Thursday, March 26, 2009

Truth as Freedom (3.12.12)

Truth as Freedom. For those of you scoring at home, that's the title of the next chapter of the Theo-Logic, and it will do perfectly as a title of this post, the substance of which we are about to freely discover. I hope.

Who could argue with the following proposition: "The actualization of truth is no mere natural process but a spiritual event, which takes place only in the lightning-like encounter and fusion of two words -- the word of the subject and the word of the object. Outside of this event, there is truth."

Thus, if you do not understand that truth is a supernatural thang, then buddy, you've got some catchin' up to do. Nature may embody truth, but it takes a supernatural act to pull a truthy rabbit out of a material hat, to quote Aquinas on one of his rare "off days." No: "The truth of the object exists only so long as infinite or finite spirit turns to it in an act of knowing; the truth of the subject exists only as long as it abides in this act" (Balthasar).

So truth is implicated in both subject and object, but only their mutual encounter "activates" the truth between them, sort of like the erotic spark between male and female. I know you know I know you know what I mean, because the love of truth cannot be separated from its own distinct version of eros, which the psychoanalsyt Christopher Bollas has called the "eros of form."

This is a particular kind of encounter with objects that releases the truth of the self into being. This is why we all respond to different objects -- and subjects! -- which have a way of giving birth to a latent part of ourselves. If you think about it, this has mulch in common with the fertile Platonic idea of education, the purpose of which is more to draw out what is within than to stuff other people's notions of sexy ideas into us. Some people are turned on by the strangest things!

Was that clear? For example, in my case, I rarely encountered any kind of personally engaging pneuma-cognitive spiritual form throughout all of my schooling, at least until my last two years of college, when something fortuitously began to ring a bell, and then my voice started to change. You could say that this was the dawn of my intellectual clueberty, which is also when I began to have terrible crushes on various ideas and thinkers -- including many leftist soul-crushing thinkers such as Chomsky, Zinn, The Nation, and all the rest of that promiscuous crowd. It's a wonder I didn't die of one of their spinereal diseases!

But of course, it was only puppy love. As is usually the case, I was merely "in love with love," that is, the thrill of encountering illicit ideas that the mass of Americans knew nothing about. For example, our empty ravin' kosbags have nothing on me. I knew that America was a torture state way back in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan was president. I knew full well that we were no better than the USSR, and that by opposing communism, we merely reduced ourselves to their mirror image, just as we do today with the Islamic supremacists. Furthermore, we had just as many "political prisoners" as the Soviet Union, but we just called them "blacks."

In the spirit of fool disclosure, I must also admit that I actually attended a Noam Chomsky lecture some 20 years ago. I remember it well, because he assured the lunatic crowd that George Bush was poised to invade Cuba and oust our beloved comrade Fidel! In fact, I'm guessing that the only reason we didn't do so is because Chomsky blew the whistle on those fascists.

Enough about me and my sordid infidelities. But another reason why I do not argue with leftists is that I have only to mentally travel back to that hellseein' daze, and imagine how I would have reacted if a so-called conservative had presumed to instruct me about anything. I was 100% unreceptive, and would use the occasion merely to enlist them into my persecutory fantasy world. Because I was just as intelligent then as I am today -- maybe even more so, given the inevitable loss of brain cells -- I was virtually always able to run circles around my interlocutor and prove my demonic superiority.

Shame on me. There is no end to the damage to truth caused by the abuse of intelligence. I am not one of those people who is impressed by Obama's intelligence. Indeed, for those of us who have been there, it is a sorry sight to watch this cognitively arrested boob in action. This is not just an insult, because it is quite obvious that Obama is not free to discover truth, since he is laboring under the oppressive weight of systematic falsehoods he has passively absorbed throughout his friction-free life. Being good at articulating lies in charcoal activated cigaret-burnished tones should not be confused with being "articulate."

One cannot get to the freedom of truth unless one first appreciates the "unfreedom." The spirit must first apprentice itself to the object world before it can "attain to itself." This is very similar to the manner in which one must first master scales and chords before one is truly free to play a musical instrument. In fact, for a true master, the unfreedom and freedom will live side by side for the remainder of one's life. John Coltrane used to practice eight hours a day long after he was considered the greatest living master of the tenor sax.

Things are more than things, and facts are more than facts. If that weren't the case, then we would all be identical, in the way that animals and the tenured are. If you've seen one radical squirrel you've seen them all, because they are all operating from the same facts, like "Fox bad, ACORN good."

But for human beings, facts are always enshrouded in mystery, for they are an occasion to know the great Mystery of Withinness. Facts speak to humans, again, in ways that engage us in particularly intimate ways. Take the simple example of this book we're talking about here. Not a single person in the world would have highlighted the same passages that I have. So are the facts in the book? Or in me? Or in the space in between?

Actually, when I highlight a passage, it is never because it is merely some "fact" of which I was unaware. Rather, I have a system that allows me to go back to a book and revisit passages that gave me that erotic charge.

As I have mentioned before, this was actually the basis of my book. I keep meaning to digitalize the photos, so I can show them to you, but the first thing I did was remove all of the books from my shelves that spoke truth to me in this intimate way, irrespective of discipline -- physics, biology, anthropology, philosophy, metaphysics, historigraphy, psychoanalysis, theology, mysticism, etc. I placed them all on the floor, and stared at them until they reveled to me their hidden unity.

Obviously, no other person ever has or ever will do this in the way I did, but that doesn't mean that the exercise was (merely) eccentric or idiosyncratic. Obviously no single person can know "all truths," but we do the best we can with the materials available to us. The point, I believe, is to try to inflect the universal through the lens of the particular, which is what really makes truth come alive -- alive in us! Anything less than this living process tends toward pedantry and tenure.

Theological mind jazz, daddy-o. That's what it is. If it weren't for the wonderful erotic mystery that enshrouds truth, we'd all be singing from the same boring hymnal. "The event of knowledge would cast a cold, pitiful, shadowless light into every corner, and there would be no possibility of escaping this scorching sun. Being, stripped of mystery, would be, so to speak, prostituted" (Balthasar).

