Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

All I Can Say Is...


What a speech. What a moment. On the 45th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's, "I Have a Dream" speech, Barack Obama gave the speech of his life. He was passionate for justice, for working people, for decency, and for this country.


  1. I'm still trying to watch the darned thing - the C-SPAN feed is overwhelmed with traffic, I think. I'll catch it next week.

  2. Fantastic! I feel the hope, the time for change is now! Snad, you can catch the entire speech on youtube.

  3. Great speech, and a classic Rope-a-Dope strategy. He let McCain/Bush/Rove use their their tactics and the only bullets they had in the gun for a few months.

    Then, one at a time, last night, he dismantled every point they've tried to make. Now McCain just looks silly and shouldn't dare to bring up those points again. Flag pins? Celebrity? Really? In this time, that's what he wants to discuss? Experience? Really? Bush had people in his Administration that date back to Ford, and look where that's gotten us.

    Unfortunately, because of partisanship, this speech wasn't a TKO, but it was about as close as Obama could get.

  4. Obama took the gloves off and threw down.

    McCain's parry was a bit weak today. But of course conservatives will make a bigger name out of Palin than she really is because they have to now. Welcome back Dan Quayle.

  5. Dan Quayle? You're being too kind, Drew. This is Harriet Miers, part deux. :)

  6. BULL-CRAP. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would never support Obama.

    Read what his own neice has to say about Obama:

    "Denver, CO ( -- The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a message for pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama before he gives his acceptance speech tonight. Dr. Alveda King tells that her uncle would have strongly opposed the destruction of human life under the kind of unlimited abortions Obama supports.

    Obama's speech has been hailed by the media because he is the first African-American nominee of a major political party and because it comes on the 45th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

    Alveda King called her uncle "a man of great compassion, and a man of non-violence."

    "He once said, 'The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,'" she added.

    King said her uncle would understand that to include the destruction of unborn children.

    "I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today, he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation - the recognition of the unborn child's basic right to life," she told

    "My uncle Martin would agree that we cannot end poverty, hunger, or suffering by killing those who might suffer," she explained. "We cannot claim to guarantee equal rights if we deny the rights of the helpless. And we cannot feign ignorance of the fact that those who are torn apart, crushed, or left to die on an abortionist's table are just as human as we are."

    "My uncle said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," Alveda continued.

    "There is injustice in our land. We have turned being unwanted into a crime penalized by death. Today, I echo the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - let freedom ring. From every mountain top, let freedom ring for all Americans, wanted and unwanted, born and unborn," she added.

    Obama has repeatedly come under fire for his pro-abortion positions -- including a litmus test on Supreme Court judges to keep abortions legal another 35 years and wanting taxpayers to fund abortions.

    He has also been criticized for opposing a bill in the Illinois legislature that would have provided medical care for newborns who survive botched abortions."


  7. Now here is a post that I agree with:

    "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Obama, and the Fate of America

    By Imam Zaid on 23 January 2008

    As we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a national holiday dedicated to his honor, many people point to the surging presidential candidacy of Barack Obama as evidence of how far this country has come in terms of race relations since the days of the Civil Rights struggle led by Dr. King. Many see Obama’s campaign as the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. As they would point out, here is a man who is being judged based on the content of his character, and not on the color of his skin. Could anything be more representative of the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream than that?

    While it is certainly heartening to see such a strong candidacy from an African American, Obama’s run for the presidency sheds light on the nuances of race relations in this land in interesting ways. It also sheds light on the way Dr. King’s legacy has been shaped in a way to make many of the forces that were extremely uncomfortable with him at the end of his life, “accept” him in his death. Those are the same forces, to a large extent, that are willing to “accept” Obama, as long as he stays away from the sort of issues that probably cost Dr. King his life.

    At the end of his life, Dr. King was anathema to those interests and individuals who collectively form the ruling coalition in this country. His strident opposition to the Viet Nam War, his fearless advocacy for the poor, for the unrepresented and the underserved of this country, and his increasingly bitter condemnation of both the apathy of the middle class, along with what he saw as the hypocrisy of the Christian establishment all earned him the ire and the vehement condemnation of powerful whites, along with a significant number of African American leaders who felt he was going beyond the demands of the Civil Rights movement.

