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Democrats Strong on National Defence

Posted by iusbvision on November 6, 2006

Democrats have taken a lot of fire from the GOP lately. The biggest concern on many people’s minds has been national security. Unfortunately, many have bought the GOP line that Democrats are weak on terror and have no plan to secure the United States against threats. With mid-term elections this week, and Presidential in two years, I feel it’s necessary to take a look at the plans the Democrats have, instead of dwelling any more on the abysmal failure that has come from the Republicans.

The Democratic plan is fairly straight forward. Catch Osama Bin Laden, destroy terrorist groups, destroy the conditions that create them, and securing loose nuclear materials to prevent potential WMD’s from getting into terrorist hands. This is fairly straightforward; but how do they plan on achieving this? As listed at www.democrat.gov in the security plan, Democrats will double the size of U.S. Special Forces units, the forces best trained to deal with terrorists and insurgent groups in urban areas. The plan also calls for extensive funding of human intelligence capabilities.

That’s how the terrorists will be found and destroyed.  However, as has (hopefully) been learned in the last few years, that’s only a fraction of the battle. The Democratic plan, unlike the Republican, has a focus on eliminating the reasons for terrorism. It calls for combating the economic, social, and political conditions that have left people easy prey for extremist leaders. This is a stark contrast of the Republican plan that has been deliberately provoking these conditions.

National security relies on the men and women of our military, and it’s time we started respecting that. The Democratic plan also calls for a G.I. Bills of Rights that would guarantee all active, reserve, and veteran troops the benefits they deserve. This is in contrast to the Republican plan to slash VA benefits by restricting the Post Traumatic Stress allowances, and even going as far as to investigate “whether a disability or death of a veteran should be compensated.”*

It is also vital we secure avenues of entry into the nation, and to this end the Democratic plan calls for screening of 100% of cargo entering the nation, as well as better security at food supplies and nuclear power stations. This was a major demand of the 9/11 commission, but has gone largely neglected. While we send soldiers overseas to fight on foreign grounds, we have left a door wide open for attacks on our nation.   The Democratic plan has called for fixing this gross oversight.

So here is a plan for national security. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have spelled out what the priorities are with a competent plan to deal with extremists in Iraq and elsewhere. This is followed by the changes needed to secure our nation from future attacks, likely caused by GOP irresponsibility abroad. The GOP wants to stay the course and continue destroying our credibility, using torture, and as always, ignoring the symptoms of the conflicts this country faces.

Ryan Hill
Writer
*http://www.vawatchdog.org/milcom/vdbcstackeddeck.htm

96 Responses to “Democrats Strong on National Defence”

  1. Bret Matrix said

    Mr. Hill,

    I can appreciate your support of your party, but the Democrats have not only been weak on national security, they have down right sabotaged our national defense. Allow me to give you some examples that should be in everyone’s memory.

    Last December, Sen. Harry Reid gleefully bragged that they had killed the Patriot Act.

    Democrats, on a daily basis, attack our troops at Gitmo for “torturing” detainees. They fight every attempt to interrogate terrorists and have freely given them rights that U.S. citizens have.

    How often did they scream bloody murder about the Abu Grahib prison situation. That was spoken more about than any schools or hospitals that were built by our troops. Democrats have only focused on the bad, they never talk about the good things our troops are doing.

    They have fought every single tool used in fighting the war on terror. As Chuck’s article noted, the wiretapping of phone calls to and from terrorists was leaked by a Democrat newspaper. What was the result of this? Wal-mart sold millions of trac phones (disposable cell phones) that cannot be tapped? Can you explain to why someone would buy the maximun 50 phones are Wal-mart after Wal-mart? Because the NYT tipped them off about how the administration was protecting us against them.

    Do you remember Democrats screaming about the highly successful program that tracked the financial records of terrorists? All Democrats do is help the enemy by obstructing America’s defense strategies.

    Democrats have made public statements that the war cannot be won and we need to come home as losers. How does calling our troops losers improve thier morale? I know they haven’t used the term losers, but if you are not a winner, what are you?

    Democrats celebrate every casulty in Iraq. They go through great pains to make sure a current total is on the news so they can use it to attack the commander-in-chief. Do you know that stations like al-jazeera headline the statements made by Durbin, Clinton, and Kerry? This only encourages the enemy. They know we are divided because Democrats don’t know when to shut up.

    I remember a speech (I think it was speech, maybe it was an email to everyone) by Howard Dean in which he said that “Democrats needed to go on the offense on national security” They went on offense by attacking the President. Foget about attacking the enemy. The Democrat’s war on terror is on Pres. Bush, not against Al-Qida.

    How many times have Democrats called for Pres. Bush to fire Rumsfeld and Rove, and any number of other advisors?

    We need a party that actually wants to fight the enemy, not a party that wants to cut and run. We need a party that wants information from terrorists, not lawsuits. We need a party that will attack Al-Qida, not the President. We need a party that supports our troops, not our enemy. We need a party that wants to remove illegals, not one who wants to give them amnesty (Bush might as well be a Democrat on this issue). It is very clear who the party is that wants to protect Americans and it is equally clear the party who wants to protect our enemy.

  2. Ryan said

    An interesting response. Let me pose a few questions in response.
    First off, the Patriot act was grossly unconctitutional. So I have no issues with its being damaged. If there was some actual oversite, then it might have been permitted. As was, it was a far bigger danger to the nation than any terroist attack could be.

    Abu Ghraib. Are you defending this? Are you suggesting we should have patted those responsible on the back and ignored this? Democrats criticized the lack of leadership that allowed sucha asituation to develop, and those responsible for being little better than the enemies we are to be fighting. We have laws for a reason. THe majority of our soldiers are dying for those ideals, and those responsible have gotten a lot of our people killed by undermining our mission in Iraq. They deserved the criticism. The good things you mention are blown apart on a daily basis by insurgents anrgy at the abd things.

    The Wiretapping was, once again, illegal. Democratic governments need leeks to prevent one group from having total control over the nation. THis is another program that NEEDED to be leaked. Yes, the government can say it only tracks certain things. Without oversite though, there is no reason to believe that. Democracies need oversite to stay strong, and in wars its no exception.

    I strongly disagree with your saying democrats sya we have lsot the war. Some do, yes. Most are simply advocating we actual set time tables and hold the Iraqi government and commanders in the field to deliver. Thats a simple requirement of managing any major projects.

    “Democrats celebrate every casulty in Iraq.” I’m usually politer, but you’re an idiot for saying this. Democrats are conscious of our losses because those are our fellow citizens dieing, not pawns in the GOP’s game. The GOP would like to ignore those lost, but it always the duty of the opposition to remind those in power that there is a cost to their actions. The hope is that will make them pay better attention and be more responsible. Till now, it has not.

    Yes, the Democrats focus on attakcing the Presidents plan because h eis the best recruiter the terrorists have ever had. The only way to destroy terror groups is to undermine their recruiting tools. You cna’t kill them all. The President has bolstered their numbers far beyond what they were before Iraq was attacked by turing America into the big bad boogeyman.

    Rumsfels needs to be fired. He has screwed up every potentially good gain that could have come from removing Saddam. His incompetence has been truly astounding.

    As to amnesty, thats the GOP’s big plan. Not the Democrats. I’d agree though that hardworking contributors should have the right to try for citizenship. The focus of law on illegal immigrants should be on the employers. We can’t prevent people from coming in, we’ve been trying for 20 years. Dry up the demand though, and you’ll see less of a problem.

  3. Ryan said

    I’m sorry, I should apologize about the idiot comment. But it truly infuriates me when people say one party or the other is happy about our countrymen dieing. My apologies for the insult.

  4. Erkki Kochketola said

    Why not dry up the supply of illegal immigrants while we’re at it, and stop screwing up their economies so our corporations can make a fast buck?

  5. Rachel Custer said

    I can’t help but agree with some of the points both Ryan and Erkki make. Although I usually tend to be more conservative politically, we do know that the Republicans have not succeeded at doing the most important thing to promote national security, which is securing our borders. I am at the point where I don’t think the Democrats could do any worse than the Republicans have done lately…why not give them a chance?

  6. Ryan said

    No one has managed to secure our borders, GOP or Dem. Its because it really isn’t possible. If demand is there, people will find away. Eliminate the demand for such workers by imposing massive fines on companies that violate them, and then you’ll see the workers either moving on or switching to legal means of entry. W ealso nee dot overhaul the legal means to make them easier for legitimate workers so the countries business needs are met.

    The wall the GOP wanted to build is a rediculous money wasting joke. We have found drug tunnels into the U.S., we know the wall won’t cover the entire border, and theirs a whole lot of coastline too. A colossal waste of money.

  7. Andrew Filmer said

    As a foreigner in this country, I’m always surprised by comments like “They fight every attempt to interrogate terrorists and have freely given them rights that U.S. citizens have” by Bret Matrix. First of all, they aren’t terrorists unless you prove it first via a legal process that determines innocence or guilt. Secondly, well, it’s torture. Three issues come to mind at this point –

    1. The concept of innocent until proven guilty
    2. The idea that ‘all men are created equal’
    3. The issue of ‘cruel and unsual treatment’

    The second arguably covers the rest – to be blunt, are all men (and women!) created equal… or only American citizens?

    How the United States – both from its government as well as from individual citizens such as Bret – deal with these topics, is in very real terms the foreign policy that will meet the rest of the world. Including, I might add, Al-Qaida… and yes, that’s the correct way it’s spelled.

  8. Ryan said

    Well said Andrew. Too many people these days are content to sacrifice the ideals this country was founded on in hopes of gaining a bit of extra safety. The practice of sacrificing those ideas though by use of torture, ignoring due process, and guilty until proven innocent, only inflames anti-american sentiment and makes us less secure. Just as President Bush is the best recruiter Al-Qaeda has ever had, the patriot act is a huge victory for terror groups that want to point out the hypocricy of the United States. Remove that moral authority and the US is just one more colonial power.

