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June 25, 2006

Let Freedom Ring!

We are so lucky to live in the United States. Under George Bush, the nation has achieved heretofore unimagined levels of personal safety. After all, where else in the world do elected officials and the press corps regularly outdo themselves in an effort to protect both our rights and our security? It must be an immense comfort to most Americans to realize that, while the administration tries to protect us from men who saw the heads off living captives, strap bombs to teenagers, and fly planes into office buildings the press corps is courageously violating the law to protect us from the Supreme Court and Congress.

In response to the widespread fears of unnamed government officials ‘with no independent knowledge’ of the Treasury Department’s successful terrorist financial tracking program, recent articles in the LA and NY Times unveiled a classified anti-terrorism program which complied with both Supreme Court jurisprudence and federal statutes. Due to their heroic efforts, banking clients who rightly feared the Executive Branch’s successful implementation of what John Kerry called the law enforcement approach to terrorism have been alerted to the clear and present danger lurking in their midst:

In the heightened state of emergency after 9/11, the government began examining the Swift records with the help of general administrative subpoenas, which are basically permission from one part of the executive branch to another. Now it is nearly five years later, and nothing has changed. Investigators have examined the international money transfers of thousands of Americans, apparently without ever trying to get a court order or warrant to do the searches. And Congress, as usual, has never exercised any oversight.

Worried readers no doubt appreciate the NY Times' assertion that the best way to prevent another attack like 9/11 is a return to September 10th tactics. After all, we haven't been attacked lately, have we? What clearer proof could there be that the 'heightened state of emergency' is over? Now we can all get on with our lives, secure in the knowledge that the danger of terrorist attacks is a thing of the past.

With America's security assured, astute observers realize that the real danger lies in misguided infringements of our civil liberties rooted in post-9/11 hysteria. The 1976 SC decision in US v. Miller, a clear to Bush administration fear-mongering, is a case in point. In that case, SCOTUS ruled that:

the records kept by a bank are not the depositor's private papers, but instead are the business records of the bank. The court said that there is no legitimate expectation of privacy in the information kept in bank records and that therefore the bank's compliance with the subpoena did not intrude upon the depositor's Fourth Amendment rights..

But the Supreme Court is hardly alone in its unquestioning surrender to post-9/11 hysteria. In 1970, no doubt enraged by the sight of bodies in free fall from the World Trade Center, Congress passed the Bank Secrecy Act:

The Bank Secrecy Act authorizes the Treasury Department to require financial institutions to maintain records of personal financial transactions that "have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax and regulatory investigations and proceedings." It also authorizes the Treasury Department to require any financial institution to report any "suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation." These reports, called "Suspicious Activity Reports" are filed with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN").

This is done secretly, without the consent or knowledge of bank customers, any time a financial institution decides that a transaction is "suspicious." The reports are made available electronically to every U.S. Attorney's Office and to 59 law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Customs Service. A law enforcement agency does not have to be suspicious of an actual crime before it accesses a report, and no court order, warrant, subpoena, or even written request is needed. Law enforcement agencies can, and allegedly do, download the entire harvest of new information from FinCEN whenever they want it.

But how can the NY Times be sure Congress still wants the Executive Branch poking into our banking records? Certainly Congress would be outraged if they knew law enforcement could access our financial data:

- without court review or approval; - without you being suspected of a crime; and - without ever having to tell us.

Thankfully, the media are united in their determination to protect ordinary Americans from laws passed by their elected and appointed officials. After all, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and without oversight we are defenseless against those who would willingly and knowingly abuse the power they've been given under the Constitution.

It is vital that so-called "law enforcement approaches to terror" not be allowed to proceed without oversight from the media, and sometimes this vital oversight requires a few laws to be broken. We cannot allow Treasury Department officials to take cover behind Supreme Court decisions and federal statutes. We cannot trust the Congressional Committee on Intelligence Oversight to investigate tips which come into the media's hands.

No, it is clear that our best protection lies in complete transparency. By letting the terrorists know we're watching them, we send a strong message about the role of freedom of the press in a democratic society, and it is a message they cannot mistake.

The days of marginalizing our enemies are past. We must admit them to all facets of our national security dialog. Only in this way will they come to realize we are no threat to them.

Let Freedom ring!

Posted by Cassandra at June 25, 2006 09:48 AM

Comments

I penned a letter to the U.S. Department Of Justice stating my support for the investigation and prosecution of the NYT/LAT and various leakers to be identified. The leak of classified information is illegal and the publication of said illegal information is a violation of the acts protecting secrecy in a time of war.

Posted by: vet66 at June 25, 2006 01:38 PM

They are such ideiots, the Times, everyone in the US discloses all their financial transactions when we file our taxes.