    Despite the impression given by the popular celebrations associated with his holiday, Dr. King’s legacy was not captured by his famous “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963. In that speech King appealed to the moral consciousness of America, expressing his hope for an equal and equitable society, which he viewed as achievable at that time. However, confronted with the depth of the oppressive segregation of Northern ghettos, the nagging intransigence of the poverty confronting both blacks and whites in the rural south, and the blatant hypocrisies of the political establishment, highlighted by the war in Viet Nam, King began to articulate a different message. That message was captured in his damning indictment of American militarism, corporate greed, and stultifying oppression, articulated in his definitive statement of opposition to the war in Viet Nam, “Viet Nam: A Time Comes When Silence is Betrayal,” a speech he delivered April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his death.

    The following lengthy excerpt from that speech demonstrates how Dr. King had grown in his thinking to link the oppressive nature of American policies abroad with the brutal realities facing the poor at home. He said:

    There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Viet Nam and the struggle I, and others have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor ̶ both black and white ̶ through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Viet Nam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures such as Viet Nam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

    Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia or East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such a cruel manipulation of the poor.

    My third reason [for opposing the war] moves to a deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the past three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked me, and rightfully so, what about Viet Nam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today ̶ my own government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent…

    Dr. King went on to say:

    Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken ̶ the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

    I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered…

    In the aftermath of that speech Dr. King was condemned by many African American leaders such as Whitney Young and Roy Wilkins. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who saw himself as a great friend of the “Negro” people was irate. The growing schism between Dr. King and the power structure had been cemented. However, King proceeded to deepen his analysis, which illustrated how oppressive American policies abroad were inextricably linked with unacceptable social and political conditions at home.

    Herein lays Dr. King’s legacy, an uncompromising struggle against the “giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism.” That aspect of his work and teachings is unmentioned in the mainstream media. Instead his baritone refraining of “I have a dream” fills the airwaves. After his death, the struggle against those evil “triplets” was not allowed to exist as his enduring legacy. Instead, that legacy has been whitewashed, sanitized and rendered “acceptable” for middle class sensitivities.

    What does all of this have to do with Obama? Obama is a viable African American candidate because he has steadfastly refused to deal with the issues Dr. King was dealing with at the end of his life, even though they are just as relevant today as they were forty years ago. That refusal has seen him distance himself from his activist pastor, Minister Jeremiah Wright. It has seen him avoid any public identification with Rev. Jesse Jackson, a fellow Chicagoan, or similar leaders who are identified with African American civil rights advocacy, and it has seen him ignore issues of relevance to African Americans and the urban and rural poor today.

    Saying that is not to argue that Obama should be another Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. Although he consciously choose to identify with the African American urban community during his years of activism in Chicago’s south-side ghetto, his immigrant father, his white mother, and the fact that he was raised in part by his white grandparents have created powerful realities in his life that have prepared him to have an intrinsic appeal to a far wider audience. Hence, Obama is naturally more than just a “black” leader. However, the fact that he cannot, amongst his other positions, continue to even mildly advocate for an African American community that is in deep crisis reveals much about the nature of our politics and society.

    This is not meant to be an indictment against Obama. It is an indictment against an American society which has deemed that an open advocate for such issues is unfit to lead this nation. If advocating ending the policies that are working to send hundreds of thousands of mostly young African Americans to prisons, a large percentage of them nonviolent offenders; if working to advance critical policies such as serious gun-control legislation, legislation that would challenge the powerful National Rifle Association, while black youth are mercilessly gunning each other down in the streets of our inner-city neighborhoods (and white youth are gunning down people in our high schools and college campuses); if working to effect a fair and just solution to the problem of meaningful Palestinian statehood; if seeking to take effective measures to begin serious structural changes in the international division of resources, profits, and labor; if challenging the sanity and the long-term economic destructiveness of defense budgets that exceed 500 billion dollars annually are all issues that cannot be realistically approached because they would render a candidate unelectable, then it is not time to hail the coming of an acceptable African American presidential candidate, it is time to take a long and hard look at the nature and functioning of our political system.

    As long as we politely skirt the fundamental problems plaguing our country, starting with the superficiality of our race relations, Obama’s candidacy and possible election do not represent any real change, they represent a re-entrenched status quo, and illustrate the sort of duplicity that would hound Dr. King as a traitor and communist at the end of his life yet enshrine him as a martyr after his death.

