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April 01, 2006

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Bob

"Between that and sucking up to lobbyists to do them favors for hidden or not so hidden quid pro quo, Congress clearly needs a major overhaul. But this is closer to corruption than it is to Socialism."

Perhaps much of the government spending is corruption, but most of it is spent through government social programs.

"Further, Muslims are doing anything but integrating in Europe these days."

That's Europe's problem, and I couldn't wish it on a more desrving bunch of socialists. Okay, the cat's out of the bag. I hate Europeans, especially Germans and French. They demand handouts from the USA on one hand, and stab us in the back with the other. Ungrateful and envious.

"I think the preemption doctrine winds up picking the wars it should want to avoid and, in regard to nuclear weaponry, is likely to be ultimately futile in the long run when the world will view us as just asking for it."

The preemption doctrine only postpones the inevitable as well as uniting more countries against us. The preemption doctrine is making the USA look like warmongers. We make more enemies every time we interfere in other countries. We stomp around the globe like we own the place. I can understand the resentment of foreigners. One day, they may unite and give us what's coming to us.

"So who now sounds like the multicultural, liberal and sniveling Dutch who have put themselves into a box they cannot get out of."

I am not a liberal, but I do believe in multiculturalism. I don't believe that multiculturalism is a bad thing. It actually is a good thing, it broadens our experiences. I am actualyy for open borders. Why shouldn't a person be able to live where they like and work where they like? The Dutch "box" is their problem. I couldn't care less.

"However, the problem with this line of thought is that before any other country is likely to attack the US, even with conventional armaments, they are likely to have nuks in their hip pockets, and that makes your retaliatory approach really problematic. This thinking caused the birth of the preemption doctrine."

It's better than spending billion and trillions policing the whole friggin world. We will lose on an economical basis. We are spending our future away in order to save our future.

"Our courts have largely held that enemy combatants, and I would add, those who aid and conspire with them, do not really have protection under the Bill of Rights. That would include my group above, I think."

Yes, our courts have ruled such, and it is sad. We hold up our constitution and our Bill of Rights for all to see, then we tuck them away when the going gets tough. America needs to walk the talk. Otherwise, we loose credibility.

"I say. With Bush, the preemption doctrine means we only have to kill a few now instead of a lot later. We are economizing on Islamists and that is good."

Murder is expedient. Trials are only for Americans. The rest of the world can die.

"... the Koran and its collateral texts are more horrific and oppressive."

Have you read the Koran? It's no worse than the Torah and the Bible. I can give examples from the Torah and the Bible that are just plain sick. Are you interested?

"... and watch what we are doing and who we are letting into this country, including Mexicans.)"

I am all for an open border, not just immigration. These people are oppressed in their country. They come here for a better life. They are good, hard-working people. That is more than I can say for many Americans, especially the ones that have been on welfare their whole lives.

Kimball Corson

Bob,

“Perhaps much of the government spending is corruption, but most of it is spent through government social programs.”

That’s not true. Almost all government spending is on defense, interest on the debt and (on paid in) social security and medicare. There is hardly room for anything else.

"’Further, Muslims are doing anything but integrating in Europe these days.’
That's Europe's problem, and I couldn't wish it on a more deserving bunch of socialists. Okay, the cat's out of the bag. I hate Europeans, especially Germans and French. They demand handouts from the USA on one hand, and stab us in the back with the other. Ungrateful and envious.”

True, but among the world’s powers they are nearly all we’ve got by way of friends, except for Japan and Taiwan who covet our protection.

"’I think the preemption doctrine winds up picking the wars it should want to avoid and, in regard to nuclear weaponry, is likely to be ultimately futile in the long run when the world will view us as just asking for it.
The preemption doctrine only postpones the inevitable as well as uniting more countries against us. The preemption doctrine is making the USA look like warmongers. We make more enemies every time we interfere in other countries. We stomp around the globe like we own the place. I can understand the resentment of foreigners. One day, they may unite and give us what's coming to us.”

We absolutely agree there, Bob.

"’So who now sounds like the multicultural, liberal and sniveling Dutch who have put themselves into a box they cannot get out of.’
I am not a liberal, but I do believe in multiculturalism. I don't believe that multiculturalism is a bad thing. It actually is a good thing, it broadens our experiences. I am actually for open borders. Why shouldn't a person be able to live where they like and work where they like? The Dutch "box" is their problem. I couldn't care less.”

