Raising the “White Towel” of Surrender


Torture is defined as “the infliction of intense pain from burning, crushing or wounding.” In what appears to be a political effort to criminalize Bush era policy the Obama Administration has sanctioned the declassification and release of top secret memos. The communiqués outline, in detail, enhanced interrogation techniques used on Abu Zubaydah “…high ranking member of al Qaeda” and terrorist operations chief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  The controversy is based on the premise that enhanced interrogation is tantamount to torture and futile in obtaining vital information. The new administration contends that Bush coercion policy caused enemy combatants undue anguish and only served to morally diminish our ethical standing in a world.

Reflecting on the events of September 11th, 2001 reminds us that the victims who died or were injured at the hands of fanatical jihad warriors were the ones who were tortured, not the perpetrators. After the attack, captured al Qaeda leaders, Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, continued to arrogantly, “…celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center” and sneer, along with Osama Bin Laden, at the grisly types of death and injury thousands suffered at the hands of the Mujahedin brotherhood.

Official documents show that while incarcerated both Zubaydah and Sheikh Mohammed lived comfortably and were always treated respectfully and humanely by their American captors. The kindness extended them did nothing to change their level of dedication to slaughter. Calm and unrepentant Zubaydah steadfastly remained, “…devoted to jihad…expressing unabated desire to kill Americans and Jews.”

The statistical data from 9-11 exposes how far both men went in dedication to furthering their cause.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah actively assisted in plotting the death of 2,819 innocent people, of whom only 289 maimed bodies were found intact, rejoicing together that 19,858 body parts were strewn throughout 1,506,124 pounds of debris.  American jihad resulted in the dead suffering the disrespect of having their “…body parts…torsos and chunks of flesh” strewn in the streets together with “…airplane landing gear and car fires.

Throughout the Bush years, policy attempted to prevent a similar devastating hit and took whatever measures necessary to protect the American people from having to suffer a catastrophe of such magnitude again.  Enhanced interrogation was one of tools in the security cache that mined information from high value prisoners who were known to have key information that could save American lives.

The Bush Administration, in conjunction with CIA officials, believed that both Zubaydah and Sheikh Mohammed, “…had additional information they refused to divulge…regarding terrorist networks in the United States.”  In an effort to ascertain critical intelligence the CIA decided “increased pressure” would successfully weaken the high value detainee’s “strong resolve” and provide the government with crucial information.  It wasn’t until being subjected to enhanced interrogation that Abu Zubaydah gave up key details, which led to high profile terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s eventual capture.

Like his cohort, Sheikh Mohammed refused to respond to inquiries about impending plots and sadistically warned his inquisitors that “Soon, they will know.”  Without enhancement interrogation methods the CIA would have been ineffective in convincing the obstinate Jihadist to confess to managing “a cell for the production of biological weapons, such as anthrax.” Mohammed’s stress induced collaboration disrupted the Padilla plan to detonate a “dirty bomb” on American soil and prevented a “second wave” plot to crash a hijacked airliner into Los Angeles.  Thanks to the forced cooperation of both Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, American lives were saved.

The types of enhanced interrogation declassified in the controversial memos include walling.  Walling pulls the detainee forward and then pushes them back so their shoulders bounce off a false, flexible wall creating a loud intimidating sound.  Unlike the explosion that shook the world when planes shattered through the World Trade Towers, walling is risk-free.

Through release of the memos mea culpas were offered for the use of confinement.  Cramped confinement subjects the suspect to a dark, restricted space with the suggestion of a buzzing insect that is really a harmless caterpillar.  Upon release, the captive is promptly attended to by a physician; a luxury those prematurely confined to their final resting place on 9-11 did not have the benefit of.

In comparison, terrorist detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s interrogation sessions were quite unlike the type of imprisonment Port Authority officers experienced when trapped thirty-feet beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center for twenty-two hours.  They were choked by dust and smoke and fire-balls tumbled into the hole that held their crushed bodies. Miraculously rescued from the fiery pile, one officer spent six-weeks in a medically induced coma, endured thirty surgeries and suffered extensive skin grafting to save his limbs.

Terrorists committed to Islam’s domination furthered their goal, on September 11th, by successfully torturing innocent victims who were dying of smoke inhalation, immolated or crushed under tons of cement. These sufferers endured so much pain that “…the skin on their bodies burnt off.”  If given the choice of being forcibly questioned or being singed to the bone by a huge meteor-like fireball flashing out from a freight elevator shaft, 9-11 victims would prefer enhanced interrogation over terror, for sure.

Any suggestion that induced muscle fatigue is either immoral or inhumane renders America impotent as compared to an enemy who casually decapitates innocent people in an attempt to portray potency and commitment to higher ideals. The President’s policy suggests that even if benign forms of intimidation have proven effective in preventing nuclear or biological weapons from being detonated in American cities, its use still remains criminal.

The most divisive of all techniques white towel, water boarding or simulated drowning, was used by our CIA because it worked, “…after just 35 seconds under water” Zubaydah submitted information, which aided our nation in the world-wide war on terror and subverted plots here in the United States.  The divisive memos stated that exposure to enhanced questioning worked to convince high value detainees to cooperate. “KSM and Zubaydah were pivotal sources because of their ability and willingness to provide … analysis and speculation about the capabilities, methodologies and mindsets of terrorists,” very possibly their aid was the primary reason Americans have not been attacked since September 11th.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Zubaydah reveled in Americans suffering.  They praised Allah when desperate people chose to leap hundreds of floors to their deaths.  The decision to declare war on Bush’s policies, and to publicly condemn effective coercion techniques, suggests to the world that al Qaeda warriors’ comfort levels take precedence over protecting American lives.

The President appears to be desperate for an opportunity to appease a befuddled sense of right and wrong. Rather than quelling the storm he is planning to extend the torture debate by releasing additional photos of non-sanctioned prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Obama’s torture policy makes him complicit in reaffirming antipathy toward America and jeopardizes eight years of successful national security.

Copyright 2009 Jeannieology. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

130 responses

  1. “Official documents show that while incarcerated both Zubaydah and Sheikh Mohammed lived comfortably and were always treated respectfully and humanely by their American captors.”

    Would you believe “official documents” from another country were the situation reversed and it was our people in detainment/concentration camps? I’m sure…you know, the documents are “official”, so they must be true. Oh wait, Americans are completely honest ALL the time.

    “water boarding or simulated drowning, was used by our CIA because it worked, “…after just 35 seconds under water” Zubaydah submitted information, which aided our nation in the world-wide war on terror and subverted plots here in the United States.”

    I note you left out the fact that for one of these guys, it was done more than 180 times. The other guy, not as many, but the point is clear. Thirty-five seconds…on the 183rd time…is not something to brag about – but of course the Drudge Report is oh-so-well known for its objectivity in reporting.

    Look, nobody’s questioning that terrorists MUST be captured and information obtained. No American with any sense of decency and love of country can look upon what happened on 9/11 without a deep anger toward perpetrators who inflicted such horrific harm to us. That, however, does NOT excuse activities that, whether you think they’re not a big deal…or not torture…are ILLEGAL.

    We, as a nation, were one of the countries who headed up the Geneva Convention, and within the laws that WE helped to create and design, there are very specific guidelines that we are to follow. Further, military regulations have EXTREMELY specific measures that are listed in SOPs for interrogation techniques.

    To suggest that, through nefarious means, the Bush Administration casually “stepped outside” of those laws is not only naive, but it’s also disastrously incorrect. GW Bush and his administration went above the law because they held nothing but contempt for the law. And they used “lawyers” to do so. The bottom line is that each and every member of the administration who took part in this CRIMINAL act should be held before international tribunal for crimes against humanity AND should be held accountable for violating international laws. Period.

    This isn’t “tit-for-tat” – I want to see the terrorist cells eliminated too – but NOTHING the Bush Administration did truly made the US safer than before 9/11. And jumping on some bandwagon to lampoon Obama isn’t going to help matters either. Without support from the international community, matters ONLY get worse for us as a nation. Whether or not we “should” be members of the UN is irrelevant. The fact is, we ARE, like it or not. And as such, we need to adhere to UN counsel instead of playing cowboy cops around the world. To that end, so far as your ranting here about the harmlessness of interrogation techniques and torture – well, my suggestion to you would be to volunteer to have some of those methods implemented on YOU and afterward, tell us if they’re no big deal, or if there might just be a reason that they were deemed ILLEGAL.

    We are NOT above thelaw.

  2. Obama could carless about the war on terror because he, truly hates the CIA and the military. Obama feels that the terrorist are a victim of United States Opression. another great article Jeannie. I am going to wave my white towel in the air and wave it like you just don’t care. HEY! Jeannie these words are from a Hip-Hop Song from the 1980’s. Barry and Michelle are dancing to the song in the white house. Jeannie you wish you had a pair of $500 shoes.

  3. Although I do think that the measures we use against “the enemy” should be classified. I also believe that the CIA should not be prosecuted. I think Obama is just the puppet…. It’s the puppeteers that want us to think he’s for “we the People”. As yoiu well know {job well don by the way!} Torture Torture!! This is not the first time nor will it be the last that use of “torture tactics” will be preformed. It has happenewd many times in the past. But we have a Pres. who needs loud, scary, terror inflicting propaganda to keep us busy focusing on.. “terror, Swine Flu, crumbling economy, etc.” rather than what he is really doing… Which is leading us straight Socialist-Fascism while we go skipping along thinking “what a great 100 days its been. N.W.O.~~N.W.H.~~Verichipping headed up by the Bilderberg Group”.
    YOU’RE DOING A GREAT JOB. Please keep me posted! God bless and keep fighting the good fight…..
    Let’s research “Nutricide” and “Codex Alimentarius” {I watched a conference & the speaker was Ian Crane} and the FDA granting approval for “cloned” meat to be sent in the US for consumption… absolutely no labling allowed…etc. Lets here some of that now folks!!

  4. We are in a new era… And the comment how to handle a school yard bully is to carry a bigger bat around!! {Love that!} Silence is acceptance people! We the people better pay attention… Google “The Alex Jones Show”… google Ian Crane on “Codex Alimentarius”… “Nutricide” … google Illuminati Conspiracy… The Insurrection Act… Egalitarianism..
    Get back to me after that. What if…. has become WHEN!! God bless to you all. We the people let’s stand united….

  5. Muslims use our so called ‘torture’ methods on their first dates. Lord forbid we should grab them by the collar and get in their faces. Oh my! so harsh. These islamofacists are laughing all the way to the local jihad store to load their children up with bombs.
    In WWII, when we caught Germans in our uniforms we didn’t have war trials or tribunals…..we lined them up agains the wall and shot them dead. No questions. All within the Geneva Convention. Perhaps we should put FDR on trial. Actually, I do like the sound of that but, not for war crimes but for starting us down this path of globalized socialism!!

    Out tactics of the last 8 years are amaturish at best now, thanks to MaoBama we cannot do anything harsher than making them listen to MaoBama’s speaches.

  6. You’ve been welcome to speak your piece but when someone says God Bless you and then you tell them that you’re offended I think that maybe you are in the wrong place because I don’t want you to be offended…I know that bothers you offending people and things…

    So if you peruse my blog — you will see all voices are welcome not just ones that agree with me though most who visit here do…so you’re welcome to continue to opine anytime

  7. Well I interpreted Rene as being a man…so we’re even and I could have told you from your first posting that you were raised in an evangelical home…hows that for perception?

    Every comment you’ve made so far is sympathetic toward the enemy and hard on America…your ideology is just as strong and one way as you accuse others of having — and reactionary too.

    Everyone is welcome here…those who are offended and those who are not. To accuse someone of being insensitive to gender and religion issues belies your claim of not being oversensitive.

    My post had no assumptions…I work very hard to document what I say with hard evidence which I did throughout the post and I do throughout my blog.

    I would you suggest you read the 5 memos…thoroughly before you put an opinion out there about techniques and whether they worked or not.

    After reading them its hard to argue with my points…

  8. For Obama to eliminate waterboarding and other “enhanced techniques” for obtaining information from our sworn enemies and then release to our enemies the Top Secret Interrogation memos and photos of alleged abuse can only weaken our country inviting further attacks. For Obama to release these Top Secret memos and photos to our enemies is nothing short of treason! If Mr. Holder wants to prosecute someone, he should first consider prosecuting Mr. Obama for Treason under 18 USC Sec. 2381 for aiding and giving comfort to our enemies.
    Jeannie, excellent article!

