Argue here

I know you may be sick of politics and the election, but hang on for two more days! The political, the moral, the cultural, and the religious are entwined, for better or worse, and whatever happens tomorrow will have profound significance, for better or worse or both.

I forbade argument in the next two posts. If you want to argue, do it here. Remember, argument, strictly speaking, is an attempt to persuade; that is, an attempt to bring someone who disagrees with you onto your side. The goal is agreement and thus reconciliation.

Name-calling is not argument. Nor are accusations, denunciations, or witty putdowns. Such tactics make the person who disagrees with you defensive and thus make the goal of winning over your opponent less likely.

I am going to TRY to monitor the comments throughout the day, particularly, in these three top-of-the-page posts, and delete the rulebreakers, so as to show you what I mean.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://viz.tumblr.com Tickletext

    “The goal is agreement”

    I disagree!

  • rlewer

    The goal may not to get agreement among the arguers, but to convince bystanders.

  • Anon

    The Bible would certainly be shorter with such instructions.

    In a Fallen world, where no candidate -can- be perfect, and the difference between candidates is thus who will do less harm, and more good comparative to the alternative candidate, such rules make clear warnings against dangers impossible, and so prevent imitating our models in the Bible.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Not so, Anon. The Bible doesn’t need to argue. It proclaims. I want to see if anyone here can be persuasive. And besides, you can persuade others that one candidate will do less harm and make clear warnings about dangers. Just make a persuasive case for that. You can even make “negative” arguments here, refuting other candidates.

  • Brother Laurence

    I don’t follow the comments on the blog with any regularity. Was Anon’s “Pro-Obama” post done as bitter tongue in cheek, or is he really excited about all those things?

  • David

    There are two guidelines for a Christian when voting, both based on the role of government found in Romans 13. Government is to punish evil – the big sins or crimes – in order to maintain civility. But in order to do that it must know what evil is (like when murder is murder). So, does the candidate recognize evil so it can be hindered? Second, government, due to its prescribed role, is not to be taking over the role of parent or church; therefore a candidate should understand the limited role of government in order that the home and church can maintain their rights and responsibilities. The typical democrat generally fails to understand either of these. The typical republican in recent years understands only the former. The libertarian grasps only the latter.

  • Anon

    In that post I simply stated the positives that Obama and his supporters give. If that is forbidden, well. Kyrie elieson.

  • Anon

    “Come, let us reason together, says the Lord”

    “woe to you hypocrites, you white-washed tombs!”

    “I have set before you today life and death. Choose life.”

    The Prophets, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles aren’t exactly flattering of those who do evil, nor did they simply not discuss it and only say laudatory things about doing and choosing good.

  • http://viz.tumblr.com Tickletext

    To me, the most important political arguments we can have are less related to particular candidacies and more related to the philosophies which shape the way in which we think about politics–especially those philosophies which may do so without our realizing it.

    Here’s my simplistic and reductionistic diagnosis of American politics. Both liberals and conservatives are handcuffed to Lockean individualism. Locke said that in the state of nature man is the “absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest and subject to nobody.” According to Locke, the only reason man gives up that lordship is self-preservation.

    Liberals are consistent Lockeans when they think about “social” issues like abortion; conservatives are generally Lockean when it comes to the free market. But when either side tries to advocate causes other than self-preservation (for liberals that might mean environmental protection or poverty care, for conservatives that might mean abortion), they have no meaningful language, they have no moral leverage. They are both incoherent.

    What is missing here is any concept of true community. Like Hobbes, Locke makes life out to be unmediated contractual interaction between autonomous individuals. But Christians are members of a body, and as Wendell Berry says, health is membership.

    Etymologically, economic health is a matter of good household management. In a true household or community there is no division between social and economic issues. Caring for the weak and the needy and being stewards of the land are all marks of a healthy household.

    So I’m not advocating any candidate here, but I will say that my priority in voting is to figure out which politicians are most committed to the health of communities.

  • Nemo

    To extend tickletext’s analysis, Lockian individualism isn’t just separate from community, it actually runs counter to it and undermines it.

    Take, for example, the free market (individuals driven by personal self-interest [formerly known as greed]). It only works when built upon a foundation that is contrary to the tenants of the free market (moral community). Yet the “virtues”* of the free market undermine the very foundation it is build upon, and when that foundation is gone what remains is something akin to economic social Darwinism.