I think the jury is still out on multiculturalism. You hope for integration and acculturation, but I still see a lot of ethnic islands and barrios. And we do need to worry about the Dutch and their experience.

"’However, the problem with this line of thought is that before any other country is likely to attack the US, even with conventional armaments, they are likely to have nuks in their hip pockets, and that makes your retaliatory approach really problematic. This thinking caused the birth of the preemption doctrine.’
It's better than spending billion and trillions policing the whole frigging world. We will lose on an economical basis. We are spending our future away in order to save our future.”

Now that is a good argument, as is your one above on the preemption doctrine. It may be that we cannot afford that doctrine as we presently implement it and I am not sure we have the stomach for the job. We became skittish on interventionism after Vietnam and Iraq is only redoubling those sentiments. HOWEVER, do we just stand by and let our sworn and radical enemies get nuclear weapons? There is the rub.

"’Our courts have largely held that enemy combatants, and I would add, those who aid and conspire with them, do not really have protection under the Bill of Rights. That would include my group above, I think.’
Yes, our courts have ruled such, and it is sad. We hold up our constitution and our Bill of Rights for all to see, then we tuck them away when the going gets tough. America needs to walk the talk. Otherwise, we loose credibility.”

But our sworn enemies within and without shouldn’t have the protections of our peaceful citizenry. As for credibility, this Administration is too far down in a hole to even see light looking up. As someone else put it, ‘if brains were elastic, this Administration would not have enough to make a pair of parakeet suspenders.’

"’With Bush, the preemption doctrine means we only have to kill a few now instead of a lot later. We are economizing on Islamists and that is good.’
Murder is expedient. Trials are only for Americans. The rest of the world can die.”

But others and our friends watch how many we kill and why and we do have the basic problem I refer to: do we let our radical and sworn enemies get nuks?

"’... the Koran and its collateral texts are more horrific and oppressive.’
Have you read the Koran? It's no worse than the Torah and the Bible. I can give examples from the Torah and the Bible that are just plain sick. Are you interested?”

I have read the Koran twice and it is patently clear Mohammed was a warrior, a major political figure and a poet and prophet of sorts. The Koran is strewn with barbarities and incivilities unmatched by the Judaic Torah, which is all about rules and regulations – a precursor to modern legal structure, if you will -- or the Christian Bible, especially the New Testament, which is fundamentally escapist and other worldly – the antithesis of the rules and regulations approach. Mohammed was basically a man of the sword and his had a lot of blood on it.


“’... and watch what we are doing and who we are letting into this country, including Mexicans.)’
I am all for an open border, not just immigration. These people are oppressed in their country. They come here for a better life. They are good, hard-working people. That is more than I can say for many Americans, especially the ones that have been on welfare their whole lives.”

I think open boarders would be a mistake. They would only better enable our enemies to shoot us in the back. We need to keep our enemies out, but Mexicans are not our enemies. They help us and only want a better living. We need to pull them out of the shadows and abuse, give them legal status and set up an above-board system that better meets their needs and ours. (I am currently living in Mexico aboard my sailboat, speak fluent Spanish and also have both Mexican and American passports as well as dual citizenship.) A WASP friend asked what he should do about the flood of Mexicans immigrants into his state (Arizona) and I responded, ”Learn to have fun and speak Spanish.”

Bob

Kimball,

"Almost all government spending is on defense, interest on the debt and (on paid in) social security and medicare."

I consider money spent on defense to be corporate welfare, as well as just plain old graft. One administration after another has embroiled the USA in some sort of crusade, be it War on Terrorism, War on Drugs, War on Poverty, etc. All of these programs are about buying votes.

"... but among the world’s powers they are nearly all we’ve got by way of friends, except for Japan and Taiwan who covet our protection."

Europe covets our protection too. As well as our money. We don't need "friends" like that. I support neutrality when it comes to foreign relations. Sure, trade with everybody, but make treaties with nobody.

"I think the jury is still out on multiculturalism. You hope for integration and acculturation, but I still see a lot of ethnic islands and barrios."

Sure, it takes a while to fully integrate. Barrios are just that, temporary stops to integration.

"HOWEVER, do we just stand by and let our sworn and radical enemies get nuclear weapons?"

