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7527 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Feb 2007 at 5:32 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite   |  Watch    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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  2007-05-27 12:49:34 AM
dottedmint: You told me that IF both the President and key members of Congress determined that the threat was "imminently dangerous" we could take action against that threat.

YOU are the one who is adding stuff to TUSC.


No, Article IV gives the right of protection against invasion. A pre-emptive strike is not defense, and if it is employed had better be for a damn good reason. As in imminent danger, which would still be testing the good faith of the Constitution.

We never should have even gone after Al Quada in Afghanistan???

It really was a mistake, and wasn't necessary. That's the truth in hindsight. Bin Laden got away, and our efforts were a failure with warlords and splintered extremist factions taking roost. It's BS. I don't see how you can support all these lies and deceptions, honestly.
 
  2007-05-27 01:00:14 AM
www.mixxer.com
 
  2007-05-27 08:20:40 AM
Whidbey: "No, Article IV gives the right of protection against invasion. A pre-emptive strike is not defense, and if it is employed had better be for a damn good reason. As in imminent danger, which would still be testing the good faith of the Constitution."


Article IV Section 4. The United States shall .... protect each of them (the states) against invasion;

IF the government takes NO ACTION until AFTER we are attacked they are NOT protecting us "against invasion". They are allowing us to be invaded and then retaliating against those who invaded us.

Here is a prime example of YOU adding things to TUSC.

You said,

"A pre-emptive strike is not defense,

But Article IV does NOT mention "defense".

YOUR wording suggests that we can ONLY take "defensive" actions against invasion.

But (as I said before) Article IV does NOT mention "defense".

It uses the term "protect".

To "protect" against a threat you need to take actions BEFORE the threat reaches you.

Not after.

IF you take action ONLY AFTER a threat reaches you then you failed to "protect" yourself against that threat.

"Most of your list is from 20 years ago."

This kinda goes to show that Islamic terrorism has been around for a long time and is a REAL THREAT.

"And obviously I need to remind you that the one thing we have Al Qaeda on is 9/11,"

Um???

USS COLE 17 Sailors DEAD.

Madrid train bombings 191 DEAD.

1993 WTC bombing. 6 DEAD over 1,000 injured.

1993 Somalia "Black Hawk Down" 18 DEAD.

Al Qaeda has been linked to each of these AND MORE...

"But the truth is no terrorist group is enough of a threat to the United States to warrant any military intervention. Period."

Not even if The President and Congress determine that the threat posed by one is "imminently dangerous"???
 
  2007-05-27 03:49:52 PM
dottedmint:

IF the government takes NO ACTION until AFTER we are attacked they are NOT protecting us "against invasion".

We already have the infrastructure to protect against the threat of invasion. Again, the citing of that particular article is a way to authorize military force, but I'm afraid you're not seeing that the power should be used sparingly and to avoid the offensive you're suggesting. Bush and his crew are using whatever means to bring this country TO war, not as a means of defense.

This kinda goes to show that Islamic terrorism has been around for a long time and is a REAL THREAT

This administration is using fear to keep us in a ridiculously laughable state of "alert" all the while using that excuse to erode our personal freedoms and control our lives.

But I do concede that if we don't get our act together as a country and make some really big changes in foreign policy and change the way we present ourselves to the rest of the world both diplomatically, there will definitely be more Al Qaedas looking to plan their next 9/11.
 
  2007-05-27 03:53:25 PM
Matt M.: So, tell me how exactly the U.N. has proven to be effective at anything?

Granted the UN isn't the most effective governing body in the world, but it's better than nothing. Have you ever considered that much of the UN's ineffectiveness is directly related to the power the US holds over it? Consider the following:

- The US owes the UN over $1.5 BILLION dollars.

- The UN is largely dependent on US funding, and we all know how people act when they need money, don't we?

- The US has vetoed over 70 resolutions in the 20th century. The US, in fact, has used its veto more than any other nation in the entire UN, and all of these vetoes have been against overwhelming international support. This website (pops) has a good list of these resolutions. Look at the votes. 113-1. 120-2. 136-1. A lot of these resolutions are condemning Israeli policies, the utility of which is questionable but nonetheless raises another issue which fits well with our discussion on why American foreign policy is breeding terrorism and resentment. But beside that side point, if the UN isn't accomplishing anything, whose fault is that? In many cases, its ours. The US doesn't want the UN to be effective because it threatens our global hegemony.

- Look at our last UN ambassador John Bolton. Here are some telling quotes:

"There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States."

- "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

This is the guy who we put at the UN to represent us. Are you kidding me? The UN doesn't work because we don't want it to work, at least when it isn't working for us.

If you've ever done any kind of research on who UBL's mentors were/are and the goals of Hamas and other similar-minded terror organizations, you would know better than to think that negotiation with them is an option.

Yeah I've done some research into them. We all know who trained and funded Bin Laden, that's not a secret. We created a monster, as we've done so many times in the past (ever heard of the School of Americas? (pops))

The best we can do is to curtail their recruiting.

I agree. The current war isn't doing that, if anything its making their job easier by creating, inspiring and training a whole new generation of terrorists.

even if I had actual evidence that Iraq and al-Qaeda had even a semblance of a relationship before the war, you would choose not to believe me.

Keyword "if." You don't, no one does, because there isn't any, other than the indictment from '98 which dottedmint posted some time ago, which IMHO was flatly refuted by the evidence which I posted afterwards.

everyone arguing with dottedmint probably thinks we're losing in Iraq.

Do you think we are winning?

If so, to whom are we losing?

A variety of factions in Iraq who are loosely affiliated by religion and hatred of Americans. Other than that, they will be more than happy to kill each other as much as they kill us.

"Al-Qaeda" is but one organization out of many that are currently cropping up in droves in the middle east. Iraq has turned into a fertile breeding ground of terrorist organizations due to its complete lack of security. By any definition of "progress" in this amorphous war on terrorism, the presence of more terrorist groups, more terrorists, more acts of terrorism since this "war" on terrorism and invasion of Iraq started, tells me that we are most definitely losing. Big time.

As for the immigration topic, I'm definitely up for discussing that. It seems the best way to get something going in here is to post your opinion or your argument for or against something, and then people respond.
 
  2007-05-27 05:04:55 PM
And this is the angle I'm going to take on immigration:

It's a free country, anyone should be able to come here. You jump through the naturalization hoops, and you're in.

Obviously, the real problem, though is Mexican immigration. There is a two-way street where people come over the border for better-paying wages than what they find in their own country. The other side of the street are Americans who save money by hiring cheap labor.

The laws against hiring illegals obviously aren't being enforced. I've never heard of a high-profile case where some American was sentenced to serve time for hiring illegals.

No, the government's position is to treat the people coming into this country as the threat, and focus efforts into wall-building and barbed wire.

Meanwhile, 12 million illegals are filling some pockets with cash gleaned from their illicit efforts. Obviously I see a disconnect here.

I don't think anything's going to get any better until more pressure is put on Mexico to get its act together economically, that's ultimately what needs to happen. It's a wonderful place full of natural resources for their own citizens to work.

Yes, of course I know that sounds unquestionably idealistic, but that's the real path we should be going. The truth is that the status quo serves the fat cats of our country, and as long as there's money to be made, the double standard stays.
 
  2007-05-27 06:55:06 PM
IF the government takes NO ACTION until AFTER we are attacked they are NOT protecting us "against invasion".

Whidbey: "We already have the infrastructure to protect against the threat of invasion."

Obviously we don't because we have what 12 million illegals here... Nice way to start the new topic...

"Again, the citing of that particular article is a way to authorize military force, but I'm afraid you're not seeing that the power should be used sparingly and to avoid the offensive you're suggesting."

There you go again adding a standard that is NOT found in TUSC.

The government has made a promise to the states via TUSC to "protect against invasion".

Nowhere in TUSC does it say this power should be used sparingly...

Nowhere in TUSC does it say that offensive acts should be avoided...

I really wish you would stop adding things to TUSC.

"Bush and his crew are using whatever means to bring this country TO war, not as a means of defense."

IF they are trying to protect the states from invasion then TUSC authoizes them to do just that. Even if it is offensive...

This kinda goes to show that Islamic terrorism has been around for a long time and is a REAL THREAT

"This administration is using fear to keep us in a ridiculously laughable state of "alert" all the while using that excuse to erode our personal freedoms and control our lives."

LOL...

How many terrorist attacks do you need before you see terrorism as a threat???

How many people do you need to be killed before you think the threat is real???

"But I do concede that if we don't get our act together as a country and make some really big changes in foreign policy and change the way we present ourselves to the rest of the world both diplomatically, there will definitely be more Al Qaedas looking to plan their next 9/11."

I love the 'It's all our fault.' stance....

The only thing that will make some of them happy is if we are all killed or we all convert to the extreme version of Islam that they follow.
 
  2007-05-27 08:13:17 PM
dottedmint: I love the 'It's all our fault.' stance....

If you think 9/11 came out of the blue and the criminals responsible for it didn't have real grievances against this country, you're buying into the propaganda more than I thought.

Obviously we don't because we have what 12 million illegals here... Nice way to start the new topic...

They are not invaders. I've heard that weak argument before, don't eve start.

I really wish you would stop adding things to TUSC.

And I insist you stop manipulating this argument. The fact is I respect the document, you feel the need to use it to wage war and empire-building, it's obvious by our conversation.

The only thing that will make some of them happy is if we are all killed or we all convert to the extreme version of Islam that they follow.

Your opinion. The rational view is to fix our mistakes at home and stop interfering in other countries' business.

And any "terrorist" is ultimately subject to the laws of the country where he is a citizen, not George Bush's "signing statements."
 
  2007-05-27 08:16:43 PM
dottedmint: "This administration is using fear to keep us in a ridiculously laughable state of "alert" all the while using that excuse to erode our personal freedoms and control our lives."

LOL...


That's funny to you, is it?
 
  2007-05-27 08:31:33 PM
C-S, you have not answered my question, but merely described how much you hate the U.S. and its relationship, or lack thereof, with the UN and how much you hate John Bolton, an appointee of your Great Satan, President Bush. Additionally, the vote tally you provided only provided instances where the U.S. vetoed, and no other countries. I attempted to find where Russia may have used its three vetoes on something, but I gave up, simply because I'm not going to argue a point of whether or not we should support Israel. It's really easy to accuse to U.S. of hemming up UN condemnation of Israel, but where is the condemnation of the PLO or the Taliban or other terrorist organizations? I didn't see it, though I didn't look too hard.

I've already said that I'm not going to argue pre-war intelligence, especially since you've already used "IMHO was flatly refuted by the evidence which I posted afterwards." You have your evidence. That's fine. We can't change the past.