  9. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    Some very good points from a fresh perspective. I do have something I wonder about though. While I do understand your point about the possible hypocrisy of “all men are created equal” when discussing torture, it is difficult for me to understand how some countries in other parts of the world can despise America so much for these tactics (which I fully understand) and yet not seem to be very upset by the tactics practiced by other foreign powers who are much more brutal than the U.S., such as North Korea or Iran (which I don’t understand). Is it only because we are the most powerful nation in the world that we receive so much scrutiny? Foreigners always say they despise Americans because we think we are the “world police,” but a lot of countries do a lot worse than us and fly under the radar because they are not as big. Just curious as to what that’s about?

  10. Erkki KochKetola said

    Ryan:

    Why not dry up the supply of illegal immigrants while we’re at it, and stop screwing up their economies so our corporations can make a fast buck? How’s that for solving the problem? How about leaving them the heck alone and letting them rebuild themselves? Afraid they’re going to combine to overthrow you? Or are you going to dress it up in humanitarian concern? “Humanitarian aid” is going to get funnelled to people who want to stir up trouble and foment strife for a buck. We’ll never let them recover unless we get someone who doesn’t work with a party as sleazy as the Republocrats. This doesn’t include the Libetarians.

    Of course, neither party will allow that. They have too much of a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. Some of them are members of the uppermost ranks of American society, too. Idealists don’t last long in politics; they become pragmatists, or they leave. The pragmatists win and they’re interested in accomodation, because it’s the path of least resistance.

    So you end up with a batch of politicians who climb into bed with the same people the last crop did. Wonderful “solution” to the problem. Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I think it fits.

    To quote Pavel Chekov: “Perhaps you are familiar with Russian epic of Cinderella. If shoe fits, wear it.”

  11. Andrew Filmer said

    Rachel,

    Likewise, good questions. I can only offer my personal perspective, coming from a predominantly Islamic developing nation (but being of the smallest of minorities in that country) which you should take with a pinch of salt.

    It’s not just that the United States is the most powerful nation in the world – though that is part of it, since that makes nations like Iran seem like abullied underdog rather than a fundamentalist, extremist nation.

    Two real issues are evident to me: first, most of the Americans people in developing nations know are millionaire CEOs; foreigners who come to our country and become our bosses. Perceptions – and expectations – are built on our personal encounters. When you compare Iran to CIA secret prisons, it’s like the stock market – you can do badly even though your revenues are up, but if it’s still below market expectations. There is also the concept of economic colonization (not my terminology) that local culture and businesses are taken away by giants like MacDonald’s.

    Second, is that, frankly, with the singling out of Islamic nations, instead of necessarily terrorist nations (read: foreign policy of Afghanistan and Iraq versus North Korea), we feel that we might be next – not from confirmation but from association. So the logical thing to do is to support the other underdogs while they’re still there rather than risk being the only underdog left.

    And there is of course the religious aspect – with the pull of Islamic fundamentalism stronger with more coal into the fire, making life difficult for religious moderates. In the end, the moderates have to show that they are religious too, and speaking out for Iran – whether right or wrong – is actually a better option than letting our democratic nations become Islamic states with syariah and hudud laws.

    It’s a strange thing – that one would support Iran to better oppose domestic Islamic extremism. The scene is chaotic, the contributing elements various, and one where perception plays a very big role over the reality of situations.

    In no way should we condone torture anywhere, but it would help if US foreign policy allowed a person like me to go back home and critize someone, saying “Hey, you know in Iran, they…” without the immediate comeback, “Yeah, well – Abu Ghraib”.

    A situation I’ve been in, more than once.

  12. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    Thank you for your response, it really made me think. Having never been out of the United States myself, I’ve only heard about the perception other countries have about us. It makes sense when you say that the only people a lot of foreigners come in contact with are rich CEOS. There are many times I look at the current news or state of certain things and think, “It’s no wonder some people hate us.” Your point about foreign policy is a good one. If we were beyond reproach it would certainly be a lot easier to condemn the inhumane policies of other nations. It’s frustrating because, with all this happening on a macro level, I honestly think Americans on a person-by-person basis can be some of the kindest, most down-to-earth people. I guess that’s how all stereotypes work, though…macro is applied to micro as if it is always true, and the sad thing is, you miss out on some really good experiences and lessons. Anyway, I’m rambling, but thank you for your thought-provoking response.

  13. Ryan said

    Its all expectations, Rachel. The US actively claims to be the moral light of the world. When we fall into messes like Abu Ghraib, or get caught in screw ups like wmd’s in Iraq, then our moral authority is gone. Everyone knows Iran is worse, but Iran doesn’t preach their commitment to human rights.

    THe other group many foreigners come into contact are tourists. Americans are generally considered some of the rudest tourists in the world, according to friends I have in Europe. Also not the best representatives. So if you ever go overseas, remember you represent the only contact some people will have had with your homecountry.

  14. Rachel said

    Ryan,

    Very good point about expectations…if we are going to claim to be better than Iran and others like it, we should act like it, and I think overall we do. I just wish people would look at the positive things the United States contributes to the world sometimes…it gets frustrating when people are constantly pointing out the negatives. We give the most money to the poor of any country in the world (which we should, since we HAVE the most money to give), we constantly have troops located in foreign nations trying to assist them with defense and more peaceable pursuits, American multinationals supply jobs for millions of people who otherwise wouldn’t have them…can we get some foreign recognition for those things?

    You’re right…the Americans people tend to come into contact with may not be the best representatives of our country. But I have met a few rude Asians, Africans, and Europeans…I try not to assume they are all rude because of the few I have met. Not to mention, rudeness can be construed from a culture clash. For example, I’m sure you know that the proximity from others at which people feel comfortable is different in every country. It might be construed as rude for a country who likes to stand very close to talk, for Americans to stand further away because that is our cultural comfort level. Does that actually make us rude? Or is that just a mistaken perception?

    Also, to be honest, I know some Europeans see some Americans as rude…however, I do have to admit to wondering how much of the dislike of Americans comes from the good old green-eyed monster. The simple fact for some of these people is they are jealous because we are the richest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth. Another cultural aspect is some of them think we are culturally bereft and look down on us (think France). Does this necessarily mean their culture is right and ours is not? That’s not an argument I would expect you to make, having seen your writings on diversity and tolerance.

  15. Andrew Filmer said

    Ryan,

    From my perspective, tourists don’t play that much of a role – where I come from anyway. Mostly because we know that they are a temporary fixture (even if it’s permanently temporary, as it were), and the places they go to (i.e. tourist spots) don’t always connect as much to the man-on-the-street.

    It may of course be different in places where the economic gap between the poor and the rich (and by extension, people with enough money to fly around the world and holiday) is wider.

  16. Andrew Filmer said

    Rachel,

    You’re quite right – there is a large difference between the average American and the elitist, expatriate American.

    I found that out the same way when I was working for two years in a neighboring country, and found my own fellow countrymen… of the elitist, expatriate variety.

    They are bad ambassadors, but unfortunately, that is a reality.

    I am cautious about your point of view of supplying millions of jobs by multinationals though… it’s hardly altruistic (the labor is cheap; that’s the motivation, not supplying jobs) and the working conditions (health, safety, minimum wage, unions) are hardly of “multinational” status.

  17. Ryan said

    Americans have the largest ‘personal space’ buffer of any nation in the world, followed by England. : )

    Anyways, my comments on tourists comes actually more from Americans who travel with others. Watching the reaction to idiotic comments from their fellow countrymen. A good example is a friend of mine who went to TIbet a while ago. The US tourists were consistently whiny, and yelling at the bus driver to go faster, etc. Despite half the traveling to be through densely crowded town areas. Perhaps that bit isn’t as much of an issue, but from the people I know who do a lot of traveling they say many of our countrymen are horrendously rude when abroad, and oftentimes they find themselves apologizing and such for flagrant insults and impatience.

    I know its not a one way thing Rachel, there is a fair amount of resentment due to the US’s overbearing presence globally. However I still think a lot could be done to combat that image.

  18. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew and Ryan,

    Good point about the MNCs – it’s true they don’t operate in foreign countries for altruistic reasons. However, I think they are still overall a benefit to the places where they operate.

    Also, it’s probably true that expatriates are probably not the best ambassadors for any country, given they didn’t even think it was somewhere they wanted to live. :) It just sucks that people meet one snotty rude American and automatically assume we are all like that. I think people would get another view if they would be able to travel to the midwest and meet people that are, to me, nice and down to earth.

    However, I do realize we don’t live in a perfect world. People will persist in stereotyping. It’s sad, because those people are only causing themselves to miss out on knowing good people.

  19. Bret Matrix said

    Ryan,

    No offense taken on the idiot comment. I understand getting into heated discussions. Personally, I could feel my blood pressure going up reading your article. :) Allow me to quickly just respond to a couple of points. First, I am not defending Abu Grahib, but I am not going to throw our service men and women under the bus because of a mistake. We should be standing by them, not broadcasting thier mistakes worldwide.

    The wiretapping is not illegal. I know you want it to be illegal so we cannot stop terrorists here in America, but it is not illegal to tap international calls.

    Andrew,
    I think you misunderstood the rights of U.S. citizens. The U.S. Constitution does not cover non-citizens. They do not have rights here in America and they certainly are not protected for “cruel and unusual punishment”. They are to be given rights under the Geneva conventions, as they do not meet the criteria. Again, I understand that those on the left do not want us to win the war on terror and they try to stop it at every turn, but terrorists do not have rights that U.S. citizens have. I also don’t think you understand who is at Gitmo. You act like our military went to the local bazaar and just rounded up random people. These people are suspected terrorists or have ties to terrorists. You don’t just wander into a terrorist training camp. If you are there, it is because they know you are there. This is not club med. The people who were picked up are dangerous.

    You see the problem with Democrats is that they do not want to face the reality that is terrorism. They want to kill us! There is no negotiation. They want to give them every single tool at our disposal, at our expense, by the way, to keep them from being detained. If they are detained, they are not blowing up buildings. Why do you insist on helping the enemy? You say that President Bush is the biggest recruiter of terrorists. Not a chance. It is whining liberals that want to help Al-Qida that are the biggest recruiters. Conservatives take the fight to those that want to kill us. Liberals refuse to acknowledge there is an enemy. It must be nice living in fantasy land, maybe I will visit you there when I need a break from reality.

