Bush Officials Praise Obama For Going Further Than Bush in Terror Crackdown

President Barack Obama has finally received praise for his terror policies . . . from Bush officials. Two of the officials commonly named as responsible for allegedly criminal acts during the Bush Administration, former National Intelligence Director retired Vice Admiral Michael McConnel and former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden, are heaping praise on Obama for going even farther than George Bush in his policies. Now, there is an ignoble accomplishment.


McConnell is positively gushing with praise that “the new administration has been as aggressive, if not more aggressive, in pursing these issues . . . ” Hayden, who is most often cited for the unlawful surveillance programs under Bush, stated “I thank god every day for the continuity” shown by Obama in continuing Bush’s approach to the law and terror.

Hayden, who is my neighbor in Virginia, has also opposed any prosecution for torture under the Bush Administration. Obama has pleased many in the Bush Administration by insisting that CIA personnel will never face prosecution for torture — despite our treaty obligations to investigate and prosecute such crimes.

President Obama has certainly earned these professional references. He blocked public interest lawsuits in federal court on the unlawful surveillance program while blocking any investigation into torture. Hayden was the direct beneficiary of these policies. It is like Bernie Madoff praising the enforcement policies of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that allowed him to thrive in the 1990s. When many of us were stating that Hayden’s surveillance programs were clearly unlawful, Hayden was insisting that his own lawyers at the NSA had reviewed the program and were satisfied that it was lawful. This was the same tactic used by Bush in selecting biased lawyers to give clearly unsound legal analysis to support unlawful programs. Ultimately, when Hayden’s program was brought into federal court and faced actual judicial review, Hayden opposed such independent and competent review — and Obama ultimately stopped it.

I accept that people of good faith can disagree with civil libertarians on some of these programs — though even the Bush Administration came to reject the legal analysis of the torture programs. However, Hayden and Obama did not want to risk federal courts resolving this matter on issues like surveillance. Instead, they just circumvented the legal system. The pat on the back for a job well done by Hayden and McConnell should give someone in his Administration a moment of pause . . but I doubt it.

Source: SiFy

Jonathan Turley

157 thoughts on “Bush Officials Praise Obama For Going Further Than Bush in Terror Crackdown

  1. Obama has received his well earned praise from multiple Bush administration officials, including of course, those who have stayed on in his administration. It is interesting how these fine fellows have quickly come to terms with the reality that Obama is Bush III on steroids, yet Obama supporters still believe in Obama’s essential goodness. This tells me the cult of Obama is quite strong, obliterating the reality of Obama’s actions on torture, war, economic and environmental crimes. The people who directly benefit from these crimes are quite happy with him. What is very odd is the happiness of those who would have abhorred these same actions had they been done by a Republican president.

    Just as it took a village of people, those who reflexively supported Bush because he was (supposedly) “on their side, a great guy”, we see Obama supporters reflexively closing their minds to the reality of what he is doing. Obama supporters believe a totalitarian govt. would only come from mindless Republicans and their supporters. I say, it will come from the left, people who absolutely will not face up to what has happened under this administration. This govt. can only be this repressive because leftists consent to be governed in such a reprehensible way. Of course the right will aid this repression in their own way, but it will be the essential unethical and dishonest left who will continue to support heinous crimes, the dismantling of our own govt., all in the name of “it’s our guy”.

    I do not feel this dismantling is inevitable, but I do feel time is running out for people to take stock of reality, to regain intellectual and moral integrity, and oppose wrong doing whenever it occurs—period–no exceptions. This is our nation at stake, not a party, our nation. It is our world at stake, not a party, the world.

  2. Two sides of the same coin.

    The Council on Foreign Relations coin.

    This is why they are similar and have a meeting of minds on issues of force, oppression, torture, and murder.

    The CFR is a powerful unaccountable (subversive and seditious)group of individuals. They really run America. The CIA is even a member. As are all the media giants. This is pure political corruption as has never been in human history.

    It is impossible to concentrate this many powerful persons in one place without a threat to life and liberty. Absolute power corrupts, and it destroy and murders.

    These people are subversives who already subscribe to a publicly stated goal of abolishing sovereign borders and forming a world government. And any American who has political office and CFR membership has already violated his or her oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United State. They are traitors.

    Examples of this are: Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Joe Biden, the late Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Al Gore, and Barack Obama. Biden and Cheney being two of the longest serving CFR members.

    These people are traitors. They are dangerous, seditious extremists of the worst kind. And they are usurpers.

  3. Here’s a sobering article:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/149324/america_in_decline%3A_why_germans_think_we%27re_insane?page=entire

    “Some social scientists think that making sure large-scale crime or fascism never takes root in Europe again requires a taxpayer investment in a strong social safety net. Can we learn from Europe? Isn’t it better to invest in a social safety net than in a large criminal justice system? (In America over 2 million people are incarcerated.)”

    =======================================

    We’re in terrible trouble. The following article was written in 2007 and things are much worse now. We can ignore it. We can pretend. We can stick our heads in the sand. But fascism is upon us and the situation is only going to get worse.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/71881/

    Creeping Fascism: From Nazi Germany to Post 9/11 America
    By Ray McGovern

    Americans today are seeing the same sheepish submissiveness that characterized Germany after the burning of the Reichstag.

    “There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater … Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later …”

    These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a firsthand account.

    I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that yesterday was the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and emailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America … this is almost unbelievable.” (end of excerpt)

  4. Jill,

    I agree mostly with what you stated; however, since I am a conservative Republican, I think you generalized too much regarding this statement of yours

    {“…it will be the essential unethical and dishonest left who will continue to support heinous crimes,..”}

  5. Jill,

    “This govt. can only be this repressive because leftists consent to be governed in such a reprehensible way. Of course the right will aid this repression in their own way, but it will be the essential unethical and dishonest left who will continue to support heinous crimes, the dismantling of our own govt., all in the name of ‘it’s our guy’.”

    *****

    While I agree that there are those on the left who choose to avert their eyes to some of the things President Obama is doing/has done–there are many of us liberals/progressives/lefties who do not condone them. Please don’t paint us all with the same brush. There are also those in the media who are considered to be liberals/progressives/lefties who have called out the President on a number of issues–including Amy Goodman and Democracy Now, Glenn Greenwald, Ed Schultz, Jeremy Scahill and other writers for The Nation…among others.

  6. annie,

    I don’t believe you read what I wrote. Here is what I said: “Of course the right will aid this repression in their own way,…”

    I also clearly stated that too many Republicans had been completely remiss in their duties as citizens to oppose the repression which took place under Bush/Cheney. I doubt Rush would agree with those statements. When he blames the left, it has nothing to do with what I said. He agrees to the police state. As I leftist, I do not, but I see many leftist who do.

    Remember, historically police states come from both the right and the left. As a leftist, I feel many on the left have shirked the duties as citizens to stand up for the rule of law and for justice. This failure has been and continues to be a disaster. None of this would bother Rush in the least as he completely agrees with the formation of a police state!

  7. Reagan blamed the left. Nixon blamed the left. Cheney blamed the left. Gibbs blamed the left. Fox news blames the left. Sarah Palin blames the left. Why is the left always the group that is blamed?

  8. Elaine,

    I am saying that leftists have folded, big time, in the quest for justice under Obama. There are leftist who have said things are wrong no matter who is doing them. (Many of these people were/are viciously attacked by the left.) Now, just look at the anti war movement. Although we have increased the number of illegal wars of empire and the killing of civilians with drones is far worse under Obama than even Bush, the anti-war movement has been eerily silent, our numbers gutted. I know what I’m saying is going to make people on the left uncomfortable, but the reality remains, far too many leftist stood silently by as Obama engaged(s) in war and financial crimes. This is starting to change, but it needs to move much faster, because Obama and friends didn’t wait around to accomplish their aims. They have taken full advantage of the left’s silence. So instead of taking what I say as an insult, just take it as a statement of what has happened and what needs to happen, quickly, before it is too late.

  9. Swarthmore mom,

    You’re right on one hand (no pun intended)about the left always getting the blame, but the left has the ball right now is running the wrong way on the field, with respect to fighting the crazy war on terror. I blame the right, too… but, now, it’s up to the left to stop this lunacy in its tracks…

  10. Jill,

    Has everyone on the left stayed silent? You seem to ignore those who have spoken out…and spoken out loudly. Why did Robert Gibbs and President Obama get upset and castigate those on the left who have criticized him and his Administration? I think that you have selective memory.

    *****

    “So instead of taking what I say as an insult, just take it as a statement of what has happened and what needs to happen, quickly, before it is too late.”

    I agree with much of what you have written–but your perspective is a bit different from mine. YOUR reality is a not exactly the same as MY reality.

  11. anon nurse: I don’t think the left has the power. I think of Obama as slightly left of center. The house is now turning right. Look at the new committee chairs. The Senate is also a centrist body, and it will be more that way with the loss of some progressive members. Bdaman might think Obama is a muslim socialist that was born in another country but I don’t.

  12. Elaine M. wrote:

    “While I agree that there are those on the left who choose to avert their eyes to some of the things President Obama is doing/has done–there are many of us liberals/progressives/lefties who do not condone them. Please don’t paint us all with the same brush.”

    ===========

    Since I agreed with Jill, I’ll address this, as well. I didn’t take what she said personally, because I feel that everyone is a bit to blame for what we’re seeing now. We’re all at fault, even those of us who don’t condone what is taking place. As long as the policies remain in place — until we see the necesssary changes in our government — we’re all complicit. And I’m pointing the finger at myself, as well. Just my humble opinion…

    There were many in Nazi Germany who didn’t condone what they saw and, still, people were marched to the camps and the gas chambers…

  13. Elaine,m

    I’m not certain why you keep thinking I’m saying no one on the left has spoken out. Here is what I just wrote: “There are leftist who have said things are wrong no matter who is doing them.” I can’t see reading that as saying, no one on the left has spoken out. I’m saying something else. Not ENOUGH people on the left have spoken out. That is changing, but it needs to move more quickly. Please don’t say my memory is selective because that seems like a personal attack which is unwarrented. It is your misreading of my posts that is incorrect.

