Holding Barrack Obama Accountable

I saw this news story the other day and I knew immediately that it fell right into the wheelhouse of what I have been discussing on this site since I began: Government Accountability. It seems that an editor of the St. Petersburg Times decided he would research, document, and track every one of the 510 campaign promises that Barrack Obama made during his campaign for the Presidency. I initially thought, “yeah, right. Some newspaper will realistically track this…”

But it seems, at least preliminarily, that the website the set up is going to do just that. Now I will go on record saying that I am quite skeptical of their judgement. They are, after all, the media. And we can all agree that the media is absolutely full of shit these days and stopped being honest reporters of facts quite a while ago. But I do thank them for compiling the list for me so that I can look and judge for myself. I only wish they had done the same type of list for the last President, Nancy “crazy eyes” Pelosi, Harry Reid, and a host of others

Barrack Obama

"Read My Lips.."

I am going to be a bit more demanding on the criteria that I use to determine whether a campaign promise was kept or broken. I simply draw a harder line in the sand than this site is willing to do. You see, when you say “I will immediately end cut funding for widget making in the United States,” on the campaign trail, and you leave it at that, then you have made a statement to gain votes. You didn’t “qualify” it or say “under these conditions”. You said you would end it, period. If you come back and say I will end it but under these situations only, and I will accept that a waiver can be had to not end it under certain situations, then I say you have broken your promise. This site will only say that you have “compromised”, far too nice a judgement for me. 

So let’s take a look at the promises that the site has judged thus far. But before we do that we can look at the first big promise that I felt that Obama broke, before he was even the Democratic nominee. That was the issue of campaign finance. Politifact did rule on this one, but does not include it in the 510 promises now being rated. They only rated the fact that Obama bailed on his promise to use public financing as “mostly true”. They offered him the loophole that he used the word pursue instead of commit when speaking on it.

 

One of These Men used Public Campaign Financing

One of These Men used Public Campaign Financing

Here is my take: Obama said that he would pursue public financing of his presidential campaign if the Republican candidate did the same. This would limit both candidates to only 84.1 billion dollars to be spent on their campaign allocated to them from the Board of Elections. In his paperwork declaring his campaign, under the question of will you use public financing as opposed to private fundraising, Obama wrote the word “YES”. John McCain committed to doing so, as every presidential candidate since the Watergate Era creation of public financing has done. Obama, upon realizing that he had the ability to get gobs of money via private contributions, and thus have the ability to far outspend McCain, flatly reversed course and backed out on taking public financing. 

 

I see this as a flat reversal on a promise made. Par for the course for politicians I agree. But I call a spade a spade. He made a promise and he clearly broke that promise. No loopholes. No political double-speak about pursue versus commit. He made the statement with the intent of swaying voters his way. Once he got them, he broke the promise. Keep in mind he did so while running against Hillary Clinton in the primaries, when public financing was on the minds of a lot of voters scared of Clinton’s apparent vast resources. So I say promise broken, and consequently election bought and paid for, regardless of whether the right candidate won or not. 

On to other topics.

Lobbyists and the White House. I have heard a lot of folks talking this week about how good and ethical is is that he is keeping his promise around lobbyists. His promise was: “No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

 

Raytheon Lobbyist William Lynn

Raytheon Lobbyist William Lynn

This week he has issued a Presidential Order restricting lobbyists from working in the White House. And everyone cheered their hero for keeping his word. After all we all know lobbyists are bad. NOT SO FAST. The executive order says a waiver may be granted if “the literal application of the restriction is inconsistent with the purposes of the restriction” (What exactly does this clause NOT cover) or “it is in the public interest … . The public interest shall include, but not be limited to, exigent circumstances relating to national security or to the economy.” (Whatever the other clause didn’t cover, this one does!)

 

So no lobbyists unless Obama wants them to be included. Sounds like a giant load of bullshit to me. More political double-speak. And the first waiver application is already in for William J. Lynn III, the appointee  to be Deputy Secretary of Defense. Lynn was formerly a lobbyist for the giant defense contractor Raytheon. So go back to the promise above, in blue. Polititrak says this was a compromise. I say it is another promise broken

Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. This has been a big topic all week. He promised “As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo.” While I am still researching and thinking and deliberating on whether I want this promise to be kept, President Obama has gotten this ball rolling fairly quickly. This week he issued an order stating that the facility would be closed one year from now. He hasn’t come up with any specifics or plans on how this can actually happen without simply releasing about 300 people into the world who want nothing more than to commit terrorist acts against the United States.

pelosi-wide-eyed

Look at those eyes! Crazy Nancy!

Interestingly, Nancy Pelosi (the lying anti-christ bitch… did I say that out loud?) loves to go on record saying the detainees are being held illegally because by being outside the United States, they are not afforded the rights they should have as prisoners. She says they should be brought into the United States and given lawyers and fair trials. She also stated yesterday that sending them to her District is a non-starter. No way we are moving them to Alcatraz, where they would get lawyers and fair trials (although we know the crazy California court system is where they would stand the best chance of winning!). She demands they be given JUSTICE! Just not in her little crazy section of the country. Hypocritical bitch (dangit my internal monologue just isn’t functioning today). 

So I will go ahead and say that at least preliminarily, the Guantanamo Bay promise is moving towards exactly what he said he would do. Whether I agree  with the closure or not is irrelevant, only whether he is following through on the promises that he made. Whether or not he follows all the way through, only time will tell. But for now I give this one a promise kept.

