Saturday, February 16, 2008

U.N. says waterboarding should be prosecuted as torture

Fri Feb 8, 2008 11:04pm GMT
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The controversial interrogation technique known as waterboarding and used by the United States qualifies as torture, the U.N. human rights chief said on Friday.

"I would have no problems with describing this practice as falling under the prohibition of torture," the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, told a news conference in Mexico City. (To continue: UN says... )

Comment: The United States should not be an outlaw nation. We should stop denying that waterboarding is torture, we should disavow the practice, and we should declare that from now on the United States will not engage in the practice. We should also declare that we will not practice torture by proxy by sending prisoner to friendly countries so they can be tortured. John McCain has unequivocally called the practice of waterboarding torture. I assume the Democratic nominees for President also condemn the practice. Whoever is the next President will likely prohibit it. President Bush should act now and not wait until the next election to restore America's honor.

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Anybody But McCain

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

A reply to, "Am I Still a Conservative?"

No. You have moved to left. Please allow me to address some of the issues below.

Global Warming.
Global warming does exist. What does not exist is man-made global warming. One good volcano eruption release more of these nasty substances blamed for global warming than the internal combustion engine has since its invention. There is also global warming on Mars, you see. There are no SUV's or factories there. What's causing Mars to warm? The very same thing that is causing the Earth to warm. It's the Sun. However, global warming and cooling are cyclical. The warmest decade in the last century was the 1930's.

I have more than 4 pages of links regarding this. There are links to Saddam Hussein and 9/11, though the MSM does not discuss them. There are also links to Saddam Hussein and the Oklahoma City bombing. There are links to Al Qaeda and Oklahoma City as well. And there are links between Hussein and Al Qaeda. There were also WMD discovered in Iraq, as well as proof that much of them were spirited to Syria while we were fiddling around at the UN. I disagree with the way the war has been fought, but Saddam Hussein had to be stopped.

Welfare Reform
Please don't give Clinton any credit for this. He vetoed it twice. It was only when the Republicans in Congress had enough for a veto-override that Clinton signed it, and that is why he signed it.

Free Trade
You, of course, understand the difference between "free" and "fair"? That's one of the problems with NAFTA, CAFTA, etc., that while they're allegedly free, they place the US at a disadvantage. Another big problem with them is that they are the groundwork, the foundation, if you will, for the NAU. Both NAFTA and CAFTA also surrender a bit of national sovereignty, which is another problem. I believe vehemently in free trade if it's fair to the US, but I vehemently oppose NAFTA, CAFTA, LOST, the NAU and a host of other agreements the US has entered into because they surrender American sovereignty and I have a real problem with that.

Legal, okay. Not illegal. What you fail to see is that we no longer have a problem with illegal immigration; we have a problem with invasion. And, as we've discussed, disincentives will solve the problem. It's only common sense not to reward illegal behavior. And, the efforts to grant amnesty while leaving the borders open is all part of the NAU/globalism agenda.

I don't know how old you are, but when I was young, if you called someone "queer," which was the term de jour for homosexuals, you'd better be prepared to physically defend yourself as it was just about the worst thing you could call someone. It was also on the list of psychiatric problems.The same group who successfully had homosexuality removed, who worked to have it "normalized" is now trying to do the same thing with pedophilia. So, you see, it's a societal trend. One you'd have a greater understanding of if you read Karl Marx's manifesto.

Posted by"Anne" in a yahoo chat group.

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Another reply to "Am I Still a Conservative?"


Finally, a point of view with balance and thoughtfulness. I have embraced these points of view you have expressed for many, many years now. Only to be ridiculed by the more extremist elements of our party. Elements who call themselves "conservatives”, but are anything but conservative. President Bush is the leader of this splinter group and have plunged our country into a economic nightmare. These extremist, who hate everything and everyone who has an opposing view, have been very arrogant in their approaches to issues in our country. However I still have stuck to my guns and will as long as my blood is flowing in my body.

Extremism in any political or religious setting is just plain wrong by the virtue of the "exclusivity" extremism espouses. This tactic just leaves out too many, and there begins the downfall of it all. One recent example..... Shia turning against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Ronald Reagan as influential and controversial as he is, was not an extremist, at least not by today's standards. I would venture to say that by today's standards, he was sort of moderate.

I tend to agree with most of what you wrote, and there are times I also ask myself, Am I still a conservative? I believe that I am. Like your self I subscribe to conservative publications and have given money and support to conservative causes. I have had the opportunity to spend time with Ronald Reagan. One of the most proud moments in my life, next to the birth of my children.

