Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Stating The Obvious

The always brilliant Thomas Sowell states the obvious in a piece that touches on two aspects of the Obama situation: his past performance vs his rhetoric, and his views on the real threats before us.

In the first part, Sowell discusses how Obama's soaring rhetoric is at the least, misleading when compared to what he has done in the past and with whom he has chosen to associate himself. Later, he wonders on Obama's understanding of terrorism and their ability and willingness to be destructive.

Indeed, these things have been discussed before, by both pundits like Sowell as well as by bloggers like myself. But it never hurts to continually cry out what should be so plain, but rarely is to his supporters.

It's kinda funny, in a pathetic and self-destructive way, that, like the Nicaraguans, who supported the communist Sandinistas after ridding themselves of the Somozas, the liberal left in this country, after decrying the Bush administration as some evil force in the world, are willing to throw in with someone who starts from a far worse place. As bad as they stupidly think Bush has been, they're willing to support a far worse choice than another Republican. Even if it could ever be conceded that the left is, uh, right, there's no way any sane person could see Obama as the answer.

66 comments:

Vinny said...

Given that it was George Bush who was asleep at the wheel when the terrorists attacked on 911, I am always amuse when conservatives claim that they are the ones who understand the threat.

Obama understands the threat, but he also understands that destablilizing the Middle East is no way to address the threat.

John said...

Asleep at the wheel?

Do you think he had foreknowledge of the attack? What did you expect the man to do in response to the most unexpected attack on American soil since Oklahoma City? What did president Clinton do after terrorist attacks on the Cole and our embassies? Was he asleep at the wheel when those attack occurred?

Seriously, of all the things that can honestly be laid at the feet of G.W. Bush, this isn't one of them.

Marshall Art said...

To be fair, I just heard an interview with this dude named Clark(e), who's first name eludes me at present, on Medved's show. The claim is that Bush was given word and Clark & Co made a point to stress the seriousness of the situation. He says. There was also something about almost 50 memoranda related to threats of a 9/11 attack, but as to the how detailed they were, that's another story. Needless to say, everyone who's lacked the class to wait until after Bush's term to rip on him in print (those from his admin or connected thereto) are unsung heroes of the lone voice crying out in the wilderness variety. Such people are keen to say things like, Bush didn't take the warnings seriously or seriously enough or whatever, as if they are mind readers, yet aren't to detailed in expressing just how he could have done anything to prevent it from happening. To be straight up, I haven't read any of these insider books, never had the desire, and don't see the point now.

Now Vinny, what about anything Obama has said or done makes you think he understands anything about the threat or how to address it properly?

Marshall Art said...

John,

I appreciate your having stopped by. Welcome.

Vinny said...

Richard Clarke was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence under Reagan, Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs under Bush 41, and National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure, and Counterterrorism under Clinton and Bush 43. I am currently about halfway through his book Against All Enemies. Shrub hasn't come off well so far. I can understand why his fans would not want to read it.

Marshall Art said...

"Shrub hasn't come off well so far."

Yeah. What a surprise.

Vinny said...

To be straight up, I haven't read any of these insider books, never had the desire, and don't see the point now.

What books have you read on the war in Iraq?

Marshall Art said...

Books focussing specifically on Iraq I haven't read. I am expecting Michael Yon's book any day now.

I have read books of a more general nature regarding the WOT, such as Richard Miniter's "Disinformation" and a coupld of Robert Spencer's books on Islam. It would be difficult to count the number of articles and such on Iraq by numerous sources.

I have reservations regarding books by those too close to the situation. How does one separate which facts are objectively related from those that are minimized in order to avoid self-incrimination? Judging from the interview I heard on Medved, and it's near impossible for me to listen to every word due to my J.O.B., Clarke paints himself as totally blameless. I think that's to be expected, since it's natural for one to view one's own participation in such a manner. I do not hold Bush totally blameless myself, but I don't know what more he could have done that would have made any difference. Perhaps Clarke gives a clue or two in this regard, but again, would that be hindsight, self-promotion, or what? And also, at this point in time, what took place in 2001 isn't as important now as what is now going on. I've moved passed whether we should have gone to Iraq to what now? Yeah, I believe it was a good move, but it's far more important at this point to handle today's challenges correctly. Progress is happening and it's progress that will bring benefits to the region as well as to ourselves.

Vinny said...

How does one separate which facts are objectively related from those that are minimized in order to avoid self-incrimination?

You look for corroboration and documentation. You look for honesty about facts that make the author look bad. You look for sources of honest opposing viewpoints to see whether they challenge the factual accounts or whether they challenge the interpretation of the facts. Personally, I read the Economist and the Wall Street Journal and I watch Joe Scarborough in the mornings and I am currently next on the waiting list for Doug Feith’s new book at the local library.

You may have heard that those who will not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps if you better understood the blunders that got us into the mess in Iraq, you would understand how important it is to move in a different direction.

blamin said...

”…You look for honesty…

Absolutely! – But how does one gauge “honesty”? Ultimately one has to rely on certain sources as believable and some as unbelievable, a pretty subjective call. We can all pat ourselves on the back for our pursuit of the truth, and anyone who disagrees will be deemed as less astute than ourselves.

