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It's Been a Good Year for Bush

Original post made by Gary on Dec 26, 2007

The surge worked. The economy is good. Congress is blocked.

Web Link

Must be a real burn for the lefties.

Comments (64)

Posted by Peter, a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2007 at 9:26 am

Ah, yes, the Washington Times, the right-wing mouth of the Unification Church of Korea, whose "brand of conservatism, which is characterized by extreme racial animus and connections to nativist and neo-Confederate organizations." Web Link

A fitting home for Kudlow's blather.


Posted by Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 10:35 am


Please ignore than millions of Iraqis have been genocided and Iraq has been polluted with depleted uranium for millions of years.

Mission Accomplished!

Merry Christmas!


Posted by Observer, a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 26, 2007 at 10:39 am

"Must be a real burn for the lefties."

As Peter's and the Rabbi's comments show, at least this part of Gary's post is right on the money.


Posted by Why Do You Hate The Troops, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 10:45 am


Since the Persian Gulf War of 1991, about 6 million Iraqis have been slaughtered.

Remember when Madeleine Albright said it was fine with her that 500,000 Iraqi babies had perished due to illegal/immoral UN sanctions? That was back in friggin' 1998!


Posted by Not Dr Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 10:52 am

to Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson:

Did you know that in Iraq, a muslim and a non-muslim cannot marry?


Posted by Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:04 am


Up until very recently the Holy Land had been 99.5% Arab for thousands of years.

Happy Holidays!


Posted by Not Dr Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:13 am

to Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson:

And in most of those arab countries a non-muslim cannot marry a muslim and in fact religions other than islam are forbidden to be practiced.


Posted by Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:36 am


Why is over 93 per cent of Israel's land the property of the state?

Web Link

Isn't that communism?


Posted by Not Dr Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:41 am

to Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson:

And in most of those arab countries a non-muslim cannot marry a muslim and in fact religions other than islam are forbidden to be practiced.
The general public in these countries live in poverty in a oppressive dictatorships, while the leaders spend all the oil money on themselves.
Free speech, democratic elections are unheard of in these countries.

So what if 93 per cent of Israel's land the property of the state.
So what if it is communism. Do you have a point?

How much of the land in arab countries is owned by the people?

Didn;t the arab countries used to get most of their weapons from the old USSR and China? they had no problem with communism apparently, so why do you?


Posted by Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:50 am


Why is it ILLEGAL in Israel for mamzer jews (and their descendents!!) to wed non-mamzer jews?

Web Link

And isn't it odd that Israeli law embues rabbinical courts with the authority to determine and record which citizens are mamzers?


Posted by Not Dr Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 11:58 am

to Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson:

you write:
"Why is it ILLEGAL in Israel for mamzer jews (and their descendents!!) to wed non-mamzer jews?

Web Link

And isn't it odd that Israeli law embues rabbinical courts with the authority to determine and record which citizens are mamzers?"


If it upsets you so much go to Israel and have the law changed.
Are you a mamzer, btw?

In the meantime, Hamas is begging for a cease fire with Israel. They have had the crap kicked out of them by Israel and are crawling through the dirt to Israel's door to beg for mercy. Things have gotten so bad that even the Hamas leadership is reduced to eating their own feces and drinking their own urine to get by.
AS expected, the ISrael government has told them to take a hike. Hamas and leadership will soon be destroyed--even the local Gaza residents are turning against Hamas.


Posted by Rabbi Menachim Mendel Schneerson, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 12:08 pm


Are you a red diaper baby?

Web Link


Posted by Not Dr Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 26, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I was too young to remember what color diapers I wore.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 27, 2007 at 9:17 am

A good way to ask for a cease fire is to stop shooting.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2007 at 9:47 am

As much as I opposed the "surge" I would be very happy if it succeeds in producing a political settlement. The decrease in violence is wonderful but Iraq still isn't a stable country. The three sides still all agree that they hate the American Occupation and want us out. Iraq is a defacto federation and we should give up the united country pipe dream. Let them vote in Tikrit and split up Bagdad. The solution doesn't have to be perfect it just has to hold up with a minimal amount of violence.

It's a shame that it took four years and the ouster of Rumsfeld to implement an effective counter-insurgency strategy which was previously documented in the Army Counter-Insurgency Documents.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 28, 2007 at 8:14 pm

I forgot to mention the proof of interrogation methods that Bush supported, especially waterboarding.