  20. Ryan said

    They, they they. Everyone has a they, but mainly only the crazy ones advertise it so much. : )

    Anyways, I think you have some serious concerns about reality vs fox news. No democrat is throwing our troops to the wolves. That would have been the President and his halfhazard plans over the past few years. Problems such as Abu Ghraib are the REAL danger to our soldiers. Those pictures got more people killed than any other event in the war, I would guess. Even if they hadn’t been taken though, when people got out they would tell everyone what was happening and it would have undermiend us just as much. Better to have it in the open, arrest and imprison the morons who perpetrated the crime, and move on. It also shows the Iraqis that the US subjects itself to the laws we preach, something Saddam never did.

    The wiretapping is illegal. US constitutional law has come to have a very clear precedent for implied right to privacy. In our legal system, precedent is almost as strong as black and white ink. It was illegal. For the same reason as Abu Ghraib. Rule of law is the example we must give if Iraq will ever be expected to take the same route.

    “You don’t just wander into a terrorist training camp.”
    Neither did most of these people. Many were picked up on tips, or for being in the wrong area at the wrong time. If you have a business rival and want to get rid of him, call the US army and claim he’s a terrorist! Thats been a common problem. Same with shepherds or other isolated peoples, if they happen to be farming or working in an area terrorists were sighted they care caught up in a general sweep, though totally unrelated. If they were caught with weapons, or in actual military action trials could be held. But the government doesn’t want to do that either, because then they have to obey the Geneva convention.

    I will say it again, though you seem to be unable to comprehend. President Bush is the best recruiter the enemy ever had. He has elevated Bin ladens stature to an enemy, isntead of a criminal. His inept handling of the Iraq war has led to a shattered country thats a prime recruiting ground for terrorists. He’s the big bad western boogeyman who drops bombs on wedding parties and is mroe concerned about Iraqs oil than the millions of people we’ve shaken up. He is to Muslim extremists what The Alamo was to Texans fighting Mexico. The perfect rallying cry, too inept to be a threat to their true goals, but dangerous enough to scare the hell out of anyone who wants peace.

  21. Erkki KochKetola said

    Ryan:

    Have you ever considered the possibility that we deliberately stirred up this hornet’s nest?

  22. Chuck Norton said

    Wiretapping terrorists is not illegal. I can quote you more case law than you can shake a stick at proving this. That one judge in Michigan who was raising money for the ACLU when she had them in front of her had her ruling frozen by the appeals court minutes after she issued it.

    The 4th amendment test has always been the reasonable man test. That means would a reasonable man expect privacy in such a circumstance. In time of war when you call overseas to Billy bin-Laden do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy… answer NO. When the USA has terrorists running about inside our borders do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy if Billy bin-Laden in the hills of Pakistan calls you up on the phone…..answer NO.

  23. Anonymous said

    For the record, Mr. Norton is not a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana. Take everything he says with a large helping of salt. You have been warned.

  24. Sam said

    I’m not aware of a legal precedent or ruling that compels national phone companies to share whatever the federal government would like to see in terms of blanket perusal.

    Why would U.S. citizens have manifested such an issue with this if they were all categorically wrong from a legal perspective to begin with? Or were you being deliberately evasive by focusing on “wiretapping terrorists”?

    Interesting how Mr. Bi-Partisan or, Mr. Unipartisan (opposite of Hyper-Partisan, either way), Chuck Norton, once again acts like Superman when coming to the defense of the putrid stench of right-wing, hyper-partisan conservative.

  25. ryan said

    Erkki, which nest?

    Chuck, you would have a reasonable expectation that there would be a warrant obtained through legal means. LEgal is not 3 guys in a smoky room, and a judge half way across the country. Evidence and suspicion of guilt need to be shown, and then tap the person. Thats not whats being done. Its the same with the sneak and peak searches. There is no oversight to make sure the tapping is being done responsibly, other than by the people doing the tapping.

    Its like having a consitutional dispute then going to the person as the center of the dispute for a ‘fair’ evaluation. Wait. sounds like a familiar situation, actually. Now I see why you’ll defend this one beyond reason. : )

    To make this legal, there would have to be far mroe restrictions on it and a mapped legal procedure. At the moment, its fairly random. Thats illegal.

  26. Bret Matrix said

    Sorry Ryan, I don’t have satellite, so no Fox News here. I like that you admit the pictures from Abu Grahib prison got troops killed. Can you explain to me why leading Democrats demanded the release of those photos? The NYT went to court to get them released. Why would they do this knowing that it would get our troops killed? I stand by my claim that they did this so they could use it against the President. Every single time we come up with a tactic to help defend our country, it gets leaked, printed by the NYT and others, and then hauled into court. How can an observer not see this as an attempt to make America fight the war on terror with both arms tied behind our back?

    I will say this though, I appreciate your willingness to stand your ground and debate the issue.

  27. Ryan said

    Because, it wasn’t the photos. it was the actions. Rest assured that not all people in the prisons over there are thrown away for life. When some are released, they tell the stories of waht happened. With the photos out, it was like ripping off a bandage. Painful, but needed to heal the damage done. However it allowed us to show how the US deals with such things, by arresting and imprisoning those responsible. It was a small step to try and restore some of the credibility we had lost, but still a significant one in a society used to Saddam. I would have preferred the photographs were taken to Congress, and not to the press. But the GOP congress would not have done anything, and they would have simply not told the Dems. So the torture and the erosion of our moral authority would have continued.

    Its not fighting the war on terror with both arms behind our backs. Its fighting chaos with law. THe only way to defeat terrorist groups is by eroding their support. Thats done by showing a better way. Kill the killers, but change the conditions that created them so no more arise to take their place. The President does not understand this. Its why he can’t be in command if we are to win. If he’d shut up and let the army generals do their job, instead of firing dissenters, then we can do it. I don’t see that happening with him though.

  28. Charles Norton said

    Anonymous,

    You say that anonymously because you:

    Know I am right on the money and would whip you in a public debate.

    Have a great day.

  29. Charles Norton said

    Ryan,

    The only problem with your analysis is that the Supreme Court, and every appeals court I have ever seen, says that you are absolutely wrong.

    The Supreme Court has always used the reasonable man test. Appeals courts, such as the FISA Court of appeals have written in their rulings that the President can use warrantless surveillance in foreign intelligence cases.

    Clinton did this with Aldrich Aimes, the FBI agent who was working for the Russians. They searched his home, computer, all of it with no warrant.

    Anyone who thinks I am wrong, I challenge you to debate the issue with me in the IUSB cafeteria.

  30. Andrew said

    Wow, Chuck. Try to be a little more puerile next time.

    Nobody wants to ‘debate you in the cafeteria’, and it’s not because they’re afraid they’d lose. On the internet, you come across as a huge jerk, and most people try to avoid jerks.

    You’ve been out of high school much longer than most of the people who post here (or read this paper, I’d bet), but you still act like a 16 year old with chip on his shoulder. If you really want to debate reasonable people, you should learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. At this point, very few people take you seriously. I mean, when I bother to read your columns at all, it’s for the sheer comedy.

    A reasonable man is a great thing, so it’s pretty awesome that the Supreme Court is using a reasonable man test! That’s exciting for freedom! I just have one little problem: who gets to decide what constitutes reason? That’s pretty subjective, I mean according to Chuck Norton anyone who disagrees with him is unreasonable. Not a great metric, I think.

    By the way, Chuck. The big problem with your statement “The only problem with your analysis is that the Supreme Court, and every appeals court I have ever seen, says that you are absolutely wrong.” is that the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on warrant-less wiretapping yet. There’s another problem (probably minor, but I’m going to mention it for funsies) is that in this most recent election (you know, the one where the Republicans got spanked) America pretty much told Bush that he can’t breathe to suit them. I’m beginning to agree with you Chuck. There is a liberal bias, but it’s not in the media; it’s in reality.

  31. Andrew Filmer said

    Bret Matrix,

    In comment no. 19, you said, “The U.S. Constitution does not cover non-citizens. They do not have rights here in America and they certainly are not protected for “cruel and unusual punishment”. They are to be given rights under the Geneva conventions, as they do not meet the criteria.”

    Now, this may hold some water if by “non-citizens” you meant terrorists. Let’s consider what else it could mean: the people at Gitmo, which have been, guilty or otherwise (without trials it’s really hard to say), brought to American territory against their will.

    Whomever you meant by “non-citizens”, the blanket way you have used the above quote covers, among others: all international students, all tourists, all permanent residents. I doubt (and hope) that was your intention, considering the context in which is was stated, but one should be wary of the way things sound on the page versus how it sounds in your head.

    My point is: non-citizens do indeed have rights, at least, unless and until you can prove that they are intent on terrorism. Otherwise any guest or visitor falls into your non-citizen category. Non-citizens have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to counter-sue, among other things.

    By the way – and I say this just because of comment no. 28 – your name does not seem to come up in the Find People search engine of the IUSB website – are you an outside observer or do you use a pseudonym?

  32. Erkki KochKetola said

    I’ll take you up on that offer, Chuck, with a few conditions:

    1. I need a bit of time to prepare for the debate. In fact, I’m not sure I have time for it this semester. I have a lot of other things on my plate, including trying to get the SGA in order. I should note here that your actions are not helping and that I think that you’re obstructing our ability to learn how a government is supposed to work (the SGA Constitution, in fact, says that one of the purposes is to “[p]rovide practical experience and develop leadership skills while at IUSB”). But I digress.

    2. We have to give each other copies of our sources a reasonable period before the debate so we can thoroughly examine them. No surprises.

    3. Terms have to be explained (“reasonable man test,” to take a random one; what the heck is this, and why is it relevant?).

    4. Rules will be agreed upon and adhered to by both parties. I’m pretty flexible, mostly the basics; no personal attacks, etc. Witty retorts are appropriate.

