I'd like to enlist some help from the more rational liberals around here.
Lately there have been a lot of debates on a few topics and they seem to have gotten out of hand. I'll go through them and you all can pick and choose which ones you want to squibble over.
N. Korea launched a missile, a nuclear test missile. It's not the first time they've done it, and if the current administration doesn't take a strict stance with some kind of action backing it, they'll do it a again and again. Obama, got on stage and basically said "Shame on you", just like the previous administration. Now, no one with any sense on either side of the fence is asking to gear up for war, but many some on the left seem to feel as though that when those on the right ask for action it is meant 'war'. No, this is not what we're talking about. What we're talking about is something in the way of hard sanctions, and turning a deaf ear to whatever bullshit promise N.Korea makes if we just pay them off. Paying them off didn't work last time, it won't work this time, and it won't next time. They are a rouge state that has passed the opportunity to talk with.
What I'd like to know or better understand is the logic behind the belief that if a party says "talk is not the answer" it is the same as "war is the answer". There are many alternatives to war, such as sanctions and embargos and frankly it seems as though the left leaning audience around me prefers to think that if we don't talk then we must war.
I see nothing wrong with sending a naval fleet to N. Korean borders. Place a trade embargo on them, sanction them and then keep a feel there to delay Chinese support and shoot down any other missiles that may go up. We'll also be in a great spot to handle a situation should it escalate (as in we won't be racing China to the area). Why is China in the picture? Once we started winning the Korean war, who did we start to fight? China. Who did we really fight in Vietnam? China. I'm not saying that military action is the answer, but I am saying that we've been 'talking' to N. Korea for long enough and haven't taken enough alternative action, or buckled under pressure in the face of China and Russia.
There are two things we should have learned from the Iraq invasion and Saddam Hussien, the first being that 12 years of talking without sincere and tangible results is too long to talk. The second is that looking at the bigger picture might have spared money, lives, and face. This is why sanctions are important. If China were to resist it could give rise to questioning their allegiance on the matter. If that happens, then other countries may be more willing to lend support.
What I'd like to know here if Obama is doing this right, then why can't it e said Bush did it right too? Bush paid Korea off and Korea burned us. At the time Bush paid off Korea he had to consult Congress of which Obama was a member. If we're (the right) is saying Obama is about to mess this up by doing nothing and the left is defending it with "well, Bush messed up too" (per the usual), then why is it so hard for them to see that this would actually be the second time Obama messed it up where as Bush only messed it up once?
I'll admit, that argument mainly stems from something I had to piece together from Joules Beef who uses "past forward" style of logic – which is anytime someone brings up something current, he justifies it by blaming something from the past.
To make an argument for the rest of the world, how is it we've not learned from the past -12 years of 'talking' and pacifying Saddam did absolutely nothing other than waste time and money. How long have we been talking to N. Korea on this topic and how much longer can we or the rest of the world afford to pacify them as well? Are we to try for 15 years, or is 8 long enough? Why is it 8 is too long to have Bush in office, but not long enough for N. Korea?
Torture is defined as something that has lasting effects on a person mentally, emotionally, or physically. Specifically water boarding is considered torture. It's used in SERE training within the US military to give soldiers a taste of what it is. Scientific America did a study on the topic and a panel of doctors claim that if can cause heart attacks (in those with stress disorders and heart disease), that it jolts the brain because it gives the victims a sense of being drowned, and that it can have mental harm because it's not something people are used to. While all of that is true, the statements are concrete given the heavy use of the words "can".
I "can" have a heart attack on the interstate after a near head on collision with a big rig. I "can" have a heart attack while riding on a roller coaster if I heart disease. I "can" mentally regress if I see too much of what I believe to be blood. The point is that anything "can" happen if the circumstances are just right. The point of torture is to obtain vital information in a very short amount of time. The average water board session is said to last 14 seconds. That's not a long time, but given that intensity of the sensations the act gives, it 'can' fell like an eternity or perhaps the frequency of it is the thing that gets to victims.
The liberal argument isn't so much 'it is torture' but rather 'torture doesn't work'. It is said torture doesn't produce reliable information and damages this country's moral fibers.
