Liberal Paranoia

pizza
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Liberal Paranoia

Post by pizza » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:30 am

The Weekly Standard


The Paranoid Style In American Liberalism
by William Kristol
01/02/2006, Volume 011, Issue 16


No reasonable American, no decent human being, wants to send up a white flag in the war on terror. But leading spokesmen for American liberalism-hostile beyond reason to the Bush administration, and ready to believe the worst about American public servants-seem to have concluded that the terror threat is mostly imaginary. It is the threat to civil liberties from George W. Bush that is the real danger. These liberals recoil unthinkingly from the obvious fact that our national security requires policies that are a step (but only a careful step) removed from ACLU dogma.

On Monday, December 19, General Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and now deputy director of national intelligence, briefed journalists. The back--and--forth included this exchange:

Reporter: Have you identified armed enemy combatants, through this program, in the United States?

Gen. Hayden: This program has been successful in detecting and preventing attacks inside the United States.

Reporter: General Hayden, I know you're not going to talk about specifics about that, and you say it's been successful. But would it have been as successful-can you unequivocally say that something has been stopped or there was an imminent attack or you got information through this that you could not have gotten through going to the court?

Gen. Hayden: I can say unequivocally, all right, that we have got information through this program that would not otherwise have been available.

Now, General Hayden is by all accounts a serious, experienced, nonpolitical military officer. You would think that a statement like this, by a man in his position, would at least slow down the glib assertions of politicians, op--ed writers, and journalists that there was no conceivable reason for President Bush to bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. As Gary Schmitt and David Tell explain elsewhere in this issue, FISA was broken well before 9/11. Was the president to ignore the evident fact that FISA's procedures and strictures were simply incompatible with dealing with the al Qaeda threat in an expeditious manner? Was the president to ignore the obvious incapacity of any court, operating under any intelligible legal standard, to judge surveillance decisions involving the sweeping of massive numbers of cell phones and emails by high--speed computers in order even to know where to focus resources? Was the president, in the wake of 9/11, and with the threat of imminent new attacks, really supposed to sit on his hands and gamble that Congress might figure out a way to fix FISA, if it could even be fixed? The questions answer themselves.

But the spokesmen for contemporary liberalism didn't pause to even ask these questions. The day after Gen. Hayden's press briefing, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee blathered on about "the Constitution in crisis" and "impeachable conduct." Barbara Boxer, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asserted there was "no excuse" for the president's actions. The ranking Democrat on that committee, Joseph Biden, confidently stated that the president's claims were "bizarre" and that "aggrandizement of power" was probably the primary reason for the president's actions, since "there was no need to do any of this."

So we are really to believe that President Bush just sat around after 9/11 thinking, "How can I aggrandize my powers?" Or that Gen. Hayden-and his hundreds of nonpolitical subordinates-cheerfully agreed to an obviously crazy, bizarre, and unnecessary project of "domestic spying"?

This is the fever swamp into which American liberalism is on the verge of descending.

Some have already descended. Consider Arlene Getz, senior editorial manager at Newsweek.com. She posted an article Wednesday-also after Gen. Hayden's press briefing-on Newsweek's website ruminating on "the parallels" between Bush's defense of his "spying program" and, yes, "South Africa's apartheid regime."

Back in the 1980s, when I was living in Johannesburg and reporting on apartheid South Africa, a white neighbor proffered a tasteless confession. She was "quite relieved," she told me, that new media restrictions prohibited our reporting on government repression. No matter that Pretoria was detaining tens of thousands of people without real evidence of wrongdoing. No matter that many of them, including children, were being tortured-sometimes to death. No matter that government hit squads were killing political opponents. No matter that police were shooting into crowds of black civilians protesting against their disenfranchisement. "It's so nice," confided my neighbor, "not to open the papers and read all that bad news."

I thought about that neighbor this week, as reports dribbled out about President George W. Bush's sanctioning of warrantless eavesdropping on American conversations. . . . I'm sure there are many well--meaning Americans who agree with their president's explanation that it's all a necessary evil (and that patriotic citizens will not be spied on unless they dial up Osama bin Laden). But the nasty echoes of apartheid South Africa should at least give them pause.

Yup. First the Bush administration will listen in to international communications of a few hundred people in America who seem to have been in touch with terrorists abroad . . . and next thing you know, government hit squads will be killing George W. Bush's political opponents.

What is one to say about these media--Democratic spokesmen for contemporary American liberalism? That they have embarrassed and discredited themselves. That they cannot be taken seriously as critics. It would be good to have a responsible opposition party in the United States today. It would be good to have a serious mainstream media. Too bad we have neither.

© Copyright 2005, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:16 am

Yep and I'm sure Joseph Goebells said similar things when Hitler's enemies encroached upon his boss's powers of intimidation, observation of "enemies", rounding up of "spies", and execution. We're certainly on that path when Bill Kristol minimizes the impact of what Bush has done.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:06 pm

Dan Ferguson wrote:Yep and I'm sure Joseph Goebells said similar things when Hitler's enemies encroached upon his boss's powers of intimidation, observation of "enemies", rounding up of "spies", and execution. We're certainly on that path when Bill Kristol minimizes the impact of what Bush has done.
I hate to say it, but Krystol is right, and Dan's response is a perfect illustration of why.

