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Dangers are Inherent in the War with Qaddafi

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To be sure Muammar Qaddafi is a devil incarnate. For 41 years he has ruled Libya with an iron fist. He has repeatedly participated in terroristic endeavors, even against his own people. As recently as two weeks ago it looked like he was a goner as rebels had taken hold of much of Libya, knocking at Qaddafi’s door in the capital, Tripoli. Then, being the survivor that he is, Qaddafi rose from the dead as his mostly foreign mercenary forces fought back retaking much of the country and driving toward the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Apparently, his warning that he would show “no mercy” to the people opposing him in Benghazi was the last straw for the United Nations. This remark pressured that body into passing a resolution calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Qaddafi from carrying out his threat.

On the surface, who could argue with stopping a madman from butchering potentially tens of thousands of people? But under the surface, the U.N. resolution and the Obama administration’s adherence to it is dangerous for the United States.

In the first place, unless America is under imminent danger, the president has no authority to launch a military attack against another sovereign nation. Obama is not an emperor endowed with unlimited power to pursue military adventures wherever. He is a president operating in a system of checks and balances, restrained by a written constitution. Since the end of World War II American presidents have generally ignored the rule of law when it comes to conducting military campaigns, and this has produced a state of almost constant war at huge costs to the nation in terms of human life, reputation, and financial resources. These latest actions by Obama are no different and will almost certainly lead to all of the aforementioned costs.

Another danger for the U.S. is that this mission is more than just the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya. This is a full-fledged combat mission. We are not just destroying anti-aircraft batteries and Libyan aircraft capable of bombing civilians. We are fully engaged in targeting tanks and killing Qaddafi’s fighters on the ground. With that comes the loss of civilian lives. As a matter of fact, Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who originally called for the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone, has become critical of the military actions taken in Libya so far. Speaking on Egypt’s official state news agency, he said, “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians.” Thus, once again the U.S. is being portrayed in the Arab world as invaders and killers of Arab civilians. This is certainly not the image we want to maintain in light of the fact that Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups will be more than willing to use this portrayal for recruiting purposes.

Lastly, the president’s decision to commence combat operations in Libya without congressional debate/authority is dangerous because an exit strategy has not been developed. According to U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, how coalition forces extricate themselves from Libya is “very uncertain” and the whole affair could end in a stalemate with Qaddafi. If the latter were to happen would we end up staying in Libya indefinitely protecting the Libyans against the brutal dictator? Are we headed for another quagmire?

At the end of the day it seems like a no-brainer that a coalition sanctioned by the U.N. should step in and prevent the Libyan Madman from perpetuating further atrocities against his own people. But, why is it that the U.S. must once again lead that effort? Aren’t we already overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan? How much war can our collective soul take? Finally, are the dangers inherent in this operation really worth it? Given the rotten condition of our economy, our fear of future terrorist attacks, and the broken institution which is our federal government, the answer would have to be an emphatic no.


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About Kenn Jacobine

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    I looked up the page in Keegan’s book, and here’s the pertinent paragraph:

    What the German infantry could not know, though they might guess, was that they constituted their country’s last reserve of manpower. Britain and France were in no better case, both having reduced their infantry divisions from a strength of twelve to nine battalions in the previous year, and both lacking any further human resource from which to fill gaps in the ranks. They, however, had superior stocks of material – 4,500 against 3,670 German aircraft, 18,500 against 14,000 German guns, 800 against 10 German tanks – and, above all, they could look to the [still] gathering millions of Americans to make good their inability to replace losses. Germany, by contrast, having embodied all its untrained men of military age not employed in absolutely essential civilian callings, could by January 1918 look only to the conscript class of 1900; and those youths would not become eligible for enlistment until the autumn. A double imperative thus pressed upon Hindenburg, Ludendorff and their soldiers in march 1918: to win the war before the New World appeared to redress the balance of the Old, but also to win before German manhood was exhausted by the ordeal of a final attack.

    Kenn, I’m not foolish enough to assume that I know more than you about history. You teach history for a living, and you DO have a greater breadth of knowledge than I do about history in toto. But I do know a few things about history, especially military history…particularly about WWII, and I’m trying to increase my knowledge of the Great War as well.

    And this I do understand – that we did not ‘save’ France and Britain in WWI, but we did hasten the end of the war, and WWII was won not in the Atlantic or the Pacific or on the beaches of Normandy, but on the steppes of the Soviet Union, outside the skirts of Moscow, and at the fall of the Kessel, the doomed defense of Stalingrad by Paulus. America and the West played a crucial role, yes, but still a secondary one to the unimaginably brutal clash that was Barbarossa.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    According to Keegan, both sides had very little or no reserves left by March 1918 when the last great German offensives began…but the allies had over 800 tanks while Germany had 10. The allies had significantly more artillery by then as well, and as Ruvy pointed out, the British blockade had reduced not only Germany’s will to fight but forced them to bring all fuel and supplies overland…which is much less efficient than by sea.

