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Sunday, July 30

Rev. Smokin Steve & Me - 3rd & Final Round

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For those following this banter, I believe we may be almost done. Amazingly I got lucky enough to find the one of the really normal and decent liberals, and we agree to disagree. After all, neither one of our blogs is exclusive to politics and we both have so much more about a lot of nothing to say :) After all, I’ve kept him busy at this, and now I don’t know who the asshole of the week is ! It’s sure been fun, and I intend to continue to read his blog and comment often, both positive and negative. Here’s his latest response to me, and following my response to the very well spoken, although liberal Rev. Smokin Steve. Enjoy, we have.

First of all, I never looked good in a bowtie. Not my style.

I can now see where some of the differences between us lie. We're not really disputing the facts. But what we are disputing is how we view the facts.

First of all, I'll concede on the Jimmy Carter era and Halliburton. I was 5 when he was inaugurated, and 9 years old when Reagan got into office. But what I do know about Jimmy Carter is that he was a good and decent man. What I also know about him is that his presidency was severely mismanaged. I usually have no qualms with anyone who criticizes his presidency. He had plenty of problems that are well documented.

That being said, here is where you and I really disagree.

When you see how President Bush has made this a personal issue, you applaud it. I don't.

When you are talking about sending hundreds of thousands of troops into a war, you can't let personal issues cloud your decisions. He's risking so many other people's lives, and at least part of what is fueling him (I won't say it is 100% of what is fueling him, but it is a significant part) is a family dispute. That's not good sound judgment. He's not protecting you; he's protecting himself and his own family more.

I don't know what Al Gore would have done in 9-11. No one will ever know. But my best guess is that he would have done what Bill Clinton had done more than once and at least started a bombing raid in Afghanistan. And that is what George W Bush did.

But I think I can safely guarantee one thing... if it were Gore calling the shots, we wouldn't have gotten so tied up in Iraq.

I can't put much stock in your Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan connection because it is based on your personal opinion more than actual fact. And you know what? I'll never totally discount a connection between them. Truth is, I don't have the facts in front of me. Neither do you. I don't think any normal citizen in America has all the facts on Middle East relations. So I don't think we are capable of having solid theories on them.

If I were forced to hazard a guess, I would say that I don't believe any of the countries can agree on anything between them. That makes the possibility that Syria and Iraq are playing "monkey in the middle" with the weapons of mass destruction keeping them away from the troops a little hard to swallow. Quite honestly, I don't think you can get those countries to coordinate such a good plan. We've already established how well they seem to be able to coordinate their own governments, which is to say not too well at all.

So now, what would Al Gore have done in the wake of 9-11? Well, I don't know that answer. No one will ever know that answer, and to assume he would have cowered in a corner is very unreasonable to assume. What would Hillary Clinton have done? Oh I don't know that either. Maybe we can safely assume that she would have done what Bill Clinton did, and Clinton did use military force in his term several times. Perhaps Al Gore would have deployed the force to Afghanistan because that was the obvious thing to do.

But I think I can safely say this... we would not be entrenched in Iraq as deeply as we are. I don't think Gore would have allowed that to happen.

Would Gore's administration have captured Bin Laden by now and wiped out Al Qaida? I can't make that assumption. But I guarantee you this... if Al Gore's administration had allowed what Bush's administration has allowed to happen, I would be equally critical of it.

But really, what Gore would have done is a big non issue. Your side loves to bring up what Gore might have done. Really, it distracts us from the real issue. It's not what Gore or even a Clinton would have done, it is what this current administration has done, and has not done.

But why don't we bring up one thing about Clinton that he did do? No, I'm not going to say he was perfect. I'll even admit that he may have made a mistake in not dealing with Bin Laden when we had a chance. But one thing that is not discussed is the report that came out a few months ago on the real reason we are not finding WMD in Iraq.

The report from the UN which I read in Newsweek a number of months ago (and I know you right wingers love the UN), states that the reason we currently are not finding WMD in Iraq is that Bill Clinton's bombing raids in Iraq during his presidency actually may have crippled Iraq's capability already.

So, you guys don't want to admit that maybe it was Bill Clinton who took care of the WMD before Bush got to them, do you?