  9. General question: Why is every liberal a godless person who worships anything else but God? They worship themselves, the planet, the President, their own benevolence, intellectual knowledge, pet rocks, terrorists, other religions…btw Rene…there is only one God and one day you’ll stand before Him and so will the Muslims…and what a surprise that will be…in fact I’m going to pray, in spite of how offensive that is to you, that when we stand before the judgment seat of God I’m in the general vicinity with you and maybe even da … so I can make eye contact with you and see the look on both of your faces…Good thing God is love and His blood covers such nonsense.

    God bless you both … and don’t blow up from that one!

  10. First of all, I challenge you to find “religious zealotry” anywhere on this blog…you’ll be doing a lot of research for that one.

    No one brow beat you with a Bible and if somebody did that is unfortunate. I’m sorry you had an experience like that. Its even sadder that your experience did so much damage to you…that really is too bad and sad. There are a lot of representatives out there doing God’s business that should find another job.

    But I would guess that there is a lifestyle choice or direction you want to take in your life that you feel judged by the Word of God and that is what has made you bitter — but that is what usually happens — God bless your mother as she continues to pray for you.

    I don’t understand why you can’t see why we dolts believe in God…brilliance wouldn’t be that simple or close minded.

    I doubt you’re more conservative than me…I have more perceptions but I’ll pass on sharing them.

    Calling me a religious zealot shows me that you do a lot of accusing of other people for things you seem to do yourself…just my perception.

  11. Jeannie, you’ll never get anywhere arguing with people like Da. In their mind their wisdom is beyond reproach!

  12. When you can prove to me there is no God…I’ll listen to your argument…which you cannot…so maybe its your brains that fell out not mine.

    In addition, I’m sincerely sorry your mother is sick that is very, very sad and unfortunate…but to blame it on her beliefs is ridiculous. Some people who suffer from mental illness do have religious hallucinations etc…but to blame God or faith for her sickness is not intelligent on your part at all.

    No one told you how to make your cake make it anyway you want … you came to my blog…I didn’t come to yours.

    Like I said before and we can end this discussion I’m sorry your exposure to God has been so negative that you have had this type of reaction and bitter response…it is not an uncommon thing — it has nothing to do with God and everything to do with flesh…men who distort things…so good luck to you and I hope you find peace in your life.

  13. This is specifically in response to Theresa:

    Oh my. You are quite presumptuous, Theresa. Let’s go line by line here.

    First: “da” are my initials. But allow me to introduce myself by first name. My name is Denise. I am not a “sir.”

    Second: You met the Christ personally? That’s quite impressive. What color is his skin? What color are his eyes? And “thousands” out of a planet of over six *billion* is still quite a small fraction of a percentage. Our country has the largest population of christians on the planet, and our population is something like 313million (give or take) – and of *that* number, only approximately half are christian. That is not significant.

    Third: The very history of christianity is replete with many different political sub-structures, and the language of the bible is embedded with language that, in the Old Testament, is a history of the tribes of Israel (a historical account of the Hebrew nation); the New Testament is interpreted (loosely) in two very disparate fashions. On the one hand, by “modern” interpretation, it is a series of contracts between followers of the Christ, which is what many of us who were raised in it understand it to be. However, given the nature of the politics of the time between the Jews and the Romans, there are many passages that have been taken out of their original contextual intent and applied to modern principle – which is the theological equivalent of media spin in today’s “journalism”. Linguistically, you have to consider that the original texts were in ancient Hebrew, translated to Latin, and later translater to English (and yes, I know I’m oversimplifying this a bit for brevity) – but even with one-to-one translations of modern language (let’s say, randomly…English to Spanish), nuances are quickly and easily lost in translation. How much more has been lost in interpretation of the bible through the many hundreds of years that the church has been spinning it for the sole purpose of control of the masses?

    Fourth: *laughing* You don’t know me remotely enough to declare hard-heartedness or bitterness. As a mother, I know true, unconditional love felt for children. And I will thank you kindly to leave my parents’ teachings out of it. As adults, we decide of our own accord what to internalize and what to reject of our parents’ teachings. Which goes back to what I said earlier. As individuals, we are responsible for ourselves. To point, for example, as a parent…my JOB is to teach my children right from wrong…and to teach them *how* to think. Not *what* to think (that would be called indoctrination)…but *how* to think.

    Fifth: I thanked you for your concern, with complete appreciation and first-hand understanding as to where it was coming from, but politely asked you to leave it alone beyond that. You, however, seemed to take that as an invitation to insert your theology here and presume that you have the entitlement or authority to suggest how I do or do not raise my children, which…quite bluntly…is NONE of your business. My children are not your responsibility. My soul is not your responsibility. My salvation is not your responsibility. What I do wherever I live in this great country of ours is of NO concern to you, as it does not impact your life in any way whatsoever.

    Thank you for your prayers, but intercessory prayer is kind of a waste of your time.


  14. This is specifically addressing Jeannie, as the author of this blog. I have chosen, after yesterday’s interesting exchanges, to respond in my own space, rather than posting (yet another) verbose response *here* – out of respect for your space.

    Further, I have not included the direct link to this blog…so as not to invite flamers to your page, since my the two places I posted my commentary are as public as this blog, and I don’t wish for any harassment to come your way.

    dA: http://prosepetals.deviantart.com/art/An-EXTREMELY-Specific-Response-121299449

    Storm: http://www.storm-artists.net/full/71276

    As always (and as I state plainly in various journals), I welcome *respectful* debate anywhere I have an online presence. If you would prefer to keep your comments here, that’s totally cool. If you choose to comment in my page directly, that’s cool, too (though I think you need to be a member to comment – I’m not certain).

    Take care. :)

    • I don’t get it…if we help we’re policing the world…if we don’t help — we did nothing to help our allies…

      OK you can say we’re no safer…if that is what you believe…we’re no safer in the last 3 months I know that for sure.

      War is a result of evil in the world…its something that no one likes…but exists…we were attacked first…we didn’t start this fight.

      Enemy combatants do not have the same constitutional rights as American citizens…never have — this is a new concept…having war trials where people who blow up our citizens can then accuse our military and government of things…those who went before us must be rolling over in their graves.

      You are comparing apples to oranges…putting someone in a bag and feeding them to hungry rats or pulling out their finger nails one by one does not walling make…there is eons of difference…these were mostly psychological techniques which were suggestions more than reality and don’t compare with having your fingers broken with a ball peen hammer…sorry! So for me there is no contradiction AT ALL.

      My way of thinking… the ME better adjust to our way of thinking…sorry that’s the way I feel. I believe in peace through strength…the best way to calm a school yard bully is to carry a bigger bat around with you.

      The radicals in the ME hate us and want both us and Israel destroyed, enhanced interrogation techniques or not…so we might as well water board some information out of them too.

      If anyone has “inflamed” the ME its Obama, he should have kept those memos classified and he intends to ramp it up by now releasing more photos of unsanctioned torture and mistreatment in Abu Graihb….he is the one who is making us less safe.

      I’m not a globalist or a collectivist…I not into this hold hands and all work together…it won’t work! We either have to be the strongest and the most responsible for our own safety or this 200 year run of freedom, democracy and prosperity is about to come to an end.

      You seem to care about our country but you really do seem to have a problem with our nation and its history and actions past and present — maybe you should join the Obama Administration and dig up some more dirt on us and get it out there so the ME and all our enemies like us even more!

  15. Never mind, da,

    I read a statement by Stephen Hawkings once, were he stated that the incredible order of the universe and life on earth does seem to argue for the existence of God, but that he didn’t think it was the God of the Bible. He said the God of the Bible is a God of economy, and that the God of the Bible would have created on sun, one planet, one moon… On the surface this sounds reasonable.

    I read this before I was a Christian, but I remember thinking that as smart as Hawkings is supposed to be, he exhibited in this particular instance very shallow reasoning, bordering on arrogance.

    I would agree having studied the Bible rather extensively since then, that the God of the Bible is indeed a God of economy. But it seems just as likely that God would know exactly how many stars, planets and moons etc that it would take to sustain life on the earth, and He would not make one more than He needed.

    What do you think da?

  16. @da,

    “I have already expressed that I am not a scientist. I’m not suggesting that the subject is of no importance – just that my knowledge of it is not sufficient to enter into any real debate about it. ”

    You are right of course, you are not a scientist, nor, incidentally, am I. But, when you made this statement:

    “Given how little is actually known about the full scope of the universe…how many *galaxies* (et cetera ad nauseam), the premise is faulty to begin with – as whether or not life on earth is the core question isn’t something that really matters on a universal scale.”

    You made it with the air of authority of one who does not find themselves challenged very often. Indeed you presented it like you wrote the book on the subject.

    At least own that when you challenge the veracity of the Gospels, chronologically or otherwise or in whatever context amongst Christians that you should be prepared to cooly deal with the ramifications of your statements.

    I can assure you that though I am amused by your answers I am far from annoyed, every assumption you have made about me or my motivations are based soly on conjecture, on what you say you have gleaned from a cursory inspection of my blog. I, unlike you, have yet to make a dogmatic statement.

    I accept that, your extrapolations based on circumstantial evidence just may be spot on. In fact, a great many court cases are won in this manner. You have at least convinced yourself that you know my motives. You accept that as reasonable. Do you believe the same sort of evidence could be used to support the existence of God? I mean from the Bible and the staggering complexity of the universe that argue against random chance?

    • *laughing* And I thought my mother was a religious zealot. Difference is, I happen to love her with all my heart, though I completely disagree with her on matters of theology. Enjoy your fantasy…religion brings comfort to others, and that is something that I have no problem with in and of itself. What is sick and sad is that there are people who feel that their duty and obligation is to shove it down others’ throats. Gah, talk about nonsense! *shakes head* That isn’t ministry – it’s brow-beating with a bible. Another note – I’m not a “liberal” — that is the most ridiculous label of all. Chances are, there are probably areas where I’m more “conservative” than you are. Again…sweeping generalizations…must be that brilliant perception at work again.

  17. Hello Hassan – here’s something that’s been interesting to me about Stephen Hawking:

    * “If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it even reached its present size. On the other hand, if the expansion rate at one second had been larger by the same amount, the universe would have expanded so much that it would be effectively empty by now.” p. 72, “The Illustrated History of Everything.”
    * “…[E]ven now, ten thousand million years later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate.” p. 126, “A Brief History of Time – 10th Anniversary Edition, Expanded”

    I began thinking about this: he couches the expansion in terms of “one part in a hundred thousand million million.” What is this number? I tried to comprehend it: A hundred thousand is 10 to the 5th; a million is 10 to the 6th; so “a hundred thousand million million” is 10 to the 5th (times) 10 to the 6th (times) 10 to the 6th; which is 10 to the 17th. There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year, (60 x 60 x 24 x 365), so if this number, 10 to the 17th were seconds, and we divided by the number of seconds in a year, it would be one part (one second) in 3.17 billion years!. In other words, if you had a watch that was accurate to within 1 second every 3.17 billion years, that’s how precise the rate of expansion had to be. If it was off by more than the equivalent of one second every 3.17 billion years, the universe would have either collapsed in on itself or expanded into almost nothingness. This incredibly tight tolerance, in light of his scientific non-explanation, has opened the door for Hawking to speculate about the existence of a Creator. He concludes:

    * “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” p. 73, “The Illustrated History of Everything,” also at, p. 131, “A Brief History of Time – 10th Anniversary Edition, Expanded.”
    * “So long as the universe had a beginning that was a singularity, one could suppose that it was created by an outside agency.” p. 87, “The Illustrated History of Everything.” [Italics added].

    Having thus broached the possibility of a Creator, he then asks some questions relevant for today.

    * “Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”
    * “Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence?”
    * “Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does He have any effect on the universe other than being responsible for its existence?”
    * “And who created Him?” p. 111, “The Illustrated History of Everything.”

    To me, Hawking’s non-explanation and musings on a Creator are much more persuasive of the existence of God than that of a theologian, because, Hawking is reluctantly forced to conclude that science has no explanation, and the precise, infinitesimally accurate tolerances for creation of a non-collapsing, non-totally dispersed universe bespeak a plan so incredible that only a plan of an infinite, timeless Creator could have caused it. “In the beginning was The Plan,” — which is another accurate rendering of “In the beginning was the Word.”

