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September 17, 2005

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Harry Arthur

Whether Kerry lied depends on whether he could have reasonably discerned that the information he presented was largely false. It was certainly false to imply that war crimes were commited by any significant percentage of American soldiers or that our leaders were complicit.

As Cecil correctly notes the "Winter Soldier" "investigation" was largely false and has since been discredited by serious scholars. Furthermore, many within the "Viet Nam Veterans" movement were either no where near Viet Nam and some were not even in the military. There is adequate evidence that many of the "soldiers" with stories of atrocities either made them up or weren't even in the theater.

Steven, don't know why you'd quote McNamara when just up the thread you indicated he, along with LBJ and Nixon were the true traitors in the war. If he was a traitor, I'd say that's reason enough to suspect the veracity of his comments on the war.

Personall, I don't know if I'd go so far as to suggest any of those gentlemen were traitors, but at the very least I don't believe any of them really understood the long term implications of their prosecution of the war.

Cecil Turner

"Furthermore, many within the "Viet Nam Veterans" movement were either no where near Viet Nam and some were not even in the military."

Mack Owens's article said it best:

In fact, the entire Winter Soldiers Investigation was a lie. It was inspired by Mark Lane's 1970 book entitled Conversations with Americans, which claimed to recount atrocity stories by Vietnam veterans. This book was panned by James Reston Jr. and Neil Sheehan, not exactly known as supporters of the Vietnam War. Sheehan in particular demonstrated that many of Lane's "eye witnesses" either had never served in Vietnam or had not done so in the capacity they claimed.
The bottom line is that it was a lie, told to a script, with poseurs and liars in place of veteran "witnesses." Kerry knew it and used it for personal political gain, and by doing so, broke faith with his fellow vets. I'm not sure what's more pathetic: the "band of brothers" campaign; or the persistent claim by the left that the SwiftVets were liars engaged in a "smear."

Larry

Sorry, Steven J., but almost anyone who served in the SEA theater knows what a miserable excuse for Sec Def McNamara was. Like Harry says, you can't have it both ways. Robert Ass McNamara: Traitor or expert? Of course Giap started planning the next attack right away when he saw the reaction of the budding LLMSM.

"Kerry did not lie." You know this how? I notice your baseless attack on that point is coupled with inattention to Kerry's other two, more treasonous acts.

Merely hoping to ward off a chickenhawk attack, I'll tell you that I flew 211 combat missions in F-4C's. Anyone who did that could also tell you how the war could have been finished in months, if not weeks, with conventional weapons. First step: Shitcan the voluminous and undecipherable rules of engagement. Second step: Replace R O E with, "If they shoot at you, shoot back."


Cecil Turner

"Merely hoping to ward off a chickenhawk attack, I'll tell you that I flew 211 combat missions in F-4C's."

Ah, but while you were warding off chickenhawk attacks, you opened yourself up for fighter pilot jokes.

Q: How do you know there's a fighter pilot in the room?
A: Don't worry, he'll tell you.

BumperStickerist

Steven J.

There's a key thing you're missing in McNamarra's book. It's this: McNamarra KNEW AT THE TIME that Vietnam was unwinnable.

There's a line in there about this realization coming to him in, I think, 1967.

If Rumsfeld publishes a book five years from now saying "Yeah, I knew we couldn't win the peace with that level of troops" then you might be on to something.

TexasToast

Ugliest thread I've read on here.

1. If soldiers tend to the right when they start out, as Cecil suggests, why is the most powerful antiwar literature written by vets?

2. Pablo threatening to beat people up should clear up the reason for psudonyms. I left junior high quite a long time ago.

3. Frank - read you post about Grenta - the fact is that all the people were already gone - the city was evacuated and locked down according to the sherrif - so no lives were in danger in Gretna - just NO.

4. For Kim - zygote.

Syl

For TT

Poppies

What is the percentage of antiwar vet writers compared to the entirety of vets? or even compared to the percentage of vets who are Democcrats?

Anyway, any antiwar literature is powerful to someone who is themselves antiwar.

Steven J.

BUMPER -

No, I didn't miss that. That's why I lumped Mac in with LBJ and Nixon. Upon further reflection, I also add Kissinger.

