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And the Yoke Shall Deliver You from Evil?

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I'm sorry, but is it just me, or does being associated with religion in an American election seem contentious to the point of stupidity?

Case number 1: John McCain and televangelist John Hagee, who has been accused of anti-Catholicism.

Hagee endorsed McCain for the presidency on February 27. McCain's reaction to Hagee's endorsement was tepid, yet McCain at a campaign event Friday morning opined of Washington D.C. that, "it's harder and harder trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan." The event was staged at the company headquarters of one S. Truett Cathy, a devout Baptist.

On this same Friday morning, McCain addressed the socially/religiously conservative Council for National Policy. When asked by a council member how important a role religion plays in his life, McCain answered, "Obviously, very important."

McCain is walking a tightrope between disassociating himself from Hagee's Catholic-bashing and the Christian lobby who are holding his feet to the fire. You can't help but feel that, if you are running for office, you are damned if you accept endorsements that reek of religiosity and damned if you don't.

I would like to see McCain reject Hagee's endorsement and tell born-again folks like those in the Council for National Policy that there is a limit to how much of a role religion will play in his policies. But the senator's hands, unfortunately, are tied. It's an uncomfortable fact of life for conservative candidates who essentially end up bound and gagged by the holier-than-thou lobby.

Case number 2: The yokes around the necks of conservative candidates tend to pale in comparison to those around liberals.

Barack Obama has had to distance himself from the pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, Jeremiah Wright.

The "good Reverend" railed against the United States in a sermon he delivered seven years ago, in the wake of 9/11. Wright asserted that America brought the September 11 atrocities on itself, stipulating that "[n]ow we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Two years later, in 2003, Wright delivered a sermon in which he expressed his belief that blacks should rise up against America. "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' … God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Recently, Wright attacked Hillary Clinton, remarking that, "Hillary ain't never been called a nigger."

Now for the killer: During this same sermon, Wright compared Obama to Jesus. That's a hell of an endorsement.

That's also one hell of a yoke.

Obama, as was expected, condemned the content of these controversial sermons, announcing, "I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue."

He also claimed to have thought of leaving the Trinity Church had such statements been "the repeated tenor of the church."

Yet, as also expected, Obama has refused to condemn Wright as a man, asserting that he is actually more decent than he has recently been portrayed and that, while he may denounce what he may say, he will continue to look upon Wright as the man who brought him to Christianity and served as a major mentor in his life.

It seems to be an inevitable characteristic of any normal American election that it should be marred on one side by African-American preachers the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Jeremiah Wright going to bat for the Democrats. And on the other side there seems to be no escaping the role of the fire-and-brimstone types who have reservations about supporting a Republican who's anything less than ethusiastic to enshrine creationism as the national belief via a Constitutional amendment.

I don't think I would even recognize a Presidential election without the ecstatic madness of religious extremism.

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  • Doug Hunter

    The difference between McCain and Obama in this case is that Obama has been a faithful churchgoer under this extremist for 20 years, had the minister do his weddings, etc, and hired the minister as an advisor on his compaign. His minister makes divisive, racist comments about ‘white america’ and the ‘US of KKKA’

    McCains’ situation is simply an endorsement by a radical who never had close ties to McCain or worked on his staff.

    You can’t control who endorses you, you can control who does your weddings/baptisms, where you spend your time on sundays, and who you hire on your staff.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Excellent piece, Mark. Your grasp of political reality seems to increase with your distance from the scene…

    I can’t quite believe McCain said what he said about DC, of all places. It seems an extraordinary faux pas for someone who aspires to the biggest job in the city.

    Was he referring to the political community there, or the populace at large?

    Either way, calling them all (in effect) devils seems a spectacularly daft thing to say.

    On balance, I think Obama’s reaction to his pastor’s statements has been just about perfect. As has been pointed out previously, the two are close, and you don’t completely turn your back on a close friend just because he opens his mouth before turning his brain on.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “You can’t control who endorses you”

    Yes, but you can control who you stand next too.

    While I may disagree with the things he says, Wright isn’t the first person to claim that 9/11 is a form of blowback due to the US’ action. Has he granted an interview yet? Rather than hear it through the media filter, I would like to hear how he came to his conclusions because although they aren’t my experiences, they might be right for him.

    What the real problem is, is that the campaigns are unnecessarily too long and it gives people time to dig up bullshit and fret about it. Unless the things either Reverend says or believes can have any effect on Iraq or the economy, I am unable to work up the energy to care.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Wright isn’t the first person to claim that 9/11 is a form of blowback due to the US’ action.

    The whole blowback theory is simplistic, self-serving and politicized crappery. Of course we were attacked because of our position in the world and our past actions which were dictated by that position. But that makes no difference at all and certainly doesn’t justify the attacks. The fact that we have had policies which offend people who think that murdering civilians through terrorism is a good way to make a point is not something we should feel guilty about. If our policies bother these people then we’re doing something right.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    It’s the most politically inflammatory 1% of Wright’s statements that have been repeated ad nauseam the last few days. The comments may well go too far, but only a partisan would claim they represent Obama’s own thinking. And they are best taken in the context of the whole of Rev. Wright’s “oeuvre.”

    Quoted for truth from today’s NY Times:

    He attracts audiences because of, not in spite of, his outspoken critiques of racism and inequality, said Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, in an interview last year.

    But Mr. Wright’s blistering statements about American racism can shock white audiences.

    “If you’re black, it’s hard to say what you truly think and not upset white people,” said James Cone, a professor at Union Theological Seminary and the father of black liberation theology, who has known Mr. Wright since he was a seminary student.

  • Anon

    Try and rationalize and justify it all you want -it wont work. Obama is done for..This is going to be his ‘swift boat’ moment.
    I for one cant wait for the general election with obama as the nominee.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Obama is being swiftboated and if this is the best the bottom-feeders of Fox News (which spent most of yesterday covering pretty much nothing else) and the right-wing noise machine can do then they’re in serious trouble.

    The ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ nonsense didn’t work, the ‘Obama Is/Was a Muslim’ smear didn’t work, and this isn’t going to work either.

    Meanwhile, barely a peep about the McCain ‘DC=Satan’ comment in the so-called liberal media.

  • Anon

    If its such an inconsequential subject then explain why Obama put out a blog, went on every tv station for an interview about it? He even went on Fox news in case you missed it.
    I’m guessing he must think its a big deal.

    Man! I can’t wait till the general campaign starts!

  • Pablo

    I agree wholeheartedly with the Reverend’s remarks, the fact that Obama disavowed his statements, assures that I for one will not vote for him. Right on Wright!!

  • Lee Richards

    None of these wayward comments by the candidates or their supporters will be a blip on the screen in November. It’s going to be about 1.)the economy 2.)the economy 3.)the economy 4.)Iraq 5.)age, gender or race 6.)getting out the vote.

    But Christians who WILL combine religion and politics ignore the basic teaching of Jesus:his kingdom is not of this world.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It’s the most politically inflammatory 1% of Wright’s statements that have been repeated ad nauseam the last few days. The comments may well go too far, but only a partisan would claim they represent Obama’s own thinking. And they are best taken in the context of the whole of Rev. Wright’s “oeuvre.”

    Handy, I agree that the remarks are relatively trivial. They’re not entirely untrue and they are just opinions, even if offensive. But Obama is liable to being held accountable for them, because he’s been attending the church for years when he could have gone somwhere else, and supporting the church financially, knowing what Wright was all about. That is not at all the same as getting an endorsement from some random religious nutcase.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    If its such an inconsequential subject then explain why Obama put out a blog, went on every tv station for an interview about it?

    Because the right-wing noise machine keeps banging on and on about it, that’s why.

    You can’t be that dense.

  • Anon

    Dave, you’re wasting your breath here. They will not recognize any logical statements like Obama’s ridiculous answer that he had never heard these before. It is a laughable proposition that he just happened to not attend church on all these days that the pastor made these comments.
    How convenient.
    But brainwashed people will never see it that way. You cannot expect cult members to rebel against their leader..its just their nature!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    That’s why I only surround myself with vanilla, lukewarm, stem-cell personality people, so none of them will bite me in the ass when I run for public office.

  • Anon

    #12
    So Dr Flip-flopper: is it a big deal or is it not? trying to have it both ways are we?

  • Clavos

    @ #12,

    Yeah he can…

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    While this whole deal is unfortunate and will likely cost both McCain and Obama some votes, I agree with Doc. This situation will fade away as new issues arise.

    Whoever the Dem nominee may be, I believe the fall campaign will be close all the way into November. This particular trivial bullshit won’t be in play. The candidates will be dealing with all new trivial bullshit by then. The ultimate winner will be the one making the last and most effective trivial bullshit salvo and/or making the best rebuttals against whatever bullshit is flung their way.

