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Bloggingheads
05-23-2008, 07:01 PM

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 12:08 AM
Firstly, ~13 minutes in, and I cast my vote for Bill Beutler. I prefer his performance to Conn's. Beutler only reminds me more how Carroll has fallen from the Blog-o-mater blogger he was, and how little I like him as a think tank hack.

Secondly, Joe Klein's stunt with McCain reminds me how the MSM feeds the You Tube-ization of politics by not finding a way to clarify these points, like who is the head of state in Iran. The blogosphere (in which I include bhTV) should backstop. I'm not sure Klein was looking for a gaffe, or clarifying a complicated issue, or both.

The technical glitches were a first-time disappointment.

carpenterale
05-24-2008, 12:14 AM
"From 2007-08 he was a member of the web team for the Fred Thompson presidential campaign."

That explains, uh lot.

graz
05-24-2008, 12:33 AM
Firstly, ~13 minutes in, and I cast my vote for Bill Beutler. I prefer his performance to Conn's. Beutler only reminds me more how Carroll has fallen from the Blog-o-mater blogger he was, and how little I like him as a think tank hack.

Secondly, Joe Klein's stunt with McCain reminds me how the MSM feeds the You Tube-ization of politics by not finding a way to clarify these points, like who is the head of state in Iran. The blogosphere (in which I include bhTV) should backstop. I'm not sure Klein was looking for a gaffe, or clarifying a complicated issue, or both.

The technical glitches were a first-time disappointment.

The Klein thing reminds me so much of Presidential news conferences. It nearly forces a reporters hand.
In that the reporter gets one question and maybe a follow-up. But McCain (or in the Presidents case) can look off or ignore the second question that he doesn't like or chooses to gloss over or ignore. My take is that Klein was pushing McCain on on small point about Iranian leadership structure that was perceived as "gotcha" style. And so McCain tried to one-up him with the irrelevant but savvy:"If you ask the average American who the leader..."

However you interpret it, what is lost is the significance of the larger point about who holds the reigns in Iraq and who to deal with or appease if your so inclined.

And thanks to Bill and Bill. Funny but they also were a little shaky on the Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei- at least pronunciation wise.
But they were prescient on Parsley.

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 01:33 AM
However you interpret it, what is lost is the significance of the larger point about who holds the reigns in Iraq and who to deal with or appease

That's my point exactly! I accept the fact that newspapers and networks have corporate sponsors limiting their liberty to investigate. The blogosphere is supposed to be beyond that! Instead, it either self-censors itself to be as anodyne as the MSM, or tries to make up for the gravy train by going directly to the individual donor (the Obama funding strategy). These are college-educated people-still it's like they're trying to write dissertations about gossip. Be wonky, be satirical, be Mencken! Just don't be a reporter, a think tank clock-puncher, a government staffer, an academic, an editorialist. We have those skill slots already!

On the substantive point, from what I've read, Iran's governmental structure is vastly more complicated than Beutler even approached, and makes the separation of powers look like a license to give half the country a title and paycheck. Perhaps as the revolution recedes, the number of extra-governmental militias and councils have faded away, but early on it seemed as if there was a governmental body for every revolutionary with a stake, and about a zillion different channels between them. That's seems to be the problem: comparative-speaking, Iran is less government than one big mafia family (no moral comparison intended). Callin either Khamenei, or Ahmadinejad the Leader takes a major leap of interpretative license.

bjkeefe
05-24-2008, 02:12 AM
Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has kidney stones ...

(source (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/us/politics/24mccain.html))

Wonderment
05-24-2008, 02:31 AM
Mr. McCain’s doctors reported that Mr. McCain takes....Ambien CR, as necessary for sleep when traveling

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yikes! Is it 3:00 a.m. already?

Am I hallucinating or did the Russkies launch the nukes? Where's that friggin' briefcase or football or whachamacallit? Are you Vietcong?

look
05-24-2008, 04:03 AM
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yikes! Is it 3:00 a.m. already?

Am I hallucinating or did the Russkies launch the nukes? Where's that friggin' briefcase or football or whachamacallit? Are you Vietcong?
Side effects: sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep bombing...

Eastwest
05-24-2008, 07:49 AM
Bill Beutler seems at points to be significantly more candid and less coldly "go-for-the-jugular" than Conn, needing less to adhere with such steeled will to obviously absurd Republican talking points.

Just as I found it refreshing when Bill Scher allowed in a substitute recently who turned out to be refreshingly competent (Ari Melber?), I think it wouldn't hurt Conn to at least occasionally switch-hit with Beutler if he feels like he wants to take a break from the standard regimen.

(BTW, Please, please, please get the technical glitches worked out. They were extraordinarily egregious and distracting in this DV.)

EW

Richard from Amherst
05-24-2008, 12:17 PM
So I take it from your specious comments that you gentlemen are disappointed that there is nothing significant in McCain's medical records.

bjkeefe
05-24-2008, 12:25 PM
So I take it from your specious comments that you gentlemen are disappointed that their is nothing significant in McCain's medical records.

Three things:

1. I wish no ill health on anyone. My post was an inside joke (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/search.php?searchid=92422).

2. I expect that look will not be happy about being included in the group "gentlemen." Possibly for adjectival as well as nounal reasons.

3. There is one thing about which I am disappointed: the heavily redacted and restrictive manner with McCain handled this whole procedure.

Whatfur
05-24-2008, 12:42 PM
Firstly, ~13 minutes in, and I cast my vote for Bill Beutler. I prefer his performance to Conn's. Beutler only reminds me more how Carroll has fallen from the Blog-o-mater blogger he was, and how little I like him
...
The technical glitches were a first-time disappointment.

I may be wrong ("what are the odds") but this comment and this diavlog has allowed me to maybe gleen some insight into all of the hand-wringing, bashing, and over-the-top, (but still unsubstantiated (http://new.wavlist.com/soundfx/014/cricket-2.wav)) finger pointing at the "unhinged", foaming-at-the-mouth, Mr. Hyde-like, personae the lefties here have created for their arch-nemesis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfr21Rq2A8I)that is Conn Carroll.

Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait for it as I was up late last night (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11107?in=00:51:01&out=00:51:05) and slept in but awoke to birds singing and dogs howling and a fairly large honey-do list to get through so I have to first "run away" for a bit. Later.

p.s. Nice to see Scher finally got a decent headset instead of that thing he always had hanging from his ear ...and "technical glitches" why do I hear handle saying to himself "what technical glitches?".

bjkeefe
05-24-2008, 12:45 PM
... a fairly large honey-do list ...

Which suggests that you should have thought, years back, "This is why I cantaloupe."

graz
05-24-2008, 12:53 PM
I may be wrong ("what are the odds") but this comment and this diavlog has allowed me to maybe gleen some insight into all of the hand-wringing, bashing, and over-the-top, (but still unsubstantiated (http://new.wavlist.com/soundfx/014/cricket-2.wav)) finger pointing at the "unhinged", foaming-at-the-mouth, Mr. Hyde-like, personae the lefties here have created for their arch-nemesis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfr21Rq2A8I)that is Conn Carroll.

It's Memorial Day (weekend) not Valentines Day.
We know you're in love with Conn's persona.

QUOTE=Whatfur:
"Shoot for that eh? And I will shoot for being more like Conn with Reagan looking over his shoulder."

But if you insist, I am awaiting your insight.

graz
05-24-2008, 01:11 PM
(but still unsubstantiated (http://new.wavlist.com/soundfx/014/cricket-2.wav))

And as you live so far out in the woods as to be able to hear nothing but crickets,
may I remind you that the case has been made. By many and quite sufficiently.
You just can't hear it over the deafening roar of those mighty crickets.

look
05-24-2008, 03:01 PM
So I take it from your specious comments that you gentlemen are disappointed that there is nothing significant in McCain's medical records.
To the contrary, I was touched and relieved to hear this:
“At the present time, Senator McCain enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy,” Mr. McCain’s primary care physician, Dr. John D. Eckstein, told reporters in a conference call arranged by Mr. McCain’s campaign. “While it is impossible to predict any person’s future health, today I can find no medical reason or problems that would preclude Senator McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of president of the United States.”

look
05-24-2008, 03:11 PM
I think Scher and Beutler are more compatible that Scher and Conn.

Besides, think of all the cool DV names you could come up with. Bill and Bill in the Afternoon, Bill Squared, May I have the Bill, Please?

Wonderment
05-24-2008, 04:52 PM
So I take it from your specious comments that you gentlemen are disappointed that there is nothing significant in McCain's medical records.

1. What was the specious part?

2. I am a little disappointed. A health issue like alcoholism, kleptomania, cocaine use, or treatment for an STD might have nicely disqualified McCain and saved the nation from another insanely hawkish presidency, utter disaster on the Supreme Court, and lost opportunities for Obama to pursue his agenda with a Dem-dominated Congress.

I think Obama will win, but I also think -- given the country's long history of racism and the McCain myth that he's an all-American war hero and everyone's favorite grumpy grandpa -- that the election may be tough.

harkin
05-24-2008, 05:55 PM
"So, declare victory and go home?"

Awesome William, you just turned Obama into a potential Nixon. Maybe Obama can forego 'victory' and declare 'peace with honor'.

The problem with the msm, Olbermann and netroots going crazy over the '100 years' comment and for which they were justifiably criticized is that they framed it as McCain wanting the US to be in a shooting war for a century. When you look at the context a little deeper than Scher's opportunistic and disingenuous pouncing (as WB rightfully points out) then you see the Japan and Korea context that the liberal media left out of 99% of the references to the comment.

Quoting McCain:

"Maybe 100. That would be fine with me....
How long -- we have been in -- we have been in South Korea -- we have been in Japan for 60 years. We have been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me ... as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. Then it's fine with me. I hope it would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting and equipping and motivating people every single day."

For Bill S to declare the '100 years' snippet as the 'exact full context' is to illustrate the emptyness (even the disingenuousness) of his reasoning. This is the sort of mindless ideology that results in the DNC commercial where McCain's '100 years' quote is used, followed by a phrases such as ""5 years," "$500 billion," "Over 4,000 dead" without ever mentioning that McCain specifically qualified his statement regarding injuries, harm, wounds and deaths.

I'll leave it to any thinking person to decide if that sort of smearing is shameless dishonesty or just 'tough politics'. Regardless, it nowhere near approaches 'exact full context'.

Telling the truth is not being 'in the tank' or 'such generous coverage' and to even have to explain this is something that should not be necessary on a BHs thread.

bjkeefe
05-24-2008, 07:14 PM
harkin:

I don't remember how Bill Scher phrased it exactly, but as I recall, I agree with you that he was less than honest about this. Any political junkie, even us left-leaning ones, knows what McCain meant in that town hall meeting by "100 years." And so, you're right, here in the high brow, intellectually rigorous, and fearlessly honest world of BH.tv, Bill didn't need to be like that.

On the other hand, I think the famous ad to which you refer is fair game, especially if we define "fair" as meaning "no worse than standard GOP/conservative advertising and media tactics." Let's not forget how willing the anti-Obama side has been to judge Obama by a snippet of someone else saying, "God damn America," to name but one example.

I also think it's entirely fair to use the shorthand "100 years" to represent the fact that McCain (1) has been clear that he wants to stay in Iraq until victory is achieved, and (2) that he has been anything but clear about how that's supposed to happen and how long he's willing to keep trying.

Wonderment
05-24-2008, 07:21 PM
I also think it's entirely fair to use the shorthand "100 years" to represent the fact that McCain (1) has been clear that he wants to stay in Iraq until victory is achieved, and (2) that he has been anything but clear about how that's supposed to happen and how long he's willing to keep trying.

It also implies (in the generous-to-McCain reading) that US militarism and domination of the Middle East can, should and will continue for centuries.

This is a deeply insulting, arrogant and reckless characterization of the role the US should play globally. It plays terribly in the rest of the world and is another example of McCain's tin ear and Obama's infinitely better sense of how to project a less brutal and domineering image of the US to the world.

bjkeefe
05-24-2008, 07:25 PM
Wonderment:

Yes, good point. Thanks for adding it. I agree: the notion that we can just hang out in Iraq the way we do in Germany, Japan, and South Korea seems completely unrealistic. We won't have "no soldiers getting getting killed" as long as we have soldiers there.

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 10:17 PM
Whatfur:

The only thing "over-the-top" is your attempt to draw battle lines.

Blog-O-Meter does a unique service by providing one post access to innumerable links-an ideal many bloggers seldom follow. Linking is the backbone of the blogosphere. So, "The Week In Blog", I think, is rightfully provided on bhTV to do the same. Conn Carroll did a fine job at B-O-M, but he's moved on. He's a proponent now, not a linker. He should unscrew the training wheels, and find his own conservative (I didn't offend him by characterizing him as what he calls himself, right?) niche on bhTV, like Will Wilkinson and Jim Pinkerton have. Actually, the last time Scher and Carroll did "The Week In Blog" there was a copious amount of linking, and I was pleased. It's called accuracy in advertising!

And, too, I think the lineup should just change continuously. Aside from Wilkinson (and I don't even like franchising) and even Corn/Pinkerton (who I like) or Wright/Kaus (who obviously can do as they please), i think the pairings should rotate so that no one debates one another often at all in a year. I like the novelty of a uncertain cage match, especially with the book-plugging and IGO introductions (let Stewart and Colbert handle that stuff!). It can fail, but it's fresh. Especially, if, that is, kept people like Carroll or Schmitt are going to debate talking points, then there needs to be a 'head on the other side matching with contrasting talking points, and hopefully frisson leads to something new around ~40 minutes, followed by a KO.

