Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Boulder ... hill ...

... here we go again.

Why do I keep doing this?

Why do I take my precious time to do it, squeezing it in between my day job and the rest of my life, to the point that my wife rolls her eyes and sighs?

No, I'm not talking about blogging here, on this site ... given my rather-intermittent posting history, no one can say that I am truly "obsessed" with making The Alleged Mental Case the next Instapundit.

I'm not even talking about cybersquatting ... as I often do at SMASH's and Daniel's, with regular stops at Mudville and Froggy's ... and occasional stops at Blackfive and Tim's, as well as Radley's place when he had comments open. I've made several friends in these places ... friends I've never seen face-to-face, but friends nevertheless.

None of the above is so obsessive, that it incessantly drives my time-management decisions from day to day. If, as some say, insanity is defined as repeating what doesn't work in the hope of a better result, the case could be made that I am truly a Mental Case.

No, what I am talking about is akin to talking to a wall ... regularly engaging in heated debate with the most intractible of moonbats, returning their fire ... giving as good (if not better) as I get.

Why do I take them on, when it is quite evident that not only will their minds not be changed by my words (no matter how good) ... but they, in a manner similar to our Islamofascist and totalitarian enemies, will fold/spindle/mutilate the truth -- including my own words -- and attempt to use it against me and those of like mind ... including the man I am proud to call "my President"?

Like in this thread from my past ... and this one ... and even being accused of lying, and supporting torture ... just the most recent example of what I am talking about.

And of course, on several occasions, being subjected to the sobriquet of "chickenhawk", as if that instantly renders my opinions inert ... with total disregard for the value my own contributions to the war effort, as an engineer who designs equipment for the use of our warfighters in the practice of their dangerous but vital profession. At least I can answer such as these with my own sobriquet of "turtledove" ... as in, head-pulled-inside-shell ... and remind them that, if they are truly anti-war, they need to at least protest both parties in the conflict with equal stridency.

Why do I subject myself to such abuse ... and afterwards, go back for more? Why do I, when I read a post that promotes the Leftist viewpoint and denigrates my own, start looking for the next opportunity to answer it ... and am restless and unsatisfied until I do?

It's not because of those who are dishing out said abuse ... my attitude towards the people I interact with in the blogosphere is best exemplified by my final comment at The Agitator , the day Radley turned off the comments.

To those who seemed to see things as I do -- Dani, Michelle, James D, Michael, Danno, Rocket (love ya, but sometimes you need to temper the enthusiasm?) and others -- thanks for reinforcing my beliefs.

To those who were principled in their challenges -- Evan Williams, Joe Sims, Bernard, Wade, Joker and others -- thanks for challenging my thinking.

To those who seemed, by their choice of words or knee-jerk logic, to view me as evil incarnate -- thanks for the exercise, but as Dick Marcinko would say, "doom on you".

No, the reason I keep coming back to the bottom of the hill, to start pushing that boulder up, can be found earlier in that same post.

OTOH, I have no regrets for my persistence and energy in presenting and defending my views in this forum. I still believe that freedom of speech also comes with the responsibility to challenge published error, if fact and logic support that conclusion.

I take that responsibility seriously, because I have seen not only my nation, but the world, suffer for the wrong choices we have made.

Choices that were made, not from greed, or from a desire for violence, but from hubris ...

... a hubris borne of the belief that we are so advanced in our education and sophistication, that basic human nature -- both its capacity for good, and its affinity for evil -- is a trivial concern to us as we form and implement the public policy of our nation.

... a hubris that encourages us to particularly ignore human nature when it comes to evaluating the threat our adversaries present to mankind ... irrelevant to the point that the need to confront those so evil they would turn our good faith against us is totally ignored, until the bodies pile up in our own streets as "proof" of a threat.

... a hubris that tells us "it can't beTHAT simple", and compels us to analyze and pontificate on every "nuance" of every problem, and ignore the simplest ... yet true ... principles that apply to it.

.... a hubris that leads some to believe that humanity can completely and accurately perceive the truth of the universe, and encourages them to step beyond their perceptual limitations on their own ... into an abyss they do not even recognize in their hubris.

In short, a hubris that led to the outright promotion of falsehoods that sounded good to the academics and the chattering classes ... but collapsed under the weight of actual use by our nation.

Such hubris led to the $3 trillion stalemate of the War on Poverty, and the dumbing-down of our schools while calling it "progress". It produced the boat people and re-education camps derived from our Vietnam "experience", along with the killing fields of Cambodia.

This hubris let my great uncles ... and the rest of us, less directly ... sit in a nuclear bullseye far longer than necessary. It was behind the vociferous and obstructive opposition to the man who took them out of that bullseye, calling him a jingoistic cowboy who would get us into war ... when in fact, he ended the threat of that war, and freed millions of people from totalitarianism, by confronting evil.

