Rebirth of Reason

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Post 20

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 9:30amSanction this postReply
 "But we were not at war with anyone when terrorists murdered three thousand innocent Americans. Why has this been forgotten?"

I have to disagree with this also.  The United States may not have been legally at war with anyone prior to 9/11 (nor is the U. S. legally at war with anybody now, for that matter -- i.e. there's been no Congressional declaration of war), but the U. S. has certainly been engaged in nonstop acts of war for decades, all over the world, and certainly in the Middle East (including the bombing of Sudan, the bombing of Libya, and ten years of virtually nonstop bombing in Iraq).  The 9/11 attacks were initiatiatory violence against the occupants of the WTC towers (and so I oppose them for the same reason I oppose the bombing of Hiroshima and Dresden), but they certainly weren't initiatory acts of war against the U. S. per se; they were responses (unjust responses -- which doesn't change the fact that they were responses) to American acts of war.

What's "anti-American" about this position?  If it's anti-American to criticise the U. S. government, then libertarians and Objectivists have always been anti-American.  When libertarians and Objectivists argue that much gang violence in the U. S. is caused by drug prohibition, are they being anti-American and pro-drug-gang?  As I see it, attempts to recall America to its former Jeffersonian anti-imperialist principles (as libertarians William Graham Sumner http://praxeology.net/WGS-CUS.htm and E. L. Godkin http://praxeology.net/ELG-EL.htm did back in 1899-1900 when American imperialism was just getting started) are just about as pro-American as anything can get.

Post 21

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 10:37amSanction this postReply
P.S. I find your reference to abortion as a form of birth control--rather than an emergency life-saving procedure--quite worrisome. Are you saying that it's a good thing that so many people consider abortion a comforting fallback?

[I'll respond to other posters later; I'm laid up sick, but I still have some errands to run today- this gal 'll get back to y'all later.  But I wanted to respond to this quickly and clearly.]


Yes, and I make no apologies.  I am a scrupulous defender of the use of rationally-planned, consistent, birth control, which will make the costly and sometimes dangerous procedure of an abortion rare (I note in passing that childbirth is more dangerous than abortion).  But when birth control fails, I utterly and without reservation defend the rational self interest of a human being who values her own life, happiness, and sexuality enough to refuse to bear an unwanted child.  I see something inhuman in condoning abortion in the case of threats to a woman's life [i.e, "an emergency life-saving procedure"] but not in terms of her interests, passions, or values, including that of not having her body permanently altered and the drawn-out, rape-like experience of having a living being growing inside her against her will.  This heavily suggests that a woman's happiness cannot justify defense of her own body, but her life can, which means that her life is made valuable by a higher power over and above her life, which means she does not morally own her life.

The reason the abortion rights movement is slowly failing and has been for decades is because, frightened by the claims of the religious right to a moral high ground, they refuse to take the moral high ground they deserve which is the only way the battle can be fought: that women do not have a duty to bear children; that sexuality without fear is value, a crucial value, for which no woman should retreat an inch of shame for refusal to compromise that value for potential life, and that not only abstract right but that abstract right embodied in human happiness is what should send the religious right, the vacillating moderates, and a few feminist and libertarian collaborators who should be strung up in the square fleeing back to the rat-holes of their altruist God's churches.

Rand once spoke of the spectacle of a righteous, self-confident evil and a craven,. apologetic, self-effacing and self-betraying good.  I can think of no better example today's pro-choice movement, or indeed the entire hesitant cultural opposition to the cultural right which speaks hesitantly about rights and choice but refuses to talk of individual happiness or pleasure.  No one thought Europe's welfare state could happen here, and today no one thinks a neo-Puritanism resurrected from our own history and which has before, in fact, crushed sexual rebellion and feminist independence in other times, with appeals to the same Pauline God-family-tradition ethos is does with equal exponential success now, can happen here.  


(sigh) I walk ~away~ again...
But there is one thing, that will make me take a ~stand~...
Here, I shall not spice words with allusions and artistry.  On this battle I lay in no retreat from the world.

