Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Politics

I'm not voting Republican again any time soon.

I used to. I've never voted Republican in a Presidential election -- though I'd have voted for Reagan in 1980, had I been old enough to vote; I missed it by 3 weeks. (I'd probably still vote for Reagan over Carter, and I'm not a huge fan of Reagan. Carter is a nice man, had absolutely no business running a country.) But I've voted for Republicans for governor, for Senate, for various city and state-level posts, over the years. Overall I voted 2 or 3 to 1 Democratic:Republican -- I've been a registered Democrat my entire life -- but I did cross when I felt the Republican candidate was sufficiently better than the Democratic canddiate.

All else being equal, I voted Democratic, to put it another way.

This changed during the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I don't suppose anyone who's read me over the years doesn't already know what I think about Clinton -- he's a scumbag of an individual, in the real short form -- but the Republican embrace of impeachment as a tool of politics, in an attempt to remove a man they couldn't beat at the ballot box, disgusted me at the time and disgusted me more as Republicans, en masse, thoroughly embraced the lawlessness of the Bush years.

The last 7 years have been appalling. Virtually everything I value in good government has been slagged by this administration. (For years I've avoided posting about Bush at length, because I despise him as an individual so much -- a mama's boy, probable closted homosexual who got his chuckles over killing Karla Faye Tucker, a full-blown sociopath who blew up frogs as a kid and branded people with hot wires when he was in college ... half the populations of our prisons are better people than George Bush. I liked the guy's Dad -- how a reasonably decent man could end up with a sociopathic son like that will be forever a mystery to me.)

But Bush could have been a nice guy along the lines of Jimmy Carter and I'd still despise what his administration has done to this country.

Bush took over a country in 2000 (we'll skip lightly over how he managed it, with a "victory" in a state that Al Gore won when the votes there were finally all counted) ... took over a country with a budget surplus over 236 billion dollars. I had an argument recently with a guy who asserted that the Clinton surplus was the result of cuts in defense spending. It ain't so.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2009/pdf/hist.pdf

This is the 2009 budget. Let's go back and compare by year (I'm using Table 1.3, central columns -- constant dollars adjusted for inflation -- for the deficit figures, and Table 6.1, Composition of Outlays, constant FY 2000 dollars, for the defense figures):

Year: -- Deficit -- Defense Spending
1990: -280B deficit -- 382.7B
1991: -327B deficit -- 333.7B
1992: -341B deficit -- 354.3B
Clinton Presidency:
1993: -292B deficit -- 340.3B
1994: -228B deficit -- 322.8B
1995: -179B deficit -- 305.9b
1996: -115B deficit -- 299.2B
1997: - 23B deficit -- 298.4B
1998: + 72B SURPLUS -- 292.4B
1999: +129B SURPLUS -- 293.6B
2000: +236B SURPLUS -- 294.4B
Bush Presidency
2001: +125B SURPLUS -- 297.2B
2002: -151B deficit -- 329.3B
2003: -352B deficit -- 364.4B
2004: -374B deficit -- 394.3B
2005: -279B deficit -- 407.3B
2006: -210B deficit -- 412.4B
2007: -134B deficit -- 426.4B
2008 (est): -330B deficit -- 463.9B

In 1992 the deficit was 341 billion dollars and defense spending was 354 billion.

In 2000 the SURPLUS was 236 billion dollars. Defense spending was 294 billion -- 60 billion less than in 1992, while the deficit/surplus was 577 billion dollars to the good. Take 60 out of that: that's 517 billion dollars in budget improvement that had nothing to do with defense spending ...

Within four years of taking office, George Bush had taken a 236 billion dollar surplus and turned it into a 374 billion dollar deficit -- through tax cuts for the rich, increased military spending, and increased social spending. (When Ronald Reagan took office the United States was the world's largest creditor. When he left office, it was the world's largest debtor. If you want to tax the unborn, vote Repbulican.)

The Iraq war was a mistake. A war entered into more for domestic political reasons than for anything to do with foreign policy, a tool for bashing Democrats and for funneling money to Bush supporters at the cost of American lives. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Hussein had no operational relationship with Al Qaeda. Tthe WMD the Bush administration claimed to know the actual locations of ... didn't exist. The one argument that ever had a lick of credibility to me, the moral one that we were removing a dictator and freeing the Iraqi people, was offered up by the architects of the Iraq war in an act of epic cynicism: "We came to free the Iraqi people. And fight al Qaeda in their neighborhood, so we don't have to fight them here. Enjoy your freedom. Try to avoid the crossfire. Sorry about your kids." And five long years have passed ...

The war in Afghanistan, which was a just war, accepted by the entire world as such, got back burnered and has cost us as a result. This war should have been won, the resistance flattened, rebuilding well under way -- but we took our eye off the ball and we're paying for it today. Whoever becomes President in '08 is going to have a war in Afghanistan that still needs to be won, because it hasn't been won after seven long years.

We didn't get Osama. There's no excuse for this. No excuse. None. It's been seven years since the towers went down, killing three thousand Americans, men, women, children, babies ... and the architect of that war has never been brought to justice. "Dead or Alive" turned into "I really am not that concerned about him."

When the two oilmen took office in 2000, gasoline was hovering around $1.50 a gallon, nationwide. It's nearly tripled since. Oil companies are reporting profits that exceed the GDP of most nations ... but taxing their profits is unAmerican, and Bush won't do it. You had your taxes lowered by George Bush? Man, unless you're richer than I am, you didn't; you had it raised by a lot. Except that instead of paying it to the American government, you're paying it to the multinational oil corporations that employ Bush and Cheney.

When I was a kid, corporations paid 35% of the taxes the government ran on. Today it's 7%. You and I are paying the difference.

The housing market soared on "free money" -- except it turned out that the free money wasn't free, and home ownership is going to be lower when Bush leaves office than it was when he entered office. (The free money was a pure side effect of the Bush Administration's need to keep interest rates low because they wanted to borrow our children into bankruptcy ...)

They deny global warming. Hell: three of the Republican candidates for President said they didn't believe in evolution.

For years I've been listening to various wise liberals -- William Saletan at Slate is a great example -- argue that Republicans don't really want to outlaw abortion, that the focus on abortion has been a tactic, that outlawing all abortions was not something they sincerely intended to enact if they ever possibly could. William Saletan is an idiot. They do and always did intend to outlaw abortion. If women have to die in back alley abortions, this is a price social conservatives are willing to pay. (To be fair to conservatives, if you believe a fetus is a human being, you can't really take a different position. But this same crowd, with again minor exceptions, is OK with fertility treatments that result in the waste of huge numbers of fertilized embryos. This is every bit as much murder as early abortions ... but I've only ever once heard a conservative speak out about it.)

