Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 02:39 PM
Number of posts: 4,305
Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 02:39 PM
Number of posts: 4,305
It divides us. This holds true for small and large groups, parties and countries. Some stay loyal to the leader or leaders, and others to their own ethics. Of course the reasons for a person taking one position over another are varied. Some positions are better thought out than others, some see a greater good in following the leader, even when a deeply held belief is tossed aside. And others just follow the tide. But what holds true in most cases, is that division happens when a president or leader does the wrong thing, and that person is most culpable for any fallout - even though his or her followers are responsible for their own misguided words and actions.
This is addressing topics that go against values and principles that a particular group espouses, not the everyday give and take of normal politics. When people caught on to the lies behind the Vietnam War, the country was separated into those who supported and those who opposed the war. When the Bush Administration started a war on false pretenses, the country was divided. People switched parties when the Republicans embraced discrimination in the 1960s. And now the left is fighting over wholesale spying. It’s not to excuse in any way those who would sellout values supposedly held by most Americans, but Obama set the ball rolling when he sold out the values he said he possessed.
It should be a given that the degrees of wrongdoing in the examples given are vastly different. But the basic form is the same and the damage done will be long term – much longer than the term of a U.S. president.
I see no caveats in the 4th Amendment that allows blanket spying on all Americans, all the time:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
How can any person pretend that there is probable cause to spy on all of us? It’s indefensible.
“This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.
That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are.”
Candidate Obama, August 2007.
Posted by 20score | Sun Jun 23, 2013, 03:29 PM (34 replies)
1. MLK and Rosa Parks were not whistle-blowers, they were civil rights leaders. Big difference.
2. Schieffer has never done anything that can come close to the type of bravery that Snowden has shown. Until he does, then this is a childish attack. No one has a right to push someone else into position they would never occupy themselves.
3. More Rovian attacks. I am ashamed at some on the left. Snowden is not the issue, government spying and the loss of privacy is.
4. Unless people supported Big Brother under Bush and Obama, their opinion is useless.
Posted by 20score | Sun Jun 16, 2013, 01:13 PM (0 replies)
To those who supported this type of government spying during the Bush administration and have turned against it under Obama, you are right for the wrong reasons, and owe the country an apology for allowing this to get worse for years. To those who challenged government spying under Bush and now support it, you are wrong for the wrong reasons and need to re-awaken your ideals. You’re hurting the country and ironically hurting the party you are trying to help. The hypocrisy is extremely obvious to everyone but you, and it will be used as a political weapon against the left… for many years to come.
And thanks to all those involved in bringing this to light, both in the media and to the whistle-blowers. (Although this shouldn't surprise anyone, it's finally getting coverage.)
Posted by 20score | Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:27 PM (14 replies)
Appearing on Fox News, Tennessee Representative Stephen Fincher addressed the charges of hypocrisy and callousness leveled at him by Democrats, again quoting the Bible to justify his positions. “Leviticus 25-45, ‘the children of the strangers that do live among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land and they shall be your possession.’ And what’s stranger than poor people? Am I right? Right?” He said grinning and raising his hand for a high-five, which was answered quickly by a smiling Eric Bolling.
The controversy started two weeks ago while a debate was taking place in the House Agriculture Committee over $4.1 billion in cuts to the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Stephen Fincher made his position clear that the government should not be in the business of feeding children or helping the poor, quoting the Bible for added emphasis. “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” (The quote is actually about warning people against waiting for the second-coming, not as a justification to deny food to those in need.) The callousness is evident to anyone; the hypocrisy became obvious when it was found out that Mr. Fincher has taken millions from the government personally. The $3.5 million he has collected for his farm in subsidies, is from programs that he supports and has voted to increase funding for.
“Look, I’m a Christian and I’m far better than those atheists on the other side of the aisle who want to use the government to feed the poor,” Stephen Fincher said to the Fox panel. “That’s how Hitler and Stalin started out - feeding the poor. But I’m not heartless at all; it’s all about tough-love. And it’s also a win-win situation. We all know God wants to help the rich and powerful, or they wouldn’t be rich and powerful,” he said to the beaming and nodding hosts on The Five. “That’s why the government should give more money to people like me who know how to spend it. We could buy the poor people and then we would be obligated to feed them… if they work hard enough.” After a thoughtful pause. “I’ll say it again, this is other people’s money that Washington is appropriating and spending. It should go to me.”
