Monday, November 20, 2006

Carrying Coals to Contratimes

Bill Gnade is a blogger who ably presides over at Contratimes. As a writer Bill has demonstrated to his readers great versatility, wide curiosities, and unexpected profundities. One of his self-disclosed traits is that he is a fast typist. I think he may not agree with me when I say that can be a problem for him (and his readers) in that his writing may occasionally outpace his mind.

In any event, he is given to making rather long comments on The Vigil. Long comments can be objectionable as they are conversation stoppers, kind of like any one you can recall monopolizing a conversation at a cocktail party. In Bill's case I'm always - usually - willing to make an exception because he always has something to say.

He did so on Sunday. But in this instance I felt the major thrust of his comment not as responsive - entirely - as it could have been had he broken up his overlong essay and parsed portions out to a number of different threads.

So, in order to discourage him in this verbose pattern and yet to encourage his continued participation, I have decided to dedicate a post to his last comment. I trust he will find this agreeable.

The balance of Gnade's comment is flowery and no doubt purposive in his own mind; in my mind a portion of it wanders off on a tangent I cannot endeavor to follow with the limited time I can spare. I'm sure what I have neglected to comment on does not constitute the mutterings of an idiot, of course, because Bill is a smart enough fellow. Bill Gnade is, above all - an accomplished artist in photography and poetry. He is just giving us the pleasure of reading through some incomplete thoughts of his, works-in-progress. (Isn't that what blogging is all about?) Curious readers can find his complete statement here.

Bill Gnade, of Contratimes, begins with:
It is good to grieve over the loss of life, for any reason. It is even good to be reminded -- daily -- of the human costs of war. This is a sad war, as are all wars.

I am disappointed, however, by several things here. First, I am disappointed that you should refer to these dead -- all of them volunteer enlistees -- as casualties of Bush's war, which you've dubbed, reductionistically, the UULUIUOI.
When Bill points out that these are volunteers, is his point that they asked for it? In fact many - not all - post 911 enlistees thought they were volunteering to fight the people who bombed us on September 11th, 2001. Of those who have been in service prior, I would submit that many of them never would have guessed they would be sent to fight and die in an elective war - a war of choice - not one unnecessary to our national security.
How can you possibly believe that the Iraq conflict is solely George Bush's doing?
It was the Bush administration that sought the "Iraq Resolution" or the "Iraq War Resolution" which were popular names for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public law 107-243, 116 Stat. 1497-1502). This was passed by the United States Congress authorizing what was soon to become the un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI). If Bill wants to argue that Congress has complicity in this UULUIUOI, he should go right ahead. He should point out that, in the Senate, all but 22 Democrats and one Republican were gullible and culpable; in the House all but 126 Democrats and 6 Republicans were gullible and culpable.
We have, sort of, had this conversation before. But I ask again: At what point between 1991 and 2006 was the US NOT IN CONFLICT with Iraq? At what point was there a moment's peace between Iraq and, let's just say, the Clinton administration? Wikipedia's (among many other sources) entry for the Gulf War I (scroll down to "Consequences"), says that Iraq was nearly bombed EVERY OTHER DAY during the Clinton administration: the two major Iraq conflicts, in 1996 and 1998, brought more bombs to fall on Iraq than Gulf War I (or something to that effect). So why pretend that this war began in 2003? It did not.
Obviously, during this period of bombing sortees to which Bill alludes, there was never any authorization to invade or occupy Iraq. Otherwise, Bush would not have gone to the effort to get his above-mentioned UULUIUOI authorized on 10-Oct-02, would he have?
I have no problem decrying war. But I want to decry it for the right reasons; I want to decry it for reasons based in truth, in reality, and without the rewriting or denying of history.

What also bothers me here is the inference, almost laden with surprise, that this war is uniquely damaging to our soldiers. There has not been a moment when any war, even those fought for the noblest of reasons, has not damaged soldiers' bodies or psyches. While some soldiers DO return damaged from Iraq (my best friend and college roommate is one of them), how do we explain that soldiers are REENLISTING at rates above the Army's target goals (especially when the Army has seen the most deaths)?
That the employment rates for Iraqi vets are reportedly high I attribute to unprecedented large re-upping bonuses, and the comradery of fighting young men and women for whom the salient code is no one gets left behind. But even 'the solidarity of the foxhole' doesn't affect the way they feel about the occupation.
Why is it that the vast majority of soldiers appear to disagree with the critics of the conflict?
Bill's rhetorical question raises a cluster of other questions:
  • Do the vast majority of soldiers disagree with the critics of the occupation?
  • Why are our troops in Iraq and Kuwait bombarded with radio druggy Rush Limbaugh but not allowed access to Air America?
  • Why is Internet access for troops in Iraq and Kuwait restricted to Rumsfeld-approved sites?
I could go on. Obviously, in the Pentagon there is a concern about the volatility of troop opinion about the occupation; otherwise there wouldn't be such a concerted effort to control access to information.
I believe you (unintentionally) sully the meaning of the deaths of thousands of Americans by your reductionistic acronym, and by blaming this all on Bush.
It is Bush. Bush is the president. The Buck stops on his desk.
But these are just my opinions, I know. I don't think you mean to "sully" the sufferings of others; perhaps I have overstated it. But I think one could be given that impression. In fact, one has been given that impression - me. Not that you are cold or crass or unfeeling or even reckless. I am sure you've thought about this all rather seriously. But I am wondering if you've thought long enough about how your acronym might make those folks feel who have lost a limb, or a loved one, for a cause they deem just, noble, and for the good of the common man.
My acronym does not sully our Armed Services which are exemplary, honorable, notable, patriotic, and courageous; it's the mission of the UULUIUOI which has betrayed their trust. Those to my left may call it reductionist of me to say this, but prior to Bush, it was not our American custom for our presidents to direct, nor for Congress to authorize, the sending of our armed forces abroad to invade and occupy nations which had not attacked us or our allies. (Even in the case of Vietnam, there was an effort to make a case for fighting international aggression.)

It is Bush's invasion
and subsequent occupation of Iraq that is demeaning to our honorable military service men and women and to our military traditions which all Americans hold in the highest esteem.