The truth is that conservatives, again with rare exceptions, don't really believe that abortion is murder. Seriously: if you knew there was a place in your town where parents were taking children they didn't want and killing them, wouldn't you do something about it? I would. Sure, they'd jail me for the rest of my life ... small price to pay for the safety of all those children, though.

But with rare, rare exceptions, social conservatives don't do this. The guys blowing up clinics? They're merely taking the argument about abortion and applying it consistently to the facts on the ground. Look ... either all conservatives who believe abortion is murder should be taking the necessary steps to stop it ... or they're all cowards ... or they don't really believe their own rhetoric.

I don't think they're cowards at that level. I don't think many humans are.

Our next President will replace two liberal Supreme Court justices. If Roe v Wade matters to you, you'd damn well better not vote for the Republican candidate this time, because if you do, Roe v Wade is gone. Gone. Done. Period. One more Republican justice and it's all over.

Barrack Obama wasn't my preferred candidate this year; Hillary Clinton was. (And yeah, I know what I said about her husband, but I'm not going to get into the business of blaming people for their marriages.) But this country can't survive another four years of this, and there's no indication John McCain can or will change things in any meaningful way. I won't presume to tell people whom to vote for ... but I'll tell you who I'm voting for ... and phone banking for, and if I lived in a swing state, I'd be out organizing and driving people to the polls. Fiscal sanity, a lowering or reduction of the deficit, a return to habeus corpus and the rule of the Constitution, the preservation of safe abortion, the end of torture, the end of the Iraq war and the return of our soldiers, the winning of the Afghan war and the capture of Osama bin Ladin ...

Obama won't accomplish all that. But he'll get closer than any conceivable Republican administration, hampered by the ideology and the very same people who got us into this mess in the first place.

44 comments:

Deadford said...

Thank you for this. You have managed to express my feelings on many of these issues much more eloquently than I would have.

Chuck said...

I'm going to be in the minority here but...

There's an interesting article by Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense, you might want to read. Most people reading this probably won't agree with it, but it does broaden one's understanding of the prelude to the Iraq war.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121504452359324921.html

He's certainly a hawk, but if you look him up on Wikipedia, I found it interesting that two separate CIA directors had reason to criticize him.

Regarding abortion, I think it's great that you can clearly see that a person who truly believes in the humanity of a fetus can't have a different opinion. Too many pro-choice people just say 'you're evil and crazy' without considering the opposite viewpoint in an objective way. Similarly, it's easy to see why someone would believe in the correctness of abortion, given the understanding that a fetus is NOT a person. Any other understanding to me would make a person pretty evil. However, I do disagree with you that a pro-life believer should jump down to the nearest abortion clinic and get themselves put in jail. It would feel morally great, but how's that gonna help the millions of future fetuses? Is that what Douglas Ripper would do...

Incidentally, the United States has had more abortions than the casualties in all the wars it has ever entered. I hope that a fair-minded person would realize why pro-choicers consider abortion such a mind-blowing issue.

I find it intriguing that you'd vote for Obama, considering how much you hated Clinton. I'd think the last few months have made it pretty obvious that the guy is incredibly dishonest--gifted orator, though.

Chuck said...

Oh...forgot to mention...LOVE your books. Trent the Uncatchable is, hands-down, the coolest fictional character I have ever read. And I'd have to say that Mohammed Vance is somewhere up there, too, the closest thing to a science fiction Javert I have ever read.

Sean Fagan said...

I've been for Obama for a long time now. I think Edwards was probably closer, but, really, Obama is one heck of an inspirational speaker.

He's the first presidential candidate I've ever given money to. And I was planning on giving him more.

But his decision that the 4th amendment is completely optional, and in fact not all that desirable, has cooled me a lot. Yeah, I'll still vote for him. I still think he's, by far, the better of the choices there.

But he won't get any money from me anymore. He won't be getting anything more than my vote, in fact.

I think you know where I stand on everything you wrote ;).

eain said...

I... Thank you, Dan.

From reading your blog here, I've ended up with a few misconceptions about your politics. I've even talked about them to people. (Your writing comes up in conversation a lot.) It confused me. I was under the incorrect impression that you supported the current adminstration's politics and policies. I didn't understand at all how your writing could fit that.

It may sound silly, but since I've looked up to you for as long as I've been reading your works (probably since 1990, I think), I'm relieved to read this. Thank you for clarifying.

Thomas said...

This administration has reminded me of the fictional US portrayed in your novels on more than one occasion. We haven't gotten as far as being occupied by a foreign army, but it certainly feels like it some times: That group of people who think the constitution is some sort of flimsy historical document not germane of the trials of modern man; this same group that promotes the Patriot Act as anything remotely related to actual patriotism; these same people that believe corporations should be immune from prosecution after victimizing the public and placing their privacy in the hands of a government that would simply say "trust us, we'll do what's right."

The polls just came out today that put Congress' approval ratings in the single digits, a record low. Obama wasn't the only one to vote for the Telecoms -- my own Senator Kohl did it as well. I wrote him another nasty letter today, for what good it will do me. He's responded before, with a mark on the letter that claimed he dictated the response personally (although I'm beginning to doubt it). He claimed that prosecuting the Telecoms wouldn't allow us to go after the real culprits: The executive branch of the government. I didn't follow his logic. It was probably because I was too busy screaming at the letter while sitting alone in my living room.

I take solace in the fact that I live 5 blocks away from Russ Feingold's office. Someday, Russ. Someday a short Jewish man will be President. Let's hope they don't have TVs or the Internet, then, or all is lost.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, there's really not much hope for improvement, regardless of who gets (s)elected. (Remember, we can't count fully 1/3rd of the vote in this country due to electronic voting machines.)

Why do I feel this way? Because I've seen the failure of our government to take care of people in need. Here's an example:

My stepson was injured at work back in November. His employer told him they wouldn't allow him to file for worker's comp, since they didn't feel the injury was work-related. (He worked at a deli and a co-worker used a taser on him as a joke. Some joke.) After nearly 3 months of pain, my stepson finally decided to file for worker's comp when his injury reached a point where he couldn't stand behind the deli counter any longer.

And where have we gotten by this point, 8 months on? Worker's comp has so far been unwilling to provide him benefits because there's no "tasered at work" checkbox. They want him to see MORE doctors, yet their doctors cannot get him in for an appointment for yet another month. Of course, he's nearly healed now, so Worker's Comp's doctors are probably going to refuse him now.

California SDI has refused my stepson's claim, too, citing the reason as being that he hasn't payed into SDI for long enough. (He only graduated high school last summer! This deli job was his first job.)