    “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2.

    “O Yahweh, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens…. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man the You are mindful of him?….You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands.” Psalm 8:1, 3 – 6.

    • You sure? Or is that *your* preconceived programming speaking for you? If anything, I said *thank you* to Theresa, not to not pray for me.

      You’re assuming again. You really should stop that.

    • Ignorance is not bliss in this case sadly!! But i WILL PRAY FOR THEM!! Must be Obama followers!! New World Order right…da!! God speed dude. No weapon formed against me shall prosper says the Lord!! The reason our country is in the shape its in is because ATHEIST and all the others Darwin believers have tried to remove GOD….. but just watch… and see who rides up and saves the day DA…… Look out baby Heaven’s Army will surely rise to the occassion… So come all yoiu non believers… come aboard before YOUR ship has sailed…. Does anyone smell the sulfur,,, Thats what burns in Hell. HEY DA…. Read 23 Minutes in Hell by David Wiese….

  18. I wanted to return to the original topic of this blog – which (as you can guess) I find VERY interesting, as well as important – for ALL of us.

    Now, what I didn’t do before (and am opening myself up to now) is sharing my private feelings on a few things – which I generally avoid in an effort to remain objective and neutral.

    After 9/11, my initial reaction was that we should turn whichever country was responsible for the atrocity of terrorism into a glass factory. That was my first -gut-to-knee – reaction. And to be fair – I’m still very angry about 9/11. As most Americans are. I’m not a complacent person when it comes to certain matters – terrorism being one of those matters.

    As time has passed – 8.5 years now – my feelings of anger have NOT changed – but they have been redirected to the people responsible for that day, not the nation/s – as is appropriate, since “nations” are collectives, and do not make decisions. Yes, I recognize that governments make decisions and yaddayadda – but often those decisions don’t reflect the “true voice” of the entire national population – be that here, or in Afghanistan, or wherever.

    All of that being said, I am still opposed to torture. And I still maintain that we (meaning the U.S.) are not above the laws of the Geneva Convention that we helped to create. To bring this a bit closer to home, my thoughts went to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City back in 1995.

    Some…most?…of us remember this with a LOT of sorrow. I have family in OKC, and I was on the phone for hours on end – I have a sister who, at the time, lived *just* up the road from the federal building, and I was horrified that something might have happened to her and/or her children. Many of us had similar reactions on 9/11 (myself included – wanting to ensure loved ones were okay)…the reactions were similar…and though the motives were different, the origins were also similar.

    Both were terrorist acts. Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier – terrorist conspirators – planned and carried out the bombing of the OKC federal building on April 19, 1995 – the largest recorded domestic terrorist attack of which we know…killing 20 people, injuring more than a hundred, without any regard to the demographics of the almost 700 people (men, women, and children) in the building. Timothy McVeigh was quoted:

    “I didn’t define the rules of engagement in this conflict. The rules, if not written down, are defined by the aggressor. It was brutal, no holds barred. Women and kids were killed at Waco and Ruby Ridge. You put back in [the government’s] faces exactly what they’re giving out.”

    Hmmm…sound remotely familiar?

    Okay…getting to the point of this post, as it relates to terrorism and torture.

    McVeigh was executed by lethal injection. Nichols was sentenced to life in prison – and continues to appeal on various grounds. Fortier was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy – and failure to notify government officials.

    These guys were terrorists

    …differing accounts were given for the acts committed. We can lay out whatever excuses that attempt to differentiate the “type” of terroristic attacks and by whom…

    …but my question is:

    Would anyone have supported the idea of torture with these three men had they been perceived as less than forthcoming with information about the bombing?

    If yes, why? … If no, why not?

    Please ensure that you understand my question before answering…because the relevance is difficult to miss, if you really think about it.

  19. I heard Oliver North give an easy way to determine if an interrogation technique is torture or and EIT:

    Enhanced Interrogation Technique: “I wish this treatment would stop.” One is uncomfortable, doesn’t like the treatment, but knows they will survive. Water-boarding, sleep deprivation, face slapping, walling would fall into this category for sure.

    Torture: “I want to die to stop this treatment.” The pain and treatment is so severe, the subject hopes to die. The inflicter of this treatment knows how to push the limit of the treatment so the subject wants to die, but will not…or at least not yet. Nail pulling, electrocutions, flesh burning, limb breaking or removal…that would be torture for certain.

    • That depends almost entirely on the nature of the follow-up question to the original. Meaning, I have colleagues who I consider (by far) more logical than I, given the nature of their specializations. If they were to ask me the same question you have, there is no fair or equitable way I could answer yes, because I’m not a philosopher (wherein origins of logic resides). However, in terms of everyday, practical matters, I (*usually*) am extremely logical. Usually, being the operative there. Working with those two premises, the answer could be either yes or no, depending upon YOUR intent with the original question. Any answer that can be (theoretically) wrong based on a “yes” or “no” answer falls into the circular category. Sorta like, “Did you beat your kids again?” though not quite as harsh.

      • Something that has been declassified MEANS it no longer has a classification – even of “Sensitive”.

        The term Top Secret IS a classification. The memos were declassified.

        Why don’t we ask the question of why Dick Cheney requested (unofficially) specific memos to be opened up weeks before Obama “aired” already declassified information?

    • Only 10 seconds? Too bad! I personally don’t care if they water boarded them for 30 minutes each for 80 times…what ever it takes to save American lives I’m all for it.

  20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfYov5o5_2s

    From a person who actually knows because he was physically there (unlike you, me, or Cheney) – directly refuting Cheney’s claims to “saving American lives”…

    …it’s caused American death. It’s caused further terrorist recruitment. Because they care as much for their people as we care for ours. Both sides believe they’re on the “right” side – and just as we are appalled at the deaths of our brethren, so are they.

    This man was part of the torture machine. This man was there in the Middle East actually listening to the response. This man -unlike Cheney’s *OPINIONS* about correctness or incorrectness of his decision- actually KNOWS the effects of torture.

    It’s basic, really.

  21. http://www.newsweek.com/id/195089

    Then the awareness (more of) that the methods *don’t* work, they’re *not* truly effective – from people with more than opinion – but actual experience in the field.

    I’m well…delivery imminent any day now – possibly within the next day, who knows? Hope all is well with you as well.

  22. *chuckle* Thanks :) I wish I could say that things are going as smoothly as my previous two (11 & 17 years ago, respectively) – alas, there are…”issues”…this time ’round. We should know more today hopefully. I love being a mom, but pregnancy is for the birds…lol! 😉

  23. OK lets discard Drudge who links to every paper in the world and use the beloved NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/world/20detain.html.

    I think the thing that would be most beneficial is to dismiss the memos claim that they worked and err on the side of the terrorists…who always tell the truth. I mean even they know our military are terrorists so actually they are protecting us.

    Putting some one in an enclosed space with a caterpillar to save American lives is not illegal and if it is….the law needs to be changed.

    The contempt for the law that Bush held is about to be changed by an administration that will make sure the ACLU runs the country…that should also suit the terrorists just fine.

    No the world isn’t a safer place thanks to Bush that is why since Obama was elected with his weak stand on the war on terror…Iraq violence has increased and is on the up tick — what a coincidence.

    We weren’t hit in 8 years under Bush … whether he made us safer or not remains to be seen doesn’t it? Especially after those pesky, mistreated Gitmo prisoners are released in a neighborhood right near some elementary school where they can meet up with kindergartners, their machetes, a few back pack bombs and a video camera.


  24. We weren’t hit, but our allies certainly were. And we did nothing for them.

    My main point in this isn’t to disagree with you on the importance of weeding out terrorist cells – of COURSE we must do that – and with the help of our allies, quite frankly. When we look at the past eight years *honestly* – we have to ask a few questions that many people don’t *want* to answer.

    We are NO safer from terrorists than we were before 9/11. The business of war is an extremely profitable one – but WHO benefits from it? You? Me? Any Joe-taxpayer you know personally? No. We just fund it. How about any soldiers you know? I didn’t think so, either. The people who benefit from war, and war-related business are the politicians who don’t go head-to-head with it personally, and have nothing to lose (and a LOT of money to gain) from it.

    Enter the reality of the establishment of Gitmo – off of US soil (because national leaders KNEW it was illegal), and out of the eyes of the UN (because national leaders knew our activities would be outside of international law compliance) – which brings me back to the original and actual intent of my comment to your blog (which is extremely well-written, even if you and I disagree on points):

    Why was it BAD/ILLEGAL for other nations to perform these measures of interrogation on Americans and others (which was what got the measures made internationally illegal in the first place) – and now suddenly OKAY to perform on suspected and/or confirmed terrorists? Do you not see the contradiction there?

    As for the Middle Eastern mindset – specifically the extremist mindset – do you not see how these very acts do nothing more than *strengthen* their resolve? I lived in the ME for years as a child, and can only tell you that as people, they aren’t indecent – but that extremists of ANY ilk are dangerous, and must be handled with firm resolve – on that we’re agreed. Most Americans are actually pretty clueless with regard to the actual mentality of the ME mindset – instead, filling in blanks with stereotypes that do not match the reality. Terrorism must be stopped – but it must be stopped within legal parameters. That means, we (along with the international community) need to look past our own anger (no matter how justified) and actually work together – using legal strategies for fighting our common enemies…rather than behaving (as we Americans have a penchant for doing) as though we have some sort of entitlement complex.

  25. Thank you for the compliment!

    Your wish may very well come true Rene…and in that day you won’t be able to respond on comment boards looking everywhere for someone to save your sorry butt!

  26. Girl are you out of your mind… You must love socialism as well. I don’t subscribe to Obama’s world domination view nand I can assure you I am no terrorists. However, it is “Biblically” written that all that is coming MUST happen for prophecy to be fulfilled. I do believe the very “axis of evil” resides in this great land. Let me assure you the Obama is JUST A PUPPET… it is the puppeteers that we must arm ourselves against. The only arming we can do is learning, listening and being proactive!! See he has charmed his way into to the lives of many Americans as they remain infatuated…. we are ever so slowly moving toward a NEW WORLD ORDER…. Rene, before you call a God loving American a terrorist you better do your home. Your naivete shows…. Research the following then get back with us.. Bilderbergm Trilataral Commission, The CLub of 300, Council on Foreign Affairds, Nutricide, Population Control, etc.. God bless and I will cettainly pray for you NOW!!

  27. Hey Jeannie & JD…..
    Thank you… I beleive good always wins over pure evil… I believe that if “We the People” can “agree to disagree” and expound on our views and opinions.. it keeps us charged and looking deeper. So let’s all continue to be unique, insightful, debating and finding the truth….. and meeting allies along the way. God bless you… MAY WE ALWAYS KEEP CLOSE TO HEART THAT IN THIS EVIL WORLD WE MUST EXST…We can be Pro-active in our communities and on some level with our Nation; Protect the children around you; Protect the elderly… Seek and find God “HE” is the only way to make it out to fulfill your destiny here. The faith of a mustard seed can provide much favor and blessings.
    ** A.R.K. = Acts of Random Kindness**
    … Pay it forward… We can all GIVE big in small ways! It is not about US…

  28. They are sharpening their machetes to take off school children heads and we’re worrying about making then think they are drowning…its pathetic…and when we get his again…which we will…it will be our own damn fault –back to the school yard bully…its like we’ve decided the school yard bully will like us better if we pelt them with rose buds and popcorn while they stand on the top of the building dropping Belgium blocks on our head…squash!


  29. It’s not “Muslims” the way you’ve noted here. It’s Islamic extremists. I’m not Muslim, nor am I Christian – but I have to point out that broad-brushing isn’t remotely helpful and unnecessarily perpetuates incorrect stereotypes. Secondly, *terrorists* do not equal *country* (after all, we have domestic terrorists here in the United States also). Islamic terrorist extremists are subject to the Geneva Convention, whether we wish it so or not, because we’re talking about international laws. However, certain *countries* may or may not be – depending on whether they signed the Geneva Convention (again, whether you or I “like” it or not).

