It will be quiet around here for a while. These next two weeks will be consumed with a work/pleasure trip to Europe. That will be followed with another work trip to sunny Canada. Then we’ll be taking a family vacation back home in Texas.
There might be a post here and there, but probably not much. Don’t drift away though. There will be some very interesting news coming in June.
Please stay gone. It figures you’re from texas. You are as kooky as David Koresh. Your demented hoard of Kool-Aid drinking followers suit you perfectly.
What an asshole.
Good gravy we haven’t had such an interesting commenter in awhile now……errrr wellllll ok 50 you’re correct, a really big asshole! ( with hemorrhoids )
I’d say we just got mooned.
I guess that, in a way, that would make us Moonies.
All of us respect Chris’ character and appreciate his considerable effort to intelligently present issues and thoughts on the political scene. He does what many of us cannot do in our own personal circles – offers a forum in which we can present and exchange opposing/different viewpoints on topics that are important to each of us, respectfully and well-documented. I appreciate this opportunity and each of you who take the time to post serious thoughts as well as humorous, personal asides. You have become friends. To that end, I am offended when someone makes ignorant, small-minded comments directed at someone who I respect. Chris has earned my respect (and I’m a frickin Democrat, for gosh sakes!).
I don’t think we’ll see another post from this dude, but, if we do, let’s just snub him. He’s garnered more print space than he deserves.
Lifer – Hope you’re having a great time with your family. We’ve got your back!
Then, why are you even following this blog, JT? Enlighten us.
Because he’s an asshole. William of Occam had an important idea.
And there is further evidence he confuses David Koresh with Jim Jones. Yup, he’s an asshole.
Hey, Fifty, we’re on the same side again! Wow! This could be trouble (-:
I love my converts! 😉
Ooh, not so fast, Fifty!
If you dislike here so much then I suggest you either contriute some intelligent counter ideas or simply jump ass first on a wall of d*cks. Makes no difference to me.
Wow Turtles – there’s a visual for ya!
What’s wrong with counter ideas? LOL
Not so fast people, it reads tounge in cheek. My sarcasm meter moved a little bit. It is to blatant to be taken seriously.
I resent the hell outta being called a hoard.
Maybe he’s just a bad speller RoR and he meant to say “whored”. Feel a little better? 😉
I reckon it’s better than being called a thundering hoard Bubba.
OK, we’ve got to get back to some serious politics here. Lifer’s out having fun and the blog needs a little stokin’. Here’s a good read from Salon:
Bruce Bartlett, one time aide to Jack Kemp: “I can’t prove it, but I honestly think that there are people who run for Congress now not because they actually want to be in Congress, but because they actually want to be lobbyists, and so they want that credential that allows them to get the job that they want.”
Ring any bells?
Tsarnaev gets the thumbs down:
Can’t dredge up even a molecule of sympathy here.
Part of me wants to see the little bastard fry. Another is not convinced of the rationality or the essential morality of the penalty.
Our daughter had just completed the Boston Marathon when the bomb went off. She was “in the tunnel” and knew it had to be a bomb form the sound and screaming. They were herded into a nearby “holding’ area while police and medics worked the scene. She called us to let us know she was ok since she was afraid we would hear about the tragedy and not be able to get in touch with her.
I have very mixed feelings about capital punishment but this was so calculated and indiscriminate that I have no sympathy for the brothers.
I’ve got mixed feelings about capital punishment. On one hand if you’re wrong there is no restitution, and it is not applied fairly. But there are just some people who are guilty beyond all doubt and they deserve it. This scumbag is squarely in that category. Terrorism is about as bad as it gets.
I have neither sympathy, nor empathy. I have only scorn for them and their disgusting ideology. But – are those two scumbags worth the moral compromise of the death penalty? You see, if we have it, it cannot be reserved only for those I happen to hate. Or those who almost killed a loved one. That’s the problem.
I wouldn’t pee on that maggot if he were on fire. But until reliable SHC is demonstrated, who is to strike the match? Does pure retribution make sense from the standpoint of our society? I’m not at all certain that it does.
FP – Ask yourself, has it ever been applied with *universal* fairness, and is that even remotely possible?
I am in completely agreement. What a great start to Saturday 🙂
I can’t think of a worse punishment than spending the rest of my life locked up, reminded every day of my sins. Even if only a slight bit of remorse creeps in after years of missing life it would be unbearable. At least for me. Much better to have a quick relatively painless death administered. Especially if I expect a reward from the great planner in the sky.
