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"I have a dream..."

Or, at least, a recurring fantasy.

After the next big Islamic terrorist attack (and while I wish to hell there won't be, I'm sure there will be) I'd like to assemble a group of people outside a mosque. We'd have signs and banners denouncing the atrocity in particular and terrorism and general. And then we'd unfurl one more banner, bigger than all the rest:


We would ask the Muslims inside to come out and join with us, to openly condemn terrorist attacks on civilians without reservation. No mention of "the oppression of the Palestinians," no "legitimate resistance," no "since Israel has universal conscription, there are no civilians," just standing with us and speaking out against the atrocities.

It would be very calm, very peaceful, very cordial. We wouldn't be demanding anything, just giving them the chance to join us.

And if they refuse, or equivocate, or want to negotiate, we would simply walk away.

I fear the only way we can stop radical Islam without destroying all of Islam is to convince the mainstream Muslims to see that Brothers in Faith are a threat to them, too, eventually, and they need to stop turning a blind eye and lending their tacit support. And we need to get them to put deeds to their soft words of condemnation.


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Comments (56)

Just make sure you wear a d... (Below threshold)

Just make sure you wear a double layer of body armor and bring along a .50 caliber machine gun for back-up.

Just a guess, but my estima... (Below threshold)

Just a guess, but my estimate is 95% of the people on this planet are strongly opposed to them already so raising that to 96 or even 97% isn't going to sway the terrorists into becoming human or anything similar. It would be nice to see the Muslim community in general do something more than issue a statement but I just don't see that happening. Symbolism isn't going to defeat an enemy that puts so little value on the lives of it's perceived enemies and it certainly won't defeat an ideology whose members put so little value on their own lives. The only way i can see to defeat terrorism is to treat it like what it is, a virus. Eradicate it. The day we can convince the non-terrorist majority of Muslims to join us in eradicating terrorism rather than just issuing another statement condemning it is the day we truly start putting an end to it.

I fear the only way we c... (Below threshold)

I fear the only way we can stop radical Islam without destroying all of Islam is to convince the mainstream Muslims to see that Brothers in Faith are a threat to them... Unfortunately the moderate Muslim doesn’t see that the radicals are the ones who will bring the “can of whipass” to their doorsteps…

Interestingly enough, a <a ... (Below threshold)

Interestingly enough, a British Muslim group just did denounce the bombings.
We'll see how it holds up.

Actually, I think that we'r... (Below threshold)

Actually, I think that we're overlooking western civilization's most potent weapon- humor.

We need to make the suicide bombers ridiculous- buffoons, assholes, unstylish fools. We need to reduce them to caricatures.

These idiots are as much following a fad as an ideology- and holding up their sacred religion as a pinata, laughing at a singularly humorless culture, will likely do far more to eradicate the next generation of bombers than dropping a nuke on damascus or tehran.

The headlines from your dem... (Below threshold)

The headlines from your demonstration will be


or something like that.

I don't know if you guys ha... (Below threshold)

I don't know if you guys have heard but the terrorists hate us because of our freedom and our decadent way of life. Maybe what we need to do is curtail our freedoms by implementing more restricitve policies in our own country. Oh wait, the Patriot Act is already doing that. Never mind.

A question to pose to Islam... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

A question to pose to Islamic leaders is were the London bombers martyrs or just naive men duped into committing suicide? If they were martyrs, then explain to us how Islam is a religion of piece. If Islamic leaders won’t defend their faith, then society should define it as a religion of violence, war, and oppression. Freedom of religion does not protect incitement of violence. If Islamic leaders condemned the London bombers as criminals who were duped into committing suicide by worse criminals, it would go a long way in stopping such atrocities. The suicide bomb tactic is useless without a steady supply of willing bombers and without the mantel of martyr, few would be willing. Muslims can retain the good name of Islam or they can tolerate terrorism in the name of Islam, but society can make sure they can’t have both.

"...the terrorists hate us ... (Below threshold)

"...the terrorists hate us because of...our decadent way of life."

Ummm...is that why they induce suicide-idiots with an orgy filled heaven.

It's not a whole lot deeper than simple jealousy. They hate others because the alternative would be to turn inward and examine the flaws and failings of their own society and culture.