    By early 1918 neither side could mount a great offensive to sweep the other side away…and perhaps this is what you mean by ‘stalemate’. But this war of attrition was by now weighted heavily in France and Britain’s favor. All they had to do was continue holding as they certainly were and allow Germany to exhaust herself…at which time the German lines would have essentially collapsed.

    The Americans did contribute significantly – particularly the Marines at Belleau Wood – but we were not absolutely crucial to the allied victory.

  • Between comments #61 and #62 is a close call. The British blockade had reduced the German will to fight, even though they were winning in the east and virtually had Russia reduced to a protectorate. It was a stalemate – with the slight advantage to the Entente Cordiale; its forces had defeated the Turks. That slight advantage was turned into a sledgehammer by the fresh American troops pouring in. In October, even though they could have fought on, the German High Command miscalculated – and signaled that they were ready to surrender. It was this signal that brought rebellions in German principalities that ended the imperial system. The end of the German imperial system ended the war.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Europe was in stalemate and the fresh American troops put the allies over the top. By the way, funny it was a war to make the world safe for democracy when an ally, Russia, was a dictatorship, and the other allies had subjugated colonies worldwide.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    Did you not read my comment? I provided a solid reference – the historian John Barry – who pointed out that Wilson strongly opposed the punitive nature of the Versailles Treaty, but was so physically weakened by the H1N1 flu that he could not impose his will on the other allies.

    And no, we didn’t turn the tide. Paris was in no real danger of falling when we arrived. All we did was hasten the inevitable outcome.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    The Yankee arrival in Europe turned the tide of the war – it is well documented. You should read “Woodrow Wilson’s War”. Wilson totally misread France’s passion for retribution against Germany. The war did not involve us and he should have kept us out of it instead of instigating our entry by supplying the British with war supplies loaded on luxury cruise ships. Once the powers met at Versaille he basically gave in to all the stupid demands that ruined what was left of the German economy and ushered in the rise of Hitler.

    Look, I know you would have supported the Marshall Plan because to not do so would have potentially led to communism or some other radicalism in Europe. So, why do you support the ravaging of Germany which allowed the same thing to happen at the end of WW1? Wilson could have prevented it – we emerged the strongest power on earth after that war.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    That’s almost Pollyannish. Our entry into WWI is NOT what caused WWII! There is NO indication that a decision by America would have resulted in a stalemate – that’s merely an unsubstantiated assumption on your part.

    It’s not often taught in history classes, but during the last three months of WWI, the H1N1 epidemic was ravaging the planet. It was the deadliest time in human history – up to 50 million people died around the world, mostly within the period of mid-Sept. 1918 to Jan. 1919.

    You should read John Barry’s The Great Influenza and see how Woodrow Wilson was strongly against the punitive nature of the Versailles treaty…but after he was struck down and severely weakened by H1N1, he was no longer able to impose his will on England and particularly France who wanted to punish Germany so severely.

    So what DID bring the war to an end was not only battle fatigue on both sides but also the fact that up to a million soldiers were suffering from the 1918 flu pandemic and unfit to fight. America’s entry into the war certainly hastened the end…but division-sized American units did not begin to make their presence felt until early 1918.

    We hastened the fall of Germany in WWI, but our arrival did not prevent a stalemate, for by that time the all-important logistics battle between two essentially horse-drawn armies (vehicles were the exception, not the rule) was turning against Germany.

    Now, what DID cause WWII was the severely punitive nature of the Treaty of Versailles…and the economic disaster that was the Weimar Republic that enabled the rise of extremist groups…including one that supported a young man named Hitler.

    Yeah, I do love history!

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Of course, your short sightedness is typical. Our entry into WW I is what brought WW II. If Wilson had not provoked war with Germany, there would have been stalemate in Europe, the French with Wilson’s blessing would not have been able to impose brutal consequences on Germany, and there is a good possibility that Hitler would never have come to power.

    As to Chamberlain, he screwed up because he was a part of Europe. I said in my last post that our unique geographic position is a strength because it has insulated us from all major military conflicts historically. You can argue that in the short run we need to “support” our freer market allies in Europe, but we were even able to trade our goods with the Soviet Union, China,etc… At some point the trend is more for closed economies to open up as needs necessitate. This nonsense that we must spend loads of money and lives to help our trading partners is another myth perpetrated by the banks who have loaned them money and our government who has never met a war it didn’t like.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    I’ve posted before that I think Wilson was a tyrant…but not for getting us into WWI. He was a tyrant because he (1) would allow people to be prosecuted and jailed (for up to 20 years IIRC) for saying ANYthing pro-German after we went to war, and (2) for NEVER even mentioning the H1N1 epidemic in public, never mind that it killed nearly a million Americans most of whom died in about four months. He thought that to even publicly acknowledge the epidemic would be ‘bad for war morale’.