Steven J.

LARRY -"Kerry did not lie." You know this how?

For one, I take Tommy Franks' word for it. See above.


Steven J.

Anyone who did that could also tell you how the war could have been finished in months, if not weeks, with conventional weapons.

You are delusional.

Steven J.

It was certainly false to imply that war crimes were commited by any significant percentage of American soldiers or that our leaders were complicit.

It is a war crime to forcibly remove civilians from their place of residence. Although you have forgotten, that was explicit US policy. That is, empty and burn the hamlets and villages to prevent the VC from having a support base.

Steven J.

I notice your baseless attack on that point is coupled with inattention to Kerry's other two, more treasonous acts.

It is not illegal for a reserve officer to meet as a private citizen with NV officials.

Kerry left the anti-war group after he got wind of the plot to kill US Senators. Kerry's FBI file is clean in that regard.


Steven J.

The bottom line is that it was a lie, told to a script, with poseurs and liars in place of veteran "witnesses."

SWIFTBOAT LIARS.

Steven J.

As Cecil correctly notes the "Winter Soldier" "investigation" was largely false and has since been discredited by serious scholars.


Who? (NRO doesn't count)

Harry Arthur

TT, If soldiers tend to the right when they start out, as Cecil suggests, why is the most powerful antiwar literature written by vets? Speaking from personal experience I can anecdotally attest that Cecil is correct. Though there are many reasons someone who has seen war up close and personal might become very anti-war including the fact that war is a nasty disgusting business that is easy to detest.

I also find it easy to understand that reasonable and honorable people can come away from similar experiences with dissimilar reactions. It's also the case that we attribute a level of credibility to a veteran due to their experience in combat that makes their viewpoint more compelling, especially to civilian audiences.

It is the phoneys with whom I have serious difficulty. The "Winter Soldier" crowd in particular and the 60s anti-war movement in general was populated by some not insignificant percentage of "soldiers" who had either never been in the Viet Nam theater, had never served at all, or who if they had been in Viet Nam were not directly involved in combat operations.

Finally, some of those who had experienced combat firsthand become disillusioned with the war for any number of reasons. Among these, probably at the top of the list as noted by Larry, would certainly include the inept prosecution of the war at the hands of McNamara, his "wiz kids" in the pentagon, and a not insignificant number of politician generals unwilling to jeopardize their careers for the sake of the lives of their soldiers.

Cecil Turner

"It is a war crime to forcibly remove civilians from their place of residence."

It is? What if they happen to be unlawful combatants in disguise?

"It is not illegal for a reserve officer to meet as a private citizen with NV officials."

Kinda depends on what they discussed/agreed to, eh?

"SWIFTBOAT LIARS."

That worked really well, didn't it? One great thing about the left, sharp learning curve.

SteveMG

Harry:
Re: "At the top of the list as noted by Larry, would certainly include the inept prosecution of the war at the hands of McNamara, his "wiz kids" in the pentagon, and a not insignificant number of politician generals"

That's Col. H.R. McMaster's thesis in his book on Vietnam, "Dereliction of Duty."
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060929081/104-4116444-2723148?v=glance

McMaster is in Iraq right now with the 71st Regiment. Great man.

SMG

Steven J.

ANOTHER UPSTANDING SHIFTY VET, ONE OF MANY:

Alfred French said in the ad and swore in an affidavit, ''I served with John Kerry. ... He is lying about his record.'' French subsequently acknowledged he relied on the accounts of other veterans and did not witness Kerry in combat.

Kerry Accuses GOP of 'Fear and Smear' Tactics
Democrat Speaks in New York
By MARY DALRYMPLE, AP, 8/24/04

Larry

LOL, Cecil. I hesitated to mention. Should have hesitated a little longer.......like forever. But seriously, the only disillusion I came away with was the total idiocy of micromanaging the war from D.C. and restricting/forbidding strikes on targets like railroads, harbors, dams, dikes, etc.

Steven, assertions aren't facts. You have drunk the left wing cool aid and now live in an alternate reality.

Steven J.

Steven, assertions aren't facts.

For YOU they are.

