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still talking about the looting

From the New York Post:

The hysterical tone of some press reports may reflect the fact that some of the reporters who have been sitting in Baghdad for months have lost sight of the nature of the Saddam regime: They are mystified by the exhilaration felt by so many liberated Iraqis.

But the failure of so many reports to mention the fact that many of the looted stores, institutions and even hospitals were linked to the regime is more troubling. These institutions were dedicated to the exclusive use of Ba'ath Party members - the ordinary public could not make use of them - or were owned and operated by known supporters of the regime.

It's interesting to note that some of the same media outlets that showed the images of the Saddam statue toppling down over and over again while their news people had orgasms of joy on air are the same outlets who are now crying Anarchy in Iraq!

And, upon further thought, where were these sobbing people when Saddam was systematically looting the museum for his own personal monetary benefit?

UPDATE Andrea is taking on the looting meme as well, and points to this article at Counterpunch:

Was Saddam Right? Are Americans the New Mongols of the Mideast?

And like the Mongols, U.S. troops stood by while Iraqi mobs looted and destroyed artifacts at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. They also reportedly joined looters who pillaged other lucrative targets like office buildings, stores, and private homes.

As Andrea stated, "But it's from Counterpunch.org, whose writers are all apparently in the last stages of crack withdrawal paranoia, so I'd say take it with a grain of salt."

I'm taking all these reports with a grain of salt - hell, with a giant chunk of it - but I am having a hard time getting past the fact that people will go through such contemptable lengths to discredit anything the United States does.

I'll put up a sign when I'm done ranting about this subject so you know when it's safe to come back. I'm still not done yet.

Comments

And, upon further thought, where were these sobbing people when Saddam was systematically looting the museum for his own personal monetary benefit?

...they were being slaughtered, tortured and killed for even saying they objected to what he was doing. Which is why they needed outside help and protection.

Have you ever seen video or photographs of the thousands who were gassed by their own government in 1988? Have you seen video or photos of some of the thousands of people who lived through it?

They lived in fear, some of us don't know what that's like...

Ok, so....freeing them yet losing some artifacts of history wasn't worth it?

My word, I'm just fascinated by the whole "he gassed his own people" line. Not the least of which because some credible observers think that it was actually the Iranians who did the gassing, as it occurred during border fighting in the Iran-Iraq war.

Honestly, get some new atrocity. I'm sure with a major scumbag like Hussein you can find some beauties outside the "he gassed his own people/plastic shredder" locus. Remember, Bush apologists: Variety is the spice of life.

Now, about " To choose a material object over a human life" posted previously...Isn't it interesting that the troops did not protect the Baghdad museum, but did protect the oil ministry? Isn't it even more interesting that the troops did not protect one hospital, but did protect the oil ministry? I mean, not to bandy about a commie pinko slogan like "blood for oil", but hmmmn...Isn't it interesting that so many apologists wouldn't favor things over human lives, but do favor token gestures over human lives, like blowing up 14 people in a residential neighborhood to score cheap PR points by splattering Hussein, as little strategic value as that would have at that moment. But at least it would get GWB to pump his fist in the air and exclaim "feels good" again. And what's a half dozen little kiddies compared to make George think there has actually been a point ot his failed, coddled, served on a silver platter, underacheiver life? Even if that point is measured in dead people and billions of barrels.

Personally, I think it is worth it to lose a few things, sure. I was just submitting my own reaction about history to the question is all.

I struggle with the war aspect. Loss of life is never justified with me, for any reason. But having seen what these people have had to live with (if you call it living) durring this regime's exsistance is really sad. They needed help. I mean think about it. A few lives are lost in this war, but in contrast to the thousands who were being killed for having opinions os now over. This was a Hitler type ruler, who ordered a whole civilization gassed, thousands died, wanna see photos? That's the part in my own mind that justifies this war (I am actually very ani-war). It had to be stopped.

It makes me feel better that this kind of dying and torture won't be happening to these people any more. It's what they wanted. There was an interesting interview with an Iraqi man over the weekend who said "I am 32 years old, and now I feel like I can finally go on living my own life." That says a lot to me.

Rev, I'm not sure where you got the idea that Iran had something to do with the 88 gassing, since it's well know, documented and admitted by the former regime that they did it, to an Iranian area also.

I think the whole "oil" issue is a pretty weak defense myself. But everyone is entitled to their conspiracy theories. People try to dig deep to justify their reasons, totally ignoring the fact that a group of people needed some help. Do I think this was the answer? Not necessarily, but now that it is over, maybe those people can breathe with a little less worry about who is going to kill or hurt them for their opinions.

Also, as reported and shown on television over the weekend, the oil ministry was also stripped and looted, so again, I am not sure where this info comes from Rev...

Whoa - A person who comes in here spouting It's about the ooooiiilllll™ tells us to get a new cliche! That's classic!

And that last point about a failed, miserable life of someone who is actually the President of the United States is ironic as well.

Actually, I was under the impression that the "sobbing people" Michele was referring to were the news people and other members of Western media and Western antiwar groups, not the Iraqis. I didn't know that Saddam Hussein gassed the journalists and peacenuggets, but maybe that explains their behavior.

I will also add that there were reports of a firefight that took place involving troops that were protecting... ta-da... a hospital. (I'll have to find the link, it was a few days ago that I read it, right after someone said we were only protecting the oil ministry)

Reverend Mykeru :

You know, it just gets so ooollllldddd when people keep bringing up the Nazis. I mean, so they gassed some of their own people. Shoot, that was, what, sixty years ago? Why do people keep bringing it up?

I mean, sure, nobody ever did it again 'til Saddam came along. And I know the Left uses that trope regularly in its posters (You know the ones, Bush=Hitler)

You're right, history is just so, so, boring.

Oh, and the Iranians being responsible for Halabja? Er, no. The piece you're referring to came from a NYT op-ed, and the problem was that the authors focused on one effect---blue lips iirc, and claimed that a particular nerve agent caused it, which the Iraqis didn't have. Correct, but incomplete---the Iraqis had OTHER nerve agents which ALSO caused the same effect. Indeed, their argument (which first surfaced in the early '90s, if memory serves) was debunked before, and was again.

Finally, on the issue of whether the US forces are like the Mongols---this is like comparing Dubya to Hitler.

When the Mongols swept through, either you surrendered, or your entire leadership was exterminated. Not caught and tried, not sent to Guantanamo, slaughtered. And the cities were put to the torch, the women were raped, etc. I'm curious---does the author somehow think that the TV cameras are showing a different city, if that was what was going on? Or is this simply defining stupidity down, so that one dead innocent is a massacre, and three looted buildings is devastation?

What pisses me off is the Arnette-syndrome.

These people are supplying great fucking propaganda to totalitarians. They can use these useless fucking idiots to prove to their own people that freedom is worth nothing and that the west is full of nothing but criminals. Why even a westerner said that that's all their doing.

This crap helps keep the boot to the necks of hundreds of millions.

Working backwards:

Dean,

Did you have a nice little rant? Did the obligatory Nazi reference make you feel like you've cleaned out your pipes?

Now, on to your cathartic if false analogy: As I remember it, the Nazis were not simply accused of, say, shooting prisoners during the Battle of the Bulge. If I remember correctly there was a whole slew of things that they did: Oh, killing millions of people in the service of a racialist ideology, not limited to work camps, concentration camps, showers with Zyklon B, carbon monoxide, not to mention roving bands of "special" SS troops shooting people in the head. Then there was Kristalnacht, and Guernica, the Warsaw Ghetto, the "decaptiation attack" on the Polish intelligensia, and even my own dear Grandpa was a guest in Stalag XXA for six years (Highlander captured at St Valerie en Coix in 1939).

What's also amusing is that the same sorts of right-wingers that would bring up Nazi atrocities as justification for attac king Iraq would have probably been, like Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, sympathetic to the Nazis. After all, right wingers of a feather flock together.