    But in the modern world – which IMO includes every industrialized country since the Industrialized Revolution – we cannot always stand idly by. We made the right decisions to get involved in WWII and Korea, and I’m not yet sure about WWI. I’m reading Keegan’s The First World War right now and perhaps that will shed some light if it really was all about the Lusitania or if there was more to it than that.

    And Kenn – if you think that you as president would stand idly by and allow France and possibly England to be taken over by a hostile power, you’re flat wrong. Your own party that saw you elected to that office would not allow it…and your resistance would land you the same lasting reputation that Neville Chamberlain has when he resisted war against Nazi Germany. Remember what he said?

    How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already been settled in principle should be the subject of war.

    And how has history judged Chamberlain? To be fair, in his The Gathering of the Storm, Churchill remembers the man far more kindly than we do…but the lesson of history is that when we stand idly by as tyranny runs rampant, sooner or later it comes looking for us.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    While you are at it, Wilson was a fool for getting us into WW I. Obviously, you believe that the U.S. should be involvedin most world conflicts. This puts you right there with the neo-cons.

    Our geography and our economic power put us in a unique position in the world. Unfortunately, we are squandering it by helping to support Italy and France in Libya, etc… America should mind it’s own business – it would benefit our economy and make us much safer.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    So you are in solid opposition to the Korean War too, then, I suppose…because it was never a declared war, and it – like the current Libya action – was a UN-driven operation, though we surely bore the lion’s share of the burden.

    And Kenn – when it comes to America’s sons and daughters being put in harm’s way by ‘non-Americans’…frankly, with the exception of the quite-necessary Korean War, if history is any indication, the UN is FAR more careful with American ground troops than American presidents are.

    But it’s as if the hawks of the Right are suddenly butchering an old philosophy, “Millions of liters of blood shed by American military in actions by the Unitary Executive, but not a single drop shed by Americans abiding by international treaty!”

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Obama got approval from the U.N. not Congress (the American people) so that is okay? You are not uncomfortable with that. America’s sons and daughters put into harms way by non-Americans?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    Try not to put words into my mouth, please. Obama waited until he had approval from the other UN nations and chose to be a part of the UN response rather than taking unilateral action as some others claimed a ‘real leader’ would have done…all of whom were conservatve (AFAIK) though all conservatives are now apparently against his action.

    Ain’t it funny how, when Obama does something that the conservatives think ought to be done, they’re all suddenly against whatever it was he did that they thought he should do in the first place?

  • Kenn Jacobine


    Given that you did not object to my calling Libya Obama’s illegal war I take it that you agree with me.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    But if you’ll follow the thread, it wasn’t a sudden shift. And besides, I think you’d have a difficult time finding ANY sizable thread wherein the discussion hasn’t gone off in unexpected directions.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Wow, we went from Obama’s illegal war in Libya to an educational comparison between red and blue states. This is why I love Blogcritics!

  • And I know you appreciate me backing up my arguments with links.

    [comments editor hat on]

    It is indeed appreciated, Doug, but in future, could you possibly see your way to posting your references as clickable links rather than raw URLs? If you’re not sure how to do that, here’s a quick primer.


    [comments editor hat off]

    Bullshit! Rubbish! Balderdash! Hokum! etc…

    Carry on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    Did I not say that Texas was among the best-educated of the red states? The argument isn’t about Texas alone – it’s about all the red states as compared to all the blue states…and the last link I gave you makes it abundantly clear which side tends to have better education, and which side tends to have worse education.

    Doug, nobody wants to hear that his side isn’t doing so hot…but you see the overall numbers – not just for best-of-red-states Texas, but all the red states as a whole.

    It’s not the blue states that are pushing cutting billions from education (while giving more tax cuts to Big Business). It’s not the blue states that are pushing ‘intelligent design’ or creation to be taught in public classrooms.

    And it’s not blue states that put that idiot in the White House who foisted “No Child Left Behind” on the nation.

    Look at the overall numbers…and not just of Texas – because using Texas as your example is like trying to say that a whole baseball team is good because of one good player.

  • Doug Hunter

    And I know you appreciate me backing up my arguments with links.

  • Doug Hunter


    To be fair, DC doesn’t have Mexico on it’s border (as you seem to be oblivious to such things, illegals don’t come with diplomas and degrees). You’re failing to account for demographics again and your conclusions are flawed for the same reason. Texas dropout rate is below the national average for each racial group as of the most recent data, 06-07.