And if one more troll equates what I do with relativism or deconstruction... This is the precise opposite of those cynical and spiritually barren approaches. Rather, that sort of "radical cynicism only becomes possible wherever man no longer has a flair for the central mystery of being, whenever he has unlearned reverence, wonder, and adoration, whenever, having denied God, whose essence is always characterized by the wonderful, man also overlooks the wondrousness of every single created entity."

There is a perverse joy in this radical cynicism, and I again remember it well. Nor is it difficult to trace its roots, now that I have a four year old boy who likes to build things, but not nearly as much as he enjoys tearing them apart, knocking them down, or disassembling them to see "what's inside." But of course, there is no inside without the outside. The outside is the manifestation of the inside, just as the inside is the invisible "essence" of the outside. Jettison either, and the cosmos is reduced to a flat and empty place.

The outside reveals the inside, just as the downside reveals the upside.

80 Comments:

Blogger NoMo said...

Speaking of the "freedom of truth"...

A deep difference between Bush and Obama is that it wasn't WHAT he said, it was HOW he said it that sometimes embarrassed me a little.

The opposite is true of Obama - since he cannot speak from within the freedom of truth, every time I hear him speak I literally cringe at WHAT he says while so many just glow at HOW he says it. All I see is a spinning, growling blur - a sort of cartoon tazmanian devil.

Back to reading.

3/26/2009 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Is it just me, or is it suddenly getting hot in here?

:D

I remember that puppy-love stage; for me it was dopey crap like The Celestine Prophecy (I'm actually embarrassed to admit that; in my own defense, it was my starry-eyed Mom who insisted I read it...).

Of course, once you discover real truth and experience that "particular kind of encounter with objects that releases the truth of the self into being," well, cheap imitations need not apply.

3/26/2009 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Speaking of eros: pay no attention to all that boring give-up-desire stuff -- Zen Buddhism really makes San Francisco hipster-rutting hotter!

3/26/2009 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of truth,

"Sometimes extinctions actually accelerate the evolution of life on Earth."

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you! Discovery Earth actually makes this statement without even a token * or caveat indicating that an exception must be made when the cause of the extinction is anthropogenic (as are virtually all extinctions in the modern age, according to the current version of scientismic "truth") and therefore the greatest evil of which man is capable. Especially if the creature going extinct is a "kitten of the sea" or a rare species of sand flea on a private lake (which happens to be identical to another, non-rare species of sand flea found around every other lake in the same vicinity). Why, if this type of knowledge becomes common, people might start to think that there are more pressing concerns. Gaia forfend!

3/26/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous The Phantom Flagger said...

“Actually, when I highlight a passage, it is never because it is merely some "fact" of which I was unaware. Rather, I have a system that allows me to go back to a book and revisit passages that gave me that erotic charge.”

Are you trying to seduce me, Mr. Godwin?

RR :-)

3/26/2009 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oops, I spoke too soon; the last few pics in that series do in fact make the requisite arguments that men are bad, because they killed dodos and sea cows.

They did miss the opportunity, though to point out that anthropogenic global warming is a much bigger threat than the ice ages that killed off millions of species before man came on the scene.

3/26/2009 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Teleprompter V2.O said...

“Being good at articulating lies in an authoritative manner should not be confused with being "articulate."”

Uh credit uh where uh credit is uh due uh please


RR

3/26/2009 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

Great post.

3/26/2009 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

From Aquila's article,

When you enter the Buddhist order either as a layperson or clergy you take ten vows, one of which is not to abuse sexuality. But there is no specific definition of what that means. In the earliest Buddhist sanghas they decided that meant you had to be celibate. And some orders still interpret it that way. Lucky for me, Japanese-style Zen Buddhism does not interpret it in that way! In Zen it's up to each individual to decide what "abusing sexuality" means. For me it's even more vague because my teacher changed the wording of that precept and rather than asking them to avoid abusing sexuality he asks his students to vow to "not to desire too much."

Oh, well, that makes everything okay, then. It's only too much if you think it's too much. Words only mean stuff if you want them to mean stuff.

Oh, wait, it gets better:

VB: You're an internationally respected Zen Master and you write for Suicide Girls -- a soft-core porn site. Has this ever been a point of conflict for you personally, or have you ever gotten sh-- for it? If so, why?

BW: Yes I have. There haven't been a lot of Buddhists who got upset about it. But the ones who did get upset got very, very upset. I think they feel that I'm tarnishing the image of Zen or something. It's very hard for me to pin down just what their objections actually are. They consider it immoral or something.


Morals? Morals?!? There are no morals in Buddhism! You just gotta follow your own truth, man, and everything is copacetic.

At least, that's what I learned from his article.

Oy.

I gotta say, Balthasar gets me fired up, but this guy? About as erotic as a swim in fresh glacial runoff.

3/26/2009 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Djadja said...

This blog is always making me bang my head against the tree of knowledge. The other day, this thought about prayer fell out. In case it would be of value to anyone else, I'd like to share it.

I've thought about it a lot (since I'm no "prayer warrior" type), and it occurred to me that prayer is an open feedback loop, meaning we are open to something beyond ourselves. Our thoughts, our worries and mind-parasites, are internal feedback loops and can become self-feeding, or amplifying, analogous to a microphone too close to a speaker. Prayer is an open feedback loop, where the feedback is analogous to a control circuit where a portion of the signal (our troubled thoughts) are rerouted (we connect with God) and returned to us to reestablish a healthier state. This last is supposed to be our natural state, but alas we all experience the fall and close ourselves off to this form of restraining feedback. So we have to learn to reconnect.

3/26/2009 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“For me it's even more vague because my teacher changed the wording of that precept and rather than asking them to avoid abusing sexuality he asks his students to vow to "not to desire too much.”

Four legs good, two legs bad.

I have a question. Does the teacher have a curly tail? 'cause he sure sounds like a lib.

3/26/2009 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Anybody here from Robin? Not like him to miss a post at MZ.

3/26/2009 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I was just wondering that, Ricky. Walt?

3/26/2009 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gecko said...

OMG, Gagdad, I usually shut up around this den of smart raccoons but you have(once again) outdone yourself with this one, made me late and had our household roaring. Let me fess up that I destroyed the embarrassing reading such as Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Abby Hoffman etc. Julie, for "The Celestine Prophecy", I read it too. That too went out with the revealing pile.

