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Kerry’s Next Battle: His Past

Posted by Bob · May 4th, 2004 · 36 Comments

“What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension,” John O’Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told CNSNews.com.

“We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief,” O’Neill said.

A new organization called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is made up of “former military officers and enlisted men who served in Vietnam on U.S. Navy ‘Swift Boats’ or in affiliated commands.”

Many of its members either knew Kerry or served directly with him. Evidently, they all have long memories….

John Kerry was active in the 1970’s in an organization called ‘Vietnam Veterans Against the War’. During his participation in this group he leveled charges of ‘atrocities’ against the very men he served with. Payback, as they say, is ….difficult at best.

Swift Boat Veterans For Truth maintains that Kerry’s fellow Vietnam veterans are almost uniform in their disdain for his military service and anti-war protests.

“Not only a majority of the people who served with him feel that way, but a vast and overwhelming majority,” O’Neill said. He added that more than “ninety percent of the people contacted by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth responded to the request to sign their name, with only 12 declining to sign.”

Yikes! And it gets worse….

“The ranks of the people signing [the letter] range from admiral down to seaman, and they run across the entire spectrum of politics, specialties, and political feelings about the Vietnam War,” he added.

What is their beef with Kerry about?

Kerry and O’Neill engaged in a nationally televised debate in 1971 on The Dick Cavett Show over Kerry’s allegations that many Vietnam soldiers had routinely engaged in atrocities such as raping and cutting off ears and heads of Vietnamese soldiers and citizens. Kerry was the then spokesman for the anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

What many people who never served in the military don’t know is that soldiers and sailors don’t fight for any cause or belief. They fight for each other. Kerry’s comments can only be compared to treason by these veterans. Kerry’s words were equal to bullets to these men. They were again under attack but this time by one of their own.

That very act of accusing these men of ‘atrocities’, this single act of betrayal would make any man unfit for command in the military. What these men are saying by their protest is that John Kerry is a traitor.

“In the military, loyalty between commanders and the troops serving them is a two-way street. We have here a guy (Kerry) that with all of us in the field [in Vietnam] — actually fighting the North Vietnamese — came home and then falsely accused all of us of war crimes at a time when the people in uniform couldn’t even respond,” O’Neill said.

“And he did that knowing that was a lie,” he added.

It will be very difficult for John Kerry to simply ignore this event. The incumbent’s re election team will surely show clips of this to America every chance it gets. (see footnote)

It will also be very difficult to impossible for John Kerry to ever make up for the insult his past actions have created. These men, and likely men just like them serving currently, will take this sense of betrayal to their graves. Being branded a traitor is intractable.

B. G. Burkett, author of the book Stolen Valor and a military researcher, believes that Tuesday’s event will not be dismissed easily by Kerry’s campaign as a “partisan” attack.

“There are probably just as many Democrats among sailors who sailed swift boats as there are Republicans. What Kerry fails to realize is this has nothing to do with politics — this has to with Vietnam Veterans who served, who have a beef with John Kerry’s service, both during and after the war,” Burkett told CNSNews.com.

A question begs asking here: if John Kerry gets to the White House, how will the military work with him?

The Pentagon level staff will be highly professional and keep their thoughts to themselves but the average guy in the trenches will be another matter. How seriously should this be considered come election day?

The complete news article here

Footnote: An interesting article I found after writing this article is an opinion piece on CBSNEWS.com written by Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard which discusses the alleged ‘smear’ campaign that the Bush administration has started on Kerry’s military and post military activities. His opinion is that the DNC could not produce one solid example of this administration smearing Kerry’s military service.

So who are the main perpetrators of smears, according to the DNC? It’s “Bush’s surrogates” and “Republican pundits” and Vietnam veterans. The DNC says this statement by Joe Repya, co-chairman of Veterans for Bush is a smear: “Nobody says [Kerry] wasn’t brave when he was in Vietnam. But once he came home, he disavowed his oath as an officer and he gave aid and comfort to our enemy by his antiwar stance.” Republicans treat Kerry’s antiwar activity as fair game in the presidential race. Now the DNC is suggesting it isn’t.

