Quotable quotes

“Liberals don’t like being pinned down on much of anything. Conservatives relish it. To make that point is to say that the arguments between liberals and conservatives don’t usually have much to do with the rightness or the wrongness of the position itself; they have to do instead with whether someone should even take a position on the issue. For example, in the current setting a conservative will argue that marriage should be a relationship only between a man and a woman. But a liberal, instead of arguing for some other specific relationship, is more likely to say that it doesn’t really matter, and that the issue should be left to be decided by the various individuals concerned. Such rising above the fray is, of course, portrayed as the moral high ground. And it conveniently spares the one who holds it any responsibility for defending the other side of the argument.” Joel Belz

Comments

  1. Dan Trabue says:

    �Liberals don�t like being pinned down on much of anything. Conservatives relish it.”

    Bull. Ask a conservative if it’s okay for a country to invade another country if they think they’re at risk. The conservative will say “Sure.” Ask them if it was okay that the terrorists attacked us as long as they thought we were a threat to them, the conservative will say No.

    Ask a Conservative if it’s okay to target a civilian population with deadly violence. They’ll say No. No! A thousand times no! Ask the conservative, Well, then, I assume you condem the US nuclear bombing of two whole cities (Nagasaki and Hiroshima) in WWII? and the conservative will say, “Well, now… that’s different.”

    Like trying to nail jello to the wall.

  2. Jim Holman says:

    “For example, in the current setting a conservative will argue that marriage should be a relationship only between a man and a woman. But a liberal, instead of arguing for some other specific relationship, is more likely to say that it doesn?t really matter, and that the issue should be left to be decided by the various individuals concerned. Such rising above the fray is, of course, portrayed as the moral high ground.”

    The difference is that in the conservative world certainty, or at least the appearance of certainty and therefore of strength, is a core value. There’s none of this “on the one hand, on the other hand.” No, everything has to be certain. And being certain is good, but being certain with an edge is better. Thus, the statement “liberals are wrong on homosexual marriage” is good. “Liberal attitudes toward homosexual marriage are stupid” is better. “Liberal support of homosexual marriage demonstrates their utter moral depravity” is best.

    In much of conservative religious discourse, any weakness is derided. Anything that appears weak is assumed to be “liberal.” Take, for example, this description of a conference sponsored by the National Religious Broadcasters and reported in the latest edition of Harpers:
    – – – – – – – – –
    “[Radio host and evangelist James] MacDonald quotes liberally from the Book of Revelation, the only place in the New Testament where Jesus (arguably) endorses violence and calls for vengeance against nonbelievers. . . . Rarely mentioned these days in the Jesus of the four Gospels, the Jesus who speaks of the poor and the marginalized, who taught followers to turn the other cheek and love their enemies, the Jesus who rejected the mantle of secular power.

    “‘His eyes are like a flame of fire,’ MacDonald tells us. ‘Out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, and with it he can strike the nations. He treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty God…'”

    “Then, in a lisping, limp-wristed imitation of liberals, he mocks, to laughter and applause, those who want to ‘share’ and be sensitive to the needs of others.”
    – – – – – – – – –

    Yeah, well, so much for sharing, sensitivity, kindness, and all that liberal crap.

  3. Missourian says:

    Note 1, Dan, Easy to Reconcile: Different Facts, Different Decisions/ Not Moral Relativism

    Dan Trabue writes:
    ??Liberals don�t like being pinned down on much of anything. Conservatives relish it.?
    Bull. Ask a conservative if it?s okay for a country to invade another country if they think they?re at risk. The conservative will say ?Sure.? Ask them if it was okay that the terrorists attacked us as long as they thought we were a threat to them, the conservative will say No.
    Ask a Conservative if it?s okay to target a civilian population with deadly violence. They?ll say No. No! A thousand times no! Ask the conservative, Well, then, I assume you condem the US nuclear bombing of two whole cities (Nagasaki and Hiroshima) in WWII? and the conservative will say, ?Well, now? that?s different.?
    ********************************************************************************

    PART I MORAL REASONING 101
    Missourian: There is an old law school chestnut used in most introductory criminal law cases. In this hypothetical, an observer walks into a room and finds that Jim is holding a smoking gun and George is lying dead on the floor from a gunshot wound. What are the legal consequenes of Jim’s apparent shooting of George?

    Depends. If Jim shot a defenseless George in order to steal his money, it was first degree murder. If Jim shot a defenseless George in a fit of rage immediately after discovering George was having an affair with Jim’s wife, it is second degree murder.If Jim was defending himself from the lethal attack of the George, a black belt karate expert who could kill with his hands alone, it is justifiable homicide. If Jim was totally and completely insane to the point where he did not appreciate the moral weight of his actions, he was innocent by insanity. So facts and context make all the difference in moral judgments.

