HomeOpen ThreadFriday Open Thread! Friday Open Thread! Warner Todd Huston September 5, 2014 Open Thread 125 Comments Here is this weekend’s open thread, but first… I saw this gif and couldn’t help thinking about Paul, chico, and Bruce who excuse away everything Muslims do but don’t give the same benefit of the doubt to anyone else. Meanwhile, how was your week? Academic Hypocrisy: Political Science Silent on Obama's Failed Presidency Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™ Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditEmailMoreLinkedInPinterestPrintTumblrPocketGoogle Related Posts Hashtag: Wiz Blab Open Thread OPEN THREAD–And a Video Showing How Stupid MSNBC is NBC Ignored Weinstein Story? OPEN THREAD About The Author Warner Todd Huston Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com "The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson Retired military Remember it only counts if white americans kill someone. stan25 A white American cop. jim_m Not to be a buzz kill… I’m feeling a little subdued today as I lost a friend to brain cancer this morning. I just wanted to honor the loss of a brave young woman and encourage people to support cancer patients (they are not victims!) and those who fight cancer with them. http://www.dana-farber.org/How-to-Help.aspx We will soon return to our normal programming of right wing criticism. Continuing to live life to the fullest is the best way to honor those we have lost. Rodney G. Graves So sorry to hear of your loss. Warner Todd Huston Condolences. Vagabond661 Prayers to you and yours. Brucehenry Sorry to hear you lost a friend, Jim. Walter_Cronanty Sorry about your loss Jim. jim_m Thanks everyone for your thoughts. It’s been a day. Commander_Chico Sad when the young go early. Scalia Very sorry to hear, Jim. Hank_M Just caught this…..please accept my sincerest condolences Jim. 914 Liberal hypocrisy is nothing if not consistent. LiberalNightmare I was thinking back to my time in kuwait during desert storm and desert shield (nothing heroic, I fixed radio gear in an air conditioner warehouse) and I remembered some of the religious restrictions we had during that time. In order to avoid offending the people that we were protecting, we weren’t allowed to worship outside, no religious markings on the chaplains tent etc. Compared to the restrictions and rules of engagement required of our troops today, the restrictions I experienced were pretty minor, and they certainly didn’t cramp my 22 yr old ideals at the time. Still I wonder how your average iraqi feels about their current occupiers, now that they have the kinder, gentler boot of ISIS on their necks? Walter_Cronanty Will the UK survive, at least as we know it today [it certainly isn’t what it used to be, say in 1944], for 25 more years? Is this in our future? “The man accused of beheading a great-grandmother in her back garden is a would-be cage fighter who converted to Islam five years ago, it has emerged. Nicholas Salvadore, 25, was charged late on Friday with the murder of 82-year-old Palmira Silva, who was hacked to death in an apparently random attack on Thursday afternoon. Mr Salvadore was also charged with assaulting a police officer.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11078451/Nick-Salvadore-suspect-for-beheading-of-Palmira-Silva-is-would-be-cage-fighter-and-Muslim-convert.html LiberalNightmare He must have been a mighty warrior of allah to defeat an 82 yr old woman in combat. jim_m It’s our future if Bruce and the left get their way. Brucehenry Well one thing this proves is that Warner, like Jim and like Jwb1001, can’t fucking read. I have never posted any comment “excusing everything Muslims do.” I HAVE attempted to put some context on the actions and perceptions of SOME Muslims. I have never posted any comment condemning all gun owners for the actions of those crazies who shoot the innocent. I HAVE insisted that there are common-sense legal measure that could be implemented without compromising the Second Amendment. Jwb10001 Poor Bruce all butt hurt and using bad words. I guess you really mean it this time. I’m sorry that I took your offering of occupation and resource grabbing as excuses for terror. What could I have been thinking. BTW when I asked how the sultans etc got so rich that was retorical, I know how they got rich and don’t really care about who put them where. Like I’ve said a dozen times now, lots of people have been occpied and had their resources stolen why are these the only people still fighting a holy war over it? Additionally if the Brits did all the occupying and resource stealing why are they so hell bent on killing Americans, it’s our money more than anyone’s holding them up. Again the questions are retorical so don’t bother with a history lesson, but feel free to correct my spelling and grammer, you’re at least semi qualified for that. Brucehenry You get off some pretty funny if misguided snark sometimes so I know you’re not really a dumbass. That’s why I can only conclude that when you misinterpret what others write it’s deliberate, willful dishonesty. Like Jim and like Warner. The fact that hatred of the West exists in the Middle East is no secret. Even those who abhor terrorism, even those who are as horrified as we are at the beheading of innocents, even THEY hate and mistrust the West, including and especially the US. This is due to the history of the area, intertwined as it is with the legacy of colonialism. Here’s another pretty good read if you want to educate yourself: http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Disrupted-History-Through-Islamic-ebook/dp/B005EYEPB2 If you interpreted my remarks in the other threads as saying anything to “excuse” terror you have misunderstood me, either dishonestly or because you can’t