War With No Boundaries.

Why is the Muslim terrorist unlike any other we have faced? They recognize no limits, nor reason, in waging this war. It is an unconfined worldwide jihad - although our military presence in SWAsia has concentrated it to a large extent. That said, why does the West - especially the average US citizen, not understand this is war without end, at least until we submit and are subsumed into Islam?

The entire non Muslim world is their acknowledged prize. It won't happen tomorrow, nor perhaps even during our lifetime, but incrementally it will come, if we allow it. Please, read on.

Just read a book titled “A History of the Middle Ages”, By Joseph Dahmus, Barnes & Noble, 1968; which is dated, but worth reading. In reading the chapter on Islam, which referenced their great historian, ibn-Khaldun, there were two points which caught my eye.

Dahmus thought ibn-Khaldun very perceptive (agreed) as he explained the course of history (ca. 1400), with factors such as social environment and social institutions of a people, unlike his contemporaries. Ibn-Khaldun believed most peoples had a life cycle similar to individuals and dynasties. And, he went on to identify progressive stages of the cycle: nomadic, agricultural, urban, but "then inevitably decline as luxury and relaxation of moral values deprive them of their originally strong fiber".

The societies ibn-Khaldun knew best - Arab Bedouins and the Berber - were contrasted with those just described. He said these peoples " had chosen to retain their rough ways since only these mores enabled them to escape political domination by more advanced civilizations". And, "Because of this mode of life, they made themselves the enemies of …. the very foundation of civilization." At p.193.

I have always wondered why much of Islam still lives in ages past, and ibn-Khaldun enlightens me. Doesn't this describe the present circumstance in this latest installment of West vs. East? Is the West not in ibn-Khaldun's concluding cycle of decline? Are the jihadists not still in the dark/middle ages, resisting change through their present jihad? History repeats, but we have not learned its lessons!


Saw more on this thought from an article in the LA Times, called Sharia, authored by Raymond Ibrahim.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-ibrahim5dec05,0,5108432.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

Mr Ibrahim starts with the Pope's recent visit to Constantinople, or Istanbul if you prefer, and has a very perceptive take on the current status of militant Islam vs. Infidel. He describes the self inflicted limitations under which the West labors, noting:

"When Islamists wage jihad — past, present and future — conquering and consolidating non-Muslim territories and centers in the name of Islam, never once considering to cede them back to their previous owners, they ultimately demonstrate that they live by the age-old adage "might makes right." …."

Can one argue that this does not describe our present situation? For instance, do we not prostrate ourselves when the terrorist, or their enablers, cry foul over imagined wrongs? Do we believe that we can win the war on terror with PC and the faint-hearted behavior which we exhibit daily, when confronting our enemy? If we continue on this path, we are bound for a rude wakening.

Mr Ibrahim also goes on to point out that one should not expect to have the cake and eat it too. He says:

"If some Muslims wish to wage eternal jihad until Islam dominates the globe, they are only being true to Islam and its doctrines as they understand it. However, in that case, where the world is divided into two warring camps, Islam and Infidelity — or, in Islamic terms, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War — how can these Muslims expect any concessions from the international community? The natural conclusion of the view that "might makes right" is "to the victor go the spoils."


Founders and members of this jihad understand only force, and themselves apply unrestricted terror. Most citizens here do not comprehend the "might makes right" theory, and never will. Unrestricted warfare is not always warranted but in this situation, where your enemy fights with no rules, it is necessary. If only we understood that fighting militant Islam, while hamstrung, will ultimately fail. When we abandon this war, history will remember America as principled losers, unwilling to defend themselves.

Mr Ibrahim also observes that: "Here the secular West …. can learn something from Islam. For whenever and wherever the West concedes ideologically, politically and especially spiritually, Islam will be sure to conquer."

Do ibn-Khaldun, and Mr Ibrahim, not clarify why: the US is so blasé about winning the current conflict, why the jihadis remain undeterred (even though they cannot defeat us without our assistance) and why Islam is so certain of ultimate victory? Yes. They are aware that we lack a societal will to win - no survival instinct evident in America, and they plan no schedule for retreat.


In Roll Call, Mort Kondracke reiterates the point in an article on the civilized world losing to Jihadists.

"Faced now with a menace from radical Islam, it’s not at all clear that the civilized world has the will to fight. The United States has suffered fewer than 3,000 deaths in Iraq, and already 55 percent of the population wants to withdraw immediately or within a year — regardless of whether the country is stable. Only 41 percent, according to the latest Gallup Poll, are willing to keep troops until the job is done or add more."

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/52_17/kondracke/14627-1.html?type=pf

Note that Mr Kondracke said this back in July. Must have been correct, judging from the election results a scant four months later.

Another good article, which I noticed Monday (the 20th), touching on this same concept, is by Lee Harris commenting on " The Legacy of Jihad", edited by Andrew Bostom.

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/4825051.html

In his commentary, Mr Harris says

" …. the objective of jihad is not Clausewitzian politics continued by other means. Its objective is the destruction and dissolution of politics as we have come to understand it in the West. The jihadists are not interested in winning in our sense of the word. They can succeed simply by making the present world order unworkable, by creating conditions in which politics-as-usual is no longer an option, forcing upon the West the option either of giving in to their demands or descending into anarchy and chaos."

This is a war with goals, and conducted through means, which this society and most of the political class does not comprehend. Terrorists cannot defeat our military, but they need not accomplish that. They win by co-opting: our politicians, the fifth column of the fourth estate, and our processes - they have; and by relying on our apathy - they do.

Final thought comes from GEN Abazid, the CENTCOM Commander. When speaking about the War on Terror recently, he said: " We can walk away from this enemy, but they will not walk away from us”.

GEN Abazid, my friends, skillfully sums it up. America appears to be on the cusp of abandoning this fight, time will tell. But our enemy will not – they cannot, given their frame of reference. If we concede, will it be the fall of the Roman Empire redux, leading to a new dark age of Dar al-Islam?


The post script to this entire conundrum is that we do not have to lose this war. But, that is best left for another time.


Cross posted at: http://www.redstate.com/blogs/seminole_6

Posted by Seminole 6 at December 22, 2006 8:39 PM
Comments
Comment #200223

The trick is, not every Arab or Muslim thinks this way, or has that objection. While we’re on the subject of policy, I think you’ve missed much of what al-Qaeda’s policy has been: To reinforce the war, to keep it going, to keep Bush in office. These are not just my judgments, but our CIA’s judgments of Bin Laden’s intentions.

And why? Well, you kind of miss it because when you think of their strategy as non Clausewitzian. Clausewitz is about analysis, not style of combat.

Bin Laden and others in al-Qaeda want America diminished as a world power, and Bush has complied by wasting most of the readiness of our forces on the war in Iraq. He has also alienated much of the Muslim public regarding Americans and made it easier to recruit for his side. the problem is, we did not properly match what we wanted to acheive with either workable objectives or even the means to attain them.

Your approach to it is indefinite, with no real idea of how to truly win it, besides a continued presence, or worse, an escalation.

As it is, we may not have a good option here because of the screwups of Bush and the Republicans. Our best bet at this point is to do our best to fix up what can be fixed, and the get out from under this war, rethink our strategy, and confront our real enemies from a better position. If you like fighting wars from weaker positions, hey, its a free country. My opinion here is that fighting the war like we’re doing now is idiocy, and if the Joint Chiefs are telling the president they don’t agree with a surge, then we should take that as a sign that we need other options.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 22, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #200224

Seminole, you are very voluble on what the west is doing wrong with regard to Islamic extremist. So c’mon, give us your prescription. How would you win this battle? You must surely have a strategy in mind to rout this religious conspiracy? And please don’t confine yourself to Iraq, becuase you know, as we all do, that Islamic extremism in not confined to, nor even centred in Iraq.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 22, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #200225
For instance, do we not prostrate ourselves when the terrorist, or their enablers, cry foul over imagined wrongs? Do we believe that we can win the war on terror with PC and the faint-hearted behavior which we exhibit daily, when confronting our enemy? If we continue on this path, we are bound for a rude wakening.

Just what the hell are you talking about?

Posted by: Trent at December 22, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #200226

Stephen - Thanks for the comments. I intentionally did not address the methodology of winning the war, as I gotta think about that for a while – although it can and should be won.. I agree with you that fighting as we do - hamstrung, as I put it - is nuts. Our reticence in the use of force is the primary factor prolonging the war.

Where you and I part ways philosophically is concerning what good we have done since the inception of the war. The Iraqis alienated by our presence are the mullahs, foreign fighters, saddamistas, and criminals. The other 90-95% want us there badly, and I hope we stay until they can stand alone . We have beaten the terrorists like a dog , engaged them on their home ground, and kept them pretty well occupied. Now, I am afraid al-Q is just hanging on until the retreat, and the Congress is eventually going to publish a schedule, unless I miss my guess.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at December 22, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #200230
They recognize no limits, nor reason, in waging this war.

This has nothing to do with Islam, it has to do with fundamentalism. Christian fundamentalism would grow just as dangerous if it were not for our modern progressive mores that keep it in check. The answer is not for us to become more militant, it is for them to become more progressive.

He said these peoples “had chosen to retain their rough ways since only these mores enabled them to escape political domination by more advanced civilizations”. And, “Because of this mode of life, they made themselves the enemies of… the very foundation of civilization.”

See what conservatism will get you?!!

The United States has suffered fewer than 3,000 deaths in Iraq, and already 55 percent of the population wants to withdraw immediately or within a year — regardless of whether the country is stable.

