And in my typical fashion, I was fairly irreverent of this guy's opinions, as is my wont, and downright disrespectable when it came to certain theories of his which I found ridiculous. Like the suggestion that Attorney General Eric Holder believes in the principle of death squads. And as is typical of these sort of people who imagine that anyone who disagrees with them is evil, he didn't take kindly to my irreverancy and has now established comment moderation; lest I continue to disrespect his authority.
Ironically, the people who most fiercely attack their opponents for oppressing dissent are most likely to oppress dissent, which is often why they were complaining in the first place. And no, this isn't the first anti-Obama leftie who has banned me from their site for criticizing their position. Nor is he the first to suggest that liberals who don't agree with them aren't "liberals." Apparently, it's not enough to support big government anymore.
And this affliction of his was entirely fitting with why I was there. After all, his list of reasons Obama didn't deserve the prize included such oddball items like the hiring of Eric Holder and Rahm Emanuel. Holder's offense was that he supported the ban on D.C. handguns, as well as having represented Chiquita when they pled guilty to paying Columbian death squads. Rahm's offense was in suggesting that Senator Kyl didn't want stimulus funds after he attacked the stimulus funds, as well as having suggested in 2007 that we ban the sales of guns to people on the no-fly list. And yes, apparently gun control is now the pro-war position.
And while I can respect the difference of opinion on why Josh wouldn't agree with Holder or Emanuel on these issues, I found it inexplicable that anyone would seriously suggest that these are such horrid deeds that they disquailify Obama from deserving a peace prize, merely for hiring people who had committed them. And since I suggested that these deeds didn't taint Obama, it meant that I support the no-fly list, violations of the 2nd Amendment, and death squads.
And trust me when I tell you that, for as disrespectful as I was of reading this stuff, my original comments were much, much worse. And because this guy doesn't know me, he actually imagined that I wouldn't have said these things to his face. But I assure you, I'm just like this in person, except louder. And so he effectively banned me, unless I repented my irreverent sins and respected his opinions more. And as that's not going to happen, I'm going to post my response here.
And to recap this portion of the argument, I had written that his list contained "outright deceptions," and because I used the plural, he insisted that I needed to list multiple deceptions or retract that precious "s". And while I could have picked bones with almost everything on the list, as the entire thing was written to maximize shock value, I picked the following items:
* Hypocritical on the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell.
* Continues to spy on peace groups through "fusion centers."
* Supports the growing trend of police militarization.
I'll take these one at a time.
Hypocritical on the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell
This one involved him linking to his own post remarking that the DOJ had "finally" argued against DOMA, and presumably, Obama's offense was that he opposed DOMA while the DOJ continued to defend it in court. But of course, it had to defend DOMA, as it's the law and Obama has to uphold the law, even if he doesn't approve. Same goes for DADT.
So that's what I said, pointing out that the Constitution dictates that Obama support these laws. And his reponse was to note that Rachel Maddow and Howard Dean didn't like the legal brief on DOMA which had been submitted in June. June. Yet, we were talking about the August legal brief the DOJ had just submitted. And while the June brief was an embarrassment that sounded like it was written by a Bushie, the August one sounded good and Obama was on record at the time saying that he wanted Congress to overturn it because it was discrimintory against gays.
And again, this was the event Josh linked to and I had written about. And even his link suggested that he was happy that Obama had "finally" done this. Yet all the same, this is used as proof that Obama is a hypocrite and Josh refuses to back down. Now, if you want to say that Obama isn't putting enough pressure on Congress to overturn DOMA and DADT, I can understand that. But all the same, I fail to see how that's a reason to withhold a peace prize from someone.
Continues to spy on peace groups through "fusion centers."
On this one, Josh once again posted to his own blog, which failed to mention "fusion centers" or explain exactly how Obama is spying on peace groups. So I clicked on the source for that post, which also failed to mention "fusion centers" or explain how Obama is spying on peace groups. In fact, it actually said that the spy was spying on the military. And I was confused about that, so Josh had to post another link, which involved a long interview explaining everything.