fucking read, like Jim and like Warner. Jwb10001 Bruce here’s the problem with this entire line of yours, my orginal comment was to Chico when he insisted that WE grabbed resources, which unless you are completely clueless you know we didn’t. I offered as evidence the fact that there are a lot of very rich people and rich countries, that have only 1 way to create wealth, by SELLING their resources. That’s the entire point, you with your imagined superior reading comprehension assumed it was all about required remedial history of the region, it was simply a refuting of the non sense being spewed (as usual) by Chico. Now the further point is that while you insist this is all about context it sure sounds like you’re giving us at minimum reasons for the savage behavior. I don’t for a second suspect you sympothize with them but it could be mis understood when you offer historical reasoning for burtality. Maybe if you qualified your remarks with something like these actions are inexcusable or something, no? Anyway thanks for the history lesson and chears! Edit oops I know I misspelled at least one word here, please consider this is history class not english, please. Brucehenry Go back and look it up. Chico said “the west” grabbed their resources. It was you who used the word “we.” And “if it was not for us buying their resources” was your phrase. Now if by “we” and “us” you mean “the West” as is logical from reading the thread of the discussion, you are still demonstrating a willful disregard of the history of the region. If you didn’t mean “the west” when you used the words “we” and “us” I presume you mean the US? Well, the perception in the Middle East among large swathes of the populace is that the US is the inheritor of Britain’s role as colonial master. In either case your main point may have been that the resources are sold not stolen, however what comes across is “Who cares about history? It’s in the past!” Which is fucking stupid. Lots of what is going on in the world today has roots in the treaties and diplomacy that ended the First World War. Even the conflict in Ukraine can be said to have been influenced by the events of 1919. And, as I have demonstrated with numerous links, so does the conflict in the Middle East, especially the demise of the Ottoman Empire, which you snorted at so derisively — and so tellingly of your smug ignorance. I have qualified, numerous times, on this and the other threads, that understanding the history doesn’t mean one must excuse or condone terrorism. If it “sure sounds like” that to you, again, you are either being willfully dishonest or you can’t fucking read. Think about it, genius. If one is talking about the history of post Civil War Reconstruction, and explains what were the motivations of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan, does that mean one is “excusing” their actions? If I am telling you about European anti-Semitism of the 19th and 20th Centuries, am I excusing Kristallnacht? Can you explain the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s without reference to Jim Crow and slavery? Can you explain the Mau Mau movement in 1950s Kenya without talking about how Britain stole the land from the Kikuyus in the 1890s? Were ALL the people who eventually established majority rule in South Africa wrong because many who shared the same goal practiced terrorism to achieve it? Just because YOU’RE not interested in history doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Jwb10001 What’s the point of all this history Bruce? Does it in any way excuse the behavior, does it justify the way they treat women and homosexuals? If any Christian culture behaved this way everyone would be up in arms. I get that they have been invaded, as I’ve now said about 10 times so have a lot of cultures. Unless you believe the history justifies the current actions I’m not sure I see the point. As far as the original post, if you haven’t noticed Chico is a blame America first idiot, he never misses an opportunity to blame us usually for things we haven’t done (the west hasn’t grabbed their resources either in any current context.) I’m not going to waste my time relooking at the idiotic posting but my recollection is that there was no caveat about resources being grabbed historically but currently. Mindless war for oil sort of nonsense. So if you insist on turning my comments about current events into commentary about history fine. If you believe that Chico is talking about history fine, although if that’s the case I’m giving you too much credit for being a resonable liberal. Brucehenry And for the umpteenth time there was no attempt to justify this behavior. It was mentioned that Middle Easterners often hate the West, and Chico and I both attempted to put a little perspective on it. Commander_Chico Forget it, Bruce, for these guys history started after Obama was inaugurated. And it’s OK to bomb and kill them because they don’t have gay marriage and make women wear scarves on their heads. jim_m Says that guy who claims that 9/11 was because of US troop presence in the ME. Your recollection of history is ideologically convenient at best. Brucehenry And yours is nonexistent. As evidenced by your recent repeated insistence that Obama “do something” because two Americans have been kidnapped and killed, while fleeing the thread when asked why when TWENTY FIVE Americans were kidnapped (and several killed) during the Reagan administration, that was fine. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/growing-pressure-obama-something-stupid?