Now, what the hell does Iraq have to do with an Islamic Jihad? None of the Jihadists were from Iraq. The only reason Iraquis are involved at all is because of some Jihad waged by President Dumb-ass. Unless you are trying to say that all Muslims are Jihadists. In such a case, xenophobia is more dangerous than the Jihadists themselves because it will either create a cycle of more Jihadists or it will cause us to become the Jihadists ourselves. Either way it is just a big ol’ cycle of death and destruction that contains no redemption for either side.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #200231

JJ -
“Christian fundamentalism would grow just as dangerous if it were not for our modern progressive mores that keep it in check.”

Name one of the modern progressive mores please.

Or, are those “modern progressive mores” just a way to speak the language of middle America as Bernie Horn (Policy director at the Center for Policy Alternatives)wrote in June, 2006:
“It is an exaggeration to say that today’s progressives don’t have a philosophy. Progressives have a fairly consistent agenda — we know what we stand for. The problem is, we don’t have an effective framework to communicate our philosophy to persuadable voters.
“Because a crucial election looms before us, progressive thinkers are rightfully focusing on this problem. But in fashioning a solution, we must insure that the language we use speaks to the Americans we are trying to persuade. This is a challenge, because most persuadable voters are not like us — they are normal people … How do we persuade people who are so different? By assuring them that we share their values.”

Posted by: Don at December 23, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #200233

Seminole,

How did the Afghan mujahideen defeat the USSR?

The biggest source of confusion comes from vague terms. There is no “unconfined worldwide jihad.” Islam is not a monolithic movement. There is a religious split between Shias and Sunnis, there are additional divisions between nations, ethnic groups, and clans, and there are varying degrees of acceptance of modernity vs anti-historical rejectionists.

The Al Qaida of Osama bin Laden is anti-historical, and remarkable because it represents the first time an Islamic fundamentalist group identified the US as its primary enemy. Al Qaida uses terrorism, and finds its adherents among the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistant and northwestern Pakistan.

Hezbollah is not anti-historical. It is a primarily Shia organization… etc

Al Qaida in Iraq is different yet again; it is a Sunni group which generally does not target Americans. Its primarily targets are Iraqi Shias, which has nothing in common with the worldview of Osama bin Laden. Like Al Qaida, Al Qaida in Iraq is anti-historical. Like Al Qaida, it embraces terrorism as a tactic.

These groups are completely different from the insurgent Baathists in Iraq, the Shia Badr Brigades, SCIRI, Dawa, the 1920 Revolution Brigade, the Shia Mahdi Army of Al-Sadr…

I could go on and on. The point is that these various groups do not like each other, and generally do not cooperate.

What they share in common is a fierce dedication to their own group, and a deep resentment of exploitation. There is a strong strain of xenophobia beneath the nationalism & ethnocentrism & fanaticsm. They certainly do not accept invasion and occupation. They resent the exploitation of their resources. They resent the imposition of authoritarian regimes by the West. They resent being grouped together into countries whose borders were imposed by colonialists (ask the Turks about Kurdish terrorists). And finally, they dislike seeing their culture subsumed by western culture through globalization.

But with the notable exception of Al Qaida, they do not assume an international perspective. They do not cooperate, they do not act in concert. With the exception of Al Qaida, they do not attack Americans on American soil; instead, they seek to keep Americans from coming to their countries, imposing borders and governments, and taking away their culture and oil.

Think it over. When you use a term like “radical Islam,” who are you referring to? How many people? Break it down into specifics. The harder you look, the more you will probably realize imposing vague terms and overarching generalizations does not provide us with a viable perspective for putting together policy.

Posted by: phx8 at December 23, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #200234
Name one of the modern progressive mores please.

Don,

1) Freedom of religion.

Or, are those “modern progressive mores” just a way to speak the language of middle America as Bernie Horn…

Huh? I am not sure what all that gibberish is that you quoted, but that is not what I am talking about at all. What I am talking about is our modern progressive mores as compared to the mores found in the teachings of the majority religion in this country. The majority religion in this country teaches things that are way outside the mores of today. For instance, the Judeo-Christian religion calls for the stoning to death of women under certain circumstances like adultery or being a non-virgin on your wedding day. Following such mores would be considered atrocious by today’s progressive standards. If the mores of our society had not progressed far enough to realize that those things were wrong, then we would be in the same boat with Fundy Christians as Islam is with their Jihadists.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #200235

JJ -
“…the mores of today.”

Oh, I thought you were talking about some mores.

What you are talking about is the lack of mores. That clears it up for me.

Thanks.

Posted by: Don at December 23, 2006 2:26 AM
Comment #200236
What you are talking about is the lack of mores.

Don,

Well, maybe in your world and the world of the Demiurge.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #200237

JJ-

I was just asking a question to clarify your statement. You clarified it nicely. I thanked you. So, I don’t know what you’re steamed about?

Posted by: Don at December 23, 2006 3:36 AM
Comment #200241

Why do you not understand that bloody war is not the answer here. These guys can be fought, and the risks better managed, through international police forcing, inspections, and trade incentives. That’s the strategy Bush senior used, and it worked. That’s the strategy Clinton used, and it was working. That’s the strategy Bush should have used. It’s all too late, now, but we need to find a way to return to strategies that manage our risk instead of draining this country of all it’s blood and money, which is exactly what the terrorists wanted.

Posted by: Max at December 23, 2006 5:48 AM
Comment #200242

Seminole 6-
In saying our problem is that we don’t use enough force, you both fail to understand what the limits of your plan always were, and the nature of our mission.

First, even if force was always preferable, the president never put enough people in theater to allow us to effectively use that force to pacify things. Second, our mission was to create a working society, which means that at a certain level of force, we’re simply shooting ourselves in the foot, hampering our own progress.

As for who’s being alienated? Try the people who knew at least minimal comforts and peace under Saddam, who now are surrounded by chaos, being chased by death squads, and deprived of clean water, working sewers, electricity, jobs, and so on and so forth. People wonder why the most powerful nation in the world could not get these things straight. There’s also the little thing about this culture’s requirements to avenge your relatives.

You seem to believe we can only alienate our enemies. That is a dangerous sentiment to take, not to mention naive. We’ve alienated many by in invading Iraq, and even more by screwing it up and leaving a godawful mess in their backyards.

If you look at actual surveys of the people in Iraq, most want us out pretty soon, as for beating the terrorist like a dog, that doesn’t seem to be working, as attacks and recruitment of them are on the increase. If we’re truly beating them, that shouldn’t be happening.

You want to believe that you’ve got the stomach we don’t. You want to believe that failure and defeat have been our aims all along. You want to believe that the reason we’re failing in Iraq is that you people haven’t been given the support necessary. However, the problems with insufficient manpower, with reconstruction, and with the stability of the government can all be traced backed to decisions made when Bush, the Republicans and the war in general enjoyed perfectly good support.

How you start a war is crucial. But you have to admit, nobody starts a war perfectly. One could forgive the Bush administration for screwing up on the start, if they actually admitted their mistakes and changed plans to keep on course towards winning.

The problem is, the Bush administration is too interested in covering its own ass and self trying to fulfill its own prophecies to actually step back and revise plans. These were people who believed at the start that working out a plan B was defeatism.

You stick with a bad plan long enough, and you’ll screw yourself royally. There were other aspects to this occupation than just force and body counts. What has hamstrung us is the way these other concerns were ignored, the way this administration was unprepared for events to deviate from their expectation, and its unwillingness to shift their strategies to suit. You don’t win wars by failing to deal with setbacks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 23, 2006 8:29 AM
Comment #200244

Iraq is currently the front line in the war on Islamic extremism. That clique is worn, but true. We have long argued whether or not it WAS a terrorist center before the war, but nobody can argue that NOW it is.

You can blame George Bush for making this reality, but it is the reality.

The question is where do we do from here? It may be that withdrawal (redeployment) is the best option. It may be that a surge is a good idea. Maybe nothing will work, but whatever decision we make, it should not be based on looking backward, but looking forward. What kind of situation do we want and what kind can we realistically help create?

What about a civil war in Iraq. Who is fighting whom? Al Qaeda purposely provoked the sectarian violence. It was their goal and they succeeded. I really cannot understand that long term Al Qaeda strategy unless it is to create mere anarchy. Al Qaeda is explicitly and militantly Sunni. The most likely result in a civil war is a kind of three way break with the anti Al Qaeda, pro-Americans Kurds sitting on the oil in the north, the anti Al Qaeda Shiites sitting on the oil in the south & and the Sunnis with a lot of sand. There is no foreseeable way the Sunnis can win.

And let’s talk about over extension. If the U.S. is overextended in Iraq, think of what happens to the Iranians if they actually get pulled into Iraqi politics. It is easy to make trouble, but if they get held responsible for results, they got big troubles.

In the medium and long term, I have a fair amount of hope for Iran. This may be the point where the Islamic Republic bites off more than it can chew.

Of course getting to the happy end result will be a long and unpleasant journey.

JayJay

I agree that the terror is not only because of Islam, but when you say that Christian fundamentalism would be that way were it not for modern mores just removes all the context. Terrorism is not supported by the Christian community at large and modern fundamentalist Christianity has no comparable tradition. There is no doubt that Christian fundamentalists have the financial resources and social networks that they COULD create terror networks if they wanted to.

Remember also that Christian roots are peaceful. It started as an oppressed religion. It spread through peaceful persuasion and it took more than 300 years just to be legal. If you go back to the roots of Christianity, you will have nothing but peace. Islam was born with a sword in its hand. It spread by conquest. Places like Asia Minor, Israel, Syria, Egypt and Iraq were taken from Christianity by force of Islamic arms. Jihad preceded crusade by about 400 years and w/o jihad there could have been no crusade.

Re freedom of religion - that was written into our constitution when most Americans were what we today would call fundamentalists. It was not forced upon them by secular humanists and I recall no bombings to prevent its enactment.

Your image of Christianity is not realistic.