    (BTW, Jeremy Scahill agrees with me. He wrote how he’d made a mistake an forgotten about the rule that the left wasn’t supposed to criticize Obama!)

  14. Here’s an interview with Scahill on Democracy Now. The entire piece is worth reading through. I’m only excerpting one part to help explain my point, but the interview addressed many extremely important issues: “JEREMY SCAHILL: Right. Well, first of all, yeah, you look at Obama’s top allies, it’s people like John McCain, it’s people like Mitch McConnell, who praised Obama for implementing the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy at the end. And, I mean, some of this is partisan politics. And, please, the Republicans have no credibility on this. I mean, if we can be critical of Barack Obama, I mean, the Republicans are just merciless criminals when it comes to, you know, US policy in Iraq and toward the world, more broadly.

    But the fact that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer all acted like astonished that there’s going to be 35,000 to 50,000 troops in a residual capacity in Iraq and were criticizing this, I mean, this is a classic example of what’s wrong with the Democratic Party when it comes to foreign policy and what’s been wrong with this party for a long time. And that is that when it actually mattered, when Pelosi or Reid could have said to candidate Obama, “Back off that residual force,” as many activists were calling for, they were deafeningly silent. We were at the Democratic convention, Amy, walking around, trying to find anyone to criticize that aspect of the Obama policy, and not even antiwar Democrats, who were firmly against the war from the beginning, would dissent from the policy positions of the dear leader. This is cult activity, when you refuse to go after someone to try to criticize their policies when it matters and then later act like you’ve been hoodwinked. They knew exactly what was going on. “

  15. Swarthmore mom
    1, December 27, 2010 at 11:06 am

    anon nurse: I don’t think the left has the power…

    ========

    And, sadly, I think you’re right… But we have trouble brewing, the likes of which this county has never seen. Jill is right when she says, “…it as a statement of what has happened and what needs to happen, quickly, before it is too late.”

    And for all:

    Just because someone doesn’t see a mighty storm coming, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming… And just because some may remain safe and cozy in their homes during the mighty storm, doesn’t mean that a lot of people aren’t going to suffer.

  16. Bdaman:

    is this true?

    “Bdaman might think Obama is a muslim socialist that was born in another country but I don’t.”

    what do you have to say about that?

  17. They do have the power, Elaine, and until we get campaign finance reform, there will be no change. We have moved even further away from the possibility of it since the election. “Citizens vs United” hurt also. I think Reagan was so successful at painting the left as incompetent that thinking about the left in that matter is still prevalent today among those who were alive during his presidency. It is my view that only a centrist democrat or right wing republican can be elected at this point in our history.

  18. “I think Reagan was so successful at painting the left as incompetent that thinking about the left in that matter is still prevalent today among those who were alive during his presidency.”

    They are incompetent, he didnt paint them. He just pointed out the emperor didnt have any clothes.

    But then again so are most on the right.

  19. (I’ve been having this problem with my comment posting prematurely. I’m proofing and finishing up… and, poof, the comment has posted…)

    Anyway, I had intended to add to my previous comment… Reality is reality is reality, IMHO. Perspectives may differ, but “reality” is what it is…

    The people who post here are, by and large, good and decent people. We need to figure this one out pretty darn quickly — cool heads need to prevail — because we’re in serious trouble… This isn’t personal. It’s about saving our country.

  20. SwM,

    The beauty of the left is that we are able to look at ourselves and admit that, collectively, we have done a less than stellar job in combating and or changing the un-American “police-state” introduced and codified by the right. Collectively we had the high ground but once Obama decided not to prosecute the torture mongers, the ground began slipping out from under our feet until we found ourselves in the dirt right along with the right.

    I know some fine folk on the right who disagreed most vehemently with the “police-state” introduced by Bush/Cheney and now maintained by Obama. They have joined with like-minded citizens on the left hoping their voices will be amplified.

    The problem, as I see it, are the millions and millions of voters who don’t give a damn one way or the other. I have spent half my life trying to educate voters through the LWV and I am perpetually amazed every election day that there are so many who go to the poles clueless as to the policies the person they choose to vote for actually supports. Instead they buy into the hype of the show and put their faith in the ever changing words that flow too easily from the candidate’s mouth.

    There are millions of them and I strongly suspect they all watch American Idol.

    The only answer, in my opinion, is to keep on keeping on and to remain very careful in forming alliances with those who claim to think as we do.

  21. {Jill
    1, December 27, 2010 at 10:35 am
    FFLEO,

    Tell me how I generalized too much!}
    ______________________

    Jill,

    Ms. EM stated what I was thinking, i.e., that your brush was too broad (no and I did not just call you a “broad” using a brush).

    You (especially) and I have been accessing this blawg for a long time. I have stayed because I found the left/liberal people herein to be exceptionally willing to change their minds. Although I have insinuated that some are “Obama Followers” (remember, I voted for him) most just want what is best for our Nation and no political person on the right is any better than Obama. I, of course, think we must vote Mr. Obama out of office and to give him a second term would be as insane as—or more so—than us giving GW Bush his second chance.

  22. Elaine M.
    1, December 27, 2010 at 11:13 am
    Annie,

    I think the corporations and Wall Street and the banks have the power.

    =========

    Absolutely true. Which is why we need to protect whistleblowers… — to state the obvious…

    WikiLeaks, OpenLeaks and others? Bring it on…

  23. Jill,

    I believe we have a number of people on the left who don’t think there is a rule about criticizing the President.

    *****

    You wrote:
    “Just as it took a village of people, those who reflexively supported Bush because he was (supposedly) ‘on their side, a great guy’, we see Obama supporters reflexively closing their minds to the reality of what he is doing.”

    and

    “Of course the right will aid this repression in their own way, but it will be the essential unethical and dishonest left who will continue to support heinous crimes, the dismantling of our own govt., all in the name of ‘it’s our guy’.”

    *****

    I didn’t think I had misread what you wrote. You seemed to include all Obama supporters and you didn’t “qualify” who on the left were essentially unethical and dishonest. I was left to assume you were being being inclusive of all Obama supporters and everyone on the left.

    *****

    anon nurse,

    There were those in Nazi Germany who spoke out and were severely punished. There were those who helped Jews flee or who hid Jews. Those people risked their own lives. Would you consider such people complicit in the terrible things that happened under the Nazi regime?

  24. Bdaman:

    is this true?

    “Bdaman might think Obama is a muslim socialist that was born in another country but I don’t.”

    what do you have to say about that?

    Well do you have a better explanation? Certainly based on what was promised vs delivered he clearly is as un-American as you can get.

    With that said it really doesn’t matter where he was born. un-American is un-American whether born here or Panama :)

  25. The teabaggers are so far out of the mainstream and so far to the right (they’re the John Birch Society of the 21st century), even Reagan looks like a communist to them. They’re like cartoon charicatures of rabid right wing crazies. The mainstream, though nearly as screwed up, GOP will use and abuse them (in fact, as they already have) to gin up money and votes and then go right back to their corporatism just as they’ve done for years to the Pro-Life, anti-gay cults within the party.

  26. FFLEO: Since you think we should vote Mr. Obama out of office, who are you supporting in the republican primaries?

  27. FFLEO,

    I think I explained my position to Elaine. I am clearly stating and backing this statement up) that there were too few (and still are) on the left who will stand up for what is right. This has been a disaster and it needs to change very quickly.

    There were Republicans under Bush who tried very hard to stop what he was doing to our Constitution. They also were too few. These people have remained consistent in their calls for the restoration of the rule of law. Those people are allies in this fight. Leftists who shut up and let lawlessness prevail are no friend of justice. Leftists who will speak out are more vital than ever at this juncture in time. We need everyone of conscience, left and right, to pull together to work for justice. Upon this work lies the only hope for the good of our nation and the good of the world.

  28. Swarthmore mom,

    As I have stated previously, I want you and others here to provide a viable Democrat for whom I could vote.

  29. Jill,

    I think the MSM/corporate media are a big part of the problem. Before the run-up to the war in Iraq, the news media covered few stories about the anti-war movement/anti-war rallies. Some in the press were even cheerleaders for the war and for some of the things the Bush Administration did.

    We hear a lot of stories about the likes of Sarah Palin and her Tweets…a lot of insignificant garbage that gets passed off as news these days. There are too few real investigative journalists like Scahill, Jane Mayer, Seymour Hersh and others these days–and too many news media careerists who don’t want to rock the boat for fear of losing their high-paying.

  30. Elaine,

    I agree with this. We aren’t allowed easy access to actual information in this country. We really must hunt for it. It’s difficult and time consuming to find even 1/10 of what is actually going on. This has been a disaster for our democracy. I have some hope from wikileaks and other sites where whistle blowers have a chance of getting real information into the public domain. The new sites that formed have said they are inundated with information. If we can get actual information into the public domain, the lies of the govt. will be counteracted. IMO, that’s why the govt. is going to the wall against Wikileaks (that and the fact that information on a big bank’s malfeasance is coming out very soon!).

  31. Elaine M.
    Well said. The MSM has been absent for a decade on any issue related to National Security.
    rcampbell,
    I agree with your review of the teapublicans.

