published Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Toppling Mubarak

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about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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nucanuck said...

Whether Mubarak stays or goes,he is finished. Now the only remaining questions are when and will it be ugly.

A seemingly more important issue is the degree to which the US should ally itself with countries that don't share our democratic values. What has come to public light about President Mubarak over the past week has not been pretty and presumeably was all known by our government officials.

Egypt reportedly actually received CIA renditions that were reportedly both tortured and 'disappeared'. That's ugly stuff.

Political expediency is one thing,sleeping continuously with dogs is quite another. What did our $65 billion buy? What damage did we do to the Egyptian people by supporting thirty years of undemocratic,repressive rule?

I yearn for a higher moral tone in our America.

February 3, 2011 at 1:24 a.m.
woody said...

My only advice to those rioting in Egypt, be careful what you wish for....

Stay warm, Woody

February 3, 2011 at 6:09 a.m.
moonpie said...

Is support of Mubarak another example of American Exceptionalism?

e.g. We'll make an "exception" for how you act because you're on our side, and therefore even though what you do is wrong, you're good because you align with us.

I agree with nucanuck on this one.

February 3, 2011 at 7:21 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...

Authoritarian socialist ideas fail, yet again.

As they always do.

February 3, 2011 at 7:37 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

It seems Hosni Mubarak is in denial, and if he continues on this path there is a very good chance that is exactly where they will find him!!!

February 3, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Israel just changed it's facebook relationship with Egypt to "It's Complicated." Syria, Palestine and 6 others "like" this.

February 3, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

whatsthefuss,

that made me laugh out loud. Great play on words.

February 3, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

Username: whatsthefuss | On: February 3, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.

Lol, you may have just won the interwebs.

February 3, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mubarak has been a staunch supporter of the U.S. over the years. The good, the bad, and the ugly. But you have to remember that he was an ace fighter pilot, a decorated war hero, and Anwar Sadat's hand picked successor. He was popular for many years and some Egyptians are still loyal. That doesn't make him bad, but it doesn't make him very good, either. Over the past ten years the economy tanked and the country has seen unemployment skyrocket. The protests began with university students who were fed up.

I think the bigger story is the ground swell of pro-democracy protests arising in other authoritarian Middle Eastern countries. Access to the internet has opened the eyes of young people throughout the region and even countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran will soon feel the impact. These countries will have to either install political reforms from within or face the prospect of even more radical changes from without.

The Egyptian military is still the key to what happens next. At some point they will have to climb down off the fence of neutrality and side with either Mubarak, who also happens to be their boss, or the protesters.

February 3, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

I'm not that clever. I borrowed the "It's Complicated" from a friends post. Happy to hear the laughter though. Enjoy the day!!

February 3, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.

You're right on again blackwater48. Historical perspective always complicates the sweeping pronouncements of Monday morning quarterbacks. It will be interesting to see how this affects the suppressed majority in Iran, especially the students. I'm cautiously hopeful.

February 3, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.
LibDem said...

nucanuck: "I yearn for a higher moral tone in our America."

I too. Nevertheless there is reality. Stability: Good; Chaos: Bad. Ask any business with foreign operations.

Does anyone remember when Tito kept Yugoslavia nailed together? Remember the good old days when the Soviet Union kept all those little republics under control? I'm being facetious (a little), but there is unfortunately an immoral practicality to international politics.

February 3, 2011 at 10:10 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

whatsthefuss,

it was the "denial" part that got me.

BW, I agree with your assessment. I am just afraid of who or what will take power when Mubarak steps down. It will be very interesting as WWWTW says. That area is so volatile.

February 3, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.

Yes, it seems that the region hungers for democracy. I would say that former President Bush was correct on that matter. It remains to be seen if President Obama will openly back those yearning for democracy and not be so quick to back down from hardline Muslims, as he did during the Iran protests.

I don't see Egyptians eager to trade one authoritarian regime for an even more harsh one. Fundamentalist Islam and freedom are not compatible. A steady drum beat of hatred for the state of Israel will not bring the price of food down or increase employment.

February 3, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.
Clara said...

I'm going to repeat a post, with which I agree,from "Egypt".

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/01/zakaria.egypt.us/index.html?hpt=T1

February 3, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

I put in a link to a story by Kirsten Powers entitled, 'America's Naivete About Egypt.' She has family in Cairo and reports on what some residents are saying.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-02-03/why-america-should-worry-about-an-islamic-government-in-egypt/

February 3, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
pmcauley said...

We need to support the governments that are following the same ideals we aspire to or when they topple we too are wearing it. The political expediency needs to take a back seat to the doing the correct thing as defined by our laws.

But what do you do if a foreign government has the same goal (catching Bin Laden for instance) but fails in all other measures. Is always the enemy of my enemy, my friend?

Not a job I want. pm

February 3, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

The anti-Murbarak protesters are calling for America's support. How do we turn our back on them without interfering with Egyptian political affairs? But as the looting spreads and the desire for 'law and order' grows, how long can the protesters hang on without our help before Murbarak is fully in control again?

People throughout the region predisposed to regime change in their own countries are watching our response in Egypt. In the long run, it would be better to have the protesters indebted to America then bitterly opposed.

On the other hand, by supporting the protest we are turning our back on a trusted ally who knows how to hold a grudge.

That's why it's called Diplomacy. I agree with pm: not a job I'd tackle any time soon. It is, however, fascinating to watch.

February 3, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Sizzleinmybluevolts said: "Yes, it seems that the region hungers for democracy. I would say that former President Bush was correct on that matter."

But Bush was wrong to think that anybody wanted him, the troops, the bombs, the death tolls, the lies and the corruption, wasn’t he? We're still waiting for that shower of rose petals, aren't we?

February 3, 2011 at 12:41 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Too true pm and bw. I saw a quote once that read something like, "Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to Hell in such a way that he/she will look forward to the trip."

February 3, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Obama should be on the left pushing the statue over on to the protesters. You know for a fact that if we had a Republican president in office right now bennett would not have missed that opportunity.

Obama’s call for immediate change was irresponsible. Mubarak must have pissed him off when they talked not long before the speech the other night. I can see Obama pitching a temper tantrum in the Oval Office after Mubarak told him to pound sand. To be a fly on that wall…

Now that Clinton and Obama have mishandled this thing we can pretty much plan on it being worse than it had to be. Boy is that guy a clod when it comes to international affairs. Surely even Palin could do a better job than the clown we have in the Whitehouse!

February 3, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

More wild speculation from BRP based on nothing but vapor and mirrors. What should Obama being doing?

I'm breathless to hear how Sister Sarah would handle current events. Since you believe Obama screwed the pooch on this one, what should he have done differently? Surely you aren't opposed to democracy. You can't be against the pro-democracy protests. So you want to see Mubarak remain in power?

Mubarak is in poor health and probably wouldn't have run in September anyway, but his son is poised to inherit the family business. Do you support him too?

Really, if you don't have a solution you shouldn't be complaining about how the President could have done better. Or are you just trolling again today?

February 3, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Reading through these posts,I get the decided impression that most commenters would rather not see how democratic elections in Egypt might turn out. Optimism tells me that a center left government would emerge that would not be hostile toward Israel,but would be less accommodating than Mubarak has been.

The Muslim brotherhood,like America's neo-Christian right,is not a majority,nor do they appear to be as militant as some of the other Middle East Islamic factions. Actually the Zionist faction in Israel would seem to be among the most militant.