If you want to immerse yourself in your own echo chamber, Whatfur, activate your own RSS feeder. But, bhTV should be like an atom smasher, or a blender: little bits of 'heads whirling round until there's none of them left, but a solution. What you want is inviting adulation and eventually demagoguery.

Conn, time to take the training wheels off and enter the lists! For the record, with your scowling and retorts, you're better than three-quarters of the 'heads!

Whatfur
05-24-2008, 10:30 PM
Let me start by saying that I enjoyed listening to Mr. Beutler and like others have expressed; I would be happy to see him back with Bill or even with Conn for that matter. However, I think he will watch himself on his first episode and notice a couple things that he would like to improve on and will. First, there was like a half dozen times where he quoted something or referred to something followed by apologizing for not having the exact quote or the article of mention...and there was a couple other things that caused me to ponder that maybe some additional preparation and preparation of materials may have enhanced his performance. Not that this is unique to him. All in all I can tip the bill of my hat to the performance of both.

But to the the concept that I alluded to this morning. Now some of this is conjecture as I do not have the baseline of Mr. Carroll on Blogo-meter or his early episodes here...

This being Beutler's maiden voyage on BH of course he was going to be content to play second fiddle. He was going to be content with making sure he just got his point in and not all that concerned with Scher making a point too. An example...The 100 years war discussion. Scher, for whatever reason, wanted to bo back and defend the indefensible again concerning the portrayal of McCain's statement about being in Iraq 100 years. Beutler stated that it was the context of the commercial that people and MOST in the media found offensive while Scher ignores that and tries to just get people to believe that the words WERE the context and that people don't like the thought of being in Iraq for the next 100 years while acting incredulous that the right would "whine" about something McCain actually said. Well...obviously at this point they are not even discussing the same thing. They both have points. As their points are laid out they both have valid points...Both Bills are happy enough. Conn would NOT HAVE let it hang there and would have finished the discussion suggesting that Scher's point ingores the premise of the "whining" and attempts to pin it on something not really being being denied. My point? Bill S. is happier and those on his side are happier holding onto their points regardless of how valid and Mr. Carroll isn't willing to concede them...any more. I speculate he used to. I speculate Beutler will learn not to.

Bill B. also threw in a number of affirmatons as Scher spoke like "Right!"s and "Of course!"s, etc. People love affirmation and back-patting from their peers and otherwise. Conn does little of that and I again speculate that he used to...as he too was getting to know Bill. I believe Conn has probably learned to hold back on the affirmations of statements until Scher's final destination is known...because he has been witness of too many destinations that have not been connected by the path taken.

There's more but maybe something in line with the first point...Scher does better when when he is the top dog, the driver...We have seen it in the last couple he has done without Conn. Again this makes the lefties here feel better about the world. With Conn now, he is seldom the top dog and spends much of the discussions looking uncomfortable. Don't get me entirely wrong, Scher obviously has his moments...its just that Conn was probably more concerned in the past with how comfortable Bill S. was and is now less so (even though it has been documented of late that they do not hate eachother).

So in the end maybe familiarity does breed contempt and I can maybe concede that there has been a change in Conn's style...but I would argue that that is a good thing because if we conservatives always took the high road we would seldom run into any of you guys.

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 10:32 PM
Leaving aside whether and how the "100 years" sound bite is a fair representation of McCain's position, or another example of what's wrong with media coverage of this primary season, sitting here in Busan, ROK, I don't want even to joke about camps in sovereign states. Even here, expat conservative pundits, and Cato, criticize the need to stay longer. I think the US should have left ROK when the Park government normalized relations with Japan, and definitely when the Nixon administration scaled down its East Asian military commitments.

Also, there is a conservative counter-proposal to basing. Robert D, Kaplan has argued about using SF forces, expat "natives", and local allies for quick strikes and humble assistance to sovereign governments, as is working in RP. The key is to make sovereign states stronger and more democratic, not carve foreign enclaves into decent real estate, corrupt local politics, and stoke anti-americanism.

bjkeefe
05-24-2008, 10:43 PM
Whatfur:

... if we conservatives always took the high road we would seldom run into any of you guys.

That has to be the most warped perspective I've ever heard, even from you. You conservatives, as defined by your political leaders and top pundits over the past three decades, haven't been on the high road since Lee Atwater achieved his first erection. You all have been rolling in the gutter for so long that you think putting one foot up on the curb every six months calls for a week-long festival of self-congratulations.

The truth is: now that the left is finally coming down to your level and fighting you on your own terms, you just can't deal.

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 10:49 PM
...but I would argue that that is a good thing because if we conservatives always took the high road we would seldom run into any of you guys.

I would concede all your points, but then you added that last bit of pique. I would take back the last 25+ years (or, return to LBJ's intimidation tactics he and previous majority leaders perfected) just to excise that nastiness conservatives have injected into the American political arena.

However, it still does not counter why any pairing should repeat sooner than three or four months (except for expediency). You imply that Scher and Beutler played well together, and that Scher and Carroll is more contentious. That's a gamble any pairing might go nice, but routine ensures it.

Lastly, no one says Carroll is not useful. I'm asking him to mature, to take risks, to go for the franchise (although I disagree with the notion of Wilkinson's gig). He could be one of the great controversialists, the slashers, if he swears off the balance he clearly is resisting.

In the end, you like Carroll. I'm uneasy about that, because pols and pundits should have no fans. I like the format of the "Week In Blog". Structure is more important than personality. If Mickey Mouse and the Road Runner gave me 100 liberal and conservative links, I'd be happy.

Whatfur
05-24-2008, 11:03 PM
Whatfur:

The only thing "over-the-top" is your attempt to draw battle lines.
...



Ya know, every time I read something from you I get the impression that your name was not chosen but assigned.

To me, the concept behind the "This Week in Blog" is not just a listing of links of assorted colors ...thats not only boring but redundant...I see its purpose being the discussion of the "talking points" that are being bantered about on the left and right wing blogs...as well as their relative merit, importance and truth...or (much like your case) the lack thereof.

If I was looking for an echo chamber, oh bright one, would I be spending my time here? If anything you seem to demonstrate what you decry. There are a couple different words for that.

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 11:06 PM
You're one link behind!

Whatfur
05-24-2008, 11:09 PM
Whatfur:



That has to be the most warped perspective I've ever heard, even from you. You conservatives, as defined by your political leaders and top pundits over the past three decades, haven't been on the high road since Lee Atwater achieved his first erection. You all have been rolling in the gutter for so long that you think putting one foot up on the curb every six months calls for a week-long festival of self-congratulations.

The truth is: now that the left is finally coming down to your level and fighting you on your own terms, you just can't deal.


Pretty funny, wish I could prove it...but when I typed that last line (which was suppose to be a joke) my first thought was...I will bet real money that most will limit their comments to this. At least B.moron took it a bit further. In any case..humor, Brendan, humor.

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 11:18 PM
Don't punk out now, Whatfur! This ain't no social gathering!

You started with the over-heated rhetoric, and now you don't have the balls to stand tall. You can argue, but can you quit the spitballs! And, there's a least one other Conn-skeptic on this thread board you haven't taken to task. Scared?

Maybe Conn will get you an internship or a job in the future!

Conn Carroll vs, Bob Wright? That should be a contest of retorts and visual cues!

Whatfur
05-24-2008, 11:28 PM
Don't punk out now, Whatfur! This ain't no social gathering!

You started with the over-heated rhetoric, and now you don't have the balls to stand tall. You can argue, but can you quit the spitballs! And, there's a least one other Conn-skeptic on this thread board you haven't taken to task. Scared?

Maybe Conn will get you an internship or a job in the future!

Conn Carroll vs, Bob Wright? That should be a contest of retorts and visual cues!

Whatever gave you the impression I was punking out? I believe you were the first to direct any overheated rhetoric. If you wished to project some generalities of what I said on yourself. I can do nothing about that.

But anyway...yep...just shakin here. Whatcha got?

Baltimoron
05-24-2008, 11:56 PM
Beutler only reminds me more how Carroll has fallen from the Blog-o-mater blogger he was, and how little I like him as a think tank hack.

Hack ("a writer who works on order") is about as warm as I started. Yet, there's an implicit compliment here: Conn can do good work, if not for his job.

vs.

...but I would argue that that is a good thing because if we conservatives always took the high road we would seldom run into any of you guys.


Pleeassse!

and

...allowed me to maybe glean some insight into all of the hand-wringing, bashing, and over-the-top, (but still unsubstantiated) finger pointing at the "unhinged", foaming-at-the-mouth, Mr. Hyde-like, personae the lefties here have created for their arch-nemesis that is Conn Carroll.

You mean as opposed to the misguided, puppy-eyed, feminine adulation for Conn Carroll you're displaying here? He's a think tank writer, by golly! He's not even his own man, like the Gray Lady's mediocre stable! If you worshipped Kristol I'd have more respect for you. Get over it, if Carroll goes, there are others to replace him right down the hall. Maybe pairing Carroll with another leftie think tank hack would be a fresh start!

and

Bill B. also threw in a number of affirmatons as Scher spoke like "Right!"s and "Of course!"s, etc. People love affirmation and back-patting from their peers and otherwise. Conn does little of that and I again speculate that he used to...as he too was getting to know Bill. I believe Conn has probably learned to hold back on the affirmations of statements until Scher's final destination is known...because he has been witness of too many destinations that have not been connected by the path taken.

Are you Carroll's biographer? Will you start a fan club? (To be fair, many others have expressed similar adulation for Wright or Corn, and, depending on sincerity, Kaus.) No one is saying, ax Conn Carroll! I want Week in Blog to be as much a feature as Free Will, only W in B demands the right structure and prep, not Will Wilkinson.

Of course, this is all in the way of expressing my opinion about the sort of bhTV diavlogs I would like to watch. If ever bhTV goes premium, W in B would be a strong sell, as B-o-M is, because it represents common ground for nice libs and nasty conservatives. Conn would do better to put his dirty looks, good links, deep support from the guys down the hall, and wit where he can do the most damage!

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 12:10 AM
Pretty funny, wish I could prove it...but when I typed that last line (which was suppose to be a joke) my first thought was...I will bet real money that most will limit their comments to this. At least B.moron took it a bit further. In any case..humor, Brendan, humor.

If you want to claim you were only kidding, well .... okay. Strikes me either as backpedaling or an indication that your sense of humor is as warped as your political perspective, but ... okay.

As to why I didn't respond to the rest: I've read enough of your other hagiographies of Conn and disses of Bill. There's nothing to debate here. You are just rooting for the guy that speaks to your tastes. You also have some weird notion that these diavlogs are something to be won or lost, and I don't see them that way. I dislike the Point/Counterpoint tone that they have sunk down to lately. It doesn't inform me of anything.

As to the "100 years" thing, see my reply to harkin (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=78576#post78576), if you haven't already.

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 12:18 AM
I dislike the Point/Counterpoint tone that they have sunk down to lately. It doesn't inform me of anything.

I share your thirst for info. However, I gave up around about 2005 or 2006 believing "the next revolution will be blogged!" The blogosphere is no longer wide-open. Corporations and think tanks, to name two examples, have taken over the Wild Wild Ether. Bloggers don't follow the Delphic injunction, and can't get credentials. I learned that last year when I tried to get into the ILO conference in Busan, but because the ROK President was delivering a speech, the room was closed. Unfortunately, that was the only day I could try to blog a session, and I never had a chance to get in again. This only shows that the most we can hope is to put two partisans in a meat-grinder and make sausage. Still, bhTV on average does good.

graz
05-25-2008, 12:38 AM
You mean as opposed to the misguided, puppy-eyed, feminine adulation for Conn Carroll you're displaying here? He's a think tank writer, by golly! He's not even his own man, like the Gray Lady's mediocre stable! If you worshipped Kristol I'd have more respect for you. Get over it, if Carroll goes, there are others to replace him right down the hall. Maybe pairing Carroll with another leftie think tank hack would be a fresh start!

and

Are you Carroll's biographer? Will you start a fan club?

I came to the BBQ late, and it seems that all the meat has been picked off Whatfur's bones.

I think your assessment of Conn puts him (whatfur) in a pickle. Your praise is welcome, but you have also undercut his hero. He thinks it's about style. Smart-ass without foundational knowledge only gets you so far. Conn has both, just underutilizing his potential as you have suggested.
Our forum playmate is light one of those two pillars.

"If you want to claim you were only kidding, well .... okay. Strikes me ... as backpedaling"
Hows that denial working? Just kidding doesn't cut it.

He would do well to understand and respect his adversaries. This would require some reading (homework) and shoring up of his own foundation. There's always hope...

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 12:58 AM
Joseph:

I dunno. I think most of the diavlogs are more than just trading talking points. They may be partisan, or at least two people seeing a set of issues in different ways, but there's usually a bit more honesty about the other side's point of view than in the recent BillConns.

I also think more of the blogosphere's potential than you do, I guess. Sure, some of it has been corporatized, and much of it is noise. But there are lots of good parts, both in the sense of exchanging ideas and putting pressure on the MSM.

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 01:19 AM
I would offer the recent MSM and blogosphere coverage of the primary season as an example of the worst combination of MSM and Blog potential. Not only has the MSM and blogosphere not at least doubted the value of spending so much money on campaigns, or the health of the state-based primary system (and not even a peep condemning Florida!), but the MSM and blogs have seemed to feed the demographic prejudices of the electorate.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 01:26 AM
I would offer the recent MSM and blogosphere coverage of the primary season as an example of the worst combination of MSM and Blog potential. Not only has the MSM and blogosphere not at least doubted the value of spending so much money on campaigns, or the health of the state-based primary system (and not even a peep condemning Florida!), but the MSM and blogs have seemed to feed the demographic prejudices of the electorate.

