DRONE ALERT!

No, not incoming, so you don’t have to duck or seek shelter. But another post on the topic.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald is one of the few of his profession who has been writing about these drone attacks, first for Salon.com and now for The Guardian.

Here is his latest:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo

In this part of that article he gets to the essence of what this program is all about…the wanton execution of people declared to be terrorists by the Obama Administration’s definition without a scintilla of evidence being proffered, just the naked assertion that it is true.

But of course, when this memo refers to “a Senior Operational Leader of al-Qaida”, what it actually means is this: someone whom the President – in total secrecy and with no due process – has accused of being that. Indeed, the memo itself makes this clear, as it baldly states that presidential assassinations are justified when “an informed, high-level official of the US government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the US”.

This is the crucial point: the memo isn’t justifying the due-process-free execution of senior al-Qaida leaders who pose an imminent threat to the US. It is justifying the due-process-free execution of people secretly accused by the president and his underlings, with no due process, of being that. The distinction between (a) government accusations and (b) proof of guilt is central to every free society, by definition, yet this memo – and those who defend Obama’s assassination power – willfully ignore it.

Whether intentionally or not this exposition also lays bare the hypocrisy that so many of the President’s critics demonstrate when, on myriad other issues, and even non-issues, they claim he has not told the truth or the whole truth and has underlying objectives and secret plans. Yet somehow these same critics exhibit no skepticism about these assertions whatsoever.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, no fan of Barack Obama by any stretch of the imagination, goes against form here.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

“Every member of Congress needs to get on board,” Graham said. “It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.  http://www.salon.com/2013/02/06/lindsey_grahams_salute_to_the_targeted_killing_of_american_citizens/

Lindsey Graham is out of his gourd.

But of course I’ve been saying this all along. Those on the right believe killing Muslims is their god-given duty and those on the left who have failed to object…nay even have praised these brazen acts…may as well all be named Manti Te’O. They have all swallowed this fraud hook line and sinker.

Catfish for dinner anyone?

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Comments

  • umoc193  On February 7, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    And more from the world of government abuse of our rights.

    Indefinite detention (no, not after school you dummy) is in court. http://www.salon.com/2013/02/06/ndaa_is_back_in_court/

    This issue along with drones, FISA, torture, the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, and Guantanamo show the slippery slope we have been on under a succession of Presidents of both parties, none socialist or Nazi or Communist but just doing what governments do when citizens buy into arguments that they are being protected, and it always appears that “the other guy”…usually a foreigner or of other inherently suspicious character…is the target.

    To paraphrase pogo “We have met the target and it is us.”

  • Devildog  On February 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    You write that the essence of Greewald’s article is, “the wanton execution of ‘people’ declared to be terrorists…”. Sorry but you are not being precise enough, especially for a learned lawyer, since the entire article is limited to the targeting of U.S. citizens (the word people, of course, being much broader than that).

    So, since you are against the droning of all people, the Greenwald article provides little or no support for your position. I am be wrong, and since you may be more learned than am I, and certainly more moral, please correct me if I am wrong but the Constitutional requirement of due process does not apply to non-citizens outside U.S. soil not in U.S. custody. So what is this due process bull shit talk (remember, as is my right, I have limited the “debate” to non-citizens). As for U.S. citizens, are you suggesting that their due process rights include right to counsel in an open court to hear the evidence againstthem, with the right to confront their accusers, with a right to jury trial of their peers with a unanimous verdict required, and a 15 year appeal period, all in absentia, before they can be “murdered”. That’s what due process sounds like to me-or is a closed session, one-sided presentation before a single judge due process to you?

    The “people’s house” can impeach the President and you can take him to court (if you have standing) and, since this is the U.S., you can call him a murderer but that’s just bullshit talk.

    Yeah, right, we on the right believe that killing Muslims, any Muslims, is our God given duty. And you say that Lindsey Graham is off his gourd.

  • Little_Minx  On February 7, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Your thoughts on states that have outlawed drones for civilian surveillance purposes? Saw a story re this on one of the national TV newscasts a few days ago (can’t recall which one, because I’m such a channel-hopper).

    • Little_Minx  On February 8, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      Heard a report on NPR headlines this AM that privacy advocates et al. are up in arms over a proposal for Seattle police to use unarmed surveillance drones. I was under the impression that surveillance in public was Constitutional so long as it didn’t also record sound. Could you perhaps address this topic sometime, from your legal perspective?

  • Little_Minx  On February 7, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Posted without comment. “The American public loves drones”:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/02/06/the-american-public-loves-drones

  • Tourist  On February 8, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    UMOC, given all we agree on, I regret coming in on the offensive, but, seriously, where to begin? “If what Adam Lanza did was not an act of terror I do not know what is.” We’ve done this one before. You don’t know what is.

    Dead is dead, but we make distinctions. Intent, negligence and accident are not the same thing. Shooting a clerk to rob the store and shooting a spouse in anger are not the same thing. Terrorism has a political objective. The target is not the victims (who are of course “murdered”); the target of terrorism is authority. The aim of terrorism is to terrorize the populace, to cause people to live in fear, to the extent that they demand the authorities end the terror by doing something the terrorists want: bombing pubs until political prisoners are released. It’s not murder without the intent to kill, so terrorism is obviously, again, murder. But it’s not terrorism without the political intent. That customers are “terrified” when a McDonalds is shot up has nothing to do with it.

    There is crime and there is war and there is grey. As Devildog pointed out, you equivocate now on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You see both sides. You stand alone on drones not because conservatives miss the point, dammit, or that liberals won’t step up, but because you refuse to acknowledge even a possibility of grey. It’s murder, murder, murder, and wrong, wrong, wrong, and until the rest of us see what you see, we might as well be championing vigilantes and death squads. If I took it personally, I’d be personally pissed.

    I have huge problems with the escalating civil-liberties violations and a visceral reaction to the very idea of government ordering individuals killed, and I suspect the vast majority of us do. For the record, the only point on which I have directly disagreed with you is citizenship. You speak of the American government killing American citizens as if that makes it worse. If it’s murder, it’s murder. If it’s not, it’s not.

    “If” is in the grey. The grey includes the duty of the decision-maker – where to err. When you strike at the king, you are entitled to due process? Until you get it right?

    Rare? Unlikely? My responsibility? What are we without our principles? Another 9/11? Choices among bad choices, choices with no guarantees, and someone has to make them.

    What’s the responsibility of a bartender – earning a living, feeding his family – for a drunk driver? What’s the responsibility of a lawyer who gets a drunk driver off? Are the rules important? Absolutely. Does the client celebrate or learn a lesson? I guess we hope.

    Neville Chamberlain meant well.

    ===

    Calling Truman or Bush or Obama a murderer for his wartime, defense or foreign policy decisions goes nowhere. The point is clear and it’s a semantic distraction. I don’t particularly want to get into the rightness or wrongness of the atomic bombing of Japan. It is legitimately, perpetually debatable. Was it necessary? Was it justified? How do you weigh the good (the backlash against atrocity) that frequently follows bad? Would the Cold War have remained cold if we’d never seen a demonstration?

    Where I do jump in is to point out that “Hiroshima and Nagasaki” were two different things. The Hiroshima bomb was uranium. The Nagasaki bomb was plutonium. Having gotten the ball rolling, they wanted to test the other one, too. The U.S. demanded unconditional surrender after Hiroshima and gave the Japanese no time (a long weekend) to grasp what had just happened to them. No one in Tokyo was in a position to comprehend Hiroshima.

    Argue Hiroshima. Not Nagasaki.

    Sub-point: It is sometimes asserted as if it helps that we targeted an industrial area of Nagasaki, not the city center. Not true. The target was the city center. We missed. I have read on TV portions of American military documents to that effect, and seen TV interviews with members of the Nagasaki aircrew stating that they aimed for downtown.

    ===

    No matter the need or the good, it’s tyranny if it’s “socialist” and anathema without an indictment.

    Liberals (and others) believe that it’s complicated. Beware all absolutes.

    • umoc193  On February 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      First of all welcome to my comments section.

      As usual you present your arguments in a less confrontational way than most while still firmly making your point. At the same time you inspire contemplation and review.

      That said, I vehemently dispute your assertion that terrorism is purely political. That definition is one of selective memory and narrow word games themselves political in nature.

      Hiroshima and Nagasaki, however they may differ in the details, are not true analogies to our present situation for many reasons though they can be in some ways instructive. But the largest distinction is that they were products of a real war involving real nations, not the “declaration of war” by a group of thugs who commit criminal acts in the name of some utterly misplaced idealism.

      That is what is missing from this discussion, not just here but in Congress and more public forums. We are dealing with criminals, not governments. Refusal to acknowledge that while treating these thugs as something rare and special allows for rare and special treatment in retaliation. It’s all bullshit.

      I have yet to hear any cogent argument about why the events of 9/11 elevated these criminal acts into this special category allowing for rationalization for all manner of abuses by the “good guys”. At the same time the “terrorism” that has been stopped…shoe and underwear bombers and Times Square vehicles, for instance…have been placed routinely in our regular criminal courts where they belong and the nation has survived.

      And while the Patriot Act was pushed through with its alteration of Constitutional rights for the very purpose of fighting “terrorism” its provisions have far more often led to prosecutions of your corner drug dealer than your suicidal Jihadist.

      If you believe I allow for no nuance, no compromise, no exceptions, well you may be on to something. But at least I am not intentionally blind to the possibility…nay high probability…that our government is in extremely dangerous moral territory.

      Alas, I appear to be mostly alone in my fight. Perhaps I should change my name to Don Quixote.

    • Little_Minx  On February 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      Konichiwa, Tourist!

  • Devildog  On February 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Hey, UMOC, how does your constitutional law expertise compare with that of the constitutional law professor now occupying the White House (not to mention the occupants of the Justice Dept.)? Don’t fall of your pedestal because we are all awaiting breathlessly “the word”.

    • umoc193  On February 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      I hope I haven’t overtouted my “Constitutional expertise”. I most definitely am more grounded in it than the average citizen but have not spent years in either intense study of all facets of that area of law or teaching more than a primer course on it.

      But then there are noted and acknowledged “experts” who have these more extensive qualifications who disagree on certain issues.

      I will say this about Obama. Whatever his background in law, in a situation such as this he would be a fool to rely solely upon that if seeking justification for his actions. Better to place the research and memo writing in the hands of folks who presumably do not automatically share his agenda. But, then again, when preparing such a memo for a client/boss, a good lawyer or law clerk will explore all sides and note oppositional views even when drawing the desired conclusion. And if those folks are any good at all they can effectively argue those oppositional views just as capably.

      Law School Forensics 101.

  • Little_Minx  On February 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    UMOC, during a declared conventional war (e.g., WW II), would you have considered American citizens to be aiding/abetting/fighting for the US’s enemies in those countries (e.g., Germany, Italy, Japan, and the countries they occupied) fair game for conventional bombing? Would you have been OK with unmanned drones then, if they’d already existed?

    Isn’t the nub of the definition of whether or not our country is AT WAR? Certainly nowadays the US isn’t at war in traditional Constitutional terms (Congress, blah, blah, blah…). But ever since the Vietnam conflict as well as the struggles for independence in Africa, the nature of war has changed from massed troops and rules of war (e.g., Geneva Convention) to more free-form guerilla hit-and-run tactics. Do you think that WAR now is something different from what the Founding Fathers had in mind? If so, should the Constitution be amended WRT war declarations?

    N.B. I don’t know the answers to any of these questions I’ve just posed, only think they might be useful to consider.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Little_Minx  On February 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Rewrite: “Isn’t the nub of the question the definition of whether or not our country is AT WAR?”

  • Little_Minx  On February 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    When is it acceptable/unacceptable to use drones to attack foreign enemies who are holding civilian hostages as human shields?

  • Devildog  On February 8, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Drones are no different than the M-14 I once used.more later, now on to my grandkid’s basketball game.

  • Devildog  On February 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    What a pleasure to hear from perhaps my favorite commentator (Tourist), he who is certainly no less brilliant than UMOC but certainly more nuanced. And, I might add, one who has supported my position only on rare occasion.

    UMOC’s mention of a “real war” demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of ” war” as it exists in the world today; that is, asymmetrical warfare, and it helps explain why his position on drone warfare is so off-base. His preference for, and use of the phrase, “misplaced idealism” rather than “political objective” is incomprehensible.

    UMOC rides alone tilting at windmills, proud of standing alone against those spewing bullshit (apparently a word he favors in debate), claiming no special knowledge of Constitutional law except more than the average citizen yet having no reluctance to label Government leaders as violators of the Constitution and murderers, without having any Court backing for his assertions and implying that any Government lawyer who disagrees with him is an Obama sycophant.

    Hi, Tourist. Not too much to add to you. You have a problem with, “Government ordering individuals killed”. I prefer to describe it as “Government ordering enemy combatants killed”. I took my entire discussion with UMOC to be one of “legalities” not moralities so I will pass on the morality issue re Nagasaki except to ask how that differs from firebombing Tokyo and Dresden and other acts during that “symmetrical” war?

    How is a drone different from aerial bombing or artillery, for example. This attack on drones by UMOC is based solely, in my opinion on the legitimacy of our engagement in Iraq and Aghanistan, nothing more, nothing less. He is tilting at windmills against something that was commenced 10 years ago, not in the last few years.

  • Tourist  On February 9, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Minx, Devildog, UMOC again: It’s a privilege to be here and a pleasure to be in your company.

    UMOC, that we are “in a war” or “at war” is not something I say. “War on terror” was absurd from the beginning. “Crime/criminal justice” is not an adequate template either, which, as to some details, you have acknowledged. Yet you continue to insist on forcing this into one pre-existing box. On drones and due process, you might, in the privacy of your own home, consider whether you are you being principled or stubborn.

    Evidence: “terrorism.” The word has a definition. You use it incorrectly. You do not have to acknowledge that. Why you don’t just quietly stop is a puzzlement. I don’t know, either, that it matters in the least, but, with Strunk & White in mind – “omit needless words” – I would ask what calling Sandy Hook “terrorism” adds that “murder” or “mass murder” does not already cover.

    Dead body plus “drive-by” and dead body plus “crime of passion” each tell us something. “Terrorism” also tells us something, about context and motivation. That’s how it’s useful.

    Devildog, how does the firebombing of Tokyo differ from Hiroshima or Nagasaki, you ask? More people were killed in Tokyo. The difference is, we have decided the atomic bombings were different. “I know it when I see it.” We – the world – have decided 9/11 was different. In the days and weeks that followed, nations TREMBLED in anticipation of what America would do. Things . . . everywhere . . . changed.

    “I have yet to hear any cogent argument about why the events of 9/11 elevated these criminal acts into this special category,” UMOC says.

    That ship has sailed.

    ===

    ter·ror·ism [ter-uh-riz-uhm] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
    2.
    the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
    3.
    a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism?s=t

    (If the link comes up live automatically, wonderful. If not, it’s because I don’t know how to do that here.)

  • Devildog  On February 9, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Tourist, thanks for having the wisdom and skill to apply what should(but may not) be the coup de grace.

    • umoc193  On February 10, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      I won’t respond individually to each of the comments since my last visit but will touch upon some of the remarks.

      Me, principled or stubborn? I proudly wear both labels at the same time. But some old friends and an ex-wife might opine that I am much more of the latter than the former.

      Now a question for Tourist. Why is “crime/criminal justice” not an adequate template for action? It certainly sewrved us well for over 200 years prior to 9/11 when all of a sudden standard criminal justice rules were deemed insufficient.

      The only distinction I make is for those actively engaged in some form of combat with our troops remaining in Afghanistan. But those links are tenuous at best. However, for some reason you all seem all too eager to accept at face value the administration’s determination of terrorists, high level operatives, and imminence.

      See this. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2013/02/drones_law_and_imminent_attacks_how_the_u_s_redefines_legal_terms_to_justify.html

      Now how am I misusing the definition of terrorism? Your own definition does not entail political actions exclusively. Just ask John McClane.

      I’ve given my sales pitch. If you don’t want to but the damned car you don’t want to buy the damned car.

      That is neither surrender nor pure cynicism. If you want to fall for this scam you’re welcome to do so. But I still have trouble understanding why commenters I know to be skeptics on a frequent basis, are so quick to lap up the Kool-Aid this time around.

  • Devildog  On February 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    So, you are willing to make a distinction for ” those actually engaged in some form of combat…”. And whom, may I ask, is to make that determination- a court? And what about one who sends ” those” out to fight? And what about one who draws up the plans of combat for the one who sends ” those” out to fight? And what about the one who provides funding and other support for those who…? The answer to all the above is not a court but the President.

    Your position is not only untenable but absurd on its face, so give it up gracefully.

    As for your link, it provides accurately (I suppose) a description of what has transpired but nothing in the way of legal or moral support for the opposition of the use of drones. Perhaps except for that very tired slippery slope argument.

  • Tourist  On February 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    “Now how am I misusing the definition of terrorism? Your own definition does not entail political actions exclusively. Just ask John McClane.”

    That’s as good a place to start as any.

    TAKAGI: “You want money? What kind of terrorists are you?”
    GRUBER: “Who said we were terrorists?”

    “Especially for political purposes” – is that it? If you are saying that what you meant by “If [Sandy Hook wasn’t terrorism], I do not know what is” was that you can shoehorn it into the definition – “especially”? – I will be happy to modify my charge, if you’ll also address “to intimidate or coerce.”

    “Now a question for Tourist. Why is ‘crime/criminal justice’ not an adequate template for action?”

    “Crime template” is actually two questions: as a response to 9/11 and for our actions since. For either, consider why we have a justice system in the first place, and civil courts. It’s so everyone isn’t out extracting their own justice or securing their own redress. We don’t expect the system to be perfect, but it has to perform satisfactorily most of the time and on the big ones or people lose faith in it and society itself breaks down.

    GRUBER: “When you steal six hundred dollars, you can disappear. When you steal six hundred million, they will find you.”

    Nothing would have been more magnificent than to have arrested and tried everyone involved in 9/11. We did not go that route – barely considered it, I guess – so you can certainly say we should have at least made the attempt. And I cannot say that the ones in the caves in Afghanistan would not have been apprehended and extradited by the Taliban (did we even ask?) before they could themselves escape to Pakistan or Somalia or Yemen.

    How many weeks was it after 9/11 before there was a news story on anything else? The Star Spangled Banner was being played all over the world. The French, of all people, declared themselves “Americans.” I’m not saying you are wrong. I’m saying this was 600 billion.

    TONY: “You won’t hurt me. You’re a policeman. There are rules for policemen.”

    Devlldog again beat me in responding to: “The only distinction I make is for those actively engaged in some form of combat with our troops remaining in Afghanistan.”

    That was about drones. We know how you feel. Yet you recognize a distinction. 9/11 was a crime like any other. You see no distinction. As a result, I, you say, “accept at face value,” “fall for this scam” and “lap up the Kool-Aid.” I don’t think you understand what we are disagreeing about.

    Devildog, the difference between drones, aerial bombing and artillery? None to any of the wedding parties.

    Yippie ki-yay.

  • Devildog  On February 10, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Right, not to the wedding parties, nor to the bad guys nor to our troops and nor to the issue of morality or legality. That’s why to single out drones makes no sense. I still can’t understand UMOC’s position on drones-must be my lack of comprehension.

  • Tourist  On February 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    See the link if desired for the context of this quote:

    “Obama has expanded these drone attacks far beyond what the Bush administration was doing. There are many thorny issues, such as indefinite detention, how detainees are treated, and under what circumstances they can be released. The Obama administration evidently feels that it’s cleaner and easier just to kill them. Then you don’t have to worry about bad publicity from housing them at Guantanamo, not giving them a fair trial, holding them indefinitely.”

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/14475-why-targeted-assassinations-violate-us-and-international-law-an-interview-with-legal-scholar-marjorie-cohn

    As we also know, Obama intends in destroy our freedoms, turn America into a dictatorship, and surrender our sovereignty to the United Nations, making us a subservient dictatorship. No, really.

    There is no evidence for that, of course, and no evidence as far as I am aware that anyone in the administration champions drone strike as a way to avoid the “bad publicity” of detention and other “thorny issues.” “Cleaner and easier just to kill them”? Somebody said that?

    Yes. The speaker above said it. We say absolutely anything we want anymore. Our politics has become a work of fiction, a “good read.”

    Here’s what happens on those rare occasions when the source is clear, the target stays focused, and responds. The title of this one is “Mickey Mouse Is Watching You: In a tussle over privacy, Disney’s CEO delivers an epic smackdown to a dumb member of Congress.”

