Comments: Who won't be the next president

(We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Hey Hube:

I was in San Diego last week. A news topic was that the mayor of Mexico City was going to crack down on bad drivers there. The story said the 4th leading cause of death in Mexico was traffic fatalities.

If that is true and Mexicans are poor drivers, I guess we are damned if we do license and damned if we don't.

Btw, I am among the 77-80% who say don't give legal documents to illegal immigrants (or undocumented as moonbat Kucinich would protest).

Posted by AJ Lynch at November 17, 2007 01:35 PM

I'm still waiting for cult that is Algore to claim the nomination, he's so getting in, albeit late but nonetheless ...

Posted by M.Opaliski at November 17, 2007 04:45 PM

In other words, "I refuse to answer the question because I want to pander to both sides of the issue."



Hube. You slay me. Torture is all good and well if it means we're safe from those evil Islamic sleeper cells, but ALLEGED PANDERING! You're clearly too morally superior to Edwards for that.

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 19, 2007 07:36 PM

Hey Mat: Don't let your appearance on a show that garners about 2 viewers and which has a host who's a 9-11 Truther nut go to your head.

Until you get it through your thick skull the exact context in which it makes sense to utilize waterboarding, then you might have a point. Until then, don't waste my time.

Posted by Hube at November 19, 2007 07:40 PM


Nice red herring. In-Depth Delaware has nothing to do with anything (thanks for the plug, though).

That concept IS through my thick skull -- but torture only gets somebody to tell you the answer you want to hear, not the truth. So from a pragmatic point of view, it's no good. Waterboarding in and of itself is heinous, so from a human point of view, it's no good. The only place that it IS any good is in the field of scare tactics -- to "need" waterboarding would imply that one of those big scary Muslms we found actually had the means to plant a dirty bomb in NY. Please. If this isn't a new level of paranoia, it's just a means to an end. Either way, somebody who is such a fan of the libertarians should really look at human rights with a little bit more reverence.

Aside from that, come on. If you're going to complain about pandering (which you consistently accuse the Democrats of), let's see it across the board. Or have you not gotten it through your thick skull that pandering to voters is the modus operandi of all politicians?

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 20, 2007 12:29 PM

It may be a red herring, but it's just a warning to not let your adolescent head get too big.

Tell George Tenet and others that waterboarding "only gets you want you want to hear." Khalid Sheik Mohammad cried like a baby with vital info after being waterboarded and his info let directly to thwarting several plots against airliners. If you think the planting of a dirty bomb is merely paranoia, then you exemplify that the Left really IS far-gone. (You probably thought the threat of jetliners flying into skyscrapers was paranoia too, right Mat? Or has Liz Allen convinced you otherwise?) Even so, even if a dirty bomb IS less likely than other terror attacks, so what? You don't think that radical Muslim terrorists are not plotting attacks that'll kill a maximum number of Americans as possible? That's not paranoia -- it's reality. You, OTHO, are practicing what's called "delusion."

I DO favor human rights -- the rights of innocent American civilians not to be slaughtered by a terrorist. I will ALWAYS favor THEIR human rights over those who would kill them indiscriminately. I'll gladly stack up my morality against yours any day: You'd rather see innocent Americans killed than [possibly] scare the shit out of a terrorist (and that's what it is, really) by waterboarding him for information. "Well, at least we protected the terrorist's human rights," you can gladly say. Meanwhile, who protected the human rights (that most fundamental of rights, too -- "life") of the dead Americans, Mat? Not you, that's for sure.

Lastly, I'll happily cover pandering on the other side of the political spectrum WHEN I DAMN WELL FEEL LIKE IT. In case you hadn't noticed, we're a right-of-center blog -- and one that covers the faults of the right a LOT more than other rightie blogs, so your criticism about "pandering" is worth less than a grain of salt. Covering the pandering of conservative politicians is for you and yours to blog about. So, stick your advice where an enema goes.

If you keep up this illogical nonsense, I'll come to regret that testimonial I wrote.

Posted by Hube at November 20, 2007 03:23 PM

My "adolescent head" is swelling with elitism, apparently. How patronizing can you get? I was on a TV show, and I have hardly made a big deal of it. It has absolutely nothing to do with either Edwards or torture.

Are you really going to compare 9/11 to current national security? Are you assuming that George Bush will ignore another memo? Or demand that his administration create a link to an irrelevant nation? And keep in mind that Khalid was one of thousands of detainees out there. A freak occurrence to say the least. Perhaps we should focus more on closing our ports to nations like Dubai than rounding up every "Islamofascist" (buzzword of the day!) out there and DROWNING THEM to get information we think they have -- God only knows how many lives we've shattered on bad intelligence. I'm sure we're all in danger of being slaughtered by some Iraqi farmers or Iran (did I just hear a sheep bleat?), but I don't think that torture is exactly quelling the whole "get the fuck out of my house" movement.