Now, the question as to if the Iraqis or the Iranians gassed the Kurds is confused by the fact that there are actually two gassing incidents against the Kurds, on in March and another in August of 1988 that seem to have been conflated. One has been attributed to Iran in some quarters (your mileage may vary) including a op ed piece, as you describe it, written by Stephen C. Pelletierre, but he based his information on a study done at the conclusion of the Iran-Iraq war done by professors Stephen Pelletiere and Leif Rosenberger, and Lt Colonel Douglas Johnson of the US Army War College which concluded the same. Hardly just a Times op-ed piece.

But hey, thanks for extrapolating my amusement about the same chestnuts related by prisoners and defectors and US government people who did squat back in 1988 as a general ennui I have towards history itself.

"this is like comparing Dubya to Hitler".

I meant no such comparison. For all his psychotic evil, at least Hitler could write a book. I have grave doubts whether Dubya has ever read one.

Andy sez:

"I will also add that there were reports of a firefight that took place involving troops that were protecting... ta-da... a hospital."

You seem to assume because troops are protecting a hospital now, that they were protecting it then rather than being a day late and a dollar short.

Robb

Nice spin to make it sound as if I wasn't "spouting about the oil" with some sense of irony. Then again, if you are claiming that oil, if not for energy, then for regional power doesn't enter into it as a lynchpin of the neo-con plan then you are hopelessly niave. Oh wait, you think we went into Iraq to free the Iraqis. Naive is a given then.

Ah, so becoming POTUS justifies one's entire existence? Does this apply to Bill Clinton too, or just unelected old-money POTUS' spending a lifetime sliming by on the family name and money?

Yashar37,

I think just because something is repeated a lot doesn't make it well established. Duane Gish repeats his bullshit about frongs and bombadier beetles all the time, it doesn't make it more true for the retelling. I think we can say that, at least, the "Kurd gassing" incident should be unraveled from two conflated events and perhaps put to rest, because the fact that the justification for a 2003 military action was something that the US did absolute squat about in 1988 strikes me as something of an indictment, just not of Hussein alone.

And I didn't say the oil ministry wasn't looted, I just said it was protected. Before anything else, it seems. I know, it's just in poor taste to make this connection, what will having the marvel at the fine embroidery of GWB's invisible suit of clothes, but just interesting.

OK: Predictions for responses:

Everyone will assume that I am a hippy peacenick tree hugger and tailor responses for that strawman.

Andy will get all pissed off and claim that we did all this humanitarian stuff before we put troops around the oil ministry.

Dean will rant some more about nazis and hitler and how we don't need more than one boilerplate example of Hussein's pure 15 year-old evil.

Robb will ignore Dubya's chickenhawk string pulling to get into the National Guard, his brain-dead SATs that qualified him for Yale, his millions made off daddy's cronies and the taxpayers culminating in Renquist, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and O'Connor paying homage to the GOP, the Bush family and their own retirement prospects by giving the election to the Bush kid.

Oh, I did fail to mention that I am not a big proponent of conspiracy theories. Did Oswald act alone? You bet he did, just him and his $12 rifle. Did the USA go to the moon? Yes. That flag waving in the vacuum? It had a telescoping arm holding it up that wiggled. A vaccum doesn't cancel all the rules of physics. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Please.

However, what the neo-cons are doing as part of the Project for a New American Century is not a conspiracy. They are right out there in the open. They have documents. They have a web site [www.newamericancentury.org], if its a conspiracy it must be an open secret like Liberace being gay.

The Bush Administration, and the neo-con PNAC people behind it, have scored an utter PR coup in having their policies, and the old Kissenger Plan from whence it comes, confused with "America".

This is why the times poll that showed that 87% think it is the USA, not any other country, that was the greatest threat to peace [http://www.time.com/time/europe/gdml/peace2003.html]. It's not that there is something stupid and evil about America. Just the Bush Administration fronting for ideological fanatics.

What confuses some of you people is that the folks that gravely question Bush Doctrine are not fanatics. The fanatics are in the White House and Fox News. And because of that their is some label slippage that seeks to label moderates and other sane people as commie liberals.

Hey Rev,
As a right-winger, I am going to nix that "sympathetic to Hitler" crap right now. I obviuously don't believe in appeasement, or I wouldn't have supported this war. Those who were waiting around for Saddam to break as many UN resolutions as he wanted to, hoping against hope that he would let the inspectors do his work-- they would probably be the ones appeasing Hitler, too. Your argument that takes us back to 1930s politics reminds me of when Republicans say that Democrats supported slavery. Well, 150 years ago. It's a little different now, don't you think?

Since the rest of your post is directed at specific people, I will let them answer for themselves.

Courtney,

Goody for you. I don't believe in appeasing aggressive delusional ideologues that see people as pawns in their own plans for world domination and personal enrichment and will stop at nothing, including abridging human rights both home and abroad.

I just wonder why you are similarly not against Bush and, in fact, seem quite taken with appeasing him.

Q: What's the difference between George Bush and Saddam Hussein?

A: One is an unelected, undemocratic dictator who suppresses dissent and uses agression against other nations instead of diplomacy and violates UN resolutions.

The other is Iraqi.

Oh, well, not, that's unfair. Even if we assume that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, as unsupported as that contention is, then Bush has only killed a little over 1/3 the civilians as were killed on 9/11, so we can proudly state that he is only about 33% as bad. Then again, the 5,000 wounded sort of closes the gap there.

Ah, but you say "Those civilains were killed and wounded in freeing Iraq!" Oh, goody. I know the dead don't care and the little boys and girls with their arms and feet blown off probably don't give a shit either. Now they are free. Free to learn to play baseball. Free to go dancing. Yee haw.

And that whole "if you disagree you are an appeaser" argument is crap. I wasn't against the first Persian Gulf war when a bigger nation beat on a smaller nation for mecenary aims. The reason I'm against this one is that it's my country that's doing the agression this time. Freeing Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, it's all crap. It's laughable.

It hasn't escaped my attention that the very people who would accuse me of appeasing fascists are the same people who support the unelected President of the United States, defend the Patriot Act, and really believe that one should not criticize Der Fuhrer in time of war (when he's a republican), support people being boycotted for expressing dissenting thoughts and at the far extreme of Freeperdom, applaud protesters being shot in the back with wood and rubber bullets because "that'll show them".

Somehow the loathing of fascism doesn't extend to the home-grown kind.

"Somehow the loathing of fascism doesn't extend to the home-grown kind."

Get some mental help, "Rev".

Courtney,

At some point, you stop arguing w/ the delusional and those who apparently have different fundamental understanding of words like "fascist." I've seen enough of the "reverend" at other sites that I figger he gets his jollies making the same arguments at various places, whether anyone responds or not.

Get mental help? I'm delusional? Wasn't that the ruse pioneered by the Soviet Union where people critical of the government were, should they avoid the gulag, end up in "pyschiatric hospitals"?

How funny that people defending ex trotskyite and anti-Stalinist leftists who became the "neo-conservatives" would resort to a Stalinist tactic.

Interesting how merely claiming someone who disagrees with you is "mental" frees you from the messy business of coming up with an argument.

Of course, to come up with an argument you would have to 1. Have something defensible to argue for. Perhaps the American Sheeple buy the "regime change...no it's WMD...no, it's to free the Iraqi people" line, but other sheeple in other times and other places have bought into all sorts of blatent bullshit: Communism, Fascism and now the new American Imperium.