So in the end it comes down to philosophy. This is where conservatism wins every time!

Vinny said...

So in the end it comes down to philosophy. This is where conservatism wins every time!

When a conservative source concedes the existence of a fact that reflects poorly on a conservative position, then it probably is a fact. When a liberal source concedes a fact that reflects poorly on a liberal position, then it is probably a fact.

I always love the way those conservatives who decry "relativism" often show themselves to be the worst relativists of all by denying any objective reality in history and science and embracing the notion that everything is spin.

Marshall Art said...

I don't that you can use the term "blunder" when referring to our engagement in Iraq. The reasons for deposing Hussein were many, they were reasons that were viewed as legitimate by other nations, and they were bleated by Clinton and his Dem cohorts before Nov. 2000.

And I'd say that Clarke conceding a fact that reflects poorly on a conservative position can also mean that Clarke is deflecting his own part in it, or, attempting to bring positive attention to himself. Again, what was in the almost 50 reports given to Bush that could have prevented, and that is, totally prevented, 9/11. Yeah, I can read the whole damn book myself, and I may at this point, but throw me a bone here. You speak of it, as did he in the interview, that it was an absolutely slam-dunk. How 'bout it?

Vinny said...

There is a big difference between having a good reason to want to see regime change in Iraq and having a good reason to forcibly depose Saddam Hussein. We had every reason to want regime change in Moscow throughout the Cold War, but luckily our leaders were never foolish enough to initiate a preemptive war.

I have not finished Clarke's book yet. When I do, I will want to see what the criticisms of his work are before I reach definite conclusions. As I said, what I have seen so far doesn't look very good for Shrub, but I am still looking at it.

I have read quite a bit about the response to 9/11 and the decision to go into Iraq. I think the evidence that this was a terrible blunder is powerful and persuasive.

Doc said...

"We had every reason to want regime change in Moscow throughout the Cold War, but luckily our leaders were never foolish enough to initiate a preemptive war."

We kept an ongoing political and economic war, which we won under Reagan. Had a physical conflict been viable or needed, I hope we would have risen to the occasion.

"Obama understands the threat, but he also understands that destablilizing the Middle East is no way to address the threat."

Obama has shown some serious concerns regarding his understanding the threat of the middle east. And I would like to know when it was ever stable there. I fear that if he is elected, Obama will be forced into a diplomacy-only dilemma regarding any action in the middle east. It's easy to run on the "Bush lied, Kids died." platform of the ultra-left, but I do not yet hear any credible strategy for the long, cold war (or global police action, if you prefer) with Al Qaeda. If the left has a better mousetrap, please advance one. Unfortunately, I don't think that the US (republican or democrat) has the ability to solve the instability of the middle east any more than it can deal with North Korea. I fear in the long run, this will lead to a left-led protectionist strategy, and that will be a sad day indeed

Marshall Art said...

I would wonder what makes it a blunder. Is it the number of American dead? The number of Iraqi dead? Is it the financial cost? Is it the time it has taken to get to where we are? I think the 12 years of jerkin' around with this goon, as well as the 17 worthless UN resolutions count as blunders. I can concede aspects of the execution of this war were blunders, just as we can easily find such in any war from the comfort of years later.

But the act of going in and deposing Hussein was not a blunder. So much could have changed things if our attitude and perspective regarding radical Islam was different, and this goes to the last 30 years, if not longer. It's pointless to harp on what's been done beyond the acknowlegement that better decisions could have been made. Elements of Islam have displayed the terrorist mindset for several hundred years. Jefferson dealt with them, for pete's sake. And while Clinton played like he meant business, his blunders were as bad as Carter's for the effect they had on the morale and confidence of the bin Ladens out there. Had either of those guys played hard ball, 9/11 may never have happened. Had Reagan or Bush I focussed more on them, 9/11 might never have happened. If we want to count blunders, there are more than enough to pass around.

But Dubya actually did something. Argue the manner in which he did it, but he did something. And the effect was noticed by the radicals. It compelled Libya to change its tune. Two countries held free elections and we are now seeing some real progress as noted by the lack of negative reports by the MSM.

The sweet talkin' Obama intends to do will be seen as weakness. If we ain't kickin' ass, it is seen as weakness. This is an obvious truth regarding the character of those we fight. Obama thinks he knows better than what 1400 years of history demonstrates. The continued use of the Soviet example ignores the one major distinction: the Islamic radicals think dying for the cause is a goal. They don't mind sacrificing large percentages of their own to reach their objectives. The Soviets just wanted to dominate, but not die trying. Bush & Co at least understands this much. I think McCain does as well. The only talking that will mean anything is when they finally realize that death is all they have in their future.

blamin said...

”I always love the way those conservatives who decry "relativism" often show themselves to be the worst relativists of all by denying any objective reality in history and science and embracing the notion that everything is spin.”

But ya see Mr. Vinny, that is simply your projection of “what a conservative is”. Exactly what history do you speak of? Unfortunately, history tends to support our (conservative) point of view.

You speak of “objective reality in history”; OK spell it out man! Does your history consist of the Bush administration? Or does it go back a little farther?