What should Florida be condemned for?

Don't see the point in complaining about the spending -- I think everyone who thinks about it agrees it's insane, but hey, the money is there. If we weren't spending it to finance this year-long soap opera, we'd probably be blowing on something else just as stupid.

I am glad, as I noted over at your place, that at least the money is coming from many more small donors.

I agree somewhat about the feeding of "demographic prejudices," but I think there is also a lot beyond that. The diversity of Obama's support speaks to that, as does the ability of lonely blue (red) people trapped in red (blue) states to find each other. Interesting to note how previously solid red or blue states are no longer considered as such.

Oh, and I'd add this: I don't know what blogs you're reading, but the ones I look at talk about the screwed-up state of the states' primary set-ups all the time. I think we'll see even more on that once the Dem nomination is finally settled. Also, I think a lot of people have for the moment resigned themselves to picking a nominee not with the system we'd want, but with the system we have, but I'm already seeing notes-to-self about future proposals.

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 01:33 AM
I came to the BBQ late, and it seems that all the meat has been picked off Whatfur's bones.

I think your assessment of Conn puts him (whatfur) in a pickle. Your praise is welcome, but you have also undercut his hero. He thinks it's about style. Smart-ass without foundational knowledge only gets you so far. Conn has both, just underutilizing his potential as you have suggested.
Our forum playmate is light one of those two pillars.

"If you want to claim you were only kidding, well .... okay. Strikes me ... as backpedaling"
Hows that denial working? Just kidding doesn't cut it.

He would do well to understand and respect his adversaries. This would require some reading (homework) and shoring up of his own foundation. There's always hope...

Ahhhh...the echo chamber I know so well.
Complete with the back-patting I described.

For a group that claims to abhor conflict and insult you do seem to
alway end up there when discussion does not go in your favor.

I again write hundreds of words and you choose to "pick the bones" that were left there as the "little girl" trap. Pretty funny stuff. I mean really kiddies...are you serious? That is the line you wish to beat me up on. Hope you don't mind if I move on...I have a little comment to make to my good friend WonderBoy about ill wishes...In the mean time take a step back and think about how easy it is for me to get your pants bundled...it might tell you something. I really would like to meet you all in person to see if you are anything like I imagine. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MWSGbh-bi4&feature=related)

Kind Regards,

Conn's Mom

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 01:33 AM
Florida and Michigan legislators should not have jockeyed to move up their primaries. A system that allows states to determine their primary dates empowers the political parties, which are not constitutional bodies. The national legislature (better for accountability reasons), or courts, should establish a schedule like the American Plan. But, right now under current law, there should be no doubt that both legislatures violated party rules. Those legislators should be sanctioned and de-listed from their parties.

As I said, on my blog, I agree Obama is making the bst of a bad system for campaign finance. But, I can't think of a worse return on donations than for a president.

piscivorous
05-25-2008, 01:48 AM
This is a reply to a comment of bjkeefe from a previous thread but due to the length of that thread and it’s convoluted structure, at this point in time I am posting it here. pisc:
You (http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/10/barack_obama.html) might (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/02/dear-chris-matt.html) start (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html) here (http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/02/obama_surrogates_flub_no_refle.html).

And, I might ask the same question about McCain. If Steve Benen hadn't already (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14582.html).This comment is broken into two pieces because it has managed to exceed the length of comments allowed here. It has taken me awhile to get around to answering because a good number of the links are not very specific and provide little real information so it has taken me awhile to run them all down. I will only focus on the first link (http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/10/barack_obama.html) from obsidianwings, as the second is a truncated version of the first one and the third deals with his state Senate record and that has already been commented on sufficiently to open the eyes of those that can still see.

In the body of the article there are four main areas that hilzoy makes the claim that Senator Obama done wonderful things Nonproliferation, Avian flu, Regulating Genetic Testing and Reducing medical malpractice suits the right way.

Nonproliferation: While working with Senator Lugar is a sign that Senator Obama will work across party lines on some issues, his having added his name as co-sponsor of the update to the Nunn-Lugar program. This bill modified some of the terms, conditions, weapon categories, and countries that could make use of the funds as well providing an additional funding to the original Small Arms/Light Weapons destruction program initiated in 2001 in the Nunn-Lugar program. Senator Lugar has always sought a sponsor form the opposite side of the isle for of his arms control and non-proliferation legislation so kudos to Senator Obama for having the brains to recognize the opportunity, offered him by Senator Lugar, to co-sponsor this legislation and jumping on it. The legislation passed and was signed into law in 2007.

Avian flu: In 2005 Senator Obama was again a co-sponsor of Senator Harry Reid’s S. 969 to amend the Public Health Service Act; which died in committee, (”http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1821") that year and has been reintroduced in subsequent years. He did Offer an amendment to get 25 million added to S. 600, the Foreign Relations Committee Authorization Act, in 2005, for international efforts to combat the avian influenza. But this is nothing but the ¼ share of the budget for the program and is the traditional U.S. share. I could find nothing further in this particular area, which was of so much inters to the Senator in 2005, since then. I guess there is another designated hitter for that issue now.

Regulating Genetic Testing: You can probably guess who has introduced legislation that addresses this problem. A strange thing though if you go to the PDF that the link references you will notice that the is no Bill Number assigned to it. This implies that it wasn’t even taken up by the committee much less acted upon. With no bill number making it difficult to track. S. 358: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2007 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-358), which was signed into law May 21, 2008. But if one follows the links on the Govtrack.us site it originated as S. 318 Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-358); which the Senator seems not to have thought worthy enough of co-sponsoring at the time.

Reducing medical malpractice suits the right way: Senators Clinton ad Obama co-sponsored S. 1784 National MEDiC Act in September of 2005. This bill never became law. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1784) This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. It appears that she and he put their names on an old bill, perhaps with some modification, and reintroduced it.

Then there are all the links at the tail end of the article.
His "health care for hybrids" (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/02/08/salvaging_the_auto_industry/) bill, which is not even a link to the legislation but to an op-ed piece co-written with Jay Inslee. The actual bill S.2045. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1784T") This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress and it seems that the good Senator has lost interest in this issue as well; as the current version of the bill is only on the house side with one sponsor Representative Inslee.

An Energy Security Bill. Broken link and I cannot seem to find any information or any reference to it unless it is this bill S. 2025 Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2025) This seems to really be an initiative by Senator Lieberman and Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Norm Coleman (R-MN) (http://lieberman.senate.gov/issues/energyindependence.cfm) to which Senator Obama has consented once again to attach his name to and take credit for it.

Those are some of the wonkier things he's done. (There are others: introducing legislation (http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2006/03/obama_introduces_bill_to_nix_s.html)to make it illegal for tax preparers to sell personal information, for instance, and legislation on chemical plant security (http://obama.senate.gov/press/060227-obama_calls_for_greater_security_at_chemical_plant s/index.html)and lead paint (http://choiceamericanetwork.blog.com/264219/).) He has done other things that are more high-profile, including:

The first link here refers to S. 2484 Protecting Taxpayer Privacy Act (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2484) This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress. It also seems to be another instance of Senator Obama resurrecting (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2498) someone else’s work and putting his name on it.

The second link is once again as link to the Senators Senate WEB site Obama Calls for Greater Security at Chemical Plants. (http://obama.senate.gov/press/060227-obama_calls_for/index.php) and refers to S. 2486 Chemical Security and Safety Act of 2006 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2486). This bill never became law. It seems that it was primarily the work of New Jersey Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D) and Robert Menendez (D) today introduced a far-reaching, comprehensive plan to protect the nation’s chemical plants from terrorist attacks... (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=253453)

The third issue is so far the first one in which the Senator actually shows some initiative and persistence and there is not even a link included. In the previous session of congress (109th) Senator Obama authored the S. 2048 [109th]: Lead Free Toys Act of 2005 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2048). This bill did not become law. Unlike other issues where he was essentially a one year advocate he reintroduced the bill in the 110th congress S. 1306: Lead Free Toys Act of 2007 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1306). In addition he introduced S. 2132: A bill to prohibit the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of children's products that contain lead,... (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-2132)

Various bills (http://obama.senate.gov/press/050914-obama_coburn_to_introduce_hurricane_katrina_oversi ght_legislation/index.html)on relief for Hurricane Katrina, including aid for kids (http://obama.senate.gov/press/060202-obama_to_propose_aid_for_katrina_children/index.html) and a ban (http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/TheExecutive/091406_fema.html) on no-bid contracts by FEMA.

The first link, to the Senators Senate Web site, is in reference to S. 1700 -- Oversight of Vital Emergency Recovery Spending Enhancement and Enforcement Act of 2005 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1700) This bill never became law.

The second link refers to an amendment to a bill the Mr. President, I rise to speak about an amendment to the Tax Reconciliation bill that I intend to offer at the appropriate time (http://obama.senate.gov/press/060202-obama_to_propos/). I cannot find any reference to him actually having done so.

The third link here, concerning an amendment to prevent no-bid contracts concerning Hurricane Katrina. I can find no reference to the actual amendment but a couple of links said it passed as part of Homeland Security Authorization and Funding bill.

I will have to continue in a second comment as I have reached the text limit and this is a natural break point.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 01:48 AM
Florida and Michigan legislators should not have jockeyed to move up their primaries. A system that allows states to determine their primary dates empowers the political parties, which are not constitutional bodies. The national legislature (better for accountability reasons), or courts, should establish a schedule like the American Plan. But, right now under current law, there should be no doubt that both legislatures violated party rules. Those legislators should be sanctioned and de-listed from their parties.

As I said, on my blog, I agree Obama is making the bst of a bad system for campaign finance. But, I can't think of a worse return on donations than for a president.

There's the right thing to do as far as FL and MI goes, and then there are political realities. I agree that it's a mess, and that one of the problems is jockeying for calendar position.

I don't know if I agree that the Congress or courts should be in charge of setting the schedules, though, and I don't know that I think there's anything wrong with political parties having clout. Seems to me that we don't need the sitting government possibly gaming the system to further handicap those trying to get back into power, for one thing.

As for bad returns on donations, I'll say this: a billion dollars, spread among however many million donors, is not too large a price to pay to prevent McSame from taking office. (I'm sure many Obama-haters would say that same about him.) And, when you think about it, how much is a billion dollars? Sales of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto, in one week, were already half of that.

piscivorous
05-25-2008, 01:53 AM
A public database (http://www.examiner.com/a-293236%7EEditorial__Spending_database_bill_marks_n ew_era.html) of all federal spending and contracts. This refers to S. 2590 [109th]: Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2590) signed into law September 2006. While most of the sites I visited tracking down the bill number referred to it as the “Coburn-Obama Act” with 46 other co-sponsors it might better be known as the “Coburn- Obama- Alexander- Allen- Baucus- Bayh- Bingaman- Boxer- Brownback- Burr- Cantwell- Carper- Chambliss- Clinton- Coleman- Collins- Cornyn- Craig- DeMint- DeWine- Dodd- Dole- Durbin- Enzi- Feingold- Frist- Grassley- Hagel- Isakson- Kerry- Kyl- Landrieu- Lieberman- McCain- McConnell- Menéndez- Nelson- Reid- Salaza- Santorum- Sessions- Snowe- Sununu- Talent- Thomas- Thune- Vitter- Voinovich Act. Perhaps another example of the Senator bring people together, as one of 47 co-sponsors. The legislation falls far short, of what is actually needed, and has so many loop holes to make it no more effective or beneficial than putting a dress on pig It may make the pig look much better but you still can’t take it dancing.

Trying to S. 2590 [109th]: raise CAFE standards (http://www.grist.org/news/muck/2006/07/26/fuel-econ/). Did not really go look for this one as there have been bills introduced in numerous previous congresses that sought this. I would tend to believe that the hysteria surrounding AGW (now euphemistically referred to as climate change), and the cost of fuel had more to do with that, than Senator Obama being the sponsor of it. The only unique thing in the Senator’s bill is the subsidies to the automakers that are included. Yet The Senator will the effrontery to bitch about the debt!

S. 2590 [109th]: Veterans' health care. (http://illinoischannel.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!B0DB128F5CD96151!1698.entry) Otherwise known as, S. 117: Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act of 2007 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-117) Which he has been able to take exactly nowhere in this time of war, with PTSD horror stories, Walter Reed mold and numerous other stories that you would think it a no-brainer to move forward.

Making certain kinds of voter intimidation illegal. (http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=434&Itemid=86) This bill S. 1975 [109th]: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2005. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1975) This bill never became law although reintroduced in the 110th congress as S. 453: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-453) was debated in October 2007 before dying.

A lobbying reform bill (http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/032906/news3.html) (with Tom Coburn), which would do all sorts of good things, notably including one of my perennial favorites, requiring that bills be made available to members of Congress at least 72 hours before they have to vote on them. Another bad link so I must assume that the bill is this one S. 1975 [109th]: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2005 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1975) which again died in committee. The actual bill that got passed by the Senate was S. 2349 [109th]: Commission to Strengthen Confidence in Congress Act of 2006 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-2349). Which if you follow the links you will notice the Senator voted against it becoming law.

And a proposal (http://obama.senate.gov/press/060216-remarks_of_senator_barack_obama_ethics_commission_ press_conference/index.html)to revamp ethics oversight, replacing the present ethics Committee with a bipartisan commission of retired judges and members of Congress, and allowing any citizen to report ethics violations. This would have fixed one of the huge problems with the present system, namely: that the members have to police themselves. This is nothing but as link to senator Obama’s Senate web site touting a speech he gave concerning the bill immediately preceding this link. It is great that this blogger seemed to have flogged the same failed effort twice.


