Ron Paul

The Friday Political Thread: Brought to You by Democratic Plants

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The week in brief…

– The Republicans faced YouTube and Anderson Cooper in a debate generally spun as a debacle for its inclusion of partisan Democrats in the question queue.

– Ron Paul passed the $10 million mark for his third quarter fundraising. Even odds that he'll top GOP fundraising for October through December.

– Rep. Jack Murtha declared that "the surge is working," and Democrats shed whatever regrets they had about not making him their majority leader.

Barack's Back. Arriving in your all-American mailbox today is this issue of Time magazine.

You don't get the cover of Time if people think you're a loser. This, then, is zeitgeisty evidence of an Obama comeback (or maybe just a surge). The never-credible "Hillary's a lock" narrative from the summer and most of the fall has been scrapped, and the new narrative is: "Will Obama win Iowa; and if he does, can Hillary still win?"

The answers: Maybe and probably. The Clinton campaign is clearly spooked about a steady Obama rise out of the three-way Iowa tie, and is overreacting much the way it did after the Philadelphia "pile-on" debate, demanding Obama take down a health care ad that's been up for weeks… back when their press releases mocked his "faltering campaign." There are plenty of reasons why Obama's doing better, and they show up in his "honesty" and "change" numbers in tracking polls. I wonder if one reason is his ads. The Clinton campaign got kudos for hiring Jimmy Siegel, the Madison Avenue ad man who made unconventional, grandiose ads for Eliot Spitzer's landslide 2006 campaign, while Obama's run more typical candidate-in-a-room-talking-to-Joe-Sixpack ads. As a result the TV version of Hillary has looked like a deity descending from Olympus, while Obama has looked like… well, a statesman from Illinois. (Obama's run more ads, too, which never hurts.)

How does Clinton recover if she loses? I don't think she wins New Hampshire: Iowans caucus on Jan. 3, the headlines on Jan. 4 would be given over to Obamania, Jan. 4 and Jan. 5 are the weekend, so Jan. 6 is the only day to stage a big comeback. But the next contest is Michigan's dubious Jan. 15 primary, where only Clinton and Dodd are on the ballot after a convoluted series of legal moves. Plenty depends on how the press corps covers that. Next (Jan. 19) comes Nevada, where Clinton will have had to drop around 30 points to lose her lead. And ten days later come South Carolina and Florida, the first one a legitimate primary and a good state for Clinton, the second one a catastrophic non-primary (no Democrat has been allowed to campaign there after the state flouted the primary schedule) and an even better state for Clinton. We've never had a situation like this with two big primaries that, technically, have no legitimacy–how do they get covered? There are multiple gimmicks in the Democratic race that will help the national frontrunner. In the GOP race there are fewer gimmicks and not as strong a frontrunner.

Meanwhile, this from Bill Kristol:

The Obama-Bloomberg breakfast this morning raises the obvious thought: isn't Obama-Bloomberg a logical 2008 Democratic ticket?

If you put aside the politics there's something inspiring there: In 2008, a ticket consisting of a black man and a billionaire Jewish mogul is seen as more electable that a ticket led by a Clinton.

She Got a TV Eye On Me. Fox News usually inserts curveballs into its presidential polls, and the latest one (PDF link) offers this:

Whoever is elected president will be on television constantly for at least four years. Which one of the following candidates would you LEAST want to watch on television for four years?

The Democrats' numbers aren't too surprising and track with what the electorate generally thinks of the candidates.

Hillary Clinton—44 percent
John Edwards—22 percent
Barack Obama—18 percent

Clinton is the most-loathed Democrat among Republican (63 percent) and independents (43 percent). Edwards has both the highest discomfort number among Democrats (33 percent) and the lowest among Republicans (11 percent), probably because 1)Democrats are sick of hearing his negative attacks and 2)He's not a Clinton or a black dude who your sister told you she heard was a Muslim.

The GOP numbers are more surprising.

Fred Thompson—24 percent
Rudy Giuliani—19 percent
John McCain—18 percent
Mitt Romney—17 percent

Yes, the professional actor with the deep voice is the man people least want to see on TV every day. Less, even, than two guys with speech impediments. Every time you think the Fred '08 campaign can't look any more misbegotten… there it goes.

Below the fold…

– Michael Cooper nails Rudy Giuliani's willful misuse of NYC statistics.

And this week's Politics 'n' Prog is the terrible, awful, no-good music video for Andy Summers' and Robert Fripp's collaboration "I Advance Masked." Tough to imagine two nerd-rockers looking less comfortable.

NEXT: If Trees Could Talk, Would They Still Be Homicidal?

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  1. In other news, the ruckus in Rochester may hand Hillary the nomination. Wait for the aggressive attack on civil liberties to protect “the peopols” in the morning after the spin machine sobers up.

    Oh, just have to say it before the conspiracy group does – did he act alone?

  2. murtha, as a war opponent, etc. was repeatedly (to put it mildly) promoted as a truth-telling, no bull, war veteran… a tough talking combat veteran who was willing to speak THE TRUTH ™ about Iraq…

    so now that he is saying the surge is working, will the democrats claim the above isn’t true? will they play him as deluded by the lying bush admin ™, etc?

    really, this says more about politics than it does about the surge… what do you do when your truthteller now says things that you don’t regard as the truth, when his POV about the same issue (the war) were previously so important to you…

    hmmm

  3. Admittedly, that is not a good video. Still, I’d rather watch good looking Asian women dancing than see the facial contortions of the Gentle Giant lead singer.

  4. Well, there’s four minutes of my life gone forever. No more posting music videos, Weigel! I love New Wave, but that would have been annoying even as background music to a porn video.

  5. Sometimes I wonder if Ron Paul would be good for Israel and bad for America — foreign policy wise.

    A columnist from Israel National News has this take on the situation: Ron Paul should be the Zionist choice for U.S. President

  6. Uh,oh! More evidence that the Hillary Clinton Campaign HQ Bomber might be a “libertarian” or a “constitutionalist” at least.

    Just breaking from the AP…

    Eisenberg made local headlines in March when he held a news conference on the steps of Rochester City Hall to complain about a police policy of placing fliers in unlocked cars warning motorists to lock their doors. “This is nothing more than a gimmick to get around the Constitution and go around in the middle of the night upon unsuspecting citizens in their own yard and search their vehicles,” Eisenberg said.

  7. Where is Reason’s coverage of Ghouliani’s shag-fund gate ?

  8. Underzog,
    I am a zionist and my religious beliefs are closest to Messianic Judaism. I support Israel, but I do not want my government to do so. Especially the way the US government currently does.

    That article you linked was spot on. We provide all sides in the middle east with increasing supplies of money and weapons and we act surprised that the situation is increasingly unstable.

    It’s enough to make you think Bush is a dummy except that his friends are getting rich.

  9. Of course it was spun as the debate of Democratic plants (and of course CNN was stupid to not screen the questioners better). But this was inevitable. Conservatives count on the general public not knowing how nutty they get (if you read lots of conservative journals [the ones meant for other conservatives] you get debates over how Griswold was a terrible decision, how contraception is a bad thing, how licking ice cream is undignified [good ol’ Leon Kass]), how journalists should be charged with treason for spilling the beans on dubious intelligence techniques, how only the King James Version of the Bible is literally true in ever word, etc). And so conservatives were very embarrassed to have these issues aired in public. Don’t get me wrong, the Democrats are panderers supreme (dare I object to drivers liscences for illegal immigrants?) the GOP have a large group of followers that most of us here would think are plain nuts. In fact, the GOP counts on it.

  10. Over at NRO (the Apologist for the GOP Website) they were angry about the guy who waved the Bible around asking if every word of “this Book” was true. But the GOP counts on the supports of the many folks who not only believe EVERY word of the Bible was literally true, but even the significant amount of folks who insist that ONLY the KJV is the Truth.

  11. Politics in the US can be, at times, deeply depressing.

  12. But the GOP counts on the supports of the many folks who not only believe EVERY word of the Bible was literally true, but even the significant amount of folks who insist that ONLY the KJV is the Truth.

    I have yet to meet a Christian who thinks every word of the Bible is literally true.

    I go to a Christian college, by the way.

  13. In the deep south, no less.

  14. I once knew a girl who thought the KJV was the original version of the Bible (ie, she thought the apostles wrote and spoke English).

    I met her in a laundromat, which is appropriate in some way I can’t quite comprehend.

  15. Politics in the US can be, at times, deeply depressing.

    But rarely boring. There’s almost always somebody to laugh at or get angry with.

  16. I once knew a girl who thought the KJV was the original version of the Bible (ie, she thought the apostles wrote and spoke English).

    I met her in a laundromat, which is appropriate in some way I can’t quite comprehend.

    My New Testament professor mentioned people like this. He marveled at their ignorance.

  17. crimethink: You forgot to tell us whether you two, ya know *wink* *wink*…

  18. But rarely boring. There’s almost always somebody to laugh at or get angry with.

    Maybe that’s what gets me down. Most of the time it’s a circus. Sometimes I wish for something a little more…noble in spirit.

  19. DuBois,

    Yes, absolutely. We totally folded clothes together and smoked afterwards. I even let her fold my underwear.

  20. Hooray for Clinton and Giuliani debacles. I was scared to death for awhile that the primaries would be dull. (And to a lesser extent, by Rudy’s apparent lock on the nomination.)

  21. I don’t have a problem with Murtha’s statement.

    The surge has brought the level of violence and US casualties back to its 2005 levels. In other words, it brought it back to a level at which Murtha was able to live with it the first time around.

    I didn’t like the war in 2005, though. That means that bringing violence back down to 2005 levels doesn’t really change my opinion on the war.

    The only way to change my mind about the war is to deliver the war that Wolfowitz promised in the beginning: a war with minimal US casualties that is paid for out of oil revenues. If you can’t give me that war, I don’t support the war. End of story. Since that cannot be done without a time machine, the surge is not relevant.

  22. In two months the Ron Paul campaign has surpassed the $10,258,019 that Rudy Ghouliani’s campaigned raised last quarter.

    They should easily top it by 25,000.

  23. Sometimes I wish for something a little more…noble in spirit.

    That would be Anarchy.

  24. “I once knew a girl who thought the KJV was the original version of the Bible (ie, she thought the apostles wrote and spoke English).”

    I have seen this phenomenon, and I am generally speechless when I run across it.

    My first thought is that there is so much that has to go wrong in order for a person to be an adult and still think such things.

    My second thought is that this person should never be taken seriously again, at least not until they undergo some sort of meaningful dechristianization.

    Oh, and this goes on way more here in the old USA than it does in every other “developed” nation I’ve visited. I think that and the fact that one particular major political party is far more likely to pander to these retards than the other is important to ponder.

  25. That would be Anarchy.

    I’m not too well-versed in the philosophical underpinnings of Anarchy as a form of (non?)-government, but I don’t think that’s what I want.

  26. I think that and the fact that one particular major political party is far more likely to pander to these retards than the other is important to ponder.

    I guess the assumption is that if people, for whatever strange reason (I honestly wouldn’t know why, because I can’t fathom it) believe that every word of the Bible is literally true, they must also be mouth-breathers whose sole contribution to politics can only consist of picketing abortion clinics, trying to get Harry Potter books banned from school libraries, and keeping homosexuals from getting married.

    Am I getting my caricatures correct?

  27. Whatever Oprah tells me to do, I do.
    Now with the prospect of an Obama-Bloomberg ticket, I’ll bet my irrepressible California daughter will regret she registered Republican just to vote for Ron Paul.

    (Nobody gives a rat’s ass, but I’m Ruthless by day; Gallaher by night.)
    Finally, SIV, why would anarchy be more noble in spirit?
    Anarchy doesn’t even have a spirit.

  28. The never-credible “Hillary’s a lock” narrative
    from the summer and most of the fall has been scrapped

    Told ya’ so. Told ya’ so.
    Nya-nya-nya!*

    *(I’d still do her, lesbo or not.)**

    **Ed, back…away…from the alcohol.

  29. Politics in the US can be, at times, deeply depressing.

    Politics is deeply depressing. All the time. Everywhere. Especially after Republican debates.

  30. RE: Is every word in the bible literally true?

    GEEZ! The ancient Hebrews used idioms, hyperbole, metaphors, similes and other figures of speech too. If it is not so, then Solomon’s bride had tits that fed on swamp vegetation:

    SOS 4:5
    Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

  31. Anarchy is boring. I like to have a tribe (aka government) to cheer for.

  32. Politics is deeply depressing. All the time. Everywhere. Especially after Republican debates.

    Heh. You’re right, of course. But I find the Democratic debates just as depressing and, as a bonus, void of content.

  33. “…I’m Ruthless by day; Gallaher by night.”

    David,
    I’ll try not to do business with you before dark.

  34. Heh. You’re right, of course. But I find the Democratic debates just as depressing and, as a bonus, void of content.

    Nothing beats the last Republican debate.

  35. The only thing that could make this presidential campaign any better is if ABC were to rehire Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. as commentators like they did back in 1968.

    Howard K. Smith is dead, so I think Nick Gillespie and his leather coat should moderate/refereee this time out.

  36. Nothing beats the last Republican debate.

    Agreed.

  37. Vote for the anarchy party?

  38. How does one embed RSS on one’s blog?

  39. My goal is to be both a plant and an animal.

  40. “I met her in a laundromat, which is appropriate in some way I can’t quite comprehend.”

    crimethink,
    I met her in church and crucified her to the mattress that evening.
    Heavenly memories!

  41. My second thought is that this person should never be taken seriously again, at least not until they undergo some sort of meaningful dechristianization.

    This person’s problem is stupidity, not “christianization”. She would be stupid regardless of her religion or lack of religion. If you managed to “dechristianize” her, you would only end up with a stupid agnostic.

    As a Christian, I find your idea of a dechristianization procedure distasteful. Some deeply misguided Christians have advocated similar deprogramming for homosexuals, but reciprocity does not justify extreme coercive behavioral modification. Let’s keep institutionalized atheism’s reeducation camps and killing fields buried back in the 20th century.

  42. (Nobody gives a rat’s ass, but I’m Ruthless by day; Gallaher by night.)

    Thank you! It’s been driving me nuts. I knew Gallaher commented under another name.

  43. First:
    This person’s problem is stupidity, not “christianization”

    And then later in the same post:
    Let’s keep institutionalized atheism’s reeducation camps and killing fields buried back in the 20th century.

    So you object to blaming Christianity for the stupidity of some of its followers, but have no problem blaming Atheism for the acts of its adherents?

  44. Nick Gillespie and his leather coat

    I thought Welch had The Leather Coat(TM) now?

  45. This person’s problem is stupidity, not “christianization”. She would be stupid regardless of her religion or lack of religion. If you managed to “dechristianize” her, you would only end up with a stupid agnostic.

    Agreed, because another alternative is that you’ll get someone who wants to kill a schoolteacher for naming a teddy bear with the same name as some of the kids.

  46. 1. If Reason Magazine would like a lot of publicity and would like to help Ron Paul get his ideas out there, support this proposal. Producing one of those in a one-step-above-PublicAccessTV-style fashion and then uploading a transcript and the video to Youtube wouldn’t cost that much money, and it’s something that the second-tier candidates might agree to.

    2. The debate was even worse than most people think; it wasn’t just the undisclosed affiliations. It also featured CNN letting Huck make a possible lie:

    youtube.com/watch?v=nIbDAVQMKGM

    And, they asked a question that seems even more absurdly stupid every time I think about it:

    youtube.com/watch?v=wm0uWz2BS9M

    In fact, I’m leaning towards CNN intentionally choosing that question in order to help candidates lie.