This may be the time for the US to cut the $4B annually that is split between Israel and Egypt...the time to quit pouring military hardware into both countries. JMO.

February 3, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: blackwater48 | On: February 3, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.

I answered that question a couple of days ago. I think it was when clay was stroking the American Exceptionalism thing.

I don't know what Palin would have done. It is a pretty fair bet that anyone who understands that moving too fast and leaving a leadership vacuum is not a good idea would not have chosen the Jimmy Carter Way.

I don't support Mubarak you stupid jackwagon! I would just rather not see Egypt thrown into total chaos and would like to see some kind of order during the transition. (tone special just for you bw)

February 3, 2011 at 3:28 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Nucanuck wrote, "The Muslim brotherhood,like America's neo-Christian right,is not a majority,nor do they appear to be as militant as some of the other Middle East Islamic factions."

Indeed they do, but they are also sophisticated enough to know they difference between what to say and what not to say in order to sound acceptable to the West. The Jordanian faction of the MB was granted a meeting with the King so they appear to be making political in-roads throughout the region.

I believe that the election process must be reformed before Egypt selects their next leader. Hamas gained a majority in the Gaza elections of 2006 in part because of a very clever strategy. The Fatah party did not limit the number of their candidates running for any seat. Without a primary voters had to choose between multiple Fatah candidates. Hamas offered up but one candidate for each slot and the Fatah candidates split the vote.

Perhaps the MB would win in Egypt, perhaps a moderate candidate would prevail. Either way, America wants the winner to continue friendly relations with the West and the time to lay that groundwork is now.

Hey, Ridge, you think Sarah would agree with that?

February 3, 2011 at 3:59 p.m.
nucanuck said...

bw,

When you say "...the time to lay that groundwork is now." it sounds like you approve of behind the scenes intervention into the internal political affairs of other countries. Surely that is not what you meant?

If the US represents a force for good,a backer of true democratic process,we will have allies a plenty. Leading by example is the best chance for the US to regain her position as a beacon of freedom and hope. To continue to try to manipulate internal affairs in other countries,as we have done,needs to stop.

February 3, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

BigRidgePatriot said: "it is a pretty fair bet that anyone who understands that moving too fast and leaving a leadership vacuum is not a good idea would not have chosen the Jimmy Carter Way."

Well, here we go again. . . Do you just make this stuff up to cause trouble or are you just too lazy to check-out the basic facts before you speak, BigRidgePatriot.

Specifically, what leadership vaccum are referencing? Wikipedia says that In December 1979, the country approved a theocratic constitution, whereby Khomeini became Supreme Leader of Iran.

The Shah fled the country in January 1979 and Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran. The Pahlavi Dynsty collapsed ten days later, on 11 February, when Iran's military declared itself "neutral" after guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah.

Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on 1 April 1979, when Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum to make it so.

February 3, 2011 at 4:19 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

BRP concedes that he has no idea. "I don't know what Palin would have done. It is a pretty fair bet that anyone who understands that moving too fast and leaving a leadership vacuum is not a good idea would not have chosen the Jimmy Carter Way."

You think Obama is moving too fast? Most complain he's not moving fast enough. Many foreign policy wonks that I've heard complain that White House caution has put America in the unenviable position of trying to catch up to events on the ground.

Obama's initial reluctance to let Mubarek go has weakened our influence with the protesters.

Also, please define what you mean by 'The Jimmy Carter Way' as it applies to Obama and Egypt. I honestly don't know what you mean. You could be right but the reference was kind of vague.

Were you talking about the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel? Probably not. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran? Not sure how we could have prevented that from happening. The tyrannical Shah was our guy, gift wrapped for the Iranian people by the CIA, which made the return to a fundamentalist Islamic ruler almost inevitable.

Maybe you were talking about Carter boycotting the 1980 Olympics?

February 3, 2011 at 4:20 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48,

It’s clear that BigRidgePatriot just wants to complain about President Obama, In fact, I don’t think BigRidgePatriot has an opinion about what is happening in Egypt. BigRidgePatriot just knows that he is oppose to whatever action President Obama might take. If President Obama takes the high road, BRP will scream he should have taken the low road. If President Obama takes the low road, BRP will scream he should have taken the high road. . . Know what mean?

February 3, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Nucanuck said, "When you say "...the time to lay that groundwork is now." it sounds like you approve of behind the scenes intervention into the internal political affairs of other countries. Surely that is not what you meant?"

I was referring to reports I heard today that the protesters are looking to America for support. They want Obama to come out and recognize the uprising and force Mubarak out. If we don't support them and the protests are quelled we'll have lots of angry survivors who will join the ranks of Middle Eastern Muslims who hate our guts.

Again, as I understand it, they are asking for our help. Without it I fear "pro-Mubarak" forces will be free to slaughter them. Reporters from around the world have been arrested, beaten, and even hospitalized. The government wants to stop all coverage because they don't want the world to see what happens next.

You're talking about political idealism, but how can you turn your back on those pro-Democracy demonstrators? That's great in theory - one I generally agree with - but I think events on the ground warrant at least a modicum of involvement if it means saving some lives.

February 3, 2011 at 4:59 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Carter publicly called for the Shaw to step down just as Obama did for Mubarak. By doing so they signaled to everyone who was trying to topple the government in question that said government had lost the support of the US. Anyone who was on the fence certainly had a new and strong motivation to join forces against the reigning government. It is not clear that the protesters (were) anything like an overwhelming majority in the country, at least not an overwhelming majority ready to see the government fall and let the country go temporarily without clear leadership. You know those Middle Easterners, they pretty much like to know they are on the winning side before they stick their head up and risk getting it clubbed off by an oppressive totalitarian leader.

I my horribly unworthy opinion, thebama would have been much better advised to express support for an organized transition of power in Egypt and point out that it is important not to let Egypt become a rudderless ship.

As for those who think Carter handled the situation in Iran well and cannot see the similarities I am a little surprised. Let me see, we go from an ally in the Middle East with an oppressive totalitarian leader to an enemy in the Middle East with an oppressive theocracy that takes American’s hostage and is now trying to acquire nuclear weapons while spouting off about wiping Israel off the face of the earth. I am sure all of the Iranians are much more happy now!

February 3, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mountainlaurel correctly points out that "BigRidgePatriot just knows that he is oppose to whatever action President Obama might take."

Yeah, I know what you mean. However, I truly enjoy pointing out the error(s) of his way(s). He says things sometimes he either can't defend or can't explain which gets him very mad. It's as if he never speaks to anyone who might have a different opinion. How boring.

I'm still naive enough to believe that his opinions have got to have more depth than GOP talking points, that he has taken the time to reach his own conclusions.

All evidence to the contrary.

February 3, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
nucanuck said...

bw,

I apologize for my misinterpretation and agree that we should voice strong support for the democratic process to take hold in Egypt. I mistakenly thought that you were suggesting that we should be working to help select who might emerge as the next leader.

I always enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work.

February 3, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

BRP, you offered a cogent explanation: "Carter publicly called for the Shaw to step down just as Obama did for Mubarak. By doing so they signaled to everyone who was trying to topple the government in question that said government had lost the support of the US."

First, I think the term 'orderly transition' is coming from the White House.

Second, the Egyptian protesters are pro-Democracy. The Iranian protesters were anti-American.