3/26/2009 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Are there storms in his neck o the wooderness? Maybe he lost power last night..

3/26/2009 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Or, what about "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes. I "worshipped" it in college. Helped enormously to explain how there can be no God.

Anyone else go in for Jaynes? I confess to still finding it fascinating.

3/26/2009 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"It's a wonder I didn't die of one of their spinereal diseases!"

Oh goodie, a neologopunsterismic post!

"This is not just an insult, because it is quite obvious that Obama is not free to discover truth, since he is laboring under the oppressive weight of systematic falsehoods he has passively absorbed throughout his friction-free life. Being good at articulating lies in an authoritative manner should not be confused with being "articulate."

One cannot get to the freedom of truth unless one first appreciates the "unfreedom." The spirit must first apprentice itself to the object world before it can "attain to itself." This is very similar to the manner in which one must first master scales and chords before one is truly free to play a musical instrument."

Yes indeedy, reality must come first, we must meet it, and through a little flirtatious groping, we can begin to get to first base with Truth... and then 2nd! and then 3rd! and then... hOme!

3/26/2009 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"...Not a single person in the world would have highlighted the same passages that I have. So are the facts in the book? Or in me? Or in the space in between?"

Actually, to get unnecessarily technical about it, facts are not in the book, data are... well not even that, squiggles, which we recognize as symbols, which we see as data, and which we re-cognize as facts... so... everything above the squiggles, is "in the space in between".

3/26/2009 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Rather, I have a system that allows me to go back to a book and revisit passages that gave me that erotic charge."

Imagine the world where 13 year old boys whisper to eachother "Psst! Wanna see the Naked Truth? Look..." ["The actualization of truth is no mere natural process but a spiritual event, which takes place only in the lightning-like encounter and fusion of two words -- the word of the subject and the word of the object. Outside of this event, there is truth."] "Look at the Objects on that One!"

Sigh... ain't gonna happen in our schools....

3/26/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great teaching Bob!

I had me once upon memory sev. times my own version of "spreading books on the floor and waited for the outside to reveal the inside, "just as the downside reveals the upside" moments.

Bosom book-clutching (including the Bible) with gloassalia sprinkled gratitude.....

And, then there was the The Tibetan Book Of The Dead Liberation Through Understanding In The Between - bhakti moment....
(R. Thruman transl. yah, I know he's a Democrat.)

Can't say I read the entire book, but what I read that particular day affected me in a very - normal - for - me - way:)

On my knees....I placed the closed book on the floor. Then, eyes now closed I opened the book and forhead book-touching... asking Padma Sambhava for a blessing....Redish light floaded my inner-vision.
After a goodly moment I opened my eyes and there was Padma's image-illustration from p. 139.

His, "depicted at home in his place atop the Copper Mountain (with 2 consorts) 19th century tangka image-Self, whose right hand is raised in a benediction gesture.

Theofilia

3/26/2009 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Julie -

Nada.

Very Un-Starfish.

3/26/2009 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

A little bird just informed me that the Starfish has the flu bug.

3/26/2009 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ah. Thanks, Walt - I hope it's not the dreaded ManFlu! Or if it is, I hope he's getting the best possible treatment for it :)

3/26/2009 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Yeah, thanks, Walt.
Apparently his time machine has the bug too… he didn’t get to preload it. I guess he can take care o' that tomorrow and we’ll never know the difference.

Get better, Buddy. The worms are stampeding out here.

3/26/2009 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone here read The Pregnant Virgin A Process of Psychological Transformation, penned by Marion Woodman? "This book is about the struggle to become conscious."

From the back-cover by Esther Harding:

The woman who is a virgin, one-in-herself, does what she does--not because of any desire to please, not to be liked, or to be approved, even by herself; not because of any desire to gain power over another . . . but because what she does is true.

Theofilia

3/26/2009 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

John Coltrane used to practice eight hours a day long after he was considered the greatest living master of the tenor sax.

There is a story, possibly apocryphal, about Jimi Hendrix calling Mel Bay from London in panic because he was about to go on stage and had forgotten his A chords. Mel replied calmly, "Jimi, have you been practicing your triads?"

wv says that this post has a certain lingness.

3/26/2009 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Thanks for the update on Robin. I was wondering, too.

3/26/2009 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fear and desire are the twin prongs of the material trap. Getting control of them is the entire method of advancement. There is really nothing else.

If you can eradicate these two forces then you have "beaten" the game of life and can freely intermix with the Source.

3/26/2009 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, fear and desire ... Marion Woodman went to India and discovered - "No longer could I rest in the comfort of other people's images of who I was..."

The following quote is hot!

What took me to India was illusion; why I went was real. India was my journey to my own India, my own dark underworld. Like whales in the sea, people live in the only world they have ever known -- birth, copulation and death. Unless there is a brutal severance from the sea, they don't know they are in the sea or what the sea is. India bisected my life. Before I went, I saw with my eyes; when I returned I saw through my eyes. My naive Persephone, who had lived in the security of Mother Church, Mother Society, Mother School, eventually heard the question distilled from her lips, "Who am I?" Drawn by a romantic vision of the Orient, I had set out on some sentimental search for what was, in fact, a parody of Moon Goddess. There followed the inevitable psychic rape in the teeming streets of India. The ground opened beneath my feet. What began as an intellectual question instantly became a real question when I had to say, "yes, I am alone."

Theofilia

3/26/2009 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, you go on ahead and "beat" that game. Maybe you and the Source can hang out afterwards, have a couple drinks... you might even get a nice pat on the back and an eternity of complete and undifferentiated Unity (or is that Nullity? Oh well, it's allone anyway, so nObody'll know the difference). Send us a postcard when you win.

