September 19, 2007

Bush/Cheney Conservatism--lie even when you know it is a lie

This whole MoveOn fracus is ridiculous. According to Crooks and Liars, our good friend John McCain not only suggested that MoveOn be kicked out of the country, but now uses them as a prop wherever he goes. They asked a damn question about the key political issue of the day. That is what we should all be doing. But the conservatives don't give a shit about that. They have seized on this as a wedge issue and now are lying about the NY Times giving them a reduced rate. And look who is leading the lie-fest? Dick Cheney.

I am so very tired of all of these people. The right wing has done so much to ruin our country. From demonizing government to politicizing every possible policy, they have undermined our very ability to live among each other. What is worse, they have demonstrated a completely disregard for the truth and lie whenever they want. John Kerry told us in the 04 race that Bush wanted to privatize SS and that the war was going to cost us way more than Bush said. The Bush people called Kerry names for both things. The right wing spin machine was in full throat about it. Right after the election, we find out that the cost of this war is well above what Bush promised, and also that his big initiative (failed, of course, because he has no real policies) was to privatize Social Security. They knew that in the fall, but honesty is, evidently, not a Christian virtue when it is practiced by the President.

I am so tired of them.

40 comments:

What does "is" mean? said...

And the Democrats have better answers?!?!

I cannot defend the Republicans, but some of the things the Dems have given us are just as bad... and I'm not just talking about Ted Kennedy.

The dems are great at pointing out what's wrong with the other side while conveniently avoiding any of their own solutions (remember, most of the dem leadership also agreed that Sadaam most likely had WMD's (of course Bush lied, THEY were just mistaken). The Dems are almost as good at fighting amongst themselves as they are fighting against the Right (it feels good to be "Right").

What would our world look like if Kerry had won? Gore? Give me a break... a HUGE break! Those two guys would be as hapless and do-nothing as the dems usually are.

At least one dem senator recently did what a member of such an immorally corrupt group of hedonists would naturally and eventually do... he filed suit against God.

If you want to criticize the repubs. then at least explain how having the other side in place at the top would make it any different. The dems can't even agree on what to do now. But hey, having Hollywood, the abortion industry, the immoral music industry, the porn industry, anyone willing to choose welfare over work, AND the French on your side must mean your doing something right.

Streak said...

You are obviously a troll, but had you read what I write here over the last few years, you would find me not presenting the Democrats as some perfect option.

But a hit and run comment is fun, isn't it. Stay away, unless you are willing to dialogue beyond what you gave here. I suspect you have been watching a little too much Hannity and O'Reilly if you really want to present the French as the bad guys.

Sigh.

Streak said...

Troll reminded me of something, however, with his/her cute little name, "what does "is" mean?" trying to reference Bill Clinton. After 7 years of Bush/Cheney, this asshat wants to reference Bill's parsing of the english language?

I think we should compile a list of similar language under the last regime with, you know, bigger consequences. I will start.

"What is the meaning of torture?"

"Clear Skies initiative"

"I don't recall. But no one was fired for improper reasons."

steve s said...

I think it is time to move on past the whole Clinton thing. I was certainly a major critic of him, but he is gone from office.

I was going to post some comments on "what does 'is' mean," but not if he (she?) isn't coming back.

Asshat-Troll said...

Q:"What is the meaning of torture?"
A:Aborting several million babies thanks to the left. When you rationalize that, anything's possible. Thanks Dems.

The problem with your not presenting ANYONE as a better option only shows that you're good at criticism, but not at thinking (two different things).

So you don't like Bush. Would you do better? I think maybe before you continue to masturbate to the party who is symbolized by a jackass, you might need to consider how bad so many things are thanks to their incomptence.

Streak said...

Troll

do you want to have a conversation or not? If so, then act decent. If not, then be gone. If you actually want to talk about this, you will find that we are willing to discuss this rationally. But none of us here have the patience for this kind of discourse.

Ball is in your court.

Newbie said...

Oh c'mon. You know as well as I do that every once in awhile everyone likes to just take off the gloves and call it like it is. You hate Bush and often mince no words in your distaste. I merely, did the same in pointing out that both parties are defunct in many ways. The libs hate anything morally rooted in the types of values that made us great. According to the Hollywood elite (and others of their ilk), we're always the bad guys and we hate all minorities (including lefties like myself).

The fact is, most presidents do what they can with the limited amount of donation-laden favors they have to repay in the relatively short amount of time they have in office (and as Mel Brook's so aptly stated in "Blazing Saddles," with leaders like Clinton... "Gentlemen... affairs of state must take precedence over... affairs of state.")

What do YOU propose we should have done in Iraq? Sadaam was itching to bring us down (as are many others). Why? What do we do with Al Quaida? Do we sit idly by and wait for another 9/11? Financial sanctions? Threats? We did what we could with the info we had and are doing so now. No its not perfect and no Bush isn't the greatest leader ever, but do you think he's got perfect information?

I don't care if they tap my phone or make me take my shoes off in the airport if it helps catch a terrorist. Hell, I don't even care if they humiliate and/or torture a few prisoners in the process of trying to ascertain where more might be. These people want the blood of our children to run in the streets because we somehow are great without the help of Allah and Mohammed. We support Israel. So what?

