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Glen

Steve,

Is Ed Koch, the former Mayer of New York City, and a Democrat, a Super-Villain? In December 2006 he wrote "President George W. Bush, vilified by many, supported by some, is a hero to me."

What about Joe Lieberman? Not so long ago, Democrats wanted him to be the proverbial heartbeat away from the Presidency. Was he insane when he said last week "Tonight, the President did not take the easy path, but he took the correct and courageous course."

Or consider Zell Miller, the longtime Democrat who gave the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in 2004 -- is he an insane Super-Villain also?

Of course not. You may not agree with any of these 3 men about everything (I certainly don't), but this doesn't make them mad, greedy Super-Villains. They do, however, illustrate my position that educated, intelligent, thoughtful people may come to differing opinions, with none of the people involved being insane or evil.

What happened to what Lieberman calls "respectful debate and deliberation"? It's certainly easier to insult and condemn, but what good does that do? It does nothing to solve the problem. In fact, by stirring up heated emotions, it the problem worse, by making rational discourse less likely to occur.

The oil companies, the environment, etc., are easy targets; they're emotional hot buttons that never fail to get a rise out of some people. If that's all you want to do, fine. But if you're really concerned about the issue, rather than just shout "Big Oil!" or "the Environment!", why not present relevant facts that support your position? I'm quite certain that you could present solid arguments for your opinions. I think you do everyone, including yourself, a disservice by stooping to name calling. Frankly, I've always considered that the last refuge for people who can't win an argument with actual facts and logic. I suspect I have more at stake personally than you do in the war in Iraq, and it makes me sad to see discussions of the topic degenerate to that level. You can do better than that, IMHO.

I do not blindly support the current Administration (or anyone else for that matter). I would much rather have had my son at home this past Christmas than in Baghdad. In fact, I imagine I agree with you on more issues than not. I just don't think any issue is ever likely to be resolved until it is approached rationally. Rationality, not heated emotions, are what will get Mankind out of his self-created Hell.

Just my .02

Daniel Ciora

Today’s Word is “Super Villain.”
[Glen, your reasoning is logically flawed -]
Just because Ed Koch, Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller may have agreed with things that George Bush has done does not make them Super Villains. There are numerous reasons that they may have thought George Bush was heroic. They may well have believed that George Bush was a hero but . . . Just because someone believes that George Bush is a hero does not make that person a super villain.
By analogy – just because some one believes in God does not make that person God.
You said it is your “position that educated, intelligent, thoughtful people may come to differing opinions, with none of the people involved being insane or evil.” That is a very enlightened position but when a person lies about his position, or lies about facts that support his position in order to convince you to change your position – and when the rational person discovers that lie – a rational person would obviously change his mind based on the revelation of the lies. In fact, the person that was caught lying in order to achieve his own personal hidden agenda is “evil.” A person who exploits others in order to achieve his goals is “evil.” A person the exploits the fear of others is “evil.” In fact, that person is a Super-Villain.
What happened to what Lieberman calls "respectful debate and deliberation"?
Ask the Republicans, who controlled the Legislature for the last 5 years, what happened to “respectful debate and deliberations.” Ask O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh what happened to “respectful debate and deliberations.” Ask the Fox “News” Channel what happened to "respectful dabate." The first casualty of this Administration’s war of terror is TRUTH. [Okay – that was a typo – I meant to say the first casualty of this Administration’s war ON terror is TRUTH.]
George Bush was caught lying. His lies have corrupted the entire political system so that rational debate can not be had. Now you always have to ask if George Bush is telling the truth or is he lying. In fact – I believe that George Bush has the burden of proving that every fact he relies upon to make his argument is true. Simply put, we can no longer trust the “facts” the George Bush relies upon when making his arguments. Does that make him evil? No – it makes him a Super Villain - - - And that’s “The Word.”

Glen

Dan,
Thanks for responding. I'd like to continue the discussion.

You said "just because some one believes in God does not make that person God". You are 100% correct. I see that I didn't convey my point accurately. Let me try another example: as of right now, I do not intend to vote for Hillary Clinton for President. But, if a number of people that I consider to be thoughtful and intelligent, and whose opinions I respect, tell me that they strongly do support Ms. Clinton, I would listen to their points of view. I realize it's possible I may have based my opinions on bad or incomplete information, so I'll listen. I may not necessarily agree with them in the end, but at least I am open-minded about the idea that there may be another valid perspective.