So, the poor kid was unable to work for 6 months, had no income, got a check for a whopping $100 from Worker's Comp, and now has all the doctors and physical therapy offices sending collection agencies after him for something Worker's Comp should have been at least paying for until the possibility of personal injury suits was brought up.

The system is so broken that someone who is a contributing member of society cannot get taken care of when they need it most.

Dan Moran said...

Chuck,

Thanks for the Feith link. No, it doesn't change my take any. It's really well documented that Bush intended to go to war with Iraq immediately after 9/11, and never really considered not going.

However, I do disagree with you that a pro-life believer should jump down to the nearest abortion clinic and get themselves put in jail.

I lost a friend over that comparison a few years back -- not a guy I knew really well, but a guy I did like, decent fellow, poster on LakersTalk. I've always regretted that -- but I don't regreat the comparison, which I think is valid.

Here's the trap social conservatives are in on this subject: I don't think most conservatives really believe early abortion is murder ... but I do think they believe it's a sin. (I've spent time with the people who ran Operation Rescue. Serious conservatives ... a frequent subject of their meetings was the confessional from the woman who'd had an abortion and now regretted it. Me, I'd shun murderers: conservatives embraced these women as they would never have embraced real murderers. Plainly there was a difference in their minds...)

But why is it a sin, and yet not murder? Well, that infant is becoming human, and the closer that infant comes to becoming human, the closer an abortion becomes to murder -- I suspect the majority of even social conservatives would tell you that late term abortions are worse than early term abortions.

Unfortunately ... now social conservatives are in bed with vegetarians. The same logic that says that killing the almost-human is a sin takes you to the idea that self-aware animals deserve protection. And there's no way that most social conservatives can stand finding themselves in bed with a bunch of vegetarian/vegans.

The objection to early term abortion is essentially religious one. God implanted a soul, et voila, the embryp is human from the moment of conception. If God didn't implant a soul, and the process of becoming human takes place over the course of gestation ... and now you're into fuzzy, gray territory, where conservatives don't like to go.

As to Obama as incredibly dishonest ... shrug. Perspective, there. Much less so than Bush or Clinton, and about a wash with McCain.

Thanks for the Javert comparison.

Sean,

But his decision that the 4th amendment is completely optional

If Obama loses in November, this will be why. I'm not surprised by this, I never had the Obama religion in the first place -- but I am a little surprised by the complete surrender of the rest of the Democratic congress and senate. 9% approval rating for those guys -- and they deserve it. Conservatives will hate them no matter what, but you'd think they'd do something for the people who put them in power.

Eian,

I'm a pretty right wing liberal. But end of day I am a liberal.

Someday a short Jewish man will be President.

As long as he's not named "Joe."

Anon,

Sorry to hear about your stepson. Not surprised, but sorry. The system's designed to screw the working class, and it does. It really did used to be better, a generation and more ago, but we're well down the path toward a Republic of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere i missed the part why you thought abortion was a good idea.

Dan Moran said...

That's because I didn't make an argument in that area. Would you like one?

Peter said...

Republicans - putting the R in "Retarded"

People get the democracy that they deserve. So I find it incredibly that after almost 8 years of this hell there is still a core of around 30% 'retards' that would vote against their own economic interests.

I am in full agreement with Mr. Moran - George Bush is By Far The Worst President EVER ! A true psycho, who has the same effect on me as he does on Mr. Moran. I seethe with loathing. If ever there was a case for impeachment it is for the current president.

To the mental midget trying to 'broaden our understanding of the prelude to war' - it is the pathetic enablers like yourself who have allowed our constitution to be trampled and disregarded in the name of 'security'

Wow going for a walk, I can't handle this topic.

Thanks for the wonderful books. I AM Carl Castanaveras xD

Shawn said...

I could take a stab at the arguments in favor of legal abortions, but I'd be curious to hear how Dan would put it.

Sean Fagan said...

Arguing in favour of legal abortion is not the same thing as saying abortions are a good idea.

Steve Perry said...

Lemme take a stab at the abortion thing. In my mind, having worked in the medical field, here are times when it certainly seems like the least of several evils.

There are states who would happily ban all abortions, for any reason whatsoever. Health of the mother? Too bad. Rape? Tough. Incest? Not the baby's fault. I think North Dakota was the most recent one to try, and while it failed, that one is coming back.

So, picture a twelve-year-old girl repeatedly molested by her father who gets pregnant. You believe she should have that that child?

Picture a woman who dearly wants a child, but whose amniocentesis and ultrasound reveal that the baby is going to be born anecephalic. That's preferable to abortion?

A woman raped by a man with HIV?

If you believe these things aren't mitigating circumstances, then we don't have enough common ground to continue the discussion.

If, on the other hand, you believe that there are rare times and situations that warrant abortion, then you are also on the slippery slope, because if it is okay sometimes but not others, then it comes up a value judgement, and as such, you can't go with the notion that abortion is murder and justify any of them.

If you are all are nothing here, we will always disagree.

Dan Moran said...

Peter,

You're welcome to argue whatever you like, but please don't insult the other posters. What is self-evident to you and me may not be to others, and flaming away at them is not the way to get them to move. (It's probably not possible to get them to move, except in very rare cases. Most of this is an argument for the next generation anyway -- adults generally know what they think. But you might catch a young person who hasn't decided yet...)

Everyone,

I don't have a problem arguing that some bad things should be legal. Drug use should be legal, for example. You want to stick a needle in your arm and shoot up, fine by me. It's stupid, but I'm not here to protect others from the impact of their own stupidity, not when it's a purely personal, local decision.

Abortion's not the same case. There are two interests involved, the woman's and the embryo/fetus/baby's ... but the embryo/fetus/baby has evolving rights, in my view, and it's legitimate to balance those against the woman's rights.

Certainly I think there are cases where the woman's right to an abortion outweighs the EFB's ... in the first trimester, almost any reason is good enough for me. "Inconvenient." Fine. This is not a biologically complex organism, not self-aware, doesn't know it exists. The woman's rights entirely supercede that of the EFB.

Second trimester ... more difficult. I'd want some sort of medical reason -- damage to the infant, HIV infection discovered; go to Perry's various examples. All of them work for me in the second trimester.

Third trimester ... a direct threat to the life and health of the mother. I'm not against triage and I'd rather see a mother prioritized than the fetus, if that's where we are. Certainly what I'd want to see happen in my own life, if my wife had had problems with one of her pregnancies. But outside of that, having carried the baby 6 months, no, the baby should be brought to term.

