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jeffolie

Much of what is pork seems to me as payback for trading votes in Congress. Perhaps the electorate will demand accountability, perhaps not. It will make for good political ads to embrass incumbants.

GK

The publically available, searchable database will allow bloggers to detect and publicize pork easily. Remarkably, left and right-wing bloggers are united on this.

Lawmakers can still earmark projects for their districts, but will have to clear a much high bar to justify that it is beneficial spending.

frankwolftown

WOW!
As much as I complain about futurists I still find myself relying on them anyway. With this bill the amount of power not just bloggers but watchdog groups and activists now have is unbelievable. Unless some blogger uncovers some scandalous information the first big effect we will see of this will in the '06 Primaries. We also see how Repubs can use this as there turn around point to appeal to voters. Man, this is going to pretty interesting.

Conrad

I always knew you were a tax-and-spend liberal at heart!

Seriously, porkbusters is a good idea, but there's tons of waste in the federal budget that isn't pork. Say, that whole Iraq debacle, which has cost 400 billion and is still costing us over 1 billion per week.

Also, I like your scholarship idea, but your Police State idea is full of holes. The idea of having special police interogating people (hey why not torture them too?) based on body language alone is kind of silly. Also, your math is way off. No way could 8000 officers cover every airline gate, every stadium entrance, every concert hall, etc. More like 800,000 would be necessary, at a cost of 200 billion a year. (less if you pay them less).

This is largely unnecessary, of course. We haven't had an organized terrorist attack since 911 within the country, largely due to the fact that we don't have many muslims in this country who are motivated to carry out terror attacks, and the police work and immigration controls we have in place seem adequate to stop the "threat". The terrorism threat inside the US is hugely overblown, as an article in Foreign affairs recently argued. It's mostly being seized upon for political advantage, not real world concerns. Fear works in politics.

Also, isn't it kind of strange that you should want more many going to all those liberal-dominated universities in this country? Aren't they the fifth column fighting against America? Aren't you in effect funding the terrorists and those who support their attempt to destroy America?

Also, you have argued that we have the best universities in the world, and yet they are also dominated by liberals. How is it possible for liberals who hate America to be producing the best universities in the world? Isn't something wrong with that equation?

GK

Conrad,

I always knew you were a tax-and-spend liberal at heart!

I am a classical liberal, hence my mention of tax cuts in the article (a convenient omission on your part). Such people are often called neo-conservatives by neo-leftists.

No way could 8000 officers cover every airline gate, every stadium entrance, every concert hall, etc. More like 800,000 would be necessary, at a cost of 200 billion a year. (less if you pay them less).

8000 can still prevent a lot. We don't know what the optimal number would be before hitting the point of diminishing returns.

The terrorism threat inside the US is hugely overblown

Cannot be proven or disproven. The cost of playing it safe is far less than the cost of an attack. You may never have a car crash, but you still wear a seatbelt every time, don't you?

Do you deny that the attacks after 9/11 in London, Madrid, Bombay, Delhi, Bali, Egypt, and the foiled London plane plot were done by people who would have also loved to do a big one in the US?

Also, isn't it kind of strange that you should want more many going to all those liberal-dominated universities in this country? Aren't they the fifth column fighting against America? Aren't you in effect funding the terrorists and those who support their attempt to destroy America?

Now you sound silly. The article states that the scholarships are for engineering, science, and business. Professors and students in these fields are much more immersed in the real world than those in the arts and humanities. Many engineering and business professors are hired by corporate clients for $5,000 to $50,000 a day.

That makes humanities professors even more biiter.

Also, you have argued that we have the best universities in the world, and yet they are also dominated by liberals.

Not the engineering and business departments. Not, mostly, the Medical and Law departments either. Most people pursue these fields to make money in the private sector.

Are you saying Harvard MBAs (like George W. Bush and Hank Paulson) are politically different from me?