“I have to say thank you on so many levels Steve,” said Greg Gutfeld. “Not only for figuring out how to feed those douche-bags, and for trying to bring back slavery, but as a comedian too. I have so many hungry children and slavery jokes I’m dying to tell… See, that’s why right-wing humor works, it’s… it’s gettable!”
“Tell your big news,” Andrea K. Tantaros said. “We’re all just dancing around it.”
“Okay, here’s my plan. I’m going to introduce a bill next week. It will eliminate food stamps and give that money to well-off white Christian males, and legalize the buying and selling of those who can’t feed themselves. It’s called, The American Patriot’s Love of God and Country, bill.”
“I’m a Democrat and I love this bill!” Bob Beckel announced. “What could be better than helping the wealthy and the poor at the same time?”
Posted by 20score | Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:17 PM (51 replies)
And the definition of freedom is tweaked.
And we don’t mind having our every move watched and tracked.
And we’re fine with the elimination of privacy.
And the left and the right agree to having some of the trappings of authoritarianism.
And we promise to keep paying more attention to reality shows than reality.
And we don’t have any objections to having all of our written and phone conversations recorded.
And we accept having security guards look at us naked in order to travel on any type of mass transit.
And we’re happy to let companies and the government track everything we read, buy or watch on video.
And we’re willing to self-censor our speech as to not offend someone in the government.
And we completely trust our government at all times to never misuse any information collected about any of us, no matter who is in charge.
And we’re willing to give up any future right to petition the government or peaceably assemble, anonymously.
And we’re cool with making the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth amendments as irrelevant as the third.
Okay, never mind. They can take our freedom. We’ll gladly give them that.
But, They’ll Never Take Our False Sense of Security, Our Hypocrisy, or Our Fear!!! (Those are ours to keep.)
Okay then… Hope you’re inspired.
Posted by 20score | Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:58 PM (27 replies)
A shocking new report by The Guardian and BBC Arabic details how the United States armed and trained Iraqi death squads that ran torture centers. It is a story that stretches from the U.S.-backed death squads in Central America during the 1980s to the imprisoned Army whistleblower Bradley Manning. We play extended excerpts of "James Steele: America’s Mystery Man in Iraq," which exposes the role the retired U.S. colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played in training Iraqi police commando units. "We spent maybe six months trying to track down young American soldiers who served in Samarra," says the film’s executive producer, Maggie O’Kane, who notes the investigation was sparked by memos found in the Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks. "But many were too frightened because of what happened to Bradley Manning." A Pentagon spokesman told The Guardian it had seen the reports and is looking into the situation. "As you know, the issue surrounding accusation of abuse and torture of Iraqi detainees is a complex one that is full of history and emotion," said Col. Jack Miller. "It will take time to work a thorough response."
Posted by 20score | Sat Mar 23, 2013, 12:28 PM (21 replies)
The Catholic Church has always suffered from a split conscience, a duality that has made it an enigma to many for centuries. That split between good and evil, hypocritical and honest, power-hungry and gentle, dogmatic and humble, is best represented by the feud between The Nuns on the Bus, and the Church hierarchy that tried to silence them. Of course the degree to which the division and its players are separated pales in comparison to the past, but the thought processes and character traits of those involved are the same. And it should go without saying that there has also always been some overlap, both within individuals and between the two sides of the Church throughout history.
The constant division between the side that represents forgiveness and helping one’s fellow humans, and the side that represents harshness and judgmentalism could be said to be as old as the New Testament itself. Jesus was shown to have been forgiving, didn’t judge harshly and preached about love. In the Old Testament, there were very harsh judgments, capital punishment for insignificant crimes and being pious was sometimes more important than how one treated others. And whatever ones beliefs are, there is no reason to have a savoir and a sacrifice without original sin and the Old Testament; so the two books are very much intertwined.
There are records going back centuries before the Crusades of priests molesting children and the Church covering it up. But society’s tolerance of such acts and the power of religious leaders have changed since those early days. In the fifth century a man who was later named a saint, Cyril, tortured and killed the philosopher Hypatia because she wasn’t Christian, or thought for herself… whatever the motivation, it was an inexcusable act. About a century later another man who was made a saint, Eligius, spent his money and time buying slaves in mass and freeing them. He took the bodies of executed prisoners and gave them a burial. The two saints could not have been more different from each other. Same church, different philosophies.