IMHO, the death penalty is not even the ultimate revenge.
“FP – Ask yourself, has it ever been applied with *universal* fairness, and is that even remotely possible?”
50, you will get absolutely zero argument from me on that point, as someone who has lived for most of my life in or near Harris County, the capital punishment capital of the USA. I know full well that race and/or socioeconomic class play a big role in who gets death and who doesn’t. I know fully well that someone can get death based solely on eyewitness testimony, which is proven to be far less reliable than so many people want to assume. Hence my statement of mixed feelings. If the Governor of TX did what a former Governor of IL (Ryan, was it?) did a while back, declaring a moratorium on the death penalty because of such unfair application/questionable procedures, I’d be totally fine with it (and also absolutely shocked, given how Abbott caters to RWNJs).
“I have neither sympathy, nor empathy. I have only scorn for them and their disgusting ideology. But – are those two scumbags worth the moral compromise of the death penalty? You see, if we have it, it cannot be reserved only for those I happen to hate.”
I also share your scorn for their ideology. But for me it’s their actions, not whether or not I hate them or agree/disagree with them that matters here. I cannot think of any cause that justifies deliberately killing/maiming/endangering innocents. If you’re outraged over Muslim civilians who are killed as collateral damage in drone strikes, and your response is to plant a bomb at a sporting event, you’ve crossed the line, and I have zero qualms about executing your sorry ass. If you’re infuriated over what happened at Ruby Ridge/ Waco and you park a truck bomb next to a day care center, you’ve also crossed than line. Likewise if you’re upset about police brutality, and you go shoot a couple random cops. Or you’re mad about BP’s major oil spill in the Gulf, and you bomb one of their refineries.
In the case of Tsarnaev, I’d be equalling accepting of life without parole. The one thing I would object to is him ever being out of prison again, for ANY reason.
“I can’t think of a worse punishment than spending the rest of my life locked up, reminded every day of my sins. Even if only a slight bit of remorse creeps in after years of missing life it would be unbearable. At least for me. Much better to have a quick relatively painless death administered. Especially if I expect a reward from the great planner in the sky.”
Unarmed, I totally get that argument. I see the what’s worse thing as completely subjective. Being in solitary for decades with little to no human contact and not much in the way of purpose and diversions is something I would not want to experience. I just might choose the needle if there was choice. But others will feel differently.
Fly – you are right about the subjectivity of the life or death decision. After all, most but not all of those sentenced to death do appeal. After considering your comment, I’ve reconsidered. Maybe we have the “worst punishment” now. A long period of solitary confinement with the hope of life with every appeal, each appeal failing, and then poof, lights out.
” Maybe we have the “worst punishment” now. A long period of solitary confinement with the hope of life with every appeal, each appeal failing, and then poof, lights out.”
Indeed, and the condemned can be put through the wringer to the max if he’s strapped to the table with a pending appeal and everyone’s waiting or the phone to ring before the scheduled time, and then the drugs don’t work properly.
This really is an onion of ethical dilemmas. Where does one personally draw the line on when it is acceptable to kill another person? Do you think it is proper for the state to have that power? Do you think the state can use that power fairly and impartially? What actions are so heinous as to merit this penalty? Which means of execution are acceptable (8th Amendment-wise) and which are not?
Yep, I personally feel we demean ourselves by putting people to death. Not that I would go to a protest. I think it reflects from our violent society in general. And being put to death may be the wish of some, yet be the most frightful thing to the truly innocent.
All those questions you mention get answered in what we do. You forgot, should we execute mentally retarded? The obvious insane? We do all those things. Yet we can’t talk about it. When I bring it up to some close conservative friends, they dismiss my rantings as knee jerk liberal softness.
I just watched a part of 60 minutes. It was about children being trained to be suicide bombers. Just trying to think about them, their trainers, and our death penalty puts my brain in a pretzel.
There was an article recently about prisons in Finland. Comparing the nordic prisons to ours shows me we are more concerned about retribution than anything else.
I can’t either, Fly, but the shame of it is that this will drag on forever and continue to be an albatross around the necks of the survivors.
I have been absent lately. Work and personal time has been keeping me very, very busy. But I am going to make a point to be more diligent about following this blog and commenting when I have something somewhat interesting to say (which, admittedly, is a rarity).