This just reinforces my opinion that the veterans believe Kerry is a traitor. If you’re the incumbent, do you even try to smear Kerry’s military record and anti-war activities when you can have the very men who served with him do it for you?

Categories: 2004 Presidential Election


36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nat Dawson // May 4, 2004 at 7:35 am

    I support George W. Bush’s strong stand against terrorism. Some of us (not Mark and Bob evidently) understand the harsh reality that the only thing between us and being obliterated by Islamo-facists is Bush’s strong, principled leadership.

    Not to mention the fact that we don’t particularly relish the thought of having a French poodle who is a stultifying B-O-R-E in the White House. If you’ve ever nodded off during a speech by Jean Francois Kerrie then get ready to be comatose by November. The man should be fined for being so soporifically d-u-l-l.

    This is not the time to change horses and put a vain, pompous, narcissist windbag in the White House. Bush is doing a great job and I’m personally in favor of renewing his lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    You know, sometimes I think the Libs have become so irrational that they would prefer to have a nuclearly devastated United States presided over by a Liberal Democrat than they would a safe, secure, happy and prosperous country presided over by a Republican. You people hold yourselves out as being sooo compassionate but, in reality, you’re so full of hate. You fakes. You phonies.

    Four more years!!

  • 2 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 7:42 am

    Bob, I haven’t gotten the impression from what I have read that many of these guys served with Kerry. Most of them have records for doing what the Republican Party tells them to do and attacking whomever they are ordered to attack starting in the 1970s all the way through to the primaries Shrub was in against war hero John McCain.

    Kerry’s commanding officers wrote raving reviews about his performance under fire (even more glowing than the report on the dental check-up that Shrub got in Alabama). Men who say Kerry literally saved their lives in combat have been campaigning for him.

    Some of those who were pushing the war on America’s young men — such as Viet Nam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara — now admit that our foray into Southeast Asia was a huge and grievous mistake. For Kerry to return from combat and say then what McNamara and others are saying now is another example of heroism and courage. It’s not easy to buck popular opinion. It takes courage to stand up and say what’s right when you know you are going to be vilified for having dared to speak out.

    Contrast this with the heavy-drinking coke-snorting frat boy who refused to take the medical exam required for his certification to be flight-worthy (what was he afraid the doctors would find?) after swearing an oath (which he later violated) that he would serve for six years in the National Guard.

    War Hero vs. War Zero. I think it’s going to be an easy choice for most Americans.

  • 3 Nat Dawson // May 4, 2004 at 7:58 am


    Announcing “Mark – the self-delusionst”!

    Way to ignore the fact that the whole article basically says that 98% of the people who served UNDER Kerry’s “leadership” say he stinks as a leader. Obviously, they can’t stand him. But of course, he sucked up to his superiors and so they had a different picture.

    You also conveniently overlook Jean Francois’s post-Vietnam BETRAYAL. Not appreciated by Vets.

    PS Oh and BTW – what was your idol Clinton doing back then?

  • 4 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 7:58 am

    Liberals, Nat, would rather have a President who would have gone DIRECTLY to Washington on September 11, instead of a coward who flew all around the country to hide because he was yellow.

    Liberals know (and the polls that neocons love show most Americans agree) that we are LESS safe today than we were before the Supreme Court appointed Shrub.

    Do you REALLY think that creating more enemies by attacking a country that had NO weapons of mass destruction and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with September 11 makes us more safe? We know that Pakistan was a big help to the terrorists who perpetrated this attack on innocent Americans. We know that they got a lot of their money from members of the Saudi royal family. Are we attacking these countries? Of course not! The Saudis (and specifically the bin Laden family) are business partners with the Bush family!

    We KNOW that North Korea ACTUALLY DOES have nuclear weapons. Are we attacking North Korea?

    We know that there is no democracy in lots of places around the world, such as Saudi Arabia. Are we going to send troops to liberate the Saudi people?

    Principled leadership from Shurb? What color is the sky in your world, Nat?

