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The Rightness of Being Wrong

Last week, Politifact tackled the assertion of Mitt Romney (among others) that Barack Obama went on an “apology tour” criticizing America. I’ve already addressed the bullshit that Obama said he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. But the apology tour is nonsense as well.

Here, we’re checking Romney’s statement that Obama “has apologized for what he deems to be American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision” and a host of other reasons. If you think American presidents should never admit to any sort of error at any time, you might find yourself in philosophical agreement with Romney’s criticisms. We set out to discover whether Obama really had apologized in his speeches, and what he was apologizing for. But in our review of his words, we came up short. Yes, there is criticism in some of his speeches, but it’s typically leavened by praise for the United States and its ideals, and often he mentions other countries and how they have erred as well. There’s not a full-throated, sincere apology in the bunch. And so we rate Romney’s statement False.

The thing about the apology tour is that, if you read Obama’s speeches, he hasn’t been apologizing for America. He’s been acknowledging what he sees as mis-steps in language far less apologetic than that used by Bush or Clinton or Reagan. What pisses off his critics is that he’s been publicly refuting the policies of last Administration. But rather than address this head on or acknowledge that the last Administration screwed the pooch, they simply say he’s “apologizing for America”. It’s this season’s “not supporting the troops”. And it’s nonsense. Every single speech has been built around a vigorous defense and laudation of America’s virtues. To be frank, the Republicans’ recent tendency to side with Israel against the Administration is more of an “apology tour” than anything Obama has done.

So why do I bring this up? Who give a shit? Well, something about the whole “apology tour” nonsense has bothered me since it slithered into talk radio and then GOP talking points. And I think the trivial events of the last week — Weiner’s wiener and Sarah Palin’s muffing of the Paul Revere story — have helped me finally put my finger on what bothers me so much about it. Easterbrook:

These are merely the last week’s examples of a troubling tendency among public figures — refusal to admit being wrong. Just as lying about what you did may be worse than what you did, refusing to admit an error may be worse than the error itself.

All human beings occasionally are wrong — trust me, I’ve had plenty of experience! Honest admission of error makes a person upright and sympathetic. Refusing to admit error, by contrast, suggests deviousness or even megalomania. The sort of person who huffs and puffs and refuses to admit a mistake does not belong in a leadership position.

In the era of YouTube and Twitter, it’s often easy to obtain the evidence of public error. That makes it all the more creepy when politicians stare into the camera and deny that they’ve made a mistake.

Yet we’re surrounded by politicians who deny their mistakes. In recent history, presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton denied significant personal errors: one lost the White House as a result, the other nearly did. (I will skip the many instances in which public leaders would not admit to mistakes because they believed, rightly or wrongly, that refusal was in the national interest.)

Anthony Weiner could have made most of his problems go away by simply admitting that he’d done something dumb. Sarah Palin could have just said she was tired and flustered by the media pestering her in a line instead of doubling down with more historical inaccuracy. And the same applies to every other politician — from Tony Blair to Chris Christie — who tries to pretend that he hasn’t fucked up.

And that’s what bothers me about the apology tour meme. It’s an encapsulation of our national refusal to acknowledge mistakes — personal, party or national. It’s so rare that a politician owns up to stupidity that it’s notable when it happens. In the first GOP debate, one of the more remarkable moments was Pawlenty’s mea culpa on cap and trade.

This Orwellian mentality — of never admitting mistakes, never acknowledging errors, always saying you were really right even when you were clearly wrong is not just annoying — it’s dangerous. One of the biggest obstacles to fixing our political system is the refusal to admit that a policy has failed. We make bad decisions and then we compound our mistakes with a ridiculous stubbornness — a belief that sticking to bad decisions somehow proves our manliness and stepping back from them is a sign of weakness.

During the early 90′s, when welfare reform was being debated, a huge obstacle to fixing the system was the absolute refusal of liberals to believe that giving people money can’t erase poverty. Welfare had to be underfunded or undermined by evil Republicans — they simply couldn’t admit that it had been a bad idea. The biggest problem with our public schools is a stubborn refusal to admit that a politically-run, union-controlled education system is fundamentally dysfunctional. Our War on Drugs continues because of the refusal of the drug warriors to admit that you can’t get people off the shit by tossing them in jail. The War in Iraq almost reeled out of control because of the Administration’s refusal — until they lost an election — to admit that we didn’t have enough boots on the ground. Our attempts to fix Medicare and Social Security are running aground on the ridiculous belief that we can’t change a system simply because we’ve had it around for 75 years.

This mentality has been enhanced by the “us against them” media cycle. Admitting to mistakes also means admitting that your evil evil opponents were right about something and then hearing them crow about it on MSNBC and the blogosphere for the next week. Anything but that!

Admitting errors is not a sign of weakness; it’s refusing to do so that’s a sign of weakness. Totalitarian regimes are constantly revising history, flushing old policies down the memory hole and editing pictures to show that they have always been right, they have never erred, they have always been at war with Oceania and Trotsky never existed. It is a fundamental strength of our Republic that we don’t flush failed policies away, we don’t pretend the past never happened, that we don’t pretend we’re perfect and always have been. We admit that slavery was mistake, that the massacre of Native Americans was terrible, that Jim Crowe was crime and that the welfare state was a failure.

One of the key moments that ended our disastrous experiment in prohibition was a letter from John Rockefeller acknowledging that the policy he had fought so hard for was a mistake. The turning point of the Civil War happened because Lincoln abandoned the generals who’d failed him. The Iraq War turned because Bush finally admitted we needed more troops. Reagan began tackling the deficit by admitting he’d lowered taxes too much. American history has been defined by people acknowledging mistakes and changing course.

I would have thought more of Weiner if he’d immediately copped to the pictures and admitted it was a stupid thing to do. I would have thought more of Palin if she’d just admitted she flubbed the Revere story and shrugged it off. This is what serious people do when confronted with their mistakes, especially mistakes so trivial. If they can’t acknowledge such trivial errors, what are they going to do when faced with massive multi-trillion dollar mistakes like Obamacare?

I disagreed with some of what Obama said on the “apology tour” but because I thought he was wrong, not because I thought it was unmanly to admit to failed policy. Had he apologized for dropping the atomic bomb, as was once rumored, I would have been furious, not because of the apology but because I think dropping the bomb was absolutely the right thing to do.

Apologies don’t hurt us. It’s bad policy that hurts us. And it’s bad policy compounded by a stubborn refusal to admit it that is ruining us. I’ll take all the apology tours Obama’s teleprompter can cope with if it means we start undoing some of the dumb idiotic policies we’ve been pursuing for decades.

80 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    I really have to agree with you on this one – and I’ll take it further: refusing to admit mistakes is a sign of immaturity.

    One of my job duties is auditing – I audit my own company and suppliers, and I’m a primary focal for people coming to audit my company. And you know what? I’ve never, EVER, been in an audit in which something wasn’t written up or noted as an “opportunity for improvement”.

    Also, the best way to never see yourself get promoted is to pretend that your shit is, and always has been, perfect. I mentor people in this – if you screw up, owe up to it RIGHT FUCKING NOW and get working on the cure. People will take you a shitload more seriously than if you sort of sweep it under the rug or try to toss someone under the bus.

    Obama fails on both counts – when he isn’t trying to throw Bush under the bus he’s pretending his shit doesn’t stink. The reason he’s losing popularity is because his primary excuse, 2.5 years into his administration, is that it’s still “all Bush’s fault.” He fucking OWNS this recession now, and he needs to start acting like it.

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    Agree on the recession. No question Obama as left with a shit sandwich on the economy. But his response has been to stuff more shit into it.

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  3. richtaylor365 says:

    I find it curious, Hal, that you would lump Palin’s duplicity with that of Weiner, placing them both as examples of stridency gone bad. First off, the sin’s are hardly comparable, and at least with Palin, maybe the reason she did not “come clean” was that she was more right then wrong about the facts.

    But your basic premise that people should own up to mistakes is correct. The cover ups and the lies usually compounds the actual mistake, but weaker people will try to weasel out and obfuscate.

    Obama fails on both counts – when he isn’t trying to throw Bush under the bus he’s pretending his shit doesn’t stink. The reason he’s losing popularity is because his primary excuse, 2.5 years into his administration, is that it’s still “all Bush’s fault.” He fucking OWNS this recession now, and he needs to start acting like it.

    Also agree on the recession part and his arrogance, but, I am willing to give him credit for tacitly admitting some mistakes by changing his mind in certain areas. A number of promises made on the campaign trial died on the vine. Things like closing Gitmo, civilian trials for terrorists, no indefinite detention, neutering The Patriot Act, getting out of both Iraq and Afghanistan on such and such a date, even extending the Bush tax cuts, these were all anathema to Obama the candidate, but once he had the responsibility, his certitude went out the window and he had to be more pragmatic. Good on him for having the smarts to figure this out.