    These issues have deep consequences for the fate of this nation. If real change is to begin in this country it has to begin now and it has to begin with a deep and honest effort to understand the dangerous implications of maintaining the status quo. To conclude in the words of Dr. King, once again from the defining words of his anti-Viet Nam war speech:

    A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, on injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. …

    The election of an African American, or a woman for that matter, without an associated “revolution of values” will do no more than possibly delay, but will not stave off, this country’s inevitable spiritual demise. "


  8. You know, Rachel. It gets a tad annoying when you fill my comment section with long quotes from other sources. Could you not?

    Put that stuff on your blog. If you want to share an opinion, make it yours. Thanks.

  9. Sorry, John. You can delete those last two entries (and this one of you want). I'm trying to stay away and overcome my addiction at blogging here, and then I saw this crap. I thought that maybe I haven't articulated my thoughts very well over the past two months: our country is screwed, Obama is just as sold out as McCain. I thought maybe you would believe somebody else if they said it in their words. You and others here go on touting that Obama is sincere about change. I see through the lies. He is lying just like Bush lied in 2000. But, you sheeple can keep on sleeping. Give me a ring whenever you do finally wake up, and you want to join the fight to take back our once great nation.

  10. Rachel,

    You are welcome to comment. When you have something you want us to read use a hyperlink rather than paste the whole thing. That's all.

  11. "BULL-CRAP. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would never support Obama. "

    ROFL. Gotta love such assertions, Rachel, primarily because MLK is too dead to refute you. LOL

    I tell you what, Rachel, you dig him up, reanimate his corpse, and get him to say that he wouldn't vote for Obama, and I'll believe you.

    But believe you? A person who never met MLK, who likely doesn't know anyone who did know MLK? For you to suggest that you can read his mind is both ridiculous and arrogant.

    That kind of Rovian rhetoric is exactly what we need change from! Are you sure you're not a Bush plant, Rachel? Because you sure sound like it.

  12. Rachel,

    Chill gal. It's about leadership. A leader who gets people to believe in themselves. Barak is doing exactly what MLK did. And JFK too for that matter, and likewise for FDR.

    I wonder if Barak Obama will ever be known as BHO.

    Change will come about through people whose imaginations are lit on fire.

    Yes we can.

  13. Rachel, I think it's fair to say that you have no freaking idea who Martin Luther King, Jr. was. For understandable reasons, King's spirit is alive and well here in Atlanta, in no small part due to the ongoing work of his wife, Coretta (who left us just two years ago). My pastor is also a close friend of one of the pastors who replaced Dr. King at Ebenezer after his death, and I've had the pleasure of meeting him several times. We Atlantans do not take kindly to people calling Dr. King a bigot.

    Right-wingers never like to bring up Coretta when making the ludicrous claim that MLK was right-wing (remember, it was the American right that destroyed him). Coretta, to her dying day, was a staunch advocate of equal rights for GLBT people and saw it as the logical extension of her husband's work. She was pro-choice and believed (as a true libertarian would) that the government has no place forcing moral or ethical decisions on people.

    Jodie, don't bother with our Rachel. She's a very confused self-labelled libertarian who probably screamed at your very mention of JFK and FDR.

  14. Tune into the Rally for the Republic on C-SPAN2 right now. Paul speaks at 8:00 ET.

    I'll read your comments later.

  15. Flycandler, I am entitled to my personal opinion, and my opinion is that I agree with the piece by Imam Zaid. Read it and respond to that. Then maybe we can talk.

    We would have a lot more money to take care of the poor, elderly, sick and disabled if we weren't spending over a trillion dollars a year to maintain our Empire. How do you justify that? Do you think the Obama/Biden camp is going to stop that spending?

    "Jodie, don't bother with our Rachel. She's a very confused self-labelled libertarian who probably screamed at your very mention of JFK and FDR."

    Thanks, flycandler. Actually, I am very fond of JFK. He opposed our monetary system, so he was shot by someone on the inside. As for FDR, I believed he cared about helping the poor, but I don't like how his programs have evolved. I don't know the history enough. Talk to me again in five years when I have had more time to study and research my political views.

  16. "Read it and respond to that. Then maybe we can talk."

    I did read it, and I did respond to it. And you still have not provided any reason to suppose that you know how dead people would vote.

    Supposing who a dead guy would or would not vote for is just plain silly.

