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Friday, June 03, 2005
Remember that Pinhead?

Who insisted we leveled Fallujah -- making it uninhabitable for years to come? Here's an update on our progress there.

If we destroyed the city (as was falsely alleged) then we must have rebuilt the whole damn thing in six months. If that is the case, we really need to do something to break the unions in my state, because it takes a heck of a lot longer than that to put up a single building in my town. Permits, design, RFPs, work stoppages, and so on.

Yes, there were, "awesome scenes of destruction" -- but that isn't the same as leveling the city.

I wouldn't pile on here, but I recently read another report that Al Sadr was doing his best to participate in the political process rather than taking to the streets or going all insurgent on us.

Once again, Mr. Anonymous, I was right and, well you were blinded by your anti-Americanism. Yes, I am questioning your patriotism, and yes, I did call you a pinhead.

Clearly you are retarded and need a spanking. You are just begging for it. So here goes:

Your article, is titled "Fallujah Rises from the Ashes" and sub titled "Building a new Iraqi city". Even the fringe right war supporters at the NRO acknowledge that Fallujah was reduced to ashes, and that new city is being built there - presumably because the old city was destroyed! Thats the NRO telling you this. Why don't look at some pictures for your self, Polly-Anna, because the NRO decided it wasn't newsworthy to give you any:

here, here here here and here.

Let me give you some details. It is now six months after the US government flattened that city. 40% of the stuctures were completely destroyed. 70% were at least seriously damaged. Of the 250 thousand people who used to live there, only 80 thousand have returned after 6 months. This means even half a year later, 2/3rd of the people of that city have been unable to return. Only 40% of the city has electricity for any part of the day. No part of Fallujah gets power the whole day. Most of it is not served by running water, or sewer pipes. Of 85 schools in the city, only 50 of them have managed to re-open. The hospitals have not reopened because of course, the US targeted them and most of them were bombed flat. Spank!

Hey wasn't the invasion of Fallujah supposed to be some great turning point for you PollyAnna? Or was it the Iraqi government elections, because it seems that the month of May has been the bloodiest in Iraq since the occupation of Baghdad. 825 US servicement have been killed since that last great turning point. 1700 in total so far. 60,000 servicemen wounded. We're even still losing helicopters, 3 or 4 this month. I know these numbers sound small to you - you won't flinch until it gets into Vietnam territory. We'll its getting there - but who am I to be concerned for the lives of our servicemen - after all, apparently you are the great Patriot.

Not that security has gotten any better for the Iraqi people, or for the wonderful new Iraqi army. It seems they lose a few hundred men per week. Wasn't it more than two years ago that Rummy was telling us that these are just a few "dead enders" that have to be mopped up? It seems like at every press conference Scott McClelland tells us the insurgency is starting to (finally) show signs of weakness. I bet his stationery comes with that pre-printed on it. And the occupation isn't cheap either, didn't they ask for another $80 billion for unanticipated extra costs just this month? You Republicans, always parsimonious with the Taxpayer's money. Spanked again!

Its no surprise that the US military is having a hard time recruiting. Its gotten so bad that they have not released the recruitment numbers this month. And they have raised the enlistment age to 36. So its not to late for you Captain America! Since recruitment has gotten so bad, in order to reduce attrition our military has lowered its standards. Getting caught abusing drugs, or getting pregnant no longer gets you dismissed from the military! So special. KaSpank!

Did the NRO tell you all the other good news coming out of Iraq? The 3 mile road between the green zone and the airport is still not safe to travel, and so all Americans must still travel by helicopter. That's the kind of control we have. Even Basra, the large city in "peaceful" Shiite heartland in the south is increasingly out of control.

And hey? Where is Bin Ladin? And where is Zarqawi? Maybe they are both in the same hospital? Probably planning more attacks on their Apple Powerbooks. But who are we to question the wisdom of our leader's foreign policy?

Its not going badly for everyone. Why just this month the Government of Iraq, all by itself declared that Iraq was as fault for the Iran-Iraq war. Pretty nice of them to be making such warm overtures to their kinsmen over in Iran. Hey did you know Iran is now Iraq's biggest trading partner? Even in this chaos they manage to do $1billion of trade per year. And they Iraqi foreign minister just visited Baghdad, and they signed a deal to build a nice new railway from Iran into Basra. But why should we be surprised? Wasn't Sistani born in Iran? And lived there most of his life? And he is a senior mullah of the kind that normally sits on their "supreme council". Looks like we are on track for a nuclear armed Shiite superstate stretching from Afghanistan to Iraq. And it has only cost us $300 billion, and 1700 troops so far. A bargain. At least someone's foreign policy objectives are being met. Spank!

And all those allegations about American interrogators abusing the Quran, which Newsweek was so criticised for, and which were widely reported around the world - have been confirmed by the Pentagon itself. And how sad for this country that we are now Amnesty International's new poster child for torture and denial of human rights. But I suppose we'll have to wait for an official Pentagon confirmation on that one. Spanked again!

Now go wash up before dinner before I spank you again!

Did people care during WW II when we firebombed Tokyo? Did it matter when we bombed Dresden?

Let me "give you some details" - The 'US Government' did not flatten Fallujah - the terrorists forced us to because they decided to launch an illegal war from within the city. (I make sure to note that this insurgency is 'illegal' - ie - not endorsed by the UN, as you seem to take great offense when the US engages in an 'illegal' war.) Are you as offended when the terrorists do?

Surely our troops should be allowed to shoot back when shot at?

Hey...wasn't Gettysburg supposed to be some great turning point in the Civil War?...or was it Shiloh or maybe when we took Atlanta (which btw was ravaged in a similar fashion as Fallujah) Well, the Civil War lasted 2 years after Gettysburg and took hundreds of thousands more lives. I assume if you lived then you'd probably quit and allow slavery to continue.

Even after D-Day - it took one more year for WW II to end. By August 1944 would you have called for us to surrender?

Also - it should be pointed out that 1,800 GIs died at Kasserine Pass, the first major American engagement in WW II. More than the total number who have died in Iraq.
(Be honest - are you just using the specter of American casualties to support your initial argument that this war was wrong?) - I mean, for you - if 1,700 is not acceptable - are 1,600 - maybe 1,500? At what point did you make the decision that this war was unwinnable as the casualties we were taking we excessive? - Or are you just feigning concern over the death of American servicemen as another way to oppose the war?

Actually - it's the military who requested the money, not the 'Republicans.' It seems almost intuitive that the 'Republicans' would want to spend as little on this war as possible - one to prevent critics like yourself, and two - so that we can use that money to give tax cuts to the 'super-rich.'

Oh - & btw - It's no surprise that the US is having a hard time recruiting...BECAUSE THERE'S A WAR ON!!!! We were even forced to use a draft during WW II - would you have used that as a pretext to surrender then too?

After all...where was Hitler...where was Tojo? They weren't even captured until 4 years after we started fighting!

Of course your argument isn't going that did manage to point out that Iraq's largest trading partner is a large country directly to it's west. Shock and surprise!! They are trying to trade with their neighbors! They are even building a railway!! - Shock and horror. It is worth noting that Sistani's political party has elected female members. Obviously a carbon copy of the mullahs in Iran.

Rather than culling CNN and the New York Times searching for nuggets that re-enforce your prejudices - you might better spend your time looking at the totality of circumstances in Iraq and the war on terror.