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  4. AlexInCT says:

    What pisses off his critics is that he’s been publicly refuting the policies of last Administration.

    No Hal, what pisses us off is that he criticizes the previous administration’s policies, then doubles down on them, and he gets away with that bullshit. Want a list of faux pases to prove the point? Here are some doozies.

    Obama criticized Gitmo, and promised to shut it down as soon as he was in office. Only that’s never happened. And after his mouthpieces in the MSM suddenly discovered how complicated the whole issue of holding terrorists during a time of war is – something I need to again point out, to show the hypocrisy, they could never figure out for some reason when Bush was stuck with it – they applauded him for keeping it around, because in their new found wisdom, they realized his genius in figuring out Gitmo was the best of a whole bunch of impossibly bad options.

    His DOJ tut-tutted military tribunals as a travesty of the law & a denial of rights to terrorists that are at war with us – terrorists which the left continues to insist should be treated as common criminals – and told us we needed civilian trials to deal with them. Then, when someone pointed the obvious fact the civilian trials could result in a “not guilty” verdicts, they emphatically promised convictions, making it obvious these were then nothing but show trials. Finally they pretended that they were forced to reverse themselves because evil congress wouldn’t give them funds to continue with their insanity, and sent the trials back to the military tribunals, in Gitmo of all places. This was basically a slight of hand to kill time and hide the fact that they believe they have the right to hold these dangerous terrorists indefinitely, like the previous administration did, but for which they not only heavily criticized their predecessors and betters, but also apologized.

    Lets not forget the whole criticizing and apologizing for evil America “torturing” (that’s in quotations because it is laughable) people, then using that very “unreliable or bogus” intel which is what they tell us is the only thing ever to come from harsh interrogation methods, to not just find, but eventually try and steal the thunder from the Seals that used that info to kill Bin Laden, for political purposes. Even worse, the media what was obsessed with finding instances of bad behavior from the troops so they could blame the C in C, now isn’t just apathetic about it, they outright hide anything and everything to prevent someone else from using their own tactics against their guy.

    Afghanistan and Iraq, which they so heavily criticized and promised to pull out as fast as possible? We are not just till there, we have kept the number of troops in Iraq steady, allowing Obama to claim credit for a victory he did his best to thwart when he was a senator, while using another heavily criticized tactic of the previous administration, a surge, that in the end all these dimwits where totally wrong about but have yet to apologize for – a surge – in Afghanistan. And that’s despite the fact that as soon as Iraq seemed to be a win, Obama suddenly reversed himself on the claim that Afghanistan was the only good war, and started giving lip service to the idea of a rapid withdrawal to appease the turds in his base constituency. And it doesn’t end there, because they have doubled down on the use of tactics such as drones to kill terrorists – which I will say I commend them for doing – and have gone after them in places from Pakistan to Yemen, which drastically expanded the much maligned and criticized limited combat focus of the previous administration. Yet these days we hear nary a word about it, and in fact, the MSM which used to paint his predecessor as evil for doing the a lot less, now finally reports these kills as victories.

    And let’s not forget our recent foray into Libya, upping the number of wars by my math from 2 to 3, and thus going up by 3 more wars than those they were apologizing to wanted, where Obama basically didn’t even waste time with the UN like they forced his predecessor to do, and certainly didn’t bother to even get approval from our congress. And yet, he is the one with a Nobel peace prize. And this war in Libya, unlike the one in Iraq which caused so much apologizing, is for oil! Oil that the Europeans are worried Gaddafi might eventually decide to sell to the Chinese. What a fucking joke.

    There is a ton more I could bring up, but I think I made my point. Now I expect CM to start demanding one or more dissertations to prove my points, as a general tactic not to address the obvious issue at hand. Then ignore it all and keep asking for more till I get tired of the futile effort and he finally can accuse me of emotionalism and not meeting his criteria for what would amount as facts, to pretend he dismissed what I said.

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  5. Kimpost says:

    So your major beef is with media, not with Obama?

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  6. Kimpost says:

    I don’t think it’s very likely that anyone who knew who he was, would refer to Paul Revere as someone who warned the British, even if he did in one sense of the word. Now, a history professor mentioning it, while doing an in depth analysis of the man, would have been more understandable, but that wasn’t the case here.

    She panicked (she even looked it), because of brain freeze (a hot day, with lots of ice cream) or something. I’m sure she normally knows who Revere was and what he did, in general terms, but she didn’t know in that moment.

    Politifact ranks her statement Barely True.

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  7. balthazar says:

    Can you read kim?

    No Hal, what pisses us off is that he criticizes the previous administration’s policies, then doubles down on them, and he gets away with that bullshit. Want a list of faux pases to prove the point? Here are some doozies.

    As soon as he realizes he cant do something he BASED HIS WHOLE PLATFORM ON, it goes down his and the medias collective memory hole.

    Maybe he should acknowledge he was wrong about, well everything in regards to the war on terror instead of thinking the US populace is so fucking stupid that we will forget if he just never mentions it.

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  8. Kimpost says:

    Yes, I can read, which is why I used the word “major”. It wasn’t a jab by the way, it’s just that I saw most of his post as an attack on media. Even your quoted passage includes an apparent frustration over Obama getting away with it.

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  9. balthazar says:

    If Obama admitted it in a press conference they would HAVE to cover it now wouldn’t they, so NO I dont blame the press as much as I blame him.

    He still controls their news cycle to a large degree. Some individual mainstream reporters are starting to call him to task, but they are still part of a small minority that get ripped apart for no reason jst because they picked on the ONE.

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  10. AlexInCT says:

    With both, since one simply seems to operate like the propaganda arm of the other, and paricularly when its lies.

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  11. sahrab says:

    Barely True, still seems to be True

    At least in most normal variations of True vs False

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  12. richtaylor365 says:

    Barely true, partly true, mostly true, who cares? My point was that it was a Grand Canyon size stretch to link Palin in the same sentence with what Weiner did.

    She panicked (she even looked it), because of brain freeze (a hot day, with lots of ice cream) or something. I’m sure she normally knows who Revere was and what he did, in general terms, but she didn’t know in that moment.

    That is entirely possible, how about this? Since it stretches credulity to think that Palin would not know the purpose of Revere’s ride, maybe she was intentionally setting a MSM trap, throwing out some little known facts about what happened to Revere after he was caught by the British, to see if they would bite, they did.

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  13. AlexInCT says:

    Oh, I have a huge bone to pick with the media and how they shill Kimpost. I gave up on most of the MSM because despite the fact that they are obviously biased they pretend they are not, and too many people simply either don’t have the time to actually figure out what they are being told – or way to often not being told – is bullshit. I prefer the media clearly tell me their bias, not resort to hiding things they don’t like because of ideology, and then let me objectively filter what I hear.

    But the those in the media I consider the members of the MSM are this way precisely because they have entered an unholy alliance with the democrats and their party’s professed ideology. That’s why we have stories from these people about how evil America is under Bush or how unemployment at 4% is horrible, but then when Obama does the same or more, we hear nothing or excuses for why he has no other choice and is brilliant for choosing the best of all nasty options.

    If Americans were told the truth instead of this constant propaganda favoring one group, I doubt either party would get away with all the shit they currently do, and things wouldn’t have gotten to where we are now, with calamity right around the corner and politicians that don’t care much.

    But in the end however, the problem is Obama and the demcorats. The media is just a facilitator.

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  14. AlexInCT says:

    Don’t forget that this WH, which got a lot of voters excited with what now was clearly a false promise of restoring transparency, also has an enemy’s list and that it has not once, but at least twice now that we know off, retaliated against those that didn’t carry their water with either a campaign to disenfranchise them or a blatant attempt to punish them by denying them further access. Nixon got kicked out for less, IMO, and at least he wasn’t as big of a liar as these people are.

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  15. loserlame says:

    Hows the real, true press in Libya doing:

    The embattled regime of Muammar Gaddafi has vehemently denied accusations by a UN panel and western governments that Libyan forces have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.

    Libyan diplomat Mustafa Shaban told the UN human rights council on Thursday that his government that was “the victim of a widespread aggression” and blamed the news media, opposition and foreign mercenaries for human rights violations and even acts of cannibalism.

    Shaban’s comments came after the chief prosecutor for the court in The Hague said on Wednesday that he was investigating whether Gaddafi provided Viagra to Libyan soldiers to promote rape. Last week a UN panel said its investigators had found evidence that government forces had committed murder, torture and sexual abuses.

    The Libyan diplomat told the Geneva-based council that opponents had “even admitted to acts of cannibalism” – without further elaboration – and that it would “reserve our rights to prosecute the media” for what he described as misinformation.

    Prosecute the media, eh, so the truth comes out. Raping, torturing and killing alive folks is kinda bad, in theory, but eating bits of dead people is just horrible.