  • 5 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 8:01 am

    Clinton was studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He wasn’t violating an oath he made to serve his country. He didn’t have a rich daddy to buy his way out of trouble. He wasn’t snorting cocaine — or committing manslaughter, as Shrub’s wife did during this era.

    Do the neocons REALLY want to talk about what people were doing during the Viet Nam era? I hope they do.

  • 6 Bob // May 4, 2004 at 10:05 am


    “We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief,” O’Neill said.

    From that quote I would have to believe that these guys actually served with Kerry. Also, his commanding officer questions his first Purple Heart.

    Also scheduled to be present at the event is Kerry’s former commanding officer, Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard. Hibbard recently questioned whether Kerry deserved the first of his three Purple Hearts that he received in Vietnam. Hibbard doubted both the severity of the wound and whether it resulted from enemy fire.

    “I’ve had thorns from a rose that were worse” than Kerry’s wound for which he received a Purple Heart, Hibbard told the Boston Globe in April.

    I will watch for any additional news reports after the news conference is held. Until then, it looks like these Veterans are very serious about smearing Kerry’s military record. Like I said, to these guys Kerry is a traitor.

  • 7 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 11:09 am

    I don’t trust what O’Neill is saying. He’s a Republican party operative. The folks giving us these statistics are the same guys who told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that there was a connection between Iraq and September 11, that massive deficits and give-aways to rich people are good for the economy, and that global warming isn’t happening.

    You may remember that the Republicans produced one (and only one) supposed eye-witness to Shrub’s alleged National Guard service in Alabama. The dates he gave were in direct contradiction to the dates on which the White House was claiming Shrub was pulling his duty. That witness went away fast.

    I suspect that once O’Neill’s claims are reviewed by independent reporters, he’ll be put in the closet with the forged documents used to push the yellow cake uranium story and a thousand other Republican lies.

    One of the officers quoted as questioning Kerry’s service wrote reports that heaped tons of praise on Kerry while in Viet Nam. Assuming that today’s quotes from this guy are accurate — when do you think his recollection would be the most accurate:

    1) On the ground in Viet Nam right after Kerry’s missions?; or

    2) 30 years later when he has partisan motives for trying to run down a true war hero and prop up a deserter?

    If this were a point of contention in a court of law, there would be no discussion. Obviously, his present sense impression would be more reliable.

    It still blows my mind that the neocons want to talk about Viet Nam. It’s a losing issue for deserter-boy.

    Again: War Hero vs. War Zero.

  • 8 Nat Dawson // May 4, 2004 at 11:09 am

    You people are laughable. Is that all you have?

    The President flew to a secure Air Force Base. Smart move considering that there were planes in the air headed towards Washington. And there was talk of a second wave. We needed to get all planes on the ground, which took several hours, before it was possible to return which he did.

    Your characterterization of that as “yellow” is mean-spirited, contemptible and flat out wrong. But it does say a lot about your completely irrational hatred of The President. That hate is obviously just eating you up.

    You are entitled to an opinion. You are not entitled to invent facts.

    What would your draft-dodger idol Clinton – you know the one who wrote about “loathing the military” – have done?

  • 9 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 11:17 am

    The afternoon of September 11, the White House released a statement that Air Force One was a “target” of the terrorists. When reporters pointed out that, for a number of reasons, this would mean that terrorists had infiltrated the White House itself — the statement was retracted the next day. Yes, Shrub’s people were forced to admit they had LIED.

    When bombs were falling nightly onto London, lots of folks encouraged the King and Queen of England to flee to Canada for safety. They stayed put, endearing themselves to the British people.

    When trouble was happening in Washington, where was Shrub? ANYWHERE BUT Washington. That’s yellow. That’s cowardice. That’s what I’d expect who gets a National Guard slot because of his daddy’s connections, then DESERTS. Was anyone surprised by his cowardly behavior? I wasn’t.

  • 10 Nat Dawson // May 4, 2004 at 11:18 am

    By way of a postscript, the two most missing documents in the past decade are:

    1) Clinton’s draft card. He claimed to have registered but could not produce a card nor could any draft board find a record of him signing up. That was probably lie #1153.

