Hauling Superman Into Court

Superman today would need a secret identity just to avoid lawyers and activists. Pundits would second-guess his heroic deeds deeds. (Lex Luther was no imminent threat.) Activists would show statistics proving that saving the world disproportionately benefits the rich. Environmentalists would blame him for bad weather or extinctions. A decisive man of action is unpopular in today’s world, even if he is made of steel.

I went to see "Superman Returns" this weekend. The part where Lois Lane wins a Pulitzer Prize for an article explaining why the world doesn't need Superman made me think of the problems a real Superman would have, even if he fought only for truth and justice and especially if he also advocated the American way.

Our society has developed a bureaucratic bias against action. This explains a lot of the perceived liberal bias in the courts and the media. Most Americans perceive bias in the media. A plurality thinks it is a liberal bias. My take is a bit more nuanced. I believe that the structure of the media tends to lead to conclusions also supported by liberals.

Someone will post a dictionary definition of liberal that talks about new things and being open to ideas, but that is beside the point. (The prominent politician who most closely fits this definition, BTW, is Newt Gingridge.) But what liberal has come to mean in the current politics is a commitment to fairness and a belief in the efficacy of regulations and rules to achieve it. These are not necessarily bad goals or methods, but they have consequences.

What does this have to do with liberal bias? Let's return to our Superman of action. A first the media would love Superman, but as journalists started doing their cynical jobs, he would start to look bad. How does Superman decide who or what to save? Is he biased against particular groups? What about profiling? Superman is the ultimate eavesdropper. He literally hears the conversations among crooks w/o a warrant and he tends to preempt some of their crimes. Superman frequently travels in and out of earth atmosphere. What are the environmental consequences? Does he comply with regulations? What about all his supersonic flying around with the sonic booms and accompanying wind?

No matter what the answers to these questions, it would trash Superman’s reputation and (I believe) be perceived as a liberal bias. Of course, Superman is a hard man to find. Michael Moore would make a movie. "Kal-El and Me" where he tries unsuccessfully to get Superman to answer his inane questions. And Superman manages to be both an immigrant and a white male representative of the establishment.

Once the journalists started the feeding frenzy, the courts would not be far behind. People who suffered collateral damage and even those he DIDN'T help would sue Superman. If he had not been negligently talking to Lois Lane, he would have arrived at the falling bridge in time to save Mr. X.

How is a court case an example of bias? The bias in court cases is just getting them into court. Once an issue is before a judge, we have already decided that he has the right to make a decision. Conservatives tend to believe more things are not be the business of courts. Liberals are more enthusiastic about them. This is also a bias against action. No matter what you did, it is going to look bad in the light of analysis with the advantage of hindsight and away from the passions and uncertainty of the moment.

Pretty soon Superman would have to hire an army of analysts to ensure his good deeds didn't have disproportional impact or that his criminal catching was not racial profiling. His legal staff would have to file ecological impact statements when we prevented hurricane damage or diverted lava from a city. Superman would probably just go back to the Kent farm, where he presumably could do most of the work w/o having to hire illegal aliens or spend a lot of money on labor saving machines. He would be in a place where his mistakes would not be second guessed (although he still would probably fall afoul or the local farm workers unions and the IRS).

There is a name for people who never makes mistakes – LOSERS. Winners have a bias toward action. They make mistakes, learn from them and make progress. All progress is unfair. An efficient decision maker will NOT take into account all the variables; he/she will NOT think much about the fair distribution of benefits or being inclusive in making the decision in the first place. In an article in WSJ about the WWII leaders, the author talks about a searching rather than a creative intellect. "One has the impression, studying their lives as youngsters, that they were not ‘brilliant’ at school," he says. Decision makers tend not to be great analysts and analysts tend not to make good decisions. There should be a place for both, but let's not let analysis paralyze action.

Let Superman be Superman and cut a little more slack to other men and women of action, even those w/o super powers.

Posted by Jack at July 3, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #164632

Another epic masterpiece of Republicans putting words in liberal’s mouths.

Superman we could trust. He doesn’t lie. He has X-Ray vision, so we know we could take his word for it, if he said Saddam had WMDs. He would have gone out there and seen for himself. Hell, forget that. He would have gathered them all up and tossed them into the sun or something! Then Saddam truly would be disarmed!

The Trouble is Superman is not that he stands for Truth, Justice and the American way. The trouble is, that Superman is practically a God, and we’re nowhere near as strong in that regard as he is. We don’t have X-Ray vision, superhearing, and the ability to take on an entire country in war without hurting anybody or getting hurt ourselves.

I loved the movie, and I thought it spelled out a great dilemma- even Superman is forced to make choices, to do one thing, and not another. But when he’s faced with the tough choices, he doesn’t hesitate, quibbling over how it will make him look in the media. He doesn’t sit on his hands stewing over Lois Lane’s unfavorable article. He’s above that B.S.. Superman does things on principle, and is willing to accept the consequences of that.

In Iraq, one could argue Bush invaded based on his principles, but since then, every admission of responsiblity for how things went has had to be dragged out of him. If Superman screwed up, he’d be the first to say so. That’s what makes him believeable in in the end, despite his stupendous powers.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 3, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #164637


Thank you, just for being you.

And what planet are you from?

Posted by: Don at July 4, 2006 12:11 AM
Comment #164645

To quote that little girl from Eraser: Earth. Welcome!

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #164656

No. I said, “What planet are you from?” Earth is another name for soil. I believe you are from soil, of that I have no doubt. But what planet?

You claim you would trust Superman to not lie, but if he were Republican or conservative I believe you would call him every name but “Jesus”. If he were Democrat or liberal you would tuck him away in a Cryptonite vault so he wouldn’t mess up your plans.

Posted by: Don at July 4, 2006 1:34 AM
Comment #164657

Stephen, are you trying to imply that libs are decisive? Ithink when they are throwing money around domesticaly to their interest groups they never hesitate, but on foriegn policy?!?

Posted by: scolex at July 4, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #164658

Interesting perspective, Jack.

Posted by: scolex at July 4, 2006 1:39 AM
Comment #164661

“I loved the movie, and I thought it spelled out a great dilemma- even Superman is forced to make choices, to do one thing, and not another. But when he’s faced with the tough choices, he doesn’t hesitate, quibbling over how it will make him look in the media. He doesn’t sit on his hands stewing over Lois Lane’s unfavorable article. He’s above that B.S.. Superman does things on principle, and is willing to accept the consequences of that.”