People who make over $100,000 a year voted 58-59% for Bush in 2004. Many of those have degrees in engineering, business, medicine, and law. Those who study productive fields go on to earn money, understand the real world, and voted against Kerry in 2004. Those who study fields that are not marketable often hide in academia forever, and become illogical leftists. Thus, they give great engineering and business schools (like Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, etc.) a bad name.

You've already been refuted on that thread.

usnjay

You missed a second aspect of the blogosphere on this story.

After the bill was proposed, it was blocked by an "unknown Senator". Blogs created a list of possible suspects and tracked it down to Alaska Senator Stevens, who shortly thereafter removed his objection.

Conrad

GK,

8,000 could hardly prevent anything that we aren't already preventing. Are we having terrorist attacks at public events? No. Will we? Hard to say, possible but the cost of absolute protection is prohibitive, much greater than 2 billion. You mention auto accidents. Yes, I wear seat belts, as most people do, but still over 40,000 people die a year from auto accidents. That's about 200,000 deaths since 9/11. How many Americans have died in terrorists attacks since then (exclusing servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan)? Close to zero. If you just want to prevent deaths, the money would be better spent on increased auto safety. In fact, there are thousands of ways to spend more money that would save more lives than guarding public events. The war on terrorism is basically and intelligence and law enforcement problem. Also, people at public events are doing the job of those 8,000 agents, simply by being aware of strange looking arab-looking guys. It's not always fair and balanced, but its how security really works. The best anti-terrorist action ever taken in American history was by the public passengers on Flight 93. Not that we shouldn't have air marshalls, but give credit where credit is due - the ordinary Americans watching out for themselves. 9/11 basically destroyed the public complacency that made terrorism possible in the first place. Now its very, very difficult for terrorists to even plan an attack that people won't notice. This isn't 24 with Kiefer Sutherland fighting highly trained terrorist conspiracies operating in hollywood fantasies. The real world is much more difficult to get away with.

You say that engineering and science is not leftist in orientation. This is patently false. Both of my sons are physics majors in major American universities filled with Nobel Prize winners and the top people in their fields, and the politics of these people is just as openly liberal and anti-Bush as the liberal arts departments. You vastly overestimate the conservatism of top scientists. They are by and large strongly leftist in orientation.

And of course these highly liberal institutions such as Harvard do admit and graduate many conservatives, such as Bush. But again, this goes against your basic argument that these people are out to destroy America, that they represent a 5th column that wants the terrorists to win. You couldn't find a more liberal bastion than Harvard or Yale, and yet they someone manage to maintain the highest standards of academic excellence, and are fair enough to educate their own opposition. Where else can conservatives go to get the best education, Bob Jones University?

Oh, and you made a total fool of yourself in the last debate. It remains true that the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to be liberal in their views. That includes education in the sciences and MBA programs. Even where people start off more conservative, education liberalizes their attitudes, and they end up less conservative by and large.

GK

Conrad,

The war on terrorism is basically and intelligence and law enforcement problem.

The basic Democrat assumption since they oppose any use of US military force in any circumstance. So do you oppose the War in Afghanistan (which was a sovereign nation and all)?

And if you believe that, you should be more supportive of the Patriot Act and wiretapping, not less, should you not?

But again, this goes against your basic argument that these people are out to destroy America, that they represent a 5th column that wants the terrorists to win.

I have never said that all attendees of Harvard or Yale or Stanford (I myself am from one of the above) are out to destroy America. Don't lie.

Since you have to exaggerate and misrepresent my positions, that shows that you can't argue them on a level playing field. That is why you have always lost debates here.

Oh, and you made a total fool of yourself in the last debate. It remains true that the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to be liberal in their views.

The lower a person's income is, the more likely are their views to be liberal.

You lost that debate because you just could not explain why the MIDDLE CLASS earning $50,000 to $75,000 voted 56% for Bush. People earning $100,000 or more voted overwhelmingly for Bush.

Your only response was that people with high income are not as smart as people with low income (the typical leftist excuse for bitterness and personal failure).