    2) The semen-stained dress. Where is this? I think it needs to be displayed in the Smithsonian so that future generations of Americans can see for themselves, how Clinton actually spent his presidency versus the stack of lies that are about to published as his memoirs.

  • 11 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 11:24 am

    Nat, why do you want to talk about words Clinton may have written in his early ’20s, but not talk about the heavy drinking and cocaine-snorting Shrub did in his early ’20s, or about the man Shrub’s wife killed when she was young? Shrub says anything he did before age 40 was when he was “young and foolish.” Do you agree? If so, does this standard apply only to those whose skin color and political affiliation meets your liking?

    How about the drinking problems Shrub’s daughters have?

    Let’s compare the daughters raised by Shrub and by Clinton. Now let’s talk “family values.”

    Gary Bauer, right-wing reactionary, was dead-on right when the Bush daughters’ drinking troubles came to light. He said if it had been the daughter of a Democrat, the bible-bangers would be raising holy hell. But since they were Shrub’s kids, the Jesus brigade was silent. Bauer said this was wrong and duplicitous. For once in my life, I agreed 100% with Gary Bauer.

  • 12 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 11:30 am

    Nat, we could put Shrub’s golf clubs in the Smithsonian so future generations could see how he spent his time after being warned that bin Laden was determined to attack within the United States!

  • 13 Nick Meyer // May 4, 2004 at 3:33 pm

    Bob, what a great read you have supplied us with. Nat Dawson has said exactly what needs to be said. We cannot change leadership in the middle of the most dangerous time in American history. Bush has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt his leadership abilities. What has Kerry shown us? We cannot have his on again off again policies that are self tailored to suit his particular agenda for that day. Thanks Nat. And definately 4 more years.

  • 14 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 3:54 pm


    What was it about Shrub’s leadership that you liked? Running away on 9/11? Telling lies about weapons of mass destruction? Outing a C-I-A operative? Getting us into a “pre-emptive” war with no exit plan? CUTTING combat pay for the very troops in that war? Outsourcing military intelligence to the point that the military feels absolutely stripped of intelligence officers?

    Which of these did you like the best?

  • 15 Nat Dawson // May 4, 2004 at 4:21 pm

    Nice job, Nick!

    You can tell how desparate this guy Mark is when has to stoop to the level of insulting W’s daughters.

    You have to wonder how low people like him will

    This election is about who we trust to defend our country. As you correctly observed, Bush has done the job and there are huge question marks about Kerry’s steadiness, resolve and ability to stick with a decision.

    I think if Kerry were somehow to make it, 9/11 would become a daily event. We just can’t afford to gamble our lives on this flipflopper.

  • 16 Rick // May 4, 2004 at 4:32 pm


    We cannot change leadership in the middle of the most dangerous time in American history.

    It’s because the current leadership has created the most dangerous time in American history that we must change it.

    If Bush were attacking terrorists, I’d probably agree with you. But he decided the terrorists were irrelevant: It’s Iraq he was after.

    How many people enjoyed the CNN broadcast last night? I was floored when the announcer said, “First, Iraq; next, Cuba. Stay tuned for more. We’ll be right back.”

  • 17 Bob // May 4, 2004 at 4:55 pm

    Wait a minute campers, it appears that these concerned veterans have had experience with this type of negative PR before ….

    But if you think this is just a concerned group of veterans, think again. Some of the organizers have a track record of going after Democrats, even Republican opponents of President Bush.

    These are some of the same Republicans linked to attacks on Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam war record when he faced President Bush for the Republican nomination in the 2000 campaign.

    They even went after Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., in a TV ad ? and Cleland lost three limbs in Vietnam.

    “That sticks in my craw and it ought to stick in yours, because if you didn’t go to war don’t throw rocks at those who did,” Cleland said.

    The Bush-Cheney campaign quickly denied any part in Tuesday’s news conference.

    The Kerry campaign was just as quick to say they were behind it.

    “It smells like another dirty trick from the Bush-Cheney team,” said Vietnam veteran Wade Sanders.