The left has assured us that torture does not work. Waterboarding clearly works (see below), therefore it cannot be torture, by definition.

(from: Web Link )

" The former agent, who said he participated in the Abu Zubayda interrogation but not his waterboarding, said the CIA decided to waterboard the al Qaeda operative only after he was "wholly uncooperative" for weeks and refused to answer questions.

All that changed -- and Zubayda reportedly had a divine revelation -- after 30 to 35 seconds of waterboarding, Kiriakou said he learned from the CIA agents who performed the technique.

The terror suspect, who is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reportedly gave up information that indirectly led to the the 2003 raid in Pakistan yielding the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an alleged planner of the September 11, 2001, attacks, Kiriakou said.

The CIA was unaware of Mohammed's stature before the Abu Zubayda interrogation, the former agent said.

"Abu Zubayda's the one who told us that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was so important in the al Qaeda structure, and we didn't realize at the time how important he was," Kiriakou said.

Abu Zubayda also divulged information on "al Qaeda's leadership structure and mentioned people who we really didn't have any familiarization with [and] told us who we should be thinking about, who we should be looking at, and who was important in the organization so we were able to focus our investigation this way," Kiriakou said.

Abu Zubayda reportedly told the agent who waterboarded him that "Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate because it would make it easier on the other brothers who had been captured," Kiriakou said."

Good for Bush. Too bad we can't keep him on for another term, in these serious times.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 28, 2007 at 11:37 pm

Gary--What is your definition of a "leftie?" Since you are clearly a rabid rightie, AKA closed-minded Republican, I suppose I should interpret "leftie" to mean a person who is pejoratively referred to as a liberal, AKA one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways.

Proud to be a liberal who has the wit to see through the Bush hypocrisy.


Posted by Cathy, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 28, 2007 at 11:41 pm

The economy is good?? Quick, tell me where; it's not where I live.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 7:37 am

So then what's your definition of torture, Gary? Do you think that waterboarding is torture? Is it acceptable to waterboard someone? Under what circumstances?
No justifications, no dodging, just your own answers to these questions.


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 8:22 am

Gary--hasn;t McCain come out against torture?
Or if the US does it it is never torture because we are always right?
How we can now tell other nations what to do or not to do, since we have abandoned all of our principles?

Maybe in these dark times, Bush can suspend the Constitution and stay in office, since he is apparently the only one who can lead us.
Or you can elect a new-fearmonger in chief, Guiliani.


Posted by Peter, a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2007 at 8:45 am

Gary, you have said before that you used to be a far-left lefty and have switched to a far-right righty, apparently without a pause in the moderate sphere. Therefore, you are a self-describe extremist, and your opinions are far from being reasoned except through the lens of your own ideology. As a consequence, they are of no import except as a warning to thinking folk that there are people like you out there, and they vote.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 9:59 am

I see that I have flushed some lefties out of the brush with that waterboarding remark...as intended.

Let's see...

A lefty, above all else, has collectivist and redistributionist tendencies. Confiscatory taxation is a given (aka 'progressive' income tax). Group, rather than individual identity and responsibility is practically a mantra (e.g. affirmative action). Anti-military attitudes are common (except if the armies are fighting for socialism). Anything to the right of their so-called 'progressive' agenda is labelled as fascist. Oh, and let's not forget that hatred for Bush is a current mantra.

OK, now to torture...

I suppose it is in the eyes of the beholder. Intentions probably also matter. If it is done for sadistic reasons, with no productive results expected, then it is torture. If it is done purely to elicit good and verifiable information, then it depends on the degree of harm done. Duration also matters, I think. My view is that waterboarding is an effective technique. It is quick (and terrifying), leaves no physical scars, and gets even the most hard ass al qaeda thugs to sing like canaries. We need it in our CIA arsenal, to be used in especially tough cases.

It is certainly within our principles to protect ourselves against extremely dangerous thugs like al qaeda. That makes waterboarding a principled thing to me. Other countries could care less about our principles or our preaching...they will do what they want to do.

Just because a lefty says the Consitution has been suspended does not make it so. That's another lefty trait: Paranoia.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 11:09 am

Gary, I am somewhat chilled when in considering whether "is it torture" your bottom line response seems to be, "My view is that waterboarding is an effective technique." Brrr. No doubt there are effective torture techniques. So the question is - is waterboarding torture?