43 Moderated Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/20/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

I looked at Contra`s stuff very hard at first and tried to figure it out. Then , after he admitted that he was not an open minded person I closed the book shut , and walked off in the other direction.
All the peace be with your , brother make this the crowning day of your life stuff got on my nerves also when I figured out that he, in my opinion, doesn`t have a very humane attitude.
Slippery devil that he is to read , I suggest he be enlisted into the psyic/corps , to develop mind tortures for our enemy`s

11/20/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Vigil, it doesn't please me to see that you have devoted so much space and time to tutor this poet through his freshman class of History 101.

It does please me that you correctly use the word "occupation" where others would use the word "war", to describe the present duties of our military deployments in Iraq.

11/20/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Its not a war or an occupation , just a scam to make money.

British petroleum and Saudi oil , and Russian oil and American oil interests have done just fine thank you.

They don`t give a damn about the loss of life on either or any sides.

They just want to make money, and boy did they ever. ~!~! Wow.

American forces are mercenary forces to enforce the will of the oil company`s and others that desire Iraqi oil to be off the market.

Are we leaving any time soon .? No.

Both so called sides of the political spectrum here are controled by these corporate controllers with money.

11/20/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/20/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Urbanpink said...

Vigilante, shining a light on some of the responsible parties here, thank you. This guy (love his photos) strikes me as traditionally religious and extremely judgemental (me too on that last point, unfortunately), and places the blame for social problems squarely on the shoulders of women--whilst living in the state of Eutopia.

11/20/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Like one of my long-term (a month or<) friends, Skippy, says, Contra has a quality to squeeze the balls of one's mind like no one else.

There is no doubt, that Contra is able to make a rude swearing sound like a gentle poem. He serves his sizzling stake without the meat, though.

Of course, there is no doubt that what comes to actual facts, making analysis, think logically and present summations clearly and precisely, you beat his flowery prose by a huge marigin. I already wondered about his strange, disjointed way of reasoning at Mad Mike's and quite frankly haven't gathered strenght enough to go and visit his blog.

11/20/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear friends, and my kind host -- greetings!

Hey, what's up with the disrespect? Alas, Messenger thinks I have a hard time with history without his once passing along a single message that contradicts my comments in the preceding thread. I can only give him what he deserves: 'Touché!' (Notice that there is an ouch in there.)

OK. So I am verbose, wandering, tangential, non-linear. That is most clearly evident, I am sure, when one reads a Skip Sievert post somewhere in the vicinity of one of my own.

And yes, Mr. Sievert, I am closed-minded: my mind is shut against idiocy. Isn't it funny that it took you a while (or so you say) to discern that I was closed-minded when I specifically admitted that vice in my FIRST and ONLY comment at your blog? It amazes me that it should take me so long to make myself clear. But I do have fun jousting with you nonetheless, letting you whack me on my air-tight dome every time I pass you in the hallway. (I am just glad we never rode on the same bus. I should think I would have had to quit school.)

I would love to reply to all of what Vigil says, but I will let it stand. This is really just a conversation I am having with him; Sunday's comments are conjoined to others I have articulated in other threads here and nearby. Even as cut and pasted here, my comments might lead some to think that this is all I have to say. But what Mr. Vigil does not admit -- which is my essential point, I believe -- is that Bush II inherited a whole lot of buzzing hornets stirred up by Mr. Clinton. To deny or avoid this fact is disappointing. One could even declare it dishonorable. It is an accidental oversight, I am sure. After all, it is hard to remember that there was a political world before G. W. Bush came along.

I am fully aware of everything that Vigil has posted here. I can even say, without contradiction, that I agree with nearly all of it. The fact is, and it is a painful fact, that the 1998 fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden occurred -- not in some prescient state anticipating George W. Bush -- but in the very midst of the Clinton administration, the very administration that bombed the hell out of poor people on three different continents. It was CLINTON who called for regime change in Iraq, not Bush; a fact which is undeniable; and it is obscene not to accept that the protracted Iraq conflict was going to inevitably lead to invasion because of the failures of Bush 1 and, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, because of the failures of Clinton 1. I am even of the temperament to believe that if Bush 2 had chosen NOT to invade Iraq in 2003; had he chosen NOT to invade it at all during his presidency, the West would NONETHELESS someday invade that country, irrespective of which political party held the House, Senate, White House, or even Parliament. This is, I admit, a faith-based assertion on my part. But I do not think that the West would have tolerated much longer a tyrant in the Middle East who repeatedly rejected world law. I mean, how many UN resolutions has the United States defied in the past 50 years? How about England? And how many did Iraq defy in a decade? That sort of Iraqi recalcitrance, coupled with a pugnacious American-enforced containment policy that bombed Iraq nearly every day, MUST invariably lead to major problems. And it did.

Scoff at me if you want, but remember my convictions: I opposed the invasion of Iraq. I just do not buy what I believe are revisions of history, denials of fact, and outright lies about George W. Bush vis-a-vis this "occupation."

On another note:

Hey, did you all know that in 1998 the Clinton administration raised the terrorist threat level in all American airports, seaports, and travel hubs? Or did you not know that there was such a terrorist threat level back then? Well, there was, and Clinton raised it after he bombed the snot out of Iraq. Did he do this merely because he was a fearmonger, manipulating us all? Was it all just the politics of fear?

And did you notice that, contrary to the idiotic claims of ridiculous conspiracy theorists who simply HATE Bush, the threat level this fall did not change before the mid-term elections? And here I thought it was all about winning, sowing fear, and lies, lies, lies. How dumb of Bush and Rove not to have pulled out the old color-coded threat-level machine. Of course, we all know that Bush'll wheel it all out in time for the 2008 election, just a few days before he catches bin Laden, who is really vacationing in Midland, Texas. They are relatives, after all.

Forgive me, I beg you, for my many sins and weaknesses.

Always fun. And remember, we all want peace. Right? Well, I sure hope so.

BG

11/20/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Urbanpink,

Are you suggesting that I am something of misogynist? Really! I beg you, for all good readers here, cite one example that would lead us to such an understanding. But, of course, there is one small rule: You can't take my words out of context. Not that I can think of any context that might lead you to think such thoughts.

I have been libeled before. Trust me. But this one is entirely new. I am sure my wife, with her advanced degrees, brilliant mind and singular career, would like to know what sort of man she has married. Alas, I would like to know what sort of man she has married!