I feel no different, on this issue, towards the liberals, and libertarians, and even occasional Objectivists than Rand did towards the wavering Willkies of her today.  The culture war is my war, and it is a battle which libertarians should share, but often not, caring more for chasing paleo and conservative votes than the young yearning to breathe free at their feet.  It is a war which Objectivists should share, but often not, with their Platonic romanticisms that consistently and predictably align more with the homophobes, the confessed patriarchs, the thundering demons in church-robes demanding marriage in chains.  I think it is a pretty sight indeed to see Objectivists- I admit, with the blessed exception of most on this site, but most outside it, having the gall to claim to see spirituality in a dollar sign down to the least purchase of an ice cream cone, while consigning all sexuality short of or alternative to their sacred and might I add poorly proxied marriage to the outer limbo of the technicality, politically tolerated but otherwise condemned as 'mindless promiscuity' that can be safely thrown as meat to conservative dogs.

The picture of abortion presented here, where failed contraception inevitably leads to childbirth, is either one where it is not abortion but sexuality which is rare, or it is one in which females live paralyzed between irresponsibility and terror, and males between coslavery and callousness, or it is one in which the bearing and raising of children remains always at least a shadow of a female destiny.  There can be no other options, not is fact, not in logic... unless you wish to see females learn to explore their sexuality exclusively with other women.  Do not be surprised, good gentlemen, if when you present the reality of those pictures you provoke some of us to take up the silver sword.

Yes, I defend the right to abortion as a failsafe contraception- for that reason explicitly and primarily with considerations of medical interventions as side issues, because I demand the primacy of human happiness, the exploration of sexuality as with wealth in all its forms, and I do not regard as serious defenders of egoism, at least egoism in females, those who demand a woman justify her decision for an abortion on any other grounds, including self-preservation.  Communists are always willing to make that exception for their condemnations of economic self-interest, as they need living slaves.

Don't try it.  I keep my oaths and will be fighting this battle long after you have lost it.

Jeanine Ring
stand forth

(thought to self: not a bad hour's work- almost as fun as sex... too bad you can't get paid for it.)

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Post 22

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 2:16pmSanction this postReply
"3) fascist sentiment and imagery is pre-industrial, rural, and environmental while communism is industrial and urban."

This might be in Karl Marx's ideals, but never in practice. There's never been a Communist industrial society. They never made it that far.

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Post 23

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 3:52pmSanction this postReply
Ms. Branden:

George Bush was correct to invade Afghanistan in response to the attack on the WTC. However, he has mismanaged the fight against Al Qaeda and Islamic Fascists.

Invading Iraq instead of Iran reveals that his motivation is personal revenge against Saddam Hussein and not defense of America or the West.

I think a Libertarian President would order the military to hunt down and kill Osama Ben Laden or anyone else that attacks America without regard to others countries' opinions. I do not trust Democrats or Republicans to defend America.

Post 24

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 3:59pmSanction this postReply

[And sorry, Linz, I know you don't want this to be an abortion thread, but my comments will be brief]

Your simplification of the issue is staggering. If the primacy of "human happiness" trumps everything then we could commit murder if it made us happy. Obviously you don't mean to condone that, yet the whole point about abortion is that there might be a second party involved, and at a certain point there certainly is a second party involved. Likening the opinions of anti-abortionists to communistic condemnations of self-interest is a totally ridiculous analogy. Abortion is a much more complex issue than that.

You're treating it as if it were no different than the pill. But in a partial-birth abortion--which I assume you support--a living being, halfway out, is getting its brain sucked out by a machine. That may be justified if a mother's life is at stake, but is it justified if her pleasure is at stake?

By your logic of an absolute primacy of pleasure--or saying there is no difference between pleasure and life--you're saying that killing somebody in self-defense is no different than killing somebody who's crashing your party and costing you some fun! 


Post 25

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 5:56pmSanction this postReply

I have no confidence in George W. Bush. His strategy for fighting terrorism is wrong. The terrorists are their own worst enemies and Bin Laden is most probably thrilled by this "war on terrorism" that Bush is waging as it supports Bin Laden's caricature of America as "the Great Satan".

Bush cannot bring freedom to Iraq. First, he doesn't know the meaning of the word, and, second, Iraq culture needs to change before its citizens can consent to freedom.

The only way to fight these terrorists is by embracing capitalism and staying out of the affairs of other countries. America should embrace the original ideals it was founded on, reason and freedom. Compromising our principles with atrocities like the Patriot Act can only harm. Two wrongs never make a right and you can't get good from a bad. Ever.