At the same time that those participating in the Inquisition were burning innocent women, torturing Jewish people and free-thinkers and keeping the entire populous living in fear, there were priests and monks fighting for social justice and trying to end genocide and slavery. Many who were sent by the Church and the King to the new world to convert and control those who were already living there, ended up trying to end slavery and stop the cruelty. Friar Bartolomé de las Casa started out in what is now Mexico supporting the system set up by the Conquistadores, then he changed to wanting to help the native population and end the enslavement of the natives and give them freedom. Unfortunately he then advocated bringing slaves from Africa. He then evolved further and moved into the actual moral realm and opposed all slavery and devoted his life to the humane treatment of others.
What’s going on now with Benedict’s resignation, the Church’s ongoing molestation scandal and those who want to help others as their calling is nothing new. Sister Simone Campbell led a group of nuns that toured part of the country last year trying to bring awareness to the plight of the poor and needy. For trying to help those in need, they were protested by right-wing Catholics, hate radio DJ Jan Mickelson joked about having the nuns pistol-whipped, they were disparaged in articles and blogs and many said they should be excommunicated. While some Catholics are devoting their lives to helping the sick and the poor, others are devoting their energies to restricting birth control access, denying rights to homosexuals and pushing other dogmatic parts of their church’s doctrine. Obviously over the centuries the fight for what’s right is slowly being won by those on the side of empathy and being more Christ-like. But there are ebbs and flows. Under Benedict the focus has moved away from social justice and towards dogma. With a new pope, one less restricted by dogma, maybe that trend will reverse.
As a lapsed Catholic and devout secularist, one might wonder why I care what the pope feels about where the Church should devote its time and resources. The reason I have for caring is the same reason everyone should have. Does one want the powerful, rich and extremely populous Catholic Church devoting its resources to supporting fringe Republicans, restricting the rights of others and trying to limit access to birth control, thus increasing unwanted pregnancies? Or is it better for the country if they use their considerable resources to take care of those in need? I’m with the Nuns on the Bus.
Posted by 20score | Sun Mar 3, 2013, 05:19 PM (20 replies)
Senator Ted Cruz has taken a lot of heat for his questioning of Senator Hagel during Hagel’s confirmation hearings. This criticism, for simply be brave enough to do his job correctly, is far, far out of bounds. Not since Joe McCarthy has there been a senator willing to destroy reputations with outrageous and false insinuations to such a degree. And the country has suffered from that dearth of courageous statesmen. Bravo Mr. Cruz, Bravo!
Since I recognize and applaud Ted Cruz in his pursuit of character assassinations for their own sake, I’m sure he will be more than happy to assist me in my own intrepid investigation.
There are many nights during the past two decades where Ted Cruz has not accounted for his whereabouts. It does not necessarily mean he was having sex with prepubescent boys he bought on the black market on the nights in question, but he has refused to answer... which just leads to speculation. I'm not saying these boys were ages 4 to 8 years old, but they could have been. Some of them he could have kidnapped himself and kept in his basement until they were too old for him to lust after, then he may have sold them to others in a group he may belong to that buy and trade young boys regularly on the Internet. If those boys exist, and I'm not saying that they do, they must be terribly traumatized now; some of them may have even committed suicide due to Cruz's inhumane and monstrous treatment.
Senator, the ball is in your court.
Posted by 20score | Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:44 PM (48 replies)
As every liberal knows, our strength doesn’t come from logic, science and a do-unto-others philosophy; it comes from obscuring the truth with facts. In George Will’s latest column on January 27th, 2013, he lays out the prescription for a conservative revival. When Obama mentions global warming – a science easily disproved by Will in his article – he sets the groundwork for failed policies that the left, especially Obama, were hoping would help impede the economy and keep people on food stamps and welfare. We were so close!
In order for a good conspiracy to work, it must remain hidden. Now that George Will has shown how ridiculous global warming science really is, how can “a cap-and-trade scheme” be implemented? (It goes without saying that this proves how far left the democrats have moved, now that they would champion a republican idea from the 90’s. The 90’s! Those guys were indistinguishable from Stalin.) George Will, expanding on the Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins, ‘noted that although 2012 was 2.13 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than 2011, “2008, in the contiguous U.S., was two degrees cooler than 2006.”’ We’ve been counting on people being distracted by the fact that the last 330 months have all had an above average temperature, but Will has figured out how irrelevant that information is. What’s important is that sometimes it’s colder than other times, thus blowing a hole the size of the arctic ice cap in climate change science. (Which is, strictly by coincidence, getting smaller every year.)