Phx8

I agree that the world of jihad is complicated. I always wonder why we Americans do not get credit with those jihadis for Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo etc. In several occasion in recent years, American power has saved millions of Muslims from deadly aggression. It goes to show that their hatred is NOT particularly related to our activities.

See above re Iraq.

Posted by: Jack at December 23, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #200247

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w77sLtz754

Democrats to bring “peace in our time”. Check out the video!

Posted by: Stephen at December 23, 2006 1:39 PM
Comment #200248

Stephen D,

You’re claim that it was Al Qaeda’s policy to keep George Bush in office is a lie. Prove it. Offer one shred of evidence. What utter nonsesence.

You are pretending radical left wing propaganda is fact. And it’s very short sighted. When Bill Clinton was in office being attacked at home and abroad by Al Qaeda….what was Al Qaeda’s plan then? To Get Bush elected? Don’t be silly.

George Bush will be gone in two years….what will Al Qaeda’s plan be then….to get him re-elected? Nonsense.

Do you see what a position you put yourself in when you push propaganda as fact?

George Kerry had a line up of support from N. Korea, Castro, Socialist in Spain, Al Qaeda. Kerry himself admits that Al Qaeda support was damaging to his campaign and in one public speech blamed it for his defeat. When democrats took back congress our enemies were celebrating in the middle east.

They weren’t pretending so that America would somehow “take it back”….they view people like you as their allies in their war against America. How can they not? You are the party willing to surrender and to give them the victory in the middle east and possibly right across the globe. They love you guys!

Hey, send some more democrats to those Rogue terrorist states….let them know America under your leadership is ready to surrender.

Posted by: Stephen at December 23, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #200250

Seminole 6:

Very thoughtful article. But I got a very different viewpoint that I got (partially) from reading “The Looming Tower,” by Lawrence Wright that was published in 2006.

Those in Osama’s camp are a small group of people that have distorted the Koran in order to fight what they think is wrong. The Koran says that suicide is a sin. But they have distorted it because they believe that the ends justify the means.

The job of the West is not to fight these extremists in a “war” but to make sure that they are denounced by the vast majority of Muslims who are tolerant and want to live in peace.

We need to talk to world Muslims and get them to help us destroy the extremists. There is no war between East and West civilizations.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at December 23, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #200252

Stephen,

“Democrats to bring “peace in our time”. Check out the video!”

This is old news that Jack posted under “Way to go Chamberlain”
BTW, it’s supposed to be a satire. It’s from the maker of the movies “Airplane” and “Hot Shots”.

Jack,

Didn’t I tell you some people will believe just about anything?

Posted by: Rocky at December 23, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #200254

Seminole 6,

I think ibn-Khaldun has it wrong in at least one area. These Arab states did not decide to remain in a backwards civilization to avoid being conquered. They remained in a backwards state because their governments were dictatorial, corrupt and utter failures. Russia did not choose economic collapse as a superior technique. It’s system that failed, the people are the same as any people anywhere.

The Arab people long for TV’s, movies, music, retirement, social services, good jobs, modern medicine, a future for their children better than their parents had, etc. And when they get a chance to get it…up go the satellite dishes, cell phones, color TV’s, out comes the music,etc. They are enslaved by their religion and their religious leaders who want to maintain absolute control over every life (both religiously and socially). Arab women do not want poverty, ignorance, and abuse. They are enslaved by men who will butcher them and torture them if they do not obey.

The proper use of a power drill is not to drill holes in the human body…but that’s one way they maintain control as we are hearing today across the middle east. Average people in Iraq thought they were going to be handed freedom and democracy. I heard one Iraqi woman on NPR say: “we thought it was going to be like New York City”.

But now their religious leaders are stretching forth their hands, building armies, torturing, killing beheading. Reaching out for political and social power using their religion as a flimsy cover for a desire to have dictatorial powers. The people will follow and obey rather than die the brutal death they know their leaders will give them for resistance.

With a billion Muslims and say only 10% are open to being radicalized….that’s an army of 100million Muslims scattered about in every nation of the world. And the other 90% are afraid to stand up to them. It’s a global war, it’s going to last a long time. Iraq may be mondern radical Islams greatest victory yet. The irony is, it took years of support from the democratic party to help them to win. It was a war we couldn’t lose, unless we lost it at home.

Posted by: Stephen at December 23, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #200255

Jack,

Give me a break. Please do not try to sugarcoat the atocities committed by Christians in their past history. Yes it is true, they were an oppressed religion in the beginning, but once they gained power they became violent oppressors. They slaughtered thousands simply because their beliefs were considered heretical. The early Christians ran several violent campaigns to suppress “heredoxy.” They were nearly successful in eliminating an entire belief system (the Gnostics), and they certainly did not do that through peaceful means. Gnostics either converted or they were slaughtered, period.

Remember also that Christian roots are peaceful.

Christian roots are in the horror fest called the Old Testement and if you believe that is an accurate historical account then I can say without a doubt that Christian roots are absolutly not peaceful.

It was not forced upon them by secular humanists and I recall no bombings to prevent its enactment.

Say what? Exactly where did I say anything about this? I was asked a simple question by Don and I answered it with a simple answer. This has nothing to do with the question I was asked or the answer I gave.

Your image of Christianity is not realistic.

Sorry dude, but it is a matter of history. I cannot help it if you do not like the story history has to tell.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #200256
Islam was born with a sword in its hand.

Jack,

From the founder of Christianity:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” ~Matthew 10:34

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #200258

JayJay,

Ripping a bible verse out of context does not prove your point. Of course, we tend to understand context when it makes our point and refuse to understand context and claim there is no context when it doesn’t make our point…right?

Christ was making the point that spreading his religion would not necessarily bring OUTER peace. That as one turns their back on their old, corrupt, sin filled life even basic family units would be torn apart and set at odds. The verse which follow the one you quoted speak of fathers and sons being divided because one accepts Christ, mothers and daughters same thing. That if you lose your life for Christ’s sake, you will have found it. It’s not a call to violence but a call to obedience and discovery. To a better way that others will have trouble accepting.

Christ was not advocating that fathers and sons kill each other with the sword. That was figurative language pointing to the conflict that arises when a family member turns to Christianity in a non Christian family.

Christians for generations were hung on crosses and fed to the lions. One might find internal peace in becoming a Christian but externally the Amoral Enlightened Crowd will attack you, call you ignorant, kill you, attack you as a “neo-con red-neck”, etc. Whatever the politics of the day allows.

True Christianity does create divisions. It’s not a divide the Christians want, it’s a natural division between those who acknowledge their sin and accept Christ’s forgiveness and those who refuse to accept Christ or to accept those who follow Christ.

Christ did not say pick up the sword and kill those who do not agree with him. This is a far cry from Radical Islamic terrorists and their religious “teachers” they have spread through the Muslim world preaching to literally go kill those who do not agree with them and will not submit to them. To “martyr them” and to destroy oneself in the process.

Posted by: Stephen at December 23, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #200260

JJ
Christianity has almost always spread through peaceful means. (Though on the backs of secular armies) Christian Theocracy was essentially abolished centuries ago. Islamic law knows no boundaries between Church and State. Islam has almost ONLY spread by Islamic armies. From its very founding it has been a violent religion, unlike Christianity.

You are taking Matthew out of context. Jesus is referring to spiritual warfare, and conflicts between humans and those they love versus the command to love Jesus above all. As opposed to:Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the jizya (poor-due), then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

This is directly referring to physical death. Jesus never killed anyone. He could have called legions of angels to protect himself from the Romans but did not. When Peter defended him he healed the man Peter wounded. Muhammed was known for being a brutal warrior. Don’t try to compare the two.

When Christianity has spread by the sword it has almost always been either because: The Catholic Church called for it, or because the Christians’ secular armies were fighting already. The Catholic Church accepts Church tradition (whatever the Pope says) as equal to the Bible, leading to Biblically unjustifiable Crusades. (Which were caused by violent muslim expansion)

As for the Old Testament note that after conquering Palestine most Jewish wars were in self-defense against enemy tribes (Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, etc.) Most of the horrors in the Old Testament were done by people other than faithful Jews. Christians stopped slaughtering people around the 1600’s. Muslims have yet to do so. As I said earlier, the crusades are not Biblically justifiable, as are all the atrocities they commited.

Posted by: Silima at December 23, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #200261

Jay

Throughout history people in power have been oppressors. This is nothing new and not the result of Christianity.

You may want to study history a bit more. I would especially recommend you take a look at primary sources of the various pagan pre Christian empires. Most of them thought it was just stupid to let a defeated enemy live, unless you planned to enslave them. Maybe the Assyrians would be more to your liking.

Christians who look back the roots of Christianity look to the life of Jesus and the apostles. You can find many things not to like there, I suppose, but it is an exactly a violent bunch.

Re the Constitution, I answered the question you should have asked. If Christianity was as you say, how is it that the leading Christian states of the time developed this doctrine of tolerance?

I am sorry you have evidently developed such a hatred of Christianity. It is the basis of our western civilization and all the tolerance we now enjoy. I see many flaws in it, but compared to the alternatives, it is not so bad.

I would not want to live under any sort of fundamentalist government. As Jesus himself said, we should render onto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. I myself am not a fundamentalists or even a practicing Christian, but my dealings with them have always been good. I take my car to a garage owned by Christians. They are so scrupulously honest, sometimes I give them a little extra money for the services. I got stuck in the mud down on my farm when I first got it. I walked up to a farm house and the old guy pulled me out with his tractor. I tried to give him a little money, and he told me he was just doing the Christian thing. In general, if I was lost and alone, I sure would rather fall in with a group of Christians than with most secular humanists. They are much more likely to be generous and less likely to rob you.

Consider this, a fundamental Christian may not accept the gay lifestyle. A fundamental Muslim will hang him.