    3. Those who are covering Huck should really learn what they’re talking about lest they repeat an oft-told misleading statement:

    tinyurl.com/25vwb4

    4. They’re just attending “Revolution in the U.S.” conferences Americans won’t attend:

    tinyurl.com/yr6zxy

    5. Thankfully, I didn’t watch this week’s prog, but this will cure any form of lingering prog-related symptoms:

    youtube.com/watch?v=ghnvvY7E7Lg

  47. They still print Time Magazine? Wow.

  48. Does the Time cover mean Obama will pull a hamstring, be out 6-8 weeks, and probably miss the playoffs?

    Or I am thinking of Sports Illustrated?

  49. You don’t get the cover of Time if people think you’re a loser.

    Uh, how the heck do you explain this cover then?

  50. oh wait, that didn’t come out right.

  51. Anyone looking for a different take on the GOP YouTube debate should try:
    http://goupstate.us/index.php/lanefiller/2007/11/28/youtube_madness

  52. Cover of Time = 14:59

    You had a good run, but your time is almost up

  53. It’s like the director made the video to make fun of the song.

  54. how only the King James Version of the Bible is literally true in ever word

    MNG:

    Funny you mention that… I’ve run into this from time to time– and to my discredit, I’m always credulous when I hear it. I should probably know better and expect less.

  55. A Stooges reference. Doesn’t that completely go against the grain of politics ‘n’ prog? Not that I’m complaining…

  56. “So you object to blaming Christianity for the stupidity of some of its followers, but have no problem blaming Atheism for the acts of its adherents?”

    I appreciate your acknowledgement that the communist murderers of the 20th century were “adherents” of atheism – not the *only* adherents, of course, but adherents nonetheless.

    The last time I mentioned the atrocities committed by atheist Communists, H&R posters threw a fit. They claimed that it was just a coincidence that the Commies happened to be atheists, and that it was such a minor issue I shouldn’t even have mentioned it.

  57. I took the phrase “institutional atheism” as atheism with the force of the state behind it (much like the catholic church had the force of state behind it for centuries allowing for countless atrocities). That is neither an indictment of peaceful atheists nor catholics.

  58. Uh,oh! More evidence that the Hillary Clinton Campaign HQ Bomber might be a “libertarian” or a “constitutionalist” at least.

  59. To Most Commentators on Cristians Here,

    You must be kidding the rest of us that you really believe what you are saying.

    You truly, honestly, wish to say that only ONE party panders after Christians? Do all of you people lose every form of communication during the last 4 weeks of an election?

    You folks are truly unaware of the Democrat “blach Church” blitz right before any election?

    Maybe it does not count as pandering because it is so transparent?

  60. The preview button is my friend. Trying this one again.

    Uh,oh! More evidence that the Hillary Clinton Campaign HQ Bomber might be a “libertarian” or a “constitutionalist” at least.

    Last night CNN was reporting that the guy was complaining about public mental health treatment availability. This leads me to believe he is an Edwards or Obama fan.

    Finding out his 9/11 position would help in figuring out his Paul leanings.

  61. I took the phrase “institutional atheism” as atheism with the force of the state behind it (much like the catholic church had the force of state behind it for centuries allowing for countless atrocities). That is neither an indictment of peaceful atheists nor catholics.

    Any reasonable person would read it that way.

  62. Paul,

    I have run into that on occasion in the past. The version that I run into on a regular basis now are folks who think every word of Rachel Carson was to be taken literally and that Al Gore is some sort of planet savior.

  63. Finally, SIV, why would anarchy be more noble in spirit?
    Anarchy doesn’t even have a spirit.

    Many say a good government is possible, it just hasn’t really been tried yet. Now if the right people were running things……….

    The State is a nice idealistic concept but it is unworkable in today’s modern complex sophisticated era.

  64. Dowdifying John Murtha’s statement doesn’t change the fact that it’s the same thing he’s been saying since 2005: the military performs admirably and accomplishes its military objectives, but the political gains that were the purpose of the military actions are nowhere to be seen.

    Violence dropped after the re-capture of Falluja. It dropped after re re-capture of Ramadi. And now it’s dropped after the re-capture of certain areas of Baghdad. Absent the accomplishment of political goals, it’s going to go back up next year, just as it went back up after the lull following those two episodes.

  65. I’d like to know what surge supporters think we should do in April when we will be unable to keep the number of troops there to sustain the surge at the current level? Because its impossible to do unless you take soldiers from other places where they are needed, or go back to a draft.

  66. I suspect there will be yet another repositioning of the goalposts, Cesar. The surge will be declared a total success; troop levels will be throttled back slightly. Then, when violence escalates to previously unimagined levels of carnage, another strategy will be implemented to bring the violence back to the halcyon days of 2007.

    It’s the perfect perpetual war, isn’t it?

    I want to see a stable, peaceful Iraq, I really do. I just don’t know how we’re going to get there.

  67. I’d like to know what surge supporters think we should do in April when we will be unable to keep the number of troops there to sustain the surge at the current level? Because its impossible to do unless you take soldiers from other places where they are needed, or go back to a draft.

    You might want to pay more notice of the reports of Iraqi military and police units being stood up as Allied units withdraw.

  68. Absent the accomplishment of political goals, it’s going to go back up next year, just as it went back up after the lull following those two episodes.

    You’re probably right. The absence of statesmen in Iraq politics is disheartening at best. I’m aware that personal safety concerns have a role in the reticence of Iraqi politicos, but I had hoped a few brave, patriotic men would have stepped to the forefront by now. You’ll noted I used hoped, not expected.

  69. “I guess the assumption is that if people, for whatever strange reason (I honestly wouldn’t know why, because I can’t fathom it) believe that every word of the Bible is literally true, they must also be mouth-breathers whose sole contribution to politics can only consist of picketing abortion clinics, trying to get Harry Potter books banned from school libraries, and keeping homosexuals from getting married.”

    Jim Bob are you arguing that there are not people like this, and that those people do not have an influence on the GOP? Because I could direct you to Liberty University’s website and their “Doctrinal Statement” that all of their FACULTY have to sign. Here are some gems:

    “The universe was created in six historical days and is continuously sustained by
    God? thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God.”

    “We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are written true revelation of God? it is therefore inerrant in the originals and authoritative in all matters.”

    “We affirm that the return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the
    coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The unsaved will then be raised and judged according to their
    works and separated forever from God in hell.”

    Or how about another GOP stalwart, good ol’ John Hagee, about whom his Wiki site says:

    “Hagee, like some other evangelical ministers, condemns literature such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, calling it contemporary witchcraft.

    Hagee denounces abortion and stopped giving money to Israel’s Hadassah hospital when they began performing abortions [5]. He has also spoken out against homosexuality.”

    Yep, caricatures all, eh? Sorry, the GOP counts on these nuts who give institutional support to them. They can’t simply hide them under the rug when they perform in front of sane audiences…

  70. patriotic men would have stepped to the forefront by now

    They were marginalized from the get go for the likes of Chalabi et al. Why would they trust or feel comfortable working in that environment?

  71. MNG — I like it when you write in paragraphs, otherwise your comments are often hard to read 😉

  72. I want to see a stable, peaceful Iraq, I really do.

    Everybody does. That’s one thing about the debate that is so infuriating. Nobody wants to give the other’s position credit for any morality if they reached a conclusion different than theirs. I’ve likely been guilty of that in a small way, Any other mea culpas out there? Some positions lack a moral foundations, but most don’t.

  73. They were marginalized from the get go for the likes of Chalabi et al. Why would they trust or feel comfortable working in that environment?

    Ali –
    But nobody sane is going to feel “comfortable” doing the right thing in what is best described as a revolutionary environment. Chalubi and his cronies don’t have totalitarian powers in Iraq. Nobody does. That ie the cause of my disappointmnet with the elected (yes elected) members of the Iraqi government. Nobody, or far too few, are willing to go out on a limb for a democratic Iraq with respect for human rights.

    I’ve opined before that maybe the Iraqi culture is just not ready for that. I feel that way more and more as the each day passes.

  74. I wonder what joe and the others who were horrified by the NRA’s alacrity in contending that the VT shootings could have been prevented by allowing concealed carry on college campuses think about this nonsensical Brady Campaign press release re: Sean Taylor.

  75. I wonder when all the liberal UN lovers liberal terrorist appeasers and head in the sand isolationists will finally admit how wrong they have been about everything? The surge has worked we are winning the war even the liberal Murtha finally admitted it. Thank God we liberated Iraq and Saddam is dead the Iraqi people are free. If it was up to the terrorist appeasers Saddam would still be in his golden palaces with rape rooms financed by the europeans. Theyve been wrong about everything and theyre still wrong now.

  76. Iraq is doomed. It will fall into anarchy, not as nearly universally desired like Somalia, more like an ethnically cleansed Afghanistan.

    The Mahdi Army pretty much controls the south, the Kurds the North, and we are helping to create Sunni Warlords in the middle as we clean out Al Queda in Iraq.

    None of these entities will ever combine into a viable government. Even within each ethnic area they may never form a state.

    See my main man William S Lind’s latest column , “In the Foxes Lair.”

  77. I met her in a laundromat, which is appropriate in some way I can’t quite comprehend.

    People, pick up on what Im puttin down now
    Welfare mothers make better lovers
    Down at every laundromat in town now
    Welfare mothers make better lovers
    While theyre washin you can hear this sound now
    Welfare mothers make better lovers
    Divorcee!*

    *Neil Young

  78. I wonder when all the liberal UN lovers liberal terrorist appeasers and head in the sand isolationists will finally admit how wrong they have been about everything?

    WOTS –
    I’ll admit I was wrong as soon as the Iraqis develop a functioning democracy with respect for inherent human rights. E-mail me when that happens. Notify me when the proof of WMDs and Saddam’s cozy relationship with the Islamic fundamentalist al Queda as well.

    What is the US death toll now anyway? Do you feel safer since the invasion?

    An incomplete (top of my head) list of countries with worse Human Rights records than Baathist Iraq:
    People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Iran, Cuba, Rwanda, Sudan, and of course, China.

    Who do we “liberate” next? The neocons must be feeling like kids in the candy store.

  79. Agreed, because another alternative is that you’ll get someone who wants to kill a schoolteacher for naming a teddy bear with the same name as some of the kids.

    Now, now, kolohe, let’s be fair here. They only wanted to flog her 40 times and and throw her in jail for 6 months, not kill her, for naming a teddy bear Muhammad based on the majority vote of her students. These were the moderate Islamists, not the radicals who are giving the moderates a bad name. 😉

    FWIW, why didn’t they go after the schoolchildren who voted for that name?

  80. Jim Bob are you arguing that there are not people like this, and that those people do not have an influence on the GOP?

    My argument was contained in the actual words I said. Please refrain from attributing arguments to me that I have not made and then having diarrhea of the mouth in my direction.

    Because I could direct you to Liberty University’s website and their “Doctrinal Statement” that all of their FACULTY have to sign.

    A sure sign of the end of the world.

    “The universe was created in six historical days and is continuously sustained by
    God? thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God.”

    Okay, they’re wrong. That’s been established. Does them believing this frighten you or something?

    “We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are written true revelation of God? it is therefore inerrant in the originals and authoritative in all matters.”

    A limiting and counterproductive way to study Scripture, I agree.

    “We affirm that the return of Christ for all believers is imminent. It will be followed by seven years of great tribulation, and then the
    coming of Christ to establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years. The unsaved will then be raised and judged according to their
    works and separated forever from God in hell.”

    I believe this describes premillenialism. It is one current of thought in Christian eschatology, and it is not the dominant one.


    Or how about another GOP stalwart, good ol’ John Hagee, about whom his Wiki site says:

    “Hagee, like some other evangelical ministers, condemns literature such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, calling it contemporary witchcraft.

    Hagee denounces abortion and stopped giving money to Israel’s Hadassah hospital when they began performing abortions [5]. He has also spoken out against homosexuality.”

    I have been an outspoken critic of Hagee and his minions for many years. He is, from my perspective, quite insane. However, I am not frightened of him or his followers, because his beliefs are so loony [anecdote alert] that even most of the Southern Baptists I have known wish he would just shut up.

    Yep, caricatures all, eh? Sorry, the GOP counts on these nuts who give institutional support to them. They can’t simply hide them under the rug when they perform in front of sane audiences…

    I agree and disagree. Do you distinguish between the extreme actors and the rank-and-file in modern American Christianity, or is every Christian stupid and beyond hope of reason in your eyes?

    Also, while I don’t doubt that the GOP, to its discredit, does attempt to court Dobsonites and Hageeans, how extensive is their influence, really? I’ve got to believe on some level that the GOP knows it can’t ever be taken seriously by most people if it continues to associate itself with the evangelicals.

  81. Everybody does. That’s one thing about the debate that is so infuriating. Nobody wants to give the other’s position credit for any morality if they reached a conclusion different than theirs. I’ve likely been guilty of that in a small way, Any other mea culpas out there? Some positions lack a moral foundations, but most don’t.

    What’s most infuriating for me about the debate is the way this war is now playing the part of a political fulcrum, with every power-hungry scumbag looking for leverage, and a CINC who’s basically been saying “FUCK YOO, SCRUBZ, I DOOS WHAT I WANTS CUZ I TEH BOSS!” for more than a few years now.

    Also, you’re right- talking to some people, there’s no hope in having a reasonable discussion. Against the war? Then you support terrorists. For the war? Then you’re a fascist neocon scumbag. For fuck’s sake it’s getting old.

  82. Who do we “liberate” next? The neocons must be feeling like kids in the candy store.

    Next should be Iran as long as we can get a strong leader in the White House next year. Ahmedinijad says he wants to wipe Israel off the map, we can’t put our head in the sand and pretend he doesnt exist. He wants to blow us up and have us dead, and must be stopped.

  83. MNG — Can we stipulate that GOP candidates, to get elected, usually have to not actively disparage the religious nutjobs you reference, not to mention a wide assortment of other nutjobs in the broad coalition that is the modern GOP? Note that “not actively disparage” is not the same thing as “pander to”, though Huckabee, Brownback and a few others are certainly pander bears on this issue? That even Ron Paul isn’t lashing out at said religious nutjobs, but is carefully choosing his words to preserve the necessary ambiguity to not p**s off people who would otherwise vote for him?

    And, to be fair, are you willing to stipulate that Democrats who want to get elected ALSO have to not actively disparage certain nutjobs in their coalition, and that some of them pull a Huckabee and pander to said nutjobs?

    Glad we could settle this. 🙂

  84. Do you distinguish between the extreme actors and the rank-and-file in modern American Christianity, or is every Christian stupid and beyond hope of reason in your eyes?

    Can anyone jump in here?

    I do. I’m an atheist and think all religions are pie in the sky nonsense. My older sister, who is probably smarter than me, is a practicing Roman Catholic. She is not stupid or beyond reason. I do find find religious fundamentalists worrisome but I don’t lose any sleep over it. The extremists always get the press (even among atheists) while the tolerant moderate majority lives in obscurity. Pat Robertson is, IMRO* a demagogic asswipe, who is insane or a inveterate liar. That doesn’t reflect on all Christians by any means. Most atheists don’t give a crap about the manger scene in the town square, some of us secretly like it.