But what I find very amusing is that what President Bush said about pre-war Iraq is exactly the same thing that many other folks, Reps and Dems, have said about Iraq. Yet, Bush is the liar. Eh... how is that exactly?

I remember right after 9/11, the "hate Bush" crowd was screaming for the 9/11 Commission. They said it must be done to find out "what really happened" so that they could prove to the world that Bush failed. They were sure of Bush sleeping on the job. When the Commission didn't directly point the blame at him, but rather Clinton, Bush and the whole of American government and other factors, no one spoke up and said, "Hey, we were sure, but we made a mistake. Sorry." That's the problem. Bush-hating is a religion.

That's why there will never be an "Iraq Commission."

Are we winning in Iraq? Yes. Slowly. In fact, we've won most of Iraq. Most of Iraq is peaceful. The area around Baghdad is really most of what is not peaceful. Admittedly, it's a violent place. I agree that the violent sects of Sunni and Shia would rather kill each other than us, but, as many anti-war folks have said, when the Iraq government wants us out, we should go. Funny that the Iraq government wants us to stay at least another year, huh?

Whidbey

Nice handpicked list there. But if you want to continue to buy into the propaganda, fine. Most of your list is from 20 years ago. And obviously I need to remind you that the one thing we have Al Qaeda on is 9/11, and we showed our rashness and ultimate failure there.

Yeah, dottedmint, you neglected to post all those occasions where al-Qaeda, et al, performed all those humanitarian missions, negotiated peace with other countries and stood up for equal rights for those who weren't militant Muslims. Nice going. And you call yourself fair and balanced. Please.

Whidbey, I think you stopped reading the list after the first incident. Pretty much everything from '93 on is from al-Qaeda. The rest is mostly from Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO, Libya or Iran.

With all due respect, these are stereotypes. And I didn't see the US negotiating when we attacked Afghanistan. Funny how that kind of behavior is "OK" when it's us doing the blowing up and killing. Well, obviously you've got your mind set that these people are animals and are incapable of rational thought. It's going to be pretty hard to change that mindset. But at the heart of it, these are people who are oppressed and desperate. Their philosophy against us didn't come out of nowhere.

Islamist: Islamo-fascist. Not representative of a typical Muslim. Primarily uses violence to achieve political goals. Would you mind naming an Islamo-fascist group that DOESN'T fit into this so-called stereotype?

You also appear to have zero-to-little trust in our ability to procure intelligence.

Uh... wait. Haven't you been the one saying that our pre-war intelligence is wrong and that everything the Bush administration does is wrong? You can't have it both ways, buddy. We're either good at gaining intelligence, like you claim that we seem to be, or we are bad at gaining intelligence, like you claim that we have been. Make up your mind.

What this country needs to do is make amends and change its ways.

And what ways do we need to change? I've seen this argument before and no one has really been able to tell me. Has it ever occurred to you that militant Islamists really don't care much how other nations treat them, but care mostly about bringing about the rise of the Caliphate and will do anything to accomplish that goal? And by saying that we deserve whatever we get from them, you are helping them?

Also, please tell me which of the 3,000 citizens that died on 9/11 deserved to die because of these spurious "ways" you have talked about? Do you deserve to die because of America's "ways?"

Whew! Let's talk immigration now.

Immigration is not about citizenship or making friends with other nations. It's about our security. I agree with you, Whidbey, that anyone should be allowed to come here and eventually become a citizen. However, they shouldn't be able to just cross the border and disappear, never to be heard from again, even if they commit a crime.

We need a fence. With dogs. And a fiery moat with fire-proof sharks and alligators. And laser beams.

Mexico will NEVER stop the flow of immigration from them to us. Never. Ever. Ever. The economy of Mexico is far too dependent on the money that illegal immigrants send back to Mexico.

We don't need amnesty. We need to do the following:

1. Deport any illegal immigrant in jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect the under-the-table $200.
2. Any person not a citizen who breaks the law needs to be deported. Period.
3. Enforce the frickin' law.
 
  2007-05-27 08:38:42 PM
Whidbey
They are not invaders. I've heard that weak argument before, don't eve start.

Correct, they are not invaders. However, consider that if even 1% of those that crossed the unfenced, undefended borders weren't citizens of Mexico, but anti-American militants from other countries. Heck, .1% or .01%. Then we will have a severe problem. No we have a severe problem.

Your opinion. The rational view is to fix our mistakes at home and stop interfering in other countries' business.

Caliphate. It has nothing to do with us.

Technical question: How do I put in hyperlinks?
 
  2007-05-27 08:40:28 PM
Matt M.: I think you stopped reading the list after the first incident.

The list is disingenuous. The real threat is our tendency to meddle in other people's business.

Would you mind naming an Islamo-fascist group that DOESN'T fit into this so-called stereotype?

I take issue to the right-wing talking point "Islamofascist." There is no threat of such people taking over the world, I'm sorry, ain't buying it. It's US Bush administration propaganda.

Are we winning in Iraq? Yes. Slowly. In fact, we've won most of Iraq.

Another disingenuous answer. If this is true, why are there insurgencies and why can't we control them? We are losing this conflict, it is nearly unanimously agreed.

Haven't you been the one saying that our pre-war intelligence is wrong and that everything the Bush administration does is wrong

I would submit that the pre-war intelligence showed that Iraq was not a threat and this administration nonetheless chose to interpret it otherwise.

Also, please tell me which of the 3,000 citizens that died on 9/11 deserved to die because of these spurious "ways" you have talked about? Do you deserve to die because of America's "ways?"

Nobody deserved to die. But the truth hurts when it's realized that we created the environment that made such an attack possible. It didn't come out of the blue, in fact it was very deliberately planned.
 
  2007-05-27 08:46:20 PM
<b>Matt M.:</b> <i>We need a fence. With dogs. And a fiery moat with fire-proof sharks and alligators. And laser beams.</i>

You've really got a flair for the dramatic, don't you? You really think it's going to stop people from coming in? And what if they start dying by the score? You're OK with that much blood on your hands from zapping a bunch of defenseless Mexicans?

<i>Mexico will NEVER stop the flow of immigration from them to us. Never. Ever. Ever. The economy of Mexico is far too dependent on the money that illegal immigrants send back to Mexico.</i>

I hear ya, but ultimately the problem isn't going to stop until we have a leader willing to sit down with Mexico's President and make some kind of deal.

<i>We don't need amnesty. We need to do the following:</i>

Ain't gonna happen. I've already pointed out that it's a two-way street, and there are probably just as many Americans breaking the law to hire illegals.

You see, it's that cheap labor. There has to be another solution than just "enforcing laws" as both parties involved are just going to say "f*ck that."

And here's the code for hyperlinks. You might want to save this.

<a href="YOUR URL" target="_blank">YOUR URL TEXT</a>.
 
  2007-05-27 09:24:29 PM
Obviously we don't because we have what 12 million illegals here... Nice way to start the new topic...

Whidbey: "They are not invaders. I've heard that weak argument before, don't even start."

I wasn't trying to call the illegals "invaders".

However....Hmmmm....

What I was pointing out is that if we can have 12 million illegals here in the US then obviously whatever infrastructure we have to protect us against invasion DOES NOT WORK.

"And I insist you stop manipulating this argument."

I'm not the one who is manipulating anything.

I am the one who is looking at what TUSC ACTUALLY SAYS.

The fact is I respect the document,

IF you actually respected TUSC you would NOT keep adding standards to TUSC that are NOT in it.
 
  2007-05-27 09:48:42 PM
Nice job in not answering any questions and side-stepping any acceptance of responsibility of your own double-talk. Sheesh.

Let me ask you something: Do you believe George Tenet now that he has come clean and tattled on Bush? Do you believe his claim that Iraq would have a nuclear weapon by 2007-2009 if we had not invaded?

Do you think Saddam Hussein would have allowed Iran to have nukes without Iraq having nukes?

Concerning my sharks/gators/laser beams: metaphors, man. Do you seriously believe that I want illegal immigrants to die? Come on, really? I was making a point of how serious I am about how secure the fence needs to be.

I was trying to be a bit humorous, since politics is often a subject devoid of humor. If we can't laugh at a subject, we have no business discussing it.

I agree that we are at an impasse with our politicians concerning law enforcement. I guess we'll just have to vote them out, then. Good luck with that.

Wait a second... all of a sudden, it's Bush's fault that we haven't negotiated some kind of deal with Mexico? You think it's just the GOP that won't sit down with Mexico, don't you? 12 Million illegals showed up starting in January 2001? You are making it very hard for me to be civil. This immigration problem goes farther back than this administration, and the current crop of laws haven't been enforced since Reagan's term. Bush 41 did nothing about it. Clinton did NOTHING to help this problem. W has done nothing to help, either.

I know you are pretty much programmed to blame Bush for just about everything, including sunburns and road rage, but come on. Be a little rational about this. I'm not saying that he has done a lot of good on immigration, or that I even like him. But, it's not like he's the only president that has slept while this immigration problem has persisted.

I have other comments, but I'd like to see replies from other folks before I post them. Plus, I'd like to spend some time with my wife now. :-)
 
  2007-05-27 10:05:21 PM
dottedmint: What I was pointing out is that if we can have 12 million illegals here in the US then obviously whatever infrastructure we have to protect us against invasion DOES NOT WORK.

I am the one who is looking at what TUSC ACTUALLY SAYS.


As am I. But I'm obviously looking at the document to avoid conflict, whereas you have no problem using it to make war. I believe I've made this clear.

I'm really having a problem understanding your morality, dottedmint. What exactly do you stand for? Tell me you're not this militant that'll use any force necessary and that there isn't at least one peaceful ideology you support?

Matt M.: Let me ask you something: Do you believe George Tenet now that he has come clean and tattled on Bush? Do you believe his claim that Iraq would have a nuclear weapon by 2007-2009 if we had not invaded?

I can't say I trust him. Intelligence can be politicized, and no, I don't believe there's any reliable information to support his assumption about Saddam and nukes.

If his regime had really been that big of a threat, the Security Council would have voted unanimously to use force, they had a mixed vote, which suggests that the invasion wasn't a priority.

I was making a point of how serious I am about how secure the fence needs to be.

And I say the fence is a waste of money and the real solution is going to have to be negotiated, not done by the sword. It just won't work, and we'll be whining about this five years from now when it's worse.

Wait a second... all of a sudden, it's Bush's fault that we haven't negotiated some kind of deal with Mexico?

No, I never implied that, and I agree that no President has attempted this challenging kind of solution. But I don't recall Clinton making a big deal about illegals like the current administration is. Bush flat out gives me the impression he despises them.

There are too many people that benefit from the system the way it is: looking the other way when Americans hire illegals and then pretending to crack down afterwards.
 
  2007-05-28 02:41:24 AM
Whidbey

Tell me you're not this militant that'll use any force necessary and that there isn't at least one peaceful ideology you support?