This is merely my take. I don't offer it as Absolute Truth, merely what seems sensible to me. I've known fundamentalists -- good, reasonable people -- who disagreed with all of it. I've known feminists -- and I'm a feminist myself, used to volunteer at NOW -- who thought I was one step to the right of Pat Robertson in this area.

But surely I think there are cases when an abortion is not merely a right the woman has, but the correct thing to do. 12 year olds should not be having children, ever. If some bad man (or dumb kid of roughly her own age) got into her pants ... well, jail the bad man, send the dumb kid to community service for a couple hundred hours to give him a fucking clue, and give the girl an abortion if she wants one. (I'm every bit as much pro-choice on having the baby as I am on having the abortion, btw -- if a kid's old enough to get pregnant, she's old enough to make the decision what to do about it. Certainly the idea that some 3rd party would do it for her is an appalling one ... the parents who didn't protect her in the first place are going to make the call?

But yes: there are cases when an abortion is, in my mind, the correct choice. And taking a step back from that, it's not my choice to begin with; it's hers.

Michael Brand said...

I wanted to respond earlier to this post but wasn't sure as to what to say. Both issues get a pretty emotional rise out of me.

I find it pretty disgusting what our country has turned into. Not just how the government has decided that corporate interests were more important than the rights of the citizens and their complete disregard of the Constitution which they swore to uphold (which I view should be taken as one of the most sacred of oaths) but, also by the apathy of the citizens that have allowed things to get this far. I'd hate to see this place turn into a complete fascist police state before the people decide to finally wake up (some may argue that that is already too late).

As far as the individual people... Bush is a traitor and should be brought up on war crimes along with the majority of Congress, McCain is a puppet that will follow the same piper, and Obama in the end game will follow the same play book. The lesser of evils is still evil and that's something I choose not to go along with.

As far as abortion goes I'm dead set against it. Then again nothing is always 100% black or white. I do believe in the extenuating circumstances argument even if I don't agree with it. Unfortunately I had to deal with that personally. My wife was pregnant (never past the first trimester) but found out that she had to have surgery to remove a kidney (they ended up having to remove a rib as well due to the infection and scar tissue involved). Due to the surgery there was too much risk to keep the child and she chose to abort it. That was three years ago. We still sometimes talk about what could of been and how old our child (we call her our daughter) would be if circumstances were different. These reminiscence only last no more than a minute before it gets too painful for us to think about.

No matter how painful it was for me I know my wife made the right decision. I don't think I could come up with the words to express my deep feelings of respect, friendship, and love that I have for her. Loosing her would have been by far more terrible than the lose of what might have been.

well those are my two cents.

Dan Moran said...

Michael, I very much respect what you and your wife went through, but your post leaves me with a question I need to ask ...

"As far as abortion goes I'm dead set against it"

And yet your wife had one and you support her having done it. (Me too, in your shoes.)

How do you reconcile those?

Rob said...

Dan --

The problem with your argument about the pro-life crowd and abortion is that you don't take it to the logical conclusion.

If you believe that human life is sacred and should be protected and you don't take direct action to prevent abortions, then you're a hypocrite and don't actually live up to your convictions. Insofar as statements of political belief go, I'm fine with this. Let's take it to the next logical step.

If you believe that human life is sacred and should be protected and you aren't violently storming prisons to prevent capital punishments, then you're a hypocrite and don't actually live up to your convictions.

Anti capital punishment left wingers can get tarred with that brush just as easily as anti abortion right wingers. It's a brush that's so broad it applies to everyone and denies all virtue, turning all of us into hypocrites (save for those of us who actually blow up abortion clinics or deliberately murder corrections officials).

I cannot take seriously a political argument which elevates murderers to the level of paragons, while simultaneously diminishing all those who believe in peaceful protest.

Rob said...

I used to be a Republican. In 2003 I left the party for reasons that are no business of anyone's here.

One of the reasons why I walked away from one of the unofficial Continuing Time mailing lists was I got tired of being compared to Osama bin Laden just because I'd rather have 1 million American dead than the indefinite suspension of civil law. (No, I'm not kidding, that comparison was made, and not in a jesting way; I'm pretty sure Dan remembers.)

Horrific choice? Sure. In Sophie's Choices like that, you make your decision based on your principles and you hope and pray that those who come after you will show you the mercy of understanding your reasons and motives before judging your actions.

But what I see increasingly -- and especially from the Left -- is nothing less than the total demonization of the Right. There are an awful lot of people with The Answers, and most of these people, it seems, are totally unwilling to consider the possibility they might be wrong.

I think it says something about where we are in American politics that I know a hell of a lot of people who simply refuse to talk politics, simply because they sincerely believe the only reason why others are asking them questions is so the questioner can club the speaker for having the temerity to give a reasoned opinion.

You're not going to see my own opinions on this blog. I might point out flaws in another person's logic, but ... no. I have no interest in speaking when it appears to me the overwhelming majority of people have no interest in listening.

Protos said...

Rob your posts were fascinating to me.

As a self professed 'former' Repubican who 'wont express his opinions - because no one is listening', you certainly laid yours out there.

Not one but TWO posts in a row.

I like it though!! I respect any man willing to actually say what he means and mean what he says.

Too bad imho, you had to go and ruin it at the end by doing the "I have no interest in speaking when it appears to me the overwhelming majority of people have no interest in listening." I will get in trouble with Dan, but whiny.

I would dearly love to pick apart your equation that anti abortionists are on equal moral footing to anti death penalty advocates and this by necessity makes everyone a hypocrite and negates any constructive debate on the topic.

Having said that, I don't believe I could do it without being insulting to both the logic of that argument and the ethos behind it. I am of Greek descent & we love to argue politics, being the originators of Democracy and Western Culture, we tend to get a bit heated about these things:) I am also a huge fan of the Socratic method and that too also tends to 'sound' insulting and condescending - even more so in text. So I shall refrain. You lucky bugger :)

Perhaps Dan or someone more gifted than at expressing themselves through text will take a stab.

Re politics,

After 14+ years of Republican goverment (I include the the retaking of both houses of congress by the Gingrich Revolution) It seems to me what really has upset Republicans (be they declared or passive aggressively hiding bitches) - is that the progressives in this country are now employing with even greater skill the tactics so successfully used by the Right to bludgeon them for so long.

The party of Mom and Apple pie is now the party of Corporations and Dick Cheney fascists. How could anyone revel in being called 'Darth Vader'

Quintessential homo Cowards who would sooner get down on all fours (and did) like Carl 'Turd blossom' Rove or George 'Lips' Bush than face combat.

Osama ??? "I am not really concerned about him" says Bush. While, the Pat Tillmans of the world get killed by friendly fire and the Bush daughters are in South America with secret service protection (on our dime, blowing Argentinian playboys in discos on a first cum first serve basis).