Cecil Turner

"LOL, Cecil. I hesitated to mention. Should have hesitated a little longer.......like forever."

Yeah, sorry (well, kinda . . . okay, not really) for the cheap shot. As a former attack puke, I can't pass up straight lines like that one. Cheers.

"ANOTHER UPSTANDING SHIFTY VET"

Why don't we go over all the witness statements of Kerry's crewmen who went with him into Cambodia, or the ones who saw the magic hat, or the enemy fire from his first PH? Oh, that's right, there aren't any. How 'bout his buddy Rasmussen's story about the piece of shrapnel (and rice) in the butt from his own grenade for the third PH? When even your friends don't back up your story, it might be time to change it.

kim

I just loved it when Newsweek, to account for the fact that Kerry's Band of Brothers disappeared after the convention by saying that they were 'grandfathers, on family vacations'.

Hee hee, does that explain why Kerry disappeared from the press for 6 weeks after the Swifties attack?

And SJ, now that you have called the Swifties liars about 4 or 5 times, how about detailing some of those lies.

And what about Christmas in Cambodia, what about Purple Hearts 3's 1 and 3, and what about his cowardly flight down the river in the Bronze Star incident?
==========================================

kim

TT, I would say 'zymurgy' but won't, because I don't want to contribute to global warming, and because I usually regret it whan I have the last word.
===================================================

Steven J.

CECIL - Why don't we go over all the witness statements of Kerry's crewmen who went with him into Cambodia

I'll do you one better: a fellow officer -->

O'Neill said no one could cross the border by river and he claimed in an audio tape that his publicist played to CNN that he, himself, had never been to Cambodia either. But in 1971, O'Neill said precisely the opposite to then President Richard Nixon.
O'NEILL: I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border on the water.
NIXON: In a swift boat?
O'NEILL: Yes, sir.
CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Two Russian Passengers Planes Crash Within Minutes of Each Other; Cheney Cites States' Rights in Gay Marriage Debate;
Najaf Standoff
Aired August 24, 2004 - 22:00 ET

Steven J.

CECIL -

Why don't we ask the Navy?

Navy Says Kerry's Service Awards OK'd
AP
WASHINGTON (Sept. 17) - The Navy's chief investigator concluded Friday that procedures were followed properly in
the approval of Sen. John Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, according to an internal Navy
memo. Vice Adm. R.A. Route, the Navy inspector general, conducted the review of Kerry's Vietnam-ear military
service awards at the request of Judicial Watch, a public interest group.
"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals
indicates the awards approval process was properly followed," Route wrote in the memo sent Friday to Navy Secretary
Gordon England.
"Our review also considered the fact that Senator Kerry's post-active duty activities were public and that military and
civilian officials were aware of his actions at the time. For these reasons, I have determined that Senator Kerry's awards
were properly approved and will take no further action in this matter."

Steven J.

what about his cowardly flight down the river in the Bronze Star incident?

LMFAO - you don't stick around ground zero simply to suit your fantasies of combat.

Steven J.

And what about Christmas in Cambodia

Apparently it was in January.

Steven J.

the enemy fire from his first PH?

The Navy thinks there was and Kerry was NOT the official witness to that event.

Steven J.

Hey, LARRY!

Blade wins Pulitzer: Series exposing Vietnam atrocities earns top honor
By KELLY LECKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Three Blade reporters won the Pulitzer Prize - journalism's highest honor - yesterday for uncovering the atrocities of an elite U.S. Army fighting unit in the Vietnam War that killed unarmed civilians and children during a seven-month rampage.
Michael D. Sallah, Mitch Weiss, and Joe Mahr received the investigative reporting prize for their series - "Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths" - which detailed how the Army failed to stop the atrocities after commanders were told about them. The reporters also discovered that the Army failed to prosecute soldiers who killed unarmed civilians after an investigation found the platoon had committed war crimes
.http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040406/SRTIGERFORCE/40406017

Steven J.

ANOTHER SHIFTY VET LIE:

<>B>Witness backs Kerry's story, not his candidacy
By Joseph B. Frazier
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PORTLAND, Ore. - A swift-boat crewman decorated in the 1969 Vietnam incident where John Kerry won a Bronze Star says not only did they come under enemy fire but also that his own boat commander, who has challenged the official account, was too distracted to notice the gunfire.

