jews into a new hatred of the United States, by portraying this land of freedom as an “imperial Zionist country” financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious “Council of the Elders of Zion,” the Kremlin’s epithet for the US Congress.

According to KGB theorists, the Islamic world was a petri dish in which we could nurture a virulent strain of America-hate. Islamic cultures had a taste for nationalism, jingoism and victimology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch. Terrorism and violence against America would flow naturally from their religious fervor. We had only to keep repeating, over and over, that the United States was a “Zionist country” bankrolled by rich Jews. Islam was obsessed with preventing the infidel’s occupation of its territory, and it would be highly receptive to our dogma that American imperialism wanted to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom.

Before I left Romania for good, in 1978, the Soviet bloc intelligence community flooded the Islamic world with Arabic translations of an old Russian, forged, anti-Semitic tract entitled Protocols of the Elders of Zion, along with “documentary” materials, also in Arabic, “proving” that the United States was a Zionist country governed by Jewish money, whose aim was to extend its domination over the rest of the world. We also infiltrated the Islamic world with thousands of Soviet bloc Islamic citizens recruited as intelligence agents and tasked to implant there a rabid, demented hatred for American Zionism. They were to portray everybody and everything in America as being subordinated to Jewish interests: the leaders, the government, the political parties, the most prominent personalities—and even American history. Most of these agents were religious servants, engineers, medical doctors or teachers, and they had excellent credibility.

Although we now live in an age of technology, we still do not have an instrument that can scientifically measure the results of a sustained influence operation. Nevertheless, it is safe to presume that over the course of the further twenty-plus years—until the Soviet Union buckled—the combination between spreading hundreds of thousands of Protocols within the Islamic world and portraying the United States there as a criminal Zionist instrument should have left some trace. The hijacked airplane was launched into the world of contemporary terrorism by the KGB and its puppet Yasser Arafat, and it is significant that this became the weapon of choice for September 11, 2001."

Put the Soviet propoganda together with the Saudi propoganda and I'd say we have a pretty good explanation as to how the American (and European) political left has come to be so virulently anti-American and anti-Israeli. There are other ingredients that would have to be added to the mix - the notion that America's affluence is directly CAUSALLY responsible for the 3rd world's poverty, the guilt attendant upon that assumption which breeds a self-hatred and so on. All of which makes the west quite susceptible to a massive rewriting of history which is currently underway in our schools (and is blatantly applied to Israel). One would have to be nearly blind not to see how it all comes together as a prescription for western suicide. Of course the press is utterly complicit in it all. The bottom line is that the west is to be dragged down to the lowest common (global) denominator.

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 06:58 AM

Great letter, but I'm confused by this part:

"Back in the 50's and 60's I rejected Bull Connor, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, the White Citizen's Council, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other people who murdered Condi Rice's childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing of nineteen sixty something or other. The Civil Rights Movement more than anything else drew me out of my Goldwater Conservative family into the Democratic Party for a generation (at least 35 years, anyway)."

George Wallace and Bull Conner were Southern Democrats. The KKK had been (for all that time) a pro-southern democrat organization. How is it that the bad behavior of democrats caused you to switch from republican to democrat?

Please note: this is not about which party is more pro civil rights NOW. I'm asking about then. I was born in the early 60s, so I don't remember this era. I don't understand how this would cause you to become a democrat.

Posted by: Lee Willis at March 15, 2005 07:02 AM

Whatever... Warren's a dumbass, as well as all the other people lamenting about Dean. I'm from Georgia and I can tell you Dean drew a lot of his support from disaffected republicans who looked at his record in Vermont and the words coming out of his mouth. You may not like it but he drew from the center, and from the edges of republican support. What other primary candidate did that? Lieberman? Puhhleeze. I like him just fine but he wasn't drawing crap for support.

People think the hard left supports Dean because of his anti-war stance. I think that's an over simplification that the right would like for you to believe. Most of the people I know who supported Dean (myself included) were much more interested in in his candor and no b.s. attitude.

Not everyone against the war was a Democrat either(gasp).

Posted by: Bill at March 15, 2005 07:05 AM

Grant — I'm skeptical that Dean can drag his far-left supporters back to the center to support a MOR Hillary. And if he did, it would catastrophic for her run. Imagine the "look who supports Hillary NOW" ads the opposition would — and should — run...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at March 15, 2005 07:09 AM

I think the writer of the letter is completely mistaken in confusing Dean with the anti-American and anti-Israel left. I have never found Dean either of the above. And considering the mess that we are in in Iraq, with no good options, I think Dean had a lot of foresight in his opposition to the Iraq war.

As for Pelosi's letter, it is disgraceful. It is just a bunch of blah, blah, and never addresses the concerns of the first letter.

Posted by: miriam at March 15, 2005 07:19 AM

Lee, assuming you're actually asking as opposed to grandstanding, which I think is true, in the election of 1948, the process (which was all but wrapped up in 1964) of the parties aligning themselves on opposite sides of the race issue began.

In 1948 a group of racist Democrats, led by Strom Thurmond broke from the Hurbert Humprhy ticket due to an anti-segregation speech he gave. They founded the States Rights Party, and split the Democrats. The party quickly folded. In 1964, hyperconservative Barry Goldwater, had appeal to the racist elements of the country due to his voicing his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the anti-racist party prior to 1948 was clearly the republicans, there was an ideological shift that came somewhere between 1948 and 1964, when Strom Thurmond official switched to the Republican Party. Other notable members of the States Rights party, and their later affiliation were Byrd(D) and Helms(R-).

Somewhere in the 1970s (I would argue late, if not into the 1980s or 1990s even, but it's debatable), the sides again became unclear (Republicans would argue that the Democrats are reverse racists for supporting what they would call racial prefrences, Democrats would argue the converse.)

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 07:21 AM

Tom Grey wrote, "J Thomas says the problem is that Bush cut taxes (he wants to PUNISH the rich!) Nope -- the problem is that rich (home owning) Americans continue to vote for more gov't cash, and the Reps are now porking out as much as the Dems used to."

Sure, the republican congress is doling out the pork even more than before, though I don't see an organised home-owners' movement coercing them into it. I think we might have something more like what japan got into, after the stock market bubble there was no place to turn to create the illusion of prosperity but the housing market. People can figure their houses are worth a lot of money -- provided they don't try to cash in.

And the social security thing might give us another stock market bubble which could give the illusion of a couple more years' prosperity.

In short -- nothing really new except the expensive foreign policy.

We desperately need a reform movement and we can't get one for four years. And it will probably have to be a republican reform movement, the democrats don't look like they're up to the job.

At this point I'd gladly chuck the democrats and republicans and let the libertarians and the greens figure out how to horse-trade with each other. What we have now isn't working.

Posted by: J Thomas at March 15, 2005 07:23 AM

Why is it so hip these days to attack Christians while ignoring all other religions? Is it because Christians are easy targets much like the Jews?

Because Libs believe it's courageous to attack Christians, even though there is zero risk of consequences.

Christians aren't going to issue a fatwah on them, christians aren't going to hunt down a Lib and saw off his head like happenned to that family in NJ.

Plus, we know that when a Lib attacks a christian, he's attacking the white redneck variety of christianity, and white folks are fair game to Libs. Also, christianity is considered Western, and that's fair game too.

Other religions, like islam, are non-western and "brown", and therefore sacred and protected. It's that simple. Libs aren't that nuanced once you figure our their formula.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 07:25 AM

Syn: "Why is it so hip these days to attack Christians while ignoring all other religions? Is it because Christians are easy targets much like the Jews?"

Read it and weep...

America's secret madrasses

Is it the political right in this country that is responsible for this? Why do I doubt that? Regarding the issue of how much the left-right dichotomy in politics these days has to do with PC? It has EVERYTHING to do with PC and multiculturalism. The entire left of the political spectrum (and sadly G Bush himself with his "Islam is peace" mantra) is implicated. of course, if one supposes that there is no difference between Islam and Christianity, if one supposes that Islam represented a great era in human history (instead of being a parasite that sucked its non-Islamic cultural hosts dry) - then there is nothing to worry about. But as long as one thinks there is something to worry about, as long as one rejects cultural relativism based on misappropriated western guilt - one will steer as far away from the left of the political spectrum as is humanly possible in the foreseeable future. And that means not being intimidated by secularists who try to imply that Christianity in the US is as frightening as Islam. (witness the spate of post-election editorials fretting about "Jesusland"). These days, noone frightens me more than the ACLU.

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 07:43 AM

Carlos: "Other religions, like islam, are non-western and "brown", and therefore sacred and protected. It's that simple. Libs aren't that nuanced once you figure our their formula."

Ain't that the truth. The question is - how did this happen?

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 07:46 AM

FC,

Thanks for the clarification. It makes more sense now.

Lee

Posted by: Lee Willis at March 15, 2005 07:47 AM

The funny thing about Dean is that he began to sound a lot more electable (for want of a better word) once he'd quit his campaign? Not quite the moonbat he had been projecting?

But no matter what Dean says or does himself, clearly it will be the kind of personal, heartfelt response so eloquently returned by Ms. Pelosi to "Dear Warren" that will save the Democratic party in future?

Posted by: Fcb at March 15, 2005 08:17 AM

That Frontpage article, and the BS it links to are a demonstration that some fundamentialist Christians in America want their children to remain ignorant. Islam exists, and studying it is not wrong.

That the district made a few mistakes in the study thereof does not make the studying wrong. From the primary source they point to: "Why do you think the Arabs and others in Southwest Asia would have been attracted to Islam? Explain your reason. Pg 64"
"This is nothing short of brainwashing!"

Also:
"Christians are not to seek knowledge of other gods"

This is who you trust to give you your news about educational practices? Not me. Stop reading Frontpagemag, it lies to you.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 08:22 AM

Islam exists, and studying it is not wrong.

FC,

the issue is not whether fundie christians want to remain ignorant, the issue is how Leftists in public education are selectively promoting one religion over another. The Leftist agenda is the issue here, not fundie parents.

Christian symbols are systematically being removed from the most unlikely places because it "offends" Leftists, yet FC defends the teaching of islam because it "exists"? Dumb and disingenous.

Christianity most certainly exists, does it not? And yet far from teaching it (because "it exists"), you would seek to extinguish it from our memories. Is it not the ACLU which has sued to remove a tiny christian symbol from the L.A. county seal because it's "establishment of religion"? Is it not a Leftist who sued to have a WWI memorial removed because it contained a cross? The list goes on and on and on. Does christianity not "exist"? Only Islam "exists"?

Get your goddam story straight.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 08:43 AM

From the post: ...yes, sigh, the home of "Let's burn the Israeli flag" Corrie What's Her Name

Rachel Corrie burned an American flag, not an Israeli one. Reportedly, she was given one to burn, but she did not want to burn it as it contained a religious symbol, and it wasn't her flag.

Yes, I know, probably makes no difference to anyone, just wanted to set the record staight.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 09:00 AM

Everything carlos said plus to FC:

And does this education regarding Islam explain who precisely Muhammed was? Does it explain that he ordered the beheading of hundreds of Jews? Ordered the chopping off of various human appengages? Does it explain that he financed the militant spread of his "religion" by robbing caravans? Does it explain the he married a 6 year old girl and had sex with her when she was 9 years old and also had numerous other wives? Does it explain "taqiyyah"? Does it explain "jihad" and the concept of abrogation of earlier (peaceful) islamic verses by later (violent) ones?

Somehow I very much doubt it FC or Islam would be widely recognized for what it is - the bullshit ravings of a violent lunatic. And THAT is what would be taught in our schools if they were at all interested in EDUCATION rather than PC multiculturalist bullshit. There's no doubt FC that you are more clever than me by half. But cleverness ain't all. I'll settle anyday for the simple perception of an uneducated peasant who can spot lies a mile away. What the hell is all this expensive western education for if it merely leads to so much intellectual masturbation that people are incapable of seeing what is staring them in their effing faces?

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 09:01 AM

Christian symbols are systematically being removed from the most unlikely places because it "offends" Leftists, yet FC defends the teaching of islam because it "exists"? Dumb and disingenous.

I know what you mean. I've been trying to get some Satanist symbology on our city's seal, and people keep objecting. Bigots.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 09:05 AM

I may get flamed for this... if so, please direct them to my email and don't clog up MJT's board.

---
Syn: "Why is it so hip these days to attack Christians while ignoring all other religions? Is it because Christians are easy targets much like the Jews?"

Based on my perception of the situation, I would advance the idea that sombunal democrats/left-wing/liberal/statist type people seem to be semi-religious, non-religious or somewhat anti-religious. Let us say that perhaps they have a greater number of lassie-faire christians and many agnostics, pagans and athiests. While in the past several years, sombunal Right/Conservative/Republican groups have seen a marked increase in active Christians, including some very loud evangelicals.

Now, if we consider the possibility that some individuals who are not particularly religious, or at least not christian, have been made uncomfortable over the years by a minority of loud extremists, it might be easier to understand their dislike of the faith.

Many people got turned off by the Democrats because they are now seen as associated with the extremist anti-war left. Sombunal non-christians get turned off by Christians because they are associated with the people who are screaming in front of abortion clinics, weeping and gnashing their teeth over a statue of some old tablets, publicly damning gays, fornicators and anyone else who doesn't conform to their perception of what is right (much like the anti-war left screams in front of Statehouses, weeps and gnashes their teeth over the destruction of some mosque that was being used by rebels as cover, and publicly damns all pro-war, pro-bush, pro-isreali people).

I think that since Christianity is THE religion in the States, it's THE religion that non-religious people tend to identify as opressive. Sombunal Democrats realize that Islam extremism is just as dangerous as Christian extremism, or any extremism (and currently much more dangerous than our dear evangelicals here at home).

However, for many people, the potential horror of Islam is thousands of miles away. The constant push by the Religious Right, most particluarly the evangelicals, is what they see every day.

For many people, its easier to hate and fear the extremists who are in your face daily, as opposed to the dangerous shadowy extremists who have never directly affected your life.

For me, I think that people should be religious if they want, and people should be non-religious if they want. If Christians want to evangelize, I say let 'em... Eris knows I spent 20 years knocking on doors, talking to people about the Bible and I think that every American has that right.

Now, here's the kicker, there were many times that I had doors slammed in my face or loud angry fat men telling me that I should be put on a slow boat to china (and sunk half-way) because I wouldn't join the millitary. You want to talk hate? How about being six years old and having your pregnant mother shoved off of a porch by a 'good christian woman'? Or perhaps you'd prefer to have dogs set loose on you by the Lay minister of the local Lutheran church? Not your cup of tea? How about seeing an old farmer with a corn cutter beating on the windshield of your car, telling you that he won't have a nice day and how he'd love to get you out of that car. Ever been shot at because of your religion? How about tarred, feathered and tossed off of a tressel, by a mob? How about raped? I've experienced, or were close friends with people who experienced all of those things, right here in the States, most to me and the last two to close friends of mine who were JW's during WWII).