Jay, your peaceful gatherin... (Below threshold)

Jay, your peaceful gathering would be just the type of thing a suicide bomber would look to join - temporarily of course. I think the fact that these Muslim terrorists have no problem with targeting even groups of children shows what kind of "men" these pathetic individuals are. I am sure Mohammed himself would not feel safe walking among them.

Arab/Islamic civilization, ... (Below threshold)

Arab/Islamic civilization, once great, has been on a steep decline for the last, oh, 300 years or so. Wahabism is their response to that. Blaming and hating others, as Don correctly noted, is something they'd prefer to do rather than the undertaking the hard and painful task of examining themselves and their own failures. The Wahabists instituted the first culture of victimhook. That is, they successfully propounded the idea that "we're no longer great because our greatness was stolen from us by infidels who are not worthy to tie our shoes." Etc.

I am convinced that once you get most of the Moslem "moderates" behind closed doors, they're not so opposed to Wahabist terrorism as they'd like you to believe. Islam is an expansionist religion and the Wahabist goal of a world dominated by Islamic law and culture is not something that the moderates are necessarily opposed to.

Oops. Not "victimhook." V... (Below threshold)

Oops. Not "victimhook." Victimhood. Hood. Sheesh, I wish I could type.

Don, except that the assert... (Below threshold)

Don, except that the assertions that Muslims are "jealous" or they "hate our freedoms" are juvenille falsehoods designed to explain away the truth.

An authority no less credible than the US Defense Department released a report in November of 2004 that was done by the Defense Science Board (a Federal Advisory Committee established to provide independent advice to the Secretary of Defense) that concluded the following:

'Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies [the report says]. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.'

If I had released this study, you might have a case in debunking it but unfortunately for you it was released by the Pentagon. Oops.

Great idea! Taking off on y... (Below threshold)
Barney G.:

Great idea! Taking off on your concept, here is a suggestion which might be practically realizable:

Thomas L Friedman, Middle East Correspondant for the New York Times, pointed out in his last weeks column, that no Muslim clerics - to his knowledge - had ever issued a fatwa or religious declaration - against Ben Laden.

I think all of us should find email addresses of our local Mosques, and send an email to the Iman in each Mosque asking them to issue a fatwa against the London bombings, and after every succeeding such bombing, whereever it occurs, write all of them again asking for fatwas against the most recent atrocity.

I keep hearing that Islam is a peaceful religion, now lets demand that local Muslim clerics tell their Muslim members that it is a peaceful religion and that they will be damned for such bombings.

Barney G.

Is Islam a religion of peac... (Below threshold)

Is Islam a religion of peace, or a religion of pieces?

"Arab/Islamic civilization,... (Below threshold)

"Arab/Islamic civilization, once great, has been on a steep decline for the last, oh, 300 years or so. Wahabism is their response to that."

I think that Wahabism, and its cultural predecessors was the cause of that decline. This is not the first occurance of Islamic fundamentalism in the Moslem world. As soon as you begin to see all outsiders as the enemy, even co-religionist of a slightly different view, then you culture is guaranteed to stagnate as no good ideas can enter from outside and no innovation can occur that threatens the status quo.


By the way, it seems clear ... (Below threshold)

By the way, it seems clear that Islamic fundamentalism is different from fundamentalism in other religions, ie Christian fundamentalism.

Since the end of the Thirty Years War in Europe, Christians have had little stomach for conversion by the sword. Christian fundamentalism believes that the individual must get back to the fundamental word of G_d in his relationship to the creator. This is much closer to the Islamist apologist's definition of jihad as an internal struggle to desist from evil and follow G_d's will. (I don't doubt that this explanation is promogated because of the ability of a western Christian, fundamentalist or mainstream, to understand and agree)

Islamic fundamentalism, or Islamism, because of its unity of religion and authority, is much more concerned with others 'getting right with g_d' and will use force to ensure it. This view will cause Wahabism to remain a powerful but minority belief within the Moslem community, hard to accept while also spiritualy difficult and personally dangerous to publicly oppose.

I may be belaboring what is obvious to long-term followers of recent unpleasantness, but forgive me.