Please – Oh please, explain to me how history favors a socialist point of view versus a capitalist point of view. Exactly how does a government-controlled economy out-perform an economy that rewards an innovative, producing economy?

Mark said...

Whatever questionable knowledge Bush had before the attacks on 9/11, it is highly doubtful anyone, including Bush, and especially B. Hussein Obama could have known the exact day and time and circumstances of the attack. It was not in any way preventable.

Well, maybe Obama might have known. After all, he might be one of the terrorists who planned it. He certainly seems to believe America deserved the attacks.

Vinny said...

What was the cost of those twelve years of being jerked around in terms of American lives? I find it interesting that you criticize opponents of the war in Iraq for lack of resolve while arguing that twelve years was an unendurably long period of time to have to deal with the difficult task of keeping Saddam bottled up. You want me to excuse Bush’s mismanagement of the war on the grounds that war never goes perfectly, but you seem to think that any shortcomings in the containment strategy were intolerable. Saddam was a bad guy but he was contained and his regime was a counterweight to the bad guys in Iran.

It is true that fewer people are dying in Iraq since the surge, but it is hard for me to think of that as progress when I compare it to where things stood before we invaded. Elections are nice, but the Iraqis voted exclusively on tribal and ethic lines and the government they elected is favorably inclined towards Iran. Scaring Libya is nice, but they had not done much lately and they were not part of Bush’s “axis of evil” so it is hard for me to think that it offsets the increased influence of Iran.

I am not sure what blunders you think Carter made. Iran was not a problem of his making and nobody expected the Shah to fold up his tent and leave the country to the fundamentalists the way he did. He certainly did not know how to deal with the problem, but Reagan was certainly no better ducking out of Lebanon and trading arms for hostages. Carter at least saw the need to break our addiction to foreign oil but the American people did not want anyone telling them they needed to make sacrifices and they voted for Reagan’s sunny optimism and mindless faith in the magic of the free market.

It is also hard for me to take your criticism of Clinton seriously either. From what I have read so far in Clarke’s book, Clinton took the terrorism threat seriously and took steps to deal with the problems. I wouldn’t claim that he would have prevented 9/11, but he certainly didn’t ignore the threats. I really think you need to do more reading.

Just doing something isn’t enough even if we are kicking ass. We need to do smart things and learn from the past.

Marshall Art said...

The cost of the twelve years was not apparent at the time. You're playing Monday morning quarterback here. But during those twelve years, he was killing his own, which might be OK for some, he was shooting at our planes patrolling the no-fly zone, he was harboring and providing training space for terrorists who were active, he was encouraging through $25K payments to the families of suicide bombers, and he was embezzling huge sums of cash that was meant for charitable ends. If you want to call that containment then your definition of the word is a bit different than mine. For sure, the practical application of it differs greatly. Again, you seem to feel it's better to accept calamity before retaliating and as far as we knew at the time, he was building toward it. We now know that even better, so preemption was proven to be a good idea.

I don't think the case has been made that the Iraqi government is leaning towards Iran.

Clinton "seriousness" regarding terror might have impressed Clarke, but with numerous attacks on our interests, I don't see how the word properly applies. And if you want to talk about bungling, think Blackhawk Down. He cut and ran giving bin Laden the green light to act without fear. The steps he took, then, were impotent and worthless or 9/11 shouldn't have happened.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not saying Bush has been perfect. That would be a stupid thing to say or imply. But the "cowboy" in him for which he too often chided is exactly what is called for in dealing with the type of scumbags we now face. Talking with them is pointless. Finding support amongst the peoples of the region is the way to go, and we're seeing it happen in Iraq for sure. But until we can connect with more throughout the region, this action has put the scumbags on notice, and such pressure needs to be maintained. Obama wants to engage in policies that will decreas our ability to apply that pressure. This is folly of the worst kind. It is worse than Chamberlain. It's a freakin' white flag.

Vinny said...

Turn off the radio and the internet and read some books.

Marshall Art said...

C'mon, Vinny. Your last implies my sources are not equal to yours. I think it's simply a matter of my not reading the same books as you've read. Haven't I listed a few I've read already? As it happens, I'm awaiting delivery of Michael Yon's book regarding the war in Iraq. It doesn't matter from where the info comes, but whether the source is reliable and objective. You think because your sources are in book form that they are unassailable? Y'know the problem with going to the bookstore (or library) is the amount of possibilities. There are books to satisfy every position, so how is that different, or more reliable than any other source?

Cameron said...

have to deal with the difficult task of keeping Saddam bottled up... Saddam was a bad guy but he was contained

No he wasn't. He was still getting arms from multiple sources. In fact, he was quite sure that through his bribes to the Security Council most if not all of the UN sanctions were soon to be lifted.

his regime was a counterweight to the bad guys in Iran.

So that makes him ok? The old "enemy of my enemy" thing again? This is an ironic argument because during the early days of the war it went more like, "Saddam's only a threat because we gave him his weapons". Now the tactic has changed to, "we should have kept him propped up because he was a counterweight." So I take it we're back on board with the policy of every president since WWII of pitting them against each other, all in the name of stability. Haven't we been told that it's that policy that made it okay to blow up our buildings? Isn't that why we deserved 9/11?