Of course, if you would like to help me out here, perhaps you can tell me what makes me so mental? Becuause I don't automatically buy into the "Saddam gasses the Kurds" tale and want more than assurances from GWB? That I look skeptically at our motivation for invading Iraq when the reason changed on a daily basis, when Iraq was proved to be not a threat to the USA but an easily routed Third World country? Because the WMD whose case was originally made on the backs of lies and forgeries (is the fact that the Nigerian documents were crude forgeries that were used regardless by the Bush administration a delusion on my part? What's mental here? That I don't think there is a conspiracy going on, that what is going on is clearly spelled out in position papers by PNAC signed by, among others Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz? Is it my little delusion that what is goin on here was first articulated 30 years ago by Henry Kissinger?

Or is my "delusion" the fact that I don't share yours? I'm not one of the people who think "everything America does is wrong" (and how convenient for you to characterize all criticism that way). But then, I don't confuse the Bush Administration and the PNAC folks with America.

Like it or not, your considering me "metal" seems to be because, strangely enough, I am not as fanatical as some of the right-wing nuts you admire.

I'm sorry, this isn't fascism? Apparently you may be one of those people who thinks all fascists are nazis and all nazis are fascists and therefore all fascists must gas jews or something.

Not true, Fascism is simply, according to Merriam Webster "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition...a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control"

Maybe it's just "fascism lite".

Sorry, I missed something. I was under the impression that GWB was an unelected leader (because the Supreme Court flexed the power of the state to step on the jurisdiction of states to conduct their own elections) . I was under the impression that the unelected presidency has gain an an incredible amount of discretionary power. I was under the impression that laws that severely curtain individual freedoms in order to empower the state, and give them the power to electronically evesdrop without warrent, read mail and even check library records for book lending and computer use. I was under the impression that thousands of Arab Americans have been questioned and scores have been detained for extended periods without charge, without trial and without legal council. I was under the impression that we now live in a time when people actively sanction others for dissent, where the presidency cannot be criticized in wartime, where even the Baseball Hall of Fame has become politicized. I was under the impression that we live in a time where American's are increasingly willing to trade liberty for protection by the state and where people outside the USA wonder what the hell happened to America.

I wonder the same thing too. You see, I'm an American. I have no idea what some of you people are.

Oh my...people protesting in Iraq. US troops kill ten and wound over 100

[http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030415/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_war_us_mosul_030415125129]

Oh yes, we're liberating them, we're liberating them good. Mongols? US?

Then again, why should they deserve better treatment than US protesters shot in the back with rubber and wooden bullets?

But, you know. I think that sort of crap is bad, because I'm not a paragon of mental health like some of you sheeple.

My word, I'm just fascinated by the whole "W's unelected" line. Not the least of which because some credible observers think that it was actually the Florida Supreme Court who tried to hand the election to Gore, but were stymied by the US Supreme Court (and by the actual vote counts).

Honestly, get some new atrocity. I'm sure with a major scumbag like W you can find some beauties outside the "He's unelected / it's all about oil / war of aggression" locus. Remember, Bush haters: Variety is the spice of life.

Black Shaw,

You think that because you can't tell the difference between being informed and just swallowing James Baker's spin points.

The summary version:

According to Florida election law, when as contest is as close as it was in 2000, a recount of the ballots is mandatory. Nothing suprising there. Under George Bush's watch in Texas the election law was refined to likewise make manual recounts obligatory to determine the intent of the voters. By the time the case of Bush v. Gore went to the Supreme Court Bush's lead had shrunk to 537 votes. The Florida Supreme court committed the unpardonable sin of, well, making folks follow Florida election law. Luckily the Supreme Court intervened and, unable to pass by on a bogus Article II argument, instead used an Equal Protection argument to ensure that the intention of Florida voters (which was just fine for Bush when he was Governor of Texas, but bad when he was running for president for some reason) was never determined. Yes, that's right, "Equal Protection" protected GWB, but oddly, it didn't protect voters to have their votes actually counted.

In addition to that, there was enough improper procedures (read: election fraud) on the part of the GOP to throw the contest into doubt. For example: When Katherine Harris, in charge of the election and also, coincidentally, co-chair of the Bush campaign in Florida, allowed absentee ballots that were improperly filled out (apparently it wasn't just people using the butterfly ballots in Miami who are stupid) to be "corrected" if they were for Bush. Ones for Gore were tossed. Also, Harris hired a company who--ooops--improperly removed thousands of black voters from the election rolls claiming they were felons. All of these procedural "boo-boos" (read: election fraud) far exceeded Bush's margin of victory.

If Gore won the same way, by election fraud and by having a partisan Supreme Court that didn't even have standing to challenge the Florida Supreme Court (especially, in this instance, not when you are supposed to be state's rights conservatives) then I would be calling Gore the bogus POTUS.

You can read all about it in books like Kaplan's The Accidental President and Bugliosi's The Betrayal of America (but you know Bugliosi, as a career prosecutor and writer of a book eviscerating the OJ Simpson defense, he's just a big lefty).

And no, I'm not going to "get over it". First, why does an unconstitutionally appointed president have a lesser half-life than Bill Clinton's blow job? Secondly, I like the constitution and the rule of law, unlike some "conservatives" that have the morals of a ten dollar whore who are willing to sell out their own conservative standards and even the constitution itself provided their guy gets into office.

Just more evidence that Bush apologists are Bush apologists because they are either congenitally ignorant or ignorant by sheer force of doctrinal will. That and cheap whores.

Reverend Mykleston,

Your recollection seemd to be faulty. A recount of all votes in Florida was indeed done...a machine recount, immediately after the election.

Florida election law also stated that the election results were to be certified on a certain date. Volusia managed to get their hand recounts done by that date, but Broward and Palm Beach didn't. They asked for a baseless extension (no alleged vote fraud, no alleged machine malfunction, no acts of God, just a desire to help Gore win and an inability to do it on time) and were refused it by Harris.

But, hey, said the SCOF, we'll let these specific (Democrat) counties have an extension, to a date that is nowhere in Florida law, and let them recount. (Please recall that this particular court had 8 Democrats and one "independent".) This is known as "a court making law rather than interpreting it".

And, miracle of miracles, these counties still didn't finish the damn recount on time.

Meanwhile, Bush worked his way up to the US Supreme Court after the SCOF decision, and the US Supreme Court issued a 9-0 decision that the SCOF decision needed to be re-done (A polite way of saying that the decision was utter crap.)

After all this, Gore still lost.

Well, now Gore had to take this into his own hands, so he sued to have those specific, heavily Democratic counties (plus Miami-Dade) recount again. This worked its way to the SCOF, which in a 7-2 decision decided to do a full statewide hand recount with no statewide standards in 2 days.

Oh yeah, THAT would have been seen as legitimate by anybody who didn't like the outcome.

And, kindly note, if the vote totals were not certified in those 2 days (probability: 99.997%), then by Federal Law, CONGRESS got to decide who won. There would be no chance for politics getting into that decision, nosiree.

So the US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, stopped the recount. And in a 5-4 decision, they said that the game was over on account of time. (Damn those 7 partisan hacks on the Supreme Court!)

Why'd time run out? Because SCOF changed the vote certification deadline, that's why. D'oh!

The only time a full, statewide hand recount was offered by anybody was that last doomed decision by SCOF. So please drop that whole "will of the voters" canard. The Democratic players, including Gore, were clearly not interested in it; only in whether their guy won.

Your recollection is also faulty as regards the absentee ballots. The repubs got absentee ballot applications corrected by adding a voter ID number. (Democrat applications had the voter ID number pre-printed, so they didn't need this particular break.) No actual ballots were adjusted. Please stop propagating this particular canard.

Oh, and military absentee ballots (that tended to vote Bush) were contested routinely by Dem's, once again showing that they didn't especially care about "every vote being counted".

In fairness, the felony thing was stupid, but I rather doubt that was deliberate.

Disclosure: I didn't vote for Bush, but I paid attention to the post-election fiasco.

So maybe the reason why the "unconstitutionally appointed president [has] a lesser half-life than Bill Clinton's blow job" is because the blow job actually happened, while the other did not.

