Conservative commentary: Coming home to the Grand Old Party

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— The media coverage of the race to the White House is very entertaining. Who needs "Law and Order" when we have Fox News and conservative talk show radio to give us daily updates on the fiasco within the Democratic Party?

Ditto heads around the globe delight as Rush Limbaugh launches "Operation Chaos" in an effort to keep Hillary's embattled campaign alive. Meanwhile, Democratic operatives scramble to regroup and hide their ever increasing anxiety from their liberal supporters.

While Clinton and Obama continue to call each other names like "Judas" and "monster," the senator from Arizona remains above the fray and travels the U.S. in an effort to shore up his base and let the American people get to know him. Unfortunately, for us Reagan loyalists, he has not demonstrated with any regularity his loyalty to the core principles of conservatism. And his voting record in the Senate has some of us worried about his tendency to reach across the aisle and pander to the opposition. Whether people think he is too moderate or too old, it is hard not to have respect for the former POW's courage and loyalty in the prison camps of Vietnam.

Despite being reassured by his belief in staying the course in Iraq, there is still reason for Republicans to feel uncomfortable about a McCain candidacy. In his first major speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, McCain said the U.S. cannot lead by virtue of its power alone. As a world superpower, why would we compromise the sovereignty of the U.S. by pretending that we must reach out to nations that don't have our best interests at heart? On July 4, 1962, JFK reinforced "the firm intention of America to not abdicate its leadership to any nation or society committed to systematic human suppression."

Whatever the differences, the reality is that John McCain is the GOP nominee and it is not the time for conservatives to abandon ship. A divided party is a Democratic Party. Rather than cause divisiveness similar to theirs, it is in our best interests to unite and stand strong to ensure a November victory.

McCain's moderate leanings may actually serve to increase his chances to win. It is no secret that in '06, many Congressional seats were lost because an important sector of electorate was ignored by Republicans - moderates and swing voters. Recent polls have suggested that if Obama or Clinton were to drop out, as much as 30 percent of their voting base plan to support McCain in the general election.

Eventually, however, the Republican Party needs to assess its past mistakes and pledge to commit itself to rebuilding the majority coalition that Ronald Reagan created in the '80s. These are the core principles of conservatism - those of preserving the rights of the individual and limiting government intervention, to name two. And it is the conservative base that can be a role model for the restoration process that needs to occur within the Republican Party.

Goals must be defined, and unity is key. After the '08 election, there should be plenty of opportunity for growth, considering the Democrats' ineptitude and partisanship have earned them the lowest congressional job approval numbers in recent history

If McCain is smart, he will choose a true conservative as his running mate in November. One can only hope that he has the wisdom to do that. For now, as the Democrat contenders continue to declare war on each other, I plan to sit back, relax and watch the show.

Pass the popcorn, please!

Mary K. Allen lives in Steamboat Springs and Mequon, Wis. She enjoys working in the campaigns of conservative candidates and attending functions by the Leadership Program of the Rockies. Mary is a director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado.

Comments

Murray Tucker 6 years ago

It is a shame that the Steamboat paper is so one sided considering that there appears to be a tremendous upsurge in Routt County in the Democrat Party

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justathought 6 years ago

Anyone can make a mistake, including Routt County, with any luck the citizens will pay attention this time around. The debacle of the "we want change at any cost" mentality blessed the entire County with a joke they call sheriff. Hopefully 60408, appearances really are deceiving because we can't afford any more of your upsurges.

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seabirth 6 years ago

hundreds of words to say nothing.... at least this column didn't glamorize a prescription drug addict, oh wait she did mention rush limbaugh.

i gotta laugh that republicans still call themselves the party of limited government and individual rights.

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Brent Boyer 6 years ago

60408: We have tried for months and months to encourage a group of local Democrats, or at least those who would be considered more "liberal," to author commentaries to run alongside the weekly conservative commentaries. No luck so far. If you or anyone you know has an interest, please contact me and send me a sample of your work. The space is there, the interest apparently isn't. I would also remind you that nationally syndicated columnists such as Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman and others make near-daily appearances in our opinion pages. We try to balance those pages with a "conservative" and "liberal" columnist. Thank you for your feedback.

Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4221 bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

It's even more fun when those facts you use get used against you since you don't actually read them! At least Liberal fantasies don't include Ann Coulter, whichever gender she's playing today.

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Murray Tucker 6 years ago

Rant and rave all you want about your objectivity. By 2010 there will be more than enough Democrats in the Senate to increase the Supreme Court and nullify the True Religion. Youth has seen the light. We don't write vitriolic commentaries nor concern ourselves with useless epithets. We will vote! If you think 2006 was an anomaly, just wait until November when we will stand in line for six or more hours to bring this country back to where we and our comrades in arms have a future.

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Murray Tucker 6 years ago

Yes sbvor, it is dumb youth, "...owing to their youth, [who] only see the most superficial aspects of everything." including going to war! People like you really trouble me. Thankfully, I will outlive you. Just remember, my vote counts just as much as yours (unless you live in Florida).

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suckerfreeforlife 6 years ago

Want some mythology exposed? Lets start with the sbvor's own drivel. While exposing his own whiny and grudge holding nature, sbvor references being called out as "thuggish", implying that it was a liberal who called him this. Fact is, the person who made this accurate and timely observation about sbvor voted for W. Probably rules him out as a "Liberal". Goes to show that the nausea induced by sbvor's whiny, self-righteous and polemic approach to discourse knows no party lines. Keep playing to your ovine base, sbvor, no one else takes you seriously.

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Murray Tucker 6 years ago

Sbvor: Military people think? That's an oxymoron. They are not allowed to think, or at least express their thought. When they express anything but accepted garbage, they face discipline (generals forced to retire) or exclusion (gays).

Of course they mature faster. Over 4,000 are dead, over 30,000 have minor to major disabilities and countless numbers have had their brains fried.