On a more serious note…

Yes, we are all forced to make choices (as humans, with our lack of X-Ray vision). This is as good an argument for defending the choices of Bush as any I have heard. Without X-Ray vision he had to trust the word of intelligence agencies and foreign leaders (and even the word of Bill Clinton) that Iraq had WMD’s. How could he lie about Iraq having WMD’s? He couldn’t see for himself. He trusted the “intelligence” of others (including Democrats). The result is not a lie, but faulty intelligence. (BTW, there is still plenty of evidence that Iraq had WMD’s up to a year before the war; plus some older ones were found).

SO, Bush had to choose one thing and not another. Based upon the “intelligence” it was a good call. And now he is faulted for acting instead of sitting on his hands.

Superman he isn’t. Evil he isn’t either.

Posted by: Don at July 4, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #164667


The part where Lois Lane wins a Pulitzer Prize for an article explaining why the world doesn’t need Superman made me think of the problems a real Superman would have, even if he fought only for truth and justice and especially if he also advocated the American way.

I guess the first issue a real Superman would have is being a gay icon ;-)

The second issue will be that Lois is right, the world doesn’t need a superman. Afterall, our REAL world prove it: Superman in the real world is just a Comics superhero and a blockbuster seller.
Now, maybe Lois need a superman, but that’s another story…

PS: first Carter, now Superman, who you guys have real *today* issues, oh my!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 4, 2006 2:56 AM
Comment #164670

Wasn’t Superman a parable on the Nazi idea of a superrace?

Are you saying Bush is a super-nazi? :)

Posted by: gergle at July 4, 2006 3:08 AM
Comment #164672

So, which is it? Did the Dems in congress vote for the war or not? Seems to me they were plenty decisive. Problem is they were lied to, so they were decisively wrong, just like everyone else who rushed to war in Iraq. At least the Dems have had the integrity to come out and admit the mistake and seek action to correct it. Repubs would rather “stay the course”. Where do you draw the line between decisive and pig-headed?

Posted by: David S at July 4, 2006 3:33 AM
Comment #164676

As a decisive man of action, Superman did NOT kill people to achieve his ends and he certainly was never tempted by economics, money, or political power over others.

This must be desperation when comic book heroes have to be brought out and heralded as some standard for real life. We got lefties preaching Jesus’ word of peace and diplomacy and turn the other cheek, and look at how those on the right treat the words of Jesus in the mouths of Democrats and liberals?

You’re right, Jack, if superman were real, he would not be Superman in many people’s eyes. Just as Jesus’ words are not valid to many on the right if they come from the mouths of lefties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 4, 2006 4:12 AM
Comment #164681

Jack, Thanks for putting it in a way even a liberal can understand. I am sure they will start with “well, bush is not superman, he cannot see through walls.” Steven said they could believe superman but I bet when superman went against their anti-americanism he would then be drawn and quarted by the courts. Liberals love the court system because it is their way of deciding how america is not fair to the world and how people should live. If they can make enough laws eventually we will all be law breakers but only their court system can say who will be punished. Like when a solider kills someone in the defense of our country they take the side of the insurgent and find the person guilty even before the facts are known. Then they whine and back pedal and fall on their well it could have happened that way.

Anti-American is what they are all about. Almost like the Communist? You know, redistribution of wealth.

Posted by: lm at July 4, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #164683

“There is a name for people who never makes mistakes – LOSERS.”

In the presidential debates the candidates were asked a question about mistakes they had made - does anyone remember Bush’s answer???

Posted by: Terlen at July 4, 2006 8:47 AM
Comment #164686

By the way - here is the excerpt from the transcript - the bottom line - he says he may have made a few mistakes in appointing people but he couldn’t talk about even one mistake on a substantive issue where he had learned something - the answer is about all the mistakes he didn’t make.

GRABEL: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.

BUSH: I have made a lot of decisions, and some of them little, like appointments to boards you never heard of, and some of them big.

And in a war, there’s a lot of — there’s a lot of tactical decisions that historians will look back and say: He shouldn’t have done that. He shouldn’t have made that decision. And I’ll take responsibility for them. I’m human.

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I’ll stand by those decisions, because I think they’re right.

That’s really what you’re — when they ask about the mistakes, that’s what they’re talking about. They’re trying to say, “Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?” And the answer is, “Absolutely not.” It was the right decision.

The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today, because what Saddam Hussein was doing was trying to get rid of sanctions so he could reconstitute a weapons program. And the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

We knew he hated us. We knew he’d been — invaded other countries. We knew he tortured his own people.

On the tax cut, it’s a big decision. I did the right decision. Our recession was one of the shallowest in modern history.

Now, you asked what mistakes. I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I’m not going to name them. I don’t want to hurt their feelings on national TV.


BUSH: But history will look back, and I’m fully prepared to accept any mistakes that history judges to my administration, because the president makes the decisions, the president has to take the responsibility.

Posted by: Terlen at July 4, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #164691

Actually, I don’t associate Bush with Superman, even though some of you do.

I am just talking about the general growing syndrome of punishing action. It happens in business, in government and in our private lives.

It is very easy for the nay sayers to say nay. It is very easy to find fault. Any decision can be second guessed and found wrong in details.

I always like the saying “It is easier to get forgiveness than permission”, but it is getting harder and harder to get either.

Posted by: Jack at July 4, 2006 9:33 AM
Comment #164693

I like an analogy as much as the next guy, and Jack I appreciate your efforts… it does bring up some very good issues. One thing I can tell from following responses - Superman would be immediately judged on his assumed political leanings (or biases.) I’m amazed at how quickly this turned into a real world political discussion.

Superman is no more real than the amazing problems that he faces. His foes must be equally amazing as his own powers in order for Superman to be needed. In the real world, only a foe of such horrible intent and strength would allow us to accept a real Superman. If only average problems face us and he tries to solve them, he would be torn down… it’s human nature. We love to see people succeed to amazing heights, and the we equally love to watch them fall and be torn apart by their own problems (it makes them more average…???)

Here a question for both sides: would you abide by Superman’s decision reguarding Iraq, regardless of what it was?

Posted by: tony at July 4, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #164697

I guess you watched the Incredibles latlely, nice recap.