My intention in mentioning Koch, Lieberman and Miller was to say that I consider them to be intelligent, thoughtful, "non-evil" men, and if they so strongly support Bush's policies regarding Iraq, I am open to the idea that there might be some valid points on their side of the argument, and that to simply write Bush off as an insane, greedy Super-villain is, in my view, a bit closed-minded, and it certainly inhibits rational discussion.

The fact is, there are real issues regarding terrorism and stability in the Middle East (which ultimately affects global stability) that need serious attention, and the more time we spend Bush-bashing, the less we have to spend on solving problems.

You suggested that I ask the Republican legislature, Bill O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, and the Fox News Channel what happened to "respectful debate and deliberations". Well, I could do that, but I was addressing Steve at the time, so I asked him, as I'm now asking you: Is there a reason that you and I can't have a respectful discussion about this issue, Fox News and the rest be damned? What they say has nothing to do with it. Do what I do - change the channel, and go on discussing things as you - not they - see fit.

You say George Bush was caught lying, and that as a result he can no longer be trusted. OK, you've made an allegation. What facts do you have to back it up?

Do you know for a fact that when Bush spoke about Iraq's WMDs, he knew they did not exist? Or is it possible that he was basing his statements on intelligence that was simply wrong, but that he thought was accurate? According to Bob Woodward (the investigative reporter that helped uncover the Watergate scandal), "President Bush was told by CIA Director George Tenet there was a 'slam dunk case' that dictator Saddam Hussein had unconventional weapons".

Is Woodward lying to protect the President? Is he just flat-out wrong? Honestly, I don't know, but Woodward's putting his own reputation behind that statement opens my mind to the possibility that Bush may have believed what he was saying. That would make him tragically mistaken, but it would not make him a liar.

The members of the Senate Intelligence Committee had access to the same intelligence the President had, and they all voted to support him. In hindsight everything is different, but I believe that it is possible that Bush believed what he was saying at the time. I certainly don't see enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bush lied and so must never be believed again. If you have the evidence to prove that, I'd be willing to look at it. If you can't prove it, I think it is a mistake to accept it as fact, and not to be open to other possibilities. There is a great difference between one who lies to achieve his own agenda, and one who does what he thinks is right but has bad information.

Again, I don't know for sure which of those George W. Bush is, but the fact that "intelligent, thoughtful, 'non-evil' men" such as Woodward suggest Bush is not a liar forces me to remain open to at least the possibility that such is the case. For this reason, I cannot simply write Bush off as a liar. I will at least listen to what he says, and then form my own opinions.

You say Bush has "corrupted the entire political system so that rational debate can not be had". I disagree. I can't speak for you, but there is nothing stopping me from engaging in rational debate. Not Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Bush, the Republicans, or Fox News.

Daniel Ciora

Which brings me to the Word of the Day: Lie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“A lie is an untruthful statement made to someone else with the intention to deceive. . .”
While Wikipedia goes on to say the speaker must know that the statement is untrue in order for the statement to be a lie – I would suggest two things (1) when someone tells you something that is not true you can infer from other facts that the person lied. When a person makes a statement that turns put to be false – you can infer from that person’s motives, history, credibility and history of other statements that turn out to be false that he was lying (2) when some one makes a statement that is not true with the intention to deceive and that person deliberately avoids learning the truth – that is a lie. It is a moral lie.

It may also be a legal lie . . .

A legal definition of a lie when dealing with the slander of public figures and Slander is a statement made either knowing that the statement is in fact not true or it is a statement made with a complete disregard for the truth of that statement.

I would suggest that this is a good point to start with when discussing the current Administration. And it is how I define lie.

I know you want to believe that George W. Bush may not have lied. But leading up to the war in Iraq he and his Administration claimed that Iraq was connected to Al-Qa'ida. Every time he and his adminsitration claimed that Iraq was connected to Al-Qa'ida – they had a total disregard for the truth of what they were saying – or, in other words, they lied.

They used the fears of the Americans in order to push a war that was not warranted. It did not help strategically. Now the war is causing more problems with the safety of the USA and of the world. The US is in more danger from terrorists now as a result of the war.

When, prior to the war in Iraq, George W. Bush said, in his State of the Union Speech, that Saddam Hussein was looking to Niger – he did not mention that the report came from British Intelligence and he did not say the British Intelligence discredited that report. When George W. Bush said that, he had a total disregard for the truth of what he was saying – or, in other words, he lied.