Mercifully gentle reader, I prognosticate that your about to see divine justice. The start of a Progressive dynasty the likes of which not even Russ Feingold or Nancy Pelosi could dream of. May Dick Cheney shoot himself in the face if I am wrong.

The days of the Low Information voter are coming to an end. Hallelujah.

* Dan thanks for being gentle in your admonishment.

I knew you would understand me, after all I AM CARL CASTANAVERAS - . xD

Michael Brand said...

Dan-

It was a very difficult situation to say the least. I am an artist that is very idealistic and more often than not ruled by my emotions. My wife is my balance and is very practical. I had begged and pleaded with her to try to find an alternative. She did the practical thing and had the abortion, even though it was a very difficult decision for her too.

Of the five years that we've been married she has been truly mad at me about six times. I've been truly mad and upset at her about four times. Three of those times were due to her being mad at me and not discussing it and I couldn't see a valid reason for her to be upset. The abortion incident was the only time I was truly upset by her own actions. (the other times I was upset with her because I was more frustrated with myself that I didn't know how to get her to talk about what was bothering her.) All of these other incidents lasted no more than a couple of days. My emotional distraught over the abortion lasted a lot longer. I was mad for at least two weeks before trying to push that into the background (what's done is done) and try to be there for her as she was going into surgery. It took me about a year to completely reconcile that she made the right decision and to hold no more bitterness toward it.

It also helps that my life philosophy is that 'life is short, and every thing is a choice'. We choose what we want to experience. Emotions of anger, fear, bitterness, etc. these lower base emotions are just a waste of time that I don't need to deal with in my life. There are other ways to dealing with problems or confrontations. With that said, if it wasn't for the medical reasons and my wife had the abortion, no matter how much I cared for her and loved her, I don't think I would have chosen to stay with her. As it is all is good now and we are happy. I guess that's all that matters.

Dan Moran said...

Rob,

I owe you an email. I've thought about the email you sent me several times a day since you sent it. You don't mail me often, but you do send bombs when you do. I'll respond this weekend when I have time.

If you believe that human life is sacred and should be protected and you don't take direct action to prevent abortions, then you're a hypocrite and don't actually live up to your convictions. Insofar as statements of political belief go, I'm fine with this.

OK.

If you believe that human life is sacred and should be protected and you aren't violently storming prisons to prevent capital punishments, then you're a hypocrite and don't actually live up to your convictions.

Are you really comparing the executions of (at least theoretically guilty) adults, who've had the due process of law, with the murder of innocent children? Do you think liberals do that? I don't. Apples and oranges, my friend.

Anti capital punishment left wingers can get tarred with that brush just as easily as anti abortion right wingers. It's a brush that's so broad it applies to everyone and denies all virtue, turning all of us into hypocrites (save for those of us who actually blow up abortion clinics or deliberately murder corrections officials).

Robert, I might be wrong, but I don't believe conservatives really believe abortion is murder. Those Operation Rescue meetings where the women confessed their murders to the love and forgiveness and sympathy of the crowd were eye-opening. Do you remember Susan Smith? She drowned her two children in a lake some years back. Mothers killing their kids isn't that rare. (It's the only homicide category where women hold their own with men ... women are a few percentage points likelier to kill their kids than are men.) Can you picture Susan Smith standing up in front of a group of religious conservatives and saying, "I pushed my two children into the lake and drowned them. I see now the error of my ways and understand they were humans with all the rights you and I have, and I'm sorrrrrrryyyyyyyy" ... and having that crowd of conservatives gather around and hug and pat her and tell her that God forgives her and then going to lunch with her?

Me neither. Plainly there's a difference.

I cannot take seriously a political argument which elevates murderers to the level of paragons, while simultaneously diminishing all those who believe in peaceful protest.

You don't have to take it seriously, but I've thought about it at length. If you can explain away the Susan Smith scenario, I'm listening. But if they had a kid-killing house in any city in the US where small children were taken to be murdered when their parents didn't want them any more, you know the entire population of that town, and of every neighboring town, would have descended upon that building and done to it what the Lord did to Jericho. If Susan Smith showed up at the conservative church of your choice and confessed her sins, the revulsion from the entire church would be palpable. No?

One of the reasons why I walked away from one of the unofficial Continuing Time mailing lists was I got tired of being compared to Osama bin Laden just because I'd rather have 1 million American dead than the indefinite suspension of civil law. (No, I'm not kidding, that comparison was made, and not in a jesting way; I'm pretty sure Dan remembers.)

Yeah, I do. I'm sorry about that. If someone said that here I'd delete the message. I'm a big believer in freedom of expression and the rights of people to say whatever they damn well please -- but I wouldn't be shy about telling someone to go get their own blog and post stuff like that there. I think it was Winston Churchill who said it might be necessary to kill a man, but there was no need to be rude. (Not that I think anyone posting here needs killin'. Just saying.)

But what I see increasingly -- and especially from the Left -- is nothing less than the total demonization of the Right. There are an awful lot of people with The Answers, and most of these people, it seems, are totally unwilling to consider the possibility they might be wrong.

I think it says something about where we are in American politics that I know a hell of a lot of people who simply refuse to talk politics, simply because they sincerely believe the only reason why others are asking them questions is so the questioner can club the speaker for having the temerity to give a reasoned opinion.

You're not going to see my own opinions on this blog. I might point out flaws in another person's logic, but ... no. I have no interest in speaking when it appears to me the overwhelming majority of people have no interest in listening.


Shrug. This is of course your call. I hope you'll reconsider it. If someone flames you like that here, they'll get warned once and then their post will be deleted. I'm interested in what you've got to say, you certainly have to know that.

As to the total demonization of the Right, most of the Left (not me) feels it's payback time. It's bad policy, but I do feel the emotion. 9/11 kicked off a downright fascist era when if you weren't "with us, you're against us." Remember that one? Well, guess what: we're against you, buddy. (Er, Bush I'm responding to there, not Robert.) I've personally had my patriotism questioned, been called a traitor, and been told that when the day came, guys like me were going to be hung in the town square as punishment for our BadThink. (Not that the guy who threatened mewas educated enough to use that phrase.) Demonization? There's been plenty on both sides.

Proteus,

Too bad imho, you had to go and ruin it at the end by doing the "I have no interest in speaking when it appears to me the overwhelming majority of people have no interest in listening." I will get in trouble with Dan, but whiny.

Seriously, as a favor to me, respond to the argument and not the person. I enjoy talking politics, but if people can't be civil I'll start deleting posts. Here's the distinction:

"This is a fascist argument" -- perfectly fair.