We SHOULD encourage peace, but sometimes you have to deal with people who don't want anything other than your total destruction. Usually the toughest guy in school only has to get into a couple of fights before people around him learn that they'll likely get their ass kicked if they mess with him. Doesn't mean he's a bully, just that he'll finish what someone else starts.

It's life. Things aren't perfect. Bush had to deal with the results of Clinton's refusal to take advantage of certain situations. Of course Clinton didn't know 9/11 would happen so can you really blame him for his hesitation to do something that, at the time, might have seemed a little aggressive?

Give us some hard-core alternatives to what our current policy is and tell us why they would work. Outline a competent strategy that makes more sense and tell us why. Yes, I'm new to this sight, but I could tell right away that you enjoy telling everyone why the current administration is FUBAR, but you haven't been as eager to describe an more suitable alternative.

Newbie said...

that should be "...new to this SITE." I'm not formerly blind as the initial comment might have implied.

steve s said...

I'll let Streak answer if he wants to, but let me take a stab. I came to this blog a while ago. I'll admit that part of me wanted to mix it up a little. I consider myself to be a conservative/independent. I have voted for people on both sides (though more Republicans) of the aisle, but I tend to be pragmatic, more than anything else. I also came here because I sincerely wanted to get some different viewpoints and challenge my own beliefs. I figured that if I couldn't logically and reasonably defend them, then I needed to reconsider them. I wasn't going to go just anywhere. There are plenty of blogs that are just mindless rants and nasty name-calling. No thanks. While this site is certainly left leaning, I think you'll find the posters to be mostly reasonable and courteous. If you want a blog that attacks both sides equally, good luck, I doubt there are many.

Let me address some of your comments:

"Sadaam was itching to bring us down (as are many others)."

I am sure he didn't like us, but how was he going to take us down? With his pretend WMD's? With his huge army? With his Air Force? Can you elaborate on this?

"Do we sit idly by and wait for another 9/11? "

We attacked Afghanistan, which was a wise move, with plenty of international support. Then we followed it up by attacking a country that had no connection to 9-11 or Al Qaeda. Brilliant!

"I don't care if they tap my phone or make me take my shoes off in the airport if it helps catch a terrorist."

Well, the Constitution cares (at least about the phone thing). It doesn't make an exception for terrorist catchin'.

"Give us some hard-core alternatives to what our current policy is and tell us why they would work. Outline a competent strategy that makes more sense and tell us why."

I wish I had the answers, but I'll admit that I don't. I don't see a good future for Iraq. As much of a bastard as Saddam was, I don't see things being much better in the future. We replaced a secular dictator with a fragile democracy. Have you read the Iraqi Constitution? It is based on Islamic Law. We have set the stage for theocratic government that will cause us (and themselves) problems in the future. I think that maybe the best thing for them would be to set up semi-autonomous states (like was done with the former Yugoslavia) and involve the UN, NATO, or the EU to help us with peacekeeping. I can't say this would be problem-free, but it would be more stable than what they have.

Then, we need to get out of there.

Streak said...

Ok, let's see where this goes. I certainly have flamed away at other sites, but usually found it less than satisfactory. If our disagreements are too wide, what is the point?

But let me see if I can address your points in a reasonable manner. But first, you should understand that our little group here is hardly what you seem to think it. Yes, many of us here, like me, are proudly liberal, but that does not mean that we are always happy with the Democratic party. In addition, we have several Republicans or former Republicans, and the one universally respected commentator is a conservative Southern Baptist homeschooling minister. So, when you say that we hate values that made American great, I think you might be speaking out of turn.

We can debate the Iraq war ad nauseum. I concede from the outset that many liberals also believed that Saddam (truly a bad person. no one here is a Saddam fan) had WMD and wanted to do bad things. Was he a threat to our security? I don't think so, but that is debatable. But lost in that argument is the fact that a good many people who believed he had weapons were adamantly opposed to an invasion. Why? Because it would create instability in the region, allow the rise of Syria and Iran, and ultimately undermine our interest in the region. Exactly what has happened. I don't think it is unreasonable to think that we could have made better choices along the way. And part of my dislike for this President has been his unwillingness to respond to the situation on the ground. Despite his language, he kept Rumsfeld as Sec Def even when every military expert told him we needed more troops. For 2 and a half years, he allowed a failed policy to continue because he would not acknowledge problems in it.

But I digress. Do I hate Bush? I don't think so. I dislike him as a person. I dislike how he seems to embrace ignorance, and I resent that he seems to mispronounce words on purpose. But I don't hate him. I hate what he has done to our country, but I don't hate him as a person.

And part of that dislike is about those values you mentioned. I think that our values are not just about children (you will find many of us uncomfortable on abortion or actively against it) or public morality (we are hardly hedonists here) but also about the rule of law and our Constitution.

I don't know how old you are, but I grew up at the end of the Cold War. My formative years were spent worrying about nuclear holocaust and the Red Army invading. And the clear signal of who we were not was in that Soviet system. A system where the guilt or innocence of a possible perpetrator meant nothing. Where torture and mistreatment was commonly accepted. Our system had the rule of law, the idea that every person was equal before that law, and that the state could not simply remove a person's rights based on a hunch. Those, I would suggest, are very conservative ideas.

