(Originally posted June of 2010) My favorite debate Mark was in was on CNN:
“I think YOU’RE Stupid Piers!” — Larry Elder
Dennis is joined by protester Austin Morgan, Senior at University of Wyoming, regarding the “fuss” [lies] over Dennis’ speech Thursday. Dennis has been labeled by the protesters as anti-academic, a rape advocate, and of spewing hate speech against blacks, women, Muslims, and fellow Jews. I include a call from the following hour regarding Matthew Shepard. See more at NY-POST.
Here is more via THE COLLEGE FIX:
(Originally posted in July of 2012, re-posted as a response to Dennis Prager asking if Paul Krugman has ever debated anyone. RARELY, but here is one of the few examples)
Just so many know, Krugman never debates, and this is one of the only times I am aware of he has. From Video Description:
Tyler Durden submitted this much longer presentation (which I shortened) over at Zero Hedge, and points out the emotional clash between the two economists that is sure to be watched by the many free-marketers out there. Tyler entitled this posting, “The Ultimate Krugman Take-Down,” …he continues:
Forget Ali – Frazier; ignore Santelli – Liesman; dismiss Yankees – Red Sox; never mind Silva – Sonnen; the new undisputed standard by which all showdowns will be judged happened in Spain over the weekend. During a debate on Europe’s crisis, Pedro Schwartz (a mild-mannered Spanish ‘Austrian’ economics professor) took on the heavyweight Paul ‘I coulda been a Fed Chair contender’ Krugman, and – in our humble opinion – wiped the floor with his Keynesian philosophy. From the medicinal use of more debt to fix too much debt, to the Japanization of world economies and the demand-side bias of every- and any-thing – interested only in the short-term economic growth; the gentlemanly Spaniard notes, with regard to the European crisis, the fact that “Keynesians got us into this mess and now we have to sacrifice our principals so that they can get us out of this mess”. Humble and generous in his praise – though definitively serious with his criticism – Schwartz opines: “Often Nobel prize winners are tempted to pontificate on matters that are outside the specialty in which they have excelled,” noting “the mantle of authority whereby what ever they say – whether sensible or not – is accepted with resignation from some and enthusiasm by others.” Krugman’s red-faced anger is evident at the conclusion as he even refused to shake Schwartz’s hand after the debate.
Originally Posted August 2010 (Conversation was from 2001)
Answer: For women, Roe means more than having control over their bodies; it allows them to plan her life. If there’s a contraceptive failure, the law protects her, permits her to decide whether-or-not to become a parent.
Once contraception has failed, the women have ALL the rights. She can get an abortion. If she decides to have the child, she can make the father pay support, whether or not he wanted it. According to Roe, the man’s obligation begins and ends with his wallet. This is true, but money facilitates existence (one of the reasons an abortion is allowed… monetary standard of living). The quality of life is measured in dollars and cents.
Inarguably, the man is required to pay support for eighteen years and will have his standard of living diminished (severely so, if his circumstances are modest). Certain career, education, and family options will be foreclosed – for the man at least.
(Sound familiar? These are excuses for the women to get “off the hook” – e.g., abort a life – but men don’t have that choice.)
If maximizing personal freedom is the primary goal of our legal system, why should men be held to their traditional obligations (supporting the children they’ve fathered) while women are liberated from theirs?
- “Do you believe the government should be able to force someone to become a parent?”
Well? This is precisely what is being done by the government à as I speak! You would argue that the government should stay out of your affairs when choosing whether to become a parent (i.e., to abort or not), however, you wish the government to be involved in telling the father that he has to become a parent and supply all the necessary needs for that child. Thus, you are forcing your morality on me Susan (as a defined group) and using the power of the Federal Government to boot!!! You cannot say any differently with what I just have shown above. This belief is self-refuting and shows you to-be-the hypocrite, and not me. You see… I am for equal rights under the Constitution. A “right” has no “moderation (see below). You, on the other-hand, are for special rights inferred upon groups of people.
An Update via Gay Patriot:
- Student: You made some good points in your talk, but you shouldn’t force your morality on me or anyone else who wants an abortion. It’s our choice, isn’t it?
- Me: Are you saying I’m wrong?
- Student: I’m not sure. What do you mean?
- Me: Well, you think I’m wrong, don’t you? If not, why are you correcting me? And if so, then you’re forcing your morality on me, aren’t you?