    Any of the Good People blocking and picketing Libyan embassies across Europe? Any of Obama’s fans demanding we withdraw for having caused these atrocities in the first place? Libyans have no other choice, I’m told, due to this unjust illegal inexcusable US war for oil.

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  16. CM says:

    Since it stretches credulity to think that Palin would not know the purpose of Revere’s ride, maybe she was intentionally setting a MSM trap, throwing out some little known facts about what happened to Revere after he was caught by the British, to see if they would bite, they did.

    That’s one explanation! I guess the theory could go that she does that often……she always knows the level of accuracy or her statements, it’s just all a test. But is that really believable? Would many (reasonable, moderate) people give her the benefit of the doubt?

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  17. CM says:

    Obama criticized Gitmo, and promised to shut it down as soon as he was in office. Only that’s never happened. And after his mouthpieces in the MSM suddenly discovered how complicated the whole issue of holding terrorists during a time of war is – something I need to again point out, to show the hypocrisy, they could never figure out for some reason when Bush was stuck with it – they applauded him for keeping it around, because in their new found wisdom, they realized his genius in figuring out Gitmo was the best of a whole bunch of impossibly bad options.

    His DOJ tut-tutted military tribunals as a travesty of the law & a denial of rights to terrorists that are at war with us – terrorists which the left continues to insist should be treated as common criminals – and told us we needed civilian trials to deal with them. Then, when someone pointed the obvious fact the civilian trials could result in a “not guilty” verdicts, they emphatically promised convictions, making it obvious these were then nothing but show trials. Finally they pretended that they were forced to reverse themselves because evil congress wouldn’t give them funds to continue with their insanity, and sent the trials back to the military tribunals, in Gitmo of all places. This was basically a slight of hand to kill time and hide the fact that they believe they have the right to hold these dangerous terrorists indefinitely, like the previous administration did, but for which they not only heavily criticized their predecessors and betters, but also apologized.

    Calling them terrorists (when we don’t actually know what they are) and prosecuting them based on evidence obtained under duress is effectively giving them show trials. But I agree with the general point that Obama isn’t doing at all what he claimed. On these issues he’s WORSE than Bush. It’s disgraceful.

    Lets not forget the whole criticizing and apologizing for evil America “torturing” (that’s in quotations because it is laughable) people, then using that very “unreliable or bogus” intel which is what they tell us is the only thing ever to come from harsh interrogation methods, to not just find, but eventually try and steal the thunder from the Seals that used that info to kill Bin Laden, for political purposes. Even worse, the media what was obsessed with finding instances of bad behavior from the troops so they could blame the C in C, now isn’t just apathetic about it, they outright hide anything and everything to prevent someone else from using their own tactics against their guy.

    Has anyone who has been waterboarded (outside training exercises) said it wasn’t torture? Hitchens, who didn’t think it was torture, sure changed his mind when he was subjected to it. And that was in a controlled situation where he knew for a fact that he wouldn’t be harmed.
    But yeah, it is claimed that most of the info that comes out of EITs is unreliable (at best). I haven’t seen anyone reputable dispute that. But that’s not the point – Is it possible that a specific piece of information from time to time would come from EITs? The answer is yes. To be fair the answer is yes. Does it justify using them? To me, that’s a categorical flat no.
    Trying to claim that info from EIT lead to Bin Laden is disingenuous. It played a small role at best. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment – including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times – repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

    And let’s not forget our recent foray into Libya, upping the number of wars by my math from 2 to 3, and thus going up by 3 more wars than those they were apologizing to wanted, where Obama basically didn’t even waste time with the UN like they forced his predecessor to do, and certainly didn’t bother to even get approval from our congress. And yet, he is the one with a Nobel peace prize. And this war in Libya, unlike the one in Iraq which caused so much apologizing, is for oil! Oil that the Europeans are worried Gaddafi might eventually decide to sell to the Chinese. What a fucking joke.

    Not sure what you’re talking about with the UN. The UN didn’t sanction the Iraq War. It sanctioned the actions in Libya. As for the oil stealing thing…..well that’s your narrative (and, as outlined, it seems to be completely inconsistent with your narratiave about Obama doing everything possible to stop oil being burnt).

    Now I expect CM to start demanding one or more dissertations to prove my points, as a general tactic not to address the obvious issue at hand. Then ignore it all and keep asking for more till I get tired of the futile effort and he finally can accuse me of emotionalism and not meeting his criteria for what would amount as facts, to pretend he dismissed what I said.

    Cool, yet another entertaining Alex narrative.
    Read that correction action notice yet? ;-)

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  18. Kimpost says:

    If I’m allowed to pretend to being American for s second. Not closing Gitmo, not ending rendition and torture, and not scrapping major parts of the Patriot Act, are all areas I feel strongly enough for, to actually vote for a Republican over a Democrat.

    I’m with Andrew Napolitano and Ron Paul on all these subjects.

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  19. sahrab says:

    Depends on how many of those “Reasonable Moderate” people think Palin was the one who said she could see Russia from her back yard

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  20. sahrab says:

    Has anyone who has been waterboarded (outside training exercises) said it wasn’t torture?

    Well we know President Bushs Office of Legal Council informed him, that if any other country performed water boarding we (the United States) would condemn their actions as Torture.

    Whether it consitutes actual Torture is subjective, and doesnt matter. It is defined as Torture under the Geneva convention, which the United States is a signator. At the point we condone the actions we condemn of others, we become no better. This isnt a flower pie in the sky notion, this is a matter of law which we broke.

    If Water Boarding is an effective tool to gain information, and if that information was important enought to that we needed to Water Board to obtain it, then President Bush should have moved to legally remove the provisions against Water Boarding, or our participation in the Geneva Conventions. Instead he broke the laws he was elected to uphold.

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  21. richtaylor365 says:

    You would have to find the right one and that might be problematic. Aside from Ron Paul, who has the KKK and Nazi party vote locked up but not much else, are there any other GOPers that are against all these things. Even son Rann, who fought the extension of 3 PA provisions, he supports the status quo for Gitmo.

    Since you favor closing Gitmo, can we transfer them to Sweden? from what I read, they would fit right in at Malmo.

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  22. loserlame says:

    Torture is a pretty relative term. For many in and around Reutlingen, Germany, seeing a McDonalds open in their town was daily torture, too. Ordinary folks stung into calling for “death to America, Reagan go home” over the loss of their culture were justified, many felt..

    Its been endlessly debated, already, whether the Geneva Conventions apply to noble jihadists of 9/11. Are they prisoners of war or just gang members and religious zealots caught up in the craze?

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  23. loserlame says:

    Indeed, incarceration is a form of torture, too, f you ask me/us. Healing the “bad” by teaching them to care for others should be the goal of our penal system, too. This works both ways. I say we learn from them by letting those 9/11 warriors go on speaking tours to tell their true stories.

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  24. Kimpost says:

    I’m sorry, but when you get right down to it you either charge someone with a crime, or you let them go. This goes for terrorism as well. Assuming that there are dangerous people at Gitmo, but actual evidence of guilt is lacking, then you suck it up, acknowledge that you are at risk, and then you let them go. That’s how things are supposed to work. Now, if they truly are considered dangerous, I’m sure you’ll then use your intelligence service, and the rest of the worlds intelligence services, to keep track on them. Would that be as safe as having them detained? Of course not, but shit happens.

    I suggest that you send them back to where they came from. If they are Swedes, then send them here. If they are Afghans, send them there.

    Yes, Malmö, where fire trucks and ambulances need police escort to move around. Or so it has been said… ;)

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  25. Kimpost says:

    You would have to find the right one and that might be problematic. Aside from Ron Paul, who has the KKK and Nazi party vote locked up but not much else, are there any other GOPers that are against all these things. Even son Rann, who fought the extension of 3 PA provisions, he supports the status quo for Gitmo.

    Gary Johnson might be on the same page as Ron Paul.

    EDIT: Scratch that. He wants to keep it open.

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  26. richtaylor365 says:

    I’m sorry, but when you get right down to it you either charge someone with a crime, or you let them go

    But it is not a criminal matter, the rules of war apply, not some criminal justice system.

    This goes for terrorism as well.

    not according to Hamdi v. Rumsfeld

    Would that be as safe as having them detained? Of course not, but shit happens.

    Not even remotely practical.

    I suggest that you send them back to where they came from. If they are Swedes, then send them here. If they are Afghans, send them there.

    Well, that is just not going to happen.

    But I think this whole “indefinite detention” argument is a solution without a problem, politically motivated by the likes of Obama to move forward in closing Gitmo, have to throw those pro Gitmo folks a bone to get them on board, and a not so clever ploy to involve the legal system in an area it has no standing. Captured terrorists on the battlefield are illegal combatants in a war conducted against the US and its allies. The military can hold captured combatants until the end of hostilities without any involvement by the American legal system at all. All that is required is due process within the military system (what the MCA was designed for)to satisfactorily determine that the detainee belongs in custody. If the terrorists have signed up for a unending war through jihad, that’s their problem and not ours. We can choose to release them or not depending on our own goals and decisions. If he passes whatever test they use and he is not considered a further risk, then, by all means, release him.