Call me naive, but I believe in assumptions like innocent until proven guilty, and I also believe that torture is anathema to our system. If we torture people (and especially when we torture people who are innocent) we create 50 more terrorists that must either be tortured or killed. I do care if they tap my phone--because the premise might be anti-terrorism today, but what is to stop a hated liberal from using that same power to track you down?

The values that make us great are those principles of justice and liberty--and I would suggest that this President has shown very little understanding, much less concern about those values.

Newbie said...

Steve,

Sadaam tried to assasinate Bush senior (established fact). Everyone thought he had (or was developing) WMD's, even the dems. That's why they voted for the sanctions and inspections (jee, what we we looking for during the inspections?) that Hussein blatantly refused to abide by. We did what we felt we needed to do before things escalated further and more U.S. citizens were killed/injured.

As for the phone tapping, where does the constitution say anything about "phone tapping?" You need to reference the section where the constitution could be "interpreted to say it's prohibited, but then I say the same constitution says you can't kill unborn children and the democrats seem get around that. Hmmm which is more serious, killing our own babies or secretly listening to me order a large pizza from Domino's? Murder vs. privacy? Unbelievable!!!

As for the wiretapping, congress authorized the law that allowed our NSA to do whatever it took to catch terrorists, including listening in to me telling my wife to pick up some batteries on her way to the store. So what? I trust that the government will not care about such converstaions unless I add "...so that I can attach the timer to the device and arm it for the President's visit tomorrow." (the NSA may be looking at my last statement right now, oh no!!!)

And don't bring up the 4th amendment, which allows for "probable cause." I'm thinking catching someone planning another 9/11 is plenty probable. The 4th amend. mention "Papers, effects,..." What about bank statements, legal documents, licenses, etc...? They are all tracked, recorded, and otherwise kept in strict order at various institutions, government or otherwise. Is that unconstitutional as well? And what of the interpretation of "unreasonable?" According to who, Tim McVeigh, David Koresh, Eric Rudolph? The Constitution is open to interpretation. Our Congress decided to allow such activities so that we can be as proactive as possible in preventing more acts of aggression against our citizens.

As for a coalition in Iraq, I agree completely, we need the unified help of other countries to help keep rouge nations/leaders in check. Unfortunately, many won't help (even though we liberated many of THEM in the past).

Newbie said...

Streak,

Thanks for calming down a bit and seriously explaining your POV.

Give me mispronounced words over marital infidelity anyday.

As for phone taps, or current electronic grid can pretty much track you down right now. We can see where you spend money, we can videotape you going into the bathroom, employers can listen in on calls, they even have magnetic strips in most of our cash over $10 that allow tracking and detection. They can track internet activity, ATM usage, bank records, and on-star can tell pretty much anyone where you are, even your cell phone can be tracked with GPS. Hell, even google can show me a picture of my own house from a NASA image from space. If your claim is that somehow phone-taps can accomplish what isn't already happening in the private sector then you're not being realistic.

I'd say anyone more concerned with vocalizing their displeasure over our current administration's twisting of the constitution regarding privacy when we can't even protect the lives of our unborn citizens is pretty sorry.

The liberal mindset has given us the degredation of women in music, porn, etc..., the rise of STD's, unplanned pregnancies, abortions, unwed mothers, the list goes on and on. When idiots liberals like Leary were encoraging young people to "Tune in, turn on, drop out..." I guess they had no idea what they were doing to our society. Liberals always seem to think they have better ideas than God. We've been paying for the 60's drugs, sex, and rock and roll for several decades and we have the liberal mindset to thank for it. My dad fought in WWII. He was part of the generation (Democrats, at that time, were still in favor of morality) that believed you took care of your family. You believed in God. You would die for your country. You spanked your kids if they were disrespectful and rebellious. You respected older people, opened the doors for women. Thanks to liberals and their "freeing" us from these chains of decency, we now have a generation of people who think they're owed everything.

We'll keep paying the price as long as we continue to follow the lead of people like the Kennedy's, Clinton's who are sponsored in Washington by the Hugh Heffner's and 50 cent's of the world.

I mentioned the Dem senator who sued God recently. That should have been a wake up call but it will be ignored like so many of the other signs along the way. After all, we've got bigger issues to deal with... like mis-pronounced words.

Streak said...

Yes, I did calm down. Unfortunately, you didn't really listen. Despite the reality that conservatives and liberals here discuss things rationally, you still paint all of us liberals as anti-God, and anti-morality. My friend Anglican will be surprised to learn that his liberal politics means that he hates God--hates God and morality every Sunday as he serves. I am sure Tony is shocked to learn that when he sides with people like me, that he also stands for immorality.

Come on. Give me something more than that, or we have very little to actually discuss. Your first response about "mispronounced words v. marital infidelity" demonstrates a dishonesty, or at least disingenuous approach to our conversation. Do you really think those are our choices? What about choosing between infidelity and a rendition policy that has turned over (documented, since you like that) innocent people to be tortured.

What you don't seem to understand or be willing to concede is that liberals like myself care very much about many of the same issues as you. We are all concerned about terrorism, and we also worry about the moral fiber of our society. Here on this blog, we have shared concerns about the sexualization of our youth, degredation of women and the rise of sexually transmitted disease. Unfortunately, you choose to blame us for all of those.