Me, I'm going to keep on playing. Given that the whole point of me not being God is so that I might know and be known (or better yet in the words of Denys via HvB:

And we must dare to affirm (for this is the thruth) that the creator of the Universe himself, in his beautiful and good Eros towards the Universe, is, through his excessive erotic Goodness, transported outside of himself, in his providential activities towards all things that have being, and is overcome by the sweet spell of Goodness, Love and Eros. In this manner, he is drawn from his transcendent throne above all things in accordance with his super-essential and ecstatic power whereby he nonetheless does not leave himself behind. This is why those who know about God call him "zealous", because he is vehement in his manifold and beneficent Eros towards all beings, and he spurs them on to search for him zealously with a yearning eros, thus showing himself zealous for love inasmuch as the things that are desired are considered worthy of zeal and inasmuch as he allows himself to be affected by the zeal of all beings for which he cares. In short, both to possess eros and to love erotically belong to everything Good and Beautiful, and eros has its primal roots in the Beautiful and the Good: eros exists and comes into being only through the Beautiful and the Good.)...

Yeah, I'm gonna stick with the eros. Especially because I know that it is true.

Whoo, it's heating up again...

3/26/2009 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

96' was the year of "Reeling with sadness" (long story). Am alone in bed, (husband working nite shift). Sudenly became of a presence behind me (was on my left side). Looking 'round to see who it was .. . A beautiful, dark tress Woman was tenderly gazing at me. I KNEW she was "ignored" and asked, "what's your name?". She said "Kwan Yin, do you like me?"
Blissfully I said,
"Ooh yes!"
Next, I watch Her walk over to the foot of the bed....Room filled with "swirling white light". Her bliss-filled energy transmission rippling through my being..."Heard myself moan a little, body undulating". Tears, gratitude.


98' was the year...Am sitting on a peepee throne when noticed a spirit of "tar-ick" intent (atack) tring to enter through the window..."NO!!!!" I scream.

Next, am standing at the window and performing "clearing" ... Am aware of my heavy arm. Then I wake up in bed!
Disolving in tears, asking Kwan Yin for protection.

It wasn't till the next nite I was able to talk with compassion to that 'evil' energy consciousnes. . .

Sometimes same nite .... I am looking down. My eyes look like "very white moon slivers". Next I looked up and saw the night sky rush over to one side. Next, directly looking at the Sun." Was thinking "I don't even have to squint"

"I knew I was standing on the top of a ladder and a smart man standing on the ground next to it. I could see a group of "uncouth" and crippled men. One was saying something to me. It was distorted. I didn't get it."

(tho I tried hard to hear what the man was saying with all my attention.)
Tho I didn't understand his speach I heard his "pleading" tone.

Next, on the Sun's right side a sudden movement startling me.
"And then I KNEW! - my arms flew out (in a welkoming gesture) towards a large white bird". I opened my eyes blissing out on the most Love-filled energy.

That was mucho HOT!

Theofilia

3/26/2009 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

While we're confessing...
In the process of reading alternative (read Lefty) works on social life, economics, etc. in an effort to be 'fair' and aware.
Due to Bob 'n all, I can now refute them in my head on several levels- not just the religious one, rather than just feeling that I know there's something wrong with this reasoning, but not being able to put my finger on what it was, exactly.
Even their not-terrible ideas are tainted by their basic wrong-headedness.
So, thanks, everyone, for being so articulate.

3/26/2009 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Cory said...

I don't know about these things. I just know that 22 years ago I hit as close to rock bottom as I ever want to get. On that night in 1987 I prayed as follows:

"I know you are there. I need help. Please help me."

It was the first time I had even attempted prayer in over 20 years and the very first time I truly prayed ever.

I tried meditation but the route thru the Upanishads and the Gita, as I understood them, led to some kind of annihilation that was supposed to be blissful. I couldn't figure out who was supposed to be blissful. It was a road leading to an abyss. Brother Robert has written of this in some of his posts.

I found Sri Ramakrishna. I had his image in my mind before I ever saw any of the few photos that exist. I read and reread the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna - it must have been a dozen times in the space of about 2 years. Bhakti is most suitable for the Kali Yuga he said. No man ever loved God more than that man and no man served as a better exemplar of the lover of God.

So since 1992 I have been loving God. Not so easy, really. But Ramakrishna said that "a little effort is necessary" (heh!) and I stuck with it. And I found that at those times when I was most angry or upset with God or the times I despaired most of ever living with Him in my life were the very times I had to pray and beg that he give me pure love for Him. Anyone who thinks this path is easy or simple or simple-minded is an ignorant fool.

Now I find the paths converging. Bhakti and jnana are somehow becoming a unity and karma and raja are somehow falling in with all the rest. And I found that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Christ and that the Judeo-Christian tradition really is a marvelous and effective path to deliverance. When I face God after leaving this horizontal plain I will plead Christ.

And I didn't come to Brother Robert's book in nearly as accidental manner as it at first seemed. And the line to this blog from there was straight and sure.

There are a lot of strange things said in these comments following the various posts. Not long ago I would have dismissed most of it as meaningless drivel or airy fairy nonsense (I don't count the words of fools as worthy of notice as all they intend is to cloud, confuse and destroy). But the personality of the saint is the personality of a human being riding the current of the Real. It is what it is and can be anything in the vast conglomeration of individual being our Lord endows us with and upon which we build our house. God bless the oddballs and nuts,the pedestrian and irascible.

You keep writing them, Brother Robert, and I will keep reading them.

3/26/2009 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous lurker uncloaking said...

…speaking of flirting with the “Dork Side of the Force” in my young and stupid(er) days… one dank November day in 1978, relying on the inspired guidance of Hunter S. Thompson, I VOTED FOR JIMMIE CARTER!!!

3/26/2009 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once had a 4' python come up out of the bowl in 76' while I was sitting on the throne in a motel bathroom in New Orleans. Scared the shit out of me to put it literally.

Theofeelia

3/26/2009 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Fred Thompson said...

Hunter s. was a Carter devotee? What a pussy.

w.v. getedrid

Good thing we getedrid of that clown.

3/26/2009 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob said,

"As is usually the case, I was merely "in love with love," that is, the thrill of encountering illicit ideas that the mass of Americans knew nothing about."

Little did you know you'd still be on the outs when in 2009 the "illicit ideas that the mass of Americans knew nothing about" would mean the ideals of the American founding.


w.v.liess

Yup!

3/26/2009 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

This emtpy ravin is fully aware that the US government has practiced torture for many decades, and the real innovation of the Bush administration was in doing it openly and proudly.

I see you are a Yoosta Bee (tm). "We never get tired of talking about our fascinating political transformation!"

3/26/2009 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Obamoron said...

