Ramblings of Conservative Cathy – What to do about these Liberals??

 

I recently got involved with twitter and it has been interesting/educational and fun to some extent.

When you are in the mood you can jump into a conversation and make a comment and then sometimes it will be cordial but often you are attacked. That part does not bother me so much but it is the caliber of the discussion/argument that I have issues with.

Now first before I discuss my problems with Libs let me first list my own shortcomings. I read things or hear things and only take away what I consider important and can never remember where I read it or heard it or which it actually was. Now I know that is a serious problem if debating someone but still I at least know some things (even if I don’t know how I know it), and I can always go and research for documentation if necessary. But generally when quoting a Republican or book written by a Conservative it is so well documented/referenced that you know that it is fairly accurate. I check out some and others that make sense to me or I already know about I don’t. So that delineates my shortcomings. Let me first reiterate that I do check things out – I only resend about 10% (maybe less) of the political emails/tweets I receive as they are not accurate or they are offensive in my opinion. Even conservatives have their morons.

And let me also add this, I talk with libs not to convert but to try and understand – I know, naïve of me, but it is the way I am

Now what I have learned about Liberals –
*They function on feeling (I know shocked right?).
*When they give you documentation it is a biased article or site that has no documentable facts or they only take the statements from an article they like and dismiss the rest of the article. Strange, when I at least like to look at the other side to know what I am fighting against.
* The arguments are circular and pointless
* They cannot see that they contradict themselves with their own ideas
* They cannot follow an idea to an end conclusion
* They do not seem to live in the real world
* They all seem to be victims and looking for the negative
* They need to be cared for
This one is offensive to me especially for women as I went through the women’s lib era and hate to see women now settle for not a man to take care of them but a government instead

*But most of all they do not seem to understand right/wrong and delve into good/bad based on a feeling. They seem unwilling or unable to determine right from wrong and good vs. evil. They want me to tell them how to determine right and wrong. They have no understanding of ethics or morals. They are unwilling to make a judgment and seem willing to relinquish themselves to majority rule/whims. This is the most shocking to me and I am ill equipped to respond to this. I stand on principles that I have arrived at through my whole life (although I must say I have always felt this way to one extent or another) To me right and wrong are generally inherent in oneself although you can discuss some gray areas.
It is always wrong for me to insist that people conduct themselves as I want and I am only concerned when it affects me personally in a harmful manner. This concept is beyond them. They want to control people based on majority beliefs at a particular time. Can they not see that right and wrong in the basic sense never changes.
For example you can discuss abortion and gay issues all day long but until it actually affects your life it should really not concern you. Now asking for me to pay with my tax dollars for an abortion is affecting me or teaching my children things in school that I find offensive is affecting me but otherwise it is a silly discussion for policy/government involvement. But I will always support someone’s right to choose for themselves as long as it does not involve me personally. You can have anything on TV or in movies as long as I can get my money back or am not forced to participate in watching it if it offends me but using my tax dollars to support it is wrong regardless of majority opinion (if it really exists).

This is how I determine these things as long as I am not forced to participate (and taxes are by force) then I do not care and you should not either – just don’t do it (whatever that is) that offends you.

But how is making me do something that I find offensive just because the majority have decided it is so right?
Obviously it is not. Government should not be in the business of making people conduct themselves in a certain way – only protecting them from people trying to harm them. Again I am ill equipped to explain it in a better term to make you understand if you don’t already. But that is what the original intent of the constitution was to protect the people from the majority and from the evil of government not to protect people in general or to control them to meet the majority viewpoint.

If given specific instances I can answer with my opinion as to what the right course is based on ethics/morals/constitution but I am unable to explain it beyond that.

So the point to my rant is how to I convey my logic/thought process to libs when obviously they do not use thought/logic/ethics or morals in determining their thought processes. Not sure they use thought at all as it seems they just group think.

So basically my rant is asking for help in conveying an idea that should be obvious to anyone who can think and see end results. How do you deal in specifics or general thought when it is all over the place?

Or do I concede that they do not think but feel and are not concerned with end results of their feelings?

How do I respond to a different type of thinking?

For example when someone tells me that Germany and all of the Norwegian countries are doing well with socialism – ignoring the fact that they have been reducing their social programs to deal with financial problems – how do I respond when they are oblivious and do not want to see actual facts?

I guess I must accept that ½ the country is incapable of logical thought process – that there is a end result to all actions and they must accept responsibility for that even when it was not what they intended.

Oh well I guess unless I want to have fun there is no point and I still will learn nothing about how they think/ or lack thereof.

Such is the current division of our country. Twitter is not meant for meaningful discussion – this I have learned.

Oh, and as a side note how did we go in women’s rights from not needing a man to take care of us to requiring the government to protect us???

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17 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Constitution, Education, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Government is useless, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics

17 responses to “Ramblings of Conservative Cathy – What to do about these Liberals??

  1. niki

    You can only discuss issues with people whose mind is not made up and are willing to listen. I have no problem criticizing conservatives or liberals if I believe they are wrong. I have yet to see a liberal not defend an irrational position just because it came from another liberal.
    Watch any of the network news and listen to liberals and you will know what I mean. They have no problem contracting themselves in the same monologue or dialogue and fail to see their contradiction.e.g. today a democrat rep said the solution to the gridlock problem was to have an open discussion between the 2 parties and do what is best for the country. When the Republican rep said we have passed a number of bills in the house but the senate won’t even allow a vote on it, so they can settle their differences through the reconciliation committee, the Dem replied those bills don’t count because it was prepared by a conservative majority.
    Go figure! & they think they are the smart ones

  2. RM

    ” Now asking for me to pay with my tax dollars for an abortion is affecting me or teaching my children things in school that I find offensive is affecting me…”

    “…but using my tax dollars to support it is wrong regardless of majority opinion…”

    Tens of thousands of my tax dollars have paid for the murder and mutilation of more humans (actual humans, born and grown), the destruction of lives, towns, and in some cases entire countries through our egregious Imperial conquests around the world than have ever gone toward abortions. What is my recourse?

    What are your children being taugt that is “offensive”? Real education teaches HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

    I would ask you to reflect on your own paradigms. Much of your rant is laced with the language of “us and them” either explicitly or implicitly. (The use of the term “Libs” is revealing.) Yet you seem to protest about how “others” lack the ability to listen and reason objectively because they are trapped in their own dogma.