High-income people have degrees in engineering, medicine, and business, often from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, etc. High income people voted for Bush. Thus, they are obviously smarter than people who earn less than $30,000 - which is the only group that voted overwhelmingly for Kerry.

Bush voters are more economically productive than Kerry voters. Economic success is a function of intelligence, hard work, determination, interpersonal skills, etc.

Thus, Bush voters are more likely to have these traits than Kerry voters. You have never been able to counter this, other than squeal that those earning above $50,000 must be doing so by evil means (a.k.a. free market meritocracy).

Unsurprisingly, conservatives are happier than socialists too.

Conrad

Democrats supported the war in Afghanistan, as did I. You are lying when you say they didn't. A sign, of course, that you cannot win an argument with the truth.

But that was about the only military action that makes sense in the war on terrorism. I could imagine other situations that might require military action, but for the vast majority of situations it is an intelligence and police action, not a military "war".

As for the Patriot act, some provisions I am for, some against. I don't think we need to create a police state to fight terrorism, and I think some are using the war on terror as an excuse to do just that. If you were a true conservative you would be wary about the expanding power of the federal government to intrude on people's lives. And for what? To try to ensure perfect safety from terrorism? We can't do that, nor should we. But they are trying to introduce the logic that violating civil rights to potentially save lives is justifiable. If that argument is accepted, where does it end? We will have to throw all civil rights out the window, because clearly lives could be saved in all kinds of areas, such as criminal law, if we just threw out the constitutional protections of the 4th amendment, say.

Are you in favor of torturing prisoners of war? That's what we are doing, and Bush's administration justifies it by saying that it saves lives. So we have Abu Graib and secret prisons around the world. How long before they bring back this policy to the US? How long before we torture criminal suspects in the US because it saves lives? Are you not concered about this at all?

As for education and income, you have the crazy idea that educaiton is not an indication of intelligenc, but income is. What did they teach you at college? I went to Columbia Univesity, and they taught us to think rationally there. How did you miss those lessons?

Yes, lower income people vote democratic, and it moves rightward up through the middle class. But then it starts to go leftward again at high income levels. But that is not what I claimed anyway. I claimed that the higher the education level, the more liberal people are. You make the fallacious argument that income is the same as education, which it is not. It is true that income also goes up with education, but they are not the same. In fact, the fact that income alone tends to increase one's conservatism (except at the higher levels of great wealth), the fact that education increases one's liberality means that isolating the influence of education suggests an even stronger leftward slant, since the more educated make more money, and yet still slant leftward. Clearly you have no education in statistics.

Also, your claim was not soley that college students are more liberal, but that college professors are more liberal. And you are right there. My point is that if those college professors are so liberal, and yet we have the best universities in the world, liberal professors must still be doing a very good job.

Likewise, you have claimed that 8-10% of the population, all on the liberal side, amount to a fifth column that is seeking the destruction of America. You have pointed to liberal college professors as part of the vanguard of this 5th column. So explain how this could be if they are doing such an incredibly good job of educating not only other liberals, but most conservatives? If they are devoted to destroying this country, how is it that our universities are one of America's greatest strengths?

Again, your claim that professors in science and economics and business are by and large conservative is sheer nonsense. I've visited the science departments of many of our greatest universitites, and the professors are openly liberal and critical of Bush and the neo-conservatives. You are simply fantasizing. And most of these people could be making a lot more money in the private sector. They don't stay in academia because they are failures. If that were the case, our universities would be terrible, not the best in the world. They stay in academia because they love it, they have real ideals of doing true research, of helping people, of teaching others, and they enjoy the life there. They do incredible work, largely because they are liberal, and not out chasing the almighty buck. So we have their liberalism to thank for the high quality of education in these universities. Your attempt to defame them as incompetent is not only inconsistent with your admission that we have the best universties in the world, but it is actual a defamation of the very things that make our country great.