Anyway, have a great trip Chris. If you have a chance while you are in Rome, check out the Appian Way. It is closed to traffic on Sunday and a great place to spend the afternoon strolling around the ruins and relaxing. I brought a nice lunch and a bottle of wine.
So, to keep things going:
This Bertrand Russell quote comes to mind: “Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.”
We really need a lot of this sort of speech to counter that BS notion that calling the Iraq invasion for the colossal mistake it was is disrespecting the military people who went there. Nice to see that W is capable of a bit of self examination here. Of course Darth Cheney is quite unrepentant, the soulless bastard.
Cheney should have been impeached.
I consider W’s biggest blunder, even bigger than the actual decision to invade, was to listen to the likes of Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz over military men like Powell and Shinseki, regarding how to invade.
Also cutting taxes while waging that war is at 3rd on my blunder list.
It’s troubling but true that keeping a country under the thumb of a brutal and viscous dictator would have been, in retrospect, the best choice for all involved – including the Iraqi people. It’s arguable the same could have been said for Iran. Sometimes, war doesn’t solve anything.
And, Libya. America doesn’t need to spend precious human or financial capital in a region that is still tribal, and will be for decades to come.
Cheney should have been charged for war crimes
The liquid dictator is the most deplorable sort. I hate it when viscosity becomes viscous!
“viscous”! Sheesh. Thanks, Big.
“It’s troubling but true that keeping a country under the thumb of a brutal and viscous dictator would have been, in retrospect, the best choice for all involved – including the Iraqi people.”
Probably one of the most apt real life examples of between a rock and a hard place. I think the people of Syria and Egypy and Libya are equally screwed for the immediate future.
I think the lesson in this goes even further than “don’t topple the dictator without a plan for what comes next and the will to implement it”. It should go to “don’t install the $&@%#€£ dictator ITFP!!!” The messes we are dealing with in both Iraq and Iran have their roots in Western powers overthrowing democratically elected gov’ts. Sure, a compliant dictator may be easier to deal with in the short term than some willful, headstrong elected leader, but these nasty long term consequences WERE NOT WORTH IT. The bad has far outweighed any convenience for us at the time.
Fifty, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and figured you were referring to “viscous-headed” or “viscous-skinnned” dictators.
Tutta, you are much nicer than me. I had a really good laugh over Fifty’s typo. Thing is, he makes so few errors, it’s fun to catch him in one every now and then (-:
“Fifty, I gave you the benefit of the doubt” Thanks Tutt, but I didn’t deserve it.
FP – So far as I understand the history of Iraq, there never was a “democratically elected government” in Iraq. If your point is that the arbitrary partitioning of the region, cramming disparate cultures together after WWI was a central issue, well OK. But there was never ‘democracy’, going back centuries before the Ottomans.
Here’s the history of past meddling with Iran:
So looks like I was mixing a bit of Iran with Iraq- Iran had the elected gov’t, Iraq was replacing one dirtbag with another;
So Iraq 1963 is a bit less egregious than Iran 1953, but I think there’s still moral responsibility for any dictators you work to install.
Probably the best outcome for Iraq is schism, hopefully without too much more bloodshed. I think it is too damaged to remain as it was. Might as well create a Kurdistan, regardless of any Turkish bitching.
I absolutely agree on the Kurdistan notion.
Cheney should have been hung in the public square. So much evil in one person.
The people wanted to punch somebody and Iraq was the most credible party for our national punching. Given the nearly unanimous public support for the punch out of Saddam Hussein the Congress acted accordingly.
The Gods demanded propitiation.
We’re stuck there now. There is no way out and most likely we’ll see escalation before anything else.
I’m waiting on the 200,000,000 man army crossing the Euphrates to deal death with Gog Magog and the whole gang.
Meanwhile, Kansas is in flames. I saw Wichita and it was no more than a heap of rubble.
“The people wanted to punch somebody and Iraq was the most credible party for our national punching. Given the nearly unanimous public support for the punch out of Saddam Hussein the Congress acted accordingly.”
My recollections are that the percent in favor never got above 2/3 of the population, and a bit of net surfing is confirming that 60+% is a solid super majority, but not even close to unanimity. As for wanting to punch someone, there was already justification for taking that swing at the Taliban in Afghanistan, given their role in aiding bin Laden.
Still listening to the Dixie Chicks?
