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10/23/2008 12:46:29 PM · #126
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
10/23/2008 12:58:15 PM · #127
"In your reaction to an imagined attack on your country or an insult to its government, you draw closer to the herd for protection, you conform in word and deed, and you insist vehemently that everybody else shall think, speak, and act together. And you fix your adoring gaze upon the State, with a truly filial look, as upon the Father of the flock."

And:
"Never has there been a good war or a bad peace."
Benjamin Franklin
10/23/2008 01:05:04 PM · #128
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Your view may represent that of the majority of Canadians, but it does not represent that of all Canadians - Thank God. I understand your opposition to Iraq. Your opposition to Afghanistan is incomprehensible to me.

Our opposition is to active military engagement. Before Afghanistan, Canada was not involved in active military engagement since Korea. Canada's role, before the Conservatives got their hands on our government, has been that of peacekeeping, not war making. The majority of Canadians prefer it that way. If we have our way, if the combined forces of the opposition has its way, the government will fall, and Afghanistan will be a memory.
10/23/2008 01:08:27 PM · #129
(Chanting)

quote fight...quote fight...quote FIGHT...QUOTE FIGHT!!!
10/23/2008 01:10:37 PM · #130
Originally posted by Louis:

"In your reaction to an imagined attack on your country or an insult to its government, you draw closer to the herd for protection, you conform in word and deed, and you insist vehemently that everybody else shall think, speak, and act together. And you fix your adoring gaze upon the State, with a truly filial look, as upon the Father of the flock."


Who is this quoting? I presume it's directed at me or those who feel as I do? I'm relieved to hear that 9/11 was just my imagination. Also, I suppose, the U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Dar As-Salaam, Sana'a, Tehran, Beirut; the killing of over 230 U.S. Marines and Sailors on a U.N. peacekeeping mission by a Hezbollah terrorist exactly 25 years ago today, killing and throwing overboard of Leon Klinghoffer (old man confined to a wheelchair) were also imagined. As the Arabs say: "Alhamdulilah!" (Thank God!). Shall I go on?

Originally posted by Louis:

And:
"Never has there been a good war or a bad peace."
Benjamin Franklin


A pleasant but simplistic statement. It is easy to say that war is not good and use that simple statement to try to fool people into thinking that one should never go to war. But, taking WWII as an example, the war itself was not good - ok, right, but joining in it to defeat the Nazis was a good thing for the allies to do. And I'm glad to point out that many Canadians of that generation willingly fulfilled that responsibility.

Message edited by author 2008-10-23 15:00:22.
10/23/2008 01:13:37 PM · #131
Originally posted by Louis:

Canada's role, before the Conservatives got their hands on our government, has been that of peacekeeping, not war making. The majority of Canadians prefer it that way. If we have our way, if the combined forces of the opposition has its way, the government will fall, and Afghanistan will be a memory.


Ok, I confess to not knowing a lot about Canadian politics. But, I was under the impression that Canada is a democracy. How did the conservatives "get their hands on" your government? Were they not democratically elected by a majority of your citizens?
10/23/2008 01:21:29 PM · #132
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Louis:

Canada's role, before the Conservatives got their hands on our government, has been that of peacekeeping, not war making. The majority of Canadians prefer it that way. If we have our way, if the combined forces of the opposition has its way, the government will fall, and Afghanistan will be a memory.


Ok, I confess to not knowing a lot about Canadian politics. But, I was under the impression that Canada is a democracy. How did the conservatives "get their hands on" your government? Were they not democratically elected by a majority of your citizens?

No; in the wonderful world of Canadian politics, they only have the support of about 30% of the population. The vast majority of the population supports left of centre parties; a minority supports the Conservative party. They lead a minority government, their second in a row, with more seats in parliament, but even less popular support than las time due to the weird way the ridings carve the country up. Canada does not have true representative government, and even the Conservatives recognize the need for electoral reform. We want the potential for coalition government, as in continental European parliamentary democracy.