I think you stray far off the mark when you say "intentions count." So, do you think the Taliban waterboarding US captives to elicit target info in Afganistan is appropriate? What about the North Vietnamese or Japanese waterboarding US POWs in wartime for information? Is the ok with you? It sounds from the above like it is.

As the the United Nations Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, states: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." The definition of torture in that Convention reads in part: "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession." Is near-drowning not severe enough - as you say, it is "terrifying."

And yes, AB, McCain has unequivocally come out against waterboarding.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 11:43 am

Terry, perhaps you might ask McCain or any number of hideously tortured POWs if they would prefer 35 seconds of terror, through waterboarding, or months of hideous brutality and starvation, before they gave it up. Either way, the interragators will get something from the prisoners.

The Geneva convention applies to prisoners of war, not irregulars, like al qaeda. It is probably fair to say that waterboarding has already saved many innocent lives. If al qaeda decides to put on uniforms, declare a state, then take on the infidels, then it would be a different situation. No need for waterboarding at that point...just shoot every uniform that the predator can find, and bomb every building that they take up cover in. In other words, standard warfare. Until that day comes, we need waterboarding.

If that gives you the chills, Terry, perhaps you should take a chill pill.

" No doubt there are effective torture techniques ". Wow, finally an admission that torture works! What happened? All along, I heard the lefties confidently saying that torture does not work ("they will tell you anything, to stop"). Terry, are you now saying that torture works? If not, then waterboarding cannot be torture becasue it works. Which is it, Terry?


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 12:40 pm

The penultimate torture for me would be to deprive me of freedom of movement. I will not volunteer to surrender that freedom, and so threatened or actual force will be required to restrain me. That force can extend to deadly force. Force or threat of force will continue to secure my compliance with rules.
I have taken prisoners [Nov 26, 1950] and was responsible for their care for several days thereafter. When I tell people I was under orders to kill the prisoners if we were about to be overrun so as to eliminate their telling the Chinese how weak we were, most folk suggest such an act would be a war crime. Most people have never had to make an important decision. Most folk are Feather Merchants.


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm

According to Gary, anyone who does not agree with his far-right, pseudo-fascist/nazi beliefs has to be a "leftie".
Well fortunately most people in the US are then lefties.
The only thing that needs to be flushed is people like Gary--righ down the toilet


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 2:40 pm

"The only thing that needs to be flushed is people like Gary--righ down the toilet"

Right on cue, Arrest. Lefties also want to eliminate all sources of opposition. They did that to over 100 million people in the 20th century. The only way out of the religion of leftism to make a clean break. Twelve-step programs do not work. Being part lefty is like being part pregnant.


Posted by Root 'em out, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 3:35 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Gary, your logic is a little tortured, I think. Rather than put words and labels on me and others, maybe just address the question.

Do you think it is appropriate to torture? Do you think it is ok for our enemies to torture US citizens and others they capture if the intent to get useful intelligence? That is what I thought you implied above - is that what you meant?

The UN Convention is different from the Geneva Convention. Geneva covers combatents; the UN Convetion covers "acts of torture in any territory under [the signatory's] jurisdiction" and allows for "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." Do you think we are in violation of the UN treaty? Are you ok with that?

I leave it to you to ask Mr. McCain what he'd prefer; all I know is that he categorically rejects waterboarding by the US.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Here is another piece of good news for Bush:

"The Iraqi interior ministry lauded its achievements over the past year on Saturday, saying that 75 percent of Al-Qaeda's networks in the country had been destroyed in 12 months. "

Web Link

It is too bad that Bush will be gone in about a year. With the assasination of Bhuto, we need an experienced adult leading us. Maybe the next (inexperienced) president will beg Condi Rice to stay on....


Posted by Root 'em out, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Bush will definitely go down in history as the worst president in American history - bar none.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 4:07 pm

"Do you think it is appropriate to torture?"

Terry, I think it is appropriate for the CIA to use all techniques that are effective to get good information from al qaeda. Don't you? If you are saying that torture is effective, then, of course, I support torture. Wouldn't you, if thousnads of innocent lives are at stake? Of course, you have yet to say that torture is effective in obtaining life-saving information, so it is a moot point.

BTW, if McCain is elected, and he has top level al qaeda in his sights, he will authorize waterboarding. So will Hillary.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Well, sorry to hear that Gary. Ok'ing "all techniques that are effective" goes well beyond just waterboarding. Torture is against the law in the US as well as the UN and Geneva Conventions, and no, I don't support US policy in contradiction of our laws and treaty obligations.