No, can't give credit to Clinton at all. That would be so un-American, wouldn't it?

Here's my response to him...

“Counter pointing” takes time, so sorry for delay on this next issue. I’ve been SO busy designing ads for my son’s upcoming high school football program. It’s his senior year, and I have three companies, so I’ve taken a while responding. My graphic design skills aren’t bad; I’m just SLOW AS CHRISTMAS at the process :)

I agree Carter was a decent man, just a bad president. And I agree that you and I that “supposedly” sit on opposite sides of the political fence but don’t really dispute the facts… you hit the nail on the head that we just view them differently. Boy, if the Middle Eastern world could just come to that knowledge, you and I could bring all the troops home and agree to disagree. You and I would make great neighbors, one house would just be red, and one would be blue… (UGH, we’d have to change the political colors to gray and tan I’m afraid :)

I won’t concede on the fact that I believe all the radical factions communicate. I believe strongly that they do. Of course I don’t have any facts to support that, I just know human nature. In times like these, bad guys stick together. I say this because of local US history of gangs for instance. Most of the time groups like the Bloods & Crypts are adamantly against each other, but when the law is on a mass raid, trust me the leaders talk. I’ve seen it in action here in Reno during riots during Hot August Nights. These morons turn into best friends when the Po-Po come down the street on horses in riot gear behind the fire department that has opened fire hoses on the bunch to wash their dumb asses off the streets.

However, you and I both are right on the fact that these guys will never agree on anything in a diplomatic public agreement. Sad but true. I will concede that we will never know what Gore or H. Clinton would do in a crisis. I’m just glad I don’t know at this point. Hopefully, in 2008 I won’t have to find out either. I hope for your party you guys find a new superstar. I really don’t think Hillary is it.

I appreciate your comment that if Gore had done the same things, you would have been equally as critical. I have thought many times that my staunch opinions that are pro-Bush come from my opinion of him as a Texan. OK, I’ll also concede that I am blinded by the redneck views, but I would have voted for Bush even if he would have been a Democrat.

I do believe that Clinton was on the right track when he did his bombings. That was a rare period when I was cheering him on. I believe he did cripple the WMD’s and all the theories behind their non-existence. I was pissed at him though when he didn’t go far enough. I’m pissed at Bush that he didn’t either. If Clinton would have blown them off the map, or if Bush had, we’d be done and on to other business. I still cringe when I remember watching Ollie North’s testimony before the questioning Senator Al Gore in which they were drilling him for the $60,000 he spent on personal security, and his answer was regarding Bin Laden and he was explaining to him that this man was the most dangerous man on earth. Why is it human nature that when someone tells us, “Trust me, I’ve been there, I KNOW”… that none of us ever seem to really listen. We all have to learn the hard way. And, by the way…that’s not a dis on Gore; it could have been any senator questioning him. We just should have taken more of what Ollie North told us way back when.

You’re right about my views on the UN… I’d have crumbled their club house a long time ago. That’s a useless bunch of nobodies. Remember when there was talk of dismantling them? Why didn’t we? I bet you’d even vote for that. I agree we need some kind of organization like them, but we need to scrap that whole project and start over from scratch. You can’t fix STUPID, or LAZY. No balls MF’s!

You know what scares me Steve? It’s this. Given the imaginary fact that you and I were to live next door to one another, I’d fight like hell to save my house and yours. I’m watching the Israeli conflict, and all the crazy Muslim leaders run their mouths, and I’m afraid that we are emerging on an official WWIII. It’s all been messed up; it’s all gone so far…I’m not sure what’s next. I just said in my last rebuttal to you that I feared that soon we’d begin to see terrorist attacks on small scale in our own country. I COULD NOT FUCKING BELIEVE when I turned on my TV this morning that it had happened. When I saw that a Muslim nut job had gone into a Jewish building and killed one and injured four more that my words would have come true so quickly.