Posted by: jack at December 23, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #200262


The pinko commie left is helping our enemy’s destroy us. They want us to lose in Vietnam. If we loose in Vietnam, the Communist hoards will overrun us. They are going to destroy America, destroy Christianity and destroy our way of life and the left is helping them do it.

The BS coming from the right is the same crap that was coming out of their mouths 35 years ago. It is wrong and it is disgusting.

Posted by: jlw at December 23, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #200263

Jack, you write:

Consider this, a fundamental Christian may not accept the gay lifestyle. A fundamental Muslim will hang him.

You forgot to add: A so-called Christian fundamentalist will only beat him to death.

Posted by: Dr Poshek at December 23, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #200264

jlw

Losing in Vietnam caused us ten years of trouble and killed millions of people there. You recall all the people who set out into the open seas in small boats to escape the socialist paradise.

Losing in Vietnam was very terrible for almost everybody. Nobody ever claimed the Vietnamese would pursue us to America. The terrorist will.

Posted by: Jack at December 23, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #200265
Christians stopped slaughtering people around the 1600’s. Muslims have yet to do so. As I said earlier, the crusades are not Biblically justifiable, as are all the atrocities they commited.

Silma,

That is my point exactly, that our modern progressive mores do not allow us to run modern day crusades. People were still being burned at the stake or beheaded at the founding of this country for no other reason than their professed beliefs. Thomas Jefferson talks at length in the Notes on the state of Virginia, of people who were put to death simply because they denied the trinity. Jack tries to make it sound like Christians have only ever used peaceful means to spread their religion. That is just plain false. Whether these attrocities were biblically justified or not they were done in the name of Christianity. The culture in which Islam flurishes has not evolved to the same degree that the culture in which Christianity has.

Throughout history people in power have been oppressors. This is nothing new and not the result of Christianity.

Jack,

Maybe in a good number of cases, but not in the case of the Gnostics. The gnostics were hunted and slaughtered for no other reason than their unorthodox beliefs and their unwillingness to convert to Pauline Christianity. These attrocities were committed with the blessings of the Church.

I really do not care what the Pagans or Assyrians thought, I am not talking about them. What the Pagans or Assarians did does not excuse the actions of Christians.

Jesus and the apostles were without a doubt a peace loving bunch. I never questioned that. In fact, that is the primary reason that Gnostic Christians dismiss Jehovah, of the old testement, as a counterfeit god. My only reason for pointing out Matthew 10:34 was to point out the irony of your claim that Islam was born with a sword.

Re the Constitution, I answered the question you should have asked. If Christianity was as you say, how is it that the leading Christian states of the time developed this doctrine of tolerance?

I let Thomas Jefferson himself answer your question, as he does a nice job in the religion section of Notes on the state of Virginia.

I am sorry you have evidently developed such a hatred of Christianity.

So because I seek the truth I am a hater of Christianity? Grow up.

I take my car to a garage owned by Christians. They are so scrupulously honest, sometimes I give them a little extra money for the services. I got stuck in the mud down on my farm when I first got it. I walked up to a farm house and the old guy pulled me out with his tractor. I tried to give him a little money, and he told me he was just doing the Christian thing. In general, if I was lost and alone, I sure would rather fall in with a group of Christians than with most secular humanists. They are much more likely to be generous and less likely to rob you.

That is great, but what is your point? That you have to be a Christian to hold such values? I work with two Muslims and they are the kindest people you would ever want to meet. I know atheists that would give you the shirt off their backs if you were in need. I get so sick and tired of this line that only Christians can be good people, it is such a load of shit.

Consider this, a fundamental Christian may not accept the gay lifestyle. A fundamental Muslim will hang him.

So, because one is worse it makes the other right? That is certainly a warped way of looking at it.

Christ did not say pick up the sword and kill those who do not agree with him. This is a far cry from Radical Islamic terrorists and their religious “teachers” they have spread through the Muslim world preaching to literally go kill those who do not agree with them and will not submit to them.

Stephen,

    “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them-bring them here and kill them in front of me.” ~Luke 19:26-27

I know, I know, the old Christian standby- it’s out of context!! It is funny how context only matters to some Christians when they need to defend their position.

As for Matthew 10, I am well aware that this is not to be taken literally. Jesus explains the meaning of this passage in the Pistis Sophia. The house Jesus is refering to is not one of wood and stone, but of flesh. The family being set against one another is a struggle that happens within oneself. It is not a literal fight between family members or individuals.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #200266

For instance, do we not prostrate ourselves when the terrorist, or their enablers, cry foul over imagined wrongs? Do we believe that we can win the war on terror with PC and the faint-hearted behavior which we exhibit daily, when confronting our enemy? If we continue on this path, we are bound for a rude wakening.

Just what the hell are you talking about?
Posted by: Trent at December 22, 2006 10:20 PM
______________________________________________
Trent- What I was trying to say, apparently in a very poor way, is that we must be willing to ignore the whining of the perpetually offended - the Flying Imams came to mind, and do what we have to do to secure our safety and win this war. We must also meet unrestricted terror with overwhelming force,and not allow ourselves to be swallowed by the terrorists without a fight. If we do not beat them now, they will get us, one small bite at a time..

Posted by: Seminole 6 at December 23, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #200267

I think that maybe I did not present my argument very clearly. What I am trying to say is that there are passages within the Bible that are meant to be taken figuratively. Fundies have a tendency to read the Bible literally. That is the danger that I am talking about that is kept in check by modern progressive mores. It is apparent that most of us agree that Matt. 10 & Luke 19:26-27 are not meant to be taken literally, but there is the danger that some will and will use it to justify their own Jihad. It is the mores of our culture that prevents that from happening. The mores of the culture in which Islam resides does not have the same cultural pressures on it as our own.

Some here claim that Islam itself calls for these Jihads. I am not too familiar with Islam, but are those passages being taken literally (or out of context), when they are meant to be understood on some other level? As I have proven here, many will obviously defend Christianity by screaming that passages are taken out of context or are being interpreted literally when they should be interpreted spiritually. My question then, is that the same thing that is being done with Islam by the Jihadists? If so, then does Islam have anything to do with any of this at all, or is it just Islamic fundies who are taking passages out of context and/or misinterpreting them?

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #200268

JJ
How do you define a “fundamentalist?” I would say it is someone who wants to take every word of the Bible (or Koran) literally. These people do not deserve the title of “Christian fundamentalist” or “muslim fundamentalist.” “Wacko” seems more appropriate. Having a God who didn’t know how to use metaphors would worry me, since it would reflect rather badly on his intelligence.

On the subject of Islam the verse I quoted was out of context, actually. It goes on to say to give them a chance to convert to Islam before killing them, or let them live if they promise to live in submission to Islam. Essentially anyone who does not either submit or convert to Islam needs to be killed, unless its during a few specific months. There are peaceful verses in the Koran like “There is no compulsion in religion.” But these are later abrogated (overruled) by later verses like the one I quoted. Also the Hadiths (The story of Mohammed’s life, collected after his death) is rather full of him decapitating large numbers of people. The thing about it is that he starts out peacefully but as he gets more power by conquest he grows more malevolent. Allah seems to change his mind a lot.

Posted by: Silima at December 23, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #200269

Oops! My apolgies, Luke 19:26-27 was the wrong verse. There is one similar but this is not the one I meant to quote. Sorry.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #200270

just slightly off-topic

I’m outta here for the Christmas days.

So, Dr. Poshek, Bryan AJ Kennedy, Stephen, Mark, tonyCD, Rhanchek, Rightwing Guy, Daniel H, stubborn conservative, Kim-Sue, grandma, Sarantos Soumakis, Mike in Tampa, Mike, Jack, Rob, Seminole 6, Stephen Daugherty, Paul in Euroland, Trent, JayJay, Don, phx8, Max, Rocky, KansasDem, Keith, David R. Remer, gergle, SteveK, Steve, LibRick, jlw, BillS, KT, VOR, mental wimp, im, Edge, ildem, American Pundit, Philippe Houdoin, bobo, traveller, Dell, Dr.D, d.a.n, Rob Cottrell, Lawnboy, Dave1-20-2009, JD, cliff, Silima, Diogenes, Rhinehold, Michael Smith, carnak, jackj, Charles Ross, andrew boyle, Joseph Briggs, Dana J. Tuszke, Brian Poole, womanmarine, muirgeo, kctim, Ron Brown, j2t2, 037, Scottie, Kevin23, woody mena, scottie1321, Jim T, Adrienne and I got most of you,

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

Posted by: tomh at December 23, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #200272


Jack: You are right. We caused those people years of misery just like we have done to the people of Iraq. We killed millions of Vietnamese, for what? No one said the Vietnamese would come here after us and neither did I. But plenty of war mongers said the Communists would. As Vietnam goes so goes the World.

The day that Bush’s daughters and all the war shills children are on the front lines, that’s the day you will get my attention.

Our war mongering president and his puppet master have done everything they could to create more not less terrorists. I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but when I look at what this administration has done, a bright light Illuminati’s my face.

I don’t give a damn about Vietnam’s Socialist paradise nor your Capitalist paradise because they are the same thing. The Lord stands over us gobbling his pie. We all stare up at the crumbs trickling down. Those of us that can jump can get a bigger crumb. Those that jump the highest and fastest get the biggest crumbs of all. And the Lord said, go forth my children and wage war upon our enemy’s, we need another pie. It’s the same racket that has been Lording over us since civilization began with few modifications.

Posted by: jlw at December 23, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #200273

Jay

If I grow up any more, I will be dead from old age. You are letting your hatred of Christians cloud your judgment and not seeking the truth. Yes, Christians have done lots of nasty things. No, this is not unique. Yes, perhaps we should hold Christians to a higher standard. No, you do not find any major belief system that will have only good people among the believers. Most of the really nasty people I know were not regular churchgoers.