    How's this: Mr. Rogers would totally vote for Obama, so would George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Captain Kangaroo, and Jesus Christ. Prove me wrong! LOL

    See? It's a silly, arrogant argument that presumes (by people who don't even know the person) that they can read the minds of the dead (Behold the coming Zombie Apocalypse!), and it has the benefit of being completely impossible to prove.

    How about, instead of talking about how dead guys would vote, people talk about why live people would vote for a particular candidate? You know, people who are actually breathing and will actually be able to vote in this election? Just a thought.

    "He [JFK] opposed our monetary system, so he was shot by someone on the inside."

    Woah. Ummm. Oooooo kaay then.

  17. Alan,

    I don't see anything wrong with using the scientific method to make my case that I don't think MLK, Jr. would support Obama. You are correct when you say that it is completely impossible to prove how MLK, Jr. would vote, but that is true of any historical, political, or scientific statement. Nothing is ever "proven" in science or history; statements, theories, hypotheses, and opinions can never be proven with a benefit of the doubt. Even if I say "the sun is going to rise to tomorrow", I cannot prove that this statement is true beyond the benefit of a doubt. I can only deduce from the evidence that the sun has risen every day for the past 26 years of my life to convince you that the sun will rise tomorrow. Thi is what I was trying to do with my opinion on Obama.

    Hence, the scientific method applied to Obama/MLK, Jr.:

    Problem: Would Martin Luther King, Jr. support Obama?

    Hypothesis: Martin Luther King, Jr. would not suport Obama.

    Evidence:See the two articles I provided. In summary, I found that MLK, Jr. once said that "'The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,'". King's niece
    "said her uncle would understand that to include the destruction of unborn children." She says,"'I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today, he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation - the recognition of the unborn child's basic right to life,'"
    The second piece of evidence I provided gives quotes of speeched that MLK, Jr. made in protest to the war and corporatism in America. He said, "I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered…"

    Conclusion: Based on the evidence I conclude that MLK,Jr would not support Obama since Obama supports unlimited abortions and Obama DOES NOT address the true causes of our agressive military policies. Obama is also for sending more troops to Afghanistan and he picked a vice-presidential candiadate that is know for his voting record as a war-hawk.

    Now, Alan, you can take my comments and opinons for what they are. I disagree with you when you tell me I can't use the scientific method to support my claims. Instead of doing that, why don't you rebuttal me with your own claims and evidence, like flycandler did. Maybe flycandler is right. It is up to each of us to weigh the evidence and come to our own conlusions. That is what science is all about isn't it? Everyone uses the scientific process everyday even if they are not aware of it.

  18. "He [JFK] opposed our monetary system, so he was shot by someone on the inside."

    I don't have time for this. If you are curious do your own research. Start here, maybe:

    True World History

  19. Rachel,

    Unfortunately you seem to be quite confused, so as a scientist, please allow me to clarify some things for you. Stating (correctly, I might add) that scientific knowledge is contingent is not the same as speculating about for whom a dead guy would vote. There's scientific uncertainty, and then there's wild, unsubstantiated, unsupported opinion. Not only are they not in the same game, they're not even in the same league.

    When I asked for evidence, I was asking for actual, you know, evidence. Not just more opinion that you label with the word "evidence" in bold letters, as if that would make it so.

    And one cannot apply the "scientific method" to your hypothesis, not because you cannot prove it, but because it cannot be *disproven.* Any hypothesis that cannot be disproven cannot be a scientific one, and until someone finds a way to reanimate dead tissue, it will forever remain disproven. Classic Karl Popper. I'd suggest taking a re-read. Just for fun, go ahead and try to rebut my statement that Mr. Rogers would vote for Obama, and I think you'll see exactly what I'm saying. See? You can't do it. You cannot disprove that statement because Mr. Rogers is, unfortunately, pushing up the daisies. If it cannot be disproven, then it is clearly not scientific. It's just an opinion. You're welcome to your opinions, of course, but don't get too bent out of shape if people don't agree with them because they're completely unsubstantiated.

    But even if it were a scientific hypothesis, which again I want to stress that it cannot be, you haven't given evidence. All you've done is substitute someone else's opinion for your own. Multiple opinions don't constitute actual evidence, and the plural of the word "anecdote" is not "data."

    Again, you go ahead and reanimate MLK's corpse and I'll believe you. Until then, you're simply providing your opinion, or other people's opinions. I don't care who's opinion you provide, it isn't actual evidence.