"We" are not being monitered. A handful of people who had known contacts with Al Quaeda had their phones tapped without court approval at a time when we're at war with Al Quaeda. That so many on the left are willing to jump from that to the fear that all of us are at such a risk is sad, and irresponsible in the case of members of Congress. As was mentioned on an earlier thread, there were far more intrusive actions against many more people taken by past presidents during wartime without our system of civil liberties collapsing.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:53 pm

Sorry, Barry, but everything Bush has done since 9/11 is indicative of a man who is desparate to consolidate his powers and the far-right has done nothing but allow this man to minimize those who threaten him. His invasion of Iraq has led people to question the patriotism of many fine people.

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:00 pm

Sorry, Barry, but everything Bush has done since 9/11 is indicative of a man who is desparate to consolidate his powers and the far-right has done nothing but allow this man to minimize those who threaten him. His invasion of Iraq has led people to question the patriotism of many fine people.
I’m sorry too Barry
Dan is right.
You give up an inch and before you know it, you’re missing a foot

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:06 pm

Ted wrote:
Sorry, Barry, but everything Bush has done since 9/11 is indicative of a man who is desparate to consolidate his powers and the far-right has done nothing but allow this man to minimize those who threaten him. His invasion of Iraq has led people to question the patriotism of many fine people.
I’m sorry too Barry
Dan is right.
You give up an inch and before you know it, you’re missing a foot
You agree with Dan that we're on a slippery slope to Nazi Germany because Bush is having a handful of Americans with Al Quaeda contacts monitered without court approval? If that's the case, I'm again sorry to say that Dan AND you are part of the problem for the Democrats, and part of the reason why we're out of power and will remain out of power for as long as we're at war and don't act like it.

As for me, I'd be worried if Bush WASN'T having such people's phones tapped.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:16 pm

Barry Z wrote:I hate to say it, but Krystol is right, and Dan's response is a perfect illustration of why.
It's the very irrational and tiresome "Bush=Hitler" fantasy of the left.
Corlyss
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:18 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I hate to say it, but Krystol is right, and Dan's response is a perfect illustration of why.
It's the very irrational and tiresome "Bush=Hitler" fantasy of the left.
Which is one of the very things that pushed me away from the left. There is no sense of proportionality. We're talking apples and oranges.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:20 pm

Ted wrote:I’m sorry too Barry
Dan is right.
You give up an inch and before you know it, you’re missing a foot
I'll give up every inch of Al Qaeda and their followers here, there, and everywhere. Both you and Dan should put down the anti-Bush kool-ade that is making you irrational and step away from the pitcher.
Corlyss
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John Bleau
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Post by John Bleau » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:57 pm

I don't equate Bush with Hitler any more than I equate his detractors with Chamberlain. The irrationality goes both ways.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:08 pm

John Bleau wrote:I don't equate Bush with Hitler any more than I equate his detractors with Chamberlain. The irrationality goes both ways.
Except that those who deny we are in a major generational conflict with enemies that wish to do severe damage to our way of life and who decry virtually any effort to forcefully deal with those enemies SHOULD be compared to Chamberlain.

And I should add that I don't think of you as a member of the looney left, John (i.e. those who compare Bush with Hitler or who claim his tactics in fighting this war indicate we're on a slippery slope to becoming another Nazi Germany.........or those who see no evil in the world other than the policies of the governments of the United States and Israel).

Corlyss posted this before, but in light of John's post, here it is again (and I think some from America's left fits in with what the writer says about Europe):

EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE
(Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.
(and still loved by Jossie)

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement... How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany.

I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolf Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake - literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:58 pm

John Bleau wrote:I don't equate Bush with Hitler any more than I equate his detractors with Chamberlain. The irrationality goes both ways.
If you can claim that denouncing the Anti-American crowd as Chamberlains is irrational, you either don't know 1) what's been going on in Europe for the past 35 years or 2) what's going on there now, or 3) both. I'm not willing to wait around for 20 years following the European mode only to wake up one day to the realization that the Europeans failed again and sold us down the river again and that 2005 was indeed 1938 on the eve of Kristallnacht.
Corlyss
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:42 pm

I don't equate Bush with Hitler
I was agreeing with Dan only as it applies to Bush’s abuse of power

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:31 pm

And I'm not necessarily saying Bush is Hitler either. However, the man has gone a long way to abusing power that he's been given and at least one person's life (Plame) and livelihood has been destroyed. Further, the abuse of power has set us back when it comes to how we do spying around the world

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:31 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:And I'm not necessarily saying Bush is Hitler either. However, the man has gone a long way to abusing power that he's been given and at least one person's life (Plame) and livelihood has been destroyed. Further, the abuse of power has set us back when it comes to how we do spying around the world
Here is what you said Dan:
"Yep and I'm sure Joseph Goebells said similar things when Hitler's enemies encroached upon his boss's powers of intimidation, observation of "enemies", rounding up of "spies", and execution. We're certainly on that path when Bill Kristol minimizes the impact of what Bush has done."

