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July 04, 2007

Comments

J.R. Stoodley

Excelent article. All too true.

Mike Petrik

Sowell is one of our national treasures.

Michael

The Dark Ages were called dark for a reason.

Yes, and that reason was anti-Catholicism. The pagan Roman empire was replaced with something better. As St. Augustine watched the Roman empire fall he foresaw that God would bring a greater good out of apparent evil.

When God decrees it is time for America to leave the stage perhaps it will be because he will have grown tired of us worshipping ourselves.

Steve Cavanaugh

Michael, the pagan Roman empire was replaced by a Christian Roman Empire under Constantine, Theodosius and Justinian. The Dark Ages came about with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the destroyers were not something better: they were pagans and Arians. It took the Catholic Franks to finally overpower the Arian Barbarians, and to withstand the invading Muslim Moors (who arose only because of the fall of the Western Empire and the weakening of the Eastern Empire by its constant defensive wars against the pagan Persians). And then they were fatally weakened by the invading and raiding pagan Vikings.

Anti-Catholicism labeled the whole period from A.D. 500 to A.D. 1500 the Dark Ages, but most history books today do not, and recognize the Dark Ages as the period of Barbarian invaders (roughly 500 to 1000). But despite the revival of learning and civilization that occurred after 1000, the overall level of literacy and learning didn't approach the Roman period until after the Renaissance, despite some impressive Medieval advances such as Gothic architecture, printing and agricultural improvements.

But your final statement may well be true.

Michael

Sure, the Germanic tribes were pagans and Arians but they were converted. The question is why the Dark Ages are called 'dark' and my answer still stands. Not my own words, but Professor Rodney Stark's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_Stark)

The Dark Ages have finally been recognized as a hoax perpetrated by anti-religious and bitterly anti-Catholic, 18th-century intellectuals who were determined to assert their cultural superiority and who boosted their claim by denigrating the Christian past—as Gibbon put it in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, after Rome came the "triumph of barbarism and religion." In the past few years even encyclopedias and dictionaries have begun to acknowledge that it was all a lie, that the Dark Ages never were. This always should have been obvious since by the end of the so-called Dark Ages, European science and technology had far exceeded that of Rome and Greece, and all the rest of the world, for that matter.

http://pspruett.blogspot.com/2006/01/shedding-light-on-dark-ages.html

SDG

The Dark Ages were called dark for a reason.

It is helpful to note, of course, that "Dark Ages" is not properly synonymous with the Middle Ages or medieval period as a whole. It properly characterizes the early Middle Ages in the wake of the collapse of the Roman empire, before the full flowering of medieval Christian European culture.

As I understand it, the early medieval period has been considered "dark" in a number of respects, including the effects of pagan barbarism, the comparative dearth of literary and cultural achievement, and the relative lack of contemporary historical documentation (which would make that time period "dark" to later historians who have less to work with).

Having said that, of course the early medieval period and the Middle Ages generally have been subject to vastly unfair scorn, and anti-Catholicism has certainly been a factor in that. Without question it would be a mistake to think of the "Dark Ages" as "dark" in any general way (and Sowell's comment is unhelpful in this respect).

But of course it would also be unfair to characterize a generally worthwhile essay by one unfortunate rhetorical flourish. :-)

Kathy

I truly love American infrastructure--would hate to live without it. Most people in the entire world squat, a lot: to use the bathroom, to relax.

We have a good thing going. Now if we could only BE good--which begins when we stop being grateful for the things we have, and instead keep ratcheting up the luxuries into some unattainable Pelagian glamour heaven.

Ed Peters

SDG: right.

Mike Melendez

"... that thing a long time ago with the apple ..." Ah yes! Isaac Newton and the inverse square law of gravitation. ;^)

There is more than one type of darkness and they always seem to be around.

Michael

The thing is I am not certain that it was an unfortunate rhetorical flourish or an indication of a deeper prejudice. He flourished earlier in the same article.

History is full of nations and even whole civilizations that have fallen from the heights to destitution and disintegration.

The Roman Empire is a classic example...

It seems that his real concern is for material wealth and political centralization. Neither are the ultimate aim of man in the Catholic perspective. I grant that middle class comfort is desirable and few today appreciate the hard labor, discipline, and sacrifice that made current living standards possible, but frankly I do not think Mr. Sowell cares whether Christian civilization thrives or not. He seems more concerned with American civilization, Christian or not. I suspect that if he had lived at the time of the collapse of Rome he would have written a much different book than "The City of God".

Jason

Slavery was cancerous but does anybody regard cancer in the United States as an evil peculiar to American society? It is a worldwide affliction and so was slavery.

That may be the case, but it doesn't change the unique problem we face as a nation trying to shed its past.

White Americans tend to think of George Washington and the revolution and all those things when they celebrate the fourth. They see America from a white historical perspective. Now consider how non-white Americans see history on the fourth. Their ancestors were the slaves of this nation as it spoke about freedom and liberty for all men. Did the new arrivals to this land assimilate to the culture of the Indians, as many today demand of immigrants? Did they adopt Indian languages? No, they stamped them out and conquered the land.

This doesn't justify constant antagonism toward the United States. As Christians, we believe in moving forward in hope. But it puts into context the psychology of the racial divide in this country that still exists. White Americans holding up American flags and celebrating the birth of this nation brings up for non-white Americans what those times meant for their people. It's hard to embrace a nation that enslaved your ancestors and only recently started to recognize your civil rights. Frederick Douglass expressed this well:

I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

Joseph

HAPPY 4th of JULY.

From a veteran and someone who loves the country.

BUT, we should look at some important issues
including issues of economic "freedom" and prosperity from a more Catholic Perspective:

Learn more about

Distributionism

Social Credit

Solidarity and Subsidarity

Read some encyclicals like Leo's Rerum Novarum
or John Paul's Solicitudo Rei Socialis

Some of the economic theories have gone out of style because of Fr. Coughlin, and some ties to Canada and allegations of anti-semitism.
The Church STILL teaches against USURY--which is one of the greatest threats to the continuation of family wealth--and credit cards and bizarre mortgages are destroying families.

matt

Jason,

But it puts into context the psychology of the racial divide in this country that still exists. White Americans holding up American flags and celebrating the birth of this nation brings up for non-white Americans what those times meant for their people. It's hard to embrace a nation that enslaved your ancestors and only recently started to recognize your civil rights

Why are you dividing us?

I live in a mixed, middle class neighborhood in Houston, Texas. It's mostly hispanic, but a significant number of white, and a smaller number of black. I was at a 4th of July parade yesterday, and the representation was probably exactly equal to the proportion of the neighborhood, and they were all waving American flags (except for the mostly white anti-war, anti-George Bush fanatics who did not).

The current societal racial divides are self-imposed. Injustices done against one's ancestors are not an excuse for one's present plight, especially in a country like the US which provides tremendous opportunity to better oneself. Most of the people here came with nothing, and many fled injustice to do so, many (Italians and Irish for example) faced discrimination but overcame it and became prosperous within a generation or two. Even the hispanic population which has come here in the last 20 years or so with nothing but the clothes on their back has largely overcome adversity, although the continuous input of newcomers skews the average. If you look at 2nd or 3rd generation Hispanics you'll probably find that they are well on their way to prosperity.