Why do people hate Christians? I dunno, why do so many Christians hate Jehovah's Wittnesses?

The answer may simply be, Human beings seem to be prone toward hating people who don't agree with their view of reality.

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord
Muncher of The ChaoAcorn
Chatterer of The Words of Eris
POEE of The Great Googlie Mooglie Cabal

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 09:07 AM

As the token raving moonbat leftist socialist here, can I just pop a strawman and say I have no problems with Christians? Among my close fiends, I count evangelical Christians, Catholics, and Jehovah Witnesses. I don't hate Christians, nor do I know any leftists who do.

I do, however, hate people who shove a Bible in my face, infringe on my freedoms because of their beliefs, or, most despicably, try to affect the beliefs of children in schools. Those dicks can kiss my ass. But that feeling isn't restricted to Christians.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 09:16 AM

Me: Among my close fiends, I count evangelical Christians, Catholics, and Jehovah Witnesses.

That should be "friends". My close fiends have different beliefs.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 09:18 AM

Yeah, I'm not convinced that Islam is entirely evil. Wahhabism? Yeah, no doubt and I'd like to see that sect wiped from the face of the earth. But I'd like to think that some Muslims use their brains and reject any notions of preteen marriage, violence, and Sharia.

Let's be honest...is there any difference between those on the Left who would criticize and condemn Christianity and those on the Right who would criticize and condemn Islam? Both religions have their fundies and both have their sensible adherents as well.

Posted by: Shawn at March 15, 2005 09:21 AM

Tosk: "Ever been shot at because of your religion? How about tarred, feathered and tossed off of a tressel, by a mob? How about raped? I've experienced, or were close friends with people who experienced all of those things, right here in the States, most to me and the last two to close friends of mine who were JW's during WWII"

Tosk - I can't imagine why you think you'd be "flamed" for your post. Everything you list above is abominal! There's no doubt about it - and no doubt also that Christian intolerance in the west has historically fueled many leftist/secularist anti-Christian sentiments.

But Hell how I wish that was all we westerners had to deal with any more! We western liberals could all join together and fight the good fight against homophobia and all the rest of the archaic bits of our historic Christian past. Man - would I love to go back to the simplicity of those times!

But what is wrong with people? Where is the sense of PROPORTION? Why don't westerners - LIBERAL westerners especially - see the vast difference between even moderate Islam (let alone Islamic fundamentalism!) as it actually exists and is practiced in the world today - compared to Christian fundies in the west? This is sheer lunacy isn't it? This moral and even practical equivalence? What don't people get here? Especially the educated? (that includes our MSM, our institutions of higher learning etc). Count on your hand the number of abortion doctors who have been blown up in the west. Throw in Matthew Shepherd to up the ante. But open your newspaper every single damn day of the week to see what is happening in the name of Islam. Again - where is the sense of PROPORTION?

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 09:32 AM

Caroline- EXACTLY!! Thanks for your rational plea for proportion. Last time I looked, conservative Christians don't advocate killing nonbelievers, denying educations to their female members or lopping hands off of petty thieves.

A nonbeliever myself, I live in a cul-de-sac surrounded by radical Catholics. I have a misplaced sense of feeling, dare I say, SAFE!

Posted by: craig at March 15, 2005 09:45 AM

Shawn: "Let's be honest...is there any difference between those on the Left who would criticize and condemn Christianity and those on the Right who would criticize and condemn Islam? Both religions have their fundies and both have their sensible adherents as well."

Yes - a vast vast difference. I am practically tearing my hair out that modern western "intellectual" liberals are apparently incapable of seeing what that difference is.

In other words, anyone who takes it upon themselves to criticize current western Christianity for its CURRENT abominations OUGHT to be downright APOPLECTIC in comparison - about Islam.

Anyone who can't figure that out has IMO - wasted big big bucks on their education. The damned diploma is worthless.

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 09:49 AM

What the heck does 'sombunal' mean?

Posted by: PCR at March 15, 2005 09:58 AM

Warren W.

Re: Dukakis '88. That was Bernie Shaw of CNN not Tom Brokaw.

Posted by: Another Mike at March 15, 2005 10:01 AM

"most despicably, try to affect the beliefs of children in schools."

Actually, a great deal of the PC resistance from all quarters comes from this very concern. Let's consider for a moment who it is that controls the schools in our country. Sure ain't the fundies.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 15, 2005 10:01 AM

Carlos, the issue that I intend to address is fundie christians choosing to remain ignorant. As such, that is the issue. That is what the genesis of the "conflict" over the Californa school is, as demonstrated by the primary sources linked to by the paranoid article that was linked to.

I would not support the display of islamic symbols of faith the same why I do not support the display of of xtian symbols of faith in public places. As such, your entire argument is straw.

I do support the teaching of Xtianity as history and sociology in our public schools, as does the ACLU. I know you have a hard time distinguisihng between Bible Study and studying the Bible, but there is one. The second is a valid educational study, the first is religion, and thus not the domain of our public schools.

Carloine - propaganda has no place in our schools the same way it has no place on this comment thread. As such, I decline to respond to your ravings. Islam is not the "bullshit ravings of a violent lunatic." Anyone who would attempt to pigeonhole centuries, if not millenia of religion and culture into those particular six words should look to their own house, for it needs cleaning.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 10:04 AM

I've gotten no indication from anything Dean has ever said or done to indicate that he hates America, hates Isreal, or anything like that.

He's certainly indicated he hates half of America: "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for."

And let's not pretend there aren't crazy people on the fringes of the GOP either.

Fringes, yes. RNC chair? No.

Posted by: Achillea at March 15, 2005 10:07 AM

Let's be honest...is there any difference between those on the Left who would criticize and condemn Christianity and those on the Right who would criticize and condemn Islam?

One difference is those on the right at least make no bones about being bigoted. Those on the left try to whitewash it with claims of 'tolerance' and 'diversity.'

Note: I'm not defending either position. A bigot is a bigot is a bigot.

Posted by: Achillea at March 15, 2005 10:10 AM

Caroline,

Well, in my opinion, based on the the way I understand humans, I'd guess the answer to your questions is programming. Every one of us are programmed to some extent, its what causes us to react in particular ways to some stimuli (what's commonly known as "pushing my buttons"). People who are religious are programmed with whatever beliefs their religion teaches. People who are anti-religious have their own programming as well. Asking why some non-christians are still busy hating Christians, may be as simple as "they're following their programming". Programming in this sense doesn't necessarily mean brainwashing, it seems more about having a preset view of reality and trying to fit everything into that reality. It's the Aristotlean influence of "is and is not" as the only two options:

"Christianity IS full of people who hate me"
therefore
"Christianity IS bad"
"Islam IS NOT Christianity"
therefore
"Islam IS NOT bad"

It's a lot like:

"Democrats ARE full of Traitors and Moonbats"
therefore
"Democrats ARE bad"
"Crazy Religious Moonbats ARE NOT Democrats"
therefore
"Crazy Religious Moonbats ARE NOT bad."

This is the way that many Western brains seem to think. They appear to want to live is a simplistic duality, where everything can be pigeonholed into specific slots. This neuro-linguistic fallacy, I think, contributes dramatically to the narrow minded focus of any extremist. It also seems to seriously modify the thought process of less extreme individuals.

I have, of late, been trying to make more use of E-Prime, which is an attempt to remove all forms of the verb "to be" from written english. For me, this seems to clarify my observations.

For example:

In plain old down home English:

"Islam is a religion of hate."

In E-Prime:

"Islam appears as a religion of hate, when observing sects like the Wahabbis."

English:

"Democrats are moonbats."

E-Prime:

"Since Democrats seem to tolerate extreme groups, they seem to be moonbats to me."

English:

"Christians are bigots and fanatics."

E-Prime:

"Based on my experiences, I think that some Christians act like bigots and fanatics in some situations."

This makes it much more difficult to 'hate', if you consider that your perceptions are just that, perceptions of experiences.

Sadly, the 'is/is not' mentality seems to be easy and sombunal Americans seem to be too lazy to improve their thinking.

Ratatosk

PS -None of this is aimed at anyone, just an academic discussion of "Why the Left hates Christians"

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 10:17 AM

What the heck does 'sombunal' mean?

Whoops sorry:

Sombunal is a shortened form of "Some, but not all". It's used to clarify that one can never speak for any group as a whole.

"All Christians want to see homosexuals jailed" is obviously false. Saying "Sombunal Christians want to see homosexuals jailed" is more correct.

Saying "Sombunal Muslims want to see the sdestruction of the West", allows for the large majority of Muslims who don't appear to want the west destroyed at all.

:)

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 10:25 AM

Dear Warren,

your original letter was from-the-heart wonderful. Don't be seduced by Hillary's current dodge right--her words and actions as First Lady-in-Chief show her true colors, her radical-left blue blood.

The only agenda of Democrats (through 1-perpetuation of the welfare state; 2-deference to same-minded foreign powers on US security matters; 3-raising taxes to create expensive, big-government entitlement programs (see item 1); 4-use the race card and fear campaigns to intimidate for votes; etc.) is simply to (re)gain power at the expense of all else, and for only power's sake. They have no constructive thoughts and have been consistently on the wrong side of History on every major issue facing us today.

The GOP's tent is a very big one, I think you'd find... after all, Bloomberg is a "Republican" too (not that this is a good thing, either). Shall I send with this a hearty Welcome to you?!?

Posted by: The MaryHunter at March 15, 2005 10:26 AM

"Carloine - propaganda has no place in our schools the same way it has no place on this comment thread. As such, I decline to respond to your ravings. Islam is not the "bullshit ravings of a violent lunatic." Anyone who would attempt to pigeonhole centuries, if not millenia of religion and culture into those particular six words should look to their own house, for it needs cleaning."

Factcheck - you're suffering from a serious case of PC. I recommend you see a doctor.

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 10:27 AM

I've read the various and sundry reasons for abandoning the Democratic Party. At times the conversation drifts, but stays very interesting. I would like to add my own reasons for abandoning the Party.

Yes, PC has everything to do with it. However, PC has been bastardized to fit anyone's and everyone's definition.

My reasons?

I'm not happy that so many liberals and their representatives think I must be notified when my daughter wants a piercing, but not when she seeks an abortion.

I don't want some ultra-lefty politician telling me I have to put a "safety lock" on my gun. I have it for protection. It does me no good if I have to ask the burglar to wait while I unlock my gun.

I'm tired of those who shout, "Free speech!" when they want to bash America, but wish to silence those of us who say, "Aw, shutup."

I'm tired of the politicians on the left who scream about voter fraud and then vote against reform.

I'm tired of the politicians on the left who finally admit that Social Security needs fixing but think things should be business-as-usual by simply raising taxes. As long as they have their own, separate retirement plan, what do they really care?

I'm tired of lefty politicians going to bat for one disgruntled parent and allowing them to make policy for an entire school district because someone said "God" on campus.

I'm tired of the left who wants to take individual responsibility for our own lives away from us and hand those decisions over to government.

No matter what anyone says, we are not all equal. Some of us are smarter, stronger and wiser. No amount of "building up one's self esteem" without them earning it will solve any problems.

I'm tired of the dumbing down of America. We are not a one-size-fits-all country.

The far left tinks we have to keep striving left to be truly democratic. How far do we have to go to be a democracy? How far do we go before we aren't a democracy at all, simply a chaotic free for all?

"...But think for a moment what it means to say that there can be no other form of democracy than secular democracy. Does democracy need a burgeoning billion-dollar pornography industry to be truly democratic? Does it need an abortion rate in the tens of millions? Does it need high levels of marriage breakdown, with the growing rates of family dysfunction that come with them? Does democracy (as in Holland's case) need legalised euthanasia, extending to children under the age of 12? Does democracy need assisted reproductive technology (such as IVF) and embryonic stem cell research? Does democracy really need these things? What would democracy look like if you took some of these things out of the picture? Would it cease to be democracy? Or would it actually become more democratic?" -Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

No, I'm not a religious nut. I'm against bankruptcy reform under the present conditions, I'm cautiously pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and I think we can do more to help our elderly and children. But, I damn sure know the difference between right and wrong.

Being a democrat doesn't mean one is democratic. Being a republican doesn't mean one wants to oppress and exploit.

These days it looks to be the other way around.

Yes, I'm bitter. My party was hijacked by the Democratic Underground, Markos Zuniga, George Soros, flip-flop Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Babs Boxer, etc.

Sure, Dean's not a bad guy. He just hates, HATES "the Republicans and everything they stand for". "This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

Great way to get people to support your party?

Posted by: Oyster at March 15, 2005 10:34 AM

Caroline, responding to someone with a one word retort is a little childish, don't you think?

Oyster, people like you frusterate me. You know that every single one of your expressed policy positions is in line with the Democratic party, but you take the Fox News caricuture of the Democrats and believe it to be true. Why do you listen to people who lie to you? Why do you believe them? The Democratic party does a better job of explaining itself than it's enemies do. Why do you listen to the people who don't believe what you believe in?

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 10:45 AM

And considering the mess that we are in in Iraq, with no good options, I think Dean had a lot of foresight in his opposition to the Iraq war--Miriam

Fish, Allow Me To Introduce Barrel

I have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps your other insights into 'political'reality are likely equally dubious .
Dean = YARGHHHHHHH !!! End of story.Forever.

-------------------------------------------------
English:
"Democrats are moonbats."
E-Prime:
"Since Democrats seem to tolerate extreme groups, they seem to be moonbats to me."

--Tosk

I am confused.While the former statement is clearly 'extremist',and is also clearly incorrect in that not all Democrats can possibly be moonbats(at this moment in time anyway),the 'nuanced'version you prefer says precisely nothing really.All show and no go.While the former statement actually answers(even if too assertively)the implied questions,your version provides no useful objective information at all.
A.Do Democrats 'tolerate'extremist groups or not?
B.If yes,does this,in itself,make them 'moonbats'?If not,what does it make them?
I am all in favour of reasoned discourse but not at the expense of 'conclusions'and 'values'.If there is no reality apart from what 'seems'to be reality only to the observer,what basis do we have for doing anything at all?This strikes me as nothing but yet another formulation of the infamous 'moral equivalence'that has arguably brought us to our present 'quagmire'.
With respect,I prefer a more declarative,albeit a more 'reasoned'form of communication.I can't see this E-prime taking over any time soon(well,ever really).It seems far too indecisive,neutral,and meaningless to me.

Posted by: dougf at March 15, 2005 10:50 AM

Ratatosk -

These evangelical Christians condemn all war. They believe that Americans, and most of the Middle East should suffer terrorism and oppression in the interests of (their version of) peace and justice.

This group, like the Wahhabis, seeks a “pure” version of their religion. And like most purists, they're willing and anxious for others to suffer for their beliefs.