And honestly, I think it's preposterous; not to mention that it is a perfect illustration of the type of irresponsibility Krystal said is coming from the Democrats now days.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:38 am

Which is a long way from saying Bush is Hitler. However, we are on the path to that type of leader when he uses his pit bulls like Krystol to question the legitimacy of opposition to his leadership in America. Krystol is the one who is irresponsible.

You may not want to question your support of such a person, but the question I have is just how far he's willing to go. I don't like the direction it's going. The man is using whatever he deems necessary (including stacking the court with people who support his far-right agenda) to curtail our freedoms. This, from a President who believes God is telling him what to do. :roll:

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:00 pm

Dan's minimizing and excusing of Clinton's abuses while grossly exaggerating Bush's demonstrates a lamentably common unprincipled partisanship to which some members of both parties are prone. However, such extreme, blind partisanship has practically defined the Democratic Party and its leadership for the past dozen years--which is largely why I, a lifelong Democrat, left the party in disgust.

I agree that the Republicans leave much to be desired. I'm not at all happy with their "leadership" on most fronts, including many of those about which critics are most vocal on these boards. It pains me to have to vote Republican as the lesser of two evils, but I fear the self-righteous, hypocritical, opportunistic, unprincipled, spineless, poll-driven, in-full-flight-from-reality Democrats far more. Until they get the beams out of their own eyes, they are probably condemned to further marginalize themselves as a viable alternative and to continue broadening the rift dividing our nation today.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Fugu

Post by Fugu » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:08 pm

You accuse me of blindness, but it is clear that those who have supported this President are clearly blind and willing to excuse this President his abuses while questioning the patriotism of the opposition. Supporters of past extremists have done no less. As for Clinton: Clinton's trangressions pale compared to Bush, but I don't sit there and question the patriotism or the right to question like the right-wing of the Republican party.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:39 pm

Let's Organize to End War Disunity
By Tony Blankley

As we enter another year of extreme international danger, the one threat that solely is within America's power to reduce or eliminate is our lack of national unity.

There may be no more agonizing weakness for a nation than major internal division during a time of war, because, unlike the conduct of foreign nations or forces, a lack of internal unity is exclusively our own collective fault.

Particularly for a country as powerful and robustly provisioned as America, it is also the weakness that leads to all other weaknesses. If we had national unity, we could quickly make up for any current military manpower shortages (after Pearl Harbor, young American men rushed to sign up, and the draft was overwhelmingly seen as a needed part of our national defense). If we had national unity, we would not have a prominent national leader and Marine veteran such as Congressman John Murtha advising our young men and women not to join the military.

If we had national unity, government employees and the major media would not think it their patriotic duty to leak or publish classified war secrets. (Only traitors or the careless would be releasing such information, as opposed to today's perhaps subjectively well-intentioned, if objectively misguided, releasers of such information.)

If we had national unity, Congress and the president could be motivated and able to set spending priorities. But today, no interest feels any obligation to give up a single dollar of the taxpayer's largesse. Everybody is getting theirs -- and let the national deficit and debt be dammed. If the war or national defense effort is short-changed -- well, about half the country won't see it that way.

Most damaging of all, America's loud, nasty and publicly displayed disunity heartens our enemies around the world -- as well it should. Whether the enemy is a terrorist operative in Fallujah, Frankfurt or Falls Church, Va., he knows that defeating our will is the supreme strategic goal. Once we are more concerned with defeating our domestic opponents than our foreign enemies, the downside potential for America is almost unlimited. The enemy now lives in justifiable hope -- as we slip into increasingly justifiable despair.

The foregoing is not an argument against dissent. It is an argument for voluntarily persuading our fellow Americans of the nature of the danger and the broad strategy for defeating it. Clearly, it is a job too important to be left to the politicians.

We could wish that President Bush and the last two congresses could have found the means to build that national wartime unity. There is surely blame enough to go around.

The president's opponents would blame him, his instinct for unilateral action -- and preeminently his decision to open up the Iraqi front in the war against radical Islamist terrorism.

The president's supporters would blame Democratic partisanship and a liberal media that is partisan, wrong-headed, addicted to collecting Republican political scalps and oblivious, or worse, to the genuine foreign dangers facing the country.

Of course, events partially may mend the problem. If the Iraqi front develops favorably this year, the president may be able to rebuild public support -- at least for that part of the war -- up to the 60 percent plus levels that existed earlier. If events develop unfavorably in Iraq, this country soon will be even more deeply riven between what will be called deserters and last ditchers.