    So….are these concerned veterans as they claim or attack dogs for the incumbent?


  • 18 abi // May 4, 2004 at 5:18 pm

    Coupla peripheral points here:

    It is true that King George VI and his family refused evacuation from London during the Blitz. However, it’s important to remember that the Royal Famly was merely a figurehead in the British government. The crucial decision-makers, like Churchill, were in the Cabinet War Rooms underneath the city, relatively safe from bombardment.
    The office of the Presidency is not a figurehead position – the President has actual powers and responsibilities in times of danger to the country. The first of those is to stay alive in order to carry out his duties. George W. Bush’s place was on Air Force One. He has done many controversial things, but being out of Washington on September 11 was not one of them. There’s plenty to discuss without bringing that sort of a red herring in.

    I don’t know what time machine you stepped out of, but the year is 2004 and Bill Clinton is not up for election for any office that I am aware of. So a discussion about him, however much you may enjoy it, is totally irrelevant. Your constant harping on the semen-stained dress is much *less* to the point than if I were to bring up, say, the Reagan administration’s destabilisation of two war zones at once with the Iran-Contra affair. It’s about as interesting as an obsession with the Teapot Dome scandal that dogged Calvin Coolidge, or an exhaustive exposition of William McKinley’s alleged affair with that widow before he was elected.
    Get your capslock key fixed, lay off the exclamation marks, and stick to the topic at hand and the men up for election, eh?

  • 19 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 8:19 pm

    So, abi, Churchill was in charge. OK. Where was Churchill? In London. You just added emphasis to the point I made about cowardly Shrub. There are underground bunkers in Washington, too. But Shrub was too afraid to get near our capital city. Controversial? I don’t know. At least it didn’t surprise anyone. What else would anyone expect from a deserter?

  • 20 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 8:39 pm

    Speaking of Shrub’s daughters, his own quotation is: “I have been to war, and I have raised twins. I would rather go to war.” Yep. Shrub said it.

    Just when did he ever go to war? How do you think the survivors of the men and women killed in his Iraq fiasco feel about Shrub making light of “going to war?” I’ll bet military families are insulted by that idiotic comment. And I’ll bet they remember it come November 2.

    Principled? Leadership? You can’t possibly be serious.

  • 21 Nat Dawson // May 4, 2004 at 8:49 pm


    I don’t agree with you that Clinton is tangential to this discussion. Insofar as he was fully aware of bin Laden’s declaration of war on the United States, and he was the titular President when our East African Embassies and the USS Cole (all of which were American Real Estate) were attacked; Clinton’s failure to respond to these atrocities and the encouraging message that sent to bin Laden were a proximate cause and ultimate catalyst of the 9/11 tragedy.

    Comes now a Clinton clone, replete with the same lying and dissembling style so characteristic of Clinton, who is now the presumptive nominee. Given the many similarities one must ask the inevitable question … is this man qualified to lead this nation through one of its greatest crises? A crisis so great that our very survival is at stake. I don’t believe he is.

    So, yes, Clinton, by virtue of the fact that Jean Francois is a pale imitation of him, by his obvious culpability in 9/11 and by his reckless disregard for the truth is still part of the argument. His stain on the Dumbocrat party is every bit as present as the DNA spilled out onto a young WH intern’s dress.

    And, btw, WHERE IS the semen stained dress?

  • 22 Mark // May 4, 2004 at 11:33 pm

    What is this obsession with the fact that Clinton can get girls? Is it that neocons can’t? I think that has something to do with it.

    Clinton did act against bin Laden. He sent missles in attempts to kill him. Republicans accused him of “wagging the dog.” Remember?

    Shortly after 9/11, Shrub said getting bin Laden was our number one priortiy. Months later, he said finding bin Laden was not important. Talk about flip-flopping!

    And any supporter of Mr. “Yellow-cake Uranium” who talks about someone else lying is like a supporter of George Wallace or David Duke calling someone else a racist. The hypocrisy and duplicity is appalling, but (we’re sad to note) not surprising.

