Monday, June 05, 2006

You're In The Jailhouse Now

A few weeks back, an ultra conservative friend of mine, whom we will call Chet, forwarded an email to me about a very special place. In Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has set up a "real" prison. Unlike the luxury prisons in the rest of the country, where anal rape, HIV transmission, nightly beatings/stabbings and bribery occur, Sheriff Joe's prison is a really TOUGH one.

Sheriff Arpaio (left) has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails, and took away their weightlifting equipment and cut off all but "G" movies. He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only allowed the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs. He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value. When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton.If you don't like it, don't come back."

He bought the Newt Gingrich lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

The response at the end of the email was:

Way to go, Sheriff! Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.

The email left out the fact that, according to the Phoenix Times, Sheriff Joe "was once Arizona's most popular politician. But his popularity is plummeting as the public learns details of horrendous jail conditions, reckless police operations and Gestapo-like activities against political rivals. "

He also seems to have a habit of having a perfectly prepared statement anytime a camera or microphone is aimed in his direction. And a closer look at Maricopa County's rate of repeat crimes shows that it is among the worst in the country. But hey, who am I to argue with the reality that this email has created?

Ah, conservative fear-mongering and paranoia. It is soooo grounded in fact and reality it's almost hard to question, isn't it? I guess my first question is this: does Chet feel that because I am a "liberal" (whatever that means), that I am FOR crime? Apparently he thinks that Democrats across the country are holding hands with convicts, supplying them with baby oil and porn, and making sure that all victims of crimes are actually the ones punished.

Is this the right wing mentality? And they call left wingers too full of emotion and not grounded in fact? What a bunch of fucking nonsense! Do you want to know why I will NEVER be a conservative
(whatever that means)? It is because of this complete sack of bullshit email that was sent to me last month. Pardon me while I LAUGH MY ASS OFF FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMER AT THIS COMPLETELY FUCKING IGNORANT, MOUTH-BREATHING POINT OF VIEW!!!

Chet, I hate to be the one to inform you of this but if you want to know why criminals are "running free" take a look in the fucking mirror. As I write this article, if someone is caught with an ounce or more of marijuana, they will serve mandatory prison time up to 25 years with NO eligibility for parole. If someone rapes or beats a woman, it is more than likely that they will be out of prison in less than two years, if they even go in at all, and this is according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's office. This is based on federal laws that were made by people that YOU voted for, Chet; CONSERVATIVE lawmakers and their leadership who don't want the drug trade interfering with their own drug business (aka the Pharmaceutical Industry).

So, just to recap: smoking a joint and listening to The Beatles: BAD! Time for prison, pal! Raping and beating the shit out of a woman: NOT AS BAD! Time off for good behavior. Oh, and how was she, by the way?

But, hey, you know what? I thought that maybe I should give Chet the benefit of the doubt so I decided to find out how our society was really treating convicted criminals in our very own state of Minnesota. I sauntered into my local police department and had a conversation with a sergeant there whom I will call Smith.

Sgt. Smith explained to me that the conditions in most prisons in Minnesota and around the country were actually quite unpleasant. (Gasp!) In addition to confirming that the items I mentioned in the first paragraph really do happen, he cited small, unwashed cells, disgusting clothes and laundry as well as harsh treatment of prisoners. When I asked him if the Democrats were at fault for all the criminals running around, he laughed and said that maybe crime would really be over in this country if our leadership in Washington would set a better example.

And his comment gave me a great idea.

Chet, maybe you, Joe Arpaio, and I have more in common than I thought. I have three perfect candidates for Sheriff Joe's prison camp:

That's right, folks. Our president, vice president, and secretary of defense could all benefit from a stint in Sheriff Joe's prison to ponder the errors of their ways. The long days spent on a chain gang in 138 degree weather in pink shorts and eating green bologna would offer them time to reflect upon their crimes of negligent homicide, conspiracy to commit murder, theft, bribery, libel, and purgery. Rather than the Newt Gingrich videos, perhaps the staff of the tent prison could broadcast images such as this one:

This is one of the families that was shot in the head, execution style, by our very own Marine Corps in Hidatha, Iraq last November. The original cause of death was listed as a car bomb but now the Pentagon itself is saying that this was an actual massacre of innocent civilians by our armed forces. Notice the smaller body, second from left. That is a child. A CHILD!! A child that was shot in the head execution style. Take a look at that body and explain to me what justifies this action.