Edit to clarify that they were not, in fact, elected by a majority of Canadians.

Message edited by author 2008-10-23 14:22:02.
10/23/2008 01:26:29 PM · #133
Nobody will get an argument from me about the need to go to war against Nazis. Not that it should make any difference, but I am well educated in the intricacies and peculiarities of World War II and the Third Reich in particular. My quarrel is better summed up in the first quote from Randolph Bourne. One person's view of blood-and-guts glory doesn't work for everyone, and I take umbrage with the blanket statement that unless I am willing to kill, I don't deserve to be protected by the state. It's a foolish statement bereft of compassion.
10/23/2008 01:47:40 PM · #134
Originally posted by jjstager2:



So the US deserved the attack on 9-11?


Nope.

Originally posted by jjstager2:


I'm curious, what should the US have done in response to 9-11?


Lock the cockpit doors on all large commercial aircraft and
attempt to find the leadership of the attack in Afghanistan. Remain very quiet about the entire incident, at least as much as possible. Change as few things as possible in day to day life in America. This robs the terrorists of their power. A quiet enemy is much more intimidating and disturbing than one beating his breast and making threats.

10/23/2008 03:02:05 PM · #135

Originally posted by fir3bird:

Lock the cockpit doors on all large commercial aircraft and
attempt to find the leadership of the attack in Afghanistan. Remain very quiet about the entire incident, at least as much as possible. Change as few things as possible in day to day life in America. This robs the terrorists of their power. A quiet enemy is much more intimidating and disturbing than one beating his breast and making threats.


Do you think the American people, including yourself, would really have been satisfied with the appearance that their government was not doing anything but locking the cockpit doors?

Message edited by author 2008-10-23 15:03:20.
10/23/2008 03:07:41 PM · #136
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by fir3bird:

Lock the cockpit doors on all large commercial aircraft and
attempt to find the leadership of the attack in Afghanistan. Remain very quiet about the entire incident, at least as much as possible. Change as few things as possible in day to day life in America. This robs the terrorists of their power. A quiet enemy is much more intimidating and disturbing than one beating his breast and making threats.


Do you think the American people, including yourself, would really have been satisfied with the appearance that their government was not doing anything but locking the cockpit doors?


I was horrified and disgusted by the militaristic response to 9/11. I saw 9/11 with my own eyes but felt no need whatsoever to get revenge by fulfilling PNAC's fantasies of controlling oil and forcefeeding democracy.
10/23/2008 04:06:46 PM · #137
I think a good portion of the American people would have been happier with a less hasty and better researched response. The haste with which the high ranking Saudis were evacuated was astonishing. My immediate reaction after the initial shock was great trepidation that the Bush administration was going to do something very foolish; that the military would be involved was probable but secondary to the foolishness.

Must it always come down to "satisfying" the voters? Do we merely elect people who reflect our beliefs or do we not consider those capable of exercising some sort of judgment? Machiavellian forces are always at work. People who think it is simply a matter of my country right or wrong are deluding themselves. And people like me, inclined towards pacifism, would do well to become wise as serpents.
10/23/2008 04:13:05 PM · #138
The uncomfortable truth is it is literally impossible to stop a small group of well equipped people from carrying out attacks on civilian targets. All the stuff we do serves two purposes: 1) Stop the casual terrorist and 2) provided a sense of security. Look at Richard Reid. His attempted attack was only three months after 9/11. It was only his bumbling that prevent his attack from being successful.

In my view, the best way to counter terrorism is to spread goodwill abroad so as to have the smallest pool of people out there that really, really hate you.
10/23/2008 04:15:45 PM · #139
I have just read through the whole thread and must applaud all for the way they have conducted themselves without it going into a rant.

As to the OP: I find the letter moving, but also frightening. The soldier was loyal and devoted to serving his country, regardless of the rights or wrongs being discussed here. In some ways he was, by the wording of the letter, verging on the fanatical in his devotion and determination to fight and die for his country/countrymen. This is what I found worrying, as his 'enemies' are as fanatical and devoted to their cause.