Posted by: Jane at June 25, 2006 04:26 PM

I agree with the comments above. I knew my finances could be tracked by the government in the United States. I had no idea that "Swift" existed or that the US could track international finances so easity. The point is, if I didn't know it, not all terrorists knew it. Newspaper people doing "responisble journalism" need to start asking new questions. (It is unfortunate that these will be new for some.)
What am I helping by publishing this?
What am I hurting by publishing this?
Unfortunately, they probably ask these questions and when the answer comes back: Well, it will help me or the Newspaper's circulation, they publish anyway. Even if people might die because of it.
Well done, idiots.

Ron

Posted by: Ron Graves at June 26, 2006 01:39 PM

...if I didn't know it, not all terrorists knew it.

Heh. Come on Ron. As I'm always being told by my liberal buddies, "terrorists don't read newspapers" :D

Posted by: Cassandra at June 26, 2006 03:00 PM

If the weren't before they probably are now.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 26, 2006 06:19 PM

Indeed, the vexation of those whom believe in free enterprise and capitalist society manifesting their ideals among journalistic media is an irritation second to none. Bygone are the days of a more honest media, the sweet symphonies of the town crier or the purity of our Founding Fathers' ink; we find ourselves now in a much different time than was the war-torn birth era of America. The 'liberal-agenda' fueling our nightly news and sunshine editions ought to realize that the Constitutional Rights afforded to them by the spilt blood of such patriots as Washington, Adams and Jefferson are indeed called amendments, so named to keep pace with our nation's rapid growth, deliberately left open for change by future leaders – most likely, in particular, for wartime leaders - whom recognize such evolution among their American People. The speed of the town crier and Pony Express has been well outstripped by satellite television and the Internet. (Incidentally, the web is an entrepreneurial endeavor that has pegged Al Gore, co-architect of the most successful non-war economy in American History, as its unofficial venture capitalist…fancy that, a money-making Democrat!) The trickling of surveillance through the cracks of our press corps must understand that we are no longer waging war for the right to be free, especially to publish any thought their short attention spans can remember to write down. Today, we're keeping the enemy at bay, and it is a righteous sacrifice of those freedom principals, in light of the counterterrorism that is of an utmost importance in maintaining our pursuits of life, liberty and prosperity. While the NYT hides behind a defense of ‘free press’ and ‘liberty’, I’m pondering Patrick Henry’s words, to wit: “Give me liberty or give me death!” In this instance, liberty will die a miserable death at the hands of our enemies whom are being fed intelligence by the ostensibly concerned editors and reporters at the Times; as such, I’m sorry to say that death, over liberty, will reign supreme: The death of ourselves through such foolish reporting, or – should the media back off – the death of our enemies when we catch them on the money trail. After all, what better way to identify the heinousness of a country/terrorist state than by reconciling their cash flow? Better yet, why not listen in on their phone conversations and sift their e-mail on mere suspicion? Who the hell do these measly reporters, these newsmen think they are to ‘warn’ the American public of an invasion of their rights, when it’s their freedom to have rights at all that such an invasion is defending? It is an endless war that will not see a diplomatic end; if you want proof that there is no true peaceable cession, look at the Cold War, and the state of nuclear armament today. It’s not as if those SALT or START agreements are enforced; since when should American prowess be subject to the treaties drafted as a means to nullify our opposition? It might have been a good show of integrity, a trait the media prides itself on, but if we had held up our ends of those deterrence bargains accordingly, we’d be facing down the barrel of a full-scale nuclear holocaust about now. Peace can only be established through superior arms, and the media needs to hush themselves about frivolous matters such as ‘liberty’ and ‘integrity’ if we’re going to have any means of security and maintain our superpower status. Jane is right; we need to quiet ‘those ideiots’. Idiots abound, my darling sockets, idiots abound.

Posted by: Padraig Connor at June 27, 2006 12:14 AM

As usual the people on the right have let fear mongering by this administration influence every thought they have. I have heard time and again from your mouthpieces (Oxy-Rush, Sean Insanity) that the radical islamists hate our freedom. Well, every time that the BU$H admin. violates another part of our delicate checks and balances system, we become less democratic and free. So that means that we have let the terrorists change our thinking, our freedoms, and our democracy. Since they hate our freedoms, by getting us to take them away, they are achieving there goals. Fear only allows for short term thinking. You are all missing the point that nothing is more sacred than our checks and balances to keep a democracy alive.

Posted by: Duncan at June 27, 2006 07:58 PM

Your notion that there could be a land upon which democracy could reside, should Bush and company cease their 'fear mongering', is risible. Such ideals of democracy can only be only as sacred as its facility; if those discursive journalists kept quiet, terrorists would likely never suspect that we're tracking them and would therefore be successful in attacking our democracy. We did vote for this administration, you know. Twice. Bush came out on top, no matter the refusal to accept it right away. And both times, the victor was certain that his constituents would not be afraid to share their democracy with the rest of the world, not even with those who would attack our great land. Now, we have spread voting and a successful democratic process to regions of the world that, circa the last Democratic president, was victim to being reigned by fear. We aren't trying to oppress liberty by keeping these plans a secret or by fighting this war - we're just doing what we do best. If anything, democracy is rightfully wilting in light of us reminding the subversive terrorist factions whom dare oppose America that we are the most powerful nation in the world.