While the Marines involved clearly are responsible for these actions, our leadership sent them there in the first place. They put them in this position and they are the ones that are ultimately responsible for this atrocity.

What's that you say? The ol' liberal, Bush-hater Mark spouting off again?

Well, maybe we should ask Sergeant Smith's opinion. He told me that apparently, and this totally whackey, dude, but, hypothetically speaking, if Bob hires Jeff to go steal a can of gas from Jim and, in the course of the robbery, Jeff kills Jim then Bob is also guilty of murder. Huh. Imagine that.

So, Sheriff Joe, are you reading this? And can you do it without moving your lips? I have some new customers for you. Their names are George, Dick, and Don. I think they will fit in nicely with the rest of the murderers and thieves, don't you?

Wait. The image of a sweaty Dick Cheney in pink shorts eating a green bologna sandwhich came into my head.....hee hee...hoo hoo.....BWA HAH HAH AH AH....hey, maybe Sheriff Joe could teach him how to handle a gun! Hee Hee.......


Anonymous said...


I have my reservations about putting those Marines on trial. Sure there have been mistakes made. Men, Women, and (as you so over-dramatically put) children have died innocently. But that's war man. It's ugly, it's cruel, and you don't want to know about half the shit that's going on over there, otherwise you'd enlist and experience it first hand.

Do not be fooled here - I am NOT defending the Service Men/Women that committed atrocities in Iraq, but this shite's going to happen.

The American Soldiers are amped up and ready to fight, it's what they have lived their lives waiting for. And I'm sure you'll be the first to agree with me that the members of the armed forces are not the best and brightest we have to offer other wise we (YEA, I SAID WE) would have gone to college and made a better life for ourselves.

If the Marine Force in question is convicted of war crimes here's what will come of it:

1. Dishonorable Discharges for the guilty parties up to the Company Commander level and maybe up to 2 years at the Fort Leavenworth prison.

2. Ungrateful Iraqis that have been 'outraged' by this will see it as a victory over the US Infidels and will start to look for things to be pissed at the US about. IE: Your Tanks are Ruining Our Streets!!!

and 3: (This one's my favorite) Soldiers that are doing it right over there will take an extra 3 seconds to determine if they will be drug through the court of public opinion every time they discharge their weapon. You may think that 3 seconds is a long time, but it's really not. In 3 seconds a man can loose his life and the life of his unit. I mean C'mon! Yea, I know Mark, the counter argument here is "These marines Shot These People in Cold Blood" AGAIN I say I'm not defending them. But this has to be handled with kid gloves here. Get them out of Iraq and don't let them reenlist. The military has ways to excrete bad soldiers from their ranks. We used to have a saying over there ~ "DON'T SHOOT, I mean, Heaven forbid you start an international incident here in Iraq!"

The world will be pissed at the US until we pull out of Iraq, and then they'll be pissed at us because we didn't stabilize the region first. There is no winning this one. DON'T TRY! It only makes you look weak.

The only thing that will come of a trial would be Dishonorable Discharges, Ungrateful Iraqis, and the finest Soldiers in harm's way; frozen, and scared to make a decision, putting their lives in EVEN MORE danger.

Thanks for reading,
(Served In Iraq 2003-2004)

Mark Ward said...

Suprisingly I am in agreement on most of the things you say here. I just can't find it in me to fault the Marines for what they did. They could be the biggest psychotic bastards in the world and I would probably despise them if I met them BUT they were sent there by Bush Co. Ultimately, it is Bush Co that is to blame.

The little child lying there in the body bag is dead because of a twisted reality that has been created by deeply evil men who crave power and wealth above all else. They created the circumstance for this too happen. They are repsonsible.

The "that's war, man and it sucks argument" only works if it is a situation like the CIA strikes in Pakistan. Innocent children's lives were lost there. It was horrible. However, Al Qaeda put those kids in danger, not us. Al Qaeda is who we should be fighting NOT the Iraqis who, the last time I checked, did not attack us on 9/11.