Religious believers in general tend to behave better than non- believers. There was an interesting study done recently that found that people who actually attend services are much more generous, honest, healthy than those who do not. That has also been my experience.

You can watch the event. If you are seeking truth, maybe you might want to watch this. You can then study up and find out if you can find solid evidence against it or accept it.

Re Islam and the sword

We can argue all we want about what the book tells people to do. We do know that Mohammed led armies of conquest and so did his close followers after him, so that within a century Islamic armies had conquered everything from Persia to Spain.

You also know that Christians are less dangerous to you than Muslims. Artists and actors bravely defy Christians but they turn coward when they are talking about cartoons making fun of Islam. Like you, they know Christians will not really hurt them.

Re gay lifestyles

I support gay marriage because, among other reasons, I hope it will mitigate some of the more extreme lifestyles. I do not like heterosexuals who have multiple partners, stay out clubbing all night and are more interested in hedonistic pleasure than in doing what is right. If I say that, which I do, people just make fun of me for being boring. If I say the same thing about gay people doing the same thing, which I do, people claim it is homophobia.

A good Christian lifestyle will involve monogamy, moderation & duty. I know that some gay people also believe in that. But when people claiming to represent thee gay community come around in leather thongs, talking about the details of their personal lives, it offends me and I understand why it would offend a serious Christian.

People’s sexual orientation is none of my business and I do not WANT to know about it until and unless I get to know the person very well indeed. If both gay and straight people would not tell, I will not ask.

The intolerance certainly is a two way street. If someone imposes his sexual preference on me, it is intolerant of them not to leave me alone.

Jlw

The people we were fighting against killed millions of Vietnamese (and others). If we could have prevented them coming to power, we would have prevented those deaths. The people we are fighting against are the ones killing thousands of Iraqis.

If you have a source for those guys who said the Vietnamese would come after us, please post it. You have a caricature of the war in your mind.

I bet you think that the insurgency took over Saigon.

My free market paradise is the U.S. I like it more or less as it is. I would make some modifications and constant improvements, as the system anticipates, but this is what I like. If the U.S. is good for you, we have no argument except about details. If you do not think it is the best place for you to be, find a better place.

Posted by: Jack at December 23, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #200275

JJ -
“modern progressive mores”

Now that I’ve read more of your posts, I’m more confused than ever. (And that takes a lot.)

The mores you are speaking about are not modern (being over 200 years old) and they are not progressive (since that term refers to mostly the last 20 years) and they are not your “modern progressive” mores (because they were around long before “modern progressives” came on the scene).

So, what are you talking about that is “modern progressive”?

Just want some clarification … are you talking about social progressivism? Here’s what Wikipedia says about SOCIAL PROGRESSIVISM:

“Social progressivism is the view that as time progresses, so should societal mores and morality. Social progressives believe that there is no inherent value in tradition. They argue that all social arrangements - including marriage, the family and gender roles - should not be set in stone; rather, they should be changed or updated whenever such a change is for the greater good of society or it benefits the people who wish to engage in those social arrangements. The opposite of social progressivism is called social conservatism.
“Social progressives believe that some historical mores are wrong or dogmatic and that present knowledge gained from science and philosophy has disproved many traditional beliefs. In the past, social progressives advocated abolition of slavery and the right to vote for women. Today, social progressivism in the West generally supports same-sex marriage, birth control, and women’s right to choose an abortion….”

Posted by: Don at December 23, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #200276

It must have been quite disturbing to not have a global menace to fear after the cold war. Thank God the jihadist came to the rescue. Now thanks to a few thousand nut jobs we can continue to dump trillions into a military-industrial complex and finish turning the US into a garrison state. Lets just hope nobody statrs asking why we need 2.2 billion dollar bombers with stealth technology to bomb an enemy without radar, or a stars wars anti missile system to thwart an enemy that is more likely to bring a warhead in by canoe.

Posted by: BillS at December 23, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #200279


Jack: President Johnson ” To leave Vietnam to it’a fate would shake the confidence of all these people in the value of American commitment.”

Secretary of State Dean Rusk repeated this rationale before countless congressional committees, warning that Thailand, Burma and the rest of Southeast Asia would fall to communism if American forces withdrew.

Nor did the United States blindly ” stumble into a quagmire” in Vietnam, as some commentators maintained. Johnson once boasted that our military “they can’t even bomb a outhouse without my approval.” Such a restrictive policy meant, in effect, that military victory in any traditional sense of the term was never possible. ” It was startling to me to find out that we had no military plan to end the war.” A quote from the new Sectary of Defense, Clark Clifford in 68.

We weren’t there to capture terrority and win the war, just keep the North Vietnamese from winning even if we had to stay forever. That is a loosing strategy and the one being practices by this administration.

As it turned out, American public support for the war eroded faster than the will of the North Vietnamese leaders could tolerate casualities. As Secretary of Defence McNamara admitted, ” The picture of the world’s greatest superpower killing or injuring 1,000 noncombatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one.”

Did you ever wonder why we lost the war on poverty?

In 1968, the United States was spending $322,000 on every enemy killed in Vietnam; the poverty programs at home received only $53 per person.

I earned my right and the rights of many others to have their say. I choose to call out capitalist warmongers for what they are.

The day that those who benefit the most from this capitalist paradise put themselves and their children on the front lines is the day they get my respect. If they are unwilling to do that, it proves the lie.

Posted by: jlw at December 23, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #200281

jlw-
“The day that those who benefit the most from this capitalist paradise put themselves and their children on the front lines is the day they get my respect.”

This is YOUR day, my friend! Congress has twice the national average of family members fighting this war! I assume they now have your respect.

Posted by: Don at December 24, 2006 1:00 AM
Comment #200282

jlw ,

Wow, have you been brainwashed. I remember in the 70’s the “poor” were given appartments with low low rates. Nice apartments. They could get a welfare check, food stamps, Cab fair, Phone money, Medical dollars, Extra support for extra children, even more if they stayed single.
53 bucks my hind end. We spent ourselves bust on those folks generation after generation until we had generations that did not know what it meant to work or to belong to a solid, multi partner family. We destroyed the work ethic, we destroyed the family structure, and they wanted more more more. I remember as a young man just starting out on my own and paying for my own school at night. All I could aford one time was peanut butter. The fat welfare broad in front of my got in line, checked through two carts of food, “paid” for it with welfare food stamps…hell of a lot more than 57$ then the bag boy went out and put it in her gold Cadillac. I can remember brand new projects going in all over the place. Which they tore apart in the matter of 10 to 20 years. Places that should have lasted a life time.

The “war on poverty” failed because showering the poor with handouts created poverty, broken families, and irresponsibility.

Wow, so we lost because we didn’t spend enough ehh? Talk about twisting and spinning history. Do you really not have a clue? Are you some young kid that never saw it and are listening to some spin miester liberal educator that is spinning left wing propaganda? The great social program was such a terrible terrible bust that even the democrats agreed we had to stop funding it and start making people work.

The lesson of the great social programs was that they failed because they took away the very things people needed to succeed in life. The need to work, a family, and even morality. From their food, to their apartment, to their meds, to child support, to education bills to transportation bills, to telephone bills, the government tried to pay it all. And it destroyed those who took it. It destroyed nearly every aspect of their lives.

Socialist left wing, democratic party welfare states make lousy parents!

Posted by: Stephen at December 24, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #200283

JayJay,

The post was about Muslim violence and you seem determined to twist and spin bible verses to make some sort of silly comparison between a peaceful christ and a very violent Muhammad.

So now you are going to take me down some “I hate god, look how I can twist the bible” game?

I dealt with the one verse you now apparently DELIBERATELY ripped out of context to make your “god is brutal and nasty” point. Then it’s like: “oh gee, I know that but….here’s some more terrible sounding out of context stuff. Silly, boring, board trolling and flaming game on your part. Lets stick with the one verse. Now you admit it does not prove Christ advocated violence.

YOU LOST THE POINT, JayJay. Even worse, you now admit you put forward out of context material to try and make your bogus point.


So you are a liberal, you hate Christians, I get it.

Your new words are not the commands of Christ but a story. A parable. And a parable offers lessons to be learned but are not to be taken literally.

In this story, a ruler who went to foreign lands and upon returning found that some had rebelled against him and he dealt harshly with them. Again, this is not the command of Christ as to how we should deal with others. And the main purpose of the Parable taken in context was that the ruler had left certain servants with assets. They were expected to use those assets and increase them. Because one servant did nothing with the assets but hid them, his were taken away and given to others who were more responsible than him.

For you to claim Christ is using this story to advocate violence is dishonest. I say dishonest because it’s clear you know that Christ does not advocate violence but in order to support muslim violence you seem to feel the need to claim that Christ also advocated violence on unbelievers.

I’m finished with you. I’ve seen this game played many times on the Internet. You twist and distort the bible looking for someone you can inflame with your lies. Yes, putting things in context is something you spit on, how terrible that anyone would put anything in context when doing so blows away your insulting flaming and trolling efforts.

I have a verse for you JayJay, “Whosoever will deny me before men, I also will deny him before my Father which is in heaven”.

Posted by: Stephen at December 24, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #200289

Stephen,

“Wow, have you been brainwashed. I remember in the 70’s the “poor” were given apartments with low low rates. Nice apartments. They could get a welfare check, food stamps, Cab fair, Phone money, Medical dollars, Extra support for extra children, even more if they stayed single.

“I can remember brand new projects going in all over the place. Which they tore apart in the matter of 10 to 20 years. Places that should have lasted a life time.”