Okay, the masquerade was fun. Read what I've written (in both this and my previous entry) and determine for yourself what side of the fence I'm on - and where your support ought to lie. Personally, I couldn't keep a straight face when I discussed Bush's 'clear cut' victories. To be perfectly honest, I'm a Dem-liberal by definition, though I appreciate conservatism as an ideal, NOT as a reason to hold fast to the idea that we're being unpatriotic if we oppose our leader; I could have sworn that the formation of this country had something to do with revolt against a tyrant who had been revolted against, and weren't our reasons for revolution along the lines of unpopular economics, religious politics and the hope for liberty and justice for all? Conservatives need a better leader than this idiot and his cronies; Rove, Cheney and Snow are convoluting Republican ideals into dumbed-down farces, including the attack of newspapers. NEWSPAPERS!!! Thinking that this 'exposure' did any harm to our antiterrorist espionage is tantamount to blaming video games for Columbine in lieu of more direct sources; as did the parents of the shooters have influence over the development of their children, so do we all in choosing what to believe in response to an article printed by a free press. If you honestly think that the NYT is accessory to the dissolution of security, then you're likely to accept that those parents are victims of popular culture and had no way to control their kids. How sad it must be to birth and raise a child, a creature wholly dependant upon parental support for most of its youth, only to do so without ever ascertaining control over their juveniles. Likewise, it's quite disheartening to ruminate upon the notion that an intricate defense force - proposed and employed by the 'world's most powerful nation' - can be so devastated by the report of its activities to those that fund it. I guess we actually believe in the main that those terrorists, that seemingly ubiquitous force of savages out to kill us, really have no clue that we're following their money trail. Of course, the same folk who called NYT's report offensive and disgraceful are the same leaders that utilized the post-9/11 media to publicly approve the 'covert' assassination intentions against Saddam Hussein. Oddly enough, he's still alive and well, enjoying an upgrade from his poor, sand-caked home that was being bombed regularly to our taxpayer-funded prison system. Good going, GOP leaders. I appreciate your fundamentals, but its been such a winding road away from what you actually stand for into the agendas of portentous, angry, rich patriarchs that it's high time you ought to re-read those articles and wonder: if you were raised in a country smart enough to figure out a successful way to attack our 'superior' nation, would any of it really be news? Or was it written as an expositional editorial? Moreover, are you, as a conservative - often a fan of power and self-direction - malleable enough to be shaped by the words of some fairy liberal writer?

Posted by: Padraig at June 28, 2006 05:38 AM

I could have sworn that the formation of this country had something to do with revolt against a tyrant who had been revolted against, and weren't our reasons for revolution along the lines of unpopular economics, religious politics and the hope for liberty and justice for all?

Padraig:

I ignored you before b/c you don't make any sense.

You need to break out a history book and do a little reading. The Revolution rested on the Enlightenment idea that there is a social contract wherein we freely barter some of our rights for the increased security that government can provide.

The revolt happened because there was no consent of the governed under King George, and the Founders were so disturbed by the notion of unlawful revolt that they made this perfectly clear.

Bush, on the other hand, though you may not agree with him, was elected, not annointed by God. There is no Divine Right of Presidents; only an electoral mandate which comes from the people.

Liberals love to throw out talk of "tyrants", but they never provide CONCRETE EXAMPLES of how we're being tyrannized. Their main concern under Bush has been essentially, "Oh shit. We lost the White House election. We lost control of both Houses of Congress. There are more conservative justices than liberal ones because there have been more conservative Presidents elected over the past 30 years than liberal ones.

Man, this will of the people thing really sucks! Conservatives control all three branches of government now (duh... that's what happens when you can't convince the majority of the electorate that your platform is better for the country). It's a tyranny! How can we overthrow this troublesome thing called Democracy?"

"Oooh! I know! We'll undermine every single thing our popularly-elected officials do because we don't agree with them! We'll scream bloody murder when the "classified" identity of Val Plame is "outed" (funny how in 2 1/2 years of investigation, Fitzgerald never quite *did* get around to establishing that she was a covert agent) but pardon the WaPo and NYT for outing entire classified programs!"

If you don't like the law, convince Congress to change it. Don't sanction lawbreaking by the media because in your eyes, the end justifies the means. Don't arrogantly maintain their right to break the law and not face their day in court. If you believe they're innocent, the prosecution will fail.

If you don't like the leadership, convince the country to change it. And for God's sake learn the roles of the 3 branches. Stop whining about Executive branch tyranny when it's Congress that approves most of what you dislike. Read a civics textbook for Pete's sake.