It’s amazing, now you need to invent things that the press might do. If there were a Superman, he would have been picked up immediately by immigration. When his story was found out, they would try to find some way to make him in to a weapon. If he refused to work with those in power he would be sent to a secret prison where he would spend the reat of his life in a krytonite chains.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut at July 4, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #164698

God forbid someone use a dictionary for a definition. We’s all be better off if we just burned them learnin’ books.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut at July 4, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #164701

If Superman or anyone else with godlike powers suddenly arrived on earth, I think resorting to the labels of liberal and conservative would be the least of our concerns. The old paradigms would be swept away as humanity grappled with the awareness that it’s not the master of the world it thinks it is.

Superman would challenge, fundamentally, how we consider ourselves. At first our reactions would fall along predicatble lines. The masses would hail him as a savior (the Christ imagery running throughout the new movie was not an accicent, of coruse), but those in power would seek to use him for their own short-term political ends, which means, they would try to control him, or at least control how the people preceive him in relation to the existing power structures. Superman is American, Superman stands for American values, Superman represents the might of the United States. The medals the rulers bestow upon him would be one way they would attempt to paint him in their corner. Inevitably, though, a being as powerful as Superman would do what he thought was right, assuming he is concerned with doing “right” at all, and inevitably, he would by his very existence challenge existing power structures. “Liberal” or “conservative” has nothing to do with it.

The evolving religious controversy and soul-searching would be dramatic. His fair words and apparent good deeds mean he’s the anti-Christ to some, the savior of the world to others, and for all, undeniable proof of how puny humans really are. As a race, how would we respond? Faced with our own limitations, would we lose the impulse for difficult challenges? Why try to explore Mars when Superman can do it for us? Why attempt to eradicate third world poverty when Superman can make vast areas of earth arable? Why do anything when Superman can do it for us?

The consequences to the human pysche would be all prevasive, and difficult to fully predict, but I think it is safe to say that our easy categorizations of liberal and conservative would prove inadequate in trying to understand what is happening to us as a people.

Posted by: Trent at July 4, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #164702


There are others, like Chomsky, that make the media cabal argument, arguing that the structure of society is to blame for what the free press has to say. I don’t buy it. What’s your supporting evidence? That the NYTimes doesn’t put your pet projects, such as job increases and CO2 decreases on their headlines. We tell you over and over again that the job situation and CO2 levels overall are nothing to jump up and down about but you just won’t listen. Do you really believe Bush wouldn’t make an issue of these points if he didn’t truly believe they were successes?

It’s not our party that hires people to coverup scientific findings like global warming. It is not our party that refuses to work with the rest of the world in negotiating agreements rather than relying on strongarm tactics. It’s not our party that rushed into a war without first having the basic facts. Anyone can make a mistake Jack, but it takes a special administration to continue willfully making the same ones over and over and over.

The theme of your entire post is that I should be rooting for mistakes, because hey, mistakes happen, and at least Bush is trying to get something done. I’ve said it before and will say it again: my expectations for this president simply aren’t as rock bottom as they are for you conservatives. I expect progress. I see only failure. I would never keep someone like that on as a hire. I would never want anyone with a track record like this to continue in any position whatsoever.

Posted by: Max at July 4, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #164704

Clinton Administration

There continues to remain conservative, libertarian, and independent view points that the Bill Clinton administration was fascist. They point to Clinton’s attempt to “centralize” the financial and economic markets and to socialize the economy. They also suggest a liberal control of the media and contend that the media worked in collusion with the administration. Likewise, many of Hillary Clinton’s policies have been criticized as fascist.
Certain actions taken by Clinton during his administration have also caused critics to call his administration Fascist:
• Military actions in Bosnia, Somalia, and Sudan.
• Actions taken at Waco, TX in dealing with the Branch Davidians.
• The actions taken in regards to the Elian Gonzales situation in Florida.
• Motions towards the accumulation of control at the federal level, leading to fears of totalitarianism (one of many aspects of a potential Fascist state).

Bush Administration

Some writers claim that the United States now meets some or all requirements for a Fascist state. Cases have been made both for and against this allegation on all sides of the political spectrum.
Cases made to support the contention that the US is currently Fascist or moving towards fascism include:
• Use of “administrative warrants” and other tools such as those in the Patriot act which allow the administration to exercise police powers without judicial oversight. The designation of “enemy combatants” by the administration and the use of kangaroo courts like the Combatant Status Review Tribunal to bypass the normal rule of law. The use of torture. Claims by the administration that it needs more and more of these powers. These may indicate a movement towards a police state.
• Decreasing openness in government: significant increases in the amount of information deemed classified, the introduction of “unclassified but sensitive” information, “sneak and peek” searches and gag orders on search targets (allowed by the Patriot act), etc.
• Reports such as the Bush Administration paying journalists to promote the policies of the Administration. This would lend credence to the allegation that Media is being controlled by the Administration. Also, self-censorship such as the sort practiced in open forums to prevent the spread of viewpoints that oppose the current administration may be considered evidence that the administration need not openly censor, but can rely on supporters to carry out the necessary censorship. (The Armstrong Williams incident)(The Balkans Website incident)
• The widespread use of religion as a justification for many laws and policies (such as Faith Based Initiatives) and the blocking of certain legislation on religious grounds (such as gay marriage and stem cell research). Also the widespread use of religious rhetoric and symbolism in many speeches and appearances lend credibility to the allegation of religion being intertwined with Government.
• Fraudulent Elections have been suspected in both of the last presidential elections. There is evidence such as the sworn testimony of Mr. Clint Curtis, and other widespread indications of deceptive election processes in Ohio and other locations, in addition to the conflicts of interest with Secretary of State of Ohio Mr. Blackwell also being the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in Ohio.
To counter the claim that the United States is becoming fascist, opponents point to the fact that George W. Bush won a majority of the popular and electoral votes in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. However it should be noted that the Electoral Votes are usually based on the popular vote counted from the election. Of course, some police states were originally installed in free and fair elections, so this only counters the claim that it is fascist now, not that it is becoming fascist. It is further noted that the belief that the US is becoming fascist is fiercely disputed under any administration by all sides of the debate

Posted by: nutty little nut nut at July 4, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #164705

Guys, what’s the odds were when the Superman capsule crashed on America land instead of a larger lands like… Russia?

He’s already a very lucky superhero. Think about all these unknown unluck superheroes whose space ships happened to crash in these 70%+ of earth surface which are oceans.