Nice argument fallacy you have there, Whidbey.

1. No matter what he says, you won't believe him.
2. Essentially it's a loaded question, like "Have you stopped beating your wife?" If his answer is not quick and pithy, it's obviously wrong. By asking the question the way you did, you've already painted him as a militant, not supporting at least one peaceful ideology. These kinds of questions are used in the debates a lot. No matter what the answer, it's wrong on some count, assured to alienate the candidate from one segment of voters.
3. The answer comes from his right-of-center mindset, so it's wrong even before it says it.

Look, I know that none of us will convince any of us, but at least try to make this a decent, fair argument.

I don't believe there's any reliable information to support his assumption about Saddam and nukes.

I agree with you that Saddam didn't have nukes in 2003. Neither did Iran and look where they are now.

So, answer my original question: Do you believe that Iraq would have a nuclear weapon by 2007-2009 if we had not invaded? Do you believe that SH would have allowed Iran to have nukes without Iraq having nukes?

And yeah, you said that the UN would have allowed the use of force. SH had already snubbed his nose at something like 17 UN resolutions. What does he care about a few more? And, if the UN had given us their permission to use force, I am quite sure that we would have ended up in the exact same predicament as we are now: A civil war, as you would call it. According to folks who think like you, Muslims have been killing themselves for centuries. They would have turned on any allies of the U.S., which would have been only a few more countries, and then would have resumed killing each other once we were forced out. But, that's purely speculation....

And I say the fence is a waste of money and the real solution is going to have to be negotiated, not done by the sword. It just won't work, and we'll be whining about this five years from now when it's worse.

Come on. Really? Didn't we just agree that the laws that we have on the books right now are basically worthless because they aren't enforced by the U.S. and Mexico? And you think more laws from more negotiation will fix that? Are you serious? Do you know what the definition of insanity is? It's doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result.

It's totally about the money. Our politicians are on the take from American businesses because of the cheap labor. Mexico gets more money from Mexicans in America than it generates in from its own economy. And you think that Mexico is going to stop that gravy train?

Again I say, a fence has very little to do with immigration. It's about the security of our country. We need to be able to control who comes and goes. We should allow folks to come and go, but there needs to be a process and we need to be sure that whoever is sneaking across our borders isn't more interested in killing Americans than he is interested in getting a job or trying to become an American citizen.

Bush flat out gives me the impression he despises them.

Really? He told you that? Explain, then, why he got more of the Hispanic vote than any other GOP candidate in the history of our country. Because if he gave you that impression, then I am positive he would have given Hispanics that impression. I think it has less to do with what he feels than with what you feel. Anything Bush does is going to be wrong, in your mind. Don't try to contradict me on that because you know that I'll simply ask you for something that Bush has done that didn't make your stomach churn.
 
  2007-05-28 03:19:44 AM
Screw it. I'm up, I might as well put in my other thoughts.

There is no threat of such people taking over the world

Yeah, Neville Chamberlain believed that, too, I'm sure.

it is nearly unanimously agreed

I guess it depends on who you talk to. If you go all the Left-wing anti-war sites that would say we were losing the war no matter what the success we had in Iraq was, I would imagine that you would think we were losing. I love how you say "nearly unanimously," like that makes your statement credible.

Let's break it down: Islamofascist.

Islamo- from the religion of Islam.
Fascist- you know what this means.

If you haven't done any reading about what a militant Muslim group does to people who aren't Muslims, or who aren't in the same sect of Islam as they are, then you would not understand why this "right-wing talking point" is not a politicized word, but an accurate description of what is happening. You seem to think that militant Muslims only hate America and Americans. That is not the case.

How were my answers disingenuous?

Concerning the list, I simply want to know where terro... eh... militant Muslim organizations have actually helped the world, not killed people to get their political point across. You say that the real danger is our policies, yet you failed to state any of those policies. dottedmint provided a reasonably exhaustive list of why militant Muslims are dangerous. I don't understand why you think negotiating with militant killers would get you anywhere. Rhetorical Question: Don't you think that if a militant Muslim group really wanted to negotiate that the MSM would be all over that accusing this administration of not willing to negotiate with a militant Muslim group?

Concerning winning in Iraq, visit MSNBC and look at their Newsweek section about how we are finally winning over Saddam loyalists. Keep in mind that Newsweek is vehemently anti-Bush and anti-Iraq War. (I don't feel like looking it up and putting in a link.) The "insurgency" is in the Sunni Triangle area, around Baghdad. For the most part, the rest of the country is peaceful.
 
  2007-05-28 04:10:06 AM
Matt M.: By asking the question the way you did, you've already painted him as a militant, not supporting at least one peaceful ideology.

I'm sure dottedmint can answer for himself. As for my question, it is out of frustration because it's really hard to see the "good" in his suggestions.

me:There is no threat of such people taking over the world

you:Yeah, Neville Chamberlain believed that, too, I'm sure.

There is not even the same level of danger that Hitler proved to be. You are disingenuous. Don't try to pass that off as humor, either...;)

I love how you say "nearly unanimously," like that makes your statement credible.

Most news outlets admit it. The policy is a failure. The evidence is overwhelming. If you have something to the contrary that specifically says we are "winning" and avoids the more obvious "we are losing" I'd like to see it.

And I still maintain the term "Islamofascism" is hardly worth my consideration. Religion is not the issue, it is the poverty and the desperation and anti-American sentiment that give rise to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

As for the list, I see a lot of the incidents being in other countries against other countries, mainly Israel and I object to all of the incidents somehow making the case that Al Qaeda is behind them all.

I really do believe this government uses the threat of such incidents to keep us in a heightened state of awareness, the "War" on "Terror," which is really a waste of resources. We can keep preparing to fight an "inevitable" enemy, or we can use our influence to make peace in this world.

But I used a wrong choice of words really, in that there WILL very much be a threat of attack if we don't change our ways as a country. Absolutely.

Concerning winning in Iraq, visit MSNBC and look at their Newsweek section about how we are finally winning over Saddam loyalists.

Like I said earlier, if we've really made so many strides and "most of the country is peaceful" why are there still insurgents and why is it we can't control them? Simple question.

Iraq is a money sh*thole, and the latest round of Democratic masochism only belies the intention that this will remain an occupation with no intention of handing over anything.
 
  2007-05-28 06:57:33 AM
I am the one who is looking at what TUSC ACTUALLY SAYS.

Whidbey: "As am I. But I'm obviously looking at the document to avoid conflict, whereas you have no problem using it to make war. I believe I've made this clear."

*sigh*

We've been over this several times.

IF you were actually looking at what TUSC ACTUALLY SAYS you would NOT be adding standards or requirements that ARE NOT spelled out in TUSC.

TUSC says that the government will protect [the states] against invasion.

That's it.

You have added the standard that says the government should only use defensive actions or only take action AFTER an attack but TUSC does NOT have that standard.

You've also added the standard that says the threat must be "imminently dangerous" before the government can take action but TUSC does NOT have that standard.

Heck....

Show me where in TUSC it says that we should (as you put it) "avoid conflict"?

IF you were looking at what TUSC actually says you would know that TUSC does NOT have that standard.

It is just another standard that you have added...
 
  2007-05-28 11:20:58 AM
Whidbey do you actually read anything I write or do you assume I've written something and just answer whatever the heck you feel like?

See, by asking the question I just asked in the way I asked it, I did the same think you did to dottedmint. And you know what? You can answer my question for yourself because it is out of frustration from all the dancing and avoiding the subject and neglecting answering any questions that we have asked you.

My question wasn't humorous, but it was ironic. You failed to see that. See, Chamberlain refused to see what Hitler was, refused to take him at his word when he said he was going to do what planned to do. He proclaimed, essentially, that Hitler was not a threat. And we all know how that turned out.

You don't think that a militant Islamic group or government getting a nuclear weapon, or more than one, is at least as dangerous as Hitler was? I hate using Hitler for any example, but it seems to be the only example anyone understands.

I'll leave "Islamofascism" alone for now in lieu of this question: Do you believe poverty creates terrorists and terrorism?

And again, FOR THE THIRD TIME please post what policies and ways America has to change. Please post exactly the policies that gave rise to terrorism.

All but 5 of the events on that list were directly against U.S. interests. Again, I think you stopped reading the list after the first item.

Additonally, neither of us stated that al-Qaeda was behind all of them. In fact, I said: Pretty much everything from '93 on is from al-Qaeda. The rest is mostly from Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO, Libya or Iran.

So, if I understand you correctly, terrorism is okay as long as it is not against the U.S. and it is against Israel?

There are still insurgents because most of the country is peaceful. Not all.
 
  2007-05-28 05:47:01 PM
Matt M.: I hate using Hitler for any example, but it seems to be the only example anyone understands.

With all due respect, it's a lazy argument. The current events are not comparable to a WWII situation, rather there are incredible amounts of "what-if" politics and imperialistic goals the United States is pushing to remain a superpower. I find it hard to trust this government's intentions.

The "terrorist threat" is a response to our meddling in other countries, and we have hired many of our so-called "enemies" for years prior to 9/11. There are two sides to the story, I'm hoping you're not ignoring one for the other.

Do you believe poverty creates terrorists and terrorism?

It's certainly a factor, yes.

dottedmint: We've been over this several times.

I don't see what your point is. Sorry. Any suggestions I might have given were opinions. They reflected either the literal words of the Constitution or its spirit.

I think the real issue is:

How do you believe this government should behave in present-day politics, especially regarding foreign policy decision making?
 
  2007-05-28 06:04:08 PM
Matt M.: And again, FOR THE THIRD TIME please post what policies and ways America has to change. Please post exactly the policies that gave rise to terrorism.

Basically, the CIA-led "meddling" (for lack of a better word) starting with the overthrow of an elected head of state in Iran in 1953. Strangely enough, the threat of Iran's oil becoming nationalized was at the heart of it. Afterwards, the Shah was installed, and I'm sure you're aware of how brutal that regime was

I'm being very simplistic, this is just one example, along with the well-known fact that Bin Laden was also on the CIA payroll with other future "deputies" to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Google "CIA Operations" and there's a lot to work with.

We've got to stop this behavior. I understand why this government felt the need to do it, it's the old "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" mentality, and they lost the gamble. By "protecting" this country by overthrowing elected governments all around the world, and basically acting like a neighborhood bully to allow corporate interests to abuse local culture with cheap labor, these callous international behaviors are all coming home to roost.

Here's a longer, in-depth look at the background on why we're in Iraq.

So, if I understand you correctly, terrorism is okay as long as it is not against the U.S. and it is against Israel?

Terrorism should be dealt with through the international community, not unilaterally by whomever has the biggest guns. There has never been a better time for the US to use its influence in making the United Nations a more effective world representative body. I'm concerned we're going to screw that chance by continuing to spread ourselves thin in the Middle East thinking that we and Israel will be the ones to "take care of things."
 