  32. Elaine M:

    anon nurse,

    “There were those in Nazi Germany who spoke out and were severely punished. There were those who helped Jews flee or who hid Jews. Those people risked their own lives. Would you consider such people complicit in the terrible things that happened under the Nazi regime?”

    ========

    What you’ve described, Elaine, didn’t happen all at once, as you, of course, know. Was there a point in time when the future could have been altered? Was the rise of Hitler inevitable? Was what happened a foregone conclusion? I would suggest that it wasn’t…

    Clearly, I should have used the word “most” and not “all”… This isn’t personal, as I’ve said. In my heart of hearts, I know that I’m not doing enough… Each person must ask him or herself the same question, IMO, and then decide if the shoe fits. That’s all. Most of us could do more… I know that I could. So in that sense, I’m complicit. JMHO.

  33. The more people do what we may usefully learn to not do, the more able we may become to not do it.

    Learning and understanding what does not work may eventually leave us able to recognize what does work.

    Reducing harm by doing ever increasing harm just may be something we may be approaching the threshold of beginning to know and understand as being of what does not work.

  34. Jill wrote:

    “We need everyone of conscience, left and right, to pull together to work for justice. Upon this work lies the only hope for the good of our nation and the good of the world.”

    =========

    Such true words…

  35. “I think the MSM/corporate media are a big part of the problem.” -Elaine M.

    “The MSM has been absent for a decade on any issue related to National Security.” -rafflaw

    ============

    I agree, but “we, the people” have allowed it, IMO. Again, we didn’t arrive at this point all at once — it’s been a slow and, at times, insidious process.

  36. anon nurse: Realistically, I don’t see the left pulling together with the tea party. I have been around that block on here before. The SPLC considers the “tea party” to be a hate group. The tea party is dominating right wing politics these days.

  37. S.M.,

    Bruce Fein isn’t a member of the tea party. Now for one moment, take stock of one’s own party and president. Leftists keep hiding behind the villainous tea party as a way to keep from looking squarely at what their own party is doing. Certainly there are villains in the tea party, but no less than Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky, who no one could possibly call right wingers, say to look at what is going on with the president and the Democratic party as closely as one would look at the tea party.

    This is exactly what many leftist are failing to do. This is why the president and other Democrats are able to put in place a completely lawless, war mongering, police state corporate nation–leftists don’t want to look. But we must look. We are responsible to hold to account those people who say they are left wing, who are Democrats. That is our job as citizens. It was the job of Republicans under Bush. Most failed the task. It is our job under Democrats. We must not fail this task.

  38. anon nurse,

    Germany was left in a terrible financial state after the country’s defeat in World War I. People in Germany were poor and hungry and suffering (as many are in our country today.) Hitler was able to manipulate the situation of the German people to his political advantage. Jews and some other minority groups were used as scapegoats for the country’s problems. Does that seem familiar? Look how certain politicians in this country used 9/11 to their political advantage. Some in the press were even complicit. Think: Judith Miller.

    I agree that Americans as a whole didn’t speak out enough early on when the Bush Administration decided we needed to start a pre-emptive war in Iraq. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough Democrats in Congress to fight the Bush Administration on that either. I believe you would have seen a lot more war protests if we had had a draft at that time.

    Jill wrote: “We aren’t allowed easy access to actual information in this country. We really must hunt for it. It’s difficult and time consuming to find even 1/10 of what is actually going on. This has been a disaster for our democracy.”

    For sure, it has been a disaster for our democracy!

    *****

    From Glenn Greenwald (12/27/2010)
    The worsening journalistic disgrace at Wired
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/27/wired/index.html

    Excerpts:
    For more than six months, Wired’s Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed — but refuses to publish — the key evidence in one of the year’s most significant political stories: the arrest of U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks’ source. In late May, Adrian Lamo — at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning — gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year. In interviews with me in June, both Poulsen and Lamo confirmed that Lamo placed no substantive restrictions on Poulsen with regard to the chat logs: Wired was and remains free to publish the logs in their entirety.

    Despite that, on June 10, Wired published what it said was only “about 25%” of those logs, excerpts which it hand-picked. For the last six months, Poulsen has not only steadfastly refused to release any further excerpts, but worse, has refused to answer questions about what those logs do and do not contain. This is easily one of the worst journalistic disgraces of the year: it is just inconceivable that someone who claims to be a “journalist” — or who wants to be regarded as one — would actively conceal from the public, for months on end, the key evidence in a political story that has generated headlines around the world.

    In June, I examined the long, strange, and multi-layered relationship between Poulsen and Lamo, and in that piece raised the issue of Wired’s severe journalistic malfeasance in withholding these chat logs. But this matter needs to be re-visited now for three reasons:

    (1) for the last six months, Adrian Lamo has been allowed to run around making increasingly sensationalistic claims about what Manning told him; journalists then prominently print Lamo’s assertions, but Poulsen’s refusal to release the logs or even verify Lamo’s statements prevents anyone from knowing whether Lamo’s claims about what Manning said are actually true;

    (2) there are new, previously undisclosed facts about the long relationship between Wired/Poulsen and a key figure in Manning’s arrest — facts which Poulsen inexcusably concealed; and,

    (3) subsequent events gut Poulsen’s rationale for concealing the logs and, in some cases, prove that his claims are false.

    *****

    Poulsen’s concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists and others who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do. By allowing the world to see only the fraction of the Manning-Lamo chats which he chose to release, Poulsen has created a situation where his long-time “source,” Adrian Lamo, is the only source of information for what Manning supposedly said beyond those published exceprts. Journalists thus routinely print Lamo’s assertions about Manning’s statements even though — as a result of Poulsen’s concealment — they are unable to verify whether Lamo is telling the truth. Due to Poulsen, Lamo is now the one driving many of the media stories about Manning and WikiLeaks even though Lamo (a) is a convicted felon, (b) was (as Poulsen strangely reported at the time) involuntarily hospitalized for severe psychiatric distress a mere three weeks before his chats with Manning, and (c) cannot keep his story straight about anything from one minute to the next.

  39. Every event, having happened, becomes part of the past which forms the present which makes the future when the future becomes the present, which is now, which has already become the past.

    To me, the past is something I imagine, I name that imaginary imagining, “memory.”

    To me, the future is something I imagine, I name that imaginary imagining, “planning.”

    As I imagine reconstructing the past, I do so now.

    As I imagine constructing the future, I do so now.

    From Fredric Winson, Marian Perry, illustrator, “The Space Child’s Mother Goose,” (here cited according to my imagined belief of fair use), Purple House Press, 2001 (first published in 1958), the opening poem.

    Probable-Possible, my black hen,
    She lays eggs in the Relative When.
    She doesn’t lay eggs in the Positive Now
    Because she’s unable to Postulate How.

    Said book appears to remain, as a paperback, in print; my copy is hardcover, and I have the first edition a storage shed, among my boxed reserve books.

    What am I doing on this blog (or blawg, for those who believe in the law {remember please, that I believe in non-believing the law if it is adversarial to my belief(s)})?

    For a useful hint, please read (No. 30 in my 2001 edition printing), “This is the Theory Jack built.”

    Let’s pretend.
    Let’s pretend “the Theory” is adversarial law & jurisprudence.
    Let’s pretend “Jack” has a surname, “S–t.”
    Let’s pretend “Ship High In Transit” identifies very valuable fertilizer.
    Let’s pretend “Jack S–t” is an alias for “The Evil One.”
    Let’s pretend my Ph.D. work is parody of “This is the Theory Jack built.”
    Let’s pretend I am doing rather as the “Space Child with Brow Serene” did.
    Let’s pretend I am only pretending.

  40. SwM,

    I would never align myself with any teabagger, individual or party and I completely agree with rcampbell’s assessment “They’re like cartoon charicatures of rabid right wing crazies. The mainstream, though nearly as screwed up, GOP will use and abuse them (in fact, as they already have) to gin up money and votes and then go right back to their corporatism just as they’ve done for years to the Pro-Life, anti-gay cults within the party.”

    You experienced their mob mentality when your sign was destroyed at the Town Hall meeting … and I paid close attention to your words and the experience that those words related. What happened to you happened to several of my friends who mistakenly thought that they would be able to engage a candidate at a Town Hall meeting. What each of them found was a rabid pep rally of anti-Obama hate mongering. They were there to support healthcare and found themselves literally surrounded by people foaming at the mouth because Obama wanted to kill seniors. (It was all the fashion at that particular time to believe that end of life counselling was a death sentence.) Disgusting behavior.

  41. Blouise,
    I will second your comment on the tea party crowd. The Republicans were already heading to the far right and the Tea Party shoved it off the map to the extreme Right. It is amazing that for being on the Right that they can be so Wrong.

  42. Former Federal LEO
    1, December 27, 2010 at 11:56 am
    Swarthmore mom,

    As I have stated previously, I want you and others here to provide a viable Democrat for whom I could vote.

    ==========================================================

    Oh darlin’, I wish that were possible but the reality of the situation makes any real change impossible. Obama will win another 4 years … easily.

    The republicans will yell and scream and drive the wedge issues but there are not enough of them to field a decent candidate and no republican of any real stature is going to waste time or money in a futile bid to beat Obama. They’ll put up another McCain type.

    The Democratic Party will not turn him out and all the minorities will flock to the poles and the thing all republicans fear will again happen … Democrats will sweep it all by the force of pure numbers.

    You worked in this system for years … you know the drill. The announcement of the Afghan War continuing till 2014, the support of Bush officials that was the subject of this thread, the continuation of the Bush tax cuts, and several other factors all point to this fact … the deal has already been struck!

    Keep on keeping on. We blew it in 2008 … maybe we’ll be able to do it right in 2016. (Take a look at the CPP Project.)