- Student: No, I just want to know why you are telling people what they can and cannot do with their lives.
- Me: Are you saying I shouldn’t do that? That it’s wrong? If so, then why are you telling me what I can and cannot do? Why are you forcing your morality on me?
- Student (regrouping): I’m confused. Look, the simple fact is that pro-choicers are not forcing women to have abortions, but you want to force women to be mothers. If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. But you shouldn’t force your beliefs on others. All I am saying is that pro-life people should be tolerant of other views.
- Me: Is that your view?
- Student: Yes.
- Me: Why are you forcing it on me? That’s not very tolerant, is it?
- Student: What do you mean? I think women should have a choice and you don’t. It’s your view that’s intolerant, wouldn’t you say?
- Me: Okay, so you think I’m wrong. What is it you want pro-lifers like me to do?
- Student: You should let women decide for themselves and tolerate other views.
- Me: Tell me, what exactly do pro-choicers believe?
- Student: We believe everyone should decide for themselves and tolerate other views.
- Me: So you are demanding that pro-lifers become pro-choicers?
- Student: What? No way.
- Me: With all due respect, here’s what I hear you saying. Unless I agree with you, you will not tolerate my view. Privately, you’ll let me think whatever I want, but you don’t want me to act as if my view is true. It seems you think tolerance is a virtue if and only if people agree with you.
- Thirty Years of Studies Showing Negative Impacts;
- This Day Choose Life (*GRAPHIC* Not Intended For All Audiences);
- A Woman Conceived By Rape, Rebecca Keissling, Speaks to the “Rape Clause”;
- Bullet Points On the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life Argument (Updated);
- Glenn Beck Watches My Video of a Partial-Birth Abortion;
- Obama Gives Highest Civilian Medal To Eugenics;
- Theologian Wayne Grudem | Abortion (Exodus 21:22);
- When Does Life Begin?;
- You Do Not Have To Be Religious To Be PRO-LIFE ~ Just Reasonable (3-great audio presentations);
- Abortion Debate at Westmont College
- Margaret Sanger and the Racist History of Planned Parenthood (Black Genocide).
(More at Breitbart)
(More at Breitbart)
Nightmyre, you said:
- “Christianity, and many other religions, put forth the concept of Heaven and Hell. Obviously, there is no basis in REALITY for these two locations. You cannot look on a map and pinpoint the physical location of heaven and hell. However the religion gives you the TOOLS NECESSARY to reach this goal. And using these tools requires a large amount of faith, because you are NEVER certain that you will reach your goal.”
You show a very tainted view of what Christianity actually teaches. You seem to clump many beliefs (not just Christianity) into one set or way of thinking. This is not only disrespectful to me (although it really doesn’t bother me), it is disrespectful to others of various faiths. I make it a goal to, at the least, when I deal with other faiths, to really delve into what they actually teach and believe. I will post some stuff here to assist in showing you where you are off the mark in just one area of the Christian faith.
Obviously, if the God of the universe [the Judeo-Christian God] has revealed Himself truly, and if Christ is the only true way of salvation, then we would expect convincing evidence to substantiate this. Not just some evidence, or inferior evidence offering a dozen equally valid options in the choice of their religion; but superior evidence, offering the thinking man only the most logical choice. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery asks:
Dr. John Warwick Montgomery makes the point again that “the historic Christian claim differs qualitatively from the claims of all other world religions at the epistemological point: on the issue of testability” (“The Jury Returns: A Juridical Defense of Christianity,” in Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question, p. 319). A good example of someone taking the faith up on its claims were Viggo Olsen, M.D., author of Daktar: Diplomat in Bangladesh, and his wife, who were both skeptics who…
And this claim to truth includes the possibility of self-defeating constructs within the framework of Christian philosophy, which I have shown to be in the atheists philosophy. Mortimer J. Adler is one of the world’s leading philosophers, chairman of the board of editors for the Encyclopedia Britannica, architect of the Great Books of the Western World series and its remarkable Syntopicon, he is also the director of the prestigious Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago. Adler says, “I believe Christianity is the only logical, consistent faith in the world” (Christianity Today, Nov. 19, 1990). Did you get that? One of the greatest philosophers of our time said that unlike Christianity, every religion that claims to have an epistemology is self-defeating.