    .

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  27. Kimpost says:

    Some were captured on the battlefield, while other were just rounded up. Not always by American troops nota bene, but sometimes by warlords and semi random scum, who got paid for their services.

    While Hamdi v. Rumsfeld was unfortunate in its ruling (in my opinion), it never gave military tribunals exclusive jurisdiction. Rasul v. Bush granted US courts jurisdiction to determine habeas corpus. So the regular legal system certainly has standing.

    It’s all too convenient to hold enemy combatants until the end of a conflict, without due process. Particularly in never ending ones. The war on terror is here to stay.

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  28. richtaylor365 says:

    It’s all too convenient to hold enemy combatants until the end of a conflict, without due process.

    But they do get “due process”, that was one of the main reasons for the creation and implementation of the MCA, to have a means of categorizing these folks, so that Ahmad the camel dealer who got mistakenly swept up in some raid can get his day in court, a military court, who then determines what category (if any) he falls into and whether sufficient cause exists to keep him further, or release him. We don’t need politicians muddying the water with policies or proclamation dealing with indefinite detention when the military has this area covered.

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  29. loserlame says:

    Why not release them to Cuba? Arm them, throw them over the fence, see how real justice is done the true and only way when theres misunderstandings?
    I’ll bet they get to talk about their endless torture, there, visit Castro’s fair and humane prisons, and peacefully initiate a vote for Change in the US. No more wars for oil and Xtianity

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  30. Kimpost says:

    But do we trust military tribunals? In Boumediene v. Bush the supreme court basically concluded that miltary tribunals are an inadequate substitute for habeas corpus.

    Leaks from tribunal hearings have been pretty damning.

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  31. Kimpost says:

    That wasn’t the criticism, even if it was popularized (twisted) as such. The story was amusing enough, on its own. Palin actually thought that living in a state close to Russia, gave her foreign affairs expertise. :)

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  32. AlexInCT says:

    But do we trust military tribunals?

    I sure as hell trust them over the mockery that passes for a judicial system these days. Especially with a DOJ that picks & chooses which laws to enforce based on what’s politically expedient & advantagous for their party.

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  33. AlexInCT says:

    Not closing Gitmo

    You’re OK if we send them all to Sweden then right? Or are you one of these “enlightened” people that think Gitmo evil, want it closed, but then want nothing to do with the aftermath of that decision?

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  34. Kimpost says:

    As far as I know there are no more Swedes at Gitmo, but if someone turns up there, and if guilt can’t be established, then by all means send them here.

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  35. loserlame says:

    Unlike Euros, who know the US = 52 states from birth.

    By virtue of their place of birth.

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  36. loserlame says:

    You have no less a moral obligation to offer refugees in life-threatening situations a safe, free harbor, than we have a moral obligation to accept all illegal aliens

    240 detainees vs. Mexico

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  37. Kimpost says:

    Why are you addressing me with that nonsense?

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  38. Kimpost says:

    @loserlame

    Would you believe me if I were to tell you that I know that the US has 50 states?

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  39. loserlame says:

    I also have many of Internet links proving you/us wrong.

    Euros actually think that speaking proper English badly makes them experts on world affairs.

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  40. loserlame says:

    You keep saying the US needs to be more kind and humane and such. Practicing what you preach and leading by example would impress both friends and foes mightily.

    Surely 240 guest asylum seekers from Gitmo wouldn’t bankrupt Sweden, and send a message that you actually regard them as victims needing help? A neutral environment could make ‘em have second thoughts about (excessive) jihad.

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  41. richtaylor365 says:

    Palin actually thought that living in a state close to Russia, gave her foreign affairs expertise. :)

    Kimpost, come on, et tu? You know perfectly well that this is utter nonsense. Let’s go back to the transcript:

    GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.

    PALIN: Sure.

    GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.

    The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

    PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…

    GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

    PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

    And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

    GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

    PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

    GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

    PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along

    As you can see, you mischaracterized the entire conversation.

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  42. Kimpost says:

    I’ve read the transcript, and seen the interview, but I can’t help ending up asking the same question as Gibson did.

    What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

    I read her answer and don’t see anything in it.

    After this interview she did her famous interview with Katie Couric, where she expanded on the issue.

    COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

    PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–

    COURIC: Mock?

    PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

    COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

    PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

    COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

    PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

    Not very convincing. And about the trade missions she’s referring to, her campaign later clarified that Palin never met with Russian officials at any level.

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  43. Rann says:

    Palin actually thought that living in a state close to Russia, gave her foreign affairs expertise. :)

    Gee, that’s almost as dumb as saying that managing your campaign for President gives you the governing experience necessary to be President.

    Glad stupid people like that don’t ever get into office.

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  44. Kimpost says:

    Rann, there’s stupid, and then there’s Palin stupid. ;)

    Seriously, though. I didn’t mean that literally. She’s likely got an IQ well beyond average. Her career suggests as much. But she lacks the will to learn, in my opinion. She just isn’t interested in reading up on political history, or on the Middle East or on former Russian satellite states. Probably not on general literature or philosophy either, but that might just be my prejudice talking.

    To put it more nicely. I don’t regard her as a book worm professorial kind of person. Combine that with her reluctance to admitting flaws, and a mouth that doesn’t know how to sidestep an issue, and you’ve got yourself a prime target for gotcha journalism. She’s a gift that keeps on giving in that regard. She’ll likely always be.

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  45. Rann says:

    And I’d say that for every criticism you make of Palin and every mistake you think she’s made, I could probably give you two or three worse examples on Obama’s part, and yet he’s regarded as intelligent and witty, and when he’s wrong he’s “only human”.

    Everyone plays “gotcha” in modern politics, it’s practically unavoidable, especially when certain sides are unwilling to own up to doing it and are merely “Calling it as they see it.” This side changes periodically, but for a good long while now it’s been the left who’s been most eager to leap on any possible “gotcha” from someone on the right, and then to either ignore or excuse it when the right “gotchas” them right back.

    Obama has never displayed any particularly great knowledge of history or foreign relations… in fact there’s been a number of times when it’s been abundantly clear that he not only doesn’t know but is going to go out of his way to avoid knowing. He reads off his teleprompters and he calls it a day. And again, he’s declared worldly and wise because if you said he was an ignorant son of a bitch faking his way through it you’d be called partisan at best and racist at worst.

    Meanwhile Palin is just “obviously” stupid and an embarrassment to the country and will ensure defeat for the Republicans for generations to come, finally, finally ushering in the long-coveted Democrat Only Government. The woman has more informed flaws than a hero who’s willing to kill in a DC comic book, all of which are endlessly paraded, and any counterargument or proof otherwise cheerfully ignored.

    The fact of the matter is that in many ways Palin is the Republican equivalent of Obama… just with more experience and less artifice. That she’s portrayed by many as Forrest Gump with tits while Obama is hailed as the Man Of A New Age just goes to show how far the partisan divide has grown.

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  46. Kimpost says:

    I’m not pretending to be unbiased, but I do hope that I’m not a partisan hack. Not fully fledged anyway. :)

    Some are easier to get than others. McCain, Romney, Pawlenty and most others, are all better than Palin at avoiding gotcha moments. So is Obama. If you really disagree with me on that, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

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  47. richtaylor365 says:

    And what happened after Boumediene? The military reworked the concept of tribunals, came up with something that would be SCOTUS compliant, submitted it before Congress, and they bought off on it, hence, the 2009 revision to the MCA.

    Let’s go back to the Hamden trial, THE showcase Gitmo war crimes trial. To put it mildly, it was a monumental success (in the words of defense lawyers nationwide) for the rule of law, and a stinging defeat for the Bush administration. The notion that the outcome was foretold, that the jury would supplicate themselves to the wishes of the prosecution, to be their lapdog, was dispelled in spades. This military jury was judicious and prudent in their verdict, they took a supposed slam dunk 30 year sentence, found Hamdan guilty of only a fraction of the charges put forth, and came back with a 5 1/2 year sentence.

    They proved that it could work, and it will work with GSM and his co conspirators.

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  48. Rann says:

    I really don’t think Obama’s better at avoiding gotcha moments, I just think he’s got better PR for pretending they didn’t happen.

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  49. Kimpost says:

    Fine, send them here, and we’ll check the evidence. If we can’t sentence them, we’ll set them free. Are we good now?

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  50. loserlame says:

    I’m not saying you should seek to prosecute them over anything. Its widely felt we put these men in a situation where they had no other choice than to act out in self-defense, and to raise awareness of the severity of their and their peoples’ plight.

    I say you should accept them as asylum seekers.