One minute of silence in memories of our fallen (well, drowned) wannabe superheroes.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 4, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #164706


So many stupid things have come out of the president’s mouth that it becomes hard to keep track of them all. Thanks for reminding us all of one that didn’t get enough attention:

I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I’m not going to name them. I don’t want to hurt their feelings on national TV.

Who was he talking about? I guess if you were a Bush appointee you just had to sit and wonder if he was talking about you. What a great manager.

And since Bush has been famous for his “loyalty” to his people (i.e. almost never firing anyone) we, the people, were left with the satisfying realization that the president had appointed people he knew to be incompetent but keeping them in their positions because it suited him to do so. Perhaps he was referring to Michael Brown?

Posted by: gatzbee at July 4, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #164708

Fascist state?

Why do we always have to compare our government, whoever is president, to murderous dictatorial regimes to make a point?

No president deserves that comparison. Bill Clinton might have been an amoral asshole and Gerald Ford a klutzy baffoon. But they were patriots who loved their country, even if they did not always show it.

I would never, ever stoop so low as to compare them to Mussolini or Hitler.

Posted by: ulysses at July 4, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #164711

Correct me if I’m wrong, but we do happen to dwell on a world called Earth, and you know damn well that was what I was referring to.

You folks talk about irrational hatred, but here you are continuing to try and reassert your insulting implication.

I could return the favor and say that you would lock him up since he helps people when they should help themselves (repair your own dam, or don’t live downstream from one!) and that you’d hate him for being an elitist snot who wasn’t even born American. Who does he think he is?

But you know what? That would be small, and that would be inaccurate. We all love Superman, we all want to be him.

Some, though, consider themselves like him in their knowledge of what is true and what is right.

The problem with Bush’s actions isn’t that he saw the evidence and acted without hesitation. It’s that he started action believing he knew what the evidence would say and what it would demonstrate about Saddam’s capability. He told himself a story, brought himself to believe it, then looked for the evidence to confirm what he already believed. He encouraged others through political tactics not to get in his way, not to give contradictory information to what he knew from the beginning to be the case-

Even if the evidence was true. Like many of you, he looked at the dissent before the war as being folks trying to slow him down out of a misunderstanding of the facts or out of political spite.

Altogether though, it was no accident that we were so wrong. This was the inevitable result of an Administration that had it’s story straight, but not its facts.

Responsible leaders consider the possibility that they are wrong, that they have missed something, and that not all inhibitory forces represent arbitrary opposition.

We can imagine things both false and true with equal conviction. Our worse errors come when we cripple our own ability to tell the difference. That is what happened with the Bush administration.

And that is no accident either. Bush is part of the Republican party. Denial of sources outside of the safe bounds of “non-biased” has made it easy for Republican politicians to impose their narrative on the GOP’s supporters, and uncritical accepting such information has become a demonstration of party loyalty. The habits even persist among those who have split with the party.

You make a lot of assumptions that wouldn’t stand up to five minutes of real conversation with a liberal. I could protest that I don’t hate America, but would you believe me? Conservatives have taken to think their opinions are the only ones that people who love America could have, and I don’t have those opinion.

I am reminded of that scene in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Contact Where Ellie Arroway and Palmer Joss are debating one another about provable things and Palmer asks Ellie whether she loves her father. She says yes; he replies, “Prove it.”

And of course, she can’t. We can always point to our actions, point to our words, and say, this proves our love for our country. But a person intent on disagreeing with us can turn every point we make on its head.

You folks have become jealous of any control we have of the government, even as yours begins to exceed ours. You have this sense of entitlement concerning the political of this country that neglects a fundamental principle of Democracy: the politicians are supposed to represent the people, and our system is set up so that no one party can ever dominate folks against their will.

Not every wants or likes the idea of having Republicans in charge, and the fact that in your great power you have nonetheless managed to screw some big policy questions up does not endear many Americans to further Republican control.

You folks have this narrative though, this partisan, bitter, melodramatically evil vision of the Democrats that is as laughable to us as it is maddening in wrongness. And some folks will apply it regardless of what we say or do.

I have decided that when I encounter such resistance, the best course of action is to play to the reasonable people in the audience, to gain their sympathy by taking a stand on things we can all believe in. Truth, justice, the American way? We have struggled to get the truth out of Bush as to what he’s been doing with our government. Justice? We cannot sit by and let crimes and misdeeds go unpunished in the name of partisan politics and claims of just cause.

And of course the American Way. Is the American way going on fishing expeditions through the lives of millions of Americans without a warrant, without oversight to keep the programs on the straight and narrow? Is it the American way to treat prisoners like animals, to use means to interrogate people that might not be torture in the letter of the law, but are certainly such in their spirit? Is it the American way to ignore the constitution and claim the military authority to supercede the laws? Is it the American way for our president to shirk his constitutional duty, and refuse to carry out the laws of the land as the legislature hands them to him?

Is the concentration of power in the hands of one man the American way? No. Superman has his great powers because of his birth. Men have their fallibilities and their imperfections because of theirs. To insist that only one man can lead us is the most dangerous kind of departure from democratic principles. No, one man alone cannot lead us. We must lead ourselves, decide things for ourselves, and then our government officials must carry that out, if they wish to maintain their job security.

That is the American way. That is being American to me. We didn’t struggle out from under a monarchy and an aristocracy to yield that power back to a system with no effective difference from that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #164712

Oh, BTW Jack:

There is a name for people who never makes mistakes – LOSERS.

Hum, liars, superheros, deads and oversized-egocentric arrogants sounds better words than your…

Anyway, “losers” is not a determinist group of people. You can’t define losers (and winners for that matter) without defining the criteria of victory. And everybody, losers as winners, will lost once for example.

The key in action making is learning from mistakes, agreed. And analysis of mistake is way more effective than randomly try a different action.

Brain is more important than muscle or “guts” (aka decision balls). Otherwise beheading will be just a body amputation…

What’s the goal here? Make decisions? Even “losers” people does some, you know. Learn from mistakes? Even winners people are not forever ones.

Let Superman be Superman and cut a little more slack to other men and women of action, even those w/o super powers.
Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 4, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #164714

Guys, forget about the last 4 lines in my previous post. Should have be erased before I push the button.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 4, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #164720

nutty little nut nut,

Superman’s ship did not crash, it was programmed to land, by his father, on a land mass.

I stand corrected, thanks.
I’m not that fluent in superheroes mythology.

