2 of 3
2
Condemning free speech
Posted: 21 September 2007 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
Rocinante - 21 September 2007 04:39 PM

1.) I’m not a conservative.

I didn’t say you were. I pointed out the obvious comparison.

Rocinante - 21 September 2007 04:39 PM

2.)  I would expect an Administrator associated with a site allegedly devoted to logical thinking to be above resorting to Tu Quoque fallacies.

It’s only a Tu Quoque if I actually made the statement you claim I did. But I didn’t.

And while the Tu Quoque may be fallacious in the sense that it does not defeat the argument presented, what it does is to claim at least that the person making the argument is, by his own lights, a hypocrite.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2007 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1071
Joined  2007-06-20

I’m sorry, but I just can’t debate politics with liberals.  It’s too frustrating trying to nail them down on positions. 

These were the same people who said absolutely nothing when President Bill Clinton engaged in a nearly 8-year off-an-on bombing campaign of Iraq (and other nations) with no Congressional approval.  (By the way, it was President Bill Clinton who signed into law the official policy of the U.S. government was regime change in Iraq, but hey, facts be damned!) 

These are the same people who said absolutely nothing when the Clinton Administration engaged in even more invasive and indiscriminate domestic surveillance programs while he was in office.  (The New York Times called it a “necessity” back then!  Do you think they call it that now?)

These are the same people who screamed President Bush should listen to his military generals in regards to Iraq.  And the instant he does, the generals are slandered, libeled and defamed by the same liberals!

These are the same people who will rightfully take a stand when Christians try to impose their religion on the masses, but are deafly silent when Muslims try to do the same thing! 

Sorry, but the headache I get from attempting to have rational, logical discussions on these topics with liberals and their constant resorting to name-calling and other logical fallacies means that I must stop.  I should have known better to even try.  Life is too short for the hassles involved.

 Signature 

There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

—James Madison

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2007 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1161
Joined  2007-07-16
Rocinante - 21 September 2007 04:17 PM

They love diversity in everything except in thought and opinion!

First off, I am no admirer of Clinton. I am in agreement with Chomsky that every President since Truman (and beyond) should have faced criminal charges.

Personally, I am not a post-modernist. I don’t think that the truth is relative. I think one side is right and one side is wrong (or both are wrong).

2+2=4

Any other conclusion is simply wrong.

It’s not a matter of loving or respecting the diversity of thoughts and opinions. I am interpetting “thoughts and opinions” as euphemisms for truth because your statement implies that “Liberals” feel only they are right and therefore dont love the diversity of the thoughts and opinions of non-liberals.

On particular issues - not all because there are some things I am uncertain of but, for those things I am certain of I do not “love” the thoughts and opinions of differing views.

I think I am right, which is why I took the path I did. I certainly would not intentionally hold views that I know or feel to be wrong. I think those who differ from my opinion are wrong (though I recognize there is some gray where with some people we agree on some things but not all). I do not love or respect their thoughts and opinions just like I dont love or respect the notion that 2+2=5. However, if by some chance someone is able to prove otherwise I will change my “thought and opinion.” Untill then I will continue to go with what I know and feel to be right.

There is a fundamental truth here to this certain issue and I think it trivializes and demeans that truth to reduce it to a matter of respecting or “loving” the so-called diversity of thoughts and opinions of others. The reality of this war is not some thought or opinion. It has actual consequences. The hundreds of thousands dead, the wounded, displaced, physically and emotionally scarred, the embittered, the suffering is not a thought and opinion and it should not be reduced to such.

To be aware of those consequences and the deceptions practiced to keep the continuation of the war ought to lead folks to a clear and firm position, not fence stratteling under the false banner of respecting the diversity of thoughts and opinions; simply put, the victims to our aggression don’t appreciate it. They want us to stop ASAP and we should. Stopping the slaughter and suffering of others or the wasting of resources is not and should not be trivialized to a matter of thought and opinions.

 Signature 

“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2007 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2007-07-24

I hope you’re right about what this represents. My fear is that the left will always be kept down, and the monied interests will ensure that right-wing think tanks are always funded and always powerful. Time will tell.

Don’t hope I’m right here. In the 1970s, the conservative movement preached civil liberties, equal opportunities, fiscal prudence, small government, and realist foreign policy. Then it came to power and screwed the poor and middle class, ran massive deficits, increased state surveillance powers, and ran a foreign policy based on idealistic delusions of American greatness.

The same thing is going to happen to the left, just as it did in the 1960s. Johnson promised to end poverty; he instead created stagflation. The saying later on was, “They told me that if I voted for Goldwater, there would be race riots and we’d be stuck in an endless war in Southeast Asia. And they were right - I voted for Goldwater, and there were race riots and we got stuck in an endless war in Southeast Asia.”