And don't waste my time ranting about tyranny when you can't even convince a majority of the American people to vote for what you stand for.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 28, 2006 06:28 AM

Cassandra, do you really believe the nonsense that you just wrote? Thomas Jefferson penned "if given a choice between a government without newspapers, and a newspaper without government, I would choose the later". By attacking the Times, you are heading right down the path of fascism that this administration would love to take us. Sinclair Lewis once wrote "when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Think about it.

Posted by: Duncan at June 28, 2006 03:08 PM

1. Quotes from Jefferson (though interesting) don't supercede the law, Duncan. I wouldn't try basing a court case (either the prosecution or the defense) on what Jefferson said.

2. We don't live in Jefferson's America - we live in Hamilton's. Jefferson would have a weak central government and strong states. Liberals want the polar opposite of that, which just makes me laugh hysterically when they quote Jefferson to "prove" whatever point they're making.

3. I'm not "attacking" the Times. I'm saying Bill Keller is not above the law, nor has he been elected or appointed by We the People to represent our interests.

4. Fascism isn't a case presented to a grand jury and lawfully decided by the courts and a jury of your peers. You're being hysterical.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 28, 2006 03:16 PM

Yes, Cassy, why would we want to listen to the people who founded this nation. It would be much better to listen to W say when refering to the constitution "its an old document". What would the founding fathers know about anything. See, the fathers are rolling over in their graves right now at the constant trampling of the constitutional checks and balances that they brilliantly put into place. These checks are in the way of the neocons grabbing as much power as they can by any means. Lets not forget what Ben Franklin said."Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither". I personally would rather be blown to pieces than to sacrifice my liberties. But then again, I'm not a chicken shit neo-con. And yes, I am a proud US vet.

Posted by: Duncan at June 28, 2006 07:53 PM

First off, the "people" who founded this nation weren't all in agreement. And you didn't quote "people", you quoted "person".

And if you're going to quote the Founders, try to get the quotes right. It isn't:

Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither".

but

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

You see, the Founders didn't deal in absolutes. They recognized that there are tradeoffs between freedom and safety.

But then again, I'm not a chicken shit neo-con.

Ooh. An insult. I give up.

And yes, I am a proud US vet

Then you no doubt realize why the Constitution provides civilian control of the military, which rather precludes asinine insinuations like only those with military experience can opine about war. Had the Founders wanted to give only military vets the vote, doncha think they'd have said so?

So what exactly *is* your point?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 28, 2006 08:19 PM

You've jumped argumentative perspective so often in this blog, Cassandra, that I'm not surprised at your Republicanism. Do not doubt my sense of American history; I was discussing the political connotations and build-up to the Revolution, not the philosophical insinuations. If you want to get into the philosophical debate, consider that was the liberty among our founders that made such deliberations possible. Similarly, if I'm not making sense, I do apologize; my erudition and cynicism have often held me back from being able to see eye-to-eye with the troglodytic essence that outlines the neo-conservatism community. Call me unrealistic or an idiot, but I honestly believe that if America wants to be a true superpower, we wouldn't fret about the reporters that make citizens privy to the efforts of their government or the implications of terrorists reading what they could have easily guessed. Moreover, I find more security among diplomacy than this simian-like rush to armament - or a government trying to make their constituents act like sheep in a herd via flimsy pretenses of 'security' against intangible 'forces of terror'. I'll admit that 'the enemy' did destroy thousands of lives on that fateful September day, but it seems like karma coming full circle when you consider how many countries we've gleefully raped and pillaged in the name of our security.

Curiously, Cassandra, who were you quoting in the second half of your response to my previous post? I couldn't find that text on this page, though I do have a concrete example of Bush's tyrannical methods: illegal phone taps seems pretty invasive to me, as does bombing large sections of a country based on the mere suspicion of said nation harboring a terrorist who claimed responsibility for an attack that wasn't particularly genius on his part; it seemed like more an exposure of our own weaknesses, a rather clever fashion of ripping holes into the braggadocio swung around like nine inch penises by our bravado-obsessed administration.

Posted by: Padraig at June 28, 2006 09:18 PM

Is there a refutation of any of the points I made hidden somewhere in that florid rant?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 28, 2006 09:38 PM

Hey Duncie, you are like really up on the Founders and stuff. Perhaps you would like to enlighten us on the Aliens and Sedition Act of 1798. Do tell us what it's purpose was, who it was aimed at and why. Then compare it to what the Bush administration is doing.

If you want to look smrt, feel free to throw in the word draconian.

