Obama, A Good Man, An Elitist and Divisive, But a Good Man.

Well, the Democratic primary continues to entertain me more than watching reruns of Seinfeld for the 1000th time. (well nearly as much as that).  Obama, the man who is to bring about  “change” and bring ALL Americans together has really “stepped in it” as we might say here in gun-toting church going Texas.  Let’s see that quote one more time, shall we?

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.  And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Ahhhhh, nothing as sweet as the sound of the truth coming out.  The truth about what this man really believes.  From babies being a “punishment” to his unashamed following of Rev. Wright’s anti-American racists rants to this latest slam against the “working-man.”  You know, the one that he is supposedly going to help by overtaxing the “wealthy” and giving tax breaks to these people.  And here is a liberal slamming the beloved glory-days of the Clinton administration–so rich!

And then there is Hillary–going on the offensive as she should with this quote:

“We have been working very hard to make it clear that we have millions of Democrats who are church going and gun-owning,” she said. “And we are tired of having Republicans, or frankly our own Democrats, give any ammunition to Republicans because what happens then is Republicans take advantage of the situation.”

She called the current imbroglio “an important moment for Democrats” and challenged Obama to further explain what he meant by his comments, which she reiterated were “elitist and divisive.”

Well done Senator.  Well done.  But she has to be ever so careful when slamming her opponent because after-all she cannot appear as a divisive racist.  So she followed that quote with this one:

Pressed on whether she truly believes Obama is an elitist, Clinton called him “a good man,” but recalled the narratives of the 2000 and 2004 president election.

“You don’t have to think back too far to remember that good men running for president were viewed as being elitist and out of touch with the values and lives of millions of Americans,” she said.

He He He Heeee!  This is almost better than wathing Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey kill each other on MTV’s Celebrity DeathMatch.

In order to be “fair” however to Senator Obama we should look beyond the words and see if we can determine what group of people he will “include” in his all inclusive view of America.  We now know he doesn’t want the gun-toting Christians so that means we can exclude the entire State of Alabama from consideration.  Who does that leave in an Obama-visioned America?

What better way to discover who Obama intends to “include” than to find out who his “friends” are?  And what better way to discover his “friends” than to check out his MySpace.com page

On that page here is a sample of some of his “friends:” (These are actual photos from his “friends” page)

 

 

Okay, so I guess we have a picture now of an Obama-run American–very inclusive indeed.  I won’t tell you which ones where in his top 8.😉

-Murphy

-“In a civilized society, one cannot send a severed cow’s head to anybody.”

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48 Comments on “Obama, A Good Man, An Elitist and Divisive, But a Good Man.”

  1. The Paradox Says:

    —–
    …his unashamed following of Rev. Wright’s anti-American racists rants to this latest slam against the “working-man.”
    —–
    I am critical of all the candidates, but frankly I am getting tired of people who just want to mislead everybody. Watch the entirety of a few of the “racist rants” with an open mind. They aren’t racist – they are honest. Referring to the entirety of the “rant” with the famous “damn America” clip, America is not innocent and the “9/11 attack” was the response of people whose lives we have been messing with for decades. Nobody has the right to change the course of a country’s development for our own personal gain – but that is just what “The West” did. What he said was “shame on us,” though in a bit more dramatic and provocative manner.
    As for the ”slam against the ‘working-man,’” that is a stretch. What he said, and it was admittedly not worded very flatteringly, is that people don’t trust to government because the government has made promises to improve things for 25+ years and never followed through. He says the people are bitter about this and instead of bothering to focus on what they believe will never be a priority, they focus on things that are more community and culture oriented – simple stands they can focus on and say “Well, he ([will/won’t] take away my guns/[shares/doesn’t share] my religion/etc).” When people lose hope in the bigger picture, they will become “bitter” and “cling” to the simpler things. He was telling his people that they need to understand this and that the important this IS the bigger picture and that he is truly dedicated to makes improvements for EVERYONE.

  2. The Paradox Says:

    Also, the “Photos from his friends page” is just immature. Have you ever visited myspace? If you have an account and you are online for more than a few second you will start getting friend requests from all sorts of bots with pictures like that. It’s MYSPACE crap – what are his campaign people going to do? Check every single request for legit people? Doubtful. Delete every questionable friend request? That’s just bad PR. Hence, a list of “MYSPACE friends” with objectionable photos.

  3. mklasing Says:

    Paradox: thanks for stopping by–as for the comments of Wright, I’ve seen and read the entirety of 3 of his “sermons” (i use that loosely because the mention of God and the Bible was scant at best during these rants)–and there is no convincing me that the man is anything but an anti-American racist. And to think that we “deserved” the 9/11 attacks is so out of touch with reality that I’m left speechless at such a statement. The 9/11 “response” as you call it was nothing more than a terrorist act by a group of people who hate Americans, Hate jews and Hate Christians and simply want us all dead. It borders on insanity to suggest we had ANY fault in the loss of those 3,000+ lives that day and shame on you for suggesting such.

    As for his recent idiotic comments–they simply reveal his true character–he IS divisive and elitist, just as Hillary suggested (I can’t believe I actually agree with her on something)–and understand–it is not the role of the President in our Constitution to “make improvements for EVERYONE”–that is not the role of government–unless of course you are a socialist.

    Finally–the photos are immature–but they came straight from his site. Sorry you don’t like them–some are kind of cool. Any yes, I have visited MYSpace–but there is one problem with your argument–you cannot BECOME a friend of another user unless that user “accepts” you as a friend. Nice try but the photos speak for themselves–He could chose not to have such a juvenille site as a MySpace.com page–but then that would indicate he knew what the heck he was doing.

  4. The Paradox Says:

    ——
    And to think that we “deserved” the 9/11 attacks is so out of touch with reality that I’m left speechless at such a statement. The 9/11 “response” as you call it was nothing more than a terrorist act by a group of people who hate Americans, Hate jews and Hate Christians and simply want us all dead. It borders on insanity to suggest we had ANY fault in the loss of those 3,000+ lives that day and shame on you for suggesting such.
    ——
    You are twisting my words and making me sound like I am blaming you and every other American for the attack. I’m sure there are some people out there who may be part of terrorist organizations that actually hate America because they believe we are sinful according their fundamentalist religion. These people, however, are NOT in the majority. The anger at America and “The West” is NOT because of our way of life but because America is constantly interfering with the Middle East as if it was any of our business. Are you denying that we have meddled with the governments over there for decades? Do you recall that we favored the “lesser evil” of the Taliban –armed and trained them – when we were fighting communism? Do you recall what “The West” did to Iran it was a Democracy?
    (I don’t have time to find 100% perfect links, but this will do)
    http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity.jsp?entity=muhammad_mosaddeq
    That is just ONE example. Don’t even get me started on Israel. Tell me again that America did nothing to the Middle East to provoke 9/11.
    Perhaps many of them see “Christians and Jews and want us all dead” because to them, those groups represent all the terrible things that were done.
    OUR GOVERNMENT did this. WE VOTED for them. WE STOOD BY as they did it. WE BENEFITTED from it. Am I justifying the terrorists? Hell no. I am saying that to look back at our misdeeds and feel guilty is the proper Christian thing to do. We should learn from our mistakes and work towards a better future. Heaven forbid a Christian minister should suggest this.
    I want to say again that the terrorists do no hate us for our values. If you doubt me than please research the US involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. Imagine yourself in their shoes and ask yourself “Would I hate someone for doing that to me?”
    —–
    it is not the role of the President in our Constitution to “make improvements for EVERYONE”–that is not the role of government–unless of course you are a socialist.
    —–
    The president has the ability to veto bills and has an incredibly powerful voice that can be used to put pressure on people or bring things to public attention. This has been done for a long time – particularly in recent times. As President, Obama would be able to accomplish many things that could potentially have a positive impact on everyone. If he were to push an initiative to improve public schools…would that not affect everyone positively? If he were to somehow succeed (not saying this is even possible, but simple to contradict you socialist comment) in peace talks with Iran or if he were to diplomatically work out the conflict between Israel and Palestine, allowing some troops to come home and for more money to be put into paying off our national debt ….would that not affect everyone positively?

