Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Diavlog comments Post comments about particular diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-29-2009, 08:51 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
BhTV staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,936
Default Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:57 AM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 504
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Don't the current on-going trials of Gitmo detainees make the issue of whether torture was used or not a timely one, though I agree the grandstanding around the isuue is sure unattractive?

It's somewhat ironic how Iraq managed to try, convict and execute a former president during a low level civil war and was applauded for the fact, not least by the former administation.

I'm was also stunned by John's admission that he's worried he will actually become a casualty in the War on Terror. http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/193...7:18&out=27:28

Last edited by opposable_crumbs; 04-29-2009 at 11:03 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:55 AM
grits-n-gravy grits-n-gravy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 431
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Twenty-six minutes in and I'm shaking my head side-to-side thinking, no John, you are wrong to conflate the Taliban and Al-Queda. It's wrong to assume the Taliban fits within John's psychological 'theory' of the Muslim extremist.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-29-2009, 12:30 PM
sealrock sealrock is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 18
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

yay! i love when these guys! i've not watched it yet, but I am certain it will be interesting.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-29-2009, 12:56 PM
Namazu Namazu is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 185
Default You can't handle the truth!

Not you guys, of course. Compare and contrast the recent conversation between Joshua Cohen and Mark Schmitt, which concludes in pious agreement that there should be a truth commission to lay out all the facts relating to torture in the Bush administration. One issue omitted (an oversight? time limitations?) was whether all this water-boarding actually produced any information of value to national security. The CIA seems to be saying "yes." Now academics routinely ignore the forest for the veins on the leaves, but I've yet to understand the source of Mark's occasional fits of myopia (c.f. previous comments).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:18 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,803
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Now that is a segue:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/193...0:12&out=00:29
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:25 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,644
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I found this to be the worst DV by these two ever.

1) They dismiss the idea of holding people accountable for their actions as "childish" and "bloodthirsty". I'm just a bit stunned by this attitude. should we abandon all attempts at law enforcement because its all "looking backward instead of forward"? or is this hands off approach to criminality only for the elites?

Glenn seems to think that Alberto Gonzales will be punished enough by his loss of reputation in certain circles. would this apply to me if I go rob a bank - after getting caught, the loss to my reputation should be punishment enough?

how about deterrence? Did either of these guys notice that a lot of the same people running a shadow government in the 1980s under Reagan selling arms to terrorists were the same people back in the executive branch eviscerating the constitution and the rule of law yet again under bush? maybe if some of these goons had been held accountable back then some of this stuff wouldn't have happened this time around.

2) John, "its 1918 again"? really?!! 7 confirmed deaths in mexico and 150 possible deaths is the same as 20 - 100 million dead from the 1918 flu pandemic? maybe a little teeny bit of perspective is in order.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:26 PM
graz graz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,162
Default Say it again!

Shock and aw shucks

Last edited by graz; 04-29-2009 at 01:28 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:26 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Los Angeles, Ca.
Posts: 1,192
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Anyone who has been in either mental or prison facility for any length of time can see the one of the big problems inherent with segregating people in this manner from society is institutionalization. It's really quite pernicious and pervasive.

Take the board and care homes where many people live after being released from a mental hospital. Generally speaking that's where most will stay for their entire lives. They are by and large nothing more than warehouses for the mentally ill.

The recidivism rates in California for people in prison is about 70%. They leave and then commit another crime which puts them back in prison.

The reasons for this are many and varied but the public discussion on it is minimal and from what I see their is hardly anything being done to deal with it in a constructive manner.

John
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:59 PM
ccw ccw is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I'm just a few minutes in, but I think both Glenn and John both really misconstrue the motives of people agonizing about the torture issue. I don't have cable, so I will admit that I don't have a full view of the TV news coverage, but that said their description bears no resemblance to any of the discussions I've encountered. From where I'm sitting this is not a matter of opportunistic politics. The fact is that we've called into question legal and moral positions we've advanced for decades and we have to make a decision as a society where we stand. By instituting waterboarding (for instance) as policy we've sanctioned that for which we have executed enemy soldiers in the past. This is not a nit picky technicality, but a flagrant transgression. If we don't hold ourselves to the same standards we demand everyone else adhere to we look like, or are, hypocrites of the worst kind.