    Peace on Earth and good will towards you and yours. 😉

    * in my reasoned opinion

  85. Can anyone jump in here?

    Why, absolutely. 😛

    I am neither atheist nor agnostic; nor am I a practicing member of any of the Abrahamic religions. That’s about all I’m ever going to say on H&R about my spiritual practices, I think.

  86. Next should be Iran as long as we can get a strong leader in the White House next year.

    Swallowed the line and sinker too, didn’t you, WOTS?

  87. Looks like Michael Moore has finally hounded Roger Smith to death.

  88. Most atheists don’t give a crap about the manger scene in the town square, some of us secretly like it.

    As long as the taxpayer isn’t footing the bill, that is.

  89. So you object to blaming Christianity for the stupidity of some of its followers, but have no problem blaming Atheism for the acts of its adherents?

    It is the institutionalization of atheism that is the problem. There is a reason I picked on atheism as opposed to agnositicism. Atheism is itself a religion of sorts, and one that is intolerant of other religions. Institutionalizing atheism’s intolerance leads to the same problems as the institutionalizing any religion’s intolerance. A state religion is in itself a problem, but throw in intolerance, and grave injustices arise.

    Another example is “political correctness”, which despite the apologetics of the left, is itself extremely intolerant. If universities were nation states that students could not flee from (or withhold tuition from), mandatory sensitivity training seminars would rapidly devolve into coercive reeducation camps.

    Enlightened Christians understand this, and are opposed to the state institutionalization of religion, even if it’s their own. The solution to the injustices of state religions is not institutionalizing intolerance of religion, but simply by keeping political power secular.

    p.s. Voluntary proselytization is perfectly acceptable. But when institutionalized as a state function, the proselytization becomes coercive intolerance. Proselytization and intolerance are synonymous when performed by the state. So you can have an otherwise tolerant religion become an intrument of intolerance if given political power.

  90. Brilliant album.

  91. There is a reason I picked on atheism as opposed to agnositicism. Atheism is itself a religion of sorts, and one that is intolerant of other religions.

    Brandybuck, you wound me to the core. I’m a very tolerant fellow, reserving my irrational disdain for NASCAR fans and creationists (that disdain is probably not irrational). We don’t march in the streets waving signs that say “Your wrong, but we don’t give a damn”, but it’s how most of us feel. Madelline O’hair was an embarrassment. See my 2:08pm post.

    See my 2:08pm post. Intolerant?

  92. The proper Robert Fripp to use in a libertarian political blog post is, of course,

    Let The Power Fall

    http://www.connollyco.com/discography/robert_fripp/powerfall.html

    http://wm11.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=5:03:54|PM&sql=Agc6atro9kl2x

  93. I am neither atheist nor agnostic; nor am I a practicing member of any of the Abrahamic religions. That’s about all I’m ever going to say on H&R about my spiritual practices, I think.

    So, you’re saying that you’re a Satan worshipper, then.

  94. Another triumph of the free market order your stuffed bear named Mohammed today!

    An example of the excess of free markets. Ya gotta love it!

  95. J sub D: Not all atheists are intolerant, but a sufficient number are. If you need examples, just look at the Objectivists. There’s even an ad right now on H&R for atheists to learn how to convert theists! As I noted above, proselytization is fine if done voluntarily, but when done by the state becomes instititionalized intolerance.

    People who proudly call themselves Atheists (as opposed to agnostics) and thump the Atheist drum on forums do indeed tend to be intolerant of theists.

    I’ve got no problem with you competing in the marketplace of ideas. But “dechristianization” smacks of institutionalized intolerance backed by the oppressive gunbarrel of the state.

  96. But “dechristianization” smacks of institutionalized intolerance backed by the oppressive gunbarrel of the state.

    Brandybuck,
    I prefer the term “enlightenment”.
    Sorry, it just popped into my haed when I read that. 😉

  97. People who proudly call themselves Atheists (as opposed to agnostics) and thump the Atheist drum on forums do indeed tend to be intolerant of theists.

    I don’t believe in any being or shade that any religion believes in. You can call that atheism, but I think there’s a better word for my brand of it: apatheticism. OK, so it’s not mellifluous.

    I think there are a lot of us. As long as the loons who want to impose their religious values on us are kept in check, we simply don’t give a shit what anyone else believes, does, or says about gods and devils.

    But of course the kicker is that there’s no end of loons who want to rule us, so we’re forced to maintain a vigilant attitude, and smack them down when they intrude. But for that we could live together in peace.

    Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. How’s that for a philosophy? Sound familiar?

  98. Athiests are fine when they are not evangalizing.

    JsD,

    So, you have some irrational bias against fendered race cars and people who do not believe that the univers came about by random happanstance?

    Odd things to get wound up about.

  99. I suppose one might find me to be intolerant of theists.

    My main beef with religious believers is their frustrating notion that if they take a particularly stupid idea and declare it part of their religion, it’s inappropriate to criticize it.

    If someone non-religiously went around declaring that two plus two equals three, or that kissing a piece of broken asphalt would cure cancer, you could laugh at them or consider them stupid or crazy [or a con artist] or whatever and everyone would consider it that person’s just desserts. But as soon as someone calls beliefs like these their religion, it’s “intolerant” to not coddle them in their delusions. And that’s simply annoying.

  100. Hey Weigel that video doesn’t serve Fripp and Summers music that well. Both are a little stiff. The music is much better than that and for those young Randians this is hardly a good introduction. Do you have a problem with Fripp and Summers? And you had QUALMS about Emerson Lake and Palmer who rock, man!!! (They rule!)

    Love Politics and Prog but how about a little Tull?

  101. So, you have some irrational bias against fendered race cars and people who do not believe that the univers came about by random happanstance?

    I admit to the irrationaal “disdain” for NASCAR fans. Knowing that it’s irrational, prevents any “bias”. Creationists (deniers of the FACT of evolution), and others who deny proven scientific theory (perpetual motion machine inventors, for another example), do receive deserved disdain, so I suppose I have some bias there. I try not to, but I am human.

    On how the universe came about, some hypotheises do ascribe it to a random event. Nobody knows, it’s pretty much all unsupported guesswork.

    Standard libertarian disclaimer #9 goes here.

  102. Atheism is itself a religion of sorts, and one that is intolerant of other religions.

    Not in and of itself. There’s nothing about atheism (simply the belief that there is no God, and nothing more than that) which requires one to be intolerant of believers. There are no sacred texts that order the deaths of non-believers who are doomed to eternal torture. But there are plenty of atheists who are assholes, no doubt. Every belief system has its share.

    Another example is “political correctness”, which despite the apologetics of the left, is itself extremely intolerant.

    This assumes that “political correctness” belongs to the left, when we all know that’s not true. There are just as many conservatives who are intolerant of politically incorrect speech and ideas, which is why most Americans won’t vote for an atheist or an anti-prohibitionist or someone who thinks homosexuals should have all the rights that heterosexuals do.

    The solution to the injustices of state religions is not institutionalizing intolerance of religion, but simply by keeping political power secular.

    I absolutely agree with you, here.

  103. Guy- On the BBC today there wasn’t a bit of spin or the over-hype that we have here in the states. The BBC got into a lot of nitty gritties about how politics is being played out in Sudan, especially vis-a-vis the UN and Darfour, etc. Now most people are not exposed to his level of detail. So by buying these teddies, thinking that you are standing up to justice or free speech or whatever, does nothing but add to the stupidity and the silliness of the whole.Please do not take this as a defense of the whole mess the extremists are doing. They are dumb, a disgrace to the Sudanese people, and a huge embarrassment to Islam.

  104. Today was the day I met the Good Doctor — Dr. No. He was great 🙂

  105. I shook his hands and we talked for a couple of minutes.

  106. I do not always agree with CAIR, but their statement regarding the stupid teddy bear incident is good. Here.

  107. I Advance Masked. One of the much-talked-about arty albums of the 80s that I avoided in high school, much like Byrnes’ My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, or just about any post-Genesis Peter Gabriel album. Thanks for the clip, Weigel, now I know I made the right choice to save my money 25 years ago!

    Not as dreadful as PiL’s Flowers of Romance, though …

  108. On second thought, the music and video work as a new-wave feminine hygeine product ad …

  109. Jim Bob
    “However, I am not frightened of him or his followers, because his beliefs are so loony [anecdote alert] that even most of the Southern Baptists I have known wish he would just shut up.”

    Sorry, but Hagee has many, many followers. Go to your local Christian bookstoer and you will see his books. Flip on your tv on Sunday, and there he is. People like Newt Gingrich share platforms with him regularly. So downplay his influence among evangelicals if you like, but its clear that the man has pull among that crowd.

    “I believe this describes premillenialism. It is one current of thought in Christian eschatology, and it is not the dominant one.”

    Its not dominant in Christianity, but fairly strong among conservative Protestants, and my general point is that conservative Protestants, whom the GOP courts, are nuts.

    “A sure sign of the end of the world.”

    Do you feel Falwell and Liberty have minimal influence on conservative Protestants in the US, or the conservative movement?

    “Also, while I don’t doubt that the GOP, to its discredit, does attempt to court Dobsonites and Hageeans, how extensive is their influence, really? I’ve got to believe on some level that the GOP knows it can’t ever be taken seriously by most people if it continues to associate itself with the evangelicals.”

    So I could tell you doubted their influence. I suggested as much and you flip out and then in the same post you doubt their influence…But my very point is that the GOP court these folks and then are embarrased by them and then just accuse the “liberal media” of choosing the nuttiest examples (which is exactly what I argued in my initial post in reference to NRO’s whining about the YouTube debate). If they court them they shouldn’t act all confused and embarrassed when they show up at the party…And I think their influence is pretty obvious. How would you argue that the GOP bucks these folks?

    “Do you distinguish between the extreme actors and the rank-and-file in modern American Christianity, or is every Christian stupid and beyond hope of reason in your eyes?”

    Of course not every Christian is beyond hope of reason, but a great deal of them, especially among Christian conservatives are. Polls of these folks will show strong support for positions similar to Hagee’s or Falwells.

    “For fuck’s sake it’s getting old.”

    They must love this talk at your southern Christian college. Are you on a track scholarship or something?

  110. So by buying these teddies, thinking that you are standing up to justice or free speech or whatever, does nothing but add to the stupidity and the silliness of the whole.

    Ali, That kind of stuff is to be expected from a free, and cynical society. As I’m sure you are aware, ther are far more offensive things out there than this. This will probably sound callous of me but, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. It’s not polite, humor often isn’t. It’s not tolerant, humor often isn’t. It’s not destructive, humor isn’t. In a free country nothing is off limits for mocking. not Jesus, Not Moses, Not Muhammed, not Vishnu, nothing and nobody. As hard as it may be to believe, I, J sub D, have been mocked on occasion. I did somehow manage to carry on with my life.

  111. BTW, I loved what your Celtics did to the Knicks. What a beatdown. The Pistons will be a different story, though.

  112. J sub D: Oh, I am not offended at all. I just think the whole thing is stupid. Responding to the craziness with stupidity just adds to the overall noise and nothing intelligent is gained. But I guess we humans do not appreciate intelligent. We like impulses and passion. Well good luck.

    This will probably sound callous of me but, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

    Ditto! I was not defending them. I was criticizing stupidity on both sides.

  113. Re: polls on the large segment of Christian evangelicals who believe in Falwell/Hagee positions:
    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/primetime/US/views_of_bible_poll_040216.html
    http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=1084

    Prolefeed:
    “Note that “not actively disparage” is not the same thing as “pander to”, though Huckabee, Brownback and a few others are certainly pander bears on this issue?”

    When someone consciously “not actively disparages” a nut who thinks every word of the King James Bible is true, or that the world was made in six literal days, or that we should orient our Middle East policy around God’s promise to Abraham, then that is pandering to such people. The only GOP candidate who I would say is in the “not acively disparage” mode as opposed to “pander” in regards to religious nuts is Guliania (sorry, but Paul panders to religious nuts quite a bit [probably something you have to do to get elected to Congress in many a Texas district], perhaps you can point out times he has not).

    “And, to be fair, are you willing to stipulate that Democrats who want to get elected ALSO have to not actively disparage certain nutjobs in their coalition, and that some of them pull a Huckabee and pander to said nutjobs?”

    From my initial post: “Don’t get me wrong, the Democrats are panderers supreme”

    And I still stand by the position that its one thing to pander to an extreme policy group, like say Handgun Control Inc. and another to pander to people who believe that the earth was created in six literal days or that the King James version of the Bible is literally true and other beliefs about as thoughtful as “magic pixies magically watch over me.” That’s the GOP’s nuts…

  114. BTW, I loved what your Celtics did to the Knicks. What a beatdown. The Pistons will be a different story, though.

    Haha! Keep dreaming my friend, keep dreaming! (Actually I do not know which way I will go when these two teams meet. I usually like to go with the winner, so I will probably declare my support after the game 😉 )

    Did you see the comment regarding today’s encounter with The Man Himself?

  115. Guy– did you see my comment @ 6:07?

  116. The #1 cause of injury, disability, and DEATH in America is, Health Care. More people die now from contact with the American Medical Health Care system than from any other cause of death. More than from Cancer, Heart disease, or Stroke. More than any other country in the world. Many times more than any other people in the world. This fact is a catastrophic indictment of the entire US Health Care System.

    Driven by greed. And a rush to profit. Thousands of Americans are killed, and injured daily in America. By compromised health care. Cutting corners. Over, and under treatments. And poisonings with all manor of toxic, poisonous pharmaceuticals. Especially the children. America only makes up 2-4% of the world population. But Americans buy, and consume 50% of all pharmaceuticals world wide.

    But the tide has turned. I can see it. Hear it. And feel it. The message is getting out. And taking hold about the fact that we have a very serious, and major health care crisis going on in America. Hurting everyone. Especially our precious little children. Rich, and poor alike. And most all Americans seem to understand now that “HR 676 Not For Profit Single Payer Universal National Health Care For All (Medicare For All)” is the way to go. Like all the other developed countries have done. I have seen numbers as high as 90% of Americans want government managed health care Now. Medicare for all. Like other developed countries have. And like older Americans have now.

    BRAVO!!! America. YOU GET IT! YOU REALLY GET IT! See sickocure.org.

    It’s NOW TIME to bring out the BIG GUNS!! The BIG GUNS!! are you. The American people. And anyone else that wants to help. From now until HR 676 is passed into law. I want every person to reach out and touch their fellow Americans every day if you can. I want you to take a phone book. And call at least one of your fellow Americans every day. And ask them to pickup the sword of HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care For All (Medicare For All).

    Call more than one each day if you can. And ask them to do the same as you are doing if they can. And also to put maximum pressure on their politicians to get HR 676 done. And to make sure their politicians support HR 676. Accept no substitute. HR 676 is a no-brainer. It’s the best way to go on health care. It’s the only moral, and ethical way to go. That is why every other developed country has done it. Most did it years ago.

    I know that many of you have been doing a fabulous job of spreading the word by talking it up with family, friends, and co-workers. And putting pressure on the politicians to get HR 676 done ASAP. The phone calls to your fellow Americans will increase the pressure. And grow the movement at an astonishing, and exponential rate. And I know many of you have been wanting to do something more to help. The phone calls to your fellow Americans is something you can do every day to help.

    Trust me. It will be something to see. But you have to keep the focus, and pressure on getting HR 676 passed pronto. They will try to distract you. With all manor of other crises, and catastrophes. And other plans. Don’t be distracted. HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care is the #1 concern of the American people. Thousands of Americans are dieing daily now. And you or your loved ones could be next.

