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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Stan Gibilisco

Here's some fodder that might heat up the Republican candidates' debates ...


The Chinese are not cooperating with the investigation. Ha, ha!

Does this business constitute insanity, or what? Have we as a nation taken complete leave of our senses?

They (the Chinese) hack into our computer networks, send us poisoned pet food, steal our software and other intellectual property, and take money from us to help them in their studies into how they can help their prostitutes to drink more responsibly. And we take billions upon billions of their morphed dollars ... I wonder if they really expect they'll ever get paid back?

Maybe we "aren't destined to be adversaries" with China (as John McCain says in the linked article), but by all indications, we are adversaries right now.

When they invade Taiwan, I wonder if our anti-aircraft missiles will work? Oh, I don't know. Does it matter? They'll never do anything like invade Taiwan. They wouldn't dare, not against a superpower like us.

Of course, we as a nation have become virtuosos at denying reality.

A free Galactic Empire Hope Ring, courtesy of yours truly, for the first Republican candidate to come out and blast China they way they deserve to get blasted, and to propose a law to the effect that all American military parts be designed and manufactured right here in the USA.

And while they're at it, they can pledge to support Israel as a Number One Ally. What a concept!


To me, Paul comes off as irresponsible. Sending all US troops in the region home sounds really nice, but it could and more than likely would backfire. After supporting the Mujahadeen in the 1980s, we abandoned Afghanistan and let a power vacuum. The Taliban and later Al-Qaida (many of whom were formerly Mujahadeen) filled the void. No one likes being over there, but that's why we call it a quagmire. There are no good options and no end in sight. My best guess is we spend at least twenty more years in Afghanistan in some capacity (CIA, advisers, perhaps an air base) and at least ten more in Iraq. The only way "out" is to fill the void of a weaker US presence with international help. In Afghanistan, that's a very difficult proposition because no one with the capacity to help wants to be there any more than they already are. In Iraq, it's all but impossible due the stigma of the war being launched by the US unilaterally. If a US foot steps down in Libya or Yemen, expect the same sort of quagmire to develop.


"I'm the commander in chief. I tell the generals what to do." Hear, hear, Congressman Paul! I'd like to hear more assertion of that spirit, especially on issues like Don't Ask Don't Tell.


Romney won it.

Bill Gillingham

Paul got Romney on a similar point in a 2008 debate. Asked if the President had the power to invade/attack a country without the consent of the Congress, Romney replied "You sit down with your attorneys and they tell you what you have to do." - Paul came back with "This idea of going and talking to attorneys totally baffles me! Why don't we just open up the Constitution and read it?! You're not allowed to go to war without a declaration of war!" (if a link is allowed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibJfK1XfY8w)

There is also the argument that generals on the ground don't want to withdraw - that presidents use this as a way to say one thing and do another.

Romney is a tool - he is weak... and wants lawyers and generals to tell him what to do.


"especially on issues like Don't Ask Don't Tell."

Ha!......Yep cause that's important! We have Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, but if we don't make sure the homosexuals are comfortable coming out of the closet...the United States just isn't going to make it.

Ed Ward II

Ron Paul won the debate - the others were taking their cue from him. Ron Paul has been married to his wife for more than 50 years, is called the most honest man in Washington, and never flip-flops. He is against the silly wars and pro-freedom. What's not to like?

Bill Fleming

Jimi, is your personal liberty and equality more important to you than the fact that the national budget doesn't balance?

It is to me. It is to most of us. That's why we sometimes go into debt to fight wars to protect our liberty.

And yes, if we don't protect our equality and liberty, the United States isn't go to make it.

Any kind of government can balance a budget. In fact, the more ruthless and oppressive the government,
the easier it would be to do it.



Liberty is important to protect, but who protects it? It's kinda hard to protect when you do have a funtioning governemnt and infrastructure. It's not just balancing a Budget....the longterm strength of the U.S. is in question.


The fact that you agree with Paul does not mean he won the debate. Debates are not just about ideas, but about how you present them. And in that regard Paul is terrible.

He can't expect to win people over just by mentioning the Constitution. He needs to focus his arguments on how his ideas would makes our lives better.

The libertarian wing of the GOP could really use a more polished voice.

larry kurtz

From left to right on the CNN dais: Santorum is a DC insider with perfect pitch and who hasn't a clue about the middle class. He's not a governor so Reaganoids won't support him. Bachmann was remarkably lucid, almost dreamy; she made a gaffe, too, besides she's WAY too short to be president.