Our current leadership knows that most people in this country are too fucking stupid to know the difference between Iraqis and Al Qaeda (yet they know the difference betweent the American Idol contestants) and they have taken advantage of that to the point where the truth is long gone.

Anonymous said...

I must say, like most people, the war in Iraq makes me sick to my stomach, and I believe we were misled into it by the war-mongers surrounding our misinformed bozo of a President. Believe me, I want to, as an American, be able to be proud of and stand behind our president, but when it comes to Iraq (and other policies of this administration), he’s lost me.

I see no justification for the deaths, maiming, and permanent psychological damage to the brave troops put in harm’s way. It is sickening, profoundly sad, and completely unnecessary. To those who argue that this stance is “unpatriotic” or not in support of our troops, you’re wrong. How could you support the troops more than wanting them to come home alive from a living nightmare? Lives are being destroyed as our prez “the decider” and his puppetmasters joke it up at the black tie Republican fundraisers. And the Democrats are no better. There should be accountability, and there should be outrage. Meanwhile we Americans drive around in our gas guzzling Hummers and sit glued to our televisions, casting more votes for American Idol than for any presidential election ever. Oblivious.

Anonymous said...

What a country....I love being judged by those unwilling to even identify who they are. I'm wrong. Well, I'm sure glad that's cleared up. I'll be sure to update my definition of "unpatriotic" according to whatever the latest progressive group says it is. Hey, that would kind of make me like John Kerry - what great company I would keep!

Markadelphia, I'm not shocked, disappointed, or angered by your latest rant. (OK...the illogical analogy between sending somebody to steal gas and sending soldiers to war caused me to raise an eyebrow.) And I won't waste your time or mine submitting my predictable responses to your predictable position.

I would only offer this....I am disappointed and angered (though no longer surprised) that you have already convicted the Marines in question. With utter contempt I discount the notion offered by "Anonymous" that the most support you can offer the troops is to get them out of Iraq. Instead I would submit that the most support you can offer the troops, in fact any citizen of this nation, or even the nation as a whole, is the benefit of the doubt in situations exactly like this. To pick up and run with the most evil of all possible explanations (which has become a predictable pattern of yours, I'm sorry to say), no matter how likely that explanation may seem, just so you can continue to shit on GWB and his administration is a disgusting practice.

Anonymous said...

There’s a club for people who deal with the media often who have perfectly prepared statements all the time...the club is called "Everybody".

For three years, our troops in Iraq have behaved so well that a salivating Vietnam culture had to make do with the thinnest of pickings: one jailhouse with fraternity type pranks, a prisoner on a dog leash, a marine who correctly made a split second decision to off a nutjob who just got done shooting at they have this story, which will be completely forgotten in 4 months...just like Terry Schaivo, the ports deal, Abu Gharab, and the rest of them. Thanks to attitudes like those on display in the original blog posting, those 10 Marines will come to symbolize the 99 percent of their fellow soldiers who do their job the right way every day.

I’m not sure why you asked people to explain to you what justifies that action...I’m fairly certain noone on this blog will condone the action and even if someone did, no answer would be good enough for you.

While you may mean you understand what kind of impact these types of comments can have around the world? Our enemies live for news bits like this. If your goal is to bring about change, do you really think that fueling the enemy will help?

No, this is not an attempt to keep critics quiet...I want them to think about what their goal is and really analyze the best way to achieve their goal before they start flying off the handle about a story that has only been out less than a week and you have already tried and convicted the marines in question. I know you disagree with the war but trust me, you will seem more credible if you acknowledge that they actually do some good sometimes...believe me, we won’t think you switched sides.

Mark Ward said...

PL, all of the information I am getting is coming directly from the Defense Dept web site. Follow the link in the post and you will see what I am talking about. I have purposely tuned out all news casts and newspapers.

After reading their press releases, I guess the Defense Department has already convicted them too. Every comment that has come from them says that it happened. Period. They have known about if for awhile and this story has been around for much longer than a week. I knew about it last Feb but didn't want to say anything until I heard the government's official position.

I will not be listening to Fox News,CNN, radio or reading any other news report other than information coming directly from the Defense Department. That way, you see, I can't be raked over the coals by you and Crab for believing the "liberal" media.