I'm impressed! The posts to... (Below threshold)
Moon Monkey:

I'm impressed! The posts to Jay's piece have been insightful,witty and without question intellligent. Many of you are astutely grounded in Middle-Eastern culture,and "shoot from the hip". Regretably,I lack those credentials but I can recognize cowards when I see them,and I think it's fair to critique most Muslims as being spineless,whinning cowards. They,for the most part,are not even good revolutionaries! Bravery is a word non-existent in their lives,and this shortcoming together with two other factors will keep them safe from enlightenment for many years to come. "Cafeteria Reliigion",where self styled practices justify just about everything in the name of Allah...is vitually impossible to deal with. Lastly,"lack of education"wraps up this group so neatly that there is little opportunity to overcome rampant ignorance. They're dum-dum's!
Jay Tea's approach,though well intended I'm sure,is the sort of thing that has offered little progress in eliminating terrorism. I guess I'm simply weary of being "civil".
Bottom Line...we are seeking reasonable solutions while dealing with unreasonable people. I think Rita Mae Brown characterized this behavior as "insanity".

JmaRYou have manag... (Below threshold)


You have managed to contradict yourself in no less than two posts. LOL

"...the terrorists hate us because of our freedom and our decadent way of life."

"...the assertions that Muslims are "jealous" or they "hate our freedoms" are juvenille falsehoods designed to explain away the truth."

Either you are fabricating "juvenile falsehoods" to explain away the truth, or your other personality has been posting in your absence.

LJD,You might want... (Below threshold)


You might want to consider a third possibility:

My first post was dripping with sarcasm. Sorry to disappoint you.

Hmmmm.I think I'd ... (Below threshold)


I think I'd better not. If I do attend I'll be bringing my own sign and it'll read:

"If WE'RE not civilians, then YOU'RE not civilians."

Damn straight.

"Bottom Line...we are seeki... (Below threshold)

"Bottom Line...we are seeking reasonable solutions while dealing with unreasonable people."

Moon Monkey, I can't disagree in regards to the terrorist themselves. Kill 'em all, I say. But I don't believe that all Moslems, especially in the US, are unreasonable. Remaining on the sidelines when dealing with groups that would slit your throat, if you publicly opposed them, is reasonable. Not heroic, but definitely reasonable. We must find some way to mobilize western-oriented Moslems in the fight against Islamism. The chief problem does appear to be the mosque leaders who won't take a firm stand against this self-defeating theology. I know that it is difficult, fear aside, since in so many places the Koran does seem to demand the death or enslavement of non-moslems. As others, much smarter than I, have said; "Islam needs a Reformation". There must be a way to interpret G_d's will to insist on conversion by persuasion instead of conversion by coercion. Islam, and Moslems, need their own Martin Luther.

So then Moon Monkey, what should we do? The world has not yet come to the point where "Kill 'em all and let G_d sort them out!" is acceptable. (a nuclear 9/11 might change that though) If you have any ideas, don't keep them to yourself.


JmaR said . . . ... (Below threshold)

JmaR said . . .

My first post was dripping with sarcasm.

Dripping? Barely damp would be a more apt description.

In fact, reeking with paran... (Below threshold)

In fact, reeking with paranoia would be better.


Not sure how many mosques y... (Below threshold)

Not sure how many mosques you have in NH, but we've got plenty right down the road from me in Dearborn. Where in the early days of OIF they were running around the streets with American flags praising the liberators -- now they've switched to burning them. There is an interesting mix of Chaldeans and Muslims who don't seem to hate each other as much as they used to when they can concentrate on hating us instead.

I would love to see an anti-terrorism rally in Dearborn. It would only be a few minutes before all involved would be charged as racist neocons, though.

While I like your original ... (Below threshold)

While I like your original idea, I think I like Tim's more. Saddam's followers were oh so offended by the video of Saddam being examined (how disrespectful!), and the photo of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed made him look like an Islamic Archie Bunker. If nothing else, making them look like buffoons is fun and if it offends their followers, so much the better!

DavidB,I'm paranoi... (Below threshold)


I'm paranoid, but you're a strong supporter of a President that pre-emptively invaded a pissant country that had no effective military capacity, no WMD and had been crippled by over a decade of sanctions? An adminstration that was so insecure about its rationale for war that they had to out a CIA agent to scare off other potential "problem" insiders that might think about speaking the truth and fvcking up their plans. That's the very definition of paranoid as far as I'm concerned.

JmaR, I know that your in t... (Below threshold)

JmaR, I know that your in the middle of a flame war, but please, this last post is entirely devoid of any facts.

"that pre-emptively invaded a pissant country"
Well, it was pissed-up enough to force us to keep troops in Saudi Arabia for 10 years just to defend our access to oil. (Which, incidently, is one of OBL stated indictments against us crusaders)

"no WMD" Our clairvoyence did fail us here but so did everyone elses and so what?