Newt won, imho; clearly the smartest one up there, good thing he won't be the nominee. Romney lost, he's incomprehensible. Ron Paul always makes the most sense; too bad he doesn't support womens' reproductive rights.

Tim Pawlenty fell flat on his face; i was almost embarrassed for him. Herman Cain would have made an excellent Secretary of Commerce in a Republican administration except the President will be reelected.

The high point came when Jon Huntsman's name came up in his absence. He blew it by not being there.

Bill Fleming

Jimi, we are the strongest nation the planet. By far. Stop worrying about it. You're going to give yourself a rash or something.

Donald Pay

God save us from this group of fools. Flipper (Romney) has had so many different positions on so many different issues, he must have a hard time figuring out where he stands on anything this time around. Romney will say anything to win, kind of like Flipper flapping his wings for the crowd. Paul's answer quoted above sounded a lot like W's bluster, which he generally doesn't. He's usually more thoughtful, but he almost said that he's the "decider." Running for POTUS must have done to his head and affected his judgement. He's never going to get within several miles of the White House, so what he says and how much applause he gets is irrelevant. Bachman took her medication, which suppresses, but doesn't completely eliminate, hallucinations and "crazy talk." If Pawlenty had said "Obamney Care," he would have slayed. Because he didn't, he gets the prize for the person on stage having the most estrogen, and therefore will beat out Bachman for Romney's running mate. Cain, is certainly not able. Santorum looks and acts like a VP---of an insurance company. And Newt is an insurance salesman back from his cruise. The fact that he was right about Ryan means he's got no chance.


Thanks for all the comments!

Stan: I share your uneasiness about our relationship with China. Niall Ferguson is predicting that China will overtake the US in this decade. I hope he is wrong. It will be interesting to see what sort of role the recent unrest in China will play in determining both its future and ours.

Unicorn: I agree more with Romney's position than Paul's on troop withdrawal. But Paul handled the question better and I think his position is rational, even if I disagree with him. I wish international cooperation were the solution to the problem, but it's hard to think that it really is. The member states of the EU don't seem to be able to cooperate with each other, let alone the US.

Cory: So would I!

Guard: He does seem to be the front runner.

Bill Gillingham: Thanks for the link! I missed that exchange!

Ed Ward: I would like to meet the candidate who declares himself "pro-silly wars."

3rd Party: You're right - and I don't make that claim. In fact, I don't agree with Paul as much as I agree with some of the other candidates. But I thought Paul presented himself well this time around. As I saw it, he was clever, rational, and refreshingly interesting. Sometimes, unpolished voices are better.

Jimi: While I Bill and I are on different sides of the Don't Ask Don't Tell Debate, I agree that social and civil rights issues are just as, if not more important than economic issues. I respectfully submit that if the US begins to ignore the importance of life and liberty, then it really doesn't matter whether or not the government functions financially. If all we want is a government on sound economic footing, we might as well have a monarchy.

Mr. Kurtz: On the contrary, I think Santorum resonates a great deal with the middle class. I am not quite sure who the Reganoids are, but Santorum's stances on social issues are very like Reagan's. That is appealing, at least, to this middle class conservative. I agree that Gingrich handled himself very well. I was pleasantly surprised by some of his answers, but he is a seasoned politician.
He knows what to say. It's hard to know which of those things voters can actually believe. I also agree with your assessment of Pawlenty. One of the reasons I am beginning to consider voting for Paul is that he supports the right to life, which ought to have precedence. Cain may have blown his chances by saying that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet, but he is another candidate who I am grateful to for making the debates more interesting. Huntsman probably made his announcement too late in the game.

Bill Fleming

Miranda, if you are in favor of equality and justice for all, I submit that you and I are on the same side of the DADT debate.
Perhaps you just haven't realized it yet?

Bill Fleming

Jimi, who protects liberty? WE do. You and me, buddy. We The People.


Bill: I believe that all men were created with equal rights to life and liberty. But I don't believe that all choices are equal, that all choices are moral or worthy of legal protection - even if there is a biological reason for them.

Some people are born with genes that make them prone to alcohol addictions. Armin Meiwes professed to have always been born with a desire to eat people, while his victim had a strong desire to be eaten and to partake in eating his own genitals. Others profess to be born paedophiles. Most people find cannibalism and paedophilia morally reprehensible. Maybe that's because they're bigots. After all, in the Miewes case, the cannibalism was consensual. But I think it's perfectly fair to claim to believe in equality, while still condemning cannibalism and paedophilia. Do you?

Bill Fleming

Miranda, when did you choose not to be gay?