As for the idea that Bush voters are more economically productive than Kerry voters, this is an argument for fascism. A man is not more valuable in this country because he makes more money than someone else, and his vote doesn't count for more than a poorer man. A teacher who increases our knowledge of the world may not make as much money as his students as they go out into the world and create business, but without his teaching work, there would not be any businesses to create. The liberal professors who teach at universities such as Harvard are immeasurably increasing this country's wealth. I'm a huge believer in education, that it is the true source of wealth. Many people work very, very hard, and don't make much money, and some people don't work any harder and make a fortune. Many factors enter into the equation, but without education and knowledge there is no wealth. And liberals are leading the way in higher education.

GK

You are lying when you say they didn't. A sign, of course, that you cannot win an argument with the truth.

I merely asked a question. Don't lie my mischaracterizing what I said. Particularly after you said :

The war on terrorism is basically and intelligence and law enforcement problem.
_____________________

Conrad said :
So we have Abu Graib and secret prisons around the world.

What evidence do you have that Abu Ghraib was official US policy, rather than some immature bad apples out of the 140,000 troops we have had there?

It seems your zeal to condemn Rumsfeld/Cheney/Bush has clouded your ability to consider facts.

But then it starts to go leftward again at high income levels.

Patently false. This is a fiction you insist on believing for self validation.

People earning over $100K voted 58% for Bush and just 42% for Kerry. Period.

Until you quit dodging this basic fact, from CNN's own website, nothing you say is valid.

The liberal professors who teach at universities such as Harvard are immeasurably increasing this country's wealth.

I would agree, except that professors of engineering and business are usually not socialist, but often Bush supporters. They consult for corporations, charging $5000 to $20,000 a day.

__________________________

In a nutshell, Conrad's logic is as follows :

1) Given that the majority of those making above $50,000 voted strongly for Bush (from CNN)...

...and that those making over $100,000 are even more tilted to Bush

2) We also know that many people who earn over $100,000 have degrees in engineering, business, medicine, and law...

3) Yet Conrad insists that the smarter someone is the more liberal they are, without providing any evidence.

That is Conrad's logic.

Conrad

I love your distortions. You wrote:

"The basic Democrat assumption since they oppose any use of US military force in any circumstance."

SInce Afghanistan is an example of the use of military force, you are explicitly claiming that the Democratics opposed the war in Afghanistan. This is clearly a lie, and you have been caught red-handed. Will you admit that you lied when you said that the Democrats oppose the use of military force under any circumstances?

"What evidence do you have that Abu Ghraib was official US policy, rather than some immature bad apples out of the 140,000 troops we have had there?"

There is tremendous evidence up and down the line that this was official government policy being carried out at Gitmo, Abu Graib, and the secret prisons the President just admitted we have set up around the world. I don't have time to go through it all, but you should take the time to investigate, if you have the guts to. The institutionalization of torture under this President is a dark stain on our whole country, and totally undermines our attempt to create a world of freedom and human rights. It has irreparably hurt our image at home an abroad.

Regarding higher levels of income and liberality. I did not specify a number, beyond which people trend leftward. It's not at the 100,000 level, but at the level of the very rich. I can't recall the exact number, but it was from an article in Slate magazine. That's why I said "upper income levels". 100,000 is chump change these days. I make that in a good month.

Re university professors, you wrote:

"I would agree, except that professors of engineering and business are usually not socialist, but often Bush supporters. They consult for corporations, charging $5000 to $20,000 a day."

The discussion here isn't about socialism, which is virtually non-existent in this country, but liberalism. Even the science and engineering people are very liberal in my experience, liberal-capitalist rather than liberal-socialist. They oppose Bush for the most part, and oppose the war in Iraq, the religious right, etc. Trying to shift the argument to socialism is a dishonest way of debating. The fact is, and you haven't disproved it in the least, that most university professors in all fields have a strong liberal slant, science and tech included. The fact that they make money doesn't change that much.