  2007-05-28 06:09:28 PM
whidbey: Google "CIA Operations" and there's a lot to work with.

Ugh. I meant "Operation Cyclone."

Here's your basic Wiki article on it.
 
  2007-05-28 09:50:15 PM
dottedmint: We've been over this several times.

Whidbey: "I don't see what your point is. Sorry. Any suggestions I might have given were opinions. They reflected either the literal words of the Constitution or its spirit."

My point is that you are not looking at what TUSC actually says.

I have given you several examples of where you have added standards or limitations to TUSC that ARE NOT THERE.

Yet another example is your pointing to the spirit of TUSC.

Perhaps you can point out the Article and Section where the spirit of TUSC is spelled out???

And to think you claim to be looking at what TUSC actually says....
 
  2007-05-28 10:20:21 PM
dottedmint: And to think you claim to be looking at what TUSC actually says...

Obviously our disagreement is what the Constitution allows this government to do.

I gave it my best, you're harping on semantics. The simple fact of the matter is that you would have a hell of a time trying to argue how a pre-emptive strike is defending anything. It's tantamount to committing a war crime.

Again, I'm using restraint and common sense. How can you fault that? I'm well aware of what the Constitution allows, and I'm not the one taking liberties with it.
 
  2007-05-28 11:00:53 PM
dottedmint: And to think you claim to be looking at what TUSC actually says...

Whidbey: "Obviously our disagreement is what the Constitution allows this government to do.

I gave it my best, you're harping on semantics."


I am "harping" on what TUSC actually says.

Not on the standards and limitations that you are writing into TUSC.

"The simple fact of the matter is that you would have a hell of a time trying to argue how a pre-emptive strike is defending anything."

There you go again adding things to TUSC that are not in TUSC.

As I have pointed out to you SEVERAL TIMES Article IV does NOT talk about "defending anything".

Article IV only says the government will "protect [the states] against invasion".

Waiting until AFTER an "invasion" takes place does NOT "protect [the states] against invasion".

It allows the "invasion" to take place.

"I'm well aware of what the Constitution allows, and I'm not the one taking liberties with it."

Obviously not if you insist on continuing to re-writing TUSC with your own standards and limitations.
 
  2007-05-28 11:19:22 PM
immigration

I meant to touch onto this subject earlier.....

1. I feel we need to close off our borders. We should not have millions of people coming across the border without any record of them.

2. I feel our legal immigration process is totally f@cked up. We should make it easier for people who want to come to this country and be a productive member of our society to do so legally.

3. I think it is unrealistic to deport every illegal who is currently here but I think any illegal who gets themselves arrested should do whatever time in prison that they deserve and then be deported before they even step outside of the prison.

4. We need to Amend The US Constitution. I do NOT think that a baby who is born in the US should automatically become a US citizen. I feel that the childs status should be linked to the status of the mother. IF the mother is NOT a citizen then the child is not a citizen. IF the mother becomes a citizen at some point then the child (under 18) also becomes a citizen.
 
  2007-05-29 02:42:38 AM
Matt M.: you have not answered my question,

What, like this one?

Tell me why you would think they would actually do anything about any world problem besides giving the dictator a stern look or a public rebuke, which they can't even get that right.

That's not a legitimate question. It's like asking someone why they're so ugly and expecting a response.

However, I believe I answered the legitimate question you had, which was the general effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the UN and my opinion of it. I answered it by pointing out that any lack of effectiveness is largely due to the obstructionist policies of the US. To this, you said that I:

...merely described how much you hate the U.S. and its relationship, or lack thereof, with the UN and how much you hate John Bolton, an appointee of your Great Satan, President Bush.

Now lets get some stuff clear here:

1) criticism of the US or its policies does not mean I "hate the US" (I thought that was just a bad Fark cliche?)
2) same thing for criticism of the president; anyone who criticizes Bush is not automatically some "crazy leftist" with an abnormal hatred of Bush and who considers him the "great satan"

If this is what you really thought of what I wrote, you missed the point of the post entirely and just wanted to throw sarcastic insults my way. Charming.

I wasn't insulting you, Mr. Bolton, or the President, I was pointing out, with evidence, why the UN was ineffective, which was the answer to your question. So no, I do not trust the UN to get much done, because the United States won't let the UN get anything done. This is not maniacal ravings, this is sound argument backed up by facts. That's the idea of this forum, I believe.

but Additionally, the vote tally you provided only provided instances where the U.S. vetoed, and no other countries.

That's because it was a list of US vetoes. As I mentioned, no other SC member has used its veto as many times as us, not even close.

I attempted to find where Russia may have used its three vetoes on something, but I gave up,

Well you should have looked if you wanted to debate that. Saying "I didn't bother to look but you're probably wrong" doesn't prove anything. Your joke also implies that you missed my point.

simply because I'm not going to argue a point of whether or not we should support Israel.

That's a whole different topic, but it's relevant to any discussion of terrorism and US foreign policy. The Israeli Palestinian conflict is, unfortunately, the 800 lb gorilla in the room of this whole debate.

Secondly, there were other votes on that list besides Israeli rebukes, but granted there were alot of those. I was using the votes, among other things, to make the point that the ineffectiveness of the UN is largely the US' fault. The UN works as much as we want it to work.

where is the condemnation of the PLO or the Taliban or other terrorist organizations? I didn't see it, though I didn't look too hard.

Again, you should look for this stuff before saying it doesn't exist. Obviously those won't be on a list of vetoes, because we wouldn't veto those resolutions would we?

You have your evidence [of no link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda]. That's fine. We can't change the past.

I'm curious why your belief that I am biased is the only thing stopping you from showing me this "evidence" you claim to have. I'd like to hear it and I'd give it an honest look. I'm not on a witch hunt here.

However, if you make the thread show three weeks of posts, about halfway down the thread is my post with some links which you should see if you don't believe me. In short, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the 9/11 Commission, George Tenet, the CIA, and even Saddam and his aides themselves all deny any Al-Qaeda link, not to mention the political realities of Al-Qaeda's hostile relations with the Baathists. It's pretty damning evidence. If you've got anything better I'd love to hear it.


But what I find very amusing is that what President Bush said about pre-war Iraq is exactly the same thing that many other folks, Reps and Dems, have said about Iraq. Yet, Bush is the liar. Eh... how is that exactly?


Those quotes are from a long time ago, not 2003. Also, who here said that they don't consider some democrats to be a bunch of liars as well? I'm not saying Bush is the only one being deceptive. I'm not a big fan of Clinton either, personally I was against his military actions against Iraq as well, not to mention his escapades in Kosovo and Somalia. Another assumption by you, that I must be some sort of liberal Clinton lover who thinks that democrats can do no wrong. The world isn't black and white like that.


I remember right after 9/11, the "hate Bush" crowd was screaming for the 9/11 Commission. They said it must be done to find out "what really happened" so that they could prove to the world that Bush failed. They were sure of Bush sleeping on the job. When the Commission didn't directly point the blame at him, but rather Clinton, Bush and the whole of American government and other factors, no one spoke up and said, "Hey, we were sure, but we made a mistake. Sorry." That's the problem. Bush-hating is a religion.


What radio station are you listening to? Honest people realized the failures of all the administrations involved regardless of their party affiliation, and want to act on those failures. Thats why we're debating this topic. If Al Gore was the one who missed the boat on that and he was in charge when all this went down, I'd be on his ass too. Like I said, I am fully aware of the failures of the Clinton administration. I read much of the 9/11 report. Again, you're just chalking this up to "the hate bush crowd" and assuming that anyone who denounces or criticizes Bush is just a crazy anarchist 20 yr old wacko that throws rocks at cops during demonstrations or something.


Are we winning in Iraq? Yes. Slowly. In fact, we've won most of Iraq. Most of Iraq is peaceful.

OK. This is really where some facts would be nice. Again, where did you hear this? Second hand? Radio? Did you actually research this claim? Off the top of my head, there was a car-bomb a week ago in the Kurdish controlled north that killed about 60 people, Fallujah is out of control, Basra is not peaceful, the list goes on and on.

This map (pops) shows coalition deaths by region. That's just coalition deaths, not Iraqi civilian deaths which are much, much higher. Every urban center of the country is showing casualties. That took me about 30 seconds to find on google.

Funny that the Iraq government wants us to stay at least another year, huh?

They are getting increasingly anxious for a withdrawal plan, which is in direct conflict with the Bush administrations agenda of not setting any public timetables and not announcing any sort of withdrawal of any kind whatsoever. Link. (pops) Google is your friend.


I've been busy this weekend so I'm behind the discussion. I want to respond to some of the immigration discussion but probably won't get to do that till tomorrow evening.
 
  2007-05-29 10:13:04 PM
dottedmint:

I think your post is organized well and touches on the main issues, so this is where I'll start my take on the immigration discussion. Not picking on you...;)

I also think a good starting point is the new bill (pops) currently being debated in Congress which is near completion.

1. I feel we need to close off our borders. We should not have millions of people coming across the border without any record of them.

Certainly, no one wants just anyone sauntering into the country. However, how do we do this? A wall costs money, lots of it. Perhaps a better solution is hiring more people to patrol the border and investing in more hi-tech equipment to get the job done and also save the lives of people making deadly desert crossings.

2. I feel our legal immigration process is totally f@cked up. We should make it easier for people who want to come to this country and be a productive member of our society to do so legally.

I also agree. However, how this is done is up for debate. The new bill being proposed has some measures which make immigration based more on merit as opposed to family connections. There are a number of problems with this, namely; this isn't how our country became the great melting pot it is today. If people were only admitted based on merit or technical experience back in the 20's, we wouldn't have the millions of productive citizens and families we have today working in America. What about the people who are leaving their country precisely because of the lack of opportunities to gain any special skills? Or were too poor to get a grad school education? How will this plan address these people?

Also, what about families? Children separated from their parents based on immigration rules and regulations? Husbands and wives? A non-family based visa system seems a litte, well inhumane to me.

3. I think it is unrealistic to deport every illegal who is currently here but I think any illegal who gets themselves arrested should do whatever time in prison that they deserve and then be deported before they even step outside of the prison.

I really don't see the logic in wasting money jailing illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is a unique offense as I don't find the level of the crime really warrants incarceration. The punishment should fit the crime; in this case, calling it a "crime" is questionable but nonetheless the "punishment" should be, well, making them leave the country. Why waste more money locking them up and possibly ruining their lives more in our overcrowded and dangerous federal prison system?


4. We need to Amend The US Constitution. I do NOT think that a baby who is born in the US should automatically become a US citizen. I feel that the childs status should be linked to the status of the mother. IF the mother is NOT a citizen then the child is not a citizen. IF the mother becomes a citizen at some point then the child (under 18) also becomes a citizen.