But even if Iraq goes well, fundamental differences in public perception of the nature, magnitude and imminence of the threat from radical Islamists are likely to viciously divide the country on the necessity for measures such as NSA-type surveillance, the extension (or even expansion) of the Patriot Act, the role of the military in domestic security, the need for a much larger active military force (and likely future conventional wars), the need to secure both the Mexican and Canadian borders, and the spending of scarce taxpayer dollars for substantially increased homeland security operations.

As it is the natural condition of people to be divided and querulous with each other, the burden of persuasion falls on those of us who believe there is a rational and persuasive case to be made for seeing the magnitude of the radical Islamist threat -- and the concomitantly needed increases in security, spending and sacrifice.

As the president and other national politicians have failed to make that case, it is time for convinced members of the public (including prominent figures) to organize at a much higher level than exists a broad-based, well-financed operation to try to move the better part of the American public to a unity of purpose in the face of the present danger. Any takers?

Copyright 2005 Creators Syndicate

_____________________________________________________________

As well-intentioned and on-the-mark as Blankley's essay is, I'm afraid the opposition to Bush and the notion that we're in the midst of a long-term war with a determined enemy is so entrenched that attempting to change the minds of such people (people like Dan, Vaseena, Lilith, and unfortunately, many in the Democratic base) would probably be a hopeless cause.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Lilith
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Post by Lilith » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:14 pm

""We" are not being monitered. A handful of people who had known contacts with Al Quaeda had their phones tapped without court approval at...." Barry

Does anyone else truly believe this? If so, please come out and say so, so we can lump all the fools in one batch.

DavidRoss
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Post by DavidRoss » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:14 pm

Lilith wrote:""We" are not being monitered. A handful of people who had known contacts with Al Quaeda had their phones tapped without court approval at...." Barry

Does anyone else truly believe this? If so, please come out and say so, so we can lump all the fools in one batch.
Of course others believe it, probably even a significant majority of citizens. Dumb as they are, most people are still more rational than the fools who claim it's something insidious rather than the prudent and responsible action of a commander-in-chief fulfilling his sworn duty to protect the nation from further terrorist acts of war.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:00 am

Lilith wrote:so we can lump all the fools in one batch.
If you think so poorly of us, why do you hang here? If the statistics hold for this BBS, 60% of the people here believe it. That's why people like you are having such a hard time stoking the outrage: you're only talking to your minority choir.
Corlyss
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rwetmore
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Post by rwetmore » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:14 am

DavidRoss wrote:Dan's minimizing and excusing of Clinton's abuses while grossly exaggerating Bush's demonstrates a lamentably common unprincipled partisanship to which some members of both parties are prone. However, such extreme, blind partisanship has practically defined the Democratic Party and its leadership for the past dozen years--which is largely why I, a lifelong Democrat, left the party in disgust.

I agree that the Republicans leave much to be desired. I'm not at all happy with their "leadership" on most fronts, including many of those about which critics are most vocal on these boards. It pains me to have to vote Republican as the lesser of two evils, but I fear the self-righteous, hypocritical, opportunistic, unprincipled, spineless, poll-driven, in-full-flight-from-reality Democrats far more. Until they get the beams out of their own eyes, they are probably condemned to further marginalize themselves as a viable alternative and to continue broadening the rift dividing our nation today.
Bingo. While I've never been a democrat, I know where you are coming from. Their strategy is little more than to just oppose everything Bush does regardless, and that's just not leadership. They have foolishly and irresponsibly invested their livelyhood in America's defeat in Iraq. The vast majority of citizens see the danger in this, and are leaving the party in huge droves.

This phone taping thing is just the latest irrational anti-Bush, history began in January of '01, nonsense. The same people who oppose the tapping are the very same people who will pounce all over Bush if we are attacked for not do what is necessary to protect the county.

As for me, I consider myself to be an independent fiscal conservative, but liberal on many social and cultural issues. For example, I have no objection to gay marriage and vehemently oppose the religious right. While I found the decision to vote for Bush in 2004 an absurd no brainer, I didn't vote at all in the 2000 election, and don't look forward to '08.
Last edited by rwetmore on Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:22 am

DavidRoss wrote:
Lilith wrote:""We" are not being monitered. A handful of people who had known contacts with Al Quaeda had their phones tapped without court approval at...." Barry

Does anyone else truly believe this? If so, please come out and say so, so we can lump all the fools in one batch.
Of course others believe it, probably even a significant majority of citizens. Dumb as they are, most people are still more rational than the fools who claim it's something insidious rather than the prudent and responsible action of a commander-in-chief fulfilling his sworn duty to protect the nation from further terrorist acts of war.
Oh, please David. There are a lot of rational people (me included) who do not believe for a minute Bush is being prudent or responsible. Quit being so patronizingly arrogant.

Bush's actions from the beginning were suspect because of his insistence on WMD (and that just from the beginning). We all know every reason for this war was based on bogus intelligence. We also know that because of Plame's husband's actions, the enemies of the President have been dealt with severely. Why shouldn't we doubt his motives now--he has given us every reason to doubt his reason for not only the war but how he has dealt with his political enemies at home.