Oh, and as for the traditionally religious part. What does that even mean? Is there a non-traditional religion out there of which I am unaware? Is the fact that I have not attended church in three years at all an indication that I am, perhaps, not one whit traditional, and maybe not at all religious? Do let me know: what are my religious beliefs, and what relevance does my being "traditionally religious" have in this, or any discussion? Have I injected religion in any thread here?

Let me see. "Extremely judgmental." Hmm. That's a good one. Perhaps you can find a place where I have hurled damnation on some poor guest at my blog. Please, just look at every comment I've posted in my conversations with Mr. Sievert (they're a quite a few)! Judgmental? Yikes! One wonders what that would even look like. I readily admit that I do have fun with folks; I do like to play. But I take NO PLEASURE IN JUDGING ANYONE. I do, however, find myself fighting the urge to take pleasure in judging myself. There is no one I judge more sternly than myself. If this fact proves me judgmental, then you are right.

What I do like doing is to judge ideas. That's it! Throw up an idea and I will judge it. Throw up a good idea and I will praise it. Throw up a bad one and I will damn it. But I will NEVER damn the person who throws up a bad idea (unless it is Al Gore), or believes something I believe false, or does something I believe immoral.

How's this? When I close my eyes and meditate on the worst sinner on this planet, the worst sinner I have ever heard about, the worst sinner in history, I am relieved to discover that I am that sinner. For that way my focus is on what I actually know: I am the only sinner I know anything about.

I am free to spend my days damning myself or forgiving myself. It is amazing how easy it is to damn.

Watch out for the veiled ad hominems! They stink. I am sure you are a decent soul. (Thanks for liking my photographs.)

Peace,

BG

11/20/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Dear Contra, forgive me but I must jump in here! When you say that the West would not have tolerated the Saddam's regime much longer, you are dead wrong.

The whole Europe was fully aware that to move Saddam by invading Iraq would have the concequenses that are there now and years to come. Everywhere, it was recognized that to keep Iran in some kind of check necessitates united Iraq. Everybody also realized that Saddam was sufficiently weakned and his military capabilities were such that he was very well contained and barely any treath to his neighbours and certainly not to the U.S..

There propably could have not been anybody else in the political upper echelon anywhere that would have taken this reckless step that Dubya and his incredible flock of hawks, against any common sense, chose to take. Please, stop spreading the guilt and, once and for all, direct it to this sad administration that bears the totall responsibility!

11/20/2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Thanks to everyone for a spirited conversation.

Pekka, as usual, is spot-on. Were he as dependent as I on the words of others, he would have cited Brent Scowcroft. But Pekka can think on his own feet, thank you. Myself, I need to rely on the words of others - in this instance, Bill Gnade:

"It was CLINTON who called for regime change in Iraq, not Bush; a fact which is undeniable; and it is obscene not to accept that the protracted Iraq conflict was going to inevitably lead to invasion because of the failures of Bush 1 and, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, because of the failures of Clinton 1. I am even of the temperament to believe that if Bush 2 had chosen NOT to invade Iraq in 2003; had he chosen NOT to invade it at all during his presidency, the West would NONETHELESS someday invade that country, irrespective of which political party held the House, Senate, White House, or even Parliament. This is, I admit, a faith-based assertion on my part."

Yes, it is a faith-based assumption on your part, Bill. Clinton's goal of regime change never rose to the threshold of crossing the threshold of invasion and occupation. (Don't dodge this by citing any Pentagon plans - there always plans for everything.) Invasion was not inevitable; continued deterrence was a probable course of action; not satisfactory as measured against the demands of your faith, but prudent by statecraft standards.

The word that appears in your following sentence is almost laughable:

"But I do not think that the West would have tolerated much longer a tyrant in the Middle East . . . ."

Tolerated? That seems at this juncture to be the mother of all oxymorons, doesn't it? I think in this area of the world we are already much past what the West will tolerate: Secretary Rice's birthing pains of the New Middle East. According to the words of Richard Haass, we have passed into a period where we will be looking around for what we can marginally accept.

The judgment of history will be harsh.

11/21/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Urban Pink, because (a) I agree with you on the merits of Bill Gnade's photography, and (b) I have come to rely on your judgments in other things, I am tempted to sample some of Bill's essays and poetry as the Thanksgiving holidays allow me time. You certainly have piqued my curiosity as to how his work might be viewed by women who have not married him.

11/21/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pekka,

I simply disagree with you. You have not addressed the fact -- AND THIS IS A FACT -- that Iraq was being militarily assaulted NEARLY EVERY DAY by the Clinton administration. That this led to a fatwa in which OBL came to defend Islamic holy sites in that fair country, a fatwa that led DIRECTLY to 9/11, proves that Hussein's containment -- perhaps real -- did not CONTAIN OTHER THREATS that arose in response to that containment.

The United States has taken the lead -- backed (not opposed) by Bill Clinton, and innumberable Democrats and Republicans -- in dealing with Iraq largely because the impact on Europe, particularly Germany and France, would be devastating.(I am even willing to consider that European leaders gave tacit approval to the invasion but would not publicly back it for fear of domestic retaliation from radical elements within their countries' borders.) Most of western Europe is far more threatened -- from within -- by radical Islam than is America (at this point). What is sad is that, because the world -- full of fear about reprisals -- finds the Bush program unnerving and deems it unpopular, many Democrats (and even some Republicans) have rewritten their own support of the war, blaming Bush for cherry-picking intelligence, being unduly bellicose, and so on. The most strident defender of the invasion of Iraq was a Democrat, Jay Rockefeller, who co-chaired the Senate intelligence committee. He now claims to have been misled. He is currently one of the more vocal critics of the war, and yet he remains on the intelligence committee. How is it that a man who could be so easily duped remains on such an important committee?

Most of what I read about the "war" or "occupation" is entirely born of malice, not truth. It is even born of ressentiment. I am not arguing that WE SHOULD have invaded Iraq. I have never argued that. I am arguing two things: that the arguments about the genesis of the invasion are false, deceptive and based on cherry-picked evidence, and that the conflict with Iraq did not even remotely begin with George W. Bush but extends through the entirety of the Clinton administration, and on into the first Bush administration. I am even willing to consider that it extends right on through the 1980's and 1970's. This makes me a very honest and accurate thinker: I am willing to the look at the totality of the issues, and not merely the ones that make Bush the anti-Christ and the Democrats some sort of saviors. (In fact, as I predicted before the election, I do not believe the Democrats are going to do a thing about Iraq -- and here I agree with Mr. Sievert -- at least in substance: they need Iraq to be a mess so as to secure the White House. How can it be that the mid-term election success of the Democrats is a "referendum on Iraq" when the FIRST THING the Democrats are going to do in Congress is raise the minimum wage? You get the picture, and it ain't very encouraging.) I mean, the logic of it all is simple: whatever makes Bush look bad is good, whatever makes Bush look good is very, very bad. But the reality of it all is this: everybody is really, really bad.