However, I do believe in being reasonable with people who are reasonable. I may not agree with everything that our party stands for, but I do not agree with everything that the Democrats stand for either. I tend to agree with you that sometimes a blend of both conservative and liberal approaches can sometimes reach the best conclusions. It can never be "Our way or the Hi-Way" sort of mentality. This more that often never works out right. Usually the truth is somewhere in the middle. Fortunately or unfortunately, we live with other humans who have a different point of view. And, differing points of view should at the very least be considered, even if they are dull and ignorant. This does not mean adoption of ignorant or arrogant concepts.

I believe that the liberals will win the White House in the coming elections. Over all, I do not see that as a good scenario. However, the conservatives only have themselves to blame. We had gone too far with our right wing ideology and taking certain topics to the extreme.

I find it oxymoronic that the conservative view of Global warming is so far off base from what appears to be the dawning of this reality. The true conservative view is the preservation of life takes precedence.. .. RIGHT? And yet, when it comes to the preservation of life on a global scale, "conservatives" fall far behind grasping the concept that this could be a real planet threatening situation. Let's suppose that the environmentalists are just wrong. The question I have always posed is what would be wrong with trying to slow down the pollution of the only planet we have? Preserving life on the planet. What kind of future world are we going to leave for our children's children's children? Shall we neglect this issue in lieu of the green back? For corporate profits? If the world is getting warmer, there will be no-one here to be able to purchase the goods and services of the future. I see no conflict with true conservatism agreeing with the precepts of global warming.

I see no conflict with looking for better solutions to the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. I agreed that Saddam should have been removed at first. However, it does appear that we got there under some false information. Yes we should stay there until the job is finished, even if it takes 100 years. I would add though that it appears that removing Saddam caused a lot of blood-letting between the different religious factions. These factions were under control during Saddam's rule.

Thanks for your thoughts; I often thought I was the only one thinking this way. Nice to know I have a brethren.

Raul in Los Angeles.
Posted by: "Raul Estravit." Posted in a Yahoo chat group.

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More replies to "Am I Still a Conservative"

Hi Rod!
Although I disagree with you on some of your specific positions, I do agree that your views are conservative in the William F. Buckley tradition and, that at this point, you are a man without a party.I'd say you're still a conservative, but the GOP has no real conservative wing.

You are right, the political spectrum has shifted beneath our feet. The Marxists/socialists have infected the Dems and dragged them way over to the left, if you were in the center you are now to the right.

Global warming. If you have any science at all you can say, at most, that humans might contribute. If you are convinced that humans contribute you should focus on the cause: too many people (3rd world), too many polluters (China, India, Indonisia, ect.). Get the HATE America bunch to direct their energy there.

If you don't like Iraq I don't blame you. We however should put some of the blame where it should be. The Clintons and liberals put no effort into security and if they had the twin towers would still be standing and we wouldn't be in Iraq.

Most of the policies of the republicans that you don't like are caused by the infection of socialism and it's symptoms. Work against that. It's been easy to let things get out of hand, the fix will be difficult.

Posted by Tim

I'm in agreement with many of your points, though not all. I too feel marginalized in the GOP by the same crowd. But it isn't that we've moved to the center; the party has moved to the Far Right. That's why I think both McCain and Paul are bringing it back it what conservatism really stands for.
Posted by: "ERIC

You haven't moved to the center, you moved to the far left.The Republican Party hasn't changed since Lincoln.
Posted by: "DJ Entropy"

Believing in Global Warming is not Conservative, and is not American- it is buying into a wild unproven and unprovable theory that has 20,000 scientists say is NOT happening and that they do NOT go along with the wild theory or its potential outcome(s).. Global warming is a scare tactic, nothing more
Posted by nealgbrown

My hero, Reagan said the party is a "BIG TENT" so you are welcome in it. I too don't always agree w/ the party, but the DEMS. just flat scare me.
Be well,
Rob. B.

Posted by: "Garth J"

I'd say you're still a conservative, but the GOP has no real conservative wing.
Posted by: "bowman"

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Little Comic Relief: Bush on Global Warming

This is a very funny! This kid deserves an Oscar.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kamikaze Republicans

Kathleen Parker: The Audacity of Compromise
Monday, February 11, 2008

Kamikaze Republicans — those who say they'll never vote for John McCain because he isn't conservative enough — may get what they deserve. The Clintons.

Many on the right, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, James Dobson and others, have declared they'd rather vote for Hillary Clinton — or not vote at all — than cast a ballot for McCain. These self-appointed spokesmen for conservatism insist that voting for Clinton is a matter of principle: Better to go down on the strength of one's convictions than to be a morally compromised placeholder, they say.

To be sure, political cannibalism makes for interesting dinner conversation, but the winner eventually starves to death.

It isn't necessary to love everything McCain has done to vote for him should he be the nominee. But it isn't possible to argue that there's no difference between McCain and Clinton (or Barack Obama), as some Republicans insist. Link

Comment: I don't know if Kathleen Parker was the first to coin the term "Kamikaze Republicans" but it the first time I have heard it used. I like that. That term describes well those who would prefer to lose to Hillary rather than vote for McCain. Parker offers an insight into the "irrational conservatism" that champions that view and explains why some on the right so detest John McCain.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Am I Still a Conservative?