If you and others want to understand why I and other Objectivists are opposed to current and past American foreign policy, I recommend a series of books, the "Uncle Eric" series, written by Richard Maybury. His books, The Thousand Year War in the Mideast: How It Affects You Today, World War I, the Rest of the Story and How it Affects You Today, 1870 to 1935, and World War II, the Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, 1935 to September 11, 2001, are a wonderful source of thought. Maybury has a delightful ability to explain the most complicated subjects in easy to understand language. He is not an Objectivist and I have some disagreements with him, but he has a better understanding of proper foreign policy than most Objectivists I know. These books are also available on his web site.

Best wishes,


(Edited by Bob Palin on 10/15, 8:12pm)

(Edited by Bob Palin on 10/15, 8:13pm)

Post 26

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 8:21pmSanction this postReply
I had rather a suspicion, when I wrote this article, that discussing it might become my life’s work. Although I’m not willing to let that happen, I’ll answer as many of your posts as I can.

Thank you for your “Brava,” Rick.

Jana, it’s true that Michael Moore would like to blame Bush for 9-11; he’d probably like to blame him for the common cold and cancer, too. For only one of many refutations of Moore’s undocumented documentary, see Christopher Hitchens’ “Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore.” I don’t seem to have the URL, but if you google “Christopher Hitchens,” you’ll find it at once.

Chris, we have agreed amicably to disagree on the war in Iraq, so I won’t go into the arguments on your web site. But I do think that “fascism” is a legitimate rather"slangy" term for Islamic terrorists. And Joe M’s dictionary definition bears that out: “A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.” However, I’ll read what you have to say on the subject. On another issue you raise: I don’t think – and didn’t say – that I was describing all libertarians. But I was describing many of them.

Orion, thank you for your compliments – and may I return them. Your post on the history of Islamic terrorism is excellent. I especially like your rule: “All evil people become ‘nice’ when they’re in a weakened state.”

Roderick, you don’t take into account the fact that America rules none of those countries. It could have acted like Soviet Russia; it didn’t. That’s a difference worth noticing. To say that 9/11 was a response to “American acts of war,” is, I’m sorry to say, simply preposterous. There is no evidence for it, and much evidence to the contrary. You cite our bombing of Iraq after the first Gulf War. We bombed it because Iraq kept shooting at our airplanes as they flew over what they had agreed was to be a safe zone. I have no objection to criticisms of America; I have a lot of objections to unjust criticisms – particularly when almost the entire world is gleefully engaging in them.

Jeanine, it was indeed not a bad hour’s work.


Post 27

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 8:52pmSanction this postReply
Barbara, I feel that your article oversimplifies the situation, and does not tell the whole story.  Consider this:

Bush's Middle East policies are dictated by neoconservatives in his defense cabinet.  The neocons have been itching to invade Iraq and topple Saddam long before 9-11 (many of you are probably aware that this 1998 letter to President Clinton, urging the overthrow of Saddam, was signed by prominent neocons such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, all of them senior defense advisors in the Bush administration. Wolfowitz is widely regarded as the chief architect behind the Iraq war concept).  

Iraq is simply part one of a larger neocon program of global military domination.  Mind you, it's not exactly a policy of conquest and imperialism, rather, it's more a view that the United States should spread democracy and serve as world's policeman (and reap the economic benefits and clout that such a position manifests).  Project for a New American Century, a defense-oriented neocon think tank, wrote a policy paper in 2000 called Rebuilding America's Defenses, which effectively outlines this view of the role of American power in the post-Cold War era.  Both Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby (chief of staff to Dick Cheney) were major contributors to this paper. 

In light of these facts, do you really believe that the underlying reasons for the Iraq war were exclusively related to defeating Islamic terrorism, or do you think perhaps the neocons are in fact also taking advantage of 9-11 to begin implementing their vision of a more powerful and globally-entrenched US military? 

I have wrestled with the answer to this question myself, but I must admit that it does currently seem to me that the latter scenario is at play to a reasonable degree.  And this is precisely what is troubling many libertarians such as myself, as we tend to view defense policy as the Founders did: that America should avoid military adventures abroad. 

I am thus a bit irked at your suggestion that libertarian skepticism of US foreign policy is anti-American.