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  51. Kimpost says:

    What’s widely felt is your continuing need for attacking people over views they don’t hold. I have never, ever stated that terrorists are freedom fighters forced to take arms against the evils of America, or anything remotely similar. Not have I ever praised USSR or China or North Korea, or ranked them above US on a morality scale. It has never happened.

    No one else at MW did either. Yet you continue to drive that point, as if people did. You’ve done so year in, year out, to the extent that you, in spite of holding many conservative views, have gotten yourself banned from a conservative leaning message board, on multiple occasions.

    I understand that you’ve got personal experiences with people in Germany, and quite possibly from other travels in Africa and Europe. I also understand that you frequent other message boards, blogs and Youtube-comment sections, where people seemingly hold views worthy of your ridicule.

    But why do you keep bringing it here?

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  52. loserlame says:

    I say you offer them amnesty, offer them safe asylum, give them an opportunity to speak their minds as to if/why they did what they did, so that we all may achieve a deeper understanding of the truth and how other people think, call it even and suck it up. Those are your words, exactly If we can, surely you can too?

    Off-topic, calling me a “conservative” over my not much liking well-beyond-proven arrogant Euros and their popular one-note hobby “America this, America that.. sure, China killed a few, but America..” is lame.
    Sure, I was banned from MW by “peers” so what still caused its steady decline over the years? “America this, America that” Nothing about Moore, just your, ossi’s and CMs samo monologue.
    Lemme guess “Well, conservaitve Americans just couldn’t handle the facts and heed our scientific reasoning on all truly pertinent topics of global interest: namely global warming, oil wars and Bushitler.”

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  53. Kimpost says:

    Requesting trials is not the same as requesting amnesty, so no, those weren’t my words.

    Come to think about it, you are right on one thing. After having read hundreds, if not thousands, of posts from you on a political forum over a period of what is it now? 6-7 years? I still don’t know where you stand politically on most issues. Isn’t that kind of telling? Either I’m immensely stupid, or you have been posting something else all this time. About Euro arrogance, perhaps?

    And you continue, even in the post I’m replying to now. “America this, America that, China killed a few but America”. I mean, who’s saying that? You are arguing with yourself.

    MW slowly died because Michael Moore lost in popularity, which made Moorewatch less relevant, which in turn lead to few new members signing up on the forum. Topple that with the passing of Lee and growing inactivity on the front pages, and the path was set. Over the years many of the old members lost interest and stopped signing in. In short, life happened. I wouldn’t blame me, ossi, Dio, CM, Jim, balthazar, BluesStringer, crichton or samsgran. I wouldn’t even blame you, even if I found you unbearable at times.

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  54. richtaylor365 says:

    loserlame, my apologies for butting in here, but I’m trying to help you out. I don’t know you from Adam, never visited MW so I have no history with you, but just in the short time that this new site was up and I started writing for it I have found the majority of your comments disjointed, not on point, and difficult to understand. Most of the commenters here were not MW regulars so you are basically starting with a clear slate, and since robust debate is the ultimate goal, the more the merrier, so no, nobody wants you stifled in your speech or even banned. But as I stated before, there are rules for this sort of thing, such as no thread jacking. Things like brevity, staying on point, keeping hyperbole and ad hominems to a minimum, those just endear you to the group and make what you have to say worth reading.

    I think you will do much better here if you remember that this blog is RTFTLC, not MW, we got much bigger fish to fry then some gelatinous tub of goo that has shit for brains and who is now drowning in his own irrelevance.

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  55. JimK says:

    THIS. THIS. FIFTY MILLION THIS’ AND ELEVENTY TRILLION THUMBS UP TO THIS COMMENT.

    IAWTC x OVER 9000!
    JimK recently posted..Tour de Cure 2011 – Donations needed!My Profile

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  56. Section8 says:

    Rich, my take from loserlame is he’s just making a mockery of all the shit Americans have had to read, and listen to not just from various posters on this blog, or Moorewatch, but via protests, complaints, overseas news, smart ass remarks from so-called allies, etc. over the past several years, and pointing out hypocrisy with some wry humor. Not sure why that is so bad. Others have been far more disruptive to a flow of a thread here.

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  57. loserlame says:

    richtaylor365, “Things like brevity, staying on point, keeping hyperbole and ad hominems to a minimum, .”

    Point taken. Let me take a shot

    Obama criticized Gitmo, and promised to shut it down as soon as he was in office. Only that’s never happened. And after his mouthpieces in the MSM suddenly discovered how complicated the whole issue of holding terrorists during a time of war is – something I need to again point out, to show the hypocrisy, they could never figure out for some reason when Bush was stuck with it – they applauded him for keeping it around, because in their new found wisdom, they realized his genius in figuring out Gitmo was the best of a whole bunch of impossibly bad options.

    His DOJ tut-tutted military tribunals as a travesty of the law & a denial of rights to terrorists that are at war with us – terrorists which the left continues to insist should be treated as common criminals – and told us we needed civilian trials to deal with them. Then, when someone pointed the obvious fact the civilian trials could result in a “not guilty” verdicts, they emphatically promised convictions, making it obvious these were then nothing but show trials. Finally they pretended that they were forced to reverse themselves because evil congress wouldn’t give them funds to continue with their insanity, and sent the trials back to the military tribunals, in Gitmo of all places. This was basically a slight of hand to kill time and hide the fact that they believe they have the right to hold these dangerous terrorists indefinitely, like the previous administration did, but for which they not only heavily criticized their predecessors and betters, but also apologized.

    Calling them terrorists (when we don’t actually know what they are) and prosecuting them based on evidence obtained under duress is effectively giving them show trials. But I agree with the general point that Obama isn’t doing at all what he claimed. On these issues he’s WORSE than Bush. It’s disgraceful.

    Lets not forget the whole criticizing and apologizing for evil America “torturing” (that’s in quotations because it is laughable) people, then using that very “unreliable or bogus” intel which is what they tell us is the only thing ever to come from harsh interrogation methods, to not just find, but eventually try and steal the thunder from the Seals that used that info to kill Bin Laden, for political purposes. Even worse, the media what was obsessed with finding instances of bad behavior from the troops so they could blame the C in C, now isn’t just apathetic about it, they outright hide anything and everything to prevent someone else from using their own tactics against their guy.

    Has anyone who has been waterboarded (outside training exercises) said it wasn’t torture? Hitchens, who didn’t think it was torture, sure changed his mind when he was subjected to it. And that was in a controlled situation where he knew for a fact that he wouldn’t be harmed.
    But yeah, it is claimed that most of the info that comes out of EITs is unreliable (at best). I haven’t seen anyone reputable dispute that. But that’s not the point – Is it possible that a specific piece of information from time to time would come from EITs? The answer is yes. To be fair the answer is yes. Does it justify using them? To me, that’s a categorical flat no.
    Trying to claim that info from EIT lead to Bin Laden is disingenuous. It played a small role at best. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment – including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times – repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

    And let’s not forget our recent foray into Libya, upping the number of wars by my math from 2 to 3, and thus going up by 3 more wars than those they were apologizing to wanted, where Obama basically didn’t even waste time with the UN like they forced his predecessor to do, and certainly didn’t bother to even get approval from our congress. And yet, he is the one with a Nobel peace prize. And this war in Libya, unlike the one in Iraq which caused so much apologizing, is for oil! Oil that the Europeans are worried Gaddafi might eventually decide to sell to the Chinese. What a fucking joke.

    Not sure what you’re talking about with the UN. The UN didn’t sanction the Iraq War. It sanctioned the actions in Libya. As for the oil stealing thing…..well that’s your narrative (and, as outlined, it seems to be completely inconsistent with your narratiave about Obama doing everything possible to stop oil being burnt).

    Now I expect CM to start demanding one or more dissertations to prove my points, as a general tactic not to address the obvious issue at hand. Then ignore it all and keep asking for more till I get tired of the futile effort and he finally can accuse me of emotionalism and not meeting his criteria for what would amount as facts, to pretend he dismissed what I said.

    Cool, yet another entertaining Alex narrative.
    Read that correction action notice yet? ;-)

    Obama criticized Gitmo, and promised to shut it down as soon as he was in office. Only that’s never happened. And after his mouthpieces in the MSM suddenly discovered how complicated the whole issue of holding terrorists during a time of war is – something I need to again point out, to show the hypocrisy, they could never figure out for some reason when Bush was stuck with it – they applauded him for keeping it around, because in their new found wisdom, they realized his genius in figuring out Gitmo was the best of a whole bunch of impossibly bad options.

    His DOJ tut-tutted military tribunals as a travesty of the law & a denial of rights to terrorists that are at war with us – terrorists which the left continues to insist should be treated as common criminals – and told us we needed civilian trials to deal with them. Then, when someone pointed the obvious fact the civilian trials could result in a “not guilty” verdicts, they emphatically promised convictions, making it obvious these were then nothing but show trials. Finally they pretended that they were forced to reverse themselves because evil congress wouldn’t give them funds to continue with their insanity, and sent the trials back to the military tribunals, in Gitmo of all places. This was basically a slight of hand to kill time and hide the fact that they believe they have the right to hold these dangerous terrorists indefinitely, like the previous administration did, but for which they not only heavily criticized their predecessors and betters, but also apologized.