    We can’t really equate WWII Germans in the same way, because *war* was declared at the time…lest our short-term memory be forgotten, there was no *war* declared in Afghanistan, except the “War on Terrorism” (which was a rhetorical title); and the war in Iraq was declared a “successful win”, so we’re not in a *LEGAL* wartime situation at the present time, regardless of the sad reality of where our troops are. And so far as international tribunals – try check the news again. There have been PLENTY of international tribunals related to WWII and crimes against humanity by the Nazis – presently, there is a man who is being called up for a tribunal (the man’s in his 80s or something – and IF it is verified that he was a Nazi affiliate involved with the Holocaust atrocities, then he should be put on tribunal, regardless of his age – there is no statute of limitations on that). However, that is an INTERNATIONAL law matter.

    Some people only seem to care about the Geneva Convention when it’s convenient for them – particularly here in the U.S. I have my own thoughts and feelings as to whether we *should* be involved with the UN, but those are irrelevant to this discussion. The fact is, we ARE members of the UN, and are legally obligated to abide by it. We, like it or not, are among the founders of the framework for the Geneva Convention, and are legally obligated to abide by it. We, as a nation, are NOT above international law. Which brings me to this next thought.

    Nice attempt at blaming Obama – he’s guilty of a lot of things, as well as other members of Congress – but he is not individually to blame for the past eight years. That needs to be pinned where it belongs – on the GW Bush administration. The Bush administration treated our standing as a member of the international community for granted, and behaved as though somehow we are above the law. Again…we’re not. We are subject to the very same laws that we helped to create. Be critical of Obama – and ANY of our politicians – as it’s appropriate. For objective criticism is absolutely necessary. But being blind about it, or ignorant to the history OF it is foolish.

  30. “…if we help we’re policing the world…”

    In the situation to which you & I are referring, who asked for our help? Our help was NOT requested in many of the areas to which I’m referring when I say *POLICING* — think Iraq; think Afghanistan… Honestly, how would you feel if another country’s military came here, uninvited, and was trying to “spread democracy”? Never mind that we’re not a democracy in the first place; we’re a constitutional republic based upon democratic principle, but in no way a true democracy. That is all beside the point. We have NO business “spreading” our ideology ANYWHERE. If another country were to come here and do that, I can tell you what the reaction would be. Americans, regardless of political stance or affiliation would band together and fight back. Why? Because OUR way of life is OURS. We’re RIGHTLY proud of it, and for US it works for the most part. However, that is OURS… it’s not our place to “spread” it – that is called imperialism, and is precisely why we’re CORRECTLY accused of it around the world. That is what I’m referring to when I talk about POLICING.

    Regarding assistance, what I was referring to was when OUR ALLIES were attacked *after* 9/11 – you know…Spain? England? We did nothing to help them when they were attacked – we were still nursing our wounds – but we were all kinds of offended when, after 9/11 (never mind the outpouring of support we DID receive) that there were countries who didn’t back us up on the HUGE difference between invading Afghanistan (which we were fully supported in, as it was a *retaliatory* force) versus Iraq (which was unwarranted *initiation* of force, based upon false [read: cooked up] intelligence that was spread far and wide by our oh-so-unbiased media – headed up by Faux News.

    Help should be specifically by request – and we have done so in the past. One of the *very* things that makes this country so great is that we *do* often help when we’re asked – and we’re *asked* because for many other countries out there, we are a beacon of *hope* – but that does NOT give us any right or business inserting our ideology where it is neither requested nor desired. You say you don’t get it…what’s not to get? If a neighbor/friend asks you for a cup of sugar and you have it to give, you probably give it. But you don’t barge into your friend’s house and tell them how to bake their cake, just because you’ve given them a cup of sugar.

    So saying that “we” didn’t start “this” fight is a moot point ultimately. We did what we had to do after 9/11 – but Dubya wasn’t really interested in actually weeding out terrorist cells, from what I can see – elsewise, we’d not have pulled out of Afghanistan and invaded Baghdad. People were angry here – and rightly so – and Dubya’s administration USED that anger to fuel a vendetta that even his FATHER knew and stated was unwinnable. Hmmm. Check it out. We’re still there. Imagine my surprise.

    “Enemy combatants do not have the same constitutional rights as American citizens…never have…”

    Correct – however you’re STILL (deliberately?) overlooking the fact that we’re not talking about “constitutional rights” – that is an American premise…on American soil. Gitmo is NOT on American soil. Nor is it in a space that can be overseen by INTERNATIONAL laws, which SHOULD be what governs international terrorism. There are INTERNATIONAL laws that have been broken. Not just “constitutional” laws. You’re accusing me of apples and oranges, and yet you are ignoring this very point – no, enemy combatants aren’t subject to American law. They are subject NOT EVEN to US military law, but – I brought up US military law because it is BASED ON the Geneva Convention – which we are LEGALLY OBLIGATED to abide by. Is that a difficult concept for you to grasp?

    “…the ME better adjust to our way of thinking…sorry that’s the way I feel. I believe in peace through strength…”

    You have every right to your opinion – but I call bullshit where I see it. Here in the US – you and I have EVERY right to discuss and reasonably debate our differences of opinion (as we’re doing here), but on an international scale, the American way of thinking is ONLY APPLICABLE…guess where? HERE. In the United States. We have ZERO business dictating to ANY OTHER COUNTRY how they have to adapt. If you’re uncertain of my meaning, re-read my response (1st paragraph) after the first of your quotes here.

    “If anyone has “inflamed” the ME its Obama…”

    Here, I will politely call out horse manure. People in the conservative sector are trying with might to pass blame onto Obama for actions taken by GW Bush…and the history goes back to Clinton, and to Bush Sr., and to Reagan. The ME outrage right now has NOTHING to do with Obama in office – heck, the man’s been in office for 100 days, and if you really believe the “declassification” of those memos has really incited anything, then no offense, but there is a huge delusional factor there. The awareness of what was happening at Gitmo was already on an international scale before the declassification here at home took place. It seemed to me, when it happened, that mainstream Americans were the last to actually be aware of the situation. Why? Because by and large, we’re an ethnocentric people, only interested in what happens here, and are hugely ignorant about actual international news.

    “…you really do seem to have a problem with our nation and its history and actions past and present…”

    Again, respectfully, you have no idea my background, or the sense of pride I have in this country. Every nation on the planet has blood on its proverbial hands – and has every country also has guilt on its shoulders. To assume that “EVERY” excludes the United States is extremely faulty thinking. We have blood on our hands and guilt on our shoulders just as every other country out there. Just because I’m not a frothing, wild-eyed jingoist zealot doesn’t imply that I’m not a quiet patriot. I’m the daughter of a decorated war veteran and proud retiree of our US military – and have a pretty broad sense of our country’s history beyond the propaganda that many people here seem to feed on without any consideration to critical thinking. I am NOT a “my country, right or wrong” kind of person. It is BECAUSE I love my country that I brag on the things that make her great – as well as critical of areas that are (and have for decades been) in desperate need of improvement.

    When I see blind patriotism, it literally scares me – because people stop thinking and questioning…and behave like sheep before the slaughter.

    I wish you well – but based on everything you have said here, we’re at an impasse. We could debate points all day long, but the bottom line, our perspectives are completely different – and while we have areas of agreement in desired outcome, our approach to get there is different. You somehow seem to feel the need to be insulting as you go about expressing your dismay and contempt for a viewpoint different from your own. While I respect your right to believe whatever you choose…I completely disagree with *what* you’ve expressed here in the manner by which we achieve the goals we’d both like to see in place.

  31. Forgive me for jumping in here…but I wanted to point out something, if you didn’t realize it. Do you have any idea how offensive you come across here? You’ve made A LOT of rather unwarranted assumptions and have essentially attacked a person without knowing their stance or anything. Like you, I am American – but I’m not “God-loving” – that is a specific stereotype into which YOU appear to fall, and that is your right. But please don’t presume to speak for all Americans as if they speak the same language as you do. Also, praying for someone without request is a very sweet gesture – but likewise insulting to those of us here who do not share your faith.

  32. Theresa…don’t cast your pearls before swine…this is the “offended” crowd who feels bad for terrorists, blames America, is insulted by prayer and is not “God Loving” and obviously doesn’t speak the same language…DA…I won’t say God Bless you because you didn’t sneeze and I don’t want to offend you but why don’t you head on over to the Daily Kos where you can hang out with other “Americans” who you would probably feel more comfortable with because you’re not changing any minds here.

    Thanks for your input though its always good to hear an alternate view.

  33. And you fail to see that what you’re doing right now isn’t attacking my *way* of thinking. You’re attacking *me* as an individual, simply because I don’t agree with you. My agreement or lack of agreement with you doesn’t make me any less of an American than you. It means my perspective is different. At no point in any of this have I attacked you as an individual – I don’t know you, and to do so would be grossly unfair to you.

    Though I will grant, this is *your* blog – and though the only things I’ve actually been critical of here is the *points* you’ve presented, it appears to me the only real voices you want here are those who agree with you. So on that note, I’ll take my leave.


  34. Please understand – I wasn’t “offended” by the “God Bless” part. I was offended by the sweeping assumptions made in that comment…though I didn’t wish to aggravate anything; rather, simply point out where it could be seen as offensive by others – starting with “Girl are you out of your mind” – not to be persnicketty, but the very spelling of “Rene” could be either male or female. That was the very *beginning* of assumption…and then it just continued. From the assumption of gender, to the assumption of political stance, to the assumption that every US-loving American is automatically a *God-loving* American – and that may not have been the intent, but that is how it came across.

    Further, in your response to her related to my comment, the very first thing YOU said was, “…don’t cast your pearls before swine…this is the “offended” crowd who feels bad for terrorists, blames America, is insulted by prayer and is not “God Loving” and obviously doesn’t speak the same language…” Using the biblical reference of “pearls before swine” assumes that just because I don’t share the religious point of view that I am somehow ignorant of it. Again, with the assumptions. I grew up in an evangelical church, and know the bible pretty well, just as a point of note. I am affiliated with NO religion, I am NOT a “blame-America-first” (heck, I’m not part of the era that coined that term)… I am neither a “Blame-America-first” person…NOR am I a “My country right or wrong” person. I am simply an American who loves this country, raised by the military, and taught to be VERY critical of ALL politicians who would blithely send our troops into harm’s way. Regardless. There are MANY areas where I am starkly critical of Obama, and there are a few places where I agreed with GW Bush. However, too many assumptions here, based on a few words noted, cause me to wonder why I bother engaging in what could be otherwise intelligent and reasonable discussion with people who have clearly different perspectives if as an individual I am going to be attacked in a manner that is beneath even ad hominem attack.

    …like I told you in the other comment, the ONLY places where I’ve been critical here are in the places where I see differences in ways of achieving similar goals. I’ve not attacked ANY individual on a personal level, and have tried to avoid assumptions about anyone as an individual, since I know that individuals and ideas can be (and often are) very complex – but to have it said by you that “this is the “offended” crowd who feels bad for terrorists, blames America” in reference to me belies your claim of welcome.

  35. Interpretation being what it is, had you been aware of what I pointed out before I actually did, then you would have alluded to it without my needing to. Your claim to brilliant perception is undercut horrifically by the fact that you claimed it after I had already pointed it out.

    Your interpretation of my words and your claim to my sympathies is also grossly incorrect. You continue to filter my viewpoint through a lens of your *clearly* limited understanding…of our country’s history, of international law and politics, and through some sort of need to call the US the “best” without having established a firmly-agreed upon standard of “good”…where I’ve pointed out clearly where the US *is* great…and pointed out where improvement is needed.

    As to my “sensitivities” – quite the opposite is true. Because the very nature of my professional history and studies is specific to Human Resources, the way that I speak is garnered toward equality of ALL protected classes, not a justification of my personal “sensitivies”…not ONE of which I’ve addressed here. Therein lays another flaw of your consistent ad hominem attack. It erroneously pigeonholes others into a box that makes sense to you, but is completely out of touch with reality.

    Ann Coulter claims the same thing about evidence. So does Michael Moore. *shrug* Doesn’t change the error of spinning evidence to support a personal opinion. Opinions are not facts.

    I’ve read them. I’ve listened to a myriad of perspectives on them. I even (grudgingly) listened to Liz Cheney try to defend Dick with the same kind of warped justifications that you’ve used here.

    Your points aren’t difficult to argue with at all. In fact – I already did. Clearly. The fact that you don’t agree with the information with which you were countered doesn’t make your interpretation of the memos correct. Certain points you made in the original blog were agreeable to a certain extent within their own context, which I pointed out…but when placed into the overall context you’ve tried to force together…an incorrect final picture is created. A broken clock may be correct twice per day, but in the grander scheme of things is consistently wrong. That is what your arguments here amount to.