With around half the links in the blog being either to Senator Obama’s campaign or Senate WEB sites, most of them being about proposed or submitted legislation that have gone nowhere, and no authoring or co-sponsoring legislation is not an achievement of note it is his job. I guess that you can say this post is a shinning monument to Senator Obam’s achievements; but it appears to me hilzoy should actually do a little more homework and less blogging, so that what hilzoy blogs about is closer to reality than to propaganda.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 01:54 AM
Shorter Whatfur:

I only like the echo chamber and back-slapping when it's me and Piscivorous doing it. Since he's nowhere to be found, and since I can't really defend my position, I now return to my tired-and-blue techniques of calling you girls and linking to YouTube.

Not only do I consider this devastating and witty, I believe it further illustrates how conservatives take the high road.

(Pitter patter, pitter patter)

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 01:55 AM
If you watched the fourth season of The Wire, you wouldn't think a billion is chump change.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 01:58 AM
If you watched the fourth season of The Wire, you wouldn't think a billion is chump change.

Never seen it.

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 02:15 AM
1. What was the specious part?

2. I am a little disappointed. A health issue like alcoholism, kleptomania, cocaine use, or treatment for an STD might have nicely disqualified McCain and saved the nation from another insanely hawkish presidency, utter disaster on the Supreme Court, and lost opportunities for Obama to pursue his agenda with a Dem-dominated Congress.

I think Obama will win, but I also think -- given the country's long history of racism and the McCain myth that he's an all-American war hero and everyone's favorite grumpy grandpa -- that the election may be tough.

I can only imagine the pants bundling that would happen if I were to make some similar comment about ...oh say... Ted Kennedy.

Pretty ironic that when I heard the news about Kennedy, even though I consider him pretty high in the puke category (I wonder if Chappaquiddick is on a low road), that I hoped that there were not too many nuts on the right out cheering. But what do you know, Mr. Pacifist jumping in with the above.

Oh I get it, some CAN joke...

Yep, a fine group of lefties we have here. Pitter Patter indeed.

Pretty funny stuff alright.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 02:20 AM
Shorter Whatfur:

Liebruls are mean!!!!1! Waaaaaaah!!11!

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 02:25 AM
So, aside from criticizing hilzoy, you're saying Obama is not an effective or seasoned legislator? Are you taking issue with the content of his bills? Do you think he ran up his scorecard for electoral effect? In the blog era, people like hilzoy should make legislators politically dead in the presidential races. If the college-educated know about a legislative record, and drinking and bowling disappear from elite national culture, how will Americans elect candidates?

Piscivorous? hilzoy? Two pundits who back up arguments with links? What's the foul?

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 02:30 AM
pisc:

Good work. You appear to have convinced ... yourself.

I laugh at your one sentence dismissal of his record in the state legislature. Truly, your obsessive typing is a monument to honest analysis. The 101st Fightin' Keyboarders have nothing on you.

Now, about those McCain legislative accomplishments?

graz
05-25-2008, 02:35 AM
I can only imagine the pants bundling that would happen if I were to make some similar comment about ...oh say... Ted Kennedy.

Pretty ironic that when I heard the news about Kennedy, even though I consider him pretty high in the puke category (I wonder if Chappaquiddick is on a low road), that I hoped that there were not too many nuts on the right out cheering. But what do you know, Mr. Pacifist jumping in with the above.

Oh I get it, some CAN joke...

Yep, a fine group of lefties we have here. Pitter Patter indeed.

Pretty funny stuff alright.
But in your self pity , once again you miss the point.
McCain is in perfect health.
Wonderment was employing humor to make a larger point...
Do I need to connect the dots for you.
Has handle succeeded? Are you leaving us 'cause your to cool for school?
Has your interest in getting a rise thru insult expired.

But if you like kidneystones just can't stay away, try a new shtick "my friends."
The weak spot with lefties is that they do try to give the benefit of the doubt.
Your trampling on that in no way vindicates your gamesmanship or inability to persuade with logic or honesty.
By the way we have met in person... you are every small minded, disingenuous big man I have ever met.

Hopefully later

piscivorous
05-25-2008, 02:38 AM
I went to the trouble to due the due diligence, for you, on your claims of accomplishments of the Senator's. It seems that one of you on your side should show a little initiative in stead of all talk and bravado.

piscivorous
05-25-2008, 02:42 AM
Yes but you will notice most of my links are to the actual legislation and the results. Not a bunch of links to the Senator's sites nor the circle jerk of self referring BS provided by hilzoy. But thanks for your so informed opinion. I will hold it in the regard it deserves Baltimoron.

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 02:51 AM
So, aside from criticizing hilzoy, you're saying Obama is not an effective or seasoned legislator? Are you taking issue with the content of his bills? Do you think he ran up his scorecard for electoral effect? In the blog era, people like hilzoy should make legislators politically dead in the presidential races. If the college-educated know about a legislative record, and drinking and bowling disappear from elite national culture, how will Americans elect candidates?

Piscivorous? hilzoy? Two pundits who back up arguments with links? What's the foul?


"Effective" use of feigned ignorance and pompasity to avoid engagement. You must be a grad student.

I thought you liked links? And a foul is when the bowler encroaches on the "foul line".

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 02:59 AM
pisc:

Good work. You appear to have convinced ... yourself.

I laugh at your one sentence dismissal of his record in the state legislature. Truly, your obsessive typing is a monument to honest analysis. The 101st Fightin' Keyboarders have nothing on you.

Now, about those McCain legislative accomplishments?

Actually I am convinced...although I had a bit of a head start. I have to agree with Pisc here, Queef. Once again, you try to get by with crib notes and someone sticks it to you and you fold with insult while pointing fingers.

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 04:34 AM
Whatfur:

Why don't you just edit your posts here to "Yeah, Piscivorous! Yeah, yeah, yeah! hehehe", and then duck back between his skirt pleats. It'll save time. You blaze the trail of those other annoying sidekicks: Kato, Robin, conservative wives everywhere.

Grad school? Stop belching talking points! As for reality, I doubt you are as much of an a#%hole as you act here, if only because so few middle-class people can afford a personality, or have ever actually come to blows with others.

Piscivorous:

For the record, I always like Colts football, and Artie Donovan was the perfect Baltimoron in my estimation. I like big, loud people. Whatfur is a tenth of Artie, by any measure.

I know I shouldn't have stepped in between you and bjkeefe. But, I admired your due diligence, as you put it. (Why do non-lawyers insist on doing legalistic analysis on non-legal issues; it's tedious and inappropriate). I actually praised you. I wish more commenters would do such work, for as much as I've read the last few months, which is very little.

Firstly, since you seem to be having this debate within your own head, are you saying hilzoy's fact links are a lazy way to prove a point? I would disagree. it's not as if that's all hilzoy does on his blog. Mapping the blogosphere is a service. But, having done good, you leave the job unfinished by dropping snide unsubstantiated opinions. Obama has a brief career on wonky topics, without taking the lead on most of them. Now, you have to make the case that all that doesn't qualify him for the presidency. Please don't tell me you're aping the talking point, that says Obama is too wonky and elitist.

Also, what now is the "other side" supposed to catalog McCain's record? How cunning you are! Of course, that's a job worthy of a think tank hack.

Don't be a Grade A a@#hole like Whatfur! I'm asking honestly, and I don't need the sass! I might not be as Board-articulate as you, but then animals like me, I've read more than you, and I have no problem letting anyone spend hours doing due diligence so that I can make better choices, so I can watch movies, travel, and fuck as often as I like. You're a good mensch, and I'm sure your mom (not Whatfur) loves you!

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 05:47 AM
I went to the trouble to due the due diligence, for you, on your claims of accomplishments of the Senator's. It seems that one of you on your side should show a little initiative in stead of all talk and bravado.

Don't get all sulky and self-righteous, Pisc. I didn't ask you to go to any trouble. You asked (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=78445#post78445) if anyone could tell you what Obama has accomplished in his legislative career. I gave (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=78453#post78453) you some links and invited you to consider how McCain's legislative record compares. End of story. The choice to spend all that time pecking out your screed was yours, and yours alone.

Pardon me for not saluting what you posted, but quantity is not quality. You ignored Obama's career in the Illinois State Senate, you neglected to say word one about McCain's record, and while gloating over bills that didn't pass, you failed to acknowledge that for most of the time that Obama was in the US Senate, he was in the minority party.

So don't flatter yourself. That wasn't "due diligence." That was you going off on another one of your self-appointed pick-conclusion-first, search-for-evidence-to-support-it-second, ignore-the-tricky-parts-third "research" missions. And to what end? So that you could demonstrate, once again, how much you hate Obama?

Here's the big picture that you're missing, Pisc: No one who supports Obama does so out of some misguided notion that he's the bestest United States Senator EVAR!!! We prefer him for lots of reasons, one of which is precisely that he hasn't been feeding at the K Street trough for the past twenty years. You're unlikely to change anyone's mind about him, no matter how furiously you type. You're certainly not going to do it by basing your whole case on his short stint in Washington.

I decline your challenge to follow you down your crazy hole. I feel no need to show "initiative" by unspinning your spin on what Obama did or didn't do in the Senate. If you feel like you've "won," more power to you, but as far as I'm concerned, what you just did was waste a day and a half attacking a straw man.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 05:55 AM
Shorter Whatfur:

Thank God Piscivorous showed up to save my ass. Did I say I hated (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=78617#post78617) back-patting? I love back-patting!

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 01:31 PM
Whatfur:

Why don't you just edit your posts here to "Yeah, Piscivorous! Yeah, yeah, yeah! hehehe", and then duck back between his skirt pleats.


Because people would mistake me for someone of your ilk.


Grad school? Stop belching talking points! As for reality, I doubt you are as much of an a#%hole as you act here, if only because so few middle-class people can afford a personality, or have ever actually come to blows with others.


Wow, I guess my choice of the word pompasity was veridical.



For the record, I always like Colts football, and Artie Donovan was the perfect Baltimoron in my estimation. I like big, loud people. Whatfur is a tenth of Artie, by any measure.


{hold nose an sound a bit stuffed up and say}Ahhh yes..."let the record show". Did they teach you about superfluous, pontification in your grad school? Speaking of "measure", I read a study once that white men with unusually small penises often marry oriental woman in hopes that their wives disappointment is not as great while enhancing their own self-image. So whats Su Mi stirrin up for breakfast?



I know I shouldn't have stepped in between you and bjkeefe. But, I admired your due diligence, as you put it. (Why do non-lawyers insist on doing legalistic analysis on non-legal issues; it's tedious and inappropriate). I actually praised you. I wish more commenters would do such work, for as much as I've read the last few months, which is very little.


Once again needing to explain that what everyone else saw as insult was actually "praise". Just like, I am sure Conn bustled with pride upon being called a "hack" by none other than the distinguished Baltimoron (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YceTblLkS8Y).



But, having done good, you leave the job unfinished by dropping snide unsubstantiated opinions.


Most would/should agree...the perfect level of sanctimony.


Obama has a brief career on wonky topics, without taking the lead on most of them.


There you go Pisc! Validation. Let me apologize for B.Moron for making you wade through everything else to get there.


Don't be a Grade A a@#hole like Whatfur! I'm asking honestly, and I don't need the sass! I might not be as Board-articulate as you, but then animals like me, I've read more than you, and I have no problem letting anyone spend hours doing due diligence so that I can make better choices, so I can watch movies, travel, and fuck as often as I like. You're a good mensch, and I'm sure your mom (not Whatfur) loves you!


I guess we can leave it at that. And I get an "A" wooo whooo!!!!!

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 01:38 PM
But in your self pity , once again you miss the point.
McCain is in perfect health.
Wonderment was employing humor to make a larger point...
Do I need to connect the dots for you.
Has handle succeeded? Are you leaving us 'cause your to cool for school?
Has your interest in getting a rise thru insult expired.

But if you like kidneystones just can't stay away, try a new shtick "my friends."
The weak spot with lefties is that they do try to give the benefit of the doubt.
Your trampling on that in no way vindicates your gamesmanship or inability to persuade with logic or honesty.
By the way we have met in person... you are every small minded, disingenuous big man I have ever met.

Hopefully later

You just can't leave it alone can you Graz. I am pretty sure I acknowledged it being a joke and maybe it was you who missed the larger point(s). Ya think?

graz
05-25-2008, 02:17 PM
Ya think?
Yes I do think.
And you might be right?
But then, I wish you would consider making the larger point instead of provoking or simply trying to get peoples pants in a bunch.
We can't have it both ways - I will leave it alone, when you don't offer "it."

The "it" would be what in my estimation (only?), you continue to offer.
Which is an intelligent attempt to make a point - that almost always needs to embed the insult or provocation of all those that don't share your take.

As you continue to witness if not learn, I will not take any crap from you.
You know, like Conn no longer takes it from Bill. Did he ever? Do you really believe that Bill ever offered it?

And please stop whining about piling on or girls assembling. If you make a general provocation, even if it is directed at someone else, my no crap rule is in effect with you. History matters and the slate isn't clean. It's not as tragic as the Yanks and Rebs, but it does have power.

History suggest that you will simply turn this post around and say something along the lines of "I know you are but what am I." Or "look in the mirror, you are projecting on to me blah, blah...

I am tired of it, but will continue to fight it if you put it out there.
So if your goal is to waste my time? Then I crown you winner!

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 02:38 PM
Yes I do think.
And you might be right?
But then, I wish you would consider making the larger point instead of provoking or simply trying to get peoples pants in a bunch.
We can't have it both ways - I will leave it alone, when you don't offer "it."