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424now 6 years ago

60408, You are correct in that youth has a vote, a powerful vote. The youth of today can be very well educated. It all depends on the time they take to educate themselves or in the indoctrination that they have undergone in the public school system. I will not discount your opinion but I will counter it with a logical review of the situation that you decry. Please reference this thread.

http://www.steamboatpilot.com/forums/open/reader_forum/499/

Consider you position very carefully. Voicing your opinion is a right we enjoy in this country. If we are not very careful over the next ten years, it is your generation who will have to contend with consequences as you out live the majority of humans alive in the U.S. today. They were born between 1945 and 1965. A greater number and the vast majority of them vote. That unfortunately is not the case for the youth of America.

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424now 6 years ago

Any body out there have numbers on the ages that voted in the last presidential election?

60408?

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beenthere 6 years ago

A quote from the late 1700's:

"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."

Sorry, but I really like this quote.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Sorry about the dbl posting. Said page wasn't available after sending it both times, so I didn't think it took.

Site's acting weird. Probably due to Conservative Commentaries. Those things are worse than gremlins.

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nikobesti 6 years ago

"Despite being reassured by his belief in staying the course in Iraq, there is still reason for Republicans to feel uncomfortable about a McCain candidacy."

You're right: he doesn't support torture. How unfortunate for true Republicans wishing to carry on the Bush/Cheney legacy.

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nikobesti 6 years ago

Interesting poll there, sbvor. Here's another one and the results are quite different in some regards:

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075

Most noticeably, an overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately. In the poll you cite, those numbers are much smaller. One reason might be that the Zogby poll was conducted in 05/06, whereas the Military Times poll was conducted in '07. Maybe the surge has made a difference on the troops' thoughts. Or, it could just be that you can get very different answers with different polls. Do they explain who they interview in the Military Times poll? Is it Army, Marines, National Guard, etc? That makes a big difference.

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shenanigins 6 years ago

I really like this quote: "Choosing the lesser of two evils is stiill choosing evil"

It is time for reform in our country

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nikobesti 6 years ago

I bet you're right about the surge influencing these polls. However, still nearly half still disapprove of the job Dubya is doing with Iraq (37.9% to 40.4%). Guess that just shows our troops are as diverse in opinion as the general public, even though a few more approve of Bush than the latest polls of the general public.

It's interesting you bring up our troops are being influenced by all the "dishonest anti-war propaganda." One more thing about the Zogby poll you might have picked up on: "While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly 'to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks,' 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was 'to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.'"

Holy cow, is there brainwashing going on in our armed forces or what? Just think of how many more would want to leave Iraq if they knew the truth that Saddam had diddly squat to do with 9/11 and that Saddam and AQ were not on friendly terms? Or are these more media lies?

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424now 6 years ago

Matt,

Thank you for the links

bwaa ha ha ha ha ha, ahh... heh hem, I mean lol conservative commentaries heh...

According to the first link 83% of the voters in 2004 presidential election were 30 years old or older.

In the second link the telling comment is "One in four eligible young voters with college experience voted on Super Tuesday, compared with one in 14 eligible young voters with no college experience."

The unfortunate truth is kids don't vote. As soon as they gather some education more head to the polls on election day. As the years wind on by they gather experience and then out of the pack we have our voters.

60408,

I wish more of the younger people would take the time to participate in debate of a political nature. I wish more of the education of your youth was more effective alas currently American public education is more vocational than truly educational.

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SilverSpoon 6 years ago

I think we need to support our troops. Who can i make the check out to? Every man, woman and child in america owes $30,000 for the war so far. I think we should secure funding for the next 4 years(under the mccain fundamentalism). A check for $60,000 should do. Or maybe we should do the blank check that Bush is used to.

Look back in history, our freedom was a result of gurilla war fare(watch mel gibson in The Patriot). The red coats realized they would never win, so had to leave. We still haven't realized this in Iraq. It is un-resolvable, no matter how many americans get maimed, and killed. Cut and run should be an acceptable policy, in addition to trying bush and chainy as war criminals.

Let the locals figure out who gets iraq. Maybe our afgany allies? or our foe Iran? Russia probably wants some more oil? As soon as they run out of AK47 bullets, there will be peace in the middle east.

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JazzSlave 6 years ago

424now:

You beat me to it. Kids are too busy being kids to be bothered to vote. Even with charlatans like MTV trying to convince them they'll be drafted if they don't vote Democrat.

It'll be interesting to see if Obamarama amps up their turnout this time around.

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424now 6 years ago

High Ho Silver,

Seriously reference the discusion on the thread I posted earlier. Think it through, reactionary emotionalism will not stop al Qeada. If we cut and run you can bet they will give chase.

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424now 6 years ago

Jazz

I do have to say one thing for a program called "Rock the Vote" It actually brought some of the more timid minds in my generation into the fray.

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raver 6 years ago

lots and lots and lots.... and lots of quibbling. rabble rabble rabble rabble.

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kal61 6 years ago

Ronald Reagan fans are mostly proceeding under some illusion that he really stood for "limited government." What he stood for were some conservative ideals that did change the direction of the country. But unfortunately he didn't change the basic nature of this country and while many congratulate themselves on their conservative principles, this is simply a feel-good cult and it has ultimately harmed the country because it has resulted in one of the most incompetent administrations in recent history. American Empire is an illusion and our ability to promote or even force democracy is a flaw rooted in self indulgent notions about our superiority.

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424now 6 years ago

Amen to that sbvor

To secure a future free of terrorist attacks, on our own people here and aboroad, We need to lead the world into a democratic future. The democratic experiment begun in 1776 needs to run it's course. We as a nation need to finish what we start.

To allow Iragq to slide back into a sectarian government, with a dictatorial leader surrounded by more of the same, will only allow a breeding ground for the radical religious and terrorists to reestablish itself. We have the chance to improve the opportunity for democracy to not only survive but flourish.