  36. You’ve won me over…I’m uneducated, unintelligent, I have no knowledge of law, politics or international law…I’m kind of a GW Bush like dolt and I don’t know how I survived all these years without you enlightening me to our nations history — I’m out of touch with reality – I’m certainly not brilliant, neither is my perception…I’m insensitive, close minded, my article was an ad hominem attack with no truth and insight. I pigeonhole people into boxes (with caterpillars), my interpretation of the memos are incorrect…your interpretation is correct and I can hardly wait until the trials where that evil Darth Vader Cheney and his Howdy Doody cohort Georgie Bush get what is coming to them hopefully on national TV…maybe they can even put them into Gitmo!

    Your arguments are brilliant and I humble myself before you and agree that you have turned me from a wild-eyed, born-again, conservative, right-wing terrorist type into a globalist who is peace loving, atheist, Obama sensitive, hand holding, kumbaya humming human being – Hallelujah!

  37. This is YOUR blog. You allowed it to degenerate into a cesspool of sarcasm (straight from you…) because you didn’t agree with my counterstatements.

    Then you throw out a “general” question: “Why is every liberal a godless person who worships anything else but God? They worship themselves, the planet, the President, their own benevolence, intellectual knowledge, pet rocks, terrorists, other religions…btw Rene…there is only one God and one day you’ll stand before Him and so will the Muslims…and what a surprise that will be…in fact I’m going to pray, in spite of how offensive that is to you, that when we stand before the judgment seat of God I’m in the general vicinity with you and maybe even da … so I can make eye contact with you and see the look on both of your faces…Good thing God is love and His blood covers such nonsense.”

    That, Jeannie, is a LOT of assumption on your part. The primary assumption being that YOUR religion is the correct ONE. Which is typical of zealotry. Which is typical of fundamental christianity. And which is typical of those who practice brow-beating. I didn’t call YOU a zealot. I called my MOTHER a zealot – which I have said directly to her face, as well. Pray for my mother all you wish — she would appreciate it (and for the record, that isn’t sarcasm). While you’re at it, pray that your god will remove her diagnosed mental illness that has been exacerbated by her dogmatic religious addictions.

    You doubt whatever you will. Quite frankly, your opinion of me is none of my business. I don’t “accuse” anybody of anything unless they openly demonstrate behaviors that are easy to call out, as I’ve done here.

    …and to that, I return to the ONE point that I sincerely wanted to make, and did, and which was completely ignored by you…but which covers ALL manner of nonsense that has been spewed within the scope of the commentary herein:

    If you have a friend or a neighbor who asks you for a cup of sugar…if you have a cup of sugar, there is a good likelihood you’ll give it. That is the neighborly thing to do. However, that gives you NO right to go into your neighbor’s house and tell them how to bake their cake simply because you gave them a cup of sugar.

    That is the main point I was trying to make.

    And to answer your question: “I don’t understand why you can’t see why we dolts believe in God…brilliance wouldn’t be that simple or close minded.”

    Having an open mind is great. Don’t leave your mind so open to ANYTHING (including religion) that your brains fall out.

  38. i agree….. Being Bible beat is not the way to learn about God’s love… I will help you in any way I can

  39. What do you know of my mind, kind sir?

    The answer is…*nothing*. You don’t know me. I addressed Jeannie directly. I never suggested that I was “wise” – I’m not so arrogant as to make such a preposterous statement. I have simply shared my thoughts based upon what has been said thus far in *this entry* of a blog.

    My thoughts and my opinions are no more or less valid than yours, Jeannie’s, or anyone else’s. Bottom line is opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and they usually reek of shit. Mine included. Except that I make no pretense that I think mine are “better” than others.

  40. Robert…you are 100% correct…but then again that is just my opinion I’m a Jeannie’s Opinion Zealot

  41. There is no wisdon involved in his thinnking…. But his opinion matters…. Freedom of speech is still a right for now. Soon that will change!! Obmanation

  42. It isn’t my place to persuade you that there is no god, since I never insisted that there isn’t. You have made the assertion that there is a god, ergo, the burden of proof is on *you*. I don’t bother with the atheist versus theist debates. They’re a waste of everyone’s time, even if they’re entertaining to observe.

    I don’t blame others for her problems. Nor am I “damaged” as you so kindly intimated, Jeannie. You don’t know my path, no matter what observations you think you hold about me. The fact of the matter (and this is something that transcends opinions) is that you and I do not know each other, so we’re not in any position to “open our hearts” to one another about how we came to various conclusions in our lives. I don’t “blame God” – that is yet another assumption on *your* part that would -again- be incorrect. My dad is also a fundamental christian, and is NOT mentally ill…and has made some very similar observations…none of which are on the table for discussion specifically. My point being here, I don’t *personally* hold anything against people of religion – regardless of their respective religions. I just don’t claim any religion. If that, by your definition makes me an atheist – which I guess is as good a label as any, then that’s *your* business. Like I said, your opinion of me isn’t really any of my business, Jeannie. I don’t bother myself with what others think of me personally. People, as a general rule, are pretty dumb…and tend to see others through their own filters without bothering to determine truth beyond their own limited understanding. *shrug*

    My “exposure to God” – I will share this much with you. Most of it wasn’t negative. Truly. It wasn’t my affiliation with the church that brought me to my conclusions. Most of the people with whom I went to church were and *are* lovely people. Really. I’m not “bitter” — bitterness isn’t about “god” or “no god”…the bitterness that you seem to perceive is nothing to do with whether or not there is a god…it has to do with people who believe they are entitled to insist that others believe the way they do.

    On your last statement, I can’t help but smile. I *do* appreciate the back-handed well-wish, but I actually *have* peace in my life. I’m something of a Spongebob kind of happy person. Just because you & I clearly disagree on politics and religion is not any kind of implication that I’m lacking in peaceful happiness. That is yet another incorrect assumption. *sigh*

    In any case, I likewise wish you well, and many peaceful days.

  43. oh, and you are correct…I *did* come to your *very public* blog and the reference to the “sugar and cake” was based on the statement from you about your belief: “My way of thinking… the ME better adjust to our way of thinking…sorry that’s the way I feel.” That is what I was referring to – very typical American sentiment that others need to conform to our way of thinking, when the American Way is applicable in one place and one place only – here in the United States.

  44. *Thank you!!!*

    That is part of my concern about the god-speak – everyone has different viewpoints on this – and more damage has been inflicted in the name of god (by whatever religious affiliation anyone can name) because everyone believes that “their god” is THE god…*sigh*

    My contention is (and has consistently been) – I personally am a non-believer. By “label”, I’m an atheist. But I’m not militant about it…and my feeling is that IF categorical, irrefutable evidence of god’s existence is presented, then as a reasonable person, if that evidence is presented then I would adjust my views accordingly. The problem is…the moment people try to define the “ineffable”, it can be refuted. *shrug*

    I don’t do the “kumbaya” thing…but I’m pretty much a live and let live kind of person.

  45. Did you say Buddha!! God laughs at those who look to a stupid peice of wood to advise, guide and love them…. He laughs at that and then his wrath abounds!! God loving… God trusting people help those who have been bible beat as a child and had parents who where saddest in polyester pants….!! I’m sorry… lol

  46. Hey Rene thanks for the promo on your friend feed appreciate it!

    As far as the ignorance part of it…trust me I’m far from ignorant…far, far, far — neither is Ann Coulter…oh btw thank you for that compliment too!

  47. The “GOD” thing exsts.. When you have “Eye Witnesses” that my friend is irrefutable!! Not here say… Eye witnesses. I am living proff he exists… I’m sorry you are an atheist! I will pray for you. Try reading The Gospels first.. {Matthew, Mark, Luke and John} Jesus lived amoung these men… ACTS is a synopsis of those books, then get back to me! Good luck. I hope you research all of it. It would be in your best interest!!

  48. Religion and Politics are two things one is told not to talk in pleasant conversation. Well that is good advice if you need to be liked by everyone. Thank God, Americans are waking up and realizing that one does not have to liked by everyone.

    If your an atheist, then own it. I admire those that truly want to continually have the rod and staff laid upon their skull as God attempts to return you to the flock. For me, only occasionally when I stray does God have to wake me up! I tend to learn faster and my faith is truly my source of strength!

    I find it humorous that as an atheist you demand others to deny our faith and intellect by dumbing down our writing so that anyone is not offended? Give me a break, be offended! In my faith it is referred to as conviction.

    There is such wisdom and depth of understanding blessed to us through our scripture and faith that I understand your jealousy but find it very humorous that you insist that we dumb down our writing so that those who refuse to understand wisdom and the gifts that are evident within this scripture.

    My best advice would be to go back to reading the main stream media writing. I think they have now dummied that down to about a pre kindergarten level or remedial reading level. If that is where you find comfort, I hate for you to be spoon fed the tripe and socialist agenda, but if you can’t keep up with a rich tradition of wisdom in faith, you may have to go where you can comprehend the texts meaning.

    As an atheist, you let me down. Most atheists are well versed in scripture as they continue to grapple with God daily. I have found great conversations and discussions with atheists in the past. I find that they are usually just unable to pull the trigger on faith. However, they are not Godless. They just have not pulled the trigger, jumped off the cliff or walked through the fire or literally dove into the deep water.

  49. If one person’s “eye witness” account cannot be duplicated, then it isn’t evidence. It’s one person’s experience.

    As far as the Gospels, they’re out of chronological order in the first place, and Acts has nothing to do specifically with any one of the Gospels.

    Try reading the “Jesus Mysteries”, which explains this in very straightforward detail from a more “esoteric” perspective than I care for, but is written in such a way that most people can grasp without searching for high-brow explanations.

    Thank you for your concern for my best interest, but I will tell you what I tell my dad – I appreciate that your concern is out of the best interest of the souls of what you perceive as the lost – but you’ve said your piece now, and beyond that, the state of my soul is my business. I have a much better understanding of the bible than you seem to realize, having grown up on it from the time I was a small child until I emancipated from home. I maintain several bibles in my house for any number of reasons, just as I have copies of the Quran and the Torah, as well as other religious books.

    Beyond that, you don’t need to apologize for the fact that I am atheist. It isn’t any concern of yours. :)

  50. That is a rather warped interpretation. I told her that I understood where her concern comes from, and that I appreciate it. (That would be, unless somehow the nature of the English has changed, a *thank you*). And yes, I told her that the state of my soul is my business – which it is. Such is the case for each and every individual on this planet. We are responsible for ourselves only. I did not however tell her that “its none of her damn business”. You chose to spin it that way, because that is how YOU interpreted it, to which I will remind you (kindly and once) that your perception is just that. Yours. Your perception, in this instance, is not synonymous with my intent whatsoever.

  51. Wow.. Ok!! Let’s see is I have this right. You grew up with the Bible in your life, were emancipated… and you turned from truth to be your own man and create your own destiny. Kudos for you. You comment regarding one persons expereince.. thousands expereinced Jesus in person. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible… I would enjoy reading the english Quran out of curiosity… You sir are hard hearted and bitter… You have never had the shift needed to really “feel” loved from the inside out. Your parents failed you in their teaching or allowing others to translate the Lord, His gifts, His mysteries and His salvation. You WILL know but sadly it will be too late for you if you remain hard hearted… I hope if you have children you don;t pass on the sins of the parents… EXCEPT you will be lying by stating their is know God. Again you will remain in my prayers as well as your family.