    Considering that in most elections, the respective campaigns’ job, when you get down to it, is to sway enough votes their way to wind up with 50% plus 1. A presidential campaign has to consider the electoral vote, of course, but still, a campaign only has to sway a relative, if precious, few votes.

    It’s maybe sad that voters allow themselves to be swayed by what is often inconsequential crap, but that is usually the reality of it. Truth, unfortunately, has little or nothing to do with it. Lies gain traction as well as, often better than, truth, because most lies are, by their nature inflammatory and sensational. They catch the voters’ eyes and ears. Usually, by comparison, the truth is dull and uninteresting. It doesn’t “sell” nearly as well as a juicy lie or even a deft bit of taking “artistic license” with a seed of truth twisted and honed into a gargantuan, snarling uncontrollable beast that eats candidates whole.

    But, again, this storm will likely pass for both McCain and Obama. There will be other monsters, other dragons to slay between here and November.

    B-tone

  • Clavos

    Can’t wait!

    Love election years!

    :>)*

    *(You’re absolutely right, B-tone; just couldn’t resist a little frivolity…)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #15:

    Somebody help me out here. How am I trying to have it both ways?

    [Shrugs and exits stage left. Or right. Ask Anon. Jeez.]

  • Doug Hunter

    This little bit of role reversal is fun. The far left America haters get a chance to defend a religious figure other than Al Gore. Priceless.

    This guy calls the US the ‘US of KKKA’ says that AIDS was set on black people by whites in this country and the the government purposely hooks black kids on drugs so they can imprison them. He says we deserved 9/11 and that god should damn us.

    Leftists defend this tripe because they hate America just as much as this joker. They think the same way. Leftists votes however, were never in question. Whats important is moderates and middle of the road people. Those people haven’t been propagandized into hate, those people don’t dispise this country, those people don’t buy these lunatic conspiracy theories. Those people won’t vote for Obama over this. Beautiful

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Hey, at least there’s no evidence that he ever blamed 9/11 on the Jews – which I was expecting to see based on his othe remarks.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Doug,

    Other than Pablo (and, well, you know Pablo) I haven’t seen anyone else on this site defend Wright. (Although as I said previously, there is at least a kernel of truth in some of what he’s said.)

    Those of us with a bit of sense are, however, trying to dispel this idiotic notion that Barack Obama is a racist America-hater just because he attends that church and is friends with the pastor.

  • Baronius

    Well, Republicans got heat for for Robertson’s claim that the gays caused Hurricane Katrina. They also got flak for appearing at Bob Jones University – just like all Democrats indirectly get blamed for Jesse Jackson’s Hymietown comment.

    The fact is, we’ve got essentially a two-party system in this country. If you charted out this country’s politics, they’d be a bell curve. The Dems get everyone from the left fringe to the middle, and the GOP gets the middle to the right fringe. That’s a lot of crazies, on both sides. Each party is obligated to point out the battiest people within the other party.

    (As a side note, the weakness of third-party movements is demonstrated by the fact that even lunatics don’t join them. That’s why guys like Wright are members of one of the two mainstream parties.)

    To the extent that the attention is one-way, like a nutjob endorsing a candidate, the candidate can’t be held responsible. There are always going to be extremists who support a candidate. It’s the two-way relationship between Obama and Wright that makes this story a little more troubling.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Again, I see it as a tempest in a teapot. Wright is an idiot, that is clear. Obama’s relationship to him is as Baronius suggests troublesome. I also agree with Baronius that candidates can neither control or even choose his or her supporters. If Charles Manson came out for McCain, there is little he or anyone could do about it except make the best attempt disavow any substantive connection between them.

    Clav,

    You know, I live for frivolity. Frankly, I’m enjoying this campaign more than any I can remember – even if McCain wins which doesn’t look like a bad bet at this juncture.

    B-tone

  • Anon

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are racial ambulance chasers. They count on racism being in the forefront so they can have a job.
    If racism were to vanish, people like these would be out of a job. So it is in their interest to flame racial fires. I bet they secretly dread Obama becoming President because it would fly in the face of their propaganda that blacks are kept down by everyone.
    People like that are ticks on our society’s fur.

    As for Obama, He has avoided falling into that trap – he hasnt used race outright as an issue. Probably because he knows that if racism were as prevelant as Sharpton and Jackson pretend it is, Obama would never be in Harvard, never be the law review president, never be a US senator and never be the Dem front runner.
    However his associations suggest that he is at least sympathetic to those views.

    No one who is against such hateful rants continues to stay in the church to comes listen to it again and again every sunday unless they, on some level, agree with it.
    His pastor is obviously a racist and a radical anti American black nationalist. There is no other way to look at it. There is no context – it is exactly as it sounds.

    Like I said earlier, I can’t wait for the general campaign to start – Obama has peaked – now we get to see him fall. Its going to be fun to watch him get swift boated!
    That is..if Hillary doesn’t kill him.

  • Bennett

    “…continues to stay in the church to comes listen to it again and again every sunday…”

    If Wright gave the same sermon every Sunday, the church would have emptied out long long ago. Picking the one or two sermons where he stepped over the line and said something stupid doesn’t give a true representation of his ministry.

    I don’t do church but I remember how ‘het up’ some of the JW ministers used to get in my grandmother’s services, a mixed ethnic JW church in Oakland CA.

    There was much love there. Many good friends and communal dinners between members, no matter the ethnic background. I respected that.

    People say stupid things, one would tend to forgive a friend for doing so if once a year, in the heat of the sermon, he stepped over the line.

  • REMF

    Dave Nalle, Baronius, Anon, Mark Edward Manning and Doug Hunter;

    Jeremiah Wright served his country honorably for seven years, in the U.S. Marine Corps (private first class, 1961-63), and the U.S. Navy (hospital corpsman third class, 1964-67).

    …And yourselves…?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    My father-in-law was also a Navy corpsman around that time. Wonder if they served together at all?

  • Doug Hunter

    “…And yourselves…?”

    Absolutely, so were Timothy McVeigh, Charles Whitman, and many others. Does that suddenly make my opinion more valuable or relevant?

  • REMF

    “Absolutely, so were Timothy McVeigh, Charles Whitman, and many others.”
    – Doug Hunter

    Except for Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, Paul Wolfowitz, Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, and the rest of the chickenhawks.

    —————————

    “Does that suddenly make my opinion more valuable or relevant?”
    – Doug Hunter

    No. And I don’t agree with Mr. Wright, but at least he earned his second amendment rights by actually serving his country during time of war (rather than just spouting empty, bellicose “patriotic” rhetoric). And yourself?

  • Bennett

    “during time of war”

    It matters not. Service is service.

    It’s unseemly to set the standard at “service” and then change the standard to “service during time of war”.

    jmo of course.

    BTW, is Anon our dear little Sicilian friend “Anthony” from back in ’05? Sounds like.

  • Anon

    Hey REMF:
    What a lame analogy.
    Since you cant give a plausible explaination regarding the extremist pastor’s hateful language, your strategy is to attack others who point out that he might be a racist and an America hater.

    Dont forget Lee Harvey Oswald served in the marines too.
    And Lincoln never had any military experience either. what does that tell you?

    Last time I checked the first amendment gave everyone the right to free speech not just combat vets.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    So one black man is in a position to be the Dem presidential candidate, perhaps even president. So that obviates the reality of racism in this country?

    Just as neo-nazis, klanners and the like claim the holocaust never happened, it is by an large racists here that claim that there is no racism. What a load of crap.

    B-tone

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    MCH has taken non-sequiters to a new height. I didn’t even criticize Wright, and none of us were talking about his position on the war in any significant way.

    And BTW, you didn’t volunteer for service, MCH. You joined solely because there was a draft, so don’t try to set yourself above anyone. You can’t blame people for not being drafted when there was no draft and no war for that matter.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    How come everyone refrers to Mr. Obama as black? I find this to be a very racist characterization of him, as he is half caucasian. Perchance one of you out there that does refer to him as “black” can explain this to me. So that you might understand where I am coming from, assume for a moment that a man was running for President whos family on the paternal side was caucasian and the maternal black, why wouldnt you refer to this gentleman as a white? And if not, WHY NOT? R A C I S M is why not folks, wake up and smell the coffee.

    See my point? Sigh……..I think it goes over most of your heads……..Obama is not black, he is a mullatto, and to me looks quite “WHITE”, hell he even talks like a honky.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “How come everyone refrers to Mr. Obama as black? I find this to be a very racist characterization of him”

    [moments later]

    “Obama is not black, he is a mullatto”

    Oh good, that’s much less racist.

    And the word you’re looking for is “Halfrican.”

  • Pablo

    Matthew,

    the dictionary certainly has no definition of mulatto as slang, or anything even closely resembling it. So tell me is that racist??