Which is the Word of the Day.

Glen

Daniel,

You wrote: "When, prior to the war in Iraq, George W. Bush said, in his State of the Union Speech, that Saddam Hussein was looking to Niger – he did not mention that the report came from British Intelligence"

In fact, the actual quote from the speech is: "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa".

I got the quote from CNN. He did state where the information came from. Were you lying to me when you said he didn't, or were you simply mistaken. A big difference.

You went on to say "he did not say the British Intelligence discredited that report". In fact, in 2004 the British Government released the results of a 6 month investigation into pre-war British Intelligence. According to the BBC, that report "says that the inclusion of the statement in President Bush's State of the Union address was 'well founded'".

Bush identified the British Government as the source, and the British Government later said his inclusion of the information was "well founded". There's no lie there.

The other example you give of Bush lying is the Iraq - Al Qa'ida link. In the CIA's "WORLDWIDE THREAT BRIEFING", dated February 11, 2003, Director Tenet says "We see disturbing signs that al-Qa'ida has established a presence in both Iran and Iraq". Tenet was not a Bush lackey. In fact, he was appointed CIA Director by Bill Clinton.

Further, in an interview on PBS' NewsHour program, 9-11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean said:

"the staff in their investigation has found that, yes, there were contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida, a number of them, some of them a little shadowy. They were definitely there. But as far as any evidence that Saddam Hussein was in any way involved in the attack on 9/11, it just isn't there."

Asked if he agreed with this, the Democrat co-chair of the 9-11 Commission, Lee Hamilton said, "Yes, I do".

So, there's no evidence that Saddam was directly involved in the 9-11 attacks, but there's evidence of many contacts between Saddam and al-Qa'ida, some of them "shadowy". That doesn't sound to me like "a total disregard for the truth" in suggesting ties between Saddam and al-Qa'ida. I don't see any lie.

You say that I "want to believe that George W. Bush may not have lied". I actually don't "want" to believe anything. I just let facts take me where they lead. Regarding the issue of Bush's lying, I've presented facts I obtained from the British Government via the BBC, from the State of the Union speech as quoted by CNN, from the chair and co-chair of the 9-11 Commission via PBS, and from a report issued by the CIA itself, all of which suggest Bush was not lying. If you have any facts that support the idea that Bush deliberately lied to get the US into an unwarranted war simply to further his own personal agenda, I'll be happy to look at them. Don't just tell me he lied, show me some facts that prove, or even merely strongly suggest, that he lied. As I said, I go where the facts lead.

You say "The US is in more danger from terrorists now as a result of the war". Need I remind you that the 9-11 attacks occurred BEFORE the Iraq war? I suggest you look at a chronology of terrorist attacks on Americans over the last 25 years:

April 1983 - A suicide car bombing against the U.S. embassy in Beirut kills 63, including 17 Americans.

October 1983 - A suicide car bomb attack against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut kills 241 servicemen. A simultaneous attack on a French base kills 58 paratroopers.

November 1984 - A bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Bogota, Colombia kills a passer-by. The attack was preceded by death threats against U.S. officials by drug traffickers.

April 1985 - A bomb explodes in a restaurant near a U.S. air base in Madrid, Spain, killing 18, all Spaniards, and wounding 82, including 15 Americans.

June 1985 - In San Salvador, El Salvador, 13 people are killed in a machine gun attack at an outdoor café, including four U.S. Marines and two American businessmen.

June 1985 - A TWA airliner is hijacked over the Mediterranean, the start of a two-week hostage ordeal. The last 39 passengers are eventually released in Damascus after being held in various locations in Beirut.

August 1985 - A car bomb at a U.S. military base in Frankfurt, Germany kills two and injures 20. A U.S. soldier murdered for his identity papers is found a day after the explosion.

October 1985 - Palestinian terrorists hijack the cruise liner Achille Lauro (in response to the Israeli attack on PLO headquarters in Tunisia) Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, wheelchair-bound American, is killed and thrown overboard.

November 1985 - Hijackers aboard an Egyptair flight kill one American. Egyptian commandos later storm the aircraft on the isle of Malta, and 60 people are killed.

December 1985 - Simultaneous suicide attacks are carried out against U.S. and Israeli check-in desks at Rome and Vienna international airports. 20 people are killed in the two attacks, including four terrorists.