To answer your question - I honestly don't know if waterboarding is a useful interrogation technique or not; I assume that at least some think so, or it would not be under consideration. I would guess that in skillful hands that it could be effective.

And no, the end does not justify the means in my view. Torturing one to save thousands - but which one? How about 10's or 20's; or 100's? How about a bunch to prevent economic disruption or property distruction - after all, that's pretty bad too? That's a slippery slope I don't care to get on - which is why the treaty quoted above is categorical - "no exceptions."


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Terry, why do you have such a problem with answering a simple question? Is torture effective in gaining life-saving information, or not? If it is, then we can start a productive discusiion about waterboarding viz a viz torture If not, then there is no issue about waterboarding/torture to discuss.

Yes, of course, I support all effective interrogation techniques that prevent the next 9-11. You seem to be saying that thousands dead is better than one tortured (or waterboarded). That's not very humanitarian of you! Strange ethics on your part. What gives?


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 6:20 pm

I was always under the assumption that the US was better then some other countries in the world, that we stood for something and had certain principals. It now appears, according to Gary, that we are no better then the 3rd world dictatorships, oppressive regimes and dictatorships that we have opposed since we can use any kind of torture when ever we want as long as it "benefits" our country. Our laws and international treaties that we have signed onto can be ignored in the name of "fighting terrorism".
Clearly, based on gary's writings, we have shown our true colors following 9/11--instead of being a beacon of democracy for the world, we have now sunk to the level of some of the worst scumbag regimes of the past 200 years.

Anyway, arguing with Gary is a waste of time. He is from t he Limbaugh/o'Reilly/Hannity school of neo-facism/naziism.
he is supporting acts that go against all the laws that we have ever believed in.


BTW gary you may wantto read these links (not that you would believe them):

Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


There are many other links to info like this--feel free to disregard them since you see nothing wrong with torture--sounds like you are a bit of a sadist as well


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 29, 2007 at 7:07 pm

Arrest, all of your links say that torture is not effective. Waterboarding IS effective. Therefore, it must not be torture. I only support effective techniques.

Your first link mentions Alan Dershowitz, who favors torture warrants. It would appear that such warrants are not necessary for waterboarding, because it is effective, and torture is not. Just waterboard 'em, without warrants. Save thousands of lives.

At least Dershowitz, a liberal, is trying to get a grip on reality. He understands that morality is on the side of enhanced techniques. Most of his fellow liberals would prefer to hide their heads in the sand.

If the current unrest in Pakistan results in al qaeda gaining a path to nuclear weapons, and the CIA is prevented from using waterboarding to head it off, those who prevented waterboarding will be held accountable.


Posted by ., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2007 at 7:24 pm

Ladies and gentlemen,
Please notice the red herring that Gary is throwing out here. He would have you believe that some people have *defined* torture thus: "torture is something that doesn't work." Thus, a perpetual motion machine would be torture because it doesn't work.
Gary offers a logical fallacy.
The fact that Gary is attempting to avoid is that torture is illegal, and that forced confessions are unreliable. Any information gleaned by use of torture is inadmissible in a court of law.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 29, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Gary, I think I'll quit after this one.

I did answer your question, of course - I said I don't know if torture is effective or not. I don't have any direct experience with it and have not read any studies on the topic. If you have any, I am happy to take a look; but in the meantime, I have to answer directly - I don't know.

You never answered my direct question - are you ok with our enemies (Taliban, Al Quada, others) torturing US nationals to get the info they are looking for? Are you ok with Japanese torture in WW II and North Vietnamese torture in the Vietnam War? From your argument, it looks like you are approving of enemies torturing US POWs and others if it saved lives on their side? Are you?


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 30, 2007 at 4:46 am

Sometimes all your choices are bad. Then you need to consider the least bad, evaluating also the badness of doing nothing. Laws are made in the abstract. Some decisions must be made in the real world.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 30, 2007 at 5:52 am

Terry,

I accept the reality that our enemies have tortured and will continue to torture our POWs, in violation of the Geneva Convention. Our preaching on this issue will not change their behavior.

I am in favor of following the Geneva Convention, when we hold POWs, but, as Walter says, there are times and circumstances where that is not going to happen.

Waterboarding al qaeda thugs (irregulars not covered by the GC), to get valuable information that saves innocent lives, is the moral thing to do.