The painful situation I find myself in is that if we don't do something about this I don't know how to defend the US against accusations of hypocrisy in conversations with my friends abroad. Glenn may be right that clinging to ideals about this is moral high horsery, and it may be childish variety of american exceptionalism on top of that, and he certainly has a point about our comparative comfort with war and capital punishment, but there are plenty of folks who sincerely understand their position as an american citizen in such a way that this situation causes a deep moral crisis. Torture really is a special variety of cold blooded brutality. I think John and Glenn are both needlessly uncharitable in dismissing people's motives so easily here.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:30 PM
DoctorMoney DoctorMoney is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 305
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

It's tough for me to buy that neither John nor Glenn see how punishing torturers is going to win a wider coalition than curtailing gun rights.

I may agree with both of you in the specifics -- that the torture issue as symbolism is sucking the air out of the room that's desperately needed by better causes and that the NRA is actively getting people killed. But it's a mistake to believe that there's solidarity on the left about gun rights, especially among younger folks who make up the more libertarian left.

Wouldn't we be better off fighting poverty, the private health insurance lobby, and for better teacher pay instead of roving into hot button issues like guns?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:42 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 728
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I haven't followed the recent torture debate, so I haven't noticed that what I'm about to say has already been brought up 1000s of times, but here goes:

In moral philosophy, torture is commonly regarded as just about the worst thing you can do. What's so bad about torture, at least from a Kantian point of view, is that the torturer becomes desensitized to the tortured's humanity, because he has to treat him as a mere means, either to the acquisition of new information or to the gratification of his own sadism (and, on this last point, there is incentive for the torturer to justify to himself why what he's doing is OK, which might make him become sadistic, if he isn't already). Moreover, the tortured has to fall apart as well. He has to give information to end the torture, and turn against himself, either by lying or by disclosing something he really doesn't want to disclose. In the case of an evil terrorist, it's not bad if he discloses something he doesn't want to disclose about a terrorist plot, though it is bad if he suffers pain so severe that he has to lie about things.

Now, getting to the Bush administration. They're condoned torture, probably of many innocent as well as guilty parties, and that's about the worst thing you can do. So, if we really take justice seriously, we should throw the book at them. What will that do to the 25% of the country that supports Bush and co.? It will drive them nuts. I think this is a cost. Yes, I realize that that 25% is, in many ways, a bunch of bloodthirsty fanatics, but they make up a substantial portion of our democracy, and I don't know that throwing the book at the Bush administration will make them realize the error of their ways. I think pretty much nothing will make them realize the error of their ways.

This is compounded by the fact that, as Tyler Cowen has pointed out, and as I have experienced in my philosophy classroom (in a liberal city like Los Angeles) that the majority of Americans think torture is OK, at least if the torture is done to enemy combatants. So, this could actually turn people to sympathize with the nutty 25%.

On the other hand, if we don't throw the book at the Bush administration, then we make a mockery of justice. We're saying that the worst thing you can do is something for which you it's permissible to let you off the hook. And it's not like we'd be doing that out of a spirit of forgiveness, but rather out of a spirit of weakness.

So, I throw my hat in with the truth commission people. I want the truth to out. We need this for the record. It's pointless to worry about whether this will legitimize torture. That debate is over, and torture has won. It's now legitimate in this country. So for those of us who think it's unspeakable, we can at least know what happened.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:56 PM
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 392
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
I found this to be the worst DV by these two ever.
Definitely I agree with that. The whole torture discussion was bizarre. There are probably even elements of their seemingly shared point that I'd agree with -- e.g. that there are other important issues that should get attention and that one doesn't want to see hypocritical politicians wasting time and attention on something that really won't go anywhere -- but their tone for much of the discussion was really making me angry. Because some people might whisper about Gonzales or Yoo behind their backs at their fancy jobs or in their fancy country clubs this is supposed to be punishment enough? Just a note to Mr. Loury and Mr. McWhorter, being willing to forgive and move on is not magnanimous or virtuous when you were not the victim...it's just you disregarding the rights of the real human beings who were kidnapped, tortured and killed.