The opportunity to establish a democratic government in a region devoid of freedom is at hand. We are well on the way to securing a peacefull future for our children and the world at large. The surge in troops is giving the people of Iraq there first experience of life as a free people. To pull out of this conflicted region, without allowing for and assisting in the establishment of the middle easts first democratic goverment, will only insure a future with well equiped and well trained terrorists

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id04sp 6 years ago

The "world" does not want democracy. They live in tribes and feudal societies and are incapable of self-rule. This is why there are dictators, kings and Islamo-Fascist governments all over Africa, Asia and the Mideast.

You've got to have the b@ll$ to stand up to bullies and crooks and be willing to die for freedom in order to have it. That's how this country became free. Same for Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Algeria, etc.

Mideastern men will die for Allah (and their 72 virgins) but ask them to die to protect women and children and ensure their own freedoms, and it's, "Who? Me?"

We are dealing with cultures born of personalities molded by hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution in those parts of the world, and expecting them to embrace democracy and die for it is like expecting a gay man to give up his sexual orientation and marry a woman. It will never turn out well in the long run.

Most Americans from past generations arose from people who evolved to love freedom, and gave up everything to have it. That's why we're not sitting around in Europe or Asia or Africa, content with the "way things are" over there.

There is such a thing as a "love" for freedom, like there is "love" for a spouse and children. You have to feel it, or it means nothing. Lots of people who don't "love" freedom enjoy its benefits at the expense of those who DO love it, and will die for it. That's why none of this makes sense to the liberal crowd that wakes up craving sex, a high, doing what they want to do and not much else, because they live in a free country that allows them to exist without paying the price.

The people who want us out of Iraq don't understand freedom in America. They simply enjoy it because they have it and don't complain unless somebody infringes upon it -- a rare event for most middle and upper economic class white people.

Imagine having a huge romantic crush on someone, and asking them to go out with you, and being turned down FLAT! We all know that feeling, right? Well, that's what it feels like to those of us who love freedom when Hillary and Barack tell us about pulling out of Iraq next year. We know what the consequences will be in the long run, and it feels BAD to us. The rest of you just don't have a clue.

The people living in the Mideast don't think like us. That's the problem. If force is the only thing keeping some of them from subjugating the others, or attacking our interests, then we have to use it. It's very simple once you realize what we're dealing with.

Oh, and all this Conservative stuff is crap too. The ones who consider themselves to be above the law are mostly the ones holding office; look how many elected Republicans have gone down in scandals. It's a sad state to be in, but John McCain is the ONLY one running who appeals to the broader population of responsible, productive, freedom-loving citizens.

We don't need change. We need adult supervision.

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424now 6 years ago

Richie Havens

Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom.

id,

We will see the evolution of the human race into a less war like group creatures ruling the Earth. Perhaps not in our lifetime but soon. The timetable for this is increasing at an exponential rate. Along with Coke we have been exporting a concept. Democracy is bound to happen. The advent of a democratic experiment was a predetermined event brought about by the subjugation of the masses. We all crave freedom. Some of us are just to simple to realize it until someone takes it away.

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id04sp 6 years ago

SB and 424,

Picking it up by the clean end, are we? Good luck.

The wheel was UNKNOWN in sub-Saharan Africa before the arrival of European colonists.

People are not all alike. We have evolved with different emotional, physical and intellectual attributes as a result of various pressures encountered in trying to survive. If skins can be different colors because of the intensity of the sun, and Eskimos can be short and stocky to be more thermally efficient (ratio of skin area to body mass) to preserve heat, then why do you think brains and emotions are all the same. They are not. Cultures are a function of emotion and intellect, and both are inherited traits.

Democracy is not a universal desire. We've got socialists up our butts all over this county. What makes you think the Mideast will become democratic when people living in our own community reject the idea and long for universal government control and ownership of land and property to redistribute wealth for the benefit of "all?"

Hey, if you clap real loud, Tinker Bell will get well. It's in the script of Peter Pan. Democracy is not in the script for the Mideast, so let's just deal with it. It didn't work out in the Soviet Union and it won't work anywhere else that the people don't rise up, demand it, and fight for it.

As good stewards of our country, WE, the freedom lovers, have got to suck it up, deal with the liberals and the parasites, and do what's necessary. They are not going to change just because we make democracy and freedom available. The southern states have been "free" from Jim Crow laws for over 30 years, and we still have people voluntarily living in poverty and rejecting education (Dr. King's dream) because of cultural issues. We cannot change human will and desire by making something better available to them. They don't realize, or even care, that it's "better."

So, let's get real and do the hard work because God has blessed us with the desire to live in a better society, and if that means dragging the liberals and the poor along with us, so be it. Savor it. Relish it. Do it because it's right and good, and forget about people thanking us for it. That's life on Earth.

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424now 6 years ago

id,

I disagree that all miinds are not similar. Some are simply less educated or indoctrinated into the first worlds idea of tolerance and democratic rule. So have a Coke and a smile;-)

In 1985 I stood on the west side of a wall in Berlin. I took a deep breath and mustered my courage and stepped my teenage soldier keister through a small steel door to emerge on the east side. I bought a little trinket walked around a bit. I have seen the socialist dream for what it truely was. A totalitarian society devoid of any personall freedoms. I will until my last day on earth do what I can to illuminate the socialist idea for what it is.

Socialism is a disease on the face of the world.

Capitalism is the vacine.

Freedom is the result

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id04sp 6 years ago

424

When we look at each other on the street, except for twins, no two people are alike. It is naive to believe that a physical characteristic such as brain structure is universal to all people when there are so many other physical differences obvious to the most casual observer.

Even creatures such as cats and dogs have different termperaments and personalities which are obvious to those who know them well. Two puppies raised in the same litter with all environmental factors being identical can still have different inborn behaviors.

The differences may be microscopic, chemical, hormonal, etc., but they are THERE. It's undeniable. Some people can play music by ear, others can't carry a tune in a bucket. No amount of training can correct tone deafness.