And here's the recap for you:
The ACLU filed a public information request on behalf of several anarchist groups which wanted to disrupt military operations on a base in Washington state by peacfully preventing military vehicles from being repaired and sent back to Iraq. An email they uncovered indicated that a member who had joined in 2007 was a spy working for the base. The leader of one of the groups confronted the spy and says that the spy told them that he was a civilian working on the base and was spying on them, along with other spies. He insisted that he was pressured to do it, wasn't paid to spy, and only reported to the local police. And that's it. That's all they know, with the rest being conjecture. And from this, we're to know that Obama is fully aware of this operation and approves of it.
And sure, this was clearly a program from before Obama's presidency and involved a guy who was so low-level that he confessed to everything, including the existence of other spies. And it certainly appears that the local police assumed these groups were far shadier, as they asked the spy to report about "bombs and explosives and drugs and guns," which would suggest that they thought they were dealing with dangerous terrorist groups. And again, this was all easily uncovered with a public information request and nothing horrible happened to any of the people involved.
In other words, this sounds on-par with the typical Barney Fife sting operation many small towns operate, and nothing like a major military "fusion center" operation we should all fear; but still, Obama clearly approves, so it's yet another reason he shouldn't have received a peace prize. Right.
Supports the growing trend of police militarization
And this last one might be the best. First, the second link he provided for this was to his own blog and involved overly aggresive police operations, which have nothing to do with the military or Obama. And this link was provided because...I have no idea. Apparently, police used to be really nice until recently. Someone needs to tell that to the 60's.
And the first link was to a cellphone video which showed two guys in camo at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh shoving someone into an unmarked car and driving off. Or so it seemed to my untrained eye. To Josh, this was a military operation. After snarking at me for having referred to it as a "shakey video", he writes:
Yes, I do think that a video showing military abducting someone off the street in a protest shows me the military abducting someone off the street in a protest. I'm sorry that because the video is "shaky" it doesn't show you the same thing. I guess the truth will just have to carry a stabilizer from now on. By the way, this isn't disputed. As of a week ago or so, that guy was still being held by the military.Except, well...none of that was true. As it turns out, those weren't military troops. They were G20 security guys who happened to be wearing camo. And he wasn't "abducted." He was apparently driven fifty feet from the crowd, brought out of the car, and then properly arrested. Apparently, the security guys didn't want to arrest someone in the middle of a riot. Go figure. And he wasn't arrested for protesting, but rather, for vandalism. And needless to say, he wasn't still being held by the military a week later. Rather, he was immediately brought to the Allegheny Jail and arraigned, along with the other protesters arrested. And news of this was posted the day after it happened.
But besides that, this is a clear example of Obama approving of using the military against American citizens, based upon the fact that he was at the summit and didn't complain about it. And because he didn't complain about military abductions that never occured, he isn't worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. And again, this is someone who complained that I was too disrespectful, while even now, I consider my response to be understated to the point of comedy gold.
Blinded by Opinion
And these examples were symptomatic of his entire list. It was all about taking facts, factoids, and anything else he could find and hinting at some nefarious intent on Obama's part, even if he wasn't involved. And as with this last one, nothing was too ridculous to include and to even suggest that this guy was mistaken was to undermine your credibility. He saw what he wanted to see and he'd be damned if he let you talk him out of it.
And so he absolutely insisted he saw a military operation, when my initial impression was that there wasn't anything military about this beyond their outfits. Why would a military operation involve three guys, an unmarked car, and one protester? That made no sense. Admittedly, my experience of military operations is limited to what I've seen in television and movies, but all the same, the whole thing struck me as an amatuer group trying to grab one particular guy. And now we know why.
And sure, maybe all that was a lie and the military really was interested in grabbing one protester and holding him indefinitely. And maybe Obama's lying about withdrawing from Iraq, and supporting the repeal of DOMA, and maybe the bailout truly was some evil plot to rob American citizens. But why stop there? Maybe Ralph Nader is an alien invader, and maybe anarchists really want to destroy America, and maybe Fox News is telling the truth. That's why belief isn't enough. That's why opinions are untrustworthy. That's why we need facts. And no, it's not good enough to merely link your statement to a fact if that fact doesn't directly support your statement.
Not that opinions and beliefs are inherently wrong, but merely that facts need to be at the basis of those opinions. And if all you've got supporting your opinions are more opinions, you're going to say a lot of dumb things and be subject to much ridicule. And for god's sake, make sure that your sources actually say what you think they said. For as much as this guy insisted that I needed to research all his claims, most of what I found was that he really didn't know what he was talking about. And no amount of comment moderation will save you from the embarrassment of that.