So there are a couple on initial volleys on the new President’s ability to keep the promises he made during his campaign. I will wait to see whether you readers are interested in this before I decide whether to continue to write about his ability to do so in the future. If you would like to go to the site I mentioned, you can do so at the link below. It seems to be a fair site, and they rate all politicians against the truth of the statements they make, not just Democrats or Republicans and certainly not just the new President. It is interesting reading. Find it here:

PolitiFact | Sorting out the truth in politics

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Comments

  1. realtopics says:

    I agree with you on accountability for all political appointees. Even though I am very proud of the fact that President Obama has been elected I have reserve the right to celebrate until I see him in action.

    However I am not looking at his campaign promises to measure the job he does. Lets face it we have been around long enough to know that campaign promises are like New Years resolutions, after a while many of them just goes out the door.

    President Obama regardless of his promises cannot successfully change Washington all by himself. Many of the foundations that makes this country a free country also hinders progress, take our checks and balance system for instance. The Constitution was careful not to give one branch of government too much power so that abuse would be avoided, or at least it was intended that ways. So, as much as President Obama might want to change things, unfortunately he still needs the support and backing of the other branches of government.

    Unfortunately he isn’t going to get that support without compromise and compromise in a system that has been corrupt for so many years will mean make deals with the devil. That is why we cannot sit back and leave all the work to President Obama,or for that matter sit back and expect him to always do the right thing. We American have forgotten that we still have power after the vote have been counted, unfortunately too many of us are brain dead, naive, lazy or simply believe there is nothing we as regular citizens can do to ensure that the change we voted for on November 4, 2008 happens.

    If we want change in this country we have to go fight for it, if the President isn’t doing the things he promised to do, we need to call and email the White House, go on the internet and log jam his website and show up in Washington D.C in numbers that demands attention be given to our concerns. Then we have to think of this nation as a hold when dealing with the House of Representative and the Senate, not just focus on our state’s congress person and Senators but on all of them to ensure that corrupt practices are done away with.

    In short we can not expect to lay accountability at the feet of President Obama alone, no we have to place accountability on the system period. Most importantly we have to place accountability upon ourselves,as citizens of this great nation we have to accept the responsibility of keeping our political representatives honest by doing away with the swallowing of the BS they shovel or way and search for facts and demanding openness.

  2. blackflag2012 says:

    Electing someone you don’t know who doesn’t have to keep his promises on issues you haven’t created or chosen.

    Yep, sounds like a good system to me!

  3. I like the idea.

    What we need is a pie chart.

  4. blackflag2012 says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090126/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_greenhouse_gases

    Yep, right on cue.

    The US automotive industry is reeling.

    The economy is reeling.

    So, based on non-science, Obama chooses to burden the automotive industry with huge costs – while at the same time, increase the danger to car travelers. (Matter of the law of physics – to get more mileage, you need lighter cars – which have significantly less ability to protect people in accidents).

    Gotta love central planning – step “full on” the brake and the gas while shifting randomly between reverse and forward – all at the same time.

    Therefore, Government must be abolished

  5. RealTopics,

    I appreciate the comments. I agree that it is up to the people to hold the entire government accountable. And I hope that one day people will realize that it can be done and do so. But I won’t go your route and give him a pass on campaign promises. It is too easy to say “well we already know those promises made during a campaign were lies, so we won’t pay attention to them”. This is where accountability starts, with the campaign promises. I would imagine that you are a Democrat, as your thoughts seemed to lead me to that conclusion. I want accountability for all government, not just one party. And I am not willing to give a pass to ANYONE.

  6. BF,

    Funny how this has been framed. Liberal groups are framing it as “giving power back to the states” while conservative groups are instead framing it as “making tougher laws on emissions”. But I am unsure of your solutions here. You obviously would prefer to have no government intervention at all. How would you counter increasing greenhouse gas emissions? I know the economy is in the tank, but I don’t know that the answer to that is simply canceling any legislation that may in some way burden anyone. We wouldn’t be able to get anything done at all if we took that approach.

  7. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon said
    You obviously would prefer to have no government intervention at all. How would you counter increasing greenhouse gas emissions?

    Why would anyone be concerned about GG emissions? It’s like being concerned with the weather on Mars – it has no impact whatsoever on anyone.

    I know the economy is in the tank, but I don’t know that the answer to that is simply canceling any legislation that may in some way burden anyone.

    Putting on my Austrian Economist Hat (Austrian Economists do not judge whether this policy or that policy or lack of policy is “good” or “bad” – they just tell you what will happen).

    If you attempt to manipulate an Economic Market for non-economic reasons using non-economic means (ie: non-economic = political) you will pervert, inhibit, and warp the economy to a far less then optimum level.

    If you want to justify imposing burdens on people because there are dust storms on Mars (shrug) – any reason works when you’re a Statist. Just don’t expect your economy to recover from its current disaster anytime soon.

    We wouldn’t be able to get anything done at all if we took that approach.

    Yep, the mantra of a Statist. We have to do something, even if it makes it worse

  8. I am not too easy on politicians. If they say “immediately” I take it to mean “immediately”; not “as soon as it is politically expedient”, or “as soon as I can convince those who pull my strings”. But, the BIGGIE is “uphold the Constitution” which every single one of them has broken before their empty words stop echoing. (See, I think the Constitution’s one remaining value is in showing that politicians are vermin)

  9. The mantra of the anarchist…” we have to do nothing and let the chaos theory play out and pretend we just understand everything that mortal people don’t” and make sure to call people names like statist in an attempt to belittle them. More of the same BF. Another attempt to engage you logically, another response attempting to belittle people’s opinions. You can’t say I haven’t tried.