Retired Chief Petty Officer Robert E. Lambert, of Eagle Point, Ore., got a Bronze Star for pulling his boat commander - Lt.
Larry Thurlow - out of the Bay Hap River on March 13, 1969. Thurlow had jumped onto another swift boat to aid sailors
wounded by a mine explosion but fell off when the out-of-control boat ran aground.

Thurlow, who has been prominent among a group of veterans challenging the Democratic presidential candidate's record, has said there was no enemy fire during the incident. Lambert, however, supports the Navy account that says all five swift boats in the task force "came under small-arms and automatic-weapon fire from the riverbanks" when the mine detonated.

"I thought we were under fire, I believed we were under fire," Lambert said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

"Thurlow was far too distracted with rescue efforts to even realize he was under fire. He was concentrating on trying to save lives."

Aaron

So, according to Maher, if we had simply voted correctly, then 9/11 would not have happened.

I guess that is funny.

Man, he's so stupid it makes me laugh.

Next thing he'll tell me that if Bush I had got his second term then Milosevic would never have ethnic cleansed (or what not.)

Heck, if FDR had lost then no Pearl Harbour or concentration camps, either.

Cecil Turner

"I'll do you one better: a fellow officer -->"

Don't see any support for Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" story there. His pet biographer couldn't find any either:

"On Christmas Eve he was near Cambodia; he was around 50 miles from the Cambodian border. There's no indictment of Kerry to be made, but he was mistaken about Christmas in Cambodia," said Douglas Brinkley, who has unique access to the candidate's wartime journals. . . .
"The Navy thinks there was and Kerry was NOT the official witness to that event."

"The Navy" thinks? Again, no witness reports enemy fire. Kerry's own journal nine days later says: "we hadn't been shot at yet."

"Why don't we ask the Navy? . . . the awards approval process was properly followed . . ."

Administrative procedures were followed. Good. Don't know why you left this part out (okay, maybe I do):

"Conducting any additional review regarding events that took place over 30 years ago would not be productive. The passage of time would make reconstruction of the facts and circumstances unreliable, and would not allow the information gathered to be considered in the context of the time in which the events took place."
"I thought we were under fire, I believed we were under fire . . ."

Strong statement. Maybe someone can help explain the fact that there wasn't a single bullet hole in any of the boats from that engagement? Or perhaps Thurlow was right, despite being "distracted." In any event, there's no doubt none of it hit Kerry, who had shrapnel (and rice?) removed from a self-inflicted wound.

kim

SJ: To go over this again with you.

O'Neill worked along the border of Cambodia later in the war when it is documented that Swift Boats were there. This does not prove that Kerry was there.

The Navy merely commented on the process of awarding medals. Let's see Kerry's records to see who wrote the after action reports.

The ground zero on that river had injured sailors in the water. All the other boats rallied around them, apparently the scene did fit Kerry's fantasies of combat 'cuz he was outa there. Had there been enemy fire, and I think it is possible, his run down the river was even more craven.

Christman in January didn't happen either. Instead you had Kerry initially claiming exploits in January with someone else's boat.

Who's got the evidence of return fire on the first Purple Heart incident? Those may well have been civilians that Kerry described as "fleeing like gazelles" as he raked them with M-16 fire.

Are you trying to claim that the Winter Soldier hearings produced accurate history?


What a fraud. ================================================

kim

You can laugh about Bay Hap, SJ, but it predicted Kerry's behaviour in August of last year. The Swifties detonated a mine under the Democrat's Ship of Coming State, leaving a bunch of Democratic candidates injured in the water. Kerry ran off from the press for six solid weeks returning only after the opposing fire, such as it had been from MSM, had quit.

You should be outraged that he cravenly ran off from reporters, thereby handing the election to Bush and to Republicans.
================================================

TexasToast

Re : Cecil's comment about service men tending towards the right.

That is true - and there are good sociological reasons for it in a mature society. Samual Huntington has a bit to say about the military's (particularly the officer corps') support for the status quo.