Well, Rev, I have to speak up here in defense of GW, because at least what he did was above board and all knew what was going on; like it or not he WAS elected. The popular media would have you believe otherwise. As the Democrats conveniently forget, he had more of the popular vote. What the Democrats forget to mention is that we DO NOT live in a democracy - we live in a republic.

Let's talk about unelected officials; the one that busts me is John Kennedy, who stole the 1960 election. Any ties to organized crime in Chicago were hushed at the time but have since been revealed. The mob handed Kennedy the swing state of Illinois (Being from Iowa, the big joke here is "Election day in Illinois - the dead will walk.... to the polls and vote Democrat" or "Voting day in Illinios - vote early and vote often") Linking registered voters to death certificates now is easy, but then was difficult at best; much the same with the same voters in different precincts. Because he won Illinois, he won the White House. This brought about some inept military maneuvers (the attempted overthrow of Castro in Cuba comes to mind) and then the unthinkable - he gets assasinated and Lyndon Johnson ascends to the Presidency unelected (two Democrats in a row). We are STILL paying for, and will continue to pay for in many years to come, the so-called Great Society. This was the beginning of everyone becoming a victim and needing government handouts to recover from their victim status. It was also the start of the escalation that sent our young men to Vietnam. Before that we only had top-level advisors there.

Apparently the lessons taught in your current events history classes was either not absorbed or taught from a slanted perspective. In either case, I feel the need to point out that about 6% of the oil we import is from Iraq. If it were "All about the oil" why not protect/invade/takeover Saudi Arabia from whom 17% of the oil we import comes from? Geez, if we really wanted to control most of the oil we import, why not just take Canada, Mexico and Venezuela? So much for the "all about the oil" argument. It was a cute catch-phrase, though.

As far as, in your opinion about books, you "have grave doubts whether Dubya has ever read one". Well, I guess they do just hand out diplomas at some Ivy League schools (Yale) and then hand out MBAs at other Ivy League schools (Harvard). I mean really, if he had to EARN such degrees then that would mean he would have had to READ at least ONE book.

One more thing; comparing Bill Clinton to the President (ANY President) is insulting. The man did more to demean the office than any two presidents combined. If a CEO does on the job what he did on the job, the CEO is gone; well, yeah with a severance package, but gone nonetheless. It's called sexual harassment, even if the two parties directly involved don't think it is. If it offends a third party it is STILL sexual harassment; and I for one was pretty offended.

Black Swan,

Actually, it's your recollection that seems to be faulty, and not only because you can't get my name right.

Although, I must admit, your response is rather fascinating. Fascinating because it is just a sort of mindless parroting of GOP spin repeated by someone who obviously doesn't really understand the facts of the case and probably doesn't want to know anyway.

I wonder what Republican Jack Chick cartoon book you got your information from? I got mine from the online book We Will Not Forget: Restoring a Legitimate White House, from Bugliosi's The Betrayal of America and Kaplan's The Accidental President as well as contemporary news repots (gotta love Lexus Nexus) and the actual, if embarrassingly short and unsigned per curium Supreme Court decision as well as the dissenting opinions.

First, what do you mean a recount was done "immediately after the election"? If you mean prior to the Supreme Court decision, that is patently untrue. In Florida there were over 60,000 disputes votes, commonly called "undervotes". These votes were not recounted before the SC decision. Bush, as the petitioner, requested a stay from the court to prevent completion of a recount. If a recount was completed, what was it Bush was trying to stay? If you mean that the votes were finally recounted after the Supreme Court decision, then so what? In that case you admit that the Supreme Court handed the election to Bush without actually knowing the results of the election. Even if the full recount favored Bush, that could be just blind luck, unless you think Antonin Scalia is psychic. Disputable claims that Bush "would have won anyway" are irrelevant. In a democracy you count the votes before declaring a winner, not after. Besides that, there is more at issue than the undervotes, such as the cases of election fraud that accounted for a greater margin than Bush's supposed margin of victory.

You spin the facts about as well as anyone can, which only means that your claims don't bear very close examination.

"Florida election law also stated that the election results were to be certified on a certain date. Volusia managed to get their hand recounts done by that date, but Broward and Palm Beach didn't. They asked for a baseless extension (no alleged vote fraud, no alleged machine malfunction, no acts of God, just a desire to help Gore win and an inability to do it on time) and were refused it by Harris."

How would a "meaningless extension" help Gore win? The votes are the votes. Simply allowing time enough to count the votes would not change that outcome. What would change the outcome is if Katherine Harris (violating a court order to do this, by the way) refused these recounts for no other reason than to help Bush win. Why would it surprise anyone that Harris would do this? As Secretary of State of Florida Harris was a complete partisan lightweight, spending more money on travel and accommodations than anyone else in the administration, which may be why her largely ceremonial office was eliminated in 2002. In addition, Harris improperly used state equipment, including computers for partisan political activity. Before investigation of this could commense, Harris wiped out the hard drives of the comuters in question, but Bush campaign literature and mailing were recovered.

As far as the votes needing to be certified by a certain date, this applied to a normal election schedule and was never intended to be a hard and fast deadline. The Florida Supreme Court, in allowing for a manual recount, cited precedents in Florida election law, Chappell v. Martinez and Boardman v. Esteva, which make the priority that of counting the votes and not meeting arbitrary deadlines. Chappel, for example states, "the electorate's effecting its will through its balloting, not the hypertechnical compliance with statutes, is the object of holding an election".

Makes sense, doesn't it? The purpose of holding an election is counting the votes, not meeting a deadline.

I really must admit that I enjoy your spin. In this case your adherence to the idea that meeting a deadline supercedes making votes count.

I wonder how you would spin what the Supreme Court did to make sure that the recount never happened. The "deadline" was on Dec. 12. By all accounts the recounting was proceeding smoothly and could have been completed in a day or three. On Dec. 9th the Supreme Court granted a stay to Bush to stop the recount rather than let the recount proceed while they considered the case (why let it proceed? The five conservative justices already knew they were going to swear in the Bush kid Jan. 20). After putting the stay in place on the 9th the SC then waited until 10.00 at night on Dec 12 to render their decision that the recount had to be completed by midnight of the 12th, two hours away, and since that could not be done, the tie goes to the Republican. Pretty slick, huh? Stop the recount and then claim the deadline was missed.

Apparently the Supreme Court agrees with you that it was more important to meet a deadline than count the votes. Of course, the SC had no legal basis for this, unlike the Florida SC who did. That's one reason why the court's decision in Bush v. Gore is a travesty of justice right up there with Dred Scott and Plessey v. Ferguson.

You claim " the US Supreme Court issued a 9-0 decision that the SCOF decision needed to be re-done (A polite way of saying that the decision was utter crap.)"

Actually, the vacate and remand order only sought clarification on the means by which the Florida SC reached their decision. It doesn't mean the decision was crap. Initially the conservatives on the court were angling for an Article II argument to stop the recount. This was favored by Renquist, Scalia and Thomas. O'Connor and Kennedy sought a reversal on Equal Protection grounds. The problem with EP was that 1. It usually had to be brought by parties directly harmed, not someone like GWB who would not be directly harmed. 2. A recount using different standards in different counties would hurt Bush in some instances, maybe, and Gore in others, so the claim that Bush would be solely harmed was nonsense and 3. The conservative court almost never granted EP cases to the very parties, usually minorities, that it was designed to protect. Although Bush raised the EP claim in his writ, the court initially thought this wqas such an exceedingly weak argument that they did not grant a hearing on that basis.

By sending a vacate and remand to the Florida SC Scalia et. al. was hoping that they could claim, via Article II that the Florida SC was basing their decision on interpreting the Florida constitution and not legislative intent and so could be hung for making law. However, the Florida SC replied, citing cases, that their decison was based on established standards of legislative interpretation.