  10. Kent,

    Unfortunately I agree with you. The constitution hasn’t been taken into account at all in the last 50 years unless it happened to help some politician reach their true aim. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think the constitution is a good place to start in taking our country back from the vermin.

  11. blackflag2012 says:

    USWeapon said
    January 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    The mantra of the anarchist…” we have to do nothing and let the chaos theory play out and pretend we just understand everything that mortal people don’t” and make sure to call people names like statist in an attempt to belittle them.

    Wrong again.

    The Anarchist mantra is “…leave the people alone and they will figure it out all by themselves without the need of holding guns to their head”.

    And, yes, Statist label fits.

    You want the State to fix the problem that the State caused by using the same methods of the State that created the problems in the first place.

    Then, you stand back and wonder in amazement how it gets worse. But no worries, as long as you try again, right?

  12. An extremely good piece of worthwhile journalism; moreover, you bring some real significance to this entire “back to the States issues.”

    Of course I bring up that ‘crazy-lying-biotch-antichrist-of-a-person’, Nan Pelosi, who predicated upon several interviews she gave this past weekend of January 24-25, 2009 would have the American people believe that this international tax dollars for third world abortions is ‘money for the State.’

    Sure no problem; but, wtf already! The State of Mexico? The State of Pakistan? I kid you not, she actually stated that the funds earmarked for 3rd world abortions has every bit to do with ‘revitalizing the U.S. economy’ without question…good gaud, who is electing this person to office?

    Keep up this brilliant work!! CHEERS!

    jps

  13. Wrong again. I want the people to fix the problems the state created by using the state as a tool to come up with new solutions to old problems. You just want to do nothing.

  14. blackflag2012 says:

    . I want the people to fix the problems the state created by using the state as a tool to come up with new solutions to old problems.

    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
    Albert Einstein

  15. Yet oddly you think we can solve them by not thinking at all

  16. blackflag2012 says:

    Wrong one more time.

    I don’t think forcing or burdening people is a sign of thinking. Violence is a tool of savages.

    Your way is the exact opposite of thinking – it is savagery that you offer – force and coercion.

  17. Great find UW – it will be very interesting to see what the ultimate bullshit factor is. Let’s just make sure we read the variables of each situation. If I tell my wife today that I’ll pick up all the dog crap in the yard on Saturday, and then it rains Saturday, am I liar for not picking it up until Sunday (or God-forbid the next week)? (wink)

    I’ll set the bar now and say he keeps 30% or less of his promises (by UW assessment – not the liberal newspaper)

  18. BF,

    I don’t advocate violence or “burdening”. I do advocate order and people taking their rights back through the tools available. Chaos solves nothing. Just letting a “free” society work out all the problems won’t work the way that you believe it will. So I choose the path I think is best. I understand you don’t choose my path. You are entitled to make that choice. I just wish you would choose not to belittle mine.

    It is easy to take your position. Tout the perfection of a scenario that can never come to pass and that way you can never be proven wrong. Smart tactical move, but it doesn’t make me buy it any better.

  19. Ray,

    I feel like I am trying to be honest and fair in my assessment. I can understand when something gets in the way. But I want to judge him based on what he said in order to get elected. Very few times will it be the rain that stops the poop from getting picked up.

  20. Crimsonjihad says:

    Quick note on the vehicles and greenhouse gases, though not so much on the greenhouse gases. How can Europe, in general, have cars that get 50-75 mpg and ours only get, on average, 20ish? I mention this, because I watch Top Gear. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is three British men(petrol-heads) who review and generally do silly things with expensive cars. My point for this is, they were “racing” from Switzerland to Blackpool, England. The catch: they were only allowed ONE tank of gas. Each chose a different car, VW, Subaru, and Jaguar. By all their calculations, any of them would just barely make it. This is a trip of roughly 750 miles. One of the cars chosen was a Jaguar Twin Turbo XJ-6 TDVI. Lead footing it, air conditioning on, any possible method of ruining the gas mileage, the driver did it, and he still won AND still had enough leftover fuel to go another 100 miles.
    The only way we can get close to this type of mileage, is either a hybrid or a tiny car. And yet, Jaguar, in Europe is producing a car that has a range of almost 850 miles.

    tl;dr We need more fuel efficient cars.

  21. blackflag2012 says:

    Crimsonjihad said
    How can Europe, in general, have cars that get 50-75 mpg and ours only get, on average, 20ish?

    Do look at those cars – they are smaller and lighter than ours, primarily because (other than the Autobahn), most driving in Europe is slow – its crowded – and the cost of fuel is significantly higher. The concept of the “open highway” is lost on Europeans.

    So, do consider the Jag.

    Jaguar Twin Turbo XJ-6 TDVI
    - XJ’s lightweight aluminium construction
    1,539 kg (3,390 lb).

    On its own, the current XJ’s bodyshell weighs about the same as a contemporary BMW MINI. If the car were made of steel, it is estimated that it would weigh 40% more.

    - diesel
    2,722cc, V6 cylinders, 24 valves, twin-turbo diesel, 207bhp at 4,000rpm, 321 lb ft at 1,900 rpm

    Performance: 141mph, 0 to 60mph in 7.8 seconds, 35,0mpg official average
    - Cost: pounds 49,995 ($68977.55)

    So, do you really believe you can afford a $70,000 diesel car so you can get 35mpg???

    vs. my car
    Magnum SRT-8 (Black of course)

    - 6.1 L (370 cu in) Hemi MDS engine, which produces 425 hp (317 kW).
    * 0-60 mph: 5.1 sec
    * 0-100 mph: 11.7 sec
    * Standing 1/4-mile: 13.1 sec @ 108 mph (174 km/h)
    * Top Speed: 170mph

    Weight: 4260lbs (1930kg)

    Realistically, I get 25mpg on highway when going 70mph or less – faster than that, it starts to go down @ about 1mpg per 10mph- @160mph, it gets about 10mpg – or if you’re driving hard – and around the city is around 13mpg.