Do you think the Left supports these evangelicals? I think they do.

Posted by: mary at March 15, 2005 10:51 AM

Warren – It’s a great letter. The issue that seems to divide the left and the right in America is the use of military tactics to fight terrorism & oppression. If you’re pro-gay marriage, pro-women’s rights, a lifelong democrat, and you support the use of bombs, guns and grenades to kill the bad guys, you’re a right-winger.

Even if you're a Dem who voted for Kerry, any acknowledgement that Republicans are fellow Americans, not the enemy, is a sign that you’re not a "real" Democrat. Ask Oliver Willis.

Dean says that Republicans are his enemy. Why would anyone vote for a party whose leader hates approximately half of all Americans?

Posted by: mary at March 15, 2005 11:00 AM

Sorry, but the following is completely unhinged. Dean has NO connection with any of these characters.

The idea behind it is that a leader is responsible for disavowing the ideas of his most insane supporters. This is a standard that MJT and other Bush supporters never seem to apply to Bush, or Sharon. Why?

"Welcome him to the DNC? I'd just as soon welcome Noam Chomsky, the late Edward Said, or Ward Churchill, or Juan "Israel is always wrong" Cole, or Leroi What's His Name, former "Poet Laureate of New Jersey" ("The Jews didn't show up for work on 9/11, 'cause they were in on the secret – the CIA/Mossad did it!), or the Middle Eastern Studies Department of Columbia University, or the Chairwoman of the Duke University Middle Eastern Studies Department ("Let's boycott the International Gay Pride Celebration in Tel Aviv – we don't want to give any encouragement to the International Zionist Conspiracy!), or Representative Cynthia McKinney, or her Jew bashing (not just Israeli bashing, but in-your-face Jew bashing) daddy."

Posted by: markus rose at March 15, 2005 11:00 AM

Thomas;

It is true that there are only government bonds (IOU's) in the trust fund. The problem is to redeem those bonds the government is going to 1. print more money. 2. Increase taxes. 3. Borrow more money.

They have been spending the excess SS monies. Private accounts would stop that stealing and spending right now and force the excess monies to be saved and invested in things with collateral behind them. The Democrats want to continue to steal and spend SS excess monies until it runs out in about 11 years. They also want to keep the system the way it is so they can steal from it in the future if ever there is another time we have excess funds.

If private business did this, their CEO would be thrown into jail. But the left always operates with a double standard.

Posted by: RA at March 15, 2005 11:01 AM

That is such a massive mistatement of what the Sojurners believe as to be laughable. I don't know who feeds you your bad information, but whomever they are, you need to stop listening to them.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 11:01 AM

Tosk: "Programming in this sense doesn't necessarily mean brainwashing, it seems more about having a preset view of reality and trying to fit everything into that reality"

Tosk - I read your lesson on "E-prime". As a liberal, well-educated, tolerant, westerner - as you are - I am quite well aware of my "programming", which also includes the "let's first understand this from the other point of view" mindset so common to liberal westerners.

All well and good. It's a good impulse. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's Christian even - first remove that darn thing from your own eye and all that.

But why this assumption that when one looks clearly - and without any preconceptions - that the system of the OTHER will be found to be no better or worse than one's own system?

In other words, where does it necessarily follow that because one is looking with a clear, unjaundiced, impartial eye - (duly setting one's own upbringing aside) - the OTHER system will necessarily be found to be equal?

In other words - aren't liberal westerners like ourselves succumbing to exactly what you are warning against? "Brainwashing", "A preset view of reality"? That preset view implying in advance of LOOKING - that everything will be found to be equal?

What if you look without any preconception and then find that your system is in fact superior? More humane? The other system turns out to be abhorent? Evil even?

Liberals seem to have some bizarre notion that if they just strip themselves of all preconceptions - everything will be found to be equal - morally equivalent. Isn't that so?

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 11:16 AM

For many people, its easier to hate and fear the extremists who are in your face daily, as opposed to the dangerous shadowy extremists who have never directly affected your life.

What is a "christian extremist" exactly? Someone who votes for the GOP because they are against abortion? Or is a "christian extremist" someone who resists Leftist efforts to remove all vestiges of christiany from our history and collective memories?

How exactly is a "christian extremist" in your face daily? In the near future, when the ACLU sues to remove the ten commandments from the Supreme Court building and conservatives resist it, are they guilty of being "extremist christians"?

If some Leftist is more afraid of an "extremist christian" than he is of some "distant" muslim extremist, then that's simply more proof of the warped mentality that permeates the Left.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 11:25 AM

Dean says that Republicans are his enemy.

And then he said Republicans are evil.

But remember the hissy fit Libs had when Bush said the war on terror was a struggle of good vs. evil? Evil was "dehumanizing" they said. There are no evil people, just evil acts they said.

I just wish they'd get their story straight. Their only standard is what their hearts tell them, so it's no wonder they have no consistent message and are always crossing their wires.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 11:29 AM

dougf,

E-Prime may not work for you. For me, it seems to clarify my ideas and causes me to rethink many of my positions (indeed, e-prime was one of the reasons I find myself unable to identify with the Democrats and find myself much more tolerant of ideas I once found repugnant... prayer in school being one).

I haven't found that E-Prime requires moral equivalancy, nor the abandonment of reason, conclusion or values. It seems to be simply a way to get rid of some of the "ghosts" in the english language. Some other languages simply don't have the verb 'to be' at all.

For example, in the abortion debate, there are two schools of thought. One says that the fetus, at conception is a human. The other says that the fetus at some later stage of development, or birth becomes a human.

Both views appear to rely on the isness of Aristotlean logic... the fetus is or is not human.

The problem, I think, appears to be that they're arguing about a belief, sombunall people believe that the fetus is human at conception... sombunal people believe something else. The only way that either group can possibly be right in their definition, is in their own mind, since thats where all definations seem to exist anyway.

If we restate the view in e-prime:

"In my system of metaphysics, I classify the fetus as a person."

we have made a much more correct statement, we can then have the debate on the actual issue, instead of a ghost in our language.

The issue seems to be "Should a practice, which many citizens find repugnant, be banned except in the most extreme circumstances?"

Now, of course, this isn't nearly as exciting and contraversial as "Should We Kill Babies?", but if we want reasoned discourse, logical discussion and reasonable laws, we may have to forego frenzy-inducing 'ghosts'.

I am promoting E-Prime as a way of getting to the root of debates, not to remove debates.

But, as I said before, your brain may not process E-Prime the way mine does.

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at March 15, 2005 11:39 AM

Carlos: "If some Leftist is more afraid of an "extremist christian" than he is of some "distant" muslim extremist, then that's simply more proof of the warped mentality that permeates the Left."

The truly pathetic thing is that that point even needed to be made.

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 11:46 AM

Markus Rose: "The idea behind it is that a leader is responsible for disavowing the ideas of his most insane supporters. This is a standard that MJT and other Bush supporters never seem to apply to Bush, or Sharon. Why?"

Markus - you must be in denial re the sheer numbers of people who publicly support (i.e. presume to represent "the face of") the Democrat party and who appear to be insane. This might all be dismissable if it weren't for the minor fact that noone in the Democratic party ever bothers to publicly dismiss these folks. Truthfully, what is a girl to think?

Posted by: Caroline at March 15, 2005 12:04 PM

Am I alone in thinking that apparently everyone but FC has bad information?

FC, enlighten us as to where you receive the good stuff. "Enquiring" minds want to know.

Posted by: Matt at March 15, 2005 12:05 PM

Oyster: I applaud you for your your honest venting at the hubristic, mendacious, hypocritical Democrats.

FC: people like you, who can't see the Dems for who they really are (viz., utterly on the wrong side of history at every turn), probably frustrate people like Oyster. You certainly frustrate people like me.

Posted by: The MaryHunter at March 15, 2005 12:08 PM

I don't read people who are out to get the people that I'm trying to get information about. Somehow, I find that partisan attack sites either only tell the parts of the story they like, or they just make stuff up.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 12:08 PM

FC,
"why do you listen to the people who don't believe what you believe in"

Really touching and sooooo convincing...

Posted by: marek at March 15, 2005 12:14 PM

FC, if you don't read what those people (who are out to get other people) say, how can you possibly understand their position, E-prime or no?

Are you trying to get information about fanatics? The best source is usually their mouths. Or their texts.

Posted by: Matt at March 15, 2005 12:15 PM

Gee, MaryHunter, you've certainly done a good job helping me think about the world an entirely different way by saying that the Democrats are at the wrong side of history Every single turn!

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 12:23 PM

FC – Are you saying that the Left supports these evangelical fundamentalist Christians?

From the Sojourners website:

"Violence and war will not resolve the inevitable conflicts between people and nations. We believe that peace must begin with our own lives and our willingness to make sacrifices -and even suffer -for justice."

That's pacifism. Pacifists don't believe in fighting oppression, terrorism or fascism.

Seeking purity:

"all in the stream of Christian renewal movements, all given the vocation of calling the church back to its most authentic expression of the gospel."

They're not at all comparable to Wahhabism's political structure. Wahhabism demands an Islamic state and the establishment of fundamentalist Islamic law. But they seek purity and they are fundamentalists.

They are willing to oppose the US government:

"We believe that our obedience to the state or any other institution must be conditioned, tempered, and sometimes rendered impossible because of our higher loyalty to the reign of God."

So, why does the left support these evangelical fundamentalists?


Posted by: mary at March 15, 2005 12:25 PM

I am promoting E-Prime as a way of getting to the root of debates, not to remove debates.
But, as I said before, your brain may not process E-Prime the way mine does--Tosk

Fair enough,and you hopefully recall the frequent times I have praised your contributions here,so I have no axes to grind.But assuming that the 'your brain'comment is merely a descriptive analysis rather than a 'normative' evaluation,does this not limit the utility of your proposed method?If I literally cannot understand what you are saying,how can any debate take place.I be speaking binary(flexible though it might be at any given time),and you want to be speaking something which for me might as well be Chinese.Your conclusions may in fact be RIGHT,but since I can't likely process them as you appear to do,communication becomes impossible.Even on a practical level this 'seems'a dubious technique for conflict resolution.
Even in your latest example for instance,'some people'(not necessarily me),do believe that Killing Babies(what is critical is to define babies;is it not? )is a BAD thing,and this belief is not at all dependent on how many others might happen to share that value system.I just cannot see that these statements reflect the same arguments.One is a statement of personal values and by extension a statement on societies 'correct'path ,and the other is a conditional evaluation based upon what might be considered 'repugnant'.One can make the legitimate argument that 'some'social instructions are subject to variation based upon 'truer'knowledge,but if everything is relative,then it is conceivable that,for example,murder might NOT be considered reprehensible.Not murder in a specific highly evaluated case,but in all cases.Surely that cannot be true.That is the core of my problem with 'seems,and 'appears',which concepts subjectivefy 'external'reality.
A rose is a rose is a rose ,and calling it something else,does not make it less a rose.It simply,IMO, tends to confuse the issue,and preclude reaching firm conclusions.The conversations might be more 'civil',but the end results might leave something to be desired.

Posted by: dougf at March 15, 2005 12:26 PM

marek, Matt, to be more clear (though you've now taken me out of context - so it's not clear that you want clarity as much as talking points to beat someone over the head with, but I'll give you both the benefit of the doubt).

When I want to know what the Democrats think, I look to statements by the Democrats, not Fox News. When I want to know what terrorists think, I look to statements by the terrorists, not the Democrats.

When I was talking to Oyster, I asked why he listened to anti-choice, pro-bankrupcy reform, anti-gay marriage religious nuts who don't really care much about the elderly and children to tell him what to think about Democrats?

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 12:27 PM

Caroline,

1. I am not a liberal in the leftist sense. I think that Prayer is School is protected by the constitution and should be permitted as long as no one is ever coerced (even by peer-pressure) to join. I am against this "if you don't want it abort" style of 'family planning'. I think that the ultimate decision is the womans, but promoting abortion as a perfectly acceptable form of birth control is absurd. I think Social Security needs to go, along with medicare, medicade and welfare. So, I don't really consider myself 'liberal', maybe 'libretarian', but not liberal ;-).

2. I do not believe that once looked at through E-Prime, "that the system of the OTHER will be found to be no better or worse than one's own system?" I think that there are many very bad systems out there. I think that any extremist group is probably going to top the list of bad systems, be they the KKK, Wahabbis, Baathists, Communists, Jim Jones, Do' or weirdos like Terry McVeigh. I don't think that they are equivalent, I think that they are terribly broken.

My post was not to say that extremist Christians and extremist Muslims are equal. I was responding to the question of 'Why is it cool to hate christians?'. I don't think its cool to hate christians. I don't think its cool to make them equivalent. I was only talking about the Aristotlean fallacy that seems to permeate the thinking of the leftists who 'hate christians'.

I used to make them equivalent because I fell victim to the spooks in the language.

I have met a number of American Christians who, it seems, if they could, would impose their view of morality/reality on every individual in the nation, in a similar (but not equal) vein, we see extreme Muslims who would do the same.

By using Aristotlean logic I classified both as bad and therefore made the neuro-linguistic leap of error that made them appear to be equal when I discussed them. I don't plan on falling back into that trap.

Carlos,

What is a "christian extremist" exactly? Someone who votes for the GOP because they are against abortion? Or is a "christian extremist" someone who resists Leftist efforts to remove all vestiges of christiany from our history and collective memories?

No, I would classify a Christian Extremist as someone who wishes to impose their personal views and morals on society at large. Voting GOP because you don't approve of abortion, seems to me to simply be a free American. Shooting an abortion doctor or standing outside a clinic shouting at some woman who just had an abortion that she's going to hell... that seems extreme to me.

How exactly is a "christian extremist" in your face daily? In the near future, when the ACLU sues to remove the ten commandments from the Supreme Court building and conservatives resist it, are they guilty of being "extremist christians"?

Well, first... let me be clear in my opinion of the ACLU. They are a Extremely left-leaning organization who, occasionally does good, but often has an unbalanced view of which 'rights' to support. In my opinion, the ACLU should be fighting for the right of any State to determine the appropriateness of such a monument. I may disagree with a States decision, but I would respect their right to make it. (Personally, I'm for NOT pissing off people with unnecessary bric-a-brac).

As for how 'extremist christians' get in ones face... I see a group of people shouting and carrying the most hateful signs on a regular basis near the abortion clinic in Columbus. Recently, I was on campus and a large line of people were heading into a nearby venue when some musical group was playing (probably rock/alternative considering the venue). Across the street, with bullhorns were two men in suits telling the people in line that Satan was misleading them with such music. In fact, they tried overshouting the entertainment hired by the venue to for crowd while they waited in line.

They have the right to protest and shout and make asses of themselves, much like the Moonbat left has a right to protest and shout and make asses out of themselves. And, just like the Crazy Moonbat antics of Mooreons makes you find them repugnant (and by extension Democrtas in general), many non-christians find the same formula with Christians.