  43. Elaine M.
    1, December 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    Blouise,

    We blew it in 2000 and 2004 too. Oh wait…the Supreme Court blew it in 2000!

    ==========================================================

    …. how right you are!! Now I’m going to get all mad again!

  44. J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E.
    1, December 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm
    Why do I always find myself left out of what is right?

    =========================================================

    Because you turned left? :)

  45. Blouise: If the Rove candidate beats the “family values” candidate in the republican primaries, the outcome could be different.

  46. What am I doing on this blog (or blawg, for those who believe in the law {remember please, that I believe in non-believing the law if it is adversarial to my belief(s)})? (J. Brian Harris)

    Because you are afflicted with hope springing eternal …

  47. Swarthmore mom
    1, December 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    Blouise: If the Rove candidate beats the “family values” candidate in the republican primaries, the outcome could be different.

    ===============================================================

    I really don’t think so … Rove is busy positioning for 2016 when he knows they stand a chance. I believe he will continue to push hard for state legislatures and governors in 2012 and 2014 as ground work for 2016. That is where the real and immediate danger exists. Liberals need to forget about Obama for a bit and look to their individual states.

  48. Blouise: You are right as usual. Who knows that what reapportionment is going to bring other than that Texas is gaining 3 or 4 additional seats.

  49. Swarthmore mom
    1, December 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm
    Blouise: You are right as usual. Who knows that what reapportionment is going to bring other than that Texas is gaining 3 or 4 additional seats.

    ========================================================

    Hopefully you’ll be able to make up the loss in 2012 … only to lose it again in 2014 … watch the legislature closely and sound the alarm loudly!

  50. Blouse (an everyone),

    I knew it wouldn’t be right for me to turn left, so when the left turned left and left me and the right turned right without righting me, I was left topsy-turvy right where I was left, which left me in a place not right, right? Neither did I get left right in the muddle of the middle. Sinister dexterity is not my forte-fortissimo.

  51. See Corrections. The closest Corrections facility to where I live is in the Door County Justice Center.

    Sometimes a mistake I did not make gets corrected. The spelling checker on my computer insists that the correct spelling of “Blouise” is “Blouse.”

    It is interesting when, by mistake, I mistakenly overlook the correcting of a mistake I did not make, thereby making it.

    Perhaps trickle-down really works. Perhaps I should drink a coffee enema. 100% Arabaca; “Death by Chocolate Raspberry Cake” flavored. Start at the top, wait for many hours, and (like truth?), it eventually will get out.

  52. Blouise,
    Just what is the deal that has been struck? Are you suggesting that the White House gave the Republicans their tax give aways to the rich in exchange for them agreeing to not run a strong candidate against Obama in 2012? It would not surprise me, but I just can’t believe that the Republicans would agree to that and how could the White House trust them at this point? To be honest, I have alwasys wondered if the Obama White House bought George W. Bush’s silence on the Obama White House, with an agreement to not prosecute the torturers??

  53. The following is what concerns me the most about the good, intelligent people here who will likely still cast an unprincipled vote for Mr. Obama in 2012, irrespective of his cover-ups of past war crimes and torture and his escalation of illegal tactics under the guise of the war on terror.

    I am a strong advocate for the death penalty in murder cases where there is no doubt whatsoever that a person murdered another with “malice aforethought.” I have detailed my thoughts regarding this before and others herein roundly rebuffed me because my stance was cruel and unusual punishment and that many innocent people have and could die under the death penalty.

    Enter President Obama with his self-proclaimed ‘right’ to assassinate U.S. citizens without any due process whatsoever. What kind of deranged mind—except for that of a sociopathic murderer—would order the murder of another citizen, or any other human being for that matter, without a fair trial? We grant convicted murderers in the USA appeals while Mr. Obama would not even grant a fair trial for another American citizen before ordering his murder via someone under his command as Commander-In-Chief.

    Therefore, some of you have criticized me for supporting the death penalty via trials and appeals yet you will or still could cast a vote for Mr. Obama, a man who would murder someone and hide under the cloak of ‘State Secrets’.

    How in good conscience could a principled voter, especially an intelligent person who understands and is a champion for the rule of law, cast a vote for Mr. Obama?

  54. rafflaw,

    Admittedly I tend to view politics with a cynical eye.

    No, I don’t believe the republicans agreed not to run a strong candidate … I believe the republicans decided not to run a strong candidate because they don’t have one strong enough to attract the numbers necessary to beat Obama. Instead they are concentrating on the states and will continue to do so. Do I believe they have said as much to Obama’s people … certainly. They will happily wait till 2016 when there will be a race similar to Gore/Bush.

    If Obama truly screws up and puts himself in jeopardy with the Latinos and Blacks who in return look like they might decide to stay home on election day then, yes … the republicans will run a strong candidate. But that ain’t gonna happen …

    Obama kept the tax cuts ’cause he’s a chicken-shit and doesn’t really understand the art of negotiating. He’s like an over anxious salesman who is willing to give away the store in order to get that 1 order. He’s like Newt Gingrich to Bill Clinton … Gingrich was eventually forbidden by his Party from seeing Clinton alone ’cause Clinton could talk Gingrich into anything and did. After a few disasters, Gingrich always had to take a handler with him when he met with Clinton.

    I do believe the deal’s been struck but like any deal between thieves …

    Bloomberg could wreak havoc … and that may be another deal still in the negotiating phase …

    There’s a reason people like Rove are attracted to politics.

  55. “How in good conscience could a principled voter, especially an intelligent person who understands and is a champion for the rule of law, cast a vote for Mr. Obama?” FFLEO

    =====================================================

    The principled voter can’t.

  56. J. Brian Harris,

    You, and you alone, may call me Blouse

    Eventually one of us should turn right so that we may run into each other. 8)

  57. Bloomberg said that he is not running, Blouise. John Thune may be jumping in. He might be the ticket for the republicans. I am not as sure as you are about Obama being re-elected. His move to the “center” apparently has helped but without some job growth it might not happen. FFLEO, politics cannot be principled without campaign finance reform. The politicians are owned by their conributors. The “Citizens vs United” decision, which I think you supported, gives the corporations an even larger role to play. Karl Rove and the Chamber of Commerce will not concede the election to Obama unless Palin is the nominee.

  58. There is still one person, one vote in this nation. We do not have to bow to the candidates the oligarchy presents to us, nor should we. FFLEO makes a very good point on being a principled voter. Today, we get the announcement of indefinite detention by the Bush, oops, I mean, Obama administration. There has to be a point at which one simply will not vote for a candidate. When that candidate has violated basic human rights and taken for himself the right to indefinitely detain without trial or to kill without trial other human beings, then one if honest, must say this is a dictator and one is voting for a dictatorship. It is better to go down fighting to preserve our Constitution than to vote that very document into non-existence through loyalty to party over principle.

  59. Jill,

    It’s not exactly one person, one vote in this country. One has to consider the Electoral College. A candidate with more popular votes can lose a presidential election. Case in point: the presidential election of 2000.

  60. Elaine,

    I understand this. That election was decided not even by the electoral college but by the supreme court. What I’m really trying to say is that we need to stop doing as we are told in this nation. We still have a vote, at least for now, and we should use it. Maybe, even most likely, the use of that vote will not be successful against the powerful, entrenched rulers whom we now face. But if we won’t even consider trying to use our vote on behalf of the good of our nation, we are conceding the end of our Constitution before voting even begins.

    We know that Obama will take down the rule of law. He already has. We know that anyone the Republicans run will do the same thing. Therefore, we can keep voting for one of two candidates who will destroy what is best about our nation or we can attempt to vote for a third party candidate who will not. Voting the first way is a guarantee of destruction. Voting for a well researched third party candidate gives us at least a chance, however small.

  61. Blouise,
    Thanks for the explanation. While I do not agree with everything that you said, I do agree that Obama does need to have someone with stones with him every time he “negotiates” with the Teapublicans.
    Swarthmore Mom,
    I agree that if we don’t get the big corporate money out of the elections, real Democracy has no chance of a recovery.

  62. Jill,

    There are people in the US who think our country is justified in torturing people…who think it’s okay for our government to imprison people indefinitely even though no charges have been brought against them…who believe in discriminating against certain minority groups..who do not believe in the separation of church and state. About 40% of or population believes in creationism and thinks that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. I don’t have a lot of hope for the future. I wish we had a strong third party.

    BTW, I can’t imagine the Tea Party nominating a candidate that I could ever vote for.

  63. Ms. EM,

    If you have time, please read my post above and tell me if you will vote for Mr. Obama (if you can).

    Thanks.

  64. Elaine,
    I agree with you that I don’t believe that the Tea Party has anyone in their bullpen that I could get behind. They are just too far Right and too corporate. And seeing how corporate a lot of Dems and Republicans are already, it amazes me that candidates who claim to be part of a groundswell of normal every day Americans, they sure do like to keep the Corporations happy. Even when it is against their economic best interests.

  65. I extend my request to the other regulars here regarding voting for Mr. Obama. A simple Yes or No or Undecided is sufficient, although please expound, if you prefer.

  66. FF Leo,

    FYI: I did not vote for President Obama in my state primary. This year, I have considered changing my party affiliation from D to I–after more than four decades. I have little faith in most of the politicians in Washington. Too many members of both parties are bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists.

    I know there were many Americans who were fed up with President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. They showed their displeasure at the polls in November. Now the Republicans will take over the House in 2011. I don’t see that as an improvement. At this point, I’m not even sure I’ll vote in the next presidential election.

  67. Elaine,

    Our president believes many of those things, as do his supporters. So yes, our work is cut out for us. If we don’t try, the outcome is assured.