Frankly it's people that continue to lament the days of slavery and call for reverse discrimination, and reparations, and excuse the plight of present day black America because they are "disadvantaged" that is keeping that is perpetuating that situation. Believing every black American is capable of giving something better to his children than he started with is not racism, thinking he is incapable of doing so without "government" aid is.

Furthermore, while it's obviously shameful that slavery occured, any honest descendant of slaves will wholeheartedly admit that they are much better off for having descended from slaves than to have been born in the Africa of today.

Remember the promise of the US Constitution is the pursuit of happiness, not happiness.

What makes a nation strong is a common culture, that means a common language, and common practices. America has, like no other nation, allowed people to adopt the American culture and still maintain their ancestral culture as they see fit. As soon as that American culture stops becoming mainstrean, the nation will start resembling the cultures that it adopts as mainstream. This is what's happening in Britain, France, and elsewhere in Europe.

Now, let's focus on what's bad about current American culture - the hedonism which leads to abortion, contraception, and other ills.

God Bless,

Matt

thomas tucker

Isn't it ironic that our country was founded in a rebellion against unjust taxation, and our current total tax debt to the government is around 50% or more of our incomes?

matt

Thomas,

Is that number accurate? Seems high to me...It is ironic nevertheless, but it's not that simple is it? It wasn't so much the taxes that were opposed but the lack of representation in all matters. Remember, as Englishmen they were accustomed to a constitutional monarchy, they largely lost the constitutional part but kept the monarchy part in the colonies.

Also, for all of those people who are praising "sicko" and calling for a "single payer" (dishonest euphemism, for taxpayer funded, and government controlled) health care system, check the total tax burden on residents of countries that offer such cradle to grave government services... it's significantly higher than here.

God Bless,

Matt

paul zummo

Good points all around, Matt. And remember, the slogan was "No taxation without representation. It's the second half of that statement which is critical to understanding the revolution.

Jason

Why are you dividing us?

I'm not, I'm pointing out the divide that already exists.

I live in a mixed, middle class neighborhood in Houston, Texas. It's mostly hispanic, but a significant number of white, and a smaller number of black. I was at a 4th of July parade yesterday, and the representation was probably exactly equal to the proportion of the neighborhood, and they were all waving American flags (except for the mostly white anti-war, anti-George Bush fanatics who did not).

I didn't say there was anything wrong with waving American flags. But the Fourth of July is, among other things, a celebration of this nation's birth and its early history. If we are going to remember this nation's birth, then that brings up the question of the evil that accompanied it. For some, the birth of this nation was not marked by freedom, but slavery. History in this country is told through white eyes, but there is another history of our own people that saw the birth and rise of this nation through the eyes of slavery and oppression. For that reason, the idea of celebrating this nation's history is bittersweet for some.

The current societal racial divides are self-imposed. Injustices done against one's ancestors are not an excuse for one's present plight, especially in a country like the US which provides tremendous opportunity to better oneself. Most of the people here came with nothing, and many fled injustice to do so, many (Italians and Irish for example) faced discrimination but overcame it and became prosperous within a generation or two. Even the hispanic population which has come here in the last 20 years or so with nothing but the clothes on their back has largely overcome adversity, although the continuous input of newcomers skews the average. If you look at 2nd or 3rd generation Hispanics you'll probably find that they are well on their way to prosperity.

If this country were Muslim, and enslaved and persecuted Catholics for 200 some odd years, and only about 50 years ago did Catholics start to receive civil rights, would Catholics feel completely comfortable in this nation? Would they look at Muslims and forget the past with ease? Would there be any legitimate fear that there is still not equality with Muslims, when Muslims outnumber Catholics by 200 million (the difference between white and black Americans)?

The racial divide in this country is not self-imposed, and it goes well beyond economic success, although it can be exploited and used in a way that does not look forward with hope. I'm not saying that everything about how minorities and others deal with race in this country is justified, but we have to see why it exists, and not dismiss it as though it were caused by spilt milk.

Some Americans right now are fearing that we will be overcome by other cultures and no longer be what we are. But that has already happened here when the native populations were conquered and their culture disapperead to build this nation, and when we brought Africans over to be our slaves and erase their own culture and history. These people didn't disappear, they are still here, and that memory is still alive.

As I said before, that doesn't justify antagonism or militancy or anything of that sort. But it explains the problem we face, and why white Americans and black Americans generally do not see things the same way. Our psychological histories start from two very different points, one liberty and the other slavery. We can overcome that, and we have taken great steps in doing so, but the fact that we still face real and serious divisions in society can't be denied.

Frankly it's people that continue to lament the days of slavery and call for reverse discrimination, and reparations, and excuse the plight of present day black America because they are "disadvantaged" that is keeping that is perpetuating that situation. Believing every black American is capable of giving something better to his children than he started with is not racism, thinking he is incapable of doing so without "government" aid is.

Again, this goes far beyond economics. It goes to fundamental issues of culture, history, perception, etc.

Furthermore, while it's obviously shameful that slavery occured, any honest descendant of slaves will wholeheartedly admit that they are much better off for having descended from slaves than to have been born in the Africa of today.

They lost their culture, their knowledge of their past, endured centuries of persecution, and live in a white society where they are outnumbered by 200 million. I think most black Americans would give up any material benefit they have now to erase that shameful past. Still, many accept the past in a Christian spirit of carrying their cross. This is the proper response with a difficult situation.

Remember the promise of the US Constitution is the pursuit of happiness, not happiness.

And white Americans have a 200+ year head start in that pursuit.

What makes a nation strong is a common culture, that means a common language, and common practices. America has, like no other nation, allowed people to adopt the American culture and still maintain their ancestral culture as they see fit. As soon as that American culture stops becoming mainstrean, the nation will start resembling the cultures that it adopts as mainstream. This is what's happening in Britain, France, and elsewhere in Europe.

What is American culture? Again, this is part of the problem. For me Hip Hop is American culture, born and raised in America. But the "idea" of American culture is country music, not Hip Hop. My America doesn't look and sound anything like country music.

We have a state called "New Mexico." Why couldn't the language there be Spanish? Why couldn't the language be Spanish in other parts of this country that were historically colonized by the Spanish? Did the founders of this nation learn the Indian languages and assimilate?

I think this country is based on diversity. That is why we have independent states. The idea that there is one American culture seems to me born from the growing role of the federal government, and the loss of the sense that each state is its own boss. Immigrants need to learn English for the practical reason that they need to be able to communicate in this country. But if there were a gradual and natural evolution where Spanish became part of this nation's culture, then that is the course of history. I don't regret the fact that English culture replaced Indian culture, I only regret the fact that the Indians were forcibly conquered. It was not a natural thing.

SDG

A lot has happened since Frederick Douglass died over 110 years ago.

I wonder what Sowell would have to say about the difficulty of "embracing a nation that enslaved your ancestors and only recently started to recognize your civil rights." Whatever the difficulties may or may not be, apparently the thing is possible, and I wonder whether resistance on this point is constructive or otherwise.

