God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Nuclear Hypocrisy

posted by jmcgee

Jim WallisThe United States is continuing its efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons potential, and to punish North Korea for developing and testing weapons. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is currently in Asia, pressing the South Korean and Chinese governments to support sanctions against North Korea. President Ahmadinejad of Iran, meanwhile, insists that Iran maintains the right to nuclear technology, and refuses to accept U.N. Security Council actions. There is a growing crisis in the proliferation of nuclear weapons – today’s Christian Science Monitor quotes Mohammed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency: “Another 20 to 30 states” could one day “have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons in a very short span of time.”

mushroom cloudAlso in the news this morning is an announcement by the U.S. government that it is initiating a “Complex 2030” program to develop and deploy 2,200 new nuclear weapons. The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability calls it “a bizarrely inappropriate Dr. Strangelove-esque plan to revitalize the United States’ nuclear weapons production capability in order to manufacture the new Reliable Replacement Warhead, which will potentially drive a new nuclear weapons arms race.” The plan includes repairing and replacing production facilities in several states.

I don’t believe any country should possess nuclear weapons. But the attempt to restrict the development of nuclear weapons by other countries, while continuing to upgrade and modernize our own, is simply hypocrisy. The foundation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty was an agreement by the nuclear powers to reduce and eventually eliminate their nuclear stockpiles in return for other countries agreeing not to acquire them. None of the nuclear powers has upheld their side of the deal. If the U.S. and other nuclear weapons states are serious about preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, they must take the necessary steps toward eliminating their own nuclear arsenals. Hypocrisy doesn’t make good foreign policy.



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js

posted October 20, 2006 at 8:52 pm


Jim, Thank you for pointing out the log in our eye…>



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Daniel

posted October 20, 2006 at 9:08 pm


Great post. I truly believe that a situation of security and stability can only exist when one side chooses to be vulnerable to the other.>



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Elmo

posted October 20, 2006 at 9:23 pm


I’m sure that we’re taking the stance that we won’t use our weapons offensively, but it’s absurd that we need thousands of new warheads…two did more damage than we ever want to do again. And we can’t expect anybody else to take us seriously while we do exactly what we tell them not to. Are we suddenly becoming the big bad wolf?>



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D4P

posted October 20, 2006 at 10:07 pm


But just think how (much more) wealthy the defense company CEOs will become from this! Surely the crumbs from their banquet tables will trickle down to us dogs on the floor…>



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A.B. Dada

posted October 20, 2006 at 10:13 pm


So the basic point of this blog post is to say that it is hypocritical that the U.S. continues to have nuclear arms but wants to tell other countries that they can’t? I agree. The “terrorist” President of Iran also said the same thing, basically asking why they can’t have what the countries telling them NO already have. But I think the hypocrisy extends beyond just the Conservative Right that seems to believe that nuclear self defense is biblical. The majority of anti-war Christians (which tend to walk on the Liberal Left) are hypocrites in their own ways when they promote theft and slavery to produce the “charitable” welfare that they promote (as is even seen in The Politics of Jesus). War to prevent war is evil. So is theft to prevent poverty. Why won’t either side see the evils of their ways, even if they’re done in the name of Jesus?>



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kevin s.

posted October 20, 2006 at 10:22 pm


We are not providing our nuclear weapons to terrorists. North Korea and Iran will. That is why they can’t have them and we can. There is nothing inherently evil about having nuclear weapons. I am allowed to own a gun and live near a school. I wouldn’t extend the same privilege to a convicted pedophile. This is a hollow argument.>



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D4P

posted October 20, 2006 at 10:37 pm


We are not providing our nuclear weapons to terrorists. How do you know? In our history, we have probably given more weapons and training to terrorist groups than any other country in the world, haven’t we…?]]> 2006-10-20T21:50:17-05:00 Mike Hayes 2 hayesmike@InsightBB.com 74.136.15.77 A B Dada, If you find that a substantial portion of your charitable contributions goes to a church and that a substantial portion of that goes to costs of buildings, do you think your church might reduce its budet for building costs, so you could contribute more to charities that do effectively help poor persons here in the US and worldwide? Or to other charitable organizations, perhaps health agencies which support research for cure of diseases like heart failure and cancer?>



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Steve

posted October 20, 2006 at 10:53 pm


Whilst agreeing with d4p above I want to comment on: We are not providing our nuclear weapons to terrorists. North Korea and Iran will. That is why they can’t have them and we can. There is nothing inherently evil about having nuclear weapons. The question is – who gets to decide who is good and who it is bad to supply them to – who is the terrorist? The answer appears to be ‘I do’, in which case Iran can simply say the same. The answer will I imagine relate to the bible – but what do you do with the millions of Christians who wouldn’t see the US as the great good Christian power? It’s one thing to hold on to the waepons you have – to produce thousands more is rididulous.>



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D4P

posted October 20, 2006 at 11:03 pm


Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, we should be thinking about getting more use out of the ones we already have. – Jack Handy All kidding aside, I have a hard time believing that God would prefer us to spend billions (if not trillions…?) on nuclear weapons, rather than using that money to feed, clothe, and minister to the rest of the world.>



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Mike Hayes 2

posted October 20, 2006 at 11:03 pm


The following is a quote from http://www.ananuclear.org/Bomplex2030PR_Oct06a.pdf, the newsletter of the group (Alliance for Nuclear Accountability) which Jim’s link http://www.ananuclear.org/ takes us to: “…In his testimony before Congress in April 2006 discussing nuclear weapons infrastructure, Thomas D Agostino, NNSA s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs stated, ‘we seek an ability to design, develop, certify and begin production of refurbished or replacement warheads within 48 months of a decision to begin engineering development… these timelines would restore us to a level of capability comparable to what we had during the Cold War…’”. Thanks to Jim and to the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. Those among us who are concerned about such a step might consider asking our members of congress about this step by NNSA (the National Nuclear Security Administration).>



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John K

posted October 21, 2006 at 4:03 am


How long do you think it would take Iran to use a nuke if they thought they could destroy Israel, an enemy they have identified for years, but which does not threaten them in the least, has no eye on their territory or assets?? They can’t do it now, but they certainly are saying that they wish someone would! How long do you think it would take America to use a nuke if they thought they could destroy Cuba, an enemy they have identified for years, but which also does not threaten them in the least, has no eye on their territory or assets?? They could have done so years ago. Where do you think you’d more likely get burned in a sea of fire in either of the above scenaria? There really is no comparison, but nonetheless, I wish nukes had never been invented. I’m glad though that Americans got them 1st, in WWII, rather than the Germans or the Japanese. Don’t you think so?>



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Anonymous

posted October 21, 2006 at 4:46 am


“There is nothing inherently evil about having nuclear weapons.” I am not a pacifist but I am a Marine infantry veteran. There is only one use for a handgun or nuclear weapons, and it is ALWAYS evil–even if it is necessary. Anyone who has had to use violence either knows this, or he/she is a sadist. And we are the ONLY nation who has nuclear weapons and who has used them. Matter of fact, we still are: “>http://www.counterpunch.org/davis10092004.html>



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Deno Reno

posted October 21, 2006 at 6:47 am


“… the day of the LORD will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10 this is not a picture of GOD destroying the civilization its telling us that we will destroy it ourselves!!!>



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Kira

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:39 am


Of course it is hypocrisy to tell other nations they shouldn’t/can’t have nuclear weapons while we have them and continue to increase our stockpile. But then the US is a master of hypocrisy.>



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Tenoch

posted October 21, 2006 at 3:21 pm


“I have a hard time believing that God would prefer us to spend billions (if not trillions…?) on nuclear weapons, rather than using that money to feed, clothe, and minister to the rest of the world.” D4P, Haven’t you heard? There’s a new Messiah in town, and he’s all about: 1) preemptively bombing your neighbors (’cause you just never know!), 2) unlawfully occupying their land and other natural resources, 3) unlawful imprisonment and torture, 4) tax cuts for the rich and other wealth-hoarding policies, 5) demonizing immigrants at all costs, 6) advocating for state-enforced religion in all areas of social life, And finally: 7) supporting Corporate Welfare policies in order to build more nuclear weapons. C’mon D4P, turn away from your liberal propaganda, pick up your sword and follow the new Messiah. And don’t forget to condemn anyone who dares to think or say otherwise. Mean-spirited, hate-filled personal attacks and other baseless accusations are the preferred “debate” tactic.>



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kevin s.

posted October 21, 2006 at 6:12 pm


“There is only one use for a handgun or nuclear weapons, and it is ALWAYS evil–even if it is necessary.” Actually, nuclear weapons were used as a deterrent during the Cold War. I would argue that this was not an evil way to put them to use. My point is that the mere having of weapons is not in itself evil. Whether self-defense or wartime killing is evil, well that’s a different discussion alogether. “Of course it is hypocrisy to tell other nations they shouldn’t/can’t have nuclear weapons while we have them and continue to increase our stockpile. But then the US is a master of hypocrisy.” This could be said of any weapon, in accordance with your line of thinking. But I don’t think your point is valid. We know well that the intentions of Iran and North Korea by the way they treat their own people. There isn’t any real comparison, which renders this line of argumentation moot. The average American (in addition to Americans who aren’t so average) is not going to abide by policymakers who are unwilling to defend our nation because we once dropped bombs in Japan, or because we conspired (allegedly) to assassinate an Iranian president more than 50 years ago. We expect a national defense, and we have a right to it. If you want to argue that crafting nuclear weapons does not constitute an effective means of protecting our country, go ahead and make that case. But save the “whose better, U.S. or Iran.” For community college philosophy classes.>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 7:03 pm


Kevin, I think it’s been proven that the CIA sponsored the coup that overthrew Mossadeq and installed the corrupt Shah. Mossadeq would have nationalized the Iranian oil industry and forced the US and the UK to deal with a democracy instead of a totalitarian government. Yes it was 50 years ago but the blowback gave the Iranian people an even worse government, that we have to deal with today. No one will argue with you that America doesn’t have a right to defend itself. But I doubt the Bush administration’s sincerity in pursuing nuclear arms reduction and nuclear non proliferation. Most experts on nuclear arms agree that Bush’s foreign policy has made the world a far more dangerous place. And I agree, the who’s better, US or Iran argument is pointless. .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 8:06 pm