Dr. Drew Trotter, a Cambridge University graduate, argues convincingly that “logic and the evidence both point to the reality of absolute truth….” George F. Gilder, one of our century’s “greatest minds,” and author of Wealth and Poverty and Telecosm, says “Christianity is true, and its truth will be discovered anywhere you look very far”] (David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth, p. 13). Principle at Wycliff Hall, Alister McGrath, author of Intellectual Don’t Need God and Other Myths, says the evidence for Christianity is akin to that found in doing good scientific research:
Noted Christian scholar Dr. Carl F. H. Henry wrote a three thousand page, six volume work on the topic of God, Revelation, and Authority. After his exhaustive [to say the least] analysis, Henry declared that “Truth is Christianity’s most enduring asset…” (Ajith Fernando, The Supremacy of Christ, p. 109).
Dr. Robert A. Morey writes,
James Sire points out in his book, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything At All?, that an argument for belief, religious or otherwise, must be secured on the best evidence, validly argued, and able to refute the strongest objections that can be mustered against it (p. 10). Dr. Norman Geisler adds that “In the face of overwhelming apologetic evidence, unbelief becomes perverse” (Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics, p. 529). Take note, faith is active throughout the believers life and grows and matures as the believer does. It includes some aspects that are well worth mentioning:
But faith is not just about reason, it involves a “moral element of personal trust,” and often times people are so hurt throughout life that this “leap of faith” is a tough choice because the people they trusted have failed them and they tend to apply this knowledge to their heavenly Father. It is Freud reversed. So what is a well-balanced understanding of faith, or, personal trust? Here, Wayne Grudem deals with this on a seminary level for the student:
Here is an in-depth — apologetic dealing with faith and reason by Dr. Geisler:
Evolution vs. Reason, Logic, Love, justice, + more
One of the most deep thinkers of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, noted that even “liberty” ~you know, one of the ideals impregnating our Founding Documents~ would be groundless if naturalism were true [among other things]:
Ever hear an atheist say he’s a freethinker? Well, if atheism is true, an atheist, cannot be free nor would his thinking make any real sense. Frank Turek explains.
- If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. (J.B.S. Haldane)
These are some of my favorite quotes and dealing with “naturalism” and their logical end-result, consequences, or logical conclusions. Merely a combining of MANY quotes and a “not-so-few” videos.
See also my post on logical conclusions in meta-ethics and evil (like rape), HERE:
- “Relativists aren’t interested in finding truth but in preserving their own autonomy. This isn’t a logical argument against relativism, of course. I’m just trying to point out that the true(!) basis for relativism is ultimately rooted in its motivation rather than in any good reasons or persuasive arguments.” — Paul Copan
This childish rejection of God in light of the evidence provided through the Book of Nature comes way of True Free Thinker, and shows the juvenile manner in which evidence is rejected in lieu of the ego:
(For the above audio) Well respected [in evolutionary circles] University College London Professor (Emeritus) of Cell and Developmental Biology answers this, and explains that most people want more. And indeed, the Judeo-Christian God is the only answer to this conundrum. You can see how the answer to the problem actually resonates and responds to the truth of human need.
In other words, if naturalistic evolution is true, reductionism is also in play. Then we are determined by the chemical make-up, firing of synapses, and whole of historical events leading up to us controlling our actions. So one could ask in all seriousness, “how much does love weigh?”
It is a cold world, unbelief.
I wish to start out with an excerpt from a chapter in my book where I use two scholarly works that use Darwinian naturalism as a guide to their ethic:
- Dale Peterson and Richard Wrangham, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 1997).
- Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000).
My incorporation of these works into my book (quote):
Now, hear from other atheist and evolutionary apologists themselves in regard to the matter:
(h/t: Atheism Analyzed) – A Statement Made by an atheist at the Atheist and Agnostic Society:
[side note] You may also be aware that Richard Dawkins stated,
- “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.”
Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007 (copyright; 2007-2008)
From the video description:
Atheists Trying to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too on Morality. This video shows that when an atheist denies objective morality they also affirm moral good and evil without the thought of any contradiction or inconsistency on their part.
This is from the video Description for the Dan Barker video below:
Note as well that evolutionary naturalism has very dogmatic implication, IF — that is — the honest atheist/evolutionist follow the matter to their logical conclusions, via the ineffable Dr. Provine:
Atheist and staunch evolutionist Dr. William Provine (who is often quoted by Richard Dawkins) admits what life has in stored if Darwinism is true. The quote comes from his debate here with Dr. Phillip E. Johnson at Stanford University, April 30, 1994.