    (Quote)

    But [Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.,] is worried about the children: “Do you plan to target advertisements at kids 12 and under?” he demands in his public letter to Disney. “Does you company plan to market, sell, or otherwise disclose personal information or profiled about its guests to other companies?” he wonders. And “[i]f a guest chooses not to use MagicBand, what disadvantages, if any, will that guest experience while visiting a Disney park (i.e. longer wait times for attractions, etc.)”

    . . . Disney CEO Bob Iger was not amused by Markey’s congressional grandstanding. Here’s his tart response:

    “We are offended by the ludicrous and utterly ill-informed assertion in your letter dated January 24, 2013, that we would in any way haphazardly or recklessly introduce a program that manipulates children, or wantonly puts their safety at risk. … Had you or your staff made the slightest effort, you would have found most of the answers to your questions already existed and were publicly available online.”

    Iger dropped some URLs on Markey that do, in fact, contain answers to virtually all of the congressman’s questions. First, no one has to wear bracelet (or go to a Disney park at all, for that matter). Little Timmy’s bracelet is not going track the last time he ate and start whispering about the delicious Lady and the Tramp-themed meatballs that are just around the corner. Instead, bored kids waiting in line for a Little Mermaid ride will get chatted up by an animatronic seagull. Parents have control over all privacy settings on their kids’ bracelets and can change them at will using the parks’ free Wi-Fi. Furthermore, as a company policy, Disney doesn’t use personal information to market to kids under 13 or target personalized ads at any individual kid. Nor does it share personal information with other companies for marketing . . . .

    (Unquote)

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/01/magicbands_disney_ceo_bob_iger_gives_epic_smackdown_to_ed_markey_over_privacy.html?wpisrc=obinsite

    Mostly, we drown in it.

    • umoc193  On February 11, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      Well of course I share your view that the worst predictions of Obama’s aims for dictatorship are far off the mark.

      As to whether the drone strikes are intended to avoid other inconveniences I suppose there is no real evidnece of that but as a speculative conclusion/opinion I would not say it is irrational.

  • Tourist  On February 11, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    UMOC, my first comment here a few days ago spent ten hours “awaiting moderation” before it went up. Since the next two went up immediately, I figured you wanted to look new people over first. It’s your site.

    As I write this – not sure if or when it will appear – I am again in limbo with one date-stamped February 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM. It’s on-topic, more or less. Is the problem my “less confrontational” (your words) style? I favor the 6-7 range, but I can play at 11 if that’s a ground rule. I didn’t know.

    I’m also sympathetic to technology-management issues.

    • Little_Minx  On February 11, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      Tourist, I have a hunch it’s just “technology-management issues,” as you say, because it sometimes happens to me as well. At another friend’s blog, it occurs whenever anyone posts what the blog company deems too long a commentary, but I’m not sure if that’s what triggers it here on UMOC. In any event, I doubt it’s anything personal, otherwise we’re both in a heap more trouble than we ever imagined 😉

    • umoc193  On February 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      I am my own moderator and I get email alertsw for all comments including ones that require moderation. But since you had previosuly posted I am not sure why further comments needed moderation.

      In any event any delay in final posting is due to me not accessing my email, whether busy and away from my desk or concentrating on other things on my computer. I do not always respond immediately to or even read comments but the ones Word Press deems needing moderation I generally have addressed those as soon as I see the notice.

      I am sorry for any inconvenience. I’ll see if I can find out why further comments from some who have previously posted are so marked.

      • umoc193  On February 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        In addition, when I do moderate I do not look for reasons to reject a comment and I believe other than spam which is subject to a different filter I have only totally rejected maybe 2-3 offered comments because they either made no sense whatsoever or one in particular was anonymous AND abusive, though I think I know who tried to post it.

  • Tourist  On February 11, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Thanks, Minx. I’m sure you’re right.

    UMOC, that speaker began with: “The White Paper allows the government to kill a US citizen who is not on the battlefield.” Reserving for later the authority of a White Paper, yes, it does. The speaker proceeds from there to, as you put it, a speculative conclusion/opinion about intent to avoid inconvenience being the motivation. No, as you say, that is not irrational. Nor is there any reason to believe it is true – in the same way that speculating also with no evidence that Obama wants to make the U.S. a dictatorship is not irrational. Didn’t you, maybe in junior high school, studying history and civics, have the epiphany that the best form of government was benevolent dictatorship? I did. By me, of course.

    “Rational” and “could be” are not the issue. “You can get away with saying it – be sure to make it as inflammatory as you can – because they can’t or don’t have the time to prove it wrong” is the issue.

    This is not about “equivalency.” I was one of the earliest objectors in this community of blogs to shrugging it off with: “Both sides do it.” No, not equally, they don’t.

    “We’re gonna lose some of these battles, and we might even lose the White House, but we’re not gonna be threatened by issues. We’re gonna put them front and center. We’re gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy.”

    – The West Wing, “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet”

  • Devildog  On February 11, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Tourist, this time you beat me to it. This subject is a perfect example of an intelligent person digging himself a hole deeper and deeper through sheer obstinacy (or is it principle). A truly intelligent person would recognize a losing position and back off without having to turn over his King.

    • Tourist  On February 11, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      Hey, Devildog! How ya doin’? It’s good to be talking with you again. When the old gang migrated, I wondered why you didn’t come.

      You’re our “kill or be killed” guy. UMOC’s just doing that – fighting a different war. He’s mostly not wrong, you know.

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 5:21 AM

    Here’s a higher-profile example of inflammatory rhetoric being treated as reality.

    On October 5, 2004, at the vice-presidential debate, Gwen Ifill asked Dick Cheney: “Mr. Vice President, . . . . When the president says that Senator Kerry is emboldening enemies and you say that we could get hit again if voters make the wrong choice in November, are you saying that it would be a dangerous thing to have John Kerry as president?”

    Wow! Heavy issue. A “dangerous thing” to have John Kerry as president? From the moderator of the debate!

    On September 7, Cheney had spoken to a town hall meeting in Des Moines and had said: “It’s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice. Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again.”

    Wow! Heavy issue. Would the election of Democrats get us “hit again”? Much of the country had been talking and thinking about that for a month.

    Cheney answered Ifill by saying he was not questioning Kerry’s patriotism, only his judgment. He affirmed the impression the original comment had created.

    His full statement in Des Moines had been: “It’s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice. Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again, that we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we’ll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind set if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we’re not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us.”

    Getting hit again was a premise. His grammatical accusation was that *if* we were hit again, the reaction under Democrats would be different – “fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset” – *not* that having Democrats in office would invite the hit. *That* would have been a truly outrageous charge.

    After using the words to create the impression, he had an escape.

    He never needed it. Ifill and the rest had taken the fake.

    The debate transcript: http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=october-5-2004-transcript

    The town hall transcript: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/09/20040907-8.html

    • umoc193  On February 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      A little dated reference perhaps, but indicative of a problem I find with far too many journalists. They let the politicians get away with manipulating language and rarely really pin one of them down to get a complete, straight answer.

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    Awaiting moderation. If comment length is indeed the issue, perhaps UMOC could adjust the parameter.

  • Richard Wood  On February 12, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    Hi Tourist and Minx…

    Getting ready for work, but hears a “mind-bite” to chew-on, for now:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/02/philosopher-moral-case-drones?commentpage=2#start-of-comments

    • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 7:06 AM

      Sir Richard, an equally quick reaction to the article: It’s a long way to make a limited point, and it says that. It highlights most of the issues and takes a stand on only one – that a drone is a useful and unobjectionable piece of equipment. “[Strawser] worries that hawks could adopt his arguments about drones without taking account of his caveats.”

      The big caveat: “If the policy to begin with is wrong then of course we shouldn’t do it. It’s irrelevant if we use drones, a sniper rifle or a crossbow.”

      “The question is whether drones will tempt us to do wrong things. But it doesn’t seem so . . . .”

      I’m not sure about that last one. At the least, I suspect we are more active with drones in places beyond Afghanistan – i.e., Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen – than we would be with more conspicuous aircraft.

      All those issues are still wide open.

      • umoc193  On February 12, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Let me make it clear. It is not per se the use of drones that offends me, but the cold-blooded killing of very dubious justification. So if a gun or crossbow or arsenic were used I would have the same objections.

    • umoc193  On February 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      Very good article. Thanks for posting. I recommend all read it.

      A quick summary is that it is about Bradley Strawser, a plilosopher and self-described hippie who has generally opposed recent American tendencies to war and killing and Guantanamo, etc. Yet he supports drone strikes though to an extent he frames the argument in terms of the method possibly being unfair in some minds instead of the killing itself.

      He gives figures for total dead by drone and the estimated number of civilians included, but his figure seems terribly low to me. On the other hand on TV a few evenings ago a lawyer who opposes these strikes and has done some investigation more than I am capable of declared that 98% of victims were civilians. An intriguing number but one I do not take at face value.

      The problem here is that the amount of actual collateral damage will always be minimized by the perpetrators while those on the ground may have quite a different view of the matter, though not entirely without an agenda to exaggerate.

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    UMOC, I joked above about not knowing the rules here. Now, if I may, let me ask: Did you modify your original post – this one, “Drone Alert” – after it went up and we started talking about it?

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    UMOC, re moderating comments, I completely understand. No problem there.

  • Devildog  On February 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    The argument seems to have changed, as it often does when one is losing the debate. It now seems to be the amount of collateral damage and “the cold-blooded killing of very dubious justification”.

    As for cold-blooded killing, that doesn’t deserve a response- are you serious or kidding. As for very dubious justification, I assume you are talking about what evidence we have that the intended target is, indeed, a “bad guy”. Again I ask, are you serious or kidding. You have no idea about who the target is and what is the evidence against him yet you have the chutzpah to call it “dubious.

    Last but not least, your complaint against droning (not drones per se) is the amount of collateral damage. You can argue about whose statistics are correct but “war” is hell, isn’t it. No safe havens are permitted, but I do recognize that, sometimes, tough decisions need to be made, but that’s why we have a Commander-in-Chiief to make tough decisions-not you and certain others. I don’t object to Tourist calling me the kill or be killed guy.

    Tourist-when Reg’s blog moved, I couldn’t follow because I am technologically challenged. But I did put UMOC’s blog site on my 2012 calendar, never to be noticed again until I reviewed everything written on it prior to it being discarded. And, lo and behold, there it was-aren’t all of you lucky to, once again, get the benefit of my wisdom. By the way, what do you mean that UMOC, is mostly not wrong. So far, I haven’t read anything that is not wrong.

    • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Devildog, re “’war’ is hell . . . . No safe havens”: I don’t see it as “war” and I don’t see it as “crime.” I see it as dealing as best we can with the situation that has manifested itself. That does not mean killing everything that moves. There have been too many wedding parties. That’s life?

    • umoc193  On February 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Well, yes, I have some idea who the target is or at least who some of the targets have been. My argument has not changed nor am I losing this argument. Just because you say I am wrong does not make it true.

      Now, let us consider Anwar al-Awlaki whose cold-blooded murder stirred me to action in the first place.

      Since he was an American citizen he would have been entitled to all Constitutional protections, no? But he was never charged with ANY crime related to terror or being an Al Qaeda leader, whether he was betond the jurisdiction of authorities or not. And in fact he was in custody WITHIN the U.S. in 2002 for, I believe, some border infraction. (The exact charge is recounted in one of the links provided earlier. I’ll double check if you insist.)

      In order to procure an indictment or an arrest warrant only probable cause need be shown, for any offense anywhere in this country. That that avenue was not pursued in any way shape or form leads one to conclude that there simply was no probable cause to charge him. If there were that should have been done and then at least some effort made to capture him or at least create a public record.

      Now, no, my compalint about drones is not based on collateral damage. I bring that up only for the fact that those who have no objection to drones need to take that into account. Then add into mthat the fact that these drone attacks are not being used in Afghanistan on the subjects I am concerned about but in foreign countries where we ostensibly are not at war and whose soveriegn air space we are also violating.

      So any analogy to WW II bombing with civilian deaths simply does not hold water.

      Finally, My constant position for years is that 9/11 and its brethren are criminal acts and given umpteen examples of prior treatments of them as support. NO ONE has challenged that nor provided any cogent reason why that should not be the case.

      And do not give me any crap about your brother marines in Afghanistan. They should not be there and if, justifiable to send troops there in the first place, that ship has long ago sailed and our presence there is useless for any defense of our country and wastefull for the lives, limbs and dollars expended.

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    UMOC, when you, as you frequently do, use the phrase “cold-blooded murder” for people killed without charges, trial, conviction – that is, accusing the authorities of murder – shouldn’t you, by your own strict procedural standards, be saying “alleged”?

    • umoc193  On February 13, 2013 at 2:53 AM

      I’m the prosecutor here. You ever hear a DA in court call the defendant the “alleged” killer?

      But in this case we know who is doing the killing, not the individuals who “pull the trigger” but our government.

      I call it cold-blooded. Everyone else seems to be on the side of justifiable homicide.

      However, in the law justifiable homicide is an affirmative defense. The defendant must specifically raise the issue and has a burden to present at least prima facie evidence of that justification. It is then incumbent upon the prosecution to prove every element of the crime including that the homicide was not justified.

      Justifiable homicide may have different definitions depending on jurisdiction, i.e. “stand your ground laws for instance.

      • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 3:49 AM

        UMOC, in the alternative: You: “Everyone else seems to be on the side of justifiable homicide.” Your defendant is the government. “It is then incumbent upon the prosecution [you] to prove every element of the crime including that the homicide was not justified.” Do you think you have?

        Forget that. This one’s better: “I’m the prosecutor here.” So, you looked at the available facts and evidence and decided that prosecution is warranted. Now you’re just being an advocate in an adversary system. You’re doing your job. You don’t necessarily buy it all.

        I knew it!

  • Devildog  On February 12, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    UMOC, if you would be so kind to answer just one hypothetical question (directly please). If there was sufficient evidence to convince you that bin laden was holded up in a house in Afghanistan,possibly with his wife(s) and children but we couldn’t be certain, an area considered inaccessible by our military, is it okay to drone that house. If not, why not and, if not, okay to bomb that house. Without obtaining a warrant. Enough about U.S. citizens until we finish with non-citizens it is likely we’ve seen the end of that. Also, let’s hear from you about only A and then we can move to other countries such as Pakistan and Yemen. Really, I’m trying to understand your actual position on droning (pardon my ignorance), because I think you are a moving target. I think my position is very clear bit if it isn’t, let me know. Answer the bin Laden hypothetical

    Tourist-neither war nor crime, merely a situation. What the hell are you talking about? I’m disappointed in you. What is this killing everything that moves. Is that akin to killing all Muslims? It’s killing bad guys-those who are shooting as us, making plans for that, funding it-you know what I am talking about.

    • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      Devildog: “It’s killing bad guys-those who are shooting at us, making plans for that, funding it-you know what I am talking about.” Yes, I know what you’re talking about. That’s the “situation” I say we are dealing with – and must – as best we can. It’s not a matter for the police and it’s not war as we have traditionally known it. It’s grey, as I said before. What’s the problem?

      • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        The real world is a situation and grey requires flexibility – if that helps. I try to avoid boxes.

    • umoc193  On February 13, 2013 at 2:54 AM

      I’ll get back to you. Don’t have time right now.

  • Devildog  On February 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Tourist-when you write that it’s not a crime for the police and “it’s not war as we have traditionally known it” but merely a “situation”, you fail to recognize that an asymmetrical war is war. And the problem is that if you don’t recognize that we are engaged in an asymmetrical, non-traditional war that is, actually, a war, it colors your idea as to whether the actions we take are “legitimate”.

    The real world is not a gray world that requires flexibility, it is an asymmetrical war that requires flexibility. Does that help? Sometimes, it is not helpful to “avoid boxes”.

    • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Devildog, I see what you are saying. “Asymmetric war is war” is true enough, but you then make two assumptions, or leaps: (1) that this is asymmetric war, not something else or less, and (2) that, if it is asymmetric war, the expectations of conventional war apply. I am referring there to your statement that, if I don’t recognize asymmetric, non-traditional “war,” it colors my idea of what actions are legitimate.

      Yes, it would. But what I am saying is that “It’s asymmetric war – easy” is a simplification. The American revolutionists? The Viet Cong? Yes, asymmetric war. The Mafia? Drug cartels? No, not “war.” The Weathermen? Good question, that. Was it “war”? The Unabomber? Was he an “enemy”?

      Al-Qaeda? Insisting it’s “war” is as convenient as UMOC’s insisting it’s “crime like any other,” and is how you get to say “no safe havens.” Saying “grey” is how I get to say “too many wedding parties.”

      I want to do what a situation requires. That means determining what it actually does require, in all its aspects. To coin a phrase, it’s complicated. Weren’t you once quite vocal about bias in scientific/academic research – that it proves what it sets out to prove? What is putting something in the box of “war” other than a way of proving that it should be judged like any other war, which is, alas – “sorry about that” – hell?

  • Richard Wood  On February 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Tourist –

    “… a long way to make a limited point, …”

    Philosophers are like that. I wish that I could contribute something substantial to the discussion,but I arrived to the party late, and am a few drinks behind you folks.

    Let me try to think about what has been written, and maybe chime in.

    (UMOC wasn’t kidding. Good thread.)

    • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      Mr. Wood, please chime in! For years you have posted some of the most insightful observations in the fewest words around here – indeed, often in virtual isolation. Come on! Refresh your drink and mingle!

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Do we have to stay on topic here? Galileo, it will be recalled, was brought before the Inquisition.

    (Quote)

    Modern scholars have a gravitational pull toward ancient bureaucrats . . . and the new research has produced a slightly, if significantly, revised picture of Galileo’s enemies. The newer . . . view is that Galileo made needless trouble for himself by being impolitic, and that, in the circumstances of the time, it would have been hard for the Church to act otherwise. The Church wanted, as today’s intelligent designers now say, to be allowed to “teach the controversy” – to teach the Copernican and Aristotelian views as rival hypotheses, both plausible, both unproved. All Galileo had to do was give the Church a break and say that you could see it that way if you wanted to. He wouldn’t give it a break.

    (Unquote)

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2013/02/11/130211crat_atlarge_gopnik?mbid=gnep&google_editors_picks=true

    Come to think of it, truth (Galileo recanted), authorities under pressure, two sides to the story, rewritings of history, may be close enough.

  • Devildog  On February 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Okay Tourist. I’ll buy that. Let’s call it a situation and do what the situation requires.

    You have mentioned “wedding parties” more than once but I thought this discussion was about the use of drones rather than mistakes in targeting, which could and does happen just as frequently as with aerial bombing and artillery. And if you’re going to use my past words against me, I’m going to claim foul.

    • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      “And if you’re going to use my past words against me, I’m going to claim foul.”

      Then I guess I should stop that for a while. Otherwise, terminology aside, I see lots of common ground.

  • Devildog  On February 12, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I was just kidding-as long as you cite me correctly. Always an honor to share some common ground with you.

  • Tourist  On February 12, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    From my desk with the TV across the room to the side, I was half listening to CNN in the wake of the SOTU and Rubio. I can’t repeat it precisely. Jennifer Granholm was criticizing Rubio for misrepresentations along these lines: He said Obama said free enterprise was a problem; Granholm said he had said the opposite, or no such thing. He said Obama wanted to keep Social Security as it is; Granholm said Obama had talked about reforming it. Granholm referred to “others like that.”

    A voice cut in – I think it was Newt Gingrich but it could have been someone else – “I call that politics.”

    We were just taking about exactly this. The politics of fiction. The politics of flat-out lying. We cannot survive it.

  • Devildog  On February 12, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    From the little I know about you, I choose to believe that you believe all politicians lie (by definition) and not that Granholm told it the way it is and Rubio lied.

    • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM

      Some of my best friends are . . . . never mind.

      Devildog, you would have had a good time at Rob Rogers.

      Whoever lied, by far my larger point was the reaction: “I call that politics.”

      All politicians (all homo sapiens) selectively emphasize. If a policy has X effect that I like and you don’t, and Y effect that I don’t and you do, there’s not much doubt what we’ll each be saying about it, and probably about each other.

      All politicians (most people) spin. If my project went X-dollars over budget, let me tell you, without my heroic efforts it would have been 2X over budget.

      Not many people never lie and not quite every politician lies routinely, to the same degree, in the same quantity, with statements contrary to facts, evidence or reason, or statements made up out of thin air. These days, across the political spectrum, those distributions follow a pattern; they are not random. (*That* was Rob Rogers. I’m not doing it all again here. UMOC might be interested, though.)