I still do not fault the Marines. Crazy as it sounds, I am not angry at them, Crab, and I think they do a world of good. The situation in Iraq is NOT good. It is a matter of leadership, not the fault of the troops on the ground. They are doing the best with what they have to work with but when you have three people who refuse to change a failed policy because they aren't men enough to admit when they are wrong...well, you get Iraq.

A salivating Vietnam culture? Good lord, man, this stuff has been going on for the entire war. And the broader picture is much more complex. The Taliban is back on the rise in Afghanistan, 1500 civilian deaths in Iraq in the month of May alone, Somalia run by Islamists....this is a failed policy. Admit it and move on. President Bush is failing in this War and maybe that was the plan all along. Our focus should be elsewhere and our brave men and women should be tracking Al Qaeda.

Our enemies live for news bits like this? What does that mean, exactly? Let's bury the truth and paint a gorgeous picture of a child being shot in the head in a pre-meditated fashion? (again from the Defense Dept web site)Would you please put down the kool aid they are feeding you and start to think about statements like that?

Statements like "this kinda stuff makes our enemy stronger" plays into people's fears, makes us all weaker, and gives too much power to an executve branch that is already tetering on fascism.

Anonymous said...

While I’m not sure exactly which predictable responses PL was talking about (although I’d be interested in hearing about them), speaking for myself, 3 of my predictions came true...

1.Most of your response was directed at me.
2.I got a "drinking the kool aid" comment
3.You accused someone of "playing into peoples fears".

In your original posting, you accused Rumsfeld of "negligent homicide, conspiracy to commit murder, theft, bribery, libel, and perjury". Now you’re saying that what the DOD and Pentagon are telling us is the truth. Merits of this case nonwithstanding, it’s interesting how you can switch back and forth so easily. You question most everything else coming out of this administration except for this incident. Because you can use this incident to bash GWB, there’s nothing in it for you to "find out what’s really going on".

"Drinking the kool aid" – somebody saying something that is at odds with the reality that is concretely formed in Markadelphias mind.

"Playing into peoples fears" – a conservative saying anything about the war.

Funny how leftists in general can tell people that the GOP is going to "end social security as we know it", "throw old people out on the street and take their medicine", a Minnesota democrat can wear a bullet-proof vest on the Minnesota house floor in response to a conceal-carry law debate(saying there would be gunfights in suburban streets), claim that Ashcroft is going to overturn Roe V. Wade, say that there’s not going to be any more softball, say that the NSA is listening in on everyones phone conversations, environmentalists (back in the 1980’s) claimed we were using up the last available oxygen on this planet, say that if republicans are elected in 2000 "another black church will burn" (you all saw the commercial), say that we are now "tetering on facism", try to change the way everyone else around them votes (as if it is any of their business) because "there’s too much at stake", and so on...well, democrats are simply "advancing their agenda" when they say and do things like that. When a Republican advances their agenda, they are "playing into peoples fears". Really, you can stop using that line any time now. That garbage only works on people who don’t pay attention to politics.

Thanks for proving my point about the "Vietnam culture". It’s only been 3 years in Iraq and you have already deemed the Iraq policy a "failure". It’s like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory saying "but I want success in Iraq NOOOWWW!!!!".

Like Stephan said, war is an ugly thing with many unexpected twists and turns. I certainly haven’t deemed Iraq a success so what makes you so qualified to say that it is a lost cause? What would you have said in early 1942 about our chances of winning World War II? Was that a lost cause too? I guess it would be if you only based things on casualty figures. Like I’ve said before on this blog - study of examples of similar socio-economic changes that took place in countries like Chile, Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia and other countries with oppressive Socialist dictatorships shows that it took seven to ten years to move those countries to where they are now. Change doesn’t come easily, even without an insurgency going on.

I’d certainly expect the polls to be where they are at with regards to Iraq seeing as the only time we hear about the war is when our soliders are killed. The formation of a new government over there sure didn’t get 52 front page stories in the New York Times (like Abu Gharab did).

I never said "let’s bury the truth". Nice try. Didn’t you notice where I said "This is not an attempt to keep the critics quiet"????

Somalia? They didn’t attack us. Tell us what should be done there? Give us your proactive solution.

You defend the "liberal media" far more often then PL and I make the accusation.

Mark Ward said...

