Friday, September 22, 2006

More Grassroots Wisdom

From the comments section of great blogs all across the internets.

On being safer/not being attacked:

We haven't been attacked because the attackers achieved their objectives (or at least many of them). The US military is now out of Saudi Arabia.
The US has removed Saddam who was an enemy of Muslim fundamentalism.
The US has re-oriented the entire economy into a fearful, "anti-terrorist" posture. This has caused our industrial competitiveness to decline, our ability to respond to non-terrorist disasters to be impaired, our diversion into a no win war and a decline is social spending especially in health and education.
So we have weakened our own economy in response to a single, impossible to repeat, attack.For an investment of less than $1 million they have caused the US to spend an estimated $1 trillion reacting to an event that won't be repeated. Are we safer? From what?

I think it's also important to point out that Republicans cannot be trusted on National Security. They are arsonists, starting fires so that they can campaign on pretending to put the fires out. That's not to say that there aren't problems in the world. It's certainly a wilderness of uncertainty. Waving your arms in the air and claiming that the sky is falling all the time isn't a solution to security. Terrorism is about promoting fear. Terrorists want us to be afraid. Frankly speaking, the United States of America is a strong nation and we are not at any risk of being overwhelmed by islamofascism, unless we let it. We only let it, if we run screaming around afraid of it. I've got a lot more faith in our country and our values, than the Republicans seem to have. So ...get out there and start talking about that..... I mean talking about great this nation is, and how pathetic it is that the Republicans hate it so much that they want us to abandon our principles as articulated in the Constitution.

Absolutely true in the case of the most paranoid far-right extreme Bush apologist I know. He claims he has nothing to hide, so why hide it? How 'bout his working mainly for cash as a mechanic for 45 years and not reporting his parts as taxable inventory? How 'bout those unregistered guns from the gun shows and the profits from sales there? How 'bout voting absentee when he didn't really qualify?How 'bout it, Jim?

Wait until you have a Democrat president, then ask the same questions again.
I guarantee the republicans will squeal in alarm at Big Brother's usurpations…
Guarantee it![even more so if the next Dem Pres should be black!]
Republican positions are based on situational ethics.
When a brother republican has the presidency they are like the Doberman's in Orwell's Animal Farm. All yip and yap and yahoo.
When a Dem is in power… they are tempted to blow up Federal Buildings and sieze ridges in Idaho.

The answer seems pretty obvious to me. Simply put, there are about 500 million more eyeballs on the lookout for suspicious activity now than there were before that day.
If that sounds a little farfetched, consider the cases where the Terrorists were actually foiled; all occurred because private citizens took action:
-The terrorists who hijacked Flight 93 were literally stopped dead by well-informed fellow passengers whose most potent weapons were cell phones.-The infamous "shoe bomber" was turned in by fellow air passengers.-Even the recent British bust, (admittedly not on our soil) which was touted by the Bush Administration as justification for their domestic spying program, was initiated by a muslim British citizen making a complaint to his local police.
None of these defensive actions were aided in any way by government secrecy, torture or the removal of constitutional protections.

"Have the terrorist won ?"
They have, I don't believe they are hell bent on killing, just altering our way of life. When we give up our most cherished freedoms it's a huge victory for them and they know it. I think deep down inside, they don't hate our freedom, they hate our opulence and decadence, and by proving that we are willing to give up the foundations this country is built upon, they are showing/proving to the world, that we are a country with no principles, no real moral convictions. We have become a country more dedicated to money then morals, and they are a people more dedicate to morals then money.

This certainly explains the Turd Blossom strategy. All terror all the time. Dems, liberals and civil libertarians will never truly succeed in the national security debate as long as two thirds of the republican party are such cowards and hide-under-the-bed fraidy cats. They truly don't deserve the freedoms they so loudly proclaim and so easily surrender. The terrorists are winning.

On modern conservative thought:

Taking politics out of the picture for the moment, we all have a pretty good idea when we describe someone as a being conservative in behavior. They’re prudent, risk-averse, stable, and intent on keeping things as they are. They take their time to make decisions, looking at issues and problems from every angle to make the least disruptive and safest choice, whether it’s making financial decisions or social and political commitments. So at a fundamental level we have a philosophy and a character of skepticism and practicality, of political and personal action that is slow to change and only after careful and deliberate consideration. Conservative natures should breed politicians who are loathed to go on foreign adventures bent on empire and changing the behavior of other societies, who are distrustful of any individual or institution with too much power over the individual be it corporate or governmental, who hate debt, believe in process and would never trash the Constitution to achieve their aims. Every single Republican who has voted with or rhetorically supports Bush is ultimately a traitor to the true values of conservatism.

You know, if we actually started holding these people to (a) what they say and (b) the company they keep, we could really show the american people who they are supporting.

Now that’s all fine and dandy in the abstract that a true conservative would stand up to Bush; but as we have seen from the very beginning of this political philosophy in 19th century Europe when it restored the privileges and powers of the King and aristocracy in France, when it tried to maintain the power of one group at the expense of others, when it limited suffrage and civil rights in Britain and the US, when it did everything it could to expand the powers of the haves over the have-nots, conservatism is just a quick turn around the corner to oligarchy and fascism. It’s in Conservatism DNA to become what it has become under Bush. And although there are some conservative dissidents, like Rep. Paul, perhaps, and John Dean, the Republican Party as a whole has drunk the Kool-Aid and the prudent, pragmatic, skeptical nature of true conservatism lies dead in a bloated heap.

Another example of conservative twisting of the language of conscience is the argument, in the context of the attacks of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, that holding our side to things like the Geneva Convention implies an equivalence between ourselves and our enemies. This is a logical fallacy. The fallacy is something like: they kill so they are bad, but we are good so it is okay for us to kill. The argument that everything we do is okay so long as it is not as bad as the most extreme evil in the world is a rejection of nearly all of civilization. It is precisely the destruction of conscience.

As for the right, their arguments are often grounded in emotion and pathos. For lack of a better description, their positions are unconsidered and primitive. For instance, in this post, the egregious Don Surber argues in that if liberals do not support the WOT, the terrorist bogeymen will "will wake them up someday with a burqa over their pointy heads." Is this what policy debate in this country has come to? Tales to scare children?Likewise, Malkin's arguments betray the pure tribalism of her worldview; "members of my 'tribe,' (whether christian, american, conservative, whatever) deserve loyalty and unquestioning protection against acts of members of other tribes. Our actions are always above reproach, and those foreigners better watch their butts!"So there you have it, the essence of the "War on Terrorism." Pure lizard-brain tribalism, a grim manifestation for the Right-wing authoritanians' lack of ability to self-analyze.

To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, " Our country, right or wrong," and urge on the little war.
Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation?

Mark TwainGlances at History

In short, if we expect others to pay attention to our ideas of the better way to live and behave with and toward others, we have to live up to our best rhetoric and show not only that it can be done, but that it is desirable to do so.


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