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:25 am

rwetmore wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:Dan's minimizing and excusing of Clinton's abuses while grossly exaggerating Bush's demonstrates a lamentably common unprincipled partisanship to which some members of both parties are prone. However, such extreme, blind partisanship has practically defined the Democratic Party and its leadership for the past dozen years--which is largely why I, a lifelong Democrat, left the party in disgust.

I agree that the Republicans leave much to be desired. I'm not at all happy with their "leadership" on most fronts, including many of those about which critics are most vocal on these boards. It pains me to have to vote Republican as the lesser of two evils, but I fear the self-righteous, hypocritical, opportunistic, unprincipled, spineless, poll-driven, in-full-flight-from-reality Democrats far more. Until they get the beams out of their own eyes, they are probably condemned to further marginalize themselves as a viable alternative and to continue broadening the rift dividing our nation today.
Bingo. While I've never been a democrat, I know where you are coming from. The party has been taken over by what Limbaugh often refers to as the "kook fringe." Even more, their strategy is little more than to just oppose everything Bush does regardless of what it is, and that's just not going to cut it.

I consider myself to be an independent fiscal conservative, but liberal on many social and cultural issues. For example, I have no objection to gay marriage and vehemently oppose the religious right. While I found the decision to vote for Bush in 2004 an absurd no brainer, I didn't vote at all in the 2000 election.
Just as the Republican party has been taken over by the kook religious fringe to the detriment of us all.

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:40 am

Fortunately for the security of the country, the majority of the American people don't see it your way, Dan.

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:46 am

pizza wrote:Fortunately for the security of the country, the majority of the American people don't see it your way, Dan.
Look again at the polls, pizza. You're wrong.

rwetmore
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Post by rwetmore » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:53 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:Just as the Republican party has been taken over by the kook religious fringe to the detriment of us all.
Well, they don't seem to be hurting the Republican party in any significant way. They are also very hawkish in regards to the war on terror. While I oppose their agenda, they are by far the lesser of two evils in this post 9/11 world.

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:02 am

rwetmore wrote:
Dan Ferguson wrote:Just as the Republican party has been taken over by the kook religious fringe to the detriment of us all.
Well, they don't seem to be hurting the Republican party in any significant way. They are also very hawkish in regards to the war on terror. While I oppose their agenda, they are by far the lesser of two evils in this post 9/11 world.
In the world post George Bush, a lot of former moderates, like myself, are now considered to the left of center. The evil post-9/11 is that a lot of people who wouldn't have put up with it before have been intimidated and misled based on what the right-wing have determined is not "rational" or downright "unpatriotic."

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:25 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:
pizza wrote:Fortunately for the security of the country, the majority of the American people don't see it your way, Dan.
Look again at the polls, pizza. You're wrong.
I've looked. Even of people who are against the war, the majority support the program of limited phone taps. Its a matter of calculating risk vs. benefit. It's obvious to most people that the right to national security outweighs the inconvenience of a loss of privacy for a few who have raised legitimate concerns about their activities.

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:35 am

Lilith wrote:""We" are not being monitered. A handful of people who had known contacts with Al Quaeda had their phones tapped without court approval at...." Barry

Does anyone else truly believe this? If so, please come out and say so, so we can lump all the fools in one batch.
We already have, Lilith, and you're their queen.

If we were on the path to a totalitarian state, this debate wouldn't be taking place and you'd be in the gulag peeling icicles off your nose.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:35 am

Dan Ferguson wrote: The evil post-9/11 is that
Democrats can't get a word in edgewise to talk about returning to their socialist agenda. That's the real heartburn. As long as this country is concerned about security, the Dems/liberals will be in the cold storage locker, where they belong.

[/quote]a lot of people who wouldn't have put up with it before [/quote]

Git a grip, Dan. There are a lot of us who don't give a rats ass about the Civil Rights Industry and their whine of the day. We felt that way before 9/11 (some call it compassion exhaustion) and we sure as hell don't feel that way now there's a war on. You can holler all you want about the dupes and the fools, most of us understand there's a problem and the problem ain't George Bush. Makes me wonder, what are you and others who think like you going to do when the policies remain but Bush is gone?
have been intimidated and misled based on what the right-wing have determined is not "rational" or downright "unpatriotic."
Right! You and Jbuck sing the same tune: American are fools if they worry more about terrorism than whether the people who are trying to kill us get all the civil rights you guys think they are entitled to. I personally thing they are not and should not be entitled to anything other than being stood up against a wall and shot. Trials; privacy; what a crock!
Corlyss
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Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:47 am