This brings me to another point - and perhaps the saddest one. Were mistakes made in Guantanamo Bay - of course. Mistakes happen...such is life. But never lose sight of the bigger picture and who the true evildoers are. The fact that we provide a Quran to people who want to kill us all is a wonder I will never understand. In the words of Don King - "Only in America."

Finally -
I don't think you like America. You don't believe in democracy and our democratic institutions. These arguments are just an extension of the fact that you feel alienated from this country. I think you're a very bitter and angry person - and for that, I feel sorry for you. I love this country for what it is and what it has done for the people of Iraq.

You can nitpick and Monday-morning Quarterback all you want but - at the end of the day, you're on the wrong side of history. We ARE taking the fight to the enemy and we WILL win. You and other leftists can make your smug comments about patriotism, sacrifice and this country - but at the end of the day, no matter how many resolutions the Berkley City Council passes - we will stay the course.
Anonymous -

I'll post detailed response later, but I have to admit, I miss our online battles.

Calling you a pinhead was certainly uncivil, but we had not heard from you in a while and I figured the best way to see if there are bees in the hive is to hit it with a stick.

Your post shook LSC out of his slumber too.
Mr. Anonymous,
First off I call you mister because that simple formality apparently works wonders with socialist/communists like yourself.
So, yes, we pretty much destroyed Fallujah, but do you remember why? You see, the bad guys were hiding there in large numbers. One of the things that happens in war is the killing of the bad guys. Often times(as in this case), they try not to get killed, and take cover in buildings for there own safety. To counter this we blow up the buildings, killing or maming all of the former buildings occupants. See how simple that is? Later, over the course of a year or so(basically when we get around to it)we rebuild the structures. This will happen to Fallujah when time permits. The lesson is don't let terrorists get comfortable in your neighborhood.
On recruiting, yes we are a bit slow right now, and the age for joining up has gone up, in fact to age 40 in the National Guard. What is keeping us from producing as we have done in times passed is the war, and socialist liberals like your self. You see, the anti-recruitment movement is getting large. If you would like information on how to join one of these groups of weak sisters go to The ironic part of liberal weak ones like yourself trying to prevent recruitment, is that it could one day result in your sorry butt getting drafted, which would be a fantastic irony.
On to the Quaran. So frickin what! Dude, they like behead people and video tape it, and apparently we might haved pissed on a frickin what.
Your right about the three mile road, helicopter is the best and safest way of travel. Once there's a draft we will make sure your assigned to guard duty on that three mile road, that way it will be safe to travel. Think of all the fun you'll have, meeting new people and learning about there country. maybe you can go AWOL and become a freedom fighter to help out your newly befriended Muslim breatherin, who will reward you with a almost painless decapitation.

I miss the battles too. Its nice to know the loyal opposition is there to give us something to write about. Like you I love America. I just want us to get it right.


You said "I don't think you like America." etc. That just makes me crazy. I love America. I love everything that is right about it. I love democracy, I love freedom. I love that Americans don't believe in racism, or torture, or dictatorship. I love the freedom of the press. I love the freedom to dissent. I love hot dogs, and football, and my mom, and ice cream.

I just don't want us to lose sight of everything that is great about America, in the process of fighting our enemies. I agree, our enemies are fighting without UN approval in an "illegal" way. And they kill prisoners, and they violate the human rights of their prisoners. That is no excuse for our government to get down to their level. I don't want to win this war if at the end of it we have become just like the enemy. America does not believe in torture - so when our government is caught doing it - its shocking to anyone who loves this country. I have the highest respect and regard for America. So when it falls below the standard - it is very sad - and I think its my duty as an American to speak up against those things which are wrong. And our leadership is getting it very very wrong: they lie to us daily, they ignore the Geneva convention, they condone torture, they abuse our military. They don't believe in American's right to privacy.

When President Bush says "either you are with us or you are against us", that is just about the most unamerican thing I have ever heard. In America dissent and lively argument are treasured. Its what keeps us on the right path. Its what has saved America from so many wrong paths. Dissent is what ended slavery. Its what gave women the right to vote. Its what made discrimmination against ethnic and religious minorities rightly reviled in America. These things didn't just happen. People had to speak up against them. People had to fight and die for them - not fighting some external enemy but fighting for the hearts and minds of other Americans. When you say I hate America because I disagree with you - that just means you need to go back and study your old high school civics books.

When Jefferson said "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" he meant not the government's vigilance against a foreign enemy. He meant the people must be vigilan of the government. We must not forget that Franklin warned us that "Those who would trade freedom for security will get neither".

Anyway, thats the America I love and want to protect. And I will not keep silent while people who are ignorant of what America stands for piss on it.

As I said before - I supported this war. When I first heard that there was an enemy in Iraq with doomsday weapons, and the ability and desire to deliver them within 48 hours- I thought the was was necessary. And What I thought was necessary was that we would go in, secure the weapons, kill or capture the leadership and leave.

But thats not what happened. And the rationale for war turned out to be a LIE, just a big fat bald faced LIE. It wasn't a mistake. Recently released top secret memos show that the evidence for war was known by our leaders to be FALSE. And so in the absence of that evidence, and with no imminent threat - then no, I disagree with this war. Even one death is too many. I just don't see any American foreign policy objectives being advanced. All I see if the foreign policy objectives of Iran and Israel being advanced at our cost in lives, credibility and cash. Every single day we are there is a tragedy for America. Every soldier killed - has died for nothing. They die two or three a day for no reason, because we have a lack of leadership - and it makes me SICK.
Mr. Anonymous,
You sound convincing with your writings on why you supported the war in Iraq, before you found out you were lied to. So it makes me wonder about the wars that you would support or have or do support. How do you feel about the police action in Panama? The conflict in Vietnam? The Spanish-American war? The civil-war? WWII?
What is it that makes a the United States involvement in a military conflict justified? Now I'm sure you justify our action in WWII because we put an end to the mass killing of Jews and others in Germany, but remember, that is not why we signed onto the cause. Maybe you supported Vietnam, because our entry was contingent on the massacre of the French, after all they are the French, and they hold dearly your socialist views.
Either way, the first given answers to questions on why "WAR" are very rarely the "whole" reason that the USA should enter said conflict. This is not done to "LIE" to the citizens of the USA, but instead, give them a sense of mission. Its like this, if I'm sending your kid to war in some far away desert land I want you to know he's putting his life in harms way for a purpose. WMD's were an actual possibily, but the claim turned out to be false.
Now what have we acomplished other then not finding the WMD's? Ahh, I could give you the over used "mass grave _rape room " excuse made popular by the boot-licking Sean Hannity, but I won't. How about this, the United States has found it possible to occupy one of the largest nations in the Muslim Middle east. Thats where the people who would like to see us killed like pigs live. Due to this occupation we have made it easy for those who hate us and wish us dead to attack us, saving countless American lives, and we will never know how many. What you say? Made it possible for them to attack us? Yes. Count the attacks on our soil since the occupation..that was easy huh?
Now, it is your opinion that all those who have died during this operation have in fact died in vain.
If that is true they have only died in vain because there death was not the result of some liberal plan to which you agreed.
If your butt had been any where near combat, and you had experienced the genuine smile from a person who's language you don't speak, but still you understand they mean "thank you" for making my life better then it was before,then perhaps you would not spew such crap from your keyboard.
I often make fun of this boards members for being "Chicken-Hawks", but you are even worse, a scared,pale, weak man who has never had to, and never will fight for anything in his life.
In my world, you are not expressing free speech, but a hinderance to our Constitutions continuation.
Let me respond to your initial comments:

Fallujah - Let’s go back to what started this. I disagreed with your contention that “Fallujah has been completely destroyed.” To be specific, I argued the following:

You have stated that Fallujah was destroyed. I followed the news during that time and it just isn’t true. Yes, we did a heck of a lot of damage to many places the terrorists were using to launch attacks. But we didn’t carpet bomb Fallujah. The majority of buildings were intact. The soldiers were going house to house – meaning that there were -- actual houses. I’m sure there is evidence out there, but frankly, I have things to do. It seems a minor point anyway, because if we had to blow the whole City up to ensure that the rest of the country could move forward, then so be it.