Uhh, are we supposed to follow those linkys?

3/26/2009 11:22:00 PM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

Here's a better link --http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWLw7nozO_U&feature=related

3/26/2009 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Billybob C. said...

mtraven,
Why are you here? Are you trying to win friends and influence people?
Have you seen Rahm's morphodite ballet pics?

3/26/2009 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

Empty Raven:
You are not a lib. You are a bona fide moonbat. Torture yourself over that for a while.
Preferrably somewhere else.

JWM

3/26/2009 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous lame duck said...

Anyone else catch Deepak on ABC's "Does Satan Exist?"?

3/27/2009 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Missed it, but with "Deepak Chopra, famous philosopher and author of "Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment" on one side, and Annie Lobert, founder of the international Christian ministry "Hookers for Jesus", I'm sure it must have hit new intellectual heights.

3/27/2009 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Give empty raven credit. Long before Ward Churchill, he knew we were a nation of little Eichmanns.

3/27/2009 07:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"This book is about the struggle to become conscious."

I struggle to become sober sometimes...when I hafta.

3/27/2009 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"You could say that this was the dawn of my intellectual clueberty, which is also when I began to have terrible crushes on various ideas and thinkers --"

That's an awkward time. Your inner voice starts changing, and you start growin' spatial cares.

3/27/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

The facts about the US government's use of torture are not in dispute (unless, of course, you are a perpetual liar-to-yourself). You can read the post I linked to, or start here. The interpretations of it can be disputed, of course. I don't believe it makes the US into "little Eichmanns" since for the most part the citizenry was not aware of what was going on in their name. That excuse is less tenable after the Bush era.

I have been re-watching The Sopranos lately, and I am brought to mind of the memorable scene where Carmela Soprano goes to see an old-school Jewish therapist, who (somewhat unrealistically) takes a firm moral stance and tells her she has to separate from her husband's evil ways, that she can no longer live off of blood money. He says "at least now you can't say you've never been told". You are just like her; enjoying the material benefits of evil acts while hiding from the truth of them because it disturbs your sense of the prettiness of your own souls. Well, you can't say you've never been told.

Here is an excerpt from the recent ICRC report about Guntanamo, via Mark Danner:
After the beating I was then placed in the small box. They placed a cloth or cover over the box to cut out all light and restrict my air supply. As it was not high enough even to sit upright, I had to crouch down. It was very difficult because of my wounds. The stress on my legs held in this position meant my wounds both in the leg and stomach became very painful. I think this occurred about 3 months after my last operation. It was always cold in the room, but when the cover was placed over the box it made it hot and sweaty inside. The wound on my leg began to open and started to bleed. I don't know how long I remained in the small box, I think I may have slept or maybe fainted.

I was then dragged from the small box, unable to walk properly and put on what looked like a hospital bed, and strapped down very tightly with belts. A black cloth was then placed over my face and the interrogators used a mineral water bottle to pour water on the cloth so that I could not breathe. After a few minutes the cloth was removed and the bed was rotated into an upright position. The pressure of the straps on my wounds was very painful. I vomited. The bed was then again lowered to horizontal position and the same torture carried out again with the black cloth over my face and water poured on from a bottle. On this occasion my head was in a more backward, downwards position and the water was poured on for a longer time. I struggled against the straps, trying to breathe, but it was hopeless. I thought I was going to die. I lost control of my urine. Since then I still lose control of my urine when under stress.

I was then placed again in the tall box. While I was inside the box loud music was played again and somebody kept banging repeatedly on the box from the outside. I tried to sit down on the floor, but because of the small space the bucket with urine tipped over and spilt over me.... I was then taken out and again a towel was wrapped around my neck and I was smashed into the wall with the plywood covering and repeatedly slapped in the face by the same two interrogators as before.


If your precious advanced spiritual knowledge leads you to revulsion at this sort of thing, you can join the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. If it doesn't ... well, something has gone deeply wrong with you, and you might want to spend a little time and energy trying to fix it.

3/27/2009 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous MT Queeg said...

But the National Religious Campaign Against Torture... that's where I had them! I proved with geometric logic that Bush was Hitler and that America was a torture state. And I could have produced that evidence. But the CIA was protecting some officer... Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory....

3/27/2009 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous We American Soldiers said...

Geez what a dope I’ve been. Joinin the Army. Suffering all that abuse from day one. Screemin at me. People tryin to kill me. And those are just the anti-war types!
What a dope I’ve been. All that work when all this time I could have just tortured people through comment windows like Empty here.


RR

3/27/2009 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous We American Soldiers said...

Where are my rights!
Where are my reparations!
Where is my freedom!

From the likes of you..

3/27/2009 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Gee, that's a coincidence! The radical leftist front, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, has on its board of directors Mohamed Elsanousi of the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing federal terrorist funding case.

Turds of a feather.

3/27/2009 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

empty craven had earlier said "If I make moral judgemnts, I do so as a human being. Human beings are free to make moral judgements without having figured out moral philosphy from first principles."

You are not however, free to posture as being moral, while denying all that makes that morality possible. You’ve already shown yourself incapable of engaging in anything approaching serious thought, but allow me to show why your latest act of self-satisfaction isn’t worth any regard whatsoever from civilized members of the human race.

From your cited example,

"'Within months of September the 11th, 2001, we captured a man known as Abu Zubaydah. We believe that Zubaydah was a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden.... Zubaydah was severely wounded during the firefight that brought him into custody—and he survived only because of the medical care arranged by the CIA.[2]'"
A dramatic story: big news. Wounded in a firefight in Faisalabad, Pakistan, shot in the stomach, groin, and thigh after jumping from a roof in a desperate attempt to escape. Massive bleeding. Rushed to a military hospital in Lahore. A trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins awakened by a late-night telephone call from the director of central intelligence and flown in great secrecy to the other side of the world. The wounded man barely escapes death, slowly stabilizes, is shipped secretly to a military base in Thailand. Thence to another base in Afghanistan. Or was it Afghanistan?

We don't know, not definitively. For from the moment of his dramatic capture, on March 28, 2002, the man known as Abu Zubaydah slipped from one clandestine world, that of al-Qaeda officials gone to ground in the days after September 11, into another, a "hidden global internment network" intended for secret detention and interrogation and set up by the Central Intelligence Agency under authority granted directly by President George W. Bush in a "memorandum of understanding" signed on September 17, 2001."