I guess Superman’s father was a clever guy. Maybe he read the news about all these drowled superheroes found on earth? ;-)

So, what are the odds that the “landing land mass” happened to be american one instead of a larger one like… Russia?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 4, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #164725

You have a super power of framing interesting and current debates or thoughts in creative ways that often stimulate lively discussion—that’s why I, for one, usually enjoy reading and pondering your posts—even if I often disagree with your politics or conclusions. But this one may be a bit too far out there, even silly … but maybe not.
As you later pointed out, your point is clearly not that Bush/conservatives/Republicans are Superman and the other side is Lex Luthor, but that those who are men (and women!) of action, and actually attempt to do good in the world and acheive progress, are increasingly restricted by regulation and a bias toward analysis and consideration, which in itself, gets us virtually nowhere without someone taking risks, making decisions, and taking actions. OK.
But, as you addressed just the other day, we all have our biases that shape our behavior and perceptions—often, I believe, we are not even aware of them while acting; surely there have been these action-oriented people throughout human history, acting to improve the world—as they see it—and there have been those who applauded them, and those that derided them. And as a result of these many doers’ actions, the world has often become a less safe, less just place, desopite the stated intent. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the ideas of progress and to the benefit of human society are highly subjective—progress for whom, progress toward what? Perhaps the bias you speak of against action is just a culmination of traditional, justifiable skepticism, and a more widespread knowledge and understanding of worldwide consquences that has been far too lacking throughout so much of human history.
Pick your hero, be they politician, pundit, rock star, or family member or friend; whomever it is, I guarantee that he/she was simply thinking and acting to be the best person they could be (as we all do)—to satisfy their own sense of justice and acheivement—pure altruism, like Superman, does not exist on planet earth, only the perception of it.
So perhaps Superman would be the only being whose motives and actions are beyond reproach (although even Superman became partial to his co-workers and fell in love with a human woman), otherwise, I have seen far too many examples in personal and public life of people so thoroughly convinced of the righteousness of their actions and beliefs, yet so far from being just or even rational, that they or their followers could not or simply would not see the often unjust realities their actions have created.
I, for one, cannot ignore the consequences of the actions of the doers, and especiall as I perceive that each of us can be/is the least qualified person to objectively measure our own motives, rights, duties, and actions against those of other people, outside regulaters are necessary to protect us all. It is no coincidence that so many people are fond of saying, “I want to help people, make the world a better place …”, and yet warfare and racial, political, ethnic, and religious hatred and mistrust everywhere on Earth nonetheless still abound. I do indeed support the idea of our governing institutions to regulate just how much world-saving each of us is entitled to.

Posted by: wolly at July 4, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #164740

There is a fundamental mistake in judgement in the main post. The fact that some people who are not briliant in school become decision makers is not necessarily a consequence of their inability to do well in school. You can get a position in governement (or other decision making position) if you can convince the other people that you can do a good job, not if you can actually do it. So it is largely a matter of social skills, not decision making. And Churchil said that the best argument against democracy is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter (yes, the guy who decides who is the next President). And he was right. You don’t have to be a good decision maker to become president; you just have to convince people to vote for you. BTW, there is a porn star who got elected in the Parliament of Italy. Do you think she’s a good decision maker?

As for the George Bush - Superman analogy, this is fundamentally anti-freedom. Freedom means that Bush is OUR employee, whom we pay to manage the governamental funds in our best interest. We are the boss, and he is supposed to do what we want, not what he wants. He is not a king, and he is not supposed to be a king. Freedom means that WE decide, not him. If we agree to give him power, we give up our freedom.

Yes, America has problems. But WE are the ones who must solve them, not Bush or any other president - freedom comes with responsabilities. And the President can not do whatever he thinks is right. We can give him the power to do something, and then it’s ok, because he is acting on our behalf, with our approval, but when he does something wihtout the approval of the majority, it’s totally wrong and the conservatives should be the first to ask for his removal from office.

Posted by: SouthPark Republican at July 4, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #164748

It is my guess that many have never heard of the connection between Superman and Nazism.

Superman was a term translated from Neitzsche writing about philosphy. He was discussing existentialsim and nilihism. “God is Dead” was a famous quote in the 60’s coined by Neitsche in the 1800’s. Rather than a belief in God, Neitsche spoke about the belief in “Superman” or more precisely, “Übermensch”.

“similarities between Nietzsche’s views and Nazism (see political views), phrases like “the will to power” became common in Nazi circles.”
Neitzsche never heard of the Nazi’s since he died in 1900, but his sister promoted the idea, and so did the Nazi’s, that Neitzsche was a founding father.

While Fleischer Studios “Superman” was not a consciuous interpretation of the issues of “Good and Evil” with regards to Neitzsche’s Ubermensch, since it was created in the 40’s, I suspect that the influence of WWII seeped into it’s stories.

Posted by: gergle at July 4, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #164751

If Superman was real and he was fighting for truth, justice and the American way, the first thing he would do is fly Dick Cheney up to 20,000 feet and say oops.

Posted by: jlw at July 4, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #164752

Stephen -

Thanks for allowing me to have some fun at your expense!

You said, “The problem with Bush’s actions isn’t that he saw the evidence and acted without hesitation. It’s that he started action believing he knew what the evidence would say and what it would demonstrate about Saddam’s capability.”

This is incorrect. (First) You are wrong on your assuption that Bush would “start to act before he knew what the evidence would say” because this is an unprovable assertion; nor can I prove you are incorrect that Bush would ever behave that way. (Second) You are wrong on the face of it, because in order to “start action believing what the evidence would say” assumes that the evidence came after the decision. However, we had the “evidence” long before GW Bush even became president. (e.g. Clinton spoke of the evidence while in office.)

Therefore, your argument is both unprovable and illogical.

Posted by: Don at July 4, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #164759

Jack, I guess you must really be fed up with the current Republican Congress, then, huh? wasting time on flag-burning amendments that don’t pass and trash-talk to the media that doesn’t matter. Well, they did pass a pay raise for themselves, but they’re clearly no Supermen.

As for the rest - I guess you’re talking up Bush, who certainly took serious action in the first few years after 9/11, when he was riding a wave of patriotic support (notably, going into Iraq). For awhile the whole country was behind him - and since then, that support has dwindled to a plurality of hard-core Republicans and almost nobody else.

Team Red’s having trouble defending any specific actions, so they’re justifying the general principle of doing stuff? Fine, I agree - decisive, intelligent action is great. (Too bad there was so little of it after Katrina.) Undirected muscular contractions caused by random neural firings are not so great.