      As I heard CNN (not clearly; I wasn’t paying that much attention), it sounded to me like Granholm had paired quotes or close: multiple statements Rubio was attributing to Obama versus what Obama actually said. If Granholm was lying about Rubio, nail her. If Rubio was lying about Obama, nail him. Either way, the truth is out there.

  • Devildog  On February 13, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    From one of my favorite movies and actors, “You can’t handle the truth”. Nothing personal. For example though, from what you wrote, if Obama said he is willing to change S.S., and Rubio honestly believes neither Obama’s intent or that his actions indicate to him Obama doesn’t want to change S.S., is Rubio lying when he says Obama doesn’t want to change S.S. The same about free enterprise. So, in that scenario, was Rubio lying if the statements attributed to him and Obama were actually made? I think not!

    What is this Rob Rogers bit? I find him distasteful though it depends I am sure upon whose ox is being gored.

    Some of my best friends are… Now that’s a lie! Not because my friends are chosen that way but that seems to way it’s come about. Now my relatives are another matter-you can choose your friends but not your relatives.

    • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 2:46 AM

      Recall Romney’s ship-counting in the foreign-policy debate. For the sake of being able to charge Obama with giving the Navy “fewer ships” than it had in 1916, he acted like they were equal ships, now and a century ago. How much more dishonest can stating a fact get?

      I am *not* going to go ‘round and ‘round again about distortions used to mislead that may not be technically lies.

      *I* can’t handle the truth? I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the daily obfuscation that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get yourself a cup of coffee. Either way, I don’t give a damn.

      Be strong, self.

      The Rob Rogers comments section was where most of the band eventually reassembled, joined by fair number of the tea persuasion. They could have used you – no joke.

      You last paragraph makes no real sense.

  • Devildog  On February 13, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Tourist, I’m sorry you misunderstood (my fault) my “you can’t handle the truth” statement. I said nothing personal but I should have said just kidding. It’s just that when I thought about truth, that line came to mind. I think i have expressed more than once my respect for you.

    Okay with me to end the truth discussion. It’s just disturbing to hear one side (seems to me) to be constantly categorized as being dumb (just about every recent president and/or candidate) or as liars but enough about that.

    My last paragraph-I thought you implied that some of your best friends are conservative so I implied some of my friends are limbs but then went on to say that for some reason that’s not actually the case.

    P.S., I hope you’re still not made at me. I don’t quite understand your comment except that you’re upset at me. Gomenasai!

    • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Devildog, you said it was one of your favorite movies.

  • MZ  On February 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Myron Cope, famed Pittsburgh sports broadcaster used to say “THis is so much gorgonzola!” when he wanted to call BS on something. I find myself mentally screaming gorgonzola (or words to that effect) while trying to wade through the various opinions posted here.

    I was in Jakarta after a failed bombing attempt in 2003. SOme of the would be perps died and others were injured when they got into an argument over who was next to practice pulling the pin on the live grenades they were handling. From friends who lived there, as the perps tried to run from their grenaded car, passers-by jumped on top of them and subdued them until police arrived. I similarly visited Bali after the 2004 bombing which killed a number of vacationing Australians. From the locals I found out that Hindu (majority) and Islamic (minority) communities worked together to ferret out the perps.

    In each case, these perps were called terrorists, but they were tried according to Indonesian LAW. Despite pleas from certain Muslim clerics, the perps were found guilty and most were executed – legally and in accordance with the laws of INdonesia. Leaving aside arguments concerning capital punishment, the fact that cannot be repeated too many times was that the DEMOCRACY of Indonesia, a country which had its first, free and fair elections in 2004 with the first real transfer of power that did not involve a gun since their independence from the Dutch in 1948!

    What’s the point of this history lesson? A fledgling democracy, the largest Moslem democracy and the second largest democracy in the world, treats terrorism as a crime. Indonesia, which has a terrible history of corruption from the Soekarno and Sudharto regimes, a country held back by the ingrained corruption of despotic rule, finds strength to deal with terrorism through its laws.

    Meanwhile, what does our democracy do? A democracy with over 235 years of history? We treat government-sponsored murder (drone strikes) as though it were as American as apple pie. Why? Because these people are a threat to us? And when an American citizen is incriminated as a suspected terrorist, it is ok to kill them even though they have rights? All the arguments I have read so far are just so much bluster to hide the fact that certain folks believe the Constitution should only be applied when convenient. Our democracy of over 200 years cannot withstand the threat of constitutional rights and protections. Meanwhile democratic infants like Indonesia are seeking to build their country on democratic principles, preferring to let the rule of law dictate their actions than the passion derived from killing people who are just not like us.

    Implicit in all the words spewed here is the implicit moral superiority of this country and the utter lack of standing in humanity these MOSLEMS have. And since we are talking about radical moslem fundamentalism here, the implicit argument is anything moslem is morally inferior worthy of whatever we do.

    One can look at the OKC bombing, the disaster at Ruby Ridge and other homegrown incidents of terror. McVey was found guilty in a court of LAW for his terrorist act! He had all the legal protections despite killing 200 fellow citizens in an act of terror. Had the Ruby RIdge incident played out differently, then those home-grown, white, AMERICAN terrorists would have gone to trial in front of a court of law, not a military tribunal. But if your religion is moslem and even worse, your skin not white, hey its the military tribunal where the CIA can still monitor attorney client privileged communications which is against the law even in military tribunals because hey… They’re terrorists and they’re not white and they do not believe in Jesus.

    If those who want to support the wanton KILLING of people by drones, the automatic judge-jury-executioner “justice” developed by the Obama-Bush administration, the abnegation of American justice by saying the Constitution is irrelevant to our way of life, then I will recant my views. My views only held in a land where “liberty and justice for all” ruled the land.

    • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      MZ, it’s good to see you. You state a powerful case. Me, somewhere in here: “Nothing would have been more magnificent than to have arrested and tried everyone involved in 9/11.” Your Indonesian perps were caught in the jurisdiction, as were McVey et al.

      You: “Implicit in all the words spewed here is the implicit moral superiority of this country . . . .” Not in anything I’ve said, I hope. Me: “If it’s murder, it’s murder. If it’s not, it’s not.”

      UMOC says 9/11 was different only in scale. I’ll go that one better: The 9/11 death toll was less than a month of traffic accidents. We expect and accept traffic accidents. We live with nightclub and subway bombings. 9/11 froze the world in place because *that* you do not do.

      Our response then and since could have been different, perhaps could have been better, will perhaps one day be recognized as the beginning of our end. I think it is possible now to change course in our response to “terrorism” and so on – to stop doing many of the things we are doing. But we cannot erase having taken the path, and may we please remember the international support we had for it? Every friend we had wanted to go into Afghanistan with us. Squandering global unity was Bush’s unforgiveable sin.

      Now imagine – please try; no one argues this through – as the rumble smoldered on every television screen on the planet, that we announced we were seeking indictments and preparing extradition requests. Those would have been to the Taliban.

      Old one, from the Cold War: All analysis has concluded that the morally right thing for a nation (either one) struck by a devastating nuclear attack to do would be to not strike back. Could it? Could it do the right thing? Or would that be too much to expect?

      Could the only surviving superpower have responded to 9/11 with procedure?

      Yes, it could have. It didn’t. I apparently cut decision-makers more slack than most. I know how that sounds.

      And we’re here now.

  • Devildog  On February 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Wow! Gorgonzola all over the place. We’re back in the days of the Reg blog. All one has to do to win the day is to call the opposition racists.

    Tourist, your obsession about not wanting to be placed in a box and to be nuanced is not necessarily a virtue (at least not all the time).

    • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Devildog, I can’t say I understand what you are getting at.

  • Devildog  On February 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Sorry. My comment was driven from my lack of understanding your response to Mz. I found his comment to be disgusting and, I may be wrong, but I found your response to be disappointing in that I thought it was wishy washy and an attempt to straddle the middle-which I believe you do too often. Isn’t there ever a right and wrong and a decision you can support or reject unequivocally?

    Of course, it could be that I am wrong in my interpretation of what you said. What is your position on droning bad guys in Pakistan, etc., American or otherwise, who are in hard to reach locations? Right or wrong, and I don’t think it’s too simplistic to take a position.

  • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    “What is your position on droning bad guys in Pakistan, etc.”?

    May we use your earlier version: “It’s killing bad guys – those who are shooting at us, making plans for that, funding it – you know what I am talking about”? May we also compare this: “If there was sufficient evidence to convince you that bin laden was holed up in a house in Afghanistan, possibly with his wife(s) and children but we couldn’t be certain, an area considered inaccessible by our military, is it okay to drone that house?”

    One of my weaknesses is wanting to answer direct questions. I would drone (or bomb or assault) the house.

    But that’s not an answer to your question. I said I would do it. You asked if it’s okay. There’s also, is it a good idea? That’s a different question, too. You don’t seem to grasp that. All you need to know is “bad guys.” I just said I’d d/b/a the house, and presumably so would you. Can you present the case against it?

    Pakistan, etc.? (I like the “etc.”) This is a policy question, not an operational question. Since “that depends” would probably seem wishy-washy, my position is, no, stop it. We’re doing ourselves more harm than good. Is that a valid consideration? Or is “killing bad guys” sufficient good in and of itself?

    It’s on me one way or the other when I’m not clear. It was not originally intentional but I’ve come to enjoy it. I think you and I still have a way to go.

    MZ’s comment was excellent.

    Having neither the time nor the inclination was from your movie.

  • Devildog  On February 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    If I ever had the ability to communicate, I thought the discussion was about legalities not whether it was wise to do it geo-politically or operationally, for example. Of course, I agree that those must be taken into consideration. I, hereby, amend my question to UMOC to reflect the above. Is it legal to drone those bad guys-that was the genesis of this debate.

    As for MZ’s comment “being excellent”, do you agree with his racist charges? What does catching the perps in the country of the act and trying them there have anything to do with what we are talking about? Indonesia is now more democratic than the US. Gimmee a break! “Excellent indeed”.

    That’s what I meant when I said in different words that you aspire too much to be “even-handed”. How the hell can you call that madman’s comment to be excellent?

  • MZ  On February 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    We are killing people all over the globe with drones. Its amazing how many brown-colored people we target. We are rightly concerned that a gunman in Newtown CT killed 20 children, but we have not heard, nor would we care if a US soldier runs amok and shoots up an Afghani village ala My Lai. Because THOSE PEOPLE are trying to kill us. I suppose such an attitude could solely be based on paranoia, but assuming deep seated psychological disease is rarely warranted without proper professional diagnosis. The more likely cause for ignoring mass killing is racism. If you want to tell me that racism is not a problem in America then obviously one lives in a fairy tale America.

    Indonesia saw its first official transfer of power, through a democratic election remarkably free of fraud. America in 2000 had a coronation that voided the express will of the people. If you want to discuss which democracies are better, let’s look at functional operation. Indonesia’s government debates ideas, parties compromise and slowly the country is transforming itself from a 3rd world country into one beginning to embrace the challenges and promises of the 21st century. The same cannot be said of our dysfunctional American democracy. Not sure anyone really wants to proclaim the superiority of American democracy given our political realities. Not sure anyone can trumpet American ideals when we decide whom we can kill.

    Make no mistake, killing people with missiles who may dislike you, who may belong to terrorist organizations, whom are not associated with a country but an ideology, is killing. This is not a war. Without the due process of law, this unilateral action is immoral. There is nothing in that that makes us a superior democracy. I stand by my accusation of racism. Consider the KKK killed Catholics and Jews as well as blacks. Or is killing people based on their religion just fun and games and not an equally vulgar facet of racism?

    I suppose rational arguments are the province of madmen. If so, I am proud to be a madman.

  • Mugsy  On February 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    MZ, I think your viewpoint on racism and killing is understandable but takes too shallow a viewpoint. I would argue that a state of war (and despite your objections to the term, many if not most Americans at the very least perceive a state of war) automatically dehumanizes those perceived to be the enemy. In the second world war, for example, deaths came in unthinkable numbers. If you would argue that we were prejudiced against the Japanese and therefore killed civilians indiscriminately, what would explain the allies (British) firebombing of Dresden? (and, conversely the abuse of a variety of civilian populations by axis forces?) I don’t think that it’s necessarily prejudice that desensitizes a people to violence during war, I think that dehumanization of the other side is part of the bargain.

    The best argument that I have heard against warfare is from Aldous Huxley. He said (In Eyeless In Gaza…great novel) that the means always condition the ends and so are inseparable. The “war to end all wars” achieved a peace through warfare, and therefore achieved a warlike peace, doomed to fail.

    Often at least one side sees no choice, more often choices probably exist.

    • umoc193  On February 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      Welcome aboard, Mugsy. Always good to get your point of view.

      I’m not certain where you get the tie-in of prejudice to the killing I object to other than I did say something to the effect that many Americans feel a dead Muslim is a the only good Muslim. (Not a quote)

      But even looking at that remark in this context I fail to find an analogy in WW II killing of civilians.

      I will add more a little later but I have to approve to get you on the comment board so to speak and be able to add more automatically.

    • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      Hello, Mugsy! I think you’re right, that what can be called racism is not simply that, but includes dehumanization of the enemy, starting with coolie hats on basic-training targets. I also think that at least one side’s seeing no choice, when, as you say, there probably were some, is at the heart of a many tragedies. I have stated a willingness to act “flexibly” in situations I deem to be grey. That no doubt makes me guilty at least sometimes of the same thing.

    • umoc193  On February 14, 2013 at 1:33 AM

      Mugsy,

      Just saw that your first comment was directed to MZ, not me and my reply was mistaken within that context. Sorry about that. I still don’t have time to contribute more now but I offer this food for thought, a piece discussing whther liberals’ support of drones, et al is hypocritical.

      http://www.salon.com/2013/02/13/are_liberals_really_being_hypocrites_about_obamas_wars/

  • Tourist  On February 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Devildog,

    Is droning legal? Is that all we were talking about? Answer: No one (not even UMOC) can say definitively. My we go home now?

    I called MZ’s comment excellent and was in the process of explaining why. I abandon that in light of his own follow-up, and repeat myself this way: His perspective and methodical presentation are excellent additions to the discussion. (Is there distinguishing rebuttal to some of his points? Yes, there is.)

    MZ’s charge of racism is pretty much in your face. So is American exceptionalism, Christian nation, shooting immigrants from helicopters (can’t they take a joke?) and letting God sort them out. I’m an American white guy. I have lived as a racial-minority foreigner in countries where, as a direct result, I enjoyed privilege, and in countries where I was deemed subtly inferior, subtly and explicitly excluded, and otherwise discriminated against, all while my full equality was expressly guaranteed in local law. The tea party has never been about anything other than President Obama’s divisive policies.

    You said “disgusting.” What part?

    ===

    As I’ve been told around here, lighten up! Peek outside the box. Did you get “pretty much in your face”? If you google exactly that, it should be at the top.

  • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Tourist, it was disgusting in that it used the all to common tactic of the left, the race card. And then others respond by dancing around this vile tactic used not for the first time by this …

    • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      Devildog, vile tactic or uncomfortable topic? You don’t like to hear that the right lies; you don’t like to hear that the right is racist. How far are you going with those? None of it is true? Both sides are and do it?

  • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Tourist, of course the right lies (and so does the left so there’s no point in accusing the other side) and of course there are racists on both sides but that doesn’t mean I have to let this bullshit from MZ (who, as I recall from Reg’s blog is not a novice at this) go without being called out, especially when there are others who give cover to him by telling him how nice a guy he is and how brilliant he is and how much his comments are appreciated. I respond to you and others like UMOC even though i might disagree but won’t to him. This seems to be your nice guy personna but it is not mine.

  • Mugsy  On February 14, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Tourist, greetings to an old friend!

    There are racists and liars who are right wingers, but the right wing has no monopoly on either.

  • Mugsy  On February 14, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    UMOC, thank you for the welcome, I’m on my way out, will try to look at the link this evening. It’s nice to see that the discussion continues.

    Minx, when Reg’s blog ended I think that we departed on poor terms, I would like to repair that. Please accept my apology for harshness in our discussions.

  • Richard Wood  On February 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Tourist –

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I would love to participate further, but I must say, the issue encompasses so much – the morality (?) of war, the rules of engagement, who is innocent, technology and war – that at present I feel overwhelmed, and unprepared to offer an opinion. Truth be told, I may not have an opinion that I hold fast to at the moment.

    I can only say that, once again – I agree with you. I see shades of gray.

    It’s complicated.

  • Little_Minx  On February 14, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    UMOC, has this thread set a record for number of comments to a single post on your blog? According to the counter, this will be #84. Congratulations (I think)!

    WRT drones, I wonder whether “war” needs to be redefined. E.g., even in our parents’ lifetimes, there’ve been dramatic shifts from formally declared wars to “conflicts,” and from organized battles to guerrilla warfare.

    Perhaps our hardy band here would like to try to define what “war” is (and isn’t) in the 2010s decade.

    • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      This may not be helpful in answering your question but, in a sense, war is like pornography-you know it when you see it.

  • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    This is gray, that is gray, everything is gray, hallelujah, we have gray all over. I recognize that there are gray issues but I prefer not to use it as a cop out.

    We have a legal issue. We have geniuses in the WH (and outside saying the use of drones against U.S. citizens and others is legal. We have geniuses outside the WH who say the use of drones against U.S. citizens is illegal and a smaller number who say it’s illegal against non-citizens. And then we have non-geniuses commentators on this blog who venture their opinion. But where are we on that? No court of competent jurisdiction has ventured a final decision. So, feel free to give your opinion but, right now, it’s legal.

    Then there’s the question of whether and where drones should be used. I still don’t see, and the question hasn’t been answered, as to why it’s immoral to use drones and not rockets fired by a jet (as an example). UMOC, you started this out by making this a drone issue. Wasn’t that a mistake, except for illiciting a record number of comments (am I partly to blame for that).

    Getting back to “gray issue”, what is gray about this issue? Minx, I see it and it is “war”. I can go back 45 years to my mission but it goes back much further than that. You identify the enemy, you find him, and you kill him. Now, there can be mistakes made in carrying that out but that’s the way it goes. Argue about whether we should have gone into Iraq and Afghanistan but that ship has sailed and the ship of getting out is sailing. But, in the meantime, using drones, even against citizens is legal and moral if they are enemy combatants as identified by my commander in chief. Nothing gray about that. As was said by Tourist, and I don’t deny it, I am your kill or be killed guy.

    • Little_Minx  On February 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      The “gray” area issue comes into play when reasonable people have difficulty demarcating the line between crimes and war. The issue is further obfuscated by the term “war crimes” (e.g., Nuremberg, post-Bosnia trials, etc.).

      Re “knowing it when one sees it,” is an action automatically deemed “war” when more traditional combat tactics are employed? Can it still be “war” if it’s conducted by group that’s not part of a conventional military?

      At one extreme, large and well-organized terrorist efforts emanating from a recognizable group (even if not part of any government) can plausibly be argued to constitute war. At the other, most recently ex-LA cop Dorner was a criminal (albeit a vicious one) who struck terror in many people’s hearts prior to his demise.

      • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Minx, you have done a good job in answering the question by asking questions. However, I have no difficulty in determine crimes from war. In Sri Lanka, the Phillipines, Syria Mali and other places like that, it’s war against the “enemy combatants. In Mexico and Dorner, it’s action against the criminals. As I said before, I can’t define it but I know it when I see it. Our President is just as discerning as am I and until a court determines otherwise, he has declared the opposing forces to be enemy combatants, meaning war.

        IMHO, anyone who looks at what is going on as a crime not war is not a reasonable person, at least in this instance. But, again, does this have anything to do with drones. No, it is about killing people identified as enemy combatantsl. My question to UMOC has gone unanswered by anyone. Okay to drone bin Laden’s house? If not, okay for a flyboy/woman to fire a missile from a jet. If neither okay how about if the house was in Afghanistan? The issue of whether it is okay to use drones, independent of any other issue, needs to disappear here and elsewhere.

      • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        I hope this is under Devildog’s at 4:27 PM. There’s no “reply” button. Too many indents already?

        I have to say, Devildog, you’ve had me confused. On the battlefield, shoot them and blow them up. I’ve been using “grey” to say – because it’s off the battlefield – shoot them and blow them up. (No, guys, not just whenever and because we feel like it; that’s a different discussion.) If your objection is that “grey” is not good enough, that it needs to be clear, which it is to you, I’m impressed.

        P.S. – I think I answered the house question. In my own way, I tried to.

      • Little_Minx  On February 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Indeed, questions can help to clarify thinking! What’s a lonewolf wanna-be attacker (or two), who claims to be committing an act of war — terrorist or criminal?