People think evolution is “science proper.” It is not, it is both a historical science and a [philosophical] presupposition in its “neo-Darwinian” form. The presupposition that removes it from “science proper and moves it into “scientism” is explained by an atheist philosopher:
Likewise one of the most celebrated pediatric surgeons in the world, whom a movie was made after, “Gifted Hands,” is a young earth creationist. And the inventor of the MRI, a machine that diagnosed my M.S., is also a young earth creationist.
Evolutionary Darwinism is first and foremost an “historical science” that has many presuppositions that precede it, making it a metaphysical belief, a philosophy, as virulent anti-creationist philosopher of science, Michael Ruse explains:
What merit would attach to moral virtue if the acts that form such habitual tendencies and dispositions were not acts of free choice on the part of the individual who was in the process of acquiring moral virtue? Persons of vicious moral character would have their characters formed in a manner no different from the way in which the character of a morally virtuous person was formed—by acts entirely determined, and that could not have been otherwise by freedom of choice.
Mortimer J. Adler, Ten Philosophical Mistakes (New York, NY: Touchstone, 1985), 154.
Lee Strobel does a great job in relaying the evidence that we live in a finite cosmos and not an infinite one in his discussion with Dr. William Lane Craig [I added J. Warner Wallace as well to this presentation]:
This should be put in bullet points for easy memorization:
- Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915;
- Around the same time evidence of an expanding universe was being presented to the American Astronomical Society by Vesto Slipher;
- In the 1920s using Einstein’s theory, a Russian mathematician (Alexander Friedman) and the Belgium astronomer (George Lemaitre) predicted the universe was expanding;
- In 1929, Hubble discovered evidence confirming earlier work on the Red-Light shift showing that galaxies are moving away from us;
- In the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted a particular temperature to the universe if the Big Bang happened;
- In 1965, two scientists (Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson) discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero.
Here I will post a portion of a response to a local author on the issue that part of the above was likewise used:
(You can click top enlarge)
Here are just two (of the many examples I can provide) of an atheist and an agnostic commenting on the above evidence:
✪ “The essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy…. The Hubble Law is one of the great discoveries in science; it is one of the main supports of the scientific story of Genesis.”
~ Robert Jastrow: American astronomer and physicist. Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he is the director of the Mount Wilson Institute and Hale Solar Laboratory. He is also the author of Red Giants and White Dwarfs (1967) and God and the Astronomers (2nd ed., 2000).
✪ “Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.”
~ Robert Wilson: is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB)…. While working on a new type of antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, they found a source of noise in the atmosphere that they could not explain. After removing all potential sources of noise, including pigeon droppings on the antenna, the noise was finally identified as CMB, which served as important corroboration of the Big Bang theory.
So, far from atheism being supported by science, the theistic worldview has been exemplified above all other models of interpretation (perceptions) of reality. Mind you this isn’t “proof” how the naturalist wrongly interprets the empirical method (scientific positivism), but it is a probability that exceeds others. (I suggest taking time, about an hour, and listen to this presentation by William Lane Craig on the evidences for theism over other worldviews.) Here John makes one of his signature jumps from one topic to a completely different one. I sometimes feel — shot in the dark again — he does this with the idea that he is saying something “scientific” and that everyone should credit his knowledge in on this particular topic (which is not the case), and then he brings that “trust” into a completely different topic.
I hope this helps a little bit to those searching for answers.
YEC View of the beginning (Big-Bang)
Alan Keyes defends the Natural Law position while Alan Dershowitz defends the legal positivism side of the philosophy of law. This debate is long… so you really must love the intricacies of legal philosophy and Natural Law. This is Alan Keyes at his best.
http://reasonablefaith.org – This debate on “Does God Exist?” took place in front of a capacity audience at the Great Hall, University of Birmingham. It was recorded on Friday 21st October 2011 as part of the UK Reasonable Faith Tour with William Lane Craig.
William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California and a leading philosopher of religion. Peter Millican is Gilbert Ryle Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, University of Oxford and a noted scholar in studies of Hume.
The debate was hosted by the University of Birmingham Student Philosophy Society, and the debate was moderated by Professor Carl Chinn.