    The question is, first, how do we rebuild the concept of community? Government attempts to actively revive it generally kill it quicker. Government passivity will let it die.

    Secondly, what is the role of government in the interim? Lassiez-faire libertarianism assumes a moral foundation that is no longer present. Given these circumstances, is there room for more governmental intervention than is otherwise optimal?

    *Yes, there are plenty of “Christian” free-market/libertarian economic textbooks that unashamedly praise greed and unlimited self-interest as virtues.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    Let’s vote to help end the abortion genocide.

    To Obama supporters who are believers: I think it likely you are inconvincible at this point, but I hope you will reconsider this position in light of the titanic, moral evil that is the slaughter of tiny, human children and Obama’s outspoken support and the absolute clarity in his championing of the cause of those who do this.

    To Third-Party advocates who are believers (Baldwin, Barr, etc): I agree with your principles (mostly). But when you have a killer in the room, you worry less about the dirty clothes on the floor, the broken windows, the dirty dishes, the fact that one of the kids is sick. You first take on the killer, take him out with the best tool available that works), then fight about the other stuff in turn. We have to help stop this genocide first. It is the killer in the room. It is the priority.

    That’s why I’m voting McCain, though I have never been a Republican and am not wild about McCain at all.

    Maybe I’m wrong.

    God be with you all as you vote.

  • Don S

    The next four years are likely to be rocky, as we continue to (hopefully) wring debt out of the economy and correct for past excesses. If there was a time for bipartisan government, this is it. Do we want Obama-Pelosi-Reid completely in charge of the executive and legislative branches? Remember, whatever programs are put in place during the next 2-4 years will not later ever disappear. We can’t make it right, because the forces arrayed to defend any federal program are too immovable.

    McCain is a true bipartisan. He crosses the aisle frequently, and has proven that over the years. Republicans intensely dislike his politics for that. So you who are on the left side of domestic politics will still likely get much of what you want even if McCain is president. Those of us on the right will have a backstop against truly eggregious expansions of government, and will hopefully get moderate to conservative judicial appointments (remembering that they have to be consented to by a very liberal Senate) to keep the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade alive sometime down the road.

    The other advantage of electing McCain is that both parties will continue to have a hand in government, and thus will not be able to simply blame the other party if things go bad. I had to laugh when Pelosi insisted the other day that, if Obama is elected and Democratic majorities are increased in both houses of Congress, bipartisanship will increase. :) I guess so, if bipartisanship means enacting Democratic policies.

  • Carl Vehse

    In the waning hours of the presidential election campaign, Barry 0bama extends the partisan finger of cooperation to John McCain.

  • Carl Vehse

  • Peter Leavitt

    In my view Sen. Obama has never been tested in a position of serious responsibility and is quite lacking in any serious political accomplishment. The thought of him becoming president in a time of serious economic crisis with a dangerous international situation is appalling. He has learned well from his real mentor, Saul Alinsky, that the American people can be won over through clever rhetoric. He hopes deep down to radicalize the younger generation and may well succeed in doing so.

    Stanley Kurtz, who has carefully analyzed Obama, has a summary article today on NRO, What We Know About Obama: The illusion of pragmatism advances far-left goals, in baby steps. that concludes as follows:

    Obama is clever and pragmatic, it’s true. But his pragmatism is deployed on behalf of radical goals. Obama’s heart is, and will remain, with the Far Left. Yet he will surely be cautious about grasping for more, at any given moment, than the political traffic will bear. That should not be mistaken for genuine moderation. It will merely be the beginning stages of a habitually incremental radicalism. In his heart and soul, Barack Obama was and remains a radical-stealthy, organizationally sophisticated, and — when necessary — tactically ruthless. The real Obama — the man beyond the feel-good symbol — is no mystery. He’s there for anyone willing to look. Sad to say, few are.

    Of course in a democracy the electorate gets the leadership it deserves. Should the nation roll the dice with this untested, ill accomplished fellow, it shall most probably have to pay the dangerous price.

  • Paul E.