Another lie:

"3) Yet Conrad insists that 'the smarter someone is the more liberal they are', without providing any evidence. "

I never said that. I said that the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to be liberal. I have no studies which link IQ to political orientation. You seem to have no capacity to honestly report what I said, and twist my statements into something I didn't say. You even have the nerve to put words in quotation marks that I never even said. That would get you fired from most university departments. But obviously you don't have the reasoning ability to get hired in the first place.

I also notice that you aren't responding to anything in my posts which has refuted your arguments. I take this as an admission that you are wrong on most everything you remain silent about. Is this true? Can you ever admit to having been wrong about anything?


GK

Conrad,

Are you insane?

You even have the nerve to put words in quotation marks that I never even said.

er.. where? Then again, your type think Bush did 9/11, so hallucinations are common for you.

Will you admit that you lied when you said that the Democrats oppose the use of military force under any circumstances?

Actually, I recall that the Senate voted for the Iraq War 77-23, including Kerry, H. Clinton, Kennedy, and Edwards in favor. WJ Clinton also attacked Saddam in 1998, specifically to disarm him of WMDs. I agree with what he believed then, and wish he did more.

Let me amend the statement - Democrat POLITICIANS support all the same military actions that the GOP does, for which I am grateful. They just know how to trick simple-minded, sheep-like Dem voters to vote for them by pretending to be opposed, while secretly voting in favor. Sucker!!!

There is tremendous evidence up and down the line that this was official government policy being carried out at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib

Abu Ghraib's abuse is now official US policy? Why is no Democrat calling for Bush's impeachment over Abu Ghraib then?

You have yet to prove that Abu Ghraib prison abuse is official US policy. What is sad is that you are more bothered by Abu Ghraib than by terrorists beheading Americans on videotape.

The terrorism threat inside the US is hugely overblown

You still haven't defended this statement. Does it mean that it is OK that Bush hasn't caught Osama, according to what you said? Anyway, leftists saying this does more to get normal people voting for the GOP than anything else.

It has irreparably hurt our image at home an abroad.

Where? In nations where women aren't allowed to drive cars and homosexuals are beheaded? Only a morally challenged leftist would crave the approval of such societies.

It appears that free nations like the US. That is what matters.

Can you ever admit to having been wrong about anything?

That is yet to happen in this debate, so it is irrelevant.

___________________________

Also, isn't it kind of strange that you should want more many going to all those liberal-dominated universities in this country?

To which I state the simple, thoroughly proven, and entirely logical fact that people who study engineering and business usually don't become left-wing, because those fields are productive and profit-oriented. Why would they choose leftism if they have such bright futures?

Even the science and engineering people are very liberal in my experience, liberal-capitalist rather than liberal-socialist. They oppose Bush for the most part, and oppose the war in Iraq, the religious right, etc.

That is anecdotal, and this meaningless That is the only income bracket where the majority voted for Kerry is the one making under $50,000 a year.

People with income above $50K mostly support Bush. Engineers usually fall in this $50K+ income bracket. Therefore, odds are that most engineers and MBAs support Bush. No matter how much you try to hide from the fact, you can't suppress this reality. Accept reality - it is healthy.

Regarding higher levels of income and liberality. I did not specify a number, beyond which people trend leftward. It's not at the 100,000 level, but at the level of the very rich.

Nope. You continue to embarass yourself here by avoiding the CNN data I have provided to you multiple times.

At the $200,000+ level, 63% vote for Bush.

And of the Forbes 400, the very richest of all, a whopping 72% supported Bush.

So your whole worldview is shattered. There is no income bracket that is majority left-wing EXCEPT those making under $50,000 a year. Period. The higher a person's income, the more likely they are to have voted for Bush.

How many times will avoid this basic fact, supported by many sources (whereas you could provide zero sources)? Ignoring official data because it demolishes your shibboleth is not very liberal of you, now is it? We again see why Republicans are happier people than Democrats.

I realize that it is painful to have your worldview come falling down so entirely. Take time to recover.