Posted by: Pile On® at June 28, 2006 09:39 PM

The Aliens and Sedition act was meant to quell any political opposition from the Republicans. The Federalists, todays Republicans, acted exactly like this current administration. They wanted to suppress the opposition party, the Republicans, which later became the Democratic-Republicans, who are todays Democrats. It helped Jefferson win the 1800 election. The public outcry was so great, because people then knew the importance of the 1rst amendment. Jefferson pardoned everyone involved including Ben Franklins grandson. In the 1964 Sullivan vrs New York Times case, the Supreme Court declared "Although the Sedition Act was never tested in this court, the attack upon its validity has carried the day in the Court of history". So in recap, you had repubs trying to silence their critics, and violating the constitution to do it. Wow. Thanks for making my point that much more convincing.

Posted by: Duncan at June 28, 2006 11:12 PM

I agree with your post padraig. The thing that eludes many americans (republicans, democrats, whatever) is that we had 9/11 coming. We enjoy a life of relative luxury, while billions suffer at our hands. The CIA taught Osama a thing or two, using him against the Russians during the cold war.Rumsfeld himself delivered WMD's to Saddam Hussain. We started Vietnam to boost the defense industry.Iran contra. The list goes on and on. We blast saddam for crimes against humanity?! Last time I checked, we dropped the bomb on japan killing millions of innocent people.Isn't that a crime against humanity? They had no say in going to war,unlike us in the US, who vote for our leaders, which make them all the more innocent, and us all the more guilty. Bush spouts his "Axis of Evil" crap, but it should be called "Axis of countrys that don't want to play ball with us". I don't blame these countrys for trying to obtain WMD's. Most think that they want them to destroy america, I believe that they want them to protect themselves from america.

Everything is corrupt, Liberty is on its death bed with a case of terminal cancer. The power barrons will soon control the world. There is no way to stop it, all empires rise, and fall... so for christ sake, let the man write his newspaper article and quit bitching. If you think Osama bin laden didn't already know that we were tracing his funding... wait, we haven't got him yet have we? What happens when we do? Another religious fanatic with a beef against america will pop out and attack again. The root of the problem is not "the terrorists", it is America's brutality and greed that perpetuates this cycle of violence and death. The war on terror is just as pointless as the war on drugs, but it looks like the war on the constitution is running along as smooth as the Nazi envasion of poland.
END OF RANT

Posted by: Dallas at June 29, 2006 03:14 AM

Yes, Amerikkka is a horrible place, isn't it? And Reichpublicans are the worst of all.

Who else would let you go on and on, spouting all sorts of nonsense on someone else's nickel? Better run and hide. No doubt the NSA is monitoring your anti-government sentiments even as you type. Hark! Is that the sound of jackboots I hear in the distance?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 29, 2006 03:51 AM

I am sorry Duncie, I thought you might be able to grasp my point, that is a mistake I will not make again.

The Republican party was founded prior to the civil war, perhaps you have heard of Lincoln?

To try and equate todays Democrat party with Jefferson and his vision of federalism makes you look foolish to anyone with any grasp of American history.

My point was that the Founders were not some monolithic group as you seem to want to paint them. Their battles, the give and take is what I beleive forged this great nation. The people who passed the Aliens and Sedition act have to be counted as Founders.

Bush isn't willing to prosecute anyone in the press who releases classified information, let alone try and pass a law that would make criticism of the government illegal. That was my point.


You're welcome.

Posted by: Pile On® at June 29, 2006 06:24 AM

I'm afraid subtlety is lost on Brother Duncan.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 29, 2006 07:11 AM

"The thing that eludes many americans (republicans, democrats, whatever) is that we had 9/11 coming"

*sigh*

Posted by: JarheadDad at June 29, 2006 09:04 AM

Wow. What a surprise. The Supreme Court shot down BU$H's military tribunals. Justice Kennedy wrote "Trial by military commission raises seperation-of-powers concerns of the highest order". "Concentration of power (in the executive branch) puts personal liberty in peril of arbitrary action by officials, an incursion the Constitution's three-part system is designed to avoid." Dam if that doesn't sound a lot like what I have been trying to teach you misguided sheep. Cass, your arguments are about as strong as a kid saying "I know you are, but what am I." Try to show some humility in defeat. Take your ass-whoopin with some dignity, not mindless rhetoric that you have heard on Fox news. In closing, I would like to say "How do you like me now?"

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 11:53 AM

Duncan, I'm curious: is it physically painful to be such a tool?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 29, 2006 12:03 PM

Is that your best response? I would at least expect you to call me a traitor or unpatriotic. Typical though. Avoid the issues when you are on the losing side of an argument. Wait, maybe you can call Rush and he will tell you what to say next. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 12:12 PM

Duncan, I haven't called anyone a traitor or unpatriotic in over 3 years of blogging and I don't listen to Rush. Adults can see shades of grey mixed in with their black and white, but you are so mired in your blind prejudice and hate that all someone has to do is say "conservative" and you start babbling all the predictable stereotypes and insults.