(Edited by Pete on 10/15, 10:40pm)

(Edited by Pete on 10/16, 8:52am)

(Edited by Pete on 10/16, 9:19am)

Post 28

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 10:03pmSanction this postReply

You said this: 
The United States may not have been legally at war with anyone prior to 9/11 (nor is the U. S. legally at war with anybody now, for that matter -- i.e. there's been no Congressional declaration of war), but the U. S. has certainly been engaged in nonstop acts of war for decades, all over the world, and certainly in the Middle East (including the bombing of Sudan, the bombing of Libya, and ten years of virtually nonstop bombing in Iraq).
Oh, golly... Let me see... Why did we bomb "poor widdle" Sudan?

Why did we bomb "poor widdle" Libya?

Why did we bomb "poor widdle" Iraq?

I mean, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that all three of these "poor widdle" countries WERE BEING RUN BY COMPLETE GODDAMN LUNATICS, BENT ON SPREADING THEIR VICIOUS LUNACY, COULD IT??? 
Ah.  I feel so clean now. 

Post 29

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 10:52pmSanction this postReply
Considering the way that -- even now -- the liberal media is attempting to still portray the Islamofascists as "misunderstood and righteous", I have to wonder something:

When you look at revisionist "historians" such as Howard Zinn, who portray Native Americans and all other non-white cultures as "unquestionably and unconditionally" the "unjustifiably oppressed" victims of the "white male oppressors"... could it all be a lie, too?
I mean, it's obvious that these same sorts of people are lying about things now... but when you consider that it's even easier to pull off a successful lie about history, why wouldn't they do that even more?
Is it possible that the "harmonious and peace-loving Native Americans" were really much like the Islamo-fascists are today?  Could they have been two-faced killers, too, who forced a winner-take-all confrontation that ended in their own annihilation? 

Could it be that the same sort of envy-mongers that we have today, were also the historians of yesteryear and today?


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Post 30

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 12:09amSanction this postReply
Jesum M. Cruts.

All the sudden, not voting for a Christian Fundamentalist to be President of These United States makes one an appeaser of Islamo-fascist Fundamentalism.  It doesn't matter if you think a man should be able to offer more than "I'll kill 'em all!"  You're an appeaser. 

It doesn't matter if you want a candidate to represent at least an approximation of your beliefs--which Bush does not and never will--when it comes to what you want your government to be and do.  You're Putin's boot-licker.  It doesn't matter if you want someone who offers "I'll kill 'em all!" and "I'll leave you alone".  You're Chirac's butt-boy. 

It doesn't even matter if you don't think America is responsible for terrorism.  If you don't want Bush, you don't want freedom.

Sorry, but implying a vote against, or speaking against--or simply not for--Bush is a vote against America is pretty goddamn Against America.

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Post 31

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 1:29amSanction this postReply
quote  Sorry, but implying a vote against, or speaking against--or simply not for--Bush is a vote against America is pretty goddamn Against America.
Well, gee, Jeremy, I'm sorry to crush your dissent here, but get over it. If there has been one casualty in this entire debate over the war on terror, it's the thick skins we used to bring to political discourse. I don't think Barbara meant to say that all Libertarians or Kerry-voters or whomever are consciously or deliberately anti-America (although a great many are just that). She is simply proferring (and quite vigorously defending) her view that a vote for the other candidates is NOT in America's best interests. If you disagree, if you think we'll be better off with 4 years of The Second Coming of Jimmy Carter, fine, write it up in an article or make a post about it. Don't go getting your panties all in a bunch about how Barbara is "subverting democratic discourse" or "silencing rational criticism" just because she calls it like she sees it.

What is so dishonest about this criticism is that everyone I have heard make it, from peaceniks to paleocons to libertarians, has in the same breath argued that a vote for George Bush is a vote against America! We're told he'll (somehow) ban abortion, reinstitute the draft, and appoint Jerry Falwell to the Supreme Court (presumably at 3:00 A.M. some night, while the entire U.S. Senate is asleep). So why is it that you get to accuse us of handing the U.S. over to religious fundamentalists, but we don't get to accuse you of--well--handing the U.S. over to religious fundamentalists?

Incidentally, if you think impugning the patriotism of one's political opponents (or of voters for other candidates) has always been somehow beyond the pale in this country, think again. Our own Founding Fathers exchanged some very nasty invective over matters like Alexander Hamilton's National Bank. Somehow, the U.S.'s fledgling political systems managed to survive their bitter quarrels, and I'm sure our far more mature and stable republic will manage the same.