I (a) acknowledged there was a battle and (b) recognized that there was significant destruction. What I take issue with is your contention that Fallujah was leveled. It just didn’t happen. The fact is, we didn’t “level” Fallujah. I wish we had. What we did do was kill a whole lot of terrorists… and we sent a pretty clear message that we aren’t going to let murderers and thugs operate with impunity because “international opinion” requires us to give them a “safe zone.”

On the specific language of the article title, I guess if we were to take it literally, Fallujah was reduced completely to actual ashes, requiring us to clean everything up with a gigantic, military issue hand held vacuum (manufactured by Halliburton, no less!). What? You can’t take titles literally? Rising from the ashes might be symbolic and not literal? It might refer to something less than complete destruction? I had no idea.

Likewise, photos of rubble don’t mean anything. I don’t disagree there was rubble. Destroyed houses, etc… I disagree with the specific contention that we leveled Fallujah. It would have been far easier to “flatten the city” but then I would have had to listen to Europeans, American lefties and people like the head of Amnesty International blathering on about how horrible we were for doing such a thing. Ever mindful of “the global test” we went through there painstakingly. Was there damage. Yep. I’m not sure where your figures are from (Amnesty? The Telegraph?) but even those figures don’t bother me in the least. Again, as I stated in my original argument: the majority of buildings were intact. By your own estimates, 60% of structures were left standing (though many were “severely” damaged).

We could quibble about how severe the damage was on the remaining houses, but you have to face reality – Fallujah wasn’t completely destroyed. That is my very simple (and really quite irrelevant) point. If it were completely destroyed, as you alleged, it would have taken far, far longer to get to where we are today – this city IS NOT SMALL. And by the most recent accounts, 140,000 people are living there. Ever see a project go up in less than six months? How about hundreds of them? It doesn’t happen in good conditions over here – it certainly doesn’t happen that quickly in a war zone.

Figures - I don’t know where you get your figures. I have heard 140,000 returned as of March. The NRO column says half are there now (as of May?)… you say 80,000. You have complaints that the electricity isn’t working for everyone yet – that certainly does blow. But it seems likely that the brilliant fellows in the insurgency may have something to do with that, as sabotage is a huge part of the problem we are continually working against. Imagine how hard it would be to get electricity in your city if a small group of people kept blowing up the transformers. Six months to 40% in those conditions seems pretty good. As for the hospitals – again, you have the brave jihadi boys to thank for that – when they aren’t hiding behind women, children or the retarded, they are launching attacks from “protected” areas – like mosques and hospitals. Of course, you can blame the mean old US military for that… but what would you do, General?

Your concern for the troops and questioning of my patriotism - I agree that it is terrible that these terrorists, gangsters and Baathists continue to exist and kill people (not just Americans, since their biggest target by far is innocent Iraqis). We have two choices: (1) leave and allow them to take control and brutalize the population…. Or (2) stay, and see the job through by killing as many of these bad guys as we can while training the Iraqi people to do the job themselves. You would have us leave. I think that is the worst possible option. You honor the troops by winning the war and seeing things through so that they did not die in vain. That’s hard. It means more casualties in the short run. But in the long run, the safest course of action for us and for the Iraqi people is victory. Why did we fight world war II? Because we didn’t finish the job in world war I. We left the near defeated enemy standing. And 15 years later, our enemy again unleashed bloodshed, this time on a scale never before seen in human history. We could have saved a lot of American lives in 1944 by “putting the Nazis in their box” and signing a peace treaty that left Hitler in control of Germany. But we didn’t. Victory is messy. It is painful. But there is no substitute for it.

I think the troops would be disappointed to see you shedding crocodile tears for them in one breath, while suggesting they target hospitals for un-needed destruction in another. But that’s just me being a “great Patriot.”

Size of the Insurgency - How big is the insurgency? I’m not sure, but I don’t think it has to be that big to create a lot of death and destruction. I think Rumsfeld is right, these guys are dead enders – they have no future in the new Iraq. And I mean that literally. If they stay in Iraq, they will die. And the sooner the better.

Troop Standards - Again, you claim to care about the troops so much, why do you make snide remarks about them? I deal with members of the military on a fairly regular basis - - and I think the things they do are amazing. They are the best, period. As for these changes – I think the recent changes are a reflection of the reality of modern life. Drug abuse is very widespread in society. Women are a part of the modern military. The Pentagon has to weigh things out carefully. If a soldier gets caught with marijuana should we kick him out of the military? I’d say no, given the investment that our country puts into each soldier. Make them submit to drug tests weekly from then on, but I’d say give them a second chance. Likewise, pregnancy – women are a part of the modern military. And I think that’s a good thing, all in all (probably in the minority on this site). We are making a huge investment in these people – why wouldn’t we want to keep them?

It is just so disappointing to read something written by an American that drips with disdain and contempt for the military. Please, don’t waste my time by saying how you really, really, really care for the troops. This is the reason John Kerry isn’t President, nitwit. You guys can’t hold it in. Every once in a while, your real feelings for the troops and the country spill out, and it is not pretty.

Recruiting and my lack of military service - As for my age, I don’t remember sharing it with you. But since you didn’t ask, I’m 35. So I could sign up for the Guard for another year. Problem is, I have three kids, a wife, and a mortgage. Where do you stand, Braveheart? Were I 25 and single, I would have walked down to the recruiting station a block from work and signed up before 5pm on September 11th. Were I single today, I would do the same. But I don’t ascribe to the notion that you have to be in the military to support the war. I like the idea of a volunteer military. I thought about volunteering a number of times. I applied to West Point coming out of High School and was (lucky for them) turned down. I went through a physical with the Marine Corps. But I chose college, and grad school, and a different career path. You haven’t mentioned your service record, though.

Of course, it isn’t surprising that the military is having a recruiting problem. The media, as a whole, has done their best to undermine them and their mission every single step of the way. The disgusting attention that was paid to a few rogue prison guards, while the media has largely ignored the great work that is being done over there.

Travel in Iraq - You say it isn’t safe to travel in Iraq. That’s because there is a war on, nitwit.

Bin Ladin and Zarqawi -- Hey, if you want the job of #3 guy in AlQueda, you should apply for it. There is a ton of turnover. By your lights, the best way to get these guys is to leave. Maybe we should send over some sort of “international strikeforce” made up of a diverse cross section of UN dictatorships… that would meet the global test and send the terrorists running for cover.