I definitely agree with the need to focus more attention on the horrific criminal injustice system in this country, but these two guys are too smart and have been through too much history to really think that somehow that issue would be dealt with if we only stopped focusing our attention on the torture debate.

Perhaps my difficulty in understanding where Mr. Loury and Mr. McWhorter were coming from in this portion of the diavlog was confusion on my part about to whom they are responding. Are there politicians or mainstream media figures who are jumping on this as a bandwagon issue? I really haven't noticed that, my perception is that the mainstream consensus is in agreement with the position Mr. Loury and Mr. McWhorter seem to be maintaining.

Are they upset with people like Andrew Sullivan or Glenn Greenwald (Both Bloggingheads)? If so, then I really don't get them because the efforts of these guys on this issue have been so important and have been obviously longstanding and they have really won eternal respect, admiration, and gratitude from this reader.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-29-2009, 03:44 PM
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 392
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I just got to some later parts of the discussion and Mr. McWhorter just makes less and less sense. What is his point on the swine flu? If it mutates and becomes worse than we'll all really regret we didn't talk about it more on Hardball before it happened? Even that doesn't make sense because I cannot believe he's arguing that the swine flu story is somehow not getting covered or not getting covered enough.

And as to Mr. Loury's criticisms of the masturbatory media? Well, obviously any thinking person feels the same way, but if the kind of activity that the cable talk show guys engage in is so silly and insubstantial, then watching it can only be more so. So, if someone's watching it, they kinda forfeit their right to complain as far as I can tell. Luckily for me, I don't have cable.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-29-2009, 03:47 PM
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee Abu Noor Al-Irlandee is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 392
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

All excellent points. Thank you for that post Bobby G.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
On the other hand, if we don't throw the book at the Bush administration, then we make a mockery of justice. We're saying that the worst thing you can do is something for which you it's permissible to let you off the hook. And it's not like we'd be doing that out of a spirit of forgiveness, but rather out of a spirit of weakness.

So, I throw my hat in with the truth commission people. I want the truth to out. We need this for the record. It's pointless to worry about whether this will legitimize torture. That debate is over, and torture has won. It's now legitimate in this country. So for those of us who think it's unspeakable, we can at least know what happened.
Bravo!
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-29-2009, 04:50 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,332
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Well said BobbyG (And Abu.) Totally agree.

I understand that there are other big fish that need to be fried right now (unemployment, boy do I know, Iraq, Afghanistan, poverty, climate change etc.) but the fact is we have a system that was designed with very specific avenues for holding our elected leaders accountable when they break the rules. There are supposed to be consequences. And I don't think the founding father's would have considered some loss of public face for Yoo, Gonzalez, Bush etc., to be the proper remedy for breaking 200+ years of precedent and performing despicable acts in the name of we the people.

And Glenn's nonchalant attitude over whether torture "works" really surprised me. I didn't think he was one to abandon his principles so easily. Setting aside the data suggesting that torture actually doesn't get you anything as reliable as good old fashioned interrogation, there's still the issue of the morality of our actions. Glenn, maybe we should rape the daughters of enemy combatants. That "might" work too.

BobbyG, if you want to get up to speed on the various back-forth's that have gone on here, there's a handful of threads worth reading. "Another Thing Jesus Wouldn't Do" is the only one I can think of off the top of my head, but that should get you started.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-29-2009, 04:56 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 728
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Thanks for the heads-up!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-29-2009, 06:46 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Newbridge, NJ
Posts: 2,673
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby G View Post
... We're saying that the worst thing you can do is something for which you it's permissible to let you off the hook. And it's not like we'd be doing that out of a spirit of forgiveness, but rather out of a spirit of weakness.