  52. My dear you sound extremely intelligent and defensive. I too am a mother and would never presume to tell you how to be one. Responsibility…. As a Christian woman it is my responsibility to spread the Good News of Christ AND yes I have met him personally… He is with me now… I AM AN “EYE WITNESS” to Christ and His divine power, wisdom, love, guidance and discernment. I too was lied to early on “In the ‘Playground’ of Christiantiy, however I have had a shift and glorious shift and I have felt the very hand of GOD on me!!! So I feel sorry for people like you who advocate relying solely on self… So tell me then… How did it all occur… The Big Bang is it…… I don’t think so. But I tell you what, this will be my last reply to you and your ATHEIST thinking…. AGAIN.. read 23 Minutes in Hell.. David Wiese…. Hopefully your thinking shifts or one of your dear children learn the TRUTH and can in some way help you. Intercessory prayer is exactly what you need 24/7…… Perhaps GOD and GOD alone can humble you and bring you to your knee’s and SHOW you personally what you need to see…… the LIGHT

  53. VERSE:
    Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. — Psalm 37:6-7
    “Chill out!” we hear heaven say to us. Come into God’s presence with dependent, yet confident, patience. But how can we? We know God will do what is right for us over the passage of time. The Bible is God’s story (HIS-story); it is the great testimony that he
    is always faithful to his promises, gracious in his power to
    redeem, and generous with his love shared with his children. So
    come into his resence and be willing to be still … and patient
    .. and trusting … and hopeful!
    Father, in the quietness of this moment, I consciously relax myself in your presence and place the concerns and cares of my heart before you. I trust, dear Father, that you will act redemptively in my life. I confidently place my soul, my mind, my heart and my all in your hands…. I lovbe you with my whole heart… AND thank you… Good night all

  54. *heavy sigh* The point was, as I said earlier, I understand where you’re coming from. Once you’ve said your piece, no further “spreading the gospel” to me is necessary. You fulfilled your obligation. To carry on proselytizing is precisely what I was referring to – insisting that I read whatever from your doctrine you believe – that is a gross example of entitlement which oversteps your rights and boundaries. You have *every* right to your beliefs – and being American, I will defend your right to believe whatever it is you do – whether or not I agree with your beliefs. When the respect to *freedom OF* and *freedom FROM* religion is not reciprocal, then you’re missing the point of the Golden Rule. Nowhere in this have I tried to persuade you to believe as I do…or suggested that I would pray that you would come to whatever knowledge I have. In that, you have missed the boat, though…you are NOT doing unto others as you would have done unto you – in fact, you’ve done the exact opposite. That is the walking definition of hypocrisy. Defensive? No. Blunt in this instance? Yes. When my parents (who you do not know) are attacked by you because your perception of their teachings doesn’t match your beliefs, then yes, I will defend them. They don’t agree with me in politics or religion…nor I with them…but we at least respect each other enough to accept that we love each other in spite of our differences. That is in no way a failure…and yeah, I’ll defend them. As far as my children…yes, they are VERY dear. If any of them become christians when they’re old enough to truly understand and internalize the premises, then that is *their* choice. You pray for whatever you choose to. That is your choice. It has no bearing whatsoever on my life. Just as my choices have no bearing whatsoever on yours. That, by the way, would be another walking definition…in this case, it’s called free will. You don’t have to agree with me, and I have never suggested as much. But you have crossed several boundaries of respect in mutual differences…

    …particularly when this blog entry wasn’t about theology to begin with. Ironically, many of my points about American’s sense of entitlement clearly were lost on more than one level. Respond, or don’t respond. Either way is fine by me. You mention humility to me as though you have a corner of the market on it…but I’m struck by the very arrogance with which you present it. Even the Christ was actually *humble*…which you have not demonstrated in your self-righteous behavior here. I don’t profess to be a beacon of “perfect truth” or “esoteric wisdom”…nor do I subscribe to some delusional stereotype of believing in the “Big Bang” — simply because I don’t buy into the myth of creationism. I never claimed to be a scientist, but I will say that Dr. Richard Dawkins is BY FAR more persuasive in gentle explanations of biological evolution than any recycled myth that modern-day christians try to put forth as explanation of the origins of humanity.

    None of this has *anything* to do with the original post, though. I’ve already plainly stated that theist versus atheist debates are a waste of everyone’s time. There are multiple reasons for that statement…this dialogue being an object example. *rolls eyes*

  55. da…… My dear I certainly don’t want to be “all” knowing, judgemental or a hypocrite. I look forward to further debates and bantering on issues involving my Lord or whatever the subject may be…… Have a wonderful evening and happy blogging!!

  56. Girl….My my my… What happened to you? Who teteed in your weaties honey!! GOD does exist and whether you like it or not… the little verbal tantrum you leashed on us shows you needs something because whatever you subscribe isn’t working. You have quite the anger issue going on. No one can force anything on you… but being open to various view points will keep you from limiting your intellect. You don’t have to believe in anything… which again doesn’t seem to be helping that anger issue you have going on. I strongly suggest meditating, yoga…. doing something “selfless”… A.R.K. = Acts of Random Kindness are good for the soul… You can give big in very small ways…. Perhaps that coiuld help ease your tension. God by the way loves unconditionally…. He can take that anger, rage, and hard heart and turn all that mess around girl. Hang in there. PEACE BE STILL…… CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!! lololololol

  57. Rene…please don’t delete it…my common sense might eek through to some of the drones…so please…leave it up!

    In fact…put it up everyday — don’t forget the “ignorant” statement that helps my cause.

  58. FYI, please stop addressing my husband as “Girl” – this is the 2nd time you’ve done that.

    You’re mistaking his sense of humor for anger…which is really quite hilarious to me, actually. You’re assuming an angry tone of voice that, in all the time I’ve known HIM, he’s *never* used.

  59. Rene, Rene, Rene…. The proof that God exist is when you look into the mirror…. HE CREATED YOU!! What is your eyewitness that GOD does not exist? I’m interested in seeing and refuting anything you got girl… BRING IT!! The only delusion here is your jaded sense of existance. I’m so sorry for you. Anger management! WOOSAA, woosaa!!! lol Everyone is entitled to there opinion this week anyway. Rene, I suggest you get around people who voluteer and give of their hearts, mind, soul and time. READ 23 Minutes in Hell by David Wiese… Perhaps its a place you will enjoy… I will definately pray for you girl… right now. Father lift this angry girl up into your arms and love the hate right out of her!! Humble her in every way that she may call out your name… before she know longer has that option. To you be the glory “King of Kings and Lord of Lords… The Morning Star!! Emmanuel… El Shaddai.. Yahweh Addonai Elloheim…. I love you Jesus… and YOU LOVE RENE…

  60. LOLOLOLOL……. Oh my word your married to each other… now that is funny!! Good luck to you both.. sounds like you’ll need it. Happy blogging BOYS and GIRLS… TOO much anger…. or parody… makes for good bantering!! Don’t take it all to seriously… oh wait you don’t!! Good luck… LOLOLOL (<:)

  61. Well, then, clearly at least we’re not the only ones VERY amused by your responses to him…LOL…

    The moment I read “Rene, Rene, Rene…. The proof that God exist is when you look into the mirror…” I burst out laughing – and asked him…how does SHE know my boudoir nickname for you? He & I both found that *quite* funny…

    …so at the very least, everyone’s entertained…albeit for different reasons. 😉

  62. That is great.. all is well that ends well.. Have a peaceful loving evening with one another.. And it took me a moment but I get the your a dude “RENE” {LMAO!!} and da… that’s totally cool. Until next time happy hunting!!! A.R.K…. Pay it forward… Give big in small ways… DO YOU DARE…?

  63. Maybe not in your case. For me, I have found that trying to get the far left (you) to engage in an intelligent debate often ends up with the lib becoming frustrated, insulting and just plain ridiculous. So, instead of engaging in that kind of exchange what seems to work best is to state the obvious in a short and sweet manner, matter of factly and repeatedly….kind of like when you are training a dog. So I say again…


  64. That was very nice and respectful of you Denise…unlike Rene who posted a link to my blog under the title of “Ignorance out there”…different opinions have now been reduced to ignorance Amazing!

  65. Jeanne… I think Rene and da are cute… HOWEVER, ignorance is bliss as they say!! Lets start a new topic today and see how quick it turns into a God debate…. Happy blogging people… be nice!! Don’t take it personally. Don’t be haters.. let’s be life changing bloggers who get somewher, accomplish the extraordinary and pay it forward…

  66. I’m guessing you’re referring to Friend Feed (I seem to recall reading a comment about that)? I don’t subscribe to Friend Feed, so forgive me for not being aware of the specifics within that area. I don’t know what all has been said there by Rene or others there. (Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the numerous ways everyone can communicate on the Internet, and have chosen to maintain limitations so as not to drive myself to distraction…*laughing*)

    Rene & I share *many* similar views, and he & I likewise debate many disparate views – which is to be expected as I am American and he isn’t – and our debates are quite interesting, actually, and often fun, even in areas of stark disagreement. Even with the areas of agreement *and* disagreement between Rene & me, our *values* are aligned, which is (as I’m sure you know) extremely important for marital balance.

    That being said, generally, unless there is an extraordinary reason to do so, I don’t jump to his defense (though tempting, as he is my husband and I am a very protective person – LOL). He has his thoughts/feelings/opinions on matters, as we all do, and he broaches them in his own way. I won’t explain his approach, except to say that it took me some time to become accustomed to (and to sincerely appreciate) – it’s very deliberate, and draws polarized attention by design. *nod* I will note, though, that his and my respective approaches are quite different. :)

  67. Rene: Either you don’t read or you’re on some kind of a rant! First of all you came to my blog…to read what I wrote. What I wrote had nothing to do with my religious beliefs, neither does much of what is posted on this blog…so where you get I’m trying to push my religion on you is perplexing at best unless of course you believe every one who agrees with me politically is of a certain religious persuasion.

    Which is untrue…

    Secondly, this blog is my opinion…which if you read will see is supported by documentation and back up to give an explanation as to why I am saying what I am saying…

    You’re more that free to believe anything you want…that is what free will is all about…but I don’t think I called you ignorant once…misguided, deluded, unfortunately misdirected…but if it makes you feel better or stronger or smugger by calling people ignorant go right ahead…because anyone who reads what I write can see I’m far from ignorant —

    Leninist, atheist, Marxist whatever you please have a ball — but you’re embarrassing your argument by discussing issues in such an immature way.

    Your anger and vitriol is a little sad…if you don’t agree with someone say so and then move along —

  68. Rene…please go away you’re acting ridiculous and foolish

    Believe whatever you want – have a nice life!

  69. Absolutely and you? Give us you infinite logic on any issue..da… and we’ll banter!! Todays wisdom goes something like this…. We are but a speak of dust… Make a difference when you can… Pick and Choose your battles… Fight a good, honest fight and never right a check your butt just cannot cash.
    Give to those who would never expect it but are deserving… Love with reckless abandon… Give with your whole heart…. Forgive as you’ve been forgiven. Peace everyone… Good night…

    Hey da;
    {I see your husband had been on a continual rant since yesterday!! Hope he surrenders to his anger issues!! I thought once he realized God does exist AFTER looking at his image that his attitude would improve…. but not so much…lololol….. Good luck and Godspeed to you both} PEACE BE STILL

  70. Do you have a point you’re trying to address specifically? Or are you asking rhetorical questions for fun?

  71. I’m not sure how you define continual rant, but I received the notifications too, and am well aware of what transpired yesterday. I do have a suggestion for you. Rather than insert your own tone of voice (or some imagined tone of voice) to his writing…try neutralizing it. This is a common problem in written-only communications, we don’t *hear* the other person’s tone of voice – and you have *grossly* misconstrued Rene’s tone of voice. There is not a more mellow, gentle-natured person on this planet than Rene. Yes, he’s *blunt* in his writing, but his tone and his level/metre NEVER changes. You’re perceiving anger, so the only conclusion I can come to is that you’re projecting your own onto him, since neither he nor I bent to your continued religio-angling.

    So far as further “bantering”…I would happily entertain that, so long as it was intelligent debate as opposed to slinging around opinions without any type of supporting documentation…however, I have no wish to keep adding more unnecessary posts to Jeannie’s page here. That would be horribly rude to just keep filling up her page with our disagreements. You are more than welcome to come to either of my pages (both are linked here), and post away there… but out of a little respect for Jeannie’s page here, which has seen enough of our dialogue in one blog entry, try holding off here. Hmmkay?


  72. Digital Publius:

    I read your question – and I’m asking YOU again…is there a point you’re wanting to address specifically? Asking if I’m a creature of logic is a circular question, as there is no correct answer either with yes or no. What are you trying to determine or prove?

  73. it is a straight forward question, perhaps I am not as bright as I thought, I thought the question was linear in nature. One either sees value in evaluating reality according to logic or they do not.

    It is not a question that begs a right or wrong answer, but rather a subjective yes or no as to the way you see yourself.

    Your answer to the question will dictate the way that I proceed in my attempt to dialog with you. I apologize, I would have thought this obvious.

