Prague Twin

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Angry Rant Aborted

I had half a mind to go off on an angry rant tonight.... half a mind.

Instead I'm going to widdle it down to a couple of basic points.

My right-wing readers believe I should be deathly afraid of terrorism. Well, I grew up in a time where mutually assured destruction was always just around the corner. I'm not talking about a couple of big buildings going down, or even a dirty bomb going off in a city. I'm talking about the end of the human race in a matter of hours.

I watched a movie depicting this event and I woke up in a bad mood. My aunt told me I was sentimental. Well forgive me for being sentimental about the destruction of my species. I'm sorry.

And so in 1984, Ronald Reagan was elected on a platform of building even more bombs and a simple question: are you better off now than you were four years ago?

For most, the answer was yes. The oil shock and recession was over, and the cocaine economy was in full swing. Here, have a line of cocaine, wait 5 minutes. Now, do you feel better than you did 5 minutes ago? Yes? Great, vote for me and the devil may care what awaits around the next corner.

I went through high school thinking every moment could be my last, and now I'm supposed to be terrified that some Islamic crazies might blow up a building or blow up a city with a dirty bomb? Well forgive me for being complacent. On second thought, don't forgive me. Ronald Reagan was elected because our pocketbooks were fatter. But now we should ignore our pocketbooks and our civil rights because of terrorism?

The risk posed by our enemies seems quite pedestrian compared to the one I learned to deal with as a child and young adult.

They wonder why I'm not afraid while praising the bravery of our troops.

I praise the troops for their bravery as well. The difference is, I'm just as brave as they are.

I'd rather die than give up my way of life. Hell, I'm on borrowed time as it is.



    I am so in agreement with yor article... Very Well said...

    Please feel free to join our group and post there also.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 PM  

  • good rant dude. Sometimes you have gotta do it. I bet you feel better

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 6:56 AM  

  • Much better. Thanks.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:24 AM  

  • PT a good one to come back to. Having just endured the moronic rigors of US and international travel the window dressing seems far worse than the threat.
    But more, the erosion of basic civility on the dubious basis of rooting out terrorism is wearing terribly thin.
    I was really amused to find otherwise fussy people piling up dirty underwear for security staff to have to root through.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 12:30 PM  

  • Really nice to hear from you C.

    Maybe I'm more tuned into the window dressing than because of traveling so much. It sure does seem ridiculous at times, doesn't it?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:44 PM  

  • PT

    As one of your "right wing" readers, I don’t believe anyone should be "deathly" afraid of terrorism. However, one should at least acknowledge its presence and potential and be willing to act accordingly both personally and politically.

    Oh,,, and by the way... One of the biggest reasons that you can live where you do is because of R.R. Give the man his due.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:13 PM  

  • Where did this argument occur?

    By Blogger copy editor, at 10:58 PM  

  • Great rant. Enjoyed it.

    By Anonymous Tom Harper, at 6:39 AM  

  • One of the biggest reasons that you can live where you do is because of R.R.

    I find that claim dubious, unprovable, but also not disprovable.

    My view is that the arms race may have accelerated something that was going to happen anyway, and that a slower transition may have been better for everyone. Just my opinion.

    Copy Editor,

    I'm sorry, I don't follow. Which argument? If it is regarding my level of fear, I am regularly chastised by my right-wing readers that I am soft on terrorism and underestimate the threat.


    Yeah, I knew you would. Thanks for stopping by.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:16 AM  

  • You said you used to be afraid of a nuclear Armageddon involving (I would guess) the Soviet Union and America (and perhaps Britain). I used to too. I don't anymore. I assume you don't either. Why not?

    MAD, as chancy as it was, worked. Despite building thousands of nukes and delvery systems, neither we nor the Soviets gave the 'go code'.

    Do you believe there is anything holding back the Jihadists? So despite the fact that the worst case scenario is much, much smaller, the likelihood of a nuke weapon being used against the United Sates (or perhaps Britain) is substantially higher. Therefore, we need to act to stop the Jihadists from using a nuke because there is no MAD brake on their desires. The need to act makes taking seriously the Jihadist threat a priority. I, and many on the right, don't think the Democrats take it seriously enough. And we're right.
    Good post and something a lot of us feel (relief from mutual assured destruction) but rarely say.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 7:16 PM  

  • Roger

    Great post;

    You can lead a horse to logic, but you cant make him think

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 7:18 PM  

  • PT

    But seriously, how come you are not talking about the culture of corruption??? I mean where is your outrage over Pelosi wanting to appoint a corrupt impeached judge to the post of chairman of the House Intelligence committee?