Wallis doesn’t understand international politics or military strategy. Strategic deterrence prevents wars and death, and is one of our greatest tools in that regard. We build the B-2 bomber so we don’t have to use the B-2 bomber… Anyway, you guys are running into the same ethical dilemma as the UN, that being the moral equivalency of nations. This problem led to nations such as Syria getting on the Human Rights Council while the US (arguably the greatest supporter of human rights around the world – you’ll all disagree with me on this, I know) gets booted. I do believe the “who’s better” argument is important in this discussion. I would have no problem before God using weapons in combat fighting for the US – nuclear if need be – and would lose little sleep if I flew the bombing runs over Hiroshima or Nagasaki. We can get into nuances, and if I really opposed a war, I would have to be a conscientious objector. But internationally and in general, the US is good and nations like Iran and N. Korea are bad. You can’t equate them. Tenoch, Who in the world are you talking about? .>



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kevin s.

posted October 21, 2006 at 8:43 pm


“I do believe the “who’s better” argument is important in this discussion.” My point is that, in pragmatic terms, there is no real discussion to be had. “Mean-spirited, hate-filled personal attacks and other baseless accusations are the preferred “debate” tactic.” Clearly.>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 8:54 pm


I meant it is important to reject the moral equivalency idea in general (thus an important point to make – by “discussion” I meant a premise in my argument), which is Wallis’ initial error, but I agree that that debate won’t go anywhere here. .>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:03 pm


HAC says, “Wallis doesn’t understand international politics or military strategy. Strategic deterrence prevents wars and death, and is one of our greatest tools in that regard.” So if strategic deterrence works, why don’t we rely on strategic deterrence with Iran? “Mutually Assured Destruction” (the MAD concept) kept the US and the Soviet Union stabilized during the Cold War and still does. Israel is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. We are Israel’s faithful ally. If Iran were to use a nuclear weapon against Israel, they would be annihilated. Don’t you think Iran knows this? Is Bush really afraid of Iran’s nuclear program, or is he just grandstanding again by threatening Iran and sending the Eisenhower carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf? If Bush is sincere about nuclear weapons proliferation, why did Bush exonerate A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist who has been spreading nuclear weapons technology through the Middle East and to North Korea? Pakistan now has the bomb, so does India. Why did Bush approve sharing nuclear weapons technology with India? Bombs for mangos? Bush has failed to continue the program for tracking “loose nukes” from the former Soviet Union Republics. Bush has initiated development of a new generation of nuclear weapons. Russia no longer trusts the Bush administration when it comes to nuclear weapons proliferation. It’s a little too late now for Bush’s grandstanding on nuclear weapons proliferation. Now the nuclear cat is out of the bag, in large part due to Bush’s lackadaisical approach to nuclear weapons proliferation. Bush can’t even pronounce nuclear. I would go a lot further than Jim Wallis in characterizing Bush’s nuclear attitude as “hypocrisy”. Bush’s criminally irresponsible foreign policy has escalated the level of fear and global insecurity. The world is a far more dangerous place than it was 6 years ago because of Bush. And he might just start another war. At least he wants the world to think he is prepared to start another war. The longer he stays in power the more damage he will do to peace and security around the world. .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:15 pm


why don’t we rely on strategic deterrence with Iran? We are right now as a means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The whole idea of strategic deterrence is to prevent other countries from building up weapons to fight us. We helped bring down communism in Russia by outspending them (thus, they stopped building weapons and imploded). You confuse MAD with strategic deterrence, however. MAD was a response to already existing nuclear weapons in the USSR and required both nations to have equal destructive power. Strategic deterrence requires that we always have the upper hand, and is why we keep nuclear weapons deployed around the world (in Trident class submarines, for instance). .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:15 pm


You can’t blame Bush for every problem in the world. .>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:29 pm


Point remains. Bush is insincere about reducing the level of danger from nuclear weapons proliferation. His actions prove that. His actions towards Iran are more dangerous than the threat Iran poses to global security. .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:33 pm


You don’t think Iran poses much of a threat (I know you didn’t say this, but I’m curious how much of a threat you think they are)? Wasn’t Mien Kamp one of the best selling books in Iran recently? That should say at least something. .>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:34 pm


“You can’t blame Bush for every problem in the world.” For six years now, Bush has had an unlimited budget with no oversight from the rubberstamp Republican Congress. Who else is there to blame for the mess we’re in except Bush? .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:38 pm


You mean the Republicans who are divided on most issues? As a conservative, I’ve been very upset that the Republicans haven’t pushed for conservative reform. Sure, they did a couple things here and there, but not close to enough. I’m not alone. If the Republicans lose seats this year, it’s because they haven’t been conservative enough and gotten things done when they could have. I believe most political analysts would agree with this. To say Bush could do anything he wanted is not understanding the political landscape very well. .>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:50 pm


HAC, Yes, Iran is a threat to our security. But not so much from their nuclear development program. Due to Bush’s botched invasion of Iraq, Iran has gained much more influence in the MIddle East and therefore is a much bigger threat to our security and our access to Middle East oil resources. There has been a groundswell of popular support for Western culture in Iran which has been developing over the last two decades. This groundswell of popular attraction to Western culture is being stifled by war fever. The more confrontational Bush gets with Iran, the more nationalistic the Iranian people will become and the more power the extremist Islamic government will hold over the people. Bush is counterproductive to peace and security in the civilized world. Texas style barroom diplomacy doesn’t work very well in the Middle East. .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 9:54 pm


The “groundswell” of support has been “developing” ever since extremists took over the government. I’d like it to materialize into something, but just don’t see that happening (especially with the last election).>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 10:03 pm


The last election in Iran, was heavily influenced by Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The more aggressive Bush gets in the Middle East, the more nationalistic Middle Eastern nations become and, in Iran’s case, the more power goes to the Mullahs. .>



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Joseph

posted October 21, 2006 at 10:20 pm


Perhaps some of you would like to volunteer for a measure of the kind of goodness America has bestowed on Iraq, or Native Americans,or African slaves. America’s goodness is a product of its struggle with America’s evil. It appears that some of you have a faith that requires the demonization of entire countries,and an exaggerated sense of the goodness of your own country. This kind of blindly self righteous and warlike patriotism was at the center of the Fascist states. It is a quality the writers of the Constitution hoped to limit and balance by promoting checks against the unification of the powers of Government in the hands of a few, and by insuring freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.All of these Constitutional rights have been undermined by the current Republican Leadership. So far no babies have been saved. Historically, the record of warfare and weaponry as tools for promoting peace between nations is dismal. I say more ploughshares, fewer atomic swords. And thanks, Jim Wallis.>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 10:26 pm


You’ll note that the prophesy you refer to regarding plowshares speaks only to after the Second Coming of Christ. This coming will bring much bloodshed. This doesn’t justify any action in and of itself. My point is that peace comes only when evil is defeated, which is something America has fought against many times in history.>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 10:32 pm


HAC, I disagree about the Republicans in Congress being divided. They rubberstamp everything Bush gives to them. What do you like about what they’ve rubberstamped so far and what more do you think they should do? I also disagree with you about why Republicans are going to lose seats in Congress this year. Republicans are losing American voters because of Bush’s failed invasion of Iraq, because Americans don’t like being lied to by their government, because of Bush’s irresponsible fiscal management, because of corrupted Republican politicians in Congress, because Americans have witnessed the failure of this Republican administration to deliver effective government (read Katrina) and because they are tired of the divisive political tactics used by the Republican party to stay in power. What did I miss? Republicans aren’t losing because they haven’t been Conservative enough. Instead it’s because they are driven by an ideologically Radical agenda. .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 10:47 pm


They rubberstamp everything Bush gives to them. Like reforming social security? Give me some unique examples where they rubberstamped things from the President (i.e., compared to Clinton with Democrats, etc.).>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:06 pm


HAC, The Republicans in Congress would have rubberstamped Bush’s SS plan but they could see the majority of American people were opposed to it. This is the point where a lot of pundits think Americans began to turn against Bush. What killed SS was the American people could see through the Bush snake oil salesmanship. SS is not in financial trouble. If Bush leaves it alone, it’s good for several decades. The GAO confirmed this. Bush’s plan didn’t pencil out, either. It would have cost the treasury billions to implement. Bush’s SS plan was just a scheme to turn SS into a gravy train for Wall Street. HAC, how old are you? Are you independantly wealthy and don’t need SS? Or you just aren’t following the money very closely? .>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:21 pm


I’m young enough that I don’t expect to get any. I’m not independently wealthy by any means, but am relying solely on personal investments for later in life. Having a good chunk of my paycheck taken away to support a failing program makes those investments a little harder for those on the lower end of the middle class like me. Bush’s plan had a chance at saving the program. As it is, it’s going to die. I’d rather just get rid of it, but what do I know. I’m just one of those crazy non-wealthy conservatives… Regardless, your rubberstamp Republican Congress idea still holds no water.>



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Harriet Miers

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:23 pm


I wasn’t rubberstamped.>



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kevin s.