The Q’uran - Who gives a crap about the Q’u’a’r’a’n’’’’’’’ abuse? This is exactly the problem with the left and the media. This is the kind of thing that shouldn’t even be reported – EVEN IF IT DID HAPPEN. So far, it looks like one book got splashed with urine through a grate (not clear whether it was intentional) and one was stepped on by a contractor. Another few got wet because of water balloons? (Note to self: next time I get convicted, I want to go to a prison that has water balloon fights between prisoners and guards). I just want to make sure nothing was damaged during the air hockey tournament. Please. Newsweak was burned because they didn’t get their story straight. # of Koran’s flushed by Americans = 0. The fact is, there is no systematic, intentional abuse of the Koran at G-bay. You say you love the soldiers, but you love to trumpet efforts to disparage them for very little reason.

We could never have won WWII with this mentality. It is absolutely disgusting. Can you imagine how outraged the country would have been if some no nothing liberal group had complained about the mishandling of German prisoners? Or that we didn’t pay sufficient deference to photos of the Emperor? Please. The problem is, the left in American has tied its fortunes to anti-Americanism and hoped for American decline. The far left had never been able to get any traction in American politics, until Watergate and Vietnam. Thus, you are continually working to try to replicate those two American tragedies. But it isn’t going to happen – but keep your chin up and keep fighting the “man.” And for god’s sake, give yourself a better nickname. It would be more confusing, of course, if we had actual readers.
My response to Anon's 2nd rant -

1. Unlawful combatants have no rights under the Geneva convention. In fact, in every other war in American history, if caught on the battlefield, they would have been shot dead on the spot.

2. You say that the most “un-American” thing you have ever heard is “either you are with us or you are against us.” You need to do some serious catching up on your history. Lincoln said the same thing to the South. World War II was “you are either with us or against us” on a grand scale. We had no beef with the Germans or Italians. But they weren’t with us on the side of freedom. Why wouldn’t the same thing apply to Syria or Iran? Bush wasn’t talking to you! He was telling other nations – you have to pick sides. There is no more playing the fence. You are either on the side of freedom, or you are on the side of the terrorists. Why is that so hard to understand?

3. What right to privacy do you see in your constitution? Please. FDR came and packed the “Japs” and their right to privacy right into camps. He sent police to the homes of Italian Americans to confiscate firearms. Sorry if you have to share more information at the airline counter, or face a little extra attention when you order bomb-making 101 on the internet. That’s life. About 3,000 people had their right to privacy pretty much crushed when some lunatics drove a plane into the buildings they were working in. I’m more worried about the next 3,000 than some privacy “boogeyman” the ACLU created to shake down left wingers for more dough to sue the government and impede the war on terror.

4. Torture. Zzzzzz. Frankly, I’m mostly angry that the people at Abu Greb didn’t seem to know what the hell they were doing. If we are torturing people, it better be more organized and effective than a naked freaking pyramid. If we have a known Al Queda member and we have to deprive him of sleep, make him stand in a stressful position, blindfold him and rough him up a bit, I don’t consider that outlandish. Should we do it to everyone? Of course not. It should be limited to the most strict circumstances and approved at the highest levels. But I wouldn’t discount it. Not when thousands of Americans lives are at stake. And the people doing the interrogating would not be low level national guardsman, it would be CIA. What we saw was not torture, it was bafoonery that, unfortunately, gave ammunition to our nation’s enemies (namely, the MSM).

5. Dissent did not end slavery. The force of arms ended slavery. Dissent did not give us our freedom in the American Revolution – force of arms did. Saying “dissent” is great is foolish. A lot of “dissent” is just plain stupidity on stilts. I’m sure people spoke up against World War II. Some people even supported Germany. Does that make them honorable? No. There is no honor in dissent for dissent’s sake. You guys are on the wrong side of history. You can say, hey, let’s leave the Iraqi people to their brutal dictatorship – you can wash your hands of the festering cesspool that is the Arab World. George Bush said enough. And I think he was right. History will not be kind to those who stood with Saadam, and the rape rooms, and the oil for palaces program.

6. Thanks for the civics lesson. But the Declaration actually says “All men” have unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not just Americans, but all men. So if we have the opportunity to extend freedom, we should take it – and that’s pretty consistent with the founding vision. Remember another great American, Ben Parker, who said, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

7. There were dozens of good reasons to invade Iraq. WMDs topped the list. The fact is, Saadam played a giant game of bluff. He wanted everyone to think he had the weapons. Your pal Clinton said he had weapons. The UN said he had weapons. He refused to cooperate with the UN inspectors. He misjudged us. But make no mistake, he was our enemy.

8. I think it is horrible that you would simply kill or capture the leadership and bug out... Is that what we did in Germany? Or Japan? Can you imagine if we had? What a horrible, perverted view of humanity you have if you think it is OK to leave them to whatever chaos or dictator comes next.

9. “Top secret memos”…. Zzzzz. Keep trying. If it was a lie, why did Clinton, the UN, Al Gore, Sandy Berger participate in it? You are cherrypicking conflicting intelligence. You are playing Monday morning QB. Of course, you know TODAY which memo was correct. But our leaders didn’t have that luxury. They had to make a decision – risk American lives by doing nothing, or solving the problem, eliminating an enemy and freeing people from the grips of one of the worst regimes in history. You would do nothing, I guess. But you need to sort out lies from intelligence.

10. Interesting, how Israel finally comes up. I guess it is just all about the Jews. Bizarre that we would have both the Jews and the Iranians interests in mind, but that’s wily old GW for ya!
11. What credibility? You mean the credibility you get for giving nuclear reactors to the North Koreans? Or having Yassir over for handshakes and broken agreements? That isn’t credibility, it is fiddling while Rome burns. As for cash – who cares. Millions for defense – not a dime for tribute!

12. Our soldiers aren’t dying for no reason. Millions of Iraqis went to vote on January 30th. They are rebuilding their country. It is tough. It is hard. We may not even succeed – and with people like you, it won’t be easy. But it is a worthwhile endeavor. And one I am proud to support.
"I’m sure people spoke up against World War II."

Yes they did... about half the country. It was called the "republican party".

Everything good and successful in America is done in the big cities and by the left. We bring the right kicking and screaming every time. During the revolitionary war the right was on the side of King George - they were called the Tories. After we on the left won that war, the right wanted to form another monarchy and make George Washington king. It was the right who supported slavery. It was the right who opposed Womens right to vote, and who opposed labor laws - like outlawing child labor. The right opposed the formation of free public schools and free public libraries. The right opposed social security. And the creation of national parks. The right opposed seatbelts being required in automobile, later you opposed airbags. You opposed speed limits! You opposed even the most basic environmental safeguards. The right opposed the creation of the FDA. Opposed labelling ingredients on food!

But lets talk about just war for a second:

The right opposed the civil war. At the time the Republican party was on the left and you conservatives were the "whig" party. Well you were so discredited after that that the Whig party ceased to be.

Republican isolationists delayed our entry into World War I. A war entered into and won during the presidency of democrat Woodrow Wilson. By the time we entered that war - late - the Germans had so worn down the Russian army that after the war the Russians had no army left to counter the Bolsheviks - and a whole great swath of the planet was turned to communism. Great job Republicans!

And in the 30's the right supported the Nazis and opposed our entry into World War II. Remember Republican Nazi lover Charles Lindbergh? And the America First Committee? ( Republicans wrapping themselves in the flag again. ) Remember Republican president Hoover? He opposed WWII. ( He is really known only for letting America slide into the depression in, and then being unable to get out of it ). The right delayed our entry into WWII until after Pearl Harbor - a war entered into and won by the great democrat president FDR. As late as 1976 Bob Dole was still referring the World War II as "another democrat war". Thanks again Republicans! You republicans were so discredited after that that you didn't regain the presidency again until Eisenhower. Oh, but you love to talk about WWII now....

