Sunday, November 12, 2006

What's He Talking About????

My favorite local conservative, Kurt Bonham at FlyAtNight appears to take exception to my recent take on Lassen County's performance during the election. I say "appears" because Kurt's ufocused style of "there's a point in here somewhere" style of writing makes it somewhat difficult to understand where he's coming from.

The first thing he writes is that I'm a "quasi-local Blogger". What the hell does that mean? Living and working in Susanville doesn't qualify me as "local"? Or is Kurt one of those geographic "traditionalist" dinosaurs who believes you can't be considered part of the community unless you were born here? Got news for you, buddy: I was born in San Francisco (ah, gasp!). In Limbaughian logic I guess that makes me and Nancy Pelosi bosom buddies.

The next point Kurt tries to make is that I have some kind of distorted view of the military. He writes the following:

The Professor also provides us with his point of view about the military

And then cites the following paragraph from my post:

“Supporting the Military” in Lassen County means slapping magnetic stickers on your car and rooting for the demise of “islamo-fascists” in front of FOX News from the safety of your up-to-date hi-tech entertainment center; all the while basking in your own tax cuts, going to church on Sunday to pat yourself on the back for being so moral, and adding to your collection of ATVs. But God forbid you would help pay the cost of the “war on terror” with increased taxes or be inconvenienced by a reduction of services or volunteer your vacation time to assisting the war effort, or foregoe profits in your business until the war is over. Whatever analogy FOX news pundits need to conjure up regarding the current war on terror, it is no where near to the sacrifices paid on the home front during WWII. For those without relatives in combat, this is a leisure-time war on the homefront, not far removed from world-wide video game pumped into your house every night.

Only a conservative would take a political accusation against himself and tell the whole world it was really an insult to the military (which is why everyone in the world but conservatives knew what John Kerry was really joking about!). Kurt and his fellow conservatives need to learn how to read and stop trying to "Swiftboat" everything. I was making two very clear points in that paragraph and several others:

1) I find it ironic that Lassen County voters by and large supported sleazeball Doolittle 2:1 over Lt. Colonel Charlie Brown (a man who serving his country while Doolittle was figuring out how rich he could get with political power) and then claim to "support the troops"; and, more importantly,
2) I think "support" for the troops is largely feined by anyone who is not personally connected to the war. It's a cheap argument if you don't have loved-ones doing the fighting.

This is NOT about the military; it is about those who claim support FOR the military while paying no costs themselves. However, in the interest of clarifying my position, let me be clear:

- my thoughts and prayers go to our men and women who are doing the fighting, and to their relatives back home doing the worrying (that includes you, Kurt, if you have relatives in Iraq or Afganistan); I don't believe the Iraq war is doing one thing for our personal security here, and I think the troops need to come home, but don't think for one minute their lives and their relatives' piece of mind aren't important to me;

- I think everyone else has no personal connection to the war and therefore talk is cheap. I think if this is really a "war", then everyone should be paying a cost to support it. If you aren't serving yourself, you should be paying significantly higher taxes to defray the costs from future generations. I don't think businesses should make profits from the war, or during it. If you really want public buy-off on this war as important, then the cost should be shared by more than just those doing the fighting;

- Tell you what else I think: If you think there's no support for the war now, I bet if we were paying high taxes to support it, there would be almost zero support. That's because I don't personally think too much about those who claim to support the war if they haven't demonstrated a personal connection to it. I think most "support" is limited by the pocket book - it's a good thing so long as someone else is doing the dieing and we don't have to shell out any money in support.

So let me ask the Kurts of this world a simple yes or no question: do you think everyone should share the cost and burden of this war?

Kurt then goes on to make the following statement:

The use of the word “God” is a slap at those with religious beliefs. The Professor rants about things he has little knowledge of simply because he has summarily dismissed non-progessives as non-entities. So much for unbiased science.

What is he talking about? Since when is use of the term "God" a slap at those with relligious beliefs? When did I dismiss non-progressives as non-entities? Where was I talking about science in that post? Does Kurt actually understand the English language?

Finally, this gem:

The Professor, an instructor at an institution of higher learning, certainly has a strange view of the educational system

…we will need to continue fighting against using ancient texts written by primitive people as a basis for 21st century policy.

Textbooks are not supposed to promote public policy. Textbooks are supposed to impart the current thinking and historical perspective on the subject being taught. The re-writing of history is not the purpose of instruction. How history is interpreted is fair game. Unfortunately, the Professor wants to re-write educational policy in his own likeness.
What should concern parents and administrators is that the Professor apparently instructs and researches with a predetermined bias that excludes all possibilities that don’t fall within his universe of thought. This is not unbiased science but political thought injected into what is supposed to be science.

Uhh...I was talking about the Bible. But thank you for proving my point. "Textbooks are supposed to impart the current thinking and historical perspective on the subject being taught" - I couldn't agree more!...and the Bible provides no "current thinking and historical perspective" for use in a classroom. As I said, it's an ancient text written by a primitive, tribal people with no understanding of modern science, history or almost any other subject. It shouldn't be used as a textbook or as a basis for public policy (although folks like Doolittle seem to think it justifies the war in Iraq). Thanks for agreeing with me on that point, Kurt.

1 comment:

CFeagans said...

The blood of war is most easily justified by those that aren't required to actually bleed.

As a vet, I'm often dismayed at the casual use of the "support the troops" slogan. These three words are mostly bastardized by conservative nutbars who, very fallaciously, imply the following chain of causality: those that do not support the troops are obviously traitors or not patriotic; criticizing our government's decision to invade other nations and exploit the sense of duty, honor and loyalty of our servicemen is not "supporting the troops."

By equating traitorous and a lack of patriotism to criticizing those that claim to lead our nation, you effectively poison the well, thus shutting up dissent.

In the end, it is the well-poisoning conservative nutbars who are un-patriotic, traitorous, and fail to support our troops. As a veteran who has friends who are still serving, I find the exploitation of these men and women for political gain abominable.

I don't generally deride those that chose not to serve their country with military service, but I've little regard for loudmouthed conservatives who haven't a clue when they start going on about "support the troops."