    That’s a short list, but I think you understand the gist. This needs to be done properly so that when I defeat you, the whole campus will see it. ;)

  33. Ryan said

    “There is a liberal bias, but it’s not in the media; it’s in reality.”
    Awesome quote. : )

    Chuck, did the rulings specify that such surveillance can be made on US citizens at random? If not, then its irrelevant. If so, then it still needs to hit the supreme court. At that point, we may as well just start the goose steps and parades, ebcaus eonce you let the government spy on its citizens without due process then there is nothing to prevent abuse. Which inevitably means spying on rival political parties and anyone who doesn’t agree with the government.

    Also, if this is the case please provide a transcript of the ruling.

  34. If by “strong on defense” you mean sending troops into battle without proper equipment, not sending enough troops in to win the battle and the peace, misleading the American people about our real mission, cutting veterans benefits in a time of war, or any other of the stupid things this administration has done, then no, we democrats are not “strong on defense”. But lets look throughout history, shall we? As Democrats, we are proud of our party’s tradition of tough-minded internationalism and strong record in defending America. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman led the United States to victory in two world wars and designed the post-war international institutions that have been a cornerstone of global security and prosperity ever since. President Truman forged democratic alliances such as NATO that eventually triumphed in the Cold War. President Kennedy epitomized America’s commitment to “the survival and success of liberty.” Jimmy Carter placed the defense of human rights at the center of our foreign policy. And Bill Clinton led the way in building a post-Cold War Europe whole, free, and at peace in a new partnership with Russia. Around the world the names of these Democratic statesmen elicit admiration and respect. What is the Republican record, unilateralism, and a growing hatred for the United States.

    Scott Gorney

  35. Rachel Custer said

    Scott,

    Some very good points. One thing you must remember, though, is the recent move of the left away from the precedents and beliefs held by the classical democrats and toward more and more radical beliefs. Frankly, I miss the classical democrats…at the very least, we knew they weren’t actively harming the country, as I fear some of the radical democrats now are.

  36. Jarrod Brigham said

    Scott,

    I have much to respond to in your post, but I will not argue with a veteren on Veteren’s Day. Maybe tomorrow though.

    Happy Veteren’s Day

  37. Chuck Norton said

    Andrew,

    People dont only avoid jerks, they run and hide when are lying and know it, they will not take the issue to honest public debate because they know what will happen.

    I have seen people like you, Ryan, Sam and others call me a liar, call names, say I am wrong about all sorts of things, etc, but at the same time refuse to post any varifiable evidence backing up what you say.

    Time and time again I have invited you to keep the debate in the facts and ideas but you refuse. Instead you smear people, you smear me, Sandy was smeared in a similar fashion, yet not a one of you will even attempt to have an honest debate, or post varifiable facts that can stand up to honest debate.

    You and Ryan and Sam, simply are too cowardly to take all your name calling and self proclaimed wisdom and put it on the line in front of the student body. You do that because you know that you are not only dishonest, but you simply cannot back up what you say.

    Having seen you, and the likes of you, engage in such behavior time and time again, now I just challenge you to back up your lies and smears in front of the student body and time and time again you prove what a coward you are. You have no substance to your lies, arguments, and claims, and other people who read this blog know it as well as you and I do.

    You have proven with your behavior that you are nothing more than a smear merchant and a coward. You have demonstrated that you are incapable of having an honest public debate with varifiable evidence. The difference between you and I, is that I am not afraid to back up what I say either in front of the student body, or when looking you in the eye.

    Since day one with you Andrew and the rest of your smear crew, (there are two andrews who post here so dont get confused please) I have asked you over and over; “Where is your varifiable refutation?” and time and time again the only response is more name calling.

  38. Chuck Norton said

    Scott Gorney,

    What party leadership voted for the 80 Billion to fund the troops before he voted against it?

    What party asked for a nuclear freeze in the middle of the cold war?

    What party had a cow when Reagan walked out of Iceland?

    What party had a cow when Reagan deployed the missiles in Europe?

    What party has always opposed, and still largly opposes SDI missile defense while N. Korea has fired a missile that landed off the coast of Hawaii??

    What party had a cow when Reagan said “tear down this wall”?

    What party had a cow when Reagan called Russia and “Evil Empire”?

    What party had a cow when Reagan insisted on “Trust but Verify”?

    What party has George McGovern advising them right now on Iraq/Iran policy?

    What President set the doctrine for pre-emptive war on September 11th 1941? (Answer FDR)

    Lesson learned, todays Democratic Party leadership looks nothing like FDR and Truman and looks a whole lot more like George McGovern.

  39. Bret Matrix said

    Andrew, Filmer, that is,

    Ok, “non-citizens” was poor word choice. I thought about it afterwards, and it was a poor choice. What can I say, I was in a hurry. However, if you are on a student visa, or some other legal way of being here, you are covered. However, there is a difference between being an invited guest and being detained. Those who are detained are detained because we don’t want them to harm our citizens. Prisoners of war, enemy combatants, detainees, etc. do not have rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

    Let me address your other question. I was a student last year, and yes I use a fake name (my favorite rocker and favorite movie). I would encourage everyone to do so. A few years ago I was a victim of identity fraud, so now everything I do online is under a fake name. Especially on a blog such as this, with high emotions and high intelligence, you don’t want to tick off the wrong person and have them destroy your credit, like mine was. And even more so with the propensity of the bloggers on this site to look people up in the people finder, google, and the phone book. Never have I seen a blog with so many people trying to personally contact each other.

    Bret

  40. Chuck,

    Here’s the biggest myth of them all: Ronald Reagan won the “Cold War”. In reality, Reagan did nothing to bring down the Soviet Union.

    By 1980, the Soviet Union was trying to cut its own defense spending. Reagan made it harder for them to do so. In fact, Reagan increased the possibility of a nuclear war because he was — frankly, and sadly — senile. He thought we could actually recall submarine-launched nuclear missiles (talk about a Reagan myth), and bullied the Soviets to highest alert several times.

    Critically, Reagan never even tried to bring down the Soviet Union. Blind hero worship of Reagan – which ignores the facts and spouts pure fantasy – is a testimony to the great Reagan public relations operation. Reagan’s handlers were among the best at putting the best spin on events, and in Reagan they had a trained actor able to hit his mark and fake any emotion they needed at the time.

    Reagan clearly did NOT win the Cold War. It’s foolish to claim that anything he did decisively undermined the Soviet Union. In fact, Reagan lifted crushing sanctions Carter put on the USSR, enabling them to stave off their hard currency crunch. Reagan rhetoric aside, he actually made the USSR stronger than they would have been.

    Reagan’s aggressiveness undermined Soviets with a cooperative bent like Gorbachev and empowered hard-liners in the USSR. Reagan’s “jokes” about attacking the Soviets nearly provoked WW III as Andropov put their nuclear missiles on the highest alert – closest to launch.

    Reagan didn’t “win the cold war” – in fact he didn’t even try to defeat the USSR. Reagan claimed the USSR was a threat to attack the USA, and even insisted the Soviet Union had a more powerful military. Reagan called this “the Window of Vulnerability.”

    After Reagan left office, he visited the USSR where he said it was no longer “the Evil Empire” and predicted his “friend” Gorbachev would continue to lead the USSR for many years to come.

    Mere months later, a surprise kidnapping / coup swept the Soviets from power. Nothing Reagan did made that fluke more likely and nothing Reagan did made certain that the hard-right conspiracy would fail when Boris Yeltsin stood up to the tanks.

    It could have easily turned the other way, with a junta of generals prevailing and heating up the Cold War. Reagan didn’t win the Cold War, we’re lucky he didn’t start WW III. The bravery of Yeltsin and Gorbachev, rather than anything Reagan did, brought about freedom in the former Soviet empire.

    Wasteful overspending on defense didn’t end the Soviet Union. In fact, it played into the hands of authoritarian “Communist” hard-liners in the Kremlin. Reagan thought the Soviet Union was more powerful than we were. He was trying to close what he called “the window of vulnerability.”

    This was sheer idiocy. No general in our military would trade our armed forces for theirs. If it were to happen, none of the Soviet military command would turn down that deal. We had better systems, better troops, and better morale.

    Here’s the truth: we’d already won the Cold War before Reagan took office. All Reagan needed to do was continue the tried-and-true containment policies Harry S. Truman began and all subsequent presidents employed. The Soviet Union was Collapsing from within. The CIA actually told this to Reagan as he took office.

    Here’s an example: the Soviet Union military couldn’t deal with a weak state on its own border, the poor, undermanned Afghanistan. Most of the Soviets’ military might had to make sure its “allies” in the Warsaw Pact and subjects along the South Asian front didn’t revolt. Even Richard Nixon told Reagan he could balance the budget with big defense cuts. Reagan ignored this, and wrecked our budget.

    We didn’t have to increase weapons spending, but Reagan didn’t care. He ran away from summits with the dying old-guard Soviets, and the new-style “glasnost” leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev baffled the witless Reagan and his closed-minded extremist advisors.

    Maggie Thatcher finally cajoled the Gipper into meeting Gorby, and Gorby cleaned Reagan’s clock. Reagan’s hard-right “handlers” nearly had to drag Reagan out of the room before he signed away our entire nuclear deterrent. Reagan — and the planet — was lucky Gorbachev sought genuine and stable peace. Had Yuri Andropov’s health held, Reagan’s “jokes” and gaffes might have caused World War III.

    Eventually Reagan even gave Gorbachev his seal of approval. Visiting Moscow before the August Coup, Reagan said the Soviet Union was no longer the “Evil Empire.” He predicted his friend Gorbachev would lead the Soviet Union for many years to come.

    As usual, Reagan was wrong. A few months later, disgruntled military officers kidnapped Gorbachev, throwing him out of power forever. Reagan remained disengaged: nothing he did caused the coup, and nothing he did made the Soviet military support Boris Yeltsin over their superiors. We’re all fortunate things happened as they did — but once again, Reagan did nothing to make this fluke more likely.

    All this is vintage Reagan. Reagan took credit for others’ hard word and hard choices, and blamed them for his failures. Reagan even blamed Jimmy Carter for Reagan’s foolish, fatal, and reckless decision to leave 243 Marines stationed in Beirut, helpless and unguarded.