I do write it to see who does get their pants in a bundle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs&feature=related), but at the same time I actually wish y'all would just smile and move on (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno).


As you continue to witness if not learn, I will not take any crap from you.
You know, like Conn no longer takes it from Bill. Did he ever? Do you really believe that Bill ever offered it?


Did you actually read my post or did the last line throw you for such a loop that you forgot what I wrote?


And please stop whining about piling on or girls assembling.


Not whining...just pointing out reality, but its nice to see that at least you are finally admitting it.


...
Then I crown you winner!


Bout time dude!! Would that be Grade A?

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 03:03 PM
Shorter Whatfur:

I hereby confess what many have already figured out. I am a troll (http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/troll.htm). If you're smart, you'll ignore me.

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 03:09 PM
I hereby confess what many have already figured out. I am a troll (http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/troll.htm). If you're smart, you'll ignore me.

You are much too small to be a troll...a gnome maybe.

But yes, I believe I have suggested the method you espouse.
Give it a try eh?

JLF
05-25-2008, 03:37 PM
[I]f we conservatives always took the high road we would seldom run into any of you guys.

Perspective is everything. I'm fairly confident most Liberals would say Conservatives aren't likely to take a road they haven't much travelled, being, as they are, so much more comfortable and familiar with the lower.

Whatfur
05-25-2008, 03:49 PM
Perspective is everything. I'm fairly confident most Liberals would say Conservatives aren't likely to take a road they haven't much travelled, being, as they are, so much more comfortable and familiar with the lower.

Nice try JLF, but that ship has sailed and I am pretty sure Brendan wins with the snappiest retort...

"haven't been on the high road since Lee Atwater achieved his first erection"

You might want to leave these things to the professionals.

Richard from Amherst
05-25-2008, 04:31 PM
1. What was the specious part?

2. I am a little disappointed. A health issue like alcoholism, kleptomania, cocaine use, or treatment for an STD might have nicely disqualified McCain and saved the nation from another insanely hawkish presidency, utter disaster on the Supreme Court, and lost opportunities for Obama to pursue his agenda with a Dem-dominated Congress.

I think Obama will win, but I also think -- given the country's long history of racism and the McCain myth that he's an all-American war hero and everyone's favorite grumpy grandpa -- that the election may be tough.

Well I think the specious part was mentioning Ambien CR, and implying that it would have an deleterious effect on McCain's mental acuity, as if the POTUS would not have excellent medical care to prevent such things. The point is specious because it is a non issue being treated as a serious one. I believe that fits the definition.

Also the "specious comment" clearly smoked you out as wishing for something serious in McCain's medical report. You want Obama and a Democrat congress so that the SCOTUS could be restocked with liberal if not leftest activist judges. Sorry you were disappointed.

Speaking of specious arguments the idea that John McCain is not a genuine American Hero is ludicrous and insulting. He is a hero not because succeeding in intercepting a NVA SAM with his aircraft but because of the way he conducted himself as a POW.

Furthermore as a fellow grumpy old conservative white guy I would be quite happy to vote for General Colin Powell or Dr. Condoleezza Rice for POTUS. Race is not a factor in my thinking, however experience, competence and judgment are critical in my judgment of a candidate. We need more experience and judgment than Barry Obama can muster. Pretty boy looks and elocution only go so far as POTUS as Jack Kennedy found out when nasty old Nikita Khrushchev ate Jack's lunch at the summit on 3 and 4 June 1961, in Vienna.

Wonderment
05-25-2008, 04:59 PM
You want Obama and a Democrat congress so that the SCOTUS could be restocked with liberal if not leftest activist judges. Sorry you were disappointed.

Guilty as charged.

Speaking of specious arguments the idea that John McCain is not a genuine American Hero is ludicrous and insulting. He is a hero not because succeeding in intercepting a NVA SAM with his aircraft but because of the way he conducted himself as a POW.


He is no more a hero than any other person subjected to torture and illegal imprisonment without trial. If he's a hero on those grouds, so are the waterboarded terrorists at Guantánamo.

No human being should be subjected to the treatment that terrorist bomber John McCain received at the hands of the Vietnamese, nor should any human being be subjected to the treatment that terrorist bomber Khalid Sheik Muhammad received at the hands of the Bush regime.

bjkeefe
05-25-2008, 05:11 PM
You are much too small to be a troll...a gnome maybe.

But yes, I believe I have suggested the method you espouse.
Give it a try eh?

Your frequent use of "small" and "girl" as epithets really make me wonder about your self-image. I guess it's a good thing that you have a place where you can give anonymous vent to your insecurities, rather than, say, working them out by kicking puppies.

Baltimoron
05-25-2008, 07:06 PM
Oh Whatfur, you give spiteful adolescents a bad name!

Now, why did you have to do that? We're having a perfectly atrocious exchange of insults, and you have to bring in an innocent! What's that about the high road? You set that standard for yourself now; I'm just the ethnic product of a working class South Baltimore neighborhood where most of my friends are dead or in prison now. I look to conservatives for my morality, because I'm a godless heathen with broken bones and a death wish. I compare Conn Carroll with Bill Beutler, placing a vote for Beutler with my reason. You start on your gay love for Carroll. Just re-watch the diavlogs if you need a fix, or just buy a dildo and leave us all alone. The way Piscivorous is letting you be his bitch is insulting enough. All he need do is answer my questions.

Let's be clear, Whatfur (and I hope Nanny is listening): I encourage you to insult me, because you're a gaping hole. But, leave out the spouses, or you could get hurt (and I'm not talking on the Boards). If I get banned today, all's well and better for racists like you You're obviously less of a man than any woman.

Piscivorous: Overall, I don't think Congressmen should be presidents. Obama has no executive experience, unless one counts his community activism, which is a significant addition to any president's resume. He was not my first choice, and overall I oppose legislators for executives. Only McCain has executive experience, if one counts his military experience. Again, though, translating one to the other is not a certain measure.

Control your puppy, Whatfur, or he might wind up dead! I will hold this grudge, too.

graz
05-25-2008, 10:37 PM
http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/images/troll.jpg
whatfur replies: oh yeah?

"An Internet troll is a person who sends duplicitous messages to get angry responses. The term derives from the phrase "trolling for suckers" and ultimately from trolling for fish."

Whatfur
05-26-2008, 12:05 AM
Oh Whatfur, you give spiteful adolescents a bad name!

Now, why did you have to do that? We're having a perfectly atrocious exchange of insults, and you have to bring in an innocent!
...
Whatfur, or he might wind up dead! I will hold this grudge, too.

Wow, a death threat. I guess I am not sure what level of comment will bring on the banning of someone. I would guess this might just be one of them.

Listen, MORON, I knew nothing about your love interest but simply arrived at it by guess by something about fish stir fry on your web site. Suggesting she might be making you breakfast is hardly derrogatory unless you choose for it to be.

The study I allude to is not fictitious. Google it. Hardly a racist suggestion. Concerning its findings...well...the MORON doth protest too much.

If you are taken aback by the road I took well why don't to ask Graz and Brendan here about things they said about my wife. We can compare grievances and altitude of roads. There is no comparison. Care to volunteer that info Graz? Brendan? I see you are still taking jabs here. Once again poodles nipping at heels.

Concerning, the start of this whole thing. If you were not so dim you would have understood that from the beginning my post had nothing to do with discounting yours. Again you chose to take offense because of ignorance. Let me make another guess...you are not only still in Grad School but you are over 30. Having trouble making the grade? I've already made mine but mine is in engineering so maybe if Conn needs an intern you would be better suited although I probably would not include your blog on your resume as it is pretty unoriginal and its not surprising you were excluded from the blog conference you mention above.

bjkeefe
05-26-2008, 01:06 AM
Whatfur:

What did I ever say about your wife?

Baltimoron
05-26-2008, 01:23 AM
I don't care if he's plankton. The boy needs a smackin'!

graz
05-26-2008, 01:34 AM
If you are taken aback by the road I took well why don't to ask Graz here about things they said about my wife.
Care to volunteer that info Graz?


Hey Casey Jones, I trust Baltimoron can read it for himself.
You on the other hand, not so sure.
Your selective reading doesn't surprise.

Re: The Week in Blog: Conservative Crackup
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatfur:
"graz,


...More piling on by the little girl who once again adds nothing to the discussion and who wouldn't have the balls to say anything close to me in person. Its good that these blogs give you the ability to imagine what its like to be a man much less a big man."

Quote: handle:
"Graz is a girl? Then she probably wouldn't have balls... <insert Ann Coulter joke here, apologies to Mickey>

The man with a filter (Bush colored glasses?) provides valuable insight into the thread title:
Re: The Week in Blog: Conservative Crackup

First we get an overbearing Whatfur, then he's defensive, then belligerent, THEN he's a victim."

Glad it all comes back to: "An Internet troll is a person who sends duplicitous messages to get angry responses. The term derives from the phrase "trolling for suckers" and ultimately from trolling for fish."

I suggest you start trolling some threads that aren't Conn related. This site provides a panoply of subjects and interesting comments. Unless of course:

Big Wayne: Quote:
"I've wondered if Whatfur is really Conn's sock puppet. At least half his posts are in "This Week in Blog" threads. And they have the exact same personality.

Just a hunch."

Whatfur
05-26-2008, 02:10 AM
Hey Casey Jones, I trust Baltimoron can read it for himself.
You on the other hand, not so sure.
Your selective reading doesn't surprise.



Whats all this a little cover-up and deflection quacky? I guess thats called selective quoting eh quacky? And I know for a fact breadcrust, and bruc piled on with a few other tangential wife comments complete then also with a threat. Brendan as you prolifically spend your life here I cannot come up with the exact post...but I am sure you piled on with something...as its what you do.

Graz on the high road in response to my saying that my wife had just awakened so I was going to leave...


You don't listen, read or write carefully and you are are wise-ass; too smart by half and not funny. Just insulting.
Except of course to that blow-up doll you call a wife.
I didn't know that they worked on self-inflating timers?

Baltimoron
05-26-2008, 02:17 AM
Graz/bjkeefe:

I don't care if he's a troll. I don't care if I'm getting emotional for such a shitbag. If the nannies don't ban the bitch, or me, or someone, for anything, then fuck them and their bosses! If the cocksucking puppy did this on my site, I'd ban; wait! I have banned shit like him. There's no reason for such behavior on a Board, and now he's stepped from 1st Amendment license (and I'm extremely liberal on that!) to the point where ether meets reality. I'm deadly serious, he needs to call the police, because if I get to him, I'll break his breathing troll carcass into jelly and feed it to the dogs! He can apologize here, or he can die! He can insult me, anyone can, but leave others out of it. Where I come from, such insults to family do not stand!

That's the last I'll say about IT. He's on my Ignore List until he publicly begs forgiveness from me.

I'll connect the dots: Conn is not a blogger, therefore, he does not belong on bhTV unless there's another non-blogger in the next window. All other non-bloggers, like Wilkinson, The Atlantic horde, and Schmitt (and others I can't recall right now) should also be banned. The blogosphere is an expressly non-hack zone. That's it, and I wouldn't harp on this if bhTV weren't falling down by feeding this miserable primary season and the unforgivable MSM coverage. Too much election coverage, not enough information like Breyer/Pinkerton, the science stuff, or foreign policy and IGOs. There are too many corporate cocksuckers at bhTV.

graz
05-26-2008, 02:33 AM
Graz on the high road in response to my saying that my wife had just awakened so I was going to leave...

Pretty funny, wish I could prove it...but when I typed that last line (which was suppose to be a joke) my first thought was...I will bet real money that most will limit their comments to this. At least B.moron took it a bit further. In any case..humor, Brendan, humor.

Good for goose, gander etc...

"First we get an overbearing Whatfur, then he's defensive, then belligerent, THEN he's a victim."

... well, you know what they say about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I hope you will consider talking to a mental health professional. Please, for your own sake, call somebody.
__________________

bjkeefe
05-26-2008, 02:37 AM
Whatfur:

Brendan as you prolifically spend your life here I cannot come up with the exact post...but I am sure you piled on with something...as its what you do.

If you're going to make a specific accusation, especially of that nature, you should be prepared to back it up. If you make the accusation and you can't back it up, you should apologize.

Don't blame the number of my posts for your inability to find something. Google doesn't have scaling problems. (You do know how to use Google to search a specific site, I presume.)

I am aware that class is not your long suit, but really, at least try to fake it once in a while, will you please?

Richard from Amherst
05-26-2008, 11:38 AM
Guilty as charged.



He is no more a hero than any other person subjected to torture and illegal imprisonment without trial. If he's a hero on those grouds, so are the waterboarded terrorists at Guantanamo.

No human being should be subjected to the treatment that terrorist bomber John McCain received at the hands of the Vietnamese, nor should any human being be subjected to the treatment that terrorist bomber Khalid Sheik Muhammad received at the hands of the Bush regime.

Wow! You amaze me, really. The fundamental difference between John McCain and the Islamic Fascists imprisoned at Guantanamo is that U.S. Navy Lt. Commander. John McCain was acting as a legal combatant in a legally sanctioned war and the the Islamic Fascists are not.

McCain does not favor the treatment that terrorist bomber Khalid Sheik Muhammad received and neither do I. However I do not consider that Khalid Sheik Muhammad is a legal combatant but rather a member of an illegitimate terrorist enterprise and therefore is not subject to the protections afforded legal combatants. The fact that you do not choose to recognize the difference between the Lt. Commander and the terrorist is a problem that you share with a good many of the international left. It is a good reason why I believe that the American People will choose not elect Barry Obama to the office POTUS.