    There is no good reason HR 676 cannot be passed into law well before the coming elections. Do not tolerate delays. If it is not passed before the coming elections. All America will know which politicians are on the side of the American people. And which are not when they vote. Well before the elections.

    Everyone can do this. Most of you are well informed about HR 676. This truly is one of those no-brainers. Be considerate of your fellow Americans when you call. But be comfortable about calling. These are your fellow Americans. Some will be receptive. And some will not be. Some maybe rude, and mean. Just thank them, and move on to the next. Most will be with you. And if you get a call from one of your fellow Americans about HR 676. Let them know you are already on board. And thank them for calling. Build them up. And keep them strong. They are fighting for all of us.

    I will try to make a second post with just a few of the reasons everyone with 2 working brain cells agrees HR 676 is the best way to go. But you can also look them up for your-self. And read some of the positive informed post on many of the message boards too.

    Lastly, I am sick and tired of hearing how the candidates, and politicians health care plans are going to protect, and preserve the private for profit health insurance companies that have been killing, and ripping off the American people. And now the politicians want to mandate (require) that every American has to support the private for profit insurance company’s that have been killing, and ripping you off. Or you will be fined, and PENALIZED. Thats right. PENALIZED. Ridiculous! The politicians really think you are all detached idiots. CASH COWS! To lead to the slaughter. Don’t put up with that.

    So get on it America. Get those phones going. Chat it up! Save some lives. You want all of America talking about HR 676 becoming law, Now! Before more die needlessly. Make it happen. And to my fellow cyber warriors. You have been doing great! I see it! Keep it up. 1 of 2 post…

  117. Below are a few reasons why “HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care For All (Medicare For All) is a no-brainer. And some reasons why private for profit health insurance is a stupid idea, and injuring, and killing you and your loved ones.

    Medicare cost 2-3% to administer. Private insurance cost 30% to administer.

    Under HR 676 everyone would be covered from birth to death. No co-pays. No-deductible. No out of pocket cost. Plus Dental. And Vision. For less cost than we pay now under private health insurance.

    With private insurance. You have 47 million Americans with no insurance.

    And 89 million Americans that had no insurance part of the time from 2006-2007.

    And over a 100 million that are under insured.

    18-30 thousand Americans that die each year from lack of health care.

    Health Care bills as the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy. And loss of homes.

    Under HR 676 health care is moral, and ethical.

    Private for profit insurance is immoral. And unethical.

    Profit is the primary motive of the private insurance companies.

    They make profit by charging needy, vulnerable, sick Americans as much as they can charge them.

    Then they make more profit by denying them care when they most need it. And are most vulnerable and unable to fight back. When they are sick. Or trying to recover from major illness.

    Yep! I know you are getting angry. I’m sorry. But I have to continue.

    Under HR 676: we will save 300 billion dollars in administrative cost each year.

    With private insurance: we spent more per capita on health care than any other country in the world. Over twice as much as most other developed country’s. Yet we have 47 million with no health care.

    We rank at the bottom in quality of health care #37.

    Americans have a shorter life expectancy than people from all other developed countries. We rank # 42 in life expectancy. Down from #1.

    For the first time in American history. The life expectancy of American children is less than that of their parents. American children are dieing at a record rate. And are in terrible health generally.

    People from other country’s enjoy a much higher level of general health than the best privately insured Americans.

    Americans are also shrinking. We used to be the tallest people in the world. Now we are down to # 10.

    People from other country’s never have to worry about going bankrupt, or loosing their homes over medical bills if they get sick.

    Maybe you should go take a break for a while before I go on. I know this must be upsetting. But this is just a small part of the sad truth about private health insurance that HR 676 can fix.

    Under HR 676: Health care will be based on need. Not on profit. And high standards, and quality will be enforced, and patients protected by the Government through a dedicated civil service. With the power, and resources to rain in abuses of patient care. Like they do with Medicare now.

    With private insurance: Medical care is base on ability to pay. And profit. Tens of thousands of patient are killed, and millions are injure, crippled, and mutilated each year under private for profit health care, and insurance.

    By insurance companies denying needed care to increase their profits.

    By hospitals cutting corners. And using the cheapest least experienced personnel, equipment, and standards they can get away with.

    By doctors that over treat, and under treat. Who injure, mutilate, and kill patients with unnecessary test, procedures, surgery, and invasive diagnostic test for profit. Who poison, kill, and injure millions of Americans with all manor of unnecessary pharmaceuticals for profit. Men, Women, Children, and babies.

    Americans makeup 2-4 % of the world population. But Americans buy, and consume 50% of all pharmaceuticals world wide. This is a monstrous evil. And immorality.

    And lastly, by politicians that take blood money from all these despicable groups and turn blind eye’s to this slaughter of the American people. And the slaughter of their own loved ones. And them-self.

    Well I could go on. And on. But I think this is enough to get you started making your daily phone calls to your fellow Americans to support HR 676. And to help them understand how important it is that each of them join the fight. And bring the MAXIMUM pressure to bear on all individuals, parties, and especially your politicians, and Representatives. To get HR 676 passed into law immediately.

    This is an emergency. America is in a crisis. More Americans have died from this health care crisis than have died in all the wars in US history. Do your best. Millions of Americans lives are counting on each of you. Including your own life. Remember, you are Americans. You know how to fight for your country when you have too. The whole world is in your blood. I’m with you.

    All the best… 2 of 2

  118. iih, yeah I did. What did y’all talk about? Is he as undynamic in person as he appears on the TV?

  119. Mr. Nice Guy — So a Democrat or Republican running for President should go out of their way to attack the many nutjobs in their party, knowing it will cost them millions of votes, instead of quietly doing their best to not address the beliefs of these people and insult them? Is that what you believe?

    In your own personal life, when someone at a party says something a bit whack, do you go off on them, or do you quietly say something along the lines of “That’s an interesting viewpoint” and wander off to talk to others who are more grounded?

    It’s not just politically savvy, it’s courteous to not go out of your way to attack the odd beliefs of some of the people who would like to be your constituents. It’s — wait for it — being a Nice Guy.

    But, let me just say this: you did express an interesting viewpoint.

    * wanders off to talk to others … *

  120. Sorry, but Hagee has many, many followers. Go to your local Christian bookstoer and you will see his books.

    ZOMG! The man has published books! Alert the Marines!

    Flip on your tv on Sunday, and there he is.

    Of course, I can also flip away from his High Corpulence, and will invariably choose to do so.

    People like Newt Gingrich share platforms with him regularly.

    Newt is a major political figure with a rabid following of millions. Oh, wait, he isn’t.

    So downplay his influence among evangelicals if you like, but its clear that the man has pull among that crowd.

    I asked a reasonable question: does Hagee have the psychic chokehold on the GOP you claim he does, or is it really something a little more understated?

    Its not dominant in Christianity, but fairly strong among conservative Protestants, and my general point is that conservative Protestants, whom the GOP courts, are nuts.

    You sure made a big deal out of it, though.

    Do you feel Falwell and Liberty have minimal influence on conservative Protestants in the US, or the conservative movement?

    I feel that they’re not poised to take over the world, send homosexuals to reeducation camps, and start forcibly converting the heathen to Christianity. From the tone of your little diatribe, it sounds like that’s what you’re frightened of.

    So I could tell you doubted their influence. I suggested as much and you flip out and then in the same post you doubt their influence.

    What the hell are you talking about?

    But my very point is that the GOP court these folks and then are embarrased by them and then just accuse the “liberal media” of choosing the nuttiest examples (which is exactly what I argued in my initial post in reference to NRO’s whining about the YouTube debate).

    Well, wouldn’t you be embarrassed if you thought your party had to rely on Dobsonites and Hageeans for votes? Are you accusing politicians of pandering and of being opportunistic? Would you also like to tell me the sky is blue?

    If they court them they shouldn’t act all confused and embarrassed when they show up at the party…And I think their influence is pretty obvious.

    Hmm…you should read prolefeed at 2:02pm on this thread.

    As for their influence, show me where I did anything but doubt your hyperbolic claims that the entirety of the GOP is waiting to obey Darth Hagee’s next command.

    How would you argue that the GOP bucks these folks?

    I wouldn’t. I would argue that they can be bucked, by, you know, other people who aren’t these members of the GOP you are claiming wait only for us to let our guard down, so they can pounce.

    Of course not every Christian is beyond hope of reason, but a great deal of them, especially among Christian conservatives are.

    The scope of your claim makes it fairly weak. And, beyond hope of what? Experiencing the pristine white light of your profound genius?

    Polls of these folks will show strong support for positions similar to Hagee’s or Falwells.

    Which obviously means they’re retarded and incapable of participating in any politics, anywhere, for any reason.

    They must love this talk at your southern Christian college. Are you on a track scholarship or something?

    Did you throw this little jab in to try and further convince me that you’re really a peevish asshole? Because, honestly, I don’t need any more convincing.

  121. More Americans have died from this health care crisis than have died in all the wars in US history

    Wow.

    The whole world is in your blood

    ummm what?

  122. Did anybody bother to read the jacksmith posts? I scanned until I got to “medicare for all”. He apparently thinks welfare families heath care should be emulated by the rest of society. The usual crap, right?

  123. Oops on the italics tag.

  124. iih, yeah I did. What did y’all talk about? Is he as undynamic in person as he appears on the TV?

    In real life he’s very comfortable and relaxed. If only they make these idiotic debates allow the people talk about the real issue for like 5 full minutes. Oh well. I thanked him for what he does and he thanked for what I am doing for him. I am working on getting a prominent Muslim individual write a letter of support on his behalf for the American Muslim community. But then I thanked him again for what he does for all of us citizens and residents of this great country.

  125. MNG — The Mormon church I go to is full of people who believe the world was created in six literal days, is about 6,000 years old, and that the Book of Mormon is literally true and inerrant (OTOH, while they prefer the KJV version of the Bible, it’s one of the Mormon Articles of Faith that the Bible is not inerrant).

    If I don’t relentlessly attack the beliefs of these kind and good-hearted people, and instead ask the occasional pointed question in various Church classes, thus igniting an interesting discussion (my actual practice), am I pandering to their beliefs? Or am I exercising common courtesy?

  126. The whole world is in your blood

    That’s better than “the whole world is in your pants”, like Paris Hilton.

  127. I stand by everything this man says.

    Yes, J sub D, his ideas are moving and are very dynamic.

  128. “The State is a nice idealistic concept but it is unworkable in today’s modern complex sophisticated era.”

    SIV,
    You probably knew this, but I was just trying to be your PLANT here on H&R. (See title of this thread.)
    As Harry Browne of my hometown of Nashville often said: Government doesn’t work. (Get used to it.)
    The hoi polloi need to face that fact. (Perhaps most have.)
    By the way, SIV, The State throughout history never worked: even the unwashed, ignorant hoi polloi never got their life improved by any leader nor by being “governed.”

    Too bad anarchists don’t vote, eh? And an Anarchist Party? A tantalyzing oxymoron.

  129. Not as dreadful as PiL’s Flowers of Romance, though …

    Flower’s of Romance is one of the best albums of the last 25 years.

    The last good album Rotten Johnny put together, sadly.

    Martin Atkins, however, manages to put out occasional gems to this day…one of the great drummers in rock…(John Bonham good, yeah, I said it).

  130. The #1 cause of injury, disability, and DEATH in America is, Health Care.

    More people get sick and crippled in hospitals than any where else.

    Driven by greed. And a rush to profit. Thousands of Americans are killed, and injured daily in America. By compromised health care. Cutting corners. Over, and under treatments. And poisonings with all manor of toxic, poisonous pharmaceuticals.

    Commas, goddamit, commas. Not periods.

    Especially the children.

    Well, if it “for the children”, OK.

    America only makes up 2-4% of the world population.

    Try ~5% there Mr. Math.

    But Americans buy, and consume 50% of all pharmaceuticals world wide.

    Hey, I try to do my part.

    I can see it. Hear it. And feel it.

    Listening to you I get the music.
    Gazing at you I get the heat.
    Following you I climb the mountain.
    I get excitement at your feet!
    Right behind you I see the millions.
    On you I see the glory.
    From you I get opinions.
    From you I get the story.
    Listening to you I get the music.
    Gazing at you I get the heat.
    Following you I climb the mountain.
    I get excitement at your feet!

    Hurting everyone. Especially our precious little children. Rich, and poor alike.

    Oh God! Not the childre again. [groan]

    And most all Americans seem to understand now that “HR 676 Not For Profit Single Payer Universal National Health Care For All (Medicare For All)” is the way to go.

    Then it’s a slam dunk, turn the innernet back to the wrasslin’ Mildred.

    I have seen numbers as high as 90% of Americans want government managed health care Now. Medicare for all.

    Now we know where some of those pharmaceuticals are going.

    See sickocure.org.

    Obligatory web site shill.

    It’s NOW TIME to bring out the BIG GUNS!!

    Shit, I knew we should never have mothballed the Iowa class battleships.

    I want every person to reach out and touch their fellow Americans

    Thank you, AT&T.

    And ask them to pickup the sword of HR 676 Single Payer Not For Profit Universal Health Care For All (Medicare For All).

    I thought we were using the big guns. I’m sooo confused.

    Accept no substitute.

    First The Who, now Delaney and Bonnie.

    HR 676 is a no-brainer.

    Something is a no-brainer around here.

    I will try to make a second post with just a few of the reasons everyone with 2 working brain cells agrees HR 676 is the best way to go.

    Oooh, I can hardly wait.

    So get on it America. Get those phones going. Chat it up!

    AT&T again?

    And to my fellow cyber warriors. You have been doing great!

    I’ve got my plasma sword and invisible potions ready, jacksmith! Lead us to victory!

  131. Somebody else can do the second post.

  132. “Anarchy is boring” should be someone’s H&R handle. Brilliant iih, brilliant.

    =/;^)

  133. sheesh for the length of that post… J sub D… when you just disappeared like that I thought something happened to you. Now I know why.

  134. NM: Where have you been? Haven’t seen you on here for a long while.

  135. Would someone help out here? Mike Laursen may be?

    How can I create an RSS feed out of my blog? For free, that is.

  136. PIL, Flowers of Romance…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E_0bBGjL70

    Martin Atkins’ best John Bonham…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmoVIKDlZS8

  137. Well, been busy with research, and the little H&R time I’ve had has been tied up keeping Sean W. Malone occupied on an extinct thread…

    I feel like I did everyone a huge favor keeping his rants contained to a thread no one else was reading…

  138. NM- That first song was awful! The second just started. Sounds awful too. May be the remaining 2 minutes would salvage it, probably not.

  139. What a headache these songs were.

  140. Neu Mejican,
    It should be my handle, but I hate to relinquish “Ruthless.”
    You are so correct that anarchy would be boring.
    Many journalists would have to find another career.
    But work with me in imagining what new things would tittilate us.
    Would it be all Britney all the time?
    Surely we could rise above that. (Not that she’s a “bad” thing, of course.)

  141. Mejican – that Damage Manual song is pretty good. I’ll never get into PiL, though. (ok, Death Disco is a good song.)

    DEG (aka Ruthless) – many historians would have find other employment as well. Creative destruction, and all that.

  142. If less government is a “good thing”, and “libertopia” is a “better thing” than Anarchy should be the “best thing”.

    The only minarchist argument for a State at all is as a check on more coercive forms of collectivist power. Or am I missing one?

  143. iih,

    Musical taste is, of course, entirely subjective…

    As a musician, I tend to have pretty wide ranging taste…from all over the world.