        1. Was the Unabomber a one-man terrorist band, or a criminal?

        2. What about that guy who wanted to bomb NYC but got infiltrated by the FBI, who set him up with fake explosives so the car they were in didn’t explode?

        3. Armed-to-the-teeth Branch Davidians, where underage girls were being raped? Armed-to-the-teeth militia wingnuts at Ruby Ridge?

        4. Killers at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Western Psych, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, the Muslim soldier at Fort Hood who shot a number of people?

  • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Minx, I think it should be obvious from my comments who are the mere criminals and who are the enemy combatants (but even the ec’s should be tried since they committed their “crimes” on our soil and are in our custody.

    Tourist, thanks for being impressed with my clearheaded thinking. Not hard in this case though difficult in others. The battlefield now is everywhere, or at least could be everywhere. What is it that makes it gray to you? Can you not identify the Ft. Hood and NYC taxi guys as part of “the battlefield”?

    P.S. you and others have used grey and I have used gray. Which is correct? Also, while we may have a so-called war on terror, I think the individuals involved should be called enemy combatants rather than terrorists.

    • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      A big part of what’s grey is who “they” are. You have been fairly specific: those shooting, planning or funding. That will work. At least it cuts off those who agree, from quietly sympathizing to cheering them on. Be as disgusted as you like; they have a right to. I know what “treason” means; notwithstanding, some on the right express views I describe as treasonous, but they have a right to.

      Back to who “they” are: For some, it’s Muslims, all, or Islam itself. Or if they aren’t automatically the “enemy,” they aren’t innocent until proven guilty either. The first person murdered in retaliation for 9/11 was a Sikh in Arizona. Oops. As MZ would say, he was brown. Sorry, sir, but “the battlefield is everywhere” plays into all that.

      Also grey is how we can be sure. UMOC et al. insist on established criminal-justice procedures. But UMOC knows that the criminal-justice system sometimes gets it wrong. I maintain that without the procedures it’s possible to get it right.

      Flip “bin Laden’s house”: The leader of another plot (make it a big one, and give him a history of bad stuff against us) is known to be alone, naked in the shower in a motel room. You have whatever resources you might want; there are no tactical issues. On your “battlefield,” do you arrest him?

      ===

      Apparently “grey” is more British and “gray” is more American, with a whole lot of mixing going on. Mine is habit. I don’t know where I picked it up. I also write “whisky.” The American spelling seems to be “whiskey.”

      • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        Please don’t include me in with those idiots on the right who believe the enemy are all Muslims or Islam itself. I don’t believe anything I have written would lead a “reasonable” person to conclude that. Where does the word “disgusted” that you come into the discussion.i used it only when MZ played his usual race card. Sorry, my good friend (sounds very British, eh), but the battlefield everywhere doesn’t play into any hand-there are idiots (or whatever you want to call them) who are also racists who act whatever the excuse. Very persuasive citing one case-I’m sure though that there are a few others you can dig up. Anyway, it seemed to me that MZ was accusing the Government and the American people as a whole of being racists.

        Yes, determining whether an individual is an enemy combatant and worthy of being droned can be a gray area (see, I’m open-minded) but I, unlike many others here and on the left, have confidence that procedures are in place and that the evidence is overwhelming enough to order to go.

        Don’t understand your hypothetical, I would take into custody, arrest if you please, anyone of that sort that I could to question him. Whether in civilian custody or military custody might depend on where he was captured and whether we were “at war” with his group. I don’t really get though what you are getting at.

        Are you a Brit? That may explain you finding more gray area and more nuances than do I (not meant to be derogatory). On the other hand, you might be an American “intellectual” (somewhat derogatory-a right-wing “habit”). Really, I think we agree quite a bit on this matter and are separated mainly by style and nuance.

  • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Devildog, I’m pressed for time at the moment. No, I was not including you among “those idiots” and I’m sorry if it sounded that way. Yes, “the battlefield is everywhere” is the kind of talk they love. The motel thing probably should not have been directed to you either. I was just wondering who might be okay with simply killing him. (By the way, people, “Jack Reacher” is not a bad movie – not a must, but it holds its own. Witty dialogue. )

    No, I’m not a Brit. I’m from Pittsburgh. I have lived and worked primarily in international environments, though. That has scrambled my spelling and possibly my thinking. You can’t beat the internet to keeping up connexions.

  • Richard Wood  On February 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    The demarcation between crimes and war?

    “…if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal” – Curtis LeMay.

    That’s gray.

    Or grey.

    • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      General Alan Adamle, to the White House chief of staff, arguing against a treaty that could subject American military members to increased risk of prosecution for war crimes: “All wars are crimes.” (West Wing)

  • MZ  On February 14, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    First things first, Welcome Mugsy! It is good to see you again! Not surprising we diverge somewhat on opinions, but that’s not news to either of us.

    I would reject the comment that the charge of racism is shallow. Ask any conservative and they will talk about the moselm menace. My first trip to Indonesia was to Bali. I was warned by the head of security to avoid Jakarta – it was, in his words, an incredibly unstable place where moslem radicals abounded. Bali was fine (most of the population there was Hindu). Given that 85% of that country is Moslem, you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a Moslem in Jakarta. Suffice it to say that I did have to go to Jakarta for 3 days. My training kicked in, I kept a low profile, as low as a white man in Indonesia can keep. I found nothing there that would have made me worry. Like being in Pittsburgh, you enjoy the city but avoid frequenting certain parts of Wilkinsburg or the Hill late at night, so too I did not go where mischief could abound. In Bali, with so few citizens, there were far too many times I could have been disposed of and only the volcanoes would have known where I was buried. So the pace where I was “safe” because there were mainly Hindus was more open to “adventure” than the terrible city of Jakarta where so many Moslems lived. THis attitude was present in 2002 and it was present in 2011 and I am sure is still there today. For the minority (small minority) of moslems who kill and destroy out of a misplaced sense of religion or just the need to do evil and God is a convenient excuse, we have to be wary of Moslems. If this is not racist, what is? I worked 2 blocks from the abortion clinic Eric Rudolph bombed. Had I gone in earlier that day I probably would have been caught by the blast. Terrorist act, done by a white, Christian guy. But did anyone say to avoid North Carolina, Mississippi or or Alabama because there were terrorists there? Of course not, because the terrorists were white and Christian. How many people are prevented from going to Idaho where there is real groundswell for revolt far more serious than the bunch of brain-damaged Texans who signed a petition to secede from the US? White terrorists there, but there are no travel restrictions to go to Idaho. If your skin is white and your religion worships Jesus, your terrorism gets a pass. If your skin is brown and you use the word Allah, you’re a terrorist and your country should be avoided.

    Yeah so shallow. How many people out there know ANY moslems on a first name basis? I know several. They are kind people. The fundamental belief in peace and love, the same tenets of Christianity, guide their practice of religion. So tell me please, WHY their religion makes a difference? Because we are just KKK using 3 piece suits and grave tones of speech to reinforce the threat of a religion not based on Jesus to breed fear of the vastly small group of Moslem extremists. And that fear takes root because the differences exist. And the fear of differences drives this paranoia.

    Ignorance drove 9-11. Ignorance of our place in the world, ignorance of our short-sighted foreign policy which has long left behind any semblance of fair broker in the middle east. Our use of economic strength to bully people to do what we want. We sowed the wind, we reaped the whirlwind, but whose fault is that?? Oh Yeah – The Moslems!

    I’d go on, but the point is made. And frankly Mugsy the point was made more strongly for DD’s benefit. Then again because ration is province of the madman, I stand justly accused of being such. But at least I am not a racist.

  • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Request to Devildog: I have a style that irks you at least a little, but I think you also look beyond it. Try to do that with MZ. Disagree as you will.

    Hey, you did finally realize I was not angry or yelling, right? I was quoting the same movie.

  • Devildog  On February 14, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I can hardly wait to read the comments from people thanking MZ for his thoughtful, insightful comments. MZ claims he is not a racist, actually I said he played the race card not that he is a racist. But he claims I am, as in , “But at least I am not a racist”. And, since I can be put in the box of being a conservative, I’m obsessed with talking about the Muslim menace. The blame America spokesman rails again.

    Here’s proof that MZ is a racist. He would avoid frequenting certain parts of Wilkinsburg and the Hill District late at night. I don’t see the TSA treating Muslims and brown-skinned people at the airport any different from 90year old white women. See Mugsy, you played the nice guy by only calling this person’s charge of racism as shallow when it should have been dismissed out of hand and look what it got you-accused of talking about the Muslim menace (your being a “conservative”).

    MZ a madman?-res ipsa loquitor

  • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    I’m not trying to be a matchmaker. I think “blame America first” versus “America does no wrong” could be discussed productively — just for example.

  • Tourist  On February 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    I also think that, for whatever reason, people today — not just here — go out of their way to misunderstand each other and take offense. So be it, I guess, but it doesn’t help anything.

    • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      Okay, blame America and no wrong America can be discussed but I understand MZ loud and clear from the Reg days to now. This is what I mean by nice guy personna, even-handed, nuanced, don’t offend, etc. what this guy writes is pure bullshit and he needs to be called out for it.

      Mugsy-You wrote “MZ, I think your viewpoint on racism and killing is ‘understandable’ but takes too ‘shallow’ a viewpoint”. Is understandable and shallow your true feelings or are you trying to be a good guy. Call it like it really is-bullshit (I love that word-learned it from UMOC’s writings).

  • Tourist  On February 15, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Okay, I admit it. “Nice guy” is an act. But I’m going to continue to do it my way. If I bludgeon people verbally, they are unlikely to be persuaded as to the error of their substantive ways. If I can’t convince them of that, how am I ever going to get their support for my radical agenda?

    • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Good point except that it is doubtful if anyone here has changed their view based on logic or for any other reason. Some people feel better after venting and some by being the nice guy so do what’s best for you-the conservative way of looking out for one’s self. Venting, though, is not solely a conservative trait. I neither said nor implied that your nice guy was an act. My recollection is that your Reg comments may have been obtuse but they were nice-guy too.

      • Tourist  On February 15, 2013 at 12:48 AM

        Yeah, at Reg I got painted into that corner early. Not sure how it happened. Since then I’ve been making the best of a bad situation.

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    You can get out of it, the bad situation, by using bullshit every now and then. Try it against me first. It’s okay.

    • Tourist  On February 15, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      See! It’s just that generosity and willingness to sacrifice that makes you such a splendid and honorable gentleman, and it’s why I like you, even if your views are a tad unsubstantiated on occasion. We should have a beer. Let’s invite everybody.

      How was that?

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    Tourist, I missed your 11:02 post. You have a style and style; MZ only has a style. mZ ‘s style is beyond irksome; it is offensive on several scores which I can go into but won’t for the time being (except for anti-American, anti-Semitic-both of which you would use other terms to describe). No, I’m not willing to look beyond that.

    As for you, definitely not irked and definitely didn’t think you were yelling or angry-not your style. It’s just that I am intimidated by your intellect, wit and cleverness (but. You’re not too clever by a half). It’s difficult to figure out some times where you are coming from and definitely can’t be labeled and put into a box. I think I said in the. reg blog that you were my favorite commenter-won’t you be my valentine-it’s still 2/14 here on the left coast. Don’t let it go to your head.

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Also wrote my 1:22 post without seeing yours of 12:58. Kirin, Asahi or (can’t rember the third one I know. A “tad” and “on occasion”, that is your style Mr. good Guy! And I prefer not to be caled a gentleman.

  • Tourist  On February 15, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Oh, Dog, don’t tease me! Sorry about “gentleman.” In truth, I changed it to that after I typed “prince.” I favor Sapporo but am not picky. There’s also Suntory among the traditional four. Lots of local beers now, too — only since they changed the law prohibiting beer-making unless you made *at least* a certain very high quantity. Talk about barriers to entry.

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Good night!

  • Richard Wood  On February 15, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Someone mention “beer”?

  • Richard Wood  On February 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Eppur si muove.

  • MZ  On February 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    I am proud to be considered anti-Semitic and anti-American, DD. Run out now and report me to Homeland Security. People like me are dangerous to this republic – especially you. Is there a rational argument to be made for the selective killing of Moslems? We need to kill, it’s the American way! We need to discriminate, it’s the American way. The support for drone killing of anyone is wrong because it is anti-democratic, illegal and morally reprehensible. That only the “bad guys” who happen to be brown and Moslem can be killed is not a moral problem.

    Hoka Hey, it IS a good day to die – America is in charge and all is well in the world.

    • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      The ranting continues. Forget Homeland Security. You just need to be marginalized.

  • Mugsy  On February 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    DevilDog, I believe that MZ’s racist comment was understandable but shallow because it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that we kill others because we hate them for being like us, but far too easy. This viewpoint takes too short look at the history of war and the way that it tends to dehumanize the enemy. We don’t seem to care about the deaths of the other people and their children, we call it collateral damage. It is understandable how a person might be led to believe that there is something of racism against the other people, except that it simply doesn’t square up with what we know about warfare.

    Is MZ over the top on this? Yeah, I’d say so. The idea that only “bad guys” that happen to be brown and Moslem can be killed is ridiculous.

    • umoc193  On February 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I have been pretty much MIA for a few days for some personal reasons. I’m so glad the discussion has continued. It will take me some time to review the comments and try to respond to any directed especially to me.

      Thank you.

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Hi, Mugsy. I’ll overlook the understandable and shallow for the ridiculous-however, even ridiculous is a gross understatement considering this guy’s past and present. If it “doesn’t square up with what we (you, I and every other sane person) know about warfare”, than what MZ said is neither “understandable” nor “shallow” nor “ridiculous”. Even “over the top” doesn’t adequately this guy and his statements/accusations. Rather, it is the rantings of a … (you can fill in the blanks).

    • umoc193  On February 15, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      I still haven’t absorbed all nor will I take the time to address each point raised. One I will respond to was DD’s query as to whether I would have had an objection to have a drone strike against OBL if he had remained in Afghanistan, based on best intelligence as to his location.

      I am not sure if this theoretical is truly relevant since no drone strike was unleashed against OBL in Pakistan. A team of Seals was sent instead and the true theoretical here is whether the alternative of capturing, rather than killing him was possible. There was some indication from the Obama administration that this possibility was considered but, given whatever situation was found on the ground, the Seals had permission to kill.

      Now I’m not going to travel through all the scenarios advanced as to what would have occurred with OBL’s live arrest, but if we take the administration’s word that this was NOT strictly a “KILL” mission, then does that fact not lend more weight to my basic argument that the drone attacks on al-Awlaki and others were not a matter of necessity but rather a matter of convenience, Constitutional protections be damned?

      Too, al-Awlaki (and other victims) were operating much more openly than OBL. Thus, if we could reach the Big Kahuna to capture him, why not these lesser lights? It took extensive intelligence to locate where OBL was sequestered but apparently not so much…nary a single waterboarding required…to locate these underlings.

      (More to come-Dinner calls)

  • Mugsy  On February 15, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Devil Dog I would guess that at least a portion of the drama is intended to light your fuse. I’ve sat down to a beer or two with several of these guys (including MZ) and the conversations go a little better. If we ever do it again, you ought to join us. (I’m a little outgunned, both in numbers and intellect)

    I don’t know what your age is, but you may recall the Moody Blues…”…Face piles of trials with smiles…It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave”

    • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      Mugsy, no doubt you were outgunned in numbers, no doubt not outgunned in intellect-by definition since we agree with each other more than with others here. I don’t doubt that things go better over beer with most people-there are exceptions however. Count me in! No drama here, people agreeing to disagree. Again, however, there are exceptions. You give “him” too much credit. Now Tourist, he has the tools and inclination to do something like that.

      • umoc193  On February 15, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        Let me try to put an end here to something I find distasteful, wasteful and inappropriate. Please refrain from charges of racism here, at least without there being quite overt, plain language examples.

        My own charge that many do not join me in my opposition to drone attacks because “any dead Muslim is a good Muslim” or words to that effect was not directed at any of you, nor, to this point, do I believe it applies to any of you. However, that does apply to millions of our fellow Americans, or at least such a substantial number that the worst of them have crawled out of the woodwork to have drawn inordinate attention.

        Even at that, that sorrowful attitude may not equate to racism. But I also have little doubt that the majority of Muslims most of us are familiar with have darker shades of skin and that fact makes it easier for some to eqaute Islam with evil.

        Now, as to the attitude of the government, please note that terrorists caught on our soil, citizens or not, have been placed in the criminal justice system not in Guantanamo before military commissions.

        So again it would seem that these warm-blooded murders on foreign soil ARE a mere matter of convenience over necessity if you read this in conjunction with my previous post.

        On another point the reason I have not spoken out on conventional aerial strikes, snipers, other methods of eliminating these alleged terrorists (and I emphasize alleged) is because drones are the method of choice based on their presumed accuracy and ability to reach targets with minimal or no risk to our personnel.

        If we were sending teams of snipers to cross borders to do the job I would speak to that. (Hmmm, wonder if LaPierre, Nugent, and Norris would volunteer…providing their own weapons of course, as a patriotic courtesy.)

      • umoc193  On February 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        Now a couple of you have an open air of enmity with each other but it has not gotten out of hand, but please keep it in check. All of you have been offering food for thought without straying beyond the edges of civility. That is what I prefer. And please do not use examples of any UMOC comments in other fora as justification for bad behavior here. I am special in case you have missed that point in the years we have spent together. Normal rules do not apply to me. LOLOLOLOL

      • umoc193  On February 15, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        For those who keep maintaining that this is “war” whether conventional or in traditional form or not, how does your view on these drone attacks as part of war gibe with the fact that any counterparts to those terrorists on foreign soil who have been captured in the U.S. have been placed in the criminal justice system, not P.O.W. or internment camps and tried before military tribunals or else repatriated to their home countries once the war is ended?

        Even more pointedly, when the hell will this “war” be over so as to remove the necessity or justification or rationale or excuse for treating these people as other than the criminals they are?

        Never mind. I can tell you when the “war on terror” will end. NEVER. That’s N-E-V-E-R. It has always existed and it is immortal, so long as humans believe they can accomplish goals of greed or power or ego embellishment or extranational political action through fear and violence and avoiding elections, plebsicites, referenda, even military coups to achieve these goals.

    • Tourist  On February 15, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      I was writing this to Mugsy when Devildog’s popped up. We seized on “outgunned” independently, I swear.

      Mugsy, I can’t imagine your being outgunned in any case, but what’s funny is that I know there have been meet-ups and gatherings, and for some reason I assumed conversations then would be about other things. I have had a bit of backstage correspondence with people and it’s been almost entirely on unrelated subjects of common interest.

      I’m out for the day.

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Hi, UMOC, welcome back. It’s just that I am still trying to determine your position regarding the use of drones because I get the feeling, though you haven’t expressly stated as such despite my efforts to have you come out, that you are against the use of drones regardless of any scenario that can be presented to you. So, the situation as I present it to you is a non-citizen, the baddest of the bad, in a country where we have engaged in combat for many years, in a mountain location for which access is somewhere between very difficult and almost impossible.

    In your opinion, is it legally and/or morally acceptable to drone him. If not, and no explanation is necessary, is it acceptable to fire a missile from a jet at him. I’m just trying to learn your position-not necessarily to debate further the issue.

    • umoc193  On February 16, 2013 at 8:37 AM

      First let me say that, since I hate Charles Krauthammer so much, if I had not previously neen against dromes I would certianly be now. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/charles-krauthammer-the-case-for-drone-warfare-that-obama-isnt-making-675614/

      And Professor Droney has a lesson for you this morning with echoes from 40 years ago, a quote that probably set the fur flying in repulsion when originally made.

      http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/this-modern-world-constitutional-law-101-with-professor-droney-675620/

      Now DD, I thought I had made clear that for , say, our troops in Afghanistan, if the use of a drone is the best way to fend off an attack I have no problem with that choice of weaponry.But your overemphasis on that scenario is a distraction from the real issue.

      Incidentally my argument against is neither entirely legal or moral, or for that matter a case of practicality and possible unintended or ill-considered consequences. My protest has elements of all, but I highlight the legal and urge awareness of the moral ramifications.

      After all, any part of our foreign policy, as is well-documented in our past, often has grave unintended consequences. Just ask 52 folks who overstayed their welcome in Iran by 444 days.

      • Devildog  On February 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        Thanks UMOC-let’s drop this hypothetical business. I wasn’t talking about fending off an attacker but a brains like OBL hiding out in a cave-it’s just a dead horse now. But it’s your legal opinion vs. the brains in the WH so if it ever gets to SCOTUS, we’ll know. I’ll leave it at not a drone argument nor a citizen argument nor a “murder” argument but the killing of someone who is not actually shooting at you.