Grow up.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 29, 2006 12:28 PM

I would have guessed it was more like 3 days of blogging. Man, it must hurt to be ridiculed for your weak arguments on your own blog. By the way, Bush is conservative in name only. He has borrowed more cash than every other president combined. The deficit is through the roof. Spending is out of control. So if you are a con. how do you support this speech-challenged loser? You must really be a person of principle, huh? Are you a republican first, or an American first? Well.....

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 12:46 PM

Duncan, stop or go away. You are making a fool of yourself. If Cassandra's arguments are so weak, why don't you actually address them instead of trying to change the subject.

Posted by: Pile On® at June 29, 2006 01:07 PM

You don't understand Pile.

He wants me to either get mad or call him a traitor. Or ban him. That way I will have conformed to his expectations and he can feel morally superior.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 29, 2006 01:27 PM

Well, it is more humorous than maddenning. Guess he will have to try something different.

Posted by: Pile On® at June 29, 2006 01:46 PM

I dont feel morally superior. Just intellectually.

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 02:25 PM

Cass, sorry I said listen to rush. Duh. Let freedom ring is Sean Insanitys tag. I would love to debate you as soon as you make an intelligent point. Pile on, you may be beyond hope.

Posted by: duncan at June 29, 2006 02:30 PM

I dont feel morally superior. Just intellectually.

Well, you're neither. Sucks being you.

Just don't get it do you Dunce? You come on here playing some kind of intellectually elite game. To you it's all fun and games. Debate 301 rah-rah. Sorry, we're the ones that bury our dead. Not you. You're tired tripe gets old really, really fast. You don't argue, you do nothing but spew talking points. You have yet to answer one point of any retort made your way. Frankly you are the norm and nothing special. We've watched hundreds with your same spiel come through here for years.

Don't bother responding. You are insignificant and your mantra is meaningless. It matters not so it won't be read. Have a nice life!

*Yawn*

Posted by: JarheadDad at June 29, 2006 03:25 PM

DAMMIT!!! This was such a nice, friendly debate a few posts ago; why did you, Duncan and Cassandra, start slinging mud at one another? I was enjoying a healthy exchange of opinion, until this:

Cass, your arguments are about as strong as a kid saying "I know you are, but what am I." Try to show some humility in defeat. Take your ass-whoopin with some dignity, not mindless rhetoric that you have heard on Fox news. In closing, I would like to say "How do you like me now?"

Now, Duncan, you've played right into Cassandra and her friends' hands. The left-end of political posters on this blog have been shamed by this rudeness, which has made it a whining, child-like debate of 'my daddy can beat up your daddy!'; rather, we've got 'my political party can talk better trash than yours!'. I assume that the age group of this blog is at least college-level, if not older. As a 23 year old student about to graduate with a Major in Business and a Minor in Political Science (kind of an oxymoron....politics are about as unscientific as it gets), and based on the initial level of cogitation Cassandra seemed to put into this discussion, I assumed that we were all grown-ups here.

As for deserving 9/11, I won't deny that it should have been stopped and we made it quite possible for al-Qaeda; it therefore happened with malevolent and tragic force. However, you will never hear me say that those who have been devastated by 9/11 deserved to die (or lose loved ones); if anyone needed to be attacked by terrorists, it needed to be those whom give our otherwise great nation a bad name.


I hope that nobody else gets a head of steam and turns this generally enjoyable deabte into a whiny verbal attack. There is a difference between fighting and arguing, you know: Arguments are the exchange of two points with an eventual conclusion on equal ground; fighting is a release of angry divergence with little or no hope of solution. Fights tend to do no good and nobody learns anything, whereas I feel that the best lessons are taught through dialectic and the acceptance of several perspectives, no matter which ones you support.

Posted by: Padraig at June 29, 2006 04:56 PM

Padraig:

I've been pretty restrained for a long time now. I was called a chickenshit neocon a long, long time ago. Somehow I doubt this is a standard rhetorical device for winning arguments.

Sadly, this long ago ceased to be a discussion. By the way, two of my best friends are passionate liberals (as is my brother) so I'm quite aware of how to discuss things without fighting. We do it all the time. In fact, I've been doing it longer than you've been alive.

Y'all really need to give up some of your 'us vs. them' mentality. No one is 'playing into' anyone's hands. That assumes I care about winning, which I really don't.

This isn't a contest. It's supposed to be a discussion. The difference here is that while I disagree with both of you, I respect your right to think what you will and I do not expect to change your minds. That's the only frame of mind that makes discussing politics possible with those on the other end of the spectrum.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 29, 2006 05:12 PM

Jarheaddad, it is my responsibility to try and enlighten you blindly patriotic folks as to what is really going on in our country. First of all dont try that bury our dead patriotic BS with me. I served 4 years USAF honorably discharged 1987. I love this country as much as anyone., but when it is [deleted]things up all over the world, then I will not wrap myself in the flag and cheer we're number 1. I will speak out loudly and intelligently, not blindly. Your problem is you won't, or simply refuse to believe, that we, under this current president, are a huge part of the problem. You supported Bush, and its just too painful to admit that you really fell for the propaganda and lies. Of course you wont listen, the brainwashing tells you not to. Peace.

