17 thoughts on “<i>KCStar</i>alanche?”

  1. Cool

    There is something strangely satisfying about getting quoted in hardcopy. I suppose it has to do with the raw effort it takes to print ones ideas out on tens of thousands of pieces of paper.

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  2. I am a KC Star reader and I think your comments are just another way to accuse people of being “unpatriotic” if they disagree with you.

  3. karennkg,

    …I think your comments are just another way to accuse people of being “unpatriotic” if they disagree with you.

    And I think that your comments are just another way of being able to say the most extreme and vile things without accepting any responsibility for doing so.

    You may be comfortable with having the most extremist views being embraced by the Democratic party but don’t come crying to me when the moderates that you need to win elections won’t trust you with defending American and our principles.

    Whine all you want. Most voters won’t be fooled.

  4. For God’s sake, we have people who say they aren’t willing to clap for what America is but for what it could be – if they could just get their grimy hands on it. We have people who describe America as tbe greatest terrorist nation. We have people who, essentially, say, America sucks. And when Shannon says that some of us are irritated by that, that we feel that such comments come with a lack of proportionality in understanding American history, world history, the nature of man, what do we get in return?

    Shannon never used the word patriot; he merely said that those who have some pride in our history and our government are not likely to vote for people who do not like it. That seems to me to make sense. We were taking bids on renovating our house; the guy who kept remarking on the “old” & unsatisfactory way of doing things with a sniff of superiority was not the person we chose. He had no respect for the house as it is. We hired the guy who saw the flaws but loves older houses, loves renovating rather than building new.

    This response is tiresome: the people who talk about patriotism are the Pelosis and Kerrys. When no one has said anything about “patriotism”, it is they who shout it. I’m tired of it. (This tactic, a red herring, implies arguing within the bounds of the argument itself is difficult for an opponent.)

  5. Albert Einstein said that nationalism is an infantile disease. It’s hard to argue with that in light of “freedom fries,” the Dixie Chicks CD-burning spectacle, and some of these blogs that I suspect are written by spoiled little brats who have not much real life experience.

    Now, three years into the Iraq catastrophe, Shannon Love at chicagoboys.net (Blog Bits – The KC Star – 3-19-06) says that she is forced to ask – if Democrats have such a dark view of both historical and contemporary America – why aren’t they anti-America? The perspectives of other peoples throughout history being entirely lost on Shannon – beginning with the near-successful genocide of the Native Americans, the “acquisition” or the attempt to gain territories in the Spanish-American war, the War of 1812, American Samoa, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, slavery, the meddling by the government and CIA in all parts of Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East, including the Iran-Contra Affair, and now the pre-emptive attack on Iraq – it is hard to imagine that she would have any qualms about the use of pre-emptive force in any situation and with any kind of crappy intelligence if she were just scared enough. In fact, when you read these quite-often-asinine blogs you really get the idea that these people have no awareness or consciousness of the hell that is Iraq today – for the Iraqi people and for our troops.

    A better question for Shannon to ask would be why did the U.S. “support” Saddam Hussein for so many years? And why is the U.S. supporting China with our huge trade deficits – China, is also financing a large portion of our nation debt (which the Republicans just raised to $9 trillion), and is, reportedly, a “growing threat” – both economically and militarily – reports are that they have been drastically beefing up their forces. It is the pro-business Republicans who are “addicted” to cheap Chinese goods so as to reap huge profits regardless of whether America can possibly compete and maintain our high standard of living. And it is the pro-business Republicans who are “addicted” to cheap labor, but they are the ones always squawking about immigration and border control. Now, the usual talking heads are gnashing their teeth about North Korea and Iran, casting blame all around except here at home – knowing our military is stretched to the limit and will be for some time, these “rogue” countries are taking full advantage. And, of course, the administration denies that this situation had anything to do with the Katrina debacle, too, but some Louisiana National Guard Troops were not even allowed to come home when their homes were washed away and their families displaced (Note to Kathleen Parker: You can thank Paul Wolfowitz for that, too).

