Monday, April 27, 2009

The First 100 Days

Okay, so we are now past that mythical benchmark of success, "The First 100 Days" of the presidency of one B. Hussein Obama, leader of our country, the most powerful man in the free world. Many people like to look at this 100 days as a sign of things to come--after all, in those first 100 days, he can either accomplish many things, or nothing, and its sure to be an indicator of future successes?

And our leader, President B. Hussein Obama certainly has done alot in these first 100 days. Here's some highlights, in no particular order...

  • Throw a couple of huge parties at the White House, serving Kobe Beef. Kobe Beef runs about 100 bucks a pound. Meanwhile, he's telling all to sacrifice and cutback in this, supposedly the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
  • Bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia. Admittedly, I'm not sure how you greet officials in that culture... but if I'm the President, you'd better believe I'd find out before I went over there. Bowing is not acceptable.
  • Sitting there, patiently, while Daniel Ortega, dictator of Nicaragua, goes on and on for almost an hour about the criminality and corruption of the United States. At no point during this "Summit of the Americas" does President B. Hussein Obama stand to defend his country, nor does he do such a thing when its his turn to speak. Instead, its just the last stop on...
  • The Obama America Apology Tour of 2009. Running around the world, telling everyone how sorry we are for everything. How much we suck. How things are going to be different since The Great Unifier, President B. Hussein Obama is in power now, and that reckless fool of a cowboy, Dubya, is gone. (to be fair, at The Summit of the Americas, President B. Hussein Obama did say, "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old." All about him.)
  • Being "set straight" by Fidel Castro, who tells President B. Hussein Obama that despite how he might have taken his conversations with Raul Castro as "productive" and "possibly leading to a lesser embargo", that in fact, there will be no such productivity. Castro chastizes us about handling of political prisoners. We were chastized by Fidel Castro.
  • The nomination of at least five people who have tax issues and back taxes due, one of which now heads the IRS.
  • Insulting the British Prime Minister by sending back a statue of Winston Churchill, one that was given to America right after 9/11 as a gift of hope. Britain said to keep it, or even put it in a different room of the White House. President B. Hussein Obama said no thank you, we don't want it.
  • This time, though, we got some gifts from Britain... The first of which is a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa. President B. Hussein Obama also received a framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria. It is the sister ship of the HMS Gannet. Finally, he got a first edition of Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, whose World War II partnership with President Franklin Roosevelt symbolized the U.S.-Anglo alliance. For the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia, Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife, gave each an outfit from Topshop, a British chain of clothing stores, and selected six children's books by British authors which have yet to be published in the U.S.
  • The First Lady gave Prime Minister Brown's two sons toy helicopters modeled after Marine One. Then President B. Hussein Obama gave his own historical, meaningful gifts to Prime Minister Brown. You know, like an iPod filled with his own speeches, and a collection of 25 DVDs of great American movies. Could you not spring for Blue-Ray, there Prez man?
  • Taking the Census from an independent agency and moving it over to his own (democractic) commerce department. Meaning? If there are people there that aren't as honest as some can be, they can mold and shape the census data however they choose too, possibly leading to restructuring of districts to advantages of certain parties.
  • Openly lying that the construction company Caterpillar would re-hire laid off workers with the passage of his stimilus bill, calling the company leaders liars when they said they would not be able to re-hire regardless of passage, then blaming business owners for our economic status when Caterpillar then laid off more workers after the bill passed.
  • Making his supporters happy, he pledges to close Guantanamo Bay, then to keep the other side happy, keeps it open with no plan to close it soon. (personally, I support President B. Hussein Obama in this latter part!)
  • Tries to nationalize the banking system in our country to prevent banks and financial institutions from paying back Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) money they either didn't need or want.
  • French President Sarkozy ridicules and humiliates President B. Hussein Obama by telling him he's got a "Messiah Complex" and invites him to come to Normandy Beach and "walk on water". Ouch.
  • After thousands of Americans decide to peacefully protest and demonstrate at "Tea Parties", something we'd seen dozens of times during President Dubya's administration (though not all were peaceful, and some were downright hateful), President B. Hussein Obama's Homeland Security agency labels such protesters--including returning veterans--as security risks, likening them to terrorists. As someone who loves this country, disagrees with President B. Hussein Obama's policies, is against terrorist, believes in and loves Jesus and God, and supports our military, aka, as someone who is a "Right Wing Extremist", I find this one funny.
  • Admiral Dennis Blair, an appointee of President B. Hussein Obama to be the Director of National Intelligence, comes out and says that the CIA has in fact received high value, lifesaving information through captured terrorists, only to have President B. Hussein Obama rebuke him and say that those interrogations are immoral and counterproductive.
  • President B. Hussein Obama's rhetoric against torture is so ridiculous that "face slapping" is considered torture, as well as "putting an insect in a small room with a detainee who might be afraid of insects". No, I'm not making this up. Abu Zabayda had a fear of insects. They put him in a tiny cell and told him that the insect they were placing in the cell with him was "a stinging insect". It was a caterpiller. This is considered torture, according to President B. Hussein Obama.