Certainly, there are senses in which the legacy of slavery is still with us. At the same time, I'm not clear that the connection between this legacy and the social and economic disadvantages that affect too many black Americans today is as straightforward and direct as some make out.

AFAIK, there's a case to be made that the progress black Americans made in the decades after slavery was ended has lost ground in recent decades, as that in at least some respects the obstacles black Americans face are actually more formidable today than they were 40 years ago. Have black Americans lost ground? If so, whatever the causes for such a reversal might be, it seems more complicated than direct fallout from slavery.

It may be that there are other issues and obstacles that it would be more constructive to focus on.

Jason

Whatever the difficulties may or may not be, apparently the thing is possible, and I wonder whether resistance on this point is constructive or otherwise.

As I said, as a Christian, I believe that we should all accept where we are and look forward with hope, even if we deal with serious problems. But as an American, I see the deep social and cultural problems that have race at their root, and I have to understand that. I think it's very similar to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. As Christians, we know that they have to come together and work for a just solution, despite their differences. But to understand that situation, we have to understand both sides, and that there is a lot of hurt and grievances that made that situation what it is.

SDG

Jason, any thoughts on the rest of my post?

John D.

It's hard to embrace a nation that enslaved your ancestors and only recently started to recognize your civil rights.

Thomas Sowell seems to embrace a nation that enslaved his ancestors.

matt

Jason,

If this country were Muslim, and enslaved and persecuted Catholics for 200 some odd years, and only about 50 years ago did Catholics start to receive civil rights

While there were certainly some civil rights denied, mostly by segregation, until the 60's, the Emancipation Proclamation was a few years before that, and the slavery ended shortly thereafter.


and why white Americans and black Americans generally do not see things the same way. Our psychological histories start from two very different points, one liberty and the other slavery.

Stereotype. "Psychological" history? Gobbledygook. All people born in America in this century and the last have NO history of being enslaved. Period.

live in a white society where they are outnumbered by 200 million.

What "white" society? Again YOU are dividing us, not I. I associate with anyone who enters my sphere, and any sphere I enter. That most traditional Catholics are not black does not mean that traditional Catholicism is a "white" thing... it's a people thing. The sooner we break down barriers the sooner society will be healed of this rift that is being perputuated.

I think most black Americans would give up any material benefit they have now to erase that shameful past.

Who said anything about material benefit? I'm talking about not having your arms hacked off with a machete and a burning tire placed around your waist.

And white Americans have a 200+ year head start in that pursuit.

Only if they are 200+ years old. Pursuit of happiness is not generational. As I have presented, and you haven't refuted, it only takes 1 or 2 generations to overcome significant disadvantage. If one hasn't overcome it that is one's own fault, and is owed to one's children not to pass on that failure to one's children, it is not the government's responsibility to do so.


What is American culture? Again, this is part of the problem. For me Hip Hop is American culture, born and raised in America. But the "idea" of American culture is country music, not Hip Hop. My America doesn't look and sound anything like country music.

Ok, sorry, I have to be more clear, I mean the important cultural values, not entertainment preferences. This includes common moral standards, common language, etc. In any event a particular musical preference could not be characteristic of the "American" culture, as those preferences have always been incredibly diverse (folk, blues, gosepel, country, rock, clasical, etc. etc.).


We have a state called "New Mexico." Why couldn't the language there be Spanish? Why couldn't the language be Spanish in other parts of this country that were historically colonized by the Spanish? Did the founders of this nation learn the Indian languages and assimilate?

So we have a province in Canada called Nova Scotia - New Scotland, should they all speak Gaelic? Should New Englanders adopt the Queen's English? Because an important uniting element of a nation is a common language.


I think this country is based on diversity. That is why we have independent states. The idea that there is one American culture seems to me born from the growing role of the federal government, and the loss of the sense that each state is its own boss. Immigrants need to learn English for the practical reason that they need to be able to communicate in this country. But if there were a gradual and natural evolution where Spanish became part of this nation's culture, then that is the course of history. I don't regret the fact that English culture replaced Indian culture, I only regret the fact that the Indians were forcibly conquered. It was not a natural thing.

Sorry, that's not true, the states where always united, what this country is about is all immigrants becoming AmericanIt's not a natural evolution, it's brought about by excessive immigration from Spanish speaking countries, and a laxity in their assimilation. It's also being forced by certain elements of the government who seem to think that it's a good thing for a portion of the population to not speak English. Doing so would create another "divide" which will cause another group of disadvantaged people, and it would not be the English speakers.



obstacles black Americans face are actually more formidable today than they were 40 years ago. Have black Americans lost ground?

Absolutely, the rate of out-of-wedlock births is far worse today than it ever was, and that's a much bigger disadvantage than segragated schools was.

Matt

thomas tucker

Matt and Paul- good points, but I think one could make the case that we have no representation now either. Oh, in theory we do, but in practical terms we don't. Our representatives represent their big campaign donors,i.e. big busineeses and corporations, not the average citizen. I don't think my voice would be heard any less if we actually had a monarch than it is now.
And, yes, if you include all federal, state, property, and local taxes, then about 50% or more of your income goes to the government in this Land of the Free.

Dan

America is great insofar as it is good.
As soon as America is no longer good we are no longer great.
Legalized homicide does not make a country great.
And that is where we stand today.
Before Roe vs Wade We were great.
Now we are not.
God bless you.

question

Matt
I think you are too hard on the comments.
While some valid points and I do agree with you on some.
There is something unique about the African American (Black) experience in the United States that is lasting to this day.
This does not mean there are not things that individuals should not blame themselves for or a cultural community should take responsibility for if possible--only that there are group and subculture dynamics.

The American Indians wish they had a Sensenbrenner and immigration control. While in theory the specifics of the immigration debate or not necessarily intrinsicly racist--some of the motivation of some and the impact are negative and racist. May we reflect on the Flight into Egypt.

paul zummo

Our representatives represent their big campaign donors,i.e. big busineeses and corporations, not the average citizen. I don't think my voice would be heard any less if we actually had a monarch than it is now.

I definitely understand the cynicism, and it's certainly not without merit, but I think that's a bit overstated. As the recent defeat of the comprehensive immigration reform bill demonstrates, Congress still will listen to the people if the people are passionate about something. And while a Congressman needs money to get elected, he needs votes even more. Most studies show that, in the end, a Congressman is going to listen to his constituents long before he's going to listen to his donor base, assuming the two are in conflict (which they usually aren't, but that's another matter).

So, keep your chin up. If anything, if Congress is out of whack, well, it's also because the voters can be out of whack as well.

matt

Thomas,

Matt and Paul- good points, but I think one could make the case that we have no representation now either. Oh, in theory we do, but in practical terms we don't. Our representatives represent their big campaign donors,i.e. big busineeses and corporations, not the average citizen. I don't think my voice would be heard any less if we actually had a monarch than it is now.
And, yes, if you include all federal, state, property, and local taxes, then about 50% or more of your income goes to the government in this Land of the Free.

Posted by: thomas tucker | Jul 5, 2007 12:29:17 PM

You think? How many foreign troops are quartered in your house? When's the last time you were locked up without trial? Or transported beyond seas to some foreign court? Have you been summarily pressed into military service lately? Our sense of freedom seems to have gone beyond some of the most basic issues that the founding fathers were thinking of.