Bill Fleming

I think your attempt to equate homosexuality with cannibalism and pedophilia (if that is indeed what you are implying) is ethically bankrupt. Look at it this way, I'm left handed, I can't help it. Are you going to pass a moral judgement on me because of it. I suppose I could "choose" to become right handed, but why should I? Because you don't like it that I'm left handed? Is my left-handedness hurting you in any way whatsoever? Or do you just not like people who hold their pencil the way I do?


I see them as similar. If you can pass moral judgement on cannibals and pedophiles (and I'm assuming that's what you're doing, because you're objecting to my comparison), why are you so appalled that someone else might do the same?

Let's look at it this way. Armin Miewes is born with a desire to eat people.
Let's say he thinks it's right. I suppose he could "choose" not to eat people, but why should he? Because you don't like it that he eats people? Is his people-eating hurting you in any way whatsoever? Or do you just not like people who eat people?

Bill Fleming

His eating people hurts the people he eats.

Okay, we have societal taboos. These are the restraints we put on each other that inhibit our liberty to do anything we please. Not talking about formal law here, but rather, social taboos. Cannibalism and pedophilia are socially taboo in most societies. So is farting. And having sex with animals.

Certain taboos lose their social strength over time (miscegenation for example). And certain other practices become taboo that were once considered socially acceptable (slavery for example.)

These days your "bigotry" against cannibals and incest would be supported by your society, Miranda. Your bigotry against miscegenation (if indeed you have it) or your desire to own slaves (if you do) or your prejudice against homosexuality (which it appears you harbor) would not. That's the long and the short of it.

p.s. the jury's still out on farting.

P. Chirry

Then everything we are doing here is without meaning. There is no wrong or right, there is no objectively correct social policy and there are no incorrect ones. There are just "societal taboos" which come and go. There is no ought, only is. So, we can argue back and forth all day, but it's just a meaningless dance of words, with no foundation in meaning.

larry kurtz

Obesity is becoming socially taboo, perhaps even illegal. It hurts society by artificially creating demands on health care. Just as crew-cab duallys serve no purpose as personal vehicles, gluttony should be surcharged. No one has the right to consume resources just to consume.

Bill Fleming

P. Chirry, it has ever been thus. The best one can offer is Martin Luther King's
observation that the "arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Bill Fleming

Again, the taboos that stick are probably the right ones. The question is, do homosexuals deserve to have he right to love and care for each other. Which is more just, that they do? Or that they do not? This is not a difficult question, people.


"The question is, do homosexuals deserve to have he right to love and care for each other."

It is a strawman question. The real question is do homosexual couples deserve to be subsidized by a centralized government with tax payer money, and what are the effects on the stability of the civilization because of that subsidization and the ability to raise childern?

Bill Fleming

Baloney, Jimi. That's just a mask for your bigotry.



Your entitled to your opinion. Good Luck seeing thru your obvious goals by demonizing legitimate concerns of the majority. Homosezuals make up 5% +/- of the population and are centered in three states. This is the prime reason why these types of issues have to be forced on the population instead of letting the normal democratic process run it's course.

The one state with the largest concentration of homosexuals can't pass the legislation, so they try to force upon the population. If it can't pass there then what makes you think that the issue has anything to do bigotry?

larry kurtz

Our neighbors are still fighting for equal rights under the Montana constitution: http://www.aclumontana.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=156&Itemid=62 in a state where the attorney general is a Democrat mulling a run for governor.

Bill Fleming

Jimi, 83% of your fellow Americans think gays/lesbians should be allowed to serve in the military. 77% say they should be allowed to serve openly. And 53% of your fellow Americans think it should be legal for gays/lesbians to marry legally.

The long and short of it is that if you are opposed to gay's serving in the military, it is likely that most of your fellow Americans would consider you to be a bigot. At a minimum, you are destined to be on the wrong side of history when it comes to social justice and human rights. Your grandchildren will not be proud of you for that, I fear, my friend.


"Your grandchildren will not be proud of you for that, I fear, my friend."

Where is your evidence to know what my position is?

Bill Fleming

I think it's clear from your comments here Jimi, unless you're psychotic (which I have long suspected.)


I agree with P. Chirry and reject the notion that societal whims determine what is right and wrong. One could argue that in Nazi Germany, society approved of turning Jews into lampshades. It was still wrong. But your original point was that someone could not believe in equality, while still opposing overturning DADT. And I would argue that if it is possible to believe in equality while opposing the legal sanctioning of consensual cannibalism, then it is possible to believe in equality while opposing the overturning of DADT. I don't think society's opinions of the acts really figure in here.