    • Gee, I gave a specific issue and then you generalize with your comments – exactly what have we imperialistically conquested – Guam, Puerto Rico or American Samoa – seem to think they like us and don’t want to go out on their own.
      Oh I know you are using silly liberal terms (having no basis in reality) to Iraq and Afghanistan – right? Tend to think the facts will demonstrate that we saved more people then we hurt. And your recourse is to leave the country that believes in helping people at all cost.
      I agree that real education teaches how to think and not what to think – but do you really believe that is going on in the public school system. But anyone who wants to live in the real world knows that even history is taught with a bias instead of factually and then a open discussion about what can be determined by the actual facts about the end results.
      Actually my rant was based on the actual premise of trying to speak with some “Libs” who were only interested in telling me I was stupid instead of an open dialogue. That is what I was referencing. I think I stated in my rant that my “side” has it’s own set of morons and my rant was referring to the other sides set of morons. Actually I have had only 2 very cordial conversations on twitter with “libs” and they both thanked me for being courteous which is what I always am. The majority of “libs” that I encounter are insulting, will not respond to questions and only respond to statements with statements like “Read a real book” as if they only have access to knowledge and thought.
      Now that I have ventured into twitter territory I now understand why so many conservatives are obnoxious and insulting to “Libs” as that is what they mostly encounter so they are retaliating to the lack of ability to think. For myself I will try and continue to have a dialogue but as yet even my two courteous occurrences did not provide insight (no answers to questions, no factual response to statements they disagreed with) so I may end up not on the side of the obnoxious but on the side that feels it is futile to have a discussion with those that only feel and will not use their god given brain.

      • RM

        I’m not sure if my point was unclear, or if you simply disagree with it. Your original post actually made many claims that I think deserve further conversation, but I selected a particular point that you seemed to be making to investigate further. Specifically, you seemed (somewhat nobly, I thought) to be espousing a certain amount of social libertarianism:

        “It is always wrong for me to insist that people conduct themselves as I want and I am only concerned when it affects me personally in a harmful manner.”

        But you continue on to discuss how you are forced to participate in or at least materially support (via taxes) things to which you either morally object (abortion) or which you feel somehow infringe on you in some way that you find offensive (public education seemingly, though what your objections are seem less clear, perhaps you would care to offer more details). Your point seeming to be that because of this, the libertarian line has been crossed and that you now have a right to object. This is a legitimate point of discussion, and indeed there are no easy answers as is evidenced by (among other things) the painstaking debates among the founding fathers over just how our government should be set up (see, for example, The Federalist Papers).

        So my intent was to offer a scenario in which someone (myself in this example) was under similar duress, but with different objections than those you listed. (“Imperialism” aside…that can be a different discussion…in principle I am morally opposed to bombing people. Since you seem to consider abortion immoral, I kind of thought you might agree with me on that point.) Now I realize you didn’t make any suggestions as to what you thought YOUR recourse might be (in your original post), but you did seem to be objecting in general, as if you are being wronged by being forced via taxation to support (tacitly through government) these programs/actions. So here we are in something of the same boat, and I asked what you suggest my recourse might be. And I believe your advice was, “…your recourse is to leave the country that believes in helping people at all cost.”

        Putting aside the second part of that statement (that this is a “country that believes in helping people at all cost”) which I find questionable, I’m wondering if you are considering that recourse for yourself. Have you actually considered emigrating if the government continues to fund programs/activities which you find morally objectionable?

        If by chance I’ve made my point clearer, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. I apologize if my original comment came across as unfriendly. I only posted the comment to begin with because you expressed an interest in a civil dialogue. If you are still interested in that, I will try to remain objective and approach our conversation socratically.

        • Well, I will state that I consider authorized war as part of our constitutional direction but I do not consider paying for abortions as authorized by that same constitution.

          No I do not consider changing countries – I was being flip/sarcastic as that is a comment I hear often from others. I expect citizens to work within their country to fix problems.

          Now I was not clear, as I do not have any moral problem with abortions if that is what someone chooses – they must live/learn from their own experiences and I do not wish to press my personal beliefs onto someone else as long as their behavior
          does not affect me.

          As to my beliefs regarding killing people; that is probably harder for someone to follow as it is based on my spiritual beliefs. Let me state that of course if confronted with someone injured or hurt innocently in war I would feel badly for them and want to help if I could. In the general term I will say that I think that right always is superior to evil/wrong. Since I believe that souls are the true life and the body a shell and our current life an illusion for a learning lesson I cannot really believe that there is so much innocence in anyone involved. Although I must confess that I always feel for children as they are the only true innocents but there might be some karma issues there also. So actually I can easily separate myself and live with death, as I know that the soul can be reborn again. So I must state that death in war is a given, I do not accept that there are innocents and I do not feel badly about it. If the death was part of achieving a greater good/goal then that makes it ok in my book.

          Specifically when people live around “bad” people then they cannot be called innocent (except children). When say the U.S. dropped the bomb in Japan and most of those killed/injured were unable to escape I can easily rationalize because it was a fair trade off that actually saved many more lives than it took.

          So even though my little rant was not specific exactly I would be willing to discuss specifics as long as you understand/accept (without necessarily believing) that my beliefs are a combination of philosophical and spiritual. If you do not believe in a soul or reincarnation then it will be difficult or impossible for you to accept anything I say, as it would not be rational to you. But specifically you have to ask yourself in purely mathematics is it ok to kill 100 to save 1,000 or 1 million or future generations. These are pragmatic arguments without emotional filters. So to say you do not believe in bombing people is that at all cost or are there exceptions you might consider?

          You mentioned Libertarianism and yes although I would categorize myself as a conservative (meaning constitutional) I strongly believe in less government is always better in the long run and more government is always bad in all terms.

          Hopefully that answered your questions.

          • RM

            First, let me say that I appreciate your response. While we might not agree on everything, I recognize the effort you made to discuss ideas rather than to cast aspersions or resort to ad hominem attacks.

            Also, if I might tinker with a technicality for a moment, I would venture that strictly speaking your arguments could be considered “rational” regardless of my beliefs regarding death, spirituality, etc. Rational thinking requires forming logical chains of thought based on an initial set of facts and/or assumptions. If your beliefs include ideas of a “soul” and reincarnation, then you may state them as part of your initial assumptions and proceed rationally from there. But I understand what your were saying, that if I did not share your beliefs, then I might not consider your conclusions valid (or at least call them into question), and of course strict science does not have anything to say on matters that cannot be supported with observable, physical evidence. That typically puts spiritual questions outside the mechanisms of science (or at best, on the fringes of science). But enough of that for now.