For more information on the Reasonable Faith Tour see http://www.bethinking.org/craig
This was a conversation I was invited to. I think maybe because the person doing the inviting might have thought he had a slam-dunk on my political viewpoint and a hero of the conservative movement. He could have wanted — as well — an alternative viewpoint. Mind you, the young man is a great kid and an acquaintance of my son, so thinking this was a slam-dunk isn’t that far fetched considering age and early biases accepted. During the exchange one of the people involved in the conversation started to ask honest questions and opened his previous viewpoints to scrutiny. A sign of maturity. Everyone should allow their viewpoint to be placed in the arena of ideas and to be challenged in light of history and philosophy. Which is why I blog. Dennis Prager mentions this tendency to NOT want to open one’s beliefs to scrutiny in a recent radio broadcast that is worth listening to. I will change the names to afford Anonymity in the following conversation. Enjoy.
To set up — this is from FaceBook and the picture was put up in the photo section and people started to converse about it in the comments section. I will add some info for clarity and commentary:
Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.
Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.
Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?
Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.
Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.
[Here’s where I hop in on this love fest]
Papa Giorgio: A few things.
(Weapons) This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.
(Moral Position) Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.
(History) And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:
He didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”
The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.
In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.
Dein: The comment about Iran we have tried to avoid messing with their interal affers after the Revolution in 1979 when we kinda did something that the people of the country didn’t like. However the way we acted in regards to the “Green Revolution”/Neda Sultan [see linked picture below] thing we may actually end up holding favor with the people in that country.
Papa Giorgio: Dein, I may be misunderstanding your last portion about the “Green Revolution.” The people were begging America to become more involved, we didn’t… which has distanced the almost 65% 35-year old and younger (many of whom embrace Western culture). Obama dropped the ball… You may have misstated the idea you were trying to get across? But this is one of the many cases where the Obama administration has sided with the radical leaders in that country by not doing anything but delaying an upgrade to twitter for a few hours.
Dein: actually the point I was making was when the US stays out of the turmoral in Iran we end up having a better relationship with the country. although I could have misremembered the Rachel Maddow Show segemant about that.
Hunsly: Dein, don’t watch Rachel, regardless of how charming she is, its all the same as fox. Rachel is way better than any Fox show btw.
Papa Giorgio: Ahhh, Maddow. That explains a lot. Dein, we should have gotten involved in the green revolution. Even if it were a public declaration of support for the uprising — and maybe some CIA funding. the demographic is amazing over there. Like I said…… about 65% are MTV influenced, many are American educated, and want to dress how they want to dress, listen to music, and many want to be out from under the control of the Islamo-Nazi dictators that want the messiah to come out from the well because of WWIV. (This well has a super-highway built from it to the capital of Iran with waiting cars to rush this messiah to the palace… but he can only come with the destruction of Israel.) Should we have better relations with this type of government that wants nuclear war, hangs homosexuals, beat and rape women who do not conform to the stricter rules of wearing clothes? No really, I am asking you. Should we support the people who may be a bit more liberal (but maybe not democratic as we think of) over the current regime… even if by word from our Commander in Chief?
Papa Giorgio: … and Hunsly proves his premise [Rachel is way better than any Fox show btw] by ad hominem attacks against Glenn Beck and others.
Dein: and you know that if we had gotten involved their (barely stable) leader would have loved that. It would have made his case so much easier, remember he thinks everyone is out to get him. Do you want to give someone like that even more reason to fear? Although that is what I am thinking about that. The Iranian people know that their leader is crazy and the government is croupt. So give the crazy guy proof that he has ever reason to fear and we loose long term. We (the President) stay out of the way, we win.
I think that we should have gotten involved but after some meditation, I think we made right choice.
Dein: @hunsly TRMS [The Rachel Maddow Show] deals in facts, many of those on fox don’t. you should know that
Hunsly: What are you talking about Papa Giorgio? I just advocated not watching any opinion based “news” I can attack who ever I choose for being the craziest, which is at the moment is Glen Beck.
Papa Giorgio: If Maddow dealt in facts Dein, why does she not allow (typically) the other side or viewpoint on. She told us why here (News Busters Ponders Maddow’s No Republican Guests). If MSNBC hosts deal in “facts,” then why did the Times blog, Politico, NPR, US News & World Report, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun (just to name a few center-left news organizations) say FOX News was the most balanced and had the widest array of pundits [from both ends of the spectrum]? MSNBC was said to be the worst and most biased. Facts are funny things when seen through rose colored glasses.