    Let me ask you this question Matthew: If Mr. Obama said that he was white, would you still refer to him as black? And would most of the population?
    This is why I suggest that it is racist to refer to the man as black, regardless of how he characterizes himself.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Mulatto is as outdated as “colored.” Please start calling all your interracial friends “mulatto,” see if they return yoru calls.

    “If Mr. Obama said that he was white, would you still refer to him as black?”

    Obama would never say he was white. He’d lose his stranglehold on the octoroon voting base.

    What kind of question is that? It’s a hypothetical that would never happen. What if Obama said he was a giant tuna monster from the planet Zyrxol? Would you think any less of him? I for one wouldn’t, because doing so would be racist.

  • Clavos

    So, let me see if I’ve got this right:

    This white guy prefers to call himself Black, and everyone who goes along with his self-designation, referring to him as a Black man (the race he claims himself, even though he’s really white) is a racist???

    You’re losing the tiny grip on reality you once had, Paul.

  • Pablo

    I knew it would go wayyyyyyyy over your lil head Clavos. Let me ask you this, if Mr. Obama referred to himself as white, would you? yeahhhh right!

  • Pablo

    Matthew,
    I just love how you avoid the question. Slick

  • Doug Hunter

    Why is it racism that white-black mixes are considered black?

  • Pablo

    Doug,

    Its not if you would consider them white too, do you?

  • STM

    That’d be the one good thing about living in England, eh Mark?

    … not being in the US during the ultra-marathon for the White House.

  • Clavos

    “I knew it would go wayyyyyyyy over your lil head Clavos.”

    Right. Hang on to that thought, Paul, it’ll make you at least feel superior.

    What is racist about considering someone to be the race they claim to be?

    Obama says he’s African-American. What the hell’s wrong with that? Maybe he’s ashamed of being half white, a reasonable enough attitude for someone half black/half white, given the shameful history of how whites have treated blacks.

  • Pablo

    Clavos,

    If Obama proclaimed himself white instead of black, would you too characterize him as caucasian? I highly doubt it. I rest my case.

  • STM

    No point trying to engage in a battle of wits with people who’ve got no ammo :)

  • Pablo

    Ahhh the voice of ignorance, welcome my ignorant friend who I love to ignore.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    And you’re doing a damned good job of it too Paul

  • Pablo

    thanks Jet :) I do try

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Mulatto is as outdated as “colored.” Please start calling all your interracial friends “mulatto,” see if they return yoru calls.

    I prefer to be more specific and use ‘quadroon’, octaroon’ and ‘high-yellow’.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    And I suggest you start calling all your interacial friends white :). Sure

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I prefer to be more specific and use ‘quadroon’, octaroon’ and ‘high-yellow’.

    And I prefer ‘Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), presidential candidate’.

    Anyone at all confused as to who I mean?

  • Cannonshop

    Y’know, my folks tried to raise me colourblind when it comes to skin. Something about judging people by the content of their character, their behaviours, and their actions instead of who their parents were.
    It’s damn strange to agree with a Liberal as I do with comment #54, and I suspect that in reality, we probably don’t agree at all. I consider the Junior Senator from Illinois to be another political snake-oil salesman pumping platitudes in place of substance, and when you don’t know a man’s truth through his actions, you have to look at who he admires and surrounds himself with.

    Therefore, it’s appropriate to consider Obama in light of his pastor, if for no other reason than because the man IS his pastor. Pastor Wright is right there with Ward Churchill, only he has the excuse of being “a minority” and a Man of the Cloth-the latter tends to add a bit more public weight to his statements, than being a known radical “academic” kept kicking around a university as a curious relic of the sixties.

    It’s also appropriate to consider McCain in light of the men HE associates with… Hagee is a Televangelist-which is, in the modern world, a bit like a preacher crossed with the Jerry Springer show, a professional beggar and venom-spewer designed mainly to separate the gullible from their money, and play on the conscience of the Lazy (as in “Too lazy to go to church, but not too lazy to feel guilty about it”). Hagee is appropriate to McCain just as Wright is to Obama-McCain sponsors bills to limit influence peddling, then peddles influence on behalf of foreign interests, Hagee rants to the far-side of the Left, while Obama never met a socialist programme he didn’t proceed to vote for. (Sixty votes in the senate, not one against any social-spending no matter how absurd).

    This election season, we have the woman who married well, the socialist snake-oil salesman, or the crooked phoniCon (that’s “Phoney Conservative”) to choose from. Democrats need to only choose between two of those- Hillary and Obama, Republicans already chose the last, and the rest of us have to weigh the question of which one is least likely to get what they want.

  • Clavos

    “If Obama proclaimed himself white instead of black, would you too characterize him as caucasian? I highly doubt it. I rest my case.”

    But, he doesn’t “proclaim himself white,” does he?

    Doubt all you want. Rest your case all you want.

    Once more, by assuming, you’re making an ass out of yourself.

  • REMF

    “You can’t blame people for not being drafted when there was no draft and no war for that matter.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Unless of course they avoided the first Gulf War and then later promote sending someone else overseas to fight their battles for them…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I don’t have any battles to send people to fight, MCH. But I do support the military doing what it’s designed to do when it is in our national interest. It’s a pity that you don’t give a rat’s ass about our nation, its survival or anything but your own self-interest.

    Dave

  • http://www.freegoodnews.com Bernie

    Pastor John Hagee also has a money scandal- taking over $1 million anually from his ministries for personal gain. To find out more, google search for “PETITION FOR PASTOR HAGEE TO REPENT”.

  • Pablo

    Clavos,

    I love how you refuse to answer the question. Typical of a bigot.

  • Clavos

    “I love how you refuse to answer the question.”

    I think of him as half white/half black, because that is what he is. He calls himself black, so that’s what I call him. If he chose to call himself white (or pink, or whatever), I would respect that, and refer to him whatever way he wants.

    I really don’t care what anyone’s ethnic background is, so I’m not sure how it is that I’m a bigot.

  • Bennett

    “I think of him as half white/half black, because that is what he is. He calls himself black, so that’s what I call him. If he chose to call himself white (or pink, or whatever), I would respect that, and refer to him whatever way he wants.

    I really don’t care what anyone’s ethnic background is…”

    Exactly. Well said Clavos.

  • Pablo

    Yes Clavos, but IF, and I do know it takes a great stretch of your limited intellectual capacity to entertain and imagine a hypothetical scenerio; Mr. Obama referred to himself as WHITE, would you then refer to him as white also? Thats where the bigot comment came from. I know I am still going way over your head Clavos, but I am attempting to show you something which you just cant quite grasp.

  • Clavos

    It seems to me, Pablo, that YOU are the one who “can’t quite grasp.”

    I answered your stupid, dumbass hypothetical question in #60, when I said:

    “If he chose to call himself white (or pink, or whatever), I would respect that, and refer to him whatever way he wants.”

    Or, to put it another way:

    YES, I WOULD REFER TO HIM AS WHITE [Personal attack deleted].

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    One has to ask why Pablo thinks we’re in the habit of identifying people by skin color above all else. That may be what he does, appending a color before the word ‘man’ or ‘woman’ at every opportunitty, but I suspect most of the rest of us don’t do that.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    Perhaps because Pablo was raised in a more intense end of the victim culture than the rest of us, perhaps a left-wing stronghold like Berkley, or Los Angeles where race-baiting is more common than it is even in the Southeast.

  • Pablo

    I beg to differ. I do not have a racist bone in my body, what I have been attempting unsuccesfully I might add is to show how racist amrerica is still. The point of fact is that if Obama or another person who was of mixed african and caucasian race were to say that they were white as opposed to black most americans would still characterize that person as black, I believe that is racist. I love how you twist my words Dave, I have NEVER uttered one word suggesting that any race is inferior or superior or another and you know it. Clavos I do not believe you quite frankly, that you would refer to him as white regardless of what you say here, just my TWO SENSE worth bubba.

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    you said:
    “appending a color before the word ‘man’ or ‘woman’ at every opportunitty, but I suspect most of the rest of us don’t do that”

    Perhaps you could show me where in the 300 some odd posts i have done on this site, except with reference to what i have been trying to point out here, WHERE, I have used the color of a persons skin before the referencing of a person. YOU numbskull! I would like a response to your denigration; with Clavos it is to be expected.

  • Clavos

    “Clavos I do not believe you quite frankly, that you would refer to him as white regardless of what you say here”

    And that is exactly why I don’t like to answer your hypotheticals. You’re not interested in the truth; you merely want to confirm your prejudices.

    I won’t play your games.

  • Dan

    “The point of fact is that if Obama or another person who was of mixed african and caucasian race were to say that they were white as opposed to black most americans would still characterize that person as black, I believe that is racist.”

    When the standard for being perceived as racist is lowered to such a trivial level it ceases to be a concern.

    If a bi-racial person is traumatized for being labeled black or white, it seems more like a hypersensitivity issue to be addressed within.