            Sorry to digress. Anyway, you have some interesting ideas. In fact, I suspect if we probed around the edges in some places we would find that we actually DO agree on some things. But for now let me probe a little in the other direction.

            “Specifically when people live around “bad” people then they cannot be called innocent…”

            Putting aside the idea of “innocence” because I assume no one is “innocent” in the strict sense, let’s consider the general point as I understand it (correct me if I’m off). If we assume that Saddam Hussein was a “bad” person, are you saying that the civilians in and around Baghdad earn the same judgment as him and deserve equivalent consequences?

            I understand your point about sacrificing the good of the few for the good of the many. (That is an old moral bone that has been chewed for thousands of years and so I’ll leave that alone accept to acknowledge that if that is your point of view, I understand the reasoning.) But I do question the validity of the mainstream zeitgeist regarding American history and it’s military adventures. I do think that as a people, Americans are on balance a group that longs for justice and equality and have generally good intentions. I don’t have the same confidence in American power structures, government included but not exclusively. (From that standpoint I am sympathetic to the conservative ideal of limited government.) I believe that our history, sadly, is riddled with military action that really has nothing to do with “defending the innocent” or “liberating the oppressed people from an evil regime”, though that is often how such actions are packaged and sold. (Which is the best way to package and sell them, because as I said, the American people are by nature a group that wants to see “good” and “justice” everywhere.)

            But even in a “just” war (and they are few and far between, in my opinion), there are no such things as “smart” bombs, regardless of what we hear. Bombs are clumsy instruments of death and destruction, especially throughout most of their history, though it’s still quite true now even with our “smart” (really only slightly less indiscriminate) bombs. And since WW II, we have bombed something like 30 countries. Are we just fighting evil? How many people have died in those bombings that had absolutely nothing to do with whatever pretense we were acting on?

            Even if it could be demonstrated that all of our military actions were of the purest motive, fighting “bad guys” etc. (not likely, in my opinion), are you saying that the ends justify the means? Consider the Mississippi Burning trials. I assume we would agree that extreme racism that at best looks the other way, or at worst actively engages in murder, violent intimidation, etc., simply based on race is in the category of “wrong”? (You said before that you believed there was some basic level of morality where right and wrong are universally distinguishable and not subject to cultural relativity.) Now suppose Mexico, learning of this indefensible state of affairs, decided that they were going to fight for what was right, and sent a squadron of planes into the U.S. and bombed the city of Jackson to rubble?

            How would that fit into your thinking? What would be your judgment of that act, and what would be your idea of an appropriate response?

            Ok, that was a lot on that one point, and I’m out of time for now. I have many more thoughts, as I assume do you, but I’ll leave off here for now and let you respond if you wish.

            I will say something briefly, though, regarding your constitutional conservatism. I have great admiration for the men who shaped and brought into reality the ideas of government that brought this country into being, and the effort that ultimately manifested itself in the form of our constitution was a triumph of enormous magnitude, one that represented a monumental step forward in political thought and in liberty, dignity, and self-rule of the human race. It was also very much the fruit of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism. The men who wrote it were, in fact, intellectual elites. But inherent in the very mindset of the Enlightenment is a component that constantly reflects on itself, questions and measures the validity and efficacy of ideas both new and old, and seeks to refine, improve, and better understand the world and ourselves. I believe that those very authors would, if they were alive today, acknowledge that their work was not perfect, but was merely the best they could do under the circumstances. In essence, they would consider it a living document, a work in progress. Not that it should be casually disregarded, but the idea that we would base every judgement about how we act as a people and how we choose to govern ourselves, that we would respond to every question or base every decision strictly on that original document forever in perpetuity (redundant, I know), I think they would unanimously disavow such a course. It simply runs contrary to the very nature of the classical liberal intellectual tradition.

            Thanks for listening.

            • Ok – let’s deal with your scenario of Mexico invading America. Before I can comment on how I would deal with it or felt about it I have some questions:
              Why are they invading?
              What indefensible state of affairs exist for Mexico?
              How is America a threat to Mexico?
              Do you not understand the gulf of difference between the acts of a state (in this case Mississippi) and those of a tyrannical government? A tyranny by nature is a threat to all those around it and those under it. Racism while a terrible evil was something that could be combated with law and non-violent resistance, because Americans have an inherent culture of reason and law, something that does not exist under a tyranny?

              Ok until you respond I will assume you are referring to the Mississippi concept. First I find it difficult for Mexico to take the high ground on any issue so I find it a perplexing scenario, as they have been without question one of the most corrupt governments on Earth at any point in time. Second I would take issue with the scenario on the basis that America has never been perfect (name one country/civilization that has) but we do not hide our problems and we eventually fix them and deal with them – which is more than the majority of countries and certainly more than Mexico.
              So since Mexico invaded and we will just assume that they are a moral country (which has nothing to do with the real world) and they were trying to correct the situation that occurred here in America. Of course for this to be moral they would have had to warn us numerous times and tell us ahead of time what they were going to do and since we ended up with the trials how is it possible that they would attack us? We finally dealt with the issue. So given your scenario they did not warn us or tell us what they expected, did not get any world approval and in reality Mexico has no moral superiority in this situation but if they attacked (which I do not see possible as they do not have the ability to surpass our radar systems) then I would retaliate and wipe out Mexico as I personally have issues with their people’s inability or lack of interest in correcting their own country and wish to carry their own problems to our country. I do not wish to seem uncooperative but I think you could have chosen a better country or even a better issue for your scenario.
              We took approx. three years to correct the situation with trials that actually convicted a segregationist. Further your example ignores that federal authorities were already dealing with the situation, (something that is lacking in a tyranny as there is no higher power than the tyrant).

              I don’t think I ever implied in any of my writings that we were a perfect people or country. We are human to be sure. I do not even think that government has always handled most things well but I do (maybe naïve) believe that our original intent in most occurrences of military incursion has been from good/moral intent. What happened afterwards has not always been but I always refer to original intent in my writings. I think that Iraq and Afghanistan were good/moral intents but have not been handled well by either party.

              Concerning the Founding Fathers – I think the original premises would hold true for today but they did believe in changing other things that is why they allowed for amendments but the problem I have is not believing that original tenants hold true for today and tomorrow. Life, Liberty, pursuit of happiness. Small government. Government is evil but necessary because men are stupid and prone to anarchy or mob rule. Property rights are sacrosanct. Government is not the answer to anything other then defense of the country and protection of the basic rights for individuals.