Seriously, unless you can do better rhetorically than to mimic Sean Hannity (I am surprised you didn't say that I hate America) then we are done here.

Streak said...

BTW, two other little details:

And don't bring up the 4th amendment, which allows for "probable cause." I'm thinking catching someone planning another 9/11 is plenty probable.

Great legal argument, but that would allow for any cop at any time to search anyone under the "probable" idea that a crime would be committed somewhere close by someone. Perhaps our local legal expert can expound, but that is cleary not what "probable cause" means.

Second, the democratic senator suing God is a Kansas state senator and that is clearly a spoof. He did so in retaliation to a woman who sued because during her rape trial, the judge barred the use of words like "rape." Her case seems reasonable in the first place, and I am not sure why this senator responded like this. But it clearly is not what you seem to think it is.

Newbie said...

Ok - let's start by you defining what you mean by "liberal politics."

Democrats and today's liberals often like to portray themselves as no different than, say, a 1940's democrat. WRONG. They are much more inclined to SAY abortion makes them uncomfortable, but stop short of calling it wrong. They push the limits of what is sexually acceptable on TV and then used the excuse "Well, we're just depicting what society's already doing" when they know good and well that they are responsible in large part for this decline because of their glorification of such immorality.

I'm not talking about being socially conscious here. If that's what you mean by "liberal" then why not just call yourself "Christian" because we should be socially conscious. Using the word "liberal" makes you look very morally inept and then saying that your proud of such a label makes it even worse. Hugh Heffner is a liberal. Rap artists are liberals. True liberals. They have "liberated" themselves from the bonds of decency and appropriateness. Period. If not, then what are you liberated from?

So tell us how your liberal politics make you different from Larry Flint and people who wear Che Guevara shirts.

Newbie said...

Police CAN search for probable cause. It's perfectly legal. If If an officer smells marijuana and want to search someone's car, then they can.

Where have you been lately. Do you know what "Probably cause" even is? It's the suspicion of what might possibly occur. That decision is left up to the police/FBI/NSA/etc... to determine if it warrants further investigation. I trust the NSA to ignore any of my calls except the ones where I discuss my plans to commit some sort of crime.

THE CBS EVENING NEWS:

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is Katie Couric reporting from New York. Our lead story this evening involves an unnamed man from Laramie Wyoming, who is suspected by NSA officials of calling his mother-in-law to ask her if his son had left his watch there by mistake earlier in the day. Apparently the watch had fallen under a sofa cushion and was reported missing hours later when the boy arrived home. The NSA won't comment on the mother's response but local law enforcement agencies are continuing to investigate the matter as an issue of national security."

The only thing being violated here is our government's ability to do the most it can to protect it's citizenry. Typically those who cry the loudest are the ones with something to hide. That's not me so I don't care. Congress approved it, the Constitution says the Congress can approve it and as far a due process, it was followed. If you get arrested and are not told why, then you can cry. Until then, let the ones with the information, training and guts to use it do their jobs.

Streak said...

Again, I am not sure you really intend to dialogue. How is my liberalism different from Larry Flynt? Seriously? How is your conservatism different from Adolf Hitler?

See how ridiculous that is? You set up straw men and then expect me to prop them up.

Streak said...

Where have you been lately. Do you know what "Probably cause" even is? It's the suspicion of what might possibly occur.

Yes, I do understand it. It doesn't give the police a blank check to make up probable cause.

But thanks again for the derision and poor argumentation. Let me ask you this. What do you hope to accomplish here besides to call me names?

steve s said...

"As for the phone tapping, where does the constitution say anything about "phone tapping?" You need to reference the section where the constitution could be "interpreted to say it's prohibited, but then I say the same constitution says you can't kill unborn children and the democrats seem get around that."

Right here (but I am sure you already knew this):

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

Tapping a phone is a search. This is universally accepted, so don't bother with, "where does it say phone?" Wiretapping, in most circumstances, requires a warrant. The law that Congress passed allowed for expedited wiretaps, but there was still a requirement for oversight. A NY judge recently found the current procedures lacking and said this part of the patriot Act is bad law. It is currently making it's way through the federal court system.

I am against abortion, but the Constitution does not forbid abortion. For most of our history, this was an issue for states, not the federal government.

"Where have you been lately. Do you know what "Probably cause" even is? It's the suspicion of what might possibly occur."

Probable cause is "information sufficient to warrant a prudent person's belief that the wanted individual had committed a crime (for an arrest warrant) or that evidence of a crime or contraband would be found in a search (for a search warrant)."

It does include a crime that may be committed, but there still must be some basis for this. Under your definition (Stalin would be so proud), the police could arrest anyone at any time and enter any dwelling for any reason (to be fair, you were talking about 'probably' cause...maybe that is different). Intelligence gathering is not grounds for probable cause.


"As for phone taps, or current electronic grid can pretty much track you down right now."

Not me...I wear tinfoil-lined clothes.

Please read the Constitution and maybe a few books on the history of our country. You clearly don't understand the concept and framework of our government and system of laws.

Newbie said...

I simply ask you to define "Liberal politics." If you can't, just say so. Just try not to avoid the question by asking another one?

I want to know why you're different from the other liberals of our culture that I mentioned.