Well, you are drinking the kool aid. So is anybody that is still supporting someone who is sub- human. This is not a matter of opinion anymore. This is fact. Let's use an example, based on your posts, on how you and I would perceive a reality.

Ten women in a community get raped. They are horribly beaten and permanently scarred. Based on the women's testimony, it turns out that a group of policemen did it. The day the policemen raped the women, they also planted some flowers at a school.

I look at this story and would say why did this happen? Are the women OK? How can we prevent this from happening in the future? And, these policemen need to be prosectued.

Based on your posts, you would say, well, maybe the women wanted to be raped. And the policemen planted some flowers at a school earlier, so they can't be all bad.

Open you fucking eyes, dude, and take a look at what is going on. You are a good person. I know you are. Start seeing what is happening.

If you think I am using current events just to bash Bush, then you are not listening or hearing what I am saying. What agenda am I advancing exactly? Let's see....a more focused War on Terror, military efficiency, universal health care, increased environmental awareness and precaution, and a more equal distribution of wealth.

God, that sounds so awful, doesn't it? Go ahead, now you can tell me how that is secrely evil.

What is evil is all of the lies we are being told by people that we are supposed to look up to. War is an ugly thing but does it have to be ugly and really really really poorly managed by a bunch of stupid idiots?

As far as agendas go, let's take a look at what the Republicans are advancing this week in Congress: estate tax, flag burning, and gay marriage. Wow. They are soooo in touch with what people are thinking out there.

When you and other defenders of the war say things like "the only time we hear about the war is when our soliders are killed. The formation of a new government over there sure didn’t get 52 front page stories in the New York Times (like Abu Gharab did)" I can see that you are not a reader of the New York Times. Every story, good or bad, about Iraq is on the cover including the story about the formation of the new government. They had one a few weeks back about Babylon and how there is no violence there.

Oh and I am only listening to what the Defense Dept is saying because they are being honest for a change. It is quite refreshing. They mostly lie so that is why I question things. I wonder why YOU would question what they say now.

Mark Ward said...

I wanted to let all of you know that the comments left above were made anonymous by me on purpose until I got full approval from the write to post his name and blog. His name is Pete Icke and his original post can be read and commented on at

Anonymous said...

I gotta be honest and admit that apparently my reading and comprehension skills have gone to pot lately. The DoD clearly came out and admitted that "Yep, our boys did it" and that "Yep, we shot a kid in the head in a pre-meditated fashion." and, somehow, I missed all of those statements.

Lest you think I'm looking through rose-colored glasses, I suspect the marines in question probably did much of what they're accused of doing. The evidence does seem quite damning. But whereas you've accepted guilt and you'll use that guilt to further your beliefs, I'm going to give our troops the benefit of every doubt and wait for the judicial and review processes to identify exactly what happened. The fact that you "knew about this since February" indicates to me only that you heard a rumor to that effect and, true to form when it comes to something that reflects negatively on GWB, chose to accept that rumor as fact.

Yes, you are pushing an agenda and yes, frankly, much of your agenda does sound awful. Does it surprise or frighten you that there are rational human beings who aren't evil (for the most part, anyway!) who will not line up to support what you perceive to be the blessed platform?

It's admirable that you believe in your positions so passionately, but it does tend to stifle any chance for impassioned debate. (This is the point where a liberal poster would make one or more grandiose comparisons about your passion and that of more sinister historical figures or groups, just to add that special, "tear-at-your-heartstrings" effect.) I honestly don't know how you can expect anybody to take a position seriously when terms such as "sub-human" and "murderer" are bandied about indiscriminately. Those terms have nothing to do with politics, no matter how frequently they are utilized by the loony left.

For what it's worth, I find your "policemen raping a woman" story to be insulting and unworthy of a response. It's every bit as ridiculous as the several "Can somebody justify for me..." scenarios you've thrown out that nobody that I know (or have ever known) would ever attempt to justify.

Predicatable responses? Well,
** If it's broken, we did it
** Because GWB is president, it all goes back to him
** If it's a conservative position, it's intent is to put $$$ in somebody's pocket
** If we don't know it or believe it, we're just part of the brainwashed masses

My predictable responses? Just re-read every posting where I wasted electrons trying to talk to the brick wall....

Anonymous said...