So, I throw my hat in with the truth commission people. I want the truth to out. We need this for the record. It's pointless to worry about whether this will legitimize torture. That debate is over, and torture has won. It's now legitimate in this country. So for those of us who think it's unspeakable, we can at least know what happened.
Great post. You probably didn't intend to, but you've convinced me its absolutely vital to prosecute. From Nixon to Iran-Contra to now, too many fuckers have gotten away with it.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-29-2009, 07:05 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,713
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I agree with those who would like to see a commission to examine the torture issue. I'm all for punishing politicians retroactively. In fact, even more important would be a commission to examine the responsibilities and faults of politicians and regulators regarding the financial crisis. However, since in both cases the political class would have to punish some of their own, I'm not going to hold my breath.

John and Glenn are always fun to listen, even though I sometimes get tired of the personality cult and aggrandizing of political figures that is implied in much of their "sociological" approach to politics. Too much "we". "What do 'we' do for the vets", "what do 'we' do for the elders", etc...Who's 'we'?
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-29-2009, 07:13 PM
Thanks, dad!
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

does anyone know if the CIA's claims of getting useful info via waterboarding is likely to be true or not?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterbo...heikh_Mohammed

it seems like it's possible that it was used in a limited way and actually provided useful info. any thoughts? should we save it as a last resort?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:01 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Torture news today

In torture news today...

Quote:
In his comments Wednesday, [US Attorney General Eric] Holder also said it is possible the U.S. could cooperate with a foreign court's investigation of Bush administration officials.

Speaking before it had been announced that a Spanish magistrate had opened an investigation of Bush officials on harsh interrogation methods, Holder didn't rule out cooperating in such a probe.

"Obviously, we would look at any request that would come from a court in any country and see how and whether we should comply with it," Holder said.

"This is an administration that is determined to conduct itself by the rule of law and to the extent that we receive lawful requests from an appropriately created court, we would obviously respond to it," he said.

Pressed on whether that meant the U.S. would cooperate with a foreign court prosecuting Bush administration officials, Holder said he was talking about evidentiary requests, and would review any such request to see if the U.S. would comply.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:12 PM
Bloggin' Noggin Bloggin' Noggin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 893
Default Torture causes two smart guys to reason like infants

Sorry guys. I'm normally a big fan, but that opening section was just abysmal. You reasoned like second graders or partisan hacks -- or like establishmentarian numbskulls like Broder.

I'd like you to just go over that discussion and listen objectively to your own reasoning -- see if you don't cringe.

Let's see:
1. Because some people rhetorically overplay the issue and because some others have base political motives, it follows that:
a) No one is sincerely indignant that torture was committed in our name and
b) The overplayed issue just isn't really an issue at all.
By similar logic, if there exists an Al Sharpton who overplays racial issues for base motives, then there is no problem of race -- hooray! we live in a color-blind society!

2. It sounded to me as though you adopted Yoo's reasoning:
Suffering death is worse than suffering torture.
It is permissible to kill terrorists and those we believe to be terrorists on the battlefield.
Therefore, it must be OK to torture such people when we have captured them.
Of course, this exact reasoning can be run for ordinary suspects in America. It's OK to shoot someone you think is about to shoot you, therefore, it must be OK to beat a confession out of them when you get them back to the police station.

3. You have other priorities that might conflict with bringing people to justice. Fine -- so do I. I want universal health care to pass, for instance. But it doesn't follow from that that this issue has no weight.
And let's not minimize the issue by saying "the law is the law is the law". These laws are international laws designed to protect the human rights of completely powerless people, and these crimes are war crimes -- crimes we have condemned people to death for and which we condemn other nations for. It is, of course, possible not to believe in human rights, or to think that international humanitarian law as it has gradually emerged will never really help anyone. But if you believe in human rights and have some hope for international law, then to have the United States scoff at such laws (even when they are part of domestic law) is very bad. The only thing worse is for everyone to see that no one is in any way held to account (not even a truth commission). Nixon and Ollie North never came back, but Cheney and Elliott Abrams did.
Fine, we don't torture under Obama, but I thought Glenn was the one who always made fun of the view that Obama was bringing the apocalypse. David Addington and John Yoo didn't just disappear in sulfurous clouds of smoke. They'll be back.