Is waterboarding torture? IMO, yes, probably. However, from a leftist perspective, it cannot be torture, becasue it works. That should make them feel better when Presidnet Barack Obama authorizes the use of waterboarding to foil attempts by al qaeda to get nuclear bombs from Pakistan. Just like George Bush.


Posted by James, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 30, 2007 at 12:19 pm


Waterboarding is not, necessarily, illegal. It depends on context.

" This brings us to waterboarding. Michael Mukasey, whose confirmation as attorney general now seems assured, is absolutely correct, as a matter of constitutional law, that the issue of "waterboarding" cannot be decided in the abstract. Under prevailing precedents--some of which I disagree with--the court must examine the nature of the governmental interest at stake, and the degree to which the government actions at issue shock the conscience, and then decide on a case-by-case basis. In several cases involving actions at least as severe as waterboarding, courts have found no violations of due process."

The above is from an opinion piece by Alan Dershowitcz ( Web Link )

Both the United States and Iraq are parties to the Geneva Conventions. However, both countries are not signatories to the Additional Protocols of 1977. It is these additional protocols that give near-POW status to to irregular forces. The Geneva Conventions do not apply to irregular forces that the United States holds in its custody. Al Qaeda suspects are being held as illegal combatants, as was done in WWII for some irregulars. The Supreme Court will probably continue to review this issue.

Bill Clinton supports waterboarding (or worse) under some circumstances, so those who view waterboarding as permissible are not out of the mainstream of thinking on this issue.

It is clear that waterboarding works, at least from published reports. Those who claim that torture does not work, are left to conclude, as Gary says, that waterboarding is not torture. I think we all know that it is torture, but deniers about torture's effectiveness need to admit that at least some forms of torture do work.

Probably any U.S. president would want to be able to authorize waterboarding, under certain circumstances. It is probably best that such methods be left in some kind of hazy legal zone, and that the presidents decide whether and when to walk into that haze.


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Gary--you are contradicting your own arguments:

In one post you say:
"Arrest, all of your links say that torture is not effective. Waterboarding IS effective. Therefore, it must not be torture. I only support effective techniques."

In another you say:
"Is waterboarding torture? IMO, yes, probably."

Clearly you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth and/or you do not know what you are talking about.
Maybe you mean that techniques that work cannot be torture and that would depend on the individual--so for example if I use electric shock on your genitals to get info from you and it works, then it is not torture because it was effective. However if I get no info and burn off your genitals, then it was torture since it did not work.

What is really scary is that we stood up for years to the USSR, a real superpower with nuclear weapons that wanted to take us over and destroy our way of life without torture, abridging civil liberties and the rest of the shenanigans perpetrated by the Bush/cheney gang, yet we have been in a panic over some dirty arab hiding in a cave in Afghanistan--very strange.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 30, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Arrest, I guess you didn't get it. I am not speaking out of both sides of my mouth, but I AM speaking with my tongue in my cheek. I simply want you lefties to admit that some forms of torture, like waterboarding, work, and are necessary, under some circumstances.

If you could bring yourself to agree with that fact, we might be able to have a productive discussion about when and where torture is necessary.

BTW, if you are saying that the U.S. never used torture in the Cold War, then you are naive, indeed. Waterboarding is a very quick and effective technique to get the information. I am not aware that any high level prisoner wanted a secnd treatment, at least from published sources. They become instant canaries. No need for electrodes. Waterboarding has been quite effective vs. al qaeda, and that, alone, means that we need to keep it as a tool on high level scum, like al qaeda leaders.

As James said, above, even Bill Clinton believes that. Clinton might even go with the electrode treatment, if it was a ticking-bomb scenario. In fact, Clinton wants Congress to pass a law that allows such treatment, as long as the president takes personal responsibility, and goes before a secret court, post-facto.

Bush gets it, and so does Clinton. So does Hillary.

If you lefties could get over your Nifonging of Bush, you might be able to come to terms with reality.


Posted by arrest blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2007 at 3:56 pm

oh Gary now you are trying to cover your error regarding what is torture.btw, did not your beloved bush say on numerous occasions that the US does not torture? Do not tell me that he lied.
anyway still cannot get over how we stood up to Russia but we are willing to give up our rights and principles over a guy in a cave.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2007 at 5:56 am

I suspect that Gary, like me, evaluates Bush on specific issues rather than the juvenile leftist whole person hatred. I still would like to know exactly which rights we have lost in the war on terror. We won the Cold War because the Russians were rational people. Osama an company are not rational within Western context, and only an idiot would insist on playing Western rules against them.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 11:33 am

How's habeas corpus doing these days?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:09 pm

"How's habeas corpus doing these days?"