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=borowitz&mbid=nl_090414_Borowitz&CUST_ID=24392065&spMailingID=7039357&spUserID=MjczNzc0ODMzMDQS1&spJobID=520378967&spReportId=NTIwMzc4OTY3S0 jim_m I did not insist that he do something “because two American journalists have been murdered”. I have insisted for the last 6 years that he do something because radical islam is a threat to global security and civilization, something he does not recognize and neither do you. I suppose for you history started last month because obviously you are to freaking stupid to recall anything before that point. More to the point, I am rather ambivalent to the deaths of these two men. They were journalists and it has not been established that they were anything different from the MSM types that have traveled with the enemy watching our soldiers be murdered. Really don’t care that much about them. Care a lot more about the innocents that these extremists are murdering, you know, the little school girls that the only reason Chico cares about them is because if they aren’t beheaded they get sold into the sex trade. Brucehenry The case was being argued throughout the 1980s and since that radical Islam was a threat to global security, yet no criticism of the Papa Bear Prez who gave pantspissing conservatives warm fuzzies was heard. Only now do we hear the drumbeat that every provocation must be responded to with the full weight of US arms. Funny how you insist that “the rest of us learn from history” in the same comment in which you dismiss the history of the 1980s, in which Americans were kidnapped and murdered ONE AFTER ANOTHER, as irrelevant and not worth talking about. Maybe Reagan could be forgiven for not taking it seriously when the Marines were murdered, or when the first hostage was taken in Lebanon. But the FIFTH? The FIFTEENTH? The TWENTYFIFTH? How stupid WAS Reagan, in your estimation, to not realize the importance of “doing something” when all those hostages were kidnapped and tortured and killed? Now again, I’m playing devil’s advocate here. This insistence that Obama do something cannot be justified by the same neocons and proto-neocons who saw no harm in Reagan doing nothing. “Doing something” when there are no good and effective choices available is likely to do more harm than good. Remember, a year ago you were shouting that Obama needed to “arm the Syrian rebels.” Turns out the Syrian rebels were ISIS all along. There has never been an effective “moderate” Syrian opposition to Assad that had any chance of success. Any aid to any so-called “moderates” there would only have strengthened ISIS. jim_m I’m playing devil’s advocate here Blow me Brucehenry LOL again fleeing rather than answer the question. What should Reagan have done? Chickenshit. jim_m Irrelevant to today’s issues and what needs to be done. The cowardice is all yours my friend when you serve up shiny objects to distract form your lord and savior’s inability to face up to the task at hand. Brucehenry You know Jim I will grant that it is arguable that something more needs to be done in response to ISIS or ISIL or whateverthefuck they’re called. Of course it’s possible that something will be done in the next few days or weeks. Despite your bleating, Obama is under no obligation to act on your timetable. Or McCain’s or Miss Lindsay’s. My point on all these threads in regard to you has been to point out the inconsistency of calling one guy feckless and cowardly while calling the other guy resolute and decisive when NEITHER has taken steps to effectively address the issues as you (or maybe even I) would like to see them addressed. jim_m Once more: calling obama feckless is about more than his foreign policy. It is a judgement on his personal character and one that is fitting. Brucehenry And, as a judgment, it is opinion. One widely shared in your circles, but opinion nonetheless. There are judgments one could make about Reagan’s personal character, too. You know, about cheating, divorce, and estrangement from children. About blacklists and red baiting and turning on your friends. And about inaction and headlong flight when 241 US Marines were blown up, and the blatant cynicism of the Grenada “intervention.” jim_m Reagan is not in a position to destroy this nation. Your lord and savior is. Perhaps you should care more about that. But then I suppose obama is doing exactly what you want him to do. Brucehenry LOL and if I thought Obama was about to “destroy this nation” maybe I would be. But I worry more about Republicans gaining control and taking us back to the 19th century. jim_m No you’d rather the muslims take us back to the 7th. jim_m Give it up Bruce. Reagan is dead. No matter how mch you criticize him it won’t change things. And I suppose that it never crossed your mind that people have learned from the past dealings with muslims and now demand a different course of action, because unlike you, the rest of us learn from history. You’re bitching that we didn’t care back then. YOU DON”T CARE RIGHT NOW!!!! You don’t give a damn how many Americans get beheaded. As long as obama is in the oval officeon the golf course it doesn’t matter who dies to advance your agenda. Brucehenry What do you think about Kissinger’s thoughts on the subject? http://www.npr.org/2014/09/06/346114326/henry-kissingers-thoughts-on-the-islamic-state-ukraine-and-world-order?