  68. My answer is a definite “yes”. The republicans already have the House and they have a good chance of taking the Senate. Obama’s Supreme Court picks have been vastly better than Bush’s. The republicans will try to dismantle the entire social safety net while dismantling the EPA. The list goes on and on. Unemployed Americans will not receive any benefits. This new brand of republicanism is way to the right of Bush. They actually make him look like a “compassionate conservative”.

  69. rafflaw,

    This is exactly what we must learn from the election of Obama. People who voted for him didn’t think they were voting for a corporate war monger who would install a police state. Yet every one of the attributes we see now was there to see in candidate Obama, if people had allowed themselves to see it. So we must learn from this experience. First, it isn’t only the right wing who can be convinced to vote against our best interests. Propaganda works. Many leftists didn’t listen to their own misgivings and other leftists excoriated anyone who questioned Obama. So we learn to listen to our misgivings and listen to people who raise objections to candidates, even to candidates who are especially popular with the press. We learn we must do our homework. We acknowledge that manipulation can happen to anyone and we try to not be manipulated. This will take collective thinking, reasoning and debate but it could work. It’s worth a try. Otherwise, we will concede our nation to those who will destroy it.

  70. Jill,
    Actually, my biggest disappointment in Obama isn’t the corporate leanings, it is the refusal to prosecute any and all parties responsible for the torturing of detainees. Of course, when he authorizes the killing of an American citizen without due process, I guess I should not be surprised at the lack of torture prosecutions.

  71. Swarthmore Mom,

    I am asking also an honest question. Since you have determined that other parents should sacrifice their innocent sons and daughters to Obama for the greater social “good” will you willingly tell your own daughter to go to Obama and ask that he kill her? If not, why not? Why are other parents to accept their children’s capricious death for this greater “good”, but not your own daughter?

    Further, you said you had watched the movie “Inside Job”. You know from the information provided there that it was both Republicans and Democrats who have worked side by side to dismantle the social safety net. Surely you can see that is the case right now as well (as was documented in the film)?

    Finally, after you have given over the lives of other people’s children to death and indefinite detention for some greater good, what happens when the power of death and indefinite detention passes to a Republican who may then use it against anyone they see fit? Perhaps your daughter will not be spared afterall, because this power is absolute. There is no rational reason to believe other children will be taken but she will be safe.

  72. FFLEO

    My answer is probably YES depending on how badly the new congress performs in the next two years. If it’s as bad as the previous 2000-2008 years, I don’t see any alternative unless a moderate Republican or third party candidate shows up.

    Mr. Obama is an anomaly in that he, supposedly, looks for long term solutions, not what is currently popular. And you’ll have to agree, he’s not popular with very many right now.

    As far as your reservations, I can understand and share them to some extent, but don’t see them as clearly black or white as you apparently do. And, again, what would be the alternative? Someone who would do the same or worse? Would you vote for Mr. Cheney or Ms. Palin? Or not vote at all? If you don’t vote at all, do you really feel that is an answer?

    Elaine has laid out what seems to be, unfortunately, the attributes of too many voters. The fact that 48 million people voted for McCain/Palin should give anyone pause about the voting public’s discernment of anything let alone about such esoteric items as are discussed on this blawg.

    Two years is a long time in politics and Mr. Obama may not even be the Democratic nominee in 2012. Maybe it will be Mr. Feingold. :-)

  73. Professor Turley,

    Could you vote for Mr. Obama?

    Sometime before the 2012 election, could you drop some hints regarding for whom you might vote? Better yet, tell us flat out.

    As someone who has only not voted a few times, which was based on principle, I would prefer not to throw away my vote; however, I do not know for whom I could cast a vote that would help preserve our Republic and stop the erosion of our civil liberties and the desecration of the rule of law.

  74. Thanks Buckeye.

    Given the dearth of other candidates, I think I might be able to cast a vote for Mr. Feingold once I learn more about him. However, could he be a viable candidate based upon his recent loss of office? Most likely, that loss resulted from his largely honorable voting record that others opposed.

  75. since the 80’s when reagan managed a coalition of the religious and the more traditional republican money interests they’ve been able to drive home their talking points of you can’t trust the liberal media and if you follow us we’ll take you back to the “good old days” when everybody on earth respected and bought culture and products from us.

    fast forward to the present and the old coalition is getting frayed around the edges, with the money trying to lead by fear and the religious tired of being led around while waiting to get sucked up into the air.

    sarah palin’s people won’t accept morman romney or new york bloomberg and the money will never risk sarah getting her hands on any real power.

    so the slightly left of center (if you close one eye and tilt your head) obama still has the best shot at 2012.

    but a lot can happen in two years

  76. I have, with rare illness exceptions, consistently voted since I became of voting age. I have never yet voted for any person, but have voted for the conglomeration of viewpoints I thought might prevail; doing so symbolically by seeming to, but not actually, voting for a particular candidate-person.

    The dichotomy of government is imposed upon us by a traditional model of reality which defines reality as in opposition to itself such that destructive competition driven by disrespect is deemed more socially useful than decency through collaboration grounded in respect of self, others, and environment.

    I vote for the candidate’s views which I deem feasibly less destructive than such other candidates as may have a chance of being elected. No election in which I have ever voted has turned out in the manner I would have preferred. As a voter, I seem to lose every time.

    While I could protest by not voting, I think I may be more effective in my protest by voting as I do, expecting every candidate for whom I allegedly vote to lose, and accept that as being as good as is presently possible.

    In the ordinary sense of “believe in,” it might make some little sense to allow that I “believe in the rule of law” with the proviso that laws that I believe can rule people must invariably be laws no person can break or violate.

    Having laws I cannot obey by choice in advance of encountering a law and its effects is not, to me, the “rule of law,” it is the “cruel of law.”

    When I encounter the “cruel of law” masquerading as the “rule of law,” I tell of my finding child abuse at work thereby and therein.

    I have successfully designed, and continue to successfully design, electrical and electronic “things.” In such design, I shall obey the rule of law, by properly using the laws of thermodynamics, Ohm’s law, Amperes’s law, Lenz’s law, and many other laws. Were I to design an electrical or electronic “thing” in violation of such laws, I would expect my design to be unsuccessful.

    Yes, I have heard the argument that the laws of human society cannot be like the laws of the physical sciences (because humans are not physical?) and cannot be like the laws of biological science (because humans are not biological?), and cannot be like the laws of chemistry (because humans are not chemical?), and cannot be like the laws of thought (because people don’t think?).

    Alas, humans are observably physical, biological, chemical, and do at least seem to think that they think (even if they do not even think that?).

    My dad sometimes acted in stage plays, sometimes directed stage plays, with amateur Thespians, of which group he was himself a member. From him, I learned just enough of method acting to have survived to date in the sometime-presence of people who, methinks, may suffer from autism insufficiency.

    If there has been a candidate for elective office for whom I was given an opportunity to vote who was not autism-insufficient, that lack of autism insufficiency totally eluded my awareness (is “autdar” a word, after the manner of radar or gaydar?).

    Except that society and social interaction is of masquerade, how would our present political process be possible? When things get difficult enough, the masks people usually wear can get in the way, when the situation takes away the masks, the masquerade is unmasked.

    If anyone is surprised, why is anyone surprised that getting elected is one masquerade and being in office another, and the scene change requires change of costume?

    Is it not costumary (not a typo!) for the script before being elected to be replaced by the script of having been elected?

    I would rather act in the unestablished, life-affirming improv theater of the surd than in the established, prescripted theater of the absurd that I find has people strutting about, full of sound and fury, signifying terror.

  77. FFLEO

    I tend to concentrate on known problems; the beginning of the ruination of some of the most beautiful country in the U.S. – northern OH, WV, PA, and NY – by fracking with toxic chemicals for natural gas, the travesty of corporate money in campaigns, the uneducated electorate which can be swayed by even the most obvious of demagogues.

    I don’t worry that much about things that could (but haven’t yet and may never) happen. I’m less moved by hyperbole than by realistic facts delivered by reputable organizations with no (discernable) agenda. I’m too pragmatic to expect improbable actions just because they would be welcome and a right thing to do. Since we’ve lived through 8 years of Bush/Cheney, I’m convinced we can make it another 2 years with Obama/Biden. Then we can look around and see where we are.

    Everything people here would like President Obama to do would likely result in giving the coming impeachment voices a larger public acceptance. I used to think the public was smarter than they were given credit for, but the McCain/Palin vote has shaken me to the bone.

    But I’ve never not voted, and at my advanced age now is definitely not the time to start.

  78. It is sad to see how some so readily sacrifice the lives of others. This brings me back to my first post, that it will be the left who will usher in the open dictatorship of the US. For it is avowed leftists who willingly let others be unjustly detained and killed in their name, for their cause. It is why I fear right wing zealots and left wing zealots alike. Once people have crossed the path into the willing harm of others for a cause, once people are willing to excuse injustice for their cause, that cause, never a worthy one, leads only to greater cruelty and violence. This is a sad thing to see.

  79. zeal·ot   /ˈzɛlət/–noun

    1. a person who shows zeal.
    2. an excessively zealous person; fanatic.

    —Synonyms
    2. extremist, crank, bigot. See fanatic.

    fa·nat·ic   /fəˈnætɪk/–noun
    1. a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.

  80. Rafflaw

    Of course there are a few that I wish I had missed!
    ——————————————————-
    Amen to that, brother! I still can’t believe I voted for Nixon the first time. I blame it on my youth.