There is something unique about the African American (Black) experience in the United States that is lasting to this day.

Absolutely, and there's something unique about the experience of all races, and religious beliefs, and national origin, etc. The problems that plague many groups is not racism in the present tense, but their failure to overcome the difficulties faced by their ancestors. If anything the attempts by the government to fix their problems have done nothing but perpetuate them. It's the racism of low expectations.

God Bless,

Matt

Michael

You think? How many foreign troops are quartered in your house? When's the last time you were locked up without trial? Or transported beyond seas to some foreign court? Have you been summarily pressed into military service lately? Our sense of freedom seems to have gone beyond some of the most basic issues that the founding fathers were thinking of.

Sorry, but you changed the subject which was taxation without representation. But to answer you other points, no there are no troops stationed in my house. However my taxes do help to pay for the large network of U.S. military bases around the world that troops, some of them foreign, do occupy - so much the same. I have not been locked up without a trial, and neither had any of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. That does not mean it did not happen then just as we know it is happening now. Transported beyond seas to a foreign court? Again I have not experienced extraordinary rendition but I do not envy those who have and they sadly enough cannot even expect a trial. Have I been pressed into military service lately? Oh you got us on that one. The draft has not been reinstated yet. There are politicians who would love to do it however.

Mary

only about 50 years ago did Catholics start to receive civil rights, would Catholics feel completely comfortable in this nation?

It is not other people's responsibility to make you feel comfortable.

matt

Michael,

the subject was freedom. Taxation without representation was only one element of the complaint. Do you really think that having foreign troops in our bases equates to having British soldiers quartered in your home????

I have not experienced extraordinary rendition but I do not envy those who have and they sadly enough cannot even expect a trial

Nice little red herring. Neither has any other American citizen, nor anyone caught on American shores. The small number of rendition flights only involved known terrorists, and no, not the kind that poured tea into the bay, but the kind that blow up children and cut peoples heads off.

God Bless,

Matt

Mary

Why couldn't the language be Spanish in other parts of this country that were historically colonized by the Spanish?

Why aren't the people in the parts historically colonizes by the Spanish moving to where the language is Spanish? Why are the Spanish spekaing people moving here?

Because they want this culture. Whether they speak the language or not.

Jarnor23

[i]Should New Englanders adopt the Queen's English?[/i]

If you've heard a few, you know the answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. In addition to being able to understand them, a trip to Boston would be like going to the Renaissance Faire, and how cool would that be? ;)

Jarnor23

Please forgive my markup error. I didn't realize this talkback was insane enough to ACTUALLY use HTML code. :)

Mike Melendez

Last Saturday I gave blood at the local Red Cross donor center. The nurse who took my history was puzzled that I put "Mixed Race" on one of the forms you had to fill out. She is of sub-Sahel African heritage and I am fairly light skinned. So I explained to her. I am French-Canadian-Mexican-American. Half of that Mexican is Yaqui Indian. "White" and "American Indian" are listed as two separate races on the form. I am "White" from the French Canadian and "American Indian" from the Yaqui. I am also "Hispanic" because of the Mexican (hence my last name), though that was separated out for a change. She understood. And in the end it didn't matter as we were having a high old time with my history. (So high, she had to do my blood iron twice.)

You can remember the past, live in the present, and look to the future. You can also live in the past. What I can't understand is why so many that now call themselves "Progressives" choose the latter.

Mike Melendez

Last Saturday I gave blood at the local Red Cross donor center. The nurse who took my history was puzzled that I put "Mixed Race" on one of the forms you had to fill out. She is of sub-Sahel African heritage and I am fairly light skinned. So I explained to her. I am French-Canadian-Mexican-American. Half of that Mexican is Yaqui Indian. "White" and "American Indian" are listed as two separate races on the form. I am "White" from the French Canadian and "American Indian" from the Yaqui. I am also "Hispanic" because of the Mexican (hence my last name), though that was separated out for a change. She understood. And in the end it didn't matter as we were having a high old time with my history. (So high, she had to do my blood iron twice.)

You can remember the past, live in the present, and look to the future. You can also live in the past. What I can't understand is why so many that now call themselves "Progressives" choose the latter.

Anon

This is not a real people. This is the Daughter of Satan as France was the Daughter of the Church.
I can certainly imagine God destroying this place like Sodom.

SDG

I can certainly imagine God destroying this place like Sodom.

I don't know what quota of good men God would need to find in America not to destroy it like Sodom, but I'd venture a guess there are enough of them not to get too worked up about fire from heaven for the foreseeable future.