When I lived in New York back around 1980 I had the privilege of meeting a former Iranian banker who had fled Tehran with his family just before the Shah left town. Most of my opinions about Iran come from him so I could be way off. He invited me to have coffee one day at his house which he was renting from a friend of mine.

I remember two things he said:

First, that the Shah had tried desperately to drag his Country into the 20th Century. He said there were 16 million Iranians and one million went to work everyday to provide a home for their family and an education for their children. The other 15 million sat in the dirt all day and prayed.

Second, after I asked him why so many Iranians hated America so much. He just smiled and shook his head. He said the Mullahs had a practical reason for hating America. They were afraid of losing worshippers to Western temptations. He said those people believed that the U.S. was trying to wipe out Islam by poisoning the Iranian culture with Satanic lust, greed, sexual permissiveness, rock and roll, evil movies, and barbaric TV shows. (I told him I agreed with the movie and TV evaluation.) They don't believe, he said, you could be a good Muslim and live in the modern world. That stuck with me.

I think Egypt is nothing at all like Iran in 1979. It is, by Western standards, a fairly modern country. They even allow Egyptian Christians to live and worship in peace. If you convert to Christianity from Islam, however, the moderate Mubarak government will still put you to death. Still, they rely on tourism and go out of there way to make visitors of all religions welcome.

The geopolitical landscape has completely changed and a pro-Democracy movement is beginning to sweep the entire region. We just have to remember that it probably won't look anything at all like America's version of democracy, or England's or Canada's or even Israel's for that matter.

By the way, his wife served the best coffee I ever had in my entire life.

February 3, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

BigRidgePatriot said: “Carter called for the Shaw to step down just as Obama did for Mubarak. By doing so they signaled to everyone who was trying to topple the government . . . that said government had lost the support of the US.”

I certainly wouldn’t describe Carter’s position as “leaving a leadership vacuum,” which is how you described his actions in your earlier post, BigRidgePatriot. And as an American who believes in freedom and human rights, I fully understand why Carter took the position that he did. From what I’ve read, the Shah’s regime had become rather despotic – and how can any American defend despotism? I feel the same way in regard to President Obama’s recent statements.

As for Hosni Mubarak and his struggle to stay in power, the way I see it is that if you have a good track record of demonostrating respect for human rights and are actively working toward econmic policies that benefit a majority of people, you gain trust and get respect, which can help during rough times. When you repeatedly disrespect human rights and continuously ignore the economic needs of the majority, you don’t gain much in way of trust and respect.

February 3, 2011 at 8:54 p.m.
trburrows said...

bw and ml you 2 are real winners. iq and ages are the same. attack anyone different. troll somewhere else. most of us are getting sick. this is not iran dh's.

February 3, 2011 at 8:57 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

trb babbled incoherently: " attack anyone different. troll somewhere else. most of us are getting sick. this is not iran dh's."

You're cracking me up! Is that really how you talk? You are twisted, dude! Don't get me wrong: there's certainly nothing wrong with being a dull, shallow, uninteresting, mouth breathing bigot. It's a free country. Doesn't mean anyone has to take you seriously.

Taking a break from twittering? Parents lock you out of the cool free porn sites? Pounding the Red Bull pretty hard again?

Take it somewhere else. You have be an adult to post on this site. Go 'way now, good boy.

February 3, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.
acerigger said...

For those who want to know what's REALLY going on,check this out,

http://www.juancole.com/2011/02/mubarak-defies-a-humiliated-america-emulating-netanyahu.html

February 3, 2011 at 11:01 p.m.
alprova said...

trburrows wrote: "bw and ml you 2 are real winners. iq and ages are the same. attack anyone different. troll somewhere else. most of us are getting sick. this is not iran dh's."


Please...shut up. I be any kinder than that.

Who do you think you are to tell anyone to go someplace else?

You haven't got a tenth of the intelligence of either one of them.

I for one am enjoying the debate and am learning loads as each responds.

Carry on.

February 4, 2011 at 1:30 a.m.
Clara said...

Mubarak moved quickly to cause a disruption and distraction away from the issue of his immediate removal...quicker than I thought he would.

Don't use this as an excuse to interfere and bring "Peace" with more troops. The only one benefitting are the arms manufactureres and bringing still higher oil prices, and the continued reign of Mubarak.

Blackwater, Alprova, Thanks for the defense of ml and yourself bw. I posted something similar but milder but it never made it to the blog, for some reason. I posted it around 9:00 p.m.

Acerigger, That was an excellent source, (Juan Cole}, Thank you.

February 4, 2011 at 5:53 a.m.
fairmon said...

Keep an eye on the Muslim Brotherhood. Most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia law. It is their belief and intent that the world is to be ruled by the Muslim faith and Sharia law. They have no qualms about lying, dying and deceiving to accomplish their goal. It is evident most of us fail to understand the mentality of the typical middle eastern resident and their beliefs. Their mental map is very different than ours. Theirs results from a totally different environment and belief system.

It is frightening to realize that our leaders in both parties have little more understanding and information than those posting comments here. Our views and opinions derive from various news sources and opinions expressed by others. We tend to find someone with an opinion we like and repeat it and often provide a link to those expressing views we agree with.

I don't have a clue if Obama's position and comments are correct. I do believe the VP is an idiot and should remain silent and not prove me right. Palin may think we should go in and take over like Darby's Rangers but who cares, she has no authority and is not likely to ever have. I would be shocked if the resulting government is anything that resembles a democracy or anything other than a different dictator that is not friendly to the U.S. It is not likely we will have any influence on the outcome or be friends of the prevailing regime regardless of what Obama or anyone else does.

Their economic situation will not be better since it is primarily dependent on tourism. A weak economy in the rest of the world has significant impact on them. Their current behavior further reduces the number of tourist, their major revenue source.

February 4, 2011 at 5:57 a.m.

More good posts BW.

It's heartening to see many posts moving away from the simplistic partisan understanding of foreign policy that we've had to endure in the past few political campaigns. At the risk of being tarred and feathered as partisan, I wondered if we could connect some comments from previous threads to these observations about Egypt.

No doubt, America's credibility has suffered enormously over the past decade from our blunders in Iraq (under Bush and after Bush). I wonder, however, if the much=maligned grandiose "freedom" vision hasn't had some positive effects in Iraq, in the rest of the region, and in other parts of the world. You would have to move outside the confines of Obama-Bush-Carter administrations. It can't really be tied to any particular administration.

David Brooks (the-fish-out-of-water political hack at the New York Times) did a good job highlighting some of the achievements of the past fifty years in democracy movements throughout the world, pointing out that our ideals about freedom are influential, even when we almost always respond to these movements incorrectly, and, I would add, even though we fail to consistently embody those ideals. I think it can be seen in the rise of independence movements going back before the past fifty years. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/opinion/01brooks.html?ref=davidbrooks

Obviously, America's moral slide since WW2 must be connected to the reaction of militants in the Middle East and elsewhere against everything America says and does. Is it me, or did our cultural megaphone on sexual revolution and license reach fever pitch in the 1990's?

Conservative culture warriors effectively raised money from the sexual indiscretions of Democrat presidential candidates in the 80s and 90s, while liberal culture warriors raised awareness for their cause in light of the hypocrisy of TV preachers in the 80s and 90s and Republican politicians (mostly) after 2000. Is anyone willing to join me in owning responsibility for the root causes of hostility to America by Muslims in the Middle East and beyond? The slide shows no signs of abating.