Why did the justices use the Equal Protection clause even though they initially thought the argument, as used by Bush's lawyers, as so weak as not to have merit, yet after the Article II gambit fell through they then used it? Because if they wanted to give the elction to Bush, it's all they had.

"So the US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, stopped the recount. And in a 5-4 decision, they said that the game was over on account of time."

It's so heartening to know that we live in a democracy that has such high democratic ideals that meeting an arbitrary deadline is deemed more important than, well...actually practicing democracy.

And the game was over as soon as the Supreme Court injected themselves into the proper recount mandated by Florida election law in order to give the election to GWB. Yes, they are partisan hacks, it's the only way you can interpret their resorting to an argument they previously claimed had no merit and stopping a recount from proceeding until such time as they could claim a deadline was missed. A deadline that would not have been missed had they allowed the recount to proceed.

And who is afraid of a recount? What's wrong with deciding what the will of the people was? Why was it so important to George Bush and the conservative court that this process be derailed?

"Why'd time run out? Because SCOF changed the vote certification deadline, that's why. D'oh!"

Yeah, people do that. It's called an extension. It has not been unknown to happen in the law. You grant an extension when you want to allow time for democracy. You deny it when democracy isn't all that high on your lists of priorities. D'oh!

Incidentally, are you under the impression that channeling Homer Simpson makes for a stronger case? Lisa maybe, but not Homer.

"So please drop that whole "will of the voters" canard. The Democratic players, including Gore, were clearly not interested in it; only in whether their guy won."

Ah, I see. So the people who want to determine what the actual count was are not interested in democracy? The problem is that the votes are the votes. Once you count all the votes the only way this would have helped Gore win is if Gore won. The only reason anyone would want the votes not counted is to hide the truth not reveal it.

It's a novel approach to democracy: The best way to determine the winner of an election is to give the election to one party without actually counting all the votes.

And it seems to me that you are willing to spin anything, even pimp the law and the Constitution provided your guy won. As I said, if Gore won via the same route that GWB did, I would be calling him an unelected president too. You seem to think GWB had a priori legitimacy and anything that got him into the White House, fair or foul, was proper.

"Your recollection is also faulty as regards the absentee ballots. The repubs got absentee ballot applications corrected by adding a voter ID number. (Democrat applications had the voter ID number pre-printed, so they didn't need this particular break.) No actual ballots were adjusted. Please stop propagating this particular canard."

My recollection is just fine. Your problem is that you just want to repeat a lie unchallenged. Nice try. Actually, the flaws that were "corrected" by the Republicans included not just voter ID numbers, but lack of a postmark, lack of signature, being mailed from within the US (these are absentee ballots, remember?) and from people that voted more than once. In other words, the Republicans encouraged and accepted fraudulent ballots. According to a New York Times investigation out of a sample 2,490 ballots accepted some 680 were found to be questionable. Some 80% of the questionable ballots were accepted in counties won by Bush.

So forget other instances of election fraud cited, just on absentee ballots alone the fraud exceeded Bush's margin of victory.

Someone is trying to propogate a canard, but it's not me.

"Oh, and military absentee ballots (that tended to vote Bush) were contested routinely by Dem's, once again showing that they didn't especially care about "every vote being counted"."

That's because republicans encouraged military personnel to illegally send in ballots after the voting deadline (remember all that about ballots without postmarks, signatures, etc. ?) Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 Florida election officials received 446 overseas ballots. By Nov. 16 that went up to 2,575 and by Nov. 17 another 1,200. Although the Republicans tried to make hay out of Gore trying to discount the soldier's ballots, what was actually happening was an attempt to staunch the flow of Republican election fraud.

"In fairness, the felony thing was stupid, but I rather doubt that was deliberate."

The "felony thing"? You mean the "accidental" elimination of thousands of African American voters, who tend to vote 90% democratic, by erroneously labeling them as felons? By only telling them they were felons when they showed up at the polls instead of informing them in advance by mail as required so they could contest it in time to vote? Stupid but not deliberate? Ahahahaha...I have no comment towards something that priceless.

"Disclosure: I didn't vote for Bush"

Disclosure: Who cares who you voted for?

"So maybe the reason why the "unconstitutionally appointed president [has] a lesser half-life than Bill Clinton's blow job" is because the blow job actually happened, while the other did not"

Only in America would a consensual, if adulterous affair (of course, adultery was good enough for main Clinton accuser Henry Hyde. The Grand Hypocrisy Party knows no shame) between adult would be considered more serious than election fraud, usurping the right of a state to follow their own election law culminating in an extra-legal intervention by right wing partisans in a Supreme Court who, as interpreters of the Constitution, forgot that election disputes were to be resolved, according to the Constitution, by Congress and not the Supreme Court.

In a country where the rule of law still mattered (instead of the GOP standard of following the law only when it suits them) as soon as Renquist and Bush stood on the Capitol steps and Bush swore to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution while Renquist validated that oath, both should have immediately been arrested for perjury.

Bill H,

"Well, Rev, I have to speak up here in defense of GW, because at least what he did was above board and all knew what was going on; like it or not he WAS elected. The popular media would have you believe otherwise. As the Democrats conveniently forget, he had more of the popular vote. What the Democrats forget to mention is that we DO NOT live in a democracy - we live in a republic."

I'm not too sure what the logical connection is supposed to be between GW knowing what was going on and being above board and being elected.

As far as being "above board", that would be nice. As GW got into Yale with tepid scholastic aptitude tests based on being a "legacy admission", his being bumped to the head of the line in front of 100,000 others to get into the Texas National Guard, put into officers training despite receiving a 25% pilot training test score then going AWOL while little people died in Vietnam and being stripped of flight status for not showing up to take physicals that included drug testing, then getting fronted $600,000 by daddy's cronies to buy into the Texas Rangers and then using taxpayer money to build a stadium that allowed him to parlay that initial investment into a cool $15 million, it's about fucking time GW did something above board. However, it seems being appointed by the Supreme Court was just the culmination of George's history of benefitting from welfare for rich people.

And like it or not, GWB was not elected. He was appointed by the Supreme Court not only before a state mandated recount of votes, but appointed in leiu of a recount.

Not only that, but there was enough election fraud, not least of which was the disenfranchisement of thousands of black voters, as to throw the election into question.

Maybe we should have taken up Cuba on their offer to send people to act as election inspectors.

Plus there is the little issue of the 12th Amendment that stipulates that the Presidential candidate and the vice-presidential candidate can't live in the same state. Both George Bush and Dick Cheney comes from Texas. Luckily a panel of 5 Republican judges decided that Dick is a resident of Wyoming, even though he lived in Texas for 15 years, owned a house in Texas and not Wyoming, worked in a Texas-based company, had a Texas driver's license, filed taxes as a Texas resident and even held a position on a university board of directors that only appointed Texas residents. But luckily the Republican judges ruled that since Dick registered to vote in Wyoming before the campaign, that made him a Wyoming resident. Otherwise George and Dick would have had to forfeit Texas's electoral votes.

Uh, we do live in a democracy. "Democracy" and "Republic" are not mutually exclusive terms. In fact, all republics are democracies, but not all democracies are republics.

And get the fact straight that GWB did not win the popular vote. He lost the popular vote to the tune of half a million votes, greater than the popular vote margins by which Kennedy won in 1960 and Nixon won in 1968. George becomes the first person to lose the popular vote and yet get into the White House since 1888.

I'm not impressed by tu quoque arguments. Let's assume only for the sake of argument that Kennedy did "steal" the 1960 election, this excuses Bush's theft exactly how? Is there some standard of karmic justice that makes two wrongs equal a right? And the consequences you extrapolate from that wrong may be true, but again, so what? How does this justify further wrong?