Nathan Thompson

I can't help but think that if we weren't so busy taking the choice of government out of other countries' hands in the name of profits and anti commie paranoia that we wouldn't be so rare in the scope of history. In fact we are not the cream of the crop when it comes to having a truly great democratic society, but we sure love to think so. We are #1 in imprisoning our citizens and dead last in health care and education when compared to our other developed nations, and a gap between rich and poor that rivals the most despotic regimes, and the assault on any kind of middle class continues. I'd much rather live in a nation more interested in imprisoning actual rapists and murderers than some harmless drug addict who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the minimum mandatory bs that we have allowed to happen sees someone with a few grams of marijuana serving more time than most rapists. And the prison guard lobby keeps it going along with all of the other interests that make my vote worth nothing, I can't even get a candidate I can relate to anywhere near an election, I can vote for Monsanto puppet A or Pfizer puppet B, many of these corporations have a hand shoved up both parties candidates making sure 'democracy' serves their profits, not the people. And certainly not the people in other nations, all bets are off there, in Guatemala we ensured that a government was NOT decided by the people by supporting a coup of the wealthy landowners and deposing an elected government, just as we tried to do in Venezuela. (Mind you I'm not a huge Hugo Chavez fan, but I'm much less a fan of getting in the way of what the people of Venezuela voted for and deciding whats best for other countries) When will we learn? I was shocked to find that Vietnam was a reaction to the democratically elected government there, yes it was a socialist government, if socialism is so god awful cant we let it fall of its own weight? Whats so horrible that we have to prevent it at all costs and cause so much misery in doing so? We see in many countries that a despotic regime ends up turning up its oppression to intolerable levels, and the people under that oppression do a damn fine job of being sick of it and changing things for themselves. I wish there was some sort of Star Trek style 'prime directive' in our law, we have to stop screwing with the natural progress of other peoples societies. Soon its going to be the USA that is intolerable, we live here with our freedom and security utterly ignorant of the abuses we dole out worldwide, thanks to our so called "liberal media" that is owned by 5 wealthy corporations. Did you know that in Guatemala the farmers aren't allowed to stop working while the planes spray pesticides on the crops and farmers alike? I'm a father and I am horrified that a person has to look down at their disfigured son because their genes have been tainted with poison, just to save a few dollars of profit. Did you know that the CIA has trained men to torture citizens with such lovely techniques as taking their eyes out with pencils and castrating them unless they name other 'communists' in several countries in South America? I worked with a Mexican who was a ruthless murderer with no conscience and that was exactly why the US military operatives hired him to do their evil, torturing and murdering people who wanted nothing but the same freedom of representation that we have against the corporate opression going on there. People with the gaul to demand fair wages and less than draconian working hours? Yes, what a bunch of evil commies, we have to stop them at all costs. Were any of you awake during Iran Contra? I'm still flabbergasted with that, our own government with a planeload of narcotics that were traded for weapons to go to a evil regime Iran, to be sold to Americans so that those profits can fund death squads in Nicaragua. "Freedom fighters," its utterly disgusting that Reagan compared those murdering evil psychopaths with our founding fathers. And no one seemed to give a damn, we elected him again after that, just as we elected GWB, because we're born, educated and misinformed to be ignorant. It must be nice to be ignorant, to believe that we are the greatest and most righteous nation that ever existed and that no amount of the wholesale murder for profit schemes that our NSC and pentagon come up with can change our righteous perception of ourselves, we can do no wrong and the natives that lived here that we stole this land from are so much better off now with our ever benevolent guidance. Wake up and smell the oligarchy people, what choice are we given in an election? Bush or Kerry? They are both owned by an ever shrinking few that control an ever increasing share of what our talent and energy earn. I love democracy, but we have become complacent and let it be usurped by evil, and theres no other word for it. Years ago our congress was confronted with the question of whether to spray herbicide on the Columbian countryside to combat cocaine, herbicide made by the same company that produced agent orange. Rather than the implications of what this might do to the health of Columbian farmers or the fragile ecosystem down there near the rain forest, the biggest debate was which state would get more helicopter contracts to spray this poison on another country. Wow, how Christian. I could go on, but its probably not going to do much good, I'm just tired of it, seems that we float on with our lives without any regard to how utterly evil and hypocritical our current power structure is, I would say government but the government has less and less to do with it, its the greedy and arrogant elite that give us the illusion that our government is of the people, by the people, or for anything but their own ends. I don't have an easy answer for it, I really wish more people would look outside of their self interest and realize that there are other people in the world hurting for our so called greatest nation on earth, it seems like people used to give a damn about injustice and now they are obsessed with celebrity gossip and whether the gays can get married, there are far more pressing things yet you can't seem to give a damn about things until the talking heads on the corporate disinformation networks tell you to. Tell me what was remotely justifiable about Iran Contra, or what we have done in Nicaragua, or Guatemala, or Vietnam? Tell me why a drug addict is better served by being locked up and raped by men and turned into a real hardcore criminal than spending far less time and money in drug treatment. Tell me something convincing about how America is so much better than any other industrialized nation, the ones that somehow don't need to imprison such an alarming percentage of its citizens, ones who spend more on education than cluster bombs and nuclear subs. I wish it were as simple as 'the apple' that some woman purportedly ate thousands of years ago, if that apple was knowledge of good and evil, then its effects wore off on us a long time ago, so few of us see how much evil surrounds us, blinded by the 'sploshuns on your high def TVs.

Jarnor23

Nathan:
Dude. Paragraphs. I'll try to read that if and when it has some.

Esau

Uhhhh... Jarnor23 has a point.

That BIG BLOB actually looks like spam!

bill912

Nathan: Emigrate. Please. Take your Kool-Aid with you.

Esau

bill912:

You actually took Nathan's rants seriously???

When a guy starts uttering stuff like:

I wish there was some sort of Star Trek style 'prime directive' in our law, we have to stop screwing with the natural progress of other peoples societies.

He's not someone you ought to take seriously.

Jarnor23

You could actually read that stuff? The giant block gave me a headache to look at. No way I'm going to try to decypher that garbage.

Nathan Thompson

I can't help but think that if we weren't so busy taking the choice of government out of other countries' hands in the name of profits and anti commie paranoia that we wouldn't be so rare in the scope of history. In fact we are not the cream of the crop when it comes to having a truly great democratic society, but we sure love to think so. We are #1 in imprisoning our citizens and dead last in health care and education when compared to our other developed nations, and a gap between rich and poor that rivals the most despotic regimes, and the assault on any kind of middle class continues. I'd much rather live in a nation more interested in imprisoning actual rapists and murderers than some harmless drug addict who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the minimum mandatory bs that we have allowed to happen sees someone with a few grams of marijuana serving more time than most rapists. And the prison guard lobby keeps it going along with all of the other interests that make my vote worth nothing, I can't even get a candidate I can relate to anywhere near an election, I can vote for Monsanto puppet A or Pfizer puppet B, many of these corporations have a hand shoved up both parties candidates making sure 'democracy' serves their profits, not the people. And certainly not the people in other nations, all bets are off there, in Guatemala we ensured that a government was NOT decided by the people by supporting a coup of the wealthy landowners and deposing an elected government, just as we tried to do in Venezuela. (Mind you I'm not a huge Hugo Chavez fan, but I'm much less a fan of getting in the way of what the people of Venezuela voted for and deciding whats best for other countries) When will we learn? I was shocked to find that Vietnam was a reaction to the democratically elected government there, yes it was a socialist government, if socialism is so god awful cant we let it fall of its own weight? Whats so horrible that we have to prevent it at all costs and cause so much misery in doing so? We see in many countries that a despotic regime ends up turning up its oppression to intolerable levels, and the people under that oppression do a damn fine job of being sick of it and changing things for themselves. I wish there was some sort of Star Trek style 'prime directive' in our law, we have to stop screwing with the natural progress of other peoples societies. Soon its going to be the USA that is intolerable, we live here with our freedom and security utterly ignorant of the abuses we dole out worldwide, thanks to our so called "liberal media" that is owned by 5 wealthy corporations. Did you know that in Guatemala the farmers aren't allowed to stop working while the planes spray pesticides on the crops and farmers alike? I'm a father and I am horrified that a person has to look down at their disfigured son because their genes have been tainted with poison, just to save a few dollars of profit. Did you know that the CIA has trained men to torture citizens with such lovely techniques as taking their eyes out with pencils and castrating them unless they name other 'communists' in several countries in South America? I worked with a Mexican who was a ruthless murderer with no conscience and that was exactly why the US military operatives hired him to do their evil, torturing and murdering people who wanted nothing but the same freedom of representation that we have against the corporate opression going on there. People with the gaul to demand fair wages and less than draconian working hours? Yes, what a bunch of evil commies, we have to stop them at all costs. Were any of you awake during Iran Contra? I'm still flabbergasted with that, our own government with a planeload of narcotics that were traded for weapons to go to a evil regime Iran, to be sold to Americans so that those profits can fund death squads in Nicaragua. "Freedom fighters," its utterly disgusting that Reagan compared those murdering evil psychopaths with our founding fathers. And no one seemed to give a damn, we elected him again after that, just as we elected GWB, because we're born, educated and misinformed to be ignorant. It must be nice to be ignorant, to believe that we are the greatest and most righteous nation that ever existed and that no amount of the wholesale murder for profit schemes that our NSC and pentagon come up with can change our righteous perception of ourselves, we can do no wrong and the natives that lived here that we stole this land from are so much better off now with our ever benevolent guidance. Wake up and smell the oligarchy people, what choice are we given in an election? Bush or Kerry? They are both owned by an ever shrinking few that control an ever increasing share of what our talent and energy earn. I love democracy, but we have become complacent and let it be usurped by evil, and theres no other word for it. Years ago our congress was confronted with the question of whether to spray herbicide on the Columbian countryside to combat cocaine, herbicide made by the same company that produced agent orange. Rather than the implications of what this might do to the health of Columbian farmers or the fragile ecosystem down there near the rain forest, the biggest debate was which state would get more helicopter contracts to spray this poison on another country. Wow, how Christian. I could go on, but its probably not going to do much good, I'm just tired of it, seems that we float on with our lives without any regard to how utterly evil and hypocritical our current power structure is, I would say government but the government has less and less to do with it, its the greedy and arrogant elite that give us the illusion that our government is of the people, by the people, or for anything but their own ends. I don't have an easy answer for it, I really wish more people would look outside of their self interest and realize that there are other people in the world hurting for our so called greatest nation on earth, it seems like people used to give a damn about injustice and now they are obsessed with celebrity gossip and whether the gays can get married, there are far more pressing things yet you can't seem to give a damn about things until the talking heads on the corporate disinformation networks tell you to. Tell me what was remotely justifiable about Iran Contra, or what we have done in Nicaragua, or Guatemala, or Vietnam? Tell me why a drug addict is better served by being locked up and raped by men and turned into a real hardcore criminal than spending far less time and money in drug treatment. Tell me something convincing about how America is so much better than any other industrialized nation, the ones that somehow don't need to imprison such an alarming percentage of its citizens, ones who spend more on education than cluster bombs and nuclear subs. I wish it were as simple as 'the apple' that some woman purportedly ate thousands of years ago, if that apple was knowledge of good and evil, then its effects wore off on us a long time ago, so few of us see how much evil surrounds us, blinded by the 'sploshuns on your high def TVs.