I saw a documentary on this problem from the perspective of African Muslims. Those who were interviewed said that contra the pervasive “religious violence” myth, that African Muslims felt much greater resentment toward to west because of the imposition of western sexual mores and secular values than from “Western” religions like Christianity (our missionaries?).

February 4, 2011 at 7:19 a.m.
alprova said...

Harp3339 wrote: "Keep an eye on the Muslim Brotherhood. Most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia law. It is their belief and intent that the world is to be ruled by the Muslim faith and Sharia law. They have no qualms about lying, dying and deceiving to accomplish their goal."


Here in America, we too have a similar problem. They are called Christians.


"I don't have a clue if Obama's position and comments are correct. I do believe the VP is an idiot and should remain silent and not prove me right."


Say what you will, but Vice President Joe Biden has a very established record of extensive knowledge when it comes to foreign affairs. He's a man with rough edges, but an idiot, he is not.


"Palin may think we should go in and take over like Darby's Rangers but who cares, she has no authority and is not likely to ever have."


The woman is irrelevant, irresponsible, and highly irreverent. What she thinks of anything is of no consequence.


"Their economic situation will not be better since it is primarily dependent on tourism. A weak economy in the rest of the world has significant impact on them. Their current behavior further reduces the number of tourist, their major revenue source."


That is a very good point and probably one of the most significant points made to date.

They are only hurting themselves.

When they finish destroying their nation, in a few days they are going to discover that they are hungry, but will find nothing to eat.

Oops...

February 4, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.

alprova wrote: "Here in America, we too have a similar problem. They are called Christians."

Thanks for being open about your religious bigotry and your ignorance of world politics and religion. How sad.

February 4, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.
Clara said...

Isn't it possible to support the democratic faction without sending troops? I'm not much on sanctions because they always hurt the people, not the leaders.

Harp,

Yes! I get information from sources to back my opinion. I think lots of them are accurate and better written with more practice and intelligence and sources than I can offer. On what do you base your opinions.

February 4, 2011 at 10:57 a.m.
acerigger said...

Harp3339 wrote: "Keep an eye on the Muslim Brotherhood. Most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia law. It is their belief and intent that the world is to be ruled by the Muslim faith and Sharia law. They have no qualms about lying, dying and deceiving to accomplish their goal."

Is that you Newt?

February 4, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
ITguy said...

When I read a statement like "most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia Law." My skeptic radar goes way up. Really? Did AP conduct a poll of all the Muslims in the world to determine what they believe? Nothing personal Harp, but I think a little critical thinking is in order here. There is no way that statement can be proven to be either true or false. I personally know several Muslims who are very secular and have no interest in Sharia Law.

February 4, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.
alprova said...

wwwtw wrote: "Thanks for being open about your religious bigotry and your ignorance of world politics and religion. How sad."


C'mon, you're smarter than that.

Clearly, there are Christians who absolutely want to rule the legislative processes of this country. And while they may be reluctant to give up their lives during that mission, they sure do show a propensity to lie and deceiving others in their quest to rule this nation.

I am hardly a religious bigot, because I Sir am a Christian...just not one who falls from the Evangelical tree. Maybe you should read a little more about how people tick in the forum before you arrive at any conclusions and embarrass yourself by making accusations that are not rooted in the garden.

February 4, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Clara said: “Yes! I get information from sources to back my opinion. I think lots of them are accurate and better written with more practice and intelligence and sources than I can offer.”

I suppose I view Clay’s TFP toon threads as lively ongoing conversations, and, generally speaking, I appreciate most of the links provided by our fellow posters because I feel they add an additional voice to the conversation – some more lively and interesting than others, of course. As to the links I provide, I may or may share the opinions of the authors of the links I provide, but they’ve caught my eye for some reason - sometimes it may be just to ruffle a few feathers.

Needless to say, links are also a valuable way to challenge a bogus statement, which is sometimes presented by a fellow poster as an historical fact when it's not, which is why I think Harp3339 complains so much about the links provided by his fellow posters. Although, I find Harp3339 to be a thoughtful and interesting poster in a lot of ways, I feel he has a tendency to mix facts and fiction when it comes to certain topics and issues – hence, the complaints about links.

February 4, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: alprova | On: February 4, 2011 at 10:06 a.m "Here in America, we too have a similar problem. They are called Christians.”

This is a shocking statement that demonstrates a twisted view of the world that is held by too many on the far left.

February 4, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Clara,

I meant to say I may or may not share the opinions of the authors of my links. . . Sure wish there was a way to correct typos after you've submitted a post. For some reason, I never seem to notice them until after I've posted something, and, then, they just sort of LEAP OUT at me. . . Oh, well.

February 4, 2011 at 1:46 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Username: ITguy | On: February 4, 2011 at 1:12 p.m. “When I read a statement like "most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia Law." My skeptic radar goes way up”

I’ve seen plenty of Muslim leaders make the statement in English on American television. I am sure many Muslims acquaintances would say that they do not support the concept of Sharia law over the world. It would be rather antagonistic to tell a coworker or a neighbor that you would like to see their way of life brought to an end. For that reason alone your skeptic radar should go up concerning the personal comments you have heard.

February 4, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.
alprova said...

I read some of these posts and I don't think I have laughed so much in one day.

Has anyone seen the movie, Planet 51? I won't spoil it for anyone who has not seen it, but there is one theme that resonates through much of the movie that comes to mind as I have read some of the thoughts from so many.

I even see GWB standing behind a podium, addressing the nation.

"Left alone and without our interference, the people currently demonstrating will use tactics of mind control to influence a nation of people too weak to care for themselves. No one will be safe. No one will escape.

We must take control of this nation and eradicate those who would use their powers to infiltrate minds. Don't look them in the eye! Don't enter into conversation with them! They will take possession of your soul!"

Our leaders dispense propaganda on a daily basis. Many attempt to convince us that anything Muslim is pure evil. You bought it when we invaded Iraq, hook, line, and sinker.

Even when the Gov't has made complete reversals to that position, they have gone ignored by most of those on the left. We can't fix it folks.

The course that Egypt is on is not going to be fixed by the United States, nor should it. Why not?

Think folks. Much of the East looks at this nation and considers us just as evil as we accuse them of being. They consider our religion to be just as irrelevant to them as we do theirs. If this nation were to erupt into chaos for a similar reason, would we want troops from the Middle East to enter this nation to restore civility and to install a provisional Gov't?

Any American in that country now...may never survive the experience. We are not popular by any measure at the moment in Egypt. If we dare send one booted man into that nation, the war in Iraq will look like a schoolyard fist fight between two boys.

I suspect that our President understands that all too well.

February 4, 2011 at 2:02 p.m.
alprova said...

BRP wrote: "This is a shocking statement that demonstrates a twisted view of the world that is held by too many on the far left."


No it isn't. It's called brutal honesty.

Just about every Tea-Party candidate expressed their extreme religious views as part of their platform. Not all, but most.

I'd love to add more, but I've gotta go to Anchorage, Alaska for a day or so. I'll catch up when I get back.

February 4, 2011 at 2:08 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Alprova wrote: "Here in America, we too have a similar problem. They are called Christians."

I know bartenders never discuss politics or religion, but what the heck. It's happy hour somewhere.