    Now that would actually be something to rant over. ;-]

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 9:55 PM  

  • But seriously, how come you are not talking about the culture of corruption???
    Arch, I actually find that attempt at humour bordering on the offensive. It is proper that ‘the people’ put heat on government to control malfeasance in the public sector. Unfortunately that has not been done under the Bush/Republican watch.
    The Democrats must also measure up, but the problem is clearly cross party and draining on political systems everywhere.
    In fact corruption is far more corrosive than terrorism, if only because people like yourself refuse to put it in its proper perspective, and fail to demand standards.
    Corruption should not be the subject of humerous deflection when other debating points fail, and it is not an either or.
    If you want an honest government you must be honest in your own positions.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 11:02 PM  

  • Cartledge:

    So then tell me, What do you think of Pelosi wanting to appoint a corrupt impeached judge to the post of chairman of the House Intelligence committee?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 6:18 AM  

  • Arch
    The same as I think about your President and House leaders promoting corruption. It's not acceptable.
    But you, the people have to say it long and loud, regardless of party.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 8:17 AM  

  • Your right, don't be afraid, but be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Someone mentioned rights. We have another important date comingup in the States. December 15, Bill Of Rights Day. Celebrate them while you still have them.

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

    By Blogger David Schantz, at 11:53 AM  

  • Cartledge

    I agree whole-heartedly and do my best to live up to that ideal. But don’t you think its odd that almost no left leaning ideologues are talking about the potential Pelosi selection? As you are not from the U.S., you are not subjected to the bias in the media that would have made mention of this numerous times already were Pelosi a conservative, but isn’t it odd that their has been no mention of it on the Daily Kos et al????

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 4:08 PM  

  • I was looking for a particular page of comments. Sorry for being vague.

    Good rant though.

    By Blogger copy editor, at 6:39 PM  

  • arch, wherever I am the story is the same. Unless people shout long and loud the old ways survive.
    I guess part of the problem is the deals that were made in the climb to the top.
    Legislatures are treated, after all, as private clubs. But the people have spoken and need to keep on speaking out. Elections must not remain an end in themselves.
    I’ve noticed many of what you call leftist blogs (in my experience more centrist) are not essentially partisan and do speak out against inequity, regardless.
    But you are right; I do try to avoid US media because it is so heavily filtered. The trick is to see the corruption for what it is, not which party is practicing it.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 1:09 AM  

  • Cartledge

    Could you provide an example of a "centrist" blog that has bothered to comment on the Pelosi issue to which I speak?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 6:42 AM  

  • Roger,

    Yes, MAD worked precisely because there was a balance of power. Indeed the cold war was one of the most peaceful periods in the recent history of the world.

    I don't worry anymore about MAD for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that a senile R.R. is not walking around with "the football."

    Your claim that a nuke being used on the U.S. ignores two things. 1. How close we were to nuclear war several times in the 1980's. 2. How a terrorist could get their hands on a transportable nuke and manage to get it into the country undetected.

    I'm not saying there is no risk, just that the risk posed is significantly less than the one I grew up with so forgive me for being less than terrified which is all the terrorist want me to be in any case.

    Whether the Democrats or Republicans take it seriously enough or not is someone beside the point. What is important is what is being done to prevent that threat. Proliferation in N. Korea and Iran is likely to happen without the U.S. even going to talk to them, and India will now proliferate their arsenal with our blessing despite not signing the N.P.T. The war in Iraq and the unfinished war in Afghanistan threaten to destabilize Pakistan which is where the most serious threat lies in my mind.

    Whether you or I is right or wrong is a subjective judgement and not provable. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful comment.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:51 AM  

  • Arch,

    I have to say that the horse to water comment is one of the most offensive things you have said here. The implication that I am not able to think represents a new low even for you. It detracts from an otherwise civil and productive exchange which is what Roger and I both prefer. If you have something intelligent to say, please, by all means, speak your mind. That is what this blog is all about. But please leave your juvenile comments for another venue.