  • Devildog  On February 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Good question UMOC, maybe it should have been before a military tribunal. The decision was made by the people who want to close Gitmo-for no good reason.

    So, is it your opinion that we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan-please omit whether we should be there or not in voicing that opinion. I still don’t know why you’re so hung up on drones vs. missiles from jets.

    • umoc193  On February 16, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Au contraire, Gitmo was OPENED for no good reason. There is every good reason to close it.

      Quick, out of the hundreds of people who were detained there at some point can you tell me how many have been convicted of ANYTHING in conjunction with terrorism in the past eleven years, by military or civilian tribunal? Or even how many have been tried?

      And if they are considered POW’s (which most definitely they have not) don’t they get to go home at the end of the war, except this war is The Neverending Story?

  • Mugsy  On February 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Tourist, it’s mostly small talk with some faith and philosophy working in here and there. I wish we had more people, perhaps if and when we meet again, we will. Certainly all are welcome. I do hope that if chance finds you on this side of the pond, I get an opportunity to meet you.

    DevilDog, I’m looking forward to it.

    UMOC, I think that ultimately you are correct about the interminable nature of war, because you can not build a lasting peace through war. Pesky ends and means. Unfortunately, somebody always seems to be itching for a fight.It takes one to start a war and two to stop it (In a lasting sense) so the numbers are always against those who would beat swords into plowshares. The classic question is what does a pacifist do about Hitler? I don’t think that there is an answer. By their nature, the man of war can impose his will on others, the pacifist must win their hearts and minds through reason. What chance is there of that?

    • umoc193  On February 16, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      Mugsy, I speak not of neverending wars, I speak of the “war on terror” which by its very nature will never end. There will be no Treaty of Versailles, no surrender at Yorktown or Appomattox. If Al Qaeda is defeated do you realistically believe there will not be another terror group with similar goals? or terrorists of different origin with some new radical agenda? It is ever thus.

      • Mugsy  On February 16, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        No, UMOC, I don’t think so, I agree with you, probably more than you see. Appomattox was followed by the hard years of reconstruction, Yorktown was followed by the war of 1812, Versailles ushered in the break between world wars 1 and 2, really the same war.(and through harsh terms did more to insure continuation of war than experimentation in peace…but that’s another issue) The end of WW2 gave birth to the beginning of the Cold War.

        There is no such thing as a war to end all wars.

        Wars happen for many reasons, sometimes practical, such as water, food or some necessary resource, sometimes over ideology, but ultimately always as an expression of power, and men love power. I approach things most often from a faith point of view, and see the fall of man as ego-centric, and this I see at the root of all problems. I acknowledge that others see things from a different point of view, but in any case, I think that we can all agree that we have a warlike nature.

        General Sherman noted that war is all hell, you can’t change it’s nature. I wonder if we are barking up the wrong tree to try to make rules and ask for civility when men and women are killing one another?

        • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

          War is hell and I’m glad as hell I never had to be in one.

          We can discuss war all you want but that topic is divorced from the drone strikes I protest about. DD keeps referencing his brother marines who are in harm’s way. First of all Our marines and othe rtroops should have been long gone from Afghanistan if they should have ever been there in the first place. Assuming none of our troops remained in Afghanistan, do any of you honestly believe these drone strikes would cease, though DD seems to find great justification for them mainly due to our troops being in peril?

          Mugsy you call yourself a pacifist but possibly one without the guts to be one in practical circumstances. Did you read my earlier post I linked to about four Medal of Honor Awardees? The first two were Sgt. York and Audie Murphy who each became famous. The third was a young man from my home town, Joe Marm, (whom I’ve never met, but know people who know him) who earned his in the Battle of Ia Drang, famously depicted in the Mel Gibson movie “We Were Soldiers”

          The fourth was a young man from Morgantown, my age, who I possibly could have had a class with but do not recall him personally. He joined the army as a consciencious objector who served as a medic in Vietnam and died in action but only after risking himself saving many others.

          We often think of war heroes as those who’ve wiped out enemy machine gun nests or at least killed substantial numbers of foes. But Bennett was a hero without lifting a weapon.

          I admire them all for different reasons but guess which one I admire most.

          Now, as to endless war. Sad but true. I have never suggested any war was fought to end all wars. I am too much of a realist. But no war is good, absolutely none of them. Edwin Starr was right.

          • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM

            To combat Marines (and all Marines), their heroes are the Navy corpsmen who serve alongside them and use arms only as a last resort. We, and they, consider them Marines. And, by the way, (and I’m sure you know it but Obama didn’t), the s in corpsman is silent.

            By .the way, I’ve gotten a few emails this afternoon but they don’t appear on the blog site so I have to respond individually to each. Anyone know how come. I’m still technologically challenged.

      • Tourist  On February 18, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        Devildog, email? Is there a way to contact each other?

        Best part of the movie: “Commander, why don’t you get yourself a cup of coffee.” “I’m fine, sir.” “Commander, we’d like you to leave the room so we can talk about you behind your back.”

        • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM

          “who cares what thinks” is in the context of doing what’s right (or what you think is right). Are you really in favor of following polls, local and/or foreign, in determining our course of action?

          Again, I have nothing to do with the tea party but I think you are way off base-never violent, racist (maybe one guy in a group of 10,000 who the media sought out) and with a philosophy not out of the mainstream (maybe not majority) in any area (small government, cut spending and social views that have large support-not yours or most of the people on this sight, though). Everyone to the right of center is, to you and yours, evil people out to…

          What’s happened to conservatives is pretty close to accurate. Now, pray tell, tell me what’s happened to “respectable liberals”, other, of course, that many became neocons.

          I love Asahi and Yakitori, just as much as moule y frit. When are you going to invite me over?

          • MZ  On February 19, 2013 at 9:37 AM

            Our geopolitical ill-will has its roots in American xenophobia. Consider that we went to war with Spain after the sinking of the Maine (attributed to the Spanish by muckraking papers, the Fox News of their day). This war occurred barely 60 years after the Alamo. So ill will towards the Spanish, a decided minority in those days was easy. Despite the death of 128 Americans who died in the sinking of the Lusitania from a German U Boat attack, Wilson avoided calls to go to war. THis was not unsurprising given the large German demographic in American society. Despite the ravaging of the Poles, the conquest of France and the near obliteration of the British Army at Dunkirk, we did not enter WW II. We ignored the reports of a nascent Holocaust and gave undue deference to Lindbergh’s attitudes (pro Nazi/pro German). It was not until the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese that we entered that war. Because we know we cannot trust those short slanty-eyed fellahs and made sure we interred them during WW II. We compounded our problems later by allowing Jewish terrorists who bombed and killed many British soldiers after WW II to steal land from the legal occupants and thereby create the world’s largest and longest-running refugee camp. We continued our ignorance by MacArthur’s incursion into China (how could them slanty-eyed folks who look so much like the Japanese whom we nuclear-bombed into submission be a challenge for the American military?). We further went into another Asian theater of War in Vietnam. We rejected overtures by Castro in the days fresh off the Cuban revolution and created the flash point that almost ended life on earth. Ronald Reagan, that multi-cultural guy that he was, made sure we kept Grenada safe from untoward political influences by declaring war on the Cubans (if it worked in 1898, it will work again!). And we ensured the Grenadans would be safe by bombing their mental hospital.

            The idea of doing what was right (and capitalism was deemed right for a large part of the 20th century covered a fair bit of our racial transgressions. But as we became more polarized in our support of one group over another, we bled away that aura of respect. When we condoned the creation of the rogue state of Israel, defined when we overlooked their transgressions of international treaties on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, but were willing to bully, demonize and punish other rogue states, we gave away the good will we had stored. I would say that any view of our international “virtue” was on life support at the time of the 9-11 attacks. I was in Italy during 9-11 and some Italians voiced the concern the US would use this as a context for a shooting war. Given the daily flights of F-16’s loitering at 500 feet AGL, it was not unreasonable to worry if the US wanted to drop bombs on Italy, let alone the Moslem world. W’s emphasis on torture was the moral equivalent of pulling the plug on life support.

            We are valued now for only our economy, not our values. We’re like a large breasted bitchy woman in a room of male virgins, our assets are the only thing that keeps us as an object of interest.

            • umoc193  On February 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM

              MZ

              I agree pretty much with your recollection of our beligerent history though I’m not sure I buy into your conclusions about the racist component common to many of these events. On the other hand, I won’t say that yours is not a totally untenable conclusion given the facts.

              • MZ  On February 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM

                UMOC,

                I think you agree that American exceptionalism has long been a component of our foreign policy. On what is that policy based? Our innate belief in our moral superiority? The fact that we are the self-proclaimed “good guys”? If so, then it is far from “not entirely untenable… based on the facts” that xenophobia and racism do play a major role in the wars we wish to fight.

                As to blaming America DD, I guess if you buy into the military bullshit mindset and belt out HooWa before saying grace or uttering an opinion, then American can do no wrong. But since I hear SIlent Night instead of Jingo Bells at Christmas time, I do not suppose you could bear to think about the awesomeness of peace.

    • umoc193  On February 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      Hitler, like patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel. Ok, Mugsy, you are no scoundrel but Hitler’s name always arises in discussions such as this involving war, killing, morality, etc.

      Ignore Hitler in this case. he was a megalomaniac with desires of world domination as well as the cpability to achieve that goal. In reality all OBL was was a megalomaniac with unrealistic aspirations of getting the entire world to turn against his chosen targets but with absolutely no capability of even taking over North Versailles let alone the world. A nuisance, a deadly nuisance to be sure, but a nuisance nonetheless. The mafia has had more evil influence over the years and has killed more people than OBL ever did.

      Now, in case any of you believes my anti-war stance is anti-soldier…and I have heard hints of that belief, if not here certainly on other occasions, this is another entry in my blog That should pretty much dispel such notions before they foment.

      https://umoc193.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/my-heroes-i-hope-yours-too/

  • Mugsy  On February 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    UMOC, we posted at the same time. My use of Hitler was to point out what I see as the unanswerable question posed to a pacifist. I’m a pacifist in theory, without the faith and perhaps guts to be one in practical circumstances.

    I never thought that you were anti-soldier.

  • Devildog  On February 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    uMOC, I’m just catching up. Probably the same number of Gitmo detainees convicted as German internees-both groups being enemy combatants (as distinguished from saboteur spies).

    War doesn’t solve anything probably is one of the dumbest comments ever made (not, of course, by anyone here), so much so that I’m not going to give the many examples-which include against political guerrilla groups.

    • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      The difference here is that Germans captured in WW II and even brought here had all the rights and privileges accorded POW’s under the Geneva Conventions. Gitmo detainees were not so treated nor were they put in the criminal justice system. A new category was created out of thin air precisely so they could be tortured, mistreated, denied rights, etc, while the administration projected an air of moral superiority because these were “terrorists” I don’t believe in capital punishment but at least Timothy McVeigh was given the same rights and procedures as any criminals even though he had committed the deadliest act of terror on American soil to that date.

  • Devildog  On February 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    UMOC, if you hate Krauthammer, you hate me because I wrote the column (or could have). Another dead horse to debate legality-take it to court if you think it illegal-someone must have standing.

    Mugsy would tell you it’s self-defeating to hate. I don’t hate the enemy combatants-I just want to kill them (or at least turn them).

    • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Ok, I’ll hate you if you like. I may even come to find I like hating you.

  • Tourist  On February 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I posted this a few minutes ago. The system said “posting comment.” It did not come up as “awaiting moderation.” It just disappeared and the counter did not change. If this is twice, sorry!

    ===

    UMOC, at February 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM you say: “In reality all OBL was was a megalomaniac with unrealistic aspirations of getting the entire world to turn against his chosen targets . . . a deadly nuisance to be sure, but a nuisance nonetheless. The mafia has had more evil influence . . . .” (Edited only to shorten it.)

    To many in the world we have become a rogue nation. “America” stands for drones and torture. The international image of the tea party is not economic; it’s anti-foreigner. Nothing may be totally new, but it’s front and center now. It’s not winning us friends. Our friends are not looking to us; they are looking ahead and hedging their bets.

    The first casualty of battle is the plan. Is this precisely how bin Laden envisioned it? Surely not. That doesn’t mean he didn’t change the world, or that he isn’t getting what he wanted.

    • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Let me ask this. before 9/11 were any of you fearful for your life day to day due to a terror attack?

      Now, subsequent to 9/11 were any of you fearful for your life day to day due to a terror attack?

      Moreover di you ever have any real fear that OBL and his ilk would succeed in anything except further murders of innocent folks from time to time? No marching down Pennsylvania Ave. in triumph to occupy the White House. No destruction of our military capabilities.

      On the other hand, though none of us can testify to this from personal experience, do you think Americans were fearful for their lives during WW II? Or at least feared the consequences if Hitler and Hirohito succeeded?

      Four planes were successfully hijacked on 9/11 sending passengers and crew to their doom. But while all this was taking place and shortly afterwards over 4000 flights were directed to land and safely land they did. less than 1/10 of 1% of flights that morning were affected. And that action took at least two years to finance and plan. And nothing even close to that has been achieved in the eleven years since then. Al Qaeda hasn’t equaled those 3000 deaths in toto in the world since then.

      Are you more afraid of sharks or vending machines? Should be the latter beacuse they kill more people on average each year than sharks.

      • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        So, nothing like that (9/11) has been achieved in the 11 Years since then. It is not my intent to start a debate on the subject but maybe, just maybe, the reason is Iraq and Afghanistan. Perish the thought.

  • Devildog  On February 17, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    UMOC writes of OBL’s unrealistic aspiration of getting the world against us and Tourist responds that he may have changed the world and may be getting what he wanted, due in part to the tea party being anti-foreigner (are you kidding Tourist-the tea party?). And our “friends” are not looking to us? Surely, Tourist, you must know that countries don’t have friends, they have interests and will have “friends” as long as it is in the mutual interest. Since we have mutual interests with many, many countries, we remain “friends” regardless of differences.

    As for OBL’s aspiration, perhaps it is as simple as to create a Caliphate with him as the Supreme Leader. Why 9/11 then? Beats my ass but if this is going according to his plan, perhaps he deserves to be Supreme Leader. My guesstimate is that he wanted to enhance his reputation in his potential Caliphate by showing what he could do to Satan, not expecting the paper tiger to react as it did. I recognize that my opinion differs from the UMOC/Tourist group, the overwhelming majority on this blog but I’m willing to take the heat. Martyrdom may have been the aspiration of many of his followers but I don’t think it was his.

    • Tourist  On February 17, 2013 at 4:18 AM

      Devildog, I said earlier in this thread that “things everywhere changed” with 9/11, and that’s all I meant this time – attributing it, this time, to bin Laden himself. I haven’t traced every detail. But we’re still in a time when 9/11 looms large. Did those events spawn the tea party? Not directly. Did the tea party arise in our post-9/11 world? Obviously. Is that meaningful? I don’t know. Facts on the ground and they’re complicated.

      Is the tea party anti-foreigner? That isn’t what I said. I said that’s what foreigners tend to know about it. When CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc., report on something in France, India or Japan, count on it being at least somewhat wrong. What foreigners understand about America is also likely to be somewhat wrong. The foreign view of the tea party is that it is anti-foreigner. My point was only that that’s another post-9/11 fact in a world that looks at us less generously than it used to.

      As for nations having no “friends,” just “interests,” that may be true over the longest of terms (seismic shifts) and in the most dangerous of situations. Apply it to you and your neighbors. One goes postal, he’s off your Christmas-card list. The neighborhood slowing changes to something you aren’t comfortable in, you move, in your own interests. Short of those, I suspect you like a few people.

      When it comes to the world beyond our borders, I am in a position to belabor both “liking us” and “hedging their bets.” But what this really does is allow me to quote myself again. I remembered that I had said this before. I had the first of the following three paragraphs in mind and I searched my computer internally for it. I had forgotten I had written the other two.

      In my lifetime, America really was the shining example. As cracks emerged, they were the exceptions proving the rule. As the inconsistencies became more glaring, at least we stood for something. Then came W and we didn’t even have that anymore.

      I get it between the eyes every day.

      Osama bin Laden wanted more than buildings to fall.

      • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        “Osama bin Laden wanted more than buildings to fall.”

        Well if that was his desire he got his wish only through the complicity of our own government. On his own he could not destroy America’s image, only kill its people. After all, look at the near universal horror of 9/11.

        BTW
        Documentary on MSNBC with new information about the LIES that Bush-Cheney told to get backing to invade Iraq. 9 p.m. EST

        Remember over 4000 Americans died for these LIES and thousands more were maimed physically and mentally. Plus untold numbers of innocent Iraqis died, the country was in shambles and Bush-Cheney friends made beau coup bucks supplying and rebuilding.

    • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      No, martyrdom was not OBL’s goal. Like many leaders willing and even eager to send others to their deaths for his cause, he keeps his hands clean.

  • Mugsy  On February 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I believe Devil Dog hits on an important point in the distinction between friends and interests.

    In my lifetime, Tourist, America was seen as the opposing viewpoint to communism, and one of the two sides that most other countries felt compelled to join up with for security. I don’t really recall the US being held up as the shining example by other nations except for the times that we were in line with their wishes. I recall being the warlike oppressors of the sixties (per world viewpoint) . I recall hearing tales of “the ugly American” long before “W” was in office. I think that your viewpoint is conveniently skewed to imply that the US held the universal respect of friends and foes alike until “W” was around, and this implication has nothing to do with reality. We were not held as a shining example, and not seen as standing for something despite the occasional crack in our reputation, until W came along, that’s simply inaccurate.

    As for the Tea Party and their reputation for being opposed to foreigners, do foreigners see the US as otherwise embracing foreigners? I have not lived apart from the country except for short periods of time as a civilian and a couple of years in the military, but it is not my impression that we have been seen as embracing foreigners in quite some time, certainly a time that predates the Tea Party.

    Sorry, but I’ve seen too many Uncle Sams burned in effigy and heard too many caustic comments from the rest of the world to buy your thesis. I think perhaps it was you who were disillusioned in America recently, and are projecting the events that led to your dissatisfaction on the rest of the world. Personally, I don’t think that we ever enjoyed the respect or good will that you seem to think we have recently lost, at least not since the end of the Korean conflict.

    • Devildog  On February 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Well done, Mugsy. Don’t ever again claim to be intellectually outgunned-false modesty is unbecoming.

      Tourist, whatever you said, the inference I drew (and I think Mugs also) is that the belief of foreigners was caused by the tea party and not CNN, (MS)NBC, ABC, etc. In this predecessor’s blog, the source of all evil was neocons, neocons, neocons. Now, it is drones/tea party, drones/tea party, drones/tea party.

      Well, here’s the source of all current evil. It’s Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare (did this pass UMOC’s filter or am I required to call it Affordable Care Act). Why do I say that? It’s because Obama used up his political capital, it gave rise to the Tea Party and Republican control of the House (how could anything be worse than that), and resulted in a weak recovery due to Fox/Republican lies/misrepresentations about its economic impact. Obama’s idea of compromise is passing “what we agree on” and discussing the differences afterward. But with Obamacare, he pushed it through whole hog and look what resulted-the dreaded Tea Party and Republican control of the House. Just think how rosy things would be otherwise. This is not a condemnation of Obamacare but a recital of “unintended consequences”.

      Enough of drones/Tea Party!

      • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 2:01 AM

        Sorry for my absence. I’m not ignoring you but I’m a little under the weather and have slept most of the past 24 hours. Nothing serious but I do have a DR.’s appt on Tuesday (previously scheduled) just in case.

        I’m glad the discussion is copntinuing and look forward to catching up and responding where appropriate. If you like you can change topics and explore some of my prior posts to continue tearing my ideas apart.

    • umoc193  On February 18, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Mugsy

      I’m a little older than you and I would say the era of American goodwill lasted from the end of WW II through the Eisenhower years and probably through the JFK assassination. But in 1964 LBJ began squandering that with Vietnam combined with post-war changes in customs and beliefs that were just then maturing. Plus our struggles in Civil Rights were laid bare for the world to see.

      But, like others, I view our position in the world as being more pragmatic both on our part and the part of our allies/rivals.

      But it’s only been in the past 35 years that we’ve been much concerned with more than our Euro-centric emphasis or the anti-communist rhetoric and actions that pre-occupied our fopriegn policy. But beginning with the 1979 Iran revolution by necessity we’ve had to expend mush greater efforts in the Middle East and Muslim countries. The geographical presence of Israel among them complicates any moves we initiate for closer friendlier ties but, at the same time, we’ve killed so damn many of those folks in that area and taken other steps that, at least from their perspective, appear unreasonable if not downright hateful, that we are always walking on eggshells. In addition, this perspective has been milked by such as OBL to build their little terror groups.

      • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        Don’t think MZ would say we are walking on eggshells because of “the geographical presence of Israel”. I’m looking forward to his response to you. Why do you start with LBJ and 1964 rather than JFK and his initiation of military action in Vietnam?

        If. You get this, again , why have not the comments been posted?

      • Kevin Nord  On February 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        What’s going on with the site-the comments aren’t appearing on the site?

        Sent from my iPad

  • Tourist  On February 18, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Gentlemen, I apologize for the slow response.

    Mugsy,

    “I believe Devil Dog hits on an important point in the distinction between friends and interests.”

    I think the distinction was first voiced in the early 19th century. The observation was about “permanent” friends and interests. Yes, survival trumps all. Does it mean anything beyond that? You and Devildog seem to deny that nations ever have “friends” or that their peoples ever truly like each other or another nation.

    “I think that your viewpoint is conveniently skewed to imply that the US held the universal respect of friends and foes alike until “W” was around, and this implication has nothing to do with reality.”

    “Universal” I didn’t say. Until W? I said W finished it off. I said we at least stood for something until W. W identified us with torture.

    “We were not held as a shining example, and not seen as standing for something despite the occasional crack in our reputation, until W came along, that’s simply inaccurate.”

    Mugsy, I described a small arc (right word?) of history, not as completely as the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” to be sure. Your answer back, with little more than I gave in the first place, is that it’s “simply inaccurate,” so maybe this is as far as it goes. You are certainly correct that two superpowers squaring off forced many nations to try to stay on the good side of one or the other, for their own sake.

    But two other things you say: “I don’t really recall the US being held up as the shining example by other nations . . . .” Why, then, did our grandparents cross the ocean to Pittsburgh? A gentleman of that generation once said to me (you’ll love this, you really will): “It’s an honor to pay taxes to the United States.” Japanese half a generation older than I am, on the front lines of Japan’s economic miracle in their day, have told me they were driven to make Japan like the U.S. Not too many people talk like that anymore and I had not heard it for a while, until – I kid you not – *yesterday*. That’s why I wasn’t here. After sipping responsibly during the official event, it was off for the traditional “second party,” this one at a beer hall. I was told it again YESTERDAY!

    Sure, “ugly American” predated Bush. What was “We Are All Americans” about?

    Maybe this is semantic in the sense that countries and governments aren’t human so do not have “friends” by definition. We are also talking in big generalities right now. But it sounds like this reflects what “we” say frequently about “you”: You don’t think we’re in anything together. It’s every man, woman, child and nation for themself. Everyone is a threat. You’re afraid of everything.

    “As for the Tea Party and their reputation for being opposed to foreigners, do foreigners see the US as otherwise embracing foreigners?”

    Nope. Not anymore. The tea party is front and center, though.

    “Sorry, but I’ve seen too many Uncle Sams burned in effigy and heard too many caustic comments from the rest of the world to buy your thesis.”

    Congressional sledgehammers taken to Toyotas and Toshibas? French wine poured into the streets? Freedom fries?

    Devildog,

    “Tourist, whatever you said, the inference I drew (and I think Mugs also) is that the belief of foreigners was caused by the tea party and not CNN, (MS)NBC, ABC, etc.”

    Y’all don’t want to hear that the right lies an order of magnitude more than the left or that the right is racist, or now that the tea party is anti-foreigner. Fine. Don’t listen. “Not one vote,” “want him to fail,” “one-term president,” Boehner says the house won’t act on anything Obama submits, but you don’t want to hear that Republicans are obstructionists either.

    “Nazi” alert.

    The “good Germans” were the ones who had no idea, never saw. When they found out they were shocked, shocked.

    The United States has turned significantly anti-foreigner since 9/11 (has started to shift back because it’s been costing us money). The tea party wants to shoot immigrants from helicopters (global sound bite) so it gets seen internationally as anti-foreigner, too, however unfair that may be. I did not trace the tea party to bin Laden or 9/11. It’s so rabid, shameful and embarrassing, though, that partiers may someday welcome an excuse. Assuming they don’t win.

    • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Tourist, I will defer to you as to what the average Japanese person thinks about the U.S. but I submit you have no idea wat the tea party (small caps) is all about. Don’t feel bad about that statement because I don’t either. The media have created this bogeyman of a loosely knit group of overwhelming average citizens who believe the country is on the wrong track (p.s., I have no connection with them whatsoever but, agree, somewhat, with some of their ideas-pretty wishy- washy statement because they are so loosely knit). But the media, the left and the Dems have made “them” out to be the incarnate of evil-and you, and others across the ponds, have seemed to take that to heart.

      Really, now, who gives a sh_t what these foreigners think. You, more than most others, would subscribe to do “right” no matter what others think. So, we’re back to what’s right not what others, here and elsewhere, think is right.

      This lies/order of magnitude is total bullshit-“beauty” is in the eyes of the beholder. Didn’t you write several posts ago, maybe it was UMOC, that you/he didn’t want to quantify/compare lies? Are you comparing “the tea party” with the Nazis and suggesting that we (good Americans” should shoot them down?

      So, no one wants to come here anymore and we(some of us reject immigrants. I don’t know we you get that-everyone I have ever heard on the right says we should encourage immigrants who could “help” us and that we should make it easier for them. Please, no racist comment about who could help us-that’s anyone from anywhere.

      If you want a friend, get a dog-can’t stop the clichés. I’m surprised at the tone of your post but at least you are taking a position. I’ll attribute it to too much sake, or Sapporo or whatever.

      Still want you to be my valentine, though.l

  • Tourist  On February 18, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Devildog, it was champagne for the occasion in a dignified setting, mugs of Asahi Super Dry (the best seller) and yakitori after that. “Really, now, who gives a sh_t what these foreigners think”? Seriously? Is that because we buy a lot of their stuff and can blow them up? This is still the mindset that everything is “us against them” all the time.

    Your next sentence: “You, more than most others, would subscribe to do ‘right’ no matter what others think.” Americans are 5% of the world. If we’re the boss monkey, what we do affects them. Do they have a say? When the pack becomes fed up with the boss monkey, does he remind them he’s exceptional?

    The underlings in any group, organization, bureaucracy can sink the leader any time they decide to. Bush, echoing Jesus and Lenin, said on September 20: “You’re either with us or you are with the terrorists.” As we planned the invasion of Afghanistan, nation after nation asked to send troops in with us. W told them all to stay out of the way. (They understood.) Then he botched it and turned to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, deliverable in 45 minutes on Iraq’s own fleet of drones, even before the uranium from Africa was processed, telling NATO that Afghanistan was now its responsibility. I’ve said before that squandering global good will is what I will never forgive him for. That and turning “Let’s roll” into a sports slogan. And the torture.

    This country has always shown greatness, initially in ideas and potential, and later in practice and example – “always,” that is, in the relatively short time it has existed. There was greatness in Rome, Ionia, the British Empire and the Ming Dynasty, and Green Bay loves the Packers. Every nation, every culture, every identification of people in history has believed it was special. Every religion’s god is the true one. There is no group on Earth with the motto “We’re Number Two.”

    Who cares what they think?

    ===

    “I submit you have no idea what the tea party (small caps) is all about . . . . overwhelming average citizens who believe the country is on the wrong track . . . . I have no connection with them whatsoever but, agree, somewhat, with some of their ideas – pretty wishy-washy statement because they are so loosely knit.” (Edited just to shorten. I mean it to be fair.)

    Short answer: “Respectable conservatives,” meaning careful, cautious, prudent, responsible and honoring traditional values (I hope that applies to me; they don’t get to claim “liberty,” though) have lost control of their side of the spectrum: reactionary-conservative-liberal-radical. (Why is the right on the left horizontally?)

    The “tea party” is a mob. Sometimes mobs burn themselves out. Sometimes they burn down the town. Either way, they are hard to talk with.

  • Tourist  On February 18, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Me: “Osama bin Laden wanted more than buildings to fall.”

    UMOC: “Well if that was his desire he got his wish only through the complicity of our own government. On his own he could not destroy America’s image, only kill its people.”

    Yes. We and our government did the rest. That’s what makes it terrorism.

    • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      Forgot to add a Krony to the moule e frit

  • Devildog  On February 18, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Still learning about how this site works (and a lot of other things. I thought everything goes in chronological order but apparently not when one hits reply. Makes it difficult sometimes to decipher. One needs to look at the time of the post

    By the way, the name on the 7:41 post is not me. Truly. Someone I know but not me-so don’t burn down his house.

    • Tourist  On February 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      Devildog, I’m finding it hard to follow the sequence, too. A few hours ago the counter had gone up by seven since I’d last looked. I’ve only found five of those seven so far. (I know about the icons to the left. They only let you jump to the most recent five.) “Reply” can clearly be useful at lesser volumes or when the replies are TIMELY. I have no best answer. Art, not science.

      Dog, was the comment yours? Do a bunch of you guys write as a team? Or was it you farming it out to staff?

      Meanwhile, in other housekeeping, I am confident that UMOC, who has legitmate avenues available to him for refining his published writings, will not hang his valued commenters out to dry by modifying his posts after his valued commenters have made reference to the language of those original posts, such that when future historians come here in search of the truth, the valued commenters look like they flamboyantly embellished their rebuttals, because the posts no long say what the valued commenters refer to – anymore, is he? Not that UMOC ever for a moment intended it that way.

      • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        A not so long story. I don’t have a computer so a friend bought me an Ipad and paid for the first year so the account is in his name. I have sole use so all comments are mine. I understand your confusion since some comments might make a little sense and the remainder none at all. Staff, what staff! I might have staff before retirement 20 years ago but the only staff I have now is my wife, currently watching The Batchelor-please don’t tell her I called her staff.

        UMOC is a lawyer, ‘nough said.

  • Tourist  On February 19, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Devildog, you type everything on an iPad? On the glass or do you have an accessory keyboard? I have an aging laptop I like fine, but liked the previous model better, before they improved it, and I have a dumbphone with no numbers programed in. I am very close to getting an iPad Mini and learning what apps are. I already know from playing in the store that I will not be able to type on it in the normal way. It’ll be two fingers, or learn thumbs, or get a keyboard. I could get used to typing on the full-size one, I think. Why does yours say “Sent from my iPad” only sometimes?

    How are you finding it for other things? Tool or toy?

    • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      I only use an IPad and find it very easy to type on the glass using only my pointer finger. I was given a keyboard also but never use it. I don’t use it as a toy and have only a few apps that I use-sports central, google, weather yelp and a few others.

      My old dumb phone went through the washing machine so I had to get a new one. Couldn’t handle the (very) smartphone so I have one with a keyboard and only use the phone and text. Still learning it but I liked my old one where I did the same thing and it was less sensitive and complicated.

      Good luck

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    Ooops, sorry Umoc but I missed the lie “documentary” (double meaning) on MSNBC. I guess I’ll have to wait and catch it on the History or Military Channel, where it won’t be quite as factual but will have to do.

    • umoc193  On February 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      I’ll begin here where DD disparages the presentation of the truth about the leadup to our unwarranted invasion of Iraq.

      Before I respond to the specifics, I’ll tell you all that I have no idea how all of this from my posts to all comments appears to you. I see everything, in the order it’s posted, but if some of you are failing to find all of your or others’ comments I’ll go through my host and ask about the issue. I have no idea what occurs simply because I can’t share what you see, only what appears for me. Sorry about that. I’ll see if there is any solution.

      Now, back to the documentary. Presented with minimal narration it was mostly not totally new information but contained a number of interviews with FBI and CIA and administrative folk having acccess to and/or having contributed to the intelligence about alleged Saddam WMD’s, especially the nuclear capabilities.

      The consensus was there was no active nuclear program within Iraq and the only claims to the contrary came from sources who were far less than credible for many reasons, not the least of which was that they had personal agendas that favored lying.

      And this was within the knowledge of the administration officials responsible for the final decision making.

      There were no tubes usable for a centrifuge to process weapons grade uranium.

      There was NEVER any “yellow cake” sold to, distributed to or otherwise procured by Iraq.

      The best evidence was that whatever steps Saddam had previously taken to build a nuclear weapon had been stopped and this assessment was made by veteran professional intelligence people who were..you know…charged with acquiring and evaluating such intelligence and had been capably doing so for quite some time.

      Furthermore part of the rationale for the invasion was Saddam’s supposed involvement in 9/11 which notion was laughable from the get go. As some of the intel folks noted OBL hated Saddam and considered him a heretic to the cause of Islam. Too, one of the allegations was that Mohammed Atta had been observed in Iraq, possibly for meetings planning the crimes. Turns out the photo evidence that was presumably him was, in fact, NOT him.

      So over 4000 Americans were sent to die needlessly based on a house of cards if not a complete pack of lies.

      • umoc193  On February 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Now back to the drones.

        I have not concentrated my objections on the law, at least not exclusively, but have expressed my outrage towards a violation of morality.

        But if we include international law and the laws of war as some of you have at a minimum alluded to this article this morning may shed some light.

        It’s premise is that by treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory, the proper and legal approach to enemy combatants (and that is how YOU view the drone victims, not I) is that one should first seek to capture, if not possible then wound, and only if that then doesn’t take them out you can kill them.
        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/02/the_obama_administration_and_drones_the_rule_of_law_is_capture_not_kill.html

        Capture no kill, should be the mantra. Now that law recognizes that the acting country need not place its own troops in unnecessary danger, so there is a large elemnet of practicality.

        But as I pointed out earlier kill, not capture, is the standard by which these drones are unleashed. yet, the highest valued target imaginable, OBL himself, was set upon by a team of Seals whose mission was to capture if possible, kill if necessary if the Seals could not complete the mission otherwise.

        Apparently being Al Qaeda # 1 had the added advantage, besides bragging rights at the mosque, of affording OBL the privilege of being targeted for capture not assassination. (Not that I believe that was actually the case but that’s according to the official story)

        Were the Seals in danger? Most certainly as, first of all, they were violating a nation’s borders. Secondly helicopter missions are inherently risky. (See Carter, J., attempt to rescue Iran hostages) So it would seem that, if OBL was a proper target in a war sense the factual situation may have justified a mere killing by drone even under these laws of war.

        However, none of these niceties accorded OBl have been utilized in these other drone attacks. there is no evidence, let alone an assertion, that any attempt has been made to capture rather than kill. Yes, the difficulties of trying to capture have been cited as justification but the killing of OBL very much counteracts and contradicts that proposition of difficulty.

        • umoc193  On February 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM

          One more quickie before I have to leave on my own mission.

          Rest assured I have never returned to one of my blog entries and made more than a correction for typos save in one case where Tourist pointed out I had misattributed action to or misidentified the nature of a named individual or something of that nature, and I removed or altered the reference appropriately.

          Now, editing my blog to make your comments seem any more flawed than they already are? No need, your comments stand on their own.

          • umoc193  On February 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

            One final thing. I checked about the comments thread and the problem may be with my settings that I have some control over. I don’t have time to explore and apply corrective options right now but I’ll see if I can do so this evening.

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Me thinks that Mz tilts slightly toward the side of the “blame America” group of rowdies-with of course special mention of Israel and, no doubt, he agrees with the only politician who has shown guts over the years but now has been forced by the powerful lobby that controls the State and Defense Departments to backtrack. I have to believe that Mz no long supports, maybe even despises that weasel.

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    A battle of the experts. Yours say that Bush knowingly lied (rather than mistaken and that drone used mostly is illegal. Well, as usual, there are experts on the other side. As with the anti-global warning experts, your side is correct and those on the other side are either…or…or… What a waste of time. As to the morality of using drone (I’ll include missiles etc..), let the debate continue. Sending in troops against OBL has no probative value as to the legality or morality of using drones against others. Some targets might be worth risking troops and others not. It’s risk/benefit determination. Capture is always better than kill for intelligence purposes but at what risk so I think this we should be trying to capture rather than kill these “enemy combatant” honchos is a red herring. The “niceties accorded OBL” was not because he was a nicer guy than the targets of drones. The benefit of gathering evidence including his identification was, in someone’s opinion, worth the risk. And it is very clear, at least in my opinion, that it was a kill mission-and rightly so for reasons that I won’t go into but does not include vengeance.

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      As to Iraq the “experts” I cited or referred to happened to be the very people charged with gathering and evaluating the intel. But I know you will not let facts get in the way of your continued support for a failed policy that was wrong from the get go, and that get go happened to have originated from before Bush even took office.

      You missed my point as the no drones on OBL. The mission to get him, whether kill or capture (and I’ve always believed it was the former not the latter but the official position is the reverse) demonstrated that it IS possible to access Al Qaeda leaders. It is the desire, not the ability, to emulate that effort that is lacking in the drone targets.

      • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM

        Tourist, I skimmed the report about half way to the end and found one question most interesting because, unlike almost every question, it asked the one that I believe is at the heart of the debate.the question-if you could ask only one question of the experts, which one would you ask of the 13 possibilities offered. It is the one I would ask and here is the breakdown of the percentage of each group that would ask that question:

        11 %of the Dems
        22% independents
        24% Republicans
        28% tea party

        The question-how do you know global warming is a man-made problem.

        Is that not the crux of the issue? Is that question really beyond scientific dispute? I don’t think so.

        The initial hypothetical in your post has it ass-backwards since my guess is that women believe in God more than men-for the same reason that liberals believe in “global warming” (notice in quotes) more than conservatives and go into the social sciences and other fields in which women are in large numbers more than conservatives. But I’ll let you determine the reason. So, I disagree with your “suspicion” that we are afraid of the facts. Try DNA!

        I find it interesting that your second paragraph talks about “human-induced”global warming while this brilliant survey from the social scientists at Yale” rarely distinguish between that and global warming in general.

        • umoc193  On February 21, 2013 at 7:41 AM

          But you deny the accepted scientific fact of global warming in the first place. Whatever public opinion is is irrelevant. I mean we’ve got birthers and truthers and Sandy Hook deniers and the moon landings took place on a Hollywodd set and all have a percentage of support though the number varies. BFD, the facts are the facts.

          So global warming is real. At least admit that, or lose all credibility. And the evidence of human involvement is generally accepted by scientists though frequently to quite different degrees. But how the hell can anyone believe that the incessant spewing of millions upon millions of tons of crap into our air can have only temporary effects. That’s like saying beach erosion is not real because you go there 7-8 days in a row on vacation and it looks the same each time.

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    UMOC’ s post a few minutes ago (1:04) is shown right after MZ’s post of 2/19 at 9:37. That’s what makes it difficult to follow (at least for me).

    Anyway, UMOC, you say you’re not sure you buy “racial component” but you won’t say it’s ” not a totally untenable conclusion”. Nice UMOC, really nice. We need more of that thinking. Was believing that Saddam had WMD’s not a totally untenable conclusion. How about believing the use of drones is legal and moral? And global warning is not a man-made problem? And just about any other controversy?

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Sorry, you’re making false analogies here. In the former (racial component) there is at least some evidence, in fact plenty of evidence to support MZ’s assertions. Was race the major factor? Probably not but the fact that these actions were taken against Asians instead of white-Anglos certainly contributed to garnering support, at least initially, for these actions.

      On the other hand it was demonstrable that any evidence of Saddam continuing his nuclear program was created out of whole cloth. Otherwise called LIES!

      That is simply history now though the same was known at the time of going to war or at best just being ignored because that did not fit in with the warmongers’ agenda.

      Sheesh! Denial is still alive and well at this late date.

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      The only people claiming global warming is not man made or at least does not have a huge man made component are not scientists. Fully 97-98% of scientists who work in this field agree. It is the politicians and the Koch Brothers who dissent.

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Ah, Mz, you’re so moral (and I’m not, of course). Why don’t you just pat yourself on the back.

  • Tourist  On February 19, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    UMOC,

    “. . . I’ll tell you all that I have no idea how all of this from my posts to all comments appears to you. I see everything, in the order it’s posted, . . . .”

    Here’s the address; see for yourself: https://umoc193.wordpress.com/

    Seriously, am I complaining about the format? No. I’m sympathetic. Am I blaming UMOC for the technical or managerial failings? No. I’m sympathetic. Then again, the buck stops where?

    Devildog: those who “blame America”? The buck stops where? Or, if you prefer, whose watch? Overcoming requires adapting, which requires recognizing – not denying.

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Tourist

      I can access my blog any number of ways but Word Press identifies me through my computer so I always am directed to where i would be if I signed into my account in the first place. I would have to try accessing through a different computer which I don’t have the luxury of doing. I’ll try to address all issues that have been raised and resolve them as well as I can by the end of the week. I have a series of appointments and other obligations the next couple days that will keep me from expending the time necessary now.