    Calling them terrorists (when we don’t actually know what they are) and prosecuting them based on evidence obtained under duress is effectively giving them show trials. But I agree with the general point that Obama isn’t doing at all what he claimed. On these issues he’s WORSE than Bush. It’s disgraceful.

    Lets not forget the whole criticizing and apologizing for evil America “torturing” (that’s in quotations because it is laughable) people, then using that very “unreliable or bogus” intel which is what they tell us is the only thing ever to come from harsh interrogation methods, to not just find, but eventually try and steal the thunder from the Seals that used that info to kill Bin Laden, for political purposes. Even worse, the media what was obsessed with finding instances of bad behavior from the troops so they could blame the C in C, now isn’t just apathetic about it, they outright hide anything and everything to prevent someone else from using their own tactics against their guy.

    Has anyone who has been waterboarded (outside training exercises) said it wasn’t torture? Hitchens, who didn’t think it was torture, sure changed his mind when he was subjected to it. And that was in a controlled situation where he knew for a fact that he wouldn’t be harmed.
    But yeah, it is claimed that most of the info that comes out of EITs is unreliable (at best). I haven’t seen anyone reputable dispute that. But that’s not the point – Is it possible that a specific piece of information from time to time would come from EITs? The answer is yes. To be fair the answer is yes. Does it justify using them? To me, that’s a categorical flat no.
    Trying to claim that info from EIT lead to Bin Laden is disingenuous. It played a small role at best. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment – including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times – repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

    And let’s not forget our recent foray into Libya, upping the number of wars by my math from 2 to 3, and thus going up by 3 more wars than those they were apologizing to wanted, where Obama basically didn’t even waste time with the UN like they forced his predecessor to do, and certainly didn’t bother to even get approval from our congress. And yet, he is the one with a Nobel peace prize. And this war in Libya, unlike the one in Iraq which caused so much apologizing, is for oil! Oil that the Europeans are worried Gaddafi might eventually decide to sell to the Chinese. What a fucking joke.

    Not sure what you’re talking about with the UN. The UN didn’t sanction the Iraq War. It sanctioned the actions in Libya. As for the oil stealing thing…..well that’s your narrative (and, as outlined, it seems to be completely inconsistent with your narratiave about Obama doing everything possible to stop oil being burnt).

    Now I expect CM to start demanding one or more dissertations to prove my points, as a general tactic not to address the obvious issue at hand. Then ignore it all and keep asking for more till I get tired of the futile effort and he finally can accuse me of emotionalism and not meeting his criteria for what would amount as facts, to pretend he dismissed what I said.

    Cool, yet another entertaining Alex narrative.
    Read that correction action notice yet? ;-)

    Obama criticized Gitmo, and promised to shut it down as soon as he was in office. Only that’s never happened. And after his mouthpieces in the MSM suddenly discovered how complicated the whole issue of holding terrorists during a time of war is – something I need to again point out, to show the hypocrisy, they could never figure out for some reason when Bush was stuck with it – they applauded him for keeping it around, because in their new found wisdom, they realized his genius in figuring out Gitmo was the best of a whole bunch of impossibly bad options.

    His DOJ tut-tutted military tribunals as a travesty of the law & a denial of rights to terrorists that are at war with us – terrorists which the left continues to insist should be treated as common criminals – and told us we needed civilian trials to deal with them. Then, when someone pointed the obvious fact the civilian trials could result in a “not guilty” verdicts, they emphatically promised convictions, making it obvious these were then nothing but show trials. Finally they pretended that they were forced to reverse themselves because evil congress wouldn’t give them funds to continue with their insanity, and sent the trials back to the military tribunals, in Gitmo of all places. This was basically a slight of hand to kill time and hide the fact that they believe they have the right to hold these dangerous terrorists indefinitely, like the previous administration did, but for which they not only heavily criticized their predecessors and betters, but also apologized.

    Calling them terrorists (when we don’t actually know what they are) and prosecuting them based on evidence obtained under duress is effectively giving them show trials. But I agree with the general point that Obama isn’t doing at all what he claimed. On these issues he’s WORSE than Bush. It’s disgraceful.

    Lets not forget the whole criticizing and apologizing for evil America “torturing” (that’s in quotations because it is laughable) people, then using that very “unreliable or bogus” intel which is what they tell us is the only thing ever to come from harsh interrogation methods, to not just find, but eventually try and steal the thunder from the Seals that used that info to kill Bin Laden, for political purposes. Even worse, the media what was obsessed with finding instances of bad behavior from the troops so they could blame the C in C, now isn’t just apathetic about it, they outright hide anything and everything to prevent someone else from using their own tactics against their guy.

    Has anyone who has been waterboarded (outside training exercises) said it wasn’t torture? Hitchens, who didn’t think it was torture, sure changed his mind when he was subjected to it. And that was in a controlled situation where he knew for a fact that he wouldn’t be harmed.
    But yeah, it is claimed that most of the info that comes out of EITs is unreliable (at best). I haven’t seen anyone reputable dispute that. But that’s not the point – Is it possible that a specific piece of information from time to time would come from EITs? The answer is yes. To be fair the answer is yes. Does it justify using them? To me, that’s a categorical flat no.
    Trying to claim that info from EIT lead to Bin Laden is disingenuous. It played a small role at best. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment – including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times – repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

    And let’s not forget our recent foray into Libya, upping the number of wars by my math from 2 to 3, and thus going up by 3 more wars than those they were apologizing to wanted, where Obama basically didn’t even waste time with the UN like they forced his predecessor to do, and certainly didn’t bother to even get approval from our congress. And yet, he is the one with a Nobel peace prize. And this war in Libya, unlike the one in Iraq which caused so much apologizing, is for oil! Oil that the Europeans are worried Gaddafi might eventually decide to sell to the Chinese. What a fucking joke.

    Not sure what you’re talking about with the UN. The UN didn’t sanction the Iraq War. It sanctioned the actions in Libya. As for the oil stealing thing…..well that’s your narrative (and, as outlined, it seems to be completely inconsistent with your narratiave about Obama doing everything possible to stop oil being burnt).

    Now I expect CM to start demanding one or more dissertations to prove my points, as a general tactic not to address the obvious issue at hand. Then ignore it all and keep asking for more till I get tired of the futile effort and he finally can accuse me of emotionalism and not meeting his criteria for what would amount as facts, to pretend he dismissed what I said.

    Cool, yet another entertaining Alex narrative.
    Read that correction action notice yet? ;-)

    No snide hyperobole, just maximum brevity

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  58. loserlame says:

    kimpost, you’re all about science, so if I go to MW and check the stats, e.g.

    MW Total Registered Members: 1292

    Total Topics: 4528 (CM: 212 ,kimpost 47)
    Total Replies: 100993 (CM: 14229, kimpost 1871)
    Total Posts: 105521 (CM; 14441, kimpost 1918)

    I’ll find it died of natural causes, fair and balanced. Not a thread hijacked and/or run into the ground via global warming, “America this, America that”. Talk was mostly about Moore only.

    Sure, I just might check out and post some of the numbers I find to prove your assertion over at the new “Moorewatch”.

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  59. JimK says:

    Consider my last nerve severed. Act how you want, I’m not your dad, but I am the owner here and that cutesy bullshit doesn’t cut it with me. Not only does it make you seem like an asshole of the largest variety, but all you’ve done is clog up the comments and grow my database for no fucking reason.

    The difference between you and everyone else is that are arguing about things they believe and doing so in good faith 99% of the time. Again, not your dad, I’m not going to tell you how to behave, but your little point here is moot, and I’m BEYOND finished with your Moore crap.

    Whatever you do next is your call. As what I do in response will be mine.
    JimK recently posted..Tour de Cure 2011 – Donations needed!My Profile

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  60. Kimpost says:

    Sorry, I’ve punched out, thrown my lab coat in the washer, and I’m too sober to understand what you want to say with your cited post count.

    One thing, though. Moore never were an issue in the forums, not really. Not even back in the day. General Discussions always dominated.

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  61. CM says:

    Rich said:

    I think you will do much better here if you remember that this blog is RTFTLC, not MW, we got much bigger fish to fry then some gelatinous tub of goo that has shit for brains and who is now drowning in his own irrelevance.

    As Kimpost says, MW forums was also a general discussion forum. One small part was set aside for discussions about Moore, but it was hardly ever used.

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  62. CM says:

    The problem is that he’d always ruin decent discussion by bringing in crap that nobody involved in the decent discussion was trying to argue. He kept insisting that they WERE trying to argue that America was evil etc etc. He keeps insisting that now. Alex isn’t too different.