In societies under stress that do not have a democratic tradition , soldiers tend to be more liberal than the prevailing social order. Examples - the french revolution, the russian revolution, Cromwell. In static societies, soldiers tend to support the prevailing social order as the tendancies that make them want to become soldiers tend to trend conservative - and in the absense of an educated working class, the education soldiers, and particularly officers, recieve, tend to give them a stake in the prevailing social order. In extreme cases, this can lead to military dictatorship.

So Cecil, its OK to be a righty!

Cecil Turner

There's a good essay here on the subject of service and citizen-soldiers. The bottom line is that it's a basic government function "to provide for the common defense," the concept of service is an essential part of that equation, and it's not a recent phenomenon:

As a student of the Classics, I also know that republican theory teaches that unless the citizens of a republic serve in their own defense, they risk losing their freedom.
One of the better treatments of the subject was in Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Heinlein's theory (propounded by a fictional History and Moral Philosophy professor) was that a person who volunteered for a dangerous service assignment showed he was capable of placing the greater good of the community over his own well-being. And that such a trait was both rare and laudable. He further maintained it was unteachable, suggesting to a student restoring his lost eyesight would be easier:
You would find it much easier than to instill moral virtue -- social responsibility -- into a person who doesn't have it, doesn't want it, and resents having the burden thrust on him.
" In static societies, soldiers tend to support the prevailing social order as the tendancies that make them want to become soldiers tend to trend conservative . . ."

I'm not sure "tendencies" is an apt description for a sense of duty, or a willingness to sacrifice to protect one's fellow man. The last stanza of the Star Spangled Banner sums up the sentiment nicely:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Now, perhaps an argument can be made for a general sappiness among conservatives, that makes them prone to believe romantic nonsense, but I prefer to think of it as an indicator of social responsibility. And there's little doubt that many on the right tend to view the disparity as a general moral failing of the left. Again from the essay linked above:
The problem is not that soldiers choose to be conservative, but that liberals choose not to be soldiers.

Steven J.

Let's see Kerry's records to see who wrote the after action reports.

Oh yeah, the Shifty Vets also claimed Kerry wrote up his own reports. LMFAO!

Steven J.

Strong statement. Maybe someone can help explain the fact that there wasn't a single bullet hole in any of the boats from that engagement?

Maybe you could stop making shit up.

Steven J.

I prefer to think of it as an indicator of social responsibility.

You are a reall hoot!

Poverty rate at 12.7 percent, 4th straight rise
Updated: 10:45 a.m. ET Aug. 30, 2005
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9130342/
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation’s poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.
Overall, there were 37 million people living in poverty, up 1.1 million people from 2003.

Steven J.

Let's see Kerry's records to see who wrote the after action reports.

They are all out there:

Kerry allows Navy release of military, medical records
Show numerous commendations

By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | June 7, 2005
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/06/07/kerry_allows_navy_release_of_militar
y_medical_records/

WASHINGTON -- Senator John F. Kerry, ending at least two years of refusal, has waived privacy restrictions and
authorized the release of his full military and medical records.
The records, which the Navy Personnel Command provided to the Globe, are mostly a duplication of what Kerry
released during his 2004 campaign for president, including numerous commendations from commanding officers who
later criticized Kerry's Vietnam service.
Asked why he delayed signing the form for so long, Kerry said in a written response: ''The call for me to sign a 180
form came from the same partisan operatives who were lying about my record on a daily basis on the Web and in the
right-wing media. Even though the media was discrediting them, they continued to lie. I felt strongly that we shouldn't
kowtow to them and their attempts to drag their lies out."
The file does not provide new documents about various combat actions. It contains mostly a repetition of Kerry's
citations for the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. For example, it does not include the combat ''after
action reports" that detail what happened in some of the firefights in which Kerry participated. Those reports are
available for public inspection at the Navy historical center in Washington and have already been widely disseminated.
John O'Neill, the leader of the Swift Boat veterans group and coauthor of the book ''Unfit for Command," said
yesterday that he would be disappointed if Kerry's files do not contain new information. ''I would still have the same
beliefs expressed in my book," he said.