Is that a bit more clear?

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 12:31 PM

mary, the Sojurners are not absolute pacifists. I know that you don't care to get to the bottom of what they believe, and are just looking for talking points to bludgeon people (Is that all you care about? Bludgeoning people with half-truths? Certainly seems that way, given that you segue randomly from gotya-to-gotya time after time) but do a little more research, would you?

The left has no problem with evangelical fundamentalists. It's right-wing evangelical fundamentalists that we don't accept. That's because we don't accept people on the right-wing. The only evangelical president of the modern age was a Democrat, remember?

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 12:33 PM

"If some Leftist is more afraid of an "extremist christian" than he is of some "distant" muslim extremist, then that's simply more proof of the warped mentality that permeates the Left."

Yes Carlos, it does.

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 12:33 PM

dougf,

I certianly didn't intend for the "your brain" comment to be degrading in any sense. I meant it more along the lines of "Maybe your Windows based computer won't be able to run this iMac program".

I would propose though, that they evaluation you made of E-Prime (and its limitations to ones who can "speak the language") is correct. In my experience, E-Prime is unintelligible to most people that first review it.

One reason that this seems to be the case is a difference in software. It seems likely that the principal software used in the human brain consists of words, metaphors, disguised metaphors, and linguistic structures in general. The Sapir-Whorf-Korzybski Hypothesis, in anthropology, holds that a change in language can alter our perception of the cosmos. A revision of language structure, in particular, can alter the brain as dramatically as a psychedelic. In our metaphor, if we change the software, the computer operates in a new way.

I find that people who have never examined E-Prime, tend to be at a complete loss to synthesize any value from it. Those who have begun to use it in writing (it's popular in some scientific and philosophical books as well as a number of students of "Maybe Logic") tend to notice actual changes in their speech. As the speech changes, the writing often seems to become more clear. Once the speech and writing has changed, major changes in the actual perception of your experiences seem to follow.

I would say that E-Prime, in my experience appears to have modified the way I view my reality. It hasn't made me less passionate, nor has it made me feel that everything is morally equivalent (indeed, quite the opposite).

Again, this is only my experience and perhaps it doesn't happen like that for everyone, or anyone else... perhaps its all in my head. I can only speak to what I have experienced.

Tosk

Posted by: at March 15, 2005 12:50 PM

FC - How do you tell the difference between a right-wing evangelical fundamentalist and a left-wing evangelical fundamentalist?

Both claim to want to help the poor, both want others to share their beliefs, both insist on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. So, what's the difference?

Posted by: mary at March 15, 2005 12:54 PM

Mary,

I think we would have to seperate the religious views and the political views of the individuals. For example, most evangelicals will be very anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro prayer in school, pro ten commandments on the statehouse lawn. In short, it must be other political factors that seperate them. Likely it is the Libretarian vs. Statist dichotemy.

If you're an evangelical that believes one should never go to war, then you're probably anti-war, but not necessarily left-wing. If you believe that the State should protect and provide for the poor, you may be left wing, if you believe that the government should get their fingers out of your money, but put them into the lives of other people, you might be right wing. IF you're like many evangelicals that I've met, you think that government should just get the hell out of everyone life and deal with interstate commerce and national defense. I suppose those might be libretarian, but tend to end up with the Republicans.

I would say though, that the extremist evnagelicals seem to be collected mostly under the Republican name, currently. While the extremist non-religious seem to be collected on the left-wing.

It's interesting that the extremists on both sides share one factor. They want more authoritarian/Statist control over the liberties of individuals. They just argue about which bits they think the government SHOULD twiddle with.

Tosk

You will find that the STATE is the sort of organization that, while it does large things poorly, also does small things poorly.

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 01:05 PM

Left-Wing Evangelical Fundamentalists believe the government is a legitmate vehicle to fufill Jesus' message of compassion. Right-Wing Evangelical Fundamentalists believe the government is a legitmate vehicle to fufill the Old Testament commandments on cleanliness and family structure.

Left-Wing: http://www.therightchristians.org/
Right-Wing: http://www.moralmajority.us/

Both are perfectly valid.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 01:05 PM

Right-Wing Evangelical Fundamentalists believe the government is a legitmate vehicle to fufill the Old Testament commandments on cleanliness and family structure.

That's silly. Obviously a more accurate portrayal of righwing christians wouldn't have the desired effect on your audience.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for generalizations, just not poor ones such as this.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 01:12 PM
Mary: FC - How do you tell the difference between a right-wing evangelical fundamentalist and a left-wing evangelical fundamentalist?

Both claim to want to help the poor, both want others to share their beliefs, both insist on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. So, what's the difference?

Um, their politics?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 01:12 PM

That's silly. Obviously a more accurate portrayal of righwing christians wouldn't have the desired effect on your audience.

Maybe clarification of your views on this might be illuminating, Carlos.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 01:14 PM

If you think my description of Right-Wing Fundamentalists/Evangelicals is wrong, please feel free to correct me.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 01:15 PM

Left/right wing distinctions are defined, in most political spectrums, as differences of opinion on economic philosophy, with the extremes at either end being government intervention and control of the economy on the left and laissez-fair capitalism on the right.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 01:23 PM

Maybe clarification of your views on this might be illuminating, Carlos.

DPU,

I'm totally in favor of clarity. Just let me know what in particular you'd like clarified.

FC,

our current family structure isn't "old testament", because in the OT polygamy was rather common. Who can forget Solomon's 1000 wives and concubines. Also King David's, and even Abraham's I believe. The list goes on.

Our family structure is Western culture, not OT. But you have to blame it on eeeevangelicals trying to enforce the Old Testament so that you can have your desired effect on your audience.

You're either disingenous, or ignorant. I chose to believe the former. Was I wrong?

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 01:23 PM

Like social security. There is no money in the trust fund. They spend it and put IOUs (re: bonds) in the account.

Good Lord, man, how many idiots have to talk about violating the full faith and credit of the American people before the bond markets finally get the picture? US Treasury bonds are not IOUs, they are a solemn contract which has never been dishonored in the two hundred sixteen year history of our Constitution.

Please, please, please stop with this pernicious meme. It only serves to make a financial meltdown that much more likely. If we choose not to honor Trust Fund bonds, we will send a signal to China, Saudi Arabia, and anyone else that we will default on our bonds whenever it is convenient, and then they will sell them. All of them. And we will have a financial crisis of a size large enough to rival the Great Depression.

Please, please, I beg of you -- stop helping Bush and the Republicans break America. This is one issue where the Administration is totally, completely, and horrifyingly wrong. They aren't IOUs. Stop calling them that. Please.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 15, 2005 01:29 PM

I'm totally in favor of clarity. Just let me know what in particular you'd like clarified.

What you clarified right after in that comment, directed at FC.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 01:30 PM

When I was talking to Oyster, I asked why he listened to anti-choice, pro-bankrupcy reform, anti-gay marriage religious nuts who don't really care much about the elderly and children to tell him what to think about Democrats?

-----------

Oyster was listing his reasons for having left the Democratic party, and a fair number of his reasons are legitimate. You are not debating the points he raises.

You assert that the Democrats are anti-bankruptcy reform, yet Democrats and Republicans passed the bill together. (I hated that bill, by the way).

You believe that Republicans are anti-choice, yet many Republicans support a woman's right to choose -- they'd just prefer that abortion was not the preferred method of birth control.

You believe that conservatives are against gay marriage -- and you are right -- though you probably consider the underlying subject to be one about homophobia. In actuality, it's much more about the slippery slope argument -- that with condoning gay marriage, you open the door to polygamy and polyamory.

http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/938xpsxy.asp

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2004-48,RNWE:en&q=Polyamory

Whether you believe the argument or not, Oyster's rant against what he views as creeping secularism and a misplaced values system is valid.

For you to imply that Republicans don't care for the elderly or children is pure demagoguery. Sounds like something Howard Dean might say.

Posted by: Matt at March 15, 2005 01:32 PM

KIMMIT: This is one issue where the Administration is totally, completely, and horrifyingly wrong.

LOL! Good one. That's what you say about everything this administration favors.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 01:39 PM

Hey I know this is COMPLETELY OT, but since he has many fans here, I thought I'd post the link to Christopher Hitchens’ latest article. It can be found here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2114820/

Enjoy!

Posted by: Mike T. at March 15, 2005 01:40 PM

Hey I know this is COMPLETELY OT, but since he has many fans here, I thought I'd post the link to Christopher Hitchens’ latest article. It can be found here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2114820/

Enjoy!

Posted by: Mike T. at March 15, 2005 01:41 PM


FC's comments regarding Islam indicate one of two things.
#1 FC's name is really something like "Abu Al Splodey Dope & it is trying to put some serious "Tagiyya" on us.

#2 FC has no real knowledge of Islam & knows not what it says.

Those who have studyed Islam know that from it's very inception to this day it has been a cancerous evil blight on Humanity & will remain that way untill it is cut out.

Posted by: Yankee Diver at March 15, 2005 01:46 PM

FC – I asked about left wing evangelicals. You gave me a link to Unitarians There were two posts about "Why Republicans Hate Ordinary Americans" and the site was sponsored by Atheists. These are not evangelicals.

The Sojourners say that they are “Rooted in the solid ground of prophetic biblical tradition”. They're evangelical fundamentalists.

They were formed in the '70s to oppose America's involvement in Vietnam. The political focus of the Sojourners seems to be their pacifism. I guess that’s why the Left likes these evangelicals.

Posted by: mary at March 15, 2005 01:48 PM

Matt,

In actuality, it's much more about the slippery slope argument -- that with condoning gay marriage, you open the door to polygamy and polyamory.

Well, that may be true for sombunal Conservatives (the ones ranting about the evils of homosexuality seem more homophobic to me). However, one might ask a couple questions:

1. On what basis do we presume that there will be a slippery slope? Everyone talks about slippery slopes. The Anti-Patriot Act people, the anti-gay marriage people, anytime anyone does something contraversial... but not terribly contraversial... then we are warned of the 'slippery slope'.

I have never really understood how a boogy-man makes a useful argument.

2. Why do we care if a man and woman, two men, a man and two women or ten or so free citizens create some social contract with each other? It seems to me, that if two men have sex in a bedroom that is next door to my house, there would be no measurable effect on me, or my relationship with Shante'. If the guy next door sleeps with two women, I am unable to conceive of any way in which that would negatively impact my life.

And if 10 people all slept in the same bed next door... I'd just go have a sleepover. ;-)

I might understand arguing that gays adopting children is a bad idea. Kids have enough problems without confusing them further. I absolutely understand the argument that no church should be forced to marry gays, and I understand the argument that no state should be forced by a court to recognize gays. However, from a purely political standpoint, sans the issues above, the actions of the gays, polys or gangbangers "neither breaks my leg, nor picks my pocket", so why should I care?

Posted by: Ratatosk at March 15, 2005 01:48 PM

Kimmitt, what ARE you talking about? There is no trust fund. The U.S. government has spent every dime that was in the trust fund since it was created. The government replaced the real money it took from the Social Security Trust Fund with non-marketable “special-issue” government securities that are essentially worthless.

Greenspan spoke of it today.

"Greenspan also suggested resurrecting the notion of sealing off Social Security revenues from other uses. Last year Social Security tax revenues plus interest exceeded benefits by about $150 billion, he said.

"We need, in effect, to make the phantom `lock-boxes' around the trust fund real," he said."

Posted by: Matt at March 15, 2005 01:54 PM

Hey, Carlos. You got me, bud. New Testament family structure! Now, you agree with my statement? OK then! Nitpick time over!

mary, therightchristians are not Unitarians. They are not sponsored by Atheists. Please stop MAKING THINGS UP. I mean, seriously, this one - whole cloth. Utter lie by you - couldn't possibly be a mistake, because it's so far removed from the truth that it's just offensive. You owe everyone here an apology for lying to them. Flat. Out. Lies.

http://www.therightchristians.org/?q=book/view/245
The Village Gate is managed by Allen Brill, a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor in South Carolina and a member of the South Carolina Bar. Allen is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Virginia School of Law and Concordia Seminary (LCMS). He underwent additional graduate training in Bible at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Allen and spouse Pamela are the parents of three children and live on Lake Murray in the Midlands region of the Palmetto State.

I have never doubted the Sojurners are fundamentalists (and I didn't question your assertion, which I now require proof of but will do my own digging for, that they were evangelical). I wouldn't be surprised that they opposed Vietnam, or came out of that anti-war movement. I only state that you mischaracterized their views - which you did. You lie every chance you get! It's astonishing.

The Democratic wing of the Democratic party voted against cloture and against the Bankrupcy Bill. Every Republican voted for it, twice. I know.... let's blame the Democrats, because they've failed to kick out their more centrist membebers! The cognative dissonence here is amazing. If D's controlled the House or the Senate that bill would be dead.

Abortion is not birth control, and any attempt to conflate them is disingenuous. Republicans do not support the right to chose, and are very clear on that in their platform. Go look it up.

Republicans might care for the elderly and the young, but they certainly have an odd way of showing it.

Posted by: FC at March 15, 2005 02:47 PM

Ratatosk, read the second article I linked to. It goes into some detail with regards to polygamists pointing to gay marriage as the harbinger of things to come.

I don't necessarily agree with it, but...

Posted by: Matt at March 15, 2005 03:11 PM

Hey, Carlos. You got me, bud. New Testament family structure! Now, you agree with my statement? OK then! Nitpick time over!

FC,

Of course I got you. I always get you. Now tell me where in the NT it says one man one woman. Don't bother, it doesn't.

Our family structure is western culture, and eeeevangelicals specifically and conservatives generally happen to be defenders of western culture, while Leftists happen to be destroyers of western culture. And you'll destroy it because you think it's NT or OT or eeeevangelical, or christian, etc., even in cases where it isn't. All because your destructive instincts are fueled by a nihilist, Leftist counter-culture, anti-establishment, anti-this, anti-that, desire to stick it to The Man, as if you were teenagers that are simply unable to finally grow up and act like adults.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 03:25 PM

FC – Go to http://www.therightchristians.org/

click on the link that says Sponsor:

It will take you to this site.

http://atheism.about.com/

The sponsor of http://www.therightchristians.org/ is an atheist.

Go to the post that begins:

Profess Our Liberal Faith
Submitted by Dale on Sun, 02/20/2005 - 10:40pm. Social Justice | Theology | Yes
No One Left Behind

There seems to be a push in my religious denomination, the UUA, to overcome our reluctuance to proselytize for our faith.

Posters on the site are Unitarians.

Yes, the founders of that site are Lutherans, but the site does NOT represent left-wing evangelicals.

According to their about aboutus page, they are anti-war progressives.

They also have a inadvertently ironic conservatives invited page, where they tell conservatives that their input is NOT generally welcome. LOL.