"You're a fascist" -- no.

Want to slander the Bushes? I don't care. Want to slander Clinton or Obama? Ditto. Later in your post you claim the Bush daughters are down in Argentina blowing the playboys ... whatever. It's a nasty image, but if someone wants to post the same about Hillary, I won't touch it. But leave the other posters be.

I knew you would understand me, after all I AM CARL CASTANAVERAS - . xD

Why is that?

Michael,

Fair enough. These are difficult circumstances and I don't mean to be judgemental. Those are difficult circumstances, and I'm glad you and she got through it.

It also helps that my life philosophy is that 'life is short, and every thing is a choice'. We choose what we want to experience. Emotions of anger, fear, bitterness, etc. these lower base emotions are just a waste of time that I don't need to deal with in my life. There are other ways to dealing with problems or confrontations.

I know some people who should get that tattooed on the backs of their hands, so they could look at it all day long ....

Dan Moran said...

I cannot take seriously a political argument which elevates murderers to the level of paragons, while simultaneously diminishing all those who believe in peaceful protest.

BTW, I don't think the guys who blow up clinics are paragons. Merely consistent. And for what it's worth, plenty of pro-lifers agree with me on that one. (Though many of them would agree with the use of "paragon.")

Sean Fagan said...

As to the total demonization of the Right

You know, Dan... I have to disagree with you on that whole topic. I have absolutely no problems demonizing people who spend hours justifying torture.

And that's what the Right does, right now.

(Get a bit away from the Right, and that's another story. Fortunately. But the poll data on the percentage of people who think it's okay to torture is ... well. Depressing, at this point. And don't forget, that includes Scalia.)

I also am pretty annoyed at someone getting upset at the "demonization of the Right by the Left" -- after how many years, now, of the Right treating "liberal" as an insult, and a political climate of "either you do exactly what the most right-wing part of the GOP says, or you're a traitor"? And when that someone says the thing they really hate is that the Left can't seem to deal with the thought that they might be wrong?

I'm sorry, but that's delusional. Because that is exactly what the Right has been, for the past 7 years, and had been on that route for my entire adult life up to that point.

Of course, I"m pretty angry at the Democrats right now, as well. They'll still get my vote, but I've lost pretty much all the hope I had a couple of weeks ago.

Rob said...

Dan --

In point of fact, my church has welcomed with open arms a woman who murdered her husband. It was cold blood, albeit with some circumstances surrounding it. She took a plea to voluntary manslaughter, she did her decade, and she is now a welcomed part of the church family.

Or to take another instance, not too long ago there was a woman who shotgunned her pastor husband, fled town with the kids, manhunt, everything. She claimed abuse (not, that I saw, with much justification) and got off with a slap on the wrist -- and had a lot of supporters from her own church.

George Foreman has a manslaughter conviction and is a well loved Baptist minister in Texas.

I could go on, but I hope my point has been made. Christianity has as one of its central messages the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation. It should not be surprising to see people actually living up to these ideals.

Remember, Rusty Yates forgave his wife Andrea for mass murdering their children. He divorced her, for understandable reasons, but he forgave her.

So no, I can't buy your argument with respect to the selective application of forgiveness and reconciliation. I'm not saying forgiveness and reconciliation always happens within the church -- but it does happen, and it happens a hell of a lot more often than people outside the church give it credit for.

Dan Moran said...

You've mentioned three cases of manslaughter (or less) -- abortion, as I understand it, is premeditated homicide. No?

Rob said...

Also, re: the comparison between the death penalty and abortion -- sure, why isn't it a sound comparison?

That's the nice thing about moral absolutes. They admit no room for circumstance. Amnesty International considers the death penalty to be murder by the state. If you're an AI member and you sincerely believe the death penalty is murder by the state, then don't you have a moral obligation to intervene?

The fact the conclusion is absurd is evidence the premise is flawed. I'm not proposing that people actually buy into this logic, of course -- it's madness.

I'm instead only proposing people not buy into the logic which says "if you believe abortion is murder, you should be blowing up abortion clinics, because otherwise you're a hypocrite."

You can not blow up abortion clinics, be anti-abortion, and still possess consistent beliefs. Not that I think a person needs to -- a foolish consistency being the hobgoblin of little minds, and all.

Rob said...

No. My parishioner was unquestionably guilty of murder one. There was premeditation and deliberate intent to kill. She took vman in a plea deal because the prosecutor didn't want to risk an acquittal based on jury sympathy with an abused spouse.

Andrea Yates was convicted of capital murder.

George Foreman is the only one of the three who arguably actually committed manslaughter.

Rob said...

Edit: I forgot I included the highly questionable "I murdered my pastor husband because I'm an abused spouse" case. I don't remember what she was ultimately convicted of, only that it was a trivial punishment. I didn't like that case; I didn't see much evidence to support her claims of abuse. But then again, I wasn't in the courtroom.

So yeah, two of the four are premeditated murders, one is arguably vman, and the other is known only to God. Or quantum, as your religion dictates.

Dan Moran said...

Robert, is abortion premeditated murder?

Rob said...

Sorry, not answering that, for a couple of reasons. The first is I'm not interested in presenting my own politics, not in this forum. The second is that I don't feel my own moral convictions are germane to this discussion.

I'll drop you a line in email with my position on it.

Steve Perry said...

"Remember, Rusty Yates forgave his wife Andrea for mass murdering their children. He divorced her, for understandable reasons, but he forgave her."

Just as an exercise in logic here -- if Yates forgave his wife, what are the understandable reasons that he divorced her?

Or is it more likely that he offered up the notion that he forgave her, but actually did not?

Not to rain on anybody's religion, but there is a lot of lip-service among the righteous that often doesn't translate into action.

All life is not equal in value. Ask the cow waiting in line for the McDonald's slaughterhouse line.

All human life is not equal in value. Hitler is not worth Jesus, now, is he?

Anonymous said...

(This is Rob, posting anonymously because I'm on a relative's PC and don't want to log into my Google account here.)

Steve--

"if Yates forgave his wife, what are the understandable reasons that he divorced her?"

Forgiveness does not mean "let's return to the way things were and pretend nothing happened". That's just stupid, and people who advocate that need to be mocked.

Forgiveness means "let's move forward."

Holding onto a grievance is a great way to kill yourself slowly. I look at what it's done to my uncle; he's unable to let go of wrongs done to him thirty years ago, and for him it's always 1977.

Rusty Yates decided to move into the future. He decided to do it without Andrea Yates. I can't say as how I blame him. He may be doing his level best to let go of his grief and his wrath and rage, but the trust he had in his wife is gone, and it would be foolish to think that things should just go back to status quo ante.