=====added for this post=====
- Rachel Maddow Nickles and Dimes;
- FOX News Does Better Even Among Democrats;
- A Math Break-Maddow Mocks Christie About His Math Skills Then Makes Same Math Error (Funny!)… I Blame Obama;
- Rachel Maddow Caught Again;
- Rachel Maddow’s Crazy Rants Refuted;
- Maddow vs. The Constitution.
Papa Giorgio: Antony, quickly. You said: “failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.” I wanted to use this to make my points I already made made again for clarity. This isn’t directed at you specifically, but an example for all who read here. I would reword this as:
“successful foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.”
In other words, Stalin was America’s enemy, but we joined forces with him (we sent weapons, oil, money, etc) to beat Hitler. The Communists — who previously split up Poland with the Nazis — became our allies then they became our enemy. One of the biggest mistakes I can remember is Carter’s overthrowing the Shah. Much like Obama supports Venezuela over Columbia today. That move by Carter has been one of the most powerful radicalizing event of the Middle-East (which probably would have happened anyway?). Much thought.
Papa Giorgio: Another point [from near the beginning of the conversation], the F-14s — for example — were pre-revolution. In fact:
The Iranian air force never fully recovered from the effects of the 1979 revolution. At the beginning of the war, pilots were in short supply and flying proficiency was markedly lower than before the revolution. U.S. technicians who left Iran during the days preceding the fall of the Shah succeeded in erasing inventory records, ripping avionics packages out of F-14 aircraft, and destroying caches of repair parts at bases around Iran.
The clerics purged a large part of the conventional military structure after the 1979 revolution leaving the military broken and barely able to defend Iran from the initial Iraqi ground invasion in 1980. After Khomeini seized power on 11 February 1979, the revolutionary regime regarded the Air Force as a waste of money that rightfully belonged to the mostazafin (poor oppressed masses). One of the new government’s first acts was a purge of the armed forces, particularly the officer corps, which was (probably correctly) thought to be a hotbed of monarchist sentiment. The Air Force, where virtually the entire fighting element — the combat pilots — was composed of officers, was especially hard hit. To make matters worse, Iran’s best combat pilots had been trained in the United States and Israel, making them particularly suspect.
The senior command echelon of the IIAF had been decapitated in 1979 and early 1980 by arrests, imprisonments, executions, purges, and forced exiles. A failed coup that originated on Shahrokhi Air Base in Hamadan in June 1980 brought about another sweeping purge. Many IIAF personnel were shot or jailed for suspected or real complicity in the coup attempt, and the purge of personnel whose ultimate loyalty was suspect continued at a faster pace.
By 1987, the Air Force faced a new problem, one of an acute shortage of spare parts and replacement equipment. Perhaps 35 of the 190 Phantoms were serviceable in 1986. One F-4 had been shot down by Saudi F-15s, and two pilots had defected to Iraq with their F-4s in 1984. The number of F-5s dwindled from 166 to perhaps 45, and the F-14 Tomcats from 77 to perhaps 10. The latter were hardest hit because maintenance posed special difficulties after the United States embargo on military sales.
Papa Giorgio: Its alright, you guys are young. You have some growing to do in regards to history, philosophy, and where you get your news. As a great example ~~~
I own (and have watched):
Bowling for Columbine, Roger and Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Wal-Mart: The …high Cost of Low Price, Sicko, An Inconvenient Truth, Loose Change (I have seen all three versions), Zeitgeist, Religulouse, The God Who Wasn’t There
But rarely do I meet someone of the opposite persuasion that has watches:
Celsius 41.11: The Temperature at Which the Brain Dies, FahrenHYPE 9/11, Michael & Me, Michael Moore Hates America, Bullshit! Fifth Season… Read More (where they tear apart the Wal-Mart documentary), Indoctrinate U, Mine Your Own Business, Screw Loose Change, 3-part response to Zeitgeist.
~~~ I do this with all my topics of study: philosophy, religion, science, history, and the like. I hope that this exchange [at the least] makes you youngen’s search out information that will challenge your worldview (political, religious, or non-religious). I have recommended reading that will start you out.