It is true that fewer people are dying in Iraq since the surge, but it is hard for me to think of that as progress when I compare it to where things stood before we invaded.

You mean like the hundreds of thousands of tortures and murders? The truckloads of people taken to the desert and shot? The countless people that just disappeared? Yeah, it was all sunshine and roses under Saddam.

Vinny said...

So that makes him ok?

It has nothing to to with whether he was OK. It is a question of whether we had any reasonable prospect of gaining anything worth thousands of American soldiers' lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. No one gave a damn about those poor oppressed Iraqis before we went in there. Pardon me if I am not impressed by the crocodile tears being shed for them now.

Vinny said...

Your last implies my sources are not equal to yours.

I hate to break this to you, but they're not.

You cite Michael Medved and Sandy Rios, but you'll never see me citing talk show hosts from AirAmerica Radio. I listen to them but I recognize their biases and I look into things for myself to see whether what they are saying lines up with the facts. You will never see me citing letters to the editor in Investors Business Daily unless I have some good reason to think that the letter writer has some particular expertise.

You don't even want to read stuff written by the people on the inside that know what happened. You'd rather cite some right wing website that confirms what you already believe.

Marshall Art said...

Nice try, Vinny. But I don't cite the hosts, but the people they interview or the sources they relate to their audiences. Sure, now and again I might mention something one of them may have said, but unless there's something to back it up, I don't tend to use it as my sole argument. Some of the radio hosts actually talk to insiders as well. So it's simply a matter of not necessarily dealing with the same sources as you but not so much that my sources are less worthy than yours. I know you'd like to think yours are superior, everyone does. But that doesn't make it so.

Les said...

"...everyone does."

Including Marshall Art.

Vinny said...

Sandy Rios gave a list of accomplishments at the end of a segment of her radio show, and when I find it I'll present her list. In light of these and other examples, it's truly a wonder to hear anyone pronounce that we are losing.

Do you recall writing this?

Vinny said...

There is also the time you cited the the letter to the editor in a post titled It Ain't What I've Been Told . I incorrectly described this as a letter to the editor of IBD when in fact the letter refers to an editorial in IBD. I am guessing the letter was to the Daily Herald.

You had not read the editorial but you were persuaded that it was "likely a more reasoned observation than we are accustomed to hearing from naysayers in this country." In essence, you are assuming the validity of the letter writer's opinion about the IBD's opinion and I cannot see any basis for this other than the fact that you like the letter writer's opinion. This does not demonstrate that you think critically about your sources.

Marshall Art said...

""...everyone does."

Including Marshall Art."


That's what "everyone does" means, Les, unless you merely keeping with the theme of the post and stating the obvious.

Marshall Art said...

"Do you recall writing this?"

Yes I do, Vinny. What's your point? I failed to come up with the list. For some reason that show wasn't archived. Culture Campaign archived a number of Sandy's shows, but they only archive what WYLL sends them. I never looked at WYLL. If you insist, I'll go ahead and take up the search once more.

Marshall Art said...

"In essence, you are assuming the validity of the letter writer's opinion about the IBD's opinion and I cannot see any basis for this other than the fact that you like the letter writer's opinion."

If you say so. I was more concerned with the notion that world opinion is not as bad as how the left continually whines, but more importantly, that even good world opinion is not a legitimate basis for the creation of our own policies. At the same time, I see no reason why I should have questioned the character of the letter writer since what he wrote I believe to be true anyhow. It's not the first time I've heard nice things being said of us by foreign leaders. There's a quote by Brown that detractors are free to investigate for validity. So the real essence of that post and my comments within it is that it was a rebuttal to the lefty whining about world opinion being so starkly negative. The writer provided my support for me and you, or anyone else, was free to try to contradict it.

Vinny said...

It doesn’t constitute a rebuttal unless you have some reason to believe that the guy knows what he is talking about. I am sure I could find plenty of contrary letters to the editor in the same newspaper, but I would not expect you or anyone else to view them as anything more than the writer’s opinion on the topic. I would want to know the facts upon which the opinion was based.

The reason that we are in Iraq today is that Bush just accepted the opinions of his advisors about Saddam’s WMD and connections to Al Queda. If he had asked to see the factual basis for those opinions, he would have found out that it was a pile of crap, but he never questioned anything because his advisors were telling him what he believed to be true anyhow.

Les said...

"That's what 'everyone does' means..."

Just wanted to make sure you're including yourself in that statement, Art. Your claims of irrefutability over the years have been at times both tiresome and annoying, and it's refreshing to see you make an admission that your arguments are, in fact, often based on sources rife with someone else's opinions from time to time. Thanks for complying.

Vinny said...

What's your point?

The point is that you are citing Sandy Rios as your source. Moreover, you aren't even citing some fact that Rios asserted. You are citing the fact that Rios cited some unidentified facts as if the mere facts that she claims they exist is somehow persuasive.

Suppose I were to write something like the following: "It's amazing that anyone can think that Bush is doing a good job considering what Michael Moore said in his last movie." You would blow a gasket and I wouldn't blame you.

BTW, I just picked up Miniter's book from the library and I am taking a look at it now. I wanted to see how it compares to the other things I have been reading.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

It's not the guy's letter, but the IBD piece to which he refers. I hardly think it likely that anyone would cite something so easily checked.