Not long ago a conservative talk show host, "Mancow" Muller, volunteered to be water boarded. Muller lasted 6 or 7 seconds claiming in reference to water boarding, "…it's torture. Absolutely, it is torture." Where my confusion lies is in the liberal posturing of a victory over his statements. If torture doesn't work because the information obtained is not reliable, then by their own accord the claim of water boarding being torture by a victim of it has no merit. On the other hand, if the statement is to be taken as 'proof' then the liberals have to concede that torture does in fact gain reliable information. It cannot be both unreliable and productive or reliable and unproductive. Would someone please explain to me, from a liberal stand point how the claims of Muller indicate any kind of proof or victorious position for the liberals?
BUSH, GOG & MAGOG
A Recent Article in GQ purports (and really, nothing says "intellect" like a men's fashion and style mag slightly higher up the food chain then FHM) that Bush allegedly told French President Chirac over the phone that the invasion of Iraq was more or less 'the will of God, to stop Gog and Magog.' Enter a political and religious shit storm in a category 5 status. What this really seems to be about is further attacks on the religious right buy the group of the left with an overabundance of pride and sore winners.
Then again, there have been a lot of anti-religion articles and prominent voices 'rationalizing' a lack of God.
What confuses me is that when an atheist is approached by "god" they claim (in general) that they don't believe in God, or the existence of a god, or that God has relevance on anything in the scientific world but they claim it somewhat militantly almost as the non-belief should be an… organized religion of non religion. I'm fine with that really. If they want to burn in hell, that's drives down the price of real estate in heaven – which is good for me, you know, less demand and all. Still, I'm a deist to begin with so I find pro / con religion debates with a degree of humor all the time.
More to the point though, is that if the Bush haters (and there are a lot of them), would have us all believe that Bush was a bumbling idiot, how did he manage to fool two different bodies of the 538 members of Congress for 8 years?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-homosexuality, but I'm not pro-homosexuality. In truth, I'm… with apathy towards it. I couldn't care less if gays got married nor could I care more if they didn't. I believe that marriage is one of those things that resemble an impressionistic painting: From afar it looks really awesome and rich, but up close its imperfect. Though, the imperfections and mixture of colors is what makes it appealing; the beauty lies in what it is to appear as, not necessarily what it is. It's an ongoing challenge and when it stops being challenging, it's boring. This concept doesn't pivot on sexual orientation or religion. The battle to make it religious is admittedly on the shoulders of the religious and I understand why the non-religious logically use that battlefield in return, but the illogical portion of the non-religious argument lies once more in denouncing God, someone or something they hold stake in and using religion to portray religion as promoting bigotry.
The funny thing about bigotry and intolerance as a weapon is that it has two edges. Being intolerant of intolerance seems righteous on its face, but it is still a form of intolerance. The paradox is that if one is not intolerant of intolerance, then the initial intolerance prevails. It's like hating haters – violence begets violence.
What confuses me here is that for the homosexual community to want 'gay rights' with the label of 'gay rights' they have to remove the label 'gay' and simply apply for 'equal rights'. It is human nature to form cliques, bands, tribes, and colonies. We're social beings who thrive in social settings. We all want to be accepted – even 'emo kids'.
What confuses me is the lack of public outcry or at least public action in denouncing people like Perez Hilton, who known for his gossip column and photo doodling (not to mention working to out allegedly gay celebs before they choose to do so on their own), called Ms. Cali names for having an opinion that didn't line up with his own. Having heard Ms. Cali state that she felt marriage should be between a man and a woman, she didn't say this in an offensive way, nor did she apologize for having her views. Perez did not do either as well. The difference is that Perez was intolerant and called the woman names, but Ms. Cali was the one publically ridiculed, largely by the pro gay marriage community. Another thing that why is it okay for the minority groups, or more specifically groups of people who hold a minority view to be loud, vocal, proactive, and provocative in their opinions but those who hold the apparent majority view become branded as bigots, racists, zealots, or fascists if they promote their views? There is a level of hypocrisy here makes it very hard to see these battles as a true fight for equality and not a social pissing contest and heartache about someone having a naturally slightly bigger dog. Why is we even care about who's dog is bigger – can't people be happy they even have a dog to begin with? I bet if people sat and thought 'rather than be mad because I didn't get what I want – I could be fairly happy that I didn't get what I didn't want'…
Thus I feel that a lot of the above is a result of living in an instant society. It's expensive, degrades and devalues an education in that we do not reward those who think, only those who want and want right now. People say America is going to shit… sometimes I wonder if we're not there already.