This "rush to criticism of Bush", this "blame-Bush-for-everything" psychology, is all because Bush is an easy target: he's done what every body (most likely) feels should have been done in 1991, and that makes him easy to decry.

Peace to you, dear Pekka,

BG

11/21/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

You are not "a very honest and accurate thinker". You are the biggest bird-tracking bull-shitter on the web. The drugs you are on may assist and advance your poetry and photography, but when you try to think logically, the results are transparently hallucinatory for all of the rest of us.

You are a legend in your own mind.

11/21/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Vigilante,

I apologize for not responding sooner. I had to rush out to the longest orthodontist appointment I've ever had.

Well, I agree with your rebuttal of me, but only to a point. You are completely correct when you say that Bill Clinton's call for regime change in Iraq did not rise to the level of invasion of that poor country. But what do you think the radical Islamic factions throughout the Muslim world HEARD when Clinton not only spoke about regime change, but when he signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law? Do you think they took it as mere political speak, mere bluster and policy? It does not matter what Clinton's INTENT was, what matters is the effect of his policies and rhetoric. And the effect was that militant Islam, observing that Clinton's regime-change rhetoric included bombing the hell out of Iraq, was inspired to take up arms and attack us for such sins. Remember, Clinton was not just TALKING: the Clinton administration was continuing the military "occupation" of Iraq, particularly its airspace. OK. So US forces were not based INSIDE Iraq. The effect, nevertheless, was the same as if US forces were in Baghdad: we occupied Iraq from a distance, enforcing no fly-zones and decimating anti-aircraft defenses and communications facilities; and they pre-occupied us (since 1991). That strategy did not contain outside threats from arising, which they did, successfully.

I AM NOT HERE TO BLAME EVERYTHING ON BILL CLINTON. What I am trying to do is to broaden the debate, and our analysis. To fixate on Bush is not only truncated, it is foolish, and it ignores history. I am not interested in bashing Bush, and I am not interested in bashing Clinton. I am interested in what is true. And the truth is that this whole thing is much more complex than what Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush have or have not done.

Yes, you are right. We tolerate a lot in the Israel-Palestine conflict, don't we? Or is that not your point? But I have never really opined about that conflict. But one cannot point to an Israeli dictator defying the world, so it is reasonable to point out the differences between a defiant Hussein and a tiny nation that feels under siege. That whole issue, surely related to this discussion, is also much more complex than people will allow.

Anyhow, thank you for being a gentleman among men.

Peace, always.

Gnade

11/21/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

It`s all about the oil folks.

11/21/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone else,

I would like to point out the difference between the way Vigilante responds to me, and nearly everyone else. Vigilante responds to what I have said, the words I've left on this screen. He does not -- mostly -- respond to what he thinks of my character, my cognitive functions, my bald head, or my religious convictions. In short, he debates me. He engages with ideas. He attempts to be a thinker, a reasoner, a scholar. But discussing who are what a person is or is not is not debate, nor is it intellectual. It is largely gossip. It is, sadly, devilish, and it is always fallacious. And I have never once speculated about the integrity of Mr. Vigilante. Not once.

The informal fallacies of logic are worth knowing. We all fall into them; some of us don't fall into them all that often because we understand their trappings. They should be avoided at all cost.

Dear Messenger,

I am going to give you a picture of what sort of legend I think I am: I am nearly convinced -- a priori -- that every person here is more successful in their careers than I am. Truly, I am a flounderer. There is no one on this planet who would want to be me. I am utterly unenviable. My skills -- such as they are -- are merely a veneer for a whole world of difficulty. If this makes me a legend in my own mind, then you are very astute to make that observation here.

But, for you to attack me, once again; to just dismiss my soul, my mind, my value, my personhood; to damn me without once engaging in a single thought I've posited here, makes me feel utterly sad. You don't know me. You have no idea what I am like; you've no idea about my life. Search this thread, or any thread nearby. Find where I have abused any one of you. If you do find someone I've merely abused, I will gladly apologize to that person. Yes, I have stood firm when in dialogue with Mr. Sievert (elsewhere), but there is no malice, no hate, no damnation. I actually find him charming. You're probably charming. I do not approach you, or anyone here, with guile or deception. I am far more friend than foe. And I do what I do, not because I like to smack someone down, but because, if we are going to have a debate, I believe it might as well be entertaining.

Be well.

BG

PS. May I gloat for a moment in the news that someone finds me to be the "biggest bird-tracking bull-shitter on the web"? That's a keeper!

11/21/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER & Hillblogger Jr said...

Vigilante,

Loved the "discourses" and "counter discourses" here between Contratimes and the others.

They were a fun read. Contratimes, I believe sorted things out in the end. On that score, not much to add 'xcept perhaps, on Clinton - being the brighter of the two presidents, didn't invade Iraq committed the US to a physical war on Iraq because he knew full well that it would be a lose-lose proposition while Bush, ever the pumpkin head, was not capable of rationalizing beyond what his ego could fathom i.e, the tip of his nose - hence the invasion and the murderous rampage in Iraq.

The following is not the ideal analogy but it's the first thing that came to my mind: if at all comparable from a legal/criminal standpoint, Clinton's act concerning regime change in Iraq could be likened to killing a person in a road accident - manslaughter - while Bush's is pre-meditated, willful, cold-blooded murder.

11/21/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Urbanpink said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/21/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Urbanpink said...

Ugh, okay I'll try to keep my defense of my opinion short since this takes me away from my home life. Please correct me if I've made any assumptions.