All of this in 100 days? How did he have time to breathe?

(pausing a moment while my soapbox is put into place. stepping onto said soapbox.)

For many months, I wrestled with whether President B. Hussein Obama was a bumbling incompetent goober who didn't know what he was doing or whether he actually knew exactly what he was doing. I think I've decided its a mixture of the two.

All of these things in his first 100 days doesn't tell us who he is, its a result of who he is. He is a man who thinks this country should change in a huge turnaround. He feels that for too long, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer--now this is an often used cliche that you may or may not agree with, and both sides of that argument could present proof for their case, but that statement's validity is not what I'm trying to say. Instead of using his power, his popularity, his charm to help the poor get richer... education, self-worth, job training, etc... he has now made it his mission to use the power of the United States government to help the rich get poorer.

Its just not fair. Its not fair that all these people have all this money, be it earned, inherited or gotten in an ill-conceived way, its all just not fair. What is fair, however, is to make those people who've enjoyed the lap of luxury for so long pay. When they pay, then the poor people will get some of that money. And the poor people will love the government for it, and viola! You've got a nation of people, equally poor and miserable, all depending on the government.

THIS IS WHO OBAMA IS. He is a strategist who wants our government to be in control of as much as possible... banks, the auto industry, the private sector, the schools... he is someone who isn't concerned with making our country safer, but more concerned with setting up the Bush Adminstration as who will take the blame if the country gets attacked again during the current administration, even though these things that President B. Hussein Obama is doing right now is leaving us open for such things.

The Tea Parties were fun. It showed that there are alot of like minded people out there, people who don't want this country to go in the direction that President B. Hussein Obama is ready to take us to. Unfortunately, unless a candidate who inspires and excites our side the way Obama did with the liberal left steps up, it will all be for naught. If another McCain is presented as our only option in 2012, then it will continue. Perhaps not Sarah Palin, but someone like her.

(steps off the soapbox)

So, I'll sit back and await the next 100 days, then the next, then the next, all sure to be as fun and scary as the first. Sort of like Everest at Disney World. Up, down, up, down, and suddenly, when you think you've finally hit the point where you are going to go faster, make more progress... you go backwards. Backwards fast. Really fast.

Oh yeah...


ps... anyone who decides to respond is not allowed to invoke Dubya's name. This isn't about what Bush did. This is about what President B. Hussein Obama is doing.


  1. This is very interesting. While I love the not-so-subtle "ps" directed at me, you CAN'T respond to this without mentioning "W", because, like it or not, he's the reason Obama got elected. Not directly, of course, and he wasn't solely responsible for the mess we're in, but he was the scapegoat that voters decided to send a message to in the election. And not just him, the entire administration.
    Here's the problem I have with the whole thing, which you knew was coming. You really, really, really hate Obama, which is fine. I really, really, really hate W, which is also fine, because despite your post, America is still the greatest country in the world. It's one thing to say that Obama is a socialist (he's not) or that he's leading the country down the wrong path (TBD); what you CANNOT do is imply that W was any better. All my hyper-conservative friends who equally worshipped W the way people do Obama, in the "he's a republican so everything he does is right and good and I have to agree with it" mode, never realized that the last 8 years weren't very republican. Expanding the national debt, starting wars of aggression, ignoring civil liberties and the Constitution; Ronald Reagan is undoubtedly rolling in his grave right now. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of political history should have immediately stood up sometime in the last 8 years and said "wait a minute...this isn't conservative", and yet the minions blindly followed the bumbling W into 2 endless wars and a recession.
    I don't agree with much of Obama's politics, but I can see why millions of people voted for him, and as much as you don't want to hear it, it DOES have to do with America's response to the W administration. I always find it funny when Obama haters lose their minds that he stutters outside of a teleprompter, and that he approved an $800 billion stimulus package. I mean, we're really going to go there? We just spent 8 years with a guy who constantly EMBARRASSED America around the world with his lack of functional English, and it never bothered anyone that he spent $800 billion (and counting) on torture (real torture, not just bugs and slaps. different debate.) and wars. So Obama's spending is bad b/c some of it goes to children and rebuilding AMERICA'S failing infrastructure, but W's spending the same to help IRAQI children and IRAQ'S failing infrastructure is fine. My head is going to explode. Not one single W supporter has complained about his $800 billion global venture to "stop terrorism", a good portion of which went unaccounted for to private Cheney contractors, despite the fact that a) terrorism is still alive and well, and b) you fundamentally CANNOT rid the world of fanatical, pseudo-religious whackos. I always hypothetically wondered if these same war mongers would be on board if a liberal had initiated it; now I know my answer: we're going to complain about a stimulus package that may actually help our own country, so that's TERRIBLE. The THOUGHT!
    The bottom line is, rail against Obama all you want, and some of it is deserved and I'm right there with you. But please don't turn a conservative blind eye to the last 8 years. We all want the same things, theoretically and politically--be open minded enough to recognize that NEITHER of these guys meets the qualifications of fiscal responsibility and upholding the rule of law and Constitution. We can all hope for a better conservative candidate to come along soon, but don't look back on the last 8 years as fitting the bill.