This hubris paralyzed us and allowed the seed of Islamofascism to take root in Iran ... the seed of a weed, that sunk deep roots into our world, when it should have been pulled out early in its germination. This hubris fertilzed the Islamofascist weed with inaction and ineptitude on the part of our nation, letting it mature and spread its malevolent seeds all over the sandy soil of the Middle East -- with one seed mutating into the malignant Al Quada strain.

This hubris let another species of pest -- Saddam & Sons -- run free, even when we had them dead in our sights, with more than enough reason to take them out ... raising the cost immeasurably, in blood, treasure, and distrust, to finally trap these vermin.

Keep in mind, we live in a representative republic -- the men who embraced this hubris, crowded out those with common sense, and built the rickety scaffolds we built a lot of our society and foreign relations on since the 1960's -- were elected by us. "We the people" chose them ... because what they said, sounded good, and fair, and compassionate.

The results speak otherwise ... yet even when the "early" results were in, even with the light of past history to guide us, we kept choosing hubris over horse sense, because all the "right" people -- our academics, our media personalities, our leaders -- were promoting this hubris ... and those who knew better were crowded out of public discourse by the political and media gatekeepers (who, at their executive levels, also embraced the hubris). The gatekeepers were aided and abetted by a "modern" value system, where educated "expertise" was elevated far above simple wisdom.

For lack of a strong voice to the contrary, "we the people" heeded the siren song of this hubris ... and made decisions, in the voting booth and elsewhere, on the basis of falsehoods derived from self-deception regarding humanity's true characteristics.

We suffered for it.

Now, a new generation comes along to continue the tradition of haughty human hubris ... as the old saying goes, failing to learn from history -- even recent history -- they appear doomed to repeat it.

However, in this day and age, the lies they unwittingly (or intentionally) spread in their self-deception need not go unchallenged. Our public discourse is no longer dominated by the talking heads of major networks ... nor are contrarian voices locked out of the public discourse by the gatekeepers of the "old school".

It is with such as these, that I choose to engage in rhetorical battle in the blogosphere ... even though it is unlikely I will change their minds. But it is not for their sake, that I do so.

I do so, for the sake of many others who may never post a comment in a thread ... but will read the comments my adversaries post, and in the absence of an alternative viewpoint, accept their lies as truth ... and repeat history.

The task I voluntarily accept ... in the face of the flack, and the stubbornness of my adversaries ... is to make sure that we do not repeat that history in the decisions made this day... by doing what I can to assure, in the words of The Who, "we won't be fooled again!"

Consider it another part of "my" war effort -- an effort to make sure the cost of the inevitible confrontations of evil in the real world is reduced to an absolute minimum, by nipping problems like Saddam & Sons in the bud.

An effort to see our nation make the "return on investment" of terrorism so small, only the truly deranged attempt it ... and it becomes equivalent to garden-variety murder in terms of the impact upon our world.

An effort to assure, as much as humanly possible, that we do not send the signals of weakness that embolden our adversaries, motivating them to place us -- and all others who seek to peacefully interact with us -- once again in the position of unwitting target, or compel us to sacrifice our lives in last-ditch efforts to save others, by being backed into a corner ... or the back of a speeding airplane.

Boulder ... hill ...

Let's roll.

-------------------

(Now tracked to Mudville's Open Post -- with a hat tip to Greyhawk, for suggesting that I write on this subject. Also tracked to this post by SMASH, whose attitude appears to be a more-rational parallel to mine -- especially when it comes to the subject of democracy in the Arab world.)


Comments:
You're so full of it, Case. Reagan didn't do shit to end the Cold War other than be in the right place at the right time to collect the credit. The USSR went broke.

I hope the Republicans stay in office for another ten years so that people can find out just exactly how bad their policies are. Time after time they drive the US into record budget deficit until a Democrat takes office and is forced to raise taxes to get the nation unburied from debt and balance the books. Republicans find enough of the ignorant electorate and convince them Democrats are out to get them by raising taxes to cover the bills that the Republicans incur. Underhanded bullshit is the Republican modus operandi.

I'd love to see Republicans in office for another decade and watch the realization cross the faces of their supporters when taxes are forced to be raised to cover the massive debts they incur.

Not only are you a chickenhawk, but you're a war profiteer. You live off the death of others.

Placing the US citizen's best interest over the best interests of others is EXACTLY what the US government should be doing. You can drop the White Man's Burden any time now. Nobody's fooled. We know it's just self-rightiousness.
 
Reagan didn't do **** to end the Cold War other than be in the right place at the right time to collect the credit. The USSR went broke.

Actually, President GHW Bush was the one in charge when the walls fell. Minor point.