    Please also refer to my actual post for the latter comment. Since you didn’t read it thorough or understand it, I will paraphrase.
    —–
    What are his campaign people going to do? Check every single request for legit people? Doubtful. Delete every questionable friend request? That’s just bad PR. Hence, a list of “MYSPACE friends” with objectionable photos.
    —–
    He is running for president, and he is doing well. How many people are going to show support for him? The people who maintain his myspace page will never have the time to research and hand select every single friend. To go through and say “I think this person’s picture is morally questionable” and then deny them without further research could be a potential slap in the face to someone who wants to support him. If you wish to criticize the tactic of just approving friends, how would YOU do it?

    Finally, I just want to state that it is truly hard to see the other side’s perspective if you allow yourself to be too partisan. Try to imagine yourself in other people’s shoes and how they might feel. I have my own reasons to criticize and question each candidate and you have covered none of my concerns regarding Obama.

  5. mklasing Says:

    I don’t know how to make this any more clear—WE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11. It is intellectually naive to believe that somehow, policies that our Government has maintained in the Middle East in the past (which you clearly disagree with) have created a festering sore that eventually exploded in New York. Those people attacked us–not because of some perceived policies of the past but because they hate our guts–they hate us because of our belief system, our way of life, our freedom and their perception that we are arrogant. The reality is–we have 0% blame for megla-maniacs attacking our innocent people and killing them–period. It is beyond me that you would put any sliver of blame on us–especially since I’m betting you are against the death penalty–which if true–would be ironic.

    You have correctly spoken some of Obama’s talking points–but failed to explain HOW he would do these grand and wonderful things–I’ll tell you how—by increasing taxes–increasing them at a time when our economy needs tax breaks not increased taxes—and if you think someone can have a sit down with the murdering leader of Iran you are delusional. Even Obama on his most magical day cannot erase generations of built up hate that are fueled by religious differences that cannot be bridged. If he is elected (and I pray that doesn’t happen)–i hope you are right. But I find it interesting that he thinks diplomacy will work – – Carter has/had the same dellusional thoughts and it NEVER worked.

    As for MySpace–I’ll just let it talk for itself. I wouldn’t have a MySpace page if I was running for President or, I would not accept any friends–and simply use it as an informational tool. There is no good argument for this–it is simply funny to me.

    I can see the other sides’ perspective–I just don’t believe it–thus the bold and honest title of this blog. We can do this all day but you might have guessed that I’m not going to be swayed by the Obama mystique–he is an underqualified dreamer who has no real plan accept to tax the crap out of us and use that money to expand government into our lives all the more.

    If you want a CLEAR picture of life under an Obama Presidency with the Government running more of our freedom–go try and get a passport–that is what it will be like when you need a kidney.

  6. The Paradox Says:

    If you are so positive that our foreign policy and our manipulation Middle Eastern politics HAS NOT CONTRIBUTED to their hatred for the west then so be it. If you think people are that simple minded in the Middle East, that is your choice. I just see little support for that theory other than the “talking points” of the neo-conservative movement. I just wish you would go out and look around…there is so much evidence and to think that you can be faced with it and just ignore it or deny it is saddening.

    I do not wish you sway your opinion on Obama. Know that when I listed things he could do as a president that would effect everyone positively I was, frankly, completely unaware of any talking points. My ONLY point was to contradict your very clear statement that the president/government is not supposed to or does not make improvements that positively affect everyone.
    —–
    it is not the role of the President in our Constitution to “make improvements for EVERYONE”–that is not the role of government–unless of course you are a socialist.
    —–
    I simply wanted to say that you were wrong to imply that only the leader of a socialist society is supposed to positively affect everyone.

    I am not specifically FOR universal healthcare. Also, universal healthcare does not mean a health care system will become that of a third world socialist country. Take a look at Europe – it may not be as competitive as it is here, but it certainly isn’t that bad. That aside, try this perspective (which was obviously completely missing when you made your last statement).
    If you don’t have health insurance, you can still get a passport. You cannot, however, get a kidney. I’m sure there are a million people in our nation who, if they needed a kidney, would be glad to go through the difficulty of getting a passport. several times over. Some people, yourself included, seem to take healthcare for granted.
    Of course you could always blame the person without healthcare. They were just lazy and didn’t work hard enough. They deserve to die of kidney failure! They’re children should be put in an orphanage! Shame on them!

  7. kristiane Says:

    That is the scariest chest I have ever seen. Oh, and the part about him not having done anything yet, very true.

  8. sharprightturn Says:

    mk
    “If you want a CLEAR picture of life under an Obama Presidency with the Government running more of our freedom–go try and get a passport–that is what it will be like when you need a kidney.”

    Great analogy…I’ll have to remember that one!

    —-sharprightturn

  9. Tom Paine Says:

    I have kind of a unique perspective on the Obama comments, considering I have a conservative blog, I live in San Francisco, a few blocks from where Obama made his comments. And I grew up in Pennsylvania. You might want to see my entry on it (I even referenced this fine blog right here):

    http://tompainesclubhouse.blogspot.com/2008/04/obama-accused-pennsylvanians-of-liking.html

    My point is, a) Pennsylvanians really do like guns and religion, and b) there are a lot of really good reasons that McCain is a better candidate than Obama. That Obama accused Pennsylvanians of being religious is pretty far down the list.

    In reference to the ladies on Obama’s friends list, that certainly is troublesome. My suggestion is that they should come over to my apartment in San Francisco where I will thoroughly educate them – repeatedly, and even simultaneously if necessary – on exactly why John McCain is a better candidate.

  10. Tom Paine Says:

    Backing up Murphy’s post from last night: The distinction that’s often lost in discussing the root causes of 9/11 is explaining vs. excusing, and that’s what Paradox is missing.

    Why did I steal my coworker’s lunch? I was hungry and I forgot my own. Explain? Yes. Excuse? No. Returning the discussion to warfare but expanding beyond 9/11: Japan wanted to remove threats to their military dominance of the Pacific. Hawaii is strategically located and had a big US military presence. This explains Japan’s decision. It doesn’t excuse it.

    U.S. foreign policy has not always been brilliant in the Middle East, and our connection to Israel and the medieval petrocracies over there is certainly what attracted the attention of religious fundamentalists. But every nation either acts in its own interest, or it’s not benefiting its citizens and it disappears down the unforgiving Darwinian maw of history. The point is, with that in mind, what can we do differently going forward that is a reasonable change or improvement? So, Paradox: implying that the U.S. is to blame for 9/11 is useless, it’s a harmful way to think in terms of future foreign policy, and (most practically and immediately) it’s not winning you any friends in public forums like this one.

  11. The Paradox Says:

    I promised myself I wouldn’t come back here but I ran into this and just HAD to share.

    “We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation.” – Osama bin Laden – to CNN in March 1997

  12. mklasing Says:

    Well Paradox, that is really it then–I guess since a murdering psychopath said that our support of our ally-Israel-is the reason he killed us, then I guess he is justified. Thank you for your enlightened comments and especially this last one–because now I can finally fogive the terrorists and blame myself and my government for all that has happened.

    You sir are as close to a traitor as anyone I’ve met on this blog yet. I think you should consider keeping that promise you made to yourself and never coming back here again. I’m half tempted to turn your IP address over to the FBI after this last comment. Please do not come back.

  13. The Paradox Says:

    Never did I blame the citizens of the United States of America for the lives lost on the 11th of September. I never directly blamed the government. I never blamed anyone but those who planned, funded, and carried out the attack. I only pointed out that it is morally correct (dare I say Christian) to feel guilty, and damned near patriotic to question policies that contributed to the hatred that fueled the attack.
    Also, if you didn’t already know:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-oped0404wrightapr03,0,92000.story

    You responded:
    —-
    Those people attacked us–not because of some perceived policies of the past but because they hate our guts–they hate us because of our belief system, our way of life, our freedom and their perception that we are arrogant.
    —-
    I gave you a direct quote, confirmed by a major news organization, from the man behind the attack that clearly contradicts your exact words. That makes me a terrorist? Grow up.