"Progressives" at their best.

Posted by: mary at March 15, 2005 03:48 PM

dougf,

So which is better or worse for debate, E-Prime or the ad-hominem madness that this thread has degenerated into?

;-)

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord at March 15, 2005 03:50 PM

The sponsor of http://www.therightchristians.org/ is an atheist.

mary,

can you post your source for that. Thanks.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 03:51 PM

They also have a inadvertently ironic conservatives invited page, where they tell conservatives that their input is NOT generally welcome. LOL

Mary,

LOL! I've been there, and they relegate conservative commentary to a ghetto on their blog. If you try to comment on non-authorized posts they ban you! These Lefties are unbelievable.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 03:54 PM

...while Leftists happen to be destroyers of western culture.

Wow. Need your hatsize, 'carlos', for this tinfoil hat I'mmaking you.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 04:30 PM

Markus: The idea behind it is that a leader is responsible for disavowing the ideas of his most insane supporters. This is a standard that MJT and other Bush supporters never seem to apply to Bush, or Sharon. Why?

See if you can find a quote where I've said anything non-critical about Israeli settlers, the Dobson/Robertson wing of the GOP, or right-wing nutjobs in general. I'll bet you can't.

Bush has lambasted the likes of Pat Robertson in public. I remember when he did it, right after 911, back when I was still a Bush-hater. He did the same to those who thought it was okay to abuse and even murder Muslim Americans after 911, and you just know such people aren't liberals. It made a powerful impression on me that I have not forgotten. Howard Dean should give it a try. It is a great way to build trust and political capital.

I have never said Republicans have no obligation to give "Sister Souljah" speeches of their own. The reason I don't bang on the point is because I find run-of-the-mill conservatives blasting right-wing extremists on a regular basis. I don't feel it's necessary to demand they start doing it because many of them already do it.

Similar behavior on the left is much rarer. And when someone like Marc Cooper or Jeff Jarvis dares to give it a shot they get slandered as neocons, fake liberals, right-wing death beasts, etc ad nauseum. How many conservatives give Glenn Reynolds a bunch of crap when he criticizes the right-wing of the GOP? Not very many. I notice these things, and I'm sorry if you don't.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 15, 2005 04:30 PM

There is no trust fund. The U.S. government has spent every dime that was in the trust fund since it was created.

Stop stop stop, please stop.

I find run-of-the-mill conservatives blasting right-wing extremists on a regular basis.

Please tell me this is a joke.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 15, 2005 04:38 PM

How many conservatives give Glenn Reynolds a bunch of crap when he criticizes the right-wing of the GOP? Not very many.

Can you say the same for Andrew Sullivan? Or what about percieved turncoats like Richard Clarke? I seem to remember quite a bit of right-wing venom aimed in his direction.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 04:44 PM

A word I learned the other day that is appropriate for this subject.

Enthymeme.

Basically, this is when a major premise for an argument is left implied. Here's an example from the number #1 google website for Enthymeme.

We cannot trust this man, for he has perjured himself in the past.
In this enthymeme, the major premise of the complete syllogism is missing:

Those who perjure themselves cannot be trusted. (Major premise - omitted)
This man has perjured himself in the past. (Minor premise - stated)
This man is not to be trusted. (Conclusion - stated)

Anyway, Ratatosk's posts got me thinking about this word. I hope one of you all finds reason to use it in a sentence.

And Kimmitt, there are a LOT of right wingers jumping on right wing extremists on a regular basis. It's less noticable because, well, people SHOULD be jumping on the extremists. So when someone does, it's not that notable.

Posted by: Jaybird at March 15, 2005 04:59 PM

DPU: Can you say the same for Andrew Sullivan?

No, but that's because he went over to "the dark side" and supported John Kerry. Andrew got plenty leeway for criticizing the GOP before he jumped ship.

I've said before and I'll say again that the hysterical and over-the-top reaction to Sullivan's "defection" makes me less likely, not more likely, to join the Republicans.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 15, 2005 05:35 PM

We on the left have to be careful not to air too much dirty laundry. It gives the wingnuts too much ammunition against us. I know I'm happier attacking the bushies than going after fellow lefties who may have gone too many days without medication. We know who the real enemy is and we know we can't let up, not for long. There's a great world waiting to be made, and the people in the way have to be moved.

Posted by: Bob Frank at March 15, 2005 05:58 PM

Markus,

Please refer me to ANY quote made by a Democratic Party elected official, or cental committee person, or paid party bureaucrat, saying, essentially, "I oppose the war, but International A.N.S.W.E.R., Not In Our Name, etc. are an embarassment to our cause, and I want nothing to do with them. They support and praise Slobodan Milosovic and Kim Jong Il and I/We don't. (That, by the way, is what I meant by "the promiscuous, intellectually and morally slutty anti-war movement", i.e. they intellectually and morally sleep with anybody and everybody.)
Hypothetical example of intellectual and moral sluttiness:
Let's say Grover Nordquist is holding a tax reduction rally, event, conference, whatever. A bunch of speakers are bashing the government, saying that it's inefficient, doesn't do as good a job as private industry,etc.,etc., etc. Then, a bunch of white sheet wearing KKK people come into the room, and one of them takes the podium, (in this hypothetical event, I would guess you would have to say "forcefully takes the podium and the mike"), and says, "That' right, folks! Cut government Spending! All higher taxes ever do is give more money to them welfare chislin' mud race people!"
Now, honestly, which group is more prone to intellectual and moral sluttiness today-the left or the right? Does anybody thing the white sheets could get past the hat check room at a Grover Nordquist meeting? NOT!
Now go to your typical anti war rally-damn near always organized and staffed by either ANSWER or NOt in our Name-No Israel basher or Lefty is too far out.

The Original Warren

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 15, 2005 06:10 PM

Bob Frank,

I can spot a fake lefty a mile away, and you're obviously one of 'em.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 15, 2005 06:20 PM

Warren --

Ugh.

I don't give a fying fluck about maoists, stalinists, nazis or any other tiny fringe group, as long as their civil liberties are not being taken away and as long as they remain on the fringe. Same goes for nutballs like Michael Moore and David Horowitz...

I think most Dems feel the same way.

Slowly, imperfectly, but surely, Dems are moving back in the right direction. Getting more serious about national security, human rights and democracy building. Becoming more reasonable and inclusive on social issues. Doing something (not enough) to help the working class.

You're just looking for an excuse to leave the Democratic party and get some attention while you do it. Congratulations. Good riddance.

Posted by: markus rose at March 15, 2005 07:59 PM

Michael, which public conservatives/ Reps were "over the top" against Andrew?

I know a lot of blog commenters were of the opinion that Sully was lying -- to himself. He became blog-famous while strongly supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, yet with very reasonable criticism of problems (like the deficit).

Until Bush supported the anti-gay marriage amendment (despite supporting civil unions). Then Sully's criticisms of Iraq, and Bush, became more shrill, on all issues but especially on Iraq.

And like almost all Iraq war critics, the unspoken alternative was some Unreal Perfection, fighting a war without killing civilians. Without torturing any of the enemy who clearly have information which could save fellow servicemen's lives (or not).

Of course, when confronted with this, they'll deny that they support Unreal Perfection. But they won't say how many innocents killed is regrettable but acceptable. How much torture is wrong but acceptable. How many tactical mistakes can be made while still supporting the strategy.

Acceptable means any of: 1) nobody complains; 2) though some complain, no military action is taken; 3) some military action is action is taken and the military says enough appropriate action is taken (commanders fired, some soldiers investigated and prosecuted for crimes).

Unacceptable means: 1) change the politicians in charge.

Sully justified switching support from Bush to Kerry significantly with Bush's handling in Iraq, and Abu Ghraib. It seemed clear to me that his switch was not on Iraq, but on gay-marriage. So I stopped reading him. And I saw a lot of short dismissals of him. But nothing over the top by any A-list bloggers or syndicated columnists.

Nothing like the Paul Krugman style over the top hysteria against folk being optionally allowed to redirect their some of their retirement taxes to their own private savings accounts.

On your own lying to yourself issue -- do you honestly require zero tolerance for torture in interrogation? Meaning you vote against any politician who accepts any amount greater than zero?

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at March 15, 2005 08:18 PM

Tom Grey: Michael, which public conservatives/ Reps were "over the top" against Andrew?

Almost all of them. (I'm talking most about bloggers and people who leave comments on blogs. The likes of John McCain etc tend not to discuss Andrew Sullivan, or any other blogger or writer, in the first place.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 15, 2005 08:27 PM

Michael, I am asking for an example of your definition of "over the top". So a link or a quote; or maybe I missed it on your post a month or so ago?

Like my ref. to Paul Krugman; I can get a link (from Luskin's site) if you wish.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at March 15, 2005 08:46 PM

I think most Dems feel the same way.

Markus,

can you suggest a good Dem website or blog where such reasonable Democrats might be found? I'd like to pop in and see it with my own eyes. All we have to go on right now is the usual moonbats at Kos, DU, Atrios, etc.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 09:26 PM

I can spot a fake lefty a mile away, and you're obviously one of 'em.

Kudos to you Michael. As always, I appeciate your integrity that goes well beyond the bounds of the usual blogodome partisanship.

But what's with these fake lefties here? I never see people pulling that lame shit on other blogs.

Could it be that certain leftist-hating-alias-changing right wingers who are certainly not representative of the long and proud traditions of conservatism don't think that real leftists are as demonic as their inner voices say they are, and they have to create sock-puppet leftists to satisfy some deeply sick inner monologue?

Deeply deeply strange. Seek counselling.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 15, 2005 09:49 PM

I oppose the war, but International A.N.S.W.E.R., Not In Our Name, etc. are an embarassment to our cause, and I want nothing to do with them.

Er, mainstream Dems try to avoid giving ANSWER and NION legitimacy by mentioning them. Those organizations thrive on publicity; that's why they organize the protests in the first place -- to get a chance to proselytize. That's one major difference between the Left and the Right; we marginalize our loonies and you elect them to be the junior Senators from Pennsylvania.

can you suggest a good Dem website or blog where such reasonable Democrats might be found?

Oh, it's just adorable when they pretend that they're fricking Demosthenes. Go hang out at the Lieberman blog or something.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 15, 2005 09:52 PM

Michael, DPU,

lighten up a bit. That's not a "fake Lefty". It's some guy trying his hand at parody or something. Lefties beg to be parodied.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 10:13 PM

Gee thanks Kimmitt. I make an honest attempt to reach out across the aisle to you and all you can do is give me Joe Lieberman's blog. I meant a blog most Dems actually LIKE.

Posted by: Carlos at March 15, 2005 10:28 PM

Markus,

I do give a Flying fuck about Trotskyites, Stalinists, and Islamofascists, and I don't thing there on the edge.
If you go to a righty confab these days, the worst you'll find are people trying to resuscitate the laffer curve or supply side economics, or unreconstructed Confederates, or maybe some home schoolers, or some gun rights people, but no would be guerilla fighters, no "Smash the government" types.
and what isolated wingnuts ther are, aren't being supported by George Soros, or the Saudis.

the Original Warren

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 15, 2005 11:08 PM

"can you suggest a good Dem website or blog where such reasonable Democrats might be found?

Oh, it's just adorable when they pretend that they're fricking Demosthenes. Go hang out at the Lieberman blog or something"

Kimmit, his request might be harder to honor than you would admit. Is that why you ridicule it?

I've had several people request that I direct them to interesting blogs, and I'm embarassed that I can't find any left blogs that I consider worthy of recommendation. It's not for lack of trying, I'll tell you that. Carlos's request was sincere, and I'll make the same one.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 15, 2005 11:30 PM

I haven't regestered as a Republican, I'm still registered as a Democrat
*************************************************
Some might ask why? A surface answer might be "So I can vote in the local elections" but "I" understand in the words of the song

"Cause I took this walk you're walking now
Boy, I've been in your shoes
You can't hold back the hands of time
It's just something you've got to do"

Look at a picture of Dean and say to yourself

You hate me and everything I stand for, you now represent the Democratic Party, you are its head,

From this day forward I am no longer a Democrat, I do not just vote Republican I R one. ;-)

My grandfathers name was Stonewall Jackson Puckett, I come from Western KY, I grew up toddling around family gatherings listening to the old storys about what the "Yankees" did.

I was a card carrying Democrat my entire life and then one day I realised I could not remember when I last voted that Party.

I took a good look at myself and decided to stop living in Denial
'

My name is Dan and I am a Republican!
rotflamo

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at March 16, 2005 12:00 AM

Well, for one thing, mydd.com is pretty much the bomb. For another, I get the impression that anyone who says, "Jesus fucking Christ, the Bush Administration is torturing people left and right; what kind of shit is going on here?" will be disqualified. I think that's part of the problem; a lot of centrists pride themselves on noting strong leftist rhetoric about insane rightist policy.

You'll also try j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type , but he's a sane economist, so he's gonna be a bit shrill too. Much like every other economist alive who is neither an Objectivist nor paid by the Administration (or both).

A (completely over the top) satire will hopefully illustrate my despair:

President George W. Bush: Shoots a little girl on the White House Lawn.

Lefty blogger: What the crap! The President's a goddamn murderer! We've got to impeach this guy right now!

Righty blogger: There you go again, with your negativity and your lack of solutions. You're throwing around terms like "murderer," when for all we know it was in self defense, justifiable homicide. Further, the fact that it was a straight white girl that he shot totally discredits the Left's loony insistence that the President is homophobic and racist.

Centrist: Why can't I find a reasonable leftist? They're throwing out all these strident terms, when all I want to hear is civil discourse on the morality of shooting little girls on the White House lawn.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 16, 2005 12:25 AM

lighten up a bit. That's not a "fake Lefty". It's some guy trying his hand at parody or something.

Right. "Some guy".

Well, some guy's being doing an awful lot of it, and it's more than lame, 'carlos'.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at March 16, 2005 01:22 AM

To FC, March 15, 8:22 AM post,

Here's the Front Page Report I was referring to-seems to be a different one from what you thought. http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15476 Sounds pretty convincing to me, even if David Horowitz has lost some credibility over the Northern colorado U. flap. This is an eye witness account, which nobody is denying, just saying, Davos Conference-like, "It was a closed, no press affair, so it's none of your business."

Warren Windrem

Warren Windrem

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 16, 2005 02:32 AM

Eyewitnesses who write to Frontpagemag are suspect. Frontpagemag is filled with lies.

Mary - that's an AD. I mean, seriously now, you're saying that the posters on a site aren't evangelical, even though they say they are, because they allow an ad from an atheist and the let a Unitarian post?

You don't have to scream "burn the witches" to be evangelical. Stop looking for talking points, and start learning, mary. You owe everyone here an apology.

Posted by: FC at March 16, 2005 03:58 AM

That's one major difference between the Left and the Right; we marginalize our loonies and you elect them to be the junior Senators from Pennsylvania.