  • Baronius

    OK, Pablo, I’ll play.

    If Obama called himself white, I’d still call him black. Because – this is the significant thing – he’s black. I don’t care that he’s black, and it doesn’t make him a better or worse candidate, or a better or worse president. But he falls in the range of color and physical features that we call “black”. If we’re going to talk about the subject of race, let’s stop lying to ourselves.

    And he definitely campaigns as a black guy. Let’s be honest: no one would remember a white Illinois state senator talking about unity at the 2004 Democratic Convention. He sure wouldn’t have been keynote speaker. He probably would have noticed that Rev. Wright is nuts a lot quicker than he did. No one would be calling this election “historic”. Also, the Oprah thing would never have happened.

    On top of all that, he’s a savvy politician. He’d use his leprechaunness as an advantage, if he were a leprechaun. He’s using his mixed-race status as an advantage. I don’t know if he’s deliberately using it to protect himself fron criticism, but it does work that way. His color is part of his appeal.

  • Pablo

    Baronius,

    Of course you would call him black even if he referred to himself as white, thank you for proving my point Baronius. Btw I am german and english, however my skin color particularly when I have a good tan going is just as dark as Obama, and I happen to have very curly hair. So your argument does not hold water, my opinion of your response it that you are racist, as are any others who would by default refer to a half african american and half caucasian as black per se. Thanks for biting.

  • Pablo

    On a side note I came across this article in the NY Times today while perousing google news a few hours ago on Hilary. Link

    She claims several hours after Obama’s speech today that she had not seen it, nor read the text of the speech. Sure Hilary. Another typical example of our lying deceitful politicians. She has only spent in excess of $100,000,000 dollars to win the nomination, thousands of hours campaigning, crying in front of the media, but when Mr. Obama makes a speech, she hasnt seen it yet. Awww Hilary.

  • Baronius

    Gosh, Pablo, I didn’t see that coming, but I’m glad you feel good about yourself. (You’re practically black yourself, aren’t you, you deeply tanned English-German you?)

    I don’t care about race, but I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not.

    By the way, England and Germany are two countries with great track records on the subject of race. But that doesn’t matter, because who you are isn’t determined by your ancestry.

  • REMF

    “And BTW, you didn’t volunteer for service, MCH. You joined solely because there was a draft, so don’t try to set yourself above anyone.”
    – Dave Nalle

    That’s not true, Nalle. I enlisted in the spring of 1970 AFTER the lottery took place, and I learned that my number of 275 was well above the cut-off of #190 for that year.

    Unlike Rush Limbaugh, who lied about his #152 being “too high” for the draft (and received a medical deferment for a cyst on his ass).

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I stand corrected, MCH. Clearly you had a desperate need for the special kind of naval training you get on the volleyball court in Hawaii.

    Dave

  • Bennett

    “So your argument does not hold water, my opinion of your response it that you are racist…”

    I don’t see that at all. Baronius is simply applying the accepted ethnic pigeon-holing label based on outward appearance, to a man he knows is much more than just superficial label, for conversation’s sake.

    But what I do see is that you are a nut job.

  • REMF

    “Clearly you had a desperate need for the special kind of naval training you get on the volleyball court in Hawaii.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Actually I was a RM at NavCommStaHono near Wahiawa. And as I’ve said many times before, very lacklustre, mediocre service.

    …Although it was more than anything you’ve ever done.

  • Baronius

    REMF – What does this article have to do with military service? Yours, Wright’s, or Limbaugh’s? Just answer that. And if you can’t, you should probably ask yourself why you always bring it up.

  • REMF

    Baronius;

    You have referred to Reverend Wright as a “nutjob.” I don’t agree with Wright’s more divisive comments. However – unlike many of the phony bellicose conservatives – he earned the right to voice his opinions by honorably serving his country during time of war.

  • Pablo

    And I sir, was born with the right to voice my opinions, and am also proud of the fact that at age 12 I was out on the streets protesting an illegal war, based on a lie (Gulf of Tonkin Incident) that caused the deaths of countless human beings needlessly. In case you didnt notice Baronius, the Vietnam war was won by the North, what ever happened to those dominoes? Today Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I bet you didnt lose any sleep over all those lives lost for NOTHING did ya Baronius?

  • Clavos

    “he earned the right to voice his opinions by honorably serving his country during time of war.”

    Read the Constitution. Our rights are not conferred by the government; we are BORN with them, no one has to “earn the right” to speak their opinion.

    And no one has to agree with anyone else’s opinion…

    Military service (or the lack thereof) has nothing whatever to do with our rights.

  • REMF

    “Our rights are not conferred by the government; we are BORN with them, no one has to “earn the right” to speak their opinion.”
    – Clavos

    Good. Than in my opinion Billy Calley was a cold-blooded, scumbag murdering coward.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    The speech today was pretty remarkable. Believe the hype: some people are calling it among the most important political speeches ever given. I’ve just now watched it twice through.

    An honest speech…by a politician trying to defuse a controversy? And about the subject of race, so rarely discussed with candor in this country? Great stuff.

  • Baronius

    Clavos beat me to the punch. We don’t have to earn the right to speak in this country, particularly political and religious speech. This is exactly the stuff that the Founders sought to protect. However nutty I may find Wright’s views, he hasn’t *earned* the right to speak them. He *has* the right.

    These rights are part of our Constitution. REMF, when you enlisted, you swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But you’ve become one of those enemies. It’s time for you to rethink where this militaristic thinking has led you.

  • Clavos

    “Than in my opinion Billy Calley was a cold-blooded, scumbag murdering coward.”

    …and John Kerry said the rest of us were too.

  • Baronius

    Pablo, you’re a bit older than I am. I won’t hold a 12-year-old’s politics against him, but I’m surprised you don’t look back on those protests with shame.

    Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia suffered immensely under communism. Millions of humans died from starvation, slaughter, and trying to escape. The dominoes fell, even worse than had been predicted.

  • Pablo

    How right you are Baronius, millions of humans died, however you forgot to mention the napalm, MyLai, the massive 24 hour bombing of civilians in Hanoi. As to the dominoe theory, aside from Laos, which I have personally been to, there is no other communist governments in Southeast Asia today. Most of the people trying to escape were trying to escape being bombed into oblivion by my government sadly.:)

    You are a typical revisionist Baronius, and your arguments do not hold water. Not only that but your so called conservative heroes that you have mentioned for the most part are barbaric facists.

    Not only do I not look back on those days with shame, I do not for one second regret actively demonstrating against the first gulf war, nor the second. I do suggest to you Baronius as you seem to say that you believe in the rule of law, that the next time your government decides to invade another country, particularly one that has not invaded or threatened us, that you demand of your leaders that they obey the rule of law, i e the constitution that stipulates that only Congress can Declare War, as opposed to the AUMF, authorization to use military force. A resolution is not an act of congress bucko, it is a resolution that has no binding legal force of law, and was unconstitutional on its face.

  • Pablo

    Oh and Baronius?
    On the subject of Kampuchea (Cambodia) of which I too have personally visted you might want to take a look at this article showing how the US government actively supported Pol Pot.
    One of its chief proponents of supporting them was none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski CFR Trilateral Commission, and Obamas leading national security expert.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Not only do I not look back on those days with shame, I do not for one second regret actively demonstrating against the first gulf war, nor the second.

    Paul,

    Let me give you something to chew on. Looking back, one can argue that the moral point of view – the correct moral thing to have done – was NOT to have gone to war in Vietnam, or later, not to have double-crossed the Iraqi dictator and attacked Iraq.

    By and large, that would be right.

    Vietnam was a morass that ensnared Americans in a culture of cynicism. And the cynicism that developed in Vietnam allowed the Americans to betray the Kurds and Shi’a who revolted against Saddam Hussein in 1991, anticipating an American advance on Baghdad, and finding, as the Cuban refugees did thirty years earlier, that the American government was not willing to back up people seeking freedom.

    Looking back, one could say that you were right.

    But now comes the kicker. The war in the Gulf was foreseen thousands of years ago by an evil seer named Bila’am. Immoral as it has been in its origins, it was going to be pursued anyway. And therefore, the culture of cynicism needed in America to wrongly pursue it was going to emerge anyway.

    This war that has emptied America of its resources was foretold long ago. I could not have told you in 1990 that the Americans would pour all their resources into the Tigris and the Euphrates. But I can honestly tell you that sitting in my car in St. Paul, listening to the news on NPR in early 1991, while waiting to pick up the infant (who is now 19 years old) from daycare, I felt a sense of doom on me – a sense that only shifted when the first reports emerged from Baghdad that Americans were bombing the city. The sense of doom did not lift. It shifted. I sensed, for reasons I now understand, that Destiny was waiting to occur. After this, I went to the daycare lady, took my son and went back to our Chevy Cavalier and drove home, listening to the news as I drove.