You are ranting, Corylss. You honestly have no idea the ramifications of all this. You think it ends with what you feel are "legitimate" wiretaps. The fact is we have lowered the bar significantly when it comes to my right and yours. This goes beyond trying to capture terrorists--it's an effort to silence opposition.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:51 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:You are ranting, Corylss. You honestly have no idea the ramifications of all this. You think it ends with what you feel are "legitimate" wiretaps. The fact is we have lowered the bar significantly when it comes to my right and yours. This goes beyond trying to capture terrorists--it's an effort to silence opposition.
Baloney, Dan. You don't have a scintilla of evidence that 1) American citizens are being affected; 2) that the adminstration is even attempting to wiretap American citizens. And frankly I don't care what happens to non-citizens and I'm not going to take your word for it or the NYT word for it that American citizens are being tapped. And even if they were, I'd still give the Government the benefit of the doubt. As would 60% of the country.
Corlyss
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Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:56 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Dan Ferguson wrote:You are ranting, Corylss. You honestly have no idea the ramifications of all this. You think it ends with what you feel are "legitimate" wiretaps. The fact is we have lowered the bar significantly when it comes to my right and yours. This goes beyond trying to capture terrorists--it's an effort to silence opposition.
Baloney, Dan. You don't have a scintilla of evidence that 1) American citizens are being affected; 2) that the adminstration is even attempting to wiretap American citizens. And frankly I don't care what happens to non-citizens and I'm not going to take your word for it or the NYT word for it that American citizens are being tapped. And even if they were, I'd still give the Government the benefit of the doubt. As would 60% of the country.
The wiretapping of American citizens is a fact (or have you missed that little factoid)? That's what's the big bruhaha is all about. The people who have been spied on ARE US citizens.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:16 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:The wiretapping of American citizens is a fact (or have you missed that little factoid)? That's what's the big bruhaha is all about. The people who have been spied on ARE US citizens.
The wiretaps are being executed against people within the territorial US, not against American citizens. It's the within that's got the ACLU types on the rampage.

And if the wiretapping is supposed to surpress dissent, it isn't working is it?
Corlyss
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Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:26 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Dan Ferguson wrote:The wiretapping of American citizens is a fact (or have you missed that little factoid)? That's what's the big bruhaha is all about. The people who have been spied on ARE US citizens.
The wiretaps are being executed against people within the territorial US, not against American citizens. It's the within that's got the ACLU types on the rampage.

And if the wiretapping is supposed to surpress dissent, it isn't working is it?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00021.html

Read the first paragraph, Corylss. It says:
President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.
US citizens, Corylss. That means people either born and raised here or naturalized. Seems rather clear to me.

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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:36 am

Let's hear it for excluding American citizens from wiretaps:



Truck Driver Pleads Guilty to Al Qaeda Ties, Conspiracy

Friday, June 20, 2003

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A truck driver worked directly with Al Qaeda (search) terrorists in a plot to derail trains in the United States and sabotage a bridge in New York City, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday.

Iyman Faris, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, masqueraded as a truck driver criss-crossing the United States, but all the while he was plotting terrorist attacks on his fellow Americans, Ashcroft said as he announced the man's guilty plea to two felony charges.

He said Faris, a native of Kashmir who became an American citizen in 1999, traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the last two years and even met with Usama bin Laden at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

He received instructions directly from senior Al Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (search), who is in U.S. custody overseas and has provided U.S. interrogators with valuable intelligence about the terror group's worldwide reach.

Under an agreement with the Justice Department unsealed Thursday, Faris pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to provide support. He also agreed to cooperate with government investigators.

The agreement was filed with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington on May 1, but was kept secret for over a month.

A government statement of fact filed along with the guilty plea said that Faris, also known as Mohammed Rauf, was instructed by a senior Al Qaeda operative to obtain "gas cutters" equipment that would enable him to sever the cables on "a bridge in New York City," believed to have been the Brooklyn Bridge (search).

Faris, who is represented by a lawyer and said in the documents he was not coerced to plead, could face 20 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines. Sentencing was set for Aug. 1.

"This case highlights the very real threats that still exist here at home in the United States of America in the war against terrorism," Ashcroft told a Justice Department news conference.

"This case has many of the hallmarks we have come to recognize in Al Qaeda operations," he said.

Ashcroft said in a written statement, "We have taken another American-based Al Qaeda operative off the streets, who appeared to be a hard-working American trucker, but secretly scouted terrorist strikes that could have killed many of his fellow citizens."

Faris was told to refer to the cutters as "gas stations" so that eavesdroppers would not get wind of the plot.

In addition, the senior Al Qaeda operative told Faris that he should obtain tools that could be used to derail trains in the United States, the affidavit says. These tools were to be referred to in code as "mechanics shops."

None of the planned attacks occurred.

The meetings occurred in 2000, 2001 and early 2002 in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the government statement says. They included meetings with two unidentified senior Al Qaeda leaders, one believed to be Mohammed and the other labeled as Usama bin Laden's "right foot." Faris also met bin Laden himself in 2000.

The statement says that Faris researched the bridge on the Internet and traveled to New York in late 2002 to examine the bridge, concluding that "the plot to destroy the bridge by severing the cables was very unlikely to succeed" because of its security and structure.