In addition, I was not using Rios as my source, but relating the info from the source she was using. It was that source that I didn't recall and hoped to find. What reason do you have for suspecting that she would deliberately speak falsehoods to her listeners? It is true that folks like to hear that which validates their beliefs, but that doesn't mean that someone like Rios would get away with outright lies, particularly on a Christian radio station. Her listeners would have departed long ago. Perhaps it's different for liberal radio hosts.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

Did you have any particular "claims of irrefutability" in mind?

Vinny said...

Rios was flat out wrong about the Constitution but you defended her because she meant well. The problem isn't that she intentionally speaks falsehoods (at least I don't think she does). The problem is that she, like you, uncritically accepts anything that confirms her preconceptions.

Les said...

"Did you have any particular 'claims of irrefutability' in mind?"

Sure. Your whole shtick involves four key elements:

1. the total dismissal and/or avoidance of opinions that don't jive with yours

2. the presentation of "evidence" that consists of the opinions of others who think like you

3. a disparaging condemnation (sometimes personal) of liberalism

4. a proclamation of victory

Just go back and read the first couple paragraphs of your "So now what?" post. Pretty indicative of the Marshall Art I've become familiar with both here and elsewhere over the years. You use your own opinions of what constitutes truth as the starting point in your arguments, and stubbornly refuse to allow other points of view to even register with you (even though you claim otherwise), thus allowing you to declare you've been right all along because no one can convince you you're not. Well, guess what, Art? I could spend the next twenty years of my life trying to convince Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he's wrong about Israel, and odds are he's gonna tell me to go pound sand because his beliefs are irrefutable in his own mind. Doesn't mean he's right, just means he thinks he's right. Kinda like you.

Marshall Art said...

"Rios was flat out wrong about the Constitution but you defended her because she meant well."

Still working on this one, Vinny. The point put to her was that the Constitution determined that blacks are only 3/5 of a person. She denied that and that is what I'm trying to determine through my study of the issue. I conceded the follow-up regarding Dred Scott, though I may review that as well just for the sake of knowing.

In the meantime, I think it's a fair statement that should the Constitution have counted slaves as individual persons for the sake of apportioning reps, that would not have made them persons in the eyes of those who owned them. Thus, with that in mind, the Constitutional criteria wasn't what determined their personhood. However, that's as far as I've gotten so far. Still hashing out the 18th century writing.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

Rather cheeky to talk about a guy's shtick.

1. Am I to deny my own opinions in favor of my opponent's simply because my opponnent states them? Opinions are rather subjective at the start, but one needs something substantial to change the opinion of another. Haven't seen a whole lot of that.

2. Who doesn't? But in fairness, I tend to present arguments more than evidence since opinions aren't always supportable by hard evidence as are facts. But where I present the arguments of others, evidence may or may not be present within.

3. Liberalism, as the word is commonly used today, deserves condemnation. It's unfortunate for those like yourself who proudly wear the liberal label, for I'm certain you mean well and are generally of a decent sort, but your perspective allows for too much that harms rather than helps.

4. Where applicable. Why not? What's more disconcerting is when the vanquished fall away unwilling to acknowledge their defeat. There have been no obvious concessions by either side in debates at this here blog. I wouldn't stand on point 4, if I were you.

Your use of the "So Now What?" post does little to help your case. In that particular piece, I was, uh, stating the obvious, that no one who attempted to do so had brought up anything that wasn't subjective and wishful thinking to counter my argument regarding the beginning of life and personhood. All of my arguments in that debate were grounded in scientific fact and the logical conclusions that are drawn from those facts. Thus, my bold victory dance was entirely justified. In fact, upon re-reading that post, I feel compelled to dance yet again. Maestro, if you please!

Vinny said...

Nice try, but Rios' assertion that the Apportionment Clause was found in the Dred Scott decision rather than the Constitution was not a follow up to some other point that she was making. It was her entire reason for disagreeing with the caller's comment. The way that you are trying to split hairs between "only three fifths" and "at least three fifths" in order to give her some wiggle room just demonstrates how unlikely it is that any of Rios' listeners will ever call her on any of her mistakes.

Les said...

1. You don't have to jump onboard whenever someone offers something new to ponder, but it would be nice if you'd at the very least ponder it to begin with. I get the impression you don't. Or, if you do, you reject it anyways.

2. If you're willing to admit you're simply stating your opinions, then why are you always so thoroughly convinced you're right? Why aren't you at least willing to acknowledge other ideas might work? This is one of the more frustrating things about folks like yourself, Art. You're just stubborn.

3. If you can show me one example where my perspective "allows" for more harm than good, I'd be shocked. And for the record, odds are we're miles apart on what YOU consider "harm".

4. You'll have to point out which "vanquished" you're referring to here. That said, I agree there's nothing wrong with claiming victory - but only when victory has, in fact, been attained. It's kinda funny sometimes watching you do your own version of "Mission Accomplished".