Now - I’m off to take a holiday nap. Happy 4th all.

Posted by: William Cohen at July 4, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #164761


You did it again. You pick an idea out of the air - Superman - develop a wild story assuming all sorts of “facts” to prove that conservatives are men of action and successes, and that liberals are so analytical that they are losers.

Talking about bias! I have met decisive conservative losers and analytical liberal winners and I am sure you have too.

Evidently you are afraid of talking about what conservatives are actually doing today, so you fly away with Superman.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 4, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #164762

Don, your comments suggest denial. Bush and company used the mushroom cloud in America image as justification for going to war in Iraq. There never was, and there still isn’t, any evidence Iraq had nuclear capacity NOR the missiles to carry them to U.S. shores. Reality proves Stephen right, and your sophistry wrong. Logic can never stand up to reality when they are at odds.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 4, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #164771

The guys who created Superman were a pair of Jews from an immigrant community, and in many ways Superman represents that sensibility. He is a man from a people set apart, alike in appearance and manner, raised as an American, yet having a special wisdom and heritage behind him that remains an integral part of him.

He is every American, in some sense, an everyman, despite his God-like powers. It is his compassion, honesty, and unselfishness that connects him to people, even as his powers alienate him from the everyday person.

That is a lesson that some people failed to register. Superman never sought to rule with his powers. He remains a servant of the people, even to the point of his own death. Modern Republicans, unfortunately, don’t trust those who disagree with them, and as these people increasingly become the majority, guess what that means?

Unprovable? Richard Clarke talks of the President asking him whether Iraq was responsible for 9/11. A number of people in Bush’s administration lay Iraq out as a main subject, a number of them followers of Laurie Mylroie’s theory that al-Qaeda was a state supported instrument of Iraq, meant to enact revenge for the Gulf War. Ten days after inauguration, before 9/11, Bush’s National Security team discussed plans for striking Iraq, and as former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill recounts, there was not one word of debate as to whether this should be done, or why.

Why was the Case for War preceded by a year of political campaigning? Wouldn’t it have been easier and less costly for American unity to simply identify the next targets and the specific case for attack? Kennedy did not spend months making a political push over the Cuban Missile Crisis, then produce the proof backing his response. His response and the introduction of evidence were virtually simultaneous.

Operation Rockstar, as depicted in the book Plan of War by Bob Woodward should indicate to you the depths of our ignorance about Iraq. We had maybe a handful of intelligence assets in Iraq. To make up for years of ignorance, we sent in people to build up rings of agents in the Iraqi society. It was rushed, it was crude, and much of the information was badly flawed. Same could be said of the information given to us by the Iraqi Exiles, whose Curveball source was known to be a fabricator ahead of time.

Then we get to the infamous evidence that produced the 16 words Bush got in trouble for. Regardless of whether Wilson saw the documents or did not, the documents which supported the claim of the president by themselves and through a British report largely based on them were appallingly bad forgeries. People sent to inquire about the Uranium mines, including Wilson and others, found the mines to be under French control, with all the output pre-bought and unlikely to provide Saddam with what he wanted. Moreover, Bush’s people had been advised of the untrustworthy nature of the information ahead of Bush’s speech.

It was, however, kept in.

The case for war itself was not a pre-existing document, but something brought together at the last minute. A Republican-led Senate committee, looking over the evidence found that nearly every charge that the Bush administration leveled at Iraq in Powell’s critical presentation, besides having missiles of greater range than permitted, would have been seen as false under reasonable analysis.

This becomes more indicative of prejudicial approaches when we recall the “Slam Dunk” incident with Tenet. Tenet’s response from Bush was that the evidence was thin. Did Bush ask him to go back and research this stuff deeper, dig out the truth, even if he didn’t like it?

Or to put in another way, could Bush have approached the nation, after months of military preparation to invade, starting in February of 2002, after months of telling America that he was going to disarm Saddam, and tell them that he was reconsidering his position? There’s a reason that most presidents (like his father ) explained first and prepared afterwards. It means you can make your determinations and your studies without painting yourself into a political corner like LBJ or This Bush did. But Bush instead referred the information to Scooter Libby and Stephen Hadley for what was called in the Book “The trial lawyer’s treatment”

Do you do that to seek out the truth, or to advocate for a position? This “treatment” added much bulk and weight to the contents of the report, but it also contributes to the intelligence failure. When you have people seeking to prove a point, they’re going to have a selection bias against information that works against their aims.

There is a historical record of Bush’s activities, of the managerial climate he created, and of the positions that his staffers took before Bush appointed and hired them. We can argue with some reasonable degree of certainty that the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq before it had a case to justify that invasion.

The pattern of this evidence also undermines your second point. As there was a great effort to find new or obscure information on behalf of this effort, the argument that Clinton would know all these things as well is invalid. The argument also fails to account for the greater level of proof that Bush’s actions required in comparison to Bush’s. Clinton’s actions were sanctioned under UNSC resolutions, while Bush’s war took the form of a pre-emptive attack. A pre-emptive attack, to remain legitimate, must offer up proof of an immediate threat to American lives, interests or territory. If Colin Powell’s case for war is anything to go by, given all that’s been disproven, we did not have that evidence, and we could have determined under a more level-headed administration that Iraq was not an immediate threat to us.

So whose argument is unprovable and illogical?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #164811