Sure, now the American left promises universal health care, civil liberties, civil rights, and redirecting money from war to fighting poverty. None of that is going to happen. What is going to happen instead is that the Democrats will start to appeal to Dominionists to diversify their support base. Some Dominionists, such as Jim Wallis and Amy Sullivan, are basically telling the Democrats that they should be more religious because there are a lot of economically left-wing Evangelists - just like Billy Graham told the Republicans a lot of Evangelicals were economically right-wing. So far the Democrats seem to be swallowing it. Similarly, echoing the Republicans’ acceptance of racist Dixiecrats following the Democrats’ embrace of civil rights, the Democrats seem content to accept anti-immigrant people following the Republicans’ increasingly liberal stances on immigration. So much for civil rights.

Now, civil liberties have always been a lip service issue. Since 1945, the state of civil liberties in the US has worsened continuously, with a break in the 1970s following Watergate. The left in the US is divided into two parts: those who’re for civil liberties only as long as the Republicans are violating them, and those who don’t matter. Many liberal activists belong to both groups, but very few if any belong to neither.

Redirecting money away from war won’t happen. The most liberal person in the US who is at all concerned with foreign policy is Hillary Clinton and who has any chance of ever gaining power is Hillary Clinton. The rest don’t have a clue. If any of them ever discovers war is the one period of time it’s considered okay to raise taxes in, the US will begin adopting a foreign policy that makes Bush’s look dovish. In general, reducing any spending and raising any revenue is unpopular; the only exceptions are trivial things, like the $16 billion a year tax increase Clinton and Obama are proposing to pay for a $100 billion a year health care scheme. It’s a lot easier to just run deficits to pay for welfare than to cut defense or raise taxes.

Finally, universal health care may happen, but if the current crop of leftists has any say in it, it’ll stink. This is for a variety of reasons:
- There’s incredible inertia in favor of the current system. Nobody likes it, but nobody else has proposed something that everyone can agree on. So change will likely be very incremental, slowly reducing the number of uninsured, without really reducing costs.
- The most familiar alternative to Americans, Canada’s single-payer system, isn’t very good.
- Even Canada’s system wasn’t imposed from above, but rather began on the provincial level, and spread because it was better than the existing system. In the US it can’t happen, because US states are weaker than Canadian provinces.
- Americans are blocked on Europe, where the really good systems can be found. As the populist left always uses nationalist rhetoric in order to deflect accusations of disloyalty, I don’t expect any liberal who matters to rebut Romney’s Europhobia.

The correct way of achieving universal health care in the US is passing a law that says a state may pursue its own health insurance program, and if it achieves coverage at least as good as Medicare and Medicaid, its residents will be exempt from federal taxes going to health care, which work out to 2.9% out of FICA and 3.5% out of the income tax. However, in the short run it robs the federal government of revenue in a way that isn’t obviously popular, unlike a straight tax cut of spending increase. In addition, if New York or California uses this program to insure its entire population for $3,500 per person, the President and Congress won’t get the credit.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2007 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

Rocinate, in the words of the immortal John McEnroe, you can’t be serious!

What is the point of your argument about Clinton’s use of the military? Do you seriously suggest that there’s a comparison to the current fiasco? If so, on what basis?

Are you really serious about Clinton being more invasive on personal life than Bush? You make a statement like that, but on what basis? If it was true, what would be the need for the so-called Patriot Act?

It would be good indeed had Bush listened to his previous generals. When they didn’t agree with him, he fired them. Petraeus was a set-up. How else do you explain Bush’s trumpeting his name for months? Bush is as transparent as a five-year-old who is “too sick” to go to the doctor. At some point, reason and judgment has to take over.

Look, if you want to be a conservative that’s one thing, but to continue to support this jackass—- you cannot be serious!

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2007 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

Back on the original topic, I do think it’s bizarre to imagine a house of congress voicing an official opinion on a bit of political speech. Perhaps I’m just naive, and this sort of thing happens all the time. But regardless of which side they are aiming at, PLaClair is absolutley correct that giving official legislative opinions on the politicla speech of others cannot but have a chilling effects on speech. In what way is it within the rights or responsibility of congress to express approval or disapproval of the political opinions of a gorup of private citizens? I cannot imagine a legitimate constitutional argument for this sort of thing. No, it probably doesn’t strike at civil liberties with the severity of something like warrantless wiretapping or the Patriot Act, but it still represents an act by government that is, in my opinion, purely political and way beyond the constitutionally legitimate function of the body.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 September 2007 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2007-07-24

I don’t know what “this” and “all the time” mean, but it’s routine for Congress to pass resolutions condemning, praising, apologizing for, or urging something. It’s generally political, but politics always is.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

Alon, I don’t think there’s much precedent for this. Can you cite some instances that would prove me wrong?