Trying to lay blame at anyone's door is like banging your head on a brickwall. For ever positive reason, somenone will have a negative one. Our 'civilisation' likes to spout on about how far removed we are from our more primitive ancestors, but in truth we still harbour and cherish the same tribal instincts as they did.

The US is not the only country involved in the ongoing conflicts, nor the only ones who are losing soldiers/airmen etc doing their duty. It is an international force trying to do the best they can.

Whether there are hidden agendas for the conflicts of the past 20 years, I don't want to go there, but we must support our servicemen and women. If the blame lies with governments or some other organisation, we can't ignore those who give their lives in the service of their country.

I am not a back slapper, who shouts and waves a nation flag, who sees all the government does as beneficial for the masses. But I do believe in freedom of speech, the right to worship or not any God you want, and the need to defend your people from attack. In the UK, we have endured many years of bombings by extremists, but there is always a way for peaceful discussion, as the Irish problem showed. I give no Kudos to any politician, merely to common sense. I hope future conflicts can be sorted in this way??

Message edited by author 2008-10-23 16:17:10.
10/23/2008 04:17:40 PM · #140
Originally posted by citymars:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

Yeah, I get bothered by kneejerk patriotism. But I am even more bothered by the "Blame America First" crowd and those who cannot empathize with just where this now dead soldier's thoughts were coming from.

"The Blame America First crowd" is just another distortion from the same playbook of phrases such as "liberal media" and "activist judges."


Distortion - no, sorry.

The "Liberal Media" is a fitting title because it happens to be true. It has been documented that 80% or more members of the media in America are Democrats. There are several sources you can go to if you wish to see the disparity of positive stories for the Liberals and negative stories for the Conservatives during election time - it is a simple truth of life that exists.

"Activist Judges" describes those jurists who might go beyond the constitution when rendering legal opinions. My understanding of the idea here is that they seek to impose and substantiate a predisposition and cite sources other than the constitution in an effort to support a constitutionally questionable decision (the other end of the spectrum would be a judge referred to as a "strict constructionist"). Surely you do not disagree that these types of jurists exist?

As for the "Hate America First" label - I wish you were right in that this too is but a mere distortion. I really doubt that anything I say will change your mind but I stand by the assertion that this label sadly but accurately identifies a pretty vocal group of people who like to hide behind statements and sentiments such as asserting their right to dissent - and yet really actively seize upon occaisions such as this - statements in a dead soldier's blog - to shout out about all that is wrong with America, Bush, Cheney, blah blah blah...

The "Hate America First" crowd reference really reflects nothing more than identifying the polar opposite of Robert's "Kneejerk patriotism" reference which I notice you did not label as a "distortion" and yet one I readily accepted as a valid moniker.

I apologize if the title offends you - that was not my intent - nor do I presume you are a card carrying member!

10/23/2008 04:18:48 PM · #141
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

The uncomfortable truth is it is literally impossible to stop a small group of well equipped people from carrying out attacks on civilian targets. All the stuff we do serves two purposes: 1) Stop the casual terrorist and 2) provided a sense of security. Look at Richard Reid. His attempted attack was only three months after 9/11. It was only his bumbling that prevent his attack from being successful.

In my view, the best way to counter terrorism is to spread goodwill abroad so as to have the smallest pool of people out there that really, really hate you.


Well said!
10/23/2008 04:32:53 PM · #142
Originally posted by jjstager2:

"Activist Judges" describes those jurists who might go beyond the constitution when rendering legal opinions. My understanding of the idea here is that they seek to impose and substantiate a predisposition and cite sources other than the constitution in an effort to support a constitutionally questionable decision (the other end of the spectrum would be a judge referred to as a "strict constructionist"). Surely you do not disagree that these types of jurists exist?