Kimmitt, I have to ask- exactly what do you consider Cynthia McKinney?

Posted by: rosignol at March 16, 2005 04:23 AM

Marginalized. You think she's not? What are your thoughts on Tom DeLay?

Posted by: FC at March 16, 2005 04:56 AM

Want some irony? The exact same things:

"...Back in the 50's and 60's I rejected Bull Connor, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, the White Citizen's Council, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other people who murdered Condi Rice's childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing of nineteen sixty something or other. The Civil Rights Movement more than anything else drew me out of my Goldwater Conservative family into the Democratic Party for a generation (at least 35 years, anyway)."

turned me away from my family's long-term (and I mean going back to ante-bellum - yes, 'that' war - days) Democrat orientation to Republican. See, I'm from the part of Oklahoma known as Little Dixie; my (paternal) family is from Texas via Tennessee and the Carolinas). Little Dixie used to be more solidly Democrat than the Solid South. You could almost say, "Hell, we didn't even know how to pronounce 'Republican' much less spell it." Except that we did study our history and so that would be a stretch.

But it is interesting to note the way people from different regions of the Republic reacted to the same stimuli. You found solace in the Democrats while I found them utterly repugnant... and for exactly the same reasons. Go figure.

Posted by: Roy M. Payne at March 16, 2005 04:56 AM

RA wrote, "It is true that there are only government bonds (IOU's) in the trust fund. The problem is to redeem those bonds the government is going to 1. print more money. 2. Increase taxes. 3. Borrow more money."

Well, yes. SS could have put the money into corporate bonds or foreign government bonds, or they could have stored the cash in Fort Knox or something. But traditionally US bonds were considered the safest in the world. That's why they got such low interest rates.

Consider what you're saying, and consider what the US government is saying. "US T-bonds are basicly worthless. In a few years we'll either inflate the money, or we'll refuse to pay, or we'll run a Ponzi scheme and borrow more money we can't repay to pay off the old money we can't repay, or possibly we'll raise taxes enough to cripple the uS economy which will cut tax revenues and then we'll be stuck with one of the first three options. And the SS money is all stuck in this crooked scam."

I'm sure our foreign creditors who have lots and lots of money in t-bills are kind of bemused by these claims. What do you think they'll do about it? We're telling them we can't and won't repay our debts. This is a whole lot bigger problem than social security, and it's going to hit us a lot quicker.

"They have been spending the excess SS monies. Private accounts would stop that stealing and spending right now and force the excess monies to be saved and invested in things with collateral behind them."

Another way to stop that stealing would be to invest in corporate bonds and foreign bonds. It's our government that's talking about defaulting on our debts. Not the english government or the german government or the indian government or the south korean government. The obvious solution would be to simply get the money out of the US government's clutches -- they'll only spend it -- and put it in the hands of responsible foreign governments who pay their debts.

"The Democrats want to continue to steal and spend SS excess monies until it runs out in about 11 years."

Bush's plan is to steal it all now. Or haven't you noticed? That's why he's going after social security and not medicaid. SS has money, medicaid doesn't.

"If private business did this, their CEO would be thrown into jail. But the left always operates with a double standard."

And the right. It seems to be something people tend to do when they get elected to public office, or maybe it starts when they run. Or maybe politics attracts people like that.

Posted by: J Thomas at March 16, 2005 05:24 AM

English:
"Democrats are moonbats."
E-Prime:
"Since Democrats seem to tolerate extreme groups, they seem to be moonbats to me."
--Tosk

Dougf responded, "I am confused."

Yes, but I don't blame you.

"While the former statement is clearly 'extremist',and is also clearly incorrect in that not all Democrats can possibly be moonbats(at this moment in time anyway),the 'nuanced'version you prefer says precisely nothing really.All show and no go."

I believe Ratatosk intended that. "Democrats" refers to everybody who registers with the Democratic Party. That's all it stands for, except in people's heads. What do Dick Zell and Teddy Kennedy have in common? Not much.

The "democrats are moonbats" theme doesn't have much to do with reality at all. More like an advertising ploy that you've bought into.

"While the former statement actually answers(even if too assertively)the implied questions,your version provides no useful objective information at all."

You're lookiong for useful objective information in all the wrong places. ;)

"A.Do Democrats 'tolerate'extremist groups or not?"

Some do, some don't. Probably most tolerate some extremist groups and not others, just like most republicans tolerate some extremist groups and not others. Could you form your question better?

"B.If yes,does this,in itself,make them 'moonbats'?"

I dunno, tell us what a moonbat is and maybe we can see if the definition would apply in the hypothetical case that all democrats tolerated all extremist groups.

"If not,what does it make them?"

It makes them democrats. Oh wait, you mean what would their tolerating all extremist groups make them? Extremely tolerant, I'd say.

"I am all in favour of reasoned discourse but not at the expense of 'conclusions'and 'values'."

Translation: Go ahead and do "reasoned discourse" but don't challenge the marketing themes I've bought into."

"If there is no reality apart from what 'seems'to be reality only to the observer,what basis do we have for doing anything at all?"

You can make a purely academic philosophical question whether there is some 'real' reality distinct from what we observe. We do stuff based on our interpretation of our observations and what those interpretations mean to us. What else could we rely on? ESP?

"With respect,I prefer a more declarative,albeit a more 'reasoned'form of communication.I can't see this E-prime taking over any time soon(well,ever really).It seems far too indecisive,neutral,and meaningless to me."

People find it enjoyable to make up stories about the unknown enemy. I have fun doing E' too. People tend to do whatever seems most enjoyable at the moment, and sometime in the future they might start using E' more than they do now.

Posted by: J Thomas at March 16, 2005 05:48 AM

"can you suggest a good Dem website or blog where such reasonable Democrats might be found?"

Carlos, I do appreciate your interest. My main interest is 1, getting the facts and the truth about things, and 2, developing convincing responses to conservative arguments put forward by people by yourselves, arguments that I admit can be rhetorically compelling (and very occasionally right). So I don't spend much time at the Daily Kos, or talking to the lefties about politics very much at all. And when I do, I usually have something to argue about with them.

I most read conservative stuff, along with what I consider to be the smarter liberals. That means the usual New York Times columnists, The New Republic, the Washington Monthly, the American Prospect under Tomasky's editorship, and a few others.

I would encourage you to check out the following blogs. While I doubt you will find much that you will agree with, I think that you would have to admit they are all written by "reasonable Democrats":

Ruy Tuxeira's Emerging Democratic Majority weblog,
http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweblog.com/donkeyrising/

Kevin Drum's Political Animal, at
Washingtonmonthly.com

talkingpointsmemo.com

Tapped, the American Prospect's weblog: http://www.prospect.org/weblog/

Posted by: markus rose at March 16, 2005 07:24 AM

Right. "Some guy".

DPU,

it wasn't me, and Michael can easily do an IP search to verify it.

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 07:39 AM

Marginalized. You think she's not? What are your thoughts on Tom DeLay?

FC,

What statements or policies make Delay a "loon," be SPECIFIC.

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 07:44 AM

>>>"I would encourage you to check out the following blogs."

Markus,

you the mensch. Thanks.

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 07:48 AM

You first. Which statements make CMK a "loon." Be SPECIFIC.

Also, be sure that she said what you say she said. You wouldn't want to be caught making stuff up, would you?

Posted by: FC at March 16, 2005 08:06 AM

J Thomas,

Color me impressed.

Posted by: Ratatosk at March 16, 2005 08:20 AM

You first. Which statements make CMK a "loon." Be SPECIFIC.

FC,

I don't make stuff up. But that's clearly what you'll accuse me off if you don't like what you see.

McKinney:

"The American people might have a criminal syndicate running their government," she said on The Truth and Lies of 9/11, a documentary accusing the Bush administration of knowing about the 9/11 attacks in advance and allowed them to happen for profit.

"What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide? What is undeniable is that corporations close to the administration have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11th."

“It is known that President Bush’s father, through the Carlyle Group had—at the time of the attacks—joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense-industry holdings, the stocks of which have soared since Sept. 11.”

Did she say these things while standing on a grassy knoll in Roswell, New Mexico?”

And when McKinney said that "we need to get the government out of the drug business," she wasn't talking about a possible prescription drug benefit.

Now give me some Delay.

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 08:31 AM

Markus,

Thanks for the suggestions. The problem is that I'm already painfully familiar with these sites, and what I find there is a troubling reluctance to ever wander off the reservation. I don't waste much time on right-wing sites that have this same problem, so I don't see why I should do so for the left.

I'd like to find sites coming from a left perspective with the eclecticism of an Aldaily or American Scene, but I have yet to find any. Yglesias will occasionally go there, but there is more diversity of thought even at a RealClear or, amazingly, The (evil) Corner than at any left side I can find.

As far as I can tell, the left perspective is too parochial at this point in time, sad to say.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 16, 2005 08:55 AM

"Please, please, please stop with this pernicious meme. It only serves to make a financial meltdown that much more likely. If we choose not to honor Trust Fund bonds, we will send a signal to China, Saudi Arabia, and anyone else that we will default on our bonds whenever it is convenient, and then they will sell them. All of them. And we will have a financial crisis of a size large enough to rival the Great Depression."

Kimmitt,

The royal we is getting you in trouble again. The problem is that the "we" you refer to here is future generations that will have to honor these obligations we are taking on on their behalf with no choice is the matter. Taxation without representation has never been especially popular with folks in this country, and for good reason.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 16, 2005 09:06 AM

"President George W. Bush: Shoots a little girl on the White House Lawn."

This whole analogy begs the question. What has Bush, who as far as I can tell is a big-government liberal himself, done that merits the sort of response he engenders on the left?

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 16, 2005 09:18 AM

"No, because he hasn't done that all this year. Remember about the time he was supposed to give the deposition in January, he sent the troops and rattled his sabres at Saddam Hussein? Nothing happened. Remember in November--I mean, in June he went to China after moving that trip from November to June, when he thought he was going to trial with Paula Jones? And then again in August he starts rattling his saber again and backs off. That's what's happening."

Posted by: FC at March 16, 2005 09:30 AM

FC,

LOL! Delay said Clinton was wagging the dog and that makes him a "radical extremist"?

Thanks for the laughs FC!

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 10:12 AM

Kimmett,

Er, mainstream Dems try to avoid giving ANSWER and NION legitimacy by mentioning them.

I hate to tell you, not only is this strategy not working, it's taking mainstream Dems' legitimacy down with it.

Markus,

Thanks. I knew about Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias. I'll check out the other two.

Posted by: Achillea at March 16, 2005 12:22 PM

I hate to tell you, not only is this strategy not working, it's taking mainstream Dems' legitimacy down with it.

Nah, the only people who care are the folks who figure the Democratic Party and NION have identical politics to start with. The average voter is profoundly unfamiliar with ANSWER and NION, which is of course precisely the best way to deal with them.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 16, 2005 12:41 PM

What has Bush, who as far as I can tell is a big-government liberal himself,

Whoa! Part of the problem we on the Left have is that Bush paints himself as a big-government conservative, then proposes mind-bogglingly awful legislation.

The problem most lefties have with Bush is as follows: He's a damn liar who cynically used the deaths of 3,000 people on 9/11 to push his divisive and radical agenda on the American people. From the PATRIOT Act to Extraordinary Rendition to Gonzalez's torture memoes, to the indefinite detention of American citizens such as Mike Hamdi and Jose Padilla without charges (or, for years, access to counsel), Bush has shown himself to be in brutal contempt of basic American values. He's a bad man, and he's in charge, and he's doing a lot of damage -- and that doesn't even get into the policy differences, such as Bush's insane deficit spending binge, environmental looting, or Lysenkoist approach to scientific inquiry.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 16, 2005 12:46 PM

No doubt Lincoln would have been another "bad man" to Kimmitt.

Afer all, Lincoln called up soldiers from the states to suppress a rebellion, which was viewed by some Southern governors as a violation of the Constitution.

Lincoln also ordered war materials and naval vessels to be created -- without the consent of Congress.

He ordered the Navy to block all Southern ports --illegal because an act of war had yet to be declared.

Lincoln also suspended Habeus Corpus.

But he was at war. He recognized that extraordinary measures were required and he rose to the occasion. Oh, and he was a Republican.

But I guess some people don't accept that we are at war at all, right Kimmitt? Or is it just Halliburton's war?

Posted by: Matt at March 16, 2005 02:13 PM

Ged -- Regarding "wondering off the reservation":

Kevin Drum's blog is hosted by washington monthly, which pioneered challenging liberal orthodoxies from a liberal perspective in the seventies. It's founder and guiding spirit Charlie Peters is pro-draft, pro-free trade, pro- get tough on crime, anti- race based affirmative action, and strongly supportive of more accountability by public school teachers and administrators, and by other government employees. He and the magazine have also criticize the Dems for myopeia on abortion and other "social" issues.

That's a lot of "wandering off the reservation" from my perspective.

Posted by: markus rose at March 16, 2005 03:33 PM

Markus,

Very well said. I guess another problem I have is that my local paper is in love with Charlie Peters and his fellow travelers to the exclusion of any other viewpoints, particular anything libertarian, which they apparently have not idea even exists. Peters is mainstream, anyone else, from Buchanan to Hayek, er, I mean Wolfowitz as I doubt they've ever heard of Hayek, is extreme.

Obviously the big bone of contention between us is the (what appears to me) knee-jerk Bush hatred. All Bush has to do when his popularity dips is take a popular position, knowing a good chunk of Dems will reflexively oppose him, and its all good again. For him. This appears to be the Bush strategy for dividing and conquering the Dem party, and I'm afraid its working pretty well. Bush does a pretty good job of ignoring or coopting Democrats when he lays out his vision. Maybe the Dems could try some of this?

Peters (along with Richard Reilly, Charles Pfaff, ad nauseum, even the sincere E.J. Dionne, at times) seem, at least to me, too sympatico with mid-level Washington bureaucrats like Joe Wilson, who, after all, serve as sources for these writers and need to be cared for as Jordan apparently took care of Saddam. But our interests as citizens do not always coincide with Washington bureaucrats, so I can't always take what they say at face value.

Everything you noted very much interests me, but since the subject has been Bush, Bush, Bush for the past 5 years, I must have missed the good stuff. As long as Dems can pass off criticism of Republicans as their self-reflection (what is meant when Americans are criticized), they will miss out on the fruits of the self-critical liberal tradition.

Yes, Republicans also miss out when they only criticize foreigners, but if your mind automatically went there, it is an illustration of my point.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 16, 2005 04:00 PM

"The average voter is profoundly unfamiliar with ANSWER and NION"

Yes, but tomorrow's average voter is profoundly effected by the few who are paying attention today. I just spent three years on an Ivy League campus and I'll tell you, NION was very visible, and more than a few folks were familiar with ANSWER.