You didn’t address anything from my last post. Cmon, tell us what we should be doing about Somalia?

So, based on the content of each individual story coming out of the DOD, you can tell exactly when the DOD is telling the truth and when they are not? Wow. Either you have skills that the rest of don’t have or you pick and choose which stories to believe. Also, when did I question the validity of the story? Please point out where I said the DOD was lying.

Estate tax – I hope they get rid of it. For someone who screams about “intrusive government” you sure don’t seem to mind the government raiding someones life savings. Somebody works hard all their life to pass something along to their children, does real well, and democrats don’t seem to mind the government taking a large chunk of it. You tell us that the middle class has been eliminated then your buddy Phil called for my tax rates to be higher than 40%. What a joke.

Flag Burning – non-issue to me, but will get the base going.

A more focused war on terror? Then why mention Somalia? They never attacked us. What does France think about Somalia? These questions have to be answered you know.

Universal Health Care? PL already schooled you guys on that Massachusetts plan you praised so much. Conveniently, noone had much to say about it after that.

More equal distribution of wealth? So you want the government to regulate how much people can make? Sounds like you are all for intrusive government as long as it fits your agenda. Your family is worth plenty of money, just wait till your calls for “regulation” hit a little close to home.

Based on my posts I would think that the women would want to be raped? Extremely poor example in bad taste.

I do take a look at things that are going, friends, my job, my hobbies, and so on. My days are full of that stuff, not going down to police stations to talk politics with local cops who I don’t know. Washington DC is not the center of the universe. I’m not going to bother opening my eyes because anyone who doesn’t see things exactly how you do is labeled stupid.

But since you want to talk about what’s going on…let’s look at the elections held in California on Tuesday. Rob Reiner's ballot proposition in California to soak the rich (higher income tax rate on couples who make $800,000 or individuals who make $400,000) failed - 61% no and 39% yes. In addition, a state bond to improve libraries also went down (53% said no). The tax measure only won in two San Francisco bay counties. Also, Republican Brian Bilbray won the race to succeed the scandal ridden Duke Cunningham in California's 50th Congressional District. He beat democrat Francine Busby by just over four percent, 49.5 percent to 45.25 percent.

Put those in your pipe and smoke it. Democrats couldn’t even win in a blue state yesterday.

Let’s see what else is going on...

The US economy grew at a rate of 4.8% in the first quarter of this year

The US had the fastest growing economy of any industrialized nation in the world last year.

Let me repeat that, the US had the fastest growing economy of ANY industrialized nation in the WORLD last year.

Home ownership has reached record highs.

The US has added jobs for 31 months straight

The unemployment rate is at 4.6%
Consumer confidence is at its highest point in nearly four years

Household wealth is at all-time high.

Real hourly compensation rose at 3.2 percent annual rate in first quarter

Since January 2001, real after-tax income has risen by 12.9 percent, or 7.3 percent per person

Consumer spending increased at an annual rate of 5.2 percent in the first quarter of this year

Over the past 12 months, manufacturing production has increased by 5.5 percent.

Hmmmm, what else is going on…here’s an update I found recently about Europe...

The European countryside is as beautiful as ever. Hotels in the cities are as packed as they are high-priced. Tourists fill Rome. The same bustle is evident from Lisbon to Frankfurt. Everywhere European stewards welcome in millions of sightseers to enjoy the treasures of Western civilization. Never has life seemed so good.

Yet beneath the veneer of the good life, there is also a detectable air of uncertainty in Europe this summer, one perhaps similar to that of 1914 or the late 1930s.

The enemies of Europe's past - responsible for everything from Verdun and Dresden to a constant threat of mutually assured destruction - were identified as nationalism and militarism. Meanwhile, at home, Europeans cited cutthroat competition and unbridled individualism as additional contributory causes of the prior strife and unhappiness.

So in response to the errors of the past, Europeans systematically expanded the welfare state. They welcomed in immigrants. Politicians slashed defense spending, lowered the retirement age and cut the workweek. Voters demanded trade barriers to protect the public from the ravages of globalization. Either to enjoy the good life or to save the planet, couples forswore children.

But instead of utopia, unintended consequences ensued. Unemployment soared. Dismal economic growth, shrinking populations and a scarier world outside their borders followed.