And your analysis of your "So now what?" commentary is laughable. Your conclusions in that post are simply your own interpretations of the same data everybody has access to. Nothing more. If the topic in question were as clear cut as you believe it to be, then this wedge issue wouldn't even exist and you know it. Problem is, you're convinced people like me have ulterior motives where abortion is concerned, although the simple fact that I have no vested interest in the subject clearly debunks such nonsense.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

Just took a quick check in here and I noticed a problem or two. First, my "splitting hairs" was after reviewing Article 1 Section 2 at your urging. It was not to give Rios a pass on anything. I was not even thinking of her when the thought occurred to me.

Secondly, I have to go back to your site and re-read the post to see how the conversation went down. Presently, I seem to recall that she was merely referring to the charge that the Constitution proclaimed blacks to be 3/5 a person, and that her reference to Dred Scott was that that decision used A1S2 to make that case. But hold that thought whilst I review.

Anonymous said...

Problem is, you're convinced people like me have ulterior motives where abortion is concerned, although the simple fact that I have no vested interest in the subject clearly debunks such nonsense.>>

That is a sad admission. If you should ever happen to be attacked by a group and no one comes to your rescue because you were a stranger to them, that might give you some idea of the cold, hard hearted attitude that compares to your admission. Mom2

Les said...

You've clearly missed the point of my comment, mom2. It's not that I don't CARE about the abortion issue - it's that I have no VESTED INTEREST in the subject, meaning I've never stood to gain or lose anything by an abortion being performed. Thus, my objectivity on the matter remains untarnished. As a consequence, I would have no reason to deliberately lean toward a pro-choice position due to any aforementioned ulterior motives. Hope this clears things up for you.

Vinny said...

Presently, I seem to recall that she was merely referring to the charge that the Constitution proclaimed blacks to be 3/5 a person, and that her reference to Dred Scott was that that decision used A1S2 to make that case.

That would certainly put Rios' comment in a better light. My recollection is that Justice Taney did not actually cite the Apportionment Clause, however, his opinion certainly embraced its spirit in that it relied on the Constitution's tolerance of slavery. I would still be annoyed by Rios asserting certainty on a subject where her grasp was tenuous at best, however, she might deserve more slack than I gave her.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

As I said over at your place, I think Rios is easily flustered these days. That doesn't excuse messing up the facts as a rule, but certainly to blow a point now and again isn't such a crime. I back her for her general sense of right/wrong and the fact that I do indeed agree with almost everything I've heard from her regarding same. I'm not so keen on checking her every word for accuracy as a result. I don't for those with whom I disagree either and for the record, prefer to stay as philosophical as possible as opposed to harping on specific words from specific people. Everyone errs now and then. I appreciate your gracious finish to your last.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

1. "...but it would be nice if you'd at the very least ponder it to begin with. I get the impression you don't. Or, if you do, you reject it anyways."

Only if the argument wasn't a closer. I do ponder before I reply, but I've heard most of it before, so it might seem that I'm ignoring the other viewpoint. A problem in the blogosphere.

2. "You're just stubborn."

I get that a lot. My opinions are generally those that have been time tested. I've adopted them because there is truth behind them that has not been refuted in practice. For example, I believe that Christianity is the ideal template for human behavior. The world would work perfectly if everyone adhered to Christian teachings. I believe this because the consequences of abiding and not abiding are so obvious and self-evident. Certainly there can be opinions opposed, but I haven't seen where those opinions can be backed up. Now that's a very general example and I could do a whole 'nother blog site just examining that POV. But I can't ignore what my eyes see and pretend things are otherwise.

3. Here's where I had hoped you and I had a better understanding of each other. When I denigrate liberalism, I speak in general terms. But, as an example, I did three posts on the downsides of homosexuality in an effort to explain why I oppose state sanctioned homosexual marriage. And the harm to our culture is being felt even now (refer to those posts for examples). So please bear in mind that sweeping statements do not take into account every single liberal or person who considers himself so in every situation.

4. Certainly in my "So What Now?" post the vanquished were all those who sought to convince me that there was some definitive point somewhere after fertilization/conception (choose your preferred word) when one becomes a person. It never happened at this blog and certainly not in that discussion.

So rather than laughable, my analysis was on the money. My point was and is that if there is no definitive point beyond conception that science can determine to be the beginning of "personhood", then we must acknowledge that one's personhood began the instant that person came into existence. It is the highroad, the noble position, the honorable way to consider the situation by standards that have existed forever. There IS no other way to view the situation that is not subjective, and selfishly so. I stand by that and will continue to, accusations of stubbornness or not, because all the data that everyone can see can NOT be interpreted otherwise without ignoring salient points. Thus, it's a wedge issue not because there are unknowns involved, but because there are those who want something out of it that they could not have if they were honest. Clear cut? It could not be any clearer.

The data has been there since time began. People only cared for the fun. Science exposed the data for all to see. People ignored it or distorted it so as not to interfere with the fun. This is the truth of it and people need to grow up and accept it.

Les said...

Ugh.

"My point was and is that if there is no definitive point beyond conception that science can determine to be the beginning of 'personhood', then we must acknowledge that one's personhood began the instant that person came into existence."

In the visible spectrum, what color occurs at 580 nanometers? What about at 590? 595? 610? 620? 625?

Marshall Art said...