If you favor human rights, you should favor them for everybody, not just Americans. When you just want to attack others mindlessly to protect your country from an imaginary or over-embellished threat, that's not human rights, that's nationalism (some would argue it borders on fascism).

Did I ever say I wanted to see "an innocent American die"? Why exactly do you think I'm against the war? I'd rather see us act rationally than turn to the barbarism that is waterboarding. You don't need morals so much as you do logic to understand why. Now, if you do want to talk morals, we could address the fact that you're advocating controlled drowning to keep the boogieman away. I'm supporting eliminating a false sense of security in the interest of the greater good.

You honestly think that you're the good guy because you omit less facts than other blogs? You automatically tolerate bullshit on your party's part just because of the "R" next to their name? Nice.

Redact your testimonial for this exchange? For fuck's sake, just ask me to take it down. Don't be a child about it. I don't need your praise by the looks of it.

check mate!

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 20, 2007 07:53 PM

Sorry, that "check mate" was courtesy of me, not Matthew R. Marshall. But it still stands.

Posted by Read Scott at November 20, 2007 07:55 PM

Dude, obviously you've undergone some sort of BDS-induced transformation of late. You're now misrepresenting MY positions, putting words in MY mouth, and spouting irrelevancies to the ACTUAL discussion. I mean, to claim I "tolerate bullshit" b/c of an "R" next to their name is just beyond ridiculous.

Of course you don't need my praise. But you DO need to grow the fuck up. Good thing you're still a child, I suppose. That gives you SOME excuse.

Now go have mommy wipe your ass, child.

Posted by Hube at November 20, 2007 07:59 PM

Hey Read -- since when do you use the exact same IP address as Mat? Is Mat another Mike Protack, posting under assumed names? Or will he, like Protack, blame "router problems"?

Posted by Hube at November 20, 2007 08:02 PM

Oh, and one more thing: "Checkmate" is Dana's lingo. It's appropriate when applied correctly. But you didn't even take one of my pawns in this discussion, mainly, again, b/c you obviously haven't the slightest notion of my actual fucking positions on the myriad topics you raised in your last diatribe. Why is that, Mat? How could you not know, Mat? Do you LIKE to revel in ignorance before making a point, Mat?

Posted by Hube at November 20, 2007 08:06 PM


I was the one who put in the "checkmate" at the end of his post. His protested greatly and called me an "asshole" afterward. I am sorry that I ignited such a fight. That was MY pompous move. He is at my house, posting on my computer. Mat is a man of principal, more so then me sometimes. Don't blame him for my move.

-Read Scott

Posted by Read Scott at November 20, 2007 09:15 PM

How did I misrepresent your position? How did I put words in your mouth? You said yourself that you won't point out pandering of the Republicans because you're a "right-of-center" blog, so I hardly put any words in your mouth on that one.

I will be the first to admit that I have a lot to learn; which makes it even more astonishing to me that, of the two of us, I'm the one advocating the more "adult" position of being rational about our handling of conflict. As growing up goes, I can't take your advice with an ounce of regard until you manage to get over this bitch fit with Liz Allen you've now dragged me into, or can talk to me without going ad hominem and attacking me on the grounds that I am some sort of snot nosed kid.

By the way, if I was posting under a sock puppet name, why would I correct myself with it all of 2 minutes afterwards? Why would I not just, I don't know, NOT say checkmate?

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 21, 2007 12:04 AM

Mat: By bringing up the Iraq War and making tangential points from there -- when I am and always have been AGAINST the war -- you're implying that I am FOR the war and am arguing from that position. In addition, you make it appear that I favor torture in any circumstance and merely to "out" Islamic cells in the US ("Torture is all good and well if it means we're safe from those evil Islamic sleeper cells...") Speaking of which, that there is a PERFECT example of how I criticize the right. I have (and have written about previously) lost acquaintances and readers who thought I was a die-heard GOPer, and couldn't believe I was (am) against the war. So, once again, SPARE ME about how I "don't cover" anti-Republican positions. (And I said I'd cover GOP pandering when "I felt like it." I did not say "I won't," so again you misrepresented my position.)

There's nothing "rational" about your "handling" of the conflict. And again, if you're referring to Iraq then we have nothing further to argue about. I am, and was, referring to the general war on terror. My point is quite simple, and I'll ask you a very simple question. See if you can answer it w/o sounding like a [Democrat] presidential candidate:

Would you agree to waterboard a terrorist if he might have vital information about a pending attack on a US population center? It doesn't have to be a so-called "dirty bomb"; it could be a similar attack to 9/11. Thousands of American lives may be at stake. Again, try not to answer in generalities like you did before ("Did I ever say I wanted to see 'an innocent American die'? Why exactly do you think I'm against the war?") The Iraq War is irrelevant to this. If we had definitive intelligence about 9/11 (spare me, too, with "if Bush hadn't ignored that memo" -- this is where your BDS shows through) and had captured a terrorist who had info about the impending attack, would you waterboard him?