You can choose to cling to the excuses of racism or "Blame America First" but fact is that Citizens of this American Republic do not subscribe to the premise that the U.S. in the wrong in this fight. We were attacked on September 11, 2001 by a group of fascist thugs and deluded religious fanatics. The terrorists attacked this nation and killed noncombatants without regard for race, gender, age or ethnicity. We are in the fight now and we should fight it to win it. McCain is right we may well be in Iraq for a century and if we are Iraq will be a far better place for our presence.

bjkeefe
05-26-2008, 11:46 AM
Wow! You amaze me, really. The fundamental difference between John McCain and the Islamic Fascists imprisoned at Guantanamo is that U.S. Navy Lt. Commander. John McCain was acting as a legal combatant in a legally sanctioned war and the the Islamic Fascists are not.

For the record, I am with Wonderment on this one. Regarding some specifics of your comments ...

I do not accept that the Vietnam War was legal, even under US law. Congress never did not declare war. It is legitimate to question whether the various presidents exceeded their Constitutional authority.

I also think that a good case could be made that the sort of bombing that McCain was part of could be viewed as war crimes. The bombing missions, in any case, were certainly largely targeted at civilians, or at least, accepted an excessive amount of "collateral damage" along with their putative military objectives.

McCain does not favor the treatment that terrorist bomber Khalid Sheik Muhammad received ...

He has been far from consistent on this.

You can choose to cling to the excuses of racism or "Blame America First" ...

And you can choose to oversimplify and caricature opposing points of view, but that only undermines the strength of your argument.

Richard from Amherst
05-26-2008, 01:22 PM
For the record, I am with Wonderment on this one. Regarding some specifics of your comments ...

I do not accept that the Vietnam War was legal, even under US law. Congress never did not declare war. It is legitimate to question whether the various presidents exceeded their Constitutional authority.

I also think that a good case could be made that the sort of bombing that McCain was part of could be viewed as war crimes. The bombing missions, in any case, were certainly largely targeted at civilians, or at least, accepted an excessive amount of "collateral damage" along with their putative military objectives.



He has been far from consistent on this.



And you can choose to oversimplify and caricature opposing points of view, but that only undermines the strength of your argument.

Brendon:

I certainly will not quibble with the fact that the POTUS no longer asks for and the congress no longer appears willing to grant a declaration of war since the FDR initiated a declaration of war after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

This particular manifestation of diplomatic chicanery appears have been originally instigated by the interlocking treaties of the cold war and the treat of thermo nuclear war. Now it has become a political policy device allowing both the executive and the legislative branches of our government the fig leaf of Plausible deniability for the existence of a state of war.

I for one would be far happier if a state of war existed between the US and it allies and Al Queda, the former Taliban government of Afghanistan the former Arab Socialist Ba'th Party government of Iraq and their allies. It would lay this issue of presidential constitutional authority. For one thing it would help justify hot pursuit of of the terrorist across boarders.

That being said however I am not prepared to concede any equivalence between the Islamic fascists and the United States Navy acting under under orders from and the authority of the the commander and chief.

The argument over the ethics of aerial bombing have been around since the zeppelins and biplanes of WWI. Gen. Bomber Harris of the RAF and Gen. Curtis Lemay have been vilified over the tactic of exposing civilians to aerial bombing and nations unable to maintain combat air supremacy over their own territory have used civilians as hostages by placing military targets in the close vicinity to civilian populations. The progress the US and our allies have made in precision targeting and guidance systems have made the "collateral damage" less of a problem.

Of course when the military is dealing with terrorists who hide among civilians populations and practice asymmetrical warfare there will be innocents injured.
War is War innocent people die. If we are going to be squeamish about practicing aerial bombing we certainly should roundly condemn the unprovoked and intentional attack on innocents at the World Trade Center.

I am sorry if I offended you by using an over simplification (the "clinging" comment) however I really do not believe that race is the issue for most conservatives of all class with Barry Obama as POTUS, but rather his lack of experience in dealing with the cultural, military and diplomatic geopolitical conflict in which we are engaged. As I said my dream team for the executive branch is John McCain, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

bjkeefe
05-26-2008, 01:42 PM
Richard:

Thanks for your courteous and open-minded response.

I can understand your concern about lack of experience, but do you really believe this?

As I said my dream team for the executive branch is John McCain, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Is it your sense that "experience" comes from making numerous mistakes, pursuing bad policies and refusing to acknowledge their inherent errors, and at least in the case of the latter two, lying to the American public and the United Nations in order to sell an unnecessary war?

I'd add that the latter two also signed off on torture as policy, but I think it's already been made clear that we fundamentally disagree on this issue.

Richard from Amherst
05-26-2008, 02:38 PM
Richard:

Thanks for your courteous and open-minded response.

I can understand your concern about lack of experience, but do you really believe this?



Is it your sense that "experience" comes from making numerous mistakes, pursuing bad policies and refusing to acknowledge their inherent errors, and at least in the case of the latter two, lying to the American public and the United Nations in order to sell an unnecessary war?

I'd add that the latter two also signed off on torture as policy, but I think it's already been made clear that we fundamentally disagree on this issue.


Brendon:

Thank you I too appreciate the civilized and thoughtful level of the discourse.

Concerning experience and mistakes: A mentor and employer of mine in the laboratory sciences upon being told that a graduate student in his research group had badly damaged a very expensive research instrument said "Well experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined." So yes as a matter of fact I do think think that the US voters should choose to be lead by people who have some experience and have made some errors rather than a bright, loquacious and inexperienced senator. As I said earlier we cannot afford another green president like John Kennedy or George W. Bush for that matter.

Barry Obama will likely grow into his job as Senator and earn his second chance at POTUS. As a voter I am looking at the crop of candidates I have to choose from and given the political situation and have concluded that I would rather choose McCain than Obama or Clinton.

I also am not all that sure that history will judge that Iraq was an unnecessary war. In the world we live in we cannot afford not to have a strategic presence in the area. Certainly in my opinion Saddam Hussein, his boys and his henchmen needed killing.

bjkeefe
05-26-2008, 03:07 PM
Richard:

I figured as I was typing my last reply that you'd have something to say about experience coming from mistakes made. I guess the difference, which I should have spelled out, is that for this to count in this way for me, the mistakes have to be acknowledged and the lessons learned spelled out. I grant that Rice is in no position to do much of that, and if one were to be charitable, we could interpret Colin Powell's behavior over the past few years as silent acquiescence. But that's all sort of moot. The important part for me is that McCain has not offered anything different from a continuation of what we've been doing for the past five years. It is not working in any sense of the word. The best one can say is that we're paying an enormous price to fight a holding action of a situation that's a little less bad than it was at its worst.

This again comes down to different starting for points for us, though. I don't think Saddam "needed killing," for one thing. For another, while I agree the US has strategic interests in the Middle East, I'd rather see a much different way of addressing them besides unilateral action and brute force. It's immoral, and even leaving that aside, it's not even practical or cost-effective. No matter what we're looking for in the Middle East, surely we could have gotten better returns by investing a trillion dollars differently.

Some of this is hindsight, admittedly -- even I didn't expect things to be quite this disastrous or expensive -- but I don't think that's all it is. Experienced leaders should have known enough not to kid themselves about the Bush Administration's rosy pony scenarios. McCain, though, was fully in favor of the project from the get-go, and as I said, does not appear to have learned anything from it. It's just "might makes right" with him and he shows no evidence of being willing to think about other approaches.

And really, if experience matters so much in evaluating candidates, what say you about his economic experience? Or is foreign policy that much more important to you?

Wonderment
05-26-2008, 04:27 PM
Richard,

I think we have already made the case that John McCain is not a "war hero," but rather a war criminal who suffered immense brutality unjustly as a captive, so I won't pursue that debate further.

I will tell you why I find the McCain War Hero especially disturbing. Portraying this mediocre politician as a hero promotes and perpetuates not only a hideous form of US militarism but also a narrow chauvinistic view of the world in which a USA narrative conflicts dramatically with everyone else's perception.

It's is not just the Vietnamese and the Cambodians who fail to see John McCain as a war hero; it's the rest of the world too, that saw the war on Vietnam as a monstrous aberration and pointless slaughter of millions.

If you go to Europe, Canada, Mexico or anywhere else and ask informed opinion there, "Do you think the pilots are heroes who dropped tons of Napalm on civilians, defoliated the country to starve it, raped the environment, etc.?" you will be laughed out of the country or dismissed as a loon.

Another couple of points I'm curious about:

The fundamental difference between John McCain and the Islamic Fascists imprisoned at Guantanamo is that U.S. Navy Lt. Commander. John McCain was acting as a legal combatant ....

How do you know they are "Islamic fascists?" Innocent men (and boys) have been held for years at Guantánamo. The only way to determine if anyone is an "Islamic fascist" is to bring him/her to trial and win a conviction.

The fact that you do not choose to recognize the difference between the Lt. Commander and the terrorist is a problem that you share with a good many of the international left. It is a good reason why I believe that the American People will choose not elect Barry Obama to the office POTUS.

The use of terms like "international left" further muddles your argument. And finally, why do you refer to Barack Obama as "Barry?"

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 04:12 AM
"So, declare victory and go home?"

Awesome William, you just turned Obama into a potential Nixon. Maybe Obama can forego 'victory' and declare 'peace with honor'.

The problem with the msm, Olbermann and netroots going crazy over the '100 years' comment and for which they were justifiably criticized is that they framed it as McCain wanting the US to be in a shooting war for a century. When you look at the context a little deeper than Scher's opportunistic and disingenuous pouncing (as WB rightfully points out) then you see the Japan and Korea context that the liberal media left out of 99% of the references to the comment.

Quoting McCain:

"Maybe 100. That would be fine with me....
How long -- we have been in -- we have been in South Korea -- we have been in Japan for 60 years. We have been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me ... as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. Then it's fine with me. I hope it would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting and equipping and motivating people every single day."

For Bill S to declare the '100 years' snippet as the 'exact full context' is to illustrate the emptyness (even the disingenuousness) of his reasoning. This is the sort of mindless ideology that results in the DNC commercial where McCain's '100 years' quote is used, followed by a phrases such as ""5 years," "$500 billion," "Over 4,000 dead" without ever mentioning that McCain specifically qualified his statement regarding injuries, harm, wounds and deaths.

I'll leave it to any thinking person to decide if that sort of smearing is shameless dishonesty or just 'tough politics'. Regardless, it nowhere near approaches 'exact full context'.

Telling the truth is not being 'in the tank' or 'such generous coverage' and to even have to explain this is something that should not be necessary on a BHs thread.

Bill is being dishonest and has completely misrepersented what mccain said, and except for a few commenters here, most obama supporters in bhtv have propagated the misrepresentation of mccain's 100 years comment.

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 04:20 AM
harkin:I also think it's entirely fair to use the shorthand "100 years" to represent the fact that McCain (1) has been clear that he wants to stay in Iraq until victory is achieved, and (2) that he has been anything but clear about how that's supposed to happen and how long he's willing to keep trying.

here's another misrepresentation. mccain said he's okay with the idea a troop presence in iraq for "100 years" as long as nobody's getting killed or injured anymore, meaning the war is over and US establishes a base there similar to the ones in kuwait, RP, SK, Japan, Europe etc.

btw, US military presence is still in Japan and Germany after ww2 ended some 60 years ago.

US troops are still stationed in kuwait even though the 1991 war is already over.

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 04:25 AM
It also implies (in the generous-to-McCain reading) that US militarism and domination of the Middle East can, should and will continue for centuries.

This is a deeply insulting, arrogant and reckless characterization of the role the US should play globally. It plays terribly in the rest of the world and is another example of McCain's tin ear and Obama's infinitely better sense of how to project a less brutal and domineering image of the US to the world.

nobody had any problems US bases in Saudi Arabia then and Kuwait. except for maybe bin laden, Saddam, and Iran.

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 08:54 AM
nobody had any problems US bases in Saudi Arabia then and Kuwait. except for maybe bin laden, Saddam, and Iran.

Kind of a big "except," especially when you consider the consequences: a rallying point for recruiting terrorists and additional motivation for Iran to develop nukes.

I think it's also reasonable to think that there are others who are irritated by US bases in the region.

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 09:00 AM
here's another misrepresentation. mccain said he's okay with the idea a troop presence in iraq for "100 years" as long as nobody's getting killed or injured anymore, meaning the war is over and US establishes a base there similar to the ones in kuwait, RP, SK, Japan, Europe etc.

btw, US military presence is still in Japan and Germany after ww2 ended some 60 years ago.

As has been pointed out before, there's a world of difference between the way we're viewed in those other locations and in the Arab/Persian world.

Apart from that, just saying you'd be okay with staying as long as no one is getting hurt is kind of vacuous. How do you get to that happy state? There is every indication that US troops will always provoke violence, just by their very presence. Their presence also makes surrounding countries nervous to the point where it harms our larger goals. Plus, it's ridiculously expensive for the US to be there. We have better things to spend our money on.

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 09:01 AM
Kind of a big "except," especially when you consider the consequences: a rallying point for recruiting terrorists and additional motivation for Iran to develop nukes.

I think it's also reasonable to think that there are others who are irritated by US bases in the region.

nobody's upset about the bases in kuwait anymore. and the saudis wanted the US to establish bases in their soil to protect them from saddam.

and afghanistan is being used as a so called "recruiting tool" too by the jihadists.

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 09:18 AM
As has been pointed out before, there's a world of difference between the way we're viewed in those other locations and in the Arab/Persian world.