  2. Longest. Response. Ever.

    Brad, what do you call the government firing CEO's of auto companies, that the govt. bailed out. If not socialism, then at least nationalization. When the govt. starts trying to control more and more of the economy and means of production. By definition that is socialism. If you want to call it nationalization, fine. What about the worldwide apology tour and the denounciation of interrogation techniques? That is emboldening our enemies to try 9/11 again. Explain to me how this "Stimulus" is going to help our economy when our grandchildren's children won't even be able to pay off the interest of the "Stimulus"?
    In reagrds to the teleprompter thing. The point is when he does not have it he comes off as clueless and rambling just like many W detractors said Bush did. Embarrassed? Since when do we care if other countries mock our leader and what they think of us? Personally, I could care less what the French or the French president thinks about our current leader? I find it funny but I don't care.
    The point is all of these Obama fans are upset at how some people in this country react to him and openly question him. They did the same the same thing for 8 years. Some of them openly rooted for W to fail. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. There incredulity directed at us for questioning BHO is laughable at best.
    BTW ask the Kurds in Iraq if getting rid of Sadaam was such a horrible thing to do.

  3. Ok my response was pretty long also. So sue me :)

  4. The Gret Communicator?

  5. Chris,
    I don't know you, but David and I go way back, and have a debate style that's evolved past incoherent ramblings with points that have been debunked for years. I was going to prepare a response to your response, but I realized early on that I would literally be here all night, refuting arguments that are so baseless they barely even warrant THIS response, and I don't have the time to really do that, so...
    Dave: looking forward to yours.

  6. I was hoping Brad would respond... actually, I was kinda counting on it. The PS wasn't really towards you, though... it was actually towards a few other people who would endlessly tell me how much Bush sucked.
    I'm on the record in saying that I supported his first term, and was very disappointed with Dubya's second term. I agree with you in many ways that the country was so fed up with the Bush administration, thrown together with the lack of enthusiasm for McCain--no wonder The Charismatic Obama got in.

    And honestly, I dont really, really hate Obama. I'm apathetic towards him as a person, I believe he has no character. And I do believe that whatever you call it, he's on record as saying raising capital gains taxes is not about the money... its about fairness. Fairness of taking from those who have to give to those who haven't, and yes, its cliche to say "those people dont work!", but for much of this group... its true.

    The stimulus package has done nothing. It was heralded as a "goes to the kiddies and to rebuild bridges" and has done nothing of the sort. And won't. Too full of pork.

    Critize me all you want for my soapbox, but the things I listed during his 100 days actually happened. He sat there, and not only didn't defend this country when some two bit dictator from latin america railed against it, he said he was glad they weren't mad at him. He insulted some of our greatest allies in Britain and France, all the while playing buddy buddy with those countries who openly hate and despise all this country stands for. And people say "he's trying to build a relationship with them"... no, he's not. He is trying to let everyone know that this country was horrible under Bush, but now that Obama is in charge, things are gonig to be different. Morality has come back to the White House!

    He is spending my future, my kids future and my grandkids future, he's attempting to run GM and Chrysler completely into bankruptcy, with the intentions of having a government stake in the companies, enough to be able to give that power to the unions at least.

    You can say all you want George W. Bush was just as bad as Obama, but I disagree. Perhaps his methods were terrible. Perhaps Bush made all the wrong decisions. Perhaps Bush did everything wrong--but he did it in attempted service for the country. Obama does what he does in a love for those who put him in power. Obama does it in a love for Obama.

    And as far as the teleprompter goes... when Bush fumbled anything, it was all over the news about what an idiot he is/was. When Obama speaks without a teleprompter, its either unreported or its passed over. You need to acknowledge the double standard in the media, Brad. Thats something that you have never mentioned exists.

    Man I need to get this podcast up and running. What a fun hour we'd have.

  7. And I can only guess that this response will seem like an incoherent ramble, and it might be... but Idol is on Tuesday. So I just spoke off the cuff, top 'o my head so I could go back and forth a few times before the new column is up....