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20140906 jim_m I don’t really give a damn what Kissinger thinks. Brucehenry Really? Because his positions are remarkably similar to some of yours. jim_m That would be a credit to him then. Commander_Chico Well, Obama Bin Laden said that’s why he did it, so it was certainly a reason. He particularly objected to US troops on Saudi territory. I would not expect that you would have read anything like The Looming Tower or Imperial Hubris. jim_m fool. They would object to your existence no matter where you were. THe fact that you live and do not worship their false god is reason enough for them to cut your throat. Brucehenry true colors exposed jim_m So your claim must therefore be that radical islam does not object to non-believers? I would like to see you present evidence of that. Brucehenry My claim is that you are pooh-poohing the fact that one of Osama’s main “grievances” was the presence of US “crusaders” on Saudi soil. You have ridiculed others for pointing out that fact, a fact that you apparently were unaware of. Then you double down on ignorance by making xenophobic Warner-like statements. jim_m Is it xenophobic to tell the truth about al qaeda? I al qaeda now to be considered an ethnicity? I think that US troop presence in Saudi Arabia is a pretext and that they would have found something else to be offended about. They always do. All they need is a book or a cartoon and they issue death threats and riot in the streets. I think you are delusional if you think that US troop presence anywhere is the real issue. Brucehenry Yes you are always quick to say the terrorists mean what they say — until it’s convenient for you to claim they DON’T mean what they say. jim_m I didn’t claim thhat they didn’t mean it when they say that they want to kill Americans and other infidels, I scoffed at the notion that US troop presence was really the reason. I claim that if those troops were not there that they would have provided another reason. Nor did I scoff at them when they said that they wanted to create a new caliphate like ISIS has declared in Iraq. I seem to recall you scoffing at that yourself. So when it comes down to motivations it seems that you are at least as guilty of what you accuse others of doing. Of course you specialize in double standards and hypocrisy. You probably haven’t even noticed that. Brucehenry Of course Bin Laden was for many years decrying the stationing of “crusaders” near Mecca and Medina. It was given as a reason for the embassy bombings in 1998, for example. But you were unaware of it. I suppose you were also unaware that Bush withdrew US troops from Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of 9/11. Of course that action wasn’t condemned by the likes of you as “feckless” or “weak” or “cowardly.” Rodney G. Graves You really should cease wearing Frued’s slips: Obama Bin Laden jim_m There you go. Chico is a good lefty and supports al qaeda because they are homophobes and treat women like property. Jwb10001 And for you history is what you say it is, filled with conspiracies and paranoid fantasy. Rodney G. Graves So says a damn liar. Jwb10001 And do tell for the umpteenth time what the point of all the perspective is supposed to be? Why do I care about that? Does it make me safer, does it change the situation? Does it suddendly mean that Chico was right and the west invaded Iraq and stole their resources, it only does if you claim he means something he didn’t say. And when our beloved Chico gets it wrong or is so unclear as to not even sound like he’s talking about “history” why do you feel it’s your job to add perspective. I mean I realize Chico’s an idiot but you don’t do yourself much good helping us gain perspective on his non sense. You know the company you keep says a lot about you. Brucehenry Remain ignorant if you wish. There is a reason people study history. It’s to gain perspective on current events. If you know nothing of history, as is the state of affairs you seem to prefer, you will forever be taken by surprise by “current events.” I don’t “feel it’s my job” to help you understand current events, genius, I’m just participating in the discussion just like you are. Why do you “feel it’s your job” to deny history happened, or that it matters? That was a stupid question. As for the company one keeps, twice in the past week Warner has featured my name on the front page, both times saying things about me which weren’t true. Then you chime in with the same nonsense, so what does that say about the company YOU keep, genius? Jwb10001 I don’t deny history I just don’t get your obsession with it, maybe if Obama had a little more of your perspective he would not be so unprepared for current events. He’s way more surprised by the situation in the mid east than I am. I’m not at all surprised at the decline in the region. Brucehenry If by “obsession with” you mean “knowing something about” history I plead guilty. And as for reading comprehension, please point out where anyone claimed “the west invaded Iraq and stole their resources.” That didn’t happen. The West INVENTED Iraq, the West CREATED Iraq, cobbling it together from three Ottoman provinces and installing their puppet as its ruler. That puppet proceeded to do the bidding of his imperialist and corporate Western masters, and the selling of “Iraq” commenced. The theft was part and parcel of the invention of Iraq. That pattern was repeated throughout the Middle East. That’s why the descendants of those whose patrimony was stolen and sold off — generations of whom have lived with the consequences of the game rigged in 1920 — so often hate all things Western. Jwb10001 No I mean beating me over the head with history, well past the point of being productive. Honestly Bruce I am perfectly aware that the region was dominated by the West and the puppet governments were put together with leaders that could be “managed”…. I GET IT. I also get that they might be a touch upset with us invading them. Honest I do get it. Please stop “explaining it to me” I will never admit that it had anything to do with Chico’s moronic comment or my response to it. It also doesn’t mean that I’m terribly understanding of the militant religious extremeist that tend to be overtaking the region. You’d think a liberal would be terribly distressed at the attitudes that dominate these extremeist, no matter the perpective of their history. Brucehenry