Whatever one thinks of your position on torture, your reasoning in this is shameful.

Last edited by Bloggin' Noggin; 04-30-2009 at 07:34 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:26 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Los Angeles, Ca.
Posts: 1,192
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

The problem I have with the media is the Sunday morning political chat shows on the networks. I don't have cable so I can't speak to those programs.

No matter who is being interviewed they never really answer the question they're asked. Their response is usually an evasion of some type and if they can it will lead into a speech of sorts.

Then, after the person of the week, if you will, is given the once over the talking heads discuss the matters at hand. Also, very boring when you have to listen to David Gregory, George Stepanopolous, George Will or William Kristol.

I would rather watch the free for all like McLaughlin Group - at least there is some entertainment to be had.

John
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:26 PM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn_karate View Post
I found this to be the worst DV by these two ever.

1) They dismiss the idea of holding people accountable for their actions as "childish" and "bloodthirsty". I'm just a bit stunned by this attitude. should we abandon all attempts at law enforcement because its all "looking backward instead of forward"? or is this hands off approach to criminality only for the elites?

Glenn seems to think that Alberto Gonzales will be punished enough by his loss of reputation in certain circles. would this apply to me if I go rob a bank - after getting caught, the loss to my reputation should be punishment enough?
Yes, justice comes in a variety of ways. Sometimes the best thing is to just move on.

Your robbing example is also not apt because if Dick Cheney had robbed a bank during his Vice Presidency he would have been prosecuted for it. Robbing a bank is not a policy decision or a political question; prosecuting an aggressive War against al Qaeda, the Taliban, and others is something entirely else. This is something best left up to our democratic process.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:38 PM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Great diavlog John and Glenn. You're intellectual honesty and contrarian thinking is always great to hear.

I look forward to you guys' next go round, with each other or whomever.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:43 PM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

The way to punish the political class for their policy decisions is to elect someone else to take their place.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:18 PM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I'm not sure McWhorter meant to say that there should be a debate on curtailing gun rights, but meant to say there should be a conversation about why people are killing people all the time in the United States. That conversation would include talking about guns and our gun culture, but would also include discussions on gangs, black on black violence, etc... I think.

I think he was speaking broadly and not literally, when he mentioned "guns". Maybe I'm wrong though.

Last edited by Lyle; 04-29-2009 at 10:20 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:23 PM
Dwight Dwight is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Come on guys: let's at least respond to their arguments, rather than just immediately running off into the same threadbare accounts (not including Bobby G's) of why torture must be vehemently prosecuted.

What about Glenn's point that we have been doing all manner of violent things to enemies in wars for years for the sake of our safety, and that this ought to be taken into account when we think of torture. This is at least an argument that can be debated by reasonable people, right?

Please: let's not make this into just another front in the war of ideologies, a kind of two-way monologue ad infinitem.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:37 PM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

I agree with you on Glenn's point. It was an excellent point. Barack Obama himself, has killed and mutilated, a number of people already. Some of these people may have even been killed in violation of international law, at least with regards to how some people read international law or what they think international law should be.

No matter who the America President is or what political party is in charge, they will have blood on their hands.

Last edited by Lyle; 04-30-2009 at 01:10 AM.. Reason: atrocious grammar
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:46 PM
brucds brucds is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 940
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Still watching this, but I think there's something more than a bit disingenuous about John McW starting a critique of the torture debate by complaining about "the chattering classes" - as though this is some elite obsession, when in fact it's something that a lot of military and intelligence professionals are disturbed by - and then launching into a diatribe against the NRA. I don't completely disagree with his points, but I hate it when folks who are part of the academic, policy or media elites pull rank as though they're somehow representative of "regular folks" against categories such as "the chattering classes." These guys are regulars on Bloggingheads !!! If ever there was a "chattering class" BH defines it...
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:12 PM
Bobby G Bobby G is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 728
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

No, you're right, I didn't intend to convince you of that. As I said in my earlier post, the crazies will become much crazier if Bush is prosecuted, more people will become sympathetic to them, and even if the second point isn't true, I think it's a cost to have a significant percentage of the country feel absolutely alienated from the political process.