Conrad

“You even have the nerve to put words in quotation marks that I never even said.
“er.. where? Then again, your type think Bush did 9/11, so hallucinations are common for you.”

Right here:

"3) Yet Conrad insists that 'the smarter someone is the more liberal they are', without providing any evidence.”

You put quote marks around 'the smarter someone is the more liberal they are', as if I had actually said that. I didn't. You made up that quote and attributed it to me. You are simply lying when you say that I actually made that statement. That you have to lie and distort is evidence that your whole world is crashing down around you, and can only be held together with lies. Reminds me of your Glorious Leader, Bush.

Re your lie that the Democrats never support military action under any circumstances:

“Let me amend the statement - Democrat POLITICIANS support all the same military actions that the GOP does, for which I am grateful. They just know how to trick simple-minded, sheep-like Dem voters to vote for them by pretending to be opposed, while secretly voting in favor. Sucker!!!”

Well, now you add further lies, while admitting that your original statement was a lie. Clearly you know that Democrats in both house and senate voted overwhelmingly for the Afghan war. You also mention that they voted in favor giving Bush the power to attack Iraq if he felt it was necessary. So when you claimed that the Democrats never support military action under any circumstances, you were knowing making a false statement, which means you were lying. You can't claim ignorance or misinformation. You knew what you were saying was false, and you said it anyway, to try to win an argument, hoping that no one would notice that your statements were lies. Then you were caught in your lies, and try to wiggle away by claiming that they were just trying to trick their voters into thinking they were opposed, while “secretly voting in favor”. This is of course a lie. There was no secret vote to go to war in Afghanistan, or in Iraq. It was all done completely in the open, headlined on every newspaper in the country, broadcast on every news program on television and radio. There was nothing secret about it. That is a lie, then. Nor was there any reason to keep their support for these wars secret. Democratic voters overwhelmingly supported the war in Afghanistan, and a majority supported the initial invasion of Iraq. That changed as the revelations about WMDs, etc., came out, and the war itself dragged on interminably. But it's obvious to everyone that Democratic politicians did not hide their support for either war at the time, and had the support of their own constituencies. So you are simply tangling yourself in lie after lie in order to keep your worldview in place.
“Abu Ghraib's abuse is now official US policy? Why is no Democrat calling for Bush's impeachment over Abu Ghraib then?”

Abu Graib was indeed official US policy. Bush and his attorneys wrote a number of presidential orders authorizing precisely these kinds of tortures and degrading interrogation techniques. They were put into place by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the CIA, which carried them out for the most part. The US military was dragged into it as well. The attempt to scapegoat low ranking guards as “a few bad apples” has been shown to be a blatant coverup. These techniques were developed at Gitmo, and migrated to Abu Graib when the general in charge of Gitmo was transferred to Abu Graib to take charge there. Thousands of prisoners have been tortured, and dozens have died from it. We have used many of the same techniques that the Soviet Union used in their Gulag. Are you proud of that? And yes, Bush should be impeached for this. He should even be put on trial for war crimes, along with Rumsfeld and Cheney and other responsible parties. I hope that if the Democrats take over the house they are able to launch an investigation into all this and look at all the evidence. If they do, and the evidence hasn't been destroyed, Bush should be impeached and sent to prison. The Republicans are simply closing their eyes to these horrors, either not wanting to know, or feeling that torture and murder are justifiable. I disagree. I think it is a terrible stain on our country that we have allowed our leaders to institute torture and murder of prisoners. We fought the Nazis and Japanese in WWII under far graver circumstances without resorting to torture, because of who we are as a people.

“What is sad is that you are more bothered by Abu Ghraib than by terrorists beheading Americans on videotape. “

You are right, I am bothered more by institutionalized torture in the US than by terrorists beheading Americans. I expect the terrorists to behave that way, and it is not a threat to our way of life and our freedoms. We can fight them and kill them, and of course we will suffer casualties in the process. But when we begin torturing prisoners and murdering them, we are destroying ourselves, everything we stand for. The terrorists cannot do that to us, only we can do that to ourselves. That's what makes it so tragic and terrible. The idea that we value safety more than our own deepest values as a people is a terrible degeneration of the American spirit. What ever happened to “give me liberty or give me death”? There are far worse fates than having one's head cut off. Having one's morals and ethics stripped away is worse than death.