  • 23 nick meyer // May 5, 2004 at 8:34 am

    Mark, Your unbelievable hatred leads me to conclude that you are hindered from rational thinking by something in your past that you have chosen not to confront. Air Force One is considered as a mobile command center and I, as most other rational thinking Americans do,have no problem with our Presidents performance on that dreadful day. If you knew your home was coming under attack would you sit there and wait? I know you would not. If he ran and hid why are you the only one to vocalize this and there is not a Senate investigation under way?
    Again, your hatred is masking something else. Nat, who can we hook Mark up with to get him the help he so badly needs? I would be willing to pitch in to help my fellow AMERICAN come in out of the dark!!!

  • 24 Mark // May 5, 2004 at 9:36 am

    Why is there no Senate investigation? Come on, Nick. You know the answer to that. If any Republicans in the Senate were to do anything but the goose-step to the marching orders they are given — the White House would do to them what it did to Republican Paul O’Neill and Republican Joseph Wilson. The neocon reich has a ton of people bullied into accepting whatever non-sensical false bullshit that comes out of the White House. The Republican Congress has cowered into submission. So has the mainstream media (the big networks, Disney, etc.). Apparently, this phenonenon extends to ordinary folks like you and your buddy, Nat. You guys are really too intelligent to buy the G-O-P line, aren’t you? Do they have you scared, too?

    You’re probably aware that we really don’t know how many American citizens have been locked up and isolated as “enemy combatants” without having been charged with any crime, and denied access to legal counsel. This is wildly in conflict with our Constitution (have you ever read the document?). But the scare tactics and the secrecy employed by the neocon reich have bullied far too many persons who might normally be good patriots into Stepford-like submission.

    I shudder when I think of what’s happening to the greatest country on earth. I hope it’s not too late to save our freedoms and our Constitution.

  • 25 nick meyer // May 5, 2004 at 10:18 am

    Mark, Your paranoia scares me. I have a feeling that you also blame our President for the unfortunate acts of a few bad seeds inside the Iraqi prisons, that Mr. Bush authorized these attacks. In America we have the GOD given right to form our own opinions and even voice them, right or wrong. Try that in Cuba or Iran where if you spouted off the kind of trash that you do here you would be killed. You don’t like the Bush family and his administration but rather you like it or not he is our President and and as such deserves respect. I did not like Clinton or his administration but I never resorted to the tactics you do. He was elected and as such we owed him the respect that the office provides. Again I feel you are masking an inner hurt that causes such hatred. Were you abused as a child? What makes you tick to this nasty tune? I bet you have high blood pressure that is at a very unhealthy rate due to your intense hatred.

  • 26 Bob // May 5, 2004 at 10:23 am

    In a spirit of fairness and for what its worth…according to CNN.com there were protesters outside an Iraqi prison today protesting the treatment of prisoners by American forces.

    Could this have happened BEFORE the American invasion?

  • 27 Nat Dawson // May 5, 2004 at 10:26 am


    Mark has crossed the line from reasoned debate
    to hate speech on several occasions. What to do?
    You can alert Rick, the blogmeister,
    that this extreme leftwing lunatic is putting
    his blog in jeopardy. A complaint could lead to
    an FCC and/or Justice Department review.

    If Rick were to talk to this man who is showing
    a total lack of respect not just for the President but also, Rick, his host, then maybe a reasonable and intelligent dialog could resume.



  • 28 Rick // May 5, 2004 at 11:30 am

    Actually, under the circumstances, Mark’s speech is remarkably restrained. Even were it not, unless he’s actually making a threat against you or someone else, his words would fall — as far as any governmental entity is concerned — under the umbrella of the First Amendment.

    As the owner of this blog, I do not have to respect the First Amendment, but I choose to do so. That’s the only reason your postings, which appear to indicate a severe incapacity for civil discussion, have been tolerated.

    You repeatedly fail to address any issues — and that’s okay, if that’s what you choose to do. Instead you call people — including me, your host — insulting names and you make grossly offensive remarks toward us.