When Republican candidates for President hold their hands up in answer to the question, "Who does not believe in evolution?" the discussion's over. Doesn't make them all bad people or ignorant or nut jobs. It makes them politicians. They are appealing to a portion of their base.

Christians have infiltrated school boards to rewrite history books, rewrite science books, and ban certain novels that don't meet their purity standards.

Don't deny it. Embrace it. Own it. It's what many Republicans truly believe anyway.

Ever since Reagan climbed into bed with Pat Robertson the 'Christian Coalition' has been a loyal portion of your base. It was a shrewd move by Reagan. Carter, a Sunday School Teacher, garnered around 70% of voters in 1976 who called themselves church going Christians. Most of those people voted Republican in 1980 and continue to support the GOP today.

The fact that some of them want their views represented in Republican legislative agendas is just the price you pay. Democrats owe much to labor unions for the same reason and likewise push that agenda.

Why the outrage?

February 4, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.
woody said...

Earlier today, Harp 3339 boldly stated, "Keep an eye on the Muslim Brotherhood. Most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia law. It is their belief and intent that the world is to be ruled by the Muslim faith and Sharia law. They have no qualms about lying, dying and deceiving to accomplish their goal. It is evident most of us fail to understand the mentality of the typical middle eastern resident and their beliefs. Their mental map is very different than ours. Theirs results from a totally different environment and belief system."

Following that, Alprova added, " Here in America, we too have a similar problem. They are called Christians."

Then, as if on cue, WWTW surmized, "Thanks for being open about your religious bigotry and your ignorance of world politics and religion. How sad."


First, two of our usual 'posters' forget "Rule #1" (Never leave yourself wide open to attack.) Then secondly, they do.

I can't say for sure that Harp meant to 'lump' all Muslims together, but I am going to undertake a "Mission Impossible" and assume I can honestly say, I don't believe Alprova meant to indicate that all Christians are alike.

To elucidate, there are Christians (who truly carry out "The Golden Rule" whenever and wherever they can; those who believe as Jesus did, and still does, that there is no one so worthless that they may not be saved from Hell). And there are some who think of themselves as Christians, but profess all too often that if you don't worship and think as they do you are not worthy of their time and efforts.

I think I will go out on a very short limb and further assume there are, in fact, Muslims and others of many diverse religious beliefs who may fall into the same two categories.

Alas, Woody

February 4, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.
Clara said...

Mtnl,

An article I quoted about my new Congressman was written in a conservative newspaper. It was about an advertisement that the Democrate were putting out to discredit him. It was denied in the article that he did this.

When he spoke to me, he denied it vehemently and said his office would get in touch with me. I'm giving him at least a week or so before I get an answer.

He said he's not even been in office a month and the attacks and lies are already beginning for the next election. He was upset! But he forgets what the Reps. did to the Dems. with a lot more money. I saved a few ads for a while.

I find your postings more than adequate.

February 4, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.

woody wrote: "And there are some who think of themselves as Christians, but profess all too often that if you don't worship and think as they do you are not worthy of their time and efforts ... there are, in fact, Muslims and others of many diverse religious beliefs who may fall into the same two categories."

I agree. Religious bigotry isn't limited to any one religion. Neither is it even limited to those who identify themselves as religious. It runs across the ideological spectrum. In my limited time posting here, I've seen it coming from a variety of perspectives and it's sad. I made the mistake of taking alprova's comment at face value.

His attempt to uncover sinister plots by Christians who want to infiltrate and actually participate in democratic institutions is further evidence of his paranoia-based religious bigotry.

The parallels he draws between the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and America evangelicals was the basis for my assessment of his ignorance of world politics and religion. His later characterization of Middle Eastern reactions to American foreign policy as "their religion" vs. "our religion" is further evidence of that assessment.

February 4, 2011 at 4:38 p.m.

My apologies. The "infiltration" comments are evidence of blackwater's religious bigotry, not that of alprova.

February 4, 2011 at 4:43 p.m.

From an e-mail I received from Egypt yesterday:

"... We and many others are clearly worried about what is happening in the country. But many positive things have happened. Suddenly young people have hope and a sense of responsibility for the future of their country. A hunger for freedom has suddenly exploded. Amazingly, it is not being expressed in religious terms nor primarily by Islamic groups! We believe that nothing short of a miracle is occurring and that the prayers of many years and many people are being answered. However, the short term does seem uncertain and we need you to pray for a free and democratic Egypt in which everyone has the right to hold whatever political or religious views they wish to espouse. Pray for Christians here to be salt and light in the midst of confusion and fear. Thank you for your prayers at this crucial time."

February 4, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

wwwtw said, "My apologies. The "infiltration" comments are evidence of blackwater's religious bigotry, not that of alprova."

Pardon me but why do you claim its bigotry to point out that, "Christians have infiltrated school boards to rewrite history books, rewrite science books, and ban certain novels that don't meet their purity standards."

Do you think that has never happened? Seriously? That wasn't an opinion. I was recapping the news.

Now, if I had said, "Christian fundamentalists bomb abortion clinics and assassinate abortion doctors," you might have a point.

If I had said, "Christian fundamentalists demonstrate at the funerals of fallen soldiers to express their happiness that the soldier is dead," you might have a point.

But even if I had said those things and you called me on it, I would simply reply that I didn't say that ALL Christian fundamentalists believed that way.

I could have taken the statement, "...most Muslims accept and believe the world should be ruled by Sharia Law." and turned it around to make another point.

I could have cited the examples above to 'prove' the blanket statement, "Most Christians accept and believe the world should be ruled by the Bible."

In the real world, maybe, just maybe, most Muslims and most Christians reject the radicals from both religions who claim to be doing God's Will.

February 4, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

In your earlier posts to which I responded, neither blackwater nor alprova said anything about fundamentalists or radicals, nor did you limit it to "many" or "most."

You said Christians. That's an unqualified, categorical statement. Religious bigotry.

We've all been offended, even "outraged" by fundamentalists, but there's no need to sheepishly follow the radicalizing path of religious bigotry.

February 4, 2011 at 7:29 p.m.

P.S. I'm a Buddhist.

February 4, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.

Just kidding.

My point is that there are a lot of religious, not to mention political, stereotypes flying around, and it does nothing to promote civility.

I know you guys didn't mean what you wrote. Even if you did, it wouldn't take away from the excellent points you made about Egypt. Sorry for hyper-ventilating.

February 4, 2011 at 7:46 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Whats_Wrong_With_The_World said: “The parallels he draws between the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and America evangelicals was the basis for my assessment of his ignorance of world politics and religion. His later characterization of Middle Eastern reactions to American foreign policy as "their religion" vs. "our religion" is further evidence of that assessment.”

WWWTW, I don't think you're being fair to Alprova. I believe his main point was simply that every country has its religious radicals, which is something that I think most people understand to be true. And I certainly can recall a number of incidents involving various Christian organizations and individuals that have promoted this kind of “their religion vs. our religion” mentality.

Perhaps, some of the most controversial incidents involve U.S. General Boykin who is an American evangelist. He has been quoted as saying some rather outrageous and inappropriate things in public forums – statements like. . “I knew that my God was bigger than his“ . . . I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol. . . "There is no greater threat to America than Islam." I've read that Boykin is also one of authors of a book that attacks the Muslim faith.

February 4, 2011 at 7:56 p.m.

I guess "radical" is in the eye of the beholder. Radical American secularists make similar sweeping statements about Christians. And some of them get parroted in these comments. Including yours.