In today’s political climate, I find myself unable to identify with the “conservative” wing of the Republican Party. What passes for conservative is a collection of neoconservative foreign policy adventurers, holy rollers, and right wing populist who advocate the politics of resentment and envy.

I have always considered myself a conservative. I have not just been a casual Republican, but felt myself part of the conservative movement. I have the credentials. I subscribed to National Review for over twenty years. I read the journals and the books. I have belonged to dozens of conservative organizations. I wrote a conservative column for my college newspaper. I was chairman of a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. I admired and loved Ronald Reagan and had his picture on my wall for years. I have contributed money to candidates, causes, and the party, and have worked the polls and the phone banks. I have even shaken hands with Jesse Helms and Spiro Agnew.

In recent years, I have moved to the center, but I really don’t feel like I’ve moved at all, but that the political spectrum has shifted beneath my feet.

I believe global warming is real and we should do something about it. I don’t think that that is any more of a liberal position than believing the world is round is a liberal position. I believe we must use market mechanism such as a carbon tax or a system of cap and trade if we are going to accomplish any curtailment of global warming. To deny the science and assume nothing needs to be done should not be a measure of one’s conservatism.

I do not believe we should trade our freedom for security but believe we can have both. I do not believe it is a measure of conservatism to advocate the use of torture.

I believe we need to be rational regarding immigration policy. You cannot humanely round up and deport 16 million people. We need immigration reform similar to that proposed by President Bush and Senator John McCain.

I think we were misled into an unnecessary war in Iraq. Now that we are in it however, I think we must stabilize the region before we can withdraw. To withdraw prematurely would be as equally foolish as the original invasion. I do not see any continuity between the defense policies that led to victory in the cold war and the Neocon policies that led us into Iraq. I would not define conservatism by one’s support for the invasion of Iraq.

I oppose gay marriage but personally am tolerant of homosexuals and don’t really care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom. I see no need to amend the Constitution to define marriage.

I oppose abortion and hope that eventually a conservative Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade or so weakens it that its impact is greatly restricted. I think it is foolish and a waste of time to attempt to amend the constitution to define life as beginning at conception. This issue needs to gradually be returned to the political arena of each state. I believe in federalism and do not think every state has to have the same policy.

I support the second Amendment, but think guns in bars and guns in the hands of lunatics is a bad idea.

I support smaller government so I generally support tax cuts but I do not automatically think every tax cut is wise. At some point, the next tax cut could result in less revenue, not more. Some tax cuts need to be matched by spending cuts or they do not need to occur. Tax policy is economics, not religion.

I disagree with many Republican on these issue and in today’s political climate some of those Republicans would therefore classify me as a liberal. In many areas however, I think I am much more conservative than those who define conservatism today. I am often critical of the Republicans for their failure to be conservative enough.

A Republican President and Republican Congress that allow runaway pork barrel spending and special earmarks are not conservative. In a divided government, Republicans would have opposed this runaway, out of control spending.

I believe deficits matter. The Republican Party used to be the party that railed against deficits. When Bush came to office the country had a budget surplus; by the time Bush leaves office we will have a deficit approaching $413 billion. To run up huge deficits as if they do not matter is not conservative.

Welfare reform was one of the conservative victories of the last century and it happened under a Democratic president and a Republican Congress. Republicans should have continued welfare reform and other measures to dismantle the Great Society and the destruction it has brought to the Black community. Changing the culture of Black poverty and despair should be a “conservative” cause. I do not advocate programs that subsidize and perpetuate poverty, but we need to put in place programs that can help break the cycle of poverty. We need more Jack Kemps in the Republican Party of today. Ending welfare should be a conservative value.

Free Trade is a Conservative principle. It is not conservative to demonize multinational corporations, Chinese imports, NAFTA, and immigration.

Republicans have not done enough to advocate market solutions to the health care problem. For starters, we need to divorce health insurance from employment, we need to institute health savings accounts, and find other innovative market solutions to lower health care cost expand health care coverage. Conservatives have to do more than simply deny we do have a problem. Advocating for the status quo and simply proclaiming we have the best health care system in the world will insure the adoption of “liberal” solutions.

I also do not believe that every issue neatly fits a “liberal” or “conservative” pigeonhole. Potholes aren’t “Republican” or “Democratic”. Many problems may need a pragmatic solution that may be a little liberal and a little conservative nor neither. By trial and error we sometime need to find out what works and go with that. We actually have very few true socialist or libertarians in America and most of us are somewhere in the middle. We should not be afraid to engage those who wear a different political label, and political pundits and activist should not demonize those who may have a slightly different opinion than their own.

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