    I tolerate you for several reasons. One is that you, yourself (personally), are the best argument against the mindlessness so many are demonstrating in our country today. America was born because of people who refused to kowtow to authority. If the founders of this country had reacted as you do, there would have been no America. Mob rule by idiots is merely destructive. They knew this and set up a republic to deliberately weaken the power of democratically-driven processes that, unchecked, could squash the opportunity for those who oppose an unthinking mob.

    Rather than a Christian-based nation, we’re more rightly understood as being founded upon Greek ideals — more correctly, Greek-inspired Reformation ideals — of governance and to the Socratic idea that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

    As I said, I choose to follow the spirit of the First Amendment in the administration of this blog, even though since I am not a government entity, there is no requirement that I do so. Other blogs are driven by people who do not respect these ideals (Fried Man is one example of a conservative blog that I myself read, but which does not respect these ideals). You should be grateful for this, because otherwise you would be deprived of a forum that, so far as I can tell, merely affords you entertainment and venting rights.

    Yet you, yourselves, make a mockery of such ideals when you say, on the one hand,

    In America we have the G-D given right to form our own opinions and even voice them, right or wrong. [Quote altered to add emphasis and show respect for the name of the deity invoked; original appears above if you’d like to check it.]

    And, on the other hand, you threaten people if they won’t talk the way you want them to,

    A complaint could lead to an FCC and/or Justice Department review.

    For what it’s worth, the Justice Department apparently visits this website already. The log files show as much. But the risks of being shut down by the man who said, “There ought to be limits to freedom,” are, so far, still limited by the First Amendment (because, unlike me, he does count as “government entity”).

    If you’re really interested in open dialog, do what I’ve done with you. My words towards you are for the most part respectful. I periodically take little humorous jabs at you, but I do not openly attack you on a personal level.

    Please feel free to conduct yourself in an equally civil manner.

  • 29 Bob // May 5, 2004 at 12:15 pm

    Hey everybody!

    I have an idea.

    Let’s quit beating the snot out of each other and remember that we’re DEBATING here for FUN.

    No one will arrest you for your opinion.

    No one will take your home and property for a opposing viewpoint.

    No one will face the death penalty for not marching lock step with anything written by anyone here.

    We were blessed by God to be Americans so we don’t have to fear that threat. So why is each comment treated like a life and death situation?

    Only YOU can prove to the world that you are incapable of debate and must lower yourself to hate.

    Only YOU can trash your reputation.

    And once you DO trash your reputation, you do something that no one else can do, you get everyone else to agree with you.

    Congratulations, you’re an idiot by consensus!

    I’m sure your parents are very proud.

    You’ve just lost your individuality and joined a very long list of people in government, in America and the world.

    The very long line of lemmings forms to the left (or right) depending on your perspective.

    Please feel free to stand out by using logic and persuasion.

    I look forward your insightful responses.


  • 30 Mark // May 5, 2004 at 12:17 pm


    Why not share with us your credentials as a doctor and a psychiatrist? You have already displayed (for all to see) your credentials as a fool.

    Also, if you guys aren’t already concerned about the abuses of the Constitution by Shrub’s buddies, you should be. Nat’s latest comment underscores the point I made earlier.

    True patriots will do all they can to ensure that all votes are actually counted in the next election (presuming there is one). If this is done — there may well be hope for our nation and the treasured principles upon which it was founded.

  • 31 nick meyer // May 5, 2004 at 12:50 pm

    To All rational people on this blog and Mark, I do not have credentials of a doctor or psychiatrist, just as a caring, respectful human being the same as (from the sound of it) Rick and Bob. Theres rational thought put into each entry and it does serve to invoke constructive discussions without the endless hate filled rheteric. Rick, you are mistaken when you attribute the quote in your last comment post to Nat. I think Rick and Bob’s entries are designed to make people sit up and think. Then make rational judgements from there. Not to stay on the course of “I hate all republicans and conservatives because they are just that.” Politics and religion can be debated for years and no one’s individual beliefs are going to be changed overnite. That is the reason this blog is nice. As Bob rightly put it we are supposed to be debating for fun.