  • Baronius

    Pablo, you provided a link to an article from Covert Action Quarterly about how the US secretly supported Pol Pot, and I’m the revisionist?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    As to the dominoe theory, aside from Laos, which I have personally been to, there is no other communist governments in Southeast Asia today.

    Most informed students of international affairs would argue that the reason that there are so few communist countries there or elsewhere today is that our policy of containment to prevent the success of the domino effect was largely a success. In that context even the Vietnam war, which delayed the process and exhausted so many resources for the forces of communism in that region, could be viewed as a success.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Baronius,

    Yep you are the revisionist, perhaps you take your news source from the mainstream lying press, I do not.

    Dave,

    I think what you may have meant to say is that most informed right wing facists agree that communism was contained by the war in vietnam. I think you and Baronius should wed. I can almost picture you guys cuddling together. LOL. What an image.

  • Pablo

    Oh and Baronius,

    Here is another source that you might not find so objectionable given your hysteria at reading something out of the mainstream press. In 1981 Brzezinski revealed that he encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. This was part of a wider policy of forcing the Vietnamese out of Cambodia by funding anti-Vietnamese guerrilla groups that the U.S. helped create.[17] Between 1979 and 1981, the World Food Program, which was strongly under US influence, provides nearly $12 million in food aid Thailand. Much of this aid makes its way to the Khmer Rouge.[18] In January 1980 the US started funding Pol Pot while he was in exile. The extent of this support was $85m from 1980 to 1986.[19]

    As you may or may not recall Mr. Brzezinski was the National Security advisor for Carter, and a member in good standing at the Trilateral Commission and the CFR. His book “The Grand Chessboard” is a must read. A thouroghly disgusting example of a human being at his worst imho.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo, I wouldn’t know what right-wing fascists would say about Vietnam, but what you attribute to me in #92 isn’t what I said. I said that informed students of foreign affairs believe that containment worked. Containment is not just the war in Vietnam, there’s a lot more to it. And that it worked really, really isn’t in dispute.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    If YOU say so Davey. After all your the expert on umm EVERYTHING.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo. How many topics have you actually seen me write on with any profession of expertise? If a well educated and experienced person can’t be informed on more than one or two things, or get themselves informed, then the world is in serious trouble.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Pablo, the mainstream press largely backs your reading of the Vietnam War. The US was wrong to be there; we left because of the earnest protests on US campuses; SE Asia happened to collapse when we left, but it was just a coincidence. I guess you’d disagree with that last part. Either way, you’re describing me as a mainstream revisionist, which doesn’t make any sense.

  • Clavos

    “doesn’t make any sense”

    You expected sen…

    Nah. Too easy.

  • Pablo

    It is the way that you come across Davey. And I am quite sure that I am not the only one that feels this way about your posts. It frequently comes across as not only condescending, but arrogant in the extreme, with a hint of WFB’s snobism. Thats just my two sense worth. As to some of the positions that I may agree with you on, there are a few. That being said I find most of what you have to offer in terms of political acuteness to be almost always on the side of using military muscle when it is not called for.

    In my OPINION, your understanding of what Socialism is, and those that financially back it it elementary at best, and not even close to the truth. The topics that I do agree on you with are the second amendment, your views on the drug war, and perhaps a few more of your more libertarian views. For the most part however I find you quite ignorant on such things as 9/11, third world countries, and their sovereignty, the CFR, Rockyfeller and company, JP Morgan, the FED, and numerous other issues which do not come to mind at the moment. In reference to your recent article about YOU supporting terrorism, I found that to be very repugnent and thus my numerous posts for you to renounce terrorism, by condeming the illegal slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings. I suspect howeve that goes over your head, and it probably does not bother you that so many lives have been needlessly lost, and maimed for NOTHING. I also disagree with you vehemently on the so called war on terror, which in my view is nothing more than a witch hunt, or a sniper hunt, which has been perpetrated by UK and USA intelligence agencies to replace the Soviet Union as the enemy of choice to perpetuate the military industrial-homeland security apparatti.

    I just loved McCains snafu in Jordan yesterday, did you catch it Dave. About Al Qaeda in Iran, with Liebermann at his side correcting him. That was rich!

  • Pablo

    Clavos

    YAWN

  • Clavos

    Heh.

  • Pablo

    Baronius

    When you have something interesting to say (I do not mean something to which I agree with), I will debate you on the issues of the day. For the most part I find your arguments to be a rehash of the Weekly Standard and its ilk. Your choices of conservatives that you openly admire only further my views of you as nothing more than my image of the ugly american. I suggest you go back to the founding documents and get a grip on what a constitutional repbulic is as opposed to a democracy.

  • REMF

    “If a well educated and experienced person can’t be informed on more than one or two things, or get themselves informed, then the world is in serious trouble.”
    – Dave Nalle

    And if a presidential candidate insists three different times in two days that Iran is training Al Qaeda, than well educated and experienced know-it-alls might be in serious trouble as well.

  • Pablo

    SPOT ON REMF

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    It is the way that you come across Davey. And I am quite sure that I am not the only one that feels this way about your posts.

    If the fact that I have some knowledge and can articulate it clearly arouses their feelings of inadequacy I’m sorry.

    It frequently comes across as not only condescending, but arrogant in the extreme, with a hint of WFB’s snobism.

    I guess I can take that as a compliment.

    Thats just my two sense worth.

    Which we’d take seriously if you knew the difference between ‘cents’ and ‘sense’. Oh, I’m sorry, was that arrogant and condescending?

    As to some of the positions that I may agree with you on, there are a few. That being said I find most of what you have to offer in terms of political acuteness to be almost always on the side of using military muscle when it is not called for.

    Which shows that you really, really aren’t paying attention and just seeing what you expect to see.

    In my OPINION, your understanding of what Socialism is, and those that financially back it it elementary at best, and not even close to the truth.

    Then your opinion would be of little value. I’ve had more first-hand experience of socialism and communism than just about anyone on here except for some of the Chinese shill posters.

    The topics that I do agree on you with are the second amendment, your views on the drug war, and perhaps a few more of your more libertarian views.

    As if you even understand libertarianism.

    For the most part however I find you quite ignorant on such things as 9/11, third world countries, and their sovereignty, the CFR, Rockyfeller and company, JP Morgan, the FED, and numerous other issues which do not come to mind at the moment.

    All areas in which you hold beliefs firmly based in unreality.

    In reference to your recent article about YOU supporting terrorism, I found that to be very repugnent and thus my numerous posts for you to renounce terrorism, by condeming the illegal slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings.

    Demonstrating that you both don’t even understand what terrorism is, nor do you have a basic familiarity with the actual facts of the situation in Iraq.

    I suspect howeve that goes over your head, and it probably does not bother you that so many lives have been needlessly lost, and maimed for NOTHING. I also disagree with you vehemently on the so called war on terror, which in my view is nothing more than a witch hunt, or a sniper hunt, which has been perpetrated by UK and USA intelligence agencies to replace the Soviet Union as the enemy of choice to perpetuate the military industrial-homeland security apparatti.

    As ridiculous conspiracy theories go this one is a bit more credible than most of those you subscribe to.

    Even if it were true, of course, it would be largely irrelevant. Though I do find the idea of mounting a fake war on terror which accidentally preciptiates the very real and inevitable war with islam mildly amusing.

    I just loved McCains snafu in Jordan yesterday, did you catch it Dave. About Al Qaeda in Iran, with Liebermann at his side correcting him. That was rich!

    I missed it. I do think that associating with Lieberman is a terrible mistake for McCain. McCain himself has admitted that he’s weak on foreign policy. He needs to quickly get himself some help from someone qualified in that area, which would not be Lieberman. The troubling aspect of that is that it probably means turning to the Neocons out of convenience, though maybe they’ve been discredited enough that he’ll look for advice from some other more reputable source – perhaps retired military like Colin Powell.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    Pablo: I work with a fairly large number of people who fled S.E. Asia’s “Worker’s Paradise” both before, and after 1975, they don’t share your appraisal.
    (odd enough, maybe it’s a regional thing-lots of Viet, H’mong, Cambodians up here in W. Washington, enough that I’ve started learning the language so I’m not AS confused by my co=workers’ conversations…) It seems that something on the order of two million Vietnamese fled south when the french pulled out in 1956, and a couple million risked their lives in leaky boats after Saigon fell in ’75. There isn’t much record of people taking those kind of risks to get IN to Vietnam after that-though I suppose some U.C. Berkeley types might have tried it. One of my Inspectors on the production line was wounded at Xiao-Loc, can you dig it? I was TWO when that went down, and it was pretty much AFTER the U.S. had pulled out. According to HIM, the North and the South were about as much one people as Austria and Germany are-shared language, nothing else.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Not to mention the ethnic minorities within Vietnam which the VC oppressed and persecuted for years in the most brutal possible way. Groups which had been protected under both French and US occupation.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Almost the entire Gulf Coast (especially in Texas, Dave) fishing industry has been taken over by Vietnamese.