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:29 pm


Social Security reform failed because opponents used snake oil techniques to rope in the AARP (whose membership would have been uniformly unaffected by the change). The AARP had plenty of power to stop the Bush administration. Your view of the political landscape needs a nuance that I don’t think your finding at dailykos. As far as the Iranian election goes, it was clearly a sham, regardless of what happened in Iraq.>



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HAC

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:32 pm


It was a sham. True. Regardless, the “growing groundswell” of opposition has had no effect in Iran. I hope they do. That would be best. But to hope it happens anytime soon is wishful thinking…>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:38 pm


Harriet, Congress would have rubberstamped you if Dobson, Kristol, Buckley, Viguerie and others outside of Congress hadn’t blown the whistle on your lack of Christian extremist credentials, your lack of experience and your obvious loyalty to Bush. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:48 pm


Dobosn had no opposition to Harriet Miers. The conservative establishment opposed her nomination on the grounds that she lacked the gravity and experience to carry the torch of a conservative judicial philosophy. The opposition had nothing to do with her political views, or her “extremist credentials” (whatever the heck that means), and had nothing to do with the Christian right. Again, politics is more complicated than you seem to think it is.>



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justintime

posted October 21, 2006 at 11:59 pm


Kevin says, “Social Security reform failed because opponents used snake oil techniques to rope in the AARP (whose membership would have been uniformly unaffected by the change). The AARP had plenty of power to stop the Bush administration. Your view of the political landscape needs a nuance that I don’t think your finding at dailykos.” Wrong again, Kevin. AARP promoted Bush’s snake oil plan at first, until AARP members began to realize that AARP is largely supported by insurance and investment industry advertising. Since the insurance and investment industry would have been the main beneficiaries of Bush’s plan, AARP members recognized a conflict of interest and began dropping out of AARP in droves. The AARP CEO got fired because of his ill considered support of the Bush plan. The AARP did not stop Bush’s SS plan, though. They merely withdrew their support, which just added to the momentum generated by the public awareness. Economic facts from the General Accounting Office were what killed Bush’s SS plan. Bush’s plan was a poorly thought out scheme to turn SS into a gravy train for Wall street and the insurance industry. And Bush’s claim that SS was in financial trouble is an outright LIE. At the time of the SS debate, Talking Points Memo had the best information about Social Security on the internet. You should check their archives from that time period if you want to learn the truth about SS. I followed the SS debate very closely and you’re just wrong, Kevin. But Daily Kos is a good site if you’re interested in grassroots politics. .>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 12:06 am


I think you’ll find Dobson did oppose Meiers. Kevin, Dobson was expecting another Scalia or Thomas and felt he was blind sided by the Meiers nomination. I certainly remember that. No one knew her political views anyway. All we knew for sure was that she would do anything for Bush And she doesn’t have the experience or gravitas to be on the Supreme Court, let alone carry the Conservative torch, whatever that is. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 22, 2006 at 6:37 am


The AARP ran ads attacking the plan. Lots of ‘em. You have used the term “gravy train for wall street” about 10 times so far, as though that is inherently bad. To the extent that it was a gravy train for Wall Street, that was because the increased investment would benefit investors, which a) include 60% of the population and b) would, by definition, include those who invested in the personal account Bush proposed. In other words, if you are saying it would have been a gravy train for Wall St., you are saying ti would have been a gravy train for those who invested in the accounts. And you would be right. Dobson’s approved of Miers even more quickly than he approved of John Roberts. It is an invention of the left wing blogsites that Miers was forced out by (what they deem to be) religious extremists. If you are unaware of what carrying the torch of conservative judicial philosophy means, or why that was important, nay, crucial, to Miers’ withdrawal, then that is my point exactly. You don’t understand conservative philosophy, and so you lump us together into a bogeyman of your creation.>



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Jonathan

posted October 22, 2006 at 7:43 am


I agree, Jim. It’s hypocritical AND paternalistic; however, the clock cannot be turned back, and we can’t eliminate either the knowledge or technology to create nuclear weapons. If the United States were to hypothetically eliminate its nuclear arsenal, we could pretty much count on being nuked by a rogue nation or terrorist group. In my opinion, we should focus on ABM technology and assurance of retaliation. If someone tries to attack us, hopefully we’ll be able to intercept and destroy the weapon. That leaves the door open to harsh, but non-nuclear, retaliation. Of course, if defensive measures fail, we must retaliate with nuclear force in order to send a strong message to those who might do likewise in the future. Again, in my opinion, we were able to wait out the end of the Soviet Empire because we had the weapons for retaliation in case of an attack, and because they knew we had not hesitated to use nuclear weapons before. So, cut the hypocrisy, quit the paternalism, stop bossing everyone around, praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 3:19 pm


Kevin, You are right that AARP ran ads against Bush’s SS plan – according to one account, $5 million worth. However, AARP was pressured by their membership to do so. At first AARP’s top executives came out in favor of Bush’s plan, which set off a mass exodus of AARP members. The ads were run in the later stages of Bush’s campaign, when the tide of public support had begun to turn against Bush’s plan. This is why I don’t think the AARP can be credited with stopping the plan as you claim. After financial analyses were performed on the scant details of Bush’s plan, it was obvious to most observors that the plan simply could not work. Mathematics is what really killed the Bush plan, together with Bush’s humorous performances, such as this talk, delivered in front of a group of seniors: THE PRESIDENT: Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There’s a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those — changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be — or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It’s kind of muddled. Look, there’s a series of things that cause the — like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate — the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those — if that growth is affected, it will help on the red. Okay, better? I’ll keep working on it. Would you sign up for a retirement plan like that one? .>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 3:35 pm


Kevin, I used a little research to refresh my memory of the Meiers nomination. And I stand corrected: Dobson, Robertson and others of the Christian right did buy into the Meiers nomination. Karl Rove overcame Dobson’s initial concerns by privately assuring him that Meiers would go along with the Christian right agenda. Mr. Dobson, the influential founder of the conservative evangelical group Focus on the Family, has said he is supporting Ms. Miers’s nomination in part because of something he has been told but cannot divulge. He has not disclosed the source of the information, but he has acknowledged speaking with Karl Rove, President Bush’s top political adviser, about the president’s pick before it was announced. On his radio program last Wednesday, Mr. Dobson said, “When you know some of the things that I know – that I probably shouldn’t know – you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice.” He added, in a reference to aborted fetuses, “if I have made a mistake here, I will never forget the blood of those babies that will die will be on my hands to some degree.” So don’t let it be said that I don’t acknowledge being corrected.>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 6:03 pm


Kevin says, “If you are unaware of what carrying the torch of conservative judicial philosophy means, or why that was important, nay, crucial, to Miers’ withdrawal, then that is my point exactly. You don’t understand conservative philosophy, and so you lump us together into a bogeyman of your creation.” Frankly, Conservative judicial philosophy has always puzzled me. Here are some examples: 1. Scalia and his tortured opinion on Bush v Gore. 2. John Yoo and his theories of unlimited executive powers. 3. References to not “legislating from the bench” yet seeing conservative judges manipulate our Constitution to fit their intentions. 4. Ignoring the explicit separation of Church and State provisions in our Constitution. I could go on with examples that make me wonder what is conservative about “conservative judicial philosophy”. Many of the examples that come to mind seem more Radical than Conservative. Kevin, could you outline the basic tenets of what you consider to be conservative judicial philosophy? .>



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Timbo

posted October 22, 2006 at 7:27 pm


Justintime, my perception is that your examples are more radical because of the loaded language with which you purport to describe them than in the content of those examples. Take #1, which says, “Scalia and his tortured opinion on Bush v Gore.” Justintime, while you may very well have good reasons to think that Scalia was erroneous, that you describe it with the word “tortured” is a strong indicator that your disagreement is more due to its outcome than its reasoning. You have committed the poisoning the well fallacy. As for the rest of your examples, #3 is unsubstantiated, and, I think, one-sided. Conservatives can point to the Kelo decision or Roe v Wade where judges have explicitly contradicted the constitution, and in both examples, the judges were liberal. In #4 you accuse conservatives of ignoring the explicit separation of Church and State provisions in our Constitution, yet the words “separation of church and state” are nowhere to be found in the text of the constitution. The First Amendment limits the power of Congress, not the power of the people.>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 9:25 pm


Timbo, I was hoping someone would venture a short explanation of what “conservative judicial philosophy” really means to conservatives. Without any such explanation to guide me, I rely on the definitions for “conservative” and “radical” and on my own perceptions of recent decisions by so called conservative jurists and activities of so called conservatives. To me, “conservative” means resisting change and “radical” means embracing change. Applying these definitions to legal philosophy, one would think that conservative jurists would resist changing established law and radical jurists would be more likely to “legislate from the bench”. The phrase “legislate from the bench” is vague, yet has been used by the White House to describe jurists considered to be “liberal”, and not desirable for nominations to the Federal Judiciary. So back to Bush v Gore: “Tortured” is not my descriptor for Scalia’s majority opinion. It has appeared many times in essays on the Bush v Gore decision written by legal experts. A petition criticizing the decision, signed by a majority of America’s law professors, was published in the New York Times shortly after the decision was handed down. Scalia’s majority opinion announced that the ruling was limited to the present circumstances and could not be cited as precedent. But many legal scholars insist that this assertion was itself dictum the part of a legal opinion that is nonbinding and illegitimate, because under the doctrine of stare decisis, courts cannot make rulings whose reasoning applies only to a single case. The Supreme Court has not cited it once since it was decided, and when Justice Antonin Scalia, who loves to hold forth on court precedents, was asked about it at a forum earlier this year (2006), he snapped, Come on, get over it. This is why I consider Scalia’s opinion tortured logic justifying a Radical decision. No comment on John Yoo’s theories of unlimited executive powers? You’ll have to agree this is a Radical position. Although the specific phrase “Separation of Church and State” does not appear in the US Constitution, the intent is clear in The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” The intent of the original framers is reinforced in two letters: James Madison, the principal drafter of the Bill of Rights, often wrote of “total separation of the church from the state” (1819 letter to Walsh); “Strongly guarded . . . is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States.”, and he declared “practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States” (1811 letter to Baptist Churches). A letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group identifying themselves as the Danbury Baptists. In that letter, quoting the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, he writes: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Conservatives have been relentlessly challenging the separation of Church and State concept. I see this as Radical and not Conservative. What does the phrase “conservative judicial philosophy” mean to you? .>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 9:34 pm


Please add to the above examples the Radical assault on the Constitutional rights to privacy and habeas corpus by so-called conservatives. .>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 10:12 pm


Timbo says, Conservatives can point to the Kelo decision or Roe v Wade where judges have explicitly contradicted the constitution, and in both examples, the judges were liberal. I’m not familiar with the Kelo decision. How do the Kelo and Roe v Wade decisions explicitly contradict the Constitution? One contradiction does not justify another contradiction, though. .>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 10:44 pm


One more example: American judges have actually been threatened by so-called Conservative politicians, such as Tom Delay, former US House Republican majority whip-bagman-enforcer and prominent member of the Christian right. Do you think threatening judges could be considered a Radical act? .>



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kevin s.