    White Yearly Dropout Rate: Texas 1.9% (3.0% nationally)

    Hispanic Annual Dropout Rate: Texas 5.6% (national 6.5%)

    Black Annual Dropout Rate: Texas 5.8% (national 6.8%)

    Weird huh. Texas is above the national average in every demographic category in reading, math, and science as well as having a below average dropout rate in every racial category, yet as you clearly pointed out the overall statistics appear poor.

    Have a good day Glen, I know I’ll never make a dent in the whole red state-blue state thing you have going, but I hope I can at least get you to consider the data in a more critical fashion.

  • Glenn Contrarian


    Hey Doug! How about checking this site that draws data from the Census? On the list of states by percentage of high school graduates, Wisconsin is 13th…

    …and TEXAS IS DEAD LAST – IN FIFTY-FIRST PLACE!!!! Even below the District of Columbia!

    On the list of states by bachelor’s degree or higher, Wisconsin is 25th, and Texas is 35.

    And this index – overall comparison of ‘best educated states’ – Wisconsin is in 8th place, and Texas – among the highest-educated of ALL red states btw – is in 24th place.

    Look real close at that last reference (and ignore the colors of the bars), Doug – and see how many red states occupy the bottom half and how many blue states occupy the top half….

    So if your stats are good, what does this mean? It means Texas teachers teach well…but there’s a whole lot of kids that aren’t getting taught, and Texas isn’t making sure they’re getting taught.

    But that’s the conservative mantra, right? “I take care of my own, and who gives a damn about the other kids! That is, unless they’re not born yet!”

    Your turn!

  • Doug Hunter

    Here it is, to be honest a blogger compiled those particular stats during the protesting back and forth. The first time I used them I placed a link.

  • zingzing

    when did wisconsin become rich, doug? and trust me, there are as many hicks per capita in wisconsin as there are in texas. also, could you link to the charts you used. i’d like to see how certain states match up.

  • zingzing

    anyone see the great mitt romney on obama’s handling of lybia?

    “I believe that it flows from his fundamental disbelief in American exceptionalism. In the President’s world, all nations have ‘common interests,’ the lines between good and evil are blurred, America’s history merits apology. And without a compass to guide him in our increasingly turbulent world, he’s tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced.”

    does mitt romney know what “nuanced” means? and how it applies to an “increasingly turbulent world?

    ah well. here’s a chart so you can stop thinking about why you should criticize obama on this issue, and so you can just start criticizing obama on this issue.

    for my part, i don’t think there should be any direct us involvement in this war. that’s what the un is for. it’d be nice if they did their job for once.

  • Doug Hunter


    Glenn, when you can answer how red Texas can outperform blue Wisconsin in 17 of 18 demographic categories in education yet still be at the bottom nationally of your precious statewide statistics while Wisonsin is at the top, then you’ll have the answer to your question.

    Easy answer, one word: Diversity. (We have it, you don’t)

    You’re not an idiot. There’s a racial achievement gap that persists in both red and blue states, but it hurts red states much worse statisticswise because we’re diverse yet you continue to completely ignore this fact for some reason. I’ll copy the information from a previous post in case you failed to read it.

    Here’s an excerpt of the stats from NAEP.

    “2009 4th Grade Math

    White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
    Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
    Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

    2009 8th Grade Math

    White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
    Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
    Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

    2009 4th Grade Reading

    White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
    Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
    Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

    2009 8th Grade Reading

    White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
    Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
    Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

    2009 4th Grade Science

    White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
    Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
    Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

    2009 8th Grade Science

    White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
    Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
    Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)”

    So why is it Glenn? How come backwards, redneck, broke, racist, red, Texas beats blue, rich, union loving, liberal, protesting Wisconsin (I believe we beat the national average in all 18 categories as well) in 17 of 18 educational categories when comparing apples to apples?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So…Doug – if conservatives have the answer, that helping those in need is simply ‘enabling’ them, then why is it that red states generally have greater divorce rates, crime rates, teenage pregnancy rates, murder rates…and generally have lower literacy rates, educational attainment rates, and income levels?

    I mean, red states have for the most part been conservative for a long, long time – so why are the people in red states not better off than those in blue states in nearly every category above?

    And btw – drug use is higher in blue states. That’s about the only metric where we’re worse off than red states.

  • Doug Hunter

    Glenn, here’s one more pertinent article although it’s from the UK. Obviously, the study had biases, but it shines a light on some of the effects that we’ve seen starting here. If you pay people to be single parent’s they will do it and they’ll teach their kids to do it and the effects on society I wouldn’t describe as positive. But of course anyone who suggests that must hate the poor and want babies to die of starvation (and likely be pure evil demon spawn of capitalism as well).