              I must comment on the comparison of your scenario to things America has done. There is such a thing as moral equivalency and your scenario does not meet the standard in my opinion. I prefer to comment on actual instances; with the proviso that I am not a war expert or an expert on specifics of war.

              • RM

                Ok. Well I picked Mexico semi-randomly. I agree it was a hypothetical and I was not trying to create a scenario as a direct allegorical reference to a specific U.S. action. I could have just said “insert foreign country of choice” and that would have served the purpose. I was not trying to make any point about Mexico, nor was I referring to an all-out invasion.

                This originally stemmed from the issue of we, the citizens, being contributors via taxation to government activities that we do not approve of or, more egregiously, have strong moral objections to. You had mentioned abortion and public education, and I responded by citing military aggression. Now you have clarified that I misinterpreted your abortion comment by letting me know that you do not personally morally object to abortion. That’s fine. But the conversation has drifted into the topic of U.S. military activities and the morality issues that are inherent. Our tax dollars fund the military (and other instruments of force and coercion such as the CIA), and if these instruments of the government are implemented to carry out immoral actions, then I would assume you would agree that we have a legitimate grievance, even under the constitution.

                You had made some assertions such as:

                “If the death was part of achieving a greater good/goal then that makes it ok in my book.”

                and

                “Specifically when people live around “bad” people then they cannot be called innocent…”

                So I constructed a hypothetical scenario to see how those assertions would apply if a foreign country attacked us (not invaded, just attacked), in an effort to achieve a “greater good”. I tried to create a scenario where we would at least agree about the morality of the situation (racial terror, repression, and murder) so we could zero in on your points and put them to the test. Namely, would you tolerate the deaths of hundreds of Jackson citizens because they “live[ed] around bad people [and so] cannot be called innocent”? I agree that the nature of our country allowed for (painfully slow) remedies to emerge over time, in great part through nonviolence (though not completely) and law enforcement. However, we’re not talking about just a few “bad apples” here, racial oppression was essentially institutionalized in the south for several generations following the Civil War. (Note I’m giving us a mulligan for pre-Civil War slavery for the purposes of this discussion. That’s a whole other discussion.) This involved a collusion among power structures from the local level all the way through state government. It was very much a tyranny of sorts, by one group over another and it was a tyranny explicitly and implicitly enforced by the government. And though it wasn’t, as I said, my point to try to draw up an overly specific comparison to a reverse scenario, I think it ends up meeting your criteria well enough.

                So my question was essentially, do you still feel the same way when we are on the receiving end of military strikes, strikes supposedly carried out in the name of a moral cause? Like I said, forget Mexico, I didn’t mean to bring their profile/issues (however you may see it) into the conversation. Pick your favorite non-U.S. country and assume they delivered air strikes to Jackson. Where do you stand? (When it was Mexico, by the way, I noticed that you were not only going to retaliate, but “wipe them out”. Perhaps you didn’t mean that literally.)

                Keep in mind this is is a hypothetical. And let’s ignore the idea that moral justification could be obtained by warning prior to attacking. That’s a nice notion on the surface, but it has very little relevance in this scenario because (a) no other country could or would credibly threaten us in such a way, and (b) when it is us warning others, that is tantamount to us just saying, “You will do what we want you to do, or else.”

                In fact, I think its interesting that you point out it was the federal government that came to the rescue in the civil rights morass.

                “Racism while a terrible evil was something that could be combated with law and non-violent resistance, because Americans have an inherent culture of reason and law, something that does not exist under a tyranny?”

                Three cheers for reason (and law). But interestingly, many of the states in the south, and the voices of powerful leaders therein, were at the time crying loudly about the tyranny of the federal government as it tried to dislodge the well-ensconced Jim Crow laws and culture. Frighteningly to me, they were in fact articulating many of the same arguments that seem to abound these days regarding the federal government overreaching and being a threat to liberty, states’ rights, way of life, etc. It’s real “hair on fire” stuff that can be a dangerous powder keg if left unchallenged.

                I know you asked for examples, not hypotheticals, so let me just give you a couple off the top of my head. If these sound cliche I ask you to excuse that for two reasons: (1) It’s not like I’m a guy in a think tank who’s life’s work is to research and write on these topics, so I’m not able to pick obscure detailed examples off the top of my head, and (2) while they may seem cliche, they are no less valid or powerful.

                Example 1: U.S. Support of the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s. This is so well documented at this point, that I will trust you either know about it in some detail, or can research it on your own with objective sources which is better than taking my word for it, anyway. In short, the Contras were NOT morally “good” people. They were pretty much the opposite of that. And the U.S. government supported their efforts and “cause” for nearly a decade. And no, Nicaragua was not a threat to the nation, or the safety and security of its citizens. (Although the Contras were a very real threat to the democratically elected government of Nicaragua.)

                Example 2: Vietnam. Again, you don’t need me to tell you about this. I know it is a touchy subject with many still, and I’m almost afraid to mention it for fear of getting us too far off topic, but you mentioned you preferred to deal with real scenarios rather than hypotheticals. And since this is the prototype modern historical event to trigger the “support vs rebuke the troops” argument, let me say that in none of these scenarios do I mean to impugn the people who served in the military. They are typically pawns of the power structures, or people who enlist and serve with noble intentions, etc. But I AM holding those with their hands on the levers of power accountable. Again, Vietnam was not a threat to the safety and well-being of the citizens of this country. I spoke of bombs before as indiscriminate instruments of destruction. We unleashed A LOT of indiscriminate destruction on the people of South Asia.

                Now before I wrap up, let me just mention that there are those who would, did, and in some cases still do, try to argue that we were on some quest to bring moral justice (in Nicaragua and/or South Asia), or perhaps that there was some looming threat to our national security, etc. We were not, and there was not. So if you were an unfortunate resident of these countries in the later half of the 2oth century, from your vantage the U.S. basically played the role of Mexico (or country of your choice) in my hypothetical scenario, except that we inflicted far more death, destruction, and terror in those countries than what I described in my hypothetical bombing of Jackson. Perhaps if they had been as powerful as the U.S., they would have responded to us the way you wanted to respond to Mexico…wipe us out. But of course there was never any threat of that because we were like a 900 lb. gorilla attacking a child, and that’s not by accident. We only picked on those who were no real threat to us. Not moral acts in my book.

                So there are some thoughts, hopefully some clarifications on what I was trying to say, and some recent historical references in addition to my hypothetical.