    That is my perception of Shannon’s “national security” or “strong on defense” party. Maybe if the government wasn’t always meddling and bungling everything we wouldn’t need to incite the populace’s “patriotic” fervor so often. Of course, all of this is just academic now, I’m sure Shannon and her little Republican friends will be thrilled to finally have the chance to prove their mettle on the battleground if all of this turns out to be WWIII for real. I’m not quite sure what has been holding them back for so long.


  6. Questions for Karennkg:

    -Do you think the USA has enemies?

    -If your answer is yes, who do you think those enemies are and what, if anything, should the USA (no matter who is in charge) do about them?

    -If your answer is no, or if you think it’s the wrong question, can you point out any actual societies that have qualities you prefer on balance to those of modern American society and that have survived for a significant length of time?

  7. Omigod! The U. S. has acted like other nations in history that have been strong enough to have had the chance to act! I can’t believe that the country hasn’t been better!

    Karenktg would like a neater, less messy world. Scratch any strong society’s history and she’ll find as much and worse than the U. S. (and the Angloshpere’s, in general) actions. (Actually the difference between overall U. S. vs the average strong nation’s historical actions – the term “more generous” comes to mind – may have much to do with U. S. ascendancy). She means well but, with respect, needs a more realistic perspective.

  8. Karenkg seems to associate Republicans with all the evils (at least as seen from her perspetive) of Ameria. Her entire comment implies that a) America is incapable of doing anything “right,” and b) that America equals Republican. This, of course, proves Shannon’s point about the political. Jonathan’s comment also puts the discussion into a broader focus – one that, despite the “infantile” remark, Karenkg seemsto lack.

    karenki’s comments, unfortunately, seem designed to make Shannon’s point. And this is unfortunate, because the writers on this blog could use some thoughtful comments from those whose vision of the world is different than ours. but usefulness depends upon some sense of reality. And that reality needs to have some sense of historical proportions.

  9. Karenkg,

    you should have taken thirty seconds to read this thread before you wrote your response. Just FYI, Shannon is male (reread the comment above yours.)

    By the way, your response pretty solidly proves his point: you seem incapable of saying anything positive about America, and you quite clearly don’t vote Republican. Whatever party you support, I’m going to support a different one, because I don’t trust a party that panders to you to protect this country in any way, shape, or form.

  10. karennkg, it would have been better to have quoted somebody other than Einstein, who, to put it charitably, was politically naive.

  11. On March 22, Johnathon said:
    can you point out any actual societies that have qualities you prefer on balance to those of modern American society and that have survived for a significant length of time?

    The United Kingdom. Better labor laws (four weeks vacation every year), national health care, and even the staunchest right-wing politician doesn’t question same-sex marriage or a woman’s right to choose. That’s why I’m moving back.

    For the record, no one has thus far answered karennkg about why the Reagan and Bush Sr’s administrations support of Saddam. Why is that?

    And you want a better quote?
    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
    Samuel Johnson

  12. Great, you prefer the UK because you like some of its welfare-state programs and because UK politicians are on the whole left of USA politicians. So we know what matters most to you. You can easily find large areas of the USA where most voters and pols agree with you, and you could even move to such a place, but perhaps you don’t appreciate federalism — or perhaps you just don’t like living in the USA. OK, fine. The UK is a decent alternative. Indeed, in the scheme of things, as compared to the rest of the world, England has so much in common with the USA that if the UK is your best alternative to the USA then the USA is a very close second place, which I think supports my point.

    For the record, no one has thus far answered karennkg about why the Reagan and Bush Sr’s administrations support of Saddam. Why is that?

    Because it’s a naive question that’s been answered many times elsewhere. The USA provided a minor amount of support to Iraq in the context of the Iran-Iraq war. Since you’re into quotes you might look up what Henry Kissinger said about it: “It’s a pity that both sides can’t lose.” That’s a good summary of the official US view. American support for Iraq was a preference for the bad over the worse. Perhaps you will explain why that doesn’t make sense to you. Do you think we should have supported Iran instead?