    Three generations … all of them single mothers: Growth of extended ‘man-free’ families who rely on state handouts

  • Kenn Jacobine

    I agree fully with everything Doug said.

  • Doug Hunter


    I never mentioned a word about taxes, your government masters are the ones interested in taking it at the point of a gun. I may be greedy, but the politicians are greedier (and they have you shilling for them) If the system was to be saved and serious structural cuts to government were made I wouldn’t mind paying more than I do now to get the system back in balance.

    I’m not immune to anything, just try and take a few simple precautions meaning the likelihood of anything requiring government intervention occuring is extremely low. My parents have been married once and stayed that way for 40 years, the same goes for my wife’s. We’ve been married with no signs evident to me (although if I spend too much time on the computer who knows) that we’re headed for divorce, no beatings, and both our children have two parents and will be raised with love and affection.Do that, don’t get hooked on drugs, finish school, and treat every job as if it were public service and you’ve got a recipe that makes it extremely unlikely you’ll end up in need of government assistance. In absense of government programs and even if I had not been able to acquire my own wealth family would easily be able to handle all but the most ridiculously unfortunate series of events. If things got farther than that out of hand there’s always charities and the like out there.

    *** Whispering in my kids ears that it’s not realistic and everybody’s doing it, and hey, if you fail we’ll cut you a check isn’t very helpful in my opinion but who knows. Maybe we should get a chart of government growth, milestones of welfare payment, no fault divorce laws, etc. and compare that side by side with a chart of the growth of single parent households and divorce and see if we notice a trend.

  • zingzing

    yeah, doug, that homeless person on the street is never hungry, they just want to drink and do drugs. giving them pocket change is just enabling them. i guess you’re right.

  • Doug Hunter


    No need to curse and make moral insinuations, I ‘give a shit’ about the world in my own way. It’s just as frustrating to me when you refuse to see how the government manipulates you into servitude, you question Kenn’s decision regarding using a gun to defend his livilihood but fail to consider the morals behind the government using a gun to take it in the first place. Governments fight wars, governments commit genocides, governments operate prisons, police states, and are the machinery that keep dictators in power. Of course governments promote pacifism among those in servitude, if you were a slaveowner wouldn’t you want the slaves to be pacifists? They want a monopoly on power and force, and you’re just the willing tool to help them achieve that goal. You think it’s about the poor ‘starving’… bullshit. The poor weren’t starving long before most of our modern government apparatus existed. That’s just a propaganda tool you’ve been taught to use in the service of greater and greater control by the politicians and bureacracy. Our government has grown from 20% of GDP to over 40%, that means 40% of your working life is taken for as you would term it the ‘greater good’, that’s a bigger share than communist China, do you not see the connection? When is enough, enough?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    Gee, you wouldn’t have done it! You’re immune from such things like divorce and layoffs and health problems! And you’re immune from crime! And you’re immune from having a spouse die off leaving you to raise kids by yourself, too!

    And since you’re IMMUNE to such misfortunes, you shouldn’t have to pay one red cent in taxes for those foolish women who take their kids and divorce the husband rather than stay in abusive relationships! ‘Cause you’re IMMUNE! Can I get some of that vaccine, too? Do we smoke it? Or do we follow the cooking directions given us by Timothy Leary?

    Doug, you can PRETEND the world can become the way you think it should be…but over half of all marriages fail, and over one third of ALL children in America are being raised in single-parent households. And unless those single parents are IMMUNE (like you surely are) to layoffs and health problems, when their source of income goes away, how do they feed, clothe, and house those children while they’re scrambling to find another job?

    How do they do that, Doug? Unless they’re immune to all social ills like you are, that is….

  • zingzing

    doug: “Ask them to name one person who starved to death in the US…”

    that’s the fuckin point.

    “I wouldn’t be a single parent, I had the opportunity and wisely avoided it.”

    would that we could all live in your world. unfortunately, that’s not reality, is it? do you really just not give a shit?

  • zingzing

    kenn: “Entitlements is another misnomer. I have to pay into it but I have never been on welfare, unemployment, disability, or food stamps.”

    not really. you (and your employer) pay into these things in case one day you find yourself unemployed or disabled or unable to make ends meet for a time. some people abuse the system. but don’t act like you never could find yourself in that situation.

    “Second, they will arrest me first and if I defend myself with my gun they will shoot me.”

    the series of dumb decisions you’d have to make to get there is pretty staggering, kenn. you’d really get into a gun fight over a monetary issue? gangsta, kenn, gangsta. you riled up?