      You all have been great. Please bear with me.

  • MZ  On February 19, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I have no delusions about my moral depravity. I am the last person to give moral advice. But I do stand by facts, because facts are facts. I stand by my conclusion on xenophobia and racism because they are built on facts. In the totality of experience facts provide the description of the panorama before one.

    There was no evidence for the existence of WMD, NONE. The war cabal, led by Cheney berated, belittled and pressured intelligence agents to change their conclusions to fit the assumptions the administration wanted to hold as truths. Remember a CIA agent was rendered useless by their outing from Cheney’s chief of staff – who no doubt did such with the express albeit clandestine approval of Cheney himself. If you want to say the sky is orange and you can pressure enough people into saying the sky is orange, it doesn’t make the sky orange, it just makes you a dedicated and immoral liar. In Cheney and Bush’s case, it makes them murderers of 4000+ Americans and over 100,000 Iraqi babies, children, mothers and other casualties of war. Inconvenient truths to be sure, but then again, being on your side of the political spectrum allows you to ignore those truths because your reality and not the truth is far more important.

    Speaking of inconvenient truths, there are no experts on anti-global warming. People who wish to avoid the unpleasant reality of a warming planet and its consequences for global disaster pay people to obfuscate the issue. In the scientific world there is no argument about it between reputable scientists. This is a trend that has been coming on like gangbusters in the past 20 or so years. Having scientists do “independent” studies meant for internal consumption paid for by corporate funds. These studies do not pass scientific muster, they are only there to present at meetings with policy makers to obfuscate the issue. There is real global warming caused by humans. The fact that you do not want to acknowledge it is, in my opinion a wanton lack of intellectual integrity. The planet may go to hell regardless your opinion, but the friction caused by people who refuse to be educated, is responsible for the loss of life all over the world in terms of starvation and disease brought on by global climate change. That one can blithely ignore facts because they fail to impinge upon YOUR life only supports the idea of American exceptionalism where foreign lives are not worth anything compared to an American life. And we, as a nation, already treat life in a very shitty manner.

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      MZ

      I had already cited the fact that 97-98% of climate scientists agree there is global warmingand a good part of it, if not all, is attributable to mankind.

      Early this morning I was watching a show on the Science Channel called “Stripping a City” (title may not be exact). The series investigates the infrastructure of our cities stripping away through animation what may appear at present to reveal the development of that area over the years, even centuries.

      The episode I viewed dealt with London, more specifically its Thames riverfront. Part of it showed efforts to build up the seawall at the Thames’ estuary to protect from surges and tides. There have been fairly recent destructive surges where the sea came up the Thames and damaged property and killed people. The wall is now being heightened because sealevels are rising, i.e. from global warming as we have been told for years.

      I have seen or heard mentioned where other coastal areas are already being affected by this change.

      I’m sure there are a few trained medical doctors who don’t believe in penicillin but I’ll take my chances with it if I ever get syphillis (with ever diminishing odds of that day by day).

  • Tourist  On February 19, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Reserving in case I need them a couple of minor quibbles, MZ’s description is again excellent. Above at one point Devildog said to me: “I will defer to you as to what the average Japanese person thinks about the U.S.” Why? Because he knows I’m in a better position to know, and he believes I am at least trying to tell the FACTUAL truth. I cited Marco Rubio being called by Jennifer Granholm on CNN for FACTUALLY misstating what President Obama had said, and Newt Gingrich (I think it was, off-camera voice) defending the FACTUAL misstating with, “I call that politics.”

    With the objective of trying to convince, persuade and generate action, we have people who try to deal in FACTS/TRUTH, and people who don’t care about FACTS/TRUTH if it’s more convenient or effective to say something else.

    And people listening.

    It’s dangerous and it’s self-inflicted.

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Mz, you spew so much bullshit it’s hard to know where to begin. So, I will limit myself to two items.

    “There are no experts on anti-global warming”. Of course not because if they believe what you do not believe, they are, by definition, not experts. How can one compete with that logic.

    But, more important, you who claim to be the arbiter of what are facts and what are not, and who uses those so-called “facts” to arrive at conclusions that you claim to be facts, have made an egregious error in your “facts” that have led to your momentous conclusion. I hate to break this to you but the one who outed the CIA agent (presumably Valerie Plame) was Richard Armitage, Undersecretary of State under Powell-it wasn’t Scooter Libby (noted neocon).

    Nice try, mr. Expert on everything including global warming studies. You just like to go around castigating the intellectual integrity of everyone with whom you disagree. You are an intellectual fraud!

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      ““There are no experts on anti-global warming”. Of course not because if they believe what you do not believe, they are, by definition, not experts. How can one compete with that logic.”

      Read my other posts on the topic. And I don’t believe MZ is asserting his expertise on global warming but instead is expressing his reliance on those who are actually scientific experts.

      Perhaps you missed the testimony of physisist Richard Muller before Congress that he had changed his mind on global warming and now believed the data were true and that he himself blamed mankond for the greatest part of it.

      Oh, and he was funded partly by the Koch Brothers.

      Here is the entire committee hearing. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg65306/pdf/CHRG-112hhrg65306.pdf

      Here is a summary from reports. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=muller-hearing

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Tourist, see my comments to Mz. You and he seem to have great difficulty distinguishing between fact and opinion. Rubio did not factually misstate what Obama said. See my 2/13, 1:17 post. You claim it was a distortion of what Obama, I say it was a Rubio opinion of what Obama really meant-it was not a factual misstatement.

    As for deferring to you on what the average Japanese person thinks, I was just being kind. Which, I mightadd, you didn’t reciprocate as to the tea party. But that’s okay-I’ll let it slide.

    All these posts confirm what I’ve said several times. Conservatives think liberals (I mean progressives) are misguided-progressives think conservatives are evil.

    • Tourist  On February 19, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      I’m not thrilled with this but I can do it:

      “Rubio did not factually misstate what Obama said. See my 2/13, 1:17 post. You claim it was a distortion of what Obama, I say it was a Rubio opinion of what Obama really meant-it was not a factual misstatement.”

      I did not hear Rubio. I said that the first time. All three times that I mentioned it, my premise was Granholm’s quotings of Rubio. SHE was calling them misstatements of what Obama had said. Gingrich (?) was not objecting to her calling them misstatements of what Obama had said. In silence, by implication, he was agreeing that Rubio’s comments misstated what Obama had said. Gingrich (?) was defending misstating what Obama had said as just “politics.” That was, is, and forever shall be my point.

      Let’s assume you are right. You again: “I say it was a Rubio opinion of what Obama really meant.” Wayne LaPierre talks continually about what he thinks Obama et al. really mean, really intend, despite what they say. He says it that way. Rubio (second hand) said Obama “said” and Obama “wants.” You: “You and [MZ] seem to have great difficulty distinguishing between fact and opinion.” Who does?

      More importantly: Do you really want to hear a national politician say another politician “wants” (just that one; not even “said”) and have to grasp for yourself that his grammar allows that it could be only his opinion – not even true?

      “As for deferring to you on what the average Japanese person thinks, I was just being kind.”

      Oh.

      “Which, I might add, you didn’t reciprocate as to the tea party. But that’s okay-I’ll let it slide.”

      You said you don’t understand the tea party either and have no connection with it whatsoever. In my short answer back I mentioned “respectable conservatives” and almost (I’m giving myself credit for this) expressed sympathy for, in your words, “average citizens who believe the country is on the wrong track.”

      “All these posts confirm what I’ve said several times. Conservatives think liberals (I mean progressives) are misguided-progressives think conservatives are evil.”

      What if they’re both right?

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Tourist, what if, what if. What if the Queen had balls.

    Here is what was contained in your 2/13 post. Rubio said that Obama wanted (notice that he said wanted not said) to keep S.S. as it is and Granholm said Obama had talked about reforming it. So, what’s your bitch. Both correct and nothing misleading about Rubio saying what Obama “wanted”. And, hey, Jenny, talk is cheap. And yes, I want to hear a politician’s opinion on what another politician wants despite what he says. I want to hear what one says and what another thinks about that. And then I”l form my own opinion. And what does what someone you think may have been Gingrich have to do with the price of tea in China?

    So, if Obama says he wants to…, an opposing politician cannot ethically say that Obama (really) wants to… (the opposite). Is it the word really that changes whether it’s okay or not to give an opinion on what he really wants? Just go back and look at what you reported Rubio and Granholm said on this matter and see if you still want to call Rubio a liar. I trust you understand the “Japanese people” no more than I understand the tea party-and probably less, those inscrutable people (just kidding-don’t call me a racist please).

    • Tourist  On February 19, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      “Tourist, . . . . Here is what was contained in your 2/13 post. Rubio said that Obama wanted (notice that he said wanted not said) to keep S.S. as it is and Granholm said Obama had talked about reforming it. So, what’s your bitch. Both correct and nothing misleading about Rubio saying what Obama ‘wanted’.”

      “Contained in” my post? True. Also true, your: “notice that he said wanted not said” – true for that part. Here’s a little more from the same post: “He said Obama said free enterprise was a problem . . . . He said Obama wanted to keep Social Security as it is.” Also: “Granholm referred to ‘others like that.’”

      Not one, not two, but a string of them – her charge, my second-hand charge, Gingrich’s “politics” and your “talk is cheap.” Talk is communication and voters make decisions based on what is communicated to them.

      “And what does what someone you think may have been Gingrich have to do with the price of tea in China?”

      It was Gingrich. He was off-screen at that instant. I was being precise. Silly, I know, but it ties into my point.

      You can’t prevail on the rightness of politicians misleading voters. You can only distract from that with discussions like this, while they get away with it.

      “Just go back and look at what you reported Rubio and Granholm said on this matter and see if you still want to call Rubio a liar.”

      Precisely, I didn’t. I don’t know if he was lying on that occasion. If we, unlike Rubio, had any kind of audience, I’m sure some would think I did. Some would probably believe it as a result.

      And what if the Queen did have balls?

  • Devildog  On February 19, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    She would be King. A saying that goes back to my south Bronx days about 60 years ago.

  • Tourist  On February 20, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    UMOC invited us to change the subject. I don’t know how much this does, as it’s about egos. It isn’t from the files. I had it thought out, but I wrote for here.

    My fantasies, when I’m not being heroic in real life, involve doing original things under my own name – not making the Immaculate Reception or The Throw (Ichiro), being Bruce Springsteen, or writing the “Inspector O” novels. But I pushed myself years ago to decide once and for all if I’d rather have been the first man on the Moon or the last. What the small step has going for it is that it will be remembered. Armstrong’s genuine and tempting achievement was the first landing.

    How many Americans today can name more than three Apollo astronauts – Armstrong and Aldrin from 11 and Jim Lovell from 13 – or maybe five, if Haise and Swigert sunk in, also from the movie? The final three missions – 15, 16 and 17 – stayed on the surface for three days. Each had a Lunar Rover. Moonwalks were up to seven hours (they took three). Drives were up to 12 miles (5 miles out from the lander). House, car, job: Six men (one a Pittsburgher) lived and worked on the Moon for three days.

    “Without a word to Houston, while Aldrin made his way back to Eagle, Armstrong took off running. Long, loping strides carried [him] into the sun’s glare to the edge of a pit that looked to be 80 feet across and 15 or 20 feet deep. Eagle was nearly 200 feet away . . . . He clicked off a series of pictures, hoping to document on film what he had no time to investigate or even describe . . . . Armstrong had been gone for only about three minutes, but it was the only real exploring he would have a chance to do.”

    Two hundred feet.

    “Then it was Buzz’s turn. He came down more quickly than Neil. His first words were, “Magnificent desolation.” Off they went, setting up experiments, collecting rock samples, erecting the flag. They talked with President Nixon and read a plaque mounted on the lunar module descent stage. A little over two hours later, they were back in Eagle.”

    Two hours.

    I wouldn’t care if anyone knew my name.

    ===

    The quotations are from “A Man on the Moon,” by Andrew Chaikin, page 217, and “Deke!” by Deke Slayton, page 245.

  • MZ  On February 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    DD,

    I do my homework. I read, I study, I ponder. Therefore I have intellectual credibility that lies so far beyond your only sources Fox News and the Drudge report that one needs astronomical units to measure the distance.

    So As far as that goes, you are the one full of bullshit. Try learning – it’s a wonderful life long gift to yourself.

    Since you neither understand science nor the process of doing science, it is hard to know where to begin with your Luddite sensitivities.

    First, let’s start with the evidence.

    Coral reefs are one of the best barometers of ocean health as they are incubators for life that form the basis for the food chain. Here are three links detailing the destruction of the coral reefs:

    1) http://www.coral.org/
    2) http://reefrelief.org/
    3) http://www.pcrf.org/

    Here are a few newspaper stories regarding coral reefs and their destruction by global warming:

    1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/02/coral-catastrophic-future
    2) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/weekinreview/05reefs.html?_r=0

    I realize five data points is not enough, but why should I do ALL the work for you?

    Now, lets talk about general weather trends. Obviously you may not want to deal with weather because it’s so inconvenient be told the obvious, but let’s give it a go shall we?

    1) http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/climate-change-impacts/?gclid=CJv-2JGXxbUCFdFT4AodJAsA5g
    2) http://www.weather.com/news/weather-hurricanes/sandy-climate-change-debate-20121030
    3) http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/nca-overview – a bit dated but knowledge is knowledge
    4) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/04/2012-year-british-weather-dangerous
    5) http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012climatechange.html
    6) http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=5528
    7) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/hurricanes-climate.html

    And there are many references contained therein to back up and bolster this idea of climate change and global warming.

    Do you want to get satellite data chronicling the loss of arctic ice, the steadily decreasing reflectance of the earth and the increase of global temperatures? Do you want to get into atmospheric chemistry as well? Are youcompetent to understand hig level chemistry? I sincerely doubt you nor most on the blog would based on the technical nature of the subject. Nonetheless that data is out there too, IF you wish to educate yourself.

    Regrettably I do not have the entire day to give more references. It is up to you to ferret more information than this brief overview I have given.

    Now let’s turn to the actual scientific work itself. Now I understand you were allowed to have a gun and kill people because Marines are such noble creatures. But there are a WHOLE lot of us that do not need guns to express a viewpoint. And perhaps you might want to start there. Science is work, not the end result of history’s original point and click interface.

    Science begins with a scientist having an idea. We call this the hypothesis. Based on that hypothesis, one develops a theory. A theory is an idea which can be tested. Then there is experimentation. Experimentation is the testing of the idea. Once the experiment is performed and analyzed, the hypothesis is modified, a new theory is developed and again there is testing. THis refinement occurs until there is fundamental agreement between the theory and the experiment. This is called the scientific method and has been used in some form or fashion since the Enlightenment. To whit: The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as: “a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.” (this comes from Wikipedia).

    Once agreement is achieved between theory and experiment, one publishes the data in reputable journals. NOT FOX NEWS! You see, science is facts, not opinion. The publishing of the data/theory requires literature precedent to show what was known before the experiment, to show what was done was in accord with known techniques or was a valid extension of known techniques used in a novel way. The data is shown, then the interpretation of the data showing the conclusions and validating the theory the scientist had developed.

    There are many times competition between different scientists concerning various phenomena. Both sides must show deep scientific veracity in their methodology. Both sides must have repeatable data, data that can be reproduced in an independent lab. Both must have transparent methodologies that allow for criticism. One cannot hide behind an opaque wall as is often done in government/military circles. As is always the case, the refinement of experiment on a theory inevitably grinds to a commonly accepted truth. This is scientific TRUTH, not dogma. It does not matter what political, religious or ethnic groups one belongs to. The scientific truth IS the scientific truth.

    What you want is to change science from being a rigorous pursuit of truth into a benign past time that anyone with a contrary thought without a shred of evidence to the contrary can declare deeply considered and experimentally-validated theories as rubbish because they find the consequences of that theory onerous or bothersome or “inconvenient”.

    The only bullshit I am seeing is that which comes from from your computer.

    • umoc193  On February 20, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      MZ

      Haven’t seen the DD comment that aroused your ire so I’m interested in how your reaction meshes with what he wrote.

  • MZ  On February 20, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Since Dick Cheney’s muppet only outed Plame to the NY TImes and not to Robert Novak, I am wrong in not going through all the details. However, he DID give the name of Plame, a CIA agent, to Judith Miller along with (apparently) a waiver to use the information released. And I am guessing Armitrage got his marching orders from the janitor in the State Department, because it could not have come from the right honorable Cheney or his devoted muppet Scooter. Seems to me you like to forget that there is more to a documented story than your bullshit smears like to portray.

  • Devildog  On February 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Nice Tourist, I like that. Nothing of value I can add to that.

    Does anyone out there watch NCIS? A friend called last evening after the basketball games to discuss them and then said he had to hang up to watch the program (we’re on the left coast so it was almost 8). He told me the time and channel and urged that I watch. I had never watched the program nor rarely any other of that ilk but tuned it in and surfed back and forth during the hour.

    Well, it was one of the stupidest, most unbelievable things I’ve ever seen. Isn’t it one of the highest, if not highest , rated programs. If yes, that may be reason enough to “indict America”.

    • Tourist  On February 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Thank you, Devildog. In the year 2013, we can’t do that yet. I have to force myself to recognize how many people have no memory of it, and, understandably, little interest.

      ===

      I watch very little entertainment television but NCIS is a fave. We’re a season or two behind you here. If you don’t like it, you don’t like, but I’m not sure you can appreciate it from one. (I have a feeling I know why you react negatively; Hollywood never gets anything right in the eyes of people who know something about it.) I offer you this:

      http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2011/11/ncis_the_secret_of_the_long_running_procedural_s_remarkable_success.html

      • Devildog  On February 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        Tourist, this was the only NCIS episode I have ever seen. My friends talk about acting, excitement, how much they like a certain person, etc. but I think the operative word is “incredulity”. A Marine captain stabs people in his command, including one to death, and the troops accept the stabbings because they are hung ho Marines, and the reason he stabs them is because his brother Marine (his actual brother) was stabbed to death that way in Afghanistan. Really now. One is supposed to get by that incredulity and enjoy the acting. To each his own.i don’t mind being in the minority.

      • Tourist  On February 20, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        Devildog (at 6:48), there’s also the fact that every series runs out of ideas and gets goofy. Do you have access to older ones? Your friends are right. It’s about the rest.

        • Devildog  On February 20, 2013 at 7:18 PM

          Tourist, don’t know about old ones but not really interested. Sorry if I gave away an episode you haven’t yet seen. I’ll stick to sports events and sports center, the military and history channels and MSNBC.

          • umoc193  On February 21, 2013 at 7:28 AM

            After several years of no cable and having only shows like Law and Order and CSI available for my crime fix, once I returned to the world of 150 channels I discovered programs discussing real crimes and real forensic examinations and real cop interrogations that really make the approach of episodic TV pathetically pale in comparison.

        • umoc193  On February 21, 2013 at 7:14 AM

          Called “Jumping the shark” after the Happy Days episode when Fonzie did just that on water skis.

  • Devildog  On February 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Mz, we all make mistakes of fact. Why not just say you were wrong and apologize? Man up! You didn’t lie-you were just mistaken.

  • Devildog  On February 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    UMOC, the reason you haven’t seen my comment that caused MZ’s ire (I would call it a rant and rave) is because you probably read it but didn’t identify it as anything that would cause a sane person to vent as did Mz. See my comment on 2/19 at 7:58 P.M. So now you can see, and maybe comment on, how his reaction meshes with my comment. The man just isn’t all there; maybe his IQ is so high that he can’t react “normally”. I don’t know that I want to break bread with him-he seems like the kind that can be really, really dangerous. Unabomber type!

  • Devildog  On February 20, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    UMOC, your four posts say the same think. My experts are infallible and your experts (every one of them) are not only not experts worth considering but were bought out by the Koch Brothers et. al. Not only that but the people on your Iraq program are the only ones who know what actually happened, everyone ele on the other side either “wasn’t there” or was bought out or otherwise silenced. And you have all the facts about everything-let’s hear what really happened to Kennedy?

    “actually scientific experts” you say. Bravo. And one scientist, previously funded by Koch, changes his mind and you say case closed.

    Is Venice under water yet? If not, will be soon. Now a ghost town as people evacuate.

    Getting OBL means we can get every other target? A non-sequitur but probably right. But at what cost? The decision re OBL was go for it-for others, drone them. I’m okay with that. Why aren’t you.

    You people” claim to know all the answers but you don’t. I claim not to know answers to many of the issues here-but I know bullshit when I see it and will point it out.