Post 32

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 2:09amSanction this postReply

If you're saying that much of the Bush movement now seems to be sadistic to you... well, I think that's certainly possible.  But whether or not people now are getting off on kicking ass or whatever, the fact remains that THAT is what is needed now.... not the sadism, but the use of force.  Because it's the Islamo-fascists who are the TRUE sadists.

And why aren't you railing against THEIR sadism?

Also, even if the Bush-ists motivations are sadistic, that's a damn sight better than Kerry's mentality of "I'll only do what's good for my image, moment to moment".  Because I hate to break it to you, but that's all he cares about.  If he somehow thought that he would be more popular if he turned our country over to the sadistic Islamo-fascists, then that man would sell out his country in a New York Minute. 

Kerry lives and breathes spineless popularity and political correctness.  He stands for no real values, only getting elected. 

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 10/16, 2:12am)

Post 33

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 5:29amSanction this postReply
Andrew Bissell's post is the best by far in this thread. I commend it to everyone's attention. Roderick Long is simply a Saddamite pseudo-intellectual of the "yes-but" variety - snide post-modernism at its loathsome worst. Jeffersonian? What garbage! Does he mean trade barriers & slavery? Well, no - that would be slightly inconvenient. He means non-intervention elsewhere on the globe - never mind that in Jefferson's time such intervention would take months, by sea. The fact that in *our* time terrorist attacks are only minutes away, from anywhere on the globe, is something that apologists for Islamo-fascism like Long overlook. The truth is, he'd more readily acquiesce to Islamic theocracy than defend Jeffersonianism.

And the inane nonsense about "Islamo-fascism" being an inappropriate term is beneath the dignity of discussion. It could only come from a pedantic academic. Barbara Branden has here written the most succinct, elegant, unassailable case for the liberation of Iraq that I've seen. And it took only a few paragraphs, unlike the wailing Saddamism of her adversaries, whose verbal diarrhoea knows no bounds. They are simply self-indulgent "useful idiots," as Lenin identified - & deeply disloyal traitors to America's founding principles, & to western civilisation. They stink to high heaven.


Post 34

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 3:14amSanction this postReply
in reply to Alec;

I will note, for the sake of integrity after voluntary words, that I disagree to the asymptote with all you say and those premises I sense behind them.  But I will speak just this more on this issue, and will attend to learning the sense not to speak so gracelessly.  Technically, Rand is on my side.  Technically, I don't doubt she would support the precise stridency of my tone.

But Rand also strung her golden philosophy to America, and America is a culture.   More than ideas have taught me that culture, status, and fortune matter more in life than philosophy... not because I think the mind is helpless, but because each person fights alone against a universe much larger than themselves whose societies survive as they mold individuals in allegiance and against philosophy.  And when Rand is seen as one with one of those societies... a society whose civic life does not embody her ideals in some unbendable ways?  Because of that, scripture and logic aside, I relent and leave Rand to you.

Ultimately, I believe the distance between us is one of culture, and a stake in culture, and experience that no bridge I know can cross.  I revulse at your words, and blink in disbelief at what you easily dismiss.  I cannot imagine... feeling the ecstacies you toss aside, and having seen lives shrivel into bitter despair clinging to the edge of the freedoms you shrug at... I cannot but stare at your words, incomprehensive of how they can spring from your own desire.

But I was not once much different, and blessing the currents that swept me up this stream and opened eyes will not justify the cannones I would like to call upon.  I honestly do not think you can understand my passions, and my memory of ideas like yours is now an unreal ghost and not true understanding.  Having spoken, I pretend no peace, but I concede it's your forum.  Therefore, with apologies to Msr. Perigo and others here, you may as you wish consider yourself unanswered and myself politically, though far from intellectually, bankrupt.

One can only hope that

For though they may be parted there is
still a chance that they will see;
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

But I am not given to hope, merely eloquence.

in better courtesanship,

Pyrophora of Cyprus {))(*)((}

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Post 35

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 8:42amSanction this postReply
Andrew, I'm not voting for Kerry.  I'm not voting for anyone.  Look in the "Who Gets Your Vote" poll thread to see why.