    Twist my words and my intentions as much as you want. The trick is to keep me on the defensive or to get me to lose my cool – I’ll be too busy trying to refute accusations that, if you read my previous comments, range from being far-fetched to making no sense at all. This is the tactic I’ve seen used by many who represent the “Right Wing” – everywhere from politics to Intelligent Design supporters. Throw out some attention grabbing accusation when faced with a question or fact that makes you look even a little foolish.

    By the way, a quote from me attempting to make sure you wouldn’t try this foolish tactic.
    —–
    Am I justifying the terrorists? Hell no.
    —–

    I am NOT ENCOURAGING, SUPPORTING, EXCUSING, or JUSTIFYING terrorist actions. You are so incredibly quick to assume that – and it is part of a defensive mechanism. Either I’m with you or against you. The middle doesn’t seem to exist so I couldn’t possibly be on your side if I don’t support 100% of what you believe?
    Let me put this in simpler, every day terms.

    Paine:
    This silly debate is about what is and is not “Anti-American.” Rev. Wright’s “rant” is described as “anti-American.” Because the author chose to focus that idea (one I consider incorrect and ignorant) that we did nothing to anyone in the Middle East. They just hate us because of our freedom.
    You are falling into the trap prepared by the writer of this blog. You are being manipulated by his choice of words and wild accusations and somehow believe I am looking to excuse the acts of terrorists. I’m pointing out that the “damn America” rant is not anti-American. He’s the one who repeatedly explained to me that “they hate us because of … our freedom” which is an argument I’m so sick and tired of hearing. My supposed excuses were simply explaining that things are not that simple.
    I’m not here because I want friends. I’m here because I have grown weary of ignorance, particularly concerning politics, and wish to have honest, open debate with those who I see displaying this ignorance. You seem to agree that the US has made some bad foreign policy decisions. Those decisions contributed to the hatred for America in the Middle East, and there is nothing wrong with pointing it out or feeling guilty about it. It is one way that humans learn from their mistakes. I am saying nothing more than that. Apparently that makes me a terrorist.

  14. Tom Paine Says:

    Murphy, I disagree that Paradox shouldn’t come back. It’s good to air out foolish opinions like this guy’s, traitor or not. I don’t think he’s winning any converts. Exposing them to the light of day is often the best policy. Plus then it’s your blog that has his comments on not mine.

    Paradox: I’m going to try to paraphrase you to see if I’m clear on what you’re saying – and I’m doing so in good faith, but I’m not sure which of two points you’re trying to make. You might be saying “The 9/11 attacks didn’t come out of the blue; they were reacting to U.S. foreign policy decisions.” That’s a fairly self-evident statement; it’s unfortunate for 3,000 civilians that suicidal religious nuts were the ones reacting in that case. If you’re saying “American foreign policy decisions are so immoral that the U.S. must take responsibility for the attacks”, then you’re either an excitable moron parroting unactionable left-wing drivel, or you’re trying to shock conservatives who you apparently believe have a fairy-tale picture of the American government as morally perfect. That’s a classic conservative straw man position that leftists habitually attack and that does nobody on either side of the debate any good. Plus, I can’t speak for others who’ve commented but I certainly don’t hold that view, and I don’t know anyone who does.

    As you would see on my blog, I am extremely pro-Tibet independence and anti-China. But I would make this same argument even if a bunch of Tibetans became terrorists and crashed a plane into an office building in Shanghai. While you could
    see the connection in the minds of the Tibetan extremists, it wouldn’t justify what they did. And it wouldn’t help them either, just like Muslims aren’t any better off today than they were on 10 September 2001.

  15. Tom Paine Says:

    Paradox,

    Point #2. Let’s not use the enemy’s tactic of false dichotomies (which I also don’t care for – bad thinking). So to be clear, I didn’t imply that you were a terrorist, and when I too hear the old “they hate us because of our freedom” I change the channel. To say that our foreign policy decisions have a future impact is self-evident, and there are whole books written by ex-CIA guys on blowback. But feeling guilty about it does nothing, and I’m fine with using our international clout to try to expand democracy and human rights – even when that involves cramming those values down the throats of people not interested in them, and even though we eff up sometimes and have to have some pretty dirty allies along the way. Read your Karl Popper. The Open Society has enemies.

  16. SC&A Says:

    Paradox, if you were only an idiot, you wouldn’t merit attention. The fact is, you are a fraud.

    9/11 occurred because radical and not so radical dysfunctional Islamist and Muslim tyrants refuse to to cede power and embrace democratic principles. The events of 9/11 were about maintaining control and power- no more and no less.

    Ideologies that espouse, promulgate and teach terror, racism and bigotry are not brought on by poverty or political unrest or dissatisfaction. Hostages are not taken and held to be traded for economic aid. Planes aren’t flown into buildings in response to GDP of the free markets of the western world versus the GDP of the many tyrannies of the Muslim world. Women- and 13 year old girls- are not abused, raped or executed to avenge a stalled peace process.

    The terrorists and their supporters and apologists don’t want to see western values and successes brought into the Muslim world. Indeed, that is what they are fighting against. Religious freedoms, abortion rights, gay rights and human rights are anathema to Radical Islamist ideologies. That ideology demands the murder of those whose behavior they find offensive- usually administered in a cruel and brutal fashion. The truth is that the adversaries of freedom are not, ‘Just like us.’

    If the terrorists and their ‘progressive’ supporters and apologists really wanted to better the lives of hundreds of millions of oppressed people, they would use America and the west as models for success. Instead, terrorists and their ‘progressive’ supporters seek to destroy the freedoms that have authored success. They deliberately want to keep failed leaders and failed ideologies in place.

    When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.

    Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.

    Eliminating poverty does not- and cannot- change a mindset. Economic status does not determine morality and codes of conduct. Only values, born of dignity and the recognition that all men and women are of equal value, determines morality and codes of conduct. It is an ideology that drives people to exceed their potential for good. And it is also an ideology so terrifying to those who preach hatred, that it will drives other people to even more hate people to hate and destruction.

    Terror and hate- and the defense of terror and hate- are driven by an ideology of evil, period.

    Freedom and democracy are antithetical to hate and terrorism because freedom usurps the power of the terrorist. With out the power to instill fear and punishment, the terrorist- and their apologists and supporters, like you- are nothing.

    In the Middle East, the icons of freedom are the US and Israel. Freedom of all kinds, success and ever growing potential are what the terrorist must destroy. Prosperity is the fifth column the terrorists fear most. They cannot abide by a culture that is prosperous, because that culture seeks growth and progress. The terrorists cannot abide economic and educational progress because those things weaken their grip.

    The real threat that America poses to much of the world is neither economic or even social, really. America represents ideas that have changed the world and have upset the status quo. In fact, no nation has helped nurture more people and more societies escape the bonds of repression, persecution and that great bond of enslavement to hate, than America. Freedom is the antidote to victimhood and well documented Arab bigotry, racism and hate.

    You are in no position to discuss morality if you apologize for and turn a blind eye to the racism, bigotry and hate of some of the most immoral regimes in the history of mankind.

    To presume that we must somehow persuade populations that freedom is better than tyranny they are subjected to is absurd. That kind of argument presumes that tyranny and freedom are of equal value and standing. Only an idiot would presume to equate Arab tyrannies to the free societies of the civilized world.

    I can go on, if you like. I feel like a puppy with a new chew toy.