We may all have the same gross anatomical structures, but the differences are real, physical, and dramatic among individuals as well as among closely related populations.

The "we all have the same brain" schtick is pure BS, thought up by PC types, in the "all men are created equal" argument. It's just not true.

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thalgard 6 years ago

idiot04sp...how do I join your master race? Maybe you can come up with a final solution to deal with all of those damn parasites and liberals, like, um, a blodgett oven at 350. You are a racist creep, tis too bad your white trash momma didn't stick you in the noggin with a rusty hangar and spare us pleasure of you mindless rant!

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424now 6 years ago

id, I disagree. This is my opinion I base it on research that I have done in this specific field. An essay I appreciate is at this link,

http://www.bsu.edu/worldtour/polyark14/site%20documents/zph/zph%20essay%201.htm

I will use this and other source data as we discuss this.

However different the cultural biases Humans are essentially the same creature. We are on our way to becoming a single human culture. The dilution of cultures is occurring as we speak.

"There are things that all humans share, and these are very important because they are what make us humans and separate us from other earthly creatures. Characteristics such as the capacity to show emotion, and the desire to have basic needs met are shared by all of humanity. All humans cry, and have the ability to show anger and joy." What angers you may be different from that which angers me but alas we can both achieve anger. Joy has a similar universal appearance.

"A smile is a smile no matter what part of the world one is from."

"Every human needs shelter, food, and companionship. Without the fulfillment of these needs the population would suffer dearly. Core characteristics such as these are the beginning of what could create a world culture. But these basic human traits in themselves cannot be a culture; it's not that simple. Culture is multi-dimensional, and deals not only with human behaviors but with the institutions and products that humans create."

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424now 6 years ago

As we progress through time with our new global communications and travel our experience begins to broaden. Here in America we have the global melting pot in a rolling boil. In my squad in the Army I served with Italian, Black, Inuit, German and Irish American men. That was just my squad! This kind of interaction did not occur 400 years ago.

We are, through our capitalistic open markets drawing all of the cultures of the world into trading with us. Trade will lead to social interaction.

Cultural blending is happening everywhere on earth. We have the capacity to direct the world cultural that is developing through our actions as a nation. We are in the process of doing so now.

So, Have a Coke and a smile ;-)

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id04sp 6 years ago

thal,

Right. Shoot the messenger.

The final solution is that we are all human beings and some of us care about everybody while some only care about themselves.

I fall into the first category.

Nobody said that one set of DNA is superior to another, only that they are different.

Oh, and the only thing desireable about a right-wing conservative is the fact that a lot of them support themselves. Others, apparently, consider themselves to be above the law and support themselves unlawfully. That's bad, umkay?

People like me are the geese who lay the golden eggs. Get rid of us, and the liberals will eventually perish from lack of innovation, but probably long after the parasites die of starvation. The reason the parasites continue to live is that the liberals give them the shirt off the backs of the people who work and innovate.

I don't mind supporting the other two thirds of the population. I take pride in it. Just don't blame the people like me when liberals and parasites don't have as much as they could have if they were going out and doing it for themselves.

Oh, and my momma and daddy were married and had jobs when I was conceived. They paid the hospital bill for having me, earned the money to buy the food I ate, and raised me to be able to take care of myself without anyone else's help. Neither they, nor I, ever took one dime of public assistance for basic support, medical care, education or housing.

The people who don't go out and make the best of their own earning potential don't know what they're missing. That's why they have to be drugged up, alkied up, chasing "strange" and complaining about what they don't have because I've got it instead.

I see people all the time, in my various travels, who don't move fast all day long until it's time to quit and go home. They drag in late to work, do a half-fast job all day, and then get busy when it's time for the shift change so they can get out and go. If the truth insults you, that's not my problem.

I believe all people are "equal" in terms of their human rights. All people are not "identical," however, and it's the difference that nobody wants to deal with. I contribute more because I am different from people who contribute less, and that's not my fault or theirs. I assume that people are doing the best they can, and for a lot of them, it's not enough to live on. I only mind it when people who could do it for themselves leave it up to me instead.

http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

According to this website, which claims to tell the truth about where our tax money goes, 30% of the 2009 budget is for social programs. That means my wife and I will pay over $7,000 this year for the care, housing and support of OTHER PEOPLE. That does not include what we pay for Social Security, which also provides for the support of other people. I think that entitles me to an opinion about where it goes.

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424now 6 years ago

Oh! We have slid into an examination of the social strata.

Sorry, I thought we were discussing the logic in completing the occupation of Iraq in a way that would induce a more peaceful outcome for all involved.

I happen to be a fan of democratization of the earth. We can through our prolonged presence in Iraq allow for a democratic government to establish itself. A democratic government in place would through its nature out perform the totaling regimes in the region. We of course would have to make efforts to insure this outcome.

For the sake of argument, what do you suppose would be the sequence of events if America wer to pull out of Iraq?

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id04sp 6 years ago

424,

Go out on the street, select 100 people, get them to come into the gym at the high school, give them all a violin, and start teaching them how to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." You will find that some pick it up quickly, and others will take a long time, if ever, to do it at all, much less well.

Any such exercise you wish to carry out would have similar results. We are all different in our ability to learn cognitive and motor skills. That's why some people play in the NFL, the NBA, participate in the Olympics, etc., and others can't hold their own in a badminton game.

You've drunk the Kool-Aid. That essay is full of platitudes with no scientific evidence to back them up. We'd all like it to be true, but it is not.

All that smile stuff is nice, but guess what? My DOG smiles at me too. That doesn't mean she can do brain surgery.

All human cultures invent religions, right? That's a common trait. All (more or less) sexually mature male dogs lift their legs to pee, too, but that doesn't mean a chihuahua will retrieve a duck from the lake, or that a golden retriever will herd sheep like a border collie.