excuse me if i’m stepping out of line here nutty, but i believe you were making the point that our state has become more controlling and were trying to point out to republicans, conservatives and other critics of clinton that their arguments for clinton being a facist dictator are about as substantial as critics claims against bush. i don’t know if anybody else has noticed, but the power centralized around the executive branch has been steadily climbing since the beginning of this great country and that there are spikes in the curve whenever there is a war or the perception of serious danger towards the country. Fith, what if they are angry because they believe that we are messing with their freedom? of course there are people out there that hate us, “even paranoids have enemies” to quote tom clancy (who may have been quoting someone else…) but i think you are wrong in your assumption that they hate us because of our freedoms. much of the anger and animosity towards america, since the beginning, has been from our arrogance. many countries see us as an upstart, hell, we’re only 260 years old. most other nations or state-like civilizations have been around for far longer than that. they see us ascending to world-supremacy in a space of around one hundred years and, of course, flexing our muscles and strutting our stuff. people don’t like us because, even though they may not have it all that well at the time, they believe that we are messing with their business and will only harm them. i can say this with confidence about much of the islamic world’s reaction/actions recently (not only from simply observing resent events but also from some research i did a couple of months ago for a poli sci class that i am too lazy to pull up now, but will if anyone really wants me to) towards the western world and especially towards america. also, they do understand freedom, but they define it differently than us, a common occurrence in a world inhabited by 6 billion unique people. many, especially of the islamic world to give an example, define freedom along religious lines. they want to live their lives by the words of their holy book, even if that means giving up some of the ‘freedoms’ (quote to show different definition) we take for granted and believe to be inalienable. when we go shoving our way onto other people’s turf, telling them how to live, telling them what is right and wrong, they fear that we will take away what they believe to be freedom.
also, you are crying in your soup as much as the rest of us are. as your typical-joe civilians, the only thing we can do to change the world for better is to debate (civily, mind you) and discuss current events, our opinions, and what we believe to be the correct course of action and then to act on these beliefs come election day. i mean, that is how the system works here in america.
finally, i am insulted by the insinuations in your post that those of us who did not/will not volunteer to for the armed forces are cowards and lower down on the food chain than those that have. if i’m not mistaken, one of the bricks in the foundation of this ‘greatest country to live in’ is that we are all equal. one does not need to be on the front lines of a war to see the U.S.A. stands for. there would be no country if everyone volunteered for military service, and one is not braver or more cowardly if they do or do not sign up to fight on the front lines. don’t get me wrong, i am eternally and inexpressably greatful to any and all people who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect me and the U.S., but please don’t assume that your actions have somehow made you better than me. thank you for your time, sorry if i’ve stepped on some toes in the process of trying to explain how i feel.

Posted by: alefnought at July 4, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #164821


Sorry, but I have something to say about this issue too:

“There is a name for people who never makes mistakes – LOSERS.”

Many people believe that Jesus was perfect because he was not of this earth, I am in this group. How can a Loser have over a billion followers-more than any other man?

Posted by: stubborn conservative at July 4, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #164825


It is the Judicial Branch that is overstepping authority, not the executive branch. Think of the Supreme Court in California. They have made many things legal and illegal without consulting the people.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at July 4, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #164835

Jesus is the exception, given that he’s both the Son of God and God himself.

As for the Judicial Branch? Every branch has some authority in deciding what is legal and illegal. The judicial branch’s job is to settle both disputes between people about about what is legal. The judges are supposed to decide that.

As I said before, the separation of powers IS the American way. The judges are supposed to work out the conflicts between laws, and that sometimes means striking them down. Some may see this as getting in the way of the agenda of their favorite branches.

And that’s the point. This is not a nation to be ruled over by one person’s agenda. This is a government that’s supposed to make government without consensus difficult as hell.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #164852

Nice to see you can stay on topic. What’s your response to what I said earlier?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #164898

Sorry, I agree with you totally on Jesus. You might choke some of the others on this concept like the Pharisees of the Bible. As to the separation of powers the Judges apply the laws not make laws or interpret it. They do not legislate from the Bench that is why we have the Legislature. You know Congress and the House. Like when a 4 foot 6 inch child molester is released because a JUDGE in her opinion says he is too short for prison and lets him go. Stuff like that reflects how the left feels about the Judicial Branch. EX-President Clinton appointed this Judge and it certainly reflects his views on life and morality. He says from one side of his mouth that “Someone needs to do something about this child molestation.” He proved his point when he appointed Judges that cater to criminals and punish the children and citizens.

He showed how much he cared for the children when he appealed to the people at Waco and said he did it for the children being held inside the compound only to burn them to death to deliver them from their torment. Like Ruby Ridge where our protectors killed citizens for only buying more than one gun a month. Like Kosovo where the Clinton Administration Bombed a Sovereign Orthodox Christian Nation’s infrastructure and murdered civilians in Serbia while protecting the very Muslims we now face in Iraq known as Al Qaeda.

I can see why you might have a problem with Bush when he has not murdered civilians while protecting child molesters, baby killers and wanting to over turn some laws that have been based on lies such as Roe v. Wade where half the population of America has been murdered in the womb all in the name of privacy.

How he goes after someone who would attack America and overthrow their regime and actually killing some of them back while Clinton bombed aspirin factories and used his canned statements “Someone should do something about that.”

You find our side laughable but we find your side scary and against what make America great.

What worries you is that Bush is not an ordinary politician. When he says something he means it and will carry it through. In the Illegal Immigration issues I too have many problems with his politics. On all others I stand with him.

Posted by: lm at July 5, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #164904


Conservatives tend to believe more things are not be the business of courts.

There are so many counterexamples to this statement I don’t know where to begin. If someone is doing the wrong thing, in conservative eyes, they usually want the courts involved. Say they don’t like an environmental regulation. Are they going to go to court to try to block it? You bet your spotted owl. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, for the right-wing take on Superman:

Any man who wears tights is obviously gay. If he isn’t gay, he should make an honest woman of Lois Lane.

Superman is an illegal alien who should be deported. He entered this country illegally in blatant disregard for our laws.

Superman man doesn’t believe in Jesus and doesn’t go to church. Anyone who has that much power and doesn’t believe in God is dangerous.

Superman does heroic deeds for free. This just leads to “Superdissipation of Rents” (aka “The Supertragedy of the Commons”). He should charge fair market value for rescuing people. Otherwise he is a socialist.

Superman’s good deeds sometimes embarrass the relatively weak US president. Clearly, he is all about hate.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 5, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #164906

IM and Stubborn Conserv.
I am continually APPALLED at the ignorance of BASIC CIVICS 101
First Stubborn Conserv makes a complaint that the Judges in Calif rule without “consulting the people” and then IM makes the amazing comment that “As to the separation of powers the Judges apply the laws not make laws or interpret it. “

Ok for both of you a little Civics 101 lesson
Three branches of gov’t
Legislative — Makes the Laws
Executive — “enforces the laws — i.e. apply the laws” (not really true with this administration, but lets suspend disbelief for a moment)
The Judiciary — interprets the Constitution.
You will note (as said earlier) that in the capacity of intrepreting the Constitution, some laws will be thrown out, regardless of how many people may have voted for it (for Referendums, Initiatives, etc)
The Judiciary does NOT operate on the basis of popular vote.
I am also appalled at the number of people throughout the country that register indignation at the Judiciary throwing out some law that was “passed by a majority” — and expressing this indignation as “thwarting the will of the people”
To me this just show how ignorant our populace is of the role of the Judiciary — and it galls me no end when Politicians (mainly those from the right these days) that rail against “activist Judges” and continue to reinforce this ignorance of the Judicial role.
Using the current criteria used by the right re: proper judicial actions — slavery and segregation would still be legal.

