[mythtv-users] OT: SCOTUS decision

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Mon Feb 22 15:41:04 UTC 2010

On 02/22/2010 12:26 AM, David Brodbeck wrote:
> R. G. Newbury wrote:
>> ...when reality forces us to do things which we are morally entitled
>> to do, and which match what the other side does...but of course we are
>> not *allowed* to do that! We have to stop thinking we are doing wrong
>> when we fight by war rules. The whineys want us to fight by civil
>> rules, while the bad guys can use war rules.

> Which is it? "Things we are morally entitled to do," or "things the
> other side does"?

Both. We are morally entitled to do *exactly* what the other side does.

> Because the whole point is we're supposed to be better
> than the other side, isn't it? How can we claim to be a moral nation if
> we abandon our morals whenever they're inconvenient?

The difference is that we are moral nations, and we do not abandon our 
moral standing lightly. But against an enemy which has NO moral 
compunctions about doing the most vile acts against innocent bystanders 
as well as combatants, we *should* feel no compunction to act in as 
moral a manner as we would normally act. And we should feel no guilt for 
doing so.

Being 'morally better' does not mean we have to accept casualties 
because we cannot always attain the standards of proof which are 
mandated within our civil society. It does mean that we should try to 
avoid collateral damage, should be reasonably sure of our targets, and 
do not kill the wounded or captured. None of which are restraints upon 

> The rules we're playing by are definitely not "war rules." War rules say
> things that we currently find inconvenient, like that you can't torture
> prisoners and you have to release them when hostilities end. Those are
> not the rules we're playing by now.

Can you point to any prisoner who actually has been tortured? Because 
that argument to a great extent depends upon your definition of torture. 
In defining your definition, you also should consider whether your 
definition would encompass the usual day to day treatment of a convicted 
criminal on death row, or solitary confinement. There were apparently a 
very few prisoners who were waterboarded. Some of them then sang like 
canaries. NO permanent injury or trauma was inflicted. Similarly for 
sleep deprivation.
On the other side, however, they hack off the prisoner's head on film 
and post it on the net.

> All I'm saying is, when the government starts saying that they have to
> have the right to detain someone without trial indefinitely, *because we
> don't have enough evidence to convict them of a crime*...that's a bit
> scary, no matter who's in office.

With one exception, the US government has not detained one single 
citizen of the USA. And 'without trial indefinitely' is not correct. 
They are not entitled to a 'trial'. They are not charged with a criminal 
offence. They ALL get hearings to determine their status. Gitmo had 
about 750 detainees at one point: now about 250. Of course, a 
statistically significant number of those released have reverted to 
terrorism. Some of them have since been killed. Was the government wrong 
to release them, before the end of hostilities?  (The exception is Reid 
the shoe-bomber, who attempted both a crime and a terrorist act.)

These guys are not being detained for committing a *CRIME* but for 
carrying on a terrorist war against the West. They do so without any 
regard for the 'normal' rules of war. The Taliban behead Afghan 
villagers who they merely suspect of opposing them. Should the US, 
Canadian,British and other NATO troops in Afghanistan execute Taliban 
fighters on capture? The Geneva Convention allows for that: spies etc. 
out of uniform may be shot. Instead, the whackos of the Liberal party in 
Canada have their panties in a bunch because Canadian troops turned over 
captured suspected Taliban to Afghan authorities, who beat them up a 
little. Oh woe!

> It's reminiscent of the way the Soviet
> Union used to "disappear" people they found inconvenient. Keep in mind,
> *they* thought they were the good guys and were simply dealing with a
> mortal threat to *their* existence, too.

Bullshit. We know from the opening of the archives that the Communist 
apparatus never thought of themselves as 'the good guys' nor that the 
resistors were a 'mortal threat'. Sakarov,  et al had no guns, and did 
not propose to use guns. They proposed ideas which the totalitarian 
apparatus could not allow (specifically that the Constitution of the 
USSR actually meant something!). Those ideas were not directly mortal, 
but in another sense were an existential threat not to the country, but 
to the regime. It was not the country responding, it was the regime.

(And interestingly, all of the things which the Bush administration did, 
which the Democrats screamed about, are still the policies of the Obama 
administration....Reality really bites!)

Go read, or re-read Orwell's 1984 and then Hayek's Road to Serfdom.

AlQueda is not directly an existential threat. It is a mortal threat 
which needs to be countered. How do you propose that the government 
should do that?

Or would you prefer that the US government did NOTHING?

I've wasted enough time, on this thread. Enough. I'm done.

         Please let me know if anything I say offends you.
          I may wish to offend you again in the future.

          Tux says: "Be regular. Eat cron flakes."

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