Instincts vary by breed, but all dogs can interbreed, just like all humans. Just because there are similarities across the various genetic branches of the human race, and because we can all interbreed, that doesn't mean we all have the same set of instincts, desires, etc. Heck some are left-handed and some are right-handed. Our culture would be significantly different if everyone was left-handed; for example, the throttle in a fighter jet would be on the right instead of the left if everyone was left-handed.

If all dogs were allowed to interbreed without constraint, in only a few generations, all dogs would have short coats, pointy noses, curly tails, and weigh about 25 pounds (like the wild dogs in Africa which are "pure" wild dogs that have not been selectively bred).

Once global travel and communication remove the boundaries between the various DNA branches of the human race, we will all eventually interbreed, and all the dominant characteristics will take over, and then there will be a single race and the beginning of a single culture.

So, can the sociological PC crap and get real. You can spout that stuff to get your Ph.D. in touchy-feelie if you want to, but don't believe it.

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424now 6 years ago

I told you it was an essay did I not?

Irregardless, I disagree.

I live on a street. My neighbor is not Irish/English/Cherokee and yet he steps out of his house to shovel the walk as I do. We both watch TV, listen to the radio and browse the web for our news. We are both over forty and we both vote. We are indoctrinated into our local society quite nicely. We even speak civily because our culture has trained us through trail and error that civil is the way to speak when talking over a fence. Our society is where it is today due directly to the application of the democratic experiment here in America. Iraq is an ancient culture with a storied history. The have experienced just about every kind of government the human race has come up with. One glaring exeption is they have never had a democratic free market capitalist system in place. Lets give this a chance to succeed. Stand a guard long enough for a new fledgling democracy to take root.

If we apply the same experiment anywhere in the world people will see Freedom for what it is and Communism, Socialism, Totalitarianism or Radical Religion for what it is.

A complete and total failure.

I suppose you would prefer to not complete this experiment in Iraq.

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424now 6 years ago

I try not to use foul language but my views are any but PC.

To assume that cultural bias is anything more than what it is to delve into the genetic difference trap. All Irish are drunks, All Latin's are hot blooded, All geeks think there better,... Generalities are simply that, general overall pictures that racist use to paint a human into a mold they can rationalize and grasp.

The Iraqi people are not incapable of rational thought. Nor are they incapable of taking democracy into their lives. They just haven't had the opportunity.

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id04sp 6 years ago

424,

Small minds, nurtured by poetry rather than science, often jump to simple conclusions in order to rationalize their views of reality. The stereotypes you threw out are, indeed, not accurate of entire populations of people. However, you must admit that a creature with two arms and two legs can have those traits in common with other humans, but the differences in skin color, hair color, hair texture, susceptibility to damage from solar radiation, etc., are evident.

An "inconvenient truth" is that this country had a huge wave of refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., after 1972. I had a Cambodian classmate in flight school who went from being a 2nd Lieutenant in the Cambodian Air Force to being a bus boy in a Mexican restaurant in Pensacola after obtaining political asylum when the government collapsed in Cambodia. The Asian immigrants had their own difficulties assimilating into our society, but most of them did adapt and became self-supporting, successful people. Yet, we still have people who were native born in the United States who live in a racial and culturally-centered state of poverty and crime despite access to schools, social welfare programs, a democratic form of government, and all the other opportunitites. Giving people the chance to advance is not enough. Opportunity is out there for anybody who wants to take advantage of it, but millions do not.

So how is going to work out that thousands of years of attitudes and cultural biases will suddenly disappear upon the election of a democratic government in Iraq?

(cont)

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id04sp 6 years ago

(cont)

It has been 40 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress. Same for the Voting Rights Act. How many generations have been born and passed in that time? Roughly 4, ya think? Teens who grow into adulthood in a decade, and seniors who pass from the working world into the retired sector in a decade? And only now, 40 years later, do we have an African American politician making a viable run for the office of President. If it takes that long in the "land of the free," how long will it take in Iraq? 50 years, at least, of externally imposed law and order will be necessary to mold the Iraqi culture into a democratic society. We don't have the will or the resources to do it.

There was, indeed, a "plan" for how to get out of Iraq before we went in. There's a new book out on it by one of the guys who was in the Pentagon and worked on the plan. The idea was to pass control of the government back to the Iraqis almost immediately. The failure of the plan was in assuming that Iraqis would think and act like Americans and become democratic and responsbile when they got the chance. WRONG! And the reason for the failure in planning was the education of our leaders in all this PC "all men are created equal" crap which caused them to ignore the possibility that the Iraqis would not RUSH to embrace FREEDOM!

The false beliefs proposed by sociologists and political scientists that all humans are identical in intellectual and emotional traits are just as lacking in validity as the pronouncements by the Pope in Galileo's day that the Earth was the center of the Universe. I don't think any "race" or culture is superior, but it cannot be denied that there are differences evident all around us.

The liberals who claim there was no plan are the people responsible for denying that cultural and genetic differences exist which affect behavior, and that assumption is the reason for the failure of Iraqis to stand up and govern themselves in only 5 years.

It's going to take a generation of kids growing into adulthood who do not remember life under Saddam, and do not remember the violent aftermath of the invasion, before they will be able to function and govern in a democratic system. I say it will take 25 more years for that generation of Iraqi kids to reach the age of 20, and then they can START demanding to live in a democratic system. 25 years after they reach adulthood, the goal might be achieved. That's 50 years from now.

I don't think the general population in this country will support a 50-year occupation. We will pull out, Iraq will fall to Islamo-Fascism, and the monster will have been created.