For you guys, I suggest Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas. (Used hard-cover copies sell for 1-penny.) After reading it, I am more than open to discussing some of the issues therein. If you do read it and want to talk over some of the topics, my email is on my bio page:
Antony: all good – but didn’t we create Bin Laden because they were fighting a war we were unwilling to?…. vis a vi the mujahadeen.
Papa Giorgio: Hunsly, you are free to say someone is crazy. Fine. You have yet — in all our talks about Beck — yet to prove it. This is called in philosophy, “to the man.” Which is known in Latin as “ad hominem.” It means someone attacks the person and… doesn’t deal with the arguments put forth by the man.
Also, all news is opinion based. BBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, etc, are all opinion in some sense of the word. For instance, between ABC, CBS, and NBC nightly news and morning news shows there were (this is an old stat, but makes my point) 157 pro-gun control stories, 77 neutral, and 10 for the 2nd Amendment (http://religiopoliticaltalk.blogspot.com/2008/08/media-bias-update.html). Another example comes from NPR. in their stories of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, they used 18,321 words in pro-Arab only segments, 4,934 words in pro-Israel segments. Bias in number of Arab-only vs Israeli-only segments: 63-percent Palestinian/pro-Arab only segments, 37-percent Israel/pro-Israel segments (What Is Fascism). Another example deals with the 2008 election cycle. MSNBC stories that were negative of McCain were 73%, and 14% negative on Obama. FoxNews was 40% negative of McCain, and 40% negative of Obama (http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/2010/11/foxnews-election-coverage-more-fair-and-watched-than-msnbc-and-cnn/).
So it isn’t who is biased, it is who is less biased.
Papa Giorgio: Antony, great question (“…but didn’t we create Bin Laden because they were fighting a war we were unwilling to?”). I have referenced this in some posts on my blog. It is well worth the read [I will merely include the summary here]:
- U.S. covert aid went to the Afghans, not to the “Afghan Arabs”
- The “Afghan Arabs” were funded by Arab sources, not by the United States
- The United States never had “any relationship whatsoever” with Osama bin Laden
- The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Arab backing for the “Afghan Arabs,” and bin Laden’s own decisions “created” Osama bin Laden and al Qaida, not the United States.
Antony: good stuff – I stand corrected.
Let Me Break Here For Some Commentary
What Antony just said is rare. He saw new information and put it up against what his previous sphere of knowledge included. Since his previous knowledge base didn’t include this new information, and his old thoughts on the matter didn’t stand up to the new input of information, he changed his previous thoughts on the matter to include the new information. I found out later that Antony is a Christian. This has a lot to do with it. I want to point out why Christians can sit down and have a more truth oriented conversation that those of other worldviews — secular progressives for instance:
…fundamentally, the way we know Christianity to be true is by the self-authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that the experience of the Holy Spirit is vertical and unmistakable (though not necessarily irresistible or indubitable) for him who has it; that such a person does not need supplementary arguments or evidence in order to know and to know with confidence that he is in fact experiencing the Spirit of God; that such experience does not function in this case as a premise in any argument from religious experience to God, but rather is the immediate experiencing of God himself; that in certain contexts the experience of the Holy Spirit will imply the apprehension of certain truths of the Christian religion, such as “God exists,” “I am condemned by God,” “I am reconciled to God,” “Christ lives in me,” and so forth; that such an experience Provides one not only with a subjective assurance of Christianity’s truth, but with objective knowledge of that truth; and that arguments and evidence incompatible with that truth are overwhelmed by the experience of the Holy Spirit for him who attends fully to it. (William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd ed. [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008], 43)
To apply it to this conversation, being a Christian and knowing truth and being set free by it, we [Christians] have a duty to truth and not to dogma outside our faith. Secular progressives replace what the conservative Jew or conservative Christian have in their faith with a religious political worldview.
Judgment is more whole in the Judeo-Christian ethic — still fallen however. A Feynman quote I like sums up mu thinking on this: “Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out”
Antony: What of the long standing relationship between the Bush family and high Saud officials (perhaps even including the Bin Laden family)…?