    From Benin- Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomeyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzK7ttlR0LQ

    I am a big fan of Chaba Zahouania too…
    http://www.dailymotion.com/related/2508264/video/x2vbse_cheba-zahouania-en-tunisie_music

    And Rachid Taha
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUbzX3izyw4

    And Arvo Part:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OwdlKiB_ro

    And Tom Waits:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VglhcIsfqk

    And Charles Mingus:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbz8jmTgwx4

    And the list goes on…

  144. SIV,

    If less government is a “good thing”, and “libertopia” is a “better thing” than Anarchy should be the “best thing”.

    This assumes a monotonic relationship…not necessarily warranted.

    And pet peeve: “then” not “than”

  145. Oops, what’s that crap sampling Gasparyan?

  146. Rachid Taha

    Yeah, Rai is cool! Aicha, Ya Rayah and Abdul Kader are just great songs. Not all are by Taha I think.

  147. NM- New content has been added to my blog (it has a new look now) 😉

  148. Jim Bob
    My argument is that folks like Hagee and Falwell have obvious infuence on conservative Protestants in general. That their books can be found in any bookstore that targets that audience, that their tv shows do well with the same target audience and that their universities (in Falwell or Robertson’s case) appeal to thousands of them is telling of that. In your attempt to cast doubt on their influence you cite actually no evidence of your own.

    “Newt is a major political figure with a rabid following of millions. Oh, wait, he isn’t.” Newt is the former speaker of the House and minority leader for the very party I am accused of being influenced by conservative Protestants. He raises gobs of money for said party, writes for and particpates with the major GOP related magazines and think tanks, and was considered a very serious Presidential candidate for said party until very recently. But of course Newt is not the only GOP figure to speak on stages with Falwell, Hagee or the like. Would you like me to name some more?

    “I feel that they’re not poised to take over the world, send homosexuals to reeducation camps, and start forcibly converting the heathen to Christianity. From the tone of your little diatribe, it sounds like that’s what you’re frightened of.”

    One of your more clueless statements, especially considering it was meant as a response to my query “do you really think Hagee, Falwell, et al., don’t have an influence on CONSERVATIVE PROTESTANTISM or the CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT, not concentration camp policy in the US. They do teach reading at your Christian college don’t they (presumably between seminars on the Fifth Day of Creation and Shellfish that are Abominations)?

    “The scope of your claim makes it fairly weak. And, beyond hope of what? Experiencing the pristine white light of your profound genius?….Which obviously means they’re retarded and incapable of participating in any politics, anywhere, for any reason.”

    To the extent that they believe that every word in the Bible is innerrant, that the world was created in six actual days, that there was a guy named Noah who put every animal on his ark and coasted for 40 days, etc., they are in fact something very close to insanely irrational. I realize you love these folks and value their contribution to our political arena, but they are a bit off in the head.

    “Did you throw this little jab in to try and further convince me that you’re really a peevish asshole? Because, honestly, I don’t need any more convincing.”

    I’m just honestly interested in what Southern Christian college you go to with that kind of potty-mouth. You paid big bucks to go to a “Southern Christian college” and you curse regularly? Did you go to play sports or something, because most “Southern Christian colleges” frown on cursing…

    Look, you claimed folks like Hagee and Falwell and their views are not taken seriously by 1. Conservative protestants and 2. the GOP. Well, I’ve demonstrated via polling data that their views are actually quite mainstream among conservative protestants, and their books, tv shows, universities and other institutions recieve broad support from such folks. As to the GOP I can trot out figure after figure within the GOP who actively seek the endorsement of folks like Hagee and Falwell, who appear at their functions, who give them platforms, sponsor legislation they promote, etc.. In return you have the equivalent of scratching your head and exclaiming “in my experience things are not as bad as you say, they’re not building concentration camps (of course I never said they were now did I, just that they influence conservative protestantism which in turn is a significant component of the conservative movement and the GOP).” I’m afraid your arguments have less legs to stand on than Ahab (oh, not the wicked king from the Bible btw).

  149. Oh, I could also trot out poll after poll demonstrating the importance of said conservative protestants in recent GOP electoral strategy, the number of state GOP organizations dominated by the religious right, etc. Face it Mr. Bob, conservative protestants make up a large component of the GOP’s reliable base, and a majority of them hold totally embarrassing and amazingly irrational beliefs. Which of course was my point.

    prolfeed-you’re not running for a political office, called upon to make declarations on what you believe about x, y and z at every whistlestop on the campaign, so your not speaking out about the amazingly silly tenents of the Mormon Church (the underwear, the magic translation of their Holy Book, the “blacks are’nt really people” stuff) or their acceptance of nutty Christian orthodoxy in general (the six day creation, the Ark) could be just being polite to folks that are a little off in their thinking. But GOP candidates and conservative movement activists don’t just not go out of their way to make fun of such folks, they actively court them; making contacts with their leaders, seeking their endorsements, hiring consultants to learn and use language and polling data meant to win their support, and, yes, making statements calculated to win their specific support, which is, after all, pandering.

  150. iih,

    Yes, I saw your 6:07 comment.

  151. Guy- I was hoping you’d get my view on the issue, given the few lengthy posts above.

  152. … I mean that the other posts are too long that you might have not noticed it, and not that they were related to the teddy bear thing.

  153. iih,

    I like your blog.

    Something you might be interested in…
    http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2007/11/secularism-and.html

    I got to see Rachid Taha in a club in Seattle a while back… One of the best club shows I have seen.

    There was some strange tension btw Taha and an Algerian audience member that interrupted things for 10 or 15 minutes. Not enough of the exchange was in English for me to follow the details (…clearly political in nature, and involving a death threat against Taha, “why do you want to kill me my brother” who managed to calm the guy and get a sincere hug out of him by the end of things, his band playing a groove behind the whole thing, followed by an impromptu a capella from Taha…surreal is the best word for the whole thing).

    Ruthless,

    Too good a handle to give up, and too much handle switching leads to….wait for it….chaos.

    =/;^)

    BakedPenguin,

    The initial EP by Damage Manual has some excellent stuff on it (that was the “single”). I didn’t, however, find the album inspiring enough to buy.

  154. iih,

    Re: Sean W. Malone.

    Feel happy you don’t know.

    You’ll see his 1000s-of-words long posts pop up on a future global warming thread I am sure.

  155. Sorry, should have given this warning before. The New Republic takes 14 PAGES of pretending they did nothing wrong before they come out and say they were wrong on the Beauchamp fables.

    Money quote:

    He was a young soldier in a war zone, an untried writer without journalistic training. We published his accounts of sensitive events while granting him the shield of anonymity–which, in the wrong hands, can become license to exaggerate, if not fabricate.

    From personal experience with their journastically trained writers in the ‘mean streets’ of the DC beltway, fabrication is how they advance to editor.

  156. NM-

    There was some strange tension btw Taha and an Algerian audience member that interrupted things for 10 or 15 minutes.

    .
    .
    .

    get a sincere hug out of him

    How typical 🙂

  157. iih,

    What I got from yout 6:07 post was that you think the BBC is the one, true, spoken word and that all other media that USAians have is much too inferior for us to have any grasp of this topic.

    And that I doubt you are buying a bear.

  158. NM- Wow, I will buy that book by Elizabeth Shakman.

  159. What I got from yout 6:07 post was that you think the BBC is the one, true, spoken word and that all other media that USAians have is much too inferior for us to have any grasp of this topic.

    What I was saying was that may be the BBC (as a British outlet) would have a more balanced view of the subject. I think much here in the US is skewed by personal biases, general disrespect for Muslims… etc. One would also think that they could have more exact information. They had a British PM on the show who was very optimistic and who was saying how out of proportion this whole thing has been blown (by the Sudanese gov. of course, and this is where other politics vis-a-vis the UN, Darfour, etc, comes into the picture).

    And that I doubt you are buying a bear.

    Haha… not that one anyways. I am fine with a teddy named Mohamed. It all depends on the intention. And if the intention is to insult (as is the case with the website J sub D provided), then I would be offended by the meanness of the intentions (and the intentions of the sellers of these teddies are quite clear in this case). If there is no such intention (as is the case with Gillian Gibbons — according to the BBC, it was completely unintentional and took up steam only when a parent decided to escalate the issue), then of course not. Lashing or putting someone in prison for something as petty as this only shows how close minded and stupid these people are.

  160. The theory, according to the BBC, is that the Sudanese government is escalating just to show to the international community how dangerous any UN presence in Sudan could become. They are like “See one teddy bear causes all this anger on the Sudanese street. Imagine having thousands of foreign soldiers on Sudan’s soil, what will the angry public do?”

  161. How can I create an RSS feed out of my blog? For free, that is.

    You already have one by default, at:
    feed://islamolibertarianism.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

    You may want to add a link to it to the page template for your blog.

  162. Mike, It comes with blogspot?

  163. Mike, OK this will really sound like I am the dumbest person who existed on the intertubes, but how do I ad this RSS picture thingy? (like the one on this H&R page –see top of page)

  164. In some plane of existence, Saddam Hussein is kicking himself for not conjuring up a teddy bear scandal to prevent the 2003 invasion.

  165. Just heard this on a ron paul video:

    Woman: Honey, I’d like to ask you, what does the government do with all the money we give them in taxes? If we pay the Congressmen and the Senators, we’re supporting them, aren’t we?

    Man: Well, yes.

    Woman: Well, why can’t we list them as dependents and deduct them?

  166. I am fine with a teddy named Mohamed. It all depends on the intention. And if the intention is to insult (as is the case with the website J sub D provided), then I would be offended by the meanness of the intentions (and the intentions of the sellers of these teddies are quite clear in this case).

    Ali, I think the intention of the sellers is to make money by helping people to show their disdain for a society that would lock up a woman for naming a stuffed animal — a society with crowds saying that’s not punishment enough and demanding her death.

    Are you criticizing the sellers for wanting to make money? Do you think they should not want to become wealthy? Or are you criticizing the buyers for protesting the fanatics demanding the death penalty? Do you think they should meekly let fanatics clearly out of touch with reality and lacking any semblance of humanity have the only say in this matter?

    I too have contempt for religious fanatics who would demand the death penalty for such a non-provocation. I think voicing one’s disapproval of such fanatics isn’t mean — it’s entirely appropriate behavior.

  167. Ali — let’s try inverting the situation and see if I’m being unreasonable here. Imagine that a Muslim foreign national teacher with a green card was working at a Christian preschool in America. She asks her young charges what they would like to name a teddy bear, and the majority said, “Let’s name it Jesus — we like Jesus!” The teacher goes along with it. Soon afterwards, the teacher is locked up for this offense by the government, threatened with 40 strokes of a cane and six months of imprisonment, and hundreds of fundy Christians are screaming and waving signs outside the courthouse, demanding the death penalty for the teacher, and meaning every word of it. The teacher winds up spending 15 days in jail and is deported afterwards. Suppose some Muslims in Egypt took exception to all this and bought a teddy bear named Jesus in protest.

    Would any sane person, anywhere in America, on this website or any other website for that matter, criticize the Muslims who bought the bear or the people who sold the bear?

    I think not. I think every politician would be lining up to take well-deserved swings at the fundys and the judges and the juries who punished the hapless Muslim. No one would ignore this trammeling of civil rights and instead level criticism of the bear buyers and sellers. It would be the most one-sided heaping of scorn imaginable.

  168. Here is a nice bit about the BBC’s coverage of the teddybear story. So, the mob was good natured, iih? I guess I can see what you mean. Those good natured mobs get a bad rap, especially on the way to a religous lynching.

  169. Guy, TNR picked a good time to close the book on the Beauchamp matter, since National Review is in the midst of a pro-war-on-terror fabulist scandal.

    I don’t think the characterization of the crowd as “good-natured” really tells us anything. In the midst of a crowd where everyone agrees with you and where the demonstration is sanctioned by one faction of the government, what is there to be angry about? You might be overcome with warm feelings of comradeship, as you chant for the death of the infidel. You might be content indeed. Think of all the sentimental tears and brotherly hugs that were, no doubt, shared over group singings of the Horst Wessel song. Yeah, I can see the crowd being good-natured. The message of that crowd is something else again.

  170. Fluffy,

    TNR picked a good time to close the book on the Beauchamp matter, since National Review is in the midst of a pro-war-on-terror fabulist scandal.

    This ‘fabulist’ scandal?

    Really not sure if you are trying to equate the two, but okay.

  171. Fluffy,

    Also, TNR is at “editorial war” with The Weekly Standard, not National Review. TNR and NR share several writers.

    The Weekly Standard broke this story and National Review has paid occasional lipservice to it.

  172. “I too have contempt for religious fanatics who would demand the death penalty for such a non-provocation. I think voicing one’s disapproval of such fanatics isn’t mean — it’s entirely appropriate behavior.”

    Yeah but why risk being discourteous to such people (and btw the word fanatic, for such kind though deluded folks is probably uncharitable)? 😉

    You may point out that our kind, decent-though-mistaken-about-reality-to-a-troubling-degree “fanatics” are’nt calling for the death penalty for teddy bear naming. I’d agree. But I also think some of the nutty things they call for, locking up homosexuals (they were furious about Lawrence v. Texas), keeping them from raising their kids or getting married, banning abortion (and at times contraception, see Griswold v. CT), banning reading materal, locking up people who sell such reading materal (there are still a fair amount of people charged with violating obsenity charges in evenagelical heavy places)…When people hust people based on reasoning that is medevial in nature it behooves AT LEAST our leaders to speak out (politely of course, but audibly) about such hurtful nonsense. As I said above, its one thing for an average citizen to politely deflect such nonsense at a cocktail party (of course no hardcore Mormons, Muslims, evangelicals, etc., are at a cocktail party [as alcohol is sinful y’know because Noah got drunk and his kids looked on his nakedness]), its another thing for a candidate to consciouly attempt never to disagree with such nuts on issues where their nuttiness is palpable AND THEN to go out of their way to court such folks and invite their leaders into positions of influence…

  173. My argument is that folks like Hagee and Falwell have obvious infuence on conservative Protestants in general.

    Well, MNG, that’s not an unreasonable argument, and I haven’t disputed that claim. I have only asked, very reasonably, if perhaps that influence is not as far-reaching or as strong as you claim it is.

    That their books can be found in any bookstore that targets that audience, that their tv shows do well with the same target
    audience and that their universities (in Falwell or Robertson’s case) appeal to thousands of them is telling of that.

    Yes, books and television shows which are aimed at target audiences are usually popular with those target audiences.

    In your attempt to cast doubt on their influence you cite actually no evidence of your own.

    Am I just to supposed to assume that everything you say is correct? I am making a very basic point, MNG: the scope of your conclusion is not supported by your claims.

    I do not doubt that certain evangelicals and their followers have influence with certain members of the GOP. Would you like me to write that phonetically?

    Newt is the former speaker of the House and minority leader for the very party I am accused of being influenced by conservative Protestants.

    Your wording here is garbled, but okay.

    He raises gobs of money for said party, writes for and particpates with the major GOP related magazines and think tanks, and was considered a very serious Presidential candidate for said party until very recently.

    Which proves what, exactly?

    But of course Newt is not the
    only GOP figure to speak on stages with Falwell, Hagee or the like. Would you like me to name some more?

    Name as many as you like, MNG. I am not sure what you think this means. Are you inferring, somehow, that Gingrich and Hagee must be mirror images of each other because they appeared on stage together? That Gingrich is concerned only with propagating Hagee’s ministry via his, Gingrich’s, political career? That Gingrich wants to pander to as many credulous people as possible, and that if he makes good with Hagee’s crowd, he might possibly get them to fill his party’s coffers?