    As to your challlenge to cover the Pelosi thing, first I have to admit that I don't actually know about it. You might have noticed how light my blogging has been this week due to an extremely busy work week for me. I'll have a look into it. But keep in mind that I have not done any pieces on people who are actually in prison for corruption. (I leave this work to people who are much more skilled and dedicated like Cartledge.) Is the person you speak of in prison? You are an advocate of letting the courts decide a person's guilt or innocence and have repeatedly argued that one should not be tried in the court of public opinion (i.e. the media). Funny how those rules don't apply when a Democrat is involved.

    Finally, I would appreciate it if you would stay on topic. You should really consider starting a blog, maybe just post once a week if you are pressed for time, so that you can have a forum to discuss the Pelosi thing et. al. Should you decide to, I will recommend that people read it and I will read and comment regularly.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:20 AM  

  • Copy Editor,

    I will see if I can dig something particular up. I may be thinking more of personal emails that I exchange with some of my readers.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:20 AM  

  • Cartledge,

    I think you have made some good points here. It is quite ironic that someone who has never had a single harsh word for the criminals who have been leading this country for the last six years (i.e. the "Duke" and Ney) finds it compelling to go after any Democrat. The latter is totally understandable whereas the former is inexcusable in light of the latter.

    Arch is the classic example of a "potrefena husa" which is one who points fingers at those who resemble themselves. Arch is keenly aware of those who engage in the same hypocricy that he does but on the other side of the political fence. What is annoying is when his accusations spill over onto those of us who have been consistent and generally fair.

    I think it is time to do a corruption round up and maybe even a tally if for no other reason to lead such people as Arch to the water. Whether or not he chooses to drink will be entirely up to him.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:26 AM  

  • David,

    I almost forgot... as you know I am one to be keenly aware of my surroundings, but never afraid.

    Thanks for the heads up on the 15th. I'll be sure to do a story on it. I'm sure we can count on you to out do me.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:27 AM  

  • PT

    What is curious to me is that you condone the total juvenile abuse of "young conservative" and in fact link to it in order "show-it-off" but find what I had to say "offensive".

    Please explain.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:38 PM  

  • See, you don't take the idea that the Jihadists will nuke an American city very seriously. That's entirely consistent with the rest of your world view and makes my point. Still, it was a good post. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 3:52 PM  

  • Arch,

    I condone the abuse of anyone who is a total hypocrit, which the young republican is. Your insinuation that I can't think is simply way off the mark. If you have an accurate criticism of my abilities or resolve, by all means, "bring it on." But saying that I can't think is like me saying that you can't shoot, and that is why I find it offensive. Not agreeing with your position does not preclude me from an ability to think.

    If I openly supported a war that was undermanned and slipping away and yet had no intention of involving myself in, I would hope that everyone would jump on my ass to point out what an idiot I was.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:28 PM  

  • Roger,

    Even if I did take it seriously, I don't think that the war in Iraq is doing anything to prevent that outcome. In fact, if anything it strengthens the resolve of those who would commit such a treacherous act and adds legitimacy to the argument that America kills for economic reasons.

    Thanks for continuing the discussion in a civil manner.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:31 PM  

  • PT

    In what way is Young Republican a hypocrit?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 12:39 AM  

  • Arch, if you go back to the immediate post election comment on this very blog you will find an assurance that the Dems will be given no more leeway than the Repubs on the issue of corruption.
    For all that, however, I think you are being a little keen in painting the kettle black.
    History will out, but simply carrying on the guileless Repub election attack misses the point entirely.
    What you are really looking for is neither realistic nor helpful in the long run. When you actually spot blatant corruption in the new majority you might have an argument. For now I doubt any but a handful really care. That handful includes those who failed to identify the bankrupt tactics of the former majority.
    Pelosi probably made an unwise decision, but we will really have to wait and see. You are simply flogging a dead horse at the moment.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 9:22 PM  

  • PT

    Here is what Young Republican had to say. It was for this simple display of opinion that you condoned a sophomoric rant that contained some of the most outlandish disgusting juvenile comments that I have ever seen in what is supposed to be honest and open dialogue. Honestly, I was shocked at your willingness to “pile on” to this rant and was disappointed that you didn’t call for calm and make it clear that everyone was entitled to an opinion. Instead you reveled in the fact that Young Conservative was unwilling to answer the juvenile antagonistic questions posed to him. And now you suggest that it is yourself who has the moral upper ground in your exchanges with others who post here???