Good.

Not just a terrorist, but a terrorist leader, captured in a firefight against us, who not just supported, but helped bring about the deaths of 3,000 civilians, citizens of the United States of America, Britain, and other nations, without warning or provocation, in the course of their daily peaceful and productive lives, is by definition outside of the scope and protection of any consideration of rights whatsoever, and in willingly and knowingly bringing about the horrible deaths of thousands, has forfeited any presumption of rights whatsoever.

He, and they, are beneath civil consideration.

This is not a legal matter. It is not even properly a matter of War, it is a conflict between civilization and savagery, and it is good and proper that our people deal with them by whatever methods remove them as a threat to our people and nation. By the nature of their avowed goals and practices, they don't even rise to the consideration of civilized measures. They are by choice, outside of the consideration of any civilized norms and protections, having forfeited them through their own beliefs, designs, and actions.

The recognition of, and claim to civil rights, can only be made or presumed, based a presumption of living up to expected norms of civilized behavior; failure to do so, let alone actively and violently acting against those norms of civilized behavior, properly discards any right to those rights. Even in typical civil situations, where a person has through ungoverned thoughts and passions, violated the property rights of another, as with a thief, unless that thief is a democrat member of govt, such actions result in the temporary or permanent loss of a number of that persons rights through fine, imprisonment, or even execution.

But the alleged person who supports and practices terrorism against civilians, has no claim, to any civil right, whatsoever.

The only issues which matter in these cases are whether or not our people are damaged in any way by applying any of these methods to those primitives, in order to secure the safety of those who are civilized. Lets see, do I fear for the sensibilities of our people through engaging in:
Placing a cloth over his face? Nope. Pouring water on it? Nope. Placing him in a box (unfortunately not a pine box) ? Nope. Not turning on the heat? Nope. Etc, etc, etc.

And lest you underestimate my position, if this 'person', who has himself chosen methods and practices which relegate him to sub-civilized practices and behaviors, has any likelihood of having knowledge that could help capture, kill or disrupt the plans of others of his ilk, then agents of our military have my personal permission to perform these acts to whatever extent they feel may be productive, and they have my deepest and most heartfelt thanks for doing so.

And my sympathy for having had to come into contact with such human filth. I fear for our peoples rights and mental state... zoobaydah’s? Not so much.

If you do not grasp this, then you further disgrace the noble name of “Liberal”, even more so than the typical leftist already does.

Clear?

If not, then you’re an emotions based guy, thinking apparently out of the question for you, just try listening to these calls, the entire calls, and dare to grant any sympathy or consideration to the animals who not only sought to bring these acts about, but did so with extreme prejudice and disregard for thousands of peoples feelings, rights, lives, families.

3/27/2009 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Hey, it's the female version of empty ravin'. Stop the hate!

3/27/2009 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Good work, Van.
However, five bucks says this will bounce right off him and he will come back to defend…his utterly indefensible position...as you illustrate so well. All these things you say would have been obvious so long ago to a person with a soul. I mean, to come to the defense of terrorists of all things. Can a person possibly get any lawyer?…I mean, lower. Oops.

(No offense lawyers. I am all about following the process.)

3/27/2009 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Awe man…Wonder Woman too!!
I give..

3/27/2009 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

She’s clearly given this a lot of thought though. I mean she’s right. What’s not to hate about hate. Nobody likes hate. I don’t. Hate is bad too. Anyway, I’m glad I had a chance to listen to her. I’m going to stop hating now.
But I used to like her. Does this mean I can't anymore?
I'm confused...

3/27/2009 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Angry moonbats such as Empty idealize and defend terrorists because they have the guts to actually do something about their hatred for America, instead of just talking about it, as the left does.

3/27/2009 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Petey: Who do you imagine NRCAT is a front for? Satan?

"Unindicted co-conspirator" is a legal term of art that does not imply guilt. It is a tool for prosecutors to get around the rules of evidence, and in addition appears to be very useful letting them smear whoever they feel like, without the affected parties being able to challenge it in court. There were over 300 individuals and organizations named as unindicted co-conspirators in that trial, I am somewhat dubious that they are all working for al Qaeda. See here, and here. And of course, whether ISNA has links to terrorists or not is completely irrelevent to the issue at hand; you are just dodging the issue with a lame ad hominem.
Van:
personal insults, yadda yadda...

a terrorist leader...is by definition outside of the scope and protection of any consideration of rights whatsoever

Sez you. Unfortunately the law, civilized opinion, and liberal theories of government (which I thought you were all signed onto) disagree. The state is prohibited from conducting cruel and unusual punishment, period, no matter how heinous the crimes of the person they have in custody. It is also prohibited from exercising any punishment without due process of law. Such rights against state power do not only apply to good people, they apply to all people. The extension of such rights in wartime is guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions, which also have the force of law.

This is not a legal matter. It is not even properly a matter of War, it is a conflict between civilization and savagery

Well, you are right about that, but you are on the side of savagery and against civilization.

... and it is good and proper that our people deal with them by whatever methods remove them as a threat to our people and nation.

Torturing them is not required to remove them as a threat. It in fact interferes with that, since once someone is tortured they can no longer be prosecuted in a court of law.

If not, then you’re an emotions based guy, thinking apparently out of the question for you...

I am thinking, you are emoting. One role of the law is to restrain emotions, such as the fear and lust for revenge which is animating you, from interfering with justice.

Note this quote that you included: We believe that Zubaydah was a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden.... You are apparently so trusting of the state that you are willing to let it employ the tools of torture based on their belief, unconstrained by any law or judicial process. Zubaydah probably was guilty. Do you think that everybody that has been tortured during the course of the so-called war on terror was guilty? Are you quite confident that no innocents were picked up? Do you believe that the state is so perfect in its operations that it ought to be able to torture anybody it feels like? Is "rule of law" such a foreign concept to people who claim to be classical liberals?

3/27/2009 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said "However, five bucks says this will bounce right off him and he will come back to defend…his utterly indefensible position..."