My summation of how I see Mr. G. as blaming women for society's woes is based on his assessment of abortion and men and women's sexuality. First, feminism is not defined by women wanting to be men, it is women wanting human rights (they are distinctly different from men's rights). It urks me that Carol Gilligan's voice is not often represented in views on "popular" dittohead views of feminism. It is our materialistic culture, not feminism, that puts pressure on women to be men...it tells us to work, compete, provide money. I read a poll once that men overwhelmingly prefer to marry women earning in their own tax bracket. That terrified me when I was single, divorced, and an artist at 33. Luckily, I found a man who didn't judge me for my sexual past and preferences and who had the means and will to support my stay-at-home mothering wish.

My point being, I find Mr. G's assessment of men and women as traditionally religious in the Augustinian et. al. sense of only accepting a certain role of moral purity for women and harshly judging our inability to keep that standard. Mr. G. simultaneously assigns women the responsibility for bringing men over to the holier path by withholding sexual desire.

Mr. G's analysis of the biology of our species completely misses the history of women's mortality in childbirth and multiple births--only a recent improvement has occurred on that score. So when I envision a world in which every sexual encounter could lead to pregnancy, I shudder. If it hadn’t been for men (and women) surgeons with drugs and antibiotics, I or my child almost certainly would have died during childbirth (I wanted a natural childbirth). Is it not a social improvement that we can love each other AND control the rate of births in our families?

Isn't the fact that men and women abuse each other sexually another symptom of how we have such little understanding of emotional intelligence and our human value? Why must women bear the brunt of moral judgement for sexual promiscuity in the least? We pay the price in every physical way if we mess up that negotiation--do men? Morally judge us, but morally judge him, too.

And if you're going to make it difficult for us to have an abortion, a social requirement to continue a pregnancy, mothers need total financial and psychological support to raise that child alone for the first year (minimum). Do we legally make this the DNA-proved Dad’s responsibility, or do we all share it? I would have a moral problem telling a woman she must carry a pregnancy to term. The emotionally healthiest children are with their mothers most of the time for the first 5 years. How many lucky moms and kids get this situation in our economy, in our Christian culture? If we outlaw abortion today, and we have more children without fathers, then we have more girls growing into women with no shining model of how they should expect men to treat them. And how many have that example today? Mothers model too, but not like that.

Maybe we can come together on universal ways of teaching our children emotional intelligence, a sense of community, and healthy life choices, but expecting moral purity and a suppressed sexuality has not worked in thousands of years, for either sex.

11/21/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Urbanpink,

I appreciate all the effort you put into reading my posts on abortion, but you do not have it right at all. Please note that my conclusion is that abortion should not be made illegal. I am in this matter like a good Democrat (as it is written on page 48 of the DNC's 2004 Platform): abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Forgive me if I've emphasized the RARE part.

I do indeed hold women to higher standards. But I do not hold women to a higher standard than I hold men; I am holding women to a higher standard than they have been told to hold for themselves. I abhor the way men treat women, and I've berated it since I was a teenager (shall I enlist the witnesses who can testify in proof of this fact?). My sole aim in my series of essays was A) for men to stop being cads; and B) for women to stop letting men -- and certain women -- define women's bodies in distinctly male categories. I implore all women to see their bodies, not as playthings for men, not bonus points for men who have impressive credentials or big credit cards, but as temples, as cathedrals, as HOLY PLACES. Until women reclaim for themselves the sanctity which is their womb; until they begin to believe that they are of intrinsic worth beyond the mere dehumanizing, materialistic and empty definitions given them by the media, film, books, magazines, music and nearly everything else, then they will continue to struggle in this world in relationships that harm them. Women ARE victims of a certain grotesque patriarchalism; but the patriarchy is not what we have been told it is. Cosmopolitan is far more oppressive to women than any Catholic doctrine.

I am sorry that you have been a single parent, that you have had a difficult sexual past. Sadly, we all carry similar pains. I know firsthand the difficulty of single parenting; I know the pains of sexual abuse and disorder. But I am not about to blame you for your hurts; nor would I ever suggest that you are something unforgiveable or loathsome. On the contrary, you are lovely (because of your candor and honesty here). I can't help but applaud you -- and your husband -- for fighting for, and finding, grace and unconditional love. You are blessed indeed.

But I have said in this thread that I damn certain ideas. I do not damn people. Well, my series damns the political idea that abortion secures women's equality. It does no such thing. Abortion oppresses women; it perpetuates the utterly vile and masculine idea that women are mere sex objects. Abortion absolves men of the responsibility of being real men, and real fathers. THAT is why surveys have shown that MORE men support abortion than women: men WANT the easy, guilt-free conquest. Abortion is about fashioning women into something very like a man: a sexual creature who cannot get pregnant.

For the whole series, please begin with this prologue at "Kicking At The Darkness." Please note what I have tried to do there: I have attempted to take a hard, unflinching look at abortion in a direct and sensitive way. I am going to even boast that the series is one of the best things most of you will ever read on the topic. I hammer pro-lifers, I hammer pro-choicers. And I hammer myself. And I try -- TRY -- to offer a middle ground, a way out, one that is gracious, compassionate, frank, and just.

I also have a piece (that comes to mind) that discusses how appalled I am by men who sell women into sexual slavery. That essay, called "Let Us Be Slaves No Longer: A Plea To Men," can he found here, and is a candid look at my own sinful shortcomings (there is a related poem, too). Related to this is my post after the brutal slaying of a UVM student, called "But Most Importantly, Our Sons..." And if you want to have your heart ripped out -- or at least broken -- read my somewhat angry "Sleepless In America", an essay, in part, that confronts the violence our women face, particularly the murder of a little girl by burying her alive, and the indifference our political climate has embraced. All of these, I believe, reveal that I understand that men are often rather sick and vulgar, and that we, men and women alike who want to be better, can in fact change the world.

I hope these links explain my convictions more fully.

Blessings to you, Urbanpink. I have nothing but kindness towards you in my heart, and praise for you on my lips.

Gnade

11/21/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

Vigilante, an excellent and thorough analysis and review of contratimes actual writings point by point. As usual, you've made your points brilliantly.

Some others here are "reading things into" contratimes writings that I do not see...

Plus, I find much of what conratimes has written here in the comments section very compelling. I have previously mentioned that, while I agree with vigilante's overall view of the UULUIUOI, I think he (and others) tend to place too much of the blame on Bush. It certainly isn't that Bush deserves a great deal of blame and condemnation, but such a narrow view actually diminishes the overall scope and tragedy of the Iraq occupation.