I’d be concerned just the same, but at least would have a better context to consider the issue.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 01:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2007-07-24

The one I remember is the resolution condemning Newdow vs. Congress, the court decision that temporarily struck the words “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
PLaClair - 22 September 2007 12:03 AM

Alon, I don’t think there’s much precedent for this. Can you cite some instances that would prove me wrong?

I’d be concerned just the same, but at least would have a better context to consider the issue.

Well, you can do a quick search of congressional resolutions HERE. I did a search on the last ten congresses (101-110) on the word “condemning” and got 651 resolutions, or an average of more than sixty per year. There are some repetitions, and most of them weren’t about speech. But this is the sort of thing the Congress does all the time.  It doesn’t cost them anything except a few hours and a little paperwork. I’d put it up there in importance with the Congress’s penchant for declaring that such-and-so is “Hot dog appreciation day”. That’s not to say I agree with the sentiment, obviously, just to say that I take it as political theater.

Here are some excerpts from that long list; I’ve chosen ones mostly about freedom of expression:


Condemning bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and Americans from South Asia in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York City, New York, and Washington,... (Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House)[H.CON.RES.227.RFS ]

Condemning Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his anti-American remarks at the September 20, 2006, United Nations General Assembly meeting. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.1033.IH ]

Condemning the statements of former Education Secretary William J. Bennett. (Introduced in Senate)[S.RES.262.IS ]

Condemning religiously intolerant remarks and calling on the President to clearly censure and reassign Lieutenant General Boykin for his religiously intolerant remarks. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.419.IH ]

Condemning the posting on the Internet of video and pictures of the murder of Daniel Pearl and calling on such video and pictures to be removed immediately. (Agreed to by Senate)[S.RES.351.ATS ]

Condemning the use of photographs of military caskets and funerals for partisan political and fundraising purposes. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.914.IH ]

Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh-Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. (Introduced in Senate)[S.CON.RES.74.IS ]

Condemning all acts of discrimination and violence and supporting the No Room for Racism campaign. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.345.IH ]

Condemning the visit of Louis Farrakhan to Libya, Iran, and Iraq and urging the President to take appropriate action to determine if such visits and actions resulting from agreements… (Introduced in House)[H.RES.374.IH ]

Condemning the high incidence of police brutality in the United States. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.122.IH ]

Condemning the National Rifle Association for holding its annual convention on the anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.407.IH ]

Condemning the involvement of women in suicide bombings. (Agreed to by Senate)[S.RES.229.ATS ]

Condemning the Art Institute of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for permitting the display of an exhibit that encourages disrespect for the flag of the United… (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.72.IH ]

Condemning all prejudice against Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the United States, and supporting political and civic participation by these persons throughout the United States. (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.191.IH ]

Condemning flag burning and reaffirming the Bill of Rights. (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.339.IH ]

Condemning inflammatory statements made by Yassir Arafat relating to certain terrorist activities. (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.287.IH ]

To express the sense of the House of Representatives condemning the racist, anti-Catholic, and anti-Semitic speech given by a senior representative of the Nation of Islam and all manifestations… (Introduced in House)[H.RES.343.IH ]

Condemning the death sentence issued against British author Salman Rushdie by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran and calling for its immediate repudiation. (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.249.IH ]

Condemning the discriminatory practices prevalent at Bob Jones University. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.428.IH ]

Condemning the racist and anti-Semitic views of the Reverend Al Sharpton (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.270.IH ]

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

So clearly it’s not unusual. I still think when directed at private citizens, individually or in groups, it’s bizarre for Congress to pass even symbolic measures expressing official government displeasure with political speech. But, I guess it’s easier thn actually legislating!  rolleyes

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1071
Joined  2007-06-20
PLaClair - 21 September 2007 11:27 PM

Rocinate…
Are you really serious about Clinton being more invasive on personal life than Bush? You make a statement like that, but on what basis? If it was true, what would be the need for the so-called Patriot Act?

I must be a glutton for dealing with nonsense. 

Sigh.  Talking with a liberal about history is like talking with a creationist about biology. 

All emphasis added in the following:

January 14, 2006—THE controversy follow ing revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies have monitored suspected terrorist-related communications since 9/11 reflects a severe case of selective amnesia by The New York Times. It certainly didn’t show the same outrage when a much more invasive and indiscriminate domestic surveillance program came to light during the Clinton administration.