And there was noone, zip, zilch, zero, in a position of authority who was willing to speak out in support of the position MJT so well advocates every day on this blog. There were more than a few students, but with no cover whatsoever from professors or administration, we pretty much kept our heads down. Somehow, I hadn't picutred university life quite that way.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 16, 2005 04:10 PM

Kimmitt - practicing my e-prime with out - you SEEM to me a little too trusting. How would you propose to fight the WOT by eliminating all those egregious things that Bush has done? Or don't you think there IS a WOT? Or, if that is a poor term for our enemy, do you think we have serious enemies and if so, would you be willing to put any limitations on their rights? Is there some trade-off between security and rights that you are willing to make for the sake of preserving (what I take to be) greater rights?

Posted by: Caroline at March 16, 2005 04:20 PM

"The problem most lefties have with Bush is as follows: He's a damn liar who cynically used the deaths of 3,000 people on 9/11 to push his divisive and radical agenda on the American people."

"Liar" - I think that's been beaten to death. If WMD is your case, it's a thin one.

"Cynically" - he sure hides that cynicism well, as his refreshing uncynicism to the point of naivete is a big selling point to tens of millions of your fellow citizens. Guess you can fool some of the people all of the time.

"Divisive" - short-term, this isn't necessarily bad. Emancipation was fairly divisive, as I recall, as was the Civil Rights Act that finished the job. Still worth doing.

"Radical" - again, odd that the left would raise this objection. How many times have professors opened lectures with the reminder that radical is Greek for "root"? Was the New Deal less radical? Therefore wrong?

"From the PATRIOT Act" - what was the vote on passage of the PATRIOT act again? Do you support the Gorelick wall?

"to Extraordinary Rendition" - so this wasn't a Clinton-era practice continued under Bush?

"to Gonzalez's torture memoes, to the indefinite detention of American citizens such as Mike Hamdi and Jose Padilla without charges (or, for years, access to counsel), Bush has shown himself to be in brutal contempt of basic American values."

Would that they were more basic, but as far as I can tell they are not. Yet. Note the popularity of shows like NYPD Blue where the bad guys get knocked around a bit. Not saying this is right, but it is the baseline from which a case must perenially be made. A case the left appears unwilling to condescend to making.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 16, 2005 04:21 PM

Ged, you asked for the opinion and you got it. It is my opinion that Bush is a damn liar, and it has nothing to do with WMD and everything to do with his consistently false statements on every issue imaginable. There are plenty of fact-checks on his State of the Union Addresses, which are among his few meaningful public appearances.

so this wasn't a Clinton-era practice continued under Bush?

Bush massively expanded the program -- and expanded it to countries where they torture people -- and you know it. The reason no one heard about it under Clinton was that it was such a rare event.

Is there some trade-off between security and rights that you are willing to make for the sake of preserving (what I take to be) greater rights?

Look, you think that the US is under siege by insidious Muslim forces, and I don't. Others here compared the threat by Muslim extremists to the threat of Southern Secession. Let me draw you a simple comparision:

Americans killed by Muslim extremists in the past five years (counting every single combat casualty in Iraq, to be safe): approximately 4,500

Americans killed on one day at Antietam: approximately 7,600.

The threats are nowhere near commensurate. So measures which would be appropriate during the Civil War are absurd under current conditions. Yes, I think that there are things we're going to have to endure -- longer lines at airports, possibly a national ID card system, and FBI checks on farmers that buy large amounts of fertilizer. But my ancestors risked their lives for my freedom, and I'm not about to piss it away out of unfounded fear.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 16, 2005 06:27 PM

Kimmitt: "Americans killed by Muslim extremists in the past five years (counting every single combat casualty in Iraq, to be safe): approximately 4,500".

I'm thinking more about the number of infidels killed in the face of Islam's onslaught over the last 1400 years (and continuing today). I'm worried about the ideology that has allowed that. I'm worried about demographic jihad and more so about the capacity of modern technology within our borders to cause much larger scale deaths than ever seen before seen because civil rights and political correctness were given disproportiate weight to security. There is undeniably a trade-off.

"But my ancestors risked their lives for my freedom, and I'm not about to piss it away out of unfounded fear."

I reckon fear comes in many forms.

Posted by: Caroline at March 16, 2005 07:44 PM

"But my ancestors risked their lives for my freedom, and I'm not about to piss it away out of unfounded fear."

Wasn't it you that accused Bush of letting 9/11 happen "on his watch"? And when it happens again will you finally recognize that perhaps it's not an "unfounded" fear? Of course not, you'll be the first to blame Bush for not doing enough to meet the threat.

When it suits your anti-Bush purposes, the threat of terrorism is either "unfounded", or invading Iraq "distracts" from the real war on terror. I'm sorry, it can't be both. It has to be one or the other. So which is it?

There's no way to win with the anti-Bush know-nothings, so why should he try? He knows it, and that's why he pays you no mind.

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 08:16 PM

"Americans killed by Muslim extremists in the past five years (counting every single combat casualty in Iraq, to be safe): approximately 4,500

Americans killed on one day at Antietam: approximately 7,600."

To get apples to apples, one would need to include the Baath (and worse) killed defending Iraq's very own "peculiar institution". Even by non-Lancet estimations, the death toll, unfortunately, is likely up there with Antietam. It's a measure of the progress made in contemporary warfighting (thanks in some part, to concerns from the left) that the total falls far short of the Civil War as a whole.

As the South's peculiar institution was perceived, rightly, to constitute a long-term threat to the integrity of these United States, so to do fascist dictators threaten the long-term integrity of the international order.

Oops, here come the black helicopters.

= )

Posted by: G at March 17, 2005 05:12 AM

In order:

I'm thinking more about the number of infidels killed in the face of Islam's onslaught over the last 1400 years (and continuing today).

As versus what, the Reconquista, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, and the colonial administration of most of the Muslim world until WWII? This is beyond a bizarre metric. Yeah, countries which have majority Muslim populations and countries which have majority Christian populations have fought various wars of expansion and conquest. The Muslims did pretty well on average until about 1500 AD, and then things got bad for them quickly, and a subset of the majority Christian nations colonized most majority Muslim areas. Now, unsurprisingly, there are some folks who live in the majority Muslim nations who are pissed about the remnants of colonialism. Mix this up with religious fundamentalism and you get a very nasty result, but it has nothing to do with any kind of creeping Muslim menace. It's just international politics, played by both old and new rules.

Wasn't it you that accused Bush of letting 9/11 happen "on his watch"? And when it happens again will you finally recognize that perhaps it's not an "unfounded" fear?

Okay, I'll say it slowly so you can understand me. I'm not in favor of throwing away our hard-earned freedoms to save three thousand American lives. I'm not in favor of throwing away our hard-earned freedoms to save a hundred thousand American lives. You know, like that decision we made in World War II. Yes, we face a threat from Muslim extremists. It does not justify the response of disposing with our American ideals. If we do so, we shit on the graves of those who fought and died to allow us to become a shining city on a hill.

so to do fascist dictators threaten the long-term integrity of the international order.

You won't find me disagreeing with this; I am against this particular war at this particular time against this particular (contained) threat to the international order. (Let's put aside the fact that Saddam wasn't a fascist, he was just a dictator.) I thought that the aftermath would be handled very badly and that there were other threats to the international order (and US interests) which were more pressing. Therefore, I don't think that counting Ba'athist losses in the conquest of Iraq is relevant, since my interest is in the threat to US lives and interests. Either we are in charge of the world, or we aren't. If we are, Iraq was a terrible place to begin saving lives -- the Sudan, the Republic of the Congo, and Myanmar would be much better. If we aren't, then US interests are the major guiding factor, and we're back to my arguments.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 17, 2005 10:54 AM

And there was noone, zip, zilch, zero, in a position of authority who was willing to speak out in support of the position MJT so well advocates every day on this blog.

Some would call that a hint.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 17, 2005 12:59 PM

Kimmitt,

Sorry, but my right to be alive is more important than your right to keep your library books a secret, or whatever "hard-earned freedoms" you imagine are being taken away.

Posted by: Carlos at March 17, 2005 02:03 PM

"Some would call that a hint."

It is a distinguishing characteristic of geniuses that they are oblivious to such hints. As I have several windmills at which to tilt before I am willing to admit my non-geniusness, I was therefore oblivious.

= )

Looking back, and considering the more diverse range of views now coming forth, it does indeed seem a hint. Of cowardice. Anject cowardice among one's dissenters is not the sign of a healthy community.

I'm, in general, in agreement with Kimmitt's unwillingness to give up basic freedoms, and believe that a lot of the "Homeland Security" rigamarole is only so much typical governmental grandstanding. That said, just because people are out to get him, that doesn't mean that Kimmitt is not paranoid.

See:

http://www.professorbainbridge.com/2005/03/security_versus.html

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 17, 2005 03:12 PM

Kimmitt: "As versus what, the Reconquista, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, and the colonial administration of most of the Muslim world until WWII? This is beyond a bizarre metric. Yeah, countries which have majority Muslim populations and countries which have majority Christian populations have fought various wars of expansion and conquest."

Kimmitt - I have never pretended to be an historian and I'm not about to start now but there is a good case to be made that the Crusades were a defensive war against several centuries of Muslim expansion. It was also fairly brief compared to 1400 years of islamic conquest (continuing today). Also - I'm not sure its accurate to characterize every war that the west has fought against Muslim opponents as being fought in the name of Christianity. Take, e.g. the Iraq war - is it our intention to convert everyone to Christianity? Was such an effort made when the Ottoman empire was divied up by the western colonial powers? I'm surprised you didn't throw Hitler into the "Christian" side of the equation.

"The Muslims did pretty well on average until about 1500 AD, and then things got bad for them quickly, and a subset of the majority Christian nations colonized most majority Muslim areas."

The colonialists rescued and made possible the survival of many Christian peoples who had been conquered by jihad. Look what has happened since the end of the colonial era to all religious minorities living in Muslim dominated lands. They're practically gone.

"Now, unsurprisingly, there are some folks who live in the majority Muslim nations who are pissed about the remnants of colonialism."

Ugh! Now that makes me want to scream. Pardon me if I can't shed a tear over a people whose sacred scripture preaches jihad jihad jihad. Now we're to believe that WE are the reason their societies are complete failures (I'm sure you've seen that report showing that the Islamic world hasn't produced one innovation in the world of science, literature and so on) but like a good leftist you attribute this to the "remnants of colonialism" rather than to the dysfunctionality and pathology of a culture dominated by Islam! Look to the obvious cause (Occam's razor and all that)!

For example:

Islamic Economics 101

"Mix this up with religious fundamentalism and you get a very nasty result, but it has nothing to do with any kind of creeping Muslim menace. It's just international politics, played by both old and new rules."

No Kimmitt - It isn't "just international politics". Its Asymmetric Warfare! You can't make any comparison with the kind of previous conflicts you cite in which a bunch of people showed up in uniform on a battlefield toting some cannons. What you dismiss as a "creeping Muslim menace" is EXACTLY THAT! It's Creeping, it's Muslim, it's a Menace. How do you fight it? Our enemies have made their intentions quite clear. They have already infiltrated our tolerant western societies to a shocking degree. Speaking of which - if some 20 million or so (I have no idea of the accuracy of that number and welcome correction) westerners had infiltrated the Muslim ME and were building churches left and right and silencing Muslim concerns about it and flat out stating our intentions to convert the entire ME to Christianity by both demographics and violence if necessary, including massive (the bigger the better) strikes against their innocent civilian populations - would you object to the concerns of those native peoples? Would you try to silence tham by calling them bigots or hysterics?

No Kimmitt - my concerns are quite legitimate. You can't sugar-coat 1400 years of Muslim conquest based on real Koranic principles, deny the international evidence of Muslim jihad that piles up every single day (I recently read that 25 of the current 28 international conflicts involve Muslims), deny the facts of asymmetric warfare, deny the realities of modern weapons of mass-destruction and their capacity to produce mass casulaties - and then convince me that I should care that someone's library book selections are being monitored.

But hey - that's just me. Like I said - fear takes many forms. I happen to feal that my fears are very justified and frankly I would be a whole lot happier if more people, rather than fewer, shared my concerns.

Posted by: Caroline at March 17, 2005 03:15 PM

And Kimmitt - I should add, lest it needs to be said - that I am not a racist or a bigot. I barely consider myself to be a Christian (Christian in name only as it were)- which rules out religious prejudice as a motive (and besides which I would downright welcome a large infiltration of Buddhists into American society); I am a first generation American - which eliminates xenophobia as a motive; I live in the South and where I live that is roughly 50% black and has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the US - not to mention Asians, because I live near a major university. It's a wonderful place to live. If this was the future of American society, I would go back into the darkroom, where I used to spend much of my time.

No - it has nothing to do with racism, bigotry, xenophobia - all the labels the left is so fond of tossing about. It has to do with Islam. Islam is an ideology - not a race, not a nationality, and I cannot even dignify it by calling it a religion. It is an ideology of imperialistic, totalitarian conquest. The proof of that assertion lies in the historical record and confronts us every single day in the newspaper. I just happened by historical luck to be born and lived most of my life in a period of its relative (i.e. brief) historical quiescence. Then I woke up one day and realized that I was smack in the middle of history and that nothing had really changed. No doubt you think I am hysterical. That's OK with me. I would rather at this time - err on the side of too much concern, although I am open to voices such as yours, which try to quell those concerns. Let's just say that I welcome (and am open) to the debate.

Posted by: Caroline at March 17, 2005 03:44 PM

I'm, in general, in agreement with Kimmitt's unwillingness to give up basic freedoms,

Ged,

I am too. Only I don't see any of those basic fredoms being threatened.

Posted by: Carlos at March 17, 2005 05:08 PM

Only I don't see any of those basic fredoms being threatened.

You don't see the right to a speedy and public trial to be a basic freedom? Or the right to be detained only for charges?

I have never pretended to be an historian and I'm not about to start now but there is a good case to be made that the Crusades were a defensive war against several centuries of Muslim expansion.

That doesn't make a little bit of sense. The Crusades were a holy war against a part of the world that had been majority Muslim for centuries.

I'm surprised you didn't throw Hitler into the "Christian" side of the equation.

Oh, keep your goddamn pants on.

Look what has happened since the end of the colonial era to all religious minorities living in Muslim dominated lands. They're practically gone.

You're going to have to back up this statement. I agree that the fundamentalist regime in Iran has been brutally oppressive of the Baha'i and other religious minorities, but I don't hear a lot about how the Bangladeshis are massacring Buddhists these days. Maybe I missed something.

Also, it's not like Christians don't have their own heinousness in this regard -- what, precisely, do you think the ethnic cleansers in Bosnia were doing? The Serbs and Croats were only distinguishable by their religion -- Orthodox as versus Catholic. And the Catholics in the regions controlled by the Orthodox Serbs (not to mention the Muslims) certainly decreased in numbers during the period 1991-1996.