    I voted for McCain, mostly to cancel out my wife’s voting of Obama. But I cannot, in good conscience, support the Democratic platform on abortion, wealth redistribution, and the like.

    If Obama is elected (which is looking likely at this point) I hope and pray that the Lord guides him in his decision making. If not, I hope and pray the Lord returns soon!

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Nemo – regarding your questions: Those are extremely important, and it’s a discussion we should very much have.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    How do we rebuild the concept of community? I say we bring back the neighborhood pub, and make it a family friendly place, within walking distance from one’s home.
    Put it next to the school and across the street from the church.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Veith, I like the way you are moderating today’s posts, by the way.

  • eric

    These are my negative arguments for Barak Obama.

    George Bush is the worst president in American history. He has severally weakened this country and it will take 20 years (5 presidential terms) to dig our way out. The Republican party did this to themselves because they loved power over principle and good government in 2004. The American people did this to themselves because we enabled, and are one in the same with these spend thrifts and fools.

    John McCain decided to bow before Bush and Rovian politics in 2004. This is where he gave up ever being the McCain I supported in 2000.

    John McCain’s second weakness is his age. His VP pick is absolutely more important then it would be normally. Sarah Palin is an inferior choice. It do not care that she is a gun toting red neck. I am a gun toting North Minneapolis elitist. She has a short executive record and most of it is weak to bad. Her theology is wrong, and worse then Obama’s wrong theology. She is a Penta-prosperity-gelical. I feel I am being generous with the -gelical suffix. Why did he not pick Huckabee; all the strengths none of the weaknesses?

  • Michael the little boot

    Bror said “How do we rebuild the concept of community? I say we bring back the neighborhood pub, and make it a family friendly place, within walking distance from one’s home.”

    Total agreement, Bror. Let’s get rid of Applebees in favor of something like the above! I don’t even know my neighbors, let alone people who live down the street. Perhaps something good will come out of our current crisis. Maybe we’ll be forced to stay local, and finally get back into regular contact with those with whom we are, physically, closest.

    We’ll also be forced to work arm-in-arm with people who do not share our opinions, like in the past. We won’t be able to be so insular. Decades from now we may be calling this time a blessing rather than a curse.

    Hmmm. Optimistic or naive? I’ve been accused of both. I’m literally hoping AGAINST Hope here, though. ;)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Right on Michael,
    Knew we could be in agreement about something. It would be nice to have these conversations face to face with a neighbor over beer, children playing video games or pool on the side. Rather than always over a blog.
    Here in Utah you can’t even have a neighborhood cafe’! Yet all they talk about is family and community values, I don’t see any though! I do know quite a few of my neighbors though. I walk my dog quite regularly and talk to them, and my house becomes that neighborhood pub quite often.

  • Anon

    Bror, I agree with you on how to begin to rebuild community, along with a lot of other notions I’ve had.

    Another reason to vote McCain/Palin is that we will still have freedom of speech for the next four years. Freedom to proclaim the Gospel, freedom to discuss politics, including the matters of abortion and homosexual ‘marriage’. There is a totalitarian impulse to censorship that sometimes even believing blog-owners demonstrate, for we all have to keep drowning the ‘old man’. An Obama-Reid-Pelosi government would make that impulse the law of the land.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445865,00.html

  • Anon

    eric,
    I am not aware that Gov. Palin is a practicing pentacostal, nor am I aware that she holds to the health and wealth error. Neither of which are as bad as the antichrist doctrine of Jeremiah Wright’s church which preaches a different Jesus.

    Under a PRO government, this sort of indoctrination and censorship would become the way of things we would all have to struggle under: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=79637

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bror (@18), if there’s one thing we agree on, it’s Jesus. But if it’s two things we agree on, it’s beer. :) I know such promises are common, if perhaps perfunctory, here, but if you ever make your way to Portland, Oregon, you really must come check out the Horse Brass, the pub close to where I live now. It’s amazing.

    That said, to take this perhaps too seriously and thereby make it less fun, the reasons underlying the demise of the neighborhood pub (if, in fact, it ever existed much across the country) are quite complex and get to a lot of what divides us as a country.

    The reason I have a neighborhood pub and many Americans don’t is because I live in a very dense, walkable neighborhood — I’m blessed to be able to walk to a number of bars within 10-15 minutes, of which the Horse Brass is merely the best.