                • Before discussing each instance I must state that I understand and am probably a supporter to some degree of the idea that if communism/tyranny exists anywhere in the world then it is a threat to America’s security in the long run – not necessarily in the current or immediate future. That is based on the belief that if evil is allowed to run rampant at some point it will end up at your front door so it is better to deal with it elsewhere and not let it grow. Knowing that is a much-debated theology but so you understand my underlying premise.

                  Also when one considers an election such as Castro in Cuba or Saddam Hussein in Iraq as democratically elected then we differ from the start.

                  I must admit that I was raising small children/working during the period of Nicaragua so was not all that involved or aware at the time. Probably accepted most Republican talking points and did not look much further than that. So I had to do some research. Based on my cursory research I would put everyone to blame here. As stated I understand the underlying premise of fighting communism everywhere. I also believe that the only place communism would work is in a small country if everyone was willing to follow such a premise- but again I believe even if good was done in the beginning it would end badly in the end.

                  Now my reaction to the research. It appears that both political parties originally supported this concept of supporting the Contras as even the Carter administration was behind it to begin with. Originally there was (as usual) a horrible dictator who was vicious to his people so we supported Contras to remove him. Sandinistas came into power and supported communism, which always appeals to the poor and downtrodden as protector to their woes. People prefer to believe that someone good will come and give them everything and never expect anything in return.

                  I think based on my research that we should have contained them and not interfered. But my research shows that El Salvador felt threatened and we felt that El Salvador was threatened. Which apparently has not been proven or disproven. So again I think we should have contained them and left them to themselves and not allowed any intervention in El Salvador. I must conclude since even the Carter administration was involved in this there is some truth to the fact that the Sandinistas were not necessarily the best guys in town. Without being an insider and know all the real details I would say my response would be that we should have contained them and not interfered. There has always been a fear of communism taking hold in South America and what it would do the North America. And I must say I do not put much credit into information from the UN or International Courts but it does not appear that we were doing much better than the so- called “bad” people so I personally without knowing more actual detail side with no actual intervention and complete containment – but nobody was proposing that from either side.

                  Based on this incident let me give you another that makes it even murkier as to our involvement in other countries. I went to college with numerous students from Persia (Iran) that wanted to overthrow the Shaw. Understandable due to all dictators are you know – dictators. So the Carter administration decided not to support the Shaw and let the country do its own thing. They ended up with a worse government that killed far more than were ever disposed of by the Shaw. They went from entering the 20th century to back to the stone age. I have often thought of these individuals and wondered how they felt about what they caused as I know the end result was not what they had envisioned at the time. So now I ask would not Iraq or the world be better off if we had supported the Shaw who was bringing his country into the future and would surely have lost power eventually due to that process anyway?

                  Vietnam I have a little bit more knowledge of as I was in high school during a large part of this war and knew/acquainted with many boys who were there and either came back or died there. Communism was the factor here also and our presence was requested by the country to help them fight back communism and China’s/Russia’s involvement in the communist incursion/takeover of the country. Again I have issues with how we conducted this war/police action. I strongly believe that if we actually feel it is necessary for us to go to war then we should go to war. Like in World War II and go into it to wipe the other side out and win at all cost. I do not agree with hindering our ability to actually fight, allowing our boys to die because they can not shoot back or cross a silly line. I know from many guys I spoke to that they felt they were helping the people and they were fighting against really evil people. They felt our own government was working against what they were trying to do. So no, I do not support our boys/girls /innocent people dying for no reason but if the cause is right and we actually go into win and not waste money and lives then I feel no issues about death of innocent people. I consider our own troops the innocent as they are trying to do right at all cost and are not responsible for the actions of government and those above them.

                  But it was right to go in and fight communism and support the people of Viet Nam it was just not right in the way it was handled. This goes back to my comment of original intent. So I do think that the original intent in both of these situations was right and correct – it was the application of that intent that was misguided and often wrong. Again, I will bring another situation to explain my reasoning. Although I do not agree with how the so called war was handled in Viet Nam any research on your part should prove that more people died/lives destroyed in Viet Nam and Cambodia once we left than occurred while we were there. So again where is the morality – which side?

                  So if we reduced government greatly and removed government from business intervention/unnecessary regulation there would not be so much power/money in war and it could go back to being what it is supposed to be – defense of America and right against wrong. You will never make it perfect as it is a bureaucracy and as such allows for nonsense but it would help greatly. Also if we taught ethics and morality to the degree that there is an acceptance of good vs. evil then it might be further toward the end goal of what I am looking for. Probably optimistic but I will continue to hope and strive toward my personal utopia.

                  • RM

                    Cathy,

                    I appreciate you hanging in this conversation. The exchanges are a bit longer perhaps than is generally appropriate in this setting? (I don’t know, as I don’t typically do this.) If so, I know I am to blame. These topics are broad, deep, complex, full of nuance, and interconnected with so many ideas, events, etc., that it seems there is barely a chance to scratch the surface and then, bam, several pages have already piled up. You are courteous to not only take the time to read my replies, but to reflect and respond in kind.

                    Your last response invokes so many thoughts, so much I’d like to follow up on, respond to, expand on, etc., it’s just not feasible. So I’ll try to touch on a few things and then perhaps I will draw my participation to a close, as we could easily do this forever but I need to reclaim my sleep. (The time stamp doesn’t show it, but I’m writing these late at night.)

                    I’ll start by saying that I respect your comment about optimism and striving for your personal utopia. I don’t doubt your intentions, even if I may not agree with you regarding details of history or political solutions past, present, and future. If nothing else, we would probably both agree that one thing that makes this country great is that we can have open discussions such as this without fear of being dragged off to a gulag.

                    And speaking of gulags…

                    “Also when one considers an election such as Castro in Cuba or Saddam Hussein in Iraq as democratically elected then we differ from the start.”

                    This is kind of a random place to start, but since I can’t cover everything anyway, I’ll just pick this. The situation in Nicaragua was not anything like the one in Iraq. I agree that Saddam was a nasty dictator and his elections were a sham. The situation in Nicaragua was not so clear cut. It is also worth noting that the U.S. government was a strong supporter of Saddam for many years. Now this support goes back to when he first came to power, but in the 1980s he was seen as a counterweight to Iran. Which brings us to your college friends, and the Shah.

                    “…students from Persia (Iran) that wanted to overthrow the Shaw. Understandable due to all dictators are you know – dictators.”

                    Well, it’s worth pointing out that said dictator got his job thanks to the U.S. government who, in 1953 under the Eisenhower administration (together with the U.K. government) orchestrated a coup that removed the democratically elected prime minister and installed the Shah.