I know “they” are saying he was just one man, not really a “good” practicing Muslim, and that he was bi-polar and not affiliated with any “named” organization. BUT…HE’S A TERRORIST. He’s the FIRST one to commit a single TERRORIST ACT on US soil. He went into a building professing to hate Israel, and killed a lady he didn’t even know. He seriously injured others. It’s beginning. Nut jobs love publicity even though in general life they live as loners and are considered introverted. There will be more, the other crazy radicals living amongst us will not want to be outdone on their crazy imaginings, and there will be more copycat type assaults. What are we going to do Steve? I’m one woman, just living and trying to run my companies and protect the 27 families that work for me. You’re just one man doing whatever you do for a living every day taking care of your family. It sucks.

I think that you and I, and people like Hannity & Colmes should concentrate on our differing opinions on what the people in charge can do, or should do to make this better. Right now, I find myself staring at TV and reading articles and wondering where it will all go. I know this, whether you and I agree or not, I want your family safe. I want my troops to be able to come home. I’m tired of the fight, but I know that just pulling out of all other countries now will be bad. I don’t care anymore about all those people except to wish for them better. I hurt for them. I’m a humanitarian, but DAMN, I am responsible for a lot of people, and I want to worry about their lives here in the USA.

Let me pose a question to you for an honest answer. Even though pretty die hard Republican, and given the fact that NOBODY else really wants to DO SOMETHING… (that’s really not true)… I don’t believe any other country that is decent like us really CAN or is big enough or ABLE to do what USA can do. But, maybe all of us Democrats and Republicans should come to a common ground. Maybe our great populace is fighting the WRONG fight. What if… DAMN IF ONLY THE WHAT IF’S COULD BE REALITIES… What IF, we all unite as a bi-partisan union to DEMAND that ALL TROOPS COME HOME? What if we DEMAND that WE WILL NOT AS THE USA EVER GET INVOLVED in another foreign conflict except to sell arms, or offer food, clothing, other humanitarian aid. We’re spending what?...Something like a million dollars a day on this war? What if we were to offer $500,000 per day in aid for a year to any number of countries, but you guys fight your own battles. We will concentrate on closing our borders and beefing up our own military and “surveillance” systems, by which I mean knowing when a missile is coming, satellite views on anything within days of our borders, and we will put our money into protecting US, (Hey… US spells USA…HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

If I were in charge, (Thank GOD I’m not)… I really believe that’s what I would do. I would much rather banter with you over what I disagree with on what we are doing here in the USA instead of what we are doing all over the world. I would keep Brittan, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Jamaica, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Mexico (barely), Italy, Iceland, and all of the Caribbean, and tell the rest of the world to go to hell. We could SAVE SO MUCH MONEY by just helping these other countries with just the basics…NOTHING TO DO WITH CONFLICT.

What do you honestly think Steve? I bet it would be enough years to be financially back in order, and enough years to be prepared before anyone else had the balls to seriously fuck with us. I think that may be my new position. I’M SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED. I’m tired of ranting to no end and I’m tired of wasting my tax dollars for total fuckwads. Hope I haven’t lost your friendship, or lost my position as your banter partner :)

Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but as we have bantered (this is ONLY round 3) our positions seem to be meeting in the middle. Do you think these leaders in charge that are meeting have this same luck? Doesn’t seem so by listening to the media! I was pissed a bit that first e-mail I sent you. I still strongly disagree with you on some points, but I have a respect for your side, and can see that you try to see some of my “out there” views. I’m OK, just a true educated redneck (yes, some of us rednecks are intelligent). This has been fun and relieving in a way, because you have manners and probably even like gravy if you admit it :) I’m also glad you’re not the bowtie type :)

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to show you this… My dear little brother has been reading all our banter, and created this photo.

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Only a woman could understand how much the “protection” and support from your brother really means. (NOTE: This is for fun; I’m really weird about changing or demeaning our flag, or other icons of our patriotism. This photo is for fun only, and I would never presume to be anywhere close to having the honor to resemble this icon of the country) Here’s an excerpt of his private comments….

”Maddam Liberty - Reno Style
I just read my sister's post/response/response-response on her blog... I don't know why I got the mental image that I did, but I had to go ahead and recreate it below... Like Lady Liberty, when you visit my sister, you can't help but sit back, smile and know that with someone like her watching over our country... All's good.”