Drooling on the Vietnam Vets
Jack Shafer
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2000, at 4:49 AM PT
http://slate.msn.com/id/1005224/
Jerry Lembcke argues that the story is bunk in his 1998 book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the
Legacy of Vietnam (click here to buy it). Lembcke, a professor of sociology at Holy Cross and a Vietnam vet,
investigated hundreds of news accounts of antiwar activists spitting on vets. But every time he pushed for more
evidence or corroboration from a witness, the story collapsed--the actual person who was spat on turned out to
be a friend of a friend. Or somebody's uncle. He writes that he never met anybody who convinced him that any
such clash took place.
Lembcke uncovered a whole lot of spitting from the war years, but the published accounts always put the antiwar
protester on the receiving side of a blast from a pro-Vietnam counterprotester. Surely, he contends, the news pages
would have given equal treatment to a story about serviceman getting the treatment. Then why no stories in the
newspaper morgues, he asks?

Cecil Turner

"Maybe you could stop making s*** up."

Here's a good overview of the engagement, including analysis of the damage to Kerry's boat and the strange similarities among the writeups. Try coming up with a story that fits all the known facts (especially including the lack of bullet holes or blast damage).

"Oh yeah, the Shifty Vets also claimed Kerry wrote up his own reports. LMFAO!"

Yes, it is funny. Almost as funny as: " . . . when a mine detonated close aboard PCF-94."

"The records, which the Navy Personnel Command provided to the Globe . . ."

That's public disclosure? (Hint: no, it's not.)

Larry

"Oh yeah, the Shifty Vets also claimed Kerry wrote up his own reports. LMFAO!"

Just exactly what is so funny about this? Part of his freaking job was writing after-action reports. I know from being told (and refusing) to write up my own recommendations for decorations and having seen others do theirs it was not an uncommon practice.

The shuttle will be down to take you back to the mother ship tomorrow, Steven J. Are you the only living brain donor or is that just a rumor?

kim

Sorry SJ, you've been sold a bridge. Kerry's records are not released to the public. The clever little so-and-so found a way to sign the Form 180 without releasing them.

There were about three bullet holes in the boats at Bay Hap that were probably new. From whom they came is not established. There were a minority of the sailors there that day who remember the distinct ack-ack of AK-47 rounds and I don't doubt their aural memory, or that others didn't hear them. It would make sense to make at least a token ambush out of a mined defile, which is what was there.

My point is that if there had been enemy fire, dumping Rasmussen in the water and skedaddling off while ALL THE OTHER BOATS rallied around the injured sailors in the water just highlights Kerry's cowardice. That incident and what I believe was the perception of Kerry's poor fire discipline led his superiors to not oppose his leaving the area, shortly thereafter.

Scholars are digging into all this because it represents a nexus of three important American cultural events: the '04 election, the Vietnam War, and the blogosphere. The Swifties turned the tide in August and you, SJ, should feel betrayed by Kerry's behaviour since.
============================================

Harry Arthur

I prefer to think of it as an indicator of social responsibility.

You are a reall hoot!

Poverty rate at 12.7 percent, 4th straight rise

Surely there's a pony under all this horse dung somewhere.

Harry Arthur

Poverty rate at 12.7 percent about where it was in the middle of Clinton's two terms. As far as rates of poverty go, no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise, this one has been essentially level since 1966.

kim

Just proves to him The Great Society worked. It isn't even the post hoc fallacy, it's the pre hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. It uses quantum logic to warp time.
=================================================

TexasToast

The problem is not that soldiers choose to be conservative, but that liberals choose not to be soldiers.

Who says its a "problem"?

In societies under stress, the soldiers are not just liberals - they are radicals.

The liberal view (or at least my "liberal" view) is that there are many parts of the social compact as vital as the role performed by soldiers. Many people give of themselves out of a sense of duty to society far beyond the economic compensation earned. Social workers, teachers, first responders, scientists, academics don't do it for the money - its something more. Its a core belief in social justice - not social or economic darwinism. Goodness doesnt have to come locked and loaded.