    A lot of them settled here in South Florida and are working in boat building and repair.

    There’s also a substantial colony of Hmong in and around Minneapolis.

    All of them came seeking better opportunity and/or fleeing persecution.

    All the traffic between Cuba and the USA is one way, too.

    Funny thing about all those Commie “workers paradises:” nobody ever heads TO them; only AWAY from them.

  • Silver Surfer

    Australia had the largest number of Vietnamese refugees fleeing by boat of any country in the region, and took on 140,000 initially.

    Most of the other refugees went to the US, Canada, France and Britain, but Australia remained a prime destination for those heading south in overcrowded, rickety, leaky boats simply because of its location.

    They continued to come to this continent in their thousands, along with many more from Cambodia and Laos; they are still here, too, and they and their kids (and in many cases their grandkids) are now proud Aussies.

    None that I’ve met, and that’s quite a lot considering they are now part of the colourful fabric of this country, have ever expressed any desire to return to live in the workers’ paradises of south-east Asia, or even the now-reformed Socialist Republic of Vietnam (which is now a prime tourist destination for Australians).

    Nup. All those boat people and their offspring were happy where they are. Wonder why that is??

    Not hard to guess, is it? They’re free, that’s why.

    It’s also worth remembering in any discussion of this that roughly half of the Vietnamese were opposed to the communist attempt to take over the country, so it’s a moot point as to who was really waging a war of aggression.

  • Silver Surfer

    The best bit: apart from the range of Vietnamese food available in Oz, they run many of the bakeries – one of the good legacies of colonial France.

    It means in Sydney I can get the best baguettes this side of Paris or Hanoi.

  • http://www.buyingone.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, Vietnam is actually being touted as the new Thailand and is actually quite an interesting destination, not only to tourists but also for expat living as property is so affordable there.

    I flew over the Vietnamese coast a few years back en route to Hong Kong and saw literally hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches. Certainly a lot more appealing than living in an LA parking lot as increasing numbers of Californians are!

  • Clavos

    You’re absolutely right as to the beauty of the coastline, Chris. I remember thinking when I was there, that it was one of the prettiest coastal areas I had seen anywhere. The South China Sea is as beautiful and clear as anything in the South Pacific islands or the Caribbean.

    I especially like the areas of Vung Tau (briefly used as an R&R destination), Nha Trang, Da Nang and Cam Ranh Bay. The latter is one of the largest bays in the world, and was a HUGE naval base during the war.

    I also was briefly in the Highlands, which were equally beautiful.

    It always saddened me that such a gorgeous area was so torn and ravaged by the war…

    Many of my fellow vets are traveling to VN these days. I receive several veteran’s publications; all of them have numerous ads for travel packages to VN.

    If my wife were able to travel, we would go.

  • Baronius

    Pablo isn’t embarrassed around me, a youngish conservative. That’s fine. I’d think he’d be embarrassed around Clavos, a Vietnam vet who was in all likelihood treated with contempt by the protestors of the era.

    But you guys raise an interesting point. The US has a lot of SE Asians now. How must it feel to be a former anti-war activist, and meet the people that the US betrayed? That has to be mortifying. It’s like Joe Kennedy meeting Holocaust survivors.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Baronius, you forget that the idea of shame is not part of the mentality of the morally self-righteous, whether their politics are of the left or the right. The aging hippy feels no more shame over our betrayal of the Vietnamese than the denizens of a megachurch do when they learn that the child of a friend is dying of AIDS. The self-righteousness overwhelms their better instincts in both cases.

    Dave

  • REMF

    “I’d think he’d be embarrassed around Clavos, a Vietnam vet who was in all likelihood treated with contempt by the protestors of the era.”
    – Baronius

    You’re not forgetting that Nalle also protested against that war?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The central San Joaquin Valley in California also has a large Hmong population – the second largest in the US behind the Twin Cities.

    We had a fresh influx of them a few years ago from the refugee camps in Thailand where many of them still live – because they’re still fighting the Laotian government, more than 30 years after the ‘end’ of the war.

  • Pablo

    Baronius,

    I might have more respect for Clavos’s service, had he respected the Constitution of the USA. As he obviously did not, and went even though there had not been a formal declaration of war, he gets only contempt from me. That goes for the rest of the Vets.

  • Pablo

    Cannonship,

    Nice try there bucko, I have been to Vietnam, and I know very well how most of them feel about being invaded and occupied. That being said they also are extremely hospitable, and have let bygones be bygones, and do not hold grudges. I suggest next time you want to tell me about South East Asia you show a bit more respect. I have personally lived there for the most part of the past 8 years, including Thailand, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar (Burma).

    Frankly Cannonship you do not know what you are talking about.

  • Pablo

    Dave post 105

    A Typical Dave response. Arrogant in the extreme, condescending to boot, and ill informed. As to my two sense worth it is a pun, and obviously goes over your head, I cannot apologize for the Davey boy.

    You are so ill informed that you recently said that David Rockefeller was dead! You make me laugh Davey, you are so out of touch with what is really going on in this world and more particularly our country it is mind boggling.

    You act as if you are the end all and be all of information, and you for the most part have no idea of what you are really saying. My own hunch is that you say it so that you can feel important about yourself in this forum, which is why you hardly ever let a comment about you go by.

    I am glad you took it as a compliment my reference to your effete snobism being like WFB. It sums up in one sentence what I feel about both of you.

    The only right wing consevative that I can understand is one that is very wealthy, for suckers like Baronius it never ceases to amaze me how or why they would ever subscribe to such idiocy, not to mention inhumatnity.

    Just my two SENSE there Davey Boy

  • Pablo

    And one other thing Clavy. In my opinion the Vietnam war was done for one purpose. That was to ease the shipment of Heroin into this country. Check out Bo Gritz if you have the courage. The most HIGHLY decorated Vietnam vet. He says in no uncertain terms thats exactly what the Vietnam war was about. People such as Richard Armtitage were intimately involved in this effort. So was Colin Powell. Not to mention Operation Phoenix, which target human beings for kidnappin, torture and murder by the CIA.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Irene Wagner

    Last line of the article:

    “I don’t think I would even recognize a Presidential election without the ecstatic madness of religious extremism.”

    Yeah, but I’m praying for one anyway.

  • Pablo

    Irene,
    I feel like expressing myself, this is HOW and WHY I feel about the Vietnam War. I could frankly give a damn if I get contempt from Clavos. He has done nothing but disparge me since I started writing on this site. As Jesus said “spread the other cheek”.

  • Baronius

    Dave, I disagree. I think the sense of shame has got to be strong in people like Pablo. He can spend time in Cambodia and come away feeling like communism wasn’t so bad, that the dominoes didn’t fall too hard. That those bone piles were the result of some national unrest, or maybe the CFR. People only lie to themselves that blindly when they’re trying to silence a very loud voice inside.

    But I could be wrong.

  • Cannonshop

    #118 Okay, so you went on a sanitized state tour and didn’t get off the bus, that’s nice. I tend to believe people who aren’t in danger of being shot or dragged off to re-education camps over people who’re under those conditions or have close family under those conditions. Lots of people who’ve gone to Cuba, or visited the Soviet Union during the cold war say the same things, but it doesn’t change what is there, or what happens to people who dare to dissent from the current party line.

  • Pablo

    Baronius,

    I hate communism, however it is not up to ME as an american to decide for other countries how they decide to live, even if they are exploited. It is up to THEM as it was to us to cast off oppression. Democracy at the point of a gun, as demonstrated in Irag will always fail.

    If you were really to study the roots of communism and who financed it, you would find that it was financed by Wall Street. Should you have the open mind about it, I would be glad to supply referencing URL’s to support that argument. From the days of Leon Trotsky, when he was given a great deal of money by Wall Street insiders to start the Marxist revolution. I am more informed on this movement than you can possibly Imagine
    Baronius. I cant stand Marxists, the same goes with Socialists. I believe in the sovereignty of the INVDIVIDUAL, and a constitutional republic, with a bill of rights, that protects the minority, that being ME from the tyranny of the majority.

  • Baronius

    Pablo, you kill me.

    You’re more informed than I can possibly imagine? You’re not only more informed than me, you’re more informed than I’m capable of understanding… but more than that, my imagination is incapable of producing a notion that represents how informed you are.

    Yet you didn’t notice any scars in Cambodia.

  • Pablo

    Cannonship

    I travel ALONE, not in groups. I have been to the Pol Pot museum of death. I have lived among Hmong,and the Laotions, been in their homes. Laughed with them, shared food with them. Your assuming about me only shows your ignorance sir.