    You can’t really have a local pub without such density, because (a) drinking and driving is a serious problem that can’t be ignored in context of a pub, and (b) the very act of driving is so often in opposition to all that would be good about a pub — it separates us, isolates us, removes us from a community on a local, human scale.

    With a pub you can walk to, you can hop down for a quick drink to say hello, or for a much longer stay to get into a deep discussion. Driving doesn’t really lend itself to either end, since it would seem odd to drive somewhere just for a quick drink, and yet driving somewhere for many drinks is often a recipe for disaster.

    The question of density becomes one of neighborhood planning, zoning, transportation funding priorities, and the like. And while you might support directing such things so as to produce communities via the local pub, you’ll have to deal with people who will complain, out of fear or otherwise, about crime, the homeless, gangs, schools, children’s safety, and so on.

    There’s also the surprisingly potent puritanical sentiment still floating around America, even here out west. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (now there’s a telling, Prohibition-era name!) has some ridiculous rules, as do many such entities, about how you can’t have a baby — a baby! — in a bar after certain hours, if at all. No logic whatsoever. I was so jealous when I was in Scotland (after attending a highland games festival) to see the high-school aged and middle-aged members of a drum-and-pipe corps sit down in the local pub, the kid with a soda and the older folks with beers. It was so normal to them. But then, Britain is no exemplar when it comes to youths and alcohol consumption, so you can’t argue they should be our model, either.

    And after all that, I have to admit that I haven’t been to my favorite pub in several months with my wife, due to the insane amount of smoke in there (when I go, I effectively have half a pack). All that will change in 2009, for which I’m glad, but that, too, is a subject many people have strong feelings about.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    But first, we should have decent beer available, which means we have to side to the microbreweries instead of the big corporates, which means we have to spread some of that beer wealth around…. ;) (Tongue in cheek, before somebody gets too excited…)

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Obama’s grandmother just died…

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    Sad to say I missed you when I drank at the Horse Brass just two months ago! I was visiting friends in Hillsboro.
    Anyway I agree it is an uphill battle. Out here I know of one neighborhood restaurant that was unable to get a liquor license because the neighborhood thought it would contribute to drunk driving.
    Listen I won’t get into a debate over whose laws are worse, but be glad you don’t live in Utah.
    Living in Italy you’d also see the whole family thing happening in the bar, of course parents would take the younger children home at about 8 -9 oClock anyway, but they weren’t compelled to out of anything more than good parenting that says that is a good hour for children to go to bed! Teenagers would stay out later, and join their parents for a glass of wine.

  • Michael the little boot

    Bror @ 22,

    “Here in Utah you can’t even have a neighborhood cafe’!” What?! Seriously? What’s the reasoning behind that?

    Good thing you are willing to let your place become the pub!

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 23,

    You keep saying things about an Obama administration being anti-free speech. I wonder what you think about the Bush administration’s attacks on free speech. Could we agree that, regardless of who wins the presidency, there has already been a dangerous shift in this direction across party lines? Both sides – liberal and conservative – have said the other side is going to do all these horrible things. Regardless of this speculation, we have evidence these kinds of abuses are already taking place. How much can our voting for the “correct” candidate change this? I’m not saying it’s absolutely going to go as far as some people have said; but it’s already gone farther than anyone raised in the U.S. probably thought it would go. Do you disagree?

  • Anon

    Scylding, skal for Real Ale!

    The grandmother in Hawaii or the grandmother in Kenya who was there in the delivery room in Mombasa when he was born?

  • Anon

    The testimony of Obama’s grandmother:

  • Anon

    This is what an Obama regime would look like:
    http://robgagnon.net/ObamaWarOnChristians.htm

    I have Christian friends who are voting third party, knowing that means that he will be elected, because they believe that such evil will herald the Tribulation and the Rapture. . .