February 4, 2011 at 8 p.m.
acerigger said...

I'd love to add more, but I've gotta go to Anchorage, Alaska for a day or so. I'll catch up when I get back. Username: alprova | On: February 4, 2011 at 2:08 p.m

Al,,say "hey" to Sarah if you see her!

February 4, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.

Slapping a label like "radical" on anyone who disagrees with you is, well ...

Professor William Cavanaugh recently published some excellent scholarship about the unspoken political agenda behind associating political violence with religious radicalism. He points out that even the term "religion" is a western contrivance used to marginalize the political targets of western state violence.

"The Myth of Religious Violence" is the title.

February 4, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Good grief.

"Religious bigotry is prejudice or discrimination against one or all members of a particular religious group based on NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS of their religious beliefs and practices or on NEGATIVE GROUP STEREOTYPES."

All I said was that Christians had infiltrated school boards. Not "All Christians had..." What I said is true. It's not based on a negative perception. It's based on an actual fact. Not placing a value judgement on it. It's actually a shrewd political move to enact change from the bottom up. Grass roots and all that. Those Christians were, after all, elected to those boards. Voted in by citizens.

Breath. By the way, some of best friends are Christians.

February 4, 2011 at 10:31 p.m.

Civility was the point. Clearly you are making value judgments and using negative group stereotypes:

shrewd = Disposed to artful and cunning practices; tricky. infiltrate= 1. a. To pass (troops, for example) surreptitiously into enemy-held territory. b. To penetrate with hostile intent: infiltrate enemy lines; terrorists that had infiltrated the country. 2. To enter or take up positions in gradually or surreptitiously, as for purposes of espionage or takeover

Carelessly tossing around such gibberish about your fellow citizens undermines civility. That's the point.

February 4, 2011 at 10:56 p.m.
fairmon said...

There are indeed Muslims in America that do not practice or endorse Sharia law. I have friends and acquaintances among those that do not. I am sure There is a small number in the middle east that don't fully accept Sharia law. Egypt is not currently controlled by a faction like those in Iran however, the Muslim Brotherhood would like to seize the moment. The point is a majority of those in many countries in the middle east do believe they are obligated to spread Sharia law through out the world. If you have friends or family in France you may want to learn more about what is happening there. It is not publicized by our media, including Fox news, but the number in the U.S. with those beliefs and purpose is increasing. If you have contacts in the FBI you can confirm this. The DHLS is a dysfunctional joke so don't bother.

Saying Biden has rough edges may be a more politically correct way to describe an idiot. Biden has 1 years experience 20 times therefore claims to have 20 years experience and the intelligence of someone with 20 years of learning. I don't care for Obama's agenda but have no problem with his security being the best possible regardless of cost. I encourage those in charge to increase it, my god look at the successors.

February 4, 2011 at 11:29 p.m.
canarysong said...

Perhaps there would be just a little less Wrong With the World if people were not so quick to take offense at anything that could even vaguely be interpreted as a criticism of religion.

Just thinking....

February 5, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Canarysong struck the right chord with this: "Perhaps there would be just a little less Wrong With the World if people were not so quick to take offense at anything that could even vaguely be interpreted as a criticism of religion."

Amen to that. What's wrong said: "Civility was the point. Clearly you are making value judgments and using negative group stereotypes:

shrewd = Disposed to artful and cunning practices; tricky."

Seriously? I'm projecting a negative group stereotype for complimenting Christians for getting elected to School Boards with whom they disagree? Really? The freedom to run for public office is the backbone of America. You think the word 'shrewd' is negative? Being called 'Artful and cunning' fills you with rage?

I happen to despise the fact that they tried to fill science textbooks with Bible stories. I would also be outraged if Muslim's INFILTRATED school boards and tried to push the Koran. Same goes for Hindus or Scientologists or Seventh Day Adventists or Mormons or Methodists or Lutherans or Buddhists or anyone else.

You need to lighten up on your provincial religious attitudes. People who hold different religious beliefs are not your enemy.

Deep down I know I'm wasting my time trying to differentiate what I meant from what you heard. If you insist that I insulted you then so be it. I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone, but when a pickpocket meets a Saint he only sees pockets. i

February 5, 2011 at 1:20 a.m.
Sailorman said...

Username: nucanuck | On: February 3, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

"This may be the time for the US to cut the $4B annually that is split between Israel and Egypt...the time to quit pouring military hardware into both countries. JMO."

There's always somebody to fill the void. We should do everything we can to sustain the economies of Russia and China while we enjoy the moral highground. JMO.

btw - it's not as simplistic as either of us imply.

"Intelligence analysts say the three-way relationship, especially involving weapons trade, between Russia, China and Iran is complex, but it's held together by a common enemy: The United States.

A recently released report by Stephen Blank for the Jamestown Foundation says the Russians again are selling weapons to the Chinese. Other reports say the Chinese are, in turn, selling weapons, including nuclear parts, to Iran.

Read more: Hate of U.S. keeps weapons trade thriving http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=259313#ixzz1D63UWB82"

February 5, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.

I know this has become more than a little tedious, but words matter, as do the ideas and assumptions they represent.

No personal offense was taken. If you can set aside your own value judgments, you'll see that my comments call attention to the sometimes veiled, sometimes not so veiled strand of bigotry that runs through these posts. I'm disappointed, but not surprised to find canarysong defending it.

This is a public forum and as a citizen, I will continue to call attention to religious bigotry and the logical fallacies and political rhetoric and posturing that prop it up.

I invite you to do the same when I take the easy route. (mountainlaurel has done so in the past and I appreciate it.) I'm no better, holier, or moral than anyone whose comments I've criticized. Though canarysong is right that I am part of what's wrong with the world, I'm not sure it is fair to say that I am the one who took offense at being criticized.

To take it back to the cartoon, I think we could learn a lot from the Egyptians who seem to be able to carry out the duties of citizenship (even when it must become loud) without resorting to religious bigotry.

February 5, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
fairmon said...

People criticize religion because they fear Christians may be right. They think christian comments are scary, they should try reading the book of Revelations. I wonder about those that think their denomination is the only one that is right.

February 5, 2011 at 1:04 p.m.
canarysong said...

WWWTW;

Please don't put words in my mouth. I did not defend religious bigotry. I defended reasonable observations offered by people who have consistently been among the most rational, intelligent, and comparatively respectful (certainly on this forum!) contributors here. They routinely back up their well thought out positions with information from credible sources, which I have greatly appreciated.

It is not bigotry to bring up the issues that bw and mtnlrl addressed, nor did they do it in an offensive manner, contrary to your apparently elevated level of sensitivity (I guess we all have our "hot buttons"). As long as someone's faith is kept as a personal matter, it is their own business and no one else's. However when faith enters the common arenas of politics, public policy, public education, health care, medical research, civil rights, and foreign policy, then one should not balk when it is subjected to the same scrutiny as any other belief (political, scientific, etc.).

If you are looking to point a finger to bigotry, you have aimed in the wrong direction. How about trburrows' veiled use of the N-word a while back? Or whatsthefuss' suggestion that whites only voted for Obama out of some misplaced feeling of guilt over slavery? How about the repeated demonizing rhetoric aimed at liberals, muslims, and atheists so common on this comment board? How about your own assertion (forgive me if I am remembering this wrong) that the majority of those who are ill are so because of their own choices?