You can't sugar-coat 1400 years of Muslim conquest based on real Koranic principles,

Okay, forgive me, but this is extremely ignorant. The Spanish conquered the New World and committed genocides based on then-current Christian theology. One of the stated reasons for racial chattel slavery in the South was Christian theology. Charlemagne conquered Germany for the express purpose of converting the then-pagan Germans. All religions of any level of success have proselytism, often by the sword, as one of their precepts. The difference between Christianity and Islam is not a theological difference, it is that we've had an Enlightenment, and they haven't yet fully. Non-fundamentalist Christians in the West gleefully ignore the more violent passages in the Old Testament which used to be used as justification for genocidal violence. There is no reason whatsoever to think that the followers of Islam will have an experience which is any different.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 17, 2005 06:55 PM

You don't see the right to a speedy and public trial to be a basic freedom? Or the right to be detained only for charges?

Kimmitt,

those Constitutional freedoms apply to American citizens, not foreign combatants.

The Crusades were a holy war against a part of the world that had been majority Muslim for centuries.

Those were all christian provinces until the muslims exploded out of the Arabian peninsula in 700 AD. The christians set out to retake what had been for centuries christian lands.

Non-fundamentalist Christians in the West gleefully ignore the more violent passages in the Old Testament which used to be used as justification for genocidal violence.

I have no beef with the Koran, even with it's disturbing passages. Nor do I have beef with anybody because of their theology. I only have a beef with people if they are VIOLENT because of the Koran or their theology, or if they support that violence because of their theology. So you can find stuff you don't like in the Bible, but you can hardly compare christian fundamentalists to muslims.

Posted by: Carlos at March 17, 2005 08:44 PM

"those Constitutional freedoms apply to American citizens, not foreign combatants."

Yeah, but Jose Padilla is an American citizen, if also a foreign combatant.

"Those were all christian provinces until the muslims exploded out of the Arabian peninsula in 700 AD. The christians set out to retake what had been for centuries christian lands."

And for millenia before that they were various flavors of pagan. The fact that the origianl Christian evangelism in many of these lands was largely peaceful (as it primarily focused on the dispossessed, it had to be) should not be obscured by history. But Carlos, you're rowing way uphill if you want to try to justify the crusades. The fact that you would be in opposition to the vast majority of the world's Christians in doing so being the most troublesome aspect of this effort.

"Non-fundamentalist Christians in the West gleefully ignore the more violent passages in the Old Testament which used to be used as justification for genocidal violence."

It's hard to be gleeful about something of which you are not aware. As someone whose job it is to draw attention to these very passages - we try to make sense of the whole thing, difficult as that often is - I can tell you there is little glee when folks discover what is actually there. If it is then avoided, it is done so with embarassment, at great risk to the integrity of one's faith.

"I have no beef with the Koran, even with it's disturbing passages. Nor do I have beef with anybody because of their theology. I only have a beef with people if they are VIOLENT because of the Koran or their theology, or if they support that violence because of their theology. So you can find stuff you don't like in the Bible, but you can hardly compare christian fundamentalists to muslims."

Here you make a very valid point, which Kimmitt explains nicely by pointing out the lack of a full Muslim Enlightenment. I would add the prerequisite of a Reformation (and perhaps Counter-Reofrmation, as well) that set the stage for Enlightenment. Two troublesome implications arise for your argument, however, Kimmitt.

Given the clear danger posed by pre-Enlightenment Christianity you have so convincingly argued, could not claims of the threat posed by pre-Enlightenment Islam be therefore valid as well?

When the left in our own society denounces enlightenment values, as I heard them repeatedly doing in my recent stint at university, do they not thereby risk finding common-cause with pre-Enlightment Islam? Or is there a distinct enough difference betwen pre- and post- to prevent this alliance?

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 17, 2005 09:25 PM

The fact that you would be in opposition to the vast majority of the world's Christians in doing so being the most troublesome aspect of this effort.

Ged,

First of all, most christians (like most people) don't know their own history. And second, I couldn't care less about the political correctness surrounding the Crusades. You should know that about me. Nonetheless, I'm not trying to justify the Crusades, because they are irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Too long ago. But neither do I consider them such a dark stain on western/christian history, that's all. Islam tried to conquer the world a thousand years ago, and do you see muslims hanging their head in shame about it? No. And neither do I. The Crusades were merely a counter-attack to the East's latest foray. It was but one of many wars the West and East have fought over the millenia going all the way back to the Greeks and Persians, and even further. So I like to remind dhimmi apologists like Kimmitt that muslims during the Crusades were conquerors themselves, who got conquered. And the Reconquest culminated in the liberation of southern Europe, and Spain, my family's homeland. So you'll never hear me apologize or hang my head in shame about it like you properly indoctrinated christians and westerners do.

Yeah, but Jose Padilla is an American citizen, if also a foreign combatant.

Padilla is a jihadist who is known to have trained in Afghanistan. And when he entered this country on a mission, after being tailed by the FBI, he was picked up as an enemy combatant.

Here's what the Feds say: "The authority of the United States to seize and detain enemy combatants is well settled -- and vital to our core military objectives. Unlawful combatants are those who, during time of war, pass surreptitiously from enemy territory into our own for the commission of hostile acts involving destruction of life or property."

My rights aren't threatened in any real way. It's all theoretically what if's by the disingenous Left.

Posted by: Carlos at March 17, 2005 10:27 PM

I'll practice e-prime too.

"Kimmitt - practicing my e-prime with out - you SEEM to me a little too trusting."

Consider whether some people you trust might lie to you?

"How would you propose to fight the WOT by eliminating all those egregious things that Bush has done?"

If you had the authority, would you do the flagrant things Bush has done or do you have other ideas?

"Or don't you think there IS a WOT?"

I don't see how to translate this. [thinks]

Consider the label WOT, which applies to so many things:

To the effort to bring to justice those who contributed to 9/11.

To the effort to stop everyone who might attack US citizens or citizens of allied countries.

To the effort to stop specifically muslim terrorists and the nations that tolerate them.

To the effort to defeat islam which is intrinsically a terrorist religion, and to kill or convert all muslims.

With so many WOTs to choose from, how would we know which you mean?

Maybe it could go, "Do you believe in WOT?

"Or, if that is a poor term for our enemy, do you think we have serious enemies and if so, would you be willing to put any limitations on their rights?"

What limitations should be put on the rights of people who may act against the interests of US civilians? What about people who have already acted against the interests of US civilians?

(When you say someone IS an enemy that makes it an intrinsic property of the person. If you instead consider people who (you think) have done bad things to US civilians, or people who (you think) might likely do bad things to US civilians unless we stop them, then you get a little bit away from the fantasy.)

"Is there some trade-off between security and rights that you are willing to make for the sake of preserving (what I take to be) greater rights?"

Free people might hurt you. How much would you restrict US civilians and foreigners to prevent them from hurting US civilians?

OK, I want to respond to that last part. I say that you can't give people rights and you can't restrict rights. You can only grant or revoke privileges. You recognise rights, because you can't take them away -- either because the laws of physics and chemistry stop you, or because the people with the rights stop you.

When we put our entire civilian japanese-american population in concentration camps during WWII, we demonstrated that US citizens have no rights in wartime. (Note -- concentration camps, not death camps. We made the most humane concentration camps I've ever heard of. The increased death rate came from heat and cold and lack of medical care and old people weakened by scorpion bites and such, not from direct brutality.) Free assembly? Free press? Bear arms? You name the right guaranteed by the Constitution and it got denied to US citizens simply because of their race.

In wartime all the things we think of as american rights turn into privileges that you get on sufferance.

And the Patriot acts turn our rights into privileges without a declaration of war, without an enemy we can officially defeat, for the indefinite future. Say we defeat al qaeda, and then all the muslim terrorists, and then all the muslims. Will that make us safe? No.

Anyone with the will can use the methods of terrorism. To feel safe we must stop everyone who might have that will. We can never again have civil liberties, unless we give up our security.

So I say, give up the security. Make it hard for any unauthorised person to get into the really dangerous stuff, that's only common sense. Inspect imports however much it costs. But honor our Constitution and respect our rights.

On the other hand if too few US citizens have what it takes to defend those rights then -- well, then we'll have to settle for privileges after all.

Posted by: J Thomas at March 17, 2005 11:36 PM

Padilla is a jihadist who is known to have trained in Afghanistan. And when he entered this country on a mission, after being tailed by the FBI, he was picked up as an enemy combatant.

Sure, that's what the government says. And that's why we have these things called "trials," where the government has to prove that what it thinks is true is actually true.

Your opinion appears to be that we don't need "trials" any more -- that the state is utterly trustworthy. Your rejection of basic freedoms is noted.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 18, 2005 01:30 AM

J Thomas - well may I say that you are way way better than I am with the e-prime stuff. Impressive!

"So I say, give up the security. Make it hard for any unauthorised person to get into the really dangerous stuff, that's only common sense. Inspect imports however much it costs. But honor our Constitution and respect our rights. "

I guess as with most things, the devil is in the details. Michael has previously run several threads on torture (including the issue of rendition). Maybe down the road he'll post on the Patriot Act. There are seemingly too many details involved to debate it as a black and white issue and it would no doubt require a whole thread to tear it apart.

I did find this 4 part Slate article helpful in summarizing many of the issues:

Patriot Act

About all I can say at this point is that I would oppose making any of it permanent (i.e. would favor continual sunset?).

Ged of E: "Given the clear danger posed by pre-Enlightenment Christianity you have so convincingly argued, could not claims of the threat posed by pre-Enlightenment Islam be therefore valid as well?"

Beautiful.

Posted by: Caroline at March 18, 2005 02:59 AM

Carlos,

"First of all, most christians (like most people) don't know their own history. And second, I couldn't care less about the political correctness surrounding the Crusades. You should know that about me"

You're right, that was a poor argument on my part. If one set out to discredit the Crusades one hundred years ago, it would have required just such uphill rowing, which a few brave souls nonetheless embarked upon, and largely succeeded.

I guess my point is that you pick your battles, and as you seem to concur, this one is not worth fighting. To be clear, I wouldn't personally fight this one in any case, as I do consider the Crusades largely sinful, but that is beside the point.

"Islam tried to conquer the world a thousand years ago, and do you see muslims hanging their head in shame about it? No. And neither do I."

So Muslim behavior is the standard by which you judge your own? This is the same fallacy to which liberals succumb when they (we?) decide to get as "down-and-dirty" as some perceive conservatives to be.

"dhimmi apologists like Kimmitt"

Kimmitt is a far better man than to deserve this dismissal. Sure we disagree with him on some matters, as we do with each other, but we're on the same side. Please do not forget that.

"And the Reconquest culminated in the liberation of southern Europe, and Spain, my family's homeland. So you'll never hear me apologize or hang my head in shame about it like you properly indoctrinated christians and westerners do."

Well said, and a useful reminder of your humanity. Good way to escape the old pigeonhole.

"My rights aren't threatened in any real way."

I'm not convinced that it is ever possible to establish this fact with any real certainty, hence the need for vigilance provided by folks like Kimmitt.

"It's all theoretically what if's by the disingenous Left."

It is the left's willingness to too easily resort to disingenuity that is its current dowfall among reasonable folks who would otherwsie be sympathetic to its values. Not much moral high ground to be found there.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 18, 2005 10:34 AM

Given the clear danger posed by pre-Enlightenment Christianity you have so convincingly argued, could not claims of the threat posed by pre-Enlightenment Islam be therefore valid as well?

The consistent claims that pre-Enlightenment Islam represents a threat on par with either the Fascist states of World War II or the American Civil War are absurd on their face. Simply put, the very act of engaging in asymmetric warfare is an admission of profound weakness. We own them. It's just a matter of getting the job done right, something which is being badly bungled by this Administration.

Stop living in fear. We are far, far more powerful than they are -- and we are also in the right, as long as we don't lose our moral compass in the process.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 18, 2005 10:54 AM

Kimmitt,

"The consistent claims that pre-Enlightenment Islam represents a threat on par with either the Fascist states of World War II or the American Civil War are absurd on their face."

But what "threat" did the Civil War pose? This is a non-sequitor. Perhaps my own. Except to consider the acceptance of blatant injustice as a threat itself, both in the potential of that injustice to fester into things like 9/11 and the Spanish Inquisition, and of the acceptance to erode the integrity of those with the power to do something about it but refuse to do so.

I guess you can take heart, Kimmitt, that no one expected the Spanish Inquisition either.

= )

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 18, 2005 11:03 AM

But what "threat" did the Civil War pose?

Er, the violent removal of 1/3 of the country's landmass and population?

Except to consider the acceptance of blatant injustice as a threat itself,

Iraq was a dreadful place to start, if we're now the world's morality cop. Especially once we reopened Saddam's torture rooms.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 18, 2005 12:06 PM

Kimmitt: "Especially once we reopened Saddam's torture rooms."

That is really a cheap shot. I guess you must be taking comfort in the fact that the Iraqi penal system is now back under Iraqi control.

"But what "threat" did the Civil War pose?

Er, the violent removal of 1/3 of the country's landmass and population?"

That was a native population fighting for their social norms - even if those norms included slavery. I would guess that by today's standards, modern leftists would have sided with the confederacy.

Ged: "Except to consider the acceptance of blatant injustice as a threat itself"

It is my impression that the left has become quite confused regarding fundamental principles of justice and injustice and what is truly worth defending, fighting, and dying for.

Posted by: Caroline at March 18, 2005 05:39 PM

The Civil War debate is beyond tangential, but I wanted to address this:

I guess you must be taking comfort in the fact that the Iraqi penal system is now back under Iraqi control.

Not particularly, given the State Department's human rights report. We had a chance to show them something better, but, well, as Carlos so ably demonstrates, the folks who are in charge of this war have a political philosophy which is inimical to something better.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 19, 2005 08:47 AM

Kimmitt,

"the folks who are in charge of this war have a political philosophy which is inimical to something better."

Do you truly believe this? That there is no distinction between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein?

I mean, I think Noam Chomsky's philosophy is better than Saddam Hussein, and I think it's pretty clear I'm far from a Chomsky fan. Where has our sense of perspective gone?

Just because Rumsfeld is so focused on the positive that he is overly dismissive of measures to counteract the negative, that does not equate him with those who actively promote the negative, does it?

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 19, 2005 09:37 AM

That there is no distinction between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein?

Neither holds the values of democracy, freedom, or the rule of law in high regard. Rumsfeld is without question far more privately decent a human being, but their political philosophies, which venerate power over legitimacy, are depressingly similar.

We tortured a lot of innocent people, and we did so systematically. We did so because our political leadership has a political philosophy which is not compatible with the rule of law or respect for human dignity, and we saw this in the places (Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib) where their actions were not constrained by the institutions of US civil society.

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