I probably can't debate this well because I never really knew what the logic behind the rule was, I just kind of thought it made sense and never really questioned it. I'm inclined to disagree with you here and say that there are better ways to solve our immigration problem than amending the constitution in such a way. Do you or anyone else know the original logic behind this doctrine?

As for the rest of the bill I mentioned earlier, there are some other factors that warrant discussion:

Temporary Guest Workers:

The bill would allow about 600K temporary guest workers to enter the country and work for a year. To me this just seems to perpetuate the same problem we had before: an underclass of immigrant workers working for substandard pay and benefits and taking away American jobs. The only people that win here are employers of cheap labor.

Amnesty

I don't really agree with any sort of blanket amnesty program, nor do I agree with the "Z" Visa program the bill would implement. Essentially illegals would apply for the visa, pay a fine of over $1000, go through background checks and then go through the process of applying for citizenship which everyone else goes through. It's an interesting proposal but I think it won't work, because I can only imagine the ridiculous hoops people will have to jump through to complete the process. I just don't believe anyone will bother with it or be able to pay the fines and fees.

I understand that some system needs to be implemented in order to get social services to many illegals living in the US, because (beyond the obvious humanitarian reasons) often the lack of getting any sort of education or health care to undocumented immigrants ends up costing taxpaying citizens such as ourselves more. However, this plan just doesn't seem to be it, because it just doesn't seem workable in reality.

In principle, I also have a problem with letting people who skirted the system stay. I favor some sort of program or process to get them "in the loop," certainly, but some of my own family has been waiting over 15 years to get into this country and any kind of blanket amnesty program wouldn't sit well with me.
 
  2007-05-29 11:19:00 PM
C-S: "Certainly, no one wants just anyone sauntering into the country. However, how do we do this? A wall costs money, lots of it. Perhaps a better solution is hiring more people to patrol the border and investing in more hi-tech equipment to get the job done and also save the lives of people making deadly desert crossings."

I actually don't care too much how we do it.

IF we can close things off with hi-tech equipment.

Fine...

IF we find that we need a wall.

Fine...

Ultimately I suspect a combination would be best.

And as far as the lives of the people making the deadly crossing......

I have a hard time feeling responsible for the people who take that risk.

To me it reminds me when a theif sues a homeowner after the theif falls through a sky-lite.

"I also agree. However, how this is done is up for debate. The new bill being proposed has some measures which make immigration based more on merit as opposed to family connections. There are a number of problems with this, namely; this isn't how our country became the great melting pot it is today. If people were only admitted based on merit or technical experience back in the 20's, we wouldn't have the millions of productive citizens and families we have today working in America. What about the people who are leaving their country precisely because of the lack of opportunities to gain any special skills? Or were too poor to get a grad school education? How will this plan address these people?

Also, what about families? Children separated from their parents based on immigration rules and regulations? Husbands and wives? A non-family based visa system seems a litte, well inhumane to me."


Well....

I'm not sure exactly what the best policy would be.

I think well educated people should get some sort of priority but I also don't have a problem with families also having priorities.

I'm not sure what the exact priority ranking would be but I think a system could be worked out.

In any case it should be easy for people who want to be productive members of this society to come here legally.

"I really don't see the logic in wasting money jailing illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is a unique offense as I don't find the level of the crime really warrants incarceration. The punishment should fit the crime; in this case, calling it a "crime" is questionable but nonetheless the "punishment" should be, well, making them leave the country. Why waste more money locking them up and possibly ruining their lives more in our overcrowded and dangerous federal prison system?"

I'm not talking about throwing someone in jail simply for being illegal.

I'm talking about deporting any illegal who gets arrested for other crimes....murder...drugs...or whatever...

I recall seeing a story of an illegal who had been arrested several times for drunk driving but was never deported ending up killing someone in a car crash.

"I probably can't debate this well because I never really knew what the logic behind the rule was, I just kind of thought it made sense and never really questioned it. I'm inclined to disagree with you here and say that there are better ways to solve our immigration problem than amending the constitution in such a way. Do you or anyone else know the original logic behind this doctrine?"

Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.


I simply do not think that a person born in this country should automatically become a citizen.

IF an illegal gives birth to a child that child should also be illegal.

OH and for the record I think in order to become a legal citizen they should learn English.
 
  2007-05-30 10:40:05 AM
C-S
how much you hate the U.S. and its relationship

I sincerely apologize for that comment. I mistyped. What I meant was a possessive form of that, "how much you hate the U.S.'s relationship." It's irresponsible to think that anyone who takes a view opposite of my own "hates" the U.S. I didn't mean to imply that. I apologize for the mistake.

I criticize the President and many policies of the U.S. a lot in other places. I'm surely not a hater or a crazy lefty... :-)

I'll put in more comments about our discussion about the U.N. later today or tomorrow. I just want to get a couple more things out and then I have a couple appointments I have to make.

I believe that you are not on a witch hunt, so I'll give you some links for you to check out and you let me know what you think.

Various quotes and historical information. I've had this site on my blog for a very long time. It's a very long list (someone had a lot of time on their hands) and its sources are almost all from the American Media. I'd specifically like you to notice that the quotes about Iraq's WMDs are not from "a long time ago" but as recent as 1998 up to right before the 2003 invasion.

There are quite a few links at the bottom of that page that are quite interesting. Specifically, the 8 myths page and a few others.

Debunking the myths of the Iraq War This is more of the same, but put a little more succinctly.

So, take it or leave it.

Honest people realized the failures of all the administrations involved regardless of their party affiliation, and want to act on those failures. Thats why we're debating this topic. If Al Gore was the one who missed the boat on that and he was in charge when all this went down, I'd be on his ass too. Like I said, I am fully aware of the failures of the Clinton administration. I read much of the 9/11 report. Again, you're just chalking this up to "the hate bush crowd" and assuming that anyone who denounces or criticizes Bush is just a crazy anarchist 20 yr old wacko that throws rocks at cops during demonstrations or something.

I think you misunderstood my post. I was specifically making a point against the hypocrisy of the anti-Bush crowd. I completely agree that we need to hold our government accountable for the mistakes it makes.

I think we both hold assumptions about each other that are false.

The casualty map is a good tool. Very informative. It seems that about half of the areas in Iraq have only had a few (5-10) casualties a year. The center, in the Sunni Triangle, have expectedly higher casualties. Al-Anbar province, which has seen the most violence of all the provinces is the province that we heard about over the weekend, where the ex-Saddam loyalist tribes are starting to ally with U.S. Forces. That's an interesting development and I am anxious to see how that plays out between now and September.

I got a portion of my information about the violence in Iraq from the Iraq Study Group. Some of it I got from when I was in Kuwait last year. You hear a lot of stuff first-hand that you don't hear here. I don't generally like to talk about my experience in the Middle East because I don't have any sources to back up my claims- it's all just stuff I heard in meetings, and from folks I've talked to.

I listen to both left and right wing radio, by the way. Most of the guys on the right, I can't stand. The left is just fun to listen to.

While we're talking about immigration and naturalization, do you guys think it is fair or relevant that a U.S. President has to be a U.S.-born citizen? I'm not so sure how I feel about that anymore. I understand why the founding fathers put that in the Constitution originally. I also understand that once we start "cherry-picking" the Constitution with "Well, that was good during the 18th and 19th Century, but things have changed now!" then we'll end up with a lot of unintended consequences. What do you think? (And this is not a veiled attempt at support for the Governator for POTUS.)
 
  2007-05-30 03:35:39 PM
Stupid Fark ate my Post. :-/ Let me try this again...

Let me start with this:

- The US owes the UN over $1.5 BILLION dollars.

- The UN is largely dependent on US funding, and we all know how people act when they need money, don't we?


I'm not necessarily doubting that $1.5 Billion is true. I simply want context. So, I ask you the following clarifying questions:

1. How much is the annual operating Budget of the UN? (Yes, we may owe the U.S. 1.5 Billion, but that number in and of itself is meaningless. If we've paid a portion or a majority of our yearly fees to the UN, and maybe skipped out on a couple million here and there, I'm not sure I see how the US can be blamed for the UN not doing its job. This is not to say that the US is not wrong for paying its dues. I'm just looking for context.)
2. How long did it take the US to accumulate that debt? Has it accumulated in the last few years or have we always been negligent in paying our mandatory dues? (Again, like in question 1, if we just quit paying the UN in the last decade or something, then I could see how the UN would be crippled. But, if over the course of the last 51 years, we have neglected to pay our full dues every year- like 75% instead of 100%, compared with the rest of the budget, it's not really a lot.)
3. Are any other countries negligent in their payment of dues to the UN? (It's easy to pick on the US. And yes, we are the biggest contributor, so us not paying isn't the same as say, Ghana not paying. But, if the UN gives everyone equal footing in the world, shouldn't a small country be held just as responsible as a large country? By the way, the UN's site only lists the countries that paid in full, not partials and it doesn't list delinquents. At least I couldn't find the list.)
4. Has the US contributed to the UN in other ways, not necessarily via the mandatory yearly fees? (I actually know the answer to this, so it's more rhetorical. I know that we contribute to UN causes, as the UN gives us the option do so. It doesn't count the money (BILLIONS!) we pay out to those causes toward our dues. So, the next question is, how many other nations contribute as much as we do- even as a percentage of their nation's GDP- to said causes?)

Again, I'm not necessarily saying that you are wrong on the whole UN thing. I am simply trying to think a little more critically about this, instead of spouting something that I read on the internet or heard on the radio.

I understand your concern about everyone getting along and playing nice on the world stage. It would be nice if that happened. But I am more concerned with the security of the US and its allies than I am with playing nice with every other country. Maybe that's shortsighted of me. But I don't care.

Again, you should look for this stuff before saying it doesn't exist. Obviously those won't be on a list of vetoes, because we wouldn't veto those resolutions would we?

You are right. I misread "vetoes" for "votes" because I was trying to skim the list, instead of read it more thoroughly. My mistake. That's what happens when it gets late and I'm in a hurry to pound out a reply before my wife wants to go out. Sorry about that.

If you would, for our edification, find a site that so succinctly lists UN resolutions that the US has voted for, instead of against. I have tried with Google, but haven't really found much that I can work with, that is easy to read. Wikipedia lists the resolutions, but doesn't list what all the resolutions are for and it doesn't lists the nation vote tallies.

Concerning the wall....

One of the GOP candidates in the debates said that the wall would take about six months to build if they started building it in 100 different places. The funding is already there to build the wall. We're just not doing it.

But, I have to agree with you guys that an impersonal wall will not completely stop the problem. We need more security, low and high tech. More guards. More of everything.