    I have travelled alone from Bangkok to Udon Thani,Ubon Rathcathani, Vientiane, Khon Kaen, Vang Vien, Luang Prabang, and many many other places I am quite sure you have never heard of. If you want to talk about Southeast Asia, it is my forte. Feel free. In a tour? Hardly

  • Pablo

    Baronius,

    I concur with your above post wholeheartedly.

  • Irene Wagner

    It’s true Pablos, your ideas haven’t been well received on this site. Neither have mine. Remember I support Ron Paul, too, which is why I am particularly HORRIFIED at the way you’re attacking PEOPLE rather than their ideas. You make ALL of us look bad.

    So you’re protesting wars? You(mis)quoted Jesus to me, I’ll give a loose translation of a Friedrich Nietzsche aphorism to YOU: “If you are fighting monsters, beware lest you become one yourself.”

    I’ve got stuff to do.

  • Pablo

    Irene,
    I am not on this site to win a popularity contest dear. I am on it to express MY opinion. I could care less if people disagree with me, call me tin foil hat, or any of the other deragatory comments that I have read. I will continue to express myeslf as long as I live, critics be damned.

    There as a day when Galileo was condemned and ridiculed, that didnt make what he had to say any less true. The fact that most people on this site have absolutely no idea what is going on in terms of such things as the war on terror, the bilderberg group, the cfr, the trilateral commission, the rockefellers sordid history of eugenics, the moslem brotherhood being infiltrated bye US and UK intelligence for over 40 years, mk ultra, the tuskagee experiments, shit i could go on all day.

    In MY opinion facism is alive and well, and I will protest it, expose it, challenge it as long as I have breath. My critics be damned.

    That also goes for the Prescott Bush and Averell Harriman of the Union Banking Corporation, and Brown Brothers Harriman, who openly financed Hitler, and Auscwitz.

  • Pablo

    As to being a monster Irene. I have NEVER killed another human being, has Clavos? I have NEVER pointed a weapon at another human being. I have never perpetrated violence against another human being. I treat others as they treat me. I am not a christian, I do not believe in turning the other cheek. If I am shown respect I return it in kind. If I am shown contempt, I also return that in kind. People such as Clavos have dont NOTHING but ridicule my opinion (certainly his right) since I started on this site. Instead of debating on the issues of the day in a civilized intelligent manner, I have been treated with name calling, and defamation. I still will debate in a civilized way if such people as Clavos, STM, Dave, and a few others want to. Unfortunately that is not what I see. Thus I will return in kind.

    I am no longer for Ron Paul for President Irene, so whatever I have to say does not reflect on YOU or his followers. I SPEAK for myself.

  • Irene Wagner

    Pablo, if you like the results you’re getting from “returning in kind,” go ahead and keep it up.

  • Pablo

    Irene,

    I will don’t worry dear.

  • Pablo

    Clavos,

    What happened to the littel pixels on the screeen?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Pablo,

    I protested the war in Vietnam, particularly because I thought it was a waste of American lives and treasure. And I’ve lived to be proven right. I was fooled about Iraq the first time, but not the second.

    Nevertheless re-read what I wrote to you in comment #89. A mighty empire was meant to fall during my lifetime – Edom – the American empire. And we are seeing exactly how it is falling – it is falling into penury.

    I’ve been cursed to live in “interesting” times. We all have. You too, Irene. But I’ve been blessed to see the opening days of the messianic redemption. And I’m grateful for the understanding to realize that this is indeed what I’m seeing.

  • zingzing

    yay! ruvy gets to see things! i’m just glad i get to see him seeing things.

    the messiah is coming to get you, ruv-bara.

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy, opening days of how long a span? From your perspective, that could be as many as 232 years from now. From mine, it could have been any day after 70 A.D. until thousands or hundreds of thousands years from now. In certain oriental cultures, the marriage celebration starts when the bridegroom arrives from out-of-town to fetch his betrothed. The timing of his arrival is supposed to be a Big Surprise, but it’s a surprise for which his future wife is to be in constant preparation. She’d better be doing what she’s supposed to be doing when he gets back.

    You and I have different ideas about what that preparation entails. All times are “interesting times.” I don’t know the future. Even if America should collapse economically, there’ll still be people living here, and they may EVEN be trying to put the pieces back together again. I have a responsibility to the next generation and to the ones that may come after. Today is my time for continuing to support the ideas of a man who has been vilified on this site and in the press. I try to have a *little* understanding of what I’m talking about. I don’t pretend to be a font of all wisdom. At least I’m not like ^^^^SOME PEOPLE^^^^^around here who “supported” Ron Paul’s candidacy, then scampered off after they’d done their damage.

    Have a happy Purim, Ruvy.

  • Pablo

    Irene,

    I detect being the paranoid that I am that that Ron Paul reference may have been directed at me.

    Let me tell you something dear. I have been a adamant fan of Mr. Paul for at least ten years. YOU?

    I have read several of his books, watched him arise in popularity, unbeknownst to you probably on the Alex Jonse show. If you doubt what I am saying is true I can provide you with the url of the particular radio show of Alex’s whre Mr. Paul said in no uncertain terms that he got is big push in running for president from that show.

    I do not run off and scamper, he is not going to win, and has all but retired from the race. You can talk directly with me Elaine if you would like to about Mr. Paul, but to couch in vague terms an attack on me abandoning Mr. Paul is disengenuos at best. I suspect you probably never heard of him as recently as last year dear.

  • Pablo

    Irene,

    I also wonder if you read my piece on blogcritics about Mr. Paul. If you had perhaps you would not be so quick to denigrate me for running off as it were.
    That is of course if your barb was directed at me, which I think that it was. If you have not read it, perhaps you might want to.

    As to my particular politcal philosophy reflecting badly on him as you suggested, quite frankly the opposite is true. Candidates are supposed to represent their respective constituencies not the other way around. I make no apology to you or anyone else on this site for my sarcasm, wit, bitterness, or rage. Of particular note regarding Mr. Paul, he lost me as a fan, and many others because of his cowtowing on 9/11. Other than that particular issue I happen to agree with him on the other main issues of the day, ie the FED, the CFR, the Constitution, and not being the world’s cop.

    Like I said before Irene, I am not on this site to win a popularity contest, nor do my opinions reflect anyone else’s but my own, and I will continue to espouse them when I feel like it.

  • Pablo

    Pablo bends over for Clavos, please use a condom sweetie.

  • Irene Wagner

    Pablo, there’s likely to be an election in 2012, if someone hasn’t passed an executive order to lengthen term limits so we have a “President for Life.” If you want to support a Libertarian then, or a Republican trying to get the Republican platform to at least RESEMBLE what it used to be—and Ron Paul delegates have a chance of at LEAST doing that in ’08–then you may want to reconsider your approach to “influencing” people.

    Pablo, many MANY who served/are serving in the US military thought/think they were doing the right thing. It’s hard NOT to have contempt for the people who cynically used their patriotism.

    I don’t know if I’d have fought the American Revolution the way it was fought. Maybe it could have been a rEVOLution, too. Be that as it may, I’d like you to name ONE signer of the Declaration of Independence who was shy about getting behind a musket. Go ahead Pablo. Fill us all in. Were they all monsters, too?

  • Pablo

    Irene,

    Here is a quick civics lesson for you:
    US Constitution
    Article 1
    Section 8
    “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water”

    When the President as he did in Vietnam sends troops to a foreign country without this formal declartion of War, it is unconstitutional. When the congress under the AUMF (Authorization to Use Militry Force in Irag) resolution was passed this too was unconstitutional. A resolution is NOT an act of congress, particularly not an ACT to declare war.

    So when a young buck who does not know how to uphold the Constitution that they SWORE to, and to defend it, goes off and kills other human being, in my opinion for NOTHING, they get NOTHING but contempt from me for it. I do not condone murder individually or en masse. I knew at age 12 in 1965 that the war in Vietnam was illegal. Vietnam did not attack us, or threaten us in ANY way, the same is true of Iraq. I condemn murder. I suggest you do the same, particularly if you are a Christian.

  • Pablo

    Irene,

    I am NOT trying to influence anyone, I am merely expressing my opinions on this site because I can.
    I do my influencing on a personal face to face discussiong with friends, family and acquaintances.

    I like stirring up people on this site. I like pin pricking prejudice, I enjoy making right wingers squirm. Is purely personal entertainment for me. Do you actually think that I could give a damned what Clavos thinks of me??? Or Davey boy? I dont, and I can assure you that I would never associate with them on a personal basis, as I am far to picky about who I am friends with. I enjoy needling them, its that simple, and I think I do a very good job of it too!

    I represent no one but myself, my opinions, thoughts, and responses. When Clavos told me to fuck off today, I liked it! When a person such as himself finds me distasteful, it makes my day.