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years ago

If I read this commentary correctly, it seems that Mary is most concerned with the fear that McCain could end up being a moderate and not right-wing enough. I find it disturbing that she would fear an opportunity to have a leader in office who could have the potential to be a great uniter. I, for one, am tired of 16 years of extreme polarity in our countries politics. If our country is going to heal internally, then we need leadership that is trully representative of the people. This does not mean that we have to build bigger government or give away the farm. I still believe in the old conservative ideals, but as a realist, I also know that extremism in ones approach repulses your opponents and does not bring them to the table to dialogue. Moderate can be seen as a way of being open-minded and thoughtful about issues as oppsoed to dogmatic. I say bring the country together and then lets figure the best course to go forward. If all we ever do is go hard left or hard right we just end up going in circles.

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years ago

sbvor, I fear that you may be correct in your assessment and prediction. However, I also strongly believe that a truthful, articulate leader can guide the nation back towards critical analysis and away from the short cuts to thinking that the media machine keeps marketing to the masses. My hope is that Democracy is going to be better served in the future by the evolution of how information flows through society. People will migrate towards the truth as it saturates society through new and unimaginable forms of the internet. The media, as an information medium, is already on life support. It is now nothing more than filler for advertising. So, I hold out hope for the future, and an honest broker would be a good start in the long healing process that this nation must undertake to get back to the business of pushing the process of adapting to an ever changing environment, both economic and social.

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id04sp 6 years ago

sbvor,

Cradle of civilization, huh? Then why didn't THEY invent democracy?

The Japanese people are a different breed of duck from the Iraqis. The Japanese are a mostly homogenous population with little outside influence, and a strong allegiance to their emperor who they view as a diety. They would have made ANY form of government, including pure socialism with all its beneficent goals, work if it had been given to them with a rule book.

I don't think we had any reasonable choice about dealing with Iraq. It was back then, or eventually. I'm glad it's over. However, the Iraqis have proved they cannot govern their own people, and their people will not protect their government or their own country. We either have to kill them all and start fresh, or hang in there and wait it out. I think we're stuck with option #2.

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id04sp 6 years ago

sbvor,

I do not feel compelled to read your background material before stating an opinion. You must be a professor, or have been one, at some time in your life. Thou shalt not assign homework to me, lest I scroll on down to something more interesting.

When you file a brief or a motion in a court of law, you are required to state your position in simple, short, paragraphs which cover a SINGLE point in the controversy. You can provide evidence that supports your point as an attachment. The judge only reads what you argue, and then he considers what the other side says in direct rebuttal, and THEN he will go to the supporting evidence if necessary to make his decision. If you do not directly rebut an assertion made by the other side, the judge takes it as your concession that the point made against you is correct. All of this provides, of course, that the clerk of the court actually puts your material into the case file instead of hiding it somewhere to help your opponent win his case.

There is no reason for me to believe, from what you've posted, that the people in Kuwait are the same as the people in Iraq. The people in Steamboat are certainly different from the people living near my second home east of the Mississippi. Most of the population near my eastern compound wouldn't go near a place that has snow on the ground six months out of the year. Many of them wouldn't THINK of moving to an area without HUD housing and a cost of living that lets them survive on public assistance payments. Some of them will pay more for a set of wheels for their car than the car is worth.

Here's one for you: Do the Kurds and the Iraqis who supported Saddam Hussein think alike? I don't believe they do.

There's a line in "Full Metal Jacket" where Cowboy offers to trade ARVN (Army of Vietnam) rifles for, I think it was, sexual favors. He said, "They've only been dropped once, and never been fired." Change ARVN to Iraqi, and you've got the current picture.

The problem in Iraq is Shiite vs Suni, and that's the problem with Iraq and Iran. That's what we have to worry about.

Iran kicked out the Shah, and the arms we gave his forces were turned around and aimed at us. That's pretty much what I suspect will happen if we pull out of Iraq before the sectarian issues and the confict with Iran can be outlived by resonable people. It's not going to happen any time soon.

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id04sp 6 years ago

sbvor,

That's exactly what they said about Vietnam until we withdrew our combat forces. Saigon fell not long after.

Lissen, friend. I spent many years of my life working for the Defense Department, uniformed, civilian and contractor, and I know how it goes. It's like Global Warming. They only show you the evidence that supports their pre-conceived dream of what will happen next.

The last project I worked on in the aircraft world was an electronic system that was supposed to provide 120 aircraft with a proposed capability for 500 million dollars. Five years later, the number of proposed aircraft conversions was down to 12, and the cost was still the original 500 million total, and they were still trying to work out the bugs that the engineers predicted in the very beginning when the design was proposed.

I don't doubt that we are making progress against the hostile parties in Iraq. We also helped the Afghans oust the Russian invaders. Once the "outsiders" are driven out, they all go back to fighting with each other. The only reason Saddam remained in power so long was that he killed everybody who opposed him. That's a long way from "democracy."

I think your unfortunate use of a trite old cliche about leading horses to water applies most readily to the "free" Iraqis who were supposed to pick up the load six months after the cessation of major hostilities. Go back and find me a graph or two from that period of time, and see how it really turned out.

We had to go to Iraq. No argument with that. No argument with what we did. It was necessary to keep Saddam from using nukes against other nations in the mideast. They, or at least the expertise and some components, would have come from North Korea, just like the SCUD delivery rockets that were purchased from N. Korea. We had to do it.

Okay, now it's done, our options for the future are a significant level of occupation for years to come, or pull out and let them and the Iranians and Saudis and Israelis and Kuwaitis and all the rest fight it out. I don't think that's wise.

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id04sp 6 years ago

sbvor,

Were you, perhaps, ever in any sort of armed forces or training at all in preparation for service in Vietnam? I was. From the Marine Corps. The veterans of service in Vietnam all knew that the rank-and-file South Vietnamese soldiers would never prevail against the North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, Chinese, etc.

I think the key here appears to be that communist indoctrination is much more effective than a democracy where people have a choice. The corruption in the South Vietnamese government was well known, and extended into the military leadership. In retrospect, if the Army of Vietnam had used its power to move loyal civilians out of the way and let our forces kill everything that moved, we could have done a lot better and had fewer casualties.

Arguing about this before whatever is going to happen happens is getting to be a silly waste of time.