April 5, 1986 - A bomb destroys the LaBelle discotheque in West Berlin. The disco was known to be frequented by U.S. servicemen. The attack kills one American and one German woman and wounds 150, including 44 Americans.

April 1986 - An explosion damages a TWA flight as it prepares to land in Athens, Greece. Four people are killed when they are sucked out of the aircraft.

Dec. 21, 1988 - A bomb destroys Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 people aboard the Boeing 747 are killed including 189 Americans, as are 11 people on the ground.

February 1993 - A bomb in a van explodes in the underground parking garage in New York's World Trade Center, killing six people and wounding 1,042.

Nov. 13, 1995 - A car-bomb in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia kills seven people, five of them American military and civilian advisers for National Guard training. The "Tigers of the Gulf," "Islamist Movement for Change," and "Fighting Advocates of God" claim responsibility.

June 25, 1996 - A bomb aboard a fuel truck explodes outside a U.S. air force installation in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. 19 U.S. military personnel are killed in the Khubar Towers housing facility, and 515 are wounded, including 240 Americans.

June 21, 1998 - Rocket-propelled grenades explode near the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

Aug. 7, 1998 - Terrorist bombs destroy the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In Nairobi, 12 Americans are among the 291 killed, and over 5,000 are wounded, including 6 Americans. In Dar es Salaam, one U.S. citizen is wounded among the 10 killed and 77 injured.

Oct. 12, 2000 - A terrorist bomb damages the destroyer USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39.

September 11, 2001 - Terrorists hijack four U.S. commercial airliners taking off from various locations in the United States in a coordinated suicide attack.

NOT ONE of these attacks happened as a result of the Iraq war. To suggest that we are more at risk now is simply to say that you are unaware of the risk we were at then. The cells were in this country before the Iraq War. They are still here, waiting to strike. They'll strike whether or not we are in Iraq. They aren't attacking to protest the Iraq War. If you look at the number of high ranking terrorist leaders that are now dead or hiding in caves, and the amount of disruption to their operations that has been created, I suggest we may now be safer than we were. I still believe more attacks will come, but not because of the Iraq War.

DanCiora

Todays' word: Super Hero

Thanks to our invasion of Iraq - America is a safe place to live - thanks to George W. Bush.

He is not only a hero

He is a Super Hero

He did what no one else was willing to do - he got us into a war that had nothing to do with 9-1-1

No even his father was willing to do what George W. Bush did!


George W. Bush is even now doing what needs to be done - and not what the majority of people want him to do -

That is why he is a super hero

Which brings me to the word of the day: Super Hero.

Glen

Today's word: Straw Man

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

I never said "America is a safe place to live". In fact I said I expect America to be attacked again.

I never said George Bush "is a Super Hero".

What I said was I don't believe he's a Super Villain.

It's a pretty big spectrum from Super Villain to Super Hero, and I don't think President Bush is either one.

You made an allegation:

Bush knowingly and repeatedly lied, to get us into a war that was unjustified, because he personally had something to gain from doing so (I believe that is an accurate representation of your position. If it is wrong, please correct me).

If you can prove this, I promise I will be among the loudest voices calling for Bush's impeachment.

However, you haven't yet given me the evidence to support your position. Give me the evidence, and I'll join your camp in a heartbeat.

I've tried to state my position as clearly as I can, and to provide the information I've used to reach those conclusions. If there are flaws in my facts or my reasoning, point them out to me. But please address your comments to what I've actually said.

Which brings me to the word of the day: Straw Man.

Daniel Ciora

Which brings me to day’s word: Plagiarism

While it is true that I stole “Today’s Word” from Steven Colbert (Who probably stole it from Sesame Street – which is a Left Wing Liberal Propaganda Machine) – you sir are plagiarizing my idea to use “Today’s Word” in response to my plagiarism of Steven Colbert.

It is unfair of you to use MY Word of the Day format.

You see, my plagiarism is simply homage to Steven Colbert – you are clearly not paying homage to ME for plagiarizing Steven Colbert – so you are simply a plagiarist of my idea to plagiarize.

Which Brings Me to Today’s Word.

Glen

Um...yeah. Colbert is a funny guy. I always enjoy the Colbert Report.

Sesame Street is a Left Wing Liberal Propaganda Machine??? I hadn't heard that.