In this regard, contratime's larger view of history actually helps define the conflict and the tragedy.

Finally, messenger, what in the world is the purpose of personal and very nasty attacks?

Why would anyone carry on any conversation with an individual who writes "You are the biggest bird-tracking bull-shitter on the web?"

the Wizard......

11/21/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Fatwas have been declared for centuries and the one by binLaden was just one of many.

These peripheral, extremist, jihadist groups come and go (without much notice) but this time something unexpected and great happened to Osama's rag tag followers; they got legimitized by the blunderous occupation of Iraq. So many wannabes reched the status they scaresly could have dreamed about.

Ossama wakes up every morning praising Allah for the gift, that was handed to him and any other islamist hot head, from G.W.Bush. If there were recruiting offices in the cities of the world, line ups would literally go around the blocks. Compare that to efforts by the U.S. or the Nato, and one begins to understand the enermous costs that have to be paid by all of us. This can be laid on the lap of the less than capable Commander in Chief. No ifs, buts, or maybes.

I find myself unable to "debate" about the issue any longer. Massive amount of information, pointing to the fiasco that was solely created by the neocons, is so convincing that to seriously argue about it is like debating about the harmful effects of smoking or whether the earth is more than 5,000 years old.

To go back to Adam and Eve, to judge the innocence or even shared responsibility what's taking place now, is to avoid a real desire to get to the bottom of things. This fiasco is not an extension to anything what happened before. It was hatched out by the incredibly ignorant ideologs that couldn't take differing views into a consideration and fianally sold it like an used car to rest of us. Just like a stereotypical car salesman they knowingly sold us the lemon.

11/21/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

pekka, You and I disagree (mildly) for, perhaps the first time ever.

Osama didn't get "legimitized by the blunderous occupation of Iraq."

Osama's claim to fame was his terribly successful assault on 9/11. Others had long wanted to successfully punish the west for our many (real and imagined) evils. Osama succeeded!

9/11, in turn, provided Bush with the political cover for his horrific misadventures in Iraq.

The UULUIUOI, in turn, did give Osama the great recruiting tool you correctly discuss.

The problem I have with this entire discussion is that we aren't merely rearranging the chairs on the Titanic, we're debating the original configuration of those chairs.

You say Bush and the neocons.... contratimes says there was context, there was something more....

I say people are dying. People are suffering. People's lives and homes, their hopes and dreams, their safety and security, their freedom and future are being destroyed.

I realize that there IS much to gained through the analysis of history. BUT, I want to concentrate on determining the best possible outcomes and solutions. Not for Bush, not for the neocons, not for the progressives, but for the people.

the Wizard......

11/21/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

To Mr. ContraTimes:

I'll be brief: The first and foremost reason that America's sons and daughters invaded and are now occupying Iraq was, and is, so that Dubya could stand for election in 2004 as a "War President", (per Rove's machinations).

11/21/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Wrong Emily , It was done to capture the oil , and control its distribution or in this case now , keep it off the market.
Remember all the Billions made.?

It`s all about that money.

11/21/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Wizard, yes you are right or almost right with Osama and 9/11.

When I wrote my piece, I was cognizant of that 9/11 brought to him the total condemnation with the Americans and the vast majority of the Europeans. He also strenghtened his stature among the radical elements of Islam that, comparing today's numbers, were still relatively small.

It took this nonsensical occupation, by the Bush Administration, to turn the tide and give those scattered and bitterly rival extremists groups a common cause. It helped single handedly to radicalize countless of millions of Muslims everywhere, Muslims that without this occcupation would have never considered these terrorist acts or binLaden as legimate.

Where this particular group of men in the White House differ the most from the previous ones is, that their decision making has been done alone in the ideological isolation. Your presidents usually have been smart enough to have several points of view presented to them by close advisors. It is very clear, that this time there were only those left to "advice" of whom were sensitive enough to what the president and his side-kick, Cheney, wanted to hear. When this modus operadi was extended also to intelligence, it comes as a no suprise that things are as chaotic and dangerous as they are.

To even suggest that this would be inevitable under any administration (Clinton) is absolute hogwash. The same goes with the suggestion that any previous policies inevitably lead Bush to take the road he took. The most of us know now that the map was all wrong and luckily it's under the revision. Unfortunate fact still remains; the guy holding it doesn't know how to read it. Hopefully somebody else will take the steering wheel before you hit the edge of a cliff!

11/21/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pekka,

I hate to disagree with you. But, alas, I must.

The United States has been occupying Iraq since it first supported sanctions against that country after the first Gulf War. Western nations controlled much of the Iraqi economy, commerce, and, yes, even its ability to move about, build infrastructure, and conduct its own affairs unimpeded. In other words the United States (and others) was occupying Iraq FROM A DISTANCE. All George W. Bush did was make that occupation official and, believe it or not, slightly more humane; for now, in INVADING Iraq, at least the "occupiers" were A) face-to-face with the Iraqis; B) able to begin rebuilding infrastructure; C) able to assist Iraq in rebuilding its government; and D) able to distribute money and food.

You are acting as if George W. Bush's actions were surprising, unwarranted, ad hoc, arbitrary, thoughtless. But Bill Clinton was preventing Iraq from being autonomous for 8 whole years. Where was your outrage then? And how did Clinton conduct his affairs with that nation any differently than his successors: where was his diverse set of advisors? You must remember that in 1998 there were WAR PROTESTS in America; I know, because I attended them. What did Mr. Clinton do that told his successors that Iraq was not a threat; that it was not worth controlling? What did Mr. Clinton do to convince us all that Hussein was not an imminent problem (why bomb the guy, sanction him, and demand to inspect his country if you don't think him threatening)?

Which is worse, occupying a country boldly and in person, or bombing it (nearly) every other day for 8 years while deploying hidden sanctions from a distance that did indeed lead to horrific domestic sorrows in Babylon?

I am not defending occupation. I am destroying a myth that the Iraq conflict -- and "occupation" -- began in 2003. It began in 1991 and never stopped.

May it all end soon with justice and honor, in truth and in peace.

Gnade

11/22/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Emily,

George W. Bush barely won 2004 as the "war president." To decide in 2002 that being the "war president" was a smart idea in an unpopular war would have been a ridiculously risky strategy. And his being the "war president" did nothing to help the Republicans in the midterm elections in 2006. You may be right, but I think your case is unconvincing. Perhaps you could enlarge upon your thesis. You should.