There are plenty of examples of human detritus in this part of Colorado who go to prove the point that some people don't have the will or the ability to act for the common good. If this was not mostly true in Iraq also, the Iraqis would have overthrown Saddam after the first Gulf War, as Bush the First anticipated. We all know how that one turned out.

I say we cut to the chase, kill them all, and let Allah sort them out. That's what they would do with us, if it didn't involve so much effort.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Note that Schwarzkopf's comment was to a "rear echelon officer."

I got mine straight from three USMC First Lieutenants who were freshly back from a tour in the infrantry in Vietnam.

The number of casualties suffered by the Vietnamese supports my point. It doesn't say how many of them were shot in the back, but I'd suspect it was about 90% of the casualties. Dropping your rifle, turning and running is quite an invitation for your enemy to advance with little fear of his own mortality.

The reason we had "advisors" in South Vietnam was because they needed a lot of "advice." "Let me show you how," turned into, "This is hopeless. If you want a job done right . . . . "

I would venture to say that Communist indoctrination appears to work as well as Islamo-Fascist indoctrination, or vice versa, and that the South Vietnamese and Iraqis share a common lack of personal courage which is the reason U. S. troops have had to do the fighting, and have taken so many casualties.

You'll note that Schwarzkopf said he was confident staying with the "airborne." These were the people who had jumped out of airplanes, and were the elite troops. Of course there are a FEW who did a good job and were equally indoctrinated to be good fighters, but the rank and file South Vietnamese soldiers cannot be compared to airborne troops.

There is a level of calm which results from having been trained to face death and save your own life. I didn't realize this until several incidents in my own life caused me to face an emergency with a degree of calm that I would not have expected. The reflex to focus and deal with the matter at hand rather than flee is quite a remarkable thing. That's what our Marines and soldiers are taught to do in their advanced training.

I once heard a Navy Seal say that the idea when training foreign troops is to teach them just enough to walk into the ambush you will set for them at a later time when they turn their weapons back at you.

All this crap you are quoting amounts to things said for political expediency. It's like the patriotic films made during WW-II. Rallying for our side is a grand thing to do, but when it comes down to the men doing the fighting, you have to teach them what they're really dealing with. My father, as a boot at Parris Island in 1945, saw the still-classified combat films of action on Iwo Jima. They were told the carnage on Iwo was about 10% of what they would find when they landed on mainland Japan. I'll suffice it to say that he was a happy 18 year old boy when the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I think that you, Mr. "voice of repugnicans" (as in steam boat voice of . . . whatever) suffer from too much from reading and not enough doing. Same with Limbaugh, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and all the rest who can only talk about what they've heard about.

If words were going to make a difference, a stern "STOP THAT" to Saddam would have been enough.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Sorry to shake your system of beliefs, but in science, the proof is in the final outcome of the interaction, whether it's chemical, physical, statistical or anything else that can actually be measured.

When our media showed thousands of Iraqi troops walking with hands raised toward our advancing forces, desperate to surrender, that was a long way from your dismissive claim of "one or more individuals."

Schwarzkopf got to be where he was by politicking, just like Colin Powell, and Petraeus and all the rest of them. I spent sixteen years of my life in contact with that system on a daily basis, and the miracle is that we sometimes have a competent leader in the right place at the right time. Schwarzkopf's public legacy, I can guarantee you, does not contain all the details. He got where he was by showing his leadership what they wanted to see. That's how the game is played.

There is an old adage that says an unpopular war breeds incompetent leaders. We got a lot of those out of the Vietnam era. Those were the guys who evaluated and promoted Schwarzkopf. I'm not saying he was not a grand a heroic leader, just that he's not Jesus and we shouldn't believe every word he utters like it came down from heaven.

FYI, I heard many sailors tell tales of the Iranians who came to the U. S. to learn to maintain the airplanes we were selling them. I knew people who had gone to Iran to help train the pilots in how to operate them (which is more than just "flying" them). Uh, like it or not, there really are reasons why technology did not arise in the "cradle of civilization." Mechanical aptitude is one of the traits that was severely lacking. Submitting to authority is another. It's far more about tribes, clans etc.

It used to be fairly common knowledge that business in the Mideast was difficult for U. S. defense contractors, because bribes, kickbacks and payoffs were the rule. That's one of the reasons that the United States "gives" stuff away, but when it's "bought," the French, Russians, Indians, Russians, etc., find it easier to do business over there.

By the way, I used to be a fairly staunch conservative until I discovered how many of our "leaders" were making their money outside the law, and at the expense of other people who trusted the conservatives to do right.

It's no secret that the "peaceful" Mideast societies are monarchies controlled by a single more-or-less benevolent family. There's no democracy in Saudi Arabia. That should tell you something.

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424now 6 years ago

Id, Tell the nurtured by poetry shtick to Michelangelo. Humans have relatively the same equipment at birth. Genetically programmed to accommodate physical proximity to the equator is about as far as that genetic difference you allude to. Mental developmental difference occurs due to their upbringing and environment. Teach a kid to speak, he speaks. Teach a kid to walk he walks. Teach a kid to hate and he hates. Teach a kid to play Baseball and he plays baseball. Do you see where I'm going here? The changes brought about in America did not occur in the last 232 years. They are the result of (this is an estimation) 13,000 years of evolution. Our society evolves along with our physiology. The amount of melanin in our skin holds no correlation to our mental, emotional or our eventual social capacity. Education however can bring about radical changes in the behavior of a human. Will Brad and Angelina's baby will want do battle with his adoptive parents because their ancestors enslaved his? I think not. It is far more likely he will rebel against a curfew or maybe a haircut imposed by his parents. You write "Giving people the chance to advance is not enough. Opportunity is out there for anybody who wants to take advantage of it, but millions do not." The opportunity you refer to will never exist for the Iraqi people if we bug out. Their "thousands of years of attitudes and cultural biases" have been affected by exposure to European culture repeatedly over the last 4000 year or so, more directly and dramatically over the last 100 years. Iraq does not have democracy as of yet. To speak to their human rights record we will have to refer to regimes that no longer exist. (Thanks and Huge Kudos to the American Military!) As to the investment to secure and generate the first democracy in Iraq I can not tell the ultimate cost in dollars and blood. I can tell you that if allowed to revert to radical religious government, the ultimate cost in lives and blood will be higher. What you propose is the rapid withdrawal of our troops. The effect would be to destabilize the region even further than it presently is. We are still in Korea. We are still in Germany. We patrol the Bering straight. Your ongoing investment argument seems to falter in that light, now doesn't it?