"Apparently the lessons taught in your current events history classes was either not absorbed or taught from a slanted perspective. In either case, I feel the need to point out that about 6% of the oil we import is from Iraq. If it were "All about the oil" why not protect/invade/takeover Saudi Arabia from whom 17% of the oil we import comes from? Geez, if we really wanted to control most of the oil we import, why not just take Canada, Mexico and Venezuela? So much for the "all about the oil" argument."

Thanks for the completely unenlightened analysis. First off, when I spoke about oil being a factor in this I did point out that the PNAC scenerio involves oil as a source of regional power, not just for energy. Even if it was "just about the oil" this is not an abberation in US foregn policy towards the region. We have always treated oil as a primary strategic resource. Oil is, in short, what modern technological civilization is based on. From the time of the Carter Doctrine we have publically recognized the importance of this resouce.

However, it's naive to claim that we want to secure oil just to run our SUVs.

We may get oil from other sources, but the US constitutes almost 50% of that region's oil consumers. Saudi Arabia has some 246 billion barrels of known oil resources. Iraq may have up to twice that amount. The difference between Middle Eastern and, say Alaskan oil is that it is much more readily accessible. In the case of Iraq the cost of extraction of about $1.50 (that's a buck fifty) makes it the cheapest oil to extract in the world. With oil, like any other commodity, you have to factor in overhead and the cost of extraction alone is a big overhead.

Also, the benefit of oil is not just in terms of its use to those who use it, but also its use in controlling it. China is increasingly a consumer of Middle Eastern oil and may in the future establish stronger ties with the countries in that region which would give them leverage in a region we would prefer to control.

Of course it is not "all about oil". Then again, the Crusades was not "all about religion". To claim it is not at all about the oil, or the religion, for that matter, is just asinine. Maybe Fox-watching mouth breathers really believe we invaded Iraq as part of a bleeding heart touchy-feely campaign to free Iraq, but no one else, especially our former allies, buys it.

The fact that we may import 6% of our oil from Iraq, or even the fact that we use 12% of our oil imports from the Persian Gulf doesn't mean we would retain that percentage if the resource became cheaper and more easily accessible. Overall the US imports 58% of the oil it uses.

And why not invade Saudi Arabia? Besides the fact that Iraq has probably twice the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, the neo-cons have already stated that we would go into Saudi Arabia if the ruling Saud family fell or our access to that oil was cut off.

"As far as, in your opinion about books, you "have grave doubts whether Dubya has ever read one". Well, I guess they do just hand out diplomas at some Ivy League schools (Yale) and then hand out MBAs at other Ivy League schools (Harvard). I mean really, if he had to EARN such degrees then that would mean he would have had to READ at least ONE book."

Sorry, I keep forgetting that George got into Yale based on his brilliant test scores, scintillating scholarship and not because, for example, because his daddy went to Yale and his granddaddy Prescott Bush was a trustee. That might raise the spectre of welfare for rich kids.

Then again, when Bush is proposing a 762 billion dollar tax cut for the wealtiest 1-3% and disguising it as an economic stimulous package, maybe welfare for the rich is something worth addressing. Especially because this sort of voo-doo economics has never stimulated the economy and, in fact, never even stalled a recession.

"One more thing; comparing Bill Clinton to the President (ANY President) is insulting. The man did more to demean the office than any two presidents combined. If a CEO does on the job what he did on the job, the CEO is gone; well, yeah with a severance package, but gone nonetheless. It's called sexual harassment, even if the two parties directly involved don't think it is. If it offends a third party it is STILL sexual harassment; and I for one was pretty offended."

Well, if Bill Clinton did anything to demean the office more than any two presidents combined (Such as Richard Nixon's extra-constitutional dirty tricks and Ronald Reagan's treasonous violation of the Bolland Amendment with Iran-Contra, perhaps? Oh, sorry, I forgot, none of those involve sex), he had a lot of help in this endeavor by being targeted relentlessly by perverted Republican ideologues like Ken Starr who didn't mind destroying the presidency provided the president was a democrat.

Lucily, we now have George Bush in place to reverse the terrible trend of peace and prosperity of the Clinton years. We may dip into another recsion like under George Bush Sr., but at least ti will be a proper God-fearing Republican recession rather than tainted Democratic prosperity.

I would think that good patriotic Americans would applaud prosperity even if under a Democratic president, but often patriotism ovder partisanship seems to be too much to ask the average Clinton-obsessed Republican.

So, let me get this straight: If two people have consensual sexual relations, then it is sexual harassment if it offends you? Who appointed you Voyeur in Chief?

Only Republicans would rate consensual sexual relations as a greater crime than, say, illegally selling weapons to a foreign group in defiance of Congress or breaking into an office to steal a person's psychiatric records for political blackmail.

Getting head from your intern may be perverse, but to really acheive unapologetic perversion (especially of the Constituton) one must go with the GOP.

Reverend Mykeru, whose handle I deliberately misspelled only after you misspelled mine:

Do you believe that hand recounts are more accurate than machine recounts? Even though ballots may be inadvertently altered in the process due to handling? Even in a highly partisan environment where every counter knows that the election is close?

Would you have accepted the election results if only a few, heavily democratic counties got to hand-count the votes again, including undervotes? While other counties did not? This is what the SCOF proposed the first time. Please answer yes or no.

(How did you put it? "It's a novel approach to democracy: The best way to determine the winner of an election is to give the election to one party without actually counting all the votes." Or, indeed, by giving extra votes to one party without giving extra votes to the other.)

Would you have accepted the results of a full statewide count, including undervotes but excluding overvotes, with no statewide standards done in haste ( 2 days' deadline)? This is what the SCOF proposed in their second decision. Please answer yes or no.

Would you have accepted the results of a full statewide count, including undervotes but excluding overvotes, with no statewide standards, done with less haste but wrangled over by Congress? This would have been the likely outcome of the SCOF's second decision. Please answer yes or no.

I would also like very much to hear your explanation of why the "proper recount as mandated by Florida election law" wasn't even proposed...by anybody in Florida...until two days before the Federal "safe harbor" deadline. I remind you of what you did not acknowledge before: that a statewide machine recount was done, and nobody other than those three Democratic counties thought that that recount wasn't good enough.

Regarding your charges of Republican election fraud, either the Democrat lawyers in Florida at the time didn't see fit to bring them up, or the suits got shot down by the same Florida court system you so revere. In addition, you fail to bring up allegations of Democrat vote fraud in other states, which likewise could have tilted those elections in the Dems' favor, but which the Republicans let slide.

The bottom line is that you insist that the US Supreme Court actions were so heinous that Bush is illegitimate. I insist that the SCOF actions were so heinous that if Gore were declared the winner as a result of those actions he would be illegitimate.

Get mental help? I'm delusional? Wasn't that the ruse pioneered by the Soviet Union where people critical of the government were, should they avoid the gulag, end up in "pyschiatric hospitals"?

Where did the ruse of labeling people who don't agree with your views as sheeple, or otherwise implying they must be mentally defective for not seeing the majesty of your knowledge come from, "Reverend"?

But please do continue, I wouldn't think of trying to deny your freedom to speak and torpedo your own cause so efficiently. Do take up as much bandwidth as possible.

Oh wait, let me insult you so you can wail and flap your arms about how I must be wanting to silence you: you're a buffoon.

Black Swan

Ah, I mispelled your name and you showed me that any mistake I can make you can make better. Impressive. I'm typing on a laptop I am unfamiliar with while my PC is out for repairs, which accounts for my greater than average number of typos, and your excuse?

"Do you believe that hand recounts are more accurate than machine recounts? "

Doesn't matter what I think when George Bush himself thought hand recounts are more accurate than machine counts. Texas law under Bush mandated hand recounts of optically scanned punch ballots exactly because they are more accurate. And it's not the case that that standard just happened to on the books while GWB was governor of Texas: He signed the freaking thing.