Oh I know, I gave up on him after the third evasion, has nothing to do with the empty craven, just needed to be said.

wv:dobbledn
? Can't double down, I'm all in

3/27/2009 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

empty craven said "The extension of such rights in wartime is guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions, which also have the force of law."

Have you read the Geneva Conventions? If not, might want to start here, there are additional protocol's to look through as well - I'll spoil the punch line for you - to most reasonable people, your precious terrorists aren't protected by it, certainly not as clearly as you’d like to pretend.

As wiki grudgingly puts it "Protected person is the most important definition in this section because many of the articles in the rest of GCIV only apply to Protected persons. Article 5 is currently one of the most controversial articles of GCIV, because it forms, (along with Article 5 of the GCIII and parts of GCIV Article 4,) the interpretation of "unlawful combatants" currently in use by the out-going government of the United States.", the primary gist of them is that ‘protected persons’ need to be clearly marked or uniformed, and play by rules of civilized warfare (you know, no beheading civilians, hiding howitzers in schools, that sort of thing) or you can look at the ICRC site where you’ll find things such as,

"Art. 5 Where in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be."


Most sensible people (I realize that rules you, the democratic underground and most other lefties out, but, hey) will read that, and conclude a couple of things. One, fanatic members of illegitimate govt's (taliban), and terrorist bands who are still committed to "Death to America" (al queda) can be reasonably thought of as not being a 'protected person', but even if they were to be granted that consideration, they could still reasonably be considered on a par with "...a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention."

Additionaly, reasonable people (again, leaves you out, sorry) would tend to consider the fact that fanatical members of an illegitimate govt (taliban) who not only do not distinguish themselves from the populace, but hide among them, do not rise to the level of 'protected persons', not to mention religious terrorists groups such as al queda (who by the way, is not a signatory to the treaties, and hence from that angle are also not a 'protected person') who are not part of an army, not uniformed, and are expressly murdering civilians, do not fall under the status of 'protected' persons.

But again, even if they were daft enough to grant them ‘legal protected status’, they might also consider that such people (again, taliban, al queda) who not only chant ‘Death to America!” but have murdered 3,000 people (here), and are actively plotting future atrocities, they might reasonably (yeah, leaves you out again, darn the luck) consider that language such as "... the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be." is a date which has not yet been reached.

“conducting cruel and unusual punishment”

Cruel and unusual punishment is not what you typically perform upon your own people as a matter of training, or upon curious journalists. Just because it is effective, does not make it torture. Nailing testicles to a board, rape rooms, throwing people off buildings, beating them to a literal pulp, yanking out fingernails, smashing fingers, etc, etc, etc, that’s torture. Putting a cloth over someone’s head and pouring water on them, sorry, not torture.

“Do you think that everybody that has been tortured during the course of the so-called war on terror was guilty? Are you quite confident that no innocents were picked up?”

This isn’t NYPD Blue, and as in the example cited, zoobayduh was not picked up on the streets of New York, but during a firefight in a land where he wasn’t a lawful combatant. This is an entirely new situation we are in, of trying to practice warfare upon uncivilized savages hiding among the general populace, and the pretence that rules of behavior written for combat between nation states can be applied to combating such terrorism, is ludicrous. To even think that evidentiary rules could be even contemplated in the scenarios they are going to be found in, is at best naïve, but more realistically, it is dangerously uninformed and just plain stupid. To pretend that either pure civil law, or even utopian rules of warfare (which have historically only been upheld by the better western powers, and used against them by their non-western opponents) can be unilaterally held to, to the probable detriment of the legitimate state, and for the benefit of the savage, is nothing but sick.

But enough of your idiocy. As you have again expressed so well, you and your ilk, have little or no concept of civilization, law or decency. These are terrorists; they are not legitimate combatants in any way shape or form. By definition, they do not even fall under civilized rules of warfare let alone civilized law, and until such time as they are eliminated as a threat, no date ‘consistent with the security of the state’ will be reached in the battle against them.

3/28/2009 12:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Ho! Expanding the Geneva Conventions to protect terrorists defeats their very purpose -- like reading Miranda rights to a coiled snake. "You have the right to remain sssssilent."

Which only proves the adage that a liberal is too broad-minded to take his own side in a fight, whereas a leftist actually fights for the other side.

3/28/2009 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
I just wanted to finally place a bet I was sure to win. By Empty’s logic, you owe me $25 dollars. And what logic is that you ask? The type of logic that says, if it lives on a blog somewhere, it must be so. In fact, I’ve transcended that logic with a knew and I’mproved version, which is, I can believe whatever I hate, I mean, like. Now you owe me $30. It says so somewhere, I’m sure.

(btw, I enjoyed watching you lay out the truth like that. So please keep it up :-)

3/28/2009 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Yes, it's always good to shine a light on these crockroaches, even though they just scurry off to some dark coroner of the internet to nourish themselves on some more intellectual filth.

3/28/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ricky said “Now you owe me $30.”
No problem, leftist economics provides a simple solution, I’ll just borrow $33.30 from you, pay you $26.70 ($30 less tax), and you can return the balance to me as paid in full.

“btw, I enjoyed watching you lay out the truth like that”

And that is kind of the purpose, arguing with an empty craven of course being pointless on the face of it, but like a person who sees a filthy muddy footprint on their clean floor, cleaning it up is something I sometimes just need to do, and in my mind working through the process to the truth of the matter not only cleans it up, but places the lieSol and mOp at the ready to auto-clean any further smudges.

3/28/2009 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Sigh, please try harder:

The Bush administration has agreed to apply the Geneva Conventions to all terrorism suspects in U.S. custody, bowing to the Supreme Court's recent rejection of policies that have imprisoned hundreds for years without trials.

That ruling was almost three years ago.

But legalisms are not the point. The clear intent of the law, both US Constitutional law and international law, is to make certain basic human rights universally applicable. If terrorists are not legitmate military actors nor criminals, it does not mean that they fall through the cracks and thus governments can do whatever they like to them.