Hitler and I are miles apart and from different eras. The liberals of today are fond of moral relativity and shrugging off the responsibilities of their actions. Again, how do your views differ? You are so apt at pointing out other's short-comings, let's hear your side.

And as for making-up probable cause, was 9/11 made up? Do you think the NSA is sitting around with nothing better to do than to snoop the millions of no-content calls just for fun? And how do police "make-up probable cause?" Show me factual proof that after 9/11, all law enforcement agencies had a spike in arresting/interrogating ordinary citizens for no reason? The only straw man here is the one that claims phone-taps have created some sort of lopsided amount of harrassment again the general population of America. That B.S. but it sure makes it easier for you to criticize Bush doesn't it?

newbie said...

Steve,

I directly quoted from the 4th amendment. You must have missed it.

It's nice to see that you're competent enough to discern the difference between the "probable cause" language and the fact that abortion is murder. I don't think the founding fathers would have ever thought they would have had to spell that out for anyone (they obviously didn't account for liberals, I guess). It's also nice to see that you prefer to let the states decide. We're talking murder Steve, not the freaking speed limit. Good to see you have your priorities in line.

You seem to know so much about the bill that Congress passed. What did they mean by "oversight?" And since when does one judge get to decide what that means. Judges today disagree with each other on a daily basis. The Supreme Court can't even all agree on most cases.

What type of evidence do we typically look for in a phone-tap? Who do we tap? Do we look for anything in particular? Of course we do. We're looking for people who might be more likely to be involved in criminal activity. Do we have the ability to know for sure before we listen in? No! Do we still try and get info from sources we feel are more likely to be involved? Yes.

I just hope everyone who cries about the phone taps will have the balls (liberals usually don't) to say after the next attack "Hey, I voted for no wire-taps. Forget the citizens, we need to protect the constitution."

Let's see Steve, how many people have you heard about who had their house broken into, car broken into, jobs intruded in on, or were taken into custody for absolutely no reason. Are you really afraid that the police will break in and arrest you for no reason?

Police: "Steve, we had no reason to arrest you, but we just had nothing better to do and needed some practice."

Steve: "Thanks, my lawyer will be contacting you shortly. I'm about to become a very rich man thanks to your incompetence."


Any law enforcement official can pretend to have a reason to arrest you... and THEN you can sue the ever-lovin' crap out of them. There are lawyers waiting in line to cash in on that type of case.

You ask me to read history and law. 9/11 was a new event for us Steve. We don't have a long history of dealing with terrorists who bring down several of our building and kill a couple thousand of our people. We had to come up with new strategies to deal with the situation. If your hiding under a rock because the best security force in the world has decided (as authorized by Congress) to listen in on a few random phone calls in order to try and prevent another 9/11, then stay there and out of the way of the people who know how to do the job.

steve s said...

"And as for making-up probable cause, was 9/11 made up? Do you think the NSA is sitting around with nothing better to do than to snoop the millions of no-content calls just for fun? And how do police "make-up probable cause?" Show me factual proof that after 9/11, all law enforcement agencies had a spike in arresting/interrogating ordinary citizens for no reason? The only straw man here is the one that claims phone-taps have created some sort of lopsided amount of harrassment again the general population of America. That B.S. but it sure makes it easier for you to criticize Bush doesn't it?"

WTF!?!?!? This doesn't even make any sense. Look up straw man in the dictionary. Then, go to Amazon or a local bookstore and find a book on Constitutional law. Start with Marbury v. Madison and learn about judicial review. There is no requirement that an unConstitutional law be lopsided or wide speread. There have been people harassed by the Patriot Act. They are the ones that have filed suit.

steve s said...

"Let's see Steve, how many people have you heard about who had their house broken into, car broken into, jobs intruded in on, or were taken into custody for absolutely no reason."

How about these:

Fabricating evidence

unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence

fabricating evidence to obtain a warrant and then killing an innocent 93 year old woman

Cop threatening to make up reason to arrest


Do you want more? While rare, this stuff does happen. I am not anti-cop, but it does show why there has to be oversight, restraint, procedures in law enforcement. These people are a disgrace to the ones that follow the rules and respect our rights.

Newbie said...

Steve,

I didn't think I had to spell it out for you.

We're talking about any of what I metioned that were related TO THE CURRENT WIRE-TAP ISSUE. I obviously know that through the ages, those (even in the U.S.) who wear a badge have made bogus allegations, false arrests, errant detainment, etc... even up to killing those without proper authorization to do so. This is no secret.

What I was talking about are specific examples of how the current wire-tap policy (Constitutionally authorized by Congress) dealing with finding and apprehending those who would wreak havoc on our contry has created some unbalanced amount of unlawful, without merit, unsubstantiated, detainment and/or arrest as a result.

You act like it's created some martial-lawesque state where people are detained and improsoned for no reason other than that the wire-tap policy has just given unmitigated access by any legal entitiy to do whatever they please to whomever for whatever reason suits their whim.

The fact is that the policy has specific purposes and is carried out by specific agencies against specific threats that may indeed be in collusion with know terrorist organizations. You act like we have to be 100% sure that every call with include valid proof against all parties involved. Guess what? It won't. We take chances and get lucky. We hope our info will tip us off to more high-risk groups or individuals, but it's often a crap-shoot that results in nothing more than some guy named Abdul ordering chinese take-out in Queens.

