Thursday, January 10, 2008

republicans apparently don't like caution and reason

i somehow accidentally turned my television to the fox news channel tonight and caught a short analysis of tonight's republican debate. apparently the boys of murdoch have this set-up where they have several people watching the debates with a small dial which they turn to indicate their approval or disapproval of whatever the current person in the debate is saying (rated zero to one hundred). they go on to show the highest and lowest responses of the night - which happened to be responses to the same question dealing with the recent incident in the persian gulf with iran.

huckabee responds that the iranians should be prepare themselves to see the gates of hell. ratings jump to almost 90.

thompson gives an witty and elderly i-belong-in-an-old-folks-home mumble of agreement. again, ratings jump to almost 90.

ron paul says 'wait a minute' and questions why everyone is so quick to jump into a war. says we should show some reason and caution and be sure that we have the facts are right befor acting. recalls the gulf of tonkin incident. ratings drop to 8 - the lowest ever in a republican debate.

you can all make your own conclusions...


  1. Loyd, I'm going to start swinging my fists at your nephew ... how close are you going to let me get before you step in?

  2. ryan, as soon as i know that you actually are swinging your fists. i'd hate to kill you just because someone claimed you were. what if your swinging fists were mythical like iraq's wmds or iran's current nuclear weapons program?

  3. I want to know what action I would have to do SPECIFICALLY to get you to step in and stop me. I'm swinging my fists ... nephews in my way ... when do you stop me - be specific. One of your greatest tactics is to avoid the direct question answer -- life is easy and great we talk ideas, not so easy with specifics. Do it for me though. I want to know specifically at what point do you stop me.

  4. ryan, i don't think your question makes any sense.

    at exactly what point do you know that you have had enough sleep?

    at exactly what point do you realize that you've eaten too many sweets?

    at exactly what point are you too sick to go snowboarding?

    at exactly what point is someone encroaching on your space?

    at exactly what point is someone's dress immodest?

    at exactly what point...

    the reason i didn't directly answer your question (which you didn't actually ask) is because there is no exact answer. what are you expecting? some number based on a calculation of distance, aggression, fist size, age of aggressor, etc?

    i act when i'm sure that something is happening, and how i act is relative to the immediacy and certainty of an action.

  5. It's all about proactive versus reactive. According to you i act when i'm sure that something is happening. In all honesty you couldn't be "sure" I was going to hit your nephew until my fist came into physical contact with him. So I'm curious, would you follow your own advice and not do anything until I physically hit your nephew or would you go against what you said and stop it before it even got to that point? Of course being proactive and stopping me before I got close to your nephew means you would have to act before you were "sure" which according to you is what makes the evil GOP people so bad.

  6. I'm tired of how the GOP candidates react to Ron Paul. He talks about our of control spending and how the value of the U.S. dollar is falling to record lows, and the moron candidates laugh it off like he's some kind of retard.

  7. I really didn't like the title, because I don't think its that republicans apparently dont like caution and reason, it more that they don't like it when someone goes against the current republican president.

    I think the same thing would have happened eight years ago, reversed, if in the democratic debates, one of the candidates said...I will not play hanky panky in the oval office. I am sure ratings for his speech would have dropped as well. But, if then, would you be willing to title your blog...democrats apparently don't like moral ethics and appropriate behavior in the oval office?

  8. That debate is a good example of why I tend to be central and shy away from the fringes. Fringe Dems and GOP'ers are all weird.

  9. ryan,

    there are plenty of things you could do that would make it pretty clear that you were a threat to my nephew without actually hitting my nephew. it's common sense. use it.

    on a side note, it's looking more and more like those iranian ships posed no threats to the u.s. destroyer. the speed boat that approached the u.s. ship was unarmed, and according to the navy, the threatening radio broadcast was most likely from a well known and off-shore radio heckler. it's a good thing some caution and reason can be used to prevent another disastrous military campaign.

  10. chris, the title was supposed to be somewhat sarcastic and a reflection on the responses to the republican debate. if anything, i think it shows that republicans (or conservatives) tend to have a more hawkish and 'shoot first and ask questions later' attitude - just like my friend ryan above.

  11. it's obvious that you missed the point of the question. It wasn't a what would you do in this situation directly. It was what do you do in these situations - hypothetical's draw on experience ...