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 05:28 PM

OK Duncan, I was going to let it pass but you have now raised my ire. Click on my name and then come back here and tell me about me wrapping myself in the Flag. And you damn well better do it with respect or I can promise you it will get ugly! Now tell me all about the "bury our dead patriotic BS". You sir are a true asshat!

4 years in the AF and you want to equate that to 0311 Marine Grunts in ground combat? Thank you for your service but unless you were SP OPs you don't know shit about shinola quite frankly. And before you get your panties in a wad I'll let you know my Papa was AF (Korea) and my "kid" brother is an E-7 active AF. I know of 2 SP OPs AF men that were KIA in the Stan and one in OIF2. Please tell us ignorant mind numbed BushReich goosesteppers what it is you know about it again. You are obviously so far superior to all us dumbasses that you should be able to make a case using real small words that we might even understand if we concentrate hard enough!

Jesus H. Duncan, you act like we don't have brains or understand squat. Do you really realize just how friggin' arrogant that is? NO ONE HATES WAR MORE THAN THE FOLKS THAT HAVE TO FIGHT IT! Now, what part of this do you not understand? You come on here spewing your talking point tripe and refuse to even acknowledge other's arguments. Like hundreds before you. Yeah Duncan, we've seen you before and we're not impressed. If you care to have a discussion and point-counterpoint then fine but don't come on here telling us what a badass you are and how intellectually superior you think you are. To us you are nothing more than a bore. I'll give you credit though, you did manage to annoy me and that's pretty hard to do. I think it was your prior service that did it. Thank you Duncan Murtha. Now kiss my ass!

Come back when you feel you want to actually debate and leave the bullshit ego at home!

Posted by: JarheadDad at June 29, 2006 06:26 PM

1. Every grunts best friend is air support. So when you belittle the AF, you do indeed show your ignorance.
2. I dont think you're stupid. I think that you have sheltered yourself from the truth because it hurts to much to face it.
3. "You better do it with respect". Well [deleted]you. You are wrapped in the flag like a scallop wrapped in bacon.

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 09:39 PM

1. Every grunts best friend is air support. So when you belittle the AF, you do indeed show your ignorance.

Uh-huh, it's called a MAW. For you Taco Bell lovers that's a Marine Air Wing. Look it up in your Air Force handbook. It's right next to close air support and the balls it takes to face someone face to face on the ground in hand to hand combat. I'm sure you would be up to a cordon and search, right? Sure you would.

Now you're saying I denigrate my Old Man's and Brother's service too. Heh! You are one arrogant piece of crap! And you think you are intellectually superior? Morally bankrupt for sure but you seriously don't have sense enough to pour piss out of a boot!

2. I dont think you're stupid. I think that you have sheltered yourself from the truth because it hurts to much to face it.

I dont feel morally superior. Just intellectually.

So, which part of that doesn't show you think I'm stupid? Sheltered from the truth? Your truth? Your idea of the truth is seditious as hell and that makes you a complete loser. Piss up a rope wanker!

3. "You better do it with respect". Well [deleted]you. You are wrapped in the flag like a scallop wrapped in bacon.

Capitalize Flag when you are denigrating it so at least everyone will know that a worthless seditious bastard can play like he knows what he's saying. How's that for name calling? You and John Kerry would make great butt buddies but I'm sure you lean that way anyway eh? Wrap that pantywaist! Don't ask - don't tell!

Anything else you'd like to get off your chest wuss? There's nothing left of your superior mind so it's got to come from your chest since you have no nads. How superior do you feel now to be down in the gutter fighting in the street? Just a pissed off ex-Airman rolling in the muck and mud wrestling in guttural basics. So much for being intellectually superior!

Mind Freak! You lose. That's gotta' suck! But thanks for playing.

E/O/T

Posted by: JarheadDad at June 29, 2006 10:25 PM

I knew with just a little prodding you would go to the your not patriotic rhetoric. Plus you are really quite a man talking [deleted] over the net. I have a feeling that you wouldn't have such a big redneck mouth face to face, [deleted].

Posted by: Duncan at June 29, 2006 10:46 PM

Easy enough to find out Duncan. I live in GA and my e-mail addy is on every post I make. I can give you directions.

Bring your lunch!

Posted by: JarheadDad at June 29, 2006 11:25 PM

Sh*t...now it's a debate between how hardcore be the devotion of two boorish military types. And Cassandra, despite your attempts at a nonchalant, indifferent, smirking - or by your parlance, 'snarky' - superiority, you're making a mockery of intelligent political blogs the Internet over, though I'm sure you've tried your best. At the very least, you've convinced me not to think of myself as cool when I utilize third-person.