Bill Fleming

Put it this way, Miranda, if you have to resort to comparisons with cannibalism, pedophilia and the Nazi persecution of Jews in order to make your point that gay people already in the military should not be allowed to admit they are gay if they want to keep their jobs, you have already lost the argument, even in your own mind. Sorry. The good news is, it's just a matter of moments before the lights go on for you, Miranda.

Bill Fleming

In short, all you are proving with your emotionally charged, non-sequitur argument is your own fanatical, irrational, religious prejudice against people whose sexual mores and notions of human bonding differ from yours.

Bill Fleming

I'm going to play your emotional game here, Miranda, just so you can have an experience of how it feels, and because those whom you are insulting are not currently at liberty to give you a proper rebuttal.

There are a group of people who have voluntarily enlisted in the armed services and are willing to fight and die to protect your liberty.

Yes, the very liberty you abuse by shamelessly and insidiously comparing them to cannibals, pedophiles and Nazi racists practicing genocide, torture, and other unspeakable acts against humanity.

Do you now realize how horrifically wrong headed you are being, Miranda?

God, I hope so.

For your own sake.


Bill: I am used the example of cannibalism to establish the fact that even people who believe in equality can object to some behaviors - even if those behaviors are rooted in genetics. Perhaps you disagree, but if so, you haven't said so.

You denounce my version of morality as "irrational" but your version, which says that right and wrong are determined by societal whims seems senseless. At least those whose morals are based on religious beliefs know why they believe what they do. Your kind of morality can change as quickly as Lady Gaga's hairstyles.

Note that I did not compare gay people to Nazis. I simply said that your version of morality could justify nazism. That's a separate issue. I have compared consensual cannibalism to homosexuality. You seem to have a problem with Cannibalism. Would you suddenly condone cannibalism if I told you you were hurting someone's feelings by pretending it was so despicable that you were angry anyone would dare compare homosexuality to cannibalism?

If so, your position is consistent. If not, then you're inconsistent and unfeeling. Because I assure you, there are born cannibals. And for some of them, cannibalism is a form of love.
According to this article, it seems like cannibals can be nice, normal people: "To the family next door, Armin Meiwes seemed the perfect neighbour. He mowed their lawn, repaired their car and even invited them round for dinner." (See:

Maybe, you can tell me why it's alright for you to object to the consensual Miewes-Brandes relationship, while it's not alright for others to object to relationships that they think are wrong. Maybe then the light WILL come on. What moral standard are you using to say that Miewes's actions are so terrible? Is it really just a matter of what society condones?

Bill Fleming

"your version, which says that right and wrong are determined by societal whims seems senseless."

Then by what other means do you propose that it be done, Miranda? The world works by agreement. In fact, we create it thus. What is, is, only because we agree that it is.

Bill Fleming

I submit that the Constitution of the United States, and before it, The Magna Carta are statements of right and wrong, worked out and agreed upon, and thus established as accepted political doctrine by "societal whim" as you call it, Miranda.

It didn't come to us full blown from out of the blue, we the people made it up and wrote it down, based on our evolving notions (whims, if you insist) of social justice. We continue to do so as society advances.

Bill Fleming

(p.s. if I knew Miranda better, and if I were confident that all readers here would appreciate my offbeat sense of humor, and if I had any intellectual courage (which I don't), I would simply respond to Miranda's goofy cannibalism thing by suggesting that she "bite me." But alas, I won't, partly because I fear that she might! ;^)


And I submit that the rights in it were rights before the Magna Carta was created. It isn't wrong to kill people because we agree it's wrong. It's wrong because it violates an inherent right to life. If everything is just made up, then really, right and wrong don't matter. You shouldn't be distressed over cannibalism, bigotry, or even murder, because those who engage in these things merely have different opinions than the rest of society.

Regarding your second comment: Thanks, but I've already had dinner! Maybe a rain check!

Bill Fleming

A rain check. Excellent. Thanks for the reprieve, Miranda.


"If everything is just made up, then really, right and wrong don't matter."

This is the premise of George Soros' writing on what he and his ilk refer to as the "Open Society." Some beleive that there is no such thing as a "Fact."

Bill Fleming

"Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world." -Einstein

Bill Fleming

The concept in physics is known as "observer dependent reality" Jimi, and has been validated time and again in laboratory experiments. It's as close to a "fact" as facts get.


Bill: You're welcome! Out of curiosity, if immorality is only going against the will of society, is wearing white after labor day as appalling as, say, theft?

Bill Fleming

It depends entirely on the context, Miranda. Again, as per Einstein, "it's all relative."

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