Rick, let me start off by expressing my respect for your opinion, and the research you put into forming it. As you know from numerous exchanges we have had over the past year, I disagree with you. I've always wished I were both smarter and a better communicator. Lacking either of those weapons, I can only take one more stab at this, throwing as much mud at the wall as possible, and seeing if anything sticks. I do this knowing that I have as little hope of converting you to my position as you have of converting me- but this is the great marketplace for the exchange of ideas, no?
War isn't a boxing match, which has rules and timeouts, referees, and a defined start and stop time. War isn't performed for sport, it is done to win, at any and all costs. A "just" war (I know that term will have its objectors) has at its core the safety and security of the nation that wages it. The fact that the world has instituted a set of rules for war is absurd at face value. No member nation at war has EVER followed the Geneva convention in all circustances- and rigthfully so. It would be like a boxer that fights by the rules, but fights an opponent with weighted gloves who also bites (sort of like fighting, say Mike Tyson).
You say that Bush has sacrificed our most cherished values. My most cherished values are the safety and security of my family. I would die for them all (well, everybody except my cousin Bubba). If I have to cede the moral high road of protecting prisoners of war from torture in order to keep my family alive, I'll broker that exchange every day. Every time.
The fact that they believed sincerely they were doing it to protect us is not a valid excuse or justification.
How do you prove that? That is your opinion, which carries no more relevance than mine.
Is it true that they violated the Geneva convention? Although, as you pointed out, they went to great lengths to provide legal justification that they did not, I will concede that point to you. Does it bother me? Not in the least. But, you may say, the honesty and integrity of our government's word is now besmirched! Given enough time, I could provide you with a thousand proven lies our government has told over the past years- from all administrations. Is this lie worse than others? Maybe, but who assigns the score to the government sins- any score is purely sujective.
We've kicked president's out of office (okay, Nixon resigned, but it was inevitable) because they broke the law. We've put senators and congressmen in prison for breaking the law. I am NOT excusing law-breaking (on the other hand, is it actually against U.S. law to violate the Geneva Convention? Are there statues, mandatory sentences, etc.?) However, you excoriate the Bush administration for looking for (or devising) a way to make their actions legal- doesn't it make sense for them to do so, considering they knew that some future administration may try to indict them?
Did he grasp the fact that he was in the process of justifying the deliberate infliction of pain on another human being?
YES! He was trying to make the country safe without having to worry about being tried for "crimes against humanity" by some future administration.
That's the best I can do- I've got nothing else. I do want to confess that the fact that you regularly read Sullivan is a bit disturbing- while he may write something of value once in a blue moon, I've heard that a room full of monkeys tapping on a keyboard actually form a word or two occasionally. Reading monkey chat seems like a misplaced priority of your valuable time :-)Comment Posted By lionheart On 17.04.2009 @ 12:42
Chuck, wasn't Keynesian economics at the core of the "recovery" from the great depression? Isn't it founded in the concept of government stimulating the economy with massive spending. And didn't it fail miserably (most of my reading- and I am an avg. IQ layman) idicates that Keynesian stimulus had NOTHING to do with the recovery from the depression. My only point here is that I am disagreeing with you that it has never been tried before.
Thanks for the thoughtful response. I like you better when you not responding with sarcasm.Comment Posted By lionheart On 17.04.2009 @ 07:28
You are correct- Republicans blew it when we had control of all the branches. Bush is not a conservative, and coupled with a war (please don't argue the legitimacy of the war- we were are war whether it was legit or not), he spent like a drunken sailor on shore leave. All the other factors, but most particularly the pressure on banks to make bad loans, happened on the Dem's watch (full control of both houses). It's both parties fault, and we should both admit it and stop trying to blame the other party.
But the protests are occurring because you and I and everybody else with half a brain know that the bailouts are nothing more than a mortgage on our future- and worse than that, rewarding failure. I can't imagine getting a bonus or having my company pay my home mortgage because I mismanaged my income so poorly, or worse- lost my paycheck in a poker game. But that is what the bailouts are doing, and they are only postponing the inevitable, because continung a bad business plan perpetuates failure.
And then, of course, there's the problem with the government running private corporations... Obama says its not socialism, but I don't know what else to call it.
The bottom line is, I don't care what party runs the country, as long as they do it responsibly. So you're right, I should have been protesting the irresponsibility of the R's, but you should be protesting the irresponsibility of the D's. Unless you think Obama's plan has merit, you should stop justifying your inaction by pointing to my bad behavior.Comment Posted By lionheart On 16.04.2009 @ 14:29
I'm not rich, and I'm not stupid, and even if I were (stupid), no rich person "bought" me. I'm supporting the tea parties for the simple reason that a grassroots movement will pressure our local pols to oppose the mortgaging of our country and our future (one thing is certain- they all want to stay in their power-club). How that benefits only the rich is lost on me.
Regardless of your political affiliation, you should be a supporter too, Chuck.Comment Posted By lionheart On 15.04.2009 @ 11:22
McCain is clearly brilliant, and should be added to any conservatives daily "must-read" list, along with RWNH. A bit religious for me, but smart.Comment Posted By lionheart On 9.04.2009 @ 15:35
I'm rolling on the floor. Had no idea you had a sense of humor!Comment Posted By lionheart On 9.04.2009 @ 08:10
Well said, Michael Reynolds.Comment Posted By lionheart On 7.04.2009 @ 12:00
Congratulation on your Bears getting Cutler. They'll be serious contenders with him.Comment Posted By lionheart On 6.04.2009 @ 11:55
You would be hard-pressed to somebody that is more in favor of individual liberties than me. However, here is my problem with smokers:
1. A larger percentage of poor people smoke than affluent people. When these people get sick, Joe Taxpayer is stuck with the medical bill, and that pisses me off.
2. Few people would wad up a McDonalds wrapper and throw it out the window while driving- most people are appalled at such behavior. But many smokers act like cigarette butts are not litter (based on personal experience of following cars with smokers at night- its easy them fling them out the window). Not only does that introduce litter, it has been responsible for many, many wildfires, and probably lives lost. That pisses me off.
3. Finally, while you honor other people's wishes to not smoke in their presence, many smokers (also based on personal experience), act as if their personal liberty trumps my personal liberty- and that pisses me off.
So, while I am very sympathetic to any encroachment on your liberties, I understand people's reluctance to support your position, based on (as a minimum) those 3 items above.Comment Posted By lionheart On 3.04.2009 @ 11:37
One of the most amazing books I have ever read is called "How We Die", by Sherwin Nuland. There is a chapter on many different diseases that lead to our deaths, and he paints a vivid, poignant picture of each (it may sound like a dry book, but it is anything but dry).
Of the many ways to die (as described in the book), Alzheimers is the most horrific, and the one we are most powerless to stop or treat. So I agree with you Rick, that this is a cause worth fighting, and I will do whatever I can to support that fight.
As a minimum, I'll join Michael Reynolds in writing my Senators and Congressman.Comment Posted By lionheart On 26.03.2009 @ 11:43