Keep in mind that if you say "no," you're going to sound much like Michael Dukakis did in that 1988 presidential debate.

You think waterboarding a terrorist to save thousands of American lives makes us "barbarous"? On the contrary, NOT doing so and allowing those thousands to perish is magnitudes more barbarous. I guess you also believe that our actions in WW II -- firebombing of Dresden, Tokyo, and the nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- were "barbarous." We should have forgone those nukes so that upwards of one million more people (on both sides, but more importantly our own GIs) would have died just so we could hold our heads high and say "We weren't barbarous." How elitist.

Lastly, Mat, I will address you in the manner in which you address me. If you feel the need to make some "point" in a childish manner by blatantly misrepresenting my actual feelings on topics (especially when they make me out to be some heinous ogre), then I will communicate to you in like manner. Fair enough?

Posted by Hube at November 21, 2007 03:46 PM


I had written up a detailed response, and the piece of shit laptop on which I’m writing this closed out of the browser. So rather than spend another 20 minutes responding, I’m going to give much shorter, lightning round answers/retorts.

I bring up the Iraq War to demonstrate that I’m against the war, not to say that you’re for it. The accusation you made was pointed at me. My response only regarded me.

I am aware that you cover anti-Republican positions. But when you say you’ll cover their pandering when “you feel like”, it implies that you, at some point won’t feel like, which means you won’t. Now, you don’t seemed to have missed a beat attacking the Dems, and since your justification for not covering the GOP so extensively has been that you are right of center, it implies that, regardless of the degree to which you do it, you are tolerating the bullshit of the Republicans (you would agree that pandering is bullshit, right?) because they are Republicans.

I am referring to the general War on Terror as well.

My answer is no. U.S. intelligence is not good enough to accurately find somebody who is actually a terrorist on the first try without them turning themselves in. If it were, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened. Even if we got it right, they wouldn’t tell us the truth. If I think you have my wallet and punch you in the face repeatedly every time you say you don’t know where it is, are you ever going to tell me where it actually is, even if you know, or are you going to give me a lie that you think will make me stop punching you in the face?

That makes me sound like a Democratic candidate (specifically Dukakis, apparently). Saying “yes” would have made me sound like a Republican candidate. If that’s where the distinction is drawn, I’d rather be the Democrat.

I am disgusted by the bombing of Dresden.
I am saddened by, but understand the necessity of, the firebombing of Tokyo (although I will admit that I am not thoroughly familiar with it, so that position may change).
I think the bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki were also unfortunate, as the explosion of a nuclear bomb must truly be an unprecedented horror. However. I understand their significance to ending the war.
Waterboarding is not helping us win or end the war.

If you want an explanation of any of those, just ask.

Waterboarding is barbarous. Waterboarding [who we’ve decided is] a terrorist to [get a false answer to a question which we think will] save thousands of lives is barbarous AND crazy.

I am an elitist. You caught me. Oh shit. Do you even know what an elitist is?

I only talk to you like you are a heinous (not to mention patronizing) ogre because you have given me reason to believe you are.

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 21, 2007 07:37 PM

I only talk to you like you are a heinous (not to mention patronizing) ogre because you have given me reason to believe you are.

Fair enough. I only refer to you as a snot-nosed elitist, ignorant punk kid for the same reason. Cool?

Your answers regarding waterboarding are ridiculous (our intelligence isn't good enough) and plain wrong (they wouldn't tell us anyway). They're even more ridiculous when coupled w/your "understanding" of our actions in WW II. When you use "barbarous" with waterboarding and not with Hiroshima, et. al. you're just outlandishly obtuse. Furthermore, it is NOT who we "decide" is a terrorist that would face waterboarding; it would be A terrorist, like Sheik Muhammad. Nevertheless, I am glad you are on record as being more concerned with the discomfort of terrorists than the deaths of innocent Americans. You are so "above" the typical American. "Heinous ogre" indeed.

Dukakis in 1988 was asked what he'd do if someone raped and offed his wife (because he was anti-death penalty). His answer was as robotic and unfeeling as it was silly. Google it.