  • Anon

    Michael, I am not aware of the Bush administration attacking free speech. I am aware of the evil regarding Gitmo and other facilities. If you didn’t know that I passionately oppose those torture practices, now you know. The prisoners should either be treated as P.O.W.s, accused of civil crimes or those accused of war crimes, not held indefinitely with out charges or legal recourse.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    tODD @ 25. See, there is something else we agree on. I’ve become interested in this kind of community building, and how our cities, suburbs, architecture, and other social arrangements keep thwarting it. What you say is a theme of the so-called “crunchy-conservatives.” Your specific discussion of pubs, working in the necessity of dense populations and walking as the solution to drinking and driving, is a fine addition to that discussion.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon,

    You’re not aware of the free speech zones established both in D.C. and in his little town in Texas?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I too like this talk of local, family friendly pubs.

    And Bror IS in a difficult place, pubwise, believe me. Here, closer to Salt Lake City, things are much better, there are several very nice locally owned cafes, but still the closest pubs are not exactly the kind of places I would take my kids to. There’s one down the way, but we’re too lazy to walk that far. And to really make it a gathering place perhaps the taxes on alcohol could be cut a bit. Utah laws would clamp down on any good pub, you could sure guarantee that. There are pretty strict laws about no alcoholic beverages being sold too close to schools, libraries, and other public buildings. Pretty oppresive sin taxes around here too. But indeed it would be nice to actually have some of these discussions over some good brewskys!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Michael,
    The problem is Mormons believe drinking coffee is a sin. So unless you are in denser areas where there aren’t as many Mormon’s percapita, the marked won’t support a cafe, the best you get is a drive through so the Mormon’s won’t be seen walking in.

  • Mary

    I dig the ruled-posts. Cuz I like to consider you, Dr. Veith, both a man of theology and more secular principles.

  • http://scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Anon, let me explain something to you. Within African cultures, the use of words like mother, father, uncle, son, daughter gandmother etc are not as clear-cut as in Western Society. There is a major cultural variance here, and you’ll have to understand that. This was often the case in SA, where an employer wuill find it upsetting if a man asks for the second / third time to go to his grandfathers / fathers funeral or something like that. It is just not the same.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    We’ve achieved it! Agreement! The fruit of true argument. Anon, tODD, Bror, Scylding, Bryan, Michael the Little Boot, me. We are agreeing on the value of pubs. We have moved from political bitter points to communal pints of bitter.

  • Michael the little boot

    Bror @ 38,

    Right! I totally forgot that. Although they can drink Coke now because the church bought a stake in it. :)

    The ONLY good thing about this I can think of is you don’t have to endure a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks. That’s me trying to be an optimist again…

  • http://scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Ah, but Veith – whose brew? My favourite: See here – http://www.tom-wood.com/brewery/brew_seasonal.php , the Jolly Ploughman, towards the end of the page.

  • Michael the little boot

    Wow! Apparently WE are the true melting pot. Probably only a few more years before the REST of the world jumps on the Cranach bandwagon!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bror (@28), I’m truly sorry I didn’t know you were here. Not that I expected you to alert me or anything. Also, my church is out in Hillsboro (though it’s a WELS church, so perhaps you and your friends would not know about it).

    And no, I’m not arguing that things in Oregon are as bad as they are in Utah. I just think that alcohol laws across this country are ridiculous. After all, I was born in a dry county in Texas, where we had to drive to the far-away grocery stores so we could buy wine with our groceries, and every restaurant technically required that you be a member of their “club” so you could drink (a law thankfully now repealed). Dumb.

    As to Mormons and caffeine, this Snopes.com article says it’s not true, and:

    Underpinning this legend is the notion that Mormons are forbidden caffeinated beverages, thus how deliciously ironic it would be if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quietly owned a company it raged against from the pulpit.

    Though we hate to ruin a good bit of lore with the facts, the truth is that although Mormons have been advised by church leaders to avoid caffeinated beverages, this suggestion has not been passed down as official church doctrine to which all members in good standing must adhere (unlike, say, the admonitions against coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol, which are church doctrine). Mormons can swill Coca-Cola, eschew it and all other caffeinated beverages, or indulge in the occasional Coke and still be considered churchgoers in good standing.

    My understanding is that one of their books prohibits hot beverages, or maybe just those that alter one’s feelings. So no coffee or tea, but Coke is ambiguous — did Smith mean to proscribe all caffeine (not known in his day), or just those beverages he mentioned? Again, I’m no LDS scholar, so don’t rely on my analysis here.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    tODD,

    I didn’t know you were WELS, did I? I don’t think so. Cool. I’m ELS.