    One of your more clueless statements, especially considering it was meant as a response to my query “do you really think Hagee, Falwell, et al., don’t have an influence on CONSERVATIVE PROTESTANTISM or the
    CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT, not concentration camp policy in the US.

    Well, see, from the way you’re wetting your pants, I gathered that those types of things are what you’re afraid of happening because of the evangelicals’ malign machinations.

    They do teach reading at your Christian college don’t they (presumably between seminars on the Fifth Day of Creation and Shellfish that are Abominations)?

    Sure, MNG. In between Witch Trial Procedural Law, Inquisition Lab, and fourteen daily mandatory church attendances, we learn how to read with Lambuel. That is, if we have time between nappies and juice in sippy-cups.

    To the extent that they believe that every word in the Bible is innerrant, that the world was created in six actual days, that there was a guy named Noah who put every animal on his ark and coasted for 40 days, etc., they are in fact something very close to insanely irrational.

    I have not denied that those are loony things to believe; I take issue with your apparent assertion that people who believe such things are incapable of showing intelligence in any other area of life.

    I realize you love these folks and value their contribution to our political arena, but they are a bit off in the head.

    Well, now you’re just being a dick.

    I’m just honestly interested in what Southern Christian college you go to with that kind of potty-mouth. You paid big bucks to go to a “Southern Christian college” and you curse regularly? Did you go to play sports or something, because most “Southern Christian colleges” frown on cursing.

    Your preconceptions about the manner in which students at small, private Christian universities speak and conduct themselves are amusing. I suspect that they are but a small part of larger stereotypes that you hold about Christian universities, their students, and their faculties.

    How did you infer that I “curse regularly?” I cursed at you, because you’re being a smug prick. An asshole. A putz. A dipshit.

    Intelligent people aren’t afraid of words, MNG. That goes for Christians as well.

    Look, you claimed folks like Hagee and Falwell and their views are not taken seriously by 1. Conservative protestants and 2. the GOP.

    One more time, MNG, because you’re truly being obtuse and it is starting to piss me off. I. DID. NO. SUCH. THING. I suggested that perhaps Hagee and Falwell aren’t taken quite as seriously as you have claimed. Maybe their influences isn’t quite so far-reaching. Maybe you are making unfounded, sweeping generalizations. Maybe you are, in fact, talking out of your ass, because you’re a bigot who thinks religious people universally deserve your derision.

    Well, I’ve demonstrated via polling data that their views are actually quite mainstream among conservative protestants, and their books, tv shows, universities and other institutions recieve broad support from such folks.

    You have demonstrated exactly squat via polling data, and even if you provide me with a poll that says something like “83 percent of self-proclaimed conservative Protestant Evangelical Christians agree with Pastor John Hagee about abortion,” all I’m going to say is: no shit. Who did you expect them to agree with? Andrea Dworkin?

    As to the GOP I can trot out figure after figure within the GOP who actively seek the endorsement of folks like Hagee and Falwell, who appear at their functions, who give them platforms, sponsor legislation they promote, etc.

    It shouldn’t surprise anybody that members of Congress sponsor legislation promoted by people who give them money. But, the way you’ve worded this, it sounds as if you believe every active member of the GOP is waiting breathlessly for Lord Robertson’s next divine commandment.

    OP who actively seek the endorsement of folks like Hagee and Falwell, who appear at their functions, who give them platforms, sponsor legislation they promote, etc.. In return you have the equivalent of scratching your head and exclaiming “in my experience things are not as bad as you say, they’re not building concentration camps (of course I never said they were now did I, just that they influence conservative protestantism which in turn is a significant component of the conservative movement and the GOP).”

    If I didn’t know better, I would think you are arguing with me just for the sake of arguing. There is no disagreement, here, with your basic conclusion, only its scope and implications. Pointing out that a couple of ultra-religious wackos like Hagee and Falwell seem to receive disproportionate attention from the GOP hasn’t convinced me that their influence is as far-reaching as you have suggested.

    My argument has consisted of questioning a couple aspects of your conclusion. In response, you’ve insinuated that I am an illiterate hick, that I have a hard-on for evangelicals and their politics, and that my university is a sub-standard place of higher education.

    This conversation can be continued via e-mail if you wish, but our time on H&R is done. If you want to insult me or attempt to denigrate my integrity or my intellect further, contact me personally via my handle and we’ll work it out there.

  174. And my original point, that it’s even worse when they actively court such people and then act all embarrassed when they show up and act like they always have at events where the public is watching, still stands. This is where the conservative movement now stands: they work very hard to get the support of such nuts, count on their support, and then when CNN allows some of these nuts to be visible at a GOP event they GOP acts all wronged crying “these people just want to promote caricatures of our supporters, waah.”

    If you don’t want your parents to see that you date hillbillys, don’t galavant around town with them all the time.

  175. Are you criticizing the sellers for wanting to make money? Do you think they should not want to become wealthy? Or are you criticizing the buyers for protesting the fanatics demanding the death penalty? Do you think they should meekly let fanatics clearly out of touch with reality and lacking any semblance of humanity have the only say in this matter?

    I am simply saying I would be offended if someone intends an insult towards me.

  176. iih,

    I don’t see anybody naming toy bears iih, but if they do I will support you in your offense.

  177. Guy-

    Here is a nice bit about the BBC’s coverage of the teddybear story. So, the mob was good natured, iih? I guess I can see what you mean. Those good natured mobs get a bad rap, especially on the way to a religous lynching.

    The BBC program I heard yesterday (between 4-5 on NPR) NEVER said the mob was good natured.

    And I have certainly NOT said that the mob was good natured.

    But quite frankly, even if the BBC said it, I would trust them over the NRO and most certainly over Mark Steyn!

    Did the NRO have reporters in the field to counter the BBC’s report?

    I also heard the BBC report linked in the NRO aricle. The reporter DID say that there was an angry crowd, with ONE guy holding a sword. He also said that this group of angry protesters was small compared to the rest which, according to the BBC reporter (and, please, DO NOT PUT THESE WORDS IN MY MOUTH), was good natured.

    Last time I checked, Mark Steyn is sitting on his behind somewhere in NH or somewhere on the east coast. The East Coast is not Khartoum.

    Now am I defending the angry protesters? I dare you, sir, make such a claim!

  178. I don’t see anybody naming toy bears iih, but if they do I will support you in your offense.

    Guy, thanks. And I did not say that naming a teddy bear in of itself offensive. But if someone intends to offend me by offending my religion, sure, it is their freedom of speech. No doubt about it. But I would have then the freedom to be offended! Simple.

  179. Guy, give me something that you would consider precious to you.

  180. … “give me” as in “give an example of”, e.g., freedom or liberty.

  181. iih,

    Did the NRO have reporters in the field to counter the BBC’s report?

    I doubt it. They were commenting on the story and reacted to the details, that you confirmed were in the story, in a different manner than you did.

    Guy, give me something that you would consider precious to you.

    My porn collection, of course. All of my precious girl-on-girl porn, nearing a terrabite in volume as I type.

    Perhaps my hybrid Jeep and hybrid 1972 Charger too.

    There, gave you three. Which one are you going to attempt to impose 40 lashes on me for having?

  182. My porn collection, of course. All of my precious girl-on-girl porn, nearing a terrabite in volume as I type.

    Perhaps my hybrid Jeep and hybrid 1972 Charger too.

    Haha…

    There, gave you three. Which one are you going to attempt to impose 40 lashes on me for having?

    None! But if you are serious about the question, it tells me a lot about the way you think. Your intellectual abilities are minimal, you seem not have any critical ability to think, and the sources from which you base your perspective on things are all idiotic.

  183. Wow, iih is calling me names to prove that i am some sort of idiot for not agreeing with everything he tells me to believe.

    I am so scared now. Please Sir, stop scaring me.

  184. A terrabite? Is that a mouthful of earth?

  185. Wow, iih is calling me names to prove that i am some sort of idiot for not agreeing with everything he tells me to believe.

    I am so scared now. Please Sir, stop scaring me.

    Actually, no, I was trying to offend you to prove to you that others may make blank statements about someone, or something you, Guy Montag, find valuable. But apparently I failed. I generally do not resort to name calling or making such blank statements. Oh well, I guess I failed to offend you.

  186. But, Huy, why would you take the NRO’s word over the BBC?

  187. Just heard this on a ron paul video:

    Woman: Honey, I’d like to ask you, what does the government do with all the money we give them in taxes? If we pay the Congressmen and the Senators, we’re supporting them, aren’t we?

    Man: Well, yes.

    Woman: Well, why can’t we list them as dependents and deduct them?

    Good joke, I think it goes all the way back to a George Burns and Gracie Allen routine.


  188. Good joke, I think it goes all the way back to a George Burns and Gracie Allen routine.

    Yeah, I think so. It was B&W and quite old.

  189. Ok, so the Muslims are way behind us enlightened Westerners when it comes to religious blasphemy.

    How fare behind us? The Salem Witch Trials far?
    The Comstock Laws far? The Scopes Trial far? The George H W Bush quote that “athiests are not Americans” far?

    The Third World is also decades behind us economically. However, due to modern transportation and communication, it will take them less time to develop economically than it took us, given relative freedom.

    Will the Muslim world’s religious tolerance also take less time? How about if we bring the troops home, will that help the tolerance factor by X quantum leap?

  190. iih,

    Here is another opportunity.

    I am on my way out to pick up Italian sausage sauce ingredients. Will the fatwa be coming before I touch the pork or after?

  191. Will the fatwa be coming before I touch the pork or after?

    What fatwa? Whose fatwa?

  192. libertree-

    Good points.

    Will the Muslim world’s religious tolerance also take less time? How about if we bring the troops home, will that help the tolerance factor by X quantum leap?

    Just have a look at Dubai. While they have issues to resolve, but I believe that they have achieved a high level of tolerance and they are working on it. They are quite progressive, especially economically. Same for Doha and Oman. Dubai just bought Citi Corp and is set to buy 20% of Nasdaq, and 30% of the London Stock Exchange.

    As far as the rest of the pack is concerned, they will change. How else will they survive in the modern world.

  193. Bent out of shape from society’s pliers, cares not to come up any higher, but rather get you down in the hole that he’s in.

  194. I am simply saying I would be offended if someone intends an insult towards me.

    Ahh, but inoffensive speech doesn’t require protection. People, just by their general cluelessness offend me daily. Yes, I’m offended daily by others words (if I it it pronounced li-bary one more time…).

    Yet with self discipline bordering on the herioc, I manage to not call for their deaths, imprisonment, flogging or silencing. The point is, it’s so damned easy to get offendeed if you want to. That and that there are many groups (fundamentalist muslims, christians and atheists, feminists, animal “rights” advocates, ethnic watchdogs, etc) who have made a cottage industry out of being offended. It’s their way of justifying their existence, I guess.

    My , and others, instinctive response is to this mentality is “Oh, if that offends you, wait ’til you see this!”

    That’s what happens to professional victims.

  195. libertree–

    Just been to your website. Austrian economics is what introduced me to economics. I am in touch with some Austrian economists at Mises and LRC (for research, though mine is in technology and not in economics, and non-research reasons). In fact, I am meeting with one of their leading economists in 10 days and will probably be at the ASC ’08 in March (I registered, but have not paid yet).

  196. Why has no one raised THE ISSUE in the 2008 Presidential Campaign?

    I speak, of course, of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Islamofascist Spy Lesbian Mistress

    This Sapphic Saudi Mata Hari will be privy to ALL our National security secrets at the HIGHEST level.

    As any knowledgeable porn collection can attest, many lesbians engage in bondage and S&M
    activities with great frequencey. Imagine, if you will, Huma clad in form-fitting black leather or latex catsuit and matching stilleto platform boots with the President of the United States bound spread-eagled at her mercy. Just a little work with a whip, molten candle wax, clothes pins, dental floss, silicone phalluses,
    electrical probes and a Hitachi Magic Wand could have Hillary surrendering our Nation to the Jihadis !!!!!!!!

  197. My , and others, instinctive response is to this mentality is “Oh, if that offends you, wait ’til you see this!”

    Google noose to see some rather disgusting examples of this.

  198. J sub D– Wholeheartedly agree.

    made a cottage industry out of being offended

    And I am not one of those. Above I was not complaining, or playing victim (I hope I did not sound like that), but I was expressing the fact that the stupidity of the anger in Sudan *and* the stupidity of the teddy bear sale thingy are moth offensive to my intelligence.

    That’s what happens to professional victims.

    By professional offenders? I guess I am saying that the professional offenders are as stupid as the professional victims. And the result being? Too much noise that the sound of reason gets lost altogether.

  199. That and that there are many groups (fundamentalist muslims, christians and atheists, feminists, animal “rights” advocates, ethnic watchdogs, etc) who have made a cottage industry out of being offended.

    That’s what keeps blogs like H&R in business.

    Not that I have a problem with it, but I am always impressed with how offended some libertarians get when others get offended and react by saying, “people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.” This is far too often followed by a cathartic screed about how people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

  200. Ironing–

    Without the stupidity of humans, there would be no media industry.

    Interesting to see the frequency of negative H&R posts by the editors and magazine articles that highlight the wrongs with other groups, ideologies, or belief systems, than the positives. These positives include very libertarian/free market aspects of these other ideologies. Yes, I do accuse Reason of some level of intellectual dishonesty or, at best, ignorance. For example, how often does Reason have a story on the highly decentralized free market perspective of Islamic economics. When I make such a statement, should I be perceived as defending the whole of Islam or extremists, or whatever? No, I am a person who just likes honesty and straight shooting, because otherwise reality will be lost in the amount of BS out there.

  201. For example, since May, only this article had a positive look at the positive developments in the Muslim world:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/122067.html

  202. As any knowledgeable porn collection can attest, many lesbians engage in bondage and S&M
    activities with great frequencey.

    That would be the largest, and most cherished, segment of my collection.

    Now, back to my cooking and watching Canadian hackers on ESPN2.

  203. Is there a part of the Koran or other Islamic writing that encourages this pro-free market stance? Or is this something that has nothing to do with religion at all?

    Thanks

  204. I think Austrian economics is the wave of the future.

    I do have some problems with conceptualizing pessimism in Austrian concepts with essential optimism in Monetarism.

    We will see if the dollar crisis looms large or it fades away, and how the two schools deal with it.

  205. By professional offenders? I guess I am saying that the professional offenders are as stupid as the professional victims.

  206. Shit!

    By professional offenders? I guess I am saying that the professional offenders are as stupid as the professional victims.

    Ali, agreed. But without the victim mentality, the offender has to find a different hobby. Polish jokes are so passe because the Poles just stopped getting riled up about it. Something to ponder, I guess

  207. I think Austrian economics is the wave of the future.

    The only (BIG) obstacle are the hacks on Wall Street, and their Chicago backers. But with the increased decentralization of everything, aided by the Internet, and the more unjust the system becomes (e.g., the inflation tax), the more the Austrian school (with its strong respect for individualism and, yes, human irrationality), the future seems to be with Austrian economics.

  208. Ali, agreed. But without the victim mentality, the offender has to find a different hobby. Polish jokes are so passe because the Poles just stopped getting riled up about it. Something to ponder, I guess

    Haha… yes.