"crippled by over a decade of sanctions?" Only the poor people were crippled, not the regime. Have you not been following the Oil-for-Food scandal?

And of course: "that they had to out a CIA agent" Haven't been reading the news lately? Did you check out Matt Coopers last word on his conversations with Rove? I'll still reserving judgm ent but slowly moving into the 'no-crime-was-committed' camp. Present your report dammit, Fitzgerald!!!

I like you buddy, but this is indefensible.


we cant make fun of Islamic... (Below threshold)

we cant make fun of Islamic stupidity because to do so would be culturaly offensive. Well thats what liberals seem to think. Actually in many ways, liberals such as JMar are more of a threat to the American way of life than even the terrorists. The terrorists know this and seek to exploit it which they do and unfortunatly the left seems all to willing to accomodate the terrorists plans.

Toby928..."what shou... (Below threshold)
Moon Monkey:

"what should we do"...indeed?
I applaud your candor and desire to seek some sense of finality to what has become the world's largest "can of worms"!Your keen senses and manner are exactly what the bad guys lack,and precisely why we find ourselves up to our asses in alligators.
To your credit,the world needs more people like you. And I say that simply because your skills of moderation far surpass mine.
That said,let me remind you that until these past few days there has been next to no positive commentary from Muslim leadership. And that has been so minimal as to not be worth mentioning.
If you think that most Muslims (here or abroad)are in your corner or share your dreams,goals or desires then I invite your re-visitation of reality.
Time and space preclude my drawing distinctions between over-here and over-there Muslims. But one of the points that should be thought through is the fact that democratization as we know it cannot replace ideologies(centuries old). Those who are given to believe and practice in ways of fundamentalism should be looked at with squinty eyes. More often than not these people are hypocrites of the tallest order and present a Pandora's Box of conflict,problems and challenges.

They are "the true believers". Short of violent decisions against them,which I hate to think about,they cannot be engaged in long-term meaningful relationships. And if an order of society can't be held to reasonable contemporary standards, then that group forfeits the element of trust. In the end we all have the potential of losing...because True Believers,in the absence of conflict will always prevail.

Moon Monkey, I hear you. T... (Below threshold)

Moon Monkey, I hear you. The true believer is impossible to reason with and even in defeat will continue to plot and nurse grievences.

That being said, you still have no suggestions unless I'm to read between the lines. I think that the American Moslem/Arab community could be of invaluable aid in defeating the Islamist. Their condemnation of terrorist acts, which some are now doing, is a good start but there is more. I am suprised that many more are not volunteering for the army and intelligence services as at least translators. I would have thought that, like the Americans of Japanese descent in WWII, they would be eager to prove their patriotism and appreciation for this country which has given them the chance to prosper and worship in peace. Perhaps, the experiece of the relocation camps drove the Japanese-Americans to greater efforts to prove their patriotism, I don't know. I would not want to recommend that as an inducement today.

So then, how do we get more cooperation? Suggestions anyone?


Toby,Back at 10:40... (Below threshold)


Back at 10:40AM on this thread I posted the factual conclusions that were released by the Pentagon in 2004 regarding the fallacious claims that Muslims "hate us for our freedoms" or that they're "jealous" of our way of life. As I said in the post, these were from a source that even the rightwing couldn't cast doubt on. It's a pretty solid counerargument to the "they hate our freedoms" contingent. Do you know how many responses that elicited? Not a single one. So if I'm very specific and provide evidence the usual suspects on this site ignore it. If I make more general statements (all of which I can easily back up with shiploads of evidence) it's indefensible. Just can't win with you guys I guess.

gozorak, you wouldn't know patriotism if it bit you in the ass. I have some news for you (why I'm even wasting the keystrokes I don't know...but it's part of the game I guess), it's not liberals that are a threat to this country (Kerry's stated plans were a new Manhattan Project to develop alternative sources of energy to free us from dependence on foreign oil and tying up loose nukes.....sounds incredibly patriotic and smart if you ask me) it's those that continue to be confronted with the horrible realities of the Bush adminstrations policies, day in and day out, and STILL can't admit that it's been an unmitigated disaster. It's irresponsible to choose party over country and quite frankly supporting Bush after all that's happened in the last 5 years is unpatriotic. They may need the jaw's of life to remove your head from your ass...it's way up in there.