Nathan Thompson

I can't help but think that if we weren't so busy taking the choice of government out of other countries' hands in the name of profits and anti commie paranoia that we wouldn't be so rare in the scope of history. In fact we are not the cream of the crop when it comes to having a truly great democratic society, but we sure love to think so. We are #1 in imprisoning our citizens and dead last in health care and education when compared to our other developed nations, and a gap between rich and poor that rivals the most despotic regimes, and the assault on any kind of middle class continues. I'd much rather live in a nation more interested in imprisoning actual rapists and murderers than some harmless drug addict who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the minimum mandatory bs that we have allowed to happen sees someone with a few grams of marijuana serving more time than most rapists. And the prison guard lobby keeps it going along with all of the other interests that make my vote worth nothing, I can't even get a candidate I can relate to anywhere near an election, I can vote for Monsanto puppet A or Pfizer puppet B, many of these corporations have a hand shoved up both parties candidates making sure 'democracy' serves their profits, not the people. And certainly not the people in other nations, all bets are off there, in Guatemala we ensured that a government was NOT decided by the people by supporting a coup of the wealthy landowners and deposing an elected government, just as we tried to do in Venezuela. (Mind you I'm not a huge Hugo Chavez fan, but I'm much less a fan of getting in the way of what the people of Venezuela voted for and deciding whats best for other countries) When will we learn? I was shocked to find that Vietnam was a reaction to the democratically elected government there, yes it was a socialist government, if socialism is so god awful cant we let it fall of its own weight? Whats so horrible that we have to prevent it at all costs and cause so much misery in doing so? We see in many countries that a despotic regime ends up turning up its oppression to intolerable levels, and the people under that oppression do a damn fine job of being sick of it and changing things for themselves. I wish there was some sort of Star Trek style 'prime directive' in our law, we have to stop screwing with the natural progress of other peoples societies. Soon its going to be the USA that is intolerable, we live here with our freedom and security utterly ignorant of the abuses we dole out worldwide, thanks to our so called "liberal media" that is owned by 5 wealthy corporations. Did you know that in Guatemala the farmers aren't allowed to stop working while the planes spray pesticides on the crops and farmers alike? I'm a father and I am horrified that a person has to look down at their disfigured son because their genes have been tainted with poison, just to save a few dollars of profit. Did you know that the CIA has trained men to torture citizens with such lovely techniques as taking their eyes out with pencils and castrating them unless they name other 'communists' in several countries in South America? I worked with a Mexican who was a ruthless murderer with no conscience and that was exactly why the US military operatives hired him to do their evil, torturing and murdering people who wanted nothing but the same freedom of representation that we have against the corporate opression going on there. People with the gaul to demand fair wages and less than draconian working hours? Yes, what a bunch of evil commies, we have to stop them at all costs. Were any of you awake during Iran Contra? I'm still flabbergasted with that, our own government with a planeload of narcotics that were traded for weapons to go to a evil regime Iran, to be sold to Americans so that those profits can fund death squads in Nicaragua. "Freedom fighters," its utterly disgusting that Reagan compared those murdering evil psychopaths with our founding fathers. And no one seemed to give a damn, we elected him again after that, just as we elected GWB, because we're born, educated and misinformed to be ignorant. It must be nice to be ignorant, to believe that we are the greatest and most righteous nation that ever existed and that no amount of the wholesale murder for profit schemes that our NSC and pentagon come up with can change our righteous perception of ourselves, we can do no wrong and the natives that lived here that we stole this land from are so much better off now with our ever benevolent guidance. Wake up and smell the oligarchy people, what choice are we given in an election? Bush or Kerry? They are both owned by an ever shrinking few that control an ever increasing share of what our talent and energy earn. I love democracy, but we have become complacent and let it be usurped by evil, and theres no other word for it. Years ago our congress was confronted with the question of whether to spray herbicide on the Columbian countryside to combat cocaine, herbicide made by the same company that produced agent orange. Rather than the implications of what this might do to the health of Columbian farmers or the fragile ecosystem down there near the rain forest, the biggest debate was which state would get more helicopter contracts to spray this poison on another country. Wow, how Christian. I could go on, but its probably not going to do much good, I'm just tired of it, seems that we float on with our lives without any regard to how utterly evil and hypocritical our current power structure is, I would say government but the government has less and less to do with it, its the greedy and arrogant elite that give us the illusion that our government is of the people, by the people, or for anything but their own ends. I don't have an easy answer for it, I really wish more people would look outside of their self interest and realize that there are other people in the world hurting for our so called greatest nation on earth, it seems like people used to give a damn about injustice and now they are obsessed with celebrity gossip and whether the gays can get married, there are far more pressing things yet you can't seem to give a damn about things until the talking heads on the corporate disinformation networks tell you to. Tell me what was remotely justifiable about Iran Contra, or what we have done in Nicaragua, or Guatemala, or Vietnam? Tell me why a drug addict is better served by being locked up and raped by men and turned into a real hardcore criminal than spending far less time and money in drug treatment. Tell me something convincing about how America is so much better than any other industrialized nation, the ones that somehow don't need to imprison such an alarming percentage of its citizens, ones who spend more on education than cluster bombs and nuclear subs. I wish it were as simple as 'the apple' that some woman purportedly ate thousands of years ago, if that apple was knowledge of good and evil, then its effects wore off on us a long time ago, so few of us see how much evil surrounds us, blinded by the 'sploshuns on your high def TVs.