Look at an any colony as an example - the workers outnumber the soldiers by orders of magnitude - but both are essential to the health of the whole.

kim

Ants are designed that way, are we?
=======================================

Cecil Turner

"The liberal view (or at least my "liberal" view) is that there are many parts of the social compact as vital as the role performed by soldiers. . . . Goodness doesnt have to come locked and loaded."

As long as one views the soldier's contribution as a vital part of the social contract, I don't think we have any major disagreement. I would suggest that the willingness to put one's life on the line is a marked difference in the level of commitment. Though obviously some occupations have a significant element of personal risk (especially policemen and firefighters--whose members tend disproportionately to be former servicemembers).

Unfortunately many, especially on the left, see military service as at best a necessary evil. That attitude is evident in many things: low enlistment rates, demagogic calls for a military draft, refusal to allow recruiters on campuses, and snide comments on late-night television. And it undercuts arguments like "chickenhawk" and the credibility of those who would be placed in charge of national defense. Is that a problem?

kim

You know, don't you, that those ants aren't bound by that social contract. I see soldiers. Those ants must be coerced.
===============================================

Harry Arthur

Its a core belief in social justice - not social or economic darwinism.

I'll echo Cecil's comments and add one or two of my own. It is not antithetical to the profession of arms to believe strongly in social justice. I am not suggesting you implied such by your comments - just clarifying. Occasionally it requires the force of arms to ensure social justice.

Nor, I would argue, is a belief in social or economic darwinism a core belief of either soldiers or conservatives. What you might term "social or economic darwinism" for example, I might see as encouraging "self reliance". I would suggest that neither discription is entirely adequate on its own.

Harry Arthur

Tex, Social workers, teachers, first responders, scientists, academics don't do it for the money - its something more. Of course motivations vary. I'm assuming you're not suggesting that "a core belief in social justice" is universally the motivation for these careers, just that it can be.

I would also add that even highly compensated people such as successful businessmen and women, doctors, lawyers, politicians, professional athletes, or even entertainers, don't necessarily see the money, though nice, as their primary motivation. Their professions, though well compensated, are often also excellent vehicles for the expression of a belief in "social justice".

For example, a successful business man or woman may use their position to mentor women, minorities or young people to develop their talents to be able to succeed in the business world. The abilities of doctors and lawyers to pursue "social justice" are obvious. As is also the point that possessing abundant financial resources does give one the ability to affect "social justice" on many levels.

kim

I love the part in one of the old testament holocausts where God 'stomped on the ants'.

Can't find it? It's in one of the Chatboard Apocrypha.

And Harry, I regret to inform you that liberals ideas of social justice are 'fact based', thus the only way of looking upon it. Get real.
============================================

Steven J.

As far as rates of poverty go, no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise, this one has been essentially level since 1966.

Do you just make this shit up?

1966 15.7%
1967 14.2%
1968 12.8%

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/publications.html

Steven J.

Sorry SJ, you've been sold a bridge. Kerry's records are not released to the public.

Kerry's record is fine and there is not one shred of evidence to prove otherwise.

kim

Can you get it with an FOIA request?
==================================

Harry Arthur

SJ, I would rather you had responded to my answer to your original rhetorical remarks on this earlier thread posted Sep 18.

Had you looked at the referenced chart from the same government sensus data you've cited, you would see clearly that the average poverty rate since about 1966 is virtually a flat line with a maximum variation of approximately 10% of total in either direction. I believe my explanation of the reason for the variation is reasonable.

If you wish to present a statistical argument that the rate is other than "flat" over the 1966 to 2004 time frame, I'm willing to listen and discuss it intelligently. If, however, you believe you are making a cogent argument with your citation of the three dates above following your rhetorical question, then I would argue that you are mistaken.

Harry Arthur

Get real. kim, don't you know, I just "make this [stuff] up"?

:)

kim

Ztomp.

Godspeed, TT.
====================

TexasToast

My family is on the west side of Houston - they are staying - but my folks house is in the floodplain of Braes Bayou. If the surge and the rain back up the bayou, they could easily get a foot of water.

Traffic is a nightmare down there. No gas, no ATMs, - its a huge mess.

We have got to do a better job in this country about disaster planning.

kim

Very ironic that among the worst this time is the bus tragedy.
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vch

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Wilson/Plame