  • 32 Mark // May 5, 2004 at 1:00 pm

    I did not read Bob’s posting until after my last post was already finished.

    In light of what Bob said, I want to apologize for my remark about the credentials Nick has already displayed. That kind of remark lowers me to the level of a neocon — and I’m about as far from a neocon as one could be.

    I will henceforth do my best to stick to the issues of the day — and leave the personal insults to others.

    Here’s hoping that the ones who have been making the amateur diagnosises of me and Rick will themselves stick to the issues. Is that possible, guys?

    I think it was Abraham Lincoln who was supposed to have said that large minds talk about ideas, small minds talk about people.

    As an examle, Patrick Buchanan once had a radio show. While I disagreed with nearly everything he had to say, I would listen to him when I was in the car because he discussed ideas only. He never made fun of people’s names, never did the kind of second-grade name calling that seems to be the staple of most talk radio. Perhaps that’s why his show didn’t last.

    My point is I am able to listen to the IDEAS of those who disagree with me for hours on end. The petty, personal drivel that has appeared in some posts here is really beneath anyone with any sense of decency, class, and intelligence. I apologize again for my temporary lapse in judgment. Such posts really do speak for themselves and need no amplification from me.

  • 33 nick meyer // May 5, 2004 at 2:38 pm

    Mark, I also apologize for my remarks. Again Bob is right to say that we are debating for fun and when it starts to get extreme it is no longer that way. We can still express our opinions and differ, and even argue but to resort to name calling and mud slinging makes us no better than what is happening in any political race in America. I may not agree with a lot being said, but it is good food for thought. That being said, to anyone else I offended please accept my sincere apology. Rick, thank you for this forum .

  • 34 Bob // May 5, 2004 at 4:38 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Thank you all for renewing my religion about open, intelligent debate in a democracy.

    Stand by for more thought provocation by our Bloghost, Rick and maybe me, the rookie.

    In the meantime, everybody raise your right hand and swear to continue to visit this blog often and continue to keep the discussions as fun and lively as ever.

    Those of you who insist on raising your left hand, go ‘right’ ahead.

    Those of you in the UK just stick your arms out horizontally and everyone in Australia just stand on your heads.

    I think that covers everybody …..

  • 35 Rick // May 5, 2004 at 10:22 pm

    Just one point of clarification about my post. (I’ve been at the law school all day studying for a final tomorrow night, so I didn’t see the discussion that took place after my last post until just now — a little after 10 p.m.)

    It doesn’t matter now that everyone is convinced to play nice, but Nick mentions that I misattributed a quote in my earlier comment. I didn’t. The first quote was from Nick and the second from Nat.

    It was my impression (I may have been wrong, but it was my impression) that both were doing a tag-team thing on Mark and, indirectly, the blog. On the one hand, Nick was mentioning the G-d-given right to expressing one’s opinion and then, on the other, Nat was making what I perceived to be a threat of the consequences of things being said being reported. I found this ironic.

    I value diverse opinions. It’s one of the main reasons I have a blog that allows comments. It’s the reason I have so far only deleted spam comments. If you search some of the posts concerning Mel Gibson, you’ll find some nasty anti-semitic comments made — and I’m a Jew (for those who didn’t already know), but I have not removed those anti-semitic comments. My feeling was that the person who made them will demonstrate to the world how ugly that is. I get my kicks out of trying to remain sane and as above-board as I can in writing here. (I don’t always succeed.)

    There are serious issues facing our country today. And regardless of where you stand on those issues, serious issues call for serious discussion. I can call someone names all day long — and they can call me names right back — but in the end, when we all get tired of calling each other names, the issues will still remain and they will still be serious.

    I don’t think we’ll ever all agree (certainly not completely) on everything. But right now, it seems to me, there’s a growing schism in our nation. And, it seems to me, both of the major political parties — not just Republicans; not just Democrats — are responsible for this sad and dangerous situation. If we, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, don’t learn to understand, respect and engage in meaningful discourse with one another, we will find ourselves unable to establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

  • 36 nick meyer // May 6, 2004 at 8:57 am

    KUDOS! Very well put Rick.

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