    My car costs around $40,000.

    Now, you can get this car is a smaller engines, 5.7 hemi – very quick too, and gets 30mpg highway (non-insane driving).

    So, it isn’t difficult to build good gas mileage cars – but do you want to pay for the cost – in both dollars and safety?

    Oh, yeah, the Jag simply has a larger gas tank than the Magnum – there are more gas stations in the US then in Europe.

    Now I wonder what would happen if my car – 500kg (dry) heavier than the Jag hit each other? One of the reasons I got the car was because of the safety of its weight, roll cage, accident-avoidance braking and the passengers are surrounded by airbags.

    US manufactures can build light, cheap and gas mile-friendly cars – which will increase highway deaths significantly.

    Physics is the same here as in Europe.

  22. blackflag2012 says:

    USWep,

    My method works everyday – billions of times a day – and so brilliantly well, you don’t even notice.

    Probably every exchange you do with people around you while you do you daily stuff – is freedom in action.

    I am often asked if anarchy has ever existed in our world, to which I answer: almost all of your daily behavior is an anarchistic expression. How you deal with your neighbors, coworkers, fellow customers in shopping malls or grocery stores, is often determined by subtle processes of negotiation and cooperation. Social pressures, unrelated to statutory enactments, influence our behavior on crowded freeways or grocery checkout lines. If we dealt with our colleagues at work in the same coercive and threatening manner by which the state insists on dealing with us, our employment would be immediately terminated. We would soon be without friends were we to demand that they adhere to specific behavioral standards that we had mandated for their lives.

    Should you come over to our home for a visit, you will not be taxed, searched, required to show a passport or driver’s license, fined, jailed, threatened, handcuffed, or prohibited from leaving. I suspect that your relationships with your friends are conducted on the same basis of mutual respect. In short, virtually all of our dealings with friends and strangers alike are grounded in practices that are peaceful, voluntary, and devoid of coercion.

    A very interesting study of the orderly nature of anarchy is found in John Phillip Reid’s book, Law for the Elephant. Reid studied numerous diaries and letters written by persons crossing the overland trail in wagon trains going from St. Joseph, Missouri to Oregon and California. The institutions we have been conditioned to equate with “law and order” (e.g., police, prisons, judges, etc.) were absent along the frontier, and Reid was interested in discovering how people behaved toward one another in such circumstances. He discovered that most people respected property and contract rights, and settled whatever differences they had in a peaceful manner, all of this in spite of the fact that there were no “authorities” to call in to enforce a decision. Such traits went so far as to include respect for the property claims of Indians. The values and integrities that individuals brought with them were sufficient to keep the wagon trains as peaceful communities.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer60.html

  23. Yes, our safety standards are one of the obstacles to having high mileage cars. Also, the size of our cars, which is partly due to the size of our citizens.

  24. JonSmith,

    I think a big part of it is that we have also not yet reached our breaking point in this country. You won’t make us give up our big trucks and gas guzzling vehicles that easily. It is going to have to really hurt at the pump for quite a while to make that happen. I think it started to happen when gas was rising so quickly a bit ago.

  25. I like the idea of having a way to Track Obama’s movements. I found it a few days ago and put links to the Obameter under my Truth-o-meter tab. I hope this site gets a lot of a coverage and is honest in its accountability tracking.

  26. USW,
    I agree, and we definately saw a shift start to happen with car sales when the gas was high. Also, the cost of materials, such as steel, is still lower here than in Europe, meaning that we are likely to build with what is available. We are not at our breaking point, but I am concerned that when we are, a lot more will change than just the types of cars we drive. The reaction of people is such a huge factor in an economy.

    When FDR was in office, one of the things that helped us out of the depression was people having hope and confidence. I think FDR’s actual policies were a disaster, and have lead to the level of socialism we now practice, but the impact on the psyche of the population was positive, and that actually was helpful. We need to find a way to articulate a free market and the other changes that need to be made in a way that gives hope to people and relieves their frustrations. It is much easier to convince people that there is hope because you will help them than it is to say there is hope because they will be able to help themselves, but in the end, that is what we have to communicate. People need to believe that they have the power to help themselves, and that the government will actually get out of their way.

    Obama, I am afraid, will end up being a lot like FDR. He may do things that inspire hope, people are looking for it anyway, he may not have to do much for people to think he helped them. Unfortunately, he will likely do more of the same stuff that FDR did, only worse, and that in the long run, it will hurt America a great deal. In the short-run, however, it may cause a revival of the economy, not because of what he does, but because people start trying again. We need to find a way to inspire the same level of hope and yet seek freedom instead. The founders did so successfully because people recognized that they greatest obstacle to their success was the government they were under. Maybe that is the first thing we have to communicate to the country…

  27. blackflag2012 says:

    If you want to get a grasp of the disaster, see this video.

    It will grip you, visually….

  28. blackflag2012 says:

    …remembering that the crisis in the 1970′s caused 20% inflation….

  29. Black Flag says:

    End of Capitalism and Free market system as we know it

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090204/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bailout_executive_pay

    Obama caps executive pay tied to bailout money

    • Odd that you would have a problem with it. If a company takes government bailout money, government gets to set the rules. Don’t want government involved in your business, then don’t take the bailout money. Makes no sense to give the money with no strings attached. I would rather they werent’ getting bailed out at all, but so long as they are being bailed out with my tax money, I want a say in how it gets spent.