posted October 22, 2006 at 10:56 pm


“Constitutional rights to privacy” The right to privacy is a fabrication of a liberal judge in the first place. it is not in the Constitution. I have not seen where John Yoo has advocated for unlimited executive powers. Please point me to an essay where he defends this idea and I’ll take a look. The Kelo v. New London decision held that previous constraints on the governmental acquisition of private property were overly restrictive. Specifically, it said that the definition of “public use” could be construed to mean anything the government wanted it to, as it pertained to taking private property. The decision was a breach of extraordinary magnitude (talk about an example of tortured reasoning) as it effectively rendered null the right to own private property. By “radical assault habeus corpus”, I assume you are referring now to narrow interpretations of the rule as it applies to foreign detainees who are not prisoners of war. These readings are fundamentally correct from a constitutional perspective. Timbo is correct that the Consitution does not explicityl separate church and state. Attributing the acknowledged contemporary meaning of the phrase to Jefferson’s reference to the concept is entirely misleading. Regardless, I have seen very little from conservatives on the bench that suggests they are attempting to eliminate this hypothetical wall.>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 11:05 pm


Kevin, How about a brief description of “conservative judicial philosophy”? .>



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Meana

posted October 22, 2006 at 11:34 pm


I think that Nolan needs to look at his staff too not just the players.>



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Meana

posted October 22, 2006 at 11:44 pm


The right to privacy is a fabrication of a liberal judge in the first place. it is not in the Constitution. You’re no libertarian if you believe that, Kevin .>



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Meana

posted October 22, 2006 at 11:47 pm


Kevin says, “The Kelo v. New London decision held that previous constraints on the governmental acquisition of private property were overly restrictive. Specifically, it said that the definition of “public use” could be construed to mean anything the government wanted it to, as it pertained to taking private property. The decision was a breach of extraordinary magnitude (talk about an example of tortured reasoning) as it effectively rendered null the right to own private property.” This is not what I get out of researching this issue, Kevin. I think you’ve peppered your explanation with a lot of hysteria from the right wing property rights crowd. .>



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justintime

posted October 22, 2006 at 11:55 pm


Kevin says, By “radical assault habeus corpus”, I assume you are referring now to narrow interpretations of the rule as it applies to foreign detainees who are not prisoners of war. These readings are fundamentally correct from a constitutional perspective The interpretations are not as narrow as you think. Under the new law, an American citizen can be denied habeas corpus if they are considered a terrorist. Who decides if you are a terrorist? Why, the decider decides. How is this conservative? Why aren’t libertarians tearing their hair out over this? Who is Meana? Those were my posts.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 12:06 am


Kevin says, Regardless, I have seen very little from conservatives on the bench that suggests they are attempting to eliminate this hypothetical wall. Really, what about Judge Moore, I believe it was? The “Conservative” Judge with the 10 commandments carved in stone in his courtroom? There are numerous other examples of attempts to breach the wall of Separation of Church and State by “Conservative Christians”. And there are an increasing number of Christian extremist judges appointed by the Bush administration to Federal District Courts. These extremist Bush appointees are sympathetic to blurring the distinction between Church and State, as is Bush himself. I’m still looking for an easy to understand piece on “conservative judicial philosophy”. Can you help me out, Kevin? .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 1:18 am


“I’m still looking for an easy to understand piece on “conservative judicial philosophy”. Can you help me out, Kevin?” There are varying characteristics. However, generally speaking, a conservative judicial philosophy believes that, if the Constitution does not change, neither should the interpretation of law. When new challenges (e.g. bioethics) come before the court, the court must consider this challenge in light of their responsibility (which is limited) and in adherence to what is actually written in the Constitution. Of course, this does run counter to the direction of the courts over the last several decades. In that sense, it is conservative politically to approve of a conservative judicial philosophy. However, it is incorrect to say that a conservative judicial philosophy is driven by a desire to return things to the way they were. For example, if the supreme court decided that using condoms was illegal, this would be an act of activism, and would not adhere to a conservative judicial philosophy, as the Constitution makes no mention of contraceptives. This would be an act of liberal judicial thinking on behalf of a (very, very) conservative political cause.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 1:19 am


“You’re no libertarian if you believe that, Kevin.” Correct.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 1:21 am


“Really, what about Judge Moore, I believe it was? The “Conservative” Judge with the 10 commandments carved in stone in his courtroom?” I don’t think he was making a legal decision, but rather one of protestation, as a citizen and government employee. However, the extent to which this violates a wall between church and state is debatable (the man who originally authored the phrase would disagree that this is an example).>



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HAC

posted October 23, 2006 at 2:05 am


Justin, I haven’t been able to read the entire discussion here, but I wanted to point out that your claims to Bush having a rubberstamp Congress conflict with your statement that one of the reasons Meiers was not nominated was her “obvious loyalty to Bush”. .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 2:58 am


HAC, The rubberstamp Republican Congress never got a chance to rubberstamp Meiers because, under pressure from conservative bulwarks of the Republican party mostly from outside Congress, pressured Meiers (and Bush) to withdraw the nomination. If this hadn’t happened, the Republican rubberstamp Congress might well have rubberstamped Meiers as well. HAC, if you look at the Republican voting records on Bush offered legislation you’ll see why I call it the Republican rubberstamp Congress. If you’re a Republican Congressman and you don’t vote with the Republican bloc, you most likely won’t get reelected because you lose corporate campaign cash, funnelled through the Republican party leadership in the House, formerly managed by the master bagman himself, Tom Delay, who is indicted and presently facing trial for violating campaign contribution laws in Texas. When Jack Abramoff finishes singing to the FBI, Delay will face more serious charges that will most likely land him in prison, too. It’s not clear who will succeed Delay as master House Republican Party bagman because the Republican leadership in the House is collapsing due to sex scandals and lying to cover them up. If you call it the corrupted rubberstamp Republican Congress you’ll be pretty much accurate. This is no theory either, this is a fact. .>



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Mike Hayes 2

posted October 23, 2006 at 3:16 am


“…For example, if the supreme court decided that using condoms was illegal, this would be an act of activism, and would not adhere to a conservative judicial philosophy, as the Constitution makes no mention of contraceptives. This would be an act of liberal judicial thinking on behalf of a (very, very) conservative political cause…”. Were condoms available in the late 18th century? I don’t know, but I suspect not. I don’t think the intent was to say that conservatives object to any regulation of new technology that wasn’t in existence at the time the constitution was written, and I do understand the intent was to illustrate the possibility that liberal thinking might enforce conservative beliefs. My impression was that the writers of the constitution intended to provide a framework for judicial decisionmaking, that would evolve as circumstances change, over time. If that is correct, that implies the necessity for “activist judges”, for interpretation of the constitution, over decades and centuries, to account for improvements that take place after the writing of the constitution..>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 3:19 am


“If you call it the corrupted rubberstamp Republican Congress you’ll be pretty much accurate. This is no theory either, this is a fact.” Who’s the fundamentalist here?>



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HAC

posted October 23, 2006 at 3:31 am


Sorry, but you simply have no evidence for a rubberstamp Congress.>



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HAC

posted October 23, 2006 at 3:33 am


If that is correct, that implies the necessity for “activist judges”, for interpretation of the constitution, over decades and centuries, to account for improvements that take place after the writing of the constitution.. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! That is what AMENDING the Constitution is for.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:03 am


Timbo, I’m a realist, not a fundamentalist. I just read the papers. Do you read the papers? HAC, Take a look at the House Republican Party members’ voting records. That’s my evidence. It’s right in front of you, if you want to look at it. Haven’t you noticed this already? I’ve been watching Congressional voting for six years. I tell you, they’ve been rubberstamping Bush for six years. They don’t even give Democrats time to read the legislation before they call for a vote. They deny Democrats a chance to debate most of the legislation. They have voted in the middle of the night to push bills past the Democrats. This has been going on for six years and you haven’t noticed this? You must not care what your representatives do if you’re not paying attention to their voting records? Maybe you don’t even know what they’ve been voting on. I’m simply astonished that you haven’t noticed how the rubberstamp Republican Congress has been voting. .>



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HAC

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:06 am


Is it any different than the Democrat voting record with Clinton? I’d be interested in seeing a comparison. You still have no evidence.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:15 am


Well, HAC, I shouldn’t have to prove to you what you can find out for yourself. You have to be curious and you have to put out some effort to get to the truth. Here’s a website that allows you to browse every vote in Congress since 1991. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/ Have fun. .>



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HAC

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:20 am


Justin, You have brought an allegation forth, thus you must prove it. You have not. Referencing every vote of Congress means nothing unless you can prove something by it.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:32 am


“If you’re a Republican Congressman and you don’t vote with the Republican bloc, you most likely won’t get reelected because you lose corporate campaign cash” Wow…. You might do some research on Chafee vs. Laffey…. Lincoln Chafee, as you’ll recall, didn’t even VOTE for Pres. Bush.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:36 am


FTR, I supported Laffey.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:38 am


HAC, I gave you detailed proof of the Bush administration’s lies to justify his invasion of Iraq and you still refused to believe it. HAC, if you vote in the national elections, it’s your responsibility to inform yourself and get the facts. If you’re too lazy to do that, you should leave voting up to the people who do take the trouble to find out the facts. I make my allegation based on my six years of experience watching those Republicans vote. If you want to disprove my allegation, go ahead and try. I stand by it. .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:47 am


Kevin, Chafee is a rather unusual Senator because of his relative independance, or rather his appearance of being an independant thinker. But, when the numbers are close and the rubberstampers need Chafee’s vote, they get it. Snowe and Collins from Maine are almost in the same category as Chafee. They look like they’re independant thinkers, but they’re not really. Do you live in Rhode Island, Kevin? .>



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Butch

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:48 am


Justine debating with people who’s only interest is to take up your time and make apologies for Bush is a waste of time. Every blog I’ve read has the same type of people, I even wonder if some are the same with different handles.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:49 am


You could be right about that, Butch. .>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:03 am


“Every blog I’ve read has the same type of people, I even wonder if some are the same with different handles.” Like justintime and Meana?>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:04 am


“Do you read the papers?” Which papers are those?>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:19 am