Perhaps you don’t remember folks having to stand in the back of the bus, or drinking from separate drinking fountains, or staying at separate hotels.
You rant against those that you think want to “change history”, yet your own memories of that same history seem pretty selective.
Perhaps you don’t remember the hovels that those “nice” apartments were built to replace. They were called projects, and they were built on the lowest possible bid, and in the worst possible areas of town.

I personally don’t “hate” Christianity, I don’t even hate Christians.
What I do despise, however, is the goodly percentage of hypocritical folks that go to church every Sunday, and cast aspersions on their fellow men every Monday through Saturday.

Were there folks that took advantage of a “welfare” system created to help lift them out of crushing poverty?
Absolutely.
But for every “gold Cadillac”, there were twenty, or thirty, or fifty people riding the bus.

I too lived on peanut butter, and rice, and packaged macaroni and cheese, but I do not begrudge the “war on poverty” that helped the greater percentage of those that had even less.

Posted by: Rocky at December 24, 2006 7:24 AM
Comment #200297

Rocky,

I was addressing the points that jlw made indicating that the reason our great social programs failed is because they were underfunded…which is nonsense.

Welfare as offered by the bleeding heart liberals in the great society removed the incentive to work. It removed the incentive to go find a job. It gave incentives for not marrying. It gave incentives for learning how to lie and ask for more and more and more from the government for any number of reasons.

Children were born to parents who never worked, who never looked for a job and whose grandparents were also non-workers. Generational total welfare dependency was CREATED. Believe me, if it didn’t give enough money…those people would have been working not turning being on the dole into the family business.

I don’t know who you are, what your opinions are on Christianity, or why you are continuing with me as if I have been talking to you or debating you. You have not been a part of this debate.

But you have avoided my core arguement. I’m looking at where the program went before they were radically altered to get people back to work. How much we were finally giving out, how bad it got before society realized that it was a failure and started forcing people to go back to work by removing the incentive to never find a job.


I lived in a city of 50,000 where a good 15% or so were on welfare. Most rented houses or apartments. There were many subsidized welfare apartments in my community that were far better than the apartments I lived in. Businessmen built great apartments in which to put the poor because Uncle Sam would pay them good money on a monthly basis to fill them with the poor. That in turn put upward pressure on my rent because these people didn’t want to build a nice apartment for me, it was more profitable to do it for the poor and take Uncle Sams outragous monthly subsidy. Why outragous? Uncle Sam paid more than going rate for those apartments because it was “understood” the welfare folks were going to tear them up and you wouldn’t be allowed to kick them out for irresponsible behavior with property that was not theres!

My point about the lady I saw putting her welfare groceries into a Caddy and pulling away was to go the silly pretense that we UNDERFUNDED welfare.

I remember one day, it was sweltering hot. I was melting in the vehicle I was driving, running around in town from place to place as a young cable TV installer. My vehicle had no air conditioning. I pulled up to a light and was stuck waiting for it to go green. Up on the porch of the house beside me was a large group of young men in their 20’s. Welfare society. The middle of a working day and not one had a job to do. Sitting in chairs in the shade drinking beers and laughing at the fools where were scurrying around sweating to death to pay their upkeep. They weren’t out knocking on doors trying to find a job like a normal person should be doing. They lived their lives sitting on porches, partying, making babies they did not raise…because they are a part of the poor…those who we paid to sit around all their lives and do nothing. I remember one welfare woman telling me, “I’m gonna make me some more babies cause I gotza have more money”. And of course, she was not married because they paid her extra money to be single. She then paid me nearly two hundred dollars to have her special cable hook up with remote control converter box and all the movie channels.

The great social programs failed because they destroyed people and they destroyed family by denying the value of work and denying the value of family…..not because they were underfunded.

And you are a fool if you think they only destroyed black families…your blind adherence to some radicalized left wing “the poor black man” BS. The Welfare system destroyed more white families than black families. But it hit the black families in a disproportionate way percentage wise because they had been victims of discrimination. We made their situation worse by victimizing them with a “great society program” that destroyed what incentive they had to find work, be responsible contributing members of society, and to have a nuclear family.

It’s not a race thing, it’s a basic problem with this concept of welfare with no responsibility to get off of it that is so destructive.

Posted by: Stephen at December 24, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #200298

just slightly off-topic

I’m outta here for the Christmas days.

So, Dr. Poshek, Bryan AJ Kennedy, Stephen, Mark, tonyCD, Rhanchek, Rightwing Guy, Daniel H, stubborn conservative, Kim-Sue, grandma, Sarantos Soumakis, Mike in Tampa, Mike, Jack, Rob, Seminole 6, Stephen Daugherty, Paul in Euroland, Trent, JayJay, Don, phx8, Max, Rocky, KansasDem, Keith, David R. Remer, gergle, SteveK, Steve, LibRick, jlw, BillS, KT, VOR, mental wimp, im, Edge, ildem, American Pundit, Philippe Houdoin, bobo, traveller, Dell, Dr.D, d.a.n, Rob Cottrell, Lawnboy, Dave1-20-2009, JD, cliff, Silima, Diogenes, Rhinehold, Michael Smith, carnak, jackj, Charles Ross, andrew boyle, Joseph Briggs, Dana J. Tuszke, Brian Poole, womanmarine, muirgeo, kctim, Ron Brown, j2t2, 037, Scottie, Kevin23, woody mena, scottie1321, Jim T, Adrienne and I got most of you,

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

Posted by: tomh at December 23, 2006 08:15 PM
_____________________________

Thank you Tomh - I second that. Merry Christmas to all who participate here. Also to everyone - good luck and have a great 2007.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at December 24, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #200299

The only reason Iraquis are involved at all is because of some Jihad waged by President Dumb-ass. Unless you are trying to say that all Muslims are Jihadists. In such a case, xenophobia is more dangerous than the Jihadists themselves because it will either create a cycle of more Jihadists or it will cause us to become the Jihadists ourselves. Either way it is just a big ol’ cycle of death and destruction that contains no redemption for either side.

Posted by: JayJay at December 23, 2006 12:27 AM
____________________________________

JayJay - Iraq was assuredly involved in Jihad. Our entry into Iraq and Afghanistan was a necessary part of the entire struggle with the jihadist. With the war we centralized it, and attracted many to a place where we could get at them. Now, I do not believe that the war has been free of error, but it is a great start.

In the present circumstance, we are not Xenophobic by pursuing those who wish to kill us. We have not created more jihadists - they would have been indoctrinated with hate and sent here to do harm - instead of fighting there, anyway.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at December 24, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #200304

Jlw

You can call people whatever you want because you live in a country that secures your right to do that. It is kind of ironic that you feel so oppressed by that, but that is your business. My right, is to point out that you are wrong.

I see you could not find any quotations re the Vietnamese coming to America (besides as refugees fleeing tyranny). Johnson, BTW, was 100% correct about the confidence. We paid the price over the next ten years.

You are right that the N. Vietnamese sustained their commitment to conquer the south longer than we sustained ours to stop them. We did win the war militarily. By 1972, we had defeated the insurgency, but then did not follow through politically. Maybe it is a lot like Iraq.

I think you are falling into the WWII paradigm trap. You seem to believe we were fighting the people of Vietnam and are now fighting the people of Iraq. In both these cases our enemies are the ones killing the vast number of the people. The people of Iraq voted in the government we are now supporting. The insurgents are fighting it and us. The people of S. Vietnam voted in large numbers too. The N. Vietnamese, BTW have yet to hold a free election.

We lost in Vietnam and we may lose in Iraq, but there is no doubt that we are on the right side.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #200309
You are letting your hatred of Christians cloud your judgment and not seeking the truth. Yes, Christians have done lots of nasty things. No, this is not unique. Yes, perhaps we should hold Christians to a higher standard. No, you do not find any major belief system that will have only good people among the believers. Most of the really nasty people I know were not regular churchgoers.

Jack,

I do not hate anyone, period. Just because I point out the flaws of Christianity and some Christians, that does not mean that I hate it/them. I am a Christian myself, I just happen to hold some unorthodox beliefs. My point is that imo, Christianity is not superior to any other belief system as some Christians will have you believe. I know many, many people who are not regular churchgoers who are much kinder than some who do. We are all individuals and we all have our own experiances. That is what makes a person who they are, not whether they attend church services or not.

But when people claiming to represent thee gay community come around in leather thongs, talking about the details of their personal lives, it offends me and I understand why it would offend a serious Christian.

Oh, please. That is a double standard. How is that anymore offensive than “show me your tits for some cheap beads?” And please explain how it is anymore offensive than turning on primetime TV and seeing some slut, with her boobs about ready to pop out, roaming around looking for her next lay? Is your standard of what is offensive simply based on whether it involves gays or straights? Is ok for straights to behave that way, but not gays?

The intolerance certainly is a two way street. If someone imposes his sexual preference on me, it is intolerant of them not to leave me alone.

So what does that mean? You have gay people coming to your door, in leather thongs, trying to “convert” you? Trust me, the straight sexual preference is being imposed on me much, much, much more than the gay sexual preference is being imposed on you. Much more!! And please believe me, gays will leave straights alone just as soon as straights leave them alone. But as long as they try to impose a double standard, then they should expect to hear about it. Gays and Lesbians are not just going to be silent while society oppresses them, at least not anymore.

Posted by: JayJay at December 24, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #200310
So, what are you talking about that is “modern progressive”?

Don,

My statement was in reference to ancient religious practices. Modern as in relation to ancient. I am NOT using the word progressive in relation to a political party or philosophy. I am using the dictionary term:

1. Moving forward; advancing.
2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods.

Our society has PROGRESSED to a point where stoning people to death is considered wrong, no matter what the circumstances.

Just want some clarification … are you talking about social progressivism?

In this case, absolutly not.