                    Now sadly, U.S. history is riddled with this kind of stuff. It’s well documented, and the only real debates are about motives. Again, I know you can (and will) do your own research if you’re interested so I’ll refrain from historical narratives. But the question of motives brings us to the next thing I’d like to respond to a bit:

                    “…I must state that I understand and am probably a supporter to some degree of the idea that if communism/tyranny exists anywhere in the world then it is a threat to America’s security in the long run…”

                    Let me digress for a moment to give you a bit of context about me since you gave me some about you and because it’s somewhat relevant to our discussion. I guess I’m a bit younger than you as the 1980s for me was a time for high school and college. My earliest political memory is probably watching the Watergate hearings on TV with my dad. I was very young, and had no political leanings, as evidenced by the question I remember asking my dad which was something like, “I don’t get what peaches have to do with the president.” (I was like 3 or 4.) But I do remember the Iranian hostage crisis, and certainly I grew up at the tail end of the Cold War, and remember what it was to live with the idea that Russia was this existential threat. And really I was pretty politically ambivalent until the mid 90s. I remember registering to vote and I tried to register as an independent but they told me that while I could VOTE as an independent, I had to pick a party to register. I practically flipped a coin. I also had this really positive outlook on Reagan, and I just took it as an article of faith that communism was a threat, and we were in this global struggle, etc. Well, this is way more than you probably care about, and I’m sorry to go on so much, but I’m hoping you’ll understand that I really mean it when I say that I’m sympathetic to your point of view on this, in that I once had a similar view. But I simply don’t hold those views anymore, and I think an honest look at historical facts paints a very different picture than the standard (cursory) narrative. The historical reality is, at the very least, more nuanced and complex.

                    So to come back to our discussion: Were our actions in Iran (1953), Iraq (supporting Saddam), Vietnam, Nicaragua (just to name a few), part of a global fight against communism? Were they moral? I suggest that it’s debatable, at least.

                    But that’s a very long discussion and this is overly long, already. So let me try to bring it back closer to the original conversation. Back when I talked about the U.S. government’s “military adventures”, these are all examples (a CIA staged coup is the not the military proper, but it is an extension of U.S. power through force), and as I said there is a long, well-documented history of both overt and covert assertion of U.S. power outside of our own boarders. And even if you accept the argument that we were fighting against the spread of communism, that doesn’t jive with the concept of small government whose military obligations are limited to national defense. Communism is an idea. In its purest form, a pretty utopic one and as is generally true with uber-idealistic ideologies, it just doesn’t work in practice. The fact is that there was never a credible threat that the U.S. would fall prey to communism. Really, if the people in Nicaragua wanted to try it out, they have the right to do so. It’s not a threat to us. Just as it’s not the government’s right to tell me how to live my life (insofar as my choices don’t limit other peoples right to live theirs as they choose under the same limits), neither is it our right as a nation to dictate to other countries, or the people of those countries, how to live theirs. If you want to argue that our government should hold as strictly as possible to constitutional powers and intents, then I would say that there is no edict in the constitution that we export our political ideas by force or that we rescue everyone in the world from bad guys. I mean, that’s kind of a strictly conservative argument, I think. Certainly Ron Paul seems to agree, and he’s no liberal. (And I’m not a Ron Paul supporter.) Now, I’m not personally a pure isolationist. ( There are times when inaction is immoral, WWII being a classic example. But I don’t believe that all of our national assertions of military force have fallen in the same category.) I’m just saying that classic constitutional conservatism is not congruent with our historical behavior patterns in this regard.

                    Moreover, speaking for myself, I’m afraid that my point of view is that the U.S. government and other vested power structures have exerted their influence around the world for far less noble causes than rescuing people from dictatorships and tyranny. Yet, while we may view things differently regarding intentions, it seems to me that we could find common ground via the small government argument.

                    One of the themes in today’s conservatism as I understand it (and I’ll admit that I may not completely understand it), seems to be of liberty, particularly in the form of limited government-Provide security and make sure everyone plays fair, and beyond that people are entitled to live as they choose and government should stay out of the way. So it confounds me that many of the same voices from conservative quarters so vociferously advocate major global intervention on a grand and unending scale.

                    Personally, I think there are more insidious motives at work with the projection of U.S. power, and I have moral objections to the costs and consequences of that are often incurred. I also think there is a role for government beyond the strict libertarian view, though not as extensive as what is probably considered the prototypic “left”. And speaking of “prototypic left”, that brings me all the way back to the beginning, which was your original article…

                    …because if you had an unabridged window into all of my views (that would be quite a tome), I think you would have trouble categorizing me. And in fact, I resent being categorized (not meaning by you, just in general). The discourse these days seems to insist that everyone “pick a team” then take up battle with “the other side”. It becomes a self-defeating screed and leaves little to no room for discussion or compromise or, even better than compromise, the evolution of one’s own view and understanding through a careful and civil exchange of ideas that includes listening in a way that is open to the possibility of persuasion.

                    As I try to wrap this up, I’ve been rereading your original post. We’ve gone on something of a tangent in our conversation, and while it’s cost me a lot of sleep, I feel like at least one positive that came out of it was that we had a respectful and (I hope) somewhat substantive discussion. And in the course of doing so, I feel like I came to appreciate you more as a whole person rather than a caricature/stereotype. And I guess this is the issue that drew me in. You see, when I read your post, I felt provoked because even though I am not the person you were describing, it still felt as if your words were directed at me. I suppose these days, many of my viewpoints would get me categorized as liberal, but I think for myself and do not consider myself on the “team”. There are plenty of points on which I strongly disagree with what would be considered the “liberal” position. But besides that, I know plenty of people who consider themselves liberals who stand very much in contrast to the traits you listed under “…what I’ve learned about Liberals…” In fact, I could easily apply (almost) the same list to “Conservatives” if I wanted to. But I wouldn’t because the fact is that I know plenty of people who consider themselves conservatives that stand in contrast to those traits also. Much of what’s listed there simply describes someone who is intellectually lazy. The five pillars of “Liberals” is just a general pejorative that could just as easily apply to “Conservatives” (just replace “Projection of Guilt” with “Protect the Powerful”), but it would be just as slanderous to do so because those characteristics and traits are not inherent to Liberalism or Conservatism, but are simply human flaws that emerge in every quarter. Holding a “liberal” point of view isn’t evidence that you are stupid, unable to make or understand an argument, don’t understand the real world, etc., just as holding a “conservative” point of view isn’t either. There are very intelligent and insightful people in every quarter, just as there are blind followers who scream the party line without fully understanding what they’re supporting. My wish is just that we could all have a more respectful dialogue rather than “picking teams” and then fighting. (Actually, “picking teams” can be dangerous, because psychologically once you’ve identified yourself with some predefined group, then you begin to have a vested interest in that group being “right” which obviously makes it harder to look at ideas objectively.)

