Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Not So Alternative Reality

h/t Tom Tomorrow

Friday, August 24, 2007

McIlheran is a Traitor

It's time Patrick McIlheran and the rest of his conservative ilk are arrested and charges of war crimes brought against them. This needs to be done because their support of the illegal conflict in Iraq and their efforts at dividing the populace are treasonous.

McIlheran claims the left is guilty for genocide in Vietnam. This is, of course, a lie. Using this lie, McIlheran ignores the illegality of having entered into the conflict in Iraq and who is to blame for it, and says that failure to continue this illegal conflict will be the fault of the left - the guilt of genocide he spouts - when in fact the guilt lies with this administration and those who have lied to the American populace.

Oh, did I say I'm pissed off, too? The reason for my anger is a blog post by McIlheran titled "You Want to Talk Vietnam?" As I stated above, he makes the dubious claim that it was the left's fault for the outcome in Vietnam and if we fail to follow through in Iraq, the same result will occur. What pisses me off is his history about the Vietnam conflict is so wrong. And, I'm pissed off because of his lame attempt to assuage his own guilt about supporting murder in Iraq by lying about Vietnam.

First of all, the anti-war movement was not merely a left-wing phenomenon. I remember family members who were decidely conservative who opposed the conflict. Surely there were others. By 1968, the furor over the war blossomed with the revelations of My Lai. Opposition to the war became a national concern. In fact, it was Richard Nixon's claims that he would bring about "Peace With Honor" that helped him win the presidency.

We now know this was a lie. Nixon lied and escalated the war. This seems to be a habit of conservatives. Their actions can't stand up to public scrutiny, so they lie. Mr. Disengenuous claims Cambodia was ceded to the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge by American withdrawal and the result was genocide. This is hogwash. It was the bombing of Cambodia in which over 2.5 million tons of bombs were dropped (more than were dropped by the Allies in WWII) and kept secret from the American people that spurred the rise of the Khmer Rouge along with an American-supported coup of Prince Sihanouk.

It is a fallacy that withdrawal of support of the ARVN (South Vietnamese army) caused it to fail in the field. The ARVN was never able to take on the North successfully. It was overun with graft and badly-led troops. It's performance was not improving and a prolonged effort by American forces would have made no difference.

The genocide that occurred was not brought on by American withdrawal, it was brought on by American arrogance. That's why McIlheran and the like are traitors to this country. It's his sort of misleading commentary that, 35+ years ago mislead enough good people to believe that 20 million gallons of herbicides dropped on South Vietnam (our ostensible ally) was a necessary thing to combat communism. It's his sort of commentary that supported the deaths of more than 5 million people, civilian and military.

It's the McIlheran's of the world who are responsible for most of the death and mayhem. They are responsible for every death in Iraq. They continue to lie about al-Qaeda and Iraq when the proof is that al-Qaeda came to Iraq to kill Americans. Not the other way around. They continue to spread the lies this administration so glibly perpetuates. I have no more use for them, even as sometime targets for fun.

McIlheran is right in one regard. This Iraq conflict does share similarities with the conflict in Vietnam. Innocents are being killed. So much for the beacon of light American democracy is supposed to be. So much for compassionate conservatism.

(Edited not for content, but so it might read better. I had a 7-month old in my arms for the initial draft.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Limpy Mouths Off Again

On the August 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh played audio clips from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) August 20 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and labeled her position on Iraq "the 'no onions' strategy from the woman with the testicle lockbox." As Media Matters for America documented, Limbaugh has used the expression "testicle lockbox" on numerous occasions while discussing Clinton.

Interesting comment from the man who wishes he had some ... as well as his ditto herd.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No More Nanny State

I was speaking with my father-in-law the other day about the so called "nanny state." The discussion arose from an article I had been reading in the local newspaper about the proposal to make all bars and restaurants in Wisconsin smoke-free. I recalled there had been a number of blog posts by conservatives friends in which they take Governor Doyle to task unkindly and, in general, rant about excessive government oversight. My father-in-law is fairly conservative (but a real nice guy) so I asked him what his view was.

Well, my father-in-law admitted he was no fan of cigarette smoke either, but, you know, it is their (cigarette enthusiasts) choice and besides, what about all the bars that would go out of business. I noted that he did not include restaurants as potential closings. We seemed to agree who wants to eat and inhale poison at the same time anyway?