Posted by: JayJay at December 24, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #200311

Stephen,

Oh my sweet Jesus, I apologize for giving you that impression. I did a poor job of trying to get my point accross. That was completely my fault, but it certainly was not my intention.

I dealt with the one verse you now apparently DELIBERATELY ripped out of context to make your “god is brutal and nasty” point. Then it’s like: “oh gee, I know that but.here’s some more terrible sounding out of context stuff. Silly, boring, board trolling and flaming game on your part. Lets stick with the one verse. Now you admit it does not prove Christ advocated violence.

My point was not that Jesus was violent or anything like that. The point I was trying to make (rather badly, apparently) is that some people read the Bible literally. I know what that passage means, but some may read it literally and think that it advocates violence. Many Bible passages have been used throughout history (either out of context or misinterpreted) to justify horrible acts of violence and oppression. The KKK, Hitler, and many others have used Bible verses to justify their actions. That does not mean that those justifications are actually there. My question is, is that what is being done with Islam by the Jihadists? Are they taking passages literally that are meant to be understood some other way? I did not bring up those passages to say that that is what they meant, only that they COULD be understood that way by fanatics.

YOU LOST THE POINT, JayJay. Even worse, you now admit you put forward out of context material to try and make your bogus point.

Yes I did, for the reasons above. I used the wrong passage the second time and I felt bad about that and thought that I should correct it and apologize. Sorry for being honest (not really.)

So you are a liberal, you hate Christians, I get it.

No you do not get it. I am a liberal because I am a Christian. I obviously have very unorthodox beliefs and reject most doctrines and dogmas outside what Christ himeself taught. I do not say the things I do because I hate Christians, I say them because I truly believe they are wrong. You are entitled to believe whatever you want, just as I am.

For you to claim Christ is using this story to advocate violence is dishonest. I say dishonest because it’s clear you know that Christ does not advocate violence but in order to support muslim violence you seem to feel the need to claim that Christ also advocated violence on unbelievers.

That was not my intention. I used this parable by mistake and I apologized for that. If you cannot accept my apology then so be it. Again, my intention was not to show that Jesus advocated violence only that fanatics who take the Bible literally COULD. That misunderstanding was my fault.

I’m finished with you. I’ve seen this game played many times on the Internet. You twist and distort the bible looking for someone you can inflame with your lies. Yes, putting things in context is something you spit on, how terrible that anyone would put anything in context when doing so blows away your insulting flaming and trolling efforts.

That is fine if that is how you feel. Let me just say that context goes beyond just where the text appears in the Bible. Context also must include the historical context of when it was written. The context is also sometimes changed by other writings, or when you take it in the context of the complete story. My own personal belief is that the Bible does not contain the whole story (it is kinda the reader’s digest version.) But it serves it’s purpose for those who have been initiated to it. The Bible taken together with the Gnostic scriptures puts much of the Bible in a different context. I have read most of the Gnostic texts, and see the Bible in quite a different way than you do. Context also changes when you take the text out of the light of other works. I put the emphesis on the teachings of Christ and tend to reject the teachings of others, such as Paul. If you see it differently, then that is ok. I really did not mean this to be a religious discussion, but that seem to happen anytime you criticize anything Christian.

My larger point that I originally was trying to make was that Islam exists in a culture unlike the culture that Christianity exists in. If Islam were the major religion in the same modern progressive (dictionary definition) culture as Christianity, then I have little doubt that Islam would be considered just as peaceful as Christianity is today.

I have a verse for you JayJay, “Whosoever will deny me before men, I also will deny him before my Father which is in heaven”.

I do not deny Christ or the Father at all. I deny Jehovah.

I hope I have clarified my position and not made things worse. If I did make things worse, then I simply do not know how to express the point to you that I wish to make. Sorry.

At any rate, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!

Posted by: JayJay at December 24, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #200312

Jay

Those heterosexual things you mention also offend me. I avoid situations like that and I would not want those sorts of people living near me. They have the freedom to do it; I have the freedom to shun and feel superior to them. They may do the same to me. That is the beauty of freedom. Tolerance just means that I will not try to impose my will by coercion. It does not mean that I need to accept it.

Re imposing sexual preference - all I mean by that is that I just do not want to hear about it. I do not care if people are “queer and here” I just do not need to know about it in most cases. That is why they call it private. I respect privacy in these matters.

Re oppression of gays - some of my best friends have been gay. That cliche is true in my case.

When I was in college, I worked at a bookshop. We got a gay manager, who after that hired only gay staff until I by and by I became the only straight guy working there. It was not a problem. These guys sometimes talked about men in the same gross fashion some straight men talk about women and they seemed to think every straight man was a latent homosexual, but besides that it was just amusing. They accepted me and even invited to their bars on occassion. I went and learned a lot. Sine I am not “latent” I never felt threatened. The only time we had tension was when one of my coworkers was attacked. They all came up to me as THE straight man and asked why “we” just couldn’t let “them” alone. As we talked about the situation, it turned out that he was not only beaten but also raped. It was terrible, but it was not the act of a straight man. There was a lot of violence in the community. Much of it was the equivalent of spousal abuse or ordinary bar fights, but it was always called prejudice.

I personally have never oppressed a gay person, nor would I tolerate those who do. Some gay people, like some straight people, have lifestyles I dislike. Some Christians (of which I am not one) call it is sinful. The tragedy for all is that some lifestyles are very unhealthy. AIDS, for example, is a lifestyle disease. I have heard some people say sinful lifestyles cause sickness, but it is not a sin to be sick. I can understand why this would be unpleasant for some people to hear, but that seems to me perfectly logical and tolerant. It is a variation of hate the sin, but love the sinner.

If that is what you call oppression, you get no sympathy from me. If you are talking about violence, I am certainly against it.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #200314
That is the beauty of freedom. Tolerance just means that I will not try to impose my will by coercion. It does not mean that I need to accept it.

I agree, and I do not believe that gays are using coersion, we are simply asking for equality. Whether you accept that lifestyle or not is irrelevant, all we are asking for is to be treated fairly and equally. If that happened, then believe me, you would rarely hear about it again. But as long as people are oppressed you are going to hear about it, period.

Re imposing sexual preference - all I mean by that is that I just do not want to hear about it. I do not care if people are “queer and here” I just do not need to know about it in most cases. That is why they call it private. I respect privacy in these matters.

Fortunatly, we live in an open and free society. You cannot get any further away from “I’m queer, I’m here,” than I can get away from “I’m straight therefore Jesus loves me.” That is simply part of living in a free society.

I personally have never oppressed a gay person, nor would I tolerate those who do.

Well, you are a better person than some.

The tragedy for all is that some lifestyles are very unhealthy. AIDS, for example, is a lifestyle disease.

A lifestyle disease maybe, but it is not specific to one lifestyle in particular. The segement of the population with the fastest growing HIV infection rates are straight African American women.

I have heard some people say sinful lifestyles cause sickness, but it is not a sin to be sick. I can understand why this would be unpleasant for some people to hear, but that seems to me perfectly logical and tolerant. It is a variation of hate the sin, but love the sinner.

Just as most people do not posses the ability to seperate the sin from the sinner, how do you seperate the disease from the sin? Some people are inflicted with horrible diseases, brought about by no action of their own. Some are inflicted by horrible disease because of the action of others. It makes no sense to say that disease is the result of sin. Disease has many variables, many of which we simply cannot explain.

It is kinda like that saying ‘the good die young.’ Does that mean that the old are evil? I think there are very few who would not agree that Mother Teresa was good, yet she lived to the ripe old age of 87. We cannot always explain things away through catchy little sayings.

If that is what you call oppression, you get no sympathy from me. If you are talking about violence, I am certainly against it.

I call oppression any action by a group of people that relegates another legitimate group of people to a lower class.

Posted by: JayJay at December 24, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #200317

Stephen,

“I don’t know who you are, what your opinions are on Christianity, or why you are continuing with me as if I have been talking to you or debating you. You have not been a part of this debate.”

Consider me part of the debate. You know my opinions on Christianity because I stated them. I am continuing with you because, strangely enough, when I read your words I hear Rush Limbaugh’s voice, and like Limbaugh you don’t name the source of information you state as fact.

Where are your statistics?

“My point about the lady I saw putting her welfare groceries into a Caddy and pulling away was to go the silly pretense that we UNDERFUNDED welfare.”

And my point was that for every welfare lady loading groceries into a caddy there were dozens that actually needed the help, and appreciated it.

“I lived in a city of 50,000 where a good 15% or so were on welfare. Most rented houses or apartments. There were many subsidized welfare apartments in my community that were far better than the apartments I lived in.”

I grew up in a city of 180,000, and have also lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix. All had “projects”. All of the projects were in the rough part of town. You don’t see project housing in Bel Aire, or Beverly Hills, or Paradise Valley, or on Nob Hill.

“And you are a fool if you think they only destroyed black families…your blind adherence to some radicalized left wing “the poor black man” BS.”

I also said nothing about being born yesturday.
You yourself used one black welfare stereotype in your first post, and continued with two more in your second, I am only responding in kind.

BTW, the “Great Society” was a result of not just the prejudgice against blacks that resulted in the “Civil Rights Act” (which was put forward by JFK, hardly a “bleeding heart”), but also because of the poverty of the late fifties and sixties.

http://www.pbs.org/johngardner/chapters/4.html

“In 1960, despite the prosperity of the times, almost one-quarter of all American families were living below the poverty line, and entire regions of the country, like central Appalachia, were bypassed by the economic growth of the postwar years. Moreover, technological advances in industry were also changing job requirements for American workers. The good-paying, unskilled jobs of the past were disappearing, and those without education and skills were being left behind.”

Education and drugs were probably the main culprit in the issues with “welfare”.
As I said in my first post, yes, there were those that took advantage of the system, but not to the degree you and your cohorts on the far right would make them out to be.