One needn't split hairs as you think is necessary since there is NO point whatsoever at which science can defend as the beginning of personhood. Attachment to the uterine wall? Some point at which self-awareness begins? When blood flows? All subjective and not the result of any science whatsoever. When one looks at the entirety of human sexuality, there is no other honest conclusion that is logical.

Vinny said...

I think Rios gets flustered because, like many radio gabbers on both the left and right, she feels the need to assert everything she says with absolute certainty regardless of how much she really knows about the subject. This only works as long as the gabber can keep control of the conversation as Kevin James learned when he was filleted by Chris Matthews.

In my experience, people very rarely know as much as they think they know, so I try to check out as much as I can. I don’t like having smoke blown up my ass. I especially don’t like getting caught trying to blow smoke up someone else’s ass because I unquestioningly accepted something from a source just because it agreed with what I already thought.

Unfortunately Rios has the same problem you have: she accepts things from people who confirm the opinions she already holds without checking the sources. So what you are getting from her may be something she got from Medved who might have gotten it from Townhall who got it Limbaugh who got it from some politician with an axe to grind who got it from a committee report that was much more balanced then anyone down the line was likely to be.

I will say it again: THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE ARE IN IRAQ! The CIA started with raw data on WMD and Iraq/al Queda connections that was pretty thin. It then got filtered through Feith, Wolfowitz, and Libby, leaked to the newspapers, and then lifted from the papers by Cheney and Rice for presentation on the Sunday morning talk shows. By the time that it wound up in speeches by Bush to the American people and Powell to United Nations, it had acquired a degree of certainty that was completely unwarranted and unsupportable.

Marshall Art said...

Some say that WMDs was the tipping point, the item on the list of reasons for going that scared people most. It's the only point that hasn't panned out, except that we know Hussein coveted such weapons, that is, if the term means nukes. He did have other forms of WMDs because he's used them. But guess what? If Bush & Co felt the evidence was too weak to use as a point to consider, Hussein would likely still be in power, supporting terrorism and getting closer to acquiring nukes.

I don't care where you get your info. There's no way that I would believe that the 2nd and 3rd most powerful people in our government got their info soley from the regular media. That's something that doesn't need research to know is crap. "Geez! Did you read the Post? Call a freakin' news conference!!!" Uh uh. Ain't buyin' it. Please don't call me gullible after trying to sell that load.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

I just came across this at Pearls and Loadstones, ELAshley's blog and offer it here. It seems, whether she meant to or not, that Sandy was possibly quite correct after all, at least as far as her response to her caller's charge regarding the Constitution. Check it out and see what you think.

Vinny said...

There's no way that I would believe that the 2nd and 3rd most powerful people in our government got their info soley from the regular media.

I am not maintaining that it came solely from the media. I am saying that the information was filtered through several levels of people who were motivated to make the information about Iraq sound as threatening as possible because it fit their agenda. As a result, the caveats and contingencies that were present in the original CIA analysis ended up being completely lost and the case was presented as a "slam dunk" to the President of the United States and the American People.

And in fact, things were filtered through the media. The claim that Iraq sought aluminum tubes for centrifuges to enrich uranium was leaked by the Vice President's office to the New York Times. Then Cheney and Rice went on the Sunday morning talk shows and cited the New York Times story as support for his claim that Iraq was trying to acquire nuclear weapons. I admit that my characterization of the process was exaggerated for dramatic effect, but I think that it was only a mild exaggeration.

Les said...

"...there is NO point whatsoever at which science can defend as the beginning of personhood."

It's interesting how you and I use the exact same rationale to arrive at two remarkably different conclusions. I feel the lack of such definitive scientific evidence automatically means the state cannot outlaw this particular procedure, whereas you feel the same lack of evidence means a ban must be implemented because of an assumption of personhood.

Since I obliged you on your AT article post, I'd hoped you'd return the favor and oblige me on my color query. It might in some small way help you understand why I feel as I do about the legality of abortion.

Vinny said...

I think that Pearls and Loadstones is consistent with what we have discussed already. The Apportionment Clause was a compromise, but, as it turned out, the compromise really did not help the slaves' cause. The fact that the slave states were able to count their "property" as three fifths of a person gave them sufficient power that there was no way short of a civil war to get rid of the institution.

I don't doubt that the Framers who opposed slavery meant well. They sincerely believed that the three fifths compromise benefitted slaves. However, in hindsight I think it is clear that it did little to improve their lot.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

Your last seems to indicate you concede that the Constitution does not define blacks as 3/5 of a person as Sandy defended. Is this correct? If so, from this point we would have to move on to her remarks concerning the Dred Scott decision, for which I have nothing and concede your point there. She erred if your take is more accurate.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

I hope you took the quote you pasted in the manner I meant it. I didn't proof it and it should have read:

"...there is NO point whatsoever, aside from conception at which science can defend as the beginning of personhood."

Please rest assured that I am not attempting to move the goal posts. I would trust that you've read enough of my position to accept this slight change as a more accurate representation of my argument.

Would it be fair to say that your color analogy is to illustrate the difficulty in determining when one stage of development ends and the next begins? If this is so, then it further supports my position as any line of demarcation beyond fertilization will always carry the risk of killing a person.