  17. The Paradox Says:

    I am enjoying this – thanks to everyone who provides their input to this discussion. These are getting long and I apologize – it just seems like I am being misunderstand so often so I am including more detail and more paraphrasing.
    When discussing things with people I find that sometimes things reach a point where people simple don’t see things the same way. I am very much opposed to cramming democracy down people’s throats. Perhaps we have reached the unfortunate impasse. Does that make me a fraud? Those are pretty harsh words. These are the reasons I fear we may be at an impasse. I believe the following, and it seems that the other authors of other comments do not.
    First off – nations have sovereignty, even the ones we don’t like. If it was acceptable on the national front to invade another country and modify its government just because you think your way of running things is better, the world would be in chaos. The US does this a lot anyway, but at least it is usually discreet. Who’s to say what nation is correct in its ways? Surely, America has a pretty good idea but, then again, doesn’t every RELIGION think it is the only one with the right idea? Should we start crusading for American democracy throughout the world? I want the world to be a better place just as much as the next guy, but there is a reason that the UN rarely takes a military stand on anything short of threatening the sovereignty of other nations or genocide. Plus, consider how many innocent casualties there are in these struggles. How many innocent Iraqis are dead as a direct or indirect result of our invasion? How many more will die as we attempt to “free” them?
    Another reason is more of a personal opinion as I have less information to back it up. I think each nation is unique because of its location, resources, borders, history, people, culture, etc. Each unique nation has its OWN path to democracy and personal freedom. It needs to evolve on its own or there is a great risk that artificial changes could halt or even risk pushing back progress. You can’t pull a fish out of water, glue stilts to its fins, and drop it on the beach saying “You’re welcome!” Best case scenario is it manages to make its way back into the water. Even if you jump into hi-tech ideas and give it all sorts of equipment to breathe, move around, see (offering all sorts of democratic tools, help, advice)…the fact remains that the fish is still a fish. (Those people aren’t going to magically start understanding the concept of equality and freedom. The classes aren’t going to disappear, and the differences between people aren’t going to disappear.) One day, something will happen that is going to make that fish’s identity very clear and that day is going to be a very bad day. Connect this to the end of the above paragraph. When Iraq finally calms down and innocents stop dying in this “conflict,” will all the casualties really be worth the trade for a pair of stilts? It is better that the fish itself evolve on its own terms and learn how to walk the hard way. Again, this is more of a personal opinion – it is one held by many others but those others are more likely wiser and better equipped to defend that opinion than I am.
    Another difference we have is that, from the things I’ve read, heard, and seen I have come to believe that our policy in the Middle East has been, at times, self-serving and arrogant – as claimed by many Middle Eastern leaders as well as many terrorists. That’s dangerous talk when people here like to shout “Terrorist!” or “Traitor!” I know. I’m not saying that terrorism is an acceptable outlet or avenue for change – please do not misinterpret my words. What I believe is that several of their grievances are legitimate. Their tactics however, are by no means acceptable. If anyone thinks that killing 3,000 civilians is a good way to get attention, they deserve to be hunted down and tried for their crimes. They are clearly very dangerous and cannot be left to act on their beliefs. Now while rewarding such behavior with change is a questionable solution, I think it would be unwise to leave things as they are and allow policies to help more terrorist leaders recruit. I linked up there somewhere to the story of Iran in the 50’s. This is not a left wing conspiracy theory – this is fact. They had a decent, democratically elected prime minister. He wished to nationalize the Iranian oil industry – which many people strongly believe could have given Iran the resources needed to get on the right path to a prosperous future. The response was Operation Ajax, where the CIA and the British essentially backed and assisted in a coup to take him out and regain control of Iran’s oil for US and British companies – this may have removed a potential democracy from the Middle East that could have helped lead or at least set a decent example for the rest of the countries in that region. The leaders of the coup were “dirty allies” but it had nothing to do with spreading democracy.
    I would dare to say that a good bit if not the majority of meddling we have done in the Middle East was in fact not for the good of its people or the spread of democracy but rather for our own convenience.
    Is that a good reason to kill 3,000 innocents? No. Does that justify any terrorism? No. Should we recall this when trying to work things out with them? I should hope so. It might help to explain (but not excuse) some of the anger and hatred. It might explain why they don’t trust us. It might explain a lot of things.
    I am sort of frustrated with everyone characterizing all terrorists as evil people afraid of losing their control over their people. Are you truly so convinced that every single person who becomes desperate enough to join the terrorist movement in the Middle East is driven by nothing but “Evil?” Why is it that? It frankly sounds pretty presumptuous. Do you feel that Muslims or people from the Middle East are mostly less intelligent and/or in their hearts “Evil?” There may be some people at the top of these organizations that wish to use terror to exert control and oppress, but the chances that a lower level terrorist or suicide bomber is motivated to help their leaders oppress their own people are slim. Really look at your argument. Do you think it is possible that a good number of terrorists, and those who support their actions, are driven for other reasons? Do you think terrorist leaders run around saying “Al-Qaeda is having trouble oppressing the freedoms of your people, help us maintain control!” Do you think all of the lower level terrorists are so foolish as to believe that “Allah wants me to give my live in order to blow up these school children because they are different than me.” These people are desperate and it takes a lot more than a motivational speech by a terrorist leader (without resorting to legitimate reasons, such as the hardships faced by the people as a result of our foreign policy) to get someone to strap c4 to themselves and make a suicide into a crowded marketplace. Our policies, our actions, are giving those terrorist leaders the reasons I’ve spoken of for their people to hate us. As the saying goes “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” That is why I quote Osama bin Laden. If we were raining rose petals and chocolates over there, he will look like a fool and would have little power. Again, explaining and understanding terrorism and its possible roots have nothing to do with excusing or justifying their actions. Please don’t bother going down that road again.
    By the way… to those of you who have moved onto insults, I am amused at your confidence. I don’t doubt that you are intelligent and capable of debate – what amuses me is that you feel the need to insult me. I have tried to remain civil and think I’m doing a decent job. Insults and wild accusations (notice, I have not really accused anyone here of anything other than ignorance on the topics discussed) only hurt your argument. I have taken the time to read every word carefully and considered everything that has been said – though there is a lot and not all of it sticks. I have made an effort to understand and change my tactic for explanation to counter the view I see being displayed in terms I feel make sense. I’m debating and discussing, not flaming.
    Also, I will look into Karl Popper. I enjoy understanding all of the perspectives and wish to consume as much information (from all perspectives) as I can, with an unbiased eye if possible. I feel it makes me a wiser, better person (in general, not in comparison to anyone else). I have been raised to be empathetic and to put myself in the shoes of others before making any kind of damning judgment – something that should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

  18. SC&A Says:

    Your remarks are pointless- and the insults you draw come from deceit- a form of ‘debate’ that is despicable.

    “When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.

    Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.”

    You asked: “I am sort of frustrated with everyone characterizing all terrorists as evil people afraid of losing their control over their people. Are you truly so convinced that every single person who becomes desperate enough to join the terrorist movement in the Middle East is driven by nothing but “Evil?”

    The answer is yes. As has been noted many times, terror leaders do not5 send their sons off to meet Allah and the virgins- they only manipulate others to do that.

    That is evil, period.

    Here’s a secret- societies and cultures are measured by what they build. Religions are measured by the lives they save in God’s name, not by the lives they take in His name.

    More after lunch.

  19. The Paradox Says:

    I’m not deceiving anyone. Are you denying that the US had anything to do with the overthrowing of the Iranian goverment and the reinstallation of the (at the time) more US friendly Shah?
    Regarding the “evil”, if you read every word of my statement, you illustrate my point.
    “terror leaders” may be evil. The people they lead do not have to be evil. The entirety of Germany was not evil during the second world war. What many of them did was wrong. However, they were desperate and Hitler manipulated them. The same holds true for terrorists. If the people of Germany were not desperate, Hitler’s blaming “the Jews” for the problems of Germany would have fallen on deaf ears. If the west finds more effective, less self-serving policies to deal with the Middle East, the terrorist organizations will lose their numbers and become significantly less dangerous.

  20. The Paradox Says:

    I keep hearing people say that I am wrong and that policies of the US have absolutely nothing to do with the ability of leaders to harness US hatred and use it against us. Do I need to look up details of more examples of self-serving US actions and policies that have hindered the progress of, weakened, or damaged the freedom of the citizens of Middle Eastern nations?
    Will you continue to deny that we have generally been a bunch of jerks and that our actions have nothing to do with the motivations of recruited terrorists?