In the best of all possible futures, Obama and the left would be able to destroy job growth, make the scientists even more powerful than they are now, add trillions and trillions to the debt, put millions more on food stamps and have this go completely unnoticed by the right. But unlike most pundits, George Will wasn’t satisfied with disproving the world’s scientists. He went on to ascertain that Bush’s presidency didn’t matter, in fact, it may not have even happened at all. Quoting Richard Vedder of the American Enterprise Institute, “If today the country had the same proportion of persons of working age employed as it did in 2000, the U.S. would have almost 14 million more people contributing to the economy.” Some may call it dishonest to compare the numbers of one democratic president to the numbers of another democratic president without mentioning the recession caused by the republican president in-between; but let’s face it, it’s actually just damn good math.
This isn’t Mr. Will’s first foray into the world of obliterating truth, history and science. One needs to pick and choose what numbers to use when making one’s points. And George knows how to pick and choose. In a February 2009 column, George Will stated the unemployment rate when FDR took office was, “then at 24.9 percent, it was perverse to diagnose the nation's problem as overproduction.” When wanting to show how ineffective FDR’s policies were, he chose 1939 with, “17.2 percent” in a November 2008 article. If he had picked 1940, the number would have been 14.6. See the difference? And all you have to do is ignore the unemployment rate went from 24.9 in 1933 to 16.9 in 1936, in the short period when FDR policies were in effect. After 1936, when austerity became the order of the day, the markets dropped and unemployment rose. Implementing his policies again in 1937/1938, the economy improved dramatically. Picking and choosing dates also works well if you want to discredit Roosevelt’s policies by an easier method. Start the clock in 1929 and end it in 1936, maintaining that it took FDR seven years to bring the market back to its 1929 numbers. The trick here is to make FDR responsible for the four year drop before he took office. Smart, huh?
But that’s not important. Destroying the economy, strengthening the mighty scientists and putting everyone on food stamps is what matters. How are we going to accomplish this with George Will as the smartest pundit in the room?
Posted by 20score | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 06:39 PM (52 replies)
In the first of its kind study on intelligence, Brown University incorporated ideology into intelligence quotient calculations. The study looked at intelligence levels up and down the political spectrum, but took the unique approach of factoring in the ‘real world effects of final decisions’ in lieu of the standard tests that fail to take biases and prejudice into account. What they found verified the validity of past studies, but shocked the scientific community with its dramatic variation in degrees. Heading the study was L. Bruce, PhD, who is a pioneer in the field of ideological psychology.
“We knew going into this study that Fox News viewers were misinformed and incorrect on the major issues of our time,” said the bespectacled Bruce. “We also knew that past studies showed a five to ten point difference in the IQ’s of the Fox viewers compared to those who get their news from other sources, but we were unprepared for the precipitous drop that occurred when ideology was thrown into the mix. And it seemed to be inversely proportional to the time spent watching Fox News. The more they watched, the lower the intelligence. What we haven’t determined, is whether the viewing caused the drop in aptitude, or a lower intelligence made one more predisposed to watch Fox.”
Judy Collins, PhD coauthored the study and was forthcoming with the details. “While the average age of Fox News viewers is 73.4, the average IQ, using Doctor Bruce’s scale, is 65.3. Quite a difference. We started with the premise that the end result of intelligence, meaning its practical application, was more important than the pieces that are in place to make any intelligence possible. Kind of like a disassembled watch. All the pieces are there, but it can’t tell time. So, what’s the use, unless one removes, in this case, the ideology that prevents critical thought?
“I’ll give you a real life example. One of our subjects who watches Fox, insisted that the earth is only six thousand years old. We then showed this person a cross section of the sediment of Japan’s Lake Suigetsu, which has 52,800 clear layers that are deposited annually. After a few minutes of silence, this person responded by saying, ‘The earth is six thousand years old.’ So, this person may be capable recognizing numbers in the millions or billions, but can only count to six thousand when it matters. We scored this person, in the mathematics category, the same as one who was capable of only counting to six thousand. The same holds true when there is evidence of global warming, equality of races, or teachers not being responsible for the economic recession, and is completely ignored.”
“While Judy’s watch analogy is apt and rather insightful, I prefer to compare a mind bogged down in ideology with gymnast in a suit of armor,” said Bruce. “The person inside a suit of armor, just like one trapped inside of rigid ideology, may be an uncoordinated lout unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, or they may be a world-class gymnast. But an observer would never know the difference being that all athletic feats attempted would be abject failures. We approached this study with that fact in the forefront of our minds… Now we hope that this study will wake those trapped in their individual suits of armor, and allow them to think more clearly.”
Satire by: 20score
Posted by 20score | Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:38 PM (54 replies)