Anyway, I came right out and said I was fully in favor of the ban for both restaurants AND bars. I explained I am the worst of the anti-smoking zealots, a former smoker and one who smoked on average one pack a day. I'm a former smoker who does not miss the telltale smell of smoke, the yellow fingertips, nor the accumulation of the following chemicals in his lungs (the list is actually longer, I just went with the popular ones):

Acetone (nail polish remover)
Ammonia (floor/toilet cleaner)
Arsenic (rat poison)
Carbon Monoxide
Formaldehyde (for preserving my youthful visage)
Methanol (rocket fuel)
Napthalene (moth balls)
Nitrous oxide phenols (disinfectants)
Toluene (paint thinner)

Back to bars ... alcohol and cigs, that's another story. Don't they go together like Sigmund and Freud, like Green Bay and Packers? We discussed the difficulty in seperating the cigarettes from the bar. Wouldn't it cause large ripples in Wisconsin's economy? I felt a moment of despair for the poor bar owners destined for bankrupcy. This was quickly extinguished by thoughts of those poor workers who must endure entire shifts filled with smoky air. Surely they can find other jobs, it was proposed, but then, I asked, why must their economic needs be held secondary to addiction?

And then my thoughts turned to reckless behavior and drunkeness. Why, one might ask? Well, you see, I reasoned, bars are major sources of drunk drivers. Tell me I'm wrong and I'll call you a liar. People go to bars, drink too much, ignore friends' requests to accept rides, try to drive home and usually make it there safe and sound. However, too many times they don't and far too often they either damage someone elses property or injure, even kill others ... all for their right to imbibe ridiculously.

We have laws against that sort of behavior. So, why not for cigarette smokers? Their behavior could be considered reckless. They continue to smoke though their smoking is dangerous to my health, similar to drinking to excess and driving drunk. Not dangerous? There are a slew of reports that say otherwise. For example, as reported by the American Heart Association (you know, I can't remember where, but a righty once dismissed anything from the AHA as having an agenda ... gee, improving health and saving lives, some agenda), a study that evaluated the smoking ban in 2003 in Pueblo, Colorado (a city with higher the average smokers than statewide) determined that the ban contributed to a reduction in heart attacks, 108 fewer in an 18-month period.

The point of this is, wasn't it not too long ago that driving drunk was considered less serious than it is now? Hands were slapped, eyes were winked and the occasional death was shrugged off as unfortunate. But no more. In a sense, society grew up and decided it no longer wanted to nanny its wayward children. Responsibililty! Charlie Sykes and his herds' favorite word.

Instead, society decided that adults would be treated from now on as adults. Don't you think it's time for smokers and conservatives to grow up, too, and leave their nannys behind?

Monday, August 20, 2007

McBride Strikes Again

Sheesh. I've not been posting because I've really been trying to enjoy what remains of the summer. That means spending time with the kids, my wife (the woman of my dreams), visiting friends and celebrating birthdays. But, today, I made the mistake of traveling to Jessica McBride's world. Hers is one I have been avoiding mostly because of the mendacity of her posts, but also because it's become somewhat boring to pick at her every written word. However, this entry took the cake. She wrote:

Bill Clinton was, at worst, slightly right of center.

Bill Clinton was incredibly popular.

So, if Bill Clinton was slightly right of center, and he was incredibly popular, the liberals are finally admitting that conservative ideals are incredibly popular with the public, right? They are the mainstream ideals, even if the media won't admit it.

Reading this was enough to cause some bile to rise uncomfortably into my throat. Little did I know she would later surpass herself in utter illogicality.

I should have left well enough alone, but I returned and discovered she had written this response to a comment about her post claiming that her reasoning was a bit off (realism: Correlation does not imply causality.). McBride replied that her piece had been an example of deductive reasoning and laid out this argument.

It's deductive logic.

Bill Clinton was slightly right of center.

Bill Clinton was incredibly popular.

Thus, being right of center must be incredibly popular.

She's right, to an extent. What we have here is a categorical syllogism, though better written if the conclusion had been: "Thus, being right of center was incredibly popular.

Aside from that, the thought occurred to me that her argument was less than one would expect from a 30-something woman, who astonishingly enough teaches at the university level. Her argument barely rose to the level of adolescent playground banter.

If that had been the end of her comment, one might have let it go, saddened that a mind is so misused. Alas, for her, she continued to put finger to keypad and produced a truly remarkable mudpie.

Or, perhaps, that the power of personality matters so much to liberals that they will reject their principles, if you buy that Clinton was slightly right of center and incredibly popular but still argue that the public is not.

To wit, one can only say, "Huh?"

UPDATE: Professor Putnam would probably say my writings on logic need improvement. Illusory Tenant and capper at Whallah need no corrections.