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  63. loserlame says:

    lol, I just said I was done talking MW (general discussion, NOT Moore, per se) here, even though:

    kimpost June 11, 2011 12:13 pm
    MW slowly died because Michael Moore lost in popularity, which made Moorewatch less relevant

    Okay. But also

    kimpost June 11, 2011 5:49 pm
    Moore never were an issue in the forums, not really.

    What, now?

    CM June 11, 2011 6:09
    One small part was set aside for discussions about Moore, but it was hardly ever used.

    And I contend that said “general discussions” were mostly of the generic Eurostyle bitch session variety I’m pretty familiar with. Same here at RTFTLC, by the same authors. Again, I’m going to compile some scientific data proving as much, and thats all about MW from me here

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  64. Section8 says:

    What good qualities do you find regarding America if I might ask? Such as our culture, economic system, contribution to the planet, etc? I’m just curious.

    Do you personally like or dislike America as a whole? I don’t know, but I can see where loser is coming from though, as there has been much nonsensical trash talk and ridicule from our diplomatic and intellectually superior European friends over the last few years. When pretty much every American action is met with criticism and ridicule no matter what path is taken, then there is really no need to use the word evil. It can already be implied.

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  65. richtaylor365 says:

    Very bad form, loserlame

    You would not be the first to commit suicide here, others, after being warned, also set themselves on fire, I just don’t understand why. If you don’t like the blog, don’t read it, but if you do, why are you trying so hard to get your ass tossed off the island?

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  66. AlexInCT says:

    Alex isn’t too different.

    Says the guy that ignored the facts that destroyed his talking points consitently, and when finally couldn’t keep ignoring it anymore, told me he didn’t want to have the proof that basically disrupted his whole faux argument to be part of the discussion because it wasn’t of importance, then continued to push more bullshit? Tee hee.

    The only reason I even bother responding to your posts CM, is that I do not want to leave the bullshit you spout unchallenged. And what you spout is heavy grade bullshit of the worst kind. No matter what your opinion of it may be.

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  67. loserlame says:

    A question I ask in return is, say, why non-US citizens who don’t like (or pay) US taxes bother to post endless reams criticizing it under a “D-Day” thread, and why is this tolerated?

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  68. CM says:

    Says the guy that ignored the facts that destroyed his talking points consitently, and when finally couldn’t keep ignoring it anymore, told me he didn’t want to have the proof that basically disrupted his whole faux argument to be part of the discussion because it wasn’t of importance, then continued to push more bullshit? Tee hee.

    LOL. Where did that happen Alex? Which thread?
    Read that corrective action notice? Or is it that you don’t understand it?

    You are the right’s exact equivalant of who loserlame is mocking.

    The only reason I even bother responding to your posts CM, is that I do not want to leave the bullshit you spout unchallenged. And what you spout is heavy grade bullshit of the worst kind. No matter what your opinion of it may be.

    No matter my opinion on what I post? There’s a suggestion that I think what I post is rubbish?
    Sheesh, now you’re just babbling.
    I haven’t notice you challenge anything I’ve written; you’ve inevitably just repeated your conspiracy/fraud accusations, or joined up some more of your dots. Your arguments aren’t even internally consistent. You certainly never seem to have evidence or facts to show how the dots are joined. You seem convinced that the simple act of joining them is sufficient. It’s very strange.

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  69. Kimpost says:

    America is a fantastic country, with fantastic people. US culture dominates the world, with an incredible movie- and TV industry, stellar literature, and some of the best music that has ever been released. You have, by far, more Nobel prize winners than anyone else, which underlines how great your science contributions are and have been (which is partly why anti-science agenda’s frustrate me so much, the world needs you guys).

    US is our friends and allies. It’s never been my intention to criticize US, per se. I merely voice my opinion on any particular subject. If such an opinion doesn’t align with one of yours, than so be it, but it shouldn’t make it anti-Americanism per definition. And how is it different from when let’s say an American liberal says the same thing? I see that in US domestic politics as well. Isn’t the whole labelling thing kind of lazy?

    Now, can the discourse be a bit one sided in its critique sometimes? I’m sure it can, but you must remember that we are on an American blog, focusing mostly on American issues. It’s kind of natural to be discussing things from a US perspective.

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  70. Section8 says:

    Kimpost, I appreciate the reply. I don’t have a problem with occasionally criticizing America at all. We do have our faults, and no one is perfect. What I do have a problem with is the constant criticism, not just political, but cultural and personal. I’m not accusing you of that with this reply, that’s a general point as of course it would be difficult for me to go line by line though examples of every event that occurred here in the past or elsewhere.

    And how is it different from when let’s say an American liberal says the same thing?

    I don’t have much appreciation for much of the left in this country, primarily the ones who find fault with everything. I think their their reasoning is basically what Maher had the balls, or slipped up to say on his show the other day. … “this dumb fucking country”. The the base of left in general don’t have much appreciation for this country’s history or the principles of what this country has or what was meant to represent. Anyone who isn’t keen on embracing more government and might not mind having the flag on their porch must be a dumb redneck who would love to see slavery return, and thinks it would be cool if we could nuke the planet right after we get done shooting anyone in range with the nearest gun we can get a hold of.

    As far as you and CM all I can do is base my thoughts on what I’ve read so far. I don’t think you guys are by far as bad as what I’ve seen, but I take for example the celebrations over taking out bin Laden. In the forums I see CM says he understands it and won’t criticize right after he says it seems a little creepy, but hey, it’s the US and their culture is different. Or how we are told by you it’s not a sport. Lecture and and insults aside, we’re well aware this is not a sport, but while I read that kind of creepy culture response wouldn’t happen in New Zealand, I have to ask you guys when was the last time your nation saw their countrymen wiped out in an unexpected and unprovoked attack, and were stuck chasing the enemy though a gray area of law and order? Sorry about our response to his demise, seeing our skyscrapers fall to the ground with thousands inside is kind of new to us. I guess over time as it starts to happen on an occasional basis like it must do in places such as New Zealand we’ll learn to to behave and have a more muted tone.

    My previous rant aside, you personally, while I may not agree with everything you have to say you for the most part seem reasonable and I do appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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  71. CM says:

    I’m a huge fan of United States, for a whole host of reasons. Kimpost has touched on some of them above. I’ve always been interested in your country. On one trip I spent 3 months travelling throughout the continental United States (with a fellow Kiwi and an American). On another I spent 6 weeks concentrating on some specific areas (with my wife). I’ve visited Hawaii on another trip. I have some good lifelong friends in the United States (and not just big-city liberals either).
    I consider the United States to be an vital ally to our country (and all Western countries really). We’re all on the same side. I hope we always have an excellent relationhip with you guys. I can’t see why we wouldn’t – we have an incredible amount in common. The things we don’t have in common are not the important things.
    As Kimpost said, the fact that we’re able to have robust discussions on any broad or specific subject with you guys is awesome but of course they’re going to be America-centric, because that’s where this forum is set, and you’re all American. I’d like to think that criticism of what we post would be about the weakness of our arguments, as opposed to criticising us because we’re “bashing America”. I’m WAY more into this sort of place for the arguments and discovering new points of view or information than whether a country is ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or anything as simplistic as that. Assuming I’m making an argument simply because I have some sort of hatred (or even dislike) for your country would be really disappointing. I acknowledge that in a lot of respects the actions taken by your government are very difficult, and the ‘least worst’ option is often taken. In many respects, on many subjects, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    As for the Bin Laden celebrations – here I think people would consider it a bit creepy if we did it. But there are clear cultural differences with respect to acknowledging success and celebrating victories, so it needs to be seen in context. Which is what I was trying to say.

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  72. loserlame says:

    I’m a dual national and spent 15 years – from age 13 to 28 – in Germany, as a plain old Kraut; and can corroborate what Arnie said:

    In an interview with Fortune in 04, Schwarzenegger told how he suffered what “would now be called child abuse” at the hands of his father:

    My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I’ve seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. They didn’t want to create an individual. It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform, and whose will could not be broken. Therefore, I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, ‘you can’t do this,’ I said, ‘this is not going to be for much longer, because I’m going to move out of here.’

    “Non-conformists” of the late 70s took to adoring Che and the Red Army Faction, defacing property and throwing Molotovs at cops, to raise awareness about acid rain, deeming everything “bad” in some way “America’s fault”. If you didn’t conform to that new, old mentality, well, you were an American puppet, a culture-free oil stooge. You elected Reagan, you asshole, get anal cancer from your McDonalds and die.
    As I’ve chosen the, in my opinion, far lesser evil of living in redneck America, I can’t possibly know about world affairs, scoff Euros and sundry thinkers, no matter much or long I’d spent among true, noble proles. The US=52 states, period.

    I wouldn’t mind not spending any more US taxes on them in any fashion… and have no problem swapping “anti-Americanism” with “generic Europeanism”….