Esau

You could actually read that stuff? The giant block gave me a headache to look at. No way I'm going to try to decypher that garbage.

Actually, like you, it's a terrible eyesore.

All I could do was skim over it and while doing so, the 'Star Trek Prime Directive" caught my eye.

Esau

Nathan,

Dude -- no matter how many times you re-post your BIG EYESORE, nobody will be interested in reading that garbage.

From the first few sentences, it seems that you're stuck in some paranoid Cold War delusion with a Star Trek fantasy sprinkled all over it.

bill912

Not the worst Rule 3 violation evah, but in there trying.

82

Remember that questions of politics are prudential.

While I do not agree with the style, nor every point--I actually think that Nathan makes some points.
AND
I do think we live in an oligarchy
and there is a lot of evil out there
I am just not sure what his bottom line point is
or the solution

PRAY

Tim J.

Go easy. I'm sure Nathan's style will settle down a bit once he hits his teens.

Jason

Jason, any thoughts on the rest of my post?

You made some good points. I don't have time to discuss at the moment, but I will consider the points you made as well as some made by Matt.

Peace.

Nathan Thompson

I don't know why the thing re posted 3x, oh well, I'm talking to a brick wall anyway, go ahead and buy me a ticket to Holland. I'd gladly emigrate to a nation that values personal freedom and I'm well sick of anything progressive likened to a suicide gulping cult. Tell me how what this government did in South America and southern Mexico is some heroic deed that protects our freedom instead of thoughtless quips or critiques of my lack of paragraphs.
There, are you happy? I guess the enormity of the issue led me to just type endlessly, I could fill a warehouse with where our beloved country has gone wrong, and so could people here as early as our founding fathers. When did democracy become a situation where every citizen accepted the government's actions without question? I'm so sick of patriotism being equated with blind acceptance. But you are all rebels I'm sure, you think the big problem is gays trying to marry and the awful liberal media making you feel bad for imposing your will on others.
I live in the land of Mormons (Hzah! another paragraph!) I like the story they have about Jesus and Satan. You see, Jesus wanted to save the souls of men but Satan wanted to FORCE them to worship and behave properly, force them to accept God and be good, whereas Jesus thought it best to let each of us decide for ourselves. And they were brothers, Jesus and Satan, talk about sibling rivalry. I'm not a mormon of course, (drinking my 4th cocktail today, go ahead and rip on me creatively for that) but the story, unlike a lot of what comprises mormonism, has a ring of truth to it.
Its wrong to force someone to accept the truth, when you shove your doctrine down someones throat at the point of a gun do they really believe it? Or do they just value breathing and all of the other lovely benefits of life? You need to TRUST people to make the right choice, and that includes many wrong choices before their dumb ass learns. You be there for them, you inform them that there is a better way, but you don't hold a gun to their head and force them to see it your way, sure that guaranties compliance, but it means that they are just acting like they agree while they secretly fear and loathe you.
I think that we have lost sight of how much we are all the same, are you really that ignorant to buy that crap about all of those people who for some reason hate freedom? Is that what they are mad about, they are sitting somewhere on the other side of the planet just hating the crap out of the fact that you can vote? Maybe they are, stranger things have probably happened. Religious intolerance is not cool, I wish god was more tangible, like some kind of star trek episode. Even if an idea of Gene Roddenberry makes me completely irrelevant.
I love you guys, but you really need to broaden your horizons, there are other countries out there doing a much better job where it comes to the general welfare and personal choice, I can think of a few places where I would feel more 'free,' not where it comes to showing up to aids victims funerals with hate messages but I'd not really miss that freedom.
You should take up a collection to deport my ass to Holland, I and my family would gladly accept, if they would have me, sure I need to work on my paragraphs but I think I would be a pretty good writer.
God bless.

Jarnor23

Okay, well, the paragraph breaks allowed me to read that one. I do advise double spacing after each paragraph as well.

I think what people here are saying, Nathan, is look at the good this country has done and not just the bad. Because it's as big of a distortion of the truth to only look at the bad as it is to only look at the good. I am in your boat about people only looking at the good side of their country though. Not really healthy, and frankly doesn't lead to a moral lifestyle.

Other than that, all I can really say is.... "What does God need with a starship?"

Tim J.

Nathan, "personal choice" is not the ultimate value. There are things that people should by no means be allowed to choose, and you believe that as ardently as anyone.

Mary Kay

Granted, I'm coming into this discussion late, but Nathan, exactly what issue are you talking about? Democracy? Freedom? If it feels like you're talking to a brick wall, perhaps it's because it's not clear what you are saying.

I could fill a warehouse with where our beloved country has gone wrong
This country is not perfect, but neither are the other countries you seem to think are better. This country does a lot of things well that are too often taken for granted.

As for the rest of your post, it would be useful for you to review what "objective truth" and "moral relativism" are. If those phrases are new to you, that could be a starting point.

Good on the paragraph breaks. Jarnor has a good point about double spacing in between paragraphs.

Nathan Thompson

Personal choice is everything! My god man what are we here for if we are just to behave as we are supposed to? Personal choice is where we prove ourselves to god, theres a whole problem of free will devoted to these kind of questions in philosophy, the world is not a clock, we are not gears, we are given the choice, sometimes a very difficult choice, to follow our hearts or our minds or our other proclivities in life, its what determines the destiny of our souls for god's sake! Maybe you think that if just given all of the freedom in the world that society would be a whirlwind of rape and murder, I think people are better than that, its force, not choice that have led to the greatest atrocities in history.

thomas tucker

Matt- do you seriously believe that the Bush administration is NOT locking up people without trial? Or transporting people to foreign countries for "interrogation"?
But you are right about one thing- i don't have any troops quartered in my house.

Tim J.

Nathan, cool your jets and try to stick with one train of thought.

You believe as ardently as anyone that there are certain things that people should not be allowed to do... that some actions ought to be prohibited. We may disagree on what should be on that list, but you have a list, just like everyone, and you will resort to force, if need be, to make sure that certain people aren't allowed to do certain things.

Let me ask you; Why are you so interested in limiting the free will of callous bureaucrats? What about THEIR "personal choice"? Shouldn't they be allowed (using your logic) to prove themselves to God by their choices?

Personal choice is extremely important, but it is the CONTENT of our choices, not the mere fact of their being choices, that is the crux of the whole thing.

We will not be held responsible for freedoms we didn't have, but we will be held responsible for how we responded to the freedom we DID have. There are REAL choices, and there are REAL consequences.

Freedom in the abstract - in a vacuum - is meaningless.

Besides, you seem to be saying (when it comes to it), "People should be absolutely free, and anyone who doesn't think so should be horsewhipped.".

matt

Thomas,

Matt- do you seriously believe that the Bush administration is NOT locking up people without trial? Or transporting people to foreign countries for "interrogation"?
But you are right about one thing- i don't have any troops quartered in my house.

Posted by: thomas tucker | Jul 6, 2007 7:52:27 PM

Citations? How many American citizens have been transported to foreign countries for interrogation, or even foreigners in the US? Who is being held without trial? Anyone who is not an unlawful enemy combatant?