Peace,

BG

11/22/2006 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Cyberotter said...

Contratimes reminds me of Rush and Hanity.

11/22/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Oh, come on. That was below the belt. Messenger was at least trying to be complimentary.

11/22/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Cyberotter said...

Sorry 4food I just wanted to boil it down to a statement. I don't have time right now to be poetic about this gentleman’s twisted sense of reality. I do however look forward to dissembling some of his ranting at a later point in time.

Vigilante love the site, love the comments, love the writing and love the action. Linked you and can’t wait to jump in with both feet.

11/22/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Iraq became a war target not because of Saddam, or Terrorists but to serve the interests of British petroleum and Saudi oil interests among others, the U.S. and Russian oil interests , and Opec in general.

If Iraq oil was on the world market today the price of crude would be about $26 a Bbl. If Iraq was to pump 50% of its capacity and put it on the world market , oil prices today would be in the $12 to $14 dollar range per.Bbl.

That is why we are in Iraq , because of the crooked business interests that run this country and most of the world.

Please understand this.

Money Money and Money is the key here. In this type of system based on this type of Price System, people are rewarded with money for doing things like killing lots and lots of people in a war , in an effort to make money.

The only way the war will stop would be if this is the actual issue and people understand that and finally put their foot down.

We are there to prevent their oil from reaching market. Then control it afterwards, for their so called reconstruction.

Get it.?

In other words we are not leaving Iraq , any time soon.

To make this a partisan issue is to play into the hands of these power possessors who operate by the theory at home here to divide and conquer.

Nothing does that better than to turn this into political bickering about Bush or Clinton.
Both of those , and indeed all politicians are part of the problem.

Its the system we have folks that rewards the worst type of behavior.

It is possible to create a different system.

First people have to figure out that this is not working, is not going to work , and indeed it is the system that is the problem .

11/22/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I agree with Blogger4Food: Based upon Bill Gnade's last response to Pekka, I have to say Messenger was doing his level best to give Contratimes a compliment. It's gratifying that Bill took it as such, because deep down I believe he knows it contains more than a grain of truth. Therefore, I believe Messenger does not disserve the patronizing scolding dished out by the haughty Wizard.

In his latest statement, Gnade strains, stretches, and contorts the definition of occupation I have already taken pains to lay out:

"The United States has been occupying Iraq since it first supported sanctions against that country after the first Gulf War. Western nations controlled much of the Iraqi economy, commerce, and, yes, even its ability to move about, build infrastructure, and conduct its own affairs unimpeded. In other words the United States (and others) was occupying Iraq from a distance. All George W. Bush did was make that occupation official and, believe it or not, slightly more humane; for now, in invading Iraq, at least the "occupiers" were A) face-to-face with the Iraqis; B) able to begin rebuilding infrastructure; C) able to assist Iraq in rebuilding its government; and D) able to distribute money and food."

Never have I read more of a stinking and staggering pile of excrement, at least in my pages; clearly it has cracked the crock containing it.

And what was that crock? I'm certainly glad Bill has turned over his trump card labeled MYTH. Actually, such are Pekka's gifts that he knew about this card before now.

Because Readers, in addition to all of his other callings, Bill Gnade is a self-described Mythologist. In MadMike's blog (refer to the blogroll), Gnade recently fessed up:

"If Pekka and Mr. Sievert are at all interested in my penchant for myths (Pekka's term) then perhaps they would like to read my essay The Existence of God: A Letter to Christopher Hitchens as a primer describing my love of mythology. I am pleased that Pekka has spent so much time reading my rather voluminous blog to divine that I am a mythomaniac..."

It's not history Bill Gnade is trafficking in, but myths. Messenger's critique is validated.

11/22/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

11/22/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Good grief! The man is entitled to his opinion, regardless of its "verbosity" or lack thereof. I thoroughly enjoy reading Bill's meanderings. He is a skillful writer who uses his pen as he would use a sword. In this case, perhaps the former IS mightier than the latter. Now, this is not to say that I agree with everything he says, but then again I don't agree with everything Vigilante or Skip (especially Skip) says, but I still like to read what they say, without trying to divine, by some pseudo-intellectual means, what they "really" meant.

In closing I find that some of these forums seem to get carried away with themselves. I have learned that taking life too seriously is, like cigarettes, dangerous to one's health. Secondly, I find sarcasm to truly be the lowest form of wit.

Oh! One more thing: It is a war not an occupation! What? Are you all idiots? :-) :-) Happy Thanksgiving!! In pace requiescat....

11/22/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

You must be a tolerant guy, Mike. Overly so. Even if everyone is entitled to his opinions does that mean they are entitled to their own FACTS?

11/22/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey everyone! I hope this note finds you all well. And for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, may you have a blessed day indeed! May we all overflow with thankfulness!

I am thankful that so many of you have taken such a keen interest in me. Unfortunately, too few of you have taken any interest in what I've said. The ad hominem fallacy tossed about here is so common, one would think it was attached to the oxygen molecule.

I am thrilled, and I mean THRILLED, that my argument that the United States was occupying Iraq -- FROM A DISTANCE -- from 1991 to 2003, should have given you all such a charge. Of course, I have not read a single contradiction of my thesis anywhere, and surely not here. Vigilante might call my opinion a "pile of excrement" (phew!), but he has not contradicted it. In fact, he can't, precisely because A) it is true, and B) I am not using his definition of occupation. "At a distance" instantly moves the analysis to a different level: there is no way to contradict the fact that the EFFECTS of the Clinton policies on Iraq not only amounted to an occupier's sins, but it also led to Osama bin Laden's fatwa against us. Not a single person can contradict this, not because I am a mythomaniac, but because the myth is that I am wrong.

As for Vigilante's unbelievably mistaken quoting of my Christopher Hitchens-essay remarks, I can only say that this is the first time I've ever seen Vigilante miss the point. He either could not have read my Hitchens essay, or he did not understand it (which is my fault, since I failed to make myself clear). The essay is a tidy primer in epistemology: it is a discussion of faith and reason. I had recommended it to several readers at Mad Mike's to invite them to flex their muscles (I hear lots of boasting) in what they considered my penchant for mythology. Unfortunately, those readers must have found my argument so infantile that they chose not to bother enlightening me. I have no doubt I am a child in philosophical matters, but you'd think at least one adult would help me find my way.