  81. A N

    It’s not that I don’t believe it can’t happen, it can happen and in a New York minute, but having lived through the McCarthy years, I’ve seen the fear a real demagogue can instill. It’s all pervasive and filters through the entire society causing paralysis of speech and actions – it’s not the roiling, boiling political pot we now are watching.

  82. FFLEO:

    Your question, “But Doc Harris, could you (or did you) vote for Mr. Obama?” is, as I observe, both brilliant and insightful, and I am really glad that I drank that coffee enema about an hour ago, I was awake enough when I read your question to understand it.

    Ten-year-aged-cheddar-cheese is may main psychotropic medication, but, because of its high cost, I sometimes substitute generic 100% Arabaca.

    I could not and did not vote for Mr. Obama. I can never, and have never, voted for a person. I vote for the changes in human society I believe may be more useful, by voting as though, but not actually, for the person who, in the idolatry sense, best symbolically appears to present the best happenstance plausibility for the most useful change I can imagine happening.

    My vote is always, “Present and Unaccounted for.”

    Symbolically, I always vote for losers; to win is to lose and to lose is to win in a world upside down.

    Sometimes, I do a write-in vote, using an “air pen” if the ballot is to be marked with a pen.

    If there were two candidates for a particular office, and I thought one to be like a cheating scoundrel and the other to be a of honest integrity, I would imagine whether doing terrible damage would be more useful than decently solving difficult problems.

    So, “could I vote for Mr. Obama?” That is a hypothetical. Hypothetically, yes. The hypotheses presently escape me.

    Is Mr. Obama’s conduct as President different than what I expected? No. I expected Mr. Obama to do whatever he would do, and to learn anything of what he would do only after he had done it.

    Ditto: Kennedy, Johnson II, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II.

    Is is possible that you are curious as to my political party allegiance? Perhaps you can solve that problem, I have not solved it.

    I did check my collection of campaign buttons from my grade school years. Found four, “CRUSADE FOR FREEDOM” “TAFT” “DEWEY” “IKE AND NIXON.”

  83. Thanks Doc!

    However, before I can solve the problem of your political party allegiance I would first need at least a 2 gallons of your strongest coffee chased by 6 liters of Blouise’s high-test eggnog–sadly I neither imbibe alcoholic beverages nor coffee and the milk chasers I drink just do not place me in the mood for such problem solving.

    Ergo, another of Doc Harris’ mysteries shall remain forevermore unsolvable.

  84. FFLEO,

    “Could I vote for Mr. Obama?”

    That is a hypothetical.

    Hypothetically, yes.

    The hypotheses elude me.

    I wonder if you are wondering about my political party affiliation.

    So am I.

    That, too is a hypothetical, and the hypotheses also elude me.

    So, I looked for my grade-school presidential campaign buttons.

    Found four.

    “CRUSADE FOR FREEDOM” “TAFT” “DEWEY” “IKE AND NIXON”

    The first preminds (not a typo) me of Bush I, Bush II, and Iraq.

    The other three remind me of [my mind goes blank]?

    Go figure.

    Do figures lie if liars do the figures?

    I am neither a Demican nor a Republocrat; neither am I an Independent, nor any other establishmentarianisticalismist.

    Tortured into naming my political affiliation, I might confess to being an informally unaffiliated member of the yet-non-existent uniquely interdependent party. Or not.

    After I began voting, I figured that Kennedy, Johnson II, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama would do what they would do when the would do it, and I would learn of what they would do only after they had done it. Therefore, no President for whom I had a chance to vote ever did other than as I expected.

    I never vote for the candidates, that is, for the people who are candidates for public office. I vote for the conduct I expect, which is always what I expect because I predict that I will expect people to make choices I neither expect nor can predict.

    It is like, if someone asks me, when I am thirsty, “Would you like coffee or tea?” and I answer truthfully, “Yes.”

    Once, when that sequence happened, the other person understood. I got about half coffee and half tea in a cup. Delicious, it was.

    Yes, and…

  85. Hey Doc, I am one of those early to bed, early to rise kinda fellers so I will sleep on your comments and ruminate about them on the ‘morrow, starting sometime around astronomical twilight.

    Goodnight Sir.

  86. If you continue to ignore that Bush, Cheney, Obama, and Biden belong to the SAME political “party”–the Council on Foreign Relations–you will continue to be confused about why Obama is Bush III.

    These are all CFR usurpers dedicated to destroying the nation-state and committed to forming a one world government (without your permission or consent).

    This is the exact and explicit goal of the CFR (stated in print form at its founding and continuing on up to this very moment)

    This is not a joke. And it is not tin foil follies. It is also not a conspiracy because the CFR has made its goals known to the public. But mundus vult decipi.

    These people (Clinton, Bush, Biden, McCain, Clinton, Obama) believe in the stated goals of the CFR. They ARE the same political party which operates politically off another set of books.

    Once you understand this, you won’t be confused any longer and you will not wonder in what direction they are really headed while taking you and I and our offspring along with them.

    The love of power is almost uncontrollable. Lesser men and women become more addicted to it than heroin. These CFR people–addicts all–want central global government and they want themselves and their own offspring in charge of it.

    And if you dabble a bit with that and think it might be a good idea, think about this. All concentrated central power by government is a threat to liberty. All of it is murderous, oppressive, and totalitarian. This is because absolute (and I would venture to say arbitrary) power corrupts. And it corrupts absolutely. It also murders and murders well.

    It is your choice now. Will you choose to be free of central world government or will you choose to be enslaved?

    Don’t vote for CFR members,ever. All of them are usurpers. Expose their evil doings. Stand up on your own two feet and demand to be free. Free lies in decentralized power.

    President John F. Kennedy rejected the CFR’s goals.

    Courage.

  87. Chris Matthews: Why Doesn’t Obama Just Release The Birth Certificate?

    On Monday night’s edition of “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews talked about putting the birth certificate controversy surrounding President Obama to rest.

    “Why has the president himself not demanded they put out the original documents?” Matthews wonders.

    “If it exists, why not put it out?” Chris Matthews asks.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/12/27/chris_matthews_why_doesnt_obama_just_release_the_birth_certificate.html

  88. Swarthmore mom,

    I honestly don’t think so … they are all old news and the new type of voter who is loyal to the republican party gets bored very easily. I would be very worried if a “new face” suddenly appeared on the horizon.

  89. Bdaman,

    Chris Matthews isn’t the brightest bulb on the string of Christmas lights. I think the best thing to do is to ignore the idiot birthers. Why is Matthews wasting time on a “supposed” news program discussing this “non-issue” subject?

  90. SwM and anon,

    I believe we should be paying particular attention to republicans who ran for and won gubernatorial seats in 2010. There are two potential 2016 presidential candidates: John Kasich – Ohio and Thomas Corbett – PA with Kasich being the stronger possibility.

    I would carefully watch any actions and listen for any comments from Jim Baker and Tom Ridge regarding these two men.

    Republicans like to run governors for president with strong party guys as vice-president … Reagan/Bush, Bush/Cheney …. the Bush/Quayle combo was the exception but only because Bush himself was the strong party guy and they needed Quayle to “pretty” him up.

    Both of these men will do a good job as governor of their respective states to prepare the way for running in 2016 as candidates for the presidency. They will be re-elected as governors in 2014 and use that race to begin to “appear” presidential. They will then immediately hit the campaign trail for the republican nomination. The only unknown will be the choice for vice-president and you can bet the Party won’t allow another Palin on the ticket.

    You realize that all I have written above is simply my own opinion … it’s formed by studying the history of the Republican Party after Eisenhower …

  91. Blouise: Aren’t the people of Ohio mad at Kasich for turning down the 400 million for the high speed trains?

  92. FFLEO,

    I had intended to put forth a single posting, but computers are like very little children in one particular respect. They do what they are told to do, regardless of what the one who tells them what to do intended to tell them to do.

    As for one aspect of what you wrote, to wit,

    “Ergo, another of Doc Harris’ mysteries shall remain forevermore unsolvable.”

    Here comes before judge and jury, Brian; herewith comes also the unriddling of said allegedly “forevermore unsolvable” purported “mystery.”

    When I was yet not talking in words, I had heard the proverbial saying, “appearances may be deceiving” many times. An explanation of this, but stated as “appearances can be deceiving,” I just found on the idioms section of the Farlex thefreedictionary.com. There I also found an unriddling key.

    Suppose I were to say, “That dark cloud against the setting sun looks beautiful.” Were I to say such, would I not say nonsense? With what does an ordinary cloud go about the sentiently aware activity of looking?

    Appearances never deceive, and clouds never look; for want of greater interpretive experience, to be gained through more interpreting, interpretations may be based on partial knowledge and understanding, and an incomplete interpretation, if interpreted as complete, will lead a person using an incomplete interpretation along a path of experience, which if also misinterpreted, may give rise to an internal interpretation of deception, which interpretation is itself of deception. And the universe spins around its fixed point, the immovable, immutable terra firma. Or not.

    Is “terra firma” a viable synonym for “terra incognito”? Or is “terra infirma” less prone to being misinterpreted as such a synonym? Is the continuing evolution of human society not proof of terra infirma?

    So, with that gobbledygook as prelude, my political party affiliation is forthcoming.

    Words can be misinterpreted because they merely symbolize meaning(s) while themselves being perfectly meaningless absent their relationships (accumulated associations within individual persons) with other words and all available word associations, as actually available to the infima species human who is experiencing words in relationship context.

    Drat! In addition to studying biology, I studied communication theory while at university, before that interlude in my life, and since it. When, when, will I ever learn?

    Erik H. Erikson devised his “epigenetic chart” sequence of so-called psychosocial developmental crises, in which the first named crisis is trust versus mistrust and the final named crisis is integrity versus despair.

