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Posts Made By: Joe Bergeron

August 30, 2008 11:20 AM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

It's just a signature line, David. Lots of people use them. Sorry if it offends you, but I won't be obeying your order to drop it. Trust me, I don't see being the moderator of any online forum as some big deal or badge of honor. I could replace it with my web site URL, but I think that would be too blatantly commercial.

August 30, 2008 06:00 PM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

I absolutely agree that the world would have been better off if McCain had been elected in 2000. 2008 though? Naw.

August 31, 2008 07:11 AM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

That figures, Don. You see something you don't like, so you attempt to devalue the source rather than deal with the facts. So, do you think this didn't happen, because Salon reported it? You think they invent everything they publish? how about this?

Oh, but Minnesota sometimes votes Democrat, so maybe their papers aren't to be trusted either.

Any comment on Buckley's remarks on recent Republican antics before his passing?

"While writing about the war in National Review: "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed," Buckley declared. "Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans." He urged the Bush administration to consider "acknowledgment of defeat." In an earlier November 2005 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Buckley went even further, declaring that the invasion of Iraq was "anything but conservative."

Buckley explicitly distinguished the conservatism he founded from what it had become under the Bush-led Republican Party. In July 2006, he told CBS Evening News that "Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology." And he specifically identified the war in Iraq as a major cause of the nation's problems, arguing that the war was such a failure that it had single-handedly rendered the Bush presidency a failure: "If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign."

On one key issue after the next, Buckley came to reject the defining principles of today's conservative movement. In the same CBS interview, he rejected the neoconservative approach of belligerence toward Iran and, more generally, labeled as "too ambitious" the sweeping vision of democracy promotion set out by Bush in his second Inaugural Address. In a subsequent interview, Buckley warned: "The neoconservative hubris, which sort of assigns to America some kind of geo-strategic responsibility for maximizing democracy, overstretches the resources of a free country.''

August 31, 2008 08:46 AM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

So it is, but it's helpful when I post something to the AP group, and there's no quick way to make it disappear here.

August 31, 2008 01:07 PM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

Here's another little item which might be of interest to Americans who don't think having innocent people's homes invaded by anonymous thugs in order to crush dissent and free speech is a good idea...people unlike your "ilk", Don.

Read it and weep. Funny how the so-called "liberal" corporate media ignore these outrageous abuses of our freedoms.

If a nation of panicky sheep values their "security" more than their freedom, let them elect more Republicans and get what they deserve.

September 1, 2008 07:19 AM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

I sense here a subtle, belated acknowledgement that your chosen team might be capable of abusing its power and subverting our rights. It's refreshing, but I hope the FBI doesn't get wind of your radicalism.

September 2, 2008 06:13 AM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

Why are you offering little bon mots about the definition of a word, rather than disputing the issues Les raises? Surely there are ways you can score points against some of that.

September 2, 2008 07:01 PM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

I appreciate your ability to disagree with us without feeling the need to call us sissies, traitors, etc.

Les has addressed several of your points to my satisfaction already. I'll just add a couple more observations:

I'm sure you're right that much of the world wants US involvement, but I'm pretty sure a lot of it wishes for a different kind of involvement than what they've been getting. When the President can leave a G8 summit with the words "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter!", a puerile grin, and a triumphant fist-punch, those leaders might well wish for a higher quality of US involvement, as might anyone whose heroes aren't Beevis and Butthead.

As for the war, I'm sure we'd all be a lot less ambivalent about it if it actually had something to do with the defense of the USA. If I see my best friend walk up to some weakling and start pounding on him while shouting slogans about how evil he is, I'd have a hard time deciding how to feel about that, too. Our tribe is not always right, and I'm not going to pretend that we are. My support of the troops in Iraq takes the form of wanting them to come home where they won't be blown up to achieve...I don't know what.

Vietnam: what an insane, pointless debacle that was. I had hoped we had learned our lesson about insane, pointless debacles, but it seems every generation needs to get one out of its system.

Detention camps: Vile then, vile now. We should have learned that lesson too. It's highly debatable how many of our "combatant" prisoners are really combatants. I sure don't expect their jailers to tell us.

Education: my guess is that Les was talking about college.