Reagan played the ultimate two hands of nuke poker -- Pershings and SDI -- and persuaded the Soviets that they could not win, because they would go broke trying.

His confrontation of the evil of the Soviet Union set the stage for the peaceful euthanasia of a powerful, ill-tempered beast -- instead of continuing to accommodate it until, in its dying throes, it lashed out and killed millions.

His strategy was the exit strategy for the Cold War.

I hope the Republicans stay in office for another ten years so that people can find out just exactly how bad their policies are. Time after time they drive the US into record budget deficit until a Democrat takes office and is forced to raise taxes to get the nation unburied from debt and balance the books.

Excuse me, but what about that $3 TRILLION that was wasted on the so-called War on Poverty ... which perpetuated poverty instead of ending it? Who promoted that?

The defecit spending under Reagan (and to some degree, the spending under our current President) is a result of having to fund programs necessary for our national security, AND the social-engineering programs of his opponents ... in order to get the former through.

We spent about the same amount of money on the Cold War and the War on Poverty ... and we won only one of those wars. The other was not addressed effectively until, in 1994, REPUBLICANS took over Congress and forced welfare reform down your fiscal "hero's" throat.

And, as for raising taxes, Mr. Clinton raised them at a time when technology and business reached a nexus that produced such explosive economic growth (some of it illusory) that it overrode the negative impacts of those tax cuts. In other words, he got lucky.

I remember the reverse lesson -- seeing the double-digits in both inflation and interest rates during the Carter years, being replaced by real, sustainable economic growth thanks to Reagan and his tax cuts.

Republicans find enough of the ignorant electorate and convince them Democrats are out to get them by raising taxes to cover the bills that the Republicans incur.

No -- they are convinced for themselves, by the misguided spending priorities and misapplication of government authority -- AND LACK OF SIGNIFICANT RESULTS -- perpetrated by the Leftist opposition.

As shown above, Democrats also incur the same kinds and sizes of bills ... the difference is, what did we get for the money spent?.

I'd love to see Republicans in office for another decade and watch the realization cross the faces of their supporters when taxes are forced to be raised to cover the massive debts they incur.

Actually, you may get your wish ... if the Dems maintain their allegiance to the MoveOn/Soros anarchist mobs, they will be relegated to minority-party status for the foreseeable future.

I hope it does happen -- I hope the GOP gets a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate, plus enough to send the Democratic Party as an institution to the ash heap of history ... because it will only be then, that we can work to dismantle the GOP as an institution in the same way -- putting an end to the political Cold War that has overrode the common sense of the American people for decades!

Not only are you a chickenhawk,

Fine line between bravery and stupidity ... and that line extends well beyond my world, to provide a boundary for the long-term good of this nation. I am a greater asset to this nation where I am at now, then I would be in Iraq (where I would probably end up as a subject of an Al Quada "documentary", and a burden to my fellow Americans over there).

... but you're a war profiteer. You live off the death of others.

Two points here:

1> The kind of equipment I design saves the lives of the just and innocent, by allowing our warfighters to leverage technology and live up to the view of the soldier's role, attributed to General George Patton: The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other poor bastard die for his.

2> Read my lips: you are a war profiteer as well, by your own definition! Your ability (and mine) to live free and pursue happiness was facilitated by the deaths of heroes past ... and present ... who saw things as I do today. Without them, we would be speaking German ... or Russian ... or in the future, Arabic -- having lost control of our destiny by our own passivity in the face of evil.

Placing the US citizen's best interest over the best interests of others is EXACTLY what the US government should be doing.

But I thought the anti-war Left was a movement of compassion for the whole world!

And if the above is your true objective, denigrating our intel capability, weakening our military, trashing us diplomatically, and making our enemies bolder through unprincipled dissent is a poor way to achieve it.

You can drop the White Man's Burden any time now. Nobody's fooled. We know it's just self-rightiousness.

No, not self-righteousness ... this isn't about me, nor is it the self-righteous "speaking 'truth' to power" your side of this debate beats its chest over.

It is about righteous truth -- something the relativists that dominate the opposition to this President repeatedly ignore, to their ... and our ... peril.

My "burden" is something that is alien to the anti-war movement -- personal responsibility, to do what I can to make sure "we the people" have the best info for our decision-making.

Revisionists like yourself corrupt that info ... that is why I challenge you, anywhere I can.
 
Go Rich!

As for what caseworker said...Placing the US citizen's best interest over the best interests of others is EXACTLY what the US government should be doing.

I think that he/she just has a differing idea of what is in our interest than we do. I myself appreciate what is being done in the ME right now - our troops have borne the brunt of securing liberty for Iraq. Soon it will be up to the Iraqis to hold it. I wish them well. More free nations on this planet IS in our best interest. Thank God the people in charge have (so far) had a better grasp of this than caseworker.
 
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