Meana/Justintime, thanks for pointing to that site, where it says that among Democrats, 29 supported the Iraq war while only 21 opposed: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/107/senate/2/votes/237/ Those wacky rubberstamping Senate Democrats!>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:42 am


Timbo, Democrats tend to think for themselves rather than follow the party line all the time. Bush lied to the Senate and the House about Saddam and his nonexistent WMD’s. One of my Senators voted to turn Bush loose on Iraq and one had the courage to vote no. At least they didn’t all rubberstamp the Iraq war like the Republicans did. Now look what’s happened in Iraq. Bush lied us into a war we didn’t need to fight. He’s a war criminal with blood on his hands. And you defend him. You should know better. But you don’t even want to know the truth. Shame on you. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:45 am


“Democrats tend to think for themselves rather than follow the party line all the time.” Oh, BS.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:47 am


“Do you read the papers?” Which papers are those? The newspapers, Timbo. Do you read them? .>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:55 am


“Democrats tend to think for themselves rather than follow the party line all the time.” You mean the party that rejected Lieberman? As the party that thinks for itself, they were not very tolerant of Joe’s difference of opinion on the war.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:56 am


“Democrats tend to think for themselves rather than follow the party line all the time.” Oh, BS. It’s the truth, Kevin Check out that WaPo website. And tell us what was the Republican vote on the Iraq war. .>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:57 am


“The newspapers, Timbo. Do you read them?” What’s a newspaper? As a Republican, I follow the party line.>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:02 am


I suppose the ten Republicans who did not vote to impeach Clinton were free-thinkers. The 45 Democrats who voted against impeachment, of course, were not following the party line, right? “>http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/106/senate/1/votes/17/>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:07 am


Timbo, If you think Lieberman thinks for himself, you’re dead wrong. Joe does what big corporations tell him to do. His wife is a big bucks pharmaceutical industry lobbyist. Lieberman is a stealth Republican. Always has been. Gore’s biggest mistake was to run with Joe. Joe has been selling out the Democratic party for years. He lost the Democratic Primary. So the Dems finally smoked him out. And now the Republican Party is funding his campaign against the winner of the Connecticut Democratic Senate Primary, Ned Lamont. Republicans should have been paying Lieberman’s way all along. .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:16 am


I suppose the ten Republicans who did not vote to impeach Clinton were free-thinkers. The 45 Democrats who voted against impeachment, of course, were not following the party line, right? That’s ancient history, Timbo. I’m talking about the Republican rubberstamp Bush Congress that’s in there right now. But I wouldn’t call those 10 Republicans free thinkers necessarily. I would call them intelligent honest men, not hypocrites like the rest of the Republican lynch Clinton mob. The lynch mob ringleaders cheated on their wives, too. And if you want to talk about sex scandals. Take a look at today’s House Republicans. How come every time you Republicans start to lose an argument, you bring up Bill Clinton? .>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:35 am


“How come every time you Republicans start to lose an argument, you bring up Bill Clinton?” I’m a Republican. We follow the party line. The impeachment of Clinton was our heyday, so it’s fun to go back. I certainly didn’t bring it up to refute your claim that “Democrats tend to think for themselves rather than follow the party line all the time.”>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:55 am


I’m gonna go read a book. The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong G’nite. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 4:40 pm


“It’s the truth, Kevin Check out that WaPo website.” I checked the last 20 house votes. In 4 cases, the cotes were, essentially unanimous. In 9 cases, the vote was essentially split down party lines. In 4 cases, more then 5% of democrats broke from their majorities. In 5 cases, more than 5% of Republicans broke from their majorities.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 5:53 pm


Kevin, Republican party discipline has been eroding in recent months and continues to erode. Losing Delay has definitely affected Republican party discipline. Voting patterns during Delay’s tenure will more dramatically support the rubberstamp label. On bills where the outcome is already known before the vote is taken (as in most votes) certain Republicans will vote the opposing position just to preserve an illusion of non partisanship. The key is the percentage of legislation proposed by the Bush administration that gets rubberstamped. This percentage is remarkably high during the years of the Republican rubberstamp Congress. Did you check the Republican vote on the Iraq war resolution? .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:03 pm


“Republican party discipline has been eroding in recent months and continues to erode.” This directly conflicts with the argument you just made.>



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Timbo

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm


“On bills where the outcome is already known before the vote is taken (as in most votes) certain Republicans will vote the opposing position just to preserve an illusion of non partisanship.” Justin, you must be in great shape considering the amount of stretching you do each morning.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:18 pm


Kevin, The rubberstamp Republican Congress needed an enforcer to be effective. Their enforcer, Tom Delay, has taken a fall. Now that House Republicans are in disarray, they’re all trying to save themselves. Bush and Cheney are radioactive. Republicans don’t even want to be seen with them on the campaign trail. It’s not surprising that party discipline is disintegrating, now is it? The Republican rubberstampers have already done incredible damage to our government, which will take a generation to repair. .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:22 pm


Timbo, Those “certain Republicans” include, but are not limited to, Lincoln Chafee, John McCain, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:28 pm


The group of “certain Republicans” are the ones that try to preserve an appearance of being independent thinkers, advancing the idea of bipartisan cooperation. They are often seen posturing as if they are reaching out to the Democrats. This is probably why you don’t like them. Arlen Specter belongs in this group as well. But, when the Republican party needs their votes, they are likely to sell out on bi-partisanship. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 6:33 pm


“The rubberstamp Republican Congress needed an enforcer to be effective. Their enforcer, Tom Delay, has taken a fall.” Nope. The enforcer was majority whip Roy Blunt. He’s still there, and he’s still whip. “Bush and Cheney are radioactive. Republicans don’t even want to be seen with them on the campaign trail.” Then why does Bush keep going to Tennessee? “Those “certain Republicans” include, but are not limited to, Lincoln Chafee, John McCain, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.” And they represent the most liberal wing of the part. Ben Nelson often breaks with the Democrats. You know why? Cause he’s at the most conservative end of that party. They break with their party because they often disagree with their party.>



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Phil

posted October 23, 2006 at 7:58 pm


Thanks Jim for the good post on Nuclear Accountability. It seems to me that either no one should have nuclear weapongs or everyone should have them so that no one would dare use what they have against anyone else. But as long as only a few have nuclear capability, then no one is safe.>



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Dave

posted October 23, 2006 at 8:05 pm


During WWII was it hypocritcal and immoral for the U.S. to develop nuclear weapons before Germany and Japan? There are differences between nations Mr. Wallis. The U.S. is far from perfect. Yet we have had these weapons for 50+ years and used them exactly once. To end a terrible war.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 8:09 pm


“But as long as only a few have nuclear capability, then no one is safe.” I don’t buy this reasoning. Are you saying it would be safer if countries like Syria and Iran have nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons only work as deterents if we are able to detect the origin of a nuclear attack (and thus retaliate). However, if weapons fall into the hands of terrorists, this becomes exponentially more difficult. Perhaps you intended to say that, if rogue states have nuclear weapons, than it is better that we have them to. If that is what you meant, then I agree with you.>



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Bill Samuel

posted October 23, 2006 at 8:19 pm


Right, Jim, it’s rank hypocrisy. See Remove the Plank! Regarding Democrats thinking for themselves. All Democratic Senators, and all but a few Democratic Senators, voted to spend more than half of the relatively controllable portion of the U.S. budget on war and preparations for war. So they can’t even think independent of the White House let alone their Party leadership, on this most critical of issues. Sojourners refused to raise the issue when supposedly addressing the budget as a moral issue last year. And politicians like Clinton and Obama, whom it seems to want to associate with, don’t present an alternative.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 9:07 pm


justintime, “Bush and Cheney are radioactive. Republicans don’t even want to be seen with them on the campaign trail.” Kevin, “Then why does Bush keep going to Tennessee?” Out of desperation. Democrat Harold Ford has come from behind to challenge Republican Steve Corker for Bill Frist’s old seat. Corker has had President Bush headline two fundraisers in Tennessee to raise $2.6 million. The most recent was off limits to cameras and reporters perhaps a reflection of Bush s low approval ratings in Tennessee. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 9:16 pm


“Out of desperation.” Out of desperation they send a radioactive commodity to the state. Are they despearte to sink Corker’s candidacy?>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 9:49 pm


Kevin, Bush can still tap the wealthy corporate Republican faithful for campaign cash, but it would be unwise for Bush to be seen in public with Corker or to have a picture of Bush and Corker together surface in the media. Harold Ford would probably use it to hang Bush around Corker’s neck. It’s never been wise for Bush to appear at events open to the public. That’s why he delivers speeches at military bases. Most Bush events are held behind security fences and the attendees are by invitation only and are carefully screened. They arrest people at Bush events even for wearing pro-environment t-shirts. Cheney is ridiculed everywhere he goes. Best to keep Cheney in his bunker. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 10:00 pm


Well, there is some truth to the desire to keep certain people away from these events. College students, in particular, have tendency to scream, boo, and throw things at people with whom they disagree. This is a commentary on left-wing “activism” more than it is on the President.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:01 pm


Kevin, You don’t think there’s any right wing activism? You should tune into the corporate controlled media for syndicated right wing activist hate speech. You probably think that’s funny. I think it’s interesting that Clinton can go anywhere in the world and have crowds of admirers, but Bush can only be exhibited in safe locations like military bases and behind chainlink fences and in private venues by invitation only. I wonder why this is, do you think? .>



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Neary

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:15 pm


Hypocrisy? How so? For there to be hypocrisy our government would need to be saying one thing and doing the opposite. We’re not saying that nobody should have WMD; we’re saying that unstable, evil governments should not have WMD. We have WMD for peace and stability.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:23 pm


“Clinton can go anywhere in the world and have crowds of admirers, but Bush can only be exhibited in safe locations like military bases and behind chainlink fences and in private venues by invitation only.” He was obsessed with image management. The guy has a retarded black man in his state executed so he could look tough on crime. What you aim for, you often hit. Clinton’s target was populairty. Now he’s got it.>



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kevin s.