Well if you were perfectly aware of it I don’t get why you were so insistent that it doesn’t matter, or why you kept insisting that there was no theft, only honest commerce. Jwb10001 Never insisted there was no theft, you put words in Chico’s mouth first then assumed I was responding to those words. I was not speaking in historical terms, as you are no doubt aware Chico is obsessed with Bush and Iraq there is no reason to suspect he’s ever talking about anything else. So when he says the West grabbed resources it is not unreasonable to sub west for Bush. Brucehenry OK I see. Brucehenry In Europe at the end of the Middle Ages, there were often peasant revolts. The peasants, ground down for generations by their feudal masters, would suddenly explode in rebellion and sometimes the lords, or more often the minions of the lords, would be slain. Those who killed were wrong to kill, but the peasant masses who yearned to be free of their bonds, imposed without their consent in the mists of history, were right to be resentful, right to want a change in the status quo. Vagabond661 Remember how the MSM handled Bill Clinton’s affairs? “drag a dollar through a trailer park”? The World’s Smartest Woman said it was a vast right wing conspiracy. She either is easily fooled or lying thru her teeth. Did they come in the defense of Herman Cain in the same way? We HAVE to see Romney’s tax records! But hey Obama’s college transcripts are private! We HAVE to release 5 terrorists from Gitmo for a deserter. But a Marine in Mexico is none of our business! In fact send us all of your children and we will take care of them! Here’s some free guns too! And let’s just open the borders to let anyone walk thru! What passes for journalism is pure partisan politics. Ken in Camarillo I call it prestitution. jim_m democrat operatives with bylines Rodney G. Graves As Glenn Instapundit Reynolds is apt to put it… Paul Hooson As clueless as the Obama Mideast policy towards ISIS has seemed, the Republican foreign policy in the area has been extremely poor as well. When Iranian-backed forces in Lebanon took Americans hostage, Reagan and his advisors came up with scheme to use fake Irish passports to send a team to Iran with a cake, a Bible, and traded arms to Iran as ransom to free the hostages, even though the U.S. was also funneling arms to Saddam Hussein through misuse of disaster CCC funds in yet another scandal at the time. Then Reagan went on national TV and offered up one of the most complete bullshit claims ever, “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me that it’s not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated in it’s implementation, to trading arms for hostages”. Associated problems in this Lebanon mess of Reagan’s included two U.S, aircraft shot down by Syrian forces with eight servicemen lost and poor security at a Marine barracks that led to a terrorist attack with 241 Marines and 58 French soldiers and six civilians killed by just two suicide bombers. As poor as the Obama policy seems at times, it would have to really degenerate to be as much of a mess as this wholly inept Reagan policy in the area was at the time. It was some of the worst and most inept moments of American foreign policy ever witnessed. Brucehenry Fucker truly was teflon. Shit STILL won’t stick to him, according to wingnuts. Paul Hooson Probably the most inept and corrupt administration in our nation’s history, but people liked Reagan as a personality, so were willing to overlook rampant corruption and ineptness that cost many American lives needlessly… jim_m Funny how being so inept they managed to produce an economy that would expand for the next quarter century, something that the brilliant Carter and obama have failed to do for even a year. Funny, for being inept, Reagan put us on the path that would lead to the collapse of our single greatest global opponent, the USSR. We could use more ineptitude like that right about now. Do you even know WTF you are talking about? Because it sure as hell doesn’t look like it. Ken in Camarillo Now if chico had replied to Paul’s leadoff, it would have been a trifecta on Warner’s first line in the post! jim_m i apologize for my thoughtless intervention. 😉 But perhaps we have avoided Armageddon. Paul Hooson Warner is dead wrong about me. I’m a tough Jewish-Irish military-biker-type who is a huge critic of Muslim extremism, but I praise moderate Muslims who seek peace with Israel and with Christians. I’m nowhere as liberal as Bruce, but I sometimes find some agreement with Chico, who often sees reason in an argument that others seem to miss. I support gun rights, BTW. I just don’t believe in walking into Walmart with an uzi to prove your manhood size to others. I run a strip club in a very tough section of Portland with six minority gangs operating in the neighborhood, but my friendship with motorcycle club members from clubs like the Hells Angels and Gypsy Jokers have helped provide security here along with my own crew, where some police think of me as a militia leader, but we protect this neighborhood from crime and make this a safe neighborhood for the neighbors. jim_m A shorter and more apt description would be a self absorbed, moron who can’t remember the 70’s much less the 80’s with any sort of accuracy. Paul Hooson I’m a tough guy who keeps order in my neighborhood. Rodney G. Graves You and Cheech… Paul Hooson The collapse of the former Soviet Union actually happened after the Reagan years during the Bush Administration largely due to the political and social reforms by reformer leader Mikhail Gorbachev who ordered Communist leaders in both Poland and East Germany as well as in Russia to allow some political dissent. Mikhail Gorbachev regretted that he had to slowly enact political reforms, but the