He sent a coded message back to Al Qaeda leaders: "The weather is too hot," meaning that the plot probably couldn't go forward.

Faris was also asked by bin Laden associates in late 2000 to look into ultralight aircraft that could be used as escape planes by Al Qaeda operatives, prosecutors say. In addition, Faris helped Al Qaeda obtain 2,000 lightweight sleeping bags that were shipped to Afghanistan for use by bin Laden and other Al Qaeda members.

Faris came to the United States in May 1994, became a U.S. citizen in December 1999 and worked as an independent trucker for several years. His original contact with Al Qaeda came through one of the senior operatives, whom the government says Faris had known since the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s.

Records show he was married to Geneva Bowling from 1995 to 2000 and lived with her in a small home in Columbus. "That someone even associated with this craziness is right here in Columbus, it's sad," said Negla Ross, who lives next door.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Justice Department has obtained a number of guilty pleas from or won court convictions of members of Al Qaeda cells, including six of seven members of a cell in Lackawanna, N.Y.

Two Al Qaeda members in Detroit were convicted earlier this month of providing material support and resources to the terrorist group by running an illegal document ring. One other man was acquitted in that case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly ... 96,00.html

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:44 am

Ya, pizza. But where does it end? You're telling me you trust everything Big Brother is doing? I don't. All this has proven is just how far Bush will go. He used illegal wiretaps to catch terrorists, but I have seen and heard of people who have been wrongly tried and intimidated for very innocuous things.

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:52 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:Ya, pizza. But where does it end? You're telling me you trust everything Big Brother is doing? I don't. All this has proven is just how far Bush will go. He used illegal wiretaps to catch terrorists, but I have seen and heard of people who have been wrongly tried and intimidated for very innocuous things.
Fortunately it didn't end with trains being derailed or the Brooklyn Bridge being destroyed and the deaths of countless Americans.

If you were on the bridge as it blew up, tell us how much of a damn you would be giving for Faris' civil rights.

oisfetz
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Post by oisfetz » Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:54 am

Yes, and in a few years all that crap of civil rigths will be forgotten. Only
the goverment and the military rights will remain. Common people only rights will be to obey and shut up.

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:37 am

oisfetz wrote:Yes, and in a few years all that crap of civil rigths will be forgotten. Only
the goverment and the military rights will remain. Common people only rights will be to obey and shut up.
Don't cry for us, Argentina. We know how to take care of ourselves. :P

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Post by Lilith » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:43 am

"nd even if they were, I'd still give the Government the benefit of the doubt." Corlyss


Is this how conservatives think now? Even if the government is illegally wiretapping its own citizens, you are willing to give them "the benefit of the doubt".

How foolish. Don't you know anything about history, Corlyss????
Don't you know about giving the goverment 'the benefit of the doubt'????

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:06 am

Lilith wrote:"nd even if they were, I'd still give the Government the benefit of the doubt." Corlyss


Is this how conservatives think now? Even if the government is illegally wiretapping its own citizens, you are willing to give them "the benefit of the doubt".

How foolish. Don't you know anything about history, Corlyss????
Don't you know about giving the goverment 'the benefit of the doubt'????
Typical response of a typical leftist ideologue. No sense of proportion whatsoever. Never mind the legitimate needs of ordinary people to be able to live their lives in peace and without fear of attack -- ideological principles are more important and must prevail no matter what the cost will be in human suffering and misery. Who cares if millions are killed and maimed as long as we remain loyal to our ideals regardless of the circumstances.

Precisely the same ACLU mind-set of those ideological robots who fought tooth and nail for the right of Nazis to march through neighborhoods where hundreds of Holocaust victims resided. Never mind the unspeakable trauma suffered by those poor souls -- much more important to indulge their would-be killers.

The attitude that ideals are more important than people defines the sickness of the ideological left.

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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:52 am

Dan Ferguson wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:
Lilith wrote:""We" are not being monitered. A handful of people who had known contacts with Al Quaeda had their phones tapped without court approval at...." Barry

Does anyone else truly believe this? If so, please come out and say so, so we can lump all the fools in one batch.
Of course others believe it, probably even a significant majority of citizens. Dumb as they are, most people are still more rational than the fools who claim it's something insidious rather than the prudent and responsible action of a commander-in-chief fulfilling his sworn duty to protect the nation from further terrorist acts of war.
Oh, please David. There are a lot of rational people (me included) who do not believe for a minute Bush is being prudent or responsible. Quit being so patronizingly arrogant....
Dan, your response to my question whether you were as outraged by Clinton's abuses of power as you are by Bush's demonstrated that you're blinded and driven by ideology and seem unable to distinguish between rationality and rationalization. As for "patronizing arrogance," I believe that more accurately characterizes the tone of your posts and Lilith's than mine. Look again and you will see that my "dumb as they are" statement refers to Lilith's patronizing arrogance in labelling all those who don't see things her way as "fools."
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by oisfetz » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:02 am

Don't cry for us, Argentina. We know how to take care of ourselves. :P[/quote]

I certanly will not cry for you.Nobody in the world will cry for you

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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:10 am

Well, that's a relief. We certainly don't need a bunch of paranoid crybabies to contend with. And it's refreshing to hear that you speak for the whole world as well as for yourself.