  30. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said

    Odd that you would have a problem with it. If a company takes government bailout money, government gets to set the rules.

    Completely correct.

    So the fallout becomes that the government favors and protects its ‘companies’ and attacks, disfavors and eventually destroys those that compete against it.

    As the market tightens, and stresses companies – those that can tax their customers have a huge advantage.

    Don’t want government involved in your business, then don’t take the bailout money.

    And your competitor shakes hands with the Devil – and now you’re really under attack.

    He has funds himself from your success – as you earn, he taxes. At some point you are too successful, he makes himself a monopoly.

    Makes no sense to give the money with no strings attached.

    CORRECT

    But only if IT’S YOUR MONEY TO START WITH

    If you stole it … then strings are merely more violence to the theft.

    Imagine a thief, after taking your house, sends you a bill for the carpet cleaning….

    I would rather they werent’ getting bailed out at all, but so long as they are being bailed out with my tax money, I want a say in how it gets spent.

    The greatest illusion…

    LoL!

    You think you have a say!!!

    Thanks for the ROTFLOL moment, USWep.

    • Glad I could amuse you, but as usual, you take things literally when they are meant figuratively and vice versa. Why do I bother? Clicking my button that is connected to nothing now.

  31. Black Flag says:

    You think you play a game.

    But, you act on a reality that is beyond your mere jingoism.

    You amuse me, but sadly, USWep.

    You cannot debate the reasoning, so you fail-safe to irrationalism – and then believe that is some sort of retort.

    You will always win against me by pulling the irrationalism card. Irrationalism does always trump human reason.

    But, good luck trying this vs. the universe. It has no mercy with the likes of you.

    So you can believe you’ve overcome my points by ignoring them, rationalizing them, whatever. Congrats.

    As I’ve posted previously – I sit, weeping, that my “Casandara’ prognosis unveils itself without mercy upon your futile intentions.

    Such a great mind wasted on such a futile effort.

    You are a great, Greek, tragedy.

    • Sorry you feel that way BF. But I have tried to reason with you. I offered to have debates all you wanted. My only stipulations were that you stop failing to give me some benefit of the doubt, which I was giving to you, and that you stop twisting my words or positions to say things I wasn’t saying. Case in point:

      You responded to my post about laws by likening my stance to nazi positions. That is not where I stand and you know it. But you make that connection and then use that as argument. There is no point in my debating it with you. I KNOW that I want to see laws enforced and that I would like there to be less of them and the ones that are there should be backed up by logic and reason. I ALSO KNOW that I don’t think those that hid the Jews shouldn’t be prosecuted as criminals, because I try to use common sense in my decision making. The fact that you link my statements to the nazi statement is your normal tactic. Instead of sticking to the issue and discussing it in a civil manner, you choose to marginalize my side of the argument by making radical statements like this. I am willing to debate on logic and rational thought process. I am willing to debate with someone who gives me the benefit of the doubt rather than making character attacks and twisting of what I mean the tactic. You have thus far shown that you cannot comply with my requirements for debate. And that is why I have chosen to simply not waste my time.

      And now I am a great greek tragedy and a waste on futile effort. I could say the same. I admire your intelligence and had hoped you would be able to get past these types of attacks and have logical discussions without the tactics I mentioned. There are many things that can be learned from intelligent people who hold a different opinion from mine. I had hoped to do so in the same ways I learn from Kent and many others here. But you don’t seem interested in learning from one another, as evidenced by the fact that you have not admitted to even being partially wrong on a single issue in 4 months. That is the sign of an idealist who is only interested in proving to everyone that they are simply wrong if they don’t agree with you. And that is a shame because many of your arguments are solid and start off well. Then you go off the cliff and lose credibility and attack in ways that make reasonable, respectful, and logical debates impossible. I am disappointed to lose what you could have provided for everyone here. But I don’t know what other tactic to take. I certainly can’t take the time to debate with someone that is unwilling to grow and learn and provide positive feedback and thoughts. I will hold out for the hope that as you continue to debate with those who will do so with you that I will see a better argument style take the place of this radical and attacking one you currently use. If I see that I may join back in with debating you. Until then, however, it simply isn’t worth my time when there are so many coming here who are willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and discuss things with logic and respect.

  32. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said

    Sorry you feel that way BF. But I have tried to reason with you.

    So try using reason!

    You confuse arguing with me as ‘reasoning’ with me. It is not. You throw up irrationalisms – and pretend you’re making some sort of logical argument.

    I offered to have debates all you wanted. My only stipulations were that you stop failing to give me some benefit of the doubt, which I was giving to you, and that you stop twisting my words or positions to say things I wasn’t saying.

    There is no benefit of doubt to grant.

    Case in point:

    You responded to my post about laws by likening my stance to nazi positions. That is not where I stand and you know it.

    It is not a twist.

    Each and every demand you make regarding government action is exactly the same route and design that created Nazism.

    There is not one thing – not one thing! – that you are or would be doing differently.

    Hitler was elected, created legislation, and enforced it … all legally.

    He was given emergency powers (the Enabling Act) by his legislature. It required that he need to have it renewed.

    Article 5
    This law takes effect with the day of its proclamation. It loses force on 1 April 1937 or if the present Reich government is replaced by another.

    Without fail, every 4 years on April 1, Hitler went to the government to get it renewed.

    It is indicative of the care that Hitler took to give his dictatorship an appearance of legality that the Enabling Act was renewed twice, in 1937 and 1941. In 1942, the Reichstag passed a law giving Hitler power of life and death over every citizen, effectively extending the provisions of the Enabling Act for the duration of the war.