This is as much an 'us vs. them' as there could be. The sphere of influence held by the media and that of the White House – and the political parties therein – does (and always will) result in such tendentious schisms that the fracas trickles down as far as high school children in introductory civics courses; henceforth, this is a debate, argument, contest or whatever other word you prefer for conflict. Discussions are often of a contentious nature, and proof of such could not be made any clearer than by the many discussions amid your own blog, you lamentable c**t. I hope you delete this post, or at least censor it, because I want to take no more part in this pathetic drivel. F**k you and your self-admitted deceit-laden sexual past and alcoholism; please, make one of those 'impromptu trips to Milan' permanent and spread your banal obloquy to those of a lesser perspicacity.


There, now I've gone and made a hypocrite of myself and allowed my head of steam to burst and provincially slandered those I was only trying to understand. May your villainous company do some other blogger a spot of good, however doubtful that chance may be.

Posted by: Padraig at June 29, 2006 11:35 PM

Though to be fair, Duncan is by far the closest relative to Cro-Magnon I've ever witnessed. Cassandra, Pile On and JHD do at least some pre-type deliberation. Take a note, Duncan. To be honest, I smell bullsh*t surrounding your 'service history'. Cassandra, you ought to consider starting a 'beginners' blog for these types.

Posted by: Padraig at June 29, 2006 11:42 PM

All right, that's enough.

I've been extremely patient with you all hoping someone would exercise a little self-control, but this has degenerated into nothing more than an exchange of insults, and if you want that, there are other sites who'll be more than happy to oblige you. This isn't one.

Duncan, Padraig, there are only two things you can do to get banned from this site and you've both done them repeatedly: repeatedly provoke and insult other commenters and display an inability to control your language. I don't mind the occasional expletive. I cuss like a sailor myself at the right time and in the right place. I would never dream of doing so in someone else's living room, which is essentially where you are right now. It's just plain rude. And there is never any excuse for being crude. It displays a lack of sophistication and creativity in your mother language which distresses almost more than the limited vocabulary you employ.

Since I have neither the time nor desire to police every single comment, I'll let the odd one pass but I have no desire to see my site turned into a sewer. I expect more from my commenters and I hope my readers expect more from me.

Good day, gentlemen, and I use the term loosely.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 30, 2006 04:34 AM

You guys are no fun. Cass, you made some bunk ass assumptions about me. I think you mistake me for some ungreatful bastard by the phrasing of your response. I have had upmost respect for the people who serve in the united states military for as long as I can remember. Many of my family members have served this country in times of peace and times of war. I've never served, but I do my part to cover all of our asses in in another way. I make optical coatings for use on targeting systems for apache's,M-1 tank,Laser and IR guided missles, f-18 aircraft, all military applications. I help make WMD's. It makes me sick to see a reckless president and a lame congress abuse the powers of the world's largest and finest fighting force in the world. You can not dispute the fact that our entire government system is filled with corruption and strife. I don't think anyone should die in war. I never said that the people in the two towers themselves deserved to die, I just look at it as we have harmed people out there, and they are not too happy about it,so,they got payback. You can't refute that the US has in the past and to this day supports and has dealings with countrys that have not so good humans rights historys and dictatorships. But I guess you guys don't want to talk about it. I guess you guys get right down to hooking up and fight clubbing it. Just talk shit. Don't destroy my line of thinking with witty, sarcastic, reply that would enlighten me on the err of my evil ways.

Posted by: dallas at June 30, 2006 04:40 AM

Dallas:

If you are not a regular reader, I am not likely to spend a huge amount of time trying to convince you of the error of your ways. Put simply, it ain't happenin'. My time is limited and I have more productive uses for it.

You made several rebuttable assertions in your comment (notably 'we started Vietnam to bolster the defense industry' - nevermind John Foster Dulles and containment) but it is not my mission in life to convert you to the Dark Side.

And I utterly reject the notion that an unprovoked terrorist attack on innocent civilians in the WTC was anything they 'had coming'. That is such a ludicrous assertion that it isn't worth the time to argue with it. Period.

End of discussion.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 30, 2006 06:18 AM

To quote Clint Eastwood from "The Unforgiven" (right before he offs Gene Hackman)

"We've all got it coming"

But I think he meant that as some kind of general retribution for having the mark of Cain on us, for those of a Biblical bent.
How thousands in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, or thousands of men, women and children in Iraq "had it coming" that have been MURDERED by Terrorists, the Kurds that were murdered by the Baathists in Iraq during the Anfal (1987-88) begs the question,
"Did the Jews have it coming?"
"Did the Cambodians have it coming?" (re: PolPot and Khmer Rouge)
"Do the black Africans in Darfur have it coming?"

Really? Let's screw ourselves into the ground in a fit of moral equivalency and apoplexy.
The vulgarity of thought on this thread and the gutter-intellectual language of some commenters answers the question quite clearly. You've really distiguished yourselves here.

Not.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at June 30, 2006 10:12 AM

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