    Scott Gorney

  41. Jarrod,

    Please dont let my status as a veteran deter you from debating with me. I dont like to hide behind my veteran status .

    Scott Gorney

  42. Andrew said

    But Chuck, I was so hoping to hear your refutation of my points. All you can do is call me a coward. It’s a delicate distinction, but I never called you any names, I just said you were acting like a jerk. I think quite a few people would agree with me.

    Please address my points:

    a) You act like a jerk.
    b) Reality has a liberal bias.
    c) America thinks Bush is messing things up.
    d) You should get a job as Bozo the Conservative Clown. You could do everything you do now, and people would take you more seriously! Everybody wins.

  43. Rachel Custer said

    Scott,

    Thank you for the amusing use of satire to make your point that Reagan did, in fact, win the Cold War…it was one of the most effective uses of satirical doublespeak and rewriting of history I have heard since 1984! I loved it, and am still laughing. You are a great writer.

    A. Fan

  44. Sam said

    Jarrod: the word is “veteran”.

    Chuck: the word is “verifiable”.

    Trite observations in and of themselves, I understand, but given your editorial roles in this publication, you should know how to spell these words. This isn’t a matter of rapid typing, but literally not knowing how to spell such basic words. I understand you are both undergraduates, but still you should be able to spell those words.

    Also Chuck, for Christ’s sake, I already told you that I am not affiliated with IUSB. I live 400 miles away. Having said that, even if I were an IUSB student, I wouldn’t dignify your nonsense with a childish, cafeteria debate. Does that solve issues for you? Is that what it boils down to in the world of Chuck Norton?

    I have read the view expressed by Scott Gorney before. What is the basis for haughtily dismissing everything he wrote as satirical doublespeak? Where is the “debate”, now that someone with views contrary to the IUSB editorial staff has bothered to chime in with some level of detail? Who is challenging any of the specific assertions or interpretations he bothered to make?

    Intelligent Design enthusiasts have been trying to goad those who acknowledge the reality of common descent into a “debate” forum for years now, and very deliberately so – but only to suggest, diabolically, to the general public that the issue is worth debating to begin with.

    There is too much explicit emphasis on “debating” and “refuting” in this weblog.

  45. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    I agree with the last statement. It gets a little tiring debating and refuting on here. I usually learn more by bouncing ideas off of people and having them say, “Yes, but then what if…”

    However, I used a bit of hyperbole when I wrote the A. Fan comment because it is generally accepted historical fact that Reagan was instrumental in winning the Cold War. It is frustrating when people try to rewrite history to fit their ideology.

    Now, I know someone is going to come back with some kind of response like “Rachel, please give links proving your claim that….” And I agree with you, that gets annoying. Anyway, that was just to explain why I posted that comment. Thanks for the intelligent comments.

  46. Sam said

    Hi Rachel,

    Please provide links proving your claim that….

    Ha ha :):):)

    An old statistical adage is that correlations do not infer cause and effect. Even so, humans are inclined to utilize intuition and suggest otherwise. The extreme genotype of this, in the political realm, underpins the phrase “on your watch”. Good as well as not-so-good things have occurred on the watches of Reagan, Clinton, and Dubya during their tenures as president.

    I tend to agree with you, however. In my opinion, the U.S. persona that Reagan helped foster at the time likely played some role in the conclusion of the Cold War.

    Likewise, I think that the wonderful U.S. economy and world reputation inherited by Dubya in 2000 not only occurred on Clinton’s watch but resulted from his leadership as well.

    The fact that 9/11 and Katrina both occurred on Dubya’s watch certainly does not render him responsible. On the other hand, I would say that our now-disastrous world reputation and the enormous political, social, economical and humanistic blunder that was the invasion of Iraq are both due to the current Bush administration. Signs of recovering economy have little to do with his selective tax cuts.

    I challenge anyone to refute or disprove the facts reported above. If they have any guts, they shall do so via live debate in the IUSB cafeteria before the student body (over dessert and cognac).

    :):)

    Sam

  47. Erkki KochKetola said

    Rachel:

    Something being a “generally accepted historical fact” does not make it true. Speaking as someone who studies history, a great many of the “facts” that people believe to be true are often anything but. It’s a generally accepted historical fact, for example, that Columbus was sailing to prove that the world was round, and that in so doing, he discovered America, and that this was a Good Thing(tm).

    But this is not true, for several reasons:
    First, no one in Columbus’ time who had any experience sailing or had a decent education believed that the world was flat; that the world is round had been known since antiquity.

    Second, Columbus was far from the first European to visit North America (indeed, he never actually made it to the mainland). The Norse first came here in the early Middle Ages.

    Third, Columbus’ assertions regarding the diameter of the Earth have long since been repudiated; he underestimated the size of the planet by about 15,000 km.

    Fourth, Columbus never acknowledged that he’d discovered a new land, he insisted until his dying day that he’d found Asia.

    Fifth, Columbus was a slaver and an extortionist (as were nearly all “great men” from Europe of the time).

    I could go on to point out all the ways in which popular understanding of Columbus is badly distorted from the historical realities, but I think the above list will suffice for now. My point in bringing this up is to demonstrate that history is written and rewritten from ideological points of view, and that such writing and rewriting is inevitable. People attempting to reassess Reagan’s legacy and “diminish” his “achievements” do so for a number of reasons, including the simple fact that they don’t believe that “Great Men Make History.” The “Reagan won the Cold War” meme is a perpetuation of this Whiggish theory of historiography, in which it’s only the leaders that count for something, and anything anyone does while they’re around is a reflection on their great leadership – having absolutely nothing to do with any great leadership anyone else is displaying. That is to say, when one says that “Reagan won the Cold War” one “rewrites history to fit one’s ideology.”

  48. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    LOL on providing a link. I always appreciate discussing with you because there are ideas discussed rather than just ignored or refuted. It helps me learn things :). I DEFINITELY agree with you regarding things happening “on your watch.” First of all, many of the policies implemented by presidents, especially macroeconomic policies, take awhile to take effect; they are lagging indicators. I feel a little sorry for Bush that Katrina and 9/11 happened on his watch…he already had a lot of controversy surrounding the war, and I think most people would admit that even the President of the U.S. can’t control the weather, and there were many factors leading up to 9/11. You make a good point that this has happened to many Democratic presidents as well. (Of course, Clinton brought a lot of his problems with values voters on himself by getting it on in the Oval Office with an intern, but your point is a good one.)

    Erkki,

    Why is it that I can’t post things without references but you can? :) And I am not trying to refute your points about Columbus, but I think it bears remembering that there are still people alive who remember Reagan’s role in the Cold War, unlike the situation with Columbus (if you can find any contemporaries of Columbus, I would be VERY interested in meeting them.)

    Also, you state, “My point in bringing this up is to demonstrate that history is written and rewritten from ideological points of view, and that such writing and rewriting is inevitable.” We need to be careful when making statements like this, in my opinion, as it is akin to saying, “People lie, and it is inevitable,” and then drawing the conclusion that that then makes the lies the truth. This seems to be the conclusion you are willing to draw when it comes to rewriting history. Perhaps it is inevitable – it does not make it true. There is such a thing as absolute wrong and right, black and white, Erkki. Not wanting it to be true doesn’t make it so.

  49. Rachel Custer said

    Errki,

    By the way, you use the word “meme” on more than one post on this blog. Can you explain what you believe this word to mean?

  50. Jarrod Brigham said

    Just for clarification, Chuck Norton is not an editor for the Vision. The editorial staff consists of Craig, Stacy, and myself. Chuck, Andrew, and Ryan are often consulted, but they are not editors.

  51. Erkki KochKetola said

    Alright, my information comes from the Wikipedia article on Columbus, and the Wikipedia article on Earth (where it shows the size of the Earth).

    With regards to writing and rewriting history, I simply can’t argue with you if you don’t understand basic historiography. Simply put, everyone who writes history has an agenda. Whether that agenda is to discover the “truth” (which necessarily implies that the truth value of some statement about some aspect of history is in question), or to deliberately falsify the historical record (as Holocausts revisionists do), you’re coming at history with a background of historical education and understanding that has already fixed certain features of history to accord with your broader world-view. It’s not a question of conscious distortion, it’s just a question of you unconsciously selecting facts and data that fits with the values, historiographical approaches, and broader political agenda that you hold because these are always operating and influencing your perception of reality. They necessarily influence your approach to your sources.

    At times, people do seek to “insert” or “erase” “facts” in the historical record; this is deliberate falsification, and is completely different to the sort of unconscious influences that color your view of history. Historians are supposed to be as unbiased as we possibly can, but the process of writing history is an active one, not passive, and we’re always trying to use history to justify ourselves. What we consider factual and what we consider of dubious historicity has a lot to do with what we’ve been taught is an appropriate way of determining the historical authenticity of a particular source.

    Historians don’t write history; they re-write it, summarize it, interpret it, and give it meaning. Meaning, of course, is a social construct, and historians are just as susceptible to the opinion of their peers and their own prejudices as anyone else.

    As to what “meme” means: A meme is the self-replicating unit of culture, which, like a virus, is transmitted from one person to another. Richard Dawkins originally came up with the idea, and it’s a useful concept. It’s sort of the building-block of culture, much like genes are the building-blocks of life (indeed, the word was chosen because of its resemblence to gene). I’m not using it in the strict sense, since I would say that “Reagan Won the Cold War” is a meme complex rather than an individual meme, but the word suffices as a convenient description of how Human culture is transmitted. I suggest consulting a dictionary or Wikipedia for more information.

  52. Ryan said

    Also interesting to note, it was a historical fact that no Asian people could ever beat westerners in combat, up until WW2. Until the war against Milosevic, it was a historical fact that an air war had never been successful without ground troops.

    Reagan was bad for this countries defense. I thought it was a ‘historical fact’ that his contribution to the USSR collapse was neglible, honestly. A well documented misconception brought up when conservatives wanted to claim a military success somewhere in the 20th century. Most good looks at the USSR though suggest it was well on its way. All the good President did was nearly get us all killed in the death throes of a rival superpower. Not to mention exploding our debt, and making sure my generation will be paying the itnerest on his insane spending for a long time to come. Luckily, we have GW to make sure any kids I have will have debts of their own to pay off. And we’re still wasting money on Reagans idiotic star wars idea.