Which raises the question of how it is that a man who signs off on hand recounts being more accurate in his home state, yet when he's in Florida, suddenly hand recounts are a violation of his rights?

Aside from that, it doesn't take a genius to see that, yes, hand recounts of the Votomatic punch-card system where a semi detached bit of card, a "chad" could block the scanning mechanism and count as no vote would be more accurate. First, the procedure includes the ballot being evaluated at the same time by a Dem. and a Rep. and, if they can't agree, then it goes to a tie breaker.

This is the way it would have worked in Florida, and, incidentally where it would work in Texas. You see, the law that GWB signed that mandated manual recounts of ballots not only accepted "hanging chads" but "dimpled chads" in determining the will of the voter.

And since the Votomatic machines had a failure rate of votes not being picked up of 3.92 percent, you would have to accept manual recounts unless you have no problem with almost four out of one-hundred votes not being counted. In fact, since a large number of votes were missed in the first pass, these would technically not be a recount. There would have to be a manual count to have these votes counted at all.

If you figure that wealthier Rep. counties used a more expensive and accurate optical scan system with a failure rate of 1.43 percent over the Votomatic machines used more in Dem. counties, that alone would give Bush an artificial advantage that exceeded his margin of victory of .00895% of the six million votes cast in Florida. Now, the use of certain machines may be the fault of the counties, the state, the democrats, the republicans or a conspiracy of the Illuminati in cahoots with the New World Order and Elvis, but it isn't the fault of the voting public, so why should they be penalized?

You know, in discussing this with you, it has dawned on me that you really do know squat. Case in point:

"Even though ballots may be inadvertently altered in the process due to handling? Even in a highly partisan environment where every counter knows that the election is close?"

I just explained that the ballots would be reviewed by both a Dem. and a Rep. in a public setting with representatives of both parties, lawyers and the news media present. This maybe maight result in someone being able to alter a ballot of two on the sly, if that, but hardly enough to change the election. And if manual recounts are so problematic, again, why did Bush pass a law making manual recounts the preferred method?

This "they could have altered the ballots" argument was bandied about by the GOP spinmeisters at the time, but considering the extent that it ignores the realities of a manual recount its exceedingly stupid and would only appeal to partisans who prefer to make their decisions based on ignorance.

"Would you have accepted the election results if only a few, heavily democratic counties got to hand-count the votes again, including undervotes? While other counties did not? This is what the SCOF proposed the first time. Please answer yes or no."

Hey, how's your wife? Are you still beating her? Please answer yes or no.

Fact is, the most problematic votes were the ones produced by the Votomatic machines, which were primarily used in Democratic counties. So the decision to do a recount there was more based on the machines used than party affiliation. Besides, what difference does it make? A vote is a vote is a vote. Your argument against doing a recount (actually in a lot of instances a first count) in "heavily democratic counties" seems to be fear of what? Counting everyone's vote? A recount in a Democratic county would just, as in a Republican county, determine the will of the voters. It wouldn't create "extra votes" that weren't there, claims of impossible ballot forging notwithstanding.

It's interesting how the GOP and the Supreme Court made basically the same argument: That counting all the votes would not benefit George W. Bush.

Well, democracy sucks that way.

"Would you have accepted the results of a full statewide count, including undervotes but excluding overvotes, with no statewide standards done in haste ( 2 days' deadline)? This is what the SCOF proposed in their second decision. Please answer yes or no."

Hey, tell me, are you still molesting children? Please answer yes or no.

If you have a problem with differeing standards for a recount (which sort of makes sense as different standards were used for voting in the first place) then wouldn't it have made sense for the Supreme Court to remand the decision to Florida under a set standard? How does that make less sense than deciding that in the absense of a uniform standard we should just toss people's votes rather than count them.

Remember: Democracy means counting all the votes, even if determining voter intent is a messy and imperfect process. To just toss people's votes because its too big a bother, or worse, too politically contentious to count them is unworthy of a country that considers itself the flagship of representative democracy.

"Would you have accepted the results of a full statewide count, including undervotes but excluding overvotes, with no statewide standards, done with less haste but wrangled over by Congress? This would have been the likely outcome of the SCOF's second decision. Please answer yes or no."

Hey, those bestial snuff parties, do you still go to them? Answer yes or no, please.

If you don't like the idea of Congress wrangling over it, then change the fucking Constitution. What can I say? I hardly think the "wrangling" and inconvenience, even the spectre of a "crisis" warrents just ignoring the Constiution, as fashionable as that may be in Republican circles these days.

"I would also like very much to hear your explanation of why the "proper recount as mandated by Florida election law" wasn't even proposed...by anybody in Florida...until two days before the Federal "safe harbor" deadline."

Huh? The manual recount was proceeding according to Florida election code. On Dec. 8 the courts (sorry about them not moving quick enough for your liking) ordered a manual recount in compliance with 102.168(8) and 102.166(4)© in which the court has the power to "provide any relief appropriate under the circumstances". The recount did not proceed because the Supreme Court ordered a stop to the recount, and kept it stopped until they caused the deadline to be missed.

"I remind you of what you did not acknowledge before: that a statewide machine recount was done, and nobody other than those three Democratic counties thought that that recount wasn't good enough."

So, if the machine count was inaccurate the first time around, then what is gained by running it through again? That is why a manual recount is preferred the state of Florida and, as I said before, by Dubya himself.

"Regarding your charges of Republican election fraud, either the Democrat lawyers in Florida at the time didn't see fit to bring them up, or the suits got shot down by the same Florida court system you so revere."

You don't know which? You are really not big on the details, are you? You criticize Gore and the state of Florida for trying to follow the election law, because that would be too inconvenient and messy, and then you fault them for not adding enough problems into the mix? Which is it?

" In addition, you fail to bring up allegations of Democrat vote fraud in other states, which likewise could have tilted those elections in the Dems' favor, but which the Republicans let slide."

Mind sharing?

"The bottom line is that you insist that the US Supreme Court actions were so heinous that Bush is illegitimate. I insist that the SCOF actions were so heinous that if Gore were declared the winner as a result of those actions he would be illegitimate."

I hardly think Gore would have been illigitimate for gasp being elected because actual election law was followed or, even worse, the Supreme Court actually acted like the Constitution was more important than their own partisan preferences. If the Supreme Court wasn't deeply ashamed of their decision, why did they submit an unsigned per curium opinion that is usually reserved for unanimous decisions? Why did they claim that this case, which is predicated on the simple notion that differential standards in elections violate the Equal Protection clause, only applied to this case, just long enough for GWB to get in the White House?

It's really simple: The five justices that voted to stop the recount and appointed George W. Bush president are traitors to both the spirit of the Constitution and the United States. By taking legal action to prevent the votes being counted to determine the will of the voters, then George W. Bush is a traitor as well, not to mention a screaming hypocrite. If you support the justice's decision, then you are a traitor as well. Like a murderer, even if you think there was good reason for murder, or the murder resulted in an outcome you like, you would still be a murderer. Likewise, even if you can provide some fig leaf of reason for this act of treason and even if the treason resulted in an outcome you like, you are still a traitor.

And all the flag waving and excuses and special pleading doesn't mitigate the treason one little bit.

Patrick Chester,

The use of the term "sheeple" doesn't indicate people who disagree with me. It indicates how certain people arrive at their conclusions. For example, someone who saw Bowling for Columbine and thought that 1. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went bowling the morning of the Columbine shooting or 2. thought that bank really doled out guns on the premises because it was in Michael Moore's film would be a sheeple of the highest caliber.

However, the Stalinist claims of my mental illness for nothing more than disagreeing with some came before the my use of that term, as misunderstood as it is by you. Let me explain the concept of causality to you some time some time.

Incidentally, my use of the term "sheeple" or, hypothetically, calling someone a "mouth breathing right wing ignorant bag of smugness that wears his stupidity on his sleeve like an armband" has exactly what to do with the facts of the 2000 election?