So sorry I "disappointed" you by disagreeing with you, but I think that the hint of smug self-righteousness that runs through some of your posts is indeed indicative of something that is wrong with the world.

February 5, 2011 at 1:05 p.m.
canarysong said...

harp3339;

I don't mean to insult you; I think that you often have valuable things to say, even when I don't agree. But saying that "people criticize religion because they fear that Christians may be right" is simply arrogant and stupid. (I am not calling YOU stupid, just what you said here!) If non-christians were "afraid that Christians were right", it would be a simple matter to merely convert. It is not an easy matter to be a free-thinker in this very religious country. People who do so usually are motivated by years of serious reflection and a strong ethical and intellectual conviction.

I read a lot of books written by religious scholars (mostly Christian), philosophers, and others on the subject of religion. If you are genuinely interested in what secularists think, a good place to start might be Sam Harris' well-researched book, "The End of Faith". If that is too long for your level of interest in this subject, his shorter follow-up book, "Letter To a Christian Nation" might be better.

February 5, 2011 at 1:44 p.m.

You guys do a pretty good job at calling out bigotry against liberals, Muslims, and atheists. I was simply asking about your silence when it is displayed against anyone else.

Since equating American Christians with the Muslim Brotherhood is indefensible, all that's left for you to do is change the subject.

February 5, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.

Being accused of bigotry is a tough pill to swallow, so I can understand your defensiveness. We can all learn from this and move forward.

February 5, 2011 at 3:05 p.m.
canarysong said...

wwwtw;

Thank you for your 3:05 post; it so clearly illustrates the point I was trying to make in the last sentence of my 1:05 post. "Defensive"? Are we perhaps projecting just a little? It' s amusing how your conciliatory statements so often sound like a back-handed insult instead. I hope you don't work in PR.

February 5, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.
canarysong said...

wwwtw;

BTW; when you accuse me (or bw and mtnlrl) of "equating American Christians with the Muslim Brotherhood" you are once again indulging your penchant for putting words in other people's mouths. That was alprova. And while I understand the point he was trying to make, he is more than capable of explaining it himself, which he did.

I jumped into the fray because you apologized to bw and mtnlrl at 7:29pm for your quickness to take offense at what they had said, and then you proceeded to spend the next 3 1/2 hours to continue calling them bigots! Jeesh!

February 5, 2011 at 4:16 p.m.

canarysong wrote: "As long as someone's faith is kept as a personal matter, it is their own business and no one else's. However when faith enters the common arenas of politics, public policy, public education, health care, medical research, civil rights, and foreign policy, then one should not balk when it is subjected to the same scrutiny as any other belief (political, scientific, etc.)"

I couldn't have said it better myself. The subject of faith entered the arena of this public debate (I didn't bring it up), and I'm subjecting it to the same scrutiny as any other belief.

I haven't typed a word about my faith or that of anyone who has responded to me. You guys keep making it personal.

canarysong wrote: "Are we perhaps projecting just a little? It' s amusing .."

Smug self-righteousness indeed.

February 5, 2011 at 4:26 p.m.

I guess anyone with the nerve to challenge politically correct bigotry should just roll over and play dead so that the offended can proceed with their mantra of slurs and canards.

Equating American Christians (or ANY religious group mentioned in this thread) with the Muslim Brotherhood is indefensible.

February 5, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.
canarysong said...

wwwtw; I'm glad I struck a sensitive chord. Maybe you will go back and read your old posts and see how you sound. For me, I'm going to retract my claws; they've had more than enough exercise for one day. I will leave you to have your last word;..... I'll bet you can't resist.

February 5, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
canarysong said...

wwwtw;

And just when I thought I was getting away........

Can you not read?! Or do you just like stubbornly digging your moral-high-ground trench and refusing to leave? Let me say it more loudly.....I DID NOT "EQUATE CHRISTIANS TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD"!!! Nor did I even defend anyone doing so. But I do think that you did not see the point that alprova was trying to make with his rather blunt and provocative statement. BTW, did you happen to notice that he said that he is a Christian himself? Maybe you were too busy tousling your feathers into even more of a ruffle.

February 5, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.

The comments speak for themselves.

February 5, 2011 at 9:30 p.m.
alprova said...

wwwtw wrote: "In your earlier posts to which I responded, neither blackwater nor alprova said anything about fundamentalists or radicals, nor did you limit it to "many" or "most."..."


Well let's face it, the response would not have had the same effect had I added a ten page disclaimer, now would it?


"You said Christians. That's an unqualified, categorical statement. Religious bigotry."


I see, and when people here refer to Muslims the same way, that's okay, right?


"We've all been offended, even "outraged" by fundamentalists, but there's no need to sheepishly follow the radicalizing path of religious bigotry."


My how the tables have turned. How many people have called for the peace loving Muslims to call out the radicals who kill others in the name of Allah?

The Christians who have no interest in ruling a nation should not be offended in the least, by simply pointing out the fact that there are indeed self-proclaiming Christians who would do anything it takes to rule this nation and beyond and would force their beliefs upon others.

When those of you who believe that religion is a personal thing, and who would never rape others with your religious beliefs, start calling out those who do, then the lines will not be so blurred.

Right now, who knows who the radical Christians are, and are not?

February 5, 2011 at 11:40 p.m.
alprova said...

wwwtw wrote: "My point is that there are a lot of religious, not to mention political, stereotypes flying around, and it does nothing to promote civility."


Did it ever occur to you that the problem does not rest in the hands of those who point out such existing stereotypes?

The problem is that many self-proclaiming Christians who think that they are being religious are totally intolerant to any viewpoint other than the one they have adopted, and everyone else is going straight to Hell.

That my friend is uttered in churches across the land every Sunday, and I assure you that there is nothing civil at all about it.


"I know you guys didn't mean what you wrote."


On the contrary. I meant every word I wrote. It does not apply to every person who calls themselves a Christian, but the sad thing is, those who are guilty of the offenses I write about, would never realize for a second that I am speaking about them. They're too busy being so self-righteous, thinking that they are doing what God commands of them.


"I guess "radical" is in the eye of the beholder."


No it's not. A radical Christian is quite easy to define. The minute that you refuse to mind your own business and start imparting upon others verbally or forcibly, that they are not living their lives according to the beliefs that they hold near and dear, without any invitation to do so, then you are being a radical Christian.

I've yet to meet any man or woman who is without fault or is Jesus reincarnated.

Who gave any human on this Earth the authority to tell anyone else how to run their life? It sure wasn't God.

I realized a long time ago, that as a man and as a Christian, It's all I can do to wash and wax my own soul and keep myself a polished example on display.

February 6, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.
alprova said...

Harp3339 wrote: "Saying Biden has rough edges may be a more politically correct way to describe an idiot. Biden has 1 years experience 20 times therefore claims to have 20 years experience and the intelligence of someone with 20 years of learning."


You're usually a smart man, but either your dislike for the man is clouding your brain or something else is amiss on this one.

Joe Biden's expertise in foreign relations goes all the way back to the Reagan Administration. Like I say, the man may not be the best when it comes to speaking off the cuff, but he does indeed know he's doing when it comes to foreign relations.

That being said, it does not mean that I consider him to be Presidential material by any means. He's not. But don't write him off for being blunt and to the point when someone sticks a camera and a microphone in his face.

I feel very good that Joe Biden is one of many, who keep our relations with other countries on the front burner at all times.