Never did listen to them. Country music ain’t my genre of choice, regardless of individual artists’ politics.
Brilliant musicians, regardless of their politics.
“I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means ‘put down’.”
Funny quote, even if I do listen to country now and then.
In terms of “American people wanted to punch somebody out…” Willy –
The mark of a true leader (ostensibly, the Commander in Chief), is to be capable of making “reasoned” decisions in response to tragedy – carefully weighing not only retaliatory action(s) itself (invasion of Iraq) but more importantly, the risk in American lives and capital, AND, reasonable assurance that the war can be won. (Vietnam, anyone?) Altho history records many wars fought for less justified purposes, this one was clearly driven by ego and very poor advice. It takes more courage to stand down from a bully than it does to swing away.
Disagree/dislike President Obama as you may, he has ended (mostly) two wars, and has avoided commitment in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. (and god knows where else that we’re not privy to) He has made mistakes in foreign policy, but, on balance, I feel he has done the right thing to keep America safe while engaging on a limited basis where necessary. I maintain that it will take decades for these tribal countries to be capable of governing themselves in a rational manner – and, it may not look anything like the “Democratic” ideal America professes (but fails in many ways due to inequality).
No, no justification for Iraq War. Thousands of lost lives. Billions in treasury. And, for what?
Too many ramifications to discuss. I do not give Cheney nor the other war mongers in W’s cabinet a pass – not one bit. My only hope is that America has learned from this tragic decision. Sadly, we are still paying for it and will for the foreseeable future.
Even if it’s ‘not about the oil’, it’s ALWAYS about the f______g oil. Walk away, stay away and maybe in thirty years we are in the same place as exists with Vietnam.
Ooops, wrong place-(and it is a funny quote Doug)….Newhart-
If you’re in eastern Ontario, look me up! Seriously. Beautiful lake. Bunkie for the family- but you can come in the house too. 😉 Great food. And of course, cask ale on the hand pump. And fishing – though bass aren’t in season yet.
You can probably figure out how to reach me. It would be great – I promise!
I’m fishing Land Between the Lakes in Ky and have access to some fine Ky moonshine. Bout froze my old Texas butt off night before last so a hit of shine came in handy. Bass are running slow but crappie are starting to hit. Everybody enjoy your vacations.
Been missing your comments, Righton, so glad to know you’re still following and still fishing! The other stuff is just fuel, right! (-:
Thankee Mime, it’s nice to be missed. I’m still kicking but sometimes the areas I’m kicking in are not reached by wi-fi. Sure enjoying retirement and catching up with my sons. When our boys were young I was so damn busy making a living that I missed out on so much. I’m just grateful that I can now spend the time with all of’em no matter how scattered they are all over the world. Don’t mean to be maudlin but my wife did an excellent job of raising these young and middle age men.
We leetle weemens get the job done, Right on!
I just returned from Rome. Glorious time with perfect weather. I have a suggestion for you. Go to the hotel where we stayed, the Rome Cavalieri. It’s on one of the hills overlooking the city (next to the Papal Observatory) and has the most spectacular panoramic view of the Vatican, Colosseum, etc. There’s a great terrace where you can have a drink and soak in the view.
Enjoy. Be safe and have fun.
If you’re of the belief that something is fundamentally wrong with the system, this is a fantastic interview I heard on CBC radio in Canada. It’s around 20 minutes, but well worth the listen. The guys name is Chris Hedges, he’s an American who think revolution is coming to America.
[audio src="http://thumbnails.cbc.ca/maven_legacy/thumbnails/15/353/current_20150513_82236_uploaded.mp3" /]
Wow, amazing link, RobA. I need to look up the book.
Enjoy the break and the vacation travels Chris!
Have a great time, Lifer. I can assure you this gang will keep things rocking and rolling (-:
Happy travels, Lifer. I’m leaving for a few days in Ruidoso. Good to know I won’t be missing any new posts.
Enjoy Europe, Chris! If you’re in London I’ll buy you a beer.
Would you still buy me a beer if I was in Rome?
Rome!! You lucky, lucky, lucky one! That’s at the top of my list of cities abroad I want to visit someday (With Paris and Istanbul very close behind).
I will buy you a beer next time you are in the Mankato area.
Dino – the King of Cool.
Definitely, but the beer will be in London and so you might need an extremely long bendy straw.