    • umoc193  On February 21, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      Did I not articulate well or are you deliberately misinterpreting my words?

      Again, 97-98% of climate scientists, the very people with the knowledge and expertise to study and report on such matters, agree that there is global warming. Richard Muller, the Koch backed dude was once a skeptic, though a respected physicist in his own right, and after an extensive review of the science involved changed his mind and even went further than others in asserting it was nearly all due to man. Not all scientists are willing to go quite so far though they also believe man is responsible for a good part of it.

      Now, exactly what experts can you present who differ? Hannity? Limbaugh? O’Reilly? Marco “the earth is only a few thousand years old” Rubio?

      As to Iraq, the folks I cited are pretty much backed up by the facts. I know those are inconvenmient to you but, just as you gotta go to war with the army you got, so do you have to go to debate with the facts you got.

      Now you do distort what I said about OBL and his potential capture instead of just droning him. I gave that as an example of the possibility of capture in foreign countries when a huge part of the drone rationale is that we have no other way to reach them. I do believe earlier you adopted my favorite response to such claims. BULLSHIT.

  • Tourist  On February 20, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    If the statistics were that men believed in God and women didn’t, would we be able make any sense of that? We would find things to say about it, but persuasively, convincingly?

    It would seem that human-induced global warming is the case or it is not the case. A third of Republicans believe it is. Two-thirds of Democrats believe it is. Those are my integrations of a few surveys I looked at quickly. It’s the clear split I’m interested in, not the details.

    Can anyone explain what believing yes or believing no has to do with being politically liberal or politically conservative?

    Should I wait or jump ahead?

    Because I suspect it’s anti-all-government and all-hands-off-business types who are more afraid of what the responses might include – to the extent of caring less about the actual fact one way or the other.

    One of the surveys I skimmed included this (page 4): “Tea Party members are much more likely to say that they are ‘very well informed’ about global warming than the other groups. Likewise, they are also much more likely to say they ‘do not need any more information’ about global warming to make up their mind.”

    http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/PoliticsGlobalWarming2011.pdf

    • umoc193  On February 21, 2013 at 7:32 AM

      What I find intriguing about those who are global warming deniers is that such a goodly number of them fall into the free enterprise camp. Yet the solutions to global warming will necessarily entail new approaches to old technologies or completely new technologies which, to me, seems like an entrepreneur’s wet dream! “GOSH, what a chance to make a bundle while I create jobs, which is my ultimate purpose!”

  • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Tourist, I responded to your 2/20 11:47 post but for some reason, it appeared about 31 posts above yours. So, if you want to read what I wrote, scroll up.

  • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Devildog, I saw it. I was just about to post this:

    Devildog’s response of February 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM to mine just above (if this appears in the right place) is way up there as a reply to a reply to something else. If you haven’t seen it, search the page internally for his date and time.

    Devildog, the method to my madness: I initially typed the men/women/God hypothetical your way and then flipped it to make it even more inexplicable. I wanted a parallel that made no apparent sense, to illustrate the lack of apparent sense in a factual question in the realm of the physical sciences correlating (in the belief surveys) to political affiliation.

    I limited my question to “human-induced/believe or don’t” for the same reasons: simplicity and clarity. I agree that warming and human-induced warming are not always distinguished in public discussions. I wanted to eliminate the side issues. I was asking why political affiliations line up with believing or not believing something that is ultimately factual.

    You have every right – in some sense, duty – to ask a scientist how he or she “knows” global warming is man-made. I have no doubt you will get an explanation of scientific methods, physical mechanisms and bodies of evidence. You will hear about the degree/level/percentage of certainty in the conclusion and an acknowledgment that nothing is ever 100%.

    If, on whatever the question, scientists are 20% certain (or if only 20% of them think so), don’t bet on it. If they are 50% certain or split 50-50, decide who you want to believe. But at some point and combination of “high certainty” and “almost everybody,” the question becomes: Do you accept the answer? And if not, why not? What is your basis for continuing to not believe?

    • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Tourist, here’s what I have heard (from many) and which I don’t believe and that is this:

      If we don’t take immediate, “drastic” action immediately (like Kyoto, which did more to damage the movement than everything other than Al Gore), the world is doomed and “will end” in 20, 40, or whatever years. Tell me we should make prudent changes now, without damaging jobs and the economy, and I’ll go along with that. The UMOC’s of this country think those on the other side agree… No, we are the reasonable, prudent people in this controversy and the UMOCs’ are so far out that they have reaped what they have sown.

      • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Oh really? I am “far out”? Actually “far out” used to be good. Just ask John Denver.

        I take the position that while action now is necessary, I do not necessarily buy the predictions that we will all drown in thrity years. Of course I don’t buy into other Mayan-type end-of-the-world fantasies concocted by those disappointed in Obama’s re-election either. But, then again, those have absolutely no basis in fact, scientific or otherwise, while climate change is real as are the melting polar icecaps as a result.

  • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    With the volume problems we may have created, UMOC will soon ask us to move on to another thread. I say stay here and see if we can crash the whole damn system. He set this up, does all the work, makes it possible, and I benefit from it. So screw him. That’s why I’m a conservative.

    • Mugsy  On February 21, 2013 at 7:05 AM

      Tourist,, certainly you can see that although UMOC has done the work in setting up this site, he benefits greatly from the public infrastructure and has reaped the rewards of his work for quite some time. This site must be shared among the people. And while on the subject, what do we do for the people who have no internet access and therefore can not benefit from this, er, people’s blog? We need a government program, paid for by the wealthiest Americans. (at least some other Americans). UMOC has reaped the benefits of the people’s blog for far too long…he can continue doing the work, but must not be such a disproportionate receiver of the credit.So screw him. That’s why I’m a liberal.

  • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    Mugsy, I stand matched on point, bested on style. Maybe there’s a resolution somewhere.

    • Mugsy  On February 21, 2013 at 7:53 AM

      I can hardly claim to have matched your point or bested your style by copying your statement. Imitation is, after all, the most sincere form of flattery.

      There would be a resolution between you and me if we were having a difficulty, but I think that maybe on the larger scope things are too far out of hand. The two sides are no longer sympathetic to one another. If you see your neighbor as another person, with the same problems, sorrows and joys as yourself, then you resolve to be polite at the very least. When you see them as something alien, your resolve has a different intent. The poor homeless guy on the corner and the wealthy woman in the office building have something in common with the guy that works in one of the offices and the woman getting on the bus; they’re all human…but they may as well be from other planets given the tone of the culture. We are, as a culture, intently ego centric and loathe to commit to any idea larger than ourselves.

      • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 8:11 AM

        Mugsy,

        “. . . but I think that maybe on the larger scope things are too far out of hand.”

        I’ve been saying variations of that off and on since I got involved in these forums, spending much of the rest of the time wondering how much I believe it, and the remainder looking for signs it’s not true.

  • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Having just awaken and not even fiinished my first cup of coffee, let me say this about that.

    I have no doubt that in many if not most parts of the world, it has been warmer the past few years than “normal”, maybe even the warmest. But I think (without knowing for sure) that it has been cooler than normal. I have little doubt that man contributes but to what extent (significant?) I don’t know.

    What I definitely am not convinced of at this time is that man-induced global warming is of such significance that it requires such action as would “drastically” change the way we live (all americans’ way of life). See Senate vote on Kyoto protocol.

    And, yes, UMOC,private enterprise and entrepreneurs will solve the problem. See energy and Malthus.

    Tourist, you and I can talk about “man-induced” but UMOC in his posts doesn’t seem to recognize the significance of that. Global warming, the record speaks for itself. The cause and significance-that’s another matter. Amazing how that Koch guy went from an imposter to an expert worth quoting.

    • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      When you cite temperatures in vastly different locations you are addressing weather, not climate change. Barring cataclysm variations will remain.

      As to “man-induced” I believe the consensus is that man contributes to climate change in a big way but the full extent of that is not universally conclusive.

      As to Richard Muller, I don’t know that anyone called him an imposter, certainly I did not, but he most assuredly had denied climate change until he had the task of reviewing the research with an eye towards discrediting it and instead reached the opposite conclusion. He appears to have been a respected member of the scientific community which is what made his reversal so notable. The fact that he had received some financial backing from the Kochs is icing on the cake.

    • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      “And, yes, UMOC,private enterprise and entrepreneurs will solve the problem. See energy and Malthus.”

      I have no idea what that passage means. But then, non sequitors within serious talk have always caused me to raise my eyebrows. Of course you know ice cream does not have bones.

  • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Cooler than normal in other parts.

  • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Devildog, walk with me. This comes together at the end.

    There was reason to believe Saddam had WMD’s (MZ, that was one of the quibbles). He didn’t. Some said so and were right. Those who were wrong deemed the danger too great to take the chance . . . deemed the danger too great.

    Another of mine used several times: Somewhere in the universe the center of a galaxy has just exploded. It may take thousands of years for the wave to reach some of the star systems in that galaxy, but the planets in those star systems are already doomed.

    Ecosystems can be doomed before they are gone. The Earth is an ecosystem. Voices I am not in a position to dismiss worry aloud that we are, in the big picture, near some sort of global-warming tipping point. Thus the claims of “doom” you cite and the calls for “drastic” action.

    Is that a scare tactic to gin up support for some diabolical agenda, or is it just scary? If you’re saying you don’t know, I’m with you 100%.

    What’s your approach to droning bad guys? What command decisions do you make? What dangers are too great to take a chance?

    • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Tourist, let’s walk together.

      It is my belief (which UMOC and many others disagree with-I don’t know about you)that before attacking Iraq, tremendous consideration (including listening to the people who disagreed) was given to the “last resort” decision to proceed (again UMOC would this agree saying that is bullshit).

      As far as targeting and using drones against someone, the same degree of consideration was given including a risk/benefit analysis of possible capture vs. droning (again, UMOC would disagree).

      I do not agree that there is such a thing as “tipping point” re global warming (as the UMOC’s believe). I believe different steps can be taken sequentially to avoid anything close to catastrophic damage and that we are taking such steps now based on the knowledge available to us at this time. I don’t believe we have to cripple “our” economy at this time while other countries continue as is based on our current knowledge (this is not a they’re not doing it why should we argument.

      So, that’s my argument-no tipping point, take reasonable steps at this time and be flexible to take additional steps if needed and let private enterprise and the free market innovate. I don’t know if it’s a scare tactic or not (I’ve seen that used by both sides in different debates, but I think it’s greatly exaggerated and, again, I firmly believe there’s no possibility of a tipping point and, if there is such a thing, where’re nowhere near that. All despite the Chicken Little people out there-are you listening UMOC.

      • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        When have I ever asserted there is a “tipping point” re: climate change? I simply acknowledge the scientific fact of it and believe steps should be taken to counteract it.

        Now, what evidence do you have that”tremendous consideration” was given to the opposition to invading Iraq? That is bullshit. The entire notion to invade was built on lies, lies that were believable enough given the post 9/11 revenge mentality, that the people who should have been questioning the lies threw their own credibility to the winds and demonstrated an utter lack of political courage by voting for the war when they knew better because they didn’t want to appear to be wimps on national security. One former GOP Senator )I forget which one) admitted that was so in the program I viewed the other evening.

        And, since so much is secretive about the drones, and, given your general distrust of all Obama, why the hell would you buy into the idea that every consideration has been given as to determining the whos whys and wherefores of the drone attacks?

    • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      First of all there was really no great mass of evidence at all that Iraq had nukes or was even trying to build them. Never, at least within the time span of the rhetorical buildup to unjustly invading.

      Regardless, assuming they did have or were building nukes, how did that give the United States any right to invade and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people without any palpable threat that those weapons were to be used imminently against American targets? We have no rights to do that.

      What convinced the American people that the invasion was the right thing to do was not only the existence of nukes but the implication that Saddam was somehow connected with Al Qaeda and likely to provide nukes for the next evil terrorist plot.

      I NEVER NEVER NEVER bought into that shit and still find it incredible that the fucking mass media, thatultra-liberal mouthpiece for the communist party, did but into it. Talk about irresponsible. If those so-called journalists had done their job and actually looked into these spurious lying claims we might possibly have been spared so many fucking coffins filled with the remains of innocnet troops from arriving at Dover AFB.

  • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Devildog, if you do not buy “tipping point,” your position is sensible. (I trust you mean that the tipping point will not be anytime soon, not that there won’t be one. Systems under stress have tipping points. Again, witness our overload to this blog.) I could ask once more, “But how can *you* be sure?” But we’d be going around in circles.

    I will ask – if “no tipping point” is your thing – why “human-induced” or not mattered to you?

    Or we could forget about the fate of the planet and face the fate of America. Per Mugsy at 7:53 AM – “too far out of hand” – does anyone have a scenario for how this ends?

    • Devildog  On February 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      Tourist, how does the “how can you be sure” adherents of global warming differ from the how can you be sure adherents of God/heaven (no atheists in foxholes)? If there is a God/heaven, I believe the only way to get there is by deeds not beliefs but that is not why I try(could try harder, I suppose) to be “good”.

      What is meant by a global warming tipping point? Does that mean that if we don’t take appropriate action by a given time, the world will end? If so, that’s a long, long, long (how many longs do I need) time away. Prudence is the operative word! I am not against (what I believe to be) prudent steps along the way, but the sky is not falling. I’m also concerned about global cooling, which might come along soon. I’m concerned about every one and every thing, and I can probably find experts to support every one of my concerns.

      I apologize about being so flippant about so important a subject. Back to tipping point. For Christian religious believers, the tipping point is when you die (or just before that-did you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour-Mugsy, correct me if I am wrong since I am not a Christian). That’s a real tipping point. Now, this is an opinion and I don’t have any facts to back it up but it seems to me that global warming people are liberals who are not as religion based as the anti-global people.

      So, Tourist, why should I believe more in the how can you be sure argument re global warming than about God and heaven when one has to do merely with the end of the earth and the other about an eternity in heaven.

      Anyway, to me, the how can you be sure argument is akin in value to the slippery slope argument.

      • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        Devildog, I’ll be back unless someone else says what I want to first, but I can’t do it right now.

  • Tourist  On February 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    This sentence in an article on mosquito repellant, specifically Deet, and the discovery that mosquitos, repelled the first time, get used to it and will come back: “To investigate why this might be happening, the researchers attached electrodes to the insects’ antenna.”

    Attached electrodes? And, what, transmitters?

    The mind boggles.

    I wanna be a scientist when I grow up!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21519998

    • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      But with those electrodes attached the mosquitoes were able to receive broadcasts of Cousin Brucey on WABC from the sixties. ROCK ON!

  • Mugsy  On February 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    “Or we could forget about the fate of the planet and face the fate of America. Per Mugsy at 7:53 AM – “too far out of hand” – does anyone have a scenario for how this ends?”

    It ends badly.

    I know that you are optimistic about this, Tourist, that’s why I like talking to you; I need an informed viewpoint that is still optimistic as I become even more pessimistic. Believe it or not, I’m optimistic by nature, and I can see how I could be mistaken on this one…because I base my opinion mostly on internet conversations which tend to be harsh and uncompromising. When I speak with people in person, it is generally far more congenial. maybe that’s the silver lining to my dark cloud.

    There, an admission that you may be correct and I may be wrong. I offer it up for Lent.

    • umoc193  On February 22, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      Mugsy

      You are correct that, to paraphrase, we pay more attention to our differences than to our similarities. I’ll throw some thoughts in about that later.

      As for right now I’ve had a long difficult week. I’m feeling better (ok from Doc’s view) but am a littel tired and grumpy. I need to deal with some other stuff including some housekeeping on here to see if I can improve your experience commenting.

      Later.

      • Tourist  On February 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        UMOC, nothing here is that important. Relax. Rest. Go away!

        Leave your password.

  • Tourist  On February 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Devildog, you say some important things including some I agree with. I was in high school, approaching fifty years ago, when I learned the world would be out of oil in another thirty, so I understand the desire for “prudence” and the claim that “the sky is not falling.” But I can’t deny the fact that the supply of oil is finite and we will be out of it someday. (Drill, baby, drill? Cut imports? Drain America first? What’s the matter with those people?)

    “Tipping point” I understand to mean the point where a process continues by itself to the next stable state. Lean on a wall and it bends but resists and maybe rebounds. Push it too far and it goes the rest of the way. “Does that mean that if we don’t take appropriate action by a given time, the world will end?” you ask. Nope, says me, except possibly yes (coming up), or maybe just civilization, life as we know it. (There will always be cockroaches and Keith Richards.)

    “If so,” you say, “that’s a long, long, long . . . time away.” I agree with that, too – most likely. It gets interesting here. How far into the future should we care about? If there’s nothing we can do? If there’s something we might do? Might have done?

    The Sun will eventually consume our marble, and will have made it uninhabitable billions of years before that, but we should be far away by then, in other solar systems and galaxies. Should be. One theory for why we and the extraterrestrials haven’t found each other yet is that there aren’t any – that it’s inherent in technological civilizations that they find ways to wipe themselves out.

    Then there is *whom* should we care about? The people of a newly submerged island? The people of various former coasts? Loose parallel: collateral damage? Me: Some of it, yes, will be collateral damage – the coasts, the drowned polar bears, the hurricanes, the Sapporo Snow Festival. Adapt, improvise, overcome. “We” didn’t do it on purpose. Father, forgive them.

    Factual aside: The rising sea level has virtually nothing to do with the melting of the polar ice. Melt it all and the additional water wouldn’t do much. The flooding is coming as the oceans themselves warm and that water expands. I don’t think anyone is talking seriously about reversing the warming, only slowing it. The water is going to continue to rise.

    That’s all small stuff compared with some of the biodiversity/food-pyramid scenarios. None of this is my field and I’m not obsessed with it. It’s too gloomy. Life is like a corporate organizational chart. Every creature is sustained by many more creatures in the level below it. It’s the layers below that the warming and poisoning and depletion-harvesting are killing off.

    (Quote)

    The fossil record paints with a thick brush. But it seems that volcanoes in what are now the Siberian steppes were spewing lava, which was in turn vaporizing vast deposits of coal. Carbon concentrations went through the roof—much as they are doing now from human industrial activity. A surge in atmospheric carbon is a prime suspect for the Permian extinction, the biggest die-off in the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth. What does this bode for us?

    . . . But extinction? That is a high bar . . . . For Homo sapiens to go extinct—for every last man, woman, and child on the planet die, once and for all—it seems that something fundamental would have to give. The foundation of life on the planet is its geochemistry—its atmospheres, oceans, the elements that comprise them, the ground beneath them, and the relationship of this vast system to the sun. This is the stage upon which life plays out.

    One of the interesting things about past mass extinctions is that they seem to happen over many millions of years. The exception, of course, is the one that doomed the dinosaurs, which basically occurred during one bad weekend with an asteroid. But some paleobiologists have recently whittled the Permian extinction down to a few tens of thousands of years, give or take. That puts it squarely on a human timescale.

    (Unquote)

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/animal_forecast/2013/02/human_extinction_could_a_mass_extinction_kill_homo_sapiens.html

    Really, I don’t know.

    “So, Tourist, why should I believe more in the how can you be sure argument re global warming than about God and heaven when one has to do merely with the end of the earth and the other about an eternity in heaven.

    “Anyway, to me, the how can you be sure argument is akin in value to the slippery slope argument.”

    Devildog, easy, those. I don’t like the slippery-slope argument either. If you’re careful on the slope, you don’t have to slide. With “How can you be sure?” if you are wrong, you are wrong.

    With God and heaven, either way, you are committing or risking only yourself.

  • Devildog  On February 22, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    UMOC, be well.

    Tourist, supple of oil is finite and we will be out of it one day. So what? Finite by definition and long before that day comes, we will have alternates and/or be able to produce/manufacture it. Finite only in its present form-energy will be here until the end comes for other reasons. Food, or other vital nutrients, same unless the planet suffers a cataclysmic event, and even then, popping pills will be enough for sustenance.

    Seems to me in this global warming debate that the only thing in dispute, especially with UMOC minimizing tipping point, the timing and actions demanded by (world) governments. People like me believe that competition will produce action necessary to maintain “our way of life”.

    While God and heaven risks only oneself, I still ask that if anyone asks the what if question re global warming, how could individual not ask that question re himself and religion. Oh, I just thought of the answer. That person is without question a liberal and, therefore, is more concerned about saving the world than himself.

    By the way, I’m out of the Iraq, Afghanistan and drone debates-out of concern for the well-being of both UMOC and me.

    • umoc193  On February 25, 2013 at 6:00 AM

      Just posted a new entry on health care. To fully understand it you may need to read the article linked to, which is 11 internet pages. Worth the time.

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