    I feel like I’m saying “Many stars in the night sky are actually similar to our sun, but really far away!” and the response is “Liar! Deceiver! Our sun is not as far away as those stars!” Granted, I have used those same words, but in a different order and with different meaning. Am I being somehow unclear?

  21. mklasing Says:

    “Our policies, our actions, are giving those terrorist leaders the reasons I’ve spoken of for their people to hate us.”

    Sorry Paradox–with comments like that I must and have to believe that you are running a small camp somewhere in the Middle East where people are chanting “Death to the Infidels” But seriously-you completely misunderstand evil-or chose to ignore it–which is what is more likely. Here is news flash–evil exists–it is defined by the actions of those who are evil. For example, most people cannot argue the fact that murder is evil. I am really pissed off that the Federal Government is giving me less of a “rebate” this year because of my income–but because I’m not evil, I’ve decided not to let the “policies and actions” of the government turn me into a murdering psychopath. Evil does not need motivation to act out. Evil acts out because it is in its nature to do so. I’m sure you have heard the scorpion and frog story where the scorpion offers to take the frog across the river but the frog protests because he knows the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion promises not to and the frog hops on. Half way across the scorpion stings him, the frog turns and asks why and the scorpion says, “I couldn’t help it, it’s my nature.”

    That is what a terrorist is–a scorpion that stings because he feels he must–not because we mistreated Iran in the 1950’s or because we support Israel’s long-attempted goal of reclaiming the land they rightfully own but because they are evil.

    You just don’t get it.

  22. The Paradox Says:

    I made an error – my apologies. “Will you continue to deny that we have generally (referring to our government) been a bunch of jerks and (will you) insist that our actions have nothing to do with the motivations of recruited (not the leaders, but the ones they manipulate) terrorists?

  23. The Paradox Says:

    mklasing, you are equating people – human beings – in the Middle East with animals who cannot help by act on instinct.

    Humans are rarely ever truly evil in their heart. Many humans are capable of committing evil acts, but that does not make them evil at heart. Most of them are misguided. I do not ignore evil, but I have the ability to see the “gray” middle. I find very few things that truly land 100% in the dark or in the light.

  24. The Paradox Says:

    mklasing, would you go to arms if your daughter’s school was bombed by the government, and your wife shot by overzealous mercenaries paid by that same government? Maybe not, but I tend to think you might be a little more easily manipulated by someone preaching against the government.

  25. SC&A Says:

    ‘Pivot and attack’ won’t work.

    The fact remains that you are an apologist for terror and regimes that espouse terror, racism, bigotry and hate. That says pretty much everything about you that is relevant.

    Secondly, those people in the middle east who behave like beasts ought to be referred to as behaving like beasts. Why is it you don’t seem to be bothered by those who refer to others as ‘sons of monkeys and pigs’? Where are your harsh words and outrage when the same people preach that from pulpits, teach it in schools and reinforce that in their media? Where is your outrage at those who teach and preach genocide?

    For some reason, the word hypocrisy comes to mind- as well as the previously mentioned deceit.

    People who deliberately target children, women and civilians and then hide behind same are not ‘equal’ to us or meritorious in any way. They are evil- and cowards to boot- and it is in them you find ‘morality.’ As I mentioned earlier, you have no standing when it comes to talking about morality. Your opinions on morality are as credible as the opinion of a whore speaking on family values. By restating your support for these beast like behaviors, you only reinforce my earlier remarks.

    You try to obfuscate your deceit and hypocrisy by dancing around reality, as if somehow there is an excuse for the beast like behavior of terrorists and their supporters.

    Root causes are the rationalizations people (like you) give for their immoral actions or for the immoral actions of others. The paradox at the heart of the root-causes fraud is that causal theoretical explanations are invoked only after bad deeds have been committed. It is interesting to recognize that Good deeds have no need of mitigating circumstances.

    Ask any Palestinian or Islamic terrorist why he desires to kill Americans, Israelis or Jew,s including innocent civilians, and he’ll reply with absolute openness. The Islamic criminal, unlike the common criminal that inhabits Western jails, lacks psychological savvy, a fact that increases his believability. He hasn’t yet imbibed the teachings of Western progressive psychotherapists, eager to help him excavate the “root causes” of his depraved deeds.

    Not given to the ‘today’s fatwas says I don’t have to do my homework excuse, the Palestinian or Islamist terrorist will disclose that he desires to kill us because he hates us. And why does he hate us? 1. Because America’s government prefers democratic Israel to the despotic Palestinian Authority. And 2. Because America’s military, as he sees it, meddles in Muslim affairs.

    Guess what- we’re supposed to be hated by bestial regimes. we’re supposed to be hated by terrorists and their supporters. We’re supposed to be hated by people who are racists and bigots (like yourself) and we are supposed to be hated by homophobic and misogynistic dysfunctional leaders and we’re supposed to be hated by people who broadcats, preach and teach hate.

    If the majority of Iranians are repulsed by their leaders- as are the vast majority of Iranian students, who the hell are you to come to the defense of a regime that imposes shariah law against their own an d religious minorities?

    Political philosopher Murray Rothbard wrote, “In dealing with crime, liberals are concentrating on the wrong root causes. That is, on ‘poverty’ or ‘child abuse’ instead of a rotten immoral character.”

    I suspect that is something you can identify with.

    You are no paradox. You are a pollutant.

  26. SC&A Says:

    From ‘Paradox’:

    Humans are rarely ever truly evil in their heart. Many humans are capable of committing evil acts, but that does not make them evil at heart. Most of them are misguided. I do not ignore evil, but I have the ability to see the “gray” middle. I find very few things that truly land 100% in the dark or in the light.

    See this for a bit of reality:

    http://sigmundcarlandalfred.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/a-history-of-violence/

    The only societies and cultures where violence is increasing can be found in the Arab world.

    The data shows that in the civilized world, violence is decreasing.

  27. The Paradox Says:

    So you are saying the people who existed before more modern times were in their heart evil because at that time violence was more prevalent? Your entry post tries to explain the decline of violence and savage behavior.
    Here you are using words like “evil.” You brand people with a personal trait that cannot be altered – one that implies completely selfish motivation or no motivation at all for violent, savage acts.
    What I said was that I see a very large gray area with few people who are truly good or truly evil. While the past is full of terrible events where humans killed other humans, it is also full of intentions. Many of those intentions were good. The Nazis and many German people, being the most obvious example, were convinced they were purging the world of bad people and what would be left was a utopia of sorts. Genocide is an evil act – there is no question and no justification, but a utopia for their children is not an evil motivation. Hitler’s personal motivations may have been less productive, but I find little value in judging people evil to begin with, especially after they are dead.
    “Life in a state of nature is nasty, brutish, and short, not because of a primal thirst for blood but because of the inescapable logic of anarchy.”
    This says out right that humans are not evil. Is it just me or does the Middle East, particularly Iraq, live in a state of anarchy? If the country itself is not immersed in anarchy such as Iraq, you can argue that multiple powers act in a way that reflects anarchy as described in your post. Constantly fearing attacks, preemptive attacks – just look at Israel and Palestine! This does not prove anyone is evil. This proves that the Middle East has been left behind (some might argue, intentionally) while the west has grown up.

  28. SC&A Says:

    “So you are saying the people who existed before more modern times were in their heart evil because at that time violence was more prevalent? Your entry post tries to explain the decline of violence and savage behavior.”

    What Steven Pinker says (did you even read the article?) notes that the ‘natural’ state of man is violent. The numbers bear him out.

    I’m not surprised you don’t find racism, bigotry and hate evil. I said before and I say again, people who espouse those beliefs are evil. I understand why you cannot accept that as reality. You are comfortable talk about past evils but you refuse to deal with the evils you are comfortable rejecting- and even accepting.