    So you asked for a rebuttal, there it is. Your opinion is not backed up by evidence. Your claim is not scientific either, because any scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable. (Not that I particularly care whether or not a claim is scientific, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, nor where that even came from.) I don't claim to know who MLK would vote for in this election, but since he's dead, I can't imagine why it would matter. So this is my rebuttal: Please provide reasons why I should care whom dead people would vote for in this election.

    And as I said, I'd rather talk about people who will actually be voting in the coming election. Unless Dr. King was registered in Chicago, I doubt he'll be casting a vote in November. ;)

    I would, however, love it if we could raise the level of discourse in this election, regardless of belief. Instead of making wild and unsubstantiated claims about who dead people would vote for, why not make reasonable and responsible claims about a candidate's positions? Let's debate actual, important, and critical issues, rather than silly ideas about who Zombies would vote for. I'm for reason over this sort of Rovian rhetoric.

    (And no, sorry, but I'm not going to get even farther off topic by debating wacky JFK conspiracy theories.)

  20. Question: Would John McCain vote for Barack Obama?

    Hypothesis: John McCain would vote for Barack Obama.

    Evidence: John McCain's sister-in-law says she will vote for Barack Obama. People always agree with their relatives (Rachel Baker).

    Conclusion: John McCain will vote for Barack Obama.


    I think it's fair to say that Imam Zaid did not know Dr. King and has not spoken to people who actually knew him. Why you think he's an expert is beyond me.

    Another bombshell for ya, Rachel: most people don't think that first-trimester abortion is murder.

  21. "I would, however, love it if we could raise the level of discourse in this election, regardless of belief. Instead of making wild and unsubstantiated claims about who dead people would vote for, why not make reasonable and responsible claims about a candidate's positions?"

    Okay, fine. That is what I would prefer as well. Why do you support a candidate who plans on sending more troops (and money) to Afghanistan? And why do you support a candidate who picked a vice-president with a foreign policy record like Joe Biden's?

  22. Another bombshell for ya, flycandler: most people didin't/don't believe Christ is God either. My view on abortion is a belief. Why would I care what most people think? It only matters what I think and know to be true in my heart. There's that collectivist mindest again: Whatever the majority thinks and does, then it must be right for everyone.

    BTW: Most people that I know who support abortion, don't consider a fetus a human until it leaves the birth canal. Hence, again I will say, the principle of Roe vs. Wade is that you can kill the fetus up until nine months because until it is born, it is not a human being.

  23. Alan, you are correct on my misuse of the scientific method. Thanks for pointing out that a hypothesis/theory must be able to be disproven in order for it to be considered science. Opinions are more a matter of faith. So I will let you guys know that MLK, Jr. is one of my greatest heroes and it is my personal, unscientific belief that if he were alive today, he would not support Barrck Obama. But, like Alan said it doesn't matter. We should be more focused on the policies and issues at hand. I do not support Obama, primarily because he surrounds himself around policy expersts who are for maintaing the American/world empire. I am for dismantling it, minding our own business overseas, and taking care of people in our own country.

  24. "Why do you support a candidate who plans on sending more troops (and money) to Afghanistan?"

    Well, first of all, I'm glad to change the subject to actual substantive issues, rather than for whom the Already-Dead demographic might vote if they were, you know, actually alive and able to vote. (BTW, I'm totally sure my dead grandparents would vote for Obama, so by my count that's 4 dead people for Obama to 1 dead person against. He's totally *rocking* the dead-people demographic!) :)

    Seriously, though, the answer to your question is simple: I believe that putting our heads in the sand regarding international relations will not work. History has shown that whenever the US pursues isolationist foreign policy, or even simply ignores world situations, it does not work for our best interests, nor the world's. I believe that just leaving terrorists alone, and hoping that they'll be kind enough to return the favor, will not work.

    "And why do you support a candidate who picked a vice-president with a foreign policy record like Joe Biden's?"

    Instead of lobbing Rovian non-specific charges, care to elucidate some specifics?

    "There's that collectivist mindest again: Whatever the majority thinks and does, then it must be right for everyone."