    “It is nothing more than theft…”

    and the unfortunate reality of living in a large society. there will be poor people. always has been, probably always will be. unless you’re not going to complain about them clogging the gutters where your golden shit flows, then you’d better get used to the idea that some of your money has to go back into the society that gave you the opportunities you have. someone else may just use that money to drag themselves up out of the muck.

  • Doug Hunter


    Kenn, they think your analogy is unrealistic? Ask them to name one person who starved to death in the US, even before food stamps, then you can list all the folks who have been killed or arrested at the point of the gun for resisting federal government interference. The civil war dead is a good place to start, Kent state, the Branch Davidians, Ruby Ridge, I don’t even have to do research.

    They can and will continue with their shallow garbage propaganda about ‘starving to death’, and slamming anyone who doesn’t want to be a full time willing slave to the government as selfish and anti-social. They can cling to their silly positions about the evils of banks and card companies mutually and voluntarily agreeing to high interest on a piddly charge, while the government involuntarily makes you a debt slave to the tune of $$$trillions a year. Enjoy the little bit of liberty we have left, when the government caused collapse occurs everyone will be forced to rely on the government, the libertarians and capitalists will be the scapegoat, and government will entrench itself even furthe into life. I’m wondering, once wide swaths of the planet are under control of the government elite, who’s going to lay a no fly zone down for us?

    Glenn, I wouldn’t be a single parent, I had the opportunity and wisely avoided it. Barring making the right choice, that situation usually occurs with young women, it’s easy to simply move back in with your parents. That eliminates needs of housing and utilities. The only extra burden you’ll have is food and diapers for the kid. What you’ve failed to consider is the enabling effect. People understand now that the government will pay them to have children and that instead of working together as parents to raise the child there’s actually a perverse incentive to remain single as being married could result in lost benefits.

    Since the government has been in the business of subsidizing single motherhood (something you should only do if you want more of a thing) with housing, food stamps, welfare, etc. how much has that increased the rate? You’ve got to counterbalance the two effects, it’s not as one sided as you make it out to be.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    You’re a single mom. You’ve just lost your job and you can’t find one…but you’ve got to feed your kids. Now let’s say there’s no safety net. What do you as a single mom – or a single dad – do?

    The point is, without a social safety net, when times turn bad, crime goes up. Significantly up. And crime – and its cost to society as a whole including the children – costs a heck of a lot more in the long run than having a reliable social safety net.

  • Kenn Jacobine


    The government uses misnomers all the time to twist the truth – Patriot Act, Social Security, Defense Department. Entitlements is another misnomer. I have to pay into it but I have never been on welfare, unemployment, disability, or food stamps. No one is “entitled” to these. It is a “gift” from all taxpayers.

    Second, they will arrest me first and if I defend myself with my gun they will shoot me. Ultimately, that is what government is – an institution of force. Sometimes the force is abusive as in executing unjust laws. To me taking a person’s labor (slavery) or their income (theft) from them is unjust and equally evil because we use our labor to make money. So what is the difference between taking either of them? – nothing. But statist rationalize their actions by saying it helps the underclass to take the money (labor) from workers. It is nothing more than theft and besides it doesn’t help the underclass because it doesn’t cure poverty and I would argue it hurts them by causing inflation.

  • zingzing

    kenn: “that is precisely what happens when the government provides entitlement programs.”

    you mean the programs you pay into your entire life and are ENTITLED to? what’s wrong with that? you did the time. (if that’s not what you’re referring to, what do you mean by “entitlement?”)

    “It should not come from the threat of being shot, because you see it makes the government no better than the Mafia.”

    do you think you’re going to be shot? (no, you don’t.) gun metaphors are as stupid as other nonsensical metaphors.

    like your dinner metaphor, which was limp. it didn’t express any of the complexities of living with other people in a large society. it was just a silly little simplification that had no merit. it’s not “precise,” and it’s not even close to a reality. besides, even if you’d let all the poor starve to death (which is apparently a thing very far from your mind), who’d buy the shit you’re selling? you’re killing your market. think for a second. it’s not you-you-you.

    you depend on them as well. don’t fucking forget it.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    The point is that it is tacky socially to expect a friend to foot the bill for your dinner. What is even worse is you holding a gun to their head to make them pay. They won’t be your friend for long and that is precisely what happens when the government provides entitlement programs. It is legalized theft and causes resentment and social problems. Should the down and out be helped – absolutely. But, the help should come from the heart, from people who voluntarily give of themselves to help. It should not come from the threat of being shot, because you see it makes the government no better than the Mafia.

    And Glenn, U.S. prosperity of the 1950s was more complicated than just 90 percent tax rates. We also had sounder money in those days and less government spending. Of course, you ignore the things that make the state look bad.