JmaR, I saw that you were f... (Below threshold)

JmaR, I saw that you were flaming/being flamed and I appreciate what that feels like. (I'm still awaiting an apology from a certain single initial that will remain nameless and... the rip on gozorak was delightfully painfull, although I cannot call the last five years an unmitigated disaster, as they seem pretty mitigated to me ;-).

"Do you know how many responses that elicited? Not a single one. " you can lead a horse to water and all that, shoving his head under does no good for you or the horse. Maybe they just didn't like the post.

As far as your last post, perhaps your using shorthand for concepts that you fleshed out earlier, but that particular post was so weightless as to drift away.

I'd like to see "shiploads of evidence" that "they had to out a CIA agent". If you've got shiploads, boatloads, or even pocket hankerchief loads you should get thee to the grand jury ;-). Patience is still the key here.

The "pissant country" point is nugatory as is the "no WMD". Its pretty much goes without saying that any country we actually invade had better be pissant-ish. Its not like we're equipped to invade China or India. And to quote myself: "it was pissed-up enough to force us to keep troops in Saudi Arabia for 10 years just to defend our access to oil."

Hey though, did you see my question the other day? I've been trying to remember if anyone in this administration had, to date, been indicted or been force to 'depart under a cloud'. Do you know of any? No one springs to mind but that doesn't mean much as the 'old noodle' is not what it used to be. It would be hard to believe that this has been 'the most ethical administration in modern memory' but I may be forced to so declare it. ;-)


"forced to so declare it." ... (Below threshold)

"forced to so declare it." and then be flamed and deluged with info if its not so. Its hard to get anybody to help answer a question but just assert something and everyone will have a pov but that may be the nature of this medium


So I will assert it: "The B... (Below threshold)

So I will assert it: "The Bush administration has been the most ethical administration in modern memory".

Now, I'll duck.


Toby,The fact that... (Below threshold)


The fact that you a) recognize that engaging the likes of China (or India I suppose but any nuclear capable nation works here) in a military standoff of ANY degree would be suicidal and that b) we have maintained a strong military presence in the Gulf and particularly in Saudi Arabia (but less so now) to protect our access to oil, leads me to believe that you are looking at all sides of these issues with an honest eye. There are many on the right that refuse to acknowledge any point that hasn't been sanctioned by Rush Limbaugh's producer. I can't figure out why conservatives NEVER concede a point and they always discredit the source. I'm not sure if people are aware of this but the NYT and the WashPost still employ not only high standards of journalism but some of most talented journalists in the country. I consider Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity (to name the most obvious) serial liars and that point has been demonstrated repeatedly. If people took the time to investigate they'd see it for themselves. I know Al Franken and Michael Moore have been blown out of the water by the right wing smear merchants (and I'm sure I will be too for mentioning them), but their facts are unassailable. Franken employed a team of 20 Harvard graduate students (and possibly undergrad as well) to research and fact check for his "Liars" book and if you read it you would see that it is meticulously and concisely laid out. He blows them out of the water....but the louder spin machine wins out. AirAmerica can't compete with the rightwing message machine, it's a slaughter (like the US invading Iraq...couldn't resist) I believe that many good unsuspecting Americans has been brainwashed by the rightwing message machine. They frame the debate, they destroy dissent, they shout louder than their meek, hand-picked guests (and co-hosts...think Colmes) and so often they just make shit up out of thin air. It's breathtaking. Sorry, it's late and I'm rambling.

Peace out.

Toby928Your analogy ... (Below threshold)
Moon Monkey:

Your analogy of the WWll Japanese vis a vis the followers of Islam was a good (and interesting)observation. The Japanese,unlike the Middle East Muslim communities,celebrated education as a priveledge. Despite their misguided beliefs,they were ultimately able to overcome their poor choices because they posessed good character traits and intelligence. The Sand people are in short supply of both.
The Japanese/Americans at that time,despite their unfair treatment (in retrospect),were products of good stock and succeeded as they would have no matter where they resided.
Although I have no qualms about supporting the Iraqii involvement,I also see many years of torment from these people. The only solution in the Middle East lies in the belly of persistence and time.
Since we,the U.S.,share in creating some of the mess from way-back-when,their leadership conveniently rekindles the hate/jealousy fires on a regular basis. Stir in religiosity and lack of intelligence and you have the makings of what we are faced with today.
I suspect that there will be no resolution and the Arab States will force our hand as we exit gracefully from the stage. Muslims the world over
will unite and rejoice
as one,as we leave hat-in-hand.
In the end,at least for the forseeable future,the whole exercise will go down as "The Show About Nothing"(my apologies to Larry David and that other guy).