September 2, 2008 01:06 PM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

I ask everyone who clicked "Wow great" to consider this. What if Obama has picked some newbie governor of Vermont who previously had been the mayor of one of those hamlets which voted to secede from the USA, and that was it for his experience? Would you have been able to take such a nomination seriously? What would you have thought if you heard us say "Hey, great to have this refreshing outsider in the race, those dumb Republicans won't know what hit 'em!"

Such a selection would have been a big slap in the face to you. It would have been a declaration that Obama doesn't give one damn about you or your positions, that you are nothing to him. It would have been taking the idea of reconciliation and setting it on fire. He might as well just give you all the finger and be done with it. And I wouldn't have blamed you for thinking so. Even I would have been embarrassed by the selection of a candidate like that.

Now you know how we Democrats feel about this Palin woman.

September 3, 2008 11:01 PM Forum: Polls


Posted By Joe Bergeron

"And there, of course, is one of the fundamental left-right differences. I say getting rid of a dangerous military dictator who had used nerve gas on his own people, overrun a tiny neighbor and threatened others in the region, IS an action in defense of the USA. Unopposed, who's to say he wouldn't have decided to start gassing his neighbors or even taken his attacks to the West? A well-funded gang like al Qaeda has international reach in this day and age; how much the more so a man with an entire nation and huge oil reserves?

I think that invading Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein was exactly the correct thing to do."

Here we have a bunch of reasoning which is dubious at best.

Dangerous military dictator: pretty common in the world. Why him in particular? Which one will we pick off next? Will we keep going until they're all deposed? Can we start on the ones in Africa next? Some of those guys are really despotic.

Nerve gasses his own people: using chemicals supplied to him by the USA, back when Saddam was still our guy and it wasn't convenient for us to demonize him. And we didn't say a word about it at the time. Oh, he did gas his neighbors, those in Iran, with our help and tacit approval.

Overruns his tiny neighbor: yes, after Republican appointed US ambassador April Glaspie told him: "But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late '60s. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. " An ambiguous statement at best.

The idea that Saddam might have chosen to attack us is ludicrous. Even if he could have managed it, what could he possibly have hoped to achieve other than his own immediate destruction? He wasn't insane, he was a secular thug, not a zealot, and he was already thoroughly beaten. I remind you how thoroughly he was boxed up and contained, unable to so much as fly his few remaining fighters, let alone launch any attack on the USA. Being afraid of an attack from him is like King Arthur worrying that the Black Knight might still come after him when all his limbs had been chopped off.

I note that Saddam only became evil after his invasion of Kuwait. Overnight he went from being our main bulwark against Iran in the middle east to Hitler. I'm sure you know that the first thing you do in war is demonize the enemy. I'm not saying that Saddam was a swell guy or anything, but I don't trust the government enough to necessarily believe every claim of his demonic evil, especially following all the other lies used as excuses for the war, such as Iraq's imaginary weapons of mass destruction. If at all possible, the government will lie about anything that suits its purposes.

Detention camps: I seem to recall back in the "good old days", when wars were actually declared by Congress as per the Constitution, enemy soldiers were kept in POW camps which were governed by certain rules of openness and treatment, not sent into oblivion with no charges, no recourse, and no communication. This was back when we fought wars with enemies who actually presented serious threats to the nation, too. Yes, I believe some of those prisoners are being detained for spurious reasons. I think that's part of the reason for the intense secrecy involved. Here's one good example:

Bush and his juvenile mockery: how do you know his fellow leaders were taunting him as you suggest? Do you really think a world summit is the place for "sarcastic humor" on the part of the supposed leader of the free world? What if he'd dropped his pants and mooned them, would that have cracked you up as well? You really think that was appropriate? Ah, but if we see buffoonery where you see humor, then we're humor challenged.

Alaskan oil: any money coming from there goes into the pockets of the oil companies and their investors (okay, also as government checks to the citizens of Alaska). Not "our pockets", unless your version of "we" is limited to those groups. The oil would not be set aside for our use, unless you're suggesting creating some kind of nationalized operation, which might be appropriate since this is after all public land we're talking about (until Palin gets her way and it's all turned over to the "people of Alaska", of course). It would be sold worldwide the same way any oil is, producing a trivial reduction in world oil prices and a brief extension of oil availability. Any fees the oil companies pay to lease these lands for drilling would be trivial compared to their profits.

Soon you'll never know oil wells were even there? Nonsense. Take a look at this:

or this, if Audubon is too liberal for you:

Or this:

Okay, I'm too sleepy to continue with this.