What will it take for progressives to recognize there is a real war going on? Do they really think the US government is capable of faking terrorism? Give me a break.

God Bless,

Matt

Nathan Thompson

Um, Matt, have you already conveniently forgotten Guantanamo Bay Cuba, or did you not know what was going on there in the first place? I don't give a damn whether you are an "illegal enemy combatant," it should exclude you from getting electroshocked in the testicles, and what kind of reliable information are we getting from that evil bs? Who wouldn't admit to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby after a few thousand volts to the nuts? We're supposed to be exercising our so called moral leadership here, not raping people in Abu Ghraib with CIA approval. Dig deep enough to get yourself informed, this government has been engaged in some sick and depraved things and is capable of worse than any terrorist attack that has hit us, what the hell is napalm raiding villages in Vietnam to prevent an elected government from coming to power other than an atrocity?

How about funding death squads in Nicaragua from drug profits? Iran contra was a pretty big story but I guess it was too sickening for you to look into with any depth. What kind of moral leadership is that? But I guess all you can remember from those golden years of American foreign policy is feel good tearing down that ole Berlin wall, none of the CIA sponsored assassinations or training of murderers to raid villages and torture people in South America were on the top of the popularity list when it came to any of you knowing about it, so I guess it just didn't happen.

bill912

"...I guess it just didn't happen."

Finally, he stumbles into the truth.

matt

Nathan:

it should exclude you from getting electroshocked in the testicles

This has not even been alleged with regard to Guantanamo Bay. Good grief man, you're delirious.

God Bless,

Matt

Nathan Thompson

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Contra_Affair

"The Wall Street Journal reported on January 29, 1997 [36] on activities at the Mena, Arkansas airport allegedly involved then-governor Bill Clinton in a coverup of illegal drug-trading activity. The Wall Street Journal article goes on to state:

At the center of the web of speculation spun around Mena are a few undisputed facts: One of the most successful drug informants in U.S. history, smuggler Barry Seal, based his air operation at Mena. At the height of his career he was importing as much as 1,000 pounds of cocaine per month, and had a personal fortune estimated at more than $50 million. After becoming an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, he worked at least once with the CIA, in a Sandinista drug sting. He was gunned down by Colombian hit men in Baton Rouge, La., in 1986; eight months later, one of his planes—with an Arkansas pilot at the wheel and Eugene Hasenfus in the cargo bay—was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of Contra supplies.

In 1998, CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz published a two-volume report[37] that substantiated many of Webb's claims, and described how 50 contras and contra-related entities involved in the drug trade had been protected from law enforcement activity by the Reagan-Bush administration, and documented a cover-up of evidence relating to these activities. The report also showed that Oliver North and the NSC were aware of these activities. A report later that same year by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich also came to similar conclusions.

In 2004, Gary Webb allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the head."

Foxfier

Matt- I'm with you.

Good grief. Post about the US being unusual, end up with someone who thinks we're as bad as the terrorists.

Nathan, are you the same fellow who posts on Mz. Galt's webpage?

bill912

He's just an America-hater.

I'm glad I drink beer and not Kool-aid.

Foxfier

*grins at Bill* Do you know how many of my generation (born in the 80s) have NO IDEA where that phrase comes from? (I only know because my dad can't drink grape coolaid and I ask why.)

thomas tucker

Matt- there would be too many citations to list. you can start by reading www.consortiumnews.com/2007/020307.html
The is a wealth of news sources to read about the Bush administration's attempt to do away with habeas corpus.
There are also many news reports about American agents transferring prisoners abroad for "interrogation", i.e. torture, and known as extraordinary rendition- you can easily Google the topic.
I think you are wearing rose colored glasses when it come to evaluating the history and practices of our fair government. If you are looking for truth and justice, you will find it in Our Lord, not our government.
As for being at war, yes, I understand that we are at war with Isalmic terrorists. what I don't understand is your implication that therefore ends justify means.
Finally, you ignored my point about being represented by our Congressmen- do you think you are?

Robert Alvarado

There are many problems in America (the United States of North America for Clarification so nobody thinks I am excluding Mexicans--I am half Mexican from Michoacan and very proud of my genetics and culture)
I serve in the Army.
Again, there are many many problems
BUT AMERICA IS STILL THE GREATEST NATION

I am concerned about some things in Iraq (and have actually been there)
and some of the due process stuff and habeus corpus
(I want to be a lawyer when I get out)

There are a lot of patriotic, trying to be good Catholic people, who started out really liking our President Bush--and now have a lot of lot of doubts and questions and concerns

Jarnor23

Let me make one thing really clear. If you are a Catholic, you cannot believe the ends justify the means. Look it up in your CCC, then repent.

Foxfier

Jarnor- Hello, left field?

Jarnor23

Actually, I'd say more of a center field line drive. There are a couple of comments from people I will not name here out of charity that my comment may well apply to.

If I were to read that sentence and wonder if it applied to my comments, that would be a good cue to check what I'm saying...

Foxfier

If you're going to be acting in "charity," then don't say anything at all. You're accusing at least one person of being a hypocrite-- the least you can do is make it clear who you are speaking at, so they can defend themselves.

Jarnor23

To allow people to seriously sin is not charity at all.

Foxfier

And it's the picture of the brave Christian to accuse someone so they cannot even defend themselves?

False witness is also a serious sin.

US and Europe are in for a big time punishment.

The whole world is.

But esspecially those two places.

Jarnor23

Fox, in case you didn't realize, I hadn't specifically accused anyone by name, which means I did not lay an accusation at one person's foot. This also means nobody had to defend themselves, but rather that I was hoping the person or persons I noticed that may be behaving in a way contrary to the Church would think a little about if their actions are correct. It is healthy to do this. Examining your conscience is something we all should do. I have over this thread.

I have come to the conclusion that you apparently don't like what I said and therefore are having a spaz over it. I also conclude that no matter what I say, it won't be good enough for you, so I'm ceasing to care about your opinion on the way I approached this.

Foxfier

Jar, you accused an entire page full of folks of a serious sin, in such a way that if any replied, you could say "oh, I didn't mean you."

You are incorrect in your assessment of my motivation-- I simply dislike folks who are willing to slander an entire page-- or is it libel? Not sure where internet "speech" falls-- by a blanket accusation. Why does that get me more? Because it's been used against me and mine for my entire life.

Did Jesus stand around outside the temple or near the Pharisees going "oooh, SOMEONE is doing wrong, ooh, ooh... I won't say who it is, but they really shouldn't do that, nooooo. Repent, repent, unspecified person or persons!"
No, he made it very, very clear exactly who he was accusing of doing what, especially with grave accusations. He stood behind what he said, rather than claiming he was being good by tossing out a blanket accusation.

It's pretty clear that you're going to ignore anything I say--"spaz"? Wow, how *Christian* of you, the charity is just flowin'-- but a reply should be offered.

Please notice: I am telling the specific person exactly what they are doing/saying that is objectionable. You have a chance to publicly defend yourself--given that it was a public accusation--and your good name, even if you toss it away in favor of name-calling.

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