  209. Not that I have a problem with it, but I am always impressed with how offended some libertarians get when others get offended and react by saying, “people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.” This is far too often followed by a cathartic screed about how people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

    I suspect the what you’re reading/hearing is “people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.” Otherwise, they should have the hypocisy pointed out to them. Or just be ignored. When George the First opined that I wasn’t a good Americam due to my lack of religious beliefs/superstition, I thought he shouldn’t have said it. I didn’t think he shouldn’t be allowed to say it. That’s moral and consistent thinking.

    Darn, I hurt my shoulder while patting myself on the back!

  210. J sub D:

    So I guess the offenders just love the victims as well as the stupid extremists! The latter provide the supply for the demand that the former generate.

    So lets say the supply is not there or is very little. We expect two things to happen. (1) the offenders would be willing to pay more (what ever “pay” means here) to get the product that they are demanding, and (2) they may have an interest in forcing the supplier to supply more. Hmmm. Interesting thought. Send troops to Iran, may be? I am sure NRO would be delighted at the thought.

    There you go. The economic theory of “offend and get offended” business.

    I am sure someone in Sudan is now thinking “Hmmm… gee… these Westerners get offended by a mere 40 lashes? Man these Westerners are such victims. They play the role very well. You know what, lets supply them with more.”

  211. Since this is the open thread.

    I just watched this…
    A nice talk on global environmental issues…
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/104

    This guy is framing the issue how I think it needs to be framed. And gives a great Ayn Rand reference…

  212. NM- 6 minutes into it. Cool!

  213. I am sure someone in Sudan is now thinking “Hmmm… gee… these Westerners get offended by a mere 40 lashes? Man these Westerners are such victims. They play the role very well. You know what, lets supply them with more.”

    Tit for tat? Accelerating tensions? Probably. It still all goes back to a basic principle of mine. “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke”. I don’t usually try to offend, but like the teddy bear teacher, do it inadvertently on occasion.

  214. iih, this page gives some help on how to add your rss feed to your blog template:

    http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42663

  215. NM- That was really interesting. Thanks!

  216. Sure. Remember — Reason Hit & Run, the place to go for all your blogging support questions!

  217. Sure. Remember — Reason Hit & Run, the place to go for all your blogging support questions!

    I guess 🙂

  218. Is there a part of the Koran or other Islamic writing that encourages this pro-free market stance? Or is this something that has nothing to do with religion at all?

    The guidance on banking in there is quite the opposit of free market.

  219. that cradle to cradle thing was pretty cool NM

  220. Michigan Democrats stripped of delegates at convention over primary dispute

    As it had earlier done with Florida, the committee stripped Michigan of all its delegates, though it is expected that the eventual party presidential nominee ultimately will allow the seating of the state’s delegates.

    Electoral votes –
    Florida 27, Michigan 17. (do the Dems really want to disenfranchise those folks, risking two swing states in the general election?

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Suppose that those stripped delegates are the difference on who gets the nomination. This could get really ugly. Rotating regional primaries seems (to me anyway) the best solution to the Iowa/New Hampshire priority problem.

    I can envision the GOP ads now.

  221. Guy Montag-

    The guidance on banking in there is quite the opposit of free market.

    Evidence please?

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/122067.html

    Katherine Mangu-Ward does not seem to agree with you Guy.

    See this too:

    https://www.reason.com/news/show/33315.html

    Any trade in Islam is acceptable. No restrictions other than moral recommendations against certain product (e.g., alcohol and pork –hope you enjoyed your sandwich).

    For an interesting link of economics in Islam and Austrian economics see:

    http://www.minaret.org/austrian.htm

    (the fonts are crappy)

    Regarding “prohibitions” interest, any interest accrued that manipulates and abuses the borrower is what is immorally repugnant in Islam. But borrowing with interest for buying luxury commodities, etc, there should be no problem at all.

    And there was never any form of tax -other than the 2.5% alms on liquid money (i.e., stagnant money not being invested)- should be given for societal reasons. Everything else was paid for private individuals (usually the sultan, caliph, or amir, because they were the richest dudes in the community).

    So, yes, Islam is very pro-free market!

  222. Michigan Democrats stripped of delegates at convention over primary dispute

    The larger issue is that because of this controversy, most candidates are staying out of MI. Of the majors, I think only Hillary is even on the ballot.

    And I believe that all the Dem candidates have pledged not to campaign in FL, so even if the delegates are eventually seated, what do they really represent?

  223. “An Honest Question”– Sorry I missed your question from earlier. I guess I owe guy a “thank you” for helping me see it sow.

    Guy, you are quite an agitator, aren’t you? According to my economic theory of “offend and get offended” seems to tell me that you do not have enough supply.

  224. Moreover, Guy, hence, you seem to be pro bombing Iran and invading and occupying the rest of the Middle East.

  225. Aren’t there a couple of important elections today on different continents?

    Oh yeah, Putin party scores landslide win in Russian election and Venezuela election boycott widens, there is.

  226. The ongoing MI and FL primary skirmishes are interesting in terms of intra-party politics, but I do not think they would have any effect in the general.

    First, the Republicans are facing the same type of conflict, the national party just hasn’t gone as far. But in the end, I think the actions of the national parties on both sides with cancel out.

    Furthermore, the ‘care’ factor on this is the primary voter, who almost by definition is not a swing voter, and so would not be swayed by perceived ‘shenanigans.’ There is a stay-at-home factor that could play, but I believe in this particular election cycle, any thing the Democrats may do that would alienate their base would more than countered by the Democrat’s huge fundraising advantage and the ability this brings to fund get out the vote campaigns.

    Last, because of perceptions of Florida in 2000 , and to a (much) lesser extent, Ohio in 2004, I don’t see how a Republican ad of ‘teh democrat done be takin’ away ur vote’ will be able to achieve any resonance among swing voters, and especially among the Democratic base.

  227. I will say, if the Russian election is indeed rigged, they’re getting a hell of lot smarter at it. 62.3% is a very plausible percentage, unlike the 86-98% you normally see in sham elections.

  228. I will say, if the Russian election is indeed rigged, they’re getting a hell of lot smarter at it.

    Why bother to rig an election when you can silence opposition media outlets and jail opposition politicians?

    But yeah, 62.3% passes the laugh test compared to the 90+% we are all to used to seeing.

  229. Seems I have a new joe.

  230. More on free market economics in Islam:

    What could be more encouraging to invest than putting a “tax” on money that is not being invested? Investments means opportunity and hirings of the unemployed (who would otherwise receive portions of the 2.5% tax). If I have money that I do not invest, it will go to support those unemployed who could have otherwise been employed by the investment of the now stagnant money.

  231. Seems I have a new joe.

    Seems I have a new Edward.

  232. Seriously, Guy Montag, I hope you do not get your knowledge from NRO and Michelle Malkin et al. I think you are quite closed-minded. And that is not an opinion, it is a statement. Knowing what I know about the ailments and possibilities of the Muslim world, I know that you are ignorant. You like to stick to the ailments of the Muslim world and reject the notion that there are godd possibilities there that can be used to the West’s advantage in fighting these ailments, that would eventually lead to a good fight against extremism.

  233. I suspect the what you’re reading/hearing is “people shouldn’t be allowed to do that.” Otherwise, they should have the hypocisy pointed out to them.

    I am not sure if this makes sense, but it seems to me that whenever anyone is making a claim based on “rights” they are not making a “shouldn’t” argument. They are, instead, making a “shouldn’t be allowed to” argument.

    “Shall not X” seems like the form mandatory for any negative rights claim.

  234. Quote of the day:

    I’m always uneasy about the concept of “speaking truth,” as if we somehow know the truth and only have to enlighten others who have not risen to our elevated level. The search for truth is a cooperative, unending endeavour. We can, and should, engage in it to the extent we can and encourage others to do so as well, seeking to free ourselves from constraints imposed by coercive institutions, dogma, irrationality, excessive conformity and lack of initiative and imagination, and numerous other obstacles.

    http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2007/12/chomsky-on-the.html

  235. Guy Montag:

    Here is a reading assignment for you. Get Enlightened (An Article in The American Magazine).

    Concluding paragraph reads:

    Still, there’s something reassuring about the way that the rational profit motive trumps strict ideology. The willingness to put profit first is, it turns out, the real shared value that links Islamic and Western civilizations.

  236. Ali (a.k.a iih),

    Seriously, Guy Montag,

    There’s your problem…you are attempting to have a serious interaction with GM…

    =/;^)

  237. joe jr.,

    Every comment I make truly does not deserve five from any one person. You, frankly, have the joe and Edward thing all wrapped up.

    Have fun discussing your bastardized, apologetic, version of usury with yourself.

    Oh, and since Iran has been bombing us and Israel for a while already I fully endourse our returning the favor.

    Have a great weekend!

  238. What could be more encouraging to invest than putting a “tax” on money that is not being invested?

    Ali, I’ll defer to you greater expertise/experience at what Islam does or does not say the rules are, but the idea that “a tax on wealth is required because otherwise wealth is useless” is very wrong on both moral and consequencialist grounds,

  239. What does Iran have anything to do with what we’ve been talking about? Yes, I think their leaders are a bunch of thugs (including their Ayatollahs). See, you confuse things. Since I am Muslim then I must support them. Screw them and, frankly, screw you 🙂

  240. In fact I pose a challenge to all Muslim leaders here.

    I am still waiting for your proof that Islam is hostile to free-markets.

  241. Kolohe– I am on my way out now, but I will try to get back to you later in the evening.

  242. Ali (aka iih) | December 2, 2007, 3:52pm | #

    What does Iran have anything to do with what we’ve been talking about?

    Plenty.

    Ali (aka iih) | December 2, 2007, 3:06pm | #

    Moreover, Guy, hence, you seem to be pro bombing Iran and invading and occupying the rest of the Middle East.

    Seriously, get some help.

  243. I am not sure if this makes sense, but it seems to me that whenever anyone is making a claim based on “rights” they are not making a “shouldn’t” argument. They are, instead, making a “shouldn’t be allowed to” argument.

    Neu Mejican,
    Moral chastisemrnt is not the same as legal prohibition. e.g. “You shouldn’t make fun of crippled people” is not the same as “It should be illegal to make fun of crippled people.” Many libertarians would agree with “Wealthy people should be generous to those less fortunate”, but disagree with taxation to pay for welfare benefits.

    Am I clearer now?

  244. A just-the-facts AP article on Yahoo! about Ron Paul & his fundraising.

  245. Baked Penguin,

    I just read that too. Good pub. My only complaint with the article is that it says Paul wants less immigration. I believe he wants less illegal immigration, in large part because of illegal immigrants’ drain on the welfare system (I’m not necessarily endorsing this position, just noting what I think it is). But if that’s the worst error I can find in an AP piece, I’m probably nitpicking.

  246. I am still waiting on the evidence for:

    The guidance on banking in there is quite the opposit of free market.

    I provided plenty of counter evidence above.

    Now regarding Iran, why don’t you, your neocon friends and Iranian leaders and the Auatollahs, just find a good corner on earth and bomb the hell out of each other? For the rest of us, peaceful Muslims, Christians, Atheists, jews, et al, just leave us alone.

    Have you read my comment that I posted at 3:53 above? Have you vivited the link I provide to see (part of) my position on Muslim leaders, both in and outside of governments?

    You wouldn’t of course. Why would you? It would only provide evidence that there are peaceful moderate Muslims who are doing their best to save the world from maniacs like the neocons and Ayatollahs. Obviously this is of no interest to you.

  247. Ron Paul on Wolf Blitzer today:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTj3STZqviY

  248. Ali, I’ll defer to you greater expertise/experience at what Islam does or does not say the rules are, but the idea that “a tax on wealth is required because otherwise wealth is useless” is very wrong on both moral and consequencialist grounds,

    Kolohe, you are reading this wrong way. Would anyone just put cash in a checking account (or at home) and just let there stay idle? No, idle money is economically bad. Investments and savings are good. By imposing this 2.5% tax (not on all wealth, but only on liquid idle money), there is an incentive to invest. Money spent on real estate for example would not be “taxed”. It is invested.

  249. Plus, the fact that it is “imposed” on Muslims is part of the package we call the Islamic religion. It is just one of the 5 things that define a Muslim (they do not include jihad, btw!). If you do not like, feel free not to be a Muslim. You have every right to reject being a Muslim (that is just my and many peaceful Muslims’ view, but obviously not the fundamentalist extremist leaders and individuals who would go about demanding the killing of “apostates” — in fact, I am against the idea that “sharia” can or should be imposed at “gun point”. I believe that that rhetoric kills the spirit of Islamic law.)

  250. Would anyone just put cash in a checking account (or at home) and just let there stay idle?

    Well, I do. *And* I also distribute what I have among savings, stocks, and retirement plans. The moral argument is that it is none of the state’s business on how a chose to allocate among these groups. The consequencialist argument is that once you say liquidity is in itself a bad thing, it makes it more difficult to transform a poor person, that has nothing and that should be building liquidity first, to a better off person that can start putting their capital back into ‘productive’ use. Indeed, part of the current business cycle downturn is that for the last decade or so, the idea of ‘saving for a rainy day’ has made one a chump and sucker.

  251. The moral argument is that it is none of the state’s business on how a chose to allocate among these groups

    Ah, here is the problem right there. I am against an Islamic state with imposed Sharia! I am talking about a voluntary Muslim community. For example, here in the US, payments of the 2.5% “tax” is not mandated, but voluntary communities get together and collects the money from the donors (actually donors willfully go to Mosques to make the voluntary payment). If you do not want to stick to the moral code of Islam, fine. But it would be hard to argue that you are Muslim.

    it makes it more difficult to transform a poor person, that has nothing and that should be building liquidity first, to a better off person that can start putting their capital back into ‘productive’ use.

    Only wealthy Muslims are required to pay the alms. There are threshold values that determine who is not required to pay the tax. So the guy your talking about would be allowed to build the capital. Again, it all has to be voluntary.

    In any case, you may find more details here:

    http://www.minaret.org/austrian.htm

  252. J sub D

    Moral chastisemrnt is not the same as legal prohibition. e.g. “You shouldn’t make fun of crippled people” is not the same as “It should be illegal to make fun of crippled people.” Many libertarians would agree with “Wealthy people should be generous to those less fortunate”, but disagree with taxation to pay for welfare benefits.

    Am I clearer now?

    You were clear before, actually.
    I wasn’t taking issue with your position, just exploring it.

    I was talking more about arguments, often made on H&R, of this form:

    Action of the Majority of type X is a violation of AGENT P’s right of Y, therefore communities should not be allowed to pass them.

    Libertarianism is founded upon a “shouldn’t be allowed to” premise, to avoid the tyranny of the majority.

  253. BTW, Dubai didn’t “buy” CitiGroup. They invested money equivalent to 4.9% of the corporation, which is about $7 billion, I think. Dubai gets something like a near-guaranteed 11% return (which is big) in exchange for taking more risk on the bonds (I might have bungled the details a bit).

  254. In case the corporate and super-rich apologists on this site haven’t noticed the american middle class i s smaller and smaller, and being squeezed more due to lack of meaningful government action

    from this website http://www.demos.org/pub1514.cfm

    Overall Economic Security

    * Only 31 percent of middle-income families match our profile for being securely middle class. That is, despite falling into the broad range that defines middle-class “income,” fewer than one in three families has the necessary combination of other factors to ensure middle-class security.
    * Our Index results vary by race. Thirty-four percent of white middle-income families are securely in the middle class, as compared to 26 percent of African-American middle-income families and only 18 percent of Latino middle-income families.
    * One in four middle-class families matches our profile for being at high risk of slipping out of the middle class altogether.
    * One in five (21 percent) white families is at high risk for slipping out of the middle class, as compared to one in three (33 percent) African-American headed households and an alarming two in five (41 percent) Latino families.