I could be extremely uncongenial and you know what? It wouldn't change history or extermal reality one little bit.

Rev,

Hey, I'm one of those absentee military voters. I'm in Hawaii. It's in the US, not overseas. I'm also one of those guys who would have been exhorting the troops to send in ballots late. Musta missed the memo. Besides, the troops I know have this little thing about following illegal orders, even if they haven't read the latest group of conspiracy books or been to Oxford.

Fred,

Your argument by personal anecdote failed to address the problem of OABs (That's Overseas Absentee Ballots. Did I mention that Hawaii is not considered to be "overseas"?) missing postmarks, missing signatures, mailed in the USA (Like Hawaii, as opposed to overseas) and duplicated.

And just because you did not participate doesn't mean that what was described didn't occur. For example, I wasn't asked to participate in the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby.

And since part of the problem with OABs was that republicans were allowed to "fix" some of them, the fact that you missed the memo achieves an even more rarified level of irrelevancy.

No, Rev,

I mean that I personally take umbrage at your open accusation that military officers violated the law by pressuring military personnel to submit illegal absentee ballots. It's a lie. It makes you a liar. Further, you disparage an entire group of honorable people serving their country. If you have personal knowledge and evidence that such occured, I will personally work to ensure the individual officers are court martialed.

My point is that I "am" a pretty senior officer in a high level overseas headquarters. If such occured in this half of the world, I would have heard of it. Hawaii is considered "overseas" for many military purposes. So is Guam.

Fred,

"I mean that I personally take umbrage at your open accusation that military officers violated the law by pressuring military personnel to submit illegal absentee ballots."

I never used the term "military absentee ballots". I used the terms "absentee ballots" or "oversees absentee ballots", because not all absentee ballots are filled out by military personnel. It was Black Swan who made a point of mentioning "military absentee ballots", even placing the word in asterisks around the word for emphasis.

So, would you like a doggie bag for your righteous indignation?

In the future, maybe you should read a little carefully before you have a full-on hissy fit. I could claim that your attributing to me something asserted by someone else would make you a "liar", but I honestly don't think you are a liar. I think you are just careless and stupid.

I also predict that despite your protestations about your honor, that rather than apologize to me in an honorable fashion you will redouble your efforts to slag me.

Your comment:

"That's because republicans encouraged military personnel to illegally send in ballots after the voting deadline (remember all that about ballots without postmarks, signatures, etc. ?) " You then produce numbers to suggest that they did so.

I hereby apologize in this public forum for assuming you meant military officers rather than faceless "republicans". Now, you've only accused serving military personnel of wholesale violation of the law.

I don't know you, sir. I have no need or desire to "slag" you, nor to hurl petty insults.

I've read pages of your thoughts. I think you're wrong on most accounts. Please notice the use of the word "wrong" rather than "stupid". I think you have pretty well mastered "righteous indignation" based on the posts above.

Yeah, figures. I consistently use the term "overseas absentee ballots" and "overseas ballots" and when responding to a direct use of the term "military absentee ballots", this inspires your hissy fit.

Unfortunately many people in the military claim that they live in Florida, Alaska or New York in order to avoid paying state income tax. In the case of Florida all a person has to do is say they have been "temporarily away" even if that is ten year's worth of temporary.

Among other improprieties include Air Force personnel in England recieving at least two absentee ballots.

Republicans illegally sent absentee ballots to military personnel after the Nov. 7 election.

Now, remember, I wasn't the one who brought in specifically military absentee ballots. But when the subject comes up, yes, there are documented improprieties with military absentee ballots.

Sorry if that offends your delicate sensibilities. And it is not to defame the military in general, but where is it written that the military has less scumbags than the general population? If I recall, military persons have been accused and convicted of murder and rape overseas, including, in one case, the rape and murder of a 12 year old Japanese girl. I can't think of any group that is without sin, including catholic priests So, I hardly think some military people engaging in a little election fraud is beyond the pale.

Luckily, Fred, your reply makes me feel better about wounding your honor. Should you get any in the future, let me know and I will be careful with it.

I used your quote. It doesn't say anything about "overseas absentee ballots", "overseas ballots", or "military absentee ballots".

Go back and read my post. If that's what you call a "hissy fit", well, whatever. I corrected my first post. If that's not good enough for you, well, double whatever.

I never claimed that "republicans" did or didn't do anything. Go back and read my post. That's your claim.

I said that you had accused accused serving military personnel of wholesale violation of the law. Clearly you have. Go back and read my post.

I didn't say you had offended my honor. You did. Go back and read both my posts. I made reference to a group of honorable people. However, you have chosen to infer you think I have none. Does that count as a "slag"?

Military personnel break the law in many ways. I've found them, charged them, and seen them punished. I'm not going to argue about competitive scumbag rates; you brought that up, not I.

If your reference to a 12 year old girl in Japan refers to the incident in Okinawa, please note that it was a rape, not a rape-murder. A heinous crime indeed, but not a murder. The three involved are currently serving long prison sentences; I would have preferred a harsher penalty.

Many military personnel take advantage of the tax laws of many states. I've lived in seven during my service. Are you suggesting I shouldn't be able to vote? Or not be subject to, or take advantage of, federal or state laws? Or are you saying that military personnel in general realized that Florida would be a key state in 2000 and changed their residency? Or are you suggesting that residency laws should be changed? The proper forum for that would be the Florida legislature, if you have standing as a Florida citizen/resident.

Fred,

Nice spin. I will repeat: I used the term "absentee ballots" and "overseas absentee ballots" because not all absentee ballots are military.

Then the only time I used the term "military absentee ballots" was in direct response to Black Swan specifically using the term.

Any further misunderstanding on your part is no fault of my own and will only persist due to your unwillingness to address what I was actually saying.

That being said, since Black Swan brought up military absentee ballots and so did you, yes, there were irregularities will military absentee ballots. Your objection is what? That there were no irregularities or, even if there were, that it was bad taste on my part to bring it up?

OK, then you admit that yes, military personnel, like every other group, have been known to break the law. So what exactly is your problem?

Ah, thank you for correcting me on the rape of the 12 year old girl. Still since members of the military are capable of raping pre-pubescent girls, a little election fraud is not much more of a stretch, do you think?

No, I am not suggesting that you should not be able to vote. I am not suggesting anything. I am merely relating the fact that the 2000 election contained irregularities that exceed George Bush's margin of victory. Some of the elction fraud occurred in absentee ballots and yes, now that you mention this, some of the absentee ballots were from military.

What I am suggesting that should you vote, your votes should be counted, which is not what happened in the 2000 election with people whose votes were discarded either through malfunctions, malfeasance and, finally, a Supreme Court who thought the best was to preserve the right to vote (for George Bush) was not to count all the votes.

Okay, Rev,

Since you insist on misunderstanding me, here goes:

There were irregularities in military absentee ballots. There were irregularities in counting those ballots. There were irregularities in counting other ballots. On both sides. In numbers which exceeded anyone's margins.

My original post was based on the erroneous belief you had alleged directed violations of the law by military officers. I was incorrect, and clearly said so.

Your spin still infers systematic abuse of the law by members of the armed forces. Note my earlier use of the word "wholesale". It's a bogus argument. Individual violations don't justify your approach. That. is. my. only.point. I don't care to argue about butterfly ballots, hanging chads, numbers versus other information. I won't convince you, you won't convince me. You think one way, I another.

I've tried to be civil in this discussion. Visited your blogsite. I (thought your treatment of Mumia was alright, although we don't agree on much else. That said, enough.

"Your spin still infers systematic abuse of the law by members of the armed forces."

No. Remove the word "systematic".

"Your spin still infers systematic abuse of the law by members of the armed forces."

No. Remove the word "systematic".