I recall seeing a story of an illegal who had been arrested several times for drunk driving but was never deported ending up killing someone in a car crash.

I read on MSNBC (I think) that one of the Fort Dix terror suspects had actually had something like 50 encounters with the law and he was here illegally.
 
  2007-05-30 11:14:31 PM
Matt M.: Debunking the myths of the Iraq War This is more of the same, but put a little more succinctly.

I can't say I'm really convinced that any of the points were "myths."

I do believe Bush lied about the reasons for invading Iraq--and it doesn't do any good to say "But the Democrats!" I've already made my point clear about how pretty much everyone who voted for the war should have been voted out.

The fact of the matter is that no evidence was found that Saddam had any kind of WMDs--none were found.

And even if you could possibly convince me that the "intelligence was faulty" the responsibility falls to Bush for engaging us in this war. I'm not going to cut him any slack. You can call his position "misleading" or "tainted by false info" but the bottom line is he took us a very wrong direction. We had no business going into Iraq, the reasons were completely unjustified, and frankly I don't see how he could have known otherwise.

The plan was to invade Iraq and secure the country as a base of operations.

But I am more concerned with the security of the US and its allies than I am with playing nice with every other country. Maybe that's shortsighted of me. But I don't care.

I'd say you've summed up the warmonger's creed pretty damn well. Rather than realize that we've been wrong about just what it means to be part of a world community, we obviously feel the need to keep doing the same wrong thing over and over, and f*ck anyone who believes otherwise.

I was specifically making a point against the hypocrisy of the anti-Bush crowd.

I don't see what your point was, or for that matter what "hypocrisy" you're talking about. Bush had no idea invading Iraq, and trying to link Saddam with Al Qaeda is even more dishonest. You can speculate all you like, but there was no such partnership, no evidence that there was any sort of threat to this country other than his boastful words. Hearsay is not justification.

Again, I'm not necessarily saying that you are wrong on the whole UN thing. I am simply trying to think a little more critically about this, instead of spouting something that I read on the internet or heard on the radio.

I'd say the US's record speaks for itself. We are not concerned about peace, but rather using our military might to control situations of interest.

But, I have to agree with you guys that an impersonal wall will not completely stop the problem. We need more security, low and high tech. More guards. More of everything.

Again, it will all fail. The only way to stop illegal immigration is to address the corruption of the Mexican government that makes it so desirable for its citizens to sneak out and make better lives for themselves here in the USA, and also to enforce the laws to punish those in the US who are the ones hiring the illegals and make the cycle complete.
 
  2007-05-31 10:05:16 AM
Sigh.... whatever, dude. Just whatever.

I could try to show you point by point why what you just said has very little to do with what you just allegedly read, but we'll wind up in circles like you have done with the whole discussion about the Constitution.

I've already made my point clear about how pretty much everyone who voted for the war should have been voted out.

I think that's about the most honest thing you've said during our whole conversation.

I do believe

And that right there is the crux of the whole matter. That is exactly the reason why I was unwilling to discuss pre-war intelligence to begin with. That's exactly what I hate about the Bush-haters. No matter what happens, he's wrong. No matter what he does, it's wrong. If someone defends him on any point, regardless of other points with which they may have disagreed, they are a warmonger or an idiot or whatever word happens to be going around that week.

So, let me ask you some questions, whidbey.

Did you think we should have invaded Iraq in Gulf War I? Did you think we should have invaded Afghanistan in 2001-02?

Do you believe that Iran is a threat? I don't specifically mean a threat to the U.S., but a threat in general, to her neighbors or to the rest of the world?

How much of the U.S. Media do you believe? (This is a little bit of a trick question.)

If Bush lied, did everyone else who stated the same thing as Bush lie also? I don't want a cop-out, like "they should be voted out of office." Yes or no. Not some, "Bush is an evil genius and he deceived them" crap, either.

And, actually, the responsibility lies in the Congress for taking us to war... since the Congress has the power the declare war, not the President. That's in the Constitution, too, by the way. This is not merely a snippy remark.

address the corruption of the Mexican government

Riiiight. We can't even fix the corruption of our own government. And you want us to fix the corruption of another country? Isn't that meddling in someone else's business? Won't that create another batch of terrorists? Sheesh.

Going back to the UN....

C-S, the source you provided stated that the US has vetoed a whole 70 resolutions in the 20th Century. Again, let's put that into context.

Until 2006, a little after the end of the 20th Century, but the year that the source you provided is the last on the list, the UN had voted on 1700 resolutions. In other words, the U.S. has vetoed a whopping 4% of all UN resolutions. Four. Percent. I think President Bush has vetoed a higher percentage of bills coming from Congress. (That's a little joke.)

In context, saying that vetoing a whopping 4% of all resolutions is equal to the U.S. not playing well with the rest of the world... well, that's a little ridiculous. Additionally, the site you provided does not provide a total of vetoes by other countries. I smell propaganda.
 
  2007-05-31 12:57:44 PM
Hey whidbey, the condescending attitude I took with you in this most recent post was unwarranted and unnecessary, especially the first two lines. I really apologize for acting that way. It was wrong and not conducive to an open-minded discussion. So, I'm sorry.
 
  2007-05-31 09:32:56 PM
This really caught my attention

Whidbey: "The only way to stop illegal immigration is to address the corruption of the Mexican government that makes it so desirable for its citizens to sneak out and make better lives for themselves here in the USA, and also to enforce the laws to punish those in the US who are the ones hiring the illegals and make the cycle complete."

And what exactly can we do to "address the corruption of the Mexican government"?

Ultimately I don't disagree with what you are saying.

One of the big reason that people leave Mexico is the conditions there.

I'm not exactly sure what we can do to improve the conditions there.

Also....

IF you truely wanted to make the cycle complete would you not also punish the illegals as well as those who hire the illegals?
 
  2007-05-31 09:41:02 PM
Matt M.: 1. How much is the annual operating Budget of the UN?

From All About the United Nations (pops). (An official UN site.):

"The United States is assessed for the regular budget at the ceiling rate of 22 percent, which in 2006 was $423,464,855 of the total $1,924,840,250."

In context:

"Although the US does contribute a large share of the UN budget, one should consider this information in the context of World GDP (the total wealth produced on Earth). When GDP is measured by purchasing power parity (a method of calculation that looks at how much goods and services cost in different countries as opposed to exchange rates), the US takes in 20.9 percent of global GDP. If one divides the percent of US contribution to the UN budget by America's share of world wealth, the ratio is almost one-to-one. Other wealthy states contribute significantly more given their share of global wealth. For example, using the same formula as above: Japan: 2.9; Germany: 2.1; France: 1.8; UK: 2.2; Canada: 1.6; and Italy: 1.7. There are, however, nations that contribute much less, such as Russia: 0.4, and China: 0.2."

Other nations are also delinquent, yes. In fact, the majority of states are delinquent by about a month. But considering our massively larger share of funding, our delinquencies hurt a lot more:

"In addition, the US has a record of late payments to the UN, turning in its assessed contributions almost a full year late, and thus leaving the UN and its agencies in capricious financial states for several months. In fact, it has been US practice since the early 1980s to pay late based on a one-time budgetary dilemma."

The US also makes it a standard practice to wihthold funding, or threaten to withhold funding, from the UN if it does not adopt certain policie. For instance, the Mexico City Resolution adopted by Regan in the 80's (and rescinded by Clinton) withheld funds from the UN for global family planning initiatives which involved abortion and contraception.

We hold a huge sway over the UN, there's really no arguing that.

It seems that about half of the areas in Iraq have only had a few (5-10) casualties a year.

These are desolate areas of desert. No one lives there. The places where people live (Fallujah, Basra, Baghdad, Ramadi, etc. etc.) have daily car bombs and violence. Iraq is not peaceful.

Read the daily articles on car bombings in Baghdad. At the end of every article, there are about three or four lines summing up the daily toll from around the country. Today for instance there was a car bomb in Ramadi and Fallujah.

Also remember, those are coalition deaths. Iraqi civilians are dying in much higher numbers. The current toll for Iraqi civilians varies widely, and could be anywhere from 11,000 to over 200K. No matter which number you choose, this is abhorrent.

Now on to your links.

That first site has a lot of info. As for the Democrat quotes, you're not going to get much headway from me on that one because as far as I'm concerned, Nancy Pelosi and anyone with the last name of Clinton is full of sh*t. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that they were all totally lying as well. So, those quotes are meaningless to me. And don't even get me started on Madeleine Albright.

As for the Al-Qaeda links:

If I had the time to go through each and every one of those, I would. Maybe I will later but for now I just randomly clicked on a few of them.

Some observations:

As a whole, almost every single one of those is from '98 or before. Most people had not even heard of Al-Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden in 1998- the world was a very different place before 9/11. Certainly, the intelligence may have (and the evidence shows it did) change when Bush made his claims of an al-qaeda link. That's the problem- if he was relying on contradictory evidence, thats not giving the public or Congress the full story. Thats inexcusable in a run-up to war, wouldn't you agree?

Secondly, the Sudanese plant connection seems tenous. A Dr. who was from Iraq "might" have been at the plant which "might" have manufactured nerve gas. That's a lot of "mights" and "maybes". I personally don't really believe that attack was even justified, and in actuality that attack may have led to a massive number of civilian deaths in Sudan as it was the only domestic factory of a number of innocuous medicines, such as aspirin.

The following are excerpts from a study (pops) done by a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin. The top of the document has the guys background, it's one of the more legit links I could find on this (the guy obviously did some extensive research on this subject):
(The formatting is weird when I cut and paste, sorry)

"This review of the available open-source evidence indicates that there are insufficient grounds in the public
domain to reach a conclusive determination about whether the Sudan possesses CW, or whether the Shifa factory produced the VX precursor chemical EMPTA. Public statements of U.S. officials and the evolving rationale for the U.S. attack on Shifa, however, indicate that classified U.S. Intelligence data about alleged CW activities in the Sudan may likewise be of uncertain reliability...
... senior U.S. officials were shown to have been
ignorant of key facts at the time of their decision to bomb
the plant.

U.S. political authorities and intelligence officials were not aware that: 1) Shifa was an important producer of pharmaceuticals in the Sudan and its products were widely available in Khartoum pharmacies; 2) U.S. officials at the United Nations had approved Shifa's proposed export of veterinary medicine to Iraq under the U.N. oil-for-food program; 3) Shifa was not under heavy military guard but quite open to Sudanese and foreign visitors; 4) the plant was not owned by the government but by a Saudi banking consultant with some ties to the Sudanese anti-Islamist opposition; 5) EMPTA is not banned by the CWC and could have legitimate commercial applications; and most importantly, 6) without following a reliable CW sampling and analysis protocol- which would be very difficult to implement through covert action-even a competent laboratory could reach a "false positive" test result in analyzing a soil sample due to the presence of pesticide or insecticide residue.
...review of the evidence available in open sources offers
only limited support for the U.S. allegation. On balance, the evidence available to date indicates that it is more probable that the Shifa plant had no role whatsoever in CW production.