    The main problem with your rather pinched view of the relative merits of the USA and UK is that it ignores the fact that since the second world war the USA has shouldered an increasing proportion of the burden of defending the free world, and today carries most of that burden, while remaining a mainly free society with the world’s largest and most productive economy. But I suppose we are to discount of all that because the USA has no NHS. I might add that your vision of the relative merits of the UK is an insult to English civilization.

  13. One of the nicest things about modern institutions and modern technology is that C. Williams can move back easily. I think we can all be pleased about that. And the 4-week vacation & national health care are important to him. So, he can make his choices.

    Of course, these do not rank so high with some of us; so he, too, needs to recognize that we are not stupid in our choices. For one thing, I prefer living in the country which is (predominantly) making the discoveries that make all health care systems in the world more effective. And I like a system that let’s people choose the way they want to balance work and play in more individual ways. I think Italian cooking is great, but this hasn’t made me change citizenship. We all rank such national characteristics in different orders.

    Reagan’s & Bush’s support of Saddam? This is the kind of thing Chomsky does: take a country, look at America’s relation to it, ignore any other country’s relation to it, ignore the context, and pronounce America as either supporting or destroying it on its own. (A good example of such thinking is looking at the armaments sold Iraq, for instance.) It works in some arguments. It is not so likely to be considered seriously here.

  14. Sorry, writing, then posting without checking, while Jonathan – who makes the arguments better than I – did. We may seem to be piling on, but aren’t trying to be bullies, just trying to be right.

  15. During the Iran/Iraq war, the CIA helped the Iraqi army by giving them information on where the Iranian army was. They did this even after they knew that The Iraqi army had used and would use chemical weapons. Reagan took Iraq off the list of countries that sponser terrorism which allowed them to receive dual use technology and huge loans. How is that out of context? And for awhile we did support Iran. Until they got rid of their shah.

    I never said anything about people being stupid. I just pointed out that America isn’t the best or the only place to live. Now to change your country just because you like their cuisine, that is stupid.

    And to Johnathon, I would actually say that Canada would be closer to second place. Maybe Australia, Denmark, Spain, Ireland or other EU countries where there is more of an emphasis on human rights could be there as well. And maybe the reason why the US “has shouldered an increasing proportion of the burden of defending the free world” is because we spend a lot of the time meddling with the rest of the world. How many times since WW2 has the US entered into a conflict alone to defend the rest of the world?

    As for “its welfare-state programs”, would you rather give welfare to people or corporations?

    And how is my “vision of the relative merits of the UK is an insult to English civilization.”? Is it because of my “rather pinched view”?

  16. And it doesn’t have anything to do with modern technology, my wife is a British citizen, so it’s easy for me.

    I will never say that I am right. Maybe instead of “trying to be right” you should look a little more closely at the world around you.

  17. C Williams, The mention of technology was actually a reference to an earlier post and done because I had (clearly wrongly) assumed you were returning to a British life rather than choosing it from among others. I see that it appears out of place to someone not reading through our blog.

    I am interested in your argument and would truly like to be informed. You argue that these other countries (generally EU but with Australia) have more of an emphasis on “human rights.” I’m interested in which ones you prefer and find lacking in America. (I assume capital punishment will be one, but I would like to be informed about others as well.)

    Meddling is an interesting word to use; certainly, Mearsheimer’s earlier essay would argue that the peace which reigned in Europe between 1945-1990 was dependent upon just such meddling. He is certainly not alone in that observation. The difference between South Korea & North Korea is also the effect of just such meddling.

    It is true that the great British empire didn’t meddle during those years, but instead retracted. How do you look upon that empire and that retraction? Does that empire have something to do with the fact that 4 of the 6 countries you prefer to America were part of that empire?

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