    As noted, you are a hypocrite. When people scream ‘We’ll finish what Hitler started!’ you need to be a hypocrite. When that is taught, preached and broadcast, you need to be a hypocrite. You cannot and will not reject the people of those ideologies, As noted, your choices speak very clerly.

    As for your utter ridiculous remark re Nazi ideology that “a utopia for their children is not an evil motivation. Hitler’s personal motivations may have been less productive, but I find little value in judging people evil to begin with, especially after they are dead.”

    Be advised that there is no such thing as a utopia without the imposition of tyranny. That’s political philosophy 101.

    In addition, you remarks re Hitler as having personal motivations may have been less productive,’ I can only refer to you as an idiot.

    50 million people were killed in WWII because of motivations that were ‘less than productive.’ That you find that and Hitler not worth ‘judging’ is astonishingly shallow, immoral and above all, stupid.

    Finally, Iraq today faces challenges, to be sure. To imply that the Iraqis were better of under the evil of Saddam and the beast like regime her headed, is absurd.

    To imply that the tyranny of the dysfunctional Arab world is preferable to freedom is the height of political unawareness.

    You are a immoral, bigoted and intellectual fraud- no more and no less.

  29. The Paradox Says:

    I’m not surprised you don’t find racism, bigotry and hate evil. I said before and I say again, people who espouse those beliefs are evil. I understand why you cannot accept that as reality. You are comfortable talk about past evils but you refuse to deal with the evils you are comfortable rejecting- and even accepting.
    I don’t find those things to be signs of pure evil, no. I think they are counter productive and destructive thoughts. They do not imply that those who hold those views are purely evil.

  30. The Paradox Says:

    Be advised that there is no such thing as a utopia without the imposition of tyranny. That’s political philosophy 101.
    Tell that to the people of Germany during the Nazi regeme. I’m not claiming it was possible, I’m saying that wanting a bright future for your children, no matter how impossible that is, is not an evil motivation. Hitler lied and preached a bright future. People fell for it – it does not make them purely evil. The “Hitler’s less productive motivations” comment wasn’t serious. It was a drastic and unrealistic understatement to try to keep things light.

  31. The Paradox Says:

    That you find that and Hitler not worth ‘judging’ is astonishingly shallow, immoral and above all, stupid.
    Twist my words all you want. Judging accomplishes nothing and presumes that you know everything and are some sort of moral authority – it’s something the “Right Wing” is very good at.

  32. The Paradox Says:

    To imply that the tyranny of the dysfunctional Arab world is preferable to freedom is the height of political unawareness.
    I never said that tyranny is preferable to freedom. You are twisting my word and now putting words in my mouth.

  33. The Paradox Says:

    Finally, Iraq today faces challenges, to be sure. To imply that the Iraqis were better of under the evil of Saddam and the beast like regime her headed, is absurd.
    Please refer to the above post.

  34. The Paradox Says:

    As noted, you are a hypocrite. When people scream ‘We’ll finish what Hitler started!’ you need to be a hypocrite. When that is taught, preached and broadcast, you need to be a hypocrite. You cannot and will not reject the people of those ideologies, As noted, your choices speak very clerly.
    What are you trying to say? That because I don’t bring up existing extremist views and call them pure evil in this comment thread that I support them or ignore them? You continue to make dangerously offensive presumptions. This is VERY VERY CLEARLY the kind of behavior I am damning (but I do not damn YOU or assume YOU are evil). You see two sides with no middle. If I don’t damn it 100%, I’m incapable of morals? Big, big post coming in a few. Don’t bother responding until then.

  35. The Paradox Says:

    In the above post, insert “and call those who hold them pure evil”

  36. The Paradox Says:

    Paine here seems to be the only person who is grounded in reality (I’m sorry if you lose credibility because a supposed “traitor and terrorist” said something nice about you).
    Paine, you asked if I am trying to say that “American foreign policy decisions are so immoral that the U.S. must take responsibility for the attacks.” My response is that America should admit, to itself and its victims, that it made some mistakes. We should take responsibility for the mistakes. As I have said over and over – no actions (ours included) can justify attacking innocent people, such as the WTC attack. The attack is not our responsibility, but we played a part in provoking it. That is all. You are the only person to have admitted that the “They hate our freedom” line isn’t the whole story. I don’t know if the other comment authors have a “fairy-tale picture of the American government as morally perfect,” but honestly nobody has seemed to indicate otherwise – as I have given examples and nobody has admitted any mistakes made by America that I recall, aside from you. If you consider it a straw-man, perhaps you need to take a closer look at your peers on these blogs. I would like to see if anyone else is willing deny that “fairy-tale picture of the American government as morally perfect.” That is all I was looking for – if we can admit we did something wrong, we will be better able to diffuse the situation.
    Frankly, the rest of you make me sick to my very core. People like you who consider yourself to be a “moral authority” are too obsessed with your own distorted sense of righteousness to see your own lack of respect for other human beings. I’m a hypocrite? If you beat someone enough (literally or metaphorically), they will turn into an animal. It doesn’t matter what race, gender, age, or background. If you beat someone enough they will either lash out or lose their will and submit. When you then look down on them and spit on them with contempt, damning them for choosing to lash out, you are the one whose morality is to be questioned.
    SC&A: To now suggest that because I am capable of recognizing this I am racist, immoral, bigoted…demonstrates your detachment from reality. Instead of admitting mistakes, you throw blame and accusation. I am not deceitful. I am sharing facts about our history and opinions about our present. If anyone is being deceitful, it is you. You lie to yourself and others every day in order to avoid dealing with the painful reality. You accuse anyone who threatens your world view of anything you can think of just to distract yourself and others from the point being made.
    American actions and intentions can be easily (and often incorrectly) generalized just as terrorists’ can. If you and I were in these countries right now you, not I, are the one who would be more likely to attack the perceived “animals” or “monkeys and pigs.” This is apparently how you feel about those who commit what you consider to be despicable acts – as demonstrated by your own words. “They” are “evil, period.” “They” have “rotten immoral character” and nothing we can do will change that. What else is left but violence? This is your view and it matches what you claim is theirs almost exactly! The difference is that here, we are blessed with freedom and we are not struggling every day to survive the attacks made by our perceived enemies. Both sides are convinced they are in the right.
    You are the hypocrite. You are just as misguided as those you damn.
    Finally, I went back and watched all of the sermons that I could find from Rev. Wright- the first main issue of my first comment. I will be using the looped sound bite as a reference to each one, as you apparently can’t hear the rest of his point. Maybe you saw Rev. Wright attempts to explain his church’s “black” wording while being yelled at by a white Fox employee, who likely knows little about black liberation theology and is paid to stir up trouble with and yell at liberals, and never looked back?
    “Damn America” is obvious. If you hear the entire point he makes, it is that America has mistreated people, particularly minorities like African Americans, Native Americans, and Japanese Americans during its history. Particularly African Americans. The ONLY reason I could possibly imagine people misinterpreting this point is those who believe that blacks have it just as easy, or if you are really detached from reality, easier than the average American. Let me just state this right here, right now. You are wrong. Every time I try to argue this point I find a devastating lack of knowledge backing up the person I argue with so I am not going to bother. Hell, once I was even told that “MLK lead the slaves to freedom decades ago. They need to get over it!” He is saying that America has mistreated his race poorly and still does – and it expects him to ask his god to bless them for it. No, he says, my god damns America for it. As described by Dwight Hopkins, someone familiar with black liberation theology, “It means a sacred condemnation by God to a wayward nation who has strayed from issues of justice, strayed from issues of peace, strayed from issues of reconciliation,” Provocative? Yes. Anti-American? No. Racist? No. Are you one of those Right Wingers who can’t handle constructive criticism?
    “Chickens Coming Home to Roost” is actually the main point we have been debating and I see the point of his sermon to be very clear. It is also important to note that in the sound bite he is being quoted while he himself speaks of what Ambassador Edward Peck (former US Ambassador to Iraq) told Fox News. You said you saw it in its entirety, so you should already know this. He speaks of Psalm 137, specifically verse 9, which says: “May the Lord bless everyone who beats/dashes your children against the rocks!“ He speaks of misguided hatred and hateful acts against innocents related to those who are a the enemy, or a threat. Wright implies that we have been blessed with peace and prosperity in our homes while we wreak havoc on enemies, and often innocents, overseas. He points to our bombings in Grenada, Panama, and Sudan – all bombings that killed a significant number of civilians. He points to World War II. The Japanese bombed a US military site, Pearl Harbor. 68 civilians were killed, and over two thousand military personnel. How did we respond? We bombed cities – not military installations – using the most powerful destructive force the world had ever seen. We let lose the Atomic Bomb.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki
    How many civilians were killed? How many completely innocent men, women, children, and elderly were killed? Just think about it.
    He points to our Middle Eastern policies as well as our country’s history of taking by force land from Native Americans. He does what I’m sure you have the biggest problem with – he accuses America of acts of terrorism. Now, he says, we are indignant because someone dared to return the favor. America’s chickens are coming home to roost. This idiom can be loosely defined as earlier actions coming back to cause trouble or haunt. As Paine agrees, there is no doubt that our past actions have had an impact on the Middle Eastern hatred for the United States. Nowhere does he justify acts of terrorism. He merely preaches AGAINST the cycle of violence – violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred.
    I’m curious, are you religious at all? The things you say, support, and damn…you do not sound very Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or…anything really. I just hope you don’t pride yourself on your religious values.
    I don’t have time for any others. I hope you have fun beating on me! I truly hope that in the future you able to see beyond your own righteous aura and see the ugliness that you yourself have become a part of.