    I guess you think that because Young Conservative has not opted to serve in the military that his support for the war makes him a “hypocrite”. In this same light, one would also then have to conclude that the likes of Lincoln, FDR & Bill Clinton are also then indeed hypocrites.

    I would like to know the following;

    Is it indeed because Young Conservative did not opt to server in the military while supporting the war in Iraq that makes him a hypocrite in your eyes? If so, does this also mean that every other “able bodied male” who decided not join the military who also happens to support the war in Iraq is also a hypocrite?

    As to your ability to think, you know of my respect for your intellect as I have acknowledged your intellectual mantel for close to twenty years now. Had I known that my statement to Roger would have been too “over the top” for your sensibilities, I would not have made it, but seeing as we have been having these discussions since we were both too young to drink, I would have thought you to have seen it as the gentle poke that it was intended to be and not the “punch in the face” that you perceived.

    If you were uncomfortable with the pointed accusations and the hard questions, I would sadly refrain from posting here. However, if you are in favor of an open dialogue with me, you should expect to get your feelings hurt from time to time. I certainly know that I have experienced that pain when in the past you have chosen to reference me by my true identity in the past.

    The choice is yours to make.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 10:53 PM  

  • Sorry, my link did not work. So here is the text of Young Conservatives statement.

    As we remember those Americans lost on this day five years ago it is important to remember the best manner through which we can honor them: remaining steadfast in our effort to fight and win the war of which they were the first casualties.

    As trying and painful a war it is to wage, and as much as we may all wish it to be over, we have no other choice left to us but to fight it as hard and as vigorously as it takes, for as long as it takes. The security and well-being of not only this generation, but of generations still unborn, depends upon our willingness to fight and defeat the enemies of democratic civilization today and into the future.

    Our fathers and grandfathers accepted this responsibility and confronted these enemies when their age demanded it. Should ours be the generation to forsake their sacrifice and surrender that which they fought and died for on the sands of Iwo Jima and Normandy? Shall ours be the first generation to decline the duty to secure for our children the blessings of peace, security, and liberty?

    The thousands of brave and heroic men and women now serving in the armed forces have answered this in the negative. They have and continue to answer the calling of their age. May those whom they serve and sacrifice for at home, and those who lead them more importantly, render the identical answer.

    This war is a fight we can and will win, so long as we maintain the will to win it.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 10:56 PM  

  • Arch,

    I am not the one responsible for the comments made by the other people. If you read what I wrote to the Young Republican, you will see that I didn't do any name calling. But in all honesty, his hypocricy and failure to answer to the more civil of comments for several days begs for the lashing that he got. Reading the post again, I see what a hypocrit that kid really is. If you think I'm being a hypocrit in the post titles "Angry Rant Aborted", by all means, describe to me how. But please try to leave my intelect, Pelosi, and the Young Republican out of it.

    In answer to your direct question, yes, I think to a certain extent all the able bodies (especially the young childless ones) who stand up and proudly pronounce how essential this war is and loudly proclaim how we must fight ought to be doing what they can to back up those statements. I can tell you this: if I felt the way the Young Republican does, and I was 19 years old, I'd be a member of the armed forces without question.

    I don't know the specifics of the ages and physical status of the leaders you mentioned so my answer would have to be "I don't know." But with regards to Lincoln, I think his role as commander in cheif was more important than being a foot soldier. I'm pretty sure FDR had a fairly serious medical condition, and I don't think Clinton was out campaigning for an escalation or continuation of the Vietnam war. If I'm wrong on any of these points, please correct me.

    All I'm asking Arch, is that you try to stay on topic and refrain from attacking me personally. If you disagree with something I say, please, break it down. It is not about my feelings, but more about the promotion of open and pertinant discussion.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:17 PM  

  • PT

    Three points

    1. Young Conservatives decision not join the military while at the same time being in support of the war makes him no more a hypocrite than does it you for your beliefs about man made global warming and your continued use of fossil fuels.