Why can't they have them? We do. We are no better than they. We're actually worse. Look at Hiroshima. I can't get over how the USA is the Nuke Police when we are the only country to have ever used nukes on another country. It's the fox guarding the hen house. The USA shouldn't be allowed to have them either. Fair is fair. And don't tell me that we are the most rational people therefore it's okay for us to have nukes. When fundamentalists like Bush are in power, nukes are on the table...even for preemptive strikes. So, don't tell me we're better than they. It should be everyone gets them or nobody does.

"But our sworn enemies within and without shouldn’t have the protections of our peaceful citizenry."

Yes, they should. Our American priciples are not to be sold out when the going gets tough.

"Do we let our radical and sworn enemies get nuks?"

They will eventually, regardless of what we do. And after what we did in the middle east, we deserve what we get.

"I have read the Koran twice and it is patently clear Mohammed was a warrior, a major political figure and a poet and prophet of sorts."

Yes, he was a warrior. And a thief. He robbed many.

"The Koran is strewn with barbarities and incivilities unmatched by the Judaic Torah, which is all about rules and regulations – a precursor to modern legal structure, if you will -- or the Christian Bible, especially the New Testament, which is fundamentally escapist and other worldly – the antithesis of the rules and regulations approach."

Huh? The Ten Commandments was all about rules.

"Mohammed was basically a man of the sword and his had a lot of blood on it."

So? So were a few Catholic Popes and Jewish Kings.

Kimball Corson

Bob,
"’Almost all government spending is on defense, interest on the debt and (on paid in) social security and medicare.’
I consider money spent on defense to be corporate welfare, as well as just plain old graft. One administration after another has embroiled the USA in some sort of crusade, be it War on Terrorism, War on Drugs, War on Poverty, etc. All of these programs are about buying votes.”

I don’t think ‘corporate welfare’ is the right expression because goods and services are provided (at a price). ‘Corruption’ is not exactly the right term either because some defense contracts are straight. ‘Cronyism’ may be the right word -- work with the government I run and I’ll line your pockets so you’ll vote for me because you know what is good for you. All the crusades you identify have elements of cronyism.

"’... but among the world’s powers the [Europeans] are nearly all we’ve got by way of friends, except for Japan and Taiwan who covet our protection.’
Europe covets our protection too. As well as our money. We don't need "friends" like that. I support neutrality when it comes to foreign relations. Sure, trade with everybody, but make treaties with nobody.”

I can support your basic sentiment here but still think some treaties are reasonable and necessary, ones typically entailing cooperation toward a common and reasonable goal that impose mutual obligations of the same character on both countries.

"’I think the jury is still out on multiculturalism. You hope for integration and acculturation, but I still see a lot of ethnic islands and barrios.’
Sure, it takes a while to fully integrate. Barrios are just that, temporary stops to integration.”

Some “temporary stops” are third and fourth generation enclaves. The smart and educable partially integrate, but the less talented don’t and they procreate too. China towns abound, as do black neighborhoods. I am not going to hold my breath here.

"’HOWEVER, do we just stand by and let our sworn and radical enemies get nuclear weapons?’
Why can't they have them? We do. We are no better than they. We're actually worse. Look at Hiroshima. I can't get over how the USA is the Nuke Police when we are the only country to have ever used nukes on another country. It's the fox guarding the hen house. The USA shouldn't be allowed to have them either. Fair is fair. And don't tell me that we are the most rational people therefore it's okay for us to have nukes. When fundamentalists like Bush are in power, nukes are on the table...even for preemptive strikes. So, don't tell me we're better than they. It should be everyone gets them or nobody does.”

This is a very powerful, credible and the classical argument against the preemption doctrine. The problem is that it assumes rational enemies that value their own lives in the manner we do. The rub is too many radical Islamists are nuts and vying for a chance to die and earn virgins in a garden setting. (Proof that they are nuts is to be found in the realization of what a hell it would be to try to keep 25 virgins happy and all those hedges trimmed.) Therefore, Islamist radicalism + eagerness to die = preemption doctrine.

"’But our sworn enemies within and without shouldn’t have the protections of our peaceful citizenry.’
Yes, they should. Our American principles are not to be sold out when the going gets tough.”

American principles are for Americans, not the enemies of Americans. As you said, we get trials, they don’t.

"’Do we let our radical and sworn enemies get nuks?’
They will eventually, regardless of what we do. And after what we did in the middle east, we deserve what we get.”