I'll leave the other terms, but this term or "legislate from the bench" are two totally BS ideas. Basically, when someone complains about "legislating from the bench" they are simply stating they disagree with the judge's ruling. That's all it comes down to. In the last years it's been a basic conservative complain about liberal rulings. Mark my words, since the Supreme Court has moved to the right we are simply now going to hear liberals complain about conservative rulings while the conservatives are quiet.
10/23/2008 04:35:39 PM · #143
Originally posted by jjstager2:


As for the "Hate America First" label - I wish you were right in that this too is but a mere distortion. I really doubt that anything I say will change your mind but I stand by the assertion that this label sadly but accurately identifies a pretty vocal group of people who like to hide behind statements and sentiments such as asserting their right to dissent - and yet really actively seize upon occaisions such as this - statements in a dead soldier's blog - to shout out about all that is wrong with America, Bush, Cheney, blah blah blah...

The "Hate America First" crowd reference really reflects nothing more than identifying the polar opposite of Robert's "Kneejerk patriotism" reference which I notice you did not label as a "distortion" and yet one I readily accepted as a valid moniker.



If the posting of this soldier's opinion (blog) wasn't done to promote free and open discussion of its content and pertinent issues, why was it posted?

How is exercising the right of free speech in discussion of those same topics (a right he gave his life to defend no less) unpatriotic and/or "Hating America" if the opinion expressed dissents from that of the OP? Has blind conformity to the position taken by the country's leadership replaced true patriotism? Since when has openly questioning the leadership of our country been unpatriotic? I say that nothing is more patriotic.

Message edited by author 2008-10-23 16:39:57.
10/23/2008 06:04:01 PM · #144
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

"Activist Judges" describes those jurists who might go beyond the constitution when rendering legal opinions. My understanding of the idea here is that they seek to impose and substantiate a predisposition and cite sources other than the constitution in an effort to support a constitutionally questionable decision (the other end of the spectrum would be a judge referred to as a "strict constructionist"). Surely you do not disagree that these types of jurists exist?


I'll leave the other terms, but this term or "legislate from the bench" are two totally BS ideas. Basically, when someone complains about "legislating from the bench" they are simply stating they disagree with the judge's ruling.


Here I must disagree with you. In the U.S., it's the job of the legislative branch to create the law - not the judicial. The job of the judicial is to ensure that actions carried out by the executive branch and the legislative branch are within the already-existing law and do not violate a higher already-existing law (the Constitution being the highest). I'll use Roe v. Wade as an example. Whatever your views on abortion, it is a fact that the justices who decided Roe v. Wade ruled based on their decision that the Constitution of the United States granted people a certain right to PRIVACY. Now, you will not find the word "Privacy" mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. It's not there. What those Justices did was extrapolate from the themes that are in the Constitution and then conclude that the implication of those themes was that we have a right to privacy and that that privacy right extended to the point that a woman's PRIVACY interest in her body prevents the state from keeping her from having an abortion. Whether or not you think a woman should have the right to have an abortion, I think it is clear that those justices "legislated from the bench" i.e., they acted as the LEGISLATIVE branch and CREATED a right that was not there before.

That's what "activist judges" and "legislating from the bench" means.

In the words of Justice Anontin Scalia: "If you think a woman should have the right to an abortion - fine. Have Congress create the right through legislation." But it's not actually in the Constitution.

Now, lest someone draw the wrong conclusion and think I'm a hard-core right winger, let me briefly use the same analysis on gun control. The National Rifle Association claims a 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. But, when you read the second amendment, it says: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." So, it seems to me that the language is clear that the founding fathers' purpose in guaranteeing the right to bear arms was so that people could serve in well-regulated militias. To extrapolate from this that there can be no, or only extremely limited, gun control is, in my mind, an unjustified extrapolation of the law and an example of creating a law where there is none - i.e., "Legislating from the bench."