Not that the right is against war. You have been in support of every pointless bullshit war from the beginning - Vietnam, Grenada, Korea, Panama, the Spanish American war. etc.etc. Iraq is just another example of the right getting wrong on the right time to use force.

You talk a good game about wanting small government and low taxes, but whenever you get into power you spend money like a drunken sailor. Look at the accumulation of the national debt, and growth in government spending: The most profligate president by far in all of American history is George W Bush. The second most spend thrift was Reagan.

Every few years you get into power and royally fuck things up. Some of the shit you do cannot be undone. Like your delaying our entry into two world wars. But most of the shit you do, we on the left fix it. We drag your uneducated ignoramus asses kicking and screaming into the next century. Who among you would speak up against Womens rights today? Or voting rights for Blacks? Or in favor of child labor? You had no shame about it when it mattered. But today these issues are settled and you all move to the front of the line to claim you were for it all along.

Well the battle has moved - where are you now on the issue of Gay Rights? Or Global Warming? Or stem-cell research? Or the rights of American Muslims? On the wrong side of history as usual. The right is so backward and obstinate you still think evolution is up for debate. Where will you be in 25 years? Denying you ever opposed nationalized health care, stem cell research and gay rights. We are going to win on ALL those issues. And we are going send you religious conservatives packing back to 1850 where you came from. Then we will make another sitcom like "All in the Family" where we will make merciless fun of you on T.V. with another "Archie Bunker".

And your Iraq war will go right into the trophy case next to all your other achievements: The Vietnam war, Nixon's Impeachment, lynchings, and Appalachian incest.

The history of America, is the history of the left marching forward on the backs of the discredited right.
Appalachean incest? C'mon, those people are Democrats.

The fact is, the Democrats, not the Republicans, were on the wrong side of the civil war. The Democrats, not the Republicans, were on the wrong side of civil rights. And last time I checked, LBJ got us into Vietnam, not the Republicans.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who were on the wrong side of the cold war. Now, even David Brinkley is a Reaganite! Good try.

The left wing spent the 1980s apologizing for every communist dictatorship on the planet. Not suprising, since your party was responsible for Stalin's expansion of influence in the 1940s. In the worst wholesale sellout of human rights in history, when FDR allowed Stalin to enslave hundreds of millions of people in Eastern Europe for, oh, about 45 years. Oh, but you guys are the human rights party, right? Please. Give me a break.

The worst President in American history, Democrat left wing loonbat Jimmy Carter, John Kerry and others, did everything they could to prop up left wing dictatorships in Central America. Thankfully, they failed.

I think it is interesting when we are in the midst of a battle that will determine the future of western civilization, you are concerned with (a) gay rights (b) global warming (c) stem cell research and (d)the rights of muslims. With the exception of stem cell research, you don't have a winning hand on any of those issues. Of course, you can force your agenda through undemocratic means, imposing the liberal agenda through judicial fiat, but you aren't winning the battle of ideas. EVEN AMONG DEMOCRATS.

Interesting fact: Number of Democrat senators who voted for Kyoto = ZERO.

Take a look at the decline of the left in recent years. You have lost 70 seats in the House of Representatives. You have gone from a 55-45 majority in the Senate to the reverse. You have lost the Presidency in 5 of the last 7 tries.

You guys want, so very much, to see the decline of the United States. To see our influence wane so that you can engage in your class warfare on a global scale. We are breaking your monopoly control over the media and the classrooms. We are gaining in power, you are becoming increasingly marginalized.

Huge turnout in 2004. Who benefited?

Why do you feel so much hatred toward the religious? I know a lot of lefties that are motivated to left wing politics by their faith. What's wrong with that? People of faith played a huge role in the Abolition, Civil Rights, and suffrage movements.

As for Archie Bunker -- I think it is great that you guys have hollywood and the arts. You can spend your days glorifying in the latest effort to submerge a picture of jesus in urine. Boy, you guys got us! Of course, at the end of the day, people LOVED Archie Bunker and thought Meathead was a putz, so you never know how art will really be appreciated.
"Appalachean incest? C'mon, those people are Democrats."

Sorry, Appalchia is solid Red State America.

Second, there was no "democratic party" in the time of Lincoln. The famous progressive Abraham Lincoln was a member of "Democratic Republican Party" which was the party of American liberals and progressives in his time. It was called "Republican" because they were opposed to the conservative "Federalists" who did not even want to have a single Republic because they were afraid it would eventually lead to the end of their beloved institution of slavery. They were right of course - formation of a Republic did allow us progressives to end slavery 75 years later. The great liberal Thomas Jefferson, author of the bill of rights, founded the "Democratic Party" in 1792. It was later renamed the "Democratic Republican Party". After you conservatives were discredited and destroyed by Lincoln, and with no place to go you replusive conservative whigs wormed your way into the "Democratic Republican Party", and tellingly removed the "Democratic" part of the name. We liberals then left it, and look Lincoln's progressive legacy with us to start the modern Democratic National Commitee.

So you whigs are just wearing our old clothes... as usual.

The "cold war", and the soviet union would not even have existed if you Republicans hadn't delayed our entry into World War I. I don't think FDR had much choice after WWII, with a depleted US military, against a now continent sized USSR. Like I said, we progressives unfortunately cannot fix every conservative screwup. FDR did put his great secretary of state famously progressive Democrat George Marshall on the job of patching up a planet recently fucked up by German and Japanese rightists. You republicans like to dress up in his old clothes too.

Sadly for our country we are in a low period of conservative dominance. It has happened before. I think of the wonderful period of Harrison and Taft. Another dark period of bad conservative presidents, mercifully forgotten by history, as Reagan and Bush will be in good time.

I'm not surprised you don't think issues like Gay Marriage are going to win. You probably would not have thought radical ideas like bans on child labor were going to win either. You're probably still against motorcyle helmet laws. Well whatever, get used to the idea of having married gay neighbors with children. Its going to happen. Along with everything else on the progressive agenda. We always win eventually. We run this country. Always have.

Here is how you conservatives lose: you get power. You institute your retarded retrograde ideas. You try to drag us back to some previously successful ideas - ideas we progressives taught you. ( For example we saved the world in WWII, and you ape and mimic us in Vietnam and Iraq, except that in these places there was no American interest at stake ) And you fuck things up. After the fuck up, you are discredited, and we progressives return to power, for a good solid 40 years. Basically we stay in power until everyone within living memory of your most recent collossal screwup is dead. We fix whatever our retarded little brothers have done, as much as we can at least, and move the country forward. I have to admit I was surprised Bush won again. After the catastrophic mis-management we witnessed in the last 4 years, but some Americans are slow learners. Well, when we progressives are back in power we will have to institute some kind of remedial education for them.

Have you noticed that conservatives are generally over 40? And people tend to get more conservative with age. I think its because conservatism is probably some kind of degenerative brain disorder. Progressive liberal scientists ( the only kind there is ) - you know kind of scientists who learned science out of actual science books and not out of the book of Revelations - are working to find a cure for conservative dementia. Sadly many vibrant progressives who in their youth supported progressive causes like human rights, in their old age are struck down by this debilitating ailment. Sometimes conservatism happens because of a traumatic brain injury, like a car accident or a blow to the head. In a few very sad cases we see congenital conservatosis, strike people in their youth. We certainly know that people are more prone to conservative dementia if they have low levels of education and low income levels. We could see this in the most recent voting patterns. But I have hope that we can solve this problem and restore brain function to even the most debilitated conservative.