JmaR said . . . ... (Below threshold)

JmaR said . . .

I'm paranoid, but you're a strong supporter of a President . . .

Well, one out of two isn't bad. You make conclusions with no facts to support them.

As for the study you supposedly quote, please provide a link, or the full title, so that those of us who may want to read the entire study can do so. You see, I would like to read and understand the context of the passage you quote. I would like to see the supporting information that was used to reach that conclusion, and I would like to see the other conclusions that may have been reached in the report. Oh, and I would like to see if the quote is as you say and your not pulling a Dowdism(sp?).

You have no idea who I am or my politics. Your making assumptions only serves to show you as a fool. I don't make the same assumptions of you, although it wouldn't be to difficult to see which side of the aisle you reside on, your posts look like they come right from a DNC talking points paper.


DavidB,Whic... (Below threshold)


Which conclusions would you like supporting facts for? It's all available but you'll need to be specific...just too much information.

Here is the link to the aforementioned study, it's a pdf just to give you a heads up. Use the search tool and plug in the word "Islamists" and it will take you directly to the section of the report that debunks the "they hate our freedoms" baloney. I think it's pretty close to verbatim.


Your claim that "You have no idea who I am or my politics" is goofy. Of course I don't know YOU, but as for your politics you respond to my post in regard to the Iraq invasion and the Rove outing of Plame by claiming that I'm "paranoid". Unless you're being dishonest, how hard is it to figure out what side of the fence you sit on? Why not try being straightforward instead of cute and maybe we'll learn something from each other. I'm all ears.

Also, I've never seen DNC talking points. I do my homework and I absorb arguments from both sides (only as long as I can stomach the rightwing because almost everything they propagate is bullshit). It's weird, if you haven't been brainwashed by the lie machine, listening to the BIG liars (Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity et al.) is like fingernails on the chalkboard.

JmaRThanks for the... (Below threshold)


Thanks for the link, I will read it and not to selectively either.

You are entitled to your opinion on my, the goofy part, but you missed the mark again. My labeling you paranoid had to do with your paranoia regarding the Patriot Act. While I can understand your point, it is rather paranoid. Ever been anywhere else in the world besides your local little city? Ever been to a third world country? You would understand, or learn first hand, that the small inconveniences that the Patriot Act imposes on the population of this country are nothing comparitively speaking.

BTW, I don't sit on any side of a fence. I think both parties could use a good laundering, but that won't happen any time soon.

As for your last paragraph, just substitute R for D, left for right, and some appropriate names in the parenthetical section, it works both ways.

DavidB, you're right, my ba... (Below threshold)

DavidB, you're right, my bad on the post that prompted the paranoia comment.

As for the Patriot Act, I have a problem with a government that shrouds itself in secrecy (who sat in on Cheney's Energy Policy meetings....sorry SC rules against releasing those docs...etc, but there are plenty of other examples) on the one hand and extends a more intrusive hand into personal freedoms of American citizens on the other. Both are bad for democracy not to mention that it smacks of hypocrisy.

I suppose I don't sit on any particular fence when it comes to R and D either (always been registered as an Independent and I votes for Ross Perot....so take it for what it's worth), I think they both suck, but what about the liberal/conservative spectrum? What's your take on the Bush adminstration and its successes/failures thus far? I think this has been the worst Presidency ever, no question about it.

"Ever been to a third world... (Below threshold)

"Ever been to a third world country? You would understand, or learn first hand, that the small inconveniences that the Patriot Act imposes on the population of this country are nothing comparitively speaking."

LOL, thats so true. I like the advice on what to say when stopped by a policeman in foreign parts:
"I'm sorry officer. I didn't know that wasn't allowed. Is there any way I can pay the fine in cash now?"