  37. mklasing Says:

    Now you are simply being ridiculous–I’ll admit it to make you happy. America has made mistakes in the past as has every country that has ever existed. However, admitting that has no relevance at all to the terrorist attacks that we have suffered. We were not at war with those people–they attacked us without justification, without justifiable provocation and without regard to anything we have ever done with the exception of being free, being identified as a Judeo-Christian country and being an ally of Israel–period. This argument you keep making has no real point. So what if we admit that we have made mistakes in the past–slavery was a mistake, electing Carter was a mistake, allowing years of illegal immigrants to freely come into the country without obeying our laws is a mistake, not better securing our airlines was a mistake, the O-rings on the Shuttle in 1986 were a mistake, giving away the Panama canal was a mistake, allowing our Federal government to grow to its current nearly socialistic beast of an entity was a mistake, allowing moral realtivsim–like you espouse-to dominate our Nation’s policies is a HUGE mistake.

    SO WHAT? Rev. Wright’s speech is hate-filled and pointless and he clearly without question blames 9/11 on America–you defend his speech—you therefore defend the content and put yourself in the American-hating idiocy of the far left. Tell Moveon.org I said hello.

  38. SC&A Says:

    Like I said, pivot and attack won’t work.

    Your entire ideological identity can be summed up in your own words.

    You said, “Hitler’s personal motivations may have been less productive, but I find little value in judging people evil to begin with, especially after they are dead.”

    Hitler was directly responsible for the death of 50 million people. The Nazis also understood what they were doing and tried to hide their atrocities.

    Every day, calls to ‘finish what Hitler started,’ calls to ‘slaughter the Jews!’ made from the pulpits, broadcast in media and taught in schools. Every day, those outlets refer to Jews and Christians as ‘sons of moneys and pigs.’

    The Arab world and the Palestinians cannot be bothered to hide their intentions or character.

    And neither can you.

  39. SC&A Says:

    Murphy, trust me on this one- the Pollutant doesn’t want to get into the comparison game.

    Not if I’m playing…

  40. mklasing Says:

    SC&A: Oh, I agree–what is amazing is that he actually thinks if he writes a lot he can convince us that somehow he is right. And how dare us challenge his moral relativism. I think this is the most fun he has had in years. The more he writes, the more he reveals his true nature–Pollutant is putting it kindly.

  41. The Paradox Says:

    My apologies for my previous frustration and the resulting hard words. Things have become so much clearer now that you have shown disdain for moral relativism, at least as to why you say the things you say. This all boils down to the impasse we have reached (arguably a long time ago). You are thinking your incontestable moral absolutism is right, and I think there is more than one way to look at what is “right” – call it moral relativism if you like. While I am admittedly not terribly religious myself, I still believe in the saying “Let God be the judge.” I don’t think it is fair to make judgments without knowing everything about the situation – as a figure such as God could only know. I think it is ignorant and a sign of insolence. As you have seen I try to put myself in the shoes of others and share that perspective as a defense that perhaps things aren’t as clear cut as they seem. I admittedly don’t understand your perspective of having only one perspective. I am sorry that I cannot better relate to you. From my point of view, however, absolutism is far too simple to be of value to modern civilization – especially when no one person has the undisputable wisdom of a god. Who decides where the absolutes come from? I see absolutism as dangerously divisive, elitist (Irony! See title of blog post.), and destructive.
    Accuse me of Pivot and Attack (whatever that means) – I have tried to cover every accusation and claim that I disagree with (there are a LOT of them so forgive me for not getting them all). I have tried to stay on topic and only introduced what I consider to be relevant information. I do my best to research and give detail, paraphrase, use analogies… what have you done other than deny, quote philosophers, and accuse me of terrible things? Oh, yeah, you refer to absolute morals and just leave it there.
    I write these partially BECAUSE I don’t understand your point of view. I hope that your responses will somehow shine light on something I’ve missed. Granted, I hope to use that newfound perspective to try to share my own in a way that will hopefully make more sense than it does now – I will be 100% honest about that. Unfortunately, I hear that same argument over and over with little real detail to back it up. Now the common denominator has been found and it is moral absolutism – and apparently guilt by indirect association. I attempt to see another perspective and I become as guilty as those I attempt to explain? This one is new to me.
    Do you want to help me understand why absolute morals are necessary, where these morals should come from, why they are infallible no matter the circumstances, and why I am an idiot for disagreeing? I am honestly curious. Know that my motivation is to better understand, as stated above, you perspective so that I may better help you understand mine.

  42. The Paradox Says:

    and “the paradox” is a handle completely unrelated to this discussion. I simply do not trust people with personal information because they might do something stupid, like…oh….I don’t know…try to report me to the DHS for meeting their definition of “traitor,” which surprisingly covers all people who don’t hold their conservative world view.

  43. mklasing Says:

    Paradox–now you are simply insulting my intelligence. If you really expect me or anyone else reading this to believe that you have written these LONG comments in an attempt to “understand” our point of view and “shine light on something I’ve missed,” then you must really think I’m stupid.

    I’m not going to debate morality any further with you because it is a lost cause–you apparently believe that it is wrong to judge right and wrong–you would make a great OJ juror. I guess in your world rape would be okay in certain circumstances as well as murder. I do judge the murderers of 9/11–sorry but I do–I guess I’m just an absolutist and an elitist under your definition.

    If you REALLY believe in God-which is doubtful having read your own words–then you would darn well know what absolute morality is about. The

  44. SC&A Says:

    Again, pivot and attack tactics fail you.

    Moral relatavism is an absurd and deceitful ideology at best.

    Moral absolutes and not moral relativism are the foundation of a progressive society. Moral relativism is the foundation of every repressive society. It is those societies that seek a blessing for their dysfunctional and oppressive behaviors- and blessing they get from people like you.

    It is NEVER alright to beat spouses. It is NEVER alright to beat children and racism, bigotry and hate are NEVER alright. It is never alright to oppress gays and religious minorities. There are thousand and one other absolutes I can cite.

    Of course, those things can be overlooked if one is an anti American, Jew and Christian hating bigot- you know, like your friends whose ‘values’ you hold so dear..

    To now say you ‘don’t understand our point of view’ is as hollow as it is funny.

    ‘Our point of view’ is the reasonable, rational and moral- completely opposite of the morally relativistic stand you take.

  45. SC&A Says:

    As for your ‘belief’ and faith in God, I’m curious as to the deity you hold dear that celebrates the values of those you hold in such high esteem.