    Quite frankly I cant stand most of the snipers on here, as they have no idea how to actually engage in debate and civility, so I respond in kind, so that at the very least I get some entertainment value out of it. I hope this explains a bit more to you about myself Irene and what makes me tick.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ruvy, opening days of how long a span? From your perspective, that could be as many as 232 years from now.

    Irene,

    From my perspective, it is always wise to have “Plan B” ready if “Plan A” falls through – you know, the mind of a prudent businessman. “Plan B” is the 6,000 year cycle from what rabbis refer to as the “creation” of Adam. That cycle ends 232 years from now. But “Plan A” is the one that seems to be occurring in front of my eyes. This is the one that calls for the messianic redemption to be done and over with by the year 5790, just 22 years away. Let’s take a little look-see.

    “Gathering against us”: Zechariah talks about how the armies of the world will come to do battle in the Valley of G-d’s Judgment. What armies?

    1. armies from Europe, now sitting off the coast of Lebanon, along with a whole enfilade of secret agents in Gaza;
    2. armies from America, now sitting en masse in Iraq, as well as in bases in Israel;
    3. armies from Russia, which has its fleet sitting off Syria, with ships slipping south to Israel on spying missions all the time;
    4. armies from Iran, which equips and commands Hizb’Allah directly in Lebanon, and is obtaining control of Hamas, bit by bit;
    5. armies from Egypt, strengthening themselves all the time;
    6. armies from Syria, sitting in Lebanon and in Syria ready to invade….

    It is Jeremiah, I believe, who talks of smart arrows For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows [shall be] as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.[Jeremiah 50:9]

    And what did we see in “both” Gulf Wars (this is really one war)? Guided missiles that were smart like smart arrows.

    According to a medresh (a tale with a moral warning in it) in the Talmud, “Galilee will be a heap”. We have aldready seen one bombardment of the Galilee – we will yet see another such bombardment. Hizb’Allah sits in southern Lebanon, piled with missiles, overloaded like a hive full of “honey”.

    For Gaza will be abandoned,
    And Ashkelon a desolation;
    Ashdod will be driven out at noon,
    And Ekron will be uprooted…
    So the seacoast will be pastures,
    With caves for shepherds and folds for flocks….
    And the coast will be
    For the remnant of the house of Judah,
    They will pasture on it.
    In the houses of Ashkelon they will
    lie down at evening;
    For the LORD their God will care for them
    And restore their fortune.
    [Zephaniah 2:4,6]

    We see rockets aimed at Ashkelon daily; we see how Hamas can easily destroy it and Ashdod with rockets hitting electric and chemical plants there. How long do you think the rockets will fall short of the targets?

    It won’t be too long before all this bursts forth in a fiery war of extermination against Israel and its Jews. How long do you think G-d will punish a sinful people that not only ignores the Torah but spits in its face, both religious and non-religious alike? And for how long do you think the IDF will hold back from retaliating in a vicious way?

    In addition, there are the fault lines running under the area of the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives; recently earthquakes have hit the country, mild ones to be sure, but warnings of a much bigger one to come- with damage that appears to deliver a messge – only the prime minister’s office was damaged in one; only the Knesset was damaged in another. One good solid shake and the Temple Mount will fall like the heap of garbage it really is.

    You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! {Zechariah 14:5}

    My “confidence” in “Plan A” is based on what I’ve seen here in the few short years I’ve lived here, and in the kinds of things that I’ve seen happen here.

    Finally, we have the commentary on the last vision of Moses before he dies on Har Nevó. Targúm Yonatán stated that Moses saw until the end of days, rather than merely to the “end of the sea” as the text indicates, and that he saw that thousands of Jews would go against “Dekalia”. Three years ago, we saw thousands of Jews go against Nevé Dekalím, in Gush Qatif. I never believed I would see Jews kicked out of their homes like so many dogs by fellow Jews in the summer of 2005 – but that is exactly what I saw. I realized that this generation, as our sages are wont to say, “has the face of a dog”. Just such a generation is the generation these sages predict the messiah shall arrive in, if there is no repentance. And from what I can see, there is no repentance from the traitors who inhabit Government Hill here.

    So, I’m confident in my general prediction; the messiah will arrive soon. Look over several of my articles for the last year and a half, and you’ll see that these issues are the ones I’ve dealt with.

    Sorry to have detained you for so long with all of this material, Irene, and for straying off of John Bambenek’s article so far…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    And thank you for the holiday wishes, Irene…

    Reuven

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    Finally, I made an error in comment #149.

    This paragraph should read as follows:

    “It won’t be too long before all this bursts forth in a fiery war of extermination against Israel and its Jews. How long do you think G-d will NOT punish a sinful people that not only ignores the Torah but spits in its face, both religious and non-religious alike? And for how long do you think the IDF will hold back from retaliating against Gaza in a vicious way?”

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy, I read it all. I didn’t do a very good job of staying out of blogcritics during Lent, did I?

    There’s always next year…

  • Irene Wagner

    …or I could try to hold to my promise til the Sunday after REAL Passover, the day the Jews (and the Eastern Orthodox, too, I think) celebrate it which is…April 20 this year. Anyway, Ruvy, take care. It sounds dangerous over there.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    If I respond to you, I make you break your Lenten vows. If I don’t thank you for your kind wishes, I’m being impolite….

    Hmmmm…..

  • Cannonshop

    Pablo: I apologize if I gave offense, sir. Most of my “Knowledge” about SE asia comes from the people I work with, and most of them got out of there as soon as they physically could. I rather suspect the impressions are, therefore, biased.

    However, they are generally people of what I would term “Good Character”, and I tend to trust them over the assertions of someone I haven’t met, and don’t know a damn thing about.

    However, per the basic rule of civilized discourse, I have to take you at your word that you are not blowing smoke about your experiences, and that your impressions are articulated as the truth-at least, the truth as you best know it.

    All the above said, I find your apparent inability to attack a position without attacking the person holding it to be…well, I know a LOT of socialist-type Democrats who do the same thing, most of them haven’t grown in maturity since they were seventeen and discovered “Peace-Love-Dope” as a lifestyle, where the only part they actually truly embrace being the dope part.

    It’s nice that you haven’t ever had to kill anybody-it truly DOES screw with the ability to do normal things like sleep, eat, or not feel like a monster. Even doing it self defense (and being assured by the Police at the time) doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. However, it’s easier to live with THAT guilt, than to die knowing that the bastard’s going to probably do it to someone else (Yah, selfishly un-christian of me…oh well).

    ’cause you know what? dying sucks, giving in to violent asshats sucks. Being terrorized? sucks.

    I try to hold people to the same low standard I hold myself to- that is, I expect them to back up what they claim to believe, fulfill their offices, and keep their oaths (or don’t make them).

    therefore, Irene, I voted for Ron Paul in the primary-not that it made a damn bit of difference here in the left-fascist state of Washington, where your vote will be counted (or countered) even if you didn’t cast it, or you died, or you’re not legally entitled to cast a vote as a felon (who needs third world dictators when we have Machine Politics and corrupt election officials right here at home?)

    And I’ll probably cast my protest vote again, because this year, the choices are equally repulsive no matter which mealy-mouthed hypocrite wins the Democratic Primary, now that McCain has the Republican side sewn up.

    Ruvy: Don’t dance on that grave just yet, okay? The next “Great Empire” in line is even LESS likely to support Israeli independence than the U.S. is=if I recall correctly, the Chinese like to sell rockets to gentlemen with names like “Ali”, and aren’t particularly partial to ethnic minorities who stubbornly insist on maintaining their own little states that just happen to disrupt the feelings of their neighbours, while the Europeans’ dominant states tend to be thinking that adopting sharia law and appeasing their “Guest workers” is a bit more important than remembering a history most of them are desperately trying to forget…(and EADS has no objections to selling the Islamo-Fascists next door to you high-end military gear while the french like to build breeder reactors for some rather questionable folks…most of whom don’t like Israel one-tiny-bit).

    I just don’t think that South Africa’s going to remember that Israel circumvented the arms embargoes and traded with ‘em when nobody else would. You guys don’t have a LOT of friends, but you’ve got LOTS of enemies for a nation your size, and no geographic barriers to cover your collective ass if those enemies feel free to attack or isolate you.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ruvy: Don’t dance on that grave just yet, okay? The next “Great Empire” in line….

    The whole point of messianic redemption is that there is no “next great empire” in line, Cannonshop. Those of us who survive what’s coming will not need to worry about Chinese selling missiles to “Ali”. “Ali” and his relatives will be busy sacrificing lambs at OUR Temple in Jerusalem.

    I have the nasty feeling that the Chinese will be cheated out of the empire they think is on their ménu in the future….

    Just a thought for you.

    I don’t dance on the grave of the American empire. I grew up there, and while they are ruled by an evil regime, Americans, by and large, are damned decent people.