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:24 pm


“You should tune into the corporate controlled media for syndicated right wing activist hate speech. You probably think that’s funny.” Nope, just detached.>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:24 pm


Bill says, “Regarding Democrats thinking for themselves. All Democratic Senators, and all but a few Democratic Senators, voted to spend more than half of the relatively controllable portion of the U.S. budget on war and preparations for war. So they can’t even think independent of the White House let alone their Party leadership, on this most critical of issues.” Politicians can always think for themselves, but most often they are manipulated into acting in accordance with a crowd mentality. And you’re right, it happens on both sides of the aisle. It’s called power politics. In the case of recent military appropriation bills, which were drafted by the Bush administration and the Republican leadership in Congress, the Democrats are prevented from having any substantial input on what’s in the bill. Yet they find themselves manipulated into the position of having to vote for the bill anyway or risked being called traitors or cut and runners. So they go along with the crowd. This is what happens in a tyranny of the majority. Of course you can say that they could have all voted in a bloc against the military appropriation. Sure, but they would lose the vote and still be called traitors. So what would you do in this situation, Bill? I would probably do just what you would do, because I hate this war. I would probably vote against the bill in protest, be called a traitor and probably not be reelected. That’s why you and I are not politicians. .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:47 pm


Kevin says, “He was obsessed with image management. The guy has a retarded black man in his state executed so he could look tough on crime. What you aim for, you often hit. Clinton’s target was populairty. Now he’s got it.” I never heard your story about Clinton executing a retarded black man so he could look tough on crime. Prove that one for me, Kevin. If it’s true it does take Clinton down a notch or two in my estimation. But Clinton still ends up 10′ taller than Bush ever was. I just remembered that Bush had a repentant Christian woman who killed her abusive husband in self defense, executed so he could look tough on crime. Even the Pope asked Bush for mercy. But Bush went ahead and did it anyway. And then he mocked this Christian woman, pleading for her own life, on TV. The whole world got a taste of Bush’s ‘tough on crime’ image. What did you think of that one, Kevin? If Clinton’s target was popularity, what do you think Bush’s target is? .>



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justintime

posted October 23, 2006 at 11:52 pm


Kevin, I think Bush holds the National record for executions, doesn’t he? They say that when Attorney General Gonzales handed Governor Bush execution papers to sign, Bush didn’t ask questions, he would just sign the papers without looking at them. Compassionate conservatism? .>



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HAC

posted October 24, 2006 at 12:02 am


…Joe has been selling out the Democratic party for years. It’s ironic that you accuse the Republicans of rubberstamping Bush’s proposals and toting the Party line, yet when it comes to a liberal Democrat, you destroy his reputation because he didn’t follow Party lines.>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 12:05 am


I’m not against the death penalty, per se, and neither is Bush. If it is going to be carried out, I want it utilized consistently. Clinton, on the other hand… Ricky Ray Rector had an IQ of 70. Clinton took a break from his presidential run to preside over the execution. It was a turning point in the campaign. “just remembered that Bush had a repentant Christian woman who killed her abusive husband in self defense, executed so he could look tough on crime.” If you’re talking about Karla Faye Tucker, you might want to remember a little harder.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 12:23 am


Help me out Kevin.>



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Lisa

posted October 24, 2006 at 12:26 am


Thank you, for giving a public voice to what I have been saying privately.>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 12:53 am


Karla Faye Tucker, along with another man, killed two people in an attempted robbery. In 1998, Bush ignored the pleas of the Christian Right (among others) and stayed her death sentence. Truthfully, he didn’t have much of a choice. You can’t stay an execution on religious grounds (I think you’ll agree). The reference to mocking, put forth by Tucker Carlson, is debatable. He was noted to have a smirk when referring to a Larry King interview with the woman.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 1:15 am


Kevin, I had the murder scene wrong but I had this part of it right: Under Texas law, each death penalty case has one chance to be reprieved by a governor without the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The board must recommend the second reprieve in order for it to be granted. All 18 members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles are appointed by the governor (Clark, 2000). Before Tucker was executed, there were pleas for clemency from Waly Bacre Ndiaye, the United Nations commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions, the World Council of Churches, Pope John Paul II, and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, among other world figures. Unusual pleas came from conservative American political figures such as Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson, interceding on her behalf. Tucker did not ask for a pardon, only commutation of her death sentence to life in prison. Huntsville Prison’s warden testified that she was a model prisoner and that, after 14 years on death row, she likely had been reformed. Despite these pleas, Bush signed her death warrant. In 1999, during the 2000 Republican Presidential primary race, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson interviewed Bush for Talk Magazine (September 1999, p. 106). Excerpt from this interview is quoted below: In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. “Did you meet with any of them?” I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. “No, I didn’t meet with any of them,” he snaps, as though I’ve just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. “I didn’t meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked him real difficult questions like, ‘What would you say to Governor Bush?’” “What was her answer?” I wonder. “‘Please,’” Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, “‘don’t kill me.’” I must have looked shocked ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel because he immediately stops smirking. Tucker gained international attention both for being the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War and the first in the United States since 1984. Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro noted in a public speech that spectators outside a Texas prison had cheered when Tucker was executed. “And we are on the threshold of 2,000 years of Christ!” he exclaimed. In England, Richard Harries of the Diocese of Oxford reported that a Gospel singer’s rendition of Amazing Grace was shouted down by cries of… ‘Kill the bitch! from the crowd that gathered outside of prison. .>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 1:19 am


Kevin, “Truthfully, he didn’t have much of a choice. You can’t stay an execution on religious grounds (I think you’ll agree).” Wrong, Kevin. Bush can do anything he wants to do. Remember? .>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 1:24 am


Just another reason why I hate the death penalty. .>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 1:36 am


justintime, “…Joe has been selling out the Democratic party for years.” HAC, “It’s ironic that you accuse the Republicans of rubberstamping Bush’s proposals and toting the Party line, yet when it comes to a liberal Democrat, you destroy his reputation because he didn’t follow Party lines.” It seems ironic, yes. But there’s a difference between a sell out and an independant mind. I value independant minds on both sides of the aisle. It’s hard to find an independant mind with honorable principles. Sell outs are a dime a dozen. And Lieberman wrote the book on selling out. He loses the Democratic primary in Connecticut and then he runs again as a stealth Republican, which he has been all along, with Republican party support. Actually Joe is more like a double agent than a sell out. I would put him in the same class as Ahmad Chalabi.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 1:40 am


The Republicans must be really desperate to put money behind Joe Lieberman. .>



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Christ's child

posted October 24, 2006 at 3:23 am


Greetings, After reading all of the comments it is amazing that you seem to believe that there are difference in the two parties.The Democrats and Republicans are in the same bed and have been for many years.Investigate the membership of the past 15 presidents , and the Senate and House members in any position of power. What you will find is that they belong to the same ( behind the scene) clubs or groups. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)is but one of the groups that run and control America. You can add almost all of the Military heads into the same bed. Why is it that these same leaders are Rhodes Scholars and have attended Harvard and Yale? Do you really want to know the answer, or maybe it is just a strange coincidence that Bill Clinton and President Bush share this fate.The Rhodes Scholars all have one thing in common and that is a goal of ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT. This goal does not allow America to remain a SOVEREIGN NATION or allow our CONSTITUTION to continue as it is. According to the Rhodes Scholar thinking, America must become an equal with all of the United Nations Members and under the Contitution and laws of the UN.This is what the open borders and illegal immigration is all about. It is all about bringing down America so America can be manageable under this ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.This has to be accomplished one step at a time so as to avoid a war or rebellion in America.The hispanics and others are just pawns in this very serious game of power and politics. As a past- time you can continue to argue and discuss who cares more or which party will save America.keep your eyes on both hands when the tricks are being played out, and citizens are being played against one another. It is easier to control people when your opponents are divided.The faces appear to be American but they are really the enemy of America and its people.>



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HAC

posted October 24, 2006 at 3:25 am


This begs the question: who did Lieberman sell out to? It sure wasn’t the Republicans.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 4:37 am


Lieberman got a kiss from godfather Bush. And the Republicans just bought $2 million worth of Joe Lieberman to keep his campaign going through election day. But keeping in line with Connecticut public opinion, Lieberman is no longer “staying the course” on Iraq. I wonder if the Republicans think they’re getting their money’s worth out of Joe. .>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 4:43 am


Christ child, What do you think we should do about this vast conspiracy you have just outlined for us? Are you a John Bircher? .>



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HAC

posted October 24, 2006 at 5:04 am


But having Republicans, including Bush, giving support to Lieberman kind of destroys your voting Party line / rubberstamp Congress issue again…>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 5:15 am


HAC, The American political landscape is changing rapidly. Unless the Republicans steal the election, their rubberstamp Congress is finished. Thank God. .>



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HAC

posted October 24, 2006 at 5:22 am


It never began.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:20 am


HAC, You’ve been watching too much Fox TV News and not paying enough attention to what’s really been happening for the last six years. Where do you get your information about the big wide world anyway? Are you planning to vote in this election? Do you think it will make any difference whether or not you vote? Maybe you should sit this one out. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:36 am


“Wrong, Kevin. Bush can do anything he wants to do. Remember?” Sigh….>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:38 am


“Just another reason why I hate the death penalty.” And if here sentence had been commuted, you would be saying that she was only allowed a reprieve because Bush was loyal to the radical right. There is no way he could have decided in this instance that would have escaped you criticism. Clinton still executed a retarded person, though.>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:44 am


“The Rhodes Scholars all have one thing in common and that is a goal of ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.” Hmmm… The Rhodes scholar I knew (we only had one because our school lacked the clout to get more, but don’t get me started) did not believe this. Bush was not a Rhodes scholar, but I do not consider the Rhodes scholarship to be a requirement for the presidency.>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:46 am


“HAC, The American political landscape is changing rapidly. Unless the Republicans steal the election, their rubberstamp Congress is finished. Thank God.” Your critique, at this point, could charitably be describe as rambling. You are reinforcing my point that you don’t understand politics beyond what you learn at your left-wing blog sites.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:48 am


Kevin plays the Clinton card again. But the Clinton card doesn’t work anymore. .>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 8:23 am