Don't give up TJ. And congratulations on being a member of this conservative support group. I'm sure it really helps you in dealing with the pain and confusion that comes with being a conservative.
You are an angry and sad man. You don't like America. And you hate Republicans more than Al Queda.

The best part about it is that people like you run the Democratic party. That is great news for Republican.

Here is your problem -- during election time, your candidates have to run AWAY from your core beliefs. That's why John Kerry said that he opposed gay marriage, and that he would fight an even more effective war on terror. There was a time, in the 1960s, 1970s and even the 1980s, when you guys were able to fool people because you had the media in your pocket. Well, the main stream media is a dinosaur. It is discredited and losing influence every day. That's why the judges issue is so important to you guys -- it is all you have. You can't convince the people that your ideas are good, so you will simply impose your liberal values whether they like them or not.

I happen to favor gay unions. I also have gay neighbors. But, unlike you, I haven't lost respect for the democratic process. Instead, I favor convincing people my ideas are right. You degenerate into namecalling pretty quickly -- and I can guess it is because you have given up trying to convince people your ideas are the right ones.
Is TJ a flip flopper? You decide:

"I favor convincing people my ideas are right. You degenerate into namecalling pretty quickly" -TJ

"Yes, I am questioning your patriotism, and yes, I did call you a pinhead." -TJ

Whoa can insult our troops, you can insult this country - you can, and have, repeatedly insulted my intelligence - but don't insult the Whig Party.
The Federalist Party ended in the 1820's and slowly migrated against slavery. Remember, the last stand of the Federalist Party was in New England. The Anti-Federalists were the Southern Planters and Jefferson's beloved 'Yeoman Farmers' - all very much Pro-slavery.

The Federalists migrated to form the Whig party.

The Whig party - and Henry Clay in particular were 'Pro-Business' in the sense that they supported spending federal funds on internal improvements and supported high tarriffs. They took the name 'Whig' from the anti-monarchist party in the House of Commons.

The debate in the early 19th century was more about Land vs. Capital and it's really silly to see the fight between planters and merchants as indicative of 20th century politics. It is however really easy to pick one side and say silly nasty things about them.

The Democrats were an amalgamation of rural southerners - who didn't want to spend money on roads to the west as it didn't serve their interests and favored low tarrifs and urban immigrants who migrated to the Democrat party mostly as a way to create a unique political power base and identity separate from native born Americans. They also had much in common with Southerners as - living in port cities they relied on trade volume and national improvements were of little use to them.

I think - "replusive conservative whigs" is a little silly.
Remember too that Lincoln was a Whig, as was Seward and almost all of the "Lincoln" men who ended slavery.

The Republican Party as it now stands is an outgrowth of the Free Soil Party which was founded in the 1850's. Thirty years after the end of the Federalists. It has no link to the Jeffersonian Democrat party. Hence the reasons Democrats hold an annual "Jefferson-Jackson Day" Dinner.

Are you a little shocked to find out that Lincoln was a Whig - and in fact worked, for the first 20 years of his political career to defeat the Democrat-Republicans.

You are just plain wrong. review -
1. There were 'Democrats' in 1860
2. The Republicans did not 'oppose' the Federalists
3. Slavery was not 'beloved' by the Federalists
4. The modern Democratic Party was founded by Jefferson

Honestly - I don't want to be mean - but I found this post a little creepy. You cram so many mistakes into one paragraph. They aren't even opinion based, it's just from what I learned in 11th grade US History.

I think all I can say is 'wow' - is this what our public schools are turning out?
As I noted earlier, my insult was meant to provoke. I stated as such and I think I was able to focus on argument, rather than invective throughout the vast majority of my comments. Your comments, however, were laced with attacks and insults -- a sign of desperation, perhaps.

Unfortunately, LSC is wrong about your education level. You are obviously very highly educated. In this country, it takes a whole lot of education to be that wrong about so many things.

Your post is so mysterious. One can hardly comprehend it. It seems like you are trying to disagree with me, and yet you restate my argument. Lets see, I agree that there was a party called the "democratic" party in 1792. Its just that this party, eventually was renamed the "demcratic republican party", and this is how the very progressive Lincoln ended up being in a party named the "republican party", and how conservatives today, as Republicans today lay credit to ending slavery, which is really a progressive isssue - which at the time they opposed. You don't dispute that the modern DNC was started after Lincoln. So we are in agreement.

You restate the position of the Whig party - as a pro-business and pro-capital party. I bet once TJ heard that that he went to look it up to see if he could still join. So I don't see how you can construe that the ideological heirs of the Whigs are not the "supply side economics" Republicans like Reagan and Bush. So mysteriously you say you disagree, and then proceed to agree with me.

Thanks also for chiming in that the discredited Federalists disappeared by the 1820, belatedy changing their position on slavery. I can't see how you can say that Jefferson's Democratic Party - who eventually became the "Democratic Republican Party" did not oppose the Federalists. Of course they did - thats why they were different competing parties in Jeffersons time. And it so happens that the Democrats being progressives - as usual - defeated, destroyed and discredited the conservative Federalists by 1820. Just as progressives would go on to defeat the conservative Whigs.

You point out, quite rightly that during each of these times the issue of the day was different. It sure was. I agree. All I'm saying is that the forces of liberalism, progress and enlightenment at each step have defeated the forces of ignorance, backwardness and conservatism at every step. Its the American way. We liberals have a proud tradition of winning since the days of Jefferson.

Take out some US currency, every one of those guys, was a liberal and a progressive in his time: Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, Franklin, Kennedy, Roosevelt all the way up to the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. We progressives always win, and we honor our great progressive leaders.

The large number of conservative American presidents have been miserable failures, many of them acclaimed in their time, but all eventually forgotten because they have invariably presided over America in times of stagnation or decline ( consider Eisenhower once honored on a coin, since queitly removed ). Probably the greatest American conservative was Teddy Roosevelt, and even he was not *that* conservative. Don't come back with any historical judegements on Reagan or Bush. I concede the point that they are popular today. It is too early to pass historical judgement on any President after say Nixon.

I'm afraid if we get into historical details too much we will lose our audience.
What audience?

Did someone get all that?

Can I borrow your notes after class?
The 'Modern DNC' has been around for over 150 years. In fact - The race I will be attending on Saturday - The Belmont - is named for Augustus Belmont, DNC Chairman during the 1860's and 70's.

So, I took out some currency just like you suggested...including my old $2 bill...with Jefferson on it. I couldn't find my Kennedy folding money though?? I did have one of those old 50 cent pieces they discontinued. I believe that too was "queitly (sic) removed" Sometimes when I go to the Post Office though - they give me Susan B. Anthony dollars - although, I think they new gold dollar coins mean that she too has been "queitly (sic) removed."

Apparently George Washington was a progressive (who knew that a slaveholder who opposed high taxes was (??) go figure.)