  74. Hmm. No apology necessary…and I ask you to forgive my wariness of what I view as an entirely circular question – along with a preference to know the nature of the direction you want to go before I answer “yes” or “no”…

    To answer the direct question…in the very simplest terms, yes, I am a logical-minded person. However, as an “average” human bean, I’ve been known to operate in less-than-logical fashion, depending on the specific nature of a situation.

    I hope that answers your question.

  75. (I answered no to the therapist question outside of the original thread, sorry).

    Well. Hmm. Stephen Hawking is an interesting professor, though I know little about him beyond basic surface material; I’m more “fond of” Dr. Richard Dawkins – if I can use that term in this context. I find most professors however, regardless of specialty, to exhibit a degree of arrogance.

    As to the concept of God & economics…I would be returning to an answer I gave elsewhere, quite honestly, in terms of any sort of theist versus atheist debate, which I tend to avoid, because any time a “definition” is placed on something that is ineffable (as is the nature of a “god”), then it can be shredded. Further, if the knowledge of the exact number of stars, planets, and moons (etc) were in fact remotely relative to specifically sustaining life on earth, the question wouldn’t be a matter of arrogance related to economy…it would be a matter of arrogance related to the existence of earth and life inhabitants herein. *shrug* Given how little is actually known about the full scope of the universe…how many *galaxies* (et cetera ad nauseam), the premise is faulty to begin with – as whether or not life on earth is the core question isn’t something that really matters on a universal scale.

    Beyond that, I don’t have any real thoughts on the matter.

  76. Well, that was a good answer, But, one of the most important subjects in modern physics and astrophysics is string theory and a big component of that discussion is the Anthropic Theory which states that evidence suggests that the universe exists for the sole purpose of carbon based life on earth. Which would make the premise not faulty at all but rather crucial. Perhaps modern physics is not of interest to you.

  77. Modern physics isn’t my area of interest, no…although I have many friends who are scientifically inclined.

    I have a question for the purpose of “existence of the universe” – I understand why (as human beings) our existence is important to *US*, in that we’re interested in our collective heredity as well as our progeny. However, the problem with Anthropic theory is that it basically takes *our* concern of importance, and drives the point that our existence is THE concern of importance – as a species – which is beyond arrogant, and Brandon Carter (the man who named the theory, I *think*) has been heavily criticized in the scientific community for not adhering to proper scientific foundation by reason of selection bias. As a species, we are a curious lot – and all-too-often are way too self-important for our own good. In light of criticism of Anthropic theory, I’m inclined to remain entirely skeptical – because it places homo sapiens at the epicenter of the universe…ergo, the justification for carbon being listed in the contextual reference (though it is the source of life on earth, yes) is still a faulty premise.

    All that being said, as I said, I am not a scientist. My area of specialty is in healthcare and human resources – and physical sciences were *never* a strength of mine. :)

  78. Whether you believe in the veracity of the anthropic principle is not all that relevant, the fact that it is hotly debated, and has been for decades argues against your statement that life as it pertains to the enormity of the universe, does not matter or that it is a faulty premise.

    “quite honestly, in terms of any sort of theist versus atheist debate, which I tend to avoid, because any time a “definition” is placed on something that is ineffable (as is the nature of a “god”), then it can be shredded. Further,”

    This statement troubles me in the context of this dialog. It’s rather limiting and a bit disengenuos. It took you only a couple of posts to interject your unbelief in the inerrancy of scripture, and a belief in God. You cannot possibly proceed with a meaningful give and take in this arena without first looking at the theist, atheist question. Everything else springs from ones convictions one way or the other.

    To say you tend to avoid this debate is demonstrably untrue, you cannot bring up your unbelief amongst believers, in a challenging way and then claim you tend to avoid the debate. It’s like lighting a match whilst sitting with your legs akimbo in a powder keg, if you have use of all your senses you know perfectly well the result you’ll get.

  79. You’re correct that my belief in the veracity of the *theory* is irrelevant. Likewise, that the theory has been debated for decades is of little concern to me – I have already expressed that I am not a scientist. I’m not suggesting that the subject is of no importance – just that my knowledge of it is not sufficient to enter into any real debate about it. I wouldn’t presume to enter into a courtroom as legal counsel without first having a degree in law. As to whether or not a premise, however, is faulty – that IS important, because if the premise is faulty from the outset, then any content given afterward IS without point.

    No, there was nothing disingenuous about my statement – the fact that you’re troubled *by* it isn’t a concern of mine. Having grown up IN the church, raised by fundamental christian parents – I already made up my own mind as to my beliefs or lack thereof. However, nowhere in any of this blog – if you’ve read my comments – have I asserted whatsoever that “there is no god”. No, I’m not agnostic; I am, indeed atheist – but that is MY belief. I haven’t tried to push that belief onto you or anyone. However, the moment you assert to me that there IS a god, or that there is some sort of purpose toward a definition of evidence (regardless of source, be it science, logic, emotion, whatever), then the onus…the *burden of proof* is on YOU. Not on me to defend my belief…specifically when all I *really* noted was that I avoid the various debates regarding theism versus atheism (and stating why I avoid them). I view those debates as a waste of everyone’s time.

    In that, I am in no way being “challenging”. I *didn’t* bring up the subject whatsoever – it was addressed with me in an entirely separate context, and I made a few *observations* – but I didn’t insult anyone’s beliefs here, as when I came here, I was curious about the content of the blog entry itself. Hmm…at last check, it was about the “correctness” or “incorrectness” of torture techniques. THAT was what I came here for. Additionally, I had already told Theresa that, specifically on this subject (but implying any OTHER subject as well), we are in another person’s blog space. To go on about THIS topic (which YOU brought up with me…using “logic” as your method of approach) is disrespectful to Jeannie. Nor do I find your duplicitous approach in any way “clever”. If anyone should be calling out disingenuity, it should be me…however I didn’t stoop to that, though I strongly suspected that this was the direction that you were going with your original question in the first place – particularly having viewed your blog and having an established sense of where you were coming from…and where you would likely be going. Which made your original question – as I figured – a circular one. Just because you’re annoyed with the answers I’ve given you doesn’t make those answers invalid.

    You, as everyone who has read this blog, have available at your disposal access to the links I provided for further commentary outside of the space of this blog – at the VERY least out of respect for the owner of this blog.

  80. You’re free to continue the discussion I find it both respectful and interesting…no need to move!

  81. Jeannie, you are *too* nice about this, really. I sincerely appreciate it – but goodness, this is a lot of crap on your page that is completely unrelated to your original subject matter. I feel awful that the conversation has gone this direction – and for my part in that.

  82. I have *no* authority on the subject. I also noted that I have friends who are scientifically inclined – to the level of geekdom, I should say – so my exposure level gives me some awareness. Additionally, I have several christian friends who believe in the “young earth” ideas, so this subject has been brought to me …many, many, many… MANY times. I listen with interest, admittedly, or read the conversations (as the case may be)…but rarely do I actually offer an opinion (much less an opinion with any air of authority) because it isn’t my area of expertise. Which I have said. Repeatedly.

    When I made the observation about the gospels, it was because I was “suggested” to read them (along with some booklet about hell) – and my comment was *in response* to that. And on that, yeah, I have likewise had more than anyone’s fair share of exposure to that topic as well, which is why I didn’t go into the subject in depth; rather, when I made the comment, I counter-suggested a book to read that goes into that subject with much greater authority than I possess. That isn’t a matter of ownership OR denial of a position. It was simply a comment. Amongst christians, I’m not uncomfortable, in case that isn’t already obvious. I’m perfectly content among all of my christian friends – none of whom broach these areas with me – not because I’m bothered by it, or because they’re worried about offense – but because we’ve already been there, if that makes sense.

    I made an assumption about where you *might* be going, based upon what I observed in your blog, yes…not out of malice or anything of the sort…just a wariness that is natural coming from someone who’s been down this road to hot & heavy debate before, and has said (now, repeatedly) that I have no wish to go into that debate – by whatever route is being offered…and your last two questions are precisely that – a different route back to the same debate I have indicated I don’t want to get into. The ONLY reason I’m taking the time to respond to you at all at this point is because Jeannie indicated that she’s okay with our conversation here.

    See, DP, having taken a look at your blog (some of which I *did* find interesting, by the way), the way I see it is thus: Had I actually wanted to engage you in actual debate, I would have opted to pick a subject *there*…in YOUR blog…and would have opened a channel for respectful debate (sincerely, I *do* enjoy discourse on subjects of disagreement with reasonable people – which you appear to be). I did not, however, choose to do that. I also let YOU know that there are two links here to two different sites (both are member-only, but membership is free, and you don’t need to be an artist to go there; a lot of it is networking and such…further dA has several christian groups that I could direct you to for artistic fellowhip, were that your desire) – anyway, the point being, if you wanted to “bring the discussion to me” – that is another avenue of approach. On the specific subject of theism versus atheism, I can’t say that I would engage – but there are SEVERAL other subjects that are worthy of consideration as well…and some of them do touch into individual religious beliefs, of course, as many subjects somehow seem to. But to carry on here, trying to pull me into this debate through your last two questions:

    “Do you believe the same sort of evidence could be used to support the existence of God? I mean from the Bible and the staggering complexity of the universe that argue against random chance?”

    …is simply pointless. Perhaps you have, by now, determined that I’m not a neophyte to this realm of online discourse? Perhaps you might have determined (I’m not sure, but maybe you have) that I’m not going to be “double-dog dared” into a debate that I have (repeatedly) said I have no interest in engagement in? It’s not out of anything personal to you, or anyone else here. Nor is it out of any closed-mindedness…at all. It’s that *I’ve already been there* and have no desire to go there again. I’ve mostly enjoyed my time here, and Jeannie has been a gracious (and REALLY patient) hostess. To answer your questions in the VERY simplest terms, my answer to both questions, is *no* – but to go beyond that is unnecessary, for the reasons I have already stated. My position is that the burden of proof is on those who insist that god exists (as I have already said) – not for me to defend my own position, since I haven’t aggressively asserted it for the purpose of debate.


  83. I beg your pardon da, from the tenor of your earlier posts I mistakenly construed that you were open to this sort of give and take.

    As you stated earlier you are not a scientist, though I maintain that you presented yourself as an expert when you made the statement about the nature of the universe and what was and was not a faulty premise. I would be more inclined to see your point, if you had said I believe like my geeky friends that… As opposed to the Ex Cathedra manner you adopted.

    I can assure you that you are welcome to engage in any and all discussions you find interesting on Digital Publius.

    “My contention is (and has consistently been) – I personally am a non-believer. By “label”, I’m an atheist. But I’m not militant about it…and my feeling is that IF categorical, irrefutable evidence of god’s existence is presented, then as a reasonable person, if that evidence is presented then I would adjust my views accordingly. The problem is…the moment people try to define the “ineffable”, it can be refuted. *shrug*”

    Difficult to be presented with evidence, if you “avoid the debate”

    I find it interesting that circumstantial evidence is only valid for you if it backs one of your assumptions.

    Nevertheless, Cheers!

  84. Let’s review.

    You approached me…not the other way around…and by what I would maintain were somewhat duplicitous measures – asking if I am a creature of logic.

    Once we settled that I am neither a philosopher (which is where the study of logic rests) nor a therapist (for reasons I won’t guess the question), you jumped in with questions about my thoughts about Dr. Hawking’s assertions, and your position on it. At that point, it was about “economics of God” – however, I had ALREADY made clear previously (before chatting with you) that I had no interest in the debate of theism versus atheism. That point, DP, was already established before you addressed me in any way. You asked me what I thought of the specific subject, and I answered – and the boiled down version of my answer was NOT actually scientific. In any way. This was something I was pretty clear about in both answers of this vein – “it would be a matter of arrogance related to the existence of earth and life inhabitants herein” – and “As a species, we are a curious lot – and all-too-often are way too self-important for our own good”.