But as to your amazement regarding the different paths from the same data, my point is that because there is no evidence to support another starting point for humanity, that logic, honor, righteousness, & nobility demands that we treat each mere zygote as a person and from that starting point, adjust our behavior to reflect that. That would include everything that surrounds the act of intercourse. What we might deny ourselves as a result is far less important than the life of another human.

But if there's something about your analogy that you feel I haven't yet picked up, say so and I'll drag my virtual ass to read all about the color spectrum.

Vinny said...

Vinny,

Your last seems to indicate you concede that the Constitution does not define blacks as 3/5 of a person as Sandy defended. Is this correct? If so, from this point we would have to move on to her remarks concerning the Dred Scott decision, for which I have nothing and concede your point there. She erred if your take is more accurate.


I am really not sure how to answer that. I don't think that the Framers thought that they were defining the relative humanity of African slaves. On the other hand, I think that such a definition can be reasonably inferred from the language that was agreed upon. It is not the only interpretation of that language, but I think it is a fair interpretation.

Les said...

"I hope you took the quote you pasted in the manner I meant it."

I did. And I had a feeling you'd make sure of that once you saw my response. No worries - we're on the same page.

"Would it be fair to say that your color analogy is to illustrate the difficulty in determining when one stage of development ends and the next begins?"

Of course. Yet where pro-lifers see the stages of development IN a person, pro-choicers see the stages of development INTO a person. That single point makes all the difference in the world where this issue is concerned, and while you might not be able to grasp why others don't see it the same way you do, you've got to realize they're probably thinking the same thing about you.

Marshall Art said...

"...and while you might not be able to grasp why others don't see it the same way you do, you've got to realize they're probably thinking the same thing about you."

Oh, I understand why pro-choicers choose to look at it as they do. I just don't understand why they think the rest of us should be expected to buy it. As I said, everything about the issue of human sexuality suggests the product of intercourse is a person. There is no objective way to say otherwise. There are only attempts to separate what it is into what they'd prefer it is. In the meantime, lives hang in the balance. All arguments, such as your color spectrum analogy, are simply attempts to avoid the facts in order to provide justification for engaging in the act for the sake of the pleasure derived. I don't deny the lure of such pleasure. It is a strong urge to be sure. I simply won't pretend that any of the pro-choice arguments are more than the ruses they are in order to allow my partaking in the act. There's far too much at stake. Those who feel that doing the nasty is just so important for their lifespan and well-being need to find a way to insure that true contraception is possible or else man up and either control themselves or make sure they can provide for the Blessed event the actions they will take are designed to bring about.

Les said...

"...pro-choicers choose to look at it..."

"Choose" to look at it? Gimme a freakin' break. Your implication is that pro-choicers know life begins at conception yet "choose" to ignore it out of their own selfish convenience. If that's how you really feel, then intent comes into play, and you're doing nothing more than calling millions of people murderers.

We're done.

Marshall Art said...

"...you're doing nothing more than calling millions of people murderers."

Actually, I more closely compare them to Klansmen, Nazis, radical Islamists or anyone else who dismisses the humanity of another for lame reasons. But as I do indeed consider all those aborted to have been persons, people, human beings, my brothers and sisters in Christ, then yeah, perhaps the term "murder" is appropriate. Do you really expect me to sugar coat something so f**kin' serious? I'm sorry you're aghast! If it means we're done, so be it. I don't apologize for standing up for righteousness and the human beings who suffer from the lack of it.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

"Your implication is that pro-choicers know life begins at conception yet "choose" to ignore it out of their own selfish convenience."

Les.

It is not an implication. It is the truth. Ignore the truth at your own peril.

What you CHOOSE to refer to as opinion has been DETERMINED to be a scientific fact by about 98% of the world's leading experts and scientists, if not all of them. The FACT that life begins at conception is no longer part of the debate.

Those who stubbornly continue to cling to the old argument that a fetus is not a living human, and use that argument as an excuse to continue to kill pre-born babies are absolutely murderers, and the blood of millions of pre-born infants are on their hands as well as on those who continue to insist abortion is not murder.

And if you say you are against abortion but in favor of the "woman's right to choose", you are a liar.

If you, Les, really believe the myth that abortion is not murder, you are an accessory to, during, and after the fact. United States law may be on your side for now, but you and those who argue in favor of abortion stand guilty of murder in the eyes of God.

Mortal law is finite. God's law never changes. Be careful the stance you take. God is not mocked, and your sins will find you out.

Marshall Art said...

Mark,

To clarify, some hang their argument on the distinction of "personhood" and when it begins. They will state that it might be human but not yet a person, or words to that effect. Naturally, I dismiss that argument as I do most, if not all, pro-abort arguments. I just can't see how such a conclusion can be made when the facts are that the act of intercourse is designed for procreation and thus the product of that act must indeed be another person. They don't explain how it can be seen in any other light without personal desire coming into play. There certainly isn't any science behind it.

Now Les may never return. His final comment may mean the topic or my blog entirely. I hope the latter is not the case because he's a good guy and we've debated for quite a long time. He's generally good at it without being goofy and despite our differences I consider his visits a true plus. (He's not the only one, but I don't get that many visitors who comment) But I simply won't play games with this issue as it involves innocent life.