And even that isn't the point, either. The point is: I thought you guys are religious Christians of some sort or another. I thought that a fundamental tenet of Christianity was that all men are endowed with souls, even the most criminal and depraved. Christians tell me that that is the historical source of the secular concept of universal human rights, and I think they are correct. So how do Christians (whose saviour was himself a victim of torturous and execution) come to be such enthusiastic partisans of such dehumanizing methods? How do classical liberals come to be such enthusiastic fans of giving the state the power to inflict pain and suffering with no restraint whatsoever?

Of course, you aren't the first Christians to be torture enthusiasts and servitors of the state. But the Inquistition and its modern-day descendents do not go around claiming to be classical liberals.

I've asked these questions over and over and received no answer except idiotic name-calling. So unless you address them, I'm done.

Putting a cloth over someone’s head and pouring water on them, sorry, not torture.

Why should we believe you, rather than the international bodies with legal responsibility for defining torture, such as the ICRC? A bunch of bleeding-hearts, I suppose, but they have the advantage of actually knowing what they are talking about. Or Christopher Hitchens, who had balls enough to submit himself to waterboarding?

Notice how you are lying to yourself with your bland description of waterboarding above as "pouring water on them". You fancy yourself a philosopher; I suggest that being able to face unpleasant facts is a prerequisite to any worthwhile philosophizing.

As a parting shot, here are some other links you probably should not click on because they might disturb you with facts and spoil a pleasant Saturday afternoon.

3/28/2009 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“The point is:”

Oh…thank God.

3/28/2009 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Lookit all dem links.
Bob, you shur itsnot Ray?

Now you owe me ten bucks.

3/28/2009 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“I thought you guys are religious Christians of some sort or another. I thought that a fundamental tenet of Christianity was that all men are endowed with souls, even the most criminal and depraved.”

Yes. But only 180 degrees out of phase from the way you do.

3/28/2009 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

It is indeed a Christian thing. You wouldn't understand.

3/28/2009 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“So how do Christians (whose savior was himself a victim of torturous and execution) come to be such enthusiastic partisans of such dehumanizing methods?”


Let’s see. Uhm. Terrorists are not victims. Jesus didn’t deserve it.

There’s plenty more. But I reject also that this is about quantity. Quantity of items would imply that more is needed than these. You can’t skip over them if you don’t like them.

Bye!

3/28/2009 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Oh Van, about the 33.30 (wink) its all Monopoly money anyway. I’ll send you all mine and then I get to chase you around the desk this time…like they do at the White House. Good times.
Nah, just kiddin. I sent all my money too…

Empty, are you sitting down?

HALIBURTAN!

3/28/2009 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

empty craven said "That ruling was almost three years ago."

Helvering v. Davis (1937) decided in favor of social security 72 years ago, but it is as unconstitutional today, as it was then. Every legislative abuse made through twisting the 'Commerce Clause', have been, and still remain, unconstitutional. What's your point, that bad decisions made through intimidation, ignorance, error or the deliberate intent to rationalize what is wrong in order to do what you want, somehow establish that what is right actually 'wrong'?

Moron.

"How do classical liberals come to be such enthusiastic fans of giving the state the power to inflict pain and suffering with no restraint whatsoever."

Putting a man in prison, or even executing him for a capitol offense, does not in any way harm or weaken the concept of Individual Rights, Property Rights, the rule of law or the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Similarly, in selected cases where, during the prosecution of military actions in order to defeat an uncivilized enemy, if it is determined that a terrorist is withholding information vital to exposing other terrorists and their plans to inflict harm upon your nation, in no way, to a rational person (yeah, you're left out again), does that harm either the concept of our constitutional rights, or that they are less than endowed with unalienable rights - it means, that in this critical context, they have forfeited their political protections, and if after due diligence, those representatives of the people in our govt, have the right to authorize harsh measures (again, not torture) in order to protect those people they represent, from the depredations of dangerous savages.

"Of course, you aren't the first Christians to be torture enthusiasts and servitors of the state. But the Inquistition and its modern-day descendents do not go around claiming to be classical liberals."

As stupid and equivocating a comment as I'd expect from you.

"So unless you address them, I'm done."

I asked you over and over, from your first appearance here, for your thoughts on the more important issues of what you thought the basis of rights, property rights and morality were, and why you felt it was ok for leftist policies to violate them, and have received nothing regarding those questions but evasions and stupid comments. I finished with you long ago.

"Why should we believe you, rather than the international bodies with legal responsibility for defining torture, such as the ICRC"

Because those international bodies, who have no constitutional standing, are far and away representatives of illiberal statists, who couldn't give a fig for any proper conception, let alone defense, of Individual Rights.

"I suggest that being able to face unpleasant facts is a prerequisite to any worthwhile philosophizing"

A clear reason why you assiduously avoid doing anything other that attacking and ridiculing, never once making the effort to examine, construct or even define the most vital and fundamental of concepts.

Fool, Begone.

3/28/2009 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

It's very simple. The best people in the world are fighting the worst people in the world, and the latter know they can rely upon useful idiots such as MT to get their PR done.

3/28/2009 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

He'll be back.

Prediction: Three.. No. Two more comments and then comes the new name.

3/28/2009 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob
question for you (long after the fact). In your student days, when you spoke about running circles around your interlocutor, weren't those circles dependent on faulty equalizations /rationalizations (ie Bush=Hitler)?

3/28/2009 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Of course. America = USSR, "predatory" capitalism = communism, authoritarian allies of US = totalitarian communist satellites, Inquisition = Holocaust, Hiroshima = whatever. LIke our mtraven, I was morally insane, which is to say, given over to an immature moral fervor outside any traditional moral channel.

3/28/2009 07:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I'm not mtraven...been away from your site for a year...took that long to digest and you always make my head hurt...which is a good thing..but I came back and saw mtravens post and it is so...incredible that she/he doesn't come close to understanding what you are talking about...different galaxy entirely from truth and God...and is completely clueless
It's astounding

3/28/2009 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We always have one or two trolls who cannot stay away from the light they despise. Not to worry. What is a bad man but a good man's teacher?

3/28/2009 07:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when I last posted, I was busy working over Job and his sons and daughters....fighting the cannonfodder-faith war...
but now I read your stuff and wish I could simplify it to high school level so that the young'uns had the truth, reality and ammunition through the leftists controlled, public education system...which is where we lose the battle..
Glad you are still here....
God Bless

3/28/2009 07:36:00 PM  

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