    PART II: INVASION OF ANOTHER COUNTRY: To repeat Dan’s comment. Ask a conservative if it?s okay for a country to invade another country if they think they?re at risk. The conservative will say ?Sure.? Ask them if it was okay that the terrorists attacked us as long as they thought we were a threat to them, the conservative will say No.

    MISSOURIAN REPLIES. If you are referring to the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States there is no serious question that the government of Afghanistan, supported by elements in the Islamic world including parts of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, knowingly sponsored militant groups which attacked the United States. There is much that can be debated about the decision but there is no serious debate that Al Queda was using Afghanistan with the approval of the Taliban to attack America. We have a right of self-defense. The United Stats had a long history of contact with the Taliban government. Clinton had brought the issue up with them while he was in the White House. The Taliban had been warned for years, but, they did not believe that the United States would actually do anything.

    If you are referring to Iraq, the United States acted to ENFORCE an United Nations resolution. You can debate whether that action was proper in terns of United Nations procedure and rules, but, the actions was taken to ENFORCE a U.N. mandate.
    As you know the sanctions had been in place for a long time and Iraq had been approached diplomatically many times, by many different diplomatic actors.

    There is no conservative mandate to approve of every war, in every circumstance. As one example, many conservatives opposed the Bosnia war. Your willingness to disregard these facts defeats your argument. Just as in the case of Jim and George, factual context is everything.

    DISTINGUISH BETWEEN MILITARY ACTION AND TERRORISTIC ACTION. The United States had a long history of diplomatic contact both with the Taliban and with Iraq prior to attack. The communication was government to government and the Taliban and Saddam Hussein had an opportunity to avoid attack. The attack of the United States was a military action against standing professional military forces. We did not attack a civilian population.

    In contrast, the attack on the Twin Towers was a sneak attack by a para-military, non-governmental group on private individuals. It was not an attack by a military on a military. There had been no prior contact between the terrorists and the American government in which demands were discussed before hostile action was taken.

    Frankly Dan, if you can’t muster the logical power to distinguish between these situations you must have a very hard time getting around in life.

    PART III: American’s Actions in WWII
    Dan’s quote revisited:
    Ask a Conservative if it?s okay to target a civilian population with deadly violence. They?ll say No. No! A thousand times no! Ask the conservative, Well, then, I assume you condem the US nuclear bombing of two whole cities (Nagasaki and Hiroshima) in WWII? and the conservative will say, ?Well, now? that?s different.?

    MNISSOURIAN REPLIES: Dan’s quote shows the effect of the abysmal teaching of the history of WWII conducted in American’s schools. Let me refresh Dan’s memory of the facts of WWII. Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, Japan had invaded Korea, Indochina and China. The populations of Koran, Indochina and China were subjected to some of the worst atrocities know to humankind. See the Rape of Nanking. Following this campaign of violence and brutality, Japan engaged in an unprovoked attack on the United States. The United States was engaged in diplomatic talks with Japan. Japan was under no military threat from the United States.

    President Truman was faced with the invasion of Japan. Japanese historians agree that the leadership of Japan would have fought the invasion of the Japanes mainland with every resource including drafting all civilians in the fight. Japan had become a total militarization of its mainland, homeland population. This is historical fact. Truman was faced with an invasion which COULD NOT HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED TO MILITARY TARGETS BECAUSE THE JAPANESE HAD MILITARIZED THE ENTIRE POPULATION. Given that Truman had a choice between using the bomb and invading Japan. Both modern Japanese and modern American military historians agree that an American invasion of Japan could have cost as many as 1,000,000 American casualties and 300,000 America deaths with the SAME AMOUNT on the other side. In addition, the infrastructure of Japan would have been eradicated.

    Japanese historian will also report that Japan had dispersed MILITARY AMMUNITION manufacturing into small units SCATTERED THROUGHOUT SUPPOSEDLY CIVILIAN SECTORS of major Japanese cities. This voids the Geneva Convention protection of purely civilian sectors.

  4. Missourian says:

    Dan, Had you heard of the Rape of Nanking?

    Dan, did you realize that at the time that the bombs were dropped on Japan that China, Indochina and Korea were suffering terribly at the hands of the Japanese. Do you understand that Japan wantonly killed millions of Chinese, Indochinese, and Koreans. Did your teachers ever tell you about the Rape of Nanking? Somehow I don’t think so.

    Do you understand that Russia was not in a position to launch an attack against Japan because Russia was fighting for her life against the Nazis on their western border?

    Do you understand that the noble fighting men of America, in their fight against the Japanese were the ONLY EFFECTIVE HOPE OF LIBERATION OF ALL OF ASIA.

    Would you have ordered the invasion of mainland Japan knowing that we would lose 300,000 American soldiers and incur 1,000,000 casualties, as well as comparable figures of Japanese deaths and casaulties?