Apart from that, just saying you'd be okay with staying as long as no one is getting hurt is kind of vacuous. How do you get to that happy state? There is every indication that US troops will always provoke violence, just by their very presence. Their presence also makes surrounding countries nervous to the point where it harms our larger goals. Plus, it's ridiculously expensive for the US to be there. We have better things to spend our money on.

What about kuwait?

bases doesn't have to be permanent. mccain answered the guy's townhall question with a rhetorical "why not a hundred?" answer. if it's in iraq and the US's interest to have bases after the war is over, then it should be explored.

but if the bases have served their usefulness, then you pull out of that country. like in saudi arabia.

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 09:27 AM
What about kuwait?

bases doesn't have to be permanent. mccain answered the guy's townhall question with a rhetorical "why not a hundred?" answer. if it's in iraq and the US's interest to have bases after the war is over, then it should be explored.

but if the bases have served their usefulness, then you pull out of that country. like in saudi arabia.

Kuwait, it seems to me, was happy to have a US troop presence out of fears of Saddam. There could be some gratitude at play there, too.

I do grant that McCain's answer was rhetorical in the context of that townhall meeting. I didn't understand him to be saying he wanted 100 years of war, and most people who pay attention understand this, too. Nonetheless, the way the game is played in American politics, I have no problem with this being used to tag him, especially when you consider the misinformation with which Republicans tag their opponents.

And, as I've said before, it's not entirely inaccurate, if you think of it as a shorthand summary: McCain has not offered any thinking on the Iraq situation except, essentially, "stay the course," and his overall stance on foreign relations seems pretty much like the pugnacious and unilateral stance of the Bush Administration.

I also take no comfort in your thought that bases are abandoned once they've outlived their usefulness. I mean, maybe they are every so often, but the reality almost always is this: once a base is established, it's easy for somebody to make the case that we need to keep it active. How many bases does the US have around the world? If memory serves, it's in the high three figures. This (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5564) seems to confirm that.

Richard from Amherst
05-27-2008, 10:51 AM
Richard,

I think we have already made the case that John McCain is not a "war hero," but rather a war criminal who suffered immense brutality unjustly as a captive, so I won't pursue that debate further.

I will tell you why I find the McCain War Hero especially disturbing. Portraying this mediocre politician as a hero promotes and perpetuates not only a hideous form of US militarism but also a narrow chauvinistic view of the world in which a USA narrative conflicts dramatically with everyone else's perception.

It's is not just the Vietnamese and the Cambodians who fail to see John McCain as a war hero; it's the rest of the world too, that saw the war on Vietnam as a monstrous aberration and pointless slaughter of millions.

If you go to Europe, Canada, Mexico or anywhere else and ask informed opinion there, "Do you think the pilots are heroes who dropped tons of Napalm on civilians, defoliated the country to starve it, raped the environment, etc.?" you will be laughed out of the country or dismissed as a loon.

Another couple of points I'm curious about:



How do you know they are "Islamic fascists?" Innocent men (and boys) have been held for years at Guantánamo. The only way to determine if anyone is an "Islamic fascist" is to bring him/her to trial and win a conviction.



The use of terms like "international left" further muddles your argument. And finally, why do you refer to Barack Obama as "Barry?"

Wonderment:

We simply disagree on our interpretations of John McCain's war record and the Vietnam war. As I recall the killing fields in Cambodia were the product of the Camer Rouge after we shamefully abandoned the fight against communism in Southeast Asia.

I do not wonder that the North Vietnamese may not see McCain as a war hero though they seem to be coming around to seeing more things our way now that they are joining the capitalist world.

I have not been to Mexico lately but me experience in Europe (Sweden, Germany, the UK and Turkey) and Canada vary widely from your predictions. I suspect that we may travel in different circles.

Concerning our "guests" at Guantánamo: I suggest being captured out of uniform and in armed resistance against the allied forces in Afghanistan or having been captured in active support or participation in the Al Qaeda terror network are good reasons for detention. It would be better to give them due process and I am sure we will do that ultimately. However they do not rank as enemy combatants in the organized military sense of the phrase. To characterize most of these individuals as Innocent men (and boys) says more about your ideology than you may recognize.

Thank you for the comparison to Gavia immer they are wonderful birds! Please feel free to continue to share your wildlife allusions they are amusing!

Concerning The Barry/Barrack issue: Using nicknames is a bad habit people have when referring to politicians. We call Senator Kennedy and President Roosevelt "Teddy", President Clinton "Bubba", President Reagan "the Gipper" and Senator Clinton is simply "Hilary" as Bush is "W".

I understand that Senator Obama has chosen to embrace Barack over Barry as I have chosen Richard over Dick, that is his right and mine. I do look forward to John McCain developing a nickname.

If you find the use of nicknames offensive I will not use it in the future in our exchanges (should there be any). I'm sorry if I offended you but nick names are great ways to deflate "stuffed shirt" and "empty suit" politicians and terms of endearment for those politician that are beloved, that why people use them.

Richard

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 11:34 AM
I understand that Senator Obama has chosen to embrace Barack over Barry as I have chosen Richard over Dick ...

Which makes it seem all the more wrong for you to say "Barry."

I do look forward to John McCain developing a nickname.

Done: McSame. Which has replaced my earlier favorite: St. Maverick McStraightTalk.

I'm sorry if I offended you but nick names are great ways to deflate "stuffed shirt" and "empty suit" politicians and terms of endearment for those politician that are beloved, that why people use them.

I'll go along with the "beloved" aspect when bestowed by others, but I usually think of politicians who refer to themselves by their nicknames as yet another instance of their patently transparent attempts to present as "jes plain folks." The phoniness drives me crazy. I'm happy that the current crop does not do this -- John, Barack, Hillary.

Richard from Amherst
05-27-2008, 12:14 PM
Brendon:

I concur that a mastery of economic issues is not McCain's strong suits. He is no Senator "Phil" Gramm or Senator "Newt" Gingrich ("there I go again" using nicknames for Senators). Candidly I think both of those other men would make wonderful Presidents however neither chose to run in 2008.

I do wish that there was such a thing as the perfect presidential candidate with every conceivable qualification for the job, but sadly they are all just Homo sapiens like the rest of us.

I am hoping the McCain administration will be do better job of supporting government funding for scientific research than the Bush administration has done. Especially in the area of biomedical and climate research. This is my chief beef with "W". I certainly hope that McCain will pursue solutions to the global warming and the energy issues in a realistic way.

We are probably not going to be able to stop global warming anyway given our propensity as a species for profligate over propagation. It is a cinch however that we won't solve the problems if we do not try. I don't buy the left's solutions to these issues however. We are not going to solve the problem buy going back to a lower level of technology at least not without a lot of human misery.

Concerning the Immigration Issue: I think McCain has some good ideas on this subject, in fact my take on immigration is that it is simply a subset of the world population / global warming / energy issues.

Candidly I have little faith in the Democrats to take the critical steps necessary to address any of these issues especially the environment and security.

My chief concern about the Republicans is the influence of the religious right.
I have little patience with people who do not believe in evolution. I have no hope of the world being able to cope with the problems we have propitiated ourselves into on this planet without a significant population correction be it planned or unplanned. It really does not matter what dogma the religions are espousing it isn't going to cut it. We can support a smaller population living in plenty or a huge population living in misery.

Anyway, That's my take on McCain. I think he has a better chance of keeping the lid on until we can work out a technical fix than either Clinton or Obama.

Richard

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 12:43 PM
Richard:

Fair enough. I agree with you that there are no perfect candidates. I also agree that some of the problems that we face may well prove intractable to the sort of long-term thinking that our style of government de facto forbids. Most days, I think that unless we get some kind of miracle technology, nobody in American politics will be able to address AGW adequately, and that doesn't even begin to account for the rest of the world. The same intractability may well apply to problems like immigration and the overall economic decline of the US.

Nonetheless, it is my sense that Democrats will at least try. Your notion of McCain as someone to "keep the lid on" until something good happens does not strike me as the best approach. I'd rather be proactive. It is also my firm belief that we've shown how poorly an abrasive relationship with the rest of the world works, and I am eager to, again, at least try something different.

If it's your impression that the attempts risk being worse than doing nothing besides continuing down the same path, well, there may not be any way for me to change your mind at this base level.

I am happy to hear that you are pro-science and anti-religious fundamentalism. It's nice to hear that we have some common ground, at least.

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 01:22 PM
nobody's upset about the bases in kuwait anymore. and the saudis wanted the US to establish bases in their soil to protect them from saddam.

and afghanistan is being used as a so called "recruiting tool" too by the jihadists.

i also forgot to add the biggest recruiting tool of all: the existence of israel

johnmarzan
05-27-2008, 01:26 PM
And, as I've said before, it's not entirely inaccurate, if you think of it as a shorthand summary: McCain has not offered any thinking on the Iraq situation except, essentially, "stay the course," and his overall stance on foreign relations seems pretty much like the pugnacious and unilateral stance of the Bush Administration.


"Stay the course"? it was mccain who was one of the leading critics of the way the war was handled. and was the biggest advocate of the "surge".

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 01:48 PM
"Stay the course"? it was mccain who was one of the leading critics of the way the war was handled. and was the biggest advocate of the "surge".

If you're going to be that narrow in your interpretation, I concede the point. But I meant by "stay the course" (as opposed to Stay The Course (tm)) the more general sense that McCain's view of Iraq is to maintain a large troop presence until "victory" can be achieved.

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 01:51 PM
i also forgot to add the biggest recruiting tool of all: the existence of israel

In some senses, maybe. On the other hand, we did not have a problem of worldwide Islamist terrorist networks until the past few years. Sure, there were always a few, mostly in Israel I might add, but there wasn't anywhere near the same scale.

It's also a bit of canard for you to try to score a point like this, since you should know that defending the existence of Israel is not a negotiable consideration.

popcorn_karate
05-27-2008, 02:04 PM
Thanks for starting this thread Wonderment. Excellent points - and it takes some guts to state them.

Wonderment
05-27-2008, 04:14 PM
Richard,

To characterize most of these individuals as Innocent men (and boys) says more about your ideology than you may recognize.

Yes, it says I believe in the rule of law: that all human beings are innocent until proven guilty. Sorry about being such an ideological barbarian.

Thank you for the comparison to Gavia immer they are wonderful birds!

You're welcome. Their habitat is out of my range, but I do a domestic loon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavia_immer) when I spot one.

Concerning The Barry/Barrack issue: Using nicknames is a bad habit people have when referring to politicians.

Especially bad when the subtext is racial. Calling Barack Obama "Barry" is like calling Muhamad Ali "Cassius." It's demeaning and gratuitously insulting, and you know it. Don't be disingenous.

Wonderment
05-27-2008, 05:33 PM
Thanks for starting this thread Wonderment. Excellent points - and it takes some guts to state them.

Thanks. Here's a real war hero: Lt. Ehren Watada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehren_watada)

Richard from Amherst
05-27-2008, 10:41 PM
Richard,



Yes, it says I believe in the rule of law: that all human beings are innocent until proven guilty. Sorry about being such an ideological barbarian.

Exactly which aspect of jurisprudence do you believe applies in the case of the terrorist combatants ?

Natural Law?,

Analytic jurisprudence?,

or perhaps

Normative jurisprudence?

I suspect that you do not have a clue.

I suggest you consult Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_of_war. My reading of the law is that these bully boys are getting exactly what they are entitled to and if truth be told a great deal more.

In point of fact many of them are doing much better than they ever have in their lives. They are getting a roof over their heads, three squares and a cot, medical care and education. As I said many of them have never had it so good.


You're welcome. Their habitat is out of my range, but I do a domestic loon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavia_immer) when I spot one.

It is apparent that your knowledge of ornithology is as deficient as your understanding of the military justice.


Especially bad when the subtext is racial. Calling Barack Obama "Barry" is like calling Muhamad Ali "Cassius." It's demeaning and gratuitously insulting, and you know it. Don't be disingenous.

Sorry I am not going to bow to your innuendo. I have no monopoly on disingenuous in this conversation. I believe that Cassius Clay legally changed is name to Muhamad Ali. Barrack Obama answered to the nick name "Barry" for many years and I believe has not legally changed his name. I am treating Senator Obama in exactly the way other politician running for POTUS are treated no better no worse.

Wonderment, May I suggest that you take some civility lessons from Brendan.

By the way do you have the courage to sign your given name?

Richard

Wonderment
05-27-2008, 11:07 PM
By the way do you have the courage to sign your given name?

Yes, I do.

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 11:11 PM
Richard:

You are sort of proving Wonderment's first point: you're assuming that everyone who is held in captivity as a terrorist is in fact guilty of terroristic acts. This seems like an unmerited leap of faith. There have been any number of stories about people being picked up because of mistaken identity, or because someone else had a grudge against them, or because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You also forgot one thing they get in prison besides three hots and a cot: torture.

Richard from Amherst
05-27-2008, 11:23 PM
If it's your impression that the attempts risk being worse than doing nothing besides continuing down the same path, well, there may not be any way for me to change your mind at this base level.

I certainly believe that we need to take steps to address the issues of AGW the fossil fuel / energy issue and most importantly the underlying problem of uncontrolled population growth. I simply am not sanguine about the possibilities of success or at least easy success.

I do not believe we have a good handle on what part of global warming is due to increased solar insulation and what part is do to other terrestrial but not anthropogenic causes. If the climate is changing rapidly from naturally occurring causes we may simply be toast.

I also do not believe we have as yet much of a lead on alternative energy sources that are thermodynamically favorable and carbon neutral at the moment.

Most of all I have little faith in human kind being able to keep their pants on and not procreate ourselves into oblivion. We are horny bunch of hairless apes.