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Post by Barry » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:48 am

pizza wrote:Typical response of a typical leftist ideologue. No sense of proportion whatsoever. Never mind the legitimate needs of ordinary people to be able to live their lives in peace and without fear of attack -- ideological principles are more important and must prevail no matter what the cost will be in human suffering and misery. Who cares if millions are killed and maimed as long as we remain loyal to our ideals regardless of the circumstances.

Precisely the same ACLU mind-set of those ideological robots who fought tooth and nail for the right of Nazis to march through neighborhoods where hundreds of Holocaust victims resided. Never mind the unspeakable trauma suffered by those poor souls -- much more important to indulge their would-be killers.

The attitude that ideals are more important than people defines the sickness of the ideological left.
That sums it up pretty well. In the first place, it has not been established that the wiretaps were illegal, even if they were used on American citizens. Second, as I've already said, the notion that we're on a slippery slope to becoming another Nazi Germany or Stalinist Soviet Union because our elected leader has the phones of a handful of people with known ties to our enemy during wartime tapped is completely out of proportion with reality. We've done far more intrusive things in past wars and our system of rights and liberties still exists today; and it will exist tomorrow, but ONLY if we win this war. That's right. The only thing that will kill our liberty is losing this war; not the president having a few people who are in bed without our enemy monitered.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Barry » Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:38 am

Jan. 05, 2006

Liberty matters, but security matters more
By James P. Pinkerton

Could 2005 be remembered as the year mass surveillance became normal, even popular?
Revelations about the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping rocked the civil liberties establishment, but the country as a whole didn't seem upset. Instead, the American people, mindful of the possible danger we face, seem happy enough that Uncle Sam is taking steps to keep up with the new technology.
Ask yourself: Do you think it's a bad idea for the feds, as U.S. News & World Report mentioned, to monitor Islamic sites inside the United States for suspicious radiation leaks? The Council on American-Islamic Relations is up in arms - but are you? If you were to read in the paper that some FBI agent has gotten in trouble over pointing a Geiger counter at a mosque, would you be inclined to give the FBI agent the benefit of the doubt? I thought so.
The Dec. 28 issue of USA Today details government plans to deploy security agents at major airports to engage in "behavioral screening." That is, agents chat up passengers, looking for anything suspicious. It's a tactic that's worked in Israel for years, and it's being introduced here, starting with Boston's Logan Airport - the departure point, remember, for two of the 9/11 doomed flights.
But of course, the Massachusetts ACLU already has sued to oppose any such program. Whom do you think the overwhelming majority of Americans want to see prevail on this question? Yes, civil liberties matter, but the majority has rights, too, and if the majority puts a premium on the nation's safety, that view deserves respect.
Some say these government actions are taking us closer to 1984. But, in fact, the key year was 1651. That's when the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes published The Leviathan, a hugely influential political science tome that laid the intellectual groundwork for a strong central government. Hobbes wrote that in a state of nature, without benefit of law and law enforcement, life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." He believed in strong government, but he was no totalitarian. Instead, he was reacting to the Wars of Religion that had raged across Europe for the previous century and a half, in which Catholics and Protestants enthusiastically burned and butchered one another by the millions. His own country had just been wracked by a decade-long civil war.
Clearly, a powerful state was needed - a regime that, as he put it, would possess a monopoly of force within the society. Would people lose some of their freedoms? Sure they would, and among the freedoms lost was the freedom to hack to death the deviationist next door.
We like to think we have made progress in the four centuries since, especially here in the United States. But we're up against a basic reality: As populations grow denser, and as technology improves, there's a natural need for more regulation to keep people's elbows, and machines, from banging into each other.
That's why, for example, Wyoming is a more libertarian place than New York City. Out West, where miles might separate people, you can pretty much do what you want. But, if millions are going to live close to one another, then lots of red tape is going to thread itself around each resident, governing not only obvious concerns such as weapons and pollution, but matters such as noise abatement and cigarette smoking.
And now, in the name of homeland security, more regulating - spying, if you prefer - is coming.
Even so, someday, somewhere, a Big One is going to go off. And after that, all controversies about civil liberties - and, by the way, immigration - will look different in the eyes of the survivors. An updated Hobbesian paradigm of governance will emerge - unless, of course, it's an Orwellian paradigm instead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James P. Pinkerton (pinkerto@ix.netcom.com) is a columnist for Newsday.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Lilith » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:06 pm

Why in heavens name an article from Pinkerton? He's borderline Neanderthal -I'm sure he would approve of a new Spanish Inquisition here in America (headed by Cheney,of course)
Well I'm real glad you all believe in your President Bush and what he says. He sure has been accurate over the last few years, hasn't he? :wink:
Last edited by Lilith on Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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