    That is not an assertion of authority in science. You asked my thoughts – I gave them to you. I think, as a species, we human beings are pretty damn arrogant when we assert that we are the only species that has attained “sapience”…which is one of the assertions of the Anthropic principle, unless I’m very much mistaken. Seriously, DP, correct me if I’m wrong on that…but that is pretty much well-known information as far as I knew – and was something that I was aware of through church as a kid as well. I didn’t require any scientific knowledge for that. And when I make a comment (EARLY ON) like, “Modern physics isn’t my area of interest, no…although I have many friends who are scientifically inclined.” – that makes my position all the more clear on it. Further, I also TOLD you what my area of interest actually is…which doesn’t involve the earth sciences. That, however, is irrelevant…there isn’t a need for me to call my scientifically inclined friends: The Geek Patrol for it to be clear that “scientifically inclined” means exactly what it says – unless I somehow I have lost the ability to articulate in our shared American English.

    From there, you proceeded to inform me that my “belief in the veracity is irrelevant”…when I never said anything I “believed” or “disbelieved” – I SAID: “I have a question for the purpose of “existence of the universe” … I’m inclined to remain entirely skeptical – because it places homo sapiens at the epicenter of the universe…” – based on what has been clear criticism of the theory by *the scientific community* – not out of my own “expertise”… Yes, I listen to my friends of scientific proclivity in this area, but (as stated earlier) EARLY ON, I had already said that science is not my area of interest. Further, like you, I also have access to information on this wondrous place we’re in – so I’m able to look stuff up & verify all by myself if I’m unsure. I’m sorry if you’re bothered by the fact that when I answer questions, I answer in an authoritative manner…but quite frankly, that is your problem, not mine. What would you rather? That I kowtow and hem & haw around the question like a complete dolt? Or would you rather that I acknowledge that it’s a subject I’m not strong in, and answer the question to the very best of my ability? Either way, your preference for my written style – or lack thereof – isn’t something I’m really concerned about, since I don’t write in a fashion to please you. And mentioning any sort of *papal infallibility* – while it shows that you understand how faulty arguments are developed in certain situations – is also not altogether impressive.

    If I happen to find a discussion in your blog that catches my attention and interest enough to draw me in to engage in healthy discourse, then I assure you…you’ll probably be the first to know.

    As far as…”Difficult to be presented with evidence, if you “avoid the debate”” — no, not really. The debate itself has nothing to do with presentation of evidence – those two ideas are mutually exclusive to each other, and it is merely another way of insistence that I present my position in some sort of defensive manner before being “enlightened” by countering evidence – when that evidence should be presentable as a stand-alone without any need for a lead-in.

    My assumptions about where you were coming from and where you wanted to go – by your own sideways admission – happened to be correct, as it happened. Beyond that, there weren’t any assumptions made…just a dialogue.

    I think, DP, we’re at an impasse…and that is probably as it should be.

    Take care and be well.

  85. That is were i was heading Ben, the universe is the greatest piece of circumstantial evidence that proves God’s existence available. It goes back to the watch on the beach of an uninhabited island. if you landed there and found the watch, though everything that nature would need to produce a watch is available, you would rightly assume that someone had been there before you by virtue of finding a complex instrument. This is logical, how much more complex is a single celled creature than a watch, yet we would assume that it could arise without intelligence, this is illogical. da did not want to travel down that path, she could examine what she could about me and rightly divine my intentions, but to do the same with the universe and it’s Creator stretches her credulity. it is what the Bible calls willing ignorance.

    “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” II Peter 3:3-7

  86. To the Watchmaker argument, I would simply direct you to the people who actually refuted it:


    I wish I was intelligent enough to have come up with those conclusions; alas, not my area. The Watchmaker analogy was one that stumped me for years. But the rebuttals make much better sense than the analogy itself, which has been around since the 1800s.


    Now I’ve occupied all of them. 😉

    And with that, I’m back to my family and *regular* studies.

  87. all of those answers to the watch analogy are shallow most notably fractals, though the fractals themselves are self replicating, the math it takes to get them started in the first place is complex.

    Dawkins had to create a computer program to start his experiment. These are arguments from bias that don’t answer the question at all.

    It is all a question of faith, God is the uncaused cause. None of us were there to witness the beginning. But, as we have never observed a beneficial mutation in any system, and sense we have to acknowledge the empiricism of the second law of thermodynamics, intelligence appears more logical.

  88. The “flaw” in your suggestion is that Dawkins was somehow wrong to *test* (as is expected in science, while still supporting the anthropic principle is untestable (per critics, not me).

    Also, with regards to faith – understand this up front, please…I am NOT an objectivist philosophy advocate, but I agree with their statement about faith here:


    Really, though, I need to get back to my studies. Just wanted to share with you the information I had come across at another point in time a few years ago, so you’d have some idea of where I’m coming from…that I’m not simply “avoiding” for the sake of avoidance. I actually do possess *opinions* on the subjects that I avoid. *chuckle*


  89. da, that is convenient, try to pull great commentators from Jeaniology to your tripe site. Nice try, but I will continue to lift up Jeaniology and let your site disappear in google rankings and relevance to reality.


    Silly Socialist Squirrels, they are simply nuts!

  90. *laughing* You’re a clever one, I’m so impressed. In case you missed it, the ONLY reason I referred people to either of my sites was out of respect for Jeannie’s page, and not dumping stupid commentary herein (as you have done). I don’t personally *care* whether anyone from here goes to my sites – as I *also* made the comment that I will go to others’ blogs, as well, for the same reason I’m promoting UNNECESSARY spamming *here* on subjects UNRELATED to the original blog entry.

    If you knew anything of respect, you would have picked up on that sentiment from the word “go”, Chad.

    Peace and good day to you.

  91. Golly, Chad, last I checked, this blog entry was about “correctness” or “incorrectness” of torture techniques…which was what brought me here in the first place – simple curiosity. I didn’t *bring* the theology conversation to it – it was brought to me. Plain and simple.

    Further, if you’ve actually READ any of my commentary, I have PLAINLY stated that I am NOT a militant atheist (for whom I hold as much distaste as religious zealots). What I said was that is *my* position, but it is not mine to shove onto anyone else – so, if you would, please show me…quote me…where I’ve “demanded” to ANYONE to deny their faith… You won’t find it – because I’ve never said it. What I HAVE said is that I respect (and SUPPORT) everyone’s right to their beliefs. Frankly, I happen to understand, as the adult child of evangelical christian parents, how much comfort faith brings to people, and I would never *dream* of trying to shake someone’s faith. I know what happens to a person emotionally when they lose their faith – and it is horrific to observe. You have made a really poor -and starkly unwarranted- character judgment against me…I could easily call it character assassination if I were willing to stoop to your level and automatically judge *intent* of your words.

    “As an atheist, you let me down. Most atheists are well versed in scripture as they continue to grapple with God daily.”

    *laughing merrily*

    I don’t grapple with god at all…if I let you down, it’s because of your own mischaracterization of me based on preconceived ideas of who/what I am, when in reality, you don’t know me from Adam, any more than I know you. Do me a favor, will you? Before you get busy pulling the splinter out of another person’s eye, try pulling the tree trunk out of your own.

  92. Directly to Chad-

    Alrighty then. Yesterday I didn’t have time to go to your RSS fed blog, as (like most of us) I have a life IRW, too…today isn’t going to be much better in a short while, but you got me to thinking – so I figured I’d take a moment to address you.

    You’ve made a couple of assumptions about me here that I’d like to take just a few moments to clear up. First, you seem wild about dispensing the “Socialist Squirrel” title – and if that makes you happy, and if you think it’s clever…then wonderful. To offer a junior-high style head-swirlie and try to spin me into that, though, is erroneous. I’m a capitalist – not a socialist. Have been for, gee, as long as I remember… Unlike you, though, I haven’t mentally shut down on the subject of other political and economic systems – I continue to study them. I don’t run around wild-eyed and froth like a rabid dog calling other people names simply because they don’t share my opinions on politics. (Or religion for that matter.)

    Second, you made an assumption, based on a suggested redirection I’ve offered here. In the interest of mutual accord (though I doubt you will recognize this for what it is…still I remain optimistic of the possibility)…I’ve done a *few* things here in Jeannie’s blog – as well as in my own space. 1- in my own space, I addressed her directly (she is aware of this, as I ensured to let her know *FIRST*) out of respect for her, since she’s shown patience with me as a dissenting voice here. To me, this is one of those *Golden Rule* principles. How would I want my own space to be handled? Hmmm. I’d want it done with respect. Ergo, that is the path I choose to take with others (which is also why I’m addressing you today). I didn’t post linkage to her blog (which would have invited unwarranted and unacceptable spamming or flaming – which is not cool). I didn’t post her blog content directly (as that would have been what I understand to be a copyright violation). Instead, I offered a specific response to a *single* thread where she & I were conversing – and directed her *there* in order to view *that* response in a place that didn’t flood her page (or, quite honestly, her inbox notifications). 2- I have gone to others’ blogs (to include yours) and have read with interest many things. I haven’t gone out of my way to be insulting. I have gone to see what it is that is said by others of differing opinions and ideas – because I hold a very strong opinion that the best way for ALL of us to come together for healthy discourse is to have an understanding of where we’re all coming from without the need for name-calling or sweeping generalizations that are usually incorrect – which, by the way is what you did to me by even remotely suggesting that I was or am trying to take viewership away from Jeannie or anyone else. That is pathetically laughable. 3- My online spaces, unlike this blog – or DP’s – or yours … aren’t a political mirror, actually. That you commented disparagingly about them tells me you know little or nothing about reciprocity. Had I been trying to pull viewership for the sake of political *whatever*…I would have done two key things. I would have spammed the hell out of all of Jeannie’s blog entries (I have seen people do that, and I find it in extremely poor form); and I would have blasted her blog specifically in my own online space. I did neither. That is not the way I roll. My online spaces are actually in *art* sites – not political sites or in blog spaces (though I do also have a blog, which is not open publicly as my other sites are, if that makes any sense to you) – and in those spaces I am a writer, but not solely about my political opinions – but on all manner of other things that ALL of us as human beings share (particularly adults) – things like parenthood (the joys and the not-so-pleasant things), nature, holidays, music, art, travel, humor, and etc….and I welcome *anyone* to visit – but not with any intent of taking away from anyone else. For you to suggest that says more about your maturity level than it says about anything of me. If you were to choose to come to my page, I wouldn’t resort to name-calling…no matter how much I might disagree with you politically or whatever. I would welcome you – and simply suggest that you remain polite in your disagreements, should there be any.

    Which brings me to my third and final point to you… Too often, people (not people of a specific political bent – but people in *general*) forget that on the other side of the screen they’re typing on is a flesh-and-blood human being. Having looked at your blog, I have the impression that though we disagree STRONGLY in areas of politics and religion (yeah, those areas people in “polite society” are supposed to avoid) – even recognizing our disagreement, I don’t have the impression that you’re a horrible person without regard to others. I do have the impression that you’ve taken for granted that the people who read your writing (aside from those who share your positions) probably have more in common with you than they have differences – seeing how political and religious affiliations are only two aspects of who any of us are as individuals. For instance, I could tell right off that there were some *very small* areas of agreement with *very specific* matters where you & I could agree on *certain* political areas…and would be more open to discourse with you if you didn’t go on a name-calling tirade in almost every post I’ve seen you make here – again, excepting those who share your view. *shrug* But, as a fellow American, the best option that I can choose is to acknowledge (and again support) your right to your views…and to your expression of those views…while respectfully disagreeing with you and otherwise not commenting directly in your blog, since that would (most likely) invite unwarranted attack *from* you there…as you’ve demonstrated that you’re willing to do it *here* as well, in another person’s blog.

    If you actually took the time to read this, thank you.

    In either case, I wish you well, if nothing else. Happy blogging.

  93. That Rene would be my husband – and in the best interest of the 1st amendment and freedom of expression, his comments were all stricken from the blog here. If you’d like to tangle with him, though, I can happily direct you to his page. 😐

  94. Denise we’ve been more than civil to each other Rene was stricken because he was downright nasty…I’d be more than willing to welcome him back if he exercised a modicum of self-control in the attitude area!

  95. Then perhaps Chad should be likewise put in proper place for gross mischaracterization – since he doesn’t know me, nor Rene – and his commentary to and about me is clearly fueled by absolute ignorance – which I have slammed HIM for. I’m in no way upset with YOU for shutting off Rene from your blog (since this is YOUR blog, and you’re within your rights to do so) – but for Chad to jump in like a complete and utter repetitive idiot is unfounded as well. I apologize for my sarcasm as uncalled for because it’s misdirected at you unintentionally – but my comment about directing Chad to Rene if that is what he really wants stands.

Polite comments encouraged.