    Did you know that the Japanese government cared SO LITTLE about their people that they let six days go by between the first atomic bomb and the second atomic bomb. Japan could have been spared the second atomic bomb if the government had surrendeded after the first attack. Japanese warlords wanted to fight on.

    Did you know that the Japanese had infiltrated America in the form of secret Dragon societies aimed at sabotage of American military efforts long before Pearl Harbor.

    I am glad that the fallen heroes of WWII are not here to read your puerile note. You are not fit to dust off the marble of their grave markers in Arlington cemetary. Their short lives encompassed more nobility of sacrifice than anything you are likely to have done in your life, or that I have every done in mine. May God rest their souls.

    I don’t think history contains another example of such a noble inheritance left to such a self-centered, juvenile, self-indulgent and decadent generation.

  5. Missourian says:

    Note 1 Dan

    Anything else you would like to pin me down on?

  6. Missourian says:

    Note 1 Post-War Status

    Dan, did you notice that after WWII, MacArthur gave the Japanese people the Constitution they have today? Did you know that MacArthur emancipated women in Japan and insisted on equal political rights for women? Did you notice how prosperous Japan has been since WWII?

    Did you notice the difference between West Germany and East Germany after WWII? Did you notice that people DIED trying to get to West Germany from East Germany?
    Ever wonder why? Did you notice how prosperous West Germany was and how impoverished East Germany was?

    Did your teachers ever tell you about the Marshall Plan. Do you know that it was an unprecedented transfer of amazing amounts of wealth because our country had the foresight to understand that the relief of human suffering was not only moral but necessary for a lasting peace.

    Did you notice how prosperous and stable South Korea is? Do you understand that North Korea is a concentration camp for all of its people?

    Did you know that the United States had the first, very first, official constitution that guaranteed intellectual freedom? No one else had EVER done that, No one, anywhere. We did, we were the first.

    Did you know that the Islamic empire, the successors to Mohammed enslaved 11 million Black Africans during the Ummayad and Abbasid dynasties? Do you know that the Koran teaches that a male Muslim can “marry” up to four wives and have sexual realation with any female slave?

    The modern move to abolish slavery was lead by Christians in the West. John Quincy Adams devoted his political career after his presidency to the abolition of slavery.

    Thought this might help your grasp of history.

  7. Missourian says:

    Note 1, The Battle Dan Never heard Of

    Dan, since you are a big history buff, I thought you might be interested in the last battle for Viet Nam.

    After the United States withdrew from Viet Nam the Nixon adminstration pledged that if South Viet Nam were invaded from the North, the United States would return and help. South Viet Nam was invaded by a massive, mechanized army put together with the direct help of the Chinese and Russians. It was not a “people’s army” This Army didn’t wear pajamas and they were fully mechanized in waves and waves of tanks.

    The Army of South Viet fought them tooth and claw although they were outnumbered 5 to 1 in tanks, guns and air support. Nixon and Kissinger left South Viet Nam twising in the wind as they begged for help.

    In the final battle, South Vietnamese Army units sustained a DEATH rate of 50% to 60% percent of their men. In other words they fought a SUICIDAL BATTLE to defend their country from an invading Army supported by two of the biggest countries in the world, China and Russia.

    I bet that this is a part of American history that you are very proud of. I bet you are proud that Buddhists and Christians in Viet Nam are jailed if they practice their faiths openly. I bet you are proud that there is no freedom of the press in Viet Nam. I bet you are proud that Viet Nam is one of the last Communist dictatorships around.

    You are undoutedly the kind of guy that would be JUST TOO MORAL to fight a war like this.

    Great going, Dan.

  8. Jim Holman says:

    Missourian writes: “Nixon and Kissinger left South Viet Nam twising in the wind as they begged for help.”

    In 1975 that was Ford, not Nixon. But Ford or Nixon, your comment contradicts the original post: that conservatives “relish” being pinned down, that they are steadfast, and that liberals wishy-washy and try to “rise above” the fray. As you note, the Republicans promised assistance to South Vietnam, and then backed away when the time came, “rising above the fray,” so to speak. Although at that point I’m not sure what forces we even had in the area.

    Missourian: “In the final battle, South Vietnamese Army units sustained a DEATH rate of 50% to 60% percent of their men. In other words they fought a SUICIDAL BATTLE to defend their country from an invading Army supported by two of the biggest countries in the world, China and Russia.”

    Not sure to what battle you refer here. There were many battles in the final invasion. Some ARVN units turned tail and ran; others held tight and inflicted tremendous casualties on NVA forces.

    Missourian: “I bet you are proud that Buddhists and Christians in Viet Nam are jailed if they practice their faiths openly. I bet you are proud that there is no freedom of the press in Viet Nam. I bet you are proud that Viet Nam is one of the last Communist dictatorships around.”

    Your point being what, exactly? Whenever nasty people are afoot in the world the U.S. is obligated to send our treasure and our nice young people into the conflict?