Posted by: Russ at July 5, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #164910


The judicial branch interprets all laws, not just the Constitution. Most court cases (like a divorce, say) involve interpreting ordinary laws.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 5, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #164911

lm — you just keep on with the generalizations!!

You said
Like when a 4 foot 6 inch child molester is released because a JUDGE in her opinion says he is too short for prison and lets him go. Stuff like that reflects how the left feels about the Judicial Branch

So you take the irresponsible actions of one judge and then — on your own — decide to speak for those you oppose?
Nice method for winning arguements (with yourself)

Those actions were criticized (rightly in my opinion) by people from both sides.
You then took a number of other incidents (most out of context) and apply them as examples of how the other side “feels”
Ruby Ridge
the guy and his family were not shot because they “bought more than one gun a month.”
The guy was set up (but not for that) by the ATF AND the FBI shooter was wrong — that whole incident is a black stain — but you present it as tho people on our side support that sort of action.
— your methods are an embarrasement to you.

Posted by: Russ at July 5, 2006 10:41 AM
Comment #164912

The interpretation of the laws is based on the interpretation of the Constitution.
That is the basis for all laws that follow, they must comply with the Constitution or they are not legal.
That is the point
The other laws cannot be interpreted without some context, and in our country, that context is the Constitution — other countries use Common Law, or other basis for intrepetation/application of lesser laws.

Posted by: Russ at July 5, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #164927

The constitution is in your opinion a living document therefore your judges can move into otherwise unkown territory. They are activist judges because they tend to legislate from the bench by what they believe not what the law says.

you seem a little upset that you got nailed by the truth.

and since you mentioned the constitution is that why Kennedy said we need to consult with world law not the constitution as an only source of judgement?

Where in the constitution is privacy mentioned when it comes to murder of unborn children?

Thanks for sticking to the issues and not calling someone stupid or ignorant because we see things the way they are, not like your fantasy world.

Now what about kosovo? What about Waco?

Posted by: lm at July 5, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #164929

Ok when did we vote for Abortion? I must have missed that one.

If the law says fine for jwalking is $10.00. Ticket says person was jwalking then the judge can ajudicate the charge, enforce the fine but he cannot redefine jwalking.

case dismissed.

next case.

Posted by: lm at July 5, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #164939

Hey Russ,

why did the atf start looking the guy from Ruby Ridge? Why was he singled out and was it not a case of profiling that only the Renos can do?

First explain what the red flag was that singled him out.

Posted by: lm at July 5, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #165054

Yeah, well, I s’pose some conservatives would have him gunned down for flying through restricted air space after wiretapping his phone without a warrant to find out his secret identity!! Yeah, ‘cause I’m not being a childish little name caller, but really trying to discuss some really grown up kinda issues here. ‘Cause I’m really smart and stuff. So there.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at July 5, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #165104

well it must be nice to cancel post that disagree with you. Russ, Mental wimp, ect.

Just like all liberals in a debate you never answer the question but use your canned talking points.

Ok Russ you do not have to answer anymore questions just delete post that disagree or make a point against you.

Posted by: lm at July 5, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #165116

It’s the executive branch that is supposed to apply the law, and the judicial branch that interprets it. Basic civics. As for the judge, that’s one person’s mistakes and serves only rhetorical purposes in proving your argument. How many more Clinton appointees have served their country just fine in the courts?

Make no mistake about Waco: The Branch Davidians burned themselves. They spread the gasoline, they lit the matches. That is what the evidence showed after everything was said and done. David Koresh, as I recall, sat down and shot himself rather than let himself die in the fire.

Make no mistake about Ruby Ridge: Neither Clinton nor Reno were in charge of that. It was 1992, the year before Clinton was inaugurated. It was not buying guns that red-flagged Weaver, but his ties with the Aryan Nation, with which he shared beliefs and with whom he occasionally visited. It’s also important to understand that screwups on both sides precipitated the violent outcome.

Make no mistake about Kosovo: The very muslims you speak of had nothing to do with the very muslims who attacked us on 9/11. It takes quite a stretch to claim commonality between the ethnic albanians of Kosovo and the Arabs who hijacked the plains. Let me remind you of something else as well: The violence in Yugoslavia was pretty much equal opportunity. The mainly Catholic Croats were victims of the Serbs as well. The Serbs had dominance, militarily speaking, and were using that dominance to institute atrocities on a genocidal scale. It would be dishonest to claim that atrocities were not committed on both sides, but more dishonest still to say that the Serbs were not the main perpetrators.

As for that Aspirin factory, would it clear your perspective on things to know the man who was feeding the media that line was a friend of Bin Laden’s.

On the subject of the constitution, we don’t have everything spelled out. The constitution leaves a lot up to the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive branches, with a few pointed exceptions.

On the subject of judicial activism, I would like to ask you on what authority you claim they’ve gone off the law? Do you happen to know enough law to know how it is applied, or are you simply repeating the words of some Republican politician who knows the value of poisoning the well on discussions of such decisions. Truth is, judges need their discretion, because the modern world has its share of unforseen consequences of the law. Think of all the things the founding fathers would have had to have imagined to get from handwritten discourse in their day to spoken and written telecommunications.

The Real world is a complicated place, especially for those who get to invested in thinking about it as simple. Take Medical privacy. Destroy that, and somebody can operate on you without permission. Such a decision may allow you to outlaw abortion while you’re in power, only to see the next person not only legalize it, but perhaps even compel it under certain circumstances, as some compelled sterilization and other measures in the vein of the eugenics movement.

You have to know what you’re messing with to mess with it right. Otherwise you’re just pushing your luck.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #165170
Make no mistake about Ruby Ridge: Neither Clinton nor Reno were in charge of that. It was 1992, the year before Clinton was inaugurated.

What a great example of a Big Lie. If you Google “Clinton Ruby Ridge” or “Reno Ruby Ridge” you will find an incredible number of people who think that this happened under the Clinton administration. And they say our side is blinded by hatred. Michael Moore may have blamed Bush for 9/11, but he didn’t blame him for the USS Cole!

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 6, 2006 9:21 AM
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