    There is NO point in time you would know for "SURE" I was going to hit your nephew until I actualy did. You could 'stop' me a mere centimeter from him and I could claim that I was going to stop a milimeter from him and it's obvious that you have a (in your own words) "hawkish and 'shoot first and ask questions later' attitude"

    How come nobody has noted that the NAVY did exactly what you are crying about. They didn't do anything but get ready to defend themselves. Yet all I hear the "liberal left" crying about is what people have speculated on doing in a hypothetical situation. Where is your comments on how the NAVY didn't repeat a "gulf of tonkin incident" by shooting at the speed boats at first sign and instead waiting for confirmation??? Or would that be giving the military to much credit? The question is at what point does it matter / not matter if the speed boat is armed or not? Getting back to your nephew's at what point does it no longer matter if I was planning on stopping a millimeter from his face?

    So the question posed to the GOP candidates I pose to you worded differently: If I was swinging my fist and walking toward your nephew, at what point do you do something - and what is that something?

    In your answer recall that you dislike the GOP's acting before they "knew" everything, and that you can't "know" I'm actualy going to hit your nephew, until I do. Are you going to be a good uncle and stop me before I get there - or are you going to follow your own criticism and let me hit your nephew, so you can be sure?

  12. Good, I'm glad Iran is smart - please catch up with them. Iran set the precedent some time ago when they "aggresively" approached british ships and took the british sailors hostage. Recall or did we convienently forget this one??? Now Iran is doing it to us. Maybe, our Navy recalled this incident and though - maybe they are up to it again ...??? Maybe Iran thought, lets see how close we can get to US ships before they do anything - and what will they do when they finally do act ...??? With this knowledge, added to the 'liberal left' now trying to tie the hands of the military even MORE the next speed boat is equipped with a torpedo, and about 100 yards short of how close they came this time, they fire the torpedo ...???

    Why do you claim the privilage of using common sense when defending your nephew but don't allow the military leaders the same opportunity? Why isn't it enough to think - Iran's done this before lets stop them before they do it again. (Note previous comment on how Military prepared to stop but waited b/c they didn't have enough info - that's right, they DIDN'T shot first they asked questions first --- imagine that, they used common sense!)

  13. Ryan...

    You are using linguistic tactics to force a response from the narrator, while answering the question already for him, essentially salivating via a refreshing of the post, waiting for this response.

    I pose this, Ryan. At what exact moment do you expect the narrator to reply to such a dead-end question? Is it right when you have shot your "torpedo" question? Is it while you lurk 100 seconds away from a page refresh? Is it when you stop posing such a ridiculous question?

    The comparison of hitting a person(a nephew- and i know how much Loyd loves his nephew) to the militaristic endeavors you describe is laughable. Is is akin to me asking at which point would you refuse your nephew to be put in "timeout," while simultaneously using it as an allegorical tie to Auschwitz.

  14. Wrong - my question posed isn't any different than the question posed to the GOP candidates that 'the narrator' is talking about. Huckabee said "if you plan on taking on the US ..." he did NOT say "For that exact and specific incident we should have introduced them to the gates of hell". Yes, that incident was referenced because it had recently happened. But neither the question asked nor the answers given were meant directly or specificly for that purpose. To assume so shows incredible ignorance.

    I know how much he loves his nephews. I also know how much many people love this country. Many have, would and will die for it. Which is why it's a good comparrison.

    When someone(thing) poses an imminent to America it should be confroted head on BEFORE it becomes a problem. Just as when someone(thing) poses a threat to his nephews 'the narrator' will take it head on BEFORE it becomes a problem.

    This is where the problem lies - what is "imminent"? And we could debate back and forth on this issue all day long. My question is to understand at what point in time is problem imminent enough for 'the narrator' to actually do something about it. I want to know for two reasons:

    One - we can the use that comparrison to talk about when it is okay for the military to react to a situation. For example let's say that for the last 6 months there is a military outpost that, once a week, has had a person (man, woman, child) walk up to it strapped with bombs. When they get to the gate they detonate and kill/wound whoever is around. So, one day the MP on duty sees something that just doesn't seem right. From many yards away they tell the person walking towards them to stop - they don't. So they again say stop - they don't. A third time, stop - and again the person continues to walk towards them. The MP decides to taser the individual (man, women, or child). The individual drops to the ground. The MP investigates and finds that the individual is severly dehydrated and malnurished. The MP didn't "know", they drew on past experience and made a decision. Is 'the narrator' going to say that the MP "apparently doesn't like caution and reason"? Or will he grant that the MP used 'common sense' - the same 'common sense' he claims the right to in protecting his nephew. Let's now extrapolate this to the very debate he is complaining about. The GOP candidates were asked that in light of past events (Iran capture of British troops, Iran leaders declaring openly that the US needs to be destroyed) what would they do if they were to be openly aggressive towards us? I want to know at what point in time will 'the narrator' say, they (people against the US) crossed the line and the military was justified in defending itself.

    Two - I know he will never answer. 'The narrator' is a relativist and therefore doesn't ever like to give hard & true / black & white type answers. I do however enjoy reading how he justifies his own stance while not allow others the same lattitude. His process of thinking and rationalizing always helps me see issues from "the other side". I may still think he's wrong, but I will better understand where he is coming from. A lot of times he helps me consider something I hadn't even considered before. For example: I thought that creation should be taught in science b/c science was, at it's root, supposed to be in the search of truth and until they could impericaly prove that God didn't exist then they should continue to search it out and include it in science. 'The narrator' said it belonged in science theology and not science class. Science class was more for "if X then Y". We went back and forth and there came a point I was playing devils advocate b/c I wanted to fully understand what he thought so that I could understand better. I can now see there is a definate seperation of the two schools of thought (theology of science vs. 'if X then Y'). Does that mean I now agree with him - no. But I also don't agree with my earlier conclusion. Now I think the way science is taught in school as a whole is messed up, but that's another conversation. For now, I want to see him stumble over his logic of why it's okay for him to use common sense to defend his nephew and why it's stupid for the GOP to use common sense to defend his neighbors nephew who happens to be serving aboard that ship, or at the outpost, or anywhere.

  15. ryan,

    one. their were asked to respond to the iran ship incident. your analogy doesn't work because iran wasn't swinging any fists. your question is senseless because there is no exact point where one should begin acting... just as their is no exact point where one realizes they have drank too much diet coke.

    two. i am not a relativist.

    ryan, you seemed to have missed the entire point of my post (perhaps i wasn't clear enough). i was merely showing that when candidates were quick to pull a trigger on someone, they got high approval by republican viewers, while when someone said "wait, we should make sure we have the right info before we go to war" he got low approvals. in the iran incident which was used by an example by the moderator, huck and thompson (like bush) were quick to call iran and that incident a threat to america. as has been shown since then, there was most likely nothing threatening that occurred by those iranian ships.

  16. you are a relativist.

    1a: a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing b: a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them

    sounds like the Loyd I know and love :P It's interesting that you still refuse to give any absolutes. You will never give a hard answer to anything, it's all relative.

    I went back and reread the debate - we are both wrong on the question asked. I'm not missing the point of your post - perhaps you are missing the point of mine. You said "i was merely showing that when candidates were quick to pull a trigger on someone..." None of them were. When asked directly about the Iranian speed boat incident they all supported the Navy commanders decision to NOT ENGAGE! They then went on to speculate what might and or could happen. They were even given some what if scenerios upon which they speculated. It was their speculation that Ron Paul attacked. I'll be more clear and have direct quotes to prove it tomorrow. The point is that none of them got high approval ratings b/c they were quick to pull the trigger, none of them said that. Therefore part of your statement is wrong. We all know you can't have a 1/2 truth ... but what is truth in a relative world???

  17. Sorry Ryan. I'm not a relativist. Just because I refrain from making realist claims does not mean that a 'reality' behind such claims does not exist. Rather I take a somewhat Wittgensteinian approach to the issue because the question of relativism is largely dependent on the realism/non-realism debate. For me the issue of realism and non-realism is basically senseless because of the lack of criteria for determining either does not exist.

    In other words, the realist will want to say that X is absolutely true. The relativist/conventionalist will want to say that X is not absolutely true, but is rather true because of its relation to W, Y, and Z (which are also true via relation to other variables). My view is that both claims are essentially the same and only differ by their different language usages.

  18. and you many be right about what actually happened in the debate. I only caught (and was remarking on) some guy on FauxNews showing off their little instant-ratings magic crew.


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