Posted by: Rocky at December 24, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #200318

Stephen-
It’s at the end of Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine with one of the top guys in the CIA saying it.

I wouldn’t push what I couldn’t back up.

Al-Qaeda didn’t support Kerry, by the way. A letter from one of al-Qaeda’s subsidiaries said:

Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization. … Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, at least for my side. When Bin Laden made his speech critical of Bush, he must have known he was poisoning the well for whoever’s side he appeared to take. He has the motive to do so; Iraq has swelled his organization’s ranks, taken the pressure off of his part of the world, and undermined our position in the world in so many ways. Why not do something that would get Bush reelected?

As for loving us? They hate us worst of all, and we know it. Most of what they oppose is what we would call our precious freedoms.

You call us their allies, and throw around words like “surrender”. This is the argument of those who simply want their fellow countrymen to shut up and do as they’re told. Sorry, we’re not interested, not after the last few years. Your party divided our attention, divided our country, and even now persists in repeating the mistakes that years of setbacks and failures have exposed as erroneous. We’re in a weaker position now than we were half a decade ago, thanks to Bush and the Republicans.

We tried to warn you on many of these things, we tried to stop you. Unfortunately, you and folks like you made enemies with your own countrymen, even as you had more than enough to contend with elsewhere.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 24, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #200320

Jay

I happily discriminate among people based on their behavior. Some people are doing foolish things that lead to trouble. Their actions are not as good as ones that lead to desired results. I cannot judge their values, but I can judge how well they are doing in living up to them. If you want to be healthy, for example, but you eat poorly, don’t exercise and have multiple sex partners, I would judge you are behaving stupidly and I would feel my choices were superior.

If that is oppression, I am going to keep on doing it and I am proud of it. If you do not like it, you can be angry, but remember that is bad for your health and I will judge that too. Feel free to return the favor.

Re HIV

It is lifestyle based, not necessarily gay lifestyle, but it is based on lifestyles that are not healthy.

Members of a monogamous gay couple who do not engage in illicit drugs and keeps its vows has less chance of getting AIDS then being hit by lighting. It is something that is almost completely avoidable and the epidemic is created by particular behaviors.

Yes, it is possible for a person to get AIDS through rape or having someone lie to them. IN both cases, I think the perpetrator should be charged with murder. In the latter case, however, it is unlikely you are completely fooled by a long term partner and if you are having lots of partners you do not know well, you are falling into that lifestyle thing again.

I have sympathy for a person with AIDS, as I do for a longtime smoker who has lung cancer. But it is important not to ignore the danger the individual has put himself into and in the case of AIDS, the danger his behavior is creating for others.

Rocky

Poverty is a hard concept. I lived well under the poverty line for more than five years. I was young and paying for college. I look back at that as a very happy time. I bet most people have a similar story to tell. What that means is that I spent around 10% of my life in poverty, but I have never been poor. We also have cases of people with little income who are not poor. Many rural people are like that.

The problem in the 1960s was that for the first time in history we became prosperous to recognize poverty as a problem. Poverty is also much exacerbated or mitigated by culture and behavior. A stable family with little money may be much better off than a poorly led life with a higher income.

The final problem with poverty is how we measure it. We measure income and do not include many of the things we have done to mitigate poverty. Many people living in poverty SPEND significantly more than the poverty level. Maybe they are using savings, maybe they have other sources of income, but the poverty level based on consumption (which is the one that really counts) is dropping.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #200323
I happily discriminate among people based on their behavior. Some people are doing foolish things that lead to trouble. Their actions are not as good as ones that lead to desired results. I cannot judge their values, but I can judge how well they are doing in living up to them. If you want to be healthy, for example, but you eat poorly, don’t exercise and have multiple sex partners, I would judge you are behaving stupidly and I would feel my choices were superior.

Jack,

I agree as long as everyone has the same opprotunity. I believe in equal opprotunity, although, not neccessarily equal outcomes. Unfortunatly, same-sex couples are not given the same opprotunity for marriage stability as opposite-sex couples. Same-sex couples are purposefully put at a disadvantage when it comes to creating stable partnerships. If they were put under the same pressures of responsibility as opposite sex partners then I would agree with you 100%, there would be no excuses.

Posted by: JayJay at December 24, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #200327

Jack,

“I lived well under the poverty line for more than five years. I was young and paying for college. I look back at that as a very happy time. I bet most people have a similar story to tell. What that means is that I spent around 10% of my life in poverty, but I have never been poor.”

We all have.
The difference is that you and I, and most of those of collage age had family to fall back on, if necessary.
Our poor are the richest poor in the world only because they live in the most prosperous country in the world.
Poverty is relative, I have seen poor in China, and in Mexico. The poor we have here in America don’t know from poor.
That is not to say they should be cast to the wayside. There will always be those that either can’t, or won’t work.

In the most prosperous nation on earth, they still shouldn’t go hungry.

Merry Christmas Jack.

Posted by: Rocky at December 24, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #200330

Jay

That is why I support gay marriage. I want them to be more like me.

I would say, however, that just because you cannot have the same advantages does not mean that you have to engage in unhealthy behavior. A couple can be monogamous if they choose. Marriage makes that legal, but it does not ensure it in those go through the ceremony or prevent it in those who do not.

Rocky

My only point is that it is hard to look at poverty as single issue. I think a little poverty, preferable among the young, is a good thing. Poverty that lasts a lifetime is a bad thing. I just do not think we can treat this as a yes/no proposition.

I take your point about other countries. America does it better.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #200334

With the war we centralized it, and attracted many to a place where we could get at them. Now, I do not believe that the war has been free of error, but it is a great start.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at December 24, 2006 10:43 AM

Great start for who Seminole? Seems to me the terrorists are having a ball, and the US is just getting mired deeper in an unwinnable quagmire.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 24, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #200336

Seminole, you are very voluble on what the west is doing wrong with regard to Islamic extremist. So c’mon, give us your prescription. How would you win this battle? You must surely have a strategy in mind to rout this religious conspiracy? And please don’t confine yourself to Iraq, because you know, as we all do, that Islamic extremism in not confined to, nor even centred in Iraq.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 22, 2006 10:15 PM
__________________________________________

Paul - being in Iraq/Afghanistan has concentrated and slowed the spread somewhat. Of course, you are correct that terrorism is not confined to SWAsia, although that area is a major locus. There are several alternatives to consider when ending the war, which I hope to explore in some detail in the near future. I can say at this juncture that we must meet force with superior force and we must do what needs be done. The present situation with al-Sadr comes to mind as a prime example of what not to do..

Posted by: Seminole 6 at December 24, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #200337

Merry Christmas!

May the joy that is in Christ be yours.

For those other-minded, just enjoy your tofu.

Posted by: Don at December 24, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #200343

Don,

Yeah, I suppose you’re right.

Christ probably wouldn’t eat tofu.

Posted by: Rocky at December 25, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #200354

Jay

I’m still trying to get a handle on what you consider modern progressive mores.

Do these stories fit your description?

5-Year-Old Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Hug lands 4-year-old in suspension

Posted by: Keith at December 25, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #200365

Keith-
I agree, it’s Bullshit. You got a dilemma here though. You imply that this should be shocking to us, and to many of us these sort of disciplinary actions are puzzling. If they are puzzling and shocking to us, how do they then reflect negatively on us?

So, if you’ve got our sensibilities pegged right, then your argument doesn’t work. Let’s move on, then.

Seminole 6-
It’s nice that you’ve come around to meeting force with superior force, given the Bush Administrations thinness of manpower on the ground, but it would have been nice to have done this two years ago, when it would have made a better difference.

Different factor affect the effectiveness of military force.

One, do we have a clear idea of what this force is meant to do? Knowing what goal we apply the force towards can be very important towards getting our forces to the right place to make the greatest difference.

Two, there are other factors than just brute military strength that effect the success of our fight. If the right diplomacy, negotiations with the population, and other political elements are not in place, things can become problematic. It does no good to thin terrorist numbers if the population refreshes the losses because of a political failure on our part to reach them and respect them.

Additionally, we’re having real problem when we’re trying to fight counterinsurgency and lead Iraqi units without a good number of translators. Without such language skills, our intelligence will lag behind, and crippling misunderstandings will multiply.

The Bush adminstration went to war without the necessary elements to succeed. Their efforts have been hamstrung by that, not by negative press coverage. That could have been turned around in due time had the president truly confronted the deficiencies of the original plan. Unfortunately, the worst time to come up with backup plans, and to catch up on the real situation, is when you’re right in the midst of it trying to resolve your screwups.

The war has not been centralized in these countries. It’s become more widespread, more franchised out. This is how we see attacks becomeing more widespread.

I would not have us begin this withdrawal because our soldiers are in danger. I think they know what they signed up for. Rather, I think if we are to put their efforts to the best effect, we ought to recognize what’s going wrong, and if we’re doing more harm than good with our current policy, do what we can to resolve things, and then move back to get a better handle on the overall situation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 25, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #200376

Steven D-
“The Bush adminstration…”

Can’t even let one day go by without blaming and criticizing. It’s Christmas, for goodness sake. Leave it alone for just one day, please!

To make up for your blunder don’t kick the dog, yell at your wife and/or beat the kids like you usually do.

Posted by: Don at December 25, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #200417

Keith,

Oh forget it, I give up. You obviously have this bias in your head of what the word “progressive” represents and you simply cannot get past it. I cannot help that. Good luck.

Posted by: JayJay at December 26, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #203822

Twenty years of struggle against AIDS. Grassroots campaign against AIDS. The struggle to find a cure for AIDS has contributed to other areas… WBR LeoP

Posted by: Leo at January 18, 2007 10:39 AM
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