Communist hardliners were such a threat that they even staged a coup that other reformers like Boris Yeltsin other reformers had to champion the rescue of the country from the hardliners. – The temporary boom of the Reagan years was financed by cutbacks of services to the very poor and the tax savings gave a temporary shot in the arm to economy. But, Bill Clinton did just as well with the economy with much less human misery. And Johnson did better yet, with huge economic growth despite the Vietnam War. During the 60’s some cars like your full size Chevrolets like Impala, Belair, Biscayne used to sell 800,000 units a year. Now a good selling car line sells 200,000 a year. Reagan is given a lot of credit for things he never did. I call it the Reagan myth. – But, I liked Reagan as a speaker. I’ll give him credit for that. jim_m Fool. Reagan’s military build up forced the Soviets to try to keep up. The changes pushed by Gorbachev and then Yeltsin were necessitated by the economic collapse that was hastened by their doing so. Because of how the USSR was structured politically they had no choice but to try to pursue the US military expansion. That economic stress was revealed in the economic and social fault lines that ripped the USSR and the Warsaw pact nations apart. You are old enough to remember that Carter left us with double digit inflation, double digit interest rates and rising unemployment. Worse yet, he told the nation that it wouldn’t ever get better and that we should just accept it. But the most laughable part of your comment was that the Reagan boom was made by cutbacks. EVERYONE knows that under Reagan the federal budget exploded. The chief complaint from lefties like you (when they aren’t lying like you are above) is that Reagan spent so much and increased the deficit. One more example of revisionist history from the left. Paul Hooson That military buildup was just a waste of money and actually slowed Gorbachev’s reforms because it was harder to sell the hardliners the value of reforms when some crazy cowboy wants to start WWIII. jim_m Slowed reforms that would have kept the communists in power. Hastened the economic collapse and reduced their ability to support their Warsaw pact allies contributing to their collapse. If you wanted to avoid WWIII you shouldn’t have voted for obama. He’s bringing it to us as fast as he can. The weakness he has portrayed and the willingness to betray our allies is bringing us closer to war than Reagan’s show of force. Paul Hooson No. North Korea is proof that with a strong secret police that starving people will fear the state. – Gorbachev’s path to democracy was made more difficult by what appeared a drumbeat to war by Reagan. – What if a mistake would have left both Russia and the U.S, burned out shells after a nuclear war by miscalculation where other countries would then be the leading world powers in the world and the rebuilding U.S. even less than Canada as a world power. jim_m What a crock. So the KGB and the Stasi were weak? You’re a freaking moron. The difference between N Korea and the rest of the world is that N Korea is a prison state. That was not the case with the USSR and eastern Europe. You have a truly ignorant understanding of the world. No wonder you fell for the prepubescent understanding that obama has. Paul Hooson THE ATLANTIC and other sources have further proved that military spending did not really increase in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev despite the big military spending buildup of Reagan or the Russian involvement in Afghanistan to control Muslim extremists and heroin trade flowing into Russia. – It’s a silly myth that Reagan bankrupted Russia with military spending of their own. That never happened. In the event of war with the U.S., Russia would launch thousands of nukes at the U.S. and reduce much of the U.S. to ash. They didn’t need to spend additional money to accomplish this despite the belief of many Reagan true-believers. jim_m Yes, that was why Reagan funded SDI. I’ll note you have no links to support your assertion. Faced with a growing US military and a looming economic crisis you claim that the USSR didn’t increase their military spend. With the crisis why did they not decrease it? Regardless of whether or not the increased it, Reagan forced them to spend far more than they could afford. It’s a shame that you lack the ability to understand these things. Too bad that, like obama, your understanding of the world seems to have halted when you were 12. Paul Hooson SDI was only a theoretical system where some closely controlled tests could guide two objects toward each other in space. Where’s this SDI today? – Both countries increased their nuclear warheads to around 10,000 each, but as a percentage of the Russian economy, military spending in the USSR failed to show any real increase in budget compared to U.S. spending. – Creating more nuclear warheads didn’t make you, your family or children more safe, but threatened everyone you love. It was dangerous foolishness that could have reduced both the U.S. and USSR to mere ash. When Gorbachev announced big cuts in the military budget in 1989 before the breakup of the USSR he noted that these cuts were not linked to any arms cuts by the U.S. but to his restructuring of the USSR economy. So Gorbachev actually began cutting the military budget before any breakup of the USSR. jim_m SDI was a broad based initiative to develop multiple technologies to counter enemy nuclear attack. SDI lead directly to programs like the Patriot missile defense system and the Israeli Iron Dome. You can look that fact up just about anywhere. Get with it Paul. If you aren’t going to pay attention there really is no point in discussing such topics when you are so hopelessly uninformed. Paul