Now you sound like me, at times. Obviously, I am still thinking here and moving toward an Islamic preemption doctrine, not a global one which might explain why we did not attack North Korea earlier.

"’I have read the Koran twice and it is patently clear Mohammed was a warrior, a major political figure and a poet and prophet of sorts."
Yes, he was a warrior. And a thief. He robbed many.”

That is not a good resume for a prophet of God. It would not even get you in the door of must churches. On those scores, Nietzsche and Jesus fared better. Even Gandi or Jimmy Carter would be preferred.


"’The Koran is strewn with barbarities and incivilities unmatched by the Judaic Torah, which is all about rules and regulations – a precursor to modern legal structure, if you will -- or the Christian Bible, especially the New Testament, which is fundamentally escapist and other worldly – the antithesis of the rules and regulations approach.’
Huh? The Ten Commandments was all about rules.”

The Ten Commandments is Old Testament and part of the Torah. Besides, the modern Torah, as interpreted by the Orthodox, makes the Code of Federal Regulations look immature. The New Testament is all about helping people get their oxen out of ditches on Sunday. Very different approaches. Jewish princesses were the first and original “rules” girls.

"’Mohammed was basically a man of the sword and his had a lot of blood on it.’
So? So were a few Catholic Popes and Jewish Kings.”

Yes, but they largely bade others do the stabbing and slicing, whereas Mohammed did much of his own dirty work and seemed too much to enjoy it. Besides, a few awful Popes and an occasional greedy Jewish king did not any of them claim to be THE prophet of God and the only ONE qualified to start the ULTIMATE religion.It is one thing to be just bad, and quite another to be nuts and bad.

Alex Robbins

Not to interrupt this lovely discussion of Islam people seem to be having, but why not return to Korematsu for a second? It seems to me that the a five-year old who knew some ideas of Con Law could tell you it was wrong, and only someone as smart as Judge Posner (or Hugo Black) could plausibly defend it. Not being as smart as the latter two, I think I'll have to just say it's not. Even if the mandatory evacuation (that was what was at issue in the case -- not internment) didn't violate the Equal Protection Clause, I don't see how it could avoid violating the Due Process Clause absent a Congressional suspension of habeas corpus (as happened in Hawaii).

And what's this about the Constitution not being a suicide pact? It's true, but not because we need to ignore the constitution when necessary to survive--instead, I believe liberal (classically, literally, etc.) government works. If I'm right it's not a suicide pact; if I'm wrong it is. Why doesn't the issue end there?

Kimball Corson

In dire times when you genuinely think you might be knocked flat, dire steps are necessary to protect yourself. Law then matters less and might and power then matter more.

Kimball Corson

At least now we get to argue and debate important topics which are leaked to the public, such as the NSC wiretapping program. That might not be true in the future. The Bush administration is now exploring a more radical measure to protect information it says is vital to national security -- the criminal prosecution of reporters under the espionage laws. Presently, the range of proposals runs from a privilege not to disclose the source of a reporter’s information to criminally prosecuting the reporter for espionage.

The Bush administration has the First and Fourth Amendments well under attack because he differs radically from many of us on the public’s right to know. So much for swearing to uphold the Constitution. But what should we expect from a man who listens to God and ministers, rather than lawyers and analysts. In the future, we need to be very careful about voting men into high public office who admittedly were formerly drunks and then “got religion.”


Kimball Corson

Back a bit, Roach wrote:
“Japanese adhered to an emperor-worshiping religion that made plausible claims of divided loyalties. Likewise, Japanese culture taught a myth of Japanese racial superiority vis a vis the whole world. Japanese Americans in Hawaii treacherously assisted a downed Japanese airmen in the first encounter between Nisei Japanese and the Japanese invaders on Niihau Island.”

Similarly, many commentators have noted that when among more radical Muslims and incidents arise, moderate and liberal Muslims strongly tend to fall back in line with the strict teachings of Islam and support the radicals, if they are not allowed to remain silent. It is better to be aligned with those of one’s faith and Islam than to break those strong bonds, support the infidels and incur your brother’s fatal wrath.

Viewing these matters ex ante, we ignore this wisdom at our peril both in regard to Korematsu and in our dealings with Muslims of all stripes in future conflicts and quagmires.

Nobody said this stuff was easy.

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