But - I, thanks to George W. Bush's tax cuts still had some money left in my wallet. First I had a $10 bill...with Alexander Hamilton - Arch-Federalist that he was. (PS - Unlike Thomas Jefferson - Hamilton did not own slaves). Then...I moved up to some real money...Andrew Jackson, proud 'Democrat' on the $20...renowned for killing indians, the British and several men who insulted his 'honor'. Then I moved up to the $50, with the man who truly ended slavery by actually winning the Civil War...Ulysses S. Grant.

Now obviously this silly excercise of looking in my wallet was totally pointless. After all...let's not forget that Grover Cleveland - Democrat and former Mayor of Buffalo is on the $500.

But...I like triva and trying to 'prove' "that the forces of liberalism, progress and enlightenment at each step have defeated the forces of ignorance, backwardness and conservatism at every step." with coinage is well...silly.
JPC - you can borrow my notes. Great thread...I read the whole thing. LSC - happy to have you back. TJ - You know I'm with you on virtually everything (except the gay unions). Anonymous - although you will find disagreement on this site, you are more than welcome here. I do agree with TJ that you need a 'real' name. Braveheart was a good suggestion, but anybody can post under anonymous. And I'm sure you don't consider yourself just anybody.
Sip: I'll take your suggestion. Very civil of you.

LSC: Dominating US currency is just a sign that we liberals always win, and have since the foundation of the nation. Conservatives like Harding, Taft, Hoover, Eisenhower and Nixon where are they? Discredited and forgotten.

According to the US treasury department the notes currently in circulation:

George Washington on the $1 bill. A radical leftist revolutionary. Led an armed insurgency against the rightist government of King George of England ( from whom the Bush family is descended ). He publicly claimed to be a liberal all his life. Quote: "As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality."

Thomas Jefferson on the $2 bill. The quintessential American Liberal free thinker. Probably the most liberal leader in the whole of the 18th century. Author of the Bill of Rights. Quote: "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism". Great proponent of limiting government power and especially police power. He is so liberal, that as a sitting President he issued the "Jefferson Bible" where he cut out 90% of the bible, declaring it to be garbage, and issued a thin tome with pretty much only Jesus's most liberal "love they neighbor" type teachings. Considered slavery to be a "great evil", and fought against it all his life. Almost managed to ban Slavery in 1784 - which missed by one vote. Great proponent of free public schools from primary all the way to university. Founded University of Virginia. Probably the greatest LIBERAL of all time.

Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill. Famously progressive. Author of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Homestead Act - whereby he gave away 160 acre parcels of government land to anyone who applied for it was willing to live on it. Instituted the first Income Tax, in 1861. Greatly expanded the federal government. Here are a bunch of quotes by Lincoln's friends: "Lincoln was decidedly Liberal" -A Jeffrey "I know that he was a Liberal thinker." -Dr. Arch E. McNeal "I know that Lincoln was a Liberal." -Joseph Stafford "He was a broad religionist -- a Liberal." - E.H. Wood "He was a Liberal, outspoken, and seemed to feel proud of it." -Dr. J.J. Thompson "It was known to all of his acquaintances that he was a Liberal" -Hon. A.J. Grover. These are all quotes from people who knew the great liberal progressive Abraham Lincoln personally. Lincoln's idea of Government was that it was "to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they cannot, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves". Clearly a tax and spend liberal.

Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. Another great American Liberal thinker. He was secretary of the treasury because he was a big supporter of Taxing the people to so that the government could spend money on social programs. Here is is advocating for higher taxes so that the the government can implement liberal plans of public good: "The ends of public happiness will be promoted by supplying the wants of government. How is it possible that a government half supplied and always necessitous, can fulfill the purposes of its institution, can provide for the security, advance the prosperity, or support the reputation of the commonwealth? How will it be able to avoid a frequent sacrifice of its engagements to immediate necessity? How can it undertake or execute any liberal or enlarged plans of public good?"

Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Ok, I concede that Jackson was not a liberal. How did he get on the 20? I should call Ted Kennedy about this.

Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill. Not particularly a liberal either.

Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill - Famously liberal. A colonial era hippie. Author of "fart proudly".

All notes above $100 are currently no longer in circulation. Also it is clear that the higher denomination notes are of vastly inferior status anyway. Though it is interesting to note that the largest denomination bill, $100,000 had democrat Woodrow Wilson on it.

In terms of coinage still in circulation:

Penny: Abraham Lincoln - liberal.

Nickel: Thomas Jefferson - very liberal

Dime: Franklin D. Roosevelt. Greatest modern American President and of course the most liberal modern President. Saved America from depression. Saved the world from the Nazis. Created Social Security. Clearly an arch liberal.

Quarter: George Washington - liberal

Half-Dollar: John F. Kennedy - Clearly a liberal. Brother of famously liberal Boston family. Brother of Teddy.

Dollar Coin: Sacagawea - doesn't count exactly but we know she was a liberal "affirmative action" hire.
You are on strong ground with Kennedy and Roosevelt. I'll give you Sacagawea.

I think a strong case can be made that Jefferson and Washington were classical liberals -- which is a better description of modern day conservatism than modern day liberalism. Jefferson was a federalist in the modern use of the phrase -- he believed in states rights and was very reluctant to cede power to the federal government. He was supportive of rural farmers -- not big cities (wasn't there something about cousins?) He was wealthy -- though he died in debt.

On the other hand, he did love France.

Washington was a military man who was infamous for his participation in wartime atrocities during the French-Indian war. He was extremely religious. In what way was he liberal in the modern sense of the word? He expanded the federal government, I guess -- but that would be true of anyone who serves as the first president.

Of course, both men owned slaves, making them, I suppose, the intellectual grandparents of people like Robert Byrd, and the late Al Gore, Sr. and William Fulbright.

Lincoln wasn't a slave owner, but that's a pretty low standard to meet to be considered a liberal. He refused to listen to the world community and raised a huge army to thwart a Democrat-led rebellion. He used the Republican party apparatus as a means to run the war -- using party resources and supporters to pull together financial and political support for an unpopular war.

Of course, he did institute a draft, so he has something in common with LBJ.
Yes, I can see it now - George and Thomas going to march with Al Sharpton after locking up the slaves. Maybe Abraham Lincoln holding a "What has war ever solved" sign.

The problem is the term LIBERAL in the 19th Century referred to classical economists like Adam Smith who was considered a LIBERAL despite the fact that today's LIBERALs would not consider him a actually whenever you see someone described as LIBERAL it means they supported using market forces instead of the government to change fiscal policy.
Although - I will give you Franklin, as 'farting proudly' seems to be a very LIBERAL thing to do.
PS - Alexander Hamilton never supported a 'social program' in his life. He did however support creating an elected king. How very very LIBERAL.
Washington and Jefferson both abhorred slavery, but they were realistic and practical men. Their wealth and power was build on a foundation of Slavery. To have freed their slaves would have been to cede power to other rich white slave owners. Both men fought slavery throughout their lives - especially Jefferson. Like I said Jefferson, as President, was almost able to abolish slavery in 1784. One of the legislators on his side was deathly ill on the day of the vote and they lost the vote by that small margin. Washington had slaves at his estate - which was really Martha's estate. He himself I don't believe had slaves outside that estate - and emancipated all of Martha's slaves ( save Martha's own elderly personal maid ) in his will.

Anyway Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington all believed that the government should invest in social spending. In other words that taxes should be levied ( mostly on the rich ) to pay for benefits for the people ( especially to benefit the poor ) - like universal free public education. All three of them supported the idea for example that all American's should have access to free public education all the way up through college.