Oh, it's been fine for me. Of course, I am not an unlawful combatant against this country. How about you?


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm

What is going on at Guantanamo Bay with regard to the treatment of the prisoners there is a blot on the reputation of the US as a country that abides by the law.
Very shameful, indeed and despite the fact that people like Gary will spin this in one way or another, the Bush/Cheney regime has disregarded our Constitution with respect to treatment of prisoners and the right to a trial.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Habeas corpus is a person's recourse against indefinite imprisonment or imprisonment without cause.
A person who has been arrested can petition for a writ of habeas corpus to compel the state to show cause for their detention.
So the police pick up a guy that they think robbed a bank -- he can petition for a writ of habeas corpus to tell the cops to "fish or cut bait" -- to show a reason for holding him or to turn him loose.
Let's leave behind the term "unlawful enemy combatant" for a moment. Take the case of Timothy McVeigh. After his arrest, he could have petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, at which point the federal prosecutors would have shown enough evidence to uphold the charges until his trial. If he weren't the bomber, or if the government didn't have any evidence, he would have been set free.
Habeas corpus is also useful to prevent arrest for "possible crimes" or "crimes that you might commit." Because no matter how tough you might want legal system, you can't convict someone for a crime they haven't committed -- you can't redress a wrong that doesn't exist.


Posted by perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Gary, Walter and D: Thanks for having the energy to continue the lefty baiting into verbal sparring of facts and intelligence...

But, don't you ever get tired of figthing an unarmed opponent?

The problem is that there are no intelligent ripostes to your comments, so the discussion on the left plummets into name calling and generalities that can not be proven.

The leftist ideology fails when subjected to the test of reality and morality. They are vehemently opposed to waterboarding of known terrorists, though there is no physical pain or residual effects, and opposed to anything which humiliates or embarrasses known terrorists, calling it "torture", and opposed to the death penalty for tried and convicted monsters...yet are for abortion up through the 3rd trimester, and in some cases like Peter Singer at Princeton, for the killing of babies up to one year old who turn out to be disabled.

Got off on a tangent. Sorry. The leftists, I mean leftists, not kind hearted liberals...really are amazing people who want to destroy every freedom of decent, law abiding people in favor of elevating the monsters of the world.

Back to your writings.....love them..thanks.


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Perspective--thanks for proving another point--anyone who opposes the Bush/Cheney regime and their practices, which go against everything our nation has stood for for over 200 years, is labeled a leftist.
Of course when you do it, such name-calling is justified, since you are "right" and the "leftists" are "wrong".
Clearly you really have no point to argue so you try to tie in Torture, abortion, the death penalty and other assorted "errors" that "leftists" make in order to try to paint anyone standing up against what Bush/Cheney stand for as "evil"


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm

"Let's leave behind the term "unlawful enemy combatant" for a moment"

Now why would I want to do that? In a time of war, like now, unlawful combatants are treated by the military and CIA as irregulars. Irregulars have, historically, been shot or hanged. That's what FDR did when he was Commander in Chielf in WWII. Of course, Lincoln completely ignored habeas corpus, when he felt the need (during war).

I think Bush has been too lenient with the jihadist thugs that are trying to kill us.


Posted by Arrest Blackwater, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:20 pm

This must be great for you, Gary, since this so-called "war" is a never ending war. How will you know when the enemy is vanquished, since it is different than fighting countries like Japan and Germany.
Governments love to use (misuse) the term war--war on drugs, war on terror etc.
This terror issue is completely different than any wars that the US has fought in in the past and actions taken by Roosevelt in WWII and Lincoln in the Civil War is like comparing apples and oranges.
Looking forward to your spin on this and by the way the guy inthe cave sneezed again, so you know what you must do now.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:58 pm

"This must be great for you, Gary, since this so-called "war" is a never ending war. "

No, Arrest, not great for me or for most people who like Western civilization. However, it is a fact. Jihads are how Islam was spread. It is an episodic, and ongoing thing, but they have, historically, been beaten down and even back. It usually takes decades. I would hope that this one is suppressed sooner than that, but those guys in the caves don't agree with me. That is why waterboarding and Guantanamo are necessary.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm

"Let's leave behind the term "unlawful enemy combatant" for a moment"