"Don't go getting your panties all in a bunch about how Barbara is "subverting democratic discourse" or "silencing rational criticism" just because she calls it like she sees it."

I didn't say either of those things, did I?  In fact, I didn't think either of those things. 

There is an ideal of what America should be.  And what we have now--no matter who is the President--does not represent that ideal.  Is anyone else fed up with compromising their beliefs for the sake of the latest emergency?  Hasn't that been happening for quite a while now?  After Bush, will you stop compromising for the sake of expediency?  Because that's what you're doing.  You're ignoring Bush's less attractive qualities for the sake of his "strength".  And libertarians who vote for Kerry are ignoring his socialism for the sake of his "level-headedness".

You don't have to take my word for it (because the word of a non-Bushite and a Saddamite means little, I know) but all of that is what I truly believe.

(Edited by Jeremy on 10/16, 8:57am)

Post 36

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 8:44amSanction this postReply
Orion, I'm not voting for Kerry.  I'm not voting for anyone.  Look in the "Who gets Your Vote" poll thread to see why.

I "railed" against Bush because he was the either-or choice Barbara seemed to imply our very lives depend upon.  He is not.  If she'd trumpeted the might and power of Kerry, I'd have railed against him.  Or Badnarik.  Or any of the jackasses running for President.

(Edited by Jeremy on 10/16, 8:48am)

Post 37

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 9:26amSanction this postReply
I find it interesting that no one has yet addressed my post (#27).  Might it be because an honest examination of my evidence reveals that many of you who enthusiastically support the Iraq war (and view it as a vital component of the War on Terror) have been duped by the neocons?

Post 38

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 10:24amSanction this postReply
Barbara: Thank you for a superb essay. It's just a shame that President Bush cannot recognise that Islamic terrorism is not at odds with Islamic beliefs per se. He has just praised the religion for its teaching of "the importance of compassion, justice, mercy, and peace," and declared that, "Americans who practice the Islamic faith enrich our society and help our nation build a better future." He would do well to read the Koran for the discovery of a very different code of behaviour for all true Muslims. But naive though his Christian Fundamentalist view of Islam may well be, it is nothing compared with the frightening naivete of leftists and (many) libertarians alike who still maintain that the Islamo-fascists would have called it a day had Bush not retaliated after 9/11. These apologists blame Bush's liberation of Iraq for offending the sensibilities of Muslims when in fact it is the mere existence of a semi-free, secular society like America that has long fuelled Islamic hatred. (The Islamo-fascists have merely exploited Bush's actions in Iraq for their own propaganda purposes - and hordes of useful Western idiots have bought every word.)

Many years ago the late William Weddell chillingly predicted the scenario we face today when he observed that the 21st century would witness the War of Islam against Western Civilisation. Barbara's essay brilliantly derides the European pacifism that would see us lose that war.    

(Edited by Derek McGovern on 10/16, 10:32am)

Post 39

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 11:45amSanction this postReply
In all fairness,  my one complaint about GW Bush is that he seemingly doesn't like to explain himself much.  He seems the type to ever-so-subtlely enjoy being able to cram things down people's throats, which he then requires them to accept purely on blind faith.

Perhaps doing this in precisely that way gives him a power surge or something; my father was that sort of person. It's a more common personality trait than you might think.  Is it a various on some sort of latently sadistic trend?  I tend to think so... Or rather, it's just being bloody inarticulate.

As an aside, it's a pity to me that Kerry -- on the other hand -- is very articulate, yet when he speaks, articulates sweet, oily lies and half-truths so much more.

If GW would choose to abandon his "born again" religious kick and way of doing things, and instead embrace a communicational logic-based leadership -- in other words, explain his administrations inner logic for their beliefs and actions, and weigh those of others in turn -- I think he'd have much less opposition than he has now.

If you remember, the doing of what I'm talking about, was tried successfully by one presidential candidate only in recent years, who smoked both the democratic and republican candidates in a publicized debate, but who then did not get elected because 1) he was quite short and 2) quite cranky all the time:

Ross Perot.

Perot had an amazing passion for teaching and explaining himself in a way whereby you could follow his logic, because it was important to him that you be able to follow his logic.  He knew that that's where truly loyalty came from.

GW Bush should do that... And so should every presidential candidate. 

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