Papa Giorgio: That myth is a long standing one misrepresented by Michael Moore. It is dealt with in the book “Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man” pretty well, but there is this article over at Sinsanity:
“Finally, Moore drops a big number – $1.4 billion – claiming “That’s how much the Saudi royals and their associates have given the Bush family, their friends and their related businesses in the past three decades,” adding that “$1.4 billion doesn’t just buy a lot of flights out of the country. It buys a lot of love.” But Isikoff and Hosenball show that nearly 90% of that total comes from contracts awarded by the Saudi government to BDM, a defense contractor owned by Carlyle. But when the contracts were awarded and BDM received the Saudi funds, Bush Sr. had no official involvement with the firm, though he made one paid speech and took an overseas trip on its behalf. He didn’t actually join Carlyle’s Asian advisory board until after the firm had sold BDM. And though George W. Bush had previously served on the board of another Carlyle company, he left it before BDM received the first Saudi contract. As usual, the connections are loose and circumstantial at best.”
Great article, well worth reading. Spinsanity was a great site… no longer current but their old articles are still up.
Papa Giorgio: Off to work…. OH, P.S., this is one of my favorite all time “Moore’ism” is this:
According to Moore in his book Stupid White Men, “the entire nation is composed of morons”. He writes: “There are forty-four million Americans who cannot read and write above a fourth-grade level – in other words, who are functional illiterates. How did I learn this statistic? Well, I read it.”
Moore should have read better. His endnotes attribute the figure to the U.S. Deptpartment of Education’s national Adult Literacy Survey. Yes, that survey found that 40-44 million Americans performed in the lowest level of literacy. But the survey doesn’t end there. In the next paragraph, it goes on to note that 25% of the people who scored in the lowest literacy category were immigrants who have learned little or no English. And in classic Moore fashion, he also fails to disclose that nearly 19% of the group he includes in the uneducated masses are actually people who have “visual difficulties that affect their ability to read print.”
Surprise: Functional English literacy is not high among the blind, and people learning to speak English may be highly educated, but only able to read their native klanguage. This hardly makes the United States a nation that, writes Moore, “GOES OUT OF ITS WAY TO REMAIN IGNORANT AND STUPID” (capitalization in the original).
In an excellent response to the issue, Outside the Beltway, puts to rest this issue for thinking person:
…CNN’s Peter Bergen who conducted the first television interview of bin Laden in 1997:
The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.
The evidence, in fact, is fairly clear that the “Afghan Arabs” like bin Laden didn’t interact with the Americans at all. The allegations, on the other hand are based on little more than circumstantial evidence and exaggerations. This idea that the CIA trained Osama bin Laden back in 1980 is simply a myth that needs to die along with bin Laden himself. Moore was wrong, and Sullivan was, it seems to me, entirely correct to call him out for it. This is a myth that has taken hold on both the far left and the far right and it’s time that people stopped lying.
UPDATE (James Joyner): I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “lying,” since people are just repeating what they’ve heard. The confusion comes from the Western conflation of the generic “mujahadeen” into a coherent Mujahadeen, much as we’ve done with the various Taliban groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But, yes, it’s completely wrong. See my March 31 post “Taliban History Lesson: Not Our Boys From the 80-s.” It cites Pat Lang:
The groups we supported were defeated by the Taliban in the civil war that followed Soviet withdrawal. The Taliban and Usama bin Laden were supported by the separate “Sayyaf” group of Mujahideen supported by Saudi Arabia and Deobandi fanatics in Pakistan.
The confusion has been cleared up often enough that knowledgeable people should know better.
Take note another internet commentator opined well:
Many erroneously people believe the CIA trained bin laden and created Al-Qaida. They do this by conflating all the mujihadeen groups as though they were one. They were not. First there was no al-qaida during the soviet afghan war, bin laden created it AFTER the war. Bin Laden came to Afghanistan as a member(not the leader of) an Arab group whose mission was to try and promote Wahabiism and steer the jihad ideologically, which they failed at. This group came on its own money and agenda and received no US support. Further, the CIA didn’t train anyone as their involvement was restricted per the agreement with Pakistan. Pakistan’s ISI handled training and delivery of funds and weapons and controlled who received any, not the CIA. And finally US funding amounted to about 20% of the Mujhiadeen’s coffers. Another 20% was from the Saudi government and the remaining 60% came from private islamic charities. So with the facts out there, why do so many still live in ignorance?
Also Pakistan’s ISI created the Taliban in mid 90’s to control Afghanistan. The Taliban was not a direct product of the Soviet Afghan War of Operation Cyclone.