That said, one can argue that, regardless of the costs, we have an obligation to prosecute: torture was done; a system of institutionalized torture is, after genocide, about the worst thing a government can do; so letting bygones be bygones is just not permissible.

However, I hold to the view that the state is permitted, not obligated, to give people the punishment they deserve. So, it isn't intrinsically a case of the state falling down on the job if it doesn't persecute, at least depending on the reason.

But I can be talked out of that view.

Anyway, it sure is weird to have so many kudos for one of my posts! Maybe this one will change all that.

EDIT: The bold-faced part is a part where it looks like I contradicted my earlier post. I should just say: I have no idea what I think right now, about the following claims:
(1) It's not permissible to let people off the hook for torture because of weakness;
(2) The state is not obligated, but rather permitted, to punish people as much as they deserve, at least sometimes;
(3) The state is permitted to let Bush & Co. off the hook for their authorization and institutionalization of torture, because if they didn't, the nation may become significantly worse.

What I'm trying to figure out is whether the reasoning expressed in (3) is capitulating to weakness. Here's why I don't think so: the officials who run the nation have certain obligations that come from their position. One of those obligations is to uphold the law; the other is to keep the nation together, or at least to prevent it from fracturing. What happens if these two obligations conflict? I think you can reasonably weight the second obligation over the first one, but as I said above, I could be talked out of this.

Last edited by Bobby G; 04-30-2009 at 12:43 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:39 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Minor point for Glenn: the reconciliation process associated with passing health care legislation will not be implemented, if at all, until 15 October. There is a six-month period of time for Congress to get together and pass a bill in the usual way. (Details here.) I am not sure if you are aware of this, but it should be something you say out loud when you suggest that things are moving too fast, or whatever your emotion was. It is a right-wing talking point to try to spin this instance of the reconciliation process as Obama jamming a program down people's throats, and while I am not accusing you of this, I think the way you talked about it sounded too close for comfort. I will also remind you that a clear majority of the American public wants some sort of national health care plan. Please try not to be misleading when discussing this issue in the future.

Question for John: If you would like not to pursue investigations into Bush Administration torture, at least not as quickly as some are calling for, because you see other issues as demanding more attention and focus right now, then why do you care that we reform the Voting Rights Act at this time? I did not hear you make a compelling case that the VRA as it stands now is causing anyone undue hardship. Big deal, Alabama or whomever has to jump through some hoops when it wants to update its procedures. Meanwhile, I think Florida in 2000 showed beyond a doubt that a few bureaucrats in state government can have profound effects when acting out of race-related motivations, and I could come up with a list of other examples where discrimination [added: specifically, in our voting system], if not alive and well, is still right below the surface, looking to nibble at every edge it can.

Overall, good to see you two again, even as I disagreed with some of your views.
__________________
Brendan

Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-30-2009 at 02:34 AM.. Reason: clarify what (where) I meant by "discrimination"
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:48 PM
Thanks, dad!
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

torture works!
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/us...l?pagewanted=4
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:01 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Overall, good to see you two again, even as I disagreed with some of your views.
John and Glenn:

I should have been more specific, because I did find your attitudes concerning the investigation of torture to be so distressing I could barely listen to them, let alone bring myself to respond to them, but I suspected when I put up my first post that others would have already commented.

I see I was right. Shoutouts to popcorn, Abu Noor, ccw, Bobby G, and uncle eb for good thoughts. I encourage the two of you to read and reflect upon all of these. They have it a lot more right than you two did.

This is not just a situation where Democratic politicians and libtards in the blogosphere are piling on for gain and glee. I won't deny there is some of both, but the overwhelming motivations here are those that seek the truth, want justice done, and would like to get the US on the right path again, back to the moral high ground. I have never heard the two of you sound so much like chin-stroking Villagers. I was sadly disappointed.