So, getting back on track...from the content of your last 2 posts, I take it your search for facts that support your position isn't going very well? Ah, but, as Colbert would say, who needs facts when you have "truthiness"?

I sense your patience for serious discussion on this issue has run out. In light of your recent attempts to distort my position (i.e. "Bush is a Super-Hero!"), let me state my actual position, for the record, as clearly as I can:

I agree with the 9-11 Commission when they say that neither President Clinton nor Bush were well-served by the FBI and the CIA, and that both Presidents made decisions that would have been different had the FBI and CIA done their jobs.

The reason the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Tony Blair, all of whom saw the same information as the President, supported his decision regarding Iraq is because at the time, with the information available to them, it seemed to be the correct decision.

With the benefit of hindsight, we now see that the decision was, arguably, wrong. In my opinion, this does not make Bush a Super-Villain.

I also believe the planning for what would happen after we toppled Saddam's government was clearly inadequate, and I believe Rumsfeld should have been replaced long before he was. Does that make Bush a Super-Villain? In my opinion, no, it doesn't. It makes him a President who's made mistakes. He's not the first President to do so, and he won't be the last.

In my opinion, it is far better to examine and discuss the mistakes that were made, so they are not repeated in the future, and to try to assess the current situation as best as is possible, and act accordingly, rather than resort to such rhetoric as "Bush is a Super-Villain".

When the next Presidential election comes around, I plan to base my vote on the best understanding of the issues I can get, which requires me to rationally engage people of differing opinions, in an attempt to get as close to the truth as I can. I don't plan to try and figure out which is the Super-Hero and which is the Super-Villain.

Daniel, comics are great. I read 'em all the time. But here in the real world, there are no "Super Heroes" and "Super Villains". There are people. There are complex issues with no easy answers, and there are shades of gray. If you are happy simplifying the world to the level of a Marvel comic, so be it. That is your right.


Daniel Ciora

You say there are no simple answers – I say that you are not trying hard enough to find them.

Which brings me to today’s word: Simple Answers

George W. Bush found the simple answers to complex problems.

And he is still finding simple answers to complex problems.

That is why he is a Super Hero – because he has found the simple solution to complex problems.

Mere mortals such as I can not come up with the as simple of solutions to complex problems as George W. Bush. In fact – as a Super Hero – George W. Bush does not need facts to support his position.

(By the way – I never said that your position is that George W. Bush is a Super Hero. Obviously your position is too nuanced. You could call me a flip-flopper but after carefully reviewing each of your comments I now disagree with Steve’s position that George W. Bush is a Super Villain. I am not saying that you think he is a Super Hero – But I do NOW consider George W. Bush to be a Super-Hero. After all – a Super-Hero dose not worry about how to clean up the mess after the Super Hero saves that day – just like my Super Hero – George W. Bush.)

[It is far easier to be pro-Bush: Who needs facts when you support the Super - Hero- in- Chief..]

Some would say that the mistakes that we made were listening to George W. Bush’s administration – But not me. Some would say that we made a mistake in trusting the “Decider” {now called “the decision maker”} But not me. The Democrat Congress is looking at a non-binding resolution. What message are they sending to the troops. Just because Bush will not implement the Iraq Study Group Report, the Congress want a non-binding resolution. George Bush knows what he is doing – and he has the simple answers to do it.

And that’s the word.

Glen

I think your Super-Hero metaphor is a bit strained, but I understand what you're saying.

I don't agree, obviously. I think you're presenting a caricature of Bush, and of those, like Koch, Lieberman, Miller, Blair, etc., that choose to support him. A caricature has enough reference to reality that one can recognize the subject, but few would mistake it for a serious portrait.

But it appears that you and I will simply have to agree to disagree.

Daniel Ciora

Last word?

Glen

Last word? I think so. We'll start repeating ourselves pretty soon...if I haven't already :-)

Thanks for an interesting conversation.

Glen

Dan

Barack Obama won!!! He was elected president on the platform of change. End of argument.

Daniel Ciora

No sir - it is not the end of argument! More than 1 year later it has come to light that Barack Obama is an extremist socialist/christian/muslim/anti christ/death panel/non-US born/non-president who is seeking to destroy this country according to Glen Beck and the "Birthers" and the Tea-Baggers. And so what if they are wrong. All that proves is that we on the rigth have gotten more desperate.

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