Concerning domestic politics: I am not optimistic about our chances of solving these problems without substantial pain regardless of which US political party is in charge. I am just less sanguine about the likelihood of success if the Democrats are in charge. This is a personal judgment of course.


I am happy to hear that you are pro-science and anti-religious fundamentalism. It's nice to hear that we have some common ground, at least.

Yes I am certainly pro science. Science and technology provide the only chance we have.

I am not so much anti religious fundamentalism as I am convinced that much fundamentalist religion is an atavistic waste of time at best and a active impediment to human progress at worst.

I do however recognize that much good in the way of music, art and humane philosophy and even science has come from religion. Not to mention human kindness and genuine charity. In fact no human endeavor is an unalloyed good or evil.

Concerning my agnosticism: I do however recognize that the specter of a stochastic universe and no life after death is strong medicine for many people. I am not an atheist but rather an agnostic. My philosophy requires me to keep an open mind and be prepared to entertain new data.

By the way Brendan I would like to compliment you on your civility. Civility makes for a much more salutary and enlightening conversation than parrying tired old brickbats.

Richard

Richard from Amherst
05-27-2008, 11:38 PM
Brendan:

Certainly some people at Guantanamo have proven themselves innocent and others have been proven innocent by the system or third parties and been released. I suspect that more will be as time passes. It will be interesting to see how many of the prisoners at Guantanamo have been tortured and not simply interrogated.

The terrorists clearly designed their campaign and tactic to sweep up as many civilians in the action as possible. It is a tactic of asymmetrical warfare. Exactly what constitutes torture and what the justifications for it are is the key point. Wonderment has his view and I hold a different definition. I would suggest the the people who hijack civilian airplanes and fly them into civilian buildings and put radio controlled bombs downs syndrome patients to kill civilians will find little quarter or sympathy from me.

Wonderment is quick to defend the innocent. What would he do about the guilty?

Richard

bjkeefe
05-27-2008, 11:50 PM
Richard:

It's phrases like this that trouble me:

I would suggest the the people who hijack civilian airplanes and fly them into civilian buildings ...

None of the people who flew those airplanes are in prison right now. I expect you're rolling your eyes at the obviousness of that statement, but I think it bears saying out loud, since it seems to me that part of what lets people so blithely accept the situation at Gitmo and other places is an underlying confusion of one with the other.

I don't doubt that there probably are some bad guys in captivity, but I don't think holding them for upwards of five years without trial is the right way to deal with them. And when I consider the certainty that some of those who are being held did little or nothing, I really am appalled. Face it -- a lot of what got the program started had to do with revenge and blind striking out, at least in part. I suspect that a lot of what's going on now is a sense of embarrassment on the part of the captors -- no one can think of a good way out of the situation.

At base is another fundamental disagreement, of course. You think those accused of participating in "asymmetric warfare" should be treated as a third kind of prisoner. I don't. I think there are only two plausible categories: POW or criminal. For a nation claiming to believe in the principles of justice and the rule of law, I mean.

Richard from Amherst
05-28-2008, 09:01 AM
At base is another fundamental disagreement, of course. You think those accused of participating in "asymmetric warfare" should be treated as a third kind of prisoner. I don't. I think there are only two plausible categories: POW or criminal. For a nation claiming to believe in the principles of justice and the rule of law, I mean.

Brendan:

You are correct this I believe is the fundamental issue. I believe that international military law defines a third category (see link in previous post). People who are captured while engaged in illegal warfare are neither legitimate military prisoners of war nor common criminals. The law on this is quite specific and it exempts partisan national engaged in their country of origin. I believe that some people wish to expand the category of partisan to "planet of origin" however that is not what the law says.

Perhaps there needs to be an international treaty to define how non military combatants in religious wars are treated. What would you think if the people incarcerated in Guantanamo are put on trial and those found guilty of international terrorism are executed. Those found to be common criminals are remanded to the criminal courts of the US or their country of origin and those found innocent released and recompensed for their incarceration?

I find it troublesome that you are not concerned about the real bad actors in this fight. I am sick and tired of the glorification of the likes of bin Laden and men of his ilk.

Richard

bjkeefe
05-28-2008, 10:47 AM
Richard:

I'll leave legalistic aspects of "illegal warfare" to the side. I am not a lawyer, for one thing, and for another, it seems to me that even those with legal training aren't at all agreed on the interpretation of the existing laws.

Perhaps there needs to be an international treaty to define how non military combatants in religious wars are treated.

I could go along with that, if we arrive at a shared belief that "illegal combatants" need to be defined as separate from common criminals. However, I'd rather define the accused in terms of their actions rather than their beliefs; e.g., acting as a soldier without being under the authority of their own country, not wearing a uniform while engaged in such actions, carrying out attacks aimed exclusively at civilians, and so on. Seems to me that if you define things in terms of religious beliefs, you're privileging one faith over another. This seems contrary to the founding principles of our country, for one thing, and thinking pragmatically, it unlikely to be anything but additionally provocative. One of our big problems in dealing with this problem is a widespread suspicion among Muslims worldwide that the US is looking to make war on all of them.

This is also especially problematic to me because I view all religions as equally suspect, but that's a topic for another day.

What would you think if the people incarcerated in Guantanamo are put on trial and those found guilty of international terrorism are executed. Those found to be common criminals are remanded to the criminal courts of the US or their country of origin and those found innocent released and recompensed for their incarceration?

I don't have a problem with this. In fact, this is exactly what I advocate. One minor quibble: I am against the death penalty, so I'd rather see life imprisonment for sufficiently severe crimes. However, if the consensus favored the death penalty, it's not something I'd go to the mat over. I assume also that we're talking about some kind of reasonable trial process, not a kangaroo court set-up. For example, those on trial should have access to counsel, and confessions obtained by torture should be inadmissible.

I find it troublesome that you are not concerned about the real bad actors in this fight. I am sick and tired of the glorification of the likes of bin Laden and men of his ilk.

It is a common mistake of people like you to think that because I do not share all of your views on how captured (accused) terrorists should be treated, I therefore think they are without flaw. It's really not as binary as "you're either with us or you're against us." I have no fondness for people who commit terroristic acts. I think such people should be stopped, and if caught after the fact, punished commensurate with their crimes.

What I don't like is the way the process is being carried out. It seems to presume guilt on the part of whomever is picked up, and it clearly does away with fundamental principles that (used to) make our justice system a model for the world -- habeas corpus, the right to a speedy trial, the right to be represented by counsel, prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, etc.

There's another piece, too. Letting ourselves react in the way we have been gives those who would commit such acts an added prestige. In a very real sense, it is people like you who are glorifying the terrorists -- you're making them into some kind of super bogeyman that has us all too willing to throw our way of life overboard in response to their actions. The primary purpose of engaging in terrorism is to instill fear in the target population. Surrendering to this fear lets them win.

Richard from Amherst
05-28-2008, 03:38 PM
Brendan:


Seems to me that if you define things in terms of religious beliefs, you're privileging one faith over another. This seems contrary to the founding principles of our country, for one thing, and thinking pragmatically, it unlikely to be anything but additionally provocative. One of our big problems in dealing with this problem is a widespread suspicion among Muslims worldwide that the US is looking to make war on all of them.

This is also especially problematic to me because I view all religions as equally suspect, but that's a topic for another day.

You can chalk up the imprecision in my language to a my morning dose of caffeine having not fully taken effect. I tar all religions with the same brush when it comes to religious warfare.

I really don't believe that religious war is ever justified. Christianity has as large a history of insane attacks on innocent people because of their faiths as does Islam in the case we are discussing. Christianity is just a little more hypocritical about its treatment of "infidels". In fact the only thing that seems to unite them is killing infidels who do not believe in any form of "deity".



I don't have a problem with this. In fact, this is exactly what I advocate. One minor quibble: I am against the death penalty, so I'd rather see life imprisonment for sufficiently severe crimes. However, if the consensus favored the death penalty, it's not something I'd go to the mat over. I assume also that we're talking about some kind of reasonable trial process, not a kangaroo court set-up. For example, those on trial should have access to counsel, and confessions obtained by torture should be inadmissible.


I have no problem with your position on this issue. Life in prison is just as good as the death penalty (maybe better). Just keep these guys off the streets.



It is a common mistake of people like you to think that because I do not share all of your views on how captured (accused) terrorists should be treated, I therefore think they are without flaw. It's really not as binary as "you're either with us or you're against us." I have no fondness for people who commit terroristic acts. I think such people should be stopped, and if caught after the fact, punished commensurate with their crimes.

Over generalization is a problem. I concur that it is not as binary as we both make it appear. I have a deal for you I you will not assume what "people like me" think I will not assume what people like you think".


What I don't like is the way the process is being carried out. It seems to presume guilt on the part of whomever is picked up, and it clearly does away with fundamental principles that (used to) make our justice system a model for the world -- habeas corpus, the right to a speedy trial, the right to be represented by counsel, prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, etc.

In order to deal with a transnational group of terrorists it is necessary to have a set of uniform laws and treaties, to which all nations subscribe, rules that prohibit the sort of terrorist behavior we are discussing. We don't have that type of law in place at the moment. At least partially because many (most) nations want to fight proxy wars with "irregular forces".


There's another piece, too. Letting ourselves react in the way we have been gives those who would commit such acts an added prestige. In a very real sense, it is people like you who are glorifying the terrorists -- you're making them into some kind of super bogeyman that has us all too willing to throw our way of life overboard in response to their actions. The primary purpose of engaging in terrorism is to instill fear in the target population. Surrendering to this fear lets them win.

I concur that treating terrorists in a way in which they appear like super bogeymen is counterproductive. The only way that they make their nonsense work is the use of asymmetrical warfare and sanctuaries across international borders. Storing weapons and hiding out in houses of worship or hiding out in the tribal territories are examples. By taking advantage of sanctuary laws and sensibilities, crossing borders for sanctuary and hiding among the non combatant civilian populous these folks game the system to their advantage.

There needs to be a method developed for hot pursuit of terrorists either by combatants or by the sanctuary country. For example contrast and compare the Swiss in WWII and the Pakistanis in the present unpleasantness. The Swiss were not perfect and the combatants did their best to circumvent the rules but it sure worked better than what we have going at the moment.

Richard

bjkeefe
05-28-2008, 03:45 PM
Richard:

Okay, I'll let it stand there. Nothing to say that I haven't already.

Richard from Amherst
05-28-2008, 10:18 PM
Agreed

bjkeefe
05-28-2008, 11:49 PM
Richard:

Regarding this conversation we just had, you might listen to an interview of Philip Zimbardo by Michael Shermer.

Visit this page (http://www.skepticality.com/p_listentopast.php) and look for the following line of text:

04/03/2007 Skepticality #049 - Interview: Dr. Michael Shermer talks to Philip Zimbardo.

or, if you prefer, here is the direct link to the audio file (http://media.libsyn.com/media/skepticality/049_skepticality.mp3).

I think it has some bearing on our different views on "illegal combatants," especially starting at around the 35:00 point. The whole interview is well worth listening to, though.

conncarroll
05-29-2008, 08:07 AM
Baltimoron writes:
"I'll connect the dots: Conn is not a blogger, therefore, he does not belong on bhTV unless there's another non-blogger in the next window."

Baltimoron can hate me all he wants (he's by no means the first), but he should at least get his facts straight. I blog here every weekday:
http://blog.heritage.org/

Please do stop by and read. You might learn something.

johnmarzan
05-29-2008, 10:49 AM
Baltimoron writes:
"I'll connect the dots: Conn is not a blogger, therefore, he does not belong on bhTV unless there's another non-blogger in the next window."

Baltimoron can hate me all he wants (he's by no means the first), but he should at least get his facts straight. I blog here every weekday:
http://blog.heritage.org/

Please do stop by and read. You might learn something.

the problem with talking to the "ahmadinejads" here is that you "elevate their status."

talking to your "enemies" is good, if they are reasonable.

;)

Baltimoron
05-30-2008, 02:47 AM
Mr. Carroll:

Awww, Conn, I don't hate you! You're dumber than I took you for if you honestly believe that. I already have a wife, and comparing that last bitchy whine of yours with her non-passive aggressive mode of communication with me, she's three times the man you are (and immeasurably more attractive)! Your performance in the blog before this last one was suitable to the format of the Week in Blog. You're not a blogger. If you seriously are going to call a Heritage site a blog, then you can no longer use English properly either. You've just insulted every blogger who doesn't have interns, an income, and a brain that belongs in someone's pocket.

Write a book that isn't fronted by your employer, and I'll consider you something other than a hack. Until then, grow up, make the most of your opportunity, and stop slumming with the population you left behind. You're no longer one of the people!

And, seriously, get some better groupies!

Baltimoron
05-30-2008, 02:57 AM
The problem with certain people is that they develop sentimental attachments to people and brands without evaluating the quality based on the standard of the product. The Week in Blog has a unique format among bhTV products. It requires, not opinion, but fair representation of other viewpoints. When the 'heads' personality or opinion obscures the proper object, then that 'head is wrong. As I argued, Mr. Carroll of Heritage needs his own gig (perhaps a Heritage vs CAP cage match), or he and Heritage need to stick to their own website with their own brand, and stop acting as if they need any more promotion. They should devote more attention to advising the candidates and organizations they support, and less advertising themselves. I don't think I need to say, but I would say the same for CAP, Brookings, TNR, NYT, etc.

johnmarzan
05-30-2008, 02:59 AM
obama campaign backs down on "without precondition" talks with ahmadinejad

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDBiMmU0ZTcwYTAxOWY5OThkNzY0NmIxZDM3OGVhODA=