And yes all three of these progressive presidents were great friends of France. Liberalism of course comes from France - invented by Voltaire and Rousseau. The core of Liberalism has remained constant since Jefferson's time and is based on two basic ideas: that humans have certain "natural rights", and that the state serves the people for the people's benefit. Before that it was assumed that people had no rights and were the property of the state. Note also that property rights were not among those rights. Rather liberals of the time, and today, are more concerned with the "commonwealth".

Both Washington and Jefferson for example worked to undermine property rights. They were for example proponents of confiscatory inheritance taxes. Here is Jefferson on the topic:

"Whenever there are in a country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate the natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided for those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed...,"

Notice his reference to "property rights" in opposition to "natural rights". Note how he places a reponsibility on government to find jobs for the people. Notice his belief that people have a "fundamental right to labor". He's a total leftie.

Jefferson was a proponent of limiting state power to control and police people. But he was an advocate always of expanding state reponsibility to the people. Conservatives are the opposite, they seek to reduce the state's reponsibility to the people, while increasing its power over them.

To claim that Jefferson is not a Liberal is just crazy - he pretty much copied that Bill of Rights straight out of old French Philosophy books!

Lincoln was a liberal also and presided over one of the great expansions of the Federal Government. He introduced the concept of income tax, greatly weakened state power, and used the Federal government as a tool to modernize and rebuild the nation. His work was greatly undone by conseravatives who followed him - but it was of course - like always rebuilt and expanded by progressives like Wilson and Roosevelt.

Note that after the wise rule of each of these greal progressive leaders the country entered a long period of growth and prosperity. Each of those periods ends with a the leadership of misguided conservatives. Liberals come back into power and set things working again.

There was definition of "Liberal" which is a very expansive, almost meaningless definition from that time, which is basically anyone opposed to Christianity in the 18th century. Anyone who believed that "rights" were natural and inherent in men, rather than given by God was considered a "liberal" in this sense. So any anti-monarchist, would have been considered a "liberal" ( Remember the divine right of kings? ) This is the only way that Adam Smith can be construed to be a "liberal". I was playing a little fast an loose with that in the bit about Lincoln. All those quotes where his friends called him a liberal were meant more in the anti-Christian sense. Lincoln was a rabid opponent of Christianity - often referring to fundamentalist Christians as "ignoramuses".
Well...I'm glad to see that you admit "playing a little fast and loose" with Lincoln and that the definition of Liberal was "meaningless" - that does make all those quotes well..."meaningless."

Its ok - by pulling out the old "abhorred" chestnut you did make them out to be the first Limousine Liberals. After all - Jefferson was soo fond of his slaves and their 'human rights' that he impregnated one. So in essence...they felt really really really bad about slavery - but they really really liked the income slaves provided and their easy 'availibility'. Like when rich liberals employ housekeepers and maids at a pittance but care "deeply" about the minimum wage.

Oh...and in 1784 Jefferson wasn't President. But, maybe he was heading the "Modern DNC."

When we say "friend of France" - that isn't the current France - it's the "Let them eat cake" "Divine Right of Kings" Louis XVI France that they befriended. Not exactly the France that reflected the views of Voltaire and Rousseau. Actually - the people that did reflect Rousseau and Voltaire's point of view cut the heads off of Jefferson and Washington's friends.

Actually - Jefferson believed in Locke's system of labor and that god given rights were "Life, Liberty and Property" - sound familiar? - Your quote is just a recapitulation of Locke's theory of labor and was actually the handy excuse Jefferson used to take land from Indians. Remember - planters, even really rich ones, cultivate land - Indians don't. So - indians would have their lands confiscated...a progressive ahead of his time.

I like that open ended "long period of growth and prosperity" though. You don't even know when Jefferson was President - much less the economic conditions at the time. Was 1866 also a year filled with "growth and prosperity"?
(btw - in case you have no clue what you're talking about - that's the year after Lincoln died)

Even I have no idea what the economy was like - and I know that you don't either.

Finally - Lincoln as great 'income taxer' - wanted to levy a flat tax of 3% on all incomes from $15,000-$250,000 - in today's dollars, for those above $250,000 - it was %5. Please let me know if you support this - I know that I would.
Lets start with Lincoln again: It is my belief that those quotes refer more to Lincoln's hatred of Christianity than to his more classical Liberal beliefs. I provided a link to the quotes, so you can go read them and make up your own mind. Its still a fact that most of his friends considered him to be a "liberal" in his day.

Second, Lincoln's income tax idea was pretty radical for its time. True, the income tax was small, but its still puts him on the left edge of the political spectrum in his day. And lets not forget that at the time most taxes were collected not from individuals but as taxes on trade which affected pretty much just the rich. Also consider that in Lincoln's time, most of the poor hardly dealt with money at all. There can be no disagreement that Lincoln greatly expanded the power of the federal government. Also its not what he wanted to levy - it was the compromise tax that was actually passed. ( For some reason it never actually was implemented - but it was passed into Law )

The second half of the 19th century was had long periods of growth.

I won't address this point again - Jefferson was very very strongly against slavery. Just go read up about him. In his original declaration of independence one of the grievances was that England allowed slavery in the colonies. It was removed after protest from the southern states. As a legislator in Virginal in 1769 he tried to outlaw it. He got a bill passed in 1778 making future importation of slavery into virginia illegal. In 1784 as a federal legislator he almost passes a law that would abolish slavery by 1800. It fails to pass by one vote. In 1807 as President he signed a bill abolishing the importation of more slaves. He was a lifelong tireless crusader against it, and spoke out about slavery at every opportunity.

Secondly Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln were of course not believers in the "divine right of kings". They were admirers of French and English enlightenment liberal philosophy. So important was Liberal Philosophy to Jefferson that for many years he was also the President of the American Philosophical Society. Also the storming of the Bastille was in 1789, and the French Republic was founded in 1792. So France beloved of Washington and Jefferson, was one where progressive liberals had cut off the heads of the conservative aristocracy.
OK...let's strip away all the 2 party rhetoric and get to the meat. War is a dangerous ugly business...people die in war, innocent and's a fact of life. Our endeavor is to fight within the Rules of War...and we do our best to execute in that manner. So left, right, and middle should really take a look at the reality and realize in spite of ideology we are at war and the facts are the facts...and the inherent nature of war is ugly...not a perfect sciene. You can quote all the resources you want...dem and GOP...does not matter. They are spun to suit the audience they are addressing. You find me one truly objective news organization on either can't...they are in business to SELL news...and they decide what is newsworthy according to the message they want to send. Please tell me you can all see that and understand it before you all really think you understand what is going understand what you are told and read by the organizations that feed it to you. There is good and bad over here...period. If we saw more of the good and less of the bad opinions would likely be different for some..but that is not the reality and it does not sell...AND if everyone agreed on both sides, there would be no debate...and how much fredom of speech would be exercised with no debate???

A for the the GITMO incidents...we are responsible for our errors, intentional or not. The fact is that there were incidences of defamation and we owe answers and the perps should be punished. That is how we demonstrate that we are righteous...we punish errors that do not conform with our moral standards...and in this case the mijlitary ones as well...for we are duty bound to follow the Rules of War in spite of what our enemy does or how he acts...we are the standard bearer. Remember that. So you can hammer the military for violating the rules and you can defend them as well...but at some point you all have to realize that your truth is not necessarily THE truth...
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