    I ALSO KNOW that I don’t think those that hid the Jews shouldn’t be prosecuted as criminals, because I try to use common sense in my decision making.

    But this is exactly where you fail your logic.

    I asked you what defines a “criminal” and you said if they break the law.

    Suddenly, you makes some sort of change of definition in this case where the law was clearly broken.

    You claim some “common sense” to clarify why in one statement you say breaking the law makes a criminal, and in other statement breaking the law doesn’t make a criminal.

    You have yet to show why such a difference of your belief exists.

    It is this typical confusion you have that makes me completely unable to give you any benefit of the doubt – because you make up things as you go along whenever it suits you.

    as evidenced by the fact that you have not admitted to even being partially wrong on a single issue in 4 months.

    See, you are even are wrong here too.

    Jon Smith raised a valid counter-point on a topic back a few weeks that demonstrated a contradiction I made. He was right and I said so.

    Just because I am very careful to lay out my arguments and strictly adhere to logic, example, and history does prevent me from falling into the same traps you do.

    • Thank you for the history lesson, but you make my point for me. Regardless of what Hitler did with his power or how he went about it, equating my stance to justifying Hitler is the exact type of debate tactic I was referring to. Because I like law and I recognize government, that doesn’t mean that I justify Hitler’s actions. You try to arbitrarily link all actions that are similar and thereby create a link between my thoughts and Hitlers. Instead of arguing the points made, you establish this pseudo-argument about Hitler and his tactics. Yes I do claim that “common sense” is the difference, which is something that you choose to ridicule instead of using some of it. Common sense and benefit of the doubt dictate that I don’t think Hitler’s abuse of power is the same as a law here that says you must pay your taxes or register your vehicle. I don’t make things up as I go along. What I do is apply that common sense to each instance independently. You want to say “one simple rule and if you apply it here, it also means that you support it in all of these other horrible places” when that is not how I do things. I think laws have to be applied with common sense and every single situation needs to be looked at based on the circumstances of that situation. When you look hard enough you can find bad in every single action. That is your M.O. and it debilitates your ability to find a better solution for going forward in this country. You have the right to believe what you want, I wouldn’t dream of taking that away from you. But so do I. I judge your ideas on the merits of what you say and I give you the benefit of the doubt that you mean well and that your support for one idea doesn’t mean you support every other person’s interpretation of that same thought. For example you hate government. So did Bill Ayers. I don’t make that a link to where you are like Bill Ayers. You fail over and over to give that same courtesy to me.

      I haven’t justified violence at any point. Regardless of your claims to the contrary. I am sorry to disappoint you by simply not believing what you believe. I am further sorry that as long as you continue to use the tactics that you do, I will continue to choose not to debate with you on the issues. Debate is not possible or useful when one side is only interested in demeaning the other through twists and innuendo and false links to arbitrary historic evils.

  33. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said

    Thank you for the history lesson,

    Anytime.

    but you make my point for me. Regardless of what Hitler did with his power or how he went about it, equating my stance to justifying Hitler is the exact type of debate tactic I was referring to.

    Slow those horses down, cowboy!

    I equated (do please read carefully) your effort and strategy as the same as his. You want political power, just like he did.

    I know your stance is not the same – you promised to everyone that you will be a good boy with all this power, unlike Hitler.

    Because I like law

    True law, me too.

    Arbitrary law, me not.

    and I recognize government,

    I will never recognize anyone who claims the right to attack non-violent people.

    that doesn’t mean that I justify Hitler’s actions.

    But your methods are exactly the same. So how can anyone be certain you won’t do the same thing?

    You try to arbitrarily link all actions that are similar and thereby create a link between my thoughts and Hitlers.

    No!

    As usual, you do not read – or if you read, you do not understand what you read.

    I do not know Hitler’s mind.

    More pertinent to this discussion, I do not know your mind.

    And that is the point

    How can anyone know what you will do, once you have violent power at your fingers. You can be the most gentle soul, lying to all of us, and we’d never know – until you’re dictator.

    Yes I do claim that “common sense” is the difference, which is something that you choose to ridicule instead of using some of it.

    Prove your common sense.

    You said breaking the law makes a criminal.

    I demonstrated a law-breaking that appears to be justified by you and not making criminals.

    How do you determine what law-breaking doesn’t make you a criminal?

    What is YOUR REASONING

    I know you try so hard to avoid these simple logical steps – and I know why. But I will never let you slip by on some putrid “benefit of the doubt”.

    Common sense and benefit of the doubt dictate that I don’t think Hitler’s abuse of power is the same as a law here that says you must pay your taxes or register your vehicle.

    You offered that breaking the law makes you a criminal.

    Show us all your reasoning why you thinking breaking ‘that law’ doesn’t make you a criminal.

    How are you figuring which law breaking is not criminal or not?

    This can’t be a hard question for you, USWep, because – heck, as you say – it’s common sense.

    You want to say “one simple rule and if you apply it here,

    No.

    I want consistency.

    You are arbitrary – a dangerous sign of a dictator.

    When you look hard enough you can find bad in every single action.

    Not true, nor logical.

    When an action is applied by principles it always is the best in the circumstances.

    The challenge we always end up at is that your principles are built on sand – you don’t have a clue other than the time of day what they are. Next second, if it’s convenient for you, you’ll change them.

    That is your M.O. and it debilitates your ability to find a better solution for going forward in this country.

    Y

    I know the solution for saving this country.

    Sadly, it is completely contradictory to the beliefs and unpalatable to the vast majority. Therefore, this country will fail.