“The terrorism threat inside the US is hugely overblown
You still haven't defended this statement. Does it mean that it is OK that Bush hasn't caught Osama, according to what you said? Anyway, leftists saying this does more to get normal people voting for the GOP than anything else”.

Actually, I think it is relatively inconsequential at this stage whether Osama has been caught. It of course would have great symbolic and propaganda value, and in that sense its still important, also in the sense of bringing those responsble for 9/11 to justice. But as for protecting Americans from further attacks, no, it wouldn't change anything much.

As for defending the idea that the terror threat inside the US is overblown, read this excellent article in Foreign Affairs: http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20060901facomment85501/john-mueller/is-there-still-a-terrorist-threat.html

“It has irreparably hurt our image at home an abroad.
Where? In nations where women aren't allowed to drive cars and homosexuals are beheaded? Only a morally challenged leftist would crave the approval of such societies. “

Yes, it has hurt us. First, it has hurt us worldwide, and countered the image we have tried to project of being a benign force for good who would never willingly violate human rights or torture people. We have condemned the use of torture since the inception of our country, and now that we are turning that policy around, it destroys a great deal of our credibility. But even more importantly, it destroys our relations with the entire Muslim world. Yes, you can pretend that doesn't matter, because those people are primitive and often brutal. But you are not understanding the point of the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist agenda. Primarily the terrorists are out to separate the Muslim world from the west, to drive out western military power, and also to drive out the influence of western ideals, western democracy, western economics, and western social and cultural values. What our torture and degradation of Muslim prisoners does is alienate the very people the terrorists want to feel alienated, so that they will turn to them rather than to the West. If we show ourselves to be inhuman and cruel people who will torture and kill prisoners, it destroys our efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world, and empowers the violent radicals who are hostile to the west rather than the moderates who are friendly to the west. And we cannot possibly win this battle with military action alone. We can only win it by persuading the Muslim world to choose the western path, rather than the medieval fundamentalist path. You simply do not appreciate what Abu Graib and the torture of so many prisoners, many of them innocent of any crime, has done to turn the Muslim world against us even more than it already was. If you say it doesn't matter what these people think, then why not just pull out of Iraq right now?
“Can you ever admit to having been wrong about anything?
That is yet to happen in this debate, so it is irrelevant.”

That is one of the most hilarious statements ever made. You just admitted up above to having lied about the Democratic support of military action. You couldn't have been more wrong. Now you claim you've never been wrong about anything? And you have the nerve to ask if I am insane? Hey, go back on your meds.

Re your claim that professors in science and tech are right wing, not liberal, its true that I only offer anecdotal evidence, but you offer NONE AT ALL. What evidence to you have that this is so. Your only claim is that since these people make good money, they must vote republican. That is about as fallacious an argument as there is. Tons of people who make big money are liberals. As even your own stats say, 37% of those making over 200,000 a year voted for Kerry. Do you think those 37% are evenly distributed throughout the workforce? Fat chance. I bet a disproportionate number work in universities.

As for my claim that political views trend liberal at the very wealthy levels, I will have to try to find the article I read that in to back it up. I do admit it is counterintuitive, which is why I thought it such an interesting article. What is hilarious is the idea that this is the linchpin of my world view, and if it were to prove false, I would crash and burn. What silliness you persist in believing. This isn't even the original point I was making, which is that the more educated a person is, the more liberal they are likely to be. You have yet to refute that. And you can't because the evidence clearly indicates this is so.

GK

Conrad's incredibly long screed, and the entire demolition of his arguments that has already occurred, can be summarized as follows :

1) Conrad says that : more educated a person is, the more liberal they are likely to be.