Yes there has to be oversight, and there is. These agencies don't have time to listen in to non-related calls. They don't even have time to listen to all of the related ones for crying out loud (which liberals often do).

Let our Government do it's job. No laws have been broken. Maybe they need to be tweaked a little to take every effort to be as above board as possible, but we're dealing with subversive people who take care to be as discreet as possible... before they kill our women and children. I'm glad you're giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Newbie said...

BTW, there have also been people harassed by the 55 MPH speed limit, and the tax code, and welfare, and just about every other legal appendage in our great land. If there's proof you did something wrong, then typically you will be harassed by someone hired to straighten you out.

The Patriot Act was intended to supress those who want us dead. No law is perfect, but it beats whining about a problem when you have no solutions yourself (note to self: complaining is NOT a solution).

steve s said...

"We're talking about any of what I metioned that were related TO THE CURRENT WIRE-TAP ISSUE."

No, you asked...

"Let's see Steve, how many people have you heard about who had their house broken into, car broken into, jobs intruded in on, or were taken into custody for absolutely no reason."

...which doesn't ask anything about wire taps. I wish I could say it was fun, but it was mind-numbingly confusing. If you'd bother to read some of the lawsuits re: the Patriot Act, you'd see that there was little, or no, oversight in some areas. I am sure they were too busy, what with looking for terrorists and all.

BTW, just because Congress says something is Constitutional doesn't mean it is. There have been numerous laws overturned that have been passed by Congress. Add "separation of powers" to your list of things to look up.

Streak said...

I posted this a second ago and then wanted to edit it. Easier to delete and resubmit.

Steve, you made my day. "Stalin would be so proud" and "Look up straw man in the dictionary. Then, go to Amazon or a local bookstore and find a book on Constitutional law. Start with Marbury v. Madison and learn about judicial review." Unfortunately, I think the Stalin part is the telling connection. Our Troll has no problem with a police state, as long as it isn't interested in him. And I don't think he has the critical thinking skills to read something on Constitutional Law.

I liked the "liberals have no balls" idea after spending an hour yesterday with a young man who shares most of my liberal views. As it turns out, he fought in Afghanistan and was in the invasionary force into Iraq as a Ranger and squad leader. I am sure he would be very amused by the assumption that liberals have no balls.

But my personal favorite:

The liberals of today are fond of moral relativity

Though earlier, he said:

Hell, I don't even care if they humiliate and/or torture a few prisoners in the process of trying to ascertain where more might be.

Hmm, I wonder if he understands irony? Moral relativism? Meet Torture.

Ok, Trolly. You have worn out your welcome. You are either a very clever troll and have fooled us into thinking that someone actually thinks this way, or you are a very uniformed person who has never been taught to think critically. In fact, if you have had any education, you should go find those who taught you logic, civics and history and punch all of those poor people in the mouth. You should then punch yourself in the mouth for spouting such ridiculous crap. I was going to say that I have college freshmen who can articulate a better argument, but I remember my 5 year old niece doing so.

I think you would be more comfortable at a site where they joke about nuking "A-rabs" or perhaps those who think that concentration camps are our solution.

But you aren't giving us anything here. The conservatives are asking me to ban you. So, just go. If you persist, we will ignore you and if you persist beyond that I will simply delete your inane (you can look it up) comments.

Don't think of it as censorship--especially after Steve and I have actually tried to talk with you as an adult. Consider this the blog version of cleaning up a mess. Because your logic is so convoluted and stupid, it sounds like Rush Limbaugh threw up.

Newbie said...

I asked three times for you to define "liberal politics."

As usual - no real ability to refute any real issues or points... just the ability put your finger in your ears, shake your head back and forth, and hurl insults. Typical liberal knee-jerk response to real questions that you don't have answers for.

I should have know...

Streak said...

Yeah, bye bye, Trolly. In the future, watch the arsenic ingestion and I would be careful about drinking Koolaid as well.

Newbie said...

Steve,

Yes Steve, from now on we're only going to pass laws that can be upheld with absolute perfection and no possible way for them to ever be used with bias or prejudice against anyone, anytime.

Hmmmm. We just deleted our whole judicial system. Thanks.

Your example of the courts overturning things that were questionable is only proof that the system works and that working through legal precedent is not some new endeavour solely germaine to the current administration.

Utopia is make believe.

ubub said...

I am certain that any of all of the regular posters, from across the political spectrum, could define liberal politics. We simply choose not to comply with demands of someone who steps into this online community and simply attempts to bully and belittle.

Perhaps in person you are a nice person, polite, thoughtful, and able to engage in civil discourse. Online, at least here, you are not, and I am asking to, respectfully to stop.

I have also noticed that your definition of conservatism is not at all conservative. It is, quite simply, authoritarian. I say this not to disparage you or this view. Indeed it is what it is. I raise it to give things their proper names. What you disparage as permissiveness and relativism are regarded as freedom and liberty by people of good will from across the political spectrum.

steve s said...

Streak, is there any way I can e-mail you? I have an off-topic question.

Streak said...

Sure Steve, my email slid down the side of the right bar, but you can contact me at streaksblog at gmail dot com.