    Now then, Chuck.
    “What party leadership voted for the 80 Billion to fund the troops before he voted against it? ”
    They voted for it when it was good, then it got re-worked, things were taken out that should have been in there, and it was voted against. Because it wasn’t the same. Nice try.

    “What party has always opposed, and still largly opposes SDI missile defense while N. Korea has fired a missile that landed off the coast of Hawaii??”
    The one with the sense to know our problems will come in a suitcase, not in a missile. The USSR is gone, and ‘off the coast of hawaii’ is another of your usual misrepresentatoins. The missile broke apart long before it got there. Besides, Hawaii is not the mainland. If they launched a missile there, we would have plenty to retaliate with. Attakcing there would be suicide for Kim. We’re alreayd spending billions on the missiles, no need for trillions on missile defense. Its called MAD strategy, and works quite well.

    Reagan saying tear down the wall, calling Russian an evil empire, and using trust but verify are irrelevant. aside from demonstrating that GW likes the fear mongering Reagan sued, as our axis of evil speech demonstrated.

  53. Sam said

    “Just for clarification, Chuck Norton is not an editor for the Vision.”

    I stand corrected.

  54. Sam said

    “Richard Dawkins originally came up with the idea, and it’s a useful concept. It’s sort of the building-block of culture, much like genes are the building-blocks of life (indeed, the word was chosen because of its resemblence to gene).”

    Uh-oh, I see we have another non-believer in the audience.

    (Applause.)

    Have you noticed all of the interviews that Dawkins has been doing lately? Check them out on YouTube.

    Incidentally I love Wikipedia.

    There’s a neat feature on the deliberately mistitled “God vs. Science” topic in the latest issue of Time, featuring Dawkins engaged in a spelndid discussion with Francis Collins, a geneticist and devout Christian. I couldn’t help but agree with both of them.

    On that note, here’s a book NOT to read: The Question of God, hypothetically pitting Sigmund Frued against C.S. Lewis. Written by a Christian psychiatrist, it shamelessly stacks the deck in favor of Christianity while purporting not to do so. What I can’t deal with is the element of dishonesty.

  55. Erkki KochKetola said

    Incidentally, do you folks have any intention of approving my posts on the Roger Waters thread? I find it amusing that someone chose to moderate me there. In view of the fact that “Bret” chose to claim that Rachel “sent me running” from a debate, I think it’s important to demonstrate that, far from being “sent running,” I aggressively defended my thesis.

  56. Rachel Custer said

    Errki,

    Here’s the thing. I don’t consider everything I say a “thesis”. It takes enough of my life defending my theses in class. So forgive me if I don’t aggresively defend every opinion I happen to hold.

    I have read about the concept of memes, just wondered what you were thinking when you used and re-used the word. Frankly, I think the whole concept is crap.

    And I was not discussing historiography. I was discussing history. Some history is just fact. It’s what happened. It’s especially amusing when people attempt to change recent history. I repeat, there are STILL PEOPLE ALIVE who lived through the Cold War and understand exactly what Reagan did.

    Yes, everyone’s experiences influence the way they view things. However, rather than just accepting it as fact the idea that “people are going to distort history whether they want to or not, so we might as well just allow history to be distorted,” is ludicrous. There are some people, believe it or not, who at least attempt to stay neutral.

  57. Erkki KochKetola said

    Rachel:

    You appear to have misunderstood what history and historiography are. History is meaningless without historiography. Your comment, for example, that “there are STILL PEOPLE ALIVE who lived through the Cold War and understand exactly what Reagan did,” is a historiographical interpretation about the primacy of primary sources (people who were there to see it happen and the evidence they provide in their writing, etc.). As it happens, both my parents lived through the Cold War, and I lived through its closing phase – I’m old enough to remember, for example, “Star Wars” and the fall of the Berlin wall. I also remember the attempted coup against Gorbachev and what a hero Yeltsin was when he so bravely stood up against the tanks (or, at least, how he was portrayed by our media). I turned 13 that year.

    No history is “just fact.” History (in the sense in which we’re speaking of it) is an interpretation of the facts, an ordering of data that produces a coherent narrative about the past. This is also called historiography. Have I mentioned that I’m a history major? I know Jarrod’s taking H217 this semester; maybe you should check with him about historiography and history.

    Finally, I didn’t say that “people are going to distort history whether they want to or not, so we might as well just allow history to be distorted.” A more accurate formulation of that statement would be to replace distort with interpret. Again, check with Jarrod on this one; you might want to borrow his copy of Gilderhus (History and Historians), although it’s pretty dry reading. History is of necessity filtered through the lens of time and of human perception, as is our understanding of reality; we call this interpretation. We weren’t there, and even if we were, we’re not omniscient (this is something I believe you reserve for your God; I don’t think anyone can be all-knowing, because this violates causality), so we don’t have the whole story. All we have is our interpretation of events, which can be aided or hampered by circumstance and tools.

    Historians, like lawyers, physicists, psychologists, etc. have rules on how to interpret evidence in order to minimize the degree to which bias is allowed to color our selection and use of data. But we recognize that it is simply impossible to be completely neutral, for several reasons: (1) you’re not going to research a topic if you’re absolutely ambivalent about it; (2) your belief systems will necessarily color what kind of narrative you construct about the data you’re using (for example, you think women’s lib was bad, I disagree, and we both point to evidence to support our positions – clearly, our belief systems are at work here; I am extremely unlikely to be convinced by your arguments, since I am more likely to cite other factors (our patriarchal, white supremacist leaders using their access to power to punish people who work against them and reward people who work for them, just to pick an example) to explain any decline in women’s status since the end of the last major “wave” of feminism that you might be able to demonstrate); and (3) your own previous research and education on a subject will set the framework in which you evaluate your evidence.

    This is a recognition that Humans cannot be 100% objective and unbiased, but we come as close as we can while not preventing ourselves from doing useful, meaningful work in our fields because we’re never 100% certain we’re right. That very uncertainty is what allows science to advance.

  58. Sam said

    “Incidentally, do you folks have any intention of approving my posts on the Roger Waters thread? I find it amusing that someone chose to moderate me there.”

    Same here – I just wrote a detailed comment pertaining to the ID/evolution topic, and it is under moderation as well.

    Perhaps nonbelievers simply require moderation :)

  59. Rachel Custer said

    Guys,

    Don’t get too freaked out about the moderation…I too had a comment under moderation for awhile. So it’s not a conspiracy of believers. :)

    Errki,

    We are agreed that human beings can never be 100 percent objective. The issue I was more referring to can more accurately be described as an active subversion of the truth. And while I’m sure you will never agree, there ARE people out there who are actively attempting to alter history to fit their political agendas. And which party has a political agenda to change history as regarding Reagan and his accomplishments?

    That’s my point.

  60. Erkki KochKetola said

    In fact, if you’d taken the time to read my posts thoroughly, you would see that I clearly stated that there are people who are trying to alter history to their political agendas. That you made that statement is clear evidence that you are not considering a damned thing I say, and simply repeating what you want to believe in spite of evidence to the contrary. Reagen and his so-called “accomplishments” include a great deal more than just “winning the Cold War.” They also include running up the federal deficit to unprecedented levels, launching another round of counterinsurgency campaigns in Latin America, support of drug-smugglers (the Contras), and ramping up support to the Mujahidin in Afghanistan then walking away when it was no longer convenient, just to name a few.

    But it’s possible to be an objective historian and conclude that Reagan’s record is overrated (indeed, it’s possible to not be “liberal” or “left” or however you want to term those of us who aren’t stuck in late antiquity with your lot, and believe that Reagan was overrated; I’m sure a neo-Nazi would be disappointed that Reagan didn’t start a race war and wipe out everyone who’s not white, for example). It all depends on what you think is right, good, bad, wrong, or what-have-you. Objectivity seems to depend on where you stand; you seem to believe that I’m not objective, and I would say that I am more objective than you are.

    Incidentally, if you’re implying that Democrats are out to get Reagan, I have a news flash for you: I’ve been contemptuous of Reagan’s presidency for years, and I’ve long since abandoned the Democratic Party (I’ve never registered Democratic, and have to hold my nose so I can’t detect the rotten stench of corruption about them when I can bring myself to vote for them; this is in stark contrast to the Republicans, whose stench is so overpowering that, short of destroying my olfactory system, I can’t block it). There are many “conservatives” who thought that Reagan running up the deficit was bad, and believed that he was too soft on the Soviets; some wanted him to nuke Moscow and be done with it. So…yeah. Lots of people have issues with Reagan, it’s not just the Democrats.

    Sorry, better luck with your non sequiturs next time.

  61. Rachel Custer said

    Erkki,

    How many times must I be referred to as “your lot”? It grows tiresome. I am finding your tone to have a lot in common with what you purport to dislike so much about Chuck. You consistently lump me in with unsavory characters, stereotype every Christian and every conservative, and assume that I am just like the rest of them, and attempt to talk down to me as if you are more intelligent and educated than I am.

    Have you ever considered that perhaps you just take this blog far more seriously than I do? I personally don’t have the time nor the inclination to spend hours and hours “backing up my thesis” and “refuting” yours. I have said, time and time again, I like to bounce ideas off people and see what they come back with so I can learn things. I have learned things in this discussion with you, so mission accomplished.

    I am getting kind of tired of beating the dead horse, as I believe I also just stated on the other thread. How ’bout we agree to disagree and move on?

  62. Erkki KochKetola said

    Agreed.

  63. Sam said

    I’ll concur with the spirit of Rachel’s comments here.

    For one thing, I would never ever Rachel her in the company of Chuck Norton (not certain that Erkki has either). That has been quite obvious to me for some time.

  64. Chuck Norton said

    Well now that Andrew has confirmed that he will never back up anything he says with any verifiable facts… what is next, who is next ?

    As far as Reagan running up the deficit, there are a few mitigating circumstances.