  • Costello

    Kenn sounds like a guy who has read a bunch of books but has no idea of how real life works.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    I think I’ll go with zing’s rejoinder…because I DO think that the rich – who (after adjustment for inflation) have seen their incomes rise 400% since Reagan took over as compared to virtual wage stagnation for the rest of us.

    And while you’re trying to figure out how to answer zing, you can also tell us how bad the American economy was during the 1950’s with a 90% top marginal tax rate…with which we nearly paid off the entire WWII debt (which was relatively larger than the one we have now) by the time Eisenhower left office. How was our economy then?

  • Boeke

    #22 good rejoinder Zing. I detest analogies, metaphors and similes and skip over them in serious discussions (they are amusing and fun in literature, but obvious debating tricks in other discussions) so it was fun to see you use a rebutting metaphor so well.

  • If it’s my father-in-law, he usually insists on paying for everyone.

  • zingzing

    kenn, when you go out to dinner with a group of friends, do you expect everyone to pay the same even though one got a salad and another got a 72-ounce steak?

    or do you think the metaphor is weak?

  • Kenn Jacobine


    Let’s say you go to dinner at a very expensive restaurant with a group of friends. Do you expect the wealthiest of your friends to pay the whole bill or a larger portion than anyone else?

  • zingzing

    “the free market and civil rights are inextricably linked.”

    someone’s been reading too much friedman and not enough history about what friedman’s ideas actually did. (and if it didn’t go right, and it never did, friedman would just say that’s because there was interference in the market, not that his idea was a backwards piece of shit that has no basis in reality. but he clung to his idea because it was the only thing that made him feel like he wasn’t a murdering thug whore for the corporations. good man, yeah…)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn #18 –

    THAT is a laugh!

    Tell you what, Kenn – let’s you and me travel to Canada or Australia or France or Germany or best of all, Sweden (with their 90% top tax rate, 80% unionization rate, and 7.1% unemployment rate), and let’s discuss how terrible their respective populations’ civil rights are since they all have economies that are much more socialized than Americas!

  • Kenn Jacobine

    the free market and civil rights are inextricably linked. You can’t have one without the other.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    You sound like a libertarian…but the problem with libertarians is that ‘civil rights’ tend to be the lowest of their priorities. If there’s a choice between protecting someone’s civil rights or protecting their so-called ‘free market’, they normally choose the latter.

    Someone once said that libertarians are simply Republicans who want to get laid and get stoned…because libertarians strongly tend to vote Republican when there’s no viable Libertarian candidate. If you need, I can provide the reference from the Cato Institute on that.

  • Kenn Jacobine


    Given my anti-war, pro-free market, Constitution, civil rights, and sound money positions just what party do I support?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    I looked at your Caroline Glick reference and I see a whole host of problems with it.

    1 – She assumes that Obama sees America as an imperialist nation and is actively trying to ‘tear down its hegemony’.

    2 – She claims Obama first prevented Mubarak from resigning in September…and then forced him to resign earlier this year…all apparently to ensure the Muslim Brotherhood would be a part of the new government.

    3 – She says that America’s neocons oppose all tyrannies (liberal or not)…I mean, do I really need to list the tyrannies that America’s neocons have supported?

    She makes a good point that Europe jumped on the Libyan opposition bandwagon too early and now they’re forced to try to help it succeed…but that’s the only good point she makes.

    But the other reference by Barry Chamish, that one has a bit more of the ring of truth. He says some very interesting things about this ‘General Ziv’…some of which should be troubling to the Obama administration.

  • You all thought I was pulling at Kenn’s pulki when I joked about no evil Zionists being involved in this. Well, truth be told, I was. Then, last night I saw this article from my friend, Barry Chamish on Israel Ziv, Global CST and their involvement with African mercenaries recruited to pull Qaddafi’s bacon out of the fire for him.

    According to Chamish – and anyone who hasn’t been under a rock for the last 7 years – General Ziv was instrumental in kicking Jews out of Gush Qatif in 2005, and showing damned little sympathy in making his fellow Israeli citizens homeless. His next act was as a private citizen, training Georgian troops for their ill-starred meetup with Russian forces on their own soil, where the Georgians got their butts kicked. And now he has been training African mercenaries for various purposes.

    According to my friend Chamish, these mercenaries were to serve as the basis of a sort of sub-rosa alliance between the saved Qaddafi and the State of Israel in accomplishing its goals in Africa…

    According to Caroline Glick, the rebels who want to throw out Qaddafi are just a different flavor Wahhabi extremist from Qaddafi. So the efforts to prop up Qaddafi were more along the lines of helping the devil you know as opposed to the devil you don’t.