    So you're suggesting that if we don't agree with you, we're being collectivist, but if we agree with you, we're being individuals? You do see the inherent contradiction in that approach, don't you? (It reminds me of a scene from "The Life of Brian", "Yes, Yes, we're all individuals!!") Now I'm not pro-choice, but don't you think it's possible that some people are pro-choice because they consider it the right course, not because someone else told them to believe it? You argue that your position is a belief. Fine. Yet you disparage everyone else who holds a different belief than you as "collectivists."

    As I've said in nearly every comment to you Rachel, I would love to get beyond the demonization of people who disagree with us. I think it's possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Don't you?

    Unlike you, I don't consider most people to be "sheeple", to use your insult. Instead of impugning someone's motives for believing as they do, or suggesting that they're too stupid to think for themselves, I'd rather discuss the issue itself calmly and rationally. Just a thought.

  25. "Most people that I know who support abortion, don't consider a fetus a human until it leaves the birth canal. Hence, again I will say, the principle of Roe vs. Wade is that you can kill the fetus up until nine months because until it is born, it is not a human being."

    Actually, this is an example of *you* using that "collectivist mindset," Rachel. I'm sure you can recognize it in this paragraph. Even if a majority of people you know who support abortion do not consider a fetus a human until it leaves the birth canal (an assertion I find questionable, frankly ... unless you know a very strange group of people), that doesn't mean that the "principle of Roe vs. Wade is that you can kill the fetus up until nine months because until it is born, it is not a human being." To paraphrase you, "Whatever the majority thinks and does, then it must be wrong for everyone" is as much an example of the collectivist mindset as the examples you're trying to give. See the contradiction?

    If you're arguing against this "collectivist mindset" then it's probably more effective not to use it in your own arguments.

    But seriously, I know tons of pro-choice people and none of them are as cold-blooded as the folks you know. Maybe you need new friends. Or, perhaps more likely, you're not accurately portraying their views. Statements that begin, "most people I know..." are rarely accurate, which is why I prefer to speak for myself alone, rather than opining about a group of people who cannot answer for themselves. Speaking for myself alone allows me to be assured of being accurate ... since they're my beliefs.

  26. I guess to put that more simply... Talking about the opinions of "most people I know..." is about as useful as guessing for whom a dead guy would vote for. We're as likely to get the same amount of real evidence to back up either assertion -- ie. zero.

  27. Alan you are right. I need to be more objective in my approach of communicating. To be quite honest with you, I don't have the time. I wish I did, because by doing so I would learn about my own beliefs and values better. I agree that the terrorists are a real threat to us, but I also believe, based on a book I read last summer, Dying to Win:The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Pape that our American foreign policy is the reason terrorists are so prevalent in the world.

    I'll come back to chat with you guys when I can be more objective in my comments. Thanks for pointing out my flaws, and I hope that I can grow to better communicate my ideas and beliefs in a more rational and objective way.


  28. Alan, just one more thing, I'm not sure how objective this is, but I want to point out that there is a difference between an isolationist foreign policy and a non-interventionist foreign policy. It is my understanding that we meddle in the affairs of other countries to protect our own interests (such as oil, etc.). This is the type of foreign policy I oppose. So yes, I think we should back off the Georgi/Russia issue if that says anything to you.

  29. "Noninterventionism is not isolationism. Nonintervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not we that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations. "


  30. Well, Rachel, even if the Supreme Court had the definition when life begins that you assert (and it's wrong--read Roe if you don't believe me), it's a more conservative definition than that found in the Bible.

    Alan, great point. Funny where the line between "collectivism" and "democracy" gets drawn relative to one's political opinions.

  31. That's cool, flycandler. I'm putting politics behind me for now. I'm getting where I think everything and everybody is stupid, so I guess it's time for me to close up in my own little world and try to enjoy a simple life that revolves around my friends, family, neighbors, work, and country living. I personally would never have an abortion because I love life, and to me it is incomprhensible why someone would want to stop life dead in its' tracks. I also would love to adopt someone's unwanted baby. I think the human race as a whole has gotten on a track where it appears to hate life. I know there are good individuals and that most people want peace, but as a whole we are doing a lousy job respecting life and protecting the environment. I don't believe bigger government is the answer to making the world better; I think it is the problem. I stand by Ron Paul and his ideology, and I don't think anything or anyone could ever change my mind on that, unless God himself came down from the clouds and said that large government beauracracies and government socialism were the right form of governance for mankind.

    I've enjoyed conversing with you, and I really appreciate Alan pointing out my poor communication skills. If anything, that is what I am going to work on.