    1. The cold war had to be won, he plain bankrupted the Soviets with an arms race they could not win, certainly worth the cost, unless of course, you lament the loss of your precious Soviet Union.

    2. Reagan had a Democrat controlled spend like mad Congress he had to deal with. Spending bills do start in the House you know.

    3. The tax cuts actually raised a great deal of revenue, but spending was higher than the new revenue.

    4. This was during the cold war and the 24/7 nuclear triangle was in full operation, so vetoing the budget and shutting down the government was not a viable option.

    It is important to remember that context matters.

    I was serving in the military during the final years of the cold war.

  65. Andrew said

    But Chuck, you aren’t addressing my points! I backed up my statements with as much fact as you do :( this makes me feel sad inside.

    If I put fancy little numbers by some words, will that help you?

    1) You act like a jerk.
    2) One time, in Florida, I lost my pet frog.
    3) You act like a jerk.
    4) Reagan played lead in a movie called “Bedtime for Bonzo”, a heartwarming story about a family that adopted a monkey or something. I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve never been able to take Reagan seriously either. So he’s a little bit like you in this sense. Does that make you feel warm and cuddly?
    5) I have more bullets than you do now, looks like I can claim victory. How do you like them apples?

    p.s. (Speaking of apples), let us suppose that Jimmy has four apples, which he bought for 25 cents each, and he sells them to Suzy for 20 cents each, but at the end of the day, he has made $400.00 from the sale of these apples to Suzy. Question: How can this be?

    Answer: The Bush economy’s magical money gnomes paid Jimmy $400.20 for selling his apples. The gnomes were busy, because finding a way to make tax cuts generate money revenue is hard, but they found time for Jimmy, proving that the Bush Administration cares about small business owners, not just the rich people (like the guys who run Halliburton), as the Democrats (I mean DUMOcrats!) would have you believe. Jimmy went on to become an successful entrepreneur, thanks to several no-bid government contracts he received. Again, this only goes to show that the Bush Administration cares about Small Business; they would never give such contracts to mega-corporations such as Halliburton.

    So that was a long postscript, but I hope you will be understanding, Chuck. Somehow I feel sure that I can count on your continued tolerance.

  66. Rachel Custer said

    Andrew,

    I like this form of refutation. Even I can do this!

    1. My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor.
    2. I too lost a pet, a dog. He ran away to meet up with a female dog in heat. I understood…he was lonely.
    3. I admit, sometimes I act like a jerk.
    4. I have never seen any of Ronald Reagan’s movies, but I have seen Predator with Ah-nold.
    5. I hate wearing pantyhose.

    SWEET! A successful refutation! I love this new way of debating. Great invention, Andrew.

  67. Sam said

    I especially appreciate #5 (from Rachel).

    Sam

  68. Sam said

    “I was serving in the military during the final years of the cold war.”

    Big deal, in terms of the extent to which one is supposed to increase one’s appreciation for the intellectual fortitude of your comments.

    “Well now that Andrew has confirmed that he will never back up anything he says with any verifiable facts… what is next, who is next ?”

    Heavens, not me. Me shivereth at the prospect.

    Chuck Norton: Whirl Champeen Debator on the IUSB Vision weblog and, more importantly, in the IUSB student cafeteria.

    Props.

  69. Craig Chamberlin said

    lol

  70. Rachel said

    Sam,

    Thank you for your concurrence on point 5. It’s something I think should be an issue in the next election.

    You crack me up!

  71. Sam said

    Rachel,

    No, I mean to say appreciates that YOU not wear pantyhoses.

    Sorry, on a Borat kick at the moment. Just say no to YouTube.

    … High five!

    :):)

  72. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    HEY…is that a slam? Haven’t seen Borat yet, but want to.

  73. Sam said

    No, it was not a slam by any means. You see… oh well, forget it. (Anyway, not a slam.)

    :)

    Borat is a must-see, but brace yourself. A flexible “senses of humor” is necessary.

    It’s nice… you like!

    P.S. Maybe Borat himself would make for an interesting, separate thread.

  74. Craig Chamberlin said

    All this memeing has my pantyhose in a Dolchstoßlegende. Someone should check whether the ID of those hyper-partisians is dumb-luck or evolved…

  75. Sam said

    Okay, that was excellent :)

  76. Rachel Custer said

    LOL Craig

  77. scott Gorney said

    I get so tired of revisionists trying to remake the 1980’s and the Reagan years something they were not. Let’s take a look at some myths spewed by right wing Republicans in an attempt to justify their idiotcy.

    Let’s begin our examination of the real Reagan Legacy by taking a look at myth number one: Democrats dominated Congress all through Reagan’s terms, and called all his budgets Dead On Arrival.

    That’s numerically and historically false. Reagan’s people shoved his program through the Congress during the early Reagan years. James A. Baker, David Stockman and other Reaganites ran roughshod over Tip O’Neill and the divided Democrats in the House and Senate, and won every critical vote. This is because of the GOP majority in the Senate and the GOP-“Boll Weevil” (or “Dixiecrat”) coalition in the House.

    Phil Gramm was a House Democrat at the time, and he even sponsored the most important Reagan budgets. Only after the huge Reagan recession — made worse by utterly failed Reagan “Voodoo Economics” – did Democrats regain some control in Congress. They halted some Reagan initiatives, but couldn’t do much on their own. That was a time of gridlock.

    Six years into Reagan’s presidency, Democrats retook the Senate, and began to reverse some of Reagan’s horrendous policies. By that time, Reaganomics had “accomplished” quite a bit: doubled the national debt, caused the S&L crisis, and nearly wrecked the financial system.

    Which brings us to myth number two: Jimmy Carter wrecked the economy, and Reagan’s bold tax cuts saved it. This is utterly absurd. Economic growth indices — GDP, jobs, revenues — were all positive when Carter left office. All plunged after Reagan policies took effect.

    Reagan didn’t cure inflation, the main economic problem during the Carter years. Carter’s Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker tried when he raised interest rates. That’s the opposite of what Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has done to keep inflation low.

    Carter’s policies and people fought inflation, but maintained real growth. On the other hand, Reagan’s policies helped cause the worst recession since the Great Depression: two bleak years with nearly double-digit unemployment! Reaganomics failed in less than a year, and it took an entire second year for the economy to recover from the failure.

    Carter didn’t cause the inflation problem, but his tough policies and smart personnel solved it. Unfortunately for Carter, it took too long for the good results to kick in. Not only didn’t Reagan help whip inflation, he actually opposed the Volcker policies!

    Another major myth: Reagan cut taxes on all Americans, and that led to a great expansion. Here’s the truth: the total federal tax burden increased during the Reagan years, and most Americans paid more in taxes after Reagan than before. The “Reagan Recovery” was unremarkable. It looks great only contrasted against the dismal Reagan Recession — but it had nothing to do with Supply Side voodoo.

    With a red ink explosion — $300 BILLION deficits looming as far as the eye could see — GOP Senators, notably including Bob Dole, led the way on tax hikes. The economy enjoyed its recovery only after total tax increases larger than the total tax cuts were implemented. Most importantly, average annual GDP growth during the Reagan 80s was lower than during the Clinton 90s or the JFK-LBJ 60s!

    Chuck, I am sure they offer a few history classes here at IUSB that could shed some light on the subject for you.

    Scott Gorney

  78. Rachel Custer said

    Scott,

    I think one important thing to consider is that many of the economic indicators you mention are lagging indicators. Therefore, the economy DURING Reagan’s early presidency probably doesn’t indicate as much about his policies as does the economy after he left office. The huge ship that is the nation’s economy doesn’t just turn on a dime.

  79. Sam said

    Rachel,

    I understand your point about lagging indicators – you mentioned this previously as well.

    Having stated that, eight years isn’t exactly a sneeze.

    So for example, the solid economy that Bush inherited from Clinton – and this is only my opinion of course – was likely due to his administration.

    Anyway… :)

    I wonder if Chuck will respond to Scott Gorney’s post.

    Sam

  80. Rachel Custer said

    Sam,

    Point taken on eight years. I was more referring to early in peoples’ presidencies…not just Reagan, either. So yes, the economy near the beginning of Bush’s presidency very well could have been Clinton’s doing…to be honest, I don’t know enough to speak intelligently on it.

    Of course, many would say I don’t know enough to speak intelligently on anything…:)

  81. Sam said

    Same here in terms of being able to comment intelligently on economic issues.

    Don’t sell yourself short. You speak well on many issues.

    Anyway… where’s Chuck?

    :)

  82. Andrew said

    I think my masterful rebuttal has left Chuck (for the first time in his life) at a loss for words. That’s pretty special.

  83. Sam said

    He’s gearing up to kick all of our asses in one fell swoop, Gorney included.

    I took two extra strength Tylenol just moments ago, in case I am awake for the whoopin’.

  84. Chuck Norton said

    Andrew, even if I am a jerk, you still have posted no effective refutation, you have still not been able back up what you say with anything we can check.

    So that leaves me with, me being a jerk and you being either a liar or too ignorant to matter.

  85. Chuck Norton said

    Scott,

    Would you like to debate the issue with me in public. I know the economic record of that time period cold and I have the data to back it up.

    The old, the Congress wasnt really democrat because Phill Gramm was going to switch to Republican argument is laughable. The dems had a working majority in the House and much of the time in the Senate.

    By the way, I have articles you have written with the exact point of view I am saying and with some of the known facts.

  86. Chuck Norton said

    Individual tax revenues 1980 – $244,068,898
    Individual tax revenues 1989 – $445,163,230
    Total increase – $201,094,332
    % increase – 82.4% increase in revenues
    Average annual inflation rate 1980-1989 – 4.82%

    Corporate tax revenues 1980 – $64,599,673
    Corporate tax revenues 1989 – $102,999,115
    Total increase – $38,399,442
    % increase – 59.4% increase in revenues
    Average annual inflation rate 1980-1989 – 4.82%

  87. Chuck Norton said

    Freaking wordpress wont let me post the rest of the numbers for some reason, I hit enter and nothing happens.

    Essentially it is this, the top marginal tax rate in 1980 was 70% and in 1989 it was 28%. So tax rates dropped a great deal and government revenue shot up. GDP shot up, unemployment went down, inflation went down. I have all the raw data in my archive.