Newbie said...

ubub et al,

Ok let take a look at "Conservative."

Let's start with something like abortion. Yes or No? Not, "Well I, PERSONALLY, don't think it's cool..." or "...it's not for me to decide..." or "it's a state to state issue and I prefer to let each one decide." How someone can have "Probable cause" nailed down so tightly while in the same breath saying that the MURDER of unborn children is not worth a huge "WRONG" is beyone me.

Streak mentioned my views on relativism and torture in silly fashion. Yes, I believe in right and wrong. I also believe that if you have a group of people who want to kill American citizens and have already been involved in such activities, maybe you should make them go without food for days, or without out water, or sleep, if it will make them tell us who else and what else might be out there coming after us.

I believe in a strong defense. One that can and will strike fast and hard when aggressors attack. I won't go as far as saying that everyone should (as is the policy in Israel) have to serve several years in the military after high school, but if done right, this might be plausible in teaching young people a trade, getting them more physically fit and instilling some decent discipline in the process.

I am for the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, you know like in the Bible?

I believe if you don't want to work and would rather lay around and have multiple kids with multiple men, you shouldn't get rewarded by welfare. Welfare should be much more closely scrutinized than it is. It's current application is more of something that enables the lazy and irresponsible to continue to get to watch "Jerry Springer" in the afternoons while eating free and having the rest of their bills paid by the rest of us who are (at least in my case) far from wealthy, but who work multiple jobs and still manage to keep their lawn mowed.

I believe that the entertainment industry (with much of the Liberal front behind them) are responsible for a staggering amount of corrupt, family destroying, woman objectifying, violence glorifying, God hating, content that has pulled this county down so far we can't even begin to climb out.

I'd love to think that the government was more fiscally sound. We have a huge deficit and though I'm not an accountant, I think both parties need to get serious about reducing our debt, and getting out from under our dependence on foreign oil. I wouldn't mind drilling in the Gulf or in Alaska, as long as clear boundries were set and as long as we could pretty much guarantee that we would have an alternative fuel source(s) developed to wean us off of oil as quickly as possible (with tangible goals that could be measured by bi-partisan groups to verify progress was being made).

We need more power plants. Coal can work, but it's dirtier and out-dated. Nuclear plants seem viable but they must be safe.

Healthcare is still great compared to many other parts of the world, but there are still some relatively simple things that will make it more affordable, more portable and stronger for small companies and their employees.

I think our public school system needs a major overhaul. It is (much like our healthcare system) better than much of the rest of the world, but we should be leading the way. Most of the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of the parents. If your kid gets a free education, the least you could do is be more involved.

We need to secure our borders. Everywhere, not just in Texas. People keep saying "If the illegals don't work, the economy will collapse." Guess what? They said the same thing about child labor. They were wrong.

We need stronger families. Ones that have gardens and enjoy picnics together. The most recent study said that the majority of teens still prefer time with their familes over time with anyone else. That should be a wake up call to parents.

BTW, I was turned on to a Presidential candidate named Ron Paul two days ago (many of you may be familiar with him, I was not so much). I read his web page and was impressed. Has anyone else heard much about him? It seems like the facts about him would be easy to dispute if they were untrue and if they are true, he seems like a pretty solid candidate. I have nothing to go on other than that.

Streak said...

Hmm. Ok, Newby, this was your least offensive comment to date. For the first time, you resisted (mostly) denigration and straw-man arguments and articulated a reasonable point of view. We can work with that. I was thinking when you noted Ron Paul and wondered if we knew much about him--we are a pretty well-read and well-informed group here. I dare say that all of the regular commentators and many of the people who read but don't comment are well aware of all of the candidates in both fields. Paul has a real attraction to many people--though many of us would also suggest that his approach is not terribly pragmatic. You might take notice, however, that Paul is a strong critic of this war and of this President.

You said: Streak mentioned my views on relativism and torture in silly fashion. Yes, I believe in right and wrong. I also believe that if you have a group of people who want to kill American citizens and have already been involved in such activities, maybe you should make them go without food for days, or without out water, or sleep, if it will make them tell us who else and what else might be out there coming after us.

Unfortunately, this is an example of bad argumentation. First, you may embrace it and defend it, but it is clearly "moral relativism" which you deride in liberals. Picking and choosing which moral truths you support is not good argumentation.

Second, you suggest, as many have, that the torture issue is a clear-cut one of applying "aggressive interrogation techniques" to terrorists who want to kill us. The problem with that is that in both Afganistand and Iraq, we were applying these techniques to people who weren't terrorists--but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. So setting aside the moral problem of torturing anyone--we tortured or allowed people to be tortured who were not terrorists--at least until we tortured them.

And you also minimize the torture to an inconvenience. Yet, Bush and Cheney have defended techniques that were developed by the Nazis and Soviets to use against political dissidents. Not only that, waterboarding--which Cheney referred to as a "no-brainer"--was the basis for war crimes charges against the Japanese in WW2.

No one here is suggesting that there aren't dangerous people out there who want to do us harm. Nor are we suggesting that we treat people like Osama Bin Laden with kid gloves and therapy (as Karl Rove intimated). But we are suggesting A) that we have a moral standard to uphold (ie., it is about who we are, not who they are--their evil behavior does not justify ours) and B) every tortured innocent creates 50 more terrorists. It is the opposite of the intended policy. Instead of reducing our terrorist enemies, we are essentially convincing those who are not terrorists that terrorism is justified.