    2. Your call for no personal attacks from me while at the same time endorsing them against others is in fact hypocritical.

    3. Your inability to hang the moniker of “hypocrite” on Bill Clinton for his total lack (and in fact “avoidance”) of military service while sending the American military into battle only serves to further the original statement that I made to Roger.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 5:01 AM  

  • Cartledge

    My whole point in bringing up the Pelosi issue (it now looks as if she will in fact NOT pick Hastings) was to show two things:

    1. That the American media is truly biased to the left (I suspect you might already know this)

    2. That the left will not come to bare against one of its own (your inability to provide for me even a "moderate" site that bothered to take up the issue substantiates this)

    I have always held that crooks and liars need to be shown the door, and generally speaking with conservatives this is the policy. With Democrats on the other hand we see the likes of Gerry Stubbs, Marion Barry, Alcee Hastings, et al. continually supported by the Democrat party with little or no outrage or coverage of their "deeds" by the American media.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 5:10 AM  

  • Arch,

    1. Wrong. First of all, I have not said that man is causing global warming, but I figure it is a pretty good possiblility. Secondly, I rely on public transportation as much as possible. It is up to those in charge of mechanizing the society to provide alternatives. As soon as there are any, I will be the first to start using them. Your analysis here is pretty weak.

    2. I'm not endorsing personal attacks, but I'm also not going to defend someone who is being a total hypocrit and who does not repent when shown the error of his ways. I don't engage in personal attacks, so I would expect others to respect me in that regard... and that includes you.

    3. I'll repent and admit the error of my ways. I was thinking of Clinton in the construct of the Vietnam war and his views at the time. At that time he was consistent, but you are right, now that he has sent soldiers to fight when he did not do so himself is indeed hypocricy. So for the record, Clinton is indeed a hypocrit, and this is not the first time I have criticised him. I wonder if you will ever criticize your hero, the "visionary" GWB. I noticed you dropped Lincoln and FDR from your analysis. Does that mean you agreed with mine?

    You are quick to point out when you disagree, but rarely do you admit when you might have been wrong, Arch. Is this by design or are you unable to admit a mistake?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:31 PM  

  • PT

    1. So you surrender your responsibility as it pertains to global warming to “those in charge” yet require the ultimate in personal responsibility on the part of Young Conservative? Sounds hypocritical to me.

    2. By linking to a site that contains personal attacks and making jest of Young Conservatives reluctance to respond to the personal attacks, you are in fact endorsing personal attacks. Your reluctance to admit this again substantiates the original statement made to Roger.

    3. I’m glad you came around on this one. For the record, I have criticized GWB on many occasions. It is your reluctance to see the importance of the deeds that I have criticized him for that allows you to believe that I give him Carte Blanch. I originally included FDR and Lincoln as a rhetorical device to show that a given context can sway one from a logical conclusion. (The opposite in fact of “leading a horse to logic”) While Lincoln had no service record to speak of, I am glad that he took the path in life that he did, as I think he was a great president (except for the habeas corpus debacle) and would hate to think what this nation might be like today if he were to have taken head to the words of Prague Twin: “Serve the military in times of war if you are able or shut up!”

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:39 PM  

  • 1. God grant me the strength to change the things I can change, accept the things I can not change, AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. I can use public transport, I can ride my bike (which I do, weather permitting) I can walk whenever possible, but I cannot force GM to make an electric car or force my government to work on alternative fuels (although I have urged them to do so with collective and individual action). I am doing what I can.

    The young repulbican can not force the government to stay in Iraq, but he can make a difference himself by going there. What part of that don't you understand?

    2. I'll stand by that. If a person is being a total hypocrit, they will probably be attacked. I won't join in, but I'll watch and tell my friends to have a look. Kind of like watching a bar fight when some asshole is getting his ass kicked and you do nothing to stop it. You aren't pounding him, but you do get some satisfaction watching him get what he deserves. Can you see the difference?

    3. I've never heard you criticize Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney or Wolfowitz. You glorify them all as "visionaries". Saying you criticise them is not criticising them. You credibility is suspect until you do so.

    Can you show me where Lincoln was on a soapbox beating the war drum BEFORE he was president? You are confusing the situations. Can you show me when Lincoln avoided his call to duty?

    You have misquoted me, once again.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:56 AM  

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