What Vigilante fails to acknowledge (or realize) is that my remarks were meant to posit the rather bland notion that there is NOT A SINGLE PERSON who does NOT hold to some basal, foundational, fundamentalistic mythology (and by this I mean axioms based in faith).

I would invite you all to go right now to my letter to Christopher Hitchens and set it against what Mr. Vigilante has said here. I know that Vigilante has not meant to do me harm; I realize that no one can be careful all the time. But I thought I should at least set the record straight. Besides, it would be fun if you would all gang up on me at my place, so that I could treat you decently there too.

Cyberotter: So, you actually listen to Rush and Hannity? Man, I do not deserve to be placed in such transcendent company. I am but a mere peon to those gods of the pantheon (though you will not read any paean in their honor penned by me).

Peace to you all, and don't forget to laugh!

BG

PS. Anyone want to know one of the funniest lines ever uttered? It comes from Steven Wright: "Every person in the world is completely unique, except for this one guy I know."

See? You can laugh.

11/22/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My sole aim in my series of essays was A) for men to stop being cads; and B) for women to stop letting men -- and certain women -- define women's bodies in distinctly male categories. I implore all women to see their bodies, not as playthings for men, not bonus points for men who have impressive credentials or big credit cards, but as temples, as cathedrals, as HOLY PLACES."

I'm going to confine my response to this last comment because I think it illustrates my point about how you are making women RESPONSIBLE for society's ills.

How do we stop "letting" men define us however they choose? I've wanted to do that for years! I have never been able to control that, and if men CHOOSE to define women based on commercial images of us, that's their foul. Women foul if they define other women or themselves that way, too. Men use women, women use men, neither benefits in the long run. Every individual is responsible for their own actions.

Augustinian told women we would lose our ability to bear children in Paradise (in "purity" we become like men), in 2006 we are being told we become men when we are sinful. Ugh--can we give up these extremist analogies? I'll work on it. I'm begging society to let us (women) bear our own successes and sins, as individual women. We can take it, we have, we will.

And I for one can not tolerate being a holy place, nor can I teach my son that women are distinctly holy and he is, I guess, profane. You're asking me to exchange one set of male defnitions for another. I am sinful and good, as we all are, I seek to find G_d within myself, and others, but I am not G-d. I do not expect others to bear the sacrifices of Christ and if he was G-d, we are not that pure. If he wasn't G-d, well then we could talk about living up to his example.

BTW, I've never been a single mother.

11/22/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Update, oops, I meant Thomas Aquinas, not Augustinian (have to check what he believed).

11/22/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Urbanpink,

Well, I guess I owe you an apology. When you wrote:

"That terrified me when I was single, divorced, and an artist at 33. Luckily, I found a man who didn't judge me for my sexual past and preferences and who had the means and will to support my stay-at-home mothering wish."

When I saw "single" and "mothering" in the same paragraph, I made an assumption I should not have made. Forgive me.

Our conversation is very much off topic and really should be occurring on my blog, since what you are responding to is stuff I wrote elsewhere. But if you believe that I am BLAMING women for all sexual sins, or even most, I can only say that I am sorry you've reached that conclusion. If you believe that I am asking women to attain some sort of moral purity that men need not also attain; and if you believe that abortion does not lay ALL the blame and responsibility for the consequences for sex on women (and countless children), then I cannot persuade you in any argument I proffer. All I can say is this: I am a man who has always believed in taking total responsibility for my actions, even before I act. (Interpret this as you may; I know who I am and what I have done.)

If you think my language re: women, men, and abortion is extreme, I have but one thing to say: there are matters so far gone that only extreme language brings people back to some sort of healthy middle. But I don't think my position or my language are at all extreme.

As for your suggestion that thousands of years of moral posturing have failed to bring some sort of peace in the battle of the sexes, I first want to ask how it is that anyone can know that. It seems to be thoroughly obvious that holiness, grace, love, mercy, compassion and chastity have never harmed a soul. But what your remark actually reminds me of is a G. K. Chesterton quote: "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." Moral purity (which has always eluded me, but I try, irrespective of all the cultural resistance against it and all the societal excuses provided daily) can never be wrong, it can only be difficult. It is always easiest to be morally lazy; it is far easier to be a lecherous man than it is to be a gentleman; it is far easier to be mean than it is to be kind.

Bottom line is this: I blame men for the plight of women; and I blame some women for letting other women oppress all women with male-defined ideals of personhood.

As for preventing men from defining women on men's terms, I should think the answer I gave was quite clear: women have merely to stop letting men enter their bodies -- which, sadly, is one of the only things most men want -- merely for reasons that are anything but loving, mature, noble, or serious. By having sex with men who have not even earned the right to touch a woman, women are rewarding behavior that, if not blatantly bad, is ignoble, immature, shallow, insincere, and often corrupt and ridiculous. But nowhere in this am I suggesting that men need not become better men. I am saying they have no reason to improve themselves, because they can find what they want so easily in women who have been duped into thinking that their bodies are toys (and that medicine can rescue them from being so treated).

I am saying that sexual sorrows are like certain diseases: I am not blaming the victim for having the disease, but I might blame that victim who chooses to ignore the only known cure.

Alas, please note that I have apologized to you for getting something wrong about you. Also, please note, that you have not yet apologized about something you got wrong about me. My mistake was quite small. Your mistake, well, let's put it this way: you accuse me here of wanting to make abortion illegal. But I did not say that, did I? This means that you either did not read the series you are complaining about, or that you do not care to set the record straight.

Anyhow, I bid you a full and happy life.

To you all, this is my last comment on this thread. Seriously, I thank you all for your participation, and your interest in ideas.

Peace everywhere, if only for an hour,

Gnade

11/23/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

ContreTemps' swan song:

"it would be fun if you would all gang up on me at my place, so that I could treat you decently there too."

Carrying coals to the mythology-based community? what would be the point in that?

11/24/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi those who are interested, and Mr. G, I have responded to your last post and request for an apology here, thank you Vigilante:

http://urbanpink.blogspot.com/2006/11/expecting-moral-purity-and-suppressed.html

11/26/2006 09:51:00 PM  

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