    And if "Chris" is the same "Chris" i'm thinking of... what you are to law, he is to history, that is to say a student of it, and a teacher to many. So I wouldn't consider his arguments so baseless just out of hand...

  8. Well, that's at least a response I can deal with, unlike Chris'...whatever that is.
    I didn't criticize your soap box; in fact, I find it rather entertaining. It's remarkable to me how we really agree on probably 99% of things, yet have different approaches to it all. This is what debating should be all about. Group hug.
    I wasn't in favor of the stimulus package when W proposed it, and certainly not when Obama initiated it. It's wasteful, sure, but my larger point was that if you accept that the government, any government, is bound and determined to spend $800 billion, I'd rather it be wasted here than in another country. The money we spent in Iraq, call it a "foreign stimulus", has ALSO done nothing, unless you feel that rebuilding a country we helped destroy constitutes something, which I do not. Leaving Saddam out of it, which, like torture, is a separate debate, we really haven't accomplished anything terrorism-wise, which was what we were sold on in 2002-3. (And no, "not being attacked" isn't a victory to me.) And republicans never seem to wonder where that money came from, like we have this invisible, benevolent, rich grandfather who wrote us a check. Well, actually, we kind of did: China, our biggest economic competitor. This is the equivalent of Auburn borrowing money from Alabama. And yet, no outrage about "our grandkids" paying for THAT one day. Very strange to me.
    I'm completely fascinated at your last point, that a president's motivation is a factor in how he should be judged, that W gets a free pass because he "meant well". I've never heard that argument before, and will have to think about it some more before properly responding, because I don't know what to do with that. Not saying I agree or disagree, just new to me.
    Finally, I'll acknowledge the media's double standard. Not a problem--they picked on W. It became a running gag, a Letterman segment. That's how we, as a country, chose to deal with the most powerful man in the world saying "nuculur" and "strategery" to respected world leaders. Unfair? Probably. And Obama's still in his honeymoon phase, so he's more or less immune to criticism, although there are signs of it fading, based on several unfavorable "100 days" reports I've seen. But wouldn't you rather have a President think through his words and have some semblance of a gameplan with a teleprompter? I don't even know why we're debating this; it's stupid. W used a teleprompter just as much, didn't he? I would think so. Maybe he just couldn't read?
    All jokes aside, I'm merely playing devil's advocate here. I voted for W twice, and didn't vote for Obama, so I'm not a supporter or apologist. Like I said, neither W nor Obama is our perfect candidate, and it doesn't make you a bad conservative to break rank and admit W's failures, motivation aside.
    I'm not denying that Obama perhaps should have said something at the summit or whatever it was, although I'm sort of thinking that it might not have been the proper forum. I'm glad he acknowledges that the world hates us and is trying to repair that, and I'd be just as happy if it were MCCain or someone else doing it. SOMEONE has to do SOMETHING, although perhaps we can debate the merits of it.

  9. funny thing is, to my knowledge, W never said "strategery"... that was a SNL skit with Will Farrell playing Dubya...

    and the term "he meant well" is so shallow and simple, isn't it? my point is, the two had completely separate motivations. Bush's was to keep the country safe, and would do anything he thought necessary to do so. Obama's? We've been through that already.

  10. With all due respect Brad you do know me I expect better from you. People who start in with the whole incoherent rambling argument usually have nothing to say in response to legitimate points. Since you have such an "evolved" debate style then refute my points. Do you always take it so personally when people attempt to refute you? I was not attacking you personally, just refuting points. So why make it personal. I have forgotten more about history than you will ever know. So let's just leave it at that.

  11. BTW Brad

    The wars of aggression replaced two dictatorships witth fledgling democracies and ended the ethnic cleansing of Kurds in Iraq. Horrible isn't it?

    Now was W a true conservative. He and the other GOPers acted like Democrats in terms of spending.

    The recession is not totally W's fault. A capitalist economy flows and ebbs in cycles and this happens to be a down cycle. All the problems really came to light when the Dems took control of Congress and allowed the Fannie Mae situation to he totally out of hand as well as the sub-prime mortgages. When the govt. starts encouraging mortgage companies to make bad loans, the bubble bursts and here we are.

    That said, I do not think that what Obama is doing so far is strenghtening the US. It is making us weaker.

  12. You guys are hilarious, defending W long past the point when anyone else has.

    That's one of 16,000,000 links to his mangling of the English language, which isn't a debatable point b/c it's so well-documented by now. He can't talk. Leave it alone.