Hooson Let’s get back to that fantastic and mythical GDP growth under Reagan. Under Truman, GDP was at a 6.5% average growth rate. But that fell to 3.7% or less under Eisenhower. Under Kennedy it improved to 5.7% and under Johnson to 4.9% despite the Vietnam War. Under Nixon it fell to 3.6% and with Ford further declined to 2% annual GDP growth. Under Carter the GDP growth increased to 3.5% annual growth, declined to 3.1% in Reagan’s first term, but increased to 3.9% in his second term, or marginally better than Jimmy Carter. Under Bush it declined to 2.1% annual growth, but improved to 3.5% and 4.0% under the two Clinton terms. In the first Bush term, GDP fell to 3.8% but then declined to an absurd 0.5% growth in the second Bush term. In the first Obama term, the GDP improved to just over 2.0%. – The average GDP growth under Democrats since Truman has been 4.4%, compared to 2.5% under Republicans. The Reagan years were not the mythical fantastic hardly boom times for America, but simply less bad than most Republicans, and certainly less good than all Democrat administrations as a whole since Truman. Supporters of Reagan can credit his second term as being less bad for the American economy than most Republicans, but whether that makes up for his first term economy being worst than Jimmy Carter is a matter of some debate. But, the fantastic Reagan economy is just another myth surrounding this magical man who has been accorded all sorts of superhuman powers by his devoted followers, even if many of the things never really happened…. jim_m In itherwirds… now that you’ve made an ass of yourself you want to change the subject. Paul Hooson Ground based defense systems were a huge scaleback from the dream of space based weapons, but far more realistic versions. Some space based systems like “Rods From The Gods” would fire tungsten rods from space that would Earth targets with the force of small nuclear bombs for example. jim_m Yep. Keep moving those goalposts. Your claim was that nothing at all came from the SDI projects. I will remind you that the left protested that even systems like the Patriot missile were physically impossible. Paul Hooson Here’s a chart illustrating that claimed Reagan miracle economy performance…..Did you know that he could walk on water or create loaves and fishes? Commander_Chico SDI and “missile defense” are the biggest boondoggles / corporate welfare programs in the government. Waste of money. Countermeasures are obvious. Paul Hooson Gorbachev ordered the KGB and police not to arrest Russians for writing newspaper letters critical of the Afghanistan War and other reforms not allowed under Brezhnev. Rodney G. Graves Fantasy revision. Paul Hooson No. People loved Reagan as a person so they built a big myth surrounding him where supposedly the economy was bigger and better than ever, when the truth was it was worst than Carter in his first term, and slightly less than Bill Clinton’s GDP growth in his second term, averaging only slightly better than Carter with both terms combined. And while Gorbachev was ready to end the Cold War as some like Margaret Thatcher quickly recognized, Reagan’s administration undertook a dangerous nuclear arms build-up that could have led to accidental nuclear war. Couple all of this with his inept foreign policy and arms for hostages and other scandals, and Reagan is all myth with little good substance or worthwhile achievements. Rodney G. Graves Ha ha! Brucehenry If it was ever proven that Obama did what Reagan did — trade arms to our enemy in exchange for hostages — the howls from butthurt conservatives would drown out a Who concert. There would be no end of noise about fecklessness, sending wrong signals, cutting and running, collaboration with the enemy, yada yada yada. But St Ronaldus Magnus was the Best Prez Evah! jim_m Exept the difference is that when Reagan sold arms to Iran they weren’t killing our soldiers in the field. But then you would be supportive of obama doing just that. Paul Hooson Iran, Syria and terrorists in Lebanon were all allies and did indeed kill Americans at the time including 2 aircraft shot down by Syria and terror attacks in Lebanon that killed 241`Marines, forcing Reagan to order troops out of Lebanon rather than redouble efforts to smash terrorist organizations. When things got tough, Reagan cut and run instead of standing up to terrorists. – A tough talking cowboy actor who never served in the military, only played a soldier in films… Brucehenry Their minions killed 241 Marines in 1983, and kidnapped 25 Americans throughout the 1980s, yet Reagan sold them arms in 1984 and 1985. Dumbass. There is no difference. At least there WOULDN’T be if we were talking about Obama doing it. Commander_Chico WTF are you talking about? The arms to Iran were sold after Iran’s proxy Hezbollah blew up the Marine and French barracks in Beirut. jim_m There is a difference between that and Iran arming militants in an active theater where they are killing US soldiers in combat. Brucehenry Yes that is probably a huge difference to the families of the 241 Marines. jim_m Funny how you guys are all wound up about Reagan leaving after 241 marines were killed. What must you think about obama doing that after 4,486 were killed in Iraq. Nothing like standing on the dead to advance your agenda. Perhaps Reagan should have let more soldiers die and then you would have supported him. Paul Hooson Even though Bush’s entry into Iraq was a mistake, Obama should have kept American bases there as peacekeepers. America leaving has only created a power vacuum there for sectarian violence and ISIS to fill. Jwb10001 Bruce, all this Reagan was bad too non sense doesn’t really excuse the lousy performance of Obama does it? If we all climbed on board with the Reagan really