Message edited by author 2008-10-23 18:07:21.
10/23/2008 06:12:03 PM · #145
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

In the words of Justice Anontin Scalia: "If you think a woman should have the right to an abortion - fine. Have Congress create the right through legislation." But it's not actually in the Constitution.


I think it's interesting that you quote Scalia because his rulings are so uniformly conservative I would think it impossible for his ideology to not have played a role. I'm not faulting him for this, frankly I think it is impossible to divorce your own opinion from such work. But for Scalia to somehow think he is the bearer of interpretive unbias is at best silly and at worst arrogant and hubric.

How is the recent interpretation of the second amendment any more or less "legislative" than Roe v. Wade (BTW, I disagree with both)?
10/23/2008 06:26:56 PM · #146
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

In the words of Justice Anontin Scalia: "If you think a woman should have the right to an abortion - fine. Have Congress create the right through legislation." But it's not actually in the Constitution.


I think it's interesting that you quote Scalia because his rulings are so uniformly conservative I would think it impossible for his ideology to not have played a role. I'm not faulting him for this, frankly I think it is impossible to divorce your own opinion from such work. But for Scalia to somehow think he is the bearer of interpretive unbias is at best silly and at worst arrogant and hubric.

How is the recent interpretation of the second amendment any more or less "legislative" than Roe v. Wade (BTW, I disagree with both)?


I knew that I couldn't mention Scalia without raising some eyebrows. But I have always been a strict constructionist. That doesn't mean I always agree with Scalia. But I did agree with that quote of his.

As for the second amendment, I was using that as an example of a conservative legislation from the bench and Roe v. Wade as a liberal legislation from the bench. Sorry if I did not make that clear.
10/23/2008 06:39:10 PM · #147
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

As for the second amendment, I was using that as an example of a conservative legislation from the bench and Roe v. Wade as a liberal legislation from the bench. Sorry if I did not make that clear.


We were typing at the same time and I think we happen to agree on both those cases. :)
10/23/2008 08:26:45 PM · #148
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by fir3bird:

Lock the cockpit doors on all large commercial aircraft and
attempt to find the leadership of the attack in Afghanistan. Remain very quiet about the entire incident, at least as much as possible. Change as few things as possible in day to day life in America. This robs the terrorists of their power. A quiet enemy is much more intimidating and disturbing than one beating his breast and making threats.


Do you think the American people, including yourself, would really have been satisfied with the appearance that their government was not doing anything but locking the cockpit doors?


You obviously didn't carefully read my reply. Read it again with comprehension.
10/24/2008 03:24:53 PM · #149
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

"Activist Judges" describes those jurists who might go beyond the constitution when rendering legal opinions. My understanding of the idea here is that they seek to impose and substantiate a predisposition and cite sources other than the constitution in an effort to support a constitutionally questionable decision (the other end of the spectrum would be a judge referred to as a "strict constructionist"). Surely you do not disagree that these types of jurists exist?


I'll leave the other terms, but this term or "legislate from the bench" are two totally BS ideas. Basically, when someone complains about "legislating from the bench" they are simply stating they disagree with the judge's ruling. That's all it comes down to. In the last years it's been a basic conservative complain about liberal rulings. Mark my words, since the Supreme Court has moved to the right we are simply now going to hear liberals complain about conservative rulings while the conservatives are quiet.


I think it is very sad for a "democracy" to have judges who have a political agenda. It breaks with the idea of trias politica, but I suppose that will be labeled to liberal as well. Let's face it, the US is not a democracy it is a bordering to elected dictatorship oligargic semi-theocratic state.


10/24/2008 04:15:52 PM · #150
Originally posted by Azrifel:

I think it is very sad for a "democracy" to have judges who have a political agenda. It breaks with the idea of trias politica, but I suppose that will be labeled to liberal as well. Let's face it, the US is not a democracy it is a bordering to elected dictatorship oligargic semi-theocratic state.


I know your sentiment, but I'd say that's hyperbole. No true oligarcy would allow itself to be swept out of power every 4-8 years...
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