"but there is a lot of lip-service among the righteous that often doesn't translate into action."

Right. Just like there's a lot of lip service among the atheists, too. You're not talking about a behavior of the religious; you're talking about a behavior of the human.

Steve Perry said...

You make my point, Rob. Talk is cheap, and many of those who claim a connection to God and who are quick to toss out platitudes -- love your enemy, forgive sins -- seem awfully quick to condemn.

Do those who believe abortion is a sin truly forgive those who have them, or who do them? In my heart of hearts, I don't believe that many of them do. Saints are few and far between.

Seems to me there is a heap of smiting going on, and how does a Christian nation rationalize "turn the other cheek" with killing an abortionist? Isn't that God's territory?

It's not that I begrudge anybody his or her religious beliefs -- as long as they don't require I adhere to them -- it's that so many of those who claim righteousness seem a lot better at talking the talk than walking the walk.

Recall a certain radio commentator a few years ago who thought dope fiends ought to be buried under the jail's floor? Until, of course, he was caught being a dope fiend. But all of a moment, it looked different on him, hey?

Or TV preachers who get caught with their pants down who cry and beg for forgiveness.

Bible has some great lessons in it, one of which is the admonition that sinners don't get to cast stones. If you live a sin-free life, then you can point fingers at the rest of us and call "Unclean!" If you don't, then so doing is hypocritical.

And since you claim you aren't going to offer your opinion -- which, pardon me, you do in every posting, high, wide, and repeatedly -- then why are here? I don't need you to restate somebody else's opinion for me, any more than I need a preacher to translate a book I can -- and have -- read on my own.

Most of the secular humanists I know walk the walk -- it takes more effort to be where they are, and they work at it. I'm not trying to convert you, only pointing out that a reasoned position that isn't the default sometimes requires a bit more consideration. Much less likely, in my experience, to give lip service, and more likely to walk their talk.

For some folks, faith is enough. For others, it needs more.

From where I sit, there's a lot of that hypocritical stuff going around, and it sure seems coming more from the right than the left.

I have no patience with it.

Rob said...

I was responding to a remark made by Dan about how most Christian churches wouldn't welcome a murderer. While neither Dan nor I have done a canvas of all churches, I think it's on point to talk about the several instances of such welcoming, either in my own direct experience or that which has been covered by the news media.

I don't have much interest in expanding the discussion to talk about religion within the ground rules and parameters you're setting. Or, in fact, under any.

The last time I spoke to you about such matters, you quite baldly told me that what I had experienced did not happen. It was the encounter I had a few years ago as a new graduate student, when a couple of militant atheists in another department came by to try and argue Dawkins with me. They were not very considerate. You didn't believe me. Which is your right, of course -- but it doesn't exactly recommend you to me as someone I want to have a discussion with.

With respect to "and since you claim you aren't going to offer your opinion -- which, pardon me, you do in every posting, high, wide, and repeatedly..."

... well, I'm glad you think that I do. It tells me I'm an effective advocate for positions that are not my own, which is a very useful skill to possess in life.

I don't trust you, Steve. And in the absence of that trust, I don't see why I should let you know my innermost thoughts.

Steve Perry said...

You are right not to trust me. What you see is what you get, and as my postings here and elsewhere should indicate, I do have a viewpoint, opinions about the ways and workings of the world, and I am willing to state them and stand behind them.

One of these opinions is, if it is worth having and holding, is it worth discussing. If it cannot stand up to reasonable scrutiny without collapsing, it isn't much.

By what you chose to say, you are voicing an opinion, however much you might claim otherwise. By indicating that you are going to shelter behind the thoughts and words of others, you define yourself, and in my world, such a definition does not do you credit.

Of course, this my opinion, and not fact.

"I'm not going to tell you what I think, I'm going to restate what others think?" Oh, please.

And what do you think I might do with those innermost thoughts? Snatch them up and squirrel them away to be used for some heinous business down the line?

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I am fairly certain that your innermost thoughts aren't worth all that much to me, however valuable you believe they are to be protected from my assault.

I don't have to demonize the Right. All I have to do it point at it and hope that those folks walking around with scales over their eyes will shuck them and have a look. All I need do is mention their names: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld.

Anybody who kills in the name of Jesus? Bad juju, according to the Testaments.

Deadford said...

My general view on all this is that I hope at the end of my life to have been a net positive force in the universe. I don't adhere to any particular religion, and am skeptical of the existence of a "higher power", so the only way I have to measure this is through my own moral and ethical standards. I try to treat other people well, and hope that by doing so it will encourage them to do me (and hopefully others) the same courtesy.

I also accept that the only one who can make a decision for anyone is him/herself. My life and circumstances are different from every other person's. I may agree or disagree with decisions that someone else makes, but I do not presume that I have the right to make those decisions for them. I can only make them for myself. This applies whether the question is to buy a lollipop or not, to abort a fetus or not, or to kill my neighbor's yapping dog or not.

It's seems to me to be unspeakably naive to think that a codified set of rules can be created that will apply universally to every situation in all circumstances. Do I think a healthy 8-month-old baby should be aborted? Probably not. Do I think that a seven-week-old fetus which has been diagnosed with incurable and cataclysmic genetic defects should be aborted? Probably. Do I think I should get to make that decision for someone else in either case? No.

As to Rob's unabashed bashing of other people's opinions (supposedly) without offering his own up to the same criticism, it seems to me to be a somewhat cowardly way to participate in an enlightened discussion. True argument presupposes that one is open to changing one's own position if new information or insights warrant it. Anything else is just preaching.

I forget who said that as soon as you stop growing you start dying...

Steve Perry said...

Rob --

I was gonna let this lie, but there is this in your post:

"The last time I spoke to you about such matters, you quite baldly told me that what I had experienced did not happen. It was the encounter I had a few years ago as a new graduate student, when a couple of militant atheists in another department came by to try and argue Dawkins with me. They were not very considerate. You didn't believe me."

I never said that. I said only that such had never happened to me, and that I had not heard of it happening to others. I allowed that if that was your experience, then it was yours.

How you got I was baldly calling you a liar out of that is quite a stretch of the imagination.

Here is my comment:

"Well, I sit corrected. Over the years, I've had dozens of LDS kids and not a few Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door. I was pleasant to them, but not interested in Joseph Smith and the leaves of gold, nor Awake nor the Watchtower.

Never had an atheist knock and try.

That it happened to you is the first I've heard of such attempts at conversion, and I still see no evidence of this kind of reverse-evangelicalism on any organized scale.

But let it go. If it happened to you, your view is your own."