                    Regardless of our current points of view, it would be nice if we respected one another on a human level, and then proceeded to argue our ideas from there. Here’s a great example of two incredibly intelligent people, probably on near opposite sides of the political spectrum, having a civil discussion:

                    Of course, the COMMENTS on YouTube tend to reflect more of our WWF approach to public debate these days. But the clip offers a model of how people of good-intent, with different ideas, can ENGAGE one another but not ENRAGE one another. (Though reports have it that even that debate got a bit testy.) Sure, our history is full of hyper-partisan, hyperbolic, uncivil, ideological “warfare”. I’m not under the illusion that the past was more idyllic. But with media and the Internet, the potential to inflame one another is exponentially increased, and I think exponentially more dangerous. We may not be able to stop it, but we don’t have to contribute to it. Even better, we can set the example for a better way by choosing a different approach. Maybe in time, things will change for the better. I don’t know, call me an optimist, but I’ll just keep on working toward my own personal utopia. ;-)

                    It’s been nice having this conversation with you. Thanks for indulging my long responses. I probably won’t be returning to this site for reasons I will share with Cris when I say goodbye. But I wish you the best. Stay optimistic and I hope you find something as close to your utopia as possible one day.

                    RM

                    • Not sure if you will see this but Thank you. I enjoy conversing with those of different opinions as I find it enlightening either in exposure to information I was not aware of or confirmation of a previous belief. All I ever want is a open discussion and exchange of ideas. I was admittedly very frustrated when I wrote my blog. I think although there is a percentage on both sides that seem to be “down the line” whatever the current party theme is most people are a combination of beliefs and not 100% one way or the other.
                      Have a good life.

    • “I would ask you to reflect on your own paradigms” And I would ask that an idiot like you not smear the men and women of the armed forces by calling them murderers, as you did. If you think that the armed services is there for “he murder and mutilation of more humans” you are idiotic and immoral beyond the telling of it. The United States in the last century has pretty much used the military only for two purposes (1) the defense of people here in the US, if you have moral objections to your money being spent on that, God help you (2) the destructions of tyrannies and the liberation of people (and I will grant you we have some issues in nation building after the military operation, but that’s not the military’s fault), again if you have a moral problem with that you’re clearly not balanced. Yes there has been collateral damage, which is an unfortunate side effect of the means, but collateral damages has always saved more lives in the long run. Yes there have been individuals within that organization that have done terrible things (most of whom have been prosecuted for their acts) but as the problem is not systemic, to use the exception as the rule is idiotic.

      You also seem to think that the us/them dichotomy is a sign of not Cathy not being logical (despite the fact that one of the first things you learn in logic is how to separate groups by characteristics). First of all of her statements can be applied to the majority of liberals. Second, no where in the article does she say that conservatives think correctly all the time (I can assure you she doesn’t believe that, but you could have seen that for yourself if you actually bothered to read her other articles). And then in cheap way you suggest that she is victim of her own dogmatic beliefs that cause her to think in this us/them way. Either show some evidence that her assessments are wrong (which they’re not) or admit you fall into this group of people who make claims and fail to back to them up.

      • RM

        Cris,

        I didn’t mean to impugn the men and women of the military, and reflecting on it for the last few days I agree that the word “murder” was unnecessarily incendiary language. The fact is that I know many, including friends and family, people who I love and respect, who have served in the military some of them over their entire adult lives and through generations. All of those I’ve known serve with noble intentions of service, duty, justice, etc. Moreover, since my post was rather short, I can see how it could be misconstrued as an indictment of these folks, so if in fact there are any service men or women who may have read my comments and interpreted them as an assault on them, I offer them my apologies.

        Having said that, I do disagree with your assessment of modern history:

        “The United States in the last century has pretty much used the military only for two purposes (1) the defense of people here in the US…[and] (2) the destructions of tyrannies and the liberation of people…”

        If you’ve been reading my discussion with Cathy, which I assume you have since this is your site, you’re aware of a few of my counterarguments to your perspective. I know you see things differently, but when I look at U.S. history, I see a lot of immoral (and extra-constitutional) actions by the government and other power interests. In this case, “actions” is a word that hides many not-so-pretty details. The people of the military are by and large, as I said, noble individuals who place themselves in service to us as a nation. They are a shield, a hammer, and a sword. A (cliche) argument is often made, and I agree with it, that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” I consider the military to be the gun, and the people with their hands on the levers of power to be the shooters. So I do hold the decision makers morally responsible for the consequences of their decisions. And again, the discussion of what moral judgements are appropriate hinges on a panoply of historical facts and contexts, the details of which can be debated and speculated on indefinitely. (By the way, I would agree that sometimes inaction is more immoral than action. Obviously, the appeasement of Germany prior to WWII being the classic example. But not all situations are the same as that one.)

        But I won’t have that discussion with you because, unfortunately, I don’t see any value to it. In the past few days, while Cathy and I have been back and forth with our conversation, I’ve been perusing your site. You’re an interesting guy in a lot of ways, and I really wanted to like this blog of yours, but in the end I don’t. And it’s not because I don’t agree with you. In fact, if I read it with a filter (filtering out your arrogance and insults) I find that I agree with you on several issues, and of course I disagree with you on others. You seem to be well-read, and that in of itself is a plus as reading in our society these days seems to be going the way of the horse and buggy. And I appreciate that you seem to at least try to be intellectually rigorous.