Then, it was Echelon, a National Security Agency program. Its mission, Steve Kroft noted on “60 Minutes,” was “to eavesdrop on enemies of the state: foreign countries, terrorist groups and drug cartels. But in the process, Echelon’s computers capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world.”

The Times’ news story on the revelations stated calmly: “Few dispute the necessity of a system like Echelon to apprehend foreign spies, drug traffickers and terrorists.”

Of course, that was on May 27, 1999, and Bill Clinton ? not George W. Bush ? was president.

Despite the Times’ reluctance to emphasize privacy concerns, one of its sources in that same article, Patrick Poole, a lecturer in government and economics at Bannockburn College in Franklin, Tenn., had already done a study showing that the program had been abused.

“Echelon is also being used for purposes well outside its original mission,” Poole wrote. “The regular discovery of domestic surveillance targeted at American civilians for reasons of ‘unpopular’ political affiliation or for no probable cause at all . . . What was once designed to target a select list of communist countries and terrorist states is now indiscriminately directed against virtually every citizen in the world.”

The current controversy follows a Times report that, since 9/11, U.S. intelligence agencies are eavesdropping at any time on up to 500 Americans suspected of communicating with terrorists.

But under Echelon, the Clinton administration was spying on just about everyone. “The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has created a global spy system, codename Echelon, which captures and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax, e-mail and telex message sent anywhere in the world,” wrote Poole.

[...]“Factual. Absolutely fact. No legend here,” answered Frost.

Even as the Times defended Echelon as “a necessity” in 1999, evidence already existed that the Clintonites had misused electronic surveillance for political purposes. Intelligence officials told Insight magazine in 1997 that they had spied on a 1993 conference of Asian and Pacific world leaders in Seattle hosted by Clinton ? and some of that information was passed on to big Democratic corporate donors for use against their competitors.

“The only reason it has come to light is because of concerns raised by high-level sources within federal law-enforcement and intelligence circles,” wrote Insight, “that the operation was compromised by politicians ? including mid- and senior-level White House aides ? either on behalf of or in support of President Clinton and major donor-friends who helped him and the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, raise money.”

So, during the Clinton administration, evidence existed that:

* An invasive, extensive domestic eavesdropping program was aimed at every U.S. citizen;

* intelligence agencies were using allies to circumvent constitutional restrictions;

* and the administration was selling at least some secret intelligence for political donations.

These revelations were met by The New York Times by the sound of one hand clapping. Now, reports that the Bush administration approved electronic eavesdropping, strictly limited communications of a relative handful of suspected terrorists, have the Times in a frenzy.

PLaClair - 21 September 2007 11:27 PM

Look, if you want to be a conservative that’s one thing…

Arghh!  There’s that pounding in my temples again!  Can’t anyone see why I get a headache?  It’s like dealing with creationists (but at least they are consistent in their views.  They don’t suddenly change their tune when a different political party gets in the WHite House like liberals do!)  I have clearly said, and I am quoting myself here, “I’m not a conservative.”  To any rational human being, these 4 words should be enough to get the point across! 

OK, that’s it!  I’ve got to take a break from talking politics with those on the left.  I’d get further talking biology with creationsits!

 Signature 

There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

—James Madison

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

First, I suggest everyone go back and read the damned resolution.  It didn’t even mention Move On.  It was a stupid ploy by the Republicans.  They asked for general agreement that none of the SENATORS would say nasty things about the general or the occupation.  There was no way anyone could vote against it since it was a variation of the “when did you stop beating your wife” type of statement.  The whole thing is dumb and discussing it is a waste of time.

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14

Er, not to get this thread too far off topic, but where is this information from, Rocinante? All I get is some site I’ve never heard of called “floppingaces”. From a quick glance at their stories they appear to be wingnuts, of the most extreme Fox News variety. Further, their link appears to link to a NYPost editorial ... the NYPost being a rag of a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, about as credible on Clinton as Fox News. And to top all that, the link is broken. I think if you’re going to be on such a high-horse about so-called “liberals” you really ought to start with some more credible sources.

... and to top it off, the NYPost editorial is a Tu Quoque fallacy, dismissing the attack on Bush’s eavesdropping by saying that Clinton did eavesdropping too. I’d have thought that was irrelevant.

Also, if the NYPost was in fact right, presumably there would have been no need for the Patriot Act at all. Hmmm ... not very credible.

[ Edited: 22 September 2007 04:27 PM by dougsmith ]
 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 September 2007 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2007-07-24

To say nothing of the fact that while partisan Democrats may not have cared about Clinton’s eavesdropping, civil libertarian activists certainly did. Online privacy organizations, like the EFF, have been railing against surveillance for many years.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2