But is offended when someone says that he suggests that the smarter someone is the more liberal the are.

So he is offended when you merely repeat what he has already said. Maybe he realizes it sounds silly, and this is thus a hopeful sign.

2) Conrad also said :
“The terrorism threat inside the US is hugely overblown."

and then he said :

You are right, I am bothered more by institutionalized torture in the US than by terrorists beheading Americans.

Even though 'torture' that the US does is merely play loud music. Note that Conrad exaggerates what comprises 'torture', and also does not have any alternative suggestions about how to get information about terrorists (assuming that he even thinks this is important).

That shows what would happen if Conrad-type people were in charge of national security. Note, however, in point 5), that Democrat politicians only pretend to agree with Conrad-type constituents, while actually voting in tandem with Bush.

3) Conrad repeats what he has memorized and says :
it destroys our efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world

Yet he cannot explain why so many terrorists attacked us even before Bush was President. The 1993 WTC attacks, USS Cole, Kenya/Tanzania, 1996 Khobar Towers, and 1983 Beirut Marine barracks come to mind. What Conrad also cannot explain is why so many countries that are not in Iraq have also been attacked, like India, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, the school in Russia, the Bali nightclub in Indonesia, etc.

Conrad needs to believe that terrorism has worsened because of Bush, even though there was terrorism before Bush, and in countries not aligned with Bush.

In fairness, I agree with one sentence of his :
We can only win it by persuading the Muslim world to choose the western path, rather than the medieval fundamentalist path.

But that is exactly what Bush is doing - the difficult task turning Iraq into a free and thriving democracy.

4) Many times, Conrad has been provided with this table showing that all income brackets above $50,000 voted solidly for Bush, and only those making under $50,000 voted solidly for Kerry.

He claims that there is still some higher income level that trends leftist, but that is refuted by the fact that of the Forbes 400, the very richest of all, 72% support Bush.

Yet he suggests that most engineers and MBAs are left-wing. He provides no evidence, of course, to show that they are the left-wing exceptions within their predominantly right wing income brackets.

He is spectacularly demolished on this point.

5) Many Democrat Senators voted for the Iraq War in the 77-23 vote. Clinton also attacked Saddam in 1998 to destroy his WMD program in Operation Desert Fox. This proves that Democrats support mostly the same military actions that Republicans support.

They are thus able to dupe simple-minded Dem voters like Conrad into voting for them, by claiming to be anti-war, while then voting in favor (unnoticed by the screaming Dem base). The Dem base are thus fooled continuously, and thus live in perplexed outrage.

6) Conrad, like most leftists for whom Bush-hate is truly a religion, is obsessed with accusing those who out-debate them of 'lying'. He says 'GK lied' about 20 times in his verbose screed above. Everyone who is not left-wing is effectively an infidel who lies. Bush lied, Cheney lied, Rumsfeld lied, Blair lied, Putin lied, etc. Everyone except Saddam - that wonderful man would NEVER *gasp* lie. When he says that he obediently dismantled 100% (not 90% or 99%) of the WMDs he used on Kurds before, surely we must take his word for it.

This summarizes Conrad's position, and how he gets increasingly angrier as more of it is exposed to the light of day.

It also shows why his type are unhappier than others.

RDS

Conrad said,
"If we show ourselves to be inhuman and cruel people who will torture and kill prisoners, it destroys our efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world,..."

I don't understand, why then don't the TRULY inhuman and cruel actions of the islamists alienate the Muslim world even more?

And why do we get no credit for Kosovo, etc.?

Conrad's argument has to be based on a disappointment of pre-conceived unequal standards, rather than on actual absolute differences in behavior. In other words, it's about how he feels, rather than about reality.

It's irrational, immature, and petulant: "wah, we don't like you because you aren't perfect, so we'll turn to these other people who make our lives sheer living hell!" It's a "I'll hold my breath until I turn blue!" tantrum.

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