EJ – OK then. It’s funny though that I’ve never considered Britain as ‘Europe’. Yeah, I understand the geography. And the EU. But, to me anyway, the UK is well – the UK. Sorta like I don’t think of Europe when I consider Finland. It’s Scandinavia.
I’ve spent much time in Britain, used to manage a group there, and worked for a British company. Do most Brits consider themselves to be European?
Some do, some don’t. Generally if you’re urban and/or educated you tend to think of Britain as being part of Europe; if you’re rural and/or uneducated you tend not to. This correlates with political leanings in unexpected ways, so a lot of the more populist parts of the Right will recoil from thinking of Britain as being within Europe while the more elite parts will happily discuss how Britain can take a European leadership role.
Finland isn’t Scandinavian though. It’s Nordic but not Scandinavian. The set theory of it is elegantly discussed here: http://satwcomic.com/how-the-north-works
Thanks for the link, EJ! In my mind, I tend to lump them all together as lands of outrageously priced beer!
On Bloc Europe, about all I can observe is that the UK certainly dodged the monetary union bullet. The social and cultural aspects of is have yet to play out, but this observer cannot see how a bunch of bureaucrats in Belgium have a snowball’s chance in hell of rationalizing and homogenizing nearly 2,000 years of cultural diversity. Current events portend this view but we’ll see. I’m happy the UK can look across the Channel and take the same wait-and-see perspective.
I think EJ meant London, Ontario. It’s a bit west of Toronto.
Say EJ – you going to Oktoberfest in Kitchner/Waterloo this fall?
fiftyohm – I meant London as in red buses, wet summers and a newly reelected David Cameron, being as that’s the European city that I live in. I shall, however, be going back to Germany this autumn for Oktoberfest. If you’re going to the one in Canada then I’ll raise a glass to you from Berlin.
One of my favorite cities on earth, London. And to my mind, the beer’s better than Berlin. Or even Munich. Hell- I don’t even mind the weather!
My German regionalism forbids me from saying nice things about Munich. As such I am unable to point out that it’s gorgeous and set in an amazing countryside; and I am totally unable to say how much nicer the southerners are than us Ossis. Nope. Can’t say any of that. Civilization ends at the River Main.
British beer is great though. It’s rather a shame that the British themselves appear entirely unaware of it and prefer to drink Danish, French and Australian imports.
How is Canadian beer? I have to confess, shamefully, that I’ve only ever been to BC and Montreal and thus know nothing about the parts of Canada in between.
Take it easy guys, it is 9:32 in the AM and you got me wanting a beer.
Ice cold beer or ale at room temperature? Which do you prefer?
I would say that I prefer ale at room temperature.
It’s 5pm in England so I’m going for a nice room-temperature ale right now. Something dark and heavy with a substantial head, like liquid beer.
Ah beer! Canada, like the US, in undergoing a beer Renaissance of the craft kind. Pretty much from coast to coast, fantastic microbreweries are producing top-flight beer to replace the moose piss available heretofore. Mostly though, I brew my own and cask-condition it. I have a cold room at ~55 degrees, and an Angram engine for dispense upstairs, CAMRA-style I pretty much do very traditional British bitters and IPAs. I may have one right now!
Tutt – 55 degrees is probably too warm for most Yanks, but colder temps really dull the old taste buds. Said condition, though completely necessary for “enjoying” such beer-like products as Miller Lite or Butt Light or other fizziness, drinking a real ale so cold is a punishable offense in the beer nerd community! Tex has it right, save for his severely and artificially restricted hours of consumption!
*liquid bread, not liquid beer.
Fifty: That sounds excellent. I buy American craft beers on the web sometimes (I love trying new beers), so if you can advise me of any really good Canadian ones I’ll look forward to checking them out.
Cold beer has its place. That place is when it’s a hot summer day, you’re outside with friends, and the beer is a pilsner or something similar. I’m not into Belgian-style blonde beers but I see this more as a personal weakness than a problem with said beers: if you enjoy them then great.
ALE will cure what AIL’s ya.
I like the dark, rich malty stuff – chocolate and oatmeal stouts.
Sorry for the accidental apostrophe. I meant to type: Ale will cure what AILS ya.
I like that type of beer , good stuff. Having a beer from my sample pack from Dechutes Brewery and it is called Obsidian Stout, good stuff.
I am a beer snob, I admit it.
Good thing I’m not!
Have a safe trip. We’ll work on keeping the blog warm.