  88. Chuck Norton said

    Economic Growth. The average annual growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) from 1981 to 1989 was 3.2 percent per year, compared with 2.8 percent from 1974 to 1981 and 2.1 percent from 1989 to 1995. The 3.2 percent growth rate for the Reagan years includes the recession of the early 1980s, which was a side effect of reversing Carter’s high-inflation policies, and the seven expansion years, 1983-89. During the economic expansion alone, the economy grew by a robust annual rate of 3.8 percent. By the end of the Reagan years, the American economy was almost one-third larger than it was when they began. [13] Figure 1 shows the economic growth rate by president since World War II. That rate was higher in the 1980s than in the 1950s and 1970s but was substantially lower than the rapid economic growth rate of more than 4 percent per year in the 1960s. The Kennedy income tax rate cuts of 30 percent that were enacted in 1964 generated several years of 5 percent annual real growth.

    Economic Growth per Working-Age Adult. When we adjust the economic growth rates to take account of demographic changes, we find that the expansion in the Reagan years looks even better and that the 1970s’ performance looks worse. GDP growth per adult aged 20-64 in the Reagan years grew twice as rapidly, on average, as it did in the pre- and post-Reagan years.

    Median Household Incomes. Real median household income rose by $4,000 in the Reagan years–from $37,868 in 1981 to $42,049 in 1989, as shown in Figure 2. This improvement was a stark reversal of the income trends in the late 1970s and the 1990s: median family income was unchanged in the eight pre-Reagan years, and incomes have fallen by $1,438 in the anti-supply-side 1990s, following the 1990 and 1993 tax hikes. [14] Most of the declines in take-home pay occurred on George Bush’s watch. Under Bill Clinton’s tenure, there has been zero income growth in median household income.

    Employment. From 1981 through 1989 the U.S. economy produced 17 million new jobs, or roughly 2 million new jobs each year. Contrary to the Clinton administration’s claims of vast job gains in the 1990s, the United States has averaged only 1.3 million new jobs per year in the post-Reagan years. The labor force United States has averaged only 1.3 million new jobs expanded by 1.7 percent per year between 1981 and 1989, but by just 1.2 percent per year between 1990 and 1995. [15]

    Unemployment Rate. When Reagan took office in 1981, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. In the recession of 1981-82, that rate peaked at 9.7 percent, but it fell continuously for the next seven years. When Reagan left office, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. This reduction in joblessness was a clear triumph of the Reagan program. Figure 3 shows that in the pre-Reagan years, the unemployment rate trended upward; in the Reagan years, the unemployment rate trended downward; and in the post-Reagan years, the unemployment rate has fluctuated up and down but today remains virtually unchanged from the 1989 rate.

    Productivity. For real wages to rise, productivity must rise. Over the past 30 years there has been a secular downward trend in U.S. productivity growth. Under Reagan, productivity grew at a 1.5 percent annual rate, as shown in Figure 4. This was lower than in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s but much higher than in the post-Reagan years. Under Clinton, productivity has increased at an annual rate of just 0.3 percent per year–the worst presidential performance since that of Herbert Hoover.

    Inflation. The central economic evil that Ronald Reagan inherited in 1981 from Jimmy Carter was three years of double-digit inflation. In 1980 the consumer price index (CPI) rose to 13.5 percent. By Reagan’s second year in office, the inflation rate fell by more than half to 6.2 percent. In 1988, Reagan’s last year in office, the CPI had fallen to 4.1 percent. Figure 5 shows the inflation and interest rate trend.

    Interest Rates. In 1980 the interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was 15 percent; this rate rose to its all-time peak of 18.9 percent in 1981. The prime rate steadily fell over the subsequent six years to a low of 8.2 percent in 1987 as the inflationary expectation component of interest rates fell sharply. The prime rate hit its 20-year low in 1993 at 6.0 percent. The Treasury Bill rate also fell dramatically in the 1980s–from 14 percent in 1981 to 7 percent in 1988. In the 1990s, interest rates have continued to migrate gradually downward, as shown in Figure 5.

    Source Cato Inst.

  89. Andrew said

    Why Chuck, those are some harsh words. I had such high hopes that you would return to civility. Keith Richards said that “Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you just get what you need”, and to this immortal statement, I append that most of the time, you get squat.

    In like of your aptitude for insisting (in spite of all evidence to the contrary) that white is really black, your continued refusal address to my main thesis (viz: you act like a jerk on the internet) amazes me.

    By the way, I think you might find kindred spirits and maybe as well. I like to bring people together, Chuck. I’m a uniter.

    p.s. Your posts are like school in summer.

  90. Andrew said

    So my first attempt at linking via wordpress is an abject failure.

    I wanted to share these websites with you, Chuck:

    ://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm

    http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/articles/science/scicreed.htm

    Please have a good look!

  91. Chuck Norton said

    Well Sam, you got your whoopin’. I hope the tylenol helped.

    By the way guys, I am still waiting for a residue of effective, well sourced refutation from you…. so far this semester you have come up with zero. I see no comments on this weeks article from me, whats the matter guys, truth hurt that bad?

    Wait till you see what the NYT has admitted this time in my article coming up, lots of this is going on because the press wants to get some credibility back after the election. All of you, “Iraq had no WMD programs either” suckers …. are not going to like what the NYT has reversed itself on and admitted this time.

  92. Chuck Norton said

    Andrew,

    Spare me the uniter garbage. You started out on here with the name calling, the lying comments and all that, I invited you into the arena of facts and ideas and you wont come, so now I get to taunt you and mock you all I like.

    So lets get one thing clear, I am a jerk to you because you are dishonest and you don’t back up what you say. You wont discuss the facts presented, you wont present any effective refutation.

    We both know that if you had what it takes between the ears to post some good refutation, or just engage me in the arena of facts and ideas you would, but you don’t because you cant.

    So I post article after article filled with verifiable facts, you call me names and make it your thesis that “I am a jerk” because you cant begin to make a thesis that shows that I am wrong or otherwise inaccurate.

    I will take accurate any day of the week.

    It is no different than when you and your crew smeared Sandy for her chivalry article.

    Andrew, you are a smear merchant who is devoid of any substance and you have proven that with your very own conduct on this board.

  93. Chuck Norton said

    PS

    Also, please spare us of your false claims of civility. You started out on this board smearing people. I invited you to discuss the facts like a gentleman and you refused. Now there is no point in being civil with you, you sling hate and not facts, and for that you have earned my contempt, and a healthy dose of laughing at you.

    People like you cannot be reasoned with, your partisan hatred and hypocrisy has obviously been your primary motivation is whatever you say here. After all, if it was mere gentlemenly disagreement you would have posted a few facts that we can check to make a real argument, but so far we have seen nothing of the kind.

    Respect is earned and you havent earned it. If someone wants to have an honest issue of disagreement with me they can post some facts and make an argument. I can respect Scott, at least he tries to make a real argument which is far and above over what you have done so far Andrew.

    If you try to make real argumnets instead of the smear job you normally engage in, I might even be nicer to you.

  94. Andrew said

    Well maybe your irony meter is as broken as your BS detector, because I’ve been mocking you for some time. Now you’re faced with the unhappy realization that mocking me is sadly unoriginal. Nothing new for you, I’m sure, but I thought I’d throw that out there.

    By the way, Chuck, you can say I’m dishonest as much as you like, but continued repetition does not truth make, neither does it make me care what you think. Find a new horse to beat, this one is starting to smell.

    Going into the ‘realm of facts and ideas’ (which, in my head, is like Pee Wee’s playhouse) with you would be crazy. There’s one fact in this magical wonderland of yours (you act like a jerk) and a lot of ideas. The ideas suck.

    I never called you names, Chuck. I did say that you act like a jerk. I did not say you are a jerk. You’re calling me a coward, and a liar, and some other stuff; I really don’t pay much attention. Why is it OK for you to call me names? This kind of arguing works fine in kindergarten, but now I’m a little old for it.

    We’ll make a little deal here, Chuck. You can go right ahead and come up with some statements that pass the laugh test, then I’ll refute them. This will be a first for you, but I’m willing to give it the old college try.

    We’ll make another deal, Chuck. You go through this chivalry thread, and you find where I called Sandy a name. Then you post it here. If you can’t do this, then I expect you to stand on your hands and recite “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. Backwards. I’d like to point out that I’m re-issuing this challenge, since you never took me up on it in Sandy’s thread. What’s the matter, Chuck? You aren’t chicken, are you? Are those pesky little facts getting in the way of your reality again? That’s awful, and I feel for you. I really do.

    It’s pretty cool that I have a crew now, though. We’re going to go out and get matching track suits. With your face on the back. We’re gonna look killer.

  95. Chuck,

    People do evolve, it is a sign of intelligence in a life form. I was once a resounding right winger, but I choose to investigate facts and logic that I was faced with, and found out that there is a better way. I consider myself a moderate(even after our conversation about moderates the other day), so I take some ideas from both parties. I just dont see things black and white because there are so many what if’s. I consider myself a moderate both socially and economicaly. As for the facts that I posted last time, my goal was not to refute that economic growth took place during the Reagan years, we all know that growth took place during the depression, but to point out, as many conservatives like to overlook, that Reagan raised taxes by $480 billion in 1986, with the Ominibus Budget Reconcilliation Act (OMBRA) of 1986. If you look at the data, most of the economic growth happend after the budget act was passed. My point is that supplyside tax cuts are very ineffective and inefficient, and unfair, and the Keynesian model is more effective,efficient, and produces much greater economic growth than the supplyside model. Finally, thank you for those kind words in your last post, I to respect you as a person and as an political adversary. I think you are a very intelligent person, since you and I have known each other for several years now, I just disgree with you politically.

    Scott Gorney

  96. Sam said

    “Well Sam, you got your whoopin’. I hope the tylenol helped.”

    Oh, man! I wasn’t able to sit down all of yesterday, even with the Tylenol. I can do so with a pillow anda tequila shot at the moment. Hoping to be somewhat back to normal by tomorrow. :)

    Sam

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