    It goes on to demonstrate how the american working middle class can barely afford healthcare or education, and recent graduates are deeper and deeper into debt when they graduate.

    So why do the super rich get tax cuts when we get screwed? Things were better in the 60s and less unequal when we had 70% top marginal rates vs. now.

  255. Timon19- Thanks for the corrections. I was speaking from memory based on a documentary that was aired a couple of weeks ago about Dubai. It was on CBC in Canada, but I believe it was also on PBS. Pictures don’t lie, but Guy Montag, would rather believe NRO’s words.

  256. Wait a minute. Abu Dhabi did the CitiGroup thing.

    I forgot to add that correction! A pox on you! 🙂

  257. The other thing, is that the current system does indeed differentiate among asset classes for tax purposes. So, it becomes a political question (vice purely economic) of how you define “idle wealth,” which is answered by who can demogouge the best. Additionally, whole asset classes (such as real estate) have been inflated just because favorable tax consequences have distorted the ‘market’ value.

    I agree with the fact this fear of ‘idle’ wealth does drive much of the current tax code, and to some benefit probably, but also to some harm.

    When I hear phrasing like in your original statement ‘stagnant money’, an alarm bell in my head goes off, because for the most part, we are already moving toward taking knee-jerk reactions against it. And the consequences of these reactions, esp in the 20th century history, have been very, very dire.

  258. kolohe,

    The way Muslims do it is this. They pick a day in the year. They calculate how much pure cash is at hand. A year later, they see how much of that amount has constantly been idle throughout the year. So if you start with $1,000 in cash and the minimum for these $1,000 through the year has been 500. Then you pay 2.5% of that. This is how I think they do it. Since I am fresh out of college, with debt and all, and I would not know the exact details see I have negative cash at hand. 🙁

    I also wonder about Jewish law in this regard. I have a feeling it would be pretty close to the Islamic one.

  259. see –> because

  260. No, idle money is economically bad. Investments and savings are good.

    Actually, savings is idle money. That gold you bury, that stamp collection etc do nothing to promote the economic activity of society. The problem I see with wealth taxation is simply that a free person has the right to invest or sit on his money. He is under no obligation to contribute to economic activity at all. When I bury my Krugerrands in my basement, buy precious stones, or refuse to mine the borax on my property, I’m not using any government services so I shouldn’t have to pay taxes on it. I paid those taxes when I acquired it. This view leads me to oppose property taxes. There exist scenarios where the wisest thing to do with your money is buy commmodities and squirrel it away. I suspect there some wealthy people in Venezuela who are doing that as we type.

  261. That gold you bury, that stamp collection etc do nothing to promote the economic activity of society.

    Remember, in the old days there were only gold and silver moneys. So burried gold is idle money.

  262. He is under no obligation to contribute to economic activity at all.

    Ah, but as far as Islam is concern, Islam is by definition a social organization. If you want to belong to that organization, alms giving is part of the package.

  263. Ok, I wrote my last one without seeing your intervening post, Ali.

    I absolutely have no problem at all with anyone giving 1%, 2.5%, 10% or whatever to whatever church or G(g)od(s)(ess)(es) they chose. My own tithing philosophy has been lately the old saw ‘throw it up in the air, whatever He wants He keeps!’

    My particular point was also not to what the rules are in Islam regarding money. Although, I always thought that the stereotype of the Jewish Banker came from the middle ages convention that they were the only ones willing to do finance in a close to modern form. Both the Christian and Islamic elites had an aversion to getting their hands dirty with this sort of thing precisely because of cultural and specifically religious prohibitions.

    My specific point was your assertion of “No, idle money is economically bad.” I agree that this is true in general. However, sometimes on both the micro and macro scales, ‘idle money’ is entirely necessary.

  264. Both the Christian and Islamic elites had an aversion to getting their hands dirty with this sort of thing precisely because of cultural and specifically religious prohibitions.

    Christian, may be. But not Muslim. The only aversion is towards usury among Muslims. See

  265. shoot what happened?

  266. Ah, but as far as Islam is concern, Islam is by definition a social organization. If you want to belong to that organization, alms giving is part of the package.

    But I don’t want to belong to that organization. Remember, I’m a godless atheist. My moral foundations are reason and freedom. Part of that freedom thing is the freedon to do as you wish with your money. The “Islamic” method you describe would more likely lead to hiding wealth than investing it. Your home is a fine example. How long until the $500,000 family homestead is declared idle wealth? I think not very.

    Of course any taxation scheme is going to be unfair to somebody. Another reason to have a knee jerk reaction to any tax increase. Property, wealth, income or sales, somebody takes it in the shorts.

  267. Lets try this again:

    Both the Christian and Islamic elites had an aversion to getting their hands dirty with this sort of thing precisely because of cultural and specifically religious prohibitions.

    Christian, may be (this is really a very European thing I think). But not Muslim. The only aversion is towards usury among Muslims. See this article in The American as well as:

    http://www.minaret.org/austrian.htm

    My specific point was your assertion of “No, idle money is economically bad.” I agree that this is true in general. However, sometimes on both the micro and macro scales, ‘idle money’ is entirely necessary.

    Sure, and as far as Islam is concerned, idle money is not prohibited. There is only a 2.5% percent “tax” on it (which is actually quite small). I see it as a means to discourage keeping money idle.

  268. But I don’t want to belong to that organization.

    Sure. That is your right. Non-Muslims in Muslim societies were never required to pay this “tax” because it is required only from Muslims. It is one of the things that define a Muslim. If you do not want to assume that definition, you would not be required to pay the “tax”.

    Now, non-Muslims have historically paid other taxes (called jizyah). These were required for defense (unless the non-Muslim in question does not want to be defended and would rather assume his own self-defense). Jizyah, however, undoubtedly, been overtly abused by many Muslim governments over history. This concept of jizyah by the way is not too foreign to the West up until the late 19th century:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_tax_(Canada)

    It is rarely imposed in Muslim societies. Surely not in Egypt, for example.

    The “Islamic” method you describe would more likely lead to hiding wealth than investing it. Your home is a fine example. How long until the $500,000 family homestead is declared idle wealth? I think not very.

    But buying a home with your cash would not be cheating according to the Muslim method. It goes into buying a house that has to be built by someone (i.e., good for economy), otherwise, if not new, this means that there is someone without a home who will need to buy a new. As far as Islam is concerned, putting your money in “commodities” or hard assets is perfectly ok.

  269. This just in…
    According to government sources…

    CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appeared headed for victory on Sunday in a referendum on allowing the leftist to rule for as long as he keeps winning elections, government-linked sources said, citing exit polls.

  270. NM– OH, I am shocked! What a surprise.

  271. There is only a 2.5% percent “tax” on it

    Only? That is per annum, isn’t it? Over 20 years that comes to approx 40%. For money that I had earned and squirreled away.

    IMHO, sales taxes are likely the most equitable. To be fair, food and clothing, books and services, aardvarks to zygotes, all purchases pay a flat sales tax. If somebody dies with a billion dollars in a bank, that indicates to me, that he or she put 1 billion more into society than he took out.

    You think someone will point out shortcomings or unfairness with that? Bet on it. 😉

  272. It is rarely imposed in Muslim societies. Surely not in Egypt, for example.

    … nowadays that is.

  273. Ali,

    I can’t tell whether that was posted with the [sacrcasm] tag on or off.

    Assuming you are serious…

    1) This is an announcement by the Venezuelan government, so there should be no surprise…I haven’t been paying attention to the international vote monitoring for this particular election, but I would think the international community would be wise to watch for fraud VERY carefully with this one.

    2) The opposition boycotted the election to undermine its legitimacy.

    The good news: If true, this is the slimmest win ever for Chavez…and it says he has to keep winning to stay in power.

  274. J sub D:

    OK, as you like 🙂 I am just saying it as it is. Don’t like it, don’t take it 🙂

  275. But buying a home with your cash would not be cheating according to the Muslim method. It goes into buying a house that has to be built by someone (i.e., good for economy),

    I buy gold. It helps pay miner’s salaries, and accountants, and the buggy driver who delivers it. How s that conceptually different than a house?

  276. I can’t tell whether that was posted with the [sacrcasm] tag on or off.

    On.

  277. I buy gold. It helps pay miner’s salaries, and accountants, and the buggy driver who delivers it. How s that conceptually different than a house?

    Haha… No that would be cheating :-). It wouldn’t only if the gold was truly just excavated and your are the first owner, I guess.

    What you’re preemptively cheating the system in case the terrorists win and sharia enforced 🙂 ? You worry too much!

  278. What you’re preemptively cheating the system in case the terrorists win and sharia enforced 🙂 ?

    Nah, just being contrary. One more time –

    Haha… No that would be cheating :-). It wouldn’t only if the gold was truly just excavated and your are the first owner, I guess.

    Used houses?

  279. Sure, and as far as Islam is concerned, idle money is not prohibited. There is only a 2.5% percent “tax” on it (which is actually quite small).

    But it is discouraged, and small is of course a matter of opinion. And again, I am ignorant of much of Islam, but in Catholicism, there are a whole bunch of rules that not only arbitrary, but also were tacked on centuries later and ‘retconned’ into “well, things are this way because God said so and that’s the eay it’s always been.” There’s also the feature in Catholicism of the rules mutating over the years (e.g. for some reason, God doesn’t damn you anymore if you eat a hamburger on most Fridays). So, I do not know if this 2.5% level is a commandment or is up for negotiation (in either direction)

    The whole thing I think is rather silly, and reminds me of the Chris Rock bit that goes “Back before refrigeration and sanitation, a pork chop could kill you. And so, the elders got around a said, ‘Guys, how do we keep people from eating pork chops and dying on us?’ And one of them said, ‘I got it, we’ll say don’t eat pork chops because God said so.'”

    Islamic cultural practices (in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe) in the 8th-14th centuries C.E were superior at wealth generation to their European Christian contemporaries, especially because they engendered lower tax levels and a higher social stability than was found in Christian Europe. But, as the American South also found out, holding on to certain economic practices just because of cutural reasons, and not because they actually make economic sense, will ultimately cause your whole society to be upended.

  280. I actually do not think the 2.5% rate is mentioned in the Quran. I think it comes from the Prophet’s practice. If so, the exact rate could be open to interpretation and negotiation.

    For more basic info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakat

    The reason I have always put the word “tax” in parentheses is because it is certainly not a tax, but could be erceived as such. The word used in Arabic is “zakat”, which literally means “purification”, in this case of sources of income. Yes, we all (hopefully) earn our incomes from legitimate means, but even those do come at costs to others and are not entirely 100% “clean”.

  281. Used houses?

    You caught me there. I guess I can always ask about the gold thingy. Houses are legitimate. I do not have to pay alms over a house. I mean, how often do I buy gold?

  282. This is a bit of an odd debate. What’s so unreasonable about a religion making almsgiving a central tenet? Jews and Christians (at least those who observe the Biblical precept) are supposed to tithe. (iih asked about Jewish law: it’s one tenth of income, paid as soon as you earn it.) I believe Buddhists and Hindus also have some religious obligations about giving. It’s a normal, decent thing to do.

    Whether zakat is also good for the economy … I’m less sure. It’s essentially a tax on savings. Depending on the savings rate in your country, that could be good or bad; in America today, the way the current-account deficit looks, a national tax on savings would be (I’d guess) very bad.

  283. iih asked about Jewish law: it’s one tenth of income, paid as soon as you earn it.

    Thanks for the tip. So it seems to be on all income at the time of receiving the income. Interesting, that would probably put at odds with the way things are done in Islam, though usually the two religions agree on many religious doctrines.

  284. The Friday Political Thread: Brought to You by Democratic Democrat Plants

    fuckin’ fixed

    The “plants” weren’t “democratic” they were from the DEMOCRAT PARTY

  285. Did anyone else initially think this was about Democrat greenery?
    I know my aspidistras and peace lilies are voting for Hillary.

  286. iih — I suspect the difference is an agricultural vs. urban thing. If you’re a farmer (like the Biblical Israelites) it makes sense to donate a part of your crop when you harvest it. Over time that translated into paying a fraction of your income. If you live in a city — and I think the first Muslims did — then your wealth is in the form of coins, not grain or cattle, and it might be more practical to count your money and pay a fraction of that.

  287. src-

    Interesting again. There is indeed a 10% tax on farming products. But that is the less known one since most are not farmers. But overall, you are right, I think.

  288. This is pretty credible praise or Ron Paul from the Mainstream Media on his stance re: the gold standard. Pass it on!

    http://www.nysun.com/article/66303

  289. Has a plant ever voted Democratic? I mean, outside Chicago.

  290. Concerning the gold standard, I wish to return to my point, discussed earlier,

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/122857.html#802113

    that while America has rejected the gold standard, Americans – including liberals – continue to use the term “gold standard” to indicate the highest levels of quality and reliability. This shows a kind of cognitive dissonance – comparing something to the gold standard is a good thing, but the *actual* gold standard is a bad thing.

    Some more examples:

    Christopher Dodd (D-Ct): The Food and Drug Administration is “. . . the gold standard for assuring the safety of the public for many years to come.”

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=110-s20070920-17&person=300034

    Barbara Mikulski (D-Md): “consumers, physicians and patients all over the world who rely on the FDA to be the gold standard for drug safety.”

    http://mikulski.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=274107

    Is there any other example of a thing which is considered bad, but which good things keep getting compared to, in what is meant as high praise?

    I mean, if something is bad and illegal, one would think that being compared to that thing would be a negative.

    Or is it like calling someone “bad” when you mean “good”? [Do hip people still do that? I wouldn’t know.]

    What accounts for this dissonance?

  291. Or is it like calling someone “bad” when you mean “good”? [Do hip people still do that? I wouldn’t know.]

    No, we do not.

  292. Has a plant ever voted Democratic? I mean, outside Chicago.

    See: Texas, the Johnson years and Louisiana ever since it got a name.

  293. Guy Montag-

    OK, people who are coming back from their weekends will look back at this thread and would think that I threadjacked this thing. Well, you would be the culprit Guy Montag. You instigated this whole thing with a couple of remarks (and ducked?) 🙂 Not my fault, everyone!

  294. OK, people who are coming back from their weekends will look back at this thread and would think that I threadjacked this thing.

    You can’t hijack an open thread.
    Just sayin’.

  295. WE WON!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  296. OH, OK, Good! Open threads are not hijackable then.

  297. Chavez lost.

    Good news.

    Putin, however, seems to be rolling along without worries that his elections have been called unfair.

  298. NM- Now I am really surprised regarding Hugo!

    Or may be not. Assuming a worst case scenario, for all we know, he lost THIS time. He can now boast how legitimate his rule is and how democratic he is. And a few years (months?) from now, the same vote, but with say 55% to 45% to his preferred position. Then, no one can argue against the result. It has been done democratically. Of course he’s right!

    This comes from a person who have had first hand experience with socialist/authoritarian trickeries.

  299. “Which one of the following candidates would you LEAST want to watch on television for four years?”

    *ALL* of them.

  300. Dondero’s got a point… Missus Clinton WISHES she could blame the VRWC (read: anyone over 50.00001% right-of-center) on the actions of the would-be bomber, but that won’t stop some from blaming his attempt on, say, “hate radio” or some other construct/bogeyman.

    She WILL get a lot of sympathy support out of it, though. Unfortunately, that is.

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