Oh and Dave, I've traveled ... (Below threshold)

Oh and Dave, I've traveled quite a bit (used to work in the airline industry) but unless you would consider Mexico or Jamaica third world, I've never had the pleasure. I don't have a problem with small inconveniences (airport security, border security, etc.) but we were told after 9/11 that we weren't going to let the terrosists win by fundamentally changing our society and our way of life. Check out Patriot II and tell me that this isn't getting downright Orwellian:


Now PII is not law but one more terrorist attack and it's likely a done deal. Martial law (according to Tommy Franks) would not be far-fetched if there was another large-scale attack. There has to be a balance and we can't allow them to overreach. I'm not paranoid but I don't want the spirit of this country to crumble under the weight of a paranoid government.

JmaR, thanks for the link. ... (Below threshold)

JmaR, thanks for the link. I followed it back to the original doc at pbs.org and I will try to read it through during the day. The first part is fairly boring and deals with definitions, obviously to expand the categories of people to which the law applies. ho-hum. I will continue to read but let me ask if there is anything in particular that bothers you about the proposals? (I will pay particular attention to those sections when I read them)


Toby, go to:<a hre... (Below threshold)

Toby, go to:


..and read the "Executive Summary" near the top. There are 5 points and the clear difference in scope of PAI and PAII, which is the sunset provision.

JmaR, Okay, I've read the p... (Below threshold)

JmaR, Okay, I've read the proposal (draft Confidential - not for Distribution) quickly and I am starting to compare the area of complaint from EFF with the text. So far, I'm pretty much down with the government on these issues. The proposal seem mostly to clearup problems with the application of the PA that were evident when it was actually applied, that is, some ambiguities that cropped up when lawyers and courts looked at the law in particular cases. The enhancements seem to be of the law enforcement variety; what you could legally do against the Mob or medicare cheats, you could do against terrorist. Also the classification of terrorist by what they do rather than by who they work for seems good to me.

The extra penalties for using encryption WHILE committing a felony seem like overkill and probably will not make it into the law. After all, terrorist are out to kill, a couple of extra years in the pen for using PGP doesn't seem like much of a deterent and there is room for prosecutorial abuse .

I'll continue studying the documents but so far, I'm not too worried. The EFF is a good organization and one that I wholeheartedly support but hey, they are a pressure group and so act as a canary in the mine; they will trumpet anything that COULD, MAYBE, MIGHT be used inappropriately to infringe on personal privacy in the electronic / techno arena. That's what they do. I, on the other hand, take a jaded view of slippery slopes and camel's noses. Remember, this is a worst, only a wish list for law enforcement and would have to be debated and enacted by our representatives.


Hey Jay Tea, this discussio... (Below threshold)

Hey Jay Tea, this discussion of the Patriot Act II might be worthy of a thread of its own in the future (you may have had one in the past before I started reading your blog). I'm sure it would be very slow to develop and not as flame-baiting exciting as this thread. Some of your rightish stalwarts could have fun with this, reading, linking and arguing with not-trolls who fear that a visit from the Gestapo is right around the corner. ;-)


Jmar: I get the di... (Below threshold)


I get the distinct impression that you're not old enough to really remember any president before Reagan. If you did, you wouldn't call Bush the worst president ever (paraphrasing). He isn't even the worst in my lifetime, though he certainly isn't the best. (LBJ was far worse, with Nixon a close second.)

fatman,I'm ... (Below threshold)


I'm 36.

I wasn't around for the Civil War, WWI, or WWII but I still have some background and opinions on the subjects. They're called books brother, check em out. Bush 43 is the WORST President EVER!

"Bush 43 is the WORST Presi... (Below threshold)

"Bush 43 is the WORST President EVER!"

Wow, he surely must be the most powerful ever if he's even rehabilitated Nixon!


Nixon '08 Death is no excuse

Hey, what about Garfield? o... (Below threshold)

Hey, what about Garfield? or US Grant? They where pretty bad. Or Buchanan, he could have prevented the Civil War (or as we say, 'The War of Northern Aggression') but lacked the stones to do it.


And I still assert: "The Bu... (Below threshold)

And I still assert: "The Bush administration has been the most ethical administration in modern memory".


Seems that Hoover is... (Below threshold)

Seems that Hoover is the one that Bush is competing with on the horrible domestic policy front. As for foreign policy, no US president has ever invaded a sovereign nation preemptively, we won't even get into how and what happened next.


Much as conservatives blather on about the booming economy under Bush, unless you're making the VERY BIG bucks, things are pretty dismal. Stagnant wages, sending jobs overseas (that one is hitting particlarly close to home as I continue to build the IT infrastructure for our India site and ship it over in pieces....it's ramping up at breakneck speed), and millions settling for part-time work or jobs that they are overqualified for.