Posted by Hube at November 21, 2007 08:24 PM

Snot-nosed, elitist, ignorant, punk kid… such wit! Such eloquence! Would it be alright if I quoted you on that? My testimonials are suddenly lacking. Would you rather I source it as “Hube, Colossus of Rhodey”, or “Mr. Wilson, ‘Dennis the Menace’”?
Are you trying to say our intelligence is sufficient? If so, then why do we need torture? Or is the intelligence sufficient BECAUSE we use torture? Does that mean that the CIA et al are functioning so poorly that they need to resort to (here it comes) barbarism in order to get by? Unfortunately, this is all a moot point, as your situation is a paradox. In order for us to gather information from a terrorist about a plot, he must actually be a terrorist involved in that plot. If we’re talking about fundamentalist Islamic terrorism (you often do), then we must consider that religiously motivated terrorists have no reason to deny what they have already accomplished, nor to reveal what they plan, since they believe their reward is in the next life. If that’s the case, then we won’t know they’re involved with that plot until it’s ex post facto, will we? The only use of torture in this scenario, then, is to get them to admit what they’ve already done and punish them. But we already had the capability to try them, considering they were detained… so… I’m sorry, refresh my memory as to how the scenario was realistic.
I denounce Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki as being barbarous, yes. With Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, however, we were attacking militaries (which wear uniforms; this is what differentiates them from terrorists) to end a war. Dresden is a bloody wound in America’s moral integrity. None of those, however, were torture. Torture is an ineffective means by which to gather intelligence. Dresden through Nagasaki were attacks.
Now, the thing is, your entire argument is that the inhumanity of torture is outweighed by the fact that the intelligence gathered saves lives. The problem with that is that torture is about as effective as ESP when it comes to gathering intelligence. You can tout Khalid Sheik Muhammed as loudly and proudly as you wish, but assuming the plots he offered were even legitimate, he is certainly a freak occurrence, and freak occurrences do not justify widespread action. During the European witch trials of the Middle Ages, a substantial amount of men and women admitted to being witches after being subjected to torture; unless the implementation of torture gave them supernatural abilities, we know that this was not true. Nazi Germany’s use of torture against the French Resistance was as ineffective as France’s use of torture against the Algerian Resistance, which was as ineffective as Britain’s use of torture against the Irish or American Resistances. Ibn al-Libi admitted under torture that al-Qaeda had links to Iraq, later admitting this to be untrue. A detainee at Abu Ghraib admitted under torture to being Osama bin Laden.
The only argument I can see left for torture (waterboarding included) is its effectiveness as a deterrent (exemplified by Imperial Rome, Medieval England, Nazi Germany, Communist China/Russia, Baath Iraq, etc.). However, elitist liberalism leads me to believe that in a way, that is actually highly ineffective. By stooping down to the level of intimidation by torture, we are really becoming terrorists ourselves, and so we are only replacing the attackers we are getting rid of. I think that if we are to be the land of the free (and, indeed, the home of brave), we have to rise above that. There is a reason, after all, that the founding fathers put the 8th Amendment into the bill of rights, and I join the ranks of Washington, Madison and Franklin in denouncing something as dehumanizing as torture (indeed, torture fits all four of the principles of cruel and unusual punishment ruled in Furman v. Georgia). Can I put you, Hube, on the record as saying otherwise?

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 22, 2007 10:15 AM

Now, if we're quite finished here, I do have to go. My bourgeois punk friends and I have a platter of brie and a copy of "Zadig" waiting for us uptown.

Posted by Mat Marshall at November 22, 2007 10:28 AM

You can "put me down" as believing whatever you wish, Mat, since, despite my repeated attempts, you still believe what you THINK I believe. Maybe that's your snot-nosed punk naivete ... who knows. But it's ineffective when debating and ultimately futile.

You just claimed that "Hiroshima etc. was not torture ..." Indeed. There were magnitudes worse. But yet, you justify what happened there to one degree or another. You cannot, however, justify utilizing waterboarding under any circumstance in order to save American lives. You sure seem to show a lot of expertise in this matter for one who hasn't even paid a friggin' bill yet nor held a job. Such arrogance. Such conceit. Such moral obtuseness. And BTW, I never ever claimed that waterboarding is justified as a "widespread action," nor have we so used it. In addition, there is a prodigious difference between the examples you cite of aggressors using torture on their victims, and radical Muslim fundies who are the aggressors in present circumstances. We, the attacked, use a mild form of it (waterboarding) in select circumstances to prevent further aggression when intelligence indicates such.

Yes, we are done here. Enjoy your cheese and crackers today, Mat, and your "moral superiority." Just keep in mind that you wouldn't be able to even give those thanks if those with your thought processes were in charge. They'd be dead. They'd be dead, yes, but at least in Heaven they could stick their noses up and state "Well, at least we proved we were 'better' than everyone else."

Posted by Hube at November 22, 2007 11:01 AM

Tried to respond to this post, (wanted to write something about Hillary, the Countess of Chappaqua) got an annoying block due to "questionable content."

Any chance of fixing that?

Posted by EdWonk at November 22, 2007 07:24 PM

Ed: That's a server issue. Whenever you might see that, just change some wording around. That usually rectifies the problem.

Posted by Hube at November 23, 2007 07:56 AM