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  73. loserlame says:

    I’m a dual national and spent 15 years – from age 13 to 28 – in Germany, as a plain old Kraut; and can corroborate what Arnie said:

    In an interview with Fortune in 04, Schwarzenegger told how he suffered what “would now be called child abuse” at the hands of his father:

    My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I’ve seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. They didn’t want to create an individual. It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform, and whose will could not be broken. Therefore, I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, ‘you can’t do this,’ I said, ‘this is not going to be for much longer, because I’m going to move out of here.’

    “Non-conformists” of the late 70s took to adoring Che and the Red Army Faction, defacing property and throwing Molotovs at cops, to raise awareness about acid rain, deeming everything “bad” in some way “America’s fault”. If you didn’t conform to that new, old mentality, well, you were an American puppet.

    As I’ve chosen the, in my opinion, far lesser evil of living in redneck America, I can’t possibly know about world affairs, scoff Euros and sundry thinkers, no matter much or long I’d spent among true, noble proles.

    I have no problem exchanging “anti-Americanism” with “generic Europeanism”….

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  74. CM says:

    To loserlame, arguments always come down to that. There is no such thing as making arguments and counter-arguments for the sheer intellectual enjoyment of it. Or making arguments that are simply about that subject and unconnected to any overal political belief, or ideology.
    Given that, any attempt at an honest discussion with loserlame is always pointless (much like they are with Alex – who, as I’ve said, would appear to be the exact right-wing equivalent of the cliche that loserlame is mocking in every post). He will never ever accept any argument being made on any other basis. He “knows” better. He’ll make jokes about how others “know better” and the “joke” apparently works because actually he DOES know better. He doesn’t see the ACTUAL joke there…..

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  75. AlexInCT says:

    LOL. Where did that happen Alex? Which thread?

    It’s linked. Let people look and judge, but you are not going to like what they likely would tell you if they were inclined to waste time arguing with someone that is both foolish and intractable as I am doing. I think you were called on it by at least one other person too.

    You are the right’s exact equivalant of who loserlame is mocking.

    I got the impression he was making more fun of you than of me, but maybe I got that wrong.

    I haven’t notice you challenge anything I’ve written; you’ve inevitably just repeated your conspiracy/fraud accusations, or joined up some more of your dots.

    You are doing more of the same I accused you off right now again.

    Your arguments aren’t even internally consistent.

    Heh, that’s why you ignore them then say you want to leave them out of the discussion? I got it.

    You certainly never seem to have evidence or facts to show how the dots are joined.

    The problem here isn’t what I am saying CM: it’s simply that you are so biased that even when I let you hear what I am saying others are doing come out of their own mouth, you outright dismiss it as not true still.

    You seem convinced that the simple act of joining them is sufficient.

    Really? From the guy that picks and chooses what he wants to be the facts so he can keep his blinkered views unchallenged? Shit, CM, you are too easy.

    It’s very strange.

    Not to me. I deal with morons like you that think they are so clever when their ownly ability is to blindly ignore any reality they don’t like far too often for my own sanity. You think you are so clever, but indubitably what you are is obvious as hell for anyone that doesn’t share you idiotic biases.

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  76. loserlame says:

    Oops. double post. I meant to post a brief synopsis of a German film:

    The hero-worship that Simone has for a pop singer is built to a crescendo until she passes out when she finally sees him up-close in a crowd of fans pushing him for autographs. She is later shocked when he lets her know that he does not love her. In an instant, she is caught “in a trance” and feels a murderous urge that is bigger than the both of them. Written by Ørnås

    Der Fan (1982)

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  77. CM says:

    It’s linked.

    Where is the link? I assume you mean your narrative about how the Obama administration backed down on the pipeline and let it restart? Even though these was and is simply no evidence of that, but there is enough evidence to suggest that everyone was following procedure? You mean that one?

    Let people look and judge, but you are not going to like what they likely would tell you if they were inclined to waste time arguing with someone that is both foolish and intractable as I am doing. I think you were called on it by at least one other person too.

    Keep declaring victory if you like – it’s always a clear sign of desperation, and an obvious attempt to move away from the SUBSTANTIVE DETAIL which has tripped you up so badly (and which you now have no choice but to ignore). I’m more than happy to have people judge it. It’s hilarious. Read your SOURCE DOCUMENTS Alex.

    I got the impression he was making more fun of you than of me, but maybe I got that wrong.

    I didn’t say he was mocking you. He’s mocking the lefty equivalent of you. A walking talking ideological purtian, impervious to fact and evidence, but a nonstop fountain of unsupported innudeno, rumor, speculation, accusation, and conspiracy, allergic to rationality and logic, and impossible to have an honest discussion with. Whether the person is on the left or the right, they’re as bad as each other.

    Heh, that’s why you ignore them then say you want to leave them out of the discussion? I got it.

    If you can’t point out specifically where that happened (which arguments did I ignore?), you’re simply being dishonest. Go on, here’s your chance to show you’re not dishonest. Put your evidence where your accusation is. Or not. Your choice.

    The problem here isn’t what I am saying CM: it’s simply that you are so biased that even when I let you hear what I am saying others are doing come out of their own mouth, you outright dismiss it as not true still.

    I did not dismiss what Obama said. I put it into context. Quite different. You can stop with the misrepresenting now. There is no point.

    Really? From the guy that picks and chooses what he wants to be the facts so he can keep his blinkered views unchallenged? Shit, CM, you are too easy.

    Where did I rely on cherry-picked facts, and dismiss any that were contrary? Come on, don’t throw out accusations and then run away and hide, or simply repeat them without evidence.
    Evidence of a ‘blinkered view’ would be making accusations based on a single blog post, and then updating it based on a second blog post from the same source. And looking no further. And not even reading the source document. That’s what you did Alex. Refuse to accept that all you like.

    Not to me. I deal with morons like you that think they are so clever when their ownly ability is to blindly ignore any reality they don’t like far too often for my own sanity. You think you are so clever, but indubitably what you are is obvious as hell for anyone that doesn’t share you idiotic biases.

    I suspect they’re not morons at all. It’s likely they also get nowhere with you because you’re not even remotely interested in any sort of honest discussion. In many many years at MW forums, nobody came even close to your level. Some of them misrepresented positions or posts and refused to discuss detail from time to time when it was clear they were wrong, but not as standard operating procedure. And they were at least able to follow logic. And they didn’t continue declare victory and desperately seek allies when their arguments were shown to be without merit, because the detail didn’t turn out to be what they thought.

    “Ownly”? Nice. That about sums it up.

    The discussions I have with my 4 year old are more logical.

    Anyway, we can certainly put you in the category of being unable to admit when you’re wrong. But then as a rabid ideologue, that goes with the territory.

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  78. loserlame says:

    And as always, CM, you claim to be the intellectual with the neutral facts and heart of gold, just wanting to educate us old friends. You also like to slip lil one-liners in here and there with a pat lil : ) or ;P and its always officially funny and fitting, according to your rules.

    Fact is that is “fan” is short for “fanatic” and it doesn’t automatically mean in a “good way”. It can be a religion in its own special fashion.
    I’ve been reading your stuff for years, now, and nowhere have I ever felt any “alliance” or “friendship” beyond the familiar “US has 52 states” stance I grew up with elsewhere.

    Fan, maybe, ally, no.

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  79. CM says:

    And as always, CM, you claim to be the intellectual with the neutral facts and heart of gold, just wanting to educate us old friends.

    As opposed to un-neutral facts? ;-)
    You’ll believe what you want to believe. Nothing anyone does is going to change that. If there’s something I’ve learnt over the last 6 years of ‘interacting’ with you, it’s that. I don’t consider myself an intellectual. I’m not that well read, and on most subjects I have a reasonably shallow understanding (although I’m always trying to find out more).

    A good argument is a good argument, no matter who makes it. A fact is a fact, no matter who brings it to the table. I’ve seen plenty of good arguments from American conservatives over the years. Even when I disagree sometimes with the conclusions, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the arguments weren’t well made (from facts that are evidence, and logic). Arguments based on narratives, joining together dots, inneundo, and accusations of fraud are deserving of an appropriate response. Doesn’t matter who makes them.

    You also like to slip lil one-liners in here and there with a pat lil : ) or ;P and its always officially funny and fitting, according to your rules.

    And you’ll inherently dislike everything I ever post and everything about the way I post it. Nothing new there.

    Fact is that is “fan” is short for “fanatic” and it doesn’t automatically mean in a “good way”. It can be a religion in its own special fashion.
    I’ve been reading your stuff for years, now, and nowhere have I ever felt any “alliance” or “friendship” beyond the familiar “US has 52 states” stance I grew up with elsewhere.

    Fan, maybe, ally, no.

    Ok, replace ‘fan’ (if I’m not allowed to use it in the normal useage sense) and replace it with ‘affinity’.

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  80. loserlame says:

    Just so you know… :- )

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