Which part of that calls you a liar?

Easy enough to check -- the posting was here on Dan'l's blog, November '07, under "What's Next ..."

http://danielkeysmoran.blogspot.com/
2007/11/whats-next.html

If you are going to argue what I said, then you need to quote it accurately. You blew this one. And if you are talking about trust, old son, then offering evidence of my mendacity that is easily seen to be incorrect? Not the the way to go.

Rob said...

The answer to that one, Steve, is simple: after my last comment to that thread I stopped reading, because I knew that I was close to losing my civility and I did not wish to bring such to Dan's doorstep. I did not see your final reply.

(That is not, by the by, meant to be anything more than what I have said it to be. It is a statement of events, not an accusation and not a defense.)

In all sincerity -- peace, then; let's see if we can't make tomorrow a bit better than today.

=====

Regarding (switching to respond to a different speaker) the cowardice that's being alleged to me, really, I couldn't give a damn.

There are two separate actions a person invites when stating a principle: the first is to invite criticism of the reasoning, and the second is to invite the other person to share theirs.

I'll take you up on the first. The second... as I mentioned earlier, I long ago grew tired of being compared to Osama bin Laden simply because of my decision in a Sophie's Choice situation.

When it comes to hammering out my ideas, I do it with close friends, especially close friends who hold diametrically opposed views to me. I'll happily float an idea past Dan, for instance. (I rarely do, because he's a busy guy and has better ways to spend his time. But I'd be quite willing to do it.)

But I don't know you. Sorry. That's the way it works.

Greg O'Byrne said...

Give me a reason to vote for Obama.

He's gonna raise my taxes. (Double the capital gains tax c'mon!)

He's gonna risk losing Iraq at the very time we can win.

He's going to increase spending of government astronomically.

He's the most inexperienced candidate for President we've had...ever.

His followers are cultish...I don't know that just creeps me out.

He flip flops on his positions just like Clinton (which actually may help me be able to tolerate his administration as some of hsi views become more palatable).

The big governement expansion that I expect out of a democratically controlled congress and a democratic executive branch is going to be truly staggering. I pity my children, for you can never remove government programs once they are entrenched.

(Not that the Republicans can keep government under control either).

I'm a Heinleinian. It's about time for me to catch the next interstellar flight to the new colonies away from all this bumbling bureaucracy.

meh...guess I'll vote for McCain although my vote means squat in Washington, it's way too blue.

Steve Perry said...

Ah. So the way to have a meaningful discussion is to state somebody else's opinion in lieu of your own, and when the reply is offered, to stick your fingers into your ears and yell "La-la-la-la!" so as not to hear it? Because you were so pissed off that somebody dared argue with you, you had to walk away or risk slagging Dan's blog?

And then you come back to continue the thread without having read what happened after you left?

Offhand, I would submit that's not the best methodology for communication I ever heard.

No disrespect, but that kind of sounds like somebody's hatch bolts might be dogged down too tight, that you can't see this is a problem.

I'm not trying to make war on you, Rob, merely pointing out what I see as lapses of reason when you offer whatever it is you are offering. I disagree with your presentation of whose-ever opinion you are re-stating for us -- and yes, by your stance, waddle and quack, you may not be a duck, but you sure look like one.

By failing to give us your opinion, and by turning away when we respond, can't you see how that makes you look? By responding to the notion that such a stance seems cowardy using I-don't-give-damn?

I think you have a blind spot here. I believe it is going to make it difficult to have a conversation with anybody not in accord with your views.

Sorry.

Deadford said...

"There are two separate actions a person invites when stating a principle: the first is to invite criticism of the reasoning, and the second is to invite the other person to share theirs.

I'll take you up on the first. The second... as I mentioned earlier, I long ago grew tired of being compared to Osama bin Laden simply because of my decision in a Sophie's Choice situation.

When it comes to hammering out my ideas, I do it with close friends, especially close friends who hold diametrically opposed views to me. I'll happily float an idea past Dan, for instance. (I rarely do, because he's a busy guy and has better ways to spend his time. But I'd be quite willing to do it.)"

Reading the above, I guess what I'm unclear about is why you're participating in the discussion in this open forum in the first place. I'm sorry that someone's nasty response to a position you took on a hypothetical either-or question caused you to have some hurt feelings, but at this point you seem to be very willing to offer criticisms of others (to your credit, not anything as tac-nuke as a comparison to Bin-Laden) without being open to the same. If you're not open to submitting your own positions for analysis and comment, why do you think it's appropriate for you to comment on others'?

To get back to politics and whatnot, Greg for my money if there were no other reasons (and in my view there are, but I'll keep this simple) I would vote for Obama simply because he will appoint liberal-leaning judges to the supreme court. Another four (or, shudder, eight) years of a Republican president appointing conservative judges and we won't have any civil liberties left at all.

Greg said...

Well.

I want Judges on the Supreme court that will judge the issues within the bounds of the constitution not judging it from a interpretive "living" document point of view. If the Constitution is a "living" document then it is nothing.

The latest example of this is the Heller decision wherein the dissenting opinion was in part based on a criminal case that lost. They were so intent on making their point, bending the constitution, that they were trying to make precedent around a failed case.

And it just so happens that conservative judges tend to see the constitution as a solid document, that should be adhered to and not modified.

I am socially liberal, but gay marraige, abortion rights, and all the other issues are paltry when compared to foriegn policy and the economy.

I have no confidence in Obama in either of those premium issues. He is a naive young senator that will put us at great risk in foriegn affairs, and his proposed economic policy includes huge tax increases which cannot have a beneficial impact on the economy right now.

And he doesn't and hasn't ever compromised.

If you want the ultimate cross-the-aisle compromiser of a President, McCain is the Gold Standard.

And just in general the whole Democratic way of looking at the world wherein governement is first second and third choices for solving my/our problems is anti-american-spirit and offensive to me.

(again the republicans suck at this right now too, but at least their rhetoric says the right things, the Democrats rhetoric doesn't even say it).

Like I said, who's up for going to the outer colonies on the next ship.

Atergoboy said...

Wow.. this has to be the most comments I've seen to a post in a LONG time..

Anyway, here's my two cents:

First, I'm not voting for Obama or McCain. I'm a Libertarian, as they're the only party who actually seems to have the people's best interests in mind. Check it out here: www.lp.org

Second, abortion is NOT homicide. The legal definition of homicide is the illegal taking of a human life. Since abortion is currently legal, it's not homicide. If you say abortion should be illegal because it's a sin, you're trying to make a law based on religion beliefs, which is unconstitutional.

I do agree that this is, by far, the worst President and the worst Administration we've ever had.