    I, as I find do others, interpret Erikson’s approach as taking as a given human conflict, a viewpoint which I find is itself grounded in mistrust which, if not adequately resolved into trust, tends to guide a person toward a life ending in despair.

    I live my life based on trust along a path upon which, at every juncture, I choose the way that I observe is most plausibly likely to take me ever closer to a life ending in integrity. I do so using the conflict-avoiding interpretive process of trust in which mistrust is a tool for enhancing the viability of being trusting and is not ever in actual internalized conflict with trust.

    Politics is a word I find names the process of devising and developing public (shared within and among groups of individual people as individual persons) policies. Two or more people in a group, and the process of politics is inescapable.

    Public policies may be grounded in competitive (conflict-based) interpretations and may also be based on collaboratively conflict-avoiding interpretations. The extensively intensive work of Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., such as found in “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” (Puddle Dancer Press, Encinitas, California, 2003) is essentially of collaboration.

    Every time I was told (almost always by someone other than my parents or brother) that I could and should have done something I had done differently than I had done it, my inner sense of self with its delusion detector system clamored for my attention with, one or another version of something subjectively like, [bold on] [caps on] [italics on] [font size ten billion points on] “impossible!” [bold off] [caps off] [italics off] [font size ten billion points off].

    Ever since I was first told that I could and/or should have done something differently than I had done it, when I hear it told that someone could and/or should have done something differently than it was done, no matter what was done, no matter the consequences of what was done, my neurological delusion detector system activates.

    Intra-personal and inter-personal conflict never fails to activate my delusion detector system. Being an incorrigible skeptic, I am always skeptical of the accuracy of my delusion detector system. Over the years, I became so skeptical (because it seemed plausibly absurd to me that any aspect of life could actually be so consistent) that I sought out people who were willing to listen, read, and study my notions, the better to discern if I was delusional about my neurological delusion detector system and its ways of detecting delusions.

    The people I sought and found became the members of my doctoral thesis committee, and I chose them from among those who indicated willingness to be committee members for the aspects of their research interests which I thought likely to give them the best practicable chance of demolishing my research work and findings.

    Alas, I failed miserably in my search for people who can refute the work after having studied it in sufficient depth and detail as to paraphrase it in ways that make meaningful sense to me.

    I cannot affiliate myself with any political party which competes with any other political party, because competition always activates my delusion detector. Of course, I find competition very valuable, but only as a delusion detection method.

    To what am I willing to profess allegiance? The original (Francis Bellamy) version works for me.

    “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    As it happens, “my flag and the republic for which it stands” are as yet only imaginary at best. And yet, there is that “springing forth eternal hope” that incessantly beckons to me.

    So, my political affiliation is to the super-set (which contains itself as a full member) of all of the public policies which are inextricably bereft of deception.

    If my only-yet-imagined political party affiliation needs to be named, I can think of a name. How about, “The La Kayim Party.”

    Yes, I freely confess to fiddling with what I observe to be destructive aspects of human society. As I am given to life, to live my life, I bow (to?) the strings of existence.

    For those who identify not with “The People of The Book,” a synonymous name may work better. “The Panentheist Process Party”?

    For those who read the writings of Paul Tillich, another synonym may be, “The Eternal Now Party.”

    The name of something is never the something named.

  93. Elaine M. wrote:

    “Chris Matthews isn’t the brightest bulb on the string of Christmas lights.”

    “Why is Matthews wasting time on a “supposed” news program discussing this “non-issue” subject?”

    ===========

    Elaine M.,

    Chris Matthews has done a lot of positive work over the years, IMHO, and has a big heart, which counts for a lot, in my book. And he may be having some health problems…

    The governor of Hawaii brought up the “birther” issue again, so Matthews did a follow-up story. He’d like it to be a non-issue and his exasperation was evident.

  94. SwM,

    No! Everybody, including myself, thought a rail line from Cleveland to Cincinnati was the lamest of lame ideas. But Strickland was going to take a lot of that money and funnel it into Education and technology related industry … but he couldn’t come right out and say that.

    Kasich is a very, very good politician.

  95. “The name of something is never the something named.” (J. Brian Harris)

    That which can not be named is clearly seen in the mind; may often be sensed by the nose; sometimes felt by the relaxed and unsuspecting hand; and literally heard within the inner ear yet try to call out its name and “poof” … everything disappears. At least, that’s been my experience.

  96. anon nurse,

    I know Matthews was in the Peace Corps at one time. That’s about all I know of his good work. He drives me crazy at times though. He constantly interrupts his guests, which I find irritating. He–like a number of others in the news media–waste valuable air time talking about trivia like the Obama birth certificate. We have a lot more pressing issues that people like Matthews should be covering in-depth on their programs. If Matthews would like the subject of the Obama birth certificate to be a “non-issue”–he should ignore the subject. He’s just calling further attention to it by having a discussion about it on his program.

  97. Chris Mathews is a racist for bringing it up. He just can’t stand the fact that a black man is president. He should be fired just like Lou Dobbs. This is racism straight up.

  98. Doc Harris,

    Thanks for clearing that up for me, you belong to “The La Kayim Party”.

    Then this is what your party platform would encompass:

  99. why aren’t people on the left calling Chris Mathews a racist in re to birth certificate?

    I wonder if he will loose his job like Lou dobbs?

    i’m eating pig and typing with my pinky

  100. J Brian,

    “To what am I willing to profess allegiance? The original (Francis Bellamy) version works for me.

    “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    As it happens, “my flag and the republic for which it stands” are as yet only imaginary at best. And yet, there is that “springing forth eternal hope” that incessantly beckons to me.

    So, my political affiliation is to the super-set (which contains itself as a full member) of all of the public policies which are inextricably bereft of deception.

    If my only-yet-imagined political party affiliation needs to be named, I can think of a name. How about, “The La Kayim Party.”

    Yes, I freely confess to fiddling with what I observe to be destructive aspects of human society. As I am given to life, to live my life, I bow (to?) the strings of existence.

    For those who identify not with “The People of The Book,” a synonymous name may work better. “The Panentheist Process Party”?

    For those who read the writings of Paul Tillich, another synonym may be, “The Eternal Now Party.”
    ———-

    We have a surprisingly similar party affiliation Doctor, as long as I didn’t have to attend any of the Panentheist meetings I would probably fit right in. The music/platform supplied/recognized by FFLEO is genius, he’s lightening quick on the uptake and a man of great humor.

    The La Kayim Party, I like it.

    I knew a fellow that read a great book (Stranger In A Strange Land), liked the alien philosophy and the group marriage concept, started himself a religion based thereon and lives his life as a well respected wizard.

    You can follow your own star.

  101. http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2010/12/22/president_obamas_christmas_gift_to_at_t_and_comcast_and_verizon

    “One of President Barack Obama’s signature campaign promises was to protect the freedom of the Internet. He said, in November 2007, “I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality, because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose.””

  102. Looks like Barry O. is on his way out. Democrats are very upset with his policies and are going to whip him with the birth certificate.

    What a bunch of chicken shits. If it turns out he wasn’t eligible to run the democratic party is going to be very low in the opinion polls and so will the mainstream press.

    Only true believers in the cause will be constituents. Obama’s election has been the best thing for this country since it’s founding.

    http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=244797#ixzz19Va6LGng

  103. FFLEO (and everyone else),

    Interpretations vary; words as symbols of meaning taken literally as though the words are what they mean, is the basis, methinks of all forms of purported -olatry. Whatever else I may be, I am not an Olatrist.

    That my reply may be well-understood, I refer whosoever reads this comment to a description of “Mazel Tov” written by Rabbi Aron Moss, as may be found by Google searching for “chabad.org” and “160965” and reading to the end of the page.

    Whence, without prejudice, in the way told by Rabbi Moss:

    Mazel Tov

  104. Dr. Harris:

    how does one communicate if words have no consistent meaning?

    Each word designates a concept. How can I call a dog a table and still be understood? Unless I engage in some long drawn out redefinition of dog and table.

    It would be a nightmare.

  105. FFL,

    I respect you and that prompts me to speak up against my own wish.

    I am a registered Independent.

    I did not vote for Obama, but believed him to be a shoe-in (old white-boy McCain couldn’t feel the American heartbeat if it were to give him a heart attack) and was happy when he was elected.

    I do not know who I will vote for next, or whether I will vote at all.

    I voted for Bush twice, a lingering symptom of my upbringing which did not disappear until after the fact. I rue the day I voted a 2nd time for Bush. It is a difficult confession to make.

  106. I did not make clear that I did not vote at all in the last Presidential election. That felt prudent to me at the time and I don’t regret it.

  107. Nate,

    I appreciate your kind comments. Your admission that you voted twice for Mr. Bush is not that bad or incomprehensible to me, although it will most certainly be to some others here. All of my kinfolk are Republicans, as I am, and they all voted twice for Mr. Bush and most of them also voted for McCain/Palin. They admire Ms. Palin and I simply do not understand that support for her, except part of it is because Palin is—or professes to be—a devout Christian.

    My family still cannot understand after being a devout Southern Baptist during my formative years how I could shun God, espouse atheism, and yet remain as perhaps the most moral person they know. During family reunions, to maintain the peace, we simply agree that we will not discuss Ms. Palin, given our diametrically opposed views regarding her intelligence or complete lack thereof. We also agree not to become embroiled in deep religious discussions, although when I am in their homes I respect their beliefs and customs while they do not impose religious customs, such as saying grace, on me.

    In sum, most of the people I have known all my life voted for Bush and ‘believe’ that he is a good Christian, while admitting that he was a “disappointment”. Therefore, do not be too hard on yourself. Breaking with religious and/or political tradition is extremely difficult to accomplish and there is little doubt that some lingering resentments occur. Thank you for your candor.