I chose to do that to avoid any question of the legalities of any particular action -- military, law enforcement, or otherwise. There is clear legal precedent for everything I suggest.
Timothy McVeigh was arrested, tried, convicted, and jailed for the murders he committed. Even Al Capone was arrested, tried, convicted, and jailed for his crimes -- not all of the crimes for which he was responsible, surely, but clever investigators and able prosecutors put him behind bars.
Osama bin Laden is not so clever or careful as Al Capone -- he has declared that he is behind numerous murders around the world. There are legal mechanisms already in place to deal with that -- arrest him and put him on trial.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2008 at 4:16 pm

D.,

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman ( the so-called "Blind Sheikh") was treated in criminal courts, as you suggest. That was after he and his boys blew up the WTC in 1993. It didn't stop his influence, and, in fact, provided some good intelligence for him to filter through to his fellow jihadist thugs. That's how we got WTC v.2001.

Using your flimsy reasoning, we should have issued an arrest warrant for Hitler. Maybe he would have turned himself in, and Judge Judy could have given him a good talking to.

Let me know when you want to get serious.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm

And now Gary comes to the realization that the current situation is not World War II, nor is it analogous to World War II. Perhaps he'll stop making facile analogies.
WWII was a declared war, the U.S. entry into which was provoked by an act of war. Hitler was the head of a sovereign state. The dissimilarities go on and on.
However, one thing that is of note is that, following the end of the war, what did the Allies do with high-ranking fascist officials? They put them on trial for their crimes. (Hitler had committed suicide by that point.)
So that's why I bring up a non-state actor like McVeigh. If he'd fled the country, the DoJ would no doubt have done everything possible to find him and secure extradition.


By the by, "Perspective", I'm not sure what to think about being included in your list of "lefty-baiters." Care to explain?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2008 at 5:41 pm

"However, one thing that is of note is that, following the end of the war, what did the Allies do with high-ranking fascist officials? They put them on trial for their crimes."

Yes, D., and after the end of this war, we can take our time and put them to trial before we hang them. In the mean time, we have a war to fight.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2008 at 7:02 am

"The end of this war", eh? And when will that be? Bush refuses to discuss timetables, benchmarks, goals. So in that light this is essentially a war without end.
Now for those of you who worry that al-Qaeda is a terrorist group that seeks to permanently alter societies: guess what. So if the U.S. sets aside the rule of habeas corpus for the duration of an endless war, that's permanent change.
Seems to me that the best remedy to terrorists is not to undermine our nation's rule of law, to treat them as you would another mass murderer. And in particular if you are so facile as to say "hate our freedom" you've got to stand up and protect the basic rights like habeas corpus -- fight to expand our rights, not deny them.


Posted by PTBarnum, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2008 at 10:52 am

Gary,

If it was such a good year for W, how come all the Republicans - including McCain - are running on a platform of change and "Bush" is treated as a four-letter word on the campaign trail?

Just wondering...


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm

PT,

Bush is a four letter word to Dems, not Republicans. He still has his base. However, candidates want to project their own vision, not something from the past. Remember how Al Gore dissed Clinton? It probably hurt him. If the Republican candidate disses Bush, he will get hurt, too.

Bush has had a good year. With one year left, and increasing success in Iraq (who knows, maybe some Israel/Palestine movement?), Bush will be treated kindly by history. Much better than Clinton, for example.


Posted by Ben, a resident of Los Altos
on Jan 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

McCain is a RINO. That's why he won't be elected - again. Bush is part RINO, that's why he is in trouble with the republican base. We don't just want any kind of change, we want a change back to core values.
We don't want politicians who peddle the taxpayers money to the highest bidder. Lets hope that in this PT Barnum election atmosphere we can find at least one statesman.


Posted by D, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

So I assume that Bush gets the credit for the recent economic activity then too? Gary said: "The economy is good. Congress is blocked."


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

"So I assume that Bush gets the credit for the recent economic activity then too? "

He gets credit for lowering tax rates, and trying to encourage investment. Considering that 9/11 was a major hit to the economy, his economic record is quite good. I think he should have used the veto more often, to control entitlements, but his hand was usually forced by the congress.

If you are a nervous nelly about the stock market, then don't invest in it. I have been buyiing all through this recent downturn, and I will continue to buy if it goes lower. I have always done so. Perhaps that explains why I now have a nice tidy retirement fund, since I started with zero. I am not afraid of risks.


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