    Dave: call it what you want, but "trying to keep the country safe", to ME, means the same thing as "he meant well". Either way, it certainly doesn't justify the egregious atrocities he committed, not the bombing of 2 countries, the eradication of our civil liberties, calling the Constitution "a GD piece of paper" (, and so forth. He probably WAS doing what he thought was best for the country (another separate debate): my point is that whatever your motivation, "trying to keep us safe" isn't enough for me.
    Chris: As I already mentioned, I'm personally glad our president is trying to repair some of the damage from the last 8 years. Obviously no one wants him negotiating when it's futile or weakening America, but we TRIED the cowboy-up-shoot-first-ask-questions-later plan and it was a categorical failure, so maybe we'll try diplomacy, which seemed to work for 200+ years. And please don't try and argue that I'm saying we need to roll over for terrorists and be stupid about it. Seriously.
    I also previously mentioned that torture ("enhanced interrogation techniques") is outside the scope of this debate, although if y'all want to go there, I'm more than willing. You'll lose, but I'm willing.
    Re: Removing Saddam from power, I'd like someone to direct me to where we're authorized to do that. I'm not arguing he was a good guy or even that he needed to stay in power. But like Vietnam, I tend to think that it shouldn't have been our fight. This is why we have a UN, so that we're not burdened with saving the world from bad people. It doesn't have to be 4500 of our people and $800 billion of our money, especially when, despite the neocons obsession (and flat-out lies), they completely failed in connecting 9/11 to Iraq. Problem is, that's what we were sold, until we got over there and found no WMD and changed the mission to removing Saddam, and then again to nation-building, something W ran AGAINST in the 2000 election ( My point is, in order to go to war, we have to have congressional approval, which W never got, instead choosing to pass his Authorization to Use Military Force through the back door when New York City was still burning after 9/11.
    So regardless of your argument, be it attacking countries we deem a threat, which is morally, Constitutionally, and biblically wrong, or whether it's expanding the executive branch's power in times of "war", even undeclared wars, or whether it's the ridiculous nation-building argument, we have no authority to do ANY of it, making it illegal, unconstitutional, and wrong. That is NOT a pro-terrorism or pro-Saddam argument. There are ways to deal with this stuff that make more sense to me (and most Americans).
    And I was careful to say that W wasn't solely responsible for the recession, nor do I really care "who started it". And he may well be making us weaker, but that wasn't my point (research "straw man" arguments sometime): my point was that nothing W did was any better, and I don't think the families of the 150,000 kids we have sitting around waiting to be blown apart in the desert feel very "safe", nor do the people in London or India, both attacked by terrorists since we started our awesome campaign. So 7 years later, we're 4500 kids dead and $800 billion in the hole for a war we never declared, making it unending, and W has already determined that the President has unlimited power in "times of war", and we're in a war that, by definition, CANNOT EVER END, making him king! Or, more accurately, now OBAMA is king with no limitations, oversight, or checks and balances, but suddenly the President making up the rules is bad b/c a) he's a democrat (the horrors) and b) W was doing it to help us and Obama just wants to destroy us.
    Very interesting.

  13. Your going to win the torture debate? Go ahead and enlighten us. What do you think?

  14. Just an FYI, the proper protocol for heads of states greeting each other is that neither have to bow/curtsy to anyone. Shaking hands is the modern, appropriate gesture. However, Michelle DID breech protocol when she touched the Queen of England on the back. That gesture was too familiar for the situation, whereas the bowing on Barak's part was too formal and not at all appropriate.
    (Bowing WOULD be appropriate in an eastern culture like China or Japan, if their head of state bows first.)
    Just so ya know...I study protocol for fun, and it's also fun to breakdown breeches in said protocol when we have a new leader. I'm weird, I know this... :)
    Just thought I'd lighten up the debate over here too...

  15. Torture: illegal under US and international law, doesn't work, led to more Americans being killed, and is morally, Constitutionally, ethically, and biblically wrong. Case closed.

    "Why, then, the relentless waterboarding of these two men? It turns out that high Bush officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Mohammed and Zubaydah to reveal a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 hijackers, in order to justify Bush’s illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq in 2003. That link was never established."
    -Marjorie Cohn,

    "In this global counterinsurgency effort against al Qaeda and its allies, too often our means have undercut our efforts by wasting one of our best weapons: the legitimacy that comes from our moral authority.

    Torture plays directly into a central tenet of al Qaeda's recruiting pitch: that everyday Muslims across the world have something to fear from the United States of America.

    From Morocco to Malaysia, people regularly hear stories of torture and suicide at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other overseas prisons. The result has been a major blow to our credibility worldwide, particularly where we need it most: in the Muslim world."
    -John Kerry,

    And even the bastion of conservative ideology, FoxNews, agrees:

  16. Torture: illegal under US and international law, doesn't work, led to more Americans being killed, and is morally, Constitutionally, ethically, and biblically wrong. Case closed.

    Case closed? Doesn't work? How would you suggest we get the information? Say please?