February 6, 2011 at 12:22 a.m.
fairmon said...

alprova, you have a good point. There are indeed radicals that claim to be christian. Ireland is a good example when the catholics and protestants were killing each other for a holy cause. There are hypocrites and those that think paying the church and attending makes them a christian. Radical Christians in this country have not yet cut peoples head off in a public square, flown planes into buildings full of innocent people, bombed a ship. Made women wear a tunic and never show their face in public or stoned women to death for adultery, women only, not men. I don't think they have advocated the destruction of a country and all the people in it. Perhaps if they were promised 72 virgins if they died for the cause that might change. We have had some home grown nuts kill innocent people and destroy buildings but unfortunately they didn't kill their self and they didn't justify it with their faith.

Canarysong I am glad you consider yourself a free thinker and strong intellectually. It is good that you found those that support what you prefer to believe and rejected those that don't. I stand by my original "stupid" statement and I don't claim to be a christian. Are your periods of deep intellectual, free thinking and ego expansion accompanied by dizziness? I don't get the impression that the occurrence is frequent.

February 6, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.
alprova said...

Harp3339 wrote: "People criticize religion because they fear Christians may be right."


That's not the point and you should know that. Right, wrong, or indifferent, people have a right to make their own decisions when it comes to running their lives.

God gave us all free will. Why do some people, who consider themselves to be Christians, feel that God commands them to usurp God's will and to force others to live their lives according to some self-interpretation of the Bible?

Why do they think that they must use the power of our legal processes to do it?


"They think christian comments are scary, they should try reading the book of Revelations."


No one understands Revelations. For all we know, that book was written by someone who decided to write it after they smoked a little too much wacky weed.

For eons, based on those writings, every time a bird falls dead from the sky, or when two people have an argument in public, the end of time is near.

It's beyond ridiculous at this point.


"I wonder about those that think their denomination is the only one that is right."


I've always wondered about those who do that. This is why my religious beliefs have been derived from spending countless hours doing research and attending religious services in many different churches, synagogues, and temples.

February 6, 2011 at 12:52 a.m.
alprova said...

wwwtw wrote: "Equating American Christians (or ANY religious group mentioned in this thread) with the Muslim Brotherhood is indefensible."


Then you are clueless to the history of Christianity.

February 6, 2011 at 12:58 a.m.
canarysong said...

harp3339;

I never referred to myself as a freethinker or anything else. I was, in fact, referring to a number of bright, ethical, altruistic, and brave women and men that I have been fortunate to count as my friends over the years. They have enriched my life and the lives of many others. If I can ever come close to the example that they have set for honor and compassion, then I will count my life a success. To assume that you know the hearts and minds of others and pass judgement on them as you did does not reflect the values that I have always been taught that Christianity is supposed to stand for.

It's a tired song too often repeated and too often empty of meaning, but I do happen to really have close friends following many different spiritual paths, evangelical Christian, Quakers, "liberal" Christians, Buddhists, atheists, pagans, and a few Muslim business associates (whom I like very much). It is all too easy to see anyone who is different from us as "others" to be feared, to be suspicious of, even to demonize. An open mind is a beautiful thing; it opens our heart and helps us see how alike we really are in the ways that matter the most.

February 6, 2011 at 1:44 a.m.
alprova said...

Harp3339 wrote: "Radical Christians in this country have not yet cut peoples head off in a public square, flown planes into buildings full of innocent people, bombed a ship. (snipped and referred to as etc.)


Maybe true -- maybe not. But I can point you to a few cases of some American wingnuts who have proclaimed that God told them to kill a man in Church on Sunday in Kansas, because he was an abortionist. Another killed some totally innocent people in the name of God at the Olympics in 1996, along with some others who worked at an abortion clinic.

How many others have been killed in the name of God? Many.


"Made women wear a tunic and never show their face in public or stoned women to death for adultery, women only, not men."


Horrible, yes, but can you point to any credible proof that such stoning rituals have been carried out in the recent past? Propaganda...gotta keep on convincing Americans that Islam is an evil religion.


"[Speaking of Christians] I don't think they have advocated the destruction of a country and all the people in it. Perhaps if they were promised 72 virgins if they died for the cause that might change."


When it comes down to it, I don't recall sworn statements being a part of any proof that Muslims of any number are promised 72 virgins and calling for the total destruction of a sovereign nation.

But it sure makes for a good reason for Americans to believe that we should destroy several other nations and to eradicate evil.

Where is all the proof to those assertions Harp?

How many years has Castro been vilified by this Gov't, when the fact is that most people in that nation don't really have it so bad down there? Yeah, it could be better, but there are people in this country who have it much worse than the average Cuban. But no one wants to talk about that, do they? America the great.


"We have had some home grown nuts kill innocent people and destroy buildings but unfortunately they didn't kill their self and they didn't justify it with their faith."


Oh please. I find it so amazingly laughable that the very people who do nothing but question and to discount anything offered by someone who is liberal, will immediately swallow and endorse whole-heartedly, the propaganda issued by our nation's conservative leaders, when it comes to the Middle East and the Muslim religion.

If a conservative or a Republican utters it, it's the truth and beyond reproach.

If a liberal or Democrat utters it, it's a damnable lie and they are completely clueless. Right?

The fact that those wars were started to pump money into the pockets of war profiteers for almost a decade and counting, doesn't factor into things for so much as one second...right?

February 6, 2011 at 1:52 a.m.
fairmon said...

Alprova

I was thinking about the Oklahoma city bombing, the uni-bomber and other home grown nuts that unfortunately didn't kill their self. How is that a conservative or liberal slant? You are right there were some nuts that blamed their craziness on their moral beliefs.

I don't buy the conservative or liberal party lines. I don't think we should be in either of the current wars. oil is the only reason we are in the middle east. They produce nothing else of significant value and have little else to offer.

I did see a Muslim cleric interviewed that confirmed the teaching and belief by some that 72 virgins would be the reward for marters for the cause. I know all people of any belief or faith don't fit neatly under any definition. I have read enough of Sharia law to know it is radical. Those supporting it may not represent the majority of Muslims however that does not reduce the danger of the radical element.

I have an Iranian friend that is a businessman in the U.S. with family in Iran. He would classify you as naive, not liberal. Yes, there was a recent event of a woman being buried up to her waist and stoned to death for adultery, it was reported on an Arabian TV network. Did all citizens and Muslims condone it? Certainly not just as many in this country don't agree with the death penalty for any crime.

What does Castro and Cuba have to do with anything discussed here? I haven't been to Cuba, don't care to go and could care less what happens there unless there is a threat to U.S. Security.

As a liberal do you think we should police and feed the world and create a dependent element of society in this country? As an accountant how do you reconcile the growing debt? How do we keep borrowing from China and compete with them? I am not an accountant but when the budget office reports 1.1 annual individual and corporate tax revenue with spending of 400 billion for acknowledged welfare programs which does not include alternative minimum tax refunds, 200 billion in government pensions and 700 billion for defense which totals 200 billion more than revenue. Then, there is the 200 billion annual debt interest and all other discretionary spending. It doesn't take an accounting degree to know that just won't work indefinitely. I am not a dem, a pub or tea'r in fact I have little regard for any of them and I don't think any of them will do much more than campaign and talk at length. So, no I don't conclude republicans are right and democrats wrong, I think both lie without hesitation and support or criticize opportunistically.

February 6, 2011 at 9:42 a.m.
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