As for the other facts, this is evidence but it needs to be considered with the other evidence to the contrary. For instance, throw any quotes from George Tenet out the window, because he contradicted himself recently by saying that there was no evidence whatsoever of any al-qaeda connection.

Throw out the quotes from Saddam for the same reason. He is on record as denying any Al-Qaeda link. (The link is in the post I mentioned a while back.)

The court case is kind of funny: the judge awarded these people the money and then said that the evidence shows it, "barely" but enough for the court to award her damages which she is never going to receive anyway. Sounds more to me like a sympathetic judge. He doesn't even mention the standard of proof, if there even was one.

I noticed more than a few of the sources were NewsMax. We both know NewsMax is not a legitimate source of information.

I also noticed that a majority of sources come from one article, (this (pops)one) which was disseminated on FreeRepublic (as most of the sources go to FreeRepublic, not the actual article.) Reading the actual article sheds some light on some of the more "direct" connections between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, such as this about the Iraqi paper which declared a connection to Osama:

"two of his Iraqi colleagues remember secret police agents removing that embarrassing edition from newsstands and confiscating copies of it from private homes. The paper was not published for the next ten days."

I would take anything from Uday Hussein with a grain of salt.

For his credit, the article is by Deroy Murdock who is a credible guy, although a little crazy on some issues. I'd credit him for doing all the work, not the guy who did the website, he obviously just cut and pasted stuff from that article and from the FreeRepublic.

The stuff in there that seems credible (as opposed to, say, newsmax articles or freerepublic forums or unsourced NRO articles) is direct quotes from intelligence sources, of which there are a few, and most of which originate in '98 or before. Now, the problem is these same intelligence sources are going before committees and saying this intelligence didn't exist, or that there simply wasn't a connection. Were they mistaken? Were they wrong? It seems that regardless of the reasons, the facts have changed since '98, and the facts which are available today, from reputable news and governmental sources, point towards a different conclusion: no conclusive evidence of a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. Certainly not enough to justify a war. That's the main problem- the Bush administration was not giving anyone the full story and if anything, he was actively trying to deceive the public in order to build public support for the war.

If I had more time I would look deeper into those sources. Maybe I will this Sunday or something. Understandably, in the hour and a half or so its taken me to respond here I can't really do much in depth analysis of that website but now that you've shown it to me, I want to look into it further. Hopefully now you believe me that I'm not just a knee jerk reactionist who won't believe anything you show me.

Comments on Immigration are forthcoming. I might have missed some stuff in there that you asked me, sorry but this is getting kind of long winded.
 
  2007-05-31 10:21:40 PM
dottedmint: IF you truely wanted to make the cycle complete would you not also punish the illegals as well as those who hire the illegals?

Punish a bunch of poor desperate people with nothing to lose? It just isn't worth the effort. I can't blame them for harboring the hope of a better life by chancing the danger of heading to America.

Not to mention the impracticality of deporting 12 million people.

Still, most of the problem does stem from a refusal to enforce existing laws.

Matt M.: hat's exactly what I hate about the Bush-haters. No matter what happens, he's wrong. No matter what he does, it's wrong

Well I would be ditching that attitude. The only thing Bush has done "right" was set up the largest international Marine Sanctuary in the world. And he's hardly an "evil genius," he's a mouthpiece. He was given his orders to put together the Iraq package, and he followed them. One trillion dollars later, we're foundering there, and the world is still shaking their heads at us.

Did you think we should have invaded Iraq in Gulf War I? Did you think we should have invaded Afghanistan in 2001-02?

I really don't, not in either instance. We were basically Kuwait's hired guns the first time around, and going after Bin Laden and the Taliban was a complete failure.

I've come to believe more than ever that military force is a very bad solution to world problems. It's proven time and time again to cause more problems than it "solves."

We have to try something different if we want to succeed as a nation. We need to stop electing warmongers, and start seeking out individuals whose goal is peaceful coexistence. It can and must happen.

Do you believe that Iran is a threat? I don't specifically mean a threat to the U.S., but a threat in general, to her neighbors or to the rest of the world?

Nope.

And, actually, the responsibility lies in the Congress for taking us to war... since the Congress has the power the declare war, not the President. That's in the Constitution, too, by the way. This is not merely a snippy remark.

Yeah, well if you've skimmed my posts here, I've got a lot of contempt for the way both Congress and the President's utter disregard for Constitutional protocol. If Iraq was really that much of a threat, they could have done the honorable thing of actually declaring war on that country instead of some rigamarole half-baked instant military action. And that doubly goes for the planners of this war. I'm hoping they were just stupid that they couldn't see the inevitable Shiite/Sunni civil war and that they didn't make that repressed inevitable violence part of the plan so that we could stay there indefinitely.

If Bush lied, did everyone else who stated the same thing as Bush lie also?

Bush is the Commander-in-Chief and is ultimately responsible for the war. He brought it on and took advantage of the blowhards in Congress who were also clamoring for military action. Again, I don't want these people running our country.

How much of the U.S. Media do you believe?

Not very much of it. I prefer in-depth analysis, not crap to sell copy. I get my news from Reuters and other internationally-based groups. By comparison, both papers in my town, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times are tabloids.

And you want us to fix the corruption of another country?

Who said anything about "fixing" anything. No President I know has even made the effort to start talks about the immigration problem. I mean, after all, Mexico is our neighbor. Both governments have a very vested interest in talking about the problem.

In other words, the U.S. has vetoed a whopping 4% of all UN resolutions. Four. Percent.

And yet, if you take a look at those resolutions, we voted down some pretty damn important progressive ideas. The US doesn't want to be a team player, it wants to control the UN. Actually, I think this government wants it to die altogether so we can continue to do our global mischief.

And no worries. I get heated, too. I'm enjoying the overall civil nature of this secret forum...:)
 
  2007-06-02 01:09:20 PM
Whidbey: "Punish a bunch of poor desperate people with nothing to lose? It just isn't worth the effort. I can't blame them for harboring the hope of a better life by chancing the danger of heading to America."

Hmmm...

Kinda makes me want to ask what you would do if some poor person broke into your house and stole from you.

"Not to mention the impracticality of deporting 12 million people."

In one of my earlier posts I pointed out basically the same thing. I did say that illegal who gets arrested for murder, rape, assault, drunk driving and whatever should get deported as soon as they spend whatever time in prison/jail that they deserve. So I don't think we should try to deport every illegal who is here. I just want to deport any illegal who gets in trouble with the law.

"Still, most of the problem does stem from a refusal to enforce existing laws."

Well....

One of the laws that is being ignored is coming here illegally...
 
  2007-06-02 02:17:43 PM
dottedmint: Kinda makes me want to ask what you would do if some poor person broke into your house and stole from you.

Illegal immigrants and thieves are not the same.

To me it reminds me when a theif sues a homeowner after the theif falls through a sky-lite.

Same problem. That's twice now you've made the analogy. That's disingenuous. Why are they like thieves? Because they are "stealing" our jobs?

I simply do not think that a person born in this country should automatically become a citizen.

IF an illegal gives birth to a child that child should also be illegal.


I know birth right is constitutional, I was asking for the logic behind the rule. Conversely, I wonder why you think this is a good idea or even necessary. Do you not want more Latin-Americans in the United States? If a baby becomes illegal, then guess what, that mother and that baby have no access to any sort of health care or social services, and then you have a crisis of abnormally high infant mortality rates among undocumented immigrants. Pregnant women should not be afraid to go the hospital because they are undocumented. And, children should not be punished by virtue of their mother's actions. That to me just seems inherently wrong.

OH and for the record I think in order to become a legal citizen they should learn English.

Who are they? Chinese? Mexican? Polish? Since becoming a citizen requires a written test--in english--and a knowledge of history which most Americans would probably fail, I think that's already covered.

For the record, I think every American should be forced to learn a second language for graduation from high school.
 
  2007-06-03 11:18:58 AM
C-S: "Same problem. That's twice now you've made the analogy. That's disingenuous. "

Well. I was responding to two different comments.

First you had said "and also save the lives of people making deadly desert crossings."

I simply do not think that I or the US Government are responsible for the lives of people making deadly desert crossings just as I do not think I should be responsible for the life of a theif who breaks into my house. If a theif falls down my basement steps and gets paralized I am not responsible for anything.

And then Whidbey said "Punish a bunch of poor desperate people with nothing to lose?

and I simply wanted to know if he would want to punish a poor desperate [person] with nothing to lose that breaks into his house and steals from him.

C-S: "Why are they like thieves? Because they are "stealing" our jobs?"

Well....that would be one reason. They are taking things that they do not have a legal right to take.

And they also are entering an area that they do not have a legal right to enter.

No. They are not exactly like thieves but there is enough similarities to compare them.

"I know birth right is constitutional, I was asking for the logic behind the rule.

I would think that when this was written illegal immigration was not such a problem and so would not have been an issue. But now that we have a few million illegals coming into this country I think it has become an issue.

"Do you not want more Latin-Americans in the United States?

I always love it when people make that sort of statement. It may not have been your intention to suggest this but you seem to be suggesting (by asking that question) that I am anti-LatinAmerican.

Gee....I am against people coming into this country illegally so I must be against Mexicans.

Right???

Well....

WRONG

If a baby becomes illegal, then guess what, that mother and that baby have no access to any sort of health care or social services, and then you have a crisis of abnormally high infant mortality rates among undocumented immigrants.

Well there we go again with the idea that we are somehow responsible for the welfare of someone in this country illegally.

Also one of the problems with deportation is when there are children. The parents are illegal but the child is born here... It becomes a big deal because we just can't deport the parents and split up a family.

Pregnant women should not be afraid to go the hospital because they are undocumented. And, children should not be punished by virtue of their mother's actions. That to me just seems inherently wrong.

I simply disagree.

Who are they? Chinese? Mexican? Polish? Since becoming a citizen requires a written test--in english--and a knowledge of history which most Americans would probably fail, I think that's already covered.

I don't care who they are. I think if they are going to live in this country they should learn English.

Also...

I'm not so sure that the written test is only in English.

I've seen stories of people here legally who can't speak English.
 
  2007-06-03 06:35:23 PM
C-S,

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that they were all totally lying as well.

This is honest and congruent, and I respect you for that. To me, it is more believable that President Bush and the Congress were lying to us about the intelligence in Iraq than President Bush alone. That's why I simply disregard pretty much anything anyone on the Left says about President Bush, or immigration, or Alberto Gonzales or whatever anti-Bush FOTM topic there happens to be.