    Perhaps you and I can gain some insight from this blawg and other sources to learn of a decent, honest, and educated politician for whom we can vote; one who will preserve our civil liberties and shore up this great—although declining—experiment we call a Republic/Representative Democracy.

  108. FFL,

    I might be wrong here, but it is possible that what you described is the root of our societal failings. What I mean is that the people you described, the ones we’re a product of, are the overwhelming majority.

    Obviously not on this blog but in the real world. It is -their- views and wishes that both influence and create the realpolitik. While they might acknowledge the “disappointment [of Bush]”, they aren’t good with self-analysis and the required humbleness to acknowledge how disastrous their intentions turned out. The result is simply not to go there – just let it go and not talk about it.

    I’ve cut them out of my life – and my faith remained intact. It was either them or my faith.

    Fucking hypocrites.

  109. Nate,

    As long as people unabashedly ‘believe’ in an anthropomorphic Man-God-Creator who has final discretionary powers over all of our lives, then what you see in the US and elsewhere will be the outcome. The overwhelming number of Americans—yes the majority—‘believe’ that the USA is a Christian Nation and their belief in the “our father in heaven” faith is stronger than their ‘belief’ in science—even those Christians who are accomplished scientists. This is the most irrational ‘nut to crack’—a veritable unsolvable conundrum.

  110. Herman the Hermit, and everyone else:
    RE: your comment of December 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    In all seriousness, your question, “how does one communicate if words have no consistent meaning?” ran my “profound question” detector past what I had previously thought to be its maximum limit.

    Methinks we live in said nightmare, most of us acclimated to it for want of experiencing anything else.

    Please, let me paraphrase your question, the better to learn whether I actually understood it adequately.

    My version, using my agglomeration of available words, might be: “How does anyone communicate accurately using words that have (whimsically?) inconsistent meanings?”

    My response, “We don’t, because we can’t; hence human conflict.”

    Every question so serious that it is impossible to answer it seriously demands humor. Forgive me. I make fun of no person.

    Ir only hurts when I laugh; because, if I stop laughing with love for the human comedy, I am already dead.

    I am doggedly working to respond decently, by putting on the table everything I can find to share.

    From the writing of Loyola Law School Professor Emeritus, Robert Benson, in “The Interpretation Game: How Judges and Lawyers Make the Law” (Carolina Academic Press, Durham,NC, 2008), excerpts from Chapter 2, “The Modern Story,” pages 31-32 (for passing muster with WordPress, note the nested single and double quotes, which are not exactly so in the original printing):

    ” Keeping the source of law ambiguous and the language specialized, the priestly interpreters maintained there position throughout history even as faith in the divine origin of law faded. Another scholar notes:
    ‘ Secularization of the law has consisted not only in doing away with the “incomprehensible nature of authority” but in censoring any mention of this. When formerly it was divine in its origins authority “resounded,’ and its voice was heard like Biblical thunder, unassailable, irrefutable, and unintelligible. Today, in its secularized form, authority still derives its effectiveness from being incomprehensible, with the centralized state installed on the Papal throne.” (From Benson’s Notes, page 168, “The quotation about secularization of the law is from A. Glucksmann [italics on]The Master Thinkers[italics off] (1980) quoted in [italics on]Reading the Law[italics off] at 5.”)
    The interpreters simply became secular priests, their power continuing to reside in the claims that the commands of the law emanated not from them but from authoritative sources which happened to communicate in a language only they could understand.”

    And, from Benson, op.cit., page 33:

    “There can be no rule that plain meaning must be followed, because words have no plain meanings.”

    As for dog and table, I can imagine making a machining lathe dog in the shape of a table of size suitable for a doll house. A lathe dog is useful when turning between centers.

    Consider the contrasting meaning of “turning between centers”:

    As the small forward, turning between centers, I passed the ball to the power forward, who scored the winning basket.

    Or, “scored”:

    To minimize stress from temperature changes, I scored the replacement storm window glass to have a eighth of an inch clearance. I bought the glass at a clearance sale.

    Communication Theory (something I studied before college, at university, and since, accords to any given communication symbol any amount of meaning and to any amount of meaning any number of communication symbols. Claude Shannon, at Bell Labs was one of the communication theory pioneers.

    B. P. Lathi’s 1968 book, “Communication Systems” can often be found, used, for not all that much money. The 2009 version, “Modern Digital and Analog Communication Systems” seems to go for over a hundred dollars. There exists a well-founded science upon which I base my comments about words and their meanings.

    One of the Amazon reviews of the 2009 book comments about the difficulty of this engineering field. I am working on putting together a collection of words for a web site name for which I am paying, there is nothing of consequence there yet, I have not yet found words that I deem adequately well chosen.

    The name will be veritalogue.org as a non-financially-connected way of sharing what I can put there about a way of having and using intrapersonal and interpersonal communication which is inextricably error-recognizing and error-correcting.

    Veritalogue is an error-finding-and-fixing enhancement of the human communication system of “dialogue.”

    “Dialogue,” as I am using the word, is usefully explained in two books which are apparently in print:

    David Bohm, “On Dialogue” (Routledge Classics, 2nd Edition,l 2004)

    From the work of the Dialogue Project at MIT, William Isaacs, “Dialogue – The Art of Thinking Together” (Crown Business, 1999)

    While the method of dialogue as described in those books will tend to ferret out differences in understanding among people, it is rather oblivious to mutually shared errors of understanding.

    My intent in the design of veritalogue is identifying and correcting errors of understanding not shared among those communicating with one another and especially identifying and correcting errors of understanding which tend to be concealed by traditional consensus-based thinking.

    I have inquired of Arthur Schwartz, the General Manager and General Counsel of the National Society of Professional Engineers (of which society I am a member) regarding legal-engineering-ethics aspects of my work and heard a variation of “without objection” as his reply. I have also asked NSPE if they have any evidence of any other Registered Professional Engineer who has, or is, undertaking the form of engineering I have taken on, and have searched the Internet, inquired of other engineers, and done everything else I have thought of in searching for a peer research colleague. Haven’t yet found anyone.

    Hence, whether what I do is eventually shown to be useful or useless, or worse than either of those, consensus ain’t my con.

    Veritalogue is dialogue enhanced through successive-approximation paraphrasing of what one understood was meant.

    When my wife and I were being clobbered by the adversarial system after our son and daughter-in-law were killed when their car exploded (in goodly measure because of faulty spot welds), we did attempt to work with a few trusted attorneys. One of them began to complain to me, and to my wife, that I was not listening to him. As he said this more and more, finally, I asked to meet with him in person.

    I drove from Door County to Oak Park, Illinois, where we met. I asked him if I understood correctly that he believed that I was not listening to him. He answered affirmatively. To which I said, “We can test that.”

    I said to him, “I can tell you six ways what you have been telling me.”

    I told him the first way.
    I told him the second way.
    I told him the third way.
    I asked him, “Is it clear to you from those three ways that I have been listening to you, or do you need the other three?”

    He said it was clear to him that I had been listening.

    I said, “Now, I am going to guess that you cannot tell me in even one way what I have been saying to you.”

    He said, “You’re right.”

    I said, “Then who hasn’t been listening to whom?”

    He said, “Most people can’t handle what you just did.”

    I said, “We have a philosophical difference. If you do not know what my actual needs are, how can you act be of any actual help to me?”

    With the method of veritalogue, I could have given sixty ways, six seemed likely to be enough, and three sufficed

    For want of any means of paying attorneys for their services, we became pro-se in the court system, knowing full well that we (my wife and I) were utter fools for so doing. Nonetheless, by the people who believed in the adversarial system acting in such ways as to become our adversary’s overt agents, the adversarial system itself constrained us to that dreadful “utter fools” condition.

    An ordinary lathe dog has but one leg; such a dog with four legs would work if made, but I have already tabled the notion of proving I can machine one. Other than as a puny joke, best forgotten.

    Meanwhile, from “The Oxford Book of Legal Anecdotes,” the 1987 reprinting, page 15, with WordPress-tolerable formatting changes:

    Armstrong (fl. 1875) Serjeant-at-Law
    Serjeant Armstrong (cross-examining a so-called handwriting expert): ‘And what about the dog?’
    Witness: ‘I do not understand.’
    Armstrong (slowly and deliberately): ‘What-about-the-dog?’
    Witness: ‘My Lord, I do not understand what the Serjeant means.’
    Armstrong (taking not the least notice of either witness or Judge, but repeating the question yet more slowly and deliberately): ‘What—about—the—dog?’
    Witness (losing all patience and bursting out angrily): ‘WHAT DOG?’
    The Serjeant: ‘The dog that Chief Baron Pigott said he would not hang on your evidence.’

    You were correct. My goodness, what a long, drawn out babble just happened.

    If it takes a long, drawn-out redefinition of what it is to be a person who is free of child-hurtful deception, and if that takes a long, drawn-out redefinition of every word ever used, I favor getting going as soon and as safely as is feasible.

  111. I suppose the reality of the matter is that we have ample opportunity to do our best, and see where that journey takes us.

    I’m hoping for breath taking :)

  112. As long as we can take breaths, then many *natural* down-to-earth actions are possible and open to us all to do what is best for us all.

  113. FFL,

    I’ve enjoyed talking to you.

    I wonder to myself if it’s possible to die of happiness – happiness so overwhelming it takes your breath away [and you die].

    The scientist in me is hard at play searching for the answer…

  114. Same here, Nate. If you find out any answers, please inform us; however, you might require a spokesperson regarding the happiness-causing-death scenario—otherwise, all of my theories are moot…

Comments are closed.