        But unfortunately all of this is spoiled for me (just speaking for myself, I’m sure there are many who love it) by your approach and style. You assault and belittle those who don’t agree with you. I lost count of how often you call people stupid in your posts even just in the headings, and of those I read, when I got to the comments section, again I saw a pattern where you just verbally bludgeon anyone who offers a counterpoint to something you spouted off about. (Though you are equally nice to those who agree with you. People who agree with you get sweet praise and mutual admiration, those who don’t get kicked in the teeth.) Maybe I misunderstand the point of this site. You’re the English teacher, perhaps you have a different audience and purpose in mind than what I assume. I kind of thought that since you seem to feel so strongly about your point of view, perhaps you’d be interested in persuading others to your position. But instead, people who don’t share your perspective get berated, belittled, and generally insulted. So of course they go away. Look, I understand that the sea of humanity encompasses a wide range of intelligence levels. Some people are more sophisticated thinkers than others, some are more learned than others. (Two different things, by the way. There are plenty of very intelligent people who are only minimally schooled, and there are people who are very well-read and extensively schooled who are just not very intellectually sharp.) And I understand that it can get frustrating when you’re trying to argue with someone who you perceive doesn’t understand the issues/facts as well as you do, and perhaps seems to be making fallacious arguments, etc. But you don’t have to excoriate these people. If you are so much more enlightened, then help them see a bigger picture. You can question someones beliefs with out attacking them. You obviously don’t need me to tell you what the Socratic method is. You’re a teacher. If you think someone holds a flawed idea, engage them and help lead them to a different understanding. If, in fact, your ideas are stronger than theirs, why not let the power of those ideas speak for themselves, rather than you ranting about what idiots people are. It’s hard to enlighten someone when you are attacking and insulting them. (Do you attack your students this way?)

        So it seems to me that if you were trying to truly persuade and enlighten, you would take a different approach. But as I said, perhaps your purpose and audience are different than I would have thought. The audience you retain is, I imagine, largely of like mind. Its like a private club you can come to where you celebrate how right and superior your ideas are and laugh at and demean the “idiots” who see things differently. But that’s really just intellectual inbreeding, so not only is it of minimal value as a vehicle of enlightenment and growth, I would argue that it’s damaging in the long term, much as biological inbreeding is.

        And since this seems more of a forum for ranting than discussion, I’ll rant a bit myself before I go. I credited you before with trying to be intellectually rigorous, but I think you fall shorter of that goal than you imagine. When I read through this blog, it’s as if you were the ultimate authority on every topic you discuss. Again, everyone who doesn’t share your point of view is an idiot. I know, you’ve read a lot of books, studied history, etc. Great. You’re not alone, though. I keep thinking of Kevin Kline’s character in “A Fish Called Wanda”…

        Otto: “Apes don’t read philosophy!”
        Wanda: “Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it!”

        I’m not saying you don’t understand what you’ve read. As I said, I find you interesting and fairly intelligent, though often angry and mean-spirited. But frankly, it’s arrogant and NOT intellectually rigorous to assume you have all the right answers, that just because you’ve studied something (even carefully and extensively) that you understand it completely, or that you understand it better than anyone else. Yes, Cris, you are an intelligent guy who has read and thought about many things, but guess what? You are not the only one. There are many incredibly intelligent people across the spectrum of political/economic/moral/ethical thought who are also intelligent and well-read and thoughtful. And it’s possible to have read and thought about all the same things that you have and come to different conclusions. That doesn’t make them wrong or right. And I’m not trying to say there is no wrong or right, don’t accuse me of moral/intellectual relativism. I’m saying that it’s arrogant and intellectually unrigorous to claim certainty of your own conclusions. These are not topics that are subject to the same kind of logical scrutiny as mathematical systems, where you can produce rigorous proofs regarding what is true and what isn’t. Laws of man are not like laws of nature.

        In my opinion, a wise man takes a humbler approach.

        The funny thing is, I never intended to get sucked into this. Contrary to what you might imagine, I’m not a political/ideological warrior scouring the blogosphere in a quest for battle. I was just looking for a particular clip from “Groundhog Day” and through the wonders of Google, stumbled across your site. I would have passed right over it, but I was intrigued by the blend of conservatism and New Age thought, so I took a peek. For whatever reason, I clicked on Cathy’s post. Admittedly, I was provoked. The upside is that as a result of my initial comment, despite a rocky start, I’ve ended up having a respectful and somewhat substantive discussion with Cathy. And while we might not not agree on many things, I feel like I understand her a little bit better, and appreciate her in a more nuanced “whole person” way, rather than as a one-dimensional caricature.
        So have a good life, and good luck with your quest for happiness and enlightenment. Perhaps we’ll cross paths again in some other life, but probably not this one.

        • So much not worth responding to. First the English teacher in me would like to say that when you have a point make it. Long winded statements should only be used where exact meanings are necessary, and splitting hairs is required. So much here could be shortened…
          You accuse me of attacking anyone and thus driving people away and only praising those who agree with me. No actually, I am nice to those who agree and those who with sincere questions. I challenge and don’t back down to those who challenge me. I’m sorry if like every other conservative I am not a cowering apologist that the last century of conservatives have, I’m sorry I don’t say, “You’re right that’s just my opinion”, but truth should be defended.

          Third, as to your call for humility, the intellectual virtue of those who want to let others do their thinking. Please tell me of a wise man who takes a humble approach? Did Adams when he alienated everyone around him demanding independence? Did Churchill when he insulted everyone who didn’t see the truth? Did Jesus when he beat the crap out of the money changers? Did Krishna when he told Arjuna, ‘kill’em all’? Did Aquinas when he simply ignored those around him? History actually shows that the wise have very little humility when they believe they are right…and as Aristotle taught me, you should emulate those you wish to be like. You are flat wrong in your ” it’s arrogant and NOT intellectually rigorous to assume you have all the right answers, that just because you’ve studied something (even carefully and extensively) that you understand it completely,” because until someone proves me wrong I have to assume that my beliefs are correct, I have to be open to being proven wrong (which no one ever seems to want to do…you’ll actually notice that the snide and insulting tone always starts from the other side before I start insulting people, kind of like you did here with your false humility covering your arrogantly taking a high ground you have no right to).

          To act as if your reasoning is anything but truth until you have been proven wrong is one of the worst intellectual sins around ( http://conservativenewager.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/weekly-meditation-kill-the-buddha/) and I quite frankly am just sick of people putting it up as a virtue.

          • I also want to say that Cris is a wonderful person whom I know provides great care and education for his students along with his wonderful book Republicans and Reincarnation is very open and honest without any arrogance. I believe he is trying to teach/encourage people to stand up for their opinions/beliefs and do the research, reason out your opinion and then stand your ground. Anyone who is as well read, educated and as intelligent as Cris I think probably has some right to believe that his statements are accurate.
            I think you have misjudged him and I find that his statement that he waits for others to start the rudeness first, is true and then he takes no prisoners.

            • Also, I just realized…there is one particular jackass of a troll on this blog who keeps changing his name, (but not his IP address) and I realize it may seem that I’m starting the insults and attacking without provocation…but it’s more that I’m not going to play his game and let him pretend that he is someone else.

  3. Cathy,
    I think you forgot to mention how liberals can ramble on for pages and say exactly nothing….

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