    I guess we are chosing to ignore recent comments from national security experts saying that the interrogation methods helped save American lives. So putting a bug in a room with a terrorist who has a phobia with bugs, to get vital information, or depriving someone of sleep, or waterboarding (the person is not in danger of drowning)is biblicaly wrong? Show me where it says that.

    BTW, it was a brilliant move on his part to de-classify the memos regarding various interrogation methods so those who wish us harm can train those who do their bidding to resist those techniques.

    To answer a previous post:

    As to the unwaveringly supporting W, you don't know me, so don't presume to know what I think. He was wrong on many domestic issues. Mainly, spending like a drunk sailor and the bailout.

    At the same time, BHO is wrong to go around the world apologizing to the world. The world may like this president more, but it sure does not respect him.

    I also disagree with the little speech he gave in Turkey in which he failed to call the slaughter of Armenians in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire what it was, Genocide.

    I look at this way, you should respect the office. At the same time, you are free to state your opinions on the man holding office.

  17. The beauty of this whole debate is that I am on the side of justice, the rule of law, and morality, and it's YOU GUYS who have to talk yourselves into supporting wars and torture. In my world, that's called the "burden of proof", and although I've supported why I'm against such acts, it's really YOU who bears the burden here. People who follow the laws and Constitution and Bible and are on the side of life and liberty shouldn't be the ones on trial.
    I'm not going to debate torture anymore. It's ridiculous, has nothing to do with politics, and should be off the table for any Christian (don't know if you are or not) and/or American. As Shepard Smith says, "This is America! We do not torture!" W said we don't do it, which implies that it's wrong, even as he authorized it. John McCain is against it, and he's the most hawkish politician I can think of. Senior military leaders, ex-CIA and FBI, people who were in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, have come out and said it didn't work and was wrong.
    And as I said, the burden is not on me to show where torture is biblically proscribed; it's on YOU to show me where it's allowed, which you won't find.

  18. You are the one who came out and said that these interrogation techniques were not biblical. I asked you to prove it. Ergo, the burden of proof is on you to back up your statement. You just can't make a statement like that and not have the proof. That is just intellectually lazy.

    Your Self-Righteousness astounds me. You are being put on trial? That is laughable at best.

    You insinuation that people like Dave or myself don't support the Constiution or are true followers of the teachings of the Bible is ludicrous at best.

    You are the one to decide what is worthy of debate of not? How is that following the Constitution? You can't start a debate and then decide when it is over.

    BTW you said earlier, that you and Dave go back a long way. You should drop your smug attitude becuase he and I go back a lot farther. To that point, what does you knowing him have to do with being rude and declaring yourself someone's intellectual superior when you do not even know them.

  19. From Christianity Today:

    5 Reasons Torture is Always Wrong

    From the February 2006 issue that discussed Christians and torture:

    And this, from the National Association of Evangelicals:

    Torture is not an option, says the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), which endorsed a statement against the practice of torture this week.
    The newly-formed Evangelicals for Human Rights, comprised of 17 activists and scholars, spent more than six months drafting the 18-page document, "An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror." The document is intended to be both a moral and theological statement.
    "From a Christian perspective, every human life is sacred. As evangelical Christians, recognition of this transcendent moral dignity is non-negotiable in every area of life, including our assessment of public policies," the statement begins.
    The NAE endorsed the document at their annual March 11 meeting, with one dissenting vote.
    "Everyone bears an obligation to act in ways that recognize human rights," the statement says. "Churches must teach their members to think biblically about morally difficult and emotionally intense public issues such as this one. Our own government must honor its constitutional and moral responsibilities to respect and protect human rights."

  20. Chris: Torture isn't in the bible, therefore it's not biblically-authorized. I don't have to "prove" that torture is wrong; it's ILLEGAL in every way possible, which means that whether it works or not, we CANNOT do it. We MADE the laws that say we can't do it...this isn't me just making stuff up. There is a federal statute that says it's illegal, people who do it will be prosecuted, and victims can sue. And my studies of the Bible and Jesus' ideology haven't led me to anything that remotely condones it, so I really don't see how or why you insist on debating this.
    I said it was beyond the scope of this discussion because I'm trying to define what exactly we're debating, which is a useful tool that should always be employed.
    I'm neither smug nor self-righteous, although I do feel on trial here when people tell me that I'm the one who has to say why war and torture is wrong. The default setting is not that it's ok until proven wrong; torture and wars should ALWAYS be wrong unless there is overwhelming evidence for it, international/allied support, and Constitutional protocols followed. None of that has happened, ERGO, it's still wrong.
    If I was rude to anyone, I apologize, and if you interpret my analysis as trying to be intellectually superior, well, that's your opinion. I have to point out, though, that anyone who argues that we can initiate war without a formal congressional declaration DOES NOT follow the Constitution, nor does anyone who argues that the teaching of Jesus/the Bible condone torture. So if those are your contentions, you're certainly entitled to them. Just don't get upset when I point out that they follow neither the Constitution nor the Bible.