    I wouldn’t dream of taking that away from you.

    You couldn’t even if you tried.

    For example you hate government.

    Another strike against you as dictator. You hate too much.

    I never use the world hate.

    Government is disgusting, evil, and many other disagreeable things – but I’ve never said “I hate government”.

    I have said:

    Therefore, government must be abolished

    But that is not hate.

    That merely an articulation of a necessity for mankind.

    You fail over and over to give that same courtesy to me.

    I cannot give you any benefit of the doubt because you utterly refuse to give me your principles and reasoning for your belief.

    I have no basis on which to give you such grant.

    I haven’t justified violence at any point.

    But you have.

    You have repeatedly agreed that using law against non-violent people is ok by you.

    You have justified this plenty of times, over and over again.

    Just because you’re not pulling the trigger on the weapons doesn’t excuse your agreement to their firing.

    • And I can appreciate that you don’t use the word hate. But let’s not let semantics get in the way of honest dialogue. You may not use the word, but your stance is clear. I applaud that you can make your argument without using the word, but I also realize that using the word is not necessary, it is how your posts come across regardless of whether you use it.

      I am sorry that I don’t adhere to your principles. And I won’t fall into your trap of “give me your one core thing”. You would love if I had one, so that you could apply it generically everywhere. But I don’t. As I said, I use common sense and logic to judge each situation differently based on what I believe. You want an answer on the nazi question, ask for that. But don’t ask for how I will apply my rationale to every single question around the breaking or not of law. Because there is no hard and fast rule, regardless of what you “demand” of all of us. I don’t see the people who hid jews as criminals because the law that they were breaking was not a moral and just law. It is the same with military orders, we had the right to disobey if we felt that it was not a lawful order that met moral standards. There is a difference between you and I: you take your one stance and apply it to EVERY situation, which doesn’t make sense. There are tons of realities that get in the way of such a rigid stance. I choose to evaluate every action on the merits of that action rather than say my one rule going forward wil apply to every situation we encounter. That is called using judgement and common sense to interpret the situation.

      You are also correct in correcting me in that I have agreed that using law against people is justified. The unfortunate part of that is that most of the time you have no context from me in order to understand why I hold the position that I do. You don’t have that from me because at this point I have chosen to not provide it to you. I have made that choice because of the lack of respect that you have shown for differing opinions and the tendency you have to take what I say and try to turn it into some despicable stance. We could have had good conversations where you came to understand my point of view and I yours. Instead you have taken the tactics that I have pointed out to you over and over. The result is, sadly, that we lose the opportunity to come together and learn from one another.

      You are correct. You are certainly under no obligation to give me the benefit of the doubt. I never said that you were. What I said was that since you choose to not do so, I will choose to not debate with you. I have no reason to give you benefit of the doubt, either, but I did anyway. It is a courtesy I try to give everyone. I assume you mean well and are operating from a good value system. But you are correct in that you are not obligated to give that same benefit of the doubt and courtesy to me.

      BF, I have done everything short of begging you to change the way that you address the issues discussed. I have made it clear over and over the tactics that I will not stand for in intelligent discourse. I have over and over given you chances to engage me differently, show me some respect, give me the benefit of the doubt, and not twist what I say. I did this because I can see that you are an intelligent person who has a lot of valid things to say. I did it because I felt that if you changed your tactics, you could reach far more people and influence far more folks to take a harder look at their stances. I WANTED you to change tactics because I felt that you could be such a valuable part of the dialogue on this site because you saw things clearer than most people see them. Perhaps you are right about everything, the pity is that no one will ever see that because of the way that you approach the issues. Your debates would be so much more effective and helpful to everyone if they were simply not so offensive against people’s character. As it is they engage with you once or twice and then decide you aren’t worth engaging with. And that is a shame because we all lose that way.

  34. “I choose to evaluate every action on the merits of that action rather than say my one rule going forward wil apply to every situation we encounter. That is called using judgement and common sense to interpret the situation.”

    See, I think that works on some things, like deciding what color shirt to wear today, but not in matters of ethics or morality. On those things, such an approach is “moral relativism”. Those things just can’t be right today and wrong tomorrow. Those things can’t be right for me, but wrong for you. Those things can’t be right in one situation and wrong in another situation. That is how people justify doing bad things to other people.

    • I agree Kent, when it comes to ethical behavior and morals. But that isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about situations just like what BF was doing. I think that some laws are good. I say that I think it is OK for there to be a law that says if someone rapes and kills a child, they get put to death. Morally and ethically I am OK with that law. I know some people aren’t and that is OK. But I am. But saying that I believe in that instance and therefore I must judge the law the same when a law is applied to the genocide of the Jews is not a right thing. I am not talking about letting one person get away with the same crime as someone else doesn’t get away with. I am saying that I think there is merit to looking at the circumstances of every situation and using those circumstances to determine the best course of action.

      Take for example treason. The law says if you actively speak against your country or work against your country you are a traitor and should be executed. I feel that common sense has to be applied to the application of that law. If we just went black and white, the way that BF says I must do, then you and I and BF and just about everyone else on this blog are traitors. But if we apply common sense and judgement to the equation, we can see that speaking against the government here is way different than someone saying the government must end and I have a plan for how to blow up the Capital. This is the kind of relativism I speak of. If the law said that uttering the phrase “I am going to kill you” is a physical threat punishable by prison time, and we apply that rule equally to every situation where it is said, just about everyone would be in jail. But if we use judgement and common sense, we can see the circumstances and realities around the phrase to determine whether they said it as a threat or a joke. My point is that there is often no black and white answer. I choose to look at all the circumstances before passing judgement.