The UN site you provided is the same site I used to get a lot of my information about the UN. The same article, in fact, was the basis of question four above. I didn't read the whole article, again because of time, so I missed the $1,924,840,250 figure. That same article, however, did state that the U.S. provides a lot of funding for UN activities that they don't count toward our yearly dues. We contribute a lot more toward the UN than for what we are given credit.

Hopefully now you believe me that I'm not just a knee jerk reactionist who won't believe anything you show me.

Yes, I do. Hopefully, you believe the same about me.

So, let me give you my personal opinion about Iraq and everything we've discussed so far.

The Iraq War was going to happen eventually. IMO, it was inevitable. We were eventually going to remove SH. Clinton was going to do it, but the GOP Congress wouldn't give him the votes for it. It finally fell to Bush. Unfortunately, Rumsfeld screwed that pooch thoroughly, completely ignoring the advice and such from the military. I do remember that the Dems screamed for a larger invasion force, in agreement with the recommendations that the Generals gave the administration. And the rest is history. The surge is what we should have had in 2003, not 2007.

I don't think that Bush and the Congress lied so much as they may have pushed the facts to their limits, if that makes sense. SH was a threat to the region, but I really think, and I've gotten this vibe from articles I've read, that the Iraq War really isn't so much about Iraq, but about Iran. Take a look at Iran on the map and you'll see why. Afghanistan on the East, Iraq on the West. Iran in the middle. We needed two democracy-friendly nations in that area before we could do something about Iran. War with Iran is not an option. It's a very stable country, not divided like Iraq. A ground war with Iran would be as costly to the invading force as a ground war with, say, Japan would have been in WWII.

Anyway, I think there's a lot more to Iran than we are hearing, and I think they knew it a long time ago.

Iraq and Al-Qaeda did have a relationship, but not like you and your wife has a relationship. More like you and that long lost uncle you see at the family reunion. Yeah, you all have something in common, but it's not like you're going to hang out or go to the movies together. I don't think there was any collaboration between them, but I am pretty sure from what I've read that SH allowed A-Q to use areas in Iraq, and allowed A-Q operatives in the country. This alone would not be enough to justify a war in Iraq, I agree with you. To be understood, SH and A-Q having a relationship does not mean that Iraq helped A-Q with 9/11. It's ridiculous that there are still some people that believe that.

WMD in Iraq. Yes, they were there and were used in the past. Now they are not. I've seen articles where they've found small stockpiles of them, but I've long since deleted those articles. Sorry. When I was in Kuwait last year, I heard that some old WMD were found, but it wasn't the motherlode or anything. The folks that I've talked to say that there are/were "fingerprints" of WMD manufacturing in Iraq. The problem is, nearly every intelligence service in the world claimed that SH had WMD and he acted as though he had them, most likely for posturing's sake, but not for us, but for Iran, in light of the relationship those two countries had. The other problem is, if SH did have them, and there is proof that at one time he did have WMD, where are they now? That, to me, is scary.

The UN. Well, I'm a conservative, so I believe in smaller government and the sovereignty of the U.S. I believe that we should take part in the UN, help in any way we can, but our security and our interests come first. Period. I agree with you, C-S that we are wrong for being delinquent in our payments. However, we do more than make it up with other projects and other donations and support that we provide throughout the world. I don't know enough about John Bolton to really give you an opinion about him. I do know that the Left hates him, but they hate everyone that this Administration has nominated for anything, so my trust of the negative information I get about him is nominal. However, the comments I've heard from him, along with the comments C-S posted, seem rather inflammatory, and I don't personally believe that kind of attitude will help our relationship with UN. I know that some conservatives were like, "Hey, it's good that he speaks his mind about the UN! That way they won't run over him!" Well... it's also possible to stand up for what you believe and not piss everyone off, too.

Finally, President Bush. We got the President we voted for, IMO. Our nation runs in cycles, I think. At the end of the Clinton Presidency, I think a large portion of Americans wanted someone who didn't appear to be a slick fast-talker, who stood by his beliefs, thick and thin, didn't listen to polls to make his decisions. And we got that. I really think that President Bush is the antithesis of Clinton. But, I also think that the GOP was like, "OMG, anyone but Clinton." And look what we got. Personally, I think W is a terrible public speaker, with his malapropisms and mixed metaphors. He is terrible at outlining his plans, terrible at defending himself against attacks and uses the Good Ol' Boy system far too often. He's the most liberal GOP I've ever seen. He tries too hard to be liked by the Left and doesn't listen to his base. He's far too much of an idealist.

The Dems made this same exact error in 2004. Remember the slogan, "Anyone but Bush!"? Well, Kerry was to the Dems in '04 what Bush was to the GOP in '00. That's why the Dems lost in '04. If they had put someone up that was halfway decent, they would have won the election hands down. I know plenty of people that would have voted for a decent Dem if there was one up there.

Whidbey, I have two things I want to point out. You said,

The only way to stop illegal immigration is to address the corruption of the Mexican government

and

Who said anything about "fixing" anything. No President I know has even made the effort to start talks about the immigration problem.

So, in other words, you want us to say, "Hey, Mexico, you are corrupt. Stop it!" Please elaborate your stance. I know that it is ideal for us to "talk" to Mexico to stop immigration, but is that realistic? All we've done in the past is talk, made laws, pointed out corruption, etc. We still get illegal immigrants. Talk is cheap, man.

Bush is the Commander-in-Chief and is ultimately responsible for the war. He brought it on and took advantage of the blowhards in Congress who were also clamoring for military action. Again, I don't want these people running our country.

You avoided answering my question, which was, did the people who said all that stuff about WMD in Iraq and how dangerous SH was to the region lie as well? I appreciate that you don't support the "blowhards" but do you think they lied or where they just snookered?

The media presents facts. They don't present all the facts all the time, don't present some of the facts at all and sometimes they focus too much on some facts and not enough on other facts. So, in a manner of speaking, I believe everything the media say. But, I also believe none of it. I try to counterbalance everything I read with an opposing viewpoint. If something I read just doesn't add up, I look for an explanation somewhere else.

My wife wants me to cook, so I'll have to leave my immigration thoughts until later... maybe after dinner or something.

And no worries. I get heated, too. I'm enjoying the overall civil nature of this secret forum...:)

Yeah, sometimes I just have to walk away for a few days. I get too wrapped up and just don't understand why people can't read my mind and understand what I'm trying to say. ;-p
 
  2007-06-03 08:29:17 PM
For the record, I think every American should be forced to learn a second language for graduation from high school.

I like this. I've always thought that Americans shouldn't be content to simply tell other people to learn our language, but learn other languages as well.

Part of the immigration problem is with assimilation. Sure, we might get amnesty with this new bill, but that doesn't really help the illegals all that much. Most will never learn much English at all. And why should they?

But, if we learned Spanish, how much more beneficial would that be to us? I really can't think of a good reason why our kids shouldn't learn at least Spanish and then one other language, like Chinese. How much more competitive on the world market would we be if a large percentage of our population knew at least one other language?

How do y'all feel about the field of candidates we have out now?

On the Dem side, I "like" Kucinich because at least he's consistent. However, I can really see a Clinton-Edwards ticket. It will not be Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton.

On the GOP side, I really don't like any of them. I would hope that Thompson or Newt runs, but I'm not sure that either one of them would be able to do much at this point in the game. Thompson-Romney would be an interesting match up.
 
  2007-06-04 07:00:15 AM
Matt M "I like this. I've always thought that Americans shouldn't be content to simply tell other people to learn our language, but learn other languages as well.

Part of the immigration problem is with assimilation. Sure, we might get amnesty with this new bill, but that doesn't really help the illegals all that much. Most will never learn much English at all. And why should they?

But, if we learned Spanish, how much more beneficial would that be to us? I really can't think of a good reason why our kids shouldn't learn at least Spanish and then one other language, like Chinese. How much more competitive on the world market would we be if a large percentage of our population knew at least one other language?"


Ya know...

IF I were going to live in Mexico I would want to learn Spanish.

IF I were going to live in China I would want to learn Chinese.

IF I were going to live in France I would want to learn French.

BUT IF I am going to live in the US I really do not need to know anything other than English.

Of all the things that I think students should know before they graduate a second language is somewhat low on the list.

Personally I know some Korean, Spanish, and Sign Language but I've picked them up on my own after I was out of school.
 
  2007-06-05 09:12:37 PM
If Tom Tancredo is in any way part of an elected ticket to the Presidency in 2008 I'm leaving the country for good. THAT guy has some serious-arse issues with diversity.
 
  2007-06-05 09:34:25 PM
I've heard he desires to be tough on immigration, but I don't really know much about him because... well... he hasn't a chance in hell to win.

In what way does he have some serious issues with diversity?

Someone named Jolonco bought me a one-month subby to Total Fark. I want to thank them. But more than that, I want to know what I did to deserve it!
 
  2007-06-05 10:04:28 PM
Owangotang I actually was rooting for Tancredo untillllll he made that zenophobic tirade. WTF was with that? Now I am completely pissed that he is standing there as a conservative, that just made conservatives look bad.

Oh well I guess I can hope Fred doesnt become a complete turd.
 
  2007-06-05 10:51:14 PM
"Miami is a Third-World country." - Tancredo

Ooooooh. Now I understand. There's no explanation on earth that can take the sting from that.
 
  2007-06-05 11:31:38 PM
dottedmint: Kinda makes me want to ask what you would do if some poor person broke into your house and stole from you.

But they're not stealing from me. They're being paid--poorly, but somebody's hiring them to work. If you really want to punish someone here, make it a serious matter to hire illegals. Which is rhetorical statement, because it's easier to blame the immigrants than it is to go after American citizens.

Matt M.: So, in other words, you want us to say, "Hey, Mexico, you are corrupt. Stop it!" Please elaborate your stance.

I want this country to seriously open talks with the Mexican government. Start there, see where it goes. My guess is that this President isn't interested in that angle, and would rather put up walls and armed troops along the border. It's a better deal for the people trying to save a buck hiring illegals despite how bad it is. It's disgusting, really. The hypocrisy is more than showing, it's a bald spot.

did the people who said all that stuff about WMD in Iraq and how dangerous SH was to the region lie as well?

I'm more inclined to believe the President knew it was a bust, and the Senators and Congressmen didn't, and believed what the White House was telling them. We already know Congress's reputation for not researching or downright not even reading the stuff they vote on.

I'm sick of arguing it. It's more important we not allow a President to have that much leeway to start a war. I'm sure we'll eventually leave Iraq, but no way should this country allow any military action against any country because of suspected "terrorism." It's going to take some hard proof, and I don't even think we should allow that there be a next time. There is no justifiable threat to this country, it's all political BS to control regions and valuable resources.

We need to break the cycle of war we've been brainwashed into believing is the only way to make progress in a society.
 
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