    And then Obama, the fool in the White House with the two Social Security numbers, got involved. So Ziv’s plans did not shine with success – again (ziv means brightness or luster in Hebrew). And my government has messed up yet one more time….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    When did I say I was against bailouts? BTW, GM just posted its first quarterly profit since 2004…and they’ll soon pay off their LOAN (that some thought was not a loan) with interest to the American taxpayer.

    But France and Italy aren’t companies or corporations, are they? Stick by your allies, Kenn, and then they’re a lot more likely (but not absolutely sure) to stick by you when you need their help.

    And when it comes to partisanship, Kenn – every single BC commenter (including myself) thinks of himself (and his like-minded fellows) as non-partisan, and thinks of the others, well, THEY are the real partisans here.

    In other words, from my point of view I’m the non-partisan, and you’re quite partisan.

    And btw – I once wrote a letter to the Seattle PI congratulating Dubya on Iraq’s first free election and said it was ‘a job well done’. I regret that now, for I was not yet aware of how we were literally lied into that war. And then there’s my repeated defenses of Reagan as one of the five best presidents we’ve ever had. But I forget, I’m just so partisan….

  • Kenn Jacobine


    You are just so partisan. You know I probably dislike Bush more, but of course you forget when he was in office and I use to criticize him like I do Obama.

    Also #4. “But we DO have a very real stake in the safety and prosperity of both France and Italy.”. Does this mean they are “too big to fail”. I thought you were against bailouts?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    As with so many other examples, Kenn, any wrongness in Obama’s air strikes (and the air strikes ordered by Clinton before him) canNOT compare with what putting troops on the ground in harm’s way as Reagan ordered in Lebanon, Panama, and Grenada, and Dubya ordered in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It’s a MATTER OF DEGREE. You’re comparing a bushel or two of apples to a whole doggone orchard of apples…and it doesn’t work. As much as you hate Obama, if he doesn’t put troops on the ground and if the rebels in Libya are successful, then Obama will have done the RIGHT thing as Clinton did before with Kosovo…

    …without putting ground troops in harm’s way, and without embroiling us in another ground war.

    Not that this will stop you from hating Obama, of course.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    How many times are we going to come to the aid of France and Italy? When are they going to solve their own problems internationally?

    Look, whether Obama took his marching orders from the U.N. Or acted unilaterally he is just as guilty as Reagan, Bush I, Billary, Bush II. He is conducting a military adventure without the support of the people’s representatives that could end as a disaster. We need to get off our political high horses and recognize that both Republicans and Democrats have given us this mess – economic, social, and military.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yes, Obama is such a warmonger! That’s why he refused to act unilaterally (like many on the Republican side like McCain and Boehner wanted, who said he waited too long to act), he stated that we would not send in any ground troops (as with Clinton and Kosovo), and he only agreed to act as part of NATO.

    Gee, how does this (and Clinton’s air-only actions with Kosovo) compare to, say, Reagan’s Lebanon and Panama and Grenada and Dubya’s Afghanistan and Iraq (which Obama inherited and is still trying to fix (with some success in Iraq but not so much in Afghanistan))?

    But I must remember, now, that Obama is everything that is badevilbadbadbad in the world and that he’s a warmonger incarnate who just can’t wait to attack those Muslim countries (even though he’s surely a Muslim himself, right?)! All we have to do is IGNORE what the Republican presidents have done time and again since Reagan took office, and voila! we can see how bad Obama is!

  • But they are, Boeki. Some of them are about to join the coalition as far as military operations are concerned. There was originally some misunderstanding as to what a “no flight zone” connotes, but I believe this misunderstanding is being smoothed over.

  • Boeke


    Elucidate, please?

    I’d like to know, since I’m about to join the Kenn, Victor, Glenn troop.

    I feel betrayed because I thought the Arab League and Africa were going to provide front for this operation. Sort of like Bush1’s “Desert Storm”. If they aren’t interested in carrying the burden, why should we?

  • Victor and Glenn show their true colors.

  • Absolutely, Glenn. The American cemeteries I visited over there are proof of that, but this does not promise to be over quickly. Have we learned nothing from Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Vic –

    But we DO have a very real stake in the safety and prosperity of both France and Italy.

  • I don’t think there is a valid reason for us to be there. Italy and France are certainly have more at stake in the region and should take the lead. I think this is a tremendous mistake that plays into the hands of our enemies.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Perhaps Obama will get us involved in another quagmire…but he also stated that he will provide absolutely zero ground troops for any operations concerning Libya. I hope he keeps that particular promise. If he does, then it’s to his benefit. If not, then that might well be the first real glimmer of hope for the GOP in the 2012 presidential election.

  • This is not da Joos’ fault, Kenn? No evil Zionists plotting to kill poor Christian boys in their awful plans of nefarious evil? Are you mellowing out?