  35. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said
    But let’s not let semantics get in the way of honest dialogue. You may not use the word, but your stance is clear.

    Perhaps not to you. You remain confused on the difference between hate and disgust.

    I applaud that you can make your argument without using the word, but I also realize that using the word is not necessary, it is how your posts come across regardless of whether you use it.

    It is interesting how you interpret words. This does give insight into your understanding and character.

    I am sorry that I don’t adhere to your principles. And I won’t fall into your trap of “give me your one core thing”. You would love if I had one, so that you could apply it generically everywhere.

    It makes you arbitrary and perverse. There is no telling what you mean, what matters, or how you may act in any given circumstance.

    It makes you incredibly dangerous.

    But I don’t. As I said, I use common sense and logic to judge each situation differently based on what I believe.

    Logic based on what?

    As pointed out so many times, if you start from a basis of fallacy – all the logic in the world gets you nowhere.

    Unless you have some grounding point from which to judge, you remain arbitrary and insincere.

    You want an answer on the nazi question, ask for that.

    How many times do I have to ask?

    But don’t ask for how I will apply my rationale to every single question around the breaking or not of law.

    Then you’re arbitrary and completely whimsical.

    You can’t tell if something is right or wrong until after the fact.

    Because there is no hard and fast rule, regardless of what you “demand” of all of us. I don’t see the people who hid jews as criminals because the law that they were breaking was not a moral and just law.

    Please define what is a moral and just law?

    There is a difference between you and I: you take your one stance and apply it to EVERY situation, which doesn’t make sense.

    No, I take a moral PRINCIPLE, not a stance, and use it to measure action.

    There are tons of realities that get in the way of such a rigid stance.

    Absolutely and totally false.

    There is nor can be any situation that exists that contradicts my principles.

    I choose to evaluate every action on the merits of that action rather than say my one rule going forward wil apply to every situation we encounter. That is called using judgement and common sense to interpret the situation.

    Without a basis to judge, you cannot judge.

    You are merely an arbitrary. What feels good now is all that matters to you.

    You are also correct in correcting me in that I have agreed that using law against people is justified. The unfortunate part of that is that most of the time you have no context from me in order to understand why I hold the position that I do.

    You’re right.

    You refuse to define yourself, nor offer context at all.

    You don’t have that from me because at this point I have chosen to not provide it to you.

    It has not gone unnoticed.

    I have made that choice because of the lack of respect that you have shown for differing opinions and the tendency you have to take what I say and try to turn it into some despicable stance.

    I cannot respect unknown positions.

    I cannot respect opinions that have mere arbitrary basis.

    We could have had good conversations where you came to understand my point of view and I yours.

    I cannot understand points of view created out of thin air.

    BF, I have done everything short of begging you to change the way that you address the issues discussed.

    I have no problem with my addressing. I have challenged and will continue to challenge those whose morals wave in the wind.

    I have made it clear over and over the tactics that I will not stand for in intelligent discourse.

    Intelligent discourse comes from a basis of reason – which you have admitted you refuse to engage.

    I have over and over given you chances to engage me differently, show me some respect, give me the benefit of the doubt, and not twist what I say.

    You admit that what your principles and morals are today will not be necessarily the same tomorrow. I cannot give any benefit of a doubt to those that change their principles hourly.

    I did this because I can see that you are an intelligent person who has a lot of valid things to say. I did it because I felt that if you changed your tactics, you could reach far more people and influence far more folks to take a harder look at their stances.

    You are mistaken in my goal.

    I have no WANT to influence anyone. That would be against my principle.

    I am antagonizing you to THINK for yourself. I know this scares the hell out of you since it will force you to confront contradicts inside you that you’ve avoided for most of your life.

  36. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon said
    I agree Kent, when it comes to ethical behavior and morals…..But saying that I believe in that instance and therefore I must judge the law the same when a law is applied to the genocide of the Jews is not a right thing.

    So what makes the difference to you? In the past, you’ve been ok with the slaughter of innocent people – but you’re not comfortable with the slaughter of ‘those’ innocent people.

    Where do you find the line that you draw?

    I am not talking about letting one person get away with the same crime as someone else doesn’t get away with. I am saying that I think there is merit to looking at the circumstances of every situation and using those circumstances to determine the best course of action.

    Based on what principle?

    You say you look at merit – based on what?

    Take for example treason. The law says if you actively speak against your country or work against your country you are a traitor and should be executed. I feel that common sense has to be applied to the application of that law. If we just went black and white, the way that BF says I must do, then you and I and BF and just about everyone else on this blog are traitors.

    Firstly, your understanding of treason is badly flawed.

    Second, what principle do you start from to declare treason is good or bad?

    My point is that there is often no black and white answer. I choose to look at all the circumstances before passing judgement.

    Before you can judge, you must have some measure to compare to first – so you can judge.

    What is that measure, USWep?

  37. “Sticks and stones may break my bones”…., but words, when made into laws, can utterly destroy us all.

    “Laws” against spoken or written words are illegitimate. Calling it “treason” doesn’t make the law correct. That is simply government protecting its own interests. Of course, I realize there is no such thing as “treason” on the moral landscape.

    Jailing ANYONE for saying “I am going to kill you” when the words are not backed up by a credible threat to attack is just as silly. It isn’t the words that should be punished. Someone firing a gun at you, even if he has not threatened you beforehand, is a credible threat that should be met with returned fire. It is the action, not the words, that gives you the right to defend yourself. Words CAN cause you to sit up and pay attention to a person’s actions, though, and prepare yourself for a possible attack.

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