    BTW, everyone, I am very excited to be taking my 18 year old nephew-in-law (also foster son to us) to vote tomorrow morning. He is an ardent Obama supporter and I am very happy to insist that he be a part of this historic vote. And yes, I’ll be voting for the other side in the booth next to him. We’ll head to Starbucks for our free coffee (with voting sticker) and then get him off to school. No, we won’t cancel each other’s vote out; I refuse to look at it that way!

  • Susan aka organshoes

    TK–Good work. No, I don’t like that negative view either, of merely cancelling one another’s vote. I hear it so often, though. But what’s a vote for, but to be cast as one wills, and to be counted? Supposedly, no one has more than one to give…
    I used to love when pollsters would call our house prior to elections when I was a kid.
    Dad was an officer in a union local, and was polled by phone regularly. He’d openly answer all their questions, except for how he planned to vote (usually they asked, ‘How can we count on you to vote tomorrow?) For that one, he’d reply, ‘By secret ballot.’

  • Anon

    This sums it up:

    Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ steve martin

    How has Bush affected the free speech of Americans?

    Who here has been stopped from saying anything he wants to say?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ steve martin

    Were you folks aware that Bush (and his mother) were the ones that staked Christ Jesus to the cross?

    Many have pinned just about every other percieved ill in this world on him.

  • Rose

    It occurs to me that both men and women are looking to government to avoid the consequences of the Fall.
    Men, government will exempt you from work. Women, government will exempt you from childbearing.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    Actually when we were there I thought about trying to get a hold of you. But didn’t know how to do that. Didn’t think though to leave a message on Cochahoop.
    As to the Caffeine thing. Technically I do believe you are right. The History of the Doctrine and covenants thing banning hot drinks is long. and it does say hot drinks, but I don’t see anyone around here avoiding hot cocoa. Usually it is interpreted coffee and tea. Some say even those were not explicitly banned until later by Brigham Young. There are plackards in the State of Utah celebrating their rebellion against the government, in which the women are praised for having kept the coffee hot for the soldiers. When the mormons first settled Utah they had wineries etc.
    But that is how it is for a mormon. you go to bed one morning looking forward to a cup of coffee and wake up the next morning to find that the prophet has banned it.

  • Michael the little boot

    steve @ 49,

    “How has Bush affected the free speech of Americans?Who here has been stopped from saying anything he wants to say?”

    Well, how about this quote from magazine The American Conservative? “When Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up ‘free speech zones’ or ‘protest zones’ where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.”

    Here’s one example they give: “When Bush came to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, ‘The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us.’ The local police, at the Secret Service’s behest, set up a ‘designated free-speech zone’ on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush’s speech. The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, though folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president’s path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign. Neel later commented, ‘As far as I’m concerned, the whole country is a free speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind.’”

    These are both comments from a conservative magazine one can easily find online by searching “American Conservative Magazine.” Also, one of its founders happens to be…Patrick Buchanan. Yup.

  • Michael the little boot

    steve @ 50,

    “Were you folks aware that Bush (and his mother) were the ones that staked Christ Jesus to the cross?”

    I guess you’re getting in on the asinine statement game, too. Nice.

  • Booklover

    Susan #47, I love your dad’s response!

  • PT Ben

    tODD et al, I definitely am in agreement with Faith in Jesus Christ and the need for more neighborhood pubs. tODD, what happened to the Lucky Labrador? another place in oregon.

    I was wondering if people on both sides would create a their dream candidate? (none of this not McCain, not Obama mess).

    like for me, I’d like to see pro life, constitution based, change the tax system to a flat tax/national sales tax, give the state more rights, less government involvement in areas the gov’t is currently involved in, promote free enterprise, etc. *i’m tired so this list is crude.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ steve martin

    Michael the little Boot,

    There is a difference between sarcasim and assininity.

    Thank you.

  • Michael the little boot

    steve,

    Ooooooh, that was SARCASM? I TOTALLY didn’t get that! Wow, I am so stupid!

    …oops, I just drooled on my keyboard. Is that bad?

  • Michael the little boot

    steve,

    Also noticed you didn’t say anything about the examples I gave re: Bush administration’s attacks on free speech. Got nothing?


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