  21. I'm neither smug nor self-righteous, although I do feel on trial here when people tell me that I'm the one who has to say why war and torture is wrong.

    Well my apologies, if you are not. You just come across that way. And when we disagree with you, you are "on trial"?

    torture and wars should ALWAYS be wrong unless there is overwhelming evidence for it, international/allied support, and Constitutional protocols followed

    Torture and interrogation are totally different things. You mean to tell me the information obtained in these interrogations were not warranted because they saved lives. For as many people you have that say these interrogations do not work, I have just as many as say they do work. Also, when to we need international support to protect our interests?

    Let's just agree to disagree and move on.

  22. Let's not talk about how people "come across", please.
    And of course torture and interrogation are two different things; I'm all for LEGAL interrogations that lead to saving lives. I'm actually very pro-military, and my cousin just got back from Iraq; I just want us to play by the rules.
    Can't wait to hear Dollar's response(s)...

  23. Not to offend, but I am not concerned with how you think I come across.
    If you did express it, it would probably be along the lines of someone who you can't believe does not agree with you. Again I am making a presumption.
    You have your opinion and I have mine on this issue. Let it go and let's agree to disagree.

  24. Well, this sure has been a fun discussion. Let's move on to something else.

  25. As far as responses go... I have a high amount of respect for Brad and Brad's point of view. I certainly am not a law or constitutional student, so I have to defer to Brad when it comes to matters of what is lawful and what is not.

    I also have known Wookiee for going on 16 years now, and we've had many, many political discussions on our own, including one in 1996 when we discussed my possible (first time) presidential vote for Bill Clinton. That being said, his take on history is fascinating, as he teaches and studies it, and I've learned much from him in that.

    That being said, I have to call the debate here. Its been fun. There is a "agree to disagree" line that has to be set here, because really there are exremes to each side... I can certainly see where torture would not be acceptable in some situations, and in others, I would guess in other extreme situations, that Brad would see where torture would be acceptable... its all the areas in between that are grey and muddled.

    There are beefs and points that are easily defended in both arguments, as well as some I can "really, you can't be serious"... I hope neither one of you take any of this personally from each other, as I dont think either one meant to personally attack each other, just each other's beliefs.

    I personally believe that torture works. There are many instances in which it has, but the bigger issue is that torture is very loosely defined... a bug in a jail cell with an insect-aphobic prisoner is not torture. But Obama says it is. A slap on the face is not torture. But Obama says it is. Yelling at someone is not torture. But Obama says it is. This is the problem. If we can use non-threatening measures to save lives, so be it. If the measures are harmless, so be it. But what happens when what is needed to make our country secure isn't attainable through "please pretty please"? Maybe torture isn't the answer, but another has to be found, and therein lies the dilemma.

    My biggest problem, to sum up, is that Obama does in fact want to take this country in a direction that I feel it shouldn't go. I think there is an air of "victimhood" that he is embracing, and an air of control that he is wielding that is unprecedented.

    At some point, you have to move beyond "well, no one said anything when Bush was doing (insert whatever law breaking activity he was doing at that time)" and begin to discuss what is happening now. May be that is the case, may be Bush was doing everything Obama was doing and ten times worse (not that I agree with that at all, but I give you that for the sake of my point) but if Obama is in fact doing things similar to that of which you hated Dubya doing, then you've at some point got to start either defending Obama or giving your criticism too... "I Hate Bush" always seems to be the argument you eventually go back to, regardless of how many good points you have in between.

    I am willing to give Obama every chance in the world, because I still believe that this is the greatest country in the history of the world, and I'm willing to accept the fact that he's probably a good husband, a good father and yes, he has a vision for America. Its just the wrong vision. Thats my two cents.