Kevin, Your account of the Ricky Ray Rector execution carefully avoids mentioning the fact that Ricky Ray Rector was mentally competent when he committed his crime. Rector’s brain damage came when he attempted suicide to avoid arrest. He had killed two men, one of whom was a police officer – Bob Martin, a respected veteran of a small-town police force. Rector effectively lobotomized himself with his own weapon, removing about 30% of his brain. This is how Ricky Ray Rector became mentally retarded. I agree, Clinton was wrong in using Rector’s execution for political purposes. I think the death penalty is morally wrong too. But you are wrong in comparing the Ricky Ray Rector execution with Bush’s callous disregard for human life. Texas executed 133 human beings during Bush’s tenure as Governor. Bush signed those death warrants without even looking at them. He used those executions for political purposes. He ignored the pleadings of the world’s leaders – including Pope Paul – to spare Karla Tucker’s life. After having been responsible for her execution, he demonstrated his lack of respect for the sanctity of life by mocking Karla Tucker publicly. To this day, Bush demonstrates his callous disrespect for the sanctity of human life. I don’t think he’s ever attended a funeral for the nearly 3,000 servicemen who gave their lives in his deceitful and immoral war. Bush is a warmonger, a war profiteer and a war criminal. Bush is personally responsible for killing untold thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens. You should be ashamed for defending Bush’s unChristian behavior with deceptive statements, Kevin. I’ll be checking everything you say from now on because I don’t trust you anymore. .>



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Cynthia Adams

posted October 24, 2006 at 8:44 am


Where is Jesus in these discussions? Do you all hear yourselves here? Aren’t we all supposed to be Christians here? Some of us don’t really sound like it. So much ranting, so little love. May I suggest one idea to us all? Start with the Bible before you form an opinion about a political situation, as some of you have done. There are many secular human arguments against nuclear weapons, and many here have voiced them. There have also been voices in favor of building up a nuclear arsenal. But what I didn’t hear much about was what should our position be? Not what do we, as humans think, but what do we as Christians believe? This forum is for us–we can be honest here. For us, for Christians, I can see no justification whatsoever for more nukes, since we are Christians first, then Americans. We are to trust God for vengeance (Rom 12:17-21), to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44), not kill anyone (which includes bombing), not use swords. (Need I quote Jesus on that, too?) God, the Prince of Peace, has called us to be peacemakers. War does not bring peace. (Don’t trust in ‘chariots from Egypt’, trust in God.) And please don’t call me naive and idealistic. This is Christianity. These are the teachings of Jesus. The problem for many Christians is that we don’t really believe them.>



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A.B. Dada

posted October 24, 2006 at 5:49 pm


Thank you, Cynthia. This is why I don’t vote — voting just enables Christians to approve of theft (taxes), force (war), slavery (jail/the draft) and judgement (courts) by other individuals. Enabling others to sin on your behalf is still sin. I would rather work with one or two people near me to show them the love of God than to try to force millions to accept Jesus. Jesus showed us that not everyone will accept Him, and that we are to still focus on love, humility, peace and sacrifice no matter what. The Christians here on the liberal and conservative sides are both hypocrites, and it is tragic that they’re throwing the Love of the Lord into the same trash heap that the Muslims and the Jews have done, too. Organized religion that supports the State is hypocritical — instead, we should be individals who love other individuals under the name of the Lord, not groups who promote hatred and prejudice. Throwing Bible scripture that had nothing to do with Jesus’ way has nothing to do with the Way. Jesus said very specific and logical things, and performed very specific and logical tasks. The Apostles hade their own share of hypocrisy, or they were too accustomed to the Jewish way (a people who lost the Mandate of God). Whatever the case, when an Apostle said something against Jesus’ words, we have to figure that they were hypocrites, too. Don’t quote me Romans when it is obvious that Jesus was ignored in most of the books — the same as Acts and Hebrew. The Gospels are what matter, not what mortal sinners said and did.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 6:27 pm


A B Dada, I respect your faith, but if you abhor hypocrisy and you believe all politics is hypocrisy, why are you here? Do you trust others to turn this hypocritical world around for you? Or are you just biding your time until the Messiah returns? Peace. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 7:37 pm


“I’ll be checking everything you say from now on because I don’t trust you anymore.” I wasn’t aware that he was competent when he committed his crimes. That said, Bill Clinton executed a retarded person, not because he believes the death penalty is acceptable, but because he wanted to prove his moxy for a presidential run.>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 7:41 pm


“Not what do we, as humans think, but what do we as Christians believe? ” The bible is silent on the issue of using nuclear weapons as a deterrent. You can argue that, because Jesus asked us to turn the other cheek, our government may not build nuclear weapons. I don’t think that is a correct interpretation, and I have articulated why. For me, the question is not whether governments may have weapons, it’s how best to use them in a manner that protects our interests without creating worldwide instability. If you wish to argue the merits of my point of view, you may do so, but simply declaring that you have a monopoly on the scriptural perspective on war doesn’t allow for any real discussion.>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 7:43 pm


“Bush signed those death warrants without even looking at them. He used those executions for political purposes.” If Bush is so hellbent on building a Christian base, why wouldn’t he issue a reprieve for Tucker? I stand by my point that, had he commuted her sentence, you would be arguing that he is a hypocrite.>



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toneloco

posted October 24, 2006 at 7:49 pm


“If Bush is so hellbent on building a Christian base, why wouldn’t he issue a reprieve for Tucker? I stand by my point that, had he commuted her sentence, you would be arguing that he is a hypocrite.” kevin s. Kev, can’t you hear your welfare check calling?>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 7:53 pm


Kevin, “I stand by my point that, had he commuted her sentence, you would be arguing that he is a hypocrite.” How could you make such an absurd statement? How would you know what I would have thought about Bush commuting Karla Tucker’s death sentence? I do remember thinking at the time, that Bush is a crude and callous person with complete disregard for the sanctity of human life. If Bush had stopped her execution, I and a great number of others around the world would have considered it an act of compassion. Don’t put words in the mouths of others or thoughts in the minds of others you don’t even know, Kevin. .>



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kevin s.

posted October 24, 2006 at 9:07 pm


” How would you know what I would have thought about Bush commuting Karla Tucker’s death sentence?” Because you have not give Bush credit for anything he has ever done.>



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Daryn

posted October 24, 2006 at 9:17 pm


Is is too much to hope that there will be a time when nuclear weapons will be seen as the horrific creations they are, as the evil they represent? Nothing good can come from them. Even Albert Einstein came to realize this. They spread ugliness, pain and destruction, both in the fear of their potential, and in the carnage left in their wake. I pray for a world in which people can live without the fear of one another. I realize the end of nuclear weapons would not solve that problem entirely, but that world can never be a reality as long as they exist.>



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justintime

posted October 24, 2006 at 10:54 pm


How would you know what I would have thought about Bush commuting Karla Tucker’s death sentence?” “Because you have not give Bush credit for anything he has ever done.” Kevin, If I could see the Bush administration doing something positive for America, I would literally jump at the opportunity to praise them. I’ve watched Bush very carefully for six long years, waiting for an opportunity to congratulate. Alas, I see no positive signs from George W. Bush. And I’m anguished over what has been done to America since the Bush cohort gained power six years ago. I’ve watched them seize unprecedented executive power under false pretenses, curtail American civil liberties, betray America’s trust with lies and deceit, spread fear and divisiveness within America and around the world, abuse America’s good reputation among the Nations of the world, ruin America’s Armed Forces, squander our treasury, profit from an unnecessary war, destroy America’s social safety net, sell off America’s irreplaceable national resources and utterly fail in their responsibily to provide America with good government that can be trusted. I see the Bush administration as anything but Conservative, in the sense of the word Conservative that I understand. Instead, to me the Bush administration is Radical. They have been radically changing America for the worse in every way they can. To many, it appears the Republican Party has been patiently following a 20 year goal of permanent power over an American Empire. This is why the Bush administration is seen as a dangerous threat to American ideals and to the civilized world. This is the perception of the Bush administration held by many Americans and many citizens of other Nations around the world. For these reasons, I’ve come to the conclusion the Bush administration will have to be removed from power before anything positive can be expected from our government in Washington DC. To me it’s painfully obvious, the longer they stay in power, the more damage they will do to America and the entire planet. This is my honest, carefully considered opinion. I’m dismayed when I realize that many Americans can not see what is happening to their Nation. I think it’s my duty as an American citizen to speak out about these things. I’m still looking for a positive sign from George W. Bush. If you see one, please point it out to me, Kevin. .>



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Antonio Germano

posted October 24, 2006 at 11:00 pm


While I agree that condemning other nations that try to develop nuclear weapons while we hang onto, or work to increase, our stockpile is more than a bit hypocritical, I must respond to Anonymous above that idea that the use of a handgun is always evil, even if it is necessary, is just plain silly. Preventing bodily harm to your self or others is not evil, it is good! Where does such an idea come from, anyway? Doesn’t Romans 13 say that civil authorities punish (yea, even kill) evildoers, and that this is good? Or is it only swords that are good? Sheesh! Antonio Germano>



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HAC

posted October 25, 2006 at 3:17 am


Is is too much to hope that there will be a time when nuclear weapons will be seen as the horrific creations they are, as the evil they represent? Was it evil to prevent the death of millions in stopping the need for a ground invasion of Japan?>



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HAC

posted October 25, 2006 at 3:21 am


In this discussion, I have been told not to vote because of my political views, and Kevin has been accused of being on welfare. Neither comment had any relevance to the discussion. Why such demonizing of conservatives? I thought we were the ones full of hate…>



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justintime

posted October 25, 2006 at 4:56 am


Justintime says to HAC: “Are you planning to vote in this election? Do you think it will make any difference whether or not you vote? Maybe you should sit this one out.” HAC, I’m sorry if you took offense on that wisecrack, . I thought you would realize it was a joke to suggest you sit out this election. Everyone should get their vote counted. I hope everyone who votes knows what they’re voting for. And I hope the election is honest for once. Are there any critical decisions you have to make on election day? As for Kevin being on welfare, I don’t know who posted that, it wasn’t me. I can’t imagine Kevin has ever been on welfare, unless it was corporate welfare. .>