I could go on (a clear goal of dismantling the New Deal, paying "journalists" to propagandize your policies, the strange saga of Bush and the 9/11 investigation, huge lies on Medicare, intimidating members of Congress over votes on the floor etc.)....well I guess I went on.

Regarding your last post. Y... (Below threshold)

Regarding your last post. You're too smart to believe that. ;)

I don't know if your still ... (Below threshold)

I don't know if your still monitoring this thread JmaR but I have to say, your last few posts are just witless.

"Seems that Hoover is the one that Bush is competing with on the horrible domestic policy front. As for foreign policy, no US president has ever invaded a sovereign nation preemptively, we won't even get into how and what happened next."

I think that Polk invaded Mexico rather premptively on Apr. 25, 1846. There's a precedent for you. Aquire Texas down to the Rio Grande, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Sure beats 'Blood for Oil'.

And as far as domestic policies, even if I were to grant everything in your rather vague post, then it still wouldn't make Bush the worst president (which I most certainly do not grant, having been conscious through much more of recent history than you apparently have; Did you ever try to find a job while Carter was president? I did.) . And you compare him to Hoover, sheesh. Pardon my bluntness, but you write as a fool. Your trying to compare the Great Depression to today? Where's the 25% unemployment? the bread lines? the overflowing orphanages? The Okies? You wish it was the Great Depression, that was the only environment that progressives and socialists had any success in.

"things are pretty dismal. Stagnant wages, sending jobs overseas (that one is hitting particlarly close to home as I continue to build the IT infrastructure for our India site and ship it over in pieces....it's ramping up at breakneck speed), and millions settling for part-time work or jobs that they are overqualified for."

Perhaps, things ARE dismal for you and that explains your pessimism. You must be a little-box guy if your worried about you position in IT. Forgive my presumption but take this advice for what it cost you. See if you can't get on with a Mainframe shop. Technical positions with big iron are going begging. Its always tough when you have a job that self-educated teenagers can do and thats what many Windows/Oracle/Linux guys are finding out.

Apparently, Bush seems like the worst president for you since the evil-moron-chimphitler-supergenius just keeps cleaning your party's clock. Things can't be as bad as you think or else the Republicans would start losing elections. The best proof of the way people really feel are 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. Holds or gains for elected Republicans in all. Cry into you beer or pull up your belt, JmaR. Without an attitude adjustment, you're in for much more heartache.


JmaR:I'm fifty-two... (Below threshold)


I'm fifty-two and I really should know better than to try and engage a troll in reasonable conversation. Still...

On August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf Tonkin Resolution, granting President Lyndon B. Johnson authority to begin an air war, and later, a ground war, in support of South Vietnam against North Vietnam. This was the response to reports by the commander the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Maddox that his ship had been attacked twice by North Vietnamese torpedo boats while patroling(and spying on the North) in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin.

There was just one problem; the first attack (on August 2) may not have happened and the second (on August 4) almost certainly didn't. And within weeks of the passage of the resolution Johnson knew it, as evidenced by his tape-recorded conversations in the Oval Office (Nixon wasn't the first to tape record his conversations). Yet he did nothing to correct the intial mistake; indeed he plunged us further into a land war we probably shouldn't have been involved in. All so he wouldn't look weak on defense heading into the 1964 election against Barry Goldwater. His economic policies brought on roaring inflation and his Great Society welfare state (built on the foundation of FDR's New Deal and JFK's New Frontiers) created a permanent underclass of government-dependent poor that exists to this day.

Now I remember that time VIVIDLY. And I'm here to tell you that things aren't nearly as bad today as they were then. We don't have double-digit inflation, unemployment IS dropping and we don't have race and anti-war riots in the streets. (I'll just bet the lack of anti-war riots really chaps your ass, doesn't it?)

As for your condescending suggestion that I "check out" something called "books", I have, believe it or not. Books are great for giving you details about a time or place, but very few writers are talented enough to make you FEEL what it was like to live in that time or place. That's why when I agree with Toby928 and say that James "The Shame Of Pennsylvania" Buchanon is the worst president this country's ever had, or say that Theodore Roosevelt was the best, it is, for me, an academic exercise. Comparing the presidents I've lived under isn't.

Finally, don't call me "brother". You're not my "brother". My parents were incapable of conceiving such a pusillanimous little snot as you.






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