Newbie said...

Streak,

Explain "Terribly pragmatic."

I haven't really seen much more from any of the other candidates that makes me think there's a solid solution to Iraq. Even Communism looks good on paper.

And as for the war, I'm as much for pulling OUT of a situation where we can't win or dramatically improve conditions as much as I am in favor of getting involved in the first place.

Streak said...

I actually misspoke. I meant to say not terribly practical. I don't think in the age of terrorism and the modern global economy that the small-government envisioned by Ron Paul is workable. I think he is probably a very nice man and a good person, but he wants to privatize nearly everything that government does now.

As I have said many times here, I think we should follow the Canadian approach to government (not follow all of their policies, mind you) where it is said that they "don't love government, but they don't hate it either." The "government is bad" meme is ultimately destructive, and bad policy. Unfortunately, Bush appears hell-bent on proving the ineptitude of government.

His war is a good example. After ignoring alternative solutions to Iraq (even those who thought Saddam had WMD didn't all think invading was a good idea), he then ignored the fact that his and Rumsfeld's policy was not working. At every stage, he has ignored other voices until we are in a place where you are right to see no good solutions. I don't know that there are good solutions any longer, and that is a horrible tragedy.

Newbie said...

I saw where he does in fact want to do away with much of government's control/involvement. I think the main reason government needs to be less involved is because usually the private sector (or at least often) can do a better job than the beauraucrats in D.C. (or the local gov'ts. for that matter).

Putting the public companies on notice that certain things will be "shopped around" might create more inventive, competition and progressive results. It would certainly be a case by case basis.

R. Paul just seems to be bent on doing the right ethical thing. That's probably cliche to the nth degree, but when I read that:
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.

He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

I honestly thought this was a joke at first. Then I see where he voted against the tide (Republican) on things like the war and the Patriot Act and I'm thinking that this guy seems to be staggeringly resolved to make the right decision. I'm also inclined to vote for him just because I can picture him not even looking away from his computer while telling a PAC rep "I don't need your money, get out."

I probably sound like a paid ad for him but I just find some of the things on his sight refreshing for ANY politician.

I bet his ideas on privatization are pretty sound. He seems to have been involved enough to have a handle on what will and won't work and he seems to be willing to do something different if he's wrong.

I don't know what to say about the war. When we went to Vietnam under Democratic leadership and it was also disasterous. We didn't know it would happen like it did, but sometimes the best intentions turn out to be Vietnam or... well... Iraq.

The two things that most displease me about my party and Bush in particular are their departure from traditional frugal spending habits and their lack of ability to unify the country concerning foreign policy. Tell us the cold hard facts about the progress there or outline a solid withdrawal that can be measured every month. AND put the rest of the world on alert that they are on notice... one more freaking 9/11 and we will open up a can so big that everyone will be running for cover.

Syria, Iran, Iraq... get your crap together or lose it all. Sodom and Gomorrah will be Disneyland compared to what we'll do. Not that we'll be targeting civilians, but the leaders of those countries need to know that if we go down, they will (and their families) too!

I have a feeling that if we find an alternative to foreign oil, then Saudi's will have no more reason to "like" us so we need to prepare to deal with them too.

And have a weekly, televised "sit-down" with the country. Have charts like Ross perot did and explain why we support Israel. Show America what Israel has offered to do for the Palestinians and what the Palestinians have counter offered. Explain why Israel is doing what is to defend it's country. Don't do it from a biased point of view, just lay out the facts and let the public decide for themselves. It's amazing what people can do with a better understanding of a tense situation.

Show the public that you want them to know what's going on and build trust that you are being accountable to the general population. I need pictures for crying out loud, in color.

I honestly think that a few simple ideas that show the country that our leadership, be it red or blue, wants to keep us more infomred and aware would do wonders for unity and direction.

As it stands now we are seriously divided. We need to be informed and united if we want to be the counrty we once were.

Amen.

steve s said...

I like Ron Paul. He has some good ideas, but many are unproven. The kind of government he wants has never existed and it is hard to say what it would really be like. Like most libertarians, he has a hard time appealing to most people and his changes are just to radical for most to stomach. If he were to develop a more gradual approach, then I think he would get more support.

ubub said...

I am intrigued by candidates like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and others who seem to articulate their views without regard for whether those same views make them 'electable,' whatever that means.

So Ron Paul seeks to redefine American citizenship so that it takes more than birth to become a citizen. The alternative is unclear, although the website seems to imply that one's parents must be American citizens.

He seeks to protect individual freedoms on personal issues and health for those who are American citizens. Cool. It is interesting to me, however, that the full range of these freedoms do not extend to women because he priviliges the rights of the unborn over the born. Already-born citizens, presumably, would be entitled to the rights and protections there, of, wheras the unborn, are not citizens, particularly given that citizenship is no longer a birthright.

I expect that this may be read as a pro-abortion argument, and that's fine, but really is anyone truly pro-abortion? I don't believe so. For the record, my personal belief is that choice is between a woman and God, not a woman and government.