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HAC

posted October 25, 2006 at 5:15 am


Where do you get your information about the big wide world anyway? Are you planning to vote in this election? Do you think it will make any difference whether or not you vote? Maybe you should sit this one out … I thought you would realize it was a joke Yeah, Al Franken kind of joke I guess, which isn’t very funny. I’m embarrassed that he’s from my home state (and not too far from my hometown). Regardless, why should I need to vote? The Republicans will steal the election anyway.>



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Daryn

posted October 25, 2006 at 4:07 pm


Dear HAC, You tell me. Men, women and children burning, the flesh melted off their bodies, looking for relief, finding none, the river s cooling waters transformed into a boiling cauldron. Children losing mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, cousins in an instant. Parents losing children. Children walking to school, only shadows remain. The world around, a fiery furnace. Innocent people left alive to deal with the cancer, illness, and deformities accompanying the radiation of the blast. Hell on earth. Not once, but twice this happened. You tell me if this was evil. The saving of a million lives does not erase the harm done. It is not a mathematics equation where one side cancels out another. We are humans, not numbers or figures. I pray for a day when peacemakers will be given as much credence as those who wage war in today s world. I pray that those with the creativity and intelligence to solve their problems, rather than destroying them, will be recognized as heroes. Daryn>



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justintime

posted October 25, 2006 at 4:15 pm


HAC, Al Franken knows how to use humor against hypocrisy Is he from Minneapolis? What are your sources for politics and world news? I found a good article for you and Kevin about the rubberstamp Republican Congress. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12055360/cover_story_time_to_go_inside_the_worst_congress_ever Check it out. Let me know what you think of it. .>



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Kevin s.

posted October 25, 2006 at 8:27 pm


Meh, the first sentence in that article is pedantic and stupid. If you’ve got something a little more adult, I’ll read it.>



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justintime

posted October 25, 2006 at 9:38 pm


What did you think was pedantic and stupid about the first sentence, Kevin? Pretty lame excuse for not exposing yourself to the truth. Does “adult” for you mean “approved by the Republican party”? What are your sources for informing yourself politically? .>



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kevin s.

posted October 25, 2006 at 11:25 pm


I’ve read plenty of Rolling Stone’s political tripe. I hardly think it represents the truth. The New Republic makes some sense, but they are running out of money because they do not cater to the “Bush has never done anything right” lunatic base of the party. My sources? CNN.com, U.S. News, my local paper For conservative views I read he Wall St. Journal, Washington Times and National Review. If you don’t note a difference in tone between the latter three and what you just linked to, then you are tone deaf.>



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StevenK

posted October 25, 2006 at 11:27 pm


HAC, The prophecies of Isaiah and Micah are not after the second coming of the King. It is infact a prophecy looking to the first coming of the King. “In the last days” is when it begins, and Jesus said his days were “the last days.” It is the Joel 3 prophecy that speaks to the final judgement.>



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HAC

posted October 26, 2006 at 3:45 am


You tell me if this was evil. It was not. As I said before, if I had to fly one of those bombing runs, my conscience would be clean. Steven, I disagree with you in regards to the prophesies. They include statements that speak of nations not fighting anymore. Since that has happened just as frequently (and more violently at times) after Christ came, the prophesy was either not true, or not yet fulfilled. It’s quite clear that it refers to Christ’s Second Coming.>



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ATMcGuire

posted October 26, 2006 at 6:54 am


Ok. I was pretty disturbed by this complex cool sounding number program. So I wondered what EXACTLY it was. So then I looked on google for the government documentation of it. Well the first entry of your google search will take you to a government website that introduces the plan as a plan to be able to disarm more nuclear weapons and create an efficient stockpile, that has a smaller “footprint”. The school im at has a pretty retarded connection right now, so I cant load the full document. But this does appear to be a plan to reduce the stockpile, and make it so we do not have to update the weaponry anymore. So doesnt that seem to be a step in the right direction… not Dr. Strangelove-esque? So maybe someone could tell me what im getting wrong.>



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kevin s.

posted October 26, 2006 at 7:50 pm


What you’ve done is investigate the issue on your own, as opposed to taking a press release at face value. A good deal of these posts result form the efforts of public relations professionals. Jim Wallis has been identified as someone who is sympathetic to liberal causes, and so PR folk pitch him on stories for his blog. Naturally, he responds by crafting a piece that melds his worldview with their talking points. This happens on right-wing blogs as well.>



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Kevin K

posted October 27, 2006 at 6:50 pm


The likelihood of nations possessing nuclear weapons disarming is miniscule. We have the expertise to create them, and the knowledge is widespread. The genie is out of the bottle. If there was ever a more compelling reason to get very, very good at diplomacy and further shrinking our world through deep understanding and cooperation, it is now. The hypocrisy Jim Wallis speaks of is real. So is the threat. If we think we can halt the means of production of nukes by force or coercion, we are sadly (read perilously) mistaken. Our task will be to make the choice to use them universally repugnant so that the technology will be mothballed or superseded by better means of settling differences. Hence the need for very schooled and astute leadership.>



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Steven C. Raine

posted November 4, 2006 at 12:20 pm


Jim Wallis is spot on. Iran has now been reported to the Atomic energy commission. It faces sanctions, international isolation (even more than it has so far endured) and perhaps even yet another counter-productive military attack by the US or its Israeli outpost. But Iran is more threatened by Israel & the USA than it is a threat to them. Iran faces American-driven UN sanctions for the crime of developing nuclear power. But, hang on a second,here in Oz we re busily mining yellowcake and promoting uranium enrichment, you in the United States of America hold the nuclear weapons capacity to destroy the Earth hundreds of times over. Most of all, Iran s nearby neighbour and sadly constant threat to South West Asian peace and stability, Israel, has long had a semi-secret WMD arsenal incl. nukes but faces no sanctions or even diplomatic condemnation from us Western lands. Considering that, you can sort of see why the Muslim world feels oppressed and unjustly treated can t you? The words ‘blatant hypocrisy’ must spring strongly to mind when contemplating this situation surely even for the pro-Israeli, anti-everyone else neo-con lobby. So lets think a bit more clearly, deeply and fairly. First let s look at Iran s situation, it is surrounded by nuclear-armed states : Russia to its north, Pakistan to its east, Israel a hostile nation that has repeatedly invaded and still occupies its neighbours territory to its west and right next to it it has Iraq a nation engulfed in civil war and occupied by troops from a hostile superpower. Then they have been menaced by the United States regeime which has made threatened them with violence and has tried controlling them and interfering in their domestic affairs before with the CIA-supported former Shah. Both the United States the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons in war and against civilian cities at that and Israel which is guilty of innumerable human rights breaches and atrocities -have repeatedly violated international law and basic ethical tenets. Both have hinted strongly at launching miliary attacks against Iran. Both are being exceedingly hypocritical as both of these have nuclear and other WMD s stockpiled to excess. If you really think about that I d say three conclusions spring to mind : Firstly if Iran doesn t have good reason for trying to develop a nuclear deterrent then no-one does. Secondly, the world and particularly nations in the region are well advised to accept Iran s independence and right to run its own affairs without bullying even if this means it gains an equal nuclear status with its neighbours. Finally and most importantly if the US really wants to encourage disarmament it is well advised to back off and set a better example rather than pushing its potential enemies into crisis situations likely to end in real conflict causing everyone suffering and death.>



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Steven C. Raine

posted November 4, 2006 at 12:49 pm


HAC, I’ve been to Hiroshima. I’ve seen the Peace park and the memorial centre there. I’ve seen clothes that melted into the skins of their victims – innocent Japanese schoolgirls who had no say at all in what happened and, surely, bear not even the scantest thread of guilt over what other Japanese individuals may have done. Hiroshima was, IMHO, a war crime. Nagasaki was an even worse one. (Incidentally, so too were the fire- bombings of Dresden and Tokyo and London and Coventry and so many, many other terrible acts in that savage war.) In both cases, either attacking a military target or a demonstration would have been an infinitely better alternative to dropping the atomic bomb on civilian cities. In both cases, historical fact stands that Japan was already near surrender & the real purpose was to terrify the Russians – our then ally – who incidentaly were at least equally responsible for the “Wests” victory in WWWII. Clear conscience?? I couldn’t disagree more. This isn’t the forum for that debate anyway but I couldn’t let such remarks go uncorrected. Going back on-topic, North Korea does have the Bomb and hasn’t been invaded – Saddam’s Iraq never did and was. Sadly, the lesson seems to be that the only guarantee of safety from American invasion is having a nuclear deterrent. I am no great fan of Ahmadinejad’s Iran or Islamic extremism but, with great despair and trepidation, I find myself hoping and praying Iran does get a nuclear bomb and soon. I beleive and do this for the sake of global peace and the survival of so many people in SouthWest Asia and the wider world It may be the only hope we have against yet another counter-productive, murderous, unnecessary war waged by a United States gone mad .. :-(>



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Steven C. Raine

posted November 4, 2006 at 1:17 pm


Or by an Israel which has led them into that madness by its refusal to apply Rabbi Hillel’s definitive tenet about what Judaism is meant to be : “Do not do unto others as you woudl not be done unto” to the Palestineans. The irony is that in trying to make itself safer by military might rather than fair dealing, understanding and compassion both Israel and the post 11th Sept. 2001 US have vastly worsened their saftey and threatened so many inside, outside and around them. They’re actions – in Gaza, in East Jerusalem & the rest of Occupied Palestine, in Afghanistan, in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay – have only filled themselves and the entire globe with peril, fear, hatred and moral erosian and decay. Live by the sword -> Die by the sword. Turn the other cheek to thine enemy. Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. When did so many so-called Christian individuals and organisations forget these words and the wisdom inherent in them? More usefully, how long before they rember and will it be too late by then? Pray God not. Pray God, Bush will hear God tell him so and beg forgiveness and redemption – and show his sincerity by abjuring his neo-con past and resigning from power to don sackcloth and ashes hereafter!>



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Linda

posted November 5, 2006 at 5:38 pm


I so appreciate reading your comments about the hypocrisy of our stance on North Korea’s development of nuclear power. I’ve thought and said the same thing but few if any seem to acknowledge to contradiction. Thank you for your faithfulness at speaking truth to power.>



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