sucked version of history would Obama suddendly be better, would the work force participation rate suddenly become acceptable, would the mid east stop burning, would the DOJ, IRS, and all the other policitized federal agencies suddendly become servants of the public? I think not, Obama would still be right up there with among our worst presidents. You could rank him slightly ahead of your most hated republicans but he’d still be terrible. If he was so great you and Chico and others could deflect all us crazy critical rubes by sighting all the wonderfulness he’s brought to the country instead of falling constantly on Reagan and Bush and all other republicans suck. Brucehenry It’s true that because Reagan sucked it doesn’t mean Obama is great. What it DOES mean is that many of Obama’s critics are hypocrites, decrying this or that about Obama that they ignored or even lauded about Reagan. Like Jim here, explaining how Obama is ruining this country by doing the same things (or NOT doing them) that Reagan did. But while Reagan was sooooo awesome, Obama is a feckless coward, or something. Jwb10001 Well of course they are just like you are about republicans, I mean that’s how politics works in America. Democrats and liberals are inflicted with terminal hypcrocy just like conservatives are, niether side is going to allow any failure to slide. I’m sure you felt that Bush overreached his authority, do you feel Obama has done so as well, even more so? If not then your hypcrocy is showing. But honestly every day there is some new bad news either about the economy or world events, or executive overreach. At what point do you stop being loyal to a failed president and start to see things the way they are? I mean a lot of conservatives turned on Bush or the same stuff they are critical of Obama about. Brucehenry Sure they did. Name three prominent ones. Jwb10001 I don’t have name names(plus I didn’t say prominent conservatives), I can simply point to failures of the Bush presidency, like trying to get Myers on the Supreme Court or trying to push immigration reform built around amnesty, errors in Iraq (he did lose congress remember.) There are probably others as well that don’t currently come to mind. Brucehenry Conservatives did NOT turn on Bush for overspending, as they do with Obama — see Medicare Part D. See the three Keynesian stimulus packages Bush championed, the last one in 2008. Conservatives did NOT turn on Bush for his conduct of foreign policy, even though Bin Laden slipped through his fingers and was ignored for the rest of Bush’s presidency. They did NOT claim he was a weakling when Russia stole two Georgian provinces, even though John McCain, who never saw a war he didn’t want my kids to die in, thought maybe Bush should “do something.” But then McCain’s not a “real” conservative, now is he? Jwb10001 Well Bruce, I didn’t say that conservatives turned into liberals and starting beating the shit of Bush. But I recall very clearly distress in conservative circles over Medicare part D and there was an entire effort put forth call pork busters during the Bush presidency that was focused on fiscal irresponsiblity of both Bush and congress. If your mission here is to point to hypcrocy then you’ve undertaken an fool’s errand and will get just as much as you dish out. Like I said at the very start of our discussion niether side has been innoculated against it. Brucehenry And I don’t see why you think I should start beating the shit out of Obama. And there may have been distress about Part D but it was passed with an overwhelming majority of Republican votes as I recall. Jwb10001 I don’t think you should start beating the shit out of Obama, I never said that. Simply pointing out that when you start complaining about hypcorcy there’s plenty to go around. Example the liberals have their own version of Reagan, FDR. It’s hard to find a liberal that doesn’t think he was our best ever president. I’m sure the conservatives here (those that are at least a little aware of history) could point to several things that are less than stelar about FDR. You yourself pointed to Reagan’s infedility, FDR supposedly had that very same issue. I would also point out that liberals (not necessarily you)elevated Obama far beyond anything that conservatives have ever done with Reagan. Obama himself claimed he would cool the planet and lower the seas, even you have to admit that’s a bit over the top. Brucehenry Yeah that commercial was a little much. Jwb10001 As a point of clarification, conservatives and republicans don’t mean the same thing to me. Republican support of medicare part D is different to me than conservative support for it. I’m also not making any sort of assessment of the legislation itself just there was decention among conservatives. Brucehenry It may not mean the same to you but I myself can’t think of a single Republican who doesn’t describe himself or herself as a conservative. Jwb10001 Well and that’s the problem with republicans that talk like conservatives but don’t act like conservatives. Well as much as I’ve enjoyed our chat I’m off to play golf, have a good day. Brucehenry Enjoy, it’s been too freaking hot this week in NC to enjoy the outside. Maybe today will be better. Jwb10001 It was hot here in Ohio too for most of the week today it’s in the 70’s couldn’t be better. Jwb10001 If spending is your issue with Bush you should be out of your mind with disstress over Obama, Bush was a piker when comes to spending I don’t think that’s a hill you should plant your flag on. Jwb10001 I forgot all that Hank Pulson engineered TARP BS at the end of his presidency. Bush, Reagan etc are just like all other modern presidents they were far from perfect, but come on there’s a lot to be critical about with this current administration.