Among other problems, Europe's porous-border policy has led to waves of Muslim immigration that have left the continent volatile and frightened:

Frontline Spain clamors impatiently for the European Union to clamp down on illegal immigrants streaming across the Mediterranean. The utopian vision of a continent with porous borders is, for the time being, on hold - at least as it pertains to Africa.

The Dutch, the French and the Danes are petrified about unassimilated Muslim radicals in their countries who have killed or threatened the most liberal of Europeans. Churches are almost empty. Mosques are being built; Italians wrangle over plans for one of the largest in Italy - to be plopped amid the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany.

A majority of polled Germans now believe that the pacifist Europeans are in a "clash of civilizations" with the Islamic world.
But hey – Europe has military efficiency, universal healthcare, and equal distribution of wealth.

Mark Ward said...

Please remind me again how PL "schooled us" on health care. I think you might want to place a call to Mitt Romney's office and ask them how it's going.

My point about Somalia is that if we are so against radical Islamism, then why do we let it go unchecked in some places and not others? I think we gave a very lackluster effort there and we cannot allow yet another terrorist haven to exist. How do we do that? There are several answers out there but let's save that topic for a future blog column.

If I have 50 million dollars and some of my money needs to go to less fortunate people, fine...I think I can get by on 30 million. You do know that this law is being called the Paris Hilton law because of her vocal complaints about losing money when her pop dies.

California...hich is it, Crab, Dems couldn't win in a blue state or the Dems almost won in a very red district. What is the truth?

And now onto PL's comments, I wish to stress again that I find mostly no fault with the Marines in question and think that the large majority of them are wonderful. We have put them in an impossible situation and it is the fault of our leadership.

I am trying to understand why my position is labeled as "liberal" If that's the case, than it is "Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded"

God, that DOES really sounds awful. What in the hell is the matter with me?

I think my point of view is human. I think Bush Co's policies are not human. Or humane. According to you, that's just my opinion. What would Bush have to do, in your eyes, to finally convince you that he is inhumane?

Anonymous said...

"Liberal" doesn't mean what you say it means any more than "faggot" means 'a bundle of sticks'. If you don't want to be called "liberal" then quit pitching for that team.

In fairness to you, if I had the same notion of what has motiviated GWB in the past and what is currently motivating him then I believe I would be feeling the same anger you are, and I'd probably be using terms such as inhumane. (The use of that term, by the way, wipes away any lingering doubt in my mind about your supposed impartiality when it comes to evaulating GWB and his policies.) But since we obviously disagree on those motivations, as debated ad nauseum on this blog, it will certainly take a lot more for me to conclude that GWB is inhumane.

Let's start with:
** GWB standing on the steps of a schoolhouse blocking the way of a certain segement of the student body.
** GWB in the crowd at a World Cup match energetically joining along in the nazi salute. (This is the society after which we are supposed to model our own?)
** GWB on videotape cutting the head off Harry Reid, chanting "God is great! Death to the liberals!"
** GWB ordering the gassing of the greater Boston area to eliminate that hot-bed of resistance to his policies.
** GWB turning a blind eye to the pillaging of North Dakota by South Dakota.
** GWB declaring that Canada isn't a nation and should be removed from the face of the earth.

Failing those, what I'm left with is the conclusion that GWB and his policies are sometimes par-for-the-course conservative (a ruling on the "humanity" thereof is subjective), often counter-liberal (petty and petulant, but not inhumane), and sometimes faith-based (borderline troublesome, but very different than inhumane).

Mark Ward said...


I have said this before but it bears repeating. If a Democrat or Liberal or whomever had done all of things that I slam Bush for, I would feel the same way. And I would be just as vehemnet about it. An example of this would by Lyndon Johnson. While it is true that his "Great Society" helped millions of African Americans, his policies in Vietnam, unwavering support of the military industrial complex, and general incompetence in matters of international policy rank him around the same spot as GWB. And he probably had foreknowledge of Kennedy being killed....

There are many current Democrats that are the same way as GWB....much of their leadership is pretty awful. In truth, there are only a handful of people in Washington that I find tasteful...I highlighted a few of them in my "Profile" series.

It is not GWB himself I hate...hell, he is a Stl Cardinals his policies and the general agenda of Bush Co that I find to be inhumane.