Continued...

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424now 6 years ago

Conitued from above,

You have heard the phrase "we make plans, God laughs." The plan to leave had it hopes and its contingencies. We are in the midst of performing one contingency. You are proposing we halt that operation and simply walk away. Did you even read my post on that? The resulting chaos of this bug out you proposes will be far greater than the first wave Vietnamese immigrants arriving here that you refered to. It is more akin to the belief that the Japanese couldn't cross the Pacific to attack America directly. Use that active imagination of your and seriously consider the consequences of that course of action. How many more Osamas will walk out of Iraq? How many more innocents will be slaughtered by the resurgent Sunnis? What will be the end result of a capitulatory bug out? Your educational bias is showing. Are you stating that Sociology and Political Science are invalid on the whole or just the point's you are disagreeing with? The liberals who claim there was no plan are ill informed reactionary emotionalists. The people responsible for denying that cultural and genetic differences exist which affect behavior would more than likely be geneticists. That assumption being the reason for the failure of Iraqis to stand up and govern themselves in only 5 years is short sighted. The Iraqi people, as well as the rest of the Middle East, are at the end of their tribal government system. This is the point where a very important identity will emerge. They are going to over the next 50 years or so as you put it, develop their model of government. Totalitarian, Communist, or maybe, just maybe mind you, Democratic. You would have us pull out our stabilizing forces and walk away. You do realize that sentiment is precisely why the insurgents attack. If in fact there was the perception on the part of the Middle Eastern people that America was in Iraq for as long as it takes, they would take their ball and go home.

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id04sp 6 years ago

424,

There are many animal models which prove that memebers of the same species (they can breed successfully) have different instincts and "personalities." Some breeds of dogs fetch without any training at all, and some dogs don't, and cannot be trained to do so.

Given the amount of time that the populations in Iraq and Iran and Iguessyouknowtherest have been in place without "evolving" democracies, I'd say that's pretty sure proof that they are not "wired" to want it.

I don't want anybody to pull out of Iraq. I'm saying we'll have to be there for 50 years, or we might as well pull out now and let them fight it out. I'm just being practical about the issue.

Sbvor,

Yeah, everyone should be able to voice their opinion, and all of those opinions should be weighed carefully. Everyone should learn all they can about both sides of all issues, and then act in the way they feel best serves the common good. Al Gore should have done this about the global warming issues instead of proving how stupid he is in that dumb movie.

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424now 6 years ago

Anybody else out there train dogs?

id,

I train dogs. Have for years. It's been mountain dogs for the last six years. Bernese Mountain dogs to be precise. Boxer/Pit mix, Aussie Shepard and Spitz before that.

Perhaps every one of those breeds is predisposed to fetch but I have to say, I have yet to meet a dog who wouldn't fetch. Some are better than others I agree. Some require more training but all are capable.

And when I said tell the nurtured by poetry shtick to Michelangelo I meant Da Vinci.

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id04sp 6 years ago

424,

My golden retriever had never seen a duck in the wild. He had been kept in a fence and in the house in an eastern state for most of the first year of his life before I moved to Steamboat. We got the name of someone who was interested in breeding their goldie female, and took our boy out to meet the prospective inlaws.

When I opened the door to my truck, my goldie jumped out and ran straight to a pond where some decoys were floating around, jumped in, and tried to retrieve one of them. That was an inborn instinct, pure and simple, and it amazed all of us who saw it.

Okay, you win. Go teach a chihuahua to fetch ducks from a lake. Take all the time you need. Take him hunting and tear up the record books at the field trials. I believe you can do it. However, you could have started with a goldie or a Lab and saved youself a lot of time.

I believe you can teach an Iraqi to vote. I just don't think you can teach him how to participate meaningfully in the government of a democracy after growing up under Saddam Hussein. Oh, they'll vote and all that, but who will they be electing? What will they do when the elected officials vote along sectarian lines? That's where it will get interesting.

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424now 6 years ago

id, You are correct sir! It is a tough row to hoe. No one ever said it would be easy. To question of whether it was right for America to invade in the first place is irrelevant at this point. We have to seriously consider the actions we take from this point forward. What we do as a country today will determine the world that will develop over the next century. It is of paramount importance that we handle our remaining commitment with as much compassion and political decorum as possible in order to rebuild our political goodwill around the world. To walk away now will accomplish the opposite. Thread, I would also like to say that I have been referring to this forum to my peers friends and family in conversations and correspondence. This has brought about much discussion and debate. I wish to point out that the SP&T blogosphere is now read by readers in Texas, North Carolina, Kansas and California. I suggest that no matter you position on any one subject you do the same. Never underestimate the power of the written word. "The pen is mightier than the sword" I invite descent and debate as it will only serve to bring the truth to light.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Oh yeah? Well, my sword never leaked ink on my clothes in the dryer when I accidentally left it in my shirt pocket!

Try swatting the bride on the bottom with an ink pen at a military wedding, as is customarily done with the flat edge of an officer's sword.

Okay, yeah, I'm just being silly, but this forum is also read by plenty of other people in other states. Look at the Routt County property records on the tax assessor's site, and see where the registered owners of the properties live. Heck, my father checks the snow report every day, and he lives 1600 miles away.

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