[Added] And having just read the Krugman column one of you recommended, I am even more at a loss to understand why you feel justified in the attitudes you displayed in this diavlog.
__________________
Brendan

Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-30-2009 at 12:20 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:07 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu Noor Al-Irlandee View Post
I just got to some later parts of the discussion and Mr. McWhorter just makes less and less sense. What is his point on the swine flu? If it mutates and becomes worse than we'll all really regret we didn't talk about it more on Hardball before it happened? Even that doesn't make sense because I cannot believe he's arguing that the swine flu story is somehow not getting covered or not getting covered enough.
I've complimented you elsewhere for your previous post, but I'll contradict this minor point. As I heard him, John was objecting to Chris Matthews comparing the swine flu (as handled by Obama) to Katrina (as handled by Bush). His major complaints, in other words, were with the comparison in the first place and the rush by CM to jump on the bash-Bush/praise-Obama bandwagon. Not saying I agree with John, but just to make clear what he was saying.

However ...

Quote:
And as to Mr. Loury's criticisms of the masturbatory media? Well, obviously any thinking person feels the same way, but if the kind of activity that the cable talk show guys engage in is so silly and insubstantial, then watching it can only be more so. So, if someone's watching it, they kinda forfeit their right to complain as far as I can tell. Luckily for me, I don't have cable.
... totally.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:17 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight View Post
Come on guys: let's at least respond to their arguments, rather than just immediately running off into the same threadbare accounts (not including Bobby G's) of why torture must be vehemently prosecuted.
I think you might not have read all the comments clearly enough. Or, I think you might just fundamentally disagree with those of us who have this view: John and Glenn were so wrong in their attitudes about letting the investigations into the probably Bush Administration abuses slide that by and large, they do not merit having their "arguments" addressed. To the extent that they were bringing up other issues that one ought to be concerned about, all well and good, but as has been observed, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Let's not kid ourselves that sweeping state-sanctioned torture under the rug is going to fix racial inequities in the prison system, for example.

Quote:
What about Glenn's point that we have been doing all manner of violent things to enemies in wars for years for the sake of our safety, and that this ought to be taken into account when we think of torture. This is at least an argument that can be debated by reasonable people, right?
Again, why do we have to choose one or the other? And also, why should we accept an argument that amounts to "two wrongs make a right?" As had been said elsewhere on this board very well, and I wish I could remember by whom, that the US fights wars does not make torturing legal, less immoral, or insignificant. When we fight wars, we try to do it according to a code of conduct; when we fail, we have to own up to it and address where we went wrong. Our handling of "enemy combatants" can be seen as part of this, if you like.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:40 AM
Lyle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I think you might not have read all the comments clearly enough. Or, I think you might just fundamentally disagree with those of us who have this view: John and Glenn were so wrong in their attitudes about letting the investigations into the probably Bush Administration abuses slide that by and large, they do not merit having their "arguments" addressed. To the extent that they were bringing up other issues that one ought to be concerned about, all well and good, but as has been observed, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Let's not kid ourselves that sweeping state-sanctioned torture under the rug is going to fix racial inequities in the prison system, for example.
This is a little harsh I think. Their "arguments" don't deserve to be addressed? Tom Friedman said more or less the same thing today in the New York Times. The three of them all make good points.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/op...iedman.html?em

There would also be fewer black men in prison if fewer black men committed crime. Not only are there a disproportionate of black men in prison, but black men are also disproportionately the victims of crimes, like murder.

Last edited by Lyle; 04-30-2009 at 12:45 AM.. Reason: added link to Friedman op-ed
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:54 AM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,077
Default Bravo John & Glenn

As usual, these two are the stars of BHTV. Right on Torture and pretty much everything else. The country - except for the wingnuts and KOS kid rejects - doesn't want a show trial over torture. The adults need to take charge and move on to more important topics.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:57 AM
Unit Unit is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,713
Default Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
The way to punish the political class for their policy decisions is to elect someone else to take their place.
What you just said is "The way to punish the political class is to reward and hail the political class". This doesn't make sense to me.
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.