  26. At the risk of sounding smug or self-righteous, I'm fairly positive I haven't made any outlandish statements that are unsupported by proof and evidence. If so, please, point them out to me.
    Fact is, no one is seriously arguing that bugs and face slapping is torture, at least not to the extent at Guantanamo, which is "real" torture. I haven't seen Obama's opinions on it, but releasing memos that attempt to define what it is isn't the same as adopting their ideology. And if he actually posits that bugs are torture, then I'm right there with you in saying it's ridiculous.
    HOWEVER, none of this matters, because torture is ILLEGAL. It doesn't matter if it works, or how it works, or where it's done, or who authorized it or how many lives it saved: it's illegal. It's not political, it's not a moral/philosophical question: it's illegal. Bottom line. I don't know why this is so hard to understand. Something that's proscribed by federal statutes that OUR OWN GOVERNMENT ENACTED as well as international law (Geneva) that we helped create and ratify is not up for debate, in my opinion, which is why I tried to sidestep the issue until I was called out on it. Now that that's hopefully established, we can debate what is/isn't torture, but the seminal authority on it, The Red Cross, has repeatedly said that waterboarding is torture, as are electrical shocks and sexual abuse, all of which has been easily documented in various memos and, unfortunately, pictures.
    You will find my arguments to be very simple to understand, and I'm still waiting on someone to refute them. I'm not an expert at any of this, I have simply set facts on the table that people love to try and refute, and yet no one has. The US Constitution mandates that ONLY Congress can formally declare war, which they have yet to do in Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan. That's just a fact, same as the torture statutes. I honestly don't see how that can be debated: today is Tuesday. You wouldn't try and refute that. Some things are just facts, guys. You don't have to like them, but that has no bearing on their validity.
    "I Hate Bush" is never the summation of my arguments. If Obama adopts the same stupid political moves that Bush did, I'll criticize him as well, b/c I'm not tied to any political party, and can be subjective. Certain things make sense to me, and others don't, and I make judgments based on THAT, not what party is at fault.
    I've enjoyed debating, and hope we can continue the dialogue at some point.

  27. We ALL stated facts in our arguments. Some of these were debated more than others. The facts, however, were still the facts. No one was more correct than anyone else. I feel everyone made valid points.
    The one thing we all agree on, is that we are conservatives and we just have different views on where America has been and what we need to do to get to where we are going.
    I think, a couple of us got carried away, and I am willing to admit that and offer my sincerest apologies to Brad. We should should get together sometime over a beer and talk.

  28. Sorry for the typos

  29. Personally, I was more offended by the typos than anything else. You are a teacher of young minds, Wook-Fu. Darn it. Yu need to teech these kids proper grammer.

  30. i know its late to comment here, but i think we can all agree that this quote is correct, and very depressing. from the AP (of all places):

    "In a way, Obama is reversing the famous dictum of President Ronald Reagan, who said government is the problem, not the solution."

    forget the past...lets think about the future. and i am not excited about it here. anyone up for opening a sports bar in peru? (im actually not kidding)

  31. I'm gonna post this, realizing all the while that no one but me will read it, but it's basically an expansion of all of my arguments, with 232 pages of credible, non-partisan sources.

    I know, it's those darn democrats at work again...before you respond, let me remind you again that this is a 541-page House Judiciary Committee Report with 232 pages of credible, non-partisan sources, including actual documents, interviews, and evidence. I've been trying to think of any way y'all will discredit this, b/c it says what I've been trying to say better than I could, and I'm sure it won't be well-received around here.

  32. Dave: Back to the original point

    The dinners serving the Kobe beef when he is talking about sacrifice were tacky and hypocritical.

    The bowing thing: he should have known ahead of time or his staff should have informed him.

    The Ortega issue: I applaud him for holding his water unitl Ortega was done. At the same time, to not rebut Ortega's diatribe was weak.

    I thought apologizing to everyone was a bit much.

    The whole Castro ordeal left me wondering why BHO wants to normalize relations with Cuba.

    Nominating people with the tax problems was flat out ridiculous. We are told we are going to have to pay our fair share and these people "forget" to pay their taxes?

    The gifting thing is not that important. It just shows a great amount of hubris.

    The census issue IMHO is an attempt at gerrymandering. Nothing more, nothing less.

    To me the Caterpillar issue shows a lack of understanding of the capitalist economy.

    The Guantanamo Bay issue reeks of a politician just being a politician (trying to keep as many people as he can happy).

    The Banking issue boils down to the govt. trying to take control of sectors of the economy. When the govt. starts doing that, it looks like socialism.

    The Sarkozy statement was mildly amusing but not a huge deal to me since I really don't care if other people like my president. I do care, if he is not respected.

    The reaction to the "Tea Party" was mean-spirited and spiteful and appears to be some of the same things the right was accused of the last 8 years.

    The rebuke of Blair was silly IMO. Who would know more about that, BHO or the (now) Director of National Intelligence? I'll side with Blair on this one.

    Torture: People have different definitions of what does and does not constitute "torture." Sorry but face slapping, bugs and sleep deprivation is not torture.

    I doubt BHO is purposely setting up the Bush Administration to take the fall for another attack. If he is, then he is puposely risking lives to score political points. Not cool.

    At the same time, the GOP needs to get its act together to make any inroads in 2010 or 2012. They have to return to their principles of fiscal responsibility, smaller govt. and a strong national defense, or it will be more of the same.

  33. In repsonse to Matt:

    forget the past...lets think about the future. and i am not excited about it here. anyone up for opening a sports bar in peru? (im actually not kidding)

    I agree with you up to the last part. How about Costa Rica instead?


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