    I guess the morally relative deity of yours has a no problem with the racism, bigotry and hate you overlook.

    The truth about real faith and real belief is simple: We answer to God, a God for whom hate, bigotry and racism are abhorrent- in absolute terms. In your world, God answers to you- and thus your moral relativism allows for the celebration of racists, bigots and haters, with no consequence.

  46. The Paradox Says:

    I’m not going to pretend anymore that you have a point when you say things like “values of those you hold in such high esteem.” If I have a “strategy” called “pivot and attack” you seem to have one of “twist and make wild accusations.” I also said “partially,” Mr. Klasing. I have many reasons, that is one of them. I did not say it was immoral to judge “right and wrong,” I said I felt I had no right to judge a person as being evil. If you think you are right, why do you have to distort my meaning every time I post something? Can’t you just honestly look at my post, understand its meaning, and give feedback based on that and not some extreme misinterpretation?
    Murder is murder, rape is rape. The intention plus situation define both, and our court system is used to find those things. If a man knocks you down, stabs you in the stomach, and thrusts for your heart right before you shoot him dead, is that murder or is that self defense? If a man carelessly walks in front of your car while you are distracted by some guy tailgating you, is that murder or manslaughter? This is what I talk about when I say perspective. Is this moral relativism?
    Can someone give me the definition THEY use when they use the term “moral relativism?” Also, can you enlighten me as to how it is deceitful?
    So you are Christian, so the Christian God is the source of your absolute morals? What are the morals that represent God’s stance, or where can I find them? The bible? If so, where in the bible? It’s obvious that you are overlooking some portions, such as Leviticus.
    Also, wouldn’t you consider the majority of oppressive theocracies to be using moral absolutes? At least the morals of their own religion.
    As for my faith I told you that I am personally not very religious. I do not wish to give you more fodder for insults and do not wish to insult you based on your own belief system. I have studied many religions and spoken in depth with many different people who practice many difference religions. This has helped form my so-called “moral relativism.”

  47. SC&A Says:

    “I said I felt I had no right to judge a person as being evil. ”

    Whatever you do, do not become a parent- or for that matter, engage ina real relationship.

    Adults protect each other and children from evil- that is a priority.

    You also said, “f you think you are right, why do you have to distort my meaning every time I post something? ”

    What utter drivel. Your own words, unfiltered and undistorted, speak to who and what you are. In the end, as I have noted before, when nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.

    Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.

    Your morality is indefensible. If you refuse to address evil or even identify evil, you are morally handicapped.

    As to moral relatavism, let me make this simple. There are absolutes. We don’t beat children. We don’t beat women and we don’t engage in racis, bigotry and hatred- those are all moral absolutes.

    To accept that behavior in others (and hold them in high esteem) as equally moral to those of us who do not engage in that behavior is reprehensible.

    That you refuse to accept that truth makes you repugnant- if for no other reason that moral relativism is intellectually bankrupt.

    All cultures, peoples and societies are equal- except for America, Israel, Jews Christians and Caucasians. They are always in the wrong and they are always, dare I say, evil.

    Like you, I have studied religion and philosophy. What you fail to comprehend is that religion, like other institutions, cultures and societies are measured by what they build and not by what they destroy. While you might be tempted to piously point to Christian excesses, lets keep the conversation focused, say on the last 500 years- and let’s see who has progressed and who has regressed.

    No Christians today use the Bible as a blueprint for mass murder or worse, unlike the use of religious by others- again, do you really want to play the comparison game? You seem obsessed by equating religious adherents. That is not an argument you want to have with me.

    Do you really want to play the religion comparison game? Do you really want to have your defense of racists and bigots highlighted again?

    You are the poster boy for schools choice and vouchers programs. It is clear our public schools aren’t working.

    As for your hurt feelings, well, too bad. I find stupidity and deceit most offensive.

    If I can get over it, so can you.

  48. The Paradox Says:

    “Whatever you do, do not become a parent- or for that matter, engage ina real relationship.
    Adults protect each other and children from evil- that is a priority.”

    You continue to read my words as if there is no gray and that all I see is goodness. Let me remind you of something. I see shades of gray – I stated that a long time ago. When I say “evil” I mean the kind you clearly speak of – unforgivable evil. When I refer to not judging someone as evil, I don’t mean that I cannot look at a person and say “This person is a bad influence” or “This person looks dangerous.” Those people can exist without true evil. If I see a man robbing a store, I see someone who is breaking the law, committing an unacceptable act. This person is not a brilliant shade of “good” by far. However, I do not assume that this person is in their heart evil – I do not know their story nor do I know their motivation. That does not mean I walk up to them and introduce them to my girlfriend or child. It does not mean I will find them innocent in a court room. In fact, without some miraculous explanation that they can back up with evidence, I would say they were in the wrong and that they should be found guilty. Do I think they should be treated as anything less than human because they committed an evil ACT? Absolutely not.

    “Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.”
    What I am saying is not what you claim I am saying. When I don’t hop on the “Damn every single person that thinks ill of the USA and acts on it” band wagon, I do not defend or justify their actions. I refuse to damn them and then explain why. By damn, I mean judge and define them as “unforgivably evil”. Christ himself preaches forgiving your enemies and those who have wronged you. Surely refusing to damn them (and heaven forbid explaining why) is not a sign of an “immoral posture.” Your absolutism is extending into places it doesn’t belong. For you there is your way, and the immoral way…apparently I cannot partially disagree with you without being lumped into that category. Being lumped into that category leads you to ridiculous conclusions about me.
    You need to take a few lessons in logic. Here is a quick one:
    A is damning someone. Claiming they are truly evil and no matter what the situation, they are NOT able to be forgiven.
    Forgiveness will be B.
    A implies !(NOT)B. If A is true (if you are damning them), then B must be false (they cannot be forgiven). The rules of logic state VERY specifically that just because A implies !B, it is impossible to say conclusively that !A implies B. In other words, just because I do not damn them does not mean that I forgive them. It is possible, but not implied.
    This is not some misleading formality, it is not some technicality, it is the logic that the world understands. It is very similar to the commonly misunderstood concept that correlation does not imply causality. In simple terms, just because you see an implication, it is not necessarily true. You will not be taken seriously until you can supply some kind of evidence.

    “Do you really want to have your defense of racists and bigots highlighted again?”
    Please see above. This seems to be your main point and it is getting old. You can say it as many times as you want, it does not make it right – it only makes it your opinion.

    I will ask you again:
    Can you give me your definition of moral relativism and moral absolutism? Can you explain why exploring other perspectives is deceitful?
    Is the Christian God is the source of your absolute morals? What are the morals that represent God’s stance, or where can I find them? The bible? If so, where in the bible?
    And some new questions:
    Where do I declare that I hold terrorists or Middle Eastern Dictators in “high esteem?”

    What have I said that leads you to the conclusion that I DISAGREE with your statement that religions “are measured by what they build and not by what they destroy?” Do you hold all of the Muslim world in contempt? Do you believe Islam to be a fundamentally violent, racist, bigoted, and hateful religion? You seem to imply this by stating that either I or the Middle East, that you have convinced yourself I am siding with and defending, believes that religion is to be measured by what it destroys.

    “You seem obsessed by equating religious adherents.” What? Seriously, do you mean “obsessed with?” I mention religion as an example of a situation where people have different opinions and are convinced theirs it right.” I ask you if your source of absolute morals comes from religion and if so, where? This was a legitimate question – if there are clear cut absolute morals written somewhere that people can reference without getting confused as to what is and isn’t okay to cherry pick from I want to know. Without some kind of guide the argument for absolute morals makes no sense to me. Since it makes perfect sense to you I wanted to know if you had such a guide. I let you know that I am not some ignorant schmuck who knows nothing of religion because you are quick to assume things about me. I occasionally mention Christ because, assuming you are a Christian, that figure of forgiveness and compassion should be familiar to you and I don’t see you practicing much of what he preached. This is not obsessive attention to the detail of religious adherents – these are enormous themes common to all Christian denominations I know of.


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